Lots of stuff to cover in this Roundup, and we start with the goings-on in WWE over the last few days…
AJ Lee survived the odds put against her by Vickie Guerrero to retain the Divas Championship at WrestleMania XXX. By tapping out Naomi, she defeated her 13 challengers for the title in a match which played to the strengths of its more skilled participants and managed to generate a slight buzz – which was a herculean effort considering the wave of depression in the Superdome in New Orleans, LA because of Brock Lesnar beating the Undertaker in the previous contest – and also stuck it to Guerrero for putting her in such a disadvantageous position and for emerging victorious. Standing on the middle rope, AJ soaked in the victory, which was her most high profile in her Divas Championship reign…
And her last. (more…)
Hopefully everyone who has read this has enjoyed a healthy and happy Christmas filled with wrestling joy – I, for example received the Wrestling’s 101 Strangest Matches book featuring contests like the Original Screwjob and when June Byers and Mildred Burke tried to resolve a title dispute with a legitimate contest. While we’re having a bit of a rest day at Ringbelles, we couldn’t resist adding a Retro featuring the TNA Knockouts from the Christmas Day episode of Impact in 2008.
Another reason why we’re posting this match is because of the nib we posted in yesterday’s Roundup about Taylor Wilde doing some wrestling appearances next year. She is featured in this contest alongside Roxxi (Nikki Roxx), ODB and Christy Hemme against the Kongtourage faction consisting of Sojo Bolt, Rhaka Khan, Raisha Saeed (Cheerleader Melissa/Alissa Flash) and the Knockouts Champion Awesome (Amazing) Kong. The baby faces get into the Christmas spirit by getting into costume, so click the jump and get into some festive fighting. (more…)
Have you listened to the latest Women Of Wrestling Podcast with Taeler Hendrix yet? Without hyperbole, it is one of our favourite shows in a long time. Interesting, insightful and revealing, the former TNA Knockout talks about how she had no idea what the result of her Gut Check would be or that Joey Ryan was going to gatecrash the segment, was told very little about what her future in the promotion would be or that they were planning to release her.
She also reveals that she wasn’t fully open with them either, as the reason why she put on the weight in-between appearances was to keep herself healthy to fight off the possibility of cancer, and because she was suffering pain when she wrestled as she had no padding on her body when she was bumping. That weight issue is something that I discussed with recovering anorexic and former gymnast Sarah Robertson, and she practically said the same thing.
Taeler also discussed her time in Ohio Valley Wrestling, how she was disappointed with her start in the promotion despite winning the Women’s Championship, and how an instinctive “wrong” move saw her fortunes turn around. She also revealed her intentions to release a book, form a tag team with distant relative Cherry Bomb – all is revealed in the interview – and wrestle in as many places as possible. Instead of moping, shaking her fist at the world or complaining that she’s the victim of a conspiracy theory, she dusted herself off, made a plan and is executing it. (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (29 October 2013) – LuFisto’s title aspirations, Nikki Roxx winding down, PWI Female 50
Where there is chaos, there is opportunity.
Injuries to Courtney Rush and Xandra Bale, travel issues for Ayako Hamada and personal matters involving Saraya Knight all contributed to a lot of re-jigging for SHIMMER and NCW: Femmes Fatales, with one woman benefiting more than any other.
Realistically, had all of the other wrestlers been healthy or present, LuFisto may not have ended Open Female Fight Season standing over a defeated Cheerleader Melissa with the SHIMMER Championship over her head – however, that’s exactly what did happen, and the 16-year veteran is now in a position where she could conceivably earn another SHIMMER Title match next year and even dethrone the reigning champion. Nobody has enjoyed as much momentum against Melissa during either of her title reigns – even Saraya didn’t have as much build up before beating her adversary for the title – and there seems to be a real ground swell for another match between the bullying cheerleader and the Super Hardcore Anime… and it’s the hardcore aspect which has furthered things, albeit accidentally… (more…)
Christy Hemme loves wrestling. After winning the WWE Diva Search in 2004, she immersed herself into the business and showed huge enthusiasm for her work. Even if her demeanour behind the curtain is a tenth of what she displays in front of the camera, she must be great to work with.
However, after leaving WWE in 2005 – with the company citing budget cuts but Hemme saying she left on her own terms because “I stuck to my guns on my morals and values as a human being. I knew in my gut that it would be the end, but I also knew that carrying guilt for knowingly doing something against what I believed wasn’t worth getting ahead” – she joined TNA and was afforded opportunities to wrestle elsewhere. One of the places she worked was Queens Of Chaos in France in November 2006.
