We’re getting quite WSU-centric this weekend here on Ringbelles, what with a preview of this afternoon’s ‘Blood and Thunder’ iPPV, an impromptu podcast with WSU owner Drew Cordeiro about a believed new co-owner coming in today and a review of the first WSU Secret Show on StreamWSU – and while we’ll be back later with live results of the iPPV, we’ve first got to cover the second Secret Show, taped last night at the CZW School. Although nothing was announced beforehand (it was a secret, after all), it turned out to be an eight woman single elimination tournament – an “International J Cup”, in fact.
The Women’s J-Cup has actually been an annual tournament held by WSU under the old ownership, dating back to 2008 (former winners include Mercedes Martinez, Angel Orsini, Alicia and Brittney Savage twice), but hadn’t taken place under the new management yet. Competitors in the international field included two Europeans (Shanna & Nikki Storm) and two Canadians (Jody D’Milo & Jewells Malone) along with four Americans (Santana Garrett, Barbi Hayden, Jenny Rose and Kimber Lee). A pretty strong field. Let’s see what went down. (more…)
So I’m legitimately about to go to bed when I get a call from WSU co-owner Drew Cordeiro. You may well have seen Drew on social media today mulling over an “unexpected yet welcome” offer – and he wanted to talk about it. Fair enough, says I – so I hit record on the call for a quick impromptu Q&A about what this offer entails. We know it involves the addition of a new co-owner of the company… but what does that actually mean? Drew gives specific hints and talks about how the addition of this new partner will help WSU better achieve many of the same aims that Drew originally pledged when he took over the company last year. Apart from WSU going forward, we get some news on next month’s ‘Tournament for Tomorrow’ weekend, WSU’s place as part of Fight Season and a final reminder of the card for ‘Blood And Thunder’ this weekend (and you can read our preview for that right here)
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This Saturday sees a Women Superstars Uncensored Championship match which is a year in the making. Ever since October 13 last year, Lexxus has been claiming that she is the uncrowned champion after losing a 3-way title match at Full Steam Ahead where Jessicka Havok beat she and Alicia, though it was the latter challenger who took the fall. Claiming she was never beaten, she ran her mouth claiming she deserved another crack at the title. In two days at Blood and Thunder in Voorhees, NJ, the former WSU Tag Team Champion gets her opportunity to put up or shut up after beating Nevaeh at August’s Uncensored Rumble VI show to become the top contender.
As for Havok, it’s her first title defence since February’s An Ultraviolent Affair event where she defeated Athena to retain the championship. Since then, she has defeated Sami Callihan (who substituted for an injured LuFisto) at Queen and King of the Ring in May and missed the Uncensored Rumble due to travel issues.
Considering Lexxus’ big talking and the amount of time since Havok’s last defence, we’re expecting the main event to be an entertaining outing, and it’s one of the big matches we’re looking forward to at Blood and Thunder. Let’s take a look at the others… (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (8 October 2013) – Saraya and Melissa settle things, AJ Lee injured, Total Divas in-ring debut
I certainly didn’t see it coming, and I doubt many others would have.
