Girls On A Mission – How Becky Lynch Is Taking Over WWE
Rebecca Quin, better known to the wrestling world as Becky Lynch (and more recently The Man), is an Irish wrestler making some serious waves in the WWE since she first joined the Divas division back in 2015.
Born in Limerick and growing up in Dublin, Becky started her career on this Emerald Isle back in 2002. She trained with her brother in a wrestling school set up by Fergal Devitt and Paul Tracey, and made her professional wrestling debut five months later, using the ring name Rebecca Knox.
In May 2005, Knox joined the Canadian promotion SuperGirls Wrestling, an all-female offshoot of Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling (ECCW). There she was involved in a feud with Miss Chevius – following her arrival at an ECCW show in Surrey, British Colombia, she feuded with Miss Chevius and defeated her, but lost to her a month later in Port Coquitlam. The following night, she teamed with Calum Macbeth to defeat Miss Chevius and Tony Tisoy in a mixed tag team match in Vancouver.
The first of many milestones in her wrestling career came on June 24 when she defeated Miss Chevius at an ECCW show in Surrey to become the first ECCW SuperGirls champion. She successfully defended this championship on several occasions but eventually lost the title to Lisa Moretti in April 2006.
In early 2006, Knox moved to independent women’s professional wrestling promotion Shimmer Women Athletes. There, she established herself as a heel – in her debut match, she faked an injury to defeat Allison Danger. In June 2006, she added another belt to her wrestling resume when she defeated Sweet Saraya to win the vacated World Queens of Chaos Championship at an event in Chouilly, France. She held this belt for a few months before losing it to Saraya in September.
In September 2006, Knox sustained a head injury and was diagnosed with possible damage to her eight cranial nerve, putting her career on hold. She took a six-year hiatus, wrestling only on three occasions for Irish promotion Fight Factory Pro Wrestling (FFPW) in 2008, 2012 and 2013.
Return To The Ring
In April 2013, Quin signed a two-year developmental deal with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and moved to Florida to wrestle in the organisations NXT (next generation) brand. Her new name, Becky Lynch, was revealed on August 29 of the same year.
Becky Lynch made her televised in-ring debut on the June 26, 2014 of NXT, defeating Summer Rae. During her time in the WWE’s development division, Lynch competed in non-title matches with Charlotte Flair, teamed up with Sasha Banks (in a partnership known as B.A.E – Best at Everything), and debuted a new look resembling Magic: The Gathering character Chandra Nalaar.
After a successful stint in NXT, Lynch made her official WWE main roster debut in 2015 on an episode of Raw as a fan favourite along with Flair and Banks. Lynch and Flair began allying with Paige, who was feuding with Team Bella – The Bella Twins and Alicia Fox. The trio were originally dubbed Submission Sorority but later rebranded as Team PCB (after the initials of each wrestler).
Her WWE Beginnings
Lynch made her in-ring debut on the June 20 episode of Raw, teaming up with Paige to take on Naomi and Sasha. The pair lost this match but went on the beat the pair and Team Bella at SummerSlam when the three teams took part in a three-team elimination match. Lynch pinned Brie Bella to win the match for Team PCB.
On the August 31 episode of Raw, all members of Team PCB competed in the inaugural Divas Beat the Clock Challenge to determine the number one contender for the Divas Championship. Flair won the match and went on to the claim the title from Nikki Bella at Night of Champions on September 20. On the following night’s episode of Raw, Paige turned on Lynch and Flair during Flair’s title celebrations, claiming that Flair was only successful in wrestling because of her father Ric (the legendary Nature Boy), and called Lynch the ‘least relevant’ member of the group.
During her solo time on Raw, Lynch earned herself several title shots, but was defeated by Flair on SmackDown and at the Royal Rumble after dad Ric interfered in both matches. At WrestleMania 32, Lynch was unsuccessful in winning the newly-created WWE Women’s Championship (which replaced the Diva’s Championship).
Move to SmackDown: The Beginning of Her Success
The pages of Lynch’s WWE success story started after she was drafted to the SmackDown brand during the 2016 draft. At Backlash on September 11, Lynch won a six-pack elimination challenge, last eliminating Carmella, to become the inaugural SmackDown Women’s Champion – yes, in just a year, the fiery Irish woman went from WWE rookie to WWE champion.
However, after an 84-day reign, her time on top came to end after she was defeated by Alexa Bliss in a tables match at the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view in December. Two weeks later, on SmackDown, Lynch masked herself as La Luchadora and defeated Bliss in a non-title match. She received her championship rematch, a steel cage match, on January 17, 2017 but lost after interference from another La Luchadora (later revealed as the returning Mickie James).
For the next couple of months, Lynch fought to get her title back – taking part in everything from six-pack challenges to the first women’s Money in the Bank ladder match but was unsuccessful in her attempts.
Revolutionising the Divas Division
In January 2018, Lynch was once again part of an historic moment in women’s wrestling when she took part in the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble match. She entered the match at number two and lasted over 30 minutes before being eliminated. A few months later, she participated in the Wrestlemania Women’s Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 34 but was eliminated from the match by James. In May, she qualified for the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match, which was ultimately won by Bliss.
Her run of bad luck continued when she was unable to get the gold back from SmackDown Women’s Champion Carmella in a three-way match with Flair (a last-minute addition to the match, Flair went on to win the title by pinning Lynch). After the match, Lynch attacked Flair, turning heel for the first time in the main roster. Two days later, on SmackDown, Lynch took to the ring to criticise the crowd for their lack of support and claimed she was being denied opportunities which were always handed to Flair. Despite this rant, the audience increasingly supported her. Soon after, she adopted the title ‘The Man’, in a move which is hopefully going to shape the future of WWE and its storylines.
The Significance of ‘The Man’ Title
WWE storylines have always pushed faces and heels and while it’s worked in the past (looking at you Stone Cold and The Rock), the demise of this template started around 2006 with merchandise king John Cena. Despite attempts to push him as ‘The Champ’ and the people’s hero, there was obvious resistance from the company’s most loyal and passionate supporters. Over the years, wrestlers like Roman Reigns and Flair have also been met with a Cena-like rejection, despite being pushed as WWE ‘superstars’.
In a movement surely intended for seven-time women’s champion Flair, Lynch is credited with revolutionising women’s wrestling in the WWE and is shattering the norms that the company has relied on for so long – a shift from choosing good or evil to fans choosing who’s wrestling journey they want to follow; WWE wanted Lynch to be the heel and Flair to be the face, but Becky ‘The Man’ Lynch wants to blur the black and white lines in favour of a more realistic approach to the sport. WWE Hall of Famer ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin perfectly described Lynch and the heel or face alignment on The Steve Austin Show, saying: ‘I just think let her [Lynch] be whatever the people want her to be. To me, for her, she doesn’t need to be a heel or a baby – she just needs to be Becky Lynch. And this is truly one of those cases where they say, Roman Reigns, no matter how the people want to take him, they can take him as a heel or baby, but he’s just going to be Roman. To me, I just think let’s take that out of the equation. Becky ought to just be Becky because there’s money in Becky being Becky. Let people decide. As long as she’s being true to herself, she’s going to fly as high and as far as they want her to.’
Becky Lynch isn’t a heel or a face, she’s Becky Lynch and is proof that there is no magic formula that ensures a rising talent becomes a mega-superstar. Her hard work and dedication to staying true to her path are what fans respect and are why she’s quickly becoming one of the most influential figures in WWE history.
Feature image credit: Instagram/@beckylynchwwe