As well as making her debut at nCw Femmes Fatales on March 10 taking on Cheerleader Melissa, Ringbelles‘ choice for Wrestler of the Year 2011 Hailey Hatred is scheduled to return to SHIMMER for the volumes 45-48 DVD tapings the following weekend in Berwyn, IL.
The 28-year old made her SHIMMER debut last October, competing on volumes 41 and 42, defeating Kalamity on the first taping, then teaming with her in a defeat to Mena Libra and Melanie Cruise on the following DVD.
However, she would only wrestle for half of the SHIMMER weekend, as she had accepted another booking in her home state of Ohio. She would go on to defend the JWP Openweight Championship which she held at the time against Cherry Bomb in Absolute Intense Wrestling in the first JWP title match to ever take place outside of Japan. This time around, Hailey will wrestle on both days of tapings, meaning that there a strong chance of her being part of a storyline arc.
Hatred joins Melissa, Ayumi Kurihara, Ayako Hamada, Portia Perez, Nicole Matthews, MsChif, Sara Del Rey, Athena and Christina Von Eerie as being confirmed for the tapings. In addition, Del Rey, MsChif, Matthews, Perez, Von Eerie and Athena will all compete the day before the tapings at AAW in trios action. (more…)
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…)
When Beth Phoenix and Natalya turned heel back in August, WWE Diva fans held their breath. They seemed hell bent on turning the division upside down, separating themselves from the “models” like Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, Alicia Fox and others. They christened themselves the Divas of Doom, or, alternatively, Sisters of Salvation, claiming that they were out to “save” the Divas division from princesses and perky blondes.
The storyline has mostly gone downhill now, for several reasons. It took Beth three matches to defeat Kelly for the Divas title. Even when she won it, at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, it was only after Natalya interfered by hitting Kelly in the head with a microphone. Hardly a dominant win. Creative also didn’t go nearly far enough with the storyline – Beth and Natalya still refer to themselves as “Divas”, they still do photo shoots, and they have been very selective in who they choose to go after. So far it has only been the faces such as Kelly, Eve, Alicia, AJ and Kaitlyn. If they were after the models, shouldn’t they also target Brie and Nikki Bella, as well as Rosa Mendes? Tamina was never a model, so there is a logical reason why they wouldn’t go after her.
Also, at the start, Natalya was presented as an equally dominant partner. However, her singles wins have been sporadic, at best – any match that she won was when she was in a tag team match with Beth. Lately she has lost out to Alicia on RAW, SmackDown and at the house shows. This weakens the concept of the dominant team they were originally made out to be. Now it seems like they are another version of LayCool. (more…)
This retro DVD review is all ass-backwards. Instead of us doing a review of a show from days gone by, instead, it is the review which is old and it is of the (then) newly-released SHIMMER: Women Athletes volume 1 – a show that you can still buy as part of the Collectors’ Edition.
Back in February 2006, Stewart Allen decided to pick up a DVD of this new SHIMMER thing – based on Beth Phoenix v Allison Danger – and wrote a review for Figure Four Weekly. So let’s jump in the time machine and go back five and a half years to see what Stew’s first impressions of SHIMMER really were…
I was initially attracted to the idea of checking out the new SHIMMER promotion for the sole intention of being able to see Beth Phoenix in competition. I’ve been a fan of Beth’s in OVW for some time (where she works as the valet to Aaron “The Idol” Stevens) and while she’s quick to get physically involved in his matches, I’d never seen her wrestle a proper match. It was a further bonus that on this Volume 1 release, she happened to be facing Allison Danger – one of the relatively few other women I know from the US indy circuit. So, the promise of some Phoenix/Danger action coupled with the fact that the promotion name was based on a song title by one of my favourite bands (“Shimmer Like A Girl” by Veruca Salt) meant that I actually laid down some dollars and ordered a DVD from ROHWrestling.com. Yay me.
I’ve got to say, I was very surprised to hear that the DVD is reportedly one of ROH’s fastest selling DVDs of all time. “Why??” asked a friend of mine when I told him this piece of information. I honestly didn’t know. I know why *I* bought a copy – but what was the attraction for everyone else? Either way, I unwrapped the DVD with some excitement tonight and stuck it in the machine. Fingers crossed it won’t suck. (more…)
It’s been a broken biscuits sort of week – in that there is a lot of little things that have been going on – so instead of a big piece about one topic, this week I’m going to channel the energy of Stephen Colbert and utilise the Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger gimmick from The Colbert Report to pass some musings on some of the week’s stories.
