wrestling / Columns

Csonka: Looking at The Impact of Becky Lynch’s Pregnancy on WWE

May 12, 2020 | Posted by Larry Csonka
WWE Becky Lynch WrestleMania 35

My initial love of women’s wrestling comes from my tape trading days, when I thought I was getting a regular AJPW show, and my trading partner accidentally sent a AJPW women’s tape. While I was initially upset, due to not getting what was promised, I was amazed at what I saw. At this point in my fandom, I had never seen women’s wrestling presented or executed on this level; I was amazed. I saw Bull Nakano, Aja Kong, Manami Toyota and many others, and the more I saw of it, the more I wanted to seek out as I became more amazed. But from there, I was continually questioning why North American women’s wrestling couldn’t be like this. It was always a side show, it never felt important, it was almost always bad, and I couldn’t stomach it; it was skipping material for me. The Moolah era of wrestling was so bad, her control, her style, everything about it and that was even before I knew all of the allegations against her.

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It wasn’t until 2005, when Shimmer was born that I started to see something I wanted from women’s wrestling. If you look through Shimmer’s run, the listing of talent that that have come through Shimmer is outstanding, and one of those performers I fell in love with was a young Rebecca Knox. She was a great wrestler, she grabbed my attention and I quickly became a fan. But her run was short-lived there, as in 2006, Knox suffered a severe head injury during a match which kept her away from professional wrestling until she decided to give it one last go and signed with WWE, which was completely shocking as many thought she’d never return. Also during this time, TNA started the Knockouts division, and they created an interesting division that was giving us the best women’s action on TV in North America; highlighted by the Gail Kim and Awesome Kong feud. It was during this time, between Shimmer & TNA, that I firmly started to think that women’s wrestling in the US was a viable thing, something that with the right women could be featured, main event shows, and was openly mocked, because fans were so conditioned that women’s wrestling was an after thought and nothing but a joke.

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Knox’s career looked to be over, but in 2013, she decided to make another go of things after time away, and I was personally thrilled when she signed with WWE. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, her NXT/WWE run didn’t start off well at all. In terms of presentation, she was far from what I had seen in Shimmer. They had her doing the cliché Irish dancing lass gimmick, she lacked confidence, she was just another body in NXT. But once she turned heel, things slowly started to click for her, she got in higher profile matches, and that culminated with the Takeover match with Sasha Banks at Unstoppable, where she finally got to shine, delivering one of the best women’s matches in WWE or NXT women’s history.

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With the rise of the NXT women, WWE finally decided to take women’s wrestling more seriously and the revolution was born. Initially Paige, Charlotte, & Sasha were the chosen ones, Becky was there, but was kind of the extra wheel on the car. She was good she would get over, but it took a long tome for her to rise to the top. But she did, and in my opinion. Becky Lynch is one of if not the biggest wrestling comeback stories. She went from potentially out of the business or life to the top of the mountain as a star, and main evented Mania, winning double gold. Whether you loved or hated her run, that’s besides the point, she was presented as a star for the last year. WWE finally took women’s wrestling seriously, it is far from perfect, but it has been an amazing story.

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But for now, that story is over, as on the 5.11.20 edition of Raw, Becky relinquished her Raw women’s championship, announcing that she was going to become a mother. Right away, you have some horrible takes, like “how can she allow herself to become pregnant while champion,” but that’s not our choice. If you watched the excellent Trish Stratus WWE 24 documentary from last year and the part about how hard it was for her to get pregnant after her in-ring career was over, it’s really moving and revealing. Becky is 33, and it’s proven that the older you get that conception is more difficult and can lead to issues with pregnancy & possibly the child. My wife had our second child at age 35. The pregnancy was noticeably more difficult than the first for my wife at age 24. We had a lot of fear, and when Aleks was born, we had a scary first few moments. Aleks’ birth was fast, but she came out blue, not crying and we were fearing the worst from all of the material we had read and the warnings given to us. Thankfully it was just an obstructed airway, and in a few minutes she was chirping and crying; everything was ok, and we were relieved. I will not judge Becky for wanting a child, something she has said several times she wanted, especially at her age. She’s happy, she’s getting what she wants out of normal life after getting everything she wanted in wrestling life. As a fan and parent, I am thrilled for her.

But now we have to look at the Impact it will have on WWE, because there will be fall out, just not for the women, but for the roster overall.

The Impact on the women is two fold: First of all, it opens up a huge spot and can allow others to step up and shine. Asuka is the first and is more than deserving. They have a ton of women under contract, they can call people up, and maybe this is the time someone like Toni Storm, when she can, can be called up as she’s done everything she can in NXT UK, and while her WWE run hasn’t been the best, she’s someone with star potential and a great look. On the other hand, something you have to consider is this. Will anyone else ever get the push Lynch got, in terms of women going forward, because WWE halts angles and pushes for absurd reasons at times, but after this, will they be afraid to push another women at this level out of fear that she will become pregnant and leave? There’s no guarantee that Lynch ever comes back after this. Maybe she has a child, maybe it becomes her world, maybe she decides she doesn’t want to travel and have a nanny raise the child, maybe she decides that she doesn’t want to put in the work to get back in shape, we don’t know.

For the roster overall: We all know it’s a crazy time here in the pandemic era, there are no crowds, no live events. The shows have taken hits on several levels, and while WWE is trying some new things, there is a severe lack of star power right now, despite the amount of talent under contract. There s no Ronda Rousey, no John Cena, no Brock Lesnar, no Roman Reigns, and now there is no Becky Lynch; it’s either an exciting time or a scary time. Exciting because, in theory, it’s a chance where a lot of people could get the chance to step up, deliver, and possibly become stars. Scary, because ratings are sliding, and WWE is already going back to an old crutch with the “brand invitation.” But that’s another column for another time…

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The 411 on Wrestling Podcast returns to the 411 Podcasting Network for episode 114. On the show, 411’s Larry Csonka & Kevin Pantoja look at current state of NXT & review WWE MITB 2020; Jerome Cusson joins to talk Dark Side of The Ring: Cocaine and Cowboy Boots: The Herb Abrams Story. The show is approximately 149-minutes long.

* Intro
* Looking at The State of NXT w/Kevin Pantoja: 2:00
* WWE MITB 2020 Review w/Kevin Pantoja: 46:05
* Dark Side of The Ring: Cocaine and Cowboy Boots: The Herb Abrams Story w/ Jerome Cusson: 1:41:20

* iTunes
* Spotify
* Stitcher
* Google Play

– End scene.

-Thanks for reading.