After winning the WWE Divas Championship from AJ Lee in her debut match on April 7, we now know who Paige‘s first challenger for her newly-won title will be. It’s AJ’s bodyguard Tamina Snuka, who earned the number one contender status by winning a battle royal on last night’s episode of Main Event, and the pair will face each other at the Extreme Rules special event (WWE has done away with the term pay-per-view since the launch of the Network) on May 4.
Tamina was dominant in the match, eliminating Nikki Bella, Naomi, Cameron, Alicia Fox, Brie Bella and Natalya to get the victory – the last of whom was sent packing with a big superkick. Conspicuous by her absence was former titleholder AJ Lee, who PWInsider reports is taking some time off from the promotion and there is no word on how long she will be gone. In fairness, it’s fine that she keeps out of the way for now as it means that some other faces can step to the forefront in the Divas division, and it should be a lot stronger when she resurfaces.
The fact that AJ’s bodyguard is getting the first title shot is interesting, as it could create a tense situation if Snuka is holding the belt when the former champion returns. The match also gives Tamina the chance to step out of being AJ’s hired help and puts her firmly in the spotlight instead – though there are variables to consider. (more…)
After winning a 4-way match on last week’s Impact Wrestling, it has been announced that Angelina Love will challenge Madison Rayne for the TNA Knockouts Championship on the Sacrifice PPV on April 27.
The pair have been on a collision course since Love’s return to the promotion on the March 13 episode of Impact following a year and a half on the indies. She started with trying to reform the Beautiful People with an originally-retiscent Velvet Sky, though she agreed to it the following week. Rayne was invited into the fold to complete the Mi Pi Sexy triumvirate, but it was done in a condescending way, which caused Madison to decline the offer – something which Love didn’t take very well as she attacked the Knockouts Champion later in the episode. (more…)
I have experienced the buzz you feel after a SHIMMER weekend on a number of occasions, though recently I have been following the enthusiasm from fans in a more remote sense. While the festivities were ongoing in Berwyn, IL on Saturday and Sunday, I was at home in the UK keeping up with results and reaction, and for the most part, everyone was buzzing so much that Chicago could have experienced a very unlikely earthquake.
With volume 63 being called one of the best shows in the promotion’s history and the Tag Team Championship match on the following volume being described as one of the greatest in the company’s seven and a half years. So many wrestlers – be they new faces or long-running stars – impressed and improved their standing that it’s tough to start.
Stew was there to watch the shows and is writing up thoughts for each taping – he’s still got two to do but is in the process of flying home and has been struck down with the dreaded SHIMvirus so we may have to wait a little longer for reactions to volumes 65 and 66 (though you can see the results and thoughts for 63-64 here), but he sent through some overall thoughts on who did well: (more…)
Following her two successful title defences over the weekend against Jazz and Mercedes Martinez, Ivelisse Velez faces a new challenge as part of the SHINE 18 card which was revealed earlier today. Coming for her title is Britain’s Saraya Knight, whose last appearance in the promotion was last October when she defeated Jessicka Havok in a Last Woman Standing Match as part of SHINE 14. In fact, Knight has yet to be pinned or made to give up in SHINE, having also beaten Jazz at SHINE 4 and Su Yung at SHINE 9 – with her only defeat being a DQ loss to Havok at SHINE 11.
Speaking of Havok, she will attempt to put her feud with former friend Allysin Kay to rest on a week on Friday in Ybor City, FL. After costing Kay and Taylor Made the Tag Team Championship at SHINE 17 in February, it seems as if these hostilities need to be concluded. After all, the pair went to a double DQ at SHINE 15, and a no-contest the following month in a No DQ affair. After two inconclusive results, the pair will collide in an Ybor City Street Fight to determine the better woman. (more…)
Lots of stuff to cover in this Roundup, and we start with the goings-on in WWE over the last few days…
AJ Lee survived the odds put against her by Vickie Guerrero to retain the Divas Championship at WrestleMania XXX. By tapping out Naomi, she defeated her 13 challengers for the title in a match which played to the strengths of its more skilled participants and managed to generate a slight buzz – which was a herculean effort considering the wave of depression in the Superdome in New Orleans, LA because of Brock Lesnar beating the Undertaker in the previous contest – and also stuck it to Guerrero for putting her in such a disadvantageous position and for emerging victorious. Standing on the middle rope, AJ soaked in the victory, which was her most high profile in her Divas Championship reign…
And her last. (more…)
We’ve learned not to bet against AJ Lee here at Ringbelles. We’ve predicted title changes a number of times in the last year, and every time she’s managed to keep her title – even last night with 13 simultaneous challengers at WrestleMania – but tonight at Monday Night Raw, AJ Lee’s 295 day reign as WWE Divas Championship came to an end with the debut of the NXT Women’s Champion Paige, and a poorly thought out impromptu challenge match, which ended with a Paige Turner and the creation of a brand new star in the Divas Division.
