So Kaitlyn has left WWE. I’m not going to lie here – it totally sucks. Considering she is just 27 years old, considering how she had a personality and physique which could make her stand out from the other Divas, and considering how eager she was to work, she’s a massive loss. The worst part is that her departure is totally understandable as WWE had failed her. Given different circumstances, she could still be a Diva, kicking bottom and being a valuable asset to the company. The reason that she’s not is WWE’s fault, not her’s.
According to the Wrestling Observer, Kaitlyn was keen to get stuck in and was looking for a new storyline. She was reportedly promised that certain opportunities would be forthcoming, but when they were not, she decided that enough was enough and she would hand in her notice. Here was someone who was eager to work, contribute and deliver the goods, and she got nothing. Instead of twiddling her thumbs and receiving a paycheck, she wanted to work. That has to be respected.
To highlight her work ethic, she posted a video telling fans that she is busy planning her wedding, working with a new fitness company and is also setting up her own firm to sell workout clothing for women, entitled Celestial Bodiez – derived from her real name of Celeste Bonin.
Kaitlyn did everything that she was ever asked to do. She worked hard, applied herself, waited patiently for opportunities, didn’t rock the boat and was a model employee. When she was given the chance, she made the most of it – firstly in her storyline where she accidentally became number one contender for the Divas Title when it should have gone to Eve Torres and then by being the best that she could be en route to winning the title a year ago today. However, little did she know it but that was her peaking moment, as her title reign was a damp squib where she was relegated to the sidelines and only given some real TV time to prime AJ Lee to take the belt from her and be humiliated in the process both as part of angles which made her look weak and by constantly losing to her rival in the ring. Seriously, Kaitlyn gained nothing from the feud.
After going off TV for huge portions of the second half of 2013, one could have surmised that she was in the doghouse for some reason. After all, virtually every other woman in the company was part of the Divas v Total Divas storyline, but she was not. In fact, you could argue that she may be the first victim of Total Divas – while WWE was focussing on that show, it seems like they forgot that Kaitlyn existed or didn’t want to do anything with her that might distract fans from its sideline TV show.
However, as one Diva leaves, another is waiting in the wings…
After spending a second straight weekend on the house show loop teaming with Natalya, NXT Diva Emma appeared in the crowd at last night’s Raw in Providence, RI. She was shown during AJ Lee and Tamina Snuka’s entrance ahead of their tag team match against the Funkadactyls holding an #EMMAtaining sign while wearing a similar t-shirt and doing her signature dance. She was also identified by commentator John Bradshaw Layfield, although thing quickly moved on and she wasn’t referenced again.
It’s another impressive leap in her career progression. The poor dancing gimmick could have been a career killer, but she has successfully turned it around to become an over babyface who – while goofy – is someone that the fans are happy to get behind. While it’s not on the same level, fans at the NXT tapings seem to enjoy joining in with the dance in the same way the audience at Raw and SmackDown enjoy thrusting their arms in the air and chanting “yes”.
It would not be right to call it a debut, but it’s certainly an introduction – albeit a soft one. However, this is not the first time that a woman has made her first appearance on a wrestling show by being in the audience.
For example, Chyna was first seen as a fan who reached over the guardrail to choke Marlena from behind during In Your House: Final Four in February 2007. Ken Shamrock’s kayfabe sister Ryan was sitting in the front row at Raw in January 1999 so Val Venis and Billy Gunn could flirt with her. In October 2007, Rain started appearing in the crowd at TNA Impact shows as the superfan of Robert Roode before starting a war with Roode’s valet Traci Brooks. Eventually, she replaced Brooks as Roode’s valet under the name of Payton Banks.
Instead of having a series of vignettes or a surprise run-in, she’s being gradually brought into the consciousness of casual viewers – as in ones who don’t watch NXT or go online to find out more about wrestling. It changes things up a bit, and hasn’t been done within WWE for a few years.
