The final day of 2014 is also the final post on this website – and to mark it, dotted throughout this final post are logos from our history, some which have never been seen before, as they were used when we were still trying things out. The end of the site’s got a positive edge to it though, as the Ringbelles Roundup (now in the capable hands of the talented Ciara Reid) will have a new home from next week when it becomes part of the PWPonderings website, as revealed yesterday. That’s a big comfort and it also makes me glad that Ringbelles will continue in some fashion in 2015.
However, it is still with some upset that I bid farewell to this website. Since its official launch in March 2011 – following months of beta-testing and plenty of confabulation before that – there has been more than 1,700 posts, 171 audio podcasts and more than 200 Roundups. We have reported on 223 events, posted more than 350 videos and have reviewed dozens of shows. In doing so, I’d like to think that we have helped to increase the profile of women’s wrestling around the world and also cast a critical eye over it, as well as higher-profile outfits like WWE and TNA. With news, views, reviews and interviews from wrestlers from the past and present around the world, Ringbelles has endeavoured to give female athletes a voice and platform. I hope that we leave the scene in a positive situation.
While Stew and I contributed the bulk of posts, there are others who helped to this site’s success, and that leads to a torrent of thank you messages.
When this site first launched, we were a team of four – Stew, myself, Shanti and Jennifer. While Shanti’s personal life meant that her contributions were not as often as she hoped, her support was a big help and I thank her for being there at the start. Similarly, Jennifer’s commentaries in the first year provided some controversial and lively talking points. She also reported matches from WWE and TNA’s pay-per-views for a while too, and was very enthusiastic about the subject. Since going our separate ways there has not been any direct contact but I understand she is in a good position in her life, and I wish her all the best.
Thanks also to Rhi Lockwood from NHB Girls. She has been a great source of support over the last few years, joined Stew and I for SHINE iPPVs and also stepped in to cover Women Superstars Uncensored shows when neither of us were available. Rhi, I’m grateful in ways you will never know.
We also had blogs from talent from around the world – to Nikki Storm, Madison Eagles, Veda Scott and Taya Valkyrie, thanks ever so much for taking the time out of your lives to write pieces for the site. Similarly, I have a lot of gratitude for Courtney Rush and Angelus Layne who recorded podcasts for the site and provided some amusing, interesting and emotionally powerful audio.
Next, the great people who sent us results from shows which we were unable to attend – and that’s a lot, believe me. Reid Allen, Ben Ward, Martin Alexander, Chris Kelly, Pat Laprade, thank you all for providing updates from shows in order for us to relay them to the rest of the world. However, I must single out Dave Muscarella for his tireless commitment to travelling to shows, tweeting results, taking photos and providing thoughts from some of the bigger events.
As well as meeting great fellow fans at shows in North America and the UK, I have also been fortunate enough to strike up some friendships with women within the wrestling scene who have been very open with news and their feelings. For example, this website may not have existed were it not for Allison Danger being the first Women of Wrestling Podcast guest. Her welcoming nature was always well appreciated, and her retirement was a highly emotional moment. Similarly, some of our most emotionally-charged tales came from LuFisto, a woman who has great passion for wrestling and has made a lot of selfless sacrifices to help others along the way. Saraya Knight holds the record for being featured in the most podcasts, appearing four times and stunning us with stories where she went blind, was nearly beaten to death by fans, suffered health issues and much more. She has also been a sounding board for us from time to time and has become a good friend.
Elsewhere, women like Angelus Layne, Serena Deeb, Kimber Lee, Courtney Rush, Nikki Storm, Amber Gertner, Allysin Kay, Sassy Stephie, Daffney, Alpha Female, Amazing Kong, Rhia O’Reilly, Shanna, Kellie Skater and more have been very open and honest with us, and we respect their honesty and openness. Similarly, thanks to the likes of Saraya, Dave Prazak, Stephane Bruyere, Drew Cordiero, DJ Hyde, Dann Read, John Thorne and Mikey Whiplash for helping us with updates concerning their respective promotions. Without your input, Ringbelles would have been a poorer place.
Finally, thanks to you, our audience. With every view, comment, share, like, retweet, favourite and the like, you spread the word of women’s wrestling and those involved in it. Keep buying tickets, going to shows, buying DVDs, VODs, iPPVs and MP4s, as well as buying merchandise like t-shirts, signed photos and stuff.
Just one more thing – I’m planning to archive the website on a free blog page so everything can still be accessed. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter accounts – which are staying open – to see what’s going to happen. Should the archiving not go according to plan, all the audio will be uploaded to our YouTube page. That will be quite a big undertaking so it may take some time, but I’ll keep you posted.
So that’s it – the end of Ringbelles. Thanks to everyone who has contributed, supported and spread the word of the website since our launch, you won’t be forgotten. I’ll be keeping a foot in the women’s wrestling world in some form or fashion so I’m not going the way of the dodo, and you can follow my thoughts on my Twitter – but as mentioned, check out PWPonderings for the Roundup as well as wrestling news and results. But for now, this is Lee Burton on behalf of Ringbelles, tapping out.
In the fifth grade, my guidance counselor proposed that my class put together a collage of what we intend to be when we got older. Chef, nurse, singer, florist, work in the XFL (no really), Secretary of State and more were among the choices, but I had to be the odd ball. The nerve I had to paste pictures of Chyna giving someone the Military Press and Lita performing a moonsault onto an opponent along with pictures of art (I am an artist) not only shocked my classmates, but also gave me the courage to stand firm in my dream. At eleven years old, nothing mattered but wrestling, I had given all my Barbies to Goodwill and brought action figures. The whole “he or she can’t wrestle” or “This angle sucks” did not matter to me back then because wrestling was so cool to me and I wasn’t ashamed of it. As I got older things changed, known as the “girl that watches professional wrestling” became hard and at times embarrassing.
As a wrestling fan, I get the redundant, “You know that stuff’s fake right?” or the rare “Oh that’s cool.” I have been defending my passion for it as long as I can remember, even more when it comes to women’s wrestling. Over the last several years, I’ve been questioned more times than I could count about my willingness to support something that was “only good for eye candy.”
In 2010, I joined Angrymarks as a co-host of their Tuesday night show, called Ring the Bell, being on with three additional personalities that shared their own view on wrestling was intimidating; till that point I had only one friend my entire life that loved it as equally or more than me and completely understood. The experience gave me the opportunity to be vocal about wrestling, whether I disliked or liked something a huge weight lifted from my shoulders and I felt free to do so and not regret it. Fast-forward to 2012, noticing that women’s wrestling was not being covered to the fullest; I decided to take on the duty myself and provide an outlet for those fans week in and out, the Angrymarkette Newsfeed. Gathering news items, results and everything in between from various websites and condensing it down to an organized piece that is not only readable, but brings about conversation takes a great amount of patience, hard work and dedication.
