She may not have fully turned over to the dark side yet, but Mickie James was pretty ruthless en route to winning the TNA Knockouts Championship on last night’s episode of Impact Wrestling. She defeated Velvet Sky by clipping the defending titleholder’s injured left leg, hitting a low DDT and getting the fall to begin her third run with the Knockouts strap.
As for the match itself, it was pretty poor, with huge pregnant pauses in places where nothing was happening during sequences. Sky’s selling of her leg was sporadic at best, holding it and limping then running ropes and putting weight on it moments later without a problem.
As mentioned, James’ heel turn isn’t complete, though tendencies were shown by clipping Velvet’s leg, when she had said after losing a title match last month that if she had been “more heartless“, she would have taken the belt at the time. On this occasion, glimpses of that heartlessness was shown, and it paid dividends. (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…)
Not making it to Bellatrix 5 in Norwich, England on Sunday may have been unfortunate, but it did provide me the opportunity to utilise the option to watch the show on iPPV. Considering a lot of the changes from Bellatrix 4 last November were being done because of this one being broadcast live, it was interesting to be able to assess if those changes were successful.
Improvements to aesthetics like giant wall hangings of the roster, an improved entranceway, ringside barriers and more attention paid to start and running times were coupled with the venue being a purpose-built TV studio with full-scale lights and sound systems, the Epic Studios in Norwich looked vastly different to 5 months ago. The benefit of it being a proper studio also made it easier for the show to be streamed online, as the facilities to broadcast were all there, and had been tried and tested with previous unrelated shows. As a result, Bellatrix 5 was one of the slickest women’s wrestling iPPVs produced to date. (more…)
WARNING: Spoilers lay within.
TNA Wrestling is saying goodbye to the Impact Zone in Orlando, FL by hosting a series of One Night Only pay-per-views. In last week’s Roundup, we discussed the Knockouts Knockdown all-women show which saw a number of former Knockouts turn down the offer of being there. At the time, Traci Brooks was one of the women who had declined the offer, but it was not because she was holding a grudge of any description, tweeting “I had to say no to TNA for the KO ppv as I couldn’t make it that day. No other reason”.
Payton Banks (Rain) and Winter (Katarina Leigh) pointed out last week that they had also been asked but said no, while Salinas (Shelly Martinez) vlogged that she wasn’t asked. However, it was the former Roxxi who came out and explained in detail why she didn’t go back for Sunday’s show.
Nikki Roxx (who was messed around during her two stints in the promotion) spoke to the Greg DeMarco show about her turning down the offer, saying, “You can only get kicked so many times… I think that I had finally had enough. They had trouble treating me very well to begin with and I felt like I was being a glutton for punishment every time I went back… I felt like it was the right time to tell them no. It was like one of those bad relationships where you keep trying to get away from it… You can’t treat people badly and then hope that they’ll come back and hang out.” (more…)
Well, it had a difficult birth – with most of the former Knockouts banding together and turning down offers to work the show – but TNA have managed to put together a Knockouts only PPV as part of their taped “One Night Only” series after all, and managed to pull a coup out of the bag by featuring Serena Deeb‘s first match since October 2011. Deeb took on fellow OVW trainee Mickie James in the match, which it is believed will likely air in the July or August slot on TNA’s One Night Only calendar. (X-Travaganza will air in April, the Jokers Wild Tag Tournament in May, and TNA’s live Slammiversary will air in June). All of the early matches were termed as qualifiers for the main event “Queen of TNA” Gauntlet match, which is TNA’s Royal Rumble style timed-entrance Battle Royale with the final two facing off in a pinfall/submission standard match.
Interestingly, one former Knockout did show up despite not being booked – as Daffney, fresh off resolving litigation with the company, was seen protesting the show with an “I’m here independently” sign (in reference to her threat to challenge the so-called ‘Independent Contractor’ clause in TNA contracts).
Click back after the break for an exclusive pic of Daffney & Amber O’Neal at the show, along with full results, which also saw the return of other former Knockouts, a former Diva, Gut Check competitors and independent talent (more…)
Velvet Sky defends the TNA Knockouts Championship at Lockdown against Gail Kim, with a simmering friction between Kim and referee Taryn Terrell all set to boil over.