She joined the likes of Portia Perez, Queen Maya, Jazzy Bi (now Alpha Female) and others for a Princess Of Chaos Tournament. For this week’s Retro, we have her first round contest against fellow American April Hunter. (more…)
This week’s top piece is about a storyline which is ongoing, so I may be jumping the gun with my feelings on the matter, but I feel that more eyes should be directed towards what is happening, as it has the potential to do something really positive.
On Ohio Valley Wrestling TV between January and the end of April, Taeler Hendrix had been receiving gifts from a secret admirer. Considering the flirting which had taken place between the pair previously, the former Women’s Champion believed that the presents were coming from Ryan Howe, who had captured her attention since her OVW debut, much to the disappointment, anger and frustration of her put-upon boyfriend Dylan Bostic – who was not as cool, edgy or exiting as the long-haired newcomer sporting an electric guitar.
Things escalated to the point that on March 23, Hendrix and Bostic took on Howe and fellow former Women’s Champion Heidi Lovelace which ended in a no-contest when the men’s fighting got out of control. The following week, Hendrix came to ringside during Howe’s TV Title match against Rockstar Spud, which prompted both Bostic and Lovelace to come out, causing Ryan to be counted out of the ring. On the April 27 episode, Howe insisted that it was not he who was sending Taeler the gifts, leading a confused (and somewhat hurt) Hendrix to wonder who was showering her with these presents.
As it turns out, it was Heidi Lovelace, who came out to reveal the truth before leaving the ring. (more…)
The top story in Tuesday’s Roundup was the situation which occurred on last Thursday’s TNA Impact Wrestling show between Austin Aries and Christy Hemme – a situation that TNA (publicly, at least) was slow to react to. However, TMZ reported that Aries has indeed been fined an undisclosed sum by the promotion for putting his crotch in Hemme’s face after she fluffed he and Bobby Roode‘s introduction. It also says that Austin personally apologised to Christy, who was apparently “satisfied” with the apology.
Officially, that’s the end of the matter, but it still seems strange that Hemme went onto Twitter to call the situation “unacceptable” following the show – though she later deleted the tweet – though TNA says it immediately dealt with it. In addition, it seems strange that Spike TV was the first to make a public statement about it, calling it “sexual harassment” and saying the network has a zero tolerance policy for such occurrences. While Aries probably did not mean to commit an act which was deemed as sexual harassment – as it is the victim that gets to decide if it was over the line and the employers to agree or disagree with the accusation – TNA could be seen to be guilty for dragging its heels. (more…)
Anyone who watched TNA Impact Wrestling last week saw an unnecessarily uncomfortable moment for one of the roster.
Ring announcer Christy Hemme made a mistake on the live broadcast during the entrance for Austin Aries and Bobby Roode, incorrectly introducing them as Kazarian and Christopher Daniels’ team of Bad Influence. A silly mistake, but it’s live TV and mistakes sometimes happen. Upset, Aries got into the ring, backed Hemme into a corner and forced her to give the correct introductions, which she did, under some duress. As she was finishing off her correction, Aries climbed onto the ropes, essentially placing his crotch less than six inches from her face – something which Hemme laughed off.
However, things clearly weren’t so funny for Christy.
When asked about the incident on Twitter, Hemme replied with the solitary word of “unacceptable”, which made it clear that her reaction to Aries actions were not something that she found amusing, but had brushed it off to be a professional and get on with her job. Aries responded on his Twitter on Saturday with a load of penis and testicle puns, saying “Pretty nuts, some of the junk people get the balls to say over the net, knowing they couldn’t to your face…Eh, anyway, time to sack out.” (more…)
Before there was a Knockouts Championship, there was still a Knockouts division, and while it was showing promise, it was still a work in progress, as you can see momentarily.
The match featured in this week’s Retro is from June 9, 2006 when TNA was looking to establish audiences, and had a go at latching onto the old Extreme Championship Wrestling crowd by holding a show at the former ECW Arena. Featuring former ECW stars like Team 3D, Rhino, Simon Diamond and Jerry Lynn, it worked like a throwback for fans who still wanted an edgier product. The women also got involved with a more suggestive-style match than was being presented at the time – with Original Knockout Traci Brooks facing future inaugural Knockouts Champion Gail Kim, with Christy Hemme serving as a special referee.
It’s not a 5-star match, but it is an interesting example of TNA throwing ideas at a wall at the time and seeing what stuck. Click the jump and enjoy. (more…)
I swore off going to WWE shows back in 2005 when I decided that they weren’t worth my time. I felt that the ratio of entertainment to investment wasn’t good enough, so after having gone to at least one WWE show a year since 1996, I walked away. Since then, I have been to smaller shows, and avoided events from the bigger wrestling companies.
