Ringbelles Roundup (20 November 2012) – Divas then and now, Amazing Kong’s return, NWA Hall of Fame
While being interviewed for the new WWE 13 video game, Amy “Lita” Dumas explained the difference between the Divas now and the ones from the Attitude era:
I think the women of The Attitude Era really did a good job at figuring out who they were and what they wanted to portray to the fans. So each woman was such an individual — you were never going to get Lita and Ivory confused. You’re not going to get the two confused, as opposed to now, is it the hot athletic girl with the short shorts on? No, it’s the other hot athletic girl with the short shorts on.
It’s harsh, but fair, and she has a point.
There are eight women on the main roster who are considered wrestlers rather than valets or managers, and for the most part, they are interchangeable curvy shapes with little character to speak of. The obvious exception which jumps out is AJ Lee, who despite being tiny, geeky and – compared to the others but probably not in real life – could be considered mousey or plain, is the most developed personality of all the women who step into the ring… and that’s something that Dumas pointed out:
I think it’s interesting to see the Divas of today and to see who the fans are attaching to. Obviously, right now, it’s AJ Lee, who’s not the strongest; she’s not one of those classically hot chicks. But she sets herself apart, and you have emotion when she’s out there and you get a sense of who she is, and so I think that’s really cool to see the kid that wasn’t supposed to make it being the one that’s out there, and that’s who the fans want to know more about.
Part of the reason why her character is so pronounced is because it’s the biggest thing that can make her stand out from the pack. She’s not a supermodel, she’s not statuesque and she’s not what you would automatically picture as a “Diva” in your imagination. Eve Torres would probably be more what you would have in mind.
When it comes to personalities that jump off the screen, the current Divas Champion may be in second spot. Since her heel turn, Eve has worked hard to bring a number of layers to the character, with her being conniving, selfish and mean, though she portrays herself to others as being genuine, trustworthy and honest – even though you’re not meant to believe her – and that’s a tough gig to pull off. Throw on top of that her facials in the ring, which were very evident at Survivor Series where she managed to show panic, fear, conceit, aggression and remorse in those few minutes. When it comes to acting, Torres deserves praise for what she has done since the spring.
However, what of the others? Kaitlyn can do goofy, but when it comes to being serious it feels artificial; Natalya is less than dynamic with her personality, and for the most part is wooden; Layla is hard to get behind as a babyface – especially when she is on commentary as she seems unlikeable – and would be much better served as a heel like when she excelled as half of Lay-Cool; Aksana was doing OK as the other half of Antonio Cesaro before that pairing was binned, and she’s been nothing much since; Tamina Snuka is still just the tall daughter of Jimmy Snuka whose top rope splash is a poor photocopy of her dad’s; and Alicia Fox is… I have no idea… a Rihanna clone?
Looks-wise, there is a lot of shiny gear floating around, well managed hair, slick make-up and white teeth. While that all looks good on HD, it means that there isn’t much variety there – and as we all know, that’s the spice of life.
Looking back 10 or so years, Trish Stratus was your quintessential blonde bombshell, Lita was the grungy high-flier, Molly Holly was the technical wizard who was either a Holly cousin, superhero or paradigm of virtue, Victoria was the batshit crazy lunatic, Ivory was the cunning veteran, Stacy Keibler was the tall leggy one, Jacqueline was the tough bruiser, Nidia was the trailer-trash girlfriend and so on. Sure there were some who found it harder to define themselves like Torrie Wilson, Terri Runnels and Miss Jackie, but they were all characters and instantly recognisable. There have been some multi-woman tag matches in the last 12-18 months in WWE that I struggled to work out who was who, and that’s not good. For someone who pays particular focus to the women’s matches, I should be able to pick them out with ease – if I can’t do it, how is the casual viewer supposed to do so?
If only WWE wasn’t so keen on controlling ever facet of their wrestlers, it could give them the opportunity to mould their characters a little more to their own preference. Eve Torres, for example, is employing more jiu-jitsu elements to her repertoire – if she was allowed to go further, maybe change up her gear to look like a glam version of something that Gina Carano or Ronda Rousey would wear, get her to plait her hair so it’s more all-business than all-show. She could even tone down her makeup to underline it all. By doing this, she could separate herself from the pack and make her more unique.
