February 19, 2003
There's a person who wrestles for the fWo that's you've probably seen around. This person is always at the arena hours before the event, getting a feel for the ring, for how the seats are laid out, so that they can get the best possible reaction from the crowd. Doing their best to say hello to everyone as they arrive in the lockerroom. This person spends hours after the event signing autographs outside, organizing various trips to "local" landmarks. This person has been a rock, a (believe it or not) stable presence.... a joy to have as a member of this company.
Oh yeah, she wrestles, too. Better than a lotta people I've seen in my time.
I'm talking about Amy "Aimz" Campbell.
Wrestles? You bet your ass she wrestles. Oh, what - were you staring at her body, hoping for a catfight? Did you see her red hair and baggy pants, and have a sudden flashback to another promotion's hardcore diva?
Shame on you. Did the legacy Tempest left behind, and continues to build in Old School Wrestling teach you nothing? Were you all sleeping when Tempest dominated the Cruiserweight Division for weeks and months at a time?
Of course you were. She deserved more.... much more. Look at her work ethic, look at her willingness to work with anyone no matter where they stood on the card. And yet, time and time again, Tempest was overlooked by the very people whom she was working with, to look down the road at the next bigger star. Didn't it ever occur to anyone that with Tempest's skills, if she ever had only one person help her out with exposure, she'd have done nothing but draw money for the fWo?
Apparently, nobody's learned a goddamn thing, because time and time again, Aimz has been used by opponent after opponent as a punching bag.
I know it's not a coincidence, because these two women couldn't possibly be more different. Tempest was the epitome of a cruiserweight, graceful and elegant in the ring, she flew through the air like literal poetry in motion. Aimz, on contrast, is an exercise in innovation and enthusiasm. She's a perfectionist when it comes to her craft but it's also just as much a matter of 'Why the hell not?' with her. That sort of enthusiasm is so rare anymore....
.... and it's being wasted.
I don't know whether Aimz is too shy, too insecure, or too unsure of where she fits in the overall scheme of things, but it boils down to the same problem Tempest faced.... the boys, by and large, feel threatened, like they'll be less of a man if a woman beats them, beats them up, or in some extremely ridiculous cases, looks good at all in the ring against them.
I've seen it, and it makes me sick. All the fighting, clawing, and scraping I had to do to be taken seriously in this sport, and where have we come to? Women like Teri Melton claiming to work for respect, then turning around and showing the world exactly why she used to be called Miss Hooters? Sunshine Del Payne, standing like a bump on a log because she's afraid to do anything but breathe when a match is on? Desire? Does she even know how to talk? Nerva? Nerva had so much potential and ended up a parody of herself?
Well, that's the Asylum for ya. Can't imagine Joe Campbell actually doing anything that doesn't appeal to the lowest common denominator. Why is it so hard to accept a woman simply being herself in this business?
I'm not a fanatical feminist. If Tempest and Aimz weren't such exceptional wrestlers I wouldn't be out here denouncing the way they've been treated in this sport. You could easily substitute Jon Crisp into all this, for example, if he'd only concentrate on the fWo instead of Commissioner Sphere.
Here's a thought.... a woman becomes a wrestler. She dresses for her matches in a way that's appropriate for a wrestling match, and that she's comfortable in. She wrestles the match as hard as she can and is rewarded by the company in ways that can be directly measured to the effort she puts into her matches and promos, and her work ethic.
Hard work begets tangible results, regardless of who it is doing the work.
Or would it simply throw the entire hierarchy of the professional wrestling business on its ear?
It's funny, but it seems like the ones who find superficial reasons to keep the truly talented down are the ones who have the most to lose if rewards suddenly became directly related to hard work.
Funny how that happens, isn't it?
This is Ivy.