Ahead of the first WrestleMania on March 31, 1985, Vince McMahon and his WWF was doing all that it could to swell its following, expanding nationally and exposing its product to new fans. That included migrating onto Ted Turner’s SuperStation WTBS network, taking over the time slot that had been home to Georgia Championship Wrestling and its World Championship Wrestling show for 12 years. In what became known as Black Saturday, the WWF took over proceedings on July 14, 1984 – and viewers loathed it.
Thousands wrote to and called TBS complaining about the loss of their favourite names, and started switching off the show to the point that McMahon decided to get out, retaining the GCW name but selling the time slot to Jim Crockett Promotions – the promotion which eventually became WCW. (more…)
Episode 50 with Lexie Fyfe
Remember that time Lexie Fyfe made her return to the ring on SHIMMER Vol 50? Well, here she makes her return to the WOW Podcast to celebrate our fiftieth offering too. Lexie’s been all over the world and done so much, it was only fitting that we had her on for a full length show. We talk about her return to the ring at SHIMMER 50, how much convincing she took and how nervous she was before the match – and also about her role in the SHIMMER set up, watching matches and offering feedback to the wrestlers. Of course, she’s also heavily involved in SHINE in Florida, so we talk about how that all came together, how the first half-year has been, and discuss a number of SHINE talents, including Made In Sin, Kimberly, Reby Sky and more. Lexie tells us about what an important part Matt Hardy had to play in her early career, along with Malia Hosaka. She recalls working a 30 date military base tour with Wendi Richter (aka “the stiffest person I’ve ever worked, man or woman”), and her brief flirtations with both WWF and WCW in the late 90s (including an example of a WCW idea that never went anywhere – shocking, right?). We also talk about her cameo on Monday Night Raw as Hillary Clinton, working the UK ‘Revival’ show in 2002 vs Nikita and her work producing customs with SlamminLadies.com (including how the cops got called to her house recently). Almost an hour and a half of audio goodness. Thanks so much for your continued support, and here’s to the next 50!
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Last Wednesday evening at the Cauliflower Alley Club‘s annual reunion banquet, two time former WWF Women’s Champion Wendi Richter was amongst the honorees (alongside, in this case, Judy Martin and Lisa Moretti). Save for a couple of brief WrestleReunion appearances in the mid 2000s, Richter (herself the victim of a McMahon “screwjob” twelve years before Montreal ever happened) happily kept her distance from the wrestling world for over 20 years before returning to surprisingly accept an induction in the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2010. Her speech at CAC was said to be one of the highlights of the evening, and thanks to a transcript by Greg Oliver of SLAM! Wrestling, those not in attendance can get a chance to see what she had to say.
Richter, who has been critical in the past of WWE’s treatment of women (and haven’t we all from time to time?), took the opportunity to explain what she feels is missing from today’s WWE Divas, and where she feels she (and her generation) differ from the current product.
“I’m so proud to have gone to wrestling school to learn the fundamentals, because, without that foundation, you have no concept of psychology or, possibly, respect for this great sport… and I’m so proud, winning this award and the championships, based on my wrestling talent and hard work, and not on acting and T&A.”
Beth Phoenix and Natalya sat down with WWE Magazine for an interview which has been published in the February 2012 issue (though this must have been conducted a while back, as Phoenix has been off TV for more than a month and the Pin-Up Strong gimmick has been limping for a long time now), with one of the questions asked being which male-dominated stipulation match they would like to see introduced to the Divas Division. Both went for the ladder match.
“I want to compete in the first-ever Diva Ladder Match. Beth and I think it would be amazing, and I believe we could really pull it off,” Natalya says.
Beth adds, “I have been campaigning for WWE to let me compete in one and have even volunteered to put my Divas Championship on the line in it against absolutely anybody. I have the experience and truly believe the bar could be raised with that bout. There is no doubt in my mind that it would be the most spectacular Divas match of all-time.”
No doubt, a Divas ladder match would be pretty unique, but there is no way that this match should happen now, or even in the near future. A ladder match would have to be the culmination of a strong feud between two Divas who can go, with a number of matches having took place with inconclusive winners and the odd ladder attack, leading to the Divas title belt being hung above the ring. The problem that WWE has at the moment is that the Divas roster as a whole is probably at its most neglected in the last decade, and the number of quality female workers in the promotion who could successfully pull it off is tragically slim.
Beth would have to be one of them. Though it’s not saying much, she’s probably the most over and best all-rounder of all the women, though when it comes to her opponent, it’s slim pickings, for sure. (more…)
Former two-time WWF Women’s Champion Wendi Richter has been named as the Cauliflower Alley Club‘s 2012 Lou Thesz Lifetime Achievement Honoree, becoming only the second female to ever be given the award (the first was Penny Banner back in 1997).
