Last weekend was a big one for Cheerleader Melissa, with its ups and downs. When it came to the SHIMMER tapings, she came through the weekend still in possession of the singles championship, beating Leva Bates, Hiroyo Matsumoto and LuFisto in title defences. However, her match against the Super Hardcore Anime saw her uninterrupted run of 60 volumes come to an end, as an accidental laceration she suffered during the contest meant that she was taken to the hospital for 10 stitches above her left eyebrow. Melissa still managed to notch up an appearance on Volume 61, interfering in the main event by hitting LuFisto with her title belt, leading to her loss against Mercedes Martinez, standing over her fallen rival while repeating how many stitches she needed to close the wound.
As well as the in-ring aspect of what went down, arguably Melissa’s shining moment came on volume 58 where she was named the number one in the 2013 Pro Wrestling Illustrated Female 50, rising two places from last year. We highlighted her big accomplishments over the last 12 months on Saturday in this article, though instead of surmising what criteria she satisfied to top the list, we decided to go to PWI itself.
Writer Dan Murphy – who presented Melissa with the plaque at the tapings and was the one who drove her to the hospital – told us: “In addition to regaining the SHIMMER title from Saraya Knight and becoming the first two-time champion in the promotion’s history, Melissa won the Pro Wrestling Revolution title, collected wins over top-notch competition (including Saraya, Kalamity, Mercedes Martinez, and Courtney Rush), and was positioned at the top of the card in every promotion she competed throughout the entire year. No one else was as consistent over the 12-month evaluation period as Melissa was.”
Melissa’s victory also means that two out of the last three Female 50 rundowns have been won by women outside of WWE or TNA – Gail Kim won last year, while the last time a WWE talent came first was in 2010 with Michelle McCool, and the 2011 list was topped by then-SHIMMER Champion Madison Eagles.
“I think the fact that Melissa is the second independent wrestler to earn the top spot in the Female 50 over the past three years is a testament to the depth and virility of the women’s independent wrestling scene,” says Murphy. “There are so many incredible talents on the independent circuit, and – in many ways – they are doing more to push women’s wrestling into a new frontier than anyone on the national stage.”
Last week, we asked on Facebook and Twitter who you thought would take the top spot. While Melissa got a couple of nods, the overwhelming favourite was WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee, who has held the title since June 2013 and turned back challenges month after month. While her work since the summer has been very admirable – and certainly fits in with PWI’s definition of success in wrestling – it is the rest of the year which let her down.
“While AJ Lee has looked strong over the past few months, she spent a large portion of the evaluation period in a relatively inactive role as a valet,” reveals Murphy. “When she did wrestle, she suffered several losses to Kaitlyn. While she has looked great over the past few months, AJ Lee did not have a spectacular in-ring year overall.”
We would tend to agree. Before winning the belt at Payback, AJ was nowhere to be seen as far as wrestling to be concerned. Since last October, she has resigned as Raw General Manager, turned heel on John Cena, aligned with Dolph Ziggler and skipped a lot. Unfortunately for her, PWI judges on wins and losses – and she didn’t have enough victories to warrant her being named the best of the last year.
Before we could let Dan go, we had to ask him if he has his eye on any wrestlers to rise up the list next year, and his weekend at SHIMMER helped him to pick out some names: “I love attending SHIMMER shows because there are so many talented women, and there’s always some breakout stars creeping in. Next year, I expect big things from Mia Yim, Courtney Rush, and Nikki Storm. I think Kimber Lee is about to break through, and I think that Su Yung and Jessie Kay/JK Kennadi are on the cusp. But, that being said, there are a lot of talented women and only 50 spots, so it’s hard to predict.”
While the full list has yet to be revealed, it will be interesting to see who comes where – especially since close to half of the 50 are wrestlers who have appeared on the SHIMMER roster. We will bring you the full 2013 PWI Female 50 when it goes public.
