Imagine SHIMMER, WSU, ACW, Femmes Fatales, ECCW, AIW, OVW and FCW all clubbing together, putting up their best representatives and holding a tournament where they would be whittled down to one promotion as the best? Can you imagine the politics, jostling, arrangements, hostility, distrust and remarks there could possibly be? On the flip side, there is the chance that all would get on, things would be decided amicably and all would work together for the greater good – highlighting the plethora of great female wrestling talent out there, showing off their top wrestlers and then taking that momentum, breaking off again and working their own areas to capitalise on the buzz that was created in order to sell more tickets, shift more merchandise and create more awareness of their product. After all, women’s wrestling is a niche product within a niche product, and the amount of awareness – and interest – is not as high as it could be.
OK, I’m dealing in extreme hypotheticals on both sides, but if anything, it could create an intriguing night of action, capitalising on the sort of buzz that wrestling fans experienced when the WWF bought WCW a decade ago, throwing up some potential dream matches. Fair enough, it never really worked out that way, but that doesn’t stop wrestling fans from dreaming.
Over in Japan last week, such an event took place. Wednesday’s FLASH tournament featuring talent from Sendai Girls, JWP, Diana, REINA, WAVE, Ice Ribbon, Stardom and a freelance team drew a hugely impressive 1835 fans to Tokyo’s Korukuen Hall – a Super No Vacancy Full House. The first round was 5 on 5, the semi finals were 3 on 3 and the final was a straight tag match.
Having watched it, I have to say that it was a great night of action, with matches, for the most part, ranging from good to very good. Granted, some of the stuff was hit and miss – Hikari Minami had a bit of an off night in the Ice Ribbon v Sendai Girls opening round match, the REINA team felt a little underwhelming, the comedy in the Diana v Team Free match was patchy, Jenny Rose didn’t get enough ring time for my liking and the semi finals felt like an afterthought – but other parts were great to see – for the most part, Ice Ribbon v Sendai was good (especially since the two promotions have a history of crossover matches), JWP v WAVE in the opening round was chaotic yet really fun, Yoshiko and Kagetsu impressed, and the main event of Sendai’s Meiko Satomura & Kagetsu against Stardom’s Nanae Takahashi & Yoshiko was awesome, especially with the younger talent finishing off the match instead of the veterans. On top of that, Satomura’s theme tune was played six times, and that will make me happy any day of the week, as that song is brilliant.
If you take away from the fact that Sendai hosted the event and subsequently won the tournament, you could believe that any number of teams could have won it. JWP looked strong, and Stardom really made a name from themselves, which is great for them, as they have only been around for less than a year, and are debuting their tag team titles very soon. This event proved that there is a promising tag team division waiting to happen.
Another boost for the show is that it didn’t feature some of joshi’s brightest young stars, who have shone on an international level, yet still excelled. No Kana, no Ayumi Kurihara, no Tomoka Nakagawa, no Ray, no Hiroyo Matsumoto, and when it comes to promotions, no OZ Academy. However, the show proved that even without the star power of those names, there is other great talent waiting to be spotted by fans outside of the regular joshi supporters.
Hopefully, the promotions will go back to their regular schedules, carry over some of the buzz of FLASH and work it into storylines to boost interest, which should translate into ticket sales in the future. After a strong show with some great individual performances, it could see new pushes, advance pushes for others and light a fire under others.
Even as someone who is still learning about joshi, I felt heartened by the number of promotions working hard – not all necessarily in the same format (for example, Ice Ribbon and Diana are more fun and entertainment-based while JWP, WAVE and Sendai are more serious wrestling-based) – but can agree to come together to help promote each other’s products so they can all flourish and help aspiring female wrestlers, as well as tease money out of the pockets of curious wrestling fans.
If you wish to watch the tournament, we’ve put it all in a playlist on YouTube. Click here to watch.
