When I was 19 years old, I went to a friend’s house to watch SummerSlam 2000. We had known each other for about a year after meeting at university and discovering that we were both wrestling fans. I was in his house for about 10 minutes when his 15 year old sister came in, introduced herself and then hitched up her underwear over her hips and said that she was a Lita fan.
Apart from not knowing where to look, what to say or anything, I was surprised at how someone who had just met me was so keen to impart the fact that she was a fan of Lita. Granted, she knew that I was a wrestling fan, but that sort of stuff shouldn’t happen, should it? I put it down to how cool Lita was and left it at that, but when you look back on her influence during WWF Attitude, you could argue that she was the best representation of women that the company had ever presented up to that point.
Unlike her rival Trish Stratus, Lita wasn’t a barbie doll. She was rough and ready, looked a little messy and did not dress to impress – she dressed for comfort. Copying the Hardy Boyz look with the baggy pants, she coupled it with a tight sports top or t-shirt and got stuck in against the guys. She delivered flying ranas and bodypresses to the likes of Eddie Guerrero, Test, Albert, Edge and Christian, and was happy to take the lumps too. She was powerbombed by the Dudley Boyz, Guerrero and Test as well as getting speared by Edge. She was a game girl who settled things in a way that no woman before her had done so. As a consequence, she was amazingly cool and was arguably more or a role model for women than Trish was. Stratus was too perfect, like she was almost above it all, whereas Lita would hang out with you, drink with you, share a laugh and be your friend. She was the opposite of a Diva, and that made her stand out from the – admittedly smaller in that era – pack.
It is fitting that Amy “Lita” Dumas is going to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year. At 38, she is one of the youngest inductees, though she may have done more to draw women to WWE than any other female before or since. (more…)
After a few days of teasing and polling the fanbase, Women Superstars Uncensored today announced a major overhaul of their Mutiny iPPV on February 8th in Voorhees, NJ, switching out their announced main event of Jessicka Havok vs Shanna for the WSU World Championship for a first time dream match of Havok vs Alpha Female. Shanna’s title shot has now been moved to the smaller ‘Secret Show’ that will take place the night before Mutiny. In their release announcing the card change, WSU management point out that “After Alpha Female was unexpectedly added to the “Mutiny” lineup, fans bombarded WSU Management with messages demanding this international dream match. We have gone out of our way to accommodate these requests.”
On Mutiny, Shanna will now team with Chris Dickinson to take on the team of Candice LaRae & Joey Ryan in a match that “will have major implications on May’s “Queen and King of the Ring” Mixed Tag Team Tournament.” Also announced yesterday was the addition of two top contenders for the WSU Title, LuFisto and Athena, in a title eliminator. Both LuFisto and Athena were promised title shots last year, but both missed out due to injury – and at the end of this match, only one will remain as the #1 Contender. (more…)
Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been doing a lot of retrospective articles. From the looks back to the 2012 award winners to the announcing of the 2013 recipients, from the personal highlights of Stew and myself to reviews of of the Women Of Wrestling Podcasts and our other audio shows, there has been a big look into the past. Now, here’s a look into the future.
Both Stew and I have written a list of things we would like to see happen in 2014. Neither of us have a crystal ball – or more critically, a booking sheet – so we can’t say whether any of these will actually happen, but this is what we would like to see in a perfect world.
Seeing as I’m here, I’ll start:
• I would love to see LuFisto win the SHIMMER Championship. After storming through the last set of tapings and working up a pretty heated rivalry with reigning titleholder Cheerleader Melissa, she ended Female Fight Season standing above her enemy at the end of Femmes Fatales XIII. While no plans have been put in place for SHIMMER 62 in New Orleans, LA, I would be happy to see Melissa and Lufisto in the main event with the Super Hardcore Anime taking the title which would mean the world to her. Even if she only holds it until the DVD tapings the following week, I would love for it to happen. (more…)
With Nikki Storm and Kimber Lee announced over the last couple of days as the 2013 Discovery of the Year and Breakout Star of the Year respectively, the final question that needs to be answered in our 2013 Awards season is the big one. Who was the Wrestler of the Year for 2013 – following in the steps of previous winners Madison Eagles (2010), Hailey Hatred (2011) and Ayako Hamada (2012)? As is customary, before we make our final announcement of our winner, we’ll consider a couple of really strong contenders who ultimately we didn’t go with this year, but would have been worthy winners all the same.
