Women Superstars Uncensored announced a mild change in ownership at the Blood And Thunder iPPV on Saturday, with it being revealed that Combat Zone Wrestling boss DJ Hyde was becoming a co-owner along with Drew Cordiero, who bought the promotion from Sean McCaffrey last June. Hyde was greeted by WSU Champion Jessicka Havok, who dropped him with an Air Raid Crash after successfully defending her title against Lexxus, eliciting a big positive reaction from the fans in Voorhees, NJ. The move positions Havok as more of a babyface than ever, and possibly distancing her from her Midwest Militia teammates Allysin Kay and Sassy Stephie – especially the latter, as the pair have entered a distant war of words.
The developments make for an intriguing future for WSU, but seeing as it’s been just over a year since the first Cordiero-run card, it seems like as good a time as any to see how things have gone. What has worked? What has been less successful? And what should we expect from WSU down the road?
First off, it is worth seeing the state of WSU when the sale took place. In March 2012, the Militia was on top of the world – Stephie and Kay won the Tag Team Championship at the 5th Anniversary show, while Havok added the World Title to her Spirit belt by defeating Mercedes Martinez, ending the Latina Sensation’s near-three year run with the strap in the process. However, the celebrations would be briefly cut short the following month when Havok would lose the World Title back to Martinez on her first defence and then regain it on the second DVD taping of the day, which didn’t help in positioning her as the new force in the promotion, and made it look like she was sharing the top position with the former titleholder.
Elsewhere, Jennifer Cruz – who was on an unbeaten streak in 2012 – was crowned the Queen of WSU after winning the King and Queen of the Ring alongside Mike Dennis, Marti Belle won the Spirit Title and it became a centrepiece for her feud with former Tag Team Championship partner Tina San Antonio, Brittney Savage won her second straight J-Cup and Lexxus won the Uncensored Rumble for a second straight year, throwing out Alicia after being on the floor. The Uncensored Rumble in June also saw a relationship formed with WSU and NCW Femmes Fatales, which saw Kalamity, Sweet Cherrie and LuFisto appearing on shows, with LuFisto starting a feud with Mercedes after interfering in the WSU Championship between Havok and Martinez.
Under McCaffrey, WSU was promoting more shows than any other women’s wrestling promotion, and there were a lot of storylines going on to forward the events. It meant that the promotion was always at the forefront of fans’ minds, and you had to keep a close eye on proceedings to keep on top of developments, and that was a good thing for building brand loyalty. However, some of the feuds were lackluster and names which were being pushed – Cruz being a prime example – weren’t connecting with the fans. On the flip side, it should also be noted that WSU did have more of an exclusive roster than others, which helped to separate the promotion from the pack. From a match quality standpoint, the undercards always seemed to be weak, though picked up over time.
With the repeat of Savage and Lexxus winning the J-Cup and Uncensored Rumble for consecutive years felt like WSU was in a holding pattern. In addition, its iPPV coverage with GoFightLive – while ambitious – was disappointing, as its hosting was not as strong as others, and was at some points, terrible. In comparison, SHINE Wrestling launched the month after last year’s Uncensored Rumble and was a much sharper presentation.
Cordiero’s WSU continued with the direction set by McCaffrey’s storylines, featuring Havok v Alicia v Lexxus for the World Title, with Havok retaining the title by pinning Alicia in what was would be the swan-song for the woman described as the WSU Icon. Alicia took to Twitter in February to say she would not be going back to the promotion, and was joined by Brittney Savage in that sentiment – Cordiero responded with a number of tweets insinuating that Alicia was difficult to work with and refused to go with a planned finish to protect herself over the good of WSU. It was a messy situation which benefited nobody.
Other wrestlers were also dropped from booking plans. The Femmes Fatales relationship seems to be on ice, while Jana, Amy Lee, Tina San Antonio, Leva Bates, Luscious Latasha, Jennifer Cruz and others were out in favour of the likes of Veda Scott, Athena, Santana Garrett, Barbi Harden and Jewells Malone. In addition, the working relationship with CZW – which meant double-shot iPPV shows but lower overheads – saw the likes of Nevaeh, Christina Von Eerie and Cherry Bomb join fellow CZW star Kimber Lee on the roster.
