Well, after eight episodes, we’re finally at the point where this all comes together into one big culmination of pro wrestling goodness: the finals of the Mae Young Classic are (as I’m writing this) upon us, and this will be my final observation piece on the event as a whole, save for possibly some sort of retrospective depending on who’s ultimately announced as having been signed by WWE in the wake of the finals and their respective fallout. Continue reading
With the Mae Young Classic drawing to a close later today, one thing I wanted to talk about before the final show isn’t the great field of competitors in the tournament, but the competitors not in the tournament. The thing is, while the WWE has been relatively interested in women’s wrestling as a thing to be given significant time on their shows for the past couple of years now, women’s wrestling as a thing to take seriously has been around for a lot longer than that, between the indies and other countries, and it’s worth noting that there are all sorts of stars who have come out of that environment, even if they might not be on WWE’s radar for… one reason or another. So, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge a few talents who probably could have and, in an ideal world, should have been in the Mae Young Classic, but weren’t for… more than likely a few reasons. Continue reading
For the prior recap, click right here.
When last we left the tournament, we made it down to the final eight competitors, which means we’re getting down to the last six matches in this tournament, in the quarterfinals and the semi-finals. The finals proper are on Tuesday, which I’ll be happily commenting on as the night progresses over on Twitter if this sort of thing interests you, but for now, let’s look at the last two episodes of the Classic and how we get to what is a… fairly obvious main event for that show.
For the prior episode’s review, click right here.
When last we left the tournament, we’d gone through the first sixteen matches, meaning we’re now into the thick of the tournament proper. The next two episodes are, sadly, still going to be based around the concept of “cram four matches into a single show,” that the prior set were, but we’re about to get into the really good stuff here, in theory, since most of the green workers have been eliminated from the tournament. Well, with a couple of exceptions…
Anyway, let’s get down to business. Continue reading
Well, it’s been a while, so let’s ease back into things by talking about something I enjoy: serious women’s wrestling.
It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who knows me that I’m a fan of wrestling in general (since it’s become a running gag at this point that I use wrestling concepts to explain real world concepts, and no, that’s not a joke), but one thing I love is the concept of people taking women’s wrestling seriously in the US. I mean, as noted previously, I wrote a damn college paper on the subject (and got an A, so laugh all you want, shit was good), but even beyond that, it’s just really cool to see wrestling become more inclusive for a larger audience of people. I mean, it’s not a secret that wrestling is pre-determined at this point, and is less of an athletic competition than a complex choreography sequence; why not put in content that focuses on more than just 250-400lbs dudes beating the crap out of each other, right? Wrestling is basically live-action anime at this point, make it as diverse and colorful as you can.
As such, I’ve actively loved what the WWE has been doing in the past couple of years… conceptually, at least. I love the idea of the company actively attempting to make women’s wrestling into an actual business driver for their brand, and while there have been some definite missteps (putting Stephanie McMahon front-and-center as the advocate for the division, everything surrounding Bayley’s handling on the main roster), I love the reality that women have main evented WWE shows and Pay Per Views (or Special Events or whatever they’re called now), because that’s just awesome. So, as such, the idea of an entire women’s tournament, featuring signed and unsigned talent from around the world under the WWE’s banner, is an amazing idea, and it just so happens that the Mae Young Classic is exactly this thing.
Well… sort of, anyway.
My rant on XPW, or, why you can’t sell the same thing over again. (I’m italicizing my modern comments since this is already bolded. Anyway, fucking XPW man. Originally a terrible, fifth-rate ECW knock-off with some of the worst “talent” in the business and a bunch of ECW castoffs, run by porn producer Rob Black, they SOMEHOW decided to just BECOME ECW, caused a shitload of problems in the Philly wrestling area, then died off when Black was run through the wringer because of “obscenity charges.” This means porn with peeing and I HOPE IMPLIED murder scenes, so, yeah. Anyway, the whole sordid mess is here on Wikipedia, if you’re bored, and apparently Black wants to bring it back AGAIN so God knows, we may be back here in a few years.)
(A note in advance: first, to those of you who know nothing about XPW, though I loathe plugging those I ridicule, visit xpwrestling.com to give yourself a better idea of those I write about here, if you’re curious. Second, if one Mr. Black is to read this: Consider this publicity. If you want to pull a Jay Bower on me, please do, but remember to link me, god knows I could use the traffic.) (Jay Bower was some dude who wrote for Smarks.com, for reference; we’ll get to him in a little bit.)
(I wrote this back in 2007 as part of a college group project discussing the gender gap for female athletes as a general whole; my group members chose golf, soccer and basketball, and I opted to choose professional wrestling, since I had the most exposure to that as a sporting property. It’s been eight years since I wrote this piece, and with the #GiveDivasAChance movement going on and whatnot, I opted to put some time into looking this over and posting it here, since I enjoyed the work I put into it, and I think it’s still relevant today.
Note, however, that the relevant graphs have been removed due to their generally boring nature, and that in the instances where someone asked not to be named, or has since become a major player in US wrestling and might not want their names mentioned, I’ve opted to refer to them as anonymous. That said, I talked to a whole lot of people here, so it’s got a lot of information backing it up.)