Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been doing a lot of retrospective articles. From the looks back to the 2012 award winners to the announcing of the 2013 recipients, from the personal highlights of Stew and myself to reviews of of the Women Of Wrestling Podcasts and our other audio shows, there has been a big look into the past. Now, here’s a look into the future.
Both Stew and I have written a list of things we would like to see happen in 2014. Neither of us have a crystal ball – or more critically, a booking sheet – so we can’t say whether any of these will actually happen, but this is what we would like to see in a perfect world.
Seeing as I’m here, I’ll start:
• I would love to see LuFisto win the SHIMMER Championship. After storming through the last set of tapings and working up a pretty heated rivalry with reigning titleholder Cheerleader Melissa, she ended Female Fight Season standing above her enemy at the end of Femmes Fatales XIII. While no plans have been put in place for SHIMMER 62 in New Orleans, LA, I would be happy to see Melissa and Lufisto in the main event with the Super Hardcore Anime taking the title which would mean the world to her. Even if she only holds it until the DVD tapings the following week, I would love for it to happen. (more…)
We hope everybody is having a nice holiday period, and perhaps you’ve even filled an idle hour with one of our podcasts from the last year. If so, we thank you very much. Our “flashback” article on Friday looking at the 15 Women of Wrestling Podcasts we’ve produced during the last twelve months resulted in a big download spike on the site – but of course, the Women of Wrestling Podcast really only just scratches the surface of the audio output on the site.
We more than doubled our audio content this year with our supporting shows – “Fight Like A Girl” (one on one shorter interviews), “My Name Is” (Lee meets new talent) and Angelus Layne‘s “Layne’s Brain”. There’s a lot of good stuff here – so again, we’d invite you to revisit some of your favourites, or catch up on some of those shows that passed you by the first time. (more…)
The first thing I think when I look back over my own personal memories of the last year of women’s wrestling is, as usual, my regular trips to SHIMMER live events in Berwyn, IL. I can’t say enough about the whole experience, but if you’ve ever even vaguely considered making the pilgrimage, DO IT. I believe this year represented my tenth and eleventh trips there, and yeah, I’m still keen to return in the coming year and still love the whole experience. Dave Prazak has often described SHIMMER as a DVD product (and it basically still is), but for me, (and I think a lot of the people I see returning time and time again), it’s become live product more than anything else, and it’s like getting together with your friends from all over the world twice a year. They’re long weekends for the fans, but they’ve ultimately given me such great memories. From seeing the return from injuries of the likes of Serena Deeb & Madison Eagles, to seeing people like Kimber Lee wrestling live for the first time, to seeing Nikki Storm get over so huge on her first trip there, to openly weeping in public as Allison Danger wrestled her last match – all things that will live long in the memory. Sure, the October taping was beset by a number of integral people missing for various reasons, but I’m still glad I was there (Kimber Bombs!!), and only underlines how much talent there is to return in 2014. (more…)
Make no mistake – even though I’m write a lot about wrestling, I’m primarily a fan. I love going to shows, watching matches live and getting into what’s unfolding before my eyes. I love shouting about great wrestling and encouraging others to get involved. I can never say for sure if my enthusiasm has ever swung anyone’s opinion, but it’s nice to have this little pocket of the Internet to be able to talk about women’s wrestling. It’s also nice to have seen Ringbelles become more popular over the last 12 months too, and for that I have to thank you, the good reader for coming back on a regular basis to listen to our audio shows – of which there have been many this year – and read show reports, check out reviews and catch the week’s news in the Roundup.
