Y’all, I don’t have to tell you that it’s been a tough year for our community. The continued targeting of LGBTQ youth — specifically trans youth — and adults by fear-mongering lawmakers and hate spewers made 2022 feel like a constant battle.
We couldn’t let our guard down, always vigilant, as our rights to gender-affirming healthcare, participation in sports and gathering in our spaces to express our culture were threatened.
As taxing as it is, it proves our resilience and reaffirms the fact that we as out LGBTQ people aren’t going anywhere.
Pro wrestling can feel trivial at times when juxtaposed against the desperate attempts to conjure a culture war at queer people’s expense, but it also embodies that resilience.
The LGBTQ pro wrestling movement expanded dramatically in 2022, claiming more space for our community. We’re not out for scraps anymore.
Stars in the making like Caleb Jean Cartier, Danika Blodwyn, Skye James, Amira, Lover Boy Leo, Angel Shay and Numi Barber showed what the coming generation has in store.
And those just starting their pro wrestling journeys like Zaye Perez, Saraya Saber, Skyler Mars, Pha’Nesse, Devin Carter, Zakai Living, Beauxx Bombshell and Jadis Quinn show that the movement has staying power.
Talents like Filipino trans wrestler Chelsea Marie, Chilean trans wrestler Divinna, Finnish trans wrestler Jessica Love, Brazilian wrestlers Yan Karlor and Raio Negro, Argentine wrestler Zac Monsoon, Britain’s Beau Belles, Skye O. Shure and Tyler Adams and the all-incomparable Veny cement that this is a worldwide cause.
In every corner of the world, we aren’t simply existing anymore.
We are thriving.
Nearly 500 deep, those who want to erode what we’ve built are in for the rudest of awakenings.
Welcome to the 2022 Queer Wrestling Index 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 has been updated to reflect his removal.
200. Jamie Senegal
2022 was a year of affirmation for the beloved Senegal. After appearing with Florida-based promotion Coastal Championship Wrestling, including a fight with KiLynn King for the CCW Women’s title, Senegal stepped away from the ring to continue along her gender affirmation journey. After months away, Senegal made her return, mixing it up with Bryn Thorne and Tommy Purr in Arizona’s Wrestle Drag and returning to CCW to carry on the legacy of her wrestling mother, Daffney.
199. Jensen Ryan
Britwres’ “Dark Prince” starred alongside his Project Venom tag team partner Raphael James in appearances for Quality Wrestling, garnering the attention of both the BBC and ITV. Ryan shared his journey as a queer pro wrestler with the U.K. en route to a Great Britain Wrestling Alliance title challenge and a showdown with James at Quality’s Halloween show after turning on him months earlier.
Divinna took the Chilean pro wrestling scene by storm in 2022, stepping into nearly every major pro wrestling company in the South American nation. Her Campeona Nacional de Lucha Women’s championship win in February made her the first trans woman to hold a women’s title in the nation’s history and carried that mantle in appearances with Chile Lucha Libre, FNX Lucha Libre and HIT Lucha Libre.
197. Chris Ryan
Fighting out of Brooklyn’s own T2T Academy, “The One Winged Dragon” Chris Ryan established himself with the New Jersey pro wrestling scene with key moments in and out of the ring. Ryan stood across from formidable foes Big Game Leroy and The Bundertaker, and appeared for Pro Wrestling Magic and Funhouse Pro Wrestling. He claimed his first title, winning the Funhouse Tag Team titles with Stan Stylez, months after coming out publicly as bisexual.
A burgeoning European star, Micha hit the ground running after being out of the ring for much of 2021. Carrying a three-plus year reign as Belgium-based Xperience Wrestling Rookies champion into the year, “The Proud Diva” of the French wrestling scene brought their mix of glamour and grit to Wrestling Stars and Ligue Nationale de Catch.
195. Nick Pierce
Hot ref no more, Nick Pierce shocked audiences at Pro Wrestling VIBE “Pride & VIBE Weekend” by shedding their referee uniform and entering the Cassandro Cup Rumble. The moment kickstarted the T2T student’s rookie campaign and led to a match with Erica Leigh at Paris Is Bumping: The Legends Ball. Pierce rounded out his year with appearances with Invictus Pro, Wrestle Queerdom, Pro Wrestling Magic and Wrestlers’ Lab, including a hard-hitting battle with his trainer, Logan Black. Damb.
