Ringbelles Roundup (15 May 2012)
In news that landed on the Internet yesterday morning, Women Superstars Uncensored has been sold to what the official Twitter referred to as an “independent buyer”. In a statement in the newsletter, the promotion stated: “WSU is in the process of changing ownership. The sale will not affect any WSUVideo.com purchases or upcoming events. We will have a press release once the sale is signed.”
We understand that the press release will arrive by the end of this week, though there is no official word on whether this will affect the current direction of the promotion, the booking, the storylines, the upcoming Uncensored Rumble V iPPV next month, or the working relationship with nCw Femmes Fatales.
There is a possibility that the “independent buyer” who has bought WSU has plans to expand the brand. After all, there are elements which make it valuable. It is the busiest women’s promotion in the US, holding around a dozen cards a year – either officially or in collaboration with other companies – as well as having episodic storylines, a strong bunch of top-line characters like the Midwest Militia, Mercedes Martinez, Alicia and Brittney Savage, and it has ironed out a lot of the kinks that it suffered while it found its feet on iPPV. We hope that if there are changes, they don’t happen too suddenly, as it may be jarring for fans who are used to the current setup. We also hope that this buyer has a plan, and isn’t a money mark who throws a shedload of money at it, and pulls out if he or she does not see a return, killing the promotion as a consequence. After all, there is some evidence that WSU is not as profitable as it could be at the moment…
As we have pointed out on this site, attendance numbers have been pretty weak since WSU moved from its regular base of the ACE Arena in Union City, NJ to the NYWC Sportatorium in Deer Park, NY, though we have no real indication on how financially successful the iPPVs have been – for all we know, they could be bombing, or they could be booming. While we have a few bits and pieces of information about the current situation, it would be best to wait until there is an official word to try and get more of a handle on the situation.
We will bring you more on this sale as we get it.
REINA may (or may not) be done. After defeating La Commandante in their hair v hair main event in a bloody street fight on the first anniversary show on May 13, the group’s centrepiece Yumiko Hotta took the microphone and said the promotion was being dissolved. One can understand why it would be struggling – though it has gained a reputation for combining both lucha and joshi by having wrestlers from Mexico like Princesa Blanca, Lady Apache, Zeuxis and Dalis la Caribena and stars from Japan like Hotta, Ray and Tomoka Nakagawa, it has also introduced wrestlers from North America like Sara Del Rey, Courtney Rush, Portia Perez, Nicole Matthews, Mia Yim, Luscious Latasha and most recently, Kimber Lee, and all of these fly-ins can’t be cheap.
This is compounded by the low attendance numbers for shows – the first one at Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo on May 8 last year drew around 500 fans, but following that, attendance figures are more like 120-200. Sunday’s show drew 800 to Korakuen Hall, though for a building that has a capacity pushing 2,000, this is hardly anything to brag about. That’s why even though Hotta’s statement at the end of REINA 33 was a surprise, it’s not out of the blue – you can only keep spending for so long before losses have to be cut.
However, others in charge of REINA backpedalled from Hotta’s statement, saying that the promotion would go on, but that Hotta would be a freelancer who would scale back her bookings for future REINA shows. It seems as if there is some friction between the promotion and its top star, but despite this, the whole situation is recapped in the promotion’s own write-up, so for all we know, it’s part of a wider storyline.
REINA has cancelled its next scheduled show, which was meant to be at REINA Arena, AKA Tobu Friend Hall in the Edogawa-ku ward of Tokyo on May 26. Meanwhile, the promotion’s Tag Team Championship is now vacant after Mima Shimoda & Zeuxis returned the titles, with new champions to be determined in due course.
The loss of REINA would be a real shame, as it offered something a little different to all the other joshi promotions operating in Japan. With it being a hybrid of lucha and joshi, it could offer matches that you would be unlikely to see anywhere else, and also offered some different Western names a chance to partake in a different style than they may be used to, and it has reaped huge benefits for wrestlers like Yim in particular, who has become a more well-rounded wrestler as a result. Hopefully, the changes in REINA won’t affect their ambitions to wrestle in Japan, because as wrestlers like Hailey Hatred and Kellie Skater have proved, you don’t need to be affiliated with one promotion in Japan – if you’re good enough, pleasant enough and willing to get stuck in, you can do well for yourself over there. It could separate the wheat from the chaff though, and reveal which wrestlers in North America want to have a go at the joshi lifestyle, and which ones dabbled in it for the one-off experience. Either way, it’s not a big problem, but if you do want to try and work in Japan for an extended period, it’s possible.
