Sitting in the Tokyo ward of Sumida, Japan, Ryōgoku Kokugikan is primarily a venue for sumo wrestling, hence the alternative name of Sumo Hall. Hosting tournaments throughout the year as well as three special events in January, May and September, the 28-year old building holds a lot of tradition for sports other than sumo. The building also hosts boxing, concerts and professional wrestling. However, when it comes to joshi, Sumo Hall may well have been in Narnia, as there has not been a show there since Ladies Legend Pro Wrestling held an event there on February 12, 2007.
The show featured the semi-finals and final of a 10-woman All Star Tournament with Shinobu Kandori pinning Meiko Satomura to win the whole shebang. Attendance numbers are disputed, though the reported figure was about 5,800, which is less than half of the 13,000 that the building can hold.
Since then, there has not been a joshi show held there, though that will change next Monday, when Stardom presents its biggest and most ambitious show in its two and a half year history with a stacked card which features wrestlers from a number of different joshi promotions. (more…)
A week ago, Allison Danger announced her retirement from in-ring competition during the taping of SHIMMER Vol 57 in an emotional moment that didn’t leave a dry eye in the house.
Of course she’s not leaving wrestling for good – she’ll continue in a backstage role at SHIMMER – and while everybody there that weekend was fortunate enough to be able to say their own personal thanks to the woman herself, we kinda figured that Danger deserved something more. So, without her knowledge, we started recording video messages across the weekend with the idea of putting them together as a lasting tribute to someone who has meant so much to so many.
Now that the woman herself has had a chance to see the video, we happily share our video with the Ringbelles readers. Some messages are heartfelt, some are funny… some are, well, you’ll see… (more…)
After the events of yesterday, SHIMMER returns for its DVD tapings for volumes 56 and 57.
Expected to continue on from yesterday’s tapings include the quest by the Global Green Gangsters to secure another Tag Team Title shot at the Canadian Ninjas; Saraya Knight‘s reign of terror is being curbed by the officials; meanwhile, Jessicka Havok wants to leave more bodies in her wake, and Cheerleader Melissa is looking to retain the SHIMMER Championship. Also, these tapings mark the final matches for Allison Danger, who retires from the ring on volume 57.
As with yesterday, we will bring you results after the jump, along with pictures on thoughts on the show in due course. For now, click into the results and enjoy. (more…)
It’s the kickoff to SHIMMER’s Vols 54-57 tapings in Berwyn, IL at the Eagles Club with Vols 54 & 55 being recorded today. We’ve got a big preview of the Vol 54 taping up already, and we’ll be updating this page with results after the conclusion of both of today’s volumes. As noted in the preview, we’ll be back with thoughts and pictures from the event at some point thereafter. Enjoy!
It’s WrestleMania weekend, which means it’s also WrestleCon – and the return to action for SHIMMER Women Athletes for their Spring taping season. While there’s a weekend of festivities in prospect next weekend in Berwyn for four tapings across two days, there’s the small matter of today – right now – when SHIMMER makes its iPPV debut in front of its biggest live crowd to date.
You’ve read our primer, you’ve watched Eagles/McKay from Vol 35, you’ve listened to Athena’s podcast and you’ve followed Saraya’s winding road to Vol 53 with successful title defences in both Bellatrix and Femmes Fatales, and you’re ready for action, right? Well, we hope you’re watching live on iPPV via WWN, but we’ve got your results right here as they come in anyway. (more…)
Five women, you ask? Well, yes.
When the tournament was announced to crown a singles champion (the first in WAVE’s 5 and a half year history), the four participants were laid out as Ohka, Ayumi Kurihara, Mio Shirai and Misaki Ohata. However on February 16, Kurihara was forced to withdraw before the semi-finals which were due to take place the following day due to a nasal and orbital floor fracture – so she was replaced by Kana.
