How far is one willing to go to stay true to their beliefs? This is what I am learning first hand. I received such amazing feedback and support from fans and the wrestling community alike for the first Womanist Revolution blog I wrote. News sites like Diva Dirt, Ringbelles and Dirty Dirty Sheets posted, discussed and help spread the blog around the world. Captured Beauty featured it in their RESPECT magazine issue 12. Twitter fans have used the hash tag #womanistrevolution countless times during RAW (now I just need a Womanist Revolution sign on tv so I can join the Dave Lagana/IWantWrestling club!). The more this gets out the more we can turn the tide towards a more respectable place for females in wrestling. For me though, it is not just about spreading the word, it is about living it. Putting myself out there as the number one example.
In the short time since I have posted my thoughts, I have had to really restructure how I do business. From how I take (or not take) bookings to handling issues backstage to how I teach and coach. I have passed up several paydays simply because doing them would contradict my own revolution. Frankly, it sucks to not make money but if I do not stay true to myself and to my words why would any of you give a damn about my mission? Here is where the one enemy within us lies.
I believe we all have enemies within ourselves but maybe one of our biggest one is our inability to say no. No, I will not take your booking with the ridiculous stipulation. No, I will not wrestle your untrained girlfriend because you do not feel like paying a real worker. No, I will not wrestle in a bra and panties match. No, no, no. Let us touch on the untrained opponent a bit, shall we? Recently, folks like April Hunter and NY Knockout Nikki have made mention to being in situations where they have booked against untrained or poorly trained females, some of these matches resulting in injury. Oh promoters, two X chromosomes and a pair of booty shorts do not make a gal a wrestler! Shall I (shall I??) indulge you folks in a personal story celebrating the fun of working with the untrained? I shall!
A few years back I was booked to do a show in North Carolina. I was part of a baby face tag team against a heel team of a female with similar time in as me and another female with a little less time but a monster build. Both good opponents to share a ring with. Unfortunately, the worker booked as my tag partner had to cancel off. The promoter, instead of finding a suitable female wrestler, decided to put in a worker’s girlfriend who, I believe, had never even taken a bump yet. Good times! We were able to structure a match around this person’s limitations and the match was go. Sadly, about two minutes into the heat, this gal tags out and leaves the rings because....wait for it....SHE GOT BORED TAKING THE HEAT. Thankfully, the remaining members of our match, who were not bored, were able to pull together a somewhat decent ending that didn’t kill them and told a story. In the back we get no apology and no explanation other than the “I was bored” and “I was in there for so long I thought you guys were playing a joke on me”. She spent the rest of the night suction cupped to her boyfriend while fixing her hair so she could manage him in the main event. Worst part is, neither the boyfriend (who was also her trainer) nor the promoter saw any problem with this behavior. Guess what, gang. This happens all the time (well, not the bored part, that was new to even me!). In this case, we were lucky that no one in the match was hurt. Not everyone gets that lucky. This does not happen to the guys so why are us females subjected to it? This is where we need to learn to say no. To do so in a respectful and professional manner. I feel secure in myself and my position that I can finally say no to doing matches like that. If the promoter chooses not to use me then cool. As long as I know I handled it professionally and within reason then I know I can sleep well having lost that booking. Not every female wrestler has that luxury though. We as women need to band together to protect one another. If we stand together we have a genuine shot as changing this mentality and providing a safer environment for one another. I am going to summarize something Lufisto told me one of the first times we met (I repeat this sentiment in training and seminars regularly now); “We may not like everyone but in the ring we are all best friends. And that is how we need to protect each other”. Perfection.
Quickly, I must touch of this: do not confuse untrained with new (green). I enjoy working with younger talent, helping them learn and grow. This also gives me the opportunity to help mold fresh minds towards a positive direction. Oddly enough, I have noticed some fans seem to have a sick fascination with young girls getting beat up by vets. You would be surprised by the formsprings/tweets/emails I have gotten about that subject. Honest mistake are just that-honest mistakes. There have been occasions over the years where lessons were taught in a more physical manner but those are few and far between for the most part. Be warned-if you fall into the category of hoping/asking/desiring a beat down of this sort I will place you swiftly into the creeper column.
And a digression to end this blog- how awesome is seeing Nattie Neidhart and Beth Phoenix together as a team? These two have the absolute potential to turn the WWE female division around if the writers and powers that be give them the chance. While I can not claim my revolution has led to this change I must say the timing is pure perfection. Between the CM Punk story and this tag team I am truly interested in WWE programming again. It really feels good to sit back and just be a fan again.
I am Allison Danger and I am your Feminist Icon.