Welcome to day three of the 2021 QWI 200 list.
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.”
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.
Here are the wrestlers ranked this year 140 to 111.
140. Riley Andrews
Known as the “Rainbow Killa,” Riley Andrews brings a ton of non-binary finery to their Sass Central stable. Andrews excelled in singles competition before linking up with their tag team partner Sassy Bear Clarence in WrestleForce and Ultimate British Wrestling, including a UBW Tag Team championship match. The two, along with fellow Sass Central member Gambit, are ready for 2022.
139. Sassy Bear Clarence
The most experienced member of the Sass Central faction, Sassy Bear Clarence thundered his way back onto the UK independent wrestling world in the latter half of 2021. Notching appearances in KAPOW! Wrestling and DOA Wrestling UK, he teamed with fellow Sass Central member Riley Andrews for the first time at WrestleForce.
138. Kayla Sparks
You would be hard-pressed to find a better comeback story this year than that of “The Spice Ranger” Kayla Sparks. Sparks made her return to the ring after a 14-year absence at Women’s Wrestling Revolution in July and hasn’t looked back since. With appearances at Mission Pro Wrestling, Squared Circle Wrestling and Capitol Championship Wrestling, Sparks topped her comeback journey with a bout against former AEW Women’s World champion Riho on AEW Dark: Elevation.
137. Mylo Matters
In her third year as a pro wrestler, Mylo Matters reached her highest point yet. Along with appearances at Santino Bros and Crimson Crown Wrestling, Matters debuted for Championship Wrestling From Hollywood and challenged Da Shade for the Princex of Pride championship at the LGBTQ Pride showcase Dark Sheik’s Fearless.
I dont need a belt to be a champion! I am my own king!— Keegan (@KeeganWAW) October 5, 2020
Photo by l @FionaDarlow@WAW_UK #wrestling #wrestler #britwres #britishwrestling #prowrester #norwich #prowrestling #gay #norwichgay #champion #king #solo #ginger #gingergay #gingerguy #bear #scruff pic.twitter.com/h4XWtKeY4y
The World Association of Wrestling regular found himself vying for multiple championships as WAW got back to regular operations this year. “The Big Gay Gladiator” challenged for the WAW European, People’s, British Heavyweight and World Heavyweight titles multiple times in his quest to hold WAW gold for the first time in nearly two years. Keegan also appeared for WAW’s sister promotion Bellatrix.
135. Sky de Lacrimosa
Anytime Sky de Lacrimosa is on the card, you know you’re guaranteed one thing: excessive violence. Lacrimosa reigned as the Metroplex Wrestling champion for a good chunk of the year while also returning to Texas-based deathmatch promotion Heavy Metal Wrestling. Lacrimosa hit a new highlight with New Texas Pro Wrestling, challenging NTPW champion Bryan Keith in a Monster’s Ball match.
134. Kaci Dillon
“The International Princess of Darkness” could easily be lauded just for her in-ring accomplishments, including capturing the Eclipse Wrestling La Femme championship earlier this year. But Dillon’s true jewel is the BellaDonna Division, a traveling roster of women and non-binary wrestlers that partners with promotions to highlight the wrestling talents of competitors of marginalized genders.
133. Benjamin Harland
All reigns must come to an end, but Benjamin Harland’s near-two year reign as Barracks Pro Wrestling Academy champion was just one benchmark of his year. “The Sweet Prince” linked back up with tag team partner Jack Knudsen as Act Two and jumped back into the British wrestling fray at CATCH Pro Wrestling, DOA Wrestling UK and Pro Wrestling 4U.
132. Alex Ocean/Alex Xcean
As more LGBTQ wrestlers branched out into the deathmatch world this year, Alex Ocean was adding to his reputation for violence and destruction. Ocean captured the Coastal Championship Wrestling Heavyweight title and made regular appearances for ICW No Holds Barred and No Peace Underground. He also reached the finals of Pro Wrestling Trainwreck’s Southern Sickness Cup tournament.
131. Harley Hudson
Another of British Wrestling’s bright young stars, Harley Hudson stepped into the ring at a number of popular U.K. promotions. She debuted with Futureshock Wrestling, Unstoppable British Wrestling and Wrestle Island and faced off against Lucy Sky at TNT Extreme Wrestling’s all-women event Sirens Fury.
