REVIEW: Tales From The Road – Thunder Rosa (2021)

A Comic Book By Thunder Rosa and Mike Kingston

I think one of the biggest stories in wrestling for the 2010s up to now is the reluctant acceptance and inclusion of a more serious version of women’s wrestling as anything more than “a popcorn match” or “piss break”. For the longest time, female wrestling was either ignored or treated like a side-show attraction which was pretty awful as a fan looking in. Long gone are the days of Holiday themed underwear matches designed to make old men happy, replaced with some of the best women’s wrestling we’ve ever had outside of Japan. This change did not happen overnight, and has been elevated due to the likes of a couple of major wrestling companies such as NWA and Impact Wrestling allowing showcase shows for women to go out and blow the men away at every turn.

“Co-written by NWA/AEW star Thunder Rosa! The Deadly Dolls are booked by promoter Frank Luca at the request of his daughter. But after the events of that night, things will never be the same for The Dolls again! Art by Doug Hills and Jenny Gorman with letters by Jacob Bascle and an X-Men inspired cover by Michel Mulipola.”

Thunder Rosa is one of the modern innovators of women’s wrestling today, and despite her relatively short tenure in the business, she has become one of the most sought after talents out there. Rosa even mentors and trains a new generation of women to bring even more barriers down. This story is a fictionalized version of one of the many fights female wrestlers have to put up with in a business run by “carnies”. A sleezy promoter brings a popular women’s tag team into town called “The Deadly Dolls” – Dolly Dakota and Rosa De La Muertes.

The Dolls are told to have a worthless fluff match because the promoter’s daughter insisted women be on the card because it was her birthday. He schedules this match during the time when fans are usually buying merch and food at the concession stands. They decide to put on the match of their lives instead, and anger the promoter. Being screwed out of money and a steady job, the two come to blows backstage and it shapes their futures from there on. Rosa wants to improve a woman’s standing in the business, training her girls to outshine everyone. Dakota wants to promote the old way of being quiet and getting paid. If there ends up being more to this story, I’d definitely love to see it!

This story is much more serious than some of the other comics in this run, and I appreciated Thunder Rosa highlighting her issues she may still be having with small-time promoters. Even though it’s 2021 and some would like you to believe things like systemic oppression is over, what’s happening in the real world tells another story. I am a huge fan of women’s wrestling, and am glad somebody like Rosa is working hard to highlight issues like this, and was happy to read this book. Yet another solid entry in the line!

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