It’s time to break through the ropes with independent wrestling star Molly McCoy.
Continuing “Breaking Through The Ropes” I am sitting down with Molly McCoy. You may know them from their tag-teaming with Boomer Hatfield in promotions such as Black Label Pro or Camp Leapfrog. Or from singles bouts in Pizza Party or The Polyam Cult Party.
Known for their brawler and fist-first style alongside a hockey aesthetic, Molly McCoy has had an interesting start to beginning their wrestling career. From tag teams to phenomenal singles outings, you may have seen Molly competing in the Chikara Young Lions Cup, the Camp Leapfrog innovative events, or the always-entertaining Pizza Party shows.
Molly’s start in wrestling
“As a kid, I was really attracted to theater and things that were just larger than life and big performances. So, wrestling really just captured my attention right away with the flashy superhero type characters and the crazy costumes. And I really got invested in the characters that were a little left of center. I was a big fan of Chyna. And I was a big fan of the Hardy Boys and Lita because those were the characters that I kind of related to. I wasn’t really a cool kid. I wasn’t especially athletic, I got bullied a lot. So it was cool seeing people that I saw myself in as the heroes in the story. But I fell off like, probably sometime around a time I feel a lot of people fell off with wrestling, around the 2003 2004 point.”
“And I hopped back in sometime like the 2010s. And I realized, ‘oh, maybe this is actually something I could attempt.’ I had been dancing for several years before that. So I got a little more athletic than in my teenage years. And I realized this was right before #GiveDivasAChance. And before we really eradicated the term diva, and I thought, well, maybe there’s something that I can bring to the table as a woman, as a femme non binary person, as just a queer person in general. Because queer wrestling didn’t really have an allowed voice in the scene not like it does now.
“When I got started I think I started training in about 2015 and that was really what pushed me thinking like no, I think I could develop my voice and develop as a wrestler and have something to bring to the table to wrestling as a whole that I don’t see in it.”
Molly McCoy is well known for their amazing tag matches with Boomer Hatfield across multiple indie promotions. Where you see one of them, you are oftentimes likely to see the other. But the two stand out from being a cookie-cutter, replace-one-with-the-other situation. Molly brings a hard-hitting and oftentime morally ambiguous in-ring style that makes them a standout talent in the up-and-coming scene.
“Boomers my cousin and tag partner. I think the big difference is definitely that we’re very baby face as a tag team while I’m a little more like a tweener somewhere in the middle. I’m still a pretty good guy for the most part. But like, even when I did the Twink Gauntlet and I was clearly the underdog there against Parrow. I was still throwing chairs at him and probably definitely would have gotten myself disqualified had the regular rules been in play. But that’s the big difference. I think, just from a character standpoint, when we’re tagging. When I’m doing singles stuff, I feel in the same vein as being more of a heel, I do more stuff that could potentially get you disqualified.”
“We’ve been so heavy pushing ourselves as a tag team because there aren’t a ton of other intergender tag teams out there. And I always really thought intergender tag was super cool
even when they were just doing like Mixed Match Challenge, where they were following WWE tag rules-women had to wrestle women and men had to wrestle men.”
“Honest to god biggest differences I get blown up a lot faster because Boomer is much faster than me. In tag matches. I had like my first three matches back was a trios and then I had two singles and I felt really good after all of them. And then when we had our two tag matches Boomer and I wrestled the Main Event and Mickey Knuckles & Big Beef. And halfway through I was like, ‘you all move so fast!’ Boomer is much more the athlete and I am much more the actor.”
Journeying through the indies
You may have spotted Molly recently at events such as the unique Camp Leapfrog shows or at Pizza Parties equally fun and charismatic outings. Both promotions show the fun and wacky side of wrestling, and Molly was only more than happy to take part in their showings.
“Ah, it’s an experience. It’s just the wrestling that I prefer. It’s the really character-heavy, silly stories kind of wrestling that I started out doing in Chikara. And now that Chikara is no more Pizza Party and Camp Leapfrog just feels like an obvious next go-to to do that kind of style of wrestling. Where it’s not so heavy-handed with story. It’s more like stuff that I watched when I was a kid that was like, ‘Hey, you made me drop my drink. Let’s have an entire wrestling match over it.’”
“That’s the stuff I love. I love when wrestling is kind of campy-no pun intended. And just ridiculous. And over the top. And you know, I think there’s plenty of serious wrestling out there. There’s plenty of people that are doing the deathmatches and doing pure wrestling. And that’s all super awesome. I want to do more campy stuff and see more campy stuff. So those have just been really fun. And they’re people that I’ve spent time around prior to COVID and also during COVID. So it’s a group of people I feel safe with, and a group of people I feel safe to be myself with physically and emotionally.”
Being who you are
As an up and coming non-binary wrestler, Molly has been making waves in showing that pro wrestlers don’t simply need to follow binary beliefs in any form. From growing up in a non-conservative upbringing and having explored their identity in many different avenues, Molly McCoy is living proof that wrestlers don’t need to fit any set-mold. And oftentimes the best wrestlers don’t.
