Following her arrest over being arrested for narcotics possession last week, Io Shirai was indefinitely suspended by her home promotion, Stardom. The official statement refrains from making a comment on the current legal situation, but did distance itself from the former Triple Tails member, and apologised to fans. Io’s sister Mio did the same thing in a blog post, saying that their relationship had been strained recently, and Io had distanced herself from her family. She also pointed out that she heard about the arrest in the same way everyone else did – via the media.
Shirai’s suspension should not come as a surprise. Drugs are a serious no-no in Japan, and any wrestling organisation would want to disassociate itself with anything that may trouble or dissuade sponsors.
22-year old Shirai and her boyfriend NOSAWA Rongai were arrested at Narita Airport after returning from Mexico, after a total of 75 grams of marijuana was found hidden in the frames of two paintings given to them from fans. In somewhere like the US or UK, 75 grams is a small amount of cannabis – but this Japan, which has ferocious anti-drug laws to discourage people from smuggling, selling, cultivating or selling them in the country. For example, because caught with weed could result in a five year prison sentence which also incorporates hard labour. That’s a stiff penalty, and really not worth the risk.
At the moment, both Shirai and Rongai (who deny the allegations) are being held in a detention centre where the prosecutor will prepare in indictment. If that happens, the chances of being acquitted is very slim.
No doubt, Shirai is neck deep in the proverbial brown stuff. Should she be convicted of trying to smuggle drugs into Japan, she can ostensibly kiss her domestic wrestling career goodbye, and travelling overseas to wrestle will be catastrophically difficult. Should she escape being charged, it would still be difficult to resume her wrestling career. After all, mud sticks, and promotions would be reluctant to book her with the stigma of a drug arrest over her head, regardless of whether she was not charged or convicted of anything.
We should find out what will happen with Shirai and Rongai within two weeks.
Former WWE Divas Champion Jillian Hall was arrested a month ago for domestic violence, according to Lords Of Pain. The 31-year old was picked up in Orange County, FL on April 23 and charged with battery.
This was reportedly followed up on Thursday with a tweet to say that she and her husband of two years, Mike Farole, had separated, and also posted a picture of her tattoo of her estranged husband’s name, calling it a mistake.
Hall has had a rough year or so. A year ago, she announced that she was 12 weeks pregnant and experienced the tragedy of a miscarriage soon afterwards. She has also been dealing with depression and suffered criticism from wrestling fans over her weight gain, though she has since shed that weight. Hopefully this arrest and charge can be the encouragement she needs to do what she needs to do to make herself happy.
Her next scheduled wrestling appearance is on June 9 in New York City for Family Wrestling Entertainment against Maria Kanellis.
The eight competitors for the 4th Annual Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen Of Queens on June 24 have been announced. As well as the aforementioned former finalist Athena, Christina Von Eerie, Su Yung and Jazz, we have Jessicka Havok, Veda Scott, last year’s winner Rachel Summerlyn and another former finalist, Lady Poison.
The Queen Of Queens shows have been great shows in the past. The first was won by Daizee Haze; the second winner was Portia Perez, and as mentioned, last year, Rachel Summerlyn emerged on top. The last two winners have been a regular in ACW – it’s Summerlyn’s home promotion, Perez attends most shows, while Haze was a good person to get the tournament off the ground. If that is a pattern, one would expect Summerlyn to repeat her victory last year, or perhaps Athena, Lady Poison or new arrival Su Yung could be in line to take the crown for the first time.
However, now that Queen Of Queens has been established, we could see one of the “outsiders” winning it. Havok is on a roll in wrestling this year, Scott has had a blinder of a first year, Von Eerie impressed in her quarter-final loss to Summerlyn last year, and Jazz is… well, Jazz. It is a crap shoot when it comes to picking a winner this year, which makes things remarkably interesting. We will be keeping an eye on how it all unfolds.
In non-tournament action, former American Joshi Champion Perez (who is now a babyface following the abuse of Robert Evans and with a new desire to restore some glory to the belt) takes on current titleholder Angel Blue with the strap on the line. Portia has done her best to show that she has changed her evil ways by dressing as Cookie Monster at ACW’s recent prom show and teaming with her former enemy Summerlyn and not turning on her. Can Perez be trusted? What are her intentions – are they as transparent as giving credibility to the American Joshi belt, or does she have something else on her mind? We may have more of an idea in a month’s time.
Perez (who also briefly held the men’s ACW Championship last year) invests more into her character than pretty much anyone in wrestling. She’s always developing, adapting and shaping her persona, and it pays dividends. Most of her evolution into what she is has taken place in ACW. June 24 may see it alter again.
