The Big News
We start with the departure from WWE by Michelle McCool, and my Women Of Wrestling Podcast colleague Stew Allen has stepped in to write a great biography of her career. I’ll let him take the floor.
After a few weeks of teasers, we finally got to see the WWE debut of the former Amazing Kong, now known as Kharma, but just as interesting is the sudden and unexpected departure of Michelle McCool, who by losing her match to former LayCool partner Layla El, is now “gone” from WWE. Taking to twitter soon after the match, McCool confirmed “I know there will always be rumours, but that was it – real talk!” News of McCool’s then impending departure was first broken by PWInsider a few days ago when it became clear that McCool’s challenge from SmackDown had been hastily (and badly) redubbed from “Loser leaves SmackDown” to “Loser leaves WWE”.
It has been an eventful seven year ride since married middle school teacher Michelle McCool-Alexander decided to apply to be a competitor in the inaugural WWE Diva Search in 2004. McCool was unique amongst the competitors not only for being the only one not supplied by a modelling agency, but also because she was an actual wrestling fan, having attended old NWA shows at the National Guard Armory in her native Palatka, FL. Though eliminated fairly quickly, McCool was amongst a clutch of Diva Search competitors who ended up being offered a developmental contract anyway. Her athleticism was undeniable (as she proved by schooling the WWE Divas in Dodgeball at SummerSlam of that year) and is undoubtedly genetic, as most of her family have excelled at sports. In fact, McCool herself picked up the Hancock Trophy in 1988 for her exploits in volleyball, softball and basketball at Palatka High. A forgettable early run on Smackdown ended when she was eventually redeployed to developmental territories Deep South Wrestling, and then Ohio Valley Wrestling before being returned to the main roster mid ’06. Unfortunately, much of the next two years saw a struggle as Michelle battled to find any real traction and identity, as WWE stumbled about from storyline to storyline. From “sexy schoolteacher” McCool, who was paired with the tag team of KC James & Idol Stevens (known affectionately as The Teacher’s Pets) to the object of Jamie Noble’s affections in a bizarre love triangle with Chuck Palumbo, McCool was on a road to nowhere. The undoubted highlight of early Michelle McCool for many was the unintentionally hilarious promo videos which saw her proclaim how much she was “lovin’ life” as she roller-skated, took a swim, and generally just stood around. These early years also saw personal tribulation for McCool, who divorced her former high school sweetheart Jeremy Alexander and ended 2007 with an enforced two week stay in hospital for an enlarged kidney, electrolyte balance and low sodium levels which could, in the words of WWE Doctor Ferdinand Rios, have led to heart or kidney failure. Rumours have persisted that these were side effects from the extreme dieting she had to do to maintain her perfect TV figure, though these rumours have never been confirmed by either Michelle or WWE. In recalling the incident, McCool says “One night I was apparently so dehydrated, Dr. Rios hooked me up to an IV. Thank the good Lord that he was with me — along with several WWE Superstars — who took such good care of me. I can never truly repay them”. (more…)
It was a case of swapsies for the Divas division at Extreme Rules. Leaving WWE is Michelle McCool, after rumours of her hanging up the boots starting swirling a few days ago, while Kharma has finally arrived, taking out McCool in the process.
And for anyone who’s thinking that she will be back in three weeks or whatever, McCool went on Twitter to give us some “real talk”:
Thx for the love guys….I know there will always be rumors,but that was it – real talk!
We’ll have a biopic of Michelle McCool’s career in tomorrow’s Ringbelles Roundup, but for now, let’s take a look at her final night in WWE and assess what was good, what was bad, and what was downright ugly… (more…)
LayCool’s partnership will end for good at Extreme Rules this Sunday, and thanks to some pretty horrendous dubbing, the stakes have been raised.
