After yesterday’s announcement of Nikki Storm as our Discovery of the Year for 2013, it’s time to move on to our announcement of our Breakout Star of the Year. This award, as we’ve mentioned before, is given to the wrestler who, in our opinion, took the biggest strides in 2013. The wrestler who became a player during this calendar year and became an integral part of multiple promotions by getting over with the crowd and making herself indispensable. The wrestler who went from just being a promising name on a card to becoming someone you’d actually pay money to see. Someone who “gets it” and someone who expanded their horizons in a major way. As usual, we had a number of potential winners to sort through, but by the time we got down to our final shortlist, we had three top contenders to win. Before we announce our 2013 Breakout Star of the Year, let’s have a quick look at those who came within a hair of winning the award this year.
Mia Yim came ridiculously close. This was the year where Yim really started to excel and fulfil the potential she has undoubtedly had since she started. This year, I’ve heard first-hand from people who really weren’t on the Mia Yim bandwagon tell me that this was the year that she changed their minds. Yim was undoubtedly one of the biggest breakout stars of Fight Season in October, and the SHIMMER weekend in particular, where her matches demonstrated what appeared to be a new confidence in the ring. Likewise in SHINE she’s found herself in more and more important matches as the year progressed, including discovering what might well be her perfect opponent in Ivelisse Velez. Santana Garrett also was amongst the final three shortlisted – having managed to not only debut for WSU and AIW, continue to impress in SHIMMER & SHINE, she managed to appear on TV for both TNA (as part of the Knockouts Knockdown PPV) and WWE (on their NXT brand) in this calendar year. Yes, depending on where you live in the world, those appearances may be either PPV or VOD, but she’s certainly moving in the right circles and making the right connections to get on the radar for the national promotions. Her matches weren’t as high up the card as Yim’s or our eventual winner, but as far as “breaking out” and reaching for the stars, Garrett is a perfect example of someone who has used 2013 as a springboard to bigger and better things.
Our winner though? For our money, our winner stepped up in multiple promotions, gained confidence by the bucketload, delivered quality throughout and… well, she’s going to have to clear a little bit more space on her mantle for her second Ringbelles Award… (more…)
Next weekend we start making our announcements of the winners of our 2013 Year End Awards. Once again, we will be presenting awards in three categories – Discovery of the Year, Breakout Star of the Year and Wrestler of the Year. But before we get to that, let’s take a look back twelve months and check in with last year’s award winners and see how 2013 has treated them. First, let’s look at our 2012 Discovery of the Year, Kimber Lee.
As we wrote last year when we made the announcement of Kimber Lee as our Discovery of the Year, the spirit of this award is to recognise someone who we didn’t know twelve months prior, but who “caught our attention in a positive way… and is therefore someone that we’re tipping to bloom and flourish in the coming years.”. Twelve months on, and I think we can assuredly say Mission: Accomplished – and still aged just 23 years old and continuing to impress and improve by the month, there’s little doubt that there’s a lot more to come from the native of Seattle. (more…)
Episode 62 with Allysin Kay
When we spoke to Allysin Kay last year for Episode 44 of the Podcast, she was the AIW Absolute Women’s Champion and was on the verge of defending her title in a big challenge at an upcoming Girls Night Out show. Fast forward to now, Kay’s *still* undefeated as champion and on the verge of *another* major title defence at Girls Night Out 9 & 10 this weekend. In the interim she’s been wrestling literally all over the place, including just returning Stateside from a three month tour of Japan. As well as looking forward to Girls Night Out this weekend, we talk the Japan excursion, how it came about, the culture and language issues of an extended stay in Japan (not to mention the humidity and constant fear of Earthquakes). We find out her favourite match from her trip, and her favourite match she saw as a fan, discuss this Instagram picture, and chow down on just where the best steak is in Tokyo. We talk her return to SHINE this past weekend, and the ongoing absence of Taylor Made at SHINE, the (presumably) upcoming reunion of Made In Sin at SHIMMER later in the month, her favourite SHIMMER moments to date, the apparently cursed tag team feud in WSU vs Annie Social & Kimber Lee, her mouthpiece assisted match with Cheerleader Melissa at NCW:Femmes Fatales and her upcoming return to Beyond Wrestling. Oh, and racist Japanese people… Oh Allysin…
(right click on the picture and “save as” to download, or stream in our media player below)
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…)
It’s the return of the two-guest special as we welcome two of the competitors in the upcoming 2CW Girls Grand Prix, Veda Scott & Cherry Bomb. Still in her rookie year, Veda talks her short but impressive time in wrestling so far, and how she juggles wrestling with being a law student. We also talk about her training at the ROH/SHIMMER School, her outings at AIW, Beyond Wrestling & SHIMMER, her T-shirt on BarberShopWindow.com and her new gig as ROH’s new locker room correspondent. Then we welcome Ontario’s Cherry Bomb (on the back of a successful campaign, no less) to talk how she got involved in pro-wrestling, coming back from a nasty injury, her WWE dream and tryout, nearly committing homicide on Veda at AIW, touring Japan, playing an evil version of herself in forthcoming movie “Beat Down”, and dressing up Hulk Hogan in a Godzilla hoodie. No, really.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
Still in her rookie year, Veda’s already showing signs of potential as a performer – and as she was involved in a losing effort alongside Su Yung and Kimberley Maddox on the SPARKLE pre-show against the awesomely named BoNayNayBuggz (Bonesaw, She Nay Nay and Buggy) before making her main roster appearance, being defeated by Taylor Made, but not before breaking out an impressive combination of a tornado DDT followed by a regular version of the move. Despite going down for the three, she made a great impression, and is likely to return. Considering her bow on the world’s biggest stage for indy women’s wrestling, it seemed apposite to share one of her very first matches – an intergender encounter with Josh Thor for the Beyond Wrestling promotion.
Here at Ringbelles, we first got to hear a bit about Beyond Wrestling when we had Hailey Hatred on the Women Of Wrestling Podcast – so go and have a listen to some of that great show for a bit of background on what they’re all about, but suffice to say it’s “wrestling for wrestlers” and no paid crowd at all. It makes for a fairly unique working environment, but as you can see from the match, it doesn’t limit interaction in the slightest – making this a pretty interesting curiosity. (more…)