These Brits seem to be doing pretty well for themselves. In WWE, Paige is still NXT Women’s Champion after defeating Emma on the first live show in the feeder system’s history. Broadcast on the WWE Network, social media was buzzing after the match with praise for both women – though it was the 21 year old from Norwich who had the focus as the winner.
As a showcase for the up and coming women in Florida, it was a great piece of work which dispelled the recurring criticism that Divas can’t wrestle. Given the chance to go out there with no gimmicks or distractions as well as enough time to tell a story, the pair proved that women do have a place in a wrestling ring in the top company in the world. That sentiment was shared by trainer Sara Del Rey, who said “Congratulations @RealPaigeWWE and @EmmaWWE you both are paving the way!!!”, and Stephanie McMahon sang their praises in a post-show interview. Indeed, there were many plaudits singing their praises.
As well as having the confidence to let Paige and Emma go out there and do their thing, they also put the marketing machine behind its Women’s Champion by releasing a t-shirt for her. Considering how little merchandise WWE had for its women up until last year and how she isn’t even on the main roster yet, it’s a real sign that the company is high on the former Britani Knight. (more…)
The first live show of the WWE Network takes place on Thursday with the first live broadcast of NXT. Dubbed ArRIVAL, it features three matches – one of which sees Paige defend the NXT Women’s Championship against number one contender Emma, in a match which has been a long time coming.
The cheerful Australian earned her crack at the title back in August and then had to defend her right to challenge for the belt by beating Natalya at the start of this year. While carrying on her #EMMAlution in Florida, she also graduated to the main WWE roster by originally appearing in the crowd – antagonising fellow NXT alumni Summer Rae in the process – before taking part in dance-offs and making her in-ring TV debut last night on Raw, defeating Summer with the Emma Lock. While fans who haven’t seen her NXT character evolve are getting used to the newcomer with the awkward dance moves, it seems as if things are going in the right direction.
It could be argued that the NXT Women’s Champion has been ready to make a similar jump for a while. As the sole titleholder – winning the title tournament last June, but the show being broadcast the following month – she has turned back the challenges of Summer Rae and Natalya, though hasn’t wrestled on a show since the end of November. Injury was cited as the reason, though the Wrestling Observer said the layoff was for personal reasons. Thursday’s match will be her first match in more than three months, and in that time, her opponent – and the woman she beat in the tournament final to win the belt in the first place – has caught up with her success. (more…)
Eva Marie is a stunning woman. With her great looks and amazing figure, she is a visual asset to WWE’s Divas division. Her presence is a striking one as she stands out from the pack with her pillarbox red hair, coupled with red lipstick framing a beautiful smile. Looks-wise, she is every inch the Diva, with the sort of figure that teenage boys would likely sketch in a schoolbook. Her appeal is also experiencing crossover value as she made such an impression on Total Divas that she graced the pages of Maxim Magazine last August. On paper, Eva Marie has everything it takes to be a star in the women’s division of World Wrestling Entertainment…
Until she steps foot in the ring, it seems.
The 29-year old made her debut at SummerSlam Axxess on August 18 where she and Brie Bella lost to Natalya and Maria Menounos (still undefeated, by the way), but her first TV contest wasn’t until October 7 when she, JoJo and Natalya defeated Aksana, Rosa Mendes & Alicia Fox. She has wrestled 12 matches in total, all of them in tag team contests or battle royals. However, the 13th and most recent contest technically doesn’t exist as even though it was recorded for last week’s episode of SmackDown, it was never broadcast – and probably never will be. (more…)
Cheerleader Melissa is receiving a second Cauliflower Alley Club award to go with the Future Legend title she collected in 2004. The SHIMMER Champion is being given the Women’s (Active) Award at the 49th annual reunion in Las Vegas, NV between June 2-4. The only other woman to receive the honour was Amazing Kong in 2011, as the CAC seemingly only seems to deliver awards to women who have retired from active competition.
It’s been a big year for the 31-year old. In the last 12 months, she has regained the SHIMMER Title at SHIMMER 53, defended the belt against Mercedes Martinez, Kalamity, Courtney Rush, Leva Bates, Hiroyo Matsumoto and LuFisto throughout the year, as well as turning heel in the promotion.
Elsewhere, Melissa took down Allysin Kay at NCW Femmes Fatales XI, went to a double DQ with Courtney Rush at Femmes Fatales XII, though lost in the main event tag team match at Femmes Fatales XIII, with her current rival LuFisto getting an edge on her. She also went went to a time limit draw with old enemy Saraya Knight at Bellatrix 7 before burying the hatchet with a post-match embrace.