Expect to see Emma in the crowd over the next few weeks before we see her transfer to in-ring storylines. It looks like the infiltration of the talented NXT Diva roster is underway…
There has been a lot of confusion over the health status of Mae Young over the last week. In the December 31 Roundup, we covered that the 90 year old was receiving hospice care. Last Thursday, Mike Mooneyham from the Charleston Post-Courier reported that Young had been taken off life support, then later posted an article reporting that she had passed away. Later in the day, the article was removed from the website and Mooneyham tweeted that his source had made an error, and it was later revealed that Mae had not been on life support.
The Wrestling Observer offered an update that evening saying that according to one of Mae’s friends who grew up with her in Oklahoma, the WWE Hall Of Famer wasn’t strong enough to talk. When her friend said,”You know thousands of people are pulling for you,” and she weakly said, “I know.”
It’s very fitting for someone like Mae that instead of slipping away, she kicked out at two. What else would you expect from a woman who was happily powerbombed off the Raw stage through a table in her 70s and has wrestled in nine different decades?
If you fancy a bit of Mae Young nostalgia, seek out the Lipstick and Dynamite film which also features the Fabulous Moolah, Penny Banner and more. We reviewed it last week.
The Barber Shop Window t-shirt website was forced to apologise after advertising its latest design on Sunday. It was of a stripper on a pole with the phrase “support women’s wrestling”. When this writer pointed out its inappropriateness, BSW replied with “Get a sense of humor.” However, following more outrage from wrestlers including Kimber Lee, Cherry Bomb and Addy Starr, BSW pulled the shirt from sale a few hours ago.
The website’s Twitter account posted a number of tweets saying “We recently released a T-Shirt titled “Women’s Wrestling” which parodied a popular “Support Single Moms” T-Shirt. It has been brought to our attention that this shirt has offended many female and male wrestling fans found the shirt offensive. Obviously our attempt at humor was off the mark. We apologize to anyone who was offended by the shirt. The shirt has been removed from the site and will no longer be sold by Barber Shop Window. We once again apologize to anyone who found the shirt distasteful or offensive.”
While we are glad that the design has been removed from sale, it still stinks that they tried to defend such misogyny in the first place. It seems that this thought process is filtered down from the top, as even though founder Ken Tuccio has posted similar apologies today, last night during Raw he tweeted “Naomi’s lipstick makes me think she blew Goldust in the locker room…”
Stay classy, Barber Shop Window.
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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 I Am Not A Bad Person and WoMan Up shirts.
There are rumours swirling that Paige is currently injured in some way. The NXT Women’s Champion hasn’t wrestled since November 21’s TV tapings where she defeated Sasha Banks. She also didn’t compete on the most recent batch of tapings which took place last Thursday. Earlier today, she wrote on Instagram that she is “going back to work” and “feeling good”… Cameron was seen with rapper Ray J in Los Angeles at the weekend. It was part of filming for Total Divas… Maxim has been running a poll to see who should go on an upcoming cover of the magazine. AJ Lee is running away with it – around four out of every five votes are for her… If you see a lot of your favourite indie wrestlers being a lot more considered with their social media in the future, it’s because a WWE exec offered advice which included “not being dumb on Twitter”. Other advice was to get in shape, get a strong natural physique, learn less wrestling and more storytelling and utilize YouTube to cut promos without profanity.
As a result of winning Gail Kim’s Open Challenge, Madison Rayne will face Kim for the Knockouts Championship this Thursday… Word is that president Dixie Carter isn’t as approachable as she used to be.
