Ringbelles Roundup (30 August 2011)
After three weeks of leading with Melina, let’s have something different…
A report by Power Slam Magazine claims that former WWE Divas Mickie James and Christy Hemme are earning around $100,000 in TNA, while everyone else is unlikely to be earning much more than $38,000, and that’s only if they’re booked on a regular basis. As they’re only paid on a per appearance agreement, there’s a strong chance that it could be a considerable amount less. It’s likely to be acts like Velvet Sky – who is in favour with TNA – who is on that amount, while others will be on less.
If you factor in that they need to pay their own expenses for things like road transport and accommodation during house show circuits, and then tax needs to be paid on their earnings, that’s a really shitty wage for wrestlers in what is supposed to be the number 2 wrestling promotion in the United States. In the past, we’ve heard of female wrestlers in TNA having issues with their income – Gail Kim left because of it, Kharma pointed it out after she was released from the promotion, Taylor Wilde admitted having to work at Sunglass Hut while as Knockouts Champion to make ends meet, and Madison Rayne was reportedly unable to work the house show circuits at one point last year because the income wouldn’t have covered her costs.
If that is the case, good for James and Hemme – you’re getting a good amount of money for the work that you do. In fact, the biggest praise must go to Christy herself, who would be getting that much for being a ring announcer, and doesn’t have to take any punishment in the ring. I support them getting as much money as they can. After all, we live in a capitalist society – unless you’re reading this in China, Cuba or North Korea…
It is telling that the two names reported to be pulling in the big money are former WWE talents – as the insinuation is the TNA is willing to pay top dollar for them because they believe that they bring fans with them, which is unlikely, as rating don’t move on Impact week to week – and the girls who come straight from the independent scene are just chicken feed to them, and should be grateful for whatever they get. Winter probably doesn’t command the same amount of money, as she never was a hit in WWE…
On Friday, Cookie left TNA (it appears her contract simply wasn’t renewed, and she was told by TNA AFTER her current deal had expired, which shows how TNA looks after its employees) and reverted back to her Becky Bayless character. She would have been one of the girls who was on the lower end of the pay scale, as she was rarely on TNA TV, and because she was not booked as a wrestler, she was at the mercy of whether her charge Robbie E was booked on the house shows. However, he wasn’t being booked on a regular basis either, so she would have been boxed into a TNA contract which works on a per appearance pay deal, and not getting any appearances. Meanwhile, should any promotion wish to book her, they would have to go through TNA and pay them a fee for the privilege of booking a wrestler that the promotion themselves don’t even book. Getting out and booking her own dates is the best move for her.
However, any woman complaining about her wage in TNA should have a look at their negotiation skills. For example, nobody MADE them sign a deal for such a pittance. Granted, they probably do it to gain more attention and exposure for the future, but be honest – how often have you seen women go from TNA to WWE? Gail Kim doesn’t really count, as she was at WWE beforehand. Kharma may fit into the bill though, but her unique look made her stand out from the pack anyway. Of the 11 TNA Knockouts who regularly wrestle – so that doesn’t include Traci Brooks or Karen Jarrett – seven of them – Angelina Love, Brooke Tessmacher, Jackie, Mickie James, ODB, Tara and Winter – were all on WWE contracts, be they developmental or full deals, or wrestled at WWE’s farm system and were in the right place to be spotted.
If the women made a conscious decision to make sure they’re paid what they are worth, they may get canned, but if TNA really values them, they will pay up. However, by accepting that small amount, they’re essentially conceding that they’re not worth more than that, and that’s a real shame. Allison Danger has her Womanist Revolution going on to try and get more respect for female wrestlers, and her manifesto would burst into flames at the way TNA pays the bulk of its women, as well as how they seemingly accept it.
