Fresh off a trip to Japan and returning back to the UK with a lot of prospects over the next few months, it seemed like a good time to talk to Nikki Storm, who successfully defended the Pro Wrestling: EVE Championship while wrestling in JWP.
During this 25-minute interview, Nikki talks about her win-loss record in Japan, setting foot in Korakuen Hall for the first time, falling asleep backstage and having an embarrassing wake-up call, getting on the wrong side of the JWP Dojo cat, Mink, as well as defending the EVE title against Hanako Nakamori and spending some down time recording a lot of promo videos for YouTube. She also discusses the rise in European women’s wrestlers – a topic we’ve been covering over the last week – facing Rhia O’Reilly at the next EVE show in two weeks (as well as how it’s a throwback to her EVE debut), debuting at Bellatrix next month, and the rise of Scottish talent, including ICW: Fierce Females.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
Lots to mention from SHIMMER volume 53 on Saturday afternoon, so let’s get into it.
Let’s start with the main event, which had the right result for the biggest show in the promotion’s history (not 93,173 as announced by Joey Eastman but more around a hefty 700+, which is more than three times the maximum attendance at the Berwyn Eagles Club). With nowhere for her enemy to run and with nobody to help her, Cheerleader Melissa soundly defeated Saraya Knight inside a monolithic steel cage to regain the SHIMMER Championship. While the match was OK, the real tale was in the story told, which did not see Melissa eke out a victory with luck, but saw her deliver a super hurricanrana, missile dropkick and Air Raid Crash to convincingly pin her rival of close to six years.
The crowd was quiet for much of the match – part of the reason being that a lot of the crowd may not be completely familiar with their history, or that the action was not the crisp sort of execution as other contests because most of their matches look more like fights than matches – but they came out of their seats for the finishing sequence, which was a simple tale of good punishing evil and the snarling, unfriendly heel finally getting her comeuppance. However, despite her loss, Saraya retained her scary aura, attacking fans on her way out of the ring – and was also put over by Bryan Alvarez, who was getting his first viewing of Knight, pointing out that she was a proper, grizzly, old-school wrestling heel.
One would anticipate that Melissa will enjoy a longer run with the belt during her second reign than with her first – when she dropped the title to Knight on her fourth defence, following wins over Nicole Matthews, Portia Perez and Jessie McKay. While there is no detail on who Melissa will be facing in Berwyn this weekend for the usual two-day, four-DVD taping extravaganza, there are a lot of names to play around with – including one debutante who surprised everyone when she hit the ring… (more…)
In the last six months, Nikki Storm’s profile has skyrocketed. Last November, the woman who describes herself as the “world’s finest wrestler” captured the Pro Wrestling: EVE Championship at the promotion’s Wrestle Fever show – though lost it to Emi Sakura mere minutes later. However, she rebounded at No Man’s Land 2 in February to recapture the title and become the promotion’s first two-time champion.
All of her hard work has certainly been noticed and acknowledged, as the official announcement was made today by EVE that the 23-year old will venture out to Japan to wrestle for JWP – which means that the Glaswegian may celebrate her 24th birthday out there.
The EVE/JWP relationship has blossomed over the last half-year, with the JWP Openweight Championship being defended at Wrestle Fever with Sakura retaining by beating Kay Lee Ray – which led to Ray enjoying her own trip to Japan – and also saw Kaori Yoneyama also make her UK debut at the same show. (more…)
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…)
Emi Sakura has had a hell of a year, and it’s been well documented here at Ringbelles. Her success since leaving Ice Ribbon has included setting up her own promotion in Thailand, having it migrate to Japan, winning the JWP/Daily Sports Tag Team Championship, securing the services of Kaori Yoneyama then having her take her side in some sort of Stockholm Syndrome scenario, forming a team to invade JWP and then taking hold of the promotion’s crown jewel by winning the Openweight Championship. In addition, she defended the belt in the UK for the first time in its history and won the Pro Wrestling: EVE Championship on the same night. Indeed, it has been one hell of a year for the 36 year old. However, it seems as if 2012 is going to end on a mildly disappointing note.
