Posts tagged “AAA

Ringbelles Roundup (23 July 2013) – Divas Title 5th birthday, Knockouts division & more

Beth Phoenix Divas ChampionThe WWE Divas Championship turned 5 years old on Saturday, and has evolved from the secondary title on the SmackDown brand to being the top belt in the promotion. Some would argue that in that time, the prestige of the primary women’s title in the biggest wrestling promotion in the world has dropped for various reasons, but it’s what we’re being presented, and it would be worth a look to see what state the title and the division itself is in right now.

Announced on June 6, 2008 by then-GM Vickie Guerrero so the women on her roster would have their own title, with the inaugural champion being Michelle McCool, who made Natalya tap out at that year’s Great American Bash. At the time, McCool was the pet project for WWE’s future, having been in the original Diva Search in 2004 and floating around for a long while before hitting a groove as a wrestler. However, she was a pretty unexciting one – and despite defeating Maryse a number of times over the course of the next month, it was the French Canadian who wrested the title from her in December of that year, which saw McCool turn heel on friend and special ref Maria Kanellis after the contest’s conclusion.

Maryse embarked on what is still the longest Divas Championship reign in the title’s history at 216 days, but her matches were pretty poor, and could not compare to the Raw brand’s women’s roster which was seeing the likes of Melina, Mickie James and Beth Phoenix competing over the Women’s Championship. However, during Maryse’s reign, she was drafted from SmackDown to Raw and took the belt with her, while Women’s Champion Melina went in the other direction. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (9 July 2013) – Knockouts dearth, Heidi & Taeler, SHINE, Maria Kanellis, Sunny & more

Dare To BeWe praised Mickie James’ last six months in TNA, including her winning the Knockouts Title and turning heel in the process. However, you have to wonder what sort of division she is reigning over, when you consider how many – or conversely, how few – female wrestlers there are on the roster these days.

As well as James, you have Gail Kim, Miss Tessmacher, ODB, Tara, Taryn Terrell and Velvet Sky as in-ring performers – though ODB is usually a ref these days, Terrell is hardly a regular and Tessmacher & Tara has been absent for a while. That’s seven women – half of what they had in 2008 when the division was really a pioneer and vastly overshadowing what was going on in WWE at the time. When you consider that TNA only has about three women doing most of the work these days, you can see why the promotion binned its Knockouts Tag Team Titles following them being vacated by ODB and Eric Young.

The roster was thinned out last Wednesday when a four time Knockouts Champion and the first Gut Check winner were cut from the roster. Madison Rayne – who is heavily pregnant and is due to give birth next month – saw her contract expire and it wasn’t renewed. Some have complained that it was a bit tactless of TNA to do that, but Rayne herself apparently holds no grudges and has made no complaints in public. It is possible that she may return in time.

The other departure is Taeler Hendrix, who has been criminally underused by the promotion since winning the Gut Check last June. She has only appeared on two episodes of Impact – one was the Thanksgiving Day episode, which was a filler show because so few were watching, and the other was last month as she served as cannon fodder for Mickie’s slow-burn heel turn. Meanwhile, she has been working on her character during her time in Ohio Valley Wrestling, which we cover in more detail later on. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (18 June 2013) – Mickie James, Brittney Savage, Divas, Bellatrix & Queen of Queens

Mickie James TNAMickie James turned full heel on last Thursday’s Impact Wrestling by attacking Velvet Sky. Velvet had produced a letter from her doctor saying she was cleared to wrestle and wanted a rematch for the Knockouts Championship, but Mickie argued that she could have just downloaded it from the Internet before going after her previously injured knee before being peeled off her rival by the referees.

Fair play to TNA, James and Sky – this angle has been booked and executed beautifully. Everyone involved has done a great job to get the new Knockouts Champ over, and it looks like she is having a great time finally having something she can really sink her teeth into… and it’s long overdue.

