While WWE dealt with issues stemming from its Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia over the weekend, a duo of amazingly inclusive independent promotions put on events showcasing a large number of LGBTQ talent.
First up was the latest edition of Uncanny Attractions’ Drags & Dropkicks series, A Nightmare on Wyckoff Ave, on All Hallow’s Eve. The night commonly referred to as Mischief Night delivered on that title as wide swath of LGBTQ and women wrestlers and wrestlers of color took over Brooklyn’s House of Yes. Notable among the LGBTQ in-ring talent was Killian McMurphy, the fiance of AEW’s Sonny Kiss, the ever-shocking Effy and MV Young.
Out wrestler Billy Dixon did his part to steal the show in what proved to be the most ridiculous match of the night: a Bronx Bodega Brawl against Ariela Nyx. The battle saw plenty of weapons that’ll make you say “wepa,” including a brick of Cafe Bustelo coffee, Fabuloso and a thumbtack-adorned chancla. Throw in a weaponized bacon, egg and cheese and the reemergence of the Bundertaker and you have yourself something memorable.
Pro wrestling is so rad sometimes.
The “Drags” half of the equation came courtesy of two-thirds of LGBTQ pro wrestling YouTubers The Nobodies, Lady Bearica Andrews and Ariel Italic. Once the lip syncs were done, the two joined their fellow Nobody and wrestling writer DJ Accident Report in the commentary booth for the show’s final matches, making them the first all-LGBTQ commentary team for a U.S. pro wrestling pay-per-view.
The good times kept rolling on Friday in Berwyn, Illinois as RISE Wrestling held two events: Early to RISE: A Berwyn Adventure and La Escalera. The first event showcased a number of LGBTQ wrestlers that would compete later that night at La Escalera, including Jamie Senegal and Jake Atlas. The show also marked the RISE return of non-binary wrestler Sophie King in their first match for the company since returning from injury.
The night was jam-packed with main events full of intrigue and emotion, including the titular La Escalera ladder match featuring Jake Atlas, Priscilla Kelly and the returning Kylie Rae.
Atlas wasn’t the only notable out competitor in the Berwyn Eagles Club, though. Ashley Vox teamed with her sister, Delmi Exo, against Mercedes Martinez and Miranda Alize (like the drank!) one night before capturing the SHIMMER tag team titles. New Zealand’s Candy Lee faced off against Jaime Senegal in a “Divas” match and lucha libre legend Cassandro returned to RISE to battle Saraya Knight in a match of two in-ring legends.
The night culminated in an emotional send off for Shotzi Blackheart as La Escalera marked her final RISE appearance before reporting to WWE’s performance center. Blackheart has been one of the most vocal proponents for intergender wrestling throughout the American independent scene, helping prove that the style is viable in the industry’s modern age. Amidst a shower of green balls, Blackheart said her final goodbye, leaving RISE and the indies as a whole much better for the experience.
T’was literally The Ballsiest Sendoff we could think of. Catch the replay now of the final match of @Shotziblack in RISE on @FiteTV, unlimited replays for $14.99, click here: https://t.co/T4xfYmDWFP pic.twitter.com/6HZI3lHl9p— RISE Wrestling (@RISEdtwa) November 2, 2019
Both Uncanny Attractions’ Drags & Dropkicks: A Nightmare on Wyckoff Ave and RISE La Escalera are available on-demand via Fite.tv. Early to RISE: A Berwyn Adventure is available on-demand at riseascent.com