If the plan is still for AJ Lee to defend the Divas Championship against Naomi at WrestleMania XXX, then WWE is certainly going round the houses to do it – that’s if they’re even planning to do it.
Before her injury to her eye socket occurred, it was reported that the plan was for Naomi to be the one to end AJ’s mammoth title reign (which is now the longest run in WWE history be it for singular or combined reigns) though it was said that the plan would still be on for WrestleMania on April 6 if the Funkadactyl could be cleared in time. It was partly because of that possibility that AJ had a title defence against Cameron at Elimination Chamber and again on the subsequent SmackDown. However things have gone in another direction in the last week as there now seems to be a queue of pretenders to the throne.
Natalya made AJ tap out in a tag match on SmackDown on Friday and is to get a Divas Title shot on tonight’s live edition of Main Event. Meanwhile on last night Raw, Nikki Bella got the pin on the titleholder as part of another tag team match, after which she held up the Divas belt while Natalya – who was on commentary – looked on. It seems as if there is a bottleneck of challengers, though it’s also up in the air as to who the champion may be by the time we get to WrestleMania. (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…)
It’s weird – this website was buzzing with stories last month as part of Open Female Fight Season, with results from Bellatrix, Absolute Intense Wrestling, Women Superstars Uncensored, SHIMMER, SHINE & NCW: Femmes Fatales all flowing in, interspersed with interviews, reaction and discussion. It was certainly a busy time for women wrestling fans, and sites dedicated to it, such as this one. You would imagine that at the conclusion of such a period, there would be a hangover of sorts where many wrestlers would rest, promotions would ease down and there would not be that much to talk about. (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (17 September 2013) – Courtney Rush speaks on her injury, rejigged matches, Total Divas finale
There is never a good time to sustain an injury – but for Courtney Rush, the timing of her current ailment has to feel horrendous for her.
Tweeting yesterday, she said: “I don’t know how to say this so I’ll just spit it out: last night I broke my collarbone & will be out of wrestling for the rest of the year. The past 24 hours have been the most frustrating and heartbreaking I have experienced in a very long time. But I must remain positive. A thousand thanks to those who showed such compassion and love and did everything to help me through the pain and emotion. I love you all.”
Speaking exclusively to Ringbelles, Rush revealed that the injury happened in a “freak accident” while she wrestled under a mask as La Tigre Diablo against Jasmine in the warm up match at Sunday’s Smash Wrestling CanUSA Classic show in Toronto, ON, Canada – explaining why she did not feature on the show in her announced match against Candice LeRae. While the fractured collarbone is a massive blow, it also means a lot of Courtney’s plans for the next month or so are out of the window. (more…)
Total Divas is directing the Divas division in WWE at the moment.
Last Friday’s match between Naomi and Brie Bella on SmackDown ended in a no-contest when some of the Divas – AJ Lee, Aksana, Layla & Alicia Fox – who aren’t a part of Total Divas came down to the ring and attacked the seven stars of the E! Show. On Raw last night, AJ’s opponents at this Sunday’s Night Of Champions show – Natalya, Brie & Naomi – defeated Aksana, Layla & Fox in a six woman tag when Alicia tapped out to Natalya’s Sharpshooter. In addition, Naomi defeated AJ Lee in non-title matches in Canada at the weekend, and if you were a betting man, you would put money on the Divas Championship changing hands this Sunday.
The show is after a happy ending to its season extension/season two run due to start later this year, following the conclusion of the current season which ends next week with Natalya’s marriage to TJ Wilson (Tyson Kidd). Seeing as all three of AJ’s challengers are babyfaces for this angle – and are the three most likeable women on the show – it is perfectly plausible that any one of them could walk out with the belt. (more…)
We’ve been itching to talk about it for a month, and are glad that now that it has been broadcast, there is nothing to stop us now. Paige is the first NXT Women’s Champion, spotlighting her as the top woman in WWE’s developmental division right now. It is the shining moment in the 20-year old’s 6-year career – the last 18 months of which has been spent in Florida in Florida Championship Wrestling and later NXT. It was also a testament to WWE’s faith in the Briton that she defeated two established WWE Divas en route to the final of the tournament, defeating Tamina Snuka and former Divas Champion Alicia Fox to make it to the decider against Emma.
