One of the LGBTQ pro wrestling movement’s prevailing messages is that Pride doesn’t end on June 30. As more regions, both in North America and aboard, have embraced Pride-themed and LGBTQ-focused wrestling events, the act has increasingly become a year-round practice, and is garnering the attention of established Pride organizations.
The newest entry in this push is Friday’s “Power! Pride! Pro Wrestling!” event, the first queer-focused pro wrestling show in Cincinnati, Ohio. The event isn’t only presented in cooperation with Cincinnati Pride, which produces the city’s annual Pride festivities, but the idea for the event originated from members of the organization who were completely outside of the wrestling bubble.
“They were like, ‘Heather, we want you to put on an all-queer wrestling show,’” Heather Owens, retired pro wrestler and Cincinnati Pride co-chair of Pride athletics, told the Outsports podcast LGBT In The Ring.
The request came after Owens, who is still connected to the local pro wrestling scene despite hanging up her boots, convinced the organization to sponsor a local women’s pro wrestling show and invited her co-workers to attend the event.
“Two of the board members came, and they had never been to a wrestling show in their entire lives,” Owens said. “They’re like, ‘Oh my god. This is insane.’ That moment, I think, really sparked their minds.”
Ouu ❤️— G.G. Jacobs (@GGJacobs69) November 2, 2022
Queerbilly vs @juicyjimmy
• @CincinnatiPride POWER! PRIDE! PRO WRESTLING!
• Friday November 4th
• Bell 7pm
• Humble Monk Brewing in Northside/Cincinnati, Ohio
• tickets available at https://t.co/dftI4uKwpa pic.twitter.com/Z6DwvCTUAy
Owens saw the idea as a perfect fit for Cincinnati Pride’s “Pride 365” focus for 2022, and put her pro wrestling background to work. The event features well-known names within Cincinnati’s wrestling scene, such as G.G. Jacobs, Juicy Jimmy and Hayley Shadows; and emerging talents from the Midwest, including Malcolm Monroe III, Jack Andrews and Juniper Gates.
The event will also feature local drag performers in between matches, continuing the growing trend of blending pro wrestling and drag, as seen in other LGBTQ pro wrestling promotions such as Uncanny Attractions and Pro Wrestling VIBE.
Drag performer Brooklyn Steele-Tate will host the night’s action.
While Owens isn’t part of the LGBTQ community, “Power! Pride! Pro Wrestling!” and other Pride sporting events represent a personal call to advocacy that peaked for her during the early days of Covid lockdown.
That call to service now brings her to the cusp of a Pride and pro wrestling coupling that will benefit Cincinnati Pride.
“You always want to make money, but I want to make money to put back into the community,” Owens said. “I don’t know if it’s going to be a yearly thing, a quarterly thing or a one and done, but I think it’s going to be a really good show.”
“Power! Pride! Pro Wrestling!” will take place Friday, Nov. 4, at Humble Monk Brewing Company in Cincinnati, OH. Tickets are available through Cincinnati Pride’s official website.