As a result, match quality on cards improved, though the introduction of new names meant establishing their characters at the expense of storylines, though some have continued like the ongoing angle with Kimber Lee & Annie Social against Sassy Stephie & Allysin Kay, as well as Lexxus’ claim to the title, which was cleared up at Blood and Thunder. However, one of its strongest storylines seems to have fallen by the wayside.
The big closing angle of the McCaffrey era was the start of a feud between Martinez and LuFisto – though realistically, the main focus should have been on Havok as champion. That carried over into a great time limit draw at Full Steam Ahead and an equally entertaining encounter at An Ultraviolent Affair in February which saw Martinez lose and turn heel, turning LuFisto babyface in the process. Following that match, both vanished from the promotion – LuFisto was meant to challenge Havok for the championship but suffered an exploded kneecap which took her out of Queen and King of the Ring. Despite her being fully recovered, she has not been back.
Injuries seem to have caused a problem in WSU recently. Booking plans have had to be quickly changed because of ailments suffered by LuFisto (knee) and Athena (shoulder) which have disrupted momentum and meant that the transition hasn’t been the smoothest or the fastest – but the tide seems to be turning.
Blood and Thunder was a great show from top to bottom with a nice mix of matches, and a brutal match between Mickie Knuckles and Saraya Knight which showed that the U in WSU still exists – though is used more sparingly to create more of an impact. In addition, the relationship with CZW has blossomed to the point that they share an owner, there are new stars emerging in the likes of Hayden, Malone and Garrett, and the shows are less of a chore to watch on iPPV. Instead of being a slog with fuzzy camerawork, shoddy direction and bad lighting, WSU is crisper, brighter and much more pleasing on the eye – all we need now are some WSU corner pads and ring skirts to separate it from the CZW brand a little. Couple that with the StreamWSU subscription service as well as DVD and Blu Ray sales generating more revenue, and things are slotting into place.
Hyde’s introduction will mean a brand new website – something which Cordiero admitted on our latest Fight Like A Girl interview is long overdue – as well as opportunities for international expansion and trying out new markets to generate a bigger fanbase. Instead of just being happy with their lot, it seems that Hyde and Cordiero are looking to swell the brand, which is a good thing when you consider how busy the scene is these days.
Overall, I prefer the new WSU to the old one. While McCaffrey’s vision had its moments like the Midwest Militia and the epic reign of Martinez, there was a distinct gap in wrestler ability as you went up the card, some wrestlers were pushed too hard or too often, and while the live experience was said to be good, it never really transferred well to iPPV or DVD. Sure, Cordiero’s product isn’t fully there yet – as the roster settles, more storylines would be nice, as would a proper website and a bigger emphasis on the Spirit Title (and some new belts would be nice as the current ones aren’t visually pleasing) – but it’s heading in the right direction. Give it another 12 months and we’ll see things really rolling.
We went a little WSU crazy on the website last week. As well as previewing Blood and Thunder, we also posted a review of the first Secret Show. Elsewhere, we posted a Retro featuring Savannah Summers and also conducted an eye-opening and shocking interview with Angelus Layne about her Post-Concussion Syndrome. You really should listen to it to get more of an insight into the risk wrestlers take – some of them unnecessary.
