Becky Lynch As WWE Raw’s Top Star: What It Means For Women’s Wrestling

WWE, Becky Lynch Photo Credit:
WWE, Becky Lynch Photo Credit: /

As a fan of the WWE for over four decades now, I’ve not only seen how this company has transformed from a mere wrestling promotion to a multimedia sports entertainment conglomerate, but I’ve also witnessed the evolution of women’s wrestling right before my very eyes.

Over the years, we have seen a handful of women in the company with minor roles move to a plethora of female talent on all three of WWE’s brands; representing characters that many with the WWE Universe can connect with.

To express how “The Man” Becky Lynch has changed the game for women’s wrestling as the top face of Raw, if not the entire WWE, I need to rewind a bit.

At the young age of three, I was taken to my first live wrestling event and I immediately fell in love with ‘rasslin’. By age five, the countdown for weekend wrestling shows would immediately begin to unfold on Monday mornings, and it was all I could talk about with my (male) friends at school.

I remember Wendi Richter’s feud with Fabulous Moolah, circa 1983-ish, but it wasn’t until in 1985 when Miss Elizabeth debuted that I finally had a WWE figure I felt I could identify with. I’d pretend to hold the (invisible) ring ropes on my bed, walk down that aisle (ever so meekly) across my living room floor, and listen intently as my brother mimicked promos from “Macho Man” Randy Savage.

At that point in time, the very thought of becoming a wrestler never crossed my mind, mainly because there weren’t a lot of women that took center stage or were even regularly exposed to fans on television. I remember asking my dad why there weren’t more women wrestling, and why I only saw Richter occasionally, and he just shrugged. “This is the way it’s always been.”

I was confused by the answer, maybe a bit saddened, but life and WWE storylines went on, and I went along with them.

Fast forward many, many, years, and I’m still a wrestling fan, except this time around, I’m a mom to two girls. Watching wrestling from their eyes has been a surreal experience; whether we are checking out an episode of Monday Night RAW, attending a live event, or at a superstar meet and greet. However, unlike me, my girls are now exposed to far more female role models in the WWE; consistently showcased on television and pay-per-views (PPV). In fact, my youngest daughter only truly tunes in when there’s a women’s match, and waits with anticipation to see Becky Lynch.

Becky Lynch’s rise in popularity to what she is now was an incredible watch back in mid-2018. She went from an underused and overlooked talent, to a leader within the women’s division, to ultimately the face of Monday Night RAW, and dare I say, the WWE.

When I was a little girl, the very idea of a woman being given television time was out of the ordinary, forget about gracing billboards, video game covers, or even main eventing WrestleMania; it wasn’t even a dream, because it never even entered my mind as a possibility. Nowadays, Lynch’s role is not only a possibility, it is something attainable, a goal, because she rolled with the momentum, grabbed those brass rings, and ran with them.

So, again, let’s rewind, to WrestleMania 35. I’m watching the main event, both my girls still awake at that point, bopping up and down in anticipation; the very same way I once had at their age, when I was allowed up (way past my bedtime) to watch a match (although back then for me, it was Main Event I was staying up for, and not WM – but I digress).

The moment of watching Becky hit the stage, as my youngest squealed with excitement, I got emotional.

Emotional because I had seen this superstar cast aside in so many ways over the years, and as one of my current favorites, it was great to see her finally achieve this dream; emotional because I knew what was coming next, and the thought of her not only making history by being one of three females to finally main eventing WM, but winning and becoming the “champ champ” was an incredible thing; but, more importantly, I was emotional because, as a woman, trying to raise two strong little woman, this was a huge moment for not only women’s wrestling, but females in sports. I got even more emotional after I got questioned by my youngest:

“Why are you crying momma?” asks my youngest.

“I guess, I’m emotional because this is the first-time females are closing WM,” I replied, trying to hold back the ugly cry.

She was perplexed, “Why is that a big deal?”

“Because, I never thought I’d see this happen in my lifetime,” I replied, with a handful of Kleenex.

Youngest daughter … still perplexed, “But, why would you think that would never happen?”

Then, I had an epiphany. It was hard for me to put into the words why I was so emotional, and tell her why the moment was so big. And then the beauty of why it was so hard for me to explain hit me like a ton of bricks: as a young wrestling fan, she’d seen women parallel the men in that squared circle.

Becky Lynch was the face that ran the place: my daughter had seen her close Monday Night RAWs, PPVs, be a part of matches that the men did as well, and the list goes on. There were always women’s wrestling matches on, which is why she’s afforded the opportunity to be so picky and only watch when the women are on.

She connects with Lynch because of Becky’s no-nonsense attitude, the fact that The Man isn’t always dolled up with fluff; she connects with Lynch’s in-ring style. My daughter wasn’t excited because the women were main eventing that WrestleMania. She was just excited to see her favorite wrestler whip some butt and tell a fantastic story in that ring.

So, what does it truly mean to have Becky Lynch as the top superstar on RAW, as it relates to women’s wrestling? It means hope, equality, opportunity for all female talent on the three brands today, and any future ones working their way up to development; it may even trickle down to other promotions and the indies.

Little girls everywhere who aspire to jump through those ropes don’t have to limit themselves because of lack of role models: they can be a manager or a superstar in that squared circle – heck, they can be a referee, ring announcer or makes it to the commentary table on RAW.

It means women don’t have to settle for being booked in matches that demean them, just so that they can get television time; it means that if Becky can do it now, then Chelsea Green, Bianca Blair, Aliyah, Candace LeRae can achieve it in the future. It literally means that whatever the men can do in the WWE, or any milestones they achieve, the women of the WWE can do, too.

Moreover, it means that young female wrestling fans won’t know any other way, but this way. They won’t remember a time when they walked out of a room, frustrated with the brand because women where placed in bra and panties matches; they won’t even remember a time where there were only a handful of females on the roster that fought for television time.

Sky’s the limit for the women within the WWE, and it’s thanks to Lynch, but also a result of little (and big) steps along the way from all the females that have had their hand in this business. From Miss Elizabeth walking that aisle in 1985 to Wendi Richter, Mae Young, Madusa, Trish Stratus, Lita, Victoria, A.J. Lee … the list is endless.

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Thanks to the women who fought hard, had to deal with lame matches, had to deal with cut matches, and so much more; as each and every one of you, as well as the focus and determine Lynch herself put in this herself, has brought us all to this moment in (women’s) wrestling history, as a female sits atop WWE’s ladder, an inspiration to everyone before and after her.