Last week saw out third Women Of Wrestling Podcast of the month, with Kimber Lee talking about AIW, WSU (including CZW’s DJ Hyde becoming a co-owner), SHIMMER and more. We also have a very frank conversation about wrestling and eating disorders with Sarah Robertson, who has battled her own eating disorder and is also raising awareness on the subject – it’s not the most comfortable of conversations, but it’s a topic which needs to be brought out into the open a lot more than it currently is. Have a listen and learn more about the internal battle eating disorders cause, as well as the health implications.
Finally, we have a Retro featuring Lacey taking on her Minnesota Home Wrestling Crew partner Rain in a Falls Count Anywhere Match.
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 Come For The Looks, Stay For The Skills and I Am Not A Bad Person shirts.
The best of the rest
Swedish arm-wrestler Sarah Backman still can’t start with WWE because her visa is being held up… Brie Bella defeated AJ Lee in a non-title match on SmackDown, and again as part of a tag match on Raw last night – it was announced yesterday that the pair will meet again on Sunday’s Hell in a Cell PPV with the Divas Championship on the line… Speaking of Brie, the Wrestling Observer reports that WWE officials are confused and disappointed as to why she isn’t getting over as a babyface. Perhaps part of it is down to her and Nikki not knowing that they were supposed to have turned when AJ Lee buried them on the mic after SummerSlam, still doing the L for loser hand gesture after her matches and that while she came off well on Total Divas, her sister didn’t and only a small proportion of the WWE audience watched the show anyway. Couple that with the fact that wrestling a heel doesn’t automatically make you a babyface and you have quite a few reasons why fans aren’t getting behind her… Summer Rae pinned Paige in a tag team match which also featured Sasha Banks and Emma respectively… Veronica Lane (doing a beauty pageant gimmick and calling herself “Miss NXT”) made her in-ring debut on an NXT house show in Tampa, FL on Thursday. She teamed with Charlotte & Sasha Banks to face Paige, Emma & Bayley. The same match happened the following day at another show in Daytona.
Veda Scott and Candice LeRae worked a tryout match before Bound For Glory in San Diego, CA on Sunday, according to PWInsider… Gail Kim won the Knockouts Championship in a 3-way involving defending titleholder ODB and Brooke Tessmacher. Lei’D Tapa interfered to take out ODB and Tessmacher, allowing Kim to win her third championship. The pair are now a unit, which limits the options of title defences Gail can have… Thea “Rosita” Trinidad told VOC Nation that she and TNA did not part on bad terms. She also pointed out that she would love to work for WWE.
The big stories coming from the SHIMMER tapings were the absence of Ayako Hamada due to travel issues, the elevation of names like Mia Yim, Nikki Storm, Nevaeh, Sassy Stephie, Kimber Lee & Cherry Bomb, and (as evidenced in the top story) blood – something that’s very rare in SHIMMER. As well as Melissa, Christina Von Eerie bled during her Three Stages of Hell match against Saraya Knight on Volume 61. See the results from Volumes 58-59 here, and click here for Volumes 60-61… Pro Wrestling Syndicate Bombshells is holding a Majestic Twelve tournament on December 14 to crown a Bombshells Majestic Champion. Alexxis Nevaeh & Mia Yim have been announced… Heidi Lovelace defeated Eddie Kingston in the main event of Wrestling Is Heart on Saturday… Terra Calaway made her return to the ring on Saturday at Apex Pro Wrestling, teaming with Kitana Vera to defeat Raze & Hudson Envy. She suffered a destroyed ACL and meniscus, a large tear in her MCL, a kneecap in the wrong position and had bone damage in her knee against Veda Scott at a Wrestling Is Respect show on March 24. She was told by doctors back in May that there was an 85-90% chance that she may never wrestle again… Tammy Lynn Sytch needs to watch the juxtaposition of her tweets. Yesterday she said: “Back from the Oncologist… let’s just say the diagnosis and prognosis were not good… very upset… gonna take a nap. This is not a rib.” She immediately followed it up with: “I could really use some cheering up…” and posted a link to her Amazon Wishlist. When responding to criticism on her appearing to try and profit from her bad news, she revealed that her cervical cancer – for which she underwent a hysterectomy earlier this year while imprisoned for violating a protective order – may not be completely gone… The #1 contender match at NCW Femmes Fatales XIII on Saturday will see Cheerleader Melissa added to the 3-way featuring Angie Skye, Kimber Lee & Christina Von Eerie to make it a Fatal Four Way. The winner will be the next challenger to Mercedes Martinez’s International Championship.
