9. Vs. Alexa Bliss (SmackDown Live, 27 December 2016)
Lynch invoked her rematch clause against new Women’s Champion Bliss on the final SmackDown of 2016, and it was a much better match than the so-so tables match that Bliss won the title in at TLC weeks earlier. This one was focused a little less on gimmickry (aside from La Luchadora’s interference), and more on the intense dislike shared by the combatants.
Lynch, as one would figure, worked over Alexa’s arm with hungry focus, contorting the limb to the point of bending the elbow the opposite way (a gnarly visual, thanks to Alexa’s double-jointedness). La Luchadora’s interference would be the difference maker, bringing to an end 14 strong minutes of simple storytelling, the sort of matches that SmackDown was delivering in droves over a muddled Raw product.
8. Vs. Mickie James (Elimination Chamber 2017)
Born out of the unmasking of La Luchadora to reveal returning veteran James, Lynch would end up locking horns with one of the more memorable female stars of the late-Ruthless Aggression era. What could have been a total throwaway match in order to give Lynch some token comeuppance over Bliss’ new henchwoman ended up being a rather nifty PPV opener.
The match began hot enough, before Mickie got the heat by working over the arm, followed by a rather strong flurry of a finish that concluded with Becky countering her way into a pinning combo for the win. I was fascinated by just how timeless Mickie looked (as good as she was 11 years earlier), but really, it’s just two highly-skilled, instinctual women putting on the prototypical PPV opening match, and it worked.
7. Vs Sasha Banks (Main Event, 10 November 2015)
Once in a while, the “filler” shows can be a haven for some very good under-the-radar matches, and one such bout took place in Manchester, England during WWE’s annual November tour of the region. Lynch and Banks were no stranger to one another (more on that later on), and would cross paths here, with Naomi and Tamina backing up Sasha.
The action builds through a series of impressive spots, such as Lynch face-planting on the apron off of a wild arm twist, and Lynch countering out of a modified Chinlock by getting Banks up in the Electric Chair, before dropping her onto the buckles. A distraction from Naomi plays a small part in setting up Banks’ win, in which she escapes a Pumphandle lift, and gets the Banks Statement. With minimal storyline BS to hinder the action any, it was a fine showing from outside the main narrative.