Over the past couple of years, there have been a lot of changes in professional wrestling — changes to put all genders on an equal footing. The name “divas” disappeared from the WWE, and all talents are referred to as superstars. In recent months, though, intergender wrestling has started showing signs of a comeback, and not everyone is in agreement with it. A former WWE Intercontinental Champion reportedly believes that men and women competing against one another in the ring really isn’t a good mix.
At the Royal Rumble, Nia Jax inserted herself into the men’s battle royal, and ended up getting physical with a number of male superstars. WWE has been toying with the idea of intergender wrestling again as of late, and some critics are unhappy.
The upcoming United We Stand event from Impact Wrestling will take place on April 4, and it will have Tessa Blanchard facing off against Joey Ryan. Intergender matches are not necessarily anything new to wrestling, but they have been something of a rarity in recent years.
On the Impact Twitch stream, former WWE Intercontinental Champion Santino Marella spoke on Behind the Lights about intergender wrestling. As transcribed by Pro Wrestling Sheet, Marella made all of his thoughts known, holding nothing back.
“If there’s a girl out there that says ‘this guy’s giving us attitude, I’m gonna step in and fight this guy because I saw that women can fight men because of intergender wrestling.’ And she goes out there and lips off and this guy’s a mental case and he just cracks her with his fist and shatters an orbital and busts her lip… and she wouldn’t have done it — perhaps — beforehand, because she didn’t get this inflated sense of confidence because of intergender wrestling.”
It is obvious that Santino doesn’t feel as if intergender wrestling should ever return, but he had things to say about other sensitive topics as well.
Santino speaks on how movies portray things differently than they do in the real world, and that it shouldn’t be the same in professional wrestling. He brings up how some MMA fights and wrestling matches will have transgender women facing off with cisgender females — the former “beating the sh*t” out of the latter — and he believes it’s “wrong.”
“If you’re a guy — born a guy — and you become a woman, you’re accepted everywhere. But in the field of actual competitive sport, there has to be a barrier. And the barrier is based on, sorry, you were born a God damn man. You’re accepted as a human being and as a person and you are loved in every single way except it’s not fair that you compete against women in sports because you were born with different physical biological attributes. And we have to be realistic about it and we also have to not be so sensitive.”
Santino Marella’s comments are incredibly strong and it is obvious that he is just speaking his mind on the entire topic of intergender wrestling and transgender female wrestlers.
WWE has not had regularly scheduled intergender matches since back in the “Attitude Era” when they happened almost weekly. With programming going to more family-oriented and PG, WWE had completely eliminated them for a very long time and only recently brought thoughts of it back. Other promotions still have intergender promotions occasionally.