The first live show of the WWE Network takes place on Thursday with the first live broadcast of NXT. Dubbed ArRIVAL, it features three matches – one of which sees Paige defend the NXT Women’s Championship against number one contender Emma, in a match which has been a long time coming.
The cheerful Australian earned her crack at the title back in August and then had to defend her right to challenge for the belt by beating Natalya at the start of this year. While carrying on her #EMMAlution in Florida, she also graduated to the main WWE roster by originally appearing in the crowd – antagonising fellow NXT alumni Summer Rae in the process – before taking part in dance-offs and making her in-ring TV debut last night on Raw, defeating Summer with the Emma Lock. While fans who haven’t seen her NXT character evolve are getting used to the newcomer with the awkward dance moves, it seems as if things are going in the right direction.
It could be argued that the NXT Women’s Champion has been ready to make a similar jump for a while. As the sole titleholder – winning the title tournament last June, but the show being broadcast the following month – she has turned back the challenges of Summer Rae and Natalya, though hasn’t wrestled on a show since the end of November. Injury was cited as the reason, though the Wrestling Observer said the layoff was for personal reasons. Thursday’s match will be her first match in more than three months, and in that time, her opponent – and the woman she beat in the tournament final to win the belt in the first place – has caught up with her success. (more…)
Eva Marie is a stunning woman. With her great looks and amazing figure, she is a visual asset to WWE’s Divas division. Her presence is a striking one as she stands out from the pack with her pillarbox red hair, coupled with red lipstick framing a beautiful smile. Looks-wise, she is every inch the Diva, with the sort of figure that teenage boys would likely sketch in a schoolbook. Her appeal is also experiencing crossover value as she made such an impression on Total Divas that she graced the pages of Maxim Magazine last August. On paper, Eva Marie has everything it takes to be a star in the women’s division of World Wrestling Entertainment…
Until she steps foot in the ring, it seems.
The 29-year old made her debut at SummerSlam Axxess on August 18 where she and Brie Bella lost to Natalya and Maria Menounos (still undefeated, by the way), but her first TV contest wasn’t until October 7 when she, JoJo and Natalya defeated Aksana, Rosa Mendes & Alicia Fox. She has wrestled 12 matches in total, all of them in tag team contests or battle royals. However, the 13th and most recent contest technically doesn’t exist as even though it was recorded for last week’s episode of SmackDown, it was never broadcast – and probably never will be. (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 (3 December 2013) Renee Young is great, Gail Kim praises Taryn Terrell, plus more
Female backstage interviewers are as rare as rocking horse poop in World Wrestling Entertainment, and finding a good one is hugely unlikely. In late 1994, Stephanie Wiand signed on, co-hosting WWF Mania with Todd Pettengill, and also worked a few pay-per-views in 1995, though very few fans remember her, and probably could not pick her out of a lineup. Rue DeBona also did a bit of backstage mic work on SmackDown in 2004, but wasn’t around long enough to do anything apart from marry (and later divorce) Josh Mathews. Some Divas also turned to asking the questions rather than answering them. Lilian Garcia has done the job at pay-per-views in the past, Terri Runnels performed interviewing duties between 2002 and 2004, Sunny did the odd bit in 1997 but seemed to be more keen on having the spotlight for herself, and after being eliminated from the Diva Search, Maria Kanellis worked the backstage but was given the ditzy gimmick where she asked poor questions, got wrestlers names wrong and simpered a lot.
However, WWE seems to have stumbled across a diamond in current interviewer Renee Young. (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…)
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…)
If you were the kind of person who liked to lay down a wager, you would have put money on Serena Deeb failing in her first defence the Wrestling New Classic Women’s Championship at the promotion’s latest card at Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo, Japan. Had you done so, you would have won – because Serena didn’t.
After winning the title in a tournament which also involved Syuri and Makoto – following it being vacated by Lin Byron following the only time the champion has retained the belt – Keeping The Spirit Alive reports that Deeb was defeated by Syuri with a German Suplex.
The victory makes the 24-year old the promotion’s first two-time Women’s Champion, having being crowned the inaugural titleholder on December 27 last year after winning a six woman tournament, defeating Nagisa Nozaki in the final. Syuri was beaten in her first defence by Makoto on March 31, so the five year pro will be looking for a reign where she retains the belt at least once. Should she do it twice, she will be a record breaker, and start a new era with the title – one with a bit of stability perhaps. (more…)
While nobody wants to see a wrestler injured, it has reaped rewards for Serena Deeb, who turned a negative into a positive to snare the Wrestling New Classic Women’s Championship today after making history for the wrong reasons late last month.
