There are many interesting prospects in North America. One which has been simmering for a while is Mia Yim, who has been honing her skills and gaining more experience by partaking in a number of extended trips to Japan to wrestle for REINA x World. Domestically, she has had some interesting matches which have been of a good quality, and was a beneficiary when one of her kicks broke Allysin Kay’s nose last January leading to a number of well-received matches between the two with greater stipulations reflecting the development of the programme, culminating in a cage match at Absolute Intense Wrestling’s Girls Night Out 7. She had a fine outing against Jessicka Havok at SHINE 3 last September, and also enjoyed outings against the likes of Kana and Yumi Ohka in SHIMMER in 2011.
However, there is one major sticking point when it comes to her work in the US – barring the original nose-breaking match against Kay at GNO5, Yim has lost most of those high-profile outings.
Despite that, she has the opportunity to claim a really big scalp at SHIMMER volume 53 in Secaucus, NJ on April 6, and spoil the homecoming of one of its biggest stars at the same time. (more…)
So Kaitlyn is finally the WWE Divas Champion. A week shy of five months after (accidentally) winning a battle royal to challenge for the title at Night Of Champions – a shot which never happened after she was written out so Eve Torres could vie for the belt like was originally planned – the NXT Season 3 winner reached the top of the pile, defeating Torres on the 20th anniversary episode of Raw. We’ll get to the new champ in a moment – but firstly, let’s discuss the noise which preceded the match…
Yesterday, PWInsider reported that last night would be Eve’s final match with WWE before leaving the company, and it would be likely that she would be dropping the belt to Kaitlyn, who she has been feuding with since mid-September. As it turns out, that is exactly what happened, though her title loss came a bit earlier than others were expecting. According to the most recent Wrestling Observer Radio, Torres handed in her notice a month ago with the agreement that she would stay on to build up the title feud with Kaitlyn and then drop the belt to her, with the internal expectation being that she would lose the title at the Royal Rumble in two weeks, after a series of matches between the two when Eve would use underhanded tactics to retain the title. Instead, the decision was made for the switch to take place on the milestone Raw – which makes more sense, as it means more viewers would see the change and Kaitlyn’s moment of glory would take place in her home town of Houston, TX. It was a smart move, as the partisan crowd was hotter for the match than it would have likely been compared to the audience at the Rumble in Phoenix, AZ. Besides, fans have been conditioned to a certain extent to not be that bothered about the Divas, so it was unlikely that the match would have generated a massive amount of pay-per-view buys. (more…)
Former WWE Women’s and Divas Champion Michelle McCool must have talked to her official fansite MichelleMcCool.net for about a kabillion years for it to produce as many different releases about things she has said about her time in WWE. There are masses of quotes about Beth Phoenix, Maria Kanellis, Layla, Sharmell Huffman, Vickie Guerrero, Tara, Natalya, Torrie Wilson, Mickie James and more. Seriously, the interview must have gone on for about three hours to sufficiently cover all these topics. Quite why she has decided to do this now after spending more than 18 months out of the wrestling spotlight is a discussion in itself, as it is doubtful that she is doing to come back, and she has positive things to say about everyone, which doesn’t lead to that many juicy tidbits. However, it is her comments about her experiences with Melina which we found the most interesting.
The 32-year old discussed how they collectively got in trouble following their contest at Night Of Champions 2009, where McCool successfully defended the Women’s Championship, with one particular move on the outside of the ring causing the problem:
It was that day – I was like: “could you not tell anybody, but do you think we could do a DDT on the barricade?” And [Melina] was like: “Ohhhh! Yeah!!!” — Not even thinking twice about it. We kind of hid it all day, even though we did ask our agent for approval, I think it was Fit — which is no secret that he was always fighting for the girls. We just made sure that we can stand up and get our balance, but we never actually did the bump. She was the one who was going to take the huge bump, and there was no doubt, no hesitation, that she would make it look ridiculous — and it did! [During the match] She finally takes the bump, it looks sick [pictured above], pops off — up to that point, that was the best match I’ve ever had. We had the pay-per-view, we had time, I was really proud of that match. (more…)
Emi Sakura has had a hell of a year, and it’s been well documented here at Ringbelles. Her success since leaving Ice Ribbon has included setting up her own promotion in Thailand, having it migrate to Japan, winning the JWP/Daily Sports Tag Team Championship, securing the services of Kaori Yoneyama then having her take her side in some sort of Stockholm Syndrome scenario, forming a team to invade JWP and then taking hold of the promotion’s crown jewel by winning the Openweight Championship. In addition, she defended the belt in the UK for the first time in its history and won the Pro Wrestling: EVE Championship on the same night. Indeed, it has been one hell of a year for the 36 year old. However, it seems as if 2012 is going to end on a mildly disappointing note.
