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…)
You may or may not know that Beth Phoenix is the stone in the pond that led to me (Stew) picking up a copy of SHIMMER Vol 1 in 2006, which in turn led to meeting fellow Ringbelles founder Lee at a ChickFight show in 2007, which led to us becoming travel buddies to the US for live SHIMMER action in 2008, which led to us starting a Podcast in 2009, which led to this site launching in 2011. Kinda funny to imagine what life would be like without that Beth-inspired flash of inspiration on that day, seven years ago… but to go back a little further, let’s see what it was that originally drew me to Beth Phoenix – and to do that, you’ve got to go back to Ohio Valley Wrestling. I was an avid fan of the Jim Cornette booked OVW product in the early part of the 21st Century, and one of the wrestlers around at the time was Aaron “The Idol” Stevens. Now, he had a cup of coffee in WWE as Idol Stevens as part of a tag team with fellow OVW alum KC James, but he ended up being released, being brought back and being repackaged as none other than “The Intellectual Saviour of the Masses” Damien Sandow. However, back in those heady OVW days of yore, Stevens had an intriguing gimmick whereby he was a playboy who had two valets – one was the blond good girl (played by Beth Phoenix) and one a raven-haired bad girl (played by Shelly Martinez) – and I’m not going to lie, the gimmick was racy. Check out this interview clip, and feel free to have a cigarette afterwards if you so choose.
For this week’s retro offering, we’ve selected a clip from OVW from after the breakup of that particular ménage-a-trois, and actually after I’d fallen out of watching regular OVW (my interest in the product waned when Cornette was removed) – and features a babyface Beth taking on a heel Shelly from early 2006, with the debuting Trinity, previously of NWA:TNA, making her debut in WWE developmental. Here’s to Beth for the inspiration, and if you want to know what she’s up to now, check out her art on Etsy, where she is selling both original pieces and prints as part of her GlamCanvas store. (more…)
Episode 48 with Amazing Kong
Few people have elicited the intense speculation and column inches as much as our guest on this edition of the Podcast – and as such we are very pleased to welcome back Amazing Kong, who recently returned to the ring at SHINE 5 following her WWE run. So it’s time to dissect the last couple of years and get to the truth of a lot of speculation and rumours. We talk getting back in the ring at SHINE and Florida Underground (both teaming with Jazz) a couple of weekends ago and how that return came about. We talk endorsements from Jim Ross and Steve Austin leading to meetings with John Laurinatis leading to her dream job. Is it fair to call her a Triple H Project? We talk the first meeting with Vince McMahon, and the Kharma name (and more to the point, discover a rejected alternate name!), and what the initial plans were for her push. We talk acceptance into the Diva locker room, and the reaction to her pregnancy. Seen her wrestling ring-shaped engagement ring? Now hear the *true* story of how her fiancé popped the question. Stew and Kong compare how many Royal Rumbles each of them have been in, and we talk about the great personal tragedy in Kong’s life around that time and how various things contributed to her eventual WWE release. We discuss the oft-reported story that Layla was a last minute replacement for Kharma at Extreme Rules 2012 and how aware she was of the growing interest in a match with Beth Phoenix. From there it’s a discussion of future plans both at home and abroad to wrap up the episode. A pleasure to have Kong back on the show.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
SHIMMER: Women Athletes was lacking some of its big names for the most recent tapings, including the injured Madison Eagles and Serena Deeb, as well as Jessie McKay and Sara Del Rey – the latter of whom has since signed with WWE. While the top storyline with SHIMMER Champion Sweet Saraya and Cheerleader Melissa was still on, the Tag Team Championship had changed hands from Del Rey and Courtney Rush to Portia Perez and Nicole Matthews inbetween the March tapings and now, leaving Rush knocked from having one of the most popular storylines in the promotion cut off before it even got started. However, the booking for last weekend’s shows proved that creating writing and a strong willed lineup can easily fill the gaps. (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…)
“I am so sorry I have not been in touch in a while. I have been in and out of hospital and have not been able to get access to the internet in over a week. I am very upset I have to write this email because I have to cancel all future dates until December. I am not sure if you had heard about the knock to the head I got in Germany a few weeks ago or not, but I got a bad cut above the eye and it was stitched up and all seemed fine. But after a few days I was getting extremely painful headaches, loud buzzing in my left ear and my vision in my left eye is completely blurred. The doctor has told me it may be damage to the 8th cranial nerve and I am waiting for a CT brain scan and have been advised to stop wrestling for the next few months. It could be permanent or it could go away by itself, but until all signs have been alleviated I will not be able to engage in any heavy physical activity.”
