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…)
The WWE Divas Championship turned 5 years old on Saturday, and has evolved from the secondary title on the SmackDown brand to being the top belt in the promotion. Some would argue that in that time, the prestige of the primary women’s title in the biggest wrestling promotion in the world has dropped for various reasons, but it’s what we’re being presented, and it would be worth a look to see what state the title and the division itself is in right now.
Announced on June 6, 2008 by then-GM Vickie Guerrero so the women on her roster would have their own title, with the inaugural champion being Michelle McCool, who made Natalya tap out at that year’s Great American Bash. At the time, McCool was the pet project for WWE’s future, having been in the original Diva Search in 2004 and floating around for a long while before hitting a groove as a wrestler. However, she was a pretty unexciting one – and despite defeating Maryse a number of times over the course of the next month, it was the French Canadian who wrested the title from her in December of that year, which saw McCool turn heel on friend and special ref Maria Kanellis after the contest’s conclusion.
Maryse embarked on what is still the longest Divas Championship reign in the title’s history at 216 days, but her matches were pretty poor, and could not compare to the Raw brand’s women’s roster which was seeing the likes of Melina, Mickie James and Beth Phoenix competing over the Women’s Championship. However, during Maryse’s reign, she was drafted from SmackDown to Raw and took the belt with her, while Women’s Champion Melina went in the other direction. (more…)
It was interesting to see the Bellatrix roster after the Bellatrix 6 card. Out of their wrestling gear, they got dressed again into their branded t-shirts and glammed them up with shorts, skirts, blazers and the like to meet and greet the fans, sign autographs and pose for photos. In every photo, the Bellatrix logo was visible, pushing the brand and getting the recognition out there. Coupled with the gigantic wall hangings, Bellatrix: Female Warriors has ascended to be the most professional looking promotion in the western world.
Granted, a lot of joshi promotions in Japan have branded gear, and Ice Ribbon & Stardom have had workout gear too – but it is rarer to see in the English-speaking countries. However, it is something that other promotions would do well to adopt in the future.
Since rebranding from the World Association of Women’s Wrestling in January, Bellatrix as a brand has been ascending at a rapid pace, and it’s being noticed. Ahead of Sunday’s card, promoter Saraya Knight was interviewed on F4Wonline.com, the BritWresChat podcast and the BBC radio station serving Norfolk – the county which Bellatrix is based. In addition, hype was posted on a number of websites and also in the local print media, which led to an audience of more than 250 coming along to the show to make a lot of noise and generate a proper atmosphere. As far as exposure goes, Bellatrix has taken big steps forward – however, as Saraya explained during the interview with Bryan Alvarez, the end goal is not to have the promotion as the main focus; instead, it is being used as a way to point eyes towards the wrestlers on the show. (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (18 June 2013) – Mickie James, Brittney Savage, Divas, Bellatrix & Queen of Queens
Mickie James turned full heel on last Thursday’s Impact Wrestling by attacking Velvet Sky. Velvet had produced a letter from her doctor saying she was cleared to wrestle and wanted a rematch for the Knockouts Championship, but Mickie argued that she could have just downloaded it from the Internet before going after her previously injured knee before being peeled off her rival by the referees.
Fair play to TNA, James and Sky – this angle has been booked and executed beautifully. Everyone involved has done a great job to get the new Knockouts Champ over, and it looks like she is having a great time finally having something she can really sink her teeth into… and it’s long overdue.
