Our next selection for our “good half year” series isn’t someone who has won a major title this year, nor is she someone who is particularly well known in the wider wrestling world (yet) – but looking objectively about who has come really far in the first half of 2013, you really can’t deny that Heidi Lovelace has had a cracking six months. When we talked to her for a Fight Like A Girl show back in April, our first question was to ask her how excited she was about her wrestling life in 2013 on a scale of 1-10. Her reply? “Probably about a 15!”. Quite so – and things have gotten even more interesting since then. Let’s take a look at 2013 for Heidi Lovelace. (more…)
She wrestles regularly for OVW, AAW, Wrestling Is Heart, Wrestling Is Cool and AIW, she made her debut on the SHIMMER main card earlier this month, she also debuted recently for St Louis Anarchy. In addition, she’s part of the upcoming SHINE 10 show next month and is entered in the Chikara Tag World Grand Prix in Chicago. It’s Heidi Lovelace, and if you don’t know the name yet, prepare to get to know it.
In this half-hour one-on-one website exclusive interview, you can hear about how exciting a time it is to be Heidi right about now, from inauspicious starts through training (with guys) at Billy Roc‘s School of Roc through making a big impression at National Pro-Wrestling Day earlier in the year, working and training in Ohio Valley Wrestling and their growing women’s scene now, to being part of the international SHIMMER locker room. Heidi discusses her evolution so far as a wrestler from both a training and gimmick perspective, and discusses her hopes for the future. A really enjoyable chat – check it out.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
Wink Vavasseur is a man who won’t be disrespected and manhandled, if his reaction to what happened to him last weekend is anything to go by. At CHIKARA‘s 2013 debut show, All The Agents And Superhuman Crew, the promotion’s Director Of Fun got in the way of a fight between Grand Champion Eddie Kingston and Kevin Steen – the latter of whom interfered in Kingston’s match with Green Ant. As a punishment, Vavasseur said that he intends to take legal action, and that Kingston’s opponent on the March 8 show in Tampa, FL – entitled Just Shadows in the Fog – will be Amazing Kong. (more…)
“Lesson to men: Cheat on a good woman, You get choked out.”
No joke – those were the first words that Tammy Lynn Sytch decided to make public on her Facebook page after being arrested three times in three days last week on domestic violence complaints. Seeing as legal proceedings are underway, this was a colossally dumb thing to do, as it’s pretty much an admission of guilt. How about “Lesson to men: Cheat on a good woman, you get dumped.” As someone who works fairly closely with a domestic violence charity, this sort of flippant approach to alleged crimes like this really grinds my gears.
According to TMZ – and later picked up by the Associated Press and local TV media outlets – the 39-year old WWE Hall of Famer was first arrested by police in Branford, CT, on Tuesday night at 8:55pm for disorderly conduct involving a man living in the house she was with, which was later confirmed to be the home of boyfriend and pro wrestler Damian Darling. It apparently all began with a heated argument between the couple. (more…)
Last night’s scary incident involving Jerry “The King” Lawler’s heart attack during the live broadcast of Monday Night Raw in Montreal, Quebec, Canada saw an outpouring of support across the Internet, with various woman involved in wrestling taking to Twitter to wish the WWE Hall Of Famer all the best. AJ Lee, Vickie Guerrero, Velvet Sky (who worked on shows with Lawler in Aruba at the weekend) and former wife Stacy Carter all expressed their sentiments.
Lawler’s current girlfriend Lauryn McBride took to her Facebook to let everyone know the situation:
Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers. It has been confirmed that Jerry did have a heart attack…he is in stable condition and breathing on his own & heart is stable. I’m getting on the first flight out of here to be with him & will keep everyone posted. He is a strong man and we will get him back at his best as soon as I can get him home! I love you so so much baby!!
Velvet Sky was released from TNA last week, and I’m sure it wasn’t a decision that she came to lightly. However, following the departure of her longtime tag team partner Angelina Love at the start of July, she thought out loud on Twitter about a Beautiful People reunion, and there was no way that could happen on TNA TV, so we should have read into that at the time. Well, now it’s set to happen, as Sky and Love (now going under her original guise of Angel Williams) will be on the same show for Northeast Wrestling on September 22 in Fiskhill, NY, and have been booked to participate in a tag team match for Family Wrestling Entertainment on October 5 in Brooklyn, NY against Maria Kanellis and a partner who has not been announced yet.
