Posts tagged “Ice Ribbon

Ringbelles Roundup (1 April 2014) – Athena, SHINE, SHIMMER, Lita & more

Athena AIW Champion by Dave MuscarellaGetting injured seems to have had ultra-positive effects on Athena.

It’s not like the Wrestling Goddess was doing badly for herself when she went down with damage to her shoulder last August. She was a day away from challenging for the Women Superstars Uncensored Championship and was a mainstay in SHIMMER, as well as getting into Absolute Intense Wrestling. Things were going well for her – and while getting hurt could have been a huge setback that sent her skidding off the tracks, she has used the time away to her advantage.

Employing a look inspired by Game of Thrones, the 25-year old revamped her image with new gear, altered her character and has worked on her promos, employing the catchphrase of making “art out of war” and doing away with calling her opponents “hussies”. In addition, while the time off to let her shoulder heal may have been a frustrating wait, it has also allowed her body to recover from the constant grind of being on the road and wrestling on a regular basis. It’s likely that when she returned to action at the start of this year, she had no niggling aches and pains, which seems to have given her a new lease of life.

That renewed vigour was evident at WSU’s Mutiny show where she and LuFisto put together an early contender for Match of the Year which saw the Texan defeated – but gaining a lot of new plaudits along the way. That buzz followed her to AIW’s Girls Night Out tapings last weekend where she was such an integral part of the double show that promoter John Thorne skipped out of his own show to go and pick her up from the airport in Cleveland, OH after her flight was affected by inclement weather. The show experienced a long intermission to allow Athena to get to the building and wrestle Mia Yim in their scheduled match – which against received a wealth of thumbs-up reviews. (more…)


Fight Like A Girl: Bête Noire

Bete Noire

Former My Name Is guest Bête Noire has achieved quite a bit since she was busy introducing herself to the world in 2012 – not least of which was taking the time to go and live and train in Japan at the ICE Ribbon Dojo earlier this year. We’ve got that to talk about, but first… she’s just had laser eye surgery, and *newsflash* – apparently it kinda hurts. We talk about fun trips to A&E/ER rooms, including that time she had the imprint of a title belt basically TATTOOED across her forehead… whilst accompanied by BBC Documentary cameras. Speaking of the Beeb, we discuss last week’s Insane Fight Club documentary profiling Insane Championship Wrestling (BBC iPlayer link for UK residents), the reaction to the documentary and its stars, and naturally talk a bit about ICW’s spin-off female promotion Fierce Females, where Bête has gone to war with the likes of Viper and Crazy Mary Dobson. And of course, there’s Japan. How it happened, how it went, missing home, training differences between Scotland and Japan, and the feeling on whether she’ll be back there soon. Oh, and tea. Naturally. An intriguing 40+ minute chat. Enjoy.

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Ringbelles Roundup (11 March 2014) – Divas Title picture, Maria Kanellis, NWWA & more

Brie Nikki Bella Natalya WWEIf the plan is still for AJ Lee to defend the Divas Championship against Naomi at WrestleMania XXX, then WWE is certainly going round the houses to do it – that’s if they’re even planning to do it.

Before her injury to her eye socket occurred, it was reported that the plan was for Naomi to be the one to end AJ’s mammoth title reign (which is now the longest run in WWE history be it for singular or combined reigns) though it was said that the plan would still be on for WrestleMania on April 6 if the Funkadactyl could be cleared in time. It was partly because of that possibility that AJ had a title defence against Cameron at Elimination Chamber and again on the subsequent SmackDown. However things have gone in another direction in the last week as there now seems to be a queue of pretenders to the throne.

Natalya made AJ tap out in a tag match on SmackDown on Friday and is to get a Divas Title shot on tonight’s live edition of Main Event. Meanwhile on last night Raw, Nikki Bella got the pin on the titleholder as part of another tag team match, after which she held up the Divas belt while Natalya – who was on commentary – looked on. It seems as if there is a bottleneck of challengers, though it’s also up in the air as to who the champion may be by the time we get to WrestleMania. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (11 February 2014) – Lita is Hall of Fame-bound, WSU Mutiny fallout & more

Lita WWE Hall of FameWhen I was 19 years old, I went to a friend’s house to watch SummerSlam 2000. We had known each other for about a year after meeting at university and discovering that we were both wrestling fans. I was in his house for about 10 minutes when his 15 year old sister came in, introduced herself and then hitched up her underwear over her hips and said that she was a Lita fan.

