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…)
Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers/listeners, who are spending the day eating roasted birds and things containing pumpkins while watching Gridiron football or the Macy’s parade. As Brits, we’re not entirely clued up on what goes on on this particular Thursday in November, but we have seen a lot of people talking about what they are thankful for. So, in the spirit of the day, we shall do the same.
We are thankful for every single one of you who chooses to visit our website, download an interview or podcast, read an article, leave a comment, share our contributions with others and so on. We are also thankful for women who go step into the ring and work hard to entertain the fans; we’re thankful for promoters who give them the opportunity to do so, and we’re thankful for every fan who spends money supporting the wrestlers and the promotions.
So as a thanks to all of you, we’ve got a series of videos of matches which took place around Thanksgiving, but may not necessarily have a Thanksgiving theme. As a result, we’ve got Trish Stratus v Molly Holly from WWF SmackDown on November 23, 2000; The Pilgrims (Michelle McCool, Layla & Jillian Hall) v The Indians (Kelly Kelly, Mickie James & Melina) from WWE Raw on November 23, 2009; Hannah Blossom v Josie from OVW Thanksgiving Thunder on November 28, 2009; and Winter, Angelina Love & Madison Rayne v Velvet Sky, Brooke Tessmacher & Tara from TNA Impact Wrestling on November 24 last year.
Happy Turkey Day, everybody! (more…)
In the October 2 edition of the Ringbelles Roundup, we pointed out that despite being released from the company in July, former TNA Knockouts Champion Velvet Sky is still listed on its roster page. Yesterday morning, things got more curious when we received an email informing us that her gallery has been restored to the site. A curious move, considering fellow outgoing Knockouts Angelina Love (who left before Sky) and Winter (who left afterwards) are gone.
Yesterday, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that the 31-year old is in talks to return, saying that she may have already agreed a new deal, or an agreement is very close – judging from what is on TNA’s website, she may be on her way back soon.
Since departing, she has wrestled on a few shows, including at Northeast Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Syndicate and on some shows in Aruba in September, as well as at Family Wrestling Entertainment last Saturday. As a former Knockout, she has been in demand on some high-profile indie shows and is likely pulling in some decent money for doing so. By going back to TNA, she forfeits any more income from that sector, and may be unlikely to have many more, considering TNA’s stance on not allowing their wrestlers to be in matches which will be recorded for DVD. The question is – has she garnered a good deal? (more…)
“I am so sorry I have not been in touch in a while. I have been in and out of hospital and have not been able to get access to the internet in over a week. I am very upset I have to write this email because I have to cancel all future dates until December. I am not sure if you had heard about the knock to the head I got in Germany a few weeks ago or not, but I got a bad cut above the eye and it was stitched up and all seemed fine. But after a few days I was getting extremely painful headaches, loud buzzing in my left ear and my vision in my left eye is completely blurred. The doctor has told me it may be damage to the 8th cranial nerve and I am waiting for a CT brain scan and have been advised to stop wrestling for the next few months. It could be permanent or it could go away by itself, but until all signs have been alleviated I will not be able to engage in any heavy physical activity.”
That’s the message Rebecca Knox posted on her own website back in October 2006, following her serious injury in a match against Kisu in Dortmund on September 22 of that year. The match finished as normal, and took on Sweet Saraya the following night in Great Yarmouth, England in a match which saw her drop the Queens Of Chaos Championship. After that, she took some time out to get medically checked out, which gave her the bad news about her 8th cranial nerve injury. It also meant that the proposed Iron Woman Match between she and Daizee Haze at SHIMMER Volume 7 had to be scrapped, after the pair had engaged in a heated feud in the promotion’s early days.
As she points out in her post, she was expecting to be out until December 2006. It’s now October 2012, and only now is the 25-year old from Dublin, Ireland seriously thinking of a return. (more…)
Former WWE and ECW personality Dawn Marie seems to have a good heart. Setting up Wrestlers Rescue in 2008 (and the subsequent Pro Wrestlers Relief) in 2009, her goal was to make life easier for wrestlers with medical issues to help them pay their bills – a common problem for wrestlers outside of WWE who may not be able to secure the proper insurance needed to cover their ailments.
In the last week or so, her charity has received a battering from James “Kamala” Harris, who has had both of his legs amputated due to complications stemming from diabetes and high blood pressure. He claims that Wrestlers Rescue and Boston-based independent wrestling promotion the Millennium Wrestling Federation promised to help him out financially, and never did so, calling Dawn Marie “no good” and accusing her of keeping the money that was raised for him.
