This week’s top piece is about a storyline which is ongoing, so I may be jumping the gun with my feelings on the matter, but I feel that more eyes should be directed towards what is happening, as it has the potential to do something really positive.
On Ohio Valley Wrestling TV between January and the end of April, Taeler Hendrix had been receiving gifts from a secret admirer. Considering the flirting which had taken place between the pair previously, the former Women’s Champion believed that the presents were coming from Ryan Howe, who had captured her attention since her OVW debut, much to the disappointment, anger and frustration of her put-upon boyfriend Dylan Bostic – who was not as cool, edgy or exiting as the long-haired newcomer sporting an electric guitar.
Things escalated to the point that on March 23, Hendrix and Bostic took on Howe and fellow former Women’s Champion Heidi Lovelace which ended in a no-contest when the men’s fighting got out of control. The following week, Hendrix came to ringside during Howe’s TV Title match against Rockstar Spud, which prompted both Bostic and Lovelace to come out, causing Ryan to be counted out of the ring. On the April 27 episode, Howe insisted that it was not he who was sending Taeler the gifts, leading a confused (and somewhat hurt) Hendrix to wonder who was showering her with these presents.
As it turns out, it was Heidi Lovelace, who came out to reveal the truth before leaving the ring. (more…)
Funny how the past comes back to haunt you.
In June, while she was still campaigning to be Connecticut Republican candidate for the US Senate, Linda McMahon’s past as the CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment was brought up, including the effect the programming may have had on women and men’s views of how to treat women. One particular incident keeps cropping up – the segment on the March 5, 2001 episode of Raw Is War when Linda’s husband Vince forced Trish Stratus to crawl on all fours, bark like a dog and then strip in the middle of the ring, all in an attempt to humiliate and degrade her.
Even at the time, the event was seen as so offensive that it was never shown in the UK, and it is still great ammunition for opponents of McMahon. Back in June, Linda’s opponent Chris Shays said during a debate: “I think when you force a woman to take off all her clothes in an arena, and get down on the ground and bark like a dog, I think that’s assault on women.” (more…)
Former WWE and ECW personality Dawn Marie seems to have a good heart. Setting up Wrestlers Rescue in 2008 (and the subsequent Pro Wrestlers Relief) in 2009, her goal was to make life easier for wrestlers with medical issues to help them pay their bills – a common problem for wrestlers outside of WWE who may not be able to secure the proper insurance needed to cover their ailments.
In the last week or so, her charity has received a battering from James “Kamala” Harris, who has had both of his legs amputated due to complications stemming from diabetes and high blood pressure. He claims that Wrestlers Rescue and Boston-based independent wrestling promotion the Millennium Wrestling Federation promised to help him out financially, and never did so, calling Dawn Marie “no good” and accusing her of keeping the money that was raised for him.
Wrestlers Rescue has not had the best of reputations in its short existence, but following this high-profile attack on her work, Dawn Marie decided to go public with all the details. (more…)
The new champion earned the right to challenge for the belt as a result of winning the IW19 number one contender’s tournament, defeating Aki Shizuku in the finals last week. While deemed to be the favourite, past encounters had seen 12-year old Kurumi pin Fujimoto, so things weren’t as cut and dry as they seemed. This was exacerbated at the start of the contest when Fujimoto seemingly hurt her knee or ankle during a brawl outside of the ring, before crawling back in to continue. The champion went after the injury, intent on making her challenger give up to a figure four leglock – a move she applied three times during the course of the match. (more…)
We at Ringbelles adore Chii Tomiya. The pint-sized little hellraiser of Ice Ribbon put smiles on our faces with her mischievous actions, coupled with great skill and a demeanour that meant that no matter how badly behaved she was – and she really l’enfant terrible of the roster – you couldn’t hate her. Not even slightly.
After departing Ice Ribbon last August to work as a freelance competitor, Tomiya changed her name to Micro out of respect to her trainer Emi Sakura who gave her the Chii Tomiya name, and wanted to keep it associated with her original home promotion. Debuting under her new name in the Happy Hour! promotion in September, Micro lost to Keiko Aono, then wrestled sporadically for JWP while naming Pro Wrestling Wallaby as her new home – a curious decision, hanging her hat with one particular company after intending to be a freelancer, but people are entitled to change their minds. Her matches were few and far between, but last week, Micro’s career hit a valley, as PWW publicly fired her for “unprofessional behaviour” and “inappropriate remarks”, though there has been no elaboration on what that could be.