Yesterday, 17-year veteran dropped the Openweight Title in the main event of Climax 2012 at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall after 57 days – the second shortest reign in the title’s 20 year history (for the record, the shortest was Devil Masami’s 32 day run which ended when the title was vacated for unknown reasons). She was beaten by current Tag Team Champion Arisa Nakajima, who has also enjoyed a tremendous 2012. (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…)
Joshi star Ran Yu Yu is retiring this weekend, capping a career lasting just over 19 years with a final match against Mayumi Ozaki in Oz Academy this Sunday. Much like her famous regular tag team partner Toshie Uematsu, who retired in April, Ran had made it clear for some time that this was her final run as an active joshi competitor – including running her own self-produced “StarlightsRegret” show this past Sunday as a precursor to her retirement, which saw her team with Aja Kong, Akino, Hiroyo Matsumoto & Tomoka Nakagawa to defeat the team of Carlos Amano, Chikayo Nagashima, Meiko Satoura, Sonoko Kato & Tsubasa Kuragaki in an all-star ten woman tag match. Ran picked up the win for her team in 62:54, defeating Kuragaki. Yes, the match lasted over an hour.
In this week’s retro, we turn the clock back on Ran’s career ten years to 2002, and a feud she was having with the now retired Azumi Hyuga, who was at the time the JWP Openweight Champion. This is May 19th, and Ran is challenging Hyuga for her title in a streetfight. Ran, first to the ring, is clothed for a fight and brandishing a baseball bat, while Hyuga (in normal wrestling gear) comes out with a chain. It’s vicious, it’s uncompromising, and it won the “Best Bout of 2002″ award for JWP that year – and as Ran Yu Yu departs as an active competitor, it probably represents one of her greatest career matches. Enjoy. (more…)
We called Kay Lee Ray the Ringbelles Discovery of the Year last December for a reason – after her performances at Pro Wrestling: EVE v Ice Ribbon in October last year, we were confident that she was going to start getting noticed, and we were right.
Since winning that moniker, the 20 year old from Glasgow, Scotland has accomplished a number of milestones and created some notable moments – for example, she has face current and former TNA Knockouts in Mickie James and Angelina Love respectively. She also main evented the first ever Insane Championship Wrestling: Fierce Females show back in September against Carmel Jacob in a brutal Last Woman Standing match, and has also taken on Jacob in similarly nutty matches across Scotland and England. Most recently, she had what Stew described as the Match of the Night at EVE’s Wrestle Fever show against Emi Sakurafor the JWP Openweight Title – and that match may have been enough to see an invitation to Japan come her way. (more…)
Pro Wrestling: EVE – Wrestle Fever results (now updated with thoughts, photos and an interview with Angelina Love)
It has been 19 months since their previous encounter, and tonight, the pair meet again. Pro Wrestling: EVE Champion Alpha Female defends the title against number one contender Nikki Storm, with Storm possessing a psychological advantage in that the only defeat on Alpha’s record in the whole of EVE history was by her hands. It’s the main event of Wrestle Fever – EVE’s second foray into iPPV, and you can watch it by ordering it here.
On what is a bumper card of action, JWP Openweight Champion Emi Sakura puts the title on the line against Kay Lee Ray in the first defence of the belt in the UK, while Sakura’s running buddy in Gatoh Move Kaori Yoneyama teams up with April Davids against Hannah and Holly Blossom, with the winners meeting the victors in another tag match involving Kasey & Leah Owens against Amazon Ayesha Ray & Rhia O’Reilly and a mystery team in a mini tag team tournament.
The other high-profile encounter sees former TNA Knockouts Champion Angelina Love take on the Glamour Gym’s Carmel Jacob – elsewhere, Kirsty Love faces Blue Nikita, Janey Britannico steps into the ring against Shanna, and Erin Angel competes against Scottish newcomer Fiona Fraser.
While you’re keeping up with the results, you can have a read of Nikki’s most recent blog where she discusses Wrestle Fever and our chat with her as part of a recent Women Of Wrestling Podcast, and you can click the jump to see the results as they happen. (more…)
“Lesson to men: Cheat on a good woman, You get choked out.”
No joke – those were the first words that Tammy Lynn Sytch decided to make public on her Facebook page after being arrested three times in three days last week on domestic violence complaints. Seeing as legal proceedings are underway, this was a colossally dumb thing to do, as it’s pretty much an admission of guilt. How about “Lesson to men: Cheat on a good woman, you get dumped.” As someone who works fairly closely with a domestic violence charity, this sort of flippant approach to alleged crimes like this really grinds my gears.