To be brutally honest, both WWE’s and TNA’s writers have been coasting with Mickie James for the past six years. Following the epic angle between she and Trish Stratus which hit its zenith at WrestleMania 22, nothing of real note has been given to the 33-year old. Once she turned babyface in the summer of 2006, there were a few feuds with Lita, Melina, Beth Phoenix and Maryse, but she was portraying the typical white meat babyface with no real reason as to why you should cheer for her apart from that she was smiley and was wrestling heels. The only other big storyline she was part of was the “Piggie James” deal with Lay-Cool which felt like it was an unfair public rib on her – and she lost that feud, which meant that she never even got her redemption. Considering how well she had played a character in her first 8 months in WWE, it’s still staggering that she was not given the opportunity to do anything like that again during her run, except for being the punching bag to get Michelle McCool and Layla over in a nasty, bullying fashion which seemed to make people hate WWE’s writers than Lay-Cool. (more…)


WOW Podcast #56 with LuFisto

WOW LuFisto 2

Episode 56 with LuFisto

On April 6th at the iPPV broadcast of SHIMMER Vol 53, Montreal’s “Super Hardcore Anime” LuFisto crashed out on a moonsault to the floor during her match – a landing which caused what is medically referred to as an “exploded kneecap”. Now, a month (and a surgery) later, LuFisto talks exclusively to the Women of Wrestling Podcast, and updates us on her current status. LuFi takes us back to that fateful afternoon and gives us a blow by blow account what happened in the ring, the immediate aftermath in the back and the days following. She’s also got an update on the injury status of her pupil Kalamity, who feared she had broken her foot in training in the last week. We talk about some of the things that she missed out on because of her injury, including SHIMMER the following weekend, her WSU World Title shot at Jessicka Havok and her being stripped of the NSPW Title. We talk rehab – including the part BonRoxx Fitness is playing in helping her get back to her best – and estimate her return date. We talk her experiences in AAA, her admiration for Konnan and her future in that company; her feud with Mercedes Martinez in WSU & NCW:FF; facing Saraya Knight and Jazz; taking on Ivelisse in SHINE and ambitions to face Tara some day. We also revisit the comments made by Al Snow following her Gut Check for TNA and her current feelings on the Gut Check Challenge voting, and there’s quite a deep discussion on LuFisto’s ever-changing relationship with the business, what it means to have “succeeded” in wrestling, and bring up the prospect of retirement. It’s a pretty exhaustive hour and a half with an awesome lady. Download, spread the word and enjoy.

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Ringbelles Roundup (30 April 2013) – Io Shirai’s comeback, Knockouts website and more

Io ShiraiIf the original Triple Tails members of Kana, Mio & Io Shirai were to hold a party and bring along their biggest accomplishment, Io would be last to arrive, but would be sporting the shiniest trinket. That’s because the 22-year old claimed the World Of Stardom Championship from Alpha Female at the promotion’s Ryogoku Cinderella show at Sumo Hall in Tokyo, Japan in front of a reported crowd of 5,500 paid fans (though some reports say that may have been inflated). Using a rolling cradle, Shirai put down the massive German for the pin, claiming her first singles championship, and a prestigious one at that.

While Kana held the SMASH Divas Championship on two occasions, the belt is now defunct and she never managed a successful defence in either reign, and Mio Shirai’s run with Ice Ribbon’s ICEx60 belt was more successful than Kana’s SMASH stints, it isn’t as prominent a championship as her sister’s current hardware – which is a big sign that the nightmare of last year is well behind her… (more…)


In Video: Lucha LuFisto

LuFILast weekend, Montreal’s “Super Hardcore Anime” LuFisto was in Mexico, wrestling for AAA in front of the biggest crowd of her life, a reported 13,500-14,000 sellout in the Plaza de Toros La Monumental in Monterrey. Although she didn’t win the vacant Reina de Reinas championship, she was one of the final two competitors in the four way, losing to eventual new champion Faby Apache. Speaking on twitter following the match, LuFi described the experience as “living the dream”. AAA booker Konnan complimented LuFisto on twitter for her performance, tweeting “Thank u Lu, u are a true pro and gave us a great match..U will be back”.

