The future of women’s wrestling in Britain was looking bright. In May 2010, Pro Wrestling: EVE debuted with a lot of fanfare, announcing a working relationship with World Association of Wrestling, meaning Sweet Saraya and her daughter Britani Knight would be part of the proceedings, along with other WAW talent Destiny and Amazon (and later, Liberty and Melodi). The partnership seemed to be working well, with training seminars being held with WAW, and EVE making Britani its first Champion two months ago.
Fast forward 13 months, and things are looking much muddier.
Last Saturday, less than two hours before Britani would defend the EVE title against Jenny Sjodin at an XWA Wrestling show in Morecambe, Saraya took to her Facebook to say that the relationship with WAW and EVE was being permanently severed, and would not be healed. In addition, it also said that WAW talent would no longer be on EVE shows.
While our Twitter exploded with requests for information, both from fans and wrestlers themselves, I was sat in the crowd at Morecambe unaware, much like EVE promoter Dann Read and the participants in the match. As it turned out, not even Saraya’s daughter knew that this decision was going to be made, nor that it had been made public and was being discussed.
There was no massive incident that caused the split, but more of a lot of little niggles that eventually became too much. Britani travelled to Morecambe against the wishes of family members as she was ill, with swollen legs and voice gone, presumably still suffering the after-effects of the glandular fever that she wrestled with on the EVE Championship weekend. According to Saraya, she did so because of promises made by Dann Read that he wanted to get her booked all around the country and get a number of successful defences under her belt – thereby increasing EVE’s national exposure. It seems that when Saraya learned that Britani would be dropping the title that night, it went against what they were told would be happening with Britani, and saw it as a betrayal of trust. We must point out that it isn’t down to Britani being upset with the booking decision and refusing to drop the title – it apparently is down to promises being made then then reneged on.
Saraya also went on to say that she would be reviving World Association of Women’s Wrestling – a promotion which promoted a number of cards between 2006 and 2009.
Despite only finding out about the whirlwind going on elsewhere less than an hour before taking to the ring, the match itself went off without a hitch – Knight dropped the belt via tapout due to a cross-armbreaker in nine minutes, crowning Sweden’s Sjodin the new champion.
While that was enough of a bombshell, Extreme World Wrestling (which includes Women’s Champion Skarlett, Pollyanna and Rhia O’Reilly) made an even stronger announcement the following morning, saying that it was siding with WAWW and would not be allowing any of its wrestlers to appear on EVE shows – but went even further by saying that no wrestler who accepted bookings with EVE would be booked on EWW events. The message was removed a few hours later.
While nothing has been officially confirmed, the fact that EWW has sided (temporarily in public) with Saraya would lend one to believe that the WAWW and EWW will pool talent for future shows, especially since Skarlett recently debuted in WAW earlier this year, and impressed both fans and peers.
Since then, Saraya’s husband Ricky Knight has explained that it was the wrestlers themselves who decided that they did not want to accept EVE bookings anymore – though Britani was presumably not included, as when I spoke to her just after the XWA show, she didn’t have much idea what was going on. Ricky also went on to say that they would not stop any WAW wrestlers from working with EVE if they want to in the future, and wished EVE all the best. It seems that time caused tempers to settle down a bit, and it is a relief that there will be no turf war or tug of war with talent, forcing them essentially to pick a side. Where EWW fits in with this is under debate, as we cannot be sure if the deletion of the statement means that we should forget it ever existed.
Over with EVE, co-promoter Emily Read issued a statement thanking WAW for their contribution to the promotion, as well as pointing out that any wrestler is free to take bookings wherever they please.
Jetta is a fine example of how a wrestler can excel when she has no strong ties or overriding commitments to any one promotion – she wrestled everywhere, including WAW, WAWW, ChickFight, LDN, Triple X Wrestling, Irish Whip Wrestling, and the Scottish Wrestling Alliance, as well as rival American promotions SHIMMER and Women Superstars Uncensored, and as a result became an international star. She had no allegiances or allies, and just accepted offers from wherever to become as good of a talent as she could be.
