A week on Sunday, Kaitlyn will challenge Layla for the WWE Divas Championship at Night Of Champions in a match that she earned by way of winning a battle royal on the August 20 episode of Monday Night Raw. As it has been claimed since then, the ending was not meant to have Kaitlyn winning, and it should have been Eve Torres getting the shot – which adds credence to why everyone seemed so confused with the result and Eve being shoehorned into the build-up for the match – so it could end up being a three-way, but as it stands, it’s still Kaitlyn v Layla for the belt, and shows how far the challenger has come since winning the third season of NXT.
In fact, today marks two years to the day since Kaitlyn’s WWE TV debut on the first episode of the show as a last-minute replacement to become Vickie Guerrero‘s rookie Diva. Then 24, Celeste Bonin had only signed a WWE contract less than two months previous, and had made her first appearance on Florida Championship Wrestling TV a month before making it onto the main roster, and that was only as a lumberjill. To say that she was nowhere near ready to be on NXT would be an understatement, but she seized the opportunity, displaying her quirky personality and accidentally becoming a wedge between Guerrero and her protege/boyfriend Dolph Ziggler throughout the course of the show. As a wrestler, she was lime green, but her character carried her through, and since then, she has been working to become a credible grappler.
Granted, for the 18 months following her victory, Kaitlyn was nothing much to write home about, but more recently, WWE has been putting her in the ring with Natalya, with the third-generation Hart getting the upper hand at the start, but the former fitness model, bodybuilder and model has since started running away with the victories, leading up to getting the win – regardless of whether it was booked or not – in the battle royal. In some ways, Kaitlyn earned her way into this title match in the same way that she got onto NXT – through being in the right place at the right time. If her history is to repeat itself, she may end up winning the title, especially since Layla’s run as Champion has been pretty unspectacular.
But what of the rest of the NXT season 3 contestants – what happened to them? Well, let’s take a look at where they are now, and let’s start with the one who never made it to TV and was replaced by Kaitlyn… (more…)
It’s a jungle out there.
Take a look at the Upcoming section – most specifically the section for October and November. In the space of a month, you have three iPPV shows (SHINE will be one of them, most probably on October 19), as well as the SHIMMER weekend, nCw Femmes Fatales and Pro-Wrestling: EVE. In a four week gap, there are hugely advertised women’s cards taking place across the western hemisphere. If you expand the boundaries a bit to include the start of October, there is the new UKWW/WAWW venture in the UK, the debut of REINA x World in the US, PWWA in Australia and Joshi4Hope in Japan. No doubt, if you’re a fan of women’s wrestling, you certainly have a lot of stuff to choose from. Unfortunately, it may be too much for a minority in a minority like women’s wrestling certainly is.
On August 8, Pro-Wrestling: EVE promoter Dann Read tweeted his thoughts on the matter: “Its been obv for a while but I’m now feeling that the women’s scene in the US is becoming over saturated to a potentially harmful level.”
The first apparent victim of this rapidly expanding calendar was Ohio-based Independent Women’s Internet Wrestling, which shut up shop last week after one – albeit well received – show in July which crowned Cherry Bomb as its first champion. In a message posted on its Facebook page last week, it said; “As you know there is SHIMMER and WSU and Femmes Fatales which provide women’s wrestling action as well as Pro Wrestling Eve in England. And now there are two new promotions Shine and Blow which are going to be having regular and affordable iPPV’s featuring top talent.
“I see little reason in attempting to compete with a fraction of the resources. Even on a hobby promoting level it’s too expensive and too little return to pursue any further.” (more…)
Wrestling promotions spend a long time building up a reputation. Many groups which are starting out at the moment like SHINE and BLOW are looking to get some traction, credibility and a fan base behind them to be mentioned in the same sort of high regard as companies like SHIMMER and Women Superstars Uncensored. Another promotion which has created a great reputation for itself is Montreal, nCw Femmes Fatales, which was worked hard over the last three years to be known as the standard bearer for all-women shows in Canada.
Earlier this year, another promotion looking to start its own women’s show did not do as much research as it probably should have. Insane Championship Wrestling in Scotland called its group Femmes Fatales, but after realising that there was already another Femmes Fatales out there which already had a positive reputation and was working on heritage. After a brief contact from the original, ICW agreed to change the name to Fierce Females, admitting that there would have been some confusion, rebranded itself and looked ahead to promoting its first show, which takes place in Glasgow on September 30 (which Ringbelles will be attending, we may add). It was a considered, reasonable and mature approach exhibited by all which meant that nobody felt aggrieved or hard done by, and would mean that there would be no confusion by fans.
A similar situation came to light this week. (more…)
When Sofia Cortez (Ivelisse Velez) informed the world yesterday that she had been released from her WWE developmental contract, we decided to pause for a moment before making any sort of comment. We wanted to know if there was any specific reason, be it down to budget, creative ideas or whatever. About 24 hours on, we have some sort of explanation.
