We’re back for a second day of DVD tapings for SHIMMER, with questions being raised about LuFisto‘s current intentions. After being denied another chance at the SHIMMER title in the near future while Cheerleader Melissa still holds the belt, she came out to try to help Yumi Ohka win the strap in the main event of volume 64, but was rebuffed for her actions. The pair came to blows after Melissa retained the championship, leading to LuFisto and Ohka meeting as part of the volume 65 card today.
Elsewhere, Melissa defends the title against Mia Yim following Yim’s wins over Hikaru Shida and Mercedes Martinez, while Shida and Martinez will face off in a first-time ever match. Following her walking out of their tag team match yesterday, Veda Scott will wrestle Leva Bates in a rematch from volume 62, but with more hostile feelings abound.
Meanwhile in tag team action, Kimber Lee and Cherry Bomb square off against Ray and Leon, while Kellie Skater and Tomoka Nakagawa defend the Tag Team Championship against Saraya Knight and Rhia O’Reilly.
The bumper weekend of DVD tapings that is SHIMMER is upon us with more than 30 of the world’s top female talent descending on the Eagles Club in Berwyn, IL for what will be around 40 matches over the next two days.
Following the controversial ending of SHIMMER 62 last week in New Orleans, LA, LuFisto will team up with tag partner Kana to take on Mercedes Martinez and SHIMMER Champion Cheerleader Melissa, looking to get some revenge following her loss in her title challenge, and to possibly secure another crack at the championship at some point over the weekend.
Elsewhere, we may see friction within the Canadian Ninjas following Nicole Matthews‘ decision to team with Madison Eagles to unsuccessfully challenge the Global Green Gangsters for the Tag Team Championship last week – a move which raised the hackles of Portia Perez, who tweeted her displeasure at the development.
You can read more about what we could see over the next four DVD tapings by looking at this week’s Roundup, but we will also be bringing you live results courtesy of the Twitters of Reid Allen and Dave Muscarella, who we thank for their constant great work in getting the word out to the rest of us – and Stew will be back after the tapings for some in-depth thoughts. Click the jump to see the results – and keep hitting refresh to make sure you’re up to date. (more…)
It’s been an absolutely incredible week for fans of professional wrestling – a rollercoaster of emotions from seeing Undertaker‘s streak end at WrestleMania to seeing Daniel Bryan win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event. From an incredible edition of Monday Night Raw to the tragic death of the Ultimate Warrior – the wrestling world has, for the last few days, pretty much revolved around WWE. There is, of course, a world outside of the one big promotion – and perhaps this week hasn’t been the best week to really get any major news coverage if you’re not WWE, but on this past Monday, former TNA founder Jeff Jarrett (along with his wife Karen) confirmed what many people had been speculating for some time – the formation of a new wrestling promotion. It’s called Global Force Wrestling, or GFW, and while the initial press release doesn’t go into any real specifics (we can assume they’ll drip-feed information until such time as a debut date or roster announcement is made), we can certainly speculate that their intention is to eclipse TNA Wrestling as the most prominent #2 promotion nationally. To do that, various things need to be in place – not least of which include a lot of start-up capital and a national TV deal – not to mention a roster of talent that people will want to see. And that’s an interesting point. We’ve heard that the Jarretts are actively looking for “undiscovered talent”, and that there are “more than 400 wrestlers from across the globe already in the evolving GFW talent database”. So that got us thinking.
