After winning the WWE Divas Championship from AJ Lee in her debut match on April 7, we now know who Paige‘s first challenger for her newly-won title will be. It’s AJ’s bodyguard Tamina Snuka, who earned the number one contender status by winning a battle royal on last night’s episode of Main Event, and the pair will face each other at the Extreme Rules special event (WWE has done away with the term pay-per-view since the launch of the Network) on May 4.
Tamina was dominant in the match, eliminating Nikki Bella, Naomi, Cameron, Alicia Fox, Brie Bella and Natalya to get the victory – the last of whom was sent packing with a big superkick. Conspicuous by her absence was former titleholder AJ Lee, who PWInsider reports is taking some time off from the promotion and there is no word on how long she will be gone. In fairness, it’s fine that she keeps out of the way for now as it means that some other faces can step to the forefront in the Divas division, and it should be a lot stronger when she resurfaces.
The fact that AJ’s bodyguard is getting the first title shot is interesting, as it could create a tense situation if Snuka is holding the belt when the former champion returns. The match also gives Tamina the chance to step out of being AJ’s hired help and puts her firmly in the spotlight instead – though there are variables to consider. (more…)
The WWE Divas Championship is put on the line for the first time in its five year history at a WrestleMania as AJ Lee defends the belt against Natalya, Naomi, Cameron, Eva Marie, Summer Rae, Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, Aksana, Layla, Emma, Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes and even her own bodyguard Tamina Snuka as part of the first ever Vicki Guerrero Divas Invitational.
• After ducking out of defending her title against Naomi on the March 24 episode of Raw by deliberately getting counted out, Guerrero decided to punish (and screw) AJ by booking her in a 14-woman match at WrestleMania XXX against every member of the Divas roster.
• Little was known about the rules until last Monday, when Guerrero declared that the contest would have all the women in play at one time with one pinball deciding the winner.
• AJ Lee has held the Divas Title since June 16, 2013, where she defeated Kaitlyn to win the belt. (more…)
AJ Lee defends the WWE Divas Championship against a mystery opponent at Elimination Chamber – that challenger turned out to be Cameron.
• There isn’t really much of one, considering this is an impromptu match. AJ had a pop at Cameron’s partner Naomi before she found out who her opponent was going to be, saying that she would not have minded taking on a new challenger considering she had beaten all of her competition, but said that Naomi had to go and “break her face”, referring to the fractured eye socket that she suffered a few weeks ago thanks to the knee of Aksana.
• AJ then found out that her opponent would be the Funkadactyl, who danced her way to the ring before getting serious by throwing her pom poms at the titleholder. (more…)
We’re on the so-called “Road to WrestleMania” in WWE – a time when, generally, it’s considered to be a good time to be a wrestling fan. If everything is going to plan, storylines and feuds will culminate at the Showcase of the Immortals, and we usually see both the in-ring performers and the booking teams step up their games as we approach the big day. However, rarely does that involve the Divas. Even as WWE prepares to induct its second former WWE Women’s Champion in two years to the Hall of Fame, it’s no shock to anybody that the Divas division is considered a mere afterthought. Statistically, we’ve already mentioned recently that Divas ≠ Ratings on TV – but as we mentioned at the time, it’s been so long since there was a Divas angle or feud with any real strong substance, it’s no wonder their segments are considered skippable. Ironically enough, Kaitlyn, who was Divas Champion at this time last year didn’t even work the WrestleMania show, and spent the weekend giving away tickets to fans who were able to find her in the NY/NJ metropolitan area, “Where’s Wally?” style. As it turned out, no Divas got to wrestle on the show last year, as the mixed tag featuring the Bellas and the Funkadactyls ended up getting nixed for time.
So… assuming that we’ll get some sort of match involving the Divas this year, here are five options (some more likely than others, admittedly) for New Orleans… (more…)
There are currently 13 WWE Divas on the main roster. With the elevation of Summer Rae – and more recently Emma – from NXT as well as reports of the likes of Paige and Lana following in the not-so-distant future, it could be argued that it’s getting quite crowded in the women’s locker room for Raw and SmackDown. The number was thinned by one with the departure of Kaitlyn earlier this month, but conceivably, WWE could jettison some others without too much hassle. Considering how many women are waiting in the wings, it may be coming to that time. So who could be lost from a business perspective? Well, we have five suggestions.