To be brutally honest, both WWE’s and TNA’s writers have been coasting with Mickie James for the past six years. Following the epic angle between she and Trish Stratus which hit its zenith at WrestleMania 22, nothing of real note has been given to the 33-year old. Once she turned babyface in the summer of 2006, there were a few feuds with Lita, Melina, Beth Phoenix and Maryse, but she was portraying the typical white meat babyface with no real reason as to why you should cheer for her apart from that she was smiley and was wrestling heels. The only other big storyline she was part of was the “Piggie James” deal with Lay-Cool which felt like it was an unfair public rib on her – and she lost that feud, which meant that she never even got her redemption. Considering how well she had played a character in her first 8 months in WWE, it’s still staggering that she was not given the opportunity to do anything like that again during her run, except for being the punching bag to get Michelle McCool and Layla over in a nasty, bullying fashion which seemed to make people hate WWE’s writers than Lay-Cool. (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (11 June 2013) – Kaitlyn’s secret admirer, Kalamity, Brittney Savage, Gorgeous George and more
So Kaitlyn’s secret admirer was Big E Langston, as many originally assumed it would be. However, there was a sting in the tail, as Langston was sending the notes as a way to build up the Divas Champion to knock her down as part of a nefarious plan with AJ Lee.
Last night on Raw, Kaitlyn took the ring to ask for whoever had been sending her the notes and gifts, and had a look of bewilderment on her face as it was Big E who was revealed to be the one behind it all. He pointed out that it does appear to be a bit weird and awkward, but softened her with his words. As he moved closer for a kiss, he learnt her back for a romantic smooch, but let her fall to the floor. At that moment, AJ’s music hit and she came skipping to the ring to reveal that it was all one big head game ahead of their title match this Sunday at Payback.
AJ’s reasoning for doing it was that she felt that Kaitlyn had not supported her enough after Daniel Bryan dumped her last year and she went off the rails, and was more focussed on winning the Divas Championship. What Lee is leaving out is that Kaitlyn actually was there for support and to get her back on track, but AJ slapped her on two separate occasions before the friendship fell apart. The pair briefly reunited at the end of last year before AJ turned full-blown heel at TLC and aligned herself with Dolph Ziggler, but it was never meant to last.
AJ became the number one contender to the Divas strap by winning a battle royal on April 22, and since then it has been pushed to one side when it wasn’t convenient to address it. The pair had a backstage set-to at Extreme Rules, but that has been the only real storyline development until last night. (more…)
An aspiring wrestler was on MTV in the US last weekend.
Dana Adiva – who models and has wrestled a couple of shows for Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling as well s some smaller promotions in the Midwest – was one of two subjects featured on an episode of True Life entitled “I’m Too Beautiful”. In it, her sister complained about how attractive her sibling was and how it was affecting their relationship. Adiva also talked about how she had to drop out of school because she was bullied about her looks, finds it hard to get a boyfriend (though her Facebook says she is currently attached) and boasts that “I get anything I want and I get treated like a princess… I don’t have to be smart, because I have my looks.”
However, she also complains that “At the same time it sucks being pretty, it would nice being taken seriously once in a while,” though also discusses the possibility of getting a breast enhancement, claiming “I feel I will be more beautiful with bigger boobs. Instead of a 10 I’ll be a 200.”
MTV followed Adiva around for eight months filming this and she was one of two stories which were compressed into an hour long show, which means about 40 minutes of programme when you take out the commercials. The producers could have weaved any story they liked out of it – however, she said these things, regardless of whether she was coerced or cajoled into doing it. (more…)
SHINE 9 results: Eagles vs Havok steals the show, plus Leva finally commits Kimberly to Arkham Asylum
SHINE Wrestling returns to iPPV this evening with what is without doubt the most stacked card in company history – featuring, as it does, a Steel Cage Match main event to (presumably) cap off the long standing rivalry between Leva Bates & Kimberly, which currently stands at 2-2 after four matches (Bates won at SHINE 3, then after Kimberly turned heel at SHINE 5, she won their rematch at SHINE 6. On SHINE 7, Leva won a Last Woman Standing match, only to see Kimberly win the Fans Bring The Weapons/I Quit match at SHINE 8).
