As we continue to count down to the announcements of our winners of the 2013 Year End Awards next weekend, we’re taking a glance back at those we recognised last year. Yesterday we revisited the last twelve months in the life of our 2012 Discovery of the Year Kimber Lee, and today we’re turning our attention to last year’s Breakout Star of the Year, the classy one herself – Allysin Kay!
The Breakout Star of of the Year Award is meant to recognise someone who really upped their game in the twelve months prior. We’re fond of describing it in the terms of how someone goes from just being a wrestler on the card to being a *player* on the scene. Someone who makes you want to buy a ticket or order an iPPV. Someone who becomes an essential ingredient in a number of promotions – and for the year of 2012, that person was beyond doubt Allysin Kay. (more…)
Next weekend we start making our announcements of the winners of our 2013 Year End Awards. Once again, we will be presenting awards in three categories – Discovery of the Year, Breakout Star of the Year and Wrestler of the Year. But before we get to that, let’s take a look back twelve months and check in with last year’s award winners and see how 2013 has treated them. First, let’s look at our 2012 Discovery of the Year, Kimber Lee.
As we wrote last year when we made the announcement of Kimber Lee as our Discovery of the Year, the spirit of this award is to recognise someone who we didn’t know twelve months prior, but who “caught our attention in a positive way… and is therefore someone that we’re tipping to bloom and flourish in the coming years.”. Twelve months on, and I think we can assuredly say Mission: Accomplished – and still aged just 23 years old and continuing to impress and improve by the month, there’s little doubt that there’s a lot more to come from the native of Seattle. (more…)
LAYNE’S BRAIN #1 with Angelus Layne
We’re very proud here at Ringbelles to bring you a brand new audio series, fronted by one of our favourite podcast guests from this year – Angelus Layne! If you’ve listened to our her two audio appearances on the site this year (June & October) you’ll know the story of how her promising start to 2013 was curtailed with some pretty serious health issues – namely Post Concussion Syndrome – leading to her cancelling her bookings for the last few months of the year. Then, out of nowhere the news comes through that Angelus is cleared to wrestle and is facing Jordynne Grace in an actual wrestling match at VWAA *this weekend* in Addison, IL. Uhhh… what?? Let Angelus take you through the latest happenings in her life as she starts her comeback from PCS on her new podcast series exclusively here on Ringbelles. Comments, feedback and questions welcome – interact with Angelus for upcoming episodes (and possibly even help choose the permanent name of the Podcast) using one of the forms of communication below!
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Have you listened to the latest Women Of Wrestling Podcast with Taeler Hendrix yet? Without hyperbole, it is one of our favourite shows in a long time. Interesting, insightful and revealing, the former TNA Knockout talks about how she had no idea what the result of her Gut Check would be or that Joey Ryan was going to gatecrash the segment, was told very little about what her future in the promotion would be or that they were planning to release her.
She also reveals that she wasn’t fully open with them either, as the reason why she put on the weight in-between appearances was to keep herself healthy to fight off the possibility of cancer, and because she was suffering pain when she wrestled as she had no padding on her body when she was bumping. That weight issue is something that I discussed with recovering anorexic and former gymnast Sarah Robertson, and she practically said the same thing.
Taeler also discussed her time in Ohio Valley Wrestling, how she was disappointed with her start in the promotion despite winning the Women’s Championship, and how an instinctive “wrong” move saw her fortunes turn around. She also revealed her intentions to release a book, form a tag team with distant relative Cherry Bomb – all is revealed in the interview – and wrestle in as many places as possible. Instead of moping, shaking her fist at the world or complaining that she’s the victim of a conspiracy theory, she dusted herself off, made a plan and is executing it. (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (29 October 2013) – LuFisto’s title aspirations, Nikki Roxx winding down, PWI Female 50
Where there is chaos, there is opportunity.
Injuries to Courtney Rush and Xandra Bale, travel issues for Ayako Hamada and personal matters involving Saraya Knight all contributed to a lot of re-jigging for SHIMMER and NCW: Femmes Fatales, with one woman benefiting more than any other.
