I’m still buzzing after Insane Championship Wrestling’s Fierce Females show on Saturday, which culminated with Kay Lee Ray winning her first ever championship when she won the tournament to become the inaugural Scottish titleholder. Beating Rhia O’Reilly and Viper in two very different contests, she proved that she is versatile and dependable as a main event talent. However, it was more than just KLR who impressed, with her defeated opponents also impressing, along with Carmel Jacob, Bete Noire, Erin Angel and Blue Nikita putting together great outings, and North American talent like Leah Von Dutch and Crazy Mary Dobson also entertaining. In fact, those two elements got me thinking…
First off, women’s wrestling fans are doing themselves a disservice by ignoring Europe. While places like America, Canada, Japan and Mexico are places which get a lot of attention, there are now three major all-women’s indie promotions to speak of in the UK alone, and plenty of skilled women from all over the continent looking to make their mark, and they can make it in the likes of Fierce Females, Pro Wrestling: EVE and Bellatrix because of their differing standpoints. (more…)
Episode 56 with LuFisto
On April 6th at the iPPV broadcast of SHIMMER Vol 53, Montreal’s “Super Hardcore Anime” LuFisto crashed out on a moonsault to the floor during her match – a landing which caused what is medically referred to as an “exploded kneecap”. Now, a month (and a surgery) later, LuFisto talks exclusively to the Women of Wrestling Podcast, and updates us on her current status. LuFi takes us back to that fateful afternoon and gives us a blow by blow account what happened in the ring, the immediate aftermath in the back and the days following. She’s also got an update on the injury status of her pupil Kalamity, who feared she had broken her foot in training in the last week. We talk about some of the things that she missed out on because of her injury, including SHIMMER the following weekend, her WSU World Title shot at Jessicka Havok and her being stripped of the NSPW Title. We talk rehab – including the part BonRoxx Fitness is playing in helping her get back to her best – and estimate her return date. We talk her experiences in AAA, her admiration for Konnan and her future in that company; her feud with Mercedes Martinez in WSU & NCW:FF; facing Saraya Knight and Jazz; taking on Ivelisse in SHINE and ambitions to face Tara some day. We also revisit the comments made by Al Snow following her Gut Check for TNA and her current feelings on the Gut Check Challenge voting, and there’s quite a deep discussion on LuFisto’s ever-changing relationship with the business, what it means to have “succeeded” in wrestling, and bring up the prospect of retirement. It’s a pretty exhaustive hour and a half with an awesome lady. Download, spread the word and enjoy.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
Allison Danger isn’t going to Terry Funk her retirement. After her match at SHIMMER volume 57 on Sunday, she took the microphone to explain the reason why she is quitting the ring and won’t be coming back.
In January, the 36-year old suffered a minor stroke, after which doctors performed some tests and found out that she had lesions on her brain. She explained that they were not life-threatening, but did mean that she would have to stop wrestling for good. While she was thinking of stepping away from the ring, the diagnosis sealed her fate. However, the 13-year veteran is not going to be leaving the business completely, as she will shift her attentions to behind the curtain, assuming a backstage role in SHIMMER to help develop new talent.
The announcement came at the end of a match which raked up history, exposed old wounds and saw someone who she considered a friend take advantage of an old injury which she actually caused. Back on volume 17 in 2008, Danger suffered a broken collarbone at the hands of an Air Raid Crash from Cheerleader Melissa which put her out of action for three months. During her match alongside Regeneration X partner Leva Bates against Melissa and Ayako Hamada, Danger backed off from Melissa’s attack saying that her clavicle was hurting – to which Melissa responded that Danger was milking the moment for attention and sympathy, helping to make sure fans got behind Danger and didn’t have their loyalties separated. However, as the contest developed, Melissa’s aggression went into overdrive, refusing to tag her partner in and setting out to injure Danger on her way out. (more…)
For those who saw SHIMMER Vol 53 this past Saturday on iPPV, they’ll have seen a very scary moment during the four way SHIMMER Tag Team Titles match when Montreal’s “Super Hardcore Anime” LuFisto flew off the top rope to the outside with a moonsault, and crashed and burned on the concrete floor in a sickening thud.
After not moving for several seconds, LuFisto managed to struggle back to her feet and re-enter the match – including hitting a Burning Hammer on Taylor Made to eliminate the team of Made in Sin from the contest. Soon after, LuFisto was pinned by Kellie Skater, eliminating her and her partner Kana from the match. Adrenaline is a crazy thing, and nobody has ever doubted LuFisto’s toughness for one second – but the days that followed have told a different story. After returning home and icing the knee, she tweeted “Swollen knee, no weird colours. Looks better. #positive #wrestlingYAY” – but there was worse news when she went to see a doctor earlier today.
