Former WWE Women’s and Divas Champion Michelle McCool must have talked to her official fansite MichelleMcCool.net for about a kabillion years for it to produce as many different releases about things she has said about her time in WWE. There are masses of quotes about Beth Phoenix, Maria Kanellis, Layla, Sharmell Huffman, Vickie Guerrero, Tara, Natalya, Torrie Wilson, Mickie James and more. Seriously, the interview must have gone on for about three hours to sufficiently cover all these topics. Quite why she has decided to do this now after spending more than 18 months out of the wrestling spotlight is a discussion in itself, as it is doubtful that she is doing to come back, and she has positive things to say about everyone, which doesn’t lead to that many juicy tidbits. However, it is her comments about her experiences with Melina which we found the most interesting.
The 32-year old discussed how they collectively got in trouble following their contest at Night Of Champions 2009, where McCool successfully defended the Women’s Championship, with one particular move on the outside of the ring causing the problem:
It was that day – I was like: “could you not tell anybody, but do you think we could do a DDT on the barricade?” And [Melina] was like: “Ohhhh! Yeah!!!” — Not even thinking twice about it. We kind of hid it all day, even though we did ask our agent for approval, I think it was Fit — which is no secret that he was always fighting for the girls. We just made sure that we can stand up and get our balance, but we never actually did the bump. She was the one who was going to take the huge bump, and there was no doubt, no hesitation, that she would make it look ridiculous — and it did! [During the match] She finally takes the bump, it looks sick [pictured above], pops off — up to that point, that was the best match I’ve ever had. We had the pay-per-view, we had time, I was really proud of that match. (more…)
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…)
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…)
This gif from last night’s Raw makes me sad.
At the conclusion of last night’s Raw match, Tamina pinned Brie Bella, followed by she and Beth Phoenix having a staredown. Looks like it’ll be the next Divas title match, which will probably take place at Elimination Chamber. However, judging by the reaction of the live crowd, nobody could give a flying fornication about that match, or Divas matches in general. Part of me thinks that it’s sad that they don’t get credit when they are out there trying (after all, Tamina’s getting something resembling a push at the moment), but the matches are so short, basic and without any form of excitement that I don’t blame the fans for not reacting.
As we discussed with Alex Greenfield on the most recent Women Of Wrestling Podcast, the women WANT storylines to get their teeth into. And in WWE’s case, a couple of them are getting involved in angles as being associated with the guys (AJ with Daniel Bryan, Eve Torres with Zack Ryder for example) but they aren’t exactly the focus of the proceedings. In fact, their roles could be somewhat interchangeable. However, as Alex also pointed out, when given the right story, the appropriate amount of time and the backing (or apathy) of Vince McMahon, things can skyrocket.
The potential for this to happen next time for the WWE Divas would be in a potential Beth v Kharma series of matches, but with fan enthusiasm at an all-time low, is there a possibility of it being a draw like it possibly could be. Well, there is a chance, as Kharma generates excitement amongst the audience due to her unique look and how she is so vastly different to the mountains of tanning, hairspray and sprayed-on outfits that are trotted out for sub-two minute matches every week. Variety is the spice of life, and Kharma is the most left of the middle woman that the promotion has. This should be harnessed or even exploited to draw interest and money for the girls and make the audience realise there is more to the women than mountains of tanning, hairspray and sprayed-on outfits. The thing is, it’s going to need some help… (more…)
This Sunday sees Bull Nakano issue her official goodbye to pro wrestling as part of her EMPRESS retirement show on her 44th birthday at the Tokyo Dome City Hall. So far, only two matches have been announced, though the former WWF Women’s Champion has spent the last few months visiting numerous joshi promotions, offering blue envelopes to wrestlers, ostensibly inviting them to be part of the show.