194. Tiny Tanaily
Don’t let the name fool you. Tanaily may be tiny, but she is mighty. The Puerto Rico native crisscrossed the U.S., bringing her volatile mix of suplexes to opponents, including deathmatch queen Sawyer Wreck and Damaris Dawkins. Her Mission Pro Wrestling debut pitted her against Jordan Blade, which was fitting preparation for her Combat Fights Unlimited debut, taking down IMPACT Wrestling star Savannah Evans inside the CFU cage.
193. Davison Sarai
Name an independent promotion based in Michigan and it’s likely Sarai stepped into its ring in 2022. Just over a year into her in-ring career, the strong-worded Sarai has already found championship gold, entering the year as Independence Pro Wrestling Women’s champion. Her title defense against Juniper Gates stands as one of the few times two trans women battled for a championship in wrestling history. Sarai went to war with the likes of Randi West and Blair Onyx and expanded her purview, appearing for promotions in Indiana and Illinois.
192. Xander Phillips
A strong wave of promising young grapplers continues to emerge from Southern California, and Xander Phillips added to that wave this year. “The X-Factor” made his debut earlier this year in Level Up Pro Wrestling before forming the tag team The Block with JF3000 and jumping into the Millennium Pro Wrestling tag team division. The Block challenged for the Level Up Tag Team titles, and Phillips made his Las Vegas debut with Future Stars of Wrestling.
191. Gin Sevani
Speaking of SoCal, “The SoCal Hippie” Gin Sevani maintained her position as a mainstay of the region’s wrestling and lucha scenes in solo, tag and trios competition. Whether teaming with Top Tier Bovi as Vibelence or adding Chris Nastyy to complete the trio Better Off Dead, Sevani starred in Las Vegas’ PrideStyle and Arizona-based promotion Wrestle Drag, including memorable battles with Sandra Moone and Dr. Redacted.
190. Top Tier Bovi
The other half of Vibelence, Top Tier Bovi lived up to his moniker as a powerhouse of the SoCal lucha scene. Alongside Gin Sevani and Chris Nastyy, Bovi helped the cultish antics of Better Off Dead become a known presence in PrideStyle and Wrestle Drag. He also left his own unique mark, complete with his Participation championship belt, on Venue Wrestling Entertainment and Big Valley Wrestling.
189. Justine Ward
One of the young torchbearers of the LGBTQ pro wrestling movement in Canada’s Maritime provinces, Justine Ward’s in-ring career hit new heights in 2022. They made a name for themself in their home promotion, Kaizen Pro Wrestling, in multi-person matches and high-tier singles performances against Covey Christ and Andrew Love. The “Cannonball” branched out into other Maritimes promotions, including Glory Hold Pro Wrestling and Atlantic Pro Wrestling, laying a foundation for a bright future.
188. Rebecca Reznor
The Irish “Blue Eyes White Dragon” continued their journey through the U.K. wrestling scene, continuing her rivalry with Pro Wrestling EVE standout Natalie Sykes before teaming together in True Grit Wrestling. Reznor also starred in Unstoppable British Wrestling and Tidal Championship Wrestling. British Wrestling Revolution and NORTH Wrestling. But perhaps the most powerful moment of the year for Reznor was coming out as genderfluid earlier in the year.
187. Juniper Gates
“The Vaporwave Vixen” left a trail of rainbows and defeated opponents across the Midwest. The Flophouse Wrestling regular entered the year as Xtreme Valley Wrestling Ladies champion and battled Arie Alexander over the belt. Gates stepped to Hayley Shadows at Cincinnati’s first Pride-themed event, challenged Randi West for the Asylum Wrestling Revolution Women’s title and even put together her own invitational scramble at Flophouse. All with her unicorns in tow.
