A la TIME’s Person of the Year list, Diva Dirt has compiled a countdown of the women we feel have best embodied the zeitgeist of the year in women’s wrestling. To compile this list, the Diva Dirt team have tracked the headlines here at Diva Dirt over the past 12 months, followed the lively fan debate on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, considered the impact that the women have made within the industry, and taken into account personal achievements as well. More information on the Women of the Year list here.
Hotter Than Hugh Jackman
There are many amazing Australian imports in American entertainment — Hugh Jackman being one of them — but in 2011, that list of success stories crossed over to the world of women’s wrestling where Madison Eagles won industry-wide acclaim and broke down barriers.
Eagles’ reign as SHIMMER Champion crossed the one year mark in April as she wowed crowds in Berwyn, IL. with hard fought title defenses against the likes of Ayako Hamada and Mercedes Martinez. In a further title defense between tapings, Eagles returned home to Australia where she was part of the first ever SHIMMER Championship match outside of the US for her own promotion, PWWA. Eagles defeated her protege Jessie McKay as well as Canadian Ninja Nicole Matthews in her homecoming.
Though victorious in her homeland, Eagles would lose the title just a month later back in Berwyn against Cheerleader Melissa, however, before losing the title, Eagles once again put on champion-worthy performances against the likes of Serena.
Madison’s success in the US reached beyond SHIMMER in 2011; she became a regular in one of North America’s top independent promotions, CHIKARA, and scored victories over the likes of Sara Del Rey, as well as facing respected Joshi talent such as Toshie Uematsu.
The icing on the cake, however, was being crowned #1 on the PWI Female 50 in September. Eagles became the first ever independent wrestler to top the list, a victory not just for herself, but for independent wrestling.
While Eagles managed to establish herself as one of the top tier performers in women’s wrestling this year, putting her in the same conversation as the Del Reys, Hazes and Martinezs, we didn’t see as much of Madison as we would have liked to — perhaps due to a nagging shoulder injury.
Hopefully fully healed in 2012, Madison Eagles can continue to soar and achieve even more success.
– The Women of the Year 2011: Kharma (#16)