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…)
Alpha Female was rushed to hospital after had match at Stardom today, where she, Kyoko Kimura & Act Yasukawa defeated Nanae Takahashi, Miho Wakizawa & Kairi Hojo. As she explains in a Facebook update, the reigning Artist Of Stardom Champion says she started suffering chest pains a week last Friday but shook them off as just being another ache from wrestling. However, after suffering pains last Saturday merely from climbing the stairs, she was urged to see a doctor, as her symptoms resembled those of a heart attack. She was told that she was alright and sent home.
Alpha trained on Thursday but still felt unwell – but despite that, wrestled today and collapsed backstage after the match, which resulted in an ambulance being called for her. At the hospital, the former Pro Wrestling: EVE Champion was given painkillers, though doctors could not give her a diagnosis. This poses an issue, as until she is given a clean bill of health, Stardom is refusing to clear her to wrestle. Having said that, it’s a very responsible move by the promotion. (more…)
Candice LeRae has been doing a good job of getting her name out there in the last few months.
Even though she spends the bulk of her time working in California, the 28-year old has been spreading her wings. In September she travelled to Canada to take part in Smash Wrestling‘s CAN USA Classic and also made an appearance at Ohio Valley Wrestling in Louisville, KY for a show which featured a lot of female talent, as well as the 4-way Ladder Match for the vacant Women’s Championship. Last month, she competed in Beyond Wrestling‘s Tournament For Tomorrow 2 and also worked on an episode of TNA Impact Wrestling, falling to Gail Kim – an opportunity which came about after a tryout match before the Bound For Glory PPV in October. Considering there are more eyes on LeRae, we though it would be a good idea to post one of her matches from the summer.
Quintessential Pro Wrestling is a new outfit on the West Coast, and their second show featured LeRae taking on reigning SHIMMER Champion Cheerleader Melissa in singles action. Click the jump to see the match, which took place in Monrovia on June 16… (more…)
The saga over the Impact Pro Wrestling Women’s Championship has been rumbling on since July when all the promotion’s titles were declared vacant following a relaunch, and the decider between Evie, Britenay and Olivia Shaw ended in a no-contest thanks to the interference of Megan-Kate. In August, Head of Live Events Steve Wrigley handed the title to the unknown Emmy Driver after saying no woman on the roster was worthy of holding the belt. Understandably, the decision was met with near-universal derision.
After winning a four-woman tournament to become the number one contender, Evie finally got the chance to get Driver in the ring at IPW’s show last month, but the titleholder made a run for it, resulting in the title being declared vacant. At the time, Evie called it a good news/bad news situation in that Emmy Driver was no longer the champion, but neither was she.
Another match for the vacant belt took place at last night’s show in Lynfield, New Zealand – again between Evie, Shaw and Britenay – and a new champion was finally crowned. (more…)
When Bret Hart made his first appearance on WWE TV since the Montreal Screwjob, he started his promo on the January 10, 2010 Monday Night Raw by saying “Well, I guess hell froze over”. Those words may have been rattling round Mickie Knuckles’ head when she returned to IWA Mid-South on last night’s event in Clarksville, IN.
The Big Ass Christmas Bash show originally had a 3-way women’s match booked featuring Randi West, Thunderkitty and Jordynne Grace, but was changed to become a 4-way with the insertion of Heidi Lovelace into the proceedings. However after the introduction of the four participants, the former Women’s Champion emerged to change the complexion of the match – and her return was a successful one as she emerged as the winner. (more…)
The NXT Women’s Title match between champion Paige and challenger Natalya is the best women’s match presented on WWE TV this year. It’s received a world of praise, and deservedly so, but it also receives a surprised reaction from us, because it features a really strong performance from Natalya.
While she can be fine most of the time she tends to be given more slack than most, partially based on past work – as honestly, some of her stuff this year has been pretty disappointing, and in some cases a complete head-scratcher considering her seniority. However that albatross was shaken off her back for this match against the Briton, which made for a really entertaining contest.
