It’s a jungle out there.
Take a look at the Upcoming section – most specifically the section for October and November. In the space of a month, you have three iPPV shows (SHINE will be one of them, most probably on October 19), as well as the SHIMMER weekend, nCw Femmes Fatales and Pro-Wrestling: EVE. In a four week gap, there are hugely advertised women’s cards taking place across the western hemisphere. If you expand the boundaries a bit to include the start of October, there is the new UKWW/WAWW venture in the UK, the debut of REINA x World in the US, PWWA in Australia and Joshi4Hope in Japan. No doubt, if you’re a fan of women’s wrestling, you certainly have a lot of stuff to choose from. Unfortunately, it may be too much for a minority in a minority like women’s wrestling certainly is.
On August 8, Pro-Wrestling: EVE promoter Dann Read tweeted his thoughts on the matter: “Its been obv for a while but I’m now feeling that the women’s scene in the US is becoming over saturated to a potentially harmful level.”
The first apparent victim of this rapidly expanding calendar was Ohio-based Independent Women’s Internet Wrestling, which shut up shop last week after one – albeit well received – show in July which crowned Cherry Bomb as its first champion. In a message posted on its Facebook page last week, it said; “As you know there is SHIMMER and WSU and Femmes Fatales which provide women’s wrestling action as well as Pro Wrestling Eve in England. And now there are two new promotions Shine and Blow which are going to be having regular and affordable iPPV’s featuring top talent.
“I see little reason in attempting to compete with a fraction of the resources. Even on a hobby promoting level it’s too expensive and too little return to pursue any further.”
Said message has since been deleted so IWIW may continue, but it shows that many promotions are seeing that this is a fairly full dinner table at the moment, and the amount of food being distributed is shrinking to the point where some may be fighting for scraps. On face value, it does seem as if things could be getting over-saturated – but looking at it in a different way, it could really separate the wheat from the chaff.
No doubt, well-established outfits in less-busy areas of the world like SHIMMER, Femmes Fatales and EVE will be fine. Promotions in places like New York, the surrounding states and Ohio may find things a little more tricky. When it comes to NY, things are very densely populated, and there is a lot more choice for fans. Bombshell Ladies of Wrestling and Women Superstars Uncensored operate in that region, and there are places like Pro Wrestling Syndicate, Northeast Wrestling and Family Wrestling Entertainment which present high-profile women matches featuring former WWE Divas and former or current TNA Knockouts, which will always be a draw. This presents an amazingly difficult challenge for promoters of independent women’s wrestling to put on a show which fans will want to see, and most importantly, will want to pay for. When you are dipping into similar rosters, one of the ways to make yourself stand out is with the booking of the show – new matches, new storylines and things which can create intrigue. WSU has a great opportunity to do this with its new direction under Beyond Wrestling, and Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling is deliberately offering a product which appears to be different to the likes of WSU, SHINE, SHIMMER and so on by having things be a bit more tongue in cheek.
However, there is also the iPPV market, which is still in its relative infancy, and may not be able to sustain having three shows broadcast in a month. Do fans have enough disposable income to watch them all, or will they start to pick and choose based on what is offered to them? Eventually, everyone’s put runs empty, and that will be when viewers may start to get more selective.
The challenge some of these younger promotions now have is to make themselves stand out and encourage us to take a punt on them. Ticket sales for SHIMMER, EVE and Femmes Fatales are reportedly going very well, so I doubt that they’re too concerned as their reputations precede them. But I get the feeling that only the strong will survive this current boom, which you could liken to the dot-com bubble between 1995 and 2000, when new online companies would form all the time. Many got huge investments and floated on the stock market, but after it burst, most went bust, and the survivors were the ones who had marketed themselves correctly and had built up customer loyalty. Places like Amazon, eBay and Google lived on and became giants, while who remembers places like boo.com, pets.com and startups.com?
This bubble will burst and a natural order will take place after all the debris falls into place. Don’t worry about there being too much wrestling – just enjoy what you want to enjoy, the good promotions will survive, the unimaginative ones will fade away, and a normal balance will be found.
You may have noticed in the piece above that I referred to the promotion as Bombshell Ladies of Wrestling and not under its abbreviation of BLOW. That’s because since announcing Jillian Hall as the final participant in the Sweet Sixteen tournament, there has been a subtle metamorphosis.