Like I pointed out when the news of her release was announced, Sky must imagine that there must be a lot of money on the table for the Beautiful People to do a tour. However, as well as taking the money on the table, both she and Williams have the opportunity to give back too. (more…)
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…)
Opportunities. Some have them, enjoy success and then they are lost; others don’t get them when they feel they’ve been patient, done all the right things and are continually overlooked. One WWE Diva has left the company due to a lack of chances, while one TNA Knockout has also departed after seeing herself slipping down the ladder after being the most decorated women on the roster.
The first one to leave was Maxine (Karlee Perez) who has spent the bulk of her WWE tenure in either Florida Championship Wrestling or on NXT, where she debuted as part of the all Diva season 3 run, or on NXT Redemption, which was the show that would never end. While I was never that impressed with her on season 3, her antics on Redemption involving the love triangle with Johnny Curtis and Derrick Bateman showed that she had some range as an entertainer. As a wrestler, she was really nothing to write home about, but she had potential as a manager or authority figure – like she was in FCW, before she was relieved of her duties. (more…)
If you didn’t order the Chikarasarus Rex iPPV on Go Fight Live last night, I strongly recommend that you do so. A solid card of action as well as a host of different stipulations and match types made for an entertaining evening’s viewing. However, with this being a website which pays attention to female wrestlers, we were interested in the handicap match featuring Obariyon, Kodama and Kobald of the Batiri facing off against Sara Del Rey and rookie sensation Saturyne.
Now, we all know how good Del Rey is, but we were suitably impressed with Saturyne’s efforts during the match too. Showing skills way beyond her years, she busted out some incredibly athletic moves like a gorgeous spinning heel kick in the corner, and a fearless springboard plancha to the outside. Coupled with some new gear – white and gold, which also complimented Del Rey’s outfit so they looked like a proper team – and you had quite the impressive tandem. (more…)
Satomura was last in the US last December, but not in a wrestling capacity – she was due to be part of the JoshiMania three show weekend, but was forced to pull out due to injury, so appeared for the training sessions, but didn’t wrestle on the cards. It was a big shame, as she was due to wrestle Sara Del Rey, but that had to be shelved.
That is, until this weekend.
Del Rey and Satomura clashed on this afternoon’s show in New York, NY, but last night, six women competed on the first Anniversario night in Easton, PA, entitled “A Horse of Another Color”. Click the jump and we’ll furnish you with the results from both Easton and New York… (more…)
It’s been Golden Week in Japan, which has meant a slew of wrestling across the country. However, we have a brief history lesson first…
Golden Week starts at the end of April and runs through until May 5, and incorporates a number of Japanese public holidays, including honouring the birthday of the late Emperor Hirohito, Constitution Memorial Day, Greenery Day – which is to commune with nature – and Children’s Day, which does exactly what it says on the tin. It is also the longest vacation period of the Japanese year, and many people are given paid time off as many companies completely close during that period. For that reason, Japan has a lot of spare time – many people travel, and the west coast of the US and Canada sees a slew of Japanese tourists during that time, but others stay at home, and can entertain themselves during their leisure time by watching pretty much any wrestling promotion that they choose, as most of them hold a show, while some stage supercards. Here’s a rundown of some of the things that went down during Golden Week in the world of joshi:
Kurumi’s push in Ice Ribbon continues – she and Ribbon Takanashi won the Golden Ribbon Mixed Tag Team Tournament on Saturday, defeating Hamuko Hoshi & Hoshi Tango, Hikari Minami & Dynasty and Maki Narumiya & Masamune to win the whole shebang. As well as winning tournaments to win the IW19 Championship and to earn the right to become Manami Toyota’s tag team partner to challenge for the International Ribbon Tag Team Titles at Ice Ribbon March, 12-year old Kurumi is quickly becoming the tournament queen in the promotion. Don’t bet against her in the future – you’ll lose money if you do so. (more…)
WWE tops the list of topics this week.
