Ringbelles Roundup (14 August 2012) – Femmes Fatales, Hiroyo Matsumoto, Maria Kanellis & more
Wrestling promotions spend a long time building up a reputation. Many groups which are starting out at the moment like SHINE and BLOW are looking to get some traction, credibility and a fan base behind them to be mentioned in the same sort of high regard as companies like SHIMMER and Women Superstars Uncensored. Another promotion which has created a great reputation for itself is Montreal, nCw Femmes Fatales, which was worked hard over the last three years to be known as the standard bearer for all-women shows in Canada.
Earlier this year, another promotion looking to start its own women’s show did not do as much research as it probably should have. Insane Championship Wrestling in Scotland called its group Femmes Fatales, but after realising that there was already another Femmes Fatales out there which already had a positive reputation and was working on heritage. After a brief contact from the original, ICW agreed to change the name to Fierce Females, admitting that there would have been some confusion, rebranded itself and looked ahead to promoting its first show, which takes place in Glasgow on September 30 (which Ringbelles will be attending, we may add). It was a considered, reasonable and mature approach exhibited by all which meant that nobody felt aggrieved or hard done by, and would mean that there would be no confusion by fans.
A similar situation came to light this week.
Since the release of the GLOW documentary earlier this year – something which we have been following on the website and have reviewed very favourably – there has been something of a nostalgia revival by former stars of the show. It has also led to rumblings of reunions – one of which was the failed GLOW Season 5 card which took place in Las Vegas which turned out to be a complete mess from start to finish – but has also seen former GLOW Girls Ashley Cartier and Godiva announce the filming of a pilot of a new TV show in southern California, which would be presented under the title of Wrestling’s Femme Fatales.
Godiva posted a message on her fan page in July, saying: “Friends and fans, we are coming back! New, edgy, and 2012 outrageous! GLOW is dead, LONG LIVE GLOW, but we are taking it into the stratosphere! Wrestling’s Femme Fatales is coming your way! Picture a reality type search show where we audition girls to be the next WFF! By “We” I mean GLOW veterans! All your favorites, training up the next generation! This won’t be GLOW rip-off or GLOW bastardization….this will be experienced, and tried and true veterans showing rookies the ROPES! Literally! Matt Cimber is on board as well as your favorites from GLOW! Watch this page for MORE!!! Love you loyal fans, Godiva.”
It slipped under the radar until it was brought to our attention, and thought it would be best to inform them of the similarities in their name and the three year old nCw Femmes Fatales, hoping that they would not want to step on any toes. No such luck.
After one poster replied back that there was a difference in the spelling – not that it would make any difference when it was spoken and overlooking the fact that “Femme Fatales” is gramatically incorrect and doesn’t make sense as a result – the promoter of the nCw product, Stephane Bruyere left a message saying that their show title was not an original name, and that it would be like a promotion being set up called Gorgeous Lady Of Wrestling – different spelling, but same acronym. In response, Godiva replied “Laugh all the way to the bank!! Hahaha!”, making out that they would be keeping the name and would be more successful with it, as well as saying “Femme Fatales is NOT at wrestling company! We are a reality/action sketch comedy, character based show!”, despite it being called Wrestling’s Femme Fatales. Cartier got involved, saying the show is different and we should trust them, and saying “does it really matter how the name is spelled as long as it doesn’t infringe on trademark rights? Really guys… let’s play nice”.
Here’s where it began to snowball.
In support of Bruyere, SHIMMER promoter Dave Prazak posted “It’s not a wrestling company? So it’s not women wrestling in a ring? Regardless of the format of the show, it’s still a women’s wrestling product. If you do respect those in the wrestling community, then commenting that you’ll be “laughing all the way to the bank” after you’re informed someone else is already using that name as it pertains to women’s wrestling, then do the respectful thing before your product even launches. They have worked very hard over the past five years to establish their brand, and using their name is only going to harm their business and cause confusion in the marketplace. You may want to consider that if you claim to respect them.” Many others also posted their thoughts, saying that the product and concept is not an issue, but the name tramples on an already established promotion and it would be respectful to not go ahead with that title, and promising to boycott WFF if it continues with that name.
