I’ve been working on a historical column that has to do with women’s wrestling in Southern California and it got me thinking about our year end awards. A question that gets asked often (though not as often as questions about Andrew or what happened to Jay Cal) is why don’t we have a women’s wrestler of the year award or why don’t we add one?
The first question is fairly simple to answer. When the website started, women’s wrestling in Southern California wasn’t very good and their wasn’t very many women’s wrestlers. UPW had a few, XPW would use Lady Victoria, Cheerleader Melissa would get involved in matches as the Ballard’s valet, but that was about it. It was brought up at the time, but we decided against it. The talent pool slowly got better, with Sara del Rey and Erica Porter, along with Cheerleader Melissa having pretty good matches, but overall the pool was pretty thin and coming up with a decent nominee list would have been tough. There was also the issue of there just not being many women’s matches (not to say there weren’t some really good wrestlers to come out of SoCal, notably Melina and Lisa Marie Varon, they just didn’t have a lot of matches here).
Women wrestlers have always been eligible for our year end awards, and in 2006 Carla Jade won the rookie of the year award. Still, the overall pool remained weak, and we’ve always had a reluctance to add any additional awards, with the most outstanding wrestler award being the only addition to date.
Over the last few years however, the talent pool of women wrestlers in SoCal has exploded. Additionally Lucha Underground running locally has further added depth to the scene. Where in the past there would be months in between any women’s matches in the entire region, a good percentage of shows has at least one match.
That brings us to the second question, why don’t we add an award?
I was talking with someone at a recent show and I responded that women are eligible for all of the awards already and they replied that while they may be eligible they are at an unfair advantage because they aren’t getting the opportunities that male wrestlers are. It’s a fair argument, but that same argument can be made for other groups too. It’s true that women have only won an award twice, rookie of the year in 2006 and match of the year in 2015, but a lot of that could be attributed to the historic lack of women’s wrestling. There have been other strong showings by women wrestlers in the voting, with a handful finishing as runner-up in various awards.
The other bigger issue, and one that I don’t think I’m qualified to address is I don’t know if adding an award for the women’s wrestler of the year somehow implies that women’s wrestling is not equal and that a separate award is needed. What if a woman wins wrestler of the year? Will we have to award a men’s wrestler of the year award that year?
Of course promotions have women’s championships, and there has never been an issue with that.
I’m all for supporting women’s wrestling and am certainly happy to open the discussion to creating an award to honor the top woman for the year. Feel free to post your thoughts on our message board, or on Facebook, e-mail me direct, or come up to me at a show with your thoughts.
I think FCW running during the San Diego Comic Con is a fantastic idea. Teaming up with Masked Republic to have signings and being able to promote inside the Comic Con is even better. Outside of a Wrestlemania weekend (which we’ll likely get in SoCal in a few years with the Rams stadium) the San Diego Comic Con may have the largest number of people who are potentially interested in a wrestling show in one place. There has always seemed to be a big crossover between comic book fans and wrestling fans (myself included) and Justin Crast who used to write for the site was always a big proponent of promotions promoting themselves at comic book stores.
FCW is not the first to run during San Diego Comic Con in San Diego, but they have a unique situation. Lucha Underground. With them using Lucha Underground stars, they will have an extra appeal that previous promotions did not have.
They will also have a hurdle that previous shows did not have. The distance from Comic Con to the venue. A lot of people travelling to Comic Con don’t have cars. They stay downtown and as most everything is centered around the convention center area, they don’t need a car. Without a car getting to the venue is going to require a taxi or Uber and those will be problematic during Comic Con. With so many things going on during Comic Con, and so many choices, they need to make it is easy as possible to get to the shows.
I haven’t spoken to FCW, so I don’t know what plans they have in the works if anything, but my suggestion would be to put together a bus trip. Bus trips to wrestling shows are a very common thing on the East Coast, so it will be likely that some attendees are already familiar with the concept. They can sell the bus trip at an additional price to the ticket, and it would probably end being cheaper for the fan than taking a cab or using a rideshare company.
If the goal is to expose the product to as many people as possible, it needs to be as easy as possible to get to the product.
I have to give Mr. California credit for really going all out on his July 30th XWW show. First they announced Zandig will be making his SoCal debut (Zandig confirmed it) and now they have announced a match between Thunder Rosa and Luchadora Datura for the show that based off their previous work together should be excellent.