Ringbelles Roundup (27 December 2011)
Madison Eagles was flooded with messages from both fans and peers on Twitter after revealing on the Women of Wrestling Podcast on Christmas Eve that the knee injury that she is currently sidelined with could be career ending if it doesn’t heal of its own accord. Should it require surgery, she will be unable to wrestle again.
The 27-year old Australian, who spent close to two years as SHIMMER Champion before dropping the belt to Cheerleader Melissa back in October, suffered the injury two days after those DVD tapings while preparing for her match against Kana at CHIKARA the following weekend. She hyperextended her knee while executing a double stomp, causing her to collapse in pain. After having to wait 6 weeks for an MRI, she was put in a brace for the next month and a half, and only had it removed in the last couple of weeks, though the healing process is still agonisingly slow. She told us that the injury could heal naturally, but there is no time frame for a recovery, meaning that the winner of 2011′s PWI Female 50 could spend the bulk of 2012 on the sidelines, unable to capitalise from the extra buzz surrounding her following the win.
Eagles’ character’s descent into madness during her SHIMMER title reign was a joy to watch. She became more and more self-obsessed and paranoid as each show went on, but – uncharacteristically for a heel – won all of her title defences clean, rarely cheated and gave the fans no tangible reason to boo her. As it turns out, despite not being cheered, she received the overwhelming support of the audience at October’s tapings when she was presented with the Female 50 plaque. From there, Eagles received a mixed reaction from the crowd, as it was hard to hate someone who had given and given to wrestling, beating every Diva and Knockout to the top spot and doing so with comparatively little mainstream coverage.
We at Ringbelles hope she enjoys a full recovery so she can return to the ring, but also urge her to take her time, as rushing back could do more harm than good. Normally, we wouldn’t need to say that, but this is a woman who thought she could wrestle through a fractured elbow and wrist last year…
Kaori Yoneyama is 30 years old and has been wrestling for a third of her life. She has won every championship that JWP has to offer, as well as titles in All Japan Women, Ice Ribbon and NEO. When she announced her retirement earlier back in July, it kicked off a hectic tour across Japan, winning more tag team titles along the way with friend Hailey Hatred and even making her US debut as part of JoshiMania at the start of the month. If you didn’t know who Yoneyama was in the middle of 2011, there is a stronger chance that you would by now.
Her final match was due to be on December 23 at JWP Climax at Korukuen Hall in Tokyo, with her facing Kayoko Haruyama in the main event, which she lost, as is usually the way for someone who is bowing out. But as the ten bell salute started to toll to signify her quitting the ring, something unexpected happened.
Yoneyama stopped the bells and announced that she didn’t want to retire just yet. She was greeted with some shock, surprise and even some anger from some, but it seemed as if she had changed her mind about hanging up the boots for good. The anger is likely to have stemmed from fans thinking that they had just witnesses Yoneyama’s last match, only for her to renege on the promise even before they had left the building. It’s a rare occasion, and unheard of in Japan.
In America, the UK or many other places, people backing out of vowing to retire is something that doesn’t even raise an opinion. Terry Funk has made a career of unretiring, and Ric Flair decided to come back, even after having the send off of all send offs at WrestleMania XXIV. Even in Japan, some wrestlers decide to quit, but then elect to come back after a certain time away. However, it’s fairly unique for someone to wag on a retirement promise while at their retirement show (Eden Black did it at ChickFight in 2008, but hasn’t wrestled since anyway).
The reaction to Yoneyama wishing to continue wrestling has been mostly positive, as many did not want to see her go. Even Haruyama said so in the days leading up to their match. However, some are also upset that a woman who has had a six month retirement tour, travelled the world based on that vow to quit on December 23 and sold tickets for a series of shows surrounded by the premise that it would be the last times you would see her in the ring, has not come through with her part of the deal, no matter how unpleasant that part was. Kana was busy on Twitter retweeting comments from fans who were critical of the whole affair, and slammed JWP and Yoneyama in the process (TAKA Michinoku did the same too). When asked by a fan why she was so angry, she pointed out that this is one of the reasons why she hates joshi – a bit harsh, considering this is a fairly unheard of situation, but Kana has long made a point about her displeasure with Japanese female wrestling and how it’s not taken seriously enough for her liking. Sensing the backlash, JWP has offered to refund the ticket of any fan who attended and feels like they have been ripped off, though it is unclear whether any fans have actually come forward to get their money back.
