Anyone who watched TNA Impact Wrestling last week saw an unnecessarily uncomfortable moment for one of the roster.
Ring announcer Christy Hemme made a mistake on the live broadcast during the entrance for Austin Aries and Bobby Roode, incorrectly introducing them as Kazarian and Christopher Daniels’ team of Bad Influence. A silly mistake, but it’s live TV and mistakes sometimes happen. Upset, Aries got into the ring, backed Hemme into a corner and forced her to give the correct introductions, which she did, under some duress. As she was finishing off her correction, Aries climbed onto the ropes, essentially placing his crotch less than six inches from her face – something which Hemme laughed off.
However, things clearly weren’t so funny for Christy.
When asked about the incident on Twitter, Hemme replied with the solitary word of “unacceptable”, which made it clear that her reaction to Aries actions were not something that she found amusing, but had brushed it off to be a professional and get on with her job. Aries responded on his Twitter on Saturday with a load of penis and testicle puns, saying “Pretty nuts, some of the junk people get the balls to say over the net, knowing they couldn’t to your face…Eh, anyway, time to sack out.”
The situation seems to have flown under the radar somewhat, but Mark Madden at WrestleZone was very upset for Christy, and called for Aries to be fired from the company. He also got a statement from the Senior Vice President of Communications for Spike TV – the network which carries Impact. David Schwarz told him: “We have a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment. We discussed [the incident] with our partner. [Aries is] being disciplined. I’m trying to get more information on what action is being taken. Dixie Carter took this very personally. He will be disciplined. Again, we have a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment.
“I’m not sure specifically how [the discipline] will be handled. To what extent, I don’t know. This is certainly something we don’t condone and don’t tolerate. Such behavior is not welcome.”
In response to whether Aries’ discipline should be made public since Hemme was harassed on national television, Schwarz responded, “I think that a statement of some sort will be coming. That’s being worked out. But immediate action will be taken.”
Less than an hour ago, President Dixie Carter finally made a statement on her Twitter about it, saying “TNA has ZERO tolerance for inappropriate behavior. The incident with Austin Aries was taken very seriously and handled immediately.”
You have to wonder how much Aries paid attention to how he was reprimanded, if you assume that the immediate handling was on Thursday, and on Saturday he was still joking about it on Twitter.
This was clearly a case of sexual harassment, and on live TV no less, similar to a situation in March to which it acted quickly in order to avoid getting any negative press.
On March 14, Bully Ray made some homophobic slurs to a fan after the live episode of Impact ended. President Dixie Carter swiftly addressed what happened saying “This will not be tolerated. Sincere apologies on behalf of TNA.” Had the event not made its way online, only the fans who were within earshot would have heard about it. Aries sexually harassed Hemme on live TV in front of more than a million viewers on Spike, and TNA has done precisely nothing. Embarrassingly, it’s Spike which made the initial public statement about disciplining, not TNA. By publicly saying nothing after they acted so quickly for an off-camera homophobic slur, it could have been implied that TNA didn’t see this as such a big issue – or worse, condoned it.
Now, I’m not saying what Bully Ray did in March was acceptable, because it’s not. But let’s put it into perspective and compare the number of witnesses to these incidents. More people will have seen Christy being put into an uncomfortable and unsafe situation – and by a colleague, no less. Some may try and brush it off by saying that Aries is like that, or that he was trying to get some heel heat, but where do you draw the line in being a storyline dickhead and being a real life one?
Aries may have been reprimanded by TNA, but for some, that may not be enough. Bully Ray went onto Twitter to apologise for what he said, while Ring Of Honor’s Jay Briscoe recently did the same thing when he made violent threats centred about homophobia. If Aries has apologised personally to Christy, fine – we don’t really need a public showing of repentance, though some would probably like to see it. However, it is positive that Aries is being punished in some way – whether it be financially, being made to go on a sensitivity training course, warnings or something else – because by allowing him to get away with it, it makes women feel like they are still the outsiders in the exclusive boys’ club known as pro wrestling. Nobody should feel like they’re going to be made uncomfortable when they merely doing their job.
