The first live show of the WWE Network takes place on Thursday with the first live broadcast of NXT. Dubbed ArRIVAL, it features three matches – one of which sees Paige defend the NXT Women’s Championship against number one contender Emma, in a match which has been a long time coming.
The cheerful Australian earned her crack at the title back in August and then had to defend her right to challenge for the belt by beating Natalya at the start of this year. While carrying on her #EMMAlution in Florida, she also graduated to the main WWE roster by originally appearing in the crowd – antagonising fellow NXT alumni Summer Rae in the process – before taking part in dance-offs and making her in-ring TV debut last night on Raw, defeating Summer with the Emma Lock. While fans who haven’t seen her NXT character evolve are getting used to the newcomer with the awkward dance moves, it seems as if things are going in the right direction.
It could be argued that the NXT Women’s Champion has been ready to make a similar jump for a while. As the sole titleholder – winning the title tournament last June, but the show being broadcast the following month – she has turned back the challenges of Summer Rae and Natalya, though hasn’t wrestled on a show since the end of November. Injury was cited as the reason, though the Wrestling Observer said the layoff was for personal reasons. Thursday’s match will be her first match in more than three months, and in that time, her opponent – and the woman she beat in the tournament final to win the belt in the first place – has caught up with her success. (more…)
Last December, Evie‘s character in her home promotion of Impact Pro Wrestling went from being a smiling kick-happy Kiwi to being a sneering kick-happy Kiwi after regaining the vacant Women’s Championship following months of uncertainty over the belt. Aligning herself with the new group called The Investments, she took on a darker edge, which is reflected by her demeanour as well as her outfits – out does the bright foil outfits and in comes the all-black gear.
Before heading off to Japan to wrestle for the Diana promotion, the New Zealander squeezed in a title defence against IPW debutante Carmen Rose at New Year’s Takeover on January 11. The match gives you an insight into Evie’s character change, as well as the fallout it is having on the rest of the roster. For example, Britenay is going from being the nasty heel to standing up for the females against a terror which is more viscous than her.
Since this match took place, Britenay has won the Interim Women’s Championship – set up while Evie is overseas – by beating Olivia Shaw, who is also undergoing a character change which is seeing her becoming more heelish. The pair will meet again with the Interim belt on the line on March 22. Before that, click the jump and get a glimpse of Evie embracing the Dark Side… (more…)
Both Shanna and Alpha Female made their first appearances in a TNA ring during the recent UK tour, though they handled the publicity for it in different ways.
Portugal’s Perfect Athlete got the word out early that she would be booked on the February 1 show in London, England, as well as the following date in Birmingham. She wrestled singles matches for the Xplosion tapings – the first against Alpha and the next saw her take on Gail Kim. I was at the Birmingham taping, and while I won’t spoil the result, Shanna looked perfectly comfortable in that ring in what was a big opportunity for her to impress. She wasn’t just cannon fodder for the full-time Knockout either – she got in her fair share and even got to nail the Perfect Press.
Since announcing that she would be wrestling for TNA, Shanna has encouraged her fans to get the attention of the company to demonstrate her fanbase and how much she wants to be part of the promotion. She has retweeted many of the messages sent to TNA, and is showing her enthusiasm and overwhelming desire to sign a contract, while also increasing her brand and marketability. No doubt, she has a lot of people backing her, which is very encouraging. (more…)
The saga over the Impact Pro Wrestling Women’s Championship has been rumbling on since July when all the promotion’s titles were declared vacant following a relaunch, and the decider between Evie, Britenay and Olivia Shaw ended in a no-contest thanks to the interference of Megan-Kate. In August, Head of Live Events Steve Wrigley handed the title to the unknown Emmy Driver after saying no woman on the roster was worthy of holding the belt. Understandably, the decision was met with near-universal derision.
After winning a four-woman tournament to become the number one contender, Evie finally got the chance to get Driver in the ring at IPW’s show last month, but the titleholder made a run for it, resulting in the title being declared vacant. At the time, Evie called it a good news/bad news situation in that Emmy Driver was no longer the champion, but neither was she.
Another match for the vacant belt took place at last night’s show in Lynfield, New Zealand – again between Evie, Shaw and Britenay – and a new champion was finally crowned. (more…)
In the PWWA Interim Title Tournament DVD review from last week (click here to read it), I pointed out that it’s astounding at how proficient Evie is considering the small pool of female wrestlers there are in New Zealand – but it’s not as tiny as you may think.