After four years at the site, this past April I stepped away completely. It was a tough decision, but it was for the best. I honestly felt dissatisfied with continuing to cover women’s wrestling in detail all for listeners to hear negative commentary on the podcasts from others. No one criticized what I wrote, but its disheartening to push for something to be taken seriously when not everyone else sees the bigger picture. Between that, my run with Ring Sirens magazine (no longer in publication) ending and life happening faster than I could control, I needed a new direction.
This brought me to Ringbelles.
My time here has been short, but I feel I shared some of my best work with you all and want to continue to do so for as long as I can. For those wondering, the Ringbelles Roundup is continuing after the site’s departure, as I have accepted Lee’s offer to do so.
Last week, my mentions and direct messages were shot with multiple inquiries and interest from other websites- I am nothing but grateful for those that expressed interest and respect that there is an audience for women’s wrestling and were willing to throw their hat in the race to add the best coverage to their site.
With that said, I am proud to announce that starting next week, the Ringbelles Roundup will become an official part of Pro Wrestling Ponderings going forward. If you happened to catch the Year in Review show up on the site, I dropped the announcement towards the end after having a great two-hour conversation with Jerome, Jennifer and Dave that was nothing short of positivity and laughter. Their coverage of independent wrestling alone is remarkable, whether its through podcasts, reviews or posting the latest results. I have a huge amount of respect for their love and use of their platform to raise awareness of indy wrestling as a must-see product. I feel this is a perfect fit and I’m just excited to be a part of something great.
Heidi Lovelace, Hudson Envy and Dragonita are the latest competitors to be heading over to Japan. Last week, World Wonder Ring STARDOM announced that all three competitors would be making their first trip to the country to take up training and competition. In addition, the promotion has announced all it’s cards for the month of January. This Sunday’s show at Shinkiba 1st RING will feature Io Shirai and Mayu Iwatani teaming up against Act Yasukawa and Kairi Hojo. Takumi Iroha will be taking on Kris Wolf, Hatsuhinode Kamen in a three-way match, Kaori Yoneyama goes up against Momo Watanabe and Reo Hazuki, and Yoshiko will face Koguma and Nanae Takahashi in the main event.
The January 11th show at Shinkiba 1st RING will see Lovelace, Hudson and Dragonita make their debuts for the promotion, as Lovelace teams up with Yasukawa against the current AWS Women’s Champion and Kris Wolf. Yasukawa and Wolf’s growing rivalry reached a high back on December 23rd at “Yearend CLIMAX” as Wolf was bloodied at the hands of Yasukawa. Dragonita will be in singles action against Kyoko Kimura. Kamen will be taking on Iroha, Shirai goes up against Watanabe and the current Goddess of STARDOM Champions Takahashi and Hojo and Koguma take on Hazuki, Iwatani and Yoshiko in trios action.
Yoshiko will be defending the World of STARDOM Championship against Nanae Takahashi as part of the promotion’s fourth anniversary show at Korakuen Hall on January 18th. The show will also feature Iwatani making her third title defense as Wonder of STARDOM Champion against Kairi Hojo and the High Speed Championship will be also be on the line as Shirai takes on Yoneyama. Lovelace, Hudson and Dragonita have yet to be announced for the show.
Got any news, results or upcoming events that you want to tell everyone about? Are you a female wrestler looking to tell us about upcoming bookings? Are you a fan who went to a show and saw a match, and would like to tell others about it – what you liked, what you didn’t and would like to encourage others to check it out for themselves? If so, send me a tweet here and I’ll direct you to my email address.
Again thank you to everyone that has continued to support Ringbelles over the years and I wish you all a Happy New Year!
Nikki Bella was named WWE’s Second Most Unexpected Breakout Star of 2014. In a list compiled by WWE.com, the WWE Divas Champion’s infamous “died in the womb” quote landed at the number two spot on WWE’s latest Top 10: Most Memorable Quotes of 2014. AJ Lee’s “talent is not sexually transmitted” line in reference to Brie and Nikki landed at number seven on the list. Both lines were tasteless, it says something about the company when those are deemed “memorable.” Charlotte and Natalya’s NXT Women’s Championship match from NXT Takeover was ranked sixth on WWE.com’s 25 Greatest Matches of the Year list. Brie Bella’s match against Stephanie McMahon at SummerSlam was also made the list, ranked at number twenty-four…Speaking of Charlotte, she successfully retained the NXT Women’s Title over Sasha Banks for a second time on last week’s episode…Naomi wrestled Alicia Fox on Friday Night Smackdown, winning following a split-legged moonsault. The Usos defeated The Miz and amien Mizdow for the WWE Tag Team Championship last night, it appears the “rocky” marriage storyline between Naomi and Jimmy Uso is done…Meanwhile WWE is continuing on with the storyline between Natalya and Tyson Kidd. On Monday Night RAW, Tyson Kidd caught Nikki Bella as Natalya knocked her off the apron. Once again seeing her husband show sympathy towards another woman besides herself, Natalya allowed the distraction to be her downfall. Nikki Bella picked up the win following a Rack Attack after blindsiding Natalya with a clothesline to the back..Mandy Leon has been on the road with WWE this past week as a rosebud for the recently turned “heel,” Adam Rose
With the transition to Destination America in full swing, the company has revealed a newly redesigned Knockouts Championship. It’s seen on their official Instagram account that the new belt is sporting a traditional look, a black leather strap with the blue gems as opposed to the white leather strap with red gems… The first set of episodes of Impact Wrestling will be taped on January 7-8th, the following day the company will pre-tape their all-cage event, “Lockdown” which will be aired on Destination America instead of pay-per-view, all taking place in New York City…Brooke Tessmacher has confirmed that she and Robbie E are no longer together. Tessmacher made the announcement on Facebook, stating that the couple had separated before filming for CBS’ Amazing Race had wrapped.
“NO, I am no longer with Robbie E. We filmed the race this past summer and separated by the end of filming. I am so so incredibly happy in my life and have fully moved on. Hope you guys can as well.”
