Ringbelles Roundup (4 March 2014) – The rises of Paige, Liberty & Penelope

PaigeThese Brits seem to be doing pretty well for themselves. In WWE, Paige is still NXT Women’s Champion after defeating Emma on the first live show in the feeder system’s history. Broadcast on the WWE Network, social media was buzzing after the match with praise for both women – though it was the 21 year old from Norwich who had the focus as the winner.

As a showcase for the up and coming women in Florida, it was a great piece of work which dispelled the recurring criticism that Divas can’t wrestle. Given the chance to go out there with no gimmicks or distractions as well as enough time to tell a story, the pair proved that women do have a place in a wrestling ring in the top company in the world. That sentiment was shared by trainer Sara Del Rey, who said “Congratulations @RealPaigeWWE and @EmmaWWE you both are paving the way!!!”, and Stephanie McMahon sang their praises in a post-show interview. Indeed, there were many plaudits singing their praises.

As well as having the confidence to let Paige and Emma go out there and do their thing, they also put the marketing machine behind its Women’s Champion by releasing a t-shirt for her. Considering how little merchandise WWE had for its women up until last year and how she isn’t even on the main roster yet, it’s a real sign that the company is high on the former Britani Knight. (more…)

SHIMMER Tag Titles on the line at Joshi 4 Hope V

Joshi4Hope VThe fifth instalment of the Joshi 4 Hope series (and the first since October 2012) takes place on Sunday, March 9 and we now know the card.

For the second time in its history, there will be a SHIMMER Tag Team Championship match on the show. Ayako Hamada & Ayumi Kurihara defended the title against former champions 3S (Hiroyo Matsumoto & Misaki Ohata) at Joshi 4 Hope III in February 2012, and this time around – this time, the Global Green Gangsters (Kellie Skater & Tomoka Nakagawa) put the championship on the line against the tandem of Evie & Madison Eagles.

Former SHIMMER Champion Eagles is no stranger to Joshi 4 Hope, having competed on the first card in November 2010, going to a time limit draw with Yoshiko Tamura. Evie is currently on an extended trip to the country, wrestling for Diana against the likes of Kyoko Inoue and Mima Shimoda – so she had got her eye in with the joshi style. Meanwhile despite being in the country since the end of last year, this is the first time that Skater will team with her 3G compatriot since their successful title defence against Ivelisse Velez and Allysin Kay at SHINE 14 in October.

The match will headline the event at Shin-Kiba 1st RING in Tokyo, Japan – though it is a stacked card featuring wrestlers from Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the United States. (more…)

Allysin Kay or Leah Von Dutch: who is the real AIW Women’s Champion?

AIW Allysin Kay Leah Von DutchAn argument has been brewing over who is the real Absolute Intense Wrestling Women’s Champion.

If possession is nine tenths of the law then the titleholder is Leah Von Dutch, who claimed the belt at TGIF earlier this month. As we reported at the time, Von Dutch demanded an immediate championship match from Allysin Kay and got the win following interference from her manager – and referee for the night – The Duke. However, the question is whether Von Dutch had the right to demand an impromptu match or if The Duke had the authority to sanction the contest.

Kay certainly made a lot of noise about the situation to Chest Flexor so a conclusion has been reached to determine who should rightfully hold the title, and it will take place on March 29 at the Girls Night Out 11 & 12 tapings. (more…)

Ringbelles Roundup (25 February 2014) – Paige v Emma, Xandra Bale injured again & Bellatrix 8

Paige Emma NXTThe first live show of the WWE Network takes place on Thursday with the first live broadcast of NXT. Dubbed ArRIVAL, it features three matches – one of which sees Paige defend the NXT Women’s Championship against number one contender Emma, in a match which has been a long time coming.

The cheerful Australian earned her crack at the title back in August and then had to defend her right to challenge for the belt by beating Natalya at the start of this year. While carrying on her #EMMAlution in Florida, she also graduated to the main WWE roster by originally appearing in the crowd – antagonising fellow NXT alumni Summer Rae in the process – before taking part in dance-offs and making her in-ring TV debut last night on Raw, defeating Summer with the Emma Lock. While fans who haven’t seen her NXT character evolve are getting used to the newcomer with the awkward dance moves, it seems as if things are going in the right direction.