Hopefully Micro can pick herself up and thrill and entertain us as she did at Ice Ribbon, as we miss her dearly. So for a bit of a trip down memory lane, we take a look at her match from June 1 last year, where she challenged then-IW19 Champion Hikari Minami at 19 Pro‘s first anniversary show. Minami has only won the championship five days before, though as we know from Ice Ribbon, titles can change hands at any time… (more…)
On Sunday at WrestleMania, WWE Divas Champion Beth Phoenix was pinned by Maria Menounos in the tag team match featuring Menounos and Kelly Kelly against Phoenix and Eve Torres. A showbiz TV host who it was announced had two cracked ribs and stress fractures in her feet; a woman who has had no more than a month’s total wrestling training in her life; a non-wrestler pinned the Divas Champion on the promotion’s biggest show of the year.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Menounos has pinned Phoenix – she had got a three-count against her with a sunset flip on last December’s Tribute To The Troops show. Now, I have no problem with that – or her victory on Raw in an 8 woman tag in 2009, as they are throwaway matches on shows that mean nothing in the grand scheme. However, for the woman who is supposed to represent the best in the division to be defeated by a TV show host makes a mockery of Phoenix, the title and women’s wrestling as a whole. WrestleMania is the show that casual fans may watch once a year, and they see that? It doesn’t sit well with me. (more…)
April Davids made a successful return to Japan on this week’s 19 Pro, teaming with Dorami Nagano and Sayaka Obihiro to defeat Ice Ribbon‘s International Ribbon Tag Team Champions Tsukushi & Tsukasa Fujimoto, as well as Maki Narumiya in the internet show’s main event. Davids deadlift German Suplex on Narumiya put her in place for Nagano to score the pin following a top rope senton. After the contest, Davids said it was a “difficult match, but very happy to be here in Japan.”
This is the 21-year old’s second stint in the Ice Ribbon dojo – she first trained there last July, showing up in Japan without any assurances of even being allowed through the door. She impressed so much that by the time she left, she had more victories than defeats, winning four matches, losing two and drawing another two.
It’s no secret that Davids sees herself fitting more into the joshi scene than the US – or even her native UK – style, so a second visit to Japan is right up her alley, and it looks like she will be keeping busy while she is there. Tomorrow (or today, as it’s technically Saturday in Japan right now), she will team with former JWP Openweight Champion Kaori Yoneyama against former ICEx60 titleholders Fujimoto and Hikari Minami, the latter of whom has had a reduced schedule in the last six months or so as she continues her education – well, she is just 17 years old, after all.
For more information on April’s last trip to Japan, click here to listen to our interview with her last August as part of our Fight Like A Girl interview, where she also discusses wrestling in the UK, and not wanting to be compared to WWE Divas.
It’s been revealed on today’s episode of 19 Pro that there are provisional plans in place for a second Pro Wrestling: EVE v Ice Ribbon show – with this one taking place at the historic Korukuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan on March 20 next year.
This month’s three EVE v Ice Ribbon cards, held in Nottingham, England, were a critical success, with Tsukasa Fujimoto, Emi Sakura, Hikari Minami and Hikaru Shida travelling from Japan to compete against some of the best performers in Europe, and we understand that a number of EVE wrestlers created such a good impression that they could be invited to tour with Ice Ribbon in the future. If you missed the results or want to take a look at the photos from the show, click here for day one, and here for day two. We also spoke to EVE’s Kirsty Love, Nikki Storm and April Davids as part of the event, which you can find by clicking here. (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 future of women’s wrestling in Britain was looking bright. In May 2010, Pro Wrestling: EVE debuted with a lot of fanfare, announcing a working relationship with World Association of Wrestling, meaning Sweet Saraya and her daughter Britani Knight would be part of the proceedings, along with other WAW talent Destiny and Amazon (and later, Liberty and Melodi). The partnership seemed to be working well, with training seminars being held with WAW, and EVE making Britani its first Champion two months ago.
Fast forward 13 months, and things are looking much muddier.
Last Saturday, less than two hours before Britani would defend the EVE title against Jenny Sjodin at an XWA Wrestling show in Morecambe, Saraya took to her Facebook to say that the relationship with WAW and EVE was being permanently severed, and would not be healed. In addition, it also said that WAW talent would no longer be on EVE shows.
While our Twitter exploded with requests for information, both from fans and wrestlers themselves, I was sat in the crowd at Morecambe unaware, much like EVE promoter Dann Read and the participants in the match. As it turned out, not even Saraya’s daughter knew that this decision was going to be made, nor that it had been made public and was being discussed.
There was no massive incident that caused the split, but more of a lot of little niggles that eventually became too much. Britani travelled to Morecambe against the wishes of family members as she was ill, with swollen legs and voice gone, presumably still suffering the after-effects of the glandular fever that she wrestled with on the EVE Championship weekend. According to Saraya, she did so because of promises made by Dann Read that he wanted to get her booked all around the country and get a number of successful defences under her belt – thereby increasing EVE’s national exposure. It seems that when Saraya learned that Britani would be dropping the title that night, it went against what they were told would be happening with Britani, and saw it as a betrayal of trust. We must point out that it isn’t down to Britani being upset with the booking decision and refusing to drop the title – it apparently is down to promises being made then then reneged on.
Saraya also went on to say that she would be reviving World Association of Women’s Wrestling – a promotion which promoted a number of cards between 2006 and 2009. (more…)
As Stew discussed earlier this week, there’s a much bigger world of wrestling out there than the Divas or Knockouts stuff which leaves us disappointed on a weekly basis. It’s not entirely the girls’ fault – they get fed crap and have to go out there and make the best of it – but considering how often they train and wrestle – especially in the case of the Divas – then some of them should be much better than they are.
There is so much women’s wrestling action every week that your best plan is to vote with your remote and your wallet. However, if you’re short on cash and don’t want to take a punt on something just in case you don’t like it, there’s some free wrestling out there to watch too… as long as you’re not at work or asleep or something… (more…)