It’s a slow news day today in the world of women’s wrestling (before the onslaught of SHIMMER weekend this weekend), and assuming the GWF promotion gets going, we might also assume that they’ll be interested in female talent for a women’s division. Now, that’s an interesting thing – they specify they’re looking for “undiscovered talent”, so we can hopefully take from that phrase that they’re not instinctively making calls to former WWE Divas and TNA Knockouts to cornerstone the division… so if we were The Jarretts, which “undiscovered” female names would fit the bill? Today and tomorrow we’re going to present two “Bunch of Fives” articles, one looking at US talent that might be bubbling up on the GFW radar, and one tomorrow, which will look at five non-US talents. It’s all highly speculative, not to mention subjective (everybody’s going to have their favourites), but armed with the brief to consider only female talent that have not been in WWE or TNA, here are the first five women we reckon Jeff Jarrett should be dialling. (more…)
SHIMMER returns to iPPV for its second straight WrestleMania weekend with SHIMMER 62, headlined with a titanic encounter between reigning champion Cheerleader Melissa and challenger LuFisto.
After their bloody match at volume 60 last October which was won by Melissa and LuFisto getting a pinball win over her during a tag match the following week at NCW Femmes Fatales XIII, the stakes have been raised to their highest point with this title match will be decided under two out of three falls rules and will have a mammoth 90 minute time limit. You can see more about the background to the match by clicking here.
Also in action will be Tag Team Champions Kellie Skater and Tomoka Nakagawa along with Madison Eagles, Nicole Matthews, Athena, Mercedes Martinez, Mia Yim, Heidi Lovelace, Nikki Storm, Hikaru Shida, Kimber Lee, Veda Scott and SHIMMER debutantes Candice LeRae and Ivelisse Velez – the latter of whom was announced yesterday evening after the revelation that Barbi Hayden had withdrawn from the show.
We will be watching the show live – and you can do the same by clicking here to order the event – but if you aren’t in a position to catch it, we will have results updated live from New Orleans, LA after the jump. (more…)
We’ve sang the praises of Solo Darling here at Ringbelles on recent SHINE shows, and with good reason – she’s one to watch in 2014. Now firmly ensconced in Daffney‘s A.S.S. (indeed…) and tagging with Heidi Lovelace as The Buddy System, Solo’s really found her niche. So Stew finally caught up with the self-confessed Wrestler/Musician/Chemist/Baker/Insatiable Sponge to get the inside scoop.
We talk SHINE, her chemistry with Heidi and how far they can go, her *actual* chemistry experience, Ohio Valley Wrestling, Stew pines for Solo’s old “Bronx” accent, in-ring influences, the art of selling, and her eventual aims in the business. It’s about half an hour of an effervescent party for your ears – and you’re invited!
(right click on the picture and “save as” to download, or stream in our media player below)
SHINE 17 live results: Tag Team Title tournament; Ivelisse Velez defends SHINE Title against Mercedes Martinez
After crowning a singles champion at SHINE 11 last June, SHINE adds another title to the promotion by establishing Tag Team Champions. Eight teams are vying for the gold – some established, some new, some who are relatively fresh-faced and some who have years of ring time. We have taken a look at the more viable contenders, though it is really anybody’s guess as to who will walk out of SHINE 17 with the championship.
Elsewhere, new SHINE Champion Ivelisse Velez puts her belt on the line against Mercedes Martinez, though the titleholder is likely to have an eye on the other non-tournament match on the card where the woman who replaced her in Valkyrie – Serena Deeb – takes on Angelina Love.
The first live show of the WWE Network takes place on Thursday with the first live broadcast of NXT. Dubbed ArRIVAL, it features three matches – one of which sees Paige defend the NXT Women’s Championship against number one contender Emma, in a match which has been a long time coming.
The cheerful Australian earned her crack at the title back in August and then had to defend her right to challenge for the belt by beating Natalya at the start of this year. While carrying on her #EMMAlution in Florida, she also graduated to the main WWE roster by originally appearing in the crowd – antagonising fellow NXT alumni Summer Rae in the process – before taking part in dance-offs and making her in-ring TV debut last night on Raw, defeating Summer with the Emma Lock. While fans who haven’t seen her NXT character evolve are getting used to the newcomer with the awkward dance moves, it seems as if things are going in the right direction.
