Ringbelles Roundup (17 December 2013) – AJ Lee issues, Natalya’s resurgence, Rain: the ultimate worker
AJ Lee got into a bit of trouble at last Wednesday’s Tribute to the Troops show. The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer says she gave NBC presenter Michelle Beadle an obscenity-laced tongue-lashing in public for talking to her boyfriend, CM Punk. Beadle referred to it in a tweet, saying “Lost another friend to CGFN… crazy girlfriend neutering. It’s real people. Check your buddies. Affects everyone.” She later claimed that she thought AJ was joking, so didn’t react to it at the time, but then believed it wasn’t after a while.
Another account says that AJ was working because she was told to do so by an agent for a segment on the WWE App, and then everyone acted surprised when she did it, as if it was some sort of double cross on her, while another says AJ wasn’t yelling, and was standing up for Punk after Beadle allegedly said something that rubbed him the wrong way (even though he would likely say something himself if that was the case, so the whole scenario seems implausible – and a skit for the app would allude to Punk and AJ being an item, which is something that has never been brought up or acknowledged anywhere in WWE, so that lacks credibility too). The story has since been disregarded as being bogus. (more…)
Episode 62 with Allysin Kay
When we spoke to Allysin Kay last year for Episode 44 of the Podcast, she was the AIW Absolute Women’s Champion and was on the verge of defending her title in a big challenge at an upcoming Girls Night Out show. Fast forward to now, Kay’s *still* undefeated as champion and on the verge of *another* major title defence at Girls Night Out 9 & 10 this weekend. In the interim she’s been wrestling literally all over the place, including just returning Stateside from a three month tour of Japan. As well as looking forward to Girls Night Out this weekend, we talk the Japan excursion, how it came about, the culture and language issues of an extended stay in Japan (not to mention the humidity and constant fear of Earthquakes). We find out her favourite match from her trip, and her favourite match she saw as a fan, discuss this Instagram picture, and chow down on just where the best steak is in Tokyo. We talk her return to SHINE this past weekend, and the ongoing absence of Taylor Made at SHINE, the (presumably) upcoming reunion of Made In Sin at SHIMMER later in the month, her favourite SHIMMER moments to date, the apparently cursed tag team feud in WSU vs Annie Social & Kimber Lee, her mouthpiece assisted match with Cheerleader Melissa at NCW:Femmes Fatales and her upcoming return to Beyond Wrestling. Oh, and racist Japanese people… Oh Allysin…
(right click on the picture and “save as” to download, or stream in our media player below)
A bit of a weird one this, I’ll grant you. Considering earlier this year, the 28 year old joshi puroresu standout announced her retirement from the sport due to nagging injuries (citing her 2007 clavicle injury in particular), you’d think Kurihara would be as far away from a discussion like this as it is possible to be – and while, yes, seeing a superb young talent being struck down in the prime of her career is a terribly sad thing, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody go on a more joyful final retirement road. Kurihara’s last six months in the business have seen her experience so much, achieve so much and do it all with a huge smile on her face. If she’s leaving wrestling, she’s packing an entire career’s worth of memories into 2013. (more…)
Crazy Mary Dobson may be known for deathmatches and spilling blood like in the picture you see above, but the 19-year old has wider ambitions. After her appearance at Insane Championship Wrestling‘s weekend at the start of this month, we felt we should grab some time with her to discuss everything that she has going on in her career at the moment.
So, we cover her Fierce Females match with Bete Noire, taking on Jack Jester and the “Suicidal, Suicidal, Suicidal” Jimmy Havoc the following night, her experiences of Scotland and its fans, deathmatches, what her family think of her hardcore antics, plans to return to Japan and debut in Mexico, the upcoming Girl Fight Wrestling show and her main event match against Jazz, and whether facing the “Female Fighting Phenom” is a scarier prospect that being hit in the head with a light tube.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
“I am so sorry I have not been in touch in a while. I have been in and out of hospital and have not been able to get access to the internet in over a week. I am very upset I have to write this email because I have to cancel all future dates until December. I am not sure if you had heard about the knock to the head I got in Germany a few weeks ago or not, but I got a bad cut above the eye and it was stitched up and all seemed fine. But after a few days I was getting extremely painful headaches, loud buzzing in my left ear and my vision in my left eye is completely blurred. The doctor has told me it may be damage to the 8th cranial nerve and I am waiting for a CT brain scan and have been advised to stop wrestling for the next few months. It could be permanent or it could go away by itself, but until all signs have been alleviated I will not be able to engage in any heavy physical activity.”
