The 4 Best Opponents for Becky Lynch's Return to WWE
WWE is mere weeks away from the return of touring, with Money in the Bank on July 18 being the first major pay-per-view event to be held in an arena full of fans and SummerSlam slated to be this year's equivalent to WrestleMania, and that can mean only one thing: The Man is coming back around.
Becky Lynch has been out of action since announcing her pregnancy on the May 11, 2020, episode of WWE Raw, and since the birth of her child in December, fans have eagerly anticipated her return to the squared circle, prognosticating the perfect opponents for the former women's champion upon her return.
B/R's Philip Lindsey previously presented five potential feuds for The Man for when she returns. Keeping his picks in mind, here is an alternative take on what should await Lynch when she jumps back into the fray, be it on Mondays or Fridays.
4. Charlotte Flair
While some would understandably groan at the idea of yet another chapter in the never-ending feud between Lynch and Charlotte Flair, there is little denying that The Queen would provide the returning competitor with the highest-profile opponent imaginable.
Flair is the centerpiece of women's wrestling in WWE, and her credibility is off the charts. One of the most decorated performers in the company as a whole, Flair would present Lynch with an instant main event scenario.
More importantly, Lynch is destined to have ring rust to shake off, and there is no better opponent for her to do that with than someone like Flair, with whom she has had infinite encounters.
Not by any means the flashiest or most interesting program on the planet, it would, be exactly the marquee feud fans expect from Lynch when she reappears on WWE programming.
3. Rhea Ripley
Rhea Ripley exploded on to the scene around WrestleMania, stepping up to Asuka and successfully challenging her for the Raw Women's Championship at the Showcase of the Immortals. Now the champion of Raw's star-studded division, she is the hurdle Lynch must overcome to reclaim her spot at the top of women's wrestling.
It is a ready-made feud just waiting for WWE officials to exploit it. And they will. The question is how soon.
The Ripley feud ranks at No. 3 because while it feels like something the company will absolutely get to, it also feels entirely too soon. If Lynch returns and is thrown right into the title hunt, not to mention wins the gold, the backlash will be mighty.
Ripley will turn into a sympathetic figure for keyboard warriors claiming WWE is "handing" Lynch everything. It would create unnecessary negative publicity for what should be a momentous return. Why go there, especially if Lynch is back for the long term.
Let things breathe. Let the program build. Resist the urge to book that title match right away, and the result will be twofold: Lynch's popularity will thrive and the eventual showdown with The Nightmare will be hotly anticipated.
The alternative? The female version of John Cena or babyface Roman Reigns, pushed beyond the fans' desire and gifted title shots without "earning" them.
The biggest question surrounding Lynch's return is which show it will happen on.
With WWE preparing to tour again, the odds are Lynch will want to be on the same show as fiance Seth Rollins. To do that, she would have to jump ship to SmackDown, where the talent pool is not quite as deep, but one match stands out.
Bayley has made a habit of late of trying to ruin special moments. She single-handedly tried to derail Bianca Belair's SmackDown Women's Championship reign before it got started in earnest, so it would not be out of character for her to try to dampen the excitement and emotion surrounding The Man's comeback.
Then there is the added element of Bayley's recent friendship with Rollins. WWE has never met a romantic storyline it didn't want to shove down viewers' throats, to varying degrees of success. Lynch returning and targeting Bayley as a mere warning, rather than a full-fledged love triangle, would be a nice touch.
Regardless of how the story is told, the possibility of a Lynch-Bayley feud would bring a certain level of in-ring work that fans demand of those performers. If Lynch finds it difficult to shake off the ring rust initially, there are few performers one would rather have her work with than The Role Model, who spent the past year establishing herself as one of the MVPs of the pandemic era of professional wrestling.
There is only one opponent for Lynch when she returns to the squared circle, and that is the woman she to whom handed the reins to the Raw women's division, Asuka.
The Empress of Tomorrow carried the red brand roster during Lynch's absence, holding the championship for the better part of a year with only momentary interruptions.
While the necessity for a long-term feud between the two is not there, Asuka as Lynch's first opponent back from maternity leave would present a high-profile match between two of the most decorated and popular female wrestlers of the past 20 years and conceivably be one hell of a first match back for The Man.
The only potential downside? A further loss in credibility for Asuka, who should be protected as one of WWE's few firmly established female Superstars.