Wrestlers Rescue has not had the best of reputations in its short existence, but following this high-profile attack on her work, Dawn Marie decided to go public with all the details. (more…)
Velvet Sky was released from TNA last week, and I’m sure it wasn’t a decision that she came to lightly. However, following the departure of her longtime tag team partner Angelina Love at the start of July, she thought out loud on Twitter about a Beautiful People reunion, and there was no way that could happen on TNA TV, so we should have read into that at the time. Well, now it’s set to happen, as Sky and Love (now going under her original guise of Angel Williams) will be on the same show for Northeast Wrestling on September 22 in Fiskhill, NY, and have been booked to participate in a tag team match for Family Wrestling Entertainment on October 5 in Brooklyn, NY against Maria Kanellis and a partner who has not been announced yet.
Like I pointed out when the news of her release was announced, Sky must imagine that there must be a lot of money on the table for the Beautiful People to do a tour. However, as well as taking the money on the table, both she and Williams have the opportunity to give back too. (more…)
It has been discussed for a couple of days, and now it is official: Velvet Sky and TNA have parted ways. In a statement released in the last hour on her Twitter, the former Knockouts singles and Tag Team Champion stated:
I have been granted my release by TNA at this time. It’s what’s best for me right now and I wanted to thank TNA and all the fans for their constant support in me. Stay tuned though. And I also want to thank Vince Russo for creating and believing in the team of The Beautiful People. We had a great run!
The 31-year old’s departure from the promotion comes at what is reportedly a critical time for TNA. As documented by Cageside Seats, the promotion has been renegotiating contracts with a number of names to try and save money as overheads have gone up because of offering live TV every Thursday. Flying in the names every week and putting them up means it is more expensive than filming three or four shows over a couple of days, so costs would have had to be cut somewhere, and it seems TNA is trying to do it by slicing off the top of wrestlers’ paychecks. That may be fine for the bottom line, but it can’t make the talent feel valued at all. In addition, the restructuring comes at a time when TNA has a lawsuit ongoing with WWE, so it is unlikely that any released TNA talent is going to be able to head to Titan Tower to try their luck there. That puts the wrestlers in an amazingly poor bargaining situation, as it’s TNA or bust. Looks like Sky called their bluff. (more…)
There was been a lot of talk about SHINE Wrestling in the lead up to the first Internet PPV on Friday night, and plenty more afterward, with plenty of comments from both people who where there, as well as fans who watched online.
For that reason, we asked Joe Vitale – who was at the Oprheum in Ybor City, FL – what he thought of the show, as he got to experience the atmosphere first hand. Below are some of his reactions:
“I like the setup for the show; it felt like a good introduction to the characters and styles of the workers and it was nice that almost all of the ladies came off like individuals to be interested in rather than “Brunette girl 1″… I really like how well the heels interacted with the crowd, Jayme Jamison and Allyson Kay/Taylor Made made fans out of my non-wrestling friends.”
Overall, one can view the show as being a big success, which built to a tremendous crescendo with Sara Del Rey falling to Jazz in the main event. Nikki Roxx and Rain may only wrestle on a limited basis these days but had a good outing which shows that they have a lot to offer both in in-ring activities but also knowledge that they can impart onto younger talent. Mercedes Martinez and Leva Bates had a tidy outing that set Martinez up for an apparent match against Jazz on SHINE 2 on August 17, and Bates proved that despite wearing a Spider-Man outfit, slinging webs and hanging upside down, there is a wrestler in there who can work, and is ready to get serious. (more…)
Former five-time Knockouts Champion has parted ways with TNA. In a statement posted on her Twitter last night, the 30-year old said:
To all my wonderful fans, just want to let you know I have been granted my release from TNA. It was completely amicable parting of ways and I want to thank TNA and all of its employees for the wonderful journey I’ve had there over the years. Now I’m on to the next amazing chapter of my life! If you are looking to book me please contact John at email@example.com Thank you so much!
