Pro wrestler Max the Impaler is known for claiming trophies from their opponents after bringing a wasteland’s worth of destruction to them in the ring, but they secured a prize Monday that marked another historic achievement for the “Non-Binary Nightmare.”
Max defeated Rika Tatsumi at Japanese women’s wrestling promotion Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling’s “Wrestle Princess IV” event to become the new TJPW International Princess champion.
The win makes Max the first out non-binary wrestler to ever win a singles championship in a major Japanese wrestling promotion and the first out trans pro wrestler to win a singles title in TJPW. They join current Pro Wrestling WAVE Regina Di WAVE champion VENY as the only current out trans champions across the Japanese wrestling landscape.
The match itself was billed as a double title match, with Max putting their NWA Women’s TV championship on the line against Tatsumi’s title. Max weathered multiple attempts by Tatsumi, the first wrestler to hold every TJPW championship, to weaken their knee before their superior strength proved too much to overcome.
THE WHITE DRAGON PUSHED MAX. IN THE END LARIAT TOO STRONG 死 pic.twitter.com/5BpE8j2QuR— Max The Impaler マックス・ジ・インペイラー (@_theyaremax_) October 9, 2023
Max crushed Tatsumi with a lariat to get the pinfall and celebrate as a double champion for promotions on either side of the Pacific Ocean.
Monday’s win continues a banner first year for Max in TJPW. They won the TJPW Princess Tag Team championships with Wasteland War Party partner Heidi Howitzer in January, becoming the first out LGBTQ wrestlers to hold TJPW gold. Max is yet to be pinned or submitted in TJPW, establishing them as a dominant presence among TJPW’s top stars.
Overall, Monday was a banner day for trans and gender-diverse representation across Japanese pro wrestling. Former AEW Women’s World champion Nyla Rose also competed at “Wrestle Princess IV,” defeating former TJPW International Princess champion Maki Itoh, and former IMPACT X-Division champion “Speedball” Mike Bailey challenged for the New Japan Pro Wrestling Jr. Heavyweight title at NJPW’s “Destruction in Ryogoku” event.