“[Promotion] is so much better than any other independent promotion, they book
the wrestlers fans want to see!”
“[Wrestler] is so overrated.”
“[Promotion] is the BEST in the world!”
“[Wrestler] is awesome, she should be booked everywhere!”
“[Promotion] only accepts the best, period.”
“[Promoter/booker] doesn’t know how to book properly, he’s screwing up
“[Wrestler] can’t go to WWE, they will ruin her!”
Do any of these statements sound familiar? If you are an independent wrestling fan, and more specifically a female wrestling fan, you’ve heard these sentences before and more like them. Some probably a lot more vulgar at times, some more hurtful, some more personal.
As a wrestling fan myself it makes me cringe sometimes. I get being a fan of a particular person or promotion (I have my favourites like everyone else), but what I don’t get is running down other companies that are trying to provide an outlet for talented wrestlers (male or female), or running down women who are doing their best to show that it’s not all Divas or Knockouts. (more…)
As the last moments of 2011 fade away, while being thankful for the many wonderful wrestling-related moments, it’s only natural to look to the new year. A new year brings new opportunities, a chance to start fresh and the ability to make things happen. Most of us make New Years resolutions to have set goals we want to meet. As pertains to wrestling, I gave some thought as to what I, personally, would like to see happen (or not happen, as the case may be). Some of these are serious, some are downright implausible but hey, I’m an optimistic gal for the most part. Who is to say what may or may not happen in 2012? Lets kick this off!
1) I wish that Madison Eagles, Lufisto, Mercedes Martinez, and Serena Deeb would completely heal and recover from their various physical ailments. I won’t say if I wish that they would return to wrestling – that’s something that they must decide for themselves. As a fan, I’ll respect and support whatever their decision may be. However, they’re young women in the prime of their lives, and knowing the long term damage wrestling does, I want them to heal so that they aren’t affected later in life. They are all wonderful women who deserve to live long, healthy lives after their wrestling careers come to an end. (more…)
As 2011 comes to a close, and Christmas is just around the corner, around this time people look back at the year and reflect on their blessings. This is true in wrestling fandom as well as anywhere else. If you are a fan of female wrestling, there was a ton to be grateful for in 2011, although if you concentrated on WWE, I feel bad for you – nothing good, aside from Kong’s debut as Kharma, happened in 2011 in that company. I wanted to take the time to look back and write about what I, personally, was grateful for this year and share with you my thoughts. Feel free to comment and tell me what you were grateful for in wrestling this year.
Thanks to my trips to SHIMMER: Women Athletes, I was able to see a number of women wrestle in person for the first time that I personally admire and look up to.
With her health problems in 2010 and being rotated out of the September ’10 SHIMMER tapings, I had worried I’d not get the chance to see her in person. Fortunately that fear was baseless as Lufi was back and stronger than ever. In April, I thoroughly enjoyed her matches with Tomoka Nakagawa (it’s always a treat to watch her wrestle joshi women), Sassy Stephie, and the four way match with her, Portia Perez, Cheerleader Melissa and Serena Deeb. However, at the October tapings I wasn’t sure she would be there. She had had heart surgery in July to repair a hole in her heart, and with the precautions she now has to take, I felt it doubtful.
To my great pleasure, she was not only there but had some of the best matches of the tapings. The four way between her, Tomoka, MsChif, and Kellie Skater was just plain fun. I popped huge for MsChif’s Freddy Krueger gear (I’ve been a fan of Nightmare on Elm Street for years) but Lufi’s Pink Power Ranger gear was incredibly cute! Her match against Mia Svensson is a personal favourite – you have the up and coming taking on the veteran, giving the former a chance to see what she can do. However, Lufisto was involved in one of the best matches of the weekend, and given the talent that was on display, this is a bold statement but entirely true. In Kana‘s last match, she wrestled Lufi and it was tremendous. Kana pulled out the win, but while everyone else stood, I remained in my seat. I refused to applaud unless Kana shook Lufisto’s hand – I felt that Lufisto had gone toe to toe with her, and unless she also recognised this and shook her hand, I didn’t feel that Kana was worthy of respect. However, she did.