In what was the opening contest of last Wednesday’s broadcast, Paige and Emma put together what has to be the best women’s match that WWE has presented in the last year at least. With big moves peppering the proceedings, a decisive finish via the Paige Turner and the endorsement of fellow Divas and WWE COO Triple H made it all feel like a really big moment – as it should have been.
The WWE Divas Championship turned 5 years old on Saturday, and has evolved from the secondary title on the SmackDown brand to being the top belt in the promotion. Some would argue that in that time, the prestige of the primary women’s title in the biggest wrestling promotion in the world has dropped for various reasons, but it’s what we’re being presented, and it would be worth a look to see what state the title and the division itself is in right now.
Announced on June 6, 2008 by then-GM Vickie Guerrero so the women on her roster would have their own title, with the inaugural champion being Michelle McCool, who made Natalya tap out at that year’s Great American Bash. At the time, McCool was the pet project for WWE’s future, having been in the original Diva Search in 2004 and floating around for a long while before hitting a groove as a wrestler. However, she was a pretty unexciting one – and despite defeating Maryse a number of times over the course of the next month, it was the French Canadian who wrested the title from her in December of that year, which saw McCool turn heel on friend and special ref Maria Kanellis after the contest’s conclusion.
Maryse embarked on what is still the longest Divas Championship reign in the title’s history at 216 days, but her matches were pretty poor, and could not compare to the Raw brand’s women’s roster which was seeing the likes of Melina, Mickie James and Beth Phoenix competing over the Women’s Championship. However, during Maryse’s reign, she was drafted from SmackDown to Raw and took the belt with her, while Women’s Champion Melina went in the other direction. (more…)
The untimely death of Matt Osbourne got me to thinking. In his role as the original Doink The Clown, he took what immediately appeared to be a bit of a lame gimmick and turned it into something quite special – a dark character with a painted on smile, exacting sadistic actions to wrestlers and fans alike, while also working as a skilled technician in the ring. Check out his matches with Mr Perfect and Bret Hart for some of his best work in mid-1993.
Osbourne’s run as Doink came to an end in the latter part of the year as he was fired from the WWF for re-occurring drug issues, and with it, the character then becoming a lame babyface which lacked the edge or sparkle of the original portrayal. However, it was a great example of making chicken salad out of chicken guano, and is relevant to a couple of women who are plying their trade in WWE today.
Before we get to that, it’s worth pointing out some of the other gimmicks in mainstream wrestling over the years – including which had mileage and which crashed and burned… (more…)
Episode 46 with Kellie Skater
We’ve been meaning to get Kellie Skater back on the Podcast for some time, and with PWWA‘s next show coming up very soon and her being announced as returning to SHIMMER in October, what better time? This will be her eighth trip over for SHIMMER, and we talk favourite memories of her stateside adventures so far, and future plans in SHIMMER. We discuss her three month Japanese trip from earlier in the year in great detail, including Christmas in Japan, training, friendships, drinking, networking, drinking, getting kicked in the face and more drinking – and we get a crash course in conversational Japanese (and swear words). We also talk Australia, and recent goings on Down Under, including the recent interim PWWA Title tournament – and Skater calls out her preferred opponent for PWWA on October 6th. Plus more!
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
Ayumi Kurihara‘s reign as CMLL World Women’s Champion was not very long – winning the belt in November last year and dropping it in March – but it certainly had its moments, one of which we bring to you this weekend.
Hailey Hatred‘s challenge for the title came less than a month after dropping the JWP Openweight Championship to Tsubasa Kuragaki, and winning the CMLL World Women’s strap would have been a great way to bounce back and get on track again. Kurihara, meanwhile, was not keen on dropping the title. She had already retained the belt over Cherry at Union Pro on January 3, and claiming the scalp of Hatred would be a great boost to her credibility while enjoying her first world title reign in any promotion. Click the jump to watch the entire 2 out of 3 fall contest from REINA 24 held on January 15… (more…)
For many wrestlers, Japan is still the mecca when it comes to what they do. Many strive to get there, and some accomplish it. For some, it is for a booking or two, or maybe a stint with a specific promotion. For Kellie Skater, she packed up her suitcase and headed out to Japan for three months with no set plan on how many times she would be wrestling, or for which promotions or against which talent. What ended up happening was a rapid evolution of the Rate Tank, maturing into a more well-rounded competitor – so much so that it caused more than a few people to sit up and take notice… (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…)
The last week has seen the continued downfall of two women who were among the most popular females in the wrestling in the mid-to-late 1990s.
