Rumored WrestleMania card, New Beginning & Lions Gate, Intergender Wrestling & more!

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Rumored WrestleMania card, New Beginning & Lions Gate, Intergender Wrestling & more!

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:30 pm

This week we discuss Shinsuke Nakamura's transition to the WWE roster and what match he should be wrestling in Dallas instead of the Sami Zayn bout, while comparing the rumored WWE WrestleMania 32 card to the far superior NXT TakeOver Dallas offering. We then move over to Japan, discussing the New Beginning cards and the inaugural Lion's Gate lineup. We touch on some of the key details on the yet to air NOAH Great Voyage show, and then wrap things up with Joe's take on the intergender debates that lit up Twitter this week.



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Re: Rumored WrestleMania card, New Beginning & Lions Gate, Intergender Wrestling & more!

Post by Brandon Howard » Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:51 pm

Barely anyone would care about Lucha Underground spoilers if it was a terrible show, true.

But it's about it being a whole season taped in advance, not one, two or four episodes in a given spoiler report. Smackdown spoilers spoil one episode. NXT spoilers spoil four episodes. Tell me about Ultima Lucha, and that spoils 15-20 Lucha Underground episodes, including the climactic finale episode.

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Re: Rumored WrestleMania card, New Beginning & Lions Gate, Intergender Wrestling & more!

Post by TGD287 » Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:32 pm

Between all the "we" in the descriptions, and the lack of an explicate "Rich was out" in the description and the first few minutes, it took until 10 minutes in before it finally clicked to me that Rich wasn't on this show. "Geez, when is Rich going to jump on?" was an actual thought of mine. :oops:

No complaints, because Joe solo is a good listen as well. And as a edit, this has been a minor complaint, but thank you Joe for adjusting your recording settings. On your solos, when you are silent, what I assume is happening is the microphone volume goes up, and picks up background noise. I listen to everything on Skip Silence to get through shows quicker, and I couldn't do that for Joe's solo shows. And now, those silences are being skipped out. :) I'm not even complaining that there are silences because a solo show is hard, and the moments for breath or water or to collect your thoughts are necessary and someone else can't fill in.

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Re: Rumored WrestleMania card, New Beginning & Lions Gate, Intergender Wrestling & more!

Post by BoxingRobes » Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:02 pm

RE: Lucha Underground Spoilers.

Joe, your takes are a bit archaic. While yes, Lucha Underground is a wrestling show...it is presented in a way no other wrestling show has been presented in the past. Its true episodic television and is built on storytelling and world building equally with the in-ring material. Its just different, brother. We shouldn't even argue the logistics...its just a different product.

However, you are right...if LU sucked, no one would care. For the same reason no one cares if you spoil CSI: Miami, but you'll get shot if you spoil Game of Thrones even if it was written a decade ago. You just accept that as apart of the spoiler culture. A social contract, if you will.

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Re: Rumored WrestleMania card, New Beginning & Lions Gate, Intergender Wrestling & more!

Post by Hagan » Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:31 pm

Firstly, on spoilers...I think there's is so much filling in that on paper the LU spoilers make little sense when you read them. Even reading them, I have a tangible idea where it's going and, also, I'm not gonna remember specifics by the time we get into the later part of the season anyway. Also, on principle, spoilers don't bother me. I received my Master's in English Lit and literally every book we were assigned was spoiled to us. "Go read 600 pages of 100 Years of Solitude and reflect on xyz that happens." I mean, what gets spoiled are the match results, which, according to a lot of LU fans, are the least important part of the show. The vignettes are what explain shit.

On Joe's IG take. Firstly, thanks for sharing such a personal story. I don't know why people have such strong opinions on this or get upset about what other people think. I'm glad WWE doesn't do man-on-woman violence anymore. I wasn't terribly bothered about it in the Attitude Era but I think we've all come a long way on these sort of issues. I can certainly separate the pretend universe of pro wrestling from the real world, but don't need to see a beat down on my wrestling show. I think the way the match is laid out matters. If the male and female are doing arm-drags and World of Sport shit it's a little different than a fucking punch to the face and a choke out spot.

