Hello there. Today, we’re discussing the topic of intergender wrestling. What I find interesting is the emerging equality of women’s wrestling paving the way for more intergender contests. Reading this, I assume you’re aware of the evolution of women’s wrestling over the past decade: with the rise of the TNA Impact Knockouts, female-only promotions (like SHIMMER & Stardom), and the WWE women’s revolution.
Intergender wrestling has been a niche in the industry for a very long time, but rarely would a match allow men to wrestle women one-on-one. The Attitude Era broke the mold, as legends like Lita and Chyna proved women could be competitive in a male dominated world. Especially Chyna, who showed she was strong enough to win the Intercontinental Championship without the fans finding it unrealistic.
In 2019, is there a demand for women to be equally competitive with men? Will we ever see another woman winning a men’s title? And if it does happen, would that mean a man can claim a women’s title? You know .. if we’re looking for absolute equality, could this lead to all titles becoming gender neutral? And what makes it acceptable for a woman to be competitive while another is restricted? How is it insane for a small woman to defeat a slightly larger man, when in the past .. we’ve seen guys like Rey Mysterio and Spike Dudley going over giants twice their size?
Suspension of disbelief plays a part in this. It’s the reason Brock Lesnar is so difficult to defeat, because the fans know he’s a legitimate fighter with extraordinary power and athleticism. It’d feel wrong for an inexperienced cruiserweight to get one over The Beast without interference. And it’s similar with intergender wrestling; will the fans accept it if the woman finds a way to overcome the odds?
If intergender wrestling becomes more commonplace, it’s logical to assume men will have to limit themselves to make their female counterparts look competitive. While it would make them look tougher, it will also make men’s offense seem weaker. And there’s nothing wrong with stating men are stronger, as they’ll always dominate (not all) physical sports. That’s not an insult .. it’s just a fact of life. Women can be better at other things, it’s the natural order of things.
For them to go over, women need to be built like men or have “fighter” credentials. For example, former fighters like Ronda Rousey or Shayna Baszler could win without making their opponents look bad. But if we saw someone like Liv Morgan going over Mojo Rawley? Well, we can understand how ridiculous it would be.
Lately, Impact Wrestling has been dabbling their toes in the water. Glenn Gilberti AKA Disco Inferno and the Desi Hit Squad have been excessively sexist, to the point it’s drawn the ire of the Knockouts division. Scarlett Bordeaux was the first to strike back by saying she’ll take on any man, proving herself with victories over Gilberti and Rohit Raju. Also, Tessa Blanchard has wrestled men, including a win over Joey Ryan at United We Stand (it should’ve been Eli Drake .. but he refused and was fired for not being a team player), and squashing Glenn Gilberti on this week’s episode of Impact.
Independent wrestling has done it longer than anyone else though. In some cases, like with Republic of Ireland’s Session Moth Martina, she’s shared how her matches cater to a portion of male fans who have a fetish for seeing dominant women destroying men. I’m sure it didn’t mean to happen (no one purposely aimed for it), but it feels like a byproduct of empowering women in this way.
On the other side of the coin, most male competitors will not be able to win these matches without coming across like a woman beater. There’s a stigma, because so many abusive relationships see men regularly assaulting their girlfriends or wives. If the woman wins? She’s praised for overcoming the evil. But if the man wins? It wasn’t a fair contest because he’s stronger .. even if she was asking for it. Notice how Joey Ryan’s booed in his match with Tessa? When he didn’t do anything wrong? It was billed as a competitive match, and no one was face or heel .. but he’s automatically the heel (to those attending) because he’s beating up a woman.
What would it take? For fans to accept a (face) man going over a woman? There would have to be tons of back story. The woman would likely be bigger and stronger, and for months we’d see her mentally abuse her victim, making him feel small at every turn. The fans would eventually want the guy to stick up for himself, and only then could the match take place. There’s a turning point where fans would admit “yeah .. I don’t agree with men hitting women, but in this case she totally deserves it”. Even then, there will always be some fans claiming the man is a coward for hitting back; or for letting her push him around to begin with.
And if intergender wrestling becomes more frequent? It could lead to an issue where someone goes too far by groping their opponent. Of course, usually this would be accidental and the wrestlers would understand that .. but what if it were on purpose? It would open up a huge can of worms. All it takes is one incident, and there will be a scandal.
Having seen some struggling to understand, I figured it would be interesting to highlight this subject. Does intergender wrestling have a place in the industry? Or is it only good for niche circumstances? Should independent wrestling continue featuring it prominently? Or are they better off keeping the genders separate? Do we need Tessa Blanchard going over men to know she’s one of the best in the world? Or can she not do so by dominating every woman put in front of her?
Rarely do we see intergender wrestling work. It’s mostly a novelty act to put the woman over at the expense of their opponent. Is it fair though? How is it equality when women have the unfair advantage due to the men having the natural advantage? After all, we really want to see women shine, but they don’t need to defeat men to prove it. Not unless it’s someone who deserves it; like James Ellsworth or Glenn Gilberti.
There was never any intention in writing this to be controversial for the sake of it. How do you feel about intergender wrestling? Would you like to see more of it? Less of it? Is it possible full-time? And are there any “dream” matches you would enjoy? For example, who would you pick to face Ronda Rousey if WWE wanted to go down that road? Please let us know in the comments.
In closing, so you know how I feel .. I do like intergender wrestling when a sexist like Glenn Gilberti deserves it, but to produce competitive matches between genders? We need a story with two individuals sporting similar builds, or it gets as believable as Spike Dudley beating Brock Lesnar for the Universal title. As always, I appreciate you taking the time to read up on my thoughts. See you again and thank you.