If 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…)
She wrestles regularly for OVW, AAW, Wrestling Is Heart, Wrestling Is Cool and AIW, she made her debut on the SHIMMER main card earlier this month, she also debuted recently for St Louis Anarchy. In addition, she’s part of the upcoming SHINE 10 show next month and is entered in the Chikara Tag World Grand Prix in Chicago. It’s Heidi Lovelace, and if you don’t know the name yet, prepare to get to know it.
In this half-hour one-on-one website exclusive interview, you can hear about how exciting a time it is to be Heidi right about now, from inauspicious starts through training (with guys) at Billy Roc‘s School of Roc through making a big impression at National Pro-Wrestling Day earlier in the year, working and training in Ohio Valley Wrestling and their growing women’s scene now, to being part of the international SHIMMER locker room. Heidi discusses her evolution so far as a wrestler from both a training and gimmick perspective, and discusses her hopes for the future. A really enjoyable chat – check it out.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
Last week, I repeated my previous assertion that two championships would change hands at NCW Femmes Fatales XI in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on Saturday. Lo and behold, that’s what happened – with the Bellatrix World Championship and the Femmes Fatales International Titles being won by Courtney Rush and Mercedes Martinez respectively.
Martinez’s victory over Kalamity is only part of her story in the show. She continued her cross-promotion feud with LuFisto following her defeat to the Super Hardcore Anime at Women Superstars Uncensored’s An Ultraviolent Affair in February by attacking her foe during LuFisto’s challenge for the SHIMMER title against Saraya Knight. The steel chair attack to LuFisto’s head was enough for Knight to lock in the Bridal Rocking Horse for the stoppage and retain the belt, meaning that no matter what happened with Mercedes’ challenge to Kalamity, the Martinez/LuFisto programme would continue.
As it turns out, the programme will likely feature the International Championship, as the Latina Sensation used a Fisherman Buster onto a steel chair to gain the pinfall and bring The Oncoming Storm’s 17-month reign to an end. (more…)
Did you watch Absolute Intense Wrestling’s Girls Night Out 8? If not, you can still buy it at Smart Mark Video, and it’s worth it, as there are three matches well worth your $10. However during the interval, AIW screened a match from GNO6 between Hailey Hatred and Jenny Rose – though due to a technical issue, the conclusion of the match wasn’t shown. AIW put that right this weekend by uploading the match to YouTube… and what a match it was.
Both Hatred and Rose have spent the last few years of their respective careers in Japan – Hatred primarily with JWP, while Rose’s character was born in Diana, casting her Jamilia Craft gimmick to one side to start afresh. Both returned to the US for brief periods of time last year, and their paths crossed in Cleveland, OH on April 15 last year. Click the jump to watch. (more…)
Episode 52 with AIW Promoter John Thorne
This Friday, Absolute Intense Wrestling brings their Girls Night Out franchise to iPPV via Smart Mark Video – so we’ve invited one of the AIW owner/promoters John Thorne onto the show to explain exactly why you should consider paying $14.99 of your hard earned cash on the show. We talk preparations for the show on the final week, Taylor Made‘s late pull-out and the addition of Addy Starr, the idea of iPPV (and whose idea it was) and the financial state of the company. We go back to the early days of GNO and talk about how important Hailey Hatred was to getting the first show off the ground, favourite shows so far, and how they’ve improved through each event. We talk the current status of former AIW Women’s Champions Mickie Knuckles and Jessicka Havok, touch on an AIW Women’s Champion who never was, and the 2012 ascent of Allysin Kay and Mia Yim to the main event – including the amazing finish to their Steel Cage match last August. We discuss the Indiegogo campaign to get Athena to GNO 7 last year, and John offers his opinion on some of the WSU/Drew Cordeiro twitter-drama from last week, and touches on an aborted GNO/WSU invasion/merger angle. We talk Allysin Kay’s mystery opponent for Friday (and maybe get a hint…), the formation of The Social Network and help give the final push for the iPPV on Friday. Some really interesting insight here from someone who was anything but a women’s wrestling fan a few years ago.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
Ringbelles Roundup (26 February 2013) – wrestling’s equivalent of Ronda Rousey, Girls Night Out 8 and more
Ronda 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…)
Episode 51 with Serena Deeb
Last week, Serena Deeb was announced as returning to the ring after an eighteen month injury hiatus following a severe concussion suffered on SHIMMER Vol 44 – which begs a number of questions; questions that we aim to ask on this podcast. Get the full rundown on her decision to return to the ring, how close she was to returning last Fall, and how attending a show a couple of weeks ago helped convince her to get back in the ring. We talk about what she’s been up to for the last year and a half, including Yoga and DVD box-sets, how much she’s kept in contact with both the wrestling business and the people in it, and discuss what exactly happened when she was arrested last July 4th. We also touch on Davina Rose‘s signing with WWE, and nail down whether this is a temporary or a permanent comeback, and talk future plans. Plus, before the 40 minutes with the Deebious One, Stew & Lee spend 20 minutes running down what to expect in the next couple of months – from SHINE to EVE, Bellatrix to SHIMMER and AIW to NCW: Femmes Fatales. Oh, and just what is happening with Kaitlyn for WrestleMania? We ponder the imponderable, here on the Women of Wrestling Podcast.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
Ringbelles Roundup (29 January 2013) – Trish Stratus, National Pro Wrestling Day, Pro Wrestling: EVE & more
It was announced during last night’s episode of Monday Night Raw that Trish Stratus would be inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame this April as part of the WrestleMania XXIX weekend. As expected, the wave of congratulations came from wrestlers past and present like Lita, Mickie James, Beth Phoenix, Layla, Gail Kim and more, as well as personalities both inside and outside of the business like Jim Ross, Lilian Garcia and Snooki. Indeed, there are a lot of supporters of the Torontarian, and she was quick to react to the announcement:
I still can’t believe it. I’m just so honored to be taking my place alongside WWE’s greatest, as a wrestling fan – I’m kind of blown away! It’s simply amazing.
