Nothing can stop this momentum. LGBTQ people are everywhere in wrestling, and we don’t give up ground easily.
The same tenacity buried within us that fuels our continued fight against cultural and political attack is what makes all of what we are seeing in the pro wrestling space possible. The art of queer pro wrestling is crafted by the hundreds of in-ring artists using their bodies to move us. That is why this task gets more difficult every year, and why I welcome it.
It means we’re winning. Welcome to the 2023 Queer Wrestling Index 200.
80. Moondog Murray
Moondog Murray’s profile in the Chicagoland area steadily grew over the last two years, but he hit a new level in 2023. Murray captured the POWW Entertainment championship and teamed with Joey Mayberry to win the All Heel Wrestling Tag Team titles. He feuded with both Mayberry and Mateo Valentine as well, testing his mettle against the two most tenured queer wrestlers of Chicago’s scene. That didn’t keep them from teaming up at EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch 7 to battle Team East Coast. Chicago couldn’t contain him, though, as Murray made his Full Queer debut in California later in the year, putting him in front of an entirely new audience.
79. Mr. Grim
Mr. Grim is the most agile powerhouse on the independent wrestling scene today, a mix that makes him even more scary when you factor in his penchant for body bags. Grim strapped himself up with multiple championships in 2023, winning the C3W Heavyweight title for the second time and the Voltage Wrestling Grand championship. He recorded victories over Ashton Starr, O’Shay Edwards and Rex Lawless while maintaining his intimidating presence in Enjoy Wrestling and F1ght Club Pro Wrestling. His year-long feud with David Lawless continues to burn, putting the wrestling lawyer square in the sights of “The Hitman For Hire,” a place no one wants to be. Update: Mr. Grim contacted Outsports requesting to give his spot to Shawn Carlson for his stellar performances and commitment to developing young talent in the DMV. Outsports believes Mr. Grim deserves his spot on the QWI 200 but honors Carlson for his contributions with the inclusion of this update at Mr. Grim’s request.
78. Mateo Valentine
“The Fat Femme Asian Sensation” helped build something beautiful for the queer pro wrestling population in Chicago. Valentine brought the area its first Pride show since NLS Is For Everyone, co-producing POWW Entertainment’s You Better Work. He battled EFFY on that show before teaming up with him to stand tall at the end of the night. But her work wasn’t done. “The Bridge Queen” scored her biggest win to date, claiming the Chicago Style Wrestling Tag Team championships with Big Mood partner Jake Moody and the Honor Among Wrestling Reborn championship. He returned to EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch, finally stepping into the ring with Logan Black and helping his Chicago siblings turn away the T2T Brooklyn invasion.
77. Marco Mayur
Marco Mayur continues to develop into a key figure of the Northern California pro wrestling scene year after year. The Full Queer co-founder brought yet another avenue for queer pro wrestlers to showcase their talents and embrace the wider queer community in the Bay Area, living up to the promotion’s tagline “Wrestling For Rights.” In the ring, Marco challenged for the Underground Wrestling Alliance championship and Tag Team titles with Money Power Respect partner Fabuloso Fabricio, made his Hoodslam debut, entered a heated rivalry with Brutal Rob Hands resulting in Marco putting his hair on the line against EFFY and returned to EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch in Elton John couture. His very close friend (wink, wink) Llama Jack entered the Pride of the Desert tournament and participated in the first Spaghetti Western deathmatch.
76. Noah Veil
Veil is an unforgettable talent coming out of what they call the forgotten state (most of us know it as Florida). The evidence is in their travel bag, which overflowed with championships this year. Veil won the Real Pro Wrestling Con, Women’s and Coastal titles while adding the WNRN All Florida title and tag team titles in KOW and Naptown All-Pro, the latter being the inaugural title reign with Athrun Amada. The “Sex Pistola” broke into new regions too, debuting for PrideStyle Pro in Las Vegas and making stops in Illinois and North Carolina. They hit a new level at EFFY’s Big Gay Thanksgiving, earning a win over Beauxx Bombshell.
