Ringbelles Retro: Katie Lea claims OVW gold

As we discussed with the Blossom Twins last week, there is a great deal of excitement amongst women within Ohio Valley Wrestling concerning the new relationship with the promotion and TNA, and at the time of the announcement, we listed some of the hotter prospects that could get a break in TNA in the future.

OVW has a history of having strong women’s divisions, as was evident five years ago when the promotion was being used as a farm facility by WWE, and also had independent wrestlers migrating there as it was the best place to catch the attention of the bigger companies. As a result, this week’s Retro (a gauntlet match for the OVW Women’s Championship) features a wealth of stars.

In this match alone, you have defending titleholder Beth Phoenix, Shelly Martinez in her Ariel gimmick, Katie Lea before her WWE debut or current incarnation of Winter in TNA, ODB and Serena Deeb as well as Roni Jonah, Melody, Jennifer Mae, and even Kelly Kelly in a pre-match skit. The match took place on November 1, 2006, about 5 months after the WWE relaunch of ECW, which explains the edition of Ariel and Kelly, who were ECW “vixens” at the time. Beth had already debuted for WWE the previous May as an ally of Trish Stratus, but was taken off screen after she fractured her mandible on the June 5 episode of Raw. She was out of action for two months after having a titanium plate and nine screws inserted into her jaw, before returning to OVW before returning to WWE as a heel in July 2007.

Admittedly, the spoiler is in the title, as Katie Lea was the eventual winner, claiming the championship and entering a feud with Phoenix (who claimed that she was robbed of the belt), but this video goes to show the wealth of great potential talent that OVW had at the time. Given the new relationship with TNA, it could lead to another boom period for that prosperous little promotion in Louisville.