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    Sunday, December 1, 2019

    31 Days of Wrestling (12/1/19): The Man Stands Tall At WrestleMania (Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair for the RAW and SmackDown Women's Championships, WrestleMania 35)

    Welcome to the 31 Days of Wrestling, ladies and gentlemen. Once again, we're at that point where we take a look back at the past 11 months of pro wrestling (and as much as possible, the last month as well) and cherry-pick one match for each day of December from a list of bouts that defined the year in our beloved sport. Most matches will be good, while some may not be; what matters is that they helped build the perception and reputation of the kind of wrestling 2019 produced for us.

    If 2018 was the year that led to the rise of The Man, then 2019 was the year that cemented Becky Lynch's status as a main-eventing megastar in pro wrestling.

    We know the narrative like the back of our own hands by now. Becky Lynch wasn't supposed to be in this position, but she willed herself into being the biggest star in WWE. What followed was a red-hot run that saw her win the SmackDown Women's Championship before the end of 2018, become the second Women's Royal Rumble winner to kick off 2019, and be part of the most high-profile WrestleMania storyline throughout the spring.

    What shouldn't be forgotten is how many times the story had gone off the rails. From the insertion of Charlotte Flair to Becky herself being not-so-endearing as the year wore on, The Man's arc hasn't been written perfectly. WWE even went so far as to incorporate her real-life relationship with fiancé Seth Rollins into their canon, leading to the couple main eventing this year's Extreme Rules in a mixed tag match against (not-yet-a-King) Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans—at least, until Brock Lesnar cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase on Seth Rollins.

    That being said, now that we have the benefit of looking back at what 2019 has looked like, it's amazing how much Becky Lynch's star has risen. She went on to compete in the second Women's Hell In A Cell match, main evented several episodes of RAW, as well as closed out Extreme Rules and Survivor Series, and was one of the cover athletes for WWE 2K20.

    It can't be understated what Becky Lynch has done for the Women's Evolution since she, Charlotte Flair, and Sasha Banks debuted on RAW in July 2015. As she broke away from the Four Horsewomen and became a superstar all on her own, Becky Lynch earned the love and admiration of wrestling fans everywhere to the degree that she was the female Daniel Bryan at one point. Fans were willing to hijack shows just for her, and she herself had forced WWE to co-opt her popularity into an actual push.

    The Man is more than just a gimmick at this point. It's the perfect summation of how one woman willed herself into becoming the biggest star of this industry such that she could no longer be denied of her moment. And it was none more evident than when she finally pinned Ronda Rousey, took both the RAW and SmackDown Women's Championships, and stood tall in the center of the ring, in front of over 82,000 people as WrestleMania 35 ended with fireworks being launched into the midnight sky.

    Now, if only she can have better storylines written for her again.


    31 Days of Wrestling is Smark Henry's way of celebrating the matches that helped define wrestling in 2018.


    Stan Sy (@_StanSy) is the Editor at Large of Smark Henry, and is also a radio DJ on Wave 89.1, an events host, a freelance writer, and one of the hosts of The Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast. He also used to be one of the hosts and writers of The Wrestling Gods on FOX. He enjoys watching WWE, NXTLucha Underground, and the occasional New Japan match. You can ask him questions about wrestling, Survivor (yes, the reality show), or whatever you like on his CuriousCat account.

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    Item Reviewed: 31 Days of Wrestling (12/1/19): The Man Stands Tall At WrestleMania (Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair for the RAW and SmackDown Women's Championships, WrestleMania 35) Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Stan Sy
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