First off, a Tip of the Hat to Eve Torres, who, along with her opponent Beth Phoenix, staged the best Divas match in years at WWE Vengeance on Sunday. Beth had pulled off some minor miracles with Kelly Kelly on the three previous pay-per-views, but none of them were as good as this match. It went to show that Eve has something to her and can hold up her end of the bargain when the bell rings. Admittedly, the crowd in San Antonio, TX didn’t care enough to make much noise during the match, but they did pop for the false finish of Eve countering the Glam Slam attempt and nearly winning the title with a schoolboy roll-up.
On the flip side though, a Wag of the Finger to WWE, who may have something with Eve, but haven’t given her a chance to develop any sort of character. Why should I give a flying fornication about her when I don’t know anything about her? In fact, she has gone from being unnoticed to being a shadow of Kelly’s, when it is patently obvious that she smokes Kelly in the ring. Who cares that Kelly goes into “Beast Mode” from time to time – it still feels phoney. Kelly has had a chance to develop more of a character this year and hasn’t accomplished it. The time has come for WWE to put some time and effort into Eve to make her more of a credible challenger to Beth, as those two could put on some more great matches in the weeks and months to come. (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…)
Tonight’s precursor to this weekend’s weekend of DVD tapings for SHIMMER: Women Athletes at AAW in Berwyn, IL saw one half of the inaugural Tag Team Champions turn heel and align herself with a new set of friends.
Nevaeh – who was teaming with MsChif and Jessie McKay – hit Your Soul’s Tormentor with a German suplex as she was going for a Descecrator on Mena Libra, who was teaming with Sassy Stephie and SHIMMER Champion Madison Eagles, causing MsChif to be pinned by AAW rival Libra. Nevaeh had been beaten on for the majority of the match, but chose to place herself with Stephie, with Libra suffering a green mist attack after the bell.
The star of the match was McKay, who wowed the crowd with a rana to the outside on Eagles, and a reverse rana to the Champion inside the ring. Eagles herself managed to bring the crowd out of their chairs by hitting Nevaeh with a low leg lariat which looked like it decapitated her opponent.
How this will play into SHIMMER this weekend remains to be seen, but it looks set to be an interesting weekend.
In addition, LuFisto and her opponent at Femmes Fatales VII Kalamity have been announced for the tapings, and West Coast wrestler Buggy, along with Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling talent KC Spinelli also set to make her debut in SPARKLE.
“Don’t compromise yourself – you are all you have.” – Janis Joplin
A couple of months ago, I was watching Raw and occasionally tweeting my thoughts. I remember being aggravated at the fact a feud was brewing between two of the women that was based on something incredibly superficial – I believe it was the Bellas claiming they had a ‘big secret’ about Kelly Kelly, and that secret turning out to be them claiming she was too skinny, or it may have been something else equally superfluous. I took to my Twitter, wondering if the concept of fighting for pride, to be the best was something that WWE writers refused to consider as a reason for a female feud. After all, it’s regularly a concept used in other promotions. Was it really that far a leap for WWE to try it out?
Not long after expressing my frustrations, I received a cryptic reply from Allison Danger. She said, “You are inspiring my latest blog. #therevolutioniscoming”
That made me pause. Revolution? Me? I tentatively asked, “Should I be flattered or afraid…?” She replied, “It’s a good thing. I know once you read it you will join me.” Colour me curious! I didn’t have to wait long; shortly thereafter she unleashed her blog entitled, “The Revolution is Here” and issued a call to arms, calling on fans, bookers/writers and fellow female wrestlers to change their modus operandi when it came to their part in wrestling. If you haven’t read it, you really should. Do it now before continuing.
I did not so much read it as consume it. Allison’s words stirred the passion within me, the passion that drives me when it comes to wrestling, the passion that infuses my articles here on Ringbelles. The passion that wants to help overthrow the conventional view of female wrestling as nothing more than a piss break – a view that WWE helped cultivate, but that several promotions still nurture, despite the fact that there are dozens of females who can easily steal any show, if given the chance. (more…)
With today’s announcement that JWP Openweight Champion Hailey Hatred would be appearing at SHIMMER: Women Athletes in Berwyn, IL on October 1 (before going on to Cleveland, OH the following day to wrestle Cherry Bomb in Absolute Intense Wrestling), we at Ringbelles realised that the upcoming volumes 41-44 DVD tapings would be a veritable smorgasbord of titleholders from across the world.