It could be argued that the NXT Women’s Champion has been ready to make a similar jump for a while. As the sole titleholder – winning the title tournament last June, but the show being broadcast the following month – she has turned back the challenges of Summer Rae and Natalya, though hasn’t wrestled on a show since the end of November. Injury was cited as the reason, though the Wrestling Observer said the layoff was for personal reasons. Thursday’s match will be her first match in more than three months, and in that time, her opponent – and the woman she beat in the tournament final to win the belt in the first place – has caught up with her success. (more…)

Xandra Bale returns to the ring today

Smash Wrestling Xandra Bale Vanessa Kraven Mickie JamesIt has been 134 days since Xandra Bale wrestled her last match where she, Jewells Malone & Santana Garrett fell to Barbi Hayden, Jessie Kaye & Jody D’Milo in the second match of Women Superstars Uncensored‘s Blood and Thunder show. The reason is due to an injury that the high-flying Ontarian suffered during the contest.

Bale broke her fibula during a dive from the top rope, which was expected to keep her in a cast for six weeks – and that is even before she could begin rehabilitation and getting back into ring shape. The injury meant that she was forced to miss out on a match against Cheerleader Melissa at NCW Femmes Fatales XIII, though her return will take place today at Smash Wrestling‘s Danger Zone show in Etobicoke. However in a weird coincidence, her match has been changed due to injury issues… (more…)

Ringbelles Roundup (18 February 2014) – Eva Marie, SHINE Tag Team Title tournament brackets & more

Eva Marie WWEEva Marie is a stunning woman. With her great looks and amazing figure, she is a visual asset to WWE’s Divas division. Her presence is a striking one as she stands out from the pack with her pillarbox red hair, coupled with red lipstick framing a beautiful smile. Looks-wise, she is every inch the Diva, with the sort of figure that teenage boys would likely sketch in a schoolbook. Her appeal is also experiencing crossover value as she made such an impression on Total Divas that she graced the pages of Maxim Magazine last August. On paper, Eva Marie has everything it takes to be a star in the women’s division of World Wrestling Entertainment…

Until she steps foot in the ring, it seems.

The 29-year old made her debut at SummerSlam Axxess on August 18 where she and Brie Bella lost to Natalya and Maria Menounos (still undefeated, by the way), but her first TV contest wasn’t until October 7 when she, JoJo and Natalya defeated Aksana, Rosa Mendes & Alicia Fox. She has wrestled 12 matches in total, all of them in tag team contests or battle royals. However, the 13th and most recent contest technically doesn’t exist as even though it was recorded for last week’s episode of SmackDown, it was never broadcast – and probably never will be. (more…)

Naomi injury update – out for up to 6 weeks

NaomiThere is good news and bad news when it comes to the fractured eye socket that Naomi suffered at the hands (or more specifically, knee) of Aksana on the February 3 episode of Raw. Dr Chris Amann told that she will not require surgery for the injury, as “neither the nerve nor the eye muscles are trapped in the fracture itself”, but added that “the break that she has off the medial or inside wall of the orbital bone, [there is] communication between her sinus cavity and the back of the eye socket.” As a result, the 26-year old is not allowed to fly due to the pressure differences, and will not be able to return to the ring for around 4-6 weeks.

That is a big blow for the Funkadactyl, who was reported to be in line to win the WWE Divas Championship from AJ Lee, possibly at WrestleMania XXX – which was one of the options discussed in yesterday’s Bunch of Fives article – but it isn’t all bad news, and WWE isn’t said to be concerned about Naomi’s fortunes. (more…)

Ringbelles Roundup (11 February 2014) – Lita is Hall of Fame-bound, WSU Mutiny fallout & more

Lita WWE Hall of FameWhen I was 19 years old, I went to a friend’s house to watch SummerSlam 2000. We had known each other for about a year after meeting at university and discovering that we were both wrestling fans. I was in his house for about 10 minutes when his 15 year old sister came in, introduced herself and then hitched up her underwear over her hips and said that she was a Lita fan.