One would say that Love has been seldom used of TNA TV this year – which is true, as her appearances on Impact Wrestling have considerably dropped in 2012 – but the 30-year old has been keeping busy on the promotion’s house show circuit, where she has wrestled semi-regularly, although very seldom has her hand raised in victory. It was a different story in TNA Indian off-shoot Ring Ka King where she won most of her matches, though it did not translate to a push back in North America. It is a crushing shame for the Toronto, Ontario, Canada native, who has had more Knockout title reigns than any other woman, and at one point was part of the most over act in the company… (more…)
It’s the end of an era as far as Women Superstars Uncensored is concerned on Saturday. At the conclusion of the Uncensored Rumble V iPPV from Deer Park, NY, the WSU founder Sean McCaffrey will hand over the reins to another group, described to us as a promotion which is as major as an indie promotion can be.
A month ago, WSU made the announcement that it had been sold to an “independent buyer”, but the initial buyer was said to have fallen through, with other options being explored. Clearly, one of those options paid off, as everything has been sorted out ahead of the Uncensored Rumble, where we will all find out just who has acquired the promotion.
It is an uncertain period though, as there is no guarantee that the new owners will share the same vision of WSU. There is a possibility that things will progress as planned, but there is also a chance that whoever Is taking over will have new ideas and suggestions for storylines and talent, so there could be some shake-ups to come too. WSU’s outlook may change over time, but it is unlikely that if there will be any alterations, they won’t happen immediately. After all, the fans are the ones who finance things in the long run, and to make changes immediately and in a big fashion could be too jarring to the WSU faithful and possibly drive them away. Much more likely would be a subtle movement in direction to enhance what already exists.
TNA‘s all-cage PPV goes on the road to Nashville, TN, with Gail Kim defending the Knockouts Championship against Velvet Sky, while in a “bonus match”, Knockouts Tag Team Champions (and new husband and wife) Eric Young & ODB put the belts on the line against Sarita & Rosita.
Knockouts Championship Match:
Gail Kim v Velvet Sky
• Sky earned the title shot by winning a Knockouts Championship Challenge, defeating Mickie James, Winter, Tara, Angelina Love & Madison Rayne on the April 5 episode of Impact Wrestling.
• The match is ostensibly Sky’s rematch for the Knockouts Title – she won the belt at Bound For Glory last October, and then dropped it a month later to Kim at Turning Point in her first defence, though never got an opportunity to challenge for it again.
• Following last months match where they wrestled each other at Victory Road, Madison Rayne is now back by the side of Kim, after the champ gave Madison a tiara. What, is Rayne now Amy Farrah Fowler? (more…)
In their third meeting for the TNA Knockouts Championship, Mickie James was set to take on Gail Kim. However, due to the interference of Madison Rayne during their second meeting during the main event two weeks ago, one Knockout in particular had had enough. Before the match, Velvet Sky tracked down Sting and arranged something she called the “Velvet Touch.” Come time for the match, it turned out “Velvet Touch” was a cage that Madison would be put in and hoisted up – effectively taking her out of the picture.
However, it turned out that Rayne still affected the match. With Velvet at ringside cheering Mickie on, the two women put on another good match with a few near falls. Towards the end, when the referee’s back was turned, Rayne pulled something out of her boot and dropped it down to the mat below. The item bounced out of the ring and the referee went to retrieve it. The object was a pair of brass knuckles, which Gail strenously denied using or having the intent to use them. The ref went to give it to Christy Hemme, and that’s when Madison dropped a second pair of knucks. Second time wasn’t the charm, however, as Mickie got to them first. The frustration and anger with Gail got the best of her and she popped the KO champ right infront of the referee, causing a disqualification. Gail retained her title but Mickie seemed unphased by the fact she effectively cost herself the championship.
As always, lets break it down into what was silk, what was leather and what was cotton… (more…)
(WARNING: This Roundup contains spoilers for this week’s Impact show.)
I don’t care about Velvet Sky. She’s a choker, she sucks and Gail Kim is far better because she’s been in WWE. And they’re my thoughts because that’s what TNA’s bookers WANT me to think.
OK, maybe it’s not intentional, but the superpush of Gail Kim to the Knockouts singles and tag team titles in less than a month of her return has sent a signal to the rest of the girls that they aren’t stars unless they’ve been in WWE. Fine – Kim was a star in TNA before her muted three years in New York, but her stock had dropped like her stone since leaving and returning. But not to TNA, oh no. Instead, she was portrayed as the unstoppable force alongside Karen Jarrett and Madison Rayne, beating up Tara (who’s one of the best workers that the Knockouts division has), winning the tag belts and then claiming the Knockouts belt from Sky at Turning Point in what was Sky’s first title defence on either TV or pay-per-view. Sure, now Kim looks like the queen, but as a result, Tara, Sky and in a residual way, Brooke Tessmacher have all had their wings clipped, meaning that there are precious few credible babyfaces to challenge for the belt.
