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.
It’s a great progression for the former Britani Knight, who has been rolling in NXT since its relaunch last May. Going unbeaten for seven months on the show between July and January – where she was beaten by Summer Rae – she has arguably ascended to be the most over wrestler who steps into the ring at Full Sail University in Winter Park, and is certainly the most popular woman. In recent months, she – as well as many of the other developmental Divas – have been given more prominence on the show, with Paige and Rae engaging in a battle which began over an innocent bump on the January 30 episode following Paige’s win over Aksana. Following that retaliation by Summer, the feisty Anti-Diva decided that she wanted revenge, and tried to hold the show hostage after ordering Axl Keegan and Mike Dalton to abandon their match. It’s an example of how she and her antics are deemed to be pretty high up the totem pole.
The timing of her going back on the road is also quite interesting too. WWE tends to introduce new characters after WrestleMania, and seeing as we’re a month away, it’s not inconceivable that Paige is being prepped to graduate to the main roster. An injection of new talent is sorely needed for the Divas roster, as reigning champion Kaitlyn has no real programmes going on at the moment – though it looks like Layla may be being primed for a heel turn and title challenge – so to have someone who has a gimmick ready to go, has the beginnings of a fan following and is being given the opportunity to go over established stars would be a massive boost.
However, while things are looking peachy for Paige, you may not be able to say the same for AJ.
Last year, the 25-year old was involved in pretty much everything at the top of the card in WWE. Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Daniel Bryan, Big Show, CM Punk, Kane and John Cena, she was in the thick of everything. She was kissing everyone, skipping everywhere, enjoyed some time as General Manager of Raw and was the talk of everyone due to her complex character.
In December, she fully turned heel at the TLC pay-per-view when she cost John Cena his match against Dolph Ziggler, and then aligned herself with the bleached blonde show-off as his girlfriend, with Big E Langston in tow. However, compared to her bumper year in 2012, her 2013 so far has comparatively been a big pile of nothing.
She’s been at ringside for Ziggler’s matches – most of which have ended in defeat – and as such, her glitter has faded too. She has only wrestled two matches on TV since turning, both mixed tag, both short, and resulting in a .500 record. It’s hardly anything to write home about.
I had a concern last year while AJ was riding the crest of the wave that her popularity was by proxy. With Bryan, Punk and Cena being the most over names on the show, there was always that chance that anyone who hangs around them would get some of the rub – and that would be maximised if you were hanging around them all. These days, with Ziggler being beaten on a regular basis, the opposite effect is happening to her – and with no real individual storyline to get stuck into, she’s going down on Ziggler’s ship.
While Paige winning at the weekend is a great sign, losing a match to an unestablished NXT wrestler with a comedy character like Hornswoggle as the referee doesn’t look good for someone who was hobnobbing in main events on PPVs last year. It may be a bit premature to make the assertion, but it looks like there’s a new woman in town, and AJ Lee may have to step aside.
NCW Femmes Fatales promised that its 11th show on March 30 would be a historical one. Indeed, the card was shaping up very nicely, with four promotion’s champions represented on the show. However, the announcement was made yesterday that not only would those champions be on the show, but those titles would be defended.
Already known to be a title match was Femmes Fatales International Champion Kalamity defending the belt against Mercedes Martinez in their third singles match in the promotion. At Femmes Fatales V on March 12, 2011 Martinez got the duke, while Kalamity returned the favour at Femmes Fatales VIII a year later. 12 months on from that encounter, the pair will clash again in a match which stemmed from the main event of the second part of Femmes Fatales X last November.
After defeating LuFisto in a great steel cage match, Martinez was joined in the ring by Saraya Knight, who proceeded to attack the Super Hardcore Anime after their brutal match. As Mercedes proceeded to join in, Kalamity came out to make the save. As a result of that post-match action, the match was also signed for SHIMMER Champion Knight to face LuFisto on March 30. However, the stakes were raised, with the revelation that – should Saraya emerge victorious from her defence against Destiny at Bellatrix 5 the weekend before – the SHIMMER title would be on the line in what will be the first time that the belt will have been defended in Canada.
