Max The Impaler | NWA/The CW

After a 2023 filled to the brim with historic in-ring accomplishments, out pro wrestler Max The Impaler notched yet another by becoming the first Unified NWA World TV champion.

They are now the first person to hold championships in both gender divisions simultaneously for a major promotion in the history of pro wrestling.

Tuesday’s edition of “NWA Powerrr” saw Max, who entered the match as the reigning NWA Women’s World TV champion, battle NWA Men’s World TV champion Mims in a unification bout, the first since the National Wrestling Alliance introduced the Women’s World TV title last year.

The NWA program’s namesake defined the match, with Max and Mims matching each other in strength and heavy blows. Max secured the win by countering a series of elevated corner punches into a decisive powerbomb before delivering their trademark heavy lariat to Mims following the match.

The win makes Max the Impaler the first out non-binary transmasculine wrestler to ever hold the NWA Men’s World TV title. That title dates back to 1974 and counts numerous pro wrestling legends among its holders, including Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Roddy Piper and Arn Anderson.

“The Non-Binary Nightmare” now also holds the honor of being the only wrestler to hold both a women’s and men’s championship in NWA history.

Those benchmarks are truly groundbreaking as it pertains to title lineages and the work Max has put into building themself into the international star they are today. But more importantly, they mark how Max continues to upend pro wrestling’s longheld traditional separation of wrestlers along the gender binary.

While the prevalence of mixed-gender matches and open championship divisions continues to rise across the independent wrestling world, all major televised pro wrestling promotions, with a few exceptions like DDT Pro Wrestling in Japan and TNA Wrestling’s annual Call Your Shot Gauntlet match, still divide wrestlers into divisions based on the cultural structure of gender as a binary. You’re either a male wrestler battling men, or a female wrestler taking on other women.

That structure makes it very easy for gender-diverse and non-binary people to either get lost in the shuffle or potentially have their gender identity diminished to fit into the provided spaces.

Max continues to show how that binary structure can be broken in a major pro wrestling space. They’ve competed for and won titles designated for both men and women. They’ve entered NWA tournaments that historically have been composed of one gender.

And on the independents, Max wrestles anyone brave enough to step into their personal wasteland, regardless of where they fall on the gender spectrum.

Max is breaking the “rules” and wrestling for themself, all of the theys that stand beside them and those who will follow them. Their presence, and moments like becoming the self-described Champion of Television in the NWA, communicate that wrestling can evolve at higher levels to accommodate and better understand gender as the construct that it is.