WWE Stomping Grounds 2019: Becky Lynch Revolutionizes Main Event, More Hot Takes

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistJune 24, 2019

WWE Stomping Grounds 2019: Becky Lynch Revolutionizes Main Event, More Hot Takes

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Much like WWE shattered preconceptions preceding its Stomping Ground pay-per-view, Becky Lynch once again revolutionized the role of women in professional wrestling during an action-packed main event that saw her kick tired and antiquated storyline formulas right in the ass.

    The Man's historical appearance in the night's show-closing bout was only one of the takeaways from a better-than-expected broadcast that also featured the latest disappointing setback for Drew McIntyre and WWE's ability to still silence critics when it wants to.

    Dive deeper into those topics with this recap of the June 23 extravaganza.

Becky Lynch Turns Gender Roles on Ear in Explosive Main Event

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    After spending the last five years revolutionizing the role of women in professional wrestling, it should be of no real surprise to anyone that Becky Lynch would take yet another tired story trope and turn it on its ear in the main event of Stomping Grounds. She bucked tradition and became the heroine rescuing a man in distress, universal champion Seth Rollins.

    In danger of his title reign ending at the hands of a colluding Baron Corbin and special referee Lacey Evans, Rollins held out for a hero. That hero came in the form of The Man, who rushed the ring and laid Evans out at ringside, freeing The Beastslayer up to stomp Corbin and retain his title.

    There were no fancy buzz words of mentions of "making history," yet Lynch's heroic appearance in the marquee bout of the pay-per-view meant more for the ever-evolving role of women in wrestling than the so-called "women's revolution" label or even the main event of WrestleMania.

    Lynch coming to the aid of Rollins, being portrayed as the star rather than the co-star or role player, took a generations-old storytelling formula and rewrote it for a new era. No longer does the woman in the story have to be the helpless victim in need of a big, strong, manly hero to come save her from whatever danger she finds herself in. 

    In this day, because of how strongly Lynch has been booked and what we saw Sunday, she can emerge from the locker room, save the man and stand tall as the Wonder Woman of the story.

    Not since Chyna routinely rescued Triple H from whatever unenviable situation The Game found himself in has a woman been presented as equal to the top stars in the industry. At Stomping Ground, Lynch was not just Rollins' knight in shining armor, she was the star whose arrival was built to throughout the most significant championship match on the whole show.

    That is something fans have never seen before, but it is the type of booking that will let them know that WWE is serious about its treatment of women and forever shattering preconceived notions about their role on the show.

    Evans also played a huge role in the universal title match as the crooked referee who fueled the story. After just six months on the card, she was given a significant role in which she was important to the overall presentation of the match as either of the men working it. Like Lynch, she helped elevate the significance of a female in today's WWE and executed her role to perfection.

    While all of this may sound like hyperbole, the importance of the main event, and the manner in which women broke free of old storytelling bonds to become paramount to the angle that closed the show, should be studied and revisited for years to come.

    Especially if WWE Creative can follow it up with a moment or match on Monday's Raw that reaffirms what it accomplished 24 hours earlier.

Drew McIntyre Will Never Realize Full Potential While Saddled with Shane McMahon

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    As long as Drew McIntyre pals around Shane McMahon, The Scottish Psychopath will never realize his full potential to be WWE champion or greater. Why? Because he will be too busy taking bumps and losing as Shane-O-Mac's muscle to set up the boss' son's next program.

    McIntyre battled Roman Reigns at Stomping Grounds, and rather than delivering a hard-hitting brawl of a match that established the Scot as a threat to the top Superstars even in defeat, he was overshadowed late by McMahon's involvement and yet another loss to The Big Dog.

    There was no benefit for McIntyre in the match.

    He did not come across any better than he was before, and if anything, his second PPV loss to Reigns diminished his credibility while simultaneously shining a brighter light on McMahon. Unless the grand plan is to have a frustrated McIntyre obliterate his superior to build nuclear-levels of heat for him, there is no way this partnership benefits him in any measurable way going forward.

    A Superstar who once appeared to be en route to a massive push and his first, top singles title, McIntyre now looks like a sidekick to an overexposed McMahon kid whose time as an active performer on the show really should have ended two or so years ago.

WWE Silences Critics (for the Moment) with Pleasantly Surprising PPV

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    The criticism of the WWE product was real heading into Stomping Grounds, and rightfully so. A lack of urgency, a slate of rehashed matches and the lack of unpredictability plagued Raw and SmackDown and had fans far more intrigued by the June 29 Fyter Fest from All Elite Wrestling than the meh-inspiring WWE production.

    While there is still plenty to dislike from a creative standpoint, the pay-per-view exceeded expectations and turned out to be an enjoyable, entertaining and pleasantly surprising show.

    The action was nonstop, there was not much in the way of filler, and there were creative finishes to matches rather than some of the same old, same old we are exposed to on a weekly basis.

    The callback to Attitude Era-style booking in the main event match pitting Rollins against Corbin for the universal title was the most obvious example of WWE Creative breaking free from the monotonous and predictable to deliver a red-hot match that was the polar opposite of what audiences expected from the outset.

    Kofi Kingston defeated Dolph Ziggler by diving out the cage door ahead of his opponent, which was a new take on a decades-old gimmick bout.

    Bayley and Alexa Bliss thrived because of strong storytelling, Daniel Bryan elevated young stars Heavy Machinery in a tag team title match better than it had any right to be, and Roman Reigns got a measure of revenge against Shane McMahon by blasting the boss and defeating his handpicked weapon of destruction, Drew McIntyre.

    Everything felt right, the in-ring action supported the booking, and the result was a show infinitely better than its potential and proof that when the company wants to, it can still produce quality events that inspire excitement and positivity. 

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