Athena and AR Fox won the Women Superstars Uncensored Queen and King of the Ring tournament, beating Ezavel Suena & Latin Dragon, Addy Starr & Matt Tremont and Kimber Lee and Drew Gulak to claim the trophy. As a result, Athena became the number one contender to Jessicka Havok’s WSU Championship. Elsewhere on the show, Havok defeated Sami Callihan in a great brawl where both knocked lumps into each other.
From a creative perspective, WSU told us that the show was a success, with the largest live crowd under the new management of Drew Cordiero and Beyond Wrestling. The promotion says it is also happy with the reception that many of the undercard wrestlers received, pointing out Mickie Knuckles for special praise, saying she will likely be back for future events.
As for the iPPV, WSU says it’s likely that all future events at the Flyers Skate Zone will be broadcast online on RF Video, and they also took a moment to explain why the commentary went silent during the main event.
According to the promotion, the producer of the iPPV opted to turn off commentary during the live stream of the main event because there was an unexpected buzzing noise, which was later revealed to have been caused by a commentator having his cell phone too close to the microphone while trying to live-tweet results from the event.
WSU also revealed the injury report to us, and quite a few of the roster suffered knocks.
First up is Athena, who suffered a concussion in the main event, which was diagnosed by medical staff in the building in Voorhees, NJ. She lost consciousness for a moment, but it is unlikely that she will miss any bookings. In addition, she sustained a strained neck when she took a piledriver from Chris Dickinson.
Addy Starr worked hurt for the show after suffering an undiagnosed rib injury during her opening round match alongside Matt Tremont against Christina Von Eerie & MASADA. In the same match, MASADA suffered a serious knee injury which required him to be rushed to the ER, which ended up being a torn MCL and damaged cartilage, meaning he missed the Combat Zone Wrestling show in the evening, where he was due to defend his title against Jake Crist. He’ll need surgery on it at some point.
Crist worked through the tournament with an injured right shoulder, while his partner Nevaeh had the flu, and also hurt her knee on the evening CZW show against Jessicka Havok. As for the WSU Champion, she was rattled when the guardrail unexpectedly gave way, but while she suffered a few bumps and scrapes, she wasn’t seriously hurt.
Someone who escaped without any injuries, despite wrestling three matches, was Kimber Lee.
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The best of the rest
Arm wrestling champion Sarah Backman – who signed a developmental deal earlier this year – revealed on Twitter on Wednesday that she will probably be moving from Sweden to Tampa in September… Summer Rae’s was Fandango’s dancer on Raw again this week – she helped him attack Chris Jericho in what should have been a dance off. The original woman who’s a pro dancer is away from time to time because she is a college student who has exams meaning that she couldn’t be on the road… The Wrestling Observer suspects that the Bella Twins may be the ones catfishing Kaitlyn… Speaking of Kaitlyn, she joined John Cena in meeting with injured troops at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center… Cameron will mull over having breast implants as part of the Total Divas reality show… Layla and Alicia Fox took part in Saturday’s Susan G Komen Global Race for the Cure in Washington DC on Saturday.
Despite the talk of Mickie James turning heel, she and Velvet Sky beat Tara and Gail Kim on Impact Wrestling last week. Unhappy with Sky pinning Tara, Kim then attacked her partner and slapped on the ringpost figure four.
