Billy Dixon, Pro Wrestling Vibe founder and one of the leaders of the modern LGBTQ pro wrestling movement, is hanging up his overalls.
In a soul-bearing Twitter post, Dixon announced he will end his in-ring pro wrestling career for the foreseeable future after Pro Wrestling Vibe’s “Pride & Vibe Weekend” LGBTQ pro wrestling festival in June. His final match will be at the festival’s “Cassandro Cup” event against longtime rival Darius Carter in an “I Quit match” (a match with no rules and the only way to win is to make your opponent say “I quit”).
Dixon stated his decision to step away from the ring was motivated by his desire to focus on taking care of the man behind Billy Dixon — Kyle Dixon — and finding stability among the physical, mental and emotional stressors brought by pro wrestling.
“I’ve neglected myself for almost a decade. And now, I’m in search for balance,” Dixon said. “I’m really excited to explore who I am with the sole benefit being for me. I’m looking to be the grounded person I needed to be when I began wrestling.”
This is long AF but it's the only way I could find the words to explain why I am choosing to end my time being a wrestler.— BD (@TheBillyDixon) May 9, 2022
TL/DR: Eat, pray, love era incoming and I love you all. #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth pic.twitter.com/ho66cXCkvH
“I was in and out of therapy because the advice has been for years to take time away but my desire to reach my fullest potential mattered more than my own wellness,” Dixon added. “I was always scared to do this because I feared that if I came back you would forget me and all my work would be erased. I still feel that a lil bit.
“So many of us neglect ourselves and it at times can have fatal consequences. It is not accurately stated how much the physical, social and financial stress that comes with this truly impacts your mental health. Keep that in mind that wrestlers are in fact human beings; we hurt, cry and deal with hardships like anyone else. Please be kind.”
Dixon’s list of accomplishments during his seven-year in-ring career include multiple historic achievements and innovations that helped fuel the modern growth of LGBTQ identities in pro wrestling.
He and current F1ght Club Pro Wrestling producer Lo McGrath produced the 2020 event “Butch vs. Gore,” which became the foundation for Dixon’s current promotion, Pro Wrestling Vibe. Dixon and Hoodfoot Mo Atlas main-evented GCW For The Culture last month in pro wrestling’s first all-Black deathmatch.
I'm the gayest wrestler in the world. Thank you kindly!— BD (@TheBillyDixon) December 9, 2021
I'm beyond proud of how far we as a community have come and how far we ALL will go! ️
Check out the full #QWI200 list here: https://t.co/INBSWsxanj pic.twitter.com/8W4H0HSHM5
“The Business,” as Dixon is called, earned the number-one spot on Outsports’ 2021 QWI 200 list of the top LGBTQ pro wrestlers, the first year the list was ranked. He is still in the midst of a 2+ year reign as F1ght Club Pro Wrestling’s Chocolate City champion, and stole Wrestlemania week last year in a bloody star-making performance against AJ Gray at EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch.
One of his most poignant contributions to pro wrestling was the creation of “Paris Is Bumping”, a unique blend of pro wrestling and ballroom culture highlighting trans and gender-diverse identities and people of color in pro wrestling that will hold its third event during “Pride & Vibe Weekend.” The defacto LGBTQ pro wrestling hall of fame “Paris Honors” was created by Dixon as part of “Paris Is Bumping.”
He also established the “Cassandro Cup,” an annual event aimed at elevating LGBTQ wrestlers in the same fashion as foundational tournaments in independent pro wrestling, such as the ECWA Super 8 and King of the Indies.
But Dixon’s true legacy lies in his ability to lift up both his pro wrestling peers and speak to fans who didn’t see themselves in pro wrestling presentations, as evidenced by the outpouring of responses from both communities after he broke the news.
Thank you, Billy.— Don’t Die Miles (@DontDieMiles) May 10, 2022
I’m even more upset with the universe never let us have our moment. I love you. I’m proud of you. Thank you for everything you did for us. https://t.co/4ndn28ft5t
Sending you so much love and support on your personal journey.— Corgi Durst (@shakenbridge) May 9, 2022
As a queer wrestling fan, thank you for the mark you’ve left. Wrestling and LGBTQ+ representation is where it is, in part, from everything you’ve done and the trails you helped blaze.
Kyle’s gonna crush it. ❤️❤️
Thank YOU. You’ve given me so much and believed in me when I didn’t believe in me. I’m so proud of you for your wrestling accomplishments, but even more so for you putting yourself first. Love you, Billy/Kyle— Mmm Whatcha Shea (@TheSheaMcCoy) May 10, 2022
Despite hanging up his boots, Dixon will continue running Pro Wrestling Vibe. He didn’t put a timetable on a potential return to the ring “because that still puts wrestling ahead of myself.”
For now, Billy Dixon will wrestle his final match on June 17 at Pro Wrestling Vibe’s “Cassandro Cup,” but he hopes that his seven years in the ring stand as a lesson to the up-and-comers about self-care and building a career that is true to yourself.
“I really hope young wrestlers learn from my mistakes. I could’ve avoided this but it’s the reality I must deal with now and that’s okay. Because now a lot of healing begins for me,” Dixon said. “I can’t wait to give y’all my everything on June 17th.”