Lufisto is a lady I have so much respect and admiration for, I can absolutely say it was wonderful to see her wrestle in person. (more…)
Okay, who amongst us believes that WWE takes their women seriously? Raise your hand. I’ll wait.
No hands? Okay, is there anyone out there who believes WWE has any interest in promoting serious female wrestling? Show of hands.
No hands again. This is good. Lets see if we can go three for three. Who believes that the women’s division is an interesting, captivating part of WWE? Hands please.
As I suspected. Much like myself, few of us have any faith in WWE anymore when it comes to their women’s division. If they want to see great female wrestling, they know to go outside the company. The question is, what should be done about it? My solution is this:
Get rid of the Divas division. Have no female wrestling on any of the shows or cards. Retire the Divas Championship. Let Beth Phoenix be the last holder of that meaningless belt.
Extreme? Absolutely. However, there are precedents, albeit usually when the current holder of the title leaves WWE under less than pleasant circumstances. In 1990, then-champion Rockin’ Robin left the company without dropping the belt. The title was deactivated until 1993, when Alundra Blayze won a tournament to crown a new women’s champion. We know what happened with her in early 1996. Again, the title was deactivated until 1998, when it was Jacqueline who won the belt. Lastly, in 2001 when Chyna was the champion, she left the company without dropping it. However, given the talent in the division, it was quickly reactivated in November of that same year.
Having no female wrestling division in WWE has been done before. Let us be honest, how much of an impact does a 2 minute match on RAW have on your basic fan? If anything, it gives the fan in the audience a chance to relieve their bladder or buy some merchandise. It gives the fan at home a chance to get a beverage or a snack. Except for those die-hard Diva fans, those 2 minute matches mean nothing. (Is it even fair to call it a ‘match’?) Eliminating it would not diminish ticket sales, DVD sales or anything else money-wise. (more…)
When Beth Phoenix and Natalya turned heel back in August, WWE Diva fans held their breath. They seemed hell bent on turning the division upside down, separating themselves from the “models” like Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, Alicia Fox and others. They christened themselves the Divas of Doom, or, alternatively, Sisters of Salvation, claiming that they were out to “save” the Divas division from princesses and perky blondes.
The storyline has mostly gone downhill now, for several reasons. It took Beth three matches to defeat Kelly for the Divas title. Even when she won it, at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, it was only after Natalya interfered by hitting Kelly in the head with a microphone. Hardly a dominant win. Creative also didn’t go nearly far enough with the storyline – Beth and Natalya still refer to themselves as “Divas”, they still do photo shoots, and they have been very selective in who they choose to go after. So far it has only been the faces such as Kelly, Eve, Alicia, AJ and Kaitlyn. If they were after the models, shouldn’t they also target Brie and Nikki Bella, as well as Rosa Mendes? Tamina was never a model, so there is a logical reason why they wouldn’t go after her.
Also, at the start, Natalya was presented as an equally dominant partner. However, her singles wins have been sporadic, at best – any match that she won was when she was in a tag team match with Beth. Lately she has lost out to Alicia on RAW, SmackDown and at the house shows. This weakens the concept of the dominant team they were originally made out to be. Now it seems like they are another version of LayCool. (more…)
(Yesterday, I focussed on Anarchy Championship Wrestling as an alternative to the lack of female wrestling in Ring Of Honor. As it turns out, the article was pretty well-timed, as Portia Perez won the ACW Heavyweight Title, if only for an hour. Today, let’s look elsewhere…)
The other promotion that has done equally well by it’s female talent is Chikara. Started by Mike Quackenbush and Tom Carter in 2002, it started integrating female wrestlers right off the bat. Its sixth show, which took place June 28th, 2002, was one that featured talent from their sister promotion Kiryoku Pro in an almost all-female show (there was a ten person tag team match that came as a result of interference in an earlier women’s match). After that all-female show, there were two other regular shows that had women’s matches billed as “Kiryoku Pro Showcase” matches.
