You know how I usually make announcements on this blog about new products that I’ve recently published via Smashwords.com or previously published works of mine making it into Smashwords’s Premium Catalog and eventually to online stores like Kobo, Diesel eBook Store, WH Smith, and Barnes and Noble’s online Nook shop? Well, I’d like to try something different with this post by informing you all of a project that I have been working on now for several months and that I intend on finishing up, editing, and publishing this summer, should things go as scheduled. To put things into perspective, this particular project of mine came to mind on account of my desire to tackle a sub-genre of fiction that I had never taken on before. Not only that, but this work also covers a topic that most other books I’m familiar with—particularly other novels—only cover in passing, if at all. Needless to say, this piece is not only an experimental title for me as an author, but also (as far as I’m aware, least ways) an experimental title for the particular sub-genre I am intending to cover. That being said, the project I’m working on presently is a little “chick lit” venture that I call UWWX: The Underground Women’s Wrestling Xperiment.
Now, I know what some of you must be thinking: “Dustin, you’re nuts. First of all, professional wrestling hasn’t been big since right before the spring of 2001 when WCW and ECW went out of business and left the WWF/WWE without the competition it needed to spur it into perfecting its product and keeping it interesting for the fans. You said that yourself in your second entry on this doggone blog. Secondly, how many wrestling fans do you know of who actually give a hoot about reading, and how many book readers do you know of who actually care about such an irrelevant entertainment venue as professional wrestling, much less women’s pro wrestling, which has been reduced to even more of a sideshow these days than men’s wrestling has? I mean, come on, D! It’s not like you’re going to save pro wrestling or anything like that.”
If any of you have this general thought process going off inside your heads upon reading the first paragraph in this blog entry, then yes, you’re right; this book is not guaranteed to save the pro wrestling industry in any way, shape or form, especially by merit of its simple existence. Then again, saving the wrestling business isn’t the purpose of this book. Rather, much as is the case with Kyle Summers, Booker, this novel is just that: a novel—a source of entertainment meant to captivate its readers’ imaginations and help them take their minds off things, much in the way professional wrestling is meant to. The fact of the matter is this, folks: I’m a writer who used to be a big fan of this oft-criticized sports-theater hybrid back in the day, and even though the wrestling industry doesn’t appeal to me nowadays the way it did back when I was younger, I still enjoy the basic idea behind the sport. Such is why I’m writing yet another wrestling novel, although this time, I’m intentionally narrowing my focus in on women’s wrestling for the sake of covering a particularly overlooked aspect about the wrestling industry that deserves at least a bit more attention than it has in recent memory.
To put it simply, I respect women’s wrestling just as much as I do men’s wrestling—possibly even more so, considering the fact that pro wrestling in general has long been a product made mostly by men, for men that primarily features male athletes. On that note, for a woman to make it in the business, she has to bust her butt and work twice as hard as her male counterparts do in order to gain any respect from anyone, be it from the suits running the promotion she’s wrestling for or from the fans who pay their hard-earned money to watch her and her fellow performers put their bodies on the line to tell classic tales of good versus evil inside the squared circle. Unfortunately, it’s only in the best case scenarios where women truly get their chance to shine as serious competitors, as there have been plenty of instances where certain wrestling organizations have used women as more or less eye candy for the men in the crowd to pan and drool over or, worse yet, as comic relief—usually as both. Worse yet, when the time does come for the women in such promotions to go out and wrestle a serious match, either the match in question is too short to tell a solid story or it involves too many women at one time to allow any of the performers to stand out and establish themselves from the others. Worse yet is the kind of match where the winner will be booked to triumph over her opponent not because she’s more talented as an in-ring performer than the other woman is or because she has a stronger, more defined in-ring persona, but rather because of how “hot” she is, especially in comparison to the other woman. Granted, I can understand why certain wrestlers, male or female, receive a greater push than others do based on how much they appeal more to a given wrestling company’s core audience for one reason or another, but as a strong believer in the philosophy that people should reap what they sow and hence be rewarded on for their hard work and perseverance at any given trade, there has to be a line drawn. I’m not the only one who holds this notion strongly, either, as I’ve watched, heard, and read plenty—and I do mean plenty—of vlogs, podcasts, and blogs where the host vented his or her disgust with the neglect and mistreatment by wrestling promoters of those women who have gone to Hell and back to become credits to their chosen profession, only to be made to drop match after match after match to pretty-faced girls who were more or less fished out of the pages of lingerie catalogs and swimsuit magazines and who still don’t know the difference between a wristlock and a wristwatch even after several months of training. However, as was the case with Kyle Summers, Booker, rather than vent my own grievances in a YouTube video or on a weekly audio blog along fellow wrestling fans and be branded a “whiny mark,” I found it more my style to create a story that reflected the way I’d rather see women in professional wrestling being treated and represented. Henceforth, I came up with the idea for my first venture into women’s literature, the women’s pro wrestling novel entitled UWWX: The Underground Women’s Wrestling Xperiment.
