The WWE Divas Championship is put on the line for the first time in its five year history at a WrestleMania as AJ Lee defends the belt against Natalya, Naomi, Cameron, Eva Marie, Summer Rae, Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, Aksana, Layla, Emma, Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes and even her own bodyguard Tamina Snuka as part of the first ever Vicki Guerrero Divas Invitational.
• After ducking out of defending her title against Naomi on the March 24 episode of Raw by deliberately getting counted out, Guerrero decided to punish (and screw) AJ by booking her in a 14-woman match at WrestleMania XXX against every member of the Divas roster.
• Little was known about the rules until last Monday, when Guerrero declared that the contest would have all the women in play at one time with one pinball deciding the winner.
• AJ Lee has held the Divas Title since June 16, 2013, where she defeated Kaitlyn to win the belt. (more…)
“Candice Michelle went to PWG in 2008 & raved about me to John Laurinaitis. When I saw him, he said ‘What does a Diva know about wrestling?’”
This is a tweet from Joey Ryan which he posted back in January – one of many which he wrote in reference to his tryout with WWE, where he asserts that was told that he was too old and too experienced to be in developmental.
Despite his wrestling persona being someone who is quite misogynistic and employs moves like the Boobplex, it is clear that he would not be allowed to do moves like this unless the recipients were comfortable with him – in fact, because of the amount of inter gender wrestling that he does, you could argue that he’s a huge advocate for women’s wrestling. With these tweets, one would imagine that Ryan is not thinking about trying out again, but it’s difficult to see if he has an axe to grind. If he does, it calls into question the validity of the claim – but if it is real, what does this say about WWE’s former Senior Vice President of Talent Relations?
Laurinaitis – who resigned from the post in July 2012 but still works within WWE – has form with not taking the Divas division very seriously. In 2006, he suddenly hired two models who he spotted in a catalogue – 20-year old Victoria Crawford and 19-year old Barbie Blank, who became known as Alicia Fox and Kelly Kelly respectively. It doesn’t show that much respect for women who toil for years to become good wrestlers to see two women hired just by how they pose in swimwear. While WWE still does hire women with no wrestling background, they do seem to go for people who have athletic ability. Summer Rae for example, used to be part of the Lingerie Football League, while new signing Shara used to be a competitive arm wrestler. (more…)
There are currently 13 WWE Divas on the main roster. With the elevation of Summer Rae – and more recently Emma – from NXT as well as reports of the likes of Paige and Lana following in the not-so-distant future, it could be argued that it’s getting quite crowded in the women’s locker room for Raw and SmackDown. The number was thinned by one with the departure of Kaitlyn earlier this month, but conceivably, WWE could jettison some others without too much hassle. Considering how many women are waiting in the wings, it may be coming to that time. So who could be lost from a business perspective? Well, we have five suggestions.
Incidentally, these selections aren’t made out of malice. It’s more from a clinical standpoint as to what they can conceivably deliver based on their past records and how they have been booked. (more…)
I was stunned watching the Divas Survivor Series match. It’s not because of the state of the match, but just that I didn’t know that WWE had 14 women on its main roster. Well technically, it’s 15, but one of them has been missing in action since September 23.
The last time anyone saw Layla on WWE TV was part of a 10 woman tag team match on Raw where she, AJ Lee, Aksana, Alicia Fox and Tamina Snuka lost to the Bella Twins, the Funkadactyls and Natalya. It had been a rotten 6 weeks for the former WWE Women’s and Divas Champion, as her heel turn had been so laughably limp that it left her with absolutely no momentum. Her push accelerated like a dog on a rug, and then stopped abruptly.
