Ringbelles Roundup (28 May 2013) – Florida’s popularity, Ice Ribbon, Taeler Hendrix and Heidi Lovelace & more
Florida. It’s the home of WWE’s developmental territory, was the base for TNA’s Impact Wrestling show, and also has a lot of indie promotions dotted around the state offering wrestlers the chance to step into the ring on a regular basis, and also train with a range of different names. It has also become the home to one of the most exciting women’s promotions in the United States, and it has caught the attention of a number of female grapplers.
SHINE Wrestling held its 10th show at the weekend – main points can be found below – and is on the verge of crowning its first champion. Considering this time last year the promotion didn’t exist, it is remarkable that many are ranking it as one of the top all-women promotions in the country – and for good reason. It is presenting shows on a monthly basis – save for a couple of breaks, like the one happening next month when no show is being presented – it is on internet pay-per-view, meaning the wrestlers are showcased to the entire world at the same time as the fans in attendance at Ybor City’s Orpheum, and many of the roster also increase their earning by spending the weekend in the state to work extra shows or work a Slammin’ Ladies custom shoot or two. It’s all great experience for women who may only wrestle a few times a month to get some extensive ring time. It also has some pleasant weather, so that must also be an attraction.
This has not gone unnoticed by some wrestlers. Names like Mia Yim, Luscious Latasha, Brittney Savage, Solo Darling, Jessicka Havok and more have either moved or are in the process of moving to Florida to put themselves in a more advantageous position when it comes to the local promotions like Battling Bombshells, Florida Underground Wrestling, World Xtreme Wrestling, I Believe In Wrestling and more. After all, why would a promoter pay to fly someone in when a similarly impressive talent is a short drive away? It cuts expenses and makes for a better bottom line. Great wrestlers can get regular work, while ones looking to get more experience have the chance to work with names who may have more matches under their belt, and are also in a prime place to be spotted by and to tryout for WWE. It’s a beneficial opportunity for all, and everybody wins. Right? (more…)
Anyone who watched TNA Impact Wrestling last week saw an unnecessarily uncomfortable moment for one of the roster.
Ring announcer Christy Hemme made a mistake on the live broadcast during the entrance for Austin Aries and Bobby Roode, incorrectly introducing them as Kazarian and Christopher Daniels’ team of Bad Influence. A silly mistake, but it’s live TV and mistakes sometimes happen. Upset, Aries got into the ring, backed Hemme into a corner and forced her to give the correct introductions, which she did, under some duress. As she was finishing off her correction, Aries climbed onto the ropes, essentially placing his crotch less than six inches from her face – something which Hemme laughed off.
However, things clearly weren’t so funny for Christy.
When asked about the incident on Twitter, Hemme replied with the solitary word of “unacceptable”, which made it clear that her reaction to Aries actions were not something that she found amusing, but had brushed it off to be a professional and get on with her job. Aries responded on his Twitter on Saturday with a load of penis and testicle puns, saying “Pretty nuts, some of the junk people get the balls to say over the net, knowing they couldn’t to your face…Eh, anyway, time to sack out.” (more…)
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…)
Despite having vanished off the face of the TNA spectrum since winning the Gut Check in early March, Lei’D Tapa has been keeping herself busy back in North Carolina, presumably before reporting to Ohio Valley Wrestling in the future.
Keeping busy includes being part of the first women’s match as part of the United States Independent Wrestling Federation. Granted, it’s not the catchiest name for a promotion, but it has given female wrestlers in NC another place to ply their craft, so that’s something to applaud.
The match in question saw Tapa take on regular rival Mia Svensson – who has been quietly honing her skills over the past few years – in the event in Winston Salem on March 23. (more…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
As of this writing, TNA’s Gut Check vote is due to start this evening – though this is the fourth start date which has been set – and one woman who has been part of it has been campaigning hard for you to vote for her – so much so that she has posted a video encouraging you to do so. In fact, the brackets are up – GO VOTE!
The “Scandinavian Sweetheart” Mia Svensson joins us on Fight Like A Girl to discuss her history with Gut Check, how she has changed during that time, and also how she felt about her real name being posted online. In addition, she gets badgered about why she doesn’t use her real name as her ring name, to the point where she considers changing it.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
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…)
Pro Wrestling: EVE has officially announced a show on July 14 in Sudbury, UK, calling it a “special edition” show which will feature the debut of TNA’s Winter – who is a German-born Briton – and two returns – we have strong suspicions on who the returns will be – as well as “one time only” and “must see” matches.
