No woman has emerged from the rest of the pack to become the biggest star in WWE's women's division quite like Becky Lynch.
Once stuck in the dark abyss of undercard irrelevancy, she became a bona fide main event player as The Man. One baby and a year away from the ring later and she returned as Big Time Becks, proving she could reinvent herself and be just as effective as a lead heel.
Now back after four months away to heal a shoulder injury, Lynch appears poised to re-establish herself as a championship contender as 2022 comes to an end.
Is that necessarily the best fit for her at this point, though?
As it turns out, the most appropriate role for her is opposite a fellow revolutionary.
The Man vs. The Role Model
The Bayley-led Damage CTRL beat down Lynch and put her out of action for four months last July. As a result of that angle, it was widely assumed that Lynch would return as a babyface and combat the heel faction upon her return.
We have seen that to an extent very early in Box Office Becks' comeback as she teamed with Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss, Asuka and Mia Yim to defeat that faction, Nikki Cross and Rhea Ripley at Survivor Series Saturday night.
That should not be the end of Lynch's issues with Bayley, though.
Not only is that a feud that remains unsettled, but it is also a fresh match-up that WWE has surprisingly never presented in a high-profile setting.
Despite their time in NXT, where they helped revolutionize women's wrestling and create the movement that would ultimately result in pay-per-view main events and an entire show dedicated to the sport, Lynch and Bayley have only squared off with each other in one-on-one action on two occasions, according to wrestling database Cagematch.net: once on July 16, 2015, and again on April 30, 2019.
Only the latter was a televised match.
The fact that those two women were as instrumental as they were to the modern success of women's wrestling, yet have never battled in a significant one-on-one televised match of any kind, is astonishing.
Why Vince McMahon or Triple H never saw fit to put them in the ring together and let them work their magic is a question only they can answer, but it is absolutely time to right that wrong.
With Raw Women's champion Bianca Belair seemingly headed for a program with Ripley, booking Lynch against Bayley and the rest of Damage CTRL, as the direction appeared to dictate before the injury forced The Man to the sidelines throughout Fall, is the right choice.
Let Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves really hammer home the fact that the match has not occurred, either in NXT or WWE, to this point. Make a big deal out of it that these two future Hall of Famers have not battled before.
Not every major program has to involve a championship and name recognition and its overall newness would help elevate Lynch vs. Bayley to the level of a showdown between Belair and Ripley.
None of that even covers the fact that it fits the narrative, with Lynch the vengeful babyface after losing a quarter of her year because of a targeted attack by Bayley, Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky in their first night as a faction this past summer.
The stars have finally aligned for the match, the women themselves deserve it and WWE can capitalize on its flabbergasting unwillingness to book it prior to now, leading to a secondary, non-title program that is every bit as intriguing and high-profile as the one for the top prize in the division.