Becky Lynch talked with Sports Illustrated to discuss her WrestleMania match, her opponent Shayna Baszler, competing in front of no audience, and more. Check out the highlights below.
On WrestleMania being different this year:
Am I disappointed? No, I’m not disappointed. Sometimes you’re going to be the main event, sometimes you’re not. I’m somebody that went from the pre-show of WrestleMania to the main event. It’s all about how you react, respond, and keep moving forward. This is also not the last WrestleMania. I’m not retiring tomorrow, there are so many years ahead of me. I’m always thinking about how I can get to the main event. It has to be the right place for it, but that’s always the goal in my mind.
On Shayna Baszler paying her dues:
There is no denying what Shayna has done. She’s put in the work, she was a pioneer in women’s MMA, long before Ronda came along. She’s someone who went to the independents. She loves wrestling, I know she does. She’s not somebody who said, ‘Oh, that’s an easy way for me to be on TV. Let me try that because my other sport didn’t work out.’ She actually went and trained, did her time on the independent circuit, went to NXT, trained her ass off there, and she was the longest combined NXT Women’s Champion. She has put in the work, and there is no doubt about that.
On the criticism towards her Survivor Series triple threat match:
It shouldn’t be about women—people shouldn’t use it as a chance to say, ‘That’s why women shouldn’t be main-eventing.’ You can’t wipe out an entire gender based on your opinion to a match. No excuses, I’m open to criticism. Give me your opinion, I’ll take it. This is what anyone in the main event, male or female, has to deal with. If you ever have a bad night or a match that people don’t agree with, you’re the one out there that has to change and adjust. It makes you better in the long run.
On whether looks matter in wrestling:
When you look back at the past, did Dusty Rhodes look like he could be a WWE superstar? You know what I mean? It’s not about looks. Yes, you need to have a unique look, and, of course, Shayna has that. And you have to have something about you—and Shayna has that, too. There is not a mold to fit into. Maybe that happened for a period of time in wrestling, but hiring people on how they looked was an unsuccessful period of time in wrestling.
It’s about the energy you can bring and the heart you have for this energy, male or female. Otherwise, dare I say, you have people who are empty vessels. You need a very specific love and a very specific passion. As to whatever package that comes in, it’s almost irrelevant.
On missing the WWE crowds:
I cannot wait to have people back in the stands. It’s really different without them. You have to really focus on your message, what you want the people at home to understand, and you have to forget about that clarification you get from the audience being there. Having them respond to you is really gratifying, and you know they appreciate what you’re saying. But all of that is gone. I was worried that, without that adrenaline from them being there, I wouldn’t be able to have that same type of intensity. It’s a different thing now, and it forces your brain to think differently.