Ohka and Kana advanced, defeating Ohata and Shirai respectively, though a diversion was thrown in the road when Kurihara was allowed to take over Kana’s spot in the tournament if she could recover by today’s event and then defeat her on the undercard. Kana won that match to secure her spot in the final, while Ohka – who was given a match of her own on the show to make sure she didn’t have an unfair advantage for the finals – defeated GAMI. Twists and turns over with, Kana and Ohka then met in the main event, with the 33-year old winning the match, the tournament and the title with a big boot, securing the highest profile singles title in the 11-year pro’s history. (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (26 February 2013) – wrestling’s equivalent of Ronda Rousey, Girls Night Out 8 and more
Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche delivered in spades on Saturday as part of the main event of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s UFC 157 pay-per-view. While PPV buyrates are only an estimate – though expected to be around the 400,000 mark – the other numbers are amazing.
With those two headlining the show, the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA drew 15,525 fans with a gate of $1.4 million and reportedly fewer comps than usual. It’s the highest attendance for a UFC show in the building, which includes UFC 121 with Cain Velasquez against Brock Lesnar. Admittedly, both Rousey and Carmouche hail from the state, which means that both had a relative hometown crowd, but it’s evidence that women can headline male-dominated shows, given the right booking, promotion and hype. Additionally, the fact that it outdrew Velasquez v Lesnar is even more astounding considering it’s a Hispanic market which would be behind Cain, and Brock is one of the UFC’s biggest draws in its history. (more…)
And so it’s come down to this. With Kimber Lee and Allysin Kay installed as Discovery and Breakout Star of the Year respectively, it’s time to unveil the winner of our main Year End Award. To be honest, it’s been a strange year in that there are a number of contenders for the award, really depending on what criteria you use to determine what makes a “Wrestler of the Year”. Let’s take a look at some of the top contenders.
If you consider your Wrestler of the Year to be the one who elicited the most emotion from the crowd, then you may well choose SHIMMER Champion Saraya Knight. Her late career renaissance has been incredible, and was topped this year by winning the SHIMMER Championship, and reviving her long-simmering rivalry with Cheerleader Melissa. Nobody can hold a crowd in the palm of her hand like “Sweet” Saraya, and she’s taken that momentum with her throughout the calendar year. On a similar note, the WSU Champion Jessicka Havok (last year’s Breakout Star of the Year) has managed to create and foster a very fervent fanbase in a year that has seen her win the WSU Championship (twice), and compete for (amongst others) Crossfire, NCW:FF, ACW & Shine – winning plaudits everywhere she competed. It’s a shame, really, that with the transition of ownership in WSU, Havok only had one appearance in her “home” promotion in the second half of the year. Havok & Knight had achievements in 2012, but arguably the person who has had the most personal achievement in 2012 is none other than Emi Sakura, who started 2012 with absolutely nothing, having left Ice Ribbon in late 2011. From nothing, Sakura ends 2012 promoting her own shows in both Thailand & Japan (under the Gatoh Move banner), a regular gig in JWP and owning the oldest joshi belt in Japan (the JWP Openweight Title) and Europe’s Pro Wrestling EVE Title concurrently. From the outhouse to the penthouse, Sakura went from nowhere to become one of joshi puroresu’s most important names. And then, of course, there’s the dark horse pick – which for us this year was “Rate Tank” Kellie Skater. Skater started 2012 in Japan, and returned from the Land of the Rising Sun a much improved grappler. She had career-best performances in SHIMMER (such as Kana on Vol 48 and Yumi Ohka on Vol 50), had two outstanding matches with Evie back at home, and made a believer out of EVERYBODY in the Eagles Club that she was going to beat Saraya Knight for the SHIMMER Championship at Vol 51. In fact, had Skater won the title that night (or even the NCW:FF International Championship in Montreal the following weekend), there’s a great chance she could’ve won this award. Kudos to an outstanding year to all of these women.
However, for the sake of this award, we have chosen to take the term “Wrestler of the Year” quite literally, and recognise quite simply the best in-ring competitor of the year. Bar none. (more…)
Over the years, the number of taboos in wrestling seem to have evaporated. After all, few bat an eyelid about wrestlers who have barely reached their teens stepping into the ring in Japan. Wrestlers with disabilities are given the same opportunities as anyone else, and nobody tells anyone that they are too old to lace up the boots, even though some really should be. However, the prospect of a man facing a woman in a wrestling match still seems to be something which makes some fans squirm in their seats.
I can see some of you imagining it right now.
