Where Did It Go Wrong With Lacey Evans?

12/28/2023 7:54 AM

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Where Did It Go Wrong With Lacey Evans?

Where Did It Go Wrong With Lacey Evans?

December 28, 2023 7:54 AM
Where Did It Go Wrong With Lacey Evans?
WWE News

How one of the most promising rising stars in WWE turned out to be a failure.

When Lacey Evans first made her debut on the main roster in 2019, nobody knew that she would be one of Vince's biggest supporters. However, for a brief period, it appeared that Lacey Evans would be one of the pioneers for the next generation of women in WWE. 

Evans wasn’t as experienced as Becky Lynch or Charlotte Flair, but she fell into the stereotypical trope of the kind of women Vince McMahon liked. Though she may have been pushed too quickly, there’s no denying that the “Sassy Southern Bell” had tons of charisma that would’ve taken her very far. But ultimately, it wasn’t meant to be. As soon as Lacey Evans left for her pregnancy, her career was never the same, though a big component of that is due to Vince McMahon being forced out of the company. 

Lacey Evans Was Fast-Tracked To The Main Roster Too Soon

The “Sassy Southern Bell” Gimmick was fine for what it was and Evans had a knack for getting genuine heat. However, her in-ring skills were not on par with her mic skills. Still, there have been plenty of times Vince brought up someone from developmental too soon and that wrestler got better as time passed by. 

But WWE had names like Rhea Ripley and Toni Storm down in NXT during this time. So Lacey Evans stuck out like a sore thumb because girls with better in-ring skills were still waiting for their chance to be called to the main roster.

Nevertheless, Lacey wasn’t bad by any means, but she was fast-tracked into a feud against Becky Lynch following WrestleMania 35. The feud was okay as Evans shined as a personality; however, their matches weren’t anything to write home about. 

Evans became a decent hand in the ring, but she was never a wrestler fans clamored to see. It always felt that Vince was pushing one of his favorites instead of someone who genuinely earned their shot feuding with top names like Becky or Sasha. This is no disrespect to Ms. Evans as I’m sure she worked her butt off behind-the-scenes to get better inside of the ring, but there was never a moment where it was her time to be champion. 

Lacey Evans Came Close To Being One Of The Most Compelling Heel Acts In Years

Fast forward to 2021, and it appeared that Lacey Evans was on the cusp of winning the Smackdown Women’s title. She started a strange storyline with Ric Flair and was rumored to win the championship at Elimination Chamber. That story was cut short due to her pregnancy and the WWE star was taken off of television. 

Over a year later, Evans started making vignettes talking about the struggles she’s had to deal with in life. These were well-made character pieces that added complexity and dimension that was missing from her “Sassy Southern Bell” character. Given Lacey Evans’s real-life background in the military, it was surprising that WWE didn’t lean on that before. 

Though these promos seemed geared towards a babyface run, there were numerous inside reports stating that Lacey Evans was a heel. However, it isn’t just the reports, following the final chapter of her life story, Samantha Irwin said that Evans asked the fans to show her the proper respect by applauding and welcoming her return. It was a subtle heel approach as Evans was acting like a babyface.

A backstory like this is naturally meant to tug at the heartstrings because hearing about the struggles of another being elicits a natural human response of sympathy. Plus, it makes Evans relatable by highlighting her moments of weakness and vulnerability. However, it’s not uncommon for a villain to have a sad backstory that shapes them into what they are. X-Men’s Magneto was the sole survivor of a Nazi death camp. The dangerous mutant lost faith in humanity when he saw his family killed right in front of his eyes. There are plenty of examples of great movie villains with tragic backstories.

There’s something about a former Marine that feels the world owes them something. It’s a fresh and organic character with a jaded worldview. The complexity of this nature is what makes a villain so great. Rarely, people are just born evil. Even then, people have more sides than one. Turning what many would deem an American Hero into a narcissistic douchebag opens the door to some great storytelling. 

But WWE didn’t know what to do with the character. Over the next few weeks, she was moved to RAW and Smackdown, and the company kept “re-introducing” her to audiences. Then, Lacey Evans just disappeared from television. 

Lacey Evans Was Seemingly Forgotten About

The 33-year-old was never given a real story. Nor was there any indication that there would be plans for her in the future. It just came across as Triple H lost interest in pushing Lacey Evans. Though Evans made it clear during her interview with Chris Van Vliet that wrestling was never her passion, the former WWE star did at least give it her all whenever she stepped into the ring.

It wasn’t surprising when she was released because the company didn’t have plans for her. There’s no telling how long Evans would’ve stayed on board if she was still receiving a nice push, but the former WWE star would have reached the levels of Trish Stratus if the company just gave her something to do.