On Sunday evening at Bellatrix 7, I was fully expecting Saraya Knight to win the war against Cheerleader Melissa on her home turf by finally beating her decisively, ending the six and a half year feud between them – four of which were spent with silent hostility in the air from opposite sides of the Atlantic. However, instead of there being an out and out winner of the feud, there was a time limit draw following 20 minutes of battering each other both inside and outside of the ring. As a result, it seemed as if nothing was settled between them. With two wins, two losses and two draws each, it was a total stalemate – but that seemed to be perfectly acceptable to both. (more…)
Episode 62 with Allysin Kay
When we spoke to Allysin Kay last year for Episode 44 of the Podcast, she was the AIW Absolute Women’s Champion and was on the verge of defending her title in a big challenge at an upcoming Girls Night Out show. Fast forward to now, Kay’s *still* undefeated as champion and on the verge of *another* major title defence at Girls Night Out 9 & 10 this weekend. In the interim she’s been wrestling literally all over the place, including just returning Stateside from a three month tour of Japan. As well as looking forward to Girls Night Out this weekend, we talk the Japan excursion, how it came about, the culture and language issues of an extended stay in Japan (not to mention the humidity and constant fear of Earthquakes). We find out her favourite match from her trip, and her favourite match she saw as a fan, discuss this Instagram picture, and chow down on just where the best steak is in Tokyo. We talk her return to SHINE this past weekend, and the ongoing absence of Taylor Made at SHINE, the (presumably) upcoming reunion of Made In Sin at SHIMMER later in the month, her favourite SHIMMER moments to date, the apparently cursed tag team feud in WSU vs Annie Social & Kimber Lee, her mouthpiece assisted match with Cheerleader Melissa at NCW:Femmes Fatales and her upcoming return to Beyond Wrestling. Oh, and racist Japanese people… Oh Allysin…
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Episode 61 with Mercedes Martinez
It’s been a long time since we chatted to Mercedes Martinez here on the Women of Wrestling Podcast, and given that she’s coming to the UK this weekend for the Bellatrix 7 iPPV which kickstarts Female Fight Season, we thought it was about damn time. Mercedes talks about looking forward to wrestling in the UK, and defending her NCW:Femmes Fatales Title over here against Miss Mina. Speaking of Femmes Fatales, she gives her views on where they’re going, whether there is a hole in that promotion now that Kalamity has stepped away, the importance of LuFisto and how well Sweet Cherrie did in her main event at Femmes Fatales XII earlier in the year. Speaking of LuFisto, we also address the feud Mercedes has had with her which spanned into WSU, her series with Jessicka Havok there, and try to clarify exactly what Mercedes’ position is with WSU going forward. We talk… yes… WRESTLICIOUS, present her with her own Wrestlicious Rap and investigate what exactly is going on with that programme. Mercedes was also announced today as being a part of the SHIMMER Vols 58-61 tapings in under three weeks. We talk about her thoughts on SHIMMER after all these years, whether a title reign there is still a major goal, and who’s likely to step up with names like Athena and Courtney Rush out through injury during these tapings. We talk SHINE, and her opponent at the last show, Solo Darling, along with her hopes for that promotion. We talk about Mercedes’ current role as the “veteran”, and touch on retirement and what that will mean for her when the day comes, while Lee gets embarrassed with talk of The Big O. Quite the show…!
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Ringbelles Roundup (24 September 2013) – Knockouts division reaches critical point, plus news & more
It’s felt like Groundhog Day since the start of July when TNA Knockouts started dropping from their perch. We are now at the point that things seem totally desperate with the division, with just two full-time wrestlers on the roster and two playing valet roles but are likely on call just in case.
The latest Knockout to disappear from our screens is Mickie James, who dropped the Knockouts Championship two weeks ago on an Impact Wrestling taping which was televised last Thursday. As a result, ODB is now the reigning champion, currently in her fourth run with the title. ODB holding the title isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though you have to imagine that had the roster not reduced to the state that it is in now, she would still be the referee and Taryn Terrell would be holding the belt, considering she was on the monster push. As things turned out, she is on an indefinite leave of absence and TNA did what it had to do to get the belt off James before her contract expired.
When we wrote about Mickie’s contract situation just over a week ago, it was reported that she was still in negotiations with TNA and if the right deal could be struck she would be back on the show. However earlier today, her profile was removed from the roster page on the company’s website, which can’t be a good sign. Mickie James may be back, but I personally wouldn’t hold my breath. Considering the financial issues leading to a massive amount of cost-cutting on the roster – and talk of the show moving back to a singular location because of the sheer outgoings caused by Impact going on the road and not pulling in the crowds, it could just be that TNA can’t afford Mickie James money right now, and may not for the foreseeable future.
As it stands, the only full-time female wrestlers on the roster are champion ODB and Gail Kim, with Velvet Sky and Brooke Tessmacher working as hangers-on for Bully Ray and Chris Sabin respectively. That’s pretty weak by anyone’s standards. (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (17 September 2013) – Courtney Rush speaks on her injury, rejigged matches, Total Divas finale
There is never a good time to sustain an injury – but for Courtney Rush, the timing of her current ailment has to feel horrendous for her.
