Becky Lynch’s career hit a low on Tuesday (Sep. 12) after defeating Tiffany Stratton to win the NXT Women’s Championship. Somehow, the woman known as The Man went from headlining WrestleMania and becoming Becky Two Belts to closing out a random edition of NXT in the middle of September, claiming one of WWE’s developmental titles.
In fairness, Lynch has joined a revolving cast of main roster superstars that WWE is using to raise NXT’s television ratings and secure a higher TV rights deal. Her doing so proves that Lynch is a team player, as helping to raise WWE’s tides will presumably lift the ships of her colleagues.
Still, seeing Lynch in NXT seems out of place for someone who once became one of wrestling’s biggest stars and was destined for Hollywood. And it confirms what’s been apparent for a long time: Becky Lynch has fallen from grace.
Despite her popularity, Lynch’s character has never been the same since she returned to WWE in 2021 following a 15-month maternity leave. After making a surprise comeback at SummerSlam that year, where she won the SmackDown Women’s Championship, the babyface Lynch immediately turned heel.
Out went The Man, and in came her new persona, Big Time Becks, a change that failed to resonate with the public. As The Man, Lynch was a rebellious spirit rising up against authority and the status quo. As Big Time Becks, she became part of the system she once railed against.
However, audiences weren’t buying it. Though Lynch had a series of matches with Bianca Belair that was well-received and solidified Belair at the top of the women’s field, WWE made the call to end Lynch’s rogue run with Triple being the driving force behind the decision, according to Lynch:
“He’s like, I feel like we’re swimming upstream keeping you as heel...”
Returning Lynch to her previous role as a fan favorite was easy. But getting Lynch back to her former glory has been more challenging.
Since last fall, Lynch has had two feuds that went on longer than necessary and did nothing but fill time on TV. One of those rivalries was with Trish Stratus, who acknowledged as much:
“We’ve had a good little run and it’s been really fun. But it’s been a little long. I’m ready to move on, do other things and cross paths with other people.”
At Payback, they settled up in a vicious steel cage match that was well received by most. Original reports said their match was planned for SummerSlam but were rumored to have been bumped off the card due to a timing issue, though Triple H stated that nothing was cut from the show. Whatever the case, Lynch was left off WWE’s second-biggest event of the year, which doesn’t happen often to stars in her position.
Now, as an established veteran who’s become the flagbearer for a show meant for budding talent, Lynch seems light-years away from being the rambunctious superstar that dominated the women’s division for a time more than three years ago.
Has WWE creative failed her? Has Lynch become complacent? At 36, is she perhaps looking to exit stage left and spend more time at home with her family like Bryan Danielson is preparing to do? Has her star faded so much that it’s made it easy for WWE to leave her off an important event like SummerSlam?
Maybe it’s a bit of everything, giving the appearance that Lynch is a superstar on the decline. Though she still has enough cache to add gravitas to a show and elevate new stars, her days as The Man seem long over, even if her moniker as such remains.