Obviously the biggest thing that happened on last night’s pre-taped New Years edition of Smackdown Live was the confrontation between a returning John Cena and Becky Lynch, and the mixed tag match against Adrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega that it led to. Ever since the spoilers dropped, fans (including our commenters) have had a lot to say about The Man’s disrespectful attitude toward WWE’s biggest mainstream star, and how willing he was to sell for her and put her over. After the segment, Cena gave a backstage interview in which he made it clear just how much respect he has for what Lynch is doing these days. It’s within the realm of kayfabe (although as usual, kayfabe gets blurry when Cena’s around), but his positivity towards her recent work is palpable.
She’s The Man. Especially being in there with her tonight — it’s not a character, it is Becky Lynch. And that’s something I can relate to. When I stand tall in a WWE ring, people know they get the best of me. When Becky Lynch came out there and not only staked her claim, but said “listen, if I gotta go through you to get it, I’ll get it done,” I looked into her eyes, and I know she meant it. That’s very rare. I hope the other WWE superstars, regardless of gender, were paying attention to the attitude of Becky Lynch, because sometimes you gotta announce your presence with authority. That’s not the way I do things sometimes, but that’s the way a young John Cena would have done it for sure, and that’s kinda why even with all that stuff that happened out there — I thought I was doing good, and then I was thrown out of the ring by Becky, and then she ended up getting a win — I would have done the same thing. I know how tough it is to be overlooked, and I know how tough it is to try to do your best every night and not get noticed, and then finally for something to happen inside you where you feel comfortable. And not only that, you feel confident. And when you get that confidence, you honestly… you feel like Superman. And that’s why… [gestures to baseball cap, T-shirt, and jorts] …you know, and I go out there and I tell everybody, “This is the Superman outfit,” and I feel like Superman. So it’s good to see someone step up and come eyeball to eyeball with me and be like, “Hey, if this is what we gotta do, we gotta do it.” And I really was honored to be on her team tonight, because that’s not an attitude I’ve seen in the ring for a long, long time.
The interviewer then latched onto the “young John Cena” comparison and asked if Becky has “ruthless aggression,” but Cena refused to make this moment about the past, when Becky Lynch is so clearly the future. He then offered a warning, which he said that he’d told Becky personally. Becky’s hard work is starting to pay off, as John can clearly see, but the work will only get harder in 2019.
I will say this: She has all the attributes. She certainly has the ability, as do many WWE Superstars. She has all the attributes to succeed, and I was able to get one word into her. And that was, “It is yours to lose.” So time is a great thing, as we reflect on ’18 and look forward to ’19, I would like to look forward to see what is the future of The Man. She certainly has caught lightning in a bottle for the present, but the hard work starts now.
Whatever The Man’s future holds, kayfabe or shoot, getting the rub from someone like John Cena can only help her on her journey. 2019 is definitely going to be an interesting year to watch where Becky Lynch’s future is headed.