Tweeting yesterday, she said: “I don’t know how to say this so I’ll just spit it out: last night I broke my collarbone & will be out of wrestling for the rest of the year. The past 24 hours have been the most frustrating and heartbreaking I have experienced in a very long time. But I must remain positive. A thousand thanks to those who showed such compassion and love and did everything to help me through the pain and emotion. I love you all.”
Speaking exclusively to Ringbelles, Rush revealed that the injury happened in a “freak accident” while she wrestled under a mask as La Tigre Diablo against Jasmine in the warm up match at Sunday’s Smash Wrestling CanUSA Classic show in Toronto, ON, Canada – explaining why she did not feature on the show in her announced match against Candice LeRae. While the fractured collarbone is a massive blow, it also means a lot of Courtney’s plans for the next month or so are out of the window. (more…)
Texas standout Barbi Hayden caused quite a stir when she made her debut for Women Superstars Uncensored at their recent Uncensored Rumble 6 iPPV – people took to her immediately, and we discuss her thoughts working in front of that new crowd – and, indeed, the seemingly dying art of “working” the crowd. WSU wasn’t her only first time experience this year, and we also talk about working in Mexico earlier in the year, as well as the pressure of working for Ring of Honor, where she worked fellow Texan, Athena. Speaking of Athena, Barbi gives her first person perspective on being involved in the six woman match at WSU where she got injured. We also talk about the Texas scene, and naturally touch on the current circumstances at Anarchy Championship Wrestling, including working in an open-air venue when it starts to rain. A really fun chat from someone I get the feeling we’re going to see a lot more of in the coming months.
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Total Divas is directing the Divas division in WWE at the moment.
Last Friday’s match between Naomi and Brie Bella on SmackDown ended in a no-contest when some of the Divas – AJ Lee, Aksana, Layla & Alicia Fox – who aren’t a part of Total Divas came down to the ring and attacked the seven stars of the E! Show. On Raw last night, AJ’s opponents at this Sunday’s Night Of Champions show – Natalya, Brie & Naomi – defeated Aksana, Layla & Fox in a six woman tag when Alicia tapped out to Natalya’s Sharpshooter. In addition, Naomi defeated AJ Lee in non-title matches in Canada at the weekend, and if you were a betting man, you would put money on the Divas Championship changing hands this Sunday.
The show is after a happy ending to its season extension/season two run due to start later this year, following the conclusion of the current season which ends next week with Natalya’s marriage to TJ Wilson (Tyson Kidd). Seeing as all three of AJ’s challengers are babyfaces for this angle – and are the three most likeable women on the show – it is perfectly plausible that any one of them could walk out with the belt. (more…)
Last Wednesday, Women Superstars Uncensored announced on on its Facebook page that it had signed a “special attraction” match for its next show, entitled Blood And Thunder. On Thursday, the promotion revealed that one half of the match was a “European bruiser” – now we know who is involved, and it promises to be a titanic encounter between two women who hit hard and aren’t afraid to be hit.
It’s Saraya Knight v Mickie Knuckles in a no disqualification match. (more…)
Female Fight Season is creeping up on us and as more talent is announced for the shows, one thing that jumps out is the number of wrestlers who are making this first trips abroad to face new people, venture into new locker rooms and expand their horizons.
Let’s start with the women who are travelling to the United States. As we have mentioned on this website in the past, Nikki Storm is making the trip from Scotland to take bookings for SHINE, Women Superstars Uncensored and Absolute Intense Wrestling in the month of October, and was announced for SHIMMER this evening too. She is certainly making the most of her time in the US by working for as many of the major women’s groups as possible. Networking her way around the country will also help to attain new contacts, connect with new audiences and shift a lot of merchandise. Joining her as another fresh face in the US will be Australia’s Savannah Summers, who will also be part of AIW’s Girls Night Out tapings on October 6. Her announcement was somewhat out of the blue, as this is the first time that the six year pro will venture outside of her native country and ply her trade elsewhere. Considering her experience and character – her heel work is pretty great and she’s also likeable as a babyface – she should create a good impression with the crowd in Cleveland, OH. (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (27 August 2013) – Speculation on Tara’s future, Total Divas, #PipeBombshell & more
It’s been a pretty quiet week as far as news from the world of women’s wrestling is concerned, but one thing which stood out was what one former TNA Knockout said about the company – as well as what she didn’t say.
