It’s been a pretty quiet week as far as news from the world of women’s wrestling is concerned, but one thing which stood out was what one former TNA Knockout said about the company – as well as what she didn’t say.
In an interview released on the Wrestling Observer, the former Tara (Lisa Marie Varon) talked about how she will “never” return to TNA, kept tight-lipped about the worst things concerning the promotion, and also openly praised WWE’s direction with the Divas both on the main shows and in NXT. Now, I would imagine that because of her being so direct about her lack of desire to return to the promotion, there are probably some stories there but are being held back out of professional respect to not run down a company which still has people she likes working there, or she’s saving it for when the time is right. She also goes out of her way to praise the opposition, which raises an eyebrow or two.
It could be that the former Victoria is just being honest about how she feels about the future of women’s wrestling on mainstream TV, and is excited for it all as a wrestling fan. Indeed, that’s quite likely considering how much she is supporting indie feds these days and throwing her name and support behind their work to try and help them along the way. However, could she be angling for a return to WWE?
The funny thing about Varon is her age is both significant and insignificant. At 42, she would be considered rather long in the tooth by WWE to be a wrestler, as most of their female roster is under 30. The funny thing is that when it comes to the former WWE Women’s and TNA Knockouts Champion, age is nothing but a number – she doesn’t look 42, is in amazing shape and looks pretty much the same now as she did a decade ago.
The major boon that she has in her favour is experience, and tons of it. With 12 years experience, she has worked on TV for virtually all of that time, has a wealth of knowledge about how to work for the crowd, the cameras and all the little touches that come along with being a TV star. On top of that, she is a solid hand in the ring, and would be an asset to pass on advice to the next generation of Divas.
While she would be an asset to WWE’s blossoming women’s division, it’s not like wrestling is Varon’s be-all and end-all these days. Her Squared Circle restaurant is doing well, and she has plans to expand the brand into a chain of restaurants in the future. Essentially, she could sit back and watch the business run itself if she wanted to, while raking in a lot of money in the process. That’s unlikely as she’s very hands-on with the business, which means that she may not be that willing to go back on the road, potentially for four nights a week.
How about this as a potential, pie-in-the-sky compromise: part-time wrestler and road agent. While Sara Del Rey is doing a great job schooling the next generation at NXT in Florida, she won’t be with them if/when they graduate to TV, and it would be good to have someone take them under their wing, much like Dave Finlay did in the past – which women like Trish Stratus have publicly said was a great help for them. If Del Rey taught them as much as she could before sending them out into the Big Bad World (Wrestling Entertainment), Varon could be there to help them learn about being on the road, offering immediate feedback on matches and promos and work the role of a tutor. It wouldn’t be as physically demanding and she could also have time for her restaurant.
I know – I’m fantasy hiring at the moment, but it’s an interesting prospect. Will it happen? That’s down to two parties, and I’m not one of them.
Stew’s back with a Total Divas review, and he’s not impressed:
Week 5 of Total Divas returned the show to the downward spiral of the first three weeks, as last week’s comedic interlude gave way to the two main themes running through the series… relationship dramas and needless catty bitchiness. Starring in the “bitchy” category this week were The Funkadactyls, who had a wholly made up ‘feud’ over absolutely nothing that resulted in them being so pissed off at each other that (as far as we’re lead to believe) apparently resulted in Monday Night Raw being rebooked to accommodate their desire to go in singles matches rather than in the planned tag team match. Yes, it’s pretty common knowledge that WWE TV shows – Raw especially – are re-booked and re-written up to the point of broadcast, but that’s to tweak *important* angles… not to massage the egos of two screeching women who can’t get along. I’ve said several times that Trinity McCray (aka Naomi) comes across as the most likable person on the show, but by the end of this hour of TV, I was ready to never see The Funkadactyls again. Even their tearful “we should be together” reunion at the end was too little, too late. This was the worst of Total Divas.
