It was late 2011 when I watched my very first SHIMMER. It was Volume 37 and I am not going to lie, it was a bit of a blur. I marveled at the fact that this show catered for women’s wrestling, that the women… *actually* wrestled. There were no fart jokes, there was no nonsense timing of matches, this shit was serious and it was bloody awesome. I had always been a fan of women’s wrestling, but it was more aimed toward the Australian local scene (and with talents such as Madison Eagles and Kellie Skater, who could blame me?), I was used to seeing short matches on a card stacked with men, so to see SHIMMER match that went against the very grain of everything I knew, well: mind blown.
The main event for that show was Eagles v Mercedes Martinez. I think it’s pretty obvious in my third instalment of this column, that I am a pretty huge fan of Madison’s work and naturally this match was no exception. To see her in that match amongst her ‘own kind’ was spectacular and I was blown away with the high calibre of wrestling shown throughout the entire show. It was then I quickly realised, SHIMMER was the grand mecca of women’s wrestling. THIS was the place to be if you are a female wrestler and are damn serious about it. (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…)
So, you’ve seen our main six picks in our 2013 “A good half year for…” series – Kellie Skater, Ayumi Kurihara, Mickie James, Heidi Lovelace, Nikki Storm & Madison Eagles – and you can see even from those picks that we made our decisions on different criteria, and we stand by our picks as women who have all raised their stock since the turn of the year. However, the selection process of choosing a final six for full write-ups meant drawing up a longlist of potential picks, and we figured we’d wrap up the series by sharing a few of those women we thought had a great six months, but fell just below making the final six. Click through after the page break for… a few others. (more…)
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…)
A bit of a weird one this, I’ll grant you. Considering earlier this year, the 28 year old joshi puroresu standout announced her retirement from the sport due to nagging injuries (citing her 2007 clavicle injury in particular), you’d think Kurihara would be as far away from a discussion like this as it is possible to be – and while, yes, seeing a superb young talent being struck down in the prime of her career is a terribly sad thing, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody go on a more joyful final retirement road. Kurihara’s last six months in the business have seen her experience so much, achieve so much and do it all with a huge smile on her face. If she’s leaving wrestling, she’s packing an entire career’s worth of memories into 2013. (more…)
We know four of the competitors who will be part of the tournament to determine the first SHINE Champion. Saraya Knight, Jazz, Rain and Jessicka Havok all booked their slot by winning their qualifiers at SHINE 9 last month. However, one of those women is putting her position on the line this evening – Havok will face Portia Perez after the two engaged in a Twitter spat.
Elsewhere on the card, the remaining four title tournament slots will be determined, with Nikki Roxx, Allysin Kay, Leva Bates, Taylor Made, Mia Yim, Mercedes Martinez, Santana Garrett and Kimberly all vying to get into the tournament for the title. Rain will also wrestle Angelina Love again in a match where her Valkyrie cohorts will be banned from ringside, and Daffney – who quit as a ring announcer to become a manager again – will start to size up potential clients.
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)
At SHINE 9, four women – Saraya Knight, Rain, Jessicka Havok & Jazz – qualified for the promotion’s upcoming title tournament due to take place in July. On May 24, the remaining four women will compete to qualify as part of the SHINE 10 lineup.
Fresh off her victory in the main event of SHINE 9, Leva Bates will look to get into the title hunt when she faces Valkyrie member Taylor Made. Elsewhere, the loser of the Arkham Asylum Cage Match, Kimberly, will look to get back to winning ways when she takes on SHINE’s rising star and ultimate baby face Santana Garrett.
Mercedes Martinez – who seems to have incurred the ire of Daffney through her actions at SHINE 9 where she gatecrashed and spoiled Nikki Roxx‘s birthday celebration – wrestles Mia Yim, who was part of the main event of SHINE 8 and was a sixth of the trios tag at SHINE 9, while Roxx rounds off the last of the qualifying matches, when she steps into the ring against Taylor’s Made In Sin tag team partner and fellow Valkyrie member Allysin Kay. (more…)
SHINE 9 results: Eagles vs Havok steals the show, plus Leva finally commits Kimberly to Arkham Asylum
SHINE Wrestling returns to iPPV this evening with what is without doubt the most stacked card in company history – featuring, as it does, a Steel Cage Match main event to (presumably) cap off the long standing rivalry between Leva Bates & Kimberly, which currently stands at 2-2 after four matches (Bates won at SHINE 3, then after Kimberly turned heel at SHINE 5, she won their rematch at SHINE 6. On SHINE 7, Leva won a Last Woman Standing match, only to see Kimberly win the Fans Bring The Weapons/I Quit match at SHINE 8).
