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The one constant in all of WWE programming is that there will always be feuds. Sometimes over titles, sometimes over prestige and sometimes over coffee. Here, we celebrate the highs and lows of WWE feudage and, hopefully, will only ever focus on a feud once.
I’m Tom Colohue and this is Focus Your Feud.
Follow Tom Colohue at @Colohue for updates.
Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch
Buckle up guys, this one’s been a bit of a bumpy ride.
There are a wide collection of feuds in WWE. There are a lot of different types of rivalry and lately ye olde friendly rivalry has become more common. Charlotte and Becky though have been quite possibly the most definitive rivalry of the women’s revolution and, in fact, of the latest brand split.
Now I know what you’re thinking. Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair have had more matches. They main evented a pay per view. They fought in the first Hell in a Cell match. They fought in a fifteen minute iron woman war. They traded a title back and forth and back and forth.
There are two things that make Lynch versus Flair mean that much more. Firstly, Sasha’s feud with Charlotte took place when there really weren’t many women on the Raw roster. They were especially lacking in overall draws in the division. Essentially, Banks and Flair were fighting so much because Banks and Flair were the only ones who could.
The big deal for me though is the fact that Banks and Flair have never actually been on the same side. They’ve never been friends on the main roster, allies or in the same group. Meanwhile, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair have and that makes it a very different set up.
When Lynch and Flair first debuted on the main roster they were allies from the off, teaming up in team PCB. Of course that’s if you forget their first, less mentionable, name. Though ostensibly led by Paige it didn’t take long for that team to fall apart. Always the way, the one face team of the three implodes first. Charlotte would take the Divas title and embark on a horribly scripted heel turn.
Again, there’s a lot of things I’m going to go ahead and not mention there. It’s for all of our benefit; I promise.
This led us to the first Charlotte vs. Lynch match at The Royal Rumble. A solid match and probably amongst the best of the women’s revolution up until that time. This was topped by their Wrestlemania triple threat with Sasha Banks.
Things moved on after that, slowly building towards a brand split that defined all involved.
Becky Lynch was the first pick for Smackdown Live. Despite Natalya being the most experienced female member of the roster and debatably the most polished wrestler, the female roster on Smackdown Live was built almost entirely around Becky Lynch. When they announced the creation of the Smackdown Women’s Championship, there was only one person it was ever going to go on.
In a way it was even more fitting based on alignment. Smackdown was the scrappy underdog show, defined by characters like Lynch, Styles and Dean Ambrose who were smaller and more intense. Meanwhile, over on Raw, the landscape was defined by the strong, the proud and the queen.
Even though Sasha Banks won the title from Charlotte on the first night of the brand split, Raw was unquestionably defined by Charlotte Flair. Consistently coming out on top when it mattered, Charlotte continually came out the winner whenever history was made, as she continues to do. Even on different rosters Flair and Lynch were perfect polar opposites and it’s very telling that if the current Survivor Series format had been in place during that first year then the championship match for the women would have been Raw champion Charlotte versus Smackdown champion Lynch.
And then WWE changed it all. Charlotte Flair was moved to Smackdown and changed from heel to face without so much as a conversation. In that moment, Becky Lynch was replaced at the top of the roster. It’s not just that Becky Lynch didn’t get her title back, it’s more that she never even had an opportunity to do so. Over a year later that is still the case.
Flair and Lynch are allies again and for me that makes no sense. Becky Lynch, driven, intense underdog has barely even tried to get back to the top. She has abandoned her pursuit of glory to give her friend her moment. And yet, the last time that these two tangled, it was Becky Lynch that came out on top as the queen laid face down on the mat and tapped out.
A lot of people are fans of the idea that Becky Lynch should be turning heel to refresh her character. While that worked for Nakamura, it would be a fundamental personality change for Lynch to do so. I also suspect that it would fail completely. Back in 1998 you could have Lynch lose the match and attack Flair afterwards in frustration. The crowd would boo, the announcers would mention Lynch’s new attitude and before you know it we’d have a new top heel in the division. With Naomi still being pushed and Asuka coming in Smackdown could absolutely do with some new bad blood at the top of the tree.
It’s 2018 though and doing that is more likely to turn Charlotte Flair heel than Becky Lynch. Seeing something like that from the Lasskicker will just make the crowd cheer all the more ferociously for someone that has always been loved.
These two have a long and storied history. Any match between the two will always deliver and these two are a fitting main event next week on Smackdown. I expect a win for Charlotte, leaving the door open for a briefcase for Becky Lynch but really anything could happen.
Rousey or no, these are the top two women in WWE and that’s exactly how it should be.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: FOCUS YOUR FEUD – Colohue evaluates the Braun Strowman vs. Drew McIntyre feud, the history and the highs and lows so far