On Monday, we revealed that Gail Kim won the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Female 50 for 2012 based on her title wins, string of victories and high profile that she has received over the past year. Three days on, we have the full list, and we’ve got it listed after the jump. Before that though, there are a few names which jumped out, after the official statement from PWI Senior Writer Dan Murphy:
All candidates were primarily evaluated for their accomplishments during the period of September 1, 2011, through August 30, 2012, though accomplishments outside that time parameter also were taken under consideration. We evaluated each woman on championships won, quality of opposition, won-loss record, technical proficiency, and momentum/promotional ‘push’ during the evaluation period.
First off, despite being a bit part since dropping the Divas Championship in April and not exactly having many wins while holding it – though the ratio of wins to losses was good – Beth Phoenix takes the top WWE spot by taking the runner-up spot, which is even more curious considering after dropping the belt, she barely won on TV. The top independent wrestler was Cheerleader Melissa, who snagged the bronze medal due to her successfully defending the SHIMMER Championship three times in March before dropping it to Saraya Knight, who places at number 8.
In fact, the top 5 is dominated by indie women, as coming in 4th is Sara Del Rey (whose placing is based on her time before joining WWE) while Women Superstars Uncensored World Champion Jessicka Havok comes 5th.
Still, if you wanted to see who came where, click the jump and have a read. Leave us your thoughts in the comments section about who surprised you – because honestly, Tamina‘s position sticks out a bit, especially as she’s placed higher than Divas Champion Eve Torres… (more…)
In a rare situation, tonight’s Divas match had a decent build up to it. Tamina Snuka started to gain momentum in a feud against Natalya, defeating her in several matches, then gaining a win over Brie Bella two weeks ago. This past week’s SmackDown featured her teaming with Alicia Fox to face Natalya and Beth Phoenix – after a Samoan Drop and a Superfly Splash, Tamina pinned Natalya. When Beth attempted to attack, the WWE Divas Champion got a superkick for her trouble, but avoided recieiving a Superfly Splash of her own.
Despite her greenness, Tamina has been booked strong in the past month. The short semi-squashes against Natalya hid any weaknesses she may still have, and getting the drop on Beth last Friday made her look like a formidable contender. She earned a title shot due to her several victories – suffering only one loss, and that being in a tag team match when she partnered with Aksana to take on Pin-Up Strong - over the last few weeks. With Tamina starting to get a response from crowds and having momentum heading into the PPV, it made for an interesting match.
At Elimination Chamber, after a seven to eight minute match, Beth hit the Glam Slam on Tamina for the pin. It wasn’t a bad match by any means – after all, Beth had got good matches out of Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres in the past. At one point, Snuka took a hard fall to the outside but she recovered and actually had Beth reeling at several points. She hit the superkick and the Superfly Splash but Phoenix kicked out at 2. Lets break things down… (more…)
This gif from last night’s Raw makes me sad.
At the conclusion of last night’s Raw match, Tamina pinned Brie Bella, followed by she and Beth Phoenix having a staredown. Looks like it’ll be the next Divas title match, which will probably take place at Elimination Chamber. However, judging by the reaction of the live crowd, nobody could give a flying fornication about that match, or Divas matches in general. Part of me thinks that it’s sad that they don’t get credit when they are out there trying (after all, Tamina’s getting something resembling a push at the moment), but the matches are so short, basic and without any form of excitement that I don’t blame the fans for not reacting.
As we discussed with Alex Greenfield on the most recent Women Of Wrestling Podcast, the women WANT storylines to get their teeth into. And in WWE’s case, a couple of them are getting involved in angles as being associated with the guys (AJ with Daniel Bryan, Eve Torres with Zack Ryder for example) but they aren’t exactly the focus of the proceedings. In fact, their roles could be somewhat interchangeable. However, as Alex also pointed out, when given the right story, the appropriate amount of time and the backing (or apathy) of Vince McMahon, things can skyrocket.
The potential for this to happen next time for the WWE Divas would be in a potential Beth v Kharma series of matches, but with fan enthusiasm at an all-time low, is there a possibility of it being a draw like it possibly could be. Well, there is a chance, as Kharma generates excitement amongst the audience due to her unique look and how she is so vastly different to the mountains of tanning, hairspray and sprayed-on outfits that are trotted out for sub-two minute matches every week. Variety is the spice of life, and Kharma is the most left of the middle woman that the promotion has. This should be harnessed or even exploited to draw interest and money for the girls and make the audience realise there is more to the women than mountains of tanning, hairspray and sprayed-on outfits. The thing is, it’s going to need some help… (more…)
This year’s Royal Rumble was just about set in stone as far as matches were concerned. However, the powers that be must have figured that one more match was needed to fill time in between the World Heavyweight title match and the John Cena v Kane contest. Cue an impromptu Divas match – Beth Phoenix, Natalya and Nikki & Brie Bella taking on Alicia Fox (who, like Beth, has returned from exile), Eve Torres, Kelly Kelly & Tamina. No build up for it, but when does a women’s match in WWE have build up anymore?
For the record, Phoenix got the win for her team, delivering a Glam Slam to Kelly to get the victory.