That’s the message Rebecca Knox posted on her own website back in October 2006, following her serious injury in a match against Kisu in Dortmund on September 22 of that year. The match finished as normal, and took on Sweet Saraya the following night in Great Yarmouth, England in a match which saw her drop the Queens Of Chaos Championship. After that, she took some time out to get medically checked out, which gave her the bad news about her 8th cranial nerve injury. It also meant that the proposed Iron Woman Match between she and Daizee Haze at SHIMMER Volume 7 had to be scrapped, after the pair had engaged in a heated feud in the promotion’s early days.
As she points out in her post, she was expecting to be out until December 2006. It’s now October 2012, and only now is the 25-year old from Dublin, Ireland seriously thinking of a return. (more…)
Imagine SHIMMER, WSU, ACW, Femmes Fatales, ECCW, AIW, OVW and FCW all clubbing together, putting up their best representatives and holding a tournament where they would be whittled down to one promotion as the best? Can you imagine the politics, jostling, arrangements, hostility, distrust and remarks there could possibly be? On the flip side, there is the chance that all would get on, things would be decided amicably and all would work together for the greater good – highlighting the plethora of great female wrestling talent out there, showing off their top wrestlers and then taking that momentum, breaking off again and working their own areas to capitalise on the buzz that was created in order to sell more tickets, shift more merchandise and create more awareness of their product. After all, women’s wrestling is a niche product within a niche product, and the amount of awareness – and interest – is not as high as it could be.
OK, I’m dealing in extreme hypotheticals on both sides, but if anything, it could create an intriguing night of action, capitalising on the sort of buzz that wrestling fans experienced when the WWF bought WCW a decade ago, throwing up some potential dream matches. Fair enough, it never really worked out that way, but that doesn’t stop wrestling fans from dreaming.
Over in Japan last week, such an event took place. Wednesday’s FLASH tournament featuring talent from Sendai Girls, JWP, Diana, REINA, WAVE, Ice Ribbon, Stardom and a freelance team drew a hugely impressive 1835 fans to Tokyo’s Korukuen Hall – a Super No Vacancy Full House. The first round was 5 on 5, the semi finals were 3 on 3 and the final was a straight tag match. (more…)
Thursday, July 19, 2001 was a pretty humdrum day in world history. As a frame of reference, the most newsworthy thing was the Code Red virus taking hold of a massive number of computers after being released online 6 days previously.
In the world of wrestling, Steve Austin was on SmackDown, showing “the old Stone Cold” was back when he stunnered everyone in the ring ahead of the WWF Invasion pay-per-view, which was to take place in three days. It would intrigue wrestling fans who wondered what would happen if the WWF and WCW ever clashed on one show. As it turned out, it would be a decent – and high grossing – show which was followed by months of killing the WCW image to the point that it was worthless by November.
However, also on this very day ten years ago at Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro, MO, a young lady by the name of Christine was handed her first ever defeat in a mid-card contest at the hands of a debuting wrestler to Gateway Championship Wrestling. That wrestler was MsChif.
Rachel Collins had been asked by her colleague at her human genetics job – the role she had before going into microbiology – what she would love to do more than anything. Concluding that it would be to learn to wrestle, she decided to train at at GCW under the tutelage of Johnny Greenpeace (who was the tough trainer) and Jack Adonis (who was the comic relief), with the black-metal-banshee character naturally evolving while she was learning her craft. Even though she never believed that she would wrestle outside of St Louis, MsChif would go on to win a shedload of top championships including the SHIMMER title, the NWA World Women’s Title and the NWA Midwest/IWA Mid-South Women’s Title – which she held all at one time during 2008 and 2009 – as well as winning ChickFight IV and being ranked 4th in the PWI Female Fifty for 2009.
When asked for comment, MsChif told Ringbelles: “It’s crazy to think I’ve been wrestling for 10 years now. It doesn’t feel like it’s been so long. Wrestling has brought on some very amazing times, places and people. I couldn’t imagine life without wrestling.” (more…)
After withdrawing from CHIKARA and moving back to Australia, many would have expected SHIMMER and PWWA Champion Madison Eagles to rest up her injured shoulder and prepare herself for the return of PWWA on September 3 for her next SHIMMER title defence against both Nicole Matthews and former tag team partner Jessie McKay.
But this is Madison Eagles we’re talking about. This is the woman who perforated her eardrum during her #1 contenders’ match against Cheerleader Melissa in SHIMMER and came back the next day to wrestle MsChif and win the title. This is the woman who fractured her wrist and elbow last year and carried on training through it. This is the woman who had racked her shoulder up in a car accident in April and still went balls to the wall against Courtney Rush at nCw Femmes Fatales VI less than two months later.