The show also sees the first Qualifying round of the SHINE Title tournament, which takes place at SHINE 11 in July – with eight hopefuls looking to advance to the single elimination tournament. In a first time ever dream match, Madison Eagles takes on Jessicka Havok, while Sweet Saraya Knight battles Su Yung. VALKYRIE stable members Rain & Ivelisse Velez will also see tournament action, against Jazz & Angelina Love respectively. And that’s not even all. Jump through after the page break to follow results as they come in from the Orpheum in Ybor City, FL. (more…)
After the events of yesterday, SHIMMER returns for its DVD tapings for volumes 56 and 57.
Expected to continue on from yesterday’s tapings include the quest by the Global Green Gangsters to secure another Tag Team Title shot at the Canadian Ninjas; Saraya Knight‘s reign of terror is being curbed by the officials; meanwhile, Jessicka Havok wants to leave more bodies in her wake, and Cheerleader Melissa is looking to retain the SHIMMER Championship. Also, these tapings mark the final matches for Allison Danger, who retires from the ring on volume 57.
As with yesterday, we will bring you results after the jump, along with pictures on thoughts on the show in due course. For now, click into the results and enjoy. (more…)
It’s the kickoff to SHIMMER’s Vols 54-57 tapings in Berwyn, IL at the Eagles Club with Vols 54 & 55 being recorded today. We’ve got a big preview of the Vol 54 taping up already, and we’ll be updating this page with results after the conclusion of both of today’s volumes. As noted in the preview, we’ll be back with thoughts and pictures from the event at some point thereafter. Enjoy!
Last week, I repeated my previous assertion that two championships would change hands at NCW Femmes Fatales XI in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on Saturday. Lo and behold, that’s what happened – with the Bellatrix World Championship and the Femmes Fatales International Titles being won by Courtney Rush and Mercedes Martinez respectively.
Martinez’s victory over Kalamity is only part of her story in the show. She continued her cross-promotion feud with LuFisto following her defeat to the Super Hardcore Anime at Women Superstars Uncensored’s An Ultraviolent Affair in February by attacking her foe during LuFisto’s challenge for the SHIMMER title against Saraya Knight. The steel chair attack to LuFisto’s head was enough for Knight to lock in the Bridal Rocking Horse for the stoppage and retain the belt, meaning that no matter what happened with Mercedes’ challenge to Kalamity, the Martinez/LuFisto programme would continue.
As it turns out, the programme will likely feature the International Championship, as the Latina Sensation used a Fisherman Buster onto a steel chair to gain the pinfall and bring The Oncoming Storm’s 17-month reign to an end. (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…)
The wrestling community worldwide was shocked today as joshi superstar Ayumi Kurihara announced her forthcoming retirement at a press conference. Kurihara, 28, plans to retire at Korakuen Hall on August 4th. The reason for the retirement was given as a number of nagging injuries accumulated over a hard-hitting eight year career. Notably, she missed around a year and a half of action in 2007/8 with a broken clavicle suffered in a match in NEO (she still finished the match), and earlier this year suffered an orbital bone fracture in a match in WAVE. Kurihara said in her announcement today that she would not be happy competing at a level below her best, and that this has played a large part in her decision to retire.
However, some good news for fans of Kurihara – she will be competing in the USA one final time in just over one week’s time as part of SHIMMER Vol 53 at WrestleCon in Secaucus, NJ. Ayumi, a former SHIMMER Tag Team Champion, missed the October tapings last year, so this will be the first time she will compete under the SHIMMER banner in a year. The Vol 53 appearance will be a one-off, as she will not be at the Vol 54-57 taping block in Berwyn, IL the following weekend. Her opponent for Vol 53 has also been announced, and she will be taking on SHIMMER original Mercedes Martinez. The announcement of Ayumi completes the joshi lineup for the April SHIMMER tapings, with Ayako Hamada, Kana, Tomoka Nakagawa & the debuting Yuu Yamagata all already announced. (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…)
SHINE 8 results: Valkyrie remain unbeaten, Havok forced to respect Sky, Bates/Kimberly in insane brawl
Since the formation of Rain‘s Valkyrie stable at SHINE 6, the group has been on a tear – going 3-0 against SHINE talent at SHINE 7 – but with the roster banding together against the renegades at the conclusion of the last show, and the addition of the debuting Angelina Love – it just might be the start of the turning of the tide – with the team of Angelina Love, Amazing Kong, Mia Yim & Christina Von Eerie combining to take on Rain (making her return from injury), Ivelisse and Made In Sin in the main event.