After all, Hatred – who we interviewed last month as part of the Women Of Wrestling Podcast also holds the TLW World and AIW Hybrid Fighting championships, and a number of the women already announced have their fair share of belts between themselves.
You have the SHIMMER and PWWA Champion Madison Eagles – so already, we have Australasia, Japan and North America covered. Following them are the SHIMMER Tag Team Champions of Tomoka Nakagawa and Daizee Haze to round off the promotion’s official champions, and then we get on to the others… (more…)
Thursday, July 19, 2001 was a pretty humdrum day in world history. As a frame of reference, the most newsworthy thing was the Code Red virus taking hold of a massive number of computers after being released online 6 days previously.
In the world of wrestling, Steve Austin was on SmackDown, showing “the old Stone Cold” was back when he stunnered everyone in the ring ahead of the WWF Invasion pay-per-view, which was to take place in three days. It would intrigue wrestling fans who wondered what would happen if the WWF and WCW ever clashed on one show. As it turned out, it would be a decent – and high grossing – show which was followed by months of killing the WCW image to the point that it was worthless by November.
However, also on this very day ten years ago at Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro, MO, a young lady by the name of Christine was handed her first ever defeat in a mid-card contest at the hands of a debuting wrestler to Gateway Championship Wrestling. That wrestler was MsChif.
Rachel Collins had been asked by her colleague at her human genetics job – the role she had before going into microbiology – what she would love to do more than anything. Concluding that it would be to learn to wrestle, she decided to train at at GCW under the tutelage of Johnny Greenpeace (who was the tough trainer) and Jack Adonis (who was the comic relief), with the black-metal-banshee character naturally evolving while she was learning her craft. Even though she never believed that she would wrestle outside of St Louis, MsChif would go on to win a shedload of top championships including the SHIMMER title, the NWA World Women’s Title and the NWA Midwest/IWA Mid-South Women’s Title – which she held all at one time during 2008 and 2009 – as well as winning ChickFight IV and being ranked 4th in the PWI Female Fifty for 2009.
When asked for comment, MsChif told Ringbelles: “It’s crazy to think I’ve been wrestling for 10 years now. It doesn’t feel like it’s been so long. Wrestling has brought on some very amazing times, places and people. I couldn’t imagine life without wrestling.” (more…)
In 2009, Anarchy Championship Wrestling based out of Austin, Texas started an annual tradition when they promoted the first “American Joshi Queen of Queens” tournament (won by Daizee Haze). I got it and enjoyed it, and really didn’t think much of anything about ACW until the next show came along. This is therefore the first ACW DVD I’ve picked up since then, and the lineup looks stellar – so let’s see if the action delivers.
We start with some sort of skit with a group calling themselves The Submission Squad. I recognise Athena, but I have no idea who the others are. Whoever they are, they are completely annoying. One of them is wearing a belt of some kind, and I assume they’re wrestlers. You wouldn’t necessarily know that to see them. The skit involves someone called Davy Vega who may or may not have had a plane crash and who may or may not have crawled four miles from the wreckage of the plane to get here. One of the guys says “What the hell is going on?”. I agree with this.
Next up is Jessica James backstage. She is apparently a last minute addition to the tourney, and it becomes clear that she’s up against Sara Del Rey. “Crap”, she says. Again, I agree with this comment.
We’re now inside the building, and there are more men that I’ve never seen before talking about things I know nothing about. I hit FF. After three consecutive skits, we get… a skit. This again features Athena and some of the annoying guys from the first skit. All things told, that’s ten minutes of the DVD and I haven’t seen a wrestling ring yet. Oh dear. (more…)
When “Your Soul’s Tormentor” MsChif agreed to come on The Women of Wrestling Podcast, she had one request. She didn’t want the “same old questions” she gets asked by every other two-bit interviewer. So… no pressure, then. Join us on a free-ranging discussion taking in her accumulated injuries (including just how she did her current knee injury), brief chat on Daffney‘s lawsuit against TNA, how her debut match almost exactly ten years ago “should never have happened”, working IWA:MS back in the day, international travel ranging from the UK to Japan, and meeting people ranging from The Great Muta to Dustin Diamond, her brief flirtation with TNA, thoughts on ROH going forward and a discussion of some of MsChif’s greatest moments in SHIMMER history. Oh, and smelly bacteria. Well, she *is* a biochemist. Would we be sufficiently entertaining for ‘Chif? Or will this be the final Podcast we ever do? Find out by clicking that link!!
