This weekend we bring you a match between two of Europe’s best – Germany’s Alpha Female and Portugal’s Shanna – from EPW’s Overload TV show. Alpha and Shanna have been tearing things up across Europe for some time, and there’s little chance of things changing any time soon. Both are entered in next weekend’s Pro-Wrestling EVE “Queen of the Ring” show with a chance to meet each other in later rounds, and are scheduled to meet in Corby, UK for EAW in July in a barbed wire street fight! In fact, both are also going to be making debuts for Bellatrix as part of Bellatrix VI on iPPV on June 23rd.
This match in EPW came about when Alpha intruded on a match between Shanna and Italian competitor Monica, laying out both wrestlers. Here, Shanna goes for revenge, while Monica serves as special guest referee.
You can catch up with Alpha tomorrow when we present another edition of our “Fight Like A Girl” website audio series, featuring Alpha Female! (more…)
Until today, the only match which we knew was going to be taking place at Bellatrix 6 on June 23 was Rhia O’Reilly defending the British Championship against Erin Angel – a match which is likely to deliver, especially since they have tangled twice in the past month with each claiming a victory over the other. However, the promotion has now revealed what its big roster featuring a lot of debuting women will be up to on the show, and there are quite a few first-time encounters on the card… (more…)
It’s been a pretty Euro-centric sort of week here at Ringbelles, so we may as well continue in that ethos…
The roster for the Bellatrix 6 iPPV on June 23 has been revealed, with a lot of new names featuring in the lineup. Nine European nations are represented on the show, with women from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Norway, Finland, France, Italy, Germany and Portgual being represented. Representing England are regulars Saraya Knight, rising star Penelope, RQW European Women’s Champion Liberty, rookie Chanel, Destiny, Skarlett, Erin Angel and Violet O’Hara. Other roster members returning are Italian Queen Maya, Northern Ireland’s Rhia O’Reilly and Norway’s Miss Mina, as well as Finn Aurora Flame and France’s X-Cute Sweet, who have both been absent since Bellatrix 2 11 months ago.
There is also an influx of Scottish talent heading to Norwich. Nikki Storm, Carmel Jacob, Bete Noire and Kay Lee Ray all make their debuts, while Viper makes her first appearance in the promotion since teaming with Destiny at WAWW The Return in November 2011. Rounding off the roster are Germany’s Alpha Female and Portugal’s Perfect Athlete Shanna making their first Bellatrix appearances, making it a roster of 20 women participating. (more…)
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…)
Io Shirai, Dark Angel win major titles and Yuzuki Aikawa retires at historic “Ryogoku Cinderella” event
It was a historic day today at the fabled Ryogoku Kokugikan (Sumo Hall) in Tokyo as Stardom presented Ryogoku Cinderella – their most ambitious card to date – in the hallowed building, and it was a day of change, as three of the promotion’s titles changed hands while the curtain came down on the career of Yuzuki Aikawa. Attendance was announced at 5,500, though it seems from live reports that the actual attendance was quite a bit smaller than that (inflated attendances are fairly common in wrestling worldwide, but especially in Japan – although reports last week suggested 3,000 tickets had been sold), which while impressive for a joshi crowd in 2013 appears disappointing given the size of the venue and the hopes/expectations Stardom had to have had for the event.
In title changes, Io Shirai won the World of Stardom Title (aka “The Red Belt”) from Alpha Female, who drops the title that she won last month from inaugural champion Nanae Takahashi. Alpha’s transitional run lasted just 43 days, but you have to imagine Shirai is now going to be considered Stardom’s “ace” going forward. It was a bad day for Monster-Gun, as the recently dominant stable lost the Goddesses of Stardom (Tag) Titles also, as Kyoko Kimura & Hailey Hatred fell to the team of Hoshow Tennyo (Kairi Hojo and Natsumi Showzuki) when Hojo upset Hatred. The other new champion in Stardom is Dark Angel (aka Sarah Stock), who won the decision match against Act Yasukawa to determine only the second ever Wonder of Stardom champion. That title had been vacated earlier this month by inaugural champion Yuzuki Aikawa ahead of her retirement.
Speaking of Aikawa, she fought one of her toughest rivals one last time – finally losing to Yoshiko in her farewell. During her retirement ceremony, the ring was bathed in yellow streamers. The win for Yoshiko sets her up as the first challenger for Io Shirai’s World of Stardom title – with that match announced for Stardom’s June 2nd show back at Korakuen Hall. Click through for full results. (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…)
Not making it to Bellatrix 5 in Norwich, England on Sunday may have been unfortunate, but it did provide me the opportunity to utilise the option to watch the show on iPPV. Considering a lot of the changes from Bellatrix 4 last November were being done because of this one being broadcast live, it was interesting to be able to assess if those changes were successful.
