Right, let’s just get this out of the way. WWE Champion Daniel Bryan; trailblazing fan favourite Becky Lynch. They’re both dropped on an island with 22 other competitors, forced to kill one another for sport and entertainment. Sports entertainment, if you will.
As we hurtle along the road to WrestleMania, Becky’s current storyline has drawn clear comparisons with that of five years ago – Daniel Bryan’s thrilling march to championship glory. So we’re asking the obvious question of who would do better in a Hunger Games scenario.
We’ve narrowed this down to a few easily-digestible categories. Although initially tempted by the Robot Wars system of style, control, damage, and aggression, we’ve opted instead for:
- Physical Attributes
Whoever wins in the most categories would last longer in a Hunger Games setting. That will be set in stone, and you mustn’t question it.
Before we begin, I would like to point out that yes, the Hunger Games franchise borrows heavily from Koushun Takami’s Battle Royale – and yes, it probably would have made more sense to base this article around the originator. It’s named after the match type, after all.
On the other hand, asking who’d win a Battle Royale between Becky Lynch and Daniel Bryan would just cause confusion, wouldn’t it?
Now that’s out of the way, without any further ado, let’s take a look at our first category.
1 – Physical Attributes
Going by their billed attributes, Bryan has the basic advantage, standing four inches taller than Lynch at 5’10”. He also heavily outweighs the Irishwoman, weighing in at approximately 210lbs to her 135.
However, if you look at the pair next to one another, I’m not sure the difference is that great. Wrestlers often have their stats exaggerated for obvious reasons (to make them seem like big ol’ superheroes), and that rule especially counts in the case of male Superstars.
Furthermore, I think that the way Becky uses her physicality is more conducive to victory in a Hunger Games setting. It’s fair to suggest that both are technical wrestlers, but while Lynch dabbles in submissions and whatnot, she’s far more of a brute than the current WWE Champion. She loves a suplex, carting her opponents around the ring with regularity, and although Bryan arguably has the edge in terms of strikes, The Man has recently added a devastating right hand to her arsenal. (Possibly in preparation for the Hunger Games; reports are inconclusive at this time.)
Neither can be considered true high-fliers, but Bryan takes to the skies with more regularity than his opponent here – often incorporating suicide dives into his moveset. I actually think that’s a disadvantage. You don’t want to be hurling yourself down a grassy bank in the Hunger Games. That’s a recipe for disaster.
Winner: Becky Lynch
2 – Skills
Right, here’s where our boy D-Bry comes into his own. As he’s made abundantly clear during his recent heel run, Bryan is a man of nature. His finely-tuned survival skills would absolutely give him a huge advantage during the gruelling middle-period of the Games.
Imagine trying to find and kill professional wrestler Daniel Bryan in a natural environment. He might have retreated into the forest and built a shelter. Maybe he’s scaled a tree and is living there now, at one with the assorted creatures of the Hunger Games universe. The mockingjays, for example. (They’re the only species I can remember without Googling.)
Now I’m not doubting Becky’s credentials when it comes to surviving in the wild. She’s a far tougher human than I could ever hope to be, and also used to look like the protagonist of a steampunk RPG. That certainly makes me think she could handle herself in the wild, at least to a decent degree.
However, the question I ask you is this: who did we see chopping wood on a reality TV show with ease? I think that speaks for itself.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
3 – Ruthlessness
Clearly a big part of the Hunger Games is how much of an absolute bastard you’re willing to be – not just in terms of killing your fellow competitors, but also the use of chicanery to secure an advantage. It’s the law of the jungle out there (regardless of whether a jungle environment is indeed the theme of any given edition. I’m fully aware that sometimes it’s a tropical island or a snowy mountain or whatever.)
At the time of writing, despite Lynch’s anti-hero tendencies, only Bryan can be considered a heel out of the pair. Not only that, but he’s been a heel at more points in his WWE career. We have the modern day version, the over-confident World Heavyweight Champion, and the hairy ball of fury with anger issues. Let’s also not forget that he debuted as a member of the villainous Nexus.
Becky may have turned heel last year (despite everybody absolutely loving it), but she’s spent the vast majority of her WWE run as a smiling babyface. She might not be quite as friendly these days, but I’m not sure she’s had time to develop a truly rotten core. Her relatively brief NXT heel period aside, Lynch’s recent mean streak was her first foray into heeldom since becoming a WWE Superstar. It’s not enough, I’m afraid. It’s just not enough.
(Also Bryan choked out Justin Roberts with his own tie, and it got him in lots of trouble. That’s a total Hunger Games move.)
Winner: Daniel Bryan
4 – Luck
Luck plays a part in many aspects of life, and hypothetical wrestling/Hunger Games scenarios are no exception.
Crucially, Becky Lynch is Irish. I didn’t invent the stereotype, I’m just reinforcing it. I realise that’s almost as bad.
In almost entirely the opposite sense, Daniel Bryan is from Washington state. It’s a notoriously rainy part of America, and it’s also where grunge music originated – hardly the most happy-go-lucky genre of music out there. Becky takes this one in a landslide.
Winner: Becky Lynch
5 – Popularity
With the scores tied at 2-2 heading into the final round, it all comes down to the only category that has any real-world relevance at this current time. What a happy coincidence, I can’t believe it.
In the Hunger Games, popularity encourages the viewing public to buy their favourites certain perks and gifts – things that give them an advantage in the contest.
That isn’t the case in professional wrestling, although it would be nice to see a crowdfunded chainsaw lowered into Rollins’ possession during his match with Lesnar. Instead, the popularity of a certain wrestler can really make-or-break a career-defining storyline at this time of year.
Both Lynch and Bryan have had amazing reactions in the build to their respective WrestleMania main events (assuming Becky finds a way back into the Raw Women’s title match). The ‘Yes!’ movement provided some truly awe-inspiring segments in the build to WrestleMania XXX, while it’s likely that this year’s edition will be synonymous with Lynch’s journey.
At this moment in time, I’m hesitant to suggest that Becky’s crowd reactions (however raucous) are on the same level as Bryan’s in 2014. However, she’s truly firing on all cylinders right now, and is potentially the most charismatic figure in all of wrestling at the moment. This means that it could all change between now and April.
However, as things stand, I’m going to have to award this category to Daniel Bryan – meaning that he is the outright winner of our inaugural Hunger Games wrestler-off.
Outright Winner: Daniel Bryan
Commiserations Becky. I’m sure she’s devastated.