Posts tagged “Rima Fakih

Ringbelles Roundup (17 April 2012)

There are three strands to Women Superstars Uncensored’s hellraising triumvirate known as the Midwest Militia. At the top of the heap is Jessicka Havok, the current dual singles champion in the promotion, undefeated in singles competition and general baddest bitch on the block. She is backed up by Sassy Stephie, former Spirit Champion, current Tag Team Champion and SHIMMER regular. And then there’s the third corner of the triangle, Allysin Kay – tag team partner of Havok in Team Be Jealous, other half of the Tag Team Champion and the owner of wrestling’s most colourful tattoo. However, there was something about Kay that felt like she was placed 3rd out of three when it came to the Militia’s pecking order. I can’t put my finger on it, as it is an intangible that is difficult to define, but there was a perception that while she was an integral part of the Militia, her accomplishments left her at the back.

That is, until last weekend.

On Saturday, Stephie and Kay defended the Tag Team Championship against the team they defeated at WSU’s 5th Anniversary Show last month, Alicia and Brittney Savage. Though the booking could be questioned – after all, the Militia defeated the challengers in an Uncensored Rules match back in March – it really did a world of good for the champions’ reign to prove that they are no fluke team who weaselled their way to the straps by beating an already exhausted Jana & Luscious Latasha, who had just defeated Lexxus & Destiny and/or Tina San Antonio to win the titles for themselves. By beating two of the promotion’s top babyfaces under regular tag team rules rather than a big brawl with tornado stipulations served them well as established them as a tandem who would be difficult to take down. Credibility asserted, Kay then went on to Cleveland, OH to compete for the vacant Absolute Intense Wrestling Women’s Championship in the main event of Girls Night Out 6… (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (3 April 2012)

On Sunday at WrestleMania, WWE Divas Champion Beth Phoenix was pinned by Maria Menounos in the tag team match featuring Menounos and Kelly Kelly against Phoenix and Eve Torres. A showbiz TV host who it was announced had two cracked ribs and stress fractures in her feet; a woman who has had no more than a month’s total wrestling training in her life; a non-wrestler pinned the Divas Champion on the promotion’s biggest show of the year.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that Menounos has pinned Phoenix – she had got a three-count against her with a sunset flip on last December’s Tribute To The Troops show. Now, I have no problem with that – or her victory on Raw in an 8 woman tag in 2009, as they are throwaway matches on shows that mean nothing in the grand scheme. However, for the woman who is supposed to represent the best in the division to be defeated by a TV show host makes a mockery of Phoenix, the title and women’s wrestling as a whole. WrestleMania is the show that casual fans may watch once a year, and they see that? It doesn’t sit well with me. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (24 January 2012)

Beth Phoenix and Natalya sat down with WWE Magazine for an interview which has been published in the February 2012 issue (though this must have been conducted a while back, as Phoenix has been off TV for more than a month and the Pin-Up Strong gimmick has been limping for a long time now), with one of the questions asked being which male-dominated stipulation match they would like to see introduced to the Divas Division. Both went for the ladder match.

“I want to compete in the first-ever Diva Ladder Match. Beth and I think it would be amazing, and I believe we could really pull it off,” Natalya says.


Beth adds, “I have been campaigning for WWE to let me compete in one and have even volunteered to put my Divas Championship on the line in it against absolutely anybody. I have the experience and truly believe the bar could be raised with that bout. There is no doubt in my mind that it would be the most spectacular Divas match of all-time.”

No doubt, a Divas ladder match would be pretty unique, but there is no way that this match should happen now, or even in the near future. A ladder match would have to be the culmination of a strong feud between two Divas who can go, with a number of matches having took place with inconclusive winners and the odd ladder attack, leading to the Divas title belt being hung above the ring. The problem that WWE has at the moment is that the Divas roster as a whole is probably at its most neglected in the last decade, and the number of quality female workers in the promotion who could successfully pull it off is tragically slim.

Beth would have to be one of them. Though it’s not saying much, she’s probably the most over and best all-rounder of all the women, though when it comes to her opponent, it’s slim pickings, for sure. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (6 December 2011)

JoshiMania is in the history books, and is already available to buy. Click here to take a look.

