Recently, our good friend Thomas Holzerman sparked a debate about something that should no longer be debated. His piece on Cagesideseats.com here is worth reading in its entirety, but the short version is that PWG, as a critically acclaimed wrestling company in 2013, should have women on its shows. It currently does not. That, along with some statements made by its promoter, puts the otherwise great company in league with the ever shrinking handful of not so great companies that don’t give equal opportunities to women.
I’m sure all of our readers find it rather obvious that women are just as good, popular, and hardworking as the men of wrestling and deserve the same opportunities. However, some commentators on Holzerman’s piece were found still clinging to rather outdated notions about women in wrestling, notably the standard, and wholly counter-factual trope that wrestling fans aren’t “ready” to see the intergender matchups Holzerman proposed. Again, anyone who follows us sees that as laughable. We’ve covered numerous intergender matchups across the globe, including classic moments like Sara Del Rey becoming CHIKARA’s top good “guy” by defeating Claudio Castagnoli and Rachel Summerlyn choking out bad, bad motherfucker Scot Summers to become the face of ACW. Frankly, anyone who pays any real attention to wrestling outside of the corporate universe knows it’s entirely ridiculous to suggest wrestling fans are anything but eager to see intergender bouts that give women an opportunity to be on an equal playing field with their male peers.
But some people don’t pay attention, unfortunately, and oppose gender equality in wrestling, rather ferociously. What makes many of those against equality in wrestling so intractable is the same flawed thinking that makes those against equality in other spheres of life so intransigent: they attempt to turn their objective bias against women or ignorance about wrestling into objective statements of fact. We never hear “I don’t like intergender matches,” and rarely “I don’t like women’s wrestling.” Instead we hear bizarre proclamations, like statements women’s wrestling/intergender wrestling is the domain of “fetish” promotions. We hear that “society” is not “ready” to see men and women fight. Of course, we hear that “women don’t draw.” None of these things are true, of course. They’re merely attempts to paint personal ignorance or bias as detached analysis. As long as it is presented as such, people can continue to criticize equality as serious people who are just Telling It Like It Is and and disparage those seeking equality as being “out of touch” zealots or “militant” crusaders.
Well, no more. At least when it comes to gender equality in wrestling. Below are several dozen intergender matches from around the wrestling world. From Tokyo to Toronto to Tijuana. Some of the matches new, some old. Some good, some bad, some great, some amazing. Some epic confrontations, some comical interludes. Ultraviolence, neo-Lucha Libre, shootstyle, puroresu, and so much more. All wrestling, and wrestling that was embraced by the promoters, the wrestlers, and the audience. These matches represent only a fraction of what is readily available on YouTube (for example, none of ROH’s many intergender matches seem to be online). I could have posted three times as much by either highlighting the multiple great intergender matches that companies like Beyond and ECCW have produced, or by posting some of the many matches featuring wrestlers and promotions that even I had never heard of.
There’s no way to look through the matches below and make any of those “traditional” arguments against intergender wrestling. To attempt to do so is to place yourself outside of reasonable discourse on Pro Wrestling. It’s to say that not only are you ignorant of the topic you are discussing, but you are willfully so. It’s to say you should not be taken seriously, because you have chosen to not take the facts seriously.
Below, DDS proudly presents the end of the “intergender” debate. We won’t miss it.
Today Resistance Pro announced its National Pro Wrestling Day match. It is, of course, an intergender match.
We also think we’re at a point in the US where “all women’s” promotions like SHIMMER featuring male talent on their main shows would be great as well (this is already very commonplace in some promotions like ICE Ribbon, and SHIMMER has tons of guys on the pre-shows). To name names, Robert Evans, as the best intergender wrestler in the world, has certainly earned a shot at Saraya.
AAA – Fabi Apache and Aero Star vs. Sexy Star and Billy Boy
AAW – The CLASH vs MsChif and Krotch
ACW – Rachel Summerlyn vs. Scot Summers
AIW – Hailey Hatred vs. John Thorne
AJP – Ultimo Dragon, Bushi, and Makoto vs. Dark Dragon, Mazada, and Cheerleader Melissa
APW – EGO vs. Scotty Aboot and Cheerleader Melissa
Beyond Wrestling – Jessicka Havok vs. Mark Angel
BattlArts – Daisuke Ikeda and Syuri vs. Kenichi Yamamoto and Kana [Kana Pro]
BJW – Abdullah Kobayashi vs. Kyoko Kimura
BWF – Bia vs. Mano
CHIKARA – Team ROH vs. The Sendai Girls
CLASH – Truth Martin vs. Mena Libra
CZW – Mia Yim vs. Greg Excellent – MV
ECCW – RIOT vs. Administration vs. The Bollywood Boyz
Fighting Spirit Pro – Chase Rules vs. Leah Von Dutch
FMW – H and Mr. Gannosuke vs. Fuyuki and Kyoko Inoue
HUSTLE – Erica, Margaret, and Kaz Hayashi vs. Arisin Z, Blanca X, and Monster J
ICE Ribbon – Dino & Oishi vs. Oka & Minami vs. Kasai & Matsumoto
Interspecies Wrestling – Addy Starr vs. Michael Von Patton
NEO – Kenny Omega vs. Natsuki Taiyo
NOAH – Stalker Ishikawa vs. Amazing Kong
NWA: Midwest – Tyler Black vs. Amazing Kong
OSAKA Pro – Kana, Ranmaru, and Miyuki vs. Ebessan, Kamen, and Matsuyama
PWG – Candice LeRae vs. Joey Ryan
RCW – The Karate Kids vs. GCC vs. Flash and Drake
RAPW – Angel Dust vs. Chase Aaryons
SMASH – Sabu & Syuri vs. Hajime Ohara & Lin Bairon
STARDOM – Kenny Omega vs. Haruka
STHLM – Jenny Sjodin Gauntlet Match
Wrestlecrisis – Warhed vs. Jodi D’Milo
Wrestling New Classic – AKIRA vs. Kana – PV
Zero-One – Spanky and Maemura vs. Corino and Kong