That’s the message Rebecca Knox posted on her own website back in October 2006, following her serious injury in a match against Kisu in Dortmund on September 22 of that year. The match finished as normal, and took on Sweet Saraya the following night in Great Yarmouth, England in a match which saw her drop the Queens Of Chaos Championship. After that, she took some time out to get medically checked out, which gave her the bad news about her 8th cranial nerve injury. It also meant that the proposed Iron Woman Match between she and Daizee Haze at SHIMMER Volume 7 had to be scrapped, after the pair had engaged in a heated feud in the promotion’s early days.
As she points out in her post, she was expecting to be out until December 2006. It’s now October 2012, and only now is the 25-year old from Dublin, Ireland seriously thinking of a return. (more…)
A number of internet rumours have started to circulate this evening over the disappearance of Raquel Diaz‘s profile on the NXT Roster Page – had she been released from her deal? Was it simply a case of her profile page being taken down for maintenance? Well, word has reached us here at Ringbelles that Raquel Diaz, aka Shaul Guerrero, has been released from WWE at her own request. While we’re not at liberty to expand any further on the whys or wherefores at this time, we can at least confirm that as of now, Shaul and WWE have parted ways.
It’s interesting to note yet another female talent stepping away from WWE at their own request, in the same week that it was confirmed by several sources, including the Observer, that Beth Phoenix would be finishing up in October, having requested her own release also – which theoretically may open up a spot on the main roster. Of the women in the developmental system, it would’ve seemed safe to assume that Shaul would have found herself on the main roster sooner rather than later. A third generation member of the legendary Guerrero family, the 21-year-old daughter of Hall of Famer Eddie Guerrero and current WWE heat magnet Vickie Guerrero looked to have it made – while she never seemed to have anything quite approaching her father’s instinctual talent level, Shaul was able to throw herself into her most recent “Ultra Diva” role (as seen on NXT as part of her “Exfoliating Ugliness” Tour) very well and was starting to carve herself out a niche amongst the developmental women.
In other NXT Divas related news, the situation regarding the former Buggy Nova, aka Skyler Moon is still murky. Her profile has been missing from the NXT roster page for several weeks, but we’ve been unable to clarify exactly what’s going on. We’ll keep an eye on the story.
UPDATE: Further to the post earlier, we’ve received troubling word that Skyler/Buggy has, in fact, been checked into WWE sponsored rehab, which would explain her profile being gone from the NXT website and her absence from social media for the last month. It brings us no pleasure to report this news, but we hope she can deal with her issues. Her current status either in her rehab program or with the company at large remains unclear, but we wish her all the best at this time.
UPDATE 2: In an interesting twist to the lead story, today the Observer is reporting that WWE officials are saying that Shaul Guerrero is still under contract after all. It remains to be seen what this means, but for now the company line is what the company line is. Speculating, it could mean that there have been eleventh hour talks to salvage a future in the company for Shaul – with Vickie held in good standing on the main roster, and WWE keen to look after Eddie’s family, it would be unsurprising if that is the case. We shall see.