For a long while, mixed matches seemed to be a no-no, but then it hit the mainstream with the late comic Andy Kaufman wrestling women and calling himself the Intergender Champion of the World, before Jerry Lawler piledrove him onto his head. From there, we saw the odd mixed tag team match on special occasions – WrestleMania VI with Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire against Randy Savage and Sherri Martel being a prime example – but very seldom did the women interact with the men… but times changed. (more…)
Today’s Wrestling New Classic card was already newsworthy as Kana was defeated by Nagisa Nozaki in the Women’s Championship tournament – but the real drama took place in the dressing room after the match, where the “World Famous” star announced that she was quitting the promotion and choosing to wrestle as a freelancer instead.
Speaking to Ringstars (and with the aid of a shoddy translator as well as intelligent human beings Chris Carpenter and Matt Nordstrom), the former SMASH Divas Champion explained that her decision to go was based around money. She alleges that she has not been paid by WNC for four months, and received no reply when she emailed the promotion’s President Tsutomu Takashima about it. As a result, she made the decision to walk away, insinuating that she had lost trust in the company, though was very careful to not say it outright. (more…)
In a move that nobody anticipated, Emi Sakura left Pro Wrestling: EVE’s second iPPV as the promotion’s Champion, after successfully defending her JWP Openweight Title earlier in the night, then challenging new EVE titleholder Nikki Storm in an impromptu match which saw the founder of Gatoh Move hit a quick 450 splash for the pin.
Now, I get the reasoning for putting the belt on Sakura. On an immediate level, it offers a happy ending for the show, and the visual of the JWP and EVE titles together is pretty striking. Longer term, it means that the belt is now associated with the oldest active women’s title in Japan, and considering how good Sakura is at garnering publicity, there is a lot of opportunity for joshi fans to find out about Pro Wrestling: EVE because people will inevitably ask about this other belt that she’s holding. In turn, it could lead to more international recognition and possibly more DVD sales and iPPV buys from Japan in the future.
However, the circumstances in which she won the title seems to be a big sticking point among some fans who both attended the show and watched online. (more…)
After a bumper day 1 yesterday which saw a number of storyline developments in both title pictures and one of the best matches in the promotion’s history, SHIMMER: Women Athletes returns for the second day of its weekend of DVD tapings.
Yesterday, Ayako Hamada and Kana competed in an epic encounter which saw the veteran gain the victory, though both women came out looking stronger than ever. In the 5-on-5 main event of volume 50, ReGeneration X and the Tag Team Champions Canadian Ninjas had hands in eliminating each other – with Allison Danger ousting Nicole Matthews before being pinned by Portia Perez – while Cheerleader Melissa pinned singles titleholder Sweet Saraya to end the match, which could see them cross paths again at some point today.
No matches have been announced for volumes 51 and 52, though if yesterday was anything to go by, fans at the Berwyn Eagles Club are in for another treat. As with yesterday, the Ringbelles team is on hand to provide results, as well as photos and thoughts later on. Click the jump to keep up with what’s going on…
It’s rolled around again. More than 30 female wrestlers have gathered at the Eagles Club in Berwyn, IL for the latest round of DVD tapings for SHIMMER: Women Athletes, which includes the milestone volume 50 later today. A number of matches have been announced, but before we get to that, results from last night…
At yesterday’s AAW show, Athena defeated Nicole Matthews, Kellie Skater & Christina Von Eerie in a four way match where Matthews and Skater spent much of the contest playing a game of one-up by doing moves on Athena, but after it descended into a four way brawl, Athena nailed Nicole with the O-Face for the pinfall. Later on, Sweet Saraya retained the SHIMMER Championship by pinning MsChif following a wild, building-wide brawl which left both women with very visible battle scars. The end came when Truth Martini interfered to spit green mist into the challenger’s eyes.
Today, some matches have been announced. For volume 49, Saraya defends her title against Athena, while the Canadian Ninjas put the SHIMMER Tag Team Championships on the line against LuFisto and Kana. Elsewhere, SHIMMER Originals Mercedes Martinez and MsChif square off in a rematch from volume 20, where MsChif retained the SHIMMER Title in one of the best title defences up to that point. Also on the card, Leva Bates tangles with Kellie Skater, while nCw Femmes Fatales International Champion Kalamity faces Ayako Hamada.
