Kelly Klein Discusses Women Succeeding In Wrestling, The Challenges They Face, Her Feud With Angelina Love

Kelly Klein Discusses Women Succeeding In Wrestling, The Challenges They Face, Her Feud With Angelina Love

Women of Honor champion Kelly Klein spoke with Bleacher Report to hype ROH’s upcoming Death Before Dishonor pay per view tomorrow from Las Vegas. Klein talks about the rise of women in professional wrestling, as well as the challenges they face for the future. She also reflects on her past feud with Mayu Iwatani and her current one with The Allure’s Angelina Love. Highlights are below.

Her focus on the WOH division:

I think that for me, I’m really focused on what’s going on with the women in Ring of Honor. We are accelerating and growing. Over the last four years, we’ve gone from just hoping to get a match here and there to now being featured on TV and pay-per-views and things like that. And to be actively adding talent, we’re just continuing to grow and build and, I think, offering something new to our audience.

The rise of women in wrestling:

More women are starting to pursue wrestling. There are all of these really talented women. And if you look across all of the women who are working regularly or signed a contract at major companies, it’s thriving. There are so many more women than there are jobs. The competition is good for everybody. It’s so great that there are so many places and so many opportunities, and I hope that there continue to be more because there’s so many women from so many backgrounds. If you look at the demographics among the women, it used to be there weren’t as many black women or Asian women or Latina women. No women from different backgrounds. They just weren’t necessarily going into wrestling because they saw the limited opportunities and sometimes the sort of cliched, stereotypical characters.

I love seeing all of these women just continue to be successful. And then as we continue to see more of that, I think we’re going to see even more young girls from all backgrounds who may see professional wrestling as an option. That’ll pursue it. And it’s just going to keep growing and strengthening.

The challenges women still face:

There are definitely challenges. And I would say I noticed more of those things when I was newer in wrestling. That was the landscape of wrestling at the time, coming off of the Attitude Era. That was how women were portrayed. You know, it was like, ‘Oh, you can distract this guy by, like, lifting up your shirt.’ Those were the ideas, and at the time, I was young and I was new. So a lot of times I didn’t argue. But I look back now and, you know, there are things where I’m like, ‘Oh man, that was, like, not great. I wish I had felt more confident to speak up.’ But I did kind of start to speak up over time.

Her feuds with Mayu Iwatani and Angelina Love:

I think that there is certainly a difference. With Iwatani, we didn’t have as much back and forth, and we didn’t have as much promo work. It became more performance-based and people were, for the most part, looking at what were we doing in the matches themselves.

With Angelina Love, I think that a lot of people see it as all banter and a story. And in a way, I think people are maybe sort of missing the part where Angelina is somebody who has wrestled for years successfully and is a very good wrestler. I think that people need to pay attention and make sure they don’t miss out on the wrestling part of it, too. I don’t want people to exclude themselves from taking all of it in. Just because there’s all of this back and forth and that kind of stuff doesn’t mean that’s all there is. There has been, and there will continue to be, some physicality. I think people are going to be really surprised at the parts that they’re maybe not expecting right now.


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