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.
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Episode 53 with ‘The Wrestling Goddess’ Athena
Here’s one we’ve been meaning to do for some time – and we’ve finally got our schedules aligned in time to bring it to you just before SHIMMER Vol 53 on iPPV next weekend, where our guest Athena will be in one of the featured matches against Ayako Hamada. In this wide ranging interview, we talk about how the various parts of her act came together – including how she started, was ripped off, clotheslined, yet still came back for more; we find out where the name came from, how the spectacular O-Face came to be, and the origin of “Hussy”. We talk run-ins with various former (and future) WWE wrestlers, early awesomeness with Booker T & Sharmell, thoughts on ACW, Rachel Summerlyn, Death Matches and Intergender wrestling (Brock Lesnar vs Kim Kardashian anybody?). We talk SHIMMER, Femmes Fatales, WSU – and then out of nowhere break open the Wrestling Bucket List~!, where Athena runs through the people she wants to wrestle before she retires. Some serious, some personal, some… a little out there! We finish up talking about making it to the big time, and the craziness that has been the TNA Gut Check voting. A bit of an epic podcast, this… but this girl can talk!
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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…)
On Sunday, I sat among 400 people in a hall in a small city in the west of England. The only reason why I had decided to go – well, apart from it being a 15 minute walk from my front door – was that it featured a women’s match that was pretty hyped up about. Unfortunately, the billed contest between Kay Lee Ray and Shanna had to be scrapped because of KLR suffering a broken toe two days previous, then wrestling for about 40 minutes on it the previous day – though as it turns out, her metatarsal had been broken for about a month, which was compounded by the broken toe. As a result, a suitable replacement was brought in to replace Ray, and it would more than compensate.
The fans at Alternative Wrestling World in Wolverhampton had no idea who Emi Sakura was. To them, she was a Japanese woman who wears a lot of fabric, doesn’t show much skin and visually, didn’t look like much to write home about. Around me, I heard some borderline racist jokes about the “Chinese” woman in the ring and some unfunny gags about ordering Chinese cuisine in a mocking Far Asian accent. Her opponent also got the heckles, with a guy yelling “get your tits out” to Portugal’s Perfect Athlete – as if that line has EVER worked. Needless to say, we were dealing with an audience with spectacularly low expectations for the contest, and more than their fair share of xenophobia and ignorance. I’m stunned that I didn’t see anyone get up to go to the bar or toilets. They would have regretted it if they had, as little did they know, but they were going to be treated to a showcase featuring one of Europe’s best against one of the best in the world… (more…)
There are many interesting prospects in North America. One which has been simmering for a while is Mia Yim, who has been honing her skills and gaining more experience by partaking in a number of extended trips to Japan to wrestle for REINA x World. Domestically, she has had some interesting matches which have been of a good quality, and was a beneficiary when one of her kicks broke Allysin Kay’s nose last January leading to a number of well-received matches between the two with greater stipulations reflecting the development of the programme, culminating in a cage match at Absolute Intense Wrestling’s Girls Night Out 7. She had a fine outing against Jessicka Havok at SHINE 3 last September, and also enjoyed outings against the likes of Kana and Yumi Ohka in SHIMMER in 2011.
However, there is one major sticking point when it comes to her work in the US – barring the original nose-breaking match against Kay at GNO5, Yim has lost most of those high-profile outings.
Despite that, she has the opportunity to claim a really big scalp at SHIMMER volume 53 in Secaucus, NJ on April 6, and spoil the homecoming of one of its biggest stars at the same time. (more…)
2012 Diva of the Year (named by both WWE Magazine and the WWE fans via the Slammy Awards) AJ Lee is about as far away from WWE’s idea of what a Diva should be as you can imagine. Short, quirky, geeky, lacking the body shape that others have had in the past, she comes across as the person you would be more likely to meet over an Xbox Live session of Call Of Duty Black Ops 2 than at an awards ceremony or a fancy bar. She’s your friend, your buddy – she’s not what WWE would perceive to be the ultimate in femininity.
But scratch beneath the surface, and she may be more woman than anyone else on the roster. She’s independent, driven, and has forged a path which she was never meant to go down – and in doing so, forced WWE to take notice.
After all, at the start of this year, she was Daniel Bryan’s put-upon girlfriend – the one who was the foil for him to turn heel, and saw her end up being verbally abused and put in harm’s way. If anything, at the time she was another version of the antithesis of a Diva – meek, helpless and unable to take care of herself. However, when their relationship ended on the post-WrestleMania SmackDown following Bryan’s loss of the World Heavyweight Title – which he blamed on her – she went off at the deep end. It gave her character a chance to have an edge, and she ran with it. (more…)
In a move that nobody anticipated, Emi Sakura left Pro Wrestling: EVE’s second iPPV as the promotion’s Champion, after successfully defending her JWP Openweight Title earlier in the night, then challenging new EVE titleholder Nikki Storm in an impromptu match which saw the founder of Gatoh Move hit a quick 450 splash for the pin.
