Those of you familiar with the fight scene in Japan, particularly Pride FC and the kickboxing platform K-1, will likely remember the names of competitors of color like Bob Sapp and Bobby Ologun. Last year, there was even an excellent documentary called “Doglegs” about a pro wrestling league where fighters with disabilities battle the able-bodied in order to smash stereotypes.
One thing these platforms have in common is that they are male-dominated. But female fighters have also taken to the rings here in Japan. These leagues — World Wonder Ring Stardom, Universal Women’s Pro Wrestling Reina and World Woman Pro-Wrestling Diana — are not household names, but the sport’s popularity is on the rise thanks to the talent, athleticism and diversity of its members. This month, Black Eye has had the good fortune to share a conversation with one of pro wrestling’s up-and-coming stars, Roni Nicole.