The 37-year old joins the Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young, Sensational Sherri, Sunny and Wendi Richter in the Hall, and is the most modern Diva to be inducted, though this provided a sticking point for some who felt that while she was worthy of going in, it was ahead of others who they felt should go in first – Leilani Kai, Bull Nakano and Madusa were names which cropped up, as well as Lita, whom Stratus’ career ran parallel with for damn near the entirety of their runs.
Now, while I’m not the biggest Stratus fan in the world, I’m fair – and without a doubt, Trish deserves to be in that Hall of Fame, and as far as the criteria of this particular one is concerned, is more worthy than the others. If we were discussing the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame or the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame in Amsterdam, NY, then Stratus would get nowhere near the ballots, but for WWE’s version, all you have you do is get the green light from one Vince McMahon – and when it comes to that element, Stratus was always inevitable, as she was a model WWE employee. (more…)
It’s time for the second of our three honours which comprise the Ringbelles 2012 Year End Awards, and that brings us to the Breakout Star of the Year. While we define the Discovery category as someone who caught our attention and made us believe that great things are in that wrestler’s future, the Breakout Star award is for those wrestlers who have gone from being another name in another match to someone who has become a genuine player, breaking through that proverbial glass ceiling to being a must-have selection for promoters, and someone who fans are now going out of their way to see, learn more about and follow.
As was mentioned in yesterday’s Roundup, the Breakout Star category saw the biggest field of potential winners, with fifteen women in contention for the award. Names on the list included Hiroyo Matsumoto, who challenged for numerous championships in Japan and earned another crack at the SHIMMER title on volume 51; Courtney Rush, who was part of the brilliant Queens Of Winning storyline and has been part of higher profile matches in 2012, showing how well regarded she is and how you can rely on her to put on an entertaining contest; Athena, who won the Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen of Queens and had big outings against the likes of Ray, Mercedes Martinez and Ayako Hamada, as well as challenging for both the SHIMMER and nCw Femmes Fatales International championships; Evie, who in the space of seven days in August won two of the most high-profile titles in Australasia and fought some staggeringly hard-hitting matches along the way; and Nikki Storm, who blossomed over the year from an entertaining prospect for the future into a consistently entertaining performer and the Pro Wrestling: EVE Champion – albeit for only a matter of minutes.
Three of the aforementioned names came within a gnat’s whisker of winning this award. However, we elected to give it to a woman whose rise over 2012 came to be because of an errant kick which caused her nose to explode… (more…)
It’s called Absolutely Intense Wrestling for a reason, and the match we bring to you today from said promotion proves it.
Hailey Hatred and John Thorne had traded victories in singles and tag team matches from late 2008, including one which saw Thorne beat Hatred in a No-Rope Barbed Wire affair. The match presented after the jump is a bloody and violent I Quit Dog Collar match from Absolution IV on June 12, 2009.
By the way, this match adds more to the intergender match discussion we have been having stemming from last week’s Roundup. Feel free to add your thoughts and feelings on matches with men facing women in the comments, and we will collate the best ones for a follow-up on Tuesday. (more…)
If you have seen Veda Scott in SHIMMER, you may be surprised by her antics in Absolute Intense Wrestling. Utilising her legitimate qualifications in law, Scott is using legal wranglings to secure opportunities for herself and her client Gregory Iron, who has tasked her with levelling the playing field due to him competing despite having cerebral palsy.
