This weekend, Angelus Layne is one of the entrants in the 2013 version of ACW‘s Queen of Queens tournament – a big opportunity for this Midwest grappler who has been having a very productive 2013 so far. With that in mind, Stew caught up with Angelus for what was *in theory* meant to be a quick chat – but soon turned into a near podcast length discussion.
We talked Queen of Queens (and who she’s got her eye on in that tournament), getting advice from former QoQ winner Rachel Summerlyn, representing St Louis Anarchy and the fun times she’s had there (including working against babyface Jessicka Havok earlier in the year). We discuss working for AIW in Ohio (debuting at the last minute at Girls Night Out 8 earlier this year), and wrestling Darkness Crabtree for Wrestling Is Intense. We also have an in-depth discussion of hairstyles (yes, really), WWE hiring practices, social media, dig out a couple of comic book references and Angelus tells the story of “The Curse of July” and how it killed her chance to appear at NCW: Femmes Fatales last year.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
Anarchy Championship Wrestling returns for its fourth American Joshi Queen of Queens tournament with Rachel Summerlyn looking to defend her crown, with Jazz and Jessicka Havok making their ACW debuts. Also on the card, Portia Perez challenges Angel Blue for the American Joshi Championship.
American Joshi Queen of Queens – quarter-finals
1. Athena made Su Yung tap out to a leg submission.
2. Christina Von Eerie beat Veda Scott with the 138.
3. Rachel Summerlyn pinned Jazz with a Gory Bomb.
4. Jessicka Havok defeated Lady Poison with a roll-up. Summerlyn stayed at ringside and distracted Poison to allow Jessicka to get the pin.
5. Matthew Palmer defeated Rodney Mack with a superkick to retain the Hardcore Title.
6. Darin Childs & Khris Wolfe retained the ACW Tag Team Championships by beating the Lost Boys, Electric Company, & Mojo Bravado in a 4-way dance.
American Joshi Queen of Queens – semi-finals
7. Athena beat Von Eerie with the O-Face.
8. Havok defeated Summerlyn with the Air Raid Crash.
ACW American Joshi Championship Match
9. Angel Blue pinned Portia Perez with a roll-up to retain the title.
American Joshi Queen of Queens – finals
10. Athena defeated Havok to become the 2012 Queen of Queens. She got the pinfall following an O-Face across an open chair. (more…)
Back when it was still in single figures, we interviewed LuFisto for the Women of Wrestling Podcast. Among the mass of topics which were discussed, including her changing an Ontarian law which prevented men wrestling women and competing in brutal and bloody deathmatches, she pointed out one ambition which she held dear – one which has yet to be accomplished.
The last thing I would love to do is have one match with TNA. Just one. Dark match, whatever – I don’t care. I just want to experience what it is.
Considering she has been wrestling her entire adult life in numerous countries (and spilt blood in many of them – either her own or someone else’s) it sounds like a modest request. Debuting at the age of 17 in 1997, the Montreal native has broken barriers for women in her home country of Canada, competed and won championships in Combat Zone Wrestling, hanging with the guys there along the way, won deathmatch tournaments (one of which saw a piece of broken fluorescent bulb glass lodged in her back for around four years), and also proven that she’s not a one-trick pony by wrestling in SHIMMER without the benefit or distraction of weapons. Much like Mick Foley’s transformation from Cactus Jack and cellar dweller Mankind to the cuddly guy who is everyone’s happy uncle, LuFisto transitioned from a violent, partially masochistic maniac character to one which is based around Japanese anime and peppered with fun and happiness. LuFisto is a pioneer for women’s wrestling who has been trying for a number of years to get a foot in the door at either WWE or TNA, with the usual response being that she doesn’t have the “look” that they are after. However last Saturday, on the 15th anniversary of her debut, she got the opportunity she’s been after for years, when she got a chance to wrestle in a TNA ring as part of its Gut Check before the card in Oshawa, Ontario. (more…)
Athena is your new Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen of Queens, winning a tournament in Live Oak, TX which saw new names challenging for the crown, and past participants also vying to make it to the top of the heap.
Daizee Haze took the original tournament in 2009, going through Portia Perez, Jessica James and Sara Del Rey; Perez won in 2010 be beating Haze, MsChif and Lady Poison, regaining the ACW American Joshi Championship in the process, and; 2011′s winner was Rachel Summerlyn, who defeated Christina Von Eerie, Perez and Athena to emerge victorious.
