Ringbelles Retro: Wendi Richter in a steel cage

Wendi Richter Heidi Lee MorganAfter Wendi Richter was screwed out of the World Wrestling Federation Women’s Championship in November 1985, she went straight to the locker room, grabbed her bag and left without changing out of her gear. She caught a taxi from outside Madison Square Garden in New York City and disappeared into the night, and wasn’t seen on WWF/E TV until her induction in the Hall of Fame in 2010.

Richter didn’t disappear from wrestling though. She wrestled in Puerto Rico for the World Wrestling Council, competed in Japan and also enjoyed bookings in domestic promotions like the American Wrestling Association, and the National Wrestling Federation – which is from where this Retro emanates.

In this contest from June 20, 1987, Richter defends her NWF Women’s Championship against Heidi Lee Morgan – whose highest profile work was in the WWF in 1993 where she was defeated in the finals of the Women’s Title tournament, won by Alundra Blayze. The match also takes place in a steel cage – and for some extra nostalgia, the competitors are announced to the ring by the classic tones of Gary Michael Capetta. (more…)

In Video: Canadian Conflict

Leah Von Dutch Jewells MaloneThe busy wrestling scene in Canada is a great place for an aspiring grappler to work. With many promotions offering a range of different ethea, it also allows wrestlers to work their characters for specific audiences.

Take Leah Von Dutch for example. Depending on which territory she is in, she alters her character to generate the right reaction from the crowd. Likewise, Jewells Malone – who has a penchant for hardcore wrestling – can work the family-friendly angle or can get downright vicious depending on the show.

This contest between these two Ontarians takes place in Kitchener from Conflict Wrestling‘s show on March 10. It’s been offered up as a free match to advertise the promotion – so click the jump and see for yourself. (more…)

Ringbelles Retro: Lita & Trish Stratus main eventing Raw in 2000

Lita Trish StratusIt seems fitting that Trish Stratus inducts Lita into the WWE Hall of Fame in a couple of weeks. After all, their wrestling careers are so tightly intertwined – they debuted in the company at roughly the same time, were each other’s biggest rival and both left the promotion within a few weeks of each other.

We have featured their final match against each other in a previous Retro, but we go even further back for this one. We travel all the way back to 2000, with both about six months into their run, and main eventing Raw as part of a mixed tag team match which had multiple stories crossing over.

Lita and Stratus had been feuding for a few months alongside their respective male tag teams of the Hardy Boyz and T&A, though their programme had taken on a life of its own. Meanwhile, Stratus was one of the catalysts for friction between Triple H and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley and saw Kurt Angle start to muscle in and make a move on Stephanie. Angle and HHH were trying to keep it civil in respect for Stephanie but were secretly wanting to tear each other apart – a situation exacerbated by them both being top contenders for The Rock‘s WWF Championship, with the trio squaring off in a triple threat match at that year’s SummerSlam. (more…)

In Video: Io Shirai v Cheerleader Melissa

Cheerleader Melissa Io Shirai Resuner YokoyamaA little over a week ago, Cheerleader Melissa travelled to Japan as part of a flying visit to challenge Io Shirai for the World of Stardom Championship. It was the main event of Stardom’s The Highest show from Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, which featured a number of gaijin including Kellie Skater, Alpha Female and Madison Eagles.

You may already know the result – but regardless of whether you do or not, the match has been put online, so we have the chance to see how it went. Click the jump to watch the contest. (more…)

In Video: Gail Kim v Madison Rayne in Japan

Gail Kim Madison RayneEarlier this month, TNA wrestlers travelled to Japan to film a special One Night Only PPV in conjunction with Wrestle-1 in front of 5,800 fans at Tokyo’s Ryōgoku Kokugikan. While most of the matches on the Outbreak event were TNA v Wrestle-1 affairs, the women’s match featured Knockouts Gail Kim and Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne squaring off in a non-title affair – partly because Wrestle-1 does not have any joshi talent and usually presents women’s matches featuring stars from other promotions.

Still, it’s interesting to see Kim and Rayne having a western-style match in front of a Japanese crowd which traditionally takes a while to warm up, and generally doesn’t respond in this contest until the big moves are brought out. Click the jump to watch it in its entirety. (more…)

Ringbelles Retro: The Beautiful People’s original run

Angelina Love Velvet Sky TNAAngelina Love returned to TNA last week and tried to talk Velvet Sky into reuniting the Beautiful People. Sky was reticent to agree straight away but the pair left things on friendly terms. No spoilers, but that story continues on tonight’s episode of Impact Wrestling – so we’ve delved into TNA’s archives to check out Love and Sky’s original run, where they were arguably the most over tandem at the time.

