Saturday night’s victory over a second member of MMA’s “Four Riders” – “two by two, two to do,” as Lynch told Jay Harris on SportsCenter Sunday morning – happened in radically different circumstances. of his victory at WrestleMania 35. After celebrating his revolutionary victory in 2019 with an announced crowd of more than 80,000 people at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, no fan was present at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando on Saturday.
Restrictions to curb the spread of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic prevented WrestleMania 36 from taking place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, as scheduled. But for Lynch, his match against Baszler is just as important in his heart as his victory a year ago.
“Last night was one of the most important games for me, especially at that time, because I know I got to where I am because of my fans, thanks to the support I got from them, “said Lynch. . “Without them being there, I wanted to make them proud. I wanted to imagine that they were there, to imagine that they were encouraging me. “
WWE has pre-recorded all WrestleMania 36 games in an effort to minimize the risk to their performers, and this has left wrestlers in the unique position of being at home to watch the biggest show on the WWE calendar they are watching. were producing. Although the reasons for the change were unfortunate, the silver lining was that most of the talent was active and engaged with their fans on social media throughout the show.
“It was different because that’s not how you usually feel about WrestleMania,” said Lynch. “But you know, it was really cool because I think especially now, when there is so little to do, you have something to do where everyone can get together [online] and look in their individual houses – [for them] to be able to send you a message, and [being able] to respond positively.
“It’s great, and I’ve been able to do the same with some of my favorite games – mainly the Boneyard game. “
Regarding the game itself, Lynch was satisfied with the performances she and Baszler had achieved, especially given the circumstances.
“You can see it – it was a hard-hitting match,” said Lynch. “You can also hear it. We fought each other. It’s as hard as hell. “
Lynch faced many challenges in the last few weeks before WrestleMania, mostly around the unprecedented circumstances of filming Monday Night Raw. But there was also the big drill truck, which was covered with pictures of his face and name, that Lynch drove to the Performance Center on his arrival at WrestleMania.
“It’s a big monstrosity to drive,” she said. “I learned that day how to drive, and I didn’t run over anyone, no car, or anything like that – I didn’t meet anyone, so I thought I was fine, I would say. “
It was another one in a list of unlikely things that Lynch has enjoyed and enjoyed in the past 12 months. His rise in WWE extended far beyond his borders as “The Man” broke into the mainstream in a big way, and Lynch struggled to rank all the opportunities that his streak of success has enabled him.
“The SmackDown on Fox with The Rock was quite special. Learn to drink beer with Stone Cold Steve Austin. … There have been many moments, ”said Lynch. “Learn to share the ring with my fiancée Seth Rollins. Advertise SportsCenter and have my face on a cereal box. Be on the cover of Muscle and Fitness and ESPN The Magazine. WWE video game coverage. It’s just been a surreal moment after a surreal moment. “
The WWE machine never seems to stop, even with the rest of the sports and entertainment world largely locked in for the foreseeable future. We do not know what will follow for Lynch and the female division of Raw, except for a potential no clear path in the female division of Monday Night Raw, except for Baszler who could take revenge.
For its part, Lynch’s list of dream opponents continues to grow.
“Beth Phoenix – I would love to fight Beth. [There are plenty of women] I’d like to fight more – Asuka, Nattie, Bayley, Sasha, “she said.” And then we don’t know who we’re going to see from NXT coming to Raw. So it will be interesting too. “
With her match already on the books, Lynch looks forward to watching Night 2 of WrestleMania 36 as a fan – and one game in particular that she looks forward to.
“Edge versus Randy Orton, Last Man Standing,” said Lynch. “It’s just, what a story for Edge to come back after being told he’s never going to fight again, and after nine years … watching his entry into the Royal Rumble always makes me goosebumps, makes me tears in my eyes. I know how much it means to him. “