We found out earlier this week that Michelle McCool and Layla would physically settle their dispute at the pay-per-view in a no count-out, no-DQ match, with the original stipulation being that the loser would leave SmackDown – a pretty lame forfeit, as that means that the woman who’s defeated will essentially be promoted to Raw. However, this week’s episode of SmackDown has another squabble between the former best friends where they lay out the match for Extreme Rules, and when McCool was to say “Loser leaves SmackDown”, they cut to a shot of Layla and a really awful piece of audio overlay changes “SmackDown” to “WWE”. Click after the jump to find out the possible reason behind the change – and how it poses a massive problem for the Divas on the blue brand. (more…)
The Big News
One of only of a handful of transgendered wrestlers in the world has made history again.
The original WILD Wrestling match scheduled for the show at Insane Wrestling League in Chino, CA, last Friday was meant to be Buggy taking on Allison Danger. When that was announced as no longer taking place, champion Lucky O’Shea was drafted in to face a mystery opponent. That turned out to be “The Bloodthirsty Vixen” Amanda, who defeated O’Shea to win the title.
Standing 5’9” and weighing 140lb and hailing from Long Beach, CA, 28-year old Mariah Moreno started out as a manager, then trained at the Santino Bros Wrestling Academy in Bell Gardens in 2008 before making her debut a year later.
Speaking to the Windy City Times at the end of last year, Amanda described when she started living her life as a woman in her teenage years: “I was born male and, at age 15, I decided to start living my life as a female,” said Moreno, who had breast-augmentation surgery about five years ago. “I plan on going forward with [full transition] surgery within the next five to seven years.” (more…)
The Big News
Again, sorry about the shortness of the Roundup this week. We’ve been in Las Vegas for fun and giggles with Allison Danger.
She got paid tens of thousands of dollars to essentially do a lunge, a handspring hip attack and a cartwheel into a splash to get the win for her, Trish Stratus and John Morrison at WrestleMania XXVII on Sunday in Atlanta. They defeated LayCool and Dolph Ziggler in the only women-related wrestling action on the show. However, it only lasted around 3 minutes, was in the graveyard slot after the well-received Triple H v Undertaker match, and was probably the wrong result for longevity.
Fair enough, Trish is the Tough Enough trainer, and it wouldn’t look good for her to lose the day before the new season began, but it meant that Michelle McCool – who was the only person who was legal on her side for the entire contest – had to sell for a woman who hasn’t wrestled in more than a year, and for a sub-five foot heavy drinker from Jersey Shore.
I’m not knocking Snooki though – after all, she did what she was asked to do, and exceeded my expectations. The mainstream media coverage wasn’t forthcoming though – HLN did mention Snooki, but it was because a school has paid $32,000 to have her talk to the pupils about something completely unrelated to WrestleMania.
However, this leaves McCool and Layla in a tough spot. The planned break-up seemed to be back on, as Michelle shoved her partner before the contest began, and they had a number of miscues which led to their downfall. The problem is that they are near-heatless together these days as fans are sick of them, but separately, they are likely to struggle. McCool – though talented – is something of a heat vacuum, and while Layla is a great character, she’s not polished enough in the ring to lead as a heel, and not sympathetic enough as a babyface. (more…)
The Big News
First off, sorry about the shortness of the Roundup this week (and in advance for next week). We’re in Las Vegas for fun and giggles, but we’ll still be covering what happens at Ring Of Honor and WrestleMania.
SHIMMER: Women Athletes volume 37 may be the best show the promotion has ever put on. Featuring a tag team title change, the debut of the Knight Dynasty (which caused such a stir that Britani and Saraya were spit on at one point by supposedly “smart” fans), a great technical contest between Daizee Haze and Serena Deeb and a great title match between Mercedes Martinez, this is one DVD that you HAVE to buy when it is released.
The heat this mother and daughter generated was incredible. So much so, that they have been asked to appear at CWF Mid-Atlantic (though the promoters have told us they will have to bring in extra police for their appearance), and have an inbox utterly stacked with requests from promoters looking to book them based on their work this weekend. Coupled with the return after 4 years of Rebecca Knox, this is a stable that has seen heat which is unrivalled in the promotion. Forget the Minnesota Home Wrestling Crew – this is the ultimate heel tag team in SHIMMER. (more…)
Yesterday, WWE shot a big angle for WrestleMania XXVII‘s mixed tag team match of John Morrison, Trish Stratus and Snooki taking on Dolph Ziggler and LayCool, though reports on the Jersey Shore star’s conduct vary. Instead of doing a mass of analysis, we will let you be the judge.
