In a recent interview with Bell to Belles, former WWE star Mercedes Martinez talked about the progress women’s wrestling has made during her 20+ years wrestling. She also took time to praise rising WWE star, Doudrop, who Martinez calls a “phenomenal” talent in the ring.
“There are so many females out there that can give the audience something different. The thing that I see on my TV now is Piper Niven, or ‘Doudrop’. You know, she’s a phenomenal wrestler! Have you seen her work? She is fantastic! I am glad to see her on TV, and she is putting in the work up there,” Mercedes said. “She’s doing what she has to do to stay on TV, right? That’s how I look at it. As long as she’s enjoying it and stuff, it’s fine. I just think they should have kept her as Piper, and I get it, name changes, new characters, it’s part of the business. I get it. She is one of those that has a different appeal. Everyone has something for the fans. She has something that she’s giving to the fans, something different, and that’s where she is.
Martinez continued pressing the point that unique characters and body types are something companies should be pushing more for. She doesn’t want rosters of female athletes to all look similar, projecting the message that there’s one ideal body type for women wrestling.
“Everyone has something, and if they can just look beyond looks and sex appeal and just look at the wrestlers, everyone has got something. Everyone looks– they stick to a cookie-cutter, and not just WWE, every business. Every company: independents, national level, overseas, it doesn’t matter,” Mercedes explained. “You have to have that variety because then people can gravitate towards something, like, you know, if you’re sitting in a crowd, not everyone is the same. I’m not going to like what you like, and what I watch on wrestling, you may not like. And what you see in wrestling, I may not like, but we like the product. There’s got to be something for everybody, you’ve got to give them something.
“I think we still have a long way to go and I think it starts, pretty much, with putting those females in the power positions so we can change the landscape, and change it a little bit more. There’s just so many gaps, whether it’s the quality of wrestling, the timeframes, I think that’s a big issue. They don’t think we can deliver but we can. The ageism– age should never be a factor. If you can go, you can go, and if you can wrestle and you’re not injured, you’re fine.”
The former WWE NXT star also believes ageism plays a big factor in whether or not women, in particular, get booked on shows. She thinks this approach is unfair because there are many men in their later 30’s – 50’s that are still booked as top competitors.
“If you have the appeal and the crowd loves you or hates, and you’re bringing in the crowds, and bringing in the money, and, just, it shouldn’t matter. It really shouldn’t matter, like, yeah, I’m 40 years old and about to turn 41, but I can still go with the best of them and put out banger matches,” Mercedes said. “My body feels great, as long as you take care of your body because you know this is your job. If you know this is your job, you treat it as a job. You fuel your body, you work out, you make sure you do what you’ve got to do for that longevity, you know? You take care of yourself, and as long as you do that, you can still go. When you can’t go, your body will tell you, but no company should tell you you cannot go because of your age.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Bell to Belles with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.