Apart from not knowing where to look, what to say or anything, I was surprised at how someone who had just met me was so keen to impart the fact that she was a fan of Lita. Granted, she knew that I was a wrestling fan, but that sort of stuff shouldn’t happen, should it? I put it down to how cool Lita was and left it at that, but when you look back on her influence during WWF Attitude, you could argue that she was the best representation of women that the company had ever presented up to that point.

Unlike her rival Trish Stratus, Lita wasn’t a barbie doll. She was rough and ready, looked a little messy and did not dress to impress – she dressed for comfort. Copying the Hardy Boyz look with the baggy pants, she coupled it with a tight sports top or t-shirt and got stuck in against the guys. She delivered flying ranas and bodypresses to the likes of Eddie Guerrero, Test, Albert, Edge and Christian, and was happy to take the lumps too. She was powerbombed by the Dudley Boyz, Guerrero and Test as well as getting speared by Edge. She was a game girl who settled things in a way that no woman before her had done so. As a consequence, she was amazingly cool and was arguably more or a role model for women than Trish was. Stratus was too perfect, like she was almost above it all, whereas Lita would hang out with you, drink with you, share a laugh and be your friend. She was the opposite of a Diva, and that made her stand out from the – admittedly smaller in that era – pack.

It is fitting that Amy “Lita” Dumas is going to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year. At 38, she is one of the youngest inductees, though she may have done more to draw women to WWE than any other female before or since. (more…)


In Video: Hailey Hatred, just before her disappearance

Hailey Hatred during her JWP Openweight title reign. Photo courtesy: JWPHailey Hatred vanished off the face of the earth in August of last year. She deleted her Facebook accounts and her Twitter, and has gone completely AWOL. There have been claims that she is in the US, while other accounts say she is still in Japan – though nothing has been confirmed and anyone who does know is respecting her privacy by not divulging the details. However, that’s all fine – in order to get away from everything and to be left alone, she’s essentially gone incommunicado, so more power to her. Wherever she is, we hope that she’s happy.

Recently, Kasey Owens posted footage of a number of her matches from her three months with Ice Ribbonwhich she talked about with us on her return to the UK – and one of them was one of Hailey’s final matches before she disappeared. The pair teamed up to face Hamuko Hoshi and Kurumi at Tokyo’s Shinjuku FACE on July 14, three weeks before her final contest to date. You can see the contest after the jump. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (7 January 2014) – Madison Rayne’s return problems, Blossom Twins take a break

Madison Rayne TNAIn the December 17 edition of the Roundup, I mentioned about Madison Rayne’s return to TNA. I knew the results of the subsequent shows up to where we are right now, but didn’t reveal what was going to be coming up. At the time, I wrote: “I’m hoping there will be some explanation as to why Rayne is now a babyface and going after [Gail] Kim. I have a theory, but I want to see how it plays out.” Well, it’s been 3 weeks and there have been quite a few twists and turns. However, at no point has TNA explained exactly WHY Madison has such aggression towards her former friend.

We have had three weeks for an explanation to take place. We’ve had candid videos from Rayne and an extensive interview on the Knockouts website with Madison talking about giving birth – including the claim that she’s the first female to return to the ring after giving birth – which must make the likes of Saraya Knight and Allison Danger fall over laughing – and her desire to get back to wrestling, and there is still no revelation on what caused the friction. In that time, Rayne and ODB have beaten Kim and Lei’D Tapa, and last week Madison defeated the Knockouts Champion in her Open Challenge series to become the number one contender to the title – and yet, still nothing as to why.

Considering this is the headline feud for the division, it’s curious as to what TNA is thinking. At this point, we still haven’t been told as to what is the issue between the pair and it’s even more of a head scratcher when you consider that there is a storyline already done for them. All they had to do was produce one simple video package to explain it all. It’s staring them in the face. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (31 December 2013) – 2014 wishes, Mae Young hospitalised & more

LuFisto.jpg-largeOver the last couple of weeks, we’ve been doing a lot of retrospective articles. From the looks back to the 2012 award winners to the announcing of the 2013 recipients, from the personal highlights of Stew and myself to reviews of of the Women Of Wrestling Podcasts and our other audio shows, there has been a big look into the past. Now, here’s a look into the future.