This year Summerlyn, Athena, Lady Poison and Von Eerie returned for the 2012 tournament, and were joined by debutantes Jessicka Havok, Jazz, Veda Scott and Su Yung. Also on the card, Perez looked to regain the American Joshi Title when she challenges the holder Angel Blue for the belt. Click after the jump and we will relay the results to you, courtesy of ACW and attendee David Muscarella. (more…)
Following her arrest over being arrested for narcotics possession last week, Io Shirai was indefinitely suspended by her home promotion, Stardom. The official statement refrains from making a comment on the current legal situation, but did distance itself from the former Triple Tails member, and apologised to fans. Io’s sister Mio did the same thing in a blog post, saying that their relationship had been strained recently, and Io had distanced herself from her family. She also pointed out that she heard about the arrest in the same way everyone else did – via the media.
Shirai’s suspension should not come as a surprise. Drugs are a serious no-no in Japan, and any wrestling organisation would want to disassociate itself with anything that may trouble or dissuade sponsors.
22-year old Shirai and her boyfriend NOSAWA Rongai were arrested at Narita Airport after returning from Mexico, after a total of 75 grams of marijuana was found hidden in the frames of two paintings given to them from fans. In somewhere like the US or UK, 75 grams is a small amount of cannabis – but this Japan, which has ferocious anti-drug laws to discourage people from smuggling, selling, cultivating or selling them in the country. For example, because caught with weed could result in a five year prison sentence which also incorporates hard labour. That’s a stiff penalty, and really not worth the risk.
At the moment, both Shirai and Rongai (who deny the allegations) are being held in a detention centre where the prosecutor will prepare in indictment. If that happens, the chances of being acquitted is very slim. (more…)
It’s that time of year again – we’re approaching the summer, and the build up for this year’s Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen of Queens tournament is underway. With this being the fourth year since its inception, the event has become a major event in the women’s wrestling calendar, having played host to some great matches, title changes and angles over years, and has crowned three worthy winners.
Daizee Haze took the original tournament in 2009, going through Portia Perez, Jessica James and Sara Del Rey; Perez won in 2010 be beating Haze, MsChif and Lady Poison, regaining the ACW American Joshi Championship in the process, and; 2011′s winner was Rachel Summerlyn (pictured), who defeated Christina Von Eerie, Perez and Athena to emerge victorious.
This year’s tournament takes place in Live Oak, TX on June 24, and two names have been announced – both of whom were defeated by eventual winner Summerlyn last year. Von Eerie – who made a great first impression in her losing effort in the first round – returns for a second stab at the crown, while ACW regular and former American Joshi titleholder Athena is having her third attempt at rising to the top after ending up just one victory short last year. Both Von Eerie and Athena have grown as wrestlers since the last QoQ – Christina has had time in TNA and has been working regularly in Florida, and tagged with MsChif on the most recent SHIMMER tapings against the likes of LuFisto & Kana, as well as Hailey Hatred and Kalamity, while Athena ascended to the next level at SHIMMER last month by defeating Mercedes Martinez, Sassy Stephie and Ray.
If this year’s tournament is anything like last year’s, we’re in for a treat, and I’m already putting some money aside to buy the DVD when it is released.
- Lee Burton
I can’t say that I watch a lot of Anarchy Championship Wrestling – though I keep up with storylines and results, as it does well at producing episodic shows – but after watching last year’s American Joshi Queen of Queens tournament, I made a promise to myself that I would buy this year’s event and give it a watch. After all, last year – in its second annual outing – it firmly established itself as being one of the best tournaments in the western world. Even though I covered the results as they happened back in June, I wanted to see how it all went down, so I put my money down at Smart Mark Video and waited in anticipation of its arrival. Last Saturday, it arrived – while I was at a wedding in Italy, no less, so I had to wait until I got back two days later to slap it into the DVD player.
The first thing that you notice is the cover, which is clean and simple, featuring Amanda Fox and Serena Deeb. Last year’s edition featured a full-on Alice In Wonderland spoof featuring the participants taking up the different roles, so it was a nice change to present something different this year around. The discs – while DVD-Rs – also have a professional look to them, with the DVD cover image replicated on them. Thumbs up for first impressions.