Layla’s turn came after she turned on Kaitlyn during the NXT Season 3 winner’s title challenge against AJ after inexplicably accompanying her for months before. It was never explained why she was with Kaitlyn in the first place, nor why she turned or why she took so long considering Kaitlyn had received a number of title matches before. After turning, she skipped away with AJ, got a win over her former buddy on Raw and was victorious again in a tag match on SmackDown – and then she started losing… often. By the point she disappeared from the scene, her star had never been lower, and it took a while before anyone really noticed she was gone. (more…)
There are a lot of women’s wrestling promotions in the northern half of the planet. SHIMMER, Femmes Fatales, Women Superstars Uncensored, SHINE, IndyGurlz, Lucha Libre Feminil, Bellatrix, Pro-Wrestling: EVE, Fierce Females, WAVE, OZ Academy, JWP, Diana, Ice Ribbon, and Sendai Girls, just to name a few. In addition, there are promotions with women’s divisions like Anarchy Championship Wrestling, Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling, Acclaim Pro Wrestling, Squared Circle Wrestling, World Xtreme Wrestling, AAA, CMLL, FutureShock, ABC Catch and more.
In the southern hemisphere, there are comparatively few – which means if you are the champion of one of those, you are in a much more exclusive club. While there are some like the IndyGurlz Australia title and the Riot City Wrestling Women’s strap, arguably the most prestigious belt in women’s wrestling is in the southern hemisphere is the one representing the Pro Women’s Wrestling Alliance, and it’s now officially held by a grappler who has spent the last year as the lady in waiting… (more…)
A champion is only as good as the challengers who they face and send packing. At the moment, AJ Lee is without a future contender for her Divas Championship following her title victory over Kaitlyn at Payback and successfully defending the belt at Money In The Bank, but we think there may be five options to be the next heir apparent to the Divas throne. With a month to go to SummerSlam in Los Angeles, CA, there is every possibility that the title will be defended. However, who do we think is in line for a crack at the belt? For argument’s sake, let’s look at potential babyfaces who could challenge the heel AJ, as heel v heel is seldom a money-spinner… (more…)
There are many interesting prospects in North America. One which has been simmering for a while is Mia Yim, who has been honing her skills and gaining more experience by partaking in a number of extended trips to Japan to wrestle for REINA x World. Domestically, she has had some interesting matches which have been of a good quality, and was a beneficiary when one of her kicks broke Allysin Kay’s nose last January leading to a number of well-received matches between the two with greater stipulations reflecting the development of the programme, culminating in a cage match at Absolute Intense Wrestling’s Girls Night Out 7. She had a fine outing against Jessicka Havok at SHINE 3 last September, and also enjoyed outings against the likes of Kana and Yumi Ohka in SHIMMER in 2011.
However, there is one major sticking point when it comes to her work in the US – barring the original nose-breaking match against Kay at GNO5, Yim has lost most of those high-profile outings.
Despite that, she has the opportunity to claim a really big scalp at SHIMMER volume 53 in Secaucus, NJ on April 6, and spoil the homecoming of one of its biggest stars at the same time. (more…)
Episode 48 with Amazing Kong
Few people have elicited the intense speculation and column inches as much as our guest on this edition of the Podcast – and as such we are very pleased to welcome back Amazing Kong, who recently returned to the ring at SHINE 5 following her WWE run. So it’s time to dissect the last couple of years and get to the truth of a lot of speculation and rumours. We talk getting back in the ring at SHINE and Florida Underground (both teaming with Jazz) a couple of weekends ago and how that return came about. We talk endorsements from Jim Ross and Steve Austin leading to meetings with John Laurinatis leading to her dream job. Is it fair to call her a Triple H Project? We talk the first meeting with Vince McMahon, and the Kharma name (and more to the point, discover a rejected alternate name!), and what the initial plans were for her push. We talk acceptance into the Diva locker room, and the reaction to her pregnancy. Seen her wrestling ring-shaped engagement ring? Now hear the *true* story of how her fiancé popped the question. Stew and Kong compare how many Royal Rumbles each of them have been in, and we talk about the great personal tragedy in Kong’s life around that time and how various things contributed to her eventual WWE release. We discuss the oft-reported story that Layla was a last minute replacement for Kharma at Extreme Rules 2012 and how aware she was of the growing interest in a match with Beth Phoenix. From there it’s a discussion of future plans both at home and abroad to wrap up the episode. A pleasure to have Kong back on the show.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers/listeners, who are spending the day eating roasted birds and things containing pumpkins while watching Gridiron football or the Macy’s parade. As Brits, we’re not entirely clued up on what goes on on this particular Thursday in November, but we have seen a lot of people talking about what they are thankful for. So, in the spirit of the day, we shall do the same.