Yesterday, 17-year veteran dropped the Openweight Title in the main event of Climax 2012 at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall after 57 days – the second shortest reign in the title’s 20 year history (for the record, the shortest was Devil Masami’s 32 day run which ended when the title was vacated for unknown reasons). She was beaten by current Tag Team Champion Arisa Nakajima, who has also enjoyed a tremendous 2012. (more…)
Have you listened to the latest edition of the Women Of Wrestling Podcast yet? Featuring the heads of SHIMMER, NCW Femmes Fatales and Women Superstars Uncensored, Dave Prazak, Stephane Bruyere and Drew Cordiero spoke frankly on a number of topics such as their respective fortunes in 2012, the pros and cons of booking former WWE Divas or TNA Knockouts on a show and what they think of iPPV. Amongst all the great chat, each took the time to reveal nuggets of what we should expect in 2013 from their respective promotions.
For SHIMMER, Prazak revealed that at at the volume 53 show on April 6 in Secaucus, NJ as part of the WrestleCon event will see the return of two big stars and the debut of one of women’s wrestling’s hottest prospects. Former SHIMMER Champion Madison Eagles – who has been out of action since October 2011 with a devastating knee injury – will make her long-awaited return to the promotion where she reigned supreme between April 2010 and last October, where she dropped the belt to Cheerleader Melissa on volume 42. Her injury occurred mere days later as she was in training ahead of her match against Kana for CHIKARA , with a mere double stomp causing all the problems. At the time, she was told that she could either rest and see if the injury healed of its own accord, or have surgery which would end her career. (more…)
WOW Podcast Xmas Special (#49) with SHIMMER’s Dave Prazak, WSU’s Drew Cordeiro & NCW:Femmes Fatales’ Stephane Bruyere
Happy holidays everybody, and we’re celebrating by trying something brand new for us on the WOW Podcast, as we’re visited by the Three Wise Men of women’s wrestling. We’ve had many multiple guest shows before, but never have we had them all on the line at the same time, roundtable style. We welcome SHIMMER’s Dave Prazak, WSU’s Drew Cordeiro & NCW:FF’s Stephane Bruyere to discuss their year in wrestling. How was 2012 for them and their promotion? We discuss the exodus of female talent from the “Big Two” and whether the revolving door at WWE/TNA will have an effect on the independent scene. We talk about opening dialogue between promoters (and this is legitimately the first time Dave Prazak & Drew Cordeiro have *ever* spoken to each other) and thoughts/plans for iPPV going forward with all three companies. All of the Ringbelles picks for our 2012 awards are discussed, along with other performers who either have had a standout year, or are ones to watch going into 2013. Speaking of 2013, we have loads of news on the upcoming shows for all three promotions – Drew gives the lowdown on WSU’s “An Ultraviolent Affair” in February, Stephane unleashes a tasty triple main event for Femmes Fatales XI in March, and Dave makes three new talent announcements for SHIMMER vol 53 at the WrestleCon event on WrestleMania weekend. Oh, not only that, but there’s a tease on a current WSU talent that may well debut in SHIMMER in 2013, and you may want to keep listening after the outro music for a special Christmas song from one of our guests… It’s damn near an hour and a half of Christmas cheer! Enjoy~!