130. Silvio Milano
The “Shade King” of Australia rolled into 2021 with momentum after multiple appearances with Australian independent promotions. In PWA Black Label, Milano donned his rainbow face paint once again, entering the PWA Rumble before the country went back into lockdown.
129. Jey Dewhurst
“The Samoan Diva” installed herself in the Future Wrestling Australia Women’s championship scene this year. Dewhurst challenged Xena for the title in May and put the U.S. on notice during Paris Is Bumping: Solid Gold ‘21. But the most memorable moment of the year came when Screen Australia funded Dewhurst’s film project “DIVA,” a work based on Dewhurst’s own journey through pro wrestling.
128. Candy Lee
Pledge allegiance to the flag ️⚧️ pic.twitter.com/l3geJJlptZ— candy lee (@CandidlyCandy_) September 28, 2021
Speaking of divas, Candy Lee continues to embody her own definition of the term. Candy Lee once again delivered a show-stealing vogue performance at Paris Is Bumping: Solid Gold ‘21, but she also found herself in the Deathmatch Down Under Heavyweight title tournament. There is surely more chaos to come from one of the most vocal trans advocates in pro wrestling.
127. Andey Ripley
A popular name in the Southeast U.S., Andey Ripley isn’t shy about showing opponents all of their talents. A regular at Georgia-based Platinum Championship Wrestling, Ripley also debuted at Paradigm Pro Wrestling, Face2Face Wrestling and Spartan Wrestling this year. They also showed that they take no shit when they responded to the House of ButcHer cutting their hair by shaving it all off and beating the bricks off of the team. Their ghost hunting tag team C.R.E.E.P.S. with Irving West brought plenty of spite and regret to the ring as well.
126. Broken Roxy
Whether Foxy or Broken, Roxy should be known to the pro wrestling world alongside Mariah Moreno as one of the pro wrestling groundbreakers for trans performers. The Atlantic Coast favorite and former American Lucha Wrestling Women’s champion kept up the pace in her 24th year, appearing for ALW, Asylum Carnage Wrestling and Heritage Championship Wrestling Alliance.
125. Eris Spiral
Eris Spiral’s coming out during Pride month this year is surely a personal highlight, but the Northeast U.S. regular didn’t stop there. There was too much gold to be had. Spiral captured the Locked Target Wrestling 24/7 championship, her first title, before becoming the inaugural LTW Women’s champion. She and her husband Lawrence Spiral also challenged for the LTW Intergender Tag Team titles.
124. Casey Johns
Australia’s tag team ranks got a violent awakening this year as Casey Johns rose the ranks with his partner James Hartness, known collectively as Cut-Throat And Then Some. Johns challenged for the Explosive Pro Wrestling Tag Team titles and burst into Southern Hemisphere Wrestling Alliance’s tag team division. Johns also held their own in singles competition, even facing off against Hartness in EPW’s Super 9 tournament.
123. Anthony Gaines
‼️⚠️Attention to @NewSouth_PW and @IWAMidSouth ⚠️‼️— ✭ Anthony Gaines ✭ (@Anthony__Gaines) March 1, 2021
None of a Kind is coming your way. And ain’t holding a damn thing back.
Here’s a small taste of what I can do. But let’s be honest. This is just the appetizer. #NoneOfAKind pic.twitter.com/xnz18KznXV
One of New York’s most beloved and determined fighters, “None Of A Kind” Anthony Gaines once again turned stellar matches across the Empire State. Gaines held his own against the modern king of the deathmatch John Wayne Murdoch in IWA: Mid-South before taking his own stomping grounds by storm. Gaines logged appearances with Empire State Wrestling, Xcite Pro Wrestling and Northern Federation of Wrestling. He even made a trip down south to Alabama’s New South Pro Wrestling.
122. Joey Mayberry
What do you do when everybody wants you? pic.twitter.com/KUNOT8n9Pq— #DadBodDemiGod (@joey_mayberry) November 30, 2021
“The Dad Bod Demi-God” is easily recognized for his work with Ring The Belle, but Mayberry has also been hard at work making a name for himself in the ring around the greater Chicago area. Alongside tag team partner Mateo Valentine, Mayberry whipped up a collection of wins at Chicago Style Wrestling and Lucha Libre Total Chicago with his trademark finisher, the Bussy Buster.