In the week leading up to the three nights of action, there had been a lot of buzz concerning the event. With joshi talent from a number of different promotions in Japan, female wrestling there had largely stopped (Ice Ribbon carried on as normal, and WAVE also held a card), as many of the top stars had crossed the Pacific and international datelines to wrestling in Philadelphia, PA, Everett, MA and Manhattan, NY for the CHIKARA promoted cards.

The shows main focus – other than showing off some of the great Japanese female talent – seemed to be to provide a platform for CHIKARA talent Sara Del Rey, who won both of her main events against her idol Aja Kong on night one – in a match that she reportedly dominated – and against Ayako Hamada on night 3 in a match which was said to be equal to (or greater than) their SHIMMER volume 28 outing two years ago. Considering Hamada was brought in as a late replacement for the injured Meiko Satomura, she made a strong impression, and also showed TNA what they missed out on by having this woman on its roster, not using her, mismanaging her and letting her go. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (24 May 2011)

The Big News

Christina Crawford was eliminated from Tough Enough last night, putting an end to any prospect of a woman winning the show for the first time since 2002. She was cut by Steve Austin for not showing enough charisma during this week’s challenge, and had lost her confidence after suffering an ankle injury on last week’s show when her leg buckled from delivering a top rope axehandle.

It doesn’t seem to have made a difference to her prospects of ending up on WWE TV though, as she was filmed last week wrestling at Florida Championship Wrestling, where she had been training previously before getting out of her developmental deal to compete in Tough Enough. The indication that she has returned back to the situation she was in previously just shows that she had a fall-back option in case she was cut, in that she could return to Florida and pick up where she left off. It must annoy other female wrestlers who applied that this was possibly an “easier option” for Christina, rather than being her best chance at making it to WWE.

In fact, many women – Brittany Savage, Mercedes Martinez, She Nay Nay, Athena, Jessicka Havok, Roxie Cotton and the like – must be pretty disappointed how for the most part, none of the girls made any impression on the show in one way or another. None of them won a skills challenge, and between the five girls, they featured in the bottom three on a total of eight occasions in eight episodes. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (3 May 2011)

The Big News

We start with the departure from WWE by Michelle McCool, and my Women Of Wrestling Podcast colleague Stew Allen has stepped in to write a great biography of her career. I’ll let him take the floor.

After a few weeks of teasers, we finally got to see the WWE debut of the former Amazing Kong, now known as Kharma, but just as interesting is the sudden and unexpected departure of Michelle McCool, who by losing her match to former LayCool partner Layla El, is now “gone” from WWE. Taking to twitter soon after the match, McCool confirmed “I know there will always be rumours, but that was it – real talk!” News of McCool’s then impending departure was first broken by PWInsider a few days ago when it became clear that McCool’s challenge from SmackDown had been hastily (and badly) redubbed from “Loser leaves SmackDown” to “Loser leaves WWE”.