A lot of people – including us, it must be said – made a lot of noise about Madison Eagles this year. After missing the entirety of 2012 with a career threatening knee injury, the fact that Eagles is back and competing at such a high level again is worthy of incredible praise. We remarked when reviewing Eagles’ US return match (vs Jessie McKay at SHIMMER 53 in April) that she “laughs in the face of ring rust”, and that’s pretty much dead on. Standout matches this year include a cracker with Kana at SHIMMER 55, and a couple of matches with Jessicka Havok (at SHINE 9 and SHIMMER 60), and although she started experimenting with fork-based humour in the second half of the year, her credibility at the highest level is still there. Eagles deserves an award for her achievements in 2013, but she just misses out on our biggie.
We’ve mentioned her above, but Kana was also up for consideration. When you factor in her amazing work at SHIMMER over the year against the likes of Eagles, McKay, Kalamity and Kimber Lee, as well as her success in her native Japan, it has certainly been an eventful 12 months in the life of the 32-year old. She was a losing finalist in the tournament to crown the first Regina di WAVE Champion but rebounded to win the WAVE Tag Team titles with Mio Shirai, holding the championship for four months before dropping it in July. In JWP, she became the outsider who won the Openweight Championship and rubbed her accomplishment in the faces of the regular roster before dropping the belt back to Arisa Nakajima earlier this month. As well as her in-ring accomplishments, Kana has reinvented her look, wearing crazy face paint designs and more outlandish outfits to really make herself stand out from the pack.
Also coming close was another name we’ve heard from a lot of people this year as we’ve gauged opinions both from fans and people in the industry – Cheerleader Melissa. From winning the SHIMMER Championship in a Cage Match in SHIMMER’s biggest show ever (Vol 53 at WrestleCon) to holding onto the title throughout the rest of the year, this has been the extended run with the title that she didn’t get first time round (when she lost the championship in the ring before the DVD documenting her title win was even released). It has also coincided with a slow-burn heel shift that has resulted in some of Melissa’s most interesting work for some time. North of the border, she’s also been integral to ongoing storylines for NCW Femmes Fatales, and has been involved in some of their most highly praised matches of 2013.
Eventually though – we went with the same criteria we did last year when we picked Ayako Hamada. Who was the best in ring performer of the year? Who regularly entertained and impressed us most? Who raised up other people to her level? We ended up choosing a sensation… (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (29 October 2013) – LuFisto’s title aspirations, Nikki Roxx winding down, PWI Female 50
Where there is chaos, there is opportunity.
Injuries to Courtney Rush and Xandra Bale, travel issues for Ayako Hamada and personal matters involving Saraya Knight all contributed to a lot of re-jigging for SHIMMER and NCW: Femmes Fatales, with one woman benefiting more than any other.
