Considering Mickie Knuckles‘ return to IWA Mid-South last weekend, we’ve dug up a match from her past in the promotion.
The contest we have for this week’s Retro is from April 22, 2007 where Knuckles defended the IWA Mid-South Women’s Championship on a cross promotion show with Anarchy Championship Wrestling in San Antonio, TX. Challenging her is then-ACW regular Daffney, in what turned out to be a bloody encounter.
Speaking of Daffney, an interview she conducted with Highspots earlier this year has been released. Diva Diaries covers her infiltration of the TNA Knockouts Knockdown audience back in March after concluding her legal issues with the promotion, as well as revealing that she has been living with bipolar disorder.
Ringbelles Roundup (3 December 2013) Renee Young is great, Gail Kim praises Taryn Terrell, plus more
Female backstage interviewers are as rare as rocking horse poop in World Wrestling Entertainment, and finding a good one is hugely unlikely. In late 1994, Stephanie Wiand signed on, co-hosting WWF Mania with Todd Pettengill, and also worked a few pay-per-views in 1995, though very few fans remember her, and probably could not pick her out of a lineup. Rue DeBona also did a bit of backstage mic work on SmackDown in 2004, but wasn’t around long enough to do anything apart from marry (and later divorce) Josh Mathews. Some Divas also turned to asking the questions rather than answering them. Lilian Garcia has done the job at pay-per-views in the past, Terri Runnels performed interviewing duties between 2002 and 2004, Sunny did the odd bit in 1997 but seemed to be more keen on having the spotlight for herself, and after being eliminated from the Diva Search, Maria Kanellis worked the backstage but was given the ditzy gimmick where she asked poor questions, got wrestlers names wrong and simpered a lot.
However, WWE seems to have stumbled across a diamond in current interviewer Renee Young. (more…)
It’s not even four months since we last spoke to Angelus Layne for an edition of Fight Like A Girl here at Ringbelles, but things are quite different now than they were in June. Just under a month ago, Angelus announced that she was going to be out of wrestling for the rest of the year, having been diagnosed as suffering from Post Concussion Syndrome. The (eventual) decision to listen to her Doctor and her body meant she had to withdraw from all her bookings for the rest of 2013, which would’ve included being part of last weekend’s AIW Girls Night Out 9 & 10 shows, amongst other things. Stew reconnected with Angelus to get the lowdown on her injury, and ended up getting a truly eye-opening and at times quite shocking account of concussions, seizures, blackouts and more. We talk wrestler stubbornness, the people who helped her see sense, her prognosis for recovery and her daily life during her ongoing recovery. An important educational listen for both wrestlers and fans.
(right click on the picture and “save as” to download, or stream in our media player below)
Texas standout Barbi Hayden caused quite a stir when she made her debut for Women Superstars Uncensored at their recent Uncensored Rumble 6 iPPV – people took to her immediately, and we discuss her thoughts working in front of that new crowd – and, indeed, the seemingly dying art of “working” the crowd. WSU wasn’t her only first time experience this year, and we also talk about working in Mexico earlier in the year, as well as the pressure of working for Ring of Honor, where she worked fellow Texan, Athena. Speaking of Athena, Barbi gives her first person perspective on being involved in the six woman match at WSU where she got injured. We also talk about the Texas scene, and naturally touch on the current circumstances at Anarchy Championship Wrestling, including working in an open-air venue when it starts to rain. A really fun chat from someone I get the feeling we’re going to see a lot more of in the coming months.
(right click on the picture and “save as” to download, or stream in our media player below)
Another 6 episodes of Total Divas have ordered by E! for a season extension. The current 8 episode run ends on September 15, with the next half dozen starting on November 17. The show has been a big hit for E! so far, with audiences rising between episodes 1 and 3. Starting out with 1.3 million viewers, it rose to 1.52 million the following week and reached 1.67 million last week.