It should also be noted that doing guest commentary was one Bull Nakano, who is still putting on weight ahead of her retirement show on January 8. She is not back to where she was when she was wrestling, but it looks as if she is getting closer to that magical 200lb mark.
Chris Masters has alleged that one Diva on the SmackDown roster gave Michael Hayes sexual favours to keep her job – considering there aren’t many, there’s been speculation on a number of forums about who it is, and the same couple of names have kept cropping up.
Taryn “Tiffany” Terrell alluded to similar practices being suggested to her when she was in WWE, though later retracted the statement. Regardless of whether the allegation is true or not is irrelevant. Considering the opinion of a number of wrestling fans about women in the business, a tease like that tarnishes every Diva out there, and possibly tarnishes women wrestlers in general. Female wrestlers have a hard enough time being taken seriously as bona fide performers and not glorified ringrats that they’re always doing the equivalent of trying to ice-skate uphill. Purporting that things like sexual favours happen at the very top of the tree makes that hill even steeper.
Do I think it’s true? Couldn’t say. I just hope that whoever is alleged to have done it has more self-worth and dignity than to compromise herself just for a payday. If said person did do it, she’s got to wonder if it was worth it.
The best of the rest
Former Knockouts Champion Taylor Wilde is moving to Brighton, England in February, where her fiance lives. She’s looking for a job in the fire service after qualifying in Canada… When asked for comment by TMZ, Torrie Wilson said she had no idea Stacy Keibler was dating George Clooney… If you think you’ve heard Alicia Fox’s new music before, it’s because it’s not new. It was Maria’s original music before it was switched to “With Legs Like That”… Speaking of Fox, on last week’s Raw, her match against Natalya lost 981,000 viewers, which means more people turned this match off than all but 1 or 2 matches all year. Presumably that’s why she didn’t win this week’s Divas battle royal. For the record, Eve won to become the #1 contender to the Divas title again… Madison Eagles has been added to the Joshimania lineup. There’s now just a month to go… Jemma Palmer quit Big Brother on Wednesday… Madusa wasn’t too impressed with Eve Torres in her match against Beth Phoenix at Vengeance. Eve responded, saying she wasn’t going anywhere… Looks like Wrestlicious is all set for a second season. Viacom has apparently sent the promotion a letter of intent to air new episodes… The Skarlett v Lucy Clayden match at WAWW on November 19 will be for the EWW Women’s Championship… Jenny Sjodin will defend the EVE Championship on Sunday night against Super Janey B at SWE’s show in St Neots, England… Tomoka Nakagawa is the number one contender to Kana’s SMASH Divas Title after winning a 4-way against Syuri, Makoto & Ray last Friday… Get well soon to Kay Lee Ray, who suffered torn ligaments in her foot in her death match against Carmel Jacob in Glasgow, Scotland… Kelly Kelly, the Bella Twins and Rosa Mendes will be signing autographs at the WrestleMania XXVIII ticket launch in Miami on Friday… Congratulations to Kc Spinelli, who won the ECCW Women’s Championship from Nicole Matthews on Friday night… Knockouts Tag Team Champion Tara was booked to look like a total jobber against Gail Kim on last week’s Impact. Fair enough, Kim needed to look strong ahead of her Turning Point match against Knockouts Champ Velvet Sky, but why not use an enhancement talent as the cannon fodder instead? Tara tweeted that it didn’t help her or the KO’s Tag Team division… Maryse was released by WWE on Friday. She marked the occasion by receiving a “release cake” and organising a party for herself. Chances are we won’t see her in wrestling again, though she has so many options available to her… Looks like Melina and John Morrison’s on/off relationship is off at the moment… Congratulations to Ayumi Kurihara and Kana who won WAVE’s Dual Shock WAVE tag team tournament to with the promotion’s Tag Team Championships… Ringstars reports that Hailey Hatred’s sister Ashley will start training to become a wrestler next year… Marcela ended Amapola’s four-year reign as CMLL Women’s Champion at the weekend, coming back from 1 fall down to win 2-1. It was her THIRTEENTH attempt at winning the title from Amapola… Even if Serena Deeb hadn’t suffered that concussion her CHIKARA debut match with Sara Del Rey wouldn’t have happened – the event was cancelled due to the snowstorm in Reading, PA… Shazza McKenzie and New Zealand’s Kellyanne English will debut for NWA Pro Australia at the end of this month… Indie wrestler Allison Wonderland married Brody Hoofer at the weekend. Austin Aries was a groomsman… Jennifer Blake tweeted that she annoyed a female fan so much during a show on Sunday that the fan flashed her boobs at her. Better than pulling out a knife or gun, I guess… Speaking of Blake, she is currently unwell with some sort of respiratory illness… SHIMMER will return on March 17-18 next year… Former WWE Women’s Champion Amy “Lita” Dumas was backstage at last night’s Raw. She lives in Atlanta and dropped by.