Following AJ’s post WrestleMania victory promo where she berated the entire Divas division for their inability to beat her, Paige came out, in full gear and with her NXT “Stars in the Night” theme. The internationally skewed audience at Raw reacted to her like a star, chanting her name. It seemed, according to Paige, that she simply wanted to come out and congratulate Lee – which for some reason only managed to irritate the champion, who challenged Paige to a match right there and then, so she could beat her like she’d beaten everybody else. Paige explained that she wasn’t ready yet, but a slap from the champion resulted in a change of mind. In the relatively short match that followed, AJ managed to hook in the Black Widow, but Paige eventually reversed her way out of the move and hit her Paige Turner for the win.
In what is a huge disappointment at Ringbelles HQ, Barbi Hayden has announced that she won’t be part of SHIMMER 62 tomorrow in New Orleans, LA. In a statement on her Facebook page, the NWA World Women’s Champion says:
I would like to publicly apologize to everyone. I will not be in New Orleans this weekend as scheduled against Angelina Love at Mid South, or at SHIMMER. I can’t explain enough how sick to my stomach I am right now about this, I am truly sorry. I let down a lot of people; fans, promoters, my opponents and myself.
The reason for her not being at SHIMMER – or the Mid-South Legends Fanfest this evening where she was meant to defend the NWA strap against Angelina Love – is bizarre. (more…)
She has been a freelancer for less than a week, but details on what Hikaru Shida will be up to are already creeping out. One of the revelations came earlier today as 4 Front Wrestling announced the the former Ice Ribbon ICEx60 (now ICEx∞) and International Ribbon Tag Team Champion will be returning to the UK in October, close to three years to the day that she made her debut in the country as part of the well-received Pro Wrestling: EVE v Ice Ribbon events in Nottingham, England.
In the official statement, the promotion says:
Women’s wrestling returns to 4FW with a vengeance this October, Hikaru Shida makes her debut for 4FW all the way from Japan to put womens wrestling in 4FW on the map. If you have not seen this phenomenal young talent, check her out on YouTube. Keep an eye out for more announcements as the women’s division looks to take off with a bang. (more…)
Getting injured seems to have had ultra-positive effects on Athena.
It’s not like the Wrestling Goddess was doing badly for herself when she went down with damage to her shoulder last August. She was a day away from challenging for the Women Superstars Uncensored Championship and was a mainstay in SHIMMER, as well as getting into Absolute Intense Wrestling. Things were going well for her – and while getting hurt could have been a huge setback that sent her skidding off the tracks, she has used the time away to her advantage.
Employing a look inspired by Game of Thrones, the 25-year old revamped her image with new gear, altered her character and has worked on her promos, employing the catchphrase of making “art out of war” and doing away with calling her opponents “hussies”. In addition, while the time off to let her shoulder heal may have been a frustrating wait, it has also allowed her body to recover from the constant grind of being on the road and wrestling on a regular basis. It’s likely that when she returned to action at the start of this year, she had no niggling aches and pains, which seems to have given her a new lease of life.
That renewed vigour was evident at WSU’s Mutiny show where she and LuFisto put together an early contender for Match of the Year which saw the Texan defeated – but gaining a lot of new plaudits along the way. That buzz followed her to AIW’s Girls Night Out tapings last weekend where she was such an integral part of the double show that promoter John Thorne skipped out of his own show to go and pick her up from the airport in Cleveland, OH after her flight was affected by inclement weather. The show experienced a long intermission to allow Athena to get to the building and wrestle Mia Yim in their scheduled match – which against received a wealth of thumbs-up reviews. (more…)
In Video: Ray & Leon set to return to SHIMMER in Berwyn; Revisit their match with Kurihara & Hamada!