The car door is no more! The absolutely gigantic NWA World Women’s Championship belt will be replaced at the NWA Houston show on January 25, and awarded to reigning titleholder Kacee Carlisle or Barbi Hayden, should she win the championship… SHINE ring announcer Chasity Taylor wrestled at the weekend. She teamed with James Anthony in a losing effort against Dynamite Diva & Cold Cash D… Allysin Kay will defend the Absolute Intense Wrestling Women’s Championship against Veda Scott for a second time on February 7. Their last encounter was at Girls Night Out 10, where Kay defeated Scott… Women Superstars Uncensored says the Midwest Militia team of Allysin Kay and Sassy Stephie will defend the Tag Team Championship at Mutiny on February 8 against Annie Social and Kimber Lee or will be stripped of the titles. The Militia haven’t defended the titles since Beyond Wrestling took over in June 2012, and their last defence was on April 28 of that year, when they beat Jana and Luscious Latasha. It has also been announced that LuFisto and Athena will return. LuFisto was last seen turning babyface as part of a double-turn with Mercedes Martinez at An Ultraviolent Affair last February, while Athena suffered a huge shoulder injury at the first Secret Show in August. In addition, Alpha Female will make her North American debut on the show… After much deliberation – and comments from Allysin Kay, Taylor Made, Rain and Lexie Fyfe – Ivelisse Velez has decided that she will accept the SHINE Championship match against Rain granted to her for SHINE 16 on January 24… Michelle McCool has surgery on her right wrist last week after enduring what she described as “years of wrist pain”. It looks like she’ll have the other one done in the future… Candice Michelle has also had the nose surgery she was meant to have before Christmas, but it was postponed because she had a cold… A new women’s promotion is coming to New York. Called Valkyrie Women’s Wrestling, it has announced that its first event will be on May 24 in Brooklyn with a show dubbed the International Joshi Grand Prix. Considering the name of the top stable in SHINE Wrestling, I’m not wholly sold on the originality of the title of this promotion… Speaking of SHINE, Allysin Kay will wrestle Jessicka Havok on SHINE 16 on January 24 in a no disqualification match, while Angelina Love will also take on Leah Von Dutch… Shanna revealed to us on the most recent Women Of Wrestling Podcast that she will be part of SHINE 17 next month, and that she will be spending a lot of the first half of 2014 wrestling in the US. Click here to listen to our first WOW Podcast of the year… IWA Mid South’s women’s division is picking up steam. Saturday’s show had two matches with Heidi Lovelace beating Angelus Layne, and Jordynne Grace picking up the upset win over Mickie Knuckles… Leah Von Dutch made it to the final of the Alpha-1 Chaos Cup on Sunday by meating Mike Rollins, but was beaten in the final by Scotty O’Shea. The eventual winner was Justin Sane… Nicole Matthews teams up with fellow Riot member Andy “The Dreadful” Bird to go for the Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling Tag Team Titles in a 3-way match on Saturday… Angelina Love faces Jasmin at Squared Circle Wrestling next month with Taylor Wilde serving as the guest referee… In a Q and A on Trish Stratus’ website, Amy “Lita” Dumas says her proudest moment in her career is encouraging girls to be themselves… Heidi Lovelace has picked up an injury which will cause her to miss a New Era Wrestling booking against Thunderkitty this weekend… Virtually every front and second row ticket has been sold for both days of SHIMMER’s volume 63-66 DVD tapings in April. Impressive, considering not a single wrestler or match has been announced yet. Click here to watch Athena v Jessie McKay v Mia Yim from volume 42.
Alpha Female was victorious in the 4-way Monster-gun civil war which took place at Stardom’s show yesterday – it was also the 10th anniversary show for Natsuki*Taiyo… Bete Noire made her Japanese debut at Ice Ribbon’s Saturday show, defeating Kurumi… AKINO retained her OZ Academy Openweight Championship on Sunday, beating Sonoko Kato.
Leah Heart has revealed that she has been given the all-clear. She injured her knee last August in a match with Ellie Rollins at Real Deal Wrestling’s Steel Cage Showdown show. The two will wrestle on March 7 as part of RDW’s tournament to crown its first Women’s Champion.
