A little over a week ago, Cheerleader Melissa travelled to Japan as part of a flying visit to challenge Io Shirai for the World of Stardom Championship. It was the main event of Stardom’s The Highest show from Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, which featured a number of gaijin including Kellie Skater, Alpha Female and Madison Eagles.
You may already know the result – but regardless of whether you do or not, the match has been put online, so we have the chance to see how it went. Click the jump to watch the contest. (more…)
“Candice Michelle went to PWG in 2008 & raved about me to John Laurinaitis. When I saw him, he said ‘What does a Diva know about wrestling?’”
This is a tweet from Joey Ryan which he posted back in January – one of many which he wrote in reference to his tryout with WWE, where he asserts that was told that he was too old and too experienced to be in developmental.
Despite his wrestling persona being someone who is quite misogynistic and employs moves like the Boobplex, it is clear that he would not be allowed to do moves like this unless the recipients were comfortable with him – in fact, because of the amount of inter gender wrestling that he does, you could argue that he’s a huge advocate for women’s wrestling. With these tweets, one would imagine that Ryan is not thinking about trying out again, but it’s difficult to see if he has an axe to grind. If he does, it calls into question the validity of the claim – but if it is real, what does this say about WWE’s former Senior Vice President of Talent Relations?
Laurinaitis – who resigned from the post in July 2012 but still works within WWE – has form with not taking the Divas division very seriously. In 2006, he suddenly hired two models who he spotted in a catalogue – 20-year old Victoria Crawford and 19-year old Barbie Blank, who became known as Alicia Fox and Kelly Kelly respectively. It doesn’t show that much respect for women who toil for years to become good wrestlers to see two women hired just by how they pose in swimwear. While WWE still does hire women with no wrestling background, they do seem to go for people who have athletic ability. Summer Rae for example, used to be part of the Lingerie Football League, while new signing Shara used to be a competitive arm wrestler. (more…)
We haven’t discussed Kellie Skater recently. That’s tantamount to a crime, and we must rectify this.
In what has become an annual thing, the Rate Tank is currently on an extended trip in Japan, predominantly spending her time competing for Stardom, though she has moonlighted and competed for the WRESTLE-1 promotion as well. As a consequence, we have two Skater matches for you, highlighting her work in both promotions.
The first match for you after the jump is her Wonder Of Stardom Title challenge against Act Yasukawa at Stardom Year-End Climax 2013 on December 29 on last year at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, in what was Skater’s second match since her return to the country – her first was a victory six days earlier over Mayu Iwatani in Osaka. Following that, we have her WRESTLE-1 contest against Hiroyo Matsumoto held on January 31 of this year in the same venue. (more…)
Episode 66 with “The Female Predator” Amazon, Ayesha Ray
Almost two years after doing her very first wrestling interview on our My Name Is show here at Ringbelles, the UK’s “Female Predator” Amazon steps up to a full Women of Wrestling Podcast appearance – and why not? She’s international news these days, fresh off a three month tour of Japan which saw her win the Artist of STARDOM Trios Titles at Korakuen Hall, and wrestle on shows promoted by legends such as Meiko Satomura and Keiji Mutoh/The Great Muta. That was her second tour of Japan in 2013, in fact. Not bad going for someone we first clocked as a trainee with potential about six years ago. Apart from discussing Japan, the language, the loneliness and spending Christmas in Japan, Ayesha discusses her hidden talents, breaking into wrestling under Justin Richards in the UK, her early association with London Inc, spreading her wings in WAW, the tag team match that got four women legitimately suspended from Premier Promotions, the “Amazon” character, her real-life friendship turned in-ring tag team with Rhia O’Reilly, working with Alpha Female (and a car door) at Pro-Wrestling: EVE, wrestling in Australia and we try to get some scoops about her plans for 2014. Oooh, there’s even a creepy clown story. What more could you want?
(right click on the picture and “save as” to download, or stream in our media player below)
Ringbelles Roundup (28 January 2014) – Ivelisse Velez strikes gold, Rain retires for real, Nevaeh & Leva Bates impress
It’s been some comeback by Ivelisse Velez from being released by WWE in August 2012. Refusing to be a statistic, she picked herself up and got back in the saddle. While she has experienced TV exposure with WWE by being in the most recent Tough Enough in 2011 and in TNA for its Gut Check (which she weirdly lost, even though she won her match against Le’D Tapa, who ended up getting the contract), leading to working the Knockouts Knockdown and World Cup PPV tapings, arguably her biggest achievement happened last Friday in Ybor City, Florida.
