I’ve been struggling with this week’s Roundup, as I wanted to write something about the Slammys, and the words just aren’t coming. Partly because there is nothing to say. What started as anger and frustration towards WWE has changed to a huge chunk of apathy – and that’s the worst feeling I could have towards it. At least with dislike, there is an emotion there. These days, I think a Vulcan could have more feeling towards WWE than I could. A real shame, considering that I wouldn’t have become a wrestling fan if it wasn’t for the WWF back in 1991.
I guess something cracked after yesterday’s Raw, when it became patently obvious that the Divas have had an utter stinker of a year. When WWE chose to go with Divalicious Moment of the Year instead of the usual Diva of the Year award, you could tell that they were screwed, mostly because nobody had a defining run this year, and Kelly Kelly’s Divas title run was the thing that could be most celebrated, and that was a disappointment, barring a couple of weeks leading up to SummerSlam’s match with Beth Phoenix. Even the appearance of Lita on the show was muted, as absence has not made the heart grow fonder in the eyes of the fans. Meanwhile, the appearance by Phoenix and her Pin-Up Strong teammate Natalya was also something that you could easily glaze over. Nothing matters. Nothing has an effect. Sure, Phoenix is the best Divas champ that WWE can have right now, but her alliance with Natalya blew up on the launchpad and has been a massive disappointment – partly due to there being no direction for the gimmick, and partly because she has precisely zero credible challengers for the belt.
That aforementioned couple of weeks before SummerSlam when Beth became a badass and was on course to win the Divas belt felt exciting, but was stuffed when Kelly beat her twice in a row on successive pay-per-views. One defeat would have been OK, as she could have gone batshit crazy and pounded Kelly into a grease spot on the subsequent challenge to win the belt and establish herself as the one to watch. Instead, her title reign began as the equivalent of trying to run to full speed through treacle filled with broken glass.
Meanwhile, the only other exciting moment in the Divas division was the few weeks in April and May when Kharma debuted and started to plough her way through the girls, only to bow out due to becoming pregnant. After that happened, everything that WWE had planned seemed to go on hold and we entered this pattern of circling around the airport until Kharma Airways comes in to land in a few months time. However, the Divas division has suffered a shedload of damage from weak champions, weak storylines and weak matches on PPV and pointless matches on TV. It’s a shame, but when the standard bearer of the division is Kelly Kelly, you know things are in trouble. Having said that, Kelly did have a good run at the start of the year when she was hanging with Edge against Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero, but when she was passed up for WrestleMania, that momentum died. After that, LayCool split, had their blow-off match and Michelle McCool bowed out of WWE, and everything was thrown into flux. It happened again a month later when Kharma had to step back, and then Kelly’s run with the Divas belt was bland as you like.
Speaking of WM, Snooki – who went into WrestleMania XXVII as a hate figure and after a handspring elbow, managed to turn most people’s opinion of her – won a Slammy for being the A-Lister of the year. Out of all the women who have stepped into the ring this year, it is only she who has been unscathed by WWE’s booking. How telling is that? It seems that the longer you are there, the bigger opportunity the writers have to give up on you. Snooki may be the smartest female wrestler that WWE has had this year.
All Japan Pro Wrestling tends to not have women on its shows. Fair enough – that’s the promotion’s prerogative – but recently, a few women have been booked onto cards. Admittedly, the cards in Taiwan last month featuring Cheerleader Melissa and Makoto were more exhibition shows than anything, but at the Fan Appreciation Day, Yuzuki Aikawa, Nanae Takahashi, Natsuki*Taiyo and actress Rina Takeda all found their way into a six-person tag on Sunday. Could this be a sign of AJPW bringing females into the mix, or is it a special attraction, much like Maria Menounos’ appearance in an eight woman tag team match on WWE’s Tribute To The Troops tonight?
If All Japan is thinking of having a women’s division or having the women interacting with the guys, like you would see in CHIKARA and on occasion in SMASH, then go for it full-bore. If it’s only there to fill a quota, tick a box or try to draw in the odd joshi fan, then I would recommend that AJPW doesn’t bother. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if it was a treat or the beginnings of something new.