The problem is that it is also unclear when Yoneyama made the decision to carry on wrestling. Was it months ago, days ago or at that precise moment when she decided to make the interruption? If it was months ago, did JWP know about it and continue to hype the retirement show, essentially selling tickets based on a lie? If Yoneyama knew she wasn’t going to quit but didn’t tell anyone, was she being dishonest to the fans who were buying tickets based on the premise that they would not see her wrestle again?
Personally, I can’t believe that Yoneyama had this premeditated months in advance. In a country based on honour like Japan, it would be a massive slap in the face to fans. I also don’t believe that JWP knew in advance, as they would not have offered refunds, essentially costing themselves money, and maybe even making a loss on the show. What seems the most likely option is that she changed her mind in the last few days, but the machine was already in full swing, so it would be hard to back out at that point and just change the show to being a regular card, and have to offer refunds ahead of time. It’s a messy situation for all involved, but hopefully fans will be able to forgive Yoneyama for any unintentional deception (after all, everyone has the right to change their mind), and enjoy her work in the future, as she likely has a renewed sense of vigour after what has gone down. Judging from a few discussion forums on the controversy, few are upset that she didn’t retire, so the whole episode may be swept under the rug and thing carry on as they are.
As it turns out, Yoneyama will appear at Bull Nakano’s retirement show in a few weeks. I imagine any plans that Bull would have had to not retire at the show are probably on the shelf now…
It was confirmed to Ringbelles this week by Anarchy Championship Wrestling that Five Star Amanda Fox has left the business. She hasn’t been seen since September 18, when she won a mixed tag team match in ACW. That is a massive shame, considering the talent that she possessed at just 19-years old.
Trained by Booker T, Fox had a great start to 2011, pinning Serena Deeb in a tag team match, and used that as a catalyst to build up a feud between the two, which came to a head in the first round of this year’s ACW American Joshi Queen of Queens tournament, where Fox once again pinned Deeb in the match of the night. Displaying talent, maturity and charisma way beyond her years, Fox seemed to be a star in the making. Meanwhile, ACW has intimated that the door is always open for her return.
Seeing as this is the final Roundup of the year, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has helped to contribute to the newsletter each week. When we were beta testing the site back in January and February, I suggested doing a weekly rundown, but had no idea if it was needed, wanted or necessary. I’d like to believe that it has been of use so everyone can keep track of upcoming shows, results, news and longer articles.
If there is anything extra that you would like to see in the Roundup, please let me know and I’ll see what I can do. Likewise, if you go to a show with a women’s match on, feel free to write a quick review of it and send it over, as I’m sure others would like to know your thoughts on what you paid to see.
Have a great New Year, and the Roundup will be back on January 3.
Got any news, results or upcoming events that you want to tell everyone about? Are you a female wrestler looking to tell us about upcoming 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
WWE apparently has big plans for Alicia Fox and Rosa Mendes. I hope for Mendes’ sake, it’s not as a wrestler, as she has found her niche as the manager of Epico and Primo… Eden Stiles (Brandi Alexis Reed) has left WWE after handing in her notice a month ago. The former ring announcer for SuperStars and SmackDown also revealed that she’s dating Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes… Hannah and Holly Blossom have been added to Pro Wrestling: EVE’s roster and will appear at the promotion’s next show on February 18… Tammy Lynn Sytch broke her nose again recently. She’s still getting over falling down an escalator at Newark Airport last month… SHIMMER’s champions (Cheerleader Melissa, Ayako Hamada and Ayumi Kurihara) have been announced for the next set of tapings in March… Leah West (Irina Janjic) has been removed from FCW’s roster page… 2-time JWP Jr. Champion Arisa Nakajima is fixed to make a return to JWP. She left the biz in 2009, aged just 20… Hailey Hatred will be the next challenger for Ayumi Kurihara’s CMLL World Women’s Championship on January 15… Serenity will challenge Melanie Cruise for the Resistance Pro Women’s Championship in Chicago on January 13… Hikaru Shida won her first Ice Ribbon ICEx60 Championship at RibbonMania on Christmas Day by defeating Tsukasa Fujimoto. Elsewhere on the card, Emi Sakura & Tsukushi won the vacant International Ribbon Tag Team Championship by beating Meiko Satomura & Sendai Sachiko from rival promotion Sendai Girls… Mickie Knuckles will defend the AIW Women’s Championship against Sara Del Rey at Girls Night Out 5 on January 29. It was against Del Rey that Knuckles snapped her leg doing a dive back in 2008… Tasha Simone regained the NWA World Women’s Championship on Christmas Night… The Bella Twins have made a pretty penny selling old gear on their website, with the most expensive stuff going to $400. The cheapest thing they’ve sold is an autographed piece of art from Paul McCartney from 1969, with you could have had for $275. Astounding.