Starting with wrestler-turned-porn star Chyna, who collapsed three times between Thursday and Saturday while in Miami Beach, FL for the 2012 Exxxotica Expo, where she was promoting her latest appearance in a skin flick, playing She Hulk in a porn parody of The Avengers. The first incident happened on Thursday when she passed out in the Catalina hotel’s pool at the Expo’s launch party and was asked to return to her hotel room to sleep it off. But all Chyna did was recover for another assault on the bar the following day.
The following morning, the former WWE Intercontinental and Women’s Champion passed out at the convention itself, right in front of the main stage. After being checked out by paramedics, the 41-year old was helped back to her hotel room for more rest and relaxation – and she needed that help, as video footage posted on TMZ showed that she was in no condition to walk unaided. One day later, she was back, and was seen slumped in the lobby. She was taken to Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach after the third incident, and did not return to the event.
Now, I’m not writing this to poke fun at or mock Chyna. On the contrary, this is a plea for her to reassess her life.
Before her one-off in-ring comeback at TNA Sacrifice a year ago, word had gone around that she was planning to move to Japan and teach English as a foreign language – something that I fully supported. It would be a good career for her to be part of, would make a positive difference in people’s lives and could see her slip away from the spotlight that was eating her alive. After all, she had taken part in a very public rehabilitation on Celebrity Rehab in 2008 which she took part in after admitting that drugs had seen her life spiral out of control – she claimed she was in the middle of her drug use when her sex tape, later released as One Night In Chyna was filmed. Before Celebrity Rehab, she had undergone private rehab after a revealing interview with Howard Stern where she said she didn’t want to do drugs anymore, but if a line of cocaine was put in front of her, she would have to have it. (more…)
In news that landed on the Internet yesterday morning, Women Superstars Uncensored has been sold to what the official Twitter referred to as an “independent buyer”. In a statement in the newsletter, the promotion stated: “WSU is in the process of changing ownership. The sale will not affect any WSUVideo.com purchases or upcoming events. We will have a press release once the sale is signed.”
We understand that the press release will arrive by the end of this week, though there is no official word on whether this will affect the current direction of the promotion, the booking, the storylines, the upcoming Uncensored Rumble V iPPV next month, or the working relationship with nCw Femmes Fatales.
There is a possibility that the “independent buyer” who has bought WSU has plans to expand the brand. After all, there are elements which make it valuable. It is the busiest women’s promotion in the US, holding around a dozen cards a year – either officially or in collaboration with other companies – as well as having episodic storylines, a strong bunch of top-line characters like the Midwest Militia, Mercedes Martinez, Alicia and Brittney Savage, and it has ironed out a lot of the kinks that it suffered while it found its feet on iPPV. We hope that if there are changes, they don’t happen too suddenly, as it may be jarring for fans who are used to the current setup. We also hope that this buyer has a plan, and isn’t a money mark who throws a shedload of money at it, and pulls out if he or she does not see a return, killing the promotion as a consequence. After all, there is some evidence that WSU is not as profitable as it could be at the moment…
As we have pointed out on this site, attendance numbers have been pretty weak since WSU moved from its regular base of the ACE Arena in Union City, NJ to the NYWC Sportatorium in Deer Park, NY, though we have no real indication on how financially successful the iPPVs have been – for all we know, they could be bombing, or they could be booming. While we have a few bits and pieces of information about the current situation, it would be best to wait until there is an official word to try and get more of a handle on the situation.
We will bring you more on this sale as we get it. (more…)
Word coming out of Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall today confirms that the show which was initially billed as REINA‘s first anniversary show has ended up being their final show. Ice Ribbon’s Ray took to twitter following the show tweeting “I was surprised at the dissolution of REINA, but it gave me the opportunity to fight lots of overseas stars and go to Mexico. I will be forever grateful. Happiness to everyone” (translated from original Japanese).
