Tsukushi is gonna be the only Triple Crown Champion taking the high school entrance exam!
That’s the quote from Hailey Hatred in reaction to 15-year old prodigy Tsukushi emerging victorious in the tournament to crown a new Ice Ribbon ICEx60 Champion, following Maki Narumiya being forced to vacate the belt through injury. She defeated newly-crowned Triangle Ribbon Champion Miyako Matsumoto in the finals earlier today to add a third title to her trophy cabinet – going along with her International Ribbon and REINA x World Tag Team Championships which she holds with Aoi Kizuki.
It’s a massive achievement for the hugely-talented three year pro, who’s been gaining plaudits along the way, including former Ice Ribbon matriarch Emi Sakura – with the two holding the tag straps in the past – and the legendary Manami Toyota, who gave her the seal of approval 18 months ago.
Ringbelles Roundup (26 February 2013) – wrestling’s equivalent of Ronda Rousey, Girls Night Out 8 and more
Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche delivered in spades on Saturday as part of the main event of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s UFC 157 pay-per-view. While PPV buyrates are only an estimate – though expected to be around the 400,000 mark – the other numbers are amazing.
With those two headlining the show, the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA drew 15,525 fans with a gate of $1.4 million and reportedly fewer comps than usual. It’s the highest attendance for a UFC show in the building, which includes UFC 121 with Cain Velasquez against Brock Lesnar. Admittedly, both Rousey and Carmouche hail from the state, which means that both had a relative hometown crowd, but it’s evidence that women can headline male-dominated shows, given the right booking, promotion and hype. Additionally, the fact that it outdrew Velasquez v Lesnar is even more astounding considering it’s a Hispanic market which would be behind Cain, and Brock is one of the UFC’s biggest draws in its history. (more…)
ICE Ribbon present their year-end big show from Korakuen Hall, their first RibbonMania without founder Emi Sakura, and look to the future right from the opener to the main event.
1. New Wrestler Elimination Match: Risa Sera, Hiroko Terada (debut) & 235 (debut) beat Rutsuko Yamaguchi (debut), Eri Wakamatsu (debut) & Ayano Takeda (debut) (8:26).
– Takeda eliminated 235 with a Fisherman Suplex (3:46). Terada eliminated Takeda with an Anaconda Vice (4:31). Sera eliminated Wakamatsu with a modified Shubain (6:31). Yamaguchi eliminated Terada with a Heel Drop (7:16). Sera eliminated Yamaguchi via over-the-top-rope elimination (8:26).
2. Duel 120Kg!!: Jaiko Ishikawa beat Kuzira Oshima (4:31) with an Abdominal Stretch.
3. 4 Way Match: Makoto Oishi & Neko Nitta beat Cherry & Meari Naito and Hailey Hatred & Kurumi and Aki Shizuku & Shoko Hotta (8:21) with a Cross Kneelock from Nitta on Naito.
4. Yumiko Hotta vs. Hamuko Hoshi – Time Limit Draw (15:00).
5. Kazunari Murakami beat Miyako Matsumoto (5:19) with a Haraigoshi.
6. International Ribbon Tag Team Title & REINA World Tag Team Title: Aoi Kizuki & Tsukushi beat Kyoko Kimura & Sayaka Obihiro (c) (17:36) with a Denden Mushi from Tsukushi on Obihiro – New Champions.
7. Special Tag Match: Nanae Takahashi & Natsuki*Taiyo beat Hikaru Shida & Tsukasa Fujimoto (20:51) with a Taiyo*Chan Spanish Fly from Taiyo to Fujimoto.
