When 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…)
Less than 24 hours before WSU present “Mutiny” on iPPV (order here), a number of stars turned out for Secret Show #3, headlined by Jessicka Havok‘s WSU World Title defence against Portugal’s Shanna. It was the only announced match for the otherwise pretty secret show – so jump after the cut for full results from the event. (more…)
Both Shanna and Alpha Female made their first appearances in a TNA ring during the recent UK tour, though they handled the publicity for it in different ways.
Portugal’s Perfect Athlete got the word out early that she would be booked on the February 1 show in London, England, as well as the following date in Birmingham. She wrestled singles matches for the Xplosion tapings – the first against Alpha and the next saw her take on Gail Kim. I was at the Birmingham taping, and while I won’t spoil the result, Shanna looked perfectly comfortable in that ring in what was a big opportunity for her to impress. She wasn’t just cannon fodder for the full-time Knockout either – she got in her fair share and even got to nail the Perfect Press.
Since announcing that she would be wrestling for TNA, Shanna has encouraged her fans to get the attention of the company to demonstrate her fanbase and how much she wants to be part of the promotion. She has retweeted many of the messages sent to TNA, and is showing her enthusiasm and overwhelming desire to sign a contract, while also increasing her brand and marketability. No doubt, she has a lot of people backing her, which is very encouraging. (more…)
Valkyrie‘s biggest challenge happens tonight at SHINE 16 – though instead of it being a new challenger looking to take the faction down, the challenge lays from within. After receiving advice from many sides, Ivelisse Velez takes on her stablemate Rain for the Radiant One’s SHINE Championship. Teammates Allysin Kay and Taylor Made advised her to back out, Rain acted diplomatic about it and VP Lexie Fyfe said she received the opportunity because she deserved it and not because of some underhanded plan to destroy Valkyrie from within. However, that is a possible outcome of this match, regardless of who leaves the Orpheum in Ybor City, FL as the champion. Together, we’ll see what goes down.
Elsewhere on the card, Kay and Jessicka Havok collide for a second straight month, though this match will be No Disqualification. After last month’s no-contest, we will definitely have a winner here, as the two former best friends collide with no sympathy, no compassion and no mercy to be seen.
The other big match sees Nevaeh face Leva Bates in a straight wrestling match following their Friday The 13th Massacre Match last month. Both have been sniping back and forth at each other since Nevaeh threw down the challenge – so much so that both were legitimately reprimanded by SHINE for their conduct online. With tensions running high, this could be a show-stealer.
Also, Serena Deeb makes her SHINE debut against Santana Garrett, Angelina Love faces Leah Von Dutch, and Daffney says she has a new team to square off against SNS Express members Sassy Stephie and Jessie Belle Smothers.
This weekend is the real kick-off of the all-women promotions for 2014, and it begins with the promotion which closed out 2013.
Things were left somewhat up in the air at the end of SHINE 15 on December 13. Rain had just backed out of her impending retirement after retaining the SHINE Championship by beating Amazing Kong via count out. However, her gloating came to an abrupt end when she was informed that her next challenger would be fellow Valkyrie member Ivelisse Velez, who had beaten Mia Yim earlier in the night – that is, if Ivelisse decided to accept the opportunity. What followed was a series of videos where a number of people offered their thoughts to the would-be challenger. Starting proceedings was fellow stablemates Taylor Made and Allysin Kay who implored their friend to not accept the match, and was followed by Rain, who echoed those sentiments. Afterwards, SHINE VP Lexie Fyfe told Velez that she was picked because she was the most deserving, not because of some sort of plot to destroy Valkyrie from within. (more…)
After a few days of teasing and polling the fanbase, Women Superstars Uncensored today announced a major overhaul of their Mutiny iPPV on February 8th in Voorhees, NJ, switching out their announced main event of Jessicka Havok vs Shanna for the WSU World Championship for a first time dream match of Havok vs Alpha Female. Shanna’s title shot has now been moved to the smaller ‘Secret Show’ that will take place the night before Mutiny. In their release announcing the card change, WSU management point out that “After Alpha Female was unexpectedly added to the “Mutiny” lineup, fans bombarded WSU Management with messages demanding this international dream match. We have gone out of our way to accommodate these requests.”