I didn’t want to make a big deal of it at the time, but the December 10 Roundup was the 150th edition, and that was a nice little milestone for me. When the site started, we didn’t want to post a slew of topics on the front page so more important content was lost in the shuffle so I suggested collating the women’s wrestling news from around the world into one document. Little did I know how much it would swell to the point that each Roundup is around 4,000 words. It’s evolved over that time to feature more commentary to go with the news, but it gives me the aforementioned forum to talk about a topic I care a lot about and want to see continue to grow – and that topic has certainly done that this year. (more…)
As we’ll never tire of telling you, Ringbelles is founded on our podcasts. Our flagship “Women of Wrestling Podcast” predates the very existence of Ringbelles as a website (Lee & I have been podcasting together since August 2009 – about a year and a half before this website debuted), and we’re meticulous about bringing you the best audio we possibly can – whether in our longform flagship Women of Wrestling Podcast, in our one-on-one shorter Fight Like A Girl series, in our website exclusive My Name Is… series (which shines the spotlight on younger wrestlers taking their first steps as a pro) to one of our wrestler hosted shows like Courtney Rush‘s Rush Hour or Angelus Layne‘s Layne’s Brain – we have a commitment to quality audio we hope you enjoy.
We produced 15 episodes of the Women of Wrestling Podcast this year, along with a staggering 24 editions of Fight Like A Girl (with an even split of 12 presented by me and 12 presented by Lee), while Lee produced a further 12 website exclusive My Name Is… shows. Add in a couple of Layne’s Brains towards the end of the year, and we’ve had 53 audio shows on the site this year, which means we’re averaging about a show per week… which is pretty amazing.
As we prepare to get nostalgic over the weekend with a few personal thoughts on the past year, let’s take a look back at the year that was for the Women of Wrestling Podcast – a series of interviews featuring new guests, returning favourites, Brits, Canadians, Americans, promoters, wrestlers, former national TV names and the top indy talents around today. (more…)
Hopefully everyone who has read this has enjoyed a healthy and happy Christmas filled with wrestling joy – I, for example received the Wrestling’s 101 Strangest Matches book featuring contests like the Original Screwjob and when June Byers and Mildred Burke tried to resolve a title dispute with a legitimate contest. While we’re having a bit of a rest day at Ringbelles, we couldn’t resist adding a Retro featuring the TNA Knockouts from the Christmas Day episode of Impact in 2008.
Another reason why we’re posting this match is because of the nib we posted in yesterday’s Roundup about Taylor Wilde doing some wrestling appearances next year. She is featured in this contest alongside Roxxi (Nikki Roxx), ODB and Christy Hemme against the Kongtourage faction consisting of Sojo Bolt, Rhaka Khan, Raisha Saeed (Cheerleader Melissa/Alissa Flash) and the Knockouts Champion Awesome (Amazing) Kong. The baby faces get into the Christmas spirit by getting into costume, so click the jump and get into some festive fighting. (more…)
You know you have intrinsic importance when people seem to work around you to make things work.
Courtney Rush participated in her first training session after receiving clearance from her doctor. She has been given a clean bill of health after fracturing her clavicle on September 15 in the pre-show ahead of Smash Wrestling’s CAN USA event in Toronto, ON, Canada. At the time, nobody knew she was hurt as she was wrestling under a hood under the name of La Tigre Diablo against Jasmin, and the break happened in what Rush described at the time as a “freak accident”. She didn’t appear on the show as planned, and instead was rushed to hospital with the fear in her head that the plans she had for the following month or so were out of the window.
Rush had been due to travel to England to defend the Bellatrix World Championship at Bellatrix 7 on October 6, but the match between Liberty and she was pushed back – meaning that she would not have to relinquish the title which she won from Allison Danger at NCW Femmes Fatales XI in March. She still participated in the proceedings, turning heel and costing her title challenger the RQW European Championship, which she dropped to Sammi Baynz.
Like Bellatrix, Femmes Fatales also made concessions to accommodate Courtney’s literal tough break. (more…)
With Nikki Storm and Kimber Lee announced over the last couple of days as the 2013 Discovery of the Year and Breakout Star of the Year respectively, the final question that needs to be answered in our 2013 Awards season is the big one. Who was the Wrestler of the Year for 2013 – following in the steps of previous winners Madison Eagles (2010), Hailey Hatred (2011) and Ayako Hamada (2012)? As is customary, before we make our final announcement of our winner, we’ll consider a couple of really strong contenders who ultimately we didn’t go with this year, but would have been worthy winners all the same.
