Over the last week, we have given you our rundown on the seven wrestlers who have raised their stock in the last six months, all of whom have done so in various ways (and you can read about them all right here). However, as with all lists, there is always some discussion about whether the right choices were made. Believe us when we tell you that there was quite a bit of conversation on who should get the article treatment, as there were a number of names who were considered. With that, we bring you the ones who were on the list because of their achievements, but didn’t make the final cut… (more…)
A big card of action takes place tonight in Montreal, Quebec, Canada as nCw Femmes Fatales IX strikes. The International Championship is on the line, a grudge spanning two promotions could be settled, and the most fearsome trio in women’s wrestling today head north of the border.
Current titleholder Kalamity faces her toughest test yet when she faces the challenge of Sara Del Rey, while former champion LuFisto takes on Mercedes Martinez following their brawl at Femmes Fatales VIII in March and subsequent encounter at WSU’s Uncensored Rumble V last month, where LuFisto cost Martinez the WSU Championship in the main event Casket Match against Jessicka Havok. And speaking of Havok, she and her Midwest Militia partners Sassy Stephie and Allysin Kay take on Courtney Rush and two mystery partners.
Elsewhere, Kc Spinelli meets former SHIMMER Champion Cheerleader Melissa, Sweet Cherrie and Cherry Bomb take on the Canadian Ninjas of Portia Perez and Nicole Matthews with the winners earning SHIMMER Tag Team Championship match at Femmes Fatales X on November 3 against whoever the titleholders are at that time. Click after the jump for a look at the matches, and we will update them as we get word, courtesy of Pat Laprade, who is in attendance at the show. (more…)
nCw Femmes Fatales IX on July 7 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada is taking shape.
As well as Kalamity defending the International Championship against Sara Del Rey and the Canadian Ninjas taking on Sweet Cherrie and a partner of her choosing, the promotion has announced that LuFisto will take on Mercedes Martinez in a match which has its roots set in the closing moments of Femmes Fatales VIII.
After failing to win the International Title from Kalamity, Martinez turned heel and attacked the Champion with a chair, but was stopped by LuFisto, and the pair tore strips out of each other both in the ring and at ringside. It seemed inevitable that this match was going to happen, and now it is official.
Considering their high profiles and being on the same rosters in a number of promotions, this is the first match between the two since SHIMMER Volume 7 back on October 22, 2006. Seriously – these two haven’t faced each other in a big-time situation for close to SIX YEARS.
However, that’s not the only announcement made today. Click after the jump and we will reveal the rest… (more…)
Stewart Allen is a no-good, low-down son of a bitch. He and his consigliore, Lee Burton drew me in with promises of “interviews” and “exposure” and “we’ll link to your movie!” Then they start in with the, “Come on, man… just check out this one match… all the cool kids are doing it.”
Next thing you know, I’m pushing deadlines to watch Mercedes Martinez and Madison Eagles brawl through an arena. I’m seeing Kana and Hailey Hatred beat the ever-loving hell out of each other instead of working on a pitch. I’m leaping out of my chair when Jenny Sjodin hooks a picture-perfect guillotine on Alpha Female, ignoring my wife when she asks if I’ve changed the cat litter.
It’s a downward spiral, friends. Stew and Lee: they’re bad people. You should click a button on your browser and get out while you can. You don’t want to end up like me.
I’ve been a wrestling fan since I watched Dick Murdoch screw Ted DiBiase out of beating Ric Flair for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in Mid-South when I was nine or ten. Hogan/Piper, Doctor Death Steve Williams, Four Horsemen, Flair/Steamboat, nWo, Austin, Brock, JBL/Eddie, Undertaker/Batista, Joe/Angle, Punk/Cena, Henry’s World Title run. Until recently, these were my touchstones as a wrestling fan.
Two things have happened to my wrestling sensibility since the beginning of 2012.
