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Saturday 10 December 2016

Ex-Aer Lingus hostess Becky is WWE champion

Becky Lynch in the ring
Becky Lynch in the ring

A former Aer Lingus flight attendant has taken home one of the highest honours in professional wrestling.

Dublin-born Becky Lynch made history when she was crowned WWE SmackDown Women's Champion on Sunday night.

The Baldoyle woman (29) - whose real name is Rebecca Quinn - has been wrestling since she was 15 years old.

She won the women's world title at the pay-per-view event known as Backlash.

Describing the win as "a dream come true", the red-haired fighter moved to Canada when she was just 18 to pursue her dreams of becoming a professional wrestler.

However, before she was headlining the biggest events on the wrestling calendar, 'Becky Lynch' was better known around North Dublin as an avid sports fan who was willing to try her hand at anything.

Having grown up horse riding, swimming and playing basketball, the Baldoyle woman enrolled in a wrestling school when she was still a teenager.

After moving to Canada opportunities arose that took her to Japan, Germany and France to perform.

Damage

However, after suffering cranial nerve damage and breaking both her ankles in the ring in 2005, the Dublin fighter left behind the world of pro wrestling for several years to pursue other avenues.

Using this time to obtain a degree in acting from Dublin Institute of Technology, she also worked for Aer Lingus as a flight attendant for two-and-a-half years, and acted as a stuntwoman on the TV show 'Vikings' during this period.

Unable to keep away from the ring, she returned to wrestling and was eventually signed to WWE's NXT - a programme used to develop promising talent for the company - in 2013.

Following in the footsteps of Dubliner Sheamus and Bray native Fergal Devitt, who performs under the ring name Finn Balor, the popular WWE wrestler was the first Irish woman to be signed by the company.

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