Not an April Fool’s Joke! Not a dream! Not an imaginary story! Masked duo Ray and Leon are due to make their returns to the United States in less than a fortnight as they join the roster for SHIMMER Women Athletes Vols 63-66 in Berwyn, IL on the weekend of April 12-13. While all eyes are on New Orleans this weekend for SHIMMER Vol 62 (available on iPPV as part of the WWNLive Experience) and the big Cheerleader Melissa vs LuFisto 2/3 Falls SHIMMER Championship match, the announcement of the high-flying joshi duo adds a real sense of excitement for the following weekend’s festivities. Although they have only graced one set of SHIMMER tapings in the past (Vols 45-48 in March 2012), their influence that weekend was great – competing in both singles and (memorably) as a tag team. In tag team competition, they defeated the team of Mia Yim & Davina Rose (now Bayley in NXT) at Vol 46 before getting a SHIMMER Tag Team Title shot on Vol 47 against the then incumbent champions of Ayako Hamada & Ayumi Kurihara. The match was incredible – and the SHIMMER Office have seen fit to release the full video of the match as a taster of the sort of action you can expect to see in Berwyn. Click through after the jump for the video… you *won’t* regret it, and if you can possibly get to suburban Chicago by next weekend, get your tickets here! (more…)
It’s about seven weeks until Australia’s New Horizons Pro Wrestling holds its Global Conflict tournament in Perth, and we now know the opening round matches which will take place, albeit with one competitor still to be announced for the show on the weekend of May 23-24.
The mouth-watering prospect of the quarter finals in this 8-woman tournament sees Kellie Skater face Evie. The pair have clashed in Pro Wrestling Australia action in the past – once in the semi-final of the PWWA Interim Title tournament and again later that year when the pair went to a 30 minute draw. Considering the extra international experience the pair will have acquired from trips to Japan and North America, this one can’t fail to be good.
Speaking of international action, two veterans from the northern hemisphere will be taking on younger talent as part of the quarters. America’s Mercedes Martinez will go against promising 17-year old Demi Bennett, while Briton and IndyGurlz Australia Champion Saraya Knight will take on Nikita Naridian.
The final match in the bracket sees Madison Eagles take on an as-yet unnamed opponent, who is reportedly being kept as a “surprise”, so we may be left on edge until showtime to see who Eagles will be facing.
In what turned out to be a vicious and bloody streetfight, Norway’s Miss Mina captured the Nordic Women’s Wrestling Alliance Championship last night, defeating Finland’s Aurora Flame in a match which was meant to take place earlier this month.
Mina was due a shot at the title after winning the Svensk Wrestling Syd Queen of the Ring tournament in Malmo, Sweden on March 8, having defeated White Tigress, Lady Lory & Jessica Love in the final four way elimination match to get the opportunity. However, an injury to her ankle meant that she was unable to challenge for the belt – instead, Love got the shot and was defeated by Flame. After the contest, Mina threw out a challenge for the title, which would take place on Norwegian Wrestling Federation‘s Ragnarök show, and would be the first female streetfight to take place in Norway.
Mina and Flame did not disappoint, as the pair battered each other with weapons including chairs and chains to earn the victory. In the end, it was the hometown challenger who won the bloody brawl to earn her first NWWA Championship and put an end to Aurora’s second reign with the belt – and if you’re sceptical of what we mean by bloody, click the jump to see what the outgoing titleholder looked like after the match… (more…)
In a disappointing development, Shanna has been forced to withdraw from tomorrow’s Absolute Intense Wrestling Girls Night Out 11 & 12 tapings in Cleveland, OH.
In a statement on her Facebook page, Portugal’s Perfect Athlete announced:
Dear fans, due to personal reasons I will not be able to take part on Absolute Intense Wrestling’s GNO shows. My sincere apologies for this, you know I’d never ever cancel a show, I live to perform for you perfect peeps out there!
