Ringbelles Roundup (30 October 2012) – SHIMMER, Beth Phoenix, Emi Sakura & more

SHIMMER: Women Athletes was lacking some of its big names for the most recent tapings, including the injured Madison Eagles and Serena Deeb, as well as Jessie McKay and Sara Del Rey – the latter of whom has since signed with WWE. While the top storyline with SHIMMER Champion Sweet Saraya and Cheerleader Melissa was still on, the Tag Team Championship had changed hands from Del Rey and Courtney Rush to Portia Perez and Nicole Matthews inbetween the March tapings and now, leaving Rush knocked from having one of the most popular storylines in the promotion cut off before it even got started. However, the booking for last weekend’s shows proved that creating writing and a strong willed lineup can easily fill the gaps.

A number of women were given the opportunity to advance themselves on the volumes 49-52 tapings (results, photos and match thoughts can be found here and here), and they did just that. For example, Rush claimed her biggest scalp to date by beating Mercedes Martinez in singles action, while Leva Bates enjoyed her first main event at part of the 10 woman elimination match which headlined volume 50. For Courtney, her singles push works as a measure of compensation for the Death Rush/Queens Of Winning angle coming to a premature end, though she would be getting this sort of investment on her own merit as well, as she can easily be relied upon to put on a good match, as evidenced with her outing against Hiroyo Matsumoto on volume 52, which was a great mix of hard-hitting action and comedy.

Leva meanwhile, made a strong showing of herself throughout the weekend, but especially during the elimination match, as she held her own against women who have more main event experience. However, she didn’t look out of place, and even though some fans may have expected her to be early cannon fodder, she held out for quite some time, which is a huge feather in her cap.

Elsewhere, Rhia O’Reilly’s rapid growth continued. Considering in March she was working the opening matches, she is now a strong mid-carded who can be relied upon, has a heel character who fans buy into, possesses one of the best catchphrases in the promotion right now (oh really?) and was integral to the main event of volume 52, as it was she who fed Saraya the title belt which was used to knock out Melissa so the champion could retain. From opening match to being a key cog in the main event in 8 volumes? O’Reilly should be very proud of herself and her accomplishments.

Athena wrestled some high profile opponents – Saraya, Kana and Ayako Hamada – and even though she fell to all three, her standing continued to improve.

However, the biggest winner of the weekend has to be Kellie Skater – a woman ho has firmly shaken off the tag of being the Queen of the opening match to become a serious player, using nothing but dedication, hard work and a desire to want to be seen as one of the best. After beating Bates (and shaking her hand afterwards, which earned her a lot of crowd respect) then Yumi Ohka, the Rate Tank came within a gnats whisker of becoming SHIMMER Champion on volume 51, with Saraya struggling to put the double-hard Aussie down. In fact, the crowd were so hot for Skater that there may have been an explosion of joy had she won the belt. Considering how long she was in the lower to mid-card, the fact that fans now believe in her so strongly suggests that she may get that title in the future. It’s like watching one of your children grow up and mature, and it’s a joy to behold.

When it comes to other standout names, Hamada and Kana put on one of the best matches in SHIMMER history – and one of the best I have ever seen live – which was so amazing that the 10 woman elimination match struggled to follow it. On paper, it made sense to finish with the bumper multi-woman affair, but in reality, it wasn’t able to do so – that’s how great that semi-main was. On a side note, Hamada is probably the safest hand in the promotion, and is usually the front runner for the top match of any volume. Similarly, Kana – someone who I never really “got” before – is someone who I am thoroughly enjoying now, and I’m glad about that. In the past, I pointed out that the reason I didn’t enjoy Kana’s work was my problem and not hers, but it is not a problem anymore.

Ryo Mizunami made a great first impression, as she was wildly different to joshis who have ventured to the promotion in the past. Short, squat and muscular, she was a wrecking ball, and had some top outings, especially against LuFisto and Yumi Ohka.