8. ICEx60 Title: Maki Narumiya beat Mio Shirai (c) (13:28) with the You’ll Never – New Champion.
So Kaitlyn is finally the WWE Divas Champion. A week shy of five months after (accidentally) winning a battle royal to challenge for the title at Night Of Champions – a shot which never happened after she was written out so Eve Torres could vie for the belt like was originally planned – the NXT Season 3 winner reached the top of the pile, defeating Torres on the 20th anniversary episode of Raw. We’ll get to the new champ in a moment – but firstly, let’s discuss the noise which preceded the match…
Yesterday, PWInsider reported that last night would be Eve’s final match with WWE before leaving the company, and it would be likely that she would be dropping the belt to Kaitlyn, who she has been feuding with since mid-September. As it turns out, that is exactly what happened, though her title loss came a bit earlier than others were expecting. According to the most recent Wrestling Observer Radio, Torres handed in her notice a month ago with the agreement that she would stay on to build up the title feud with Kaitlyn and then drop the belt to her, with the internal expectation being that she would lose the title at the Royal Rumble in two weeks, after a series of matches between the two when Eve would use underhanded tactics to retain the title. Instead, the decision was made for the switch to take place on the milestone Raw – which makes more sense, as it means more viewers would see the change and Kaitlyn’s moment of glory would take place in her home town of Houston, TX. It was a smart move, as the partisan crowd was hotter for the match than it would have likely been compared to the audience at the Rumble in Phoenix, AZ. Besides, fans have been conditioned to a certain extent to not be that bothered about the Divas, so it was unlikely that the match would have generated a massive amount of pay-per-view buys. (more…)
It’s equal doses of agony and ecstasy all in the space of a week for Maki Narumiya. Last Monday, the 27-year old ascended to the top of the heap in Ice Ribbon, winning the ICEx60 Championship for the first time, defeating Mio Shirai in the main event of RibbonMania. However, yesterday, the new titleholder received some devastating news.
Ringstars reports that after missing Thursday’s event at the promotion’s dojo, Narumiya wrestled yesterday at Yokohama but went to the hospital afterwards complaining of severe neck pain. Examinations revealed that she has suffered spinal cord damage, but the extent of the injury has yet to be fully confirmed – further examinations will take place over the week.
Because of the injury, Open The Puroresu Gate says that she will miss the following week’s cards and a talk show event on January 23 while a full diagnosis takes place. No decision has been made on the future of the ICEx60 Championship, and there is unlikely to be one until Ice Ribbon knows for how long Narumiya will be out.
Former WWE Women’s and Divas Champion Michelle McCool must have talked to her official fansite MichelleMcCool.net for about a kabillion years for it to produce as many different releases about things she has said about her time in WWE. There are masses of quotes about Beth Phoenix, Maria Kanellis, Layla, Sharmell Huffman, Vickie Guerrero, Tara, Natalya, Torrie Wilson, Mickie James and more. Seriously, the interview must have gone on for about three hours to sufficiently cover all these topics. Quite why she has decided to do this now after spending more than 18 months out of the wrestling spotlight is a discussion in itself, as it is doubtful that she is doing to come back, and she has positive things to say about everyone, which doesn’t lead to that many juicy tidbits. However, it is her comments about her experiences with Melina which we found the most interesting.
The 32-year old discussed how they collectively got in trouble following their contest at Night Of Champions 2009, where McCool successfully defended the Women’s Championship, with one particular move on the outside of the ring causing the problem:
It was that day – I was like: “could you not tell anybody, but do you think we could do a DDT on the barricade?” And [Melina] was like: “Ohhhh! Yeah!!!” — Not even thinking twice about it. We kind of hid it all day, even though we did ask our agent for approval, I think it was Fit — which is no secret that he was always fighting for the girls. We just made sure that we can stand up and get our balance, but we never actually did the bump. She was the one who was going to take the huge bump, and there was no doubt, no hesitation, that she would make it look ridiculous — and it did! [During the match] She finally takes the bump, it looks sick [pictured above], pops off — up to that point, that was the best match I’ve ever had. We had the pay-per-view, we had time, I was really proud of that match. (more…)
2012 Diva of the Year (named by both WWE Magazine and the WWE fans via the Slammy Awards) AJ Lee is about as far away from WWE’s idea of what a Diva should be as you can imagine. Short, quirky, geeky, lacking the body shape that others have had in the past, she comes across as the person you would be more likely to meet over an Xbox Live session of Call Of Duty Black Ops 2 than at an awards ceremony or a fancy bar. She’s your friend, your buddy – she’s not what WWE would perceive to be the ultimate in femininity.
But scratch beneath the surface, and she may be more woman than anyone else on the roster. She’s independent, driven, and has forged a path which she was never meant to go down – and in doing so, forced WWE to take notice.
