Ringbelles Roundup (9 July 2013) – Knockouts dearth, Heidi & Taeler, SHINE, Maria Kanellis, Sunny & more
We praised Mickie James’ last six months in TNA, including her winning the Knockouts Title and turning heel in the process. However, you have to wonder what sort of division she is reigning over, when you consider how many – or conversely, how few – female wrestlers there are on the roster these days.
As well as James, you have Gail Kim, Miss Tessmacher, ODB, Tara, Taryn Terrell and Velvet Sky as in-ring performers – though ODB is usually a ref these days, Terrell is hardly a regular and Tessmacher & Tara has been absent for a while. That’s seven women – half of what they had in 2008 when the division was really a pioneer and vastly overshadowing what was going on in WWE at the time. When you consider that TNA only has about three women doing most of the work these days, you can see why the promotion binned its Knockouts Tag Team Titles following them being vacated by ODB and Eric Young.
The roster was thinned out last Wednesday when a four time Knockouts Champion and the first Gut Check winner were cut from the roster. Madison Rayne – who is heavily pregnant and is due to give birth next month – saw her contract expire and it wasn’t renewed. Some have complained that it was a bit tactless of TNA to do that, but Rayne herself apparently holds no grudges and has made no complaints in public. It is possible that she may return in time.
The other departure is Taeler Hendrix, who has been criminally underused by the promotion since winning the Gut Check last June. She has only appeared on two episodes of Impact – one was the Thanksgiving Day episode, which was a filler show because so few were watching, and the other was last month as she served as cannon fodder for Mickie’s slow-burn heel turn. Meanwhile, she has been working on her character during her time in Ohio Valley Wrestling, which we cover in more detail later on. (more…)
Naomi challenges Eve Torres for the WWE Divas Championship in her first ever pay-per-view match after earning the opportunity earlier in the evening.
• A “Santa’s Little Helper” battle royal was held on the pre-show which involved all the Divas except AJ Lee and Vickie Guerrero. The final two left in the ring were the two finalists on NXT season 3 – Kaitlyn and Naomi.
• In the end, Kaitlyn was dumped after Torres – who was on commentary – struck her longtime rival, allowing Naomi to eliminate her with a dropkick. (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…)
Funny how the past comes back to haunt you.
In June, while she was still campaigning to be Connecticut Republican candidate for the US Senate, Linda McMahon’s past as the CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment was brought up, including the effect the programming may have had on women and men’s views of how to treat women. One particular incident keeps cropping up – the segment on the March 5, 2001 episode of Raw Is War when Linda’s husband Vince forced Trish Stratus to crawl on all fours, bark like a dog and then strip in the middle of the ring, all in an attempt to humiliate and degrade her.
Even at the time, the event was seen as so offensive that it was never shown in the UK, and it is still great ammunition for opponents of McMahon. Back in June, Linda’s opponent Chris Shays said during a debate: “I think when you force a woman to take off all her clothes in an arena, and get down on the ground and bark like a dog, I think that’s assault on women.” (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…)
The Big News
In what was a pretty classy move by WWE, not only did they let Kharma go out there and tell the truth, they also left the door open for her return.
Following a week of speculation – started by the Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Online by saying she would be out of action for nine months – Kharma came clean to the world and revealed her pregnancy on Raw last night.
In a straight promo – much like Edge’s when he revealed he had to retire – she told us about how she had two dreams, the first of which was to be a WWE Superstar (note she said Superstar instead of Diva… telling. Also, she said the word “wrestling” or “wrestler” three times). She talked about applying for Tough Enough 2 back in 2002 – something I’ve documented in the past – and how Jim Ross thought she was too fat to make it. Undeterred, she travelled to Japan, scrubbed floors and earned the right to train and become a star there, as she told to us in the Women of Wrestling Podcast last year.
From there, Kharma also talked about how she had always wanted a family, and officially let us know about her pregnancy – something that received a nice reception from the fans. She described it as a “high risk pregnancy”, which is understandable considering her working environment, thanked the audience for their support and said that she would return in a year.
Of course, with this being WWE, there was an interruption by the Bella Twins who mocked Kharma with some poorly written, and even more poorly delivered, insults. Seriously, if Nikki and Brie were any more wooden, they could have been part of the hull of Noah’s Ark. Perhaps they didn’t fully believe or support the words they were saying, so it came across that way in the promo. Still, Kharma promised that she would be back for them in a year, which makes sure that we haven’t seen the last of her in WWE. (more…)
The Big News
Again, sorry about the shortness of the Roundup this week. We’ve been in Las Vegas for fun and giggles with Allison Danger.
She got paid tens of thousands of dollars to essentially do a lunge, a handspring hip attack and a cartwheel into a splash to get the win for her, Trish Stratus and John Morrison at WrestleMania XXVII on Sunday in Atlanta. They defeated LayCool and Dolph Ziggler in the only women-related wrestling action on the show. However, it only lasted around 3 minutes, was in the graveyard slot after the well-received Triple H v Undertaker match, and was probably the wrong result for longevity.
