“You’re going to die.”
No lie – that was the first thing Su Yung said to me when I met her about 18 months ago. She looked me square in the eyes and said it without the slightest hint of a joke. She is certainly a unique personality, bordering on being a wonderful kook – a kook who has been working away for the last four years for a moment where a prominent promotion would pull the trigger on her and see what she is capable of. SHINE pulled that trigger last Friday, when she turned heel and aligned herself with the new incarnation of Valkyrie comprised of she, Serena Deeb, April Hunter and Allysin Kay – though apparently no Taylor Made for reasons which aren’t explicit yet, but will likely be addressed. (more…)
After winning a 4-way match on last week’s Impact Wrestling, it has been announced that Angelina Love will challenge Madison Rayne for the TNA Knockouts Championship on the Sacrifice PPV on April 27.
The pair have been on a collision course since Love’s return to the promotion on the March 13 episode of Impact following a year and a half on the indies. She started with trying to reform the Beautiful People with an originally-retiscent Velvet Sky, though she agreed to it the following week. Rayne was invited into the fold to complete the Mi Pi Sexy triumvirate, but it was done in a condescending way, which caused Madison to decline the offer – something which Love didn’t take very well as she attacked the Knockouts Champion later in the episode. (more…)
I have experienced the buzz you feel after a SHIMMER weekend on a number of occasions, though recently I have been following the enthusiasm from fans in a more remote sense. While the festivities were ongoing in Berwyn, IL on Saturday and Sunday, I was at home in the UK keeping up with results and reaction, and for the most part, everyone was buzzing so much that Chicago could have experienced a very unlikely earthquake.
With volume 63 being called one of the best shows in the promotion’s history and the Tag Team Championship match on the following volume being described as one of the greatest in the company’s seven and a half years. So many wrestlers – be they new faces or long-running stars – impressed and improved their standing that it’s tough to start.
Stew was there to watch the shows and is writing up thoughts for each taping – he’s still got two to do but is in the process of flying home and has been struck down with the dreaded SHIMvirus so we may have to wait a little longer for reactions to volumes 65 and 66 (though you can see the results and thoughts for 63-64 here), but he sent through some overall thoughts on who did well: (more…)
Lots of stuff to cover in this Roundup, and we start with the goings-on in WWE over the last few days…
AJ Lee survived the odds put against her by Vickie Guerrero to retain the Divas Championship at WrestleMania XXX. By tapping out Naomi, she defeated her 13 challengers for the title in a match which played to the strengths of its more skilled participants and managed to generate a slight buzz – which was a herculean effort considering the wave of depression in the Superdome in New Orleans, LA because of Brock Lesnar beating the Undertaker in the previous contest – and also stuck it to Guerrero for putting her in such a disadvantageous position and for emerging victorious. Standing on the middle rope, AJ soaked in the victory, which was her most high profile in her Divas Championship reign…
And her last. (more…)
At last November’s Survivor Series, we watched a pretty rotten 7 on 7 Divas elimination match. Not content with its badness, it was then repeated on Raw the following night. Having not learned that more does not necessarily mean better, WWE has booked a 14 woman match for WrestleMania XXX on April 6.
It came about on last night’s Raw after Divas Champion AJ Lee deliberately got herself counted out in her title defence against Naomi. Irritated, SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero decided to punish AJ by booking her in a title defence at WrestleMania with 13 challengers. That means that going for the title in New Orleans, LA will be Naomi, Cameron, Brie Bella, Nikki Bella, Natalya, Eva Marie, Emma, Aksana, Alicia Fox, Summer Rae, Rosa Mendes, Layla and Tamina Snuka.
How happy a Diva would be in being in this match depends on the Diva to whom you are referring. Should you ask Eva Marie, Cameron, Emma, Aksana, Alicia, Summer, Emma, Layla, Tamina or Rosa, I would imagine you would get a happy response – especially Rosa and Layla, who have barely been seen in recent months. Under normal circumstances, there would be little to no chance of them being involved in a title match at WrestleMania. Because of this booking, they can say they challenged for the belt at a WM and will receive a big pay-per-view payoff in the process. However the opposite feeling may be forthcoming from the rest – who could have held a claim for at one time being in the frame for a singles challenge on the show. (more…)
Earlier this month, TNA wrestlers travelled to Japan to film a special One Night Only PPV in conjunction with Wrestle-1 in front of 5,800 fans at Tokyo’s Ryōgoku Kokugikan. While most of the matches on the Outbreak event were TNA v Wrestle-1 affairs, the women’s match featured Knockouts Gail Kim and Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne squaring off in a non-title affair – partly because Wrestle-1 does not have any joshi talent and usually presents women’s matches featuring stars from other promotions.