After all, at the start of this year, she was Daniel Bryan’s put-upon girlfriend – the one who was the foil for him to turn heel, and saw her end up being verbally abused and put in harm’s way. If anything, at the time she was another version of the antithesis of a Diva – meek, helpless and unable to take care of herself. However, when their relationship ended on the post-WrestleMania SmackDown following Bryan’s loss of the World Heavyweight Title – which he blamed on her – she went off at the deep end. It gave her character a chance to have an edge, and she ran with it. (more…)
The 2012 Ringbelles Awards week kicks off tomorrow, and in preparation, we are taking a look back at the winners from 2011. We have already seen how Kay Lee Ray‘s star has grown, how Jessicka Havok took 2012 by the balls, and now we look at what Hailey Hatred‘s been up to after spending a portion of 2011 holding six separate championships…
There was a mild irony of our timing when we revealed that Hatred had won the Wrestler of the Year title. We announced that the 29-year old had won a day after she lost the JWP Openweight Championship – a title which was instrumental in us choosing her as the winner, as she was the first non-Japanese woman to hold the belt in its 20-year history. However, we judge from December 1 of one year to November 30 of the next, in order to make sure all the awards are despatched and received before the end of the calendar year.
Hatred’s disappointments continued in January as she was unsuccessful in her challenge for the CMLL World Women’s Title – at the time held by Ayumi Kurihara – and was unable to wrest the Ice Ribbon International Ribbon Tag Team Championship, as she and Dorami Nagano lost to then-champs Hikaru Shida and Maki Narumiya. However, a return to the United States for half a year saw her amass some quality outings against world-class opponents… (more…)
Ahead of the announcement of the 2012 Ringbelles Awards – which start on Monday – we thought it would be a good idea to see what happened to the three winners in 2011. How has the last 12 months been for them? Well, let’s start with out pick for Discovery of the Year, Kay Lee Ray…
We selected the high-flier from Scotland for her strong showings over the course of 2011, which included strong showings against joshi talent Hikaru Shida and Tsukasa Fujimoto (the latter as part of a three-way with Erin Angel) at Pro Wrestling: EVE v Ice Ribbon in October and her thrilling deathmatch against old enemy Carmel Jacob at Insane Championship Wrestling. She ventured outside of the UK to wrestle in Denmark, and we surmised that because of the positive opinions garnered by her work, her profile would go from strength to strength in 2012. That’s exactly what happened, and she’s capping the year off being on the other side of the world… (more…)
Over the years, the number of taboos in wrestling seem to have evaporated. After all, few bat an eyelid about wrestlers who have barely reached their teens stepping into the ring in Japan. Wrestlers with disabilities are given the same opportunities as anyone else, and nobody tells anyone that they are too old to lace up the boots, even though some really should be. However, the prospect of a man facing a woman in a wrestling match still seems to be something which makes some fans squirm in their seats.
I can see some of you imagining it right now.
For a long while, mixed matches seemed to be a no-no, but then it hit the mainstream with the late comic Andy Kaufman wrestling women and calling himself the Intergender Champion of the World, before Jerry Lawler piledrove him onto his head. From there, we saw the odd mixed tag team match on special occasions – WrestleMania VI with Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire against Randy Savage and Sherri Martel being a prime example – but very seldom did the women interact with the men… but times changed. (more…)
A lot can happen in a week.
Seven days ago, Tsukasa Fujimoto and Hikaru Shida were preparing to defend their REINA x World Tag Team Championships and would attempt to unify them with the Ice Ribbon International Ribbon Tag Team belts, held at the time by Tsukushi and Kurumi. On Sunday in Nagoya, Japan, they accomplished that feat and doubled their stash of doubles titles. Yesterday, Fujimoto would score another title by winning the WAVE Tag Team Championships with Misaki Ohata, meaning she held three different tag team titles in three separate promotions. 24 hours later, she was relieved of two of those belts during Ice Ribbon’s weekday show in Saitama by two women who already hold titles there…
Triangle Ribbon Champion Hailey Hatred and IW19 Champion Hamuko Hoshi successfully joined forces to win the unified Ice Ribbon and REINA x World straps, marking their first reign as REINA x World champs as well as Hatred’s first run with the Ice Ribbon belts, though it is Hoshi’s fourth time holding that title.