Last week, I wrote a piece about why it was in the best interests of all the Knockouts if Velvet Sky won at Turning Point and retained the title. It would establish her first reign as champion as something credible, and Kim wouldn’t really lose much as she was still the Knockouts Tag Champ and could secure a rematch due to her alignment with Jarrett (which still puzzles me, as why is she still Knockouts VP when it was Eric Bischoff who put her in charge and the company is being governed by Dixie Carter and Sting these days?). However, TNA decided that Sky’s important first run as champ was expendable, as the belts clearly don’t matter – and that’s true, as in the last 100 days, the Knockouts belt has changed hands five different times.
According to Dave Meltzer, the idea is that TNA can now market Sky as the plucky babyface going for the Knockouts belt and overcoming the odds to get it back. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t she do that for FIVE YEARS as part of her quest to win the belt for the first time at Bound For Glory, then won it in a four-way match where Jarrett was the biased ref who was pulling for the heels and wouldn’t give the babyfaces an inch? (more…)
At TNA’s Turning Point, we saw two matches with Knockouts involved. The first was a mixed tag team title match featuring challengers Ink Inc. with Toxxin taking on the champions Mexican America with Sarita – it would be the first time either woman had faced each other, inside TNA or outside – whiel the second had Velvet Sky defending her Knockouts Championship against the newly-returned yet already crowned Knockouts Tag Team Champion Gail Kim.
Ink Inc. and Mexican America have had a decent feud with a buildup and it finally led to the debut of Christina Von Eerie as Toxxin to neutralise Sarita and Rosita. The tag titles were retained when Sarita pinned Toxxin after hitting her in the back with a tag belt. Meanwhile, Gail came into Turning Point with a huge wave of momentum, and before the match Karen Jarrett showered her with praise, calling Velvet a “skanky bitch” in the process. Classy. In the Knockouts Championship match, thanks to judicious interference from Karen and Madison Rayne, Gail won the title. How did each of the matches fare? Let’s break it down and take a look at what was oak, what was pine, and what was chipboard… (more…)
This weekend at Turning Point, TNA Knockouts Champion Velvet Sky puts the title on the line for the first time since winning the belt at Bound For Glory last month against challenger and one half of the Knockouts Tag Team Champions, Gail Kim, in a match that is significant for both.
For Velvet, it’s her first title defence in her first reign – while for Gail, it’s her first opportunity to wrestle on live TV since returning to the promotion on the post-BFG Impact Wrestling show. With no editing suite to patch things up if she slips on a banana peel, and the pressure to wrestle someone who she hasn’t faced in many years, the pressure is on the veteran Kim to knock this one out of the park. Kim has also had critics who assert that she may have lost that spark from 3 years of doing nothing of note in WWE, and may be in TNA for the spotlight, rather than to promote and enhance the Knockouts division.
Meanwhile for Sky, she is looking to solidify her first run as KOs Champ, which was hardly launched in the best of circumstances – winning in an overbooked 4-way mess that did more to further the tension between Karen Jarrett and Traci Brooks more than anything else, and also saw Velvet win the belt by not pinning then-titleholder Winter to gain the title, but Madison Rayne. Both have things to prove to the audience and to sceptics, and many fans have an opinion on which way it will go. However, I have an opinion on which way it SHOULD go, so everyone involved comes out with what they need and offers some options for down the line. (more…)
Last month, we featured an “In Video” post highlighting the cartwheeling Ice Ribbon sensation Ray as she captured the first CMLL-REINA Jr Championship in a match at REINA.12, defeating CMLL‘s own Zeuxis in a three fall match. Since then, the champion was busy, heading off to Mexico almost immediately thereafter for a several week long stay. During the course of the trip, she had cause to defend her newly won championship against another CMLL regular, Silueta. Any excuse to highlight Ray is fine with us – so check it out, why don’t ya?
Click through the link for another uniquely lucha match, this time from AAA, which gives new meaning to the term “Dark Match”
The cover is dedicated to the interviews with the ReGeneration X tag team of Allison Danger and Leva Bates, though the magazine also chases down Mia Yim for a chat, and there is the second part of their giant interview with former WWE Women’s Champion and Tough Enough trainer Trish Stratus.