I encourage you to attend this show, there will be lots of amazing talent performing as well as some new faces totally worth the travel! (more…)
At last November’s Survivor Series, we watched a pretty rotten 7 on 7 Divas elimination match. Not content with its badness, it was then repeated on Raw the following night. Having not learned that more does not necessarily mean better, WWE has booked a 14 woman match for WrestleMania XXX on April 6.
It came about on last night’s Raw after Divas Champion AJ Lee deliberately got herself counted out in her title defence against Naomi. Irritated, SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero decided to punish AJ by booking her in a title defence at WrestleMania with 13 challengers. That means that going for the title in New Orleans, LA will be Naomi, Cameron, Brie Bella, Nikki Bella, Natalya, Eva Marie, Emma, Aksana, Alicia Fox, Summer Rae, Rosa Mendes, Layla and Tamina Snuka.
How happy a Diva would be in being in this match depends on the Diva to whom you are referring. Should you ask Eva Marie, Cameron, Emma, Aksana, Alicia, Summer, Emma, Layla, Tamina or Rosa, I would imagine you would get a happy response – especially Rosa and Layla, who have barely been seen in recent months. Under normal circumstances, there would be little to no chance of them being involved in a title match at WrestleMania. Because of this booking, they can say they challenged for the belt at a WM and will receive a big pay-per-view payoff in the process. However the opposite feeling may be forthcoming from the rest – who could have held a claim for at one time being in the frame for a singles challenge on the show. (more…)
Canada’s Sarah Stock received a tryout with WWE in December last year, according to Primera Cuerda.
Probably best known as Sarita during her time in TNA, she won the Knockouts Tag Team Championship on two occasions, though has spent most of her time wrestling for CMLL as Dark Angel, and has also competed under that name in Japan in recent years, winning the Wonder of Stardom title last year. In addition, she wrestled for SHIMMER between 2007-10 under the name of “Dark Angel” Sarah Stock. Clearly, she was worked everywhere and has a world of experience – which is why it is reported that she received very positive feedback.
There are also many benefits for WWE to hire her. With the ability to speak English, Spanish and French fluently, she is very marketable in foreign countries – especially Mexico, where WWE is always looking to establish more market share, so having a woman who Mexico knows very well already and can work the media rounds in the country could be a real boon. In addition, her extensive experience and lucha libre wrestling style will help to separate her from other women in the promotion, and that’s something the company is supposedly after, as it was highlighted in Sara Del Rey‘s interview with WWE.com earlier this month. (more…)
Although the match was originally announced last weekend after Ivelisse successfully defended her SHINE Championship against Leva Bates at FIP‘s ‘Everything Burns’ iPPV, SHINE Wrestling has this week been formalising their participation in WWNLive.com‘s ‘A Wrestling Odyssey’ show on April 4th in the form of Ivelisse’s next SHINE Championship defence. Her opponent – making her return to SHINE Wrestling, and absolutely no stranger to the Louisiana independent wrestling scene – former WWE Women’s Champion, Jazz.
In a video posted to YouTube today, SHINE Wrestling’s VP of Talent Relations Lexie Fyfe explained the rationale for awarding a Championship match to someone who has been out of the promotion ever since SHINE 9 – and quite frankly, it makes a lot of sense… not least the fact that Jazz holds a win over Ivelisse in SHINE competition (at the aforementioned SHINE 9 show – which was supposed to garner Jazz a spot in the SHINE Title Tournament at SHINE 11 – a spot that she relinquished due to injury). As a result of Jazz’s injuries, Ivelisse ended up with a second chance spot in the tournament, and although she didn’t win, that was the show (and the performances) which set the wheels in motion for Ivelisse to eventually challenge – and beat – the first champion Rain. (more…)
“Lei’D Tapa lost – she done with TNA.”