• The pair have history, which was pointed out by the commentators during the match. Back at Turning Point 2011, Kim defeated Sky to regain the Knockouts Title in what was Sky’s first defence since winning the belt for the first time a month earlier at Bound For Glory.
• The following April, the pair met inside the cage at Lockdown 2012 with Kim successfully retaining the championship.
• Sky regained the Knockouts Title during TNA’s tour of the UK in January, though the title change wasn’t aired until almost a month later. She defeated Tara in her first defence, and was booked to put the belt on the line against Kim in San Antonio, TX at Lockdown.
• Meanwhile, Kim has had a problem with Terrell since Genesis, where Gail benefited in a Gauntlet Match due to Taryn’s errors, but it came back to bite her when another mistake allowed Sky to win the contest. (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (5 March 2013) – Paige’s rise, AJ Lee’s fall, Femmes Fatales XI, ABC Catch and more
On Saturday night in Kalamazoo, MI, Paige defeated AJ Lee at a WWE house show in a match refereed by Hornswoggle. The following evening in Cleveland, OH, the same match took place with the same outcome. The results of a WWE house show don’t usually mean much, but in these instances, they may mean a great deal.
First off, let’s look at the 20-year old Briton. It’s the second time that Paige has been on the road with WWE since she first reported to developmental in Florida 14 months ago – the first time round saw her team with Layla to beat Aksana and Natalya in tag matches in South Carolina at the start of December. However, she’s been given an even bigger shot in the arm by wrestling singles matches and beating AJ – the most over woman in WWE last year. (more…)
TNA’s Impact Wrestling is being recorded in London, England at the moment, and a big development with the Knockouts has taken place. However, seeing as it is a spoiler for the show which won’t be broadcast until February 21, you may not want to know. If you DO want to know, click the jump… (more…)
There are many interesting prospects in North America. One which has been simmering for a while is Mia Yim, who has been honing her skills and gaining more experience by partaking in a number of extended trips to Japan to wrestle for REINA x World. Domestically, she has had some interesting matches which have been of a good quality, and was a beneficiary when one of her kicks broke Allysin Kay’s nose last January leading to a number of well-received matches between the two with greater stipulations reflecting the development of the programme, culminating in a cage match at Absolute Intense Wrestling’s Girls Night Out 7. She had a fine outing against Jessicka Havok at SHINE 3 last September, and also enjoyed outings against the likes of Kana and Yumi Ohka in SHIMMER in 2011.
However, there is one major sticking point when it comes to her work in the US – barring the original nose-breaking match against Kay at GNO5, Yim has lost most of those high-profile outings.
Despite that, she has the opportunity to claim a really big scalp at SHIMMER volume 53 in Secaucus, NJ on April 6, and spoil the homecoming of one of its biggest stars at the same time. (more…)
Five TNA Knockouts meet in a Gauntlet Match with the winner becoming the number one contender to Tara‘s Knockouts Championship.
• Well, there wasn’t any really. On last Thursday’s Impact Wrestling, Miss Tessmacher and Robbie E beat Tara and Jesse Godderz, but it didn’t lead into this match at all.
• It was announced that Tessmacher, Mickie James, Gail Kim, Velvet Sky and ODB would meet in a Gauntlet match at Genesis fought under the winner-stays-on format, not like TNA’s usual gauntlet style with a battle royal with the final two then competing in a regular match.
• Kim and Tessmacher started the proceedings with some tidy sequences between two wrestlers who have always had good chemistry with each other. For the most part, it was the Texan who got the upper hand with flying forearms and dropkicks – however the key factor was Gail’s boot, as she planted it in Tessmacher’s jaw with an Eat Defeat to send her to the showers. (more…)
While being interviewed for the new WWE 13 video game, Amy “Lita” Dumas explained the difference between the Divas now and the ones from the Attitude era:
I think the women of The Attitude Era really did a good job at figuring out who they were and what they wanted to portray to the fans. So each woman was such an individual — you were never going to get Lita and Ivory confused. You’re not going to get the two confused, as opposed to now, is it the hot athletic girl with the short shorts on? No, it’s the other hot athletic girl with the short shorts on.
