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…)
“Lesson to men: Cheat on a good woman, You get choked out.”
No joke – those were the first words that Tammy Lynn Sytch decided to make public on her Facebook page after being arrested three times in three days last week on domestic violence complaints. Seeing as legal proceedings are underway, this was a colossally dumb thing to do, as it’s pretty much an admission of guilt. How about “Lesson to men: Cheat on a good woman, you get dumped.” As someone who works fairly closely with a domestic violence charity, this sort of flippant approach to alleged crimes like this really grinds my gears.
According to TMZ – and later picked up by the Associated Press and local TV media outlets – the 39-year old WWE Hall of Famer was first arrested by police in Branford, CT, on Tuesday night at 8:55pm for disorderly conduct involving a man living in the house she was with, which was later confirmed to be the home of boyfriend and pro wrestler Damian Darling. It apparently all began with a heated argument between the couple. (more…)
All female wrestling shows are popping up all over the place, and with Scotland about to enter that game with ICW: Fierce Females on September 30th, what better time to welcome Scotland’s “Dynamite Queen” Nikki Storm to the show? She’s got a lot to talk about, including her ICW persona of Ms. Nicola Storm and an overview of the diverse Scottish scene going into Fierce Females. Did you know Nikki Storm used to cheerlead? In Glasgow, no less. She’ll tell you about that, and how she went from dancer to wrestler… to her early appearances in the over 18s Triple X Wrestling in Coventry, and how influential Jetta and Saraya Knight were in guiding her early years in the ring. We take a chance to go through the spotlighted matches she’s had in EVE, including with Saraya, Tsukasa Fujimoto, Hikaru Shida, Kay Lee Ray and Kat Waters as we await EVE’s WrestleFever event on Nov 10th, when she will face Alpha Female for the EVE Championship. We also talk marketing yourself, her blogs, 30 minute poops and Lee gets a crash course in Glaswegian slang…
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
Wrestling promotions spend a long time building up a reputation. Many groups which are starting out at the moment like SHINE and BLOW are looking to get some traction, credibility and a fan base behind them to be mentioned in the same sort of high regard as companies like SHIMMER and Women Superstars Uncensored. Another promotion which has created a great reputation for itself is Montreal, nCw Femmes Fatales, which was worked hard over the last three years to be known as the standard bearer for all-women shows in Canada.
Earlier this year, another promotion looking to start its own women’s show did not do as much research as it probably should have. Insane Championship Wrestling in Scotland called its group Femmes Fatales, but after realising that there was already another Femmes Fatales out there which already had a positive reputation and was working on heritage. After a brief contact from the original, ICW agreed to change the name to Fierce Females, admitting that there would have been some confusion, rebranded itself and looked ahead to promoting its first show, which takes place in Glasgow on September 30 (which Ringbelles will be attending, we may add). It was a considered, reasonable and mature approach exhibited by all which meant that nobody felt aggrieved or hard done by, and would mean that there would be no confusion by fans.
A similar situation came to light this week. (more…)
Pro Wrestling: EVE – Special Edition results (now updated with thoughts, Nikki Storm comments and photos)
Pro Wrestling: EVE‘s Special Edition show is about to start, with five women’s matches, interspersed with three men’s encounters from promotions across the country such as the Scottish Wrestling Allianceand Lucha Britannia. Earlier today, we looked at the EVE Championship match between Alpha Female and Ayesha Ray, but there are four other women’s contests on the card…
In what’s billed as a European Dream Match, former Champion Jenny Sjodin meets Blue Nikita, while twins take on twins when Hannah and Holly Blossom step into the ring with Leah and Kasey Owens. Rhia O’Reilly fights Kirsty Love to try and retain her slot on the EVE roster following a number of losses in the promotion, and Nikki Storm has her most high-profile match to date when she takes on TNA‘s Winter, Kat Waters.
We are at the Delphi Club in Surrey, England to see it all go down, so click after the jump for results as they happen, and don’t forget to keep hitting refresh. Also, we welcome your thoughts and comments below on the outcomes. (more…)
Back when it was still in single figures, we interviewed LuFisto for the Women of Wrestling Podcast. Among the mass of topics which were discussed, including her changing an Ontarian law which prevented men wrestling women and competing in brutal and bloody deathmatches, she pointed out one ambition which she held dear – one which has yet to be accomplished.
The last thing I would love to do is have one match with TNA. Just one. Dark match, whatever – I don’t care. I just want to experience what it is.