It could be argued that the NXT Women’s Champion has been ready to make a similar jump for a while. As the sole titleholder – winning the title tournament last June, but the show being broadcast the following month – she has turned back the challenges of Summer Rae and Natalya, though hasn’t wrestled on a show since the end of November. Injury was cited as the reason, though the Wrestling Observer said the layoff was for personal reasons. Thursday’s match will be her first match in more than three months, and in that time, her opponent – and the woman she beat in the tournament final to win the belt in the first place – has caught up with her success. (more…)
We now have the eight teams announced for the tournament at SHINE 17 on February 28 to crown the first SHINE Tag Team Champions. They are Made In Sin (Allysin Kay & Taylor Made), the SNS Express (Sassy Stephie & Jessie Belle Smothers), the West Coast Connection (Su Yung & Tracy Taylor), Leva Bates & Mia Yim, Brandi Wine & Malia Hosaka, The Buddy System (Solo Darling & Heidi Lovelace), the Kimber Bombs (Kimber Lee & Cherry Bomb) and MsEerie (Christina Von Eerie & MsChif). Most of the tandems certainly have viable chances of winning, but I reckon that there are five that have a greater chance of prevailing… (more…)
Valkyrie‘s biggest challenge happens tonight at SHINE 16 – though instead of it being a new challenger looking to take the faction down, the challenge lays from within. After receiving advice from many sides, Ivelisse Velez takes on her stablemate Rain for the Radiant One’s SHINE Championship. Teammates Allysin Kay and Taylor Made advised her to back out, Rain acted diplomatic about it and VP Lexie Fyfe said she received the opportunity because she deserved it and not because of some underhanded plan to destroy Valkyrie from within. However, that is a possible outcome of this match, regardless of who leaves the Orpheum in Ybor City, FL as the champion. Together, we’ll see what goes down.
Elsewhere on the card, Kay and Jessicka Havok collide for a second straight month, though this match will be No Disqualification. After last month’s no-contest, we will definitely have a winner here, as the two former best friends collide with no sympathy, no compassion and no mercy to be seen.
The other big match sees Nevaeh face Leva Bates in a straight wrestling match following their Friday The 13th Massacre Match last month. Both have been sniping back and forth at each other since Nevaeh threw down the challenge – so much so that both were legitimately reprimanded by SHINE for their conduct online. With tensions running high, this could be a show-stealer.
Also, Serena Deeb makes her SHINE debut against Santana Garrett, Angelina Love faces Leah Von Dutch, and Daffney says she has a new team to square off against SNS Express members Sassy Stephie and Jessie Belle Smothers.
Nixon Newell‘s first appearance in a wrestling promotion in the United States was with TNA. No, seriously – she appeared at last year’s Slammiversary after winning a contest to get a trip to the US and tickets for the show in Boston, MA last June. However, the 19-year old from South Wales would return to the States in November, where she got a chance to lace up her boots and get in the ring.
As part of her trip, she took on Heidi Lovelace at NWA Southern All-Star Wrestling in Millersville, TN, and it became another TV appearance as the promotion has its own time slot in the state. While the match may not be long, she wasn’t treated as some jobber for the regular star, as she was put over both in the ring and on commentary.