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
Kaitlyn returned to WWE TV on Thursday’s Superstars, losing to Tamina Snuka. It was Kaitlyn’s first match since teaming with Dolph Ziggler to beat AJ Lee & Big E Langston at SummerSlam on August 18… Looks like there are some fans of Aksana – it was reported by PWInsider that management was impressed by her… Maryse didn’t rule out a WWE return in an interview with Running The Ropes last week, while Kelly Kelly gave a similar vague answer. That could just be a diplomatic answer so she doesn’t burn any bridges. Maryse also admitted that she hadn’t watched any of Total Divas… Considering how wretched the six Diva tag match on last week’s Raw was, WWE booked another one on Friday’s SmackDown featuring most of the seven Total Divas cast members – JoJo and Nikki Bella were left out. Eva Marie was reportedly worse, but it was edited down… Charlotte defeated Santana Garrett on NXT last week, though the finishing move (a version of Kellie Skater’s Skate and Destroy) was a bit messy. The commentators were talking about how Charlotte was trying to separate herself from her father Ric Flair’s legacy to forge her own, but she kept saying “whoo” during the match. Sasha Banks and Summer Rae called themselves the BFFs, standing for Beautiful Fierce Females. Paige came out to attack them but was overwhelmed by the numbers game until Emma made the save… Nikki Bella tweeted to say her fractured shin is getting stronger… AJ Lee is medically cleared to compete after suffering from concussion-like symptoms suffered during her Divas Title match against Brie Bella at Battleground 9 days ago… Raw was in St Louis, MO last night. Nicole Matthews and Veda Scott were also in town. On the show, Tamina Snuka made it three TV wins in a week, taking down Brie Bella. She continued the beatdown alongside AJ after the match, with Brie’s sister Nikki making the save. There’s talk about making an AJ & Tamina v The Bellas match for Hell In A Cell.
It will be ODB v Brooke Tessmacher v Gail Kim for the Knockouts Championship at Bound For Glory this Sunday. Kim was put into the contest without having to win a match, while Tessmacher defeated Velvet Sky, who was still selling the injuries from the week before when she was attacked by Lei’D Tapa. Speaking of Tapa, she attacked ODB during the titleholder’s match against Jessie Godderz. Tapa posed over ODB with the belt for an angle which isn’t even building up to Bound For Glory. Presumably the pair will feud after BFG, which would make one think that ODB is retaining the title… To the surprise of nobody, Taryn Terrell has confirmed that she is pregnant. Nevertheless, congratulations to her.
The winner of Miss OVW was decided to be Lylah Lodge, who had turned babyface during the proceedings. She was attacked by Ohio Valley Wrestling Women’s Champion Lei’D Tapa while Lylah was fighting with Taeler Hendrix over the tiara, which Hendrix claimed was rightfully hers. While Lylah was down, Taeler made off with the tiara… Santana Garrett has been added to this weekend’s SHIMMER DVD tapings. She is really in demand at the moment… Angelina Love and Ivelisse Velez will compete in a number one contender’s match at the next Family Wrestling Entertainment show to determine who is next in line to challenge Women’s Champion Maria Kanellis. They both won 3-way matches on FWE’s show on Saturday… Speaking of Maria, she was elsewhere on Saturday, losing to Sassy Stephie at Remix Pro. During the show, the Women’s Championship – which was held by Hailey Hatred after she won it from Stephie in an impromptu match last August. Hatred defended the title once against MsChif at Joshi4Hope IV in October, but nothing has happened with it since and Hatred has gone incommunicado recently. Stephie is one half of a number one contender’s match, with the other half to be announced in due course… Allysin Kay defends the Absolute Intense Wrestling Women’s Championship on November 1 against Saraya Knight… Shanna beat Santana Garrett, Jewells Malone and Nikki Storm to win the WSU International J-Cup as part of the promotion’s second secret show on Friday… Xandra Bale suffered a broken fibula at WSU’s Blood and Thunder. She’ll be out for 6 weeks, which means she’s out of the NCW Femmes Fatales International Championship number one contender’s match against Cheerleader Melissa on October 26. She was drafted in to replace Courtney Rush, who had also suffered an injury. Once again, Rush will get to pick who replaces her. It’s a big blow for Bale, who has been pretty great recently… Looks like Lisa Marie Varon is going to do more at Ring Of Honor than just a signing appearance. The promotion started an angle with she and Maria Kanellis at Varon’s The Squared Circle restaurant. She is due to appear at ROH’s Glory By Honor XI show in Chicago Ridge, IL on October 26.
Tsukasa Fujimoto retained the ICEx∞ Championship on Sunday, defeating Kurumi – who had become awfully bratty in the run up to her title challenge. She was fun being the mild heel… Kana retained the JWP Openweight Championship yesterday, defeating Hanako Nakamori. Also on the show, Tsubasa Kuragaki lost to Kayoko Haruyama in her final match with the promotion before becoming a freelancer.
