Crazy is not her only Super Power

A. J. Mendez-Brooks, formerly known as A. J. Lee, may not seem to be the most likely candidate to write a memoir. Only 29 years of age when she completed it, hardly the age one associates with such a book. She had a memorable run as WWE Diva’s Champion, and she was involved in main event storylines involving Daniel Bryan, John Cena, CM Punk, and Kane. But still… a memoir? What story could she have to tell.

It turns out A. J. has quite the story to tell, a story that not only can fill a book for demands to be told. Crazy Is My Superpower is more than just a memoir of her time in the WWE. Its the story of a remarkable life and a young woman who overcame some major challenges to achieve her dream.

A. J. Mendez-Brooks grew up in poverty, the child of “cool parents” who never truly grew up. It’s a heart breaking story of a family that was constantly on the move, always hungry, and always paying for the missteps of her parents.

It’s also a story of mental illness and bi-polar disorder, an affliction A. J. inherited   from her mother. A. J. holds nothing back as she talks about her mother’s struggle to come to grips with the disease as well as her own battles. Mental illness is an uncomfortable subject most people would rather avoid, but Mendez-Brooks strives to remove the stigma of the disease in hopes that others can discuss it more freely and, if necessary, get the help they need.

Yes, A. J. delves into her wrestling career, including a heart-warming look at the man she once called “Grandpa” and now calls her husband, CM Punk, but fans hoping for some inside dirt and stories from the road may be disappointed. Mendez-Brooks takes the high road when discussing people who stood in her way, and the focus of the story throughout remains on the impoverished young woman who rose to become a record-setting WWE champion.

That’s not to say the book is disappointing; not in the slightest. A. J. Mendez-Brooks is a wonderful writer. She will make you belly laugh one minute and tug at your heart in the next. Crazy Is My Superpower succeeds at not only being an entertaining read, but an inspirational one. It’s about girl power, it’s about pursuing your dream, it’s about breaking the stigma of mental illness, and it’s about empowering those who need help to seek it out, just as she did.

Crazy Is My Superpower is a story wrestling fans and non-fans need to read. It’s more than just the memoir of a wrestling career. It’s an incredible story of overcoming all odds to achieve a dream.

Bravo, A. J. I hope this is only the first of many books we get from this superpowered writer.

Save the Revolution

I hope this is all a work.

Monday night the WWE gave us a great video recap of the Sasha Banks-Bayley classic from NXT: Takeover. They put the camera on Sasha so she could get a nice ovation. And then… we got Nikki vs Naomi.

Maybe they’re working us, but it sure felt like a big step back in this so-called “revolution.”

Until the WWE fully commits to this revolution, women’s wrestling fans need to put their money where their mouths are. Support women’s wrestling locally. Support it online. Support Shimmer, SHINE, Girl Fight, Femme Fatale, WSUEmpress, and other women’s only shows.

Imagine if one of those promotions really took off and filled the void the WWE refuses to fill. Now that would be a revolution!

The Main Event

Being in the main event is nothing new for Crazy Mary Dobson. She’s done it in Southern Indiana, near her hometown of Charlestown. She’s done it in the tradition-rich wrestling city of Chicago. Tonight, she did it on the WWE Network against NXT Women’s Champion, Bayley.

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Sarah Dobson, as she’s known at NXT, looked fantastic tonight. She got a lot of offense in her second match at Full Sail, and she looked like she belonged. The announcers even said she looked a little “crazy.”

Louisville and Southern Indiana fans, this is your girl taking the wrestling world by storm. Congratulations, Crazy Mary/ Sarah Dobson. We are so proud of you!

Women’s Wrestling Records

A record may or may not be broken next week. A WWE Diva may break another WWE Diva’s record for most consecutive days as champion.

Here are a few records that remain safe.

Most consecutive years (not days, years) as NWA Women’s World Champion: Mildred Burke, 19.

Most consecutive years as WWE Women’s Champion: The Fabulous Moolah, 28.

It should also be noted that both women were not only main event draws, wrestling 2 out of 3 falls every night, but frequently defended their titles more often in a month than the current WWE Diva’s Champion has in her entire reign. She currently stands at 9 title defenses.

Can You See Her Now?

LuFisto’s one of my favorite wrestlers. Not female wrestlers, I mean wrestlers. She’s more than tough enough, and she has the titles and battle scars to prove it.

I’d love to see that happen, but I’m posting this for another reason. If you’re a wrestling fan, you need to see LuFisto. Watch her on YouTube. Watch her in Shimmer or WSU. And go see her live. She’s one of the best, and she’s a threat to steal the show on any card.

UPDATE: #GiveLuFistoAChance is trending on Twitter. Keep it going, LuFisto fans!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlAzxaajGqQ

Why are you doing that spot?

lufistoA few days ago a video went viral showing wrestler Chris Dickinson tossing female wrestler Kimber Lee around the ring like a rag doll. I’m not going to post it here; you can Google it if you haven’t seen it. While a close look at the video shows you that the moves were delivered in a safe manner to protect Lee, it is a brutal and violent video.

I was very happy to see LuFisto’s response to this video go viral as well. LuFisto didn’t judge, but as a long time veteran who has taken her share of violent, inter-gender bumps, she asks some very important questions that all indy wrestlers – male and female – need to ask themselves.

You can read LuFisto’s comments here, and if you are an aspiring wrestler, I strongly suggest you not only read them, but really think about what she has to say.

While I’m at it, let me add to the chorus of those responding to LuFisto’s lament about never making it to the WWE. LuFisto is everything that is right about today’s indy wrestling. She is a class act who loves her fans and never disappoints in the ring. She makes those she works with better, and no matter who’s on the card above or below her, she is always one of the most memorable matches of the night.

I’ve seen LuFisto live twice in the last year. She tore the house down against Crazy Mary Dobson and Lylah Lodge. There were at least five or six other matches on the cards both nights, but I’d be doing well to tell you who was in more than one or two of those other matches.

Success can be defined in many ways. Making it to the WWE is one definition, but can you really call it success when you go from stealing the show in the indies to being in an eight-diva tag match that lasts three minutes? The brawls LuFisto, Crazy Mary, and Lylah put on here in Southern Indiana over the last year were far better than any televised “Diva” match in the last five. (NXT excluded.)

When LuFisto hangs her boots up for the last time, no one who truly love pro wrestling will look at her career as a failure. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her in the ring and out, and it was my honor to feature her in Eat Sleep Wrestle. She’s created an incredible legacy for herself and despite all her self-doubts, pains, and frustrations, she’s showing no sign of giving up just yet. That’s a win for her and for everyone who enjoys real wrestling.

Shane Helms put it best when he responded to her earlier this week. “Someone find LuFisto and tell her that’s she’s absolutely wrong about one thing. She’s not a failure. She’s a f’n badass!” High praise, and well deserved.