In the hazy lines of social media, reality TV stars and YouTube celebrities, pro wrestling fits beautifully and awkwardly.  What once was a “secret society,” pro-wrestling is now reality-esque, psycho-drama for the internet and TV, where fake characters merge into real life people and back again sometimes in the same sentence or 5 minute sequence.

All of this is a beautiful mess and fits well with how a lot of us live our actual lives.  We have “on-line” personas, impression management pages on Facebook, perfect resumes on LinkedIn, and super happy holiday photos on Instagram. All while our lives may be falling apart at work, personally and socially.  Sure little bites of reality slip in, but to a large extent the internet is where we boast, act omniscient and supremely judgemental, exaggerate, whine and scream…much like a pro-wrestler with a microphone, venting their exaggerated but partially real frustrations with the status of his/her career.

So, enter the pipe bomb!  A chance to blur those lines even more, and let out pieces of truth all while wrapping it up in another storyline.  A particularly awesome pipe bomb just happened this past Friday night at Shine 37, when Andrea, Kennadi Brink, LuFisto and Amber Gallows cleared the ring of baby faces and gave us all a piece of their mind.  Andrea noted she had been slighted, left off the Shimmer roster, despite pulling double or triple duty on almost every Shine show as a bodyguard, valet, singles and/or tag team wrestler. Kennadi Brink stated she was being underestimated and not given any opportunities.  Amber Gallows decried not even being on the Shine poster despite the fact that a vast majority of the crowd came out just to see her.  Finally, LuFisto, vented that Shine does not want her as their champion, thinking she isn’t a fit “poster girl” for their image.

All of these ladies have a solid point.  Why isn’t LuFisto, the best female wrestler I’ve ever seen live, the champion? Andrea has basically captained every single Shine show, and I honestly couldn’t imagine how the promotion would even run without her. The very large contingency of Bullet Club fans in the crowd proves Amber Gallows’ point and then some.  Finally, Kennadi Brink is on every single Florida independent wrestling show demonstrating her work ethic, despite her youth, is beyond questioning. Shine desperately needed a new stable after the untimely deaths of Valkyrie and Valifornia.  And here it is: a super stable of women who are frustrated, rightfully so, and feel like creating an explosion.

Honestly I can’t imagine the frustrations of an independent female wrestler.  I’m guessing it is something akin to my mother’s stories of being a college educated mathematician in the 1960’s.  Wrestling is so stuck in a time warp, that the very idea of inter-gender matches in this scripted sport is still considered “controversial.” While I can’t relate to that level of  ass-backwards, I can understand being caught up in an autocratic system in which cronyism, different rules for “special people,” and blatant hypocrisy are the order of the day.

Really who can’t relate?  Likely all of us have been under-estimated, overlooked, and denied opportunities for reasons completely out of our control.  Wrong family last name, wrong gender, wrong age, wrong weight, wrong look, wrong connections, wrong height, wrong religion.  Right place, wrong time. Variables and layers of unfairness that even hard work, talent, persistence and optimism can’t overcome.

So thank you C-4 for saying what I can’t say for fear of being homeless and broke.  I’ll be there in spirit cheering you on as you take on the wrestling establishment.  Please, please, please go blow some shit up in honor of us all!

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