Flashback 2012: The Year in Podcasts

New WOW logo websiteWe love our podcasts here at Ringbelles. In fact, the entire site you’re looking at right now was initially founded as a new home for our flagship “Women of Wrestling Podcast”, and everything that has been built around it (from the regular website content to you, our ever expanding audience) has been constructed around the basic belief that our podcast is our core business. When we launched our first WOW Podcast over three years ago, we were of the opinion that nobody else was giving the women of the wrestling business a soapbox to tell their stories. Now, standing on the brink of our 50th edition, we can look back at the seventeen podcasts we’ve produced in 2012 (and the addition of three “Rush Hour” Podcasts), and be content that we’re delivering on our promise with quality interviews of the women in the business.

We have new listeners join us all the time, so for their benefit (as well as a nostalgic kick for our regulars), it’s time to look back at our shows in 2012, and maybe pick out a few shows you either get to listen to for the first time (or again).

One of our favourite times this year was when we were discussing GLOW, back in April and May – something that led directly into (literally) our biggest interview ever. There had been a plan at one time to have Little Egypt, aka Angelina Altishin, on a short “Fight Like A Girl” website exclusive audio show to discuss the (then upcoming) GLOW documentary. Despite Lee nor I being the biggest GLOW fans, I figured that we had enough to talk about to justify a full Podcast. Soon, we called Angelina and asked if it was OK if we went “over” the 20 minutes or so 20958_1182619697921_4885061_nwe had originally asked for. She said that would be fine. Well, it turned out we talked for an hour-and-a-half about GLOW, the documentary, the Cauliflower Alley Club reunion and the seminars she was running at this past year’s reunion. We always aim to educate at least a bit on our podcasts, and this was one that we absolutely ended up learning a lot ourselves from an intelligent and well spoken woman. Not only that, but the GLOW & CAC connections ended up leading us to one of our favourite ever guests, Lisa Moretti – aka GLOW’s Tina Ferrari and WWE‘s Ivory. Lisa was possibly the nicest guest we’ve ever talked to, both on the air (and off it – she’s the only person to spend a good 20 minutes of time when we first called her asking us how *our* days were, and seeming genuinely interested). And as for chat. Well, Lisa likes to talk – so much so that we ended up doing two consecutive shows with her, one covering GLOW, POWW and Cauliflower Alley, and one covering her time in WWE, including candid thoughts on Evening Gown Swimming Pool Matches, Miss Kitty, Chyna and much more. A class act, and two highly recommended podcasts.

WWE was also the order of business for much of our chat with Amazing Kong in November. Fresh off her controversial and at times baffling WWE run as Kharma, it was nice to reacquaint ourselves with a guest we’d had during our first year – and nicer still to know that despite enduring a few emotional 33870_10150106878138345_5707563_nheartbreaks, she was the same person we had met years earlier. Listen to this Podcast to find out all about her WWE run, meeting Vince McMahon for the first time, how her fiance popped the question, and how she was almost called Barcissa B. Wicked. Really.

June brought us one of the most ambitious projects we’ve tried so far – and that was to pay tribute to the late “Sensational” Sherri Martel on the fifth anniversary of her passing. Thankfully, Sherri left such a positive feeling amongst those who knew and loved her that there was no shortage of guests willing to lend some time – not least of which was WWE Hall of Famer “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase. There were a few other guests we’d have loved to have spoken to about Sherri had we had the time and the contact details, but that show remains one of our proudest achievements. If you haven’t listened, you’re missing out on some really nice stories from colleagues, friends and opponents, such as Bill Apter, Candi Divine, Marianne Ryan & Lexie Fyfe.