First, after years of effort Court Bauer got me watching All Japan from the ‘90s (with an assist from the Torch’s Bruce Mitchell and the Observer’s Dave Meltzer). I got hooked immediately – if I’ve seen a better series of matches than Steve Williams vs. Kenta Kobashi or Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada, I must have been on an alcoholic blackout because I don’t remember them.
Second: those rat bastards, Stew and Lee. I did an interview with them to talk about my contribution to the Trish Stratus vs. Mickie James story at WWE and they used their Merry Olde Empire powers of hypnosis to tell me about SHIMMER and Femmes Fatales and EVE. “Just watch Shimmer Volume 37,” they said. “You’ll love it.”
They were right. Now I buy dvds and waste time I can ill afford because of these Ringbelles douchebags. They’ll do the same to you if they can, gentle reader. Get out while you can. (more…)
Kalamity challenges her tag team partner, mentor and friend LuFisto for nCw Femmes Fatales International Championship, Mercedes Martinez looks to extend her win streak, and SHIMMER original Tiana Ringer returns to the ring.
1. Angie Skye beat Cherry Bomb with a handful of tights on a roll-up.
2. Mercedes Martinez pinned Tiana Ringer following a Fisherman Buster.
3. Courtney Rush defeated Kellie Skater with the Skyward Suplex.
4. She Nay Nay bested Xandra Bale via submission with a Fujiwara Armbar.
5. The Sherbrooke Connection – Loue & Kira defeated Anna Minoushka & Missy. Loue pinned Missy with a top rope splash.
6. Cheerleader Melissa beat Yumi Ohka with an Air Raid Crash.
7. Tomoka Nakagawa won a 3-way over Portia Perez and Sweet Cherrie by pinning Perez with a roll-up.
8. Kalamity pinned LuFisto with a Ki-Krusher to win the nCw Femmes Fatales International Championship.
• Martinez extends her win streak in the promotion to five by defeating the returning Tiana Ringer, who returned to wrestling following a four year absence, then challenged the winner of the main event for a title shot.
• Courtney Rush and Kellie Skater broke out the comedy at the start of their match, engaging in an arm-wrestling match, using the referee as a table. Rush antagonised Skater on her way to the ring by carrying a toy kangaroo, which ended up being punted into the front row.
• Cheerleader Melissa and Yumi Ohka earned a “this is awesome” chant from the audience in Montreal, Quebec, Canada for their match.
• Kalamity ascends to the top of the ladder in Femmes Fatales by defeating LuFisto to win the International Title. Following the contest, Martinez tried to snatch the belt from the new champion, but ended up offering her hand, setting up Kalamity’s first challenger to her championship.
Coming off the back of a successful show at Femmes Fatales VIII earlier this month (which was declared by all as the “best FF event to date”), our friends in Montreal are turning their attention to the next show already. To be held on July 7th at the Centre St-Barthelemy, Femmes Fatales IX will feature a main event of Kalamity defending her Championnat International Femmes Fatales against an unexpected rival. Click play on the video (which aired on Saturday at NCW’s “Crime Scene”) to see who came face to face with Kalamity at SHIMMER just over a week ago.
Click through for more on Femmes Fatales IX (more…)
It’s day two of the SHIMMER tapings in Berwyn, IL (you can find out the results, thoughts and photos from yesterday’s DVD tapings by clicking here), and a number of matches have been announced.
After defeating both Canadian Ninjas in singles matches yesterday, Cheerleader Melissa defends her SHIMMER Championship against Jessie McKay, aware that Sweet Saraya has apparently put a bounty on her head.
Elsewhere, the Tag Team Championship will be on the line as holders Ayako Hamada and Ayumi Kurihara defend against high-fliers Ray and Leon in an all-joshi affair, Mercedes Martinez takes on Hailey Hatred, and the unlikely team of Sara Del Rey and Courtney Rush will meet ReGeneration X – Allison Danger & Leva Bates.
As with yesterday, we will be adding the results to this post as they happen, and Stew will offer his thoughts from ringside later. Click after the jump and keep hitting refresh to follow the goings-on. (more…)
Cheerleader Melissa walks into these four DVD tapings as the SHIMMER Champion, while Ayumi Kurihara and Ayako Hamada hold the Tag Team Championship. Although no matches have been announced, we offered some thoughts about what could happen, but they are just musings and nothing more. We will all find out together how things will unfold.
