Professional Wrestling

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I remember the time when I became aware of the existence of professional wrestling. I was at a friend’s house, and we were really young (I was in school but I don’t remember whether it was first, second or third grade…). We were playing around the house, and my friend’s bigger siblings were channel surfing, when wrestling came on. They stopped there and started watching and we kind of joined in too, somewhat intrigued by colorful characters and the wild stunts which suddenly filled the screen.

I do not remember who the wrestlers were, nor do I know what show it was…I do know there was one fat, white-haired guy in polka-dot trunks (who was probably Dusty Rhodes), but the whole spectacle made a large enough impression on me that I brought it up the next day at school. The other kids were obviously more versed in the ways of the square circle than I was: one of them told me there was actually a women’s version to the sport we had witnessed the day before. Now that definitely got my attention and the world of professional wrestling took on an entirely different dimension for me. I pictured the sort of action I had witnessed with women as protagonists and I was left hooked.

 

I did not know what the rules were back then, I did not know how and why matches ended. I just began developing an ever-increasing interest in it. Although not actually seeing any women’s matches, the whole thing kind slid into the back of my mind, not something I paid a whole lot of attention to for years. Then, during the early(/late?) 90s, I happened upon reruns of GLOW on a German sports channel, and although I understood not what the commentary was about, and I didn’t even realize it was an American show, I got instantly hooked, or rather, I got instantly bedazzled and enthralled with the in-ring antics of the shiny-spandex clad wrestlers and of the glamour/glitter atmosphere that surrounded the whole spectacle. I remember at that time I thought humanity had never invented anything remotely as exciting and appealing as ladies’ professional wrestling. Although in hindsight, GLOW action was indeed goofy and not particularly impressive from a technical perspective, to me it was magical, surreal and incredible. I remember Spanish Red quickly became my favorite, although I liked Hollywood and Vine, Tina and Ashley, Americana and even Colonel Ninotschka quite a bit too. My fascination with GLOW and with ladies pro wrestling went much further than that though. From the get-go I felt I wanted to be one of the GLOW girls. I wanted to be part of the action, greatly entertained and impressed, yet never fully content with just looking in from the sidelines.

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The passion that GLOW unleashed in me was only amplified later on, and when I gained consistent access to the internet, ladies wrestling became one of my favorite search/surfing subjects. I might as well say I got to know the World Wide Web through the lens of ladies professional wrestling.

My interest for the men’s side of the sport – never particularly keen to begin with – quickly waned into non-existence, as I discovered more and more on the wonderful women of the square circle and I learned that women were far from a sideshow-attraction in professional wrestling. I learned about the rules, about the various holds and about the legendary personalities of the sport. The more I knew, the more compelled I felt to take my own steps towards one day stepping into the squared circle and to become part of this magical world of glamour, grit, hard work, visual spectacle, and… there’s no better way to put this: art. After all, in the words of Jesse Ventura, isn’t professional wrestling ballet with violence?

The Many Faces of Catch Queen

1Those who know me know that I’m a professional wrestler wannabe of the mold of the Mexican Exoticos, though it’s safe to say there are significant differences between what I am/stand for and the exoticos. First of all, there’s no better way to put this: I’m straight. I just am…that’s a fact. As one of my fans once put it: I’m nothing more than an exceptionally extravagant metrosexual, although that may not be a particularly accurate definition of me either, it’s definitely more approximative than anything else out there. Frankly, many of the exoticos are straight too: the gimmick they push in the ring isn’t necessarily a reflection of their real life preferences.

Secondly: I absolutely did not model my professional wrestling persona after any of the exoticos, simply because I only found out they existed a few years ago, and Catch Queen was born waaay before that. As a matter of fact, for a long while I thought I was one of a kind, obviously a bit of arrogance on my part stemming from ignorance, quickly rebuffed when my eyes were opened and I learned more about the professional wrestling scene south of the border. I am not trans in the technical sense of the word and I do not aim to be that. I’m comfortable the way I am, and I definitely love glamour and gussying up- I always have.