Apart from not knowing where to look, what to say or anything, I was surprised at how someone who had just met me was so keen to impart the fact that she was a fan of Lita. Granted, she knew that I was a wrestling fan, but that sort of stuff shouldn’t happen, should it? I put it down to how cool Lita was and left it at that, but when you look back on her influence during WWF Attitude, you could argue that she was the best representation of women that the company had ever presented up to that point.

Unlike her rival Trish Stratus, Lita wasn’t a barbie doll. She was rough and ready, looked a little messy and did not dress to impress – she dressed for comfort. Copying the Hardy Boyz look with the baggy pants, she coupled it with a tight sports top or t-shirt and got stuck in against the guys. She delivered flying ranas and bodypresses to the likes of Eddie Guerrero, Test, Albert, Edge and Christian, and was happy to take the lumps too. She was powerbombed by the Dudley Boyz, Guerrero and Test as well as getting speared by Edge. She was a game girl who settled things in a way that no woman before her had done so. As a consequence, she was amazingly cool and was arguably more or a role model for women than Trish was. Stratus was too perfect, like she was almost above it all, whereas Lita would hang out with you, drink with you, share a laugh and be your friend. She was the opposite of a Diva, and that made her stand out from the – admittedly smaller in that era – pack.

It is fitting that Amy “Lita” Dumas is going to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year. At 38, she is one of the youngest inductees, though she may have done more to draw women to WWE than any other female before or since. (more…)

Why did the PipeBombshell go nowhere?

AJ Lee WWERemember the infamous PipeBombshell promo from the August 26 episode of Raw last year? AJ Lee came out following Brie Bella’s win over Natalya to talk down the whole Total Divas cast, calling them “interchangeable” and “cheap”. The promo received a lot of buzz and at the time, it was thought that it would factor into the story for the season one extension of Total Divas. As it turned out, it came to nothing as it was never followed up and while Lee defended the Divas Championship against members of that cast until the end of the year – and beyond, considering Naomi is her next challenger – no real mention was made of the promo which started it all. Now, we may have the reason why…

AJ attended the Wizard World Comic Con in New Orleans, LA last Friday, and amongst talking about comic books and video games, the Divas Champion discussed why it was nixed. You can click here to listen to her response, but we’ve got it for you after the jump. (more…)

Leah Von Dutch wins AIW Absolute Women’s Championship at TGIF. You read that right.

Bf7e3PXCUAAud63.jpg-largeIf you’d seen the Girls Night Out 10 main event between AIW Absolute Women’s Champion Allysin Kay and challenger Veda Scott, you’d have been hotly anticipating the rematch – which happened last night at Absolute Intense Wrestling‘s TGIF show. How weird then that the news coming out of the event last night at Turner’s Hall in Cleveland, OH was that we had a new Absolute Women’s Champion… called Leah Von Dutch. Err… what?

A hat tip to our friends at PWPonderings for full results of the show (via @OhioReport on twitter), which now allow us to piece together exactly what happened with the women’s division just over a month away from the return of the Girls Night Out brand.

The first thing to point out is that the Allysin Kay vs Veda Scott match *did* take place, and perhaps surprisingly given the way her character was going, Scott didn’t win the title – losing once again via submission to the AK47, who was closing in on two straight years as Women’s Champion. It was after that, however, that the shenanigans started… (more…)

Divas ≠ Ratings

Naomi Cameron JoJo Eva Marie Brie Nikki Bella Natalya WWEThis week’s Wrestling Observer posted some interesting figures compiled by Chris Harrington, looking at TV ratings for WWE performers. By utilising the numbers over the last year, he has put together the top and bottom 20 for either drawing viewers or losing them. The top ratings grabber in 2013 was The Rock, gaining around 335,698 for every segment he was part of on WWE TV. At number 7 is Stephanie McMahon who attracts 242,841, while Vickie Guerrero is in 8th, pulling in 234,359.

Unfortunately, while the female authority figures seem to get attention, the same cannot be said for the actual Divas, as they take up the bulk of bottom ten… (more…)

Ringbelles Roundup (4 February 2014) – Shanna & Alpha Female in TNA last week, and in WSU this week

Shanna TNABoth Shanna and Alpha Female made their first appearances in a TNA ring during the recent UK tour, though they handled the publicity for it in different ways.