It’s harsh, but fair, and she has a point.
There are eight women on the main roster who are considered wrestlers rather than valets or managers, and for the most part, they are interchangeable curvy shapes with little character to speak of. The obvious exception which jumps out is AJ Lee, who despite being tiny, geeky and – compared to the others but probably not in real life – could be considered mousey or plain, is the most developed personality of all the women who step into the ring… and that’s something that Dumas pointed out:
I think it’s interesting to see the Divas of today and to see who the fans are attaching to. Obviously, right now, it’s AJ Lee, who’s not the strongest; she’s not one of those classically hot chicks. But she sets herself apart, and you have emotion when she’s out there and you get a sense of who she is, and so I think that’s really cool to see the kid that wasn’t supposed to make it being the one that’s out there, and that’s who the fans want to know more about.
We’ve been away from our regular routine during our trips to SHIMMER and nCw Femmes Fatales over the past couple of weeks, so unfortunately, this nugget of news slipped through the net – and that is something we are addressing right now.
On October 27, Chicago-based wrestling promotion RESISTANCE Pro announced that Amazing Kong would be making an appearance at its Sad Wings Of Destiny show on November 30 at the Teamster Auditorium in the city. It will be her first wrestling booking since confirming her departure from WWE back in July, her first public media appearance since April, and the first time she has stepped into the ring since the Royal Rumble in January.
No details have been released as to who she will be wrestling – if anyone – though it is a promising sign for someone who has dealt with plenty of heartache and roadblocks over the past 12 months. (more…)
On Monday, we revealed that Gail Kim won the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Female 50 for 2012 based on her title wins, string of victories and high profile that she has received over the past year. Three days on, we have the full list, and we’ve got it listed after the jump. Before that though, there are a few names which jumped out, after the official statement from PWI Senior Writer Dan Murphy:
All candidates were primarily evaluated for their accomplishments during the period of September 1, 2011, through August 30, 2012, though accomplishments outside that time parameter also were taken under consideration. We evaluated each woman on championships won, quality of opposition, won-loss record, technical proficiency, and momentum/promotional ‘push’ during the evaluation period.
First off, despite being a bit part since dropping the Divas Championship in April and not exactly having many wins while holding it – though the ratio of wins to losses was good – Beth Phoenix takes the top WWE spot by taking the runner-up spot, which is even more curious considering after dropping the belt, she barely won on TV. The top independent wrestler was Cheerleader Melissa, who snagged the bronze medal due to her successfully defending the SHIMMER Championship three times in March before dropping it to Saraya Knight, who places at number 8.
In fact, the top 5 is dominated by indie women, as coming in 4th is Sara Del Rey (whose placing is based on her time before joining WWE) while Women Superstars Uncensored World Champion Jessicka Havok comes 5th.
Still, if you wanted to see who came where, click the jump and have a read. Leave us your thoughts in the comments section about who surprised you – because honestly, Tamina‘s position sticks out a bit, especially as she’s placed higher than Divas Champion Eve Torres… (more…)
“SOOO who’s ready for EVEN MORE changes to Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling ? Well heck it wouldn’t be a 24 hour day without some now would it!
“Stay tuned as we’re sure to serve up even more random stuff from the wacky world of Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling in the morning. Perhaps we should start doing contests like Guess The Next Girl To Drop Off ? Gotta love it.
“PS – not one single change to the loaded PWS lineup on Friday.”
That was one of the posts which Pro Wrestling Syndicate posted on its official Facebook page last week ahead of the debut Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling show on Thursday. As it happened, the show managed to fulfil its promise of presenting 8 opening round matches for its Sweet Sixteen tournament, though the lineup was a million miles away from the card which it originally posted. Reports from the show say it was a lot of fun, so it appears the fans went home from the Rahway Recreation Center in New Jersey happy, and by the sounds of the post above, the promoters of PWS breathed a sigh of relief. (more…)
I believe the winner will be [Gail] Kim – the woman who offered some much-needed stability to the Knockouts after winning the belt in November and holding it until June, making her the longest reigning Knockouts Champ in the promotion’s history. She also enjoyed a four month run as Knockouts Tag Team Champion with Madison Rayne, and has been the focal point of TNA’s women’s division.
