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…)
The release of this year’s Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen of Queens tournament is not far away – so to prepare, we bring you a tag team match featuring the women of ACW from April 15 this year.
At the time, Angel Blue was the holder of the coveted American Joshi Championship, which has been held by wrestlers like Portia Perez, Athena and Daffney in the past. She’s joined by the colourful Serenity, who has been working with Resistance Pro and ACW affiliate St Louis Anarchy. Their opponents are American Joshi original and former titleholder Rachel Summerlyn and the increasingly popular Barbi Hayden, who debuted in the promotion late last year after earning her stripes in NWA Houston.
Wrestling promotions spend a long time building up a reputation. Many groups which are starting out at the moment like SHINE and BLOW are looking to get some traction, credibility and a fan base behind them to be mentioned in the same sort of high regard as companies like SHIMMER and Women Superstars Uncensored. Another promotion which has created a great reputation for itself is Montreal, nCw Femmes Fatales, which was worked hard over the last three years to be known as the standard bearer for all-women shows in Canada.
Earlier this year, another promotion looking to start its own women’s show did not do as much research as it probably should have. Insane Championship Wrestling in Scotland called its group Femmes Fatales, but after realising that there was already another Femmes Fatales out there which already had a positive reputation and was working on heritage. After a brief contact from the original, ICW agreed to change the name to Fierce Females, admitting that there would have been some confusion, rebranded itself and looked ahead to promoting its first show, which takes place in Glasgow on September 30 (which Ringbelles will be attending, we may add). It was a considered, reasonable and mature approach exhibited by all which meant that nobody felt aggrieved or hard done by, and would mean that there would be no confusion by fans.
A similar situation came to light this week. (more…)
As you may have seen from our list of wrestlers who we feel have had good half-years, the way they have achieved it has varied from person to person. For Jessicka Havok, it was all about creating a brand for herself and capitalising on that to reach the top of Women Superstars Uncensored. For Sweet Saraya and AJ, it was about having an absorbing character. Tsukasa Fujimoto was about titles, Kellie Skater was about education and applying that knowledge, while Allysin Kay was about seizing the opportunity when it arises, no matter in what way that should manifest. For “The Wrestling Goddess” Athena, 2012 (so far) has been about turning heads and establishing herself as one of the most consistently high-level performers in the United States – which is what she has done with a string of show-stealing appearances throughout a number of promotions. (more…)
Seeing as we are halfway through the year, it’s worth a look at the movers and shakers of the last six months. We have sat down over some Coke Slurpees and come up with a list of wrestlers whose stock his increased in that time – essentially, who is more valuable now than they were one January 1? And with that, we start with one who is a bit of a no-brainer…
Rolling into 2012, Jessicka Havok was on a tear – one of the reasons why Ringbelles named her as the Breakout Star of 2011 last December. Leader of the Midwest Militia, in possession of the Women Superstars Uncensored Spirit Championship and sporting an enviable undefeated steak in singles competition in the promotion, the then 25-year old from Massillon, OH had everything going her way. (more…)
Back when it was still in single figures, we interviewed LuFisto for the Women of Wrestling Podcast. Among the mass of topics which were discussed, including her changing an Ontarian law which prevented men wrestling women and competing in brutal and bloody deathmatches, she pointed out one ambition which she held dear – one which has yet to be accomplished.
The last thing I would love to do is have one match with TNA. Just one. Dark match, whatever – I don’t care. I just want to experience what it is.
Considering she has been wrestling her entire adult life in numerous countries (and spilt blood in many of them – either her own or someone else’s) it sounds like a modest request. Debuting at the age of 17 in 1997, the Montreal native has broken barriers for women in her home country of Canada, competed and won championships in Combat Zone Wrestling, hanging with the guys there along the way, won deathmatch tournaments (one of which saw a piece of broken fluorescent bulb glass lodged in her back for around four years), and also proven that she’s not a one-trick pony by wrestling in SHIMMER without the benefit or distraction of weapons. Much like Mick Foley’s transformation from Cactus Jack and cellar dweller Mankind to the cuddly guy who is everyone’s happy uncle, LuFisto transitioned from a violent, partially masochistic maniac character to one which is based around Japanese anime and peppered with fun and happiness. LuFisto is a pioneer for women’s wrestling who has been trying for a number of years to get a foot in the door at either WWE or TNA, with the usual response being that she doesn’t have the “look” that they are after. However last Saturday, on the 15th anniversary of her debut, she got the opportunity she’s been after for years, when she got a chance to wrestle in a TNA ring as part of its Gut Check before the card in Oshawa, Ontario. (more…)
Athena is your new Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen of Queens, winning a tournament in Live Oak, TX which saw new names challenging for the crown, and past participants also vying to make it to the top of the heap.