April Davids successfully defended her Preston City Wrestling Cruiserweight Championship against LuFisto on Friday in what some fans described as the Match of the Night… Speaking of Davids, her next Cruiserweight Title defence will be against former champion Dave Rayne in a Fans Bring The Domestic Weapons Match… Insane Championship Wrestling Fierce Females Scottish Champion Kay Lee Ray had to team up with nemesis Carmel Jacob against Bete Noire & Viper at ICW’s show on Sunday after Jacob’s scheduled tag partner Sara Marie Taylor was missing in action. The unlikely couple won after Ray accidentally nailed Noire in the head with the title belt while swinging for Carmel – and when I say “nailed”, I mean WALLOPED. Check out the photo of Bete with the imprint of the belt in her head. She was diagnosed with a concussion.
Following turning ruda, Dallys la Caribena challenged Marcela for the CMLL World Women’s Championship. The pair haven’t been getting on since some crossed wires while working as a team.
Australia & New Zealand
A new Riot City Wrestling Women’s Champion will be crowned on November 9 at Riot City Chicks Unleashed, which appears to be an all-women show. Eliza Sway had to vacate the title on October 5 through injury… Madison Eagles won the vacant IndyGurlz Australia Championship which was vacated by Sway – she defeated Kellie Skater to lift the title.
October 8: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Kurumi & Kaho Kobayashi b Tsukasa Fujimoto & Kyuri; Hayate b Neko Nitta and Tetsuya Nakazato in a 3-way; Cherry & Meari Naito b Hikaru Shida & Miyako Matsumoto; Hamuko Hoshi b Risa Sera
October 9: WRESTLE-1 (Sakata, Japan) – Kyoko Kimura b Hibiscus Mil
October 9: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Lousiville, KY) – Taeler Hendrix b Ray Lynn
October 9: WWE Main Event (Columbus, OH) – Tamina Snuka b Aksana
October 10: WRESTLE-1 (Akita, Japan) – Hibiscus Mil b Kyoko Kimura
October 10: WWE Superstars (Pittsburgh, PA) – Tamina Snuka b Kaitlyn
October 10: TNA Impact Wrestling (Tulsa, OK) – ODB b Jesse Godderz via DQ; Brooke Tessmacher b Velvet Sky
October 10: AAA (Hidalgo, Mexico) Dinastía, Faby Apache & Pimpinela Escarlata b Mamba, Mini Charly Manson & Taya Valkyrie
October 11: Preston City Wrestling (Preston, UK) – April Davids b LuFisto
October 11: Scottish Wrestling Entertainment (Dundee, Scotland) – Sammii Jayne b Debbie Sharpe; Viper b Jam O’Malley & Chrystopher Saint in a 3-way
October 11: WWE SmackDown (Columbus, OH) – Cameron, Naomi & Brie Bella b Kaitlyn, Eva Marie & Natalya
October 11: United Wrestling Coalition (Georgetown, IL) – Allie Kat b Marli Paige
October 11: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Dallys la Caribeña, Princesa Blanca & Princesa Sugheit b Goya Kong, Marcela & Silueta
October 11: Full Impact Pro (Ybor City, FL) – Jessicka Havok b Maxwell Chicago
October 11: Women Superstars Uncensored (Blackwood, NJ) – Barbi Hayden b Kimber Lee; Nikki Storm b Jody D’Milo; Jewells Malone b Jenny Rose; Shanna b Santana Garrett; Cherry Bomb b Leah Von Dutch; Nikki Storm b Barbi Hayden; Shanna b Jewells Malone; Shanna b Nikki Storm
October 12: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Shuu Shibutani b Risa Sera; Ryo Mizunami b Miyako Matsumoto; Tsukushi & Rabbit Miu b Hikaru Shida & Maki Narumiya; Hamuko Hoshi & Kurumi b Tsukasa Fujimoto & Kyuri
