Ok, go watch this video. It’s a fan spliced highlight video of women’s wrestling from the Japanese federations. And it’s freaking amazing.
Now, I want you to notice a few things when you watch this.
First, the majority of the costumes are practical for what they’re doing. They look like costumes you can move and wrestle in without having to worry about a “wardrobe malfunction.” These look like outfits that were designed with function in mind over “ooh, guys like boobies, hurr hurr hurr…” Don’t get me wrong, there are a couple of costumes in this highlight reel that definitely rank in the boobie-licious category, but the majority of the costumes look relatively practical. Particularly when compared with any outfit worn by just about any WWE Diva at any given time.
Second, and I realize this is a highlight reel, but there are a fair amount of male wrestlers competing with these women, and the women are doing things like picking up the guys and pulling off some amazing moves that you would only see Chyna pulling off back in the day, or possibly the Amazing Kong. But even TNA doesn’t really let Kong go against the guys. And they’re Name male wrestlers in that video, like Tejiri or Terry Boy.
Third, there’s very little posing or flouncing. These women wrestle hard. Their skill is impressive, and they pull off some brutal moves. Really brutal, like the “curb stomp” that Cheerleader Melissa uses and some bitchin’ body slams. Their sexual availability is not the core of what they’re doing out there, their skill as wrestlers is more important than their fuckability.
And contrary to what the WWE would have you believe, as TNA is discovering, their fans (mostly men) WILL tune in to watch women who may not be the ultimate in “HAWT CHICKS!” if they can wrestle really well. ODB isn’t in the WWE Diva mold, yet she’s one of their most popular female wrestlers. And their ever-growing female fan base love her, too. And Awesome Kong is incredible!!!!
Women’s wrestling does really, really well in Japan, and has for years. And not in the “Oooh, pretty girls rolling around together!” way. Now, I’m not going to argue that for some guys, Japanese or otherwise, there isn’t a sexual element, but that’s true of just about anything. The focus in the Japanese Federation tapes I’ve seen is on the wrestling over the boobies.
Hopefully TNA will continue to acquire and showcase talented female wrestling. And just maybe WWE will take note and pull their heads out of their asses. If you want to see some amazing stuff, go to Youtube and search for Cheerleader Melissa, Awesome Kong*, Plum Mariko, and for the sake of completeness, I include a classic match between the Fabulous Moolah and Joyce Grable with what sounds like Bruno SanMartino providing color commentary.
*I picked this video because Ayumi attempts to suplex Awesome Kong at one point, which made me crack up and say, “Why would you DO that? She has bras that weigh more than you!”
ETA: Check out this video on the Guardian UK’s website. It’s on Cholitas, female wrestlers in Bolivia.
It’s kind of mind-blowing. Thanks to Suzi for bringing this to my attention.