The main event of last Thursday’s Sendai Girls show was an 8 v 8 elimination match with the younger members of joshi against the veterans, with the upstarts winning after 64 minutes of action. Hiroyo Matsumoto also worked the opening match of the show despite her father passing away that morning… Seleziya Sparx arrived in Japan yesterday to train and wrestle with Diana.
It’s promoter v champion at Insane Championship Wrestling’s show on November 3. Fierce Females head honcho Mikey Whiplash takes on Scottish Champion Kay Lee Ray in Edinburgh, Scotland… Congratulations to former Pro Wrestling: EVE Champion Jenny Sjodin, who revealed that she is six months pregnant. She hasn’t set foot in a ring for more than a year due to a shoulder injury she suffered, and told us last month that she didn’t expect to set foot in a ring until next year. It all makes sense as to why… Blue Nikita regained the German Stampede Wrestling Women’s Championship on Saturday. She defeated Carmel Jacob in a No Holds Barred Match… Saturday’s Premier Promotions event – which was due to feature Erin Angel v Rhia O’Reilly – was cancelled half an hour after the show started due to a fire in the building next door to Peacehaven’s Meridian Centre. An electrical fault’s being blamed… Sammii Jayne earned her way onto the Hart Scholarship Programme in Calgary, Alberta, Canada by beating Debbie Sharp & Viper in a 3-way ladder match at Scottish Wrestling Entertainment’s event on Saturday in Dundee… Viper will challenge for the SWE Future Division Championship against Jason Costello on Saturday.
Marcela successfully defended her CMLL World Women’s Championship against Dallys la Caribeña on Friday. Marcela took the 2nd and 3rd falls to retain the title.
Australia & New Zealand
Evie defeated Britenay on Saturday to become the number one contender to Emmy Driver’s Impact Pro Wrestling Women’s Championship… Demi Bennett, Izzy Shaw and Harley Wonderland have been announced for Riot City Wrestling’s Unleashed event on November 9 where a new Women’s Champion will be crowned.
October 16: WAVE (Tokyo, Japan) – Ryo Mizunami & Sawako Shimono b GAMI & Fairy Nipponbashi; Yumi Ohka, Cherry & Hikaru Shida v Tomoka Nakagawa, Yuu Yamagata & Misaki Ohata went to a time limit draw; Kayoko Haruyama b Moeka Haruhi; Mayumi Ozaki b Shuu Shibutani
October 16: WWE (Querataro, Mexico) – AJ Lee b Natalya
October 17: Sendai Girls (Tokyo, Japan) – Hiroyo Matsumoto & Ryo Mizunami b DASH Chisako & Sendai Sachiko; Rydeen Hagane b Sakura Hirota; Kagetu, Hikaru Shida, Takumi Iroha, Yuhi, Sareee, Manami Katsu, Yoshiko & Syuri beat Meiko Satomura, Aja Kong, Dynamite Kansai, Manami Toyota, Command Bolshoi, Takako Inoue, Kyoko Inoue & Dump Matsumoto in a gauntlet match
October 17: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Lei’D Tapa b Jessie Belle
October 17: AAA (Naucalpan, Mexico) – Faby Apache & Lolita b Sexy Lady & Taya Valkyrie
October 17: WWE NXT (Winter Park, FL) – Sasha Banks & Summer Rae b Paige & Emma
October 18: Diana (Kawasaki, Japan) – Megumi Yabushita b Kaho Kobayashi; Kaoru Ito b Rydeen Hagane; Jaguar Yokota & Tomoko Watanabe b Yuiga & Hamuko Hoshi; Mima Shimoda & Keiko Aono b Sareee & Syuri; Kyoko Inoue & Arisa Nakajima v Yumiko Hotta & Mask de Saint went to a no-contest
