The now regular in-ring clash between U.K.-based pro wrestling promotion TNT Extreme Wrestling and American pro wrestling promotion Game Changer Wrestling over the weekend produced two historic moments for LGBTQ competitors in the U.K. pro wrestling scene.
Sunday’s weekend-closer “TNT vs. GCW” event in Liverpool hosted the first singles match between two out trans women ever in U.K. pro wrestling history. The match pitted regular history maker and Hoodslam founder Dark Sheik against Helen Charlotte Campbell, one of the most experienced trans pro wrestlers currently active in the U.K.
TNT Extreme commentator Mark Adams, who is also out LGBTQ, called the semi-main event match “groundbreaking” during the broadcast. Ultimately, Dark Sheik persevered through Campbell’s Clothesline From Hell-en lariat to hit her own finisher, the Welcome To Die, to win.
Trans talent has been highlighted more and more in big moments in recent years as their presence within the British pro wrestling scene continues to grow. 2022 saw two such moments, when out trans wrestler Kamille Hanson battled “The Non-Binary Nightmare” Max The Impaler in Pro Wrestling EVE and Kidd Bandit fought Commander Sterling in a deathmatch for True Grit Wrestling.
Helen Campbell vs. Dark Sheik— Mike ➰ (@MikeGuylee) September 17, 2023
Sheik and Campbell were smashing it tonight!
Sheik simply represents elegance with power in the ring. Always a pleasure to see Sheik's actions in the ring!
But Helen Campbell left a very first impression as well!#GCWvsTNT pic.twitter.com/5DHwWM9Sfy
The night’s main event added to the significance of the night as out pro wrestler Che Monet defeated Charles Crowley to become TNT Extreme World champion. The win made Monet the first out LGBTQ male world champion in the history of U.K. pro wrestling and the third out LGBTQ male world champion in pro wrestling history.
The win made Monet the second out LGBTQ male wrestler in recent years to claim a major U.K. promotion’s top prize, joining current PCW Heavyweight champion Priscilla.
Monet and Priscilla are the first LGBTQ men to reach such heights in over 30 years. Peter Thornley, who wrestled under the name Kendo Nagasaki and came out publicly as bisexual in 2018, was the last to do so in 1988.
After yet another balcony dive and kicking out of four finishers, Monet dropped Crowley with an axe kick for the three count. Wearing the moment on his face, Monet celebrated amid confetti with British LGBTQ pro wrestling trailblazer and United Queendom partner Visage.
The reign was short-lived, however, as TNT Extreme regular Tate Mayfairs cashed in a contract for a title shot and Visage betrayed Monet, blindsiding him with a crutch to help Mayfairs pin Monet just minutes after toppling Crowley.
No matter the length of the reign, Monet still etched his name into the pro wrestling record books and climbed to the apex of one of the U.K.’s top pro wrestling promotions in ways that no other queer pro wrestler had before.