As well as handing out invitations like she’s on an episode of My Super Sweet 16, Nakano has also been preparing herself, putting on weight and growing her hair so she can become the image that she was when she was wrestling – 230lb with hair spiking straight up, and blue veins etched onto her face. It is a big change from a couple of years ago, when as a professional golfer, Keiko Nakano’s weight had dropped weight all the way down to 130lb – partly to ease the pressure on her injured knees that had taken a battering during her hard-hitting 14-year career between 1983 and 1997 (though she returned for one more match in 2001). For that reason, it is unclear if Nakano will wrestle on the event, though nothing should be ruled out. (more…)
Serena Deeb has publicly spoken about just how in jeopardy her career is at the moment. In an interview with Newsday to promote this Saturday’s Women Superstars Uncensored Breaking Barriers II iPPV, the 25-year old former WWE Diva expanded on her situation, and the Wrestling Observer reports that she said that a doctor has told her that it would be in her best interests to not wrestle again.
As part of the interview, Deeb said:
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about it right now, especially because everything just happened… I’m 25-years-old and what I always imagined was that my career would go for as long as I wanted it to, and that I’d have that in my control. Now I’m suddenly being put in the position where it’s not in my control, and where my body is maybe not going to last as long as I wanted it to and as long as I idealized it lasting. So there’s definitely a large element of worry right now.
It’s a more than welcome return to the Women of Wrestling Podcast for “The Nicest Woman In Wrestling” Serena Deeb – and a timely one too, given her recent serious concussion. Want the full story on what happened and the up-to-date news on her health? She’s got it. There’s loads more to talk about too, such as the match she was supposed to be having at WSU later this month with Melina, and her thoughts on Melina as a performer and exactly where she stands in her career at this point. We talk Serena’s regular trips to Japan in 2011 for SMASH, and discuss the younger talents like Amanda Fox and Davina Rose who are trying to walk in Serena’s footsteps. We talk her incredible intensity in the ring, the possibility of returning to WWE and who Serena sees as the absolute best in the business right now. We also discuss the “World Famous” Kana, who made her US debut last month. As usual, an uplifting chat with the Deebious One. What a feeling!
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
It’s a week of disappointment for Serena Deeb. After being diagnosed with a concussion earlier this week and having to cancel her debut with CHIKARA this upcoming Saturday, the news has come out that she will not be competing at Women Superstars Uncensored’s Breaking Barriers 2 iPPV on November 19 against fellow former WWE Diva Melina.
On its Twitter, WSU announced:
Breaking news: @SerenaDeeb will not be able to wrestle on 11/19, but she will be in the building to address the fans.
It seems that the promotion is taking steps of its own accord and not waiting for the results of an MRI which Serena will be undergoing on Friday. With it being touch and go as to whether she will be cleared, it appears that WSU is making the decision to pull her from the show rather than let it get closer to the date before finding a suitable replacement, or allowing 25-year old Deeb to put herself at further risk. Either way, that sort of responsibility should be commended.
As before, we at Ringbelles wish Serena all the best with her recovery.
UPDATE: As for a replacement, WSU Commissioner Amy Lee has said that she will name Melina’s opponent in the ring at the show itself. That’s a big risk, as it means that Melina alone has to draw a match against an unnamed opponent. It could be someone as good as Serena, or it could be a disappointment. It looks like you’ll have to decide to by the show for yourself to find out.
UPDATE 2: Serena’s sent a video to WSU, which has been uploaded to YouTube. Here it is for you:
It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently. – Warren Buffett
On Sunday, the Bella Twins must have over-indulged as part of Labor Day weekend. They decided to take .357 Magnums, aim them square at their own feet and pull the triggers until they went click.
WWE.com writer Katie Raymond wrote an article about the Divas of Doom, asking if they were a solution or foil to what is perceived as the Diva-norm portrayed by the likes of Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres and the Bella Twins.
In the article, Raymond wrote:
Stinkfaces. Booty poppin’. If you’re a purist about a woman’s place inside the WWE ring, you might be wondering what Fabulous Moolah is thinking looking down on the Divas division. Would the iconic figure chalk up the current flux of the division on changing times, or would she say, “Someone needs to save this”?
Beth Phoenix and Natalya, the “Divas of Doom,” think so. However, are The Glamazon and third-generation Diva just the two women to call “saviors”?