Speaking of Ohka, she came back and had some quality matches too, and looked every inch the glamourous superstar doing it. She even busted out the old Black Dahlia gear for the Mizunami match, and even when she was arriving at or leaving the venue, she was dressed like she was about to work a red carpet. This woman carries herself like a celebrity.

Allysin Kay and Taylor Made seemed destined to be a team, and are everything that a great heel team needs to be, while ReGeneration X are still the fun, lovable babyfaces, so their match together was so easy to get into. Melanie Cruise has found herself as a giant heel, Miss Natural made a great return after four years away, and Sassy Stephie’s heel work has come on a great deal too.

Injury-wise, the most visible battle scars belonged to Saraya, O’Reilly and Skater. Saraya suffered a black eye, a possible fractured cheekbone and maybe a concussion; Rhia had the mother of all black eyes and Kellie had bruises all over herself, and lost her voice for some reason. Saraya, MsChif, Skater, Matthews and Athena all wrestled five times between Friday and Sunday, and many others wrestled on all four volumes – a sign that the smaller roster means more opportunities to wrestle for the talent on hand.

As normal, the wrestlers went all-out to make an impression, and a number of them were duly rewarded for doing so. Going into volume 53 in April in New Jersey as part of WrestleCon, we are looking at Sweet Saraya v Cheerleader Melissa in a cage for the title, Athena v Hamada again, and there were teases for MsChif v O’Reilly, and maybe even ReGeneration X v the Canadian Ninjas again. From uncertainty to solid foundations in a weekend – SHIMMER couldn’t have asked for more than that.

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Beth Phoenix bowed out of WWE last night in atypical fashion – with a victory, though it came at a price.

Following AJ Lee’s return to the Divas division, she was put into a match with Beth which she won in about 2 minutes with an inside cradle. However, new boss lady Vickie Guerrero saw fit to restart the match, which saw Phoenix get a quick pinfall with the Glam Slam. However afterwards, Guerrero fired Beth for not getting the job done the first time around.

Beth Phoenix’s departure from the company has not been a big secret, and it was known that she would be finishing up in October, but it does seem unusual that she didn’t really have to put over anyone to any great effect on the way out. Having said that, she is retiring and not planning to go to another promotion, so maybe WWE decided that is wasn’t worth knocking her profile down a few pegs as she made her departure.

Afterwards, Joey Styles, Eve Torres, Kaitlyn, Tamina Snuka, Natalya, Matt Striker and more tweeted their best wishes to the 31 year old New Yorker, though in her interview with WWE.com afterward, she kept things open ended:

“I would definitely say that if this is the end of the road for me in WWE that I’m really, really proud of my career and I hope that everybody else that’s been entertained and had the chance to sit out there and watch me do my thing, I hoped they’ve enjoyed it and taken something away from it whether you love or hate me.

“So if this is it, gosh, I don’t know what’s next but I promise you haven’t seen the last of Beth Phoenix.”

Considering that statement, and the fact that she was wearing brand new gear even though it was her “last match”, don’t rule out a comeback in the future, or even that this departure is being done because news of her going got out into the open before bringing her back – much like what happened with Tara when her TNA contract expired. As of now, WWE has not taken her profile off the Raw roster page, but it has been added to the Alumni section.

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Emi Sakura’s year has hit another high, as she is the new JWP Openweight Champion after beating Kayoko Haruyama on Sunday in Tokyo to win the belt. It is another milestone for her in 2012, which began with her leaving Ice Ribbon, founding Gatoh Move in Japan and training wrestlers, winning the JWP and Daily Sports Tag Team Titles alongside hostage/partner/friend Kaori Yoneyama, invading JWP with her new band of followers and now sees her as the top woman in the organisation, even though she technically represents her own group.

It is the first time that she has held what is perceived as the top title in joshi puroresu, and is added to the other top singles titles that she has held in her career, including the All Japan Women Championship, ICEx60 title on two occasions, and the NEO strap.

The result means that she will hold the belt for Gatoh Move’s first show with an actual ring, which takes place on Sunday, and she may even have it when she ventures over to England in a week and a half for the Pro Wrestling: EVE Wrestle Fever show, where she takes on Kay Lee Ray.

