Hello everyone, you've landed on Planet Kayfabe. I'm certainly glad you could join me again where today I dig into one of the biggest stories in wrestling coming out of SummerSlam, the turn of Becky Lynch... but... Becky Lynch isn't bad. She's just drawn that way. Right? That's right, the Christmas fruitcake of heel turns happened at SummerSlam and was confirmed on Smackdown when she cut a very good promo pretty much blaming the fans for never having her back when she was struggling in the past...
...which is bullshit.
So, she's a heel and now this entire week online I see is a bunch of arguing about if the right person turned or if Becky's fans should just sit on their hands and keep their mouths shut because she's getting a push and a push is a push even if the story makes no sense. If you follow me on Twitter, you know where I fall with this story. I think this has been a very poor turn by WWE and I'll explain why it doesn't work, but because I'm a reasonable man I'm also going to get into the pro's and there certainly are some that could elevate Becky's card status in WWE.
Road Dogg, who I have nothing bad to say about because he put over my cover of "With My Baby Tonight" a few months ago, had this to say when a fan made a good point about why this turn makes no sense.
Thatís not the story you were told, thatís the story you wanted to hear. She had to do the exact same thing as Charlotte did, beat Carmella! They both climbed the exact same mountain ⛰
I can't fault the D-O-Double-G for standing by his work. He has to. What do you expect him to say, "boy we sure blew this one! Are we out of touch or what for thinking fans would actually boo Becky here." No. He's going to stand by his work and I understand that. If he throws Vince McMahon under the bus Road Dogg would be working on setting up his first podcast right now instead of writing SmackDown. However back to his point, if the fans "hear" a different story, as he put it, than the WWE is trying to "tell", then the WWE isn't telling the story well enough. He tried spinning some bullshit about how the story is Becky and Charlotte climbed the same mountain and met and Charlotte came out on top. Umm... BULLSHIT! Becky climbed. Charlotte lost, was off TV and waltzed in to a title match after doing a run-in on her return. There was no climb for Charlotte. While Becky was climbing, Charlotte just had to hop out of the helicopter and plant the flag the moment her back was turned.
it is also weird to me how there's this mindset in WWE, that even some fans buy into oddly enough, that if someone or some angle doesn't get over the way the company wants it to it is suddenly the fans' fault for "ruining it" or "not getting it" or "shitting on it". Do you know when something goes wrong in WWE is the fault of the fans? Never. Was that clear enough? Nothing is ever the fans' fault. The fans aren't booking these shows. The fans aren't writing the scripts. The fans aren't in the ring trying to get something over. The fans simply react to what is given to them and in this story the fans who watch this show every week are sympathetic towards Becky and her situation with Charlotte. No one feels bad for Charlotte. If this turn flops or if ANYTHING in WWE flops it's as much the fans' fault as much as it is Cleveland Browns' fans fault for their team not winning a game last year or when a sitcom is cancelled due to low ratings. Is it the consumer's fault then too? No and its ridiculous to try and spin that narrative out there.
Now I'll get into why Becky Lynch, despite being a sore loser after the match is mostly seen as justified for her actions. Let's take a look at the chain of events.
- Around WrestleMania, Becky, while still very popular (remember that) was working a losing streak gimmick.
- At WrestleMania Charlotte ended Asuka's win streak
- The next SmackDown Carmella would cash in her MITB contract on Charlotte to win the Women's Championship
- Charlotte gets her rematch with Carmella at Backlash and Carmella beats her CLEAN
Did you remember that? Yeah. Carmella beat her clean. Usually when you lose your rematch in convincing fashion like that, in the fans' mind you're done. Back of the line. You had your chance (ya know, like when Roman was pinned clean in a pool of his own blood at WrestleMania). Charlotte would be in the women's Money in the Bank ladder match, which she would fail to win, and would be her last match for about a month and a half.
Back to the timeline.
- In Charlotte's absense, Becky Lynch gains momentum by working hard and winning matches, ya know, like a f***ing babyface.
- Carmella continues her run winning in cheap fashion while the company works hard to ruin Asuka's career with the aid of James Ellsworth, who is eventually let go by Smackdown GM, Paige.
