All Elite Wrestling prides itself on being a “Super Indie” promotion. The term is thrown around considerably to accurately describe the company. AEW blends Pro-Wrestling Guerilla independent style as well as WCW and ECW atmosphere. The promotion adopts stables of independent wrestling in addition to a strongly booked Tag Division. AEW feels like all the best aspects of the “Indie Style” dialed to eleven. However, AEW is missing one thing that is most important to indie wrestling. With the company on a mission to showcase a variety of wrestling styles. AEW needs to consider implementing intergender wrestling.
Battle of the Sexes
Intergender wrestling remains a highly polarizing subject within this business. Some people use the argument of domestic violence to criticize this wrestling style. That is one hundred percent not the case. Intergender Wrestling is a way for women’s wrestlers to stand on the same platform as the men. Intergender wrestling has become a fixture of the indie wrestling scene for the past decade. So many fantastic matchups have taken place between amazing female and male wrestlers. Kylie Rae vs Orange Cassidy, Brian Cage vs Taya Valkyrie, and Candice Lerae vs Kevin Steen are just a few of the matches that made intergender wrestling sought after. Intergender wrestling can make dream matches the fans didn’t even know they wanted, happen.
Fictional male and female characters fight all the time in TV Shows, Movies, Video Games, etc. We are starting to see Men and Women compete against one another in televised sports regularly. With Pro-Wrestling continuing to give a majority of the time to male wrestlers compared to female ones. Intergender wrestling is a way for more women’s wrestlers to be booked notably on indie cards. People need to remember that Pro-Wrestling is a fictionalized sport of characters. It is a athletic artform between performers with personas and some people should really stop taking it too seriously. There is a problem with storytelling in many media in which some characters are defined by their gender identity rather than a personality. Intergender wrestling allows the focus to remain of wrestlers and their athletic skill instead of labeling them in a box.
Lucha Underground and IMPACT Wrestling have used intergender wrestling as a way to differentiate themselves from WWE. The promotion has successfully built female wrestlers by having them fight the guys. Considering AEW is all about being an “alternative” to WWE. Then the promotion should do more to provide more of an alternative for wrestling fans. AEW’s strongest suit is easily its commitment to providing a wide variety of wrestling styles. Intergender wrestling is a style in this business similarly to brawling and technical style. With WWE painfully making every match the same until it’s done to death. Having more unique wrestling matches is a great way to differentiate from the Walmart booking of WWE.
A Mixed Match Challenge
AEW will face an uphill battle to put intergender wrestling on TNT. The network suits will need some serious convincing not to mention politicking as to why intergender wrestling should be on a national TV Channel. If nothing else, for the time being, AEW should strongly consider put intergender matches on Dark to test the waters. Having something on Dark fans can’t get on Dynamite could be a good way to drive more interest into AEW’s Youtube show. Not to mention it would give the women in AEW more to do that they seriously need. If AEW can run a tag match between Pandas and Dinosaurs on YouTube. Then there’s really no excuse for not making an effort for intergender wrestling. if nothing else, a mixed tag team series that features bits of intergender wrestling can ease all parties for the time being.
Imagine Kenny Omega vs Hikaru Shida, Nyla Rose vs Brian Cage, Cody Rhodes vs Thunder Rosa, and more on Dynamite, Dark, or at a Pay-Per-View. Female wrestlers can be just as marketable, if not more so, than the guys. Character is everything in wrestling. A good portion of AEW female wrestlers can portray a strong gimmick that will get over with fans. Kris Statlander‘s Alien gimmick in particular screams merch money. Together with Britt Baker having the highest-selling T-Shirt of any female wrestler on Pro-Wrestling Tees this year. AEW would benefit immensely from really exploring the marketing potential of their female wrestlers. Becky Lynch became one of WWE’s biggest merch sellers with her excellent character and persona. It’s way past time for promotions to book based on character instead of limiting them because of gender.
Modern wrestlers have competed in at least one intergender match at some point in their careers. The Elite EVPS have plenty of experience with intergender wrestling themselves. For crying out loud, Kenny Omega safely wrestled a nine-year-old girl to much fanfare. The Young Bucks famously tangled with Candice LeRae. Though Cody has not worked an intergender match. Brandi Rhodes isn’t shy from laying the hurt on one of Cody’s opponents when needed. Wrestling can be a strictly athletic competition between athletes when needed and the fans will enjoy it. AEW is all about creating new stars. Intergender wrestling has already proven to create new stars in the blink of an eye. Now’s the time to take the ball and run with it.
Earlier this year, Kenny Omega and Riho faced Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford in an intergender tag team match. The bout was specifically designed to showcase why this style should be integrated into AEW. Intergender wrestling drew fans into Lucha Underground and IMPACT for giving them what WWE won’t. It also allows women wrestlers more opportunities to break outside the box. And it is a style of wrestling fans will tune in to see. AEW’s “Super Indie” environment is perfect for intergender wrestling. The promotion has already shown it isn’t afraid to take risk on a different wrestling style. The women of AEW should be allowed to show they are just as good, if not more so than the men. Done right, legitimate intergender wrestling can take AEW to the next level.
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