On Mutiny, Shanna will now team with Chris Dickinson to take on the team of Candice LaRae & Joey Ryan in a match that “will have major implications on May’s “Queen and King of the Ring” Mixed Tag Team Tournament.” Also announced yesterday was the addition of two top contenders for the WSU Title, LuFisto and Athena, in a title eliminator. Both LuFisto and Athena were promised title shots last year, but both missed out due to injury – and at the end of this match, only one will remain as the #1 Contender. (more…)
Episode 65 with Portugal’s Perfect Athlete Shanna
It’s taken over two years since she said “yes” to a podcast appearance to get everything aligned for this show to come together, but the delay has been all for the better because she had a big year last year with US tours taking in appearances in WSU, AIW and SHINE – and she’s on the verge of a third US visit next month to challenge Jessicka Havok for the WSU World Championship at WSU Mutiny on February 8th. We talk to Shanna about all manner of things, including her experiences on her last two US tours, the origins (and pronunciation) of her ring name, her initial years in the business, working with ABC Catch in mainland Europe, injuries, the match that Shanna describes as her “best match ever”, thoughts on TNA (where she finished second in last year’s GutCheck voting), exclusive news and teasers about upcoming US tours and possible bookings and some of her loves away from wrestling… including, yes… 80s rock music~!
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Both Bellatrix and NCW Femmes Fatales have started to announce their big matches for their first shows of 2014, and now it’s the turn of Women Superstars Uncensored, which is running its first card of the year before either of the others. It has announced Jessicka Havok‘s next challenger for the WSU Championship, and it will be a “perfect” competitor.
By virtue of winning the International J-Cup at WSU’s Secret Show in October and following it up with another victory the following day at Blood And Thunder, Shanna has earned a crack at Jessicka’s title – a belt which Havok has held since April 28, 2012, and has successfully defended against the likes of Lexxus, Alicia, Mercedes Martinez and Athena. It’s unfortunate that a number of scheduled defences against LuFisto and Athena for a second time didn’t come to fruition through injury last year, but it seems that Havok’s title defences are getting back on track. (more…)
SHINE 15 live results: Retiring Rain defends against Amazing Kong, plus Jessicka Havok v Allysin Kay
Lots of goings-on at the final SHINE show of the year taking place this evening. At the top of the card is Rain (who has made it very clear that this contest at SHINE 15 will be her last ever, and you can read an overview of her career here) defending the SHINE Championship against Amazing Kong, who was handpicked by Daffney as the Valkyrie leader’s next challenger. Despite it all, Rain is adamant that she will retire with the title by her side.
The other half of the show’s double main event pits former friends and tag team partners against each other, as Jessicka Havok and Allysin Kay collide after Kay turned on her friend on the last show, causing Havok to lose her grudge match to Saraya Knight.
Elsewhere, Leva Bates and Nevaeh compete in a Friday The 13th Massacre Match, Ivelisse Velez and Mia Yim square off, and the SNS Express members Sassy Stephie & Jessie Belle Smothers take on the American Sweethearts of Amber O’Neal & Santana Garrett, with the losing team being forced to break up. You see the rest of the card by clicking here.
There is still time to order the event at WWNLive.com, and you can click here to jump to the appropriate page. We will be providing live results after the jump, and will follow it up with thoughts soon afterward. (more…)
The full SHINE 15 card has now been revealed – and as well as a title match, a grudge contest between two longtime friends and a clash where the losers will have to go their separate ways, we have a rematch from the last show, a contest with title implications and one which will have no holds barred…
Headlining the whole show at the Orpheum in Ybor City, FL on Friday will be the SHINE Championship match between Rain and Amazing Kong, who was handpicked by Daffney as the Valkyrie leader’s next challenger. That match was announced after Rain’s victory over Hiroyo Matsumoto at SHINE 14 in October, and harks back to happenings a year ago. Rain’s wrist was broken by a Kong powerbomb at SHINE 5, and it was Kong who was the first victim of a Valkyrie beatdown as part of the stable’s formation the following month. In addition, Rain has made no secret that Friday’s event will be her last match, and is adamant that she will retire as champion. Literally and figuratively, this is Rain’s biggest challenge in her 6 month reign, and will either see a new champion or the current one retire with the belt by her side.