More than 40 comments were made in the thread before it was deleted on Monday afternoon, mere minutes after we copied it, in case such an occurance took place.
When approached for comment, Bruyere told Ringbelles: “Women’s wrestling is a small world and any kind of confusion to the fans might hurt both promotions. It’s a question of staying original – using the same name as an already established promotion is not a good way to start as it shows a lack of originality. It would be a sign of respect to the whole industry if they decide to make the change.”
Had Godiva and co changed the name when they realised there was a clash, they would have saved themselves a lot of negative attention. Had they dumped the Wrestling’s Femmes Fatales name when it was clear that another wrestling company was already using it, they could have garnered the same respect as was shown to ICW when they altered their title. By not doing so, it showed a huge amount of ignorance and arrogance which has come back to bite them on the bum. Perhaps the show will go on with the same moniker, perhaps it won’t. Perhaps the show will be a success and will be picked up by a TV station or production company, or perhaps it won’t. Whatever happens, the reputation of the creators has been tarnished by not listening to women’s wrestling fans, who are among their potential audience. It’s a real shame, as GLOW’s name, which used to shine bright in neon lights, is starting to flicker more and more, at a time when it should be blindingly bright for the first time in more than two decades.
Hiroyo Matsumoto challenges for the OZ Academy Openweight Championship on Sunday, taking on Chikayo Nagashima, who has held the title since March 25. The background to the match is well documented at the Hiroyo Matsumoto Destroy fan site ran by Shupercousin (who granted us permission to display this awesome picture of Lady Destroyer), and also highlights how Matsumoto could make a bit of history by winning the title, and usher in a generational change in joshi puroresu.
As is mentioned on the site, holders of Oz Academy’s top belt have been veterans with at least ten years experience. With a mere six years of ring time, Hiroyo would be seen to be somewhat green to have the honour of being Openweight Champion bestowed upon her. However, times change, wrestlers get older and slower, and the speed of progression of wrestlers these days seems to be a lot more swift. If Matsumoto becomes champion on Sunday, it could be a sign that it is time for the younger talent to be given the reins to see if they can keep the momentum going, as well as maintain current crowd numbers while attracting few fans to the product.
I first encountered 26-year old Matsumoto at the same time that many in the western world did – when she, Ayumi Kurihara, Tomoka Nakagawa and Misaki Ohata ventured to the US to debut for SHIMMER in April 2010, though she debuted on volume 30, while the others made their first appearances on 29. She made an immediate splash, squaring up to the fearsome Sara Del Rey and giving her a run for her money before falling in defeat. She was the final joshi to wrestle on that weekend on the volume 32 taping, and wept in the ring as the fans chanted “please come back”. After two days of action, she was by far my favourite of the Joshi4Hope team.
Her happy attitude, twinned with her repertoire of power moves caught my attention and could always force a smile from me. How someone could be so aggressive and do it with a beaming grin was something special to me, and as a result, I’m a big fan. Should Matsumoto win the big one on Sunday, I’ll be one happy fan – but probably nowhere near as happy as Hiroyo herself.
Maria Kanellis has opinions, and is not afraid to voice them, no matter how controversial they are.
Following last week’s Raw, Maria hosted her Afterbuzz show where they discuss what happened, and chronologically, it ended up on Kelly Kelly’s return to WWE, defeating Eve Torres. When asked by co-host Josh Padgett and guest Nigel McGuinness about if there was “backstage heat” between the two, Kanellis didn’t hold back.
She said: “I just think that sometimes you gotta be careful what photos end up on the Internet when people are involved with other people because it makes us girls that work our tails off to be very good individuals and be good at our job look trashy.”
When asked if it was to do with naked photos, Kanellis clarified herself. “I don’t mind those, naked it up if you’re by yourself, but if you’re with someone else’s someone else…I don’t like that. Scandalous and I don’t like it. It’s exact opposite of what I’m about. I think that you have to be careful with that stuff. Especially if you’re trying to change the opinions people are having about a certain group of individuals. You know what I mean? I have a problem with that because I fought my entire life to try and be just as strong as men and just as smart, and of course, the first thing that happens, is I get a stupid gimmick. So what did I do? I got on Celebrity Apprentice. And as soon as I was out of WWE, I started to make a change with my life, but it was not random photos of me with someone else’s someone else—because they don’t go away.”
