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Yes, WWE had Baron Corbin hit his finisher on Becky Lynch

WWE Network

Somewhat lost in the discussion about Brock Lesnar’s Money in the Bank cash-in at Extreme Rules on Sun., July 14 in Philadelphia was this moment which happened a few minutes before the Beast became a three-time Universal champion. WWE delivered one of their most prominent intergender wrestling spots in more than a decade when Baron Corbin hit Becky Lynch with his End of Days finisher:

Narratively, it made sense. Seeing his love laid out by the Lone Wolf, Seth Rollins snapped. The wave of emotion earned a victory for he & Lynch in their Winner Takes All mixed tag match against Corbin & Lacey Evans, but it cost him when Paul Heyman handed the briefcase to an official and his title defense against Brock officially began.

Of course, that storytelling choice is also an issue. Becky survived everything the Extreme Rules stipulation threw at her, and was only taken out by Baron’s strangely protected finisher (I can’t recall anyone kicking out of End of Days, can you?). But it also made The Man a kind of damsel in distress. Seth couldn’t “rescue” her, so he avenged her instead. It was an inversion of Lynch “saving” him from Lacey’s low blow at Stomping Grounds, and again - Bex looked every bit the Bad Lass throughout last night’s main event.

Personally, I was really hoping she would stand up to Brock, providing a distraction that either convinced Heyman not to cash-in or even making her the reason Seth was able to retain. But they didn’t go that way, and casting her as the nurturing significant other instead of the in-ring equalizer is just the latest in a long list of missed opportunities when it comes to WWE booking and The Man.

Back to her being Corbin’s target, however, it’s worth noting that WWE didn’t tweet a GIF of the spot, and it’s not included in any of the videos on YouTube, or the photo gallery’s on the company’s website. They all pick the action up afterwards, and focus on Rollins’ rage:

It seems on intergender wrestling, WWE wants to have their cake and eat it, too. They deliver moments like last night, or Nia Jax’s angle in the men’s Royal Rumble match, for the portion of their fanbase who wants it, and thinks it important to the company’s “Women’s Evolution” claims. But they don’t call any attention to those moments after the fact, so as to not upset the parts of their audience who are uncomfortable with even choreographed male-on-female violence... and the sponsors who probably agree with those fans.

That WWE continues to dip their toes into the intergender waters - women attacking men has become almost common place between the increase in managers on all brands and the Mixed Match Challenge series, and this is our second instance this year of men getting offense in on women. Will they take it farther for anything other than comedy matches with acts like Santino Marella or James Ellsworth? Should they?

You’re the market. You decide.

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