REINA (or to give the promotion its full name – Universal Women’s Pro Wrestling REINA) was formed a year ago by reina CEO Riki Tamashiro and produced by Tamashiro along with veteran figurehead Yumiko Hotta & Aki Kanbayashi. REINA was unique amongst the joshi scene as it had a specific talent agreement with CMLL in Mexico to bring over their luchadoras, often for extended tours, to give the REINA promotion a very lucha flavour. In the last year, CMLL regulars Zeuxis, Silueta & La Commandante have been amongst the most common luchadoras (although pretty much all the CMLL luchadoras have made at least one visit to Japan), and the promotion has hosted title matches for both the CMLL World Women’s Title and the CMLL National Women’s Title. REINA even created their own World Champion (Yumiko Hotta), a set of tag team belts (currently in possession of Mima Shimoda & Zeuxis), and joined with CMLL to create the co-promoted CMLL-REINA International Junior Title (currently with Silueta). REINA didn’t only look to Mexico for inspiration, and used a lot of other international talents, such as Sara Del Rey, Courtney Rush, Kellie Skater, Roxie Cotton, Simply Luscious, Luscious Latasha, Portia Perez & Nicole Matthews on shows. In fact, CZW’s Kimber Lee debuted for REINA on this final show. (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…)
Earlier this week, Luscious Latasha became the first guest on My Name Is, an opportunity for wrestlers to let fans know a bit more about who they are, what they’re about and what goals they have. Even though she is a staple in Women Superstars Uncensored, Latasha admitted that she is looking to wrestle abroad more often in 2012, especially after the 24-year old’s appetite was whetted by a trip there last year, competing and Union Pro and predominantly, REINA.
Latasha wrestled for REINA eight times during her visit, with one of her matches taking place at REINA 9 on August 7, 2011 where she took on former SHIMMER Tag Team Champion Hiroyo Matsumoto in the semi main, and that’s the match we’ve got for you today, uploaded to YouTube by Latasha herself – click after the jump to see.
Speaking of REINA, Ringbelles‘ Wrestler of the Year Hailey Hatred challenges CMLL World Women’s Champion Ayumi Kurihara for the title at tomorrow’s REINA card. Keep an eye on our Twitter for results. (more…)
Ever seen a name on a show, or seen someone wrestle and wanted to know a bit more about them? That’s what this is all about – giving wrestlers a spotlight to introduce themselves to more people. Our first guest, Luscious Latasha, got in touch with us looking to expand the circle of wrestling fans who know who she is.
24-year old Latasha has goals for 2012. As well as being on half of Women Superstars Uncensored‘s Soul Sisters tag team, she also made her debut for REINA in Japan last year and is looking to get more stamps in her passport over the next twelve months. In addition, she wants to wrestle for more promotions domestically, and is looking to take her profile to the next level. Lee Burton spoke to her earlier today to find out what her list looks like.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
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Friday, December 2 will be a big day in Sara Del Rey’s life, as she finally get the chance to wrestle her hero.
“Something I grew to understand about her was her idolisation of Aja Kong,” said CHIKARA’s Mike Quackenbush when discussing Del Rey in the latest Women Of Wrestling Podcast. It is due to the 31-year old’s continued great body of work and the first opportunity to have them in the same place at the same time which has led to Del Rey and Kong facing each other in the main event of the first of three days of JoshiMania shows spanning the northeast of the United States.
Their paths have never really crossed during Del Rey’s tours of Japan, and there has been no chance of Aja being on the same card as her in the US, as she hasn’t been in the country since late 1995 when she was working with the WWF and was set to challenge Alundra Blayze for the Women’s Championship before the titleholder jumped to WCW, taking the belt with her – Sara didn’t debut until 2001. However, their paths WILL cross on Friday with one of the best joshis of her generation meeting one of the best female wrestlers in the world at this moment. It should be a titanic encounter, and while Del Rey may be all intense on the outside, you can expect her to be a giggling mess inside, and who can blame her? I know that Skye felt the same way when she wrestled her idol Daizee Haze at ChickFight VII back in 2007…
Del Rey also gets the chance to repeat her epic match with Ayako Hamada that took place at SHIMMER Volume 28 in late 2009 on the third and final JoshiMania show, while the second evening’s main event will complete the round robin with Hamada taking on Kong – not bad on Hamada’s part, seeing as she was brought in as a late replacement for the injured Meiko Satomura, who will still be there as part of a training seminar, but isn’t cleared to wrestle. She’s been announced as a participant at Ice Ribbon’s Ribbonmania on December 25, so here’s hoping she’s given a clean bill of health before then. (more…)
Imagine SHIMMER, WSU, ACW, Femmes Fatales, ECCW, AIW, OVW and FCW all clubbing together, putting up their best representatives and holding a tournament where they would be whittled down to one promotion as the best? Can you imagine the politics, jostling, arrangements, hostility, distrust and remarks there could possibly be? On the flip side, there is the chance that all would get on, things would be decided amicably and all would work together for the greater good – highlighting the plethora of great female wrestling talent out there, showing off their top wrestlers and then taking that momentum, breaking off again and working their own areas to capitalise on the buzz that was created in order to sell more tickets, shift more merchandise and create more awareness of their product. After all, women’s wrestling is a niche product within a niche product, and the amount of awareness – and interest – is not as high as it could be.
