Anthony Bowens made his IMPACT Wrestling debut in New York last week during TV tapings for future episodes of Impact! airing every Thursday night on Pop TV.
Anthony was in the first match on Tuesday, Oct. 16, held at the Melrose Ballroom in Queens. He was in a one-on-one match against Fallah Bahh, a popular 425-pounder from the Philippines. In the end it was Bahh who scored the victory, but Bowens certainly drew praise from the fans and his in-ring opponent.
“Anthony is a phenomenal athlete, the future in professional wrestling,” said Bahh, 33, who has been wrestling professionally since 2005, and since early-2017 for IMPACT Wrestling. “Anthony will be a legend in pro wrestling, I feel.”
For Bowens, who came out publicly in 2017, the match was an important moment both for his career and his quest to build the visibility of LGBTQ athletes.
“I’m extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to perform,” Bowens told Outsports. “It was definitely a career milestone to be able to wrestle on tv and also to play a small part in the continuous effort to bring LGBTQ visibility and representation to sports entertainment.”
After his match, Bowens was introduced to out gay New York high school basketball coach Anthony Nicodemo, who was invited to attend the IMPACT show that night along with his entire Saunders High School basketball team and coaching staff.
Nicodemo told his team about Bowens’ sexual orientation during his match.
“Sitting with my kids and proudly telling them that Anthony was an out wrestler shows the acceptance that can exist for an out athlete,” Nicodemo said.
“It was great to welcome Coach Nicodemo and his team to an evening of IMPACT Wrestling, as he is a longtime pro wrestling fan,” said Ross Forman, Head of Media Relations for IMPACT Wrestling. “I hope Anthony Bowens continues wrestling for IMPACT because he has the potential to be a huge superstar in pro wrestling. Bowens is billed as ‘Wrestling’s 5-Tool Player … and that’s not just hype; he’s the real deal in the ring.”
In addition to his IMPACT Wrestling debut, Bowens also debuted his new “5-Tool Player” brand. The concept is that Bowens has all the tools to be a successful professional wrestler. Check out his pitch in the video below.
“The term ‘5 Tool Player’ is a baseball reference to someone who possesses all the skills needed to be a superstar,” Bowens said. “His motto is ‘5 Tools, 1 Rule…Prove. Them. Wrong.’”
IMPACT! also airs on Xplosion, which is produced for international markets with broadcast distribution in the U.S. on IMPACT Wrestling’s Global Wrestling Network. Xplosion airs in Brazil on Esporte Interativo, in India on Sony ESPN, in Israel on EGO Total, and elsewhere.