The first thing I think when I look back over my own personal memories of the last year of women’s wrestling is, as usual, my regular trips to SHIMMER live events in Berwyn, IL. I can’t say enough about the whole experience, but if you’ve ever even vaguely considered making the pilgrimage, DO IT. I believe this year represented my tenth and eleventh trips there, and yeah, I’m still keen to return in the coming year and still love the whole experience. Dave Prazak has often described SHIMMER as a DVD product (and it basically still is), but for me, (and I think a lot of the people I see returning time and time again), it’s become live product more than anything else, and it’s like getting together with your friends from all over the world twice a year. They’re long weekends for the fans, but they’ve ultimately given me such great memories. From seeing the return from injuries of the likes of Serena Deeb & Madison Eagles, to seeing people like Kimber Lee wrestling live for the first time, to seeing Nikki Storm get over so huge on her first trip there, to openly weeping in public as Allison Danger wrestled her last match – all things that will live long in the memory. Sure, the October taping was beset by a number of integral people missing for various reasons, but I’m still glad I was there (Kimber Bombs!!), and only underlines how much talent there is to return in 2014. (more…)
You know you have intrinsic importance when people seem to work around you to make things work.
Courtney Rush participated in her first training session after receiving clearance from her doctor. She has been given a clean bill of health after fracturing her clavicle on September 15 in the pre-show ahead of Smash Wrestling’s CAN USA event in Toronto, ON, Canada. At the time, nobody knew she was hurt as she was wrestling under a hood under the name of La Tigre Diablo against Jasmin, and the break happened in what Rush described at the time as a “freak accident”. She didn’t appear on the show as planned, and instead was rushed to hospital with the fear in her head that the plans she had for the following month or so were out of the window.
Rush had been due to travel to England to defend the Bellatrix World Championship at Bellatrix 7 on October 6, but the match between Liberty and she was pushed back – meaning that she would not have to relinquish the title which she won from Allison Danger at NCW Femmes Fatales XI in March. She still participated in the proceedings, turning heel and costing her title challenger the RQW European Championship, which she dropped to Sammi Baynz.
Like Bellatrix, Femmes Fatales also made concessions to accommodate Courtney’s literal tough break. (more…)
With Nikki Storm and Kimber Lee announced over the last couple of days as the 2013 Discovery of the Year and Breakout Star of the Year respectively, the final question that needs to be answered in our 2013 Awards season is the big one. Who was the Wrestler of the Year for 2013 – following in the steps of previous winners Madison Eagles (2010), Hailey Hatred (2011) and Ayako Hamada (2012)? As is customary, before we make our final announcement of our winner, we’ll consider a couple of really strong contenders who ultimately we didn’t go with this year, but would have been worthy winners all the same.
A lot of people – including us, it must be said – made a lot of noise about Madison Eagles this year. After missing the entirety of 2012 with a career threatening knee injury, the fact that Eagles is back and competing at such a high level again is worthy of incredible praise. We remarked when reviewing Eagles’ US return match (vs Jessie McKay at SHIMMER 53 in April) that she “laughs in the face of ring rust”, and that’s pretty much dead on. Standout matches this year include a cracker with Kana at SHIMMER 55, and a couple of matches with Jessicka Havok (at SHINE 9 and SHIMMER 60), and although she started experimenting with fork-based humour in the second half of the year, her credibility at the highest level is still there. Eagles deserves an award for her achievements in 2013, but she just misses out on our biggie.
We’ve mentioned her above, but Kana was also up for consideration. When you factor in her amazing work at SHIMMER over the year against the likes of Eagles, McKay, Kalamity and Kimber Lee, as well as her success in her native Japan, it has certainly been an eventful 12 months in the life of the 32-year old. She was a losing finalist in the tournament to crown the first Regina di WAVE Champion but rebounded to win the WAVE Tag Team titles with Mio Shirai, holding the championship for four months before dropping it in July. In JWP, she became the outsider who won the Openweight Championship and rubbed her accomplishment in the faces of the regular roster before dropping the belt back to Arisa Nakajima earlier this month. As well as her in-ring accomplishments, Kana has reinvented her look, wearing crazy face paint designs and more outlandish outfits to really make herself stand out from the pack.
