The advancement of the LGBTQ presence within pro wrestling remains a challenge despite the vast strides made by the community in recent years. That journey is far from over, but it is actually one of a few movements within the industry meant to promote inclusion and gender equality while evolving the business as a whole.
One major way this manifests is the inclusion of intergender wrestling. Breaking the long-held tradition of boxing wrestlers into divisions based on gender hasn’t sat well with a number of old wrestling hats. But, like any sport or artform, evolution is inevitable, and Battle Club Pro placed themselves at the forefront of the inclusion movement once again with Saturday’s “Anything You Can Do” event in New York City.
The event boasted an entire card of intergender matches, highlighted by a tag team clash between The Sea Stars (Ashley Vox and Delmi Exo) and the former Latin American Exchange (Santana and Ortiz). This match would be the final independent appearance for the former LAX, now known as Pride n’ Powerful, before they join the AEW roster in October.
LGBTQ wrestlers peppered the card as well. From Vox to BCP Franchise champion Anthony Bowens to living wrestling love story Diamante and Kiera Hogan, notable names from pro wrestling’s rainbow coalition helped Battle Club Pro blow the roof off even though the event took place outdoors.
But no one match shined above the message of the show itself. Battle Club Pro were out to prove that intergender and LGBTQ wrestling don’t need the qualifier in front of them. It’s all pro wrestling and everyone belongs.
A beautiful goodbye from @Santana_PNP and @Ortiz_PnP and a shout out to @TeamSeaStars @xBattleclubpro #AnythingYouCanDo pic.twitter.com/wN7s98qXNy— TIGER DRIVER (@TigerDriver9X) September 28, 2019
“It doesn’t matter your gender, your culture, your nationality, you should be proud of who you are … that’s why we say [Pride n’ Powerful] so much,” Ortiz belted to the crowd after falling to Vox and Exo. Diamante stood behind him, brandishing the Puerto Rican flag as the crowd erupted in agreeance. It was the capping moment on an afternoon that showed what pro wrestling can, and arguably should, be.
Santana put it best, closing out the show by echoing Shotzi Blackheart’s original rallying cry: “It’s not intergender anything. It’s fucking pro wrestling”