Kacee Carlisle – who is one hell of a great promo, by the way – defends her NWA World Women’s Championship on Friday evening against former Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Champion Barbi Hayden as part of NWA Houston‘s Shut Up And Wrestle show in Cypress, TX.
More than 200 days into her first run with the title, the 33-year old from Sturgis, SD has been part of the wrestling business for all of her adult life. Debuting as a manager in 1998, she accompanied Shorty Smalls sporadically for the first few years before getting more involved in 2003, and eventually transitioning to becoming a wrestler in 2005. Her first in-ring contest is the match we have for you for today’s Retro.
Looking much different to how she appears in the photo to your right, Carlisle took on SHIMMER Original Krissy Vaine in her first encounter on July 30, 2005 on a show in Olney, VA. Watch it after the jump. (more…)
This weekend sees Women Superstars Uncensored return to iPPV (click here to order) with its Queen and King of the Ring show – changing the gender titles around from how it has been since the gimmick started back in 2006. As well as the intergender tournament – which is being held in conjunction with Combat Zone Wrestling, moving away from having the male roster members come from National Wrestling Superstars – the show will also see a singles male v female contest with WSU Champion Jessicka Havok facing CZW’s Sami Callihan.
The first winners of the tournament were Julio Dinero and Kara Slice – the latter of whom found fame in WWE as Cherry, the sweet but put-upon girlfriend/sister of Deuce and Domino. Last year’s victors were Mike Dennis and Jennifer Cruz, though Cruz has faded out of the WSU picture in the 12 months since her regal victory.
We have two matches for this week’s Retro, both of which have been released for free by WSU in the past couple of days to whet your appetite ahead of this Saturday’s event. The first is from the first round brackets in 2009, with then-WSU Tag Team Champion Miss April - now better known as WWE’s AJ Lee – alongside her trainer Jay Lethal taking on Trixie Lynn & Helter Skelter. We also have former Extreme Championship Wrestling colleagues Jazz & Balls Mahoney facing Amber O’Neal & Bison Bravado from the opening round in 2010. Admittedly, the photo we’ve used for this post gives away the result of the first match, but take a watch and see what you think. (more…)
Today marks ten years to the day that Elizabeth Hulette died at the age of 42 from an overdose of painkillers and vodka. It was a sad end for a woman who usually represented a clean and wholesome image on screen. However, her TV character presented us with something of a problem as part of the Retro, as she’s not a wrestler – in fact, she competed in fewer than half a dozen matches in her life, and all of those were at the tail end of her career.
Instead, what we have elected to do is highlight some of the bigger moments in her career which aren’t the Match Made in Heaven at SummerSlam 91. But what else did she do? Well, most of her moments are intertwined with Randy Savage, either being the calmer foil to his more frantic style, or as an antagonist to him in World Championship Wrestling.
After the jump are a lot of videos – some of which you may have seen, others which you may not, but most are a little more outside the usual Elizabeth fare which you may see… (more…)
In yesterday’s Ringbelles Roundup, we led with a preview of next Monday’s Stardom show at Tokyo, Japan’s Sumo Hall. Ryōgoku Cinderella‘s card is headlined by the final match of model-turned-wrestler Yuzuki Aikawa, who held both the Wonder of Stardom and Goddesses of Stardom titles during her short career.
Short, indeed – she debuted in October 2010 with much fanfare, and started with a baptism of fire to prove that she wasn’t going to just rely on her beauty in the hard-hitting world of joshi puroresu. She did so by taking on veteran Nanae Takahashi in a contest which was designed to show that she could take the lumps, earn her stripes in quick order and make it clear that she was not just going to coast through or just leech from the profession to boost her own profile.
For someone in their first ever match after just five months training, it’s a minor miracle of a contest, and despite it not being that far in the past, it is this week’s Retro. Watch the kicking commence after the jump. (more…)
Before there was a Knockouts Championship, there was still a Knockouts division, and while it was showing promise, it was still a work in progress, as you can see momentarily.
The match featured in this week’s Retro is from June 9, 2006 when TNA was looking to establish audiences, and had a go at latching onto the old Extreme Championship Wrestling crowd by holding a show at the former ECW Arena. Featuring former ECW stars like Team 3D, Rhino, Simon Diamond and Jerry Lynn, it worked like a throwback for fans who still wanted an edgier product. The women also got involved with a more suggestive-style match than was being presented at the time – with Original Knockout Traci Brooks facing future inaugural Knockouts Champion Gail Kim, with Christy Hemme serving as a special referee.
