Wrestlers in the ring at EFFY's Big Gay Brunch 9, hosted in Philadelphia for WrestleMania Week. L to R: Monomoth, Devon Monroe, Aaron Rourke, Rico Gonzalez | TrillerTV/GCW

This year saw the heaviest LGBTQ presence during WrestleMania Week to date. As the pro wrestling world descended on Philadelphia for a week-long celebration and dozens of events happening all over the city and surrounding area, so many queer wrestlers stood out that there was no choice but to up the annual top LGBTQ matches list to 30 this time around.

There could easily have been a top-50 based on everything that occurred (and what I was able to take in live across the 12 events I attended in person). There are many more matches I would suggest fans take in from the events mentioned below.

But the arduous task must be done, so here are the top 30 LGBTQ matches of WrestleMania Week 2024.

Here’s the criteria:

  • There must be at least one LGBTQ participant in the selected match.
  • They showed the hell out.

Dark Sheik vs. Sonny Kiss (EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch 9, TrillerTV)

The main event of “EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch 9” Could easily be considered the main event of The Collective and the entirety of WrestleMania Week. Two amazing transfemme athletes moving like water and bringing it to one another on queer wrestling’s brightest stage.

Dog Collar Match: Mad Dog Connelly vs. Demus (ACTION Wrestling DEAN~!!!, IWTV)

Connelly and Demus turned in one of the most violent matches I have ever seen live. After nearly tearing the H2O Center asunder, Connelly solidified his title as the King of the Dog Collar match in a starmaking performance. Live your truth.

“Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. Paul London (SHP/Labor of Love WrestleJawn, IWTV)

I can now say that I’ve seen dueling mid-figure four leg lock serenades after this blissful mix of hard-hitting striking and hilarity.

MV Young vs. Derek Dillinger (880 Wrestling 880 Does 215, YouTube)

If any match during the week deserved the wonderful “Meat!” crowd chant it was MV Young and Derek Dillinger’s knockout battle. Part street fight, part toughness test, all violence in the best way possible.

Billy Dixon vs. Darius Carter (GCW For The Culture, TrillerTV)

The five-year story between Billy Dixon and Darius Carter came to a fitting end in the main event of GCW “For The Culture.” Dixon’s gritty babyface energy against Carter’s so easy to hate nature clicked beautifully yet again as one of the best rivalries in independent wrestling closed another chapter.

Aaron Rourke vs. Devon Monroe vs. Monomoth vs. Rico Gonzalez (EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch 9, TrillerTV)

Revisiting one of the best singles matches in Big Gay Brunch history, a huge debut for Thailand’s resident angel and the most evil gay: what better way to open the biggest Big Gay Brunch yet? All four displayed amazing athleticism, and Rico Gonzalez showed off one of the sickest drivers I’ve ever seen.

Keita vs. Kit Raff (Smash Master Wrasslin BYOSmash, YouTube)

The main event of Smash Master Wrasslin’s WrestleMania Week debut packed a lot of story into a brutal contest. Former tag team partners clashed in Keita’s return to his former stomping grounds in Pennsylvania, culminating in an ending that tore the ring apart literally.

Team Parrow (Parrow/Adriel Noctis/Keita/Juni Underwood/Angelo Carter) vs. Team Pollo (VertVixen/Don’t Die Miles/Ron Bass Jr./Dillon McQueen/Alex Maze) (EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch 9, TrillerTV)

The ongoing battle between the “Manager of Champions” and the self-described “First Gay” took an exciting turn in this showcase tag match. VertVixen displayed her strength, Parrow took flight, Angelo Carter’s entrance gear ate and so many queer talents showed off.

I Quit Match: EFFY vs. Mance Warner (Joey Janela’s Spring Break 8, TrillerTV)

Blood begets blood. The hottest, most violent feud in GCW lived up to the promise of the match’s stipulation complete with chairs, doors, screwdrivers, power drills and zipties.

Pan Afrikan World Diaspora World Title: Alex Kane vs. Suge D (GCW For The Culture, TrillerTV)

Two members of The Good Hand carried world title gold collided in the perfect world title match for an event like “For The Culture.” Two of the top talents coming out of Atlanta clashed in a bout defined by their respective styles: the power of the Bomaye Fight Club versus the wholesome sneakiness of Suge D.

BUSSY (EFFY/Allie Katch) vs. Dirty Breeze (Breeze/Dirty Dango) (EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch 9, TrillerTV)

EFFY and Allie Katch’s mission to make the former Fashion Police gay, or own up to their queer-coded WWE characters, didn’t disappoint. This was a perfect encapsulation of the theatrics BUSSY brings to their matches, all sealed with a stupefying kiss.

