One of the most talked about results of the PGWA's most recent shows in Tennessee was the unveiling of a new women's championship title.
The belt is recognized jointly by the Professional Girl Wrestling Association, the United States Wrestling Organization, and the Columbia Wrestling Alliance. Here's the tricky part: When the belt is defended in the USWO, it will be known as the USWO Women's Championship, and in the CWA, it will be the CWA Women's Championship. Now, when the PGWA puts this belt on the line in one of its sanctioned matches, it will officially be called the Tennessee State Women s Championship. Got it? Good.
Obviously, all three groups had plenty of worthy candidates to possess this belt. But the USWO and CWA both had one particular woman in mind, someone whom both promotions had been keen on bringing to Tennessee for a while now a woman who has held several championship belts already, including being the current reigning Women's Champion of Harley Race's World League Wrestling.
That woman is Josie, and the Minnesotan-turned-Chicagoan was more than a little interested in their offer. Indeed, Josie was mulling an offer to tour Japan when she first heard about the offer for the title in Tennessee. Japan, she reasoned, will always be there. So, she booked a trip down to Nashville.
It was there, on March 31, that she wrestled at the Slam Jam 06 card co-hosted by the USWO and PGWA. Although she wound up losing to Maria Montana, officials from all three organizations in attendance were impressed with her performance, and they agreed that she was an excellent choice to hold the new belt.
The following morning, with little fanfare but a great deal of reverence for the proud wrestling tradition in the Volunteer State, Josie was formally presented with her new championship title. And she would hit the ground running,, being booked for her first title defense at CWA's 'Mule Days' event that very night.
Her opponent would be Susan Morton, a local wrestler and CWA mainstay. Although Susan hadn't traveled very far from her home base in Columbia, Tennessee, she had already faced some very worthwhile competition, including the legendary Leilani Kai. Morton was expected to give Josie a spirited challenge although the odds makers were favoring the new champ to win. It ll be a good experience for Susan, one CWA wrestler said backstage, adding, and maybe she'll get another shot at the belt sometime soon.
As the match, booked as the show s main event, drew near, both women were a study in contrasts in their separate dressing rooms. Josie was supremely confident, almost to the point of cockiness and not without good reason. After all, this is a woman with victories over the likes of Malia Hosaka, Lady Vendetta, Jessica ODB Dalton, and Angel Williams under her belt. And if anything, her loss the night before to Montana had fired up Josie even more. With more than a little derision in her voice, she predicted that she would be leaving the arena later that night with her new title belt still wrapped firmly around her waist.
Susan, meanwhile, seemed torn between conflicting feelings. On the one hand, she was nervous, knowing that this might well be the biggest match of her career to date. Yet on the other, she seemed almost serene in the knowledge that she would be wrestling before her hometown fans. And they were more than fans they were friends. To say that Susan Morton is beloved by Columbians is an understatement. They support her through thick and thin, and the fans in attendance this evening were perhaps more excited by the fact that she had a title shot than Susan herself was. As the time to head out to the ring arrived, Susan made the decision to focus on the strength willed to her by her fans, rather than dwell on the unknown factors that were giving her butterflies in her stomach. Taking a deep breath, she stepped out from behind the curtain to the ovation of the crowd.
The match that followed can be described as one of Josie s better efforts, and quite possibly the best ever given by Susan (for full details, see the event recap elsewhere on LadySports Online). Each time Josie seemed poised to claim the victory, Morton seemed to gain power from the cheering fans. And when it was all over, and Susan's hand was raised in triumph and the belt was put around her waist, the roof was literally blown off of the building from the roaring cheers and whistles and rebel yells! Almost overcome with emotion, Susan gave a victory lap in the ring, standing on each corner to give the crowd a good look at their new champion. Meanwhile Josie, stunned and exhausted and not entirely certain how it all went so wrong, staggered out of the ring and headed back to her dressing room.
A week or so later, having had time to reflect on that night in Columbia,
Josie had this to say:
'It must have been one of those nights where the moon and stars were aligned, because Susan got the pin. I knew before our main event match had even begun that the crowd was hungry for the caliber of women's match that only Susan and I could bring. There were chanting We want Susan! during some of the men's matches! '
Told of Josie s comments, Susan had some remarks of her own to contribute:
'What Josie needs to understand is that it had nothing to do with the moon and stars. It didn t even have anything to do with luck. It was me outsmarting her! The crowd chanting for me and the old ladies calling her names is all because I didn t have to cheat at anytime in the match to get ahead. Even if it was another arena or city, I still would have won the championship.'
With this new rivalry now escalating into a war of words, it can only be a matter of time before these two women meet in the ring again. And should that ten pounds of leather and gold still be on the line, it will only make for an even more intense battle!
Get ready, Tennessee things are about to get wild!