October 23: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Rachel Summerlyn & Jessica James b Jordan Jensen & Jojo Bravo, Jack-O-Lantern & Black Rocker and Mat Fitchett & Gregory James in a 4-way; Athena b Barbie Hayden, Portia Perez & Lillie Mae in a 4-way; Angel Blue b Barbie Hayden; Portia Perez & JT LaMotta b Rachel Summerlyn & Darin Childs
October 24: WAVE (Tokyo, Japan) – Ryo Mizunami, Aya Yuki, & Sawako Shimono b Mio Shirai, Rabbit Miyu, & Nana Kawasa; Misaki Ohata, Cherry, & Bambi b GAMI, Sakura Hirota, & Tomoka Nakagawa; Toshie Uematsu & Moeka Haruhi b Shu Shibutani & Kana; Yumi Ohka b Hiren; Hiren v Aya Yuki went to a time-limit draw
October 25: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – La Seductora, Princesa Blanca & Princesa Sugheit b Ayumi, Estrellita & Luna Mágica
October 25: WWE NXT (Houston, TX) – Kaitlyn b Tamina
October 26: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Kurumi & Ribbon Takanashi b Hikari Minami & Ken Ohka; Miyako Morino b Tsukushi; Emi Sakura b Maki Narumiya; Tsukasa Fujimoto, Hikaru Shida & Dorami Nagano b Sachie Abe, masu-me & Morley
October 26: SMASH (Osaka, Japan) – Kana & Mio Shirai b Syuri & Makoto
October 27: WWE Superstars (Houston, TX) – Eve Torres & Kelly Kelly b Nikki & Brie Bella
October 27: Flash Tournament (Tokyo, Japan) – JWP (Command Bolshoi, Kayoko Haruyama, Kaori Yoneyama, Leon, Hanako Nakamori) b WAVE (GAMI, Toshie Uematsu, Yumi Ohka, Shu Shibutani, Moeka Haruhi); SENDAI GIRLS (Meiko Satomura, DASH Chisako, Sendai Sachiko, Kagetsu, Miyako Morino) b Ice Ribbon (Emi Sakura, Tsukasa Fujimoto, Hikaru Shida, Hikari Minami, Tsukushi); STARDOM (Natsuki*Taiyo, Yoko Bito, Yoshiko, Mayu Iwatani, Saki Kashima) b REINA (Yumiko Hotta, Aki Kanbayashi, Aoi Ishibashi, La Commandante, Zeuxis); DIANA (Kyoko Inoue, Kaoru Ito, Keiko Aono, Jenny Rose, Annie Social) b Team Freelance (Jaguar Yokota, Manami Toyota, Sakura Hirota, Mio Shirai, Nancy Mari); SENDAI GIRLS (Meiko Satomura, Hiren, Ryo Mizunami) b JWP (Kayoko Haruyama, Tsubasa Kuragaki, Nana Kawasa); STARDOM (Nanae Takahashi, Natsuki*Taiyo, Yoko Bito) b DIANA (Kyoko Inoue, Keiko Aono, Sareee); SENDAI GIRLS (Meiko Satomura, Kagetsu) b STARDOM (Nanae Takahashi, Yoshiko)
October 27: Impact Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Gail Kim b Tara
October 28: SMASH (Tokyo, Japan) – Kana b Aki Shizuku; Tomoka Nakagawa b Syuri, Makoto & Ray in a 4-way
October 28: CMLL (Guadalajara, Mexico) – Dalis la Caribena, Estrellita & Goya Kong b Princesa Sugei, Seductora & Mima Shimoda
October 28: 19 Pro (Saitama, Japan) – Tsukushi & Kurumi b Tsukasa Fujimoto & Dorami Nagano
October 28: NWA Hammerlock (Tonbridge, England) – Hanna Harmstone b Rhia O’Reilly
October 28: AAW (Merrionette Park, IL) – Mena Libra b MsChif