Still, it’s interesting to see Kim and Rayne having a western-style match in front of a Japanese crowd which traditionally takes a while to warm up, and generally doesn’t respond in this contest until the big moves are brought out. Click the jump to watch it in its entirety. (more…)
“Lei’D Tapa lost – she done with TNA.”
And with that, the woman who won the Gut Check a year ago was written out of the company. She lost clean to Gail Kim on last night’s Impact Wrestling after the pair came to blows following Kim’s loss to Brittany on last week’s episode. The 31-year old took to Twitter afterwards, saying: “When 1 door closes another door opens! Thank you @IMPACTWRESTLING for giving me the opportunity! To my fans I luv u all!! #BowDown” (more…)
Angelina Love returned to TNA last week and tried to talk Velvet Sky into reuniting the Beautiful People. Sky was reticent to agree straight away but the pair left things on friendly terms. No spoilers, but that story continues on tonight’s episode of Impact Wrestling – so we’ve delved into TNA’s archives to check out Love and Sky’s original run, where they were arguably the most over tandem at the time.
Combining great looks with the ultimate bitchy nature, the Beautiful People were the perfect addition to the fledgling Knockouts roster and saw them picking fights with the likes of Roxxi and Gail Kim. Couple that with their arrogant entrance and brown paper bag treatment and they were easy to dislike – and is part of the reason why it never felt the same when they reunited as babyfaces in mid-2010.
This retro comes from Victory Road on July 13, 2008 and sees Love take on Kim in singles action. Click the jump to watch. (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…)
Angelina Love made her return to TNA yesterday after more than 18 months away. She was announced as being part of the Impact Wrestling show an hour before the broadcast began via the company’s Facebook page, and then her first appearance on the broadcast was in a backstage segment with Jeremy Borash.
Later on in the show, Love took to the ring as a babyface – having shaken off being under the spell of Winter – and invited Velvet Sky down to suggest a reunion of the Beautiful People, which was the group which turned them into one of the most marketable acts in TNA in 2008. While Velvet was open to the idea, she didn’t fully commit to the proposal and asked for more time to think about things.
Love was released from TNA in July 2012 and made a return to the independent circuit, originally wrestling for the higher-budget indie groups like Northeast Wrestling and Family Wrestling Entertainment before making a trip across the Atlantic to wrestle for a number of promotions, with the most high-profile being Pro Wrestling: EVE, as she and Erin Angel defeated Sara-Marie Taylor & Carmel Jacob at Wrestle Fever. At the time, we questioned Angelina about whether a return to TNA was likely – though she insisted that she was happy managing her own bookings and being her own boss. (more…)
Despite SHINE announcing back in January that Santana Garrett had signed with TNA, there was always going to be a wait until we would see her on TV as the company had recorded episodes of Impact Wrestling up to the Lockdown pay-per-view. However that show is now in the record books and TNA has now introduced us to its latest Knockout, complete with a new name.
Out goes Santana Garrett, and in comes Brittany, complete with an introduction interview on the TNA website, where she talked about why she is a great fit for the Knockouts division:
The Knockouts Division is the absolute best women’s wrestling division in the world, and that’s what I strive for. It’s not about just their beauty but how well they fight. I’ve put in the time and effort whether in the gym or training in the ring, and I am determined to be the best. I truly believe this is my time to prove it to the world that this is exactly where I am supposed to be and this is exactly what I was meant to do! (more…)
If the plan is still for AJ Lee to defend the Divas Championship against Naomi at WrestleMania XXX, then WWE is certainly going round the houses to do it – that’s if they’re even planning to do it.
Before her injury to her eye socket occurred, it was reported that the plan was for Naomi to be the one to end AJ’s mammoth title reign (which is now the longest run in WWE history be it for singular or combined reigns) though it was said that the plan would still be on for WrestleMania on April 6 if the Funkadactyl could be cleared in time. It was partly because of that possibility that AJ had a title defence against Cameron at Elimination Chamber and again on the subsequent SmackDown. However things have gone in another direction in the last week as there now seems to be a queue of pretenders to the throne.