In its press release that it released to Diva Dirt, EVE also points out that running a weekend of shows without iPPV would have “hurt EVE financially and potentially risk the company due to the restricted income without iPPV”. That’s a telling statement – which actually PRECEDED the announcement of Winter being part of the show – and implies that financially, EVE is lean at the moment.
The show will also feature three men’s contests, making it a split show of sorts. It claims it will draw the fans of the men’s promotions and give them a taste of women’s wrestling at the same time. It’s the same ethos that led to having the Jenny Sjodin v Alpha Female match at the London charity show in April, which is where Alpha won the title.
In theory, this makes sense – draw non-women’s wrestling fans in with what they are familiar with and then give them a taste of EVE’s product while they’re there. However, there is also the possibility of it dissuading EVE fans who may not be interested in the men’s matches. There is the possibility that the ones there for EVE won’t be hugely taken with the men’s contests, as that’s not what they’ve paid to see, and vice versa for the fans of the guys.
As 2011 comes to a close, and Christmas is just around the corner, around this time people look back at the year and reflect on their blessings. This is true in wrestling fandom as well as anywhere else. If you are a fan of female wrestling, there was a ton to be grateful for in 2011, although if you concentrated on WWE, I feel bad for you – nothing good, aside from Kong’s debut as Kharma, happened in 2011 in that company. I wanted to take the time to look back and write about what I, personally, was grateful for this year and share with you my thoughts. Feel free to comment and tell me what you were grateful for in wrestling this year.
Thanks to my trips to SHIMMER: Women Athletes, I was able to see a number of women wrestle in person for the first time that I personally admire and look up to.
With her health problems in 2010 and being rotated out of the September ’10 SHIMMER tapings, I had worried I’d not get the chance to see her in person. Fortunately that fear was baseless as Lufi was back and stronger than ever. In April, I thoroughly enjoyed her matches with Tomoka Nakagawa (it’s always a treat to watch her wrestle joshi women), Sassy Stephie, and the four way match with her, Portia Perez, Cheerleader Melissa and Serena Deeb. However, at the October tapings I wasn’t sure she would be there. She had had heart surgery in July to repair a hole in her heart, and with the precautions she now has to take, I felt it doubtful.
To my great pleasure, she was not only there but had some of the best matches of the tapings. The four way between her, Tomoka, MsChif, and Kellie Skater was just plain fun. I popped huge for MsChif’s Freddy Krueger gear (I’ve been a fan of Nightmare on Elm Street for years) but Lufi’s Pink Power Ranger gear was incredibly cute! Her match against Mia Svensson is a personal favourite – you have the up and coming taking on the veteran, giving the former a chance to see what she can do. However, Lufisto was involved in one of the best matches of the weekend, and given the talent that was on display, this is a bold statement but entirely true. In Kana‘s last match, she wrestled Lufi and it was tremendous. Kana pulled out the win, but while everyone else stood, I remained in my seat. I refused to applaud unless Kana shook Lufisto’s hand – I felt that Lufisto had gone toe to toe with her, and unless she also recognised this and shook her hand, I didn’t feel that Kana was worthy of respect. However, she did.
Lufisto is a lady I have so much respect and admiration for, I can absolutely say it was wonderful to see her wrestle in person. (more…)
Day Two of SHIMMER is in the history books, and now that the smoke has cleared from the shimnanigan-filled afterparty, it’s time to go back and review an absolutely amazing day of action. In my opinion, Day Two (encompassing Vols 43 & 44) was a stronger day of tapings than Day One, featuring many great matches and topped off with a history making Vol 44.
In male pre-show action, the team of Knight Wagner, Jordan McIntyre and the indiest man alive (a wrestler I failed to identify, but who wore the indytastic combination of a mask, t-shirt and pleather pants) defeated Team CLASH. After that, SPARKLE action saw Jett Riley & Kimberley Maddox beat December & Buggy Nova, while KC Spinelli pinned Su Yung with a hard powerslam.
