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…)
WWE talent being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in the state of Florida is hardly a new thing – it’s almost a rite of passage. This one is a little different, as it goes beyond allegedly just getting behind the wheel after a few drinks.
According to TMZ, Brodus Clay’s backing dancer Cameron Lynn (Tough Enough contestant Ariane Andrew, 24) was arrested outside Tampa International Airport in the early hours of Friday morning and when breathalysed blew a .20, which is twice the legal limit for Florida. This conflicts earlier reports that claimed she refused to supply a sample of breath. However, after she was taken into custody, Cameron reportedly forged new ground, and is the reason why this is a full post, rather than a nib in the Roundup.
According to the article, she offered an officer $10,000 to “let her go because she would lose her job”, and other reports saying she listed her occupation as a sales associate for Wells Fargo bank, and not as a performer for WWE. After being processed, she was released on a $500 bond. When TMZ approached WWE for comment, the statement they received was “Ariane [Cameron] did not alert us to this matter, we are investigating and will take appropriate action.”
It seems that she did not inform WWE about what happened, as she was in her fellow backing dancer Naomi‘s corner in her match with Natalya at a house show in Sioux Falls, SD the following night, and according to her Twitter, she is currently in Australia as part of the Raw roster’s tour Down Under this week.
After withdrawing from CHIKARA and moving back to Australia, many would have expected SHIMMER and PWWA Champion Madison Eagles to rest up her injured shoulder and prepare herself for the return of PWWA on September 3 for her next SHIMMER title defence against both Nicole Matthews and former tag team partner Jessie McKay.
But this is Madison Eagles we’re talking about. This is the woman who perforated her eardrum during her #1 contenders’ match against Cheerleader Melissa in SHIMMER and came back the next day to wrestle MsChif and win the title. This is the woman who fractured her wrist and elbow last year and carried on training through it. This is the woman who had racked her shoulder up in a car accident in April and still went balls to the wall against Courtney Rush at nCw Femmes Fatales VI less than two months later.
So when she returned unannounced to her home fed of PWA in Liverpool, Australia on Friday after living in the US for six months, she wasn’t there to stand and wave at the fans. Instead, she turned heel by kicking Jessie McKay in the face and delivering a Hellbound (Death Valley Driver over the knee) to Robbie Eagles, setting the stall for the SHIMMER title match Before the turn, it would have been heel Matthews against babyfaces McKay and Eagles. Now, the pressure is on Everybody’s Favourite Girlfriend, who has her longtime SHIMMER rival in Matthews, and former tag team partner and regular opponent Eagles gunning for her. (more…)
The Big News
Christina Crawford was eliminated from Tough Enough last night, putting an end to any prospect of a woman winning the show for the first time since 2002. She was cut by Steve Austin for not showing enough charisma during this week’s challenge, and had lost her confidence after suffering an ankle injury on last week’s show when her leg buckled from delivering a top rope axehandle.
It doesn’t seem to have made a difference to her prospects of ending up on WWE TV though, as she was filmed last week wrestling at Florida Championship Wrestling, where she had been training previously before getting out of her developmental deal to compete in Tough Enough. The indication that she has returned back to the situation she was in previously just shows that she had a fall-back option in case she was cut, in that she could return to Florida and pick up where she left off. It must annoy other female wrestlers who applied that this was possibly an “easier option” for Christina, rather than being her best chance at making it to WWE.
In fact, many women – Brittany Savage, Mercedes Martinez, She Nay Nay, Athena, Jessicka Havok, Roxie Cotton and the like – must be pretty disappointed how for the most part, none of the girls made any impression on the show in one way or another. None of them won a skills challenge, and between the five girls, they featured in the bottom three on a total of eight occasions in eight episodes. (more…)
Not content with collectively appearing on Tough Enough, America’s Next Top Model, Survivor, The Celebrity Newlywed Game, Celebrity Fear Factor, Celebrity Poker Showdown, Camp Reality, WWE SmackDown, TNA Impact, Ring Of Honor and Dragon Gate USA, recent TE contestant Michelle Deighton and her husband Jonny Fairplay decided to appear on Dr Phil on Thursday to discuss their marital problems.
Why they couldn’t just go to a regular marriage counsellor is a mystery. Then again, after some people get a camera pointed at them, just like oxygen, water and food, they need a camera lens to survive.
Check out the full recap of their appearance on the show – as well as some video footage – by clicking here.