Jessie Belle Smothers’ gimmick of being Tracy Smothers’ daughter has been dealt a critical blow. For undisclosed reasons, Tracy decided to blow the assertion that she was legitimately his daughter out of the water last Monday, and took a shot at the professionalism of both her and her boyfriend Ryan Howe (who many remember as the man nicknamed ‘Skidmarks’ by Bill DeMott on Tough Enough last year) in the process.
“Jessie Belle isn’t my daughter, its a work people, I didn’t train Ryan Skidmarks… they have no respect for the wrestling business or the people in it…”
As mentioned, there is no obvious reason as to why Tracy decided to do away with his ‘daughter’ – a gimmick which was so well purported that most believed that it was true. The pair even teamed up while Jessie Belle was in Ohio Valley Wrestling before relocating to Florida last year. One report claims that Tracy asked Jessie Belle to not use the Smothers surname anymore – and requested that nobody else used it, though Mickie Knuckles quit using the Izza Belle Smothers title last year, and Solo Darling’s Christie Belle Smothers moniker never really got far.
The only response by Jessie Belle was a non-specific one came a couple of days later.
“Amazing how a few days can change your whole perspective on your life.”
Jessie Belle recently revealed that she is moving back to Louisville, KY to return to OVW.
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? Are you a fan who went to a show and saw a match, and would like to tell others about it – what you liked, what you didn’t and would like to encourage others to check it out for themselves? Send us an email!
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The best of the rest
Mae Young discussed wrestling on her 100th birthday – which is in just over ten years time, and I reckon she may get there. She says she wants to wrestle Stephanie McMahon and her daughter Aurora Rose… Victoria Swain, who wrestled as Skye, ran with the Olympic torch on Wednesday morning as part of the relay… AJ is featured in a great commercial for the next WWE PPV, No Way Out. She’s starring in it with Daniel Bryan… Brooke Hogan, ODB and Velvet Sky appeared on Fox and Friends on Thursday to hype Hogan’s forthcoming TNA debut. At an inch shy of six feet tall, she towers over the rest of the Knockouts roster to a ridiculous level. Don’t ever let 4’11” Rosita stand next to her… Tammy Lynn Sytch says that she was hospitalised with stomach flu (and discovering that she has severe gastroenteritis and an enflamed pancreas), which is her explanation for missing the VOC Nation appearance two weeks ago… REINA has been rebranded to REINAxWORLD. Aki Kambayashi also stated that she, Aoi Ishibashi and Mia Yim will be part of it. A tournament to crown new Tag Team Champions will take place in Tokyo on June 9… Former WWE Diva Amy Weber’s self-published song Let It Rain has made it onto the Billboard charts… Taeler Hendrix will defend the OVW Women’s Championship against Epiphany this weekend… Tsukasa Fujimoto will challenge Kurumi for the IW19 Championship after winning the 19 Pro #1 contender’s tournament last week. She defeated Aki Shizuku in the finals. The IW19 belt is the only Ice Ribbon title that Fujimoto has not worn… Leah Von Dutch will make her first tour on June 9… Courtney Rush has signed up for TNA’s Gut Check in Oshawa, ONT, Canada on June 23… WSU announced on Friday that there has been two separate pullouts in its efforts to sell the promotion – one from an individual, one from a company. It also revealed that the sale of the company will wholly depend on if the Uncensored Rumble next month is a success. Promoter Sean McCaffrey says he’s leaving the promoting game because of health issues – he has a mass on his prostate. He also took some petty pot-shots at promotions with some thinly-veiled insults about groups that run twice a year. It didn’t help the promotion’s professionalism… Alex Lee (Irena Janjic) was involved in a serious car crash while on the way to Showtime Wrestling Alliance’s show on Saturday. The vehicle came off the road after swerving to avoid wildlife and crashed into a tower pole. Lee (who was a passenger) and the four male wrestlers she was travelling with walked away from the crash, with no major injuries reported… Raquel Diaz debuted a new look at FCW last week, sporting a blonde wig and having a Lady Gaga-type gimmick. The image was reported to be designed for Layla’s return, but that never game to fruition… There is an all-women’s promotion on its way to Scotland – a great thing, considering the strong talent there. Created as a sister promotion to Insane Championship Wrestling, it was originally called ICW: Femmes Fatales, but considering the name is so close to the all-women’s Canadian promotion, they have agreed to change it to Fierce Females. Roster members include Rhia O’Reilly, Viper, Nikki Storm and Holly Rocamora… Ashley Massaro got engaged over the weekend. Congratulations to her… Mickie James was pulled out of her match against Melina on June 30 in Puerto Rico. She will be replaced by Velvet Sky. James and Melina have had their issues in the past… Rage Entertainment held a show called Ladymania in Ottaa, ONT, Canada on Saturday featuring mostly Canadian talent. It doesn’t seem that it was highly promoted… The new iPPV sister promotion to SHIMMER will be called SHINE and will hold its first show on Friday, July 20 at the Orpheum in Ybor City, FL… Daffney sold her boots on eBay for $330… Since we spoke to her earlier this year, Aleida Ortiz has been kicking bottom. The ‘Latin Beast’ won the UWF Vixens Championship at the weekend by defeating Amazing Maria in Georgetown, KY. Keep an eye on her… The Pro Wrestling: EVE show on July 14 is set to be a joint card with a men’s promotion, and is being described as a “Special Edition”. There has also been two returns promised. No word on if it will be an iPPV though.
