An aspiring wrestler was on MTV in the US last weekend.
Dana Adiva – who models and has wrestled a couple of shows for Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling as well s some smaller promotions in the Midwest – was one of two subjects featured on an episode of True Life entitled “I’m Too Beautiful”. In it, her sister complained about how attractive her sibling was and how it was affecting their relationship. Adiva also talked about how she had to drop out of school because she was bullied about her looks, finds it hard to get a boyfriend (though her Facebook says she is currently attached) and boasts that “I get anything I want and I get treated like a princess… I don’t have to be smart, because I have my looks.”
However, she also complains that “At the same time it sucks being pretty, it would nice being taken seriously once in a while,” though also discusses the possibility of getting a breast enhancement, claiming “I feel I will be more beautiful with bigger boobs. Instead of a 10 I’ll be a 200.”
MTV followed Adiva around for eight months filming this and she was one of two stories which were compressed into an hour long show, which means about 40 minutes of programme when you take out the commercials. The producers could have weaved any story they liked out of it – however, she said these things, regardless of whether she was coerced or cajoled into doing it.
I’m not going to start yelling about how naïve, shallow and conceited it all is, as it’s what we should expect from a channel which seems to glorify teen pregnancies and turn the girls into stars as a result – but I do feel disappointed that Adiva seemingly feels that she only needs to get by on her looks, and that a boob job will define her. Her apparent claim that she wishes she was taken seriously was pretty silly too, as if you stripped away her looks, she has little to offer as she has readily admitted that she doesn’t have intelligence to fall back on, which is a shame.
When I referred the story to Natasha Devon, who runs a fantastic group called Body Gossip – which promotes confidence in how you look – she replied “I want to tell her that the reason girls don’t like her has nothing to do with the way she looks.”
However, Adiva’s story got me thinking about other issues to do with beauty in wrestling. There are a lot of women who lace up the boots who are conventionally or unconventionally attractive. Now, they shouldn’t shy away from what they are and should embrace their looks – but does it help or hinder them in the world of wrestling?
Depending on how you look at it, you could argue for either side. If you were to say that it helps, then there is a lot of evidence to back that assertion up. If you look at WWE’s history for example, it has gained a reputation for hiring beautiful women who don’t have much or any previous wrestling acumen. Sable, Trish Stratus, Victoria (now Tara), Kelly Kelly, Alicia Fox, the Bella Twins, Kaitlyn and any Diva Search contestant who was kept around has little to nothing to speak of as far as experience was concerned. Similarly, Torrie Wilson, Stacy Keibler and others had similar nonexistent wrestling backgrounds, but were brought in because of how they looked and trained up to wrestle to a level which WWE thought would be fine for using on TV. If anything, they got the fast-track into WWE because of how they looked, and then the actual wrestling thing was instilled into them afterwards, with varying levels of success. It is examples like that which frustrates women who wrestle in small buildings in front of dozens of fans for a lousy payoff for years to build up skills and a portfolio of matches to showcase their talents – and you can understand their feelings. However, WWE wants its characters to be larger than life, so it’s understandable that the company would want to have attractive people on its shows.
Having said that, it doesn’t mean that they will last. Lacey Von Erich – who was pretty AND a third-generation wrestler – was let go before making it to TV because WWE thought she couldn’t wrestle… and they were right. Maryse was eventually phased out, Jackie Gayda, Amy Weber, Joy Giovanni and more left or were let go because they didn’t make the grade. Most recently, Anya and Audrey Marie were released from their developmental deals, and it’s not like either of them were bags of rocks.
On the flip side, past and present WWE employees like Sara Del Rey, Beth Phoenix, Molly Holly, Ivory, Natalya, Jillian Hall, Mickie James, Jacqueline, Lita, Gail Kim and others prove that you can be a wrestler because you love it and make a living in the promotion. Sure, many of them would also be considered attractive – though probably not the same level as WWE would perceive the likes of Stratus, Kelly and others to be. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes though, and while she was so far out of what may be considered conventionally pretty, Amazing Kong and Jazz also got hired because you could not deny their presence and talent.
