Last year’s introduction to the Queer Wrestling Index 100 ended with the point that LGBTQ pro wrestling had grown as a movement and community to the point where “ignoring their presence isn’t an option anymore.”
Sure, there were pockets of the pro wrestling world that didn’t get the memo, but those voices felt drowned out by the sheer enormity of the expansion of LGBTQ pro wrestling in 2021.
It felt like nearly every day brought new additions to the family, more events celebrating LGBTQ identities and sections of the LGBTQ community raising their voices to speak directly to the faces of pro wrestling power structures.
And when those ears didn’t understand or ignored what they were being told, LGBTQ people yet again proved that they don’t need them to build their own spaces within the field.
From deathmatch to lucha libre, comedy to catch, tekkers to all-out hoss brawls, every single aspect or style of pro wrestling built its rainbow family. Established stars reached new peaks, and rookies who drew inspiration from those spreading the message of pride started their own journeys.
Wrestlers carrying the banner for LGBTQ inclusion and accomplishment became more visible around the world, making the movement even more global. So many wrestlers felt the freedom of throwing off whatever hindrances kept them from sharing aspects of their identity with the public who adore them, adding to an already substantial pool of out LGBTQ figures in pro wrestling whose borders are nonexistent.
If last year’s list of 100 proved that closing your eyes to what is happening isn’t acceptable anymore, 2021 represented a towering force that forced eyes open, focusing their gaze on a cultural revolution within an industry long overdue for it.
Just like the community grew and evolved, so too must the QWI. That’s why the list has expanded to 200 stellar and proud LGBTQ wrestlers. That’s why I’ve made the decision to rank the list going forward, instead of 2020’s alphabetical order structure.
Just like the PWI 500 and BW 500 lists that inspired this one, the LGBTQ community deserves exactly what others in pro wrestling have been afforded for years.
Obviously, still existing in the midst of a global pandemic complicated things when different regions of the globe afforded different amounts of in-ring time to its performers. I sincerely hope this is the last year where the virus becomes a weighing factor in how the QWI is constructed (get your vax and booster!).
That being said, composing this list was still really hard. Once again, the best problem to have in the world is whittling down the list from a pool of far more than 200 who all deserve highlighting.
I have no doubt that new names like Gozzie, Micha, Kamile Hansen and Spice Speigal will be on this list in the future. Those awaiting their return from injury like Reiza Clarke and Sophie King will surely leave their marks as well.
Those in the U.K, Canada, Australia and other nations that were prevented from performing due to the pandemic for an extended period, such as Gambit, Jetstream Jack and Gato Rojo, will continue proving why they belong among the honored.
And the movement will surely welcome names we have yet to learn, those whose dreams of stepping between the ropes are just starting to form, thanks to the continued momentum and growing volume of queer voices in pro wrestling around the globe.
This isn’t about one generation. It’s about every single voice - past, present and future - stating that we belong and we are here, from the ring to the very last eyeball taking it all in.
We are undeniable.
With that being said, act accordingly and start your journey through the 2021 QWI 200.
200. Jayla Dark
Respect Pro Wrestling is delighted to announce officially that Jayla Dark has joined our training team!— Respect Pro Wrestling (@respectprowres1) October 23, 2019
Jayla has been occasionally popping in to take classes as a guest coach since the beginning of the year, but will now be taking on a larger role in the training school pic.twitter.com/Dxp4r7c9Nu
The Pro Wrestling EVE favorite came out of retirement for her first match since 2019 at the company’s Wrestle Queendom 4 event. Dark shocked the audience when she entered the EVE Rumble match. She may not have won the EVE championship that night, but it was great to get one more chance to see one of EVE’s best-remembered names.
199. Heart Eater Moxie
With the blood of her latest meal seeping from her lips, Heart Eater Moxie brought a new form of darkness to the Las Vegas wrestling scene in her rookie year. Moxie made multiple appearances with VERSUS Pro Wrestling, including a battle with emerging stars Jody and Sandra Moone. They even battled their partner, Da Shade. Outside of the ring, Moxie is also recognized as a talented comics artist.
198. Blaze Bazuco
The Northeast Championship Wrestling regular brought their fire to the pro wrestling ring in the New England area in 2021. Bazuco racked up a signature win over former NCW champion The Lumberjake and competed in the NCW championship rumble, not to mention some bomb merch and logo designs.
197. Quing Gwendolyn-Garnet Neodonna
Quing, Gwengar, Mommy: no matter what moniker you know Gwendolyn-Garnet Neodonna by, there is no denying that she is an exciting rookie to keep your eye on. She made her debut with Fire Star Pro Wrestling earlier this year with her Pride colors beaming and pulled off a lovely Lita cosplay in the company’s Halloween battle royal.
196. PJ Gonzalez
The reigning New York Championship Wrestling Women’s champion continued brought her whip and whit to the New York wrestling scene in 2021. With her 2+ year reign as champion ongoing, Gonzalez also appeared for Immortal Championship Wrestling and used her place in pro wrestling to advocate for trans voices.