The other main storyline was the continuing portrayal of TJ Wilson (aka Tyson Kidd – Natalya’s fiancé) as an absolute nincompoop. Add mother’s boy to the mix now too. Not only does TJ have to basically turn down Nattie as she’s practically begging him to ravish her, he gets to constantly misread the situation and shows nothing even remotely like romantic compatibility with Nattie. I guess if you’re going to get E! to fork out for your wedding day (which we’ll see in a few weeks), you’ve got to be willing to play along with whatever storylines they have concocted for you – and with the introduction of Jaret, an old friend who still holds a candle for Nattie, that storyline is going to involve Nattie having last minute doubts about her wedding. In order to put over the Jaret storyline, I guess TJ has to look like a doofus. Poor TJ. I hope it’s worth it in the long run.
Next week’s show promises Nattie’s batchelorette party in Las Vegas, so perhaps an episode of drunken falling over (and the apparent return of Ariane’s boyfriend Vincent) might make next week’s episode a little more fun – but this week? Utter trash.
Meanwhile on last night’s Raw, AJ Lee came out following Brie Bella’s win over Natalya to talk down the whole Total Divas cast, calling them “interchangeable” and “cheap”, running down the whole show and its ethos. The whole promo – or #PipeBombshell, as it was referred to by CM Punk – may reflect the opinion of the show among people backstage, if rumours are to be believed. She received quite a positive response from fans for what she said, despite the point that we were supposed to dislike it. Natalya responded on WWE.com after the show, calling her a “walking contradiction”.
It’s all being filmed for the season extension of the programme, and the daily update at F4WOnline.com says it will likely end with AJ defending the Divas Title against a member of the Total Divas cast at Night Of Champions. In addition, there was apparently a lot of filming going on backstage for the show, so this angle is set to be a major part of the storyline. Considering Natalya is seen as the matriarch of the crew and she has the happy ending of her marriage coming up – following the convoluted wobbles which are being played out at the moment – it may be that she sets out to stand up for her colleagues and get her own wedding gift as the icing on the cake. It would provide a big happy ending for the show, at least.
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
AJ Lee beat Bayley to retain the Divas Championship on last week’s NXT episode… Tamina Snuka has returned to action – she lost to Alicia Fox at Friday’s house show in Fresno, CA. It’s her first match since June 3 where she lost to Natalya on a Superstars taping… Despite being up agains the MTV Video Music Awards, Total Divas pulled in 1.46 million on Sunday – up from last week, but below weeks 2 and 3… Maria Kanellis described the Bella Twins as the “fluffers” of the locker room. Mick Foley defended them in a blog on his Facebook page… Rosa Mendes returned to Raw alongside the Miz in an angle against Fandango… Former NXT wrestler James Bronson claimed in an interview with the Art Of Wrestling website that Paige will be the “best Diva ever”… Some NXT Diva name changes: Lexi Kaufman’s Twitter name has changed to Alexa Bliss, Brittany Fetkin is now Devin Taylor, Rebecca Knox has become Becky Lynch, while Erika Hammond is now called Veronica Lane. Not bad names.
Bully Ray brought out Brooke Tessmacher to replace his wife Brooke Hogan, which effectively writes the latter out of TNA. It also means a heel turn for Tessmacher, and considering how she hasn’t been seen since April, she must have been at risk of being part of the cost-cutting. It’s lucky that she and Hogan share a first name… SoCal Val has left TNA. She made her first appearance in the promotion in 2004 and signed a contract in 2006. Though her on-screen work was limited – managing Jay Lethal before turning heel and joining with Sonjay Dutt in 2008 – her most valuable work was working in production to put together the international bumpers for the Impact Wrestling broadcasts around the world. She was seen at the NXT tapings in Winter Park, FL on Thursday evening.
