10 Times WWE Turned Trash Into Treasure

From game shows to game-changers.

Becky Lynch Ronda Rousey

No, we didn't get that title the wrong way 'round, though here's a sneak peak of this article's subverted sequel:

Asuka was treasure in NXT: an undefeated warlord absolutely drenched in a gleefully sadistic, wholly unique brand of charisma. On the main roster, and this was so sadly inevitable you dared not predict it, she became just another defeated performer used as an odd couple punchline in her abysmal partnership with Naomi, from whom she absolutely delighted at the prospect of learning English words ("Glow! Ah, glow!"). From wrestling arguably the best WWE singles match in 2017 to whacky "teriyaki" word play one year later, Asuka, somewhat fittingly, was a cooked stereotype. And then she became SmackDown Women's Champion! And then she didn't get booked for weeks on end! And now Lacey Evans is primed to go over her, because she is blonde. It is 2018 all over again, with one key, damning difference; this blonde's got legs from here to ya-ya! "We can't not push her!" is the mentality here. When, in reality, they could just push a performer who is actually able to perform on that stage.

In short, if Asuka is treasure now, she will be trash soon enough.

It's backwards, but on rare occasions, WWE was and is capable of forward-thinking...

10. Becky Lynch

Becky Lynch Ronda Rousey

It has become entirely pointless to critique WWE's sports entertainment through the lens of a pro wrestling ideologue. WWE doesn't write for its audience, nor does it write coherent stories. To gain any enjoyment from the 2019 product, it's best to simply focus on the performers and their ability to pull off thankless tasks.

Becky Lynch is a natural babyface, so of course WWE turned her heel in the summer of 2018. There's no doubting that anymore, revisionism be damned. She demanded Charlotte Flair raised her arm, she assaulted her without provocation, and, in true, telling WWE heel style, she took an intentional disqualification loss in order to delay the inevitable.

Only, something else inevitable happened. Becky Lynch was such a charismatic star that WWE recognised it, and repackaged her as an anti-hero, retconning the almost insulting inciting incident and shaping it to turn Flair. What we're seeing now is the opposite of what WWE had intended.

What we are seeing now is treasure where there was once trash.

Becky Lynch is so great in this role. Chin jutted, eyes narrowed, she is totally, coolly defiant. You can almost see the last lot of f*cks ooze casually out of her. She projects herself with an understated authority. This is a woman who knows she deserves to be where she's at, and could care less about how she got there. On the stick, she is similarly confident; she does a passable imitation of the inimitable Conor McGregor, and that is not the backhanded compliment it may read as.

This isn't entirely an accidental success; WWE has scripted and directed Lynch very well once it became apparent that initial turn was deeply misjudged, even if the principle behind that direction remains unsettling.


Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!