And with that, the woman who won the Gut Check a year ago was written out of the company. She lost clean to Gail Kim on last night’s Impact Wrestling after the pair came to blows following Kim’s loss to Brittany on last week’s episode. The 31-year old took to Twitter afterwards, saying: “When 1 door closes another door opens! Thank you @IMPACTWRESTLING for giving me the opportunity! To my fans I luv u all!! #BowDown” (more…)
SHIMMER Women Athletes returns to action on Saturday, April 5th – the eve of WrestleMania XXX – as part of the WWNLive Experience at the McAlister Auditorium at Tulane University, St Charles Ave, New Orleans – and the marquee matchup for Volume 62 has been announced. As seemed very likely coming out of the events of SHIMMER Vol 61 in October (and Femmes Fatales XIII the following weekend), SHIMMER Champion Cheerleader Melissa and the Super Hardcore Anime LuFisto are on a collision course. They will meet in the main event in New Orleans, with the SHIMMER Championship on the line, and with the stipulation that the match be decided as the best two out of three falls, and will be contested under a NINETY minute time limit! (buy your tickets now)
If you remember, coming out of last Fight Season, LuFisto turned out to be the right woman in the right place at the right time. With various talents unable to make the tapings either through injury or travel disruption, and with the opportunity presenting itself, Quebec’s wrestling queen grabbed it with both hands – and with a SHIMMER Championship match against Cheerleader Melissa on Volume 60, managed to ignite a literal blood feud. The two had only wrestled once before in SHIMMER competition (Vol 20, which was later picked as SHIMMER’s Match of the Year for 2008), but with LuFisto additionally defending the honour of recently retired Allison Danger, (who had been assaulted by Melissa on Vol 58), the Melissa vs LuFisto title match on Volume 60 took on even more importance, and was the match that we at Ringbelles at the time, hailed as the best main event of the entire October tapings set. A stray elbow from LuFisto sliced up Melissa’s forehead, causing her to bleed heavily during the match, and after narrowly retaining the title with an Air Raid Crash, caused Melissa to go to the Emergency Room and miss competing in Vol 61 that evening (the first SHIMMER Volume she’s ever missed). Melissa did turn up back at the building for the end of Vol 61, laying out LuFisto with a belt shot to the head and ominously standing over her to close out the Volume. (more…)
“Candice Michelle went to PWG in 2008 & raved about me to John Laurinaitis. When I saw him, he said ‘What does a Diva know about wrestling?’”
This is a tweet from Joey Ryan which he posted back in January – one of many which he wrote in reference to his tryout with WWE, where he asserts that was told that he was too old and too experienced to be in developmental.
Despite his wrestling persona being someone who is quite misogynistic and employs moves like the Boobplex, it is clear that he would not be allowed to do moves like this unless the recipients were comfortable with him – in fact, because of the amount of inter gender wrestling that he does, you could argue that he’s a huge advocate for women’s wrestling. With these tweets, one would imagine that Ryan is not thinking about trying out again, but it’s difficult to see if he has an axe to grind. If he does, it calls into question the validity of the claim – but if it is real, what does this say about WWE’s former Senior Vice President of Talent Relations?
Laurinaitis – who resigned from the post in July 2012 but still works within WWE – has form with not taking the Divas division very seriously. In 2006, he suddenly hired two models who he spotted in a catalogue – 20-year old Victoria Crawford and 19-year old Barbie Blank, who became known as Alicia Fox and Kelly Kelly respectively. It doesn’t show that much respect for women who toil for years to become good wrestlers to see two women hired just by how they pose in swimwear. While WWE still does hire women with no wrestling background, they do seem to go for people who have athletic ability. Summer Rae for example, used to be part of the Lingerie Football League, while new signing Shara used to be a competitive arm wrestler. (more…)
Angelina Love made her return to TNA yesterday after more than 18 months away. She was announced as being part of the Impact Wrestling show an hour before the broadcast began via the company’s Facebook page, and then her first appearance on the broadcast was in a backstage segment with Jeremy Borash.
Later on in the show, Love took to the ring as a babyface – having shaken off being under the spell of Winter – and invited Velvet Sky down to suggest a reunion of the Beautiful People, which was the group which turned them into one of the most marketable acts in TNA in 2008. While Velvet was open to the idea, she didn’t fully commit to the proposal and asked for more time to think about things.
