In every corner of the world, LGBTQ people, including LGBTQ pro wrestlers, aren’t simply existing anymore.
We are thriving.
With nearly 500 out LGBTQ professional wrestlers worldwide (and counting), those who want to erode what we’ve built are in for the rudest of awakenings.
The Queer Wrestling Index 200 aims to celebrate the community making that possible within the pro wrestling world.
Welcome to the 2022 QWI 200.
Note: Mason Myles, who was previously ranked #114 on the list, was removed after informing Outsports that he isn’t part of the LGBTQ community and posts they/them pronouns publicly as a message of inclusivity towards LGBTQ fans from an ally of the community. Myles’ removal means a new number 200 has been added and the ranking of all honorees previous to him have been updated to reflect his removal.
The spiritual specialist of the mat has a way of reminding opponents of mindfulness while manipulating their joints. Indigo stood by her The Network partner Angelo Carter, battling The House of McQueen and Boats and Goats in tag team action. She entered the Pro Wrestling Magic Tri-Wizard title tournament, took former PWM champion Erica Leigh to the limit and found praise at Wrestling Open. In her biggest test yet, Indigo stood toe-to-toe with former AEW Women’s World champion Nyla Rose at Dropkick Depression.
169. Benjamin Harland
As Sidney Von Engeland noted, Benjamin Harland and tag team partner Jack Knudsen, collectively known as Act Two, should be counted as one of the better tag teams in the British wrestling scene. The longtime Barracks Academy champion traded that title for the Barracks Pro Heavyweight title before going on a tag team tear. Harland and Knudsen claimed both the FUTR Wrestling Tag Team titles and Sacrifice Pro’s Saints of Sacrifice tag titles.
168. Nikki Van Blair
Nikki Van Blair gave the Australian wrestling scene an injection of diva energy in her first full year back in the ring. The PWA Black Label regular formed the tag team Prima Pi Kappa with Frankie B. before logging multiple battles with current PWA Tag Team champs MK Plus Ultra. The two teams battled for the belts in September and joined New Japan standout Robbie Eagles in a fight against SMS. That didn’t keep him out of solo action, though, as Van Blair entered the King of the Metro Rumble. Truly “it girl” stuff.
167. Paris Sahara
“The Ebony Sensation” Paris Sahara exalted herself to new heights as a rising star in the Ohio Valley. Following her reign as Real Action Pro Wrestling Wildcard champion, Paris remained in the title picture in both singles and tag team. Sahara took her athleticism to Pittsburgh’s International Wrestling Cartel and reached her largest stage yet, making her debut with Chicago-based promotion AAW.
166. Broken Doll Roxy
I too am a wrestler and I think the Darkside looks good on us @WeAreRosemary you on @IMPACTWRESTLING grander scale then I love your matches love you makeup love to watch you work #DARKSIDE #wrestlinglife#EmbraceTheDark #TheBrokenDoll #TheBrokenRoxy pic.twitter.com/fTf6iqisxy— BrokenRoxy (@TFoxyRoxy) May 27, 2022
One of the original trans trailblazers in pro wrestling continued to hold things down in the Mid-Atlantic region more than 20 years after her debut. Roxy reigned over North Carolina-based promotion Asylum Carnage Wrestling as heavyweight champion for a good chunk of the year. She also struck up a heated rivalry with out rookie Angel Metro, resulting in multiple brawls and Roxy’s face planted in a plate of dog food. The Broken Doll also put her efforts toward building the next generation of wrestlers as a trainer at Jimmy Valiant’s Boogie’s Wrestling Camp in Virginia.
165. Shawn Carlson
Keen-eyed F1ght Club Pro Wrestling fans will recognize Shawn Carlson from his managerial days alongside Mr. Grim, but Carlson turned himself into a standout fan favorite in the ring in his home state of Delaware. “Ranch Hand” feuded with former client Mr. Grim and Chocolate City champion Andino over the 1CW Bulletproof title throughout the year while challenging for tag team gold in other East Coast promotions. Out of the ring, Carlson helped build 1CW into one of the most popular promotions in Delaware and drew praise from peers when he came out as bisexual earlier this year.
164. Noah Veil
Noah Veil is a ball of chaotic genderqueer energy that has taken multiple Southeast and Midwest U.S. promotions by storm during a breakthrough year in their career. Veil entered the ACTION Wrestling ring for the first time on its Next Up series and Kept themself in tag title contention in multiple Florida promotions as part of The Sexy Angels. Veil truly found a home in Indiana, though. Veil made their Paradigm Pro Wrestling debut and established themself as a major player in Naptown All Pro Wrestling, forming the trio N.O.V.A. with Athrun Amada and Jeffrey John.