AJ already has the Converse boots, plaid gear and skipping, so there is no way you could mistake her for anyone else, but if someone asked you to describe Layla to someone who didn’t know who she was, and you may struggle. Similarly, how could you orate the character of Alicia Fox, Kaitlyn or Aksana to someone, and could you explain who Natalya or Tamina without saying who they were related to?
Perhaps an example of doing something different to stand out from the pack lies in developmental in Florida. The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer says a reason why Paige is so popular with the fans on NXT is because she is attainably attractive – which is probably doing her a disservice if you’ve met her – but she also stands out because of what she looks like. In an era with rosy cheeks, shiny lipstick, golden tans, and outfits designed to reflect curves and be vibrant in 1080p, the young Brit wears all black with some silver gimmicks to break up the darkness, dyes her hair black and doesn’t tan – which is some feat in Florida. She’s seen what everybody else is doing, and as part of the Anti-Diva gimmick which she has, is electing to go in another direction. By being a bit anti-establishment, she feels like the modern-day version of Lita, and considering how over and financially successful Lita was, it bodes well for her.
We had indications that Amazing Kong was training in Florida about a month ago as part of the Slammin’ Ladies custom shoots inbetween SHINE 4 and SHIMMER’s most recent tapings because of the people she was tweeting with. Four days before SHINE 5, Jazz’s mystery partner against Rain and Mercedes Martinez was revealed to be the former Kharma, who would be wrestling in her first announced match for 699 days – the last one being she and Daizee Haze against Sara Del Rey and Serena Deeb at Ring Of Honor’s Final Battle on December 18, 2010.
It is a positive chapter in a year which has hardly been filled with happy moments. From personal tragedies to professional setbacks, it has not been a smooth ride for her. However, there was a big buzz for her comeback, and rightly so – after all, this is the woman who dominated in Japan, then rocked through the US indies before becoming the focal point of the TNA Knockouts division and being the talking point in WWE, smashing through the Divas before bowing out due to her falling pregnant, winning the WWWA World Title, NWA Women’s World Title, TNA Knockouts Title, AWA World Women’s Title, the ChickFight IX tournament and the 2008 PWI Female 50 along the way.
Her contributions to the match itself were limited, though the big story wasn’t her ring work – but that she was back in the ring. She delivered a big splash, some chops, a double powerbomb – see the Best Of The Rest for more on that move – and the match-winning Implant Buster. The following night, she and Jazz wrestled at NWA Florida Underground Wrestling, defeating Made In Sin. From here, she heads to Chicago on November 30, where she will feature on the RESISTANCE Pro card, though it is still up in the air as to what she will be doing.
For someone who has had her fair share of sadness, we hope that she can regain some of that success and happiness from years gone by. Welcome back, Konger.
The women have been announced as being inductees of the NWA Hall of Fame Class of 2012 – the Fabulous Moolah, Joyce Grable and Misty Blue Simmes.
Seriously, you should already know a lot about Moolah. She was THE women’s wrestler for a generation, winning the NWA World Women’s Championship in 1956 and holding it for most of the next three decades before dropping it to Wendi Richter in July 1984. During that time it became the World Wrestling Federation Women’s Championship due to Moolah selling the title to Vince McMahon – as a result, all the title switches under the NWA banner were not recognised by the WWF, meaning according to its records, Moolah held the belt for close to 28 years.
During that time, Moolah trained a number of wrestlers like Leilani Kai and Judy Martin, was the centre of the women’s wrestling universe – some would argue in a negative way while others say women’s wrestling may have died a death without her – and made a return to the WWF’s ring in 1999, winning the Women’s Championship from Ivory and made cameo appearances for much of the next decade before her death in November 2007 at the age of 84.
Joyce Grable has already received one honour this year – back at SHINE 3 she, Diane Von Hoffman, Sabrina and Leilani Kai were celebrated as part of the iPPV. In truth, she’s the second Joyce Grable as the first retired in 1974 to focus on her family – the subsequent incarnation took the name due to her resemblance to the original and as a tribute to her trainer Judy Grable.
Seeing the bulk of her success as part of tag teams, she won the NWA World Women’s Tag straps on four occasions – two each with Wendi Richter and Vicki Williams – though also had success on her own, the most notable accomplishment being winning the NWA United States Women’s belt. She retired in 1991 due to injury, though still makes appearances at conventions and shows around the US.