It’s not a 5-star match, but it is an interesting example of TNA throwing ideas at a wall at the time and seeing what stuck. Click the jump and enjoy. (more…)
Seeing as Allison Danger‘s impending retirement was announced yesterday, we thought it would be a good idea to delve into her archives – and we’ve gone way back to when she was still a rookie…
The contest we’ve got for you here is from a May 26, 2002 Jersey All Pro Wrestling show in Seaside Heights, NJ – long before Snooki and co invaded and before Hurricane Sandy did its damage – as part of Summer Shore Series. At this point, Danger was a little over a year into her career and yet to set foot into Ring Of Honor, and looked vastly different to her appearance now – looking more gothic and moody.
Her opponent in the match is WWF Tough Enough 1 runner-up Taylor Matheny, who had lost out to Nidia the previous year. You can read more on Taylor’s life after TE by clicking here, but you can see their match in two parts by clicking the jump. (more…)
There are a lot of big talking points focussed on this Saturday’s SHIMMER Volume 53 in Secaucus, NJ, and also being broadcast on iPPV (click here to order). As well as the SHIMMER title cage match between Saraya Knight and Cheerleader Melissa, the returns of Amazing Kong, Madison Eagles and Serena Deeb, the debuts of Evie and Kimber Lee and much more, Ayumi Kurihara makes her final appearance in the promotion before retiring in August. She’ll take on SHIMMER original Mercedes Martinez in what is likely to be a bruising affair – especially since the former CMLL World Women’s Champion has vowed to keep competing at the highest level possible before bowing out, despite the nagging injuries which are forcing her out of the grap game before the age of 30.
Kurihara was a hot prospect from very early on in her career following her debut in April 2005. Two years later on April 30, 2007, Kurihara squared off against Manami Toyota for the JD Star promotion as part of its GRAPPLE BEAUTY ~ FUTURE07 season, which is the match we have for you in this week’s Retro. (more…)
Ahead of the first WrestleMania on March 31, 1985, Vince McMahon and his WWF was doing all that it could to swell its following, expanding nationally and exposing its product to new fans. That included migrating onto Ted Turner’s SuperStation WTBS network, taking over the time slot that had been home to Georgia Championship Wrestling and its World Championship Wrestling show for 12 years. In what became known as Black Saturday, the WWF took over proceedings on July 14, 1984 – and viewers loathed it.
Thousands wrote to and called TBS complaining about the loss of their favourite names, and started switching off the show to the point that McMahon decided to get out, retaining the GCW name but selling the time slot to Jim Crockett Promotions – the promotion which eventually became WCW. (more…)
We at Ringbelles miss Maryse.
It’s not important that she wasn’t the best wrestler in the world, made a lasting mark on the industry or inspired any women to follow in her footsteps – I personally liked her and looked forward to segments involving her. Her character was one of the best in WWE at the time – self-obsessed, cocky and secure in her belief that she was the greatest thing that has ever or will ever exist. Her character believed it so strongly that there was never a question in the viewer’s mind that she thought she was the greatest thing since an egg-white omelette. Plus – the dismissive hand she threw in people’s faces? Awesome.
Despite her lack of ability, Maryse still won two Divas Championships – the first of which, at 216 days, is still the longest Divas Title reign in history. Her original title victory is the match we have for you for today’s Retro. (more…)
Back in the 1980′s, many of the big wrestling promotions like the World Wrestling Federation, World Class Championship Wrestling and Jim Crockett Promotions were trying to make their mark with supercards, especially around the early times of pay-per-view. The American Wrestling Association was also getting involved – it had already drawn 20,000 fans with its Super Sunday show in 1983, and in 1986, had its next foray into supercards with WrestleRock at the Hubert H. Humphrey (HHH) Metrodome in Minneapolis, MN, which opened with a fabulously bad rap, proving that Shawn Michaels really isn’t musical…
23,000 AWA fans watched the 16 match show at the venue, with the promotion’s women taking part in a battle royal as part of March 8, featuring Joyce Grable, Kat LeRoux, Sensational Sherri Martel, Rose Divine, Taylor Thomas, Despina Montega, Misty Blue Simmes, Debbie Combs, Luna Vachon (amusingly introduced an Leona Vachon by ring announcer Gary Capetta), and then-Women’s Champion Candi Divine. (more…)
Since this match on February 7, 2009, life has taken some twists and turns for Rain and Nevaeh. At the time, both were part of strong tag teams in SHIMMER – Rain was teaming with Jetta in the International Home Wrecking Crew while Nevaeh and Ashley Lane were the promotion’s Tag Team Champions. These days, Rain is the leader of the stable in SHINE known as Valkyrie – alongside April Hunter, Ivelisse Velez, Allysin Kay and Taylor Made – and Nevaeh is the sole female member of the Combat Zone Wrestling faction the OI4K, with running buddies Sami Callihan, Dave Crist and Jake Crist.
