After 15 long months, Becky Lynch is finally back.
It all happened at SummerSlam, where fans expected to see Sasha Banks challenge Bianca Belair for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. However, right before the match it was announced that Banks was unable to compete. Carmella came out instead as Banks’ replacement, much to the chagrin of Belair and the fans.
But then some familiar music hit, and The Man came back around. The Allegiant Stadium crowd erupted as she made her way down to the ring. She proceeded to throw Carmella out and challenge Belair herself. The champion agreed, but what followed baffled and angered many.
Lynch went for a handshake, only to blast Belair with a forearm when she went to accept it. She then hit a uranage, and before we could blink, Becky Lynch was the new SmackDown Women’s Champion. Yes, you read that right, two moves and 26 seconds was all it took to end Belair’s title reign.
Fans understandably were not happy; Belair was built up well since winning the title from Banks at WrestleMania 37. So to lose in that fashion felt extremely disrespectful. It ended up making her look like a fool, and now she must work her way back to the top once again.
As if the match wasn’t confusing enough, The Man will now reportedly become the top heel on SmackDown. So, it begs the question, can turning Becky Lynch heel work?
If you look at it strictly on the surface, it could. She can help elevate the division, starting with Belair—though she shouldn’t be in this position in the first place. After that, she could mix it up with the likes of Liv Morgan, Naomi, Tegan Nox, Shotzi Blackheart, and Toni Storm.
However, there is one small detail that complicates things: she is still one of the most popular superstars in WWE.
No matter what she says or does, do you really think most of the fan base is going to suddenly boo her now? Granted, some may turn on her after what happened at SummerSlam, but probably nothing too substantial.
Sometimes superstars are just too over to root against. Perhaps the biggest example right now is Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. over in AEW. Fans are supposed to boo her, but she gets one of the biggest pops every single night.
But we can’t forget the fact that Lynch has already been in this position before. Back in 2018, she turned heel by attacking Charlotte Flair after their match at SummerSlam. She tried cutting a promo on the SmackDown crowd two days later, claiming that they weren’t behind her.
What happened? They continued to cheer her and boo Flair. This forced WWE to adjust their feud, making them both have valid points for their actions.
The fans made that happen; they could have gone along with the status quo and booed Lynch because she was the “bad guy”. Instead, they picked her as their woman and went with it. Plain and simple, the WWE Universe doesn’t like getting told who to boo and who to cheer.
Which is why it’s very hard to believe that anything will change this time around. If Lynch doesn’t stray far from her 2018 persona, the fans won’t really have a reason to turn on her. To even try to accomplish that, Lynch will have to go full-on super villain.
She’ll have to go after the fans, perhaps mocking them for wanting her back. Also, she’ll need to trash Belair, claiming that the division suffered with her as champion. That way, Lynch comes off as arrogant instead of brash and confident. Belair can gain some sympathy and potentially the fans firmly in her corner. But even then, it might not be enough to sway their opinion.
In the end, it’s all going to come down to how Lynch is booked for the foreseeable future. Belair can still benefit from this upcoming feud if done correctly. However, it’s going to be an uphill battle after what happened at SummerSlam. We’ll just have to tune into SmackDown this week and see how this all starts to play out.
Regardless, Becky Lynch is back and ready to remind everyone why she’s the top star in the company. The rest of the division better take notice and fast, because when The Man comes around, business always picks up.