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Nyla Rose and wrestling allies tackle transphobia after historic AEW championship victory

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Nyla Rose made history recently by winning the AEW Women’s World title, becoming the first trans woman to hold a major American promotion’s women’s championship.

Nyla Rose
All Elite Wrestling’s Nyla Rose poses with her newly won Women’s World championship
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Nyla Rose made history recently when she defeated Riho for the All Elite Wrestling Women’s World championship on AEW Dynamite. The win made Rose the first trans woman to win a major American wrestling promotion’s women’s championship.

Her victory was met with a celebratory wave of positivity from wrestlers and fans alike, especially trans wrestling fans. Fellow wrestler Jordynne Grace, a friend of Rose and current Impact Knockouts champion, referred to their time wrestling together in Japan in a congratulatory tweet. AEW’s Cody and Brandi Rhodes also offered praise for Rose’s title win.

Fellow AEW wrestler Sonny Kiss highlighted Rose’s win as an achievement in representation for trans and black audiences. “A Black trans woman won AEW’s world Women’s Championship during Black History Month,” Kiss tweeted.

Unfortunately, Rose’s victory also brought out the worst of the Internet. A number of people responded to the victory with transphobic comments, including former WWE wrestler Sean “Val Venis” Morley, who tried to connect Rose’s victory to the recent rash of state governments attempting to legislate the exclusion of young trans athletes.

The transphobic comments are the latest example of what has been an ongoing issue for Rose during her AEW tenure. AEW banned a fan for making transphobic comments during Rose’s debut at its Double or Nothing event last May and Rose has continually responded to similar derogatory opinions via social media throughout the year.

Rose showcased poise in the face of the recent hateful messages, dubbing herself “The Princess King” and poking fun at making “Val Venis relevant again.”

But she’s gotten support from her wrestling family as well. Dustin Rhodes called for an end to the hate in a tweet referencing his trans son. “Sick of this Transphobia crap. My son is trans and it saddens me to see so many hateful people on the attack! Get over yourselves and stfu,” Rhodes wrote.

Rhodes’ younger brother and AEW Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes expressed support for Rose during a media conference call Tuesday as well, labeling Morley’s comments as “disappointing” and urging people to not “give them oxygen.”

“The real way to end some of this bigotry, transphobia and negativity is don’t hit the ball back,” Rhodes said. “When we hit the ball back, you give them oxygen and I’m not giving Val Venis any oxygen when it comes to Nyla Rose. Nyla Rose won the AEW Women’s World Championship because she’s the best woman at AEW. That’s just it.”

“It’s 2020. Everybody should love everybody,” he added.

Outsports reached out to All Elite Wrestling for comment regarding the situation, but had not received a response as of press time.

No amount of transphobic sludge will take away Rose’s accomplishment. She has the gold to prove it and stands prepared to dominate AEW’s women’s division while representing for trans, black and First Nations populations. The Princess King’s reign is just beginning.