The match came about after a pretty bitchy session between the pair the previous week where Paige was slightly hellish is claiming that Natalya had lost her focus on wrestling in favour of the Hollywood spotlight which came with the Total Divas fame. It led to the titleholder offering to put her belt on the line against the former Divas Champion, which led to this match, which you can see (along with the preceding angle) after the jump. (more…)
We are three months out from the next Bellatrix show, but we are already having bits and pieces of the show revealed to us. In truth, we started finding out about wrestlers coming from the US who will be debuting on the show before Bellatrix 7 took place – Leva Bates, Allysin Kay & Jessicka Havok will be there, as well as Bellatrix World Champion Courtney Rush, who appeared at October’s event but was unable to compete due to injury.
Earlier today, co-owner Axl Lynch announced that RQW European Champion Sammi Baynz would not be defending the belt at Bellatrix 8, but a new challenger would be determined by a 30 woman Rumble match. (more…)
I’m a huge fan of the first three series of WWE reality show Tough Enough, as evidenced by the two articles I wrote about the female winners and notable names who participated on the show. That’s why I’m a little giddy at finding the match which is being featured in this week’s Retro.
After both being released from WWE in 2004 and 2005 respectively, Nidia Guenard and Jackie Gayda-Haas kept their feet in the wrestling waters. Tough Enough 1 victor Nidia travelled across the world, competing in places like Mexico and Australia, while TE2 victor Jackie (who we interviewed in the third-ever Women Of Wrestling Podcast back in 2009) – wrestled around the US for the most part, including a short stint in TNA. However, the pair would meet for their only match against each other in Naples, Italy for Nu-Wrestling Evolution. (more…)
Wednesday on Ringbelles is usually “Ringbelles Retro” day, but our clip from this week isn’t particularly retro – it’s from this year, in fact – but it still seems a long time ago, and was one of the first big moments of the year for one of 2013s most impressive performers, Heidi Lovelace. After this match, which took place at National Pro Wrestling Day 2013, Lovelace would go on to have one of the most talked-about angles of the year with Taeler Hendrix in OVW, and produce quality performances in SHINE, SHIMMER, AAW, AIW, St Louis Anarchy, Chikara Pro and several of the Wrestling Is promotions, to name but a few.
It’s actually thanks to the Wrestling Is YouTube channel that we bring this match to you today – and it’s Heidi Lovelace teaming with Devin Bliss to take on the team of Reed Bentley & Tripp Cassidy, collectively known as The League. The intergender match took place on the evening card at NPWD under the “Wrestling Is Heart” banner. As we pointed out when we commended Heidi during our “A good half year for…” series earlier in the year, this match is ALL about heart. Bliss is in one of his first matches as a pro, and Lovelace, taking the lead for her team, takes an absolute shitkicking from The League. Sadly the YouTube video cuts off pretty swiftly after the match, but if you saw the match at the time on iPPV (or want to buy the VOD via SmartMarkVideo), you’ll see the assembled wrestling fans raise the roof in appreciation after the match for the gusty, heart-filled performance by Lovelace here – setting the scene for her superb year. Click through after the cut to check it out, and when you’re done, check out (or revisit) our half-hour interview with Heidi from earlier in the year when we talked about this match (and more). (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (3 December 2013) Renee Young is great, Gail Kim praises Taryn Terrell, plus more
Female backstage interviewers are as rare as rocking horse poop in World Wrestling Entertainment, and finding a good one is hugely unlikely. In late 1994, Stephanie Wiand signed on, co-hosting WWF Mania with Todd Pettengill, and also worked a few pay-per-views in 1995, though very few fans remember her, and probably could not pick her out of a lineup. Rue DeBona also did a bit of backstage mic work on SmackDown in 2004, but wasn’t around long enough to do anything apart from marry (and later divorce) Josh Mathews. Some Divas also turned to asking the questions rather than answering them. Lilian Garcia has done the job at pay-per-views in the past, Terri Runnels performed interviewing duties between 2002 and 2004, Sunny did the odd bit in 1997 but seemed to be more keen on having the spotlight for herself, and after being eliminated from the Diva Search, Maria Kanellis worked the backstage but was given the ditzy gimmick where she asked poor questions, got wrestlers names wrong and simpered a lot.
