Naturally on July 13 2015 when Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch were called up to the main roster to boost the stale and stagnant women’s division, it was Charlotte and Banks who fans deemed as more ‘fitting’ for the main roster run. With that expectation comes a degree of resentment and disappointment as soon as they aren’t booked on par with their NXT runs.
However with Lynch, people’s expectations were mixed. If you re-watch the debut segment of the three women, Lynch gets a respectable reaction but nothing to write home about. Ultimately, this was the best thing to happen to her.
Notwithstanding a few sparse exceptions, when a talent is called up to the main roster from NXT with high expectations from fans and WWE management alike, it’s very hard for them to be presented and henceforth booked as people desire. However, for those talents who had a brief, yet respectable run on the yellow brand, fans expectations are already set low (and evidently history shows this extends to WWE upper management), so consequently, they have very little to prove.
You have to look no further for evidence of this than with Elias. Elias had a run in NXT as in essence a comedy, heel jobber. However, on the main roster, he’s one of the most over acts in the entire company, with the man himself even having a key star making segment at RAW 25 laying out 16-time World Champion John Cena. So what about Becky Lynch? How has Lynch become one of the most popular acts with all audience demographics? And how and why despite this are WWE in the process seemingly ignoring this?
A personal investment was made towards Lynch during her underrated gem of a match with Sasha Banks at NXT Takeover: Unstoppable. The match was naturally a sleeper hit, with the recently turned Lynch going after her former partner’s title. What followed was one of the most underrated female matches of all time, which started with a lukewarm reaction to Lynch, closing with the entire Full Sail crowd singing along to her entrance theme. A star was born.
Shortly following the Unstoppable match, Lynch was called up. She would be placed in a stable with Charlotte and Paige, which involved her taking part in stable warfare for the next 6 months. However, it was her feud with Charlotte in December of 2016 that really started to get her over in the eyes of the main roster audience.
The feud gets very little credit but it was in-fact one of the purest female feuds WWE have done. Lynch would talk about how she was the overlooked one out of the NXT call ups and that all it would take is one arm-bar for her to win the Divas Title. As the promos came across insanely natural and credible, fans saw something in Lynch that they have seen in Eddie and Bryan before; the relatability factor.
Naturally, relating to a pro wrestler is difficult due to their very nature, they are designed to be ‘other worldie’, notwithstanding this, every now and then, a pro wrestler comes along that resonates to the fans, and consequently they latch onto them and (usually), never let go.
Shortly following Lynch’s excellent WrestleMania debut, which saw her, Sasha and Charlotte stealing the show in a lackluster PPV, Lynch was drafted to SmackDown LIVE in the brand split. Lynch had the advantage that Charlotte & Sasha (and eventually Bayley) would end up on RAW, meaning Lynch alongside the likes of Carmella, Nikki Bella, Natalya and Alexa Bliss had the responsibility of developing a new division.
Once again, fans had little to no expectations of this. If you re-call at the time, questions were raised as to whether the female talents needed two titles, luckily Lynch (and her co-workers) proved the majority of people wrong. Backlash 2016 comes along and the show opens with a six-pack elimination challenge match to crowd the inaugural SmackDown LIVE Women’s Champion. Naturally, many expected Nikki Bella to take the title.
However what followed surprised everyone, Nikki would be pinned by recent call-up Carmella, leading to Carmella and Lynch fighting it out to win the title. A few moments later, we had a new SmackDown LIVE Women’s Champion to the delight of everyone. It wasn’t the positive crowd reaction that cemented why it was the correct decision, it was Lynch’s post-match promo; the promo where Lynch dedicated the win to the fans and claimed her success was down to nobody else other than them.
However, shortly following the title win, she would suffer an injury which would delay her feud with Bliss. On her return she would face Bliss in a Tables Match at the outstanding TLC PPV (arguably the best single branded PPV of the modern era); which resulted in her losing the strap. Ultimately it may have been the correct move at the time, Bliss’ & Lynch’s promo exchanges on a red hot weekly show were tremendous TV, with Bliss using the same rationale for wanting to win as Lynch had used just months earlier during her feud with Charlotte. Following Lynch’s title loss, she would main event SmackDown LIVE in an excellent cage match with featured the return of Mickie James.
Naturally, fans expected this to lead to some combination of Mickie v Bliss v Lynch at WrestleMania, but sadly that wasn’t in WWE’s plans. Lynch has seemingly never been given another shot after this. When she rarely appears on TV, her reactions are consistently fantastic and her matches are never below average - put it that way.
One of the things Lynch does insanely well is connect with fans with social media. Her promos alongside Sami Zayn on Twitter during the under-appreciated Mixed Match Challenge were a delight to watch.
Ultimately, what WWE have on their hands is a universally loved female star that barely gets on TV. WWE’s answer to the female Daniel Bryan is right before their eyes and they fail to realise her potential and marketability. Only time will tell if WWE decide to capitalise on a female talent that is pure, relatable and more importantly over.