It has been an eventful seven year ride since married middle school teacher Michelle McCool-Alexander decided to apply to be a competitor in the inaugural WWE Diva Search in 2004. McCool was unique amongst the competitors not only for being the only one not supplied by a modelling agency, but also because she was an actual wrestling fan, having attended old NWA shows at the National Guard Armory in her native Palatka, FL. Though eliminated fairly quickly, McCool was amongst a clutch of Diva Search competitors who ended up being offered a developmental contract anyway. Her athleticism was undeniable (as she proved by schooling the WWE Divas in Dodgeball at SummerSlam of that year) and is undoubtedly genetic, as most of her family have excelled at sports. In fact, McCool herself picked up the Hancock Trophy in 1988 for her exploits in volleyball, softball and basketball at Palatka High. A forgettable early run on Smackdown ended when she was eventually redeployed to developmental territories Deep South Wrestling, and then Ohio Valley Wrestling before being returned to the main roster mid ’06. Unfortunately, much of the next two years saw a struggle as Michelle battled to find any real traction and identity, as WWE stumbled about from storyline to storyline. From “sexy schoolteacher” McCool, who was paired with the tag team of KC James & Idol Stevens (known affectionately as The Teacher’s Pets) to the object of Jamie Noble’s affections in a bizarre love triangle with Chuck Palumbo, McCool was on a road to nowhere. The undoubted highlight of early Michelle McCool for many was the unintentionally hilarious promo videos which saw her proclaim how much she was “lovin’ life” as she roller-skated, took a swim, and generally just stood around. These early years also saw personal tribulation for McCool, who divorced her former high school sweetheart Jeremy Alexander and ended 2007 with an enforced two week stay in hospital for an enlarged kidney, electrolyte balance and low sodium levels which could, in the words of WWE Doctor Ferdinand Rios, have led to heart or kidney failure. Rumours have persisted that these were side effects from the extreme dieting she had to do to maintain her perfect TV figure, though these rumours have never been confirmed by either Michelle or WWE. In recalling the incident, McCool says “One night I was apparently so dehydrated, Dr. Rios hooked me up to an IV. Thank the good Lord that he was with me — along with several WWE Superstars — who took such good care of me. I can never truly repay them”. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (26 April 2011)

The Big News

One of only of a handful of transgendered wrestlers in the world has made history again.

The original WILD Wrestling match scheduled for the show at Insane Wrestling League in Chino, CA, last Friday was meant to be Buggy taking on Allison Danger. When that was announced as no longer taking place, champion Lucky O’Shea was drafted in to face a mystery opponent. That turned out to be “The Bloodthirsty Vixen” Amanda, who defeated O’Shea to win the title.

Standing 5’9” and weighing 140lb and hailing from Long Beach, CA, 28-year old Mariah Moreno started out as a manager, then trained at the Santino Bros Wrestling Academy in Bell Gardens in 2008 before making her debut a year later.

Speaking to the Windy City Times at the end of last year, Amanda described when she started living her life as a woman in her teenage years: “I was born male and, at age 15, I decided to start living my life as a female,” said Moreno, who had breast-augmentation surgery about five years ago. “I plan on going forward with [full transition] surgery within the next five to seven years.” (more…)


Attention whores get more attention

Not content with collectively appearing on Tough Enough, America’s Next Top Model, Survivor, The Celebrity Newlywed Game, Celebrity Fear Factor, Celebrity Poker Showdown, Camp Reality, WWE SmackDown, TNA Impact, Ring Of Honor and Dragon Gate USA, recent TE contestant Michelle Deighton and her husband Jonny Fairplay decided to appear on Dr Phil on Thursday to discuss their marital problems.

Why they couldn’t just go to a regular marriage counsellor is a mystery. Then again, after some people get a camera pointed at them, just like oxygen, water and food, they need a camera lens to survive.

Check out the full recap of their appearance on the show – as well as some video footage – by clicking here.

The basic story is that they’re arguing about everything, but one quote really stood out for us. Said Deighton:

“I have a full-time job, I’m a full-time student and I have a 3-year-old daughter. I’m the president of the Teach Club at my college. I’m in the Student Leadership program. I volunteer and I’m in a play that’s opening next weekend. When I come home, instead of doing dishes, instead of cleaning up a mess, I’m going to get on the floor and play with my baby girl,”

If that’s true, when did she pick up her 11 years of wrestling experience, considering she’s 25 and she claims she took about 6 years off? Moreover, had she won the Tough Enough contract that she was competing for before dropping out on last week’s episode, how would she have balanced that with her full-time job, full-time studies (how is it even possible to have a both of those at the same time anyway?) the Teach Club, the volunteering, her acting AND a toddler?!

Most people credited her with a lot of heart in “giving up her dream” for her family on last week’s show. Indeed, she even got an admittedly rare hug from “Stone Cold” Steve Austin for her decision, but really, is anyone else getting the idea that she never set out to win, but to get a little more publicity for herself?

