Unable to decide what match to choose for this week’s Retro, I threw the decision over to you, the Ringbelles reader. I turned to our Twitter and Facebook to make the call on whether I should feature a hardcore match, or an old-school affair. Without any more information than that, we received votes on both sides – even asking other Ringbelles staff members, wrestlers and friends.
Therefore, being left with the casting vote, I did what anybody would do – sit on the fence. So for this week’s Retro, you have BOTH a hardcore match and an old-school contest. The first is a violent affair from the 2007 Queen of the Deathmatches (available as part of the Pride and Passion set from Highspots) between Mickie Knuckles and Roxie Cotton (now Gabby Gilbert), which Roxie discussed with us on the Women Of Wrestling Podcast earlier this year, describing it as “fun”, and saying she “would do it again”. (more…)
Absolute Intense Wrestling presented its “Girls Night Out 4” show on July 29th in Lakewood, OH. As you’d expect from the show name, this is the fourth such card featuring the women of AIW. I’ve actually never seen any of the previous GNOs, so this DVD represents my first taste of the AIW product save for a brief YouTube clip here and there. Initial thoughts are that the DVD is nicely produced, with good VQ and sound, and the package includes an entire DVD of the four-match “Guys Night Out 4” undercard. Unfortunately, for a show boasting a really good number of top quality names, the attendance appeared to be quite sparse. Nevertheless, they reacted where they needed to for the majority of the show, which is a good thing.
My biggest complaint as far as the overall production is concerned – and I might as well get this out here rather than repeat myself time and time again throughout the review – is the heel commentator on the show, who seems to spend most of his time firing off misogynistic and at times offensive commentary in an apparent attempt annoy the viewer. It worked. I believe his name is Aaron Bauer, and hey… I’m a commentator myself, so I know that this guy is just playing his “heel commentator” role, but there are ways to add colour and be a heel without resorting to the basest comments and without overbearing the match. I mean, does wondering about whether they do apartment wrestling, or insinuating sexual situations with most of the women add a single solitary thing to the product? It certainly isn’t getting anybody over, and it constantly makes the viewer re-think why they’re bothering to invest any time in the product. Haven’t we learned anything from Michael Cole in 2011? On the other hand, the play-by-play guy Pedro DeLuca does a fine job calling the action.
Looks like were were all somewhat confused by the announcement of Roxie Cotton‘s retirement match last Friday at Absolute Intense Wrestling’s Girls Night Out 4 in Lakewood, Ohio. Instead of Roxie Cotton – the woman – saying goodbye, it was the name itself, which is being abandoned in favour of Gabby Gilbert – the name which she wishes to be referred to in future. That presumably means an alteration in look, character and presentation, though we understand it won’t be a drastic change. I hope that we’ll still hear Robin Sparkles’ “Let’s Go To The Mall” blaring out during her entrance…
For a bit more of an insight into the Roxie Cotton character, have a listen to our Women Of Wrestling Podcast with her back in March, where we discuss her suffering motion sickness when she wrestles, death matches and her ventures into stand-up comedy. (more…)
Absolute Intense Wrestling presented their fourth all-female show last night at St. Gregory’s Byzantine Hall in Lakewood, OH. In quick results from the show…
1. Mena Libra (making her return from injury) defeated KC
2. Cherry Bomb beat Veda Scott
3. Allysin Kay upset Mickie Knuckles
4. Sara Del Rey defeated Sassy Stephie (who was a surprise replacement for the advertised Super Oprah)
5. Portia Perez beat Roxie Cotton in Roxie’s retirement match. Roxie attacked Portia after the match and announced her real name was Gabby Gilbert
6. AIW Womens Championship: Jessicka Havok (c) won the First Blood match over Angel Dust when Allysin Kay interfered, causing the referee to call for the bell. This led to an impromptu challenge and a new main event…
7. AIW Womens Championship: Mickie Knuckles defeated Jessicka Havok (c) to win the AIW Womens Championship.
Initial buzz seems to indicate a good show, although our own Veda Scott did tweet soon after “My face hurts. Damn you @Cherrrybomb & your assorted kicks!”. Interestingly, Roxie Cotton’s old twitter account (@roxiecotton) has already been replaced by the new @GabbyGilbertWho.
We hope to have further review/opinion for you in due course.
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…)
Despite reporting on NCW: Femmes Fatales and even interviewing its figurehead LuFisto on the ninth episode of the Women Of Wrestling Podcast, until this weekend, I hadn’t watched any of the shows. All of my knowledge has come from word of mouth, reading various reports and from general research.
In fact, it’s much like when I became a wrestling fan in the first place – I had seen WrestleMania VII in bits, but then started buying WWF Magazine in August 1991, which is where I picked up a huge amount of knowledge, history and trivia… as it was a good magazine back then. Eight months on, I had someone tape WrestleMania VIII for me, and everything went into a new level. In a similar vein, I know enough about Femmes Fatales to engage in a decent conversation, but had no knowledge of the DVDs, the quality of the wrestling or the intricacies that you can’t pick up from the written word. So a month ago, I picked up the first three shows, and put the first one in the DVD player yesterday. Here’s what I thought… (more…)
Episode 15 with Sassy Stephie & Madison Eagles
The Women of Wrestling Podcast returns with a double dip of distaff delights as we present extended interviews with both SHIMMER Champion Madison Eagles, and recently well-travelled international star Sassy Stephie. First up is half-an-hour with the Sassy one, discussing her trip to England last month where she had the chance to wrestle European legend Sweet Saraya in an old-school British rounds match, her recent shoulder injury, and her recent trip to Montreal to wrestle for NCW Femmes Fatales. Hear how she and Roxie Cotton ended up in entirely the wrong Canadian province and managed to cross the border three times trying to get into Canada, as well as thoughts on the show from the perspective of a wrestler on the card.
Then it’s onto 45 minutes with SHIMMER’s standard bearer, Australia’s wrestling matriarch, Madison Eagles. Madison also has to discuss a recent injury (as in, this happened last week), being a lifeguard on Bronte beach, dancing at the 2000 Olympic opening ceremony, her OVW tryouts in 2003, training with Georges St-Pierre (yes, really) and all about the PWA back home in Australia, including thoughts on Jessie McKay, and whether she has any good Kellie Skater stories. We had an absolute blast recording these interviews, so we hope that sense of fun comes across as you listen. Enjoy!
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