You can watch the match after the jump – a contest which proves you can tour a different country without hitting the “bigger” names, but still successfully cutting your teeth. (more…)
The first thing I think when I look back over my own personal memories of the last year of women’s wrestling is, as usual, my regular trips to SHIMMER live events in Berwyn, IL. I can’t say enough about the whole experience, but if you’ve ever even vaguely considered making the pilgrimage, DO IT. I believe this year represented my tenth and eleventh trips there, and yeah, I’m still keen to return in the coming year and still love the whole experience. Dave Prazak has often described SHIMMER as a DVD product (and it basically still is), but for me, (and I think a lot of the people I see returning time and time again), it’s become live product more than anything else, and it’s like getting together with your friends from all over the world twice a year. They’re long weekends for the fans, but they’ve ultimately given me such great memories. From seeing the return from injuries of the likes of Serena Deeb & Madison Eagles, to seeing people like Kimber Lee wrestling live for the first time, to seeing Nikki Storm get over so huge on her first trip there, to openly weeping in public as Allison Danger wrestled her last match – all things that will live long in the memory. Sure, the October taping was beset by a number of integral people missing for various reasons, but I’m still glad I was there (Kimber Bombs!!), and only underlines how much talent there is to return in 2014. (more…)
SHINE 15 live results: Retiring Rain defends against Amazing Kong, plus Jessicka Havok v Allysin Kay
Lots of goings-on at the final SHINE show of the year taking place this evening. At the top of the card is Rain (who has made it very clear that this contest at SHINE 15 will be her last ever, and you can read an overview of her career here) defending the SHINE Championship against Amazing Kong, who was handpicked by Daffney as the Valkyrie leader’s next challenger. Despite it all, Rain is adamant that she will retire with the title by her side.
The other half of the show’s double main event pits former friends and tag team partners against each other, as Jessicka Havok and Allysin Kay collide after Kay turned on her friend on the last show, causing Havok to lose her grudge match to Saraya Knight.
Elsewhere, Leva Bates and Nevaeh compete in a Friday The 13th Massacre Match, Ivelisse Velez and Mia Yim square off, and the SNS Express members Sassy Stephie & Jessie Belle Smothers take on the American Sweethearts of Amber O’Neal & Santana Garrett, with the losing team being forced to break up. You see the rest of the card by clicking here.
There is still time to order the event at WWNLive.com, and you can click here to jump to the appropriate page. We will be providing live results after the jump, and will follow it up with thoughts soon afterward. (more…)
The full SHINE 15 card has now been revealed – and as well as a title match, a grudge contest between two longtime friends and a clash where the losers will have to go their separate ways, we have a rematch from the last show, a contest with title implications and one which will have no holds barred…
Headlining the whole show at the Orpheum in Ybor City, FL on Friday will be the SHINE Championship match between Rain and Amazing Kong, who was handpicked by Daffney as the Valkyrie leader’s next challenger. That match was announced after Rain’s victory over Hiroyo Matsumoto at SHINE 14 in October, and harks back to happenings a year ago. Rain’s wrist was broken by a Kong powerbomb at SHINE 5, and it was Kong who was the first victim of a Valkyrie beatdown as part of the stable’s formation the following month. In addition, Rain has made no secret that Friday’s event will be her last match, and is adamant that she will retire as champion. Literally and figuratively, this is Rain’s biggest challenge in her 6 month reign, and will either see a new champion or the current one retire with the belt by her side.
Following their awkward interactions on opposite teams at SHINE 13 and a betrayal of trust at the last show, Jessicka Havok will get her hands on Allysin Kay. Kay appeared to be stepping away from Valkyrie at the last show to reunite with her friend, but turned on her later in the night, causing Havok to lose a Last Woman Standing Match to Saraya Knight. After showing a reluctance to wage battle with her former Team Be Jealous partner, it seems unlikely that Havok will be so gun-shy on Friday. (more…)
Wednesday on Ringbelles is usually “Ringbelles Retro” day, but our clip from this week isn’t particularly retro – it’s from this year, in fact – but it still seems a long time ago, and was one of the first big moments of the year for one of 2013s most impressive performers, Heidi Lovelace. After this match, which took place at National Pro Wrestling Day 2013, Lovelace would go on to have one of the most talked-about angles of the year with Taeler Hendrix in OVW, and produce quality performances in SHINE, SHIMMER, AAW, AIW, St Louis Anarchy, Chikara Pro and several of the Wrestling Is promotions, to name but a few.