It’s funny – WWE’s rumoured reasoning for releasing Velez was that she had “attitude issues”. I would say that rather than “attitude”, she has self-confidence and determination, and they are major contributing factors as to why she holds the SHINE title. (more…)
In the December 17 edition of the Roundup, I mentioned about Madison Rayne’s return to TNA. I knew the results of the subsequent shows up to where we are right now, but didn’t reveal what was going to be coming up. At the time, I wrote: “I’m hoping there will be some explanation as to why Rayne is now a babyface and going after [Gail] Kim. I have a theory, but I want to see how it plays out.” Well, it’s been 3 weeks and there have been quite a few twists and turns. However, at no point has TNA explained exactly WHY Madison has such aggression towards her former friend.
We have had three weeks for an explanation to take place. We’ve had candid videos from Rayne and an extensive interview on the Knockouts website with Madison talking about giving birth – including the claim that she’s the first female to return to the ring after giving birth – which must make the likes of Saraya Knight and Allison Danger fall over laughing – and her desire to get back to wrestling, and there is still no revelation on what caused the friction. In that time, Rayne and ODB have beaten Kim and Lei’D Tapa, and last week Madison defeated the Knockouts Champion in her Open Challenge series to become the number one contender to the title – and yet, still nothing as to why.
Considering this is the headline feud for the division, it’s curious as to what TNA is thinking. At this point, we still haven’t been told as to what is the issue between the pair and it’s even more of a head scratcher when you consider that there is a storyline already done for them. All they had to do was produce one simple video package to explain it all. It’s staring them in the face. (more…)
Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been doing a lot of retrospective articles. From the looks back to the 2012 award winners to the announcing of the 2013 recipients, from the personal highlights of Stew and myself to reviews of of the Women Of Wrestling Podcasts and our other audio shows, there has been a big look into the past. Now, here’s a look into the future.
Both Stew and I have written a list of things we would like to see happen in 2014. Neither of us have a crystal ball – or more critically, a booking sheet – so we can’t say whether any of these will actually happen, but this is what we would like to see in a perfect world.
Seeing as I’m here, I’ll start:
• I would love to see LuFisto win the SHIMMER Championship. After storming through the last set of tapings and working up a pretty heated rivalry with reigning titleholder Cheerleader Melissa, she ended Female Fight Season standing above her enemy at the end of Femmes Fatales XIII. While no plans have been put in place for SHIMMER 62 in New Orleans, LA, I would be happy to see Melissa and Lufisto in the main event with the Super Hardcore Anime taking the title which would mean the world to her. Even if she only holds it until the DVD tapings the following week, I would love for it to happen. (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (17 December 2013) – AJ Lee issues, Natalya’s resurgence, Rain: the ultimate worker
AJ Lee got into a bit of trouble at last Wednesday’s Tribute to the Troops show. The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer says she gave NBC presenter Michelle Beadle an obscenity-laced tongue-lashing in public for talking to her boyfriend, CM Punk. Beadle referred to it in a tweet, saying “Lost another friend to CGFN… crazy girlfriend neutering. It’s real people. Check your buddies. Affects everyone.” She later claimed that she thought AJ was joking, so didn’t react to it at the time, but then believed it wasn’t after a while.
Another account says that AJ was working because she was told to do so by an agent for a segment on the WWE App, and then everyone acted surprised when she did it, as if it was some sort of double cross on her, while another says AJ wasn’t yelling, and was standing up for Punk after Beadle allegedly said something that rubbed him the wrong way (even though he would likely say something himself if that was the case, so the whole scenario seems implausible – and a skit for the app would allude to Punk and AJ being an item, which is something that has never been brought up or acknowledged anywhere in WWE, so that lacks credibility too). The story has since been disregarded as being bogus. (more…)
Alpha Female was rushed to hospital after had match at Stardom today, where she, Kyoko Kimura & Act Yasukawa defeated Nanae Takahashi, Miho Wakizawa & Kairi Hojo. As she explains in a Facebook update, the reigning Artist Of Stardom Champion says she started suffering chest pains a week last Friday but shook them off as just being another ache from wrestling. However, after suffering pains last Saturday merely from climbing the stairs, she was urged to see a doctor, as her symptoms resembled those of a heart attack. She was told that she was alright and sent home.