Also coming close was another name we’ve heard from a lot of people this year as we’ve gauged opinions both from fans and people in the industry – Cheerleader Melissa. From winning the SHIMMER Championship in a Cage Match in SHIMMER’s biggest show ever (Vol 53 at WrestleCon) to holding onto the title throughout the rest of the year, this has been the extended run with the title that she didn’t get first time round (when she lost the championship in the ring before the DVD documenting her title win was even released). It has also coincided with a slow-burn heel shift that has resulted in some of Melissa’s most interesting work for some time. North of the border, she’s also been integral to ongoing storylines for NCW Femmes Fatales, and has been involved in some of their most highly praised matches of 2013.
Eventually though – we went with the same criteria we did last year when we picked Ayako Hamada. Who was the best in ring performer of the year? Who regularly entertained and impressed us most? Who raised up other people to her level? We ended up choosing a sensation… (more…)
After yesterday’s announcement of Nikki Storm as our Discovery of the Year for 2013, it’s time to move on to our announcement of our Breakout Star of the Year. This award, as we’ve mentioned before, is given to the wrestler who, in our opinion, took the biggest strides in 2013. The wrestler who became a player during this calendar year and became an integral part of multiple promotions by getting over with the crowd and making herself indispensable. The wrestler who went from just being a promising name on a card to becoming someone you’d actually pay money to see. Someone who “gets it” and someone who expanded their horizons in a major way. As usual, we had a number of potential winners to sort through, but by the time we got down to our final shortlist, we had three top contenders to win. Before we announce our 2013 Breakout Star of the Year, let’s have a quick look at those who came within a hair of winning the award this year.
Mia Yim came ridiculously close. This was the year where Yim really started to excel and fulfil the potential she has undoubtedly had since she started. This year, I’ve heard first-hand from people who really weren’t on the Mia Yim bandwagon tell me that this was the year that she changed their minds. Yim was undoubtedly one of the biggest breakout stars of Fight Season in October, and the SHIMMER weekend in particular, where her matches demonstrated what appeared to be a new confidence in the ring. Likewise in SHINE she’s found herself in more and more important matches as the year progressed, including discovering what might well be her perfect opponent in Ivelisse Velez. Santana Garrett also was amongst the final three shortlisted – having managed to not only debut for WSU and AIW, continue to impress in SHIMMER & SHINE, she managed to appear on TV for both TNA (as part of the Knockouts Knockdown PPV) and WWE (on their NXT brand) in this calendar year. Yes, depending on where you live in the world, those appearances may be either PPV or VOD, but she’s certainly moving in the right circles and making the right connections to get on the radar for the national promotions. Her matches weren’t as high up the card as Yim’s or our eventual winner, but as far as “breaking out” and reaching for the stars, Garrett is a perfect example of someone who has used 2013 as a springboard to bigger and better things.
Our winner though? For our money, our winner stepped up in multiple promotions, gained confidence by the bucketload, delivered quality throughout and… well, she’s going to have to clear a little bit more space on her mantle for her second Ringbelles Award… (more…)
It was meant to happen in October but injuries meant that it had to be postponed, but Cheerleader Melissa and Courtney Rush will tangle at NCW Femmes Fatales XIV on April 19 next year to try and determine who will be the number one contender to the International Championship – but a stipulation has been added to the contest.
The pair will wrestle a 30-minute Iron Woman Match at the event in Montreal, QC, Canada – and emotions are running high because of their history, which stems back to last July, when they first met in a Femmes Fatales ring. (more…)
As we continue to count down to the announcements of our winners of the 2013 Year End Awards next weekend, we’re taking a glance back at those we recognised last year. Yesterday we revisited the last twelve months in the life of our 2012 Discovery of the Year Kimber Lee, and today we’re turning our attention to last year’s Breakout Star of the Year, the classy one herself – Allysin Kay!
The Breakout Star of of the Year Award is meant to recognise someone who really upped their game in the twelve months prior. We’re fond of describing it in the terms of how someone goes from just being a wrestler on the card to being a *player* on the scene. Someone who makes you want to buy a ticket or order an iPPV. Someone who becomes an essential ingredient in a number of promotions – and for the year of 2012, that person was beyond doubt Allysin Kay. (more…)
Next weekend we start making our announcements of the winners of our 2013 Year End Awards. Once again, we will be presenting awards in three categories – Discovery of the Year, Breakout Star of the Year and Wrestler of the Year. But before we get to that, let’s take a look back twelve months and check in with last year’s award winners and see how 2013 has treated them. First, let’s look at our 2012 Discovery of the Year, Kimber Lee.