Though the losses of the WAW wrestlers will leave a gap, EVE should be fine for the next show, which is the cross-promotional cards against Ice Ribbon on October 8 and 9. There is enough talent for those matches, though the loss of the Knights is a disappointment for fans who were looking forward to prospective contests like Tsukasa Fujimoto v Britani, or Emi Sakura v Saraya. However, this does create opportunities for others – Sjodin v Sakura would be an excellent contest, as would the visual delight of 4’8” Chii Tomiya standing against the near 6′ tall Alpha Female.
Had things stayed as they were left on Saturday night, the overall losers in this squabble would have been fans of women’s wrestling in Britain, and the wrestlers themselves. While we must accept that not everyone (especially promoters, who all have different visions) will get on all the time, I am glad the people in charge are not standing in the way of their talent accepting bookings wherever they can. By closing ranks and putting up barriers, there would have been a strong chance of the pool getting more and more shallow, and meant that some girls may never get to wrestle each other, learn from each other and build ties and contacts within the industry. After all, none are contracted to a promotion, and should be free to work wherever they choose without fear of reprisals, shuns or criticism. By doing that, everyone has the potential to improve and grow and make wrestling as good as it can possibly be. Regardless of ethos, vision or execution, that is what every single person who loves wrestling wants to happen.
On the plus side, this could mean MORE places for women to work in Britain – and they really need it, as many high-profile promotions refuse to book women to wrestle on their shows. Some could have even decided to give up wrestling and not want to deal with the politics of the promoters arguing amongst each other.
Either way, Jenny Sjodin’s win has been lost in the shuffle. For someone who doubles up as a legitimate fighter in amateur wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as well as a pro-wrestler and excels at both, having her as the EVE titleholder should not be seen as just a mere stopgap. Instead, she could give the title a lot of prominence, considering she is also tough as nails and competes as such. She is a polar opposite to the glamourous and fast-paced Britani – instead, she’s a gritty grappler and vicious striker. However, this does not make her better or worse than Britani – just different. Regardless, in no way is she unworthy of being the champion.
As far as storylines go, a logical way forward is for her to turn babyface and compete against Nikki Storm, who was earmarked as the “chosen one” in the European Empire – so for her to be beaten to the belt by her teammate will probably be something which probably won’t go down well. You could compare it to when Randy Orton won the World Heavyweight Title for the first time in 2004 (by beating He Who We’re Not Supposed To Remember), much to the chagrin of Evolution leader Triple H.
As a final thought, regardless of personal ties that we may have with all parties involved, we at Ringbelles have no official standpoint in this situation. We will not be taking sides, and will be reporting on any and all news coming from all promotions involved. To show allegiance to one promotion over another would be doing a disservice to you, the women’s wrestling fan.
Back on April 26, we reported about how Amanda – one of the few transgender wrestlers in the world – had made a triumphant return to WILD Wrestling, defeating Lucky O’Shea and winning the promotion’s championship in the process. Fast forward a little more than a month and the landscape has changed – on June 1, both she and WILD’s promoter Travis Leland announced that Amanda had quit the promotion and vacated the championship after just one defence.
The rot began to set in on May 26 when she didn’t make it to Las Vegas for a title defence against Allison Danger as part of a Freak Show Wrestling card. In a number of messages picked up from Amanda’s personal Twitter, she openly complains about the travelling time between her California home and how it was causing her to rethink the trip:
just looked up a train ride up to freaken plamdale and its 3 to 4 hours.. then from there im off to vegas for another 4 to 5 hours!fuck that
having second thoughts!!
Upon hearing that Amanda may not make it, a replacement was arranged in the form of Terra Calaway, though it appeared that she may not be needed, as Amanda then committed herself to being there. Then this tweet came down:
I missed the fucking train! I so feel like having a sue selvester rampage!! Grrrr
Some cynics have claimed that Amanda may have never even set out to get the train in the first place, having got cold feet about going there, as it may have become pretty obvious that she was going to be dropping the belt due to all the headaches on the day of the show. Instead, the no-show meant that Danger v Calaway took place, that Danger won via pinfall.
