It had been speculated, considering the SHIMMER Champion was billed to appear on the show and she is currently in possession of the belt with no scheduled defences between now and then, but it’s just been made official – Cheerleader Melissa will be the first travelling member of the SHIMMER roster for the October 6 Bellatrix 7 show in Norwich, England.
The appearance will be Melissa’s first in the UK for more than five years – her last booking was in Ipswich for ChickFight TV tapings in May 2008 where she wrestled Wesna Busic twice (winning one and losing one) and also took on Jetta, winning via DQ.
Since then the 13-year veteran has worked in TNA as Alissa Flash ascended to the top of SHIMMER’s ranks to become the reigning two-time champion, and was victorious in the main event of SHIMMER’s biggest show in its history, defeating Saraya Knight in a cage in front of more than 700 fans on volume 53 to begin her second run with the belt. (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (9 July 2013) – Knockouts dearth, Heidi & Taeler, SHINE, Maria Kanellis, Sunny & more
We praised Mickie James’ last six months in TNA, including her winning the Knockouts Title and turning heel in the process. However, you have to wonder what sort of division she is reigning over, when you consider how many – or conversely, how few – female wrestlers there are on the roster these days.
As well as James, you have Gail Kim, Miss Tessmacher, ODB, Tara, Taryn Terrell and Velvet Sky as in-ring performers – though ODB is usually a ref these days, Terrell is hardly a regular and Tessmacher & Tara has been absent for a while. That’s seven women – half of what they had in 2008 when the division was really a pioneer and vastly overshadowing what was going on in WWE at the time. When you consider that TNA only has about three women doing most of the work these days, you can see why the promotion binned its Knockouts Tag Team Titles following them being vacated by ODB and Eric Young.
The roster was thinned out last Wednesday when a four time Knockouts Champion and the first Gut Check winner were cut from the roster. Madison Rayne – who is heavily pregnant and is due to give birth next month – saw her contract expire and it wasn’t renewed. Some have complained that it was a bit tactless of TNA to do that, but Rayne herself apparently holds no grudges and has made no complaints in public. It is possible that she may return in time.
The other departure is Taeler Hendrix, who has been criminally underused by the promotion since winning the Gut Check last June. She has only appeared on two episodes of Impact – one was the Thanksgiving Day episode, which was a filler show because so few were watching, and the other was last month as she served as cannon fodder for Mickie’s slow-burn heel turn. Meanwhile, she has been working on her character during her time in Ohio Valley Wrestling, which we cover in more detail later on. (more…)
So, you’ve seen our main six picks in our 2013 “A good half year for…” series – Kellie Skater, Ayumi Kurihara, Mickie James, Heidi Lovelace, Nikki Storm & Madison Eagles – and you can see even from those picks that we made our decisions on different criteria, and we stand by our picks as women who have all raised their stock since the turn of the year. However, the selection process of choosing a final six for full write-ups meant drawing up a longlist of potential picks, and we figured we’d wrap up the series by sharing a few of those women we thought had a great six months, but fell just below making the final six. Click through after the page break for… a few others. (more…)
NCW: Femmes Fatales XII Results: Martinez vs Sweet Cherrie; Melissa vs Rush; Kimber Lee & Von Eerie debuts
We’ve got ongoing coverage of the latest NCW: Femmes Fatales show in Montreal, Quebec – headlined by the local challenge of Sweet Cherrie taking on Mercedes Martinez for the International Championship, along with the return from injury of LuFisto (after her injury at SHIMMER Vol 53 in April), as she takes on the debuting Kimber Lee. Also on the show, in a non-title battle of champions, the SHIMMER Champion Cheerleader Melissa takes on the Bellatrix Champion Courtney Rush for the right to be named #1 Contender to the FF Championship. Click through after the jump for all the goings-on. (more…)
Episode 58 with Allison Danger
Our first ever podcast guest Allison Danger returns for the latest edition of the Podcast, and it’s in the wake of her retirement earlier this year – a retirement that was punctuated by the news that she’d suffered a stroke in January and subsequently had discovered lesions on her brain. About three months after her emotional sendoff, we caught up with Danger to find out the full story on her health issues, how it all went down, when she found out about it and how it’s affecting her everyday life. Some pretty heavy stuff. We discuss whether the stroke was caused by wrestling, discuss her matches on that last weekend and why young wrestlers need to work smarter to avoid the problems she’s facing. Speaking of young wrestlers, we discuss several of Danger’s tips for the future, and how she’s most happy when she can help mould a young talent. We discuss family matters, Danger explains why all talent can’t (and shouldn’t) be booked everywhere and how the age of instant gratification means that some fans just can’t see the big picture. Quite the show – simultaneously some the most serious topics we’ve ever talked about mixed with trademark Danger wit. A must listen.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
The breaking news that Kalamity would be taking an undetermined time off from pro wrestling left a hole in the card for Femmes Fatales XII in Montreal on July 6th – not only in general due to the important part Kalamity has played as a featured performer on every show to date, but also more specifically because just a few days ago, she was scheduled to take on Courtney Rush in a clash of top contenders on that show.
