After spending much of her career in Japan and TNA, Awesome Kong (Kia Stevens) has decided to shake-up the AEW women’s division. In this article I will outline who she is and why she is in AEW!
Early Career in Japan (2002 — 2004)
After a few unsuccessful attempts to make a career as a wrestler in the United States, Kia Stevens decided to test her luck overseas. Stevens was invited to increase her training in Japan in the dojo of joshi puroresu (women’s Japanese wrestling). The aspiring wrestler began a rigorous training schedule and improved drastically. Soon after, she was given the ring name “Amazing Kong.” Kong began filling in for Japanese star Aja Kong.
Success in Japan (2004 — 2007)
Kong began gaining traction in Japan and even defeated Ayako Hamada for the WWWA World Single Championship at the end of 2004. Furthermore, Kong would also take on Aja Kong at Gaea Japan’s ninth anniversary show. As a result, the two ladies formed a tag team: W Kong. The pair would eventually gain the AAAW Tag Team Championships and held them in the summer of 2004. Kong would bounce around different promotions for the next few years. After a long journey, in 2007 she would win the AWA Superstars of Wrestling World Women’s Championship. After losing the belt she began to wrestle in the United States more often.
Shimmer Woman Athletes (2006 — 2010)
Kong first broke back into the American market by appearing on Shimmer Woman Athletes. In her four year run with the organization she wrestled Lufisto, Nikki Roxx and Sara Del Rey. Furthermore, Del Ray and Kong would have a tag-team run in the promotion. Kong ended her run in Shimmer during the fall of 2010 where she defeated Kellie Skater.
Ring of Honor (2007-2010)
During her time in Shimmer, Kong was also sporadically wrestling for the sister promotion ROH. During her time in ROH, she would take on wrestlers that she previously faced in Shimmer as well as taking part in some mixed gender tag matches. She also wrestled for various smaller promotions during this time.
TNA (2007 — 2010)
Total Nonstop Action is the company that finally brought the wrestler some much-deserved fanfare. Soon after joining the company her name was changed to “Awesome Kong.” She would go on to win the Knockout Tag Team belts with Hamada. The team’s run was very successful and would continue until a backstage altercation caused Kong’s suspension. She soon requested her release.
WWE (2010 — 2012)
Kong signed with the WWE in December 2010. The following April saw the company begin airing vignettes showing the star with a new name — Kharma. She debuted at Extreme Rules 2011 attacking Michelle McCool. Kharma would continue to attack the WWE Divas in the weeks that followed. Kharma was forced to put her WWE run on halt in the following weeks due to her pregnancy. She would make her in-ring debut during the 2012 Royal Rumble, becoming the first black woman to appear in the match. This would be her first and only match in the company as she was soon released.
Various Organizations (2012 — 2016)
For the next four years back with the name Awesome Kong, she bounced around organizations. She returned to Shimmer and TNA during this time as well as many other promotions (some in Japan). She has many career highlights from this period in her career: captaining Team USA in Smash USACAN Classic, reforming the W Kong tag team and helping induct Gail Kim into the HOF.
AEW (2019 — Present)
After obtaining a role acting on Netflix series ‘GLOW’ it seemed like Stevens had finally stepped away from pro wrestling. We were wrong. The crowd popped in Las Vegas when Awesome Kong returned at AEW Double or Nothing. After her match that night she was confronted by Aja Kong, hopefully setting up a future bout. She would soon begin appearing in vignettes with Brandi Rhodes. She appears to be sporting a voodoo-style gimmick and is sure to have some memorable moments during her time in AEW.
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