“[Promotion] is so much better than any other independent promotion, they book
the wrestlers fans want to see!”
“[Wrestler] is so overrated.”
“[Promotion] is the BEST in the world!”
“[Wrestler] is awesome, she should be booked everywhere!”
“[Promotion] only accepts the best, period.”
“[Promoter/booker] doesn’t know how to book properly, he’s screwing up
“[Wrestler] can’t go to WWE, they will ruin her!”
Do any of these statements sound familiar? If you are an independent wrestling fan, and more specifically a female wrestling fan, you’ve heard these sentences before and more like them. Some probably a lot more vulgar at times, some more hurtful, some more personal.
As a wrestling fan myself it makes me cringe sometimes. I get being a fan of a particular person or promotion (I have my favourites like everyone else), but what I don’t get is running down other companies that are trying to provide an outlet for talented wrestlers (male or female), or running down women who are doing their best to show that it’s not all Divas or Knockouts. (more…)
As the last moments of 2011 fade away, while being thankful for the many wonderful wrestling-related moments, it’s only natural to look to the new year. A new year brings new opportunities, a chance to start fresh and the ability to make things happen. Most of us make New Years resolutions to have set goals we want to meet. As pertains to wrestling, I gave some thought as to what I, personally, would like to see happen (or not happen, as the case may be). Some of these are serious, some are downright implausible but hey, I’m an optimistic gal for the most part. Who is to say what may or may not happen in 2012? Lets kick this off!
1) I wish that Madison Eagles, Lufisto, Mercedes Martinez, and Serena Deeb would completely heal and recover from their various physical ailments. I won’t say if I wish that they would return to wrestling – that’s something that they must decide for themselves. As a fan, I’ll respect and support whatever their decision may be. However, they’re young women in the prime of their lives, and knowing the long term damage wrestling does, I want them to heal so that they aren’t affected later in life. They are all wonderful women who deserve to live long, healthy lives after their wrestling careers come to an end. (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…)
The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. – Richard Bach
Another SHIMMER: Women Athletes weekend is in the books and by now, most fans and wrestlers are back at home. The Ringbelles crew didn’t get home until Wednesday. It was during one of our conversations about the weekend, that Lee was telling me about how LuFisto was trying to have a conversation with the new joshi, Yumi Ohka. It didn’t matter about the language barrier, they were managing to communicate. He paused and said, “You know, SHIMMER is like a family now.”
I’ve been reflecting about his statement since then. Looking back over the afterparty, the way everyone has and continues to gel together, it’s true. SHIMMER has such a diverse roster that now it’s nothing unusual to see an Australian chatting with a Japanese, or a British with a Canadian. Language isn’t an insurmountable obstacle – on the contrary, a lot of the Japanese women have picked up a bit of English, and I can think of two women, one American and one Australian, who have learned some Japanese. Yet, even in cases where language was a barrier, it didn’t matter one bit. What united these women was the love of wrestling. Their passion for it, and their desire to continue to combat the mainstream view of it.
…And perhaps the alcohol. That may have had something to do with making it easier to communicate. (more…)
Last week, WWE was in Toronto, Canada. Not only was it “Edge Appreciation Night,” but hometown girl Trish Stratus made a backstage appearance with Edge and a shorter one with Teddy Long. When talking with Edge backstage, she was getting him to try on a pair of her yoga gloves. Christian came into the frame to talk to his former best friend, but he spared a few words for Trish: “Nice of you to show up when you have something to sell.” Snide, but he has a point.
The thing is, Trish Stratus was and continues to be WWE’s “Golden Girl” as far as the divas go. Whenever they come to Toronto, you can bet that she will be there for a cameo, or for a match. This past year, she was a trainer on the renewed version of Tough Enough, came to Kelly’s aid at the Elimination Chamber pay per view, and was in a mixed tag team match at WrestleMania XXVII. Not bad for a woman who is officially retired. However, my problem with her is this: she gives little back to the division she helped to build. (more…)
“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…)