Meanwhile, Kharma made her return to WWE as a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble match, making Michael Cole eliminate himself, pulverising Dolph Ziggler, throwing out Hunico and then being eliminated by Ziggler while she wasn’t looking.
Lets see what was pepperoni, what was sausage and what was anchovies… (more…)
When Beth Phoenix and Natalya turned heel back in August, WWE Diva fans held their breath. They seemed hell bent on turning the division upside down, separating themselves from the “models” like Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, Alicia Fox and others. They christened themselves the Divas of Doom, or, alternatively, Sisters of Salvation, claiming that they were out to “save” the Divas division from princesses and perky blondes.
The storyline has mostly gone downhill now, for several reasons. It took Beth three matches to defeat Kelly for the Divas title. Even when she won it, at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, it was only after Natalya interfered by hitting Kelly in the head with a microphone. Hardly a dominant win. Creative also didn’t go nearly far enough with the storyline – Beth and Natalya still refer to themselves as “Divas”, they still do photo shoots, and they have been very selective in who they choose to go after. So far it has only been the faces such as Kelly, Eve, Alicia, AJ and Kaitlyn. If they were after the models, shouldn’t they also target Brie and Nikki Bella, as well as Rosa Mendes? Tamina was never a model, so there is a logical reason why they wouldn’t go after her.
Also, at the start, Natalya was presented as an equally dominant partner. However, her singles wins have been sporadic, at best – any match that she won was when she was in a tag team match with Beth. Lately she has lost out to Alicia on RAW, SmackDown and at the house shows. This weakens the concept of the dominant team they were originally made out to be. Now it seems like they are another version of LayCool. (more…)
When Kharma announced her pregnancy and left WWE TV, the interest in the Divas division that she had garnered vanished almost instantaneously. Her absence left writers floundering, and for several weeks we were back to the status-quo. Matches that meant virtually nothing, no storyline, just business as usual. However, on the night that Raw had “Power to the People,” the people chose Kelly Kelly to challenge Brie Bella for the Divas Title, a match that she won. If you were paying attention, you might have seen Beth Phoenix‘s reaction. A look of disgust swept her face for a moment before she plastered on a smile for her friend. This was the genesis of her heel turn, which took place on August 1st after winning a battle royal to become number one contender for the Divas title. Over on SmackDown, Natalya followed Beth’s lead, and both have declared that the days of the models taking the spotlight in WWE are over.
After SummerSlam and Beth’s loss to Kelly Kelly, the follow up on Raw was a tag match between the Bella Twins taking on Kelly and Eve Torres. After the latter’s win, Beth’s music cued up and out came the Divas of Doom, dressed to the nines. You might have expected a promo, maybe a post-match beat down…but no. Instead, the two powerhouses stood at the top of the ramp – and mockingly applauded Kelly & Eve’s win. Michael Cole said that Beth would address the situation on twitter later on.
A bit ridiculous, don’t you think? Finally, a storyline that seems to be gaining attention from fans, and part of it is going to be on Twitter? The old saying goes that if it doesn’t happen on television, it doesn’t happen period. But putting that aside for the moment, one has to ask: what is next for the Divas of Doom? (more…)
There was precisely zero Diva action when it came to the initial portion of the WWE Draft on last night’s Raw. Eve Torres beat Layla in a complete stinker to earn Raw a pick, which led to Rey Mysterio to be shifted from SmackDown to the red brand, but that was all. As expected, today’s supplemental draft has seen some Divas switch sides.
See all the news after the jump: (more…)
A bumper week of TV in prospect here, kids. Not only do we have the return of Trish Stratus on Raw and Alissa Flash taking the Madison Rayne open challenge on Impact, we’ve got women’s matches on the secondary shows too (Superstars and Xplosion), so given that these shows actually feature longer matches, I had initially planned to deal with the “B” shows first, but believe it or not, my favourite match of the week was from the next level down, namely Florida Championship Wrestling, as AJ takes on her former NXT buddy Kaitlyn.
It’s all about the build-up this week on the TV digest, as both WWE & TNA actually put some effort into building up some future matches and programmes. In WWE, the build is towards this coming Monday on Raw, when Eve Torres will defend her Divas title against Natalya, while TNA are promoting their “Against All Odds” PPV this weekend, as Madison Rayne is set to defend her Knockouts Title against Mickie James in a “Last Knockout Standing” encounter.
TV match of the week this week goes to the challenger for the Divas Title, Natalya, who took on Alicia Fox on Superstars this week in a match that was a significant cut above the Melina vs Tamina mess from the previous week.
Big news for TV wrestling this week, as females actually get to headline one of WWE’s two top branded shows, battling over the World Heavyweight Title (albeit in mixed tag action), the Knockouts go for knockouts, and someone, somewhere thinks that Tamina vs Melina would be a good match…
TV match of the week is an easy one, with the Smackdown main event of Edge & Kelly Kelly vs Dolph Ziggler & Laycool (in a handicap mixed tag match with Edge’s World Title on the line) taking top honours, thanks in large part to the performance of one Kelly Kelly…