UPDATE 3: Despite Shaul’s mother Vickie Guerrero tweeting in confirmation of our story, explaining that Shaul “asked to be released from WWE for personal reasons. Im grateful to WWE for the support & love toward my family”, the final update on the situation appears to be that WWE have *not* granted a release in the hope that she will return. From what we understand, Shaul has returned home for personal reasons. There is absolutely no expectation or timetable for anything, and what happens will eventually be up to Miss Guerrero, but it seems that while she and the company *have* parted ways, WWE aren’t cutting off an olive branch for when/if she wishes to return.
Following last night’s Monday Night Raw (which we will get to in a minute, be patient), Beth Phoenix was approached by fans outside the Times Union Center in Albany, NY, asking if the rumours about her planning to leave WWE and retire were true. Lords Of Pain reports that she replied she was neither leaving WWE or retiring in the near future.
To paraphrase Mandy Rice-Davies – a model involved in one of the biggest scandals of in British 1960s politics, the John Profumo/Christine Keeler affair and discredit of the Conservative Government at the time – “well, she would, wouldn’t she?”
Wrestling Inc was the first website to report that Phoenix was intending to leave WWE. It posted a piece last Thursday saying that they had heard from a source that she would be going in October. This was later picked up by other wrestling news sites, and was given extra weight by the Wrestling Observer, which says it has had it confirmed by other sources within the company. However, Phoenix is a professional, and will likely not be addressing the rumours – if she is leaving, she will do so in the right way, quietly slipping into the shadows, likely putting over remaining talent along the way. (more…)
There has been a lot of focus on the continent of Australasia recently, and most of it centres around one kick-happy wrestler from New Zealand.
As we have documented, Evie has been catapulted into everyone’s line of sight, winning both the IPW Women’s and PWWA Championships in the space of seven days – the first in a triple threat match with Megan-Kate and Britenay, and the latter against Jessie McKay just last Saturday.
When approached for comment, the Auckland resident told Ringbelles:
Winning the IPW Women’s Title and then the PWWA Interim Title… words can’t pinpoint the feelings I felt over those nights. I was extremely emotional… a few tears were shed, and it definitely is the highlight of my career to date. I came away from both matches battered and bruised, but it was all worth it in the end… after five years, I finally feel like a champion.
The fans have also been rad… I can’t believe how much support I received through those tournaments, both online and in person. It was amazing!
Former WWE and ECW personality Dawn Marie seems to have a good heart. Setting up Wrestlers Rescue in 2008 (and the subsequent Pro Wrestlers Relief) in 2009, her goal was to make life easier for wrestlers with medical issues to help them pay their bills – a common problem for wrestlers outside of WWE who may not be able to secure the proper insurance needed to cover their ailments.
In the last week or so, her charity has received a battering from James “Kamala” Harris, who has had both of his legs amputated due to complications stemming from diabetes and high blood pressure. He claims that Wrestlers Rescue and Boston-based independent wrestling promotion the Millennium Wrestling Federation promised to help him out financially, and never did so, calling Dawn Marie “no good” and accusing her of keeping the money that was raised for him.
Wrestlers Rescue has not had the best of reputations in its short existence, but following this high-profile attack on her work, Dawn Marie decided to go public with all the details. (more…)
Ahead of the WWE Championship Money in the Bank match at the pay-per-view with the same name, we are offered an unadvertised six-Diva tag team match featuring Divas Champion Layla aligning with Tamina Snuka and Kaitlyn against Beth Phoenix, Natalya and Eve Torres.
• None. I’m serious. There is no build-up to this match, as none of these women have really had much TV time in the last month. Eve has been off filming another TV show until recently; Layla has barely been seen except to help forward the AJ angle; Beth and Natalya are ghosts when it comes to the main two shows and even then, they are often on the losing end; Kaitlyn is barely on the radar and Tamina is seen even more rarely than the rest.