Speaking of Bellatrix, the promotion’s champion Allison Danger is also in action at Femmes Fatales XI, taking on Courtney Rush. However, the match has now been made for the Bellatrix title, and should add some extra drama and intrigue to the contest. This will be Danger’s first defence since winning the championship in November 2011, and will see the veteran titleholder taking on one of the hottest female prospects in North America. Rush was on a roll a year ago when she snared the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship alongside Sara Del Rey, but lost the belts at Femmes Fatales IX to the Canadian Ninjas before getting back on track in the promotion by beating Ryo Mizunami and Portia Perez in singles matches last November. It would be a big feather in her cap to win the Bellatrix Championship.
The expected hard-hitting battle between Women Superstars Uncensored Champion Jessicka Havok and Cheerleader Melissa also has an extra edge to it, considering WSU has agreed to sanction a title match between the two, rounding off the “four by four” aspect of the promotion, and creates a big crossover experience between four big groups. Seriously, this could only happen in Montreal.
Personally, I can see at least one of these championships changing hands on March 30, possibly two. If you can get to Canada to see history made, do it.
Friday’s all-women ABC Catch show entitled “Tournoi des Amazones” seems to have struck the right chord with the promotion. After sticking its toe in the water to see if fans would be interested in women’s wrestling, it seems that the response has been positive. Admittedly, numbers for the show weren’t massive, but the matches were well-received and got the right reaction. It’s baby steps in a country which hasn’t seen any all-women shows since Queens Of Chaos stopped running shows half a decade ago.
The show was run with the bare minimum of wrestlers to keep its costs down for its first show, as there was no point throwing money out there if it didn’t go well. As a result, the event had eight wrestlers – six of whom were involved in a tournament to determine a top contender for the promotion’s Women’s Championship, held by Shanna. That match took place on the same card, after Alpha Female defeated Morgane Leigh as well as Carmel Jacob and Kay Lee Ray in a triple threat final to earn the shot. In the end, the champion retained her title by being Alpha with the Perfect Press.
The final match on the show saw Morgane Leigh, Kay Lee Ray & Viper defeat Lady Lory, Carmel Jacob and Sara-Marie Taylor in a 6 woman, 2 out of 3 fall match which saw the French fans in Beziers go home happy when their native star Morgane emerge on the winning team.
A future date for another show hasn’t been announced yet, but the promotion says that it will happen, which is a good thing. More places for women to wrestle, especially in Europe where most women’s matches are a special attraction on cards featuring mostly men, is a big boost.
Elsewhere on the site over the last week, we’ve posted two videos – one was a Retro featuring Nevaeh against Rain, while there’s also a tag team match from last month in Australia with Madison Eagles and Shazza McKenzie taking on Mighty Mel and Storm. Rounding off the other audio visual nuggets is the latest Women Of Wrestling Podcast featuring an insightful chat with Absolute Intense Wrestling’s John Thorne, in what was a preview for Girls Night Out 8. We go over the show’s history, how he was badgered into doing the first show by Hailey Hatred, and how he was converted into being a women’s wrestling fan.
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? Send us an email!
Meanwhile, if you want one of our t-shirts, click here and pick which shop is best for you. We have stores for the US/Canada (which also ships to Australia) and one for the UK and mainland Europe. Check out the latest Wrestling Yay, SHIMMER Like A Girl and No Limits 2.0 designs, as well as the Evielution shirt which we are selling at cost price, and the brand new Ermahgerd Rerslin shirt.
The best of the rest
New WWE signee Kendra Smith has been repackaged as Kendall Skye. She’s not got any wrestling experience but has history of being involved in combat sports… On last week’s NXT, Aksana beat Emma in a heel v heel match which was pretty boring, and was supposed to show Emma’s gimmick that she’s a bad dancer and very clumsy. However, it was the crowd itself which was the dirt worst as it chanted “USA” in a match between an Australian and a Lithuanian… Mae Young appeared on last night’s Old School Raw to celebrate her 90th birthday, which is next Tuesday. CM Punk interrupted it, that bastard. Backstage, Triple H and Vince McMahon presented her with a Divas Title belt with her name on it.
