RondaRousey.com’s Wrestler of the Week series profiles significant wrestlers from the past and present.
Becky Lynch is one of the most popular performers on the current WWE roster—and she certainly didn’t take an easy path to get there.
WWE fans know Becky Lynch as the beloved perennial underdog of the women’s division, the undisputed master of puns, and a noted lover of quinoa. Her “straight fire” and devastating Disarm-her made her the first WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion in 2016. But her wrestling career started more than a decade before her WWE
Under the name Rebecca Knox, Lynch ascended the ranks of the worldwide independent scene, facing prominent names like Allison Danger and even current NXT Tag Team Champion Kyle O’Reilly. Lynch competed in Shimmer Women Athletes, a long-running women-only indie promotion where names like Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Ember Moon, and Billie Kay came to international prominence.
Yet while her wrestling career was still blossoming, Lynch stepped away from the industry, with reports stating that she didn’t believe it was the “right career choice for her at this time.” So she went back to school and tried different directions in life, including a stint as a flight attendant for Ireland’s Aer Lingus.
“The great thing about that was that it taught me about navigating travel, because as a WWE Superstar, you’re always traveling and you’re always on the go,” Lynch said in a video for WWE.com of her time as a flight attendant. “You have to be on time. And that’s something that’s obviously very important to us, because we’ve got a show to put on.”
Lynch resurfaced as a manager in a 2011 Shimmer show, accompanying Britani and Saraya Knight—WWE’s Paige and her pro wrestling veteran mother—to the ring. She eventually returned to action, and in 2013 was signed to WWE’s developmental league NXT, on the cusp of it growing into the highly-acclaimed third brand that it is today.
Becky Lynch made her NXT TV debut on the show’s June 26,
—overcame a shaky gimmick to win with her sharply-executed exploder suplex, now dubbed a “Bexploder.”
Rising through the ranks in NXT (and adopting her signature steampunk-inspired aesthetic), Lynch along with Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Bayley became known as the brand’s “Four Horsewomen”—a name first used to refer to Ronda Rousey, Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, and Marina Shafir—due to their streak of show-stealing performances that helped fundamentally alter the way women’s wrestling was viewed in WWE (and, of course, the fact Charlotte’s dad is Ric Flair). The four women faced each other in 2015’s NXT TakeOver: Rival, and Lynch, Charlotte, and Sasha all moved to WWE’s main roster later that year, as key parts of WWE’s “Women’s Revolution.” Becky and Charlotte joined forces with Paige, forming a fan-favorite trio descriptively known as “Team PCB.”
Team PCB wasn’t built to last forever, with Paige eventually turning on her teammates. Lynch and Charlotte have maintained a decidedly on-and-off friendship ever since, with Lynch stepping out of Charlotte’s shadow in 2016 after being drafted to SmackDown. Lynch quickly distinguished herself as the main star of the SmackDown women’s division, becoming the show’s first Women’s Champion—a title she held for a respectable-but-fleeting 85 days.
Since then, Lynch has come close—but not quite close enough—to reclaiming the championship on multiple occasions. This year, she put together an impressive win streak on her way to securing a one-on-one title shot against Carmella at SummerSlam this past August—which ended up becoming a three-way with her (at the time, on-again) best friend Charlotte involved. Many fans saw it as Charlotte—without a doubt one of the highest-profile stars in all of WWE—stealing Lynch’s hard-earned spotlight. It appeared Lynch thought so, too—following Charlotte’s victory at her expense in that match, Lynch promptly and viciously attacked her former friend. While that was ostensibly a villainous move and jarringly out-of-character from the typically virtuous Becky Lynch, it was met with uproarious approval from the SummerSlam crowd.
Moving forward with a much harder-edge than her usual lighthearted approach, Lynch seemed closer than ever to regaining the SmackDown Women’s Champion she lost nearly two years ago—though she still had to defeat Charlotte. And this time, it’s very personal. And at Hell in a Cell, she did just that.
You can watch the WWE Collection Becky Lynch: Straight Fire on the WWE Network.