In addition, the win means that like year, Hatred now holds six different championships at one time – the aforementioned REINA x World and Ice Ribbon tag belts, the Triangle Ribbon title, the IMW Hybrid Fighting Championship, the TLW World Women’s title, and Remix Pro‘s Women’s belt, which she successfully defended against MsChif seven weeks ago at Joshi4Hope IV. (more…)
In a recent interview with Edge, he was asked why so many women are voluntarily choosing to leave WWE. His reply: “I don’t think they get a shot and that’s why most leave. No incentive.”
Now, I was all set to expand on this, but there is the flip side – what about the fortunate ones who do get a shot? Do they seize the opportunity with both hands? Well, one is certainly doing so at the moment, and she seems to be the only one on the main roster taking the her role as a wrestler deadly seriously.
Consider what WWE Divas Champion Eve Torres has been up to in the last week. She was featured in a profile video for American Latino which focuses a large amount of time on the self defence for women programme she offers – something that she believes very passionately about. She teamed up with the Gracie Academy for the Women Empowered DVD set, and has worked hard promoting women being able to take care of themselves in potentially dangerous situations.
The interview also saw Torres justifying her heel character in WWE by saying she is a woman who gets what she wants, and her holding the WWE Divas belt is proof of that. It’s weird logic, but she has a point – it gets around the fact that she is a heel too, even though she is purporting herself to be on the side of the good girls. (more…)
Tsukasa Fujimoto‘s year of winning things continued at the weekend, with she and her Muscle Venus tag team partner Hikaru Shida unifying the REINA x World Tag Team and Ice Ribbon International Ribbon Tag Team Championships in Nagoya, Japan on Sunday.
We discussed in June about how Fujimoto had enjoyed a strong six months since assuming the mother hen role in Ice Ribbon, and had captured a slew of titles along the way, both inside and outside the promotion in both the singles and doubles ranks. A week and a half ago, she won the Dual Shock WAVE Tag Team Tournament with partner Misaki Ohata, and they challenge GAMI & Tomoka Nakagawa for the WAVE Tag Team Titles tomorrow. She’ll likely be riding high after capturing the International Ribbon straps with Shida for a second time (and for a fourth time in total), and by the end of tomorrow, she could be holding tag team titles in three different promotions… (more…)
Allysin Kay, Santana Garrett, Ryo Mizunami, Heidi Lovelace, Thunderkitty, Su Yung, Shazza McKenzie, Angelus Layne, Sweet Cherrie, Mary Lee Rose, Deziree, Missy, Medianne, Xandra Bale, Leah Von Dutch, Jewells Malone, Serphentina, Angie Skye & Pink Flash Kira all share a common thread with me in relation to all the wrestling I’ve seen in the last few weeks – seven shows since October 26, and two more to come this weekend, where I can add Kaori Yoneyama and Angelina Love to that list. They are all wrestlers who I have seen live for the first time, and I think that’s a massively important thing to be excited about.
While at SHIMMER, the discussion took place about Lexie Fyfe’s announcement as part of the heel team for the elimination match which headlined volume 50, with the assertion that if you merely read the results, or even saw it on DVD, it would not generate the same reaction or experience as watching it live. At the Berwyn Eagles Club, RPM by Sugar Ray hit and there was a wave of excitement as the recognition sunk into fans’ heads, realising that Fyfe would be wrestling her first SHIMMER match since May 3, 2009, where she and Malia Hosaka fell to Ariel and Nikki Roxx. It was a nice throwback to a previous generation, and provided a lovely nostalgic feeling. Had you just seen the result on paper, or knowing that it was going to happen, it may not have garnered the same buzz. (more…)
SHIMMER: Women Athletes was lacking some of its big names for the most recent tapings, including the injured Madison Eagles and Serena Deeb, as well as Jessie McKay and Sara Del Rey – the latter of whom has since signed with WWE. While the top storyline with SHIMMER Champion Sweet Saraya and Cheerleader Melissa was still on, the Tag Team Championship had changed hands from Del Rey and Courtney Rush to Portia Perez and Nicole Matthews inbetween the March tapings and now, leaving Rush knocked from having one of the most popular storylines in the promotion cut off before it even got started. However, the booking for last weekend’s shows proved that creating writing and a strong willed lineup can easily fill the gaps. (more…)
Funny how the past comes back to haunt you.