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
With less than a month to go before the third annual Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen Of Queens tournament, the first match in the opening round has been announced – it will be Serena Deeb meeting ACW’s upstart antagonist, “Five Star” Amanda Fox.
Like NCW: Femmes Fatales, ACW has a history of putting together matches between wrestlers who either haven’t faced each other before, or putting experienced grapplers against newer faces to help them get more ring time with different opponents who they can learn from. In addition, ACW has thrown up some surprising results – in last year’s QoQ, little Jessica James choked out and defeated Sara Del Rey in the opening round and Portia Perez beat MsChif and Daizee Haze en route to winning the whole tournament and the ACW American Joshi Championship in the process.
Seven names have been announced for the show in Live Oak, TX on June 26 – as well as Deeb and Fox, Christina Von Eerie, Athena, Mia Yim, Lillie Mae and Rachel Summerlyn will participate, and there will be a special appearance from former American Joshi Champion Daffney.
Interested in going? Click here for more information.
The Big News
We start with the departure from WWE by Michelle McCool, and my Women Of Wrestling Podcast colleague Stew Allen has stepped in to write a great biography of her career. I’ll let him take the floor.
After a few weeks of teasers, we finally got to see the WWE debut of the former Amazing Kong, now known as Kharma, but just as interesting is the sudden and unexpected departure of Michelle McCool, who by losing her match to former LayCool partner Layla El, is now “gone” from WWE. Taking to twitter soon after the match, McCool confirmed “I know there will always be rumours, but that was it – real talk!” News of McCool’s then impending departure was first broken by PWInsider a few days ago when it became clear that McCool’s challenge from SmackDown had been hastily (and badly) redubbed from “Loser leaves SmackDown” to “Loser leaves WWE”.
It has been an eventful seven year ride since married middle school teacher Michelle McCool-Alexander decided to apply to be a competitor in the inaugural WWE Diva Search in 2004. McCool was unique amongst the competitors not only for being the only one not supplied by a modelling agency, but also because she was an actual wrestling fan, having attended old NWA shows at the National Guard Armory in her native Palatka, FL. Though eliminated fairly quickly, McCool was amongst a clutch of Diva Search competitors who ended up being offered a developmental contract anyway. Her athleticism was undeniable (as she proved by schooling the WWE Divas in Dodgeball at SummerSlam of that year) and is undoubtedly genetic, as most of her family have excelled at sports. In fact, McCool herself picked up the Hancock Trophy in 1988 for her exploits in volleyball, softball and basketball at Palatka High. A forgettable early run on Smackdown ended when she was eventually redeployed to developmental territories Deep South Wrestling, and then Ohio Valley Wrestling before being returned to the main roster mid ’06. Unfortunately, much of the next two years saw a struggle as Michelle battled to find any real traction and identity, as WWE stumbled about from storyline to storyline. From “sexy schoolteacher” McCool, who was paired with the tag team of KC James & Idol Stevens (known affectionately as The Teacher’s Pets) to the object of Jamie Noble’s affections in a bizarre love triangle with Chuck Palumbo, McCool was on a road to nowhere. The undoubted highlight of early Michelle McCool for many was the unintentionally hilarious promo videos which saw her proclaim how much she was “lovin’ life” as she roller-skated, took a swim, and generally just stood around. These early years also saw personal tribulation for McCool, who divorced her former high school sweetheart Jeremy Alexander and ended 2007 with an enforced two week stay in hospital for an enlarged kidney, electrolyte balance and low sodium levels which could, in the words of WWE Doctor Ferdinand Rios, have led to heart or kidney failure. Rumours have persisted that these were side effects from the extreme dieting she had to do to maintain her perfect TV figure, though these rumours have never been confirmed by either Michelle or WWE. In recalling the incident, McCool says “One night I was apparently so dehydrated, Dr. Rios hooked me up to an IV. Thank the good Lord that he was with me — along with several WWE Superstars — who took such good care of me. I can never truly repay them”. (more…)
Despite reporting on NCW: Femmes Fatales and even interviewing its figurehead LuFisto on the ninth episode of the Women Of Wrestling Podcast, until this weekend, I hadn’t watched any of the shows. All of my knowledge has come from word of mouth, reading various reports and from general research.