Follow Dave Prazak on twitter | SHIMMER on twitter and facebook
Follow Drew Cordeiro on twitter | WSU on twitter and facebook
Follow Stephane Bruyere on twitter | NCW:Femmes Fatales on twitter and facebook
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
It’s time for the second of our three honours which comprise the Ringbelles 2012 Year End Awards, and that brings us to the Breakout Star of the Year. While we define the Discovery category as someone who caught our attention and made us believe that great things are in that wrestler’s future, the Breakout Star award is for those wrestlers who have gone from being another name in another match to someone who has become a genuine player, breaking through that proverbial glass ceiling to being a must-have selection for promoters, and someone who fans are now going out of their way to see, learn more about and follow.
As was mentioned in yesterday’s Roundup, the Breakout Star category saw the biggest field of potential winners, with fifteen women in contention for the award. Names on the list included Hiroyo Matsumoto, who challenged for numerous championships in Japan and earned another crack at the SHIMMER title on volume 51; Courtney Rush, who was part of the brilliant Queens Of Winning storyline and has been part of higher profile matches in 2012, showing how well regarded she is and how you can rely on her to put on an entertaining contest; Athena, who won the Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen of Queens and had big outings against the likes of Ray, Mercedes Martinez and Ayako Hamada, as well as challenging for both the SHIMMER and nCw Femmes Fatales International championships; Evie, who in the space of seven days in August won two of the most high-profile titles in Australasia and fought some staggeringly hard-hitting matches along the way; and Nikki Storm, who blossomed over the year from an entertaining prospect for the future into a consistently entertaining performer and the Pro Wrestling: EVE Champion – albeit for only a matter of minutes.
Three of the aforementioned names came within a gnat’s whisker of winning this award. However, we elected to give it to a woman whose rise over 2012 came to be because of an errant kick which caused her nose to explode… (more…)
2012 Diva of the Year (named by both WWE Magazine and the WWE fans via the Slammy Awards) AJ Lee is about as far away from WWE’s idea of what a Diva should be as you can imagine. Short, quirky, geeky, lacking the body shape that others have had in the past, she comes across as the person you would be more likely to meet over an Xbox Live session of Call Of Duty Black Ops 2 than at an awards ceremony or a fancy bar. She’s your friend, your buddy – she’s not what WWE would perceive to be the ultimate in femininity.
But scratch beneath the surface, and she may be more woman than anyone else on the roster. She’s independent, driven, and has forged a path which she was never meant to go down – and in doing so, forced WWE to take notice.
After all, at the start of this year, she was Daniel Bryan’s put-upon girlfriend – the one who was the foil for him to turn heel, and saw her end up being verbally abused and put in harm’s way. If anything, at the time she was another version of the antithesis of a Diva – meek, helpless and unable to take care of herself. However, when their relationship ended on the post-WrestleMania SmackDown following Bryan’s loss of the World Heavyweight Title – which he blamed on her – she went off at the deep end. It gave her character a chance to have an edge, and she ran with it. (more…)
As we build up to the 2012 Ringbelles Awards, we’re having a look back at last year’s winners and how they fared in 2012. Yesterday, we recapped Kay Lee Ray‘s 2012 after winning Discovery of the Year – now it’s the turn of the Breakout Star of the Year for 2011, Jessicka Havok…
At the time of us awarding her the Breakout moniker, Havok was the Women Superstars Uncensored Spirit Champion and on course to challenge Mercedes Martinez for the WSU World Title at the promotion’s 5th Anniversary card in March. Needless to say she won that match, holding both singles championships at the same time and establishing herself as the top woman in WSU. This was followed by her successfully defending the Spirit Title against Marti Belle not once, but twice – but also lost the WSU crown on her first defence against former champ Martinez, though regained it the same night in a 3 way also involving Brittney Savage. (more…)
Over the years, the number of taboos in wrestling seem to have evaporated. After all, few bat an eyelid about wrestlers who have barely reached their teens stepping into the ring in Japan. Wrestlers with disabilities are given the same opportunities as anyone else, and nobody tells anyone that they are too old to lace up the boots, even though some really should be. However, the prospect of a man facing a woman in a wrestling match still seems to be something which makes some fans squirm in their seats.
I can see some of you imagining it right now.