To get to the four way at the ‘Rey de Reyes’ show, however, LuFisto had a qualifying match earlier this month at Arena Neza on the promotion’s AAA FUSION show – taking on Cinthia Moreno, and that’s the match we’re highlighting today. It’s LuFisto’s debut for AAA, and from the sounds of things, it’s highly unlikely it’s going to be the last they see of her. (more…)


Faby Apache wins her second Reina de Reinas Title

BFmtqi_CUAA1hO-Moments ago at the Plaza de Toros La Monumental in Monterrey, Mexico, Faby Apache captured the vacant AAA Reina de Reinas championship in a four way match over Canadians LuFisto & Taya Valkyrie and her own sister Mari Apache. The match, part of AAA’s Rey de Reyes supershow – one of the company’s biggest events in the calendar – was to fill the vacancy left last month when previous Reina de Reina holder Sexy Star fell pregnant. It is unclear whether Sexy Star opted to vacate or whether AAA wouldn’t allow her to drop the title in the ring.

Mari Apache was first eliminated, at the hands of LuFisto. Taya Valkyrie was the next to go, after missing her moonsault and being pinned by Faby. Faby then went on to win her second Reina de Reinas by defeating LuFisto. Apache’s first run with the title lasted about a year and a half, from May 28, 2008 to September 26, 2009 and is the longest in the championship’s fourteen year history. The match featured the winners of four qualifying matches from earlier this month in Mexico City, when LuFisto beat Cinthia Moreno, Faby Apache beat Sexy Lady, Mari Apache beat Lolita and Taya Valkyrie beat Jennifer Blake (the latter two of which you can watch on YouTube)

Also of interest on the show was the apparent AAA brand split announced by Marisela Pena, into AAA Fusion and AAA Evolution, with the understanding that AAA Fusion would remain the Mexico brand (under Joaquin Roldan), while AAA Evolution would be the American brand (under Dorian Roldan) to coincide with the planned expansion into the US on the forthcoming El Rey network. Assuming AAA Evolution continues to use luchadoras, this could be an interesting new place to work in the US for some female talent.

Photo credit: AAA Official Twitter


Ringbelles Roundup (26 February 2013) – wrestling’s equivalent of Ronda Rousey, Girls Night Out 8 and more

Ronda RouseyRonda Rousey and Liz Carmouche delivered in spades on Saturday as part of the main event of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s UFC 157 pay-per-view. While PPV buyrates are only an estimate – though expected to be around the 400,000 mark – the other numbers are amazing.

With those two headlining the show, the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA drew 15,525 fans with a gate of $1.4 million and reportedly fewer comps than usual. It’s the highest attendance for a UFC show in the building, which includes UFC 121 with Cain Velasquez against Brock Lesnar. Admittedly, both Rousey and Carmouche hail from the state, which means that both had a relative hometown crowd, but it’s evidence that women can headline male-dominated shows, given the right booking, promotion and hype. Additionally, the fact that it outdrew Velasquez v Lesnar is even more astounding considering it’s a Hispanic market which would be behind Cain, and Brock is one of the UFC’s biggest draws in its history. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (5 February 2013) – Shanna v Emi Sakura, Rachel Summerlyn and more

Emi SakuraOn Sunday, I sat among 400 people in a hall in a small city in the west of England. The only reason why I had decided to go – well, apart from it being a 15 minute walk from my front door – was that it featured a women’s match that was pretty hyped up about. Unfortunately, the billed contest between Kay Lee Ray and Shanna had to be scrapped because of KLR suffering a broken toe two days previous, then wrestling for about 40 minutes on it the previous day – though as it turns out, her metatarsal had been broken for about a month, which was compounded by the broken toe. As a result, a suitable replacement was brought in to replace Ray, and it would more than compensate.

