In wrestling, you can’t account for happy accidents. Sometimes, the universe works in your favor. When now-ex-NXT women’s champion Tiffany Stratton misspoke in a promo that she would be a better champion than Becky Lynch (who has never held the title), that's precisely what I’m talking about. It was a no-brainer in a season where the WWE has been actively integrating veteran talent from RAW and Smackdown into NXT television. It’s hard to think of an accolade escaping the tremendous hall-of-fame career of Becky Lynch – but yes, there was one.
Lynch is billed to be one of the Four Horsewomen (including. Charlotte Flair, Bayley, and Sasha Banks/Mercedes Mone). During the early days of the black-and-gold, Lynch didn’t have a run with the title like her compatriots did. Compared to the earlier runs of the other three superstars, “The Man” may have once been looked at as the fourth wheel (again, crazy to think about when you think about what’s happened since). She just came off a memorable cage match against legend Trish Stratus at Payback, and with current title programs going on the main two shows, there was one thing left for her to achieve.
Lynch’s title win last night was an accumulation of a ten-year journey that has her join the list of those who have held the women’s titles on RAW, Smackdown, and NXT and a grand slam title holder given her tag team titles reign with Lita. Most of all, it was one of the final stamps of approval on a great career that helped elevate what women’s wrestling means on its biggest stage. There may have been apprehension about Tiffany Stratton losing the title to someone of this stature – however, I would offer the argument that it only elevates her.
Their main event match last night was the highest-rated segment in three years. A new crop of eyes got to watch Stratton in arguably her best match yet against one of the greatest wrestlers in the sport. It’s a win-win as far as using one of your top stars to elevate up-and-coming talent. Picture the other matches Lynch could have on Wednesdays – there’s Blair Davenport, Lyra Valkyria, and Roxanne Perez, just to name a few. I do not doubt that Stratton will get a rematch eventually. NXT just announced they will be having a women’s breakout tournament – not only do you get a shot at the title, but “The Man” herself.
With wrestling, we tend to look through the lens of absolutes and not nuance. So, the initial shock of a “main roster” talent might seem like a demotion initially. As fans, we love the story of the good people realizing a dream, correct? Not only did Lynch check this box, but she wants to be a fighting champion – an admirable gift that will keep giving to those who look to be in her spot one day.