Meanwhile, for volume 50, the SHIMMER Originals of Martinez, MsChif, Allison Danger and Cheerleader Melissa are involved in a 10-woman elimination match – which we are dubbing SHIM-vivor Series II, where teams of five strive to survive – and a “first time in SHIMMER singles bout” will take place, though you can let your minds run riot as to what it will be.
We will be updating results intermittently throughout the day, so keep hitting refresh for results – and after the show, we’ll upload thoughts and maybe some pictures…
A year since the excellent Pro Wrestling: EVE v Ice Ribbon weekend in Nottingham, England (results of which you can see here and here), founder and former head of the joshi promotion Emi Sakura is returning to the UK to compete in an EVE ring again – this time for the November 10 Wrestle Fever event, headlined by Alpha Female v Nikki Storm for the EVE Championship, and also featuring former TNA Knockouts titleholder Angelina Love against Carmel Jacob.
Since her last visit to the UK, Sakura has parted ways with the promotion she created, established a new one in Thailand called Gatoh Move, won the JWP and Daily Sports Tag Team Championship with Kaori Yoneyama, and initiated an infiltration of JWP – and you can read more of that by clicking here.
Before she makes her flying visit to England, Sakura will have another big milestone for her year when she holds Gatoh Move’s first event in a proper ring in Itabashi on November 4. Like at the start of Ice Ribbon, GM shows have taken place on mats up until now, barring a couple of exhibition matches between Sakura and Yoneyama in Muay Thai rings in Bangkok. (more…)
Episode 46 with Kellie Skater
We’ve been meaning to get Kellie Skater back on the Podcast for some time, and with PWWA‘s next show coming up very soon and her being announced as returning to SHIMMER in October, what better time? This will be her eighth trip over for SHIMMER, and we talk favourite memories of her stateside adventures so far, and future plans in SHIMMER. We discuss her three month Japanese trip from earlier in the year in great detail, including Christmas in Japan, training, friendships, drinking, networking, drinking, getting kicked in the face and more drinking – and we get a crash course in conversational Japanese (and swear words). We also talk Australia, and recent goings on Down Under, including the recent interim PWWA Title tournament – and Skater calls out her preferred opponent for PWWA on October 6th. Plus more!
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
SHIMMER Women Athletes announced today the next joshi talent to be added to the Vols 49-52 tapings in Berwyn, IL on the weekend of October 27th & 28th – and it’s the return of the enigmatic Kana.
Since debuting at Vol 41, Kana has walked her own path in SHIMMER, initially refusing to respect any of her opponents on her first weekend (opponents which included SHIMMER ever-presents such as Sara Del Rey and Cheerleader Melissa) until her match with LuFisto on Vol 44 finally caused her to reach out her hand as a sign of respect. Splitting her time on her following SHIMMER tour between singles and her newly founded tag team with LuFisto, Kana competed in some memorable bouts, including against Mercedes Martinez, and a tag encounter with Hailey Hatred & Kalamity. (more…)
Cheerleader Melissa defends her newly-won SHIMMER Championship against Nicole Matthews, Athena looks to settle the score with Mercedes Martinez, and four women make their debuts.
1. Courtney Rush pinned Rhia O’Reilly with a Skyward Suplex.
2. Melanie Cruise & Mena Libra defeated Shazza McKenzie & Veda Scott. Cruise got the pin following a top rope legdrop on McKenzie.
3. Sara Del Rey beat Leon following a big powerbomb.
4. Sweet Saraya made Davina Rose tap out to the Knightmare (half crab).
5. Jessie McKay beat Mia Yim with the Boyfriend Stealer.
6. Ray pinned Kellie Skater with a Phoenix Splash.
7. Hailey Hatred & Kalamity beat LuFisto & Kana. Hatred pinned LuFisto following a running powerbomb.
8. Ayumi Kurihara & Ayako Hamada retained the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship by beating ReGeneration X – Allison Danger & Leva Bates. Hamada pinned Danger with the AP Cross.