October 28: Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling (Surrey, NC, Canada) – Kc Spinelli b Nicole Matthews to win the ECCW Women’s Championship
October 28: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Marcela b Amapola to win the CMLL Women’s Championship
October 29: New Japan Pro Wrestling (Kanagawa, Japan) – Aja Kong & Carlos Amano b Mayumi Ozaki & Chikayo Nagashima
October 29: Classic Championship Wrestling (Tillsonburg, Ontario, Canada) – Cherry Bomb b Ianna Titus
October 29: Mid Missouri Wrestling Alliance (Lemay, MO) – Stacy O’Brien b Jimmy D
October 29: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Kurumi b Tsukushi; masume b Dorami Nagano; Emi Sakura & Masahiro Takanashi b Nasa Kawasa & Rabbit Mito; Leon b Hikaru Shida
October 29: Impact Championship Wrestling (Queens, NY) – Mia Yim b Angel Orsini
October 29: REINA 19 (Tokyo, Japan) – Sachie Abe b Lady Afrodita; Hanako Nakamori b Aoi Ishibashi; Leon b Dama de Hierro; Aki Kanbayashi & Koji Ishinriki b Lingerie Muto & Zeuxis; Yumiko Hotta b La Comandante
October 29: Ultimate Wrestling Entertainment (Poteau, OK) – Amber O’Neal b Simply Luscious
October 29: Nitro Pro Wrestling Alliance (Blackpool, England) – April Davids & Jenny Sjodin b Carmel Jacob & Kay Lee Ray
October 29: Combat Revolution Wrestling (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – Kalamity & LuFisto b Angie Skye & Missy
October 29: Scottish Wrestling Alliance (Uddingston, Scotland) – CJ Hunter & Nikki Storm b Dickie Divers & Kirsty Love
October 29: Heartland Wrestling Assocation (Norwood, OH) – Nevaeh b Angelus Layne
October 30: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Emi Sakura b Dorami Nagano; Ray b Neko Nitta; Kurumi & Tsukushi b Tsukasa Fujimoto & Hikaru Shida; Kurumi won a costume-change Halloween Battle Royal
October 30: WAVE (Osaka, Japan) – Moeka Haruhi b Shu Shibutani; Command Bolshoi, Tomoka Nakagawa, & Kagetsu b Ryo Mizunami, Aya Yuki, & Hiroyo Matsumoto; Kayoko Haruyama b Mio Shirai; Aja Kong b Sawako Shimono; Yumi Ohka, Bambi, & Apple Miyuki b Sakura Hirota, Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru, & Policewoman; Ayako Hamada b Kaori Yoneyama; GAMI b Misaki Ohata; Kana & Ayumi Kurihara b Toshie Uematsu & Ran Yu-Yu to win the Dual Shock WAVE Tag League
October 30: CHIKARA (Williamsport, PA) – Sara Del Rey b Tursas via DQ
October 31: WWE Raw (Atlanta, GA) – Eve Torres won a battle royal
November 1: Indy (Reynosa, Mexico) – Melissa Anderson & NY Knockout Nikki v Lluvia & Marcela
November 4: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Barbi Hayden v Athena v Lillie Mae v Angel Blue
November 4: Grand Pro Wrestling (Wigan, England) – April Davids v Jenny Sjodin
November 4: Melbourne City Wrestling (Tullamarine, Australia) – Eliza Sway v Kellie Skater
November 4: New Scene Wrestling (Birmingham, England) – Shanna v Alpha Female v Jemma Palmer