Lei’D Tapa and Trina Thompson got physical again during the first round of the Miss OVW contest on last week’s episode of Ohio Valley Wrestling. Once again, the Women’s Champion got the upper hand on her larger opponent… Angel Dust, Xandra Bale and The Social Network – Annie Social, Heidi Lovelace, Nikki St John & Sammy Geodollno – have been announced for Absolute Intense Wrestling’s Girls night Out 9 & 10 tapings on October 6… Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling has been renamed Pro Wrestling Syndicate Bombshells. Their next show is on September 28 with the main event being La Rosa Negra & Amazing Kong against Annie Social & Missy Sampson… Miss Natural is billing herself as Heather Patera these days… SHINE 12 was a booking head-scratcher with a blurring of the lines as to what side of the face-heel divide Christina Von Eerie, Leva Bates and Su Yung all sit. Jessicka Havok was the standout of the show, winning the 3-way to determine a new number one contender, but then losing her title challenge to Rain in the main event. On the next show on September 27, Rain will defend against Angelina Love (who earlier said that she would be off the next few shows but plans have changed after her overseas tour in Asia was cancelled). The show will also see the return of Allysin Kay – who was suspended at SHINE 11 – and her Made In Sin tag partner Taylor Made, while Xandra Bale, Nevaeh & Nikki Storm all debut… In addition, Storm has been added to the lineup for Women Superstars Uncensored’s Blood and Thunder show in Voorhees, NJ on October 12. She faces Jenny Rose… Nicole Matthews never got to challenge for the Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling Heavyweight Title on Saturday because El Phantasmo claimed that he was injured. Instead, Matthews defeated Alex Plexis… Sassy Stephie beat Kacee Carlisle at the Bruiser Wrestling Federation show on Saturday but didn’t win the BWF Women’s Title, as Carlisle was counted out. A rematch has been signed for September 20… Brittney Savage is planning a “tell-all” book… Candice LaRae and Hudson Envy engaged in a brutal match at Saturday’s Alternative Wrestling Show event in South Gate, CA where both women bled heavily. It seems very excessive to bleed that much in front of such a small crowd. I hope they were both handsomely rewarded for the sacrifice… Leah Von Dutch won the Xtreme Bombshells Wrestling Championship on Saturday by beating Sojo Bolt. Her original opponent was meant to be Jaime D… Rain tweeted that she has “three matches left” before retiring – that’ll be the final three SHINE shows of the year, as the promotion isn’t running in November.
Kana will make the first defence of her JWP Openweight Championship on September 16 against Manami Katsu… The tournament to crown new REINA Tag Team Champions started at the weekend. Zeuxis & Vaquerita and Leon & Raideen Hagane have advanced so far… Tsukasa Fujimoto retained the Ice Ribbon ICEx∞ Championship on Sunday by beating Manami Toyota. Former champion Maki Narumiya also returned on the card, losing to Neko Nitta… GAMI and Tomoka Nakagawa’s WAVE Tag Team Title reign lasted all of 10 days. They were beaten on Sunday by Shu Shibutani & Cherry.
Kay Lee Ray will challenge Martin Kirby for the Southside Wrestling Entertainment Speed King Championship on September 28. Ray made a positive impression during Southside’s Speed King tournament back in June… Speaking of Ray, she beat Carmel Jacob at Insane Championship Wrestling’s show on Sunday, despite interference from Viper. Afterwards, she said she wanted the title match at September 22’s Fierce Females show to be she defending against Viper and Amazing Kong in a 3-way. Meanwhile, Nikki Storm used trickery to win her Bra and Panties Match against Leah Owens by wearing three of her branded t-shirts (good $hilling) to make life harder for her opponent… Rubix Roach and Kirsty Love defend the RAD:PRO Mixed Tag Team Championship on September 27 in Newcastle, England. They will put the belts on the line against Rabbit & Dragonita… Pro Wrestling Kingdom’s Women of the Kingdom show has been moved from September 29 to November 30. No matches had been announced and the only woman who had been revealed for the show was Shanna.
