Photo Credit: Gordon Harris & Kamikaze Pro
Women’s wrestling… everyone’s got an opinion on it, many are for it, a few are still against.
I’ll have to admit, I’m disappointed it hasn’t come along like I thought it would when I saw Trish Stratus and Lita main evented RAW all those years ago. It seems many major promotions are hesitant to push their ladies matches as a ‘marquee match’. The majority (there’s always exceptions) of WWE’s Diva’s at the moment are shocking in the ring, quite clearly there as a bit of eye candy (will sometime tell Vince this isn’t the mid 90’s?). ROH only has 2 women who actually wrestle as far as I’m aware (Maria and ODB), TNA is the first stop of the ‘big’ promotions where the ladies are featured heavily. They seem to have faith and when you have the world’s greatest woman wrestler in Gail Kim, why the hell not, eh? Lucha Underground is sort of the middle ground with the likes of Sexy Star (if you ever read this, marry me?) and Ivilisse (trios tag title holder) having major roles in Lucha’s rise.
However, once you get away from the big ‘international’ promotions you start to wonder why women aren’t getting the credit they deserve further up the ladder.
I’m a big UK Indy wrestling follower, if I’m not going to a show I’m usually using the on-demand services some promotions have, buying DvD’s of shows, viewing clips on social media and/or YouTube… anything I can get my hands on basically. More and more promotions now have at least one all women’s match on their shows now, then there’s many who wrestle in mixed gender matches, the 2 most prominent in my mind at the time of writing this are Kay Lee Ray and Nixon Newell, neither of whom look out of place and often outshine the men in their matches. They’re 2 that have both had me out of my seat with a big “OHHHHH!” before. Kay Lee Ray doesn’t have an ounce of hesitancy in her body and that makes every match she’s part of a potential ‘match of the night’ and Nixon sometimes uses my favourite finisher of all time (Canadian Destroyer) and executes it to perfection, just like everything else she does in the ring. I don’t mean to single these 2 out too much as over this side of the pond we have a plethora of talent of both genders and it HAS to only be a matter of time before Sky wake the f**k up and pick up a promotion for a weekly show, but they’re 2 that I could look at a card and think they’re not out of place in a main event.
The hard-nosed wrestling fans among you may tell me that there’s still a lot of garbage women wrestlers out there, which I can’t deny. However, there are a lot of garbage wrestlers of the male persuasion too, only there are always more mens matches on any 1 (mixed gender) promotion’s card so the poor ones get match time quicker and are found out almost instantly. Some improve for the ‘game time’ they get, the others fall by the wayside fast. It’s hard for someone to improve without genuine experience and with just a single women’s match on most cards, where are they going to get the experience they need?
The reason I mentioned the 2 names earlier is because they got a chance to prove themselves at various promotions and that must have been a huge help to them. I’ve had the pleasure of watching a lot of Nixon Newell’s fledgling career and every time she has got in the ring she has got that little bit better, on the mat and on the mic. She had a brilliant heel turn at my local promotion that seemed to just… agree with her and I’m sure when she recovers fully from her recent injury, she’ll carry on making waves in this country and beyond.
There are many more out there that I have seen over the past 12 months that have improved vastly, just because they got more time in the ring. I’m capable of reacting just as much to a women’s match as a men’s and I’d imagine most people would react the same given the right match put in front of them, even if they won’t openly admit it.
If you love wrestling and you SEE 2 people put everything into a match, it doesn’t matter if they’re male or female, I can guarantee you’ll get on your feet and applaud, so… just open your minds up a little.