After a bumper day 1 yesterday which saw a number of storyline developments in both title pictures and one of the best matches in the promotion’s history, SHIMMER: Women Athletes returns for the second day of its weekend of DVD tapings.
Yesterday, Ayako Hamada and Kana competed in an epic encounter which saw the veteran gain the victory, though both women came out looking stronger than ever. In the 5-on-5 main event of volume 50, ReGeneration X and the Tag Team Champions Canadian Ninjas had hands in eliminating each other – with Allison Danger ousting Nicole Matthews before being pinned by Portia Perez – while Cheerleader Melissa pinned singles titleholder Sweet Saraya to end the match, which could see them cross paths again at some point today.
No matches have been announced for volumes 51 and 52, though if yesterday was anything to go by, fans at the Berwyn Eagles Club are in for another treat. As with yesterday, the Ringbelles team is on hand to provide results, as well as photos and thoughts later on. Click the jump to keep up with what’s going on…
It’s rolled around again. More than 30 female wrestlers have gathered at the Eagles Club in Berwyn, IL for the latest round of DVD tapings for SHIMMER: Women Athletes, which includes the milestone volume 50 later today. A number of matches have been announced, but before we get to that, results from last night…
At yesterday’s AAW show, Athena defeated Nicole Matthews, Kellie Skater & Christina Von Eerie in a four way match where Matthews and Skater spent much of the contest playing a game of one-up by doing moves on Athena, but after it descended into a four way brawl, Athena nailed Nicole with the O-Face for the pinfall. Later on, Sweet Saraya retained the SHIMMER Championship by pinning MsChif following a wild, building-wide brawl which left both women with very visible battle scars. The end came when Truth Martini interfered to spit green mist into the challenger’s eyes.
Today, some matches have been announced. For volume 49, Saraya defends her title against Athena, while the Canadian Ninjas put the SHIMMER Tag Team Championships on the line against LuFisto and Kana. Elsewhere, SHIMMER Originals Mercedes Martinez and MsChif square off in a rematch from volume 20, where MsChif retained the SHIMMER Title in one of the best title defences up to that point. Also on the card, Leva Bates tangles with Kellie Skater, while nCw Femmes Fatales International Champion Kalamity faces Ayako Hamada.
Meanwhile, for volume 50, the SHIMMER Originals of Martinez, MsChif, Allison Danger and Cheerleader Melissa are involved in a 10-woman elimination match – which we are dubbing SHIM-vivor Series II, where teams of five strive to survive – and a “first time in SHIMMER singles bout” will take place, though you can let your minds run riot as to what it will be.
We will be updating results intermittently throughout the day, so keep hitting refresh for results – and after the show, we’ll upload thoughts and maybe some pictures…
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…)
On Monday, we revealed that Gail Kim won the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Female 50 for 2012 based on her title wins, string of victories and high profile that she has received over the past year. Three days on, we have the full list, and we’ve got it listed after the jump. Before that though, there are a few names which jumped out, after the official statement from PWI Senior Writer Dan Murphy:
All candidates were primarily evaluated for their accomplishments during the period of September 1, 2011, through August 30, 2012, though accomplishments outside that time parameter also were taken under consideration. We evaluated each woman on championships won, quality of opposition, won-loss record, technical proficiency, and momentum/promotional ‘push’ during the evaluation period.
First off, despite being a bit part since dropping the Divas Championship in April and not exactly having many wins while holding it – though the ratio of wins to losses was good – Beth Phoenix takes the top WWE spot by taking the runner-up spot, which is even more curious considering after dropping the belt, she barely won on TV. The top independent wrestler was Cheerleader Melissa, who snagged the bronze medal due to her successfully defending the SHIMMER Championship three times in March before dropping it to Saraya Knight, who places at number 8.
In fact, the top 5 is dominated by indie women, as coming in 4th is Sara Del Rey (whose placing is based on her time before joining WWE) while Women Superstars Uncensored World Champion Jessicka Havok comes 5th.
Still, if you wanted to see who came where, click the jump and have a read. Leave us your thoughts in the comments section about who surprised you – because honestly, Tamina‘s position sticks out a bit, especially as she’s placed higher than Divas Champion Eve Torres… (more…)
Sometimes, even with the best intentions, you can still raise the ire of someone, and that’s exactly what has happened with HONOUR‘s article about the new partnership between Rhia O’Reilly and Amazon Ayesha Ray. She took to YouTube to talk about how she is not merely the instigator of fights and leaves them for Ray to finish, displaying her newly-won WAWW British Championship as proof that she can get it done by herself.