Velvet Sky retained the Knockouts Championship on last week’s Impact Wrestling, defeating Tara. It means that it will be Sky v Gail Kim for the belt at Lockdown on March 10… Ivelisse Velez defeated Lei’D Tapa in the Gut Check segment. Velez was doing an MMA gimmick, and it was pointed out that she cancelled an MMA fight to be part of the show. Not sure how true that is, but she was scheduled to make her fight debut the following day, but never had an opponent announced for the card… Tara’s new pizzeria in Chicago, IL is called The Squared Circle. It opens on March 14.
Kana, Allison Danger and Leva Bates have been added to all the SHIMMER dates in April… MsChif won’t be at SHIMMER volume 53, as she is booked for the Ring Of Honor show for that day. Promoter Dave Prazak says the offer was there to try and negotiate for her to work both shows, but it didn’t pan out… Meanwhile, she hasn’t been officially announced by SHIMMER yet, but PWA Australia’s latest iWrestle TV webisode says that Shazza McKenzie will be part of the Australia contingent going to the US… Kellie Skater’s North American bookings are starting to emerge. She’ll face Courtney Rush on March 22 for Canadian Pro Wrestling, then takes on Angie Skye the following week at NCW Femmes Fatales XI… Alexa Thatcher returns to wrestling on May 11 after an absence of about 5 years. She’ll challenge Missy Sampson for the Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling Championship. Not sure what she did to earn the shot, but there you go. Also on that card, Amy Lee and Amazing Kong face each other again – this time in a First Blood Match… Allysin Kay defeated her mystery opponent Mickie Knuckles to retain the Absolute Intense Wrestling Women’s Championship at Girls Night Out 8. In the main event, Veda Scott won a contract to get a title shot against Kay in the future. The show was AIW’s first iPPV, and was a good show, with Athena v Kimber Lee being the match of the night… Epiphany defeated Jessie Belle on Saturday to win the Ohio Valley Wrestling Women’s Championship. Jessie refused a handshake after the match… Resistance Pro says Melanie Cruise’s concussion means she will be out of action until the end of April… Athena won a 4-way at Ring Of Honor’s TV taping on Sunday. It’s the first time since ROH started booking women again that MsChif has lost… Alissa Flash (Cheerleader Melissa) was stripped of the River City Wrestling International Championship earlier today for not defending the belt… Valkyrie members Rain, Ivelisse Velez, Taylor Made & Allysin Kay will face Amazing Kong, Angelina Love, Mia Yim & Christina Von Eerie in the main event on SHINE 8 on March 23, in what’s a big step up for Yim and Von Eerie. As well as the Career v Respect match between Reby Sky & Jessicka Havok which was already announced, the other big matches will see Nikki Roxx wrestle Mercedes Martinez again, and Leva Bates takes on Kimberly in a Pick Your Poison match where each picks a stipulation.
Tsukushi won the vacant Ice Ribbon ICEx60 Championship on Wednesday, defeating Miyako Matsumoto in the finals. Kurumi will be her first challenger, meaning the average age in that title match will be around 13… Lin Byron has declared herself as the next challenger for Syuri’s Wrestling New Classic Women’s Championship. However, WNC decided that she will face Makoto on March 31’s afternoon show, with the winner challenging Syuri on the evening card… Amazon Ayesha Ray’s debut in Japan was marked with a victory. She, Kyoko Kimura and Hailey Hatred beat Nanae Takahashi, Eri Susa & Miho Wakizawa, with Amazon getting the pinfall on Susa with a choke bomb… Kyoko Inoue won Diana’s Queens Championship tournament to become the promotion’s first champion.