Maria Kanellis will be part of a new movie called Army Of The Damned… Santana Garrett defends her Southern Championship Wrestling Women’s Championship against Justine Silver on June 8… Angelina Love has challenged Rain to a rematch at SHINE 10 on May 24. Rain beat Love in their contest at SHINE 9 thanks to the help of April Hunter, so Love wants it to have no Valkyrie members at ringside. Also on the card is Jessicka Havok v Portia Perez – which came about because of their Twitter spat two weeks ago. Havok has put her spot in the title tournament on the line to get Perez into the ring. Daffney’s replacement as ring announcer has been announced – it’s SPARKLE and CWF Mid-Atlantic announcer Chasity Taylor… Mercedes Martinez will defend the nCw Femmes Fatales International Championship against Sweet Cherrie at Femmes Fatales XII on July 6… La Rosa Negra won the Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling Championship on Saturday by beating Missy Sampson via referee stoppage after Sampson had choked out Mickie Knuckles then issued an open challenge. The referee stopped the bout after Missy was unable to defend herself, much like in MMA… Terra Calaway’s doctor told her that there is an 85-90% chance that she may never wrestle again after severely dislocating her patella and tearing all the ligaments around the knee during her match with Veda Scott at Wrestling Is Respect back on March 24. She was told on Friday that she has destroyed her ACL and meniscus, has a large tear in her MCL, her kneecap is in the wrong position and she also has bone damage. She’s still in physical therapy to try and get her back into the ring. Best wishes to her… Heidi Lovelace still doesn’t know how Taeler Hendrix feels about receiving all of her gifts and expressing how he feels about her. Hendrix’s boyfriend Dylan Bostic said that he’d be happy to have Heidi enter their relationship, which insulted Taeler, who slapped her beau. As Bostic prepared to retaliate, Ryan Howe made the save. Elsewhere in OVW, Trina Thomson retained the Women’s Championship against Epiphany on Saturday… Mia Svensson successfully defended her AIWF Women’s Championship against D’Arcy Dixon on Saturday. The Scandinavian Sweetheart’s aso recorded a supporting part for an upcoming movie called They Came From The Ether… Crazy Mary Dobson revealed that she is more nervous about wrestling Jazz on May 31 at Girl Fight Wrestling than when she competes in deathmatches.
Act Yasukawa worked Stardom’s Ryogoku Cinderella show last month against Dark Angel with a serious neck injury – she’ll be out for up to six months. That means the Artist of Stardom Championship is now vacant, with a tournament to crown new champions kicking off later this month… Emi Sakura became the first person outside of the DDT promotion to win a Right To Challenge Anytime, Anywhere Contract. She defeated DJ Nira on Saturday.
They’ll face off twice in as many days at the end of this month. Shanna and Leah Von Dutch square off at Pro Wrestling: EVE Queen of the Ring in Nottingham on the 25th, then wrestle again the following night in Wolverhampton for Alternative Wrestling World. Meanwhile, back at the EVE show, Nikki Storm will defend her singles title against Rhia O’Reilly… Shanna and Alpha Female’s match for EAW in July will be a street fight in a ring where the two sides of the ring will be replaced with barbed wire… Kirsty Love faces CHIKARA’s Jigsaw next month in Rad Pro Wrestling in the most unlikely contest I could ever dream up… As mentioned in the latest My Name Is interview with Lady Lory, the Europe Catch Tour Association is holding a four woman tournament to crown its first ever Women’s Champion in July… Saraya Knight became the Solent Wrestling Federation Queen of the Ring by winning a four woman tournament. Violet O’Hara was the beaten finalist, and impressed throughout. On the same card, Rhia O’Reilly thought she had won the Women’s Championship by beating Erin Angel with the help of Knight, but the referee reversed the decision and Angel retained the title via DQ… Nikki Storm will wrestle Mickie James at a Pro Wrestling Elite show in Scotland in July… ICW: Fierce Females promoter Mikey Whiplash revealed to us that their Scottish Championship is missing in a courier’s warehouse somewhere. The belt which was used for Luke… Who’s Yer Da? was put together with spare bits just hours before the show.
La Chola (wrestling under the name of La Cholita) unmasked after being beaten by Esther Moreno at a TxT show on Saturday in Mexico City in a controversial match which was deemed to be 2/3 falls instead of one fall like the fans had assumed. She was revealed to be Maria Cristina Valle Flores from Tijuana, a 26-year luchadora. She also announced that was retiring at the end of the year.
Australia & New Zealand
Michelle K Hasluck’s intergender match against Gorgeous Garry at Exposive Pro Wrestling in Perth was a successful one… New Zealand Wide Pro Wrestling is holding a battle royal in Wellington on Saturday featuring the like of Jpe, Amy St Clere, Lolli Lane, Misty & Sonya Myers.