For example, Impact Pro Wrestling has wrestlers like the aforementioned Evie, as well as former tag team partner Megan-Kate, Britenay and Olivia Shaw. Elsewhere, you have wrestlers like JpE, Nurse Payne and Scarlett in places like New Zealand Wide Pro Wrestling and Maniacs United. Some of that talent was on display last weekend at the Armageddon Expo – a Comic Con for Australia and New Zealand featuring sci-fi, gaming, anime, collectibles, TV and movie stars and comic books. (more…)
Ahead of the revival of Impact Pro Wrestling in New Zealand back in July, all the reigning champions were stripped of their championships – which meant that inaugural Women’s Champion Evie was also dethroned without being beaten for the belt in the ring. It was all quite strange, considering the promotion had only been gone for a few months and all the titleholders were still active competitors, but it seemed that the promotion was hitting the reset button. In July, a 3-way match took place between Evie, Britenay and Olivia Shaw to determine the new Women’s Champion – but the contest ended without a winner after Megan-Kate hit the ring with her trusty baseball bat, leaving a question mark still hanging over the title.
We were promised that the situation over the championship would be sorted out at yesterday’s show – and it was, but it was to the dissatisfaction of both wrestlers and fans alike… (more…)
Since winning the Impact Pro Wrestling Women’s Championship tournament back in August, New Zealand’s Evie has dealt with a number of issues. Firstly, she defeated old rival Britenay on September 29, but the celebration was short-lived when her BFF Megan-Kate hit her with a bat, jealous at how her friend and tag team partner’s career had skyrocketed - while her’s, though still very admirable, wasn’t at the same level.
A match between the two on October 27 saw the action lead to a no-contest, and last night, a tag team match took place in Auckland with Britenay and Megan-Kate uniting over a common enemy (with Britenay admitting that she didn’t trust her makeshift partner) to take on Evie, who enlisted rookie Olivia Shaw as her teammate. So did Evie get one over on her two enemies, or did she and Shaw fall to the nasty nature of their opponents? Click the jump and find out. (more…)
It has been more than a year since the last Pro Women’s Wrestling Alliance show where Madison Eagles successfully defended the SHIMMER Championship against Jessie McKay and Nicole Matthews in the first SHIMMER title match to take place outside of North America.
Since then, Eagles has experienced a long period on the shelf due to a serious knee injury but retains the PWWA Championship by her side – meanwhile, a PWWA Interim Champion has been crowned in Evie, who won the title during the most successful week in her career in August. She makes her first title defence today against Kellie Skater, who has been beaten twice by the champion, but told us on our most recent Women Of Wrestling Podcast that she’s looking to prove she can beat the kick-happy New Zealander.
Elsewhere, Evie’s (former) BFF Megan-Kate takes on Shazza McKenzie, Jessie McKay faces Britenay, and England’s Amazon Ayesha Ray makes her Australian debut.
New Zealand’s Evie defends her PWWA Interim Championship on Saturday, having won the belt in a tournament which ran over the summer (or winter, if you’re from the southern hemisphere), just one week after winning the Impact Pro Wrestling Women’s Championship in a 3-way involving Britenay and Megan Kate, though her BFF was inserted into the match at the last minute. It was a questionable decision which made many wonder how Megan Kate managed to sly her way into the title match after losing her semi-final to Britenay on two occasions.
However, Megan Kate stood by the side of her BFF in her match last weekend as Evie defended the IPW strap against Britenay in her first defence of that belt too, as part of IPW Fallout in Auckland. You can watch the match after the jump, and keep watching after the decision for more developments. (more…)
When we spoke to Evie a week ago, she could barely contain her excitement at possibly becoming the first ever Impact Pro Wrestling Women’s Champion, progressing to the final against Britenay and headlining the Destiny show last Saturday night. She was keen on winning the belt in her home promotion, and always having the moniker of being the first Women’s Champion in the promotion – an achievement that nobody can take away from her. However, the one on one contest between the two of them was turned upside down just moments before the bell would ring…
Destiny opened with Commissioner Dion McCracken addressing the crowd as well as the competitors. He told Evie and Britenay that this match would be determined under a one on one contest, and then proceeded to ban ‘Handsome’ Danny Jacobs from ringside for the match later on, much to the delight of the sold out crowd. Evie’s BFF Megan-Kate was also ruled out, so there would be no excuses, and a rightful winner would be decided. Someone else had alternative plans though, and it would result in the Commissioner’s credibility being undermined, the two competitors being thrown a curve-ball, and a strong friendship being put to the test in the quest for the gold. (more…)
New Zealand’s Evie has a busy couple of weeks ahead of her. After having never competed for a championship in her career, the Auckland native could become a double champion by the end of the month by winning two tournaments. First up is the final of the Impact Pro Wrestling Women’s Title tourney on Saturday, which will crown the first ever champion when she takes on Britenay. Following that a week later is her match against Jessie McKay to crown a PWWA Interim Champion.
