This will shock no one who knows me best, but I’m a proud lifelong pro-wrestling fan.
I watch it in the same spirit that I watch Star Trek or the 4400 or the Practice; for pure entertainment. It’s part soap opera with a healthy dose of violence. What’s not to love? I’ve followed the sport in and outside of the squared circle and have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for these world class athletes, who put their bodies (and lives) on the line to perform some of the most extraordinary inhuman feats and stay on the road nearly 300 days out of the year just to entertain the fans. As fans we understand this, and that’s one of the many reasons why we’re so fiercely loyal.
The female wrestlers and other talent have a special place in my heart. There’s something poetic about seeing sexy, smart and powerful women kick butt and take names.
More than that I know the type of BS that women and other minorities have to deal with in the wrestling industry. Despite being world-class athletes (a lot of whom can put their male peers to shame), the ladies in the lockerroom often don’t get a fraction of the respect and the accolades they deserve even though they’ve proven time and time again to be a driving force behind the industry.
So for any female peformer who goes out there day in and day out, holds it down, has my complete admiration and respect.
One of my favorite WWE Divas is Eve Torres. This femme fatale has repeatedly proven to be a class act both in and out of the squared circle.
Most people would dismiss the former L.A. Clippers dancer as just another pretty face. To do so would be an egregious error. Torres graduated with honors from the University of Southern California with a degree in Industrial Systems Engineering. In addition, Torres also has an extensive background in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, said background has certainly aided the WWE superstar in procuring the WWE Divas championship on more than one occassion.
You can also add philanthropist to her impressive resume. In addition to being a spokesperson for the WWE’s Be A Star, anti-bullying campaign as well as RAINN.org, Torres also works with the Jiu-Jitsu masters, the Gracie brothers, and offer the Women Empowered seminars to high schools, college campuses and corporations looking to educate women on how to stay safe and self defense.
They discuss the awareness principles and essential street-smart reminders that will minimize the chances of a woman ever becoming a target. However, when an attack can not be avoided, women are equipped with defensive tactics and physical techniques that will enable them to defeat an assailant regardless of size difference.
This program especially struck a chord with me. Having a martial arts background myself and the proud older brother of four beautiful, brilliant and powerful sisters, I know all too well of equipping women with the tools to keep them safe. It was also something that was important to me when I worked with newer female classmates in our dojo.
So why am I penning this profile on Eve? Because sadly pro-wrestling often doesn’t garner mainstream unless it’s connected to a tragedy or a controversy. More than that, I think it’s important to cast a spotlight on superstars, Divas, and other individuals who are doing it right and working to be a positive force in the world. We don’t hear enough about that, particularly when they’re women of color.
Ms. Torres, keep doing your thing. Appreciate you.