Becky Lynch’s Long Road to Becoming “The Man”

“The Man” character portrayed by Becky Lynch is one of the most successful gimmicks in WWE’s history. Lynch rose to the top of female wrestling while breaking barriers and proving herself as a feisty competitor. Through many highs and lows, Lynch has triumphed over her biggest opponents.

Becky Lynch / Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins / Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey / Becky Lynch
Source: Getty Images

As one of the most popular female pro-wrestlers worldwide, Lynch has carved herself a spot in WWE history. However, it wasn’t an easy journey to the top. Between briefly retiring and breaking part of her face, she never gave up on her dream of being the best wrestler in the industry.

An Early Love for Wrestling

Growing up in Dublin, Ireland, Rebecca Quin (Becky Lynch) was a self-described tomboy. A shy but determined Lynch was bullied at school for being chubby, but she found joy at home by bonding with her older brother over pro-wrestling. They would practice wrestling moves on their mom’s bed and dress up in costumes.

A young Rebecca takes a photo with her parents.
Source: Instagram/@beckylynchwwe

Sadly, her parents divorced when she was just a toddler. Lynch and her brother lived away from their mom, who was a flight attendant. When her mom remarried, the family relocated, and Lynch started drinking and smoking. She failed gym class because she was too self-conscious to participate.

Starting With a Lie

Lynch and her brother loved pro-wrestling, so when a new pro-wrestling school opened near their home, they excitedly went to take classes. Expecting a ring, they were welcomed by six blue padded mats and a trainer, Fergal Devitt, who’s now in the WWE. Unfortunately, Lynch had one problem.

A young Becky is dressed as a panda bear.
Source: Reddit

She was 15, too young to start training, so she claimed to be 17 instead. When Lynch began training, she didn’t realize the expectations placed on wrestlers’ bodies. Most professionals compare it to playing offensive lineman in a football game. The classes were fun but grueling on Lynch’s body.

Freedom Through Wrestling

After a few weeks of classes, Lynch told her brother that she was meant to be a pro-wrestler. She said, “It’s such a burden watching your actions, watching your words; it’s that freedom of not giving a f**k what you think of me.” She loved feeling like she could be herself.

A posed portrait of Becky Lynch.
Source: Twitter

Lynch briefly attended college but dropped out when she overheard a conversation at the gym. She heard someone talking about the growing wrestling scene in Vancouver, Canada, so Lynch packed her bags and moved across the ocean. She had $2,000 and crashed on friends’ couches in the beginning.

Starting Her Career

She moved from one friend to the next before her cousin, Kevin Quin, who lived nearby with his wife and young daughter Courtney, took Lynch in. She spent most of the time on the phone with Balor, her then-boyfriend and former coach, and baking with Courtney, who was like her sister.

Becky is in the middle of practice with two other trainers.
Source: WWE

If she wasn’t on the phone or spending time with her family, Lynch was wrestling where she could. She would practice whenever there was time and participate in matches in the Vancouver area. Lynch was determined to move forward with her career as a wrestler.

Creating a Wrestling Persona

In her early matches, Lynch went by the name Rebecca Knox. She and her brother would participate in mixed tag team matches, and then she joined the Canadian promotions SuperGirls Wrestling. She started moving up the ranks and winning championship titles.

Rebecca Knox poses inside the ring in her early wrestling days.
Source: Pinterest

In late 2005, Lynch participated in All Pro Wrestling’s third ChickFight tournament in California. She made it through the first round but was defeated in the second round. Her wrestling career allowed her to compete in Japan, which helped her get noticed by a Chicago-based company.

Chicago Bound

After returning from Japan, Lynch was recruited by Shimmer Women Athletes in Chicago. Her gimmick involved playing a leprechaun who came out to MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This.” Lynch later said it was the most ridiculous thing she ever did, but she wanted to go pro.

