In a quick shuffle of developmental talent, presumably to make room for incoming talents, WWE have released a handful of NXT competitors today. Of note to this website, the only developmental Divas being released are Ashley Miller, who competed under the name Audrey Marie and Anna Bogomazova, who competed as Anya.
Ashley Miller, of Houston, TX finishes up after approximately two years in the developmental system. She is a former holder of the (now deactivated) FCW Divas Championship, a title she won in September 2011, which was a mere three months after her debut. Of late, Audrey has been very much kept in the background as far as the WWE developmental Divas have been concerned. Her last taped match came on the NXT tapings held on May 5th, when she lost to Emma in a match which is due to air on May 30th. (more…)
Anyone who watched TNA Impact Wrestling last week saw an unnecessarily uncomfortable moment for one of the roster.
Ring announcer Christy Hemme made a mistake on the live broadcast during the entrance for Austin Aries and Bobby Roode, incorrectly introducing them as Kazarian and Christopher Daniels’ team of Bad Influence. A silly mistake, but it’s live TV and mistakes sometimes happen. Upset, Aries got into the ring, backed Hemme into a corner and forced her to give the correct introductions, which she did, under some duress. As she was finishing off her correction, Aries climbed onto the ropes, essentially placing his crotch less than six inches from her face – something which Hemme laughed off.
However, things clearly weren’t so funny for Christy.
When asked about the incident on Twitter, Hemme replied with the solitary word of “unacceptable”, which made it clear that her reaction to Aries actions were not something that she found amusing, but had brushed it off to be a professional and get on with her job. Aries responded on his Twitter on Saturday with a load of penis and testicle puns, saying “Pretty nuts, some of the junk people get the balls to say over the net, knowing they couldn’t to your face…Eh, anyway, time to sack out.” (more…)
I’m still buzzing after Insane Championship Wrestling’s Fierce Females show on Saturday, which culminated with Kay Lee Ray winning her first ever championship when she won the tournament to become the inaugural Scottish titleholder. Beating Rhia O’Reilly and Viper in two very different contests, she proved that she is versatile and dependable as a main event talent. However, it was more than just KLR who impressed, with her defeated opponents also impressing, along with Carmel Jacob, Bete Noire, Erin Angel and Blue Nikita putting together great outings, and North American talent like Leah Von Dutch and Crazy Mary Dobson also entertaining. In fact, those two elements got me thinking…
First off, women’s wrestling fans are doing themselves a disservice by ignoring Europe. While places like America, Canada, Japan and Mexico are places which get a lot of attention, there are now three major all-women’s indie promotions to speak of in the UK alone, and plenty of skilled women from all over the continent looking to make their mark, and they can make it in the likes of Fierce Females, Pro Wrestling: EVE and Bellatrix because of their differing standpoints. (more…)
If the original Triple Tails members of Kana, Mio & Io Shirai were to hold a party and bring along their biggest accomplishment, Io would be last to arrive, but would be sporting the shiniest trinket. That’s because the 22-year old claimed the World Of Stardom Championship from Alpha Female at the promotion’s Ryogoku Cinderella show at Sumo Hall in Tokyo, Japan in front of a reported crowd of 5,500 paid fans (though some reports say that may have been inflated). Using a rolling cradle, Shirai put down the massive German for the pin, claiming her first singles championship, and a prestigious one at that.
While Kana held the SMASH Divas Championship on two occasions, the belt is now defunct and she never managed a successful defence in either reign, and Mio Shirai’s run with Ice Ribbon’s ICEx60 belt was more successful than Kana’s SMASH stints, it isn’t as prominent a championship as her sister’s current hardware – which is a big sign that the nightmare of last year is well behind her… (more…)
Sitting in the Tokyo ward of Sumida, Japan, Ryōgoku Kokugikan is primarily a venue for sumo wrestling, hence the alternative name of Sumo Hall. Hosting tournaments throughout the year as well as three special events in January, May and September, the 28-year old building holds a lot of tradition for sports other than sumo. The building also hosts boxing, concerts and professional wrestling. However, when it comes to joshi, Sumo Hall may well have been in Narnia, as there has not been a show there since Ladies Legend Pro Wrestling held an event there on February 12, 2007.
The show featured the semi-finals and final of a 10-woman All Star Tournament with Shinobu Kandori pinning Meiko Satomura to win the whole shebang. Attendance numbers are disputed, though the reported figure was about 5,800, which is less than half of the 13,000 that the building can hold.