The basic story is that they’re arguing about everything, but one quote really stood out for us. Said Deighton:
“I have a full-time job, I’m a full-time student and I have a 3-year-old daughter. I’m the president of the Teach Club at my college. I’m in the Student Leadership program. I volunteer and I’m in a play that’s opening next weekend. When I come home, instead of doing dishes, instead of cleaning up a mess, I’m going to get on the floor and play with my baby girl,”
If that’s true, when did she pick up her 11 years of wrestling experience, considering she’s 25 and she claims she took about 6 years off? Moreover, had she won the Tough Enough contract that she was competing for before dropping out on last week’s episode, how would she have balanced that with her full-time job, full-time studies (how is it even possible to have a both of those at the same time anyway?) the Teach Club, the volunteering, her acting AND a toddler?!
Most people credited her with a lot of heart in “giving up her dream” for her family on last week’s show. Indeed, she even got an admittedly rare hug from “Stone Cold” Steve Austin for her decision, but really, is anyone else getting the idea that she never set out to win, but to get a little more publicity for herself?
In other Tough Enough news, Ariane Andrew, who was the first contestant eliminated yet left us with this gem of a moment, has been off Twitter since April 5 – the day after she was kicked off the show. The message that was on there saying that she has been signed to a developmental deal is still curiously absent. Meanwhile, Rima Fakih’s been doing the media circuit, but hasn’t been talking about WWE in her future, according to this week’s Wrestling Observer. After hitting the bottom two for the last two weeks and clearly being way out of her depth as far as technique goes, it will be interesting to see how much longer she was afforded the ‘top secret immunity’ from elimination that came with being Miss USA and WWE’s believed mainstream star of the show. It’s not a knock on Fakih, who has been portrayed as game and likeable on the show – more the situation she was dropped into. With stories a couple of months ago of a potential return for the Diva Search later this year, one has to wonder whether WWE would have been smarter to hold off Fakih for that competition rather than one that presumably requires the winner to be an immediate TV performer.
The Big News
Again, sorry about the shortness of the Roundup this week. We’ve been in Las Vegas for fun and giggles with Allison Danger.
She got paid tens of thousands of dollars to essentially do a lunge, a handspring hip attack and a cartwheel into a splash to get the win for her, Trish Stratus and John Morrison at WrestleMania XXVII on Sunday in Atlanta. They defeated LayCool and Dolph Ziggler in the only women-related wrestling action on the show. However, it only lasted around 3 minutes, was in the graveyard slot after the well-received Triple H v Undertaker match, and was probably the wrong result for longevity.
Fair enough, Trish is the Tough Enough trainer, and it wouldn’t look good for her to lose the day before the new season began, but it meant that Michelle McCool – who was the only person who was legal on her side for the entire contest – had to sell for a woman who hasn’t wrestled in more than a year, and for a sub-five foot heavy drinker from Jersey Shore.
I’m not knocking Snooki though – after all, she did what she was asked to do, and exceeded my expectations. The mainstream media coverage wasn’t forthcoming though – HLN did mention Snooki, but it was because a school has paid $32,000 to have her talk to the pupils about something completely unrelated to WrestleMania.
However, this leaves McCool and Layla in a tough spot. The planned break-up seemed to be back on, as Michelle shoved her partner before the contest began, and they had a number of miscues which led to their downfall. The problem is that they are near-heatless together these days as fans are sick of them, but separately, they are likely to struggle. McCool – though talented – is something of a heat vacuum, and while Layla is a great character, she’s not polished enough in the ring to lead as a heel, and not sympathetic enough as a babyface. (more…)
The Big News
Three of the five female contestants in the relaunch of Tough Enough kicking off on April 4th (my birthday, send cake… lemon drizzle) have had ties to WWE in the past. As mentioned on February 17th (before the website went live), Miss USA Rima Fakih was the first contestant’s name to be announced. The 25-year old appeared on Raw at the end of last year to crown Sheamus as the King Of The Ring as part of her guest host duties. She was tweeting four days before the shooting wrapped, so one would assume that she got close, but didn’t make it to the final.
25-year old Michelle Deighton was a part of America’s Next Top Model cycle 4 in 2005 – a show which had something in common with the original Tough Enoughs in that they both had Ken Mok as an executive producer, so shared many aspects of presentation – and was known as a wrestler at that point. After having her hair fried blonde and suffering impetigo during the show, she was eliminated, but showed up on SmackDown in November of that year as both that and Top Model were on UPN at the time.
Since then, she has had a daughter, now 3, and married Survivor star and TNA part-timer Jonny Fairplay – but seeing she was featured on a YouTube vodcast in North Carolina last week and the show is still being filmed in California, one can assume that she has already been eliminated. That must be a slap in the teeth since she’s been involved in wrestling for 11 years and apparently didn’t last as long as Miss USA… (more…)