Because I’m a mark.
That’s why I’m still upset WWE booked Becky Lynch to tap clean to Asuka in the SmackDown Women’s title match which opened their Royal Rumble pay-per-view (PPV) on Sun., Jan. 27 — despite the fact it was just prelude to her winning the Rumble match and booking a ticket to a WrestleMania 35 title match later on in the show.
Now, that’s not to say I don’t have a list of arguments against the decision, ranging from top WWE stars don’t tap, to the rematch shouldn’t have happened anyway; from “shouldn’t she have fought until she passed out?”, to “couldn’t they have come up with a better way to get her into the Rumble other than ‘Rusev is dumb and Finlay’s a cool dad’?”.
And I am concerned they began to shift her away from the character I and so many others have fallen in love with since SummerSlam. Not only wouldn’t The Man tap, but she wouldn’t beg for a second chance... she wouldn’t let go of her goal of getting to WrestleMania until it was pried from her cold, dead hands, and if she needed in the Rumble to achieve that goal, she’d kick all the ass she needed to until they had no choice but to let her in. It may have been for one night only, but WWE seemed to be making her an underdog like Daniel Bryan circa 2014 rather than a take no prisoner’s badass. YES! Movement DB is another character I loved, sure. Not analogous to the Stone Cold-adjacent Lynch I’ve been stanning for the last several months, though.
But I do think there’s something to the pro-tap arguments being made by others, including my colleagues Henry T. Casey and Brent Brookhouse. The crowd reaction when she won the Rumble proved lots of people weren’t as crestfallen as I was, plus Asuka is more established now and remains an interesting program for Becky to return to.
Would the defenders be less forgiving if the decision was made for a performer other than Becky? I have a suspicion they might be crying 50/50 booking, or observing this is another example of WWE’s plan to make a lot of medium-sized stars instead of one or two big ones. I just don’t know.
They’re excited for the same reasons that I’m disappointed, however — they’re really, really invested in Becky Lynch and her WWE career.
This isn’t how I wanted this to go. It’s not how I think it should have gone. I’m disappointed, but I’m not in despair, and I’m glad others are pleased. It’s the price we pay for being fans, and I wouldn’t really have it any other way.
Because I’m a mark.