Resistance Pro ran an unique take on the elimination match on Friday. They had a 6-woman contest featuring Women’s Champion Melanie Cruise, Sassy Stephie, Serenity, Nikki St. John, Taylor Made and Shelly Martinez where whoever got the first elimination would be able to sit out the rest of the match until it was just that women and the other who had survived the melee. It was St. John who got that benefit by beating Stephie. The other woman in the final two was champion Cruise, which was awkward for both as they are part of the same stable.
In the end, it was Cruise who got the pin following three Cruise Controls and a top rope legdrop to retain the title after St John refused to lay down and hand Melanie the victory. Melanie left with other stablemate Taylor Made, leaving Nikki in the ring alone, with some reports saying it sows the seeds for a babyface turn. Personally, having Cruise get the first decision to sit out and then leave with the belt would have done more for her position as a heel champion would have been a preferable choice, but as a concept of making the first fall important is one that I support, and hopefully this shows up again in the future.
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The best of the rest
WWE reportedly confiscated signs referring to the Bella Twins at last week’s SmackDown taping in Roanoke, VA. The pair left the company at the end of April when their contracts expired… Tough Enough contestant Rima Fakih, 26, was sentenced to six months probation and 20 hours community service after pleading no contest to driving while visibly impaired in Detroit. She must also pay $600 in fines and attend an alcohol safety class. She’s also reportedly planning to return to reality TV to present a dating show. Looks like she was never going to be signing on with WWE… Mickie James said on Twitter that she was an icon, and aspired to be a legend. Not sure if she’s at icon status yet… Former Ring Of Honor and SHIMMER talent Lacey will be moving to China for three years after being accepted of a PhD scholarship in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Huge congratulations to her… Paul Heyman named Beth Phoenix as his favourite WWE Diva, and asserted that “she could rock in MMA too”… Gail Kim and her fiance, chef Robert Irvine married on Thursday. Congratulations to them. Gossip mags say Kim’s friend Stacy Keibler didn’t go, choosing to attend a fundraiser with her boyfriend George Clooney instead… Amazon has left WAW. No word on what will happen to her impending British Title match against Liberty… Hannah and Holly Blossom will wrestle each other as part of FutureShock’s round robin… FCW and NXT are permanently moving to Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL. While this is great for FCW stars like Paige and Sofia Cortez, as it should mean bigger and livelier crowds, it’s a blow for NXT regular Maxine, as moving to a full-time base on a university campus is something of a step down… The Japan Expo in Paris, France, says that two female wrestlers will be there. Kana and Mio Shirai both mentioned it on Twitter… 50s throwback grappler Thunderkitty beat Aida Marie at Resistance Pro with a sleeperhold. So old-school, it’s wonderful… Courtney Rush has a chance to return to Neo Spirit Pro Wrestling after being banished by Cherry Bomb last year thanks to special guest GM Bret Hart. It’ll be Cherry Bomb & Leah Von Dutch against Courtney Rush and Jennifer Blake. Should Rush’s team win, she is back… On the subject of Courtney Rush, she has challenged the Midwest Militia (Jessicka Havok, Sassy Stephie and Allysin Kay) to a match at nCw Femmes Fatales IX. She says she has two partners, but won’t say who they are. On the same card, the Canadian Ninjas will take on Sweet Cherrie and Cherry Bomb…Shanna is already walking after having surgery on the ACL on her right leg just over a week ago. She is now undergoing rehab – her doctor thinks she may be back in the gym within a month… Allysin Kay made her first successful defence of the AIW Women’s Championship against Jennifer Blake at the weekend… Taeler Hendrix’s heel character is really taking off in OVW… Ray is to leave Ice Ribbon to become a freelancer… WAWW’s next show will be on June 17, with the return of Jetta as well as an appearance by veteran Julie Starr. French stars Eloanne and X-Cute Sweet will also make their debuts… Riho has replaced Mio Shirai in the joshi tag match on May 24′s Wrestling New Classic card in Tokyo… Impact Championship Wrestling in New Zealand is unveiling its Women’s Championship belt on Saturday in Hamilton – and the promoters have warned roster regulars Britenay, Megan-Kate and Evie that there will be other women brought in from outside the promotion to wrestle for the title… Tara revealed that she is featured in the latest issue of the adult magazine Penthouse. When she was wrestling as Victoria in WWE, she was open to being in Playboy, but was never asked. Before you ask if she’ll be naked, we don’t know at this moment in time.
