Right off the top, Becky Lynch doesn’t need anyone opining about what she should or shouldn’t do with her life and her body, except her doctor and in some cases Seth Rollins. But she’s a public figure who shared the news of her pregnancy on television, so it’s natural there are lots of opinions out there from people who have nothing to do with Lynch.
The one getting a lot of oxygen recently comes from Jim Cornette. As he is wont to do*, the legendary booker, manager, historian, and pundit cut a scathing promo about Becky’s decision to have a child at this point in her career on the May 15 episode of his The Jim Cornette Experience podcast. Seth Rollins responded on Corey Graves’ After The Bell yesterday, and was much more civil than many of us would have been if Cornette had made our partner the centerpiece of his misogynistic rant.
Still, Seth more than covered why Cornette’s statements were gross. I’d like to point out they’re also dumb.
In the midst of a lot nonsense, Corny’s argument is that Lynch is making a mistake by doing something that will take her out of the pro wrestling spotlight during what he thinks are her prime earning years.
Again, nobody asked me and I have no right to anything other than an opinion. But if I’m playing fantasy manager/agent, I tell Becky this is the perfect time for a lengthy pro wrestling sabbatical.
There are upsides to showing up during the empty arena era, but neither apply to Lynch. She doesn’t need to demonstrate to Vince McMahon and upper management that she’s a “company (The) Man”. They need her at least as much as she needs them.
And she wasn’t fighting for screen time, so this isn’t an opportunity for her the way it is for someone like Dana Brooke, or even Drew McIntyre. There’s a risk that fans might associate you with what have largely been lackluster shows. That risk is greater for someone a portion of the audience already started to turn on because they were overexposed or pushed too hard (Daniel Bryan’s right, we’re fickle). Look at the reaction to the omnipresent Charlotte Flair right now.
Truly, the lack of depth WWE’s created for their women’s roster means 2020 was going to see Becky cycle back through feuds we’d already seen. The potential “big money” programs that are possible - NXT Horsewomen vs. MMA Horsewomen and/or a one-on-one with Ronda Rousey - weren’t happening even if she stuck around. Sure, she could probably use the pre-Survivor Series punch to draw some eyeballs to a Nia Jax match. But do you really feel deprived knowing that won’t be on the card for SummerSlam?
With regards to her personal bottom line, what’s she losing? I doubt Vince wants to mess with her downside guarantee, because when/if she comes back, he wants her committed to WWE for the long haul. She’s not missing out on any gate revenue, at least not for several months, and possibly longer. They’re still going to sell her merchandise, and she can still engage with her fans via social media - always one of her strengths, anyway.
Even if there’s money left on the table by not being on Raw for a while, there’s also opportunity cost to remaining a full-time WWE Superstar. Becky’s 33. Starting a family was a priority for her and Seth, and the pregnancy outcomes for mothers and babies are best when women are under 35 - 40.
That’s biology, and unfortunately it’s not the only external factor Lynch needs to consider. I wish our society’s obsession with youth and certain standards of physical attractiveness weren’t magnified for women, but they are. Becky’s interested in pursuing a career in Hollywood, and there are signs the interest is mutual. Will it be easier for her to break into television and movies now, or when she’s 45? Are the same offers going to be there after she maximizes her wrestling heyday the way Cornette is advocating? Where does having kids fit into that timeframe?
By taking years off now, Lynch and Rollins can start their family while she gives acting a shot. It’s never easy to be a working parent, but it’ll be easier to be a mom going on auditions & being on sets than it will be to be a mom who has to make towns.
And it’s not like the door to WWE is going to close. Especially if her Hollywood gamble pays off, The Man is likely to be the first women to get a Brock Lesnar, Undertaker, John Cena-type deal. Once the kiddo or kiddos are pre-school age, and especially if her career is mainstream show business is solidified, Lynch can work 4 - 10 dates a year for the McMahons and make a nice chunk of change doing it. But even if the movie career flops, they’re still going to want her. She’s a pioneer, a surefire Hall of Famer, and a hell of an entertainer. She’ll always be able to make money in pro wrestling.
I haven’t even gotten into the risk of injury. Lynch probably isn’t going to blow out a knee or get a concussion while being a mother and an actress. There’s a chance of that and more every time she steps in a ring. And if it does, it limits her options regarding her other goals.
Becky Lynch doesn’t need anyone to tell her she’s right. But she sure as heck doesn’t need anyone saying she’ll “basically be a raging bitch for the next nine months” - especially when that person doesn’t have anything but bad career advice to go with his he-man woman-hater crap.
* Not interested in re-litigating the “is Corny just ‘working’ a heel gimmick when he says racist and sexist things?” debate, personally. He either really believes these things, or he’s willing to burn friends & colleagues and tear down strangers for the sake of a few bucks and some attention. Regardless of which of those is true, it means he’s someone I don’t want to pay attention to unless I have to. Which sucks because I’ve loved his work in the past, have a ton of respect for his knowledge of & passion for wrestling, and even agree with some of his critiques of the business today & think he would be a valuable voice in the conversation if he could just cut this crap out. But he won’t, so the sooner he leaves the conversation, the better.