What Maria is referring to is photos of Kelly with married man Chris Jericho which made their way onto the Internet in 2009, which included a shot of the pair kissing. It led to many speculating if the two were fooling around on the road, and possibly cheapening the reputation of the Divas in what is a male-dominated environment.
The following day, Kelly provided a cryptic tweet: “I will never mention your name, you will never be relevant. If I have something to say about you, I will say it to you☺#thebiggerperson.”
Kanellis’ response to that was “@afterbuzztv is a show about a show. Every show discusses the show, news and gossip. If you don’t like your dirty laundry aired maybe you should be more careful what shows up on the Internet.”
Some may think Maria is out of order for bringing up the matter, but she has nothing to lose by speaking out. She wants women to be treated seriously as contributors to wrestling, and apparently feels upset when something happens which may put a dent in that. She does not seem to have any intention of returning to WWE, so she has nothing to lose by speaking out. Whether you agree or not with what Kanellis did, she would not have been able to voice an opinion on it if the photos of Jericho and Kelly did not emerge (regardless of whether they have been taken out of context), especially in an era when anything someone does can hit the Internet and can never be taken back.
Elsewhere on the website
We’ve had interviews with Evie about her upcoming matches with Britenay and Jessie McKay over the next two weekends, as well as with Jezabeth about what influences her wrestling style. We also have video of Hailey Hatred v Ayumi Kurihara from earlier this year, and a review of a wrestling show called Nude War Games.
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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August 5: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Live Oak, TX) – Barbi Hayden b Jessica James; Athena b Jojo Bravo; Jaykus Plisken b ACH & Rachel Summerlyn in a 3-way
August 5: Battlewar III (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – Shayne Hawke b Jagger Miles, Maxx Fury, Electrico, Ryan Rogan & Vanessa Kraven
August 7: WAVE (Tokyo, Japan) – Yumi Ohka b Hanako Nakamori & Cherry in a 3-way; Moeka Haruhi b Mio Shirai; GAMI & Ryo Mizunami b Ayumi Kurihara & Mika Iida; Maki Narumiya & Yuu Yamagata b Tsukasa Fujimoto & Rabbit Mito; Misaki Ohata, Hanako Nakamori, Apple Miyuki & Mio Shirai b Ayako Hamada, Yumi Ohka, Apple Miyuki & Cherry
August 7: Wrestling New Classic (Kagoshima, Japan) – Kana b Sawako Shimono; AKIRA, Starbuck & Syuri b Lin Bairon, TAJIRI & Yusuke Kodama
August 7: AAA (Pachuca, Mexico) – Mari Apache & Sexy Lady b Fabi Apache & Lolita
August 8: WAVE (Tokyo, Japan) – Ayumi Kurihara b Tsukasa Fujimoto; Yuu Yamagata b Shuu Shibutani & Tsubasa Kuragaki in a 3-way; Kana & Shigehiro Irie b Kanjuro Matsuyama & Aya Yuki; GAMI & Ryo Mizunami b Yumi Ohka & Mio Shirai; Ran Yu-Yu b Mika Iida
August 9: WWE (Tokyo, Japan) – Kelly Kelly b Natalya
August 9: Impact Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Miss Tessmacher b Gail Kim
August 9: WWE NXT (Winter Park, FL) – Audrey Marie b Tamina Snuka; Paige b Alicia Fox
August 10: Svensk Wrestling Syd (Malmo, Sweden) – Jenny Sjodin b Mischka
August 10: 19 Pro (Saitama, Japan) – Aki Shizuku b Tsukasa Fujimoto to win the IW19 Championship
