Thursday, May 7, 2015

SMASH Wrestling to Give Women a Chance

When women as talented as Perez are out there, it's hard not to give them a chance
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
It's rough being a woman in wrestling sometimes, and by sometimes, I mean most of the time. You have to deal with obnoxious fans, lower pay, diminished booking opportunities, and being critiqued by everyone for things as benign as having an Amazon Wish List all the way up to ruining the fabric of society on the whole. When WWE fans got fed up with 30 second matches and rote, sexist trends for the main roster Divas, they started a hash-tag in support of a vastly improved cadre of main roster women. #GiveDivasAChance didn't even begin to fix the problems that the Kevin Dunn/Vince McMahon axis of misogyny have kept in check ever since Sunny was the most downloaded woman on the Internet, but it got people everywhere beginning to have a conversation that should've been started and finished a long fucking time ago.

One can call things like SMASH Wrestling's #GiveDivasAChance show an exploitative attempt at making money on a movement that wasn't started with any fiduciary concerns of theirs in mind. If one happens to do that, however, that person would be missing a bigger picture. An all-women's show, no matter what the reason, is still a good thing seeing as even in "coed" promotions, cards featuring all men all the time are more the norm than even having one token match with women competitors. The show will be part of a doubleheader in Ebiticoke, ON, and so far, the card looks like it will feature among the best talent on the continent, including a match featuring Portia Perez.

It used to be that Perez would appear on too many cards to count, but years and pursuits outside of wrestling have limited her appearances to the point where if she's on a card that isn't SHIMMER, it's a big deal. She is still one of the absolute best heels and most proficient workers on the planet, and she'll get a chance to hit up one of the brightest rising stars in the land, Veda Scott. On the surface, it seems like a redundancy. Scott has been shining up her black hat for sure in places like Absolute Intense Wrestling and Ring of Honor. Still, sometimes, you just have to take the best talent you have and throw them in the ring together. I'm beyond excited for this match, and honestly, you should be too.

And if that match wasn't enough, two other huge attractions are on the docket. The first will feature Vanessa Kraven, the prototypical LADY HOSS, taking on a challenger coming to visit from her normal stomping grounds of Mexico. "Girl Dynamite" Jennifer Blake's excursion back from the lucha territories will go from the JT Lightning Invitational Tournament into a clash with Kraven. The second will send the ever-vicious but always classy Allysin Kay venturing across the Detroit River to do battle with Candice fuckin' LeRae. The marquee half of the World's Cutest Tag Team will be well-prepared to handle Kay's insatiable thirst for violence. She's bled buckets to prove her toughness, so this match may be a bit more violent than one might think by looking at the competitors. Other wrestlers of note appearing on the show are the veritably insane Jewells Malone, the Canadian suplex machine Courtney Rush, co-SHIMMER Tag Team Champion Cherry Bomb, the wild and wonderful Angie Skye, and the spunky barnstorming sparkplug and Chikara Young Lions Cup Champion herself, Heidi Lovelace.

If your goal is to spotlight that women are just as awesome performers as the men in the industry, putting on a card such as this will do the trick. The idealized landscape would eliminate the need for women's only cards and promotions, but for now, as long as places like SHIMMER, WSU, NXT, and SMASH continue to show the worth women as performers, then progress will at least theoretically be made.