So does the Divas division need to be saved? Not just yet. But Beth Phoenix and Natalya are certainly doing their share to rejuvenate it.
Taking this as some kind of personal insult, Diva supporters took to Twitter to bombard Raymond with vitriol, insults and threats for writing a KAYFABED article on the company’s KAYFABED website. The number of filters that this would have had to have gone through is ridiculous, yet fans got all butthurt about it, seeing it as a personal insult against the girls, instead of as a piece to fluff up the storyline between the Divas Of Doom and the rest of the roster – and it really needs it, as the storyline has lost so much steam since SummerSlam’s Phoenix v Kelly match that it makes you wonder if WWE had a plan for after the match. While the reaction of the fans was silly, it was expected to a certain extent. However, everything went into meltdown when the Divas themselves started talking about it like it was real. (more…)
The Ringbelles team has been discussing the alleged fee being charged by Melina for her independent appearances, as have numerous wrestlers and promoters. PWG Champion Kevin Steen tweeted “$3000 plus first class air and hotel?! F–k…I’ve been charging way too little”. Colt Cabana followed suit, saying “My wrestling fee has now gone from 2 diet cokes and a cupcake to 3 bajillionfajillion dollars… Pay up, promoters!” Anarchy Championship Wrestling promoter Darin Childs also weighed in by taking to his Twitter: “As a promoter I should never do things like this, buuuut can we all LOL together at Melina’s appearance demands?”
Melina – and Women Superstars Uncensored, who have booked her for November 19′s iPPV – have denied that the $3,000 booking charge is accurate. In addition, Melina made her first post-WWE appearance on Saturday night at Family Wrestling Entertainment in New York, managing Eric Young in the main event. Would a smaller promotion such as FWE have paid that much for an appearance and not even have her wrestle a match?
Granted, she was charging $20 for an autograph and and extra $15 for a photo – and that didn’t include entry to the show – which could have supplemented a smaller fee than an alleged $3,000, but it still seems a slightly inflated price for a local promotion, right? Still, for argument’s sake, let’s say that the $3,000 is accurate, and Melina and WSU are trying to downplay the fee. Is it wrong for Melina to charge that much? After all, if promoters were willing to pay such a lofty sum, surely that can’t mean that it’s too expensive? (more…)
So it’s official; Melina’s return to indie wrestling will be on November 19 at Women Superstars Uncensored’s Breaking Barriers II iPPV where she will wrestle fellow ex-WWE employee Serena Deeb. WSU made the match official in its press release yesterday, where it claims “Melina, who has a very storied career in WWE, wants to prove to the world that she is not just a diva, but a full-fledged womens wrestler. She will get that opportunity on 11/19. Serena is calling herself “The Best in the World”. We’ll find out if that rings true on 11/19 in this first time ever one-on-one clash.”
In theory, this is will be a comfortable return for Melina to a different style of action than you normally see on WWE TV, as she and Serena can work a half WWE, half indie style. It’s a decent idea, considering she has not been on the indie scene since 2004, a mere three years into her wrestling career. It’s also Melina’s best opportunity to create a new first impression…
32-year old Melina Perez has a reputation for being troublesome behind the scenes, with a number of reports from a number of different sources – some of them could be true, some of them could be phoney. However, after a number of reported incidents, it becomes ever more likely that the next incident will be more readily believed, regardless of its validity. Melina polarises opinions – some think she is excellent, others think she is more trouble than she is worth – but she has a chance to sell herself to a fresh set of eyes on November 19. In essence, she has an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and give us the chance to see that she is taking wrestling seriously, and is willing to muck in and work towards presenting a better product for women’s wrestling fans. (more…)
Most of you reading this will already know the main details about Gail Kim and Melina’s departures from WWE – Melina was released on Thursday after a number of controversial incidents, while Kim “quit” on last Monday after eliminating herself from Raw’s battle royal. The situation since then is that both are still somewhat tied to the company, be it by choice or circumstance.