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The best of the rest

WWE
Best wishes to ring announcer Lilian Garcia, who was hit by a car in Los Angeles on Friday. Reports say she suffered cuts and bruises… Tamina Snuka has been hyping her return after being out recently through injury… WWE put out a casting call for women, asking for headshots and bikini photos. At no point did they request that the applicants have any wrestling experience… Eve Torres retained the Divas Championship by beating Kaitlyn and Layla in a triple threat match at Hell In A Cell. The match itself was pretty good too.

TNA
Tara retained the Knockouts Championship by beating Miss Tessmacher after interfering from her new boyfriend Jesse Godderz… Just pointing out that it has been four months since Taeler Hendrix won her Gut Check on Impact Wrestling. We’re still waiting for her to debut.

North America
Kharma (Kia Stevens) was working with Slammin’ Ladies in Florida last week alongside the likes of Santana Garrett, Kellie Skater & Rhia O’Reilly. She also spent a day with former colleague Angelina Love… Getting a photo or autograph with the former Kelly Kelly will cost you less. Northeast Wrestling says it will now cost you a mere $30. Bargain – I’ll take six… Maria Kanellis will defend the FWE Women’s Championship against Angelina Love in February. Gail Kim will also take on Katerina Leigh (Winter) in a dark match, as per TNA’s new rules that none of their wrestlers can appear on indie DVDs anymore… Brittney Savage has withdrawn from the Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling show on December 6, with Pro Wrestling Syndicate saying it is “due to reasons we’re not allowed to talk about”. Read into that what you will. She will be replaced by Veda Scott, while Kimber Lee will also debut on that show against Silvie Silver.

Japan
At Ice Ribbon’s Yokohama Ribbon show on Sunday, Aja Kong invited Hikaru Shida to be part of the OZ Academy show on November 11. Shida accepted. Speaking of Shida, she was disqualified in her Triangle Ribbon title challenge against Hailey Hatred and Maeri Naito when she used a Singapore cane. It s unclear if it is the start of a heel turn, or if this and the invitation to OZ Academy is the start of her departure from Ice Ribbon… Wrestling New Classic is running a tournament to crown a Women’s Champion. Syuri defeated Lin Byron on Thursday.

Europe
The quarter final matches for Rad Pro Wrestling’s tournament to crown Mixed Tag Team Champions has been announced – they’ll take place on December 8… Kay Lee Ray and Carmel Jacob’s war is pulling in more wrestlers. They square off in a mixed tag team match this weekend… Raquel Arijon & Sakura Lily advanced in the NWA Hammerlock Women’s Championship tournament at the weekend by beating Hailey Bacardi & Jezabeth respectively… Becky Mason was featured on BBC TV’s Don’t Tell The Bride show today, which covered the build up to the wedding to her husband Mike.

Mexico
Lady Apache has been pulled from CMLL’s show this coming Friday for the second week running. She hasn’t wrestled a main card for close to a month now. La Commandante will replace her.

Australia & New Zealand
Great news from Madison Eagles – she is hoping to return to training in mid-December. She has been out of action since last October when she blew her knee out while training for her match against Kana in CHIKARA. Last December, she told us that she had two options – rehab and recovery, which would see her come back, or have pretty hardcore surgery, which would end her wrestling career… Evie retained the IPW Women’s Championship after she and ex-BFF Megan-Kate went to a no-contest at the weekend. It is likely that the pair will fight again.

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Results

October 21: United Wrestling Federation (Georgetown, KY) – Jessie Belle b Aleida Ortiz

October 21: Diana (Kawasaki, Japan) – Kyoko Inoue b Piyota Mask; Keiko Aono b Jenny Rose; Kaoru Ito b Sareee

October 23: WAVE (Tokyo, Japan) – Yuu Yamagata b Shu Shibutani; Ryo Mizunami, Aya Yuki & Maiden Name Sakura Hirota b Kana, Ayumi Kurihara & Mika Iida; Leon v Mio Shirai went to a time limit draw; Misaki Ohata & Tsukasa Fujimoto b GAMI & Tomoka Nakagawa; Yumi Ohka & Hikaru Shida b Moeka Haruhi & Makoto