More matches have been announced for Valkyrie Women’s Wrestling’s next show on January 23rd. Davienne will be taking on Miss Diss Lexia and Jennifer Cruz will be taking on Deonna Purrazzo, the latter three will be making their debuts. Nyla Rose will also be making her in-ring debut… Sassy Stephie will be defending the Fury Championship against LuFisto and Veda Scott in Marietta, Ohio on April 25th. Winning the championship this past April, the match will be her second title defense; successfully retaining against Allysin Kay back in June… Mia Yim and Santana Garrett are set to go one-on-one n the SHINE Wrestling showcase match for Full Impact Pro’s upcoming show on January 10th. The match will be non-title…Samantha Starr will be taking on Mandy Leon for Vicious Outcast Wrestling on January 10th under non-title contention… Amber Gallows became the Global Championship Wrestling Women’s Champion over the weekend, defeating Tracy Taylor… Mickie James announced her engagement to TNA star Magnus.. LuFisto will be wrestling Heidi Lovelace this Friday for Rockstar Pro Wrestling in Dayton, Ohio… In addition, Barbi Hayden’s NWA World Women’s Championship will be on the line this weekend against Veda Scott. Inspire Pro Wrestling provided an in-depth backstory here.
The anticipated double title match between Tsukasa Fujimoto and Arisa Nakajima took place on Sunday. First, Fujimoto retained the ICEx Infinity Championship against Nakajima in the main event of Ribbonmania, landing her tenth title defense. Nakajima wore attire in the fashion of Azumi Hyuga on the show. Mio Shirai retained the Union Fly to Everywhere World Title over Tsukushi and Maki Narumiya and Risa Sera picked up their eighth title defense as International Ribbon Tag Team Champions over Yuka and Kurumi… That evening, Nakajima retained the Openweight Championship against Fujimoto in the main event of JWP’s year-end show, “Climax.” Also on the show, Rabbit Miu successfully retained against Eri, the JWP Tag Team and Daily Sports Women’s Tag Team Titles changed hands as Leon and Ray defeated current titleholders Command Bolshoi and Kyoko Kimura. This is Mascara Voladoras’ first run with the titles… Kana is the new REINA World Champion after beating Syuri via referee stoppage on Friday. Kana now holds the promotion’s top title and the REINA Tag Team Champions with Nakajima… Tsubasa Kuragaki will be defending the OZ Openweight Championship against Kagetsu on January 11th. The show will also feature the return of Sonoko Kato taking on former titleholder AKINO… Riho retained the IWA Triple Crown Title against Emi Sakura in the main event at the Itabashi Green Hall on Saturday. The promotion has announced the date for their first show at Korakuen Hall for August 13, 2015.
Candice Lerae will be heading back overseas in the new year. First up, she will be returning to Southside Wrestling Entertainment on February 28th as she, Saraya Knight, Kay Lee Ray and a competitor to be announced will be a part of a four-way match to crown the first-ever Queen of Southside. Going into March, Lerae and Joey Ryan will be apart of WXW Germany’s 16 Carat Gold shows… Nikki Storm will be wrestling Sammii Jayne on Scottish Wrestling Alliance’s January 4th show in Pollockshaws, Glasgow… Nadia Sapphire versus Nixon Newell has been added to Empress Pro’s debut show on January 17th.
December 25: Producciones Sanchez (Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl, Estado de Mexico, Mexico) –Bugambilia, Diosa Atenea & Lady Dragon b Golden Bull, India Mazahua & Star Fire
December 26: Absolute Intense Wrestling (Cleveland, OH) – Veda Scott, Alexia Nicole & Jasmin b Tessa Blanchard, Jennifer Blake & Heidi Lovelace; Rickey Shane Page b Candice Lerae, Dick Justice, Eric Ryan, Flip Kendrick & Joshua Singh
December 26: WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Sioux City, IA) – Naomi b Alicia Fox
December 26: WWE Live (Rosemont, IL) – Naomi, Charlotte & Natalya b Camero, Sasha Banks & Summer Rae
December 26: Vendetta Pro Wrestling/ National Wrestling Alliance (Santa Maria, CA) –Raze b Sage Sin
December 26: WWE Live (New York City NY) – Alicia Fox & Emma b Brie Bella & Nikki Bella
December 26: REINA Joshi Puroresu(Tokyo, Japan) – Kyoko Kimura b Raideen Hagane; Haruka Kato & Eri b Yuiga & Hamuko Hoshi; Yuji Kito & Koharu Hinata b Keizo Matsuda & Alex Lee; Arisa Nakajima b Rina Yamashita; Maki Narumiya & Kagetsu b Mika Iida & Meiko Tanaka; Dump Matsumoto & Yumiko Hotta b Goya Kong & Muñeca de Plata; Lin Byron b Makoto; Kana b Syuri(c)
December 27: Global Championship Wrestling (Pell City, AL) – Amber Gallows b Tracy Taylor(c)
December 27: Squared Circle Wrestling (Elmira, NY) – Mickie James b Cherry Bomb
December 27: Gatoh Move (Tokyo, Japan) – Cherry b Fukin Kitazawa; Kaori Yoneyama, Madoka, Sayaka Obihiro & PSYCHO b Antonio Honda, SAKI, MIZUKI; Kagetsu b Kotori; Riho(c) b Emi Sakura
December 27: WWE Live (Cincinnati, OH) – Charlotte, Naomi & Natalya b Cameron, Sasha Banks & Summer Rae
December 27: WWE Live (Uniondale, NY) – Alicia Fox & Emma b Nikki Bella & Brie Bella
December 27: AAW (Berwyn, IL) – Chris Sabin b Heidi Lovelace
December 27: Ice Ribbon(Warabi, Japan) – Aoi Kizuki & Hamuko Hoshi b 235 & Akane Fujita; Kurumi & Kyuri b Maki Narumiya & Maya Yukihi; Tsukasa Fujimoto b Meari Naito; Risa Sera & Tsukushi vs Mio Shirai & Yuka – time limit draw
December 27: I Believe I Wrestling (Orlando, Florida) – Josh Hess b Santana Garrett
December 28: Ice Ribbon Ribbonmania (Tokyo, Japan) – Cherry & Maya Yukihi b Shu Shibutani & Kyuri; Meari Naito & Neko Nitta b 235 & Akane Fujita; Hamuko Hoshi & Mochi Miyagi b Miyako Matsumoto & Yuri Kotobuki; Kayoko Haruyama b Aoi Kizuki; Mio Shirai(c) b Tsukushi; Maki Narumiya & Risa Sera(c) b Kurumi & Yuka; Tsukasa Fujimoto (c) b Arisa Nakajima
December 28: K-DOJO (Chiba, Japan) – Bambi & Kaji Tomato b Hikaru Shida & Masao Inoue; TAKA Michinoku & Kaori Yoneyama b Kengo Mashimo & Yuma
December 28: JWP Climax 2014 (Tokyo, Japan) – Yako Fujigasaki b Yua Hayashi; Rabbit Miu (c) b Eri; KAZUKI, Jaguar Yokota & Raideen Hagane b Manami Toyota, Tsukushi & Neko Nitta; KAORU b Kayoko Haruyama; Hanako Nakamori b Kana; Leon & Ray b Command Bolshoi & Kyoko Kimura (c); Arisa Nakajima(c) b Tsukasa Fujimoto
