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Aja Kong: A woman who has fought many battles but won the war

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On a sunny fall morning, I decided to stroll down my Twitter feed. During this journey, I saw that Madusa retweeted a video about one of my favorite Japanese wrestlers, Aja Kong. So of course I had to click on the video, right?

The video starts off with a journalist who is trying to figure out why so many fans love this “sport” that we call pro wrestling. This community fair with all sorts of excitement holds fans who are waiting for the reason why they paid for a ticket. The journalist asks two attendees who they came to see – and with sheer euphoria – they say, Aja Kong. The scene then cuts to a beastly looking Kong ripping the curtains open and pouncing to the ring with a presence like no other.

Kong is a force that is rare in women’s wrestling. Aja has the size of a heavyweight and the agility of a cruiserweight. The rough and tough demeanor of Kong has been what was visible to the public for so long. Who would’ve guessed she was struggling with self-identity inside?

When sitting in the ring with a reporter for an intimate chat, Aja left her soul in the squared circle. Growing up in Japan, Aja never had friends because of her mixed race background. Aja has an African father and a Japanese mother. Her classmates would taunt her and call her a half-breed. She would be in tears leaving school, forced to constantly ask her mother why her fellow peers didn’t like her. Her mom would tell her to ignore them and be kind to bullies.

Of course, this approach didn’t work and Aja began to resent her racial background. Her mom was hurt because she thought her daughter was perfect the way she was. During a heated discussion where Kong made it known to her mom that she hated who she was, her mom grabbed a kitchen knife and said “maybe I should kill myself since I’m the reason you’re like this.” This intense moment was an important point in Aja’s life. If was then that she started to accept herself.

However, the pro wrestling world in Japan was so accepting. Upon entering the industry, a 17-year-old Kong was immediately booked as a heel. What was the reason you ask? She would naturally be perceived as evil because she was black. Her race made her a bad guy.

While the news was crushing, Kong decided that she would become the best heel in Puroresu history and make the fans love her. I think it’s safe to say that she accomplished that.

Aja Kong has deeply impacted the careers of legends like Awesome Kong, Alundra Blayze and newcomer Nia Jax – all women who exude tremendous power and are fan favorites. She is a beautiful woman inside and out.

She is a woman of color who let her talent speak for itself and didn’t let the disease of colorism and disgusting racist views destroy her dreams.

Having been a fan of Aja Kong since I was a teen, I can’t imagine what the women’s Japanese wrestling scene would’ve been like without her.

Canadace Louise-Julie, a Jersey native, has been a wrestling fan for 20 years. Her first memories of wrestling were with her two brothers watching Monday Night Raw, hiding under the covers, out of the site of the demonic Undertaker. Her love for wrestling grew and she loves to share her passion for it with the world. With a love for Lucha, Grappling, Catch, Strong Style, Submission, Technical, Comedy and Sports Entertainment, I doubt that she will run out of topics to talk about! You can follow her on Twitter @canadacek

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