Despite walking out of WWE last week, Gail Kim is still yet to have been officially released. Instead, she’s breaching her contract – which may have as little as a month or two left on it – in the hope that the deal will be terminated and she will be free to do whatever she wants with her life. The two most obvious possibilities to this strategy were that either Kim would get what she wanted – which was unlikely, as why would they roll over for someone who has behaved unprofessionally in just walking out of the door – or that WWE would sue her for breaching her contract. However, they decided to choose option three – keep her on the payroll. (more…)
Even Stevie Wonder could see it coming.
As part of these semi-regular culls that they seem to do, Melina has been released from WWE. The 32-year old was let go following a string of alleged incidents of disruption as well as erratic behaviour on social networks and YouTube, most of which has been documented in an article written for this very site three weeks ago, in a piece of Nostradamus-like foreshadowing.
In all honestly, the writing has been on the wall with Melina for some time. Ever since she complained about being turned heel at the end of last year, it’s been one controversy after another – whether it’s moaning on Twitter about her relationship with John Morrison, having a problem with WWE’s golden girl Trish Stratus or being kicked out of nightclubs, she hasn’t done much to endear herself to management or colleagues. It was time for her to go. Ironically, Melina is the subject of today’s Diva Focus on WWE.com. Now that’s some bad timing…
Just minutes earlier, Gail Kim took to her Twitter (on which she’s been very vocal recently about the state of the Divas division in WWE) to inform everyone that she had quit the company on Monday night, following a baffling moment where she eliminated herself from the Divas battle royal mere seconds into the match – but was still not the first one out, as Melina was sent packing pretty much at the opening bell. (more…)
Anyone see Raw this week? I mean besides the awesome stuff with CM Punk? I mean, the Divas match in particular between Kelly Kelly and Melina, with a post-match beatdown by the Bella Twins on Kelly and Eve Torres? Anyone see how Melina joined in with the beatdown? No?
That’s because it didn’t happen. The two-time Divas Champion and three-time Women’s Champion was left in the shadows after being defeated in 100 seconds by Kelly, having only got in three moves, and two of those were kicks. It could be claimed that the match was short – so short that Melina was introduced in the ring and din’t even get to do her signature entrance with the paparazzi and the splits – because the show was overrunning. Some would say it’s a big push for Kelly, given that she is the Divas Champ right now, and that she has a title defence this weekend on the Money in the Bank pay-per-view against Brie Bella - and that’s all true. However, Kelly could have beaten any number of women on the Raw roster in what was effectively a squash match – Maryse would have been perfect for that role. It is telling that WWE chose to send out Melina – its former golden girl, the woman who was the figurehead of the division for years and the woman who has seemingly been in the Diva doghouse for all of 2011 – to lie down… (more…)
It’s a little sooner than we had expected, but it’s WWE Draft time again – pretty much the only time of the year when the fact that there is separate rosters matters. After all, most of the time, wrestlers are on either show, and it makes a mockery of the whole practice.
But, for the benefit of Monday night, let’s accept that both rosters do their own thing and their paths do not cross, and we will try and do our best to guess what is going to happen (or successfully predict, if the change in Beth Phoenix’s roster affiliation in the address bar on her profile page is anything to go by).
Still, Stew, Jennifer and Lee have picked two Divas who they hope will make the jump – not necessarily predictions, but more reasons why someone deserves a move from the Raw to SmackDown, or vice versa.
Now, bear in mind – none of these choices have been discussed amongst each other. The selections you read below are completely independent, and haven’t been influenced by anybody else’s wants or guesses in any way. So with that said, let’s get to it… (more…)
The Big News
Two big stories coming out of the UK this week…
It was a rough yet rewarding weekend for Britani Knight. Suffering from what she thought was tonsillitis, the 18-year old member of the Knight Dynasty wrestled 5 matches in 28 hours on route to becoming the first ever Pro Wrestling: EVE champion. However, she was bedridden the next day with what turned out to be glandular fever, causing her to miss a date with her home promotion, World Association of Wrestling. We at Ringbelles wish her congratulations on her title win and also a speedy recovery from a nasty illness.