Layla returned from a year away from the ring at Extreme Rules on Sunday as the mystery opponent against then-Divas Champion Nikki Bella, and won the title in a short yet spirited match that was more of a device to get the title off the Bellas before their departure (which we will get to later). After suffering a double tear of the MCL and ACL in her left knee, you could forgive the 33-year old Brit for deciding to calling it a day and moving on with her life, as the rehab process to get back into ring shape is a lot more intensive than just recuperating to the point where you could live a normal life.
It is to be commended that she sucked it up and got back in the ring, especially since she is pegged as a Diva Search winner, and could be perceived as only seeing wrestling as a job, or something to do until the next big offer comes along. However, she went through the surgery, the pain, the impatience, the frustration and the physical testing that was necessary to return to WWE. In her post match interview on WWE.com, she described about how she had to learn to walk, to run and to jump, and she started welling up. Any doubt on whether she is in the for the right reasons should be kicked out of the window now – Layla is a wrestler, not a model pretending to fight. As a stone-hearted journalist, I felt for the woman, and I am happy that she is back doing what she enjoys.
I am also happy that she is back for personal reasons, as I was starting to enjoy watching Layla wrestle when she was struck down with a bad wheel. Sure, she wasn’t Sara Del Rey, but she was reaching the top of the pile when it came to Divas – and I concede, that is hardly high praise, but she was plugging away, and it was producing results. Plus, she was hanging with Michelle McCool, who was one of the most technically proficient female wrestlers WWE had at the time, even though I found her slightly cold in the ring and never really enjoyed her work. Being in the right place with the right people played into the former cheerleader’s favour – as did her dance background, as I am now a firm believer that if you want to turn non-wrestling women into wrestlers, go for dancers and gymnasts over models, as they are more open to pain, hard work and dedication, while models know how to stand there and look good, which doesn’t translate to the ring.
You could see fire and desire in Layla on Sunday – running all over the place, executing dropkicks and springboard flying bodypresses – and it was exciting, and it’s not often you can say that about Divas matches recently. Even Beth Phoenix, possibly the best wrestler in the Divas division, is hardly a thrill to watch these days, though it could be argued that some of that may be down to what she is working with. Either way, I had fun watching Layla defeat Nikki Bella on Sunday, and taking both Bellas out on Monday’s Raw, even though the match consisted of one dropkick and a schoolboy roll-up. It felt like wrestling, not a bunch of pre-arranged, mechanical moves, and Layla should be praised for that. It is also something that people like Kelly Kelly and Alicia Fox should look at. Intensity is not screaming on cue. (more…)
So, Kharma’s back.
After all the speculation about when she would give birth after going through a high-risk pregnancy, as well as whether she would choose to leave WWE and concentrate on being a full-time mother, we saw the return of the biggest and most physical woman in the Divas division in the 2012 Royal Rumble match, entering as a surprise at number 21, causing Michael Cole to scamper with fear, then attacking Dolph Ziggler, eliminating Hunico, and being eliminated by Ziggler himself. Sure, it was short, but it was enough to whet the appetite of fans – and let’s face it, what more would you expect from a woman who gave birth less than a month ago?
TMZ reports that Kharma delivered a baby boy on December 31, who has been named Jamie. Four weeks later, she’s putting back on the leather and stepping foot in a WWE ring to reprise the role which was put on hold on May 30 when she announced she was pregnant on Raw, a week after crumbling in the ring in tears. When she left, she was a heel with a heart, as people empathised with her desire to be a Diva and a mother – and she achieved both at the same time – and was then verbally attacked by the Bellas, before promising to get at them when she returned. Throw on top of that the fact that everyone she had a physical interaction with at the Rumble was a heel, and must was now assume that Kharma is a babyface? If also you consider that the current titleholder Beth Phoenix is the top heel who has been steamrollering the rest of the division and Kharma will inevitably be gunning for the belt, that must also position her as the fan favourite, right? (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…)
I sit here, having watched 21 matches as part of the three JoshiMania events which took place at the start of December 2011. As I watched the three DVDs, I jotted down notes of the big moments and key incidents in the matches. I now have EIGHT pages of bullet points to go through, and one thing because blatantly obvious: doing a match-by-match review of JoshiMania would be incredibly laborious, repetitive and dull for you, the good reader.
