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On Friday 19th August, 2016, an intergender match between “Bonesaw” Jessie Brooks and “The American Villain” Marc Hauss was scheduled to take place in Brooklyn, New York. Unfortunately, the scheduled contest almost received a devastating fate, as reported by NY Sports Scene.
Tier 1 Wrestling and Warriors of Wrestling’s show ‘Empire State of Mind’ was made to feature some of New York’s top Indy workers and advertised every match in advance, including the intergender one.
After both competitors entered the ring and began their lockup, Mr. Orlando, a representative from the New York State Athletic Commission, interrupted the bout and immediately put it to an end as to his knowledge it was against the law for a man to fight a woman in New York.
During the match a bell suddenly rang and Orlando followed by discussing the issue with the referee, Kris Levin. Levin insisted that the issue was blatantly “sexist” and rallied the audience to give their opinion. Fans at the event initially believed that this was all part of the show as they began chanting things such as “f**k that guy” and “this is bulls**t”, but were quickly given the realization of the sad reality.
“I was incensed,” Levin stated after the match. “This was a big moment for Jessie, a big match for her. This was her return to her home borough of Brooklyn; she hasn’t been here in a while. It was a big match against a friend of ours who she was looking forward to competing with. Not only that, but the blatant sexism of it. I’ve promoted all women’s events in the past. I was the promoter for VALKYRIE Women’s wrestling and in 2014 we ran our first event and that was the first all women’s event to ever happen in NYC. I got pretty emotional [about this incident]. It’s no secret that Jessie and I are in a long term relationship but even before that I have really tried to champion women’s wrestling. I hate how women have been treated as ‘second class citizens’ and I thought we were at the point where we are past that, I mean, it’s disgusting.”
Once the match had officially ended, Brooks said: “I wrestle for Warriors of Wrestling all the time in Staten Island and intergender matches, that’s the majority of my matches…never had a problem up until now. We were all ready to go and have the match and the guy came out and said that I was not allowed to wrestle a man. The commission was looking through their rule book and they couldn’t find where it said a female cannot wrestle a man so they had to call a lawyer to make sure that they could okay the match so basically what they originally said was wrong, completely. They found that it said that in boxing, females and males cannot be in the same ring but in wresting it is fine.”
After the real rules were found out, the match was given the green-light and took place as the impromptu final match of the show.
Brooks eventually came out to the ring to a standing ovation from the crowd before defeating Hauss. The entirety of the locker room then came out to celebrate her win by banging on the ring mat as a sign of respect.
After the show ended, an emotional Brooks said that she was “frustrated that it happened to begin with but I am happy that I was able to have a good match and I loved working with Marc. Great talent. I feel like we are past that as females in the business. We are past that to happen. That really upset me but hopefully this opened a lot of people’s eyes about women’s wrestling in New York City. Hopefully a bad thing that turned into something good.”
Her competitor Hauss then went on to say: “Dennis Long and Joe Bellini were nice enough to let us perform and work the main event and it was one of those things that was good, to prove the point of what wrestling is nowadays, you always hear this stuff that everybody’s selfish and out for [themselves] and there is no brotherhood left and you go to a lot of shows nowadays, half the roster gets their money after they wrestle and leave, they don’t stick around. [Tonight], the rest of the roster stayed in support and got around the ring and let her know that she’s appreciated and let the state of New York know that they can’t just sit here and bully people and make up fictitious rules that don’t exist anymore. It’s 2016.”
What do you think of the incident? Are you glad that the match took place in the end? Let us know your views in the comments below!