Elsewhere in HONOUR’s 2nd anniversary issue – which is now being released on a bi-monthly basis – Nikki Roxx, Athena and Veda Scott are all interviewed, there is a look at SHIMMER‘s latest DVD releases and Mercedes Martinez‘s shoot interview, how AIW‘s Girls Night Out series has grown, and a new feature which will track the progress of eight women – including Brooke Tessmacher, Courtney Rush and Evie – over the next year.
Click the picture to jump to the latest issue, and click after the jump to see O’Reilly’s video response. (more…)
Cheerleader Melissa defends her newly-won SHIMMER Championship against Nicole Matthews, Athena looks to settle the score with Mercedes Martinez, and four women make their debuts.
1. Courtney Rush pinned Rhia O’Reilly with a Skyward Suplex.
2. Melanie Cruise & Mena Libra defeated Shazza McKenzie & Veda Scott. Cruise got the pin following a top rope legdrop on McKenzie.
3. Sara Del Rey beat Leon following a big powerbomb.
4. Sweet Saraya made Davina Rose tap out to the Knightmare (half crab).
5. Jessie McKay beat Mia Yim with the Boyfriend Stealer.
6. Ray pinned Kellie Skater with a Phoenix Splash.
7. Hailey Hatred & Kalamity beat LuFisto & Kana. Hatred pinned LuFisto following a running powerbomb.
8. Ayumi Kurihara & Ayako Hamada retained the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship by beating ReGeneration X – Allison Danger & Leva Bates. Hamada pinned Danger with the AP Cross.
9. Athena defeated Mercedes Martinez with the O-Face.
10. SHIMMER Champion Cheerleader Melissa retained the title by beating Nicole Matthews with the Air Raid Crash. (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…)
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…)
Let’s have a look back at Athena‘s past, considering she is the big talk at the moment following her victory at Anarchy Championship Wrestling’s American Joshi Queen Of Queens tournament on Sunday.
The match which we bring to you for this week’s Retro comes from another Texan promotion called XCW, though for the life of me, I can’t work out what that stands for… Xtreme Championship Wrestling, I guess. The match sees Athena taking on a fellow former American Joshi Champion in Jessica James from August 2008, and you can tell that they had even had chemistry four years ago. However, while the match itself is great fun to watch, let’s not talk about how it ended, which is a real pity, though I assume it played into storylines going on at the time… (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…)
While we updated last night’s Women Superstars Uncensored double DVD tapings (click here for results) featuring the J-Cup and Jessicka Havok v Mercedes Martinez, among others, our Twitter and Facebook accounts were flooded with comments about the booking. Messages we received included terms such as ‘confused’, ‘silly’, ‘pointless’ and ‘ridiculous’. Because of these references, as well as the official release from WSU, we felt there was enough to dive into the debate and release a few feelings of our own.
First though, a recap…
• Brittney Savage won the J-Cup for the second year running, defeating Ezavel Suena, Annie Social and Athena to take the tournament and earn a WSU Championship match on the subsequent DVD taping.
• Allysin Kay and Sassy Stephie held onto the Tag Team Championship by defeating the team that they beat to win the belts in the first place, Jana and Luscious Latasha.
• Tina San Antonio defeated Marti Belle in an Uncensored Rules match after bleeding all over the place following being hit in the head with a bottle.
• Martinez regained the WSU Championship by beating Havok, who lost the belt on her first defence. Havok’s foot was under the bottom rope, which caused her much anger when the result stood. The loss was also Havok’s first in singles competition in the promotion.
• Havok destroyed Marti Belle to retain the Spirit Championship.
• Queen of the Ring Jennifer Cruz beat Jana to remain undefeated in 2012.
• Alicia defeated Allysin Kay, causing another blip in the Midwest Militia‘s dominance.
• After defeating Athena, Rain promised to retire if she could not win the Uncensored Rumble on June 16. Earlier in the show, Lexxus promised to win the Rumble for the second straight year.
• Savage v Martinez for the WSU Title became a triple threat when Havok invoked her rematch clause and won the belt by pinning Martinez after Savage nailed the titleholder with a diamond cutter, but was thwarted by Stephie.
So they are the talking points – after the jump, we’ll look at who has benefited and who has suffered… (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…)
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
It’s day two of the SHIMMER tapings in Berwyn, IL (you can find out the results, thoughts and photos from yesterday’s DVD tapings by clicking here), and a number of matches have been announced.