The show also sees the first Qualifying round of the SHINE Title tournament, which takes place at SHINE 11 in July – with eight hopefuls looking to advance to the single elimination tournament. In a first time ever dream match, Madison Eagles takes on Jessicka Havok, while Sweet Saraya Knight battles Su Yung. VALKYRIE stable members Rain & Ivelisse Velez will also see tournament action, against Jazz & Angelina Love respectively. And that’s not even all. Jump through after the page break to follow results as they come in from the Orpheum in Ybor City, FL. (more…)
SHINE 8 results: Valkyrie remain unbeaten, Havok forced to respect Sky, Bates/Kimberly in insane brawl
Since the formation of Rain‘s Valkyrie stable at SHINE 6, the group has been on a tear – going 3-0 against SHINE talent at SHINE 7 – but with the roster banding together against the renegades at the conclusion of the last show, and the addition of the debuting Angelina Love – it just might be the start of the turning of the tide – with the team of Angelina Love, Amazing Kong, Mia Yim & Christina Von Eerie combining to take on Rain (making her return from injury), Ivelisse and Made In Sin in the main event.
Also on the show, Kimberly and Leva Bates have each picked a “poison” for the other in their potentially feud-ending double stipulation match. Leva chose “Fans bring the weapons”, and Kimberly selected “I Quit”. High stakes also in the match between Reby Sky and Jessicka Havok, which is being billed as a “Career vs Respect” match. Simply put, if Havok beats Sky, Sky’s time in SHINE is over, but if Sky can overcome the larger, stronger and more vicious Havok, Havok will have to stand in the middle of the ring and admit on the mic that she respects Sky.
Follow results as they come in with us after the jump. (more…)
On the heels of a well received SHINE 7 iPPV which saw the newly formed VALKYRIE stable complete a clean sweep of victories, going 3-0 across the board, the newly released SHINE 8 card offers the Home Team a chance to gain a measure of revenge in the form of an eight-woman tag team main event. Rain will lead VALKYRIE, consisting of Made In Sin (Allysin Kay & Taylor Made) and this week’s TNA Gut Check contestant Ivelisse Velez, against a team consisting of Amazing Kong, Mia Yim, the returning Christina Von Eerie and the debuting Angelina Love. The heel team picks itself, naturally, but it’s an interesting choice on the Kong side, as it seems that the people who ran in to help at the end of SHINE 7 (Nikki Roxx, Santana Garrett, Tracy Taylor & Su Yung) have all been passed over in deference to Von Eerie & Love. We have no great issues with the choice, as the match looks tasty in any event, but it seems a shame that someone like Santana, who has been quietly improving show by show and looked to potentially have a chance to move up the card, remains anchored to the midcard. (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (26 February 2013) – wrestling’s equivalent of Ronda Rousey, Girls Night Out 8 and more
Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche delivered in spades on Saturday as part of the main event of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s UFC 157 pay-per-view. While PPV buyrates are only an estimate – though expected to be around the 400,000 mark – the other numbers are amazing.
With those two headlining the show, the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA drew 15,525 fans with a gate of $1.4 million and reportedly fewer comps than usual. It’s the highest attendance for a UFC show in the building, which includes UFC 121 with Cain Velasquez against Brock Lesnar. Admittedly, both Rousey and Carmouche hail from the state, which means that both had a relative hometown crowd, but it’s evidence that women can headline male-dominated shows, given the right booking, promotion and hype. Additionally, the fact that it outdrew Velasquez v Lesnar is even more astounding considering it’s a Hispanic market which would be behind Cain, and Brock is one of the UFC’s biggest draws in its history. (more…)
After aligning at the conclusion of SHINE 6 – the video of which you can watch after the jump – the five members of Valkyrie are all in action tonight as part of three matches which form the card for SHINE 7, taking place this evening at the Orpheum in Ybor City, FL. The highest-profile match features Rain returning from a wrist injury suffered at SHINE 5 against the woman who was used as the target for the formation of the stable, Amazing Kong.
