The 2012 Ringbelles Awards week kicks off tomorrow, and in preparation, we are taking a look back at the winners from 2011. We have already seen how Kay Lee Ray‘s star has grown, how Jessicka Havok took 2012 by the balls, and now we look at what Hailey Hatred‘s been up to after spending a portion of 2011 holding six separate championships…
There was a mild irony of our timing when we revealed that Hatred had won the Wrestler of the Year title. We announced that the 29-year old had won a day after she lost the JWP Openweight Championship – a title which was instrumental in us choosing her as the winner, as she was the first non-Japanese woman to hold the belt in its 20-year history. However, we judge from December 1 of one year to November 30 of the next, in order to make sure all the awards are despatched and received before the end of the calendar year.
Hatred’s disappointments continued in January as she was unsuccessful in her challenge for the CMLL World Women’s Title – at the time held by Ayumi Kurihara – and was unable to wrest the Ice Ribbon International Ribbon Tag Team Championship, as she and Dorami Nagano lost to then-champs Hikaru Shida and Maki Narumiya. However, a return to the United States for half a year saw her amass some quality outings against world-class opponents…
Hailey made her debut at nCw Femmes Fatales on the promotion’s eighth show, putting together a great 25 minute draw against Cheerleader Melissa, then rolled into SHIMMER a week later for her first full weekend of action. Day one saw she and Kalamity defeat Kana and LuFisto to earn a shot at the Tag Team Championship, but fell short against Kurihara and Ayako Hamada. Her weekend may have finished 1-3 (after losing to Mercedes Martinez in singles action and then alongside Kalamity against MsChif and Christina Von Eerie) but more important than the win-loss stats was the quality of her matches, which were consistently high.
Back in her home state of Ohio, Hailey participated at Absolute Intense Wrestling‘s Girls Night Out‘s sixth and seventh shows in April and August respectively, beating Jenny Rose and Sara Del Rey to take her unbeaten record to 8-0. Her streak made her the next contender for the promotion’s Women’s Championship, but she stepped aside as she was to return to Japan. However, she took another title with her, winning the Remix Pro Women’s belt on August 5, the day before flying out – beating Sassy Stephie, who herself had won the belt that night.
On returning to Japan, Hatred continued her resurgence, winning the Ice Ribbon Triangle Ribbon title in September, and had made two successful defences so far. She also expanded her horizons, debuting in Stardom as part of Kyoko Kimura‘s Kimura Monster-gun stable, and main evented Joshi4Hope 4 in October, successfully defending the Remix Pro title against MsChif. Most recently, Hailey linked with Hamuko Hoshi to take the International Ribbon and REINA x World Tag Team straps, and ensured that she repeated her success of last year – where she held six championships at one time – by doing it again.
It was always going to be hard to top her success in 2011, but Hailey Hatred surely matched it. With half a dozen championships in her possession over two continents, at least two contests which could be argued as being Match of the Year, she must have to give 2012 a thumbs-up. Can she repeat as Wrestler of the Year? Find out on Friday.
– Lee Burton