However, numbers dropped a little for Sunday’s most recent episode to 1.35 million – though that’s still higher than the premiere episode. One of the reasons may be is because it clashed with SummerSlam – though anyone who watched the pay-per-view will see that despite Total Divas being a hit, it’s not caught the imagination of many wrestling fans. In fact, it could be argued that the crossover audience isn’t as big as you may imagine. (more…)
It was interesting to see the Bellatrix roster after the Bellatrix 6 card. Out of their wrestling gear, they got dressed again into their branded t-shirts and glammed them up with shorts, skirts, blazers and the like to meet and greet the fans, sign autographs and pose for photos. In every photo, the Bellatrix logo was visible, pushing the brand and getting the recognition out there. Coupled with the gigantic wall hangings, Bellatrix: Female Warriors has ascended to be the most professional looking promotion in the western world.
Granted, a lot of joshi promotions in Japan have branded gear, and Ice Ribbon & Stardom have had workout gear too – but it is rarer to see in the English-speaking countries. However, it is something that other promotions would do well to adopt in the future.
Since rebranding from the World Association of Women’s Wrestling in January, Bellatrix as a brand has been ascending at a rapid pace, and it’s being noticed. Ahead of Sunday’s card, promoter Saraya Knight was interviewed on F4Wonline.com, the BritWresChat podcast and the BBC radio station serving Norfolk – the county which Bellatrix is based. In addition, hype was posted on a number of websites and also in the local print media, which led to an audience of more than 250 coming along to the show to make a lot of noise and generate a proper atmosphere. As far as exposure goes, Bellatrix has taken big steps forward – however, as Saraya explained during the interview with Bryan Alvarez, the end goal is not to have the promotion as the main focus; instead, it is being used as a way to point eyes towards the wrestlers on the show. (more…)
In last week’s Roundup, I made a prediction that either Angel Blue or Barbi Hayden would win Anarchy Championship Wrestling‘s American Joshi Queen of Queens, ultimately choosing Hayden to be the victor. As it turns out, he prediction for the final was right, but my selection of winner was incorrect, as it was Angel Blue who took the tournament, and also secured the Anarchy Televised Title in the process – making her a double champion, as she is also one half of the Tag Team Champions.
1. Angel Blue defeated Addy Starr
2. Leva Bates beat Angelus Layne
3. Athena retained the Anarchy Televised Championship by defeating Claudia del Solis
4. Barbi Hayden bested Su Yung
5. Angel Blue beat Leva Bates
6. Barbi Hayden defeated Athena to win the Anarchy Televised Championship
7. Angel Blue bested Barbi Hayden to win the American Joshi Queen of Queens tournament and the Anarchy Televised Championship. (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (18 June 2013) – Mickie James, Brittney Savage, Divas, Bellatrix & Queen of Queens
Mickie 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…)
This weekend, Angelus Layne is one of the entrants in the 2013 version of ACW‘s Queen of Queens tournament – a big opportunity for this Midwest grappler who has been having a very productive 2013 so far. With that in mind, Stew caught up with Angelus for what was *in theory* meant to be a quick chat – but soon turned into a near podcast length discussion.
We talked Queen of Queens (and who she’s got her eye on in that tournament), getting advice from former QoQ winner Rachel Summerlyn, representing St Louis Anarchy and the fun times she’s had there (including working against babyface Jessicka Havok earlier in the year). We discuss working for AIW in Ohio (debuting at the last minute at Girls Night Out 8 earlier this year), and wrestling Darkness Crabtree for Wrestling Is Intense. We also have an in-depth discussion of hairstyles (yes, really), WWE hiring practices, social media, dig out a couple of comic book references and Angelus tells the story of “The Curse of July” and how it killed her chance to appear at NCW: Femmes Fatales last year.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
Ringbelles Roundup (11 June 2013) – Kaitlyn’s secret admirer, Kalamity, Brittney Savage, Gorgeous George and more
So Kaitlyn’s secret admirer was Big E Langston, as many originally assumed it would be. However, there was a sting in the tail, as Langston was sending the notes as a way to build up the Divas Champion to knock her down as part of a nefarious plan with AJ Lee.