A female-impersonating entertainer (drag queen) is quite probably the closest to what I am as far as my wrestling persona is concerned, and that’s reflected by my ring name too, which is obviously not a reference to any kind of blue blood. (“catch” by the way is French for “pro wrestling”, so that explains the other half of my ring-name).

As you can probably tell, the technical side of ladies professional wrestling is just as appealing to me as the flashy, glamour aspect of it. As far as I’m concerned, a proper ring/mat image is just as big a part of the professional wrestling experience as the various in-ring acrobatics and technical skills. Professional wrestling is a highly visual form of sports entertainment, one combining pretty much all my favorite things: there’s athleticism, there’s fitness involved, there’s glamour and there’s peculiar sort of magic to it, only those truly addicted to the sport understand.

I’ve always been pretty athletic and I did in fact do freestyle wrestling for a couple of years, although I never really bought into it and at one point I just found myself repulsed by the whole idea (go figure). The bottom line: freestyle wrestling in its traditional sense is still not something for me, although on the other hand, I do find the ladies freestyle scene extremely interesting and I love to see it gather more and more momentum worldwide.

The TransGlam Express

A couple of days ago, Noir (the partner you see me wrestling in my videos) and I, decided to form a wrestling team called the TransGlam Express, and yes, in theory at least and if we can find opponents, we are set on wrestling as a tag-team too. For the time being though, we’re just happy that we can do what we both love, which is wrestling while glammed up. You can check out our videos in the video section of my site, and we have some more action drawn up, including a custom as well as a couple of real, competitive matches, sort of to establish the pecking order within the TransGlam Express.

Here are some shots of the TransGlam Express in action:

In the past, Noir wasn’t much more than cannon-fodder in the mask that some of you have pointed out wasn’t particularly appealing. For starters, we have purchased a new – much better mask – which you can check out in some of my latest pictures (I’m wearing it), and which does not hinder breathing and sight anymore. What’s more, Noir is about ready to ditch the mask altogether, although this new mask has turned out to be such a sassy number indeed that we will continue to use it for our matches/videos/pictures, and yes, I will wear it too.

We’re looking forward to shooting much more content for you guys, and we aim to improve bit-by-bit in small, incremental steps all the time, so it’s always worth checking back.

My Squared Circle Heroines

Having been a lifelong ladies’ professional wrestling fan, I’ve obviously encountered a number of female wrestlers who inspired and influenced me in one way or another, effectively determining who I am today. The reasons why these ladies stood out for me are quite unclear…even I can’t properly put my finger on why they caught my fancy, but I do suspect a factor or two here and there.

 

Take Malia Hosaka for instance. I first learned of her existence after I witnessed a match of hers against Akira Hokuto in WCW. She was an attractive wrestler, with a very warm and down-to-earth air about her, and she took a horrendous beating, selling every move to perfection. It was then I started to research her online and came across her LPWA work. Compared with most of the other women in the LPWA, Malia had a slight frame, looking smaller and a lot less powerful than most of her opponents. Having had a similar physique as a child, I identified with her, and she quickly became my heroine, taking the fight to her opponents against the odds, and often having her hand raised at the end of the bout.

 

My other childhood wrestling idol, Magnificent Mimi, represented an aspiration for me. Endowed with a perfect physique, she was strong, disciplined and skilled in various martial arts outside the squared circle too. She was the sort of competitor I aspired to be like, and even to this day, she’s not a bad role model for anyone looking to live clean and to amount to something in life.

 

Reggie Bennreggiebennettett and Denise Storm inspired me through the strength and power they exuded. There were indeed no lady wrestlers of that era (and very few afterwards) who could match women like Denise and Reggie strength-wise. Reggie in particular was a true role-model in regards to her attitude towards the sport and the way she represented the ladies of professional wrestling all over the world.

