In 1995, a mere four years after the invention of the World Wide Web, Amazon.com launched onto the Internet as an online bookstore with a simple, yet slightly baffling plan. Instead of looking to be a viable entity, it anticipated that it may not make money until the turn of the millennium. Its plan was to expand its brand quickly – no matter the cost – by making sure that everyone online knew about Amazon, what it did and its reputation. Going under the mantra of “get big fast”, it was its high profile which helped it to survive the dot-com bubble bursting in early 2000, which claimed a lot of firms which had floated on the stock exchange. Despite having not made a profit by that point, business kept flowing and it finally went into the black in the fourth quarter of 2001, more than six years after being launched.
The reason I bring up this tale is because over the last year, a number of women’s wrestling promotions have done similar things – rolled the dice to generate a following very quickly, enhance its profile and make sure that fans know that they are a real player. Insane Championship Wrestling: Fierce Females and Bellatrix have managed certain degrees of success in the UK with a plan which is seeing them speculate to accumulate both financially and creatively, but a certain promotion in Florida has gone even further in leapfrogging up the ladder to the point where it is being discussed as being the best women’s wrestling promotion in the western world…
On July 20 last year, SHINE Wrestling held its first card with a decent amount of fanfare. Boasting veterans like Jazz, Sara Del Rey, Nikki Roxx, Mercedes Martinez and Daffney as part of the proceedings and also booking rising stars like Reby Sky, Veda Scott, Santana Garrett, Allysin Kay, Taylor Made and Kimberly, it was an interesting blend of some names on the US scene. On that show, Made In Sin was formed, Kimberly started a losing streak, and Jazz made herself the woman to beat by defeating Del Rey in the main event.
Ten editions on, and not only has SHINE harnessed stars who have achieved success elsewhere, but it has also created stars of its own. Made In Sin are arguably more over than the Midwest Militia, and are part of the Valkyrie stable which has also boosted Ivelisse Velez’s drawing power. Kimberly and Leva Bates told an engaging story as part of their multiple-show feud while Sky and Jessicka Havok has a cracking series of matches which ended with Havok having to swallow humble pie and admit that she respects her opponent. Indeed, there have been a lot of different talking points over the 11 shows, culminating with Rain becoming the first SHINE Champion on last Friday’s show.
With its (usually) monthly, episodic booking, SHINE has become the promotion which is most like watching WWE or TNA. It doesn’t build up to a massive crescendo, then settle down for another three to six months like SHIMMER, NCW Femmes Fatales and Women Superstars Uncensored, and seems to have a constant buzz about it. While it doesn’t boast the international star power of a SHIMMER, it has carved out its own niche by going in a different direction of nailing the stories which fans can follow and would be willing to pay to see. While we cannot say who many iPPV buys it gets, you can see that live attendance is getting better – though still isn’t enormous – and the traffic this website receives with fans interested in what’s going on is also an encouraging sign. In fact, barring our Women Of Wrestling Podcast with Ivelisse Velez, the SHINE 11 results post is the most popular of the month.
Perception-wise, SHINE is a big deal. Considering so many wrestlers have been relocating to Florida since the promotion launched, and considering that it has the highest profile of any promotion presenting women’s wrestling in the state, it is a desirable place for any wrestler to be booked. It has worldwide recognition, international broadcasting capabilities, a professional setup and fans helping to shout about its achievements from the rooftops. Considering it is celebrating its first birthday this week, it’s hard to argue that SHINE hasn’t applied the “get big fast” ethos.
However, I would disagree with the assertion that SHINE is the top women’s wrestling promotion in the western world. We at Ringbelles have the opportunity and privilege of talking to a lot of wrestlers – both established and rising – and none of them say that SHINE is the promotion that they are most eager to be booked for. While it is very popular, has a great setup and reputation, and boasts some great wrestling minds like Lexie Fyfe working with it, I don’t feel that it is the primary goal for a woman on the indies.
SHIMMER still holds that crown, though it now has a contender.
Also on the site in the last week, we posted a Bunch of Fives looking at the most likely picks for SHINE Champion – Rain was one of them – and a Fight Like A Guy interview with SHIMMER producer Kevin Harvey on the School of Everything Else. We’ve also had videos too, with a Retro featuring MsChif v Amazing Kong, and the full Europe Catch Tour Association Women’s Championship tournament which was won by Lady Lory.
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 and Free AK47 shirts which we are selling at cost price, and the brand new Wrestling Meh and Come For The Looks, Stay For The Skills shirts.