Since then, there has not been a joshi show held there, though that will change next Monday, when Stardom presents its biggest and most ambitious show in its two and a half year history with a stacked card which features wrestlers from a number of different joshi promotions. (more…)
It has been discussed for a while – provisionally for the WWE Network, which is seemingly still a long way from becoming a reality – but today, WWE and E! made the announcement that a new series featuring five current and two new Divas will launch on the entertainment channel on July 28. Titled Total Divas, it is one of five new reality shows the channel is launching in the near future. This one will follow Natalya, Funkadactyls Cameron & Naomi and Nikki and Brie Bella, with WWE’s press release insisting that it will “[highlight] the professional and personal lives of WWE’s leading ladies”, as well as “complete and utter access to the backstage workings of WWE, the show examines the preparation and fallout from matches, [and] the romantic entanglements of a WWE locker room”.
As mentioned, there will also be two new Divas, hired as part of a privately-held Diva Search which happened recently. They are Natalia Eva Marie – who will be known as Eva Marie – and Joseann Alexie Offerman - who will will be repackaged as Jo-Jo Offerman. (more…)
Allison Danger isn’t going to Terry Funk her retirement. After her match at SHIMMER volume 57 on Sunday, she took the microphone to explain the reason why she is quitting the ring and won’t be coming back.
In January, the 36-year old suffered a minor stroke, after which doctors performed some tests and found out that she had lesions on her brain. She explained that they were not life-threatening, but did mean that she would have to stop wrestling for good. While she was thinking of stepping away from the ring, the diagnosis sealed her fate. However, the 13-year veteran is not going to be leaving the business completely, as she will shift her attentions to behind the curtain, assuming a backstage role in SHIMMER to help develop new talent.
The announcement came at the end of a match which raked up history, exposed old wounds and saw someone who she considered a friend take advantage of an old injury which she actually caused. Back on volume 17 in 2008, Danger suffered a broken collarbone at the hands of an Air Raid Crash from Cheerleader Melissa which put her out of action for three months. During her match alongside Regeneration X partner Leva Bates against Melissa and Ayako Hamada, Danger backed off from Melissa’s attack saying that her clavicle was hurting – to which Melissa responded that Danger was milking the moment for attention and sympathy, helping to make sure fans got behind Danger and didn’t have their loyalties separated. However, as the contest developed, Melissa’s aggression went into overdrive, refusing to tag her partner in and setting out to injure Danger on her way out. (more…)
Looks like our most recent Women Of Wrestling Podcast interview with Maria Kanellis has been a big hit. With thousands of downloads in the last 24 hours, the First Lady of Ring Of Honor‘s feelings and memories on a number of subjects has generated a lot of interest.
She’s also clarified her position with ROH, after reports saying that she was looking to bid farewell to the company:
I never said that I was done with Ring Of Honor. I just said that WWE had contacted me… Ring Of Honor is still my home.
As part of the interview, Maria discusses how far down the road she got with negotiations for a return to WWE, and her thoughts on rumours that her proposed return was nixed:
I don’t think that the Bella Twins could be so immature – I always found them to be very mature and business minded so I can’t imagine them doing that. Unfortunately we may never know the truth unless we get it from the horse’s mouth. I try not to play too much into rumours because that can get you into a lot of trouble. (more…)
Episode 54 with Maria Kanellis
Coming off a super busy WrestleMania weekend, we’re very pleased to welcome the wonderful Maria Kanellis to the Podcast for a chat. She shares her thoughts on the weekend and meeting up with friends both old and new. We talk about Sara Del Rey training the next generation of WWE Divas and hear all about her relationship with fiancé Mike Bennett (including wedding details and their engagement story). Back on the wrestling, we talk about her work in Crossfire Entertainment and her thoughts on working with Jessicka Havok, Reby Sky & Allysin Kay. We discuss how she got her start in wrestling via the Diva Search, and follow that story right through OVW with Paul Heyman and developing the ditzy character that eventually became her trademark in WWE. We talk Fit Finlay‘s influence on the Divas Division, some of her favourite WWE memories, including where her Slammy Award is now. We also talk whether music is still something she wants to do, just how she got her shot on Celebrity Apprentice, and more future projects – and of course we talk about a potential return to WWE, clarify some recent rumours regarding her future with ROH and discuss reported issues in the past with Kelly Kelly and the Bella Twins. An absolute pleasure to chat to Maria. Get downloading.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
Lots to mention from SHIMMER volume 53 on Saturday afternoon, so let’s get into it.