Realistically, had all of the other wrestlers been healthy or present, LuFisto may not have ended Open Female Fight Season standing over a defeated Cheerleader Melissa with the SHIMMER Championship over her head – however, that’s exactly what did happen, and the 16-year veteran is now in a position where she could conceivably earn another SHIMMER Title match next year and even dethrone the reigning champion. Nobody has enjoyed as much momentum against Melissa during either of her title reigns – even Saraya didn’t have as much build up before beating her adversary for the title – and there seems to be a real ground swell for another match between the bullying cheerleader and the Super Hardcore Anime… and it’s the hardcore aspect which has furthered things, albeit accidentally… (more…)
After shows from Bellatrix, AIW, WSU, SHIMMER and SHINE, the Fight Season curtain falls tonight in Montreal, Quebec as NCW: Femmes Fatales presents their thirteenth show. Thirteen is an unlucky number in many cultures, and there has certainly been an unlucky streak running through this show, first with the injury to Courtney Rush, then with the injury to her replacement Xandra Bale – and then only this week the last minute withdrawal of Saraya Knight due to a family emergency. However, one could conceivably argue that the final card actually ended up with an even stronger main event after the events of SHIMMER last weekend. While certainly the feud between Saraya and LuFisto in Montreal was hot, having Cheerleader Melissa opposite LuFisto in tag team competition just a week after they battled for the SHIMMER Championship in a bloody war – and with Melissa having Mercedes as her partner, just as she did last weekend in SHIMMER – the stakes are higher than ever. Also on the show will be a tantalising three-way with Angie Skye, Kimber Lee & Christina Von Eerie, a “Strap/Lumberjill match” between Portia Perez & Pink Flash Kira, and more. We’ve got live results from the Centre Sportif St-Barthélemy in suburban Montreal just after the cut. (more…)
The card for this Saturday’s NCW Femmes Fatales XIII card has undergone a number of changes over the past month. It all began when Courtney Rush broke her collarbone in mid-September, with Xandra Bale taking her place in the #1 contender match against Cheerleader Melissa. However, things were thrown into flux again when Bale broke her fibula at Women Superstars Uncensored‘s Blood and Thunder, leaving Melissa without an opponent for the second time. Just before yesterday’s Roundup was posted, Femmes Fatales revealed that Melissa would be slotted into the 3-way involving Kimber Lee, Angie Skye & Christina Von Eerie – though that match was reverted back to the 3-way less than 24 hours later.
Less than an hour ago, Femmes Fatales tweeted that Saraya Knight will not be able to make it to the event in Montreal, Quebec, Canada for personal reasons – and in her place will go Melissa, who now teams up with Mercedes Martinez against LuFisto and Sweet Cherrie, meaning the #1 contender match has been scrapped for the show. (more…)
The second day of tapings for SHIMMER Women Athletes is underway, with a big SHIMMER Championship match announced, as well as a return match which could feature some very brutal consequences.
Headlining Volume 60 will be Cheerleader Melissa defending the SHIMMER Title against LuFisto, after the Super Hardcore Anime came to the aid of Leva Bates and Allison Danger on Volume 58, as well as Hiroyo Matsumoto on Volume 59 (you can see all the results here). It should be an emotionally charged contest between the increasingly-viscious Melissa (who is riding high after also coming top of the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Female 50 yesterday) and the never-say-die challenger.
Also announced yesterday is a rematch from Volume 59, where Nicole Matthews and Hikaru Shida will face off in a contest where Shida’s kendo stick will be legal. The bamboo weapon was instrumental in Matthews’ win yesterday, using it out of the sight of the referee – but today, it’s in play, and both women could be battered and bruised by the end.
Elsewhere, the Global Green Gangsters put the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship on the line against Sassy Stephie & Nevaeh, Matsumoto takes on kleptomaniac Portia Perez, Heidi Lovelace wrestles Nikki Storm, Santana Garrett faces Mercedes Martinez, and Allysin Kay battles Kana.
It’s SHIMMER Time! Yes, once again The Eagles Club in Berwyn, IL is the home for some of the best female wrestling in the world, as SHIMMER Women Athletes presents the DVD tapings for Vols 58-61 across two days. Today features Vols 58 & 59, and Ringbelles will have you covered with both live results as they happen and eventually also full analysis of the day’s events. Japan’s Hikaru Shida debuts today, as does Europe’s Nikki Storm – and Shida features in the (as yet) only announced match for the tapings, taking on Mia Yim in what should be a pretty great showcase for both. Join us after the cut for running results, thanks to Reid Allen, who is in attendance – as is Stew, but international data roaming costs are sky high… (more…)
Bellatrix 7 live results – Saraya Knight & Cheerleader Melissa embrace, Courtney Rush screws Liberty (now with thoughts, photos and Sammi Baynz interview)
Open Female Fight season kicks off in a big way today with Bellatrix 7 from Norwich, England on iPPV – click here to order – featuring a Bellatrix v SHIMMER theme, complete with four interpromotional contests.