I guess my question is would it better if women aren't bumped by men at all? I mean, I watched Maria take about 100 super kicks this year, both by her husband and their opponents. It's problematic. I remember Hogan atomic-dropping Sensational Sherry as a kid. I wouldn't call any of those spots overly gratuitous or fetishistic, like some indy IG matches are, but I'm not sure where the line is. Was anyone bothered when the Dudley's powerbombed Mae Young? Was that less offensive than Austin stunning Stacy?

LU is such an odd duck that it's almost like watching Xena or something. None of those characters exist in any world where our reality works. I think the way the violence is sold matters. Vince choking out Stephanie was more disturbing than a ninja skeleton doing a backbreaker that is no-sold a few minutes later.

But, on the whole, I'm with Joe. If people dig it, more power to 'em but let's not pretend that it's some noble empowering thing. People need to stop thinking that wrestling is anything other than what it's been since it started.

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Re: Rumored WrestleMania card, New Beginning & Lions Gate, Intergender Wrestling & more!

Post by thebarrylad » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:30 pm

First of all, kudos to Joe for laying it all out during the IG talk. It must not have been easy.

In terms of his points on IG - I'm with him 100% and think that extremes on both sides are crazy. That 'you're not a feminist if you don't like it' argument is total trash.

On the subject of spoilers, for me, it's always been more of a consumer gripe with F4W. Reporting on spoilers is part of insider reporting -- I'd never in a million years ask them to stop. But I think the timestamp request is so SO not a big deal -- and they make it a big deal because of course they do. They always dig their heels in on this stuff. I don't read the LU section in the Observer to avoid spoilers -- that's me doing my part as a reader. I'm not jumping head first into the clearly labelled LU spoiler zone and complaining when I see spoilers. I'm asking for an additional 30 seconds of work when they're producing WOR, as a quality of life improvement for their supporters. It's not unreasonable.

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Re: Rumored WrestleMania card, New Beginning & Lions Gate, Intergender Wrestling & more!

Post by suplexberry » Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:12 am

The intergender debate is such a fraught topic because the gender stereotypes and expectations and different sexist paradigms placed on women in wrestling have shaped the argument. So "women are delicate flowers" is one gender stereotype that is harmful, but it's not like intergender wrestling is the solution to fighting that misconception in the greater culture. Similarly, women's wrestling has been held in such low value over decades that some fans/bookers/wrestlers act very dismissively towards it (some people flat-out sexist about it, saying shit like "all female wrestlers are rats"), which makes feminist fans of women's wrestling very defensive, sometimes to the point of overstating the fact that women should be able to fight men so that women's divisions wouldn't be dismissed by bookers and fans. So knowing that in some instances women will not be given a shot to be equal to men in the wrestling context, they would rather see the divisions melded together and favor IG matches.

Now, in my own view, I can see the argument for it but I would personally rather every promotion get a women's division so good that it rivals the men's in match quality, storyline importance etc. I don't mind the occasional IG contact or match, but I don't need it, and it's more my speed to see two awesome women compete against each other in a meaningful angle than to see a girl hurricanrana a guy. I would hope fans and bookers would be progressive enough to grant women wrestlers these chances, and elevate women's divisions and titles so that women main-eventing could be an option in not just NXT, but WWE main roster, Progress, ROH, wherever.

Then there's the issue of wrestling being simulated violent combat, albeit in a worked manner. The context matters, because obviously two competitors working together in a match is different than the absolutely horrifying situation of violence in an abusive relationship, but the visual remains similar, and I don't think it's fair to dismiss anybody who is uncomfortable with that visual. A lot of people are abuse/assault survivors, and a lot more people likely know somebody who is a survivor, and can have associations or memories of witnessing abuse, and they'd rather just not watch anything close to it. Then you heap on top the problem of sexualization of women in wrestling, wrestling as sexualized violence, rape culture, the whole "IG matches get hits on youtube from countries where porn is banned" and holy shit, you got some fucked up stew going right there, with such a tangled set of issues that even my extensive readings on the topic could spend years trying to untangle, which I don't want to do.