We are thankful for every single one of you who chooses to visit our website, download an interview or podcast, read an article, leave a comment, share our contributions with others and so on. We are also thankful for women who go step into the ring and work hard to entertain the fans; we’re thankful for promoters who give them the opportunity to do so, and we’re thankful for every fan who spends money supporting the wrestlers and the promotions.
So as a thanks to all of you, we’ve got a series of videos of matches which took place around Thanksgiving, but may not necessarily have a Thanksgiving theme. As a result, we’ve got Trish Stratus v Molly Holly from WWF SmackDown on November 23, 2000; The Pilgrims (Michelle McCool, Layla & Jillian Hall) v The Indians (Kelly Kelly, Mickie James & Melina) from WWE Raw on November 23, 2009; Hannah Blossom v Josie from OVW Thanksgiving Thunder on November 28, 2009; and Winter, Angelina Love & Madison Rayne v Velvet Sky, Brooke Tessmacher & Tara from TNA Impact Wrestling on November 24 last year.
Happy Turkey Day, everybody! (more…)
Eve Torres defends the WWE Divas Championship against challengers Kaitlyn and Layla.
• Torres won the belt last month at Night Of Champions after being named as a last-minute replacement to challenge Layla.
• Kaitlyn was meant to be the one facing Layla, but she was taken out before the match by an unidentified assailant.
• Over the last month, Kaitlyn pointed out that her attacker had blonde hair, and alleged that Eve was behind the attack, though the new champ denied it, while Layla has also made similar accusations.
• Last Monday on Raw, the story developed when Kaitlyn said she had proof that Eve got Aksana to don the wig and Nancy Kerrigan her ankle. Since then, Aksana has denied being part of the attack.
• On Friday’s SmackDown, a triple threat match was announced by the show’s GM Booker T, with Eve defending against both Kaitlyn and former champ Layla. (more…)
“SOOO who’s ready for EVEN MORE changes to Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling ? Well heck it wouldn’t be a 24 hour day without some now would it!
“Stay tuned as we’re sure to serve up even more random stuff from the wacky world of Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling in the morning. Perhaps we should start doing contests like Guess The Next Girl To Drop Off ? Gotta love it.
“PS – not one single change to the loaded PWS lineup on Friday.”
That was one of the posts which Pro Wrestling Syndicate posted on its official Facebook page last week ahead of the debut Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling show on Thursday. As it happened, the show managed to fulfil its promise of presenting 8 opening round matches for its Sweet Sixteen tournament, though the lineup was a million miles away from the card which it originally posted. Reports from the show say it was a lot of fun, so it appears the fans went home from the Rahway Recreation Center in New Jersey happy, and by the sounds of the post above, the promoters of PWS breathed a sigh of relief. (more…)
WWE Divas Champion Layla was set to defend the title against number one contender Kaitlyn, but a spanner was thrown in the works after the pay-per-view went on the air…
• Kaitlyn became the number one contender by winning a battle royale on the August 20 episode of Raw, last eliminating Eve Torres.
• Torres started to be really friendly to both champion and challenger in the build up to their title match, being ultra-supportive and overly-happy to gain their trust, but both were suspicious of her intentions.
• Kaitlyn scored the biggest win of career by pinning Beth Phoenix clean with a reverse DDT on last week’s SmackDown.
• However, after Night Of Champions went on the air, we were shown shots of Kaitlyn on the ground having suffered an attack to her ankle, forcing her out of her title challenge.
