Episode 66 with “The Female Predator” Amazon, Ayesha Ray
Almost two years after doing her very first wrestling interview on our My Name Is show here at Ringbelles, the UK’s “Female Predator” Amazon steps up to a full Women of Wrestling Podcast appearance – and why not? She’s international news these days, fresh off a three month tour of Japan which saw her win the Artist of STARDOM Trios Titles at Korakuen Hall, and wrestle on shows promoted by legends such as Meiko Satomura and Keiji Mutoh/The Great Muta. That was her second tour of Japan in 2013, in fact. Not bad going for someone we first clocked as a trainee with potential about six years ago. Apart from discussing Japan, the language, the loneliness and spending Christmas in Japan, Ayesha discusses her hidden talents, breaking into wrestling under Justin Richards in the UK, her early association with London Inc, spreading her wings in WAW, the tag team match that got four women legitimately suspended from Premier Promotions, the “Amazon” character, her real-life friendship turned in-ring tag team with Rhia O’Reilly, working with Alpha Female (and a car door) at Pro-Wrestling: EVE, wrestling in Australia and we try to get some scoops about her plans for 2014. Oooh, there’s even a creepy clown story. What more could you want?
(right click on the picture and “save as” to download, or stream in our media player below)
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…)
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…)
ArenaChicks announces monthly iPPVs starting later this year; Jazz & Reby Sky advance in title tournament
Big news coming out of the ArenaChicks taping at the CWF Mid-Atlantic Sportatorium this past Saturday night with the company announcing a new commissioner, adding two new names to the ‘Final Four’ tournament and announcing the intention to go monthly with iPPVs starting later this year.
The new commissioner of ArenaChicks is none other than former WWE/ECW star Shelly Martinez, who announced that it was her job to take ArenaChicks to the next level, and to move the title tournament along a little quicker. Due to the enforced withdrawal of Sara Del Rey from the tournament, Martinez made the match between Reby Sky and Amber O’Neal for Del Rey’s place in the ‘Final Four’. Sky ended up pinning Amber O’Neal to secure the #2 spot in the tournament following interference by Jazz, who blasted O’Neal with her Jazz Stinger.
Jazz followed up by taking on Impact Wrestling’s Rosita in tournament action, having by all accounts a fantastic match with her, before dumping her with a sit-out slam for the three count. Jazz takes the third spot in the tournament. Already advanced is Angel Orsini. (more…)
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…)
So, Kharma’s back.
After all the speculation about when she would give birth after going through a high-risk pregnancy, as well as whether she would choose to leave WWE and concentrate on being a full-time mother, we saw the return of the biggest and most physical woman in the Divas division in the 2012 Royal Rumble match, entering as a surprise at number 21, causing Michael Cole to scamper with fear, then attacking Dolph Ziggler, eliminating Hunico, and being eliminated by Ziggler himself. Sure, it was short, but it was enough to whet the appetite of fans – and let’s face it, what more would you expect from a woman who gave birth less than a month ago?
TMZ reports that Kharma delivered a baby boy on December 31, who has been named Jamie. Four weeks later, she’s putting back on the leather and stepping foot in a WWE ring to reprise the role which was put on hold on May 30 when she announced she was pregnant on Raw, a week after crumbling in the ring in tears. When she left, she was a heel with a heart, as people empathised with her desire to be a Diva and a mother – and she achieved both at the same time – and was then verbally attacked by the Bellas, before promising to get at them when she returned. Throw on top of that the fact that everyone she had a physical interaction with at the Rumble was a heel, and must was now assume that Kharma is a babyface? If also you consider that the current titleholder Beth Phoenix is the top heel who has been steamrollering the rest of the division and Kharma will inevitably be gunning for the belt, that must also position her as the fan favourite, right? (more…)
Audio Week concludes with the first Women of Wrestling Podcast of the new year, featuring the woman behind the ArenaChicks project, Amber O’Neal. The ArenaChicks will be at the LA WrestleReunion event at the end of the month, launching volume 2 of their DVD series and having a mini show at the event. Amber joins us to announce new names for the WrestleReunion taping, and discuss the concept behind the project. We hear about working the convention circuit (and the Gathering of the Juggalos) and a rundown on what to expect on Vol 2. In addition we talk about Amber’s career to date, including a story from her first match (wrestling Leilani Kai), help from Molly Holly, wrestling on a torn ACL for a year, shenanigans with Krissy Vaine as Team Blondage, SHIMMER and more.
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If you’re a women’s wrestling fan living in the western hemisphere, chances are you’ve had your fill of top in-ring action over the last two weeks. In the US, there was SHIMMER (results and thoughts here and here); Canada had nCw Femmes Fatales (detailed results here); and in the UK, Pro Wrestling: EVE collaborated with Ice Ribbon to present three shows over two days (results and photos here and here, and interviews here). While there were big names, such as Cheerleader Melissa, Serena Deeb and LuFisto who achieved or surpassed what fans have grown to expect of them, there have been some wrestlers who have managed to break into that next echelon of success and have opened up a new world of possibilities. In this week’s Roundup, I’ll be having a look at them.
The first to make an impact (lower-case I) was Athena, who turned babyface in SHIMMER as part of a double-turn which saw Mercedes Martinez go heel. In a pretty accurate homage to Steve Austin and Bret Hart flip-flopping sides back in 1997 at WrestleMania 13, Martinez got frustrated by the less experienced Athena refusing to stay down, and used a chair to attack her ankle in full view of the referee, intentionally disqualifying herself. Refusing to be beaten, Athena got on the mic to say she would be back when her leg was 100% again.
