The QWI 100 enters the home stretch today as Outsports unveils the next 20 top LGBTQ pro wrestlers of 2020.
One of the supreme voices within AAA’s exotico ranks, Mamba uses his platform to speak to better treatment of LGBTQ luchadors and luchadoras. Forever tied to Pimpinela Escarlata, the two clashed briefly during the Women’s Copa Triplemania match at Triplemania XXVIII.
62. Mariah Moreno
The trans trailblazer of pro wrestling didn’t need a ring to leave a mark and make sure her name stayed on fans’ lips. Her Sex Siren performance at Paris Is Bumping went beyond scintillating and showcase trans sexual agency in a way unheard of within pro wrestling. Add in being one of the initial Paris Honors honorees and that makes for a warm-blooded notice.
63. Max the Impaler
Reborn from the wasteland with a crown of jagged metal and vengeance, Max the Impaler completely reinvented themselves in 2020. Though they lost the OVW Women’s championship in January, Max quickly rebounded. They teamed with Matt Tremont in Tremont’s H2O promotion, became the first non-binary competitor in Paradigm Pro Wrestling’s UWFI division and entered Fest Wrestling’s Love Cup tag team tournament. More importantly, Max came out as non-binary earlier this year, adding to the ranks of a severely underrepresented community in the industry.
64. Mercedes Martinez
2020 marked 20 years in the ring for the independent pro wrestling legend. It also was the year that major promotions finally gave her the stage she deserved. Martinez signed with WWE at the turn of the year and quickly debuted in a battle royal for a shot at the NXT Women’s title. She followed that up by entering the Women’s Royal Rumble match and regularly competed for NXT throughout the year.
65. Mitchell Starr
The World Association of Wrestling regular kept her mix of drag and pro wrestling rolling in 2020. Starr challenged for the WAW World Light Heavyweight championship early in the year and made headlines by joining Pride Pro Wrestling alongside fellow wrestling drag queen and Queer World Order partner Priscilla. Watch out for the rainbow takeover in 2021.
66. Molly McCoy
Wrestling’s favorite gritty, hockey stick wielding menace established themself in multiple promotions after the demise of home promotion Chikara. McCoy battled Still Life with Apricots & Pears in a match that doubled as an art auction at MV Young’s Polyam Cult Party 2, took the fight to Parrow at EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch and entered Pizza Party Wrestling’s Bout For Clout tournament. They’ve been a fun feature of multiple Camp Leapfrog cards and kept their loveable tag team with Boomer Hatfield alive throughout the east coast.
67. MV Young
The leader of the mother f’n Polyam Cult took his craft to brand new heights in 2020. His fashion show/no-ring deathmatch blended event turned heads in February and he did so again with his Polyam Cult Party events. He also co-produced Uncanny Attractions’ The Wrestlers Take Manhattan event. He did all of this while keeping up a busy in-ring schedule and defending his Ring Light and Wrestlers’ Lab championships. His 12,000-plus sexual partners celebrate the honor with him.
68. Nikki Van Blair
Van Blair is loud in many ways even when compared to his fellow LGBTQ grapplers in Australia and New Zealand. His personality is matched by his in-ring fire. According to him, he doesn’t even need to touch you to drop you, as evidenced by his Vanshee Cry. He’ll surely look to recapture his FWA Mercury championship in the new year.
69. Nyla Rose
Rose cemented herself as the powerhouse of All Elite Wrestling’s women’s division in 2020 after running roughshod over anyone in her way. She made history as the first trans woman to win a major American promotion’s Women’s World championship in February and built a hard-hitting rivalry with Hikaru Shida.
70. O’Shay Edwards
Edwards set his table in 2020 and devoured all comers like the “Big Bad Kaiju” that he is. Successful defenses of his RSW Internet and PTPW championships bolstered his calls to Ring of Honor to take notice. But he also did what was needed for himself in coming out as bisexual. ROH brass might’ve overlooked him, but ROH roster member Shane Taylor didn’t. 2021 looks interesting for Edwards after joining Shane Taylor Promotions and a score-settling matchup with Billy Dixon on the horizon.