October 18: Scottish Wrestling Entertainment (Dundee, Scotland) – Viper b Debbie Sharp
October 18: WWE SmackDown (St Louis, MO) – Brie Bella b AJ Lee
October 18: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Marcela b Dallys la Caribeña
October 18: AAW (Berwyn, IL) – Saraya Knight, Heather Patera & Jessicka Havok b MsChif, Heidi Lovelace & Christina Von Eerie; Eddie Kingston & Alex Colon b Heidi Lovelace & Ryan Boz
October 19: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Miyako Matsumoto b Tsukasa Fujimoto; Maki Narumiya & Risa Sera b Neko Nitta & Kyuri; Kayoko Haruyama b Tsukushi; Hamuko Hoshi & Tomomitsu Matsunaga b Kurumi & Gouta Ihashi
October 19: Impact Pro Wrestling (Auckland, New Zealand) – Evie b Britenay
October 19: German Stampede Wrestling (Marburg, Germany) – Blue Nikita b Carmel Jacob to win the GSW Women’s Championship
October 19: New York Wrestling Connection (Deer Park, NY) – Nikki Addams b Flawless Blake via DQ
October 19: Wrestling Is Heart (Lafayette, IN) – Heidi Lovelace b Eddie Kingston
October 19: WWE (Monterrey, Mexico) – AJ Lee b Natalya
October 19: WWE (Louisville, KY) – Naomi b Brie Bella
October 19: Pro Wrestling Guerilla (Reseda, CA) – Matt & Nick Jackson b Candice LeRae & Joey Ryan
October 19: Apex Pro Wrestling (Huntington Park, CA) – Kitana Vera & Terra Calaway b Hudson Envy & Raze
October 19: Border City Wrestling (Windsor, ON, Canada) – Angelina Love b Jasmine
October 19: Texas Wrestling Federation (Hondo, TX) – Kowgirl Kissey b Princess Miranda
October 19: SHIMMER: Women Athletes Volume 58 (Berwyn, IL) – Portia Perez b Thunderkitty; Santana Garrett b Sassy Stephie; Jessicka Havok b Mary Lee Rose; Nikki Storm b Su Yung; Mercedes Martinez b Veda Scott; Hikaru Shida b Mia Yim; Kimber Lee & Cherry Bomb b Christina Von Eerie & MsChif; Cheerleader Melissa b Leva Bates; Hiroyo Matsumoto b Saraya Knight; Nicole Matthews v Madison Eagles went to a time limit draw; Kellie Skater & Tomoka Nakagawa b LuFisto & Kana
October 19: SHIMMER: Women Athletes Volume 59 (Berwyn, IL) – Thunderkitty b “Miss Natural” Heather Patera; Christina Von Eerie b Melanie Cruise, Saraya Knight & Su Yung in a 4-way; Nikki Storm b Veda Scott; Sassy Stephie & Nevaeh b Santana Garrett & Savannah Summers; Portia Perez b MsChif; Kana b Kimber Lee; Jessicka Havok b Leva Bates; Madison Eagles b Mia Yim; Kellie Skater & Tomoka Nakagawa b Allysin Kay & Taylor Made; Nicole Matthews b Hikaru Shida; LuFisto b Mercedes Martinez; Cheerleader Melissa b Hiroyo Matsumoto
October 20: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Azumi v Kanetora went to a time limit draw; Alpha Female & The Female Predator “Amazon” b Dark Angel & Mayu Iwatani; Natsuki?Taiyo b Miho Wakizawa & Yoshiko in a 3-way; Kyoko Kimura & Act Yasukawa b Kaori Yoneyama & Yuhi; Nanae Takahashi & Kairi Hojo b Io Shirai & Takumi Iroha
October 20: Sendai Girls (Sendai, Japan) – Meiko Satomura b Manami Katsu; DASH Chisako, Sendai Sachiko, & Kagetsu b Manami Toyota, Rabbit Miu, & Rydeen Hagane
October 20: House Of Pain (Nottingham, England) – Jenna b Felony by DQ
October 20: Scottish Wrestling Entertainment (Dundee, Scotland) – Sammii Jayne b Viper & Debbie Sharp in a 3-way
October 20: International Pro Wrestling: UK (London, England) – La Tigressa b Zombie Janey