163. Alex Maze
Canada’s pro wrestling surge in 2022 benefitted “The Festive Firework” greatly. Maze spread his time across multiple promotions in his native Quebec and Ontario, logging matches with Federation Monteregienne De Lutte, InterSpecies Wrestling and Xtreme Zone Wrestling. He and tag team partner Kristara, known collectively as Amazingly Sweet, made their C4 debut in the TAG Memorial tournament, while Maze challenged for the International Wrestling Syndicate Canadian title. Oh, can’t forget his victories over Veda Scott and “Speedball” Mike Bailey on Bailey’s Twitch channel.
Another year means plenty of chances for one of the West Coast’s most unsung names to pop up and dominate up and down the coast. Snypes captured the California Wrestling Association Open Challenge title early in the year and didn’t look back. With hard fought bouts in Desert Pro Wrestling, Blacklist Pro Wrestling and East Bay Pro Wrestling, Snypes dominated the competition in the Golden State. His clash with Midas Kreed will make sure you remember the name Snypes.
161. Randy Myers
“The Weirdo Hero” is well known for carving a path all his own, and 2022 brought plenty of tentpole moments. Randy Myers competed for the Love Pro Wrestling Grand title and rang in Pride month with Nation Extreme Wrestling, but the moment of the year came when he made his emotional return to Seattle-based promotion DEFY Wrestling after two-plus years away, during which he reigned as DEFY World champion. The year also brought the start of BOOM! Pro Wrestling, a wacky Vancouver-based promotion aimed at blending wrestling, comedy and whatever else into a concoction just as intriguing and engaging as the “Ravenous” one himself.
160. Sway Archer
One of the best gearmakers in pro wrestling put himself into a new gear this year. “The Culture King” shined in his first full year in the ring, ingratiating himself to fans and opponents in C4, International Wrestling Syndicate and Cross Body Pro Wrestling. Archer also played a big part in Pro Wrestling VIBE’s Pride & VIBE Weekend, making his debut in the Cassandro Cup Rumble and living up to his Creep Squad membership in the Grey Sweatpants scramble at Paris Is Bumping: The Legends Ball.
159. Duncan Solaire
South Korea’s pro wrestling scene doesn’t get shown enough love internationally, especially with talents like Duncan Solaire heading things up. Dubbed “The Queer Queen of the Korean Wrestling Scene,” the American ex-pat has built herself into a major player across Korea in recent years. 2022 brought Solaire her most singles wrestling success to date, claiming the All Korea Wrestling Seoul City title, Pro Wrestling Society King of Korea title and both the Southern Territory Wrestling Australian Heavyweight and Queensland Smashmouth titles.
158. “DFB” Greg Murray
The evolution of “Moondog” Greg Murray into the “Dog-Faced Bastard” encapsulates the level of growth this young grappler experienced this year. Wrestling for multiple Chicagoland promotions, Murray built himself into a mainstay of Chicago Style Wrestling and POWW Entertainment. With a number of IPW Jr. Heavyweight title challenges under his belt, Murray shared the ring with fellow Chicago queer wrestling collective members Joey Mayberry and Mateo Valentine, starred at NLS Is For Everyone and made his EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch debut in Chicago, his largest stage to date only two years into his career.
157. Jet Jameson
Coast-to–coast, Jet Jameson lived up to the promise he has shown in his first couple of years in the ring. Jameson entered the Knokx Pro championship tournament, which found him on the wrong side of Jordan Oasis inside a steel cage in California. The quest for championship gold continued when he defeated Danika Blodwyn to become the What A Drag champion and defended the title against AEW star Sonny Kiss. Perhaps most gratifying though was Jameson’s debut in his home state of Massachusetts, wrestling for the first time in front of his family at Pop Up Wrestling.
156. Zeb Saint One
One of the bright young talents fighting out of the Pacific Northwest, Zeb Saint One enacted his style of in-ring vandalism at nearly every spot in the PNW. Alongside Wrongside tag partners Kris Brady and Nathan Foxx, he found formidable battles in regional promotions DOA Pro Wrestling, POW! Pro Wrestling and Timber Pro Wrestling. His work at home promotion Without A Cause saw him embroiled in an issue with Brady, though they seemed to patch things up at Relentless Wrestling and Reactive Wrestling. Zeb also made the trip down to Las Vegas, appearing at Versus Pro, before holding his own with Vegas’ crown jewel, Sandra Moone, back in Oregon.