In fact, it’s much like when I became a wrestling fan in the first place – I had seen WrestleMania VII in bits, but then started buying WWF Magazine in August 1991, which is where I picked up a huge amount of knowledge, history and trivia… as it was a good magazine back then. Eight months on, I had someone tape WrestleMania VIII for me, and everything went into a new level. In a similar vein, I know enough about Femmes Fatales to engage in a decent conversation, but had no knowledge of the DVDs, the quality of the wrestling or the intricacies that you can’t pick up from the written word. So a month ago, I picked up the first three shows, and put the first one in the DVD player yesterday. Here’s what I thought… (more…)
The Big News
Card subject to change.
It’s a phrase used by nearly all wrestling promotions to cover themselves in case an advertised match doesn’t happen, or an advertised wrestler doesn’t appear. While no promotion wants to let down the paying audience, sometimes circumstances happen and alternative decisions have to be made. It’s the nature of the beast when you’re dealing with a high-contact sport such as professional wrestling – accidents and injuries happen, transport fails, some even hold up promoters for more money. Whatever the reason, it’s a useful get-out clause if what you had planned can’t materialise.
TNA forgot those four words on Sunday at Lockdown.
Instead of engaging in a competitive contest which would put over the might and will of the champion and thusly make the title mean more when the challenger defeats her, Mickie James ended Madison Rayne’s record 188-day run as Knockouts Champion in just 34 seconds. This was because James still hasn’t fully recovered from the separated shoulder she suffered a few weeks ago – in fact, Dave Meltzer reports that James arrived at Lockdown in Cincinnati, OH with her arm still in a sling, and only took it off for the match before putting it back on when she got to the back.
If this is the case, it explains why the match was so short, but doesn’t explain why the match had to happen at all. (more…)
Ever since the next set of SHIMMER Women Athletes tapings were announced in November 2010, I had been anxiously awaiting March to get here. The first SHIMMER show I attended in person had been in September 2010. It met every expectation I had had – and then some. So needless to say, I couldn’t wait for the next tapings. However, there were a couple of extra reasons I was looking forward to Volumes 37 – 40, aside from the usual fantastic wrestling and hanging out with friends.
First, these would be MsChif’s return to SHIMMER after suffering a shoulder injury back in September. Granted, I had seen her for the first time in person when Ring of Honor came to Louisville in December, when she wrestled Daizee Haze for her first match back after her injury. But there is a difference between seeing someone wrestle in ROH and someone wrestle in SHIMMER. I wanted to see MsChif on her home turf, and I had hopes that she would wrestle Madison Eagles in a rematch for the SHIMMER Championship.
Secondly, I had high hopes that LuFisto, one of my favourite wrestlers, would make her return to SHIMMER in March. Her early hardcore wrestling style had caught my attention, but as I watched her transition to SHIMMER, her in-ring prowess as well as her adorable outfits and mannerisms made me a fan. I sincerely wanted to see her in person for the first time but it wasn’t a given that she would be able to make it.
Third, with all the hype and the buzz about Saraya and Britani Knight, I wanted to see what they could do, what they would be like in the US. It’s one thing to see their matches online and on the Pro-Wrestling EVE DVDs, quite another to witness them live. After listening to the utterly enthralling interview done by the Ringbelles team (still available for download on the site – it’s a must-hear!), I was even more intrigued by Saraya. Could one woman who had been through so much physically and emotionally still have enough in her to live up to the demanding expectations of the SHIMMER crowd? Was Britani truly a “wrestling prodigy” as she had been described?
Fourth, the first match announced for Saturday’s taping was Ayumi Kurihara vs. Ayako Hamada. Two words: dream match. Fans of both women literally salivated at the potential of this match. The only question was, would it live up to expectations? (more…)
Former SHIMMER and NWA World Women’s Champion MsChif is out of action after injuring her right knee at Saturday night’s AAW show in Berwyn, IL.
Updating us on her Facebook page, The Boss reports:
So… before any rumors start flying and it gets down to the point of my knee literally flying right off…. Ok, just kidding. However, yes, the knee is injured. Don’t know what or how long yet. Going to have to wait until I can talk to the sports med doc.
This is a blow for MsChif – last September, she suffered a torn labrum and torn upper rotator cuff in her shoulder while warming up for the SHIMMER tapings, putting her out of action until the early portion of the 2011.
MsChif celebrates her 10 year anniversary in wrestling in July. Hopefully she’ll be able to celebrate it in the ring.
SHIMMER Women Athletes returned to action on Sunday to film Volumes 39 & 40 of their DVD series. In results and news from the show:
a. Rhia O’Reilly & Jett Riley defeated Brittany Force & December in SPARKLE action. As the only women’s SPARKLE match on the day, this got a little more time than the two matches yesterday. O’Reilly beat Force with a cross body to avenge her loss from the day before. A fairly good match, with O’Reilly’s fire and Force’s personality coming through most strongly.