Now, I get the reasoning for putting the belt on Sakura. On an immediate level, it offers a happy ending for the show, and the visual of the JWP and EVE titles together is pretty striking. Longer term, it means that the belt is now associated with the oldest active women’s title in Japan, and considering how good Sakura is at garnering publicity, there is a lot of opportunity for joshi fans to find out about Pro Wrestling: EVE because people will inevitably ask about this other belt that she’s holding. In turn, it could lead to more international recognition and possibly more DVD sales and iPPV buys from Japan in the future.
However, the circumstances in which she won the title seems to be a big sticking point among some fans who both attended the show and watched online. (more…)
Wow. I don’t know what really to say besides Thank You to everyone who has supported a girl born and raised in Austin,TX, who grew up surrounded by wrestling and then turning a dream into reality. All I ever wanted from wrestling was to give all you guys back the happiness it has given me. My zen place inside those ropes. Through all the battles, all the looks, all the people who said that I was just a girl…
Thank you for those moments, because it wouldn’t have made this one as special as it was. I am now the @ACWwrestling Heavyweight Champion.
They’re the words from Rachel Summerlyn‘s Twitter after last night’s Lone Star Classic in Austin, TX, where she came out of nowhere to win Anarchy Championship Wrestling‘s Heavyweight Championship. She substituted for Jerry Lynn in the semi finals of the tournament to defeat last year’s winner ACH, then rounded things off by beating Evan Gelistico to claim the title. (more…)
The release of this year’s Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen of Queens tournament is not far away – so to prepare, we bring you a tag team match featuring the women of ACW from April 15 this year.
At the time, Angel Blue was the holder of the coveted American Joshi Championship, which has been held by wrestlers like Portia Perez, Athena and Daffney in the past. She’s joined by the colourful Serenity, who has been working with Resistance Pro and ACW affiliate St Louis Anarchy. Their opponents are American Joshi original and former titleholder Rachel Summerlyn and the increasingly popular Barbi Hayden, who debuted in the promotion late last year after earning her stripes in NWA Houston.
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…)
Eight wrestlers from the US and Canada compete at the American Legion Post 80 in Binghampton, New York for Squared Circle Wrestling‘s first ever Girls’ Grand Prix tournament.
1. Girls Grand Prix Quarter Final: Portia Perez pinned Cherry Bomb with a tights-assisted rollup.
2. Girls Grand Prix Quarter Final: Rachel Summerlyn defeated Veda Scott with the Best Of Both Worlds (swinging neckbreaker).
3. Girls Grand Prix Quarter Final: Sara Del Rey made Allysin Kay tap out to a Cross Armbreaker.
4. Girls Grand Prix Quarter Final: Mercedes Martinez pinned Mia Yim with a Fisherman Buster.
5. Girls Grand Prix Semi Final: Rachel Summerlyn made Portia Perez give up to the Texas Cloverleaf.
6. Jay Freddie defeated Jason Axe, Eddie Edwards and Brodie Lee to retain the 2CW Heavyweight Championship. Freddie made Axe tap out with a Sharpshooter.
7. Girls Grand Prix Semi Final: Sara Del Rey beat Mercedes Martinez with a Royal Butterfly.
8. Kevin Graham, Punisher Van Slyke & ZS3 beat Loca Vida, Steve McKenzie & Kage. Graham pinned Kage with a sunset flip.
9. Carlito pinned Sean Carr with a roll up.
10. Girls Grand Prix Final: Rachel Summerlyn defeated Sara Del Rey via submission with a Texas Cloverleaf.
• This was 2CW’s first attempt at running a show with the primary focus on the women. The promotion had held two Grand Prix tournaments for men in the past.
• The run-up to the show was somewhat of a shaky one. Half of the announced women in the tournament were unable to attend for various reasons, meaning that Serena Deeb, Courtney Rush, Nikki Roxx and Alexxis Nevaeh all missed the show – they were replaced by Scott, Yim, Kay and Martinez.
• Del Rey and Martinez squared off in a the semi-finals, rekindling their series of matches which helped put SHIMMER on the map in the promotion’s early days.
• Speaking of Martinez, this was her first high-profile show since suffering a concussion the previous November. She spoke about it during the Christmas episode of the Women Of Wrestling Podcast.
