With the 2013 Year End Awards rapidly approaching, we have been covering the fortunes of our 2012 winners. So far, we have looked at how Kimber Lee continued her ascent after being named the Discovery of the Year, and we’ve given an update of Allysin Kay‘s successful 12 months since winning the Breakout Star of the Year title. Rounding off our recap of 2013 is the woman who we proclaimed to be 2012′s Wrestler of the Year: Ayako Hamada…
We justified our choice to select the 32-year old as our top grappler for the simple reason that when it came to in-ring match quality, nobody impressed us or entertained us more than Ayako Hamada in 2012, and that was illustrated in a quote from NCW Femmes Fatales booker Stephane Bruyere during a Women Of Wrestling Podcast this time last year:
All of my ten favourite matches I’ve seen this year, there’s six of her. That’s six out of eight she did at SHIMMER, and six of them are in my top ten favourite matches [...] She’s just amazing. She’s the best right now. When we talk about quality of matches, there’s nobody that can top what she can do. There are a lot of great wrestlers – we know Mercedes Martinez, we know LuFisto, we know Cheerleader Melissa – those are really, really great wrestlers and they had good years, but none of them had the year Hamada had this year.
When it comes to picking a Wrestler of the Year, it’s sometimes as easy as that. (more…)
Total Divas is directing the Divas division in WWE at the moment.
Last Friday’s match between Naomi and Brie Bella on SmackDown ended in a no-contest when some of the Divas – AJ Lee, Aksana, Layla & Alicia Fox – who aren’t a part of Total Divas came down to the ring and attacked the seven stars of the E! Show. On Raw last night, AJ’s opponents at this Sunday’s Night Of Champions show – Natalya, Brie & Naomi – defeated Aksana, Layla & Fox in a six woman tag when Alicia tapped out to Natalya’s Sharpshooter. In addition, Naomi defeated AJ Lee in non-title matches in Canada at the weekend, and if you were a betting man, you would put money on the Divas Championship changing hands this Sunday.
The show is after a happy ending to its season extension/season two run due to start later this year, following the conclusion of the current season which ends next week with Natalya’s marriage to TJ Wilson (Tyson Kidd). Seeing as all three of AJ’s challengers are babyfaces for this angle – and are the three most likeable women on the show – it is perfectly plausible that any one of them could walk out with the belt. (more…)
Another 6 episodes of Total Divas have ordered by E! for a season extension. The current 8 episode run ends on September 15, with the next half dozen starting on November 17. The show has been a big hit for E! so far, with audiences rising between episodes 1 and 3. Starting out with 1.3 million viewers, it rose to 1.52 million the following week and reached 1.67 million last week.
However, numbers dropped a little for Sunday’s most recent episode to 1.35 million – though that’s still higher than the premiere episode. One of the reasons may be is because it clashed with SummerSlam – though anyone who watched the pay-per-view will see that despite Total Divas being a hit, it’s not caught the imagination of many wrestling fans. In fact, it could be argued that the crossover audience isn’t as big as you may imagine. (more…)
So that’s it. After announcing in March that she would be retiring, embarking on a farewell tour which would start in SHIMMER in April and making final appearances in OZ Academy, WAVE, Diana, Ice Ribbon, Gatoh Move and Sendai Girls, Ayumi Kurihara has made her final appearance as an active wrestler.
Despite citing nagging injuries for her reason for bowing out of her eight year career, the 29-year old certainly didn’t hold back or take it easy on herself as she did her farewell rounds. She made the promise in her blog where she revealed her intentions to walk away that she would “continue to fight with all her strength and all her heart until August 4th”, regardless of the damage that it could do to the clavicle injury which was forcing her out. As a result she took part in more than 40 matches in 5 months, including some hard-hitting contests with the likes of Mercedes Martinez and Mayumi Ozaki – something which earned her a recognition in our Good Half Year series last month. (more…)
It was late 2011 when I watched my very first SHIMMER. It was Volume 37 and I am not going to lie, it was a bit of a blur. I marveled at the fact that this show catered for women’s wrestling, that the women… *actually* wrestled. There were no fart jokes, there was no nonsense timing of matches, this shit was serious and it was bloody awesome. I had always been a fan of women’s wrestling, but it was more aimed toward the Australian local scene (and with talents such as Madison Eagles and Kellie Skater, who could blame me?), I was used to seeing short matches on a card stacked with men, so to see SHIMMER match that went against the very grain of everything I knew, well: mind blown.