The name BLOW has all but gone – except for on the news page of the website – and it is referring to itself under its full title. This got me to thinking… what if the whole BLOW thing was just to create a big noise to get people looking and interested, and then scale it back once the furore dies down a little?
Let’s be honest – many of us know what BLOW is, and they have managed to do so in a very rapid amount of time. It is now plugging its October 11 iPPV with a fully announced roster which features a mix of Divas, Knockouts, independent stars and new (and pretty) names, which is quite a lot of variety. Take away the controversial name, and that’s a show many can get behind, as there’s something for every kind of women’s wrestling fan.
In fact, I suspect that this reversion from BLOW to Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling may not be the end of it. How about simply Bombshell Wrestling? Don’t rule it out.
Referring back to the dot-com bubble, the strategy of Amazon when it first launched was to “get big fast”, no matter the financial hit or how long they were loss-making. To be perceived to be a market leader was more important than any of that, and for them, it worked – for ones that followed before the bubble burst, not so much. Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling seems to have employed the same strategy to generate a buzz. Fair play to them for managing it, especially in what we have already observed, is a very crowded sub-genre.
Caylee Turner (Christina Crawford) was also released from her WWE developmental contract last week, along with Sofia Cortez (Ivelisse Velez). We had heard a rumour just after Cortez had been released that another woman had been given her release, and things started to make sense when Turner’s profile was not transferred onto the new NXT roster pages after the Florida Championship Wrestling site was revamped.
Crawford, who’s the sister of former Divas Champion Alicia Fox, had a developmental deal and was already in FCW but got out of it to audition for Tough Enough, which seemed a strange move, but made us think that she saw Tough Enough as a faster way into WWE. Despite being the final woman standing before being cut, she still wasn’t anything to write home about, and would have been outlasted by Ivelisse if the Puerto Rican hadn’t been injured.
After being cut, she found herself being offered another developmental deal, was renamed Caylee Turner and then spent the bulk of her time as a ring announcer for FCW before winning the promotion’s Divas Title on June 29 from Raquel Diaz in the only title change to not be televised. She was released while still champion.
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
Eve Torres beat Kaitlyn on SmackDown to become Booker T’s new assistant. Kaitlyn had seemingly been getting a small push as of late… The Wrestling Observer claims that when Triple H acquires more power in WWE, he will scale back on the Divas. That perception may be all well and good for the main shows, but if women’s wrestling is not a focus or a direction that they want to go in, why would the company hire so many women recently?… CM Punk called for Lilian Garcia to be inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame. Garcia also said she likes angles involving her, but wouldn’t want to ever wrestle as she would want to do more than just the basics… No Divas match at SummerSlam, but they were lucky enough to dance with Kevin Rudolf as he performed one of his songs… Lita, Maryse and the undefeated Maria Menounous were on hand at SummerSlam… WWE.com goofed in their write-up for Kaitlyn winning the battle royal on last night’s Raw, as they seemed to forget who the Divas Champion was. The sentence on their website – which has since been corrected – said: “In a No. 1 Contender’s Battle Royal on Raw, Kaitlyn outlasted all of her competitors and eliminated Eve to become the new No. 1 contender to Divas Champion Eve”. I would imagine that this match will take place at Night Of Champions. As for the match itself, it was a bit dull, and Beth Phoenix and Kelly Kelly – who were advertised for the match on the graphic – were not even in the building.
ODB and Eric Young are now the longest reigning Knockouts Tag Team Champions in history – not that it matters, as those belts have been worthless for almost their entire existence… The Wrestling Observer claims that Brooke Hogan is resented for her position, saying she’s not over, isn’t a good talker and her reality show fame hasn’t carried over to the show. The same thing happened with Jersey Shore’s J-Woww and Angelina Pivarnick’s respective appearances, as well as Survivor winner Jenna Morasca… Miss Tessmacher regained the Knockouts title from Madison Rayne on Thursday’s Impact Wrestling after Brooke Hogan banned Earl Hebner from reffing women’s matches. Taryn Terrell (AKA former Diva Tiffany) was the replacement ref, and will continue being a ref in the future… Annoyed, Rayne took two Twitter to talk about fighting Hogan in Phoenix, AZ. That’s where Bound For Glory’s being held this year… Claire Lynch is apparently done with TNA and they’re wrapping up the storyline this week. She was outed last week as actress Julia Reilly and seems to have gone to great lengths to protect herself from being linked to the Lynch character. This week, it was revealed that she works at Universal Studios as Olive Oyl.