However, WWE seems to have stumbled across a diamond in current interviewer Renee Young. (more…)
When wrestling fans discuss the top female talent based in Scotland, the names which immediately come to their lips are ones like Kay Lee Ray and Nikki Storm. While they deservedly have their plaudits, there are a great number of Scottish women wrestlers who are doing great things both in their home country and further abroad. One of them is Viper.
2013 has been good to the Paisley native, and has seen the number of matches wrestled skyrocket compared to previous years. Making appearances in France and all across England – including competing at Pro Wrestling: EVE and Bellatrix, she was also part of the main events presented by Insane Championship Wrestling: Fierce Females, engaging in a fantastic title decider against KLR at Luke… Who’s Yer Da?, and then dived off elevated railings as part of a 3-way against Ray and Amazing Kong at XX: It’s In Our DNA. However, despite these excellent performances – and a great effort to drop more than 30 pounds in the last few months – a championship had eluded her this year. She was beaten by EmbryoniX Champion Carbon at RAD:PRO Wrestling in January and defeated by defending FutureShock Women’s Champion April Davids in April and July, as well as the Fierce Females losses. However, she is now in possession of the Scottish Wrestling Entertainment Future Division Championship – though it took her two bites of the cherry to do so… (more…)
The arrival of Saraya Knight in Australia has been coming for months. The Briton was meant to be in the country in July for New Horizons Pro Wrestling‘s Global Conflict show, but circumstances meant that she was unable to attend. Arrangements were made for her to make her Aussie debut this month, again for NHPW, with her originally booked to challenge Madison Eagles for the IndyGurlz Australia Championship – a title which Eagles won in a roundabout way because Knight wasn’t in the country in the middle of the year…
After Eagles defeat at the hands of eventual winner Portia Perez in the semi finals, the PWWA matriarch stole the title belt, which was held be Eliza Sway at the time. Claiming she would be holding the title hostage until she received a title shot, she got her way in part due to Sway having to vacate the belt due to injury. A decider to crown a new champion took place on October 12, with Eagles beating Kellie Skater to officially win the title, though she did not take receipt of the belt, as a new one was to be created. (more…)
The women’s wrestling scene is growing at a rapid pace in the United Kingdom. Three years ago, the only all-women’s outfit was Pro Wrestling: EVE – now there is also Bellatrix and ICW: Fierce Females as full-on promotions, and many groups like FutureShock Wrestling, Inernational Championship Wrestling: United Kingdom and Preston City Wrestling are either building or have established a women’s division. Other promotions like LDN Wrestling and the Solent Wrestling Federation have also tried their hand at it, but two new companies are getting ready to burst onto the scene in 2014 to accommodate the ever-growing number of female grapplers looking for a place to ply their craft.
With different part of the UK which are currently lacking strong all-women events, we have British Bombshells, which appears to be servicing fans in the north east of England, while LCW Roses is focusing on the centre of the country. Technically, the former has already dipped its toe in the water, so let’s start with them… (more…)
Happy Thanksgiving to our American visitors – we hope you have all had a relaxing and wholesome day.
And now, women fighting each other.
On August 8, 2010, Alexxis Nevaeh began an unprecedented third reign as World Women’s Wrestling Champion. She defeated Mistress Belmont to lift the title, getting a measure of revenge after Belmont had beaten her for the belt on March 20 that year. On November 9 of this year, Nevaeh’s 1,208 day reign as champion came to an end with Belmont winning her second WWW title on New England Championship Wrestling‘s card in Beverly, MA.