May 6: Gatoh Move (Ichigaya, Japan) – Cherry & Choun Shiryu b Riho & Kotori; Morii & Hanako Nakamori b Emi Sakura & Sayaka Obihiro
May 6: JWP (Odate, Japan) – Natsumi Showzuki b Kairi Hojo & Sumire Yoshino in a 3-way; Hailey Hatred & Kyoko Kimura b Miho Wakizawa & Yui Yokoo; Natsuki*Taiyo & Yoshiko b Hiroyo Matsumoto & Mayu Iwatani; Minoru Tanaka & Syuri b Hiroshi Yamato & Makoto; Dark Angel, Io Shirai & Takumi Iroha b Eri Susa, Kaori Yoneyama & Nanae Takahashi
May 6: WAVE (Tokyo, Japan) – Aya Yuki & Kagetsu b Sawako Shimono & Fairy Nipponbashi; Tsukasa Fujimoto & Hikaru Shida b Ranmaru & Apple Miyuki; Yumi Ohka & Arisa Nakajima v Kana & Ayumi Kurihara went to a time limit draw; Ryo Mizunami b Misaki Ohata; Yuu Yamagata b Tomoka Nakagawa; Cherry b Shuu Shibutani; Moeka Haruhi b Mio Shirai; GAMI b Ayako Hamada
May 7: United States Championship Wrestling (Jacksonville, FL) – Santana Garrett b Justine Silver
May 8: WWE NXT (Winter Park, FL) – Paige b Bayley
May 8: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Hannah Blossom b Nikki St John; Epiphany b Lylah Lodge; Taeler Hendrix b Holly Blossom
May 9: TNA Impact Wrestling (Tupelo, MS) – Mickie James & Velvet Sky b Tara & Gail Kim
May 9: WWE NXT (Tampa, FL) – Bayley b Sasha Banks
May 10: World Wide Wrestling League (Grangemouth, Scotland) – Viper b Leah Von Dutch
May 10: Solent Wrestling Federation (Gosport, England) – Violet O’Hara b Penelope; Saraya Knight b Bacardi; Rhia O’Reilly & Amazon Ayesha Ray b Erin Angel & Trixie; Destiny b Chanel; Saraya Knight b Violet O’Hara; Erin Angel b Rhia O’Reilly via DQ
May 10: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Goya Kong, Marcela & Silueta b La Seductora, Mima Shimoda & Tiffany
May 10: TNA (Birmingham, AL) – Velvet Sky b Gail Kim
May 10: WWE (Shreveport, LA) – Kaitlyn b Tamina Snuka
May 11: Melbourne City Wrestling (Thornbury, Australia) – Mr Juicy & KC Cassidy b Shazza McKenzie & Sean Kustom
May 11: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Neko Nitta & Meari Naito b Tsukushi & Kurumi; Kikujiro Umezawa b Miyako Matsumoto; Aoi Kizuki & Hamuko Hoshi b Hikaru Shida & Tsukasa Fujimoto; Hailey Hatred b Hamuko Hoshi
May 11: Gatoh Move (Ichigaya, Japan) – Emi Sakura b DJ Nira
May 11: Norwegian Wrestling Federation (Oslo, Norway) – Miss Mina b Destiny
May 11: Pro Wrestling Elite (Ayr, Scotland) – Carmel Jacob v Kay Lee Ray v Nikki Storm went to a no-contest
May 11: Fight Club Finland (Espoo, Finland) – Mikko Maestro & Sara Elektra b Aurora & Murskaaja Mieto; King Kong Karhula b Jessica Love
May 11: Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (Vancouver, BC, Canada) – Scotty Sweatervest, Nicole Matthews & Ravenous Randy b Alex Plexis & El Phantasmo
May 11: Southern Wrestling Superstars (Oak Grove, LA) – Tracy Taylor b Reby Sky
May 11: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Trina Thompson b Epiphany
May 11: Capital City Championship Combat (Ottawa, ON, Canada) – Angie Skye, Jodi D’Milo & Vanessa Kraven b Giant Tiger, Matthew Ryan Shapiro & Twiggy
May 11: Ring Wars Carolina (Fayetteville, NC) – Mia Svensson b D’Arcy Dixon
May 11: Big Time Wrestling (Newark, CA) – Mickie James b Katarina Leigh