Both Stew and I have written a list of things we would like to see happen in 2014. Neither of us have a crystal ball – or more critically, a booking sheet – so we can’t say whether any of these will actually happen, but this is what we would like to see in a perfect world.

Seeing as I’m here, I’ll start:

• I would love to see LuFisto win the SHIMMER Championship. After storming through the last set of tapings and working up a pretty heated rivalry with reigning titleholder Cheerleader Melissa, she ended Female Fight Season standing above her enemy at the end of Femmes Fatales XIII. While no plans have been put in place for SHIMMER 62 in New Orleans, LA, I would be happy to see Melissa and Lufisto in the main event with the Super Hardcore Anime taking the title which would mean the world to her. Even if she only holds it until the DVD tapings the following week, I would love for it to happen. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (17 December 2013) – AJ Lee issues, Natalya’s resurgence, Rain: the ultimate worker

AJ Lee WWEAJ 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…)


Ringbelles Roundup (3 December 2013) Renee Young is great, Gail Kim praises Taryn Terrell, plus more

Renee Young NXTFemale backstage interviewers are as rare as rocking horse poop in World Wrestling Entertainment, and finding a good one is hugely unlikely. In late 1994, Stephanie Wiand signed on, co-hosting WWF Mania with Todd Pettengill, and also worked a few pay-per-views in 1995, though very few fans remember her, and probably could not pick her out of a lineup. Rue DeBona also did a bit of backstage mic work on SmackDown in 2004, but wasn’t around long enough to do anything apart from marry (and later divorce) Josh Mathews. Some Divas also turned to asking the questions rather than answering them. Lilian Garcia has done the job at pay-per-views in the past, Terri Runnels performed interviewing duties between 2002 and 2004, Sunny did the odd bit in 1997 but seemed to be more keen on having the spotlight for herself, and after being eliminated from the Diva Search, Maria Kanellis worked the backstage but was given the ditzy gimmick where she asked poor questions, got wrestlers names wrong and simpered a lot.

However, WWE seems to have stumbled across a diamond in current interviewer Renee Young. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (19 November 2013) – Mickie James talks WWE, Blossom Twins future & more

Mickie James Bayley WWEIn 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…)


Ringbelles Roundup (5 November 2013) – Wrestling in your area, Total Divas and tons of news

7 Rhia O'Reilly ShannaIt’s weird – this website was buzzing with stories last month as part of Open Female Fight Season, with results from Bellatrix, Absolute Intense Wrestling, Women Superstars Uncensored, SHIMMER, SHINE & NCW: Femmes Fatales all flowing in, interspersed with interviews, reaction and discussion. It was certainly a busy time for women wrestling fans, and sites dedicated to it, such as this one. You would imagine that at the conclusion of such a period, there would be a hangover of sorts where many wrestlers would rest, promotions would ease down and there would not be that much to talk about. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (29 October 2013) – LuFisto’s title aspirations, Nikki Roxx winding down, PWI Female 50

LuFisto Cheerleader Melissa Kristine RoperWhere there is chaos, there is opportunity.

Injuries to Courtney Rush and Xandra Bale, travel issues for Ayako Hamada and personal matters involving Saraya Knight all contributed to a lot of re-jigging for SHIMMER and NCW: Femmes Fatales, with one woman benefiting more than any other.

Realistically, had all of the other wrestlers been healthy or present, LuFisto may not have ended Open Female Fight Season standing over a defeated Cheerleader Melissa with the SHIMMER Championship over her head – however, that’s exactly what did happen, and the 16-year veteran is now in a position where she could conceivably earn another SHIMMER Title match next year and even dethrone the reigning champion. Nobody has enjoyed as much momentum against Melissa during either of her title reigns – even Saraya didn’t have as much build up before beating her adversary for the title – and there seems to be a real ground swell for another match between the bullying cheerleader and the Super Hardcore Anime… and it’s the hardcore aspect which has furthered things, albeit accidentally… (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (15 October 2013) – A year of the “new” WSU, news, results & more