Portugal’s Perfect Athlete got the word out early that she would be booked on the February 1 show in London, England, as well as the following date in Birmingham. She wrestled singles matches for the Xplosion tapings – the first against Alpha and the next saw her take on Gail Kim. I was at the Birmingham taping, and while I won’t spoil the result, Shanna looked perfectly comfortable in that ring in what was a big opportunity for her to impress. She wasn’t just cannon fodder for the full-time Knockout either – she got in her fair share and even got to nail the Perfect Press.

Since announcing that she would be wrestling for TNA, Shanna has encouraged her fans to get the attention of the company to demonstrate her fanbase and how much she wants to be part of the promotion. She has retweeted many of the messages sent to TNA, and is showing her enthusiasm and overwhelming desire to sign a contract, while also increasing her brand and marketability. No doubt, she has a lot of people backing her, which is very encouraging. (more…)

Paige v Emma on live NXT on February 27

Emma Paige NXTIt has been a prospect for a while, and we have to wait a little longer before it happens, but it’s official – Emma will challenge Paige for the NXT Women’s Championship on the brand’s first live episode on February 27, airing on the WWE Network. The announcement was made during the February 19 taping which took place at Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL, yesterday.

The pair have history – the Briton became the first NXT Women’s Champion on the July 24 episode last year by beating her Australian opponent in the finals of the championship tournament after going through Tamina Snuka and Aksana to make it to the final. Emma earned another shot at the belt on the August 7 episode, but has had to wait for her shot, and also had to defend her right to challenge for the title by beating Natalya on the December 18 show.

Paige hasn’t wrestled on NXT since the December 18 episode where she beat Sasha Banks – though in reality, the 21-year old hasn’t wrestled since November 21, as that’s when the show was recorded. There were rumours of injury, though that was refuted by the Wrestling Observer, who said that she was given time off for personal reasons. (more…)

Alpha Female wrestles on TNA UK tour

Alpha FemaleAlpha Female seems to have plans for world domination in 2014. Currently one half of the Goddesses of Stardom in Japan with Kyoko Kimura, the monstrous German is currently on her travels, and touched down in the UK this week to wrestle for TNA.

It seems that the promotion has enlisted the help of some European female talent to go along with its Knockouts who have made the trip. While Gail Kim and Lei’D Tapa faced the reunited Beautiful People tandem of Madison Rayne and Velvet Sky on last night’s Impact Wrestling in Glasgow, Scotland, Alpha faced off against ODB for an Xplosion taping. She has also confirmed that she will wrestle in Manchester, England this evening, but has revealed to us that she will also be at the shows in London and Birmingham. Shanna is also working two of the UK dates – the London show tomorrow and in Birmingham on Sunday. (more…)

Reby Sky arrested over alleged fight with husband

Reby Sky Mugshot TMZImages have been released of mugshots of Reby Sky and her husband Matt Hardy following an alleged physical fight between the two in a hotel in Emporia, VA in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

TMZ reports that police were called to the Hampton Inn hotel in the city at around 5.45am on January 1, and uploaded the 911 call made by staff. The website says that both were arrested on suspicion of assault and battery, were released on $3,500 bail, and may have filed restraining orders against each other. 27-year old Sky – real name Rebecca Hardy – has scratches on her face and possibly a swollen lip, while her husband has more visible injuries.

While it has not been publicly acknowledged by either party, a look at the 27-year old’s Twitter indicates that something went awry. (more…)

Ringbelles Roundup (28 January 2014) – Ivelisse Velez strikes gold, Rain retires for real, Nevaeh & Leva Bates impress

Ivelisse Velez Slammin Ladies SHINEIt’s been some comeback by Ivelisse Velez from being released by WWE in August 2012. Refusing to be a statistic, she picked herself up and got back in the saddle. While she has experienced TV exposure with WWE by being in the most recent Tough Enough in 2011 and in TNA for its Gut Check (which she weirdly lost, even though she won her match against Le’D Tapa, who ended up getting the contract), leading to working the Knockouts Knockdown and World Cup PPV tapings, arguably her biggest achievement happened last Friday in Ybor City, Florida.

