We’re on the so-called “Road to WrestleMania” in WWE – a time when, generally, it’s considered to be a good time to be a wrestling fan. If everything is going to plan, storylines and feuds will culminate at the Showcase of the Immortals, and we usually see both the in-ring performers and the booking teams step up their games as we approach the big day. However, rarely does that involve the Divas. Even as WWE prepares to induct its second former WWE Women’s Champion in two years to the Hall of Fame, it’s no shock to anybody that the Divas division is considered a mere afterthought. Statistically, we’ve already mentioned recently that Divas ≠ Ratings on TV – but as we mentioned at the time, it’s been so long since there was a Divas angle or feud with any real strong substance, it’s no wonder their segments are considered skippable. Ironically enough, Kaitlyn, who was Divas Champion at this time last year didn’t even work the WrestleMania show, and spent the weekend giving away tickets to fans who were able to find her in the NY/NJ metropolitan area, “Where’s Wally?” style. As it turned out, no Divas got to wrestle on the show last year, as the mixed tag featuring the Bellas and the Funkadactyls ended up getting nixed for time.
So… assuming that we’ll get some sort of match involving the Divas this year, here are five options (some more likely than others, admittedly) for New Orleans… (more…)
There have been some big moments that have involved women at WrestleMania since its inception on March 31, 1985. This month’s HONOUR Magazine recaps the top 28 moments in commemoration of last weekend’s WrestleMania XXVIII.
Sable‘s in-ring debut at WrestleMania XIV, Miss Elizabeth‘s involvement at WrestleManias VI and VII, and Trish Stratus winning the WWE Women’s Championship at WrestleMania XIX all feature in there, but are any of them placed at number one? You can find out by clicking the pic to jump to the magazine.
Also in this month’s issue: interviews with Kellie Skater and Nikki Storm, a look at the ongoing rapport between Madusa and Beth Phoenix, reviews of SHIMMER volumes 41 and 42, the Maria Kanellis DVD featuring her talking to Jessicka Havok and Brittney Savage that Havok discussed during her Women Of Wrestling Podcast, news, results and more.
On Sunday at WrestleMania, WWE Divas Champion Beth Phoenix was pinned by Maria Menounos in the tag team match featuring Menounos and Kelly Kelly against Phoenix and Eve Torres. A showbiz TV host who it was announced had two cracked ribs and stress fractures in her feet; a woman who has had no more than a month’s total wrestling training in her life; a non-wrestler pinned the Divas Champion on the promotion’s biggest show of the year.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Menounos has pinned Phoenix – she had got a three-count against her with a sunset flip on last December’s Tribute To The Troops show. Now, I have no problem with that – or her victory on Raw in an 8 woman tag in 2009, as they are throwaway matches on shows that mean nothing in the grand scheme. However, for the woman who is supposed to represent the best in the division to be defeated by a TV show host makes a mockery of Phoenix, the title and women’s wrestling as a whole. WrestleMania is the show that casual fans may watch once a year, and they see that? It doesn’t sit well with me. (more…)
Last night was the Showcase of the Immortals, better known as WrestleMania – as a reported 78,363 (probably closer to 68,000 in reality) descended upon the Sun-Life Stadium in Miami to witness, amongst other things, the “Once in a Lifetime” battle between The Rock and John Cena, the “End of an Era” match between Triple H and Undertaker, and a battle between the two self-professed “Best in the World” between CM Punk and Chris Jericho. I’m pretty sure not a single person went specifically to see the Divas match featuring Beth Phoenix & Eve Torres vs Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos, but it happened nonetheless. With Kharma not ready to return yet and Natalya’s depush into a flatulence gimmick, it was clear that WWE had no idea what they were doing with ‘Mania this year (with rumours even abounding fairly recently that there may be no Divas match at this year’s event at all) until the opportunity presented itself to do something with one of their favourite celebrity fans, “Extra” host Maria Menounos. Currently competing on Dancing With The Stars in the US (and paying a price for it with cracked – reported in places as broken – ribs and stress fractures in her foot), it was somewhat of a miracle Maria made it at all. With a shocking 18 second World Title match between Daniel Bryan & Sheamus already having rocked the stadium, we went into a rare case where a Divas match gets longer on PPV than a World Title match – but with the relative lack of buildup outside a single confrontation on Menounos’ TV show, would anybody care? Let’s check on what was WrestleMania X7, what was WrestleMania IX and what was WrestleMania IV. (more…)