For a long while, mixed matches seemed to be a no-no, but then it hit the mainstream with the late comic Andy Kaufman wrestling women and calling himself the Intergender Champion of the World, before Jerry Lawler piledrove him onto his head. From there, we saw the odd mixed tag team match on special occasions – WrestleMania VI with Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire against Randy Savage and Sherri Martel being a prime example – but very seldom did the women interact with the men… but times changed. (more…)
“SOOO who’s ready for EVEN MORE changes to Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling ? Well heck it wouldn’t be a 24 hour day without some now would it!
“Stay tuned as we’re sure to serve up even more random stuff from the wacky world of Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling in the morning. Perhaps we should start doing contests like Guess The Next Girl To Drop Off ? Gotta love it.
“PS – not one single change to the loaded PWS lineup on Friday.”
That was one of the posts which Pro Wrestling Syndicate posted on its official Facebook page last week ahead of the debut Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling show on Thursday. As it happened, the show managed to fulfil its promise of presenting 8 opening round matches for its Sweet Sixteen tournament, though the lineup was a million miles away from the card which it originally posted. Reports from the show say it was a lot of fun, so it appears the fans went home from the Rahway Recreation Center in New Jersey happy, and by the sounds of the post above, the promoters of PWS breathed a sigh of relief. (more…)
“I am so sorry I have not been in touch in a while. I have been in and out of hospital and have not been able to get access to the internet in over a week. I am very upset I have to write this email because I have to cancel all future dates until December. I am not sure if you had heard about the knock to the head I got in Germany a few weeks ago or not, but I got a bad cut above the eye and it was stitched up and all seemed fine. But after a few days I was getting extremely painful headaches, loud buzzing in my left ear and my vision in my left eye is completely blurred. The doctor has told me it may be damage to the 8th cranial nerve and I am waiting for a CT brain scan and have been advised to stop wrestling for the next few months. It could be permanent or it could go away by itself, but until all signs have been alleviated I will not be able to engage in any heavy physical activity.”
That’s the message Rebecca Knox posted on her own website back in October 2006, following her serious injury in a match against Kisu in Dortmund on September 22 of that year. The match finished as normal, and took on Sweet Saraya the following night in Great Yarmouth, England in a match which saw her drop the Queens Of Chaos Championship. After that, she took some time out to get medically checked out, which gave her the bad news about her 8th cranial nerve injury. It also meant that the proposed Iron Woman Match between she and Daizee Haze at SHIMMER Volume 7 had to be scrapped, after the pair had engaged in a heated feud in the promotion’s early days.
As she points out in her post, she was expecting to be out until December 2006. It’s now October 2012, and only now is the 25-year old from Dublin, Ireland seriously thinking of a return. (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…)
As we reported at the weekend, Riho is leaving Ice Ribbon after being with the promotion for the entire existence of the company. She’s leaving following her match against Aoi Kizuki on September 23 to focus on her high school entrance exams. Now 15 years old, Riho debuted at the age of 8 and won the ICEx60 Championship when she was 12. When she returns, she says it will not be for Ice Ribbon but for her trainer Emi Sakura in Thailand.
Riho’s departure is the latest in an expanding list of wrestlers who have left Ice Ribbon in the last 12 months or so. Chii Tomiya (now Micro), Ray, Makoto and founder Emi Sakura have all said their farewells, while Dorami Nagano has been missing since June, Sayaka Obihiro hasn’t had a match since July and Hikari Minami is also taking some time away to prepare for high school. For the most part, none of these acts have been replaced, and precious few have debuted in the last year.
Some have benefited. Kurumi has come on leaps and bounds to the point where she is one half of the International Ribbon Tag Team Champions; Aoi Kizuki returned at Christmas and has been a smiling presence since then; Maki Narumiya has improved too, and names like Hamuko Hoshi and Maeri Naito have also had more attention bestowed onto them. However, the top of the card looks a little sparse these days, with ICEx60 Champion Hikaru Shida and Tsukasa Fujimoto heading things up, names like 14-year old prodigy Tsukushi the next level down (and presumably will also be thinking about school soon), and Narumiya and Kizuki also around there. (more…)
It’s a jungle out there.