Last night on Raw, Kaitlyn took the ring to ask for whoever had been sending her the notes and gifts, and had a look of bewilderment on her face as it was Big E who was revealed to be the one behind it all. He pointed out that it does appear to be a bit weird and awkward, but softened her with his words. As he moved closer for a kiss, he learnt her back for a romantic smooch, but let her fall to the floor. At that moment, AJ’s music hit and she came skipping to the ring to reveal that it was all one big head game ahead of their title match this Sunday at Payback.
AJ’s reasoning for doing it was that she felt that Kaitlyn had not supported her enough after Daniel Bryan dumped her last year and she went off the rails, and was more focussed on winning the Divas Championship. What Lee is leaving out is that Kaitlyn actually was there for support and to get her back on track, but AJ slapped her on two separate occasions before the friendship fell apart. The pair briefly reunited at the end of last year before AJ turned full-blown heel at TLC and aligned herself with Dolph Ziggler, but it was never meant to last.
AJ became the number one contender to the Divas strap by winning a battle royal on April 22, and since then it has been pushed to one side when it wasn’t convenient to address it. The pair had a backstage set-to at Extreme Rules, but that has been the only real storyline development until last night. (more…)
An aspiring wrestler was on MTV in the US last weekend.
Dana Adiva – who models and has wrestled a couple of shows for Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling as well s some smaller promotions in the Midwest – was one of two subjects featured on an episode of True Life entitled “I’m Too Beautiful”. In it, her sister complained about how attractive her sibling was and how it was affecting their relationship. Adiva also talked about how she had to drop out of school because she was bullied about her looks, finds it hard to get a boyfriend (though her Facebook says she is currently attached) and boasts that “I get anything I want and I get treated like a princess… I don’t have to be smart, because I have my looks.”
However, she also complains that “At the same time it sucks being pretty, it would nice being taken seriously once in a while,” though also discusses the possibility of getting a breast enhancement, claiming “I feel I will be more beautiful with bigger boobs. Instead of a 10 I’ll be a 200.”
MTV followed Adiva around for eight months filming this and she was one of two stories which were compressed into an hour long show, which means about 40 minutes of programme when you take out the commercials. The producers could have weaved any story they liked out of it – however, she said these things, regardless of whether she was coerced or cajoled into doing it. (more…)
Jordynne Grace is full of surprises. In preparing for Ringbelles‘ latest My Name Is interview, I came up with a number of topics of discussion – and quite a few of them had to be thrown out of the window because of new revelations.
Therefore, in this enlightening interview with the Nevadan, we discuss how she is a second generation wrestler – but isn’t doing it to honour her father – and has been economical with the truth when it comes to her date of birth. She also talks about the wrestling scene in Texas – where she currently resides – her impending move across the country, how training came quite easily to her, and how she has serious ambitions for her career.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
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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…)
Anarchy Championship Wrestling prom results, plus 4 American Joshi Queen of Queens participants named
Anarchy Championship Wrestling can tend to be a tough promotion to get results for. One of its biggest strengths is also something that runs the risk of hurting it – it is its own world, with a set of fiercely loyal fans who attend most shows. However, it also means that results tend not to emerge very quickly, as its biggest fans already know because they were there, watching live, meaning that there is a chance that the potential to expand the brand is slimmed. It’s the nature of the beast – but it means that on occasion, this website is unable to deliver results for ACW shows as rapidly as we would sometimes hope.
However, one fan who attended last night’s show with a prom gimmick – entitled Nothing is as Real as a Dream – sent us results and notes from the show, so thanks very much to Brandon Bray. It’s much appreciated.
The prom is something that ACW’s fans get into, with many dressing up in suits and dresses to get into the occasion, and the roster also dress up appropriately too, which also leads to some matches centred around the fancy clothes. Click the jump to read results from the show, as well as details about next month’s American Joshi Queen of Queens tournament… (more…)
Sitting in the Tokyo ward of Sumida, Japan, Ryōgoku Kokugikan is primarily a venue for sumo wrestling, hence the alternative name of Sumo Hall. Hosting tournaments throughout the year as well as three special events in January, May and September, the 28-year old building holds a lot of tradition for sports other than sumo. The building also hosts boxing, concerts and professional wrestling. However, when it comes to joshi, Sumo Hall may well have been in Narnia, as there has not been a show there since Ladies Legend Pro Wrestling held an event there on February 12, 2007.