• If you wanted to try and salvage some sort of reason, Kaitlyn pinned Phoenix in a tag match on Superstars this week which also featured Natalya and Alicia Fox, though that’s stretching it, and it was never acknowledged by the commentators anyway. (more…)
I was due to write the review of the Beth vs Layla match at No Way Out last week, but due to other priorities, I had to leave it to Lee. It’s probably just as well that I’ve had a week to think about it, because for what it’s worth, I hated the match. Well, maybe “hated” is too strong a word, but I really didn’t like the comedy of Layla stealing Beth’s headband and dancing with it. The finish of Beth losing again also irritated me a bit, mostly because it’s patently clear that WWE have absolutely nothing in mind for Layla, and with Beth losing again, it securely slots her below Layla on the pecking order and kills another level of anticipation (whatever there is left of it anyway) for the Beth Phoenix vs Kharma feud that we’ve been waiting/hoping for ever since Kharma signed up with the company.
Let’s make it clear here – my major downer on the Divas division at the minute is not the usual “wrestlers vs models” debate (I’ve learned for the most part to turn off my brain and find a way to enjoy the Divas for what they are rather than what they aren’t)… no… my big problem is the fact that at the minute, the future of the Divas division is just deathly dull. (more…)
Beyond Wrestling is the new owner of Women Superstars Uncensored. In truth, we heard about Beyond being interested in purchasing WSU about two weeks ago and thought it was a curious name to be in the running.
The model for Beyond is for having wrestling matches presented in front of an audience of fellow wrestlers, which creates a different sort of atmosphere. Only recently has Beyond started regularly running shows in front of regular fans – in fact, it was running a show in conjunction with St Louis Anarchy on Saturday when the announcement was made on WSU’s Uncensored Rumble V iPPV. Excerpts of the statement read out by commentator (as well as Beyond’s Director of Talent Relations and Director of Online Communications) Jon Harder include, “there will be a stronger online presence… all shows will be shot in high definition… future events will be available as video on demand streams and MP4 downloads in addition to the current DVD and iPPV releases.”
Three extra statements were released by Beyond yesterday on its website – most of which were buzz statements with no real substance to them (though in fairness, what more is there to say at the moment) – with the main points being a reassurance for WSU fans there will be no drastic changes to the product, though the logo has changed, as you can see, and the promotion’s website will be overhauled, which will be useful, as there is a lot going on when it comes to the front page at the moment. It also mentions the WSU will run shows in the Tri-State area, with the hope of expanding into new markets by the end of the year.
Let’s go through some of these points. (more…)
Beth Phoenix once again looks to regain the WWE Divas Championship from reigning titleholder Layla.
• Since their last match at Over The Limit, there hasn’t been much interaction between the two, though they have wrestled at pretty much every Raw house show. Phoenix earned another shot at the title by pinning Layla with the Glam Slam in a mixed tag team match on last Monday’s Raw.
• The only other build-up was on SmackDown on Friday, when Phoenix destroyed Alicia Fox in quick time with Layla watching at ringside while doing commentary.
• The match kicked off with a little comedy, with Layla ripping Phoenix’s headband off, putting it on herself then mocking Beth’s poses, as well as doing some bodybuilding stances and gurning a lot. It was a throwback to her heel days in Lay-Cool.
• After trying to get hold of the champion, Phoenix finally got the advantage by knocking Layla off the ropes while she was going for a springboard move, sending her crashing to to the floor. She followed up by throwing the titleholder into the ringside barriers. (more…)
A lot is discussed about how the WWE Divas feel about the short amount of TV time they are given for wrestling, and even less for angles, interviews and promos – something that we discussed with Kelly Kelly in one of our early Women Of Wrestling Podcasts – and it seems there is some credence to those rumours of what goes on behind the scenes.
A poster over at GameFaqs claims that he was an assistant for the writing team, primarily based at WWE’s facilities in Stamford, CT. He claims that his time with the company was not long – just between September and December of last year – but during that time, he says that he picked up on a number of different issues. Whether they hold any water or not is your decision, but we believe some of the allegations – listed in two posts by Scott Keith here and here – are plausible.