December 28: DIANA (Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan) – Kyoko Inoue b Kaoru Ito , Keiko Aono , Sareee, Meiko Tanaka, Megumi Yabushita & Kaho Kobayashi
December 28: Tokyo Women’s Wrestling(Tokyo, Japan) – Ai Shimizu b Erin & Nonoko; Shoko Nakajima and Yuka Sakazaki b KANNA and Chikage Kiba; Miyu Yamashita b Akane Miura
December 28: K-DOJO (Chiba, Japan) – Hiro Tonai & Kaori Yoneyama b Ayumu Honda & Bambi
December 28: Beyond Wrestling (Providence, RI) – Kimber Lee b David Starr
December 29: WWE Monday Night RAW (Washington, DC) – Nikki Bella b Natalya
December 30: WWE Live (Richmond, VA) – Charlotte, Emma & Alicia Fox b Sasha Banks, Cameron & Summer Rae
January 3: Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (Vancouver, BC, Canada) – Cat Power vs Kate Carney
January 4: Scottish Wrestling Alliance (Glasgow, Scotland) – Debbie Sharpe vs Viper; Sammii Jayne vs Nikki Storm
January 4: PROGRESS Wrestling (London, England) – Jinny vs Pollyanna
January 4: Inspire Pro Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Barbi Hayden(c) vs Veda Scott; Jessica James vs Kimber Lee
January 10: Vicious Outcast Wrestling (Connellsville, PA) – Samantha Starr vs Mandy Leon
January 11: OZ Academy (Tokyo, Japan) – AKINO vs Sonoko Kato; Kagetsu vs Tsubasa Kuragaki(c)
January 17: Empress Pro (High Wycombe, England) – Bete Noire & Viper vs Addy Starr & Rhia O’Reilly; Ruby Summers vs Chardonnay; Nikki Storm vs Pollyanna; Nadia Sapphire vs Nixon Newell
January 17: Clash Wrestling (Taylor, MI) – Leah Von Dutch vs Jasmin
January 17: Lone Star Wrestling (Cypress, TX) – Barbi Hayden(c) vs Tessa Blanchard
January 18: Alpha-1 Wrestling (Hamilton, ON, Canada) – Seleziya Sparx vs Allysin Kay
January 18: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Jessica James vs Jojo Bravo; Athena vs Su Yung(c)
January 23: SHINE 24 (Ybor City, FL) – Malia Hosaka, Brandi Wine & Thunderkitty vs Kimber Lee, Cherry Bomb & Leah Von Dutch
January 23: Wrestling Cares Association /Alternative Wrestling Show (South Gate, CA) – Nicole Savoy; Sage Sin; Savanah Riley; Kikyo Nakamura; Hania; Brittany Wonder; Christina Von Eerie; Taeler Hendrix; Raze; Kahmora; Datura; Marriah Moreno
January 23: Valkyrie Women’s Wrestling (Woodbury Heights, NJ) – Kacee Carlisle(c) vs Mistress Belmont; La Rosa Negra vs Aja Perera; Davienne vs Miss Diss Lexia; Jennifer Cruz vs Deonna Purrazzo; Nyla Rose
January 24: Pure Wrestling Association (Kitchener, ON, Canada) – KC Spinelli vs Courtney Rush; Kaitlin Diemond vs Beautiful Beaa; Jewells Malone vs Alexia Nicole; Holly Madison vs Silvie Silver; Ingrid Isley vs Skylar Rose
February 7: Family Wrestling Entertainment (Jamaica, NY) – Candice LeRae(c) vs Veda Scott; Taeler Hendrix vs Katarina Leigh
February 7: KANA Pro (Japan)
February 8: Tidal Championship Wrestling (Leeds, England) – Violet O’Hara vs Nixon Newell
February 14: Mio Shirai Produce (Tokyo, Japan) – Mio Shirai vs Io Shirai
February 21: Women Superstars Uncensored (Voorhees, NJ) – Hania vs Athena; Kimber Lee & Annie Social vs JT Dunn & David Starr(c)
February 22: Dragon Pro Wrestling (Newport, Wales) – Nixon Newell vs Pollyanna
February 22: Bellatrix 12 (Norwich, England)
February 28: Southside Wrestling Entertainment (Essex, England) – Candice Lerae vs Kay Lee Ray vs TBD vs Saraya Knight
March 14: Rock N’ Wrassle (Nottingham, England)
April 4: NCW Femmes Fatales (Montreal, QC, Canada) – Courtney Rush vs Saraya Knight; Portia Perez vs Xandra Bale; Sassy Stephie, Allysin Kay & Jody D’Milo vs Vanessa Kraven, TBA & TBA
April 11/12 – SHIMMER Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)
April 25: Remix Pro Wrestling (Marietta, OH) – LuFisto vs Veda Scott vs Sassy Stephie (c)
– Ciara Reid
– Data collated from (but not limited to) Cagematch, joshifans.com, PuroLove, Dramatic DDT, Luchablog, Lords Of Pain, Wrestling Observer, Open The Puroresu Gate, Ringstars, PWInsider, NHB Girls, North Starz, WrestlingData
Ringbelles usually goes to the trouble of creating physical awards for its year-end honours but things have been a bit strained in the last few months, so there’s no glass trophy for this year’s winner. However, after considering not doing them due to the intention of closing, I’ve decided to write a little bit about the awards which we did want to highlight.
Last year’s victor of the top prize was Mercedes Martinez, who had excelled as NCW Femmes Fatales International Champion and was also a very solid hand in SHINE and SHIMMER, though she decreased her bookings in 2014 and eventually stepped away from the ring after dropping the International belt to Courtney Rush in August.
There are just two awards this year – that’s because the Discovery of the Year honour was going to be dumped anyway. The reason is because there’s a big disparity between when we discover someone and when others do the same. For example, Nikki Storm won last year’s Discovery title even though we’ve been championing her for years, but she made a big splash on US fans with her antics at SHIMMER so we went with it despite it not making the most sense. As a result, the Wrestler of the Year and Breakout Star of the Year will be the ones we’ll look at.
Let’s start with the latter, which was a very competitive category. Sammi Baynz was given consideration for being so great at Bellatrix’s shows in 2014, wrestling Blue Nikita three times and also having another entertaining outing against Liberty. In addition, she made a good impression in her Scottish debut where she took on Viper at Fierce Females’ Mad Maxine show in July and returned in August to team with Liberty against the Owens Twins. Kay Lee Ray also received a lot of thought for turning heel in Fierce Females, and making it to the final three of TNA’s British Boot Camp 2 show. She also held Southside Wrestling’s Speed King title for a lot of the year and won the first Aerial Assault match held in Europe, beating five men to do so. Had she won British Boot Camp, she may have snared the award. Mia Yim also received a look after winning both the SHINE Tag Team and singles championships this year, as well as receiving her first SHIMMER title shot in April, though was unsuccessful in that attempt.
