Nikki Van Blair | New Photography Studios

Out pro wrestler Nikki Van Blair doesn’t mince words when it comes to being a driving force for change within the Australian pro wrestling scene for queer individuals. She’s worn it on her sleeve since making the jump from dance to wrestling seven years ago, gagging audiences as part of popular stables while personifying where the fables of culturally defined gender fall apart in favor of personal identity.

Now wrestling beside her close friend and Prima Pi Kappa tag team partner Frankie B, Van Blair hit a new stride over the last two years that brought several historic moments that fit her goals for queer empowerment like a glove.

After celebrating her own identity by waving the bigender flag during her entrance at Pro Wrestling Australia’s “Requiem For a Tag Team” event during Pride month last year, Van Blair and Frankie B wrestled out pro wrestlers Kingsley and Shay Cassidy, known together as The Backslide Girlz, for the Oceania Pro Wrestling Women’s Tag Team titles, the first women’s tag titles in Australian pro wrestling history, at Mickie James’ “H.E.R.” event in April.

“To wrestle with my best friend against two of my other close friends who are openly bi, yeah, no words,” Van Blair said during a recent appearance on LGBT In The Ring.

She followed that up one month later by debuting for New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Tamashii brand, which focuses on events in Australia and the greater Oceania region, in Sydney. That match made her the first out transfemme athlete to wrestle for NJPW and represented only the second mixed-gender singles match in NJPW’s 52-year history following out pro wrestler Joanie Laurer, better known to fans as WWE’s Chyna, wrestled NJPW legend Masahiro Chono in 2002.

Van Blair reflected further on the groundbreaking nature of these moments ahead of her appearance at Friday’s PWA “King Of The Metro” event.

“I don’t shy to this fact, but I have never watched New Japan in my life. I have a big respect for the wrestlers like Robbie Eagles and my PPK pledge Zack Sabre Jr. … I’ve just never watched the show,” she said. “I asked someone, I can’t remember who it was, ‘am I expected to turn down my style to cater more to New Japan style?’ and they’re like ‘no.’ I started calling myself the first lady of Tamashii.

“To me, wrestling should be fun. You should take it seriously, but you should also have fun, and it was so much fun wrestling [Big Fudge],” she continued.

While breaking new ground for the next generation of queer wrestlers certainly leaves an impact on Van Blair, what penetrates even deeper emotionally for her are the moments where the power of her presence extends beyond the ropes. A key example of that occurred at the Starrcast convention attached to the “H.E.R.” event in April.

“I had this wonderful gentleman come up to me and he essentially told me it was really positive for him to see me on the women’s show because he has a trans son,” Van Blair shared while holding back tears. “Just to see that trans people can happily exist in a wrestling setting made him hopeful for his son because I think his son was going through some troubles at that time … that one conversation has probably been one of the biggest highlights of my career. If I can inspire trans children, trans people and parents of trans [kids] to feel comfortable in a wrestling space, that means the world to me.”

Listen to the full interview with Nikki Van Blair on LGBT In The Ring. New episodes release every Thursday on all podcast platforms and you can support the show at