So instead of going through JoshiMania chronologically, what this review will be about is the best matches, the standout stars and moments, and which shows were the best if you absolutely, positively can only by just the one DVD…
The shows had a bumpy road leading up to the first event in Philadelphia on December 2. Meiko Satomura, Madison Eagles and Command Bolshoi all had to pull out due to injury, leading to replacements such as Ayako Hamada, Kaori Yoneyama, GAMI and Portia Perez and a fair bit of rewriting to the matches, as the trio who didn’t make it would likely have been part of the matches at the higher end of the card. Hamada was the biggest beneficiary, as she ended up in two of the three main events (against Aja Kong on night 2, and taking on Sara Del Rey on the final show).
However, nothing can take away from the huge amount of organisation that took place to bring JoshiMania to fruition. As Mike Quackenbush revealed to us on the Women Of Wrestling Podcast the week before the shows, the introduction of Manami Toyota to CHIKARA came about thanks to retired Jumping Bomb Angel Itsuki Yamazaki. From there, it was thanks in part to Toyota’s reputation and contacts that facilitated stars from across Japan to come together for the shows, effectively closing down the joshi scene while tars from promotions like JWP, WAVE, OZ Academy, Union Pro and more came together for a series of interpromotional contests. Indeed, a lot of potential issues were circumnavigated and resolved to come to the point that these shows even took place. So how were they? Well, let’s see… (more…)
As the last moments of 2011 fade away, while being thankful for the many wonderful wrestling-related moments, it’s only natural to look to the new year. A new year brings new opportunities, a chance to start fresh and the ability to make things happen. Most of us make New Years resolutions to have set goals we want to meet. As pertains to wrestling, I gave some thought as to what I, personally, would like to see happen (or not happen, as the case may be). Some of these are serious, some are downright implausible but hey, I’m an optimistic gal for the most part. Who is to say what may or may not happen in 2012? Lets kick this off!
1) I wish that Madison Eagles, Lufisto, Mercedes Martinez, and Serena Deeb would completely heal and recover from their various physical ailments. I won’t say if I wish that they would return to wrestling – that’s something that they must decide for themselves. As a fan, I’ll respect and support whatever their decision may be. However, they’re young women in the prime of their lives, and knowing the long term damage wrestling does, I want them to heal so that they aren’t affected later in life. They are all wonderful women who deserve to live long, healthy lives after their wrestling careers come to an end. (more…)
JoshiMania is in the history books, and is already available to buy. Click here to take a look.
In the week leading up to the three nights of action, there had been a lot of buzz concerning the event. With joshi talent from a number of different promotions in Japan, female wrestling there had largely stopped (Ice Ribbon carried on as normal, and WAVE also held a card), as many of the top stars had crossed the Pacific and international datelines to wrestling in Philadelphia, PA, Everett, MA and Manhattan, NY for the CHIKARA promoted cards.
The shows main focus – other than showing off some of the great Japanese female talent – seemed to be to provide a platform for CHIKARA talent Sara Del Rey, who won both of her main events against her idol Aja Kong on night one – in a match that she reportedly dominated – and against Ayako Hamada on night 3 in a match which was said to be equal to (or greater than) their SHIMMER volume 28 outing two years ago. Considering Hamada was brought in as a late replacement for the injured Meiko Satomura, she made a strong impression, and also showed TNA what they missed out on by having this woman on its roster, not using her, mismanaging her and letting her go. (more…)
Tonight (or this afternoon, to be more accurate, considering it’s a 4pm EST start) is the final JoshiMania card, emanating from Manhattan, NY. You can check out the results from night one and night two to see how things have gone down so far. In the final main event, Sara Del Rey - who so far has defeated Aja Kong and Tsubasa Kuragaki – will take on SHIMMER Tag Team Champion Ayako Hamada – who is 1-1 after teaming with Cherry to beat Mayumi Ozaki & Mio Shirai on night one, and was defeated by Kong last night.