Alpha trained on Thursday but still felt unwell – but despite that, wrestled today and collapsed backstage after the match, which resulted in an ambulance being called for her. At the hospital, the former Pro Wrestling: EVE Champion was given painkillers, though doctors could not give her a diagnosis. This poses an issue, as until she is given a clean bill of health, Stardom is refusing to clear her to wrestle. Having said that, it’s a very responsible move by the promotion. (more…)
Stardom held a bumper card for its 100th show earlier on this month, with three championship matches, headlined by World Of Stardom Champion Io Shirai defending the belt against former titleholder and 5STAR GP winner Nanae Takahashi.
Presented to 1,020 fans at Tokyo, Japan’s Korakuen Hall on November 4, the show was recently broadcast and has been uploaded to YouTube – so watch it quickly before it goes away. We have the results here, but if you want to watch spoiler-free you can click the jump. (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…)
On January 23, 2011, World Wonder Ring Stardom hosted its debut show in front of 466 fans at Shin-Kiba 1st Ring in Tokyo, Japan. Kicking off with Iris & Nanae Takahashi beating Natsuki Taiyo & Yuzuki Aikawa and culminating with Yoko Bito defeating Yoshiko, the promotion quickly became a player, crowning its first singles champions in the middle of that year, followed by tag team champions in November, and six-woman titles were introduced in January of this year.
Stardom held its biggest show in its history in April with Ryogoku Cinderella at Ryogoku Kokugikan (Sumo Hall) in Tokyo. With Dark Angel winning the vacant Wonder of Stardom Championship, while Io Shirai claimed the World Of Stardom belt and Yuzuki Aikawa retiring from the ring, it was the end of one era and the dawn of another. Seven months on, Stardom has hit another milestone with its 100th card, held at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall in front of 1,020 fans, and saw two titles change hands. (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…)
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…)
Another 6 episodes of Total Divas have ordered by E! for a season extension. The current 8 episode run ends on September 15, with the next half dozen starting on November 17. The show has been a big hit for E! so far, with audiences rising between episodes 1 and 3. Starting out with 1.3 million viewers, it rose to 1.52 million the following week and reached 1.67 million last week.
However, numbers dropped a little for Sunday’s most recent episode to 1.35 million – though that’s still higher than the premiere episode. One of the reasons may be is because it clashed with SummerSlam – though anyone who watched the pay-per-view will see that despite Total Divas being a hit, it’s not caught the imagination of many wrestling fans. In fact, it could be argued that the crossover audience isn’t as big as you may imagine. (more…)
There are a lot of women’s wrestling promotions in the northern half of the planet. SHIMMER, Femmes Fatales, Women Superstars Uncensored, SHINE, IndyGurlz, Lucha Libre Feminil, Bellatrix, Pro-Wrestling: EVE, Fierce Females, WAVE, OZ Academy, JWP, Diana, Ice Ribbon, and Sendai Girls, just to name a few. In addition, there are promotions with women’s divisions like Anarchy Championship Wrestling, Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling, Acclaim Pro Wrestling, Squared Circle Wrestling, World Xtreme Wrestling, AAA, CMLL, FutureShock, ABC Catch and more.
In the southern hemisphere, there are comparatively few – which means if you are the champion of one of those, you are in a much more exclusive club. While there are some like the IndyGurlz Australia title and the Riot City Wrestling Women’s strap, arguably the most prestigious belt in women’s wrestling is in the southern hemisphere is the one representing the Pro Women’s Wrestling Alliance, and it’s now officially held by a grappler who has spent the last year as the lady in waiting… (more…)
In 1995, a mere four years after the invention of the World Wide Web, Amazon.com launched onto the Internet as an online bookstore with a simple, yet slightly baffling plan. Instead of looking to be a viable entity, it anticipated that it may not make money until the turn of the millennium. Its plan was to expand its brand quickly – no matter the cost – by making sure that everyone online knew about Amazon, what it did and its reputation. Going under the mantra of “get big fast”, it was its high profile which helped it to survive the dot-com bubble bursting in early 2000, which claimed a lot of firms which had floated on the stock exchange. Despite having not made a profit by that point, business kept flowing and it finally went into the black in the fourth quarter of 2001, more than six years after being launched.