In an open letter published on her facebook, LuFisto revealed that following an X-Ray on the injured knee, she actually suffered a fractured kneecap on that landing, and as a result is looking at at least 2 months out of action, and may require surgery depending on the opinion of an orthopedist this weekend. What that means is that her booking this weekend at SHIMMER is now off, as is her challenge for the WSU World Title at the “Queen & King of the Ring” show on May 11th in Vorhees, NJ, where she was scheduled to face Jessicka Havok. Click through after the jump for the full text of LuFisto’s open letter. (more…)
Lots to mention from SHIMMER volume 53 on Saturday afternoon, so let’s get into it.
Let’s start with the main event, which had the right result for the biggest show in the promotion’s history (not 93,173 as announced by Joey Eastman but more around a hefty 700+, which is more than three times the maximum attendance at the Berwyn Eagles Club). With nowhere for her enemy to run and with nobody to help her, Cheerleader Melissa soundly defeated Saraya Knight inside a monolithic steel cage to regain the SHIMMER Championship. While the match was OK, the real tale was in the story told, which did not see Melissa eke out a victory with luck, but saw her deliver a super hurricanrana, missile dropkick and Air Raid Crash to convincingly pin her rival of close to six years.
The crowd was quiet for much of the match – part of the reason being that a lot of the crowd may not be completely familiar with their history, or that the action was not the crisp sort of execution as other contests because most of their matches look more like fights than matches – but they came out of their seats for the finishing sequence, which was a simple tale of good punishing evil and the snarling, unfriendly heel finally getting her comeuppance. However, despite her loss, Saraya retained her scary aura, attacking fans on her way out of the ring – and was also put over by Bryan Alvarez, who was getting his first viewing of Knight, pointing out that she was a proper, grizzly, old-school wrestling heel.
One would anticipate that Melissa will enjoy a longer run with the belt during her second reign than with her first – when she dropped the title to Knight on her fourth defence, following wins over Nicole Matthews, Portia Perez and Jessie McKay. While there is no detail on who Melissa will be facing in Berwyn this weekend for the usual two-day, four-DVD taping extravaganza, there are a lot of names to play around with – including one debutante who surprised everyone when she hit the ring… (more…)
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…)
History is being made at the Centre St-Barthelemy in Montreal, Quebec tonight as NCW: Femmes Fatales offers up a card with international implications – putting three of the world’s female wrestling championships on the line. In the main event, Femmes Fatales International Champion Kalamity defends her title for the seventeenth time against longtime rival Mercedes Martinez.
In addition, Sweet Saraya Knight defends the SHIMMER Championship against LuFisto, just one week before stepping into a steel cage with Cheerleader Melissa at SHIMMER Vol 53, while Bellatrix World Champion Allison Danger returns to Femmes Fatales to put her title on the line against the suplex master Courtney Rush. Cheerleader Melissa, who was planning on a shot at Jessicka Havok‘s WSU World Title on this show will instead have her hands full with Allysin Kay.
Click through after the page break for live results as they come in, direct from Montreal. (more…)
It’s “Femmes Fatales” day here on Ringbelles, as we count down the hours to the big Femmes Fatales XI card happening this evening in Montreal, Quebec. Barring any technical hitches, we intend to bring you live results from the show as they happen – and while they’re now down to three title matches instead of four with the withdrawal of WSU Champion Jessicka Havok, the show still looks incredibly strong, and will be headlined with the defence number 17 of the NCW: Femmes Fatales International Championship by “The Oncoming Storm” Kalamity.
The following match is from last year’s WrestleReunion show held under the Pro Wrestling Superstars banner – held in Toronto, ON, Canada on April 14. Kalamity’s title defence against inaugural champion – and the woman she defeated for the title – LuFisto was the sole women’s match on the card, and both women were determined to make a big impression. Click the jump and decide for yourself if they managed it. We’ll see you later for results from FFXI… (more…)
Not making it to Bellatrix 5 in Norwich, England on Sunday may have been unfortunate, but it did provide me the opportunity to utilise the option to watch the show on iPPV. Considering a lot of the changes from Bellatrix 4 last November were being done because of this one being broadcast live, it was interesting to be able to assess if those changes were successful.