May 8: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Lluvia, Luna Mágica & Silueta b La Seductora, Lady Afrodita & Tiffany
May 8: Florida Underground Wrestling (Largo, FL) – Su Yung b Jessie Belle Smothers
May 9: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Randy Royal & Epiphany v Paredyse & Aleida Ortiz v Taeler Hendrix & Dylan Bostic v Brandon Espinosa & Chris went to a no-contest
May 10: WWE Superstars (Greensboro, NC) – Natalya b Alicia Fox
May 10: TNA (New Orleans, LA) – Mickie James b Angelina Love
May 10: Impact Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Brooke Tessmacher b Velvet Sky
May 11: WWE SmackDown (Roanoke, VA) – AJ b Kaitlyn
May 11: WWE (Glens Falls, NY) – Layla b Beth Phoenix
May 11: Chaotic Wrestling (Lowell, MA) – Mercedes KV b Nikki Roxx
May 11: NWA Houston (Cypress, TX) – Jen Alise b Barbi Hayden
May 11: 19 Pro (Saitama, Japan) – Aki Shizuku b Maki Narumiya
May 11: Resistance Pro (Chicago, IL) – Thunderkitty b Aida Marie; Melanie Cruise b Sassy Stephie, Shelly Martinez, Taylor Made, Serenity & Nikki St John in a 6-way elimination match
May 11: IWA Unlimited (Onley, IL) – Angelus Layne b Scarlett Bordeaux
May 12: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Kurumi v Tsukushi went to a time limit draw; Antonio Honda b Miyako Matsumoto; Dorami Nagano, Hamuko Hoshi & Aki Shizuku b Hikaru Shida, Maki Narumiya & Hikari Minami; Tsukushi won a 10 person battle royal
May 12: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Epiphany & Randy Royal b Taeler Hendrix & Dylan Bostic and Blair Lexis & Paredyse in a 3-way
May 12: Swiss Championship Wrestling (Chur, Switzerland) – Laura Wellings b Amelie Siek
May 12: Big Time Wrestling (Newark, CA) – Davina Rose b Cheerleader Melissa
May 12: C4 Wrestling (Ottawa, ONT, Canada) – Twiggy b Portia Perez
May 12: Tulalip Championship Wrestling (Marysville, WA) – Trixie Dynamite, Cadillac Callis & WildCard b Anni Richards, Kellen Raeth & Christopher Ryseck
May 12: Absolute Intense Wrestling (Cleveland, OH) – Allysin Kay b Jennifer Blake
May 12: Australasian Wrestling Federation (Parramatta, Australia) – Envy b Rachel Rose; Selene b Mighty Mel
May 12: Lucha Libre USA (Round Rock, TX) – Rebecca Reyes & The Hurricane b Jillian Hall & Rocky Romero
May 12: Newcastle Pro Wrestling (New Lambton, Australia) – Shazza McKenzie & Adam Hoffman b Harley Wonderland & Luke Knight
May 12: Scottish Wrestling Alliance: Source (Beith, Scotland) – Lindsay Shields b Nikki Storm
May 12: Italian Championship Wrestling (Mozzate, Italy) – Queen Maya b Lisa Schianto
May 12: Solent Wrestling Federation (Gosport, England) – Flatliner & Erin Angel b Jace The Ace & Amazon
May 12: Florida Underground Wrestling (New Port Richey, FL) – Jessie Belle Smothers b Mercedes Justine
May 12: IWA Unlimited (Onley, IL) – Sassy Stephie b Nikki St John
May 12: EuroWrestling (Hennigsdorf, Germany) – Blue Nikita b Jenny Sjodin
May 12: Toryumon (Mexico City, Mexico) – Kana b Syuri
May 13: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Hamuko Hoshi b Meari Naito; Maki Narumiya b Dorami Nagano; Marines Mask b Choun Shiryu and Hikari Minami in a 3-way; Tsukasa Fujimoto, Tsukushi & Kurumi b Hikaru Shida, Neko Nitta & Miyako Matsumoto
May 13: REINA (Tokyo, Japan) – Hikaru Shida & Tsukasa Fujimoto b Basara & Saya; Aki Kanbayashi b Kimber Lee; Mima Shimoda, Ray & Tomoka Nakagawa b Goya Kong, Zeuxis & Dalys La Caribeña; Princesa Blanca b Lady Apache; Kyoko Inoue & Sareee b Aoi Ishibashi & Mia Yim; Yumiko Hotta b La Commandante
May 13: CMLL (Guadalajara, Mexico) – Amapola & Tiffany b Marcela & Silueta
May 13: AAA (Monterrey, Mexico) – Lady Puma, Ninja Jr. & Silencio b Gemelo Muerte I, Gemelo Muerte II & Sexy Star
May 13: United Wrestling Federation (Georgetown, KY) – Maria James b Aleida Ortiz
May 13: WWE (Rochester, NY) – Layla b Beth Phoenix
May 13: TNA Sacrifice (Orlando, FL) – Gail Kim b Brooke Tessmacher