Australia & New Zealand
Riot City Wrestling Women’s Champion Eliza Sway attacked Demi Bennett after Bennett defeated Sway’s tag team partner in the Worst Blokes, Harley Wonderland, on RCW’s show on Saturday.
August 20: CMLL (Guadalajara, Mexico) – Amapola, Princesa Blanca & Princesa Sugheit b Lluvia, Luna Mágica & Marcela
August 20: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Dalis la Caribeña, Estrellita & Goya Kong b La Comandante, La Seductora & Tiffany
August 21: WWE Main Event (Bakersfield, CA) – AJ Lee b Naomi
August 21: WWE NXT (Winter Park, FL) – AJ Lee b Bayley
August 21: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Taeler Hendrix b Jessie Belle
August 22: TNA Impact Wrestling (Norfolk, VA) – Gail Kim b ODB
August 22: Championship Wrestling From Hollywood (Bell Garden, CA) – Seville Alvarez b Mariah Moreno
August 23: Wrestleclash (Melbourne, Australia) – KC Cassidy & Carlo Cannon b Eliza Sway & Andy Roy
August 23: Diana (Nanyang, Japan) – Tomoko Watanabe b Tadahori; Allysin Kay b Crazy Mary Dobson; Manami Toyota & Mima Shimoda b Sareee & Kaoru Ito; Jaguar Yokota, Kyoko Inoue & Piyota Mask b Keiko Aono, Mask de Sun & Yumiko Hotta
August 23: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Kurumi b Kyuri; Tsukushi b Koyuki Hayashi; Aoi Kizuki b Kasey Owens; Mio Shirai v Risa Sera went to a time limit draw; Hikaru Shida, Tsukasa Fujimoto & Miyako Matsumoto b Hamuko Hoshi, Meari Naito & Neko Nitta
August 23: Scottish Wrestling Alliance (Govan, Scotland) – Viper b Nikki Storm
August 23: WWE (Fresno, CA) – Alicia Fox b Tamina Snuka
August 23: AAW (Berwyn, IL) – Heidi Lovelace & Ryan Boz b Heather Patera & Jordan McEntyre
August 23: SHINE 12 (Ybor City, FL) – Nikki Roxx & Solo Darling) b Tracy Taylor & Su Yung; Leva Bates b Christina Von Eerie via DQ; Kimberly b Kimber Lee; Jessicka Havok b Mia Yim & Ivelisse Velez in a 3-way; Leva Bates b Christina Von Eerie via DQ; Santana Garrett v Brandi Wine went to a no-contest; Santana Garrett & Amber O’Neal b Brandi Wine & Malia Hosaka; Amazing Kong b Mercedes Martinez; Angelina Love b Shanna; Rain b Jessicka Havok
August 24: Diana (Wakamatsu, Japan) – Crazy Mary Dobson b Piyota Mask; Allysin Kay & Kaoru Ito b Mask de Sun & Tadahori; Mima Shimoda & Tomoko Watanabe b Yumiko Hotta & Keiko Aono; Jaguar Yokota & Manami Toyota b Kyoko Inoue & Sareee
August 24: Riot City Wrestling (Wayville, Australia) – Demi Bennett b Harley Wonderland
August 24: Pacific Pro Wrestling (Bundamba, Australia) – Kellie Skater b Storm
August 24: REINA Joshi Puroresu (Tokyo, Japan) – Tsukushi b Kaho Kobayashi; Zeuxis & Vaquerita b Risa Sera & Kasey Owens; Syuri b Rabbit Miu and Ariya in a 3-way; Leon & Raideen Hagane b Miyako Matsumoto & Makoto; Lady Storm b Dump Matsumoto
August 24: Europe Catch Tour Association (Loon-Plage, France) – Lady Lory b Skarlett
August 24: Wrestling Is Fun (Easton, PA) – Heidi Lovelace b Portia Perez
August 24: Scottish Wrestling Entertainment (Dundee, Scotland) – Grado, Scott Renwick and Sammii Jayne b The Syndicate & Nikki Storm; Viper b Bete Noire