195. Curtis Elliot
One half of the Vainglorious Authority, “The Devious One” Curtis Elliot is an up-and-comer in the British wrestling community. Elliot showcased his speedy, high-flying style with Quality Wrestling alongside tag team partner Amber Jo and won his debut match for Immortal Wrestling.
194. Dave Marshall
Australia’s favorite pro wrestler/charitable adult content creator stepped away from pro wrestling midway through the year, but he went out on top. After successfully defending his Southern Hemisphere Wrestling Alliance championship in March, Marshall left the pro wrestling world as champion. If this is it, Marshall definitely left his mark on the Aussie wrestling scene and continues advocating for LGBTQ inclusion through his OnlyFans account.
193. Joe Barton
#AndNew @primosprowrestling Chopping Block Champion!!!!#ThankYou to every #Lover who bought a ticket and showed their support of #EasyLover. I promise to make this championship better and will defend it to the best of my ability.— Easy Lover (@iamAWESOME513) August 30, 2021
I love you#ChampionWhoHunts#MCM#AEW #NJPW #MLW pic.twitter.com/E8MvAW42I1
Despite an injury setback, this year saw “The Easy Lover” Joe Barton continue to push through the Rocky Mountain pro wrestling scene in both singles and tag team competition. “The Awesome One” captured the Primos Pro Wrestling Chopping Block championship and Colorado Springs Wrestling Tag Team titles and debuted with VERSUS Pro Wrestling.
192. Moondog Murray
Carrying the legacy of the Moondog name with a delightfully queer twist, Moondog Murray brought his bone and brawn to promotions across the Midwest in his first year. Murray logged appearances with Chicago Style Wrestling, Crash Tested Wrestling, Premier Pro Wrestling and Northland Pro Wrestling while growing his Twitch following.
191. Lyzbeth McHellin
Winning a championship in your first match is somewhat of a rarity in pro wrestling, but that accomplishment was just one first for Lyzbeth McHellin. In her first match since transitioning, McHellin became the first trans woman to wrestle in Quebec and win a title when she captured the La Lutte C Vrai Women’s championship in July.
190. Christopher Valentine
“The Killer Cupid” showcased multiple talents during his year in pro wrestling. After making his Game Changer Wrestling debut against Jared Evans during the EFFY’s Big Gay Block portion of GCW’s 24-hour event Fight Forever, Valentine also stretched his filmmaker chops with Pennsylvania Premiere Wrestling.
189. Bobby Summers
Come on ref.. I was just trying to help @SandraMoonepie with her hair. @VersusProStudio was lucky enough to have someone as thoughtful and compassionate as me. #prowrestling pic.twitter.com/g0ufKLUX8w— Bobby Summers ⚡️ (@bobbyysummers) June 8, 2021
The Las Vegas wrestling scene experienced a breakout this year with multiple young grapplers building the foundation. Summers is one of the newer names in that collection, working with both VERSUS Pro and Dark Arts Entertainment. Summers challenged Sandra Moone for the Party Hard Wrestling Party Monster title at VERSUS’ Pride show.
188. Kota Holliday
In Chicago and beyond, Kota Holliday and her Next Level Soldiers crew kept pushing to new levels in 2021. Holliday and tag partner Jax Johnson riled crowds in Berwyn Championship Wrestling, Great Lakes Wrestling and Hybrid Championship Wrestling. But Holliday also has a rivalry with Mateo Valentine in Proving Grounds Chicago in dire need of a one-on-one clash.
187. Richie Coy
One of the most exciting names to come out of Santino Bros. Academy this year, Richie Coy feels primed for a breakout in 2022. After they and their Anti-Saviors partners Kidd Bandit and Hellman Rosecrown got under Ray Rosas’ skin in Millenium Pro Wrestling, Coy blossomed on their own at Santino Bros. Nice Guys Finish Last
186. Simon Sermon
Happy Birthday to the Queen, Simon Sermon! pic.twitter.com/S2KAdyxzKq— WrestleMerica (@WrestleMerica) January 5, 2021
Perhaps the longest-active out pro wrestler in the Southeast U.S., Sermon showed no quit two decades into his in-ring career. In multiple appearances with Georgia-based indies WrestleMerica and Lariato Pro, Sermon battled Eddie Honcho and Impact Wrestling Tag Team champion Luke Gallows in all-out brawls. Sermon also challenged for the Lariato Pro Lionheart title.
185. Joshua Myron McKinney
It felt like “The Global Phenomenon” was all over the West coast this year, notching appearances in Pro Championship Wrestling, East Bay Pro Wrestling and Legacy Pro Wrestling, where he reigns as the first Silver State champion. J.M.M. also competed in the Princex of Pride championship tournament at Full Queer, falling to eventual winner Da Shade.
184. Byron Anthos
After a 19-month break due to the pandemic, the “King of Fools” brought his trademark antics and black & blue attitude back to the ring at Pride Championship Wrestling’s Lucha Oso event. Now that he is back, it’s only a matter of time before Anthos reinserts himself into the circles of Texas independent wrestling that have missed its favorite jester tekker.