Combining great looks with the ultimate bitchy nature, the Beautiful People were the perfect addition to the fledgling Knockouts roster and saw them picking fights with the likes of Roxxi and Gail Kim. Couple that with their arrogant entrance and brown paper bag treatment and they were easy to dislike – and is part of the reason why it never felt the same when they reunited as babyfaces in mid-2010.

This retro comes from Victory Road on July 13, 2008 and sees Love take on Kim in singles action. Click the jump to watch. (more…)

In Video: Bête Noire v Crazy Mary Dobson

9 Bete Noire Crazy Mary DobsonIf you haven’t listened to last week’s Fight Like A Girl with Bête Noire, do so – it’s an engrossing chat and she certainly has a lot of interesting topics to cover. One of them is Insane Championship Wrestling: Fierce Females, and her most memorable match so far is undoubtedly her weapons-filled brawl with Crazy Mary Dobson at Luke… Who’s Yer Da? last May.

Chairs, makeshift tables, kendo sticks and staple guns all made appearances during this battle which elicited big reactions from the crowd in Glasgow, Scotland, and was a standout performance for both women. Noire proved that she can absorb huge amount of punishment – something which we have seen repeated since this match – as well as dish it out, and Dobson thrilled with a mixture of brawling and high-flying tactics, and she spoke to us about her first Scottish trip for a Fight Like A Girl last year.

You can watch the match after the jump. Brace yourself. (more…)

In Video: The next generation of Canadian stars

Jasmin GCW TabercilCanada has its fair share of female talent – there are experienced ones like LuFisto & Sweet Cherrie; experienced hands like Courtney Rush, Portia Perez & Nicole Matthews; high-fliers like Xandra Bale & Leah Von Dutch; bruisers like Vanessa Kraven & Riea Von Slasher; characters like Cherry Bomb, Angie Skye & Kc Spinelli; and rising stars like Jewells Malone & Seleziya Sparx. There is also emerging and brand new wrestlers like Beautiful Beaa, Alexia and the subjects of this video, Jasmin and Skyler Rose.

Hailing from Niagara Falls, ON, Skyler only debuted last year but is already getting out there, wrestling for promotions like Pure Wrestling Association and Great Canadian Wrestling and is very busy for someone who is less than 12 months experience. Similarly, Jasmin is making huge strides in a relatively short time. The 19-year old debuted last January and as well as PWA and GCW, she has wrestled for Squared Circle Wrestling Absolute Intense Wrestling‘s Girls Night Out series.

The match we have for you between these two youngsters is from GCW’s show on December 27 last year for the promotion’s Women’s Championship. Click the jump to watch the next generation. (more…)

Ringbelles Retro: Cheerleader Melissa & Sara Del Rey in 2002

Sara Del ReyThe image on the left is how most of us remember Sara Del Rey but it took a while for the Queen of Wrestling to get to this point. To illustrate this, let’s hop back more than a decade where Del Rey wrestled under a different name against another rookie looking to make her mark in the world of wrestling – as well as a couple of names you may recognise…

Following the death of Roland Alexander in November, Joey Ryan posted a match from his early days of wrestling in All Pro Wrestling in California. The match from May 24, 2002 features Del Rey under the name of Nikki teaming with Jardi Frantz & JoJo Fantastico against Ryan, Cheerleader Melissa and a gentleman by the name of Bryan Danielson, better known these days as Daniel Bryan.

Del Rey looks hugely different wrestling baggy denim, while Melissa is sporting a similarly modest set of threads. It is an interesting insight into the beginnings of two hugely successful wrestlers – one who is the reigning two-time SHIMMER Champion, and other who is mentoring the next generation of WWE Divas. (more…)

In Video: Barbi Hayden’s first NWA World Women’s Title defence at Women Superstars Uncensored