Skarlett emerged bloodied from her Casket Match with Philip Bateman, as well as suffering two black eyes. She won the match though. Elsewhere on the card, Erin Angel defeated Phobia in the latter’s first match since Bellatrix 2 last summer.
Mari Apache, LuFisto, Taya Valkyrie & Fabi Apache all advanced in the AAA Reina de Reinas tournament. LuFisto worked ruda, while she, Sexy Lady and Mari Apache all helped Valkyrie win her match over running buddy Jennifer Blake. The technicas made the save, which may have turned Blake babyface. The four winners will meet in a 4-way to crown a new champion.
Australia & New Zealand
Madison Eagles meets Storm on Pacific Pro Wrestling’s March 16 show with the winner being crowned the Women’s Champion… NHB Girls is reporting that Kellyanne English has been offered a developmental contract with AAA. Congratulations to her… The home promotion of Evie, Megan-Kate, Britenay and Olivia Shaw is closing after its show on April 27. Impact Pro Wrestling: NZ has been running for the last decade but is found it difficult to continue during the country’s current economic climate. It’s a big shame, as it’s worked hard to promote women’s wrestling and has produced some great talent. Hopefully they will all find a new home promotion to ply their craft.
February 24: Chicago Style Wrestling (Joliet, IL) – December b The Angel
February 24: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Athena b Machiko; Athena b Thomas Shire; Jessica James b Barbi Hayden
February 27: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Tsukushi b Miyako Matsumoto to win the ICEx60 Championship; Cherry b Meari Naito; Neko Nitta b Maiden Name Sakura Hirota & Hailey Hatred in a 3-way; Aoi Kizuki & Tsukasa Fujimoto b Hikaru Shida & Risa Sera
February 27: Diana (Tokyo, Japan) – Manami Toyota b Keiko Aono; Kaoru Ito b Mima Shimoda; Mask De Sun & Tadahori defeat Jenny Rose & Sareee; Arisa Nakajima b Piyota Mask; Tomoko Watanabe b Yumiko Hotta; Kyoko Inoue b Lioness Asuka
February 28: Wrestling New Classic (Tokyo, Japan) – Lin Byron & El Hijo del Pantera b Jiro Kuroshio & Yun Gang Chul; TAJIRI, Makoto & Zeus b AKIRA, Syuri & Emil Sitoci
February 28: TNA Impact Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Velvet Sky b Tara; Ivelisse Velez b Lei’D Tapa
March 1: AAA Fusion (Mexico City, Mexico) – Mari Apache b Lolita; LuFisto b Cinthia Moreno; Fabi Apache b Sexy Lady; Taya Valkyrie b Jennifer Blake
March 1: ABC Catch (Beziers, France) – Lady Lory b Kay Lee Ray; Alpha Female b Morgane Leigh; Carmel Jacob b Viper; Alpha Female b Carmel Jacob & Kay Lee Ray in a 3-way; Shanna b Alpha Female; Kay Lee Ray, Viper & Morgane Leigh b Lady Lory, Sara-Marie Taylor & Carmel Jacob
March 1: WWE (Toronto, ON, Canada) – Layla b Tamina Snuka
March 1: Chaotic Wrestling (Lowell, MA) – Greek Barbie b Kasey Ray
March 1: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Dalis la Caribeña, Estrellita & Silueta v Amapola, Tiffany & Zeuxis went to a double count out
March 1: AAW (Merrionette Park, IL) – Mason Beck b MsChif
March 1: Absolute Intense Wrestling Girls Night Out 8 (Cleveland, OH) – Addy Starr b Sassy Stephie; Athena b Kimber Lee; Veda Scott b Leva Bates; Crazy Mary Dobson b Annie Social; Angelus Layne b Jody D’Milo; Heidi Lovelace & Nikki St John b Angeldust & KC Warfield; Allysin Kay b Mickie Knuckles; Veda Scott b Athena, Addy Starr & Crazy Mary Dobson in a ladder match
