Editorial Columns

The Problem With “The Man”

Dan Lloyd takes a look at why Becky Lynch’s popularity has plateaued over the past few months.

This past Monday, Becky Lynch became the newest woman to hold the record for singular longest WWE Raw Women’s Championship reign.

It was a historic day for a woman who has changed the game over the past 18 months. She has transcended what it meant to be a female in the WWE locker room and has established her name in the annals of WWE history in the process.

However, whilst she has been changing the game in so many ways for the better, there just seems something… off. There is a myriad of reasons as to why things just don’t feel right, so let’s waste no time and dive into what it could be.

Ever since her title wins at WrestleMania 35, The Man has lost some of that fire in her belly. Sure, she still gets in the face of her opponents, talks a lot of trash and entertains the heck out of us, but one of the reasons we loved the character before she defeated Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair to become Becky 2 Belts was that she was the underdog going into the battle.

How could she overcome the huge task of beating legit one of the toughest women this world has seen in the former UFC Champion, Ronda Rousey? 

It was all meant to come to a head at Survivor Series 2018, however, Becky obtained a concussion from a stiff punch courtesy of Nia Jax, which left us with this iconic picture:

Not being cleared to compete, it compelled us to keep watching what happened, as The Man obviously wouldn’t take this laying down. And eventually, she did it. She won the Women’s Royal Rumble, and found herself facing not only Rousey but her long term rival in the form of Charlotte Flair.

Insurmountable odds create the most interesting storylines, and this one was no different. We had brawls, broken police cars, trash talk among the best the women’s division has ever seen, but ever since that title win, not so much.

Somebody with Becky’s lack of care for authority should always shine in the underdog role, but with her protecting her spot at the peak of the division, she’s not able to let loose quite as much as she’s the one with everything to lose now. 

Regardless of what anybody says, I don’t remember anybody who has taken as much of a hit popularity-wise as Seth Rollins has in 2019. His Twitter game has been bad to say the least, taking hits at other promotions, wrestlers and letting the world know how well off he is from his position within WWE.

Now, relationships within WWE are prevalent; they’re everywhere. From Naomi and Jimmy Uso to Nikki Cross and Killian Dain, you start to see how easy it is for people in this particular industry to get together. One of our favourite stories was how Rollins and Lynch both found one another and then became respective champions of their division on the same night at WrestleMania.

Then we had the storyline with Lynch & Rollins facing Baron Corbin & Lacey Evans. Pretty much a car crash of an angle in terms of popularity with the audience, this left everybody feeling flat, and none of their characters has really recovered since. 

So many relationships, while acknowledged backstage and on reality shows such as Total Divas, are usually kept well out of the ring, unless a particularly emotional moment in a storyline is made. So why did WWE think it to be a good idea to have these two pair with each other over the course of three full matches? 

We’re still not sure.

This is probably the biggest reason why Lynch cannot gain any more momentum than she already has. Since the brand split, the Raw women’s division has suffered a drastic change; one which leaves Lynch without many top tier challengers.

Let’s be honest; the likes of Sarah Logan and The Iiconics, whilst entertaining, will not be challenging for a championship any time soon. Zelina Vega is busy with managing Andrade, Nia Jax, Naomi, Maria Kanellis and Ruby Riott are off TV for an extended period, which leaves Lynch with the following people who could give us an entertaining showdown:

  • Charlotte Flair
  • Kairi Sane
  • Asuka
  • Liv Morgan

We’ve already seen Lynch vs Flair a million times, which leaves one of The Kabuki Warriors, unless Liv Morgan makes a shock return very soon, or somebody is brought up from NXT, but I feel this would be too close to the brand split to be a reality.

As we saw at Survivor Series, and have seen since the brand split really, the real women’s division is down in NXT. Shayna Baszler, Io Shirai, Bianca BelAir, Candace LeRae, Rhea Ripley, just to name a few, would give Lynch a real challenge and would bring the audience to her matches a lot more than her current competitors are.

It’s a tough spot to be in for Lynch because it’s not really her fault that she doesn’t have more credible contenders, but when facing off against the likes of Natalya and Lacey Evans over three separate PPVs, your popularity has to plateau. 

Overall, I would say the best option for Lynch is to drop the title around the Royal Rumble. Maybe do a Roman Reigns and have to defend it in the Rumble itself? 

If Lynch dropped the title, I believe it would allow her to be free in her role as an anarchist loudmouth who doesn’t care much for any rules, because she’s The Man and she can do what the hell she wants. 

As they say, to beat The Man, you have to be The Man, so who do you think will be the person to take Becky’s belt from around her waist?

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The author of this article can be found on Twitter @DRL_1990Thanks so much for reading!

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