Considering she has been wrestling her entire adult life in numerous countries (and spilt blood in many of them – either her own or someone else’s) it sounds like a modest request. Debuting at the age of 17 in 1997, the Montreal native has broken barriers for women in her home country of Canada, competed and won championships in Combat Zone Wrestling, hanging with the guys there along the way, won deathmatch tournaments (one of which saw a piece of broken fluorescent bulb glass lodged in her back for around four years), and also proven that she’s not a one-trick pony by wrestling in SHIMMER without the benefit or distraction of weapons. Much like Mick Foley’s transformation from Cactus Jack and cellar dweller Mankind to the cuddly guy who is everyone’s happy uncle, LuFisto transitioned from a violent, partially masochistic maniac character to one which is based around Japanese anime and peppered with fun and happiness. LuFisto is a pioneer for women’s wrestling who has been trying for a number of years to get a foot in the door at either WWE or TNA, with the usual response being that she doesn’t have the “look” that they are after. However last Saturday, on the 15th anniversary of her debut, she got the opportunity she’s been after for years, when she got a chance to wrestle in a TNA ring as part of its Gut Check before the card in Oshawa, Ontario. (more…)
With three weeks to go until Pro Wrestling: EVE‘s next show, entitled “Special Edition”, the bulk of the card has been laid out – the most recent announcement being the EVE Championship match, which will pit current holder Alpha Female putting the belt on the line against Ayesha Ray, who you may know better as Amazon.
The match will be Alpha’s first defence of the title since winning it from Jenny Sjodin in April in London, following their double count-out draw six weeks previously at No Man’s Land. This match will be Ray’s first match in Eve since the title tournament weekend in April last year, and is winless in the promotion, so the declaration of her being the first challenger for Alpha’s title was a curious one among fans. The question was broached on Twitter as well as the SHIMMER forum as to what led to the decision to have Ayesha take on Alpha over other EVE wrestlers like Erin Angel or Shanna, and the promotion responded: (more…)
Pro Wrestling: EVE has officially announced a show on July 14 in Sudbury, UK, calling it a “special edition” show which will feature the debut of TNA’s Winter – who is a German-born Briton – and two returns – we have strong suspicions on who the returns will be – as well as “one time only” and “must see” matches.
In its press release that it released to Diva Dirt, EVE also points out that running a weekend of shows without iPPV would have “hurt EVE financially and potentially risk the company due to the restricted income without iPPV”. That’s a telling statement – which actually PRECEDED the announcement of Winter being part of the show – and implies that financially, EVE is lean at the moment.
The show will also feature three men’s contests, making it a split show of sorts. It claims it will draw the fans of the men’s promotions and give them a taste of women’s wrestling at the same time. It’s the same ethos that led to having the Jenny Sjodin v Alpha Female match at the London charity show in April, which is where Alpha won the title.
In theory, this makes sense – draw non-women’s wrestling fans in with what they are familiar with and then give them a taste of EVE’s product while they’re there. However, there is also the possibility of it dissuading EVE fans who may not be interested in the men’s matches. There is the possibility that the ones there for EVE won’t be hugely taken with the men’s contests, as that’s not what they’ve paid to see, and vice versa for the fans of the guys.
What have Rachel Summerlyn, Nikki Storm, Amazon, Jenny Rose and Maria Kanellis all done this year, and what has Kurumi done twice?
If you guessed “win tournaments”, take yourself to the Winners’ Circle.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I love a good tournament. It’s a great way to have multiple storylines running in one show, concluding some, forwarding others and starting a few more. It can also be a push for the winner, and even for a plucky name who gets further than you would expect them to. But the reason why I mostly love tournaments is because it’s a special occasion, much like your birthday, Christmas (although people who know me will know that I’m not fond of Christmas) or the release of a new Police Academy film. Across North America, the UK and Canada, there have been seven tournaments in the past 12 weeks. (more…)
Maria Kanellis is someone who likes to keep busy. She is the co-presenter of the post WWE Raw show on Afterbuzz TV, is booking the women’s matches at Crossfire Entertainment and is also valeting alongside her beau Mike Bennett as “The First Lady of Ring Of Honor“. However, all of those jobs do not require her to step into the ring. That void in her life was filled last night as she returned to in-ring action for the first time in a shade over two years at Family Wrestling Entertainment where she became the first ever FWE Women’s Champion – and she did it on her 30th birthday.
No doubt, Maria has a mind for wrestling. Though she came into the industry through the much-criticised WWE Diva Search back in 2004, she worked hard to understand how and why things happened, applied the knowledge and became a star in her own right. So popular in fact, that she won the fan-voted 2009 Diva Of The Year Slammy Award – much to the chagrin of WWE itself, who had not been pushing her on TV – but was quietly released from the company on February 26, 2010, one day after her 28th birthday. Her final match for the company was a loss alongside Matt Hardy and The Great Khali to the Hart Dynasty, comprised of Natalya, David Hart Smith and Tyson Kidd, broadcast on WWE Superstars the previous day.