It’s funny – WWE’s rumoured reasoning for releasing Velez was that she had “attitude issues”. I would say that rather than “attitude”, she has self-confidence and determination, and they are major contributing factors as to why she holds the SHINE title. (more…)

Shanna to wrestle on TNA UK tour

36 Shanna Bellatrix 6While Santana Garrett will have to wait until after TNA returns from the UK to step into an Impact Wrestling ring, another wrestler will be wrestling against Knockouts on British shores. After discussing that she was in touch with TNA management during our most recent Women Of Wrestling Podcast earlier this month, Shanna has confirmed to Ringbelles that she will be a part of the TNA tour.

At the moment, it’s unconfirmed as to which shows she will be competing on or who she will compete against – Gail Kim, Velvet Sky, Madison Rayne and Lei’D Tapa are all booked, so the range of opponents is rather varied – but Portugal’s Perfect Athlete is excited. She exclusively told us that, “I’m both excited and overwelmed. I know I can make a difference in the TNA Knockouts division. Perfection is coming your way TNA fans!” (more…)

Santana Garrett signs with TNA

Santana Garrett Ricky HavlikAfter being on the radar of both WWE and TNA in the last year, it has been revealed that Santana Garrett will become a Knockout in the near future.

This will be the 25-year old’s second stint in the promotion. She made her debut in March 2009 alongside Orlando Jordan, though she did not get the opportunity to step into the ring. Her first match in TNA was at the Knockouts Knockdown PPV in March last year, where she was defeated by Brooke Tessmacher. She also caught TNA’s attention when she worked a dark match for Ohio Valley Wrestling last September.

Garrett has also had the opportunity to impress WWE, as she worked a match against Charlotte at the NXT tapings in September. It’s been pretty obvious that big things were in Santana’s future, and it seems that TNA got to her first. (more…)

Barbi Hayden wins the NWA World Women’s Championship

Barbi HaydenWhen we got the word that whoever won the third match between defending NWA World Women’s Champion Kacee Carlisle and Barbi Hayden would be given the new title belt – replacing the one which was far too large for a woman’s frame – we had a sneaky suspicion that it wouldn’t be the only history made at yesterday’s NWA Houston show in Cypress, TX.

The pair’s previous matches took place over a weekend last May, with Carlisle winning both matches. Kacee’s first victory over Barbi was on the 17th at NWA Houston when she won by DQ, and then she got the decisive victory over her challenger the following day at an NWA Branded Outlaw Wrestling show in San Antonio. Since then, Hayden has soldiered on, reaching the final of last year’s Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen of Queens and gaining the Anarchy Televised Championship earlier this month. She also created a great impression in her Women Superstars Uncensored debut weekend at the Uncensored Rumble VI iPPV and again at Blood and Thunder in October. With more experience under her belt, Barbi was in a better position to issue a third challenge against Kacee, and she certainly made the most of it. (more…)

Cheerleader Melissa honoured by Cauliflower Alley Club

Cheerleader Melissa Gilda PasquilCheerleader Melissa is receiving a second Cauliflower Alley Club award to go with the Future Legend title she collected in 2004. The SHIMMER Champion is being given the Women’s (Active) Award at the 49th annual reunion in Las Vegas, NV between June 2-4. The only other woman to receive the honour was Amazing Kong in 2011, as the CAC seemingly only seems to deliver awards to women who have retired from active competition.

It’s been a big year for the 31-year old. In the last 12 months, she has regained the SHIMMER Title at SHIMMER 53, defended the belt against Mercedes Martinez, Kalamity, Courtney Rush, Leva Bates, Hiroyo Matsumoto and LuFisto throughout the year, as well as turning heel in the promotion.

Elsewhere, Melissa took down Allysin Kay at NCW Femmes Fatales XI, went to a double DQ with Courtney Rush at Femmes Fatales XII, though lost in the main event tag team match at Femmes Fatales XIII, with her current rival LuFisto getting an edge on her. She also went went to a time limit draw with old enemy Saraya Knight at Bellatrix 7 before burying the hatchet with a post-match embrace.

Melissa’s efforts were recognised by Pro Wrestling Illustrated, who selected her to be number one spot in the PWI Female 50 last October. (more…)

Ringbelles Roundup (21 January 2014) – SHINE 16 this weekend, LCW Roses debut, news & more

SHINE ticketThis weekend is the real kick-off of the all-women promotions for 2014, and it begins with the promotion which closed out 2013.

