Category Archives: Women’s Wrestling

Sisterhood of the Squared Circle is a Knock Out

A few years ago I started work on what was going to be a history of women’s wrestling. I did some research, bought a few magazines, reached out to a few ladies about interviews, but ended up setting the project aside for another, and then another. I’m glad I did. Pat Laprade and Dan Murphy have delivered one of the most enjoyable and educational wrestling books I’ve read in a while, and it’s 100 times better than the book I envisioned writing.

Sisterhood of the Squared Circle is both a history and a “who’s who.” They tell the story of women’s wrestling by introducing the reader to the ladies who wrote that history. Every era, from the dawn of the 20th century up until 2017, is thoroughly covered. You’ll meet the pioneers of women’s wrestling, Mildred Burke and Billy Wolfe’s troupe, the women who trained under the Fabulous Moolah, the ladies of GLOW, the legends of Japan, the Divas, the Knockouts, the Shimmer Girls, and the current stars of the WWE.

As much as I enjoyed Pat’s previous collaboration with Bertrand Herbert, Mad Dogs, Midgets, and Screwjobs, he and and Dan have outdone themselves. They cut through the kayfabe storylines and give you the real story behind the fight to legalize wrestling, the battle to legalize intergender wrestling, the checkered legacy of the Fabulous Moolah. They capture the struggle women have faced to be treated as equals, to receive equal pay, and to be taken seriously as wrestlers.

If I have one complaint about the book, it’s a minor one. There simply wasn’t the room to cover every influential woman in wrestling history, and my favorite golden age grappler Elvira Snodgrass is sadly missing. Nevertheless, Sisterhood of the Squared Circle is a solid book and a must read for fans who love the history of this business. It’s enough of a page turner that when my long-awaited copy of Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn arrived, Thrawn had to wait his turn until the ladies had their due.

Sisterhood of the Squared Circle is available on Amazon.com. Get it, read it, share it. Bravo, Dan and Pat. Can’t wait to see what you do next.

Next Time Someone Bashes Women’s Wrestling…

Sunday in Fort Wayne, the ladies took hold of an apathetic crowd and made them pay attention. Mickie Knuckles, Dementia D’Rose, Amazing Maria, and Samantha Heights fought all over the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in a fantastic No DQ/ Falls Count Anywhere battle.

The women's wrestling revolution did not begin or end with the E.

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Later that evening, Randi West and Paloma Star did the same thing. Their battle for the Heroes and Legends title spilled out into and around the Arena. I personally overheard one man complaining to security about how “dangerous” he felt the match was, and according to others, one man demanded his money back because he and his girlfriend felt “unsafe.”

Next time someone tries to bash women’s wrestling, saying it’s all about sex and not as exciting about the men, tell them how some snowflake went and asked for his money back because he was scared of the ladies.

Tomorrow night, fans in Southern Indiana can witness just how brutal ladies wrestling can be. Mickie Knuckles will face Randi West at PWF’s one year anniversary show, Statement Made. And guess what? This match, too, will be No DQ/ Falls Count Anywhere.

Long live women’s wrestling.

The Ladies Steal the Show at Heroes and Legends

First things first: Heroes and Legends is a fantastic promotion. Based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, this independent wrestling group puts on a heck of a show. Heroes and Legends VIII took place today at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. If the very name of the building doesn’t remind you of the old territory days, the guest list will. Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, and Jerry Lawler were the headliners, and the King even stepped into the ring, giving the fans a classic strap-dropping performance against Dru Skillz.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The day began at noon, when the doors opened and fans came through to check out the vendor tables. Vendors included toys and collectibles, an artist, a few promoters from other area shows, a podcast, and the US military. Wrestlers for the show were sprinkled throughout the vendors to ensure that both wrestlers and vendors got some traffic.

Girl Fight put on a show that started around 1:30. The GF show was depleted due to several last minute cancellations, including Su Yung. The young competitors worked their hearts out, but could not get the attention of the crowd.

Enter Mickie Knuckles.

Mickie and Dementia D’Rose took on Amazing Maria and Samantha Heights in a tag match for the main event. Mickie tried to get the crowd’s attention and pump them up. The crowd gave her nothing, right up until the moment she said, “No Holds Barred, No DQ, Falls Count Anywhere.”