Still, the former Playboy cover girl has projects outside of wrestling too. She released an EP – she even pointed out that one of the reasons why WWE let her go was because they would not allow her to pursue outside projects such as making music – was a hit on The Celebrity Apprentice, launched her own perfume, hosted a series of DVDs called Maria’s B-Movie Mayhem and also makes an acting debut next year. Like I said, she likes to keep busy.
Last night, Maria took part in a one-night, four women tournament to crown the first ever FWE Women’s Champion, with the other three talents being TNA Knockouts – Tara, Brooke Tessmacher and Winter. She outlasted them all to win the title, though it wasn’t without some shenanigans. PWInsider was on the scene, and with their report, we’ll break down the women’s action at FWE No Limits from St Paul’s Hall in New York City after the jump…
As we discussed with the Blossom Twins last week, there is a great deal of excitement amongst women within Ohio Valley Wrestling concerning the new relationship with the promotion and TNA, and at the time of the announcement, we listed some of the hotter prospects that could get a break in TNA in the future.
OVW has a history of having strong women’s divisions, as was evident five years ago when the promotion was being used as a farm facility by WWE, and also had independent wrestlers migrating there as it was the best place to catch the attention of the bigger companies. As a result, this week’s Retro (a gauntlet match for the OVW Women’s Championship) features a wealth of stars.
In this match alone, you have defending titleholder Beth Phoenix, Shelly Martinez in her Ariel gimmick, Katie Lea before her WWE debut or current incarnation of Winter in TNA, ODB and Serena Deeb as well as Roni Jonah, Melody, Jennifer Mae, and even Kelly Kelly in a pre-match skit. The match took place on November 1, 2006, about 5 months after the WWE relaunch of ECW, which explains the edition of Ariel and Kelly, who were ECW “vixens” at the time. Beth had already debuted for WWE the previous May as an ally of Trish Stratus, but was taken off screen after she fractured her mandible on the June 5 episode of Raw. She was out of action for two months after having a titanium plate and nine screws inserted into her jaw, before returning to OVW before returning to WWE as a heel in July 2007. (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…)
In a case of deja vu, Winter won the Knockouts title for the second straight TNA pay-per-view, defeating Mickie James to win the gold. It’s led to a hot potato effect with the title, as the pair are trading the belt between themselves at the moment.
Not only was the result the same as last month at Hardcore Justice, the ending was also the same – Winter spat blood/mist into the eyes of the champion and covered her for the pin, albeit after trying it just moments before and catching Angelina Love in the face. Whether that’s a move that you can go for a cover straight afterwards is debateable, as it isn’t strictly a move that would incapacitate you to the point that someone can pin you, though this is somethnig that I mused about last month and TNA seems to be going with it, so I guess I’m in no point to complain about it any further. However, there are other points to highlight, so once again, lets look at what’s lobster, what’s shrimp, and what’s fish sticks… (more…)
It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently. – Warren Buffett
On Sunday, the Bella Twins must have over-indulged as part of Labor Day weekend. They decided to take .357 Magnums, aim them square at their own feet and pull the triggers until they went click.
WWE.com writer Katie Raymond wrote an article about the Divas of Doom, asking if they were a solution or foil to what is perceived as the Diva-norm portrayed by the likes of Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres and the Bella Twins.
In the article, Raymond wrote:
Stinkfaces. Booty poppin’. If you’re a purist about a woman’s place inside the WWE ring, you might be wondering what Fabulous Moolah is thinking looking down on the Divas division. Would the iconic figure chalk up the current flux of the division on changing times, or would she say, “Someone needs to save this”?
Beth Phoenix and Natalya, the “Divas of Doom,” think so. However, are The Glamazon and third-generation Diva just the two women to call “saviors”?
So does the Divas division need to be saved? Not just yet. But Beth Phoenix and Natalya are certainly doing their share to rejuvenate it.
Taking this as some kind of personal insult, Diva supporters took to Twitter to bombard Raymond with vitriol, insults and threats for writing a KAYFABED article on the company’s KAYFABED website. The number of filters that this would have had to have gone through is ridiculous, yet fans got all butthurt about it, seeing it as a personal insult against the girls, instead of as a piece to fluff up the storyline between the Divas Of Doom and the rest of the roster – and it really needs it, as the storyline has lost so much steam since SummerSlam’s Phoenix v Kelly match that it makes you wonder if WWE had a plan for after the match. While the reaction of the fans was silly, it was expected to a certain extent. However, everything went into meltdown when the Divas themselves started talking about it like it was real. (more…)
As part of a double helping of women’s action, TNA Hardcore Justice saw the first British Knockouts Champion crowned in Winter, a title which she adds to her WILD Championship that she won on Thursday. Earlier on in the pay-per-view, Tara & Miss Tessmacher retained their Knockouts Tag Team Titles over the former champs, Mexican America’s Sarita and Rosita.