That history was because she became the first woman to challenge for either the SMASH or WNC women’s belts and not walk away with the title, as she was defeated by Lin Byron. However, Byron’s celebrations were short lived as she was forced to vacate the championship the following day due to breaking a bone in her left foot.
As a result, Deeb and former champions Syuri and Makoto were booked to take part in a round robin to determine a new titleholder. Serena took the first victory by beating Makoto a week ago in Yokohama; Syuri also notched up a win against Makoto on Wednesday in Hakata, and Deeb then defeated Syuri the following day in Kumamoto. As a result, Syuri and Serena were deemed eligible to fight for the vacant belt as they had the most victories, with Deeb gaining the championship earlier today in Kagoshima with her trusty spear. (more…)
In 280 BC, Greek King Pyrrhus of Epirus’ army defeated the Romans during the Pyrrhic War. The following year, they fended off the Romans again, with the Italians suffering more casualties. However, their army was larger, which left the Greeks at a disadvantage, despite winning. Such occasions since then where the price of victory was too great are now known as Pyrrhic victories, and it seems Lin Byron experienced one on Thursday.
We reported on Byron’s win over Serena Deeb at Wrestling New Classic‘s Tokyo show where she successfully defended the Women’s Championship – becoming the first female champion in either WNC or previous company SMASH to do so – but during the match, she suffered an injury which turned out to be a fracture in her left foot. The break will force her onto the shelf for at least a month – therefore, the decision has been made to declare the championship vacant. (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (5 March 2013) – Paige’s rise, AJ Lee’s fall, Femmes Fatales XI, ABC Catch and more
On Saturday night in Kalamazoo, MI, Paige defeated AJ Lee at a WWE house show in a match refereed by Hornswoggle. The following evening in Cleveland, OH, the same match took place with the same outcome. The results of a WWE house show don’t usually mean much, but in these instances, they may mean a great deal.
First off, let’s look at the 20-year old Briton. It’s the second time that Paige has been on the road with WWE since she first reported to developmental in Florida 14 months ago – the first time round saw her team with Layla to beat Aksana and Natalya in tag matches in South Carolina at the start of December. However, she’s been given an even bigger shot in the arm by wrestling singles matches and beating AJ – the most over woman in WWE last year. (more…)
Former WWE Women’s and Divas Champion Michelle McCool must have talked to her official fansite MichelleMcCool.net for about a kabillion years for it to produce as many different releases about things she has said about her time in WWE. There are masses of quotes about Beth Phoenix, Maria Kanellis, Layla, Sharmell Huffman, Vickie Guerrero, Tara, Natalya, Torrie Wilson, Mickie James and more. Seriously, the interview must have gone on for about three hours to sufficiently cover all these topics. Quite why she has decided to do this now after spending more than 18 months out of the wrestling spotlight is a discussion in itself, as it is doubtful that she is doing to come back, and she has positive things to say about everyone, which doesn’t lead to that many juicy tidbits. However, it is her comments about her experiences with Melina which we found the most interesting.
The 32-year old discussed how they collectively got in trouble following their contest at Night Of Champions 2009, where McCool successfully defended the Women’s Championship, with one particular move on the outside of the ring causing the problem:
It was that day – I was like: “could you not tell anybody, but do you think we could do a DDT on the barricade?” And [Melina] was like: “Ohhhh! Yeah!!!” — Not even thinking twice about it. We kind of hid it all day, even though we did ask our agent for approval, I think it was Fit — which is no secret that he was always fighting for the girls. We just made sure that we can stand up and get our balance, but we never actually did the bump. She was the one who was going to take the huge bump, and there was no doubt, no hesitation, that she would make it look ridiculous — and it did! [During the match] She finally takes the bump, it looks sick [pictured above], pops off — up to that point, that was the best match I’ve ever had. We had the pay-per-view, we had time, I was really proud of that match. (more…)
There had been some speculation about the future of a number of joshis following the closure of SMASH on March 14, as wrestlers like Makoto and Syuri had made it their home promotion, and others like Kana, Serena Deeb and Tomoka Nakagawa had enjoyed success there too. As it turns out, SMASH founder Tajiri moved fast to announce a replacement, which was unveiled today.