The fans popped, and the ladies literally tore the house down. Samantha Heights was duplexed down a set of bleachers steps and later tossed into a trash can. Amazing Maria was squashed beneath a steel chair. Maria and Samantha were dropped onto a table that refused to give. Fans swarmed, phones held high, to follow the action, with Sugar Dunkerton leading the crowd and the cheers in the front. It was sensational match that set the bar ridiculously high for the main show.

The Razor Ramones punk band played a brief  set mid-afternoon, then proceeded to sell cassettes – yes, I said CASSETTES – to the fans. (More on them later this week.) A battle royal took place at 4:30, with a surprise appearance by Bushwhacker Luke, and then it was show time.

The War Memorial Coliseum proved a great venue for wrestling. The main lights dimmed, and spotlights illuminated the ring, giving the whole room an old school feel. Once again, the ladies rose to the occasion, as the best match on the first half of the card was a Falls Count Anywhere battle between Randi West and Paloma Star, with Hardcore Heather Owens acting as guest referee.

Sugar Dunkerton and the former Adam Rose were an entertaining tag team in the second half of the night, and their match ended with a parade of Rosebuds, including the bunny. Their match was followed by Lawler and Dru Skillz from Indianapolis, in which Lawler gave the fans exactly what they wanted.

The main event pitted local hero Kongo Kong against Ryback, and it proved to be a phenomenal way to end the night. Kong dwarfed Ryback, who is not normally the smaller man in the match, and both men exhibited their power and agility. Ryback had no trouble powerlifting the monster Kong, while Kong brought the house down when he super-plexed Ryback from the top rope. The match became a triple threat when the masked “Ginger Dragon” entered the fray. The Dragon turned out to be Dru Skillz, who won the belt from Ryback, but Ryback and Kong teamed up on the duplicitous new champ – including two top rope splashes from Kong.

A few other thoughts on my first experience at Heroes and Legends:

Rob Conway is as good a guy as everyone says he is. The two of us graduated from New Albany High School in the early 90s, and it was great getting to meet him and hear some of his stories.

Shannon Moore shook hands with everyone in the vendor area when he arrived, even the non-wrestlers. A class act. Mickie Knuckles did the same just before she left.

I got to meet Tyger Smith, who helped train my friends Marc Hauss and Eric Emanon. Nice guy with some funny stories.

There’s nothing more cruel than teasing that we might get a Ninja (Hy Zaya) vs. Demon (Shane Mercer)  showdown at the end of a battle royal – only to see both eliminated by the masked man who won the match. So close!

Did I mention the ladies stole the show? Seriously, the WWE does NOT have the market cornered on women’s wrestling. Mickie, Heather Owens, and Randi West deliver every time. Dementia D’Rose and Paloma Star held their own with the hardcore veterans and dished some serious violence. Samantha Heights and Amazing Maria are stars on the rise.

If you’re in Northern Indiana, you owe it to yourself to check out Heroes and Legends. Jayson Maples and his crew do everything right, creating the perfect mix of classic stars with independent talent. Kudos to everyone who made today such a memorable event.

Heroes and Legends this Sunday!!

The eighth edition of Heroes and Legends hits Ft. Wayne, Indiana this Sunday, and I can’t wait. This will be my first wrestling convention as a vendor, and I’ll be bringing copies of Bluegrass Brawlers, Eat Sleep Wrestle, Louisville’s Greatest Show, Lord Carlton, Kenny Bolin’s book, and the new release by Herb Welch, How to Become a Champion.

Heroes and Legends is a huge one day event where you can meet some of the greatest stars in wrestling, past and present. Rick Flair, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Bushwhacker Luke, Marty Jannetty, Tracy Smothers, and Sandman will be there, but you can also see and meet a number of more recent WWE stars like Swoggle, Aldo Rose, Mr. Anderson, and Ryback along with numerous independent heroes like Kikutaro, Rob Conway, Sugar Dunkerton, Tyson Dux, Kongo Kong, Hy Zaya, Amazing Maria, Shane Mercer, Su Yung, Samantha Heights, and Mad Man Pondo.

Fans will also be treated to not one but TWO wrestling shows, beginning with the Girl Fight Show in the afternoon and concluding with the annual Heroes and Legends show, headlined by two super heavyweights in Ryback and Kongo Kong.

Tickets and VIP autograph and photo ops are still available online. Visit the Heroes and Legends website and Facebook page for more info!