I’ve been harping on for a while now that Athena’s athletic, high flying moveset, attitude and look lend themselves to being a flashy yet tough babyface. In most promotions, she is portrayed as a heel, which she does well, but fans still applaud her when she executes some of her aerial moves – such as her springboard attacks, which virtually no other female in America does at the moment, and even fewer do it with such grace and ability. By turning her babyface, those reactions look set to become more passionate cheers, rather than applause of begrudging respect. As long as she keeps calling people hussies, keeps the swagger and tempers the flying to make it mean more when she does it, Athena looks set to be a massive star in SHIMMER. Granted, she is a multi-time American Joshi Champion in Anarchy Championship Wrestling, but the worldwide reach of SHIMMER will see her profile and stock shoot up in 2012. Best of luck to her. (more…)
It was always going to be a pretty ambitious start, but it seems like it has paid off for Amber O’Neal’s ArenaChicks project.
Throw together the elements of a midnight start, the fact that it was on the first evening of the Gathering of the Juggalos festival at Cave-In-Rock, IL featuring tens of thousands of visitors, and that it was the first real card that the promotion has ever put together, and the makings were there for it to fall over. However, it appears that everything went according to plan, and the best part about is that we won’t have to pay to see it. (more…)
ArenaChicks promoter Amber O’Neal has revealed the card for the promotion’s first ever show, which is due to take place at midnight on Thursday August 11 as part of the Insane Clown Posse’s 4-day long Gathering of the Juggalos 2011 event at Cave-In-Rock, IL.
Throughout 2011, O’Neal has worked a number of the Juggalo Championship Wrestling shows, and has formed a strong working relationship with the ICP, which has led to her gaining a slot at a festival which pulls in an average of more than 100,000 fans every year.
Previously, the matches compiled for the debut volume of ArenaChicks were amalgamated from a number of different shows hosted by CWF Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, based in Burlington, NC. This will be the first full-blown card put together by the promotion, with five matches announced for the twilight show, and it looks to be a strong lineup:
Amber O’Neal v Jessicka Havok
Sassy Stephie v Brittany Force v Allysin Kay
Angel Orsini v Josie (Sojo Bolt in TNA, and Lady JoJo in OVW)
Epiphany & Jenny Star v Taryn Shay & CJ Lane
Jazz v Izza Belle Smothers
The Big News
Two big stories coming out of the UK this week…
It was a rough yet rewarding weekend for Britani Knight. Suffering from what she thought was tonsillitis, the 18-year old member of the Knight Dynasty wrestled 5 matches in 28 hours on route to becoming the first ever Pro Wrestling: EVE champion. However, she was bedridden the next day with what turned out to be glandular fever, causing her to miss a date with her home promotion, World Association of Wrestling. We at Ringbelles wish her congratulations on her title win and also a speedy recovery from a nasty illness.
EVE’s title tournament turned out to be less complicated that the brackets would have led you to believe. Starting with FIVE four corner matches and a Last Chance Battle Royal for the losers to determine the quarter finalists, they were hurried through relatively quickly to leave us with singles matches which varied from fine to good – the standout matches of the first night featured Erin Angel v Nikki Storm and Britani v Jenny Sjodin in the quarters, and Sweet Saraya taking on Blue Nikita in a Last Woman Standing match. The return of Blue Nikita was something of a surprise after her relationship with EVE went sour after the first show – so when she ran in to attack Saraya in the opening match of the evening, it took many by surprise. It also meant that both voluntarily took themselves out of the tournament – Saraya was eligible for the Battle Royal and Blue Nikita never got to compete in her four-way contest due to brawling with Saraya before the bell – to compete in the Last Woman Standing affair, which Saraya won with a sunset powerbomb.
The Project nightclub was a makeshift venue after the Royal British Legion was pulled as a host due to licensing issues and complaints – somebody even called up the local radio station pretending to be EVE management to say the event at the Project had been completely cancelled – but as an environment for the audience, it was great. It was cosy, yet sat the fans comfortably with plenty of space, and felt safe yet anarchic. Apparently it was a little too cosy backstage, as there wasn’t much room for the wrestlers – of which there were around 20 – to change, but that could be changed if EVE decides to return to the venue – something the owners were pretty receptive to. (more…)
Ice Ribbon has announced the tournament to crown a new champion. As previously reported before the site went live, 19 O’Clock Girls’ Pro Wrestling has plans to introduce a fresh title – the IW19 (Internet Wrestling 19) belt. The champion will be decided next Tuesday in a four-woman tournament, with Tsukasa Fujimoto vs Mika Iida in one semi-final, and Mochi Miyagi vs Tsukushi in the other, with the two winners meeting in the final to determine the first titleholder. (more…)
The debut volume from Amber O’Neal’s North Carolina promotion ArenaChicks is now available to buy from Highspots.
1. Allison Danger vs. Mia Svenson
2. Sassy Stephie vs. Fantasia
3. Divina Fly vs. Kristen Flake
4. “Australian Football Rules” Mixed Tag Match
Amber O’Neal & Chiva Kid vs. Kellie Skater & Coach Gemini
5. Sara Del Rey vs. Allison Danger
6. Angel Orsini vs. Jessica Havok
7. “The Dating Game Match”
Winners go on all expenses paid date
Sassy Stephie, Brittney Force, Cecil Scott & Michael McAllister vs. Angel Orsini, Divina Fly, Ben Tyler & Roo-D Lewis
* Winners of the “Dating Game Match” go on their date
* Tribute to Sherri Martel 8-Women Tag Match
Amber O’Neal, Allison Danger, Persephone & Talia Madison vs. Cindy Rogers, GeeStar, Alere Little Feather & Becky Bayless
Amber and other members of the roster – including Allison Danger, Sassy Stephie and Becky Bayless were at WrestleReunion in Los Angeles last weekend to help hype the promotion and the DVD.