New WSU logoWomen Superstars Uncensored announced a mild change in ownership at the Blood And Thunder iPPV on Saturday, with it being revealed that Combat Zone Wrestling boss DJ Hyde was becoming a co-owner along with Drew Cordiero, who bought the promotion from Sean McCaffrey last June. Hyde was greeted by WSU Champion Jessicka Havok, who dropped him with an Air Raid Crash after successfully defending her title against Lexxus, eliciting a big positive reaction from the fans in Voorhees, NJ. The move positions Havok as more of a babyface than ever, and possibly distancing her from her Midwest Militia teammates Allysin Kay and Sassy Stephie – especially the latter, as the pair have entered a distant war of words.

The developments make for an intriguing future for WSU, but seeing as it’s been just over a year since the first Cordiero-run card, it seems like as good a time as any to see how things have gone. What has worked? What has been less successful? And what should we expect from WSU down the road? (more…)


Fight Like A Girl: Kasey Owens

Kasey Owens

There have been a lot of women doing the extended Japan trips recently. We spoke to Allysin Kay about it last week for the most recent Women Of Wrestling Podcast, and now another grappler has spoken to Ringbelles about her experience and how much she enjoyed it.

In August, we spoke to Leah Owens, who mentioned going to Japan – though at the time, her twin sister Kasey was already out there training with Ice Ribbon. Now that she has returned to Northern Ireland after three months of work, the more tattooed member of the team talks about how she ended up going there, her favourite matches, who she bonded with, wrestling in Korakuen Hall for both Ice Ribbon and JWP, and how she is not happy with it being just one solo trip.

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Ringbelles Roundup (1 October 2013) – Bellatrix, AIW, Brie Bella, news, results & more

Bellatrix v SHIMMERFollowing an introduction to the festivities with Insane Championship Wrestling: Fierce Females, SHINE 13 and Pro Wrestling Syndicate Bombshells 7 over the last week or so, Open Female Fight Season is upon us and it kicks off with a bumper Sunday, with big cards on both sides of the Atlantic.

The festivities kick off in the UK with an interpromotional card which will also see the culmination of a bitter blood feud…

A long-running score will be settled at Sunday’s Bellatrix: Female Warriors show in Norwich, England when Saraya Knight takes on her heated rival Cheerleader Melissa at part of the Bellatrix 7: Bellatrix v SHIMMER event.

The pair have battled on both sides of the Atlantic and traded the SHIMMER Championship over the last 18 months, with their most recent contest taking place inside a steel cage in New Jersey in April in the main event of SHIMMER Volume 53, where Melissa regained the title. However, their battles began in the English county of Norfolk, with the pair meeting for the first time at ChickFight VII in Great Yarmouth in January 2007. That match was won by Melissa via referee stoppage when Saraya got her neck tied up in the ropes.

In the five contests between them, each has won two, and there has been one no-contest – and it is the inconclusive match from June 17, 2007 in Colchester which is the reason for the bad blood. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (24 September 2013) – Knockouts division reaches critical point, plus news & more

ODB TNAIt’s felt like Groundhog Day since the start of July when TNA Knockouts started dropping from their perch. We are now at the point that things seem totally desperate with the division, with just two full-time wrestlers on the roster and two playing valet roles but are likely on call just in case.

The latest Knockout to disappear from our screens is Mickie James, who dropped the Knockouts Championship two weeks ago on an Impact Wrestling taping which was televised last Thursday. As a result, ODB is now the reigning champion, currently in her fourth run with the title. ODB holding the title isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though you have to imagine that had the roster not reduced to the state that it is in now, she would still be the referee and Taryn Terrell would be holding the belt, considering she was on the monster push. As things turned out, she is on an indefinite leave of absence and TNA did what it had to do to get the belt off James before her contract expired.

When we wrote about Mickie’s contract situation just over a week ago, it was reported that she was still in negotiations with TNA and if the right deal could be struck she would be back on the show. However earlier today, her profile was removed from the roster page on the company’s website, which can’t be a good sign. Mickie James may be back, but I personally wouldn’t hold my breath. Considering the financial issues leading to a massive amount of cost-cutting on the roster – and talk of the show moving back to a singular location because of the sheer outgoings caused by Impact going on the road and not pulling in the crowds, it could just be that TNA can’t afford Mickie James money right now, and may not for the foreseeable future.