Love was released from TNA in July 2012 and made a return to the independent circuit, originally wrestling for the higher-budget indie groups like Northeast Wrestling and Family Wrestling Entertainment before making a trip across the Atlantic to wrestle for a number of promotions, with the most high-profile being Pro Wrestling: EVE, as she and Erin Angel defeated Sara-Marie Taylor & Carmel Jacob at Wrestle Fever. At the time, we questioned Angelina about whether a return to TNA was likely – though she insisted that she was happy managing her own bookings and being her own boss. (more…)
Despite SHINE announcing back in January that Santana Garrett had signed with TNA, there was always going to be a wait until we would see her on TV as the company had recorded episodes of Impact Wrestling up to the Lockdown pay-per-view. However that show is now in the record books and TNA has now introduced us to its latest Knockout, complete with a new name.
Out goes Santana Garrett, and in comes Brittany, complete with an introduction interview on the TNA website, where she talked about why she is a great fit for the Knockouts division:
The Knockouts Division is the absolute best women’s wrestling division in the world, and that’s what I strive for. It’s not about just their beauty but how well they fight. I’ve put in the time and effort whether in the gym or training in the ring, and I am determined to be the best. I truly believe this is my time to prove it to the world that this is exactly where I am supposed to be and this is exactly what I was meant to do! (more…)
It was a big deal for WWE to sign Sara Del Rey to become a trainer for the women in its developmental system. As is the case with the Queen of Wrestling, her departure from the indies was relatively low-key, but her impact on the Divas division has been very apparent – and that’s now been acknowledged in an article featured on WWE.com.
Around the time of her signing, CM Punk sang her praises, and Daniel Bryan, Cesaro and SHIMMER promoter Dave Prazak have also joined in with the support. For example, Del Rey’s former trainer Bryan talked about his protégé’s training – and you can see in her very early days in a Retro we posted last week:
“The person who was giving [backdrops] to her collapsed underneath her, and when she landed, she separated her shoulder,” Bryan said. “She rolled out of the ring, popped her shoulder back in and rolled into the ring.”
Another collapsed backdrop, another separated shoulder. Amato again rolled out of the ring, popped her shoulder back in place, and wanted to continue. Although Bryan admired her tenacity, he couldn’t let her go on. “At that point, we had to say stop,” he said. (more…)
If the plan is still for AJ Lee to defend the Divas Championship against Naomi at WrestleMania XXX, then WWE is certainly going round the houses to do it – that’s if they’re even planning to do it.
Before her injury to her eye socket occurred, it was reported that the plan was for Naomi to be the one to end AJ’s mammoth title reign (which is now the longest run in WWE history be it for singular or combined reigns) though it was said that the plan would still be on for WrestleMania on April 6 if the Funkadactyl could be cleared in time. It was partly because of that possibility that AJ had a title defence against Cameron at Elimination Chamber and again on the subsequent SmackDown. However things have gone in another direction in the last week as there now seems to be a queue of pretenders to the throne.
Natalya made AJ tap out in a tag match on SmackDown on Friday and is to get a Divas Title shot on tonight’s live edition of Main Event. Meanwhile on last night Raw, Nikki Bella got the pin on the titleholder as part of another tag team match, after which she held up the Divas belt while Natalya – who was on commentary – looked on. It seems as if there is a bottleneck of challengers, though it’s also up in the air as to who the champion may be by the time we get to WrestleMania. (more…)
Looks like Nikki Storm won’t be the only Scot appearing at Absolute Intense Wrestling‘s Girls Night Out 11 & 12 tapings in Cleveland, OH on March 29. Also making the trip over the Atlantic is the reigning Insane Championship Wrestling Fierce Females Champion Kay Lee Ray, and she will be taking on former AIW Women’s titleholder Mickie Knuckles.
While the matchup may seem to be a contest between a tough bruiser and a high-flier, they have an overlapping section which is a strong hardcore element. While Knuckles’ engaged in a weapons-filled war with Saraya Knight at Women Superstars Uncensored‘s Blood and Thunder show last year, KLR has also gone over the top – literally – with matches like the one against Viper at Fierce Females’ Luke… Who’s Yer Da? show last May where she dived from the building’s balcony. With an environment like AIW which is fine with crazy brawls, this could be a show-stealer. (more…)