To balance things, it doesn’t mean you will last in WWE if you have had substantial ring time though – Angelina Love and Taylor Wilde were released before they made it to TV, Ivelisse Velez was let go from NXT, and Serena Deeb’s run was cut short after she made it onto the SmackDown roster.
The problem is that there is now a perception of what WWE wants in a female talent. Malia Hosaka spoke to us on an episode of the Women Of Wrestling Podcast about how she was asked to have her breasts enlarged while she was with WWE, and she refused unless the company paid for them, which they weren’t willing to do. Indeed, for a long time, it seemed that every woman was having cosmetic surgery and you had to change your body, regardless of how talented you were as a wrestler. Jillian Hall wasn’t unattractive when she started wrestling in Ohio Valley Wrestling, but underwent a massive transformation while she was there and got a deal, which added credence to the assertion that you needed a certain look to be noticed. Other grapplers like Lita, Kim, James, Phoenix and others have also gone under the knife. One wrestler who I’ve spoken to in the last year says she was looking to get her breasts enhanced because “that’s what WWE looks for”. I argued against it, saying that if that’s the only reason why she was doing it, then it was for the wrong reasons and she should do it for her and not for someone else.
I argued that point because it seems that times are a-changing. Look in NXT now and you’ll see the likes of Paige, Sasha Banks and Bayley are there without changing their bodies and from their wrestling and other personality traits that they can bring to the table. While things aren’t a complete 180 from the past – seeing as Charlotte is there because of her dad Ric Flair’s credentials, though she’s getting good reviews, and Kendall Skye & Summer Rae didn’t have a wrestling background, and is the same story with Total Divas’ Natalia Eva Marie and Jo-Jo Offerman – it’s not like WWE is plucking pretty girls from a swimsuit catalogue anymore and throwing a big cheque at them, and the main focus of the in-ring action are primarily the wrestlers like Paige, Emma, Banks and Bayley.
The overriding point is that looks can only get you so far. Yes, you may skyrocket to the top, but the possibility is higher is that you may fade just as quickly. Sometimes there is a Trish Stratus who encompasses everything that WWE could want – so much so they’ve been trying to capture another bolt of lightning in a bottle ever since, and got close with Michelle McCool – but I reckon it’s easier to repackage a good wrestler with a makeover rather than trying to teach a pretty model how to handle the pain of bumping or running the ropes on a nightly basis.
Another development in the Taeler Hendrix/Heidi Lovelace storyline from Ohio Valley Wrestling. Hendrix and Nikki St John were seen colluding to bring Lovelace over to the heel side, on last week’s episode, where Taeler also made it clear that she was not romantically interested in Lovelace, but was going to use the infatuated Punk Rock Rag Doll to get what she wants without her needing to get her hands dirty. In the same segment, Taeler told Heidi that Women’s Champion Trina Thompson had been talking about them behind their back. As a result, Lovelace challenged Thompson for the title at the Saturday Night Special, though was unsuccessful in winning the belt.
Taeler seems to be using Heidi’s affections to her advantage, though what’s her end goal? Is it to have Heidi win the Women’s Championship then persuade her to give it up to her, though a thrown match or just relinquishing it through other means?
The story has taken a turn from the same-sex relationship prospect that we were looking at, but it’s got a new direction. It has turned into a situation where an infatuated woman is apparently being used without her knowledge, because love can turn out to be blind. However, there are still a number of options available – the Women’s Title storyline could be the focus, or Hendrix could grow sympathetic to Lovelace and show remorse for her actions. Alternatively, Heidi could be further caught in Taeler’s spell and become a heel in the same way that Dylan Bostic was manipulated by Honey Trap Hendrix.
We’ll keep you updated, though we would also be grateful to hear your feelings. Leave us a comment below.
Also on the site this week, we’ve had video of Kasey Ray against Mistress Belmont, and a Retro featuring Jazz from before her official WWF debut. Also on the subject of Jazz, she headlined Saturday’s Girl Fight Wrestling iPPV, which we watched and reviewed. We weren’t keen on it.
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!
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The best of the rest
Complex.com revealed their list of the 100 hottest women on the scene as it pertains to their career success, and AJ Lee came in at number 50… Swedish arm-wrestler Sarah Backman posted a photo of her receiving her WWE developmental contract on Friday… Rosa Mendes has teased that she will be back on the road soon. She was sent home from the European tour in April for “personal issues”… Paige released a Tout declaring herself the “Diva of Tomorrow”.