Becky during her leprechaun entrance.
Source: YouTube

Lynch wanted to make women’s wrestling so entertaining that it could just be called wrestling. She also hated that the WWE called the female wrestlers Divas instead of Superstars, like the men. However, she had goals of signing with WWE by the time she was 20.

Keeping a Dangerous Secret

Lynch ambitiously wanted to compete in WrestleMania by her 20th birthday. However, she fell off the map in 2006, leaving no reason to believe that her dreams had any chance of coming true. Her hiatus was due to an injured cranial nerve from a match in Germany.

A very skinny-looking Becky Lynch poses for a picture.
Source: Tumblr

No one realized that Lynch got injured because she had an eating disorder. She wanted to fit the mold of what the WWE was looking for, but it ruined her. She lost so much weight that she couldn’t wrestle properly or think clearly. Lynch got hurt more easily.

Forced to Retire

After her injury, Lynch no-showed a match and canceled the rest. Instead, she moved to Florida to take a personal trainer course. However, she ended up working out three times a day while living in a tiny apartment with no phone, car, or internet.

Becky Lynch speaks during a WWE event.
Source: Twitter

She felt lost and depressed, so her mom got Lynch a job as an Aer Lingus flight attendant. Her first transatlantic flight was her mom’s last before she retired. Lynch’s mom was proud, but Lynch didn’t want to be a “trolley dolly,” as she put it.

A Change of Plans

Lynch worked as a flight attendant for two years before re-enrolling in college to study acting. She thought it would be a way to find a new passion after taking time off from wrestling. Lynch wrote her thesis on clowns and graduated without a plan.

Becky poses with another woman as a flight attendant.
Source: Instagram/@beckylynchwwe

While Lynch tried to figure out what she wanted to do with her life, she passed her resume to someone working for the History Channel’s series Vikings. Because of her acting degree and wrestling background, the show hired her as a stuntwoman, but she had no experience.

Returning to Wrestling School

Because she had no professional stunt experience, Lynch went back to wrestling school because she thought it might help her with the job. One of the trainers noticed her talent and suggested Lynch try out for WWE’s new developmental program, NXT. She thought it was worth the shot.

Becky poses outside of the wrestling ring.
Source: WWE

Lynch pumped herself up for the audition by singing Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” in her head. The lyrics “If you had one shot, or one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted” repeatedly played in her mind, and it was apparently the motivation she needed.

One Step Closer to WWE

Once Lynch nailed the audition, she signed a two-year contract. When she arrived at NXT’s facility in Orlando, the women’s division was being rebuilt from the ground up. They were throwing everything they did in the past out to bring new life to the program.

Becky Lynch is pinning down her opponent in the ring.
Source: WWE

WWE’s vice president said, “Forget the look. Forget the body structure. Let’s look for the best athletes in the world like we would with the guys.” Lynch was excited for the new future of the women’s division when she heard it was changing for the better.

Becky Lynch Is Born

It was at NXT that she was given the name Becky Lynch. She said they wanted to pick something Irish. Soon, she became part of the group called the Four Horsewomen. Their brutal, drawn-out matches made viewers realize the women’s matches on Raw were boring.

Sasha, Bayley, Becky, and Charlotte of the Four Horsemen.
Source: Tumblr

Although people liked her in matches, Lynch still wasn’t likely to be a star. One person called her “the redheaded stepchild.” However, in July 2015, WWE announced that Lynch would be joining Raw’s roster, along with two other members from the Four Horsewomen.

Women’s Evolution

When Lynch joined Raw’s roster, there was a shift taking place. Female wrestlers were now called Superstars, and the championship butterfly belt was replaced with a more standard design. WWE was trying to align itself with the changing norms in society.

Becky Lynch waves her championship belt over her head.
Source: WWE

However, they still didn’t know how to write storylines for women, especially Lynch. Sometimes she came off rougher and grittier than WWE’s male roster. After winning the championship belt in 2016, Lynch lost it and spent two years appearing in forgettable storylines or as a sidekick.