Daizee Haze took the original tournament in 2009, going through Portia Perez, Jessica James and Sara Del Rey; Perez won in 2010 be beating Haze, MsChif and Lady Poison, regaining the ACW American Joshi Championship in the process, and; 2011′s winner was Rachel Summerlyn, who defeated Christina Von Eerie, Perez and Athena to emerge victorious.
This year Summerlyn, Athena, Lady Poison and Von Eerie returned for the 2012 tournament, and were joined by debutantes Jessicka Havok, Jazz, Veda Scott and Su Yung. Also on the card, Perez looked to regain the American Joshi Title when she challenges the holder Angel Blue for the belt. Click after the jump and we will relay the results to you, courtesy of ACW and attendee David Muscarella. (more…)
Following her arrest over being arrested for narcotics possession last week, Io Shirai was indefinitely suspended by her home promotion, Stardom. The official statement refrains from making a comment on the current legal situation, but did distance itself from the former Triple Tails member, and apologised to fans. Io’s sister Mio did the same thing in a blog post, saying that their relationship had been strained recently, and Io had distanced herself from her family. She also pointed out that she heard about the arrest in the same way everyone else did – via the media.
Shirai’s suspension should not come as a surprise. Drugs are a serious no-no in Japan, and any wrestling organisation would want to disassociate itself with anything that may trouble or dissuade sponsors.
22-year old Shirai and her boyfriend NOSAWA Rongai were arrested at Narita Airport after returning from Mexico, after a total of 75 grams of marijuana was found hidden in the frames of two paintings given to them from fans. In somewhere like the US or UK, 75 grams is a small amount of cannabis – but this Japan, which has ferocious anti-drug laws to discourage people from smuggling, selling, cultivating or selling them in the country. For example, because caught with weed could result in a five year prison sentence which also incorporates hard labour. That’s a stiff penalty, and really not worth the risk.
At the moment, both Shirai and Rongai (who deny the allegations) are being held in a detention centre where the prosecutor will prepare in indictment. If that happens, the chances of being acquitted is very slim. (more…)
As a commentator myself, I appreciate how good commentary can really enhance a match. It can add nuances that may not be immediately obvious to a live crowd, or it can really help cover up and build interest in a bad match. There are also times (especially in indy wrestling) when you can end up being thrown in at the deep end with no preparation, and you end up doing the best you can, and basically end up amusing yourself. Case in point: this match for the ACW American Joshi Championship from “Delusions of our Childish Days” and the commentator – former champion and ACW regular, Portia Perez. Assuming we take Perez at face value, she claims “I thought someone else was supposed to be on commentary” and proceeds to spend the entirety of the match making smartass comments at the expense of literally everybody involved. Alex Greenfield recently described Perez on commentary as having “the droll wit of some mid-‘90s indy-rock chick making you laugh even in the midst of brutality”, and he’s right. Her commentary here ranges from critiquing outfits, to discussing racist Texas fans, to what she wants for Christmas, to posting messages on social networks as Jerry Saggs. Enjoy. I know I did. (more…)
There are three strands to Women Superstars Uncensored’s hellraising triumvirate known as the Midwest Militia. At the top of the heap is Jessicka Havok, the current dual singles champion in the promotion, undefeated in singles competition and general baddest bitch on the block. She is backed up by Sassy Stephie, former Spirit Champion, current Tag Team Champion and SHIMMER regular. And then there’s the third corner of the triangle, Allysin Kay – tag team partner of Havok in Team Be Jealous, other half of the Tag Team Champion and the owner of wrestling’s most colourful tattoo. However, there was something about Kay that felt like she was placed 3rd out of three when it came to the Militia’s pecking order. I can’t put my finger on it, as it is an intangible that is difficult to define, but there was a perception that while she was an integral part of the Militia, her accomplishments left her at the back.