March 2: Pro Wrestling Alliance (Casula, Australia) – Shazza McKenzie b Madison Eagles & Jessie McKay in a 3-way
March 2: Norwegian Wrestling Federation (Oslo, Norway) – Miss Mina b Penelope
March 2: Destination 1 Wrestling (Charlestown, IN) – Crazy Mary Dobson b Leva Bates
March 2: Vendetta Pro Wrestling (Santa Maria, CA) – Amber O’Neal b Terra Calaway
March 2: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louiville, KY) – Epiphany b Jessie Belle to win the OVW Women’s Championship
March 2: WWE (Kalamazoo, MI) – Paige b AJ Lee
March 2: WWE (Kingston, ON, Canada) – Layla b Tamina Snuka
March 2: All Star Wrestling (Croydon, England) – Erin Angel b Destiny
March 2: Extreme World Wrestling (Hastings, England) – Erin Angel b Phobia; Skarlett b Phillip Bateman
March 2: Supreme League of Wrestling (Urbana, IL) – Serenity v Thunderkitty went to a double count out
March 2: Great Canadian Wrestling (Oshawa, ONT, Canada) – Sabrina Kyle b Kaitlin Diamond
March 2: Bruiser Wrestling Federation (Farmville, VA) – Jennifer Blaze b Sassy Stephie
March 2: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Hailey Hatred b Miyako Matsumoto; Aoi Kizuki & Arisa Nakajima b Manami Katsu & Risa Sera; Tsukasa Fujimoto v Leon went to a time limit draw; Tsukushi & Hamuko Hoshi b Hikaru Shida & Kurumi
March 3: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Io Shirai & Mayu Iwatani b Kellie Skater & Yui Yokoo; Yoshiko & Act Yasukawa b Hiroyo Matsumoto & Sumire Yoshino; Yuzuki Aikawa & Yuhi b Kairi Hojo & Natsumi Showzuki; Kyoko Kimura, Hailey Hatred & Amazon Ayesha Ray b Nanae Takahashi, Miho Wakizawa & Eri Susa; Natsuki*Taiyo v Kaori Yoneyama went to a time limit draw
March 3: Premier British Wrestling (Glasgow, Scotland) – Carmel Jacob & Liam Thompson b Kay Lee Ray & Stevie Xavier
March 3: WWE (Cleveland, OH) – Paige b AJ Lee
March 3: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Jennifer Blake, LuFisto & Taya Valkyrie b Cinthia Moreno, La Jarochita & Lolita
March 3: Diana (Kawasaki, Japan) – Manami Toyota b Tomoko Watanabe; Jaguar Yokota, Mima Shimoda, Megumi Yabushita, Jenni Rose & Sareee b Yumiko Hotta, Keiko Aono, Mask De Sun, Hamuko Hoshi & Tadahori; Kyoko Inoue b Manami Toyota to become the first Queen Champion
March 3: WAVE (Osaka, Japan) – Moeka Haruhi v Marina Okamoto went to a draw; Kana b Sawako Shimono; Ayako Hamada, Yuu Yamagata & Aya Yuuki b Ryo Mizunami, Tomoka Nakagawa & Cherry; Syuri b Mio Shirai; Yumi Ohka b Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru; GAMI b Tsukasa Fujimoto; Misaki Ohata b Shuu Shibutani
March 3: JWP (Kawasaki, Japan) – Nana Kawasa b Raideen Hagane; Hanako Nakamori b Sareee; Kayoko Haruyama & KAZUKI b Manami Katsu & Rabbit Miu; Tsubasa Kuragaki b Morii; Arisa Nakajima & Command Bolshoi b Leon & Neko Nitta
March 3: Ring Of Honor (Chicago Ridge, IL) – Athena b Cherry Bomb, Scarlett Bordeaux & MsChif in a 4-way
March 8: CHIKARA (Tampa, FL) – Eddie Kingston v Amazing Kong
March 8: Scottish Wrestling Alliance (North Ayrshire, Scotland) – Viper & Bete Noire v Rhia O’Reilly & Kirsty Love