Eventually the overall ethos of the promotion changed. They no longer saw gender as a wall – rather, the company wanted wrestlers to wrestle each other, regardless of sex. This started in 2003, at the first annual Tag World Grand Prix on July 5th, where the Kiryoku Pro team of Mercedes Martinez & Sumie Sakai took on The Wild Cards of Eddie Kingston and Blackjack Marciano. On October 18th, 2003′s International Invasion Of The International Invaders Sumie took on Jigsaw.
Granted, 2004 saw less female v female or female v male matches than 2002 or 2003 but 2005 was a sort of rebirth for women in Chikara. You had a slew of talent that made for some interesting matches (Chris Hero v Sumie Sakai? It happened at Running in the Red on November 13th, 2005). This also coincided with the birth of SHIMMER in November 2005 and the high point of IWA: Mid South‘s women’s division. It felt like women on the independent circuit had more choices than ever before. In 2006, two women debuted that would become Chikara mainstays: Sara Del Rey and Daizee Haze. These two would also become part of Chikara’s biggest storyline to date in late 2009: The Bruderschaft des Kreuzes versus the rest of Chikara. (more…)
On September 24th, 2011, Ring of Honor returned to television on Sinclair Broadcast network. Former owner Cary Silkin has stayed on with them as an executive and although Sinclair doesn’t have a channel in many cities, the company sees this as a positive step forward. For those who are unable to see it on television, you can view each week’s episode for free on their website.
However, on September 27th, Sara Del Rey noted on her Twitter:
I just noticed I’m not a part of the ROH roster anymore…boo
In fact, if you take a look at the website, not only is Del Rey not listed as part of the roster, but neither are fellow Women of Honor Daizee Haze or MsChif. The only woman who is listed is Mia Yim, as part of Prince Nana’s Embassy stable. Given that this is considered a new start of sorts for the company with their debut on SBG, perhaps it isn’t that surprising that ROH is choosing to focus on their male talent and grow their audience from there. However, other fans have taken note of this. Over at ROHWorld.com, Dave Wood wrote a piece explaining why he believes a female division in ROH would be a benefit, and gives details on how to re-create one, which you can read here and here.
One consistent criticism was the lack of time given to their matches. Another was that there were no storylines, except for sporadic times (such as last year when Daizee and Del Rey were clamouring for competition). You would have a match every now and again on the HDNet show or on the iPPV with no background attached. It’s hard to be invested in a division that isn’t really given any real focus.
Other companies have taken the ball ROH dropped and ran with it. Two promotions come instantly to mind that have incorporated women into not only a division of their own but have integrated them with the male roster, producing memorable feuds and showing that when booked right, women can have great, credible matches with men. (more…)
This weekend at Turning Point, TNA Knockouts Champion Velvet Sky puts the title on the line for the first time since winning the belt at Bound For Glory last month against challenger and one half of the Knockouts Tag Team Champions, Gail Kim, in a match that is significant for both.
For Velvet, it’s her first title defence in her first reign – while for Gail, it’s her first opportunity to wrestle on live TV since returning to the promotion on the post-BFG Impact Wrestling show. With no editing suite to patch things up if she slips on a banana peel, and the pressure to wrestle someone who she hasn’t faced in many years, the pressure is on the veteran Kim to knock this one out of the park. Kim has also had critics who assert that she may have lost that spark from 3 years of doing nothing of note in WWE, and may be in TNA for the spotlight, rather than to promote and enhance the Knockouts division.
Meanwhile for Sky, she is looking to solidify her first run as KOs Champ, which was hardly launched in the best of circumstances – winning in an overbooked 4-way mess that did more to further the tension between Karen Jarrett and Traci Brooks more than anything else, and also saw Velvet win the belt by not pinning then-titleholder Winter to gain the title, but Madison Rayne. Both have things to prove to the audience and to sceptics, and many fans have an opinion on which way it will go. However, I have an opinion on which way it SHOULD go, so everyone involved comes out with what they need and offers some options for down the line. (more…)
A week ago, I almost cried at a wrestling show. I’ve seen wrestling affect other people to the point of tears – many men and women at WrestleMania VII when Randy Savage and Elizabeth reunited, and a bunch of girls when Shawn Michaels vacated the WWF Championship in February 1997 immediately spring to mind – but I had never experienced that wash of emotions which would cause me to well up. It’s funny then, that when those dewey eyes made their appearance, it wasn’t out of sadness – it was pure, undiluted joy.