According to TMZ – and later picked up by the Associated Press and local TV media outlets – the 39-year old WWE Hall of Famer was first arrested by police in Branford, CT, on Tuesday night at 8:55pm for disorderly conduct involving a man living in the house she was with, which was later confirmed to be the home of boyfriend and pro wrestler Damian Darling. It apparently all began with a heated argument between the couple. (more…)
Velvet Sky was released from TNA last week, and I’m sure it wasn’t a decision that she came to lightly. However, following the departure of her longtime tag team partner Angelina Love at the start of July, she thought out loud on Twitter about a Beautiful People reunion, and there was no way that could happen on TNA TV, so we should have read into that at the time. Well, now it’s set to happen, as Sky and Love (now going under her original guise of Angel Williams) will be on the same show for Northeast Wrestling on September 22 in Fiskhill, NY, and have been booked to participate in a tag team match for Family Wrestling Entertainment on October 5 in Brooklyn, NY against Maria Kanellis and a partner who has not been announced yet.
Like I pointed out when the news of her release was announced, Sky must imagine that there must be a lot of money on the table for the Beautiful People to do a tour. However, as well as taking the money on the table, both she and Williams have the opportunity to give back too. (more…)
There was been a lot of talk about SHINE Wrestling in the lead up to the first Internet PPV on Friday night, and plenty more afterward, with plenty of comments from both people who where there, as well as fans who watched online.
For that reason, we asked Joe Vitale – who was at the Oprheum in Ybor City, FL – what he thought of the show, as he got to experience the atmosphere first hand. Below are some of his reactions:
“I like the setup for the show; it felt like a good introduction to the characters and styles of the workers and it was nice that almost all of the ladies came off like individuals to be interested in rather than “Brunette girl 1″… I really like how well the heels interacted with the crowd, Jayme Jamison and Allyson Kay/Taylor Made made fans out of my non-wrestling friends.”
Overall, one can view the show as being a big success, which built to a tremendous crescendo with Sara Del Rey falling to Jazz in the main event. Nikki Roxx and Rain may only wrestle on a limited basis these days but had a good outing which shows that they have a lot to offer both in in-ring activities but also knowledge that they can impart onto younger talent. Mercedes Martinez and Leva Bates had a tidy outing that set Martinez up for an apparent match against Jazz on SHINE 2 on August 17, and Bates proved that despite wearing a Spider-Man outfit, slinging webs and hanging upside down, there is a wrestler in there who can work, and is ready to get serious. (more…)
It’s been Golden Week in Japan, which has meant a slew of wrestling across the country. However, we have a brief history lesson first…
Golden Week starts at the end of April and runs through until May 5, and incorporates a number of Japanese public holidays, including honouring the birthday of the late Emperor Hirohito, Constitution Memorial Day, Greenery Day – which is to commune with nature – and Children’s Day, which does exactly what it says on the tin. It is also the longest vacation period of the Japanese year, and many people are given paid time off as many companies completely close during that period. For that reason, Japan has a lot of spare time – many people travel, and the west coast of the US and Canada sees a slew of Japanese tourists during that time, but others stay at home, and can entertain themselves during their leisure time by watching pretty much any wrestling promotion that they choose, as most of them hold a show, while some stage supercards. Here’s a rundown of some of the things that went down during Golden Week in the world of joshi:
Kurumi’s push in Ice Ribbon continues – she and Ribbon Takanashi won the Golden Ribbon Mixed Tag Team Tournament on Saturday, defeating Hamuko Hoshi & Hoshi Tango, Hikari Minami & Dynasty and Maki Narumiya & Masamune to win the whole shebang. As well as winning tournaments to win the IW19 Championship and to earn the right to become Manami Toyota’s tag team partner to challenge for the International Ribbon Tag Team Titles at Ice Ribbon March, 12-year old Kurumi is quickly becoming the tournament queen in the promotion. Don’t bet against her in the future – you’ll lose money if you do so. (more…)
Nikki Bella won the WWE Divas Championship on Raw last night. There are a couple of issues that stem from this, so let’s deal with the Bella situation first.
First off, this title change has been on the cards for weeks, so it wasn’t a kneejerk reaction to the “twist” in the match. However, according to previous reports, the Bella Twins’ contract expires on Monday, and unless they have signed a contract extension – which we don’t believe has happened – they are set to go. Putting the Divas strap on Nikki is a curious choice, as it has to be a short reign – don’t be fooled, she won’t be taking the belt away with her like CM Punk did with the WWE Championship last June after winning it at Money in the Bank – so there are only three shows where she could conceivably drop it – SmackDown, Extreme Rules on Sunday, or the Raw the following day. Realistically, option 2 is the most likely, meaning a six day reign, and there is a prime candidate for winning the title, probably in some sort of open challenge…
I really hope that in one year, when I come back, you two will still be here.