Click after the jump for the matches that will be taking place, and keep hitting refresh to see the latest results… (more…)
Good evening everybody, it’s Night 1 of Chikara‘s JoshiMania this evening at The Asylum Arena in Philadelphia, PA. Belltime is 7:30pm, and we’re hoping to bring you live results of the show as well as any news coming out of the shows. Click through to after the jump and keep refreshing the page for results as they come in. (more…)
Friday, December 2 will be a big day in Sara Del Rey’s life, as she finally get the chance to wrestle her hero.
“Something I grew to understand about her was her idolisation of Aja Kong,” said CHIKARA’s Mike Quackenbush when discussing Del Rey in the latest Women Of Wrestling Podcast. It is due to the 31-year old’s continued great body of work and the first opportunity to have them in the same place at the same time which has led to Del Rey and Kong facing each other in the main event of the first of three days of JoshiMania shows spanning the northeast of the United States.
Their paths have never really crossed during Del Rey’s tours of Japan, and there has been no chance of Aja being on the same card as her in the US, as she hasn’t been in the country since late 1995 when she was working with the WWF and was set to challenge Alundra Blayze for the Women’s Championship before the titleholder jumped to WCW, taking the belt with her – Sara didn’t debut until 2001. However, their paths WILL cross on Friday with one of the best joshis of her generation meeting one of the best female wrestlers in the world at this moment. It should be a titanic encounter, and while Del Rey may be all intense on the outside, you can expect her to be a giggling mess inside, and who can blame her? I know that Skye felt the same way when she wrestled her idol Daizee Haze at ChickFight VII back in 2007…
Del Rey also gets the chance to repeat her epic match with Ayako Hamada that took place at SHIMMER Volume 28 in late 2009 on the third and final JoshiMania show, while the second evening’s main event will complete the round robin with Hamada taking on Kong – not bad on Hamada’s part, seeing as she was brought in as a late replacement for the injured Meiko Satomura, who will still be there as part of a training seminar, but isn’t cleared to wrestle. She’s been announced as a participant at Ice Ribbon’s Ribbonmania on December 25, so here’s hoping she’s given a clean bill of health before then. (more…)
(Yesterday, I focussed on Anarchy Championship Wrestling as an alternative to the lack of female wrestling in Ring Of Honor. As it turns out, the article was pretty well-timed, as Portia Perez won the ACW Heavyweight Title, if only for an hour. Today, let’s look elsewhere…)
The other promotion that has done equally well by it’s female talent is Chikara. Started by Mike Quackenbush and Tom Carter in 2002, it started integrating female wrestlers right off the bat. Its sixth show, which took place June 28th, 2002, was one that featured talent from their sister promotion Kiryoku Pro in an almost all-female show (there was a ten person tag team match that came as a result of interference in an earlier women’s match). After that all-female show, there were two other regular shows that had women’s matches billed as “Kiryoku Pro Showcase” matches.
Eventually the overall ethos of the promotion changed. They no longer saw gender as a wall – rather, the company wanted wrestlers to wrestle each other, regardless of sex. This started in 2003, at the first annual Tag World Grand Prix on July 5th, where the Kiryoku Pro team of Mercedes Martinez & Sumie Sakai took on The Wild Cards of Eddie Kingston and Blackjack Marciano. On October 18th, 2003′s International Invasion Of The International Invaders Sumie took on Jigsaw.
Granted, 2004 saw less female v female or female v male matches than 2002 or 2003 but 2005 was a sort of rebirth for women in Chikara. You had a slew of talent that made for some interesting matches (Chris Hero v Sumie Sakai? It happened at Running in the Red on November 13th, 2005). This also coincided with the birth of SHIMMER in November 2005 and the high point of IWA: Mid South‘s women’s division. It felt like women on the independent circuit had more choices than ever before. In 2006, two women debuted that would become Chikara mainstays: Sara Del Rey and Daizee Haze. These two would also become part of Chikara’s biggest storyline to date in late 2009: The Bruderschaft des Kreuzes versus the rest of Chikara. (more…)
It’s been a broken biscuits sort of week – in that there is a lot of little things that have been going on – so instead of a big piece about one topic, this week I’m going to channel the energy of Stephen Colbert and utilise the Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger gimmick from The Colbert Report to pass some musings on some of the week’s stories.
