For the second straight Monday, Raw Women’s champion Becky Lynch was not on television last night (Dec. 2). Of the two theories floated for why WWE would keep The Man off the Survivor Series fallout show on Nov. 25, only one is still in play.
Things move fast in 2019, so the poor reception Becky’s Triple Threat with Shayna Baszler and Bayley received isn’t a factor. But, while it would be wild to do just months after building a main event program around their relationship, the company could be opting to keep Lynch as far as possible from her fiance, Seth Rollins. Then again, it’s also wild they’ve opted to stop stubbornly pushing Rollins as a babyface and instead lean into his online douchiness. Keeping Bex off-screen means she doesn’t have to answer questions about a guy she’s associated with in real life and kayfabe (anyone who remembers Renee Young being grilled about Dean Ambrose after his 2018 heel turn is probably okay with that decision). It also gives them time to tease out Rollins’ official turn, build intrigue about his association with AOP, etc.
Lynch wasn’t completely absent from WWE programming last night, though. She did get an online exclusive fallout interview. The brief clip with Sarah Schreiber introduces another possible motive. Knowing that it’s never long before a segment of the modern fanbase will sour on any performer they think management is “shoving down their throats”, The Man is tying her current predicament into the sentiment which fueled her rise last year.
Check it out:
“t’s been two weeks since I’ve been on Raw and it’s been two months since I have defended this [adjusts the Raw Women’s title draped over her shoulder]. Now, do we think that the powers that were keeping me down at the beginning of all this have just gone away?
I have said the fight that I want and I have said that I will fight them in the parking lot if I can’t get it on a pay-per-view. I am the face of this company but I’m not gonna be the mouthpiece - cause this title deserves more, I deserve more, the people deserve more.
I’ve said the fight that I want. I have one last debt to collect.”
The Man is keeping The Man down! The “mouthpiece” line is also interesting, as being the company’s mouthpiece is not only something fans push back against, it’s also exactly what The Man’s man wants to be.
The other thing this continues to do is build toward a rematch of the SmackDown Women’s title match from the 2019 Royal Rumble. It would be more suspenseful if WWE themselves hadn’t booked and streamed Lynch getting to fight Asuka as part of the Fatal 4Way at Starrcade this past Sunday, but... WWE gonna WWE. Couldn’t you just book Natalya as Charlotte Flair’s partner in that match if you weren’t going to use it as part of the build to a rumored TLC Women’s Tag title bout between Kabuki Warriors and CharLynch (which, btw, they now have one show to set-up)?
Even Becky’s dark match appearance in Nashville last night can be used as part of the Asuka program:
@BeckyLynchWWE retained her #RAW Women’s Championship against @KairiSaneWWE on #RAW at #WWENashville #TheMan ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Uq0wyxbyvF— Kadin Collins (@kadin_collins2) December 3, 2019
Anyway... that’s where Becky Lynch is. Let us know if you think keeping her off TV for two weeks was a good idea, and whether it’s been a successful in not distracting from Rollins’ character arc or in pre-empting backlash against The Man. Or if you believe there’s an entirely different reason for the decision.
Sound off with whatever your take on the situation is in the comments below, Cagesiders.