• Torres went to SmackDown GM Booker T to ask for her to be the replacement in the match, which Booker agreed to. After all, it’s Night Of Champions, and all belts HAVE to be defended – so Layla was left to face a brand new opponent with less than an hour’s notice… (more…)
Last night’s scary incident involving Jerry “The King” Lawler’s heart attack during the live broadcast of Monday Night Raw in Montreal, Quebec, Canada saw an outpouring of support across the Internet, with various woman involved in wrestling taking to Twitter to wish the WWE Hall Of Famer all the best. AJ Lee, Vickie Guerrero, Velvet Sky (who worked on shows with Lawler in Aruba at the weekend) and former wife Stacy Carter all expressed their sentiments.
Lawler’s current girlfriend Lauryn McBride took to her Facebook to let everyone know the situation:
Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers. It has been confirmed that Jerry did have a heart attack…he is in stable condition and breathing on his own & heart is stable. I’m getting on the first flight out of here to be with him & will keep everyone posted. He is a strong man and we will get him back at his best as soon as I can get him home! I love you so so much baby!!
We are coming up to the time that the winner of the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Female 50 is revealed – though the magazine itself will not be released until mid to late November. Since its launch in 2008, the second week of September is when the winner’s name comes out, so I’ve been having a think about who PWI could possibly select as the woman who will sit atop the heap.
Now bear in mind that PWI still bases the criteria for the winner in the way any legitimate sport could be judged, so victories, title wins and lengths of reigns come way above match quality or column inches, so whoever you may think would win may not necessarily be the same as who PWI has in mind. When we asked the question on who you would think would win on our Facebook and Twitter, AJ Lee‘s name popped up a couple of times, with the reasoning being that she is the WWE Raw General Manager and has been embroiled in the WWE and World Championship pictures this year. However, she is unlikely to win the PWI editors’ pick because as an in-ring performer, she has only wrestled a handful of times, and hasn’t won any championships. Likewise, Sara Del Rey is probably an outside bet to win – despite placing in the men’s PWI 500 due to her victories over men in CHIKARA – as she doesn’t have many championship wins or reigns to speak of, and has lost quite a bit recently. (more…)
There has been a lot of focus on the continent of Australasia recently, and most of it centres around one kick-happy wrestler from New Zealand.
As we have documented, Evie has been catapulted into everyone’s line of sight, winning both the IPW Women’s and PWWA Championships in the space of seven days – the first in a triple threat match with Megan-Kate and Britenay, and the latter against Jessie McKay just last Saturday.
When approached for comment, the Auckland resident told Ringbelles:
Winning the IPW Women’s Title and then the PWWA Interim Title… words can’t pinpoint the feelings I felt over those nights. I was extremely emotional… a few tears were shed, and it definitely is the highlight of my career to date. I came away from both matches battered and bruised, but it was all worth it in the end… after five years, I finally feel like a champion.
The fans have also been rad… I can’t believe how much support I received through those tournaments, both online and in person. It was amazing!
I’ve been concerned about the future of Pro Wrestling: EVE, as each show seemed to be becoming a stand-alone production. EVE v Ice Ribbon was a great weekend of action, but didn’t really offer much indication on what would happen next, barring the win streaks of Alpha Female and Nikki Storm. At No Man’s Land in February, there was only one advertised match, which was the title match with Jenny Sjodin defending against Alpha, and that ended inconclusively. Meanwhile in the Queen of the Ring tournament which was set up after the plans to crown new Tag Team Champions fell though, Nikki won, which only reminded us that she was the next contender, and didn’t offer much to speculate about for the next show. Then Alpha won the belt on a non-EVE show, which – while it was the right move – would have been best on the No Man’s Land card. In addition, attendances were less than stellar, which was a shame – doubly so for the EVE v Ice Ribbon shows, which featured some spectacular matches.
