‘Wrestfriends’ makes a space for female fans to share their love for wrestling

By Isaiah Colbert, Staff Reporter

Courtesy Wrestfriends
Iridian Fierro (left) and Teti Chavez (right) formed “Wrestfriends” with the mission to destigmatize female fans within the the world of professional wrestling.

There are not many women who rule the wrestling fandom, but two local women are using their social media platform to promote their passion.

Last November, cousins Teti Chavez and Columbia alumna Iridian Fierro started “Wrestfriends,” a YouTube channel that follows and reports on wrestling from World Wrestling Entertainment, All Elite Wrestling and indie wrestling promotions.

“There’s not that many women out there that have the spotlight on them when it comes to talking about wrestling. We wanted to be those women,” Chavez said. “It’s very important as well that we’re Latina, we’re Mexican. We wanted to put ourselves out there and talk about what we love because on social media, on Twitter, we always saw women getting bashed, other people saying, ‘Women don’t like wrestling, they like wrestling because of the hot wrestlers.’ That’s not true, we like watching it because we like the action.”

Fierro, a 2018 radio alumna, found the motivation to start the channel during her time at the college when she would get off the elevators on any floor of the 33 E. Ida B. Wells Drive building and see posters or flyers that advertised what was happening on campus. Fierro said the school was good at promoting student work, so when it came time to promote “Wrestfriends,” she took advantage of posting flyers inside campus buildings.

Had it not been for Columbia, she said she would not have known how to record for a podcast or create videos.

Fierro started watching at a young age, as her father made WWE a weekly habit, while Chavez’s parents wouldn’t allow her to watch because they thought it was too violent—though she found ways around that.

While at Columbia, Fierro had a wrestling podcast called “The Powerbomb Podcast,” which she produced entirely by herself. Fierro covered the history of wrestling and did interviews with wrestling companies and wrestlers from both local and out-of-state promotions.

So far, “Wrestfriends” has interviewed WWE superstars such as Cesaro, Elias and Seth Rollins. Fierro made these connections through her job as a production assistant at La Ley 107.9—otherwise known as WLEY-FM, a Spanish-language radio station based in Aurora, Illinois.

“A lot of the time, the wrestlers don’t mind talking about their lives,” Fierro said. “It’s a surreal experience because I never in my life thought that I would have the opportunity to interview these people.”

The “Wrestfriends” ask the wrestlers questions within kayfabe, a term referring to the suspension of  disbelief in wrestling, their characters’ storylines and the feuds inside the ring.

Watching wrestling gives the “Wrestfriends” a feeling they have not received from any other sport, they said. For them, wrestling is entertaining and inspirational.

Fierro said it is something everyone needs to experience, and this year is especially big for wrestling because of the number of women and people of color coming on the scene. Fan  connections  make wrestling unique, she added.

“You get invested in these characters,” Fierro said. “Once you follow them along in their journey, they do something and you get an adrenaline rush. You get excited, sometimes you cry—you get so emotionally invested in these people.”