World Wrestling Entertainment hit Melbourne earlier this month for what was their biggest show Down Under since 2002’s Global Warning tour at Etihad Stadium.
Ronda Rousey has jumped across to women’s wrestling as the sport gains traction here.Credit:JOHN LOCHER
With three women’s wrestling matches – Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair for the SmackDown Women’s Championship; the Bella Twins and Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey (yes, she’s a wrestler now) vs. the Riott Squad; Naomi and Asuka vs. Australian duo Billie Kay and Peyton Royce – on the card as WWE heads into its first-ever all-women’s pay-per-view, Evolution, at the end of October, the profile of women’s wrestling is only increasing.
But while WWE usually makes a stop in all major cities during its Australian tours, Super Show-Down at the MCG is the only event it held here this year. So what is Sydney doing to step its wrestling game up so that the city might be a future contender for such a large-scale show?
It is currently up to independent wrestling promoters such as Sydney’s Pro Wrestling Australia to lay the groundwork for women’s wrestling locally. Madison Eagles, co-owner of PWA, who was profiled on the recent Radio National podcast, ‘I heart women’s wrestling’, said that she “wants to show how tough we as women can be”.
Eagles helped train aforementioned WWE wrestlers Peyton Royce and Billie Kay, who wrestle as the tag team The IIconics, who appeared at the MCG.
Wrestler Billie Kay thinks Super Show-Down will have boosted profile of wrestling in Australia “to a whole new level. It’s been amazing for Peyton and I to watch the Australian scene grow so big… [and] we’re pretty excited to see how it does affect the Australian scene.”
The IIconics, along with Rhea Ripley—“she’s just killing it”—and honorary Aussie by way of New Zealand, Dakota Kai, are paving the way for Australian women’s wrestling in WWE.
Another milestone in women’s wrestling is Evolution, WWE’s first all-women’s pay-per-view, airing on Monday 29th October.
“It’s such a crazy thought that when we were 10 years old we were dreaming of being in a WWE ring and now that we’ve made it it just so happens that it’s in the middle of this massive women’s evolution,” Royce says.
Rumours that WWE women’s tag team championships will debut at Evolution were put to rest when the likely contenders, including the IIconics, were put in a battle royal.
“We’ve always wanted to help pioneer the women’s tag team division,” Kay says. “So if [women’s tag team titles] were to happen it would just make [Evolution] that much more special. But it’s already special.”
Regardless, “October is a big month for us,” Royce says. And, indeed, women’s wrestling as a whole.
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