First off came the initial report from popthecrowd.com:
World Wrestling Entertainment shot a major angle earlier today at Miami Mike’s Sports Zone in East Hanover, NJ involving Snooki, Trish Stratus, and Lay-Cool to air this Monday night on Raw. The segment features Lay-Cool searching the bar for Snooki and Trish Stratus. Snooki gets into a fight with a guido first and then Lay-Cool finds her and a bar room brawl breaks out.
Originally the segment was to begin filming at 10 AM but Snooki didn’t leave her room until 1 PM. Filming didn’t begin until 3 PM and they shot until close to 8 PM.
Snooki was said to have been drinking heavily during the entire day and was rude to people, including the owner who she called a “weirdo” before leaving. She said she was leaving to go bowling after the segment was finished taping and would return later for more drinks.
Snooki also told the bartender she was going to be a full-time WWE Diva after Jersey Shore is finished.
A bumper week of TV in prospect here, kids. Not only do we have the return of Trish Stratus on Raw and Alissa Flash taking the Madison Rayne open challenge on Impact, we’ve got women’s matches on the secondary shows too (Superstars and Xplosion), so given that these shows actually feature longer matches, I had initially planned to deal with the “B” shows first, but believe it or not, my favourite match of the week was from the next level down, namely Florida Championship Wrestling, as AJ takes on her former NXT buddy Kaitlyn.
The Big News
Daffney is no longer a part of TNA – she issued a statement to Diva Dirt informing us of the situation:
Yesterday my picture was taken down off of the TNA roster page. My contract expires today and TNA did not renew it. I do not know if it has anything to do with it, but I’ve make a Worker’s Comp against them claim due to injuries I’ve sustained in the ring and my lawyers said to not go into anymore details.
Daffney hasn’t been seen in TNA in 2011. She is slated to appear at Anarchy Championship Wrestling Queen Of Queens on June 26 in Live Oak, TX and at a number of signing appearances over the next few months. Check out the We Want Daffney Facebook page to see if there is one near to you.
This situation does add some credence to this article though, which claims that working conditions in TNA are poor, and that you had better hope you never get hurt under a TNA contract, or you’ll be in trouble:
Angelina Love (who, as leader of The Beautiful People, has been one of company’s established ratings draws for years now) noted in a 2009 interview that she had suffered a very serious concussion at the TNA Lockdown PPV that had just taken place. (This was the in the triple threat cage match with Awesome Kong and Taylor Wilde for the TNA women’s championship, in which Love landed wrong, hit her head and was completely out of it for the rest of the match. With things quickly turning into a shambles, Taylor then improvised a finish on the fly, so Love could win the Knockouts title as scripted. Despite the quick-thinking Taylor’s best efforts, the finish still looked awful: Love could barely do anything, and even standing and smiling with the title at the end seemed beyond her.) Love herself confirms this in the interview: “I was pretty much carried by four security guards to the trainer’s office. I was completely blacked out. I don’t even remember winning.” The interviewer then notes that TNA put her in a match two days later. Love, who has a history of suffering bad concussions, confirmed this, as well as noting: “You’ve got to make a living, so I was doing indie shows about 5 days later. It probably wasn’t too safe…” This story threw up several troubling questions in my mind: Why did TNA put her in a match so soon after what was a fairly serious head injury? What doctor in their right mind told her to get back in the ring just two days after suffering such a severe concussion? Did she even go see a doctor? Could she have afforded to see one?
Either way, we wish Daffney a speedy recovery, and good health and fortune for the future. For someone who gave their body to TNA and allowed herself to be put through tables and thumbtacks for our entertainment, she deserves some good fortune.