Stew is in Berwyn, IL watching the shows live, and will offer up thoughts on the tapings later on. For now, we will bring you results as they happen, so keep refreshing the page to keep up with all the developments.
Click after the jump to dive in. It’s going to be a busy one. (more…)
Reports from Montreal, Quebec, Canada on Saturday say that the most recent instalment of NCW Femmes Fatales was the best yet. With a 25 minute draw between Cheerleader Melissa and Hailey Hatred, Jazz and Lufisto tearing up the building and Kalamity securing her first International Title defence on a FF show over Mercedes Martinez, all three of the main event matches delivered. Groundwork was also laid for Femmes Fatales IX on July 7, and a number of the talking points have relevance to the FF/Women Superstars Uncensored relationship…
First off, there was the announcement that the Midwest Militia of WSU’s dual champion Jessicka Havok and Tag Team Champions Allysin Kay and Sassy Stephie will appear in July. For Kay and Havok, it will being their debut in the promotion, while Stephie wrestled at Femmes Fatales IV. As the most over talent, it seemed logical that the Militia would be part of this talent-sharing initiative, and as a trio, it lends itself to an invasion-style storyline with three badass heels walking into another promotion, and it’s unlikely that the Militia will be out to make friends. Before that happens though, three homegrown FF talents – Kalamity, LuFisto (who were announced during the 5th Anniversary iPPV) and Sweet Cherrie (who was named afterward) – will make their WSU debuts at the Uncensored Rumble on June 16, so the Militia will see their north-of-the-border opposition before making the trip to Canada three weeks later.
However, don’t expect it to be like the old USA/Canada storylines from the WWF in 1997 where talent would be faces OR heels depending on which country they’re wrestling in, as the Militia are already the top heels in WSU, so they are unlikely to be cheered by the WSU fans if a confrontation between them and Kalamity, Cherrie and LuFisto takes place in Deer Park, NY, and they are sure to be booed in Montreal at FF IX. Of course, this is all speculation, as nothing has been announced beyond the names who will be appearing, but this is what fantasy booking is all about. It would be a shame for there to be this overlapping without there being some in-ring friction to spice things up. (more…)
So, I’ve had nearly 24 hours to digest the events of Femmes Fatales VIII on Saturday night at the Centre St-Barthelemy in Montreal, Quebec (full results here), and to be honest, I’m still struggling on where to begin. I suppose the easiest place is to say that I’ve seen the first six Femmes Fatales shows on DVD, and this was the best one yet, in my view. (I’ve picked up the DVD of FF VII, but everybody was in agreement by the end of the night that this was the best show in company history, top to bottom). There wasn’t a bad match on the show, in fact – and when it was *really* good – as it was for Cheerleader Melissa vs Hailey Hatred in particular, it was utterly fantastic. It’s not a newsflash for patrons of this website in particular that both Melissa & Hailey are tremendous pro wrestlers – so the fact that they put on such a great match is hardly unexpected. Hard hitting, technically sound, and nicely paced – the twenty minute time limit flew by way too quickly, ending with Hatred holding out in a Kondo Clutch for what seemed like an age before eating a curb stomp. “Five more minutes”, which were put up on the big screen as a 5:00 countdown clock, gave us more of the same and ended with a raucous final 1:00 where the two simply struck each other into oblivion with back and forth strikes like a marathon runner sprinting the last hundred metres. Brilliant stuff. (more…)
All eyes are on Montreal, Quebec, Canada this evening as nCw Femmes Fatales hosts its eighth instalment, and boasts a triple main event. In the main event, defending International Champion Kalamity takes on Mercedes Martinez; elsewhere, Hailey Hatred meets Cheerleader Melissa in a Battle Of The Champions; and former International titleholder LuFisto faces former WWE Women’s Champion Jazz in a First Time Ever Dream Match.