Rachel Summerlyn is in the running for FLEX Magazine’s 2012 Bikini Model Search… LuFisto will wrestle Tara in Top of the World Wrestling next month. It could lead to another good word put in for her in TNA… WSU Spirit Champion Marti Belle will defend the belt against Nikki Addams at Full Steam Ahead in October… Taya Valkyrie’s WWE developmental contract was yanked at the last minute, according to Bryan Alvarez, who got it confirmed by Taya’s trainer Lance Storm. She’s been working in Mexico with AAA recently… Mercedes Martinez & Jazz fought to a no-contest in the main event of SHINE 2. They never made it into the ring before the ref threw the match out. He and another ref were attacked after the “match” was over. Elsewhere on the card, Leva Bates issued a challenge on behalf of her and Allison Danger to the Canadian Ninjas for the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship after she beat Portia Perez, Jessicka Havok attacked Reby Sky’s arm after beating her in her debut, and April Hunter was revealed as Made In Sin’s insurance policy after she attacked MsChif. Based on the flyer, SHINE 3 will see the debuts of Gabby Gilbert, Luscious Latasha & Sienna Duvall… Tammy Lynn Sytch announced that she’s checking out of rehab on Thursday… LuFisto – among others – is booked for the next IndyGurlz show on September 15. She will wrestle Mia Yim… SHIMMER officially announced Cheerleader Melissa, Tag Team Champions Portia Perez and Nicole Matthews, and singles Champion Saraya Knight for the upcoming tapings.
Another Joshi4Hope show’s been announced, taking place in Tokyo on Sunday, October 7… Leon, Tiffany, Alex Lee & La Malcriada will compete for the new REINA-CMLL International Championship, which replaces the CMLL-REINA International Junior Championship. They will be involved in a one-day tournament on August 26 in Tokyo… Yoko Bito is out for an indefinite period after suffering a neck injury. It may end up with she and Yuzuki Aikawa forfeiting the Goddesses of Stardom titles… Chikayo Nagashima successfully defended the OZ Academy Openweight Championship against Hiroyo Matsumoto on Sunday. Also on the same card, AKINO & Ayumi Kurihara won the Tag Team Championship from Aja Kong & Sonoko Kato… Commando Bolshoi & Arisa Nakajima beat Emi Sakura & Kaori Yoneyama on Sunday to win the JWP/Daily Sports Tag Team Championships… And to add to the changes of the guard in the doubles ranks, Tsukushi & Kurumi beat Miyako Matsumoto & Neko Nitta to win Ice Ribbon’s International Ribbon Tag Team Championship on Sunday. At a total age of 26 years old, they are the youngest tag champs ever in wrestling… Hikari Minami is taking some time away from Ice Ribbon to prepare for her entrance exam for college. She made the announcement at the end of TEENS 7. She’s not quitting, she’s just taking the time out while she concentrates on her education.
Nikki Storm and Kirsty Love will face off in the SWA on September 1… UK glamour model turned bodybuilder Jodie Marsh admits that she would be interested in becoming a wrestler, telling The Sun newspaper that it’s “something I’ve always been fascinated by. It’s very empowering for for women to be strong yet sexy at the same time”… UK Women’s Wrestling and the World Association of Women’s Wrestling will jointly stage a card on October 6. It will be recorded for broadcast on satellite TV in the UK… Kay Lee Ray will take on Carmel Jacob on Halloween at Preston City Wrestling… Kay Lee Ray will also face Angelina Love/Angel Williams this November in Preston City Wrestling… Once that cat was let out of the bag, Pro-Wrestling: EVE announced that Love/Williams will also be part of their next show on November 10. The press released teased friction with the Glamour Gym of Carmel Jacob and Sara Marie Taylor and the former Beautiful Person… ICW: Fierce Females has announced its first match – it’s Jenny Sjodin and April Davids v Kasey and Leah Owens… Amazon Ayesha Ray defends the SWF Women’s Championship against former champ Erin Angel on September 15.
Tiffany is going to Japan to compete for REINA x World for a month while her hair grows back after it was shaved off following her defeat at the hands of Marcela.