So when she returned unannounced to her home fed of PWA in Liverpool, Australia on Friday after living in the US for six months, she wasn’t there to stand and wave at the fans. Instead, she turned heel by kicking Jessie McKay in the face and delivering a Hellbound (Death Valley Driver over the knee) to Robbie Eagles, setting the stall for the SHIMMER title match Before the turn, it would have been heel Matthews against babyfaces McKay and Eagles. Now, the pressure is on Everybody’s Favourite Girlfriend, who has her longtime SHIMMER rival in Matthews, and former tag team partner and regular opponent Eagles gunning for her. (more…)
We at Ringbelles are extremely proud to be able to bring you a rare interview with joshi legend Kyoko Inoue as she arrives in the US for a weekend which includes signings, a seminar and a wrestling appearance for CZW. One of the top stars of the joshi boom in the 90s, multi-time champion and founder of NEO, Inoue recently launched the Diana promotion in Japan.
Ringbelles: Kyoko, first of all, welcome back to the United States. You have not been in the country since 1995. Why has it been so long since you were last here?
Inoue: Since I used to work for All Japan Women’s Pro-Wrestling and then NEO, I wasn’t able to travel without the company’s permission. Now I’m the president of a company, so I decided to visit the US.
Ringbelles: The last time you were in the US, you were working with the WWF. Tell us about your experiences working for them. What was your role and how were you treated by the company?
Inoue: I was impressed by the way they handle the dress code when the wrestlers come to the arena and also physical checkup before the match. I was so happy when the audience went along with “Kyoko, clap-clap-clap!!” in a country that I visited for the first time. I wanted to show my best performance in the United States and WWF.
Ringbelles: In the 1990s you were involved with many great matches and competed with a lot of great wrestlers. Many people consider your series of matches with Manami Toyota to be some of the greatest matches of all time. What are your feelings on those matches, and of Toyota as a competitor?
Inoue: Since Toyota-san was a senpai whose career was a year longer than mine, she was one of those I wanted to beat as soon as possible. I think my passion to beat her led to some of our best matches.
Ringbelles: You have been part of many firsts, including being the first woman in Japan to hold a men’s championship when you were one half of the WEW Tag Team Champions in 2000. What message do you think this sends to women? (more…)
Joshi legend, multi time champion and Diana promoter Kyoko Inoue is making a whistlestop tour of the US in the middle of this month, wrestling for Combat Zone Wrestling, taking part in a training session and doing some signing appearances.
The 41-year old debuted in 1988, and in that time, has won countless titles in AJW, WWWA and NEO, as well as winning mens’ championships in DDT and WEW – additionally, she was the first woman to hold a male belt in Japan. Having wrestled for more than 22 years and wrestling four matches which were give five stars by the Wrestling Observer, Inoue also won Match of the Year in 1995 for her contest against Manami Toyota on May 7.
1995 was a pretty big year for Inoue, as she also gained some exposure to an American (and possibly worldwide) audience by working briefly for the WWF, competing in an 8-woman elimination match at the Survivor Series and also competing on Monday Night Raw in December (click the links to see the matches). Unfortunately, the division crumbled the following month when Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze‘s contract expired and she jumped to WCW. (more…)
The Big News
Again, sorry about the shortness of the Roundup this week. We’ve been in Las Vegas for fun and giggles with Allison Danger.
She got paid tens of thousands of dollars to essentially do a lunge, a handspring hip attack and a cartwheel into a splash to get the win for her, Trish Stratus and John Morrison at WrestleMania XXVII on Sunday in Atlanta. They defeated LayCool and Dolph Ziggler in the only women-related wrestling action on the show. However, it only lasted around 3 minutes, was in the graveyard slot after the well-received Triple H v Undertaker match, and was probably the wrong result for longevity.
Fair enough, Trish is the Tough Enough trainer, and it wouldn’t look good for her to lose the day before the new season began, but it meant that Michelle McCool – who was the only person who was legal on her side for the entire contest – had to sell for a woman who hasn’t wrestled in more than a year, and for a sub-five foot heavy drinker from Jersey Shore.
I’m not knocking Snooki though – after all, she did what she was asked to do, and exceeded my expectations. The mainstream media coverage wasn’t forthcoming though – HLN did mention Snooki, but it was because a school has paid $32,000 to have her talk to the pupils about something completely unrelated to WrestleMania.
However, this leaves McCool and Layla in a tough spot. The planned break-up seemed to be back on, as Michelle shoved her partner before the contest began, and they had a number of miscues which led to their downfall. The problem is that they are near-heatless together these days as fans are sick of them, but separately, they are likely to struggle. McCool – though talented – is something of a heat vacuum, and while Layla is a great character, she’s not polished enough in the ring to lead as a heel, and not sympathetic enough as a babyface. (more…)