May 11: World Wide Wrestling League (Edinburgh, Scotland) – Robbie Brookside & Sara Marie Taylor b Mikey Whiplash & Leah Von Dutch
May 11: TxT (Mexico City, Mexico) – Esther Moreno & La Cholita b Diosa Maya & Violeta; Chik Tormenta & Lady Apache b Cristal & Rossy Moreno; Cristal & Rossy Moreno b Esther Moreno & La Cholita; Esther Moreno b La Cholita
May 11: Women Superstars Uncensored Queen and King of the Ring (Voorhees, NJ) – Nevaeh & Jake Crist b Cherry Bomb & Pepper Parks; Kimber Lee & Drew Gulak b Mickie Knuckles & Devon Moore; Athena & AR Fox b Ezavel Suena & Latin Dragon; Addy Starr & Matt Tremont b Christina Von Eerie & MASADA via countout; Allysin Kay & Sassy Stephie b Marti Belle & Lexxus; Kimber Lee & Drew Gulak b Nevaeh & Jake Crist; Athena & AR Fox b Addy Starr & Matt Tremont; Jessicka Havok b Sami Callihan; Athena & AR Fox b Kimber Lee & Drew Gulak
May 11: Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling (Iselin, NJ) – La Rosa Negra b Santana Garrett; Alicia b Sumie Sakai; Silvie Silver b Angel Orsini; Amazing Kong b Amy Lee; Amber Rodriguez b Cherry Layne; Shelly Martinez b Serena Deeb; Missy Sampson b Mickie Knuckles; La Rosa Negra b Missy Sampson to win the BLOW Championship
May 11: Combat Zone Wrestling (Voorhees, NJ) – Nevaeh b Jessicka Havok
May 11: Explosive Pro Wrestling (Perth, Australia) – Michelle K Hasluck b Gorgeous Garry
May 11: WWE (Beaumont, TX) – Kaitlyn b Tamina Snuka
May 11: WWE (Odessa, TX) – Cameron & Naomi b Nikki & Brie Bella
May 11: Ring Wars Carolina (Fayetteville, NC) – Mia Svensson b D’Arcy Dixon
May 12: Stardom (Toyko, Japan) – Yuhi b Sumire Yoshino; Kyoko Kimura & Hailey Hatred b Miho Wakizawa & Eri Susa; Natsuki*Taiyo & Yoshiko b Kaori Yoneyama & Mayu Iwatani; Nanae Takahashi v Emi Sakura went to a time limit draw; Io Shirai, Dark Angel & Takumi Iroha b Hiroyo Matsumoto, Kairi Hojo & Natsumi Showzuki
May 12: OZ Academy (Tokyo, Japan) – Chikayo Nagashima & Tomoka Nakagawa b Mio Shirai & Manami Toyota; Mayumi Ozaki b Hikaru Shida; Sonoko Kato b Yumi Ohka; Aja Kong b Ayumi Kurihara; AKINO & Hiroyo Matsumoto b Dynamite Kansai & Carlos Amano
May 12: JWP (Hakata, Japan) – Rabbit Miu b Nana Kawasa; Hanako Nakamori & Takumi Tsukamoto b Morii & Kazuki; Lady Raideen & Jaguar Yokota b Sachie Abe & Moeka Haruhi; LEON b Manami Katsu; Kayoko Haruyama, KAZUKI & GAMI b Arisa Nakajima, Command Bolshoi & Rabbit Miu
May 12: Diana (Kawasaki, Japan) – Yuiga b Rosa Bonita; Jenny Rose v Su Yung went to a time limit draw; Hamuko Hoshi b Megumi Yabushita; Mask de Sun b Kaoru Ito; Yumiko Hotta & Keiko Aono b Kyoko Inoue & Sareee
May 13: WWE Raw (Tulsa, OK) – AJ Lee b Natalya
May 17: Maximum Pro Wrestling (Sunderland, England) – Pollyanna v Sakura Lily
May 17: AAW (Berwyn, IL) – Heidi Lovelace v Miss Natural
May 18: Swiss Championship Wrestling (Bern Switzerland) – Shanna v Layla Rose
May 19: Smash Wrestling (Toronto, ON, Canada) – Seleziya Sparx v Vanessa Kraven
May 19: New Breed Wrestling Association (Banbury, England) – Jezabeth v Bacardi v Leah Von Dutch v Alpha Female
May 19: Anarchy Championship Wrestling: Jessica James v Evan Gelistico; Barbi Hayden, v Angel Blue