Following their awkward interactions on opposite teams at SHINE 13 and a betrayal of trust at the last show, Jessicka Havok will get her hands on Allysin Kay. Kay appeared to be stepping away from Valkyrie at the last show to reunite with her friend, but turned on her later in the night, causing Havok to lose a Last Woman Standing Match to Saraya Knight. After showing a reluctance to wage battle with her former Team Be Jealous partner, it seems unlikely that Havok will be so gun-shy on Friday. (more…)
SHINE 14 Live Results: International showcase featuring Rain vs Hiroyo Matsumoto; SHIMMER Tag Title defence; Havok vs Knight II
Fight Season enters its closing stretch this weekend with events from SHINE and NCW:Femmes Fatales bringing down the curtain on this intense month of cards. SHINE this month features a heavy international focus this month, as SHINE 14 features wrestlers from Japan, Europe and Australia all making their last stops in the US before heading back to their respective regions. Hiroyo Matsumoto will be challenging Rain for her SHINE Championship in one of the champion’s final bouts before retirement, while Allysin Kay gets another crack at the SHIMMER Tag Team Titles (she was unsuccessful last weekend along with her Made In Sin partner Taylor Made), as she teams with Valkyrie teammate Ivelisse to challenge Kellie Skater & Tomoka Nakagawa, aka 3G (Global Green Gangsters). Also on the show, highlights are likely to include Jessicka Havok & Saraya Knight continuing (or possibly concluding) their rivalry with a Last Woman Standing match, while Amazing Kong will go one-on-one with Madison Eagles. There is plenty more in prospect too, so we suggest you order the show on iPPV via WWN – but if you can’t do that for some reason, we’ve got live results as they come in from Ybor City right after the cut. (more…)
The second day of tapings for SHIMMER Women Athletes is underway, with a big SHIMMER Championship match announced, as well as a return match which could feature some very brutal consequences.
Headlining Volume 60 will be Cheerleader Melissa defending the SHIMMER Title against LuFisto, after the Super Hardcore Anime came to the aid of Leva Bates and Allison Danger on Volume 58, as well as Hiroyo Matsumoto on Volume 59 (you can see all the results here). It should be an emotionally charged contest between the increasingly-viscious Melissa (who is riding high after also coming top of the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Female 50 yesterday) and the never-say-die challenger.
Also announced yesterday is a rematch from Volume 59, where Nicole Matthews and Hikaru Shida will face off in a contest where Shida’s kendo stick will be legal. The bamboo weapon was instrumental in Matthews’ win yesterday, using it out of the sight of the referee – but today, it’s in play, and both women could be battered and bruised by the end.
Elsewhere, the Global Green Gangsters put the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship on the line against Sassy Stephie & Nevaeh, Matsumoto takes on kleptomaniac Portia Perez, Heidi Lovelace wrestles Nikki Storm, Santana Garrett faces Mercedes Martinez, and Allysin Kay battles Kana.
It’s SHIMMER Time! Yes, once again The Eagles Club in Berwyn, IL is the home for some of the best female wrestling in the world, as SHIMMER Women Athletes presents the DVD tapings for Vols 58-61 across two days. Today features Vols 58 & 59, and Ringbelles will have you covered with both live results as they happen and eventually also full analysis of the day’s events. Japan’s Hikaru Shida debuts today, as does Europe’s Nikki Storm – and Shida features in the (as yet) only announced match for the tapings, taking on Mia Yim in what should be a pretty great showcase for both. Join us after the cut for running results, thanks to Reid Allen, who is in attendance – as is Stew, but international data roaming costs are sky high… (more…)
It’s a big day for Women Superstars Uncensored today, as they put on an iPPV from their usual home base of the Flyers Skate Zone in Vorhees, NJ. It’s an important show as not only does it feature a WSU World Title defence over a year in the making, the full WSU debuts of international talents like Nikki Storm and Saraya Knight (the latter of whom takes on Mickie Knuckles in a No Disqualification match), but will also apparently feature an announcement of a new owner taking a stake in WSU – a new owner who will help secure the future of the company and open up more international doors.
In addition, we also have what might well be the sleeper match of the night as Allysin Kay takes on Kimber Lee, and more from the new generation of WSU talent like Santana Garrett, Barbi Hayden, Jewells Malone and more. You can still order the show (which includes 14 days of VOD access) at CZWiPPV.com, or join us after the cut for results as they come in. (more…)
This Saturday sees a Women Superstars Uncensored Championship match which is a year in the making. Ever since October 13 last year, Lexxus has been claiming that she is the uncrowned champion after losing a 3-way title match at Full Steam Ahead where Jessicka Havok beat she and Alicia, though it was the latter challenger who took the fall. Claiming she was never beaten, she ran her mouth claiming she deserved another crack at the title. In two days at Blood and Thunder in Voorhees, NJ, the former WSU Tag Team Champion gets her opportunity to put up or shut up after beating Nevaeh at August’s Uncensored Rumble VI show to become the top contender.