Wrestling New Classic has already announced its first two shows – the first on April 26 at Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo, Japan, with the follow-up a month later on May 24 at Korukuen Hall. The first show already has a joshi match booked featuring Makoto and final SMASH Divas Champion Syuri taking on former Divas titleholder Kana and her Triple Tails S partner Mio Shirai, in a match that actually took place in SMASH in Osaka on October 26 last year – for the record, Kana and Shirai won…
This announcement is particularly good news for Syuri and Makoto, who considered SMASH their highest profile exposure. Makoto had started to keep herself busy, securing her in-ring debut for Union Pro, while Syuri seemingly did not have any more wrestling bookings on the horizon, though she could always have gone down her other avenue of interest, shootboxing and kickboxing. Kana did not have such quibbles, as she regularly works for other promotions including Dramatic Dream Team and Pro Wrestling WAVE. (more…)
Earlier this month, we described the SMASH Divas Title as a hot potato, considering how many times it changed hands during the championship’s short existence – which is due to end next month when the promotion closes its doors. It currently sits around the waist of Syuri, who won the belt from two-time titleholder Kana at SMASH 25, putting an end to their rivalry which has spanned the promotion’s existence.
As we pointed out, there has not been one successful title defence by past champions Kana or Tomoka Nakagawa, and Syuri won’t get the chance to have one either, as she is not booked to defend the belt on the promotion’s final card next month. It also means that – barring some last minute booking decision – the shootboxer/kickboxer/wrestler will be the final Divas Champion, which is pretty fitting seeing as she is the woman that embodies SMASH more than any other.
After the jump, you can see not only the contest in full – watch it soon, as it may not be on YouTube for very long – as well as the hype video before the match. And in case you’re not fluent in Japanese, don’t worry, because Kana and Syuri are subtitled in English, and the voice-over is in English too. (more…)
First it was was Kana. The it was Tomoka Nakagawa. Then it was Kana again. And now, the SMASH Divas Championship is in the hands of Syuri.
All of these title changes have taken place since the creation of the title back on September 8 last year, with not one single successful title defence by any of the champions, and with just one more SMASH show to go – taking place in Tokyo on March 14, what’s the betting that there won’t be another changing of the guard then?
23-year old shootboxer/kickboxer/wrestler Syuri won the title by defeating two time champion Kana with a high kick at the 12.50 mark in the penultimate match of the SMASH 25 show, held in front of a super no vacancy crowd of 3,000 fans at Tokyo’s Korukuen Hall. However, while this would normally be a massive high-point in her career, I can’t help feeling that Syuri ascent to the top of SMASH’s female division is slightly tainted by the lineage of the title. (more…)
Seeing as it’s Valentine’s Day, how about a look at two of the romances running in WWE that involve two of the biggest storylines going on at the moment?
On Raw this week, the relationship between Zack Ryder and Eve Torres ground to a halt when Eve decided to kiss John Cena after he helped to rescue her from the clutches of Kane. Unfortunately, a crushed Ryder saw the whole thing, though Torres claimed it was a heat of the moment thing, then called things off with him, hoping that they can remain friends.
On the plus side, this storyline is the best opportunity that Torres has every had to show some personality in her near five year WWE tenure, even though it has caused her to experience derision from the audience for knowingly or unknowingly screwing over one of the favourite wrestlers in the promotion right now – someone who has captured the hearts and imagination of fans by standing up to his bosses with his YouTube Z! True Long Island Story, getting over in spite of his booking (or lack of it) and then being sucked into one of the most asinine and ridiculous storylines in years, that being Cena v Kane, by being the whipping boy who is the real life equivalent of Kenny from South Park being murdered on every show. By screwing over the guy who has the sympathy of fans, Eve is positioned as a heel… for now. (more…)
‘In Video’ this week presents a couple of matches from SMASH‘s most recent big show, SMASH.23, which took place on November 24th at the hallowed Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. Headlined by the SMASH debut of Fit Finlay (who lifted the SMASH Title from first champion Starbuck), the show featured the usual strong spotlight on the women in their Divas division (yes, they really call it that). Today we’d like to draw your attention to two singles matches featuring the stars of said division.
Coming up after the page break you’ll see video footage from Kana‘s SMASH Divas Title defence against S-Ovation’s Tomoka Nakagawa, but before that, here’s a chance to check out the uber-talented Lin Bairon (who has now moved past her “Bitch” phase and returned to her original look and demeanour), taking on SMASH’s resident shootboxer Syuri in a hardcore match that will probably go some way to determining the next title contender.
Follow through to after the cut to check out Kana vs Tomoka Nakagawa (more…)
With the WWE Championship having changed hands a near inconceivable nine times since May this year, wrestling fans in the West have gotten used to hot potato title changes. Thankfully, such quick swaps are far from the norm in Japan, but in what one hopes won’t be a regular thing, one of the more “Americanised” puro products (Yoshihiro Tajiri’s SMASH) followed up crowning first ever champions in both the male and female divisions by having both champions lose their titles on their first defences at today’s SMASH.23 event at Korakuen Hall.