The Clusterfuck (Joey Janela’s Spring Break: Clusterfuck Forever, TrillerTV)

A surprise Mercedes Martinez appearance. Chiitan staring down Parrow and Aja Kong. Parrow snatching Pollo Del Mar’s wig. The trans superhero triumvirate of Dark Sheik, Edith Surreal and Jamie Senegal. Sawyer Wreck leaving arm-in-arm with Kasey Catal. Nick Gage taking a pizza cutter to the legendary Yoshihiko. Nate Webb’s “Teenage Dirtbag” sing-along. Tank in CPA cosplay. Microman. This match has everything.

Trish Adora vs. Karam (EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch 9, TrillerTV)

Like gender, wrestling cards are fluid, and the surprise addition of Trish Adora to this match delivered perfectly in the absence of Max The Impaler. Karam’s personality and strength meet Adora’s determination and sublime bridging german suplexes in a great last-minute addition to “EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch 9.”

Moonlight Express (“Speedball” Mike Bailey/MAO) vs. Calamari Catch Kings (Chris Brookes/Kid Lykos) (DEFY Can’t Deny It, TrillerTV)

Mixing elements from TNA, DDT and PROGRESS on a show ran by Pacific Northwest darling promotion DEFY Wrestling produced one of the most mesmerizing bouts across The Collective. Being around DDT Wrestling folks always brings out something different in Bailey.

Edith Surreal/Jamie Senegal vs. The Runway (Tyler Klein/Calvin Couture) (EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch 9, TrillerTV)

This match speaks to the personal evolution of its competitors spanning back to the original Big Gay Brunch in 2020. Senegal and Surreal meshed well for a first-time team against the well-seasoned Couture and Klein, mixing ass-out humor and hard-hitting action to great effect. Capping things off with double shattered dreams doesn’t hurt either.

Lindsay Snow vs. Marina Shafir (Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport X, TrillerTV)

On a Bloodsport card that featured the most women’s matches ever, Snow and Shafir showed why that was long overdue. The finals of a one-day women’s tournament, the two shined in the shootstyle setting, even if it meant Snow’s trademark tattoo needles couldn’t come into play.

Dark Sheik vs. Yuki Kamifuku (GCW vs. TJPW, TrillerTV)

Pitting America’s “Iron Slut” against Japan’s “Casual Beauty” proved to be a perfect mix. In between many splits and glamour shots, Dark Sheik and Kamifuku kept each other on their toes and turned in a highlight of the special all-female card.

GCW Ultraviolent Title: Billy Dixon vs. Rina Yamashita (EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch 9, TrillerTV)

Dixon served Lara Croft realness in the face of perhaps the most dominant GCW Ultraviolent champion ever. The two got down and dirty with weapons and groin-based offense as Yamashita pulled more and more of Deathmatch Bill out of Dixon. The question lingers though: what was in the backpack, Billy?

Sonny Kiss vs. Man Like Dereiss (GCW For The Culture, TrillerTV)

It would be easy to simply describe this one as pure athleticism, but both Kiss and Dereiss bring personalities equal to their kinetic level at all times. Through a twerk off and topsy-turvy transitions, Kiss introduced the Brit to true royalty.

Edith Surreal vs. Daniel Makabe (SHP/Labor of Love Euphoria, IWTV)

Technical wrestling bliss. Makabe and Surreal sharing a ring was a long overdue dream match of the mat-based arts, pitting two of the best technical wrestlers in independent wrestling against one another. The match lived up to the hype and hopefully a second chapter will be written before Makabe calls it a career later this year.

Shayna Baszler vs. Masha Slamovich (Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport X, TrillerTV)

Baszler’s announcement for this match was groundbreaking, bringing a WWE star to a GCW ring for the first time ever. Slamovich proved to be up for the challenge, placing a WWE wrestler against a TNA wrestler in a smart grappling and blistering striking battle at a GCW event.

Team Dolla (AJ Francis/Keita/Isaiah Broner/Terry Yaki/Mr. Danger) vs. Team Hot Fire (Myron Reed/Ruckus/Devon Monroe/Calvin Tankman/Darian Bengston) (GCW For The Culture, TrillerTV)

The WWA4 kids did some crazy stuff, the big men showed off their power, Ruckus showed why he’s an independent wrestling hall of famer and everyone brought the impact so quickly that you’ll fight your body to not blink to take it all in. It isn’t everyday that you get to see a rapper used as a weapon either.

O’Shay Edwards/Amboss (Laurance Roman/Richard Dreissker) vs. The Good Hand (Suge D, Kevin Ryan, The Wall) (ACTION Wrestling DEAN~!!!, IWTV)

The definition of a smarmy heel squad playing the FAFO game with Germany’s top tag team and “The Big Bad Kaiju.” Great work all-around while continuing to highlight The Good Hand as the top heel act in the Southeast, all capped off by O’Shay Edwards hitting the damndest heavyweight moonsault.

“Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. Masha Slamovich (REVOLVER/House of Glory Philadelphia, TrillerTV)

Bailey versus Slamovich is one of those rivalries that will always deliver no matter what promotion or permutation in which they end up on opposing sides. As wince-inducing as ever, this 12-minute sprint of a contest was another amazing entry between two of the MVPs of WrestleMania Week.

Robb Radke vs. Alec Price vs. Man Like Dereiss vs. Leon St. Giovanni vs. Lucas “Twitch” Disangro vs. J Boujii (ThrashElvania, IWTV)

Controlled chaos. This one showcased talents from both sides of the Atlantic in exactly what you want from a scramble match. Each person shined both on the mat and in the air and carried a distinct energy onto this truly special event.

IGB Super Title: EFFY vs. Marcus Mathers (Intergender Bonanza CreamMania, IWTV)

Somewhere between the violent EFFY Mance Warner saw and the silly EFFY Dirty Breeze encountered exists a somewhat serious variant, and that is the exact version Mathers got in the “CreamMania” main event. These two simply tore the house down in a match that set the tempo for the rest of the week.

ACTION Wrestling World Title: Alex Kane vs. “The Mecca” Brian Johnson (ThrashElvania, IWTV)

“The Suplex Assassin” uncorked everything against Johnson in this one, producing the most bruising contest on the “ThrashElvania” card. “The Mecca” proved a game opponent, even if his mouth wrote checks his body couldn’t cash. A stellar clash of top talents from the Southeast and Northeast respectively.

RPW Rustbelt Title: Malcolm Monroe III vs. Otis Cogar vs. Lou Dixon vs. Hoodfoot (Ruthless Pro Wrestling Miasma, IWTV)

The ending of this match alone would be nearly enough to earn this spot, delivering one of the more shocking and sickening moments of the weekend, but that would diminish all of the amazing deathmatch talent on display. A must-watch for deathmatch fans.

“Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. Yuki Ueno (DDT Goes Philadelphia, TrillerTV)

Remember what I said about Bailey being around DDT Wrestling folks? They and Ueno delivered a classic DDT main event match complete with each matching the other’s breathtaking ability. The only shame is that the broadcast didn’t capture the post-match kiss after taking each other to the limit in the ring.

The Outfielders (Shea McCoy/Weber Hatfield) vs. C.R.E.E.P.S. (Irving West/Ash Bennett) vs. The Good Hand (Suge D/Kevin Ryan) vs. Channing Thomas/Little Mean Kathleen (ThrashElvania, IWTV)

Uncontrolled Chaos. This tag team fourway went off the rails before the bell even rang and never really veered back, and it was glorious. Between the impish energy of Shea McCoy, the off-kilter teamwork of West and honorary C.R.E.E.P. Ash Bennett (get well soon, Big Rip), the heelish antics of The Good Hand and the flavorful energy of Little Mean Kathleen, this match never let up until the final bell. Truly an H2O moment.

Honorable Mentions

Thick & Juicy 3.0 (Brooke Valentine/Faye Jackson) vs. Kings of the District (Jordan Blade/Eel O’Neal) vs. Killionaires Club (PB Smooth/J Boujii) vs. The Mane Event (Duke Davis/Ganon Jones Jr.) (GCW For The Culture, TrillerTV)

Allie Katch vs. Mizuki (GCW vs. TJPW, TrillerTV)

Steph De Lander vs. Hyper Misao (GCW vs. TJPW, TrillerTV)

Killian McMurphy vs. Gritty (NFC MurderMania Killadelphia, YouTube)

C.R.E.E.P.S. (Irving West/Ash Bennett) vs. Wilde Flowers (Tatiana/Nix Wilde) vs. Cat Fight (Keith Haught/Chas D’Amato) (880 Wrestling 880 Does 215)

Harleen Lopez/Logan Black/Vita Von Starr/Curt Robinson vs. Big Callux/Shea McCoy/Crusher/ Duncan Aleem (SHP/Labor of Love WrestleJawn, IWTV)

Mr. Grim vs. Eran Ashe (SuplexMania, IWTV)

Zeke Mercer vs. Brohemoth (880 Wrestling 880 Does 215, YouTube)

AKIRA vs. Victor Benjamin (Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport X)

Uncanny Attractions Unchampionship: Billy Dixon vs. Marco Narcisso (880 Wrestling 880 Does 215, YouTube)

BUSSY (EFFY/Allie Katch) vs. Gene Munny/Session Moth Martina (PROGRESS Chapter 166: Freedom Walks Again, TrillerTV)

Sonny Kiss vs. Zayda Steele (Intergender Bonanza CreamMania, IWTV)

Brooke Valentine vs. Paris Sahara (880 Wrestling 880 Does 215, YouTube)

RPW Kamikaze Title: Remington Rhor vs. Vic Craig (Ruthless Pro Wrestling Miasma, IWTV)

Enjoy Wrestling Title: Edith Surreal vs. Reese Hayes (880 Wrestling 880 Does 215, YouTube)