Thanks to Veda, Iron has a loophole in his matches which means that opponents have to pin him for a count of four instead of the regular three, and also used her powers to earn them a crack at the AIW Tag Team Championship at Hell On Earth 8 in Cleveland, OH on Friday.
According to Eric Girod, who was in attendance at the show, Scott came out during the proceedings to demand title opportunities for both herself and Iron. Acting President Matt Wadsworth made the decision to have them combine to wrestle for the tag straps against defending champions The Batiri, as there wasn’t enough space on the card for them both to receive title shots (combined with the fact that Allysin Kay was already set to defend the Women’s Title against KC Warfield – a match which she won with a triangle choke tap out). (more…)
Funny how the past comes back to haunt you.
In June, while she was still campaigning to be Connecticut Republican candidate for the US Senate, Linda McMahon’s past as the CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment was brought up, including the effect the programming may have had on women and men’s views of how to treat women. One particular incident keeps cropping up – the segment on the March 5, 2001 episode of Raw Is War when Linda’s husband Vince forced Trish Stratus to crawl on all fours, bark like a dog and then strip in the middle of the ring, all in an attempt to humiliate and degrade her.
Even at the time, the event was seen as so offensive that it was never shown in the UK, and it is still great ammunition for opponents of McMahon. Back in June, Linda’s opponent Chris Shays said during a debate: “I think when you force a woman to take off all her clothes in an arena, and get down on the ground and bark like a dog, I think that’s assault on women.” (more…)
Allysin Kay hasn’t done too badly for herself this year – Women Superstars Uncensored Tag Team Champion with Sassy Stephie, riding high in SHINE with Taylor Made, and dominating Absolute Intense Wrestling‘s women’s division as its champion.
Having already successfully defending the pink belt over Mia Yim and Crazy Mary Dobson, it was announced earlier this week that Kay will put her title up against top contender KC Warfield on November 23 in Cleveland, OH.
The match we bring to you today is the first of Kay’s defences from after winning the vacant title in a match against Yim, putting the belt up against Canadian Jennifer Blake. The pair met with the championship on the line on the second night of the JT Lightning Invitational Tournament on May 12. (more…)
As we reported at the weekend, Riho is leaving Ice Ribbon after being with the promotion for the entire existence of the company. She’s leaving following her match against Aoi Kizuki on September 23 to focus on her high school entrance exams. Now 15 years old, Riho debuted at the age of 8 and won the ICEx60 Championship when she was 12. When she returns, she says it will not be for Ice Ribbon but for her trainer Emi Sakura in Thailand.
Riho’s departure is the latest in an expanding list of wrestlers who have left Ice Ribbon in the last 12 months or so. Chii Tomiya (now Micro), Ray, Makoto and founder Emi Sakura have all said their farewells, while Dorami Nagano has been missing since June, Sayaka Obihiro hasn’t had a match since July and Hikari Minami is also taking some time away to prepare for high school. For the most part, none of these acts have been replaced, and precious few have debuted in the last year.
Some have benefited. Kurumi has come on leaps and bounds to the point where she is one half of the International Ribbon Tag Team Champions; Aoi Kizuki returned at Christmas and has been a smiling presence since then; Maki Narumiya has improved too, and names like Hamuko Hoshi and Maeri Naito have also had more attention bestowed onto them. However, the top of the card looks a little sparse these days, with ICEx60 Champion Hikaru Shida and Tsukasa Fujimoto heading things up, names like 14-year old prodigy Tsukushi the next level down (and presumably will also be thinking about school soon), and Narumiya and Kizuki also around there. (more…)
There has been a lot of focus on the continent of Australasia recently, and most of it centres around one kick-happy wrestler from New Zealand.
As we have documented, Evie has been catapulted into everyone’s line of sight, winning both the IPW Women’s and PWWA Championships in the space of seven days – the first in a triple threat match with Megan-Kate and Britenay, and the latter against Jessie McKay just last Saturday.
When approached for comment, the Auckland resident told Ringbelles:
Winning the IPW Women’s Title and then the PWWA Interim Title… words can’t pinpoint the feelings I felt over those nights. I was extremely emotional… a few tears were shed, and it definitely is the highlight of my career to date. I came away from both matches battered and bruised, but it was all worth it in the end… after five years, I finally feel like a champion.
The fans have also been rad… I can’t believe how much support I received through those tournaments, both online and in person. It was amazing!
