Autumn is upon us, and so are fall fashion trends and many articles about fall fashion trends. Style gurus are busy putting together looks and lists, and lists of looks featuring organic colors, chore coats, and above all, layers. Meanwhile, in the wrestling world, much like scrunchies in the regular world, deathmatches are in style.
While we’re probably not about to see light tubes in the main event of WrestleMania, it’s undeniable that deathmatch wrestling has gained more exposure over the past few years. Game Changer Wrestling has been changing the game in the United States, Zona 23 in Mexico is delivering junkyard madness, and Onita is on the hunt for the next generation of people crazy enough to have explosion matches –and that’s so far from a complete list of every cool deathmatch-related thing going on right now. Big American promotions have taken notice, too, with a teased barbed wire spot at NXT TakeOver: Toronto and full-on tacks-in-feet perversion on AEW’s second-ever show.
This era of creativity in deathmatch wrestling is inspiring–so inspiring that its influence deserves to extend beyond wrestling and into the fashion world. Hopefully, this article will only be the first step…
Below are eight looks inspired by deathmatch wrestling’s past and present for wrestlers and regular people alike to try out this fall.
Lavender Boilersuit – Tam Nakano
One of the most stylish and versatile looks in recent deathmatch history is undoubtedly Tam Nakano’s lavender jumpsuit from Stardom’s 2018 Explosion Death Match (Nakano and Io Shirai vs. Kagetsu and Natsu Sumire). This is one of the easiest deathmatch looks (that isn’t a merch t-shirt and cargo shorts) to straight-up copy, with versions of the outfit available from fast fashion retailers like ASOS and Urban Outfitters.
The fabric and color make this more of a spring look, but you can make it more seasonal by adding some outerwear – or try a more obviously autumnal version of the look, like this green khaki linen boiler suit from Top Shop.
Bleach Blonde Hair – Masashi Takeda
As the long bob and other nineties-inspired statement hair accessories make their return, the deathmatch world brings us one of this fall’s boldest hair trends. Masashi Takeda’s signature bleach blonde on top, dark on the sides hairstyle is a fun look for everyday life, but it then turns into a smart way to highlight just how much he’s bleeding from the head in the ring. Take a note from Takeda and go blonde for a more dramatic fall look while taking into consideration that suddenly bleaching your hair is an obvious sign that you’re going through something as painful as a spike to the head.
Skullet – Zandig & Terry Funk
Another big deathmatch – inspired hair trend this fall is the skullet – a way for you to say, “I have completely removed myself from normal society,” as the changing seasons begin to remove the leaves from trees. Why would someone with their hairline that far back on their head overcompensate so hard by keeping their remaining hair so long?
It’s hard for most people to understand, but this line of thinking helped an ultraviolent icon, Terry Funk, and “The Ultraviolent Icon,” Zandig, become such important and memorable figures in wrestling history. For the non-wrestler, the skullet can be a memorable look to debut when going back to school, when picking up your kids, or for the extra bold, when picking up your new significant other’s kids (who you’ve only met two or three times before) from school.
Designer Purse Full Of Tacks
When it comes to bags, designers have been showing off a lot of crossbody, texture, and over-sized styles on the runway. In the deathmatch ring, though, people have different priorities than at Fashion Week, so they need a different bag trend.
For those looking for a more stylish way to carry and then dramatically release tacks with which to inflict pain on their enemies, something in the pouch/bucket bag family is the way to go this autumn. Drawstrings will add flair to any pre-tack-bump spot, and something visibly brand name like this $950 Louis Vuitton Monogram Pouch or this $1,690 Fendi Mon Tresor mini leather bucket bag may helpfully baffle your enemies. Something like this brown piece from American Eagle would be a more affordable option, but what’s more in the deathmatch spirit: maintaining a budget or going into debt buying Chanel for a gimmick that will only please a very limited amount of people?
Leather Jacket – Atsushi Onita
Leather jackets are a staple of fall fashion and for wrestlers trying to look cool. In the deathmatch world – and, honestly, the entire wrestling world – nobody rocked the black leather jacket better than Atsushi Onita. It’s pretty easy to find a jacket similar to Onita’s, but it won’t be easy to pull it off as well. This article is just about deathmatch fall fashion and not about how to cultivate the type of charisma and body of work that gets people to throw trash at you out of love, so you’re on your own with that part.
Leggings Under Jorts – Darby Allin
Depending on where you live, the arrival of autumn may mean the end of the season for jorts, a standard of any deathmatch-inspired wardrobe. Fortunately, one of AEW’s most promising young signees, Darby Allin, has the answer: cut those bad boys short and wear black leggings under them. This minor alternation to a classic piece helps the Seattleite skeleton stand out, along with the facepaint and willingness to do seemingly anything to his body.
JNCOs – Mid 2000s CZW
JNCOs – or whatever brand of wide-legged pants those guys are wearing in the video above– stayed in style, or at least hung around, in deathmatch wrestling longer than in any other subculture. This created a weird look for a lot of early-ish CZW. But now, although CZW may not be the hottest promotion on the block, deathmatch wrestling and coincidentally, early 2000s rave, are IN at the same time. And JNCO is back in business, though dropping $250 on their current product may not give you the look you want. Maybe try Kikwear or Dolls Kill for your rave cargo pants needs, and then go back to your questionable life decisions in a cage this fall.
Hot Topic Goth GF – Sadika, Sadik Maiden
While the EARLY 2000s are having a moment, the mid-2000s are not. At all. But you know WHO did recently? Sadika and Sadik Maiden when they had a brutal, creative deathmatch in Zone 23 while dressed in outfits entirely from the back of a Hot Topic from ten years ago. It’s probably not a good/fashionable idea to copy their outfits for at least five years, but you know what? This match involves someone jumping from a roof onto someone on a truck. Respect Sadika and Sadik Maiden and release your inner 2008 goth GF in autumn 2019.