Monday, November 13, 2006

Feature Article: Women Don't Belong in Professional Wrestling!! Says Who?? by Tasha Simone

Feature Article: Women Don't Belong in Professional Wrestling!! Says Who?? by Tasha Simone [photo to the right]

Women don't belong in professional wrestling! I wish I had a penny for every time I have been told, or heard someone throw that statement up in the air in a locker room, because they d
idn't have the balls to say it to my face. I have to say though, sometimes I actually agree with that very statement; of course there are times I have watched many of my male counterparts and wonder what the hell they are doing in the ring, because it sure isn't what I would call wrestling. There have been many women who have paved the roads of professional wrestling for myself and many of the ladies who climb through the ropes today, greats such as Mildred Burke, Penny Banner, Ella Waldek, Kay Noble, and in later years, LeiLani Kai, Joyce Grable, Vivian Vachon, Sherrie Martel, and many more. I am sure many of these same women shake their heads at what I call "The Age of the Diva", because these days, these so called "Divas" are tearing down what so many women before of us have worked to build, but believe me there are a few of us, who respect their hard work and bust our asses to keep the traditions these ladies built alive.

On October 28, 11 of these very ladies I am speaking up gathered in Columbia, Tennessee for the much anticipated Oktoberfest, promoted by "The Mississippi Queen" herself, Christie Ricci. For many of us, it was a family reunion, but it was also an opportunity to meet and work with ladies that we had crossed paths with, and it also had the potential to be a complete disaster, or so the critics were saying. You see, wrestling is full of egos, and not just from the ladies, but the guys as well, and professionalism tends to fall by the wayside most of the time in locker rooms of any given wrestling promotion on any day of the week, so getting 11 ladies at various stages of their careers, some having worked for WWE, others for TNA, former and current champions, vets and newbies, add to all of that the fact that many of us starting wrestling at 9:00 a.m., to get matches on film, and there was a real potential for sparks to fly. The truth is though, no one and I mean no one had an ego, or even showed the semblance of a diva-like attitude the entire day, and on into the evening.

My family reunion started by seeing my Latina sister Venus, who is an incredible person, and a great wrestler. This girl has spent the last two years of her career busting her ass in OVW, and she still refuses to offer up an ego or an attitude for any reason. Not only did I team with Venus during the day, but I also had to wrestle her, and her desire to improve and learn her craft really showed in the ring. Next on my list of family to greet were Lexie Fyfe and Lorelei Lee... Lexie is a consummate professional, and very no nonsense about her wrestling, she has been in this sport about as long as I have, and really harbors a great deal of respect and pride for wrestling in general and women's wrestling in particular. Lexie never has an attitude or an ego, gets along with everyone, and is always willing to help out the younger wrestlers when she can. Hell when Lexie was the NWA ladies champ, she did as much as anyone could ever ask of a wrestler to bring dignity and respect back to a much overlooked title. I have wrestled Lexie [photo to the left]on several occassions, and considered it an honor to climb through the ropes as her opponent or her partner, everytime I get the chance. LoreLei, I can't say enough good things about, she actually wrestled on a ladies card that I promoted a few years back, and as good as she was then (and she was green) she has only improved. I wrestled Lorelei for the first time ever during the day, and she kept up with me really well, her willingness to learn, even during a match was quite evident, and this girl will be a great addition to any wrestling card anytime. Moving right along to Amber O'Neal [photo to the right]and Traci Brooks, it was great seeing these two again. Amber will keep you in stitches, and Traci , well you can't really appreciate Traci until you have taken a road trip with her, but that is a story for another time. Once you get past Amber always being funny, and believe me she isn't even trying, it just happens that's what makes it so great, she is a very solid wrestler, and deserves a great deal of credit, because she was given the job of wrestling the greenest girl on the card, and had a great match with her. Traci, bless her heart, tells everyone she isn't a very good wrestler, the sad thing is, Traci isn't half bad, she just needs a little encouragement sometimes, which is hard for her to get when she is stuck at ringside bouncing up and down, instead of being allowed to wrestle. (Jeremy Borash was in attendance during the evening, so I hope he let the office of TNA know that Traci is capable of doing more than bouncing.) It was also great to see Lady Victoria, another lady who tends to do things her way. Vic and I both caught some flak prior to the card on some of the message boards, because we are older. Most of the posts weren't bad, but there were a few about Vic that were rude, nasty and completely uncalled for, so I hope some of those posters take note of what I am about to say. Victoria, like myself is proud to be a grandma, yet she has a body most 20 year olds would like to have, moreover, in a time when guys have the work ethic of pussies and and no show because they have a hangnail, or a little cough, Victoria was so sick during the day that she couldn't even eat, yet she went out and had a super strong style match with Josie, so my hat is off to Victoria. Last but not least, it was great to see Bobcat, who I had not seen since she was in Memphis for her developmental training, boy has she grown up a lot. Bobcat was our ref for the evening, and she did a great job, although I think she would have rather been anywhere else than having to ref my match with Lexie, and then my hardcore match with Christie. (Bobcat fainted during the hardcore match, and was about to throw up when she was helped out of the ring.)