August 24: Bruiser Wrestling Federation (Victoria, VA) – Sassy Stephie b Kacee Carlisle via count out
August 24: Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (Vancouver, BC, Canada) – Nicole Matthews b Alex Plexis
August 24: Xtreme Bombshells of Wrestling (Kimball, MI) – Silvie Silver b Lady Victoria; KC Warfield b Jasmine; Jillian Hall b Xandra Bale; Dixie Lixx b Rebelia Duke; Samantha won a battle royal; Jewells Malone b Xandra Bale; Leah Von Dutch b Sojo Bolt to win the new XBW championship
August 25: JWP (Tokyo, Japan) – Manami Katsu & Raideen Hagane b Rabbit Miu & Yako Fujigasaki; KAZUKI b Arisa Nakajima; Command Bolshoi, Hanako Nakamori & Rabbit Miu b Kayoko Haruyama, Tsubasa Kuragaki & Leon
August 25: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Miho Wakizawa b Mayu Iwatani & Hiroyo Matsumoto in a 3-way; Dark Angel b Kairi Hojo; Takumi Iroha v Alpha Female went to a time limit draw; Act Yasukawa b Kyoko Kimura; Yuhi b Natsuki*Taiyo; Nanae Takahashi v Yoshiko went to a time limit draw; Io Shirai b Kaori Yoneyama
August 25: WAVE (Tokyo, Japan) – Sawako Shimono & Tsukushi b Kagetsu & Kaho Kobayashi; Gori-ko b Sakura Hirota; Moeka Haruhi b Fairy Nipponbashi; Kyoko Kimura b Ryo Mizunami; Ayako Hamada & Yuu Yamagata b Kana & Mio Shirai; Shu Shibutani & Cherry b GAMI & Tomoka Nakagawa to win the WAVE Tag Team Championship; Yumi Ohka b Misaki Ohata
August 25: Ice Ribbon (Tokyo, Japan) – Kurumi, 235 & Kyuri b Hamuko Hoshi, Kasey Owens & Koyuki Hayashi; Kagetsu b Risa Sera; Neko Nitta b Maki Narumiya; Mio Shirai & Rutsuko Yamaguchi b Cherry & Meari Naito; Ayako Hamada b Tsukushi; Miyako Matsumoto b Survival Tobita; Hikaru Shida, Syuri, Hanako Nakamori & Misaki Ohata b Aoi Kizuki, Makoto, Arisa Nakajima & Sawako Shimono; Tsukasa Fujimoto b Manami Toyota
August 25: Insane Championship Wrestling (Edinburgh, Scotland) – Nikki Storm b Leah Owens; Kay Lee Ray b Carmel Jacob
August 25: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Estrellita, Luna Mágica, Marcela b Amapola, Princesa Blanca, Princesa Sugheit via DQ
August 25: WWE (Rio Rancho, NM) – Natalya & Kaitlyn b AJ Lee & Layla
August 25: WWE (Ontario, CA) – Alicia Fox b Tamina Snuka
August 25: International Wrestling Cartel (Newell, WV) – Nevaeh b Sassy Stephie
August 26: Europe Catch Tour Association (Le-Nouvion-en-Thierache, France) – Lady Lory b Alex Breslin
August 26: WWE Raw (Phoenix, AZ) – Brie Bella b Natalya
August 30: British Championship Wrestling (Kilmarnock, Scotland) – Kay Lee Ray & Liam Thompson v Carmel Jacob & Mark Coffee
August 30: Absolute Intense Wrestling (Cleveland, OH) – Veda Scott v Kimber Lee
August 31: Pro Wrestling Alliance (Casula, Australia) – Robbie Eagles v Madison Eagles; KC Cassidy v Shazza McKenzie
August 31: New Breed Wrestling Association (Banbury, England) – Lucy Cannon v Bacardi
September 7: Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (Chilliwack, BC, Canada) – Jamie Diaz & The Greedfather v Nicole Matthews & Andy “The Dreadful” Bird