The main event for that show was Eagles v Mercedes Martinez. I think it’s pretty obvious in my third instalment of this column, that I am a pretty huge fan of Madison’s work and naturally this match was no exception. To see her in that match amongst her ‘own kind’ was spectacular and I was blown away with the high calibre of wrestling shown throughout the entire show. It was then I quickly realised, SHIMMER was the grand mecca of women’s wrestling. THIS was the place to be if you are a female wrestler and are damn serious about it. (more…)
Episode 58 with Allison Danger
Our first ever podcast guest Allison Danger returns for the latest edition of the Podcast, and it’s in the wake of her retirement earlier this year – a retirement that was punctuated by the news that she’d suffered a stroke in January and subsequently had discovered lesions on her brain. About three months after her emotional sendoff, we caught up with Danger to find out the full story on her health issues, how it all went down, when she found out about it and how it’s affecting her everyday life. Some pretty heavy stuff. We discuss whether the stroke was caused by wrestling, discuss her matches on that last weekend and why young wrestlers need to work smarter to avoid the problems she’s facing. Speaking of young wrestlers, we discuss several of Danger’s tips for the future, and how she’s most happy when she can help mould a young talent. We discuss family matters, Danger explains why all talent can’t (and shouldn’t) be booked everywhere and how the age of instant gratification means that some fans just can’t see the big picture. Quite the show – simultaneously some the most serious topics we’ve ever talked about mixed with trademark Danger wit. A must listen.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
A bit of a weird one this, I’ll grant you. Considering earlier this year, the 28 year old joshi puroresu standout announced her retirement from the sport due to nagging injuries (citing her 2007 clavicle injury in particular), you’d think Kurihara would be as far away from a discussion like this as it is possible to be – and while, yes, seeing a superb young talent being struck down in the prime of her career is a terribly sad thing, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody go on a more joyful final retirement road. Kurihara’s last six months in the business have seen her experience so much, achieve so much and do it all with a huge smile on her face. If she’s leaving wrestling, she’s packing an entire career’s worth of memories into 2013. (more…)
A week ago, Allison Danger announced her retirement from in-ring competition during the taping of SHIMMER Vol 57 in an emotional moment that didn’t leave a dry eye in the house.
Of course she’s not leaving wrestling for good – she’ll continue in a backstage role at SHIMMER – and while everybody there that weekend was fortunate enough to be able to say their own personal thanks to the woman herself, we kinda figured that Danger deserved something more. So, without her knowledge, we started recording video messages across the weekend with the idea of putting them together as a lasting tribute to someone who has meant so much to so many.
Now that the woman herself has had a chance to see the video, we happily share our video with the Ringbelles readers. Some messages are heartfelt, some are funny… some are, well, you’ll see… (more…)
After the events of yesterday, SHIMMER returns for its DVD tapings for volumes 56 and 57.
Expected to continue on from yesterday’s tapings include the quest by the Global Green Gangsters to secure another Tag Team Title shot at the Canadian Ninjas; Saraya Knight‘s reign of terror is being curbed by the officials; meanwhile, Jessicka Havok wants to leave more bodies in her wake, and Cheerleader Melissa is looking to retain the SHIMMER Championship. Also, these tapings mark the final matches for Allison Danger, who retires from the ring on volume 57.
As with yesterday, we will bring you results after the jump, along with pictures on thoughts on the show in due course. For now, click into the results and enjoy. (more…)
It’s the kickoff to SHIMMER’s Vols 54-57 tapings in Berwyn, IL at the Eagles Club with Vols 54 & 55 being recorded today. We’ve got a big preview of the Vol 54 taping up already, and we’ll be updating this page with results after the conclusion of both of today’s volumes. As noted in the preview, we’ll be back with thoughts and pictures from the event at some point thereafter. Enjoy!
Lots to mention from SHIMMER volume 53 on Saturday afternoon, so let’s get into it.
Let’s start with the main event, which had the right result for the biggest show in the promotion’s history (not 93,173 as announced by Joey Eastman but more around a hefty 700+, which is more than three times the maximum attendance at the Berwyn Eagles Club). With nowhere for her enemy to run and with nobody to help her, Cheerleader Melissa soundly defeated Saraya Knight inside a monolithic steel cage to regain the SHIMMER Championship. While the match was OK, the real tale was in the story told, which did not see Melissa eke out a victory with luck, but saw her deliver a super hurricanrana, missile dropkick and Air Raid Crash to convincingly pin her rival of close to six years.