As we wrote last year when we made the announcement of Kimber Lee as our Discovery of the Year, the spirit of this award is to recognise someone who we didn’t know twelve months prior, but who “caught our attention in a positive way… and is therefore someone that we’re tipping to bloom and flourish in the coming years.”. Twelve months on, and I think we can assuredly say Mission: Accomplished – and still aged just 23 years old and continuing to impress and improve by the month, there’s little doubt that there’s a lot more to come from the native of Seattle. (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (29 October 2013) – LuFisto’s title aspirations, Nikki Roxx winding down, PWI Female 50
Where there is chaos, there is opportunity.
Injuries to Courtney Rush and Xandra Bale, travel issues for Ayako Hamada and personal matters involving Saraya Knight all contributed to a lot of re-jigging for SHIMMER and NCW: Femmes Fatales, with one woman benefiting more than any other.
Realistically, had all of the other wrestlers been healthy or present, LuFisto may not have ended Open Female Fight Season standing over a defeated Cheerleader Melissa with the SHIMMER Championship over her head – however, that’s exactly what did happen, and the 16-year veteran is now in a position where she could conceivably earn another SHIMMER Title match next year and even dethrone the reigning champion. Nobody has enjoyed as much momentum against Melissa during either of her title reigns – even Saraya didn’t have as much build up before beating her adversary for the title – and there seems to be a real ground swell for another match between the bullying cheerleader and the Super Hardcore Anime… and it’s the hardcore aspect which has furthered things, albeit accidentally… (more…)
After shows from Bellatrix, AIW, WSU, SHIMMER and SHINE, the Fight Season curtain falls tonight in Montreal, Quebec as NCW: Femmes Fatales presents their thirteenth show. Thirteen is an unlucky number in many cultures, and there has certainly been an unlucky streak running through this show, first with the injury to Courtney Rush, then with the injury to her replacement Xandra Bale – and then only this week the last minute withdrawal of Saraya Knight due to a family emergency. However, one could conceivably argue that the final card actually ended up with an even stronger main event after the events of SHIMMER last weekend. While certainly the feud between Saraya and LuFisto in Montreal was hot, having Cheerleader Melissa opposite LuFisto in tag team competition just a week after they battled for the SHIMMER Championship in a bloody war – and with Melissa having Mercedes as her partner, just as she did last weekend in SHIMMER – the stakes are higher than ever. Also on the show will be a tantalising three-way with Angie Skye, Kimber Lee & Christina Von Eerie, a “Strap/Lumberjill match” between Portia Perez & Pink Flash Kira, and more. We’ve got live results from the Centre Sportif St-Barthélemy in suburban Montreal just after the cut. (more…)
The card for this Saturday’s NCW Femmes Fatales XIII card has undergone a number of changes over the past month. It all began when Courtney Rush broke her collarbone in mid-September, with Xandra Bale taking her place in the #1 contender match against Cheerleader Melissa. However, things were thrown into flux again when Bale broke her fibula at Women Superstars Uncensored‘s Blood and Thunder, leaving Melissa without an opponent for the second time. Just before yesterday’s Roundup was posted, Femmes Fatales revealed that Melissa would be slotted into the 3-way involving Kimber Lee, Angie Skye & Christina Von Eerie – though that match was reverted back to the 3-way less than 24 hours later.
Less than an hour ago, Femmes Fatales tweeted that Saraya Knight will not be able to make it to the event in Montreal, Quebec, Canada for personal reasons – and in her place will go Melissa, who now teams up with Mercedes Martinez against LuFisto and Sweet Cherrie, meaning the #1 contender match has been scrapped for the show. (more…)
Last weekend was a big one for Cheerleader Melissa, with its ups and downs. When it came to the SHIMMER tapings, she came through the weekend still in possession of the singles championship, beating Leva Bates, Hiroyo Matsumoto and LuFisto in title defences. However, her match against the Super Hardcore Anime saw her uninterrupted run of 60 volumes come to an end, as an accidental laceration she suffered during the contest meant that she was taken to the hospital for 10 stitches above her left eyebrow. Melissa still managed to notch up an appearance on Volume 61, interfering in the main event by hitting LuFisto with her title belt, leading to her loss against Mercedes Martinez, standing over her fallen rival while repeating how many stitches she needed to close the wound.
