I was stunned watching the Divas Survivor Series match. It’s not because of the state of the match, but just that I didn’t know that WWE had 14 women on its main roster. Well technically, it’s 15, but one of them has been missing in action since September 23.
The last time anyone saw Layla on WWE TV was part of a 10 woman tag team match on Raw where she, AJ Lee, Aksana, Alicia Fox and Tamina Snuka lost to the Bella Twins, the Funkadactyls and Natalya. It had been a rotten 6 weeks for the former WWE Women’s and Divas Champion, as her heel turn had been so laughably limp that it left her with absolutely no momentum. Her push accelerated like a dog on a rug, and then stopped abruptly.
Layla’s turn came after she turned on Kaitlyn during the NXT Season 3 winner’s title challenge against AJ after inexplicably accompanying her for months before. It was never explained why she was with Kaitlyn in the first place, nor why she turned or why she took so long considering Kaitlyn had received a number of title matches before. After turning, she skipped away with AJ, got a win over her former buddy on Raw and was victorious again in a tag match on SmackDown – and then she started losing… often. By the point she disappeared from the scene, her star had never been lower, and it took a while before anyone really noticed she was gone. (more…)
In last week’s Roundup, we had a note about Mickie James spending a week at WWE’s Performance Center in Orlando, FL working with the developmental Divas. At the time, we kept it a bit muted as that was all the information that we had, and if WWE or Mickie wasn’t going to divulge any details that would be all we would know – that she was there and that was it. As it turns out, WWE.com made more of a deal about it than we thought, as they conducted a full interview with the former WWE Women’s and Divas Champion.
As well as asking about her favourite WWE moments – the usual ones were there like her match with Trish Stratus at WrestleMania 22 and her matches with Beth Phoenix, though she curiously also pointed out the Piggie James angle which I thought was a particular low point in recent Diva history though she spun it to say it brought the issue of bullying to the fore – but she also discussed how she ended up at WWE’s new facility in the first place. (more…)
Stardom held a bumper card for its 100th show earlier on this month, with three championship matches, headlined by World Of Stardom Champion Io Shirai defending the belt against former titleholder and 5STAR GP winner Nanae Takahashi.
Presented to 1,020 fans at Tokyo, Japan’s Korakuen Hall on November 4, the show was recently broadcast and has been uploaded to YouTube – so watch it quickly before it goes away. We have the results here, but if you want to watch spoiler-free you can click the jump. (more…)
It’s probably not been the best week for Dark Angel. She lost the Wonder of Stardom Championship to Act Yasukawa at the promotion’s 100th show on Monday after holding the title since April, but she has made Japan her second home after spending most of 2013 wrestling there – so it seems like Stardom is more of an interest to her these days that CMLL in Mexico.
Dark Angel has been wrestling for Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre since 2004, but started out her luchadora run wrestling for Lucha Libre Feminil and Asistencia Asesoría y Administración, putting the mask on in LLF in 2003, and carrying the gimmick on to AAA.
Before losing her mask on April 2, 2004 against Princesa Sugheit, the pair had seen their feud building up for quite some time, and one of the gimmick matches before they reached their Mask v Mask contest was a Chain Match fought under Strap Match rules where you had to touch all four corners without interruption to win. (more…)
On January 23, 2011, World Wonder Ring Stardom hosted its debut show in front of 466 fans at Shin-Kiba 1st Ring in Tokyo, Japan. Kicking off with Iris & Nanae Takahashi beating Natsuki Taiyo & Yuzuki Aikawa and culminating with Yoko Bito defeating Yoshiko, the promotion quickly became a player, crowning its first singles champions in the middle of that year, followed by tag team champions in November, and six-woman titles were introduced in January of this year.
Stardom held its biggest show in its history in April with Ryogoku Cinderella at Ryogoku Kokugikan (Sumo Hall) in Tokyo. With Dark Angel winning the vacant Wonder of Stardom Championship, while Io Shirai claimed the World Of Stardom belt and Yuzuki Aikawa retiring from the ring, it was the end of one era and the dawn of another. Seven months on, Stardom has hit another milestone with its 100th card, held at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall in front of 1,020 fans, and saw two titles change hands. (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…)
You could say this about a lot of departed Knockouts, but TNA really missed the boat with Sarita. For whatever reason, the relationship didn’t work, be it a clash of styles with opponents or cack-handed booking by writers and/or agents, Sarah Stock’s run in the promotion was pretty forgettable. However, since returning to her Dark Angel name, the talented 34-year old has found her footing again, and a lot of that is down to her extended trips to the Japan – the latest of which is coming to an end.