November 5: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Rachel and Jessica’s Excellent Tag Team v LOS v Team Sex v The Lost Boys; Portia Perez v Angel Blue
November 5: All Japan Pro Wrestling (Taiwan) – Ultimo Dragon, BUSHI & Makoto v Dark Dragon, BLACK BUSHI & Cheerleader Melissa
November 6: All Japan Pro Wrestling (Taiwan) – Cheerleader Melissa v Makoto
November 6: Southside Wrestling Entertainment – Jenny Sjodin v Super Janey B
November 6: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Barbie Hayden v Athena v Portia Perez v Rachel Summerlyn v Jessica James v Lillie Mae
November 6: New Scene Wrestling (Birmingham, England) – Alpha Female v Shanna
November 6: Happy Hour (Roppongi, Japan) – Dump Matsumoto v Jenny Rose
November 12: Purely Obsessed Wrestling World (Villa Park, IL) – Taylor Made & Melanie Cruise v SeaMan & DeeMan; Nikki St John v Sassy Stephie
November 12: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Arisa Hoshiki & Mayu Iwatani v Saki Kashima & Tomoka Nakagawa; Yuzuki Aikawa & Yoko Bito v Yuu Yamagata & Eri Susa; Yoshiko v Hiroyo Matsumoto; Nanae Takahashi v Natsuki*Taiyo
November 13: TNA Turning Point (Orlando, FL) – Gail Kim v Velvet Sky; Ink, Inc & Toxxin v Mexican America & Sarita
November 13: CHIKARA High Noon (Philadelphia, PA) – Sara Del Rey v Jakob Hammermeier
November 14: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Live Oak, TX) – Portia Perez v Rachel Summerlyn
November 19: World Association of Women’s Wrestling (Norwich, England) – Sweet Saraya v Allison Danger; Queen Maya v Amazon; Destiny v Miss Mina; Busty Keegan v Nikki Knight; Liberty v Penelope; Lucy Clayden v Skarlett
November 19: International Wrestling Cartel (Meadville, PA) – Traci Brooks v Gail Kim
November 19: Newcastle Pro Wrestling (New Lambton, Australia) – Bombshell Bo v Shazza McKenzie
November 19: Women Superstars Uncensored (Long Island, NY) – Jetta & Rain v The Boston Shore; TBA v Melina; Mercedes Martinez, Alicia & Brittney Savage v Jessicka Havok, Allysin Kay & Sassy Stephie; Nikki Styx v Violet v Mo’Nique v Jessie Brook v Barbie v Rick Cataldo; Jennifer Cruz v Niya; Jana & Latasha v Tina San Antonio v Marti Belle
November 25: Absolute Intense Wrestling (Cleveland, Ohio) – Mickie Knuckles v Mia Yim
November 25: NWA Pro Australia (Adelaide, Australia) – Shazza McKenzie v Kellyanne English
December 2: Impact Championship Wrestling (Elmhurst, NY) – Mia Yim v Angel Orsini
January 8: Bull Nakano retirement show (Tokyo, Japan)
March 3: Women Superstars Uncensored (Deer Park, NY) – Mercedes Martinez v Jessicka Havok; Sassy Stephie & Allysin Kay v Brittney Savage & Alicia
March 10: nCw Femmes Fatales (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
March 17-18: SHIMMER Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)
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