No joke, those were the exact words I used in August when I was looking at who I thought would win Pro Wrestling Illustrated‘s Female 50 for 2012 – click here to read the whole thing.
Earlier today, PWI sent out a press release informing us that the former Knockouts singles and tag champ – the woman who was the foundations of the division so Miss Tessmacher has the right springboard for her Knockouts title reign – had been awarded the top spot in this year’s list, following in the path of previous winners Madison Eagles (2011), Michelle McCool (2010), Mickie James (2009), and Awesome Kong (2008). (more…)
We are coming up to the time that the winner of the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Female 50 is revealed – though the magazine itself will not be released until mid to late November. Since its launch in 2008, the second week of September is when the winner’s name comes out, so I’ve been having a think about who PWI could possibly select as the woman who will sit atop the heap.
Now bear in mind that PWI still bases the criteria for the winner in the way any legitimate sport could be judged, so victories, title wins and lengths of reigns come way above match quality or column inches, so whoever you may think would win may not necessarily be the same as who PWI has in mind. When we asked the question on who you would think would win on our Facebook and Twitter, AJ Lee‘s name popped up a couple of times, with the reasoning being that she is the WWE Raw General Manager and has been embroiled in the WWE and World Championship pictures this year. However, she is unlikely to win the PWI editors’ pick because as an in-ring performer, she has only wrestled a handful of times, and hasn’t won any championships. Likewise, Sara Del Rey is probably an outside bet to win – despite placing in the men’s PWI 500 due to her victories over men in CHIKARA – as she doesn’t have many championship wins or reigns to speak of, and has lost quite a bit recently. (more…)
I was due to write the review of the Beth vs Layla match at No Way Out last week, but due to other priorities, I had to leave it to Lee. It’s probably just as well that I’ve had a week to think about it, because for what it’s worth, I hated the match. Well, maybe “hated” is too strong a word, but I really didn’t like the comedy of Layla stealing Beth’s headband and dancing with it. The finish of Beth losing again also irritated me a bit, mostly because it’s patently clear that WWE have absolutely nothing in mind for Layla, and with Beth losing again, it securely slots her below Layla on the pecking order and kills another level of anticipation (whatever there is left of it anyway) for the Beth Phoenix vs Kharma feud that we’ve been waiting/hoping for ever since Kharma signed up with the company.
Let’s make it clear here – my major downer on the Divas division at the minute is not the usual “wrestlers vs models” debate (I’ve learned for the most part to turn off my brain and find a way to enjoy the Divas for what they are rather than what they aren’t)… no… my big problem is the fact that at the minute, the future of the Divas division is just deathly dull. (more…)
It’s the end of an era as far as Women Superstars Uncensored is concerned on Saturday. At the conclusion of the Uncensored Rumble V iPPV from Deer Park, NY, the WSU founder Sean McCaffrey will hand over the reins to another group, described to us as a promotion which is as major as an indie promotion can be.
A month ago, WSU made the announcement that it had been sold to an “independent buyer”, but the initial buyer was said to have fallen through, with other options being explored. Clearly, one of those options paid off, as everything has been sorted out ahead of the Uncensored Rumble, where we will all find out just who has acquired the promotion.
It is an uncertain period though, as there is no guarantee that the new owners will share the same vision of WSU. There is a possibility that things will progress as planned, but there is also a chance that whoever Is taking over will have new ideas and suggestions for storylines and talent, so there could be some shake-ups to come too. WSU’s outlook may change over time, but it is unlikely that if there will be any alterations, they won’t happen immediately. After all, the fans are the ones who finance things in the long run, and to make changes immediately and in a big fashion could be too jarring to the WSU faithful and possibly drive them away. Much more likely would be a subtle movement in direction to enhance what already exists.
After last month’s match where Gail Kim barely escaped with the TNA Knockouts Championship, she and Brooke Tessmacher meet again at Slammiversary X, with the title on the line for a second time.
• As mentioned in the build-up piece on Friday, Tessmacher earned the opportunity to challenge for the belt again after defeating Mickie James, Tara and Velvet Sky in a four-way match on Thursday’s episode of Impact Wrestling. She pinned James following a Tess Shocker.
