In April 2019, Becky Lynch achieved the ultimate WrestleMania moment when she defeated Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey to win both the SmackDown and Raw Women’s Championships, making her the first and so far only woman to hold the belts simultaneously. Lynch’s win, which came in another history making moment as it was the first time a women’s match main evented WrestleMania, marked the pinnacle of her pro wrestling career. It was a culmination of months of exceptional storytelling, as Lynch went from Flair’s sidekick to the Royal Rumble winner, to the broken nose heard round the world, and finally to her status as the most popular female, nay, wrestler of any gender, on the roster.
Lynch’s rise to the top was followed by a whirlwind of mainstream media appearances as well as well-earned main event status with the company. Becky Two Belts became the face of the company, outselling her male counterparts in merchandise and being a featured piece of many of the top angles on both brands given her double championship status.
While Becky Lynch has since lost her SmackDown title to Bayley, and some of her authentic and not manufactured status among WWE fans, the Raw Women’s Champion of over 150 days is still a focal point within the company. Among various media appearances that have continued since her WrestleMania 35 win, this summer, Lynch was named as a co-cover star for WWE2K20, alongside top pushed male star, Roman Reigns. The game, due out in a little over a month, marks the first time a female superstar is gracing the cover. In addition, Lynch was recently featured on the new Straight Up Steve Austin show as one of Austin’s guests where she had the opportunity to drink beer and get in the ring with the legend. In the WWE ring, the wrestler who’s adopted the moniker, “The Man,” has stood toe-to-toe with her male counterparts as well, be it current roster members like Baron Corbin or Hall of Famers like Edge. In all cases, Becky Lynch has come out on top.
Over the years WWE has cultivated no shortage of mainstream stars with Becky Lynch being the latest successful example. Because not only is Lynch one of the faces of WWE, but she has become one of the faces of female athlete empowerment altogether.
In July, Becky Lynch appeared alongside Alison Brie, of “GLOW” fame, on the cover of ESPN the Magazine’s Blockbuster issue. Two months later, it was announced that Lynch would be featured in not one, not two but three of the brand new, This is SportsCenter ads, released on Saturday as part of the iconic show’s 40th Anniversary.
In all, ESPN revealed 12 new ads and Becky Lynch joins Rutgers University’s Scarlet Knight and ESPN personality Jay Harris in having the most appearances. That’s more than major-winning golfer Brooks Koepka, MLB star Manny Machado and NFL standout Saquon Barkley. Excluding the large ensemble piece of which both the Scarlet Knight and Harris appear in, Lynch has the most commercials which are fully centered on her. Of the three ads, two, “Vending Machine” and “Push” are airing on ESPN’s digital platforms with the “What’s My Name?” ad, in which Lynch mistakes a question regarding her coffee cup as ignorance on her accomplishments, one you can catch on ESPN, ESPN2 or any of their other televised channels.
While its not surprising to see WWE garnering such a presence in these ads given ESPN’s renewed commitment to showcasing wrestling in some way (this follows up adding a WWE Best Moment category to the ESPYs this year), the fact that Becky Lynch is the star in all of them definitely says something about how both companies feel about her starpower. And while ESPN’s WWE support isn’t in question, these aren’t the only ads fans may have seen Lynch in recently.
The US Open, tennis’ final major of the year, wrapped up this past weekend, doing so after a tournament that focused strongly on a theme of female empowerment and equality. In arena and digital ads focused on that idea encouraged viewers of the ad campaign to use the #WomenWorthWatching on Twitter in response to female athletes deserving of more attention and respect than they were currently receiving given only four percent of televised sports coverage focuses on female athletes. As the narration goes, “it’s up to us to show the world that women are worth watching.” Among those featured in the ad: tennis legend and ad narrator Billie Jean King, one of the most winning tennis players regardless of gender in Serena Williams, Megan Rapinoe of the World Cup-winning Team USA, Kendall Coyne Schofield of Team USA’s gold medal winning ice hockey team, and of course, Becky Lynch (first show at the 0:42 mark), who is shown winning her titles at WrestleMania.
As WWE began the build to Lynch’s title wins at WrestleMania last year, it was clear they had a star in the making. And now, from her mastery of Twitter, media appearances, a video game cover and four commercials later, Lynch’s stardom continues at a mainstream level. Hers is a household name and one who will help carry this company and its women’s wrestling into the next decade. And beyond that, she’s become an ambassador for female athletes period, as she has likely transcended even what WWE imagined when “Straight Fire” Becky Lynch rose among the ranks due to her passion, dedication and talent.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.