Incidentally, these selections aren’t made out of malice. It’s more from a clinical standpoint as to what they can conceivably deliver based on their past records and how they have been booked. (more…)
In what is the Survivor Series match with the most participants since the 10 on 10 tag team elimination match from the 1988 offering, the Total Divas cast of Natalya, Eva Marie, Jojo, Cameron, Naomi and Nikki & Brie Bella take on Divas Champion AJ Lee, Kaitlyn, Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes, Tamina Snuka, Aksana & Summer Rae in a 7 on 7 elimination match.
• From a long-term standpoint, AJ Lee has been squabbling with the Total Divas cast since the Raw after SummerSlam where she verbally berated them and turned them all baby face as a result. Since then, she has turned back the title challenges from Naomi, Natalya and Brie Bella.
• Short-term, the 14 women had a shoving contest on last week’s Raw during a game of Musical Chairs which set up this match. No, really.
• Before the match, AJ delivered a pep talk to her teammates which didn’t go well and only served to separate herself from the others – barring Tamina, who stayed loyal. Essentially, AJ was telling her partners that they were overlooked for Total Divas selection and should be annoyed about 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…)
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…)
Brie Bella challenges AJ Lee for the WWE Divas Championship at Battleground with Brie’s sister Nikki at ringside, while AJ’s new bodyguard Tamina Snuka accompanied the Divas Champion.
• Brie pinned AJ as part of a 10-Diva tag team match on the September 23 episode of Raw. It was later announced that Bella would challenge AJ for the title.
• After Brie beat Aksana on the final SmackDown before the PPV, AJ came out to run down Bella’s engagement to Daniel Bryan – saying that if they were to have children, the doctor would spank Brie for producing such an unattractive baby. (more…)
Kaitlyn makes her first defence of the WWE Divas Championship against challenger Tamina Snuka at Elimination Chamber.
• The pair were expected to clash at last month’s Royal Rumble, but the match was cut due to time constraints. The following day on the January 21 episode of Raw saw them wrestle in a Lumberjill Match with degenerated into a stupid farce involving the women surrounding ringside wearing Las Vegas showgirl outfits getting into a bad brawl while Kaitlyn and Snuka looked on in bewilderment.
• This match was made via WWE’s mobile app, with Vickie Guerrero making the contest for Elimination Chamber. Snuka got the advantage in a backstage shoving match, sending her over one table and into another, leaving her laying. (more…)
The two big stories coming out of Women Superstars Uncensored’s An Ultraviolent Affair were Jessicka Havok retaining the WSU Championship by beating Athena with a top rope Air Raid Crash, and LuFisto defeating Mercedes Martinez in a Falls Count Anywhere match to become the next number one contender. However, after the latter match, a double-turn took place, with Mercedes Martinez turning heel and LuFisto turning babyface.
As a result, Martinez is now the aggressor in all the big-name women’s promotions in North America. Previously, WSU had been the exception to the rule, with her smiling and playing nice while in SHIMMER, NCW Femmes Fatales and SHINE, she was hankering for the jeers of the fans. Likewise, WSU was the only place where LuFisto was working heel. What that now means is that there is a status quo amongst the big players on the continent, so fans don’t have to work out whether they should be cheering or booing somebody. While this makes it easier on the audience, does it create a natural harmony that isn’t necessarily needed? (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (29 January 2013) – Trish Stratus, National Pro Wrestling Day, Pro Wrestling: EVE & more
It was announced during last night’s episode of Monday Night Raw that Trish Stratus would be inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame this April as part of the WrestleMania XXIX weekend. As expected, the wave of congratulations came from wrestlers past and present like Lita, Mickie James, Beth Phoenix, Layla, Gail Kim and more, as well as personalities both inside and outside of the business like Jim Ross, Lilian Garcia and Snooki. Indeed, there are a lot of supporters of the Torontarian, and she was quick to react to the announcement:
I still can’t believe it. I’m just so honored to be taking my place alongside WWE’s greatest, as a wrestling fan – I’m kind of blown away! It’s simply amazing.
The 37-year old joins the Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young, Sensational Sherri, Sunny and Wendi Richter in the Hall, and is the most modern Diva to be inducted, though this provided a sticking point for some who felt that while she was worthy of going in, it was ahead of others who they felt should go in first – Leilani Kai, Bull Nakano and Madusa were names which cropped up, as well as Lita, whom Stratus’ career ran parallel with for damn near the entirety of their runs.
