Why Women’s wrestling means so much to me…
We are quickly approaching what I’m sure is going to be one of my favourite wrestling shows I have ever attended. OTT’s Defiant. An all woman’s wrestling show at Tivoli Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. That’s right you heard me, an all woman’s show.
About goddamn time.
The first of its kind in Ireland and with amazing talent travelling over to take part, this show is going to be one for the books.
Let me take you back in time slightly to 2008 where a 15-year-old Hayley met her first ever wrestlers (Cm Punk and Victoria at Smyth’s Toy Store lol) and watched her very first wrestling show. I never in the whole world thought it would become such a big part of my life. My brother had me hooked from the get go and I was in awe of these amazing athletes and their abilities.
I had missed out on the attitude era and had a lot of catching up to do.
Women’s wrestling was just starting to take off, with the departure of Lita and Trish, Mickie James took a special place in my heart, along with Natalya, Beth Phoenix and Eve Torres. I bought as many dvd’s and anthologies as I could and watched them all repeatedly. Miss.Elizabeth, Rockin Robin, Sensational Sherri, Chyna, Victoria, Trish, Lita the list could go on and on of all these amazing women not only wrestling, but managing and announcing.
It used to wind me up when people would call the women’s matches “piss breaks” when all I saw was amazing women with an opportunity to show that they could give it just as good as the men. I would stand in those WWE crowds cheering as loudly as I could, whilst being laughed at, told I was wrong or getting looks from those men around me. Of course, there was the bikini contests, the constant romantic storylines, the bra and panties matches and the playboy covers. No doubt women’s wrestling fluctuated with others shining more due to their looks and backgrounds.
I still held out hope.
This year has proven that good things come to those that wait. The first ever women’s royal rumble, the first ever women’s elimination chamber match and some of the best women’s wrestling I have seen in years.
Not only in WWE.
Indy wrestling has become a huge part of my life the past year or so, attending nearly 17 shows alone last year, and already having attended 6 this year, you can say that wrestling is back in my life full-time.
The women of Indy wrestling, the Irish women of wrestling. These are the women that I wish I would have been able to see when I was 15 years old, new to the wrestling world and feeling very vulnerable. These women come out every show and kick ass, they constantly surprise me, and honestly, they are the biggest inspiration and motivation. This island is pretty small and I am so proud of all of them. Women like Katey Harvey, Valkyrie, Debbie Kietel, Raven Creed, Lauren La Roux, Session Moth as well as all the current women trainees (Angelica Harkness, Daria, Lia and so many more).
Seriously look them all up
No matter how many times I watch these women wrestle, my heart swells with pride, and even at 25 years old I look up to them. I would love to be able to do what they do, put my body on the line, and after every match I always say that I would love to give it a go, to be like these amazing, powerful, stunning women…
even if just for a moment
Wrestling was with me when at one point I felt like I had nothing, constant anxiety and panic attacks, Depression, claustrophobia, struggles throughout university and personal situations at home. Wrestling was like my security blanket, I felt down I watched some wrestling, I felt anxious I wrote about wrestling. Looking back, it really was my go to, my security, the one thing I could turn to even though no one knew why I was so obsessed with it.
A phase they called it
Who knew a phase would bring me out of that funk, introduce me to all these amazing people and 10 years later, barrel straight back into my life, and not only mine but my best friends. That has to be one of the best things about wrestling. Watching someone else fall in love with it the way you did all those years ago, and experiencing that whole journey again through them. Stevie’s now hooked and it makes me so happy watching his reactions, whether that was to his first heel turn, his first No DQ match, his first surprise return or just reacting to different wrestlers.
The young girls and kids that come to the show have this look of awe on their faces, they cheer louder and boo harder and it is honestly the most amazing thing to see. From a girl that felt so silenced when I first watched, to now being able to shout and cheer as loud as I possibly can, and interact with some amazing women in this little wrestling world shows how far wrestling has come in the last 10 years.
We still have a long way to go
I cannot wait to see what these amazing women, not only over here but all over the world bring to the table and I cannot wait to go on that journey with them.
So Why does women’s wrestling mean so much to me?
I have been waiting 8 years for this moment. I have spent the last year getting to know all these amazing women that I had no idea about and now couldn’t imagine not being there cheering them on as loud as I can. It is their time, it is their moment and god I know I’m going to sound like such a sop and an emotional git but they goddamn deserve it. These women are not only empowering, inspirational, motivational but they are unique, wonderful and role-models not only for all of the young girls, but for those girls who were told they couldn’t, that they can’t but for those who are scared, who never took the opportunity. They are hope.
So, here’s to the women of wrestling, here’s to OTT’s Defiant show, and here’s to the female fans, both old and new.
This one’s for us.
Book your tickets to Defiant HERE