Hard work and dedication has paid off for Madison Rayne. The former TNA Knockouts singles and Tag Team Champion & SHIMMER Tag Champ tweeted on Saturday about her victory at Main Stage Muscle’s Victory Classic in Kannapolis, NC, where she took first prize in the fitness bikini competition, and has now qualified for the Mid-Atlantic Classic taking place on October 20 in Charlotte, NC. In a message on MSM’s Facebook page, Rayne posted “THANK YOU for the awesome experience at my first show ever last night!!! From start to finish, the show was a blast!!! Can’t wait for October!!!!”
On the TNA Today vodcast, she discussed how she had such a strict diet to get the look that she was going for, and how she has been splurging since the contest ended. As part of the chat, Madison also discussed Taeler Hendrix‘s Gut Check match on last Thursday’s Impact Wrestling and who her “secret crush” may be. Click the jump to watch the video. (more…)
TNA‘s Gut Check on its Impact Wrestling show welcomed its first female participant on last night’s episode, with former Ohio Valley Wrestling Women’s Champion Taeler Hendrix taking on Tara. She fell to the Widow’s Peak, but put up a strong showing – so much so that the fans in the Impact Zone in Orlando, FL, even started chanting her name, which is pretty impressive considering most of them would not have heard of her until the show went on air.
Her introduction on the show mentioned that she had been diagnosed with cancer at the age of 21, but neglected to point out that it turned out to be a misdiagnosis – something that she discussed in detail during our Fight Like A Girl interview with her back in April, and also on the brilliant video promo that she uploaded to YouTube, but later either deleted or made private, as it was not meant for public viewing. From there, the 23-year old, 5-year pro fought valiantly against her bigger and more experienced opponent, but couldn’t get the win. (more…)
Just a quickie today, as there is a big weekend of action starting tomorrow (including a special episode of the Women Of Wrestling Podcast), but we stumbled across this interview with former Fight Like A Girl guest Tara ahead of tonight’s live episode of Impact Wrestling. It is conducted as part of an article by the Miami Herald’s Jim Varsallone which offers a behind-the-scenes look at TNA.
As part of the chat, Tara hints at her training up new talent, getting respect from male wrestlers and fans, and how she, as a 41-year old (and she’s proud of that), keeps up with women half her age. She’s a great ambassador for TNA, and is a great advertisement for strong women, and we like her a lot. Click the jump for the interview. (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…)
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…)
It snuck up on us somewhat because of women’s wrestling’s March Madness, but TNA‘s Victory Road hosted a Knockouts Title match last night, pitting (former) friends Gail Kim and Madison Rayne facing each other for Kim’s belt.
Rayne earned the shot at the title by sneaking her way to victory in a battle royal, causing her friendship with then-Knockouts Tag team Championship partner Kim to become somewhat strained, as the two began arguing and distancing themselves from each other in situations where they would have helped each other out, to the point where the pair lost their doubles straps to ODB and Eric Young on last Thursday’s Impact Wrestling. Freeing themselves of the shackles of being forced to associate with each other, the pair met last night with the singles strap at stake.
In what turned out to be a back and forth contest with no real aggressor, Kim was able to retain the championship by hitting the challenger with Eat Defeat on her second attempt for the winning pinfall, albeit with a handful of Rayne’s tights.
It was a short match, so this will be a fairly short report, but we’ll look at what was bacon, what was baloney, and what was offal… (more…)
I swore off going to WWE shows back in 2005 when I decided that they weren’t worth my time. I felt that the ratio of entertainment to investment wasn’t good enough, so after having gone to at least one WWE show a year since 1996, I walked away. Since then, I have been to smaller shows, and avoided events from the bigger wrestling companies.
That is, until this Thursday, when after seven years away, I headed to Nottingham’s Capital FM Arena for the first UK date of the TNA Maximum Impact IV European tour.
To be honest, I was looking forward to it, as I had always heard good things about TNA house shows, while the Impact Wrestling shows are more hit and miss. Buoyed by my interview with Tara earlier this month, I was confident that I was going to enjoy myself, even though I’m not as much of a TNA viewer as have been in the past. So along with fellow wrestling fan and work colleague Tom Campbell (the voice of the infamous Big’Un in Wigan), we hopped into my car and – barring an unscheduled stop because of my brakes almost catching fire – made the 90 minute drive to Nottingham. (more…)
…and the hits just keep on coming.