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.
The best of the rest
Following her DUI arrest a week ago, former Tough Enough contestant Rima Fakih is scheduled to appear in court in Highland Park, MI on December 21. If convicted, she faces up to 93 days in jail… Lita was arrested for speeding over the weekend… Kaitlyn’s heel turn on AJ and alignment with Beth Phoenix & Natalya on last week’s SmackDown never made it to air… Ann Brookstone has been mentioned as a possible nominee for next year’s Future Legend award, issued by the Cauliflower Alley Club. Cheerleader Melissa is a previous recipient… Pimpinela Escarleta will defend the AAA Reina de Reinas title against Sexy Star in a lumberjack match on December 16… Wendi Richter will be inducted into the Pro Wrestling Hall Of Fame next May. It’s the most legitimate Hall Of Fame in the biz… Apparently a lot of the insults Karen Jarrett directs at Velvet Sky are supposed to be the true feelings of the TNA writers. If you don’t like her, why did you give her the Knockouts belt in the first place?… Vince McMahon wants to push the Bella Twins as he believes they’re good for PR as a pair of hot identical sisters… Kelly Kelly’s new website is under her real name, rather than her WWE moniker. Is she preparing for life after wrestling after breaking into the mainstream zeitgeist?… Cheerleader Melissa is in line to be part of TNA’s new project in India… Pro Wrestling: EVE is going to start running monthly shows in London using current roster members and women who take part in its new training academy called Project Eden… Lluvia & Luna Mágica won the REINA tag team titles in CMLL on Tuesday by beating La Commandante & Zeuxis… Amber O’Neal and Angel Orsini are forming a tag team, which will debut at Big Time Wrestling on January 20 at Big Time Wrestling in Newark, CA… Former UK wrestler Victoria “Skye” Swain will be one of the Olympic torchbearers next year… Congratulations to Kc Spinelli, who has been named ECCW’s Female Wrestler of the Year… Kellie Skater is going to Japan, and will tag with Tomoka Nakagawa for the Joshi4Hope Christmas Special, which will take place on December 24… Yoshiko won the Rookie of Stardom Decision Tournament on Sunday. Makes sense – she had a great showing at the FLASH tournament earlier this year… Despite being the #1 contender at one point earlier this year and never receiving the shot, Allison Danger hasn’t been booked by WILD Wrestling for more than 7 months… Tiffany Roxx will defend the NWA World Women’s Championship against former champ Tasha Simone on Christmas Night… New NWA World Women’s Tag Team Champions will be crowned at NWA Houston on January 13… Serena Deeb refereed a match during her visit to her old stomping ground of OVW at the weekend… AJ tweeted that fellow NXT contestant and FCW Diva Naomi is travelling with her this week.
December 4: Championship Wrestling International/Magnificent Championship Wrestling (Brantford, ONT, Canada) – Seleziya Sparx b Courtney Rush
December 5: CMLL (Puebla, Mexico) – Amapola, La Comandante & Princesa Sugheit b Lady Apache, Luna Mágica & Marcela
December 6: Ohio Valley Wrestling (New Albany, IN) – Hannah & Holly Blossom b Taeler Hendrix & Taryn Shay
December 6: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Lluvia & Luna Mágica b La Commandante & Zeuxis to win the REINA Tag Team Championships
