By Chuck Carroll
(CBS Los Angeles/CBS Local) — What’s it like to be Becky Lynch? In a word: chaotic.
Carrying the literal and figurative weight of being both the RAW and SmackDown Women’s Champion is not for the weak of heart. Although Becky “Two Belts” has double the glory of others in the WWE locker room, she also has double the commitments and half the downtime.
Since defeating Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 35 to become the first woman to simultaneously hold championships on both brands, her typical weekly schedule looks something like this.
Friday: Fly out in the morning, wrestle at night, then drive six hours overnight to the next town.
Saturday: Sleep quickly and wrestle that night. Then hop back in the car for another hours-long drive.
Sunday: Sleep quickly and wrestle that night. Then it’s back in the car for yet another hours-long drive.
Monday: Sleep quickly, do media appearances, and be ready for RAW long before the 8:00 pm start time. Then, you guessed it, it’s back in the car for a fourth hours-long drive in as many nights.
Tuesday: Sleep quickly, do more media, and be ready for SmackDown long before the 8:00 pm start time. Head back to the hotel, sleep for a couple hours before catching the early flight back home to Los Angeles.
Wednesday-Thursday: Arrive home, train, pay bills, do laundry, catch up on life and spend time with friends.
Of course, there are the occasional trips abroad, like WWE’s upcoming two-week gallivant across Europe and major events that keep her away from home for weeks at a time and stretch an already over-taxed schedule even further.
But the WWE Superstar wouldn’t have it any other way. Unlike in her dark days in NXT, Lynch has given no thought to walking away from the exhaustive grind to pursue the law degree she once desired.
She’s having too much fun racking up the frequent flier miles to stop now. She’s living her dream, and yeah, having an abundance of catchy nicknames isn’t bad either. “Becky Two Belts,” “Double Champ,” “Champ-Champ,” and “The Man” are the newest sobriquets in her arsenal, but she’ll still answer to the old “Lass Kicker” moniker, too.
Fueled on coffee and fights, she is one of WWE’s brightest Superstars, and the company is wisely cashing in by having her pull double duty on both shows.
I had a chance to catch up with Becky just a few short hours before she would appear on RAW, where she clashed with newcomer Lacey Evans ahead of their championship meeting at the Money In The Bank pay-per-view. That’s just one of two championship matches she’ll face that night, as she will also be defending the SmackDown Women’s Championship against Charlotte Flair. Go ahead and add Becky “Double Duty” to her ever-growing list of names.
Even though you are living your dream every minute you’re at work in WWE, is there still that feeling of relief like “ahhhhhhh” when you walk through the front door and know that you have 36 or so hours at home?
Yeah, I’m always eager to go to see my people, see my friends. I try to keep my relationships as strong as possible, because this is when you need the people that are going to keep you honest the most. You know what I mean? People that make sure that you’re not slacking. People that keep you fired up and keep you in check. I like to keep them around me as much as possible. Even if I don’t have much time.
We’re just coming off of WrestleMania, and leading up to the big show there’s always this enormous swell of energy. Now that you’ve had this culmination and been crowned “Champ Champ,” how do you keep that energy and momentum up?
Lots of coffee. Lots of adrenaline. Lots and lots and lots of fights, right? It’s like I talk a lot of talk, and now it’s time to back it up. I want to raise up both divisions. I want everybody to step up to me, I want them to change, and I want them to challenge themselves. Because before I came along and before I separated myself from the pack, everybody was patting each other on the back and brushing each other’s hair. Well, that doesn’t sell tickets, and that’s not getting people in the door. I want conflict, I want fighting, I want people to be chomping at the bit to put me down, put me in my place. But I want to rise up again, so I can blast the head off every single one of them.
There was a lot made of Ronda Rousey being in WWE the last year. What type of lasting impact do you think that she will have, not just on the women’s division but on WWE as a whole?
Ronda Rousey is a tremendous, natural, athlete. She’s born tough and born tough isn’t the same as being made tough. I think I saw the best of Ronda Rousey. But we also saw what happens when she gets defeated. She leaves, and we haven’t seen her since. I think that her name outside of the business, maybe, brought in a few new eyes, which helped build momentum.
I enjoyed my bouts with Ronda Rousey. I enjoyed playing mind games with her. I enjoyed the little beatings that she would give me, because it made me fight a little bit harder, and if she ever wants to come back then I’m ready, and waiting, to take her on again.