Realistically, had all of the other wrestlers been healthy or present, LuFisto may not have ended Open Female Fight Season standing over a defeated Cheerleader Melissa with the SHIMMER Championship over her head – however, that’s exactly what did happen, and the 16-year veteran is now in a position where she could conceivably earn another SHIMMER Title match next year and even dethrone the reigning champion. Nobody has enjoyed as much momentum against Melissa during either of her title reigns – even Saraya didn’t have as much build up before beating her adversary for the title – and there seems to be a real ground swell for another match between the bullying cheerleader and the Super Hardcore Anime… and it’s the hardcore aspect which has furthered things, albeit accidentally… (more…)
Last weekend was a big one for Cheerleader Melissa, with its ups and downs. When it came to the SHIMMER tapings, she came through the weekend still in possession of the singles championship, beating Leva Bates, Hiroyo Matsumoto and LuFisto in title defences. However, her match against the Super Hardcore Anime saw her uninterrupted run of 60 volumes come to an end, as an accidental laceration she suffered during the contest meant that she was taken to the hospital for 10 stitches above her left eyebrow. Melissa still managed to notch up an appearance on Volume 61, interfering in the main event by hitting LuFisto with her title belt, leading to her loss against Mercedes Martinez, standing over her fallen rival while repeating how many stitches she needed to close the wound.
As well as the in-ring aspect of what went down, arguably Melissa’s shining moment came on volume 58 where she was named the number one in the 2013 Pro Wrestling Illustrated Female 50, rising two places from last year. We highlighted her big accomplishments over the last 12 months on Saturday in this article, though instead of surmising what criteria she satisfied to top the list, we decided to go to PWI itself. (more…)
The second day of tapings for SHIMMER Women Athletes is underway, with a big SHIMMER Championship match announced, as well as a return match which could feature some very brutal consequences.
Headlining Volume 60 will be Cheerleader Melissa defending the SHIMMER Title against LuFisto, after the Super Hardcore Anime came to the aid of Leva Bates and Allison Danger on Volume 58, as well as Hiroyo Matsumoto on Volume 59 (you can see all the results here). It should be an emotionally charged contest between the increasingly-viscious Melissa (who is riding high after also coming top of the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Female 50 yesterday) and the never-say-die challenger.
Also announced yesterday is a rematch from Volume 59, where Nicole Matthews and Hikaru Shida will face off in a contest where Shida’s kendo stick will be legal. The bamboo weapon was instrumental in Matthews’ win yesterday, using it out of the sight of the referee – but today, it’s in play, and both women could be battered and bruised by the end.
Elsewhere, the Global Green Gangsters put the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship on the line against Sassy Stephie & Nevaeh, Matsumoto takes on kleptomaniac Portia Perez, Heidi Lovelace wrestles Nikki Storm, Santana Garrett faces Mercedes Martinez, and Allysin Kay battles Kana.
For the second time in its six year history, a reigning SHIMMER Champion has been given the top spot in the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Female 50 rundown. In 2011, Madison Eagles was given the honour, and it has just been announced at SHIMMER‘s volume 58 DVD taping that Cheerleader Melissa has earned the top spot for 2013, rising two places from last year’s list.
In the year since the last Female 50, she has become the first ever two-time SHIMMER Champion, defeating longtime rival Saraya Knight inside a steel cage as part of the promotion’s biggest show to date. Their match at SHIMMER Volume 53 in Secaucus, NJ saw her win the belt in convincing fashion, hitting a super-hurricanrana, missile dropkick and an Air Raid Crash to regain the title. The following week, Melissa successfully defended her title against Mercedes Martinez, Kalamity and Courtney Rush – and being decidedly aggressive in the process – before turning heel in Allison Danger’s final match as part of volume 57. (more…)
It’s SHIMMER Time! Yes, once again The Eagles Club in Berwyn, IL is the home for some of the best female wrestling in the world, as SHIMMER Women Athletes presents the DVD tapings for Vols 58-61 across two days. Today features Vols 58 & 59, and Ringbelles will have you covered with both live results as they happen and eventually also full analysis of the day’s events. Japan’s Hikaru Shida debuts today, as does Europe’s Nikki Storm – and Shida features in the (as yet) only announced match for the tapings, taking on Mia Yim in what should be a pretty great showcase for both. Join us after the cut for running results, thanks to Reid Allen, who is in attendance – as is Stew, but international data roaming costs are sky high… (more…)
Women Superstars Uncensored announced a mild change in ownership at the Blood And Thunder iPPV on Saturday, with it being revealed that Combat Zone Wrestling boss DJ Hyde was becoming a co-owner along with Drew Cordiero, who bought the promotion from Sean McCaffrey last June. Hyde was greeted by WSU Champion Jessicka Havok, who dropped him with an Air Raid Crash after successfully defending her title against Lexxus, eliciting a big positive reaction from the fans in Voorhees, NJ. The move positions Havok as more of a babyface than ever, and possibly distancing her from her Midwest Militia teammates Allysin Kay and Sassy Stephie – especially the latter, as the pair have entered a distant war of words.