That’s the parting words Kharma gave to the Bella Twins last May before taking a sabbatical following the announcement of her pregnancy. As has been reported, things tragically didn’t work out with that, but it seems that she is ready to get back onto the scene after being interviewed for a TV news piece about GLOW while she was at the Cauliflower Alley Club reunion in Las Vegas last week (more on GLOW later). Besides, if she wants to make good on her threat to destroy the Bellas, she has a window of a mere few days to get the job done, and the cherry on top would be taking the Divas Championship in the process. (more…)
Madison Eagles was flooded with messages from both fans and peers on Twitter after revealing on the Women of Wrestling Podcast on Christmas Eve that the knee injury that she is currently sidelined with could be career ending if it doesn’t heal of its own accord. Should it require surgery, she will be unable to wrestle again.
The 27-year old Australian, who spent close to two years as SHIMMER Champion before dropping the belt to Cheerleader Melissa back in October, suffered the injury two days after those DVD tapings while preparing for her match against Kana at CHIKARA the following weekend. She hyperextended her knee while executing a double stomp, causing her to collapse in pain. After having to wait 6 weeks for an MRI, she was put in a brace for the next month and a half, and only had it removed in the last couple of weeks, though the healing process is still agonisingly slow. She told us that the injury could heal naturally, but there is no time frame for a recovery, meaning that the winner of 2011′s PWI Female 50 could spend the bulk of 2012 on the sidelines, unable to capitalise from the extra buzz surrounding her following the win.
Eagles’ character’s descent into madness during her SHIMMER title reign was a joy to watch. She became more and more self-obsessed and paranoid as each show went on, but – uncharacteristically for a heel – won all of her title defences clean, rarely cheated and gave the fans no tangible reason to boo her. As it turns out, despite not being cheered, she received the overwhelming support of the audience at October’s tapings when she was presented with the Female 50 plaque. From there, Eagles received a mixed reaction from the crowd, as it was hard to hate someone who had given and given to wrestling, beating every Diva and Knockout to the top spot and doing so with comparatively little mainstream coverage.
We at Ringbelles hope she enjoys a full recovery so she can return to the ring, but also urge her to take her time, as rushing back could do more harm than good. Normally, we wouldn’t need to say that, but this is a woman who thought she could wrestle through a fractured elbow and wrist last year… (more…)
As exclusively revealed in yesterday’s epic 2hr+ Women of Wrestling Podcast Christmas Show, our pick for Wrestler of the Year is none other than Hailey Hatred. In a year full of heavy competition for the award, it was impossible to overlook the incredible achievements of the woman who – up until two days ago at least – was carrying around six different titles, including the JWP Openweight Title.
But before we get to talking about the winner, it’s only right to run the rule over the rest of the “Class of 2011″ in this category. Last year’s winner Madison Eagles would, quite frankly, have been right on course for a second consecutive year as the world’s best if not for some injury issues which have played havoc with her career this year. Despite shoulder/knee injuries, she’s still put forward a phenomenal year of matches at SHIMMER, quality performances in Chikara & Femmes Fatales and a universally beloved triple threat match for the SHIMMER Title at PWWA’s last show. On her day, Eagles is still unmatchable – but unfortunately for her (and us), those days have been depressingly few this year.
Longtime WSU Champion Mercedes Martinez was also in heavy contention. It’s doubtful there’s another US-based female who produces in main event level matches as regularly as she does – whether it’s in WSU, SHIMMER, Femmes Fatales or anywhere else. Sara Del Rey again excelled in a year that also saw her achieve her dream match in Chikara with a one-on-one battle with Aja Kong at JoshiMania. Speaking of Joshi, we deemed Ayumi Kurihara as being the top contender for the award amongst the native Japanese talents. She’s had an incredible year ever since picking up the final NEO Championship as the promotion closed on New Year’s Eve 2010, adding a SHIMMER Tag Team Title reign with Ayako Hamada, a WAVE Tag Team Title reign with Kana and the CMLL World Womens Championship at her own self-produced show in November. And what about Kurihara’s WAVE tag team partner Kana? Kana exploded internationally this year with her US debut for SHIMMER & Chikara, and domestically stepped up her profile with her work in WAVE and her run in SMASH (which saw her become the first SMASH Divas Champion). For what it’s worth, if we presented an award for “Technique of the Year”, Kana would reign in a class of one.