The show featured the semi-finals and final of a 10-woman All Star Tournament with Shinobu Kandori pinning Meiko Satomura to win the whole shebang. Attendance numbers are disputed, though the reported figure was about 5,800, which is less than half of the 13,000 that the building can hold.
Since then, there has not been a joshi show held there, though that will change next Monday, when Stardom presents its biggest and most ambitious show in its two and a half year history with a stacked card which features wrestlers from a number of different joshi promotions. (more…)
Episode 53 with ‘The Wrestling Goddess’ Athena
Here’s one we’ve been meaning to do for some time – and we’ve finally got our schedules aligned in time to bring it to you just before SHIMMER Vol 53 on iPPV next weekend, where our guest Athena will be in one of the featured matches against Ayako Hamada. In this wide ranging interview, we talk about how the various parts of her act came together – including how she started, was ripped off, clotheslined, yet still came back for more; we find out where the name came from, how the spectacular O-Face came to be, and the origin of “Hussy”. We talk run-ins with various former (and future) WWE wrestlers, early awesomeness with Booker T & Sharmell, thoughts on ACW, Rachel Summerlyn, Death Matches and Intergender wrestling (Brock Lesnar vs Kim Kardashian anybody?). We talk SHIMMER, Femmes Fatales, WSU – and then out of nowhere break open the Wrestling Bucket List~!, where Athena runs through the people she wants to wrestle before she retires. Some serious, some personal, some… a little out there! We finish up talking about making it to the big time, and the craziness that has been the TNA Gut Check voting. A bit of an epic podcast, this… but this girl can talk!
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
Anarchy Championship Wrestling returns for its fourth American Joshi Queen of Queens tournament with Rachel Summerlyn looking to defend her crown, with Jazz and Jessicka Havok making their ACW debuts. Also on the card, Portia Perez challenges Angel Blue for the American Joshi Championship.
American Joshi Queen of Queens – quarter-finals
1. Athena made Su Yung tap out to a leg submission.
2. Christina Von Eerie beat Veda Scott with the 138.
3. Rachel Summerlyn pinned Jazz with a Gory Bomb.
4. Jessicka Havok defeated Lady Poison with a roll-up. Summerlyn stayed at ringside and distracted Poison to allow Jessicka to get the pin.
5. Matthew Palmer defeated Rodney Mack with a superkick to retain the Hardcore Title.
6. Darin Childs & Khris Wolfe retained the ACW Tag Team Championships by beating the Lost Boys, Electric Company, & Mojo Bravado in a 4-way dance.
American Joshi Queen of Queens – semi-finals
7. Athena beat Von Eerie with the O-Face.
8. Havok defeated Summerlyn with the Air Raid Crash.
ACW American Joshi Championship Match
9. Angel Blue pinned Portia Perez with a roll-up to retain the title.
American Joshi Queen of Queens – finals
10. Athena defeated Havok to become the 2012 Queen of Queens. She got the pinfall following an O-Face across an open chair. (more…)
On 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…)
There are many interesting prospects in North America. One which has been simmering for a while is Mia Yim, who has been honing her skills and gaining more experience by partaking in a number of extended trips to Japan to wrestle for REINA x World. Domestically, she has had some interesting matches which have been of a good quality, and was a beneficiary when one of her kicks broke Allysin Kay’s nose last January leading to a number of well-received matches between the two with greater stipulations reflecting the development of the programme, culminating in a cage match at Absolute Intense Wrestling’s Girls Night Out 7. She had a fine outing against Jessicka Havok at SHINE 3 last September, and also enjoyed outings against the likes of Kana and Yumi Ohka in SHIMMER in 2011.
However, there is one major sticking point when it comes to her work in the US – barring the original nose-breaking match against Kay at GNO5, Yim has lost most of those high-profile outings.
