Pro wrestling history was made Friday night when out pro wrestler AC Mack became the first out LGBTQ man to win a world championship.
Mack defeated Alex Shelley for the IWTV Independent Wrestling World title in front of a loud hometown crowd at indie supercard “Southeast First” in Tyrone, Ga. With a standing room only crowd and other wrestlers surrounding the ring, the building erupted when Mack reversed Shelley’s Border City Stretch submission into a rollup to stun the 20-year veteran and take his place in the pro wrestling record books.
The win marked the end of a personal six-month quest to get an IWTV Independent Wrestling World title match after winning the Scenic City Invitational tournament last summer. Mack was named number one contender at ACTION Wrestling’s “Bangers Only 2” event in Dec. 2021 after defeating Anthony Henry in the main event.
The World's first openly gay male World Champion! @AC_Mack #SouthEastFirst pic.twitter.com/OCm10NSxa4— ACTION Wrestling (@WrestleACTION1) January 22, 2022
Mack joins the short list of out LGBTQ world champions, including Sandy Parker, Susan Green, Paige, Nyla Rose and current Pan Afrikan World Diaspora Wrestling champion Trish Adora.
The new champion held court after the match, speaking on the significance of his accomplishment. “I started wrestling in 2016. And plenty of people told me, ‘You ain’t gonna never make it out of this state. Not with the way you look, not with the color of your skin, not with who you like to sleep with.’ They dubbed me Georgia’s finest. Don’t clap for that, because I am so much more,” Mack exclaimed.
“For those of you who still don’t understand how big of a deal this is, we did the research. We found out that now AC Mack goes down in the history books — not just the indies, not just the major leagues, not Japan, not anything — all of pro wrestling now has its first openly gay male world champion,” He continued. “This championship, the IWTV World championship — Iris — is staying here.”
The night concluded with Mack sharing a tender moment with his partner, kissing him in the middle of the ring, surrounded by Southeastern pro wrestling’s finest, as the show went off the air.