So considering the tangled ball of issues in that last paragraph, I think it's fair and valid to say "nope" to intergender wrestling altogether. I think it's also fair to want women's wrestling elevated and while I don't think IG is the solution, I can understand why some would argue for it, but again I don't think it's fair of them to dismiss people's discomfort as anti-women/anti-feminist. But I think these misconceptions are born out of people not being able to lay out their stances in long-form. If somebody tweets, "I don't want to see a woman wrestle a man," and what they mean is, they can't stomach it because it brings them back to a time in their life when they or a loved one were abused, or it skeeves them out for some other good reason, and another person reads that and thinks this person is just another wrestling fan dismissive of women's wrestling, and this sparks the debate, it's not going to go anywhere productive and understanding in 140 characters. So that's why I, a lefty feminist, hopefully one of the good ones, wrote out this long post.

And my strongest sympathies and condolences to your friend, Joe. I'm glad you have been able to be there for her.

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Re: Rumored WrestleMania card, New Beginning & Lions Gate, Intergender Wrestling & more!

Post by Joe Lanza » Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:49 am

suplexberry wrote:The intergender debate is such a fraught topic because the gender stereotypes and expectations and different sexist paradigms placed on women in wrestling have shaped the argument. So "women are delicate flowers" is one gender stereotype that is harmful, but it's not like intergender wrestling is the solution to fighting that misconception in the greater culture. Similarly, women's wrestling has been held in such low value over decades that some fans/bookers/wrestlers act very dismissively towards it (some people flat-out sexist about it, saying shit like "all female wrestlers are rats"), which makes feminist fans of women's wrestling very defensive, sometimes to the point of overstating the fact that women should be able to fight men so that women's divisions wouldn't be dismissed by bookers and fans. So knowing that in some instances women will not be given a shot to be equal to men in the wrestling context, they would rather see the divisions melded together and favor IG matches.

Now, in my own view, I can see the argument for it but I would personally rather every promotion get a women's division so good that it rivals the men's in match quality, storyline importance etc. I don't mind the occasional IG contact or match, but I don't need it, and it's more my speed to see two awesome women compete against each other in a meaningful angle than to see a girl hurricanrana a guy. I would hope fans and bookers would be progressive enough to grant women wrestlers these chances, and elevate women's divisions and titles so that women main-eventing could be an option in not just NXT, but WWE main roster, Progress, ROH, wherever.

Then there's the issue of wrestling being simulated violent combat, albeit in a worked manner. The context matters, because obviously two competitors working together in a match is different than the absolutely horrifying situation of violence in an abusive relationship, but the visual remains similar, and I don't think it's fair to dismiss anybody who is uncomfortable with that visual. A lot of people are abuse/assault survivors, and a lot more people likely know somebody who is a survivor, and can have associations or memories of witnessing abuse, and they'd rather just not watch anything close to it. Then you heap on top the problem of sexualization of women in wrestling, wrestling as sexualized violence, rape culture, the whole "IG matches get hits on youtube from countries where porn is banned" and holy shit, you got some fucked up stew going right there, with such a tangled set of issues that even my extensive readings on the topic could spend years trying to untangle, which I don't want to do.

So considering the tangled ball of issues in that last paragraph, I think it's fair and valid to say "nope" to intergender wrestling altogether. I think it's also fair to want women's wrestling elevated and while I don't think IG is the solution, I can understand why some would argue for it, but again I don't think it's fair of them to dismiss people's discomfort as anti-women/anti-feminist. But I think these misconceptions are born out of people not being able to lay out their stances in long-form. If somebody tweets, "I don't want to see a woman wrestle a man," and what they mean is, they can't stomach it because it brings them back to a time in their life when they or a loved one were abused, or it skeeves them out for some other good reason, and another person reads that and thinks this person is just another wrestling fan dismissive of women's wrestling, and this sparks the debate, it's not going to go anywhere productive and understanding in 140 characters. So that's why I, a lefty feminist, hopefully one of the good ones, wrote out this long post.

And my strongest sympathies and condolences to your friend, Joe. I'm glad you have been able to be there for her.
What a post! Far more articulate in making the the points that I badly stumbled through on the show.

And thank you for that last bit.