As well as the in-ring aspect of what went down, arguably Melissa’s shining moment came on volume 58 where she was named the number one in the 2013 Pro Wrestling Illustrated Female 50, rising two places from last year. We highlighted her big accomplishments over the last 12 months on Saturday in this article, though instead of surmising what criteria she satisfied to top the list, we decided to go to PWI itself. (more…)
For the second time in its six year history, a reigning SHIMMER Champion has been given the top spot in the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Female 50 rundown. In 2011, Madison Eagles was given the honour, and it has just been announced at SHIMMER‘s volume 58 DVD taping that Cheerleader Melissa has earned the top spot for 2013, rising two places from last year’s list.
In the year since the last Female 50, she has become the first ever two-time SHIMMER Champion, defeating longtime rival Saraya Knight inside a steel cage as part of the promotion’s biggest show to date. Their match at SHIMMER Volume 53 in Secaucus, NJ saw her win the belt in convincing fashion, hitting a super-hurricanrana, missile dropkick and an Air Raid Crash to regain the title. The following week, Melissa successfully defended her title against Mercedes Martinez, Kalamity and Courtney Rush – and being decidedly aggressive in the process – before turning heel in Allison Danger’s final match as part of volume 57. (more…)
Women Superstars Uncensored announced a mild change in ownership at the Blood And Thunder iPPV on Saturday, with it being revealed that Combat Zone Wrestling boss DJ Hyde was becoming a co-owner along with Drew Cordiero, who bought the promotion from Sean McCaffrey last June. Hyde was greeted by WSU Champion Jessicka Havok, who dropped him with an Air Raid Crash after successfully defending her title against Lexxus, eliciting a big positive reaction from the fans in Voorhees, NJ. The move positions Havok as more of a babyface than ever, and possibly distancing her from her Midwest Militia teammates Allysin Kay and Sassy Stephie – especially the latter, as the pair have entered a distant war of words.
The developments make for an intriguing future for WSU, but seeing as it’s been just over a year since the first Cordiero-run card, it seems like as good a time as any to see how things have gone. What has worked? What has been less successful? And what should we expect from WSU down the road? (more…)
In what must be an utterly crushing blow for her, Xandra Bale is out of the match against Cheerleader Melissa at NCW Femmes Fatales XIII, which would have determined the next challenger to Mercedes Martinez‘s International Championship. The 5-year pro from Markham, ON, Canada broke a bone in her leg from a dive from the top rope at Women Superstars Uncensored‘s Blood and Thunder iPPV on Saturday. In a statement released on her Facebook page, Bale elaborated on the story:
First and foremost, I just want to thank the lockerroom and staff of WSU and CZW for all their help and support last night. I also want to thank the countless people that have already messaged me their support. Can’t tell you how much it means to me. I broke my fibula (outside bone in the leg) yesterday during my match. No one’s fault but my own. I am in a cast for 6 weeks, which means I am unfortunately not going to be able to participate in Shimmer or femmes fatales for this month and I have likely wrestled my last match of 2013. I feel fine physically but I feel like I’ve let so many people down and that is the worst feeling right now. I’m so sorry to everyone and know that I can’t wait to get back in the ring. I am thrilled and so thankful with how 2013 went and I can’t wait to pick up where I left off. (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (8 October 2013) – Saraya and Melissa settle things, AJ Lee injured, Total Divas in-ring debut
I certainly didn’t see it coming, and I doubt many others would have.
On Sunday evening at Bellatrix 7, I was fully expecting Saraya Knight to win the war against Cheerleader Melissa on her home turf by finally beating her decisively, ending the six and a half year feud between them – four of which were spent with silent hostility in the air from opposite sides of the Atlantic. However, instead of there being an out and out winner of the feud, there was a time limit draw following 20 minutes of battering each other both inside and outside of the ring. As a result, it seemed as if nothing was settled between them. With two wins, two losses and two draws each, it was a total stalemate – but that seemed to be perfectly acceptable to both. (more…)
Adversity for one Canadian has meant opportunity for another.