It feels weird to write that, considering I have a personality that is L to O rather than A to Z, but I was totally moved by four strangers, their enthusiasm for wrestling and the spirit and life that each one of them possesses. It’s hard to have not been affected by them.
When Ice Ribbon wrestlers Emi Sakura, Tsukasa Fujimoto, Hikari Minami and Hikaru Shida took to the ring at the conclusion of the Pro Wrestling: EVE v Ice Ribbon three show weekend to say thanks, I was really happy for them. It was a punt for them to visit the UK as virtual unknowns to a lot of people, and be able to put on great matches with strangers, charm an audience and have them on their feet giving them the massive ovation that they had earned and deserved. What almost pushed me over the edge was when they proceeded to come out of the ring and shake the hand of every single person in the audience – not just the people on the front row who were easy to thank, but everyone. They came over the barricades and mingled through the rows, switching between saying “Thank you” in English or “Arigatō” in their native Japanese. Quite frankly, if you weren’t touched by that gesture – one that I have never experienced at a live show – then you have no heart. (more…)
The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. – Richard Bach
Another SHIMMER: Women Athletes weekend is in the books and by now, most fans and wrestlers are back at home. The Ringbelles crew didn’t get home until Wednesday. It was during one of our conversations about the weekend, that Lee was telling me about how LuFisto was trying to have a conversation with the new joshi, Yumi Ohka. It didn’t matter about the language barrier, they were managing to communicate. He paused and said, “You know, SHIMMER is like a family now.”
I’ve been reflecting about his statement since then. Looking back over the afterparty, the way everyone has and continues to gel together, it’s true. SHIMMER has such a diverse roster that now it’s nothing unusual to see an Australian chatting with a Japanese, or a British with a Canadian. Language isn’t an insurmountable obstacle – on the contrary, a lot of the Japanese women have picked up a bit of English, and I can think of two women, one American and one Australian, who have learned some Japanese. Yet, even in cases where language was a barrier, it didn’t matter one bit. What united these women was the love of wrestling. Their passion for it, and their desire to continue to combat the mainstream view of it.
…And perhaps the alcohol. That may have had something to do with making it easier to communicate. (more…)
Last week, WWE was in Toronto, Canada. Not only was it “Edge Appreciation Night,” but hometown girl Trish Stratus made a backstage appearance with Edge and a shorter one with Teddy Long. When talking with Edge backstage, she was getting him to try on a pair of her yoga gloves. Christian came into the frame to talk to his former best friend, but he spared a few words for Trish: “Nice of you to show up when you have something to sell.” Snide, but he has a point.
The thing is, Trish Stratus was and continues to be WWE’s “Golden Girl” as far as the divas go. Whenever they come to Toronto, you can bet that she will be there for a cameo, or for a match. This past year, she was a trainer on the renewed version of Tough Enough, came to Kelly’s aid at the Elimination Chamber pay per view, and was in a mixed tag team match at WrestleMania XXVII. Not bad for a woman who is officially retired. However, my problem with her is this: she gives little back to the division she helped to build. (more…)
Faye Palmer is two days into her Big Brother experience, and the good news is that she is not standing out from the pack. In the early days and weeks, that is undoubtedly a good thing; stay under the radar while the loud and obnoxious arses are made to look stupid by the producers putting the show together, are nominated for eviction and eventually kicked out, and then you can come out from the shadows and make a run for the win. Very seldom does someone come in like a ball of fire and make it to the end, as they burn themselves out too quickly.
She has already attracted the attention of celebrity housemate Pamela Anderson, who invited her and four other of the 14 housemates to join her for some VIP one on one time to impress her, with the winner being given special privileges, though we don’t know what perks they will be yet. Each housemate also had the chance to “speed-date” with Pamela, with Faye managing to make it to the 15 minute allotted time without being dismissed by the former Baywatch star.