After defeating both Canadian Ninjas in singles matches yesterday, Cheerleader Melissa defends her SHIMMER Championship against Jessie McKay, aware that Sweet Saraya has apparently put a bounty on her head.
Elsewhere, the Tag Team Championship will be on the line as holders Ayako Hamada and Ayumi Kurihara defend against high-fliers Ray and Leon in an all-joshi affair, Mercedes Martinez takes on Hailey Hatred, and the unlikely team of Sara Del Rey and Courtney Rush will meet ReGeneration X – Allison Danger & Leva Bates.
As with yesterday, we will be adding the results to this post as they happen, and Stew will offer his thoughts from ringside later. Click after the jump and keep hitting refresh to follow the goings-on. (more…)
Cheerleader Melissa walks into these four DVD tapings as the SHIMMER Champion, while Ayumi Kurihara and Ayako Hamada hold the Tag Team Championship. Although no matches have been announced, we offered some thoughts about what could happen, but they are just musings and nothing more. We will all find out together how things will unfold.
Stew is in Berwyn, IL watching the shows live, and will offer up thoughts on the tapings later on. For now, we will bring you results as they happen, so keep refreshing the page to keep up with all the developments.
Click after the jump to dive in. It’s going to be a busy one. (more…)
Cheerleader Melissa continues her quest towards Madison Eagles‘ SHIMMER Championship, while Jessie McKay and Nicole Matthews settle their feud in a best of three falls match.
1. Kellie Skater defeated Courtney Rush with a Skate And Destroy.
2. LuFisto beat Sassy Stephie with the Mangalizer.
3. Rachel Summerlyn made Mena Libra tap out to the Texas Cloverleaf.
4. 3S (Hiroyo Matsumoto & Misaki Ohata) beat Pretty Bitchin’ (Nikki Roxx & Ariel) to retain the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship – Matsumoto pinned Roxx following an Exploder Suplex.
5. Mercedes Martinez pinned Britani Knight with a Fisherman Buster.
6. Daizee Haze & Tomoka Nakagawa defeated Mia Yim & Jamilia Craft. Nakagawa pinned Yim with a Fisherman Suplex.
7. Jessica James pinned Athena after hitting the Hard Boiled Egg.
8. MsChif beat Sweet Saraya with a Desecrator.
9. Serena Deeb defeated Portia Perez via DQ when Perez hit Deeb with a cookie sheet.
10. Nicole Matthews beat Jessie McKay in a best of three falls match. Matthews took the first fall with a tights-assisted O’Connor Roll, McKay equalised with multiple Schoolgirl Crushes, and Matthews scored the third fall with the Vancouver Maneuver.
11. Cheerleader Melissa & Ayako Hamada beat Madison Eagles & Sara Del Rey when Hamada rolled up Eagles for the pin.
• 3S continue their run as SHIMMER Tag Team Champions and establish themselves as the most over team in the promotion’s history with a second successful title defence over Pretty Bitchin’.
• Both Sweet Saraya and daughter Britani Knight are defeated by SHIMMER originals, MsChif and Mercedes Martinez respectively. The former sees the Knight’s manager Rebecca Knox get involved in the match but gets her comeuppance when a Saraya basement dropkick goes awry.
• Haze and Nakagawa earn a SHIMMER Tag Team Title shot by remaining undefeated, beating Mia Yim & Jamilia Craft.
• The Serena Deeb/Portia Perez feud that began following Deeb’s return to the promotion after her release from WWE the previous year continues and starts to involve weapons.
• Nicole Matthews and Jessie McKay put their on-off feud to bed after their best of three falls match after trading victories in singles and tag matches.
• Ayako Hamada pins Madison Eagles to earn a shot at the SHIMMER Championship, much to the chagrin of Cheerleader Melissa, who wanted to get the pin to earn the shot for herself. (more…)
As well as making her debut at nCw Femmes Fatales on March 10 taking on Cheerleader Melissa, Ringbelles‘ choice for Wrestler of the Year 2011 Hailey Hatred is scheduled to return to SHIMMER for the volumes 45-48 DVD tapings the following weekend in Berwyn, IL.
The 28-year old made her SHIMMER debut last October, competing on volumes 41 and 42, defeating Kalamity on the first taping, then teaming with her in a defeat to Mena Libra and Melanie Cruise on the following DVD.