The overlying point is the frustration that the women in WWE have for the short amount of screen time they have to get over – which generally isn’t enough, but they have to make do, though they apparently do not take out their issues on their colleagues:
The biggest complainers are probably the Divas, and rightfully so. They always wish they were getting more TV time and longer matches and I can’t blame them…
The Divas all seem very nice and friendly. I only managed to introduce myself to AJ backstage at Survivor Series. She was sweet and introduced herself as April. Beth [Phoenix], Natalya and Alicia [Fox] walked by me on a few occasions backstage and smiled or nodded professionally.
After the jump, there is more, including how the Natalya farting gimmick came about, and why Tamina Snuka was pushed earlier this year: (more…)
The last week has seen the continued downfall of two women who were among the most popular females in the wrestling in the mid-to-late 1990s.
Starting with wrestler-turned-porn star Chyna, who collapsed three times between Thursday and Saturday while in Miami Beach, FL for the 2012 Exxxotica Expo, where she was promoting her latest appearance in a skin flick, playing She Hulk in a porn parody of The Avengers. The first incident happened on Thursday when she passed out in the Catalina hotel’s pool at the Expo’s launch party and was asked to return to her hotel room to sleep it off. But all Chyna did was recover for another assault on the bar the following day.
The following morning, the former WWE Intercontinental and Women’s Champion passed out at the convention itself, right in front of the main stage. After being checked out by paramedics, the 41-year old was helped back to her hotel room for more rest and relaxation – and she needed that help, as video footage posted on TMZ showed that she was in no condition to walk unaided. One day later, she was back, and was seen slumped in the lobby. She was taken to Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach after the third incident, and did not return to the event.
Now, I’m not writing this to poke fun at or mock Chyna. On the contrary, this is a plea for her to reassess her life.
Before her one-off in-ring comeback at TNA Sacrifice a year ago, word had gone around that she was planning to move to Japan and teach English as a foreign language – something that I fully supported. It would be a good career for her to be part of, would make a positive difference in people’s lives and could see her slip away from the spotlight that was eating her alive. After all, she had taken part in a very public rehabilitation on Celebrity Rehab in 2008 which she took part in after admitting that drugs had seen her life spiral out of control – she claimed she was in the middle of her drug use when her sex tape, later released as One Night In Chyna was filmed. Before Celebrity Rehab, she had undergone private rehab after a revealing interview with Howard Stern where she said she didn’t want to do drugs anymore, but if a line of cocaine was put in front of her, she would have to have it. (more…)
Layla faces a big challenge in her first PPV defence since winning the WWE Divas Championship against former titleholder Beth Phoenix.
• Beth Phoenix was due a rematch against Nikki Bella last month at Extreme Rules after losing the championship the previous Monday due to a freak ankle injury, but was not cleared to compete. Instead, Layla was the surprise new challenger and won the title.
• As a result of not getting her rematch, Phoenix was named the top challenger to the title, and the match was scheduled for Over The Limit.