May 24: SHINE 10 (Ybor City, FL) – Mercedes Martinez v Mia Yim; Leva Bates v Taylor Made; Nikki Roxx v Allysin Kay; Santana Garrett v Kimberly; Rain v Angelina Love; Jessicka Havok v Portia Perez
May 24: RESISTANCE Pro (Merrionette Park, IL) – Amazing Kong v D’Arcy Dixon
May 24: Absolute Intense Wrestling (Cleveland, OH) – Kimber Lee v Bobby Beverly; Veda Scott v Marion Fontaine; Addy Starr v Ethan Page
May 25: Pro Wrestling: EVE Queen of the Ring (Nottingham, England) – Leah Owens v Kasey Owens; Kay Lee Ray v Alpha Female; Shanna v Leah Von Dutch; Blue Nikita v Emi Sakura; Nikki Storm v Rhia O’Reilly
May 25: Herts and Essex Wrestling (Takeley, England) – Skarlett v TBA
May 25: OMEGA (Wendell, NC) – Kacee Carlisle v Reby Sky
May 25: New Focus Wrestling (Evansville, IN) – Crazy Mary Dobson v MsChif
May 26: Alternative Wrestling World (Wolverhampton, England) – Shanna v Leah Von Dutch
May 26: Rad Pro Wrestling (South Shields, England) – Kirsty Love v Jigsaw; Felis Atrox & Freya Frenzy v Vulture & Viper
May 31: Girl Fight Wrestling (Charlestown, IN) – Candi Devine v Miss Dark Shadow; Miss Natural v Thunderkitty; Jessicka Havok v Leva Bates; Lil Naughty v Nevaeh; Crazy Mary Dobson v Jazz
June 1: Remix Pro Wrestling (Marietta, OH) – Katarina Leigh v Jessie Belle
June 1: UK Main Event Wrestling (Maidstone, England) – Pollyanna v Sakura Lily v Amazon Ayesha Ray; Rhia O’Reilly v Bacardi
June 1: Preston City Wrestling (Preston, England) – April Davids v CJ Banks
June 1: East Coast Wrestling Association (Newark, DE) – Jessie Kaye v Veda Scott
June 1: Squared Circle Wrestling – Girls Grand Prix 2 (Binghamton, NY) – Cherry Bomb v Courtney Rush; Nikki Roxx v Addy Starr; Serena Deeb v Nevaeh; Allysin Kay v Leah Von Dutch
June 2: Vicious Outcast Wrestling (Grindstone, PA) – Sera Feeny v Nevaeh
June 8: Pro Wrestling Syndicate (Monroe, NJ) – La Rosa Negra v Angelina Love
June 8: Southern Championship Wrestling (Sanford, FL) – Santana Garrett v Justine Silver
June 8: Smash Wrestling (Kincardine, ON, Canada) – Seleziya Sparx v Leah Von Dutch
June 21: Family Wrestling Entertainment (New York, NY) – Maria Kanellis & Ivelisse Velez v Angelina Love & Katarina Leigh
June 23: Bellatrix 6 (Norwich, England) – Liberty v Shanna; Penelope v Alpha Female; Rhia O’Reilly v Erin Angel; Nikki Storm v Miss Mina; X-cute Sweet v Skarlett; Kay Lee Ray v Queen Maya; Destiny v Aurora Flame; Bete Noire & Viper v Violet O’Hara & Chanel; Saraya Knight v Carmel Jacob
June 23: Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen of Queens (Austin, TX)
July 6: nCw Femmes Fatales XII (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – Mercedes Martinez v Sweet Cherrie
July 13: Extreme American Wrestling (Corby, England) – Shanna v Alpha Female
July 20: Pro Wrestling Elite (Ayr, Scotland) – Mickie James v Nikki Storm
August 10: Women Superstars Uncensored (Voorhees, NJ) – Jessicka Havok v Athena
October 6: Bellatrix 7 (Norwich, England)
– Lee Burton
– Photos by WSU, Pamela Barnett, Dramatic DDT, Norwegian Wrestling Federation
– Data collated from (but not limited to) Cagematch, joshifans.com, PuroLove, Dramatic DDT, Luchablog, Lords Of Pain, Wrestling Observer, Open The Puroresu Gate, PWInsider