Becky Lynch is back in WWE and she’s a champion again.
She was the surprise replacement for Sasha Banks in the SmackDown women’s championship match at SummerSlam at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Lynch defeated champion Bianca Belair in seconds with a punch out of the handshake and a Man-handle slam for her fifth world title reign.
Banks wrestling on the card was uncertain after she and Belair were pulled from recent house shows for ‘unforeseen circumstances” It was reported both could be cleared in time, but Wrestling Inc. reported during the show the Banks was unable to go.
WWE didn’t announce Banks was not competing until Belair was in the ring and Carmella was named her opponent. Belair looked as disappointed as the crowd sounded that that was the case. Then Lynch’s music blared for the first time in 16 months and the crowd went absolutely bananas. Lynch beat up Carmella and asked Belair: “What do you say the EST and the Man blow the roof off this joint for the SmackDown women’s championship.” She quickly took it from her in a very questionable booking decision.
It was Lynch’s first appearance on WWE programming since she vacated the Raw women’s championship to Asuka in May of 2020 and announced she was pregnant. Her last match came when she defeated Shayna Baszler for the Raw women’s title at WrestleMania 36 in 2020.
Since then, the 34-year-old Lynch and husband Seth Rollins welcomed their daughter Raux in December and were married in June. Lynch, who calls herself “The Man” , teased returns at the Royal Rumble, posting a photo of the backstage curtain and did so again prior to Money in the Bank – putting a picture of herself outside Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas where both the pay-per-view and Raw was held. She did not appear until tonight.
Her return comes at a time when WWE is looking for a spark to boost ratings and momentum as fans have returned. Lynch became one of WWE’s biggest stars and most recognizable personalities in the mainstream starting in August 2018 and culminating with her beating Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair in the main event of WrestleMania 35 to become a double champion at MetLife Stadium in April 2019. It was the first time a women’s match to headline WWE’s signature show.