Things were left somewhat up in the air at the end of SHINE 15 on December 13. Rain had just backed out of her impending retirement after retaining the SHINE Championship by beating Amazing Kong via count out. However, her gloating came to an abrupt end when she was informed that her next challenger would be fellow Valkyrie member Ivelisse Velez, who had beaten Mia Yim earlier in the night – that is, if Ivelisse decided to accept the opportunity. What followed was a series of videos where a number of people offered their thoughts to the would-be challenger. Starting proceedings was fellow stablemates Taylor Made and Allysin Kay who implored their friend to not accept the match, and was followed by Rain, who echoed those sentiments. Afterwards, SHINE VP Lexie Fyfe told Velez that she was picked because she was the most deserving, not because of some sort of plot to destroy Valkyrie from within. (more…)

Allison Danger undergoing surgery tomorrow for skin cancer

NOH8 DangerIt doesn’t bring us any joy to report this news, but with the blessing of the lady herself, we bring you news that SHIMMER co-founder Allison Danger will be undergoing surgery tomorrow for skin cancer and we ask that you all keep her in your thoughts tomorrow especially.

After undergoing a biopsy in late October after noticing an irregularity on her face, Danger got the bad news that the cancer – which has been identified as Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) – had spread and would require further surgery. We understand that BCC is the most common form of skin cancer, and that if you’re going to be unfortunate enough to contract any form of skin cancer, BCC is probably the best one to get due to its relative ease of treatment. It’s the same form of skin cancer which recently affected “The Wolverine” star Hugh Jackman, which resulted in him wearing a bandage on his nose for an extended period. Danger’s situation is more complicated, however, as the carcinoma has spread to an area around her right eye. Danger reports that at this time she has no idea just how much has to be cut away, but has been informed that the day surgery procedure is likely to last in the region of 3-5 hours. (more…)

WSU announces changes to Mutiny iPPV. Havok vs Alpha is GO!

Alpha IN for Mutiny Photo: Brett HadleyAfter a few days of teasing and polling the fanbase, Women Superstars Uncensored today announced a major overhaul of their Mutiny iPPV on February 8th in Voorhees, NJ, switching out their announced main event of Jessicka Havok vs Shanna for the WSU World Championship for a first time dream match of Havok vs Alpha Female. Shanna’s title shot has now been moved to the smaller ‘Secret Show’ that will take place the night before Mutiny. In their release announcing the card change, WSU management point out that “After Alpha Female was unexpectedly added to the “Mutiny” lineup, fans bombarded WSU Management with messages demanding this international dream match. We have gone out of our way to accommodate these requests.”

On Mutiny, Shanna will now team with Chris Dickinson to take on the team of Candice LaRae & Joey Ryan in a match that “will have major implications on May’s “Queen and King of the Ring” Mixed Tag Team Tournament.” Also announced yesterday was the addition of two top contenders for the WSU Title, LuFisto and Athena, in a title eliminator. Both LuFisto and Athena were promised title shots last year, but both missed out due to injury – and at the end of this match, only one will remain as the #1 Contender. (more…)

Madison Rayne wins the Knockouts Championship

Madison Rayne Gail Kim TNAIt was more of a renaissance than a Genesis for Madison Rayne on last night’s Impact Wrestling. After giving birth to her first child in August last year and returning to TNA on the December 12 episode, Rayne capped off her comeback by defeating Gail Kim to win the Knockouts Championship for a fifth time, tying the record shared by Angelina Love and Tara.

Rayne was forced to fight through adversity, as she was attacked by Kim and Lei’D Tapa before the match, so was selling her ribs during the contest – during which she was also attacked by Tapa, before getting the win with the Rayne Drop. You can see the match for yourself after the jump.

As previously highlighted by us, there have been problems surrounding the reason for Madison’s face turn and why there has been no explanation despite one right there, but TNA has done a successful job of turning around its former top heel into a babyface people are happy to get behind – though credit must also go to Kim for being the pain in the arse that people want to see knocked down a few pegs. (more…)