Sitting in the Tokyo ward of Sumida, Japan, Ryōgoku Kokugikan is primarily a venue for sumo wrestling, hence the alternative name of Sumo Hall. Hosting tournaments throughout the year as well as three special events in January, May and September, the 28-year old building holds a lot of tradition for sports other than sumo. The building also hosts boxing, concerts and professional wrestling. However, when it comes to joshi, Sumo Hall may well have been in Narnia, as there has not been a show there since Ladies Legend Pro Wrestling held an event there on February 12, 2007.
The show featured the semi-finals and final of a 10-woman All Star Tournament with Shinobu Kandori pinning Meiko Satomura to win the whole shebang. Attendance numbers are disputed, though the reported figure was about 5,800, which is less than half of the 13,000 that the building can hold.
Since then, there has not been a joshi show held there, though that will change next Monday, when Stardom presents its biggest and most ambitious show in its two and a half year history with a stacked card which features wrestlers from a number of different joshi promotions. (more…)
We got the impression earlier today that something had gone on with WWE developmental Diva Skyler Moon. About 5 hours ago, the 23-year old tweeted:
I can finally cuss again in the internet…..FUUUUUUUCK :)
Clearly, this is not something that WWE would be happy about one of their employees doing this, which raised suspicions – and a few minutes ago, PWInsider gave some weight to that suspicion, reporting that the Riverside, CA native had been released from her contract.
The move comes in the same week that Ricardo Rodriguez tweeted a picture of the two of them together backstage at Monday’s Raw in Tampa, FL. The former Buggy Nova had been absent since early autumn while she received help for what she revealed was an eating disorder, and looked like she was getting back into the swing of things.
The release comes at the start of what PWInsider claims is going to be a series of WWE releases, so there may be more women let go – if that should happen, we will let you know.
- Lee Burton
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.
Back when it was still in single figures, we interviewed LuFisto for the Women of Wrestling Podcast. Among the mass of topics which were discussed, including her changing an Ontarian law which prevented men wrestling women and competing in brutal and bloody deathmatches, she pointed out one ambition which she held dear – one which has yet to be accomplished.
The last thing I would love to do is have one match with TNA. Just one. Dark match, whatever – I don’t care. I just want to experience what it is.
Considering she has been wrestling her entire adult life in numerous countries (and spilt blood in many of them – either her own or someone else’s) it sounds like a modest request. Debuting at the age of 17 in 1997, the Montreal native has broken barriers for women in her home country of Canada, competed and won championships in Combat Zone Wrestling, hanging with the guys there along the way, won deathmatch tournaments (one of which saw a piece of broken fluorescent bulb glass lodged in her back for around four years), and also proven that she’s not a one-trick pony by wrestling in SHIMMER without the benefit or distraction of weapons. Much like Mick Foley’s transformation from Cactus Jack and cellar dweller Mankind to the cuddly guy who is everyone’s happy uncle, LuFisto transitioned from a violent, partially masochistic maniac character to one which is based around Japanese anime and peppered with fun and happiness. LuFisto is a pioneer for women’s wrestling who has been trying for a number of years to get a foot in the door at either WWE or TNA, with the usual response being that she doesn’t have the “look” that they are after. However last Saturday, on the 15th anniversary of her debut, she got the opportunity she’s been after for years, when she got a chance to wrestle in a TNA ring as part of its Gut Check before the card in Oshawa, Ontario. (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…)
Californian Buggy Nova moved to Florida earlier this month, something we reported in the June 5 Roundup. At the time, there were rumblings as to why – but last night, we got our answer, as she appeared at one of the Florida Championship Wrestling house shows which make up the Summer Slamarama. Her contributions to the event in Orlando included participating in a dance contest with fans – video of which can be seen here – as well as a bikini contest hosted by Byron Saxton – something which seems to be a staple for all of these FCW house shows at the moment.
As is customary for signing a WWE developmental deal, the Buggy Nova name is no more, though like when Britani Knight went under her real name of Saraya before being rechristened as Paige, the 22-year old appeared under her real name of Natalie. However, one thing that has not changed is her look, which still looks very alternative, and is a jarring contrast to many of the other women in WWE at the moment – but like with Paige’s pale complexion, that’s a good thing. (more…)
The statuesque April Hunter graces the front cover of this month’s HONOUR Magazine, and has a long interview with Mary Hunt about her beginnings with the New World Order in WCW, training with Killer Kowalski, travelling to Japan and also how she hated working in Mexico, as well as whether she sees herself as a better valet or wrestler.
Elsewhere, HONOUR talks to Davina Rose and Buggy Nova, reviews Pro Wrestling: EVE’s Return of the Jetta, Part One, bids farewell to the Bella Twins, looks at the strengths and weakneses of Madusa and Beth Phoenix, considering their ongoing back and forth on Twitter, and also has a look at the recent GLOW revival debacle which has been heavily covered by us in the last few weeks – so click the picture on the right to have a read.
