Mixed wrestling as it is known today has a level of prevalence over the internet. It existed before in other forms in professional wrestling and other venues starting in the 1970s. It was simply wrestling between men and women. Around this time female bodybuilding was emerging having no relation to wrestling. These two separate sports activities would later merge to form modern mixed wrestling. There would be branching off into session wrestling in the female bodybuilding subculture. Today, it is an internet empire of mixed wrestling websites. Bill Wick was the pioneer of mixed wrestling producing wrestling videos with some of the strongest female bodybuilders.Bill Wick was born in 1944 and spent most of his youth in Pennsylvania. Wick also served in the US Army conducting operations in Nicaragua and most of Central America in the 1980s .He produced and continues to make mixed wrestling videos. He may have not have been the first one to film mixed wrestling matches, but he was ahead of his time realizing there was a market for it. Bill Wick’s market appealed to the casual fan and to the hardcore schmoe. Although there are many viewers of mixed wrestling material, few can recognize the name Bill Wick. His story is a fascinating one and reveals much about unconventional business ventures.
Bill Wick’s involvement in wrestling goes back far. He was a wrestler himself competing in college. Wick also coached wrestling and then later coached the first U.S. women’s wrestling team in 1989. Obviously, he love for the sport has been with him all his life. The connection to mixed wrestling has to do with his wife, the late Kay Baxter. Kay Baxter was one of the most popular female bodybuilders of the 1980s. Kay wanted to learn how to wrestle and Bill Wick was more than enthusiastic. Wick being an athlete himself had an appreciation for the female athletic form. However, it was not just the love of appearance, but function as well. What started as a playful activity between husband and wife became something more.He began to film Kay wrestling other male challengers, while testing his skills against stronger women.
At this stages in the mid-1980s these videos were more like home movies. Wick then got the idea to start selling videos. Thus a business began. Bill Wick once claimed that he believed Kay was the first to begin session wrestling. This would be difficult to verify. Kay did do sessions mostly to improve her wrestling skills and find a new challenge. Many times she really could not find a decent challenge because her strength was so high. Female bodybuilding was still a new sport for women and men coming into contact with Kay were shocked that a woman could compete with them on a physical domain. Bill Wick would also coach men who would appear in his wrestling videos. Kay Baxter was not only a pioneer in wrestling, but was presenting a physique much bigger than before. This was done before the rise of Bev Francis and Lenda Murray. She captivated fans of these videos and they began to sell. Most were mailed out of Bill Wick’s residence. Advertisements were placed in women’s bodybuilding magazines and soon knowledge of these videos spread.
Bill Wick videos follow a simple formula. There is a man who comes into contact with a muscular woman and wrestling begins. These matches are mostly semi-competitive with neither opponent attempting to win. Bill Wick seems more fond of the headscissors and bodyscissors in his videos. Bill Wick stated in amorous interaction with his wife Kay he asked her to bodyscissor him. Kay became a little excited and accidentally broke Wick’s ribs. Wrestling can run the potential risk of injury which explains why most mixed wrestling videos are either fantasy or semi-competitive. Competitive is more physically grueling. Bill Wicks videos are semi-competitive and most of the time staring himself. Other men serve a recurring victims for the strong women.
The videos did not just feature bodybuilders, but women who were in great shape and athletes themselves. Fitness competitors such as Charlene Rink to American gladiator Shannon Hall. Robin Parker, Lora Ottenad, and Natalia Murnikoviene made appearances in Bill Wick videos.Bill Wick being a knowledgeable wrestler himself realized that it simply is not pure strength that wins a wrestling match. Skill can sometime compensate for disparity in brawn. While the majority of women Wick wrestled were clearly stronger, there were instance in which he would out maneuver them. Bill Wick’s fascination seemed to be the love of athletic and physical contest. Some videos in the past and even today attempt to create a storyline. Other just get directly to the wrestling. Bill Wick would produce many videos in which he was subject to the full force of large muscular women.
Knowing this information about Bill Wick, one would think he would consider himself a schmoe. Wick once claimed “schmoes are little nerdy guys who weigh a 130 pounds, wear glasses, and have thirty pens in one pocket.” Wick explained for him wrestling was a purely athletic event. Bill Wick says the real schmoe gets some form of arousal from wrestling a female bodybuilder. The fact is a schmoe is just a zealous female bodybuilding fan. There are been negative connotations that have been associated with the term. The first is the idea that they are deviants or perverts. This image does not match the reality. Schmoes come from all walks of life and backgrounds. Bill Wick would by definition be a schmoe.
When Bill Wick first began producing videos the term schmoe was more so a pejorative. Today their is at least some form of sympathy or changing attitude. When female bodybuilding began to struggle in terms of finance, schmoes made economic contributions. They would support the women by buying contest tickets, booking sessions, and by the 2000s becoming members of pay websites. Wick’s statement seems to be a common stereotype that appears frequently in the female bodybuilding subculture. The fear being labelled as eccentric or presented like a predator may explain why some are hostile to the term.