75. Laura Di Matteo
Pro Wrestling EVE regular Laura Di Matteo kept up her legacy of championship gold in the U.K.-based promotion. She and Rayne Leverkusen reigned as Pro Wrestling EVE Tag Team champions for the better part of 2023. The Rock & Rome Connection turned away challenges from Jetta, Charlie Morgan, Skye Smitson and Rhia O’Reilly during their time with the belts. The duo also traded blows with one another over the Hustle Wrestling championship. Elsewhere in Europe, Di Matteo challenged for the German Wrestling Federation Women’s title, the BODYSLAM! Title in Denmark and turned in another fun fight with Leverkusen in LDM’s home nation Italy.
74. Brittany Wonder
Hoodslam’s top purveyor of butt-based offense brought her heroic brand of punishment to opponents throughout Northern California. Entering the year as the reigning GLAMpion, she defended it against Sandra Moone, Trish Adora and Dark Sheik before losing the title amid a lengthy rivalry with Da Squad’s Hop Daddy, ending her time with the belt at 440 days. The “Ultragirl” also held the Total Wrestling Federation Women’s championship and entered Full Queer’s Sylvia Rivera Rainbow Royal Rumble for the Princex of Pride title. Her tag team with husband Joey Smoak, known together as The Wonder Cats, established themselves in Full Queer’s tag division as well. She also shined when Hoodslam went on the road, wrestling on Hoodslam and GLAM shows in Reno, Nevada, the city Wonder calls home.
73. Kiera Hogan
The former IMPACT Wrestling Knockouts Tag Team champion turned in her best year since joining AEW in 2021. A Baddie no more, Hogan challenged former ally Jade Cargill for the AEW TBS championship early in the year before turning her focus to Ring of Honor. She earned victories over Vert Vixen and Lady Frost on her way to challenging Athena for the ROH Women’s World championship multiple times, culminating in a brutal Chicago Street Fight between the two. She continued to find success in ROH through the end of the year while making appearances on AEW television programs.
72. Jason Joshua
Joshua built his most decorated year to date in 2023. He started that off by entering the year as Full Force Wrestling Barracks Academy champion and WIN Wrestling Open To Anyone champion. Through an odd collection of circumstances, Joshua would add two additional reigns as WIN OTA champion without technically losing the title, holding it for a combined 343 days. He won the Phenomenal Elite Wrestling Internet title, the Full Force Wrestling Finest Four trophy and the FUTR Wrestling Battle Brawl. He renewed his rivalry with tag team partner Joey Scott in PEW and nearly walked away with the Wrestling In Hinckley championship. With that many accolades, demand for “Big Daddy Unicorn” is sure to grow, even if he is a little evil at times.
71. Abigail Warren
The second-generation star fighting out of Northern California’s Ugly Dojo built on a stellar 2022 with a year of memorable moments. Warren opened the year by challenging Dark Sheik for the Underground Wrestling Alliance Championship of Sharks and securing wins over Princex of Pride champion Brooke Havoc and Kidd Bandit at Oasis Pro Wrestling and POW! Pro Wrestling. She fought alongside close friend Amira in DOA Pro Wrestling until the two faced off in the finals of DOA’s Queen of Thorns tournament. Warren unearthed a mean streak that carried through the end of the year, defeating Drexl in a deathmatch and brutalizing opponents in Supreme Pro Wrestling and Total Wrestling Federation. That meanness came in handy in her EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch debut during WrestleMania weekend, spurning Team East Coast.
Whether you know her as Kacey Owens or simply Kasey, the veteran of the U.K. pro wrestling scene is a force with which it's hard to contend. The “Mother of Chaos” entered the year as TNT Extreme Women’s Tag Team champion with fellow She-Wolves member Molly Spartan. She extended her Discovery Wrestling Women’s championship reign to over 700 days, entered Pro Wrestling EVE’s annual She-1 tournament and challenged Max The Impaler for their Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling International Princess title. Owens helped bring the first Pride show in Scotland with Iron Girders Pro Wrestling, the same promotion where she challenged for the IGPW King of the Fling title, and stared down Su Yung in spooky-on-spooky action at Wrestle Queendom.