In June, while she was still campaigning to be Connecticut Republican candidate for the US Senate, Linda McMahon’s past as the CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment was brought up, including the effect the programming may have had on women and men’s views of how to treat women. One particular incident keeps cropping up – the segment on the March 5, 2001 episode of Raw Is War when Linda’s husband Vince forced Trish Stratus to crawl on all fours, bark like a dog and then strip in the middle of the ring, all in an attempt to humiliate and degrade her.
Even at the time, the event was seen as so offensive that it was never shown in the UK, and it is still great ammunition for opponents of McMahon. Back in June, Linda’s opponent Chris Shays said during a debate: “I think when you force a woman to take off all her clothes in an arena, and get down on the ground and bark like a dog, I think that’s assault on women.” (more…)
Last month, Mio Shirai claimed her major singles championship when she defeated Hikaru Shida for Ice Ribbon‘s top prize, the ICEx60 Title. She ascended to the top of the promotion’s roster on September 23′s Knights Of Ribbon show at Tokyo’s Korukuen Hall – an event which Ice Ribbon’s adopted mother hen Tsukasa Fujimoto admitting that the event was not a good day for the promotion.
On that day, outsider Hailey Hatred claimed the Triangle Ribbon championship be beating outgoing titleholder Neko Nitta and fellow challenger Shuu Shibutani on the undercard, and then Shirai rocked the promotion by ending Shida’s 273 day reign, which was the longest in Ice Ribbon’s history.
Recently, video of joshi events have been hard to come by, but the Knights Of Ribbon event has made it onto the internet, and we’re able to bring you the Shirai v Shida match, as well as the post match comments and celebrations, if you are able to speak Japanese… which we aren’t. (more…)
A year since the excellent Pro Wrestling: EVE v Ice Ribbon weekend in Nottingham, England (results of which you can see here and here), founder and former head of the joshi promotion Emi Sakura is returning to the UK to compete in an EVE ring again – this time for the November 10 Wrestle Fever event, headlined by Alpha Female v Nikki Storm for the EVE Championship, and also featuring former TNA Knockouts titleholder Angelina Love against Carmel Jacob.
Since her last visit to the UK, Sakura has parted ways with the promotion she created, established a new one in Thailand called Gatoh Move, won the JWP and Daily Sports Tag Team Championship with Kaori Yoneyama, and initiated an infiltration of JWP – and you can read more of that by clicking here.
Before she makes her flying visit to England, Sakura will have another big milestone for her year when she holds Gatoh Move’s first event in a proper ring in Itabashi on November 4. Like at the start of Ice Ribbon, GM shows have taken place on mats up until now, barring a couple of exhibition matches between Sakura and Yoneyama in Muay Thai rings in Bangkok. (more…)
“I don’t think there’s a better female wrestler in the world right now.”
Not my words – though I agree with them – but the words of WWE Champion CM Punk, who confirmed that Sara Del Rey has been employed as a trainer for the company and will be working in its developmental facilities in Florida.
We have stayed deathly quiet over Del Rey’s signing with WWE since we found out, as they notoriously hate their private business affairs being discussed openly, and would not want to jeopardise the position of anyone signing a contract with them. For that reason, we wait until the ink is dry and they appear in WWE facilities. That happened on September 28 when Bill DeMott sent out a Tout video of Joey Mercury, Norman Smiley and Del Rey in NXT trainers’ shirts offering a small pitch for wrestlers to come and try out. A photo of the trainers soon followed, and then came the confirmation from Punk at the Ohio Comic Con on September 29.
