Whether you’re for it or against, there’s no denying that intergender wrestling is at an all-time high in the pro wrestling world. Not since the days of Luna Vachon vs. Stevie Richards in ECW and Chyna vs. Jeff Jarrett in WWF in the 1990s has it been the topic of such discussion. But as seen this past Sunday at WrestleCircus with a match between Tessa Blanchard and WrestleCircus Ringmaster Champion Scorpio Sky, they can be absolute show stealers.
While it’s a regular occurrence on the indie circuits around the world, more major promotions have been mostly leary of introducing the concept (outside of a comedy angle) for fears of mainstream public backlash for the portrayal of violence against women (despite it being a fictionalized story of an empowered women accepting to fight a male, no different than seeing Black Widow take on Thanos in Avengers). But it’s slowly creeping back in. From James Ellsworth versus the women’s roster in WWE, to IMPACT’s recent storylines with Tessa Blanchard, intergender wrestling is beginning to bubble up. With that in mind, here’s a look at the four major promotions in the United States and their top candidate to win the men’s World Title.
Women in the World Title Picture
Women winning major championships is nothing new. On December 5, 2015, Kimber Lee won CHIKARA’s Grand Championship, followed on April 9, 2016 when Sexy Star won the Lucha Underground Championship. Since then, many smaller independents have out their top title on a women’s wrestler, such as Kylie Rae in Freelance Wrestling, Jordynne Grace in Black Label Pro, and Mekio Satomura in Fight Club: PRO.
Hail to the Queen, Baby! Women in the World Title Picture
But it will take one of the major TV promotions crowning a woman as their top champion to really hit the mainstream. Here’s a look at each of the major promotions top women’s choices for the Queen that finally conquers the throne.
Maria Manic, Ring of Honor
While reigning Women of Honor World Champion Kelly Klein or Japanese veteran Sumie Sakai may have been more obvious choices, Ring of Honor‘s newest signee, indie star Maria Manic, may have the most realistic chance of winning the ROH World Championship. She’s nicknamed “Maneater” because of her penchant for violent matches against men, in such hardcore promotions as Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), Hardcore Hustle Organization (H2O), IWA Mid South, Freelance Wrestling, and Impact Championship Wrestling (ICW New York).
Charlotte Flair, WWE
While there are strong arguments to be made for the popularity of Becky Lynch or the “real” MMA background of say Ronda Rousey or Shayna Baszler, the most logical choice for WWE would be Charlotte Flair. WWE is clearly strapping the rocket on Charlotte’s back, on a pace to break her father’s World titles record in no time. It would only make sense that WWE would choose their own homegrown Golden Girl to break the history books and win the WWE Championship.
Awesome Kong, AEW
There are some tough women in All Elite Wrestling (AEW)’s women’s division, including fellow Kong sister Aja Kong, but former IMPACT Knockouts Champion Awesome Kong is the most likely candidate to win the AEW World Title in the foreseeable future. She’s had her share of intergender matches, including an early match with indie star Tyler Black (now WWE’s Seth Rollins), plus IMPACT, Japan and even in WWE – she was the third woman to enter the men’s Royal Rumble as Kharma.
Tessa Blanchard, IMPACT Wrestling
Without a doubt, the woman who seems closest to realizing this achievement is IMPACT Wrestling‘s Tessa Blanchard. Since signing with IMPACT, she has become arguably the best women’s wrestler in the United States (if not the world), who can have instant classics with both women and men – just watch any of her classic intergender matches from WrestleCircus. She recently shut the mouth of “anti-intergender” Disco Inferno and this past Friday defeated oVe‘s Jake Crist, then went on to face Scorpio Sky for the WC Ringmaster Championship on Sunday night. With a match versus Sami Callihan in the cards for IMPACT Slammiversary this year, Tessa is already working her way into the men’s mid-card, and the top of the mid-card to be exact. And with one of her career-defining matches being against current IMPACT World Champion Brian Cage, it could be sooner than later that we see Tessa Blanchard at least challenging for IMPACT’s top prize. IMPACT’s roster is so deep with intergender specialists, that we could see the second and third in Taya Valkyrie and Jordynne Grace.
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