At the pre-Slammiversary Impact Wrestling, a match was set up for Velvet Sky to challenge Mickie James for the Knockouts Championship. Gail Kim interrupted the proceedings and attacked Sky’s leg again, with Taryn Terrell making the save. Crucially, James did nothing to help Sky… Meanwhile at Slammiversary, Terrell and Kim put together a great Last Knockout Standing Match, with Terrell gaining the win following a hugely gutsy Ace Crusher from the elevated walkway to the floor.
Addy Starr and Angelus Layne join Su Yung, Leva Bates, Angel Blue & Barbi Hayden in this year’s Anarchy Championship Wrestling’s American Joshi Queen of Queens on June 23… Also on June 23, Veda Scott and MsChif will finally face off in Ring Of Honor. It all started after MsChif misted the interviewer, who then retaliated and cost the former SHIMMER Champion a win against Cherry Bomb… Speaking of Cherry Bomb, she won 2CW’s Girls Grand Prix 2 on Saturday, beating Courtney Rush and Nikki Roxx to get to the finals, then defeating Allysin Kay and Jessicka Havok in the final… LuFisto revealed that her exploded kneecap injury has now fully healed… Miss Natural faces MsChif in a Falls Count Anywhere match for Dynamo Pro Wrestling on June 14… Brittney Savage is the new number one contender for the World Xtreme Wrestling Women’s Championship after beating Luscious Latasha & Solo Darling in a 3-way on Saturday… The Batiri are putting their careers in Absolute Intense Wrestling to issue a final challenge for Veda Scott & Gregory Iron’s Tag Team Championship at Absolution 8 on June 30… Jordynne Grace revealed to us in our latest My Name Is interview that she has lied about her age in the first couple of years of her career to get bookings. Her posted age was 23 – she’s really just 18… Serena Deeb takes on Amber O’Neal in CWF Mid-Atlantic in Gibsonville, NC on June 15… Courtney Rush and Kalamity will face each other at NCW: Femmes Fatales XII, while Portia Perez will be punished if she refuses to attend her match with Pink Flash Kira on the card… Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling returns on July 26 in Iselin, NJ with two matches already announced. La Rosa Negra faces Cheerleader Melissa, while Angelina Love takes on Shelly Martinez. We won’t know which of those matches will be for the Bombshells Title until after the Pro Wrestling Syndicate show on June 8, where La Rosa defends against Love… Jewells Malone suffered a concussion in a tag team match at Canadian Pro Wrestling’s show on Saturday.
Kaori Yoneyama won the Stardom High Speed Title from Natuski*Taiyo on Sunday. Also on the show, Io Shirai made her first defence of the World Of Stardom Title, beating Yoshiko, and Yuzuki Aikawa was there to present the victory trophy to Shirai. It’s the first show Aikawa’s attended since retiring.
Pro Wrestling: EVE says that despite the controversial ending between Carmel Jacob and Kay Lee Ray where the three count was called despite KLR kicking out, there will not be a rematch between the two, as it was billed as their final encounter in the promotion… While we’re talking about those two, Ray will make her first defence of the Insane Championship Wrestling: Fierce Females Scottish Championship on August 25 against Jacob in a Last Woman Standing Match… April Davids got two wins over the weekend, beating Bubblegum and CJ Banks in Preston City Wrestling – Lita was her manager for the first match, and the referee for the second… Amazon Ayesha Ray made her German debut on Saturday for the German Wrestling Federation.
Australia & New Zealand
Mighty Mel and Storm are off to Japan. They’ll be part of REINA x World’s 1st Stage show in Tokyo on June 29, teaming up to take on Hanako Nakamori & Syuri… Tomoka Nakagawa, Storm and Saraya Knight have been added to the New Horizons Pro Wrestling tournament as part of Global Conflict on July 26/27. That means Portia Perez, Nakagawa and Knight will be making their Australian debuts on the show… Madison Eagles turned heel on her own husband at Saturday’s PWA show. Mick Moretti threatened to put her through a ladder during his I Quit Match against Ryan Eagles, causing Ryan to quit to save his wife. Afterwards, Madison revealed that she and Moretti had colluded to rid the promotion of Ryan… Olivia Shaw, Eliza Sway, KC Cassidy & Kellyanne English have been added to the August 3 PWWA show.