As for Havok, it’s her first title defence since February’s An Ultraviolent Affair event where she defeated Athena to retain the championship. Since then, she has defeated Sami Callihan (who substituted for an injured LuFisto) at Queen and King of the Ring in May and missed the Uncensored Rumble due to travel issues.
Considering Lexxus’ big talking and the amount of time since Havok’s last defence, we’re expecting the main event to be an entertaining outing, and it’s one of the big matches we’re looking forward to at Blood and Thunder. Let’s take a look at the others… (more…)
Episode 62 with Allysin Kay
When we spoke to Allysin Kay last year for Episode 44 of the Podcast, she was the AIW Absolute Women’s Champion and was on the verge of defending her title in a big challenge at an upcoming Girls Night Out show. Fast forward to now, Kay’s *still* undefeated as champion and on the verge of *another* major title defence at Girls Night Out 9 & 10 this weekend. In the interim she’s been wrestling literally all over the place, including just returning Stateside from a three month tour of Japan. As well as looking forward to Girls Night Out this weekend, we talk the Japan excursion, how it came about, the culture and language issues of an extended stay in Japan (not to mention the humidity and constant fear of Earthquakes). We find out her favourite match from her trip, and her favourite match she saw as a fan, discuss this Instagram picture, and chow down on just where the best steak is in Tokyo. We talk her return to SHINE this past weekend, and the ongoing absence of Taylor Made at SHINE, the (presumably) upcoming reunion of Made In Sin at SHIMMER later in the month, her favourite SHIMMER moments to date, the apparently cursed tag team feud in WSU vs Annie Social & Kimber Lee, her mouthpiece assisted match with Cheerleader Melissa at NCW:Femmes Fatales and her upcoming return to Beyond Wrestling. Oh, and racist Japanese people… Oh Allysin…
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SHINE Wrestling‘s internationally-spiced cards have grown to be a big attraction, and SHINE 14 will be one of those occasions. Brought about because of the global talent flying into the US for the SHIMMER tapings on October 19-20, the next show at Ybor City, FL on October 25 will see the debut of joshi talent, an ongoing feud settled and a SHIMMER Tag Team Title defence, should the champions make it through four DVD tapings the week before.
Headlining the event is Rain defending the SHINE Championship against Hiroyo Matsumoto, while fellow joshi Tomoka Nakagawa is set to defend the SHIMMER Tag straps alongside her 3G partner Kellie Skater against Rain’s Valkyrie stablemates Allysin Kay and Ivelisse Velez, who defeated Amazing Kong and Jessicka Havok last Friday as part of the excellent SHINE 13 card. (more…)
Episode 61 with Mercedes Martinez
It’s been a long time since we chatted to Mercedes Martinez here on the Women of Wrestling Podcast, and given that she’s coming to the UK this weekend for the Bellatrix 7 iPPV which kickstarts Female Fight Season, we thought it was about damn time. Mercedes talks about looking forward to wrestling in the UK, and defending her NCW:Femmes Fatales Title over here against Miss Mina. Speaking of Femmes Fatales, she gives her views on where they’re going, whether there is a hole in that promotion now that Kalamity has stepped away, the importance of LuFisto and how well Sweet Cherrie did in her main event at Femmes Fatales XII earlier in the year. Speaking of LuFisto, we also address the feud Mercedes has had with her which spanned into WSU, her series with Jessicka Havok there, and try to clarify exactly what Mercedes’ position is with WSU going forward. We talk… yes… WRESTLICIOUS, present her with her own Wrestlicious Rap and investigate what exactly is going on with that programme. Mercedes was also announced today as being a part of the SHIMMER Vols 58-61 tapings in under three weeks. We talk about her thoughts on SHIMMER after all these years, whether a title reign there is still a major goal, and who’s likely to step up with names like Athena and Courtney Rush out through injury during these tapings. We talk SHINE, and her opponent at the last show, Solo Darling, along with her hopes for that promotion. We talk about Mercedes’ current role as the “veteran”, and touch on retirement and what that will mean for her when the day comes, while Lee gets embarrassed with talk of The Big O. Quite the show…!