May 20: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Athena b Barbi Hayden; Matthew Palmer & Su Yung b Davey Vega & Athena; Angel Blue & Lady Poison b Rachel Summerlyn & Portia Perez
May 21: CMLL (Puebla, Mexico) – Amapola, Princesa Sugheit & Tiffany b Estrellita, Luna Mágica & Marcela
May 22: Diana (Kitazawa, Japan) – Nao Komatsu b Sareee; Jaguar Yokota & Kaoru Ito b Keiko Aono & Mima Shimoda
May 23: Tenryu Project (Tokyo, Japan) – K-ness & Mayu Iwatani b Kenichiro Arai & Yoshiko
May 23: WWE (Poughkeepsie, NY) – Layla b Natalya
May 24: Impact Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Gail Kim & Madison Rayne b Eric Young & ODB
May 24: Wrestling New Classic (Tokyo, Japan) – Ultimo Dragon, Lin Byron & Yusuke Kodama b Yoshiaki Yago, Tomoka Nakagawa & Josh O’Brien; Kana & Syuri b Riho & Makoto
May 24: Florida Championship Wrestling (Tampa, FL) – Audrey Marie b Paige
May 24: WWE (Sao Paolo, Brazil) – Beth Phoenix b Kelly Kelly
May 25: 19 Pro (Saitama, Japan) – Maki Narumiya b Dorami Nagano; Tsukasa Fujimoto b Aki Shizuku
May 25: Brew City Wrestling (West Allis, WI) – Melissa Coates b Stacy Shadows via DQ
May 25: WWE (Guayaquil, Ecuador) – Beth Phoenix b Kelly Kelly
May 25: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – La Seductora, Princesa Sugheit & Tiffany b Dark Angel, Goya Kong & Lady Apache
May 25: Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (Surrey, BC, Canada) – Kc Spinelli & Tony Baroni b Mary Jane & Jamie Diaz
May 26: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Dorami Nagano b Meari Naito; Masa Takanashi b Hikari Minami & Chou-un Shiryu in a 3-way; Hikaru Shida v Maki Narumiya went to a time limit draw; Aoi Kizuki & Sayaka Obihiro b Tsukasa Fujimoto & Miyako Matsumoto
May 26: Riot City Wrestling (North Adelaide, Australia) – Savannah Summers b Miami to win the RCW Women’s Championship
May 26: New Horizons Pro Wrestling (Freemantle, Australia) – Kellie Skater b Shazza McKenzie
May 26: Wrestling New Classic (Osaka, Japan) – HAYATA & Tadasuke b Takuya Kito & Lin Byron; AKIRA, Syuri & Kouji Doi b The Bodyguard, Tomoka Nakagawa & Josh O’Brien; Kana b Makoto;
May 26: Gippsland Pro Wrestling (Moe, Australia) – Vixsin b Daisy Chayne
May 26: Rage Entertainment ‘Ladymania’ (Ottawa, ONT, Canada) – She Nay Nay b Jewells Malone; Leah Von Dutch b Kaitlin Diamond; Jodi D’Milo b Gabriella Vanderpool; Addy Starr b Portia Perez; Melissa Coates b Persephone Vice; Portia Perez won a battle royal
May 26: Legends of the Squared Circle (Middletown, OH) – Heather Owens b Aleida Ortiz
May 26: WWE (Guadalajara, Mexico) – Layla b Natalya
May 26: WWE (Quito, Ecuador) – Beth Phoenix b Kelly Kelly
May 26: Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (Vancouver, BC, Canada) – Jamie Diaz, Mary Jane & Scotty Mac b Nicole Matthews, Alex Plexis & Andy The Dreadful Bird to win the ECCW Tag Team Championship
May 26: Fighting Spirit Wrestling (Brooklyn, NY) – Kimber Lee b Saturyne
May 26: Italian Championship Wrestling (Lodi, Italy) – Sweet Saraya b Queen Maya
May 27: JWP (Tokyo, Japan) – Hanako Nakamori b Nana Kawase; Kayoko Haruyama & Command Bolshoi v Arisa Nakajima & Manami Katsu went to a time limit draw; KAZUKI, Morley & Jaguar Yokota b Tsubasa Kuragaki, Leon & Rabbit Mito; Arisa Nakajima won a battle royal