Wick’s videos are semi-competitive and rarely were fantasy wrestling. It seems that their are a larger portion of schmoes who prefer fantasy wrestling, rather than semi-competitive . However, when schmoes schedule wrestling sessions it could be a variety of competitive, semi-competitive, or fantasy. When coming to this realization, it is hard to say that Bill Wick is not a schmoe. He not only likes muscular women;he like the most muscular female bodybuilders.
Bill Wick was interviewed by Jennifer Thomas for the male versus female.org forum, a website devoted to mixed wrestling. This candid interview revealed much and the thoughts of Bill Wick in an unfiltered format. Jennifer Thomas is a professional wrestler, session wrestler, and former bodybuilder. She has been part of the session wrestling world since 2010. So she is no stranger to the subculture. The interview was both hilarious and gives insight into what motivated this love of the physically strong woman. He says his love began when he was 12 years old. There was a girl he knew that loved to wrestle boys and boasted that she could beat them all. She said to Wick that no one could last in her scissor hold. Wick did not submit and she became vexed.
Wick did not know at the time, but this was a sexual turn on for her. Gradually, he began to enjoy being put in scissor holds. Then Bill Wick talks of an encounter with a ballet dancer who did the same thing to him at the age of 18. The turning point was when Bill met Kay Baxter when she competed in the first female bodybuilding competition. Bill Wick states in the interview he “wanted to show off their muscles.” Wick also has a list of personal favorites which included Kay Baxter, Yasmin, and Jennifer Thomas. Most of the women that Wick taught to wrestle went off to start a session business of their own. Wick claims the videos used to be about pure athleticism and now it is more sexual driven. The fact is that element was there from the beginning. The video either feature women wearing bikinis or leotards accentuating their figures. There is a video of Wick’s called “female sexual aggression” staring Suzan Kaminga.
This purity that Wick speaks of may now have completely existed. Mixed wrestling is not completely sexual, some men are just curious to see how powerful these women are. Yet, it cannot be ignored that their is a level of attraction that occurs when men and women get this close to each other. Wick also mentions that when mixed wrestling is discussed how women feel seems to be ignored. This should not be, because without them this would not exist. Mixed wrestling videos could hardly be considered pornography. Wick states he never had to fight moral crusaders or Christian fundamentalists. During the 1980s the religious right and radical feminists were campaigning to ban pornography. Mixed wrestling products were tame compared to the material that was distributed. There is nothing wrong saying there is of course some level of sexual element. However, that is not the sole defining attribute of mixed wrestling. The core of it is athletic contest, but also a time in which adults can play like children. For a time, the stresses of life disappear and there is no judgement. Other companies would begin producing videos such as Premiere Productions and even stories such as LH Art. When the internet emerged there was an explosion of mixed wrestling.
Bill Wick also reveals that how he was able to get so many women to wrestle in his videos. His answer was not complicated. Wick merely got directly to the point and what his intentions were. He said he loved the “look of muscles.”Bill Wick never masked his intent and women appreciated his honesty. Although it is a small business, Wick did this mostly for fun rather than profit. Wick states he wants the women and viewers to have enjoyment while making and observing his videos. The women got enjoyment knowing there were men they could beat at physical contest and told other women to be in Bill Wicks video. A combination of word of mouth and trust cause this mixed wrestling phenomenon to grow.
Bill Wick in particular states legs are his favorite part of the strong woman. There is a level of eroticism that comes from the scissor hold. From the love of muscular legs, it it extended to other areas of the body. Women enjoy the empowerment aspect in which the man submits to her strength. Bill Wick theorizes that women like wrestling men, because of that feeling of power and control. Many times having a woman with strong legs wrapped around the body or neck can be incapacitating. Wick has claimed in his experience, that women are stronger now. Even in the 1970s and 1980s there were female bodybuilders who could make strong men submit. It is true that women now in the female bodybuilding sport are no longer afraid of “getting too big.”
Not only did with women with bigger physiques emerge, but women with martial arts experience. The popularity of MMA has gained the attention of women. They are now active participants in the sport. Session wrestlers are now learning judo, karate, and other martial arts adding that to their skill set. Instead of just the same wrestling moves choke holds and other techniques are used in wrestling matches. Women who are not even bodybuilders are doing sessions. The internet revolutionized this underground activity and exposed it to a wider audience.
What started with Bill Wick expanded into a multitude of websites. There are even smaller wrestling clubs that both client and wrestlers have matches. The websites such as Utopia Entertainment, Scissorfoxes, and Scissorvixens receive high visitation as well as membership. When Bill Wick started the only way to make this possible was to either find a muscular woman at a bodybuilding contest and make an inquiry. Today, a session can easily be arranged through a website or a female athlete’s contact. The videos now are higher quality and resolution, but Bill Wick’s videos have a home movie charm. The camera gets shaking in shots and the acting is not remarkable. Yet, there is a very high entertainment value that adds a dynamic of humor. Wick’s sounds of anguish and expressions from the pain inflicted become comedic. Combined with the posing and close up angle’s of the women’s physiques is just another delight. These videos are rare relics that document the rise of mixed wrestling. The sad part about underground subcultures is that they may not be recorded, because of their small following. Bill Wick may not be the creator of mixed wrestling, but he is definitely a developer evolved it.