Let’s start with the main event, which had the right result for the biggest show in the promotion’s history (not 93,173 as announced by Joey Eastman but more around a hefty 700+, which is more than three times the maximum attendance at the Berwyn Eagles Club). With nowhere for her enemy to run and with nobody to help her, Cheerleader Melissa soundly defeated Saraya Knight inside a monolithic steel cage to regain the SHIMMER Championship. While the match was OK, the real tale was in the story told, which did not see Melissa eke out a victory with luck, but saw her deliver a super hurricanrana, missile dropkick and Air Raid Crash to convincingly pin her rival of close to six years.
The crowd was quiet for much of the match – part of the reason being that a lot of the crowd may not be completely familiar with their history, or that the action was not the crisp sort of execution as other contests because most of their matches look more like fights than matches – but they came out of their seats for the finishing sequence, which was a simple tale of good punishing evil and the snarling, unfriendly heel finally getting her comeuppance. However, despite her loss, Saraya retained her scary aura, attacking fans on her way out of the ring – and was also put over by Bryan Alvarez, who was getting his first viewing of Knight, pointing out that she was a proper, grizzly, old-school wrestling heel.
One would anticipate that Melissa will enjoy a longer run with the belt during her second reign than with her first – when she dropped the title to Knight on her fourth defence, following wins over Nicole Matthews, Portia Perez and Jessie McKay. While there is no detail on who Melissa will be facing in Berwyn this weekend for the usual two-day, four-DVD taping extravaganza, there are a lot of names to play around with – including one debutante who surprised everyone when she hit the ring… (more…)
News has broken today, courtesy of Irish newspaper The Herald, that Rebecca Quin, 26 – who has competed internationally as Rebecca Knox – has signed a developmental deal with World Wrestling Entertainment. According to The Herald, “A trial in Florida secured her a two-year developmental deal with WWE” and links Quin’s potential with that of former WWE Champion Sheamus (Stephen Farrelly), quoting the Dublin native as saying “I want to make the most of this opportunity. Sheamus has shown that Irish pro-wrestlers can go all the way to the top”.
Quin, who has been mostly out of action since a serious injury back in 2006, made a memorable return to SHIMMER Women Athletes in March of 2011 in a non-wrestling role, managing The Knight Dynasty of Saraya & Britani Knight on their debuts, and more recently made an in-ring return for Fight Factory Pro-Wrestling (FFPW) in Bray, Ireland. The return was intended to be, and was, in fact a very low key affair – but when we heard of her return, we got on the ball immediately and spoke to Knox a few days after her return in an exclusive audio interview where she discussed how it felt to get back in the ring, as well as her future plans. Since then, she was also a guest on FeckTV.com‘s Unique Lives – viewable on YouTube – this past January, where she discussed the various paths her life has taken her down.
It seems like a new – potentially very bright – path has opened up for her now, so we’ll take this chance to wish her all the best, and look forward to seeing her in WWE.
– Stew Allen
Under normal circumstances, now would be the time when we would do a review of the match which occurred on the previous night’s PPV offering, pointing out what happened, what we liked, what we didn’t and whether it was a successful contest. However, for WrestleMania XXIX, we won’t be needing to do that, as for the first time since WrestleMania 13 back in 1997 – ostensibly before WWE started calling their women “Divas” – no women competed on a WrestleMania card. (more…)
As revelations go, it was a pretty big one – at the conclusion of her speech as part of her induction into WWE‘s Hall Of Fame last night, Trish Stratus revealed that she was four months pregnant, and is due in September.
Addressing the crowd at Madison Square Garden in New York City, the seven-time Women’s Champions said: “I just wanted to let you all know that in September, I’ll be delivering a little Stratusfaction.” Afterwards, she told WWE.com, “It was awesome. As a public personality, you wonder what’s the right time to tell everybody. Of course, when I got the news I would be inducted this year, I definitely found out I was pregnant, and so I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ll be four months, I should tell them!’”
She also revealed that it was her inductee Stephanie McMahon who was the one who helped her make the decision to go public with the news at the Hall Of Fame. Indeed, it generated a big positive reaction – which vastly differed from the reaction that the father of baby Stratus received… (more…)
Last week, I repeated my previous assertion that two championships would change hands at NCW Femmes Fatales XI in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on Saturday. Lo and behold, that’s what happened – with the Bellatrix World Championship and the Femmes Fatales International Titles being won by Courtney Rush and Mercedes Martinez respectively.