However, last Saturday, things slotted into place very nicely. (more…)
Ahead of the WWE Championship Money in the Bank match at the pay-per-view with the same name, we are offered an unadvertised six-Diva tag team match featuring Divas Champion Layla aligning with Tamina Snuka and Kaitlyn against Beth Phoenix, Natalya and Eve Torres.
• None. I’m serious. There is no build-up to this match, as none of these women have really had much TV time in the last month. Eve has been off filming another TV show until recently; Layla has barely been seen except to help forward the AJ angle; Beth and Natalya are ghosts when it comes to the main two shows and even then, they are often on the losing end; Kaitlyn is barely on the radar and Tamina is seen even more rarely than the rest.
• If you wanted to try and salvage some sort of reason, Kaitlyn pinned Phoenix in a tag match on Superstars this week which also featured Natalya and Alicia Fox, though that’s stretching it, and it was never acknowledged by the commentators anyway. (more…)
I was due to write the review of the Beth vs Layla match at No Way Out last week, but due to other priorities, I had to leave it to Lee. It’s probably just as well that I’ve had a week to think about it, because for what it’s worth, I hated the match. Well, maybe “hated” is too strong a word, but I really didn’t like the comedy of Layla stealing Beth’s headband and dancing with it. The finish of Beth losing again also irritated me a bit, mostly because it’s patently clear that WWE have absolutely nothing in mind for Layla, and with Beth losing again, it securely slots her below Layla on the pecking order and kills another level of anticipation (whatever there is left of it anyway) for the Beth Phoenix vs Kharma feud that we’ve been waiting/hoping for ever since Kharma signed up with the company.
Let’s make it clear here – my major downer on the Divas division at the minute is not the usual “wrestlers vs models” debate (I’ve learned for the most part to turn off my brain and find a way to enjoy the Divas for what they are rather than what they aren’t)… no… my big problem is the fact that at the minute, the future of the Divas division is just deathly dull. (more…)
Beyond Wrestling is the new owner of Women Superstars Uncensored. In truth, we heard about Beyond being interested in purchasing WSU about two weeks ago and thought it was a curious name to be in the running.
The model for Beyond is for having wrestling matches presented in front of an audience of fellow wrestlers, which creates a different sort of atmosphere. Only recently has Beyond started regularly running shows in front of regular fans – in fact, it was running a show in conjunction with St Louis Anarchy on Saturday when the announcement was made on WSU’s Uncensored Rumble V iPPV. Excerpts of the statement read out by commentator (as well as Beyond’s Director of Talent Relations and Director of Online Communications) Jon Harder include, “there will be a stronger online presence… all shows will be shot in high definition… future events will be available as video on demand streams and MP4 downloads in addition to the current DVD and iPPV releases.”
Three extra statements were released by Beyond yesterday on its website – most of which were buzz statements with no real substance to them (though in fairness, what more is there to say at the moment) – with the main points being a reassurance for WSU fans there will be no drastic changes to the product, though the logo has changed, as you can see, and the promotion’s website will be overhauled, which will be useful, as there is a lot going on when it comes to the front page at the moment. It also mentions the WSU will run shows in the Tri-State area, with the hope of expanding into new markets by the end of the year.
Let’s go through some of these points. (more…)
Beth Phoenix once again looks to regain the WWE Divas Championship from reigning titleholder Layla.
• Since their last match at Over The Limit, there hasn’t been much interaction between the two, though they have wrestled at pretty much every Raw house show. Phoenix earned another shot at the title by pinning Layla with the Glam Slam in a mixed tag team match on last Monday’s Raw.
• The only other build-up was on SmackDown on Friday, when Phoenix destroyed Alicia Fox in quick time with Layla watching at ringside while doing commentary.
• The match kicked off with a little comedy, with Layla ripping Phoenix’s headband off, putting it on herself then mocking Beth’s poses, as well as doing some bodybuilding stances and gurning a lot. It was a throwback to her heel days in Lay-Cool.
