Book Contents

99.9% of professional wrestling books are written by men about male performers in a male dominated business. This book aims to help correct the balance, giving a voice to women and fans of women’s wrestling, showing it is just as captivating to watch and that female fans are just as passionate.

The book includes:

Women have always been wrestling fans
Sarah Parkin on how the popularity of women’s wrestling in 1980’s Japan highlights that women are a market worth serving for any wrestling company.

Fantasy Wrestling Federation: The Role of the Fan in Modern Wrestling
Australia culture critic Scarlett Harris speaks to the women involved in custom wrestling, how it differs compared to apartment wrestling, and how elements have existed on WWE PPVs. The interest in customisation leads her to explore gender-bending art and cosplay, all related to wrestling fandom.

Passion for Wrestling
How wrestling has helped Harley Johnson though some tough mental health times and helped her become the person she is today

Being a Woman Journalist in Wrestling Media
Kristen Ashly is the co-owner of the women’s wrestling site Bell To Belles. She details her path in journalism to where she now resides, and the issues she has encountered along the way as a woman in a male dominated space

Meet The Ladies Of G.L.O.W., The 80s Female Wrestling League
LA based writer/comic Ilana Gordon looks into the history of the original GLOW and the acclaimed Netflix series based on the big hair and body slams of this landmark wrestling show

Equals Fights Movement
ESPN writer Hallie Grossman explores how the optics of intergender wrestling can be shocking, but those who participate say pitting women against men in the ring is a step toward equality.

The Stare: Empowerment in Women’s Wrestling
Manasi Nene brings an Indian perspective to women’s safety and the empowerment aspect of women’s wrestling.

Wrestling and The Gay Community
The gay wrestling fan community is growing and making their voice heard. Valerie Quartz explains how she discovered a way to share her love of wrestling and it leading to group projects to design and sell merchandise with members of the community.

The Wrestlemania 35 Experience and the fallout for the women’s division of WWE
Book editor Jason Norris look back on his time in New York for the biggest wrestling event of the year, from indy stars to the fallout of women finally main eventing the big show.

The Boss and The Bard: Reflections on Shakespeare and Pro Wrestling
Did you ever notice how much the works of the greatest playwright ever crop up in the squared circle? Writer and filmmaker Manasi Nene explores the parallels.

Breaking into the Indy scene: a US experience
Sarah the Rebel is also know her as Razor on the AXS TV show Women of Wrestling, the promotion owned by original GLOW founder David McLane. Sarah covers her start in professional wrestling, the training process, her time as a valet, how she became involved in WOW, and her views on the current representation of women in AEW, NXT and WWE.

Breaking into the Indy scene: a UK experience
Heather Bandenberg grew up wanting to be a writer, and then accidentally became a lucha libre wrestler. She covers her start in professional wrestling, appearing on big lucha events in the UK, the current representation of women in wrestling and what led to her publishing Unladylike: A Grrl’s Guide to Wrestling.

Why we need to talk about stereotypes
An extract from Heather Bandenberg’s book ‘Unladylike: A Grrls Guide to wrestling’ (London: Unbound 2019). Very few people within wrestling address the quite problematic aspect of harmful stereotypes, this extract focuses on why we need to talk about stereotypes

The RiSE of SHIMMER and the Renaissance of Women’s Professional Wrestling
Spenser Santos gives a detailed history of the all women wrestling company Shimmer, while also looking at the history of women’s wrestling. The 40s and 50s in the US, 80s Japan, 90s WWF and the lows of the mid-2000s are covered as the result in Shimmer and the recent boom.

Wrestling Never Sleeps: The Emergence of Indie Wrestling in New York City
Giselle Francisco and Reginia Walker, aka The DeadassGirls Podcast, take you on a tour of the New York scene that they get to enjoy. Its not just the home of WWE, its producing future stars.

Becoming a Ringside Photographer
Ami Moregore takes up close photos at CZW and WSU events. She describes how she ended up in this (sometimes dangerous) position in amongst the action, and includes a selection of her work.

Yelling Into the Void: The Invisibility of Marginalized Identities in Wrestling Fandom and Media
Chicago-based pop culture writer Allyssa Capri talks about how hard it can be for those with marginalized identities to love wrestling in spite of the insidious oppression that plagues the industry. Endeavoring to love wrestling when you are all but invisible on screen is part confusing, part frustrating, and part heartbreaking.

Luna-tic Girl
Sonya Ballantyne is a lifelong wrestling fan from Northern Manitoba in Canada. She shares a story from her childhood of meeting the giant wrestlers that passed the Indian reservation on their way to shows, and what wrestling meant to her growing up.

Separate but (Un)Equal: The Rhetorics of Representation in Gender-Segregated Professional Wrestling
Jacqui Pratt, Ph.D. takes aim at the term ‘women’s division’ and how the rhetoric relegates to a secondary position, while intergender matches oppose this classification.

Wrestling and Me
Carole Strudwick gives the perspective of a UK woman that has adored wrestling since she was little, but explains how she fell out of love when trying to confirm to social norms, and has since returned as a bigger fan than ever.

How Skirts Are Changing Bolivian Wrestling
In ornate skirts and bowler hats, Indigenous female fighters claim their place in the ring. Nell Haynes looks at the growing interest in women’s wrestling in Bolivia

The Four Horsewomen of WWE
Kiana Parvizi has a passionate view on how the Four Horsewomen helped moved women’s wrestling from bra and panties matches to main eventing the Superbowl of wrestling.

The History of Pro Wrestling EVE
Emily and Dannn Reed are the co-owners of Pro Wrestling EVE, the ground-breaking feminist-punk-rock wrestling promotion founded in 2006. In this interview they discuss EVE’s history, training women and their role in the popularity and increased exposure of the female professional wrestling scene.

This Ain’t No Bra and Panties Match, Little Boys: An Accomplished Novice Takes on Joshi
In a letter to the boys who watch wrestling, Joseph Telegen, PhD. Explains how you should appreciate Japanese women’s wrestling.

Diversity in Wrestling Performers: a UK Perspective
Journalist and podcaster Sonal Lad on her path to the enjoying the diverse UK independent scene, highlighting how the largest wrestling companies in the US are still getting it wrong.

The Current Stars of Intergender Wrestling
A selection of biographies on the wrestlers best known for intergender matches, collected by longtime fan Samuel Preston.

Grappling with History: The Search for Jack Wannop, champion wrestler of late-Victorian England
Wrestling trainee Sarah Elizabeth Cox has rediscovered Jack Wannop, champion wrestler of late-Victorian England, now a forgotten man. Sarah shares her research on this fascinating man and wrestling in this era. Women appreciate all of the history of wrestling, as her interest clearly shows.

Why wrestling crowds can be intimidating for women
Being a relatively new fan, Gemma Coombs explains what pulled her into the wrestling world and how women are trying to enjoy live shows

Improvements in Gender Equality in WWE
WWE continues to face criticism for its treatment of its female talent, but Chloe Warner-Harris highlights the rapid and continued progress the company is making.

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