Between the pair, they have held the WWW Championship for the last 1,592 days, with the last person other than them to wear the belt being Ariel, who dropped the belt to Belmont on August 8, 2009. As you can imagine, this has been a long feud and they have fought many times. After the jump is the match which saw Alexxis’ mammoth reign come to an end. Have a watch while you wait to make room for pumpkin pie… (more…)
As we have found out from the 7-on-7 Divas Survivor Series match on Sunday and the repeat of the contest on Raw the following night, more does not always mean better. In fact, sometimes it can mean far worse.
While many fans lamented how much of a mess both matches were, I’m managed to put things into perspective for you with this week’s Retro offering from the very beginnings of NWA: Total Nonstop Action. With the acronym of TNA and it still being in the hangover of the Attitude Era, there was a lot of scantily-clad women in the early days, and a whole bunch of them were threw into one match on the June 26, 2002 broadcast in the form of a Lingerie Battle Royal. (more…)
I was stunned watching the Divas Survivor Series match. It’s not because of the state of the match, but just that I didn’t know that WWE had 14 women on its main roster. Well technically, it’s 15, but one of them has been missing in action since September 23.
The last time anyone saw Layla on WWE TV was part of a 10 woman tag team match on Raw where she, AJ Lee, Aksana, Alicia Fox and Tamina Snuka lost to the Bella Twins, the Funkadactyls and Natalya. It had been a rotten 6 weeks for the former WWE Women’s and Divas Champion, as her heel turn had been so laughably limp that it left her with absolutely no momentum. Her push accelerated like a dog on a rug, and then stopped abruptly.
Layla’s turn came after she turned on Kaitlyn during the NXT Season 3 winner’s title challenge against AJ after inexplicably accompanying her for months before. It was never explained why she was with Kaitlyn in the first place, nor why she turned or why she took so long considering Kaitlyn had received a number of title matches before. After turning, she skipped away with AJ, got a win over her former buddy on Raw and was victorious again in a tag match on SmackDown – and then she started losing… often. By the point she disappeared from the scene, her star had never been lower, and it took a while before anyone really noticed she was gone. (more…)
Riea Von Slasher and Kc Spinelli have been at each other’s throats in Vancouver Island Pro Wrestling for a while now. After beating the tar out of each other last month in a Falls Count Anywhere match, the pair upped the ante last Friday during VIPW’s show in Vancouver, BC, Canada, with Von Slasher and Spinelli seeking to settle their differences in a Bodybag Match. The rules are much like Casket Match rules: get your opponent into the body bag and zip it up to win the contest.
Click the jump to see another unusual affair in this crazy world of pro wrestling, and also get ready to watch the happy and smiling Kc Spinelli as the nasty, mouthy heel. As we discovered last year, she turns to it well. (more…)
In what is the Survivor Series match with the most participants since the 10 on 10 tag team elimination match from the 1988 offering, the Total Divas cast of Natalya, Eva Marie, Jojo, Cameron, Naomi and Nikki & Brie Bella take on Divas Champion AJ Lee, Kaitlyn, Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes, Tamina Snuka, Aksana & Summer Rae in a 7 on 7 elimination match.
• From a long-term standpoint, AJ Lee has been squabbling with the Total Divas cast since the Raw after SummerSlam where she verbally berated them and turned them all baby face as a result. Since then, she has turned back the title challenges from Naomi, Natalya and Brie Bella.
• Short-term, the 14 women had a shoving contest on last week’s Raw during a game of Musical Chairs which set up this match. No, really.