The developments make for an intriguing future for WSU, but seeing as it’s been just over a year since the first Cordiero-run card, it seems like as good a time as any to see how things have gone. What has worked? What has been less successful? And what should we expect from WSU down the road? (more…)
It’s not even four months since we last spoke to Angelus Layne for an edition of Fight Like A Girl here at Ringbelles, but things are quite different now than they were in June. Just under a month ago, Angelus announced that she was going to be out of wrestling for the rest of the year, having been diagnosed as suffering from Post Concussion Syndrome. The (eventual) decision to listen to her Doctor and her body meant she had to withdraw from all her bookings for the rest of 2013, which would’ve included being part of last weekend’s AIW Girls Night Out 9 & 10 shows, amongst other things. Stew reconnected with Angelus to get the lowdown on her injury, and ended up getting a truly eye-opening and at times quite shocking account of concussions, seizures, blackouts and more. We talk wrestler stubbornness, the people who helped her see sense, her prognosis for recovery and her daily life during her ongoing recovery. An important educational listen for both wrestlers and fans.
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Open Female Fight Season is treating Australia’s Savannah Summers well. After making her US debut last Sunday at Absolute Intense Wrestling‘s Girls Night Out tapings – which saw her pick up a win in her debut match against Sassy Stephie – she has picked up some new fans, and is likely to accrue a few more as she is scheduled to wrestle for the SHIMMER pre-show SPARKLE in a week and a half, followed by a trip to Florida for SHINE 14 where she will face Shanna and Mia Yim in a 3-way.
Close to a year ago, we posted a piece about Summers where she mentioned how she was looking to wrestle in the US, and she had made that aspiration a reality, which has to be congratulated.
As part of today’s Retro, we go back to Estonian Hall in Adelaide on November 1, 2008 – around a year after her debut – where she took on Miami in Riot City Wrestling. The pair would clash again in May 2012 to crown the first RCW Women’s Champion, with Summers winning the title.
You can learn more about The First Lady of RCW by listening to NHB Girls‘ recent interview with her and by clicking here to see ten must-know facts. While you’re doing that, click the jump to see Savannah’s early days. (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (8 October 2013) – Saraya and Melissa settle things, AJ Lee injured, Total Divas in-ring debut
I certainly didn’t see it coming, and I doubt many others would have.
On Sunday evening at Bellatrix 7, I was fully expecting Saraya Knight to win the war against Cheerleader Melissa on her home turf by finally beating her decisively, ending the six and a half year feud between them – four of which were spent with silent hostility in the air from opposite sides of the Atlantic. However, instead of there being an out and out winner of the feud, there was a time limit draw following 20 minutes of battering each other both inside and outside of the ring. As a result, it seemed as if nothing was settled between them. With two wins, two losses and two draws each, it was a total stalemate – but that seemed to be perfectly acceptable to both. (more…)
Bellatrix 7 live results – Saraya Knight & Cheerleader Melissa embrace, Courtney Rush screws Liberty (now with thoughts, photos and Sammi Baynz interview)
Open Female Fight season kicks off in a big way today with Bellatrix 7 from Norwich, England on iPPV – click here to order – featuring a Bellatrix v SHIMMER theme, complete with four interpromotional contests.
The big one is between former SHIMMER Champion and Bellatrix matriarch Saraya Knight and current SHIMMER titleholder Cheerleader Melissa in a non-title affair. We covered the topic at length in this week’s Roundup, so for more flavour on the history of this match, you can click here. Considering the location is a stone’s throw away from where they originally fought and the bad blood which has been between the two in the past, and considering it will be in front of a *very* pro-Saraya crowd, this has all the makings of one hell of a spectacle.
Elsewhere on the show, Mercedes Martinez – who we spoke to earlier this week for the Women Of Wrestling Podcast defends her NCW Femmes Fatales International Championship against Miss Mina, while the Bellatrix v SHIMMER contests are rounded off with Destiny facing LuFisto, and Skarlett taking on Christina Von Eerie.
As well as Martinez defending her belt, there are also two other title matches on the show. Erin Angel puts her British Championship on the line against Penelope in a rematch from their great encounter at Bellatrix 4, while Liberty puts the RQW European Women’s Championship up against Sammi Baynz in a match which will be watched very closely by Bellatrix World Champion Courtney Rush – who was due to defend the belt against Liberty until her fractured collarbone injury, though the pair will now face off at Bellatrix 8 next March.