I got a brief minute to catch up with Faye’s older sister Jemma after her appearance at New Scene Wrestling, where she discussed what she knew about Faye going into the house. The answer; not much.
So, thumbs-up for first impressions INSIDE the house – but what about the impression that she can create OUTSIDE of it? After all, here is a beautiful, driven, athletic professional wrestler on an established TV show that pulls in millions of viewers every day. If there was ever a chance for a representative to show wrestling in a positive and somewhat glamourous light, this is surely it. (more…)
“Don’t compromise yourself – you are all you have.” – Janis Joplin
A couple of months ago, I was watching Raw and occasionally tweeting my thoughts. I remember being aggravated at the fact a feud was brewing between two of the women that was based on something incredibly superficial – I believe it was the Bellas claiming they had a ‘big secret’ about Kelly Kelly, and that secret turning out to be them claiming she was too skinny, or it may have been something else equally superfluous. I took to my Twitter, wondering if the concept of fighting for pride, to be the best was something that WWE writers refused to consider as a reason for a female feud. After all, it’s regularly a concept used in other promotions. Was it really that far a leap for WWE to try it out?
Not long after expressing my frustrations, I received a cryptic reply from Allison Danger. She said, “You are inspiring my latest blog. #therevolutioniscoming”
That made me pause. Revolution? Me? I tentatively asked, “Should I be flattered or afraid…?” She replied, “It’s a good thing. I know once you read it you will join me.” Colour me curious! I didn’t have to wait long; shortly thereafter she unleashed her blog entitled, “The Revolution is Here” and issued a call to arms, calling on fans, bookers/writers and fellow female wrestlers to change their modus operandi when it came to their part in wrestling. If you haven’t read it, you really should. Do it now before continuing.
I did not so much read it as consume it. Allison’s words stirred the passion within me, the passion that drives me when it comes to wrestling, the passion that infuses my articles here on Ringbelles. The passion that wants to help overthrow the conventional view of female wrestling as nothing more than a piss break – a view that WWE helped cultivate, but that several promotions still nurture, despite the fact that there are dozens of females who can easily steal any show, if given the chance. (more…)
When Kharma announced her pregnancy and left WWE TV, the interest in the Divas division that she had garnered vanished almost instantaneously. Her absence left writers floundering, and for several weeks we were back to the status-quo. Matches that meant virtually nothing, no storyline, just business as usual. However, on the night that Raw had “Power to the People,” the people chose Kelly Kelly to challenge Brie Bella for the Divas Title, a match that she won. If you were paying attention, you might have seen Beth Phoenix‘s reaction. A look of disgust swept her face for a moment before she plastered on a smile for her friend. This was the genesis of her heel turn, which took place on August 1st after winning a battle royal to become number one contender for the Divas title. Over on SmackDown, Natalya followed Beth’s lead, and both have declared that the days of the models taking the spotlight in WWE are over.
After SummerSlam and Beth’s loss to Kelly Kelly, the follow up on Raw was a tag match between the Bella Twins taking on Kelly and Eve Torres. After the latter’s win, Beth’s music cued up and out came the Divas of Doom, dressed to the nines. You might have expected a promo, maybe a post-match beat down…but no. Instead, the two powerhouses stood at the top of the ramp – and mockingly applauded Kelly & Eve’s win. Michael Cole said that Beth would address the situation on twitter later on.
A bit ridiculous, don’t you think? Finally, a storyline that seems to be gaining attention from fans, and part of it is going to be on Twitter? The old saying goes that if it doesn’t happen on television, it doesn’t happen period. But putting that aside for the moment, one has to ask: what is next for the Divas of Doom? (more…)
Beth Phoenix meets Kelly Kelly with the latter’s WWE Divas Championship on the line this Sunday at SummerSlam, in a match that is more of a feud starter than a feud ender. After all, the pair have only been at each other’s throats for two weeks, so it’s hardly like there is bad blood involved. However, played correctly, this is a storyline that could involve a large number of the women of WWE, and create some longevity for a division that was rudderless and floundering, and had been that way since May.
