Updated: Jun 3
Black Wrestling Network (BWN), an underground wrestling production company featuring male and female wrestlers of color that targets gay wrestling fans, is celebrating its 21-year anniversary with their "Legacy" pay-per-view event which features the debut of pro wrestler Mr. Grim.
American pro wrestler Mr. Grim aka “The Hitman for Hire” recently received an outpouring of support after sharing in a heartfelt Twitter post this past New Years Day that he is pansexual.
"For years, I've struggled with my identity. Too worried about how others would feel or think about me. I've finally gained the courage to openly express that I'm Pansexual," Grim tweeted back in January 2021.
Founded in 2000, BWN (blackwrestling.com) produces matches in the USA, Haiti, Ghana, and South Africa, providing a platform for wrestling entertainment that can be enjoyed by gay wrestling fans who favor classic pro wrestling with a focus on battles of will in long matches using methodical holds, ranging from in-ring pro wrestling to submission to erotic.
BWN's ongoing initiative to normalize the legitimacy of gay wrestling fans and their sexuality has led the company to sign independent pro wrestlers to reach new fans beginning with Mr. Grim.
“It’s an honor to wrestle for BWN. Out of the thousands of talented wrestlers, I was handpicked,”
said Mr. Grim whose resume includes appearances on AEW, MLW, Limitless Wrestling,CZW, AAA (Mexico),DTU (Mexico), MCW, Monster Factory, IWA Midsouth, Wrestler’s Laboratory, Battle Club, Best of the West(Las Vegas), F1ght Club (Pan Afrikan Tournament), Canadian Wrestling Elite, GCW, Legacy Wrestling, FIP.*
BWN's "Legacy" pay-per-view will be accompanied by actor, writer, producer, singer, songwriter, activist and former YouTube personality Tré Melvin. Melvin, who caused a social media stir when he came out to his fans, has been deemed the Honorary Host for "Legacy".
He exclusively shares with Gaye that he is "humbled" to be the Black Wrestling Network's honorary host before tweeting to his fans.
"One of the things I take the most pride in is crediting spaces and building tables for myself and people who look like me, that did not exist before I [was] given the tools to do so. It is not only beautiful to see the Black Wrestling Network do the same, as it "fights" to normalize queer erotica as a natural, traditional and healthy branch of sexuality, but to know that while we've been lifting heavy equipment for some time, this is barely the beginning. Enjoy the show!"
Watch Tré's acceptance speech below:
Owner Alex Arias shares how Black Wrestling Network is helping to inspire fans and wrestlers to step out from the shadows to fully represent themselves without shame, revealing that he closed his Washington D.C. based pro wrestling company - Capital City Wrestling, to launch BWN with the intention of producing matches that appeal to gay wrestling fans.
"There have always been erotic wrestling fans, but too often the matches produced elsewhere were apartment matches, untrained models in a ring, or hardcore pornography with no wrestling," said Arias in a press release.
"For the straight fanbase, the erotic element has always been baked in through those wrestlers referred to as “divas” before terminology changed in modern times; but for the gay fanbase, there was only the mockery of gay weddings as punchlines or gay bashing violence of crossdressers beaten by straight characters--punished for their failure to be gender-conforming and straight. Traditionally, heat was drawn simply by feminizing a man as a shameful or obnoxious act. That has started to change with the success of wrestlers like Sonny Kiss from AEW and audience acceptance of Velveteen Dream, formerly with WWE."
Arias further adds that BWN prides themselves on "inclusivity with a wide range of body style, both men and women, and a range of matches that bring out each performer’s unique personality and skill to show case the shape of their strength, both inside and out".
"In today’s world, this platform for both wrestlers and fans is more than merely entertaining: it is important. Typically, when modern mainstream companies attempt an ‘underground’ look and feel with out erotica, they fail because they are so consumed with avoiding any inadvertent appearance of homoerotic aspects that they forget the core appeal: triumph and tragedy through uninhibited conflict that fans can invest all of themselves into as microcosms of life, not phony set design and fancy camera tricks.”
Actor Lyon Beckwith (Wonder Woman 1984, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Stuber, Chocolate City, House of Cards, Awaken) describes his experience with the network.
"When I was first approached about wrestling with BWN I was like ok cool, I don't mind fighting anyone but then I went to the website and was like HELL NO!!!
"But after understanding the concept of a play on the word ‘straight’ for my own series being used as a homonym, I thought it was pretty good and the money helped me like it a little better too! But one thing I never expected was to actually like being a part of BWN. I was allowed to be creative and use my natural gift for acting which was encouraged to flourish and taken beyond and I thank BWN for all of the support and more importantly their friendship," said Lyon.
Personal trainer Storm, an original BWN wrestler that performs on the erotic side of BWN says“...Nudity/Sexuality isn’t a crime, free2 be! The crime is closed minds, art is in everything, open your minds not just your eyes.”
Long-time fan Jerry from Maryland says, "viewing a BWN match is an awesome, unique visual and audio experience. 've never found BWN wrestling demasculinizing nor feminizing, nor offensive in any way, shape or form. I've been a lifelong wrestling fan, always imagining and wanting to see and hear wrestling as they created it and then I discovered BWN at their beginning! From day one BWN has never wavered in their wrestling style and presentation, consistently done match after match, year after year.”
How to Watch the “Legacy” 21-Year Anniversary Pay Per View
The “Legacy” PPV begins at 9 p.m. EST Friday May 28. Freak Show leader Lord Cain will face Joe Black and Mr. Grim will faceStahr Power’s Ghost. “Legacy” PPV tickets are $75 and available at blackwrestling.com
BWN offers non-recurring Binge Passes as well as recurring Memberships and “Fans For Free” access to watch trailers, engage in the community, and interact directly with wrestlers in weekly chats and virtual meet and greets.