May 28: CMLL (Puebla, Mexico) – Zeuxis b Princesa Blanca, Goya Kong, Estrellita, Princesa Sugheit, La Comandante, Luna Mágica, Dalis la Caribeña, Mima Shimoda & Lady Afrodita in a cibernetico
May 29: WAVE (Tokyo, Japan) – Yumi Ohka & Yuu Yamagata b GAMI & Kana; Misaki Ohata b Ayumi Kurihara; Arisa Nakajima v Moeka Haruhi went to a time limit draw; Tomoka Nakagawa b Ayako Hamada; Syuri b Cherry; Ryo Mizunami v Kagetsu went to a time limit draw; Shuu Shibutani b Mio Shirai
May 29: WWE NXT (Winter Park, FL) – Emma b Audrey Marie
May 29: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Lei’D Tapa b Lylah Lodge; Trina Thompson b Epiphany; Hannah & Holly Blossom b Nikki St John & Taeler Hendrix
May 30: AAA (Toluca, Mexico) – Faby Apache & Jennifer Blake b Mary Apache & Taya Valkyrie
May 30: TNA Impact Wrestling (Tampa, FL) – Chris Sabin & Taryn Terrell b Kenny King & Gail Kim
May 30: LDN Wrestling (Clacton, England) – Phobia b Penelope; Chanel b Destiny; Violet O’Hara b Saraya Knight
May 30: EVOLVE (Ybor City, FL) – Santana Garrett & Chasyn Rance b Mercedes Justine & Derek Ryze
May 31: New Horizons Pro Wrestling (Maddington, Australia) – Krackerjill & Andy Roy b Amazing Kong & Eliza Sway
May 31: Preston City Wrestling (Preston, England) – April Davids b Bubblegum
May 31: WWE (Glens Falls, NY) – Naomi b Brie Bella
May 31: Girl Fight Wrestling (Charlestown, IN) – Miss Natural b Thunderkitty; Miss Dark Shadow b Lady Vendetta; Nevaeh b Lil Naughty; Jessicka Havok b Leva Bates; Leva Bates won a battle royal; Jazz b Crazy Mary Dobson
June 1: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Aoi Kizuki b Akane Fujita; Hamuko Hoshi & Meari Naito b Miyako Matsumoto & 235; Neko Nitta & Risa Sera b Tsukushi & Kurumi; Tsukasa Fujimoto b Hikaru Shida and Mio Shirai
June 1: Battle For Ballarat (Ballarat, Australia) – Snow & Nikita Naridian b Vixsin & Siren Monroe
June 1: New Zealand Wide Pro Wrestling (Wainuiomata, New Zealand) – Misty & Lolli Lane b Amy St Clere & Sonya Meyers
June 1: New Horizons Pro Wrestling (Perth, Australia) – Eliza Sway b Amazing Kong & Miami in a 3-way
June 1: Pro Wrestling Alliance (Casula, Australia) – KC Cassidy b Jessie McKay; Madison Eagles b The Blue Oni
June 1: New Age Wrestling (Melton, Australia) – Siren Monroe, Minzy Montana & Ashley Sparks b Vixsin, Mighty Mel & Shadow Shinobi
June 1: German Wrestling Federation (Berlin, Germany) – Blue Nikita & Marty Fabz b Amazon Ayesha Ray & CorVus; Amazon Ayesha Ray b Matze Danger
June 1: Remix Pro Wrestling (Marietta, OH) – Jessie Belle b Katarina Leigh
June 1: UK Main Event Wrestling (Maidstone, England) – Pollyanna b Sakura Lily; Rhia O’Reilly b Bacardi
June 1: Preston City Wrestling (Preston, England) – April Davids b CJ Banks
June 1: WrestleZone (Aberdeen, Scotland) – Kay Lee Ray b Carmel Jacob
June 1: Ring Of Honor (San Antonio, TX) – Athena b Barbi Hayden
June 1: WWE (Bethlehem, PA) – Kaitlyn b AJ Lee
June 1: WWE (Manchester, NH) – Brodus Clay, Tensai, Naomi & Cameron b Darren Young, Titus O’Neil, Nikki & Brie Bella