However, Courtney was not left needing a new opponent for very long – as she is now scheduled to face the current SHIMMER Champion Cheerleader Melissa next month. The match, which will see neither Rush’s Bellatrix Title nor Melissa’s SHIMMER Title on the line, will have high stakes. Whereas Rush vs Kalamity was considered an unofficial top contender’s match in the NCW:FF rankings, this match is outright billed as a #1 Contender Match – with the winner getting a title shot at the winner of Mercedes Martinez vs Sweet Cherrie. Rush/Melissa is a rematch from their SHIMMER Title match on SHIMMER Volume 55, which was won by Melissa – but in Femmes Fatales, Rush is on a three fight win streak, and will be looking to use this match to not only secure herself a shot at the NCW:FF International Championship, but to lay down a marker to SHIMMER management as well that she is capable of beating Melissa. (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (28 May 2013) – Florida’s popularity, Ice Ribbon, Taeler Hendrix and Heidi Lovelace & more
Florida. It’s the home of WWE’s developmental territory, was the base for TNA’s Impact Wrestling show, and also has a lot of indie promotions dotted around the state offering wrestlers the chance to step into the ring on a regular basis, and also train with a range of different names. It has also become the home to one of the most exciting women’s promotions in the United States, and it has caught the attention of a number of female grapplers.
SHINE Wrestling held its 10th show at the weekend – main points can be found below – and is on the verge of crowning its first champion. Considering this time last year the promotion didn’t exist, it is remarkable that many are ranking it as one of the top all-women promotions in the country – and for good reason. It is presenting shows on a monthly basis – save for a couple of breaks, like the one happening next month when no show is being presented – it is on internet pay-per-view, meaning the wrestlers are showcased to the entire world at the same time as the fans in attendance at Ybor City’s Orpheum, and many of the roster also increase their earning by spending the weekend in the state to work extra shows or work a Slammin’ Ladies custom shoot or two. It’s all great experience for women who may only wrestle a few times a month to get some extensive ring time. It also has some pleasant weather, so that must also be an attraction.
This has not gone unnoticed by some wrestlers. Names like Mia Yim, Luscious Latasha, Brittney Savage, Solo Darling, Jessicka Havok and more have either moved or are in the process of moving to Florida to put themselves in a more advantageous position when it comes to the local promotions like Battling Bombshells, Florida Underground Wrestling, World Xtreme Wrestling, I Believe In Wrestling and more. After all, why would a promoter pay to fly someone in when a similarly impressive talent is a short drive away? It cuts expenses and makes for a better bottom line. Great wrestlers can get regular work, while ones looking to get more experience have the chance to work with names who may have more matches under their belt, and are also in a prime place to be spotted by and to tryout for WWE. It’s a beneficial opportunity for all, and everybody wins. Right? (more…)
Allison Danger isn’t going to Terry Funk her retirement. After her match at SHIMMER volume 57 on Sunday, she took the microphone to explain the reason why she is quitting the ring and won’t be coming back.
In January, the 36-year old suffered a minor stroke, after which doctors performed some tests and found out that she had lesions on her brain. She explained that they were not life-threatening, but did mean that she would have to stop wrestling for good. While she was thinking of stepping away from the ring, the diagnosis sealed her fate. However, the 13-year veteran is not going to be leaving the business completely, as she will shift her attentions to behind the curtain, assuming a backstage role in SHIMMER to help develop new talent.
The announcement came at the end of a match which raked up history, exposed old wounds and saw someone who she considered a friend take advantage of an old injury which she actually caused. Back on volume 17 in 2008, Danger suffered a broken collarbone at the hands of an Air Raid Crash from Cheerleader Melissa which put her out of action for three months. During her match alongside Regeneration X partner Leva Bates against Melissa and Ayako Hamada, Danger backed off from Melissa’s attack saying that her clavicle was hurting – to which Melissa responded that Danger was milking the moment for attention and sympathy, helping to make sure fans got behind Danger and didn’t have their loyalties separated. However, as the contest developed, Melissa’s aggression went into overdrive, refusing to tag her partner in and setting out to injure Danger on her way out. (more…)
After the events of yesterday, SHIMMER returns for its DVD tapings for volumes 56 and 57.
