WWE's Becky Lynch Recalls Working In A Bar, Studying Acting In Chicago

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Becky Lynch enters WrestleMania 40 in April challenging Rhea Ripley for what could be her seventh world title reign in WWE. But long before her stardom, "The Man" made ends meet working at an Irish pub in Manhattan, while also living above one. Lynch spent the summer of 2010 in New York City while studying at college, hoping to build connections, and starting by trawling the streets in search of work. 


"I just walked around ... [looking for] anything that had an Irish flag or had an Irish name or a little harp outside," Lynch told The New York Post ahead of the March 26 release of her book "Becky Lynch: The Man — Not Your Average Average Girl." Lynch's first prospect came at Shades of Green in Gramercy Park. They weren't looking to hire, but the bartender, also from Ireland, suggested she rent the room upstairs, which cost $500 a month. "The room had a sink, twin bed and barely enough room to put a suitcase," Lynch explained, "There was a communal shower and toilet down the hall."

Even still, Lynch jumped at the chance. Having arrived in New York with just $2,000, she had spent $600, but couldn't quite explain how, "I don't know on what. I was paying $35 in this hostel up at Columbus Circle. And I had to buy a phone. I have no idea where the money went." About a week later, Lynch finally landed a role as a waitress at Hibernia on West 50th Street in Hell's Kitchen. "The place was like Cheers," she recalled, "I was their first experience in hiring a waitress. I wasn't the best, but I could banter, so the customers liked me, tipped me and it meant I kept my job."


Pursuing an acting career

Lynch debuted as a professional wrestler in 2002 after five months of training, at only 15-years-old. By 2006, she had worked the indies in Europe and Japan, but put her career on hold after sustaining a major concussion competing in Germany. It was in this hiatus from the ring that Lynch tried her hand at different jobs, including the aforementioned waitress role, and a two-year stint as a flight attendant. Still wanting to entertain audiences, she had thought spending time in New York City would allow her to pursue an acting career. 


"I figured, 'Maybe I can get into the theater space somehow, maybe something will take off.' It didn't, but I did make a lot of connections, and I did make memories that last a lifetime," Lynch reflected. Lynch relocated to Chicago, attending Columbia College to study acting in 2011, and had planned to return to New York. 

Weeks before she was going to leave, Becky Lynch landed stunt work on the "Vikings" TV show, and returned to a friend's wrestling gym to train for the role. She was encouraged during this time to try out for WWE, going on to do so in Birmingham, England, and impressing the likes of William Regal and Jim Ross. She signed a developmental deal with WWE in 2013, marking a swift return to wrestling at the highest level, and the rest has been history, with Lynch not only earning a litany of accolades, but also meeting her husband, Seth Rollins, and welcoming their daughter Roux into the world in 2020.