Former TNA Knockouts Champion and Knockouts Tag Team Champion Tara gave us a call earlier today after discovering that she will be on her way to the UK later this month for the Maximum Impact IV tour, which will take in Nottingham, Manchester and London’s Wembley Arena, with the Wembley show being a full-on Impact Wrestling TV taping.
As part of our chat with Tara, she talked to us about finding out that she was booked for the tour after all, what it felt like to main event Impact last year against Mickie James in a steel cage, her relationship with Brooke Tessmacher both inside and outside of the ring, what Jerry Lawler said to her during her training when he found out her age, as well as which Knockouts will be on the tour (and there’ll be a few).
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
Don’t forget to leave us a comment below!
You can also read about Tara’s pre TNA days in her excellent interview with HONOUR Magazine by clicking here.
In their third meeting for the TNA Knockouts Championship, Mickie James was set to take on Gail Kim. However, due to the interference of Madison Rayne during their second meeting during the main event two weeks ago, one Knockout in particular had had enough. Before the match, Velvet Sky tracked down Sting and arranged something she called the “Velvet Touch.” Come time for the match, it turned out “Velvet Touch” was a cage that Madison would be put in and hoisted up – effectively taking her out of the picture.
However, it turned out that Rayne still affected the match. With Velvet at ringside cheering Mickie on, the two women put on another good match with a few near falls. Towards the end, when the referee’s back was turned, Rayne pulled something out of her boot and dropped it down to the mat below. The item bounced out of the ring and the referee went to retrieve it. The object was a pair of brass knuckles, which Gail strenously denied using or having the intent to use them. The ref went to give it to Christy Hemme, and that’s when Madison dropped a second pair of knucks. Second time wasn’t the charm, however, as Mickie got to them first. The frustration and anger with Gail got the best of her and she popped the KO champ right infront of the referee, causing a disqualification. Gail retained her title but Mickie seemed unphased by the fact she effectively cost herself the championship.
As always, lets break it down into what was silk, what was leather and what was cotton… (more…)
After going through six out of ten Knockouts in a gauntlet match, Mickie James became number one contender to Gail Kim‘s TNA Knockouts Championship. Between then and now, Karen Jarrett made Mickie’s path to the pay-per-view a difficult one. Karen reinstated ODB and gave her the order: hurt Mickie and pin her, and she would become number one contender. Despite her best efforts in a street fight, Mickie pinned ODB after kicking a chair into the latter’s face. Karen then called upon Gail’s tag team partner, Madison Rayne, and called her her “lynch pin.” She ordered Madison to tear Mickie apart so she would be unable to show at Final Resolution. Again, to no avail – Mickie pinned Madison after a jumping DDT.
The last time these two met was when they were employed by WWE on August 17th, 2009. Mickie defended her Divas title against Gail Kim in what was an unqualified disaster of a match. When Gail returned to TNA, people wondered how long it would be until the two wrestled again, and if the match would turn out better or worse than the last time. At Final Resolution, Gail kept the Knockouts Championship after Madison distracted Mickie long enough for Gail to hit Eat Defeat. Let me break it down into what was Batman, what was Batman Returns and what was Batman & Robin… (more…)
(WARNING: This Roundup contains spoilers for this week’s Impact show.)
I don’t care about Velvet Sky. She’s a choker, she sucks and Gail Kim is far better because she’s been in WWE. And they’re my thoughts because that’s what TNA’s bookers WANT me to think.
OK, maybe it’s not intentional, but the superpush of Gail Kim to the Knockouts singles and tag team titles in less than a month of her return has sent a signal to the rest of the girls that they aren’t stars unless they’ve been in WWE. Fine – Kim was a star in TNA before her muted three years in New York, but her stock had dropped like her stone since leaving and returning. But not to TNA, oh no. Instead, she was portrayed as the unstoppable force alongside Karen Jarrett and Madison Rayne, beating up Tara (who’s one of the best workers that the Knockouts division has), winning the tag belts and then claiming the Knockouts belt from Sky at Turning Point in what was Sky’s first title defence on either TV or pay-per-view. Sure, now Kim looks like the queen, but as a result, Tara, Sky and in a residual way, Brooke Tessmacher have all had their wings clipped, meaning that there are precious few credible babyfaces to challenge for the belt.