A lot of people – including us, it must be said – made a lot of noise about Madison Eagles this year. After missing the entirety of 2012 with a career threatening knee injury, the fact that Eagles is back and competing at such a high level again is worthy of incredible praise. We remarked when reviewing Eagles’ US return match (vs Jessie McKay at SHIMMER 53 in April) that she “laughs in the face of ring rust”, and that’s pretty much dead on. Standout matches this year include a cracker with Kana at SHIMMER 55, and a couple of matches with Jessicka Havok (at SHINE 9 and SHIMMER 60), and although she started experimenting with fork-based humour in the second half of the year, her credibility at the highest level is still there. Eagles deserves an award for her achievements in 2013, but she just misses out on our biggie.
We’ve mentioned her above, but Kana was also up for consideration. When you factor in her amazing work at SHIMMER over the year against the likes of Eagles, McKay, Kalamity and Kimber Lee, as well as her success in her native Japan, it has certainly been an eventful 12 months in the life of the 32-year old. She was a losing finalist in the tournament to crown the first Regina di WAVE Champion but rebounded to win the WAVE Tag Team titles with Mio Shirai, holding the championship for four months before dropping it in July. In JWP, she became the outsider who won the Openweight Championship and rubbed her accomplishment in the faces of the regular roster before dropping the belt back to Arisa Nakajima earlier this month. As well as her in-ring accomplishments, Kana has reinvented her look, wearing crazy face paint designs and more outlandish outfits to really make herself stand out from the pack.
Also coming close was another name we’ve heard from a lot of people this year as we’ve gauged opinions both from fans and people in the industry – Cheerleader Melissa. From winning the SHIMMER Championship in a Cage Match in SHIMMER’s biggest show ever (Vol 53 at WrestleCon) to holding onto the title throughout the rest of the year, this has been the extended run with the title that she didn’t get first time round (when she lost the championship in the ring before the DVD documenting her title win was even released). It has also coincided with a slow-burn heel shift that has resulted in some of Melissa’s most interesting work for some time. North of the border, she’s also been integral to ongoing storylines for NCW Femmes Fatales, and has been involved in some of their most highly praised matches of 2013.
Eventually though – we went with the same criteria we did last year when we picked Ayako Hamada. Who was the best in ring performer of the year? Who regularly entertained and impressed us most? Who raised up other people to her level? We ended up choosing a sensation… (more…)
After yesterday’s announcement of Nikki Storm as our Discovery of the Year for 2013, it’s time to move on to our announcement of our Breakout Star of the Year. This award, as we’ve mentioned before, is given to the wrestler who, in our opinion, took the biggest strides in 2013. The wrestler who became a player during this calendar year and became an integral part of multiple promotions by getting over with the crowd and making herself indispensable. The wrestler who went from just being a promising name on a card to becoming someone you’d actually pay money to see. Someone who “gets it” and someone who expanded their horizons in a major way. As usual, we had a number of potential winners to sort through, but by the time we got down to our final shortlist, we had three top contenders to win. Before we announce our 2013 Breakout Star of the Year, let’s have a quick look at those who came within a hair of winning the award this year.
Mia Yim came ridiculously close. This was the year where Yim really started to excel and fulfil the potential she has undoubtedly had since she started. This year, I’ve heard first-hand from people who really weren’t on the Mia Yim bandwagon tell me that this was the year that she changed their minds. Yim was undoubtedly one of the biggest breakout stars of Fight Season in October, and the SHIMMER weekend in particular, where her matches demonstrated what appeared to be a new confidence in the ring. Likewise in SHINE she’s found herself in more and more important matches as the year progressed, including discovering what might well be her perfect opponent in Ivelisse Velez. Santana Garrett also was amongst the final three shortlisted – having managed to not only debut for WSU and AIW, continue to impress in SHIMMER & SHINE, she managed to appear on TV for both TNA (as part of the Knockouts Knockdown PPV) and WWE (on their NXT brand) in this calendar year. Yes, depending on where you live in the world, those appearances may be either PPV or VOD, but she’s certainly moving in the right circles and making the right connections to get on the radar for the national promotions. Her matches weren’t as high up the card as Yim’s or our eventual winner, but as far as “breaking out” and reaching for the stars, Garrett is a perfect example of someone who has used 2013 as a springboard to bigger and better things.