In an interview released on the Wrestling Observer, the former Tara (Lisa Marie Varon) talked about how she will “never” return to TNA, kept tight-lipped about the worst things concerning the promotion, and also openly praised WWE’s direction with the Divas both on the main shows and in NXT. Now, I would imagine that because of her being so direct about her lack of desire to return to the promotion, there are probably some stories there but are being held back out of professional respect to not run down a company which still has people she likes working there, or she’s saving it for when the time is right. She also goes out of her way to praise the opposition, which raises an eyebrow or two. (more…)
We haven’t discussed it very much, but the new silly season for women’s wrestling is rapidly approaching. Officially dubbed the Female Fight Season, it even has its own Twitter so fans can keep up with the goings on. During this period from October, Bellatrix, Absolute Intense Wrestling (both on October 6), Women Superstars Uncensored (October 12), SHIMMER (October 19-20), NCW: Femmes Fatales (October 26), and SHINE (date TBC) are all holding events, so we’re going to be spoiled for choice.
The main event of the WSU show will see Jessicka Havok defend the WSU Championship against Lexxus, who earned a shot at the belt by beating Nevaeh at the Uncensored Rumble earlier this month (you can order the event by clicking here). To whet your appetite a bit, we’ve got a Lexxus match from last September from the Beyond Wrestling Armory Amore show.
Her opponent in the match is Portia Perez, who will likely be part of SHIMMER’s festivities but is also be a part of a Scottish tour in a month’s time – culminating with a match against Nikki Storm at ICW: Fierce Females‘ anniversary show on September 22 (you can buy tickets here). Click the jump and watch the match in its entirety. (more…)
Shoot interviews are always a funny thing. With wrestlers who have retired and have nothing to lose and are looking for a final few paydays without running the risk of torpedoing any future prospects, they can sometimes be an interesting walk down memory lane, with some fun stories from the past and some misty-eyed memories can be revisited by both the subject and fans who remember the era. However, with wrestlers who are still active, it can be a more dangerous venture.
What happens if you reveal more than you want to and it hurts your chances of making it somewhere in the future? What if you have a grudge with someone, voice it and then have uncomfortable moments if you have to share dressing rooms down the line? What about annoying a friend by saying something about someone who you dislike but they have a lot of time for? It’s a much bigger minefield.
That’s why the recent Kayfabe Commentaries piece by Amazing Kong has ruffled a few feathers. (more…)
In a terrible case of sod’s law, ‘The Wrestling Goddess’ Athena suffered an injury at last night’s WSU Secret Show. Reports have Athena taking a bad landing on a German Suplex which resulted in her throwing up post show and going to the hospital for X-Rays. All we’ve had confirmed by WSU (on twitter) is that “Nothing is broken, but she’s hurt. Needless to say, Athena will not be wrestling Jessicka Havok or participating in the Uncensored Rumble” and that “She is experiencing numbness in her left arm after landing on her left shoulder/collarbone”. The Secret Show (which turned out to be at the CZW training school) had already been missing Shanna, who had picked up an injury earlier in the day doing customs – but we’ve had confirmation that she’s going to be good to go both in today’s Uncensored Rumble and at CZW’s show thereafter.
This, naturally, puts WSU in a pickle ahead of this afternoon’s iPPV. Their main event is toast, and Jessicka Havok is without an opponent. The reason I called the Athena injury “sod’s law” earlier (i.e. ‘Whatever can go wrong, *will* go wrong’) is because this is the second WSU show in a row where the challenger for Jessicka Havok‘s WSU World Title has had to pull out due to injury – last time it was LuFisto. In fact, she’s not announced for the show, but how perfect would it be if LuFisto was able to fill that spot at the top of the card today? So, unless LuFisto was planned as an unannounced surprise Rumble entrant, I think logic dictates the more likely outcome is to either move one of Lexxus or Nevaeh into the main event to challenge Havok (both have legitimate claims for a shot), or parachute Havok into the existing match and make it a Havok/Lexxus/Nevaeh three way for the title. Either way, these are the questions that Drew Cordeiro will currently be grappling with, so we wish him all the best getting the card straightened out before bell time today.