What are your expectations that she will return?
I don’t know, I don’t know, we’ve seen what happens when Ronda Rousey gets beat. She throws a little hissy fit and she goes hiding under her blankie for however long, but she is a tremendous athlete. She is the baddest woman on the planet, but I beat her.
Would you like a rematch at next year’s WrestleMania, or who else would you like to face?
If Ronda Rousey is ready to come back to try and prove herself, I would absolutely take her on. If not, then there’s plenty of other women here who are ready, willing, going day in, day out, that I would love to fight.
At Money In The Bank, you’re defending both the RAW and SmackDown Women’s Championships. Describe how different it is working with a veteran, like Charlotte Flair versus somebody who’s a little bit newer, like Lacey Evans. How do you have to change your approach?
Here’s the thing. I’ve owned Charlotte time and time again. We know each other inside out, which is both a good thing and a bad thing, because we’re evenly matched. She knows what I’m going to do, I know what she’s going to do. We’ve had so many matches. At this stage, what I think, when we tally up the votes, I’ve come out on top way more times than she has.
Lacey Evans hasn’t done anything is this business to prove herself. I don’t know anything about her. That’s the dangerous part, is that I’m going in against the unknown. But that’s nothing that I haven’t done in the past. I hadn’t had a match with Ronda Rousey before I beat her, and nobody had beaten her before I had. You never know how things are going to go.
You have blossomed into one heck of a talker, and your segments on RAW and SmackDown have just become must-see TV. Did mic work always come naturally for you, or is that something you had to work on?
I think that the talking part has always been a part that I’ve enjoyed, because I just, naturally, in general, am a talker and a communicator. I want to get my message across. I want to get my emotions across. Even when I was a young kid I wanted to be an actor, and my mum said “Well, there’s no way in hell my daughter’s being an actor.” I said, “Okay, well I’m going to be a lawyer, because I want to get up there, and I want to stand, and I want to argue with people.”
Of course, I ended up getting the career in acting, and doing a lot of theater before I came to WWE. I think once you [realize] that you’re not out there doing a spectacle and you’re just communicating your message, you are talking directly to the people, telling them your message, telling them why they should care, people respond in kind. Instead of rambling on about if you can dream big dreams, and whatever else Ronda Rousey was spouting out of her mouth.
What you’re doing is more than just entertainment. What you are doing here, carrying two belts, being “Becky Two Belts,” being the “Champ Champ,” that’s resonating beyond the world of WWE. What does the character of Becky Lynch say to women as they’re trying to climb that corporate ladder or go for a doctorate or, even, walking into the boss’s office and asking for a pay raise? What type of strength are they drawing from the Becky Lynch character?
It’s just there’s nothing that we can’t achieve now, right? We’re in this time when we’re on such an equal playing ground. We still have to fight a little bit, here and there, but it’s all achievable. Nobody can tell us anymore that you can’t do it because you’re this gender, or you’re this race, or you’re this anything, you’re this age, whatever. We’re in the most opportunistic time on the planet. It’s just about grabbing whatever it is that you want, and going after it, and not taking no for an answer.
Look, at the end of the day, somebody says no, they say no, but at least you go out trying, you know? You don’t ask, you don’t get. If you fail, well, then, you’re just one failure away from succeeding, you know?
Is there a different vibe for you when you walk into RAW versus when you walk into SmackDown?
Well, SmackDown has felt like my show from the beginning, right? I was the first SmackDown women’s champion. I was the first woman drafted to SmackDown Live. It’s a place that I felt a great affinity for. It’s a place where I developed that chip on my shoulder, because I wanted to make it the women’s division to watch.
Then, I decided that I didn’t really care about the women’s division, I cared about being the man to watch. But it was like, “Oh, no. I have to stop worrying about everybody else. I have to bring myself up, and everybody else will match me, if they can. Come catch me if you can.”
Now I have that feeling on RAW too. I’m like, “Okay. Well, I’m the new girl here, but I’m going to be build it up, and I’m going to make everybody care. I want all the girls here to rise up with me.”
Chuck Carroll is former pro wrestling announcer and referee turned sports media personality. He once appeared on Monday Night RAW when he presented Robert Griffin III with a WWE title belt in the Redskins locker room.
Follow him on Twitter @ChuckCarrollWLC.