- Becky Lynch gets a one-on-one match with Carmella, non-title, but to earn a title match at SummerSlam, which she wins cleanly to the fans' delight.
- On July 31 on SmackDown, Becky is being attacked by Carmella where her friend on TV and real life, Charlotte Flair and her two new friends return to the WWE to help her friend.
- On this same show Charlotte is given a match with Carmella, similar to Becky, if Charlotte wins she gets another shot at Carmella who already beat her CLEAN(!!!) months ago.
So, pretty much Charlotte was given a #1 contender's match simply because she did a run-in to help her friend... Again, against a champion that already beat her CLEAN before she left. That's all. Becky worked hard for weeks to earn a shot. Carmella who had her shot and lost is given another simply because she did a run-in.
Fast forward to SummerSlam. Fast forward to the finish of this match.
- Becky has the champion in a submission hold. The crowd is on their feet. Carmella is about to tap. Then suddenly Charlotte hits the Natural Selection on her friend Becky, FROM BEHIND, and pins her to win the Women's Championship. So, Charlotte, the big hero here, has NEVER pinned Carmella in a championship situation. Instead she blindsided her friend and won the title by pinning her instead of beating the heel champion.
You know the rest. Becky acts like she's going to congratulate her friend. The crowd boos the shit out of it. Becky attacks Charlotte instead. The people ROAR in applause. Charlotte cries on the Titan Tron. The fans sarcastically chant "you deserve it" at Charlotte and ya know what? She does! Charlotte f***ed her friend over.
Now, I've seen some people say "well, Charlotte didn't technically do anything wrong. She didn't break any rules." That may work in a "well, technically" world, but in WWE stories and any form of entertainment, you're playing with audience emotions. In this situation the fans were more sympathetic towards Becky because this was her match. Charlotte, who is now a 7 time Women's Champion, basically just waltzed back into the title picture after blowing her tits up and didn't even beat the champ to win the belt, ya know, like Becky was!
The best analogy I can use to explain why the fans feel bad for Becky is if I were to compare this to two girls in high school.
One girl, Charlotte, is popular, out-going, always has boys asking her out. Never has a problem getting a date and making friends.
Her best friend friend, Becky, is quiet, shy, boys never notice her, but she finally gets a chance to sit next to a boy she likes. They chat a little. They exchange numbers.
The next day her best friend, Charlotte, is asked out by this boy and agrees to go on a date knowing her friend had a crush on him.
Now is Charlotte "wrong" here? I mean, if she really likes this guy and wants to be with him, I guess not, but you can't help but feel bad for quiet, shy Becky.
In case you had trouble following along with that analogy, the boy and going on a date is like a title shot. Charlotte has had plenty of opportunities and she'll always be at the top of the food chain. Becky however was working a losing streak, then she built momentum by winning and worked hard to earn her shot, only to have her friend pull the rug out from under her.
Ooooh Becky, how could you attack your poor innocent friend like that. PSSSHT! Every one of those fans would have done the same damn thing. That's why they popped. It has nothing to do with it being Brooklyn. It had nothing to do with "Bizzaro fans". It had nothing to do with it being cool to cheer a heel (right, because these fans just loved Carmella right? Give me a break) Any town in these United States of America would have reacted the same exact way given the way this story has played out. Becky is justified. No one blames her for snapping the way she did. Yet, in WWE she's the bad guy because... I don't know. She has an accent and Charlotte is tall and blonde? That's a joke, people. I'm not discrediting Charlotte's ability. She's obviously one of the best female workers they've ever had in WWE. Some might even say the best on the roster today.
Like I said, I would address the pro's and well... there's one especially if you're a Becky Lynch fan. She's working a top program. In a vacuum, that's a great thing. However, WWE telling the story of her being the bad guy here is never going to get off the ground. On top of everything I just said another fundamental issue it boils down to is that Becky in actuality is a natural babyface and Charlotte is a natural heel. That doesn't mean Becky can't be a good heel, maybe she can, but the fans don't want to boo her. As for Charlotte, she's a mediocre babyface, but a great heel.