Elsewhere, Jessie McKay and Rhia O’Reilly join Jazz and Hatred in making their debuts, while Portia Perez and Sweet Cherrie look to settle their differences.
We have results after the jump (thanks for Rick McLean from North Starz for the updates). Coming later, we will bring you post-show news, analysis and thoughts from Stew, who is in attendance in Montreal. (more…)
So, Jessicka Havok ascended to the top of Women Superstars Uncensored’s mountain on Saturday night by winning the promotion’s top championship from Mercedes Martinez at the 5th Anniversary Show, making her an undefeated Champion and putting an end to Martinez’ reign four days shy of the three year mark. In a match that was a wild brawl of a war more than a technical affair, it was unconventional, but successful. The pair fought all over the building and took some crazy bumps along the way – the Fisherman Buster from the apron through the table to the concrete floor being the height of the lunacy. No doubt, Havok was given the best springboard that she could possibly get for the start of her reign, and Martinez pulled out everything to give her that launch.
The ending was somewhat of a head-scratcher, with both going through a table from the top rope but Havok managing to get the pin, but I imagine the idea is that it shows just how evenly matched the two are and a draped arm was the only thing that could separate them. However, having a slightly more decisive match-ending move may have sweetened things slightly – though at this point I’m splitting hairs on what was a great main event, and also an early contender for Match of the Year.
Many have described the 5th Anniversary show their best iPPV to date. Having seen most of them, it would be hard to disagree with that. When it came to aesthetics, things went well – most of the direction was good, the cameramen were in the right place for most of the stuff (barring a couple of incidents, which I’ll get to) and the graphics and editing went well. As a TV product, it was the sharpest yet. And there was a boob toss. Nothing more to be said about it really, but I felt it just HAD to be mentioned. (more…)
NCW Femmes Fatales were big winners at the annual Quebec Wrestling Awards for 2011, which were announced yesterday on lutte.com. The French language website celebrates the history of Montreal wrestling as well as recognise the best in current day Quebec grappling – and these awards are now in their eleventh year. Femmes Fatales, which returns to action on March 10th, picked up a number of plaudits. LuFisto‘s feud with current NCW International Champion Kalamity won Feud of the Year in the province, while Femmes Fatales VII: World Summit (from October) won show of the year. Femmes Fatales VII was the show which saw Kalamity beat LuFisto for the title, and feature more international visitors than ever before, such as the debuting Yumi Ohka (who had a highly regarded match with Cheerleader Melissa), Tomoka Nakagawa, Kellie Skater and the return to the ring of Tiana Ringer. For having both feud and show of the year, as well as enhancing the international reputation of his promotion, Femmes Fatales booker Stéphane Bruyère was awarded the Best Booker award.
In other categories, Femmes Fatales placed strongly. The match between LuFisto & Ayako Hamada (which headlined FFV in March) was the runner up for Match of the Year (coming second to Kevin Steen vs Paul London from NSPW only on the basis of “first place votes” cast – and only then by a margin of one vote). LuFisto also placed second runner-up for Best Babyface, while “The Pink Flash” Kira was first runner-up in Rookie of the Year. In related news, Kira’s next challenge was announced today, as she will go one-on-one in an international challenge with “Rate Tank” Kellie Skater at Femmes Fatales VIII next month. (more…)
It’s fair to say that Ringbelles HQ has had a bit of a dark cloud of depression hanging over it recently, as Lee and I have often found ourselves discussing how terrible it is that a number of our favourite wrestlers are out – in some cases, possibly permanently – with injuries. Daizee Haze has already hung up her tights, LuFisto & Mercedes Martinez have been struggling and resting up with serious injuries (back and concussion respectively – the latter of which has taken Martinez out of WSU’s event next weekend in New Jersey) and more serious still, Serena Deeb has been told she should no longer wrestle due to a severe concussion while Madison Eagles admits her knee injury could be career threatening. It’s amazing how much these women give of themselves to the service of pro-wrestling – often in front of small (albeit appreciative) crowds. Call it passion, or call it what you will, they continue to push themselves hard (and probably harder than they should) in order to entertain – and as we’re seeing quite clearly, with that comes a price. Going into the upcoming “Spring Season” of shows from the major North American indy wrestling companies, it’s hard to imagine a SHIMMER taping without Madison Eagles; or what about Serena Deeb, who is still scheduled to debut for NCW Femmes Fatales on March 10th in Montreal? What if Mercedes Martinez can’t completely shake her concussion issues by March? Main events in SHIMMER, Femmes Fatales and crucially WSU may all have to be re-written. In my head, it all felt very “glass half empty”.