Expected to continue on from yesterday’s tapings include the quest by the Global Green Gangsters to secure another Tag Team Title shot at the Canadian Ninjas; Saraya Knight‘s reign of terror is being curbed by the officials; meanwhile, Jessicka Havok wants to leave more bodies in her wake, and Cheerleader Melissa is looking to retain the SHIMMER Championship. Also, these tapings mark the final matches for Allison Danger, who retires from the ring on volume 57.
As with yesterday, we will bring you results after the jump, along with pictures on thoughts on the show in due course. For now, click into the results and enjoy. (more…)
It’s the kickoff to SHIMMER’s Vols 54-57 tapings in Berwyn, IL at the Eagles Club with Vols 54 & 55 being recorded today. We’ve got a big preview of the Vol 54 taping up already, and we’ll be updating this page with results after the conclusion of both of today’s volumes. As noted in the preview, we’ll be back with thoughts and pictures from the event at some point thereafter. Enjoy!
Lots to mention from SHIMMER volume 53 on Saturday afternoon, so let’s get into it.
Let’s start with the main event, which had the right result for the biggest show in the promotion’s history (not 93,173 as announced by Joey Eastman but more around a hefty 700+, which is more than three times the maximum attendance at the Berwyn Eagles Club). With nowhere for her enemy to run and with nobody to help her, Cheerleader Melissa soundly defeated Saraya Knight inside a monolithic steel cage to regain the SHIMMER Championship. While the match was OK, the real tale was in the story told, which did not see Melissa eke out a victory with luck, but saw her deliver a super hurricanrana, missile dropkick and Air Raid Crash to convincingly pin her rival of close to six years.
The crowd was quiet for much of the match – part of the reason being that a lot of the crowd may not be completely familiar with their history, or that the action was not the crisp sort of execution as other contests because most of their matches look more like fights than matches – but they came out of their seats for the finishing sequence, which was a simple tale of good punishing evil and the snarling, unfriendly heel finally getting her comeuppance. However, despite her loss, Saraya retained her scary aura, attacking fans on her way out of the ring – and was also put over by Bryan Alvarez, who was getting his first viewing of Knight, pointing out that she was a proper, grizzly, old-school wrestling heel.
One would anticipate that Melissa will enjoy a longer run with the belt during her second reign than with her first – when she dropped the title to Knight on her fourth defence, following wins over Nicole Matthews, Portia Perez and Jessie McKay. While there is no detail on who Melissa will be facing in Berwyn this weekend for the usual two-day, four-DVD taping extravaganza, there are a lot of names to play around with – including one debutante who surprised everyone when she hit the ring… (more…)
It’s WrestleMania weekend, which means it’s also WrestleCon – and the return to action for SHIMMER Women Athletes for their Spring taping season. While there’s a weekend of festivities in prospect next weekend in Berwyn for four tapings across two days, there’s the small matter of today – right now – when SHIMMER makes its iPPV debut in front of its biggest live crowd to date.
You’ve read our primer, you’ve watched Eagles/McKay from Vol 35, you’ve listened to Athena’s podcast and you’ve followed Saraya’s winding road to Vol 53 with successful title defences in both Bellatrix and Femmes Fatales, and you’re ready for action, right? Well, we hope you’re watching live on iPPV via WWN, but we’ve got your results right here as they come in anyway. (more…)
Last week, I repeated my previous assertion that two championships would change hands at NCW Femmes Fatales XI in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on Saturday. Lo and behold, that’s what happened – with the Bellatrix World Championship and the Femmes Fatales International Titles being won by Courtney Rush and Mercedes Martinez respectively.
Martinez’s victory over Kalamity is only part of her story in the show. She continued her cross-promotion feud with LuFisto following her defeat to the Super Hardcore Anime at Women Superstars Uncensored’s An Ultraviolent Affair in February by attacking her foe during LuFisto’s challenge for the SHIMMER title against Saraya Knight. The steel chair attack to LuFisto’s head was enough for Knight to lock in the Bridal Rocking Horse for the stoppage and retain the belt, meaning that no matter what happened with Mercedes’ challenge to Kalamity, the Martinez/LuFisto programme would continue.
As it turns out, the programme will likely feature the International Championship, as the Latina Sensation used a Fisherman Buster onto a steel chair to gain the pinfall and bring The Oncoming Storm’s 17-month reign to an end. (more…)
History is being made at the Centre St-Barthelemy in Montreal, Quebec tonight as NCW: Femmes Fatales offers up a card with international implications – putting three of the world’s female wrestling championships on the line. In the main event, Femmes Fatales International Champion Kalamity defends her title for the seventeenth time against longtime rival Mercedes Martinez.