Siren Monroe has started training at Orlando Jordan’s School of Wrestling in Melbourne in preparation for venturing to the US… PROWL Wrestling closed following its show last Friday without prior warning. Storm was undefeated for her entire run there… Alex Lee & Savannah Summers have been announced for the next PWWA show… Evie won the IPW Women’s Championship on Saturday. She was meant to face Britenay but ended up facing both she and her BFF Megan-Kate after MK made some sort of arrangement with the promotion’s Commissioner. Evie challenges Jessie McKay for the PWWA Interim Championship on Saturday.
August 12: WAVE (Osaka, Japan) -Tomoka Nakagawa b Ryo Mizunami; Yuu Yamagata & Ran Yu-Yu b Aya Yuki & Sawako Shimono; Moeka Haruhi & Tsukasa Fujimoto b Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru & Apple Miyuki; Moeka Haruhi & Tsukasa Fujimoto b Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru & Apple Miyuki; Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru & Apple Miyuki b Moeka Haruhi & Tsukasa Fujimoto; Ayako Hamada b Shu Shibutani; GAMI & Ayumi Kurihara v Kana & Yumi Ohka went to a time limit draw
August 13: LLPW-X (Yuigahama Beach, Japan) – Hikaru Shida b Hamuko Hoshi; Manami Toyota b Eiger; Shinobu Kandori & Tomoka Nakagawa b Takako Inoue & Sachie Abe
August 15: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Taeler Hendrix v Jessie Belle went to a no contest
August 17: Preston City Wrestling (Preston, England) – CJ Banks b Kay Lee Ray
August 17: WWE SmackDown (Austin, TX) – Eve Torres b Kaitlyn
August 17: Chaotic Wrestling (Lowell, MA) – Mercedes KV b Kasey Ray
August 17: Top Rope Promotions (Rochester, MA) – Nikki Valentine b Lea Morrison
August 17: American Psycho Tour (Sale, Australia) – Imogen Jane b Storm win the AAW Women’s Championship
August 17: SHINE 2 (Ybor City, FL) – Su Yung b Kimberly; Sojo Bolt b Taeler Hendrix & Heidi Lovelace in a 3-way; Mia Yim b Sassy Stephie; Jessicka Havok b Reby Sky; Rain b Santana Garrett; Leva Bates b Portia Perez; Allysin Kay & Taylor Made b MsChif & Christina Von Eerie; Mercedes Martiez v Jazz ended in a no contest
August 18: American Psycho Tour (Jordanville, Australia) – Vixsin & Siren Monroe b Storm & TJ Star
August 18: World Association Of Wrestling (Bury St Edmunds, England) – Busty Keegan & Sweet Saraya b Liberty & Penelope
August 18: IWA East Coast (Dunbar, WV) – Crazy Mary Dobson b Lil Naughty
August 18: Impact Pro Wrestling (Lynfield, New Zealand) – Liam Fury, Megan-Kate & Pirate Burns b James Shaw, Olivia Shaw & Liger; Evie b Britenay & Megan-Kate in a 3-way to win the IPW Women’s Championship
August 18: CHIKARA (Indianapolis, IN) – Tim Donst b Saturyne
August 18: Empire State Wrestling (North Tonawanda, NY) – Cherry Bomb & Pepper Parks b Brittany Force & Bill Collier
August 18: Purely Obsessed Wrestling World (Fox Lake, IL) – Serenity v Nikki St John
August 19: JWP (Tokyo, Japan) – Nana Kawase b Raiden Steel; Rabbit Mito b Maki Narumiya; Sachie Abe, KAZUKI & Morley b Mariko Yoshida, Carlos Amano & Anna; Manami Toyota, Leon & Ray b Tsubasa Kuragaki, Manami Katsu & Hailey Hatred; Mayumi Ozaki & Ran Yu-Yu b Misaki Ohata & Hanako Nakamori; Command Bolshoi & Arisa Nakajima b Kaori Yoneyama & Emi Sakura to win the JWP & Daily Sports Tag Team Championship; Kayoko Haruyama b Kagetu
August 19: Ice Ribbon (Tokyo, Japan) – Tsukushi & Kurumi b Miyako Matsumoto & Neko Nitta to win the International Ribbon Tag team Championship; Maiden Name Sakura Hirota b Riho; Silueta b Hikari Minami; Hailey Hatred b Aki Shizuku; GAMI b Hamuko Hoshi; Hikaru Shida & Tsukasa Fujimoto b Maki Narumiya & Meari Naito