The best of the rest
AJ Lee and Kaitlyn had a contract signing ahead of Money In The Bank which ended in the expected physical interaction. AJ claimed that she had text messages on her phone from Kaitlyn badmouthing Natalya and The Great Khali. Kaitlyn responded by slapping Big E Langston and spearing AJ. It was a great segment… At the PPV, AJ again made Kaitlyn tap out to the Black Widow, but then cost Dolph Ziggler the World Heavyweight Championship by getting him disqualified in his title challenge against Alberto Del Rio. The following night on Raw, Ziggler broke up with her and she lashed out by costing him another match against Del Rio and having Big E Langston destroy her ex. The next person who gets with her is a fool, as she now has a track record of flying off the handle when she feels that someone has romantically wronged her… Also on Raw, Naomi defeated Brie Bella, and the commentary team were really talking her up. Could she be the next challenger to the Divas Championship? She and AJ had a great match on NXT season 3 back in 2010… The idea of Layla turning heel has been brought up again. It was teased ahead of WrestleMania with the thought that she would challenge Kaitlyn for the Divas Championship on the show, but it was nixed. Most recently, Layla has been accompanying Kaitlyn in her feud with AJ… The reason why Nikki Bella is on crutches (and previously in a wheelchair) is because of a stress fracture in her shin… New recruits Rebecca Knox and Brittany Fetkin were at the opening of the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, FL on Thursday, along with the rest of the NXT Divas… The Bellas took part in a Google Hangout where they claimed that Total Divas is not scripted. That may be true, but it’s more than likely pre-arranged conversations and scenarios… The downloadable characters for WWE 2K14 have been leaked, and while it’s unconfirmed, the Divas you can get are Lita, Beth Phoenix, Trish Stratus, and Paige. That must be the first time someone who has not made their official WWE debut has been a legitimate playable character in one of these titles, and is a hugely financially lucrative prospect. Summer Rae is in there too, but as a manager.
Gail Kim defeated Taryn Terrell in a great Ladder Match at last week’s Impact Wrestling to become the number one contender to the Knockouts Championship. While it didn’t lack the shock finish of their Last Woman Standing contest at Slammiversary, the ending was still pretty innovative. While Terrell had Kim in a Dragon Sleeper, Gail tied Taryn’s hair to the topes to give her time to climb up for the victory. Taryn was great again, though you could see that Gail was in charge. Terrell also revealed that her legs were left pretty bruised up following the figure four leglock through the rungs of the ladder during the match… Madison Rayne has started a new blog saying that she wasn’t fired from TNA, and Dixie Carter could have released her after she went inactive due to her pregnancy but didn’t. She also said that if the opportunity presented itself and the timing was right, she would return to the promotion.
Amazing Kong will work for Dory Funk Jr’s Bang! TV tapings on August 2 in Ocala, FL… After receiving criticism (not from here, mind you) about her new gimmick for fans to get under the covers with her for a photo being the equivalent of prostitution, Tammy Lynn Sytch took to her Facebook to hit back, saying – amongst other things – “If you dont like it, dont buy it. Its that simple…but GET OVER IT!”… Women Superstars Uncensored revealed that the winner of the Uncensored Rumble on August 10 will earn a shot at Marti Belle’s Spirit Championship. That makes sense – there’s a bottleneck of challengers for the WSU Title, and none for Belle’s belt. The first name announced for the Rumble is Santana Garrett, who will be making her WSU debut… Heidi Lovelace, Hannah & Holly Blossom defeated Taeler Hendrix, Lei’D Tapa & new name Avery (who is Australian, and is one of two Aussies on the show) on last week’s Ohio Valley Wrestling show. After the result, Tapa battered the Blossoms, delivered her TKO/Stunner move to Lovelace before chasing her partners to the back. Elsewhere on the card, Trina Thompson defeated Lylah Lodge in a dark match… Jenny Rose made her Ring Of Honor debut on Saturday. She lost a four way match to MsChif – Leah Von Dutch and Athena were also participants… Kimberly’s World Xtreme Wrestling Women’s Title defence against Mercedes Martinez on Saturday ended in a no-contest when Solo Darling interfered. They will compete in a 3-way title match on August 10… Another women’s tournament is coming at the end of August. Dynamite Championship Wrestling’s holding a Divas Of Dynamite tourney on the 31st of the month in Farmington, DE featuring Kimber Lee, Kacee Carlisle, Jessie Kate, Amber Rodriguez, Missy Sampson, Chrissy Rivera, Gabby Gilbert and the debuting V3… Courtney Rush retained the Acclaim Pro Wrestling Women’s Championship by beating Vanessa Kraven… The Scream Queens reunite on Saturday. MsChif will be accompanied by Daffney when she faces Candice LeRae at Alternative Wrestling Show’s card in South Gate, CA… It seems like being released by TNA has worked out well for Taeler Hendrix. She’s already secured bookings in Alabama, New Jersey (that could be the WSU show) and California.