“It’s interesting to me, because I’ve heard so many different people’s coming out stories and so many people’s stories where they grew up in a heteronormative environment. Which was still my case, I grew up in a pretty heteronormative environment as well. But when I was super young, I think it was like five years old. I remember asking my mom, ‘Hey, is it okay if I wanted to marry a girl?’ Because I didn’t know that that wasn’t the standard, and mostly just because I was a pretty friendly kid. And most of my friends were girls. So it just made sense that, if I’m going to pursue a relationship, it’s going to be with somebody that I already get along with as a friend. And that’s still how I feel today that a friendship is the most important part of a relationship. But, my mom said, ‘Yeah, but that was okay, if you wanted to do that.’ And I didn’t see being bisexual as strange, until I hit puberty and realized ‘oh, everyone doesn’t feel the same way I do’ ,that’s a bit odd.”
“And I don’t think I came out as non binary until I really got to college. But I knew even before that, I didn’t feel 100% comfortable in the realm of just calling myself a female. I kind of like ‘they’ more than I do ‘she’. But I had a really hard time getting people to use they, instead of she because plural-singular nouns just weren’t a part of the lexicon yet. And that’s really why I tell people that she or they is fine, because I don’t want to be the pronoun police.”
“It’s what feels most comfortable to not have to fit within certain confines of how we define gender. Sometimes I feel the most comfortable when I’m in dresses and heels and other times I feel comfortable with like a chest binder and not having boobs for the day. I like having that area to go back and forth to feel like ‘Well, I’m like today I feel the 60% masculine and 40% feminine.’ I feel that gender is very gray and not black and white. Which I think a lot more people are starting to understand that argument that gender is on a scale of gray. It’s not strictly male or strictly female.”
The pride and joy in wrestling
Molly has a slew of past accomplishments they can look back on in pride. Competing in a rising star championship tournament in the Young Lions Cup. Blazing the path-indie promotions such as Black Label Pro. And even earning a spot in a highly prestigious list within the wrestling industry.
“I would say, the proudest moment is either getting to be in the Young Lions Cup. Because, for me, the Young Lions Cup was a title that I really wanted to go for in wrestling that just transcended Chikara. You look at the list of people than what they’ve gone on to do that either held the Young Lions Cup or competed for it like Jon Moxley, Ricochet, Ruby Riot, and tons of others. And when I first came to Chikara, Ruby Riot was still there as Heidi Lovelace and she was the Young Lions Cup champion. So immediately, I was like, ‘Oh, this is like, this is a non-gender specific title.’ And it turns out none of the titles in Chikara were and that was also a really big draw for me is that none of the titles were gender-specific and more promotions are starting to take the lead on that.
“So even though I didn’t get to hold the title just to say that I’m amongst the people that have competed for it is a really cool accomplishment to be able to look back on.”
“And more recently, I’m super proud of making the PWI. I had no idea that I was going to make the PWI 500, and be one of the first women in the PWI 500 since they started including women. And then to also get nominated for Rookie of the Year, among only all 11 other people, a lot of whom are my colleagues and close friends. It was super unexpected, but absolutely a privilege and an honor. And I can’t wait to see who winds up being Rookie of the Year. I kind of hope it’s Saya. Saya is really really good.”
Along with these gained victories in their past, Molly has some in mind for what the future may hold. Teams that have strutted across the globe they hope to face, doing their own strutting across the globe, and singles wrestlers Molly has long sought to perform within the squared circle.
“I have a lot of aspirations for when we don’t have to run under so many restrictions. For just when it’s it’s safer. to wrestle in general. Boomer and I have a long list of tag teams that we want to wrestle like, I want to get The Besties In The World. And for singles, my dream is still Kimberlee. I didn’t get to do it in Chikara but she’s been a mentor and big inspiration for me and I’ve asked her I’m like ‘You can’t retire until I wrestle you’. Absolutely, that’s probably my number one singles dream to get to wrestle Kimber Lee”.
“Big long-term aspirations-Japan, I want to wrestle in Japan real bad. I want to learn in the dojo, I want to be able to have that privilege to train and live in the dojo. Even if it’s only for a week. I would love to be able to visit that country and get to appreciate Joshi wrestling in person, because I’m a massive fan of Joshi. I think those girls are just a million miles ahead of anybody else in wrestling. Television way down the line.
“I would love to be able to get my chance on AEW Dark or Impact. I think those women’s divisions are absolutely incredible. And ultimately getting to travel and do cool stuff with my friends. That’s the big goal that’s a real driving force behind everything that I’ve been doing is getting to do more shows like The Polyam Cult Party. Getting to do stuff like Uncanny Attractions and build up promotions that really elevate queer voices and minority voices. To let people know we exist outside of Pride Month shows.”
As we closed this interview, I learned something very important about the Grittiest Girl.
“I love craft beer. Oh, I could finally talk about it now that I don’t wrestle for primarily PG companies. I’m thinking about what I’ve been drinking as of recently. I mean, my favorite of all time, if I have to pick, is 21st Amendment’s Hell or High Watermelon. It’s so good. It’s the perfect amount of watermelon with a nice crisp finish. It’s a really, really good summer beer. That you might not drink once it gets colder. But when it’s hot out, it is the ideal, perfect summer beer.”
“For Fall/Winter right now, I’m not super into dark beer right now. But when I do get back into dark beer, There are local Pennsylvania breweries because I like to try to help out local places and Mom & Pop places.”
Come back next time in Breaking Through The Ropes as we spotlight another non-binary wrestler in today’s scene!