Barbi Hayden NWA World Women's Champion

One thing we’ll happily own up to here at Ringbelles in the last few months is throwing a spotlight on Texas’ own Barbi Hayden (including, but not limited to two ‘Fight Like A Girl’ podcast appearances in September 2013 and January 2014) – and with good cause. Hayden has “it” by the bucketload, and has started the year on an absolute tear, winning both the Anarchy Televised Championship in ACW and the NWA World Women’s Championship. A big part of Hayden’s increased profile is thanks to her association with Women Superstars Uncensored, who, through iPPV and VOD, have certainly helped give Hayden a bigger worldwide platform. It was a shame, then, that Hayden was nowhere to be found on WSU’s latest iPPV “Mutiny” – but with her opponent for the show Santana Garrett having signed up to join TNA Wrestling, the agreement was that the Hayden/Garrett match could not be broadcast on iPPV. The vagaries of what TNA contracted talent can and can’t appear on apparently doesn’t extend to later broadcast on YouTube, thankfully – so just over a fortnight later, WSU have released the “dark” Hayden vs Garrett match for everybody to check out. It’s not a particularly long match (WSU were already late in getting people into the venue due to overrunning ice hockey and therefore late for what should’ve been the start time of their iPPV – so it’s feasible that the match wasn’t afforded as much time as it might otherwise have been), but it *is* a really strong spotlight for one of 2014′s brightest stars so far in Barbi Hayden as she makes the very first defence of her NWA World Women’s Title. Check it out after the page break. (more…)

In Video: Heel Evie

EvieLast December, Evie‘s character in her home promotion of Impact Pro Wrestling went from being a smiling kick-happy Kiwi to being a sneering kick-happy Kiwi after regaining the vacant Women’s Championship following months of uncertainty over the belt. Aligning herself with the new group called The Investments, she took on a darker edge, which is reflected by her demeanour as well as her outfits – out does the bright foil outfits and in comes the all-black gear.

Before heading off to Japan to wrestle for the Diana promotion, the New Zealander squeezed in a title defence against IPW debutante Carmen Rose at New Year’s Takeover on January 11. The match gives you an insight into Evie’s character change, as well as the fallout it is having on the rest of the roster. For example, Britenay is going from being the nasty heel to standing up for the females against a terror which is more viscous than her.

Since this match took place, Britenay has won the Interim Women’s Championship – set up while Evie is overseas – by beating Olivia Shaw, who is also undergoing a character change which is seeing her becoming more heelish. The pair will meet again with the Interim belt on the line on March 22. Before that, click the jump and get a glimpse of Evie embracing the Dark Side… (more…)

In Video: Shanna v Gail Kim from TNA Xplosion

Gail Kim Shanna TNAEarlier this month, Shanna wrestled Gail Kim on the final show of TNA‘s tour of the UK and Ireland as part of a taping for an upcoming episode of Xplosion. That episode aired in the UK last night, and we have it for you here.

At the time, I pointed out that “Shanna looked perfectly comfortable in that ring… she got in her fair share and even got to nail the Perfect Press.” After watching it back, that quote still holds water, and should help with Portugal’s Perfect Athlete’s quest to snare a TNA contract.

You can watch the match after the jump, and feel free to leave your thoughts on the match in the comments. Does Shanna have a place in the Knockouts division? Let us know. (more…)

In Video: Simply Elektrifying

Sara Elektra Leah Von Dutch Jarmo Katila PhotographyWhile there is a lot of wrestling talent in the UK, there is also a large number of athletes in mainland Europe – and in this case, Scandinavia. We had our attention drawn to an all women’s show taking place in Sweden next month which will feature some of the more well-known talent. Billed under the title of Wrestlingpalatset (Wrestling Palace) Queen of the Ring, it seems to be a co-promoted show between Svensk Wrestling Syd and the Nordic Women’s Wrestling Alliance, and features a range of talent like NWWA Champion Aurora Flame, Lady Lory, Jessica Love, Sara Elektra, White Tigress, La Viuda Negra and Miss Mina – most of whom are from Sweden, Finland or Norway.

No card has been announced for the event in Malmo on March 8, but we thought we would take a look at one of the women on the card taking on someone who we have featured quite a few times at Ringbelles.

During her second trip to Europe last year, Leah Von Dutch left British shores to wrestle for Fight Club Finland on its November 30 show in Helsinki, facing Sara Elektra in singles competition. Click the jump and get acquainted with the Most Elektrifying Woman in Sports-Entertainment… (more…)

In Video: Kellie Skater’s Japanese adventures

Kellie Skater Youji KawauchiWe haven’t discussed Kellie Skater recently. That’s tantamount to a crime, and we must rectify this.

In what has become an annual thing, the Rate Tank is currently on an extended trip in Japan, predominantly spending her time competing for Stardom, though she has moonlighted and competed for the WRESTLE-1 promotion as well. As a consequence, we have two Skater matches for you, highlighting her work in both promotions.