EVE’s title tournament turned out to be less complicated that the brackets would have led you to believe. Starting with FIVE four corner matches and a Last Chance Battle Royal for the losers to determine the quarter finalists, they were hurried through relatively quickly to leave us with singles matches which varied from fine to good – the standout matches of the first night featured Erin Angel v Nikki Storm and Britani v Jenny Sjodin in the quarters, and Sweet Saraya taking on Blue Nikita in a Last Woman Standing match. The return of Blue Nikita was something of a surprise after her relationship with EVE went sour after the first show – so when she ran in to attack Saraya in the opening match of the evening, it took many by surprise. It also meant that both voluntarily took themselves out of the tournament – Saraya was eligible for the Battle Royal and Blue Nikita never got to compete in her four-way contest due to brawling with Saraya before the bell – to compete in the Last Woman Standing affair, which Saraya won with a sunset powerbomb.
The Project nightclub was a makeshift venue after the Royal British Legion was pulled as a host due to licensing issues and complaints – somebody even called up the local radio station pretending to be EVE management to say the event at the Project had been completely cancelled – but as an environment for the audience, it was great. It was cosy, yet sat the fans comfortably with plenty of space, and felt safe yet anarchic. Apparently it was a little too cosy backstage, as there wasn’t much room for the wrestlers – of which there were around 20 – to change, but that could be changed if EVE decides to return to the venue – something the owners were pretty receptive to. (more…)
NOTE: This is a commentary. The views expressed may or may not reflect those held by Ringbelles Admin.
With the upcoming returns of both Tough Enough next month and the Diva Search later this year, it leaves this writer wondering: if the pattern from previous contests holds true (in that, no matter who won either show, some of the runners-up made it into the WWE), will we see an influx of new female talent? If so, could some of the current Divas on the roster be in jeopardy of losing their jobs? Most likely and off the top of my head, four names came to mind. Mind you, this is all speculation, but there are some women whose jobs are secure for the most part and some are very much expendable. The following list is in no particular order. (more…)
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.
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.
In the original part of this look back of The Women of Tough Enough, we checked out the three winners – Nidia Guenard, Linda Miles and Jackie Gayda Haas. In this concluding part, we should take a peek at some of the other contestants who ended up in the biz, as well as the applicants who didn’t make it into the house but still forged a career in wrestling anyway.
So let’s go through it season by season… (more…)
It’s all about the build-up this week on the TV digest, as both WWE & TNA actually put some effort into building up some future matches and programmes. In WWE, the build is towards this coming Monday on Raw, when Eve Torres will defend her Divas title against Natalya, while TNA are promoting their “Against All Odds” PPV this weekend, as Madison Rayne is set to defend her Knockouts Title against Mickie James in a “Last Knockout Standing” encounter.
TV match of the week this week goes to the challenger for the Divas Title, Natalya, who took on Alicia Fox on Superstars this week in a match that was a significant cut above the Melina vs Tamina mess from the previous week.
The Big Five
LuFisto’s tour of Japan and match against Ken Ohka for Union Pro Wrestling on February 3 never took place. Instead, our choice for Woman of the Year 2010 was sent straight back to Montreal after being denied entry to Japan by customs officials.
Details made their way online thanks to a friend of hers relaying the story to the Wrestling Observer, but at the end of last week, we were given a first person account of what happened from the Super Hardcore Anime herself.
She points out that she was told by Union that she didn’t need a working visa so flew out on that advice, only to be stopped by Immigration, who were apparently waiting for her with a dossier about her. Without the correct documents, she wasn’t allowed into the country and was sent back home.
Since then, Union have contacted her to apologise for the confusion.
It’s not all bad news for the NCW: Femmes Fatales International Champion though: she’s been voted the #1 woman indy wrestler in Quebec for the 8th time in 9 years, and #3 in the top 50 indy wrestlers, regardless of gender – her highest position ever. (more…)
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…