Misty Blue Simmes has been accused of not being on the same level as Moolah and Grable, though still won the US Championship, feuded with Jim Cornette and challenged then-AWA World Women’s Champion Madusa to a unification match in a grandstand challenge, and the match never happened.
Simmes debuted in 1985 after a year and a half of training with Killer Kowalski – she got into it after originally learning to box. Her first high-profile experience was in 1986 at the 10 woman battle royal as part of the WrestleRock card before bouncing over to the NWA. After the women’s division was cut back in 1989, Simmes competed in the LPWA and the early days of WCW, which doesn’t sound remarkable, but get this: Misty Blue Simmes claims that she never lost a singles match in her 12 year, 1,000 match career, and held the US title up until the point where the belt was retired. That’s worth a spot in the Hall Of Fame, I reckon.
Elsewhere on the site in the last week, Rhia O’Reilly joined us for the latest Women Of Wrestling Podcast where we discuss her wrestling everywhere in 2012, that massive black eye and more, as well as Evie & Olivia Shaw v Britenay & Megan-Kate from IPW New Zealand last weekend.
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
Looks like Natalya is a babyface now. She teamed with Layla and Kaitlyn to beat Eve Torres, Aksana and Alicia Fox on SmackDown last Friday… Lilian Garcia is still confined to her home after being hit by a car in Los Angeles on October 27 and has not ben given permission to fly by her doctors. She missed the launch party for Maryse’s House Of Maryse jewellery line because she is still recovering… According to Figure Four Weekly, WWE is considering calling some of the NXT Divas up to the main roster as there is a dearth of options left of programmes for the women on TV at the moment. Of the women currently in Florida, I’d say only Paige is set to go… Speaking of Paige, she was described as “great” when Layla was asked on Twitter about her… Jim Ross blogged that Sara Del Rey is “doing an excellent job working/coaching the Divas”… Eve Torres retained the Divas Championship against Kaitlyn at Survivor Series. Before the match, Aksana tried to take Kaitlyn out. Elsewhere on the show, Tamina Snuka attacked AJ Lee, marking her comeback from injury… The following night on Raw, Kaitlyn beat Aksana, while AJ and John Cena kissed to prove that they weren’t having an affair – don’t ask. Later, AJ stormed into the men’s locker room and attacked Dolph Ziggler, which led to Ziggler beating up Cena.
Mickie James marked her return from injury by winning a 5 woman battle royal to become the number one contender to Tara’s Knockouts Championship. Nice to see that ODB’s mixed tag win at Turning Point put her in title contention, eh?… Taeler Hendrix appears on Impact Wrestling next week as part of the Thanksgiving episode. She’s on the show as part of a gimmick where all the previous Gut Check winners return… Gail Kim was presented with her plaque for winning the PWI Female 50 on the November 16 episode of TNA Today by Senior Writer Dan Murphy. Kim was on Skype, while Tara invaded the studio and stole the plaque. This may be the setup for a feud between the pair, which should result in some good matches… Madison Rayne revealed on Twitter that her dream opponent would have been Lita… Rayne also worked house shows this week as well as Impact. It was her first matches with the promotion since September.
TNA Knockouts referee Taryn Terrell won the Ohio Valley Wrestling Women’s Championship from Heidi Lovelace on Wednesday. Special referee Taeler Hendrix favoured Terrell just so she could get the title away from Lovelace… After its double taping for its tenth edition, nCw Femmes Fatales is reverting back to single tapings next March… TMZ really will make a story out of anything. Last week, they ran a story about the former Kelly Kelly changing a tyre… Pro Wrestling Syndicate and Purely Obsessed Wrestling World grappler Miss Adiva has been cast for the MTV show True Life, showcasing her life as a wrestler… SHIMMER Volume 53 in New Jersey next April will be shown on iPPV… Jewells Malone revealed that she is planning to wrestle in the UK in the future… Rain broke her radius bone and her wrist in three places on that powerbomb from the second rope by Amazing Kong at SHINE 5, and still took the Implant Buster from Kong to end the contest. She is currently in a cast past her elbow – we wish her all the best. Elsewhere on SHINE 5, Kimberly finally turned heel after a string of losses, capped off on Friday when she and Leva Bates were beaten by Made In Sin… There were five women’s matches on Saturday’s NWA Florida Underground Wrestling show as part of its new relationship with SHINE… Kacee Carlisle successfully defended the NWA World Women’s Championship against La Rosa Negra on Saturday… Angelus Layne and Serenity will wrestle in a cage at Zero 1 USA in January.