September 7: RESISTANCE Pro (Burbank, IL) – D’Arcy Dixon & Thunderkitty v Mickie Knuckles & Nikki St John
September 7: Max Pro North (Angus, ON, Canada) – Courtney Rush v Jodi D’Milo
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 15: Smash Wrestling CANUSA Classic (Toronto, ON, Canada) – Lufisto v Christina Von Eerie; Courtney Rush v Candice La Rae; Seleziya Sparx v Veda Scott; Xandra Bale v Kimber Lee; Vanessa Kraven v Chrissy Rivera
September 19: Evolution Pro Wrestling (Clarksville, IN) – Melanie Cruise v Crazy Mary Dobson
September 20: Premier British Wrestling (Larbert, Scotland) – Kay Lee Ray v Portia Perez
September 20: Bruiser Wrestling Federation (Farmville, VA) – Kacee Carlisle v Sassy Stephie
September 21: Premier British Wrestling (Alloa, Scotland) – Carmel Jacob v Portia Perez
September 22: Insane Championship Wrestling: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland) – Kay Lee Ray v Viper v Amazing Kong; Crazy Mary Dobson v Carmel Jacob; Nikki Storm v Portia Perez
September 27: RAD:PRO Wrestling (Newcastle, England) – Rubix Roach & Kirsty Love v Rabbit & Dragonita
September 27: SHINE 13 (Ybor City, FL) – Rain v Angelina Love
September 28: Southside Wrestling Entertainment (Nottingham, England) – Martin Kirby v Kay Lee Ray
September 28: Alternative Wrestling Show (South Gate, CA) – Christina Von Eerie v LuFisto
September 28: Pro Wrestling Syndicate Bombshells (Iselin, NJ) – Missy Sampson & Annie Social v La Rosa Negra & Amazing Kong; Jessie Kaye & Alexxis Nevaeh v Mistress Belmont & Veda Scott; Jennifer Cruz v Amber Rodriguez; Angelina Love v Riot; Sumie Sakai v Amy Lee; Luscious Latasha v Vanity; Amber v Silvie Silver
October 5: DOA Wrestling (March, England) – Miss Mina v Addy Starr
October 5: HXC Wrestling (Manchester, England) – Mad Man Pondo & Crazy Mary Dobson v Clint Margera & Jimmy Havoc
October 6: Bellatrix 7 (Norwich, England) – Erin Angel v Sammi Baynes; Christina Von Eerie v Skarlett; Destiny v LuFisto; Mercedes Martinez v Miss Mina; Cheerleader Melissa v Saraya Knight; Courtney Rush v Liberty
October 6: Absolute Intense Wrestling Girls Night Out 9/10 (Cleveland, OH) – Allysin Kay v Veda Scott
October 11: Preston City Wrestling (Preston, UK) – April Davids v LuFisto
October 12: Remix Pro Wrestling (Marietta, OH) – Maria Kanellis v Sassy Stephie
October 12: Women Superstars Uncensored (Voorhees, NJ) – Jessicka Havok v Lexxus; Nikki Storm v Jenny Rose
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
November 16: Preston City Wrestling (Preston, England) – Amazing Kong v Bubblegum
November 17: Southside Wrestling Entertainment (Nottingham, England) – Amazing Kong v Kay Lee Ray
November 30: Women of the Kingdom (Birmingham, England)
– Lee Burton
– Photos by TNA, E!, WWE, Alternative Wrestling Show/Hudson Envy, Tabercil
– Data collated from (but not limited to) Cagematch, joshifans.com, PuroLove, Dramatic DDT, Luchablog, Lords Of Pain, Wrestling Observer, Open The Puroresu Gate, Ringstars, PWInsider, NHB Girls