Few wrestlers have seen their star grow as quickly as Amira. The Pacific Northwest powerhouse built her reputation across the region, wrestling for Relentless Wrestling, SOS Pro Wrestling, POW! Pro Wrestling, WrestleCore and Glam Slam. She won DOA Pro Wrestling’s Queen of Thorns tournament, entered Prestige Wrestling’s Cascadia Wrestling Cup and debuted for West Coast Pro Wrestling and Pandemonium Pro. Amira added appearances with DEFY Wrestling, BOOM! Pro Wrestling, Full Queer and made the trip across the country to debut for Wrestling Open. She challenged for the ASW Women’s championship as well, and all of this came after wrestling for AEW. It’s no wonder Amira was shortlisted for PWI’s Rookie of the Year award.
68. Charli Evans
Chevs created astounding moments in Australia, Asia and America in 2023, particularly with GCW and PWA Black Label. She challenged for the ASCA Tag Team titles with Jessica Troy and entered the PWA Rumble before helping fend off emo haters at PWA Emomania. Evans turned to deathmatch, teaming with fellow deathmatch goddesses Sawyer Wreck and Rina Yamashita at GCW’s Tokyo events and battling Steph De Lander and Maki Itoh at GCW’s Australia events. She returned to the U.S. later in the year, teaming with husband Everett Connors, joined with her Blood Fighter stablemates for bloody wars in Deathmatch Down Under and made her New Japan Pro Wrestling debut to boot. Quite the year for many reasons.
67. Erica Leigh
Does Erica Leigh’s 2023 honk? Yeah, it honks. She worked with multiple promotions in the Grapitol region, continuing her forever feud with Killian McMurphy in Pro Wrestling VIBE, tangling with Ashton Starr at Flying V Fights and helping bring wrestling back to Richmond with Brew Wrestling. “The Big Gal” made additional appearances with Enjoy in Pittsburgh, highlighted by a Fashionista Street Fight against The Runway. Leigh challenged for the Wrestlers’ Lab title, paired up with GummiBoar teammate Boar to pursue the Virginia Championship Wrestling Tag Team titles and traveled to Austin for a rather queenly battle at Uncanny Attractions. She capped the year with her return to ECWA, the same promotion where she made history last year.
Malcolm Monroe III made himself a wanted name within the most violent circles of pro wrestling. The third-generation wrestler logged wins over Hoodfoot, Bam Sullivan and Remington Rhor before winning the Horror Slam Deathmatch championship. He added that title to his Horror Slam Heavyweight and XICW Midwest Heavyweight championships. He brought carnage to ICW No Holds Barred, Ruthless Pro Wrestling and Matt Tremont’s Deathmatch tournament in H2O. It wasn’t his first brush with Tremont, though. Monroe challenged the deathmatch legend for the IWTV Independent Wrestling World championship in his home city of Detroit.
65. Count Noctis
Protect your neck takes on new connotations when Count Noctis enters the ring. The “Blood Thief” hunted victims in promotions across the West Coast and Midwest U.S. in 2023, claiming gold along the way. Noctis defeated Rico Gonzalez for the MidwestTerritory.com Championship Chain in Naptown All-Pro, challenged Sandra Moone for the PrideStyle Pro title and fought for the ZERO1 USA Shining Light title. He entered the EMERGE Wrestling State of Emergency tournament while battering opponents in Graphouse, DOA Pro Wrestling, Underground Wrestling Alliance, Wrestle Arts and Summit Pro, but the monster met another monster at EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch 7 in the form of Parrow.
64. Tyler Klein
Klein represents one half of Enjoy Wrestling’s favorite tag team to love to hate, The Runway. The fashion-forward fighter made waves in Enjoy and the rest of the Rust Belt alongside tag partner Calvin Couture, challenging for the Enjoy and Ryse Wrestling Tag Team title during the course of the year. They claimed tag team gold in Renegade Wrestling Alliance while establishing themselves as key baddies in 880 Wrestling. Klein showed again that he can get hardcore in The Runway’s Fashionista Street Fight against GummiBoar, and Klein got the opportunity step into the ring with out talent solo, wrestling Marco Narcisso at 880 Wrestling.
63. Calvin Couture
The second half of The Runway brought pain and solid fashion sense to wherever he and Klein appeared. Couture reigned as Renegade Wrestling Alliance Tag Team champion with Klein, adding a 2PW Tag Team title challenge and a Ryse Wrestling Tag Team tournament entry to their collection. He starred at Enjoy Wrestling and 880 Wrestling, keeping the spirit of caustic vanity alive in Pittsburgh’s pro wrestling scene, while the “Fashionista of Pro Wrestling” stepped into the ring at High Tension Wrestling and WrestleRex.