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Re: Rumored WrestleMania card, New Beginning & Lions Gate, Intergender Wrestling & more!

Post by Robareid » Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:44 pm

Re KUSHIDA:

I kind of come at this from completely the opposite perspective. All these shiny new toys say to me that they're going to start emphasising the junior division more heavily. I think we could start to see more than one junior singles match per big show. KUSHIDA is facing Kamaitachi for the belt? Well let's put Ospreay and BUSHI together in a number one contenders match of sort. I think that the hopefully heavier emphasis on the juniors as well as the wider variety of fresh matches for KUSHIDA are a big plus, and I really feel that New Japan want KUSHIDA in a Liger-esque role where even if he's not the champion he's the face of the division.

I guess we'll see.

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Re: Rumored WrestleMania card, New Beginning & Lions Gate, Intergender Wrestling & more!

Post by mlev76 » Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:49 pm

First off, Joe, sorry for all your friend has been through. That sucks on every level.

Second, I guess I am blessed to have never heard the people claiming that not loving IG makes you a misogynist. Not to reveal myself as a creep, but does that now mean you have to like Max Hardcore or else you hate women? Jesus fucking Christ.

It is not old fashioned nor anti-progressive to not like IG. I'm my friends' punching bag whenever they want to make fun of liberals and I generally don't like IG. Watching Mil Muertes beat up Ivelise just ain't my thing. That makes me not progressive? Fuck that shit.

Keep up the good work and agree with you 100%.

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Re: Rumored WrestleMania card, New Beginning & Lions Gate, Intergender Wrestling & more!

Post by phenom951 » Sat Feb 06, 2016 6:26 pm

When it comes to intergender wrestling I am neither a proponent of it, nor am I against it. Personally I just don't care because the way I look at wrestling I'm sure is very different from almost everyone else. I pretty much go along with whatever "universe" for lack of a better term of the company presenting it.

With Lucha Underground I can more than suspend my disbelief because we are in a comic book world. New Japan on the other hand is set in the realm of reality so it's sports to me. And mixture everywhere else is a mixture of both so you could kind of pick and choose what to buy. Now to look at Joe's 3 arguments on why some people don't like the IG stuff.

Point #1: The match quality is not as good as when it's man vs man or woman vs woman. Perfectly valid and surprisingly the argument I would present more than the other two if I were discussing this with a friend or casual viewer.

Point #2: Hard for wrestling fans to suspend their disbelief that a woman could be competitive with a man in fight competition. True, in a legit fight when you have a 300lb guy facing a 90lb woman there is no way shape or form that fight if it were unscripted would last longer than 1 minute. However that's the nail on the head.

It IS scripted. Wrestling is fake. All of it. The only thing that beating someone in a wrestling match (let's say X) proves is that some agent or Vince McMahon told X he was beating Y that night and so on and so forth. Personally I find this argument the most baffling of all because there are so many holes in this "I can't suspend my disbelief". We're perfectly fine accepting John Cena fighting the Big Show or The Great Khali and not only find it believable Cena has a fighting chance but we expect him to beat guys twice his size. You can more than suspend your disbelief there can't you? (not directed at you Joe, just in general).

People like myself pitch the idea of Daniel Bryan wrestling Brock Lesnar and not only do we love the sound of that, but many of us suggest Daniel Bryan beat Brock Lesnar (a legitimate NCAA and UFC champion). Where are these "can't suspend my disbelief" people there? And finally we watch men go through ladders and tables get hit with bats, sledgehammers, crowbars, barbed wire 2x4's, stairs we're told weigh 10 tons, and at times take these blunt object shots square in the head, and then mount a comeback not 5 minutes later to win.

The fact that these guys are even standing 2 minutes after this physical abuse is absurd but it's the norm to watch a ladder match go 20+minutes or for Ricochet to get a DDT on the apron and not 5 minutes later have the coordination to execute a picture perfect 630 splash. We see all of this and accept it as the norm, but I'm not supposed to buy Iveliesse roll up Angelico with a fluke cradle or Candice LeRae cave in some douche's chest with a Violence Party. GTFO with that shit. "sledge to head, comeback, win, no sell" = awesome. "a woman chain grappling with a man" = what is this?

