We have reached the the halfway point of Ringbelles’ Year End Awards for 2011. On Sunday, we announced that Scotland’s Kay Lee Ray is our pick for Discovery of the Year, and now we move along to the woman who was named the Breakout Star of the Year.
The difference between the Discovery and the Breakout Star awards is primarily down to the perception fans have of that wrestler. The person may have been known to the audience, but what have they done to go from being a name on the roster to being a priority in people’s minds – who is going to that next level, essentially turning from a star into a superstar?
In all honesty, there have been a number of women who have captured the attention of the wrestling audience. Courtney Rush‘s name change from PJ Tyler, coupled with her changing her repertoire to incorporate more suplexes saw her immediately get over at SHIMMER in March, while fellow Canadian Kalamity has skyrocketed to the nCw Femmes Fatales International Championship, beating LuFisto for the belt, and also had a great outing against Hailey Hatred at SHIMMER in October.
While we’re on Canadians, Nicole Matthews has added more stamps to her passport, making her debuts in Japan and Australia this year, and lining herself up to be the next challenger to Cheerleader Melissa‘s SHIMMER title. In the UK, Britani Knight is poised to be a big smash in 2012 after widening her drawing power by winning the Pro Wrestling: EVE title and making a big splash in SHIMMER, teaming with and fighting against mother Saraya not just in Berwyn, but elsewhere in the world. Nikki Storm did a great job establishing herself by heeling it up to the nines at EVE as well as going undefeated at EVE v Ice Ribbon in October, defeating joshi talents Hikaru Shida and Tsukasa Fujimoto along the way. Also capturing the imagination of the audience was April Davids, who won more than she lost during her visit to Ice Ribbon in July, and had a fantastic match with training partner and EVE Champ Jenny Sjodin in October.
However, while all of these women had great years, one woman has established herself as a future main event talent, and could be a dominating presence, considering her gimmick, her aura and her entourage.
Women Superstars Uncensored is known for its long story arcs. Its champion Mercedes Martinez has now held the title for coming up the three years, and while some have had a decent chance of winning the belt from her, the most likely prospect in the last 12 months has been our choice for Breakout Star of the Year, the current Spirit Champion Jessicka Havok.
The 25-year old Ohio native’s run as a singles star in the promotion kicked off at the middle of last year when she returned to WSU following 9 months away as part of Rain‘s Army – a team recruited by the former International Home Wrecking Crew member to help her gain the WSU title from Martinez. However, while Rain was unsuccessful in her challenge, hired muscle Havok was racking up the wins. At the tail end of 2010, Havok broke away from Rain and vowed to destroy every member of her army en route to getting her hands on the leader, claiming scalps like ODB and Amy Lee in what grew to become her calling card – wild brawls. Consequently, Havok steamrolled through Nikki Roxx in February and got her hands on Rain at the 4th Year Anniversary, taking her out with an Air Raid Crash, and was put over by the commentators as being the next big challenger for Mercedes’ championship.
Havok’s attention then turned to WSU’s veteran Alicia, with them meeting at the Uncensored Rumble in June in an Uncensored Rules match, with Havok’s Team Be Jealous partner Allysin Kay interfering in the contest, causing Alicia’s mother to throw in the towel to stop the beatdown.
The pair would meet again in August at WSU’s in the main event of the second of two DVD tapings, with the match taking place under No Holds Barred rules. However, before that match took place, Havok convinced then-Spirit Champion Sassy Stephie to end her title defence against Kay and join them to form a new faction to take over the promotion. Named the Midwest Militia, the trio were intent to wreak havoc (pun intended) on all the favourites of the promotion.
The No Holds Barred match went to a no contest when the Militia caused the match to be thrown out after attacking Martinez, who was in Alicia’s corner, and also trying to smother Alicia with a towel before Brittney Savage could make the save, setting up the main event of the recent Breaking Barriers 2 show, which took place last month.
However, before the War Games outing could take place, Havok claimed the Spirit Title at a Great Championship Wrestling show in September after throwing out an impromptu challenge to Rain, who had defeated Stephie earlier on in the night. Prior to beating Rain, Havok and Kay had fallen to Alicia and Savage, though critically, it was Kay who was pinned, upholding the streak that Havok was on, being undefeated in singles competition in WSU, and had not been pinned or given up in any circumstance in more than a year.
Havok’s reign of terror peaked at Breaking Barriers 2 when the Midwest Militia defeated Martinez, Savage and Alicia in the cage when the babyfaces surrendered to save a legitimately partially-paralysed Mercedes from being stabbed with a machete. This all leads to Havok v Martinez for the WSU Title on March 3 in a match that has been more than 18 months in the making and looks likely to see the Spirit Champ add the promotion’s top title to her collection.
But Havok has seen success elsewhere over the year, winning Absolute Intense Wrestling‘s Women’s Title in February from Angel Dust, and successfully defending it against her and Sara Feeny over the summer, only to lose the championship to Mickie Knuckles at Girls Night Out 4 in July.
Make no mistake, with her wild promos, big threats, tough words and imposing stature, Jessicka Havok is a force, and one that has deserved the plaudits that she has enjoyed over the year. While Kay Lee Ray won fans even in defeat, a large chunk of Havok’s success is down to how strongly she has been booked – she is likely to stay unbeaten in WSU by the time the 5th Anniversary Show on March 3 when she challenges Martinez – as well as the reputation she has gathered for having insanely crazy brawls with a range of different opponents. It is likely that Havok will win the WSU title next year, and is fixed to become one of the biggest names in women’s wrestling as a result. If you’ve missed out on Jessicka Havok over the year, catch up before March, as she has become a priority.
We got in touch with Jessicka to ask her for some thoughts on her 2011, and she responded:
This past year for me has been one of the toughest and most awarding years in my career to date. From my undefeated streak in WSU and my win for the WSU Spirit championship. People know who I am now because of my hard work and dedication in that ring. Like me or hate me, I get the job done. In the coming year 2012, I will continue to show the world I am the best. I’m looking forward to wrestling Mercedes Martinez for that WSU World Title in March. I also have a lot of great opportunities ahead. Watch out world – 2012 is the Havokapocolypse!
We also asked Sassy Stephie for comment, and she told us:
Jessicka Havok is one of the toughest women I know. I met Jessicka a couple of months before I even started training and she wrestled all men. Since that time she has only excelled in the ring. She trains hard and it shows. Her determination and focus is unstoppable. She is also one of the most brutally honest people I’ve ever met, which I highly admire in her.
Stew and I have long referred to Havok as a “magnificent beast”, mixing aggression, intensity, drive and determination with an attractive look and distinctive appearance. On March 3, Ringbelles choice for Breakout Star of the Year may become WSU Champion, meaning this magnificent beast will sit atop a mountain that she has scaled undaunted over the last 18 months. Win, lose or draw, she deserves every accolade coming her way – and there is likely to be many.
Coming up on Christmas Eve, we announce our Wrestler of the Year as part of the biggest Women Of Wrestling Podcast in our history. Brace yourselves.
– Lee Burton