I wanted to dive into this topic the minute that it happened, but I felt that I needed to have a couple weeks to mull it over prior to passing judgment.
It is without question that the WWE is MUCH BETTER off for Nia Jax having busted Becky Lynch’s nose. Here’s my analysis:
The Eternal Optimist Presents: Did Nia Jax Knock Out The WWE’s Problems When She Knocked Becky’s Nose Off Her Face?
The Effect On Becky Lynch:
Sure, Becky was reaching bullet proof status long before she had her nose busted by Jax. The segment was already great before it happened, but the images of Becky standing tall at the top of the arena with her nose bent sideways and blood streaming down her face are the type that create legends. Without her face being busted, I don’t think we point to this moment and definitely state that it is the moment that Becky became “the man”.
On top of that, she was being set up to take an L against Rousey. She was just going to be a stop on Ronda’s path to Wrestlemania before she was slid to the side and positioned for at best, the secondary female story line going into Mania season. Now, people are dying to see her and Rousey lock up, and there is not a Wrestlemania main event that doesn’t involve the two of them going at it.
Becky is absolutely better off.
The Effect On Nia Jax:
Is there any question that Nia is better off as well? She was a heatless also-ran on Raw. Now, she’s a monster that’s getting booed out of the building every night. You can try to frame the boos as “get off my television boos”, but crowd reaction is crowd reaction to me. She’s getting main event heel heat.
She was likely to be fodder for Rousey at TLC and de-pushed into obscurity. Now, she can run with the “facebreaker” gimmick and the future interaction between her and Becky Lynch becomes VERY interesting. I think Jax is in a good position to be in the final two at the Royal Rumble and I care a lot more about what she does now than I did prior to the punch.
Nia is much better off as well.
The Effect On Ronda Rousey:
The WWE made a tactical error in booking Ronda Rousey against Becky Lynch at Survivor Series. They have a vested interest in keeping her cheered through Wrestlemania. They had carefully picked her opponents prior with the idea that she would be cheered against them all.
That changed with Becky. The fans were revolting against her and there wasn’t anything that the WWE could do about it. They weren’t going to have her lose to Becky and a win of any kind would have been met with vitriol.
The punch changed that. The WWE was able to reverse course on their error in judgment. Rousey was always going to be facing Nia Jax at TLC. However, instead of a match between a wrestler that the fans were revolting against and a wrestler no one cared about, Rousey is now in a position to be cheered due to the current hatred towards Jax.
Again, Becky’s face being broken had a tremendously positive impact on Ronda Rousey.
The Effect On Charlotte Flair:
Charlotte is already the most accomplished female in WWE history. Her body of work is unmatched. However, the entire story line with Becky was absolute poison to her. She was positioned to be everything that was wrong with the WWE – the established star taking away the underground hero’s opportunity. She was on the fast track to becoming the female Roman Reigns.
The WWE was going to have a real problem on their hands if they tried to move Becky aside and run with Ronda v Charlotte at Wrestlemania. Becky’s injury forced the WWE to flip the script, get creative and give us the Charlotte v Ronda match early. A great match and tremendous angle ensued and Charlotte is back to being as red hot as ever. We’re now at a point where Ronda v Becky and Ronda v Charlotte are MONEY matches, and it’s safe to say that the long term impact that the Becky feud could have had on Charlotte has been minimized.
Charlotte Flair is 100% better off.
The Effect On Daniel Bryan:
As I’ve reiterated over and over again in previous columns, Daniel Bryan’s return was going nowhere fast. His character was stale and he was receiving diminishing returns on his crowd reaction week after week.
While I believe that a heel turn was inevitable and likely would have led to a world title win, I believe that the WWE pushed up the timetable significantly as a result of the injury to Becky. Without Becky on the card, the WWE brass felt that they needed a more fan-friendly main event for Survivor Series.
Daniel Bryan v Brock Lesnar seemed like a pipe dream a month ago but Becky’s injury made it a reality. Bryan is now the world champ and the focus of the show. His promos went from bland and vanilla to piercing and powerful overnight. While he may have eventually turned heel anyway, enough time could have passed where the damage was irreversible. Instead, he’s become red hot again overnight.
Daniel Bryan has derived a tremendous benefit from Nia smashing Becky’s nose.
The Effect on A.J. Styles:
While A.J.’s current title run was impressive in length, it paled in comparison to his prior title run for the simple reason that he had very little to work with. His feud with Samoa Joe was great, but he was saddled in a messy and uninspiring storylines with Shinsuke Nakamura and Kevin Owens for the better part of a year.
A.J. had become a champion who was treated as an upper mid-carder. There wasn’t anything that could be done to make his title reign better. I don’t think the role of dominant champion suited him particularly well. On the other hand, underdog chasing the gold is perfect for him. Another downstream effect of Lynch’s injury and Brian’s heel turn is that Styles has a red hot heel to chase in a main event story. A.J. Styles v Daniel Bryan can main event any PPV at any time and no one would bat an eyelash.
A.J. Styles has also received benefit from Nia’s Fist of Fury.
The Effect On Full Time Wrestlers & The Universal Title.
The Universal Title situation on Raw turned into a complete mess over the past couple of months. When Roman Reigns went down with leukemia, the WWE was forced to choose between putting the title on Braun Strowman and making him feel like a champion by convenience rather than a worthy one or putting the title back on Lesnar and re-visiting the part time nightmare.
They wisely chose to put the belt back on Lesnar rather than to potentially ruin Strowman for good. Now, they are in desperate need to make the new “man” on Raw. As mentioned earlier, Ronda Rousey v Charlotte wasn’t looking like a viable Wrestlemania main event prior to the Becky Lynch injury. This was going to force the WWE to take drastic measures and put The Rock against Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title at Wrestlemania. Without a viable main event on the women’s side, the WWE needed a bonafide dream match on the men’s side as the main event.
As a result of Becky’s injury, the WWE absolutely has their Wrestlemania main event. Becky v Ronda is a no-brainer. If Charlotte gets added to make it a triple threat – that works too. This gives the WWE a TREMENDOUS amount of flexibility for the Universal Title at Wrestlemania.
If they decide to have Braun win the Rumble and dethrone Lesnar at Wrestlemania, great. If they want Braun to beat Lesnar at the Royal Rumble and have him drop the belt to McIntyre at Mania, that works for me. If they go with the rumored plan to have Seth Rollins take out Lesnar at Wrestlemania, that’s awesome. NONE of these matches could have been big enough to be the Wrestlemania main event, but they all are on the table now.
Yes, again – the entire Raw roster took benefit from Becky’s face getting smashed.
That’s a wrap kids. We’re going to look at Nia’s botch as the beacon of light that rescued the WWE from the abyss. Thank you for reading. Agree or disagree? Sound off below!
I can best be reached on Twitter @The_Eternal_Optimist