Point #3: Uncomfortable watching a man beat on a woman. I have no argument against this. This is the most valid reason to me as to why some people just aren't fans of this. Now personally, I don't care. Not because I enjoy watching a woman get beaten I think anyone who beats a woman in real life are the biggest scum on the face of this earth. That being said this isn't real life. It's fiction. And much like the "Cavernario shouldn't do that dive because of his knees" dopes that come out even when it's not their knees; I say if Candice LeRae wants Roderick Strong to launch her into a table of chairs be my guest.

Wrestling is supposed to be fun and as someone who has attended various PWG shows and sees the kind of fun Candice LaRae has going out there and performing for us who am I to tell her not to? That woman is having a blast, she's living her dream and having fun so I'm gonna let myself have fun watching her perform regardless if she's in their with a man or a woman. But I understand why some people can't do that. I can watch her take a million superkicks from The Young Bucks and enjoy it, but not everyone can and that's okay. It doesn't make them monsters because they're combating equal rights, it makes them better humans for not wanting to see a woman get brutalized.

That's it really, like I said...not for or against I'm just indifferent to it.I can enjoy it but If it never happened again I'd be ok with that too. It will never be mainstream, but I don't care about it enough to want it to be. Like I said I'm more against for of all reasons the fact that the match quality isn't as good. Their ceiling is 3-3.5 stars 95% of the time. I want more 4+ star matches in my life dammit.

Oh but in closing I do disagree with Joe on LU being a wrestling promotion. It's not. Until they start touring and doing shows that don't make tape (house shows) then that argument changes, plus I don't even think they sell tickets. Hell if they could do simulated matches that look as good in front of a live crowd with actors I truly believe they could. They just hire wrestlers as the stunt fighters/characters because they're the best people for the job. No one is gonna make that shit look as good.

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Re: Rumored WrestleMania card, New Beginning & Lions Gate, Intergender Wrestling & more!

Post by Joe Lanza » Sat Feb 06, 2016 7:42 pm

phenom951: First of all, great post.

Second, I want to counter your counter to Point #2. What you are saying is perfectly valid. For me personally, when it comes to size disparity, I can more easily suspend my disbelief in a male vs male situation than I can for a male vs female situation. Maybe this makes me a misogynist monster in some circles, so I'll have to accept that.

I don't remember if I made this point on air, but I'd argue against anyone who says IG shouldn't exist. There are valid arguments to be made that IG can have some negative sociological ripple effects, but I've always been about freedom of people to do what they want and the freedom to watch something else if you don't like it. It is probably no secret to anyone who has heard me talk about deathmatches that I have absolutely no use for them. I'm more turned off by deathmatch wrestling than I am IG, and it isn't even close. If deathmatch wrestlers want to maim themselves and if people want to watch it, who am I to push my personal sensibilities on people? The biggest issue to me in the debate is the arrogant belief that if you don't embrace, support, and push for IG that this makes you some sort of shitty person. That type of forced values (and the closed mindedness and refusal to reasonably debate or hear the other side by many of these "I can't even" people) needs to stop. These are the types of people who will throw around the words shaming & bullying in other situations, but have no problem shaming & bullying people who don't agree with them on this issue (and others, but I'm not getting into that here).

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Re: Rumored WrestleMania card, New Beginning & Lions Gate, Intergender Wrestling & more!

Post by rovert » Sat Feb 06, 2016 8:29 pm

I was kind of surprised what Joe talked about. As I know he knows a number of private stories about the darker side and consequences of Intergender on the indies. But I was glad he didn't go down the alarmist or low road of telling other people's stories.
Joe Lanza wrote:The biggest issue to me in the debate is the arrogant belief that if you don't embrace, support, and push for IG that this makes you some sort of shitty person. That type of forced values (and the closed mindedness to debate by many of these "I can't even" people) needs to stop. These are the types of people who will throw around the words shaming & bullying in other situations, but have no problem shaming & bullying people who don't agree with them on this issue (and others, but I'm not getting into that here).
Anyone who has been following on Twitter knows this is my issue. :lol: IG has it's shady aspects from its origins on but that doesn't mean it can't turn into something different or positive. Candice LaRae is a positive face of intergender as it gave her a place in the business and full time income she lacked as a West Coast indy Wrestler that worked as baker who WWE has no interest in. It is just the dishonesty among its most vocal supporters online that frustrates me as they don't accept alternative opinions or even just objective facts. These are people who hold themselves up as intellectual and open minded. It just boggles my mind. They won't even mention or confront that the modern rise of it came from customs or that the main market for it on Youtube is the Middle East. Likewise when a CHIKARA or a Kimber Lee presents Intergender explotively/incorrectly they remain silent.