Improvements to aesthetics like giant wall hangings of the roster, an improved entranceway, ringside barriers and more attention paid to start and running times were coupled with the venue being a purpose-built TV studio with full-scale lights and sound systems, the Epic Studios in Norwich looked vastly different to 5 months ago. The benefit of it being a proper studio also made it easier for the show to be streamed online, as the facilities to broadcast were all there, and had been tried and tested with previous unrelated shows. As a result, Bellatrix 5 was one of the slickest women’s wrestling iPPVs produced to date. (more…)
Last weekend, Montreal’s “Super Hardcore Anime” LuFisto was in Mexico, wrestling for AAA in front of the biggest crowd of her life, a reported 13,500-14,000 sellout in the Plaza de Toros La Monumental in Monterrey. Although she didn’t win the vacant Reina de Reinas championship, she was one of the final two competitors in the four way, losing to eventual new champion Faby Apache. Speaking on twitter following the match, LuFi described the experience as “living the dream”. AAA booker Konnan complimented LuFisto on twitter for her performance, tweeting “Thank u Lu, u are a true pro and gave us a great match..U will be back”.
To get to the four way at the ‘Rey de Reyes’ show, however, LuFisto had a qualifying match earlier this month at Arena Neza on the promotion’s AAA FUSION show – taking on Cinthia Moreno, and that’s the match we’re highlighting today. It’s LuFisto’s debut for AAA, and from the sounds of things, it’s highly unlikely it’s going to be the last they see of her. (more…)
Moments ago at the Plaza de Toros La Monumental in Monterrey, Mexico, Faby Apache captured the vacant AAA Reina de Reinas championship in a four way match over Canadians LuFisto & Taya Valkyrie and her own sister Mari Apache. The match, part of AAA’s Rey de Reyes supershow – one of the company’s biggest events in the calendar – was to fill the vacancy left last month when previous Reina de Reina holder Sexy Star fell pregnant. It is unclear whether Sexy Star opted to vacate or whether AAA wouldn’t allow her to drop the title in the ring.
Mari Apache was first eliminated, at the hands of LuFisto. Taya Valkyrie was the next to go, after missing her moonsault and being pinned by Faby. Faby then went on to win her second Reina de Reinas by defeating LuFisto. Apache’s first run with the title lasted about a year and a half, from May 28, 2008 to September 26, 2009 and is the longest in the championship’s fourteen year history. The match featured the winners of four qualifying matches from earlier this month in Mexico City, when LuFisto beat Cinthia Moreno, Faby Apache beat Sexy Lady, Mari Apache beat Lolita and Taya Valkyrie beat Jennifer Blake (the latter two of which you can watch on YouTube)
Also of interest on the show was the apparent AAA brand split announced by Marisela Pena, into AAA Fusion and AAA Evolution, with the understanding that AAA Fusion would remain the Mexico brand (under Joaquin Roldan), while AAA Evolution would be the American brand (under Dorian Roldan) to coincide with the planned expansion into the US on the forthcoming El Rey network. Assuming AAA Evolution continues to use luchadoras, this could be an interesting new place to work in the US for some female talent.
Photo credit: AAA Official Twitter
After aligning at the conclusion of SHINE 6 – the video of which you can watch after the jump – the five members of Valkyrie are all in action tonight as part of three matches which form the card for SHINE 7, taking place this evening at the Orpheum in Ybor City, FL. The highest-profile match features Rain returning from a wrist injury suffered at SHINE 5 against the woman who was used as the target for the formation of the stable, Amazing Kong.
Elsewhere, April Hunter debuts alongside her buddies in Made In Sin (Allysin Kay & Taylor Made) to take on Mia Yim and the West Coast Connection of Su Yung & Tracy Taylor. The final Valkyrie member, Ivelisse Velez, faces the debuting LuFisto in what is an intriguing match.
The main stipulation match on the event sees Leva Bates and Kimberly square off again, only with it being a Last Woman Standing match. We will see if Kimberly can double her win count in SHINE, or if Leva can tame her unhinged former tag team partner. We discuss the match in greater length in our preview which was written when the card was announced, which you can jump to by clicking here.
You can order the event right now by clicking here to go to WWNLive.com. If that’s not possible, click the jump to see the results as they happen by hitting refresh – and later on, we’ll offer our thoughts on the show, which is likely to produce a number of developments. (more…)
The two big stories coming out of Women Superstars Uncensored’s An Ultraviolent Affair were Jessicka Havok retaining the WSU Championship by beating Athena with a top rope Air Raid Crash, and LuFisto defeating Mercedes Martinez in a Falls Count Anywhere match to become the next number one contender. However, after the latter match, a double-turn took place, with Mercedes Martinez turning heel and LuFisto turning babyface.