October 24: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Heidi Lovelace, Jessie Belle and Hannah & Holly Blossom b Epiphany, Josette Bynum, Taeler Hendrix & Killa Kaila

October 25: TNA Impact Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Tara b Miss Tessmacher

October 26: TNA (Poplar Bluff, MO) – Tara b ODB

October 26: United States Wrestling Organisation (Nashville, TN) – Miss Rachel b Crazy Mary Dobson

October 26: WWE SmackDown (Providence, RI) – Aksana & Eve Torres b Layla & Kaitlyn

October 26: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Dark Angel, Goya Kong, Marcela b Amapola, La Comandante, Tiffany

October 26: AAW (Berwyn, IL) – Athena b Nicole Matthews, Christina Von Eerie & Kellie Skater in a 4-way; Sweet Saraya b MsChif

October 26: Melbourne City Wrestling (Tullamarine, Australia) – KC Cassidy b Miami

October 26: Wrestling New Classic (Tokyo, Japan) – Yusuke Kodama, Makoto & Shinose 37 b Kana, El Hijo Del Pantera & YO-HEY; Syuri b Lin Byron

October 27: Vendetta Pro Wrestling (Santa Maria, CA) – Reby Sky b Amber O’Neal

October 27: Extreme World Wrestling (Hastings, England) – Lady Lory b Erin Angel; Skarlett & The Bull b Dominator & The Rage

October 27: TNA (St Louis, MO) – Tara b ODB

October 27: Fight Club Finland (Helsinki, Finland) – Queen Maya b Aurora Flame; Jessica Love b Stark Adder

October 27: Wrestling Is Fun (Allentown, PA) – Juan Francisco de Coranado b Saturyne

October 27: Impact Pro Wrestling (Auckland, New Zealand) – Evie v Megan-Kate went to a no-contest

October 27: Swiss Championship Wrestling (Wil, Switzerland) – Shanna b Laura Wellings

October 27: New Horizons Pro Wrestling (Gosnells, Australia) – Miami b Storm

October 27: Pro Wrestling Alliance (Parramatta, Australia) – Jessie McKay b Rachel Rose

October 27: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Kyoko Kimura, Alpha Female & Hailey Hatred b Act Yasukawa, Cherry & Hikaru Shida; Yuzuki Aikawa & Yuusaku b Eri Susa & NOZOMI; 
Io Shirai & Mayu Iwatani b Natsuki*Taiyo & Yoshiko; Kairi Hojo & Natsumi Showzuki b Nanae Takahashi & Miho Wakizawa

October 27: SHIMMER: Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL) – Angelus Layne b Sweet Cherrie; Pink Flash Kira & Thunderkitty b Angie Skye & Nikki St John; Miss Natural b Kc Spinelli; Yumi Ohka b Christina Von Eerie; Allysin Kay & Taylor Made b Veda Scott & Shazza McKenzie; Hiroyo Matsumoto b Sassy Stephie; Ryo Mizunami b Courtney Rush; Cheerleader Melissa b Rhia O’Reilly; Tomoka Nakagawa b Davina Rose; Kellie Skater b Leva Bates; Mercedes Martinez b MsChif; Ayako Hamada b Kalamity; Nicole Matthews & Portia Perez b Kana & LuFisto; Sweet Saraya b Athena; Miss Natural b Veda Scott; Shazza McKenzie b Santana Garrett; Sassy Stephie b Su Yung; Courtney Rush b Taylor Made; Christina Von Eerie b Kalamity, Ryo Mizunami & Cherry Bomb in a 4 way; Rhia O’Reilly b Davina Rose; Hiroyo Matsumoto b Melanie Cruise; Athena b Tomoka Nakagawa; Kellie Skater b Yumi Ohka; Ayako Hamada b Kana; MsChif, Allison Danger, Leva Bates, LuFisto & Cheerleader Melissa b Sweet Saraya, Portia Perez, Nicole Matthews, Lexie Fyfe & Mercedes Martinez in an elimination match