Mika Iida will be out indefinitely after rupturing the ACL in her right knee… Misaki Ohata and Tsukasa Fujimoto won the Dual Shock WAVE tag team tournament on Friday, beating Syuri and Shu Shibutani in the finals. The pair will now face Tag Champions GAMI and Tomoka Nakagawa in a week.
Alpha Female and the Blossom Twins appeared on Friday’s broadcast of A League Of Their Own, a sports celebrity quiz show. The Blossoms demonstrated a few moves on panelist Micky Flanagan, while Alpha beat up comedian Jack Whitehall for a few minutes. At no point were any of the women made fun of, they were all given huge respect, and Alpha was made to look like a terrifying monster, which was great. Alpha had the Pro Wrestling: EVE belt, as the show was filmed before the iPPV earlier this month when she lost it to Nikki Storm… Speaking of the EVE belt, it’s been featured on Japanese TV and in newspapers and magazines because of Emi Sakura returning home with it. We surmised that would happen in last week’s Roundup… In an interview with NHB Girls, Amazon Ayesha Ray admits that she “had a blast in Australia” as part of wrestling on October’s PWWA show and at the Armageddon Expo, and made it clear that she wants to return… Carmel Jacob won the W3L Women’s Championship in a 3-way with former champion Nikki Storm and Sara-Marie Taylor on Saturday… Penelope is replacing Kay Lee Ray at Southside’s show next month. She’ll be wrestling Alpha Female… Sweet Saraya thought she had broken her cheekbone after suffering a kick from Athena on SHIMMER Volume 49. As it turned out, she has two breaks – the cheekbone and the side of her nose. On top of that, she has torn her cheek muscle. That must have been some kick. Bear in mind, she wrestled five matches as part of her North American tour after that injury took place… The World Association of Women’s Wrestling says the free show it ran on November 9 which pulled in 250+ seems to have impressed the right people. The promotion is hinting that changes are coming which will raise the profile the company to a worldwide scale.
In an interview with jlanoticias.com to hype up her trip to Japan as part of Pro Wrestling WAVE and AAA’s Reina De Reinas tournament on November 27, Sexy Lady revealed that she owes everything to Silver King, and stressed that she wanted to take down current champion Sexy Star, who has held the title for 23 months.
Australia & New Zealand
During her appearance on Colt Cabana’s Art Of Wrestling Podcast, new RCW Women’s Champion Eliza Sway revealed that she appeared on the original series of Australia’s Next Top Model. Under her real name of Zoe McDonald, she was eliminated on episode 5… Madison Eagles’ return has been announced for the PWA Australia show on January 12.
November 11: Insanity Pro Wrestling (Indianapolis, IN) – Nevaeh b Angelus Layne
November 12: CMLL (Puebla, Mexico) – Dalis la Caribeña, Lady Afrodita & Marcela b La Vaquerita, Mima Shimoda & Zeuxis
November 13: CMLL (Guadalajara, Mexico) – Estrellita, Luna Mágica & Silueta b Princesa Blanca, Princesa Sugheit & Tiffany
November 14: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Taryn Terrell b Heidi Lovelace to win the OVW Women’s Championship
November 14: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Cherry b Miyako Matsumoto; Hikaru Shida & Risa Sera b Akiko Hotta & Tsukasa Fujimoto; Aoi Kizuki b Sayaka Obihiro; Hailey Hatred & Hamuko Hoshi b Aki Shizuku & Maki Narumiya
November 15: WWE NXT (Winter Park, FL) – Layla b Alicia Fox; Paige b Sasha Banks
November 15: TNA (Johnson City, TN) – Miss Tessmacher b Madison Rayne
November 15: TNA Impact Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Mickie James won a battle royal
November 16: WWE SmackDown (Cleveland, OH) – Layla, Kaitlyn & Natalya b Eve Torres, Aksana & Alicia Fox