As a result, Martinez is now the aggressor in all the big-name women’s promotions in North America. Previously, WSU had been the exception to the rule, with her smiling and playing nice while in SHIMMER, NCW Femmes Fatales and SHINE, she was hankering for the jeers of the fans. Likewise, WSU was the only place where LuFisto was working heel. What that now means is that there is a status quo amongst the big players on the continent, so fans don’t have to work out whether they should be cheering or booing somebody. While this makes it easier on the audience, does it create a natural harmony that isn’t necessarily needed? (more…)
Afer last month’s big conclusion to the SHINE 6 iPPV, we’ve been having a look down the card for SHINE 7, which lands two weeks from now in Ybor City, FL. Surprisingly, all the members of the quintet known as Valkyrie will be in action, which means one wrestler returning from injury, and another making her SHINE in-ring debut.
In the main event, Amazing Kong - the woman who suffered the beating at the end of SHINE 6 at the hands of the stable – looks to gain a measure of revenge against Valkyrie’s leader Rain, who will be returning after breaking her wrist at SHINE 5 back in November in a tag match where she and Mercedes Martinez took on Kong and Jazz, with the Rhythm and Bruise tandem gaining the victory. Elsewhere, April Hunter officially steps into the ring with her Made In Sin charges of Allysin Kay and Taylor Made to face the trio of Mia Yim, and the West Coast Connection of Su Yung and Tracy Taylor (with Taylor making her first SHINE appearance since SHINE 3 back in September). On paper, this seems to be set up for a heel win, though stranger things have happened in wrestling.
The final Valkyrie member faces her biggest challenge so far in SHINE, as Ivelisse Velez faces the debuting LuFisto in singles action. The outcome of this encounter is harder to predict, as even though the Super Hardcore Anime has more experience under her belt, Velez has four other women watching her back and protecting her interests. This is set to be an explosive encounter, though for us at Ringbelles, we feel the real money match is away from the Valkyrie action… (more…)
We are joined by one of the authors of new book “Mad Dogs, Midgets & Screw Jobs: The Untold Story of how Montreal Shaped the World of Wrestling” – Pat Laprade – for a half-hour historical discussion about wrestling in Montreal. Being Ringbelles, we steer to the side of women’s wrestling, and discuss Quebec Wrestling Hall of Famer Vivian Vachon (watch 1973′s ‘Wrestling Queen’ movie here), Luna Vachon (and how she nearly won the WWF Women’s Title three times and missed out each time), LuFisto (and how she dismantled the Ontario Athletic Commission – a story she recounted in her own words back on WOW Podcast #9) and former WWE Divas Champion Maryse Ouellet. We also touch on the ALF promotion, which was the spiritual predecessor to today’s NCW:FF. The book is available now at ECW Press and pretty much everywhere that sells books.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
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…)
The TNA Gut Check series isn’t just played out on TV. The promotion has spent the last two years travelling the US, Canada, the UK and Ireland offering sessions to wrestlers looking to make an impact (pun intended). That means that it’s not just winner Taeler Hendrix who has been involved in the process – and as we mentioned last June, both LuFisto and Courtney Rush were involved in the Gut Check which took place in Oshawa, ON, Canada. However now, TNA has thrown the selection process for who gets a shot on Impact Wrestling out to us, the fans. We will have our say in who we want to step into the ring in Orlando, FL.
To do this, TNA has listed every single person who has participated in any one of the sessions since the first one took place in September 2010 in Rahway, NJ. As stated in the press release – from tomorrow evening, we have the chance to go via the promotion’s website and vote in the Gut Check Challenge, described as “an interactive experience by letting fans decide the one previous “TNA Gut Check” participant who is most deserving of appearing on IMPACT WRESTLING’s “TNA Gut Check” segment on Spike TV.” There will be rounds – 16 brackets in all – until all the wrestlers are whittled down to one.
A number of women have attended the Gut Check sessions, and all of them are eligible, including the aforementioned LuFisto and Rush. After the jump, we’ll let you know which names to look out for – but first, A WARNING.