NVD and Horrorshow Head to Orlando

There’s a lot of wrestling going on in Orlando, starting tomorrow night. A number of friends of mine are headed South and will be in the thick of the action. If you’re going to be in the area for Wrestlemania, you need to see the Ninja vs. the Demon.

The ninja in question is the “Hood Ninja” Hy Zaya, and IWA Mid-South original from Louisville, Kentucky. The demon is the “Iron Demon” Shane Mercer, Hy Zaya’s some time travel partner and tag partner. These two have torn the house down all over the Midwest, and ‘Mania wrestling fans who attend Fighting Evolution’s Wrassling Party on Friday the 31st.

Hy Zaya and Mercer will square off during the Florida Legends show Friday afternoon from 12-2, a show that also includes New Jack, B Brian Blair, Bugsy McGraw, Bill Alfonso, Abudadein, and Kevin Sullivan. Mercer will be defending the Strong Style Championship, the first time ever the belt has been on the line in Florida. He will also have a distinct advantage with the notorious Horrorshow manager Jason Saint in his corner.

Saint will also be managing Amazing Maria on the same show in her match against Alyssa Skyy. Canadian-born Amazing Maria has been a stand out for Girl Fight, OVW, and other promotions, and with the recent signings by the WWE, she’s poised to make her mark in women’s wrestling this year.

Jason Saint will also be making an appearance on April 1 at WrassleMaimYa in Samsula, FL, managing Amazing Maria against Mila Naniki. He will also manage Tripp Cassidy against Chris Silvio in a Samsula Street Fight with Ultraviolent Rules.

Fans in Louisville have been spoiled by the action brought by Hy Zaya, Shane Mercer, and Amazing Maria along with all of Jason Saint’s “clients.” If you’ve never had the chance, it’ll be worth your time to see all of them in action this weekend in Orlando.

Orlando is Wrestling Central

I have a lot of friends headed to Orlando this week, and not to see Wrestlemania. My friends are heading to Florida to do what they love most. They are going to wrestle.

Wrestlemania is the biggest wrestling event of the year. It’s become a weekend long celebration of all things WWE including Axxess, NXT, the Hall of Fame, and Raw on Monday. But that’s not even half the wrestling that will take place in Orlando this year. Wrestlers from all over the world will be plying their trade around town in multiple wrestling events.

The list below is by no means complete, but it will give you a good start to jamming as much wrestling action into the weekend as possible.

Much thanks to JB Cool and David Puente for helping me compile this list. If I’ve missed anything, please email me and I’ll be glad to add it.

Go to Wrestlemania, and support indy wrestling!

Fighting Evolution Wrestling Events

Few Survive – 3/30/17 (8pm-10pm)
1. Johnny Knockout vs. Sweet Johnny Velvet
2. Johann Ramzes vs. Jaxen Blade vs. J. Spade
2. Ace Mayham vs. Soco Socorro
4. MDK vs. Anthony Jannanzo
5. Outlaw Matt Lancie vs. Deimos
6. The Hardhitta’s vs. The Guadalupe Brothers
7. Caleb Konley vs. Reggie Rhythm

 

FEW Florida Legends – 3/31/17 (12pm-2pm)
1. Shane Mercer vs. Hy Zaya
2. Amazing Maria vs. Alyssa Skyy
3. Judge Jack Kelley vs Dave Johnson
4. B. Psi Phi vs. Tokyo Monster Kahagas
5. Mikey McNeely vs. Zach Sommer vs. Eric Wayne
6. Apolo vs. Deimos

 

FEW Flares – 3/31/17 (3pm-5pm)

1. Santana Garrett vs. Aerial Monroe
2. Faye Jackson vs. Mila Naniki
3. Kaci Lennox vs. Alyssa Sky vs. Raegan Fire vs. Machiko
4. Rainbow Bright (Luscious Latasha & Gabby Gilbert) vs. The Dollhouse (Marti Belle & Rebel)
5. Lindsay Snow vs. MJ Jenkins vs. Holidead
6. Lea Nox (w/ Abudadein) vs. Britt Baker

FEW Super Party – 3/31/17 (7pm-9pm)
1. Scorpio Sky vs. 2 Cold Scorpio
2. Johann Ramzes vs. Chuckles
3. Alex Chamberlain vs. Sinn Bodhi
4.”Pope” Elijah Burke vs. Sweet Johnny Velvet
5. The Headbangers vs. Cryme Tyme
6. Gangrel vs. Moose Ojinnaka
7. JB Cool vs. Mr. 450 vs. Reggie Rhythm

