As was mentioned in the previous Flashback 2012 article, Ringbelles was created as a host for our flagship Women Of Wrestling Podcasts, which offers thorough insights into wrestlers, their pasts and what they’re up to at the moment. They’re also quite lengthy – with the longest going for close to two hours. With that in mind, we made the decision to offer other interview segments on the website – ones which were shorter, and dealt with current news rather than being a career retrospective. For that reason, Fight Like A Girl was born back in May last year, with Faith Lehaine being the first guest. However, the show really gained a life of its own in 2012, and also saw it joined by another interview segment – but we’ll get to that. Firstly, let’s have a look at who gave us some of their time over the last 12 months for Fight Like A Girl…
2012 started off with a TNA Knockout and another who would become one by the end of the year. Current Knockouts Champion Tara gave us a call as part of promotion for the company’s Maximum Impact IV UK tour back in January, and was followed in April with Taeler Hendrix, who was on the verge of a heel turn in Ohio Valley Wrestling – and also told us about her cancer misdiagnosis, months before it became part of her backstory going into her Gut Check audition in the summer.
Following our only interview with a male guest – then-Women Superstars Uncensored head Sean McCaffrey, who discussed the storylines through its latest double DVD taping – we spoke to the first of three guests we spoke to from the southern hemisphere over the course of the year. Niki Nitro was about to take part in her first international tour, so we had a chat with her about how she was getting the travelling bug – evidenced by her trip to Canada later in the year and to the US in the next few weeks. Fellow Aussie Michelle K Hasluck also took some time out to hype her match against Storm for the now-defunct PROWL promotion, and was quickly followed by New Zealand starlet Evie, who was on the verge of winning both the Impact Pro Wrestling Women’s Title and PWWA Interim Championship in the space of a week.
The hype machine was in full force throughout the year, be it for personal projects, events or even promotions. Our most recent FLAG saw Destiny talk about the rebranding of the World Association of Women’s Wrestling to Bellatrix, while Liberty chatted about the most recent WAWW show, which ended up drawing a very healthy crowd. Others such as Leva Bates and Annie Social came on to talk about the debut shows of SHINE Wrestling and Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling respectively. Similarly, Becky Mason was previewing her appearance on TV show Don’t Tell The Bride, covering the build-up to her wedding – and how she wasn’t allowed a say in any of the preparations.
However, the others spoke to us after the event – for example, Taya Valkyrie spoke to us after season 2 of World Of Hurt and talked about her experiences of moving to Mexico and acclimatising to her new surroundings. Rebecca Knox gave us an exclusive interview following her first match in four years, and Cat Power rounds things off with our longest FLAG where she thanked a lot of people who helped her out during her wrestling career, making the likes of Danyah and LuFisto admit to crying when they heard it.
With Fight Like A Girl rolling along very nicely, 2012 saw us introduce a new show to the website. My Name Is was brought in as a platform for wrestlers who are looking to expand their own brand and publicise themselves to more fans. The only catch was that we would not approach anyone to be interviewed – they would have to come to us. This isn’t arrogance on our part, but demonstrates how keen they are to get their name out there. After all, we’re here to promote women’s wrestling, but what use is that if they’re not that interested in promoting themselves?
The very first interviewee was Luscious Latasha, who got in touch with us at the tail end of 2011 to see if there was anything we could do to help her achieve her goals for the following year, which included wanting to succeed in the promotions she was already a part of as well as looking to get new bookings. As it turned out, Latasha won the WSU Tag Team Championship in March, and debuted for SHINE Wrestling alongside Gabby Gilbert in September. From there, we spoke to Puerto Rican Aleida Ortiz, who was training with OVW. Thanks to these women, the ball was rolling, and the emails started to trickle in.
As we discovered, one nation was more keen than any other to get some publicity – and it’s those Brits.
Amazon Ayesha Ray was the first UK resident to be interviewed, and it was the first time that she had spoken, as she had previously been a silent, stoic figure. Jezabeth toyed with the English language when she talked to us, and Pollyanna discussed how she is wrestling on behalf of all women out there.
Focussing in even further, the Scottish took advantage of the interview time. Viper insisted that great women wrestlers come in all shapes and sizes, her tag partner/opponent Bete Noire revealed how she’s also a baker and a fire dancer, and Sammii Jayne rounded off the Scots listing her shopping list of dream opponents and countries she wants to wrestle in.
Back in North America, Ortiz’s regular opponent Amazing Maria also got in touch, revealing that she got into wrestling after being encouraged by her daughter, and Canada’s Seleziya Sparx talked about what she wanted to do over the year – though those plans were derailed following surgery to her ACL which hasn’t allowed her to return to the ring yet.
The final guest to mention is our only MNI guest from Australia – Kellyanne English had recently returned from Canada after spending three months training with Lance Storm, and also talked about wrestling fellow MNI guest Ayesha Ray at this year’s PWWA show back in October.
You can jump to any particular interview by clicking on the blue links. There are 25 interviews listed in this piece – 14 Fight Like A Girls and 11 My Name Is episodes – and coupled with the WOW Podcasts, that means on average, we have given you fresh audio every 9 days throughout this year. If you only subscribe to iTunes and seldom check this website, you’ve missed out on the bulk of our audio shows this year, as FLAG and MNI are website-only interviews. You can keep track of new posts by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter.
Finally, if you’re a wrestler who is going to be part of something newsworthy – or you’re starting out and you’re after some free publicity – send us an email and let us know. Ringbelles is a website about women’s wrestlers and is FOR women wrestlers. Use us. That’s what we’re here for.
– Lee Burton
– Additional photos by Tiffany Browning