Commentaries

The Soap Box: Total turn-off

SoapboxWelcome to a new interactive feature for Ringbelles – a chance to sound off on any topic to do with women’s wrestling… and this is something you can be a part of.

The Soap Box is a forum to have your say on promotions, wrestlers, matches, storylines, countries, titles, shows – essentially, anything that you want to speak out about. We want to offer a place for your thoughts, and open up the discussion to anyone who wants to comment about it. You can let us know your opinions on the posts in the comments section, or you may want to offer a different slant with a Soap Box post of your own.

You can find out how to join in below, but to kick us off here is former wrestler Becky James to talk about her feelings on the substance of Total Divas – or the lack of it. The views posted in The Soap Box do not necessarily represent or are shared by Ringbelles… (more…)


Bunch of Fives – Drafting GFW’s Women’s Division (Part Two – The Rest of the World)

GFW LogoYesterday, we posted the first of a two-part edition of the Bunch of Fives where we looked at women who we believe would be both suitable and valuable additions to roster of the upcoming Global Force Wrestling promotion – wrestlers who have great promise but have never been exposed on either WWE or TNA TV. Part one featured a quintet of grapplers who are based in the United States, but considering GFW is “searching the United States and international ranks in search of undiscovered talent” as the press release asserts, we thought it would be prudent to take a look at five women from outside the US who could make a big impression.

As with yesterday’s piece, these are merely speculative and are no allusion to the search which Jeff Jarrett and wife Karen are currently undertaking, but one who we feel would be prudent selections. You may agree or disagree – and as always, we encourage you to sound off with your opinions in the comments section. (more…)


Bunch of Fives – Drafting GFW’s Women’s Division (Part One – The US)

GFW LogoIt’s been an absolutely incredible week for fans of professional wrestling – a rollercoaster of emotions from seeing Undertaker‘s streak end at WrestleMania to seeing Daniel Bryan win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event. From an incredible edition of Monday Night Raw to the tragic death of the Ultimate Warrior – the wrestling world has, for the last few days, pretty much revolved around WWE. There is, of course, a world outside of the one big promotion – and perhaps this week hasn’t been the best week to really get any major news coverage if you’re not WWE, but on this past Monday, former TNA founder Jeff Jarrett (along with his wife Karen) confirmed what many people had been speculating for some time – the formation of a new wrestling promotion. It’s called Global Force Wrestling, or GFW, and while the initial press release doesn’t go into any real specifics (we can assume they’ll drip-feed information until such time as a debut date or roster announcement is made), we can certainly speculate that their intention is to eclipse TNA Wrestling as the most prominent #2 promotion nationally. To do that, various things need to be in place – not least of which include a lot of start-up capital and a national TV deal – not to mention a roster of talent that people will want to see. And that’s an interesting point. We’ve heard that the Jarretts are actively looking for “undiscovered talent”, and that there are “more than 400 wrestlers from across the globe already in the evolving GFW talent database”. So that got us thinking.

It’s a slow news day today in the world of women’s wrestling (before the onslaught of SHIMMER weekend this weekend), and assuming the GWF promotion gets going, we might also assume that they’ll be interested in female talent for a women’s division. Now, that’s an interesting thing – they specify they’re looking for “undiscovered talent”, so we can hopefully take from that phrase that they’re not instinctively making calls to former WWE Divas and TNA Knockouts to cornerstone the division… so if we were The Jarretts, which “undiscovered” female names would fit the bill? Today and tomorrow we’re going to present two “Bunch of Fives” articles, one looking at US talent that might be bubbling up on the GFW radar, and one tomorrow, which will look at five non-US talents. It’s all highly speculative, not to mention subjective (everybody’s going to have their favourites), but armed with the brief to consider only female talent that have not been in WWE or TNA, here are the first five women we reckon Jeff Jarrett should be dialling. (more…)