Announcing the news on its website, the CAC said:
Before there was Trish Stratus, Lita, Beth Phoenix or Michelle McCool, there was 1980′s squared circle sensation Wendi Richter.
A two-time holder of the Women’s Championship, Richter was instrumental in helping to bring about the connection between WWE and the MTV generation. This monumental partnership helped the charismatic Ladies wrestler forever cement herself into the upper echelon of WWE history, paving the way for a generation of lady wrestlers that would come after her.
We’ve been letting you know about K&S WrestleFest’s A Hot Summer Night since the lineup started to be revealed back in May. Well, the time is upon us, and female wrestlers from the past and present are descending on Philadelphia on Saturday for the show. From recent stars like Candice Michelle, Shelly Martinez, Amber O’Neal and Annie Social to stars of the Monday Night Wars era such as Debra, Stacy “Kat” Carter, Torrie Wilson and Terri Runnels, all the way back to stars of the 80s and early 90s like Wendi Richter, Madusa, Heidi Lee Morgan and Mike McGuirk, they’ll all be there.
Someone else who will be there is SHIMMER‘s resident interviewer Amber Gertner, who granted Ringbelles some of her time before heading off to the Ramada Philadelphia Airport Hotel in Essington, PA to talk to us about the event. She also discusses how she reverts back to being a fan around the stars of yesteryear, how some of the attendees’ appearances are as rare as rocking horse-guano, and also talks about Highspots TV, a new project which Highspots is looking to promote. Listen in to get the opportunity to receive a free two-week trial, so you can see what you think of it…
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The Big News
Christina Crawford was eliminated from Tough Enough last night, putting an end to any prospect of a woman winning the show for the first time since 2002. She was cut by Steve Austin for not showing enough charisma during this week’s challenge, and had lost her confidence after suffering an ankle injury on last week’s show when her leg buckled from delivering a top rope axehandle.
It doesn’t seem to have made a difference to her prospects of ending up on WWE TV though, as she was filmed last week wrestling at Florida Championship Wrestling, where she had been training previously before getting out of her developmental deal to compete in Tough Enough. The indication that she has returned back to the situation she was in previously just shows that she had a fall-back option in case she was cut, in that she could return to Florida and pick up where she left off. It must annoy other female wrestlers who applied that this was possibly an “easier option” for Christina, rather than being her best chance at making it to WWE.
In fact, many women – Brittany Savage, Mercedes Martinez, She Nay Nay, Athena, Jessicka Havok, Roxie Cotton and the like – must be pretty disappointed how for the most part, none of the girls made any impression on the show in one way or another. None of them won a skills challenge, and between the five girls, they featured in the bottom three on a total of eight occasions in eight episodes. (more…)
K&S WrestleFest is building up towards another of its wrestling conventions this August, but in a twist, this one will feature just women.
Four names have been announced for “A Hot Summer’s Night” at the Ramada Hotel at Philadelphia Airport on Saturday August 27: former WWF and AWA Women’s Champion and WWE Hall Of Famer Wendi Richter, reigning OVW Women’s Champion Lady Jojo (formerly known as Sojo Bolt in TNA and Josie in SHIMMER), former WWF Women’s Champion and Cauliflour Alley Club’s recipient of the 2011 Women’s Wrestling Award Rockin’ Robin, and the 6’9″ Isis The Amazon.
Tickets will go on sale in July, and more names are expected to be announced in the coming weeks, though t’s already been confirmed that Highspots and RF Video will also be there for all your merchandise needs. If you’re in the area or can get there, don’t miss this – Wendi Richter doesn’t make many public appearances, so take advantage of this opportunity to meet one of the most popular female wrestlers of the 1980s in person.
Click here for more information on K&S WrestleFest’s A Hot Summer’s Night.
If you saw this week’s Vintage Collection, you would have seen this – but for everybody else, here’s the champion being screwed over by Vince McMahon and the WWF.
No, not Bret Hart – had you forgotten that we’re a site dedicated to female wrestlers? No, I’m on about the original screwjob back in November 25, 1985. Wendi Richter was – along with Hulk Hogan and others – one of the figureheads of the Rock And Wrestling Connection. She was accompanied to the ring at the first WrestleMania by Cyndi Lauper, and won the Women’s Championship for a second time from Leilani Kai. Her first reign may have been more historic though, as she defeated the Fabulous Moolah for the belt, ending what was billed as the longest championship reign in professional wrestling (which isn’t true, as she had won and lost the title on numerous occasions which went unrecognised by the WWF).
Something happened after WrestleMania though – Richter and McMahon’s relationship got tense over contract negotiations, which led to the match we have for you on the Retro this week. (more…)