A longtime star of Norwich-based World Association of Wrestling, Keegan had another year that lived up to that legacy. He and Rip Parker reigned as WAW Academy Tag Team champions, but tag gold wasn’t enough for him. The WAW Peoples, British Heavyweight and World Tag Team titles all nearly fell into his grasp. He did find another accolade though, adding the Dynamite Kid Memorial Trophy to his collection at WAW’s annual Fightmare event.
154. Yan Karlor
The long-reigning Brazilian Wrestling Federation Internet champion and self-proclaimed “Future” of Brazilian pro wrestling, Yan Karlor saw himself recognized for the star he his by BWF crowds. “The Neckbreaker Kid” delivered an entrance for the ages at BWF Night of Champions ahead of what would be his last BWF Internet title defense for now, but the year also saw him form an LGBTQ alliance of sorts with fellow out BWF competitors Raio Negro and Thuro Thuro. There is a young queer nucleus in Brazil growing strong with Karlor at the helm.
153. Bobbi Diamond
The Queen of Northern Ireland pro wrestling’s year proved to be historic. Diamond became the first out gay heavyweight champion in the history of Northern Irish pro wrestling when he won the Titanic Wrestling championship in October. That wasn’t even the only TW title she found herself in contention for this year as Diamond and genderfluid tag partner The Pretty Big Deal challenged for the TW Tag Team titles as well. He rounded out his year by taking the team to Dublin-based Fight Factory Pro Wrestling.
152. Troy Merrick
A fixture of the Canadian Maritimes provinces for the better part of two decades, Troy Merrick proved again why he has staying power in the region. He captured the East Coast Pro Wrestling Celtic Roots title early in the year and logged multiple appearances with local promotions North Pro Wrestling and Ultimate Championship Wrestling. His series of bouts with AEW star Sonny Kiss across both UCW and Toronto’s Greektown Pro Wrestling resulted in hard-hitting spectacles. Throw in wrestling and teaming with Shannon Moore on the same night and there is plenty to see why Merrick remains prominent in the region.
151. Free-Range Kara
Perhaps the top independent wrestler to call North Dakota home, Free-Range Kara brought those country roots to big city settings throughout the Midwest. After returning to the ring last year after more than a year away, Kara quickly rose the ranks of Minneapolis-based promotion F1RST Wrestling, building a healthy rivalry with Billie Starkz. She defeated Starkz at F1RST’s Saturday Night Nitro, the first wrestling event hosted by the Mall of America since WCW Monday Nitro debuted there in 1995. Kara also held the Higher Ground Wrestling Future Clash title for most of the year and made her return to Canada against Pacific Northwest favorite Taryn From Accounting.
150. Casey Johns
Transmasc wrestlers are a small community, but, even within that small slice of the LGBTQ pie (which is growing, by the way), Casey Johns made a statement as one of the top out names in Australian pro wrestling. Johns captured the Explosive Pro Wrestling Tag Team titles alongside tag partner James Hartness, collectively known as Cut-Throat And Then Some. The win made Johns the first out transmasc pro wrestler to ever hold gold in the nation. The duo held the title until June, after which Johns went on his own personal journey, celebrating one year on testosterone and getting top surgery. He’ll surely be back to busting skulls and dropping wild sentons soon.
Few burst onto the scene in the way Amira did in her rookie year. The Oregon Pro Wrestling School student jumped headlong into the Pacific Northwest indie scene, entering DOA Pro Wrestling’s Queen of Thorns tournament and drawing admiration at Oregon promotions Prestige Wrestling and POW! Pro Wrestling. She debuted with multiple Washington promotions as well, including DEFY Wrestling, Without A Cause, 5CC Wrestling, Relentless Pro Wrestling and SOS Pro Wrestling. Full Queer’s Folsom St. Fair event marked her California debut. That’s a lot of miles for a first-year pro, but it also speaks to the promise Amira is already showing.
“The Unwilting” Tatiana bloomed in 2022. From Pittsburgh, PA to New Jersey and everywhere between, Tatiana brought intensity—and success soon followed. She captured the POSER Pizza Party title early in the year before putting opponents in H2O, Pitt Fight, and Buckeye Wrestling Alliance. Tatiana was also a presence on MV Young’s various outlaw shows around the Pittsburgh area, battling the likes of Ziggy Haim. She tagged with G.G. Jacobs and Jenny Rose on Pride-themed shows and ended the year by becoming a double champion, winning the World Domination Wrestling Alliance Women’s title in West Virginia. Tati Two Belts looks ready for more in 2023.