In Europe, EVE Champion Jenny Sjodin went from hype to reality, becoming someone who many think is the standard bearer for the new hybrid style of wrestling – increasing her worth with much acclaimed performances against April Davids and Emi Sakura on the EVE vs ICE Ribbon weekend.
All worthy of consideration, but for us, we’ve had a name pencilled in for Wrestler of the Year for a few months, and it was always Hailey Hatred. (more…)
WOW Podcast Xmas Special (#32) with Hailey Hatred, Courtney Rush, Mercedes Martinez, Saraya Knight, LuFisto & Madison Eagles
Episode 32 with Hailey Hatred, Courtney Rush, Mercedes Martinez, Saraya Knight, LuFisto & Madison Eagles
Welcome to the show that almost killed us. Six Guests. Four Continents. Two Hours (plus). One Podcast. Recorded over the last couple of weeks at various times, we welcome back six of our former guests for a Christmas Extravaganza that, well, we’re quite unlikely to ever top. In this two hour podcast, you’ll hear happiness, depression, tears and laughter – sometimes in the same segment, as our guests recount how 2011 has been for them, and their hopes for the New Year. Hear Mercedes Martinez talk about her year as WSU Champion and address her current concussion. Listen to Courtney Rush recount tales of giant bananas and her incredible growth year. LuFisto talks of her pride at the emergence of her pupil Kalamity and her optimism that there are still achievable goals in 2012. Last year’s Wrestler of the Year Madison Eagles hits us with a world exclusive on her current injury status and what that means for her career. The ever-entertaining Saraya Knight explains how SHIMMER saved her life, and talks about her daughter’s potential in 2012, and finally, Hailey Hatred gives us the lowdown on life at the top in joshi puroresu, winning titles, Kaori Yoneyama, Gail Kim and potential international travel plans next year. Oh, and did we mention that one of the above “Usual Suspects” is our 2011 Wrestler of the Year? Find out who on this very show.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
It was a dramatic night of JWP action, that’s for sure…
Earlier today in Tokyo’s wrestling mecca, Korakuen Hall, Hailey Hatred lost her JWP Openweight Championship to Tsubasa Kuragaki, ending Hatred’s six month run as the top female wrestler in the country, signified by her being in possession of Japan’s oldest active women’s championship. It was also the first time that a non-Japanese wrestler had ever held that title. Hatred fell to a Falcon Arrow after earlier kicking out of a Liger Bomb.
This is Kuragaki’s second run with the Openweight crown, having previously held the title between September 2005 and May 2006, and is one of only a select few to have held all of JWP’s championships – Openweight, Tag and Jr belts. The result is also a turnaround from their contest in April, where Hatred got the pinfall on Kuragaki en route to earning an Openweight title shot.
Speaking afterwards on her Facebook, Hailey said:
Lost the JWP Championship. My best friend decided not to retire. Taking the good with the bad. I can’t feel disappointed because of all the possibilities the future holds. I look forward to the new year, new challenges, and the inevitable new successes.
Ah yes, her best friend… (more…)
A week and a half ago, we previewed the upcoming match at Absolute Intense Wrestling with Hailey Hatred defending her JWP Openweight, TLW Womens and IMW Hybrid Fighting Championships against Gail Kim in Cleveland, OH on November 25. However, with just over a week to go until the event, the match has had to be pulled.
Announcing it on their website, AIW said:
When we announced Gail Kim VS. Hailey Hatred, we had every intent on delivering that match. But sometimes even your best intentions are for nothing. While both women are currently holding close to ten titles between them, we had to deal with many different wrestling offices. Sadly we weren’t able to cut thru the red tape on this one. Trust us, if there was any way this match could have taken place, it would have.
We believe them. AIW aren’t shitarses who’ll announce a match of this level without working out all the kinks beforehand. We are sure that everything was confirmed and ready to go, with TNA ready to let Gail wrestle there, as well as JWP, TLW and IMW giving their permission to have their titles defended on the show. That alone is a difficult setup to arrange, having to liase with four different promotions to get one singles match booked. However, things changed between the announcement and the decision to axe the match… (more…)
Absolute Intense Wrestling today announced a historic title defence from one of the standout wrestlers of the last twelve months, as the current JWP Triple Champion Hailey Hatred will put her three singles title belts on the line against TNA Knockout Gail Kim. In an intriguing twist, the challenger may well be in possession of the TNA Knockouts Championship by the time the match rolls round, with Kim challenging new Knockouts Champion Velvet Sky on PPV this weekend at Turning Point 2011.