62. Macdaddy Mylo
Mylo’s growth hit a different speed in 2023, producing the Southern California star’s most decorated year to date. Mylo became a known name in Hoodslam, winning the Best Athlete in the East Bay golden fannypacks after defeating co-champion Allie Katch. Her and Barbie Boi extended their Full Queer Harvey Milk & Sylvester Tag Team title reign to 340-plus days and she added the NTLL Khutulun and Rival Pro Wrestling Tag Team championships to her collection. Her new tag team with Mighty Mayra, appropriately titled Mmmm, gained ground in Hoodslam’s tag team division and Mylo added shots with AEW, West Coast Pro Wrestling, Future Stars of Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling, cementing her as a star on the rise.
61. Randy Myers
“The Weirdo Hero” is building something special in the Pacific Northwest. The co-founder of Vancouver’s BOOM! Pro Wrestling helped craft a truly unique wrestling space that mixes comedy, theatre and wrestling in wacky form with plenty of space for queer pro wrestling names, including Parm Mann Singh, Kikyo and Rashad Tyson. Myers is a key part of BOOM! in the ring as well, winning the BOOM! Vancouver City championship. Elsewhere, Myers challenged for the WrestleCore Infinity title, entered Prestige Wrestling’s Cascadia Wrestling Cup and drew emotional responses from crowds at AEW, DEFY Wrestling, DOA Pro Wrestling and DUSK Pro.
Tag team specialist DangerKid turned in another superb year in the ring with MSP partner Aggro, turning tag divisions upside down across the country. The Maine native did so in New England, holding the Blitzkrieg Pro and Let’s Wrestle Tag Team titles, and the Southeast, winning the New South Pro Wrestling Tag Team championships. DK also rose in prominence at North Carolina-based Deadlock Pro Wrestling while challenging for additional tag team gold in Canada and Massachusetts, keeping the vibe rolling for the non-binary shapeshifter.
Aggro and DangerKid are known as top tag team wrestlers nationally for a reason. He helped MSP reach the top of tag team divisions in New England and Alabama, challenge for similar crowns in C4 and Deadlock Pro Wrestling and advance to the quarterfinals of the IWTV Independent Wrestling Tag Team title tournament. The duo also showcased their talents at Fight Life, Chaotic Wrestling, Limitless Wrestling and Pro Wrestling After Dark. With Aggro at one half of the helm, MSP remains positioned to be a force in independent pro wrestling for years to come.
The holder of Hoodslam’s coveted Golden Gig championship turned in a year full of intrigue. Vipress’ on-again, off-again saga with fellow Intergalactic Tag Team title partner Dark Sheik made for compelling art throughout the year, with The CAUTION (caution) facing its most adversity yet. She helped dispatch The Fallen to save the universe while making appearances with AEW, AAA, Ultimate Women of Wrestling and SPARK Joshi. Her never-back-down spirit was on full display at EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch LA, putting her hair up and squaring up with the intimidating Max The Impaler. The year also saw her 525-day reign as SHINE Tag Team champion come to an end setting a new record in the women’s wrestling promotion.
57. Papa Jace
Don’t come for Papa lest he come for you. Papa Jace’s renaissance kept rolling in 2023, delivering career-defining moments for the Las Vegas veteran. He won the PrideStyle Pro championship in June, completing a year-long redemption arc and adding it to his Versus Pro Heavyweight and Big Valley Wrestling Las Vegas championships. He became the first two-time PrideStyle Pro champ after defeating Johnnie Robbie and added tag team gold in Best of the West Wrestling with Nic Zander. “The Meat Grindr” challenged for more gold in Arizona, made his WrestleMania Weekend debut with Circle 6 in Los Angeles and made opponents break at Graphouse, Underground Wrestling Alliance and Wrestle Drag.