Last week, I wrote a piece about why it was in the best interests of all the Knockouts if Velvet Sky won at Turning Point and retained the title. It would establish her first reign as champion as something credible, and Kim wouldn’t really lose much as she was still the Knockouts Tag Champ and could secure a rematch due to her alignment with Jarrett (which still puzzles me, as why is she still Knockouts VP when it was Eric Bischoff who put her in charge and the company is being governed by Dixie Carter and Sting these days?). However, TNA decided that Sky’s important first run as champ was expendable, as the belts clearly don’t matter – and that’s true, as in the last 100 days, the Knockouts belt has changed hands five different times.
According to Dave Meltzer, the idea is that TNA can now market Sky as the plucky babyface going for the Knockouts belt and overcoming the odds to get it back. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t she do that for FIVE YEARS as part of her quest to win the belt for the first time at Bound For Glory, then won it in a four-way match where Jarrett was the biased ref who was pulling for the heels and wouldn’t give the babyfaces an inch? (more…)
At TNA’s Turning Point, we saw two matches with Knockouts involved. The first was a mixed tag team title match featuring challengers Ink Inc. with Toxxin taking on the champions Mexican America with Sarita – it would be the first time either woman had faced each other, inside TNA or outside – whiel the second had Velvet Sky defending her Knockouts Championship against the newly-returned yet already crowned Knockouts Tag Team Champion Gail Kim.
Ink Inc. and Mexican America have had a decent feud with a buildup and it finally led to the debut of Christina Von Eerie as Toxxin to neutralise Sarita and Rosita. The tag titles were retained when Sarita pinned Toxxin after hitting her in the back with a tag belt. Meanwhile, Gail came into Turning Point with a huge wave of momentum, and before the match Karen Jarrett showered her with praise, calling Velvet a “skanky bitch” in the process. Classy. In the Knockouts Championship match, thanks to judicious interference from Karen and Madison Rayne, Gail won the title. How did each of the matches fare? Let’s break it down and take a look at what was oak, what was pine, and what was chipboard… (more…)
This weekend at Turning Point, TNA Knockouts Champion Velvet Sky puts the title on the line for the first time since winning the belt at Bound For Glory last month against challenger and one half of the Knockouts Tag Team Champions, Gail Kim, in a match that is significant for both.
For Velvet, it’s her first title defence in her first reign – while for Gail, it’s her first opportunity to wrestle on live TV since returning to the promotion on the post-BFG Impact Wrestling show. With no editing suite to patch things up if she slips on a banana peel, and the pressure to wrestle someone who she hasn’t faced in many years, the pressure is on the veteran Kim to knock this one out of the park. Kim has also had critics who assert that she may have lost that spark from 3 years of doing nothing of note in WWE, and may be in TNA for the spotlight, rather than to promote and enhance the Knockouts division.
Meanwhile for Sky, she is looking to solidify her first run as KOs Champ, which was hardly launched in the best of circumstances – winning in an overbooked 4-way mess that did more to further the tension between Karen Jarrett and Traci Brooks more than anything else, and also saw Velvet win the belt by not pinning then-titleholder Winter to gain the title, but Madison Rayne. Both have things to prove to the audience and to sceptics, and many fans have an opinion on which way it will go. However, I have an opinion on which way it SHOULD go, so everyone involved comes out with what they need and offers some options for down the line. (more…)
It’s been a broken biscuits sort of week – in that there is a lot of little things that have been going on – so instead of a big piece about one topic, this week I’m going to channel the energy of Stephen Colbert and utilise the Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger gimmick from The Colbert Report to pass some musings on some of the week’s stories.
First off, a Tip of the Hat to Eve Torres, who, along with her opponent Beth Phoenix, staged the best Divas match in years at WWE Vengeance on Sunday. Beth had pulled off some minor miracles with Kelly Kelly on the three previous pay-per-views, but none of them were as good as this match. It went to show that Eve has something to her and can hold up her end of the bargain when the bell rings. Admittedly, the crowd in San Antonio, TX didn’t care enough to make much noise during the match, but they did pop for the false finish of Eve countering the Glam Slam attempt and nearly winning the title with a schoolboy roll-up.