October 12: WRESTLE-1 (Hachinohe, Japan) – Kyoko Kimura b Hibiscus Mil
October 12: New Horizons Pro Wrestling (Maddington, Australia) – Madison Eagles b Kellie Skater to win the IndyGurlz Australia Championship
October 12: Australasian Wrestling Federation (Parramatta, Australia) – Mighty Mel b Rachel Rose
October 12: Target Wrestling (Dumfries, Scotland) – Kasey Owens b Kay Lee Ray
October 12: Herts And Essex Wrestling (Gillingham, England) – Skarlett b Kay Lee Ray
October 12: Scottish Wrestling Alliance (Motherwell, Scotland) – Viper b Fiona Fraser
October 12: Wrestling Cares (Gardena, CA) – Katarina Leigh b Taeler Hendrix
October 12: WWE (Providence, RI) – Naomi & Natalya b Brie Bella & Eva Marie
October 12: Family Wrestling Entertainment (Brooklyn, NY) – Ivelisse Velez b Rosita & Kasey Ray in a 3-way; Angelina Love b Serena Deeb & Cheerleader Melissa in a 3-way
October 12: Remix Pro Wrestling (Marietta, OH) – Sassy Stephie b Maria Kanellis
October 12: Ultimate Championship Wrestling (Bay City, MI) – Arella Angel & KC Lofton b Jasmine & Alexia
October 12: Full Impact Pro (Orlando, FL) – Solo Darling b Su Yung, Mia Yim & Leva Bates
October 12: Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (Vancouver, BC, Canada) – Nicole Matthews b Brady Malibu
October 12: Buffalo Championship Wrestling (Cheektowaga, NY) – Kaitlin Diemond b Beautiful Beaa
October 12: OMEGA (Chapel Hill, NC) – Reby Sky b Amber O’Neal
October 12: Women Superstars Uncensored (Voorhees, NJ) – Shanna b Leah Von Dutch; Barbi Hayden, Jessie Kaye & Jody D’Milo b Jewells Malone, Santana Garrett & Xandra Bale; Hania b Cherry Bomb; Kimber Lee b Allysin Kay; Mickie Knuckles b Saraya Knight; Marti Belle b Ezavel Suena; Christina Von Eerie & Nevaeh b Veda Scott & Jessie Brooks; Jenny Rose b Nikki Storm; Jessicka Havok b Lexxus
October 12: Combat Zone Wrestling (Voorhees, NJ) – Kimber Lee & Shanna v Christina Von Eerie & Nevaeh
October 13: JWP (Itabashi, Japan) – Risa Sera & Tsukushi b Raideen Hagane; Command Bolshoi b KAZUKI; Kayoko Haruyama & Tsubasa Kurigaki b Leon & Rabbit Miu; Hanako Nakamori & Bear Fukuda b Kana & Daisuke Ikeda; Kagetsu b Manami Katsu
October 13: Ice Ribbon (Itabashi, Japan) – Hamuko Hoshi, Meari Naito & 235 b Miyako Matsumoto, Kaho Kobayashi & Kyuri; Mio Shirai & Rutsuko Yamaguchi b Maki Narumiya & Risa Sera; Hikaru Shida & Kagetsu b Tsukushi & Rabbit Miu; Neko Nitta b Hayate & Chou-un Shiryu in a 3-way; Tsukasa Fujimoto b Kurumi
October 13: Insane Championship Wrestling (Glasgow, Scotland) – Carmel Jacob & Kay Lee Ray b Viper & Bete Noire
October 13: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Amapola & Princesa Blanca b Dallys la Caribeña & Marcela
October 13: Alternative Wrestling Show (South Gate, CA) – Brittany Wonder & MsChif b Hudson Envy & Kurai Hime
October 13: WWE (Philadelphia, PA) – Naomi & Natalya b Brie Bella & Eva Marie
October 14: Stardom (Osaka, Japan) – Act Yasukawa v Alpha Female v Yoshiko in a 3-way ended in a time limit draw; Natsuki*Taiyo b DASH Chisako; Io Shirai & Dark Angel b Tahumi Iroha & Nanae Takahashi; Yuhi, Kaori Yoneyama & Kairi Hojo b Miho Wakizawa, Hiroyo Matsumoto & Maya Iwatani