1. Kellie Skater defeated Courtney Rush with a Skate or Die, giving “Rate Tank” a much needed win, albeit at the expense of one of the stars of the first day of tapings. Tank’s knee-bend Torture Rack initiated chants of “Total Package” in a decent, and somewhat surprising victory. Rush wasn’t back on Vol 40, but I hope to see a lot more of the former PJ Tyler, who looked very good in her appearances this weekend.
2. LuFisto defeated Sassy Stephie with a twisting Downward Spiral. Stephie was making her first SHIMMER appearance in several volumes, having missed the previous set of tapings with a shoulder injury. Madamoiselle Rachelle managed Stephie here, and although she didn’t get particularly involved in the pleasingly pretty even matchup, she did contribute to the end of the match, when Stephie and Rachelle coming together on the apron, setting up LuFisto for the win. A fine match. (more…)
Apologies for the delay in getting to you, but we’re in Chicago, working on a poor wifi connection and there is much socialising to be done, but we’re finally updating you with the results of the tapings of volumes 37 and 38 of SHIMMER: Women Athletes, held in Berwyn, IL on Saturday.
So we’ll furnish you with the results and my thoughts on any standout moments.
SPARKLE: Bonesaw b Jett Riley with a double-arm DDT. Bonesaw’s improved since her last SHIMMER outings last year and looks much more aggressive with her forearm strikes, so good on her. Jett Riley is one colourful individual – it makes her stand out and be memorable, so thumbs up for that too.
SPARKLE: Brittany Force b Rhia O’Reilly by getting a pin while her feet were on the ropes. Force is a tough-looking cookie, and her appearance is aggressive yet mildly sleazy, which works for her character. O’Reilly flew over to Berwyn on her own dime for the opportunity to wrestle for SHIMMER, which makes her the most far travelled SPARKLER in the promotion’s history.
MsChif b Kellie Skater with the Desecrator. MsChif’s return to SHIMMER after her freak shoulder injury while preparing for the tapings last September was in a comedy outing, but she still had her sharp edge taking out the Rate Tank.
Mena Libra b Courtney Rush with a samoan drop with a bridge. Rush (formerly PJ Tyler) unleashed a shedload f impressive suplexes on the bigger Libra, which got the crowd into the contest, even though neither are SHIMMER regulars, and are pretty unknown to the Berwyn crowd, even though both have SPARKLEd here before. Both Rush and Libra have something to offer SHIMMER.
A backstage interview with Christina Von Eerie was interrupted by Sara Del Rey, who proceeded to beat the holy crap out of the spiky-haired punk and send her down two flights of stairs to show who was superior. Very different to previous backstage segments, this one used actions as well as words, setting up a match later on in the tapings. (more…)
Last night’s Ring of Honor 9th Anniversary iPPV featured a Women of Honor match between the “Queen of Wrestling” Sara Del Rey and “Your Soul’s Tormentor” MsChif, which came about with the re-emergence of MsChif into ROH back in December. Her first match back after separating her shoulder was a win over Daizee Haze – however, she refused to shake Haze’s hand, offering a face full of green mist in response. She claimed that if Daizee and Sara wanted competition, she would give it to them. Del Rey was next in her sights. (more…)
The Big News
Lots of Tough Enough stuff, so let’s go chronologically…
Former Monday Night Raw guest host and current Miss USA Rima Fakih has been announced as the first participant in the reboot of Tough Enough, starting on April 4, the night after WrestleMania XXVII.
The 25 year old’s only appearance on any wrestling show was on November 29, 2010 when she crowned Sheamus as King of the Ring.
That WWE announced Miss USA as the show’s first participant is a decent media coup for the promotion, as it’s got crossover appeal. However, when you consider that WWE put out press releases asking for independent female wrestlers to apply for the show – Mercedes Martinez, Roxie Cotton, Anne Social, Brittney Savage and Sara Del Rey all had a crack – and none of them made the cut while an untrained model did is a little galling to a female wrestler who drives hundreds of miles to wrestle in a dirty ring in front of 40 people for little money. (more…)
Longtime Ring of Honor wrestlers Sara Del Rey and MsChif have been added to the 9th Anniversary card on February 26 in Chicago.
According to the bumf from ROH, this all stems back to MsChif refusing to shake the hand of Daizee Haze during their tapings in Louisville, KY. (more…)