Was it the ‘Facebreakers’ target that bothered you, or are you really that concerned with wrestler’s safety?
It’s sequel time everybody! A few weeks I asked the same question about Brie Bella and after what happened this past Monday we find ourselves once again with an injured lady wrestler, this time Becky Lynch, and another angry mob coming for the woman who inflicted that upon her. This time that woman is Nia Jax and you can’t help but notice some similarities in the way that she’s being treated by some corners of wrestling fandom in the aftermath. Instead of acknowledging that yes, she did mess up here and that yes, accidents do happen in there the sustained vitriol several days after the fact just raises a red flag for me like it did with Brie. In a lot of cases you can read between the lines of what some people are saying and come to the conclusion that they’re not really that mad about what happened so much as they are mad about who it happened to and who did it.
As you know Becky is the hottest thing going in WWE right now and was all set to take on Ronda Rousey this Sunday at Survivor Series before she was injured. When she came out on Monday night Wrestling Twitter and the arena totally lit up, and the YouTube clip of her entire performance put up Roman Reigns level viewing numbers. She’s also been sparking some shall we say special invigoration in certain fans as you can see by a lot of the tweets out there about her every week. So by sidelining her Nia didn’t just injure someone she took the hottest act in the company out of a big match and damaged the object of a lot of fans desire as well. Which means the capes are getting put on, the torches are being lit, and the keyboard are getting overworked. Nia didn’t just cause an injury she hurt our Becky and now she deserves to be punished for it because when you hurt our warrior queen who makes us feel all tingly inside you hurt us, too!
But it’s not just about that. It’s also about who did it. Like Nikki and Brie, Nia is a frequent target of some wrestling fans who can’t stand her even without anything to criticize because in both their cases these fans believe they are being told they have to like and respect all of them as women and wrestlers or else they are terrible people. Nikki and Brie came from the now vilified Divas era where women were hired to look good more than wrestle good, while they see Nia as a PR campaign about body positivity dressed up in wrestling attire. They’re tired of feeling like they can’t tell the “truth” about these women without being labeled haters or sexists or something else. As with Brie we’re seeing:
- Complaints that she only has a job because of connections and not talent. In her case it’s being part of the Rock’s cousin as opposed to Brie being married to Daniel Bryan. (One day we’re going to have that conversation about whose nepotism is heartwarming and whose is an outrage)
- On the spot recounting of every time she’s botched a move during a match or hurt someone, complete with gif threads on Twitter to reinforce just how awful she must be (they did trust her in a singles match with Ronda Rousey so she can’t be that terrible, though).
- Insinuations that it wasn’t an accident at all, that she deliberately cold cocked Becky like a few tinfoil hat wearers claimed that Brie might have shoot kicked Liv Morgan in the face. (Right………)
- Calls for her to be fired or sent back to developmental until she gets it together, punctuated with a whole lot of ‘she’s not a rookie so at this point why is she even in there if she can’t do it right?’ takes. (Given Daniel Bryan’s recounting of the times he injured people when he came out to defend his wife maybe he should go back, too….)
- Complaints that she’s taking a spot from someone more deserving – Brie and Nikki got in the main event at Evolution and Nia got a RAW Women’s Title run while Sasha Banks, Bayley, Ruby Riot and Ember Moon all got relegated to tag matches and multiwoman matches all year. (Yeah I’m sure you would have really loved any of the ‘more deserving’ ladies to essentially serve as a plot device to get the RAW Women’s Title to Ronda like Nia did or tapping out clean to Ronda at Evolution like Nikki did.)
Now from where I’m sitting yes, Nia messed up on Monday and isn’t immune from some admonishing over it. But as a fan once you get that out then let it go. Even if you have video evidence of her hurting people, that doesn’t make her the destroyer of women wrestlers like you’re saying. She’s no more that than Owen Hart was the man who almost ended the Attitude Era before it started. Owen did not have contrived reputation for being unsafe and yet had an accident that could have brought about an entirely different ending to the Monday Night Wars and changed the entire landscape of wrestling as a whole. However things shake out with Nia Jax has not put Becky Lynch, the WWE or the wrestling business in that kind of jeopardy. And they sold T-Shirts with ‘I just broke your neck’ for Owen so don’t be surprised if Shooter Nia becomes a thing now.
And lastly, if she’d done this to Lana or Dana Brooke or Alicia Fox I guarantee none of you riding to Becky’s rescue now would be doing the same, Likewise if Bayley had done this to Becky y’all wouldn’t be as mad either. Selective outrage rules the day as always. After all Brock straight blasted Braun Strowman last January with a stiff punch to the head and we laughed about it. Guys like Vader were known for punching guys for real, on purpose, and we treat them like stories from around the campfire. How giddy were a lot of us at the mere idea that Brock may have gone into business for himself against Randy Orton at Summerslam 2016, and later on thought it was the coolest thing ever that even Jericho didn’t know it was a work and went off backstage? We live for this stuff…..until someone we like catches it. Or someone we don’t like delivers it. Then it’s a problem.
Now as a fan of Becky’s I hope she recovers without missing a lot of time, but as a fan of Nia’s I’m hoping she gets through this without taking stupid tweets or comments to heart. And as with all things wrestling, it’s going to get both of them more buzz and put some more heat on the eventual Becky-Nia confrontation, and it saved Becky a possible defeat at Survivor Series while possibly getting her a main event at WrestleMania. So as long as she’s ok healthwise, I’d call that a win.
So tell me again, just why are you so mad?