AKINO successfully defended the OZ Academy Openweight Championship against Leon. Ayako Hamada will be her next challenger… Tsukasa Fujimoto unified the Ice Ribbon ICEx60 and IW19 titles by beating Tsukushi, and in doing so became a 4-time ICEx60 Champion. In addition, the 60kg maximum weight limit has been abandoned and her first challenger will be Manami Toyota on August 25. It was also announced that Maki Narumiya will return from a severe spinal injury on the same show… Misaki Ohata won the Catch The WAVE League yesterday by beating Tomoka Nakagawa, Yuu Yamagata & Arisa Nakajima in the tournament following the league format. Also on the card, Yumi Ohka and Hikaru Shida won the WAVE Tag Team Championship by beating Kana and Mio Shirai. That means Ohka holds both WAVE’s singles and tag titles, while Shida holds doubles titles in three promotions – WAVE, OZ Academy (with Aja Kong) & Ice Ribbon (with Tsukasa Fujimoto)… Nanae Takahashi & Miho Wakizawa won the Goddesses of Stardom Titles yesterday as part of a four team tournament… As well as taking bookings for Wrestling New Classic, Serena Deeb is also booked for JWP.
LuFisto will make her UK debut as part of the Bellatrix v SHIMMER iPPV on October 6… Leah Owens was given the chance to pick any kind of stipulation by Nikki Storm for their Insane Championship Wrestling match on August 25. She picked a Bra and Panties Match. The pair had a pull-apart brawl afterwards.. Carmel Jacob successfully defended her German Stampede Wrestling Women’s Championship on Saturday by beating former champion Blue Nikita.
Lady Apache explained her reasons for leaving CMLL and going freelance in an interview with Capital Radio, claiming that the promotion didn’t offer enough support to her when she was out with a spinal injury.
Australia & New Zealand
Kellie Skater returned to Melbourne City Wrestling on Saturday to attack KC Cassidy… More names have been added to the PWWA lineup for the August 3 card. Harley Wonderland, Arianna Snow, Demi Bennett and Blair Alexis were announced earlier. Snow, Bennett and Alexis are making their PWWA debuts.
July 9: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – La Vaquerita, Tiffany & Zeuxis b Dalis la Caribeña, Estrellita & Luna Mágica
July 10: WWE NXT (Winter Park, FL) – Emma b Summer Rae
July 10: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Trina Thompson b Lylah Lodge; Heidi Lovelace, Hannah & Holly Blossom b Lei’D Tapa, Taeler Hendrix & Avery
July 11: Tokyo Women’s Wrestling (Tokyo, Japan) – Miyu Yamashita b Shoko Nakajima; Chikage Kiba b KANNA
July 11: TNA Impact Wrestling (Las Vaga, NV) – Gail Kim b Taryn Terrell
July 11: Ring Of Honor (Chicago, IL) – Michael Elgin, BJ Whitmer & MsChif b ACH, Tadarius Thomas & Athena
July 12: Ring Of Honor (Milwaukee, WI) – Athena b MsChif
July 12: SHINE 11 (Ybor City, FL) – LuFisto b Mercedes Martinez, Nikki Roxx & Su Yung in a 4-way; Ivelisse Velez b Amazing Kong, Angelina Love & Kimberly in a 4-way; Jessicka Havok b Saraya Knight via DQ; Mia Yim b Leva Bates; Rain b LuFisto; Ivelisse Velez b Santana Garrett; Rain b Jessicka Havok via count out; Mia Yim b Ivelisse Velez; Rain b Mia Yim to win the SHINE Championship
July 13: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Risa Sera b Raideen Hagane; Tsukasa Fujimoto & Mio Shirai b Hamuko Hoshi & Meari Naito; Hikaru Shida b Kasey Owens; Tsukushi & Hailey Hatred b Aoi Kizuki & Kurumi