However, there are some other tidbits to feast your eyes on, so clcik after the jump for more… (more…)
We’ve been on a bit of a GLOW kick here at Ringbelles for the last week or so. Having talked to the utterly charming and intelligent Angelina Altishin (GLOW’s Little Egypt) for the most recent edition of the Women of Wrestling Podcast, we’ve been keeping an eye on goings-on at Cauliflower Alley’s 2012 Reunion, where Lisa Moretti (aka GLOW’s Tina Ferrari and WWE’s Ivory) was honoured, Angelina presented two seminars to atendees, and several GLOW originals made special appearances. Even WWE’s Kharma was spotted on local news, putting over the original GLOW product. However, one thing we haven’t mentioned (other than in passing in this week’s Roundup) was that running opposite Cauliflower Alley, across town in Henderson, NV – there was an attempt to revive the product with a GLOW-branded show billed as “A Night of Fan Appreciation”. There had even been talk that this would herald a GLOW “Season 5″ as a TV product.
It seemed a bizarre day to try and launch a revival, given that anybody in the Las Vegas area with any interest in wrestling would almost certainly be going to Cauliflower Alley – not to mention that with a large number of GLOW originals already committed to be at Cauliflower Alley, even those who were hardcore GLOW fans (if such a thing still exists in 2012) would have had a difficult decision to make. The day after, the best we could cobble together was a partial talent list and a partial set of results – and it became clear that the revival wasn’t exactly a success. We first heard of a crowd of possibly 50 (and that was taking into account local trainees). We’ve even heard an estimate considerably lower than that. That, unfortunately, was only the tip of the iceberg, as we’ve since heard various shady stories regarding promoter Eric Rolphe Nyenhuis. Click through to after the jump for the full story. (more…)
At the end of last month, The Wrestling Press published an interview with Davina Rose, where she discussed a number of subjects, including debuting in SHIMMER last year, her thoughts on WWE and her ambitions for the future. One main subject which came up for discussion was her relationship with mentor Serena Deeb, and how she has helped to further the California native’s wrestling career:
I first met Serena in October of 2010 when my promoter, Kirk White of BTW, booked her as my tag partner for our anniversary show. Serena is the sweetest person you’ll ever meet, and everyone who’s met her knows that. It doesn’t matter if she’s known you for years or meeting you for the first time, she’s just naturally nice no matter what. We talked a lot the day of the show and the next day when we took her to a signing and got along very well. Since then she has always been the one I go to for any wrestling advice I need. She’s so helpful in anything I ask and so willing to help me in my career. Serena Deeb helped me get to SHIMMER, and I owe everything and anything that comes out of it to her. I’ve already met some of my favorite people, had some of my favorite matches, and got to travel further than I’ve ever gone before because of SHIMMER and because of Serena. She doesn’t take all the credit for it when I thank her but I am truly lucky to have a mentor like her.
The match she is speaking of took place on October 22, 2010 at Big Time Wrestling‘s 14th Anniversary card in Newark, CA, featuring Rose and Deeb taking on Buggy and Jessica James – referred to as Jessica Jane by the commentators – and we have it here for this week’s Retro. Click after the jump to watch Rose be taken under the wing of one of the best wrestlers out there. (more…)
Beth Phoenix and Natalya sat down with WWE Magazine for an interview which has been published in the February 2012 issue (though this must have been conducted a while back, as Phoenix has been off TV for more than a month and the Pin-Up Strong gimmick has been limping for a long time now), with one of the questions asked being which male-dominated stipulation match they would like to see introduced to the Divas Division. Both went for the ladder match.
“I want to compete in the first-ever Diva Ladder Match. Beth and I think it would be amazing, and I believe we could really pull it off,” Natalya says.
Beth adds, “I have been campaigning for WWE to let me compete in one and have even volunteered to put my Divas Championship on the line in it against absolutely anybody. I have the experience and truly believe the bar could be raised with that bout. There is no doubt in my mind that it would be the most spectacular Divas match of all-time.”
No doubt, a Divas ladder match would be pretty unique, but there is no way that this match should happen now, or even in the near future. A ladder match would have to be the culmination of a strong feud between two Divas who can go, with a number of matches having took place with inconclusive winners and the odd ladder attack, leading to the Divas title belt being hung above the ring. The problem that WWE has at the moment is that the Divas roster as a whole is probably at its most neglected in the last decade, and the number of quality female workers in the promotion who could successfully pull it off is tragically slim.
Beth would have to be one of them. Though it’s not saying much, she’s probably the most over and best all-rounder of all the women, though when it comes to her opponent, it’s slim pickings, for sure. (more…)