The big one is between former SHIMMER Champion and Bellatrix matriarch Saraya Knight and current SHIMMER titleholder Cheerleader Melissa in a non-title affair. We covered the topic at length in this week’s Roundup, so for more flavour on the history of this match, you can click here. Considering the location is a stone’s throw away from where they originally fought and the bad blood which has been between the two in the past, and considering it will be in front of a *very* pro-Saraya crowd, this has all the makings of one hell of a spectacle.
Elsewhere on the show, Mercedes Martinez – who we spoke to earlier this week for the Women Of Wrestling Podcast defends her NCW Femmes Fatales International Championship against Miss Mina, while the Bellatrix v SHIMMER contests are rounded off with Destiny facing LuFisto, and Skarlett taking on Christina Von Eerie.
As well as Martinez defending her belt, there are also two other title matches on the show. Erin Angel puts her British Championship on the line against Penelope in a rematch from their great encounter at Bellatrix 4, while Liberty puts the RQW European Women’s Championship up against Sammi Baynz in a match which will be watched very closely by Bellatrix World Champion Courtney Rush – who was due to defend the belt against Liberty until her fractured collarbone injury, though the pair will now face off at Bellatrix 8 next March.
Ringbelles is on hand to see how it all goes down – but if you want to keep abreast of the results, click the jump and keep refreshing the page. (more…)
Episode 61 with Mercedes Martinez
It’s been a long time since we chatted to Mercedes Martinez here on the Women of Wrestling Podcast, and given that she’s coming to the UK this weekend for the Bellatrix 7 iPPV which kickstarts Female Fight Season, we thought it was about damn time. Mercedes talks about looking forward to wrestling in the UK, and defending her NCW:Femmes Fatales Title over here against Miss Mina. Speaking of Femmes Fatales, she gives her views on where they’re going, whether there is a hole in that promotion now that Kalamity has stepped away, the importance of LuFisto and how well Sweet Cherrie did in her main event at Femmes Fatales XII earlier in the year. Speaking of LuFisto, we also address the feud Mercedes has had with her which spanned into WSU, her series with Jessicka Havok there, and try to clarify exactly what Mercedes’ position is with WSU going forward. We talk… yes… WRESTLICIOUS, present her with her own Wrestlicious Rap and investigate what exactly is going on with that programme. Mercedes was also announced today as being a part of the SHIMMER Vols 58-61 tapings in under three weeks. We talk about her thoughts on SHIMMER after all these years, whether a title reign there is still a major goal, and who’s likely to step up with names like Athena and Courtney Rush out through injury during these tapings. We talk SHINE, and her opponent at the last show, Solo Darling, along with her hopes for that promotion. We talk about Mercedes’ current role as the “veteran”, and touch on retirement and what that will mean for her when the day comes, while Lee gets embarrassed with talk of The Big O. Quite the show…!
(right click on the picture and “save as” to download, or stream in our media player below)
In December 2006, LuFisto took nine months away from the ring to recover from a career-threatening back injury. While it hadn’t completely healed, it eventually became bearable enough for the Super Hardcore Anime to come back.
One of her final shows before retreating to recover was deathmatch tournament at Stranglehold Bloodstock 2006 which she won by beating Necro Butcher in the final, and a month after coming back, she competed at the IWA Mid-South Queen Of The Death Matches tournament in October 2007 – however, LuFisto’s comeback also marked the start of her changing direction from the hardcore, weapons-based contests to ones involving more conventional wrestling – a good move to extend her career, one which is still going strong to this day.