The fans at Alternative Wrestling World in Wolverhampton had no idea who Emi Sakura was. To them, she was a Japanese woman who wears a lot of fabric, doesn’t show much skin and visually, didn’t look like much to write home about. Around me, I heard some borderline racist jokes about the “Chinese” woman in the ring and some unfunny gags about ordering Chinese cuisine in a mocking Far Asian accent. Her opponent also got the heckles, with a guy yelling “get your tits out” to Portugal’s Perfect Athlete – as if that line has EVER worked. Needless to say, we were dealing with an audience with spectacularly low expectations for the contest, and more than their fair share of xenophobia and ignorance. I’m stunned that I didn’t see anyone get up to go to the bar or toilets. They would have regretted it if they had, as little did they know, but they were going to be treated to a showcase featuring one of Europe’s best against one of the best in the world… (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (11 December 2012) – Divas future, intergender wrestling part 2, Portia’s tweets, Fierce Females DVD review & more

WWE knows the Divas division is in tatters at the moment, and seems intent on asking us what we want to happen to it, so the promotion has been contacting focus groups asking about the future of the women. PWInsider reports they were sent out to ask fans what they think of the Divas in the past, what they are like now, and which women they liked. Another question which was reportedly on the list is what role they wanted to see them in – be it as valets/managers, dancers, wrestlers, love interests and more.

This could be the opportunity that fans of women’s wrestling have been waiting for. If the data comes back in the way which we would hope for, it could see a resurgence of in-ring action for the Divas in 2013, along with some proper storylines with episodic character development, culminating in big matches at pay-per-views. It could see them take more prominent roles on the TV shows, and have their segments played out in front of interested, active crowds who care about what is going on. It could also see an injection of new talent into the ranks, possible gimmick revamps to make them more interesting, and having more options of big matches all as part of the quest to snare the Divas Championship.

Oh yes, it could be the start of something beautiful.

But what if it isn’t? (more…)


In Video: Taya Valkyrie’s AAA TV debut

Hopefully by now you’ll have heard of Canadian talent Taya Valkyrie – the Storm Wrestling Academy graduate has been a guest on a previous edition of Fight Like A Girl, and now contributes to this very website with her brand new “South of the Border” blog series where she plans to write about her experiences with AAA and Los Perros Del Mal in Mexico. In fact, her first blog dealt was written as she prepared for her first televised match on AAA TV – and said match has now turned up on YouTube!

Like much of lucha libre, you kind of need to turn off any preconceived notions about pro-wrestling. Lucha exists in a unique bubble – as can be seen in the teams for this trios match, as each team features a woman, an exotico (transvestite) and a mini. These “mixed” matches used to be a trademark booking staple of the late AAA founder Antonio Pena. In this match, ruda Taya finds herself teaming with exotico Polvo de Estrellas and AAA World Mini-Estrella Champion Mini Psicosis to take on Lolita and her team featuring exotico legend Pimpinela Escarlata and one of the most astounding talents in the world regardless of height, weight or gender – Mascarita Dorada. Click to after the cut for the match.

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Ringbelles Roundup (13 November 2012) – EVE’s iPPV, WAWW free show, Amazing Kong & more

In a move that nobody anticipated, Emi Sakura left Pro Wrestling: EVE’s second iPPV as the promotion’s Champion, after successfully defending her JWP Openweight Title earlier in the night, then challenging new EVE titleholder Nikki Storm in an impromptu match which saw the founder of Gatoh Move hit a quick 450 splash for the pin.

Now, I get the reasoning for putting the belt on Sakura. On an immediate level, it offers a happy ending for the show, and the visual of the JWP and EVE titles together is pretty striking. Longer term, it means that the belt is now associated with the oldest active women’s title in Japan, and considering how good Sakura is at garnering publicity, there is a lot of opportunity for joshi fans to find out about Pro Wrestling: EVE because people will inevitably ask about this other belt that she’s holding. In turn, it could lead to more international recognition and possibly more DVD sales and iPPV buys from Japan in the future.