To summarize, UWWX is the story of “Chainsaw” Charlie Bradshaw, a top-tier player in the Ladies’ Wrestling League, who receives an invitation from women’s novelty wrestling promoter Johnny Bellasarus to join his latest wrestling embarkment, WrestleKittens. Rather than take Johnny up on his offer to trade in her legacy as one of the toughest women in the entire industry in exchange for a fetish-inspired gimmick and a paycheck from what promises to be the tackiest glorified burlesque sideshow in pro wrestling history, however, Charlie chews him up and spits him out right to his face, sending him out on his merry way while she tries to find a way to wash the bad taste out of her mouth. Eventually, she comes to learn of a different breed of wrestling promotion called the Underground Women’s Wrestling Xperiment and signs up with them in hopes of helping the company gain notoriety and effectively bring back some respect to women’s wrestling in the eyes of a growing jaded mainstream audience. During the course of her tenure with the UWWX, Charlie has her best friend Vivian to turn to when the going gets rough and she needs to talk things out, and she likewise manages to form a few new friendships along the way, one of them being with a nervous yet gung ho rookie named Maggie Whitmore who learns to look up to Charlie as a mentor and in return teaches her the value of passing down the knowledge of one’s craft to those next in line. Unfortunately, not everything is peaches and cream for our heroine, as she soon enough has her hands full with the likes of a rebellious blue-chipper named Abby Colcheck as well as a mysterious trickster of a rival named La Façada whose identity ends up being as unlikely as Charlie could possibly imagine. Not only that, but there is also a good number of unruly male customers who chance to stop by the pub where Charlie works part-time and who aren’t afraid to spew out their chauvinist rhetoric at her or provoke her into a barroom brawl that could very well cost her her livelihood. Finally, there is the eccentric mind of the UWWX’s own founder, former United Queendom of Wrestling booker Katherine Flynn, whose on-the-fly booking style and consequently unconventional ideas for creating the ultimate women’s wrestling experience occasionally leaves poor Charlie not only wondering about what she’s up to, but also questioning her own choice in taking part in arguably the most unorthodox wrestling venue she has ever known. Needless to say, “Chainsaw” Charlie Bradshaw has many an obstacle to face upon joining the UWWX roster, and it all boils down to whether or not she has what it takes, both physically and mentally, to stand by her new home in the industry and help it reach the great heights that it hopes to achieve. In the end, then, will the UWWX help revive women’s wrestling, or will Charlie come to regret her decision in the long run? Only time will tell as the reader discovers the fate of the Underground Women’s Wrestling Xperiment.
Well, that pretty much concludes this blog entry. For those of you who have shown enough patience to sit through this admittedly long essay about what I’m currently working on, I thank you, and I strongly encourage you to keep your eyes open for this new novel of mine to show up on my author page at Smashwords.com in the upcoming months. Heck, feel free to stop by my author page even if you’re more interested in the books I’ve already published through Smashwords. Also, be sure to look for my work on Kobobooks.com, WHSmith.co.uk, Diesel-eBooks.com, and BarnesandNoble.com as well as Amazon.com, where I hope my work will show up as well in the near future. Until then, thank you all again for your time and support.
Dustin M. Weber