Bunch of Fives – Diva Options for WrestleMania XXX

WrestleMania
We’re on the so-called “Road to WrestleMania” in WWE – a time when, generally, it’s considered to be a good time to be a wrestling fan. If everything is going to plan, storylines and feuds will culminate at the Showcase of the Immortals, and we usually see both the in-ring performers and the booking teams step up their games as we approach the big day. However, rarely does that involve the Divas. Even as WWE prepares to induct its second former WWE Women’s Champion in two years to the Hall of Fame, it’s no shock to anybody that the Divas division is considered a mere afterthought. Statistically, we’ve already mentioned recently that Divas ≠ Ratings on TV – but as we mentioned at the time, it’s been so long since there was a Divas angle or feud with any real strong substance, it’s no wonder their segments are considered skippable. Ironically enough, Kaitlyn, who was Divas Champion at this time last year didn’t even work the WrestleMania show, and spent the weekend giving away tickets to fans who were able to find her in the NY/NJ metropolitan area, “Where’s Wally?” style. As it turned out, no Divas got to wrestle on the show last year, as the mixed tag featuring the Bellas and the Funkadactyls ended up getting nixed for time.

So… assuming that we’ll get some sort of match involving the Divas this year, here are five options (some more likely than others, admittedly) for New Orleans… (more…)


Bunch of Fives – 1st SHINE Tag Team Champions?

SHINE 17

We now have the eight teams announced for the tournament at SHINE 17 on February 28 to crown the first SHINE Tag Team Champions. They are Made In Sin (Allysin Kay & Taylor Made), the SNS Express (Sassy Stephie & Jessie Belle Smothers), the West Coast Connection (Su Yung & Tracy Taylor), Leva Bates & Mia Yim, Brandi Wine & Malia Hosaka, The Buddy System (Solo Darling & Heidi Lovelace), the Kimber Bombs (Kimber Lee & Cherry Bomb) and MsEerie (Christina Von Eerie & MsChif). Most of the tandems certainly have viable chances of winning, but I reckon that there are five that have a greater chance of prevailing… (more…)


Bunch of Fives: A Diva spring-clean

Divas banner

There are currently 13 WWE Divas on the main roster. With the elevation of Summer Rae – and more recently Emma – from NXT as well as reports of the likes of Paige and Lana following in the not-so-distant future, it could be argued that it’s getting quite crowded in the women’s locker room for Raw and SmackDown. The number was thinned by one with the departure of Kaitlyn earlier this month, but conceivably, WWE could jettison some others without too much hassle. Considering how many women are waiting in the wings, it may be coming to that time. So who could be lost from a business perspective? Well, we have five suggestions.

Incidentally, these selections aren’t made out of malice. It’s more from a clinical standpoint as to what they can conceivably deliver based on their past records and how they have been booked. (more…)


Flashback 2013: The other interviews

dynamic_mic1We 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…)


Stew’s 2013 highlights

P1010060The 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…)


Lee’s 2013 highlights

MsChifMake 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…)


Flashback 2013: The Year In Podcasts

New WOW logo largeAs 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…)


Where the bloody hell is Kaitlyn?

Kaitlyn Milk CartonDoes anybody remember this woman – rather muscular, goofy personality, likes moustaches, calls herself the Hybrid Diva and held the WWE Divas Championship for close to half of 2013? She won the title from Eve Torres halfway through January in her hometown of Houston, TX to a big pop, and successfully defended the belt against Tamina Snuka at Elimination Chamber the following month, and then was involved in a long running feud with her former tag partner and friend AJ Lee, which led to her dropping the championship and losing the subsequent rematch?

Seriously, has anyone seen what happened to Kaitlyn‘s in-ring career? It went AWOL after SummerSlamwhere she won – and while there have been brief sightings of her at a couple of house shows and also two TV appearances in October (both losses), she has been off our screens in a wrestling capacity for more than a month, and before her losses on Superstars and SmackDown, she had been missing since she and Dolph Ziggler defeated AJ and Big E Langston in Los Angeles. It’s a massive fall from grace for someone who was riding the crest of the wave as 2013 got underway. (more…)


Leilani Kai? On iPPV? In 2013? Oh yes!

Sumie Sakai Leilani KaiSaturday will be a rare treat for this wrestling fan. The woman who competed for the World Wrestling Federation Women’s Championship at WrestleManias I and X against Wendi Richter and Alundra Blayze respectively and ostensibly vanished from the wrestling world for the better part of a decade is stepping into the ring on her first iPPV – and it all came about because of another wrestler withdrawing.

