‘Now, I’m the man’ – Ireland’s Becky Lynch on conquering the WWE as a female wrestler

Eoghan Moloney

Limerick-born Becky Lynch’s wrestling nickname is ‘The Man’.

Born Rebecca Quin, Becky has scaled the heights of a male-dominated industry and became the first woman ever to win the main event at Wrestlemania – professional wrestling’s blue riband event. She also holds the record for longest holder of the WWE Women’s title.

"For a long time in my industry and other sporting industries, the top person of the industry has been called 'the man' and until now they've been a man.

“I'm often the main event and that's what I strive for. For a long time, the women weren't seen to be main eventers, they weren't seen to be the headlining act. I changed all that — obviously not alone. I wanted to make sure that that was the way going forward, that gender shouldn't be a disqualification.

“Now, I'm The Man, Tommy," Becky told Tommy Tiernan on his Saturday night show on RTÉ.

Tiernan admitted he did not know Lynch, who has millions of social media followers and has performed for years in front of sold out shows in the US and worldwide.

Tiernan also had a small pop at wrestling fans, branding them “eejits”, but Lynch was quick to defend fans of pro wrestling.

“They're invested and they love this because it's storytelling. It's not just grown men roaring.

“The largest crowd I've ever performed in front of was over 100,000. Over 100,000 eejits as you would say.

“That's what we do. It's a craft. It's an art. It's the art of telling the story and bringing the audience on this emotional journey,” Lynch said.

Lynch said she became a huge fan of the sport from an early age during the glory days of the sport when the WWE was in its pomp.

"I was a big fan of wrestling, my brother was watching it on TV when I was seven and I'd dress up in my mam's clothes pretending to be a wrestler. At 12 or 13 I got hooked on it, seeing The Rock and others,” she explained.

As a teenager, Becky started training with pro wrestlers Fergal Devitt and Paul Tracey, along with her brother, in Dublin.

She would go on to team up with her brother in mixed tag team matches during her early career before making it big and signing a contract with the WWE in 2013.

From joining the world’s flagship wrestling enterprise, Lynch’s career went stratospheric, becoming a hit with fans and executives alike. It was not long before she became one of the households names in wrestling.