Becky Lynch’s recent heel turn against Charlotte Flair in WWE continues to be the talk of pro wrestling fans. Many believe the turn is ill-advised and puts Lynch in a bad spot for her character. Others feel that Becky had to change at some point and at least she’s in the world title picture again.
But both sides can surely agree that once again WWE is taking a very familiar direction that typically leads to nothing but confusion. Fans have seen this move many times in the past and more often than not, it just doesn’t work out. Whatever the reasoning behind the heel turn was or despite what the destination is, the fact is that Charlotte is now becoming the Roman Reigns of the women’s division.
With any luck, this is not what WWE wanted. It’s impossible to know, mostly because Roman’s direction is the same today as it was when fans began hating him three years ago. The company has had ample time to alter course and do something different yet that’s not happened. Reigns continues to receive hate every time his music hits and that hate follows him everywhere he goes.
Watch Charlotte’s interview at SummerSlam:
WWE has done everything imaginable to get Roman over as a complete hero but it’s just not working. No matter what happens, Reigns is still public enemy no.1. The company has convinced Roman, just as its tried to convince fans, that the most important thing is getting a reaction. It doesn’t matter if Reigns is not fully cheered all the time, at least the fans care. But if that’s the only important element of Roman’s presentation, why does WWE still book him as a babyface? Why not just turn him heel and give him a chance to fully embrace the character?
Fans are asking the same question about Charlotte Flair. Of the two women, Charlotte is the one that probably should have turned heel. She’s arguably much better as an antagonist and Becky shines as a protagonist. So why not just turn the tables and book this angle differently? It’s as if Charlotte is being set up to be hated and Becky is being booked to be cheered.
In many instances, WWE fans tend to take over storylines when there’s simply no need to. Maybe certain guys don’t win championships or don’t get the nod for main event matches when they deserve them. Those opinions are purely subjective and come from many different perspectives.
But when it comes to the Flair and Lynch situation, it definitely seems that WWE could have initially changed direction and prevented this entire mess from happening. This current path seems much harder in terms of storytelling and it apparently leads to nowhere. But is that really the case?
The main problem with turning Charlotte heel instead is that the moment she turned on Becky, Flair would have been on the offensive. She would have had a world of momentum at her back and from that point on, she likely would not drop a pin to anyone. She more than likely would not have dropped the SmackDown Women’s Championship either. Charlotte would have had a rejuvenated run and essentially been back on top of the world in WWE. Is that what fans wanted?
Watch Becky explain why she turned on Charlotte:
That does seem to be a simpler play and it’s curious why the company chose not to make it. However from Becky’s perspective, things tend to look a bit differently. Yes, she’s acting out of character and yes much of it doesn’t seem to make sense. But what was the alternative?
If Lynch had remained babyface at SummerSlam as Charlotte gets red hot thanks to a heel turn, then where does Becky go from there? Does she continue being the plucky contender, fighting for her chance, battling for respect, while fans cheer her on? How long would that gimmick have truly worked for her?
Lynch could have maintained that character and likely spent the next couple of years rolling along as she always has. She may have ended up on Monday Night Raw at some point and won the Raw Women’s Championship. Of course that could have been a year or more down the road. Would Becky’s fans have settled for that?
But Lynch is in the driver’s seat right now. She is the one with all the momentum and she is the one that everybody is talking about. Becky has so much spotlight on her right now that she almost has to beat Charlotte and take the title from her. Anything else would perhaps be an admission that WWE made the wrong move and fans know the company would surely not do that. So isn’t a new heel champion Becky Lynch much better than the perennial scrapper Becky Lynch who never gets her due?
When it comes to admitting an error, the same is true of Roman Reigns. It’s not that WWE had the wrong gameplay in mind when he was first elevated as a babyface. But over the past few years, Roman really should have been turned in order to revitalize his character. But that’s not going to happen.
Watch Becky attack Charlotte on SmackDown:
Now Braun Strowman, one of the company’s most popular babyfaces, has been turned heel. Much like Becky, Braun is now taking a direction that seems out of character and pointless for the storyline. WWE wants fans to love Roman and many do, but he is never going to be the most popular babyface on the roster. The same is true of Charlotte.
Charlotte already had the issue of favoritism working against her. That assessment may not be fair to her personally, but she is the daughter of Ric Flair so the perception that she got a free ride to the top is always going to exist. This is through no fault of her own of course and WWE certainly cannot please everyone. It’s impossible. But now Flair has even more to work against and she has to do it in a role that perhaps does not really suit her strengths. Charlotte is a good babyface but she thrives as a heel.
In each case, the primary babyface is really the villain of the storyline. Is this what WWE really wants or does it truly not matter? Becky Lynch now has a real challenge in front of her and its up to her to get this over. Its safe to say that Lynch is embracing this and will defitnely make the most of it. But is that going to be enough?
As always, there are two different points of view. One belongs to WWE, who surely already knows the endgame. The company believes that fans are too quick to judge and just don’t understand. But the other point of view does indeed belong to the fans and its those fans that are currently cheering for Becky Lynch like she’s Stone Cold Steve Austin. Its unknown where all of this is going but right now it does seem to be a train wreck of a storyline. Only time will tell if that is indeed the case.
Tom Clark can regularly be seen on Wrestling Rumors. His podcst, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on iTunes,YouTube, iHeart Radio, boinkstudios.com and live every Friday at 12pm EST on Wrestling Rumors Facebook Live