August 10: AAA (Veracruz, Mexico) – Mari Apache, Mini Charly Manson & Sexy Star b Fabi Apache, Lolita & Octagoncito
August 10: ArenaChicks (Cave-In-Rock, IL) – Ring Girl Randy b Jessie Belle; Heidi Lovelace b CJ Lane; Sojo Bolt b Taryn Shay; Reby Sky b Angel Orsini; Shelly Martinez b Amber O’Neal
August 10: WWE (Tokyo, Japan) – Natalya b Kelly Kelly
August 10: WWE (Tupelo, Mississippi) – Layla b Aksana
August 10: Dynamo Pro Wrestling (Glen Carbon, IL) – Magic Man b Miss Natural
August 11: PROWL (Cleveland, Australia) – Storm b Michelle K Hasluck
August 11: Maximum Pro Wrestling (Alliston, ONT, Canada) – Courtney Rush b Xandra Bale
August 11: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Meari Naito & NOZOMI b Hikaru Shida & Kurumi; Neko Nitta b Tsukushi; Hiroyo Matsumoto & Aki Shizuku b Hailey Hatred & Miyako Matsumoto; Tsukasa Fujimoto b Maki Narumiya
August 11: WWE (Shanghai, China) – Kelly Kelly b Natalya
August 11: WWE (Biloxi, MS) – Layla b Aksana
August 11: Danish Pro Wrestling (Copenhagen, Denmark) – Jenny Sjodin b Kool Krede
August 11: German Wrestling Federation (Berlin, Germany) – Blue Nikita, Crazy Sexy & Rambo b Lisa Fury, Tarkan Asian and Lucky Kid
August 11: Rad Pro Wrestling (South Shields, England) – Rhia O’Reilly b Freya Frenzy
August 11: Adrenaline Unleashed (Las Vegas, NV) – NY Knockout Nikki b Allison Danger to win the Adrenaline Unleashed Women’s Championship
August 11: Ring Of Honor (Providence, RI) – Sara Del Rey & Eddie Edwards b Maria Kanellis & Mike Bennett
August 11: New Focus Wrestling (Evansville, IN) – Aleida Ortiz b Epiphany
August 11: Wrestling.IE (Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland) – Leah Owens b Kazza G
August 11: Future Of Wrestling (Deerfield Beach, FL) – La Rosa Negra b Santana Garrett & Christina Von Eerie in a 3-way
August 11: Traditional Championship Wrestling (Clarksville, AR) – Athena b Jessica James
August 11: Oddball Wrestling (Cave-In-Rock, IL) – Crazy Mary Dobson b Miss Tori
August 12: El Pappy Pineda Promotions (Huntington Park, CA) – Hector Canales & NY Knockout Nikki b Willie Mack & Lucky O’Shea
August 12: JWP (Tokyo, Japan) – Sachie Abe, Tsubasa Kuragaki & Manami Katsu b Leon, Nana Kawase & Mika Iida; Command Bolshoi & Morley b KAZUKI & Carlos Amano; Kaori Yoneyama b Hanako Nakamori; Emi Sakura b Arisa Nakajima; Kagetu & Maki Narumiya b Kayoko Haruyama & Rabbit Mito; Noriko Matsumoto v Leon went to a time limit draw; Hiroyo Matsumoto & Sari b Arisa Nakajima & Nana Kawase; Manami Toyota b Leon; Kagetu b Manami Katsu; Misaki Ohata & Hanako Nakamori b Maki Narumiya & Mika Iida
August 12: CHIKARA (Reading, PA) – Tim Donst b Saturyne
August 12: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Dalis la Caribeña, Lady Afrodita & Marcela b La Seductora, Tiffany & Zeuxis
August 12: Union (August 12) – Mio Shirai b NOZOMI; Cherry & Miyako Matsumoto b Isami Kodaka & El Hijo del Goro Jr
August 12: TNA Hardcore Justice (Orlando, FL) – Madison Rayne b Miss Tessmacher to win the Knockouts Championship
August 13: WWE Raw (Dallas, TX) – Kaitlyn & Layla b Eve Torres & Beth Phoenix
August 13: CMLL (Puebla, Mexico) – La Comandante, Princesa Sugheit & Zeuxis b Dalis la Caribeña, Lluvia & Marcela
August 17: Preston City Wrestling (Preston, England) – CJ Banks v Kay Lee Ray
August 17: SHINE 2 (Ybor City, FL) – Mercedes Martinez v Jazz; Rain v Santana Garrett; Allysin Kay & Taylor Made v MsChif & Christina Von Eerie; Mia Yim v Sassy Stephie; Jessicka Havok v Reby Sky; Leva Bates v Portia Perez; Sojo Bolt v Taeler Hendrix v Heidi Lovelace; Kimberly v Su Yung