May 14: WWE Raw (Pittsburgh, PA) – Beth Phoenix b Alicia Fox
May 18: New York Wrestling Connection (Deer Park, NY) – Nikki Syxx v Sara Del Rey
May 18: Acid City Championship Wrestling (Blackburn, England) – Jenny Sjodin v Kay Lee Ray
May 19: Crossfire Entertainment (Nashville, TN) – Reby Sky v Jessicka Havok
May 19: Remix Pro Wrestling (Marietta, OH) – Velvet Sky v Sassy Stephie
May 19: World Wide Wrestling League & Scottish Wrestling Alliance (Stirling, Scotland) – Nikki Storm v Sara Marie Taylor
May 19: Purely Obsessed Wrestling World (Elk Grove, IL) – Melanie Cruise v Chazz Moretti
May 19: Lucha Fan Fest (Mexico City, Mexico) – Chika Tormenta & Vaquerita v Io Shirai & Keira
May 19: CHIKARA (Easton, PA) – Meiko Satomura & Kagetsu v DASH Chisako & Sendai Sachiko; Eddie Kingston, Scott Parker, Soldier Ant & Saturyne v Jigsaw, Shane Matthews, Green Ant & Sara Del Rey
May 20: CHIKARA (Manhattan, NY) – Sara Del Rey v Meiko Satomura; Saturyne v Kagetsu; DASH Chisako & Sendai Sachiko v Bravado Brothers
May 20: QWEST (Kissimmee, FL) – Leva Bates v Angelina Love
May 20: International Wrestling Cartel (Newell, WV) – Sassy Stephie v Marti Belle
May 20: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Rachel Summerlyn v Angel Blue; Athena & Davey Vega v Su Yung & Matthew Palmer
May 20: WWE Over The Limit (Raleigh, NC) – Layla v Beth Phoenix
May 24: Wrestling New Classic (Tokyo, Japan) – Yoshiaki Yago, Tomoka Nakagawa & Josh O’Brien v Ultimo Dragon, Lin Byron & Yusuke Kodama; Kana & Syuri v Riho & Makoto
May 26: Riot City Wrestling (North Adelaide, FL) – Miami v Savannah Summers
May 26: United States Wrestling Alliance (Mansfield, OH) – Nevaeh v Sassy Stephie
May 26: Wrestling New Classic (Osaka, Japan) – Kana v Makoto ; AKIRA, Syuri & Kouji Doi v The Bodyguard, Tomoka Nakagawa & Josh O’Brien; Takuya Kito & Lin Byron v HAYATA & Mio Shirai
May 26: New Horizons Pro Wrestling (Freemantle, Australia) – Kellie Skater v Shazza McKenzie
May 27: Wrestling New Classic (Hiroshima, Japan) – Lin Byron & TBA vs. Makoto & SEIKI
May 27: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Live Oak, TX) – Su Yung v Angel Blue
May 27: FutureShock 59 (Stockport, England) – Jenny Sjodin v The Artiste Formerly Known As Becky James; Holly Blossom v Hannah Blossom
May 27: Wrestling New Classic (Hiroshima, Japan) – Tajiri, Mikey Whipwreck & Kana v Dave Finlay, AKIRA & Syuri
June 2: NWA Hammerlock (Tonbridge, England) – Jenny Sjodin v Rhia O’Reilly
June 2: CHIKARA (Philadelphia, PA) – Sara Del Rey & Saturyne v Obariyon, Kodama & Kobald
June 2: East Coast Wrestling Association (Newark, DE) – Tina San Antonio v Jessie Kaye
June 2: Northern Championship Wrestling (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – Kalamity v Portia Perez
June 9: Neo Spirit Pro Wrestling (Niagara Falls, ONT, Canada) – Cherry Bomb & Leah Von Dutch v Courtney Rush & Jennifer Blake
June 16: Women Superstars Uncensored “Uncensored Rumble V” (Deer Park, NY) – Jessicka Havok v Mercedes Martinez; Sassy Stephie v Brittney Savage; Alicia v Lexxus; Kalamity v Sweet Cherrie; Tina San Antonio v Annie Social
June 17: World Association of Women’s Wrestling (Costessey, England)
June 24: Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen of Queens (Live Oak, TX)
June 30: World Wrestling Council (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) – Melina v Mickie James
July 1: Absolute Intense Wrestling (Cleveland, OH) – Allysin Kay v Mia Yim
July 7: nCw Femmes Fatales (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – Portia Perez & Nicole Matthews v Sweet Cherrie & Cherry Bomb; Kalamity v Sara Del Rey; Jessicka Havok, Allysin Kay & Sassy Stephie v Courtney Rush, TBA & TBA
July 13: Squared Circle Wrestling (Watertown, NY) – Mickie James v Rachel Summerlyn
July 14: Pro Wrestling: EVE (Sudbury, England) – Alpha Female v Nikki Storm
- Lee Burton