147. TJ Meyer
Michigan’s pro wrestling scene got some much deserved love this year, which was perfect timing for one of its linchpins, TJ Meyer. “The Lost Soul” challenged for titles in Metro Pro Wrestling, Xtreme Intense Pro Wrestling and Grizzly Pro Wrestling before claiming the Total Kaos Wrestling title in November. Never afraid to get hardcore, Meyer entered No Peace Underground’s Body Count Battle and stood down fellow Michigan deathmatch name Malcolm Monroe III in Ruthless Pro Wrestling. His Barbed Wire Brutality match against Dre Jacobs lived up to the name and Flophouse Wrestling welcomed for the first time in a year.
146. Kota Holliday
Kota has a death wish in the best way. The Chicago native wrestles like she has to prove that she can survive death—and she’s still kicking. Holliday challenged for the All Heel Wrestling and AIWF Women’s titles and reached the quarterfinals of the EWE Breakout Classic tournament. She and her door stole the show at Wrestle Queerdom one night after she made her Northeast debut in the Northern Federation of Wrestling. She and Next Level Soldiers partner Jax Johnson held things down in Chicago Style Wrestling, but her true test came against Ziggy Haim at NLS Is For Everyone, an inclusive show Holliday co-created. Kota won’t die until she is good and ready.
145. Nick Radford
Few people rile up crowds the way Nick Radford does in the Pacific Northwest. He and tag partner Thom Alman, known to fans as The Academy, returned to DOA Pro Wrestling, interjected themselves into the tag title picture and ended up in multiple brawls with PNW favorite Drexl. The duo also carved out a spot in SOS Pro Wrestling. But Radford also shined in singles competition, stepping into the ring with regional names ETHAN HD, B-Boy and Malcolm Phlex. Charizard thieves always get their comeuppance.
144. Alexis Lee
Alexis Lee fits the mold of pro wrestling’s “Queen of Asia,” and she has been proving that statement for nearly a decade. But, in 2022, she won the title that proves it. After a lengthy run as Singapore Pro Wrestling Tag Team champion, Lee defeated TJPW’s Mei Suruga and AEW star Riho to become the SPW Queen of Asia champion. The win made her a double champion as she also holds the Championship Wrestling Entertainment Vixens title. All hail.
143. Roni Nicole
The word legend must be required any time the name Roni Nicole is uttered going forward. But don’t let that qualifier dissuade you. The internationally-traveled Nicole still has plenty of death and destruction to deliver. She brought the fight in Icon Pro Wrestling and wrestled in The Bahamas as part of a partnership between Florida-based Fighting Evolution Wrestling and the Bahamas Wrestling Federation. Most notable though was her return to Uncanny Attractions, starring under the trademark pink lights in a bruising battle with The W.O.A.D. that lived up to her “Big Bang” moniker.
142. Darwin Finch
“The Punk Rock Poindexter” brings a certain science to his grappling skills. The West Coast native remains the benchmark at Los Angeles-based Santino Bros. Wrestling, facing the likes of Tyler Bateman and Raunchy Rico. He turned in a star-making performance in an emotionally charged match against Kidd Bandit and pulled up to fellow California promotions Millennium Pro Wrestling and Level Up Pro Wrestling. Outside of Cali, Finch made their PrideStyle debut and took himself up to the Pacific Northwest with Relentless Wrestling and 5CC Wrestling. They also found gold, winning the Wrestling Pro Wrestling Tag Team titles.
141. Rico Gonzalez
Look, there is no reason why Rico Gonzalez should be as good as he is so early in his wrestling career. After watching his partner AC Mack’s historic title win in January, Gonzalez hit several different gears to prove he wasn’t just “The First Gentleman.” he blew away audiences in ACTION Wrestling, Game Changer Wrestling, Ohio Wrestling Alliance and TWE Chattanooga before becoming an integral piece of Southeast First’s Uncharted Territory takeover. He reached the finals of the Scenic City Invitational Futures Showcase tournament and debuted for queer-led promotions Pro Wrestling VIBE and Naptown All Pro before stepping into an AEW ring for the first time. His new tag team with Ashton Starr, The Re-Up, is just getting started, and he captured his first title, the WWA4 Internet championship. That’s one hell of a rookie campaign.
Come back tomorrow for the next 30 2022 QWI 200 honorees.