Australia & New Zealand
Mercedes Martinez has been added to the New Horizons Pro Wrestling Global Conflict weekend in May. She joins IndyGurlz Champion Saraya Knight, Madison Eagles, Kellie Skater and Evie… On the subject of Evie, she retained the Impact Pro Wrestling Women’s Championship on Saturday, beating Carmen Rose. Britenay made the save to stop a post-match beatdown… Harley Wonderland teams with Concrete Davidson (Harley Davidson, get it?) to take on Madison Eagles and Micke Moretti at Newcastle Pro Wrestling’s show this Saturday… Speaking of Eagles, it’s husband v wife at the next PWA show, where Madison takes on spouse Ryan Eagles.
January 8: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Lei’D Tapa b Ray Lyn & Jessie Belle in a 3-way
January 8: WWE NXT (Winter Park, FL) – Bayley b Summer Rae
January 8: WWE Main Event (Philadelphia, PA) – AJ Lee b Kaitlyn
January 10: NWA Southern All-Star Wrestling (Millersvlle, TN) – Miss Rachel b Jessie Belle
January 10: TNA (Bristol, TN) – Gail Kim b Madison Rayne
January 10: Championship Wrestling From Hollywood (Bell Gardens, CA) – NY Knockout Nikki v Shelly Martinez went to a no-contest
January 10: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Dark Angel, Estrellita & Goya Kong b Amapola, Dalys & La Seductora
January 11: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Hikaru Shida b Yuka; Maki Narumiya & Risa Sera b Hamuko Hoshi & 235; Bete Noire b Kurumi; Shuu Shibutani & Tsukushi b Tsukasa Fujimoto & Miyako Matsumoto
January 11: Wrestling New Classic (Tokyo, Japan) – Tomoka Nakagawa & Ray b Makoto & Kaho Kobayashi
January 11: Impact Pro Wrestling (Auckland, New Zealand) – Evie b Carmen Rose
January 11: Fight Club Finland (Helsinki, Finland) – Jessica Love b Stark Adder
January 11: Evolve 26 (Ybor City, FL) – Mia Yim b Su Yung
January 11: WWE (Glens Falls, NY) – Emma & Natalya b AJ Lee & Tamina Snuka
January 11: High Volume Pro Wrestling (Kinston, NC) – Cold Cash D & Dynamite Diva b Chasity Taylor & James Anthony via DQ
January 11: IWA Mid-South (Clarksville, IN) – Heidi Lovelace b Angelus Layne; Jordynne Grace b Mickie Knuckles
January 11: Conflict Wrestling (Kitchener, ON, Canada) – Jewells Malone b Jasmin; Jennifer Blake & Primo Scordino b Leah Von Dutch & Hornet
January 12: Ice Ribbon (Shinshu, Japan) – Neko Nitta b Koyuki Hayashi; Tsukushi b Yuka; Maki Narumiya & Risa Sera b Kurumi & Kaho Kobayashi; Hikaru Shida & Tsukasa Fujimoto b Hamuko Hoshi & Bete Noire
January 12: Ice Ribbon (Shinshu, Japan) – Tsukushi b 235; Maki Narumiya b Yuka; Neko Nitta & Meari Naito b Risa Sera & Kaho Kobayashi; Hamuko Hoshi, Kurumi & Bete Noire b Hikaru Shida, Tsukasa Fujimoto & Miyako Matsumoto
January 12: OZ Academy (Tokyo, Japan) – Tsubasa Kuragaki & Hiroyo Matsumoto b Kagetsu & Sareee; Yumi Ohka b Chikayo Nagashima; Manami Toyota & Carlos Amano b Mima Shimoda & Tomoka Nakagawa; Aja Kong & Dynamite Kansai b Mayumi Ozaki & Mio Shirai; AKINO b Sonoko Kato
January 12: JWP (Tokyo, Japan) – Command Bolshoi b Yako Fujigasaki; Kayoko Haruyama b Rabbit Miu & Leon in a 3-way; Arisa Nakajima, Hanako Nakamori & Manami Katsu b Sachie Abe, KAZUKI & Raideen Hagane