Tara (who we hope is on more than $38,000, considering her longevity and status as another former WWE Diva) also blogged about the money situation, saying there were “inaccuracies” in the article, but didn’t elaborate. By that, I would imagine that she is making out that she earns a decent amount, but is unable to speak for everyone else. However, I know that at my job, I have no idea what anyone else earns. I would imagine that as long as you don’t go shouting it around, she wouldn’t know what ODB was pulling in per show, for example. Like those reporters who stand outside a crime scene where no police officer will tell the reporter anything, but the anchor back in the studio has all the latest details as it’s being fed to him through press officers and online reports, Tara may be too close to the actual situation to be able to make any real statement about it on a big scale.
Changes are afoot in Ice Ribbon. The International Ribbon Tag Team Championship is vacant after Makoto (who was holding the belts alongside Emi Sakura) departed the promotion to join SMASH. Her departure was something of a surprise, but not as much as the announcement that 4’8” former IW19 Champion Chii Tomiya was to leave Ice Ribbon and become a freelance wrestler. She said similar to Makoto she wants to expand and get more experience wrestling in other groups, and at 20 years old she didn’t want to get to comfortable in one place, though she will continue to wrestle dates for Ice Ribbon, as well as offering her services to promotions like JWP and REINA. We wish Tomiya – who is changing her name to Micro – all the best for the future.
A tournament for the vacant tag team championship belts will take place in September. However, there will be no new IW19 Champion after Tomiya vacated the belt earlier this month – not in its current guise anyway.
That belt is being altered so it is for wrestlers aged 19-years and under – presumably for its Ice Ribbon TEENS show – but the reason why it is changing is because it was announced last week that the 19 Pro Internet show is going to end. Starting in spring last year, the hour long programme has showcased Ice Ribbon wrestlers online as a supplement to its regular shows which are recorded for TV. The Internet show will still continue, but instead of live matches, there will be repeats of past Ice Ribbon contests. If this means we get full matches – like CHIKARA’s current format of its Podcast-A-Go-Go – it will be fair enough, but if all we get are clipped highlights, it’s a step down for fans who enjoyed watching the show every week.
The best of the rest
Maryse had her surgery for her hernia on Wednesday. Everything went smoothly… Wonder of Stardom Champion Yazuki Aikawa had to miss a Stardom date at the weekend due to injuries she received during her match with Dump Matsumoto the week before… When asked about how she felt about her boyfriend Matt Hardy spiralling downwards, Reby Sky replied on her Formspring “Hurt / exasperated / exhausted / furious / tired of being lied to / tired of enablers. Just tired”… April Davids has been named the number one contender to the Pro Wrestling: EVE Championship, currently held by her Northern Shooters/European Empire teammate Jenny Sjodin… Tenille Tayla has elected to return to Canada from her native Australia to rehab her shoulder… Becky Bayless is booked to appear at WSU’s iPPV on November 19… Speaking of Bayless, she and Ashley Massaro (remember her?) have both been added to the WILD roster. Considering Massaro’s done nothing of note since 2006, I think there are better women to invest in… Lady JoJo won the OVW Women’s Title from Izza Belle Smothers on Wednesday. She lost it 3 weeks ago after an 11 month reign…Jessie McKay is returning to CHIKARA in October… Yumi Ohka will be at nCw Femmes Fatales in Montreal on October 8… Daffney was arrested and charged with a DUI last month in Hillsborough, FL, just days after her 36th birthday. She was bailed on a $500 bond… Former WWE Diva Lauren Jones was invited to a house show in Jackson, MS. She’s now an entrepreneur and designed a shoe which gained some celebrity exposure after it was seen being worn by Jennifer Aniston & Jennifer Lopez… Former Fabulous Moolah protege and WWWF Women’s Tag Team Champion Donna Christanello died from a heart attack last week, aged 69. Born Mary Alfonsi, the South Carolina native wrestled between 1963 and 1991 and was part of the WWF in the mid 1980s, where she was part of Sensational Sherri’s team at the 1987 Survivor Series… The K&S WrestleFest show in Philadelphia on Saturday was affected by Hurricane Irene. Christy Hemme, Traci Brooks and Sassy Stephie all missed it due to not being able to get there. Wendi Richter, Madusa, Annie Social, Amber O’Neal, Veda Scott, Debra, Sojo Bolt and more were still there though… Angelina Love and Trish Stratus tried to work a sense of animosity between them before Sunday’s Fan Expo Canada event through their Twitter accounts… Speaking of Twitter, make sure you don’t write what you think is a private message then post it n your timeline. Kaitlyn did that at the weekend, saying that she “hated” her entrance music, calling it “generic”… After calling Melina the best wrestler in the world a year ago, Bret Hart is now throwing his weight behind the Bella Twins. Bret’s niece Natalya must love that.