Regardless of whether Kim carries TNA’s strap into battle, the focus rightly remains on Hatred, who currently reigns as the JWP Openweight Champion, TLW Womens Champion and IMW Hybrid Fighting Champion and puts those belts on the line in the contest. Her victory over Leon on June 26th in Osaka (in the finals of the JWP J-1 Grand Prix) made her the first gaijin (foreigner) to win the JWP Title, which she added to her TLW & IMW titles to create a new women’s Triple Crown. Her successful defence against Kaori Yoneyama in August underscored her as a legitimate force on the joshi scene. Last month, Hatred returned to AIW as a conquering hero, successfully defending the three titles against Cherry Bomb at their “They Live” event – the first time the JWP belt, which is the oldest active women’s title in Japan (dating back to 1992), was defended in the USA – having debuted at SHIMMER to great plaudits the night before. Stateside recognition is richly deserved for Ohio native Hatred, who has lived in Japan for the last several years and guested on the Women of Wrestling Podcast earlier this year to discuss her rise to fame in the Land of the Rising Sun. (more…)
Imagine SHIMMER, WSU, ACW, Femmes Fatales, ECCW, AIW, OVW and FCW all clubbing together, putting up their best representatives and holding a tournament where they would be whittled down to one promotion as the best? Can you imagine the politics, jostling, arrangements, hostility, distrust and remarks there could possibly be? On the flip side, there is the chance that all would get on, things would be decided amicably and all would work together for the greater good – highlighting the plethora of great female wrestling talent out there, showing off their top wrestlers and then taking that momentum, breaking off again and working their own areas to capitalise on the buzz that was created in order to sell more tickets, shift more merchandise and create more awareness of their product. After all, women’s wrestling is a niche product within a niche product, and the amount of awareness – and interest – is not as high as it could be.
OK, I’m dealing in extreme hypotheticals on both sides, but if anything, it could create an intriguing night of action, capitalising on the sort of buzz that wrestling fans experienced when the WWF bought WCW a decade ago, throwing up some potential dream matches. Fair enough, it never really worked out that way, but that doesn’t stop wrestling fans from dreaming.
Over in Japan last week, such an event took place. Wednesday’s FLASH tournament featuring talent from Sendai Girls, JWP, Diana, REINA, WAVE, Ice Ribbon, Stardom and a freelance team drew a hugely impressive 1835 fans to Tokyo’s Korukuen Hall – a Super No Vacancy Full House. The first round was 5 on 5, the semi finals were 3 on 3 and the final was a straight tag match. (more…)
Things are coming up roses for Hailey Hatred of late. When she joined us last month for an edition of the Women of Wrestling Podcast, she had recently become the first gaijin (foreigner) to win the JWP Openweight Title, and talked with some excitement about her first title defense on August 7th at Korakuen Hall against her friend and rival Kaori Yoneyama. We brought you a first-hand account of the show last week, and now we’ve got video of the match, so with Hatred about to make her debut in SHIMMER Women Athletes this October, here’s a great chance to see what is probably the biggest match of Hailey’s career. Enjoy.
Last Sunday, Hailey Hatred made her first defence of the JWP Openweight Championship against Kaori Yoneyama, who is on the retirement trail, which is due to end in December when she hangs up her boots for good. The 4’11″, 30 year old veteran of ten years was looking to regain the title which she won on July 18 last year, and dropped it to Leon on March 4. Current champion Hatred won the belt on June 26, and had to face her outgoing friend with three of her four championships up for grabs.
Steve was one of the 957 in attendance at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan, and has given his permission for us to repost his review of the show here for you. Enjoy.
Sunday lunchtime my host and I went to JWP Pure Slam at Korakuen Hall, through tickets my host had been left at the door by JWP Openweight Champion Hailey Hatred. Having a chat with Hailey before finding our seats was surreal, but there was plenty more surreal to come later. Korakuen Hall itself was smaller than I imagined; the seats were clearly not designed with the idea that a “Western” pelvis might want to occupy them – and why would they have? – but I got it. Squeeze it was, but never truly uncomfortable. I should add at this point going up the steps to our seats and looking at all the wrestlers’ (and fans) signatures/writing/doodles on the famed walls was akin to a religious experience for me. I’m taking a marker pen on Saturday to immortalize my visit, but I’m not sure what to write… (more…)