December 7: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Tsukushi b Miyako Matsumoto; Emi Sakura b Dorami Nagano & Kurumi; Kaori Yoneyama b Sayaka Obihiro; Hikaru Shida & Maki Narumiya b Tsukasa Fujimoto & Mochi Miyagi
December 7: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Taeler Hendrix b Lady JoJo
December 8: Impact Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Mickie James b Madison Rayne; Gail Kim b Traci Brooks
December 9: WWE SmackDown (Jacksonville, FL) – Beth Phoenix & Natalya b AJ & Kaitlyn
December 9: 19 Pro (Saitama, Japan) – Dorami Nagano b Tomoki Yagami; Kaori Yoneyama & Sayaka Obihiro b Emi Sakura & Hikari Minami
December 9: Empire Wrestling (Avondale Estates, GA) – Marko Polo & Nina Monet b Simon Sermon & Pandora
December 9: British Championship Wrestling (Kilmarnock, Scotland) – Kay Lee Ray b Carmel Jacob
December 9: Premier Wrestling Xperience (Charlotte, NC) – Mickie James b Amber O’Neal
December 9: Scottish School of Wrestling (Whitburn, Scotland) – Kirsty Love b Sara Marie Taylor to win the SSW Women’s Championship
December 10: Pro Wrestling Guerilla (Reseda, CA) – Peter Avalon, Ray Rosas, Scorpio Sky & Joey Ryan b Candice LeRae, B-Boy, Famous B & Chris Kadillak
December 10: Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling (East Carondelet, IL) – MsChif b Serenity
December 10: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Ray & Hikari Minami b Mochi Miyagi & Dorami Nagano; Ribbon Takanashi b Sayaka Obihiro & Hailey Hatred in a 3-way; Ray b Maki Narumiya; Tsukasa Fujimoto & Hikaru Shida v Emi Sakura & Tsukushi went to a time limit draw
December 10: New England Championship Wrestling (Carver, MA) – Alexxis Nevaeh b Natalia
December 10: Southside Wrestling Entertainment (Nottingham, England) – Nikki Storm b Holly Rocamora
December 10: World Xtreme Wrestling C4 (Allentown, PA) – Gabby Gilbert b Veda Scott
December 10: EPIC Pro Wrestling (Lakewood, CA) – Winter b Terra Calaway
December 11: REINA 22 (Edogawa, Japan) – Lady Afrodita b Yagami Aoi; Dama De Hierro b Nana Sato; Kaori Yoneyama b Aoi Ishibashi; Aki Kanbayashi & Cassandra b Ayumi Kurihara & Mika Iida; Saya & Yumiko Hotta b Leon & Saori
December 11: All Japan Pro Wrestling (Tokyo, Japan) – Keiji Muto, Yuzuki Aikawa & Rina Takeda b Kaz Hayashi, Nanae Takahashi & Natsuki*Taiyo
December 11: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Yoko Bito b Saki Kashima; Mayu Iwatani v Eri Susa went to a time limit draw; Mayu Iwatani b Eri Susa; Arisa Hoshiki b Yoko Bito; Yoshiko b Mayu Iwatani; Nanae Takahashi, Yuu Yamagata & Natsuki*Taiyo v Yuzuki Aikawa, Hiroyo Matsumoto & Io Shirai went to a time limit draw; Yoshiko b Arisa Hoshiki
December 11: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Kaila Marie b Tracy Taylor
December 11: TNA Final Resolution (Orlando, FL) – Gail Kim b Mickie James
December 11: WAVE (Tokyo, Japan) – GAMI b Moeka Haruhi; Tomoka Nakagawa & Sawako Shimono b Aya Yuki & Mika Iida; Toshie Uemasu v Ayako Hamada went to a time-limit draw; Shu Shibutani b Yumi Ohka; Kana & Ayumi Kurihara b Misaki Ohata & Mio Shirai; Kaori Yoneyama b Sakura Hirota; Toshie Uematsu won a Royal Rumble
December 11: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Athena b Portia Perez, Rachel Summerlyn, Lillie Mae, Jessica James & Angel Blue
December 11: JWP (Tokyo, Japan) – Nana Kawasa b Dorami Nagano; masume b Lady Afrodita; Kaori Yoneyama b Rabbit Mita; Hanako Nakamori, Leon & Manami Katsu b Kayoko Haruyama, Moon Mizuki & Morley; Sachie Abe b KAZUKI; Tsubasa Kuragaki b Kaori Yoneyama