While former WWE wrestler (and Divas trainer) Dave “Fit” Finlay captured the SMASH Title from the Lance Storm trained Starbuck, former SHIMMER Tag Team Champion Tomoka Nakagawa took her opportunity and lifted the SMASH Divas Title from the inaugural champion Kana in a fairly brief 8:53 match, avoiding a kick and rolling up the “Most Dangerous” one with a schoolgirl. Quite a surprise, then, to see SMASH’s most prominent and vocal female competitor lose her title on her first defence – but you can’t argue that it’s great to see Tomoka win a major singles title. Somewhat underappreciated by the masses, Nakagawa is long overdue a spotlight. The question is – what sort of a reign will she get? The next main numbered SMASH show will be SMASH.24 on December 30th – and you’d imagine that Kana will want her title back pretty damn quickly.
Click after the jump for a shot taken seconds after Tomoka’s victory, video of the match, and other related results from today. (more…)
Thursday, July 19, 2001 was a pretty humdrum day in world history. As a frame of reference, the most newsworthy thing was the Code Red virus taking hold of a massive number of computers after being released online 6 days previously.
In the world of wrestling, Steve Austin was on SmackDown, showing “the old Stone Cold” was back when he stunnered everyone in the ring ahead of the WWF Invasion pay-per-view, which was to take place in three days. It would intrigue wrestling fans who wondered what would happen if the WWF and WCW ever clashed on one show. As it turned out, it would be a decent – and high grossing – show which was followed by months of killing the WCW image to the point that it was worthless by November.
However, also on this very day ten years ago at Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro, MO, a young lady by the name of Christine was handed her first ever defeat in a mid-card contest at the hands of a debuting wrestler to Gateway Championship Wrestling. That wrestler was MsChif.
Rachel Collins had been asked by her colleague at her human genetics job – the role she had before going into microbiology – what she would love to do more than anything. Concluding that it would be to learn to wrestle, she decided to train at at GCW under the tutelage of Johnny Greenpeace (who was the tough trainer) and Jack Adonis (who was the comic relief), with the black-metal-banshee character naturally evolving while she was learning her craft. Even though she never believed that she would wrestle outside of St Louis, MsChif would go on to win a shedload of top championships including the SHIMMER title, the NWA World Women’s Title and the NWA Midwest/IWA Mid-South Women’s Title – which she held all at one time during 2008 and 2009 – as well as winning ChickFight IV and being ranked 4th in the PWI Female Fifty for 2009.
When asked for comment, MsChif told Ringbelles: “It’s crazy to think I’ve been wrestling for 10 years now. It doesn’t feel like it’s been so long. Wrestling has brought on some very amazing times, places and people. I couldn’t imagine life without wrestling.” (more…)
Up for review here is Ice Ribbon‘s “Ribbon March” show at Korakuen Hall on March 21st, headlined by ICEx60 Champion Tsukasa Fujimoto defending her title against the masked Ray. This was the first big Ice Ribbon show since the Tohoku Earthquake/Tsunami that crippled the country only ten days prior, so this show not only has the emotional weight of the disaster on its shoulders, but is presented basically “bare bones” as far as presentation is concerned, due to energy conservation – so no special lighting effects etc.
Elimination Match: Hikari Minami, Kurumi & Tsukushi vs Tamako, Riho & Maki Narumiya
So we start with a six girl elimination match. I don’t know an awful lot about some of these girls, and in fact one of them (Tamako) is making her pro debut here, while another (Narumiya) had only debuted less than a fortnight earlier. It does feature a bunch of the absolute youngest girls on the roster though… Kurumi is 10 years old, Riho is 13, while Tsukishi and Hikari Minami are both 15 years old. Bizarrely, the aforementioned new girls Tamako (at 21) and Narumiya (at 26 years old) are double the age of some of the other competitors here. Absolutely insane. Anyway – Tamako is super cute, but is clearly not at all ready, muddling her way through 54 seconds with Tsukishi before being pinned by a terrible schoolgirl. Riho works with Kurumi and pins her with a Northern Lights Suplex Hold at 2:43 to even the odds. Narumiya doesn’t look too bad before Hikari Minami pins her with a Finlay Roll – which leaves Riho alone against Tsukishi & Minami. Here’s where it started to pick up. Riho worked for three here, handling both with the polished aplomb you *really* don’t expect a girl of 13 to have. She eliminated Minami via ringout (causing your opponent to hit the floor – a common Japanese variant of the usual elimination rules), duelled with submissions and rollups with Tsukishi before eventually being pinned in 8:40 with a victory roll. The first half of the match was pretty awful, but Riho saved it with some excellent stuff in the second half. Good job.