Now, while I’m not the biggest Stratus fan in the world, I’m fair – and without a doubt, Trish deserves to be in that Hall of Fame, and as far as the criteria of this particular one is concerned, is more worthy than the others. If we were discussing the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame or the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame in Amsterdam, NY, then Stratus would get nowhere near the ballots, but for WWE’s version, all you have you do is get the green light from one Vince McMahon – and when it comes to that element, Stratus was always inevitable, as she was a model WWE employee. (more…)
So Kaitlyn is finally the WWE Divas Champion. A week shy of five months after (accidentally) winning a battle royal to challenge for the title at Night Of Champions – a shot which never happened after she was written out so Eve Torres could vie for the belt like was originally planned – the NXT Season 3 winner reached the top of the pile, defeating Torres on the 20th anniversary episode of Raw. We’ll get to the new champ in a moment – but firstly, let’s discuss the noise which preceded the match…
Yesterday, PWInsider reported that last night would be Eve’s final match with WWE before leaving the company, and it would be likely that she would be dropping the belt to Kaitlyn, who she has been feuding with since mid-September. As it turns out, that is exactly what happened, though her title loss came a bit earlier than others were expecting. According to the most recent Wrestling Observer Radio, Torres handed in her notice a month ago with the agreement that she would stay on to build up the title feud with Kaitlyn and then drop the belt to her, with the internal expectation being that she would lose the title at the Royal Rumble in two weeks, after a series of matches between the two when Eve would use underhanded tactics to retain the title. Instead, the decision was made for the switch to take place on the milestone Raw – which makes more sense, as it means more viewers would see the change and Kaitlyn’s moment of glory would take place in her home town of Houston, TX. It was a smart move, as the partisan crowd was hotter for the match than it would have likely been compared to the audience at the Rumble in Phoenix, AZ. Besides, fans have been conditioned to a certain extent to not be that bothered about the Divas, so it was unlikely that the match would have generated a massive amount of pay-per-view buys. (more…)
Superfly Jimmy Snuka is a proud dad, so he wants the best for his daughter Tamina. Naturally, he was upset about how she was booked in her early days, as after getting an initial push, was relegated to being the jobber to the stars for the WWE Divas involved in title feuds. Speaking to Arda Ocal of theScore TV Network, he said:
I taught both her and my son. At first they were using her pretty good, but all of a sudden they start [having her lose] and I thought ‘what’s going on here’? It’s kind of early into the show [with] whatever gimmicks [WWE] are trying to work out for her. So I’m watching this thing mostly every week to try to catch her. She hurt her wrist and was out for a while and now she’s back again. She looks even better than ever and I’m so proud of her. I tell her to put only one focus in your mind and take care of number 1 and that’s it.
Over the years, the number of taboos in wrestling seem to have evaporated. After all, few bat an eyelid about wrestlers who have barely reached their teens stepping into the ring in Japan. Wrestlers with disabilities are given the same opportunities as anyone else, and nobody tells anyone that they are too old to lace up the boots, even though some really should be. However, the prospect of a man facing a woman in a wrestling match still seems to be something which makes some fans squirm in their seats.
I can see some of you imagining it right now.
For a long while, mixed matches seemed to be a no-no, but then it hit the mainstream with the late comic Andy Kaufman wrestling women and calling himself the Intergender Champion of the World, before Jerry Lawler piledrove him onto his head. From there, we saw the odd mixed tag team match on special occasions – WrestleMania VI with Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire against Randy Savage and Sherri Martel being a prime example – but very seldom did the women interact with the men… but times changed. (more…)
In a recent interview with Edge, he was asked why so many women are voluntarily choosing to leave WWE. His reply: “I don’t think they get a shot and that’s why most leave. No incentive.”
Now, I was all set to expand on this, but there is the flip side – what about the fortunate ones who do get a shot? Do they seize the opportunity with both hands? Well, one is certainly doing so at the moment, and she seems to be the only one on the main roster taking the her role as a wrestler deadly seriously.
Consider what WWE Divas Champion Eve Torres has been up to in the last week. She was featured in a profile video for American Latino which focuses a large amount of time on the self defence for women programme she offers – something that she believes very passionately about. She teamed up with the Gracie Academy for the Women Empowered DVD set, and has worked hard promoting women being able to take care of themselves in potentially dangerous situations.