• Rachel Summerlyn added to the ACW American Joshi Queen of Queens honour that she won last June by taking the first ever Girls Grand Prix trophy. (more…)
What have Rachel Summerlyn, Nikki Storm, Amazon, Jenny Rose and Maria Kanellis all done this year, and what has Kurumi done twice?
If you guessed “win tournaments”, take yourself to the Winners’ Circle.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I love a good tournament. It’s a great way to have multiple storylines running in one show, concluding some, forwarding others and starting a few more. It can also be a push for the winner, and even for a plucky name who gets further than you would expect them to. But the reason why I mostly love tournaments is because it’s a special occasion, much like your birthday, Christmas (although people who know me will know that I’m not fond of Christmas) or the release of a new Police Academy film. Across North America, the UK and Canada, there have been seven tournaments in the past 12 weeks. (more…)
When we received a message letting us know that Mickie Knuckles was looking to speak to Ringbelles’ Women Of Wrestling Podcast to make a special announcement, we leapt at the chance. After all, the former NWA Midwest/IWA: Mid South and Ohio Valley Wrestling Women’s Champion, and current Absolute Intense Wrestling Women’s titleholder was someone who we had been looking to speak to for some time now. Before getting to her big news, we were able to discuss the key points of Mickie’s career, including her time in IWA: MS, getting knocked out in her first ever match, and being part of the women’s division that would be the blueprint for SHIMMER. She also covers getting into wrestling death matches, and offers her thoughts on two women who debuted at Queen of the Death Matches tournaments – Rachel Summerlyn and the infamous BB Walls. From there, we look at her frenetic summer of 2008, including appearing on Jerry Springer, TNA, Mike Levy and breaking her leg in two. Finally, Mickie explains how she got back into wrestling, the Izza Belle Smothers character, and also has some very pointed words about OVW and Jessicka Havok before making the announcement that affects Girls Night Out 6 on April 15. This is an edition that you don’t want to miss.
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Cheerleader Melissa continues her quest towards Madison Eagles‘ SHIMMER Championship, while Jessie McKay and Nicole Matthews settle their feud in a best of three falls match.
1. Kellie Skater defeated Courtney Rush with a Skate And Destroy.
2. LuFisto beat Sassy Stephie with the Mangalizer.
3. Rachel Summerlyn made Mena Libra tap out to the Texas Cloverleaf.
4. 3S (Hiroyo Matsumoto & Misaki Ohata) beat Pretty Bitchin’ (Nikki Roxx & Ariel) to retain the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship – Matsumoto pinned Roxx following an Exploder Suplex.
5. Mercedes Martinez pinned Britani Knight with a Fisherman Buster.
6. Daizee Haze & Tomoka Nakagawa defeated Mia Yim & Jamilia Craft. Nakagawa pinned Yim with a Fisherman Suplex.
7. Jessica James pinned Athena after hitting the Hard Boiled Egg.
8. MsChif beat Sweet Saraya with a Desecrator.
9. Serena Deeb defeated Portia Perez via DQ when Perez hit Deeb with a cookie sheet.
10. Nicole Matthews beat Jessie McKay in a best of three falls match. Matthews took the first fall with a tights-assisted O’Connor Roll, McKay equalised with multiple Schoolgirl Crushes, and Matthews scored the third fall with the Vancouver Maneuver.
11. Cheerleader Melissa & Ayako Hamada beat Madison Eagles & Sara Del Rey when Hamada rolled up Eagles for the pin.
• 3S continue their run as SHIMMER Tag Team Champions and establish themselves as the most over team in the promotion’s history with a second successful title defence over Pretty Bitchin’.
• Both Sweet Saraya and daughter Britani Knight are defeated by SHIMMER originals, MsChif and Mercedes Martinez respectively. The former sees the Knight’s manager Rebecca Knox get involved in the match but gets her comeuppance when a Saraya basement dropkick goes awry.
• Haze and Nakagawa earn a SHIMMER Tag Team Title shot by remaining undefeated, beating Mia Yim & Jamilia Craft.
• The Serena Deeb/Portia Perez feud that began following Deeb’s return to the promotion after her release from WWE the previous year continues and starts to involve weapons.
• Nicole Matthews and Jessie McKay put their on-off feud to bed after their best of three falls match after trading victories in singles and tag matches.