October 20: SHIMMER: Women Athletes Volume 60 (Berwyn, IL) – Nikki Storm b Heidi Lovelace; Mia Yim b Melanie Cruise; Kimber Lee & Cherry Bomb b Crazy Mary Dobson & Mary Lee Rose; Saraya Knight b Thunderkitty; Kana b Allysin Kay; Portia Perez b Hiroyo Matsumoto; Mercedes Martinez b Santana Garrett; Kellie Skater & Tomoka Nakagawa b Sassy Stephie & Nevaeh; Madison Eagles b Jessicka Havok; Hikaru Shida b Nicole Matthews; Cheerleader Melissa b LuFisto
October 20: SHIMMER: Women Athletes Volume 61 (Berwyn, IL) – Santana Garrett b Nevaeh; Jessicka Havok b Crazy Mary Dobson; Mia Yim b Angie Skye; Thunderkitty b Taylor Made; Nicole Matthews b Heidi Lovelace; Leva Bates b Nikki Storm; MsChif b “Miss Natural” Heather Patera; Kellie Skater & Tomoka Nakagawa b Kimber Lee & Cherry Bomb; Christina Von Eerie b Saraya Knight; Madison Eagles b Hikaru Shida & Kana in a 3-way; Mercedes Martinez b LuFisto
October 20: WWE (Tupelo, MS) – Natalya b AJ Lee
October 20: WWE (Carbondale, IL) – Naomi b Brie Bella
October 20: TNA Bound For Glory (San Diego, CA) – Gail Kim b Brooke Tessmacher & ODB to win the Knockouts Championship
October 21: WWE Raw (Memphis, TN) – Nikki & Brie Bella b AJ Lee & Tamina Snuka
October 21: CMLL (Puebla, Mexico) – Estrellita, Goya Kong & Marcela b Amapola, Dallys la Caribeña & Princesa Blanca
October 25: Premier British Wrestling (Inverness, Scotland) – Kay Lee Ray v Carmel Jacob
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: Scottish Wrestling Entertainment (Dundee, Scotland) – Jason Costello v Viper
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; 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 v Cheerleader Melissa
October 27: Xtreme Violence Wrestling (Myrtle Beach, SC) – Mia Svensson v Kimberly Spades
October 27: UWA Elite (Spotswood, NJ) – Aida Marie v Michael Massacre
October 27: WWE Hell in a Cell (Miami, FL) – AJ Lee v Brie Bella
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 3: Insane Championship Wrestling (Edinburgh, Scotland) – Kay Lee Ray v Mikey Whiplash
November 4: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Io Shirai v Nanae Takahashi
November 9: Riot City Wrestling (Adelaide, Australia)
November 9: Extreme World Wrestling (Hastings, England) – Erin Angel v Destiny
November 9: House Of Hardcore (Poughkeepsie, NY) – Lisa Marie Varon & Stevie Richards v Carlito & 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 16: World Wide Wrestling League (Glenrothes, Scotland) – Kay Lee Ray v Carmel Jacob v Sara Marie Taylor
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 23: Ring Wars Carolina (Lumberton, NC) – Mia Svensson v Devyn Nicole
November 24: Alternative Wrestling World (Wolverhampton, England) – Leah Von Dutch v Nikki Storm
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
December 13: SHINE 15 (Ybor City, FL)
December 14: Pro Wrestling Syndicate Bombshells (Avenel, NJ)
December 14: Dropkick Depression (Huntington Park, CA) – Kitana Vera & Terra Calaway v Rhia O’Reilly & Mariah Moreno
February 8: Women Superstars Uncensored (Voorhees, NJ)
April 5: SHIMMER Women Athletes (New Orleans, LA)
– Lee Burton
– Photos by Dan Murphy, SHIMMER, Jenny Sjodin, Kristine Roper, TNA
– 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