However, the circumstances in which she won the title seems to be a big sticking point among some fans who both attended the show and watched online. (more…)


NEW BLOG SERIES: South Of The Border with Taya Valkyrie

The last year has really seemed like a blur or a dream. So many things both good and bad have crossed my path. My determination, drive and passion for what I do was all tested. A year ago I would have never guessed that I would be now living in México, working for one of the biggest wrestling, pardon me, lucha libre companies in the world, training every week with legends and learning and working with people who I consider some of the best female talent in the world.

I’m currently writing this while sitting on the tour bus as we make our way to Guadalajara for a house show. We left at 6 am to make the 7 hour journey. There is Mexican folk music playing through the speakers. Everyone is either sleeping or listening to their iPods as the air-conditioning blasts and we drive past more and more rolling Mexican hills. There will be a quick food stop at a roadside stand and then straight to the venue. Its moments like this where I cant help but smile and really reflect back on what the last 7 months of my life have been.

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Fight Like A Girl: Taya Valkyrie

From Canadian indies to performing in front of 21,000 fans at AAA‘s TripleMania XX in Mexico City – Taya Valkyrie has had a pretty amazing 2012 so far. On this edition of Fight Like A Girl, we discuss the what the move from Canada to Mexico meant for her both culturally and from a working point of view, how easy it was to adjust, and whether she had to unlearn/relearn how to wrestle with the lucha style. We also talk about World of Hurt, where Taya was a cast member on both the first and second seasons, and compare how working with Lance Storm on Season 1 was to working with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper on Season 2 – and just how much anybody knew about what was going on. We also touch *very* briefly on the reported WWE deal she was offered late last year, her short term goals in Mexico and she reveals her wrestling inspiration.

You’ll hear more from this woman, so get the lowdown now.

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Follow Taya’s adventures south of the border by following her on twitter or liking her facebook fan page.
Learn more about AAA and World Of Hurt at their official websites.


Konnan comments on Karen Jarrett’s AAA run; Claire Lynch debacle in TNA

Having worked in every major American promotion, lucha libre legend and Wrestling Observer Hall of Famer Konnan (who currently works in the booking department of Mexico’s AAA promotion) is a man who has seen most everybody come and go, and someone who recognises genuine talent when he sees it. In a typically candid interview with Bryan Alvarez & Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio this week (July 26th), Konnan ended up getting onto the topic of Karen Jarrett‘s run in AAA (alongside her husband Jeff, who currently holds the AAA Mega Unified Heavyweight Championship), where she has been known as “La Bruja” (The Witch) Karen – going so far as to compare Jarrett to the late Sensational Sherri.

She’s incredible man. The best valet I ever worked with, or against, or whatever, was Sherri Martel. And you know, Sherri Martel, man… she brought it. You know, when she was in Mexico she fuckin’ partied hard and she worked even harder. And she had no fear. I mean, I remember her one time climbing to the top of a cage, you know, and just fuckin’ took off her shoes and just jumped off on Jake The Snake. Just didn’t give a shit. And you know, one time she fuckin’ slapped the shit outta me in a promo, and she hit me so hard that I kinda blacked out for a couple of seconds – and I thought it was Jake. And I got really hot, and I went after him and he goes “Nah, man… it was her”, and I was looking at her like “God damn, you can *punch*”. But she was just great, and I don’t have to tell you about her work. And Karen? Karen reminds me a lot of her. Karen doesn’t care. She goes out there, she agitates the crowd. If she has to show ass, she will. We had this one thing where we dressed her up as a witch and everybody was calling her a witch, and she was selling it great. You know, she just has this affinity for knowing what to do and when do to it. And she just loves to perform. You know, for somebody who really wasn’t even in the business, she’s incredible man. (more…)


In Video: A little bit of Blake

Jennifer Blake returns to Absolute Intense Wrestling next Sunday for Girls Night Out 6, after beating Brittany Force then losing to Hailey Hatred at the original GNO on May 15, 2009, and being defeated by Jessicka Havok at GNO2 on October 10 of the same year. In 8 days time, she takes on Kimber Lee, who has gone from valeting at Combat Zone Wrestling to putting on the boots and stepping into the ring.

