WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch is undisputedly the hottest act in wrestling right now. Her feud with Charlotte Flair produced Evolution‘s most intense match and she managed to stay firmly in the spotlight and just as beloved after an injury kept her from wrestling her highly anticipated match against Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey at Survivor Series. But Lynch’s success isn’t only in the squared circle. She also stars in The Marine 6: Close Quarters as Maddy Hayes, leader of a criminal gang from whom Marine Jack Carter (The Miz) and former Marine Luke Trapper (Shawn Michaels) have to rescue a kidnapped teen.
With Spandex talked to Lynch while she was doing publicity for The Marine about her acting work, upcoming TLC match, WrestleMania 35, and more. The conversation is below and has been edited for length and clarity.
With Spandex: I think people would see a lot of similarities between Becky Lynch as we see you on TV right now and your character in The Marine, and I’m wondering if you prepared any differently to play that character than for your normal WWE work.
Becky Lynch: Yeah, so with playing Maddy Hayes in The Marine I did research and I tried to look into… what would a life of crime look like, and what would it be like to be head of a gang, and I kind of tried to look at different elements. Like there was a lady from Colombia called the Godmother, and I remember finding her so fascinating because she ran… a cocaine ring. But she was the leader, she was the most feared woman, and I think especially back in the 70s or it might have been the early 80s, that was probably quite unheard of… and she was so ruthless, which I thought was fascinating.
With the Becky Lynch character as of now – or not even the Becky Lynch character, just me right now – we’ve seen pent up frustrations for years, and that’s all very real and everything that I’m feeling, everything that I’m saying is all the things that I’ve been saying in my head for years and haven’t had the courage or the opportunity or whatever it is to come out and say it, so I think the difference is one was a character and the other is real.
Something kind of related to your background as a performer that came up recently in WWE was, when you were exchanging promos with Ronda Rousey, she talked about you going to clown college while she was in MMA. Do you notice a lot of differences working with wrestlers with combat sports backgrounds versus acting and other backgrounds?
Well, I’ve never gotten to set foot in the ring – apart from beating her up, I’ve never had a match with Ronda, so I couldn’t tell you what that’s like. All I can tell you is everything that I’ve worked for, all the jobs that I’ve taken to get me where I am, to pave the way for where I am and pay my own way to get where I am, they made me who I am, and that’s why there’s been such a groundswell. That’s why this is so relatable. Because not everybody is born an athlete and not everybody has a parent who encourages them to be the absolute best in their sport and in their career choice. Some people have to overcome obstacles. They have to overcome the fact that their parents don’t want them to do what they want to do, the fact that their parents want them to maybe go down their line of work… So for her to go out and to say things like oh, I went to clown college, et cetera, like it’s a negative thing, I think is very ignorant, right?
But I think when you look at people who have a communications background, whether it be acting, whether it be theater, whatever it is, their ability to connect with the crowd becomes a lot greater, because it’s the art of communication. How can I communicate what I am feeling to this audience? And because that’s all WWE is. We want to make people feel. And right now, I think they’re feeling a certain way about Becky Lynch.
After you attacked Charlotte at SummerSlam the crowd response was so dramatic and positive in favor of you, and it seemed like maybe that was not expected by WWE. Did that response surprise you at all?
Not even slightly. I don’t know how anybody thought that there could have been a different response. I went out there after having months and months of winning matches and overcoming and proving to everybody that I am the top woman. Charlotte was gone, so it couldn’t have been put on her, so that she couldn’t be put in the foreground because she was off doing whatever she was doing and Becky Lynch stepped up once again as she always does and took over said this is my show, this is what I deserve… and I had earned the right to a title match, and everybody was happy because Becky Lynch is finally getting the opportunity… when Charlotte has been handed this opportunity time and time again, but of course, she comes in, weasels her way into the match. Weasels her way into the match, therefore heightening the odds against me to win. As they want. As they want, because they don’t want me to be the top star, right?
So she weasels her way in and then she steals the victory from me when I had the match won! She steals the victory from me, and I turned my back on her, and I whacked the head off her, and of course, the crowd goes mad. How I am the bad guy? How am I the bad guy in that situation? I’m not! I’m not, and I said… I’m tired of taking this. It’s years of being held back by you. Your friendship is holding me back from what I want and what I deserve, and if I’m the bad guy for that, well then, I don’t want to be the good guy.
So you’re facing Charlotte at TLC again, and also Asuka, who we haven’t seen you –
Of course! Another opportunity that she weaseled her way into! Why does she get another title shot? I owned her for, what, three months straight? And yet she’s handed another title opportunity. My goodness. So sorry, continue.
I was going to ask you about, we haven’t seen you across the ring from Asuka much, and I was wondering what are your views on facing such a dominant competitor, and are you preparing any differently to face Asuka and Charlotte rather than just Charlotte again?
So here we go, so we’ve got the odds stacked against me again. Asuka is unbelievable. She is a killer. I’ve never had the opportunity to go against her. Charlotte, as much as I don’t like her, is an incredible athlete, an incredible competitor, and probably one of the best in the company, so this is a huge obstacle. And of course, we’re looking at the fact that I have to road test my face, a broken face… and I have to road test that against two of the best in the company. I would have loved for it to be a singles opportunity against Asuka, because again, she earned her way into that match, right? She won a battle royal, she earned her way in. Of course, Charlotte was just handed it.
You’ve also exchanged words with Nia Jax, who’s in the other women’s title match at TLC. I’m wondering what you’ll be thinking watching the Raw women’s title match. Are you going to be scouting people or anything like that?
My interest is more in Ronda than it is in Nia… She sucker punched me, right? If you look at, let’s look at UFC right, there’s weight categories for a reason. Her taking a free shot at my face – she is a woman who by her own billing is 150 pounds heavier than me. That is like Derrick Lewis taking a free shot at Mighty Mouse. But still, I rolled to the ropes, I gathered myself, and I came back to own the entire Raw women’s locker room and own Ronda Rousey.
Ronda Rousey is the person that I have my sights set on. I’ve already made Nia tap out. I know I can beat her. She’s irrelevant to me. She’s warming herself on the fire that I built because people are only caring about Nia because of Becky Lynch. They wouldn’t care about her if it wasn’t for me.
People are talking about you main-eventing WrestleMania against Ronda Rousey. Do you think that’s likely to happen?
Absolutely. Absolutely. Look, main events of WrestleMania already have “man” written into it, and I am the Man… There isn’t two other stars in WWE right now bigger than Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey, and for that reason and that reason alone, that should be the main event. If we look at the trajectory of WrestleMania and WWE and who gets the main event spot, it’s always the top draw. And it’s always the people that are bringing the most people into the stands. Well, that’s the Man.