While it’s been a great year for independent wrestling, it has taken its toll on a number of the biggest stars. Serena Deeb is currently walking a razor’s edge as far as her career is concerned following a concussion that she suffered at SHIMMER in October, LuFisto is taking some time out to let her troublesome back heal and had also had heart surgery this year, while Madison Eagles has a racked up shoulder and a dodgy knee that is currently sporting a massive brace. And now, Mercedes Martinez is getting over her own concussion issues following the War Games match at Breaking Barriers 2 on November 19 – a match in which she suffered temporary paralysis after suffering a stinger.

Women Superstars Uncensored announced last Tuesday that their champion would not be defending her title against Jennifer Cruz on January 21 in Stirling, NJ, as had been originally planned, due to her not being allowed to fly. Instead, her next match will be against Jessicka Havok on March 3 at WSU’s 5th Anniversary Show in Deer Park, NY.

Speaking exclusively to Ringbelles, The Latina Sensation explained what happened and the health issues that followed, immediately and days afterward…

I took a Russian legsweep from the top rope into the cage onto the mat and I banged my head pretty hard where I banged my head and then I rolled onto my neck. When that happened, I ended up feeling… I had no feeling from the neck down, pretty much to the waist – I couldn’t feel my arms, couldn’t feel anything. I couldn’t move my legs so I just stayed down.

At the end of the match, taking the finisher from Jessicka Havok kinda put the concussion in me because I didn’t know what was going on. I pretty much didn’t know what was going on with my fingers or my hands, pretty much I was getting spasms in my arms where my hands were kinda locked up and almost looked like they were freezing up.

We took CAT scans, body scans, X-rays – basically, anything you can think of at the ER – and a couple of hours later I left the ER at 5 in the morning. Basically, they said I was fine, there was nothing wrong, I just came out with a major stinger, that I would be sore for a couple of days… but they didn’t consider it a concussion at that moment. When I went home to Florida I was getting migraines and still feeling really sore and I knew something was wrong, so I went to my own doctor and they said I ended up getting a concussion. How major it was, they didn’t know, because I went a couple of days after.

At this moment right now, they say no flying because I was getting dizzy spells, I’m still getting major migraines. They don’t want me to do anything where something could happen on the plane – if I blacked out or anything like that. So, no flying for the next month or two.

31-year old Martinez did wrestle two matches in her local promotion, World Xtreme Wrestling in Florida, on Friday and Saturday, and seemingly came through them unscathed, which means her concussion is probably healed, though it is admirable of WSU for them to err on the side of caution and put off the match, which would have been more of an exhibition than anything – please, did anyone think Cruz was going to become WSU Champion? – as all roads lead to the 5th Anniversary show where Martinez is poised to defend against Havok in a match that will be the culmination of the Midwest Militia leader’s 18-month run towards the belt. Understandably, WSU don’t want to take the chance of that match being cancelled. Meanwhile, Martinez now has no other bookings, and is expected to heal up further so her migraines clear up and she can be cleared to fly.

Having said that, Mercedes is keeping busy. On Sunday night, WSU released a video of Martinez explaining her situation, and putting together what is likely the women’s promo of the year to hype up her match against Havok. Seriously, if you’ve not seen it, it’s next-level awesome.

It has been a hell of a 12 months for women’s wrestling around the world, and makes up for the rot that WWE and TNA have been pedalling. Whether it’s SHIMMER, WSU, Pro Wrestling: EVE, nCw Femmes Fatales, ArenaChicks, JWP, Anarchy Championship Wrestling, Ice Ribbon, WAVE, CHIKARA, Sendai Girls or any promotion that gives women the floor and lets them do their thing, support them, follow them, invest money in them. They work hard and deserve your appreciation for striving to be great, achieving greatness and in some cases, redefining it. For every female wrestler who reads this and drives hundreds of miles in a clapped out car for a show where you barely cover costs; for every one of you who gets changed in a cramped and dirty backstage area just to go out and entertain us fans; for every piece of talent who wants to show that there is more to women’s wrestling than sub-3 minute, clumsy affairs which are presented on TV, thank you ever so much for putting your bodies on the line, sacrificing your spare time and taking the pain. You’re awesome.

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Ice Ribbon founder Emi Sakura announced on Samurai TV that she intends to leave the promotion for “personal reasons” after the Sendai Ribbon card on January 7. Considering how integrated she is with the promotion (figurehead, coach, role model figure of the mostly young roster and public representative), her departure will be a massive loss to Ice Ribbon. At the moment, there has been no official reason for Sakura leaving, though that may change after she goes and things are a little less complicated.

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Looks Like Alicia Fox is getting a push in WWE’s Divas division. She beat Natalya on SmackDown last week, and defeated champion Beth Phoenix on Raw last night. However, in doing so, she left some lumps on her opponents. Fox’s post-victory somersault legdrop on Natalya on last week’s SmackDown needed two takes to get right, and the one that was shown featured poor Nattie getting smashed in the forehead by Fox’s leg. Meanwhile last night, the same move left Phoenix with a swollen eye. That move may have to go.