The crowd was quiet for much of the match – part of the reason being that a lot of the crowd may not be completely familiar with their history, or that the action was not the crisp sort of execution as other contests because most of their matches look more like fights than matches – but they came out of their seats for the finishing sequence, which was a simple tale of good punishing evil and the snarling, unfriendly heel finally getting her comeuppance. However, despite her loss, Saraya retained her scary aura, attacking fans on her way out of the ring – and was also put over by Bryan Alvarez, who was getting his first viewing of Knight, pointing out that she was a proper, grizzly, old-school wrestling heel.
One would anticipate that Melissa will enjoy a longer run with the belt during her second reign than with her first – when she dropped the title to Knight on her fourth defence, following wins over Nicole Matthews, Portia Perez and Jessie McKay. While there is no detail on who Melissa will be facing in Berwyn this weekend for the usual two-day, four-DVD taping extravaganza, there are a lot of names to play around with – including one debutante who surprised everyone when she hit the ring… (more…)
It’s WrestleMania weekend, which means it’s also WrestleCon – and the return to action for SHIMMER Women Athletes for their Spring taping season. While there’s a weekend of festivities in prospect next weekend in Berwyn for four tapings across two days, there’s the small matter of today – right now – when SHIMMER makes its iPPV debut in front of its biggest live crowd to date.
You’ve read our primer, you’ve watched Eagles/McKay from Vol 35, you’ve listened to Athena’s podcast and you’ve followed Saraya’s winding road to Vol 53 with successful title defences in both Bellatrix and Femmes Fatales, and you’re ready for action, right? Well, we hope you’re watching live on iPPV via WWN, but we’ve got your results right here as they come in anyway. (more…)
Episode 53 with ‘The Wrestling Goddess’ Athena
Here’s one we’ve been meaning to do for some time – and we’ve finally got our schedules aligned in time to bring it to you just before SHIMMER Vol 53 on iPPV next weekend, where our guest Athena will be in one of the featured matches against Ayako Hamada. In this wide ranging interview, we talk about how the various parts of her act came together – including how she started, was ripped off, clotheslined, yet still came back for more; we find out where the name came from, how the spectacular O-Face came to be, and the origin of “Hussy”. We talk run-ins with various former (and future) WWE wrestlers, early awesomeness with Booker T & Sharmell, thoughts on ACW, Rachel Summerlyn, Death Matches and Intergender wrestling (Brock Lesnar vs Kim Kardashian anybody?). We talk SHIMMER, Femmes Fatales, WSU – and then out of nowhere break open the Wrestling Bucket List~!, where Athena runs through the people she wants to wrestle before she retires. Some serious, some personal, some… a little out there! We finish up talking about making it to the big time, and the craziness that has been the TNA Gut Check voting. A bit of an epic podcast, this… but this girl can talk!
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
And so it’s come down to this. With Kimber Lee and Allysin Kay installed as Discovery and Breakout Star of the Year respectively, it’s time to unveil the winner of our main Year End Award. To be honest, it’s been a strange year in that there are a number of contenders for the award, really depending on what criteria you use to determine what makes a “Wrestler of the Year”. Let’s take a look at some of the top contenders.
If you consider your Wrestler of the Year to be the one who elicited the most emotion from the crowd, then you may well choose SHIMMER Champion Saraya Knight. Her late career renaissance has been incredible, and was topped this year by winning the SHIMMER Championship, and reviving her long-simmering rivalry with Cheerleader Melissa. Nobody can hold a crowd in the palm of her hand like “Sweet” Saraya, and she’s taken that momentum with her throughout the calendar year. On a similar note, the WSU Champion Jessicka Havok (last year’s Breakout Star of the Year) has managed to create and foster a very fervent fanbase in a year that has seen her win the WSU Championship (twice), and compete for (amongst others) Crossfire, NCW:FF, ACW & Shine – winning plaudits everywhere she competed. It’s a shame, really, that with the transition of ownership in WSU, Havok only had one appearance in her “home” promotion in the second half of the year. Havok & Knight had achievements in 2012, but arguably the person who has had the most personal achievement in 2012 is none other than Emi Sakura, who started 2012 with absolutely nothing, having left Ice Ribbon in late 2011. From nothing, Sakura ends 2012 promoting her own shows in both Thailand & Japan (under the Gatoh Move banner), a regular gig in JWP and owning the oldest joshi belt in Japan (the JWP Openweight Title) and Europe’s Pro Wrestling EVE Title concurrently. From the outhouse to the penthouse, Sakura went from nowhere to become one of joshi puroresu’s most important names. And then, of course, there’s the dark horse pick – which for us this year was “Rate Tank” Kellie Skater. Skater started 2012 in Japan, and returned from the Land of the Rising Sun a much improved grappler. She had career-best performances in SHIMMER (such as Kana on Vol 48 and Yumi Ohka on Vol 50), had two outstanding matches with Evie back at home, and made a believer out of EVERYBODY in the Eagles Club that she was going to beat Saraya Knight for the SHIMMER Championship at Vol 51. In fact, had Skater won the title that night (or even the NCW:FF International Championship in Montreal the following weekend), there’s a great chance she could’ve won this award. Kudos to an outstanding year to all of these women.