This past Saturday night saw a fight between two athletes headline a national TV show – a fight that not only was very real, but was built up as a proper grudge between two combatants who didn’t like each other. One was the determined, serious champion, one was the mouthy, charismatic upstart. The public cared. Newspapers gave them front page coverage. The internet was ablaze with interest. Step forward Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey – who proved that, while their gender was certainly part of the reason why the fight got such publicity, they were justifiable main eventers, and they delivered with a stunning fight which saw “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey utterly destroy Miesha Tate’s arm with a first round armbar to go 5-0 and become the new face of women’s MMA. Now, we don’t cover MMA here at Ringbelles, but the lessons are there to be learned. I believe, much as Alex Greenfield said in his recent appearance on the Women of Wrestling Podcast, that “Women’s wrestling is something that can generate real dollar business”. In the aftermath of the Tate vs Rousey show, I had a brief twitter exchange with fellow wrestling podcaster Mike Sempervive (of the Adam & Mike Big Audio Nightmare and Wrestling Observer Live over at WrestlingObserver.com) about whether WWE would learn anything from (a) the simple, old-school but effective build of Tate/Rousey as compared to ridiculous “Sports Entertainment”, or (b) the fact that women were presented as main draws. Semp tweeted “While the look of the messenger changes, it’s always the story that hooks people. And those donks lost that plot a long time ago”. Sadly, he’s not wrong. So here we stand, just a few days after a high-water mark for women’s combat sports, and also less than four weeks away from the biggest show in wrestling history, and rumours are currently swirling that (at the minute), there is *no* women’s match scheduled for WrestleMania. Now, one thing we as fans of (and commentators on) WWE have learned a long time ago is that Vince McMahon is an infinitely fickle man, and Raw shows are often written, re-written and re-written again even on the day of the show – so there’s every chance that by the time I’ve finished writing this article and uploaded it to the website, it’s already out of date – but with under a month to the big show, let’s consider the options for WrestleMania. (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…)
I know, that title sounds pretty implausible, but it really happened.
Think back to 2006, when WrestleMania 22 was main evented by John Cena v Triple H. While that was undoubtedly the marquee match, the secondary pull was the Women’s title affair – almost literally as well as figuratively – between champion Trish Stratus and her “biggest fan” turned stalker turned enemy Mickie James.
James had debuted about 7 months previously, rescuing Trish, hanging around her all the time, pretending to be her, wanting to be her, and also being jealous at how Stratus’ friend Ashley Massaro always seemed to be in the mix. Massaro and James fought at the Royal Rumble, setting the turn, and it was compounded when Mickie made a pass at Stratus which was rejected. The two agreed to give each other some space after teaming at Saturday Night’s Main Event in February 2006, but James gave her own personal farewell to her idol by kicking her in the head.
Then this happened… (more…)
Yesterday, WWE shot a big angle for WrestleMania XXVII‘s mixed tag team match of John Morrison, Trish Stratus and Snooki taking on Dolph Ziggler and LayCool, though reports on the Jersey Shore star’s conduct vary. Instead of doing a mass of analysis, we will let you be the judge.
First off came the initial report from popthecrowd.com:
World Wrestling Entertainment shot a major angle earlier today at Miami Mike’s Sports Zone in East Hanover, NJ involving Snooki, Trish Stratus, and Lay-Cool to air this Monday night on Raw. The segment features Lay-Cool searching the bar for Snooki and Trish Stratus. Snooki gets into a fight with a guido first and then Lay-Cool finds her and a bar room brawl breaks out.
Originally the segment was to begin filming at 10 AM but Snooki didn’t leave her room until 1 PM. Filming didn’t begin until 3 PM and they shot until close to 8 PM.
Snooki was said to have been drinking heavily during the entire day and was rude to people, including the owner who she called a “weirdo” before leaving. She said she was leaving to go bowling after the segment was finished taping and would return later for more drinks.
Snooki also told the bartender she was going to be a full-time WWE Diva after Jersey Shore is finished.
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.