• After trying to get hold of the champion, Phoenix finally got the advantage by knocking Layla off the ropes while she was going for a springboard move, sending her crashing to to the floor. She followed up by throwing the titleholder into the ringside barriers. (more…)
A lot is discussed about how the WWE Divas feel about the short amount of TV time they are given for wrestling, and even less for angles, interviews and promos – something that we discussed with Kelly Kelly in one of our early Women Of Wrestling Podcasts – and it seems there is some credence to those rumours of what goes on behind the scenes.
A poster over at GameFaqs claims that he was an assistant for the writing team, primarily based at WWE’s facilities in Stamford, CT. He claims that his time with the company was not long – just between September and December of last year – but during that time, he says that he picked up on a number of different issues. Whether they hold any water or not is your decision, but we believe some of the allegations – listed in two posts by Scott Keith here and here – are plausible.
The overlying point is the frustration that the women in WWE have for the short amount of screen time they have to get over – which generally isn’t enough, but they have to make do, though they apparently do not take out their issues on their colleagues:
The biggest complainers are probably the Divas, and rightfully so. They always wish they were getting more TV time and longer matches and I can’t blame them…
The Divas all seem very nice and friendly. I only managed to introduce myself to AJ backstage at Survivor Series. She was sweet and introduced herself as April. Beth [Phoenix], Natalya and Alicia [Fox] walked by me on a few occasions backstage and smiled or nodded professionally.
After the jump, there is more, including how the Natalya farting gimmick came about, and why Tamina Snuka was pushed earlier this year: (more…)
The last week has seen the continued downfall of two women who were among the most popular females in the wrestling in the mid-to-late 1990s.
Starting with wrestler-turned-porn star Chyna, who collapsed three times between Thursday and Saturday while in Miami Beach, FL for the 2012 Exxxotica Expo, where she was promoting her latest appearance in a skin flick, playing She Hulk in a porn parody of The Avengers. The first incident happened on Thursday when she passed out in the Catalina hotel’s pool at the Expo’s launch party and was asked to return to her hotel room to sleep it off. But all Chyna did was recover for another assault on the bar the following day.
The following morning, the former WWE Intercontinental and Women’s Champion passed out at the convention itself, right in front of the main stage. After being checked out by paramedics, the 41-year old was helped back to her hotel room for more rest and relaxation – and she needed that help, as video footage posted on TMZ showed that she was in no condition to walk unaided. One day later, she was back, and was seen slumped in the lobby. She was taken to Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach after the third incident, and did not return to the event.
Now, I’m not writing this to poke fun at or mock Chyna. On the contrary, this is a plea for her to reassess her life.
Before her one-off in-ring comeback at TNA Sacrifice a year ago, word had gone around that she was planning to move to Japan and teach English as a foreign language – something that I fully supported. It would be a good career for her to be part of, would make a positive difference in people’s lives and could see her slip away from the spotlight that was eating her alive. After all, she had taken part in a very public rehabilitation on Celebrity Rehab in 2008 which she took part in after admitting that drugs had seen her life spiral out of control – she claimed she was in the middle of her drug use when her sex tape, later released as One Night In Chyna was filmed. Before Celebrity Rehab, she had undergone private rehab after a revealing interview with Howard Stern where she said she didn’t want to do drugs anymore, but if a line of cocaine was put in front of her, she would have to have it. (more…)
Layla faces a big challenge in her first PPV defence since winning the WWE Divas Championship against former titleholder Beth Phoenix.
• Beth Phoenix was due a rematch against Nikki Bella last month at Extreme Rules after losing the championship the previous Monday due to a freak ankle injury, but was not cleared to compete. Instead, Layla was the surprise new challenger and won the title.
• As a result of not getting her rematch, Phoenix was named the top challenger to the title, and the match was scheduled for Over The Limit.
• There had been a few physical squabbles leading up to the match, but the main story was the plucky champion who had recently returned from a year out against her much larger and more powerful challenger. (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…)