In addition, Sweet Saraya Knight defends the SHIMMER Championship against LuFisto, just one week before stepping into a steel cage with Cheerleader Melissa at SHIMMER Vol 53, while Bellatrix World Champion Allison Danger returns to Femmes Fatales to put her title on the line against the suplex master Courtney Rush. Cheerleader Melissa, who was planning on a shot at Jessicka Havok‘s WSU World Title on this show will instead have her hands full with Allysin Kay.
Click through after the page break for live results as they come in, direct from Montreal. (more…)
In disappointing news coming out of Montreal, Quebec today, the NCW:FF office have issued a release announcing that WSU World Champion Jessicka Havok is injured and therefore unable to compete at this Saturday’s Femmes Fatales XI show. Havok had been scheduled to defend her WSU Championship against Cheerleader Melissa in a history-making night that would’ve seen four major women’s wrestling championships defended on the same event. From what we are told, Havok had been working with a knee injury – an injury exacerbated during her match with Reby Sky last weekend at SHINE 8.
While Havok, in her role as WSU World Champion, is irreplaceable on the show, NCW:FF have put together a replacement match which will see Havok’s Midwest Militia partner Allysin Kay step up the card and into the match with Cheerleader Melissa. While it obviously now lacks the added spice of a Melissa challenge for the WSU Title, nobody can doubt that AK-47 is a credible and worthy substitution. Kay’s original match on the show – which was scheduled to be a three-way with Cherry Bomb and Mary Lee Rose is now a singles match between Cherry & Mary.
Follow results as they come in on the site on Saturday night, and we of course wish a speedy recovery for J-Hav.
Not making it to Bellatrix 5 in Norwich, England on Sunday may have been unfortunate, but it did provide me the opportunity to utilise the option to watch the show on iPPV. Considering a lot of the changes from Bellatrix 4 last November were being done because of this one being broadcast live, it was interesting to be able to assess if those changes were successful.
Improvements to aesthetics like giant wall hangings of the roster, an improved entranceway, ringside barriers and more attention paid to start and running times were coupled with the venue being a purpose-built TV studio with full-scale lights and sound systems, the Epic Studios in Norwich looked vastly different to 5 months ago. The benefit of it being a proper studio also made it easier for the show to be streamed online, as the facilities to broadcast were all there, and had been tried and tested with previous unrelated shows. As a result, Bellatrix 5 was one of the slickest women’s wrestling iPPVs produced to date. (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…)
Last month, it became apparent that Sarita (Sarah Stock) had parted ways with TNA. She hadn’t been seen for some time in the promotion, but had been keeping busy by wrestling for her home promotion of CMLL in Mexico under her Dark Angel character, as well as spending a little time in Japan last summer, wrestling with Stardom.
However, as we noted in the Roundup yesterday, the 33-year old adopted luchadora is preparing to compete in the US for the vacant Pro Wrestling Revolution Women’s Championship. She’ll wrestle Cheerleader Melissa in San Francisco, CA on Saturday in what is essentially a decider between the two – Stock won their first encounter on SHIMMER volume 11, with Melissa evening the score on volume 18. Since then, both have enjoyed success – Melissa won the SHIMMER Championship in 2011, while Stock enjoyed two reigns as TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champion. For today’s Retro, we go back before the pair faced each other in the ring, with Dark Angel challenging for the vacant CMLL World Women’s Championship.
Both she and Marcela won a Torneo cibernetico elimination match on September 9, 2005 to earn their way into competing for the belt, which was vacated after champion La Diabólica left the promotion – ironically she’s also the woman who was stripped of the PWR belt that Melissa and Dark Angel are fighting over this weekend. The following week, the pair squared off for the title, and you can watch the match after the jump.
Much like when I sat down a few days ago to look back over the Podcasts we’ve done in 2012, when I think of the shows I’ve seen and covered for this website over the last year, either live or on video/download/iPPV, I can’t help but feel a bit gobsmacked – it’s been a busy, busy year. As far as live wrestling was concerned, I chalked up two more transatlantic trips (both times taking in SHIMMER in Berwyn and NCW:Femmes Fatales in Montreal), and more all-female shows than ever back here in the UK (I personally tallied up four WAWW/Bellatrix shows and an EVE show – and bitterly regret the fact that work stopped me making the first EVE show of the year, and the ICW:Fierce Females debut in Scotland). With those shows, plus the likes of WSU, AIW, Shine and more, there’s never been a better time to be covering women’s wrestling, at least at the indy level.