It was late in that month when WWE’s plans for the Divas went totally awry because of the unexpected pregnancy by Kharma, which scuppered the planned storyline with her ploughing through the competition en route to winning the Divas belt, before coming up against some opposition – most likely from Kelly herself, who would get battered, come back for more, get battered some more and eventually defeat her to win the championship. After all, the storyline was going in the direction that Kharma wanted Kelly, but would let her stew while she demolished through the rest of the division. However, when that could not happen, there was no backup plan put into effect for a while, except to get the belt onto Kelly as soon as possible. She had been looking likely to win the belt since her programme with Vickie Guerrero earlier this year on SmackDown, and successfully defended the World Heavyweight Title for Edge during a mixed tag team match.
In all honesty, WWE was probably a little late in putting the belt on Kelly, as she was white-hot in February, but had cooled slightly by the time that she was drafted to Raw. Still, she was due a run with the belt, and won it from Brie Bella after being chosen by the fans to face her as part of the Power To The People episode of Raw on June 20. A successful (yet terrible) defence at Money In The Bank just highlighted that if Kelly was going to be taken seriously she needed a proper challenge, and for fans to believe her reign was in jeopardy. WWE needed an intimidating wrestler to take on the champion and push her outside of her obvious comfort zone.
Enter Beth Phoenix. (more…)
It’s a news story that continues to build. There’s more and more direct and circumstantial evidence that comes out each month. More people are willing to tell their story, no matter the consequences – they want the truth to be known. The woman at the center of it all has done her best to keep quiet, despite the storm around her. But her silence speaks volumes. Even though higher ups have the cash to keep things flowing, and have the final say on all decisions, effectively this woman is the face of the company.
All this fits perfectly with the woman who is at the center of the massive hacking scandal – Rebekah Brooks, former editor of News of the World in Britain. Even though News Corp is owned by Rupert Murdoch, Brooks was the Chief Executive of News International, which is the British newspaper publishing branch of News Corporation. So Brooks reports directly to Murdoch, and since she was editor at the time of the alleged phone hackings, responsibility falls directly onto her shoulders. At this time, she has been arrested and bailed on criminal charges pending further enquiries, and an investigation is being launched into how much (if anything) that she knew and if so, when she knew it.
However, the first paragraph also fits the description of another high profile woman at the head of a company. Dixie Carter is President of Impact Wrestling (or Total Nonstop Action, whatever). She has, at times, been seen in an on-screen role, warring against Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. However, she has been conspicuous by her absence, not appearing on Impact since late 2010. Once a frequent Twitter-user, since March 1st her tweets have been few and far in-between, only sporadically using the social media tool to promote the change from “TNA” to “Impact Wrestling” and promote the X-Division-based PPV Destination X.
Much like Rebekah Brooks, Dixie Carter has gone silent in the wake of several scandals that have become public knowledge (or, in the case of previous controversies, never commented on them when they were made public). Where, oh where, to begin? (more…)
I actively like Eve Torres.
There, I said it. I think I may be in a slight minority here, because I seem to remember the overwhelming response to her last reign as Divas Champion was met with a huge wave of apathy. Winning the Divas title out of nowhere as a mystery fourth competitor at the Royal Rumble this year was hardly an auspicious start, nor was the fact that she was usually the source of Michael Cole’s disruptive Diva-bashing microphone tirades, nor was the fact that she didn’t work WrestleMania (save for a backstage skit). In fact, by the time Brie Bella beat Eve for the Divas title on the April 11th edition of Raw, even I breathed a sigh of relief that this (her second Divas title reign) was being put out of its misery. The reason that the title reign was such a flop wasn’t anything particularly to do with Torres, in my opinion – it was simply that WWE never once gave us a reason to care about her. It seems that the very idea of giving Eve any sort of character or motivation was simply asking too much. She was just “a pretty girl who wrestles”. In fact, given that Eve was busy doing a load of WrestleMania publicity work for WWE soon after winning the title probably suggests that they thought Eve was a better public representative for the Divas division and would look better with a title over her shoulder than previous champion Natalya than any particular endorsement of her wrestling.