Beyond this point, we will be revealing the real names of a lot of wrestlers, as that is how their names will likely – appear on the voting form though some are just going by their wrestler persona. If you are someone who likes not knowing their true monikers, stay away. With that said, anyone who’s OK with it can jump in and see who’s vying for your vote from tomorrow evening [UPDATE: it's been bumped to Monday afternoon], as well as the links to their profiles on the Gut Check site, where available. (more…)
So Kaitlyn is finally the WWE Divas Champion. A week shy of five months after (accidentally) winning a battle royal to challenge for the title at Night Of Champions – a shot which never happened after she was written out so Eve Torres could vie for the belt like was originally planned – the NXT Season 3 winner reached the top of the pile, defeating Torres on the 20th anniversary episode of Raw. We’ll get to the new champ in a moment – but firstly, let’s discuss the noise which preceded the match…
Yesterday, PWInsider reported that last night would be Eve’s final match with WWE before leaving the company, and it would be likely that she would be dropping the belt to Kaitlyn, who she has been feuding with since mid-September. As it turns out, that is exactly what happened, though her title loss came a bit earlier than others were expecting. According to the most recent Wrestling Observer Radio, Torres handed in her notice a month ago with the agreement that she would stay on to build up the title feud with Kaitlyn and then drop the belt to her, with the internal expectation being that she would lose the title at the Royal Rumble in two weeks, after a series of matches between the two when Eve would use underhanded tactics to retain the title. Instead, the decision was made for the switch to take place on the milestone Raw – which makes more sense, as it means more viewers would see the change and Kaitlyn’s moment of glory would take place in her home town of Houston, TX. It was a smart move, as the partisan crowd was hotter for the match than it would have likely been compared to the audience at the Rumble in Phoenix, AZ. Besides, fans have been conditioned to a certain extent to not be that bothered about the Divas, so it was unlikely that the match would have generated a massive amount of pay-per-view buys. (more…)
Emi Sakura has had a hell of a year, and it’s been well documented here at Ringbelles. Her success since leaving Ice Ribbon has included setting up her own promotion in Thailand, having it migrate to Japan, winning the JWP/Daily Sports Tag Team Championship, securing the services of Kaori Yoneyama then having her take her side in some sort of Stockholm Syndrome scenario, forming a team to invade JWP and then taking hold of the promotion’s crown jewel by winning the Openweight Championship. In addition, she defended the belt in the UK for the first time in its history and won the Pro Wrestling: EVE Championship on the same night. Indeed, it has been one hell of a year for the 36 year old. However, it seems as if 2012 is going to end on a mildly disappointing note.
Yesterday, 17-year veteran dropped the Openweight Title in the main event of Climax 2012 at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall after 57 days – the second shortest reign in the title’s 20 year history (for the record, the shortest was Devil Masami’s 32 day run which ended when the title was vacated for unknown reasons). She was beaten by current Tag Team Champion Arisa Nakajima, who has also enjoyed a tremendous 2012. (more…)
Have you listened to the latest edition of the Women Of Wrestling Podcast yet? Featuring the heads of SHIMMER, NCW Femmes Fatales and Women Superstars Uncensored, Dave Prazak, Stephane Bruyere and Drew Cordiero spoke frankly on a number of topics such as their respective fortunes in 2012, the pros and cons of booking former WWE Divas or TNA Knockouts on a show and what they think of iPPV. Amongst all the great chat, each took the time to reveal nuggets of what we should expect in 2013 from their respective promotions.
For SHIMMER, Prazak revealed that at at the volume 53 show on April 6 in Secaucus, NJ as part of the WrestleCon event will see the return of two big stars and the debut of one of women’s wrestling’s hottest prospects. Former SHIMMER Champion Madison Eagles – who has been out of action since October 2011 with a devastating knee injury – will make her long-awaited return to the promotion where she reigned supreme between April 2010 and last October, where she dropped the belt to Cheerleader Melissa on volume 42. Her injury occurred mere days later as she was in training ahead of her match against Kana for CHIKARA , with a mere double stomp causing all the problems. At the time, she was told that she could either rest and see if the injury healed of its own accord, or have surgery which would end her career. (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (11 December 2012) – Divas future, intergender wrestling part 2, Portia’s tweets, Fierce Females DVD review & more
WWE knows the Divas division is in tatters at the moment, and seems intent on asking us what we want to happen to it, so the promotion has been contacting focus groups asking about the future of the women. PWInsider reports they were sent out to ask fans what they think of the Divas in the past, what they are like now, and which women they liked. Another question which was reportedly on the list is what role they wanted to see them in – be it as valets/managers, dancers, wrestlers, love interests and more.
This could be the opportunity that fans of women’s wrestling have been waiting for. If the data comes back in the way which we would hope for, it could see a resurgence of in-ring action for the Divas in 2013, along with some proper storylines with episodic character development, culminating in big matches at pay-per-views. It could see them take more prominent roles on the TV shows, and have their segments played out in front of interested, active crowds who care about what is going on. It could also see an injection of new talent into the ranks, possible gimmick revamps to make them more interesting, and having more options of big matches all as part of the quest to snare the Divas Championship.
Oh yes, it could be the start of something beautiful.
But what if it isn’t? (more…)