Devastating News

Lynch’s career was stalling, and people noticed WWE wasn’t giving her the best opportunities. However, none of that mattered when she received a call from her cousin Kevin. His daughter Courtney, who had been like a little sister to Lynch, had taken her own life.

Becky is lifting weights at the gym.
Source: Instagram/@beckylynchwwe

Courtney struggled with depression, and the call broke Lynch’s heart. She immediately flew to Vancouver to be with her family. But Lynch couldn’t stay with them as long as she wished because her career had suddenly taken off. She wanted to grieve, but there was no time.

A Sudden Switch

Although the beginning of 2018 was slow for Lynch, her career picked up during that summer’s pay-per-view SummerSlam show. The writers thought Lynch would build more momentum as a heel (villain) and encouraged her to lean into the genuine frustration she had about her career and turn on Charlotte Flair.

Becky Lynch smacks Charlotte Flair in the ring.
Source: WWE

She had once been Flair’s sidekick, but after losing the SummerSlam match, Lynch embraced her, smacked Flair across the face, threw her out of the ring, and slammed her into a barricade. At that moment, she switched into a villain, and the crowd went wild.

The Underdog

The audience was excited to see Lynch as a villain. As part of her story, Lynch said she turned on Flair because she had been overlooked for so many years, and now it was her time to shine. The underdog story had been done before, but never for a woman.

Becky walks her winning belt around the ring.
Source: Tumblr

Her character was molded after Steve Austin, a classic bada** antihero. In October 2018, Lynch participated in the first all-women pay-per-view event, which sold out Nassau Coliseum. Everything was looking good for her career, and she quickly climbed to the top.

Why Is Becky Lynch Called “The Man”?

When Lynch presented herself as an unfairly treated underdog, she dubbed herself “The Man,” resulting in a spike in her popularity. She also had a tough streak. At a November 2018 match, a punch broke her nose, and she was so severely concussed that she climbed into the crowd.

Becky Lynch celebrates being The Man.
Source: Pinterest

When Lynch turned towards the crowd, blood was smeared across her face. Women so rarely bled in the WWE (their video game characters don’t even have blood effects), making it even more shocking. Lynch later tweeted the iconic image with the caption, “Irish war paint.”

Was It Really a Victory?

Although Lynch was making waves and doing things women had never done in WWE history, people questioned if it was a victory. Dr. Matt Foy said, “When I look at Becky Lynch and the Women’s Evolution, I think how women can have it all if they fulfill all the expectations, which happen to be masculine.”

Becky sits on top of another wrestler as she is pinned under Becky's legs.
Source: WWE

But why should the traits Lynch embodied be masculine? Her friends don’t think she plays a male role. She might be a dominant figure, but because she isn’t girly doesn’t mean she is masculine.

The Delayed Fight Built Anticipation

Due to Lynch’s concussion and WWE’s protocol, her fight with Ronda Rousey had to be canceled, which seemed like a setback. But the delayed anticipation made Lynch and Rousy’s rivalry the most-watched fight leading up to WrestleMania 35. It would be the main event, with two titles on the line.

Becky Lynch stares down Ronda Rousey.
Source: WWE

Lynch and Rousey had fierce reputations. Rousey is known for being one of the best MMA fighters globally, and she signed to the WWE for $1.5 million. Rousey earned the highest salary of any female wrestler because she brought a massive draw to the division.

Lynch vs. Rousey vs. Flair

On April 7, 2019, Lynch changed into a black outfit with yellow stripes (Courtney’s favorite color) after watching her boyfriend’s match from backstage. She walked past Hulk Hogan and the Undertaker on her way to the stage and thought, “This is my WrestleMania.”

Becky Lynch, Ronda Rousey, and Charollet Fair are in the ring.
Source: WWE

It was the middle of the night when Lynch made it back to her hotel, ready to celebrate her victory with a bottle of tequila. Twenty-one minutes into the fight, Flair was crumpled in the corner, and Rousey was covered in bruises as Lynch hoisted the two title belts overhead.