Our winner though? For our money, our winner stepped up in multiple promotions, gained confidence by the bucketload, delivered quality throughout and… well, she’s going to have to clear a little bit more space on her mantle for her second Ringbelles Award… (more…)
Welcome to the 2013 Ringbelles Year End Awards – a trio of accolades where we acknowledge the standouts of what has been a bumper year for women’s wrestling around the world, and giving us plenty of candidates to chew over en route to picking our victorious three. Tomorrow and Sunday respectively, we reveal the Breakout Star and Wrestler of the Year – but first, we begin with the Discovery of the Year, and this was a complicated one. Let us explain, but first, we should mention some of the wrestlers who featured very heavily in our considerations.
The swelling of iPPV over the last year has afforded everyone great opportunities to find out about more stars, especially if we lack the means to be able to see them live. Instead of videos leaking onto the Internet and you having to stumble on them, live online broadcasts have meant that we have been introduced to new faces – many of whom have made an impression on us. As a result, we got the chance to enjoy the work of Barbi Hayden, who did a great job on two Women Superstars Uncensored cards in the latter half of the year; meanwhile, Xandra Bale also raised our eyebrows and was very unlucky to have suffered a fibula injury, as it meant she missed a potential standout match against Cheerleader Melissa at NCW Femmes Fatales XIII. Speaking of Canadian stars and WSU, Jewells Malone has also done some great work and enjoyed some quality exposure. Another up for consideration was Crazy Mary Dobson, who was a big hit for Insane Championship Wrestling: Fierce Females, and also made a good impression at the most recent SHIMMER tapings, and moved away from the death match stuff to also develop her wrestling skills in Japan.
The wrestler who just missed out on winning the accolade is Heidi Lovelace, who has really shone in 2013 with a great outing at National Pro Wrestling Day, as well as defeating Eddie Kingston in the main event of October’s Wrestling Is Heart show and was also part of one of the year’s best storylines, playing the infatuated party in a manipulative same-sex romance with Taeler Hendrix in Ohio Valley Wrestling.
The term “discovery” is an abstract one, and is subjective, depending as to when you were exposed to that particular wrestler. If you were to draw parallels with music, you could have someone who has been following a band in small venues for many years before they start to get signed to a major label, release singles and albums and start doing larger tours. One fan will discover the band at a different time to another, though both have experienced that initial exposure at one time. For that reason, the Discovery of the Year award goes to a woman who – like Portugal’s Perfect Athlete Shanna – made a big impact in the United States, but also had success in Japan… (more…)
It was meant to happen in October but injuries meant that it had to be postponed, but Cheerleader Melissa and Courtney Rush will tangle at NCW Femmes Fatales XIV on April 19 next year to try and determine who will be the number one contender to the International Championship – but a stipulation has been added to the contest.
The pair will wrestle a 30-minute Iron Woman Match at the event in Montreal, QC, Canada – and emotions are running high because of their history, which stems back to last July, when they first met in a Femmes Fatales ring. (more…)
There are few genuine success stories when it comes to wrestlers’ lives after WWE – unfortunately, many wrestlers leave the business because they were unable to do it anymore or had outserved what their employers perceived to be their usefulness, and have not planned far enough into the future to make sure they are financially secure. Women are more likely to manage it – Stacy Keibler, Lisa Marie Varon and even Kelly Kelly immediately spring to mind – but few managed to have a great life after leaving the ring more than Trish Stratus.
With a happy marriage, a successful yoga business and getting ready for her first Christmas as a mother, things have gone well for the 38-year old Canadian since she retired from full-time competition in 2006 – and the reason we’re talking about her here is because earlier today she tweeted a picture of her WWE Women’s Championship belt. As a result, we’re posting the video of her final match against Lita at Unforgiven in September 2006, where she won the title for a record-setting seventh time.