July 13: Melbourne City Wrestling (Tullamarine, Australia) – KC Cassidy & Mr Juicy b Siren Monroe & Johnny Barnes
July 13: Pacific Pro Wrestling (Bundamba, Australia) – Madison Eagles b Storm
July 13: German Stampede Wrestling (Marburg, Germany) – Carmel Jacob b Blue Nikita
July 13: WWE (Trenton, NJ) – Naomi & Cameron b Brie Bella & AJ Lee
July 13: TNA (Washington, PA) – Gail Kim b ODB
July 13: Top Rope Promotions (New Bedford, MA) – Veda Scott v Davienne
July 13: East Coast Wrestling Association (Newark, DE) – Jessie Kaye b Mike Tartaglia
July 13: Ring Of Honor (Dearborn, MI) – MsChif b Athena, Leah Von Dutch & Jenny Rose
July 13: New York Wrestling Connection (Deer Park, NY) – Marti Belle b Nikki Addams
July 13: Acclaim Pro Wrestling (Greely, ON, Canada) – Courtney Rush b Vanessa Kraven; Addy Starr & Dan Barry defeat Buxx Belmar & Jody D’Milo and Caster McFear & Portia Perez and Shaun MacMillan & Xandra Bale
July 13: World Xtreme Wrestling (Minneola, FL) – Kimberly v Mercedes Martinez ended in a no-contest
July 14: Diana (Osaka, Japan) – Yuiga b Crazy Mary Dobson; Megumi Yabushita b Jessica James; Jaguar Yokota & Mach Hayato b Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru & Takaku Fuke; Kaoru Ito & Tomoko Watanabe b Sareee & Kagetsu; Yumiko Hotta, Keiko Aono & Mask de Sun b Kyoko Inoue, Mima Shimoda & Allysin Kay
July 14: Ice Ribbon (Tokyo, Japan) – Hamuko Hoshi & Kurumi b Hailey Hatred & Kasey Owens; Cherry & Meari Naito b Mio Shirai & Miyako Matsumoto; Aoi Kizuki v Makoto went to a time limit draw; Hikaru Shida b Syuri; Nanae Takahashi & Eri Susa b Risa Sera & Rutsuko Yamaguchi; Manami Toyota b Neko Nitta; Tsukasa Fujimoto b Tsukushi to unify the ICEx60 and IW19 Championships
July 14: OZ Academy (Tokyo, Japan) – Manami Toyota b Mio Shirai; Mayumi Ozaki, Chikayo Nagashima & Yumi Ohka b Sonoko Kato, Hiroyo Matsumoto & Hikaru Shida; Tomoka Nakagawa b Ayumi Kurihara; Aja Kong & Ayako Hamada b Dynamite Kansai & Carlos Amano; AKINO b Leon
July 14: Westside Xtreme Wrestling (Mannheim, Germany) – Carmel Jacob b Melanie Gray
July 14: Smash Wrestling (Toronto, ON, Canada) – Seleziya Sparx b Leah Von Dutch
July 14: WWE Money In The Bank (Philadelphia, PA) – AJ Lee b Kaitlyn
July 14: Deep South Championship Wrestling (Jasper, GA) – Misty James b Tiffany Roxx
July 15: Yumiko Hotta Produce (Tokyo, Japan) – Hanako Nakamori b Tadahori; Kazuhiko Ogasawara & Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru defeat Dump Matsumoto & Mima Shimoda; Keiko Aono defeats Maury; Manami Katsu & Sareee defeat Hamuko Hoshi & Yumiko Hotta
July 15: Kaientai Dojo (Chiba, Japan) – Bambi b Alex Lee
July 15: WAVE (Tokyo, Japan) – Misaki Ohata b Tomoka Nakagawa; Arisa Nakajima b Shu Shibutani; Moeka Haruhi, Cherry, Tsukasa Fujimoto & Fairy Nipponbashi b Ryo Mizunami, Sakura Hirota, Kagetsu & Sawako Shimono; Ayako Hamada b Aya Yuki; Misaki Ohata b Yuu Yamagata; Arisa Nakajima b Syuri; GAMI b Ayumi Kurihara; Ayumi Kurihara b GAMI; Ayumi Kurihara b GAMI; Yumi Ohka & Hikaru Shida b Kana & Mio Shirai to win the WAVE Tag Team Championship; Shu Shibutani b Yuu Yamagata, Tomoka Nakagawa & Syuri in a battle royal; Misaki Ohata b Arisa Nakajima
July 15: Stardom (Osaka, Japan) – Act Yasukawa v Takumi Iroha went to a time limit draw; Nanae Takahashi & Miho Wakizawa b Hiroyo Matsumoto & Yuhi; Natsuki*Taiyo & Yoshiko b Io Shirai & Mayu Iwatani; Kyoko Kimura & Hailey Hatred b Kairi Hojo & Eri Susa; Nanae Takahashi & Miho Wakizawa b Natsuki*Taiyo & Yoshiko to win the Goddesses of Stardom Championship