The Only Woman to Pin Ronda Rousey in WWE

On her way to victory at the Women’s WrestleMania main event, Lynch pinned Rousey. She is the only woman to accomplish this. Rousey is considered the most dominant female combat sports athlete in the history of the United States. It was a massive accomplishment for Lynch.

Becky has Ronda pinned underneath her.
Source: WWE

The pinning was done in a controversial fashion, but it won Lynch both titles. The quality of the intense match and its finish have led fans to hold out for a rematch. It was Rousey’s last WWE match to date, but they aren’t against a rematch.

Making WWE History HHH

Lynch is the only woman to win the main event at WrestleMania. The triumphant victory was not the only historical moment of the 2019 event. Lynch participated in the triple threat match with Flair and Rousey to earn two titles from one fight.

Becky Lynch hoists up her two winning belts at the end of the match.
Source: Twitter

That evening, she became the only woman to hold the Raw and Smackdown Women’s titles simultaneously. Lynch has also had the longest reign with the Raw title. She showed everyone that she was no longer the underdog in this story.

The Victorious Underdog

Like any victorious underdog, Lynch faced a new challenge. People want to root for the underdog until they become champions, and then they want to tear them down. She wondered if people would start to boo her because she had won the title and was no longer an underdog.

Becky is pinned under Shayna Baszler.
Source: WWE

Playing a villain can have its perks, but winning could have hurt Lynch’s story. However, almost a year after her victory, Lynch appeared at a Raw event to heckle Shayna Baszler, a monster villain type, and people cheered for Lynch.

Put a Ring on It

Lynch began dating fellow professional wrestler Colby Lopez, better known as Seth Rollins, in January 2019. Just eight months later, the couple announced their engagement. It was an excellent year for Lynch because she got two title belts and an engagement ring.

Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins attend the 2019 Global Citizen Festival.
Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Before they made their relationship public, there were months of speculation about their relationship status. They made their TV debut as a couple when they wrestled in a mixed tag team match at Extreme Rules. WWE fans were happy to see them take it to the next level.

Big Surprise

When Lynch was absent from Raw in the spring of 2020, fans wondered what happened to her. However, when she appeared in mid-May, it was clear why she was taking a leave from the WWE; Lynch was pregnant. She found out after filming WrestleMania 36.

Becky takes a selfie with her positive pregnancy test.
Source: Twitter

She and Rollins welcomed their daughter Roux in December 2020. Lynch said she was in labor for 24 hours without an epidural because she “wanted a challenge.” We have to give her props for being so tough in every aspect of her life.

Where Is Becky Lynch From?

Lynch was born in Dublin, Ireland. She spent most of her young life there before moving for her wrestling career. While the move gave her the chance to be a pro wrestler, being so far away from her family hasn’t always been easy.

Becky Lynch speaks onstage during ACE Comic-Con.
Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images

In March 2021, Lynch’s father passed away from lung cancer. Unfortunately, due to travel restrictions because of the pandemic, Lynch wasn’t able to attend her father’s funeral in Ireland. She watched it on a video stream, holding her daughter, who never got to meet her grandfather.

Is Becky Lynch Married?

Lynch and Rollins were engaged in August 2019 and finally tied the knot in June 2021. Rollins announced their marriage on his Instagram story, writing, “seems like a fine day to (finally) get married.” However, they didn’t share pictures of the wedding.

Becky Lynch shows off her engagement ring.
Source: Twitter

It is unknown if they had a wedding with their friends and family or did something very intimate. After Rollins posted his Instagram story, no one heard about their wedding because they wanted to keep everything private. They still haven’t shared any info or pictures from their nuptials.

The Face of the Women’s Division

Lynch has achieved many accolades in her career. She has become the face of the WWE Women’s Division, so it only made sense for Lynch to be on the cover of the WWE 2K video game with Roman Reigns. This was another achievement for Lynch.