Three months after returning, the Montral native travelled to Newall, CA to compete for EPIC WAR against Joey Ryan. Yes, that Joey Ryan – the one who participated in TNA’s Gut Check, lost, and ended up on more TNA shows than some of the winners. The one with the epic 70′s porn star moustache. The one with the loud trunks. He’s at his sexist best here against LuFisto in a dramatic contest which pulls no punches and doesn’t see Ryan hold back – which is a good thing, and LuFisto pours it on. (more…)
We going to post the report to this yesterday, but decided to hold off for 24 hours to reveal the injury to Courtney Rush‘s collarbone – click here to read more about that. She suffered the break during her match under the hood as La Tigre Diablo, and there was some hasty rebooking to replace her on the show. However, fans in the building didn’t know what was going on, so we thought we would bring you up to speed before posting this report.
As for the writer – you may remember a website focussing on Canadian female wrestlers called North Starz which vanished a year ago. Well it’s back, and its webmaster Rick McLean was in attendance, and offered to let us know what happened. We jumped at the chance – and coupled with some excellent pictures from the very talented Tabercil, we can bring you a comprehensive rundown of how Team USA won the first Smash Wrestling CAN USA Classic… (more…)
Bellatrix 7 card revealed: Bellatrix and Femmes Fatales titles on the line! Saraya vs Melissa! Plus, Bellatrix 8 debuts announced!
We’ve just had the announcement of the full card for Bellatrix 7, featuring the five previously announced SHIMMER imports – along with an intriguing domestic return. Heading up the card will see the UK debut of the Bellatrix World Champion Courtney Rush (right), putting her title on the line against the RQW European Champion Liberty, fresh off her main event win at Bellatrix 6 – while Saraya Knight and Cheerleader Melissa return to Norfolk to (presumably) finally settle the 6+ year feud that first erupted in Great Yarmouth in January 2007.
Also, we will see the first overseas defence of the NCW:Femmes Fatales International Title as Mercedes Martinez will put her title on the line against Norwegian star Miss Mina. Along with the SHIMMER vs Bellatrix bouts, Erin Angel will defend her Bellatrix British Ladies Championship against the returning Sammi Baynes. Not sure who Sammi Baynes is? You may remember her as the other half of the Norfolk Dolls tag team with Britani Knight – Melodi!
Click through for the full card. (more…)
It’s finally arrived. After two shows of build-up – which has included eight qualifying matches – as well as one suspension (leading to another pull-out) and one injury withdrawal, SHINE Wrestling will crown the winner of tonight’s tournament as its first champion.
We discussed the show in this week’s Ringbelles Roundup and have also had a look at who we feel are the five most likely winners. In addition, we have also spoken to Valkyrie‘s Ivelisse Velez – who was one of our five picks – as part of the latest Women Of Wrestling Podcast.
The show is being broadcast live on iPPV at WWNLive.com – and you can still order the show by clicking here – but we will also be updating the results as the proceedings unfold, and will be offering thoughts on the show afterward. Click after the jump and keep hitting refresh to see the results as they happen. (more…)
The third representative of the SHIMMER roster which will travel to the UK for October 6′s Bellatrix 7 iPPV was announced moments ago, and it’s someone who – like Bellatrix World Champion Courtney Rush, who was announced at the Bellatrix 6 show last month – is someone who has always expressed a desire to wrestle in UK.