• In the weeks building up to Sacrifice, Brooke had pinned the titleholder on a number of occasions. For this month, there was not much more build-up than the win on Thursday.
• Tessmacher had been a fingernail away from winning the title last month when she had Gail Kim reeling, but Kim defeated her with a roll-up, using her feet on the ropes for leverage. (more…)
Gail Kim meets Brooke Tessmacher with the TNA Knockouts Championship on the line at Slammiversary X this weekend. The rematch comes just a month after the pair put together a good outing at Sacrifice, with Kim barely escaping with the belt after pinning Tessmacher with her feet on the ropes.
The plucky challenger earned another shot at the championship on last night’s episode of Impact Wrestling after winning a four-way match over former titleholders Mickie James, Tara and Velvet Sky. For the record, Tessmacher pinned James to win the match, which lends to the Mickie heel turn which is being revived after being teased earlier this year – James was also upset earlier in the show when Sky was given a role in a Montgomery Gentry music video, reluctantly joining in with a congratulatory group hug.
On a personal level, I am happy that this match is going ahead. In last month’s Sacrifice write-up, I expressed my desire to see this match again, so I’m glad it’s happening. As I’ve said in the past, given her experience level, Tessmacher is better than she has any right to be, and Kim has carried the Knockouts division since returning to TNA last October, and has held the title since November – making her the longest reigning Knockouts Champ in the title’s 5 year history. However, all good things must come to an end, and I believe that if there was ever a time for her to drop the belt, Sunday at Slammiversary could be it. (more…)
In news that landed on the Internet yesterday morning, Women Superstars Uncensored has been sold to what the official Twitter referred to as an “independent buyer”. In a statement in the newsletter, the promotion stated: “WSU is in the process of changing ownership. The sale will not affect any WSUVideo.com purchases or upcoming events. We will have a press release once the sale is signed.”
We understand that the press release will arrive by the end of this week, though there is no official word on whether this will affect the current direction of the promotion, the booking, the storylines, the upcoming Uncensored Rumble V iPPV next month, or the working relationship with nCw Femmes Fatales.
There is a possibility that the “independent buyer” who has bought WSU has plans to expand the brand. After all, there are elements which make it valuable. It is the busiest women’s promotion in the US, holding around a dozen cards a year – either officially or in collaboration with other companies – as well as having episodic storylines, a strong bunch of top-line characters like the Midwest Militia, Mercedes Martinez, Alicia and Brittney Savage, and it has ironed out a lot of the kinks that it suffered while it found its feet on iPPV. We hope that if there are changes, they don’t happen too suddenly, as it may be jarring for fans who are used to the current setup. We also hope that this buyer has a plan, and isn’t a money mark who throws a shedload of money at it, and pulls out if he or she does not see a return, killing the promotion as a consequence. After all, there is some evidence that WSU is not as profitable as it could be at the moment…
As we have pointed out on this site, attendance numbers have been pretty weak since WSU moved from its regular base of the ACE Arena in Union City, NJ to the NYWC Sportatorium in Deer Park, NY, though we have no real indication on how financially successful the iPPVs have been – for all we know, they could be bombing, or they could be booming. While we have a few bits and pieces of information about the current situation, it would be best to wait until there is an official word to try and get more of a handle on the situation.
We will bring you more on this sale as we get it. (more…)
Brooke Tessmacher rolls into TNA Sacrifice to challenge Gail Kim for the Knockouts Championship that she has held onto for the past six months, turning back challenges from the likes of Mickie James, Tara, Madison Rayne and Velvet Sky.
• Tessmacher earned this title opportunity after returning from booking obscurity to defeat Kim three weeks in a row on Impact Wrestling.
• To ratchet up the emotion, Tessmacher even used Gail’s Eat Defeat finisher to get one of the pinfalls.
• This build-up is based on in-ring activity and a desire to be champion – no angles, no personal vendettas, just the spirit of competition.
• It was a quick, yet effective way to establish a new challenger, as Brooke seemed to be a legitimate threat to Gail’s title reign because she had a psychological edge over the champion – Kim had been beaten by the Tessmacher on three occasions in rapid succession – would the same thing happen with the title on the line? (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…)