In other Tough Enough news, Ariane Andrew, who was the first contestant eliminated yet left us with this gem of a moment, has been off Twitter since April 5 – the day after she was kicked off the show. The message that was on there saying that she has been signed to a developmental deal is still curiously absent. Meanwhile, Rima Fakih’s been doing the media circuit, but hasn’t been talking about WWE in her future, according to this week’s Wrestling Observer. After hitting the bottom two for the last two weeks and clearly being way out of her depth as far as technique goes, it will be interesting to see how much longer she was afforded the ‘top secret immunity’ from elimination that came with being Miss USA and WWE’s believed mainstream star of the show. It’s not a knock on Fakih, who has been portrayed as game and likeable on the show – more the situation she was dropped into. With stories a couple of months ago of a potential return for the Diva Search later this year, one has to wonder whether WWE would have been smarter to hold off Fakih for that competition rather than one that presumably requires the winner to be an immediate TV performer.


Ringbelles Roundup (19 April 2011)

The Big News

Card subject to change.

It’s a phrase used by nearly all wrestling promotions to cover themselves in case an advertised match doesn’t happen, or an advertised wrestler doesn’t appear. While no promotion wants to let down the paying audience, sometimes circumstances happen and alternative decisions have to be made. It’s the nature of the beast when you’re dealing with a high-contact sport such as professional wrestling – accidents and injuries happen, transport fails, some even hold up promoters for more money. Whatever the reason, it’s a useful get-out clause if what you had planned can’t materialise.

TNA forgot those four words on Sunday at Lockdown.

Instead of engaging in a competitive contest which would put over the might and will of the champion and thusly make the title mean more when the challenger defeats her, Mickie James ended Madison Rayne’s record 188-day run as Knockouts Champion in just 34 seconds. This was because James still hasn’t fully recovered from the separated shoulder she suffered a few weeks ago – in fact, Dave Meltzer reports that James arrived at Lockdown in Cincinnati, OH with her arm still in a sling, and only took it off for the match before putting it back on when she got to the back.

If this is the case, it explains why the match was so short, but doesn’t explain why the match had to happen at all. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (12 April 2011)

The Big News

Two big stories coming out of the UK this week…

It was a rough yet rewarding weekend for Britani Knight. Suffering from what she thought was tonsillitis, the 18-year old member of the Knight Dynasty wrestled 5 matches in 28 hours on route to becoming the first ever Pro Wrestling: EVE champion. However, she was bedridden the next day with what turned out to be glandular fever, causing her to miss a date with her home promotion, World Association of Wrestling. We at Ringbelles wish her congratulations on her title win and also a speedy recovery from a nasty illness.

EVE’s title tournament turned out to be less complicated that the brackets would have led you to believe. Starting with FIVE four corner matches and a Last Chance Battle Royal for the losers to determine the quarter finalists, they were hurried through relatively quickly to leave us with singles matches which varied from fine to good – the standout matches of the first night featured Erin Angel v Nikki Storm and Britani v Jenny Sjodin in the quarters, and Sweet Saraya taking on Blue Nikita in a Last Woman Standing match. The return of Blue Nikita was something of a surprise after her relationship with EVE went sour after the first show – so when she ran in to attack Saraya in the opening match of the evening, it took many by surprise. It also meant that both voluntarily took themselves out of the tournament – Saraya was eligible for the Battle Royal and Blue Nikita never got to compete in her four-way contest due to brawling with Saraya before the bell – to compete in the Last Woman Standing affair, which Saraya won with a sunset powerbomb.

The Project nightclub was a makeshift venue after the Royal British Legion was pulled as a host due to licensing issues and complaints – somebody even called up the local radio station pretending to be EVE management to say the event at the Project had been completely cancelled – but as an environment for the audience, it was great. It was cosy, yet sat the fans comfortably with plenty of space, and felt safe yet anarchic. Apparently it was a little too cosy backstage, as there wasn’t much room for the wrestlers – of which there were around 20 – to change, but that could be changed if EVE decides to return to the venue – something the owners were pretty receptive to. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (05 April 2011)

The Big News

Again, sorry about the shortness of the Roundup this week. We’ve been in Las Vegas for fun and giggles with Allison Danger.