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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 ringbelles@gmail.com and we’ll get the message out there.

Also, we add loads more links, video and thoughts on women’s wrestling on our Facebook and Twitter. Like and follow us for even deeper coverage.

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The best of the rest

Trish Stratus turned down an offer to co-present the Divalicious Moment of the Year award on last week’s Raw due to the amount of travelling. There’s not thought to be any heat on her for the refusal… Mickie James has been added to the TNA India roster, now called Ring Ka King… Congratulations to Wonder of Stardom and one half of the Goddesses of Stardom Yuzuki Aikawa, who won the Joshi Puroresu Award at the 2011 Tokyo Sports Year End Awards… Dawn Marie’s Wrestlers’ Rescue charity is trying to raise money to pay for 68-year old Jimmy Snuka’s ankle replacement surgery. It’ll cost £24,000… Extra’s Maria Menounos did a great job at Tribute to the Troops on December 13, and pinned Beth Phoenix. She made a few of the full-time Divas look pretty amateurish… Marti Belle will debut in the Dominican Republic in January… Jillian Hall and April Hunter are booked for a show in Manila on February 4. The venue (the SMART Araneta Coliseum) is advertised as showcasing basketball games, boxing, COCKFIGHTING, concerts and variety shows… Melina has denied that she has joined TNA, saying “If I go anywhere I would tell you all first!” That means no surprise appearance or she’ll be labelled a liar by her fans if she does… Shaul “Raquel Diaz” Guerrero won the FCW Divas title from Audrey Marie last week to go along with the Queen of FCW crown that she already had… Ivelisse Velez’s new name in FCW is Sofia Cortez… 69-year old midget wrestler Darling Dagmar (Sylvia McMillan) has had a 12” rod inserted into her right leg after breaking it last Thursday… Karen Jarrett was “fired” from TNA on last Thursday’s Impact. She apparently needs surgery on her foot. Her firing is a big anticlimax, considering the shit that she has been giving the Knockouts, most notably Velvet Sky, over the past three months. Can’t say I’ll miss her high pitched wailing or calling wrestlers “prostitutes” all the time, but she was one heck of an actress… Former TNA wrestler Desire (Kim Nielson) is appearing on the US version of The Biggest Loser. Weighing 252lbs after having three children, she’s decided to do it because she is tired of hiding from wrestling fans. Considering she was in TNA in its early days, I had to Google her to remind myself about who she is… Maria Kanellis will debut for Ring Of Honor at Final Battle on December 23, accompanying her real life boyfriend Mike Bennett against Jay Lethal and El Generico in a 3-way… Portia Perez won the 2CW Tag Team Championship on Friday night with Jason Axe… Speaking of 2CW, it’s holding an 8-woman, one night tournament in February called the Girls’ Grand Prix… Queen Maya, Liberty, Sweet Saraya, Miss Mina, Amazon, Destiny, Amy Lee Kramer and Penelope have all been announced for WAWW’s next show in March. Belgium’s Lady Lory will also make her debut… Jemma Palmer – who spent a few weeks in the Big Brother UK house recently – intimated that she will be getting into mixed martial arts in the future… Beth Phoenix beat Kelly Kelly in a bonus match at TLC. Therefore, it wasn’t advertised, and consequently nobody paid to see it. Speaking of Phoenix, she recently mentioned Kharma in a tweet, saying: “I’m not afraid of anyone or anything. I don’t believe in Kharma. I believe in me, myself, and I”… Rosita won the Most Inspirational Wrestler of the Year awarrd from Pro Wrestling Illustrated… Kaori Yoneyama’s farewell schedule is over. The only match she has left is her final one on December 23 against Kayoko Haruyama… Athena will defend the ACW American Joshi belt against Angel Blue and Lillie Mae at Guilty By Association 6 next month.

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Results

December 13: WWE (Fayetteville, NC) – Alicia Fox, Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres & Maria Menounos b Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Brie & Nikki Bella

December 14: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Emi Sakura & Kurumi b Neko Nitta & Meari Naito; Sayaka Obihiro b DJ Nira; Kaori Yoneyama v Hiroyo Matsumoto went to a time limit draw; Tsukasa Fujimoto & Dorami Nagano b Hikaru Shida & Maki Narumiya

December 14: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Taeler Hendrix b CJ Lane

December 15: Florida Championship Wrestling (Tampa, FL) – Aksana b Cameron Lynn; Audrey Marie b Caylee Turner; Raquel Diaz b Audrey Marie to win the FCW Divas Championship

December 15: Impact Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Madison Rayne b Traci Brooks

