Last weekend I had a pleasant surprise when sitting down to watch my recorded weekly dose of Ring of Honor: I received a whole episode of Women of Honor matches. And what a treat it was! The opening match featured 6 of the best female wrestlers out there today, killing each other in a loose atmosphere energetic and uncontrived.
Seeing Crazy Mary Dobson, Thunderkitty and Sumie Sakie team up together against the villainous and pint sized Veda Scott, also Allysin Kay and Amber Gallows was truly wonderful, and came together in a way that was simultaneously fun, flexible and technical.
This was followed up by some terrific singles wrestling by Hania the Huntress and Mandy Leon. It’s been nearly a year since I had seen Leon wrestle, and she has grown leaps and bounds in that time. These two ladies did everything right: telling a wonderful story through their moves, countless nearfalls and creative counters.
Finally, as if this wasn’t enough, we get the gift that is Taeler Hendrix versus Kelly Klein, with a nice build up of the House of Truth against the Decade. While these two arguably didn’t have as much chemistry as Leon and Hania, it remained a solid match that accomplished its goal of establishing Klein as a force of nature.
In watching all this great wrestling, it got me thinking. What a wonderful opportunity Women of Honor has. Specifically, to add something truly unique to the scant scene that is women’s wrestling on TV.
Sure, there is NXT (if you pay for the WWE Network), and of course TNA Knockouts and the Women’s/Diva division on WWE. All, however, get but 5 minutes a week to do something. In these promotions, women are still an afterthought.
In the land of the WWE, women outside of NXT rarely have continuing story lines, often flipping back and forth in alliances with really no meaning or point beyond putting on a good wrestling match. While that is fine in many ways, it certainly doesn’t give its women a lot of opportunities. This often means one wrestler isn’t seen for months (as she has no role or feud going on).
In NXT, women are showcased much more, but again their stories have limited impact beyond a lone female title changing hands. And all of this occurs because – while all of these shows have outstanding female wrestlers – they are all competing to get any time in a sea of male dominated story lines and matches.
The only exception to this rule is Lucha Underground, where women are completely interwoven into the strange mystical happenings of the temple. Here, matches and story lines carry real weight. In Lucha Underground, there is no female-only belt, instead its women perform very capably in inter-gender matches also hold belts and titles shared with male wrestlers. Example: when I see a backstage scene with Ivelisse, I know it’s going to be important and come full circle. In contrast to a backstage scene with Summer Rae, usually a one off where I unfortunately won’t see her again for 3 months, or longer.
So welcome, Women of Honor (WOH): here is your chance to really do something different. Be the women’s only promotion that we all want and need on our TV screens. It will be exciting to see where WOH can and will go, and with it give its amazing female talent a real opportunity to shine.