That is, until this Thursday, when after seven years away, I headed to Nottingham’s Capital FM Arena for the first UK date of the TNA Maximum Impact IV European tour.
To be honest, I was looking forward to it, as I had always heard good things about TNA house shows, while the Impact Wrestling shows are more hit and miss. Buoyed by my interview with Tara earlier this month, I was confident that I was going to enjoy myself, even though I’m not as much of a TNA viewer as have been in the past. So along with fellow wrestling fan and work colleague Tom Campbell (the voice of the infamous Big’Un in Wigan), we hopped into my car and – barring an unscheduled stop because of my brakes almost catching fire – made the 90 minute drive to Nottingham. (more…)
TNA Knockouts Champion Gail Kim was meant to be wrestling JWP Openweight, TLW Womens and IMW Hybrid Fighting Champion Hailey Hatred this Friday at Absolute Intense Wrestling, but that match was called off last week after talks between the promotions representing the wrestlers broke down. It would have been Kim’s first match against an independent wrestler in years – though she wrestled on an International Wrestling Cartel show in Meadville, PA last weekend, defeating fellow Knockout Traci Brooks.
As a result of the breakdown in negotiations, Kim will be the guest referee in the AIW Women’s Title match with Mickie Knuckles defending against Mia Yim. Hopefully, both women – especially the younger Yim – will be able to glean some knowledge from Gail during her visit, and the original scheduled match between Hatred and Kim can be rescheduled for some point in the future, as it will likely be the best match the KOs Champ will have had in years.
So because Gail isn’t wrestling on Friday, we’ve got a match of her’s for this week’s Retro from her original TNA run. This particular contest is from 2006, when TNA collaborated with United Wrestling Federation – the promotion launched by racing driver Hermie Sadler and twin brother referees Dave and Earl Hebner the previous year – which emanated from the New Alhambra Hall (AKA the ECW Arena, AKA the Asylum Arena) in Philadelphia, PA on June 9. Taking place before a Knockouts Title was created, Kim took on Traci Brooks (oh, it’s her again!) with Christy Hemme as the special referee, much like Gail will be this Friday. (more…)
After three weeks of leading with Melina, let’s have something different…
A report by Power Slam Magazine claims that former WWE Divas Mickie James and Christy Hemme are earning around $100,000 in TNA, while everyone else is unlikely to be earning much more than $38,000, and that’s only if they’re booked on a regular basis. As they’re only paid on a per appearance agreement, there’s a strong chance that it could be a considerable amount less. It’s likely to be acts like Velvet Sky – who is in favour with TNA – who is on that amount, while others will be on less.
If you factor in that they need to pay their own expenses for things like road transport and accommodation during house show circuits, and then tax needs to be paid on their earnings, that’s a really shitty wage for wrestlers in what is supposed to be the number 2 wrestling promotion in the United States. In the past, we’ve heard of female wrestlers in TNA having issues with their income – Gail Kim left because of it, Kharma pointed it out after she was released from the promotion, Taylor Wilde admitted having to work at Sunglass Hut while as Knockouts Champion to make ends meet, and Madison Rayne was reportedly unable to work the house show circuits at one point last year because the income wouldn’t have covered her costs.
If that is the case, good for James and Hemme – you’re getting a good amount of money for the work that you do. In fact, the biggest praise must go to Christy herself, who would be getting that much for being a ring announcer, and doesn’t have to take any punishment in the ring. I support them getting as much money as they can. After all, we live in a capitalist society – unless you’re reading this in China, Cuba or North Korea… (more…)
Last week, Ringbelles decided to dedicate the Retro to the impending WWE debut of Kharma, AKA Amazing Kong. This week, we kong-tinue our look into the vault with a match from TNA’s Final Resolution 2008, with Kong defending the Knockouts Title against Christy Hemme.
Now, I’m a fan of Christy Hemme. She’s infectiously fun and has a great attitude to her job. She was let go from WWE in 2006 for a still-undisclosed reason – WWE said they had nothing for her, Hemme claims she left because she didn’t want to compromise her morals – and joined TNA, eventually becoming the manager of the Rock N’ Rave Infection, while sporadically wrestling. After being attacked by the Beautiful People, Hemme turned face and entered singles competition in the Knockouts Division, eventually earning a shot against Kong at the last TNA PPV of 2008.
After the jump, you’ll find the video of the match, which was pretty lively and exciting. (more…)