186. Dewey Murray
The bandana-clad bruiser of Upstate New York, Dewey Murray kept trucking his way through the tag team division of multiple Northeast U.S. promotions. Teaming with Rob Sweet as The Open Road Hell Boyz, Murray captured the Ultimate Wrestling Tag Team titles, challenged for the Nickel City Wrestling tag titles and reached the semi-finals of the Immortal Championship Wrestling tag team title tournament. In solo action, “The Real Mutha Trucker” challenged for the All of Nothing 814 title and battled his tag partner in the Ultimate Wrestling Hardcore Cup finals.
185. Khan O’Kelley
Already known in the Southeast U.S. as a manager who gets results, “Glamour Boy” Khan O’Kelley showed that he gets results when he steps in the ring as well. O’Kelley shined in numerous North Carolina promotions, including Gouge Wrestling, Hit Club Pro and Fortitude Wrestling Entertainment with his trademark Bitch Style (Diva if you’re PG) of wrestling. A continuing issue with Kaydin Pierre still hasn’t been fully rectified, but O’Kelley promises that it is “on sight” anytime they’re in the same ring.
184. Joan Jetson
Pro wrestling’s only rocket scientist shot herself to the stars in 2022. After becoming the first Women’s World champion for Denver-based promotion Primos Pro Wrestling, Jetson produced the company’s first Pride show, Joan Jetson’s Big Queer Launch, where she teamed with Aiden Von Engeland. Jetson, along with wife and manager Mission Control, was one of the unsung heroes of Wrestle Queerdom, wrestling twice on the trans and gender-diverse pro wrestling showcase.
183. Kamille Hansen
Kamille Hansen, put simply, is out for destruction. Hansen brought her version of terror to British wrestling audiences while blazing a trail as one of the few trans pro wrestling stars across the pond. Her battles with fellow out wrestlers Jetta, Beau Belles and Skye O. Shure in Pro Wrestling EAST put her tenacity on display, but her brawl with Max The Impaler in Pro Wrestling EVE showed just what she is capable of within the context of historic matchups.
182. Lara Frazier
The former Skipper Lauren brought out a new side of their adventurous spirit in their first full year of in-ring action. Frazier kicked the competition across California, including battles with out wrestlers Danika Blodwyn and Abigail Warren at California Wrestling Association and Next Level Pro Wrestling. They found a home in the Bay Area, appearing for Hoodslam and All Pro Wrestling, and forming the tag team of Temple Run The Bases with Rosie Fingers in Full Queer. They also made a bit of history by becoming the inaugural South Bay Championship Wrestling Women’s champion and becoming the first non-binary femme Lucha Patron Light Heavyweight champion.
181. Prince Akkanatan/Rob Chase
Whether dancing his way to the ring as “The Cult Classic” Prince Akkanatan or skulking his way to victory as the domino-masked Rob Chase, this 15-year year in-ring veteran knows how to get the job done. He remained a regular fixture at East Coast Pro Wrestling under his princely moniker, holding the company’s tag titles and challenging for the ECPW Viral title. Outside of ECPW, Rob Chase secured spots at Wrestling Open, the Intergender Bonanza & High Tension Wrestling. He capped 2022 by winning the Dropkick Depression Tag Team titles against Terra Calaway and King Crab.
180. Barbie Boi
Embodying the “For The Divas” mantra in Southern California, Barbie Boi put together one of his best years to date in 2022. He made his return to Millennium Pro Wrestling, capturing the MPW title for the second time, and carved out a formidable position in the tag team world alongside Myloboo Barbie partner Mylo. The two brought pink-tinted pain to foes at PrideStyle and defeated Money Power Respect for the Full Queer Harvey Milk & Sylvester Tag Team titles at the Bearrison Street Fair.
179. Brick Savage
By now, all stereotypical ideas surrounding gender expression should be null, but if they do persist, Brick Savage is prepared to end it with authority. The non-binary powerhouse burst onto the Texas wrestling scene after a long powerlifting career and immediately established themself as a destructive force. Savage showed their skill at Inspire After Dark, Loko Wrestling and House of Texas, where they won the ACW Televised title. They also made their presence known at Metroplex Wrestling, where they defeated out deathmatch aficionado Sky de Lacrimosa, before bringing the fight to former Ring Of Honor 6-man Tag champion Shane Taylor at Texoma Pro.