On the flip side though, a Wag of the Finger to WWE, who may have something with Eve, but haven’t given her a chance to develop any sort of character. Why should I give a flying fornication about her when I don’t know anything about her? In fact, she has gone from being unnoticed to being a shadow of Kelly’s, when it is patently obvious that she smokes Kelly in the ring. Who cares that Kelly goes into “Beast Mode” from time to time – it still feels phoney. Kelly has had a chance to develop more of a character this year and hasn’t accomplished it. The time has come for WWE to put some time and effort into Eve to make her more of a credible challenger to Beth, as those two could put on some more great matches in the weeks and months to come. (more…)
“Right now I’m on a little hiatus,” she said, “I told myself I’d take a little break. They [WWE] didn’t let me quit so I was forced to take a break!”
That’s a direct quote from Gail Kim‘s interview with the One Sided Ring podcast last week (released for free on the day after she did her iPPV live shoot interview), which has been abridged by The Sun in a two piece article, found here and here. As we found out this week, that “little break” was only going to last a another week, as on Tuesday’s post-Bound For Glory Impact Wrestling tapings, Kim returned to TNA, attacking new Knockouts Champion Velvet Sky and aligning herself with Knockouts VP Karen Jarrett and Jarrett’s biggest supporter, Madison Rayne.
This has been on the cards for some time. Following her quitting WWE in August (which saw her bow out of the promotion by eliminating herself from a battle royal on a live episode of Raw – something that she has since admitted was “childish”), there has been talk about her returning. During her live shoot and podcast interview, Kim was very careful to not bury TNA, while launching both barrels at WWE, as it’s very clear that it has no clear direction for their women, and went as far as to say she will never return.
Click after the jump to see the video of her return to TNA. (more…)
As part of a double helping of women’s action, TNA Hardcore Justice saw the first British Knockouts Champion crowned in Winter, a title which she adds to her WILD Championship that she won on Thursday. Earlier on in the pay-per-view, Tara & Miss Tessmacher retained their Knockouts Tag Team Titles over the former champs, Mexican America’s Sarita and Rosita.
Winter won the title after spitting red mist into Mickie James‘ eyes, leading to her being pinned while she could not see. No such shenanigans in the tag team match though, where Rosita was pinned cleanly by Tara following her Widow’s Peak finisher.
As is customary for PPV reports here at Ringbelles, let us take a look at what was mineral water, what was tap water, and what was toilet water. (more…)
It’s a news story that continues to build. There’s more and more direct and circumstantial evidence that comes out each month. More people are willing to tell their story, no matter the consequences – they want the truth to be known. The woman at the center of it all has done her best to keep quiet, despite the storm around her. But her silence speaks volumes. Even though higher ups have the cash to keep things flowing, and have the final say on all decisions, effectively this woman is the face of the company.
All this fits perfectly with the woman who is at the center of the massive hacking scandal – Rebekah Brooks, former editor of News of the World in Britain. Even though News Corp is owned by Rupert Murdoch, Brooks was the Chief Executive of News International, which is the British newspaper publishing branch of News Corporation. So Brooks reports directly to Murdoch, and since she was editor at the time of the alleged phone hackings, responsibility falls directly onto her shoulders. At this time, she has been arrested and bailed on criminal charges pending further enquiries, and an investigation is being launched into how much (if anything) that she knew and if so, when she knew it.
However, the first paragraph also fits the description of another high profile woman at the head of a company. Dixie Carter is President of Impact Wrestling (or Total Nonstop Action, whatever). She has, at times, been seen in an on-screen role, warring against Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. However, she has been conspicuous by her absence, not appearing on Impact since late 2010. Once a frequent Twitter-user, since March 1st her tweets have been few and far in-between, only sporadically using the social media tool to promote the change from “TNA” to “Impact Wrestling” and promote the X-Division-based PPV Destination X.
Much like Rebekah Brooks, Dixie Carter has gone silent in the wake of several scandals that have become public knowledge (or, in the case of previous controversies, never commented on them when they were made public). Where, oh where, to begin? (more…)
Jacqueline Moore is as tough as nails. In fact, she’s as tough as coffin nails. She’s a third degree black belt in taekwondo and has trained in boxing and kickboxing. Seriously, do not screw with this woman.