Improvements to aesthetics like giant wall hangings of the roster, an improved entranceway, ringside barriers and more attention paid to start and running times were coupled with the venue being a purpose-built TV studio with full-scale lights and sound systems, the Epic Studios in Norwich looked vastly different to 5 months ago. The benefit of it being a proper studio also made it easier for the show to be streamed online, as the facilities to broadcast were all there, and had been tried and tested with previous unrelated shows. As a result, Bellatrix 5 was one of the slickest women’s wrestling iPPVs produced to date. (more…)
WARNING: Spoilers lay within.
TNA Wrestling is saying goodbye to the Impact Zone in Orlando, FL by hosting a series of One Night Only pay-per-views. In last week’s Roundup, we discussed the Knockouts Knockdown all-women show which saw a number of former Knockouts turn down the offer of being there. At the time, Traci Brooks was one of the women who had declined the offer, but it was not because she was holding a grudge of any description, tweeting “I had to say no to TNA for the KO ppv as I couldn’t make it that day. No other reason”.
Payton Banks (Rain) and Winter (Katarina Leigh) pointed out last week that they had also been asked but said no, while Salinas (Shelly Martinez) vlogged that she wasn’t asked. However, it was the former Roxxi who came out and explained in detail why she didn’t go back for Sunday’s show.
Nikki Roxx (who was messed around during her two stints in the promotion) spoke to the Greg DeMarco show about her turning down the offer, saying, “You can only get kicked so many times… I think that I had finally had enough. They had trouble treating me very well to begin with and I felt like I was being a glutton for punishment every time I went back… I felt like it was the right time to tell them no. It was like one of those bad relationships where you keep trying to get away from it… You can’t treat people badly and then hope that they’ll come back and hang out.” (more…)
The reign of inaugural World Of Stardom Champion Nanae Takahashi is over. Her run with the title – which began on July 24, 2011 – came to an end at today’s Korukuen Hall show in Tokyo, Japan at the hands of Alpha Female.
The 6’1″ German – who went to a 30 minute draw with the Takahashi last October – snared the title in the main event of the show which was hyped by a hell of a show poster last month. The win is a massive boost for Alpha as she is the first European to hold any top joshi championship – which is a landmark moment and something that she can use as a marketing point in the future – and remains undefeated in the promotion. More pressing is the fact that as champion, she has a future in Stardom as she will have to defend the belt at some point.
Alpha is one quarter of the imposing Kimura Monster-gun stable, which enjoyed more success on the card… (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (5 March 2013) – Paige’s rise, AJ Lee’s fall, Femmes Fatales XI, ABC Catch and more
On Saturday night in Kalamazoo, MI, Paige defeated AJ Lee at a WWE house show in a match refereed by Hornswoggle. The following evening in Cleveland, OH, the same match took place with the same outcome. The results of a WWE house show don’t usually mean much, but in these instances, they may mean a great deal.
First off, let’s look at the 20-year old Briton. It’s the second time that Paige has been on the road with WWE since she first reported to developmental in Florida 14 months ago – the first time round saw her team with Layla to beat Aksana and Natalya in tag matches in South Carolina at the start of December. However, she’s been given an even bigger shot in the arm by wrestling singles matches and beating AJ – the most over woman in WWE last year. (more…)
Remember Queens Of Chaos? The French promotion launched about six months before SHIMMER in May 2005, and faded away about 18 months later. However, despite a decent enough start, it had its problems.
The wrestling wasn’t much to write home about, there were too many random US imports, the fans were rude and embarrassing, and some of the booking was really weird – for example, there was one match where babyface champion Saraya Knight defended against heel April Hunter with a babyface Christy Hemme as the referee doing her best to screw Hunter, in some of the most bizarre storytelling I’ve seen. It reportedly left such a mess that women’s wrestling in France has been in the doldrums for a long time. However, wrestling is still popular in the country – so much so that fans will go to a show without knowing who’s on or what the promotion is – and the time has arrived for another go at an all-women’s show. (more…)
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…)
First off, just look at that poster. It’s bloody awesome.
Right, now that you’re back, here are the details: Alpha Female is returning to Japan in March to wrestle for Stardom, and is gunning for the big one. The 6 feet tall German will challenge Nanae Takahashi for the World Of Stardom title on March 17 at Korukuen Hall in Tokyo. It’s likely to be a big challenge for the current champion, considering their previous bout was inconclusive.