Ringbelles contacted Amanda for comment after the announcement that she was giving up the belt, but she declined to say anything at this point.
When it comes to the title itself, we understand that WILD will hold a tournament over the summer to crown a new champion.
You have to admit, this is some spectacular foot-shooting by Amanda. No-showing an event is a no-no in wrestling – when your word is your bond and you demonstrate that you don’t live up to your word, it creates a bad impression – and to do so when your opponent is an 11-year veteran who has strong ties to a number of big women’s promotions and is the President of Pro Wrestling SUN, you may have had your card indelibly marked for a long time to come. In a smaller promotion with local coverage, she may have gotten away with it, but considering the amount of positive coverage that both WILD and Amanda received for her winning the belt back in April, it’s amazing that she would let her best opportunity at stardom slip away. I have no idea what Amanda’s next move will be – she seems to have a number of booking lined up – but she’ll have to do a hell of a job to clean up the mess that is currently all over her reputation right now.
It was a bad night for the champions at the 1 year anniversary of 19 Pro – the internet offshoot of Ice Ribbon. International Ribbon Tag Team Champions Emi Sakura and Ray were defeated by the Lovely Butchers tandem of Hamuko Hoshi & Mochi Miyagi – an impressive feat for Miyagi, who made her pro debut less than six months ago on Christmas Day 2010. Afterwards, the new titleholders issued a challenge to any team from any promotion to come for them.
That title change was somewhat expected; the result of the main event was not.
Just five days after defeating Tsukushi to win the IW19 title, Hitari Manami was pinned with a rollup – known as the Jungle Clutch – by 4’8″ Chii Tomiya to capture the belt. Following the match, Chii nominated Makoto to be her first title defence, but wanted to wait until the title defence time limit was almost up before doing do – that’s 4 weeks, so the match will take place on June 24. In the meantime, the pair will wrestle against each other in singles matches on Ice Ribbon AND 19 Pro shows in non-title affairs. That means they have to come up with nine different and varied matches before the title is put on the line.
The best of the rest
Looks like Chyna’s management had no idea what her client was up to. Vivid Entertainment’s released previews of her in a new porn flick called Backdoor To Chyna. She reportedly says that because of this video, her negotiations with TNA for a contract are dead in the water… Diana promoter and Joshi superstar Kyoko Inoue will be appearing in the US from June 10-12 for signing appearances and a training session in Folcroft, PA. She will also wrestle Sumie Sakai in CZW in Philadelphia while she’s in the country… Velvet Sky turned 30 on Thursday… A word of advice for new wrestlers: do your research to see if there’s someone with a similar gimmick or name out there already. For example, there’s a trainee in Britain’s Frontier Wrestling Alliance with red hair calling herself Scarlett Black – there’s already a Skarlett in Britain, and she’s the Women’s Champ in Extreme World Wrestling, so she’s hardly low profile. She admittedly works the gimmick really well, but she is clearly the love child of Skarlett and Becky James… While we’re on the subject, congratulations to personal friend Becky James, who won the FutureShock Women’s Championship in a gauntlet match on Sunday (hate chu, betch)… Chae, Fyre, Spice and Tygress of the Nitro Girls will reunite on September 24 at Signamania VII in Fairless Hills, PA… There’s a woman on the British scene who’s training with Lucha Brittania called Holly Dee who has THE BEST tattoo sleeve in existence. It’s Batman themed with a massive image of Joker on her upper arm. Seriously, it’s awesome… SHIMMER Champion Madison Eagles, who’s been living in the US with her family for the last six months as part of winning the visa lottery, is returning to Australia later this month. She has only wrestled two matches since her loss to Manami Toyota at night 3 of King Of Trios on April 17 after being involved in a car accident… Tenille Tayla still has one more indy date to honour before reporting to FCW. It’s on June 10 for Melbourne City Wrestling in Australia… Speaking of Australia, Serena Deeb’s also Down Under for a charity show. She’ll wrestle Kellie Skater… A sizeable portion of the SHIMMER roster are on a major health kick at the moment, hitting the gym hard and going teetotal… Mickie James will be making five appearances at CMA Fest in Nashville from today to June 11, including four singing performances… More names have been added to K&S Wrestlefest’s A Hot Summer’s Night at the Ramada Philadelphia Airport hotel on August 27. New names include Asya, Chyna, Heidi Lee Morgan, Shelly Martinez, Madusa and former WWF ring announcer Mike McGuirk… Speaking of Martinez, her new shoot interview with HighSpots is now available – click here for more… Vickie Guerrero’s participated in a bikini photoshoot for her upcoming official website. Good on her, she’s worked hard to achieve that body.