December 11: JWP (Tokyo, Japan) – Manami Katsu & Rabbit Mita b Micro & Mika Iida; Nana Kawasa b Tomoki Yagami; Kaori Yoneyama & Leon b Aya Yuki & Sawako Shimono; Kayako Haruyama b Toshie Uematsu & Misaki Ohata in a 3-way; Ayako Hamada b Hanako Nakamori
December 16: AAA (Puebla, Mexico) – Pimpinela Escarlata v Sexy Star
December 17: Herts & Essex Wrestling (Takeley, England) – Sweet Saraya v Lady Lory
December 17: Pro Wrestling Ohio (Parma, OH) – Veda Scott v Sassy Stephie
December 17: CWF Mid-Atlantic (Burlington, NC) – featuring Sara Del Rey, Becky Bayless, Amber O’Neal & more
December 17: St Louis Anarchy (Granite City, IL) – Rachel Summerlyn v Lillie Mae v Portia Perez v Serenity
December 23: JWP (Osaka, Japan) – Hailey Hatred v Tsubasa Kurugaki; Kaori Yoneyama v Kayoko Haruyama
December 25: Ice Ribbon ‘Ribbon Mania’ (Tokyo, Japan) – Ken Ohka & Hikari Minami v Danshoku Dino & Makoto Oishi; Mochi Miyagi, Kurumi & Dorami Nagano v Maki Narumiya, Neko Nitta & Meari Naito; Ray, Sayaka Obihiro & Hamuko Hoshi v Dark Worm, Rubber Human & Kappa Young Priest; Aoi Kizuki v Toshie Uematsu; Emi Sakura & either Riho or Tsukushi v Meiko Satomura & Sendai Sachiko; Riho v Seina; Tsukasa Fujimoto v Hikaru Shida
December 25: NWA Top Rope (Lebanon, TN) – Tiffany Roxx v Tasha Simone
December 30: SMASH 24 (Tokyo, Japan) – Makoto & Lin Bairon v Kana & Tomoka Nakagawa
January 4: Ice Ribbon ‘New Year Ribbon 2012′ (Tokyo, Japan)
January 7: Ice Ribbon ‘Sendai Ribbon’ (Sendai, Japan) – Tsukasa Fujimoto v Manami Toyota
January 8: Bull Nakano retirement show (Tokyo, Japan) – Kayoko Haruyama & Ryo Mizunami v AKINO & Maki Narumiya; Shinjiro Otani, Ikuto Hidaka & Daichi Hashimoto v Hakushi, Osamu Nishimura, & Super Delphin
January 13: Resistance Pro (Chicago, IL) – Melanie Cruise v Cheerleader Melissa
January 13: NWA Houston (Cypress, TX) – Barbi Hayden & Jen Alise v Angel Blue & Pink
January 15: Anarchy Championship Wrestling Guilty By Association VI (Austin, TX) – Portia Perez v Robert Evans
January 20: HQ Pro Wrestling (Yuciapa, CA) – Terra Calaway v Lucky O’Shea
January 21: Women Superstars Uncensored (Stirling, NJ) – Amber, Lexxus, Sassy Stephie, Allysin Kay & Tina San Antonio v Marti Belle, Brittney Savage, Alicia, Jana & Luscious Latasha; Jillian Hall v Traci Brooks; Mercedes Martinez v Jennifer Cruz; Jessicka Havok v Becky Bayless; Jessie “Bonesaw” Brooks v Rick Cataldo
January 22: Insane Championship Wrestling (Glasgow, Scotland) – STIs & Sara Marie Taylor v Bucky Boys & Lambrini
January 27: ArenaChicks (Los Angeles, CA) – Angel Orsini & Amber O’Neal v Shelly Martinez & Becky Bayless
January 28: Pro Wrestling Xtreme (Orlando, FL) – Jillian Hall v Leva Bates
January 29: Absolute Intense Wrestling Girls Night Out 5 (Cleveland, OH)
February 18: Pro Wrestling: EVE (Sudbury, England) – Jenny Sjodin v Alpha Female
February 25: Family Wrestling Entertainment (New York City, NY) – Tara v Maria Kanellis
March 3: Women Superstars Uncensored (Deer Park, NY) – Mercedes Martinez v Jessicka Havok; Sassy Stephie & Allysin Kay v Brittney Savage & Alicia; Annie Social v April Hunter; Gabby Gilbert v Athena
March 10: nCw Femmes Fatales (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
March 17-18: SHIMMER Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)
March 24: World Association of Women’s Wrestling (Norwich, England)
– Lee Burton