However, the Breakout Star of the Year title goes to Heidi Lovelace, who showed her versatility in matches all across North America. While she showed her comedic and light-hearted side in SHINE alongside Solo Darling, she also decided to work IWA Mid-South’s reprisal of the Queen of the Deathmatches tournament, beating Hudson Envy in a Tacks, Ladders and Canes match before losing to Ludark Shaitan in a Fans Bring The Weapons contest. That also goes along with her well-received work in SHIMMER, impressing in both singles and tag team action.
Heidi has also excelled in intergender competition, making it to the quarter finals of Absolute Intense Wrestling’s JT Lightning Invitational Tournament before losing to Michael Elgin, and also scored the AAW Heritage Title by beating Matt Cage – though her work in Wrestling Is Fun has helped her to break new barriers for women in wrestling. Lovelace fought through two matches – including a six-way elimination match – to make it to the final of the Young Lions Cup tournament, which she won earlier this month by beating Missile Assault Ant in the final, showcased in the pre-show of Chikara’s Tomorrow Never Dies iPPV. In doing so, she became the first female victor of the cup and also solidified her as a well-appreciated performer who has the ability to adapt her style for different types of matches against different opponents. It’s a safe assertion to say that the Punk Rock Rag Doll will climb even higher in 2015.
So, the other award is the Wrestler of the Year honour, which was a pretty tough call. Paige has been winning accolades all over the place this year after winning the WWE Divas Championship on two occasions as well as holding the NXT and Divas belts at the same time. She also racked up quite a few successful defences on PPV before turning heel and really ratcheting up her character work. Elsewhere, LuFisto had one of her best years by winning the Women Superstars Uncensored World Championship by beating Mickie Knuckles, Allysin Kay and Jenny Rose, as well as getting into an angle with WSU owner DJ Hyde and his hand-picked star Sassy Stephie which led to the Wounded Owl Ronin going after Hyde with a knife on a Combat Zone Wrestling show. In addition, she almost wrested the SHIMMER Championship from Cheerleader Melissa at volume 63 in April and undergoing a mild heel turn the following week before reverting back to being a babyface. However, our winner has showed off her wrestling skills at a main event level and has also showed how she can verbalise too.
Ivelisse Velez started off the year by winning the SHINE Championship from Valkyrie cohort Rain but was kicked out of the group because of her victory and turned babyface in the process, which saw her get over huge with the fans. Successful defences over Mercedes Martinez, Saraya Knight, Nevaeh and Madison Eagles all followed, along with an entertaining 60 minute draw against Serena Deeb before dropping the belt to Mia Yim in China last month. In addition, she has been able to display more character development since dropping the belt by getting obsessive over winning it back, shown by her aggression levels in her win over Amanda Rodriguez on the last show and then getting involved in Yim’s defence against Nevaeh which led to the match ending in a DQ win for the challenger. While this is all a good example of how she has evolved her persona, it has also been demonstrated in new ventures.
Velez signed on for Lucha Underground and has proved herself to be an entertaining heel who can irritate on the microphone. Teaming up with Son of Havoc, she has been tormenting Sexy Star, which las led to the pair engaging in a feud, which also saw her debut for AAA in Mexico where the roles were reversed and Sexy was the heel with Ivelisse working as the babyface. When you factor in how much her star has risen in the last 12 months and how much more marketable she was this time a year ago, you can understand why Ivelisse has earned Ringbelles’ Wrestler of the Year award, and also makes you wonder how both WWE and TNA had the chance to have her on their books and both let her slip through their fingers. I don’t understand wrestling sometimes…
Natalya spoke to the Mirror UK about things like Total Divas – where she claimed the tensions between she and husband Tyson Kidd was genuine, as well as the reaction to her being booked to beat Charlotte in less than 3 minutes on Raw earlier this month:
“We don’t control a lot of things in WWE, it’s live TV, you can’t control how long you’re going to get. Sometimes you’re going to get 20 minutes and sometimes you’re going to get 20 seconds, you just have to maximise those minutes and do the best you can.”
She also discussed the difference between the Divas wrestling in NXT and on WWE’s main roster:
“That’s why I go to NXT, any chance I get, I go to NXT. I want to be on Raw, I want to be on SmackDown, and NXT, and Total Divas, and Main Event, and Superstars, and I want to be on the WWE app – because I want to take any moment I can to get TV time and I want to tell stories.
“The girls and the guys in NXT are extremely fortunate because Triple H has taken NXT under his wing. I tell Triple H this, I look around the room and make sure no one’s looking, and I tell him it’s my favourite show. It’s my favourite show because the Superstars and Divas do get time and it’s a cool show because you get to watch these different characters grow and come to life.”
It seems as if there is a lot of love being openly directed towards NXT at the moment without trying to knock the main product as a result. Natalya was very diplomatic with her praise and dodged criticising her bread and butter.
This is the final Ringbelles Roundup before this website departs but I am happy to say that this portion of the site may continue on after our departure. Contributor Ciara Reid has accepted my offer of taking it over and posting it elsewhere, though where that may be is still up for discussion – so if you’re interested in having it, send her a tweet at @ciara92189.
Ciara used to write something similar when she was linked with Angrymarks so she has the ability to cover wrestling from all over the world, and will put her own personal stamp on it. Hopefully this will mean that women’s wrestling fans looking for a weekly fix of what is going on globally will still have somewhere to get it.
Nikki Bella retained her Divas Championship by beating Naomi on Tuesday’s live SmackDown show. It was set up on the Main Event show broadcast earlier. Naomi is currently in a strained relationship with husband Jimmy Uso, which means that when you consider the issues between Natalya and Tyson Kidd, WWE has two rocky marriage angles going on at the same time… Becky Lynch’s heel turn kicked up a notch when she tapped out Bayley on last week’s NXT with her new submission hold, the Four Leaf Clover… It was 1-1 for Emma last week. She lost to Paige on Main Event but beat Summer Rae on Superstars… Alexa Bliss has been beating Carmella & Dana Brooke in 3-way matches on the latest NXT house shows… Speaking of Dana, she will be representing WWE at next year’s Arnold Classic bodybuilding event. She will be competing in the fitness division. She told WWE.com, “My dreams are coming true. It’s like Christmas came early for me. I cannot feel more honored. This just shows how much WWE wants their athletes to succeed. I’m blessed. I will not let the WWE Universe down”… Former developmental talent Shaul “Raquel Diaz” Guerrero is engaged to current NXT talent Aiden English… Developmental Diva Dasha Kuret ring announced NXT’s show in Tampa, FL last Friday… Paige was named Diva of the Year by Rolling Stone magazine… Following in AJ Lee’s footsteps, Emma has launched her own personal website, entitled tenilledashwood.com… Natalya pinned Brie Bella on last night’s Raw before knocking Nikki off the apron, leading her holding the Divas Title belt. Looks like Nattie’s next in line.