56. Sean Campbell
The youngest and perhaps most reckless member of the Southeast’s KOBK faction, Campbell is already building a legacy full of violent, evocative fights that are anything but bittersweet. Campbell saw the most success at TWE Chattanooga, winning the TWE Tag Team titles with KOBK teammate Hardway Heeter and holding them most of the year. His rivalry with Anakin Murphy was beautiful madness only rivaled by Campbell’s appearances with ICW No Holds Barred, battling deathmatch heavys in Malcolm Monroe III and John Wayne Murdoch. He entered Matt Tremont’s Deathmatch tournament at H2O, defeated deathmatch legend Tank and recorded matches in GCW, Retinal Wrestling and Circle 6. Campbell even mixed it up with his KOBK brethren, proving himself against Heeter and Brett Ison and earning even more respect in the process.
55. Ava Lawless
The Canadian “Hellion” literally broke new ground for women’s pro wrestling while extending multiple title reigns into the new year. Lawless opened the year as Real Canadian Wrestling Women’s and Top Talent Wrestling champion, earning a second TTW title reign in March by defeating IMPACT Wrestling Knockouts Tag Team champion Masha Slamovich in a street fight. She earned shots with both AEW and Ring of Honor against Taya Valkyrie and Athena while earning signature wins over Dark Sheik and Jody Threat. Lawless performed well enough to challenge for the NWA Women’s World championship and rounded out her year with Winnipeg Pro Wrestling before competing in the first women’s match ever held above the Arctic Circle in Totally Arctic Wrestling. The fire of a hellion can conquer the arctic chill.
54. Bryn Thorne
The Southwest U.S. couldn’t contain Bryn Thorne this year. How could it when you’re dealing with a wrecking ball like her? Thorne reigned as Party Hard Legacy and IZW Women’s champion before adding the GrapHouse championship later in the year. She brought her forceful nature to PrideStyle Pro, Wrestle Drag, Hoodslam and United Wrestling Network and welcomed Parada back to the ring in hard-hitting fashion. She recorded wins over Max The Impaler, Sandra Moone and Brooke Havok before making her way to the Pacific Northwest with SOS Pro Wrestling to show Cascadia why she’s called “The Belle of the Brawl.”
53. Chantal Jordan
Chantal Jordan felt like she popped up almost everywhere on the U.K. wrestling scene during the year, and proved ruthless when she did. The young in-ring veteran held the Kamikaze Pro Relentless and Coventry Pro Wrestling Lineal Women’s championships before adding the Pro Wrestling EVE Tag Team titles with Nina Samuels. She wrestled for major British promotions Revolution Pro and TNT Extreme, appearing on both of the latter’s additional brands, Ignition and Siren’s Fury. Jordan reached the semifinals of the Ignition Women’s title tournament, kept herself in contention for the Full Force Wrestling Women’s championship and battled Tokyo Joshi Pro Princess of Princess champion Miyu Yamashita at Wrestle Queendom 6. Adding on an EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch debut in BGB U.K.’s Rainbow Rumble is the perfect accent on another outstanding year from the 20-year old bruiser.
Jetta is British women’s pro wrestling royalty at this point, and not just because of her princess personality. She proved so in the ring at multiple promotions across the U.K., reigning as the Wrestle Carnival Queen of the Carnival champion for more than 500 days dating back to 2022. She entered her fifth She-1 tournament in Pro Wrestling EVE, reaching the quarterfinals before falling to eventual winner Safire Reed. But Jetta performed even better alongside her wife and tag team partner Charlie Morgan, capturing the Pro Wrestling EVE Tag Team titles at Wrestle Queendom 6 and becoming the first married same-sex couple to win tag gold together in British pro wrestling history.
The forever Without A Cause champion found several new realms to rule over the course of the year. After defending his WAC title a few times at PrideStyle Pro, Keita regained the Relentless Wrestling Pacific Northwest Heavyweight championship during WrestleMania weekend. He shined in fights at GCW For The Culture and EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch LA before having a QWI Match of the Year contender against Anton Voorhees at Full Queer. Keita returned to New Japan Pro Wrestling while adding matches with DOA Pro Wrestling, Poundtown Wrestling, GrapHouse and Circle 6, leaving an impact wherever he brought his chaps.
Come back tomorrow for the next 30 2023 QWI 200 honorees.
Also check out regular conversations with LGBTQ wrestlers on the LGBT In The Ring podcast.