The reason I bring up this tale is because over the last year, a number of women’s wrestling promotions have done similar things – rolled the dice to generate a following very quickly, enhance its profile and make sure that fans know that they are a real player. Insane Championship Wrestling: Fierce Females and Bellatrix have managed certain degrees of success in the UK with a plan which is seeing them speculate to accumulate both financially and creatively, but a certain promotion in Florida has gone even further in leapfrogging up the ladder to the point where it is being discussed as being the best women’s wrestling promotion in the western world… (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (9 July 2013) – Knockouts dearth, Heidi & Taeler, SHINE, Maria Kanellis, Sunny & more
We praised Mickie James’ last six months in TNA, including her winning the Knockouts Title and turning heel in the process. However, you have to wonder what sort of division she is reigning over, when you consider how many – or conversely, how few – female wrestlers there are on the roster these days.
As well as James, you have Gail Kim, Miss Tessmacher, ODB, Tara, Taryn Terrell and Velvet Sky as in-ring performers – though ODB is usually a ref these days, Terrell is hardly a regular and Tessmacher & Tara has been absent for a while. That’s seven women – half of what they had in 2008 when the division was really a pioneer and vastly overshadowing what was going on in WWE at the time. When you consider that TNA only has about three women doing most of the work these days, you can see why the promotion binned its Knockouts Tag Team Titles following them being vacated by ODB and Eric Young.
The roster was thinned out last Wednesday when a four time Knockouts Champion and the first Gut Check winner were cut from the roster. Madison Rayne – who is heavily pregnant and is due to give birth next month – saw her contract expire and it wasn’t renewed. Some have complained that it was a bit tactless of TNA to do that, but Rayne herself apparently holds no grudges and has made no complaints in public. It is possible that she may return in time.
The other departure is Taeler Hendrix, who has been criminally underused by the promotion since winning the Gut Check last June. She has only appeared on two episodes of Impact – one was the Thanksgiving Day episode, which was a filler show because so few were watching, and the other was last month as she served as cannon fodder for Mickie’s slow-burn heel turn. Meanwhile, she has been working on her character during her time in Ohio Valley Wrestling, which we cover in more detail later on. (more…)
There is a feeling of deja vu with this, considering the Rate Tank was also singled out for praise at this time last year too, but credit where credit is due – Kellie Skater has had a storming first six months of 2013.
As with in 2012, the Australian started her year in Japan restrengthening the ties which she had built during her first extended trip there, wrestling in both WAVE and Stardom, straddling the battle lines which exist between the two promotions – though it was in the latter promotion where she primarily competed during her visit, and also experienced new accomplishments… (more…)
It was interesting to see the Bellatrix roster after the Bellatrix 6 card. Out of their wrestling gear, they got dressed again into their branded t-shirts and glammed them up with shorts, skirts, blazers and the like to meet and greet the fans, sign autographs and pose for photos. In every photo, the Bellatrix logo was visible, pushing the brand and getting the recognition out there. Coupled with the gigantic wall hangings, Bellatrix: Female Warriors has ascended to be the most professional looking promotion in the western world.
Granted, a lot of joshi promotions in Japan have branded gear, and Ice Ribbon & Stardom have had workout gear too – but it is rarer to see in the English-speaking countries. However, it is something that other promotions would do well to adopt in the future.
Since rebranding from the World Association of Women’s Wrestling in January, Bellatrix as a brand has been ascending at a rapid pace, and it’s being noticed. Ahead of Sunday’s card, promoter Saraya Knight was interviewed on F4Wonline.com, the BritWresChat podcast and the BBC radio station serving Norfolk – the county which Bellatrix is based. In addition, hype was posted on a number of websites and also in the local print media, which led to an audience of more than 250 coming along to the show to make a lot of noise and generate a proper atmosphere. As far as exposure goes, Bellatrix has taken big steps forward – however, as Saraya explained during the interview with Bryan Alvarez, the end goal is not to have the promotion as the main focus; instead, it is being used as a way to point eyes towards the wrestlers on the show. (more…)
You could say this about a lot of departed Knockouts, but TNA really missed the boat with Sarita. For whatever reason, the relationship didn’t work, be it a clash of styles with opponents or cack-handed booking by writers and/or agents, Sarah Stock’s run in the promotion was pretty forgettable. However, since returning to her Dark Angel name, the talented 34-year old has found her footing again, and a lot of that is down to her extended trips to the Japan – the latest of which is coming to an end.