However, for the sake of this award, we have chosen to take the term “Wrestler of the Year” quite literally, and recognise quite simply the best in-ring competitor of the year. Bar none. (more…)
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…
“SOOO who’s ready for EVEN MORE changes to Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling ? Well heck it wouldn’t be a 24 hour day without some now would it!
“Stay tuned as we’re sure to serve up even more random stuff from the wacky world of Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling in the morning. Perhaps we should start doing contests like Guess The Next Girl To Drop Off ? Gotta love it.
“PS – not one single change to the loaded PWS lineup on Friday.”
That was one of the posts which Pro Wrestling Syndicate posted on its official Facebook page last week ahead of the debut Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling show on Thursday. As it happened, the show managed to fulfil its promise of presenting 8 opening round matches for its Sweet Sixteen tournament, though the lineup was a million miles away from the card which it originally posted. Reports from the show say it was a lot of fun, so it appears the fans went home from the Rahway Recreation Center in New Jersey happy, and by the sounds of the post above, the promoters of PWS breathed a sigh of relief. (more…)
The first joshi wrestler to compete in SHIMMER, former Tag Team Champion Ayako Hamada, returns to the promotion for the volumes 49-52 DVD tapings on October 27-28, making her the sixth Japanese athlete to be announced for this batch – joining Hiroyo Matsumoto, Ryo Mizunami, Kana, Tomoka Nakagawa and Yumi Ohka.
31-year old Hamada first arrived at SHIMMER on November 8, 2009, defeating Mercedes Martinez on Volume 27, and then falling to Sara Del Rey on the following taping in what is still one of the best contests in the promotion’s history. On Volume 41, she and Ayumi Kurihara won the tag straps from Nakagawa and Daizee Haze, making a record-setting seven successful title defences – including the first outside North America when they defeated Matsumoto and Misaki Ohata at Joshi 4 Hope III in February, before dropping the belts on Volume 48 to Courtney Rush & Del Rey as part of a four-way match. Since the last tapings, Hamada has also signed a contract to make Pro Wrestling WAVE her home promotion. (more…)
Already 3 years since the start of that crazy project that became Femmes Fatales. We worked hard to give fans a product they would appreciate and I think it’s easy to see the progression of the company from show to show as we tried to correct what needed to be corrected and work on what could be “upgraded”.
As of now, September 5th 2012, I can say that I’m happy of where we are. Our main goal was to offer our Quebec wrestlers a platform to be known elsewhere and that is for sure a huge success. Fans around the World now know who are Kalamity, Angie Skye, Sweet Cherrie, Pink Flash Kira, etc.
We won’t stop to work and we know we are not perfect, but keep getting better is our goal.
In the first 3 years of Femmes Fatales, 60 different wrestlers from around the globe stepped foot in a Femmes Fatales ring. That’s already a big number, that won’t stop to grow!
We had some amazing moments, some amazing matches, some difficult moments, some emotional moments…
Here is my Top 5 of my most memorable moments in the first 3 years of our existence. (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…)
Earlier today, we ran down a list of all the wrestlers who would be taking part on the debut SHINE Wrestling iPPV on Friday. However, there is one person missing from that list – someone who isn’t wrestling, but will be a happy addition to the show. That person is the hostess of the event, Daffney.
Her troubles over the last year and a half or so have been well documented here on the website. Her departure from TNA and the Workers’ Compensation lawsuit which she filed was the top story in one of our earliest Roundups, and last month, we found out that she was owed around $26,000 by the company for medical bills stemming from a number of concussions which she suffered (and you can read more about that by clicking here). However, she is set to return to wrestling for the first time in 18 months – barring the odd appearance like at ACW’s American Joshi Queen Of Queens last year – at SHINE, which is shaping up to be the biggest event in women’s wrestling this summer.
Even though Daff won’t be wrestling on the card, let’s remind herself of one of her TNA contests – a match on Xplosion from November 8, 2010 against then-Knockouts Tag Team Champion Ayako Hamada. (more…)
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…)