• Ayako Hamada pins Madison Eagles to earn a shot at the SHIMMER Championship, much to the chagrin of Cheerleader Melissa, who wanted to get the pin to earn the shot for herself. (more…)
Tonight at the American Legion Post 80 in Binghampton, New York, Squared Circle Wrestling (2CW) are presenting the Girls Grand Prix – an eight woman, one night tournament featuring an intriguing mix of established indy stars and up and comers. Despite losing half of the originally announced competitors (Nikki Roxx, Courtney Rush, Lexxus and Serena Deeb have all at one point been booked on the show), we’ve still got an eight woman, one night tournament featuring 2CW regulars like Sara Del Rey & Portia Perez, mixed with a potent mix of talents including Mia Yim and Allysin Kay (following their nose-breaking endeavours at AIW’s Girls Night Out 5), ACW‘s Rachel Summerlyn making an irregular East Coast appearance, Mercedes Martinez having her biggest profile match (or matches) since her concussion issues and recent co-Podcast guests Cherry Bomb & Veda Scott.
Click after the jump for relevant live results from the show via our correspondant David Muscarella. (more…)
Two weeks ago, we reported about Squared Circle Wrestling setting up a new tournament called Girls Grand Prix, to be held in Binghamton, NY on February 24. At the time, the names which had been announced were Rachel Summerlyn, Sara Del Rey, Portia Perez and Serena Deeb (should she be fit to wrestle following her concussion). Today, 2CW has announced the other four participants in the tourney, as well as the opening round matches.
Joining the announced quartet will be former World Women’s Wrestling Champions Nikki Roxx and Alexxis Nevaeh (AKA Lexxus in Women Superstars Uncensored), as well as Canadians (and potential smash hits for 2012) Cherry Bomb and Courtney Rush. Having the experience and East Coast history of Roxx and Navaeh as well as the youth and added international flavour of Rush and Cherry Bomb (to go with fellow Canuck Perez) makes for an interesting dynamic. It could have been the same local faces for the most part, but those additions mean that it has a unique edge to it all. (more…)
Women’s wrestling has had some great tournaments over the last few years. ChickFight held nine of them between 2004 and 2007 both in the US and later in the UK, with Mariko Yoshida and Cheerleader Melissa winning two tourneys each, and being the home of wild brawls as well as top in-ring action. Also in 2004, Dave Prazak put together the excellent IWA: MS Volcano Girls show, which crowned the first NWA Midwest/IWA: MS Women’s Champion in Lacey. SHIMMER‘s two night, 16 woman title tournament in 2007 saw Sara Del Rey become the inaugural champion. More recently, the Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen of Queens has become a mainstay of the summer, with Daizee Haze, Portia Perez and Rachel Summerlyn taking the crown over the years.
Tournaments are great – they can tell a number of stories over one evening or weekend, integrating a number of characters into the mix and giving a satisfying payoff, as you can tell the struggle someone has gone through, wrestling multiple matches in rapid succession to emerge victorious at the top of the heap. Of course, done badly, you end up with King of the Ring 1995 but that’s beside the point… (more…)
The photograph to the right is not Rachel Summerlyn moments after slaughtering a pig… although it may look that way. That’s Summerlyn in the immediate aftermath of a bloody battle with Scot Summers in ACW a couple of months ago. The match, which took place on July 17th’s “From Innocence to Insanity 5″ event featured Summers defending his Anarchy Televised Title against Summerlyn, who was already one half of the ACW Tag Team Champions (with Jessica James).
As Jennifer pointed out last weekend, ACW is one promotion who really don’t bother to distinguish between males and females as far as championship contention is concerned, and this match is *absolutely* no exception. As you might expect, given the post match picture, there is quite a bit of claret in this match, so it’s not for the faint of heart.
Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
On September 24th, 2011, Ring of Honor returned to television on Sinclair Broadcast network. Former owner Cary Silkin has stayed on with them as an executive and although Sinclair doesn’t have a channel in many cities, the company sees this as a positive step forward. For those who are unable to see it on television, you can view each week’s episode for free on their website.
However, on September 27th, Sara Del Rey noted on her Twitter:
I just noticed I’m not a part of the ROH roster anymore…boo
In fact, if you take a look at the website, not only is Del Rey not listed as part of the roster, but neither are fellow Women of Honor Daizee Haze or MsChif. The only woman who is listed is Mia Yim, as part of Prince Nana’s Embassy stable. Given that this is considered a new start of sorts for the company with their debut on SBG, perhaps it isn’t that surprising that ROH is choosing to focus on their male talent and grow their audience from there. However, other fans have taken note of this. Over at ROHWorld.com, Dave Wood wrote a piece explaining why he believes a female division in ROH would be a benefit, and gives details on how to re-create one, which you can read here and here.
One consistent criticism was the lack of time given to their matches. Another was that there were no storylines, except for sporadic times (such as last year when Daizee and Del Rey were clamouring for competition). You would have a match every now and again on the HDNet show or on the iPPV with no background attached. It’s hard to be invested in a division that isn’t really given any real focus.