UPDATE: WSU has just updated on twitter that Jessicka Havok will NOT be at the show today either, citing travel issues. Replying to us, WSU put a positive spin on the news, claiming that it gives a “Huge opportunity for the debuting wrestlers to step up”. Fingers crossed for them.
After the cut you’ll find results of the WSU Secret Show – an event which will be released exclusively on StreamWSU.com in the near future. If you’d prefer to avoid results for that, don’t click through. (more…)
This Saturday sees the return of one of the most well known events on the Women Superstars Uncensored calendar – the Uncensored Rumble. Last year’s Rumble show was the last event run under the old management, so this year’s event is the first one overseen by Drew Cordeiro, and it promises a fresh influx of talent to the promotion to complement the established WSU roster members. We’ve been quietly looking forward to this one for a while too… while the last WSU event was well received by this website, it was a intergender show with CZW male talent, and had the feeling of a placeholder show – so quite frankly, I’m looking forward to a (pretty much) straight-ahead women’s card where we can advance (and settle) some feuds.
We have seven matches scheduled, including the Rumble itself, headlined by a WSU World Title defence by Jessicka Havok, as she goes 2/3 falls with the current #1 contender (and the ‘Queen of the Ring’) Athena. There had been a bit of a logjam of top contenders growing to try and unseat Havok, so I’m glad we’re starting to get somewhere – as underneath the title match, we’ve also got a match between Lexxus (last year’s Rumble winner) and Nevaeh (who defeated Havok in CZW action) to determine the next contender. The only person left out in the cold at present appears to be LuFisto, who had been due a title shot at Havok at the ‘Queen and King of the Ring’ show in May, only to be forced out through injury – but I’m certain the Super Hardcore Anime will be back in WSU action sooner rather than later. (more…)
There are a lot of women’s wrestling promotions in the northern half of the planet. SHIMMER, Femmes Fatales, Women Superstars Uncensored, SHINE, IndyGurlz, Lucha Libre Feminil, Bellatrix, Pro-Wrestling: EVE, Fierce Females, WAVE, OZ Academy, JWP, Diana, Ice Ribbon, and Sendai Girls, just to name a few. In addition, there are promotions with women’s divisions like Anarchy Championship Wrestling, Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling, Acclaim Pro Wrestling, Squared Circle Wrestling, World Xtreme Wrestling, AAA, CMLL, FutureShock, ABC Catch and more.
In the southern hemisphere, there are comparatively few – which means if you are the champion of one of those, you are in a much more exclusive club. While there are some like the IndyGurlz Australia title and the Riot City Wrestling Women’s strap, arguably the most prestigious belt in women’s wrestling is in the southern hemisphere is the one representing the Pro Women’s Wrestling Alliance, and it’s now officially held by a grappler who has spent the last year as the lady in waiting… (more…)
We’ve been itching to talk about it for a month, and are glad that now that it has been broadcast, there is nothing to stop us now. Paige is the first NXT Women’s Champion, spotlighting her as the top woman in WWE’s developmental division right now. It is the shining moment in the 20-year old’s 6-year career – the last 18 months of which has been spent in Florida in Florida Championship Wrestling and later NXT. It was also a testament to WWE’s faith in the Briton that she defeated two established WWE Divas en route to the final of the tournament, defeating Tamina Snuka and former Divas Champion Alicia Fox to make it to the decider against Emma.
In what was the opening contest of last Wednesday’s broadcast, Paige and Emma put together what has to be the best women’s match that WWE has presented in the last year at least. With big moves peppering the proceedings, a decisive finish via the Paige Turner and the endorsement of fellow Divas and WWE COO Triple H made it all feel like a really big moment – as it should have been.
The WWE Divas Championship turned 5 years old on Saturday, and has evolved from the secondary title on the SmackDown brand to being the top belt in the promotion. Some would argue that in that time, the prestige of the primary women’s title in the biggest wrestling promotion in the world has dropped for various reasons, but it’s what we’re being presented, and it would be worth a look to see what state the title and the division itself is in right now.