So, this weekend is AIW‘s Girls Night Out 7 show from Cleveland, OH – a show headlined with a relative rarity in women’s wrestling – a Steel Cage match. Locked inside the cage will be the AIW Absolute Women’s Champion Allysin Kay (not coincidentally our most recent guest on the Women of Wrestling Podcast) and her top contender, Mia Yim.
As an appetiser for the show, AIW have gone and released the full video of their main event match at Girls Night Out 6 on YouTube. Bonus. We’ve already reviewed the full show a couple of months ago, and it’s the best GNO event that we’ve seen to date. Yim & Kay battled in the main event for the vacant AIW championship in an unsanctioned, no-rules grudge match – a grudge based on the fact that Kay’s nose was broken all over her face by Yim in January. If you haven’t listened yet, listen to Kay’s thoughts on the whole feud on the Podcast – where, amongst other things, she dropped the following threat… “This cage match is going to make machetes & light tubes seem merciful”
We’ll cover Girls Night Out 7 this weekend on the website, but until then, click through past the cut and whet your appetite for destruction…
Velvet Sky was released from TNA last week, and I’m sure it wasn’t a decision that she came to lightly. However, following the departure of her longtime tag team partner Angelina Love at the start of July, she thought out loud on Twitter about a Beautiful People reunion, and there was no way that could happen on TNA TV, so we should have read into that at the time. Well, now it’s set to happen, as Sky and Love (now going under her original guise of Angel Williams) will be on the same show for Northeast Wrestling on September 22 in Fiskhill, NY, and have been booked to participate in a tag team match for Family Wrestling Entertainment on October 5 in Brooklyn, NY against Maria Kanellis and a partner who has not been announced yet.
Like I pointed out when the news of her release was announced, Sky must imagine that there must be a lot of money on the table for the Beautiful People to do a tour. However, as well as taking the money on the table, both she and Williams have the opportunity to give back too. (more…)
Episode 44 with Allysin Kay
The Women of Wrestling Podcast returns with the third and final member of the fearsome Midwest Militia, Allysin Kay. Kay has had a breakout year in 2012, thanks in large part to her exploits in AIW, where she started the year with a broken nose, came back to win their women’s title, and next weekend will conclude the trilogy as she defends her title in a Cage Match against the woman who broke her nose – Mia Yim. Also, fresh off Shine Wrestling‘s iPPV debut last weekend, Kay talks about tagging up with Taylor Made, and the classic tag team that inspires her work. We talk her early wrestling fandom and her initial favourites, her fantastic and distinctive tattoo, meeting and working with Jessicka Havok, thoughts on the future of WSU under new management, working NCW Femmes Fatales last month and being already announced for SHIMMER this October, accents, twitter, craziness and more. A lot of fun.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
The most recent one is with Sara Del Rey, where she discusses getting into the business, learning with men, her debut, Ring Of Honor shying away from women wrestling on the shows and models learning to wrestle. It’s a nice 20 minute chat – for more information on Sara’s career, you can also listen to our Women Of Wrestling Podcast with her from two years ago.
Also after the jump is an interview with Veda Scott, where she discussed how much she researched wrestling schools before choosing the ROH Academy, debuting against Daizee Haze, being knocked out by Cherry Bomb, her SHIMMER debut and being perceived as a wrestler rather than as a sex object. And what do you know – we have a WOW Podcast with Veda too, so check that one out as well! (more…)
Quite a few interconnected items to discuss this week, but they all start at the same point, so let’s go back to last Saturday night…
On the “Before They Were WWF Superstars” DVD back in 2001, we got a look at Edge and Christian’s background, learned about their friendship and how they were high school buddies. From there, they went back to their old school, walked the corridors and showed how a particular hallway entrance doubled up as their wrestling ring.
One element that is pertinent to this piece is that the group of friends that they hung around with were known as the Getalong Gang, as they got along with all the other cliques like the jocks, the geeks and so on. They were the middleground that everyone could be friendly with and not face any attitude, hostility or pretty grudges.
nCw Femmes Fatales is the Getalong Gang. (more…)
“AK-47. The very best there is.
When you absolutely, positively got to kill every motherfucker in the room, accept no substitutes.”
(Ordell Robbie, Jackie Brown, 1997)
Spotlighting wrestlers for this “good half year” series isn’t easy – everybody has an opinion and everybody has different criteria when choosing. For me, one of my biggest criteria was to choose people who are in a better position now than they were in January – and on that basis alone, Allysin Kay was right at the top of my list. Surely an early contender for our year-end breakout star of the year award, Kay has been riding a major wave of upward momentum this year, collecting title belts and plaudits wherever she has gone. Make no mistake, 2012 has seen the woman nicknamed “AK-47” go from a supporting role to a burgeoning star in her own right. (more…)