Throw in reviews of ACW’s American Joshi Queen of Queens 2011 and AIW’s Girls Night Out 3, and you’ve got 46 pages of great reading. Click the picture to get stuck in.
“Right now I’m on a little hiatus,” she said, “I told myself I’d take a little break. They [WWE] didn’t let me quit so I was forced to take a break!”
That’s a direct quote from Gail Kim‘s interview with the One Sided Ring podcast last week (released for free on the day after she did her iPPV live shoot interview), which has been abridged by The Sun in a two piece article, found here and here. As we found out this week, that “little break” was only going to last a another week, as on Tuesday’s post-Bound For Glory Impact Wrestling tapings, Kim returned to TNA, attacking new Knockouts Champion Velvet Sky and aligning herself with Knockouts VP Karen Jarrett and Jarrett’s biggest supporter, Madison Rayne.
This has been on the cards for some time. Following her quitting WWE in August (which saw her bow out of the promotion by eliminating herself from a battle royal on a live episode of Raw – something that she has since admitted was “childish”), there has been talk about her returning. During her live shoot and podcast interview, Kim was very careful to not bury TNA, while launching both barrels at WWE, as it’s very clear that it has no clear direction for their women, and went as far as to say she will never return.
Click after the jump to see the video of her return to TNA. (more…)
Alright, so this is the third straight post here at Ringbelles that features Velvet Sky, but in our defence, this isn’t strictly about Velvet Sky. Instead, we’re looking at her days as Talia Madison.
As we covered in yesterday’s Roundup, Jamie Szantyr debuted in 2003 and worked the indies for years before getting a big-time shot in TNA, and then waited four years to win the Knockouts Championship last weekend at Bound For Glory. Regardless of whether you are a fan of her wrestling or not, she has put in the miles and paid her dues to get to the position she is in now.
In the middle of the last decade, women’s wrestling was starting to become more popular, and Szantyr – as Talia Madison – was right in the middle of the action in the North East of the US, which had a plethora of grapplers like Mercedes Martinez, Alicia, April Hunter, Ariel, Nikki Roxx and Alere Little Feather . It meant that she – and they – were able to improve by wrestling a range of different women with varying styles, helping them to grow at a faster rate. In that time, Madison won a number of championships like the WXW, TNT and DPW Women’s titles, and she also challenged for the Women Superstars Uncensored Championship, which is the subject of today’s Retro. (more…)
On October 14, 2007, 10 women competed at TNA Bound For Glory to crown the first TNA Knockouts Champion. That Gauntlet Match was won by Gail Kim, who subsequently engaged in a series of matches with Awesome Kong which cemented TNA as being the place to be for women wrestlers who wanted to knuckle down and graft in the ring. It separated itself from WWE’s Divas division by having a wide range of different-looking women – from your Kongs and Kims to your ODBs, your Jackie Moores and your Roxxi Leveauxs. Most of them have come and gone – in Roxxi’s case, on a number of occasions – but through it all, there has been one woman who has been there uninterrupted. On Sunday, that woman became Knockouts Champion for the very first time.
30-year old Jamie Szantyr started out as a valet back in 2003 under names like Talia, Talia Doll and Miss Talia before settling on Talia Madison, soon forming a tag team with April Hunter, ironically called T&A. Before long, she was being booked around the country, winning her first championship two years later in Afa’s World Xtreme Wrestling in a battle royal. The following years saw her flirt with going to WWE, appearing as an extra on episodes of SmackDown and Heat, as well as wrestling Victoria on the latter show – Victoria was pretty much the test for most women in their tryouts, as Cheerleader Melissa and Mercedes Martinez also faced her in televised matches around the same time. Although unsuccessful in attaining an offer that way, she tried her luck in the 2007 Diva Search (which was won by Eve Torres), though didn’t make it through to the final 8.
By the time 2007 rolled around, Madison had been wrestling for four years, and she got her chance to be part of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling’s blossoming Knockouts Division. Although BFG was her first in-ring appearance, she featured in a couple of backstage segments and was also at ringside for Kong’s pre-BFG demolition of Kim on the go-home episode of Impact.