However, the Canadian will not be returning to CMLL in Mexico empty-handed. In her luggage will be the Wonder Of Stardom Championship which she won at Stardom’s biggest event to date, Ryōgoku Cinderella on April 29 at Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Tokyo. She won the vacant title – which was held up due to the retirement of its inaugural champion Yuzuki Aikawa – by beating Act Yasukawa in the semi-main event on the show.
After the jump, you can watch the match where she won the title. Presumably she will be back in Japan in the near future to continue defending the belt – which is something she is probably looking forward to, considering how much she seems to enjoy being in the country. (more…)
An aspiring wrestler was on MTV in the US last weekend.
Dana Adiva – who models and has wrestled a couple of shows for Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling as well s some smaller promotions in the Midwest – was one of two subjects featured on an episode of True Life entitled “I’m Too Beautiful”. In it, her sister complained about how attractive her sibling was and how it was affecting their relationship. Adiva also talked about how she had to drop out of school because she was bullied about her looks, finds it hard to get a boyfriend (though her Facebook says she is currently attached) and boasts that “I get anything I want and I get treated like a princess… I don’t have to be smart, because I have my looks.”
However, she also complains that “At the same time it sucks being pretty, it would nice being taken seriously once in a while,” though also discusses the possibility of getting a breast enhancement, claiming “I feel I will be more beautiful with bigger boobs. Instead of a 10 I’ll be a 200.”
MTV followed Adiva around for eight months filming this and she was one of two stories which were compressed into an hour long show, which means about 40 minutes of programme when you take out the commercials. The producers could have weaved any story they liked out of it – however, she said these things, regardless of whether she was coerced or cajoled into doing it. (more…)
This week’s top piece is about a storyline which is ongoing, so I may be jumping the gun with my feelings on the matter, but I feel that more eyes should be directed towards what is happening, as it has the potential to do something really positive.
On Ohio Valley Wrestling TV between January and the end of April, Taeler Hendrix had been receiving gifts from a secret admirer. Considering the flirting which had taken place between the pair previously, the former Women’s Champion believed that the presents were coming from Ryan Howe, who had captured her attention since her OVW debut, much to the disappointment, anger and frustration of her put-upon boyfriend Dylan Bostic – who was not as cool, edgy or exiting as the long-haired newcomer sporting an electric guitar.
Things escalated to the point that on March 23, Hendrix and Bostic took on Howe and fellow former Women’s Champion Heidi Lovelace which ended in a no-contest when the men’s fighting got out of control. The following week, Hendrix came to ringside during Howe’s TV Title match against Rockstar Spud, which prompted both Bostic and Lovelace to come out, causing Ryan to be counted out of the ring. On the April 27 episode, Howe insisted that it was not he who was sending Taeler the gifts, leading a confused (and somewhat hurt) Hendrix to wonder who was showering her with these presents.
As it turns out, it was Heidi Lovelace, who came out to reveal the truth before leaving the ring. (more…)
Alpha Female is in demand. Having just completed an extended trip of Japan which saw her capture the World Of Stardom Championship, the mammoth German is getting right back on the cycle in Europe.
In this half-hour interview, Alpha compares her two matches with Nanae Takahashi, how angry fans were with her (teamed with how scared they were of her), and how her tattoos caused problems for her in Japan. She also discusses the friendships she struck up with the likes of Dark Angel, Jenny Rose and Kellie Skater (with the Rate Tank getting some serious love) and what it was like wrestling at Sumo Hall for the Ryogoku Cinderella show where she lost the title to Io Shirai. She also talks about her upcoming British dates – most notably Pro Wrestling: EVE‘s Queen of the Ring show next Saturday as well as her debut for Bellatrix next month. Check it out.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)