• Before the match, AJ delivered a pep talk to her teammates which didn’t go well and only served to separate herself from the others – barring Tamina, who stayed loyal. Essentially, AJ was telling her partners that they were overlooked for Total Divas selection and should be annoyed about it. (more…)
It was a big summer for Britain’s Pollyanna. She travelled to Japan in August to train with and wrestle for Emi Sakura‘s Gatoh Move promotion, and picked up a wealth of new skills and experiences along the way. Taking on the likes of Riho, Sayaka Obihiro, Kaori Yoneyama and Hiroyo Matsumoto, the London resident readily admits that it is one of the best experiences in her three and a half year career.
In an interview with Gatoh Move, Pollyanna admits that she would love to return to the promotion in 2014 and to make it a longer stay – however, during her visit she managed to squeeze in a title challenge.
Pollyanna challenged Sakura for the AWF World Women’s Championship at Itabashi Gatoh Heat Summer on August 10 in Itabashi as part of a stacked card. The full match is after the jump, so click and have a watch. (more…)
LAYNE’S BRAIN #1 with Angelus Layne
We’re very proud here at Ringbelles to bring you a brand new audio series, fronted by one of our favourite podcast guests from this year – Angelus Layne! If you’ve listened to our her two audio appearances on the site this year (June & October) you’ll know the story of how her promising start to 2013 was curtailed with some pretty serious health issues – namely Post Concussion Syndrome – leading to her cancelling her bookings for the last few months of the year. Then, out of nowhere the news comes through that Angelus is cleared to wrestle and is facing Jordynne Grace in an actual wrestling match at VWAA *this weekend* in Addison, IL. Uhhh… what?? Let Angelus take you through the latest happenings in her life as she starts her comeback from PCS on her new podcast series exclusively here on Ringbelles. Comments, feedback and questions welcome – interact with Angelus for upcoming episodes (and possibly even help choose the permanent name of the Podcast) using one of the forms of communication below!
(right click on the picture and “save as” to download, or stream in our media player below)
Following Hannah Blossom‘s failed challenge to Gail Kim last week another wrestler stepped up to the plate to see if they could defeat the TNA Knockouts Champion in a non-title match. This time around, it was Candice LeRae – who worked a tryout match last month before Bound For Glory against Veda Scott.
Rumours had been swirling that the 28-year old from Winnipeg – who primarily wrestles in California for Pro Wrestling Guerilla and Alternative Wrestling Show – was going to be the next non-TNA wrestler to take up Kim’s challenge, and friends like Hudson Envy tweeted some thinly-veiled hints that it was someone from her area who would be on the show, and considering Kim said her opponent would be a blonde, it narrowed the list down to just LeRae. (more…)
Summer Rae isn’t doing too badly for herself, is she? As well as being the first of the NXT Diva crop to make it to WWE TV, she was successful in her debut match, which also happened to be on pay-per-view. In that match, she and Fandango defeated Natalya and The Great Khali in a mixed tag, where the women were the better workers. This Sunday, Summer is one of the seven women taking on the Total Divas cast at the Survivor Series PPV – an impressive feat, considering former Divas Champion Layla is not part of the septet.
It seems that the 29-year old has some big supporters in WWE, and for good reason. This week’s Wrestling Observer reports that there are three acts that the company is high on – Roman Reigns from The Shield, Intercontinental Champion Big E Langston and our Summer. Considering she has only been part of the wrestling business for around two years, it’s an enviable progression…
Before signing with World Wrestling Entertainment in November 2011, Danielle Moinet was no stranger to contact sports in small amounts of clothing. As team captain and cornerback for the Chicago Bliss in the Lingerie Football League, her shining moment was being one of two Bliss players to make it to the LFL All-Star Game. Getting stuck into wrestling life very quickly, she debuted on Florida Championship Wrestling a month after reporting to Tampa by managing Abraham Washington and becoming the show’s ring announcer. In March 2012, she had her first run-in with new face Paige but ascended to the General Manager position the following week. The following month, she made her wrestling debut in a triple threat involving Paige and Sofia Cortez (Ivelisse Velez), which was won by the Puerto Rican spitfire. (more…)