Becky Lynch and Roman Reigns are on the cover of the WWE video game.
Source: Amazon

It was the first time a female superstar was featured in the same bracket as John Cena, Sting, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and more. Women hadn’t been on the cover of the WWE video game before Lynch. She paved the way for other female wrestlers who will come after her.

Bringing Home the Big Bucks

Although Ronda Rousey got the largest base salary when she signed to the WWE, Lynch is the highest-paid female wrestler in the world. According to Forbes, she takes home a paycheck of around $3.1 million from WWE. This puts her in the big leagues with her male counterparts.

An excited Becky gets up on the ropes of the ring.
Source: WWE

Lynch is the only on-screen female talent in the top 10 highest-paid superstars’ list with all the other men. Stephanie McMahon is also on the list, but she is a businesswoman and entrepreneur. Lynch has come a long way from her days of couchsurfing in Canada.

Managing Paige and Saraya Knight

During Lynch’s “retirement,” she returned to the world of wrestling not as a competitor but in a different role. In 2011, Lynch came back to Shimmer and managed the mother-daughter tag team known as the Knight Dynasty. The position allowed her to accompany them to the ring many times.

A photo of Paige and Saraya Knight.
Source: Tumblr

Lynch and Paige (of the Knight Dynasty) both honed their craft of effective promotion before signing with WWE. She only managed them for four shows, but it helped her gain motivation to go back to wrestling and become a professional.

Return to the Ring

After a 15-month hiatus from wrestling, Lynch made her return at the 2021 SummerSlam. She defeated Bianca Belair in less than half a minute to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship for the fourth time. She successfully retained her title at Extreme Rules.

Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair standoff in the ring.
Source: WWE

Lynch has continued to defend her titles since. After having a baby, losing her father, and getting married, she was more prepared than ever to get back to wrestling. Lynch has gone undefeated in the past few months, and she will only get better.

Wrestling Saved Her Life

Wrestling is special to many people, but for Lynch, it is more important than people understand. She believes it saved her life. She enjoyed partying, drinking, and drugs as a teen. The sport helped her change her life away from this destructive path.

A portrait of Becky Lynch.
Source: Pinterest

When she found wrestling, it helped her give up all these bad habits. Lynch started working out, eating healthy and did things to benefit herself rather than cause harm. She also said wrestling matured her remarkably and helped her focus on a positive future.

Clowning Around

Many people have a fear of clowns because they can be creepy, but Lynch loves them. She said, “What I loved about wrestling was just being foolish, so I studied clowns.” She liked how they acted and used clowns as inspiration for her earlier wrestling appearances.

Becky is laughing in the ring.
Source: WWE

In college, Lynch studied the art of clowns and their behavior. She even wrote her thesis about clowns. Sometimes people compare wrestling to the spectacle of a circus, so she is almost living her other dream of performing as a clown.

Rocking Out

Lynch might have been singing a rap song in her head during her WWE audition, but she is a rock fan. Lynch said grunge and metal are the soundtracks of her life. She confessed that she has a soft spot for Pearl Jam.

A studio portrait of Becky Lynch.
Source: Pinterest

She named “Just Breathe” and Eddie Vedder’s “Guarantee” from the movie Into the Wild as her all-time favorite tracks. Lynch also listens to Soundgarden, Alice in the Chain, Nirvana, and Led Zeppelin. When you see her wrestle, you can almost hear the rock music blasting in Lynch’s head.

Unhappy Fans

Most of the time, fans are happy when their favorite celebrity gets engaged. Sadly, many people were unhappy when Rollins asked Lynch to marry him in August 2019. It might have been the best day of Lynch’s life, but some of her fans were worried.

Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins attend the 5th annual Sports Humanitarian Awards.
Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Not everyone joined in on Lynch’s engagement celebrations. Some people in the WWE feared that publicly cuddling up to Rollins could hurt Lynch’s brand. She said, “people don’t want to see ‘The Man’ needing a man.” It seems like her career is doing just fine anyway.

Feud With James Ellsworth

WWE rarely features intergender feuds, but they changed their views for Lynch and James Ellsworth. The villain role of Ellsworth made the women’s division grow sick of him interfering in Carmella’s matches. Lynch happened to be looking for a new program at the time.

Becky Lynch lifts James Ellsworth on her shoulders in the ring.
Source: WWE

Lynch started going after Ellsworth, and the WWE paid that off by having Lynch win their televised match to write off Ellsworth. His time at the company was coming to an end, and they thought this would be the perfect way to end his story while including Lynch.

Odd Girl Out

At the beginning of Lynch’s time on the main roster, she was featured with Flair and Page to form the PCB faction. However, WWE realized it would be challenging to push three single stars in the same group. The three were split up, and Paige became the villain.

Becky enters the stadium alongside Flair and Page.
Source: Reddit

Between Paige’s promotion and Flair’s run as the Divas champion, the two were set up for significant roles while Lynch was left in the dust. She struggled as the odd one out for the following months until she turned on Flair and made her way to the top.

Best Friends

Since WWE stars are always on the road, participating in different events and entertaining audiences, many have built strong friendships within the organization. Lynch became close with Sami Zayn in the early days of her WWE career, and they even teamed up for a mixed match.

Sami Zayn and Becky Lynch take a photo together.
Source: Twitter

As Lynch became a big name in the business, she remained close with Zayn. They hang out with Lynch’s husband, Rollins. The two have supported each other through injuries and ups and downs in their careers since they became friends years ago.

Backing From Vince McMahon

If there is anyone a WWE wrestler wants to impress, it is Vince McMahon, the CEO of WWE. When Lynch pivoted her career to be a villain, she became the biggest name in the world of professional wrestling. Lynch had legions of fans supporting her each week.

A photo of Vince McMahon with Becky Lynch
Source: WWE

McMahon noticed her quick rise and praised Lynch for her perseverance and attitude. He was so impressed with Lynch that he advised other superstars in the locker room to learn from her and keep the same disposition. She definitely had McMahon’s backing.

Only One Memorable Loss

Despite being one of the most popular stars in the entire women’s division, Lynch was missing one significant honor. She is the only one out of the Four Horsewomen who never won the NXT Women’s Championship.

Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch take part in an interview.
Source: YouTube

She played a significant role in revolutionizing women’s wrestling but couldn’t get her hands on the title. Considering that she portrayed a villain alongside Sasha Banks to bolster Bayley’s credibility as an underdog, it’s interesting to see how she emerged as the most popular star of the four.

Following in The Rock and John Cena’s Footsteps

Like many greats before her, Lynch is transitioning from wrestling into more serious acting roles. Like The Rock and John Cena, Lynch has taken on acting roles, appearing in the Season 5 premiere of Billions on Showtime. She could be the next big star outside WWE.

Becky is in the ring with Dwane “The Rock” Johnson.
Source: WWE

During an interview with TMZ, Lynch revealed that The Rock and Cena have been helping guide her as she breaks into the mainstream. She said, “The Rock has been very helpful in guiding me. He’s just being very giving, and I think they all are because they’ve all been there.”

No Marvel Movie Plans

In recent months, rumors have been floating around the internet that Lynch will star in a future Marvel movie. However, she cleared up the rumors saying that wasn’t going to happen any time soon. This started when a picture from the set of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was posted.

The woman on the set that was mistaken for Becky Lynch / A photo of Becky Lynch
Source: Twitter / WWE

Someone in the picture looked like Lynch, which sent the internet into a frenzy. Sadly, she is not in the upcoming film, but it doesn’t preclude the possibility of her joining the MCU in the future. We hope she achieves this significant goal in the next few years.