Of course, Lee and I are Brits, and we’ve done our bit to spread the Podcast love around our own Continent. Most well known of our Euro guests is obviously SHIMMER Champion Saraya Knight, who marked her third appearance on the Podcast by discussing the Channel 4 documentary on her family and the very true story of how she knew she was pregnant with her daughter, now commonly known as Paige in NXT. I’d say you’d never believe it, but if you’ve heard Saraya on the Podcast before you’ll know she specialises in crazy stories. We had the longtime Pro Wrestling EVE Champion Alpha Female on the show, prior to EVE’s Special Edition show, proving that her English is far better than our 14400_449582298437350_536817333_nGerman, and explaining her move from Germany to England and her future plans. Alpha’s most regular thorn in her side has been Nikki Storm, who also joined us for a Podcast (as well as her highly regarded blog series) for a wide ranging discussion of her career to date, the Scottish scene and the (then) upcoming ICW: Fierce Females show and Glaswegian slang. Also on the European guestlist was Rhia O’Reilly (Oh really?), who turned a great work ethic (and an infuriatingly catchy catchphrase) into a standout year, wrestling in SHIMMER, NCW:FF and Shine internationally, as well as picking up the British Ladies Championship back home. Not bad going for “The Fighting Irish”, as we finally made good on a promise we made nearly two years earlier to have her back for a full show.

Rhia was someone we had pegged as a star for some time, and this year we also produced Podcasts with both the 2011 and 2012 recipients of 282364_372849122796046_1125961716_nour Breakout Star of the Year award, two friends and co-conspirators in the Midwest Militia, namely Jessicka Havok (who told some fantastic stories about working with Ivory and Luna Vachon early in her career) and Allysin Kay (who talked *that* broken nose incident, and how it helped propel her to the stratosphere this year). We may have also got one of the last big interviews with Mickie Knuckles too, depending on where her future leads her. She came on the show in March to announce her pregnancy, and that she would be stepping away from wrestling. With her online presence practically zero, we can assume (and hope) that Mickie’s enjoying life as a mother by now.

Early in the year we talked ArenaChicks with its CEO Amber O’Neal, who not only filled us in on that whole project, but talked about everything from her first ever match (with Leilani Kai) to Juggalos to wrestling on a torn ACL for a year, and had a double shot with Cherry Bomb & Veda Scott, wherein Veda talks juggling lawyering and wrestling and Cherry talks movies, WWE and her dog, who is, in fact, called Hulk Hogan.

“Rate Tank” Kellie Skater‘s been all over the world this year, wrestling in Japan, Australia, USA and Canada – and it showed when she came on the Podcast in September and did us MONSTER numbers in downloads. To be fair, where else could you find talk of drinking in three continents on one show? Seriously though, Tank’s had a superb year, and she runs down most of it here.

And we didn’t ignore guests with testicles either… not only did you get the epic roundtable between Messrs Prazak, Cordeiro & Bruyere for our Christmas “Three Wise Men” Podcast, running down the year for SHIMMER, WSU & NCW:Femmes Fatales – and we had one of our most popular shows of the year, with former WWE Creative Writer Alex Greenfield, running down his part in the last great WWE women’s feud – Trish Stratus vs Mickie James.

281287_512546988785826_671910484_nAnd finally – but by no means least, we’ve been very pleased to add Courtney Rush to the website, presenting her very own Podcast, “Rush Hour” – and she’s added three unique and different slices of audio to the website this year, each one with a different co-host. Courtney & Cat Power hosted Episode #1 (talking Cat’s retirement, the Ontario scene, Monster Brawl… and the near gimmick of Haley & Holly Rogers). Kellie Skater joined in for Episode #2 (talking Japanese shenanigans, whether the feminist push has become sexist in the other direction, drinking games and the best fan feedback she’s ever received), and Leva Bates turns up for Episode #3 (to talk female wrestling as a fetish, models turned wrestlers and the importance of negative feedback when it’s deserved). We want to throw out a big thank you to Courtney for taking an idea, running with it, and providing the site with unique and thought-provoking podcast content. We love you and we can’t wait for more in 2013.

So… here’s your chance. Before we plough headlong into another year of audio, check out anything you’ve missed or revisit any of those shows you enjoyed… and never miss an episode by subscribing on iTunes or Stitcher

We have one question for you though — which one was your favourite?

— Stew Allen


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