183. Jet Jameson
Jet is an appropriate name for this young high-flyer coming out of Knokx Pro Academy. Jameson’s rookie year saw him compete in multiple California promotions, including a battle with Saint Synclair at Knokx Pro. Jameson’s 2021 highlight came when he stood toe-to-toe with current WAC double champ Keita at Full Queer’s Princex of Pride championship tournament.
182. MIG/Lil Atari
If the spikes don’t get you, MIG has plenty in his arsenal to put anyone down for the count. The California independent regular displayed his power and impressive agility at Supreme Pro Wrestling and VERSUS Pro Wrestling, challenging for the LVL Up Expo title at the latter. But MIG bust onto many people’s radar at Paris Is Bumping: Solid Gold ‘21 as Haus of Atari’s Lil Atari. He closed out the year with an appearance on WWE NXT in asegment with Joe Gacy and Roderick Strong.
181. AJ Kirsch
One of the more beloved figures in the independent wrestling world, Kirsch got a huge boost by appearing on AEW Dark earlier this year. And what we hear is that his close personal friend Broseph Joe Brody is a pretty dope master of cere-bro-nies at Hoodslam shows.
180. Roni Nicole
Roni Nicole is a world-traveled veteran who has spent most of the year lending her voice to important conversations on race in wrestling through her Sunday Sessions video series and work with Scholar & Elbow. But that doesn’t mean she didn’t take some time to deliver a big bang. Nicole mixed it up in Missile Dropkick Wrestling Association and Delaware County Championship Wrestling.
179. Jessica Love
Scandanavia burst out as an intriguing region for pro wrestling in 2021, but Jessica Love is a testament to that community’s vibrance long before American audiences caught on. The trans wrestler has been active for 13 years in Fight Club Finland Wrestling, regularly flirting with the company’s Finnish Heavyweight championship picture. In 2021, she challenged for the GLAM! title.
Though the LGBTQ pro wrestling movement has shed light on many LGBTQ identities, there are still very few out trans masculine or trans men grapplers. Eros is a figure that breaks that trend every time he steps into the ring in his native Spain. As a regular at Rage Wrestling and Resist Pro Wrestling, Eros wears his Pride while proving that every facet of the rainbow family is present in pro wrestling.
177. Rebel Kinney
“The Psycho Dyke” Rebel Kinney jumped right back into the thick of things once the U.K. promotions were able to run again. And she wasted little time in making an impact, capturing the Solent Wrestling Federation Ladies championship in a clash with fellow Pro Wrestling EVE favorite Nightshade. With less than a year before she retires, Kinney is set to have one hell of a final run in 2022.
176. Angelo Carter
As one-third of The Network alongside Indigo and Tiara James, Angelo Carter emerged as one of the more charismatic rookies in 2021. “The Money Dragon” made multiple appearances in the New York/New Jersey area, most notably with Industrial World Wrestling and We Are Wrestling, and Michigan-based Great Lakes Wrestling.
175. Sazzy Boatright
The one true fucker of moms ignited fans in the New York area in her very young pro wrestling career. Making her debut in Summer 2021 at Industrial World Wrestling’s Good Vibes and Dives, Boatright has quickly risen as an entertaining newcomer. She also appeared at Polyam Woodstock complete with a live performance entrance featuring New England punk outfit Sorry Mom.
174. Russell Rogue
Simply Biconic, Russell Rogue tactfully picked his spots in 2021 and left an impression in doing so. They competed in the long-awaited Britney Spears Open Invitational at Pro Wrestling Vibe’s Cassandro Cup and left the crowd hollering after appearing in the #ForTheCulture Rumble at Black Wrestlers Matter 2. Rogue also announced a new project, Futura Wrestling, that is still in development.
173. Reese Ryan
Wrestler, performer and podcaster can all describe Ryan, but perhaps “VIP” fits best. The Pride Pro UK LGBTQ ambassador made his return to the ring at British Wrestling Revolution in a rumble match for the vacant BWR Heavyweight title. He is also set to challenge for the BWR Tag Team titles alongside partner Man Like Dereiss.
172. Dewey Murray
Murray hit the ground running after sitting out most of 2020, knocking out matches in promotions across New York and Pennsylvania. “The Real Mutha Trucker” stepped into the ring for Ultimate Wrestling, challenging for the UW Heavyweight title, took part in the 2CW reunion events. The reigning APEX Wrestling champion also pushed his way to the top of Nickel City Wrestling’s tag team division alongside partner Rob Sweet.
Angelo Carter’s joint-manipulating The Network compatriot helped the group dominate on multiple events for Industrial World Wrestling. Utilizing a strong yet serene submission style, Indigo held her own against more experienced opponents at Polyam Woodstock and Great Lakes Wrestling. Nothing like an armbar to get your chakras aligned.
Come back tomorrow for the next 30 honorees of the 2021 QWI 200!