1. LuFisto pinned Maja Svensson with the Mangalizer.
2. ReGeneration X (Allison Danger & Leva Bates) beat Sassy Stephie & Nevaeh after a Sonic Screwdriver on Stephie.
3. Nicole Matthews pinned Davina Rose with a Roll Of The Dice.
4. Hiroyo Matsumoto defeated Kellie Skater with a side suplex.
5. Saraya Knight pinned Ariel after a Sunset Flip Powerbomb.
6. Courtney Rush pinned Nikki Roxx following an Angle Slam.
7. Yumi Ohka pinned Mia Yim with a bridging Tiger Suplex.
8. MsChif pinned Tomoka Nakagawa after a Desecrator.
9. Mercedes Martinez & Athena went to a double countout. After the match, Athena wanted to restart, but Martinez walked off.
10. Jessie McKay pinned Britani Knight following a Boyfriend Stealer. Afterwards, Saraya Knight came out and berated Britani for letting down the Knight family name, and disowned her – suggesting she could put out a want ad and find a better daughter than Britani. Britani eventually snapped and the two brawled in a breathtaking extended pull-apart brawl. Britani vows to leave, but wants one match with her mother on Vol 44 to settle it all.
11. Serena Deeb pinned Portia Perez in an amazing no holds barred match, after spearing Perez off a table the two were standing on at the time.
12. Cheerleader Melissa defeated Kana after an Air Raid Crash. Post match, ring announcer Joey Eastman revealed that the win made Melissa the new top contender for Madison Eagles’ SHIMMER Championship.
13. SHIMMER Tag Team Titles: Ayako Hamada & Ayumi Kurihara (c) defeated Madison Eagles & Sara Del Rey to retain their titles after Hamada pinned Del Rey with an AP Cross.
1. Kellie Skater pinned Davina Rose after a Skate or Die.
2. Taylor Made pinned Veda Scott with a neckbreaker.
3. Kalamity pinned Tomoka Nakagawa with a Kalamity Driver.
4. Sassy Stephie & Neveah beat Ashley Lane & Mia Yim with a Kiss My Sass from Stephie on Yim. Former partners Nevaeh & Ashley Lane had already brawled to the back.
5. Serena Deeb pinned Yumi Ohka with a Spear.
6. ReGeneration X, Christina Von Eerie & MsChif beat Mena Libra, Melanie Cruise, She Nay Nay & Bonesaw when Von Eerie pinned She Nay Nay with a Pedigree.
7. Hiroyo Matsumoto pinned Jessie McKay with a side suplex.
8. Sara Del Rey pinned Courtney Rush with a Royal Butterfly.
9. Athena beat Mercedes Martinez via DQ when Martinez blatantly used a steel chair to attack the ankle of Athena. This seemed to cement a double turn, as Martinez was booed, while Athena was cheered. Athena pledged to get back at Martinez, but claimed she thought her leg was broken.
10. Kana beat LuFisto with the Kana Lock.
11. Britani Knight pinned Saraya Knight in a no DQ match with a Knight Light DDT.
12. SHIMMER Tag Team Titles: Ayako Hamada & Ayumi Kurihara (c) beat The Canadian NINJAs (Portia Perez & Nicole Matthews) after Kurihara pinned Perez after an Exploder Suplex.
13. SHIMMER Title: Cheerleader Melissa pinned Madison Eagles (c) with a rollup after escaping the Hellbound – NEW CHAMPION. After celebrating with the fans, Melissa was jumped and assaulted by Nicole Matthews, who claimed that this was “her time” now.
Click after the jump for more thoughts
Day one of SHIMMER: Women Athletes is in the bag, with volumes 41 and 42 seeing some top class matches, strong debuts and some advancements in storylines, which should add intrigue to tomorrow’s event.
Before the tapings began, we were treated to two SPARKLE pre-show matches, with BoNayNayBugs (Jessie “Bonesaw” Brooks, She Nay Nay and Buggy) defeating Veda Scott, Kimberley Maddox and former WWE Developmental Diva Su Yung when Bonesaw nailed Yung with a double underhook DDT, and Allysin Kay & Maja (Mia) Svensson went to a time limit draw with KC Spinelli and Cherry Bomb.
1. Nikki Roxx beat Kellie Skater with a schoolboy as Skater went for her Skate Or Die finisher.
2. Mercedes Martinez pinned Davina Rose with a Fisherman Buster.
3. Hailey Hatred pinned Kalamity with a running powerbomb. Hatred showed respect to Kalamity for her effort afterwards, but were attacked from behind by Mena Libra and Melanie Cruise.