July 15: AAA (Puebla, Mexico) – Faby Apache, Octagoncito & Pimpinela Escarlata b Mamba, Mini Abismo Negro & Taya Valkyrie
July 15: CMLL (Puebla, Mexico) – Amapola, Princesa Blanca & Princesa Sugheit b Estrellita, Luna Mágica & Marcela
July 15: WWE (Brookyln, NY) – Naomi b Brie Bella
July 20: Riot City Wrestling (North Adeleide, Australia) – Harley Wonderland v Demi Barnett
July 20: Pro Wrestling Elite (Ayr, Scotland) – Mickie James v Nikki Storm; Mikey Whiplash, Wolfgang, Kid Fite, Carmel v El Ligero, Kay Lee Ray, Kris Travis, Martin Kirby
July 20: IPW:UK Ferocious Females (Swanley, England) – Liberty v Rhia O’Reilly
July 20: Ring Wars Carolina (Lumberton, NC) – Mia Svensson v D’Arcy Dixon
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 20: Alternative Wrestling Show (South Gate, CA) – MsChif v Candice LeRae
July 21: Kiwi Pro Wrestling (Upper Hutt, New Zealand) – Scarlett v Nurse Payne
July 21: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Leva Bates v Athena
July 26: New Horizons Pro Wrestling (Perth, Australia) – Eliza Sway v Portia Perez; Kellie Skater v Nikita Naridian; Storm v Saraya Knight; Tomoka Nakagawa v Miami
July 26: Universal Ladies Wrestling (Union City, TN) – Felony Foxx v Miss Rachel; LaNina & Pandora v Jess Justing & Devyn Nicole; Heather Owens v Lil Naughty; Lil Bit & Jessie Belle v Destiny & Million Dollar Baby
July 26: Bombshells Ladies Of Wrestling (Iselin, NJ) – Cheerleader Melissa v La Rosa Negra; Angelina Love v Shelly Martinez; Annie Social & Missy Sampson v Amber Rodriguez & Jennifer Cruz; Sumie Sakai v Jessie Kaye; Alicia v Alexxis Nevaeh; Craig Steele & Amber O’Neal v Johnny Silver & Silvie Silver
August 3: Pro Women’s Wrestling Alliance (Parramatta, Australia) – Evie v Madison Eagles
August 3: Ring Wars Carolina (Fayetteville, NC) – Mia Svensson v Amanda Rodriguez
August 10: World Xtreme Wrestling (Minneola, FL) – Kimberly v Mercedes Martinez v Solo Darling
August 10: Women Superstars Uncensored’s Uncensored Rumble (Voorhees, NJ) – Jessicka Havok v Athena
August 10: River City Wrestling (San Antonio, TX) – Alissa Flash v Angelina Love
August 16: Squared Circle Wrestling (Boonville, NY) – Jessicka Havok v Mickie James
August 23: SHINE 12 (Ybor City, FL)
August 24: Xtreme Bombshells of Wrestling (Kimball, MI)
August 25: Ice Ribbon (Tokyo, Japan) – Tsukasa Fujimoto v Manami Toyota
August 25: Insane Championship Wrestling (Edinburgh, Scotland) – Kay Lee Ray v Carmel Jacob; Leah Owens v Nikki Storm
August 31: Pro Wrestling Alliance (Casula, Australia) – Robbie Eagles v Madison Eagles
September 14: UK Main Event Wrestling (Maidstone, England) – Sakura Lily v Bacardi
September 14: Herts And Essex Wrestling (Braintree, England) – Saraya Knight v Skarlett
September 22: Insane Championship Wrestling: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland)
October 6: Bellatrix 7 (Norwich, England)
October 6: Absolute Intense Wrestling Girls Night Out 9/10 (Cleveland, OH) – Allysin Kay v Veda Scott
October 19-20: SHIMMER: Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)
October 26: NCW: Femmes Fatales XIII (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – Mercedes Martinez & Saraya Knight v LuFisto & Sweet Cherrie; Cheerleader Melissa v Courtney Rush; Pink Flash Kira v Portia Perez
– Lee Burton
– Photos by SHINE, Stardom, Tabercil
– 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