The interview also saw Torres justifying her heel character in WWE by saying she is a woman who gets what she wants, and her holding the WWE Divas belt is proof of that. It’s weird logic, but she has a point – it gets around the fact that she is a heel too, even though she is purporting herself to be on the side of the good girls. (more…)
Kaitlyn finally gets her one-on-one WWE Divas Championship match on pay-per-view, taking on current titleholder Eve Torres at Survivor Series.
• The dynamic between Torres and Kaitlyn has been going since Night Of Champions when Eve won the title from Layla after Kaitlyn was taken out of action following a backstage attack by a mystery assailant.
• It was alleged that Eve was behind the attack, asking Aksana to do the deed, and was wearing a blonde wig at the time.
• Kaitlyn earned this latest shot after defeating Layla on Raw last week.
• And just before the match, someone tried to attack Kaitlyn again, but she got the better of her and tore off two blonde wigs to reveal it to be Aksana. At that moment, Torres came into shot, looking all concerned, but Kaitlyn shoved her to the floor, believing that she was behind the attempted assault. (more…)
Ahead of the WWE Championship Money in the Bank match at the pay-per-view with the same name, we are offered an unadvertised six-Diva tag team match featuring Divas Champion Layla aligning with Tamina Snuka and Kaitlyn against Beth Phoenix, Natalya and Eve Torres.
• None. I’m serious. There is no build-up to this match, as none of these women have really had much TV time in the last month. Eve has been off filming another TV show until recently; Layla has barely been seen except to help forward the AJ angle; Beth and Natalya are ghosts when it comes to the main two shows and even then, they are often on the losing end; Kaitlyn is barely on the radar and Tamina is seen even more rarely than the rest.
• If you wanted to try and salvage some sort of reason, Kaitlyn pinned Phoenix in a tag match on Superstars this week which also featured Natalya and Alicia Fox, though that’s stretching it, and it was never acknowledged by the commentators anyway. (more…)
I was due to write the review of the Beth vs Layla match at No Way Out last week, but due to other priorities, I had to leave it to Lee. It’s probably just as well that I’ve had a week to think about it, because for what it’s worth, I hated the match. Well, maybe “hated” is too strong a word, but I really didn’t like the comedy of Layla stealing Beth’s headband and dancing with it. The finish of Beth losing again also irritated me a bit, mostly because it’s patently clear that WWE have absolutely nothing in mind for Layla, and with Beth losing again, it securely slots her below Layla on the pecking order and kills another level of anticipation (whatever there is left of it anyway) for the Beth Phoenix vs Kharma feud that we’ve been waiting/hoping for ever since Kharma signed up with the company.
Let’s make it clear here – my major downer on the Divas division at the minute is not the usual “wrestlers vs models” debate (I’ve learned for the most part to turn off my brain and find a way to enjoy the Divas for what they are rather than what they aren’t)… no… my big problem is the fact that at the minute, the future of the Divas division is just deathly dull. (more…)
A lot is discussed about how the WWE Divas feel about the short amount of TV time they are given for wrestling, and even less for angles, interviews and promos – something that we discussed with Kelly Kelly in one of our early Women Of Wrestling Podcasts – and it seems there is some credence to those rumours of what goes on behind the scenes.
A poster over at GameFaqs claims that he was an assistant for the writing team, primarily based at WWE’s facilities in Stamford, CT. He claims that his time with the company was not long – just between September and December of last year – but during that time, he says that he picked up on a number of different issues. Whether they hold any water or not is your decision, but we believe some of the allegations – listed in two posts by Scott Keith here and here – are plausible.
The overlying point is the frustration that the women in WWE have for the short amount of screen time they have to get over – which generally isn’t enough, but they have to make do, though they apparently do not take out their issues on their colleagues:
The biggest complainers are probably the Divas, and rightfully so. They always wish they were getting more TV time and longer matches and I can’t blame them…
The Divas all seem very nice and friendly. I only managed to introduce myself to AJ backstage at Survivor Series. She was sweet and introduced herself as April. Beth [Phoenix], Natalya and Alicia [Fox] walked by me on a few occasions backstage and smiled or nodded professionally.
After the jump, there is more, including how the Natalya farting gimmick came about, and why Tamina Snuka was pushed earlier this year: (more…)