Unable to decide what match to choose for this week’s Retro, I threw the decision over to you, the Ringbelles reader. I turned to our Twitter and Facebook to make the call on whether I should feature a hardcore match, or an old-school affair. Without any more information than that, we received votes on both sides – even asking other Ringbelles staff members, wrestlers and friends.

Result: stalemate.

Therefore, being left with the casting vote, I did what anybody would do – sit on the fence. So for this week’s Retro, you have BOTH a hardcore match and an old-school contest. The first is a violent affair from the 2007 Queen of the Deathmatches (available as part of the Pride and Passion set from Highspots) between Mickie Knuckles and Roxie Cotton (now Gabby Gilbert), which Roxie discussed with us on the Women Of Wrestling Podcast earlier this year, describing it as “fun”, and saying she “would do it again”.

The match in question is a Barbed Wire Ropes Taipei Death Match, where both participants tape up their fists, cover them in broken glass and commence a fistic barrage of sharp, sharp punchery. This was both Knuckles’ and Cotton’s third match of the night, having to go through the losers’ bracket in the semi finals after losing their respective opening round matches.

The old-school match featured Denmark’s Desiree Petersen taking on Judy Martin in a World Wrestling Federation contest from New York’s Madison Square Garden on June 21, 1985. Both Petersen and Martin were trained by the Fabulous Moolah (Desiree was directed towards her after Stu Hart refused to tutor her) and found their way into the WWF that way. In their time in the company, both held the WWF Women’s Tag Team Championship (Martin would hold the title alongside Leilani Kai as one half of the Glamour Girls), and wrestled each other in a number of contests during the spring and summer of 1985 in singles contests.

This match from MSG is full of drama, but may be a little slow-paced for newer fans. Stick with it though, as it is great.

Duke of Bridgewater says:

While I’m an absolute Mickie Knuckles mark, even she can’t make me like the barbed wire and lighttubes stuff.

Roxie Cotton gave the Deathmatch tournament the much needed comedy note. Otherwise it would have been unbearable.

(I’d love to see the aggressive Gabby Gilbert against Mickie Knuckles. How about it, AIW?)

By 1985’s standards, the WWF match was pretty hardcore too. It’s a great match indeed.