The first match for you after the jump is her Wonder Of Stardom Title challenge against Act Yasukawa at Stardom Year-End Climax 2013 on December 29 on last year at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, in what was Skater’s second match since her return to the country – her first was a victory six days earlier over Mayu Iwatani in Osaka. Following that, we have her WRESTLE-1 contest against Hiroyo Matsumoto held on January 31 of this year in the same venue. (more…)

In Video: Portia’s European Vacation – Full matches vs Kay Lee Ray and Carmel Jacob

Portia Perez Kay Lee Ray Carmel JacobYou may well remember that Portia Perez travelled to the UK a few months ago just ahead of last year’s Fight Season to compete at ICW: Fierce Females‘ last show – ‘XX: It’s In Our DNA’ (where she had a highly enjoyable match with Nikki Storm), but what was a little less well known was that ICW was not the only stop for Perez during her trip across the pond. In conjunction with IWIW, who sponsored her trip, she also appeared on two other shows in Scotland that weekend, promoted by PBW (Premier British Wrestling). On the Friday night, Perez took on Kay Lee Ray in Larbert, and on Saturday she met Carmel Jacob in Alloa – and just in the last couple of weeks, IWIW have uploaded their video footage of the two matches. They’re multi camera edits, though the commentary isn’t the best (IWIW even apologised specifically for that in their description of the Perez/KLR match), but both matches showcase unique combinations not seen before or since. Click through after the cut for both videos. Enjoy! (more…)

In Video: Jayne v Sharpe – a growing rivalry

Sammii Jayne Debbie Sharpe Damon McCabeFormer My Name Is guests Debbie Sharpe and Sammii Jayne are cultivating a healthy feud in Scottish Wrestling Entertainment. Having faced each other in more than half a dozen encounters since last September, the pair have squared off in tag matches, trios matches and ladder matches. It has been the making of both women.

Jayne has cut weight, improved cardio and changed her look since we interviewed her in October 2012 and is considered the top woman in the promotion’s Sirens Division. However, she has a formidable opponent in a prodigy like Sharpe, who has less than a year’s experience under her belt but is coming along at a great rate of knots. The match we have after the jump is their latest contest in Dundee, Scotland from January 25, though they are slated to wrestle again on February 22 – both Jayne and Sharpe will challenge Viper for the Future Division title in a rematch from their Ladder Match last October, which Sammii won… (more…)

Ringbelles Retro: A look back at Women’s Extreme Wrestling

WEW posterAfter six years away, Women’s Extreme Wrestling is reportedly planning a return to TV, according to PWInsider. A poster has been released for a PPV called Booty Whipping, though it seems that it could be a compilation of previous events.

We have reviewed a WEW – former known as Women’s Erotic Wrestling – DVD in the past, and while it had its moments, we weren’t very impressed with Nude War Games. However, considering it ran for six years, it did fine for itself as a company and it gave women wrestlers another forum to hone their craft. That’s why we’ve posted a video from WEW’s YouTube channel.

For example, Nude Takedown from May 20, 2007 features the likes of Velvet Sky, April Hunter, Annie Social, Sumie Sakai, Amy Lee, Daffney, Nikki Roxx, Simply Luscious, Christie Ricci, ODB, Amber O’Neal, Francine and Mercedes Martinez. You can watch the video after the jump, but be ready for some pretty sexist commentary and suggestive content. (more…)

In Video: Hailey Hatred, just before her disappearance

Hailey Hatred during her JWP Openweight title reign. Photo courtesy: JWPHailey Hatred vanished off the face of the earth in August of last year. She deleted her Facebook accounts and her Twitter, and has gone completely AWOL. There have been claims that she is in the US, while other accounts say she is still in Japan – though nothing has been confirmed and anyone who does know is respecting her privacy by not divulging the details. However, that’s all fine – in order to get away from everything and to be left alone, she’s essentially gone incommunicado, so more power to her. Wherever she is, we hope that she’s happy.

Recently, Kasey Owens posted footage of a number of her matches from her three months with Ice Ribbonwhich she talked about with us on her return to the UK – and one of them was one of Hailey’s final matches before she disappeared. The pair teamed up to face Hamuko Hoshi and Kurumi at Tokyo’s Shinjuku FACE on July 14, three weeks before her final contest to date. You can see the contest after the jump. (more…)

In Video: Nikita Naridian encounters a Storm

Toni Storm Nikita Naridian Rissa-Jade PhotographyA bit of Australian action this weekend for you, as we have a contest between two rising stars in the Aussie scene.

We spoke to Nikita Naridian (AKA Kellyanne English) in November 2012 for My Name Is – since then, she has trained at the Storm Wrestling Academy in Canada and also spent time learning in Mexico. Her opponent in this contest from United Pro Wrestling‘s Divided We Brawl show at the end of last November is Toni Storm, who has also enjoyed some international experience, spending an extended amount of time in England, taking booking for All-Star Wrestling.