However, she would only wrestle for half of the SHIMMER weekend, as she had accepted another booking in her home state of Ohio. She would go on to defend the JWP Openweight Championship which she held at the time against Cherry Bomb in Absolute Intense Wrestling in the first JWP title match to ever take place outside of Japan. This time around, Hailey will wrestle on both days of tapings, meaning that there a strong chance of her being part of a storyline arc.
Hatred joins Melissa, Ayumi Kurihara, Ayako Hamada, Portia Perez, Nicole Matthews, MsChif, Sara Del Rey, Athena and Christina Von Eerie as being confirmed for the tapings. In addition, Del Rey, MsChif, Matthews, Perez, Von Eerie and Athena will all compete the day before the tapings at AAW in trios action. (more…)
When I looked at the card for the Bull Nakano EMPRESS retirement show, I was surprised at what I saw. Not the card itself, which looked very appealing, but the order in which the matches would take place. Unlike American shows which have a card, but barring the main event, you probably won’t know the exact order of the matches. When it comes to Japan, the match listing is usually the order in which those contests would take place. Surprisingly, the singles match featuring veterans and legends Ayako Hamada and Aja Kong would OPEN the show, while the final match on the card would be between two women with comparatively little experience – one had just three years under her belt, while the other had debuted just 15 months ago.
Having said that, the match between Ice Ribbon’s ICEx60 and International Ribbon Tag Team Champion Hikaru Shida and Wonder Of Stardom and one half of the Goddesses Of Stardom Yuzuki Aikawa put forth a hell of a contest, and proved that they were worthy of headlining the card. Even more surprisingly, 28-year old Aikawa won the match in front of 3000 fans at the Tokyo Dome City Hall – though that could be indicative of the potential influence that she could have on joshi in the future…
Despite being trained in taekwondo for ten years, Aikawa made her living before becoming a wrestler as a bikini model and a singer in a girl group, selling picture books, DVDs and CDs, mostly down to her beauty and curvy figure. However, she packed it all in just over two years ago to make the transition to becoming a professional wrestler – funny, in the western world, it usually works the other way around. A year after making the switch, she debuted on October 31, 2010 as part of her own card which she produced, taking on Nanae Takahashi. You would imagine that considering that it was her own card, it was her first match and that she is a pretty woman, she would be eased into the situation by a veteran of the business.
No such luck. Takahashi defeated her, and as part of the deal, beat the shit out of her. (more…)
It’s fair to say that Ringbelles HQ has had a bit of a dark cloud of depression hanging over it recently, as Lee and I have often found ourselves discussing how terrible it is that a number of our favourite wrestlers are out – in some cases, possibly permanently – with injuries. Daizee Haze has already hung up her tights, LuFisto & Mercedes Martinez have been struggling and resting up with serious injuries (back and concussion respectively – the latter of which has taken Martinez out of WSU’s event next weekend in New Jersey) and more serious still, Serena Deeb has been told she should no longer wrestle due to a severe concussion while Madison Eagles admits her knee injury could be career threatening. It’s amazing how much these women give of themselves to the service of pro-wrestling – often in front of small (albeit appreciative) crowds. Call it passion, or call it what you will, they continue to push themselves hard (and probably harder than they should) in order to entertain – and as we’re seeing quite clearly, with that comes a price. Going into the upcoming “Spring Season” of shows from the major North American indy wrestling companies, it’s hard to imagine a SHIMMER taping without Madison Eagles; or what about Serena Deeb, who is still scheduled to debut for NCW Femmes Fatales on March 10th in Montreal? What if Mercedes Martinez can’t completely shake her concussion issues by March? Main events in SHIMMER, Femmes Fatales and crucially WSU may all have to be re-written. In my head, it all felt very “glass half empty”.
Happily though, a chat with a friend in the business a little while ago persuaded me to turn the frown upside down. “Well,” she said (when contemplating the worst case scenario that Deeb, Eagles and others may be facing the end of their careers) “That gives plenty of opportunity for other girls to move up and take those spots”. I stopped and thought for a moment, and answered in the affirmative. I wasn’t yet 100% convinced, but the more I thought about it, the more I figured that there was a definite ring of truth to that statement. Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely *not* ready to contemplate life without Eagles and Deeb, and I’d love nothing better than to have them back – but if they don’t return (or even just miss an extended length of time as they overcome their issues), it’s worth considering who actually is likely to benefit, and why we can actually look forward to 2012 as a year of opportunity as much as anything else. (more…)