We all have our favourites in wrestling.
It’s why we’re here after all. Sometimes it’s the obvious names, those who almost everyone likes. Sometimes it’s people who don’t get a lot of love but we are personally drawn to.
Other times it’s people who are doing quite well for themselves, showcased all around the world, but never seem to be talked about in the same breath as those routinely proclaimed to be “the best” or those said to be “sure-fire superstars of the future”.
Leaving aside the natural bias towards those who have already “made” it in the big leagues of the WWE or AEW, or the major Japanese promotions, it seems odd that I can be writing this piece about someone who in 2019 alone wrestled for RevPro, Pro Wrestling Eve, Revolution Championship Wrestling, IPW:UK, Rise, Shimmer and Stardom (among many others) , taking in European, North American and Japanese dates.
Yet in many quarters this person seems to be under-appreciated.
And that is a shame, because Zoe Lucas is one of the most promising young wrestlers in Europe.
Of course, Zoe isn’t particularly “young” in one sense. May 2nd marks her 28th birthday. She’s been wrestling since 2015 but had been a fan of it for much longer. From watching the WWE with her brothers and, in her words, “being their crash test dummy” Lucas had long wanted to start wrestling training but had been told that it wasn’t something that girls did. Her hero’s were Mickie James, Edge and Eddie Guerrero and whilst it took some time for her to pluck up the courage to start her training, once she’s attended her first WWE live event and found out about promotions in her local area and began her training. In Norfolk she trained with Falling Starr Wrestling, but her university commitments led her to Revolution Pro Wrestling and head-trainer Andy Boy Simmonz.
However, wrestling wasn’t the first thing in terms of fitness that Lucas was involved in and that brings us to one of her many attributes. She can go. With a background in general dancing and cheerleading, Lucas came into wrestling already with a fitness and stamina that would serve her well. Lucas isn’t one who is going to be gassed in the early moments of match and struggle to keep going from there.
Lucas has also acknowledged that this background has helped her with other aspects of the wrestling business, namely the character aspect of it. And how interaction with the crowds can get you over. Let’s be honest here, Lucas is not exactly a chore to look at. Whatever you think of me putting that opinion down in writing in 2020 you would have to admit that the “look” is still one of the most important things in wrestling. But if it was just “the look” you would have nothing to fall back on and nothing interesting to keep the fans attentions. Lucas does not neglect that side of things.
From the minute she walks through the curtain/down the stairs/through the swinging doors (British wrestling has a number of different set up’s for entrances!) Lucas is in character. It might disdain for fans shining through, making sure that they don’t touch her or getting into verbals with fans. Lucas demands attention (in a good way) and gets it. Even if you’d never seen her before within seconds you would know exactly what the character in front of you is like.
Refreshingly, Lucas carries this on away from the ring. I hope that Lucas is perfectly pleasant in real life; but on her socials the pretence that she is a nasty piece of work who think, no KNOWS, she is better than you is never far away. I’m not suggesting that wrestlers in 2020 need to remain “in character” on Twitter.
I am suggesting that if they did so (or at least spent the majority of time doing so) things would be a lot better. Perhaps for indie wrestlers, not involved in any promotions with major eyes on them it’s not so much of a problem. But I for one applaud Lucas for having a Patreon page whose top tier package contains the words “I’m not giving you anything extra. I’m literally going to take your money and go shopping”. What’s not to like with attention to detail like that, or posing for valentines’ day lunch with her “bae” (her now former RevPro title belt, for those of you who don’t know)?
Of course whilst all the character stuff is cool and wonderful and all that, this is 2020. And if you can’t back it up where it matters, in the ring, then you will never get very far. What is clear is that Lucas’ can indeed do just that.
Lucas has been in there with some of the best the WORLD has to offer. In RevPro, having made her debut there against Jamie Hayter, she’s battled with the likes of Jinny, Bea Priestley, Veda Scott, Nicole Matthews and Millie McKenzie in amongst lifting the Undisputed British Women’s Title and holding onto it for over a year. In Shimmer she’s battled the likes of AEW’s Britt Baker, Jessicka Havoc, Leva Bates and Solo Darling. In Stardom she’s shared ring time with the likes of Mayu Iwatani, Tam Nakano, Toni Storm and Shayna Baszler was well as European rivals Hayter and Priestley. Showing her on-going relevance and profile in Stardom she’s been a part of the Tokyo Cyber Squad alongside the likes of Hana Kimura, Konami and Bobbi Tyler to name but a few.
Perhaps her best all-round work though came in Rise. Her lucky break came when a Warriors Rise Seminar in Norwich, with trainers Mercedes Martinez and Madusa, that she couldn’t make due to another booking suddenly became something she COULD attend thanks to a cancelled booking elsewhere. Rise management were impressed and made sure they took her over to the USA.
She made her debut for Rise (which I think was also her American debut) in November 2017, with an interesting challenge upfront opposite Cheerleader Melissa (a Rise/Shimmer legend who has been knocking them dead for years) in the Berwyn Eagles Club in Chicago where so many great moments and matches in Women’s Wrestling have taken place. It was a losing effort, but even in that her personality shone through as did staying power and a refusal to give up. She was not going to be a flash in the pan, coming in once to do a job and then disappearing.
She returned in April 2018 wining a multi-woman match to really put her on the map and then later in the year showed just how far she had come with all aspects of wrestling. Lucas, along with Charlie Evans and Jessica Troy, took offence to be placed on a “pre-show” and formed a stable called The New Nation, with our girl at the helm. It all came to a head in 2019 at RISE 13: Legendary when Lucas won the 30 Woman RISE of the Contenders match which guaranteed her a Phoenix of RISE title shot “at an event that she will be able to name”. She named that very night and “cashed in” on champion Kylie Ray, moments after her twenty-minute title victory against Mercedes Martinez.
A Scorpion kick later and Lucas had grabbed the gold. After her celebration and announcing to the world that she had just defeated “The Elite”, there was a surprise appearance from AEW stars Britt Baker, Nyla Roes and Brandi Rhodes. But all that is a different story for another time… What was clear from this, and the matches that would follow over the coming months is that in Lucas RISE had a talent that could carry all the necessary facets of a top of the card feud; character, promos and in-ring action.
And that’s really why Lucas is an easy pick as on of Europe’s most promising stars. She already excels at most facets of what makes a wrestling superstar and there is still youth on her side to fine tune these talents even more. After an incredibly successful 2019, wrestling all across the world, 2020 was set to be another break out year for Zoe Lucas. Events out of everybody’s control have put a temporary halt to any independent star making 2020 their year but with everything she’s done up to this point showing a steady climb upwards, whenever Wrestling starts up again fully, Lucas is in prime position to shine.
You can find me on Twitter @IWFICON