Glam Slam: Candice LeRae

Candice LeRae

Hi guys! Welcome back The Glam Slam! Each week I will spotlight the best of the best in the world of independent professional wrestling. Independent wrestling is the lifeblood of the industry. It’s the one remaining place where everything feels “pure”. It is where the dream still lives and the passion and love of the craft fuel each and every competitor. Simply put, it’s the best thing about professional wrestling and my personal favorite part. I hope you share the same feelings as I do and I hope you enjoy this column each week. This week we take a look at one of the best female pro wrestlers around today, Candice LeRae!

Candice LeRae was born Candice Dawson on September 29, 1985 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Since she began wrestling professionally in 2002 and has worked for various promotions including; Empire Wrestling Federation, International Wrestling Council, CHIKARA, Insanity Pro Wrestling, International Championship, Alternative Wrestling Show, Pro Wrestling Guerilla, Ring of Honor, All Pro Wrestling, Mach One Pro Wrestling, National Wrestling Alliance, SMASH, and Shimmer along with various other promotions.

She is known as the first female wrestler to be booked by Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, and currently the only female wrestler competing for the organization. She is a former PWG Tag Team Champion with partner Joey Ryan as The World’s Cutest Tag Team. LeRae has spent the majority of her career competing in inter-gender matches going toe to toe with male opponents. People have mixed opinions about inter-gender wrestling. Personally I love it! As a female I think it’s amazing to be able to compete in the ring with men on an equal playing field. I fully support inter-gender wrestling and Candice LeRae is currently the best female wrestler that routinely competes against men in my opinion.

As the first woman to compete in PWG she had an interesting debut. Her first appearance at PWG was as Human Tornado’s valet. Tornado after several losses became abusive and violent to LeRae often using her as a shield putting her in harm’s way to protect himself. LeRae was not having any of this so during a match she hit him with a chair causing him to lose the match. A feud then developed and she managed to escape future abuse thanks to Chris Hero. The constant back and forth between LeRae and Tornado lead to a six-man, no disqualification, and a memorable tornado tag team match which consisted of; Tornado, Claudio Castagnoli (Cesaro) and Eddie Kingston defeating LeRae, Hero, and Necro Butcher. As a stipulation of that match, Tornado received a singles match against LeRae. Although she held her ground, tornado eventually got the upper hand and beat her down even threatening to urinate on her. Hero again interrupted and inadvertently cost LeRae the match by disqualification. Soon after this match LeRae became Hero’s valet and began accompanying him to the ring for his matches. Tornado ended up becoming the PWG Champion for a second time and Hero emerged as the number one contender. The storyline culminated with LeRae helping Hero win the title and ending her service as his valet to begin her career as a singles wrestler in PWG. She then went on to feud with Joey Ryan, her future tag team partner. Candice LeRae’s character was disgusted with Joey disrespecting female competitors in the ring. LeRae fought Joey on many occasions and even introduced a new move “The Ballsplex” (Crotch-lift release German Suplex) as a humiliating and painful counter to Ryan’s “Boobsplex”. Trading wins and losses they eventually called it even and ended up becoming best friends and tag team partners based on mutual respect. “The World’s Cutest “Tag Team was then formed and quickly became one of the hottest acts on the independent wrestling scene. LeRae also went on to have a minor feud with Christina Von Eerie at several PWG shows and other shows beating her on several occasions.

In 2009, she was crowned AWS Women’s Champion and held the title until that September, when she lost it to Christina Von Eerie. She won the title back the next month and held it for 93 days, until losing it to Aiden Riley. In March 2014 she challenged Adam Cole for the PWG Heavyweight Championship although she didn’t win the match it was highly acclaimed and earned her a lot of mainstream attention. In mid-2014 at PWG Eleven, she and Ryan Captured the PWG Tag Team Titles from The Young Bucks in a Guerrilla Warfare match. She won by dumping thumb tacks down her opponents tights before hitting the “ballsplex”. She has battled with many top stars in the world of women’s wrestling as well such as Sara Del Rey, Cheerleader Melissa, and Amazing Kong just to mention a few. Pro Wrestling Illustrated ranked her #33 in their list of the best 50 female singles wrestlers of 2014.

Championships and Accomplishments:

FEW Women’s Champion, PWG Tag Team Champion (w/Joey Ryan), FSP Tag Team Champion (w/Joey Ryan), Dreamwave Tag Team Champion (w/Joey Ryan), two time Alternative Wrestling Show Champion

While LeRae’s talent inside the squared circle is undeniable, I do not think she fits the WWE mold. In my eyes that is a good thing! WWE does not market inter-gender matches anymore outside of an occasional comedy type filler match. The PG era has likely killed any chance of inter-gender matches happening regularly on WWE programming and being treated in a serious fashion which is a shame. Lucha Underground is currently the only nationally televised pro wrestling promotion regularly doing inter-gender matches. I think Candice is one hell of a wrestler and an awesome role model for women and girls that love professional wrestling! Candice LeRae is proof that as a female you can get in the ring and do what the guys do and maybe even do it a little bit better!

Take a look at Candice and partner Joey Ryan in action:

Be sure to check out The Candice and Joey Show on YouTube:

Follow Candice LeRae on Twitter @CandiceLeRae!

Show your support here and purchase official Candice LeRae merchandise:

Is there an independent pro wrestler that you would like me to feature in a future edition of Glam Slam? Let me know and get in touch with me on Twitter @GlamSlamSteph. Until next week, SUPPORT INDEPENDENT WRESTLING!

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