Happily though, a chat with a friend in the business a little while ago persuaded me to turn the frown upside down. “Well,” she said (when contemplating the worst case scenario that Deeb, Eagles and others may be facing the end of their careers) “That gives plenty of opportunity for other girls to move up and take those spots”. I stopped and thought for a moment, and answered in the affirmative. I wasn’t yet 100% convinced, but the more I thought about it, the more I figured that there was a definite ring of truth to that statement. Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely *not* ready to contemplate life without Eagles and Deeb, and I’d love nothing better than to have them back – but if they don’t return (or even just miss an extended length of time as they overcome their issues), it’s worth considering who actually is likely to benefit, and why we can actually look forward to 2012 as a year of opportunity as much as anything else. (more…)
The main event of nCw: Femmes Fatales VIII has been announced in the last few minutes – current International Champion Kalamity will defend the belt against Mercedes Martinez on March 10 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. This will be their second meeting in the promotion – the first happened at Femmes Fatales V on March 12 last year, meaning their second encounter will be 48 hours shy of a full year since their first meeting.
The original encounter saw Martinez claim victory with the Fisherman Buster, though a lot of water has gone over the dam since their first encounter. After all, Kalamity is now the defending champion, having defeated LuFisto at Femmes Fatales VII last October, and successfully defended it against Angie Skye, as well Anna Minoushka. The pair shared a moment after Kalamity’s title win, with Mercedes hitting the ring and grabbing the belt, before handing it back to the new champion, shaking her hand and leaving. (more…)
Our friends at NCW Femmes Fatales dropped a nice New Year’s gift yesterday by making a LuFisto vs Kalamity match from earlier in the year in GEW (Global Entertainment Wrestling) available for all to see. Taking place on Feb 12, 2011 it features a champion vs champion match between then NCW Femmes Fatales International Champion LuFisto and her pupil, the then GEW Women’s Champion Kalamity. 2011 has been a pretty huge breakthrough year for Kalamity, who finally took the Femmes Fatales title from LuFisto at Femmes Fatales VII on October 8th (watch the buildup package here) after turning a lot of heads at SHIMMER the previous weekend in matches with the likes of Hailey Hatred and Tomoka Nakagawa. Going into 2012, Kalamity will be looking to further establish herself as the spiritual successor to LuFisto’s legacy in Montreal, and it you’ve yet to experience “The Oncoming Storm”, here’s as good a chance as any to see what the fuss is about.
As the last moments of 2011 fade away, while being thankful for the many wonderful wrestling-related moments, it’s only natural to look to the new year. A new year brings new opportunities, a chance to start fresh and the ability to make things happen. Most of us make New Years resolutions to have set goals we want to meet. As pertains to wrestling, I gave some thought as to what I, personally, would like to see happen (or not happen, as the case may be). Some of these are serious, some are downright implausible but hey, I’m an optimistic gal for the most part. Who is to say what may or may not happen in 2012? Lets kick this off!