Discovering Pippa L’Vinn and her troop of professional female wrestlers online was another major milestone of my ladies wresting fandom. I happened across their site – which didn’t exactly contain much textual information, but had plenty of pictures back then – and for a while there, it became my favorite online destination, though later, that outfit was blown up and Pippa struck out on her own to become one of the most successful female wrestlers in Britain.

Pippa has always been a great heel, and her wrestling style was something I quickly grew to like and appreciate: a true inspiration for anyone into suspended disbelief and kayfabe out there.

 

Last but definitely not least, I have to mention Nikki. It was back in 2000, and I was in summer-camp in Cape Cod, MA, (not going to name the actual camp) where we were sometimes granted access to a computer to email our friends/parents/etc. Of course, kids are kids and the majority of the campers were all over the various khm…adult-rated sites, khm, whenever they got to spend an hour in the computer room under one of the bigger cabins. What I did, having finished my emailing, was to look for info on ladies wrestling and it was there that I discovered Nikki and her pindowngirls. For me, that was another GLOW-like revelation: a wrestler who seemed like she’d read my mind in several respects. Nikki has long since retired from the wrestling scene, but the impression she left in me still lingers, and it is indeed safe to say she had a major hand in getting me to go down the “Catch Queen” path.

Gender-bending and Professional Wrestling

Catch QueenEven though in the beginnings of my life as one of the biggest fans of ladies professional wrestling and of my cross-dressing, female-impersonating wrestling persona, I was convinced that I was the only person in the world whose mind had ever been crossed by such thoughts, naturally, I was woefully wrong. Gender-bending has a long history in professional wrestling, starting way back with Gorgeous George’s gimmick in the 1940s, continuing with Exotic Adrian Street, and through various other characters right up to the Exoticos, who are part of a pretty wide phenomenon in Mexico.

Indeed, I wasn’t original, but I was still original in the sense that I never copied/emulated any of the above mentioned legends of the squared circle. My professional wrestling persona developed independently, only influenced by the female wrestlers covered on my “My Squared Circle Heroines” page. Only later did I find about Adrian Street (when I first started watching the LPWA), Gorgeous George (whom, I ashamedly admit, I’ve never seen in action to this day), and the Exoticos (whom I first encountered well into the YouTube age). It is therefore safe to say that I do not actually identify with the gimmicks of any of the above covered wrestlers.

 

My CQ persona developed gradually over several years. In the beginning, I was content looking into the ring from the outside, watching the ladies toss each-other around from pillar to post, and it actually took me a while until I began seeing myself as an actual participant in this passion of mine. That however ran into a major obstacle: I never particularly enjoyed men’s wrestling, and I generally never appreciated seeing men get involved in the ladies’ matches either. By actually getting myself into the picture, I was creating an unsolvable conundrum. The solution – not a simple one at all – was a compromise which materialized over the course of several years in my mind: I gradually warmed up to the idea of mixed bouts involving exoticos, and by that, I managed to make a bit of room for myself in my world of professional wrestling. Basically, that was the only way I could gain acceptance in my own mind as a professional wrestler.

The realization struck me when a friend of mine – a superbly talented artist and individual, also hook, line and sinker into women’s wrestling and wrestling in general – drew a picture of me as a male wrestler to be part of his virtual/fantasy world of professional wrestling, of which he draws comic strips. I saw the art (which was superbly done by the way) and I realized I did not like the idea of that character. I did not want to be that character. That character did not belong. That’s when CQ was born, and when he drew a couple of panels of CQ in action, I knew that in my sick little twisted mind, that would be the only way I could ever accept and enjoy myself as an actual participant.

I know that for a lot of you out there this makes no sense whatsoever, but it makes perfect sense to me, and at the end of the day, for my own peace of mind, that’s the only thing that matters.