121. Mateo Valentine
A prominent voice for LGBTQ Asian-Americans, Mateo Valentine put his words into action in the ring in multiple Chicago-based promotions. Valentine captured the Proving Grounds Chicago championship earlier in the year and challenged for the Chicago Style Wrestling Tag Team titles as part of the team Big Mood. Valentine also teamed with Joey Mayberry, collectively known as Glamorous And Yummy, in Lucha Libre Total Chicago and debuted for POWW Entertainment.
120. Armani Kayos
One half of Higher Society, one of New England’s favorite new tag teams, Armani Kayos quickly rose the ranks to fan favorite in 2021. Alongside Paris Van Dale, Kayos brought his namesake to Paris Is Bumping: Solid Gold ‘21, Limitless Wrestling and Beyond Wrestling. The duo even established their own championship, the Higher Society championship, at home promotion Chaotic Wrestling after Kayos won the now defunct CW Women’s title from Becca.
119. Persia Pirotta
The former Steph De Lander debuted for WWE’s NXT brand as a member of Indi Hartwell’s wedding party after starring at PWA Black Label. Renamed Persia Pirotta, she teamed with Hartwell in pursuit of the NXT Women’s Tag Team championships. The two battled in a ladder match for the titles at NXT Halloween Havoc, and Pirotta won her singles debut in a handicap match one month later.
118. Carlos Romo
The Pride of Spain, Carlos Romo jumped back into the deep end of European wrestling once pandemic restrictions lifted. With multiple appearances with Rings of Europe and Kamikaze Pro Wrestling secured, Romo put on a show in his submission match against Chris Ridgeway at Wrestle Carnival. Not content with staying across the pond, Romo made his return to the U.S. independent scene at ETU Wrestling in New Jersey.
117. Brad Slayer
Brad Slayer stood as one of the most decorated wrestlers in World Association of Wrestling history before the year began, but that didn’t mean he was going to take his foot off the gas. Slayer capture both the WAW People’s and European championships in 2021, winning a steel cage match against PJ Knight to win the latter. He also made appearances for Bellatrix and is set to debut for Pride Pro UK in the coming year.
As talented as they are evil, Mamba remained one of the top rudo exoticos in top Mexican promotion AAA in 2021. Mamba lasted to the final two in AAA’s annual Copa Antonio Pena match and carried a blazing feud with Pimpinela Escarlata throughout the year. They also appeared for a wide array of other promotions, capturing the KAOZ Lucha Libre Mixed Tag Team titles with Mr. Iguana.
Tossing fools around the ring is the core of Isana’s in-ring game, hence her “Suplex Sweetheart” moniker. And that is exactly what she did across New England this year. The reigning Renegade Wrestling Alliance Hype champion, Isana challenged for titles in Northeast Championship Wrestling, Warriors of Wrestling and Proving Ground before conducting some experiments with Erica Leigh on Wrestlers Lab Alchemy.
Though she is only two years into her career, “The Unwilting” Tatiana has proven to be a formidable opponent for anyone that comes her way. “The Botanical Badass” defeated Kaci Dillon for the Eclipse Wrestling La Femme title, challenged Corinne Mink for the Real Shoot Wrestling Women’s title and made an impact at H2O.
113. Riley Shepard
With sword and shield in hand, “The Gladiator Of The Geeks” charged into 2021 with fervor. A regular for Women’s Wrestling Revolution, Shepard challenged for multiple championships across the Northeast, including in Titan Championship Wrestling and Invictus Pro Wrestling. She also found herself in the finals of the Dropkick Depression Heavyweight title, lending her voice and athleticism to the cause of mental health awareness in pro wrestling. Shepard ended the by reclaiming the TCW Goddess championship.
112. Rolando Perez
New South Pro Wrestling got a significant chill thanks to “Miami Ice” Rolando Perez. After challenging for multiple New South titles in 2020, Perez turned his attention to heated rivalries with Cabana Man Dan and Kenzie Paige while returning to IWA Mid South and debuting for All Elite Wrestling on AEW Dark.
111. Pimpinela Escarlata
A bonafide legend of lucha libre and one of the most beloved exoticos in Mexican wrestling history, Pimpinela Escarlata, now in his 50s, continued to build his legacy. Pimpi defeated Mamba to win the Copa Antonio Pena at AAA Heroes Immortales XIV and swooned crowds at multiple promotions in Mexico and Guatemala.
Come back tomorrow as we crack the top 100 and unveil the next 30 honorees.