Former WWF and NWA Women’s Champion Leilani Kai landed a match against Sumie Sakai at Pro Wrestling Syndicate Bombshells 7 (formerly Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling) after Amy Lee had to pull out – but for me, that makes things more interesting, as I (like many) have not have seen Kai wrestle in quite some time. However, just because she was out of the spotlight, it does not mean that the former 2-time WWF Women’s Tag Team Champion has had nothing to do with wrestling. (more…)


Wrestling… YAY! – The love affair with SHINE

Rain v JHavSHINE 12 has been and gone, and I got to thinking of the last 12 months or so on the promotion.

Before SHINE Wrestling existed, my connection to the wrestling overseas was limited. I mean, sure I had DVDs but it wasn’t really the same. The events came recommended to me always with the tag line of “You really have to see xxx v xxx it’s AMAZING!” Nothing is quite like experiencing a liveshow with your friends.

That’s the beautiful thing about SHINE – the concept that I can watch this show with the guys from Ringbelles, who are in a completely different country and we can all react to the same thing at the same time is incredible. I know, technology right? Whodathunkit? I can chatter about the shows excitedly on social media (mostly Twitter) and connect with so many like-minded (or not so!) individuals around the world, which makes the shows so much more exciting for me.

SHINE weekends have become a highlight for me. Catch up with good friends and watch great wrestling. Thank goodness for Skype & Twitter – I’d be totally lost without them. (more…)


Wrestling… YAY! – A Fortnight of Awesome

Rhi NHB GirlsA fortnight ago, I embarked on an adventure. It’s not unusual that I’d take a rather long drive or trip for wrestling – I have ventured to Sydney, South Australia and Canberra for this crazy passion of mine, but this… this was truly out of my comfort zone. Getting on a plane for five hours (my longest plane trip ever), to go and see a pretty awesome sounding wrestling show, was almost crazy to my friends. “You’re going where?! For what again?”

Touching down to Perth, a place two hours behind my home city, and it was by far one of the laid back places I have ever set foot in. After hanging out for a bit and taking in the sights on Friday, I made my way to the show, which was located about 20 minutes from the inner city of Perth.

A while ago, when the show was announced I was drawn to it instantly. Not just because international talent such as Portia Perez, Tomoka Nakagawa and Saraya Knight were scheduled to appear. But because an Australian promotion was taking the time and dedicating the Global Conflict tournament to women and opening the doors to women around the world. This type of feat needed to be respected, celebrated and recognised. Going over to Perth, seemed to be the next logical step for me, plus a great opportunity to see some local talent I had not seen before and a chance to see a personal dream match of mine (that being Kellie Skater v Nikita Naridian). (more…)


Taryn Terrell taking time away from TNA; what effect this could have on the Knockouts division

Taryn TerrellFor those of you wondering why Taryn Terrell has been absent from TNA TV for more than a month, the answer was revealed in this week’s Wrestling Observer, where it was reported that she is taking time off for personal reasons and isn’t expected back any time soon. PWInsider clarified the situation saying that she is dealing with a family matter and she is not in trouble or in danger of being released.

While we wish her well, the situation is a blow for her professionally. Her last appearance on Impact Wrestling was the Ladder Match with Gail Kim which was taped on June 29 in Las Vegas, NV, and broadcast on Spike on July 7, and despite the loss, the Observer reports that she was to win the Knockouts Championship from Mickie James at Bound For Glory in October. While she could return in time for that to still happen, there is still no guarantee that she will be ready to come back to TNA by then. This also leaves TNA with a problem, as it is another reduction in the Knockouts roster… (more…)


Bunch of Fives: Successfully repackaged gimmicks

Packing-Tape

On last Friday’s Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling show, I pointed out how while Jessie Kaye seemed to have some potential, she was hindering herself with a name which she selected which was too close to Jessie McKay, and also used the theme music which is synonymous with Madison Eagles. It got me to thinking about other wrestlers who have been repackaged with new gimmicks to increase their marketability. Five of them are after the jump.