That is, until last weekend.
On Saturday, Stephie and Kay defended the Tag Team Championship against the team they defeated at WSU’s 5th Anniversary Show last month, Alicia and Brittney Savage. Though the booking could be questioned – after all, the Militia defeated the challengers in an Uncensored Rules match back in March – it really did a world of good for the champions’ reign to prove that they are no fluke team who weaselled their way to the straps by beating an already exhausted Jana & Luscious Latasha, who had just defeated Lexxus & Destiny and/or Tina San Antonio to win the titles for themselves. By beating two of the promotion’s top babyfaces under regular tag team rules rather than a big brawl with tornado stipulations served them well as established them as a tandem who would be difficult to take down. Credibility asserted, Kay then went on to Cleveland, OH to compete for the vacant Absolute Intense Wrestling Women’s Championship in the main event of Girls Night Out 6… (more…)
It’s that time of year again – we’re approaching the summer, and the build up for this year’s Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen of Queens tournament is underway. With this being the fourth year since its inception, the event has become a major event in the women’s wrestling calendar, having played host to some great matches, title changes and angles over years, and has crowned three worthy winners.
Daizee Haze took the original tournament in 2009, going through Portia Perez, Jessica James and Sara Del Rey; Perez won in 2010 be beating Haze, MsChif and Lady Poison, regaining the ACW American Joshi Championship in the process, and; 2011′s winner was Rachel Summerlyn (pictured), who defeated Christina Von Eerie, Perez and Athena to emerge victorious.
This year’s tournament takes place in Live Oak, TX on June 24, and two names have been announced – both of whom were defeated by eventual winner Summerlyn last year. Von Eerie – who made a great first impression in her losing effort in the first round – returns for a second stab at the crown, while ACW regular and former American Joshi titleholder Athena is having her third attempt at rising to the top after ending up just one victory short last year. Both Von Eerie and Athena have grown as wrestlers since the last QoQ – Christina has had time in TNA and has been working regularly in Florida, and tagged with MsChif on the most recent SHIMMER tapings against the likes of LuFisto & Kana, as well as Hailey Hatred and Kalamity, while Athena ascended to the next level at SHIMMER last month by defeating Mercedes Martinez, Sassy Stephie and Ray.
If this year’s tournament is anything like last year’s, we’re in for a treat, and I’m already putting some money aside to buy the DVD when it is released.
- Lee Burton
What have Rachel Summerlyn, Nikki Storm, Amazon, Jenny Rose and Maria Kanellis all done this year, and what has Kurumi done twice?
If you guessed “win tournaments”, take yourself to the Winners’ Circle.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I love a good tournament. It’s a great way to have multiple storylines running in one show, concluding some, forwarding others and starting a few more. It can also be a push for the winner, and even for a plucky name who gets further than you would expect them to. But the reason why I mostly love tournaments is because it’s a special occasion, much like your birthday, Christmas (although people who know me will know that I’m not fond of Christmas) or the release of a new Police Academy film. Across North America, the UK and Canada, there have been seven tournaments in the past 12 weeks. (more…)
Daffney has been pretty quiet recently, but recently popped up on Twitter again to inform her followers and fans about her Workers’ Compensation lawsuit against TNA that she filed after her contract expired last March.
On Tuesday, the former WCW Cruiserweight and ACW American Joshi Champion said:
Great day today. Just wanted to let everybody know that the Workers’ Comp Claim is going well. Although it’s been a long road, I continue to keep my head up. Hoping for some good results.
The basis of the lawsuit stretches back to October 18, 2009, where Daffney was chokeslammed by Abyss from the second rope through a barbed wire table placed on the arena floor as part of his match against Mick Foley at Bound For Glory. In taking the move, she suffered a concussion. Click after the jump to see the video, as well as more on the lawsuit. (more…)