Elsewhere, April Hunter debuts alongside her buddies in Made In Sin (Allysin Kay & Taylor Made) to take on Mia Yim and the West Coast Connection of Su Yung & Tracy Taylor. The final Valkyrie member, Ivelisse Velez, faces the debuting LuFisto in what is an intriguing match.
The main stipulation match on the event sees Leva Bates and Kimberly square off again, only with it being a Last Woman Standing match. We will see if Kimberly can double her win count in SHINE, or if Leva can tame her unhinged former tag team partner. We discuss the match in greater length in our preview which was written when the card was announced, which you can jump to by clicking here.
You can order the event right now by clicking here to go to WWNLive.com. If that’s not possible, click the jump to see the results as they happen by hitting refresh – and later on, we’ll offer our thoughts on the show, which is likely to produce a number of developments. (more…)
The relaunched Women Superstars Uncensored promotion came under fire yesterday from a number of sources on Twitter, including several talents which were a regular part of the promotion before the transfer of ownership from Sean McCaffrey to Drew Cordeiro of Beyond Wrestling. Most notably, these included WSU “icon” Alicia, Brittney Savage and others.
The situation appeared to arise from a perceived knock on Alicia by WSU who, when answering a fan’s question on whether they can expect to see Alicia brought back to the WSU roster, responded with a simple “Not Happening”. Picked up on by fellow wrestler, Missy Sampson, who tweeted “It’s disgusting watching you be so disrespectful to someone whose back your company was built on! @AliciaDidIt”.
Afer last month’s big conclusion to the SHINE 6 iPPV, we’ve been having a look down the card for SHINE 7, which lands two weeks from now in Ybor City, FL. Surprisingly, all the members of the quintet known as Valkyrie will be in action, which means one wrestler returning from injury, and another making her SHINE in-ring debut.
In the main event, Amazing Kong - the woman who suffered the beating at the end of SHINE 6 at the hands of the stable – looks to gain a measure of revenge against Valkyrie’s leader Rain, who will be returning after breaking her wrist at SHINE 5 back in November in a tag match where she and Mercedes Martinez took on Kong and Jazz, with the Rhythm and Bruise tandem gaining the victory. Elsewhere, April Hunter officially steps into the ring with her Made In Sin charges of Allysin Kay and Taylor Made to face the trio of Mia Yim, and the West Coast Connection of Su Yung and Tracy Taylor (with Taylor making her first SHINE appearance since SHINE 3 back in September). On paper, this seems to be set up for a heel win, though stranger things have happened in wrestling.
The final Valkyrie member faces her biggest challenge so far in SHINE, as Ivelisse Velez faces the debuting LuFisto in singles action. The outcome of this encounter is harder to predict, as even though the Super Hardcore Anime has more experience under her belt, Velez has four other women watching her back and protecting her interests. This is set to be an explosive encounter, though for us at Ringbelles, we feel the real money match is away from the Valkyrie action… (more…)
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…)
It’s the end of an era as far as Women Superstars Uncensored is concerned on Saturday. At the conclusion of the Uncensored Rumble V iPPV from Deer Park, NY, the WSU founder Sean McCaffrey will hand over the reins to another group, described to us as a promotion which is as major as an indie promotion can be.
A month ago, WSU made the announcement that it had been sold to an “independent buyer”, but the initial buyer was said to have fallen through, with other options being explored. Clearly, one of those options paid off, as everything has been sorted out ahead of the Uncensored Rumble, where we will all find out just who has acquired the promotion.
It is an uncertain period though, as there is no guarantee that the new owners will share the same vision of WSU. There is a possibility that things will progress as planned, but there is also a chance that whoever Is taking over will have new ideas and suggestions for storylines and talent, so there could be some shake-ups to come too. WSU’s outlook may change over time, but it is unlikely that if there will be any alterations, they won’t happen immediately. After all, the fans are the ones who finance things in the long run, and to make changes immediately and in a big fashion could be too jarring to the WSU faithful and possibly drive them away. Much more likely would be a subtle movement in direction to enhance what already exists.
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…)