August 19: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Eri Susa & Mayu Iwatani b Natsumi Showzuki & Yuuri Haruka; Yoshiko b Yuusaku; Dark Angel b Saki Kashima; Natsuki*Taiyo b Kairi Hojo; Act Yasukawa b Yuzuki Aikawa; Kyoko Kimura b Miho Wakizawa; Nanae Takahashi b Io Shirai
August 19: OZ Academy (Tokyo, Japan) – Command Bolshoi & Rabbit Mito b Nao Komatsu & Sareee; Manami Toyota, Tsubasa Kuragaki & Tomoka Nakagawa b Yumi Ohka, Mio Shirai & Mayumi Ozaki; Mayumi Ozaki b Carlos Amano; Aja Kong & Sonoko Kato v AKINO & Ayumi Kurihara went to a time limit draw; AKINO & Ayumi Kurihara b Aja Kong & Sonoko Kato to win the OZ Academy Tag Team Championship; Chikayo Nagashima b Hiroyo Matsumoto
August 19: AAA (Mexico City, Mexico) – Dinastía, Fabi Apache & Pimpinela Escarlata b Mini Histeria, Sexy Star & Yuriko
August 19: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Christina Von Eerie b Jessica James
August 20: Ice Ribbon TEENS 7 (Tokyo, Japan) – Mio Shirai b Riho; Tsukushi & Kazuhiro Tamura b Kurumi & Shigehiro Irie; Tsukasa Fujimoto & Rabbit Mito b Hamuko Hoshi & Nana Kawase; Manami Katsu & Eri Susa b Hikari Minami & Mayu Iwatani
August 20: WWE (Fresno, CA) – Kaitlyn won a battle royal
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: Scottish Wrestling Alliance (Clydebank, Scotland) – Nikki Storm v Kirsty Love
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: EVOLVE 17 (Voorhies, NJ) – Christina Von Eerie v Marti Belle
September 8: NWA: Top Rope Promotions (Lebanon, TN) – Tasha Simone v Pandora
September 8: Maximum Pro Wrestling (Angus, ONT, Canada) – Xandra Bale v Courtney Rush
September 14: Squared Circle Wrestling (Auburn, NY) – Veda Scott v Cherry Bomb
September 15: IndyGurlz (Boonton, NJ)
September 15: Pro Wrestling Elite (Ayr, Scotland) – Mickie James v Kay Lee Ray
September 15: Solent Wrestling Federation (Waterlooville, England) – Erin Angel v Amazon Ayesha Ray
September 16: Pro Wrestling Elite (Ayr, Scotland) – Mickie James v Carmel Jacob
September 16: World Association of Women’s Wrestling (Norwich, England)
September 21: SHINE 3 (Ybor City, FL)
September 21: Top of the World Wrestling (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – LuFisto v Tara
September 22: Northeast Wrestling (Fishkill, NY) – Rosita & Madison Rayne v Angel Williams & Velvet Sky
September 23: Alternative Wrestling World (Wolverhampton, England) – Amazon Ayesha Ray v Holly Rocamora
September 28: Xcite Wrestling (Binghamton, NY) – Kimber Lee v Annie Social
September 29: Pro-Wrestling Euskadi (Bilbao, Spain) – Pollyanna v Dragoi Neska
September 30: Insane Championship Wrestling: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland) – Jenny Sjodin & April Davids v Kasey & Leah Owens
September 30: Beyond Wrestling (East Greenwich, RI) – Portia Perez v Lexxus
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 6: UK Women’s Wrestling/World Association of Women’s Wrestling (Wakefield, England)
October 6: REINA World Joshi Puroresu (Baltimore, MD)
October 7: Joshi4Hope (Tokyo, Japan)
October 11: Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling (Rahway, NJ)
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)
October 31: Preston City Wrestling (Preston, England) – Kay Lee Ray v Carmel Jacob
November 3: nCw Femmes Fatales (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – LuFisto v Mercedes Martinez; Pink Flash Kira v Portia Perez; Sweet Cherrie v Cherry Bomb
November 9: Preston City Wrestling (Preston, England) – Angel Williams v Kay Lee Ray
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