Ric Flair, the original Man, said it best: “Whether you like it or not, learn to love it, because it’s the best thing going today.” That’s Becky Lynch, right now on the Road to WrestleMania in 2019, and for the foreseeable future beyond. Despite a bit of resistance from WWE, and a bit more from a vocal minority of the WWE Universe, Becky Lynch is the biggest star in wrestling, and she hasn’t even reached her full potential yet.
Who’s the biggest star in WWE right now, if not Becky Lynch? John Cena’s barely a part-timer anymore; he’s an occasional celebrity guest star. Roman Reigns is sadly out of the game until his leukemia is dealt with, but let’s be honest, with all due respect the attempt to make him the top guy was never a rousing success when he was there. Seth Rollins does great work, but the brutal thud of his recent feud with Dean Ambrose doesn’t bode well. Daniel Bryan is doing what might be the best character work of his entire career, but he’s doing it to succeed at being hated as a heel. AJ Styles is coming off of an overlong title run, and it’s not even certain that his next chapter happens in WWE. Ronda Rousey came in as a star, but now she can’t even cut a promo on her own because she’s too shaken by the crowd cheering for Becky. Charlotte Flair has long been built as WWE’s top female homegrown star, but even she lacks Becky’s easy charisma and draws boos anytime the two face off.
Becky’s at the top. WWE seems to have accepted that now, but it wasn’t their idea. It was Becky who turned two years of jobbing into a deliberately paced character arc, and then used a quick underdog storyline last summer, which was supposed to lead to a heel turn at SummerSlam, to get more over with the crowd than anybody’s been in a very long time. You can go back and look at promos she did between losing the Smackdown Women’s Title the first time in December 2016 and the rise of The Man in 2018, and you can see the character work that she’s doing. In this promo from the aftermath of the disastrous 2017 Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match, you can see Becky struggling to remain a pure babyface in a world where that doesn’t get you ahead, and with 20/20 hindsight you can practically hear The Man threatening to rise up in her: