In recent years, the world of professional wrestling has started to see a rise in LGBTQ+ talent.
Not only has it been seen on the independents, but it has also made its way into bigger promotions like WWE as well. This is a perfect example of the industry evolving with the times and mirroring what is going on in the real world.
One woman who is spearheading this wave of change is none other than The Native Beast, Nyla Rose.
Born in Washington D.C., Rose is part Native American and of Oneida descent. She began training for wrestling at the KYDA Pro Training School in Morgantown, West Virginia and made her debut in December of 2012.
In her career she has wrestled for several promotions, mainly on the eastern coast of the United States. She is a three-time CP Women’s Champion for Covey Promotions, a one-time UPWA Women’s Champion for the United Pro Wrestling Association, a one-time WDWA West Virginia Champion for World Domination Wrestling Alliance, and a two-time WOW Women’s Champion for Warriors of Wrestling.
She even traveled to Japan, where she wrestled for Marvelous and Sendai Girls’ Pro Wrestling.
Rose is also an actress and stars in the Canadian comedy series, The Switch. The show is about a trans woman who has to rebuild her life after she loses her job as an IT manager once she comes out.
Her role in the show is very fitting, because she herself is a trans woman. She made history this past February when she signed with All Elite Wrestling and became the first openly transgender woman to sign with a major American wrestling promotion. This was a testament to the promotion’s message that it was for everyone, and that it gives wrestlers chances based on their talent, not their color, sexuality, etc.
She made her AEW debut in May at Double or Nothing, where she was originally supposed to face Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. and Kylie Rae in a triple threat. However, AEW CBO Brandi Rhodes added Awesome Kong to the match at the last minute, making it a fatal four-way. Rose was not involved in the decision, as she speared Kong through the stairs on the outside of the ring shortly before Baker pinned Rae.
Her most recent AEW match was last weekend, where she competed at Fyter Fest in a triple threat against Riho and Yuka Sakazaki. While Rose was considered the favorite, Riho picked up the surprise victory after rolling her up with a single-leg cradle pin. The Native Beast returned the favor by attacking her after the bell, only to have Sakazaki make the save.
While she may be impressing people inside the ring, it’s what she does outside the ring that will perhaps be her lasting legacy. She doesn’t want the fact that she’s trans and bisexual to be something that’s a huge deal. She’s said that she wants it to be normalized and hopes that it can help others who are struggling see that someone like them can thrive and achieve their dreams no matter what.
Now, of course, not everyone is as accepting of Rose, but she’s handled it with a class and humbleness that is seldom seen. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, she said something that perfectly incapsulates the kind of person she is:
“If I can bear the weight, if I can hold up all the hatred and everything and carry that on my back, I know that I’m strong enough to do it. If the people out there need to beat me up and I need to absorb that so that the next generation, the youth, can have an easier time, I gladly welcome that.”
While she acknowledges there will always be negativity, she knows that it will always be outweighed by love and acceptance. She doesn’t take the role she’s in lightly, because she understands how much of a difference she can make and how much it means to so many people.
To see an industry that was so close-minded and antiquated start to diversify itself really shows that times are changing. It’s refreshing to see talent like Rose have the chance to really make a mark in the wrestling world. Like she mentioned before, hopefully this will help inspire the next generation of wrestlers and fans alike to be even more accepting and loving.
But for now, we’re lucky to have someone like Nyla Rose as one of the faces of this movement, one that has the power to change wrestling forever.
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