On to the ladies I had not had the pleasure of meeting. It goes without saying that any good thing you hear about Alere Little Feather (ALF) [photo to the left] is very much true, she is very much like Venus not only in personality, but in the ring as well, which put her pretty high on my list immediately. ALF was part of my first match of the day, and she is quite a hand in the ring, and was very appreciative of the constructive criticism I gave her afterwards, and even asked if she could join in with many of the wrestlers who call me Momma T, I couldn't tell her no, she is just too awesome. I had heard many good things about Josie prior to meeting her, and it was nice to find all of it was true. Josie is an outstanding wrestler, who carries herself a complete professional and I looked forward to wrestling her on November 18th in Lebanon, Tennessee. Brittany Love, bless her heart, fresh out of high school and very new to wrestling, had the most reason to feel out of place, but all the ladies busted their asses to make her comfortable, and each of us at one point during the day, also did our best to help her out with her ring skills. Brittany took every little piece of advice, and incorporated it in her matches during the day, she is very athletic, has a willingness to learn, and has a great deal of potential to be successful in this sport.

Oh, I know, you have read my ramblings putting over all the ladies, and yet I haven't said anything about Christie Ricci. Don't worry, I didn't overlook Christie, and I am not leaving her out, I was just saving what I had to say about her for last. When I wrestling Christie, I hate her, I do my damnedest to tear her to shreds, but as a person, Christie is as much a part of my family as Venus. When I first met Christie, she was getting major bookings already, and she had no reason to improve her ring skills, other than her love for wrestling. Christie was originally trained by one of the few ladies I consider a true ring general, LeiLani Kai, but when I met her, she was still willing to drive 3 1/2 hours one way to work out with Motley Cruz and myself, because she wanted to improve her ring skills. In my book that says a great deal for Christie, when there are guys that won't drive five miles to workout in the ring. Oktoberfest was a true testament to how much Christie [photo to right] has learned about professional wrestling, she did a really great job of booking talented ladies, and putting the right combinations together for solid matches. Christie and I wrestled a hardcore match in the main event, she sustained a concussion during the match, we are still not sure how, and I actually thought that I had broken my arm about 10-12 minutes into the match, when we got back to the locker room, after the "Crazy Bitches" chant that Traci Brooks started died down, Christie did not think twice about her concussion, she was more worried about my arm, how many people would have done that?

My point to all this rambling is this, the next time you hear someone say "Women don't belong in professional wrestling.", send them to any one of the 11 ladies I have talked about in this article, because each one of us will beg to differ. I was taught very old school, that wrestlers are all a family, that we take care of one another, there is no place for egos, just the desire to have great matches, that leave the fans wanting more, and on October 28, 2006 in Columbia, Tennessee, I shared a very special moment in time with 10 other very talented ladies, as we did just that: Took care of each other, had no egos, and had great matches that left every single fan in attendance wanting more. It was a privilege to work with each and every one of these ladies, and I will do so every chance I get. I know a large number of male wrestlers and promoters that I would like to pass out tapes of locker room too, so they can see how a locker room should be, because believe me, on that particular evening, we all had it right!!!

----I would like to thank Tasha for her first contribution to the site. I have known Tasha for over 10 years when we were first introduced to each other by a mutual friend Freddy Fargo. Tasha can be reached at either one of these sites:; or