Brooke Tessmacher and Robbie E were eliminated from The Amazing Race last week, missing out on the $1m prize.
Jessica James will make her SHINE debut next month as part of SHINE 24. Meanwhile, after what happened at SHINE 23, a 6-woman tag team match has been announced for on January 23. Kimber Lee, Cherry Bomb & Leah Von Dutch will face Legendary members Malia Hosaka, Brandi Wine & Thunderkitty… Speaking of Hosaka, she will be honoured with a Retired Women’s Wrestling Award by the Cauliflower Alley Club next April. Someone at the CAC later noticed the error and removed the “retired” part of the title… Two matches have been announced for Women Superstars Uncensored’s next show on February 21. Hania and Athena face off again, though this time it will be under Tables Ladders and Chairs rules, while Kimber Lee & Annie Social get another shot at Tag Team Championship JT Dunn and David Starr after beating them in individual matches on the last show… Athena challenges Su Yung for the Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Championship on January 18… Athena also defended her Absolute Intense Wrestling Women’s Championship on Saturday at Metroplex Wrestling’s show in Bedford, TX. She beat Claudia by curb stomping her onto thumbtacks and making her tap out to the Red Wedding… Nevaeh is eyeing up a February return from her knee injury.
Hikaru Shida’s joint Pro Wrestling WAVE Regina di WAVE and Revolution Championship Wrestling title defence against Mio Shirai on Sunday’s WAVE show ended in a 30 minute time limit draw… It’s confirmed: sisters Mio and Io Shirai will wrestle on February 14 on Mio’s self-produced show. It was made official after today’s Stardom show after Io’s match where she teamed with Mayu Iwatani & Masaaki Mochizuki to beat the retiring Miho Wakizawa as well as Manami Toyota & Genki Horiguchi. 35-year old Wakizawa is stepping away after 18 years of competition… Two title changes on Diana’s show earlier today. Keiko Aono defeated Manami Toyota to win the singles title while Jaguar Yokota & Sareee beat KAORU & Mima Shimoda to win the tag straps. The show was topped off with Kyoko Inoue beating Yumiko Hotta in a No Ropes Barbed Wire Current Blast Time Bomb Death Match.
As you would expect, Southside regular Kay Lee Ray has been added to the 4-way to crown the first Queen of Southside. Debuting Saraya Knight is the other person who has been announced.
Lucha Underground is interested in signing Dark Angel, according to the Wrestling Observer. Considering she’s part of CMLL and Lucha Underground has ties with AAA, that could be a difficult ask.
December 16: WWE Main Event (Grand Rapids, MI) – Paige b Emma
December 16: WWE SmackDown (Grand Rapids, MI) – Nikki Bella b Naomi
December 16: CMLL (Guadalajara, Mexico) – Zeuxis b Princesa Sugehit
December 17: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Hamuko Hoshi & Akane Fujita b Miyako Matsumoto & Yuri Kotobuki; Neko Nitta b Maya Yukihi; Maki Narumiya v Meari Naito went to a time limit draw; Arisa Nakajima & Risa Sera b Tsukasa Fujimoto & Hanako Nakamori
December 17: Union Tokyo, Japan) – Cherry & Ladybeard b Riho & Sayaka Obihiro; Mio Shirai b Ryu Gouma
December 17: WWE Tribute to the Troops (Columbus, GA) – Naomi, Emma & Natalya b Paige and Nikki & Brie Bella
December 18: WWE NXT (Orlando, FL) – Becky Lynch b Bayley
December 18: WWE NXT house show (Tampa, FL) – Alexa Bliss b Carmella & Dana Brooke in a 3-way
December 18: WWE Superstars (Detroit, MI) – Emma b Summer Rae
December 18: AAA (Mexico City, Mexico) – Jennifer Blake & La Jarochita b Cinthia Moreno & Sexy Lady
December 19: Diana (Kawasaki, Japan) – Megumi Yabushita b Meiko Tanaka; Keiko Aono & Mask De Sun b Kaho Kobayashi & Koharu Hinata; Kaoru Ito b Tomoko Watanabe; Jaguar Yokota, Kyoko Inoue & Sareee b Yumiko Hotta, KAORU & Mima Shimoda
December 19: WWE NXT house show (Jacksonville, FL) – Alexa Bliss b Carmella & Dana Brooke in a 3-way
December 19: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Dark Angel, La Vaquerita & Marcela b Amapola, Dalys & La Seductora
December 20: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Shu Shibutani & Miyako Matsumoto b 235 & Kyuri; Maki Narumiya b Yuka; Risa Sera v Kurumi went to a time limit draw; Tsukasa Fujimoto & Aoi Kizuki b Hamuko Hoshi & Tsukushi
December 20: Attack Pro Wrestling (Bristol, England) – Pete Dunne & Mark Andrews b Nixon Newell & Chris Brookes
December 20: 4 Front Wrestling (Bristol, England) – Nadia Sapphire b Chardonnay
December 20: WWE house show (Winnipeg, MB, Canada) – Natalya b Paige
December 20: Metroplex Wrestling (Bedford, TX) – Athena b Claudia
December 20: WWE NXT house show (Lakeland, FL) – Alexa Bliss b Carmella & Dana Brooke in a 3-way
December 21: JWP (Tokyo, Japan) – Yako Fujigasaki b Haruka Kato; Eri b Yua Hayashi & Raideen Hagane in a 3-way; Kayoko Haruyama b KAZUKI; Command Bolshoi & Kyoko Kimura b Leon & Hanako Nakamori; Arisa Nakajima & Tsukushi v Tsukasa Fujimoto & Rabbit Miyu went to a time limit draw
December 21: Pro Wrestling WAVE (Osaka, Japan) – Fairy Nipponbashi b Moeka Haruhi; Yuu Yamagata b Hiroe Nagahama; Yumi Ohka b Kaho Kobayashi; Kana b Rina Yamashita; Shu Shibutani b Mika Iida; Misaki Ohata b Sawako Shimono; Hikaru Shida v Mio Shirai went to a time limit
December 21: Stardom (Osaka, Japan) – Kris Wolf b Momo Watanabe; Act Yasukawa & Kellie Skater b Kaori Yoneyama & Hatsuhinode Kamen; Io Shirai b Mystique; Kairi Hojo & Koguma b Reo Hazuki & Takumi Iroha; Nanae Takahashi & Miho Wakizawa b Yoshiko & Mayu Iwatani