On October 21 last year, the pair fought to a 30 minute draw in a bout which was so hard hitting that one of Alpha’s teeth was knocked out. It was one of two matches that she wrestled while there – the other being a victory alongside Hailey Hatred & Kyoko Kimura to defeat Act Yasukawa, Cherry & Hikaru Shida 11 days previously. She must have made a good impression, as to be invited back to face Takahashi with her belt on the line is big.
However, she is not the only European to be heading to Stardom next month. Making her debut in the promotion two weeks before will be the Amazon Ayesha Ray… (more…)
Earlier this month, there was a clash of shows, with no more than 70 minutes drive between the two. In Voorhees, NJ, you had a double-header featuring Women Superstars Uncensored in the afternoon followed by a Combat Zone Wrestling card. Meanwhile, 65 miles away in Metuchen, NJ, there was a Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling event followed by a show from its parent company Pro Wrestling Syndicate. Critically, the WSU show was better than the (frankly poor) BLOW event, though the latter boasted the larger audience number. For all that anybody knows, it could have been more, but there were hundreds of fans down the I-95 watching another couple of promotions running at approximately the same time. It meant that fans had to choose which show they wanted to see, and was a clash which felt unfortunate. It was very unlikely to happen again.
Or was it…? (more…)
In her interview with HONOUR Magazine, Alpha Female insisted that she was happy to go it alone in the War Games match at Pro Wrestling: EVE – Special Edition II on February 23 against Champion Nikki Storm, Shanna, Amazon Ayesha Ray and Rhia O’Reilly. She told HONOUR that she would “rather fight alone than alongside three people who don’t understand what going to war involves”.
However, it seems that some like-minded souls have been found, as it has been revealed today that it won’t come to that, as the promotion has revealed that three wrestlers have stepped up to stand by her side. Joining Alpha will be April Davids and the She-X tandem of Viper and Bete Noire. There are a lot of intertwined backstories spanning all the way back to last November’s Wrestle Fever show, and continued at No Man’s Land 2 earlier this month. (more…)
The two big stories coming out of Women Superstars Uncensored’s An Ultraviolent Affair were Jessicka Havok retaining the WSU Championship by beating Athena with a top rope Air Raid Crash, and LuFisto defeating Mercedes Martinez in a Falls Count Anywhere match to become the next number one contender. However, after the latter match, a double-turn took place, with Mercedes Martinez turning heel and LuFisto turning babyface.
As a result, Martinez is now the aggressor in all the big-name women’s promotions in North America. Previously, WSU had been the exception to the rule, with her smiling and playing nice while in SHIMMER, NCW Femmes Fatales and SHINE, she was hankering for the jeers of the fans. Likewise, WSU was the only place where LuFisto was working heel. What that now means is that there is a status quo amongst the big players on the continent, so fans don’t have to work out whether they should be cheering or booing somebody. While this makes it easier on the audience, does it create a natural harmony that isn’t necessarily needed? (more…)
Alpha Female says she doesn’t want any partners for her War Games match at Pro Wrestling: EVE Special Edition II on February 23 against Champion Nikki Storm, Shanna, Rhia O’Reilly and Amazon Ayesha Ray. She tells HONOUR Magazine that after asking Janey Britannico and getting a negative response, she is happy to go it alone, 4 on 1. Also in the interview, the former EVE champ talks about her start, Queens Of Chaos, winning the title, TNA, WWE, Japan and more. It’s a comprehensive read, so it’s worth you checking it out.
Reby Sky is also interviewed, with the topics including Lucha Libre USA, SHINE, being a model-turned-wrestler, and her dealings with Jessicka Havok. Also inside the latest issue is a look at female achievements at past Royal Rumbles, the TNA Gut Check and British Boot Camp, as well as reviews of SHIMMER DVDs, SHINE 5 and WSU‘s Full Steam Ahead.
Click on the picture to your left to have a read.
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…)
Pro Wrestling: EVE – No Man’s Land 2 results – now updated with thoughts, photos & Nikki Storm interview
Heading the card is Emi Sakura defending the EVE title against former champ Nikki Storm, who won and lost the belt on the iPPV last November, defeating Alpha Female before losing an impromptu defence to Sakura. The Gatoh Move founder was meant to defend the belt against Carmel Jacob yesterday, but due to a schedule change in her flight, she didn’t make it to the Preston City Wrestling card in time. Instead, Jacob – who presumably will get a title shot in the future instead – defeated Kay Lee Ray, who limped away from the match with a broken toe.
Ray was meant to face Blue Nikita, but that match was scrapped after Nikita suffered head and neck trauma in a car accident earlier this week. As a result, she has been slotted into the match between Alpha and Shanna to make it a 3-way.