Fair enough, Trish is the Tough Enough trainer, and it wouldn’t look good for her to lose the day before the new season began, but it meant that Michelle McCool – who was the only person who was legal on her side for the entire contest – had to sell for a woman who hasn’t wrestled in more than a year, and for a sub-five foot heavy drinker from Jersey Shore.
I’m not knocking Snooki though – after all, she did what she was asked to do, and exceeded my expectations. The mainstream media coverage wasn’t forthcoming though – HLN did mention Snooki, but it was because a school has paid $32,000 to have her talk to the pupils about something completely unrelated to WrestleMania.
However, this leaves McCool and Layla in a tough spot. The planned break-up seemed to be back on, as Michelle shoved her partner before the contest began, and they had a number of miscues which led to their downfall. The problem is that they are near-heatless together these days as fans are sick of them, but separately, they are likely to struggle. McCool – though talented – is something of a heat vacuum, and while Layla is a great character, she’s not polished enough in the ring to lead as a heel, and not sympathetic enough as a babyface. (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.
The Big News
Daffney is no longer a part of TNA – she issued a statement to Diva Dirt informing us of the situation:
Yesterday my picture was taken down off of the TNA roster page. My contract expires today and TNA did not renew it. I do not know if it has anything to do with it, but I’ve make a Worker’s Comp against them claim due to injuries I’ve sustained in the ring and my lawyers said to not go into anymore details.
Daffney hasn’t been seen in TNA in 2011. She is slated to appear at Anarchy Championship Wrestling Queen Of Queens on June 26 in Live Oak, TX and at a number of signing appearances over the next few months. Check out the We Want Daffney Facebook page to see if there is one near to you.
This situation does add some credence to this article though, which claims that working conditions in TNA are poor, and that you had better hope you never get hurt under a TNA contract, or you’ll be in trouble:
Angelina Love (who, as leader of The Beautiful People, has been one of company’s established ratings draws for years now) noted in a 2009 interview that she had suffered a very serious concussion at the TNA Lockdown PPV that had just taken place. (This was the in the triple threat cage match with Awesome Kong and Taylor Wilde for the TNA women’s championship, in which Love landed wrong, hit her head and was completely out of it for the rest of the match. With things quickly turning into a shambles, Taylor then improvised a finish on the fly, so Love could win the Knockouts title as scripted. Despite the quick-thinking Taylor’s best efforts, the finish still looked awful: Love could barely do anything, and even standing and smiling with the title at the end seemed beyond her.) Love herself confirms this in the interview: “I was pretty much carried by four security guards to the trainer’s office. I was completely blacked out. I don’t even remember winning.” The interviewer then notes that TNA put her in a match two days later. Love, who has a history of suffering bad concussions, confirmed this, as well as noting: “You’ve got to make a living, so I was doing indie shows about 5 days later. It probably wasn’t too safe…” This story threw up several troubling questions in my mind: Why did TNA put her in a match so soon after what was a fairly serious head injury? What doctor in their right mind told her to get back in the ring just two days after suffering such a severe concussion? Did she even go see a doctor? Could she have afforded to see one?
Either way, we wish Daffney a speedy recovery, and good health and fortune for the future. For someone who gave their body to TNA and allowed herself to be put through tables and thumbtacks for our entertainment, she deserves some good fortune.
LuFisto described it as a “dream come true” – a year after they were originally scheduled to wrestle back on February 10, 2010 in the main event of Femmes Fatales II, the Super Hardcore Anime finally got the chance to take on Ayako Hamada at NCW: Femmes Fatales V last Saturday in Montreal. The two engaged in what’s been described a classic encounter over the Femmes Fatales Championship which saw LuFisto retain the title with a Burning Hammer.
Other notable results include Mercedes Martinez beating Kalamity, and Courntney Rush (the former PJ Tyler) defeating Cat Power in a Combat De Rue in what Power later informed us would be her last match. The Windsor, Ontario native is looking to go back to school and is also looking to continue her boxing training. Stew and I talked to Cat last week as part of the Women Of Wrestling Podcast – her final interview as an active wrestler. We at Ringbelles wish her nothing but the best for the future. (more…)
Just drink in that graphic for a moment. Let it seep into your consciousness, ferment there for a while and… react – with amusement, anger and disappointment, most likely.
No, you’re not seeing things – Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi is slated to be part of a six-person mixed tag team match at WrestleMania. The 23-year old Jersey Shore star got involved in the Trish Stratus v Vickie Guerrero match on Raw last night – which Vickie won with help from LayCool – after she and WWE’s resident cougar got into a confrontation earlier on in the show.
While there may have been no Divas match scheduled at Elimination Chamber, it featured a number of angles and announcements involving WWE’s women.
Jennifer watched the pay-per-view and fills us in with the details: (more…)
Tonight’s Divas match at the Royal Rumble produced two surprises, but neither one turned out to be what many people expected.
Right as LayCool and Natalya were squaring off, Raw’s General Manager interrupted with a message for all three women. Michael Cole reads that with Teddy Long indisposed, the GM is in charge. This match is now a fatal four way: Natalya vs. Layla vs. Michelle McCool vs. the following Diva…
Perfect chance for Amazing Kong to debut, right? Wrong – instead we got Eve. Seriously? The audience seemed to be as confused as everyone at home. (more…)