OK, I’m dealing in extreme hypotheticals on both sides, but if anything, it could create an intriguing night of action, capitalising on the sort of buzz that wrestling fans experienced when the WWF bought WCW a decade ago, throwing up some potential dream matches. Fair enough, it never really worked out that way, but that doesn’t stop wrestling fans from dreaming.
Over in Japan last week, such an event took place. Wednesday’s FLASH tournament featuring talent from Sendai Girls, JWP, Diana, REINA, WAVE, Ice Ribbon, Stardom and a freelance team drew a hugely impressive 1835 fans to Tokyo’s Korukuen Hall – a Super No Vacancy Full House. The first round was 5 on 5, the semi finals were 3 on 3 and the final was a straight tag match. (more…)
Last month, we featured an “In Video” post highlighting the cartwheeling Ice Ribbon sensation Ray as she captured the first CMLL-REINA Jr Championship in a match at REINA.12, defeating CMLL‘s own Zeuxis in a three fall match. Since then, the champion was busy, heading off to Mexico almost immediately thereafter for a several week long stay. During the course of the trip, she had cause to defend her newly won championship against another CMLL regular, Silueta. Any excuse to highlight Ray is fine with us – so check it out, why don’t ya?
Click through the link for another uniquely lucha match, this time from AAA, which gives new meaning to the term “Dark Match”
A bumper two weeks of women’s wrestling kicks off this weekend with SHIMMER: Women Athletes undertaking two days of DVD tapings for volumes 41-44. With close to 40 wrestlers expected to compete over the weekend, fans have got 12 hours of debuts, returns, twists, turns and top quality wrestling to look forward to in Berwyn, IL.
As mentioned, there will be a number of new faces at the tapings, the most publicised is the current SMASH Divas Champion Kana. The 30-year old took the title earlier this month by beating rival Serena Deeb, ending her seven match undefeated streak, and avenging the two pinfall losses to her gaijin opponent. In addition to wrestling at SHIMMER, Kana will also compete in CHIKARA the following weekend against current SHIMMER Champion Madison Eagles, and former titleholder Sara Del Rey.
Current JWP Openweight Champion Hailey Hatred returns to the US to wrestle for the first time at SHIMMER on October 1 before going on to Absolute Intense Wrestling the following day to take on Cherry Bomb. Arguably the most successful non-Japanese female wrestling talent to ever compete in Japan, Hatred had an absolute slew of titles in her possession, and was criminally left out of the PWI Female 50 this year, because the magazine does not recognise wrestling from Japan or Mexico.
Yumi Ohka’s debut has been slightly overshadowed by Kana’s arrival, but she will be unlikely to accept being looked past. A member of Misaki Ohata’s Black Dahlia group in WAVE, 32-year old Ohka has been wrestling for close to a decade after originally lacing up the boots to migrate into the acting industry, though elected to stay wrestling instead. She could be the sleeper star of the weekend. (more…)
Very WWE heavy at the top of this week’s Roundup, as I take a look at the last three shows the promotion has presented on TV, and how the writers have made a complete balls-up of the Kelly Kelly v Divas Of Doom storyline. Personally, I’d have produced things a different way, so I’m going to list what happened, my grievances with it and what I would have done instead. Bear in mind, this is just one man’s opinion, and I’m sure many will disagree with what I say, but I believe that this is logical, and not just the rantings of some fanboy.
On the go-home episode of SmackDown in Toronto before Night of Champions, Beth Phoenix defeated AJ, then delivered a promise to defeat Kelly at the pay-per-view. And that’s it.
Considering hometown girl Trish Stratus was on the show, it was a wasted opportunity. Stratus was only featured in backstage segments with Edge, Christian and Zack Ryder, and had no interaction with the girls. The chance was there for Trish to use some of the superstar status she has to give Kelly the rub (take your heads out of the gutter, you filthy people) and maybe get some heat for Beth at the same time. On goes my fantasy booking hat… (more…)