June 1: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Hannah & Holly Blossom b Lei’D Tapa & Nikki St John; Trina Thompson b Heidi Lovelace
June 1: Squared Circle Wrestling – Girls Grand Prix 2 (Binghamton, NY) – Nikki Roxx b Addy Starr; Cherry Bomb b Courtney Rush; Allysin Kay b Leah Von Dutch; Serena Deeb b Nevaeh; Cherry Bomb b Nikki Roxx; Allysin Kay b Serena Deeb; Lil Naughty b Jodi D’Milo; Cherry Bomb b Allysin Kay & Jessicka Havok in a 3-way
June 1: East Coast Wrestling Association (Newark, DE) – Veda Scott b Jessie Kaye
June 1: World Xtreme Wrestling (Minneola, FL) – Brittney Savage b Luscious Latasha & Solo Darling in a 3-way
June 1: Hoosier Pro Wrestling (Columbus, IN) – Lylah Lodge b Crazy Mary Dobson
June 1: Pro Wrestling Federation (Corbin, KY) – Cash Flo & Scotty Vicious b Mickie Knuckles & Ryan Dookie
June 1: Trans-South Wrestling (Union, SC) – Amber O’Neal b Amanda Rodriguez
June 2: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Hiroyo Matsumoto & Mayu Iwatani b Miho Wakizawa & Eri Susa, Yui Yokoo & Sumire Yoshino and Hailey Hatred & Su Yung in a 4-way; Dark Angel b Yuhi; Nanae Takahashi b Takumi Iroha; Kyoko Kimura & Christina Von Eerie b Nanae Takahashi & Kairi Hojo; Kaori Yoneyama b Natsuki*Taiyo to win the High Speed Championship; Io Shirai b Yoshiko
June 2: Gatoh Move (Ichigaya, Japan) – Kaori Yoneyama b 「Kotori」; Kazuhiro Tamura b Riho; Hiroyo Matsumoto, Taro Yamada & Choun Shiryu b Emi Sakura, Tetsuya Endo & Sayaka Obihiro
June 2: Diana (Tokyo, Japan) – Leon b Sareee; Megumi Yabushita b Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru; Command Bolshoi & Tsubasa Kuragaki b Sachie Abe & KAZUKI; Dump Matsumoto & Yumiko Hotta b Keiko Aono & Mask de Sun; Dynamite Kansai b Takaco Inoue; Jaguar Yokota, Aja Kong & Kaoru Ito b Shinobu Kandori, Manami Toyota & Kyoko Inoue
June 2: WAVE (Nagoya, Japan) – Tomoka Nakagawa b Kagetsu; Hikaru Shida v Arisa Nakajima went to a time limit draw; Yumi Ohka, Sakura Hirota & Sawako Shimono b Kana, Shuu Shibutani & Mio Shirai; Ayako Hamada b Ayumi Kurihara; Ryo Mizunami b Yuu Yamagata; Cherry b Moeka Haruhi; Misaki Ohata b GAMI
June 2: CHIKARA (Philadelphia, PA) – Mark Angelosetti b Saturyne
June 2: Top Of The Line Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Jordynne Grace b Machiko
June 2: EVOLVE (Ybor City) – Ivelisse Velez b Mia Yim
June 2: TNA Slammiversary (Boston, MA) – Taryn Terrell b Gail Kim
June 2: WWE (Augusta, ME) – Brodus Clay, Tensai, Naomi & Cameron b Darren Young, Titus O’Neil, Nikki & Brie Bella
June 2: WWE (Poughkeepsie, NY) – Kaitlyn b AJ Lee
June 3: WWE Raw (Hartford, CT) – Kaitlyn, Cameron & Naomi b AJ Lee and Nikki & Brie Bella
June 8: Pro Wrestling Syndicate (Monroe, NJ) – La Rosa Negra v Angelina Love
June 8: Southern Championship Wrestling (Sanford, FL) – Santana Garrett v Justine Silver
June 8: Smash Wrestling (Kincardine, ON, Canada) – Seleziya Sparx v Leah Von Dutch
June 8: Zero 1 USA (Rantoul, IL) – The Great Cheyenne v Thunderkitty