Martinez’s victory over Kalamity is only part of her story in the show. She continued her cross-promotion feud with LuFisto following her defeat to the Super Hardcore Anime at Women Superstars Uncensored’s An Ultraviolent Affair in February by attacking her foe during LuFisto’s challenge for the SHIMMER title against Saraya Knight. The steel chair attack to LuFisto’s head was enough for Knight to lock in the Bridal Rocking Horse for the stoppage and retain the belt, meaning that no matter what happened with Mercedes’ challenge to Kalamity, the Martinez/LuFisto programme would continue.
As it turns out, the programme will likely feature the International Championship, as the Latina Sensation used a Fisherman Buster onto a steel chair to gain the pinfall and bring The Oncoming Storm’s 17-month reign to an end. (more…)
We mentioned it during yesterday’s Roundup and today it came to pass: WWE made it official that at WrestleMania XXIX on April 7 at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Team Rhodes Scholars and the Bella Twins – Nikki and Brie – will square off against Tons of Funk and the Funkadactyls – Cameron and Naomi.
While Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes have been on a mission to censure the antics of Brodus Clay and Tensai since before Elimination Chamber, Clay’s backing dancers were brought into the fold following the return of the Bellas on the March 11 Raw, and set their sights on Cameron and Naomi on the subsequent SmackDown. (more…)
Not making it to Bellatrix 5 in Norwich, England on Sunday may have been unfortunate, but it did provide me the opportunity to utilise the option to watch the show on iPPV. Considering a lot of the changes from Bellatrix 4 last November were being done because of this one being broadcast live, it was interesting to be able to assess if those changes were successful.
Improvements to aesthetics like giant wall hangings of the roster, an improved entranceway, ringside barriers and more attention paid to start and running times were coupled with the venue being a purpose-built TV studio with full-scale lights and sound systems, the Epic Studios in Norwich looked vastly different to 5 months ago. The benefit of it being a proper studio also made it easier for the show to be streamed online, as the facilities to broadcast were all there, and had been tried and tested with previous unrelated shows. As a result, Bellatrix 5 was one of the slickest women’s wrestling iPPVs produced to date. (more…)
WARNING: Spoilers lay within.
TNA Wrestling is saying goodbye to the Impact Zone in Orlando, FL by hosting a series of One Night Only pay-per-views. In last week’s Roundup, we discussed the Knockouts Knockdown all-women show which saw a number of former Knockouts turn down the offer of being there. At the time, Traci Brooks was one of the women who had declined the offer, but it was not because she was holding a grudge of any description, tweeting “I had to say no to TNA for the KO ppv as I couldn’t make it that day. No other reason”.
Payton Banks (Rain) and Winter (Katarina Leigh) pointed out last week that they had also been asked but said no, while Salinas (Shelly Martinez) vlogged that she wasn’t asked. However, it was the former Roxxi who came out and explained in detail why she didn’t go back for Sunday’s show.
Nikki Roxx (who was messed around during her two stints in the promotion) spoke to the Greg DeMarco show about her turning down the offer, saying, “You can only get kicked so many times… I think that I had finally had enough. They had trouble treating me very well to begin with and I felt like I was being a glutton for punishment every time I went back… I felt like it was the right time to tell them no. It was like one of those bad relationships where you keep trying to get away from it… You can’t treat people badly and then hope that they’ll come back and hang out.” (more…)
It could be something, or it could be nothing – but PWInsider is reporting that WWE is doing something with the Kharma name, to which it owns the rights.
The report claims that the company revived the trademark application to the moniker, which was abandoned this year. The news has caused a rumble or two that the former TNA Knockouts single and Tag Team Champion could be on her way back to WWE after her original run was cut short due to her release in July last year following more than a year of inactivity, barring a cameo appearance at the 2012 Royal Rumble. Indeed, you would think that WWE would not be that interested in renewing the rights to the name unless that they are planning to do something with it – a name which Kharma still uses for her Twitter despite going by her original name of Amazing Kong since her return to the indies at SHINE 5 back in November. (more…)
We at Ringbelles miss Maryse.
It’s not important that she wasn’t the best wrestler in the world, made a lasting mark on the industry or inspired any women to follow in her footsteps – I personally liked her and looked forward to segments involving her. Her character was one of the best in WWE at the time – self-obsessed, cocky and secure in her belief that she was the greatest thing that has ever or will ever exist. Her character believed it so strongly that there was never a question in the viewer’s mind that she thought she was the greatest thing since an egg-white omelette. Plus – the dismissive hand she threw in people’s faces? Awesome.