1) I wish that Madison Eagles, Lufisto, Mercedes Martinez, and Serena Deeb would completely heal and recover from their various physical ailments. I won’t say if I wish that they would return to wrestling – that’s something that they must decide for themselves. As a fan, I’ll respect and support whatever their decision may be. However, they’re young women in the prime of their lives, and knowing the long term damage wrestling does, I want them to heal so that they aren’t affected later in life. They are all wonderful women who deserve to live long, healthy lives after their wrestling careers come to an end. (more…)
As 2011 comes to a close, and Christmas is just around the corner, around this time people look back at the year and reflect on their blessings. This is true in wrestling fandom as well as anywhere else. If you are a fan of female wrestling, there was a ton to be grateful for in 2011, although if you concentrated on WWE, I feel bad for you – nothing good, aside from Kong’s debut as Kharma, happened in 2011 in that company. I wanted to take the time to look back and write about what I, personally, was grateful for this year and share with you my thoughts. Feel free to comment and tell me what you were grateful for in wrestling this year.
Thanks to my trips to SHIMMER: Women Athletes, I was able to see a number of women wrestle in person for the first time that I personally admire and look up to.
With her health problems in 2010 and being rotated out of the September ’10 SHIMMER tapings, I had worried I’d not get the chance to see her in person. Fortunately that fear was baseless as Lufi was back and stronger than ever. In April, I thoroughly enjoyed her matches with Tomoka Nakagawa (it’s always a treat to watch her wrestle joshi women), Sassy Stephie, and the four way match with her, Portia Perez, Cheerleader Melissa and Serena Deeb. However, at the October tapings I wasn’t sure she would be there. She had had heart surgery in July to repair a hole in her heart, and with the precautions she now has to take, I felt it doubtful.
To my great pleasure, she was not only there but had some of the best matches of the tapings. The four way between her, Tomoka, MsChif, and Kellie Skater was just plain fun. I popped huge for MsChif’s Freddy Krueger gear (I’ve been a fan of Nightmare on Elm Street for years) but Lufi’s Pink Power Ranger gear was incredibly cute! Her match against Mia Svensson is a personal favourite – you have the up and coming taking on the veteran, giving the former a chance to see what she can do. However, Lufisto was involved in one of the best matches of the weekend, and given the talent that was on display, this is a bold statement but entirely true. In Kana‘s last match, she wrestled Lufi and it was tremendous. Kana pulled out the win, but while everyone else stood, I remained in my seat. I refused to applaud unless Kana shook Lufisto’s hand – I felt that Lufisto had gone toe to toe with her, and unless she also recognised this and shook her hand, I didn’t feel that Kana was worthy of respect. However, she did.
Lufisto is a lady I have so much respect and admiration for, I can absolutely say it was wonderful to see her wrestle in person. (more…)
Our 2010 Woman Of The Year Lufisto has had a hell of a 2011.
The 31-year old has had a mixture of ups and downs in both her career and life. On the negative side, she was denied entry to Japan back in February, and also found out that the hole in her heart which was to be surgically repaired was four times bigger than the doctors thought. As a result of the surgery, she has been forced to change the way that she lives her life, as well as making sure that she avoids catching infections as much as possible.
On the plus side, the Super Hardcore Anime was named the #1 female indy wrestler in Quebec for the 8th time in 9 years, finally got to wrestle Ayako Hamada in her home promotion of nCw Femmes Fatales, as well as pass the torch (and the Femmes Fatales International Championship) to her protege Kalamity in the main event of Femmes Fatales VII last month.
As many know, LuFisto injured her back about five years ago that kept her out of the ring for some time. The injury flared up again following her match with Hamada back in March, and she has been fighting through it ever since, defending the Femmes Fatales belt and making two more trips to SHIMMER in that time. However, it seems the injury, as well as other issues are starting to catch up with her to change her feelings on wrestling. (more…)
The cover is dedicated to the interviews with the ReGeneration X tag team of Allison Danger and Leva Bates, though the magazine also chases down Mia Yim for a chat, and there is the second part of their giant interview with former WWE Women’s Champion and Tough Enough trainer Trish Stratus.
Throw in reviews of ACW’s American Joshi Queen of Queens 2011 and AIW’s Girls Night Out 3, and you’ve got 46 pages of great reading. Click the picture to get stuck in.
