Winnipeg wrestler’s injury called deliberate
Mexican star feels wrath of wrestling world after going off script
HE fight got a little too real for a Winnipeg-born professional wrestler at a major Mexican wrestling event Saturday, after she was injured in what many are calling a malicious attempt by her opponent to hurt her.
The incident has left the wrestling world up in arms and sparked coverage in publications as far ranging as niche websites to Rolling Stone, with many suggesting the perpetrator of the attack could be blacklisted from the sport entirely.
Holly Letkeman was born in Winnipeg in 1983 and entered the world of professional wrestling in 2008, where she currently fights under the name Rosemary.
Over the weekend she was involved in the TripleMania XXV event in Mexico City, which is the one of the largest annual shows in the country.
She was fighting in a four-way women’s match for the “Queen of Queens” title, when all of the sudden one of the wrestlers began to go off-script.
At the end of the match, Mexican wrestler Sexy Star (real name Dulce Maria García Rivas) placed Letkeman in an arm bar hold that was dangerously real.
Video from the event, which was seen by more people than usual since it was streamed by an Amazon-owned company, shows Letkeman yelling in pain and repeatedly tapping out as her elbow is hyper-extended.
Despite the referee calling the match and the final bell ringing out, Star continued to hold Letkeman in the arm bar. About eight seconds after the match finished the referee finally managed to pry open Star’s grip on Letkeman’s arm, only to have her reapply the arm bar and hold it for a few more seconds.
The incident left Letkeman rolling around in pain as Star walked around the ring in celebration of her victory. It was a short lived win for Star, however, as the wrestling world quickly turned on her and some of her future bookings were dropped.
“If you take liberties with someone’s body when they are giving it to you and trusting you to keep them safe, you are not tough. You are an ass----. And you don’t belong in this business,” Letkeman wrote in one of two public statements she has made since the incident.
An outpouring of support for Letkeman was posted to social media by wellknown figures in the wrestling world, while Star was the target of many vitriolic comments and denunciations.
When Andrew Shallcross, promoter of an independent professional wrestling company in Winnipeg, first viewed the video, he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
“I immediately wondered if it was actually true or if it was an elaborate storyline,” he said.
“When I realized it was true, I was shocked and disappointed. It’s completely unprofessional and cowardly. It would not be accepted by any wrestling promotion in the world.
“I would never book that person again. We’ve seen people die or be paralyzed in the ring. It can happen. This is a dangerous sport. And you have to co-operate and trust your opponent. Obviously, that trust was violated.”
Jackie Lee, a multi-year professional wrestler living in Winnipeg, agreed with Shallcross and said he wouldn’t be comfortable getting in the ring with someone who had a documented history of purposely injuring an opponent.
“It takes two to tango and you have to put your trust in your opponent because you’re taking care of their body and they’re taking care of yours. It’s like going in a car ride with your friend, where you trust them to drive safely, because you’re putting your life in their hands in a way,” Lee said.
While initial reports on the extent of Rosemary’s injury have varied as to its severity, she now has said she has a “strained tricep/bicep with swelling around the area” and will be kept out of the ring until a doctor allows her to return.
In that statement, she made it clear she would no longer be addressing the incident.
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Winnipeg-born Holly Letkeman (left), a.k.a. Rosemary, had unflattering things to say about the way Sexy Star (top) dealt with her in the ring. Above, a screen grab of Rosemary (right) being held down by Sexy Star during the TripleMania XXV event in Mexico City.