October 28: SHIMMER: Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL) – Sweet Cherrie & Pink Flash Kira b Heidi Lovelace & December; Angie Skye b Thunderkitty; Melanie Cruise b Santana Garrett; Davina Rose b Cherry Bomb; Tomoka Nakagawa b Veda Scott; Allison Danger & Leva Bates b Allysin Kay & Taylor; LuFisto b Ryo Mizunami; Cheerleader Melissa b Miss Natural; Ayako Hamada b Portia Perez; Courtney Rush b Mercedes Martinez; Yumi Ohka b Nicole Matthews; Kana b Athena; Sweet Saraya b Hiroyo Matsumoto, MsChif & Kellie Skater in a 4 way; Kc Spinelli b Angelus Layne; Miss Natural b Su Yung; Davina Rose b Rhia O’Reilly; LuFisto & Kana b Allysin Kay & Taylor Made; Kalamity b Sassy Stephie; Mercedes Martinez b Shazza McKenzie; Kellie Skater & Tomoka Nakagawa b MsChif & Christina Von Eerie; Yumi Ohka b Ryo Mizunami; Hiroyo Matsumoto b Courtney Rush; Portia Perez & Nicole Matthews b Allison Dan; Ayako Hamada b Athena; Sweet Saraya b Cheerleader Melissa

October 28: WWE Hell In A Cell (Atlanta, GA) – Eve Torres b Kaitlyn & Layla in a 3-way

October 28: JWP (Tokyo, Japan) – Leon b Kaori Yoneyama in; Rabbit Mito & Nana Kawase b Manami Katsu & Rydeen Hagane; Sachie Abe & KAZUKI b Misaki Ohata & Shu Shibutani; Tsubasa Kuragaki b Ran Yu-Yu & Hailey Hatred in a 3-way; Command Bolshoi & Arisa Nakajima b Hanako Nakamori & Morley; Emi Sakura beat Kayoko Haruyama to win the JWP Openweight Championship

October 28: Ice Ribbon “Yokohama Ribbon” (Yokohama, Japan) – Aoi Kizuki, Tsukushi & Kurumi b Maki Narumiya, Neko Nitta & NOZOMI; Maiden Name Sakura Hirota & Hamuko Hoshi b Meari Naito & Cherry; Kyoko Kimura b Miyako Matsumoto; Hailey Hatred b Hikaru Shida & Aki Shizuku in a 3-way; Mio Shirai b Tsukasa Fujimoto

October 28: NWA Hammerlock (Corringham, England) – Sakura Lily b Jezabeth; Raquel Arijon b Hailee Bacardi

October 28: Union (Tokyo, Japan) – Cherry b Mika Iida; Isami Kodaka, Ken Ohka & Mio Shirai b Miyako Matsumoto, Saint Seiya Rion & El Hijo del Goro

October 28: Rampage Pro Wrestling (Warner Robins, GA) – Tracy Taylor b Pandora

October 29: WWE Raw (Charlotte, NC) – Beth Phoenix b AJ Lee

Upcoming

October 31: Preston City Wrestling (Preston, England) – Kay Lee Ray v Carmel Jacob

November 3: Pride Wrestling (Glasgow, Scotland) – Nikki Storm v April Davids

November 3: East Coast Wrestling Association (Newark, DE) – Sienna DuVall v Tina San Antonio

November 3: Real Championship Wrestling (Baltimore, MD) – Jazz v Kimber Lee

November 3: Premier British Wrestling (Irvine, Scotland) – Kay Lee Ray & El Ligero v Carmel Jacob & Liam Thomson

November 3: nCw Femmes Fatales X (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – Sweet Cherrie v Cherry Bomb; LuFisto v Mercedes Martinez; Pink Flash Kira v Portia Perez; LuFisto v Hiroyo Matsumoto; Mercedes Martinez v Pink Flash Kira; Ryo Mizunami v Courtney Rush; Sweet Saraya v Cat Power; Kalamity v Kellie Skater; Angie Skye v X-Cute Sweet v Athena v Cheerleader Melissa; Ryo Mizunami v Xandra Bale v Leah Von Dutch; Sassy Stephie v Mary Lee Rose