However, April 11th did give us one miniscule flicker of hope, as the disgruntled Eve blew off her Diva locker room buddies after her title loss, teasing a heel turn, and infusing Torres with a potential new direction. Unfortunately (though not unpredictably) absolutely nothing ever came of it. The next week, Eve was back in the hunt for a rematch (which she eventually got – and lost). She got “revenge” on Cole at Over The Limit via a moonsault (for whatever that was worth in the long run), and she has now settled into the role of Kelly Kelly’s ultra-supportive best friend.
Anyone see Raw this week? I mean besides the awesome stuff with CM Punk? I mean, the Divas match in particular between Kelly Kelly and Melina, with a post-match beatdown by the Bella Twins on Kelly and Eve Torres? Anyone see how Melina joined in with the beatdown? No?
That’s because it didn’t happen. The two-time Divas Champion and three-time Women’s Champion was left in the shadows after being defeated in 100 seconds by Kelly, having only got in three moves, and two of those were kicks. It could be claimed that the match was short – so short that Melina was introduced in the ring and din’t even get to do her signature entrance with the paparazzi and the splits – because the show was overrunning. Some would say it’s a big push for Kelly, given that she is the Divas Champ right now, and that she has a title defence this weekend on the Money in the Bank pay-per-view against Brie Bella - and that’s all true. However, Kelly could have beaten any number of women on the Raw roster in what was effectively a squash match – Maryse would have been perfect for that role. It is telling that WWE chose to send out Melina – its former golden girl, the woman who was the figurehead of the division for years and the woman who has seemingly been in the Diva doghouse for all of 2011 – to lie down… (more…)
It seems many people have an opinion on this radio interview that Randy Orton was a part of where he went into details about Kelly Kelly’s sex life and how many colleagues she’s allegedly slept with. Much of the debate is about equality and whether Orton should be reprimanded for his actions, regardless of a limp-wristed Twitter apology which he issued yesterday. Others are talking about how WWE won’t punish Orton because he’s one of the company’s draws, but if the roles were reversed, then Kelly would have been de-pushed. The thing is, a lot of what has been said is the equivalent of shaking your fist at the sky. If you really don’t like the Boys’ Club nature of WWE, you, the viewer, do have an option – stop consuming WWE.
Buying a ticket to go to a SmackDown show to boo at Orton for what he said is counterproductive. He doesn’t care that you’re booing him for a couple of reasons – most notably, your voice is going to be drowned out by the cheers of people who have heard nothing about this episode, or don’t care about it; and you’ve already paid to get in, so you’ve put more money in his pocket. Likewise, watching the show on TV and shouting obscenities at the screen or taking to the internet and bitching about him won’t make any difference, other than winding yourself up. WWE is a business, and consequently, you have to attack them in a language that they will understand – dollars and cents. (more…)
In the world of professional wrestling, especially in WWE and Impact Wrestling/TNA, you see women as ring announcers, managers, valets, or wrestlers. In the wrestling category, there are women with a wide variety of experience. You have women who were signed from independent promotions to women who were selected out of a catalogue. You have women who can perform a superb double-arm suplex to women who can barely manage a clothesline. There is, however, one consistent factor in the women you see in the two companies.
Almost all of them, in some way or another, have altered their body and/or appearance.
Now, a disclaimer before I go on. I have nothing against plastic surgery. That’s a personal choice and I don’t judge anyone (male or female) for doing it, if it’s their own choice. However, I have a big problem with the presumption that if a woman wants to succeed in a particular profession, she must change herself. This isn’t restricted to the realm of professional wrestling, but that’s the area I’m going to focus on. Further, as their policies on hiring women are not as well known (apart from Sara Del Rey being encouraged to look more like a member of the Beautiful People), I will not be writing about Impact Wrestling in this column.
For years, it was rumored that to be signed or pushed in WWE, a woman had to get breast implants or change her appearance if it was found to be displeasing to those in charge. In a recent Women Of Wrestling Podcast, Malia Hosaka said that she was told more than once that if she was willing to get breast implants, she would be under contract and on TV every week. Personally, I found this incredibly disheartening. (more…)
LayCool’s partnership will end for good at Extreme Rules this Sunday, and thanks to some pretty horrendous dubbing, the stakes have been raised.