While neither are SHIMMER regulars these days, they’re not short of work, with Nevaeh also working in Women Superstars Uncensored as well as CZW, and Rain headlining SHINE as part of what she insists is her final year of competition.
This Retro comes from UnderGround Wrestling‘s A Night Of Heartache in Joliet, IL, which you can see after the jump. (more…)
Last month, it became apparent that Sarita (Sarah Stock) had parted ways with TNA. She hadn’t been seen for some time in the promotion, but had been keeping busy by wrestling for her home promotion of CMLL in Mexico under her Dark Angel character, as well as spending a little time in Japan last summer, wrestling with Stardom.
However, as we noted in the Roundup yesterday, the 33-year old adopted luchadora is preparing to compete in the US for the vacant Pro Wrestling Revolution Women’s Championship. She’ll wrestle Cheerleader Melissa in San Francisco, CA on Saturday in what is essentially a decider between the two – Stock won their first encounter on SHIMMER volume 11, with Melissa evening the score on volume 18. Since then, both have enjoyed success – Melissa won the SHIMMER Championship in 2011, while Stock enjoyed two reigns as TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champion. For today’s Retro, we go back before the pair faced each other in the ring, with Dark Angel challenging for the vacant CMLL World Women’s Championship.
Both she and Marcela won a Torneo cibernetico elimination match on September 9, 2005 to earn their way into competing for the belt, which was vacated after champion La Diabólica left the promotion – ironically she’s also the woman who was stripped of the PWR belt that Melissa and Dark Angel are fighting over this weekend. The following week, the pair squared off for the title, and you can watch the match after the jump.
Considering that Serena Deeb‘s return was announced yesterday, let’s have a Retro featuring her days in Ohio Valley Wrestling.
Serena uprooted herself from Virginia to Kentucky in March 2005 at the tender age of 18 to follow her dream of wrestling, and stayed there until May 2009 when she signed with WWE. Success came relatively quickly, as less than a year after her debut, she uprooted ODB to become OVW’s second ever Women’s Champion, and was the first women to win the belt on six different occasions – Josette Bynum pipped that achievement in 2011 with seven reigns.
Speaking of Bynum, it is she who Deeb faces in this Retro from May 23, 2008, under her former moniker of Josie. It is a match which took place at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom with Josie’s Women’s Championship on the line, and sees Serena vying to win the belt for a second time – though the commentators say it’s the third. Click after the jump to watch.
In a recent interview with WrestleShark, Velvet Sky admitted that she has been bugging TNA to do all they can to tempt Angelina Love back to the company and reform the Beautiful People, much like they were doing during the tail end of last year after both had left the promotion. She admitted that their heel run in 2008 was their favourite time – and I would tend to agree, as they were arguably the most over heels on the show. However, as she told us last November, Angelina has no real interest in re-signing with TNA at the moment.
However, before the pair teamed up in TNA, they also worked together on the indie circuit, as evidenced in the match we have for this week’s Retro from October 5, 2007 – about a week and a half before both competed in the Gauntlet Match to crown the first Knockouts Champion at Bound For Glory. They under their indie guises of Angel Williams and Talia Madison – form two thirds of a 3-way at a Prestige Entertainment show, with the third opponent being Nikki Roxx, and has Daffney as the special guest referee. (more…)
Just over a year ago, we posted a match in the Retro featuring Portia Perez as a babyface – and as part of the build up to it’s An Ultraviolent Affair show on February 9, Women Superstars Uncensored has released another.
She takes on Angelina Love from WSU’s The Show Must Go On in Boonton, NJ on June 21, 2008 – her other match that day was on the Army Of One card with her teaming with Dawn Marie to beat Love and Becky Bayless.
This was Perez’s first venture into WSU – she would return a few more times over the next two years, with her most recent appearance being on November 6, 2010 where she would beat ODB on one taping, and lost a number one contender 4-way on the other. (more…)
At the age of 23, Vivian Vachon was the wrestler who was given centre stage of the 1973 documentary movie Wrestling Queen. The story is loosely centred around the career of the aunt of the late Luna Vachon, though it also features the stories of brothers Paul “Butcher” Vachon and Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon, along with others like Killer Kowalski, Grizzly Smith and a certain Jean ‘The Giant’ Ferre, later better known as Andre The Giant. Billed as “a snapshot of a rarely seen part of 70’s culture”, it offers a great insight into wrestling in that era, and has some great footage inside the ring featuring action from both genders.