Despite her lack of ability, Maryse still won two Divas Championships – the first of which, at 216 days, is still the longest Divas Title reign in history. Her original title victory is the match we have for you for today’s Retro. (more…)
On Sunday, TNA records an all-female version of the One Night Only pay-per-views which it is using to run in the months when it’s not presenting one of its big PPVs like Genesis, Lockdown, Slammiversary or Bound For Glory. Entitled Knockout Knockdown, it is advertised as a show to determine the true Queen of TNA. It is possible that the show will be a tournament if it is going to determine an overall winner, and to make it an occasion, TNA invited former members of the Knockouts roster to be part of it.
It probably didn’t go as well as they had hoped.
When asked on Twitter, Angelina Love, Nikki Roxx (Roxxi), Traci Brooks & Amazing Kong (Awesome Kong) all revealed that they were not going to be part of the proceedings and Dark Angel (Sarita) is also unavailable as she is in Japan. Considering the impression that each of them made to the division and the contributions that they made, for them to decline or not be in the country speaks volumes about what they may feel about TNA these days. (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (5 March 2013) – Paige’s rise, AJ Lee’s fall, Femmes Fatales XI, ABC Catch and more
On Saturday night in Kalamazoo, MI, Paige defeated AJ Lee at a WWE house show in a match refereed by Hornswoggle. The following evening in Cleveland, OH, the same match took place with the same outcome. The results of a WWE house show don’t usually mean much, but in these instances, they may mean a great deal.
First off, let’s look at the 20-year old Briton. It’s the second time that Paige has been on the road with WWE since she first reported to developmental in Florida 14 months ago – the first time round saw her team with Layla to beat Aksana and Natalya in tag matches in South Carolina at the start of December. However, she’s been given an even bigger shot in the arm by wrestling singles matches and beating AJ – the most over woman in WWE last year. (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (26 February 2013) – wrestling’s equivalent of Ronda Rousey, Girls Night Out 8 and more
Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche delivered in spades on Saturday as part of the main event of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s UFC 157 pay-per-view. While PPV buyrates are only an estimate – though expected to be around the 400,000 mark – the other numbers are amazing.
With those two headlining the show, the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA drew 15,525 fans with a gate of $1.4 million and reportedly fewer comps than usual. It’s the highest attendance for a UFC show in the building, which includes UFC 121 with Cain Velasquez against Brock Lesnar. Admittedly, both Rousey and Carmouche hail from the state, which means that both had a relative hometown crowd, but it’s evidence that women can headline male-dominated shows, given the right booking, promotion and hype. Additionally, the fact that it outdrew Velasquez v Lesnar is even more astounding considering it’s a Hispanic market which would be behind Cain, and Brock is one of the UFC’s biggest draws in its history. (more…)
Earlier this month, there was a clash of shows, with no more than 70 minutes drive between the two. In Voorhees, NJ, you had a double-header featuring Women Superstars Uncensored in the afternoon followed by a Combat Zone Wrestling card. Meanwhile, 65 miles away in Metuchen, NJ, there was a Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling event followed by a show from its parent company Pro Wrestling Syndicate. Critically, the WSU show was better than the (frankly poor) BLOW event, though the latter boasted the larger audience number. For all that anybody knows, it could have been more, but there were hundreds of fans down the I-95 watching another couple of promotions running at approximately the same time. It meant that fans had to choose which show they wanted to see, and was a clash which felt unfortunate. It was very unlikely to happen again.
Or was it…? (more…)
Episode 51 with Serena Deeb
Last week, Serena Deeb was announced as returning to the ring after an eighteen month injury hiatus following a severe concussion suffered on SHIMMER Vol 44 – which begs a number of questions; questions that we aim to ask on this podcast. Get the full rundown on her decision to return to the ring, how close she was to returning last Fall, and how attending a show a couple of weeks ago helped convince her to get back in the ring. We talk about what she’s been up to for the last year and a half, including Yoga and DVD box-sets, how much she’s kept in contact with both the wrestling business and the people in it, and discuss what exactly happened when she was arrested last July 4th. We also touch on Davina Rose‘s signing with WWE, and nail down whether this is a temporary or a permanent comeback, and talk future plans. Plus, before the 40 minutes with the Deebious One, Stew & Lee spend 20 minutes running down what to expect in the next couple of months – from SHINE to EVE, Bellatrix to SHIMMER and AIW to NCW: Femmes Fatales. Oh, and just what is happening with Kaitlyn for WrestleMania? We ponder the imponderable, here on the Women of Wrestling Podcast.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)