There are more compliments to be extended, too. The opening montage introducing the show was very ACW – gritty, raw and emotional – and the official photos in the ring before the tournament was used to produce a nice angle. Portia Perez – looking and acting very different to how she does in places like SHIMMER and Squared Circle Wrestling – attacked fellow participant Lillie Mae with the wrench that she carries around with her, breaking her nose and putting her out of the tourney. Here in ACW, Perez is cold, calculating, devious and dangerous. She is easily the most intimidating woman on the roster. (more…)
This weekend, Anarchy Championship Wrestling presents its third annual American Joshi Queen of Queens Tournament, featuring some of the best indy talent from around the USA. To celebrate that, we decided to have an Anarchy themed show featuring the bacon *and* the eggs from Rachel & Jessica’s Excellent Tag Team – Rachel Summerlyn & Jessica James. We’re joined first by Jessica for a thoroughly enthralling chat about her career to date. Jessica admits she’s barely on the internet, so she’s one of those wrestlers that there isn’t that much about online. Hear stories about training with Booker T and Sharmell at PWA (and how that compares to Booker’s appearance on Tough Enough), the history and development of Lady Poison, Texas indies, ninja sneaking skills and just how close she is to Rachel. Then it’s Rachel‘s time to specifically plug the Queen of Queens tournament, including what we need to know about lesser known names Amanda Fox and Lillie Mae. We take the chance to ask Rachel about her own debut (in a tournament, no less, at the 2006 Queen of the Death Matches), life lessons learned from Daffney, how she and Jessica came together, her weight loss, Anarchy Championship Wrestling as a whole (ranging from prom nights to thumbtack matches), eliciting emotion in wrestling, future goals and more.
Keep an eye on the website this weekend for coverage of the 2011 American Joshi Queen of Queens!!
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
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…)
Later this month, the third annual Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen of Queens tournament takes place, so as part of this week’s retro, we show the beginnings of ACW’s American Joshi division. Before there was a title, before there was a tournament, there was Rachel Summerlyn (with red hair) taking on Mickie Knuckles.
This contest from January 14, 2007 is essentially a rematch from Summerlyn’s debut match from two months earlier on November 3, 2006 at the IWA: Mid South Queen of the Deathmatches tournament under the name of Rachel Putski – that’s right; Summerlyn’s first wrestling match for money was a Thumbtack Death Match, which she lost after being planted into pins.
Knuckles was the main woman in IWA: MS and was known at the time primarily as a brawler, though this contest shows flashes of the technical prowess which she showed before this point, and since, both under her Knuckles character as also as Isabella Smothers, who along with Jessie Belle Smothers make up the Smothers Twisted Daughters tag team which is currently gaining a name in Ohio Valley Wrestling. (more…)
The Big News
In what was a pretty classy move by WWE, not only did they let Kharma go out there and tell the truth, they also left the door open for her return.
Following a week of speculation – started by the Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Online by saying she would be out of action for nine months – Kharma came clean to the world and revealed her pregnancy on Raw last night.
In a straight promo – much like Edge’s when he revealed he had to retire – she told us about how she had two dreams, the first of which was to be a WWE Superstar (note she said Superstar instead of Diva… telling. Also, she said the word “wrestling” or “wrestler” three times). She talked about applying for Tough Enough 2 back in 2002 – something I’ve documented in the past – and how Jim Ross thought she was too fat to make it. Undeterred, she travelled to Japan, scrubbed floors and earned the right to train and become a star there, as she told to us in the Women of Wrestling Podcast last year.
From there, Kharma also talked about how she had always wanted a family, and officially let us know about her pregnancy – something that received a nice reception from the fans. She described it as a “high risk pregnancy”, which is understandable considering her working environment, thanked the audience for their support and said that she would return in a year.
Of course, with this being WWE, there was an interruption by the Bella Twins who mocked Kharma with some poorly written, and even more poorly delivered, insults. Seriously, if Nikki and Brie were any more wooden, they could have been part of the hull of Noah’s Ark. Perhaps they didn’t fully believe or support the words they were saying, so it came across that way in the promo. Still, Kharma promised that she would be back for them in a year, which makes sure that we haven’t seen the last of her in WWE. (more…)
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.
She may still be in Japan wrestling for SMASH, but Serena Deeb’s filling up that diary of bookings.
She’s been named as one of the first two participants in the ACW American Joshi Queen of Queens tournament, taking place on June 26 in Live Oak, Texas – the other name being Amanda Fox. Serena will be looking to follow in the footsteps of previous winners Daizee Haze and Portia Perez in taking the tournament.
For more information on QoQ, click here.