Despite that, she has the opportunity to claim a really big scalp at SHIMMER volume 53 in Secaucus, NJ on April 6, and spoil the homecoming of one of its biggest stars at the same time. (more…)
2012 Diva of the Year (named by both WWE Magazine and the WWE fans via the Slammy Awards) AJ Lee is about as far away from WWE’s idea of what a Diva should be as you can imagine. Short, quirky, geeky, lacking the body shape that others have had in the past, she comes across as the person you would be more likely to meet over an Xbox Live session of Call Of Duty Black Ops 2 than at an awards ceremony or a fancy bar. She’s your friend, your buddy – she’s not what WWE would perceive to be the ultimate in femininity.
But scratch beneath the surface, and she may be more woman than anyone else on the roster. She’s independent, driven, and has forged a path which she was never meant to go down – and in doing so, forced WWE to take notice.
After all, at the start of this year, she was Daniel Bryan’s put-upon girlfriend – the one who was the foil for him to turn heel, and saw her end up being verbally abused and put in harm’s way. If anything, at the time she was another version of the antithesis of a Diva – meek, helpless and unable to take care of herself. However, when their relationship ended on the post-WrestleMania SmackDown following Bryan’s loss of the World Heavyweight Title – which he blamed on her – she went off at the deep end. It gave her character a chance to have an edge, and she ran with it. (more…)
As we build up to the 2012 Ringbelles Awards, we’re having a look back at last year’s winners and how they fared in 2012. Yesterday, we recapped Kay Lee Ray‘s 2012 after winning Discovery of the Year – now it’s the turn of the Breakout Star of the Year for 2011, Jessicka Havok…
At the time of us awarding her the Breakout moniker, Havok was the Women Superstars Uncensored Spirit Champion and on course to challenge Mercedes Martinez for the WSU World Title at the promotion’s 5th Anniversary card in March. Needless to say she won that match, holding both singles championships at the same time and establishing herself as the top woman in WSU. This was followed by her successfully defending the Spirit Title against Marti Belle not once, but twice – but also lost the WSU crown on her first defence against former champ Martinez, though regained it the same night in a 3 way also involving Brittney Savage. (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 a recent interview with Edge, he was asked why so many women are voluntarily choosing to leave WWE. His reply: “I don’t think they get a shot and that’s why most leave. No incentive.”
Now, I was all set to expand on this, but there is the flip side – what about the fortunate ones who do get a shot? Do they seize the opportunity with both hands? Well, one is certainly doing so at the moment, and she seems to be the only one on the main roster taking the her role as a wrestler deadly seriously.
Consider what WWE Divas Champion Eve Torres has been up to in the last week. She was featured in a profile video for American Latino which focuses a large amount of time on the self defence for women programme she offers – something that she believes very passionately about. She teamed up with the Gracie Academy for the Women Empowered DVD set, and has worked hard promoting women being able to take care of themselves in potentially dangerous situations.
The interview also saw Torres justifying her heel character in WWE by saying she is a woman who gets what she wants, and her holding the WWE Divas belt is proof of that. It’s weird logic, but she has a point – it gets around the fact that she is a heel too, even though she is purporting herself to be on the side of the good girls. (more…)
Wow. I don’t know what really to say besides Thank You to everyone who has supported a girl born and raised in Austin,TX, who grew up surrounded by wrestling and then turning a dream into reality. All I ever wanted from wrestling was to give all you guys back the happiness it has given me. My zen place inside those ropes. Through all the battles, all the looks, all the people who said that I was just a girl…
Thank you for those moments, because it wouldn’t have made this one as special as it was. I am now the @ACWwrestling Heavyweight Champion.
They’re the words from Rachel Summerlyn‘s Twitter after last night’s Lone Star Classic in Austin, TX, where she came out of nowhere to win Anarchy Championship Wrestling‘s Heavyweight Championship. She substituted for Jerry Lynn in the semi finals of the tournament to defeat last year’s winner ACH, then rounded things off by beating Evan Gelistico to claim the title. (more…)