As it stands, the only full-time female wrestlers on the roster are champion ODB and Gail Kim, with Velvet Sky and Brooke Tessmacher working as hangers-on for Bully Ray and Chris Sabin respectively. That’s pretty weak by anyone’s standards. (more…)


Hikaru Shida to make US debut at SHIMMER

Hikaru ShidaA week ago, SHIMMER: Women Athletes tweeted that it would make an announcement about the next joshi booked for the volume 58-61 DVD tapings on October 19-20 in Berwyn, IL – adding that the name would also be a SHIMMER debut. The teasing continued yesterday with the reveal that it would be a member of the Ice Ribbon roster making the trip, and now we have been officially informed.

Hikaru Shida will make her United states debut in just over a month’s time.

The 25-year old has had a very successful 2013, holding Tag Team Championships in four different promotions. In Ice Ribbon, she is one half of the reigning International Ribbon titleholders alongside Tsukasa Fujimoto, and also held the REINA x WORLD doubles straps with her Muscle Venus partner. She has also been a Tag Team Champion in OZ Academy (with Aja Kong) and in Pro Wrestling WAVE (alongside Yumi Ohka). This all comes off the back of an equally strong 2012, where Shida represented her home promotion as the ICEx60 (now ICEx∞) Champion, winning the belt at RibbonMania 2011 and holding the title for a record 273 days before losing it to Mio Shirai in her fourth defence in September. (more…)


WOW Podcast #60 with Kay Lee Ray

WOW Kay Lee Ray

Episode 60 with Kay Lee Ray

We’re just over one week away from ICW: Fierce Females “It’s In Our DNA” in Glasgow, Scotland – the follow up to what we called the best show of the year earlier this year – and with that in mind, we’re talking today to the ICW:FF Scottish Women’s Champion, Kay Lee Ray. On that show, she will be defending her title against Viper and Amazing Kong in a three way match – so we get her thoughts on that, her daredevil style, and whether she still gets the jitters before her matches. We talk about how she got involved in wrestling despite never watching it, wrestling international talent for the first time through Pro-Wrestling EVE, and the story of her concussion during the No Man’s Land iPPV last year where she went to the finals of the Queen of the Ring tournament. We discuss injuries and her high pain threshold, spending Christmas and New Year in Japan, including tales of sickness, karaoke, drinking and wrestling (not necessarily in that order), and her experience so far of working big industry names. There’s also talk of her never-ending feud with her perfect opponent Carmel Jacob, which has involved televised death matches, Carmel’s promo from last weekend, and what that means going into Fierce Females. A really interesting chat with one of Europe’s most fearless competitors. We’ve also got predictions for WWE‘s Night of Champions this weekend, as well as a preview of Female Fight Season in October.

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Supplemental Viewing:
Kay Lee’s powerbomb from the ring into a wall
Kay Lee’s balcony dive from ICW:Fierce Females – Luke, Who’s Yer Da
Carmel Jacob’s promo from ICW
Is the Kay Lee/Carmel rivalry over?


Ringbelles Roundup (10 September 2013) – Total Divas domination, Diva left in the cold, news & more

Naomi Natalya Brie Bella WWETotal Divas is directing the Divas division in WWE at the moment.

Last Friday’s match between Naomi and Brie Bella on SmackDown ended in a no-contest when some of the Divas – AJ Lee, Aksana, Layla & Alicia Fox – who aren’t a part of Total Divas came down to the ring and attacked the seven stars of the E! Show. On Raw last night, AJ’s opponents at this Sunday’s Night Of Champions show – Natalya, Brie & Naomi – defeated Aksana, Layla & Fox in a six woman tag when Alicia tapped out to Natalya’s Sharpshooter. In addition, Naomi defeated AJ Lee in non-title matches in Canada at the weekend, and if you were a betting man, you would put money on the Divas Championship changing hands this Sunday.