Now keep in mind that these are mostly wrestlers who personally made the choice to alter themselves, though some were done by the companies they wrestled for at the time. One which didn’t make it was Victoria the ho to Victoria, the crazy enemy of Trish Stratus as there was a two year gap in-between one gimmick ending and other starting. The ones listed here are more sudden switches. (more…)


Bunch of Fives: Five possible Divas Championship contenders

WWE Divas Championship

A champion is only as good as the challengers who they face and send packing. At the moment, AJ Lee is without a future contender for her Divas Championship following her title victory over Kaitlyn at Payback and successfully defending the belt at Money In The Bank, but we think there may be five options to be the next heir apparent to the Divas throne. With a month to go to SummerSlam in Los Angeles, CA, there is every possibility that the title will be defended. However, who do we think is in line for a crack at the belt? For argument’s sake, let’s look at potential babyfaces who could challenge the heel AJ, as heel v heel is seldom a money-spinner… (more…)


Wrestling… yay! – The discovery of SHIMMER

38It was late 2011 when I watched my very first SHIMMER. It was Volume 37 and I am not going to lie, it was a bit of a blur. I marveled at the fact that this show catered for women’s wrestling, that the women… *actually* wrestled. There were no fart jokes, there was no nonsense timing of matches, this shit was serious and it was bloody awesome. I had always been a fan of women’s wrestling, but it was more aimed toward the Australian local scene (and with talents such as Madison Eagles and Kellie Skater, who could blame me?), I was used to seeing short matches on a card stacked with men, so to see SHIMMER match that went against the very grain of everything I knew, well: mind blown.

The main event for that show was Eagles v Mercedes Martinez. I think it’s pretty obvious in my third instalment of this column, that I am a pretty huge fan of Madison’s work and naturally this match was no exception. To see her in that match amongst her ‘own kind’ was spectacular and I was blown away with the high calibre of wrestling shown throughout the entire show. It was then I quickly realised, SHIMMER was the grand mecca of women’s wrestling. THIS was the place to be if you are a female wrestler and are damn serious about it. (more…)


Bunch of Fives: Five most likely SHINE Champions?

SHINE Belt

On Friday evening at 9pm EST on WWNLive.com, SHINE Wrestling presents their first anniversary show, SHINE 11, featuring the moment they’ve been building to all year – the crowning of the first ever SHINE Champion. The tournament has not been without a twist or two – Allysin Kay’s suspension at the end of SHINE 10 (she’s currently living it up in Japan), Jazz’s injury and Taylor Made’s apparent withdrawal in protest at AK’s suspension have all lead to a bracket that now includes two additional Fatal Four Way qualifiers, giving six women a second shot in the tournament after losing their initial qualifiers, and a wild card on each side in the shape of LuFisto and Amazing Kong. With all that in mind, we run the rule over the five women in our opinion most likely to raise the brand new strap above their head at the end of the night. (more…)


Wrestling… Yay! – Spotlight On: PWWA

PWWAContinuing on with the Australian theme from my last column, I think it’d be almost wrong if I didn’t at least have one column on our own PWWA.

I wish I could sit here and write that Australian Wrestling is full of extremely positive individuals that whole-heartedly support women’s wrestling. Unfortunately, it’s just not the case, and just like across the world, women’s wrestling fans (Warriors? Advocates?) are almost a rare breed. At times, to hear such negativity to come from people within or around the business about something that those of you that are reading this hold dear is frustrating. Especially when we literally have some of the most talented and exciting female wrestlers right in our very own country. I can’t tell you the amount of debates I have gotten into about this topic – I know, it shouldn’t matter what others think, but sometimes, to be dismissive of something that is great, if not greater than the main event just because the wrestlers are women, then it’s worth fighting for.

Formed in 2007, PWWA is the first established (and still the only) all women’s wrestling promotion currently operating in Australia. The company brings together the best female wrestlers in Australia, New Zealand and around the world. Up until a few months ago, it was also the only promotion outside of the United States to host a SHIMMER Women’s Wrestling Championship match, an achievement that the company holds proudly. (more…)


Wrestling… Yay! – A look at Madison Eagles

Madison EaglesSometimes the negativity on wrestling can overwhelm why we love watching wrestling in the first place. As a result, we have decided to inject some positivity into the proceedings by having a look at things that we love about women’s wrestling. Rhi Lockwood, Editor in Chief and Webmistress of Australian women’s wrestling site NHB Girls, is the person who we feel can turn our occasional frowns upside down.