May 27: Stardom (Sapporo, Japan) – Kairi Hojo b Yuuri Haruka; Kyoko Kimura b Natsumi Showzuki; Natsuki*Taiyo & Act Yasukawa b Eri Susa & Saki Kashima; Yoshiko & Kota Ibushi b Mayu Iwatani & Danshoku Dieno; Yuzuki Aikawa & Yoko Bito b Nanae Takahashi & Miho Wakizawa
May 27: Ice Ribbon (Nagano, Japan) – Kurumi b Miyako Matsumoto; Marines Mask 2 b Ayumu Honda; Hikaru Shida & Tsukasa Fujimoto v Maki Narumiya & Aki Shizuku went to a time limit draw; Sawako Shimono b Dorami Nagano; Aki Shizuku won a battle royal
May 27: OZ Academy (Nagoya, Japan) – Nao Komatsu b Mika Iida; Manami Toyota & Hiroyo Matsumoto b Yumi Ohka & Tomoka Nakagawa; Ayumi Kurihara b Sakura Hirota; Mayumi Ozaki & Ran Yu-Yu b Carlos Amano & AKINO; Sonoko Kato & Aja Kong b Chikayo Nagashima & Ryo Mizunami
May 27: Wrestling New Classic (Hiroshima, Japan) – Lin Byron & Victory b Makoto & SEIKI; Dave Finlay, AKIRA & Syuri b TAJIRI, Mikey Whipwreck & Kana
May 27: United Wrestling Federation (Georgetown, NY) – Aleida Ortiz b Amazing Maria to win the UWF Vixens Championship
May 27: FutureShock 59 (Stockport, England) – Jenny Sjodin b Charlotte Quinn; Hannah Blossom b Holly Blossom
June 1: Pro Wrestling Syndicate (Rahway, NJ) – Amber v Annie Social v Barbie v Brittney Savage
June 1: Scottish Wrestling Alliance (Govan, Scotland) – Nikki Storm & Glen Dunbar v Lindsay Shields & Handsome Jam
June 2: NWA Hammerlock (Tonbridge, England) – Jenny Sjodin v Rhia O’Reilly
June 2: Welsh Wrestling (Welshpool, Wales) – Pollyanna v Nikki Storm
June 2: Pro Wrestling Syndicate (Rahway, NJ) – Brittney Savage v Alexxis Nevaeh
June 2: PROWL Wrestling (Cleveland, Australia) – Storm & Alex Lee v Michelle Hasluck & Baby Devine
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 2: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Taeler Hendrix v Epiphany
June 9: Neo Spirit Pro Wrestling (Niagara Falls, ONT, Canada) – Cherry Bomb & Leah Von Dutch v Courtney Rush & Jennifer Blake
June 9: Newcastle Pro Wrestling (New Lambton, Australia) – Shazza McKenzie v Jessie McKay
June 9: Family Wrestling Entertainment (New York, NY) – Maria Kanellis v Jillian Hall
June 9: REINAxWORLD (Tokyo, Japan) – Aoi Ishibashi & Aki Kambayashi v La Commandante & Zeuxis; Hikaru Shida & Tsukasa Fujimoto v Princesa Blanca & Princesa Sugheit
June 9: Mega Championship Wrestling (Elyria, OH) – Angeldust v Thunderkitty
June 15: Pro Wrestling Alliance (Camden, Australia) – Evie v Kellie Skater; Jessie McKay v Shazza McKenzie
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 16: IWA: Midwest (Bellevue, IL) – Thunderkitty v Serenity
June 17: World Association of Women’s Wrestling (Costessey, England)
June 17: Union (Kitazawa, Japan) – Cherry v Yuko Miyamoto
June 17: JWP (Tokyo, Japan) – Kaori Yoneyama & Emi Sakura v Arisa Nakajima & Manami Katsu
June 24: Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen of Queens (Live Oak, TX) – Angel Blue v Portia Perez
June 30: World Wrestling Council (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) – Melina v Velvet Sky
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
July 30: SHINE Wrestling (Ybor City, FL)
August 4: Crossfire Entertainment (Nashville, TN) – Jillian Hall v Jessicka Havok
September 16: World Association of Women’s Wrestling (Norwich, England)
September 29-30: SHIMMER: Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)
November 3: nCw Femmes Fatales (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
– Lee Burton