Thekla: Itsy Bitsy Spider

I’m addicted to you, don’t you know that you’re toxic? And I love what you do, don’t you know that you’re toxic? Not my words, but the words of Britney Spears’s iconic 2003 hit single ‘Toxic’. Moving on…. 

Thekla. For a few years now the performances of Stardom’s local Toxic Spider ensnared wrestling fans in her twisted, acidic web, mesmerized by the strings woven throughout each match. She moves so seamlessly in some eye-catching acrobatics, strikes, and dodges. Perhaps that can be attributed to her dancing skills in her ballerina past, but she crafts it into something so wonderfully her own.

There’s a high chance you’ve seen gifs of her. Thekla moves erratically and bizarrely to catch her opponents off guard, such as bending over backward, planting her palms on the mat, and walking like a spider or just anything unnatural. It’s a flexibility she uses to her advantage. Easy prey for the human arachnid; she moves so fast that those who go toe-to-toe with her are required to keep up or die. Immediate star power in terms of workrate. In singles competitions, tag team action, or multi-woman frenzies, she stands out. If you look hard enough, you may find shreds of Kenny Omega in her work.

Twitter/X: @D_Wrestlingifs

Born in Austria, Thekla has raised the bar on every level as to who she is and what she can do. A Master of Fine Arts degree? She’s got it. Languages? She’s a polyglot; she knows five of them. And true to a spider’s artistic ability – she designs t-shirts. Thekla doesn’t even stop there, as she has toned and crafted her own body to look every bit as strong and intimidating as she is inconstant and speedy.  A woman of many facets, and she chose a profession that requires the talent and creativity of someone who can offer so much. And so she does.

Initially an independent wrestler, with her most notable run before 2022 being Ice Ribbon, this craft was honed, until prominence came a-calling. Not the joshi promotion Prominence, mind you, but World Wonder Ring Stardom. Stardom was and is home or a haven to the greats of women’s wrestling such as Thunder Rosa, Jamie Hayter, Hana Kimura, Io Shirai, KAIRI, Mayu Iwatani, Toni Storm, and Bea Priestley. Stardom is to women’s wrestling as the Salty Spatoon was to the world of SpongeBob SquarePants. A litmus test to see who can thrive on a big stage, tempered like steel against peers of equally hard-hitting quality.

Her presence after signing with Stardom would go unnoticed, as in the meantime there were three mysterious women in hoods and the masks of internet horror sensation Momo who sought assault and misery to inflict on unsuspecting wrestlers of the lower cards in Stardom. Seldomly did they attack anyone of a higher level than the bottom of the proverbial barrel, and never did they bring pain to any one of the group Donna Del Mondo (DDM) – and that was by genius design. Since DDM had no lower card wrestlers in their rank at the time, no one would suspect a thing. This started in late 2021, with the mystery ever-growing. There’s a stranger, broken into your house and there’s nothing you can do about it.

But come December, Donna Del Mondo would claim that these masked assailants would be joining her side and on January 3 in Shinjuku, the Momo masks would come off. On one side was MIRAI, recently from Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling and one was Thekla herself.
Twitter/X: @Dakota_kai_ita

Only one of these women would remain, as MIRAI departed Donna Del Mondo for another former member’s new group, God’s Eye. Thekla in the meantime found herself raising her stock as she grew into the team and forging strong bonds with her new friends. 

A strong key moment in this was the betrayal of DDM by Natsupoi, the “cute pet” of the group, and following her moment of departure and joining the rival gang in Cosmic Angels, the former woman of the world stood and took her lashings from each member of the group present that night. Thekla, who was still injured, listened as her comrades berated Natsupoi, but when Thekla’s turn to speak came, she couldn’t bring herself to. The emotions written on her face told enough, more than words could. After all, how can you communicate something incommunicable? When emotion holds you down like rubble and debris after utter destruction, can you fight the weight?

For all the dastardly deeds Donna Del Mondo enacted, they are a family at heart. Or, rather were. We’ll get to that in a bit. I haven’t seen that in a group of ragtag women in Stardom since the early Oedo Tai days. Thekla was such a great fit for the group for that reason and it is this character work alongside her in-ring work that makes her a top-tier talent in the company, especially for gaijin wrestlers. 

Thekla is a ready-made star anywhere thanks to her time in Stardom. Even winning the SWA World Championship adds a fine feather to her pretty little cap. Though marred by injuries in 2022, she pressed on with a relatively fun 2023 with close friends and DDM members Giulia and Mai Sakurai as the Baribari Bombers to win the Artist of Stardom Championship in mid 2023 in a good reign that ended on January 3, 2024. 

YouTube: Zeke

The next night after a tag match with Susu Suzuki, DDM’s dear leader Giulia announced the group would be disbanding. This shocked the wrestling world and sent waves to even people who weren’t avid Stardom watchers. The promotion was to lose a huge star. Donna Del Mondo was to lose a leader. But Thekla was to be without her friend.

With so much going on and priorities shifting, Thekla set off to a hiatus, with her Stardom contract soon to end. As of this writing, she doesn’t know where she’s going, wrestling-wise, according to this interview with Lyric of SES Scoops. She could do anything. Design gear and clothes, take a longer break, re-sign with Stardom, retire, or embark on a great unknown within wrestling. She’d thrive, too. For all the love and adulation that Giulia so deservedly received, I feel Thekla could meet that as well. 

There are so many fans who have Stardom as a blind spot. They may or may not be aware, but at the end of the day, everyone sees. They always do. Some of your favorite wrestlers in TNA, AEW, or WWE have wrestled for Rossy Ogawa’s promotion and have come out with a high stock. Thekla is no exception.

If she were to step out, should that be her desire, she needs only to hang on her abilities as she adapts. The mystery around her will unravel and fans will see what she brings to the table. The aura behind her will be eye-opening. That is my prediction, because there are few who move and wrestle the way she does. 

Who is Thekla? She is hard to catch. She puts her all into what she does. She is unpredictable and fast. Thekla is a Toxic Spider, and her sting will spread her wonderful toxins into the wrestling industry.