The word is that while she was solid in the ring and getting good reviews, Ivelisse had an “attitude problem”. F4W Online reports that sources say she thought she was better than what the trainers thought of her and had apparently made noise about how she should be working on WWE’s main roster.
This is the first we had heard of any sort of supposed arrogance from the 24-year old Puerto Rican. Fair enough, we’re not on the inside, but given her progression from Florida Championship Wrestling to the rebooted NXT, winning the first Divas match of the new season isn’t something you do to a wrestler who you are unhappy with. (more…)
Close to a year after her last recorded match – a loss to Shazza McKenzie in Melbourne City Wrestling in Thornbury, Australia on July 9 – Tenille Tayla has finally moved to Tampa, FL, to report to Florida Championship Wrestling. On her Facebook, the 23-year old from Melbourne said:
Thankyou to all my family and friends for the love and support. It’s been a long hard journey but happy and proud to say I am now getting a chance to fulfil my dream of not only living in the USA but working for the WWE. I am so excited to start this new journey in my life… Can hardly believe it still! :D Hellooooo Tampa!! Let’s get this show on the road!
It has been a long time since there were rumblings of Tenille being offered a deal with WWE. However, she had to go under the knife last July for a recurring dislocating shoulder – so bad that it happened on such a regular basis that she could just pop it back in by herself with no distress, as evidenced on her appearance on World Of Hurt last year – and moved back to Australia from Vancouver, BC, Canada where she had been living, to recover and get rehab. During that time, her trainer Lance Storm replied on Twitter to a question about Tayla, saying that while she had been offered a deal, nothing had been signed. It seems that WWE was waiting for the doctors to give her the all-clear before assessing the landscape. (more…)
Californian Buggy Nova moved to Florida earlier this month, something we reported in the June 5 Roundup. At the time, there were rumblings as to why – but last night, we got our answer, as she appeared at one of the Florida Championship Wrestling house shows which make up the Summer Slamarama. Her contributions to the event in Orlando included participating in a dance contest with fans – video of which can be seen here – as well as a bikini contest hosted by Byron Saxton – something which seems to be a staple for all of these FCW house shows at the moment.
As is customary for signing a WWE developmental deal, the Buggy Nova name is no more, though like when Britani Knight went under her real name of Saraya before being rechristened as Paige, the 22-year old appeared under her real name of Natalie. However, one thing that has not changed is her look, which still looks very alternative, and is a jarring contrast to many of the other women in WWE at the moment – but like with Paige’s pale complexion, that’s a good thing. (more…)
It was only a matter of time, really…
Paige and Sofia Cortez made their debut on WWE’s NXT show as part of its first evening of tapings at Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL last night. They appear in the third taping, but for those of you who don’t want to know what happens, we won’t tell you.
We welcome this advancement for the self-titled Anti Diva Army, as both the former Britani Knight and Juliet the Huntress are the best female wrestlers on Florida Championship Wrestling‘s roster. 24-year old Cortez was the first of the pair to arrive in FCW, having been on last year’s revival of Tough Enough under her real name of Ivelisse Velez, but was cut from the competition on the May 10 episode after injuring her leg. Despite being the most talented of the female contestants, she was the last of the TE women to be offered a WWE developmental deal following Ariane Andrew (now Cameron Lynn, one of Brodus Clay‘s dancers) and Christina Crawford (now Caylee Turner, who had a developmental contract before auditioning for TE anyway). Debuting as Sofia Cortez on November 11 last year and first appearing on TV on the Christmas Day episode, things ambled along, with Sofia forming a partnership with Raquel Diaz – but then Paige rocked up. (more…)
The former Britani Knight has been part of the Florida Championship Wrestling roster for about five months now (read about her move here), having been repackaged as the Anti-Diva Paige, and establishing an Anti Barbie Army alongside Sofia Cortez and Raquel Diaz. In that time, she has become an integral part of the FCW female roster, and has been engaged in an ongoing battle with the likes of Audrey Marie and Summer Rae.
However, before heading to Florida to revolutionise the way that women wrestlers are perceived as part of the next chapter in her life, there were some loose ends to tie up as Britani, by taking on her mother Saraya. It all came to a head last October on SHIMMER volume 43, following Britani’s loss to Jessie McKay, continuing a run of losses by the younger Knight that was infuriating her mother. Needless to say, the pair didn’t settle their differences by sitting down with a mediator over a number of sessions, or with giant mugs of tea and lemon drizzle cake. No – they elected to beat the living bejeezus out each other… (more…)
This week’s Roundup is a little different, as it’s a bit more personal. There’ll be the news information as usual, but it’s not as clinical as it tends to be.
The past week has seen a number of ‘goodbyes and good lucks’ in women’s wrestling, but all on varying levels. The first was last week when Britani Knight (Saraya-Jade Bevis) left her home in Norwich, England to head to Tampa, FL to report to Florida Championship Wrestling.