August 18: CHIKARA (Indianapolis, IN) – Saturyne v Tim Donst
August 18: Impact Pro Wrestling (Lynfield, New Zealand) – Britenay v Evie
August 19: OZ Academy (Tokyo, Japan) – Command Bolshoi & Rabbit Mito v Nao Komatsu & Sareee; Manami Toyota, Tsubasa Kuragaki & Tomoka Nakagawa v Yumi Ohka, Cherry & Mio Shirai ; Mayumi Ozaki v Carlos Amano; Ran Yu-Yu v Meiko Satomura; Aja Kong & Sonoko Kato v AKINO & Ayumi Kurihara; Chikayo Nagashima v Hiroyo Matsumoto
August 19: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Jessica James v Christina Von Eerie; Portia Perez & Rachel Summerlyn v Mojo Bravado; Jeff Gant v Athena
August 19: Ice Ribbon (Tokyo, Japan) – Riho v Sakura Hirota; Hikari Minami v Silueta; Aki Shizuku v Hailey Hatred; Hamuko Hoshi v GAMI; Miyako Matsumoto & Neko Nitta v Tsukushi & Kurumi; Tsukasa Fujimoto & Hikaru Shida v Maki Narumiya & Meari Naito
August 20: Ice Ribbon TEENS 7 (Tokyo, Japan) – Riho v Mio Shirai; Kurumi & Shigehiro Irie v Tsukushi & Kazuhiro Tamura; Hamuko Hoshi & Nana Kawase v Tsukasa Fujimoto & Rabbit Mito; Hikari Minami & Mayu Iwatani v Manami Katsu & Eri Susa
August 22: Newcastle Pro Wrestling (New Lambton, Australia) – Shazza McKenzie v Rachel Rose
August 25: American States Wrestling Alliance (Mansfield, OH) – Nevaeh v Sassy Stephie
August 25: Pro Wrestling Australia (Casula, Australia) – Jessie McKay v Evie
August 25: FutureShock (Manchester, England) – April Davids v Jenny Sjodin
August 26: Tri City Wrestling (Kitchner, ONT, Canada) – Allysin Kay v Courtney Rush v Xandra Bale v Leah Von Dutch
August 31: New Horizons Pro Wrestling (Fremantle, Australia) – Kellie Skater v Eliza Sway
September 1: Swiss Championship Wrestling (Bern, Switzerland) – Laura Wellings v Shanna
September 1: Crossfire Entertainment (McMinnville, TN) – Jessicka Havok v Reby Sky v Allysin Kay
September 8: NWA: Top Rope Promotions (Lebanon, TN) – Tasha Simone v Pandora
September 14: Squared Circle Wrestling (Auburn, NY) – Veda Scott v Cherry Bomb
September 15: Pro Wrestling Elite (Ayr, Scotland) – Mickie James v Kay Lee Ray
September 16: Pro Wrestling Elite (Ayr, Scotland) – Mickie James v Carmel Jacob
September 16: World Association of Women’s Wrestling (Norwich, England)
September 29: Pro-Wrestling Euskadi (Bilbao, Spain) – Pollyanna v Dragoi Neska
September 30: Insane Championship Wrestling: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland)
September 30: Squared Circle Wrestling (Vaughan, ONT, Canada) – Cherry Bomb v Gabriella Vanderpool
October 5: Family Wrestling Entertainment (Brooklyn, NY) – Maria Kanellis & Winter v Angel Williams & Velvet Sky
October 6: Pro Women’s Wrestling Alliance (Casula, Australia)
October 13: Women Superstars Uncensored (Deer Park, NY) – Jessicka Havok v Alicia v Lexxus
October 27: Extreme World Wrestling (Hastings, England) – Lady Lory v Erin Angel
October 27-28: SHIMMER: Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)
November 3: nCw Femmes Fatales (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – LuFisto v Mercedes Martinez; Pink Flash Kira v Portia Perez; Sweet Cherrie v Cherry Bomb
November 10: Pro Wrestling: EVE (Sudbury, England) – Alpha Female v Nikki Storm
April 6: SHIMMER: Women Athletes (Secaucus, NJ)
April 13-14: SHIMMER: Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)
- Lee Burton