Announced on June 6, 2008 by then-GM Vickie Guerrero so the women on her roster would have their own title, with the inaugural champion being Michelle McCool, who made Natalya tap out at that year’s Great American Bash. At the time, McCool was the pet project for WWE’s future, having been in the original Diva Search in 2004 and floating around for a long while before hitting a groove as a wrestler. However, she was a pretty unexciting one – and despite defeating Maryse a number of times over the course of the next month, it was the French Canadian who wrested the title from her in December of that year, which saw McCool turn heel on friend and special ref Maria Kanellis after the contest’s conclusion.
Maryse embarked on what is still the longest Divas Championship reign in the title’s history at 216 days, but her matches were pretty poor, and could not compare to the Raw brand’s women’s roster which was seeing the likes of Melina, Mickie James and Beth Phoenix competing over the Women’s Championship. However, during Maryse’s reign, she was drafted from SmackDown to Raw and took the belt with her, while Women’s Champion Melina went in the other direction. (more…)
While many fans are happy with the expansion of women’s wrestling promotions over the last few years, a criticism has been that similar names can be seen across the board. It could be argued that the reason they are so regularly booked is because of their ability, skill and match quality, but on the flip side, others may say that it stifles the development of others and makes rosters seem very similar. Women Superstars Uncensored may book some wrestlers which are regularly seen in other promotions – for example LuFisto – but in August, the promotion has plans to introduce more than half a dozen new names. Some of them you may be familiar with, others may be new to you. Some have had national exposure, some are competitively unknown. However, if you follow WSU, you’ll be getting to know them very soon… (more…)
In 1995, a mere four years after the invention of the World Wide Web, Amazon.com launched onto the Internet as an online bookstore with a simple, yet slightly baffling plan. Instead of looking to be a viable entity, it anticipated that it may not make money until the turn of the millennium. Its plan was to expand its brand quickly – no matter the cost – by making sure that everyone online knew about Amazon, what it did and its reputation. Going under the mantra of “get big fast”, it was its high profile which helped it to survive the dot-com bubble bursting in early 2000, which claimed a lot of firms which had floated on the stock exchange. Despite having not made a profit by that point, business kept flowing and it finally went into the black in the fourth quarter of 2001, more than six years after being launched.
The reason I bring up this tale is because over the last year, a number of women’s wrestling promotions have done similar things – rolled the dice to generate a following very quickly, enhance its profile and make sure that fans know that they are a real player. Insane Championship Wrestling: Fierce Females and Bellatrix have managed certain degrees of success in the UK with a plan which is seeing them speculate to accumulate both financially and creatively, but a certain promotion in Florida has gone even further in leapfrogging up the ladder to the point where it is being discussed as being the best women’s wrestling promotion in the western world… (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (11 June 2013) – Kaitlyn’s secret admirer, Kalamity, Brittney Savage, Gorgeous George and more
So Kaitlyn’s secret admirer was Big E Langston, as many originally assumed it would be. However, there was a sting in the tail, as Langston was sending the notes as a way to build up the Divas Champion to knock her down as part of a nefarious plan with AJ Lee.
Last night on Raw, Kaitlyn took the ring to ask for whoever had been sending her the notes and gifts, and had a look of bewilderment on her face as it was Big E who was revealed to be the one behind it all. He pointed out that it does appear to be a bit weird and awkward, but softened her with his words. As he moved closer for a kiss, he learnt her back for a romantic smooch, but let her fall to the floor. At that moment, AJ’s music hit and she came skipping to the ring to reveal that it was all one big head game ahead of their title match this Sunday at Payback.
AJ’s reasoning for doing it was that she felt that Kaitlyn had not supported her enough after Daniel Bryan dumped her last year and she went off the rails, and was more focussed on winning the Divas Championship. What Lee is leaving out is that Kaitlyn actually was there for support and to get her back on track, but AJ slapped her on two separate occasions before the friendship fell apart. The pair briefly reunited at the end of last year before AJ turned full-blown heel at TLC and aligned herself with Dolph Ziggler, but it was never meant to last.
AJ became the number one contender to the Divas strap by winning a battle royal on April 22, and since then it has been pushed to one side when it wasn’t convenient to address it. The pair had a backstage set-to at Extreme Rules, but that has been the only real storyline development until last night. (more…)