Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Wrestling Six Packs: Intergender Matches That Need to Happen

Kimber Lee is no stranger to wrestling men like Joey Ryan, but she should still wrestle ALL OF THEM
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
Even though I agreed with Brandon Stroud that the trend of intergender matches featuring the theme of "woman needing to earn the man's respect no matter what the context is" needs to die a quick yet painful death, I am still a staunch proponent of integrating the sexes and eliminating all barriers, whether rapidly or gradually. Hey, I'm a realist over here. From the days of Mae Young and Mildred Burke, women have always been on a similar talent footing as the men have been, but various factors have kept the two genders apart. Well, I say no more, and from what I understand, so do the many excellent competitors who happen to have a woman's anatomy. The following list is a sampling of six matches that I think would be so good, so compelling, so important that they should happen sooner rather than later to start changing minds.

1. Kimber Lee vs. The World

I know this first entry is cheating a little bit, and the beginnings of it are already happening in Beyond Wrestling. However, Lee has become one of the elite workers on the indie scene regardless of gender, and she deserves as big a platform as her peers such as Biff Busick and Drew Gulak. She's the epitome of ability trumping apparent size, as even for women on the scene she's a bit on the small side. However, she certainly wrestles a lot larger than her 5'3", 125 lb. frame might dictate. She's stood toe-to-toe with Gulak, JT Dunn, and other big names in Beyond, and now her time has come to tour the country and face off against all the competition it has to offer. I hate calling anyone the "next [insert person here]," but Lee has the potential to pick up where Sara del Rey left off in taking on the best on the scene. Adam Cole? Book it. Silver Ant? Well, that match is actually happening at Americanrana '14. Johnny Gargano? Fuck yeah, get it done. Kyle O'Reilly, ACH, Cedric Alexander, Chris Hero, Brian Myers? Line 'em all up. Lee is waiting to become the next big thing, and all she needs is a platform.

2. Amazing Kong vs. Matt Sydal

While I'm done with the woman-as-eternal-underdog trope, I am all for subverting that plot archetype and matching a smaller male wrestler who'd need to prove himself against more foreboding woman. A scant few women on the scene have that gravitas, and the one who'd impose her will the most would be Amazing Kong. She has the combination of HOSS size and veteran bona fides to stare down even the most confident underdogs. Granted, Sydal also has the veteran chops. He, like Kong, as made it to the big time and tasted from the pool of high-pay corporate wrestling. However, I am not sure I'd trust any other wrestler to put Kong over in such a way that would make her look like a trillion bucks, like the true monster that her aura emits against other women currently. He's an incredible bump freak who would take her power offense like a pinball, and regardless of the result, the journey to the finish would be among the most awe-inspiring spectacles in wrestling history.

3. Jessicka Havok vs. Vader

I know Vader's getting up there in years and all, but no one on the indies, man or woman, has the same fearsome physical aura that Havok does. I don't care if this match might have an upper limit of five minutes before Vader is gassed. It needs to happen before he retires for good. The world needs to see two of the stiffest wrestlers of all-time, throwing potatoes at each other like rival Idaho farmers after a bumper crop. This match may not be the best HOSS fight ever, but it would be the biggest spectacle, and wrestling at its heart is built on spectacle.

4. Hania the Howling Huntress vs. Ricochet

Since ditching the Saturyne mask, Hania has improved exponentially and become one of the most adept high-flyers on the indies. She's stepped to men before, but the ultimate test for her would be the Undisputed King of the Super Juniors right now, Ricochet. I certainly don't think she's on the former Helios' level right now, but sometimes, you just have to go out and call the biggest dog in the yard in order to show everyone that you're there and you mean business. I truly believe she can keep up with him and produce an entertaining, blithe, and lively spotfest that would turn heads and get people to rethink their positions on who can represent the junior heavyweight style.

5. Mia Yim vs. Eddie Kingston

While this match wouldn't have the spectacle of a Havok/Vader HOSS fight, these two would certainly give the above mentioned a run for their money in stiffness. Yim and Kingston are among the hardest hitters in wrestling, and both represent the strong style in America as well as any of their peers. Kingston has had a prolonged residence as Chikara's designated big match ace, and Yim has shown she can go long in showcase pieces as well as referenced by her Absolute Intense Wrestling feud against Allysin Kay. These two could headline any independent arena in America, and if the naysayers disagree, I doubt they would after watching them go at it.

6. Kana vs. Chris Dickinson

Sometimes, I just want to watch the world burn, and seeing Kana react to Dickinson's uncomfortable-to-watch pervert shtick would be the ultimate comeuppance. Plus, both wrestlers kick really hard. I like that.