Natalya made AJ tap out in a tag match on SmackDown on Friday and is to get a Divas Title shot on tonight’s live edition of Main Event. Meanwhile on last night Raw, Nikki Bella got the pin on the titleholder as part of another tag team match, after which she held up the Divas belt while Natalya – who was on commentary – looked on. It seems as if there is a bottleneck of challengers, though it’s also up in the air as to who the champion may be by the time we get to WrestleMania. (more…)
Madison Rayne puts her TNA Knockouts Championship on the line against former titleholder Gail Kim as part of the Lockdown card in Miami, FL.
• Rayne returned to TNA in December last year and went after her former friend and Tag Team Championship partner, though no explanation was really given as to why they had a problem with each other – even though a storyline was ready to go.
• Madison marked her comeback after having her first child by defeating Gail to win the Knockouts Title at the Genesis card held on Impack Wrestling in January.
• The pair fought during TNA’s tour of the UK, with Kim earning a shot at the title by beating Rayne in a street fight on the February 20 episode of the show.
• The match was announced for Lockdown, meaning it would be held inside a steel cage. (more…)
These Brits seem to be doing pretty well for themselves. In WWE, Paige is still NXT Women’s Champion after defeating Emma on the first live show in the feeder system’s history. Broadcast on the WWE Network, social media was buzzing after the match with praise for both women – though it was the 21 year old from Norwich who had the focus as the winner.
As a showcase for the up and coming women in Florida, it was a great piece of work which dispelled the recurring criticism that Divas can’t wrestle. Given the chance to go out there with no gimmicks or distractions as well as enough time to tell a story, the pair proved that women do have a place in a wrestling ring in the top company in the world. That sentiment was shared by trainer Sara Del Rey, who said “Congratulations @RealPaigeWWE and @EmmaWWE you both are paving the way!!!”, and Stephanie McMahon sang their praises in a post-show interview. Indeed, there were many plaudits singing their praises.
As well as having the confidence to let Paige and Emma go out there and do their thing, they also put the marketing machine behind its Women’s Champion by releasing a t-shirt for her. Considering how little merchandise WWE had for its women up until last year and how she isn’t even on the main roster yet, it’s a real sign that the company is high on the former Britani Knight. (more…)
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…)
Earlier this month, Shanna wrestled Gail Kim on the final show of TNA‘s tour of the UK and Ireland as part of a taping for an upcoming episode of Xplosion. That episode aired in the UK last night, and we have it for you here.
At the time, I pointed out that “Shanna looked perfectly comfortable in that ring… she got in her fair share and even got to nail the Perfect Press.” After watching it back, that quote still holds water, and should help with Portugal’s Perfect Athlete’s quest to snare a TNA contract.
You can watch the match after the jump, and feel free to leave your thoughts on the match in the comments. Does Shanna have a place in the Knockouts division? Let us know. (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…)
When I was 19 years old, I went to a friend’s house to watch SummerSlam 2000. We had known each other for about a year after meeting at university and discovering that we were both wrestling fans. I was in his house for about 10 minutes when his 15 year old sister came in, introduced herself and then hitched up her underwear over her hips and said that she was a Lita fan.
Apart from not knowing where to look, what to say or anything, I was surprised at how someone who had just met me was so keen to impart the fact that she was a fan of Lita. Granted, she knew that I was a wrestling fan, but that sort of stuff shouldn’t happen, should it? I put it down to how cool Lita was and left it at that, but when you look back on her influence during WWF Attitude, you could argue that she was the best representation of women that the company had ever presented up to that point.
Unlike her rival Trish Stratus, Lita wasn’t a barbie doll. She was rough and ready, looked a little messy and did not dress to impress – she dressed for comfort. Copying the Hardy Boyz look with the baggy pants, she coupled it with a tight sports top or t-shirt and got stuck in against the guys. She delivered flying ranas and bodypresses to the likes of Eddie Guerrero, Test, Albert, Edge and Christian, and was happy to take the lumps too. She was powerbombed by the Dudley Boyz, Guerrero and Test as well as getting speared by Edge. She was a game girl who settled things in a way that no woman before her had done so. As a consequence, she was amazingly cool and was arguably more or a role model for women than Trish was. Stratus was too perfect, like she was almost above it all, whereas Lita would hang out with you, drink with you, share a laugh and be your friend. She was the opposite of a Diva, and that made her stand out from the – admittedly smaller in that era – pack.