June 9: OZ Academy (Tokyo, Japan) – Ayumi Kurihara v Hiroyo Matsumoto
June 9: Insane Championship Wrestling (Glasgow, Scotland) – Leah & Kasey Owens v Nikki Storm & TBA
June 14: Dynamo Pro Wrestling (Glen Carbon, IL) – Miss Natural v MsChif
June 15: CWF Mid-Atlantic (Gibsonville, NC) – Serena Deeb v Amber O’Neal
June 16: AAA TripleMania (Mexico City, Mexico) – Mamba, Mini Abismo Negro, Silver King & Taya Valkyrie v Dinastía, El Elegido, Faby Apache & Pimpinela Escarlata
June 21: Family Wrestling Entertainment (New York, NY) – Maria Kanellis & Ivelisse Velez v Angelina Love & Katarina Leigh
June 22: RAD:PRO Wrestling (South Shields, England) – Freya Frenzy v Kirsty Love
June 22: British Championship Wrestling (East Kilbride, Scotland) – Nikki Storm v Carmel Jacob
June 22: World Xtreme Wrestling (Minneola, FL) – Kimberly v Brittney Savage
June 23: Bellatrix 6 (Norwich, England) – Liberty v Shanna; Penelope v Alpha Female; Rhia O’Reilly v Erin Angel; Nikki Storm v Miss Mina; X-cute Sweet v Skarlett; Kay Lee Ray v Queen Maya; Destiny v Aurora Flame; Bete Noire & Viper v Violet O’Hara & Chanel; Saraya Knight v Carmel Jacob
June 23: Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen of Queens (Austin, TX)
June 23: Ring Of Honor (Baltimore, MD) – Veda Scott v MsChif
June 29: REINA x World (Tokyo, Japan) – Dump Matsumoto v Goya Kong; Makoto v Estrellita; Leon, Ray & Rabbit Miu v Mima Shimoda, Tiffany & Marcela; Hanako Nakamori & Syuri v Storm & Mighty Mel
June 30: Absolute Intense Wrestling (Cleveland, OH) – Veda Scott & Gregory Iron v Obariyon & Kobald
July 6: nCw Femmes Fatales XII (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – Mercedes Martinez v Sweet Cherrie; Angie Skye v Christina Von Eerie; Midianne & Deziree v Leah Von Dutch & Xandra Bale
July 12: SHINE 11 (Ybor City, FL)
July 13: Extreme American Wrestling (Corby, England) – Shanna v Alpha Female
July 20: Pro Wrestling Elite (Ayr, Scotland) – Mickie James v Nikki Storm
July 20: Battling Bombshells: Stars, Stripes & Bombshells (Hollywood, FL) – Chelsea Diamond v Cherry Layne; Mercedes Justine v Silvie Silver; La Renne v Brittney Savage; Luscious Latasha v Solo Darling; Jewells Malone v La Morena Aleishka; Santana Garrett v Melissa Coates; La Rosa Negra v La Amazona
July 26: Bombshells Ladies Of Wrestling (Iselin, NJ) – Angelina Love v Shelly Martinez; La Rosa Negra v Cheerleader Melissa
August 3: Pro Women’s Wrestling Alliance (Parramatta, Australia)
August 10: Women Superstars Uncensored (Voorhees, NJ) – Jessicka Havok v Athena
August 25: Insane Championship Wrestling (Edinburgh, Scotland) – Kay Lee Ray v Carmel Jacob
October 6: Bellatrix 7 (Norwich, England)
– Lee Burton
– Photos by Dana Adiva, WWE, Paige, Pamela Barnett, Sarah Backman, NEW Photography, Tobi Capullo, Jody Scott
– Data collated from (but not limited to) Cagematch, joshifans.com, PuroLove, Dramatic DDT, Luchablog, Lords Of Pain, Wrestling Observer, Open The Puroresu Gate, PWInsider, NHB Girls