Girl Dynamite was touted as one of the next big things in women’s wrestling back in 2008 when she travelled from her native Canada to debut in SHIMMER: Women Athletes on volume 17. That seemed like a lot of pressure to heap on someone’s shoulders when they were starting out, and it showed, as nerves seemed to get the better of her in the early matches. However, Blake did have some good outings in the promotion, one of the notable ones being against Rain on volume 25.

As well as the aforementioned AIW bookings, working for Wrestlicious as Autumn Frost and a solitary appearance in Jersey All Pro Wrestling, Blake withdrew from wrestling in the US to try her luck in Mexico for AAA, where she briefly changed her name to Jennifer Blade before reverting back to her standard ring moniker. Starting out as a cohort of Konnan in rudo stable La Legión Extranjera, she hooked up with Christina Von Eerie, Sexy Star and Rain, and formed a splinter stable called Las Gringas Locas. As time passed, Von Eerie and Rain departed, leaving Blake and Sexy Star to cause havoc. (more…)


In Video: A Little Bit O’ Lucha

Last month, we featured an “In Video” post highlighting the cartwheeling Ice Ribbon sensation Ray as she captured the first CMLL-REINA Jr Championship in a match at REINA.12, defeating CMLL‘s own Zeuxis in a three fall match. Since then, the champion was busy, heading off to Mexico almost immediately thereafter for a several week long stay. During the course of the trip, she had cause to defend her newly won championship against another CMLL regular, Silueta. Any excuse to highlight Ray is fine with us – so check it out, why don’t ya?

Click through the link for another uniquely lucha match, this time from AAA, which gives new meaning to the term “Dark Match”
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Ringbelles Roundup (26 July 2011)

Back in the July 5 Roundup, we let you know about Nanae Takahashi’s 15th anniversary plans, and how she would be facing Women Superstars Uncensored World Champion Mercedes Martinez in the semi-final of the Queen of Stardom tournament to crown its first champion. That event took place on Sunday at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo in front of a full house of 1,310 paying fans, with Takahashi not only defeating Martinez, but going on to beat Yoko Bito – who got by Mika Nagano earlier in the night to make it to the finals – to claim the championship in the promotion that she helped to create.

Some may complain that Takahashi winning the championship is a bit of a swizz, considering that she’s a founder of Stardom and has been booked to be the first champion. I can understand that complaint, considering it seems that it’s an exercise in ego-stroking, but I believe it means more than that. For example, Nanae winning the title is a recognition of her work since debuting in 1996, and if she is the best wrestler in the promotion – which is somewhat likely, considering its main function is to season younger wrestlers to get them ready, then should she not be the first champion to give the title some traction, so when one of the younger wrestlers matures, it will be a more prestigious title to win? (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (19 July 2011)

Thursday, July 19, 2001 was a pretty humdrum day in world history. As a frame of reference, the most newsworthy thing was the Code Red virus taking hold of a massive number of computers after being released online 6 days previously.

In the world of wrestling, Steve Austin was on SmackDown, showing “the old Stone Cold” was back when he stunnered everyone in the ring ahead of the WWF Invasion pay-per-view, which was to take place in three days. It would intrigue wrestling fans who wondered what would happen if the WWF and WCW ever clashed on one show. As it turned out, it would be a decent – and high grossing – show which was followed by months of killing the WCW image to the point that it was worthless by November.

However, also on this very day ten years ago at Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro, MO, a young lady by the name of Christine was handed her first ever defeat in a mid-card contest at the hands of a debuting wrestler to Gateway Championship Wrestling. That wrestler was MsChif.