Unarguably the most successful WWE Diva in history, she is the person that the company used as a template for its top women for a long time, and has only recently started to move away from that blueprint with the likes of AJ Lee and Paige, for example. However, her success at raising the profile of women’s wrestling in WWE was rewarded with her being allowed to go out as champion in her home city of Toronto. Click the jump to watch the match between two longtime rivals. (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (17 December 2013) – AJ Lee issues, Natalya’s resurgence, Rain: the ultimate worker
AJ Lee got into a bit of trouble at last Wednesday’s Tribute to the Troops show. The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer says she gave NBC presenter Michelle Beadle an obscenity-laced tongue-lashing in public for talking to her boyfriend, CM Punk. Beadle referred to it in a tweet, saying “Lost another friend to CGFN… crazy girlfriend neutering. It’s real people. Check your buddies. Affects everyone.” She later claimed that she thought AJ was joking, so didn’t react to it at the time, but then believed it wasn’t after a while.
Another account says that AJ was working because she was told to do so by an agent for a segment on the WWE App, and then everyone acted surprised when she did it, as if it was some sort of double cross on her, while another says AJ wasn’t yelling, and was standing up for Punk after Beadle allegedly said something that rubbed him the wrong way (even though he would likely say something himself if that was the case, so the whole scenario seems implausible – and a skit for the app would allude to Punk and AJ being an item, which is something that has never been brought up or acknowledged anywhere in WWE, so that lacks credibility too). The story has since been disregarded as being bogus. (more…)
Natalya challenges AJ Lee for the WWE Divas Title at TLC, looking to regain the championship which she lost in January 2011.
• Natalya made AJ tap out to the Sharpshooter to win the 14 Diva Survivor Series match last month, then pinned AJ on the December 2 episode of Raw in a 6-Diva tag match. As a result, she was named the top contender for the Divas Championship.
• The pair fought on PPV earlier this year as part of a 4-way which also involved Naomi and Brie Bella at Night Of Champions, though this is Natalya’s first singles title challenge on PPV in three years – the last one was at Bragging Rights in October 2010, though she won her only Divas belt in a handicap match against Lay-Cool at that year’s Survivor Series.
• Before the match, AJ cut a promo saying she is the number one Diva, while the Divas division, the WWE Universe and the Total Divas show are all jokes. She then promised to retain the title and be the one who’s laughing. (more…)
We’ve become fans of Barbi Hayden because of things like her work at Women Superstars Uncensored‘s Uncensored Rumble back in August and her overall attitude to wrestling – which Stew covered with her in a Fight Like A Girl interview in September. In truth, 2013 has been a successful year for the 23-year old Texan, as she debuted in Mexico and Ring Of Honor as well as WSU, while also continuing to compete for other promotions in her home state – which is what brings us to this video.
The match we have for you is one of Hayden’s from Coastal Championship Wrestling‘s show on August 24 in La Marque. In it, she takes on fellow former Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Champion Jessica James, who had recently returned from a 3 month stint wrestling for the Diana promotion in Japan. Click the jump to take a look. (more…)
Nadia Sapphire is enjoying a second bite of the cherry. After taking four years off due to a crushing knee injury, the 22-year old from Wales is getting back on the bicycle and is getting herself out into the British wrestling scene, joining the British Bombshells and LCW Roses rosters.
In this 20 minute interview, Nadia talks about her LCW Roses match which was announced earlier today, what she thinks of women’s wrestling in Britain at the moment, who she looked up to when she started out, and what her father would say about her stepping into the ring… if he knew anything about it.
(right click on the picture and “save as” to download, or stream in our media player below)
SHINE 15 live results: Retiring Rain defends against Amazing Kong, plus Jessicka Havok v Allysin Kay
Lots of goings-on at the final SHINE show of the year taking place this evening. At the top of the card is Rain (who has made it very clear that this contest at SHINE 15 will be her last ever, and you can read an overview of her career here) defending the SHINE Championship against Amazing Kong, who was handpicked by Daffney as the Valkyrie leader’s next challenger. Despite it all, Rain is adamant that she will retire with the title by her side.