January 12: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Kairi Hojo b Yuna Manase; Miho Wakizawa & Takumi Iroha b Kaori Yoneyama & Koguma; Io Shirai b Kellie Skater; Alpha Female b The Female Predator “Amazon”, Kyoko Kimura, Act Yasukawa; Natsuki?Taiyo & Nanae Takahashi b Yoshiko & Mayu Iwatani
January 12: WRESTLE-1 (Tokyo, Japan) – Shuu Shibutani b Ryo Mizunami
January 12: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Lei’D Tapa b Ray Lyn
January 12: Aztec Pro Wrestling (Santa Ana, CA) – Cheerleader Melissa b Terra Calaway
January 12: Alpha-1 Wrestling (Hamilton, ON, Canada) – Leah Von Dutch b Mike Rollins; Justin Sane b Scotty O’Shea, Brent Banks, Louis Lyndon & Leah Von Dutch in a 5-way
January 12: WWE (Montreal, QC, Canada) – Nikki & Brie Bella b Aksana & Alicia Fox
January 12: WWE (White Plains, NY) – Emma & Natalya b AJ Lee & Tamina Snuka
January 13: WWE Raw (Providence, RI) – AJ Lee & Tamina Snuka b Cameron & Naomi
January 14: Alpha-1 Wrestling (Hamilton, ON, Canada) – Leah Von Dutch v Psycho Mike Rollins
January 15: Wrestling Cares Association (Gardena, CA) – Katarina Leigh v Cheerleader Melissa
January 16: TNA Impact Wrestling (Huntsville, AL) – Gail Kim v Madison Rayne
January 17: Maniacs United (New Lynn, New Zealand) – JPE v Brock Slade
January 17: AAA (Naucalpan, Mexico) – Faby Apache, Jennifer Blake & La Jarochita vs La Magnifica, Mary Apache & Sexy Star
January 17: RESISTANCE (Merrionette Park, IL) – D’Arcy Dixon v Thunderkitty; Mickie Knuckles v Crazy Mary Dobson
January 18: Tasmanian Championship Wrestling (Launceston, Tasmania) – Michelle K Hasluck v Shadow Shinobi
January 18: Newcastle Pro Wrestling (Charlestown, Australia) – Harley Wonderland & Concrete Davidson v Madison Eagles & Mick Moretti
January 18: Riot City Wrestling (North Adelaide, Australia) – Demi Bennett v Blair Alexis
January 18: Pure Wrestling Association (Kitchener, ON, Canada) – Jasmin v Beautiful Beaa
January 18: Xtreme Impact Championship Wrestling (Detroit, MI) – Taeler Hendrix v Jordynne Grace
January 18: Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (Vancouver, BC, Canada) – Gurv Sihra & Harv Sihra v Ethan HD & Mike Santiago v Nicole Matthews & Andy “The Dreadful” Bird
January 18: Wrestling Is Fun (Easton, PA) – Portia Perez v Princess Kimberlee
January 19: Wrestling Is Respect (Boonton, NJ) – Portia Perez v Veda Scott
January 24: SHINE 16 (Ybor City, FL) – Rain v Ivelisse Velez; Angelina Love v Leah Von Dutch; Allysin Kay v Jessicka Havok
January 25: Explosive Pro Wrestling (Bassendean, Australia) – Marcius Pitt & Siren Monroe v Jay Taylor & Michelle K Hasluck
January 25: REINA Joshi + Jam Manila (Pasig City, Philippines) – Syuri v Mia Yim; Leon & Ray v Lady Lory & Aliya
January 25: Pro Wrestling Alliance (Casula, Australia) – Kellyanne English v Jessie McKay; Madison Eagles v Ryan Eagles
January 25: LCW Roses (Leicester, England) – Rhia O’Reilly v Addy Starr; Viper & Jenna v Nadia Sapphire & Violet Vendetta; Carmel Jacob v Shauna Shay; Nikki Storm v Erin Angel v Kay Lee Ray; Pollyanna Peppers v Felony