June 1: 19 Pro (Saitama, Japan) – Hamuko Hoshi & Mochi Miyagi b International Ribbon Tag Team Champions Emi Sakura & Ray to win the titles; Tsukasa Fujimoto & Makoto vs. Kaori Hoshi & Big Devil. went to a 10 minute time limit draw; Chii Tomiya b IW19 Singles Champion Hikari Minami to win the title
June 2: Union Pro (Tokyo, Japan) – Chii Tomiya b Batten Tamagawa; Mio & Mo Shirai b Ken Ohka & Cherry
June 2: WWE SuperStars (Des Moines, IA) – Gail Kim b Melina
June 2: Impact Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Angelina Love b Miss Tessmacher
June 3: Gakenohuchi Pro Wrestling (Saitama, Japan) – Tsuyoshi Kikuchi b Miyako Matsumoto; Tsuyoshi Kikuchi b Miyako Matsumoto again.
June 3: Monster Pro Wrestling (Red Deer, Alberta, Canada) – Sarita b Sexy Samantha
June 3: PWA Australia (Liverpool, NSW, Australia) – Jessie McKay b Bombshell Bo and KC Cassidy
June 3: WWE SmackDown (Des Moines, IA) – Alicia Fox & Tamina b AJ & Kaitlyn
June 4: Premier British Wrestling (Dumbarton, Scotland) – Carmel Jacob & Colin McKay b Kay Lee Ray & Noam Dar
June 4: PWA (Canberra, Australia) – Jessie McKay b KC Cassidy
June 4: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Tsukasa Fujimoto & Emi Sakura b Hikari Minami & Maki Narumiya; Chii Tomiya b Makoto; International Ribbon Tag Team Champions Hanuko Hoshi & Mochi Miyagi b Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Keita Yano; Tsukushi b Hikaru Shida
June 4: REINA (Yokohama, Japan) – Mika Iida b Natsumi Kawano; Megumi Yabushita b Aoi Ishibashi; Hiroyo Matsumoto b Silueta; Hailey Hatred b Senri Kuroki; Aki Kanbayashi & Ray b Manami Toyota & Zeuxis
June 4: Sothern Wrestling Entertainment (Smithfield, NC) – Amber O’Neal & Mike Yamaha b Mia Svensson & Sexton Tyler
June 4: NCW: Femmes Fatales (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – Missy b Xandra Bale; Anna Minoushka b Sweet Cherrie; Sherbrooke Connexion b Anastasia Ivy & Angie Skye; Brittney Savage b Cherry Bomb ; LuFisto b La Parfaite Caroline; Mistress Belmont b Mary Lee Rose by DQ; Madison Eagles b Courtney Rush; Cheerleader Melissa & Mercedes Martinez b Kalamity & Portia Perez
June 4: XWA Wrestling (Morecambe, UK) – Jenny Sjodin b Britani Knight to win the Pro Wrestling: EVE Championship
June 5: Squared Circle Wrestling (Syracuse, NY) – Portia Perez b Alexxis Nevaeh
June 5: Diana (Tokyo, Japan) – Annie Social b Ayako Sato; Kaoru Ito b Sari; Keiko Aono, Ayako Sato & Kaoru Ito b Kyoko Inoue, Aya Yuki & Sari
June 5: Japan Women’s Pro-Wrestling (Tokyo, Japan) – KAZUKI & Tomoko Morii b Kayoko Haruyama & masu-me; KAZUKI b masu-me; Leon v Command Bolshoi went to a 15 minute time limit draw; Tsubasa Kuragaki, Hanako Nakamori & Yagami Aoi b Sachie Abe, KAZUKI & Jaguar Yokota