Alongside tag team partner Jai Vidal, Parada laid a foundation as not just the future but the emerging present of the southwest pro wrestling scene. He’s no slush in the singles department either. Parada currently reigns over the Arizona Wrestling Federation as its State and Heavyweight champion.
Bear. Mountain. Doomsday. All three describe Parrow when he steps into the ring. Whether its a weapon-filled deathmatch or combatting EFFY’s supply of unlimited twinks, Parrow stands as one of the most formidable, intimidating forces in independent wrestling. But tearing through opponents along The End partner Odinson is only one side of Parrow. Turn the page and you’ll find a staunch LGBTQ advocate whose return to Major League Wrestling comes with the goal of being the first out world heavyweight champion. Just don’t get between him and a wall.
73. Pimpinela Escarlata
Known simply as “La Reina” of the exoticos, Pimpinela still holds a massive presence within AAA and all of Mexico 30-plus years after his debut. So it was no surprise that he found himself on AAA’s biggest show of the year, Triplemania XXVIII. Pimpinela entered the Women’s Copa Triplemania battle royal, trading blows with Lady Apache, Lady Shani and fellow exotico Mamba.
74. Piper Niven
Niven’s first complete year since coming out as bisexual was stop and start thanks to the pandemic, but when it delivered heat when it was running. Niven grew within the women’s division of WWE’s NXT UK brand through a year-long rivalry with NXT UK Women’s champion Kay Lee Ray. Niven challenged for the title multiple times, culminating in a hard-hitting falls count anywhere match in November.
British wrestling’s foundational hybrid of drag and wrestling is a queen of many names and looks. “The Dame of DeVille” maintained a profile via YouTube despite a lighter in-ring schedule. She did feature in a steel chain match against Rishi Ghosh for her SWF championship. “The Queen of the Ring” will surely have a busy 2021 after promising to bring the Queer World Order to Pride Pro Wrestling.
76. Rebel Kinney
“The Psycho Dyke” shows no mercy when it comes to acceptance of her lesbian identity or who she tosses around the ring. Kinney’s name is on the rise throughout the British wrestling community, but she is most closely associated with the London School of Lucha Libre and Pro Wrestling EVE. She also serves as a trainer at the latter’s wrestling school, EVE Academy.
77. Reese Ryan
The VIP of British pro wrestling (by way of Los Angeles), Reese Ryan spent recent years as a key player in British Revolution Wrestling. Losing his BWR Heavyweight title didn’t keep Ryan from keeping his positive pro-LGBTQ message from reaching the masses. Ryan’s VIP Lounge podcast features up-and-coming LGBTQ wrestlers and allies and serves as the ambassador for Pride Pro Wrestling.
78. Reiza Clarke
Clarke’s young career began to blossom over the past two years. The DFW All-Pro graduate made appearances for multiple Texas independent promotions in 2020, including Pride Championship Wrestling’s Wrestle Empire 4. But she got close to championship gold in Minnesota-based Kickstart My Heart Wrestling. Clarke teamed with KC Warfield and reached the finals of KSMH’s Twin Cities Tag Team title tournament.
79. Rhys Indigo
Just me as a Pro Wrestling Drag Queen trying to get a foot in the world.— Rhys *BLM* Indigo (@RhysIndigo) January 3, 2020
Can follow me here, or on Instagram at the same name. Its Rhys like the Welsh name, and Indigo like the colour my opponents will be after I'm done with them pic.twitter.com/LSYmzWMnkr
Rhys Indigo’s Twitter bio says he isn’t a wrestler, but what he does in the ring definitely looks like pro wrestling. The Canadian in-ring drag queen weathered lockdown by participating in Superkick’d Pro Wrestling’s Lock-In Up lockdown wrestling YouTube series.
80. Roni Nicole
Nicole lives up to her “Glitterlicious” moniker, but step into the ring with her and you’ll find out she is so much more. Roni spent much of 2020 on more of the training and seminar side of the business, but she got her joshi on more than enough times. Notable among those moments was her victory over Dani Jordyn at Butch vs. Gore.
Come back tomorrow for the final 20 honorees.