Also on the show, Kimberly and Leva Bates have each picked a “poison” for the other in their potentially feud-ending double stipulation match. Leva chose “Fans bring the weapons”, and Kimberly selected “I Quit”. High stakes also in the match between Reby Sky and Jessicka Havok, which is being billed as a “Career vs Respect” match. Simply put, if Havok beats Sky, Sky’s time in SHINE is over, but if Sky can overcome the larger, stronger and more vicious Havok, Havok will have to stand in the middle of the ring and admit on the mic that she respects Sky.
Follow results as they come in with us after the jump. (more…)
On the heels of a well received SHINE 7 iPPV which saw the newly formed VALKYRIE stable complete a clean sweep of victories, going 3-0 across the board, the newly released SHINE 8 card offers the Home Team a chance to gain a measure of revenge in the form of an eight-woman tag team main event. Rain will lead VALKYRIE, consisting of Made In Sin (Allysin Kay & Taylor Made) and this week’s TNA Gut Check contestant Ivelisse Velez, against a team consisting of Amazing Kong, Mia Yim, the returning Christina Von Eerie and the debuting Angelina Love. The heel team picks itself, naturally, but it’s an interesting choice on the Kong side, as it seems that the people who ran in to help at the end of SHINE 7 (Nikki Roxx, Santana Garrett, Tracy Taylor & Su Yung) have all been passed over in deference to Von Eerie & Love. We have no great issues with the choice, as the match looks tasty in any event, but it seems a shame that someone like Santana, who has been quietly improving show by show and looked to potentially have a chance to move up the card, remains anchored to the midcard. (more…)
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…)
Believe it or not, there was a time when Mercedes Martinez was new. She’s been such a solid fixture of wrestling in the US for more than a decade, and has the memories – and autobiographical tattoos – to prove it.
The Retro for today is from May of 2002, about 18 months after her debut, and was an early women’s match in New England Championship Wrestling. Martinez had been wrestling against the likes of Della Morte, though it was this contest which NECW asserts in this video was one of the reasons why it decided to go ahead with creating the World Women’s Wrestling brand in 2005 – with Martinez being its first champion, crowned on June 5 of that year.
Her opponent in this match is Sumie Sakai, who at this point had been wrestling for around 5 years. This is the first match of what would be many Martinez v Sakai contests throughout a range of promotions, but as you’ll see in this contest, the first one wasn’t all plain sailing… (more…)
SHINE Wrestling returns after a month’s rest with SHINE 6, and the ball is certainly rolling in establishing itself as a promotion with history. Three of its big matches – Kimberly v Leva Bates, Christina Von Eerie & MsChif v Made In Sin (Allysin Kay & Taylor Made) and Jessicka Havok v Reby Sky – have big backstories as we have covered here. In addition, the main event is equally attractive, with Amazing Kong (substituting for her Rhythm & Bruise teammate Jazz) facing Mercedes Martinez. In addition, the impressive Leah Von Dutch and our 2012 Discovery of the Year Kimber Lee make their debuts against Santana Garrett and Nikki Roxx respectively.
This is the most anticipated card from the promotion since the internationally-flavoured SHINE 4, but this has a different taste to it, as the most enticing matches are ones which have storylines which have grown and blossomed in the promotion. You still have time to order the card from WWN – click here to jump to the order page.
If you can’t watch it, we will be updating this page with results after the jump. Keep hitting refresh to see the results as the happen – in the meantime, check out the hype videos for Kimberly v Leva and Havok v Sky, or listen to the recent Fight Like A Girl with Kimberly. They should be enough to tip you over the edge and have you part with your money… (more…)