**

Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi could be a genius.

She got paid tens of thousands of dollars to essentially do a lunge, a handspring hip attack and a cartwheel into a splash to get the win for her, Trish Stratus and John Morrison at WrestleMania XXVII on Sunday in Atlanta. They defeated LayCool and Dolph Ziggler in the only women-related wrestling action on the show. However, it only lasted around 3 minutes, was in the graveyard slot after the well-received Triple H v Undertaker match, and was probably the wrong result for longevity.

Fair enough, Trish is the Tough Enough trainer, and it wouldn’t look good for her to lose the day before the new season began, but it meant that Michelle McCool – who was the only person who was legal on her side for the entire contest – had to sell for a woman who hasn’t wrestled in more than a year, and for a sub-five foot heavy drinker from Jersey Shore.

I’m not knocking Snooki though – after all, she did what she was asked to do, and exceeded my expectations. The mainstream media coverage wasn’t forthcoming though – HLN did mention Snooki, but it was because a school has paid $32,000 to have her talk to the pupils about something completely unrelated to WrestleMania.

However, this leaves McCool and Layla in a tough spot. The planned break-up seemed to be back on, as Michelle shoved her partner before the contest began, and they had a number of miscues which led to their downfall. The problem is that they are near-heatless together these days as fans are sick of them, but separately, they are likely to struggle. McCool – though talented – is something of a heat vacuum, and while Layla is a great character, she’s not polished enough in the ring to lead as a heel, and not sympathetic enough as a babyface. (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (22 March 2011)

The Big News

Three of the five female contestants in the relaunch of Tough Enough kicking off on April 4th (my birthday, send cake… lemon drizzle) have had ties to WWE in the past. As mentioned on February 17th (before the website went live), Miss USA Rima Fakih was the first contestant’s name to be announced. The 25-year old appeared on Raw at the end of last year to crown Sheamus as the King Of The Ring as part of her guest host duties. She was tweeting four days before the shooting wrapped, so one would assume that she got close, but didn’t make it to the final.

25-year old Michelle Deighton was a part of America’s Next Top Model cycle 4 in 2005 – a show which had something in common with the original Tough Enoughs in that they both had Ken Mok as an executive producer, so shared many aspects of presentation – and was known as a wrestler at that point. After having her hair fried blonde and suffering impetigo during the show, she was eliminated, but showed up on SmackDown in November of that year as both that and Top Model were on UPN at the time.

Since then, she has had a daughter, now 3, and married Survivor star and TNA part-timer Jonny Fairplay – but seeing she was featured on a YouTube vodcast in North Carolina last week and the show is still being filmed in California, one can assume that she has already been eliminated. That must be a slap in the teeth since she’s been involved in wrestling for 11 years and apparently didn’t last as long as Miss USA… (more…)


Ringbelles Roundup (22 February 2011)

The Big News

Lots of Tough Enough stuff, so let’s go chronologically…

Thursday

Former Monday Night Raw guest host and current Miss USA Rima Fakih has been announced as the first participant in the reboot of Tough Enough, starting on April 4, the night after WrestleMania XXVII.

The 25 year old’s only appearance on any wrestling show was on November 29, 2010 when she crowned Sheamus as King of the Ring.

That WWE announced Miss USA as the show’s first participant is a decent media coup for the promotion, as it’s got crossover appeal. However, when you consider that WWE put out press releases asking for independent female wrestlers to apply for the show – Mercedes Martinez, Roxie Cotton, Anne Social, Brittney Savage and Sara Del Rey all had a crack – and none of them made the cut while an untrained model did is a little galling to a female wrestler who drives hundreds of miles to wrestle in a dirty ring in front of 40 people for little money. (more…)


Miss USA signs on for Tough Enough

Former Monday Night Raw guest host and current Miss USA Rima Fakih has been announced as the first participant in the reboot of Tough Enough, starting on April 4, the night after WrestleMania XXVII.

The 25 year old’s only appearance on any wrestling show was on November 29, 2010 when she crowned Sheamus as King of the Ring.

Check out her thoughts in the official press release. (more…)