Using the character he cultivated while in WWE, James Ellsworth now finds himself right at the heart of the intergender wrestling renaissance, thanks to the creation of his new Intergender World Championship belt, a nice tribute to the late Andy Kaufman‘s “World Inter-Gender Wrestling Champion” gimmick/tour in the early 80s.
— James Ellsworth (@realellsworth) February 20, 2018
James Ellsworth went from jobbing to Braun Strowman, to beating AJ Styles, and finally to someone who wrestled in WWE’s first intergender match in the last six years, and just third overall since the company adopted the PG rating in 2008. In fact, it was that match against Becky Lynch, which happened to be his last in WWE, and the time he spent as Carmella‘s sidekick, that has spurred this next chapter in Ellsworth’s career.
Ellsworth was a guest on the JobbingOut podcast where he talked about his WWE experience, specifically wrestling AJ Styles and working so closely with the women’s division for almost a year.
“I got to spend a lot of time with the WWE women’s division and I have a lot of respect for those girls, a lot of respect for women’s wrestling,” Ellsworth said, noting that the men and the women go through the same grind and the women “work as hard as the guys.”
James Ellsworth also talked about his relationship with Lynch, who he called one of his biggest fans. Ellsworth said he and Lynch had lobbied for a match at Summerslam and that the two wanted to do something together for a long time. Ellsworth even joked that he felt after the heat he had gotten in the first-ever Women’s Money in the Bank match, that he could have “wrestled every girl on the roster and it would have been entertaining.”
Well, James Ellsworth may not have had those opportunities in WWE, but following his release in November of last year, Ellsworth, one of few people in history to claim a winning record against AJ Styles, followed in the mold of Cody Rhodes by making his own list of talents that he wanted to wrestle against. Perhaps surprisingly, they are all female wrestlers.
— James Ellsworth (@realellsworth) December 12, 2017
On the podcast, Ellsworth mentioned having several matches already set up with women on this list including Tenille Dashwood (WWE’s Emma), Britt Baker, and Mia Yim. These women will be challenging Ellsworth for his brand new, Intergender Wrestling Championship belt, a title he plans on treating with all of the respect it deserves.
— Mia Yim (@MiaYim) December 12, 2017
“I’m gonna act like that’s the most prestigious belt in the world,” Ellsworth told JobbingOut. “It’s gonna be an entertaining thing for people to pay attention to.”
James Ellsworth isn’t wrong. Intergender wrestling has experienced a boom over the last several years on the independents thanks to people like World’s Cutest Tag Team (Joey Ryan and Candice LeRae), Tessa Blanchard, CHIKARA (Princess Kimber Lee, aka Abbey Laith in NXT, was the first woman to hold a promotion’s top singles title, traditionally held by men), and Lucha Underground, which crowned Sexy Star as world champion, marking the first time a cable/network televised promotion put its top belt on a woman. Last fall, Ireland’s OTT introduced it’s own Intergender Championship belt, which is currently held by “The Session Moth” Martina.
What a marketing genius you are James! You're smarter than you give off. Whoever convinces you to drop the belt to them will be the only person smarter than you in wrestling. #Intergenderwrestling #Intergender #ProWrestling
— Arman (@BostonArman) February 20, 2018
There is a lot of excitement and intrigue surrounding intergender wrestling and now, with Ellsworth’s belt, there will be even more. The concept is unique and while not much is known about wrestling’s newest title as of yet, there is a lot of potential for what this belt can do for intergender wrestling as a whole. Because while it may seem a bit gimmicky now due to the way Ellsworth’s character is perceived, this title can and should live on beyond him as a champion. If that happens, this belt would represent just one more avenue in which intergender wrestling will continue to survive and thrive throughout the independents.
James Ellsworth once said, “any man with two hands has a fighting chance,” but when it comes to this title and the current intergender renaissance going on in the independents, any woman with two hands is going to have a fighting chance too.