The only female in her training camp with Skandor Akbar, Jacqueline proved she could hang with the guys before debuting as Sweet Georgia Brown in Ladies Professional Wrestling Association and Women’s Pro Wrestling, as well as Japanese promotion Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling.
Fast forward 22 years and Moore is still proving that she’s got more teeth than a barbershop comb by returning to Impact Wrestling and teaming up with ODB to take on Velvet Sky. And even though you would never be able to tell just by looking her, Jacqueline is 47.
No, seriously: FORTY-SEVEN YEARS OLD. And I’d still pick her to win a shootfight amongst any of the Knockouts. And some of the guys.
However, for this week’s retro, we’re scooting back to October of 1997 when Jacqueline – then presented as Jacquelyn – was taking on a male champion on a WCW pay-per-view. (more…)
Looks like one TNA Knockout impressed enough with her appearance at AAA’s TripleMania XIX to be invited back. Knockouts Champion Mickie James is scheduled to appear for the promotion on Saturday night, teaming with AAA’s resident heel luchadora Sexy Star against Fabi and Mari Apache.
The telling thing is that neither Angelina Love nor Velvet Sky were booked for the show. While their match was well received by the fans, it seems their conduct behind the curtain may have rubbed some people up the wrong way. From last week’s Wrestling Observer:
Of the TNA talent, Angelina Love & Velvet Sky got over doing their old Beautiful People act. However, from the AAA standpoint there was a feeling that they didn’t act like doing TripleMania was a big deal and it must have rubbed some people the wrong way, because to AAA, this is a huge show. On the flip side, the feeling was Mickie James and Abyss both saw appearing on this show as a big deal and AAA was interested in bringing both back.
Incidentally, Abyss is also booked on the TV tapings in Veracruz, Mexico, so there may be validity to the report.
Considering that the Knockouts don’t seem to get many wrestling dates outside of TNA these days, it could be that Sky and Love missed out on a great opportunity to get more bookings in a new environment where they could pick up new skills and network even further. Kudos to James for taking advantage of the situation and expanding her horizons.
In last week’s Roundup, I posted a bit of a rambling vent about the booking of the Divas and (mostly) the Knockouts. While it received support, it also received criticism, saying that it implied that all the fault of the poor state of women’s wrestling in TNA and WWE was entirely down to the writers and promoters, and didn’t take into account the actual wrestling ability – or in many cases, lack of it – of the performers involved. So for the sake of fairness, I’m going to put the actual wrestling skills of WWE Divas and TNA Knockouts under the microscope…
Before we go on, there’s going to be a lot of criticism here, and names will be named. I’m just calling it as I see it, and it’s just one man’s opinion. If you don’t agree, that’s fine – I’m not saying that my word is gospel, and you may enjoy what’s presented to you. If that’s you, great, and more power to you. However, we at Ringbelles have committed to being honest, even if it’s not a popular opinion.
And for anyone who may say that I’m in no place to comment as I’ve never been in the ring before, that also means that my compliments are not valid either, as I’ve clearly never been in a ring – unless you count a few ring announcing gigs. (more…)
The visiting Knockouts from TNA made an impact (yes, I know, crap joke) at AAA TripleMania XIX in Mexico City, Mexico last night, as Mickie James, Velvet Sky, Angelina Love & AAA regular Sexi Star defeated Fabi and Mari Apache, Lolita & Cinthia Moreno in the opening contest of the show.
According to Superluchas, Star got the most elaborate entrance of the match, coming to the ring in a car – it makes sense, I suppose, as she is one of AAA’s full-time wrestlers. As for the match itself, opinions will obviously vary between fans, but two consecutive posts from the Luchablog chatroom claim that the women were blowing spots. Honestly, that’s not that much of a surprise for a number of reasons, which include this being the first time most of the TNA girls will have wrestled their opponents, and if Sky’s lucha attempts with Sarita on Impact are anything to go by, a lot of this may have been watched through the fingers to try and shield yourself from the horror. For the record, Mickie James got the pin on Fabi Apache with her jumping DDT, which hopefully looked better than it did last Sunday at Slammiversary IX. (more…)