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SHINE 13 Report: A return to form as Rain defeats Angelina, Allysin Kay returns, Nikki Storm debuts and much more. (Now updated with thoughts and pictures)
Tonight at the Orpheum in Ybor City, SHINE Wrestling presents SHINE 13, as we continue the title reign of the Radiant One, Rain – as well as the countdown to her eventual retirement. With only two more SHINE shows to go (October and December) before Rain’s proposed retirement date at the end of 2013, Angelina Love is in prime position to take the title from the woman she’s gone 1-1 with in SHINE so far. If you remember, at SHINE 7, Rain defeated Angelina Love with an Implant DDT, while Angelina returned the favour via a Botox Injection at SHINE 10.
If Valkyrie didn’t have enough to worry about regarding the SHINE Championship, they’re also possibly facing an issue surrounding the returning Allysin Kay. Valkyrie, SHINE and many fans have missed the AK47 since her “suspension” and subsequent tour of Japan – but with her opponent in tonight’s tag team match turning out to be one of her best friends – Jessicka Havok – the question remains, is Kay loyal to Valkyrie or Havok? J-Hav has already posed the question. Tonight we get the answer.
There are also debuts on SHINE 13 for Scotland’s Nikki Storm, who starts an extended US tour (which will take in Fight Season shows for AIW, WSU and SHIMMER Women Athletes), up-and-coming Canadian Xandra Bale and the always entertaining Nevaeh. Check out the entire card after the jump, watch live at WWNLive.com as well as live results as they come in. (more…)
SHINE 12 has been and gone, and I got to thinking of the last 12 months or so on the promotion.
Before SHINE Wrestling existed, my connection to the wrestling overseas was limited. I mean, sure I had DVDs but it wasn’t really the same. The events came recommended to me always with the tag line of “You really have to see xxx v xxx it’s AMAZING!” Nothing is quite like experiencing a liveshow with your friends.
That’s the beautiful thing about SHINE – the concept that I can watch this show with the guys from Ringbelles, who are in a completely different country and we can all react to the same thing at the same time is incredible. I know, technology right? Whodathunkit? I can chatter about the shows excitedly on social media (mostly Twitter) and connect with so many like-minded (or not so!) individuals around the world, which makes the shows so much more exciting for me.
SHINE weekends have become a highlight for me. Catch up with good friends and watch great wrestling. Thank goodness for Skype & Twitter – I’d be totally lost without them. (more…)
SHINE 12 Live Results: Rain defends her title against winner of Three Way (Updated with thoughts & pictures)
Tonight, one month removed from their first anniversary show (and the crowning of the first SHINE Champion in the shape of Rain), SHINE Wrestling returns to its home base at The Orpheum in Ybor City, FL for SHINE 12. A bit of a curious card this, as other than the situation surrounding the title – where Jessicka Havok, Mia Yim and Ivelisse Velez will battle in a three way match for a shot at Rain’s title on the same night – much of the rest of the show seems to have hit a reset button, with no real issues to be settled on the rest of the show. However, with a highly rated debutante in the shape of Portugal’s Perfect Athlete Shanna and the return of the always show-stealing Kimber Lee (along with the first showing of Daffney‘s A.S.S. as a unit), there’s plenty of potential for a good show. Oh yeah, and two of independent wrestling’s biggest and most talented names get it on as Mercedes Martinez renews her old rivalry with Amazing Kong.
Has that whetted your appettite? You can order the show either live, on demand, or even with an accompanying DVD of the event from WWNLive.com, but otherwise, click through past the cut and follow along with our live results. (more…)
When we spoke to Jessicka Havok for episode 36 of the Women Of Wrestling Podcast in February last year, she talked about how in her formative wrestling years, she gained a lot of knowledge from working with Luna Vachon. We’ve finally tracked down a match between the pair, and have it for you as part of this week’s Retro.
Luna was seeing out her wrestling days at the point when this match took place on a Cleveland All-Pro Wrestling event on August 5, 2007, as she ended up retiring from the ring that December after 22 years of grappling which had seen her wrestle for the likes of the American Wrestling Association, All Japan Pro Wrestling, the World Wrestling Federation, Extreme Championship Wrestling, World Championship Wrestling and Women Superstars Uncensored. As far as finding someone to tap the knowledge of, Havok hit the jackpot with Vachon.
At this point, Jessicka had been competing for around three years, and had been tearing her way through the CAPW roster to the point where she challenged Vachon for her Universal Women’s Hardcore Championship. Click after the jump to watch a lot of crazy brawling between a tough veteran and equally tough rising star. (more…)