Other companies have taken the ball ROH dropped and ran with it. Two promotions come instantly to mind that have incorporated women into not only a division of their own but have integrated them with the male roster, producing memorable feuds and showing that when booked right, women can have great, credible matches with men. (more…)
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…)
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…)
Nanae Takahashi could have chosen to wrestle anyone in her 15th anniversary match. After all, she is one of the founders of STARDOM – a promotion formed in late 2010 to help season the younger generation of aspiring joshi stars and train up new ones from different aspects of the entertainment industry, such as Yuzuki Aikawa, who had been a model, ballet dancer, and girl group singer. Takahashi could have picked any woman from any promotion in Japan, seeing as many promotions share and exchange talent these days. However, the 32-year old decided that instead of picking a domestic star to take on, she would select someone who has never wrestled in Japan before – the Women Superstars Uncensored World Champion Mercedes Martinez.
We’ll get to Martinez in a moment, but first, a quick biography of her opponent on July 24 in Tokyo, and the promotion that is her current pet project.
Takahashi debuted in 1996 at the age of 17, and shot out of the blocks, winning two All Japan Women tag team titles in two years. Taking the bull by the horns in the previous decade, Nanae started 2000 by winning the AJW singles gold on March. She followed it up over the next 10 by winning the WWWA singles and tag titles (her first WWWA solo title win was over Ayako Hamada on May 11, 2003), and was the singles champ when the promotion folded in 2006.
During that year (which was also her 10 year anniversary, in case you weren’t keeping track) announced her intention to start her own promotion. That promotion was Pro Wrestling SUN, which still exists to this very day, under the handling of one Allison Danger and is based in the US. At the time, the promotion recognised the AWA Women’s Championship and had Takahashi as its champion, though she lost it to Amazing Kong, who then entered a war with then-NWA World Women’s Champion MsChif.
After SUN entered inactivity in 2008, Nanae won the NEO singles and tag titles, the Ice Ribbon Triangle Ribbon and International Ribbon Tag Team Titles, and even the JWP Openweight championship. As you can tell, this is a woman who has had her fair share of success. And other people’s share. And on July 24, Takahashi could add another title to that list of accomplishments – the newly created World of STARDOM championship. (more…)
Following two colossally un-newsworthy weeks, we’re overflowing with talking points in this edition of the Roundup. There were a number of big shows taking place over the weekend, with three big winners coming out of it. Hailey Hatred, who is the new JWP Openweight Champion; Lexxus, who is the new number one contender to the WSU World Title after winning the Uncensored Rumble, and; Rachel Summerlyn, who won the third annual Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen of Queens Tournament.
The first big moment of the weekend took place in Osaka, Japan, when Hatred defeated Leon to not only retain her TLW and IMW titles, but win the J-1 Grand Prix AND become the first American (and indeed, first foreigner) to claim the JWP Openweight title – a belt which has been in existence since late 1992. It’s not only the crowning moment in her 9 year career, but also proves to the world that the rest of the world can keep up – and in some cases, be superior to – the well storied and decorated joshis that have helped to define what women’s wrestling in the modern era should be all about.
Standing a lofty 5’10”, 27-year old Hatred started out fairly quietly, wrestling in smaller promotions and being frequently eliminated in the early rounds of the ChickFight Tournaments. She also wrestled Mickie Knuckles in her very first wrestling match in IWA: Mid South in 2003, almost breaking the rookie’s neck with an errant powerbomb onto the back of an open chair. However, she returned to the promotion three years later to claim the Women’s Title – one of a number of singles titles that she won during her time wrestling in her home country, including the World Wrestling Coalition Women’s title in 2008 and the first Absolute Intense Wrestling Women’s crown in May 2009 by beating Sammi Lane in the tournament final. (more…)
She talked about winning the whole shebang as part of last week’s Women of Wrestling Podcast, and she came through – Rachel Summerlyn went through Christina Von Eerie, last year’s winner Portia Perez and Athena to become the 2011 Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen of Queens.
The tournament’s been known for providing upsets – such as little Jessica James making Sara Del Rey tap out in the opening round of last year’s tournament – and this year was no exception, with Five Star Amanda Fox repeating her success earlier this year by beating Serena Deeb to progress to the semi-finals. However, the shockers didn’t start there – in fact, big angles took place even before the opening bell rung…
Lillie Mae – who was due to wrestle Athena in the opening round – was taken out of action with a broken nose during the group photo with all the tournament’s participants. She was attacked with a wrench by Perez – Mae was replaced by Angel Blue. (more…)