March 9: Scottish Wrestling Alliance (Beith, Scotland) – Viper v Rhia O’Reilly
March 9: Combat Zone Wrestling (Voorhees, NJ) – Nevaeh v Jessicka Havok
March 9: Women Of Wrestling (Las Vegas, NV)
March 10: Scottish Wrestling Alliance (Glasgow, Scotland) – Nikki Storm v April Davids
March 10: Stardom (Takamatsu, Japan) – Nanae Takahashi & Kellie Skater v Kyoko Kimura & Amazon Ayesha Ray
March 10: Venom Wrestling Federation (Stourbridge, England) – Kazza G v Katey Harvey v Erin Night v Jess Heartless
March 10: TNA Lockdown (San Antonio, TX) – Velvet Sky v Gail Kim
March 15: North Shore Pro Wrestling (Quebec City, Quebec, Canada) – LuFisto, Franky the Mobster & Buxx Belmar Vs Giovanni, Maddog & Lucky Sabiti
March 16: Pacific Pro Wrestling (Bundamba, Australia) – Madison Eagles v Storm
March 16: Swiss Championship Wrestling (Wil, Switzerland) – Shanna v Saraya Knight
March 17: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Nanae Takahashi v Alpha Female
March 22: Canadian Pro Wrestling (Woodstock, ON, Canada) – Courtney Rush v Kellie Skater
March 23: SHINE 8 (Ybor City, FL) – Rain, Allysin Kay, Taylor Made & Ivelisse Velez v Amazing Kong, Angelina Love, Mia Yim & Christina Von Eerie; Leva Bates v Kimberly; Reby Sky v Jessicka Havok; Nikki Roxx v Mercedes Martinez; Santana Garrett v Sojo Bolt; Brandi Wine v Jayme Jameson; Su Yung v Brittney Savage; Nikki St John v Luscious Latasha
March 23: AAW (Berwyn, IL) – MsChif v Heidi Lovelace
March 23: United States Independent Wrestling Federation (Winston-Salem, NC) – Mia Svensson v Lei’D Tapa
March 24: Bellatrix 5 (Norwich, England) – Rebecca Mason v Skarlett; Penelope v Erin Angel; Miss Mina v Amy Lee; Chanel v Phobia; Violet O’Hara v Bacardi; Queen Maya v Liberty; Saraya Knight v Destiny
March 24: Women Of Wrestling (Bethlehem, PA)
March 30: nCw Femmes Fatales XI (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – Kalamity v Mercedes Martinez; Cheerleader Melissa v Jessicka Havok; LuFisto v Sweet Saraya; Sweet Cherrie v Sassy Stephie; Allison Danger v Courtney Rush; Xandra Bale & Leah Von Dutch v Deziree & Midianne; Kellie Skater v Angie Skye
March 30: New Horizons Pro Wrestling (Maddington, Australia) – Eliza Sway v Miami
April 6: SHIMMER: Women Athletes (Secaucus, NJ) – Sweet Saraya v Cheerleader Melissa; Athena v Ayako Hamada; Mia Yim v Amazing Kong; Jessie McKay v Madison Eagles
April 7: HXC Wrestling (Manchester, England) – Holly Rocamora v April Davids
April 13-14: SHIMMER: Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)
April 27: Pro Wrestling: EVE (Sudbury, England)
April 27: Remix Pro Wrestling (Marietta, OH) – Sassy Stephie v Christina Von Eerie
May 4: ICW: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland)
May 11: Women Superstars Uncensored (Voorhees, NJ)
May 11: Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling (Metuchen, NJ) – Missy Sampson v Alexa Thatcher; Amy Lee v Amazing Kong
May 25: Pro Wrestling: EVE Queen of the Ring (Nottingham, England)
June 23: Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen of Queens (Austin, TX)
July 6: nCw Femmes Fatales XII (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
– Lee Burton
– Photos by Ray Storey Photos, WWE, ABC Catch, Extreme World Wrestling, AAA