In recent weeks longtime independent wrestler LuFisto has come into the national spotlight after controversy surrounding Combat Zone Wrestling’s treatment and promotion of women but the Canadian born powerhouse has been a mainstay in professional wrestling for more than 20 years.
After LuFisto – and other women – exposed CZW for some of their shady promotional tactics, and in some cases much worse, Wrestleview reached out to the former CZW Iron Man Champion to discuss the issues with CZW and talk about her career.
LuFisto said that she originally learned about the way CZW was promoting upcoming PPVs earlier this year when a fan tagged her in a Tweet.
“A fan tagged me in a Tweet that said something along the lines of ‘labeling LuFisto vs. Mercedes Martinez as a sweaty catfight is disgusting’,” LuFisto said. “He then gave me the link and that’s where I first discovered that we had been rebranded using words usually reserved to the adult (film) industry and fetish websites. I was very upset and disappointed.”
Recently LuFisto issued a statement on her Youtube account in response to the matter but she had been dialogueing with CZW for time before that.
“The day the fan reached out I posted something saying, ‘CZW, what the hell?’ and CZW reached out saying they respected me but couldn’t do anything about it despite trying,” LuFisto emphasized. “They had sold the footage and that’s how (Stonecutter Media) wanted to rebrand us. We went back and forth for a few messages until I got tired of the excuses.
“Out of respect for our past, I decided to wait a little before doing anything, hoping they would change their mind and advertise us accordingly on their upcoming PPV releases. When I saw they were doing the exact same thing, I decided to post the video calling them out because obviously, private messages didn’t work.”
LuFisto had a long storied career with CZW – that she has said she is very proud of – dating back to 2006. LuFisto was the first female CZW Iron Man Champion and the first woman to enter CZW’s feared “Cage of Death” Match. She said that CZW was a pioneer in intergender wrestling and it was sad to see where the promotion has ended up.
Just so everyone is aware, there are many women already speaking to lawyers about this, as releases were not signed to authorize licensing footage for profit and distribution. https://t.co/nLVDBA3s5I
— Trisha Parker (@JordynneGrace) May 19, 2020
A number of fellow wrestlers that had worked for CZW came out in defense of LuFisto and against CZWs practices but unfortunately not every message she has received has been positive.
“I had a lot of support, thousands of messages on all social media platforms from fans, staff, other promotions and wrestlers,” LuFisto said. “However, I also dealt with targeted harassment, threats, gender devaluation and hate from some crazy f*cks for calling them out. Thankfully, it was only from about five people, though.”
LuFisto emphasized that harassment in this manner isn’t a recent phenomenon, however.
“I had people posting modeling pictures of me calling me a whore,” she said. “A guy going on all of my online accounts flooding every post I put in the past weeks with sexists remarks, even making up stories to kill my reputation.
“People calling girls hypocrites because they have sexier pictures online (then the PPV matches) even if this matter has absolutely nothing to do with that.”
LuFisto acknowledged that the way women in wrestling are treated has come along way but there is still a lot more work to be done.
“A lot has been done in the past 25 years. However, once in a while, there will be that person who believes women don’t belong and should be used as eye candy only when women of today are actually properly trained and very good at their craft,” LuFisto said. “People have to stop using ‘sexy outfits’ as an excuse to insult the girls. Most guys are showing a lot more wearing trunks.
“This is not 1920 anymore and women can do what they want with their bodies, but no one should choose for them how they present themselves without their consent.”
While this recent controversy has put LuFisto in the spotlight – in a manner that she would likely rather not have to be in – she has been a top wrestler on the independents for more than 25 years and has battled a number of obstacles over her career.
LuFisto was born in Quebec, Canada and grew up a wrestling fan from an early age but it was the athletic female wrestlers of the early 90s that really grabbed her.
“I was watching it with my grandma when I was about six but really got into it around 14 during the Undertaker and Yokozuna feud,” LuFisto remembered. “It is the matches between Alundra Blayze and Bull Nakano, plus the discovery of Joshi wrestling, that made me want to become professional wrestler.”
Over her 25 years in the business, LuFisto has wrestled all over the world against some of the top female and male wrestlers.
In the mid 2000s LuFisto made a name for herself in Mexico by competing in a series of bloody death matches against the likes of AAA’s Joe Lider and future CMLL star PrincesaSujei.
She’s had many highlights during her career and couldn’t name just one favorite.
“There are so many (favorite memories) over 25 years,” LuFisto said. “My early trips to Mexico, winning the CZW Iron-Man Championship, my feud against Mercedes Martinez, winning both the Queen and King of the Death Match Tournaments, teaming up Asuka and Jordynne Grace, my 529 days a SHINE Champion and more recently, my match against Josh Alexander and the standing ovation following it.”
In regards to her time in Mexico, LuFisto said those matches with Lider and Sujei stood out most along with working AAA’s “Rey de Reyes” event in 2013 in front of more than 17,000 fans.
Along with those memories comes a lot of pain, as well.
“I would need a whole book to explain everything and it’s coming,” LuFisto said.
In 2007, she suffered a severe back injury that she thought would end her career and then an atrial septal defect in her heart that required surgery to repair. In 2018, however, came the scariest moment.
A biopsy revealed cancerous cells on her cervix and a surgery was required to remove most of her cervix to kill it, then it seemed as the cancer would return but after more treatment in her home country she is completely cancer free, thankfully.
In 2019, however, an ailing knee and frustration combined to cause her to announce that she would retire at the end of the year. After losing more than 30 pounds, treatment on her knee that helped, a ton of great matches, support from longtime friends and her doctor clearing her to continue to go she decided to keep going.
While LuFisto is no longer the ultra-violent death match queen, she’s now as much known for her technical wrestling prowess as anything else.
“I haven’t been involved with ultra-violent matches since 2007 because I felt I had done everything that there was to do. Cage of Death, Queen and King of the Death Matches,” she said. “I think back then, it was necessary. People needed to see what women could really hang in there with the boys, be as serious, work as hard.
“I just believe in being myself. I want to go out there and have the best match possible, every single time.”
When asked what the future entails for the Canadian star, she had a simple answer.
“I hope the best is yet to come,” she said.
Anyone interested in supporting LuFisto by purchasing merchandise, visit www.lufisto.com, or sign up for her Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/lufisto.