Rachel Collins had been asked by her colleague at her human genetics job – the role she had before going into microbiology – what she would love to do more than anything. Concluding that it would be to learn to wrestle, she decided to train at at GCW under the tutelage of Johnny Greenpeace (who was the tough trainer) and Jack Adonis (who was the comic relief), with the black-metal-banshee character naturally evolving while she was learning her craft. Even though she never believed that she would wrestle outside of St Louis, MsChif would go on to win a shedload of top championships including the SHIMMER title, the NWA World Women’s Title and the NWA Midwest/IWA Mid-South Women’s Title – which she held all at one time during 2008 and 2009 – as well as winning ChickFight IV and being ranked 4th in the PWI Female Fifty for 2009.

When asked for comment, MsChif told Ringbelles: “It’s crazy to think I’ve been wrestling for 10 years now. It doesn’t feel like it’s been so long. Wrestling has brought on some very amazing times, places and people. I couldn’t imagine life without wrestling.” (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (12 July 2011)

After withdrawing from CHIKARA and moving back to Australia, many would have expected SHIMMER and PWWA Champion Madison Eagles to rest up her injured shoulder and prepare herself for the return of PWWA on September 3 for her next SHIMMER title defence against both Nicole Matthews and former tag team partner Jessie McKay.

But this is Madison Eagles we’re talking about. This is the woman who perforated her eardrum during her #1 contenders’ match against Cheerleader Melissa in SHIMMER and came back the next day to wrestle MsChif and win the title. This is the woman who fractured her wrist and elbow last year and carried on training through it. This is the woman who had racked her shoulder up in a car accident in April and still went balls to the wall against Courtney Rush at nCw Femmes Fatales VI less than two months later.

So when she returned unannounced to her home fed of PWA in Liverpool, Australia on Friday after living in the US for six months, she wasn’t there to stand and wave at the fans. Instead, she turned heel by kicking Jessie McKay in the face and delivering a Hellbound (Death Valley Driver over the knee) to Robbie Eagles, setting the stall for the SHIMMER title match Before the turn, it would have been heel Matthews against babyfaces McKay and Eagles. Now, the pressure is on Everybody’s Favourite Girlfriend, who has her longtime SHIMMER rival in Matthews, and former tag team partner and regular opponent Eagles gunning for her. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (5 July 2011)

Nanae Takahashi could have chosen to wrestle anyone in her 15th anniversary match. After all, she is one of the founders of STARDOM – a promotion formed in late 2010 to help season the younger generation of aspiring joshi stars and train up new ones from different aspects of the entertainment industry, such as Yuzuki Aikawa, who had been a model, ballet dancer, and girl group singer. Takahashi could have picked any woman from any promotion in Japan, seeing as many promotions share and exchange talent these days. However, the 32-year old decided that instead of picking a domestic star to take on, she would select someone who has never wrestled in Japan before – the Women Superstars Uncensored World Champion Mercedes Martinez.

We’ll get to Martinez in a moment, but first, a quick biography of her opponent on July 24 in Tokyo, and the promotion that is her current pet project.

Takahashi debuted in 1996 at the age of 17, and shot out of the blocks, winning two All Japan Women tag team titles in two years. Taking the bull by the horns in the previous decade, Nanae started 2000 by winning the AJW singles gold on March. She followed it up over the next 10 by winning the WWWA singles and tag titles (her first WWWA solo title win was over Ayako Hamada on May 11, 2003), and was the singles champ when the promotion folded in 2006.

During that year (which was also her 10 year anniversary, in case you weren’t keeping track) announced her intention to start her own promotion. That promotion was Pro Wrestling SUN, which still exists to this very day, under the handling of one Allison Danger and is based in the US. At the time, the promotion recognised the AWA Women’s Championship and had Takahashi as its champion, though she lost it to Amazing Kong, who then entered a war with then-NWA World Women’s Champion MsChif.

