WWE – Iconic Matches Paige/Becky Lynch (Cert 12)
1 Disc DVD (each) (Distributor: Fremantle Media) Running Time: 66 minutes approx./81 minutes approx.
WWE Home Video continue their Iconic Matches series with two new budget releases featuring two very different star of the WWE women division – Paige and Becky Lynch. Since they are brief, no frills affairs I shall once gain combine the two reviews into one post as I did with the Bayley and Sasha Banks collections from last year.
First up is Paige, known to her friends and family as Saraya-Jade Bevis, the Norwich born daughter of British legends Rowdy Ricky Knight and Sweet Saraya. I would recap Paige’s story but most of it has been covered in the recent bio-pic of her life Fighting With My Family, albeit heavily dramatised with many liberties taken with the details.
The opening match in this set is the finals of the NXT Women’s Title Tournament from June 20th 2013 which saw Paige and Emma face off to become the first ever NXT Women’s champ in a good match that was head and shoulders above anything on the main roster at that time.
Whilst still NXT Women’s champ, Paige was called up to the main roster the night after Wrestlemania 30 on April 7th 2014 and challenged then WWE Divas Champ AJ Lee for the title in a moment often replayed and one of the few re-enacted for the aforementioned bio pic. You can see it again here followed by a PPV rematch from Summerslam 2014 after AJ Lee had regained the title from a newly turned heel Paige two months earlier.
Having been enemies, Paige and AJ ended up on the same side as they faced The Bella Twins at Wrestlemania 31 in a much that pre-empted the eventual Women’s Revolution as AJ left the WWE and Paige was the lone voice against The Bellas domination of the Women’s Division. Unfortunately, injuries and a litany of bad decisions in her personal saw Paige miss out on much of the revolution which saw her former NXT contemporaries take women’s wrestling to new heights in the WWE.
Paige eventually returned after Survivor Series 2017 turning heel again with Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose as a new trio named Absolution. In what I believe was Paige’s last major singles match, she faces off against Sasha Banks on Monday Night RAW on December 4th.
Unfortunately, Paige would suffer a neck injury during a tag match shortly after this bout ending her in ring career. Since then, Paige has been involved in the making of her bio-pic and currently is the manager for the Kabuki Warriors, my Goddess Asuka and Kairi Sane, on SD Live.
It’s fair to say that the journey to the top of the WWE for Rebecca Quin has been an interesting one to say the least. The perky Irish girl took up wrestling training at a school run by one Fergal Devitt (Finn Bálor to you) and hit the international circuit as Rebecca Knox until a concussion forced her to quit. Missing the business, Quin decided to give it one more shot and was picked up by the WWE in 2012 where she arrived at NXT and was rechristened Becky Lynch.
Dressed in emerald green and performing something akin to a Riverdance, Becky was the “Irish Lass Kicker”, all smiles and pluck in short lived gimmick that was offensive as it was lame. Not long after this persona was dropped Becky turned heel and aligned herself with Sasha banks and the on-screen wars of the Four Horsewomen was born as she, Banks, Bayley and Charlotte Flair tore the house down.
By early 2015 Becky was the no 1 contender for Sasha’s NXT Women’s title, turning face and debuting the orange haired, Steampunk persona who would soon join Banks and Charlotte on the main roster officially kicking off the Women’s Revolution. In 2016, Becky, Charlotte and Banks stole the show at Wrestlemania 32 then later that year was crowned the first ever Smackdown Live women’s champion, dropping the belt to Alexa Bliss soon after then faded into the background for the next two years.
Some of you might be wondering why I am filibustering with this career recap and not discussing the content of this Iconic Matches DVD. The answer is very simple – the three matches featured are all from the past year, covering the belated rise to the top for Becky, taking her from the overlooked “Lass kicker” to “The Man”, and all three matches are readily available on other recent WWE DVD releases.
First is the fateful match from Summerslam 2018 where Becky got her first SD Women’s title shot in two years against champ Carmella in a bout that saw Charlotte added to it, reducing Becky’s chances of winning by 25%. As we now, Charlotte won the match and the title and Becky turned on her friend in a tone deaf move that earned the biggest pop of the night and made Becky a bigger babyface than before.
The next match is from Hell In A Cell a month later and Becky is still being booked as a heel yet the positive crowd reactions are getting bigger by the day. Lynch won the title from Charlotte leading to the now famous Last Woman Standing match from the all women Evolution PPV which closes this set, a match already on other DVDs.
In the cases of both releases, you might not call these matches “iconic”, though the Last Woman Standing match is a modern classic. Historically, the Becky Lynch disc offers little insight into her career unlike the Paige one, feeling more of a cheap cash-in of her current and long overdue success as the top woman in WWE.
Becky fans at least can follow the chronological story of the genesis of “The Man” in this handy digest release, whilst Paige’s collection serves as a reminder of what a breath of fresh air she was to the WWE’s women’s division and it won’t cause much damage to your wallets either. Definitely for hardcore collectors only.
Rating – *** / ***
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