Since we spoke to her, Naridian has changed up her look by dying her hair red, and has also worked on her heel character, while Storm is such a sympathetic baby face that it’s easy to get behind her. Click the jump to see what we mean. (more…)

In Video: A Welsh wizard goes west

Nixon Newell Lloyd Rees-Ellis PhotographyNixon Newell‘s first appearance in a wrestling promotion in the United States was with TNA. No, seriously – she appeared at last year’s Slammiversary after winning a contest to get a trip to the US and tickets for the show in Boston, MA last June. However, the 19-year old from South Wales would return to the States in November, where she got a chance to lace up her boots and get in the ring.

As part of her trip, she took on Heidi Lovelace at NWA Southern All-Star Wrestling in Millersville, TN, and it became another TV appearance as the promotion has its own time slot in the state. While the match may not be long, she wasn’t treated as some jobber for the regular star, as she was put over both in the ring and on commentary.

You can watch the match after the jump – a contest which proves you can tour a different country without hitting the “bigger” names, but still successfully cutting your teeth. (more…)

In Video: Athena v Jessie McKay v Mia Yim at SHIMMER 42

Athena Gilda PasquilThis video sits in the middle of two different stories – on one side, it’s relevant because of the announcement that Athena returns to the ring next month and will be competing at Women Superstars Uncensored Mutiny on February 8; on the other, it’s a heads-up that tickets for SHIMMER’s volumes 63-66 DVD tapings in Berwyn, IL go on sale tomorrow (Sunday, January 12th at 7PM Eastern). You can find all the details on prices and how to be a part of the the weekend of April 12 and 13 by clicking here – but to when your appetite, here’s an example of what’s on offer.

Athena v Jessie McKay v Mia Yim took place at SHIMMER Volume 42 in October 2011 and was a great showcase for all three, but particularly the Wrestling Goddess. It was arguably the first real springboard for the Texan, and has made her a real one to watch in women’s wrestling. You can watch the contest after the jump. (more…)

In Video: Rain v Ivelisse Velez – it’s on for SHINE 16

Rain Ivelisse Velez Allysin Kay Taylor Made Slammin Ladies SHINEAfter defeating Amazing Kong to successfully defend her SHINE Championship at SHINE 15 last month – and renege on her intentions to retire – Rain was told by VP Lexie Fyfe that the number one contender for the title would be her Valkyrie stablemate Ivelisse Velez, who had beaten Mia Yim earlier in the night. The show closed with an awkward mood in the air, as it seemed that the lure of the title would drive a wedge into the promotion’s most dominant group.

Over the past week or so, Velez has been given advice and opinions from a number of different people – Valkyrie teammates Allysin Kay and Taylor Made, Rain and Fyfe. Earlier today Ivelisse gave us her decision, and it means it’s Valkyrie v Valkyrie at SHINE 16 on January 24… (more…)

In Video: Kana defending the JWP Openweight Title

KanaIf you’ve not seen Kana in the last six months, she’s evolved her look, adding more elaborate entrance robes and jackets as well as employing an array of different facepaints. It’s really separated her from the pack, and created a lot more buzz for her during her JWP Openweight Championship reign.

She was already painting her face when she won the title from Arisa Nakajima in August, antagonising the roster by rubbing her victory in their faces. Eventually, Nakajima regained the title on December 15 – but before that, Kana notched up a couple of successful defences. The first win was over Manami Katsu on September 16, and the other was the match we have for you today. Kana put the belt on the line against Hanako Nakamori on October 14 at the Tsubasa Kuragaki 15th Anniversary show in Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo, Japan – click the jump to watch the match, and the post-fight antics. (more…)

Ringbelles Retro: Nikki Storm’s early days

Nikki Storm Saraya KnightNikki Storm‘s first match at Pro Wrestling: EVE back on October 16, 2010 may have been against Saraya Knight (pictured), but it wasn’t the first time the two had stood across the ring from each other – in fact, one of their first encounters was one of Storm’s first ever matches.

Back in 2009, Storm was a fresh-faced rookie representing Scotland at Scottish Wrestling Alliance‘s The Gathering II in Glasgow on September 20, 2008. On the opposing side was Saraya and her husband Ricky Knight, who were the leaders of an English squad. In this contest, Storm is partnered by Majik.

Incidentally, this is the final of the weekly Retro series. In the future, retro videos will be posted as and when something interesting is found. In recent months, we have had difficulty in finding noteworthy videos for you, and didn’t want to post substandard contests. (more…)