After SUN entered inactivity in 2008, Nanae won the NEO singles and tag titles, the Ice Ribbon Triangle Ribbon and International Ribbon Tag Team Titles, and even the JWP Openweight championship. As you can tell, this is a woman who has had her fair share of success. And other people’s share. And on July 24, Takahashi could add another title to that list of accomplishments – the newly created World of STARDOM championship. (more…)


Mickie James to return to AAA

Looks like one TNA Knockout impressed enough with her appearance at AAA’s TripleMania XIX to be invited back. Knockouts Champion Mickie James is scheduled to appear for the promotion on Saturday night, teaming with AAA’s resident heel luchadora Sexy Star against Fabi and Mari Apache.

The telling thing is that neither Angelina Love nor Velvet Sky were booked for the show. While their match was well received by the fans, it seems their conduct behind the curtain may have rubbed some people up the wrong way. From last week’s Wrestling Observer:

Of the TNA talent, Angelina Love & Velvet Sky got over doing their old Beautiful People act. However, from the AAA standpoint there was a feeling that they didn’t act like doing TripleMania was a big deal and it must have rubbed some people the wrong way, because to AAA, this is a huge show. On the flip side, the feeling was Mickie James and Abyss both saw appearing on this show as a big deal and AAA was interested in bringing both back.

Incidentally, Abyss is also booked on the TV tapings in Veracruz, Mexico, so there may be validity to the report.

Considering that the Knockouts don’t seem to get many wrestling dates outside of TNA these days, it could be that Sky and Love missed out on a great opportunity to get more bookings in a new environment where they could pick up new skills and network even further. Kudos to James for taking advantage of the situation and expanding her horizons.


TripleMania XIX: Team TNA wins

The visiting Knockouts from TNA made an impact (yes, I know, crap joke) at AAA TripleMania XIX in Mexico City, Mexico last night, as Mickie James, Velvet Sky, Angelina Love & AAA regular Sexi Star defeated Fabi and Mari Apache, Lolita & Cinthia Moreno in the opening contest of the show.

According to Superluchas, Star got the most elaborate entrance of the match, coming to the ring in a car – it makes sense, I suppose, as she is one of AAA’s full-time wrestlers. As for the match itself, opinions will obviously vary between fans, but two consecutive posts from the Luchablog chatroom claim that the women were blowing spots. Honestly, that’s not that much of a surprise for a number of reasons, which include this being the first time most of the TNA girls will have wrestled their opponents, and if Sky’s lucha attempts with Sarita on Impact are anything to go by, a lot of this may have been watched through the fingers to try and shield yourself from the horror. For the record, Mickie James got the pin on Fabi Apache with her jumping DDT, which hopefully looked better than it did last Sunday at Slammiversary IX. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (17 May 2011)

The Big News

Hide your kids, hide your wife – Wrestlicious is back.

On Monday, it was announced that the second season of TakeDown would be shown on a cable network owned by Viacom. That could mean it could be hosted on Comedy Central, an MTV channel, VH1 or even Spike – the channel which currently hosts TNA TV.

In the official press release, Union Square Agency, with whom Wrestlicious has formed this partnership, says it will provide sponsorship sales, television production, syndication, media sales, event extensions, venue selection, strategic partnerships and manage licensing and merchandising.

Wrestlicious launched on TV in the US and Canada last year, two years after host and producer Johnny Cafarella and Jimmy Hart teamed up with Jonathan Vargas, a 19-year old who won $35.3 million on the Powerball Lottery. The original concept for Wrestlicious was dreamt up in 2003 when Hart produced a pilot for Crush, which was exactly the same as what Wrestlicious is – a mix of cartoony wrestling with comedy skits spliced in. Featuring wrestlers like Melina, Lacey, Rain and Cheerleader Melissa, it had proper wrestlers as well as models who would be trained up – sound familiar? Some of the characters were even recycled – the Felony character was originally played in Crush by Melissa, but seeing as she was contracted to TNA at the time, Felony was played by Rain in Wrestlicious. (more…)