• There had been a few physical squabbles leading up to the match, but the main story was the plucky champion who had recently returned from a year out against her much larger and more powerful challenger. (more…)
It’s been Golden Week in Japan, which has meant a slew of wrestling across the country. However, we have a brief history lesson first…
Golden Week starts at the end of April and runs through until May 5, and incorporates a number of Japanese public holidays, including honouring the birthday of the late Emperor Hirohito, Constitution Memorial Day, Greenery Day – which is to commune with nature – and Children’s Day, which does exactly what it says on the tin. It is also the longest vacation period of the Japanese year, and many people are given paid time off as many companies completely close during that period. For that reason, Japan has a lot of spare time – many people travel, and the west coast of the US and Canada sees a slew of Japanese tourists during that time, but others stay at home, and can entertain themselves during their leisure time by watching pretty much any wrestling promotion that they choose, as most of them hold a show, while some stage supercards. Here’s a rundown of some of the things that went down during Golden Week in the world of joshi:
Kurumi’s push in Ice Ribbon continues – she and Ribbon Takanashi won the Golden Ribbon Mixed Tag Team Tournament on Saturday, defeating Hamuko Hoshi & Hoshi Tango, Hikari Minami & Dynasty and Maki Narumiya & Masamune to win the whole shebang. As well as winning tournaments to win the IW19 Championship and to earn the right to become Manami Toyota’s tag team partner to challenge for the International Ribbon Tag Team Titles at Ice Ribbon March, 12-year old Kurumi is quickly becoming the tournament queen in the promotion. Don’t bet against her in the future – you’ll lose money if you do so. (more…)
New Divas Champion Nikki Bella was all set to defend the title against former champ Beth Phoenix, but a spanner was thrown into the works because of the sprained ankle injury that Beth suffered on Raw. Still, there was a new challenger waiting in the wings…
• Bella won the title last week after Phoenix jumped from the apron to the floor during their Lumberjill match, “injuring” her ankle, and giving Nikki an opportunity to score the flash pin.
• A rematch was announced for the title at Extreme Rules.
• Before the match, a backstage segment was shown where Executive Administrator Eve Torres ruled Beth out of the match due to her injury and told Nikki that she would still have to defend the title against a mystery opponent, but reassured her that it wasn’t Kharma, who many had speculated would be the one to take the title.
• The mystery opponent turned out to be Layla, who had been out for a year after legitimately tearing both her anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments, and needed reconstructive surgery and rehab. (more…)
Nikki Bella won the WWE Divas Championship on Raw last night. There are a couple of issues that stem from this, so let’s deal with the Bella situation first.
First off, this title change has been on the cards for weeks, so it wasn’t a kneejerk reaction to the “twist” in the match. However, according to previous reports, the Bella Twins’ contract expires on Monday, and unless they have signed a contract extension – which we don’t believe has happened – they are set to go. Putting the Divas strap on Nikki is a curious choice, as it has to be a short reign – don’t be fooled, she won’t be taking the belt away with her like CM Punk did with the WWE Championship last June after winning it at Money in the Bank – so there are only three shows where she could conceivably drop it – SmackDown, Extreme Rules on Sunday, or the Raw the following day. Realistically, option 2 is the most likely, meaning a six day reign, and there is a prime candidate for winning the title, probably in some sort of open challenge…
I really hope that in one year, when I come back, you two will still be here.
That’s the parting words Kharma gave to the Bella Twins last May before taking a sabbatical following the announcement of her pregnancy. As has been reported, things tragically didn’t work out with that, but it seems that she is ready to get back onto the scene after being interviewed for a TV news piece about GLOW while she was at the Cauliflower Alley Club reunion in Las Vegas last week (more on GLOW later). Besides, if she wants to make good on her threat to destroy the Bellas, she has a window of a mere few days to get the job done, and the cherry on top would be taking the Divas Championship in the process. (more…)
Since WrestleMania, we’ve had a grand total of ZERO Divas matches on WWE’s flagship Raw Supershow broadcast. In some ways it’s hardly surprising, as the entire Divas division has been in a depressingly shallow holding pattern for months as Eve got to strut her stuff out of the ring and everybody sat and quietly waited for the return of Kharma. Even Beth Phoenix, the Divas Champion, was little more than an afterthought… leaving the talented Phoenix to get involved in twitter wars with the likes of Madusa and Chelsea Handler just to keep her profile up, even as her “Pin Up Strong” partnership with Natalya was quietly dissolved.