October 14: JWP (Tokyo, Japan) – Command Bolshoi v Arisa Nakajima went to a time limit draw; Sachie Abe, KAZUKI & Rydeen Hagane b Rabbit Mito, Yako Fujigasaki & Tsukushi; Leon b GAMI; Command Bolshoi & Kyoko Inoue b Manami Katsu & Kagetu; Kayoko Haruyama b Tsubasa Kuragaki; Kana b Hanako Nakamori
October 14: WRESTLE-1 (Yamagata, Japan) – Kyoko Kimura b Hibiscus Mil
October 14: Wrestling New Classic (Yokohama, Japan) – Chik Tormenta b Kaho Kobayashi; Makoto b Vaquerita; Syuri & Zeuxis b Yumiko Hotta & Keiko Aono
October 14: WWE Raw (St Louis, MO) – Tamina Snuka b Brie Bella
October 19: Impact Pro Wrestling (Auckland, New Zealand) – Evie v Britenay
October 19: Wrestling Is Heart (Lafayette, IN) – Heidi Lovelace v Eddie Kingston
October 19-20: SHIMMER: Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)
October 20: TNA Bound For Glory (San Diego, CA) – ODB v Gail Kim v Brooke Tessmacher
October 25: Big West Wrestling (Kelowna, BC, Canada) – Kc Spinelli v Riea Von Slasher
October 25: SHINE 14 (Ybor City, Florida) – Rain v Hiroyo Matsumoto; Kellie Skater & Tomoka Nakagawa v Allysin Kay & Ivelisse Velez;Jessicka Havok v Saraya Knight; Amazing Kong v Madison Eagles;Shanna v Mia Yim v Savannah Summers; Nikki Storm v Nikki Roxx; Mercedes Martinez v Kimberly;Leva Bates, Santana Garrett & Amber O’Neal v Sassy Stephie, Nevaeh & Jessie Belle Smothers; Su Yung v Solo Darling
October 26: Pro Wrestling Kingdom (Birmingham, England) – Bubblegum v Kay Lee Ray
October 26: Swiss Championship Wrestling (Zollikofen, Switzerland) – Laura Wellings v Penelope
October 26: NCW: Femmes Fatales XIII (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – Mercedes Martinez & Saraya Knight v LuFisto & Sweet Cherrie; Cheerleader Melissa v TBA; Pink Flash Kira v Portia Perez; Leah Von Dutch & Kaitlin Diemond v Bettie Rage & Midianne; Niya Barela v Missy; Jodi D’Milo v Mary Lee Rose; Kimber Lee v Christina Von Eerie v Angie Skye
October 27: Xtreme Violence Wrestling (Myrtle Beach, SC) – Mia Svensson v Kimberly Spades
October 31: Preston City Wrestling (Preston, England) – April Davids v Dave Rayne
November 1: Absolute Intense Wrestling (Cleveland, OH) – Allysin Kay v Saraya Knight
November 1: Florida Underground Wrestling (Tampa, FL) – Mercedes Martinez v Su Yung
November 2: Ring Wars Carolina (Fayetteville, NC) – Mia Svensson v Amanda Rodriguez
November 4: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Io Shirai v Nanae Takahashi
November 9: Riot City Wrestling (Adelaide, Australia)
November 9: House Of Hardcore (Poughkeepsie, NY) – Lisa Varon & Stevie Richards v Carlota & Rosita
November 15: Preston City Wrestling (Preston, England) – April Davids v Amazing Kong
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 23: Full House Wrestling (Peterborough, England) – Pollyanna v Dragonita
November 23: Extreme American Wrestling (Corby, England) – Kay Lee Ray v Leah Von Dutch
November 24: Alternative Wrestling World (Wolverhampton, England) – Leah Von Dutch v Nikki Storm
November 23: Ring Wars Carolina (Lumberton, NC) – Mia Svensson v Devyn Nicole
November 30: Women of the Kingdom (Birmingham, England) – Jenna v Nikki Storm
November 30: Alternative Wrestling Show (South Gate, CA) – Veda Scott v Candice LeRae
April 6: SHIMMER Women Athletes (New Orleans, LA)
– Lee Burton
– Photos by Taryn Terrell, Bete Noire, Rebecca Smith, North Starz
– 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, North Starz