Take a look at the Upcoming section – most specifically the section for October and November. In the space of a month, you have three iPPV shows (SHINE will be one of them, most probably on October 19), as well as the SHIMMER weekend, nCw Femmes Fatales and Pro-Wrestling: EVE. In a four week gap, there are hugely advertised women’s cards taking place across the western hemisphere. If you expand the boundaries a bit to include the start of October, there is the new UKWW/WAWW venture in the UK, the debut of REINA x World in the US, PWWA in Australia and Joshi4Hope in Japan. No doubt, if you’re a fan of women’s wrestling, you certainly have a lot of stuff to choose from. Unfortunately, it may be too much for a minority in a minority like women’s wrestling certainly is.
On August 8, Pro-Wrestling: EVE promoter Dann Read tweeted his thoughts on the matter: “Its been obv for a while but I’m now feeling that the women’s scene in the US is becoming over saturated to a potentially harmful level.”
The first apparent victim of this rapidly expanding calendar was Ohio-based Independent Women’s Internet Wrestling, which shut up shop last week after one – albeit well received – show in July which crowned Cherry Bomb as its first champion. In a message posted on its Facebook page last week, it said; “As you know there is SHIMMER and WSU and Femmes Fatales which provide women’s wrestling action as well as Pro Wrestling Eve in England. And now there are two new promotions Shine and Blow which are going to be having regular and affordable iPPV’s featuring top talent.
“I see little reason in attempting to compete with a fraction of the resources. Even on a hobby promoting level it’s too expensive and too little return to pursue any further.” (more…)
Seeing as Women Superstars Uncensored is going “Full Steam Ahead” by announcing its first card under the umbrella of new owners Beyond Wrestling, let’s take a look at arguably the promotion’s most high-profile alumnus in former Tag Team Champion Miss April, better known these days as WWE Raw‘s General Manager AJ Lee.
Teaming with Brooke Carter – later renaming herself Brittney Savage – to form the AC Express, Miss April defeated the Beatdown Betties of Annie Social and Roxie Cotton to win the tag straps in February 2009, forfeiting the belt when she was signed to WWE in May. However before leaving the promotion, she had time to win the King and Queen of the Ring tournament alongside her trainer Jay Lethal.
The match we bring to you for today’s Retro is April’s debut in the promotion from October 10, 2008. Accompanied by Gorgeous George, she takes on Jana in the opening match of Push It To The Limit in Bergenfield, New Jersey… (more…)
After a period of transition and planning, Women Superstars Uncensored will relaunch under new management with the aptly named “Full Steam Ahead” from the now traditional WSU home base of the NYWC Sportatorium in Deer Park, New York on October 13th. In fact, fans will see the new synergy between WSU and its new brother promotion Beyond Wrestling right off the bat, as Beyond will present an afternoon card entitled “All Aboard” as part of what the promotion hopes will be a “Deer Park Double Header For The Ages” The WSU show, which will commence at 8pm bell-time will be headlined by a Triple Threat match for the WSU World Title between champion Jessicka Havok and contenders Alicia and Lexxus. Click through for the full talent list announced so far, and information on ticket prices/availability. (more…)
Episode 44 with Allysin Kay
The Women of Wrestling Podcast returns with the third and final member of the fearsome Midwest Militia, Allysin Kay. Kay has had a breakout year in 2012, thanks in large part to her exploits in AIW, where she started the year with a broken nose, came back to win their women’s title, and next weekend will conclude the trilogy as she defends her title in a Cage Match against the woman who broke her nose – Mia Yim. Also, fresh off Shine Wrestling‘s iPPV debut last weekend, Kay talks about tagging up with Taylor Made, and the classic tag team that inspires her work. We talk her early wrestling fandom and her initial favourites, her fantastic and distinctive tattoo, meeting and working with Jessicka Havok, thoughts on the future of WSU under new management, working NCW Femmes Fatales last month and being already announced for SHIMMER this October, accents, twitter, craziness and more. A lot of fun.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)