In a way, it was a great, and yet poorly kept secret. Yes, most people had knowledge that she had agreed a deal with World Wrestling Entertainment to wrestle for it. However, reports of when she was starting varied all over the place, which is why we at Ringbelles kept quiet until every single hoop that WWE had put in front of her had successfully been jumped through. For the same reason, it is also why we have not reported on who (if any) tried out for WWE during the last European tour in the autumn – after seeing how many potential mines there are to tread on, it’s better to not enter the minefield.
While Stew wrote a personal piece about Britani’s career as he has a stronger friendship with her, I can’t let her departure slide by without saying something about it myself. (more…)
With all the hoopla over Britani Knight‘s FCW debut a couple of days ago, the question then turns to who she’s going to end up working with in developmental. All of the NXT Season 3 Divas are still putting their time in here – in some cases while also working on the main WWE roster. Katlyn & AJ are on Smackdown semi-regularly, as is Aksana (in a non wrestling role), while Maxine is (quite literally) strutting herself on NXT. In a continuing mystery, the most physically impressive and technically sound of the NXT girls is still here full time – that being Naomi. Other names in developmental at the minute include the female competitors from Tough Enough. Ariane Andrew (now Cameron Lynn), Ivelisse Velez (now Sofia Cortez) and Christina Crawford (now Caylee Turner). Audrey Marie is Houston native Ashley Marie, who was also signed in 2011, but most notably and intriguingly is the presence of Eddie & Vickie Guerrero‘s eldest daughter Shaul, who rather than carry the family name, competes under the name of Raquel Diaz (for reasons best known to WWE/FCW). Her family legacy is not a secret, however, as you’ll see with her finishing sequence in this “Queen of FCW” match with Aksana. Click through to see. (more…)
England’s Saraya-Jade Bevis has reported for duty and started training at WWE developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) today – wrestling in a battle royal under the name “Sariah” according to PWInsider, though this could just be a phonetic spelling of her real name by the writer who doesn’t know the correct spelling yet – becoming the latest in a long line of British talents to end up signing for the world’s premier wrestling promotion. Until her final wrestling appearance in November last year, Bevis had competed under the ringname of Britani Knight, primarily for her family’s WAW promotion, but also across Europe for numerous promotions and for SHIMMER Women Athletes in the USA. Bevis had been on both WWE and TNA’s radars for some time, having had initial unofficial looks from both promotions, but was signed following her first official tryout in April 2011 with WWE. There were inaccurate internet reports circulating within hours of her tryout that she had “signed” – none of which originated with Bevis or her family – which caused issues for the then-eighteen year old, but regardless, she received and signed her professional contract about a month after her tryout and has spent the majority of the rest of the year getting her visa and passport sorted for the eventual move. During this time, “Britani Knight” had a chance to finish up the first phase of her career with an extended (unofficial) farewell tour which included a final Summer Season with WAW, a final run of dates around Europe, a final SHIMMER weekend in October which saw her bow out after defeating her mother Saraya Knight at the taping for Vol 44, and her final independent dates on the weekend of WAWW’s “The Return” show, which saw her lose her British Ladies Title to Liberty, then team one final time with her mother the following evening against the team of Allison Danger & Liberty. (more…)
A bumper week of TV in prospect here, kids. Not only do we have the return of Trish Stratus on Raw and Alissa Flash taking the Madison Rayne open challenge on Impact, we’ve got women’s matches on the secondary shows too (Superstars and Xplosion), so given that these shows actually feature longer matches, I had initially planned to deal with the “B” shows first, but believe it or not, my favourite match of the week was from the next level down, namely Florida Championship Wrestling, as AJ takes on her former NXT buddy Kaitlyn.
Episode 14 with Serena Deeb
We’ve had a couple of months downtime, but we’ve not been resting on our laurels – as we return with one of our biggest guests yet, recent WWE “Anti Diva” Serena Deeb! A nicer person you could not hope to meet, as despite being inundated with wrestling bookings, she was able to give us over an hour of her time to discuss her career to date – including, but not limited to: her return at SHIMMER in September, training with Rip Rogers in OVW, the early days of her career when she was trying to get noticed, meeting CM Punk, SHIMMER memories, getting signed, comparing FCW to OVW, the Mia Mancini character, thoughts on who should win NXT, meeting Vince McMahon, the hair shaving, walking down the ramp at WrestleMania, scratching the wrestling itch, and her plans for 2011 (and whether those plans include TNA).
Not only that, before Serena joins us, we’ve got quick mentions on recent shows from SHIMMER, Femmes Fatales & Pro-Wrestling EVE, including a quick exclusive chat with Nikki Storm, who had a big coming out party at the last EVE show, solidifying her as one to watch in the European scene in 2011.
Follow Serena Deeb on twitter | Official fansite
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