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…)
On October 14, 2007, 10 women competed at TNA Bound For Glory to crown the first TNA Knockouts Champion. That Gauntlet Match was won by Gail Kim, who subsequently engaged in a series of matches with Awesome Kong which cemented TNA as being the place to be for women wrestlers who wanted to knuckle down and graft in the ring. It separated itself from WWE’s Divas division by having a wide range of different-looking women – from your Kongs and Kims to your ODBs, your Jackie Moores and your Roxxi Leveauxs. Most of them have come and gone – in Roxxi’s case, on a number of occasions – but through it all, there has been one woman who has been there uninterrupted. On Sunday, that woman became Knockouts Champion for the very first time.
30-year old Jamie Szantyr started out as a valet back in 2003 under names like Talia, Talia Doll and Miss Talia before settling on Talia Madison, soon forming a tag team with April Hunter, ironically called T&A. Before long, she was being booked around the country, winning her first championship two years later in Afa’s World Xtreme Wrestling in a battle royal. The following years saw her flirt with going to WWE, appearing as an extra on episodes of SmackDown and Heat, as well as wrestling Victoria on the latter show – Victoria was pretty much the test for most women in their tryouts, as Cheerleader Melissa and Mercedes Martinez also faced her in televised matches around the same time. Although unsuccessful in attaining an offer that way, she tried her luck in the 2007 Diva Search (which was won by Eve Torres), though didn’t make it through to the final 8.
By the time 2007 rolled around, Madison had been wrestling for four years, and she got her chance to be part of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling’s blossoming Knockouts Division. Although BFG was her first in-ring appearance, she featured in a couple of backstage segments and was also at ringside for Kong’s pre-BFG demolition of Kim on the go-home episode of Impact.
Soon after the Gauntlet match, Madison wrestled Kong and was soundly defeated, then changed her name to Velvet Sky so TNA could copyright it. As one of a slew of women who had just arrived, it was difficult for Sky to cut through, as compared to some of the other wrestlers, her skills weren’t as sharp – but what she had going for her was her stunning looks, and along with Angelina Love – who had changed her name from Angel Williams – she set out to carve her own niche in the Knockouts division. (more…)
If you’re a women’s wrestling fan living in the western hemisphere, chances are you’ve had your fill of top in-ring action over the last two weeks. In the US, there was SHIMMER (results and thoughts here and here); Canada had nCw Femmes Fatales (detailed results here); and in the UK, Pro Wrestling: EVE collaborated with Ice Ribbon to present three shows over two days (results and photos here and here, and interviews here). While there were big names, such as Cheerleader Melissa, Serena Deeb and LuFisto who achieved or surpassed what fans have grown to expect of them, there have been some wrestlers who have managed to break into that next echelon of success and have opened up a new world of possibilities. In this week’s Roundup, I’ll be having a look at them.
The first to make an impact (lower-case I) was Athena, who turned babyface in SHIMMER as part of a double-turn which saw Mercedes Martinez go heel. In a pretty accurate homage to Steve Austin and Bret Hart flip-flopping sides back in 1997 at WrestleMania 13, Martinez got frustrated by the less experienced Athena refusing to stay down, and used a chair to attack her ankle in full view of the referee, intentionally disqualifying herself. Refusing to be beaten, Athena got on the mic to say she would be back when her leg was 100% again.
I’ve been harping on for a while now that Athena’s athletic, high flying moveset, attitude and look lend themselves to being a flashy yet tough babyface. In most promotions, she is portrayed as a heel, which she does well, but fans still applaud her when she executes some of her aerial moves – such as her springboard attacks, which virtually no other female in America does at the moment, and even fewer do it with such grace and ability. By turning her babyface, those reactions look set to become more passionate cheers, rather than applause of begrudging respect. As long as she keeps calling people hussies, keeps the swagger and tempers the flying to make it mean more when she does it, Athena looks set to be a massive star in SHIMMER. Granted, she is a multi-time American Joshi Champion in Anarchy Championship Wrestling, but the worldwide reach of SHIMMER will see her profile and stock shoot up in 2012. Best of luck to her. (more…)