Emi Sakura has had a hell of a year, and it’s been well documented here at Ringbelles. Her success since leaving Ice Ribbon has included setting up her own promotion in Thailand, having it migrate to Japan, winning the JWP/Daily Sports Tag Team Championship, securing the services of Kaori Yoneyama then having her take her side in some sort of Stockholm Syndrome scenario, forming a team to invade JWP and then taking hold of the promotion’s crown jewel by winning the Openweight Championship. In addition, she defended the belt in the UK for the first time in its history and won the Pro Wrestling: EVE Championship on the same night. Indeed, it has been one hell of a year for the 36 year old. However, it seems as if 2012 is going to end on a mildly disappointing note.
Yesterday, 17-year veteran dropped the Openweight Title in the main event of Climax 2012 at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall after 57 days – the second shortest reign in the title’s 20 year history (for the record, the shortest was Devil Masami’s 32 day run which ended when the title was vacated for unknown reasons). She was beaten by current Tag Team Champion Arisa Nakajima, who has also enjoyed a tremendous 2012. (more…)
Have you listened to the latest edition of the Women Of Wrestling Podcast yet? Featuring the heads of SHIMMER, NCW Femmes Fatales and Women Superstars Uncensored, Dave Prazak, Stephane Bruyere and Drew Cordiero spoke frankly on a number of topics such as their respective fortunes in 2012, the pros and cons of booking former WWE Divas or TNA Knockouts on a show and what they think of iPPV. Amongst all the great chat, each took the time to reveal nuggets of what we should expect in 2013 from their respective promotions.
For SHIMMER, Prazak revealed that at at the volume 53 show on April 6 in Secaucus, NJ as part of the WrestleCon event will see the return of two big stars and the debut of one of women’s wrestling’s hottest prospects. Former SHIMMER Champion Madison Eagles – who has been out of action since October 2011 with a devastating knee injury – will make her long-awaited return to the promotion where she reigned supreme between April 2010 and last October, where she dropped the belt to Cheerleader Melissa on volume 42. Her injury occurred mere days later as she was in training ahead of her match against Kana for CHIKARA , with a mere double stomp causing all the problems. At the time, she was told that she could either rest and see if the injury healed of its own accord, or have surgery which would end her career. (more…)
Episode 47 with Rhia O’Reilly
31 episodes ago we had a rookie wrestler on our Christmas show, who we thought had a bright future… now, coming off a quite astoundingly successful 2012 it’s time to welcome back our friend Rhia O’Reilly and see what’s causin’ all this. We talk working in NCW: Femmes Fatales earlier this year (and getting a “Finlay’s Daughter” chant), working heel on St Patrick’s Day in SHIMMER, “The Catchphrase” (Oh Really??), her second trip to SHIMMER in October, working Cheerleader Melissa & Davina Rose and interjecting herself into the main event of SHIMMER Vol 52, black eyes, working SHINE in Florida, Su Yung wackiness, the impact of Lexie Fyfe on her career, winning the British Ladies Title at WAWW, Scottish hijinks at Fierce Females and her friendship with “Amazon” Ayesha Ray which has become a tag team in Pro Wrestling: EVE. With a year like this, how can 2013 compare? Well, Rhia’s already got her sights on another continent…
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
I’ve had a few days to knock up my thoughts on NCW: Femmes Fatales X from this past Saturday at the Centre St-Barthelemy in Montreal. A few days that have given me a little distance from the show, both mentally and physically (I’m now sitting back in my home over 3,200 miles away). I’m working from memory that has already been through the jet-lag wringer, so apologies if I’m a little vague with anything I struggle to remember clearly.
This was the first time that the NCW crew had decided to run a SHIMMER-style double taping, and I think there were some definite positives and definite negatives to the decision. On a positive note, I enjoyed the shows and got to see over 20 matches featuring talents from around the world – but on the other hand, the show felt different to the one I attended in March, and I wonder how much of that was due to the raised ticket prices possibly turning off local casual fans. Yes, there were lots of travelling fans (a good few having been at SHIMMER the weekend before), but the atmosphere was certainly lacking during the first taping especially, and the audience seemed far harder to rouse. Had FFX ended after the first taping, I think I’d have been disappointed, but luckily the second half of the show redeemed the day, both by producing better matches and by the crowd finally loosening up and reacting. I’m pretty certain that this double taping was an experiment rather than the new status quo at FF, and I’m sure that’s something that management will be looking at going into 2013. (more…)