December 21: Tidal Championship Wrestling (Leeds, England) – Lana Austin & Ruby Summers b Nixon Newell & Violet O’Hara
December 21: Insane Championship Wrestling (Glasgow, Scotland) – Layla Rose b Sammii Jayne
December 22: WWE Raw (Minneapolis, MN) – Natalya b Brie Bella; Naomi, Alicia Fox & Emma b Paige, Cameron & Summer Rae
December 22: CMLL (Puebla, Mexico) – Amapola, La Comandante & Zeuxis b La Vaquerita, Lluvia & Princesa Sugehit
December 23: JWP (Tokyo, Japan) – Arisa Nakajima, Command Bolshoi & Rabbit Miyu b Leon, Raideen Hagane & Yua Hayashi; Kayoko Harumya b Yako Fujigasaki; Hanako Nakamori won a battle royal
December 23: Diana (Kawasaki, Japan) – Yuiga & Hamuko Hoshi b Kaho Kobayashi & Koharu Hinata; Eiger & Mask De Sun b Arisa Nakajima & Raideen Hagane; Takako Inoue & Cherry b Keiko Aono & Megumi Yabushita; Tomoko Watanabe b Meiko Tanaka; Kaoru Ito b Manami Toyota to win the Diana World Championship; Jaguar Yokota & Sareee b KAORU & Mima Shimoda to win the Diana World Tag Team Championship; Kyoko Inoue b Yumiko Hotta
December 23: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Reo Hazuki b Momo Watanabe; Act Yasukawa b Kris Wolf; Koguma b Kyoko Kimura, Kaori Yoneyama, Hatsuhinode Kamen, Mystique & Kellie Skater; Io Shirai, Mayu Iwatani & Masaaki Mochizuki b Miho Wakizawa, Manami Toyota & Genki Horiguchi; Yoshiko b Saki Akai; Nanae Takahashi & Kairi Hojo b Takumi Iroha & Risa Sera
December 26: Absolute Intense Wrestling (Cleveland, OH) – Tessa Blanchard, Jennifer Blake & Heidi Lovelace v Veda Scott, Alexia Nicole & Jasmin
December 27: Squared Circle Wrestling (Elmira, NY) – Cherry Bomb v Mickie James
December 27: AAW (Berwyn, IL) – Heidi Lovelace v Chris Sabin
December 28: Ice Ribbon Ribbonmania (Tokyo, Japan) – Tsukasa Fujimoto v Arisa Nakajima
December 28: JWP Climax 2014 (Tokyo, Japan) – Arisa Nakajima v Tsukasa Fujimoto
December 28: Beyond Wrestling (Providence, RI) – Kimber Lee v David Starr
January 3: Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (Vancouver, BC, Canada) – Cat Power v Kate Carney
January 4: Scottish Wrestling Alliance (Glasgow, Scotland) – Debbie Sharpe v Viper
January 4: PROGRESS Wrestling (London, England) – Jinny v Pollyanna
January 4: Inspire Pro Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Barbi Hayden v Veda Scott; Jessica James v Kimber Lee
January 11: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland)
January 17: Empress Pro (High Wycombe, England) – Bete Noire & Viper v Addy Starr & Rhia O’Reilly; Ruby Summers v Chardonnay; Nikki Storm v Pollyanna
January 17: Lone Star Wrestling (Cypress, TX) – Barbi Hayden v Tessa Blanchard
January 18: Alpha-1 Wrestling (Hamilton, ON, Canada) – Seleziya Sparx v Allysin Kay
January 18: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Jessica James v Jojo Bravo; Athena v Su Yung
January 23: SHINE 24 (Ybor City, FL) – Malia Hosaka, Brandi Wine & Thunderkitty v Kimber Lee, Cherry Bomb & Leah Von Dutch
January 23: Valkyrie Women’s Wrestling (Woodbury Heights, NJ) – Kacee Carlisle v Mistress Belmont; La Rosa Negra v Aja Perera
January 24: Pure Wrestling Assocation (Kitchener, ON, Canada) – Kc Spinelli v Courtney Rush; Kaitlin Diemond v Beautiful Beaa; Jewells Malone v Alexia Nicole; Holly Madison v Silvie Silver; Ingrid Isley v Skylar Rose
February 7: Family Wrestling Entertainment (Jamaica, NY) – Candice LeRae v Veda Scott; Taeler Hendrix v Katarina Leigh
February 8: Tidal Championship Wrestling (Leeds, England) – Violet O’Hara v Nixon Newell
February 14: Mio Shirai Produce (Tokyo, Japan) – Mio Shirai v Io Shirai
February 21: Women Superstars Uncensored (Voorhees, NJ) – Hania v Athena; Kimber Lee & Annie Social v JT Dunn & David Starr
February 22: Dragon Pro Wrestling (Newport, Wales) – Nixon Newell v Pollyanna
February 22: Bellatrix 12 (Norwich, England)
March 14: Rock N’ Wrassle (Nottingham, England)
April 4: NCW Femmes Fatales (Montreal, QC, Canada) – Courtney Rush v Saraya Knight; Portia Perez v Xandra Bale
April 11/12 – SHIMMER Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)
– Lee Burton
– Photos by Mercedes Martinez (1), Dave Muscarella (2), WWE (4,5,7), Stardom (6), Youji Kawauchi (8)
– Data collated from (but not limited to) Cagematch, joshifans.com, PuroLove, Dramatic DDT, Luchablog, Lords Of Pain, Wrestling Observer, Open The Puroresu Gate, Ringstars, PWInsider, NHB Girls, North Starz, WrestlingData
Well, this is awkward.
Despite still wrestling and currently holding one half of the SHINE Tag Team Championship, Malia Hosaka is to be presented with the Cauliflower Alley Club’s Retired Women’s Wrestling Award at next April’s reunion in Las Vegas, NV. To make it seem even weirder, that presumably means that Beth Phoenix is being given the active wrestling honour at the same ceremony, despite hanging up the boots more than two years ago.
Regardless of the foul-up, Hosaka is a prime candidate for an honour. As well as being a current holder of the SHINE doubles titles, the 27 year pro has also worn the NWA World Women’s Championship – albeit for a solitary day back in May 1996. Trained by Misty Blue Simmes, the 45-year old competed for the Ladies Pro Wrestling Association and also worked for the trifecta of top US promotions in the 1990s, taking booking for Extreme Championship Wrestling as well as working for World Championship Wrestling and having a developmental deal for the World Wrestling Federation – though her opportunity for the latter was cut short as plans to anonymously introduce her was thwarted when she was recognised for her past work and was in line to accompany Essa Rios in early 2000 but was overlooked in favour of Lita.