The other half of the show’s double main event pits former friends and tag team partners against each other, as Jessicka Havok and Allysin Kay collide after Kay turned on her friend on the last show, causing Havok to lose her grudge match to Saraya Knight.
Elsewhere, Leva Bates and Nevaeh compete in a Friday The 13th Massacre Match, Ivelisse Velez and Mia Yim square off, and the SNS Express members Sassy Stephie & Jessie Belle Smothers take on the American Sweethearts of Amber O’Neal & Santana Garrett, with the losing team being forced to break up. You see the rest of the card by clicking here.
There is still time to order the event at WWNLive.com, and you can click here to jump to the appropriate page. We will be providing live results after the jump, and will follow it up with thoughts soon afterward. (more…)
With the 2013 Year End Awards rapidly approaching, we have been covering the fortunes of our 2012 winners. So far, we have looked at how Kimber Lee continued her ascent after being named the Discovery of the Year, and we’ve given an update of Allysin Kay‘s successful 12 months since winning the Breakout Star of the Year title. Rounding off our recap of 2013 is the woman who we proclaimed to be 2012′s Wrestler of the Year: Ayako Hamada…
We justified our choice to select the 32-year old as our top grappler for the simple reason that when it came to in-ring match quality, nobody impressed us or entertained us more than Ayako Hamada in 2012, and that was illustrated in a quote from NCW Femmes Fatales booker Stephane Bruyere during a Women Of Wrestling Podcast this time last year:
All of my ten favourite matches I’ve seen this year, there’s six of her. That’s six out of eight she did at SHIMMER, and six of them are in my top ten favourite matches [...] She’s just amazing. She’s the best right now. When we talk about quality of matches, there’s nobody that can top what she can do. There are a lot of great wrestlers – we know Mercedes Martinez, we know LuFisto, we know Cheerleader Melissa – those are really, really great wrestlers and they had good years, but none of them had the year Hamada had this year.
When it comes to picking a Wrestler of the Year, it’s sometimes as easy as that. (more…)
As we continue to count down to the announcements of our winners of the 2013 Year End Awards next weekend, we’re taking a glance back at those we recognised last year. Yesterday we revisited the last twelve months in the life of our 2012 Discovery of the Year Kimber Lee, and today we’re turning our attention to last year’s Breakout Star of the Year, the classy one herself – Allysin Kay!
The Breakout Star of of the Year Award is meant to recognise someone who really upped their game in the twelve months prior. We’re fond of describing it in the terms of how someone goes from just being a wrestler on the card to being a *player* on the scene. Someone who makes you want to buy a ticket or order an iPPV. Someone who becomes an essential ingredient in a number of promotions – and for the year of 2012, that person was beyond doubt Allysin Kay. (more…)
LAYNE’S BRAIN #2 with Angelus Layne, featuring Alex Castle
Angelus Layne is back with another slice of audio for your consideration. Back in Episode #1, Angelus was talking about her then upcoming return match at VWAA against Jordynne Grace. Find out about how that went (clue: not great), and find out what happens next on the road back. As well as recounting other recent adventures in wrestling, Angelus also has some thoughts to share about some of the email correspondence she’s received from “fans” – and is joined by her first podcast guest (and fiancé), Alex Castle, who gives some feedback on her VWAA match and shares his thoughts on living with some of Angelus’ health issues over the last few months. As usual, feedback is both appreciated and encouraged. Enjoy!
(right click on the picture and “save as” to download, or stream in our media player below)
Considering Mickie Knuckles‘ return to IWA Mid-South last weekend, we’ve dug up a match from her past in the promotion.
The contest we have for this week’s Retro is from April 22, 2007 where Knuckles defended the IWA Mid-South Women’s Championship on a cross promotion show with Anarchy Championship Wrestling in San Antonio, TX. Challenging her is then-ACW regular Daffney, in what turned out to be a bloody encounter.