For her first piece, Rhi has selected a wrestler close to her heart. As we progress, other wrestlers will be highlighted…

The very first time I saw Madison Eagles was over ten years ago at the Australian Wrestling Supershow in Sydney that was telecast on FOX Sports on subscription TV. She accompanied one of the wrestlers to the ring, and halfway through the match intervened – climbing onto the top rope – and made her mark. I had heard of her, so to finally see her in action even if it was for a brief second, was just inspiring.

Over the years I’ve seen her wrestle here in my home town of Melbourne and every time she has gotten better, sharper & more of a force to be reckoned with. She seemed to be the type to really make things happen for herself, setting goals and going for it, surpassing these aspirations completely. She headed to the US & made a splash in SHIMMER, Ring of Honor & Chikara, just to name a few – and in a way she went out and made such a tremendous path way for so many women in Australia & New Zealand overseas. It was no surprise to me when she defeated Mschif to become the SHIMMER Champion on Volume 31. (more…)


Bunch of Fives: Five possible payoffs to the Kaitlyn “Secret Admirer” angle

Kaitlyn & Natalya
On the April 29th edition of Monday Night Raw, WWE Divas Champion Kaitlyn received a studded hat as a gift in a backstage segment. The accompanying note was anonymous, and we embarked on a “secret admirer” angle – with the apparently flattered Kaitlyn receiving further gifts and exchanging text messages with the mystery admirer. Said suitor apparently seems to know the way to her heart. Heck, if I knew the way to Kaitlyn’s heart involved quoting Simpsons lines, I’d have been more active on twitter in the last couple of years. However, I digress. Having already established that it must be someone in the WWE locker room, and despite The Great Khali‘s best efforts as an undercover mole in the locker room, it was announced this week that WWE are preparing to unveil the Secret Admirer this week on Raw. There have been theories floating around, and indeed legitimate booking ideas have apparently changed more than once on the admirer’s identity – so on the eve of Kaitlyn’s big day, we thought we’d have a look at five possible ways this angle could pay off on Raw. (more…)


Austin Aries “fined” over Christy Hemme situation

Christy Hemme Austin AriesThe top story in Tuesday’s Roundup was the situation which occurred on last Thursday’s TNA Impact Wrestling show between Austin Aries and Christy Hemme – a situation that TNA (publicly, at least) was slow to react to. However, TMZ reported that Aries has indeed been fined an undisclosed sum by the promotion for putting his crotch in Hemme’s face after she fluffed he and Bobby Roode‘s introduction. It also says that Austin personally apologised to Christy, who was apparently “satisfied” with the apology.

Officially, that’s the end of the matter, but it still seems strange that Hemme went onto Twitter to call the situation “unacceptable” following the show – though she later deleted the tweet – though TNA says it immediately dealt with it. In addition, it seems strange that Spike TV was the first to make a public statement about it, calling it “sexual harassment” and saying the network has a zero tolerance policy for such occurrences. While Aries probably did not mean to commit an act which was deemed as sexual harassment – as it is the victim that gets to decide if it was over the line and the employers to agree or disagree with the accusation – TNA could be seen to be guilty for dragging its heels. (more…)


Twitter drama: Alicia & Brittney Savage attack WSU; WSU responds

WSU logoThe relaunched Women Superstars Uncensored promotion came under fire yesterday from a number of sources on Twitter, including several talents which were a regular part of the promotion before the transfer of ownership from Sean McCaffrey to Drew Cordeiro of Beyond Wrestling. Most notably, these included WSU “icon” Alicia, Brittney Savage and others.

The situation appeared to arise from a perceived knock on Alicia by WSU who, when answering a fan’s question on whether they can expect to see Alicia brought back to the WSU roster, responded with a simple “Not Happening”. Picked up on by fellow wrestler, Missy Sampson, who tweeted “It’s disgusting watching you be so disrespectful to someone whose back your company was built on! @AliciaDidIt”.

Alerted to the slight, Alicia posted a multi-tweet exposé of her thoughts on WSU. She tweeted… (more…)