After appearing in the men’s Royal Rumble match last month, Nia Jax appeared on Raw the next night on January 29, 2019, to confront and attack Dean Ambrose. At first, fans wondered where this might be heading with the WWE’s reluctance to feature intergender wrestling on their programming. But while it may never make it to air, the WWE has announced at least one intergender match in its impending future, as Twitter user @flairsnia posted a video from local programming advertising an “intergender special attraction” match of Nia Jax facing off one-on-one against the former WWE World Champion in Jonesboro, Arkansas on February 22, 2019, on the Road to WrestleMania tour.
— sarah ✵ (@flairsnia) February 9, 2019
By the late 1990s, intergender wrestling was widespread amongst the Big Three – WWF, WCW, and ECW – with Luna Vachon facing Stevie Richards in ECW, to Chyna and Jacqueline in the WWF, and Jacqueline and Madusa in WCW. By the early 2000s, Molly Holly and Lita also fought men, but by the mid-2000s, intergender became more of a punishment or a joke match, such as contests like Kane vs Trish Stratus, Umaga vs Maria Kanellis, Carlito vs Victoria or Santino Marella in the Women’s Battle Royal at WrestleMania.
But on the indie circuit, intergender wrestling saw a boom, thanks largely in part to the groundbreaking work of LuFisto in Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) and others, as well as the work of the intergender tag team, The World’s Cutest Tag Team, featuring Joey Ryan and Candice LeRae. Now intergender wrestling is commonplace on the indies, yet in the WWE, it’s still somewhat taboo. And when it did rear it’s head again last year, it was the James Ellsworth whipping boy tour, that saw Becky Lynch make easy work of her opponent.
WWE Live Events are often previews of upcoming programs for television, as wrestlers feel each other out and get in rhythm for a TV program, and a story has been set in motion on Raw for such a match to air. The question will be whether or not the WWE decides to pull the trigger and before Dean Ambrose’s tenure with the company ends in April.