February 2018: The Sports Connection - Straight Fire: An Interview with WWE Superstar Becky Lynch
February 18th, WWE Live is coming to the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho and now that I have gotten the plug out of the way, I can get to why I want you to read this interview. I am a giant wrestling nerd and typing that isn’t even remotely embarrassing to me. When I was told I was going to be interviewing current WWE Superstar, former Smackdown Women’s Champion, and one of the infamous “Four Horsewomen” Becky Lynch; I only stressed out about it the entire weekend. Look reader, I’m not going to pretend you know a lot about wrestling and I’m not going to waste word space constantly spouting exposition about wrestling to you, so just buckle up for the ride. After a twelve minute interview, Becky Lynch became my favorite wrestler and I kind of have a feeling after reading this article, she’ll become yours too.
Becky Lynch began training to become a professional wrestler at merely 15 years old in her home country of Ireland. While she wrestled all over Europe (until 2006 after being diagnosed with possible damage to her eighth cranial nerve), she never saw herself making it to the WWE, citing a lack of major Irish Stars in the company at the time. That never stopped her from taking the European scene by storm, deciding at the age of 17, “Yep, no I can do this for my life. Yeah, this is what I want to do”, immediately adding that she ironically left the business two years later. However, she would of course return to wrestling feeling that there was a voice pushing her back into the business she loved so much. “When I didn’t have that, I was just trying to force square pegs into round holes. Nothing fit, and even though I enjoyed things and different careers and studies and everything like that… There was nothing that had that ‘Oh this is is it’ feeling, and that’s the only way I can describe it.” Becky Lynch would return to wrestling around 2011 and signed with WWE’s developmental brand NXT in April 2013.
Pretty early on in her NXT days, Becky Lynch would be a part of a movement that has spread across the entire industry. Women’s Wrestling in the WWE for nearly a decade had been reduced to matches that went maybe five minutes at the most with women that weren’t as polished wrestling-wise as the women on the independent scene. Most people rudely would refer to the women’s matches as “bathroom breaks” and for a time it felt like WWE had no intention on changing that perception. NXT had started to lay the groundwork for compelling women’s wrestling centered on athleticism and a quest to be the champion, but it wasn’t until four women: Charlotte Flair, Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch wrestled an amazing Fatal 4-Way match on an NXT: Takeover match that people really started demanding that being the standard women’s matches were held to. While Banks, Flair, and Bayley had been in NXT for some time by the time Becky Lynch showed up, it wasn’t until the Lass Kicker showed up that the ball on the Women’s Revolution really started rolling. Lynch has been referred to as the missing piece the Women’s Revolution but as far as she’s concerned her goal was to change the perception of women’s wrestling adding “with these three girls that feel the exact same way about this business that I do and every single one of them wants to outdo each other but in a healthy competitive way in that we just want the business to get better and we want more opportunities for each other and we just wanted to change the world’s perception. I don’t know how well any of us would have succeeded individually if that was our sole goal but combined we just had that energy and that extra power. Like lightning in a bottle.” Seriously reader, check out Charlotte vs Sasha Banks vs Becky Lynch vs Bayley and you will be watching history.
While nothing can compete with wrestling in giant stadiums filled with hundreds of thousands of people at a Wrestlemania, Becky Lynch has the same love for performing at live events for 1,000 people, like the event happening at the Santa Ana Star Center on February 18th (look, two plugs). “The interaction of the crowds, obviously you don’t need to worry about commercial breaks, you don’t need to worry about the camera angles. It’s just a more give-and-take with the audience. You can take your time. You can interact with them a little bit more. They’re a main part of the show, but when you’re there in a live event everything is happening for just those people in those seats. It’s not for the millions of people at home. It’s not going to be documented. It’s just for the people. It’s almost philosophical.”
As a WWE superstar, Becky Lynch is pretty much on the road every day of every week of every month, but while that may drive some people crazy, the self-proclaimed gypsy and Yelp Queen always finds time to enjoy some sights in every town they stop in. “I’m always looking for where the cool little healthy vegetarian restaurants are, or where the best coffee is, or if there’s a little yoga place I can go to and that’s the best part of being on the road.” Someone better message me if she stops at a Weck’s while they’re in town.
Since her debut and very early into her run on the main roster, Becky Lynch has racked up a considerable amount of accolades and praises from the industry she loves so much. Her triple threat match between her, Sasha Banks, and Charlotte stole the show at Wrestlemania 32 in front of around 100,000 people. She is the first ever Smackdown Women’s Champion, and the first Irish Women’s Champion in WWE history. She has amassed fans from across the world and for all the little girls dying their hair orange and wearing the Steampunk goggles, dreaming of becoming professional wrestlers themselves; Becky Lynch had this great advice that I’m planning on applying to my life, “Believe in yourself and put in the work because that’s all it takes. That’s all it takes but that’s an awful lot. I’m somebody that failed P.E., was very quiet in school, was even afraid to raise my hand in class, and I’ve performed in front of over 100,000 people. To me, it’s a very simple formula: you work on your body and your fitness. You work on your ability to talk and communicate and connect with people, you do that on a personal level, and then you can do that on a global level. You train hard. You study. You ask for advice along the way. You don’t deny what you’re bad at and admit to it and fix it and you just keep growing. If I can then anyone can.”
Becky Lynch is already an innovator of the professional wrestling business and while interviewing her, I discovered this person who has changed the wrestling business failed, had doubts about what she wanted out of life early in her career, went on a journey of self-discovery, came back to the business she so desperately loved and has helped changed it for the better, all while staying humble and true to herself. She didn’t get opportunities handed to her, she took the options given to her and made the most of them; now she’s on Television every week and touring the world every year. Millions of people scream for Becky Lynch when she makes her electrifying entrance on every Smackdown and at every live event because they believe in her and what she represents: that hard work, staying true to yourself, and never giving up will get you exactly where you want to be in life. I left this interview a bigger fan of Becky Lynch that I was before. I hope you did too.