9. Athena defeated Mercedes Martinez with the O-Face.
10. SHIMMER Champion Cheerleader Melissa retained the title by beating Nicole Matthews with the Air Raid Crash. (more…)
There had been some speculation about the future of a number of joshis following the closure of SMASH on March 14, as wrestlers like Makoto and Syuri had made it their home promotion, and others like Kana, Serena Deeb and Tomoka Nakagawa had enjoyed success there too. As it turns out, SMASH founder Tajiri moved fast to announce a replacement, which was unveiled today.
Wrestling New Classic has already announced its first two shows – the first on April 26 at Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo, Japan, with the follow-up a month later on May 24 at Korukuen Hall. The first show already has a joshi match booked featuring Makoto and final SMASH Divas Champion Syuri taking on former Divas titleholder Kana and her Triple Tails S partner Mio Shirai, in a match that actually took place in SMASH in Osaka on October 26 last year – for the record, Kana and Shirai won…
This announcement is particularly good news for Syuri and Makoto, who considered SMASH their highest profile exposure. Makoto had started to keep herself busy, securing her in-ring debut for Union Pro, while Syuri seemingly did not have any more wrestling bookings on the horizon, though she could always have gone down her other avenue of interest, shootboxing and kickboxing. Kana did not have such quibbles, as she regularly works for other promotions including Dramatic Dream Team and Pro Wrestling WAVE. (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…)
Earlier this month, we described the SMASH Divas Title as a hot potato, considering how many times it changed hands during the championship’s short existence – which is due to end next month when the promotion closes its doors. It currently sits around the waist of Syuri, who won the belt from two-time titleholder Kana at SMASH 25, putting an end to their rivalry which has spanned the promotion’s existence.
As we pointed out, there has not been one successful title defence by past champions Kana or Tomoka Nakagawa, and Syuri won’t get the chance to have one either, as she is not booked to defend the belt on the promotion’s final card next month. It also means that – barring some last minute booking decision – the shootboxer/kickboxer/wrestler will be the final Divas Champion, which is pretty fitting seeing as she is the woman that embodies SMASH more than any other.
After the jump, you can see not only the contest in full – watch it soon, as it may not be on YouTube for very long – as well as the hype video before the match. And in case you’re not fluent in Japanese, don’t worry, because Kana and Syuri are subtitled in English, and the voice-over is in English too. (more…)
First it was was Kana. The it was Tomoka Nakagawa. Then it was Kana again. And now, the SMASH Divas Championship is in the hands of Syuri.
All of these title changes have taken place since the creation of the title back on September 8 last year, with not one single successful title defence by any of the champions, and with just one more SMASH show to go – taking place in Tokyo on March 14, what’s the betting that there won’t be another changing of the guard then?
23-year old shootboxer/kickboxer/wrestler Syuri won the title by defeating two time champion Kana with a high kick at the 12.50 mark in the penultimate match of the SMASH 25 show, held in front of a super no vacancy crowd of 3,000 fans at Tokyo’s Korukuen Hall. However, while this would normally be a massive high-point in her career, I can’t help feeling that Syuri ascent to the top of SMASH’s female division is slightly tainted by the lineage of the title. (more…)
Seeing as it’s Valentine’s Day, how about a look at two of the romances running in WWE that involve two of the biggest storylines going on at the moment?
On Raw this week, the relationship between Zack Ryder and Eve Torres ground to a halt when Eve decided to kiss John Cena after he helped to rescue her from the clutches of Kane. Unfortunately, a crushed Ryder saw the whole thing, though Torres claimed it was a heat of the moment thing, then called things off with him, hoping that they can remain friends.
On the plus side, this storyline is the best opportunity that Torres has every had to show some personality in her near five year WWE tenure, even though it has caused her to experience derision from the audience for knowingly or unknowingly screwing over one of the favourite wrestlers in the promotion right now – someone who has captured the hearts and imagination of fans by standing up to his bosses with his YouTube Z! True Long Island Story, getting over in spite of his booking (or lack of it) and then being sucked into one of the most asinine and ridiculous storylines in years, that being Cena v Kane, by being the whipping boy who is the real life equivalent of Kenny from South Park being murdered on every show. By screwing over the guy who has the sympathy of fans, Eve is positioned as a heel… for now. (more…)