December 16: WWE (Fort Myers, FL) – Alicia Fox & Eve Torres b Natalya & Beth Phoenix

December 16: New York Wrestling Connection (Deer Park, NY) – Nikki Syx b Marti Belle

December 16: JWP (Itabashi, Japan) – Aoi Yagami b masu-me; Nana Kawasa b Manami Katsu; Sachie Abe & Maury b Hanako Nakamori & Moon Mizuki; Hikaru Sato & Kyoko Kimura b Leon & Misaki Ohata ; Kayako Haruyama, Tsubasa Kuragaki & KAZUKI b Kaori Yoneyama, Hailey Hatred & Rabbit Mito

December 16: New England Championship Wrestling (Blackstone, MA) – Alexxis Nevaeh b Adriana

December 16: 19 Pro (Saitama, Japan) – Emi Sakura v Seina went to a time limit draw; Emi Sakura & Tsukushi b Kurumi & Tsukasa Fujimoto

December 16: Squared Circle Wrestling (Syracuse, NY) – Portia Perez & Jason Axe b Jimmy Olson & Colin Delaney to win the 2CW Tag Team Championship

December 16: WWE SmackDown (Raleigh, NC) – Alicia Fox b Natalya

December 16: AAA (Puebla, Mexico) – Sexy Star b Pimpinela Escarlata to win the Reina de Reinas Championship

December 16: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Dalis la Caribeña, Lady Apache & Marcela b Princesa Blanca, Princesa Sugheit & Tiffany via DQ

December 17: Empire Wrestling Federation (San Bernardino, CA) – Terra Calaway & Nikki Hollywood b Yyan Nakano & Mega Queen

December 17: Herts & Essex Wrestling (Takeley, England) – Sweet Saraya b Lady Lory

December 17: Pro Wrestling Ohio (Parma, OH) – Sassy Stephie b Veda Scott

December 17: CWF Mid-Atlantic (Burlington, NC) – Sara Del Rey b Mia Yim; Amber O’Neal & Caleb Konley b Becky Bayless & Trevor Lee

December 17: WWE (Uniondale, NY) – Eve Torres & Kelly Kelly b Beth Phoenix & Natalya

December 17: Family Wrestling Entertainment (New York, NY) – Winter b Jackie Haas

December 17: St Louis Anarchy (Granite City, IL) – Serenity b Rachel Summerlyn, Lillie Mae & Portia Perez in a 4-way

December 17: Juggalo Championship Wrestling (Detroit, MI) – Zach Gowen b Isabella Smothers

December 17: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Emi Sakura & Kurumi b Minami Hikari & Seina; Hayley Hatred b Meare Naito & Neko Nitta in a handicap match; Mochi Miyagi & Tsukushi b Kyoko Kimura & Sayaka Obihiro; Kaori Yoneyama & Emi Sakura b Tsukasa Fujimoto & Hikaru Shida

December 18: JWP (Tokyo, Japan) – Maury, masmu-me & Rabbit Mito b Hanako Nakamori, Manami Katsu & Nana Kawasa; Kaori Yoneyama v Leon went to a time limit draw; masmu-me won a battle royal

December 18: WWE TLC (Baltimore, MD) – Beth Phoenix b Kelly Kelly

December 18: OZ Academy (Tokyo, Japan) – Sendai Sachiko b Nao Komatsu; Takako Inoue b DASH Chisako; Mayumi Ozaki & Ayumi Kurihara b Aja Kong & Carlos Amano; Ran Yu-Yu b Manami Toyota; Chikayo Nagashima, Yumi Ohka & Hiroyo Matsumoto b Sonoko Kato, AKINO & Tomoka Nakagawa

December 18: ERLL (Apodaca, Mexico) – Hija de Karonte, La Bandida & Lady Puma b Alicia, Angelica & Perla Negra

December 19: WWE Raw (Philadelphia, PA) – Alicia Fox b Beth Phoenix

Upcoming

December 23: JWP (Osaka, Japan) – masu-me & Nana Kawasa v Moon Mizuki & Aoi Yagami; Manami Katsu v Rabbit Mito; Sachie Abe, KAZUKI & Maury v Jaguar Yokota, Dump Matsumoto & Hanako Nakamori; Leon v Kyoko Kimura; Hailey Hatred v Tsubasa Kuragaki; 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 27: Great Canadian Wrestling (Oshawa, ONT, Canada) – Cherry Bomb & Danger Boy vs Angelina Love & Shawn Spears

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; Athena v Angel Blue v Lillie Mae

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 4: World Wrestling Fan Xperience (Quezon City, Manila) – April Hunter v Jillian Hall

February 18: Pro Wrestling: EVE (Sudbury, England) – Jenny Sjodin v Alpha Female

February 24: Squared Circle Wrestling “Girls Grand Prix” (Binghamton, NY) – featuring Portia Perez, Sara Del Rey & Rachel Summerlyn

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

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