So here we are, Monday 23rd April, and Beth is back on Raw – ready to avenge a seemingly pointless loss to Nikki Bella on Smackdown a couple of weeks ago – or so you’d think. First of all, Eve Torres uses her “executive assistant” power to make the match a lumberjill match (which added nothing), and then secondly, Beth Phoenix gets schoolgirled after an apparent ankle injury and Nikki Bella is your NEWWWWW Divas Champion. (more…)
We’re in that post-WrestleMania period where everything is supposed to kick off for the next year. Brock Lesnar is destroying John Cena and making him spit blood, the word “yes” is replacing “what” and “whoo” as the cool thing to say, and CM Punk is being drowned in alcohol. But there is nothing for the Divas Champion Beth Phoenix. In fact, there is less than nothing.
The only in-ring Divas action on regular TV (as NXT hardly counts) for WWE since WrestleMania is a sub-three minute affair between Nikki Bella and Phoenix, which Bella won after Beth was distracted by Kelly Kelly. Presumably, this would lead to a title shot for Nikki, as she had just pinned the Divas Champ. That may happen on the live SmackDown happening later (though it may be a foregone conclusion, as I’ll discuss later), or a continuation of Kelly v Phoenix from WrestleMania, even though it was Maria Menounos who got the pin on Beth. Either way, things are flimsy at best, and it hasn’t looked good for the titleholder for many months.
Barring a decent build and match against Tamina Snuka in February, Phoenix has hardly set the world alight in 2012. This may be a combination of forgettable matches, no storylines – including the fizzling of the Pin-Up Strong angle when it should have exploded – or no interest from any of the writers. Indeed, nothing has happened with the in-ring product involving WWE’s women for at least half a year, and it must be frustrating the Champion. (more…)
On Sunday at WrestleMania, WWE Divas Champion Beth Phoenix was pinned by Maria Menounos in the tag team match featuring Menounos and Kelly Kelly against Phoenix and Eve Torres. A showbiz TV host who it was announced had two cracked ribs and stress fractures in her feet; a woman who has had no more than a month’s total wrestling training in her life; a non-wrestler pinned the Divas Champion on the promotion’s biggest show of the year.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Menounos has pinned Phoenix – she had got a three-count against her with a sunset flip on last December’s Tribute To The Troops show. Now, I have no problem with that – or her victory on Raw in an 8 woman tag in 2009, as they are throwaway matches on shows that mean nothing in the grand scheme. However, for the woman who is supposed to represent the best in the division to be defeated by a TV show host makes a mockery of Phoenix, the title and women’s wrestling as a whole. WrestleMania is the show that casual fans may watch once a year, and they see that? It doesn’t sit well with me. (more…)
Last night was the Showcase of the Immortals, better known as WrestleMania – as a reported 78,363 (probably closer to 68,000 in reality) descended upon the Sun-Life Stadium in Miami to witness, amongst other things, the “Once in a Lifetime” battle between The Rock and John Cena, the “End of an Era” match between Triple H and Undertaker, and a battle between the two self-professed “Best in the World” between CM Punk and Chris Jericho. I’m pretty sure not a single person went specifically to see the Divas match featuring Beth Phoenix & Eve Torres vs Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos, but it happened nonetheless. With Kharma not ready to return yet and Natalya’s depush into a flatulence gimmick, it was clear that WWE had no idea what they were doing with ‘Mania this year (with rumours even abounding fairly recently that there may be no Divas match at this year’s event at all) until the opportunity presented itself to do something with one of their favourite celebrity fans, “Extra” host Maria Menounos. Currently competing on Dancing With The Stars in the US (and paying a price for it with cracked – reported in places as broken – ribs and stress fractures in her foot), it was somewhat of a miracle Maria made it at all. With a shocking 18 second World Title match between Daniel Bryan & Sheamus already having rocked the stadium, we went into a rare case where a Divas match gets longer on PPV than a World Title match – but with the relative lack of buildup outside a single confrontation on Menounos’ TV show, would anybody care? Let’s check on what was WrestleMania X7, what was WrestleMania IX and what was WrestleMania IV. (more…)