Ahead of the release of the all-women TNA One Night Only PPV on September 6, the company has put together a preview video to sell the event to US viewers – ones in the UK will get it for free five days later. Hosted by Christy Hemme, it features a montage of all the Knockouts Champions since the title was created in 2007; a look at the Gauntlet Match at Bound For Glory in that year which determined the inaugural titleholder; a recap of the feud between Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell which featured a great Last Knockout Standing Match at Slammiversary this year and also a fine Ladder Match on Impact Wrestling in July; and a rundown of all the women who will be involved in the show itself.
The event was taped in March – you can read results of it here if you don’t mind spoilers – and it is interesting to see which Knockouts are no longer with the company in the time the show was recorded and it making to air. Tara, Taeler Hendrix and Madison Rayne have all gone – though Rayne didn’t wrestle on the show as she was already pregnant – while Brooke Hogan has also parted ways with TNA – which is a big continuity error, considering she is the one advertised as putting the event together but was unceremoniously dumped in the storylines. In addition, Terrell – who was clearly a big priority for TNA – has disappeared from our screens.
Still, it’s a nicely put together hard-sell for the show, so click after the jump, rekindle some memories and see if it can pull some money from your bank account. (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…)
It looks like TNA is really serious about this cost-cutting exercise. After bidding farewell to Madison Rayne, Taeler Hendrix and Tara in July, the company has reportedly let go Brooke Hogan, who was working as an authority figure for the Knockouts and was part of an ongoing storyline involving on-screen husband and TNA Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray. The news was revealed by PWInsider yesterday evening, and a similar report was also uploaded to F4W Online soon afterward.
Quite honestly, this is a surprise. It’s not because of Hogan’s usefulness in the promotion – which was minimal as far as a boss lady for the women’s division, or even because of the storyline with Bully Ray – but because of her surname. As Hulk‘s daughter, you would have thought she would have been bulletproof from these releases as part of measures to appease their biggest star. The indication that she is just as susceptible to being cut as anyone else is a real eye-opener. Nobody is safe. (more…)
There are many interesting prospects in North America. One which has been simmering for a while is Mia Yim, who has been honing her skills and gaining more experience by partaking in a number of extended trips to Japan to wrestle for REINA x World. Domestically, she has had some interesting matches which have been of a good quality, and was a beneficiary when one of her kicks broke Allysin Kay’s nose last January leading to a number of well-received matches between the two with greater stipulations reflecting the development of the programme, culminating in a cage match at Absolute Intense Wrestling’s Girls Night Out 7. She had a fine outing against Jessicka Havok at SHINE 3 last September, and also enjoyed outings against the likes of Kana and Yumi Ohka in SHIMMER in 2011.
However, there is one major sticking point when it comes to her work in the US – barring the original nose-breaking match against Kay at GNO5, Yim has lost most of those high-profile outings.
Despite that, she has the opportunity to claim a really big scalp at SHIMMER volume 53 in Secaucus, NJ on April 6, and spoil the homecoming of one of its biggest stars at the same time. (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!
Last Sunday at TNA Hardcore Justice, I questioned the Knockouts Title victory by Madison Rayne, saying that it was the right result in the right storyline – as it pertains to her advances to referee Earl Hebner – but it arrived too soon, as it cut the legs off the previous champion Miss Tessmacher, who was still finding her way in her first reign. The situation changed on last night’s Impact Wrestling when Tessmacher regained the belt after the law stopped leaning in the direction of Rayne.
Knockouts boss lady Brooke Hogan had clearly seen enough, and made the ruling that Hebner was not going to ref any more women’s matches, which bent the new champion out of shape as she waited in the ring for what she thought was going to be a victory party. She then got two further kicks in the teeth when she was informed that the rematch between her and Tessmacher would happen later in the show, and there would be a debuting ref, and it would be a woman – not that female refs are a new thing in TNA, as Traci Brooks donned the stripes for a while in 2008.