December 20: AAA (Chilpancingo, Mexico) – La Braza & Pimpinela Escarlata b Jennifer Blake, La Hechicera & Sexy Star
December 20: Florida Underground Wrestling (Largo, FL) – Jessie Belle Smothers, Luke James & Rich James b Deimos, Ferrari & Marc Mandrake
December 21: WWE NXT (Richmond, VA) – Kaitlyn b Maxine
December 22: Impact Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Brooke Tessmacher v Tara went to a no contest
December 23: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Emi Sakura & Tsukushi b Kurumi & Dorami Nagano; Hikari Minami b Miyako Matsumoto; Hikaru Shida & Maki Narumiya b Tsukasa Fujimoto & Mochi Miyagi
December 23: Stardom (Osaka, Japan) – Yoshiko & Yuu Yamgata b Eri Susa & Hiroyo Matsumoto; Nanae Takahashi & Saki Kashima b Io Shirai & Mayu Iwatani; Natsuki Taiyo v Yoko Bito went to a time limit draw; Yuzuki Aikawa b Arisa Hoshiki
December 23: JWP (Tokyo, Japan) – masu-me & Nana Kawasa b Moon Mizuki & Aoi Yagami; Manami Katsu b Rabbit Mito; Jaguar Yokota, Dump Matsumoto & Hanako Nakamori b Sachie Abe, KAZUKI & Maury; Abdullah Kobayashi won a battle royale; Leon v Kyoko Kimura ended with a double KO; Tsubasa Kuragaki b Hailey Hatred to win the JWP Openweight Championship; Kayoko Haruyama b Kaori Yoneyama
December 24: Joshi4Hope (Tokyo, Japan) – Cherry b Nao Komatsu; Hailey Hatred & Rabbit Miyu b Tomoka Nakagawa & Kellie Skater; Yumi Ohka & Sawako Shimono b Hiroyo Matsumoto & Nana Kawasa; Misaki Ohata & Kagetsub Ayumi Kurihara & Mika Iida
December 25: Ice Ribbon ‘Ribbon Mania’ (Tokyo, Japan) – Toshie Uematsu b Aoi Kizuki; Maki Narumiya, Neko Nitta & Meari Naito b Mochi Miyagi, Kurumi & Dorami Nagano in a elimination match; Ray, Sayaka Obihiro & Hamuko Hoshi b Death Worm, Rubber Man & Kappa Kozo; Riho b Seina; Hikari Minami b Seina; Emi Sakura & Tsukushi b Meiko Satomura & Sendai Sachiko to win the vacant International tag team championship; Makoto Oishi & Danshoku Dino b Hikari Minami & Ken Ohka and Miyako Matsumoto & Jun Kasai in a 3-way; Hikaru Shida b Tsukasa Fujimoto to win the ICEx60 title
December 25: NWA Top Rope (Lebanon, TN) – Tasha Simone b Tiffany Roxx to win the NWA World Women’s Championship
December 26: WWE Raw (Chicago, IL) – Zack Ryder & Eve Torres b Tyson Kidd & Natalya
December 26: Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling (Surrey, BC, Canada) – Gurv Sihra & Nicole Matthews b Ravenous Randy & Kc Spinelli
December 27: Great Canadian Wrestling (Oshawa, ONT, Canada) – Cherry Bomb & Danger Boy v Angelina Love & Shawn Spears
December 29: GakePro (Saitama, Japan) – Miyako Matsumoto v Emi Sakura
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 Serenity
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) – Mickie Knuckles v Sara Del Rey
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)
April 4: Purely Obsessed Wrestling World (Onley, IL) – Sassy Stephie v Nikki St John
- Lee Burton