The show is after a happy ending to its season extension/season two run due to start later this year, following the conclusion of the current season which ends next week with Natalya’s marriage to TJ Wilson (Tyson Kidd). Seeing as all three of AJ’s challengers are babyfaces for this angle – and are the three most likeable women on the show – it is perfectly plausible that any one of them could walk out with the belt. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (27 August 2013) – Speculation on Tara’s future, Total Divas, #PipeBombshell & more

TaraIt’s been a pretty quiet week as far as news from the world of women’s wrestling is concerned, but one thing which stood out was what one former TNA Knockout said about the company – as well as what she didn’t say.

In an interview released on the Wrestling Observer, the former Tara (Lisa Marie Varon) talked about how she will “never” return to TNA, kept tight-lipped about the worst things concerning the promotion, and also openly praised WWE’s direction with the Divas both on the main shows and in NXT. Now, I would imagine that because of her being so direct about her lack of desire to return to the promotion, there are probably some stories there but are being held back out of professional respect to not run down a company which still has people she likes working there, or she’s saving it for when the time is right. She also goes out of her way to praise the opposition, which raises an eyebrow or two. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (13 August 2013) – Kong shoot interview fallout, Total Divas, news & more

Amazing Kong YouShootShoot interviews are always a funny thing. With wrestlers who have retired and have nothing to lose and are looking for a final few paydays without running the risk of torpedoing any future prospects, they can sometimes be an interesting walk down memory lane, with some fun stories from the past and some misty-eyed memories can be revisited by both the subject and fans who remember the era. However, with wrestlers who are still active, it can be a more dangerous venture.

What happens if you reveal more than you want to and it hurts your chances of making it somewhere in the future? What if you have a grudge with someone, voice it and then have uncomfortable moments if you have to share dressing rooms down the line? What about annoying a friend by saying something about someone who you dislike but they have a lot of time for? It’s a much bigger minefield.

That’s why the recent Kayfabe Commentaries piece by Amazing Kong has ruffled a few feathers. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (16 July 2013) – SHINE 1st birthday, news, results & more

AmazonIn 1995, a mere four years after the invention of the World Wide Web, Amazon.com launched onto the Internet as an online bookstore with a simple, yet slightly baffling plan. Instead of looking to be a viable entity, it anticipated that it may not make money until the turn of the millennium. Its plan was to expand its brand quickly – no matter the cost – by making sure that everyone online knew about Amazon, what it did and its reputation. Going under the mantra of “get big fast”, it was its high profile which helped it to survive the dot-com bubble bursting in early 2000, which claimed a lot of firms which had floated on the stock exchange. Despite having not made a profit by that point, business kept flowing and it finally went into the black in the fourth quarter of 2001, more than six years after being launched.

The reason I bring up this tale is because over the last year, a number of women’s wrestling promotions have done similar things – rolled the dice to generate a following very quickly, enhance its profile and make sure that fans know that they are a real player. Insane Championship Wrestling: Fierce Females and Bellatrix have managed certain degrees of success in the UK with a plan which is seeing them speculate to accumulate both financially and creatively, but a certain promotion in Florida has gone even further in leapfrogging up the ladder to the point where it is being discussed as being the best women’s wrestling promotion in the western world… (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (9 July 2013) – Knockouts dearth, Heidi & Taeler, SHINE, Maria Kanellis, Sunny & more

Dare To BeWe 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…)


Ringbelles Roundup (2 July 2013) – Diva and Knockouts’ gimmicks plus a look at NXT, news & more

doinkThe untimely death of Matt Osbourne got me to thinking. In his role as the original Doink The Clown, he took what immediately appeared to be a bit of a lame gimmick and turned it into something quite special – a dark character with a painted on smile, exacting sadistic actions to wrestlers and fans alike, while also working as a skilled technician in the ring. Check out his matches with Mr Perfect and Bret Hart for some of his best work in mid-1993.

Osbourne’s run as Doink came to an end in the latter part of the year as he was fired from the WWF for re-occurring drug issues, and with it, the character then becoming a lame babyface which lacked the edge or sparkle of the original portrayal. However, it was a great example of making chicken salad out of chicken guano, and is relevant to a couple of women who are plying their trade in WWE today.

Before we get to that, it’s worth pointing out some of the other gimmicks in mainstream wrestling over the years – including which had mileage and which crashed and burned… (more…)