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Has Women's Wrestling Fallen by the Wayside?
Lekisha Oliver-Burdine

     Take one step forward and two steps back would be explaining womens wrestling. Just as it appears as though womens wrestling has started to reach a different level, it takes one step back. World Wrestling Entertainment has been contacting female wrestlers throughout the United States, including the just signed Alexis Laree and Daffney, to try and finally add some female talent onboard. The further the female wrestlers can get from the god-awful pudding matches and Thanksgiving Day fight the better. Women in the wrestling world have been training years to try to get to where people like Trish Stratus and Victoria have gotten to, Titan Towers.

Alexis Laree in TNA
Courtesy of glorywrestling.com

     But with WWE finally getting the point, where are the ladies of NWA: Total Nonstop Action? Both Laree and Daffney had been featured on their pay-per-view, as well as a host of others, including the NWA Womens Champion, Leilani Kai. Just as these ladies were starting to get into the spotlight, the plug must have been yanked from the wall. Women have almost disappeared from NWA: Total Nonstop Action. Ladies from across the country had been readying for a shot at hope with this company. The big time, so to speak. A new federation that is looking for a few good wrestlers, male or female, that is what all wrestlers are looking for: a chance at stardom. Has the chance melted into another missed opportunity for the ladies of professional wrestling?

       Viewers of NWA: TNA would have to disagree about women being on pay-per-view with Trinity. I will admit it is good to see a female face on the show, especially Trinity. She is a combination of strength, agility, power and beauty, which makes into an incredible female wrestler. Even though her provocative attire makes her marketable to male fans, the female fans are watching her at the same time. She has shown that her resilience to put her life on the line for entertainment has kept her a position in front of the camera appealing to both men and women. The question is, how long will it be before "old-school wrestling" makes her take a backseat to her mail counterparts? How long will it be before the Jarretts use the "old-school mentality" of where women were to be seen and not heard?

WWE Diva Gail Kim
Courtesy of glorywrestling.com

     Why should that mentality continue to this day? Women of wrestling have come a long way. Making their way through the dressing rooms to be some no named wrestlers valet, just to get noticed, to doing anything in their power to make a TLC match happen, women have started to be just as fierce with the competition as the men. Women have started to move into different varieties of wrestling. Starting with Luche Libre and the Japanese style, women are learning more everyday to make themselves just as marketable as the men are.

    For example, former WWE womens champion Gail Kim, AKA Felina. Gail started over three years ago in the wrestling business and has altered her style through the years. She started wrestling under a mask with a technical / high-flying style merged together to make an Asian flying Felina. The Toronto based wrestler took to the ring after falling onto a wrestling website and getting into the ring under the tutelage of the Squared Circle Training Gym. A modeling career and a wrestling career in a five foot four inch frame took her to the top after the mask came off. She turned all the talent and the beauty around to became WWE Womens Champion on her first night in.

Christie Ricci after returning from Mexico
Courtesy of glorywrestling.com

     Yes, Gail has made it to the "show", but what about the ladies who are nipping at her heels? In the Tennessee area, there is an independent wrestler named Christie Ricci. My readers may remember this name from a few months ago. Christie, I met at a NWA wrestling show a few years ago when she first began wrestling. Christie hadnt been in the wrestling business very long. That night she took on her trainer, the legendary Leilani Kai. Leilani has defiantly taken Christie under her wing. Christie has learned the art of mat wrestling along with ring psychology. This has brought Christie into a new path of wrestling. Taking her talents over the Mexican border, Ms. Ricci has wrestled some of the best in the ladies circuit. She had to learn the Mexican style quickly to help with her victories.

     Ladies like Christie and Leilani have been bringing their talent to the Tennessee Valley Area, which I live. In the next several weeks, Christie, along with the Professional Girls Wrestling Association will be putting on an all women wrestling event. In conjunction with legendary Tony Falks federation, the United States Wrestling Organization, they will take to the arena on November 15th, in Madison, Tennessee. These ladies will be taking to the ring in singles action and in tag team action. NWA: TNAs Tracy Brooks will also be taking to the ring for this event along with Great Britains Pippa LVinn, ODB, Lexie Fyfe and more will be hitting the mats for a traditional wrestling event.

NWA: TNA's Tracy Brooks
Courtesy of glorywrestling.com

     Tracy, another Canadian native, had moved to the area for NWA: TNA, but since moving to Tennessee, TNA has been using the women more and more sparingly. Tracy has been in the wrestling business for over three years. In that time, the Toronto native has made a name for herself in the ladies wrestling scene. Starting as a calendar girl, she said that she always wanted to be a WWE Superstar. She learned her ropes through the Lucha style with her trainer El Fuego. Yet another female superstar in the making put on the backburner, what will it take to bring them back to the forefront?

     Will it take another Chyna to make the womens wrestling business flourish? Or will it be another Trish Stratus? The Chynas of the world will defiantly hold a place in wrestling, but women like Trish have not only moved on with her wrestling career, but have bettered themselves in the squared circle. The reigning Babe of the Year has shown that she not only has the beauty for the marketing department, but the woman has pulled herself up by the boot strings and has made a wrestling career out of her valet career. One of the most improved ladies in the business, Trish has shown what a person can do if given the right opportunity. Trish was led into Titan land with a T&A purpose, but has turn the T&A into Tough and Able. Hard work and determination have been her oars to paddle her through the river of new wrestling talent.

     With ladies like Christie Ricci, Leilani Kai, Trinity, Tracy Brooks and a host of other ladies out on the independent circuit, NWA: TNA will have to see what the NWA Board saw, a new horizon into the future. Not just men grappling in the ring, but a high-flying, tough and able bunch of ladies that is willing to take on the world. These women could come from the best wrestling schools in the country to the ladies checking the costumes at ringside to the lady walking down the ramp next to your companys newest addition.

     All of these ladies have a shot at stardom, all they need is a chance. A chance to show what they can do.

     To the owners of all wrestling federations, if you want to know more about female wrestlers in the country, check out one of my favorite sites, www.glorywrestling.com At this site, you will find a pletera of young female talent. Also, check out www.ladysports.com for more information on the event mentioned above. The owners of these sites have made it a mission to get these young ladies noticed in the sport of wrestling. Talent has to shine to be seen and this is true with the ladies mentioned above.

     As for this weeks column, it is finished. The women of wrestling have begun to make themselves known. So keep watching for the shine.

     For comments or questions on this column, email them to lekisha@wrestling-online.com or visit the website at www.belleofthebrawl.com or www.wrestlingonthefringe.com

     Thank you again for all the support and have a wonderful day. Until next time...stay safe...