4. Sara Del Rey beat Yumi Ohka with the Royal Butterfly.
Amber Gertner then brought out former SHIMMER Tag Team Champion Ashley Lane (AKA TNA‘s Madison Rayne) who called out Nevaeh after her former partner’s heel turn at AAW last night. The two got into a pull-apart brawl.
5. Kana (who was shown in video packages lanking Sara Del Rey and Cheerleader Melissa) made Mia Yim tap out from the Kana Lock (crossface chicken wing).
SHIMMER Champion Madison Eagles was presented with her award for being number one in the PWI Female 50, then talked trash about Serena Deeb, who was her challenger for the taping. Serena then cut the best promo of her SHIMMER career to express her desire to be the champion.
6. Ayako Hamada & Ayumi Kurihara defeated Daizee Haze & Tomoka Nakagawa to win the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship. Haze and Nakagawa came out beforehand to say they were taking the night off, but were forced into a defence. Nakagawa was pinned by Kurihara following two exploder suplexes.
7. Nevaeh b Ashley Lane with a German Suplex.
Daizee Haze returned to ringside to quit the promotion.
8. Cheerleader Melissa pinned Britani Knight following an Air Raid Crash. Britani’s mother Saraya gave her some verbal abuse after the match.
9. Portia Perez beat Jessie McKay after hitting her in the head with a chain wrapped round her fist, then wished rival Serena Deeb all the best in her title match, as she wanted to become SHIMMER Champion by beating her.
10. Saraya Knight defeated Allison Danger in a British rounds-based match. Danger got the first fall at the opening of round one; Saraya equalised by pinning Danger with her feet on the ropes in round three, and; Knight won the third fall in round four by pinning Danger with her forearm over her throat.
11. Hiroyo Matsumoto beat Nicole Matthews with a backdrop driver.
12. Madison Eagles retained her SHIMMER Championship after pinning Serena Deeb with the Hellbound.
The taping began with a video of Sara Del Rey talking about Kana blanking her and challenging her to a match.
1. Mercedes Martinez beat Leva Bates with the Fisherman Buster, then kicked her a few times after the bell.
2. Mena Libra and Melanie Cruise defeated Hailey Hatred and Kalamity when Libra pinned Kalamity with the Ambassador Bridge (samoan drop with a bridge).
3. Tomoka Nakagawa defeated MsChif, LuFisto and Kellie Skater in a 4-way when Nakagawa pinned MsChif.
4. Yumi Ohka pinned Courtney Rush following a chokebomb.
5. Portia Perez made Davina Rose tap out with the Just Facelock. Perez had called for Serena Deeb to sit at ringside to watch her destroy Deeb’s protege. Perez refused to break the hold so Serena got in the ring to break it, only to be attacked by Nicole Matthews. The four then had a wild brawl which saw the locker room clear to break them up.
6. Nevaeh and Sassy Stephie defeated Nikki Roxx and Ariel.
7. Cheerleader Melissa pinned Christina Von Eerie following the Kudo Driver.
8. Athena won a 3-way featuring Jessie McKay and Mia Yim with the O-Face (leaping Stunner from the top rope).
9. Nicole Matthews beat Serena Deeb with the Roll The Dice after Portia Perez interfered. Deeb then challenged Perez to a no holds barred match for volume 43.
10. Ayako Hamada and Ayumi Kurihara retained the Tag Team Championship over Saraya and Britani Knight when Hamada pinned Britani. Saraya refused to help her daughter during the match, who she blamed for being soft after the match during a scathing promo, where she said “they” would want her anymore.
11. Kana beat Sara Del Rey via referee stoppage when she passed out in the Kana Lock.
12. Madison Eagles retained the SHIMMER Championship by beating Hiroyo Matsumoto with the Hellbound.
Click after the jump for more thoughts. (more…)
Ice Ribbon has announced the tournament to crown a new champion. As previously reported before the site went live, 19 O’Clock Girls’ Pro Wrestling has plans to introduce a fresh title – the IW19 (Internet Wrestling 19) belt. The champion will be decided next Tuesday in a four-woman tournament, with Tsukasa Fujimoto vs Mika Iida in one semi-final, and Mochi Miyagi vs Tsukushi in the other, with the two winners meeting in the final to determine the first titleholder. (more…)