As part of this edition of Fight Like A Girl, Evie discusses how nervous she gets before big matches, the women’s wrestling scene in New Zealand, the road to both finals, prospects for the future, and which title (if any) means more to her.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
I’ve been concerned about the future of Pro Wrestling: EVE, as each show seemed to be becoming a stand-alone production. EVE v Ice Ribbon was a great weekend of action, but didn’t really offer much indication on what would happen next, barring the win streaks of Alpha Female and Nikki Storm. At No Man’s Land in February, there was only one advertised match, which was the title match with Jenny Sjodin defending against Alpha, and that ended inconclusively. Meanwhile in the Queen of the Ring tournament which was set up after the plans to crown new Tag Team Champions fell though, Nikki won, which only reminded us that she was the next contender, and didn’t offer much to speculate about for the next show. Then Alpha won the belt on a non-EVE show, which – while it was the right move – would have been best on the No Man’s Land card. In addition, attendances were less than stellar, which was a shame – doubly so for the EVE v Ice Ribbon shows, which featured some spectacular matches.
However, last Saturday, things slotted into place very nicely. (more…)
Despite only taking place a month ago, the Pro Wrestling Women’s Alliance event which took place on September 3 was available for purchase at the recent SHIMMER: Women Athletes tapings in Berwyn, IL last weekend. Obviously, we had to pick up a copy to see the event, which was headlined by the first SHIMMER title defence outside of the United States, with then-Champion (still feels weird to think of her in that way) Madison Eagles defending against longtime rival/partner Jessie McKay, and former SHIMMER Tag Team Champion Nicole Matthews, who was making her first trip Down Under.
Eagles had been away from the promotion and its parent company the PWA for around six months to live in the US, making it onto the CHIKARA roster, but had to withdraw and return to Australia for treatment for an injured shoulder which she suffered in a car accident back in April. She had wrestled sporadically in North America since then – once in CHIKARA and another time at nCw Femmes Fatales VI in Canada in June where she defeated our latest Women Of Wrestling Podcast guest Courtney Rush. Upon her return to Australia, Eagles (who also holds the PWWA Championship) turned heel, attacking a newly-turned babyface McKay, who was trying to win the PWWA title which KC Cassidy had claimed as her own in Eagles’ absence. As it turned out, the belt was reclaimed by Eagles and she and Cassidy let things slide, even teaming together for Madison’s return match in her home country on August 8 against McKay and Shazza McKenzie.
The SHIMMER title match at PWWA was a big talking point ahead of time. Would Eagles be dropping the belt due to injury, and if so, to whom? How hurt was she? Would she be able to go at full-speed during the match considering she had only wrestled as few as three matches since the injury occurred four months previously? With that level of intrigue, it became a real possibility that the SHIMMER Championship would change hands in Liverpool, New South Wales. Obviously, we know she retained the title, but what participation did she have in the match? Let’s find out… (more…)
The first defence of the SHIMMER Championship outside of the US has seen titleholder Madison Eagles retain the belt over her two challengers, Nicole Matthews and Jessie McKay (who spoke to us about the match on the most recent Women Of Wrestling Podcast).
There had been a lot of intrigue surrounding the match, including whether Eagles’ recent injury issues would be a factor in this contest, and whether this was an occasion for there to be a new champion while Madison rehabbed her damaged shoulder. As it turns out, Eagles recovery is not as bad as originally feared, and she will roll into SHIMMER’s DVD tapings in Berwyn, IL on October 1 and 2 as the champion.
Last night, parent company the Pro Wrestling Alliance held its own card in Liverpool, with a taster of the PWWA show the following evening. Matthews defeated Shazza McKenzie in the semi-main, while in an eight woman tag, McKay, Evie, Megan Kate & Kellyanne English defeated Eagles, Kellie Skater, JPE & Britenay.
So did you know there was wrestling in New Zealand? I’d never even thought about it, but it stands to reason that there would be. If there are women wrestling in Bolivia, anything is possible.
As part of its relaunch, Australian promotion PWWA is expanding its pool of talent to include grapplers not just from Australasia – as Madison Eagles revealed to us at the start of this month – but also from elsewhere in the Commonweath – Nicole Matthews will make her debut in Liverpool, NSW on September 3.
The three Kiwi names are all regulars with New Zealand promotion Impact Pro Wrestling. Evie won New Zealand PWI Female of the Year in 2009 and is one of the fan favourites in the promotion; the same can be said for Megan-Kate, who debuted in IPW more recently, and the two have formed an alliance – hell, the two share a single profile on Facebook.