Women’s pro wrestling is the ultimate example of sports entertainment. It is a highly visual form of female wrestling, one in which the two (or more) opponents work together rather than against each-other with the goal of delivering a highly entertaining show of wrestling prowess. Women professional wrestling features highly spectacular moves, throws and holds, many of which are of a provocative nature. Moves like the Grapevine Pin or the Spanish Press Pin have often been cataloged as “sexually motivated”. Most submission holds also intend to humiliate as well as to produce pain.
Given the nature of the show they're supposed to produce, women wrestler's attires need to be spectacular as well as practical. The classic wrestling woman's outfit consists of wrestling boots shiny or patterned pantyhose or tights, kneepads and leotards or bathing suits. Unitards and nylon lycra leggings can also be used. Nowadays, one can find just about any attire in a women's wrestling ring, from worn-out jeans to the good old bathing-suits/pantyhose combo. Whatever a girl wrestler chooses to wear to the ring, it needs to be flashy and somewhat revealing without being over the top or uncomfortable to execute maneuvers in.
As far as we (the creators of this site) are concerned, women’s professional wrestling can be divided into four distinct schools:
The US female wrestling school has sometimes been regarded as one putting more of an emphasis on T&A (tits and ass) than on actual skill. Back in ye olden days this was not really the case. Lady wrestlers like Madusa Micelli, Denise Storm, Allison Royal, Sherri Martel and scores more looked good but had to deliver as well.
This period, from the 70s to the early 90s, was defined by the presence of several women only wrestling leagues. The LPWA (Ladies’ Professional Wrestling Association) featured talent like Susan Sexton, Malia Hosaka, Misty Blue Simms, Cheryl Rusa and Magnificent Mimi and it had been one of the most legit and successful attempts at establishing a ladies only wrestling league.
David McLane’s GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling), POWW (Powerful Women of Wrestling) and WOW (Women of Wrestling) had all been a more comedy like approach which – with the possible exception of WOW – never really intended to pass as “serious” wrestling. Women’s wrestling traversed an identity crisis during the late 90s as protagonists were often reduced to eye candy and not much more.
Trish Stratus is probably the personality who can be credited with the re-inclusion of women as prime time protagonists in wrestling. The WWE now routinely runs women’s championship matches which feature skilled wrestlers like Victoria, Gail Kim, Michelle McCool, Natalya, Maryse and others, matches which the public loves for the show itself and not for the T&A.
The Mexican Women's wrestling school is one of far reaching tradition and value. The luchadoras or gladiadoras as they're also known are a breed apart. They almost always wear very shiny pantyhose and leotard like outfits to the ring, not to mention their masks which carry a special significance in the Mexican folk culture.
Presented as a perpetual struggle between good and evil, Mexican Lucha Libre is highly acrobatic, with plenty of high flying moves and intricate submission holds. Mexico's LLF (Lucha Libre Femenil) is headquartered in the city of Monterrey and it plays host to some of the most outstanding luchadora talent. The AAA is another organization featuring female wrestling matches. Some of Mexico's most representative female wrestlers are (in our humble opinion of course) Marcela, Xochitl Hamada, Alda and Rosy Moreno, Lady Apache, Tiffany and my personal favorite Diana La Cazadora. Canadian wrestlerette Dark Angel has also made a name for herself south of the border.
The Japanese school of women's wrestling is a truly outstanding one. Known as Joshi Puroresu, Japan's women's wrestling is probably the best in the world as far as the quality of action is concerned. Having turned their sport into a way of life, Japan's female wrestlers never fail to put on a breath taking show.
Home to numerous women's wrestling organizations like GAEA and New Japan Women's Pro wrestling, Japan has been a fertile ground for ladies combat for quite some time. Wrestlers like Mimi Hagiwara, Manami Toyota, Cuty Suzuki, the Jumping Bomb Angels, Akira Hokuto and Mima Shimoda are truly the cream of the crop when it comes to Joshi.
The Japanese women's wrestling style is characterized by highly acrobatic moves, throws and slams as well as very intense submission holds. All of these elements usually come at the spectator in huge quantities and in a way that makes one wonder whether the receiving wrestler will ever be able to walk again. Japanese female wrestlers almost always wear either simple shiny lycra bathing suits or intricate leotard-based costumes. They never wear pantyhose of any sort.
The British female wrestling school is one based on slow and solid action and slightly different rules. You will sometimes see a referee count a wrestlerette who’s been floored, not allowing the opponent to work her over when down.
British ladies often wear fishnet tights and long-sleeve gymnastics leotards, and thick high-gloss pantyhose is also considered part of the traditional attire.
Jodie Lee, Pippa L’Vinn, Shelby Beach, Louise Lockwood and Michelle Madison are outstanding representatives of the sport in the British isles (among others of course).
Women’s professional wrestling matches come in a variety of sub-types. Regular one on one pin/submission matches are the standard. Two vs two or three vs three tag team match-ups are also frequent. Cage matches have happened as well as battle royals, but standard tag and one on one matches are usually the most spectacular.