If I had to put my money on any female wrestler being signed by World Wrestling Entertainment to compete on the NXT brand during the next year, I’d stake my bets on Kimber Lee. Hell, if you opened the wager up to independent wrestlers of every gender, I think I’d keep my chips where they were. She’s been wrestling for five years now and is still just 26 years old. The future is bright.
Trained by 2016 CWC contender Drew Gulak at the Combat Zone Wrestling Academy in Philadelphia, Kimber Lee made her pro debut in 2011, first appearing in CZW. She performed regularly with the promotion for a few years, but hasn’t been with them full time since 2014. Instead, she’s spent a decent chunk of her career thus far focusing her efforts on achieving success in women’s promotions like Shimmer and Shine. In fact, she’s one half of the only tag team to ever capture gold in both organizations, alongside Cherry Bomb as part of the Kimber Bombs. She’s also captured tag team gold in WSC, partnering with Annie Social, and once held the Jersey All Pro Women’s Championship.
As impressive as these accomplishments are, the most notable conquest of Kimber Lee’s career came last year in the comic-book-come-to-life spectacle that is Chikara. Debuting in 2014, Kimber Lee (now with the noble title of “Princess” preceding her name) spent all of 2015 competing in Chikara’s Challenge of the Immortals. The rules for the tournament are convoluted and plentiful, but the general premise is that it’s a ten-team round-robin style tournament. Each team of four would compete throughout the tournament in matches of varying sizes, ranging from singles competition, to traditional tag team contests, to trios matches, to 8-man tags, known in the realms of Chikara and lucha libre as atomicos. When all the dust settled, members of the winning team would all be presented a “Golden Opportunity” – tokens granting their owner a shot at any championship in Chikara. Despite working with a ragtag team of underdogs, Princess Kimber Lee German suplexed and spinning head-scissored her way to the finals. In December 2015, at Chikara’s Top Banana extravaganza, she stood proudly as a member of the winning team. That very night, after Hallowicked successfully defended the Chikara Grand Championship in a triple threat match against Eddie Kingston and Icarus, an eager Kimber Lee cashed in her Golden Opportunity. Locking the Chikara Special on her weary opponent, the Princess forced him to tap out. Kimber Lee was Grand Champion.
She has since lost the championship back to Hallowicked, Chikara’s only two-time champion, but her reign remains historic. She wasn’t just the first female to capture Chikara’s top prize. She’s the only female to ever capture any primarily-male wrestling federation’s most significant championship. According to Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s most recent Female 50, a ranking of the top women wrestlers in the world, Kimber Lee commands the number 18 spot. That’s a better position than the WWE’s Natalya or recent NXT-signee Ember Moon. She’s right on the heels of Becky Lynch, who ranked seventeenth. Continuing to put away opponents with her Alligator Clutch pinning predicament, Kimber Lee’s stock is on the rise. So where to next? When Rolling Stone magazine asked her five days after her Grand Championship title victory what she thought of the ongoing Divas Revolution in the WWE, she expressed her disappointment, saying that they didn’t really capitalize on what they could have. But might she eventually turn her attention to the grandest sports entertainment stage in existence?
“Absolutely. That’s the biggest platform that we have to perform. It’s a way to reach more people. It’s also one of the only avenues that you have to do this as a full-time job, which would be amazing. But I don’t want to go there to be what the Divas have been, I would want to make a change.”
Keep your eyes peeled for Princess Kimber Lee.