November 4: Gatoh Move (Itabashi, Japan) – Sareee b Morley; UMA Corp v Kaori Yoneyama; Nanae Takahashi v Hanako Nakamori

November 4: Insane Championship Wrestling (Glasgow, Scotland) – Kay Lee Ray v April Davids

November 9: Preston City Wrestling (Preston, England) – Angel Williams v Kay Lee Ray

November 9: World Association on Women’s Wrestling (Norwich, England)

November 10: Pro Wrestling: EVE (Sudbury, England) – Alpha Female v Nikki Storm; Carmel Jacob v Angelina Love; Janey Britannico v Shanna; Erin Angel v Fiona Frazer; Kirsty Love v Blue Nikita; Kay Lee Ray v Emi Sakura; Kaori Yoneyama & April Davids v Hannah & Holly Blossom; Amazon Ayesha Ray & Rhia O’Reilly v Kasey & Leah Owens v TBA

November 10: NWA Hammerlock (Tonbridge, England) – Pollyanna v Katey Harvey

November 10: Acclaim Pro Wrestling (Greely, ONT, Canada) – Addy Starr v Courtney Rush v Vanessa Kraven v Leah Von Dutch v Xandra Bale v Jodi D’Milo

November 10: Riot City Wrestling (North Adelaide, Australia) – Savannah Summers v Eliza Sway

November 11: CHIKARA (Cleveland, OH) – Saturyne v Mark Angelosetti

November 16: SHINE 5 (Ybor City, FL)

November 17: Squared Circle Wrestling (Vaughan, ON, Canada) – Gabriella Vanderpool v Crissy Reid

November 17: NWA Coastal (Bayville, NJ) – La Rosa Negra v Kacee Carlisle

November 18: CHIKARA (Manhattan, NY) – Saturyne v Icarus

November 23: Absolute Intense Wrestling (Cleveland, OH) – Allysin Kay v KC Warfield

November 23: Scottish Wrestling Alliance (Motherwell, Scotland) – Fiona Fraser v Nikki Storm

November 30: Resistance Pro (Chicago, IL) – Nikki St John v Melanie Cruise

December 1: Utah Championship Wrestling (Salt Lake City, UT) – La Rosa Negra v Santana Garrett

December 1: International Pro Wrestling: UK (Swanley, England) – Amazon Ayesha Ray v Sakura Lily

December 6: Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling (Rahway, NJ) – Christina Von Eerie v Annie Social; Veda Scott v Sumie Sakai; Becky Bayless v Sienna DuVall; Marti Belle v Missy Sampson; Shelly Martinez v Amber O’Neal; Miss Adiva v La Rosa Negra; Kimber Lee v Silvie Silver

December 7: St Louis Anarchy (Alton, IL) – Angelus Layne v Rachel Summerlyn

December 8: Rad Pro Wrestling (South Shields, England) – James Centurion & Kay Lee Ray v Vulture & Viper; Jonny Storm & Freya Frenzy v Max Heat & Rhia O’Reilly; Rabbit & Alpha Female v April Davids & Rubix Roach; Frankie Sloan & Nikki Storm v Scott Renwick & Amazon Ayesha Ray

December 16: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Jessicka Havok v Jaykus Plisken

February 2: Pro Wrestling: EVE (Preston, England)

January 11: SHINE 6 (Ybor City, FL)

February 16: Family Wrestling Entertainment (Brooklyn, NY) – Maria Kanellis v Angelina Love; Gail Kim v Katerina Leigh

March 30: nCw Femmes Fatales XI (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

April 6: SHIMMER: Women Athletes (Secaucus, NJ) – Sweet Saraya v Cheerleader Melissa; Athena v Ayako Hamada

April 13-14: SHIMMER: Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)

May 4: ICW: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland)

July 6: nCw Femmes Fatales XII (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

- Lee Burton

© Ringbelles