LuFisto described it as a “dream come true” – a year after they were originally scheduled to wrestle back on February 10, 2010 in the main event of Femmes Fatales II, the Super Hardcore Anime finally got the chance to take on Ayako Hamada at NCW: Femmes Fatales V last Saturday in Montreal. The two engaged in what’s been described a classic encounter over the Femmes Fatales Championship which saw LuFisto retain the title with a Burning Hammer.
Other notable results include Mercedes Martinez beating Kalamity, and Courntney Rush (the former PJ Tyler) defeating Cat Power in a Combat De Rue in what Power later informed us would be her last match. The Windsor, Ontario native is looking to go back to school and is also looking to continue her boxing training. Stew and I talked to Cat last week as part of the Women Of Wrestling Podcast – her final interview as an active wrestler. We at Ringbelles wish her nothing but the best for the future. (more…)
Just drink in that graphic for a moment. Let it seep into your consciousness, ferment there for a while and… react – with amusement, anger and disappointment, most likely.
No, you’re not seeing things – Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi is slated to be part of a six-person mixed tag team match at WrestleMania. The 23-year old Jersey Shore star got involved in the Trish Stratus v Vickie Guerrero match on Raw last night – which Vickie won with help from LayCool – after she and WWE’s resident cougar got into a confrontation earlier on in the show.
TNA are in the middle of their “let’s give Madison Rayne some credibility” phase, which they seem to do maybe twice a year, and I was a fan of her match a couple of weeks ago with the returning (apparently for one night only) ODB, and having heard that tonight features another one night return (this time of Roxxi aka Nikki Roxx), I was quite looking forward to this.
Last week’s fun sprint of a match between Madison Rayne and ODB certainly entertained me, and having read the spoilers from TNA’s Fayetteville tapings, I was rather looking forward to this week’s edition of Impact too – but it seems like the next stop on Madison’s “brush with greatness” tour won’t be until next week (the second half of the Fayetteville tapings), so instead, Impact gives us the payoff to the Velvet Sky vs Sarita feud that has been simmering for… well, it seems like months.
Credibility (or the relative lack thereof) is often an issue with the distaff divisions of WWE & TNA, mostly because nobody in creative generally bothers to take the women seriously enough for long enough to make stars out of anybody, and this week’s TV is a pretty great comparison in how the “Big Two” are doing at making any of their women credible. We’ll start with someone who knows all about that problem, the “Killer Queen” herself, Madison Rayne – who famously won her first Knockouts Championship without ever winning a singles match in the company… taking on a surprise returning star on Impact.
While there may have been no Divas match scheduled at Elimination Chamber, it featured a number of angles and announcements involving WWE’s women.
Jennifer watched the pay-per-view and fills us in with the details: (more…)
Oh boy. This was not what you’d call a good week as far as TV wrestling is concerned, which is a shame as I had been quietly looking forward to Eve vs Natalya on Raw. To be honest, Eve & Natalya wasn’t bad – it started tremendously and then kinda went off a cliff towards the end, but it was a creditable performance, and with practically zero competition this week, it’s our TV match of the week.
Big news for TV wrestling this week, as females actually get to headline one of WWE’s two top branded shows, battling over the World Heavyweight Title (albeit in mixed tag action), the Knockouts go for knockouts, and someone, somewhere thinks that Tamina vs Melina would be a good match…
TV match of the week is an easy one, with the Smackdown main event of Edge & Kelly Kelly vs Dolph Ziggler & Laycool (in a handicap mixed tag match with Edge’s World Title on the line) taking top honours, thanks in large part to the performance of one Kelly Kelly…
Tonight’s Divas match at the Royal Rumble produced two surprises, but neither one turned out to be what many people expected.
Right as LayCool and Natalya were squaring off, Raw’s General Manager interrupted with a message for all three women. Michael Cole reads that with Teddy Long indisposed, the GM is in charge. This match is now a fatal four way: Natalya vs. Layla vs. Michelle McCool vs. the following Diva…
Perfect chance for Amazing Kong to debut, right? Wrong – instead we got Eve. Seriously? The audience seemed to be as confused as everyone at home. (more…)