Winter won the title after spitting red mist into Mickie James‘ eyes, leading to her being pinned while she could not see. No such shenanigans in the tag team match though, where Rosita was pinned cleanly by Tara following her Widow’s Peak finisher.
As is customary for PPV reports here at Ringbelles, let us take a look at what was mineral water, what was tap water, and what was toilet water. (more…)
Sometimes you have to fall on your face to become as good as you can be.
That’s what happened to Katarina Waters. Before her days as Winter in TNA or Katie Lea in WWE, Waters was Nikita in the Frontier Wrestling Alliance based in the south of the UK. Back in May, we featured Nikita in another Retro from 2003 leaping from the balcony at York Hall in London as part of an intergender tag team match. However, the year before, Nikita had been part of the biggest British show of the young millennium – a big-time show on British satellite and cable TV, the first televised wrestling programme in the country for 14 years. Nikita would take on Lexie Fyfe – one half of former SHIMMER tag team The Experience with Malia Hosaka and the boss of Florida-based customs promotion SLAMmin Ladies.
Nikita had been put on the card despite some reservations about whether she was ready for the biggest stage that British wrestling had seen for half a generation, but the dice were rolled, and after the jump, you can see what happened. (more…)
Back in the July 5 Roundup, we let you know about Nanae Takahashi’s 15th anniversary plans, and how she would be facing Women Superstars Uncensored World Champion Mercedes Martinez in the semi-final of the Queen of Stardom tournament to crown its first champion. That event took place on Sunday at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo in front of a full house of 1,310 paying fans, with Takahashi not only defeating Martinez, but going on to beat Yoko Bito – who got by Mika Nagano earlier in the night to make it to the finals – to claim the championship in the promotion that she helped to create.
Some may complain that Takahashi winning the championship is a bit of a swizz, considering that she’s a founder of Stardom and has been booked to be the first champion. I can understand that complaint, considering it seems that it’s an exercise in ego-stroking, but I believe it means more than that. For example, Nanae winning the title is a recognition of her work since debuting in 1996, and if she is the best wrestler in the promotion – which is somewhat likely, considering its main function is to season younger wrestlers to get them ready, then should she not be the first champion to give the title some traction, so when one of the younger wrestlers matures, it will be a more prestigious title to win? (more…)
Mickie James is still TNA Knockouts Champion after beating Angelina Love at Slammiversary IX. Despite copious amounts of interference by Love’s friend/aide/guide/master Winter, James managed to overcome the odds to retain the title using the Mickie DT for the three.
As with all PPV matches involving Divas and Knockouts, we stick the match under the microscope. So let’s see what made me smile, what made me frown, and what made me slam my head into a desk.
This is probably Winter’s best work in a long time. Her interference all made sense, was enough to warrant frustration at her and it looked like she genuinely gave a crap about the outcome of the contest. On a similar note, referee Earl Hebner had his back turned to all of Winter’s activity (a good thing, as if he watches it happen and does nothing about it, it makes a ref look flaccid) until he caught her swiping James’ hand off the rope during a pin attempt by Angelina.
For the most part, the actual moves looked fine too. However, there was one massive exception. (more…)
If you haven’t listened to our latest Women Of Wrestling Podcast with Nicole Matthews yet, do – not only is it a great, no-holds-barred listen, but she talks about her only babyface run, which is what inspired this week’s Retro.
Nicole discussed watching her boyfriend performing a Superman dive off a balcony as part of a TLC match, and joked that she would do the same in her TLC match the following year. Well, the actually went through with it, but she’s not the first woman to do the big dive in an intergender hardcore affair.
Back in 2003, a collective called the Family was causing havoc in the British-based Frontier Wrestling Alliance, with one member – Paul Travell – being a particular thorn in the side of Nikita, the only female wrestler on the roster – you know her better as former WWE Diva Katie Lea Burchill or TNA’s current resident weirdo Winter. In October 2002, the pair fought against each other at the original British Uprising show in Bethnal Green, London, with Travell taking the win. The following May, Nikita would team up with “The Showstealer” Alex Shane and Ulf Hermann against Travell’s four other Family members for a handicap brawl at FWA Frontiers Of Honor – a show which teamed up with the still-new Ring Of Honor to boost the profile of both companies.
The match is remembered for Nikita following in the footsteps of Jody Fleisch in throwing herself from the top level of York Hall. Watch it after the “jump”, if you pardon the pun. (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.