It’s LuFisto, who made her return from the exploded kneecap which she suffered at SHIMMER Volume 53 at last Saturday’s NCW: Femmes Fatales XII show in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She’s not exactly easing herself back into things either – she was half of a physical contest against Kimber Lee on that show, and this Friday, could potentially wrestle up to four matches as part of the SHINE 11 iPPV, where she has replaced Taylor Made in the four-way qualifier to see who makes it to the quarter finals of the SHINE Championship tournament. (more…)
Episode 59 with Ivelisse Velez
This Friday, SHINE Wrestling crowns its first ever champion on iPPV – and if you ask our guest on this show, she’ll be the one holding up the title belt at the end of the night. It’s Ivelisse Velez, everybody! We talk SHINE, and her standout matches with the likes of LuFisto & Athena, experiences in SHINE so far, rule confusion in Mexico for PdM, starting her career as “Sexy Juliette” in Puerto Rico, alternate life plans, moving to Chicago and eventually entering the WWE Tough Enough process. We talk auditioning, the editing process, struggling with injury, the Steve Austin elimination speeches and working with Trish Stratus on the show. Post Tough Enough, we discuss how Ivelisse worked hard at getting her shot in FCW/NXT and her experiences when she got there, an aborted name idea before she was re-christened Sofia Cortez, working with Paige, promo classes, seemingly conflicting advice and some interesting circumstances surrounding her WWE release. We also talk her TNA Gutcheck experiences, her mentality coming in, her on-camera reaction when it was decided she wasn’t going through to the final assessment, and coming back for a couple of taped PPVs that are still to air. We also talk her twice aborted MMA debut and whether that’s still coming. A refreshingly fun and interesting interview. Check it out. (Plus we’ve changed up our Podcast theme for the first time ever!!)
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
NCW: Femmes Fatales XII Results: Martinez vs Sweet Cherrie; Melissa vs Rush; Kimber Lee & Von Eerie debuts
We’ve got ongoing coverage of the latest NCW: Femmes Fatales show in Montreal, Quebec – headlined by the local challenge of Sweet Cherrie taking on Mercedes Martinez for the International Championship, along with the return from injury of LuFisto (after her injury at SHIMMER Vol 53 in April), as she takes on the debuting Kimber Lee. Also on the show, in a non-title battle of champions, the SHIMMER Champion Cheerleader Melissa takes on the Bellatrix Champion Courtney Rush for the right to be named #1 Contender to the FF Championship. Click through after the jump for all the goings-on. (more…)
This weekend, Angelus Layne is one of the entrants in the 2013 version of ACW‘s Queen of Queens tournament – a big opportunity for this Midwest grappler who has been having a very productive 2013 so far. With that in mind, Stew caught up with Angelus for what was *in theory* meant to be a quick chat – but soon turned into a near podcast length discussion.
We talked Queen of Queens (and who she’s got her eye on in that tournament), getting advice from former QoQ winner Rachel Summerlyn, representing St Louis Anarchy and the fun times she’s had there (including working against babyface Jessicka Havok earlier in the year). We discuss working for AIW in Ohio (debuting at the last minute at Girls Night Out 8 earlier this year), and wrestling Darkness Crabtree for Wrestling Is Intense. We also have an in-depth discussion of hairstyles (yes, really), WWE hiring practices, social media, dig out a couple of comic book references and Angelus tells the story of “The Curse of July” and how it killed her chance to appear at NCW: Femmes Fatales last year.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
The breaking news that Kalamity would be taking an undetermined time off from pro wrestling left a hole in the card for Femmes Fatales XII in Montreal on July 6th – not only in general due to the important part Kalamity has played as a featured performer on every show to date, but also more specifically because just a few days ago, she was scheduled to take on Courtney Rush in a clash of top contenders on that show.
However, Courtney was not left needing a new opponent for very long – as she is now scheduled to face the current SHIMMER Champion Cheerleader Melissa next month. The match, which will see neither Rush’s Bellatrix Title nor Melissa’s SHIMMER Title on the line, will have high stakes. Whereas Rush vs Kalamity was considered an unofficial top contender’s match in the NCW:FF rankings, this match is outright billed as a #1 Contender Match – with the winner getting a title shot at the winner of Mercedes Martinez vs Sweet Cherrie. Rush/Melissa is a rematch from their SHIMMER Title match on SHIMMER Volume 55, which was won by Melissa – but in Femmes Fatales, Rush is on a three fight win streak, and will be looking to use this match to not only secure herself a shot at the NCW:FF International Championship, but to lay down a marker to SHIMMER management as well that she is capable of beating Melissa. (more…)