This first came to my attention a year ago when I was searching Amazon for wrestling DVDs. From the “Editorial Review” I believed this was a documentary on female wrestling through the years and that it featured thoughts and insights from various females in the business. However, I was mistaken. This being an “Outside the Ropes” presentation, it is basically dozens of clips from various RF video shoot interviews spliced together into one video. In my mind, that’s not a documentary; however, I still gave it the benefit of the doubt and watched it.
The shoots themselves have taken place in a variety of locations – everywhere from hotel rooms to studios even to a Waffle House. Some parts, such as the Waffle House segment with April Hunter and Talia Madison, are hard to hear unless you have the volume up high, but for the most part the audio is of good quality. The lighting is as well; you can see each woman as she speaks. At the very beginning, a quick clip of Sherri Martel speaking is shown, followed by “In Memory of Sherri Martel” along with her dates of birth and death, then a picture of her in the ring. As this DVD was released in 2008 and includes clips of her shoot, this was a nice gesture.
The women included in the video are: Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young, Luna Vachon, Sherri Martel, Ryan Shamrock, Joanie Laurer, Baby Doll, Jasmin St. Clair, Tammy “Sunny” Sytch, Francine, Jackie Gayda, Gorgeous George, Kimona, Dana Dameson, and Missy Hyatt. However, not every segment features a clip from every woman. (more…)
The Big News
In what was a pretty classy move by WWE, not only did they let Kharma go out there and tell the truth, they also left the door open for her return.
Following a week of speculation – started by the Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Online by saying she would be out of action for nine months – Kharma came clean to the world and revealed her pregnancy on Raw last night.
In a straight promo – much like Edge’s when he revealed he had to retire – she told us about how she had two dreams, the first of which was to be a WWE Superstar (note she said Superstar instead of Diva… telling. Also, she said the word “wrestling” or “wrestler” three times). She talked about applying for Tough Enough 2 back in 2002 – something I’ve documented in the past – and how Jim Ross thought she was too fat to make it. Undeterred, she travelled to Japan, scrubbed floors and earned the right to train and become a star there, as she told to us in the Women of Wrestling Podcast last year.
From there, Kharma also talked about how she had always wanted a family, and officially let us know about her pregnancy – something that received a nice reception from the fans. She described it as a “high risk pregnancy”, which is understandable considering her working environment, thanked the audience for their support and said that she would return in a year.
Of course, with this being WWE, there was an interruption by the Bella Twins who mocked Kharma with some poorly written, and even more poorly delivered, insults. Seriously, if Nikki and Brie were any more wooden, they could have been part of the hull of Noah’s Ark. Perhaps they didn’t fully believe or support the words they were saying, so it came across that way in the promo. Still, Kharma promised that she would be back for them in a year, which makes sure that we haven’t seen the last of her in WWE. (more…)
NOTE: These articles were originally posted elsewhere last year – but dammit, they’re my articles, so I’m adding them to Ringbelles. Enjoy.
Roughly ten years ago, a group of eager wannabes queued up on the bitterly cold streets of New York City to audition for a new WWF concept. Tough Enough was looking for a group of 13 men and women to learn how to wrestle from scratch over 9 weeks. Two winners would be chosen, given WWF contracts and be on their way to becoming WWF Superstars.
It had its critics – most notably Triple H, who thought it exposed the business too much, and he might have had a point, as the first season gave every viewer a rough guide on how to bump, which must have resulted in a few shocked vertebrae – but it was a big hit on MTV, where it was hosted. Three seasons were produced for the network, with a fourth featuring on SmackDown in 2004 and was a rough blueprint for the wonderful programme we know and love called NXT.
Now we have been informed that USA Network is planning to revive Tough Enough, though it is still unclear what the format will be. It could follow the format of the original three seasons by taking novices and teaching them from the bottom. It could bring in indie wrestlers and polish them, reminiscent of The Ultimate Fighter; or it could take WWE contracted wrestlers currently plying their craft in Florida Championship Wrestling and put them in a house – though that version will probably be more scripted and moulded towards who WWE want to push. However, to judge how successful any potential winner of Tough Enough: The Return would be, it would be a good idea to look into its history.
Tough Enough produced seven winners – three female, four male – with John Morrison being the most successful of the bunch. But if they have a Y chromosome, we’re not really interested in them, no matter how long and floppy their hair is. So in this two-part piece, we’ll have a look at the fates of the women of Tough Enough, what happened to their careers, and what they are up to these days.
To start with, let us examine the fortunes of the three female winners – in the second part coming next week, we can have a nose around at the other contestants who didn’t win, and the ones who didn’t even make it into the house.
So why don’t we kick off with the originator…? (more…)