June 5: FutureShock (Stockport, UK) – TAFKA Becky James b Swedish Tigress, Melanie Price, Charlotte Quinn, Hannah Blossom & Holly Blossom to win the Futureshock Women’s Title
June 5: NWA Championship Wrestling from Hollywood (Los Angeles, CA) – Candice LaRae b Thunderkitty; Buggy b Kitana Vera
June 6: WWE Raw (Richmond, VA) – Beth Phoenix & Kelly Kelly b Brie & Nikki Bella
June 8: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Tsukasa Fujimoto v Emi Sakura; Hikaru Shida v Maki Narumiya, Neko Nitta & Meare Naito; Makoto Oishi & Chou-un Shiryu v Hamuko Hoshi & Mochi Miyagi; Chii Tomiya v Makoto
June 11: Wrestling For Rotary (Bendigo, Australia) – Serena Deeb v Kellie Skater
June 11: Combat Zone Wrestling (Philadelphia, PA) – Kyoko Inoue v Sumie Sakai
June 12: World 1 (Jackson, NJ) – Roxie Cotton & Sumie Sakai v Super Sweet and Milo Shizo
June 12: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Rachel Summerlyn v JT LaMotta
June 12: TNA Slammiversary (Orlando, FL) – Mickie James v Angelina Love
June 15: WAVE (Tokyo, Japan) Kagetsu v Nao Komatsu; Tomoka Nakagawa v Ryo Mizunami; Nagisa Nozaki v Misaki Ohata
June 17: Phoenix Pro Wrestling (West Bromwich, England) – Pollyanna v Chrissy Valentine v Bacardi
June 17: Firestorm Pro Wrestling (Mentor On The Lake, OH) – Annie Social v Sassy Stephie
June 18: WAVE (Hiroshima, Japan) – Ayumi Kurihara v Mio Shirai; Cherry v Ryo Mizunami
June 18: AAA TripleMania (Mexico City, Mexico) – Mickie James, Velvet Sky, Angelina Love & Sexi Star v Fabi and Mari Apache, Lolita & Cinthia Moreno
June 19: WAVE (Osaka, Japan) – Kagetsu v Mika Iida; Kana v Ryo Mizunami; Yumi Ohka v Misaki Ohata
June 25: Women Superstars Uncensored: Uncensored Rumble (Union City, NJ) – Mercedes Martinez v Brittany Savage; The Belle Saints v The Boston Shore; Serena v Nikki Roxx; Alicia v Jessicka Havok; Sassy Stephie v Rain; Cindy Rogers v Allison Danger; Kristin Astara v Jillian Hall; Niya v Barbie; Amy Lee, Jamilia Craft & The Soul Sistas v Rick Cataldo, Allysin Kay, Jennifer Cruz & Monique
June 26: Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen Of Queens (Live Oak, TX) – featuring Serena Deeb, Amanda Fox, Mia Yim, Christina Von Eerie, Rachel Summerlyn, Athena, and Daffney
July 6: WAVE (Tokyo, Japan) – Sawako Shimono v Mika Iida; Toshie Uematsu v Cherry; Kana v Tomoka Nakagawa; Ayumi Kurihara v Nagisa Nozaki; Yumi Ohka v Mio Shirai
September 17: IndyGurlz (Boonton, NJ)
September 24: IndyGurlz (Worcester, MA)
October 1 & 2: SHIMMER: Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)
October 8 and 9: Pro Wrestling: EVE v Ice Ribbon (Doncaster, UK)
Got any news, results or upcoming events that you want to tell everyone about? Are you a female wrestler looking to secure more bookings? Let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get the message out there.