178. Katalina Perez
2022 brought more opportunities to shine for “The Queenpin.” Perez entered the Generation Championship Wrestling Diamond Cup, showed off her striking ability in SHINE against the likes of Chelsea Durden and challenged for both the Nickel City Wrestling and American Combat Wrestling Women’s titles. She tacked on a couple of AEW appearances against Leyla Hirsch and Nyla Rose before closing the year against Billie Starkz in her Freelance Underground debut.
One of the most vibrant and intense personalities in the British wrestling scene, Cassius brings a distinct energy to the ring. “The Neon Explosion” found himself a couple of new homes in Fist Club and Hustle Wrestling UK, cementing his spot in both companies with a renewed tenacity. So much so that he earned a HWUK title shot against champion Laura Di Matteo. The cherry on top was wrestling in front of a hometown crowd at Wood Green Wrestling.
176. Silvio Milano
The Australian star whose big boot rivals Parrow’s among the LGBTQ pro wrestling ranks, Silvio Milano snagged spots both familiar and new. A staple of PWA Black Label, Milano entered the King Of The Metro Rumble, clearing house with their trademark power. He also made his American debut during WrestleMania weekend at EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch Dallas, opening plenty of eyes with their performance in the international scramble match.
175. Mitchell Starr
Todays announcement! The INCREDIBLE, the FANTASTIC, the TALENTED!......oh, wait, they're being announced next week......well today you can just have me then! pic.twitter.com/1qtmJe9WOp— Mitchell Starr (@MitchellStarr93) June 22, 2022
World Association of Wrestling constant Mitchell Starr held up his end of the Queer World Order’s work in the U.K. this year. Starr challenged for the WAW British Heavyweight title, entered the company’s Sky’s Thee Limit ladder match and prevailed in weapons-laden combat with Adam Lowe at WAW’s Norwich Pride event. Starr also made his way down to Italy to wrestle for DREAM Wrestling.
Underneath a sweet exterior lies Isana, one of the hardest-hitting forces in the Northeast U.S. indie scene. They brought their “Sugarcoated Hostility” to multiple promotions in the region, including Wrestlers’ Lab, Dropkick Depression and Paradise Alley Pro Wrestling. She found her most success in Northeast Championship Wrestling, remaining a key contender for the NCW Women’s and New England titles. Perhaps more important, though, was her work to cultivate the wrestling scene in Rhode Island, working with Renegade Wrestling Alliance and Rhode Island Stage Ensemble.
173. Estrella Divina
It felt like Mexico’s top trans luchadora popped up wherever you could set up a ring this year. Estrella Divina lived up to her name in tag and trios competition, including matches against Rey Horus, Pimpinela Escarlata and Tejano Jr. In singles, she captured the Robles Promotions Exotico title and made her return to top lucha promotion AAA, winning a cibernetico match in Mexico City.
172. Big Callux
You know what’s bigger than Big Callux on the big scale? Nothing. Pennsylvania’s resident giant kept squashing fools in 2022, leading Team Philly to the finals of Invictus Pro’s 8 City Open tournament. The big man was part of memorable clashes with Ziggy Haim, Big Game Leroy and Max Zero in Wrestlers’ Lab before breaking out of the confines of the ring and taking a crew led by Travis Huckabee to task in a no ring deathmatch in Philly. Despite his aggressive nature, Big Callux continued being a vocal mental health advocate. The best advocates know how to do Batista guns, after all.
171. G.G. Jacobs
Whether you know him as “The Queerbilly” or the Mayor of Poundtown USA, G.G. Jacobs’ infectious personality draws the focus of any audience. One of the most vibrant talents to come out of the Cincinnati scene in recent years, Jacobs kept a high profile in his home promotion, Future Great Wrestling. He became the inaugural FGW Shockwave champion in a wild battle royal/ladder match. Jacobs racked up appearances with other Midwest promotions, most notably Flophouse Wrestling and Ruthless Pro Wrestling. He was also a staple of Pride shows, both at home (Power! Pride! Pro Wrestling! vs. Juicy Jimmy) and away (Las Vegas-based Big Valley Wrestling) and formed a flowery duo with Tatiana at BWA Lipsticks & Dropkicks. He even slapped on his patented Luken Lock on someone in a library!
Come back tomorrow for the next 30 2022 QWI 200 honorees.