Ringbelles is on hand to see how it all goes down – but if you want to keep abreast of the results, click the jump and keep refreshing the page. (more…)
Episode 62 with Allysin Kay
When we spoke to Allysin Kay last year for Episode 44 of the Podcast, she was the AIW Absolute Women’s Champion and was on the verge of defending her title in a big challenge at an upcoming Girls Night Out show. Fast forward to now, Kay’s *still* undefeated as champion and on the verge of *another* major title defence at Girls Night Out 9 & 10 this weekend. In the interim she’s been wrestling literally all over the place, including just returning Stateside from a three month tour of Japan. As well as looking forward to Girls Night Out this weekend, we talk the Japan excursion, how it came about, the culture and language issues of an extended stay in Japan (not to mention the humidity and constant fear of Earthquakes). We find out her favourite match from her trip, and her favourite match she saw as a fan, discuss this Instagram picture, and chow down on just where the best steak is in Tokyo. We talk her return to SHINE this past weekend, and the ongoing absence of Taylor Made at SHINE, the (presumably) upcoming reunion of Made In Sin at SHIMMER later in the month, her favourite SHIMMER moments to date, the apparently cursed tag team feud in WSU vs Annie Social & Kimber Lee, her mouthpiece assisted match with Cheerleader Melissa at NCW:Femmes Fatales and her upcoming return to Beyond Wrestling. Oh, and racist Japanese people… Oh Allysin…
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SHINE Wrestling‘s internationally-spiced cards have grown to be a big attraction, and SHINE 14 will be one of those occasions. Brought about because of the global talent flying into the US for the SHIMMER tapings on October 19-20, the next show at Ybor City, FL on October 25 will see the debut of joshi talent, an ongoing feud settled and a SHIMMER Tag Team Title defence, should the champions make it through four DVD tapings the week before.
Headlining the event is Rain defending the SHINE Championship against Hiroyo Matsumoto, while fellow joshi Tomoka Nakagawa is set to defend the SHIMMER Tag straps alongside her 3G partner Kellie Skater against Rain’s Valkyrie stablemates Allysin Kay and Ivelisse Velez, who defeated Amazing Kong and Jessicka Havok last Friday as part of the excellent SHINE 13 card. (more…)
Following an introduction to the festivities with Insane Championship Wrestling: Fierce Females, SHINE 13 and Pro Wrestling Syndicate Bombshells 7 over the last week or so, Open Female Fight Season is upon us and it kicks off with a bumper Sunday, with big cards on both sides of the Atlantic.
The festivities kick off in the UK with an interpromotional card which will also see the culmination of a bitter blood feud…
A long-running score will be settled at Sunday’s Bellatrix: Female Warriors show in Norwich, England when Saraya Knight takes on her heated rival Cheerleader Melissa at part of the Bellatrix 7: Bellatrix v SHIMMER event.
The pair have battled on both sides of the Atlantic and traded the SHIMMER Championship over the last 18 months, with their most recent contest taking place inside a steel cage in New Jersey in April in the main event of SHIMMER Volume 53, where Melissa regained the title. However, their battles began in the English county of Norfolk, with the pair meeting for the first time at ChickFight VII in Great Yarmouth in January 2007. That match was won by Melissa via referee stoppage when Saraya got her neck tied up in the ropes.
In the five contests between them, each has won two, and there has been one no-contest – and it is the inconclusive match from June 17, 2007 in Colchester which is the reason for the bad blood. (more…)
Episode 61 with Mercedes Martinez
It’s been a long time since we chatted to Mercedes Martinez here on the Women of Wrestling Podcast, and given that she’s coming to the UK this weekend for the Bellatrix 7 iPPV which kickstarts Female Fight Season, we thought it was about damn time. Mercedes talks about looking forward to wrestling in the UK, and defending her NCW:Femmes Fatales Title over here against Miss Mina. Speaking of Femmes Fatales, she gives her views on where they’re going, whether there is a hole in that promotion now that Kalamity has stepped away, the importance of LuFisto and how well Sweet Cherrie did in her main event at Femmes Fatales XII earlier in the year. Speaking of LuFisto, we also address the feud Mercedes has had with her which spanned into WSU, her series with Jessicka Havok there, and try to clarify exactly what Mercedes’ position is with WSU going forward. We talk… yes… WRESTLICIOUS, present her with her own Wrestlicious Rap and investigate what exactly is going on with that programme. Mercedes was also announced today as being a part of the SHIMMER Vols 58-61 tapings in under three weeks. We talk about her thoughts on SHIMMER after all these years, whether a title reign there is still a major goal, and who’s likely to step up with names like Athena and Courtney Rush out through injury during these tapings. We talk SHINE, and her opponent at the last show, Solo Darling, along with her hopes for that promotion. We talk about Mercedes’ current role as the “veteran”, and touch on retirement and what that will mean for her when the day comes, while Lee gets embarrassed with talk of The Big O. Quite the show…!