Born on February 14, 1944 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Vivian Vachon started wrestling before turning 16, and was trained for a time by the Fabulous Moolah. By the time Wrestling Queen was filmed, Vachon had already won the AWA Women’s Championship, defeating Betty Boucher on November 4, 1971 to win the belt, and held it for close to two years. Vachon tragically died with her daughter Julie in a road accident on August 25, 1991 at the age of just 47. (more…)
Believe it or not, there was a time when Mercedes Martinez was new. She’s been such a solid fixture of wrestling in the US for more than a decade, and has the memories – and autobiographical tattoos – to prove it.
The Retro for today is from May of 2002, about 18 months after her debut, and was an early women’s match in New England Championship Wrestling. Martinez had been wrestling against the likes of Della Morte, though it was this contest which NECW asserts in this video was one of the reasons why it decided to go ahead with creating the World Women’s Wrestling brand in 2005 – with Martinez being its first champion, crowned on June 5 of that year.
Her opponent in this match is Sumie Sakai, who at this point had been wrestling for around 5 years. This is the first match of what would be many Martinez v Sakai contests throughout a range of promotions, but as you’ll see in this contest, the first one wasn’t all plain sailing… (more…)
If it wasn’t for ChickFight, there would be no Ringbelles. Stew and I met at ChickFight VII in Great Yarmouth, England in January 2007, in the first of the series to take place in the UK, as the rest would until cards ceased in 2008. Before that, the first six events (which were all tournaments which would tend to take place over two days) were presented by Californian promotion All Pro Wrestling – and the Retro we have for you today is from the inaugural event, held in Hayward, CA on the 29th and 30th of October in 2004…
Hailey Hatred and Candice LaRae had been eliminated from the proceedings in the first round by Nikki Roxx and Princesa Sugheit respectively. Christie Ricci fell at the semi final at the hands of Cheerleader Melissa after advancing by beating Tiffany (no, not the former ECW General Manager), while Roxx missed out on making to the final when she was defeated by Sugheit – for the record, the luchadora won the tournament by beating Melissa in the final. Because they were at a loose end for the second day, Hatred, LaRae, Ricci and Roxx all met in the ring in what was supposed to be a tag team match. However, one of the participants wasn’t happy with that arrangement, and decided to make some changes… (more…)
We’ve talked a lot about the Blossom Twins‘ quest to earn a TNA contract as part of the British Boot Camp show. Well, last night in the UK, the first two episodes aired back-to-back, and you can watch them in their entirety after the jump. However, we’re going to furnish you with a little more than that, as to understand where Hannah and Holly may be going, it’s worth acknowledging where they have been.
The picture to the left is from 2010 – showing how massive their evolution has been in that time. The photo was taken in early 2010, about 6 or so months after they debuted in Ohio Valley Wrestling, winning the Women’s Championship on three occasions between them (Hannah with two reigns, Holly with one). The pair started out as heels (as unusual as it can be to believe that such a wholesome pair could be on the dark side) but turned face in the spring of 2010 when they saved Josie (now Josette Bynum) from a beatdown at the hands of then-Women’s Champion C.J. Lane, as well as Epiphany and Taryn Shay. The Retro match after the jump sees Lane, Shay and Epiphany take on the Blossoms after Josie was attacked backstage, making it a handicap match.
Speaking of British Boot Camp, we give it a thumbs up. It’s more a docudrama than a reality show, but it’s slickly made, beautifully edited and establishes all the competitors quickly. Let us know what you think in the comments section. (more…)
When you’re starting out, you’re working everywhere you can to get experience and build a reputation for yourself. While you may not be so keen on the ethos of the show, if you can square it with yourself, then that’s all that matters.
Women’s Extreme Wrestling may not have the best of reputations – and we’re not keen on the sexual overtones on their shows – but in its defence, it was holding regular all-women’s shows in front of enthusiastic crowds and were shown on pay-per-view and released on video and DVD. As a result, it was a great place for aspiring female grapplers to get some more exposure – the good kind.