Also on the card are three quarter final matches in the EVE Tag Team Championship tournament, with The Lovely Peppers (Kirsty Love & Pollyanna Peppers) facing Kasey & Leah Owens, Ama-Reilly (Amazon Ayesha Ray & Rhia O’Reilly) against She-X (Bete Noire & Viper), and the Glamour Gym (Carmel Jacob & Sara-Marie Taylor) meeting April Davids and a mystery partner. The other contest will be the promotion’s second Three Minute Warning match featuring 15 wrestlers in a mix of a Gauntlet Match and a Royal Rumble.
Lee Burton is at the show in Preston, England, and will be updating the results as they happen, so click after the jump and keep hitting refresh for updates. (more…)
It says something very positive when two people who aren’t officially a part of the TNA roster elicit as much of a reaction as anybody else on a TNA card, because that’s exactly what Hannah and Holly Blossom did last night.
The twins were the third match on what was a great card in Nottingham, England, beating Knockouts Champion Tara and PWI Female 50 winner Gail Kim, with Velvet Sky as the special ref – inserted into the role possibly due to Miss Tessmacher (along with ring announcer Christy Hemme) coming down with the flu, causing them to miss this date as well as the Glasgow, Scotland card the previous night. It makes you wonder what match we would have had if Tessmacher was well, as with four babyfaces and two heels, there would have been a discrepancy. I can only assume we would have got a three way tag team match, with Sky and Tessmacher teaming up…
Even before the match began, there was tension among the heel team, with Tara wanting the play the queen bee, pushing Kim aside so she could do her bending-over-the-ropes pose before the match, and said friction would be important as the contest reached its conclusion. As the the match, it was your regular tag team fare with Holly taking a beating from both of her opponents, with them both looking to one-up each other to the point where a missed dive by Gail led to the hot tag and Hannah cleaning house. However, her opponents’ experience saw Kim hit her Eat Defeat finisher for what would have been the win, had Tara not broken up the pinball, claiming that she should be the one to get the victory with the Widow’s Peak in what was a fun tag team match. (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…)
We love our podcasts here at Ringbelles. In fact, the entire site you’re looking at right now was initially founded as a new home for our flagship “Women of Wrestling Podcast”, and everything that has been built around it (from the regular website content to you, our ever expanding audience) has been constructed around the basic belief that our podcast is our core business. When we launched our first WOW Podcast over three years ago, we were of the opinion that nobody else was giving the women of the wrestling business a soapbox to tell their stories. Now, standing on the brink of our 50th edition, we can look back at the seventeen podcasts we’ve produced in 2012 (and the addition of three “Rush Hour” Podcasts), and be content that we’re delivering on our promise with quality interviews of the women in the business.
We have new listeners join us all the time, so for their benefit (as well as a nostalgic kick for our regulars), it’s time to look back at our shows in 2012, and maybe pick out a few shows you either get to listen to for the first time (or again). (more…)
Emi Sakura has had a hell of a year, and it’s been well documented here at Ringbelles. Her success since leaving Ice Ribbon has included setting up her own promotion in Thailand, having it migrate to Japan, winning the JWP/Daily Sports Tag Team Championship, securing the services of Kaori Yoneyama then having her take her side in some sort of Stockholm Syndrome scenario, forming a team to invade JWP and then taking hold of the promotion’s crown jewel by winning the Openweight Championship. In addition, she defended the belt in the UK for the first time in its history and won the Pro Wrestling: EVE Championship on the same night. Indeed, it has been one hell of a year for the 36 year old. However, it seems as if 2012 is going to end on a mildly disappointing note.
Yesterday, 17-year veteran dropped the Openweight Title in the main event of Climax 2012 at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall after 57 days – the second shortest reign in the title’s 20 year history (for the record, the shortest was Devil Masami’s 32 day run which ended when the title was vacated for unknown reasons). She was beaten by current Tag Team Champion Arisa Nakajima, who has also enjoyed a tremendous 2012. (more…)
Over the years, the number of taboos in wrestling seem to have evaporated. After all, few bat an eyelid about wrestlers who have barely reached their teens stepping into the ring in Japan. Wrestlers with disabilities are given the same opportunities as anyone else, and nobody tells anyone that they are too old to lace up the boots, even though some really should be. However, the prospect of a man facing a woman in a wrestling match still seems to be something which makes some fans squirm in their seats.
I can see some of you imagining it right now.
For a long while, mixed matches seemed to be a no-no, but then it hit the mainstream with the late comic Andy Kaufman wrestling women and calling himself the Intergender Champion of the World, before Jerry Lawler piledrove him onto his head. From there, we saw the odd mixed tag team match on special occasions – WrestleMania VI with Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire against Randy Savage and Sherri Martel being a prime example – but very seldom did the women interact with the men… but times changed. (more…)