It’s actually thanks to the Wrestling Is YouTube channel that we bring this match to you today – and it’s Heidi Lovelace teaming with Devin Bliss to take on the team of Reed Bentley & Tripp Cassidy, collectively known as The League. The intergender match took place on the evening card at NPWD under the “Wrestling Is Heart” banner. As we pointed out when we commended Heidi during our “A good half year for…” series earlier in the year, this match is ALL about heart. Bliss is in one of his first matches as a pro, and Lovelace, taking the lead for her team, takes an absolute shitkicking from The League. Sadly the YouTube video cuts off pretty swiftly after the match, but if you saw the match at the time on iPPV (or want to buy the VOD via SmartMarkVideo), you’ll see the assembled wrestling fans raise the roof in appreciation after the match for the gusty, heart-filled performance by Lovelace here – setting the scene for her superb year. Click through after the cut to check it out, and when you’re done, check out (or revisit) our half-hour interview with Heidi from earlier in the year when we talked about this match (and more). (more…)
Episode 64 with Taeler Hendrix
It’s been just over a year and a half since we last caught up with Taeler Hendrix for a chat, and it’s fair to say she’s done quite a lot in the intervening months, so with her spreading her wings on the indy circuit, we ask her how she’s enjoying her post TNA life and talk about future plans. We find out how a (fortunate) mistake last year led to her heel turn in OVW, and the very personal inspiration behind her heel characterisation. We talk some of her best story lines in OVW, specifically her work with Dylan Bostic in 2012, her run with Heidi Lovelace over this past Summer and her Four Way Ladder Match in September. Taeler also has a big announcement to make regarding a new tag team she’s going to be unleashing on the indy scene very shortly – find out who she’s teaming with right here. We also touch on the so-called “weight issues” during her time in TNA, and go back over her whole (albeit brief) TNA career – from what she knew (and didnt know) about her Gutcheck with Tara last year, through her various TV appearances and clarify some misconceptions out there. We also bring up the debacle of last year’s aborted GLOW revival in Vegas, ask just where she found one of our T-shirts, and discover her hidden creative talents and non-wrestling goals. A really fun show!
(right click on the picture and “save as” to download, or stream in our media player below)
Last weekend was a big one for Cheerleader Melissa, with its ups and downs. When it came to the SHIMMER tapings, she came through the weekend still in possession of the singles championship, beating Leva Bates, Hiroyo Matsumoto and LuFisto in title defences. However, her match against the Super Hardcore Anime saw her uninterrupted run of 60 volumes come to an end, as an accidental laceration she suffered during the contest meant that she was taken to the hospital for 10 stitches above her left eyebrow. Melissa still managed to notch up an appearance on Volume 61, interfering in the main event by hitting LuFisto with her title belt, leading to her loss against Mercedes Martinez, standing over her fallen rival while repeating how many stitches she needed to close the wound.
As well as the in-ring aspect of what went down, arguably Melissa’s shining moment came on volume 58 where she was named the number one in the 2013 Pro Wrestling Illustrated Female 50, rising two places from last year. We highlighted her big accomplishments over the last 12 months on Saturday in this article, though instead of surmising what criteria she satisfied to top the list, we decided to go to PWI itself. (more…)
The second day of tapings for SHIMMER Women Athletes is underway, with a big SHIMMER Championship match announced, as well as a return match which could feature some very brutal consequences.
Headlining Volume 60 will be Cheerleader Melissa defending the SHIMMER Title against LuFisto, after the Super Hardcore Anime came to the aid of Leva Bates and Allison Danger on Volume 58, as well as Hiroyo Matsumoto on Volume 59 (you can see all the results here). It should be an emotionally charged contest between the increasingly-viscious Melissa (who is riding high after also coming top of the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Female 50 yesterday) and the never-say-die challenger.
Also announced yesterday is a rematch from Volume 59, where Nicole Matthews and Hikaru Shida will face off in a contest where Shida’s kendo stick will be legal. The bamboo weapon was instrumental in Matthews’ win yesterday, using it out of the sight of the referee – but today, it’s in play, and both women could be battered and bruised by the end.