As well as SHINE, Hosaka worked a great deal of the SHIMMER DVD series, debuting on volume 3 and parting ways with the promotion following volume 32. While she experienced success as a singles wrestler, her most prominent role was as one half of The Experience tag team, working alongside Lexie Fyfe. At the moment, she is a quarter of the Legendary stable with championship teammate Brandi Wine, former WWF Women’s Champion Leilani Kai and golden era throwback Thunderkitty.
It’s been difficult since Stew’s passing two months ago. Mostly because I miss our daily interactions but also partly because running this website has essentially become a one-man job. It gets harder because each visit is a reminder of how he is no longer with us, and this was something that we started together.
When we conceptualised Ringbelles in late 2010, we did it with the intention of covering as much women’s wrestling as we could from anywhere in the world in order to shine a brighter spotlight on a section of the industry which was overlooked or sneered at by a great number of fans. Thanks to tens of thousands of words and 179 interviews, I believe that we have accomplished that. With an eye on producing insightful, interesting and honest writing, I feel that this website has helped to put more attention on the females who work just as hard – and in some cases, harder – than the men. I can’t say that this upward swing of females in the business and more places for them to work is solely down to this site but if we can take a thimbleful of credit, then I’m more than happy with that.
The thing is that since Stew’s death, while the message is still as important as ever, the passion to deliver it has waned. I produce these reviews, write ups, reports and Roundups with a heavy heart, knowing that this is meant to have been a team effort and now it feels like it’s just a one-man sounding board. It’s getting to the point where I’m feeling contempt for the website, and that’s not a good thing as I don’t want this site to turn inwards on itself and become a bitter shell of what it was.
Other things have changed in my life since the website started. I recently left my career in broadcasting and journalism to move across England and embark on a new job, with the intention of also resuming my studies to achieve a new qualification in order to chase a new career. The new job is a shift pattern which means I work a lot of strange hours and means that even with the greatest will in the world, I can’t cover shows which I would dearly love to. For example, the most recent XWA Wrestling shows featuring the likes of Nikki Storm, Rhia O’Reilly, Pollyanna, Kay Lee Ray and Addy Starr took place less than 30 minutes drive from my front door and I couldn’t go. In addition, coverage of iPPVs would have to come to an end as my availability will drastically decrease.
However, the most important change in my life since this website kicked off is that I am close to two years into my relationship with my girlfriend. I love her and don’t want to have anything compromise the time we can spend together building towards what I believe will be a long and happy future. She has been very understanding with my work within women’s wrestling and even though she does not share the passion, she understands it. However, I feel that I am letting her down as one half of this relationship, and that simply isn’t on.
For that reason as well as a few others, I announce with a heavy heart that Ringbelles will be coming to an end before 2014 is out.
This has not been an easy decision but it’s something that I have to do. While Ciara is a fabulous contributor with great intelligence and writing skills, she and I don’t have enough time to dedicate to this and I feel disloyal to Stew to leave it in the hands of others who don’t share our vision or don’t come up to the lofty standards which we have set ourselves. In hindsight, it was too much for us to handle with such a small team but we did our best, making huge sacrifices to do so. The number of times I got out of bed to do an interview or stayed up late to complete one only to get a handful of hours sleep before going into work to do a full-time day job is huge. While neither he or I would have wanted it any other way, the strain was becoming very great and it was sapping our enthusiasm for the site.
A quick secret. In August, he and I sat down to discuss changing the format of the site to lighten the load but even that would have meant large contributions on our part. Coupled with my new job meaning that our schedules would hardly ever tally up for us to record Women Of Wrestling Podcasts, we were struggling as to what to do to keep things going. Sadly, we never got to finish that conversation before he passed.
I have already informed some close friends about this decision and there were a range of reactions. Some were understanding, some were sad that this website was going as they see it as a great resource for women’s wrestling and a few asked if I was totally sure. I was also asked if this was the right move because the site is half-Stew’s too. However, I have thought of that and am making steps to preserve his legacy on the site, which was the great audio. He would spend hours editing and tidying up the WOW Podcasts before uploading them because he wanted them to be perfect – I was more slapdash about things and left in the odd flub or stammer, but he wanted to make sure it was as good as it can be, and I respect the hell out of him for that. A one hour podcast would take him around 3 hours to successfully edit for everyone to listen to.
I expect there to be different reactions to what I’m saying here and I appreciate that the closing of Ringbelles could leave a hole – after all, there is nothing like this site out there. Nobody else covers such a range of women’s wrestling in such depth, so I apologise to everyone who visits this site regularly and uses it to know what’s going on out there. I am truly sorry, but this is something I need to do to help me move forward in my life. I hope you can appreciate that.
I’ve been writing about wrestling and podcasting in some form or fashion for the past 12 years, so I’m sure that I will miss doing it. I wanted to feel like I was contributing to the wrestling world and I hope you agree that Ringbelles has done that. With honest and in-depth reviews of both live shows and those released on DVD or online, interviews with names you’ve heard of and names you haven’t, discussion points and articles, we wanted women’s wrestling to be treated as seriously as possible as every female who steps into that ring is doing the same.
Yep, I’ll miss it.
Things aren’t coming to an end straight away though – there will be one more Roundup where I’ll be happy to post any messages you want to send either in the comments below or via our email – firstname.lastname@example.org – and will also announce who probably would have been our award-winners for the year. With Stew’s passing, it’s not been on my mind that much and I didn’t have time to design any physical awards like in years gone by, but I’ll announce the Wrestler and Breakout Star of the Year titles. I’ll also write a final piece where I do a bunch of thank you messages, and there will be a lot of them, trust me.
Thanks for reading this, and thanks for your support over the last four years. Without your backing, we wouldn’t have been such a success, and women’s wrestling would have been a poorer place without every single one of you.
It’s a rare venture into the world of lucha libre, thought its profile has seen an upswing since the debut of Lucha Underground on US TV. A combination of alternative production and some entertaining matches has made it a desirable show to watch, and it is already seeing some crossover of talent among the luchadoras to AAA in Mexico – namely Ivelisse Velez.
The former SHINE Champion has had the opportunity to showcase her verbiage as well as her wrestling skills during her time on Lucha Underground, playing the nasty heel alongside Son of Havoc and has got under the skin of the promotion’s premier babyface Sexy Star. That rivalry has continued into AAA but has seen a flip-flopping of their demeanours as Sexy was already a heel in Mexico, meaning that Ivelisse is working face.
The video we have for you here is Velez’s debut in the promotion from November 28 where she teamed with Faby Apache against Sexy and AAA Reina de Reinas Taya Valkyrie in tag team action. The video shows the build-up – which would be more useful for you if you can speak Spanish – as well as the post-match antics. Have a look.