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Ringbelles Roundup (24 September 2013) – Knockouts division reaches critical point, plus news & more
It’s felt like Groundhog Day since the start of July when TNA Knockouts started dropping from their perch. We are now at the point that things seem totally desperate with the division, with just two full-time wrestlers on the roster and two playing valet roles but are likely on call just in case.
The latest Knockout to disappear from our screens is Mickie James, who dropped the Knockouts Championship two weeks ago on an Impact Wrestling taping which was televised last Thursday. As a result, ODB is now the reigning champion, currently in her fourth run with the title. ODB holding the title isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though you have to imagine that had the roster not reduced to the state that it is in now, she would still be the referee and Taryn Terrell would be holding the belt, considering she was on the monster push. As things turned out, she is on an indefinite leave of absence and TNA did what it had to do to get the belt off James before her contract expired.
When we wrote about Mickie’s contract situation just over a week ago, it was reported that she was still in negotiations with TNA and if the right deal could be struck she would be back on the show. However earlier today, her profile was removed from the roster page on the company’s website, which can’t be a good sign. Mickie James may be back, but I personally wouldn’t hold my breath. Considering the financial issues leading to a massive amount of cost-cutting on the roster – and talk of the show moving back to a singular location because of the sheer outgoings caused by Impact going on the road and not pulling in the crowds, it could just be that TNA can’t afford Mickie James money right now, and may not for the foreseeable future.
As it stands, the only full-time female wrestlers on the roster are champion ODB and Gail Kim, with Velvet Sky and Brooke Tessmacher working as hangers-on for Bully Ray and Chris Sabin respectively. That’s pretty weak by anyone’s standards. (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…)
A week ago, SHIMMER: Women Athletes tweeted that it would make an announcement about the next joshi booked for the volume 58-61 DVD tapings on October 19-20 in Berwyn, IL – adding that the name would also be a SHIMMER debut. The teasing continued yesterday with the reveal that it would be a member of the Ice Ribbon roster making the trip, and now we have been officially informed.
Hikaru Shida will make her United states debut in just over a month’s time.
The 25-year old has had a very successful 2013, holding Tag Team Championships in four different promotions. In Ice Ribbon, she is one half of the reigning International Ribbon titleholders alongside Tsukasa Fujimoto, and also held the REINA x WORLD doubles straps with her Muscle Venus partner. She has also been a Tag Team Champion in OZ Academy (with Aja Kong) and in Pro Wrestling WAVE (alongside Yumi Ohka). This all comes off the back of an equally strong 2012, where Shida represented her home promotion as the ICEx60 (now ICEx∞) Champion, winning the belt at RibbonMania 2011 and holding the title for a record 273 days before losing it to Mio Shirai in her fourth defence in September. (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…)
Female Fight Season is creeping up on us and as more talent is announced for the shows, one thing that jumps out is the number of wrestlers who are making this first trips abroad to face new people, venture into new locker rooms and expand their horizons.
Let’s start with the women who are travelling to the United States. As we have mentioned on this website in the past, Nikki Storm is making the trip from Scotland to take bookings for SHINE, Women Superstars Uncensored and Absolute Intense Wrestling in the month of October, and was announced for SHIMMER this evening too. She is certainly making the most of her time in the US by working for as many of the major women’s groups as possible. Networking her way around the country will also help to attain new contacts, connect with new audiences and shift a lot of merchandise. Joining her as another fresh face in the US will be Australia’s Savannah Summers, who will also be part of AIW’s Girls Night Out tapings on October 6. Her announcement was somewhat out of the blue, as this is the first time that the six year pro will venture outside of her native country and ply her trade elsewhere. Considering her experience and character – her heel work is pretty great and she’s also likeable as a babyface – she should create a good impression with the crowd in Cleveland, OH. (more…)