However, the Canadian will not be returning to CMLL in Mexico empty-handed. In her luggage will be the Wonder Of Stardom Championship which she won at Stardom’s biggest event to date, Ryōgoku Cinderella on April 29 at Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Tokyo. She won the vacant title – which was held up due to the retirement of its inaugural champion Yuzuki Aikawa – by beating Act Yasukawa in the semi-main event on the show.
After the jump, you can watch the match where she won the title. Presumably she will be back in Japan in the near future to continue defending the belt – which is something she is probably looking forward to, considering how much she seems to enjoy being in the country. (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…)
Alpha Female is in demand. Having just completed an extended trip of Japan which saw her capture the World Of Stardom Championship, the mammoth German is getting right back on the cycle in Europe.
In this half-hour interview, Alpha compares her two matches with Nanae Takahashi, how angry fans were with her (teamed with how scared they were of her), and how her tattoos caused problems for her in Japan. She also discusses the friendships she struck up with the likes of Dark Angel, Jenny Rose and Kellie Skater (with the Rate Tank getting some serious love) and what it was like wrestling at Sumo Hall for the Ryogoku Cinderella show where she lost the title to Io Shirai. She also talks about her upcoming British dates – most notably Pro Wrestling: EVE‘s Queen of the Ring show next Saturday as well as her debut for Bellatrix next month. Check it out.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
Io Shirai, Dark Angel win major titles and Yuzuki Aikawa retires at historic “Ryogoku Cinderella” event
It was a historic day today at the fabled Ryogoku Kokugikan (Sumo Hall) in Tokyo as Stardom presented Ryogoku Cinderella – their most ambitious card to date – in the hallowed building, and it was a day of change, as three of the promotion’s titles changed hands while the curtain came down on the career of Yuzuki Aikawa. Attendance was announced at 5,500, though it seems from live reports that the actual attendance was quite a bit smaller than that (inflated attendances are fairly common in wrestling worldwide, but especially in Japan – although reports last week suggested 3,000 tickets had been sold), which while impressive for a joshi crowd in 2013 appears disappointing given the size of the venue and the hopes/expectations Stardom had to have had for the event.
In title changes, Io Shirai won the World of Stardom Title (aka “The Red Belt”) from Alpha Female, who drops the title that she won last month from inaugural champion Nanae Takahashi. Alpha’s transitional run lasted just 43 days, but you have to imagine Shirai is now going to be considered Stardom’s “ace” going forward. It was a bad day for Monster-Gun, as the recently dominant stable lost the Goddesses of Stardom (Tag) Titles also, as Kyoko Kimura & Hailey Hatred fell to the team of Hoshow Tennyo (Kairi Hojo and Natsumi Showzuki) when Hojo upset Hatred. The other new champion in Stardom is Dark Angel (aka Sarah Stock), who won the decision match against Act Yasukawa to determine only the second ever Wonder of Stardom champion. That title had been vacated earlier this month by inaugural champion Yuzuki Aikawa ahead of her retirement.
Speaking of Aikawa, she fought one of her toughest rivals one last time – finally losing to Yoshiko in her farewell. During her retirement ceremony, the ring was bathed in yellow streamers. The win for Yoshiko sets her up as the first challenger for Io Shirai’s World of Stardom title – with that match announced for Stardom’s June 2nd show back at Korakuen Hall. Click through for full results. (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.
What do you mean, you thought Sarita already had left?
Considering she hasn’t been on the Impact Wrestling show since April 19 last year where she, Rosita, Gail Kim and Madison Rayne lost to Mickie James, Miss Tessmacher, Tara and Velvet Sky, it would have been a fair bet that she had left. However, she wrestled one more match on TV after that – a loss to Velvet Sky which was broadcast on Xplosion on May 2 – and also competed at a BaseBrawl show on June 14. After that – nothing. (more…)
Over the years, the number of taboos in wrestling seem to have evaporated. After all, few bat an eyelid about wrestlers who have barely reached their teens stepping into the ring in Japan. Wrestlers with disabilities are given the same opportunities as anyone else, and nobody tells anyone that they are too old to lace up the boots, even though some really should be. However, the prospect of a man facing a woman in a wrestling match still seems to be something which makes some fans squirm in their seats.