We found out earlier this week that Michelle McCool and Layla would physically settle their dispute at the pay-per-view in a no count-out, no-DQ match, with the original stipulation being that the loser would leave SmackDown – a pretty lame forfeit, as that means that the woman who’s defeated will essentially be promoted to Raw. However, this week’s episode of SmackDown has another squabble between the former best friends where they lay out the match for Extreme Rules, and when McCool was to say “Loser leaves SmackDown”, they cut to a shot of Layla and a really awful piece of audio overlay changes “SmackDown” to “WWE”. Click after the jump to find out the possible reason behind the change – and how it poses a massive problem for the Divas on the blue brand. (more…)
It’s a little sooner than we had expected, but it’s WWE Draft time again – pretty much the only time of the year when the fact that there is separate rosters matters. After all, most of the time, wrestlers are on either show, and it makes a mockery of the whole practice.
But, for the benefit of Monday night, let’s accept that both rosters do their own thing and their paths do not cross, and we will try and do our best to guess what is going to happen (or successfully predict, if the change in Beth Phoenix’s roster affiliation in the address bar on her profile page is anything to go by).
Still, Stew, Jennifer and Lee have picked two Divas who they hope will make the jump – not necessarily predictions, but more reasons why someone deserves a move from the Raw to SmackDown, or vice versa.
Now, bear in mind – none of these choices have been discussed amongst each other. The selections you read below are completely independent, and haven’t been influenced by anybody else’s wants or guesses in any way. So with that said, let’s get to it… (more…)
Ever since the next set of SHIMMER Women Athletes tapings were announced in November 2010, I had been anxiously awaiting March to get here. The first SHIMMER show I attended in person had been in September 2010. It met every expectation I had had – and then some. So needless to say, I couldn’t wait for the next tapings. However, there were a couple of extra reasons I was looking forward to Volumes 37 – 40, aside from the usual fantastic wrestling and hanging out with friends.
First, these would be MsChif’s return to SHIMMER after suffering a shoulder injury back in September. Granted, I had seen her for the first time in person when Ring of Honor came to Louisville in December, when she wrestled Daizee Haze for her first match back after her injury. But there is a difference between seeing someone wrestle in ROH and someone wrestle in SHIMMER. I wanted to see MsChif on her home turf, and I had hopes that she would wrestle Madison Eagles in a rematch for the SHIMMER Championship.
Secondly, I had high hopes that LuFisto, one of my favourite wrestlers, would make her return to SHIMMER in March. Her early hardcore wrestling style had caught my attention, but as I watched her transition to SHIMMER, her in-ring prowess as well as her adorable outfits and mannerisms made me a fan. I sincerely wanted to see her in person for the first time but it wasn’t a given that she would be able to make it.
Third, with all the hype and the buzz about Saraya and Britani Knight, I wanted to see what they could do, what they would be like in the US. It’s one thing to see their matches online and on the Pro-Wrestling EVE DVDs, quite another to witness them live. After listening to the utterly enthralling interview done by the Ringbelles team (still available for download on the site – it’s a must-hear!), I was even more intrigued by Saraya. Could one woman who had been through so much physically and emotionally still have enough in her to live up to the demanding expectations of the SHIMMER crowd? Was Britani truly a “wrestling prodigy” as she had been described?
Fourth, the first match announced for Saturday’s taping was Ayumi Kurihara vs. Ayako Hamada. Two words: dream match. Fans of both women literally salivated at the potential of this match. The only question was, would it live up to expectations? (more…)
NOTE: This is a commentary. The views expressed may or may not reflect those held by Ringbelles Admin.
With the upcoming returns of both Tough Enough next month and the Diva Search later this year, it leaves this writer wondering: if the pattern from previous contests holds true (in that, no matter who won either show, some of the runners-up made it into the WWE), will we see an influx of new female talent? If so, could some of the current Divas on the roster be in jeopardy of losing their jobs? Most likely and off the top of my head, four names came to mind. Mind you, this is all speculation, but there are some women whose jobs are secure for the most part and some are very much expendable. The following list is in no particular order. (more…)