FEW Lucha Show – 4/1/17 (3pm-5pm)
1. Hijo de Octagon vs. El Conejo Urbano
2. Apolo & El Diablo Rojo vs. The Guadalupe Brothers
3. Ludark vs. Lindsay Snow
4. Scorpio Sky vs. Mr. 450
5. Willie Mack vs. Bestia 666 vs. Rey Horus
6. Mariachi Loco vs. Ricardo Rodriguez
7. Ramses Silver King & Hijo de Mascara Sagrada vs. Hijo de Dr. Wagner & Gronda

FEW Mega Show (ft Micro Championship Wrestling) – 4/1/17 (7pm-9pm)
1. Mini Shiek IRAQ vs. Lieutenant Dan USA
2. King Samoa vs. Cowboy Kidd Quick MCW Championship Match
3. Huggy Cub vs. The Tiny Terror Blixx
4. Midget Rumble
5. Aaron Solow vs. Ricky Starks vs. Facade
6. Lea Nox vs. MJ Jenkins
7. Cryme Tyme & Huggy Cub vs. The Headbangers & Hornswoggle

 

WWN More Than Mania Events

 

CHIKARA Events

Atomic Wrestling Entertainment

WrestleCon Shows

Shayna Baszler on the Kick Out at Two Podcast

If you heard last week’s episode of the Kick Out at Two Podcast (and if you haven’t, shame on you!), you heard Britt Baker tell the story about the time she was called upon as a dental student to assist fellow wrestler and MMA star Shayna Baszler with a broken tooth after a match. The tooth story is only the tip of the iceberg with Baszler, according to Baker, and this week, the Kick Out at Two delivers with their second women’s interview in a row.

Get to know Shayna Baszler on this week’s edition of the KOAT podcast, available on iTunes, Soundcloud, and Stitcher. And if you missed Britt Baker go back and get last week’s episode as well.

Kick Out at Two is the place to meet the rising stars of Indy wrestling. Be sure to subscribe so you’ll never miss an episode!

Britt Baker on Kick Out at Two

I forgot to ask Righteous Jesse who was on the podcast this week. I usually check in with him on Thursday, the night Bonnaroo Brittany is frantically editing and uploading the new episode for the week. I just checked my Podcast app and was thrilled to see it is none other than Britt Baker.

Britt Baker is one of my favorite ladies on the independent scene, one I’m really hoping will swing out this way in the coming year. The pride of Pittsburgh has been on a roll over the last year, and she’s become a star to watch in 2017. This week she discusses a number of things with the KOAT gang, including donuts and her status as the “sweetheart” of AIW, and she answers questions from KOAT’s Twitter followers.

Download the Kick Out at Two Podcast every week from iTunes, Stitcher, or Soundcloud. It’s a great place to discover all that’s happening in independent wrestling.

Heroes and Legends

This is going to be a busy spring for me. One week after Wrestlemania, I’ll be headed north to sign copies of Bluegrass Brawlers, Louisville’s Greatest Show, and other book at Heroes and Legends.

Heroes and Legends is an all day event at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, featuring legends of the sport and the best in today’s independent wrestling.

Headlining this year’s event are some of the biggest names in wrestling history, including legendary rivals Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat. And will also get the chance to meet WWE Hall of Famers Jerry Lawler, Bushwhacker Luke, and Ron Simmons along with Kevin Sullivan, Ryback, Hornswoggle, Kikutaro, The Sandman, Mr. Anderson, Mad Man Pondo, Marty Jannetty, Angelina Love, Matt Striker, Davey Richards, and Aldo Rose.

The Heroes and Legends wrestling show caps the day off with a stellar main event pitting Ryback against the monstrous Kongo Kong. Aldo Rose, Jerry Lawler, Sugar Dunkerton, Hornswoggle, and dozens more will also be in action.

As if that wasn’t enough, Heroes and Legends has partnered with Girl Fight Wrestling to present an all female card earlier in the day! Su Yung, Mickie Knuckles, and Samantha Heights will headline the show for one of the best female promotions in the country.

Heroes and Legends happens on Sunday, April 9, 2017 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Tickets start at only $15. For more information, please visit the Heroes and Legends website.

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