A new documentary, This Is Women’s Wrestling: A Ring of Honor Women’s Division Documentary, is out and it’s pretty great.
The idea is an event to allow female wrestlers who have been part of the game for years a chance to participate and expand their presence as a brawler and be crowned a queen of Ring of Honor. Maria Kanellis Bennett, a wrestler of 17 years, manager, interviewer and Board of Directors member, pushed for women to be in the spotlight because they are talented and deserving of recognition.
If I’m being honest, this is the first time I’ve encountered Ring of Honor, so of course, I was waiting to be both entertained and moved by the girls’ experiences. What was strange, that I felt like mentioning first, was the background grunting noise while Bennett was being interviewed. It was so loud and in-your-face about it. I laughed a little watching her slightly struggling to speak above the girls wrestling behind her.
I promise you, I saw her eye twitch.
During the years I’ve watched wrestling, many of the names introduced within the documentary were unfamiliar to me; faces like: Mazzerati, Trish Adora, Allysin Kay, Willow, Holidead, Rok-C, Marti Belle, Alex Gracia, Miranda Alize, Sumie Sakai, Nicole Savoy, Angelina Love. I found it fascinating meeting new fighters that weren’t the usual ones from WWE, meaning more drama and opinions to share.
It reminds me of a moment filmed in the doc where Danhausen, another wrestler I hadn’t heard of, was telling us about his top two picks of best female wrestlers, Trish Adora and Max were his choices. The second I saw the guy, his voice for his character was so high-pitched that I thought he was a crossbreed between Gollum from Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and Rumpelstiltskin from Shrek Forever After. It scared me a little bit on how similar they were.
Or how Angelina Love said that Kanellis was creating the event to boost her ego. Love didn’t believe that she needed to prove herself again knowing she’s been winning title after title, yet she enjoyed messing with Kanellis. More wrestling theatrics is what we’re here for. I don’t start pettiness, but I do get amused by watching it unfold.
During an interview with Sumie Sakai, she was standing outside. I liked that she had natural lighting which made her shine even more while she spoke about her experiences, and the subtitles were helpful because there were some words I couldn’t understand. I felt bad, I wanted to completely understand her without reading for some reason. The sounds in the background may have been loud sometimes, but I think it was necessary, so we’d feel like we’re there too. Kanellis had a focus and that was every women’s story must be heard or seen. It was top-notch quality.
“Women’s wrestling has been in this box. Like there’s a certain code on how women should wrestle.” said Kanellis. “I don’t subscribe to that. We have many different styles of wrestling, many different styles of women. Different looks and faces. But, they have integrity in themselves.”
I believe that regardless of how much a person doesn’t want to prove once again how talented they are for the sake of newcomers, life is all about proving something to yourself more than anyone else. That’s what matters, so I agreed with Kanellis on pushing them harder in the best way possible. Love was getting a bit too comfortable, and I think that’s why she lost during her match against Rok-C at the semi-finals.
Mazzerati spoke about how she struggled with the shade of her chocolate skin in the past. How people questioned her worth due to the color she’s born with when in the end, it comes down to skill, passion, perseverance, and ambition for the craft you love. Not skin. Nor size or weight like Willow added.
A good example of a female wrestler who oozed so much drive, relatable or over-confident, was Miranda Alize. She was pissed, which was hilarious. Alize demonstrated how much she wanted to win the ROH Women’s Championship title, and I get that, but she was over-confident as well and lost to Rok-C in the end. Alize grew up in a harsh environment including drugs and alcohol, she wanted to achieve the goal of showing that you can make it out of such a dire situation and still get to the top. Even though she lost, her words stuck with me, and I hear her.
What I’m disappointed about is that I felt like I saw little-to-nothing when it came to the match between our finalists, Rok-C and Miranda Alize. I rarely got excited; however, I was super ecstatic to see Rok-C win the title of ROH Women’s Championship. She made her 10-year-old self proud as intended.
Want to know what else is funny? A girl wrestler named Max from ROH frightened me when I first saw her. I thought I was looking at the bog monster. You don’t meet many like her on WWE, same goes for Holidead. Max kind of reminds me of the Wyatt family from WWE, as if she used to be one of Bray Wyatt’s followers.
As Kanellis said, she helped provide the platform, but the women have to take the opportunity and run with it. She was like a proud Mom showing support to Adora when she lost against Alize. Or congratulating Quinn McKay for thriving both as an interviewer and a wrestler even if she lost twice, once against Mandy Leon. Bringing all these wonderful, strong women to do what they do best, wrestle. I do like a good brawl.
TOP PHOTO: Mandy Leon makes a grand entrance. RING OF HONOR/Mike Adams
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