August 22: CMLL (Puebla, Mexico) – Dark Angel, Goya Kong & Lady Apache b Amapola, La Seductora & Princesa Blanca
August 24: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Lady JoJo b Izza Belle Smothers to win the OVW Women’s Title
August 25: New York Wrestling Connection (Deer Park, NY) – Nikki Styx b Violet Stevens, Rick Cataldo & Marti Belle
August 25: Impact Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Velvet Sky, ODB & Jackie b Angelina Love, Rosita & Sarita
August 26: PWA Queensland (Logan Diggers, Australia) – Baby Devine b Storm to win the PWAQ Women’s Underground Championship
August 26: Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling (Surrey, BC, Canada) – Nicole Matthews b Sammy Hall
August 26: 19 Pro (Saitama, Japan) – Hikari Minami & Chii Tomiya b Sayaka Obihiro & Kaori Yoneyama
August 27: NWA Hammerlock (Cheshunt, England) – April Davids b Rhia O’Reilly
August 27: CHIKARA (Easton, PA) – Hallowicked b Sara Del Rey
August 27: REINA (Tokyo, Japan) – Mia Yim b Luscious Latasha; Leon b Lady Afrodita; Hiroyo Matsumoto & Tomoka Nakagawa b Bolshoi Kid & Tomoko Mori; Zeuxis b Sendai Sachiko; Dama de Hierro, La Commandante & Mima Shimoda b Aki Kanbayashi, Saya & Yumiko Hotta
August 27: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Emi Sakura & Neko Nitta b Hamuko Hoshi & Mochi Miyagi; Kaori Yoneyama b Maki Narumiya; Chii Tomiya & Hikari Manami b Kurumi & Tsukushi; Hikaru Shida b Sakaya Obihiro
August 28: FutureShock Wrestling (Stockport, England) – TAFKA Becky James b April Davids
August 28: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Hamuko Hoshi & Mochi Miyagi b Hikaru Shida & Kurumi; Tsukasa Fujimoto b Sakaya Obihiro; CHANGO & Tsukushi b Ken Ohka & Masa Takanashi; Hikari Manami b Chii Tomiya
August 28: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Eri Susa b Saki Kashima; Arisa Hoshiki b Eri Susa; Arisa Hoshiki b Saki Kashima; Io Shirai v Yoko Bito went to a time limit draw; Natsuki Taiyo & Yuzupon Mask b Hiroyo Matsumoto & Nanae Takahashi
August 28: JWP (Tokyo, Japan) – Kayoko Haruyama & Tsubasa Kuragaki b Nana Kawasa & Rabbit Mito; Leon & masu-me b Manami Katsu & Sachie Abe; Command Bolshoi, KAZUKI & Tomoko Mori b Hanako Nakamori, Hikari Minami & Kaori Yoneyama
August 28: WAVE (Tokyo, Japan) – Sawako Shimono b Nao Komatsu; Moeka Haruhi & Cherry b Aya Yuki & Ryo Mizunami; Kayoko Haruyama & Tsubasa Kuragaki b Sakura Hirota & Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru; Toshie Uematsu & Ran Yu-Yu b Mio & Io Shirai and Mari & Fabi Apache in a 3-way; Kana b Ayumi Kurihara; Yumi Ohka, Misaki Ohata & Ayako Hamada b GAMI, Aja Kong & Tomoka Nakagawa; AKINO b Shu Shibutani
August 28: Lucha Libre USA (Albuquerque, NM) – Lady Luck b Rebecca Reyes
August 29: World Association of Wrestling (Great Yarmouth, England) – Amy-Lee Krammer & Amazon b Destiny & Black Widow