When Courtney Rush went down with her broken collarbone on September 15, it through two big matches into flux. One was sorted out pretty quickly with her Bellatrix World Title defence against Liberty scheduled for Sunday’s Bellatrix 7 show postponed until next March, it left a question mark over who would replace Rush in the number one contender’s match at NCW Femmes Fatales XIII against Cheerleader Melissa – which was set to be a rematch following their inconclusive ending to their contest back in July. Yesterday, that was cleared up when Rush selected Xandra Bale to take her spot and hand her a tremendous opportunity to become the next challenger to Mercedes Martinez‘s International Championship. (more…)
Episode 62 with Allysin Kay
When we spoke to Allysin Kay last year for Episode 44 of the Podcast, she was the AIW Absolute Women’s Champion and was on the verge of defending her title in a big challenge at an upcoming Girls Night Out show. Fast forward to now, Kay’s *still* undefeated as champion and on the verge of *another* major title defence at Girls Night Out 9 & 10 this weekend. In the interim she’s been wrestling literally all over the place, including just returning Stateside from a three month tour of Japan. As well as looking forward to Girls Night Out this weekend, we talk the Japan excursion, how it came about, the culture and language issues of an extended stay in Japan (not to mention the humidity and constant fear of Earthquakes). We find out her favourite match from her trip, and her favourite match she saw as a fan, discuss this Instagram picture, and chow down on just where the best steak is in Tokyo. We talk her return to SHINE this past weekend, and the ongoing absence of Taylor Made at SHINE, the (presumably) upcoming reunion of Made In Sin at SHIMMER later in the month, her favourite SHIMMER moments to date, the apparently cursed tag team feud in WSU vs Annie Social & Kimber Lee, her mouthpiece assisted match with Cheerleader Melissa at NCW:Femmes Fatales and her upcoming return to Beyond Wrestling. Oh, and racist Japanese people… Oh Allysin…
(right click on the picture and “save as” to download, or stream in our media player below)
Episode 61 with Mercedes Martinez
It’s been a long time since we chatted to Mercedes Martinez here on the Women of Wrestling Podcast, and given that she’s coming to the UK this weekend for the Bellatrix 7 iPPV which kickstarts Female Fight Season, we thought it was about damn time. Mercedes talks about looking forward to wrestling in the UK, and defending her NCW:Femmes Fatales Title over here against Miss Mina. Speaking of Femmes Fatales, she gives her views on where they’re going, whether there is a hole in that promotion now that Kalamity has stepped away, the importance of LuFisto and how well Sweet Cherrie did in her main event at Femmes Fatales XII earlier in the year. Speaking of LuFisto, we also address the feud Mercedes has had with her which spanned into WSU, her series with Jessicka Havok there, and try to clarify exactly what Mercedes’ position is with WSU going forward. We talk… yes… WRESTLICIOUS, present her with her own Wrestlicious Rap and investigate what exactly is going on with that programme. Mercedes was also announced today as being a part of the SHIMMER Vols 58-61 tapings in under three weeks. We talk about her thoughts on SHIMMER after all these years, whether a title reign there is still a major goal, and who’s likely to step up with names like Athena and Courtney Rush out through injury during these tapings. We talk SHINE, and her opponent at the last show, Solo Darling, along with her hopes for that promotion. We talk about Mercedes’ current role as the “veteran”, and touch on retirement and what that will mean for her when the day comes, while Lee gets embarrassed with talk of The Big O. Quite the show…!
(right click on the picture and “save as” to download, or stream in our media player below)
Ringbelles Roundup (24 September 2013) – Knockouts division reaches critical point, plus news & more
It’s felt like Groundhog Day since the start of July when TNA Knockouts started dropping from their perch. We are now at the point that things seem totally desperate with the division, with just two full-time wrestlers on the roster and two playing valet roles but are likely on call just in case.
The latest Knockout to disappear from our screens is Mickie James, who dropped the Knockouts Championship two weeks ago on an Impact Wrestling taping which was televised last Thursday. As a result, ODB is now the reigning champion, currently in her fourth run with the title. ODB holding the title isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though you have to imagine that had the roster not reduced to the state that it is in now, she would still be the referee and Taryn Terrell would be holding the belt, considering she was on the monster push. As things turned out, she is on an indefinite leave of absence and TNA did what it had to do to get the belt off James before her contract expired.
When we wrote about Mickie’s contract situation just over a week ago, it was reported that she was still in negotiations with TNA and if the right deal could be struck she would be back on the show. However earlier today, her profile was removed from the roster page on the company’s website, which can’t be a good sign. Mickie James may be back, but I personally wouldn’t hold my breath. Considering the financial issues leading to a massive amount of cost-cutting on the roster – and talk of the show moving back to a singular location because of the sheer outgoings caused by Impact going on the road and not pulling in the crowds, it could just be that TNA can’t afford Mickie James money right now, and may not for the foreseeable future.
As it stands, the only full-time female wrestlers on the roster are champion ODB and Gail Kim, with Velvet Sky and Brooke Tessmacher working as hangers-on for Bully Ray and Chris Sabin respectively. That’s pretty weak by anyone’s standards. (more…)