Jobbers Vs Heels

1Fans of old-school professional wrestling know all about jobbers: they were women apparently brought in straight from the street (obviously, they were trained and capable wrestlers, they just looked clueless) whose job was to make the contenders look good. Jobber squashes were highly popular back in the days, when there were three main categories of wrestlers: jobbers, faces (good girls) and heels (bad girls). Jobbers were subordinated to faces as well as to heels: they were taken apart, thrown from pillar to post, pinned and submitted by the heels as well as the faces, and they were the darlings of the ladies professional wrestling scene regardless. There are wrestling fans out there who like heels, there are fans who like faces and then there’s a sizable percentage of the fan-base who are crazy about jobbers.

Indeed, all three categories have been integral parts of the magic of the squared circle, and even though pure-bred jobbers have largely been done away with these days in mainstream ladies’ wrestling, for the true fan, they’re still as big a part of the picture as ever.

 

People often ask me whether I like to heel or job. There are people out there who like to see me dominate the action and destroy an opponent, while others want to see me buy it big time. I don’t have a particular preference in this respect. I like to heel, and I’m OK with jobbing too. When it comes to selling moves in a convincing manner, the truth is that I find it easier to job. I’ve always found it easier to sell pain, especially after I get tossed or get locked in a submission hold which does in fact hurt a little bit. Being a truly efficient and impressive heel is no walk in the park. One has to be able to take the heat from the crowd, while staying focused on her theatrics. Properly slipping into the role of a heel is a challenge and a privilege usually reserved for the more experienced wrestlers out there, and obviously, I do not belong in that category, but I definitely don’t shy away from giving it my best.

Being a face is quite possibly the easiest to pull off theatrics-wise. One isn’t concerned with selling the moves properly neither is there a character one needs to put over. One just has to act natural and to stick to the basics. Obviously though: a face without some extremely impressive athletic tricks up her sleeve isn’t really a face at all.

The bottom line: at the end of the day, I think I do prefer the role of the jobber, but nothing involving wrestling is no-go territory for me. So yes, if the opportunity calls for it, I’ll heel and if I have to, I’ll be a face too…

Women’s Wrestling – My Passion

Women’s wrestling has been my passion as far back as I can remember and in 2007, urged on by a friend, I finally decided to act on that passion. www.women-wrestling.org was born, and I was finally able to express myself in a way I had never before fathomed, in regards to the ladies professional wrestling scene. The site has been arguably successful from its very beginnings, and although from a financial perspective it’s never really delivered anything noteworthy, it has been a bright spot in my life, something that I found myself returning to time and time again over the last few years.

Why exactly did I launch www.women-wrestling.org? The question on my mind is rather: why hadn’t I started it up much earlier? My personal need for it has always been there, and apparently there are quite a number of people who read our pages regularly, who comment and interact on various levels and who also appreciate the fact that this cranny of the world-wide web has been made available by yours truly.

 

Those who know me also know that besides ladies wrestling, but sort of intertwined with it, I also have a passion for 80s/90s style shiny nylon-lycra outfits (leotards as well as leggings, unitards, singlets and just about every other form of clothing made from this wonderful material) and they also know that I have a major thing for quality hosiery/pantyhose.

I’m quite sure this secondary passion of mine has its origins in ladies’ wrestling too, where such outfits were/are obviously the norm.

Having been emboldened by the way www.women-wrestling.org turned out, a year later (in 2008) I decided to launch another site, www.pantyhose-pantyhose.com (don’t worry, it is indeed 100% safe and clean), where I test/review various hosiery.

While I never focused as much on this site as I did on my ladies wrestling one, over the years it swelled to a rather respectable size, and I like to believe it offers more useful information than most of the other independent hosiery-focused operations out there.

 

The bottom line: my online footprint is indeed true to my interest/passion-profile, and I intend to keep it that way. The only problem is that while none of these efforts generate any sort of meaningful revenue, I’ll have to keep them on a hobby level, which will in turn obviously limit the amount of effort I can afford to invest in them.