August 29: WWE Raw (Tulsa, OK) – Brie Bella b Kelly Kelly
September 1: Impact Wrestling (Huntsville, AL) – Winter v Mickie James
September 2: Pro Wrestling Alliance (Liverpool, Australia) – Shazza McKenzie v Nicole Matthews
September 3: Pro Wrestling Women’s Alliance (Sydney, Australia) – Madison Eagles v Jessie McKay v Nicole Matthews; Evie v Kellie Skater
September 3: CLASH Wrestling (Taylor, MI) – Mena Libra v Ivelisse Velez
September 3: Ring Wars Carolina (Lumberton, NC) – Mia Svensson v Nicole Poliki
September 4: Happy Hour (Tokyo, Japan) – Jenny Rose & Kaoru Ito v Hailey Hatred & Manami Toyota
September 8: SMASH (Tokyo, Japan) – Kana v Serena Deeb; Ayumi Kurihara & Ray v Makoto & Syuri; Mio Shirai v Takuya Kito
September 10: New Scene Wrestling (Birmingham, England) – April Davids v Jenny Sjodin; Jemma Palmer v Darcy Steele
September 17: IndyGurlz (Boonton, NJ) – Mercedes Martinez v (Portia Perez selection)
September 17: CHIKARA (Brockton, MA) – Sara Del Rey v Ares
September 18: CMLL (Tokyo, Japan) – Amapola v Ayumi Kurihara
September 18: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Mia Yim v ACH
September 24: IndyGurlz (Shrewsbury, MA) – Sara Del Rey v Mercedes Martinez
September 24: Great Championship Wrestling (Levittown, PA) – Sassy Stephie v Rain; Alicia & Brittney Savage v Allysin Kay & Jessicka Havok
September 24; Southside Wrestling Entertainment (Huntingdon, England) – Super Janey B v Rhia O’Reilly
September 25: Absolute Intense Wrestling (Lakewood, OH) Sassy Stephie v Madison Rayne
September 30: AAW (Berwyn, IL) – MsChif, Nevaeh & Jessie McKay v Mena Libra, Sassy Stephie & Madison Eagles
October 1 & 2: SHIMMER: Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)
October 2: Absolute Intense Wrestling (Cleveland, OH) – Hailey Hatred v Cherry Bomb
October 8: nCw Femmes Fatales (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – Tiana Ringer v Mercedes Martinez; Tomoka Nakagawa v Portia Perez v Sweet Cherrie; Cheerleader Melissa v Mary Lee Rose
October 8 and 9: Pro Wrestling: EVE v Ice Ribbon (Nottingham, UK) – April Davids v Jenny Sjodin; Kay Lee Ray v Carmel Jacob
November 5: New Scene Wrestling (Birmingham, England) – Alpha Female v Jenny Sjodin; April Davids & Jemma Palmer v Darcy Steele & Becky James
November 6: New Scene Wrestling (Birmingham, England) – Alpha Female v Jenny Sjodin
November 19: World Association of Women’s Wrestling (Norwich, England)
November 19: Women Superstars Uncensored (Union City, NJ) – Jetta & Rain v The Boston Shore; Serena Deeb v Melina; Mercedes Martinez, Alicia & Brittney Savage v Jessicka Havok, Allysin Kay & Sassy Stephie
March 3, 2012 (Union City, NJ) – Mercedes Martinez v Jessicka Havok
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.
- Lee Burton