First off, a Tip of the Hat to Eve Torres, who, along with her opponent Beth Phoenix, staged the best Divas match in years at WWE Vengeance on Sunday. Beth had pulled off some minor miracles with Kelly Kelly on the three previous pay-per-views, but none of them were as good as this match. It went to show that Eve has something to her and can hold up her end of the bargain when the bell rings. Admittedly, the crowd in San Antonio, TX didn’t care enough to make much noise during the match, but they did pop for the false finish of Eve countering the Glam Slam attempt and nearly winning the title with a schoolboy roll-up.
On the flip side though, a Wag of the Finger to WWE, who may have something with Eve, but haven’t given her a chance to develop any sort of character. Why should I give a flying fornication about her when I don’t know anything about her? In fact, she has gone from being unnoticed to being a shadow of Kelly’s, when it is patently obvious that she smokes Kelly in the ring. Who cares that Kelly goes into “Beast Mode” from time to time – it still feels phoney. Kelly has had a chance to develop more of a character this year and hasn’t accomplished it. The time has come for WWE to put some time and effort into Eve to make her more of a credible challenger to Beth, as those two could put on some more great matches in the weeks and months to come. (more…)
Serena Deeb has been forced to pull out of her debut match in CHIKARA against Sara Del Rey at No Safety In Numbers show in Reading, PA after being diagnosed with a “rather serious” concussion. On her Twitter, the former WWE Diva informed us of her situation:
A message to all my supporters- I recently sustained a rather serious concussion and following my doctors instructions, will not wrestle for a period of time. I apologize to those who were looking forward to seeing me anytime in the near future. I will keep you all posted
Since then, it’s been revealed that the 25-year old SHIMMER mainstay will undergo an MRI next Friday to determine the severity of the injury and whether it will cause her to have to pull out of more bookings. She is scheduled to wrestle Melina on November 19 at Women Superstars Uncensored‘s Breaking Barriers 2 iPPV, in what will be Melina’s first match since being released from WWE back in August. The promotion is already coming up with suitable replacements if Serena is still not medically cleared to return to the ring. (more…)
If you’re a women’s wrestling fan living in the western hemisphere, chances are you’ve had your fill of top in-ring action over the last two weeks. In the US, there was SHIMMER (results and thoughts here and here); Canada had nCw Femmes Fatales (detailed results here); and in the UK, Pro Wrestling: EVE collaborated with Ice Ribbon to present three shows over two days (results and photos here and here, and interviews here). While there were big names, such as Cheerleader Melissa, Serena Deeb and LuFisto who achieved or surpassed what fans have grown to expect of them, there have been some wrestlers who have managed to break into that next echelon of success and have opened up a new world of possibilities. In this week’s Roundup, I’ll be having a look at them.
The first to make an impact (lower-case I) was Athena, who turned babyface in SHIMMER as part of a double-turn which saw Mercedes Martinez go heel. In a pretty accurate homage to Steve Austin and Bret Hart flip-flopping sides back in 1997 at WrestleMania 13, Martinez got frustrated by the less experienced Athena refusing to stay down, and used a chair to attack her ankle in full view of the referee, intentionally disqualifying herself. Refusing to be beaten, Athena got on the mic to say she would be back when her leg was 100% again.
I’ve been harping on for a while now that Athena’s athletic, high flying moveset, attitude and look lend themselves to being a flashy yet tough babyface. In most promotions, she is portrayed as a heel, which she does well, but fans still applaud her when she executes some of her aerial moves – such as her springboard attacks, which virtually no other female in America does at the moment, and even fewer do it with such grace and ability. By turning her babyface, those reactions look set to become more passionate cheers, rather than applause of begrudging respect. As long as she keeps calling people hussies, keeps the swagger and tempers the flying to make it mean more when she does it, Athena looks set to be a massive star in SHIMMER. Granted, she is a multi-time American Joshi Champion in Anarchy Championship Wrestling, but the worldwide reach of SHIMMER will see her profile and stock shoot up in 2012. Best of luck to her. (more…)