November 16: Battle Arts (Oshawa, ON, Canada) – Leah Von Dutch b John Greed, Phil Atlas & Scotty O’Shea in a 4-way
November 16: 19 Pro (Saitama, Japan) – Sayaka Obihiro b Shoko Hotta
November 16: Pro Wrestling WAVE (Tokyo, Japan) – Shu Shibutani & Syuri b Yumi Ohka & Hikaru Shida; Mio Shirai b Maiden Name Sakura Hirota, Moeka Haruhi, Ayumi Kurihara & Cherry in a; Ayako Hamada, Yuu Yamagata & Kana b GAMI, Tomoka Nakagawa & Aya Yuki; Ran Yu-Yu b Ryo Mizunami; Misaki Ohata & Tsukasa Fujimoto b Shu Shibutani & Syuri
November 16: SHINE 5 (Ybor City, FL) – Sassy Stephie b Heidi Lovelace; Niya b Marti Belle; Su Yung b Sojo Bolt; Santana Garrett b Nikki St John; Allysin Kay & Taylor Made b Kimberly & Leva Bates; Athena b Ivelisse Velez; Jessicka Havok v Nikki Roxx went to a double count-out; Amazing Kong & Jazz b Mercedes Martinez & Rain
November 17: TNA (Spartanburg, SC) – Miss Tessmacher b Madison Rayne
November 17: Destination One Wrestling (Charlestown, IN) – Crazy Mary Dobson b Miss Natural
November 17: Dynamite Championship Wrestling (Farmington, DE) – Kimber Lee b Jessie Kaye to win the DCW Women’s Championship
November 17: Squared Circle Wrestling (Vaughan, ON, Canada) – Aiden Prince & Xandra Bale b Abe Jackson & Jodi D’Milo; Gabriella Vanderpool b Jewells Malone
November 17: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Shoko Hotta b Risa Sera; Aki Shizuku b Maki Narumiya; Hailey Hatred & Kurumi b Cherry & Sayaka Obihiro; Hamuko Hoshi & Tsukushi b Hikaru Shida & Tsukasa Fujimoto
November 17: Squared Circle Wrestling (Binghamton, NY) – Veda Scott b Cherry Bomb
November 17: Impact Pro Wrestling (Auckland, New Zealand) – Britenay & Megan-Kate b Evie & Olivia Shaw
November 17: World Wide Wrestling League (Edinburgh, Scotland) – Carmel Jacob b Nikki Storm & Sara-Marie Taylor in a 3-way to win the W3L Women’s Championship
November 17: Florida Underground Wrestling (St Petersburg, FL) – Sojo Bolt b Heidi Lovelace; Nikki Roxx b Niya; Santana Garrett b Sassy Stephie; Marti Belle b Leva Bates; Amazing Kong & Jazz b Allisin Kay & Taylor Made
November 17: Main Stage Wrestling (Dublin, Ireland) – Bonesaw & Kazza G b Justin Shape & Lady Lucyfer
November 17: NWA Coastal (Bayville, NJ) – Kacee Carlisle b La Rosa Negra
November 17: New York Wrestling Connection (Deer Park, NY) – Brittney Savage & Rick Cataldo b Alicia & Nikki Addams
November 18: WWE Survivor Series (Indianapolis, IN) – Eve Torres b Kaitlyn
November 18: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Dalis la Caribeña, Dark Angel b Marcela b La Comandante, Mima Shimoda & Tiffany
November 18: AAA Fusion (Mexico City, Mexico) – Sexy Star & Taya Valkyrie b Fabi Apache & Mari Apache
November 19: WWE Raw (Dayton, OH) – Kaitlyn b Aksana
November 23: Absolute Intense Wrestling (Cleveland, OH) – Allysin Kay v KC Warfield
November 23: Zero 1 Australia (Adelaide, Australia) – Jessie McKay v Savannah Summers
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 1: Southside Wrestling Entertainment (Huntingdon, England) – Alpha Female v Penelope
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 7: British Championship Wrestling (Kilmarnock, Scotland) – Red Lightning & Sara-Marie Taylor v Liam Thomson & Carmel Jacob
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 8: Wrestling Is Awesome (Enosburg Falls, NY) – Saturyne v Portia Perez
December 16: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Jessicka Havok v Jaykus Plisken
December 28: Italian Championship Wrestling (Lugano, Switzerland) – Laura Wellings v Lady Lory
January 11: SHINE 6 (Ybor City, FL)
January 26: Zero 1 USA (Mattoon, IL) – Serenity v Angelus Layne
February 2: Pro Wrestling: EVE (Preston, England)
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