Speaking of Daffney, an interview she conducted with Highspots earlier this year has been released. Diva Diaries covers her infiltration of the TNA Knockouts Knockdown audience back in March after concluding her legal issues with the promotion, as well as revealing that she has been living with bipolar disorder.
Next weekend we start making our announcements of the winners of our 2013 Year End Awards. Once again, we will be presenting awards in three categories – Discovery of the Year, Breakout Star of the Year and Wrestler of the Year. But before we get to that, let’s take a look back twelve months and check in with last year’s award winners and see how 2013 has treated them. First, let’s look at our 2012 Discovery of the Year, Kimber Lee.
As we wrote last year when we made the announcement of Kimber Lee as our Discovery of the Year, the spirit of this award is to recognise someone who we didn’t know twelve months prior, but who “caught our attention in a positive way… and is therefore someone that we’re tipping to bloom and flourish in the coming years.”. Twelve months on, and I think we can assuredly say Mission: Accomplished – and still aged just 23 years old and continuing to impress and improve by the month, there’s little doubt that there’s a lot more to come from the native of Seattle. (more…)
Ohio Valley Wrestling’s women’s division has had an interesting year.
The first four months of 2013 saw a litany of title changes, with Jessie Belle, Heidi Lovelace, Taryn Terrell and Epiphany claiming the championship at some point, before it landed in the hands of a returning Trina Thompson, who gravitated towards a feud with Lei’D Tapa before her 5 month reign came to a sudden end due to a knee injury a week before they were to square off at September’s Saturday Night Special.
Over this time, Lovelance and Taeler Hendrix were drawing more eyes to the division by their beautifully played out same-sex unrequited manipulative romance with Lovelace having eyes for the conniving redhead and being bent to do Hendrix’s bidding in order to show how much she cared – including fighting friend Trina, who was doing her best to make her see sense. The storyline got a bit skewed near the end as it was cut short fairly quickly, but Lovelace ended up seeing how she was being played and got her revenge against her former crush. It was a great showing by both parties and really helped to show off their versatilities as characters.
The success of this storyline meant there was a huge amount of interest in who the vacant Women’s Championship was going to end up on, and was decided in a 4-way Ladder Match with Tapa, Hendrix & Hannah and Holly Blossom all looking to climb the rungs to victory. As it turned out, the underlying friction that the twins were experiencing at the time came to a head as Hannah knocked her sister off the ladder to snare the title – though quickly lost it to Tapa while repairing the bond with her sibling.
Unfortunately, since that high, things have fallen apart. (more…)
The full SHINE 15 card has now been revealed – and as well as a title match, a grudge contest between two longtime friends and a clash where the losers will have to go their separate ways, we have a rematch from the last show, a contest with title implications and one which will have no holds barred…
Headlining the whole show at the Orpheum in Ybor City, FL on Friday will be the SHINE Championship match between Rain and Amazing Kong, who was handpicked by Daffney as the Valkyrie leader’s next challenger. That match was announced after Rain’s victory over Hiroyo Matsumoto at SHINE 14 in October, and harks back to happenings a year ago. Rain’s wrist was broken by a Kong powerbomb at SHINE 5, and it was Kong who was the first victim of a Valkyrie beatdown as part of the stable’s formation the following month. In addition, Rain has made no secret that Friday’s event will be her last match, and is adamant that she will retire as champion. Literally and figuratively, this is Rain’s biggest challenge in her 6 month reign, and will either see a new champion or the current one retire with the belt by her side.
Following their awkward interactions on opposite teams at SHINE 13 and a betrayal of trust at the last show, Jessicka Havok will get her hands on Allysin Kay. Kay appeared to be stepping away from Valkyrie at the last show to reunite with her friend, but turned on her later in the night, causing Havok to lose a Last Woman Standing Match to Saraya Knight. After showing a reluctance to wage battle with her former Team Be Jealous partner, it seems unlikely that Havok will be so gun-shy on Friday. (more…)