As I've said in the past It can be VERY popular on indie shows (Sally Stitches rocked the house at Freelance last night didn't she!) now but I am not entirely convinced by it as a "proper genre" when it comes to Wrestle nerd/star ratings perspective. Part trolling I've asked for a Top 10 Intergender matches of 2014 & 2015 lists and never gotten a reply. It always seems to me that the biggest/noisiest advocates of IG don't actually watch/pay for matches in my experience. They certainly rarely discuss what is and isn't a good IG match outside of disliking the uber common the IG match storyline of a female proving herself to a male. It really does seem that in some quarters it seems to be more of a cause than a genre.

The same group of people don't seem to support to independent Women's Wrestling or at best treat it as secondary. It took a promotion with a legacy of presenting Women extremely poorly in WWE to get them to do so with NXT. It is always a great disappointment to me to see SHIMMER not sellout and the composition of the crowd. Female Wrestlers aspiring to be "one of the boys" is pretty depressing compared to generation 10 years ago who wanted to bring respect to women's Wrestling. As are fans who press ahead who think that IG is an questioningly great thing.

After discussing the topic with a number of people over the years I believe intergender wrestling hurts women's wrestling for a variety of reasons:
1. It takes spots away from women's wrestlers. It's hard enough for women to get steady work. Now they have to frequently compete with men for spots on the card including for "women's wrestling" promotions like WSU. Serious women's wrestling on the indies is only about 10 years old now it still hasn't fully took root IMO at least.

2. It reinforces that women's wrestling isn't on the same level as male wrestling. The success of a women's wrestler, or the genre as a whole, shouldn't be viewed on some misguided attempt at gender equality. Let the women and their talent stand on their own; their success/reputation shouldn't be judged on whether or not they can survive being manhandled by a man twice their size in a fake fight or if they can win a male Championship.

3. I think a lot of intergender wrestling appeals to a small subset of the fan base that views it in a sexual way, getting turned on by men beating on women. It turns Women into gimmicks effectively or something far worse like something akin to really degrading hardcore porn. Kimber Lee is the current CHIKARA Grand Champion and more family friendly shows really connects to female fans young and old called in this unique way. But elsewhere Kimber Lee has a compulsion to low rent herself to appeal to creeps. She's far from the only one either.

This is a rare really good article on F4W about the subject that I suggest you read. I am glad intelligent and balanced takes are coming to the fore:


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Re: Rumored WrestleMania card, New Beginning & Lions Gate, Intergender Wrestling & more!

Post by sternness » Sun Feb 07, 2016 5:04 am

I completely agree with everything you said regarding intergender wrestling towards the end. I'm not going to condemn anyone who enjoys IG wrestling, but the folks who act like there's something wrong with you if you don't enjoy it are the worst. You didn't get to this on air, Joe, but what are your thoughts on people comparing intergender wrestling to fighting games or superhero cartoons where women are beaten up by men?

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Re: Rumored WrestleMania card, New Beginning & Lions Gate, Intergender Wrestling & more!

Post by wac » Sun Feb 07, 2016 5:06 pm

I vastly prefer intergender matches to angles that involve men going after non-wrestling valets, which is still somehow considered acceptable in most major wrestling promotions, including those who apparently have the moral high ground when it comes to intergender wrestling. When it comes to Lucha Underground, Matt Striker's sexism on commentary (coming from a babyface) and the Marty the Moth/Sexy Star storyline both bother me a lot more than Ivelisse or Sexy Star wrestling men.

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