“We recently hired Sara Del Rey to train our future Divas. I know a lot of people will be like, ‘Oh, that sucks, Sara should be on television’ and maybe you’re right, but I’ve talked to her about it. This is her dream job. She gets to wrestle everyday and she gets paid for it.” (more…)
All female wrestling shows are popping up all over the place, and with Scotland about to enter that game with ICW: Fierce Females on September 30th, what better time to welcome Scotland’s “Dynamite Queen” Nikki Storm to the show? She’s got a lot to talk about, including her ICW persona of Ms. Nicola Storm and an overview of the diverse Scottish scene going into Fierce Females. Did you know Nikki Storm used to cheerlead? In Glasgow, no less. She’ll tell you about that, and how she went from dancer to wrestler… to her early appearances in the over 18s Triple X Wrestling in Coventry, and how influential Jetta and Saraya Knight were in guiding her early years in the ring. We take a chance to go through the spotlighted matches she’s had in EVE, including with Saraya, Tsukasa Fujimoto, Hikaru Shida, Kay Lee Ray and Kat Waters as we await EVE’s WrestleFever event on Nov 10th, when she will face Alpha Female for the EVE Championship. We also talk marketing yourself, her blogs, 30 minute poops and Lee gets a crash course in Glaswegian slang…
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
As we reported at the weekend, Riho is leaving Ice Ribbon after being with the promotion for the entire existence of the company. She’s leaving following her match against Aoi Kizuki on September 23 to focus on her high school entrance exams. Now 15 years old, Riho debuted at the age of 8 and won the ICEx60 Championship when she was 12. When she returns, she says it will not be for Ice Ribbon but for her trainer Emi Sakura in Thailand.
Riho’s departure is the latest in an expanding list of wrestlers who have left Ice Ribbon in the last 12 months or so. Chii Tomiya (now Micro), Ray, Makoto and founder Emi Sakura have all said their farewells, while Dorami Nagano has been missing since June, Sayaka Obihiro hasn’t had a match since July and Hikari Minami is also taking some time away to prepare for high school. For the most part, none of these acts have been replaced, and precious few have debuted in the last year.
Some have benefited. Kurumi has come on leaps and bounds to the point where she is one half of the International Ribbon Tag Team Champions; Aoi Kizuki returned at Christmas and has been a smiling presence since then; Maki Narumiya has improved too, and names like Hamuko Hoshi and Maeri Naito have also had more attention bestowed onto them. However, the top of the card looks a little sparse these days, with ICEx60 Champion Hikaru Shida and Tsukasa Fujimoto heading things up, names like 14-year old prodigy Tsukushi the next level down (and presumably will also be thinking about school soon), and Narumiya and Kizuki also around there. (more…)
It is strange to call someone a veteran when they are just 15 years old, but that moniker holds true for Riho. Having debuted on Ice Ribbon‘s third ever show at the age of 8, she has been a mainstay in the promotion for its entire existence. However, real-life and loyalties to her trainer will see her bid farewell to Ice Ribbon and seek new challenges elsewhere…
Open The Puroresu Gate reports that at the roundtable which usually concludes Ice Ribbon cards, the former ICEx60 Champion – who won the belt when she was 12 from Miyako Matsumoto, was the youngest person to main event a Korukuen Hall show, and was the first person to win the promotion’s Triple Crown of ICEx60, Triangle Ribbon and International Ribbon Tag Team Titles – announced that she would leave the promotion to focus on her upcoming high-school exams, similar to fellow former champ Hikari Minami (though Minami is planning to return), and is also looking to rejoin the side of her trainer Emi Sakura in Thailand – possibly as part of her growing Gatoh Move outfit at some point in the future.
Following her announcement, Aoi Kizuki requested to be Riho’s final Ice Ribbon opponent at the Korukuen Hall show on September 23, which was accepted. Tsukasa Fujimoto then described Riho as “the sun of Ice Ribbon”, saying she was Ice Ribbon and vice versa. (more…)
There has been a lot of focus on the continent of Australasia recently, and most of it centres around one kick-happy wrestler from New Zealand.
As we have documented, Evie has been catapulted into everyone’s line of sight, winning both the IPW Women’s and PWWA Championships in the space of seven days – the first in a triple threat match with Megan-Kate and Britenay, and the latter against Jessie McKay just last Saturday.
When approached for comment, the Auckland resident told Ringbelles:
Winning the IPW Women’s Title and then the PWWA Interim Title… words can’t pinpoint the feelings I felt over those nights. I was extremely emotional… a few tears were shed, and it definitely is the highlight of my career to date. I came away from both matches battered and bruised, but it was all worth it in the end… after five years, I finally feel like a champion.
The fans have also been rad… I can’t believe how much support I received through those tournaments, both online and in person. It was amazing!