Which reminds me I see a lot of talk about Charlotte being the female Roman Reigns now and I don't really see it that way. I see Charlotte more as the female Randy Orton. A great worker who is a natural heel that sucks, yes, SUCKS as a babyface and also prefers working as a heel. Do you remember how Charlotte turned face in the first place? It's because Ric Flair got sick last year and was given about a 20% chance to live and Charlotte took a couple weeks off to be with him. So, of course no one was going to boo her. People are ready to boo again and it's hard to turn someone bad that people aren't ready or willing to boo and keep someone good that few really relate to and want to cheer for in character.
Some try and pull that new age bullshit saying it's ok because "babyfaces and heels don't matter anymore". Listen. They do. They matter in WWE. They matter in movies. WWE isn't sophisticated enough to be the ones to take centuries of the foundation of storytelling and turn it on its head. They can convince themselves that a Roman Reigns reaction is good, but I don't think its good that on every TV show and every big event in a major town the casual fans and new viewers sampling the product see the guy they're pushing as the top hero getting booed. We don't need another Roman Reigns on this show. We don't need the top woman getting booed going into their Evolution PPV. Babyfaces and heels matter, it's just WWE is in a position as a monopoly with no financial incentive to listen to the fans where they can do whatever they want and this is what you get. A situation where WWE does what they want and the hardcore fans that still watch every week do what they want. Instead of going with the flow of the audience, they tell you who to like, who to dislike and if you don't like their direction you're the bad guy or you're "hijacking the show" or you're not a good fan and you should "just enjoy it". Try explaining to me how the basic concept of good guys vs bad guys is out dated now. I'm sure you saw a good movie or two this year where you felt good at the end when the good guy won. You know what WWE is right now? They're like a bad movie like Jurassic Park: The Lost World where the "good guys" are idiots and f***ing annoying and halfway through the movie you just want to see Jeff Goldblum and Vince Vaughan get eaten and the movie to end.
Lastly, another weird thing I see some people harping on is how this is Becky fans vs Charlotte haters. Who hates Charlotte? I know not everyone is a fan and more people find Becky to be likable, but hate? I haven't heard her really get booed before this angle. I've heard a lot of woo's and not a lot of boo's. This angle that was meant to turn Becky turned Charlotte instead. It's just a matter of if WWE is going to listen to how their audience reacts, a method that worked for decades, or just say f*** it, the fans are wrong, we'll show them and double down on this turn. That's my fear and do you know why? Because the last time the WWE decided to double-down on a heel that was getting cheered over Charlotte they had Paige take a shot at Reid Fliehr in a promo for cheap heat which didn't even get Paige heat. It got the company heat and caused Charlotte, Ric and her mother to cry in real life. Boy! Isn't that what wrestling is all about! Anyway, I don't get the "hater" mentality. Its just another cop out and if you have your head that far in the sand you might as well apply for a job at WWE because this may come as a shock, but its possible for people to be big fans of both Becky and Charlotte but still have enough sense to know that this angle makes no sense and that the wrong Superstar turned here.
There's my thoughts on Becky's heel turn. While I'm glad she's out of the ditch she's been stuck in for a while it's clear WWE swung at a wild pitch and want to yell at the fans for being unhappy. As always there's going to be the wait-and-see crowd. "Oh, don't judge, let's be patient and see where it goes" I know where this is going. One of two directions. They ignore the fans and double-down on this ridiculous and generic "you fans never had my back" angle or they turn them both and Becky is so likable where fans would forgive her if the whole "you never believed in me" bullshit never comes up again.
I leave you with a poll from WWE's own website.
They ask: "Did you support Becky Lynch the entire time she was trying to win the SmackDown Women's Title?"
"Yes, I was rooting for her the whole way." - 95%
Yes, but only until Charlotte got involved." - 5%
That's all. Thanks for reading, everyone. Vince McMahon, if you're reading happy birthday to you. 73 is quite an accomplishment. To put that into perspective, Steve Austin is the age now that Vince McMahon was in the thick of their feud. Now that you feel good and old, enjoy your weekend, the last of this month of August already. You know what that means. Yup. Football season! Time to phone it in and not even try to compete with Monday Night Football! Wake everyone up when NFL season is over and WrestleMania season starts firing up. Yeah, I wish I could join WWE in their autumn nap, but nope. I'll be here next time with more Planet Kayfabe.
Thanks for reading, everyone. For NoDQ, I'm KC. Take care.