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Are Today's Grapplerettes too sexy to be taken seriously?

New Wave Wrestling Magazine - June 1999, Issue 37. by Michael O' Hara

      Magazine Page Scans.

        After languishing in the realm of wrestling valets for close to a decade, female athletes are finally dropkicking their way through grappledom's glass ceiling. Needless to say, the women's division has a long climb ahead in order to regain its former greatness, but the very fact that the WWF has seen it fit to reinstate a Women's title is an indication of a renewed interest in seeing strong, athletic women do more than just stand vacuously at ringside while halfheartedly cheering the men on to another victory.

        Jacqueline and Luna Vachon have valiantly kept the grapplerette tradition alive on the regional circuits for the last decade. They have been two of the most dedicated heroes of this sport, when all is said and done, they'll surely be remembered with great reverence.

        Ironically, the latest resurgence can be credited to Sable, whose motto appears to be "nothing succeeds like excess." There bountiful blonde with the dangerous curves initially came on strong as a teenage boy's pubescent dream. Over Time, she has made subtle changes to her ring persona and, after constant training, has emerged a full-fledged athlete. Having said all of this, she's still one of the new breed of overly endowed competitors who can use a headlock as a submission hold-or would it be considered a choke hold.

        A remark like this opens the hornet's nest of debate between pro-wrestling purists and pop-culture enthusiasts. Some believe any women wrestling is better than none at all, contending that the real appeal of the gals is their fabulous frames. Some fans are just happy to watch the jiggle and bounce as they expose both technical weakness and plenty of flesh in their matches.

        Mat purists take another approach. They hold fast to their assertions that the actual caliber of technical skills have declined to the point where most female slamazons can only provide the most rudimentary holds and coutnterholds on one another. It is primarily their physical presence, along with their cosmetically enhances physiques, which has created an interest in the women. It's more about big breast, the main appeal for teenage boys, than bear hugs and backbreakers.

        Both sides have valid claims, so its virtually impossible to take one side over the other. Whether each viewpoint has to be mutually exclusive is something each camp must come to terms with themselves.

        The decline of women's wrestling correlates directly to the arrival of the national corporate wrestling structure introduced in 1984. For all intents and purposes, the sport has lost an entire generation of female athletes because few opportunities existed for them over the lat 15 years. Some brave-hearted souls like Misty Blue, Brittany brown, Heidi Lee Morgan, and Reggie Bennett stuck it out, but were forced to make great sacrifices. They had to keep their day jobs and wrestle on the side whenever the could find a booking, and because the U.S matches were just not available, they traveled to dangerous locales around the globe to compete in a handful of matches. One thing Is very clear-the women's division needs to rebuild itself from ground zero.

        As the warrior women make a comeback, we should bear in mind that a pretty face and well-developed figure shouldn't stand in the way of appreciating a modern-day grapplerette strutting her stuff in the wrestling ring. She may very well have a tremendous arsenal of technical moves up her sleeve. On the flip side, if she's just a face and figure, it won't be enough to sustain the interest of the fans in the long run. If the performer is unwilling to attain the needed skills to become a respected mat member carrying on the proud tradition of women's wrestling, then she should consider peddling her wares elsewhere.

        Today's female basketball players and ice skaters are the recipients of respect and admiration, and they deserve it. Let's face it, pro-wrestling promoters dropped the ball 15 years ago. They could have been leading the way by showcasing peerless female talents and contributing to wrestling's long history, but instead, they have to play "catch up" with the rest of the female sports fraternity.

        A competitor's physical attributes should neither be a detriment nor a reason for approval. A mat maiden must not rest on her (ahem!) assets, or she'll forever be relegated to mediocrity. She must diligently devote herself to expanding her repertoire of ring tactics-not just concentrate on inflating her bra size. - NWW.

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