It is fitting that Amy “Lita” Dumas is going to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year. At 38, she is one of the youngest inductees, though she may have done more to draw women to WWE than any other female before or since. (more…)
Both Shanna and Alpha Female made their first appearances in a TNA ring during the recent UK tour, though they handled the publicity for it in different ways.
Portugal’s Perfect Athlete got the word out early that she would be booked on the February 1 show in London, England, as well as the following date in Birmingham. She wrestled singles matches for the Xplosion tapings – the first against Alpha and the next saw her take on Gail Kim. I was at the Birmingham taping, and while I won’t spoil the result, Shanna looked perfectly comfortable in that ring in what was a big opportunity for her to impress. She wasn’t just cannon fodder for the full-time Knockout either – she got in her fair share and even got to nail the Perfect Press.
Since announcing that she would be wrestling for TNA, Shanna has encouraged her fans to get the attention of the company to demonstrate her fanbase and how much she wants to be part of the promotion. She has retweeted many of the messages sent to TNA, and is showing her enthusiasm and overwhelming desire to sign a contract, while also increasing her brand and marketability. No doubt, she has a lot of people backing her, which is very encouraging. (more…)
Alpha Female seems to have plans for world domination in 2014. Currently one half of the Goddesses of Stardom in Japan with Kyoko Kimura, the monstrous German is currently on her travels, and touched down in the UK this week to wrestle for TNA.
It seems that the promotion has enlisted the help of some European female talent to go along with its Knockouts who have made the trip. While Gail Kim and Lei’D Tapa faced the reunited Beautiful People tandem of Madison Rayne and Velvet Sky on last night’s Impact Wrestling in Glasgow, Scotland, Alpha faced off against ODB for an Xplosion taping. She has also confirmed that she will wrestle in Manchester, England this evening, but has revealed to us that she will also be at the shows in London and Birmingham. Shanna is also working two of the UK dates – the London show tomorrow and in Birmingham on Sunday. (more…)
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…)
While Santana Garrett will have to wait until after TNA returns from the UK to step into an Impact Wrestling ring, another wrestler will be wrestling against Knockouts on British shores. After discussing that she was in touch with TNA management during our most recent Women Of Wrestling Podcast earlier this month, Shanna has confirmed to Ringbelles that she will be a part of the TNA tour.
At the moment, it’s unconfirmed as to which shows she will be competing on or who she will compete against – Gail Kim, Velvet Sky, Madison Rayne and Lei’D Tapa are all booked, so the range of opponents is rather varied – but Portugal’s Perfect Athlete is excited. She exclusively told us that, “I’m both excited and overwelmed. I know I can make a difference in the TNA Knockouts division. Perfection is coming your way TNA fans!” (more…)
After being on the radar of both WWE and TNA in the last year, it has been revealed that Santana Garrett will become a Knockout in the near future.
This will be the 25-year old’s second stint in the promotion. She made her debut in March 2009 alongside Orlando Jordan, though she did not get the opportunity to step into the ring. Her first match in TNA was at the Knockouts Knockdown PPV in March last year, where she was defeated by Brooke Tessmacher. She also caught TNA’s attention when she worked a dark match for Ohio Valley Wrestling last September.
Garrett has also had the opportunity to impress WWE, as she worked a match against Charlotte at the NXT tapings in September. It’s been pretty obvious that big things were in Santana’s future, and it seems that TNA got to her first. (more…)
This weekend is the real kick-off of the all-women promotions for 2014, and it begins with the promotion which closed out 2013.
Things were left somewhat up in the air at the end of SHINE 15 on December 13. Rain had just backed out of her impending retirement after retaining the SHINE Championship by beating Amazing Kong via count out. However, her gloating came to an abrupt end when she was informed that her next challenger would be fellow Valkyrie member Ivelisse Velez, who had beaten Mia Yim earlier in the night – that is, if Ivelisse decided to accept the opportunity. What followed was a series of videos where a number of people offered their thoughts to the would-be challenger. Starting proceedings was fellow stablemates Taylor Made and Allysin Kay who implored their friend to not accept the match, and was followed by Rain, who echoed those sentiments. Afterwards, SHINE VP Lexie Fyfe told Velez that she was picked because she was the most deserving, not because of some sort of plot to destroy Valkyrie from within. (more…)