Soon after the Gauntlet match, Madison wrestled Kong and was soundly defeated, then changed her name to Velvet Sky so TNA could copyright it. As one of a slew of women who had just arrived, it was difficult for Sky to cut through, as compared to some of the other wrestlers, her skills weren’t as sharp – but what she had going for her was her stunning looks, and along with Angelina Love – who had changed her name from Angel Williams – she set out to carve her own niche in the Knockouts division. (more…)
After a series of qualifying matches, the TNA Knockouts title match was set as a four way between champion Winter, Mickie James, Madison Rayne and Velvet Sky. At Bound for Glory, Velvet finally won her first Knockouts Championship by hitting a Pedigree on Madison. The eight year veteran was visibly emotional as she was awarded the belt by Traci Brooks.
Originally, Karen Jarrett had named herself as the referee for the match, saying she was not about to let “those four prostitutes run around.” She told Traci to remain in the back unless she suffered physical harm. Of course, you knew then something would happen to Karen. Before all this, however, we saw Mexican America with Sarita & Rosita take on Ink Inc. with new member Christina Von Eerie. Christina has been given a new name – Toxine. TNA and their names… The women didn’t mix it up, but Toxine did rip the face mask off Sarita and depanted Anarquia. Mexican America, despite this, retained the tag titles. Lets get down to business and look at the Knockouts match. So what was roses, what was dandelions and what was weeds? (more…)
Quite frankly it’s long overdue, but Christina Von Eerie has finally made her official debut in TNA.
The 22-year old first appeared on-screen as part of an angle involving Mexican America and Ink, Inc. back on the September 22 episode, where – without her spiked hair – she played the role of a tattoo shop owner who got involved in the brawl between the two tag teams. On last night’s episode of Impact Wrestling, the Californian, whose real-life fiance is Ink, Inc. member Jesse Neal, came to the aid of Neal and Shannon Moore during another brawl with Hernandez, Anarquia, Sarita and Rosita, and cleared the ring of the former Knockouts Tag Team Champions, though she was never officially introduced by name, so they may not be going with the name Christina Von Eerie.
As we pointed out, it has been a long time coming for Von Eerie. She received a tryout with TNA more than a year ago due to the company’s relationship with lucha libre promotion AAA, where she held the World Mixed Tag Team Championship with Alex Koslov between July and October last year. In her tryout, she teamed with Moore against Cookie (Becky Bayless) and Okada, in what was reportedly a messy affair, and shortly after, it was reported in Viva La Raza! Lucha Weekly that she had signed a contract. However, things stalled for a while, which led to Christina making her SHIMMER debut back in March. (more…)
Nanae Takahashi could have chosen to wrestle anyone in her 15th anniversary match. After all, she is one of the founders of STARDOM – a promotion formed in late 2010 to help season the younger generation of aspiring joshi stars and train up new ones from different aspects of the entertainment industry, such as Yuzuki Aikawa, who had been a model, ballet dancer, and girl group singer. Takahashi could have picked any woman from any promotion in Japan, seeing as many promotions share and exchange talent these days. However, the 32-year old decided that instead of picking a domestic star to take on, she would select someone who has never wrestled in Japan before – the Women Superstars Uncensored World Champion Mercedes Martinez.
We’ll get to Martinez in a moment, but first, a quick biography of her opponent on July 24 in Tokyo, and the promotion that is her current pet project.
Takahashi debuted in 1996 at the age of 17, and shot out of the blocks, winning two All Japan Women tag team titles in two years. Taking the bull by the horns in the previous decade, Nanae started 2000 by winning the AJW singles gold on March. She followed it up over the next 10 by winning the WWWA singles and tag titles (her first WWWA solo title win was over Ayako Hamada on May 11, 2003), and was the singles champ when the promotion folded in 2006.
During that year (which was also her 10 year anniversary, in case you weren’t keeping track) announced her intention to start her own promotion. That promotion was Pro Wrestling SUN, which still exists to this very day, under the handling of one Allison Danger and is based in the US. At the time, the promotion recognised the AWA Women’s Championship and had Takahashi as its champion, though she lost it to Amazing Kong, who then entered a war with then-NWA World Women’s Champion MsChif.
After SUN entered inactivity in 2008, Nanae won the NEO singles and tag titles, the Ice Ribbon Triangle Ribbon and International Ribbon Tag Team Titles, and even the JWP Openweight championship. As you can tell, this is a woman who has had her fair share of success. And other people’s share. And on July 24, Takahashi could add another title to that list of accomplishments – the newly created World of STARDOM championship. (more…)