January 25: RAD:PRO Wrestling (South Shields, England) – Rubix Roach & Kirsty Love v Felis Atrox & Freya Frenzy
January 25: Mega Hybrid Wrestling (Eleanor, WV) – Crazy Mary Dobson v Mary Elizabeth Monroe
January 25: GOUGE Wrestling (Fuquay-Varina, NC) – Mia Svensson v Jennifer Blaze
January 25: NWA Houston (Cypress, TX) – Kacee Carlisle v Barbi Hayden
January 25: Alternative Wrestling Show (South Gate, CA) – Candice LeRae, Hania & Cole Pistol v Hudson Envy Nicole Savoy & Raze
January 25: Pinfall Wrestling Association (Springfield, IL) – Allie Kat & Miss Dark Shadow v Lady Vendetta & Lucy Mendez
January 26: Smash Wrestling (Toronto, ON, Canada) – Seleziya Sparx v Veda Scott
February 1: Ring Wars Carolina (Rowland, NC) – Mia Svensson v Devyn Nicole
February 7: Absolute Intense Wrestling (Cleveland, OH) – Allysin Kay v Veda Scott
February 8: Melbourne City Wrestling (Tullamarine, Australia) – Mike Burr, Jay Andrews & Miami v The Cremator, Tommy Hellfire & KC Cassidy
February 8: Britannia Wrestling Promotions (Buckley, England) – Violet Vendetta v Lana Austin
February 8: Women Superstars Uncensored (Voorhees, NJ) – Jessicka Havok v Shanna; Sassy Stephie & Allysin Kay v Kimber Lee & Annie Social
February 9: Xtreme Bombshells Wrestling (Richmond, MI) – Leah Von Dutch v Courtney Rush
February 15: Alternative Wrestling Show (South Gate, CA) – Taeler Hendrix v Hudson Envy; Candice LeRae v Sage Sin
February 16: Beyond Wrestling (Providence, RI) – Kimber Lee v Drew Gulak
February 16: Squared Circle Wrestling (Whitby, ON, Canada) – Angelina Love v Jasmin
February 22: United Pro Wrestling (Brisbane, Australia) – Miami v Storm
February 22: International Pro Wrestling: United Kingdom (Swanley, England) – Sakura Lily v Nikki Storm
February 22: Pro Wrestling Syndicate (Rahway, NJ) – Angelina Love v Missy Sampson v La Rosa Negra v Mickie James
February 25: Kana-Pro (Tokyo, Japan) – Kana v Meiko Satomura
March 2: Bellatrix 8 (Norwich, England) – Sammi Baynz v Blue Nikita; Courtney Rush v Liberty
March 7: Real Deal Wrestling (Grimsby, England) – Ellie Rollins v Leah Heart
March 8: Tidal Wrestling (Darlington, England) – Kay Lee Ray v Violet O’Hara
March 9: Joshi4Hope V (Tokyo, Japan) – Hiroyo Matsumoto v Yuhi
March 15: Warzone Wrestling (Berwick, Australia) – Savannah Summers v Miami
March 22: Alternative Wrestling Show (South Gate, CA) – LuFisto v Candice LeRae
March 29: Absolute Intense Wrestling Girls Night Out 11 & 12 (Cleveland, OH)
March 30: Ice Ribbon (Tokyo, Japan) – Hikaru Shida v Tsukasa Fujimoto
April 5: SHIMMER Women Athletes (New Orleans, LA)
April 12-13: SHIMMER Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)
April 19: NCW Femmes Fatales XIV (Montreal, QC, Canada) – Cheerleader Melissa v Courtney Rush
April 26: Remix Pro Wrestling (Marietta, OH) – Sassy Stephie v Athena v Cheerleader Melissa
May 24: Valkyrie Women’s Wrestling (Brooklyn, NY)
– Lee Burton
– Photos by WWE, From The Heart Photography, Youji Kawauchi, Tabercil, Cory Lockwood Photography
– 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, WrestlingData