I can see some of you imagining it right now.
For a long while, mixed matches seemed to be a no-no, but then it hit the mainstream with the late comic Andy Kaufman wrestling women and calling himself the Intergender Champion of the World, before Jerry Lawler piledrove him onto his head. From there, we saw the odd mixed tag team match on special occasions – WrestleMania VI with Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire against Randy Savage and Sherri Martel being a prime example – but very seldom did the women interact with the men… but times changed. (more…)
An interesting riddle is arising surrounding the future of CMLL‘s Dark Angel, Sarah Stock (also known as Sarita in TNA) as a result of her current tour of Japan for the STARDOM promotion. Apparently CMLL executives are intensely unhappy at Dark Angel for booking herself for an extended tour of Japan off her own back when CMLL’s chosen business partners at REINA x World have been unable to secure dates on the Canadian. Not only that, but by securing her own deal with Stardom, CMLL are missing out financially on the booking fee they would otherwise command from REINA (or any other international promotion looking to book her).
Dark Angel last worked for STARDOM back in March for a couple of dates, to help celebrate Io Shirai‘s 5th anniversary in wrestling, and to be presented with flowers and a plaque to commemorate her own ten year anniversary. However, since agreeing to go back over there for the an extended STARDOM tour (including the currently running 5*Star GP), CMLL have continued to advertise Dark Angel for shows in Mexico while apparently *in full knowledge* that she will be unable to make the bookings. (more…)
Former WWE and ECW personality Dawn Marie seems to have a good heart. Setting up Wrestlers Rescue in 2008 (and the subsequent Pro Wrestlers Relief) in 2009, her goal was to make life easier for wrestlers with medical issues to help them pay their bills – a common problem for wrestlers outside of WWE who may not be able to secure the proper insurance needed to cover their ailments.
In the last week or so, her charity has received a battering from James “Kamala” Harris, who has had both of his legs amputated due to complications stemming from diabetes and high blood pressure. He claims that Wrestlers Rescue and Boston-based independent wrestling promotion the Millennium Wrestling Federation promised to help him out financially, and never did so, calling Dawn Marie “no good” and accusing her of keeping the money that was raised for him.
Wrestlers Rescue has not had the best of reputations in its short existence, but following this high-profile attack on her work, Dawn Marie decided to go public with all the details. (more…)
Several weeks ago, the luchadoras of CMLL competed in an Infierno en el Ring match – what’s that? A high stakes “escape the cage” match with ten competitors with the absolute biggest price to pay for the loser. Last one out loses their mask or their hair! The competitors for the match include tecnicas (babyfaces) Dark Angel (aka TNA‘s Sarita – not that you’d know), Estrellita, Goya Kong, Dalis La Caribena and CMLL World Womens Champion Marcela and rudas (heels) Amapola, Princesa Blanca, Tiffany, La Seductora & Lady Apache.
Goya Kong and La Seductora (who are the only two women in the cage with masks) started the issue that directly built to the match several weeks prior, but the interconnected rivalries grew to include almost all the regular luchadoras. Estrellita has been one of the stronger pushed luchadoras, feuding with Amapola and Tiffany. Lady Apache has recently turned to the ruda side – and is feuding with Dark Angel, while Blanca is recently feuding with Dalis. The match is historic as it is the first time ever that a women’s match has headlined a major show in Arena Mexico… (more…)
Big news for TV wrestling this week, as females actually get to headline one of WWE’s two top branded shows, battling over the World Heavyweight Title (albeit in mixed tag action), the Knockouts go for knockouts, and someone, somewhere thinks that Tamina vs Melina would be a good match…
TV match of the week is an easy one, with the Smackdown main event of Edge & Kelly Kelly vs Dolph Ziggler & Laycool (in a handicap mixed tag match with Edge’s World Title on the line) taking top honours, thanks in large part to the performance of one Kelly Kelly…