The video we have for you as part of today’s Retro is the full WEW Return of the PWO show from May 7, 2005, featuring a number of names who have gone on to bigger and better things. As well as established names like WEW Champion Jazz and Tammy Lynn Sytch, you can see women like Mercedes Martinez, ODB, Lacey, Amber O’Neal, Krissy Vaine and Simply Luscious. In addition, there are a couple who found fortune under different names such as Talia Madison (who is now Velvet Sky) and Cle-Ho-Patra (AKA Shelly Martinez, Ariel or Salinas). As mentioned – you may not agree with the ethos of the promotion, but it gave aspiring wrestlers the chance to do their thing, and for that, it may be worth giving it a chance and watching the video after the jump. (more…)
Back in December of 2008, Sara Del Rey took a trip to Australia where she competed in a few matches for the Professional Wrestling Alliance, including a six way match which saw precious little of her as the match didn’t go very long. However, during the tour she also participated in the match we’re bringing to you today – a singles contest from December 20 against the “Rate Tank” Kellie Skater.
The timing of the match is quite interesting, as it was before Skater debuted for SHIMMER, and you can see how she has changed over the last four years. The Rate Tank we see today is just as cocky, but has matured both physically and emotionally into a top quality grappler – one who has arrived in Japan in the last few hours to start her second tour, which includes a tag match for Stardom on Christmas Eve. Incidentally, after this retro match, Skater made her debut on the subsequent SHIMMER tapings the following May. Coincidence? (more…)
As noted in recent editions of the Ringbelles Roundup, veteran female grappler Joyce Grable has been announced as being inducted into the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame in Amsterdam, NY (the only bricks and mortar pro-wrestling Hall of Fame in the world) as part of their Class of 2013 alongside such luminaries as The Assassins, Dick Murdoch, Bill Watts and El Santo. Born Betty Wade, she will join fellow female inductees Mildred Burke (2002), The Fabulous Moolah (2003), Mae Young (2004), Penny Banner (2005), June Byers (2006), Cora Combs (2007), Betty Niccoli (2008), Donna Christianello (2009), Kay Noble (2010) and Judy Grable (2011) (the last of whom was Joyce’s childhood idol and trainer – and who, along with Fabulous Moolah, bequeathed the ringname “Joyce Grable” to her) in the Hall. The PWHOF induction will be on the back of induction into the NWA Hall of Fame this year, an iPPV appearance at Shine 3 and a Cauliflower Alley Club award in 2010.
Seemed like an opportunity to dig up one of Joyce’s old matches for a Retro, eh? Indeed – and in a week where we’ve been discussing intergender wrestling on the site at length, how apropos that we managed to turn up a genuinely historic little gem with Joyce and her partner Judy Martin proving that intergender wrestling isn’t just something invented recently – as they compete against male tag team Steve O and Jerry Roberts (an early ring name for the future “Mountie” Jacques Rougeau Jr) in the first round of the National Tag Team Championship tournament on Thanksgiving night at Atlanta’s Omni in 1980. Nineteen Eighty. Yes, around the time Andy Kaufman had declared himself the world’s first intergender wrestling champion in Memphis (and making a bit of a mockery about it, until Jerry Lawler shut him up), Grable & Martin were doing their bit to advance the cause. It’s not a full match, but it’s a nice historial curiosity. (more…)
Over the weekend, we posted up a recent match featuring Cat Power against Kc Spinelli in Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling – but as she discussed with us on the Women Of Wrestling Podcast, Cat Power didn’t always wrestle under her real name… and yes, that is her real name.
Before debuting in SHIMMER in April 2008, Power wrestled under the name of Haley Rogers, though had to change it because the surname was already in use by a certain woman called Cindy, so it’s a good thing that her real name is so damn awesome. A month before said debut, Cat wrestled for Rock Solid Wrestling in Collingwood, ON, Canada against a young lady by the name of PJ Tyler, who we now know and love as Courtney Rush, another woman who explained her name change when we interviewed her last year.
Incidentally, we found an old PJ Tyler website as we were putting this post together. It’s an interesting look into the past of “the sweetest nerd that ever rocked out”, and shows that despite the name change, Courtney Rush’s ethos is not that different to her former moniker… (more…)
In yesterday’s Roundup, we reported on three women being inducted into the National Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame as part of its Class of 2012. The three were the Fabulous Moolah, Joyce Grable and Misty Blue Simmes.
While Moolah and Grable are more well known, Simmes – while boasting a career where she claims to have never lost a singles match – is less of a star, though her accomplishments are certainly very enviable. Competing in the American Wrestling Association, Ladies Professional Wrestling Association, World Championship Wrestling and more, Simmes held the NWA United States Women’s Championship until the belt was retired, and also the LPWA Tag Team Championship.
The match we have for today’s Retro comes from the tail end of LPWA, with Misty Blue taking on her longtime rival Linda Dallas, AKA Miss Linda. We could have picked matches from the NWA’s World Championship Wrestling show, or from World Class Championship Wrestling, but this one is the most fun that we could track down. (more…)