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Kay Lee Ray Calls Out Becky Lynch For A Match At NXT UK TakeOver: Dublin

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becky lynch

NXT UK’s next TakeOver event will take place in Dublin this April, and Kay Lee Ray already knows who she wants to face.

Some fans have labeled NXT TakeOver: Portland the best TakeOver in NXT history. It feels as if that label is placed on every TakeOver, but there’s definitely a strong argument to be made for this one. We can’t pick one match we didn’t like from the six on offer, and there were a lot of twists and turns, some of which we did not see coming.

Becky Lynch speaks

There was also a big announcement made regarding the next TakeOver event. Two announcements, actually. NXT will take over Tampa the night before WrestleMania 36, and NXT UK will take over Dublin later that same month. Chances are no matches will be confirmed for the Dublin show for a while, but Kay Lee Ray has already issued a big challenge.

The NXT UK Women’s Champion tweeted as soon as the Dublin announcement was official and issued a challenge to one of Ireland’s own. The Man, Becky Lynch. Ray tweeted, “GIVE ME THE MAN IN DUBLIN,” tagging Lynch and adding a gif of Conor McGregor in the process. At the time of typing this, the Raw Women’s Champion has not replied to Ray’s tweet.

Becky Lynch

In Lynch’s defense, she has a lot on her plate right now. The Man is still healing after being bitten on the back of the neck by Shayna Baszler last week. She also had to address the Elimination Chamber match just announced on Raw this week. Six women will enter the Chamber and the last one standing will face Lynch at WrestleMania for the Raw Women’s Championship.

That means Lynch might not even be champion by the time TakeOver: Dublin rolls around. Then again, Ray didn’t mention anything about any titles being on the line. There has been plenty of crossover between NXT, Raw, and SmackDown, so the match might happen. Just imagine the ovation Lynch would get from her hometown fans. As for whether it would be a champion versus champion match, that all depends on what happens at WrestleMania.

WWE Fans Are Beginning To Turn On Becky Lynch
Seth Rollins & Becky Lynch

WWE has a long history of its superstars skyrocketing to the top of the company only to be rejected by fans once they get there, a reality that has famously plagued stars like John Cena and Roman Reigns.

Both “The Champ” and “The Big Dog” had overwhelming support from fans early on during their rise to the top of WWE, when they were fresh and exciting faces in the main event scene. But the more they were featured and the stronger they were pushed, the more fans began to turn on them—not all fans certainly, but rather, a vocal minority that grew big enough to make the resentment to Reigns and Cena more and more apparent each and every week.
Roman reign

The latest WWE star to have a similar experience? Becky Lynch.

Here is what SmackDown announcer Corey Graves recently said about fan reaction to Lynch on his After the Bell podcast (h/t Wrestling Inc) shortly after last month’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view:

“This past Sunday, in Minute Maid Park, I was sitting ringside for the RAW Women’s Championship match between Becky Lynch and Asuka. I have nothing negative to say about the match. It was a great match…No complaints whatsoever. My observation is that once Becky Lynch’s entrance music started to fade, so did the vocal crowd support. Not across the board. Becky definitely had legions of fans that were there to support The Man, but it’s not what it once was. And I’m just playing devil’s advocate. It is my concern or just my observation that maybe the WWE Universe is beginning to tire of ‘The Man.’”

John Cena

Lynch has made a habit out of making history. In 2018, she shocked the world when she surpassed both Cena and Reigns to become WWE’s top merchandise seller. Half a year later, Lynch, Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair became the first women to ever main event a WrestleMania. For much of the last year and half, Lynch has been, hands down, the most popular star in WWE—whether male or female—even though WWE had its concerns about how focusing so heavily on Lynch might have negatively affected its business. As is the case with virtually every top star, however, the time eventually comes when a sizable portion of WWE fans have had enough of them in that role.

First, it was Cena. Then, it was Reigns. More recently, it was Seth Rollins who inadvertently went from WWE’s most popular male star to its most loathed performer in what felt like the blink of an eye last year. It was just over a year ago that Rollins won the Royal Rumble as fans were pining for him to be catapulted to the top of the card. He did just that when he defeated Brock Lesnar at both WrestleMania 35 and SummerSlam, but the poor booking of his on-screen character, combined with his suddenly rocky relationship with WWE fans, caused the WWE Universe to almost instantly reject him once he reached the pinnacle of his career not even 12 months ago. Ultimately, WWE was forced to turn Rollins heel late last year in a move that has put him back in his more natural villainous role.
Becky Lynch

A few weeks ago on Raw, Rollins issued a stern in-storyline warning to Drew McIntyre, who—much like Rollins in 2019—is headed for a WrestleMania clash with Lesnar. Rollins’ message to McIntyre was simple: No matter how good you are, WWE fans are going to turn on you at some point. Graves also touched on that reality on After the Bell:

“This is historically a common occurrence in WWE. When someone reaches megastar status, as Becky Lynch has over the past year plus, people tire of them. Look no further than John Cena, then Roman Reigns. More recently, Ronda Rousey, who was beloved when she arrived in WWE, but when the time WrestleMania came around, even before that, the WWE Universe was tired of the baddest woman on the planet. And this other guy that draws a pretty clear parallel, Seth Rollins. Seth Rollins last year at WrestleMania, no one could wait for him to beat Brock Lesnar. Seth Rollins beats Brock Lesnar becomes the guy and everyone goes, ‘yeah, what else you got?'”

Corey Graves

Described as “fickle” by WWE’s own Daniel Bryan, WWE fans are notorious for moving on to someone else once a new star reaches the pinnacle of WWE. Even Rhea Ripley—despite only just recently being pushed as a top star in NXT—has experienced that, as the talented young star has pointed out that fans are “flippy floppy” when it comes to who they support and for how long.

Once a name like Lynch, Rollins or even Rousey has achieved the goal they set out for—whether that be main eventing WrestleMania, winning a title or slaying a beast—fans are quick to want to see what the next step in the evolution of their character will be. If WWE’s creative team fails to create exciting and engaging follow-up for those stars, then fans aren’t shy about showing their disdain for the booking of those performers. As Graves alluded to, though, that’s less indicative of their thoughts on the performers themselves and more so a sign that WWE needs to do a better job of booking major stars once they reach the climax of their marquee storylines:

“This isn’t Becky’s fault. It’s not even anyone’s fault. It’s kind of just an occurrence. It’s a cyclical business, maybe it’s just time for an evolution, another step, another layer to The Man.”

Corey Graves
What you’re seeing Lynch—who recently turned heads when she said she should be paid more than Vince McMahon—experience right now isn’t fans expressing that she doesn’t have the skill set to be a top star. Rather, it’s fans wanting to see Lynch evolve, change and do something different from what she has been doing over the past year. Lynch is no longer the overlooked or misused superstar who WWE doesn’t know what to do with. She’s firmly entrenched as one of WWE’s biggest and most pushed stars, is protected with very few losses and has the swagger that you might expect out of a top heel, which some have taken as arrogance rather than confidence. Fan resentment to those realities comes with the territory, and unless the creative team can help her out, Lynch will be navigating dangerous waters to ensure that the WWE Universe doesn’t completely turn on her as it did on Rollins.

While Lynch is a tremendous talent who could and should be able to fend off a full-blown fan revolt, rest assured that something needs to change before even more fans begin to sour on the increasingly self-confident superstar.

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