In America, Via Pro Wrestling, A Hot, Blonde Housewife Solves Everything
Lacey Evans winning a WWE championship title actually means more than you’d think.
For ten plus years, the meekest Americans have inherited the Earth. Black Americans, Brown Americans, Gay Americans, Lesbian Americans, Transgendered Americans, Disabled Americans, and more all had much greater access to defining the global sociocultural zeitgeist than ever before. And what has happened? All of these hyphenated-Americans have steered so much of America’s conversation from the country’s white, cisgendered, heterosexual, and God-fearing traditions that well, America doesn’t feel like it did for 230 years, which for many, is actually terrifying. However, potentially more than the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, it’s if Lacey Evans can best Becky Lynch for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship at World Wrestling Entertainment’s “Money in the Bank” event on May 19, 2019, there’s a righting to the order of the universe that occurs for discovering current America’s metaphysical strength —based in classic American “strength” blended with it’s modern “meekness” — that might portend where America is positively headed.
Yes, professional wrestling is a pre-determined and entertainment-based athletic confrontation. But, when a character like Lacey Evans hits the scene, things absolutely get a bit, well, “real.” Lacey Evans is played by Macey Estrella-Kadlec, a 29-year old, Georgia-born, ex-military police officer in the U.S. Marines. Mrs. Estrella-Kadlec is married to the same man she started dating at the age of 14, and they are the parents of a young daughter. Reports of them owning a dog named Boo and a white-picket-fenced rambler home in a gated, planned community are greatly exaggerated.
If looking for a human being better suited for preserving the aesthetic of idyllic Americana, there’s likely no better candidate than Lacey Evans. Evans is oftentimes presented while wearing vintage dresses, gaudy Sunday church hats, white gloves, and speaking about her hatred of “nasty women” with “no manners.” Double down on that with this woman being a physical marvel who constantly posts on social media about how much she loves making sandwiches for her husband and is seen traveling with her daughter and wearing matching vintage outfits and the level of domestic doyenne that Evans reaches is infuriating. The coup de grace? Her finishing maneuver, a closed fist strike to the face that she calls, “The Woman’s Right.”
Evans’ opponent at May 19th’s “Money In The Bank” event is Becky Lynch. Lynch, a significantly shorter and less glossily presented performer than the ex-Marine, is known as “The Man,” which is not a nod to any sort of gender conversation. Her sobriquet is rather an assertion that she’s the best performer, male or female, in an industry that has been dominated by men for over a century. Thus, “The Man” is the name she must claim by which to define her greatness. Her rise to being the champion of both WWE’s Raw and Smackdown programs is ultimately a story some two years in the telling. featuring ups, downs, twists, and turns that culminated on April 4, when at the main event of WrestleMania 35, Lynch defeated eight-time WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair and former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion and UFC Hall of Famer Ronda Rousey to win both championships.
Lacey Evans versus Becky Lynch is a matchup drawn straight out of central casting. Evans, the living embodiment of the last gasp of the classic American ideal versus Lynch, the “Irish Lasskicker” who represents what happens when meek Americans and their left of center and hard-earned progressivism, globalizes. As much as Evans winning should happen, Lynch’s popularity is equally as important. Darkness cannot exist without light and it is in finding the balance between the two where the true next best thing for WWE, and honestly America itself, exists.
Counter-intuitive underdog Becky Lynch’s rise to winning two women’s championships in one night in the main event of pro wrestling’s biggest spectacle comes five years after another counter-intuitive underdog, Daniel Bryan, won two world championships in one night in the main event of WrestleMania 30. This five-year span for WWE has seen a growth in the company creating stars and pushing creative narratives that exist far outside of the traditional norms of the company. This also includes the company’s World Heavyweight Champion, for the first time in history, being Kofi Kingston, a full-blooded African-American, as well as the company resurrecting its Women’s Tag Team Championships after three decades. For fanatical followers of the company, this turn opened the door to the idea that true diversity and an awareness of modern realities could be on the horizon. However, pro wrestling, at all times, is the best mirror for the entirety — not just cutting left-leaning edge — of society.
At the same time as WWE is boldly pushing forth into fantastic new sociocultural frontiers, this is also a company that, for the next decade, will be hosted for lucrative-for-WWE events in the human rights violation zone known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As well, Fox — yes, the same network aligned with the most vitriolic of conservative, right-wing values — will be, starting in October, broadcasting WWE Smackdown. This, alongside the fact that the oft-denigrated Susan G. Komen Foundation is a key WWE sponsor. This definitely opens the door to the thought that for as many steps WWE takes to the left, they take equal, or more, to the right.
Macey Estrella-Kadlec’s character Lacey Evans is hugely important to WWE’s future. The ability for World Wrestling Entertainment to successfully establish itself as a left-leaning entertainment vehicle is, given pro wrestling’s historical bent towards both ribald storytelling and more conservative notions of American popular culture, truly impressive. However, to be a company that truly is able to encompass all people at all times, it is inherently important that the company invest equal, or more time in solidifying the industry’s traditional fanbase. Thus, getting to a point where a woman who calls herself “The Man” is wrestling a hubby-loving and sandwich-making homemaker who values her “woman’s right,” is a showcase of another level of potential growth in creating the space for renewed interest in the art and sport of professional wrestling, especially from WWE.
Pro wrestling, especially given our current American President’s affinity for the business and its practices as a political strategy, is a wonderful mirror for understanding American life-at-present. Clearly, given the amount of strife and struggle, there is in the world, the 2016 election serving as swift destruction of the meek who inherited America, its values, and its global perception, was unexpected. Bravely, wrestling, in the past half-decade, has served as the last remaining bastion of joy for meek underdogs seeking to live their best American lives. But wrestling is not just a mirror for self, it’s a mirror for society, and thus, for every Becky Lynch, a Lacey Evans must exist, too.
But just as with the epic, “Attitude Era” battles between slick “corporate champion” The Rock and blue-collar, beer-swilling, DIY anti-hero “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, there’s something of our greatest selves to be found in accepting both who we love and what we hate as having equal, and shared space in our existence. For every “Woman’s Right,” there’s a liberal left, for every woman-as-“The Man,” there’s a man-loving woman. It’s best to allow the spaces in between to exist and be awed by the captivating entertainment that ensues. Moreover, it’s when that entertainment is allowed to grow, uniquely develop, and emerge as something truly greater than itself where the crucible for a larger cultural conversation about who, what, and how America can resemble, respect, and resolve America’s future can exist.
But, yes. If looking for the true starting point for the discussion of America’s future, don’t look at the 25 Democratic Presidential nominees squawking all over social media. Hope, without a shadow of a doubt, that the next World Wrestling Entertainment Raw Women’s Champion “acts like a lady.”