Elsewhere, the Global Green Gangsters put the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship on the line against Sassy Stephie & Nevaeh, Matsumoto takes on kleptomaniac Portia Perez, Heidi Lovelace wrestles Nikki Storm, Santana Garrett faces Mercedes Martinez, and Allysin Kay battles Kana.
Ringbelles Roundup (9 July 2013) – Knockouts dearth, Heidi & Taeler, SHINE, Maria Kanellis, Sunny & more
We praised Mickie James’ last six months in TNA, including her winning the Knockouts Title and turning heel in the process. However, you have to wonder what sort of division she is reigning over, when you consider how many – or conversely, how few – female wrestlers there are on the roster these days.
As well as James, you have Gail Kim, Miss Tessmacher, ODB, Tara, Taryn Terrell and Velvet Sky as in-ring performers – though ODB is usually a ref these days, Terrell is hardly a regular and Tessmacher & Tara has been absent for a while. That’s seven women – half of what they had in 2008 when the division was really a pioneer and vastly overshadowing what was going on in WWE at the time. When you consider that TNA only has about three women doing most of the work these days, you can see why the promotion binned its Knockouts Tag Team Titles following them being vacated by ODB and Eric Young.
The roster was thinned out last Wednesday when a four time Knockouts Champion and the first Gut Check winner were cut from the roster. Madison Rayne – who is heavily pregnant and is due to give birth next month – saw her contract expire and it wasn’t renewed. Some have complained that it was a bit tactless of TNA to do that, but Rayne herself apparently holds no grudges and has made no complaints in public. It is possible that she may return in time.
The other departure is Taeler Hendrix, who has been criminally underused by the promotion since winning the Gut Check last June. She has only appeared on two episodes of Impact – one was the Thanksgiving Day episode, which was a filler show because so few were watching, and the other was last month as she served as cannon fodder for Mickie’s slow-burn heel turn. Meanwhile, she has been working on her character during her time in Ohio Valley Wrestling, which we cover in more detail later on. (more…)
Our next selection for our “good half year” series isn’t someone who has won a major title this year, nor is she someone who is particularly well known in the wider wrestling world (yet) – but looking objectively about who has come really far in the first half of 2013, you really can’t deny that Heidi Lovelace has had a cracking six months. When we talked to her for a Fight Like A Girl show back in April, our first question was to ask her how excited she was about her wrestling life in 2013 on a scale of 1-10. Her reply? “Probably about a 15!”. Quite so – and things have gotten even more interesting since then. Let’s take a look at 2013 for Heidi Lovelace. (more…)
It was interesting to see the Bellatrix roster after the Bellatrix 6 card. Out of their wrestling gear, they got dressed again into their branded t-shirts and glammed them up with shorts, skirts, blazers and the like to meet and greet the fans, sign autographs and pose for photos. In every photo, the Bellatrix logo was visible, pushing the brand and getting the recognition out there. Coupled with the gigantic wall hangings, Bellatrix: Female Warriors has ascended to be the most professional looking promotion in the western world.
Granted, a lot of joshi promotions in Japan have branded gear, and Ice Ribbon & Stardom have had workout gear too – but it is rarer to see in the English-speaking countries. However, it is something that other promotions would do well to adopt in the future.
Since rebranding from the World Association of Women’s Wrestling in January, Bellatrix as a brand has been ascending at a rapid pace, and it’s being noticed. Ahead of Sunday’s card, promoter Saraya Knight was interviewed on F4Wonline.com, the BritWresChat podcast and the BBC radio station serving Norfolk – the county which Bellatrix is based. In addition, hype was posted on a number of websites and also in the local print media, which led to an audience of more than 250 coming along to the show to make a lot of noise and generate a proper atmosphere. As far as exposure goes, Bellatrix has taken big steps forward – however, as Saraya explained during the interview with Bryan Alvarez, the end goal is not to have the promotion as the main focus; instead, it is being used as a way to point eyes towards the wrestlers on the show. (more…)