Rayne got in a cutting blow before leaving though, saying that Brooke was only there because of her surname – an interesting, and possibly close-to-the-bone line, considering that argument was raised in this week’s Wrestling Observer about how she’s not over and not much of a talker. Granted, her on-mic stuff here wasn’t great, but she’s hardly the worst ever – perhaps she’s being unfairly compared to her dad. (more…)
Gail Kim meets Brooke Tessmacher with the TNA Knockouts Championship on the line at Slammiversary X this weekend. The rematch comes just a month after the pair put together a good outing at Sacrifice, with Kim barely escaping with the belt after pinning Tessmacher with her feet on the ropes.
The plucky challenger earned another shot at the championship on last night’s episode of Impact Wrestling after winning a four-way match over former titleholders Mickie James, Tara and Velvet Sky. For the record, Tessmacher pinned James to win the match, which lends to the Mickie heel turn which is being revived after being teased earlier this year – James was also upset earlier in the show when Sky was given a role in a Montgomery Gentry music video, reluctantly joining in with a congratulatory group hug.
On a personal level, I am happy that this match is going ahead. In last month’s Sacrifice write-up, I expressed my desire to see this match again, so I’m glad it’s happening. As I’ve said in the past, given her experience level, Tessmacher is better than she has any right to be, and Kim has carried the Knockouts division since returning to TNA last October, and has held the title since November – making her the longest reigning Knockouts Champ in the title’s 5 year history. However, all good things must come to an end, and I believe that if there was ever a time for her to drop the belt, Sunday at Slammiversary could be it. (more…)
Following her arrest over being arrested for narcotics possession last week, Io Shirai was indefinitely suspended by her home promotion, Stardom. The official statement refrains from making a comment on the current legal situation, but did distance itself from the former Triple Tails member, and apologised to fans. Io’s sister Mio did the same thing in a blog post, saying that their relationship had been strained recently, and Io had distanced herself from her family. She also pointed out that she heard about the arrest in the same way everyone else did – via the media.
Shirai’s suspension should not come as a surprise. Drugs are a serious no-no in Japan, and any wrestling organisation would want to disassociate itself with anything that may trouble or dissuade sponsors.
22-year old Shirai and her boyfriend NOSAWA Rongai were arrested at Narita Airport after returning from Mexico, after a total of 75 grams of marijuana was found hidden in the frames of two paintings given to them from fans. In somewhere like the US or UK, 75 grams is a small amount of cannabis – but this Japan, which has ferocious anti-drug laws to discourage people from smuggling, selling, cultivating or selling them in the country. For example, because caught with weed could result in a five year prison sentence which also incorporates hard labour. That’s a stiff penalty, and really not worth the risk.
At the moment, both Shirai and Rongai (who deny the allegations) are being held in a detention centre where the prosecutor will prepare in indictment. If that happens, the chances of being acquitted is very slim. (more…)
The names Hogan and Flair have been inextricably linked in the wrestling business for years – whether that be as the main men in 80s era World Wrestling Federation and Jim Crockett Promotions respectively to the latterday geriatric double act which more often than not sees Ric Flair as Hogan’s opponent of choice when he needs someone to look good (and make him look good) as the Hulkamania juggernaut rumbles on – that it’s faintly curious that yesterday saw the names Hogan and Flair flash across wrestling news sites once again, as we heard “Flair to WWE!” and “TNA sign Hogan!” news. However, we’re talking Ashley Flair and Brooke Hogan – so let’s not get overexcited. Here’s what we know…
We brought you word in the Roundup a couple of weeks ago that Ric Flair’s daughter Ashley was training in Charlotte, NC for pro-wrestling. An accomplished volleyball player in high school, Ashley has been working as a personal trainer before deciding to take up the “family business”, and has apparently being signed to a developmental deal based entirely on her surname (there’s a lot of that in wrestling). What is interesting is the fact that Ashley has opted to sign up with WWE and relocate to Florida to train at FCW rather than sign with TNA and learn her craft in OVW in Louisville. Interesting also that it comes at a time when nobody is quite sure what’s up with Ric himself. He no-showed some advertised TNA house shows last weekend in Louisiana and took no part in this past week’s TV tapings – but both sides are staying quiet as to exactly what is going on. This coming less than two months after Flair appeared on WWE TV and was inducted into their Hall of Fame for the second time? It’s circumstantial at best, but certainly makes Ashley’s choice interesting. (more…)