Both Shanna and Alpha Female made their first appearances in a TNA ring during the recent UK tour, though they handled the publicity for it in different ways.
Portugal’s Perfect Athlete got the word out early that she would be booked on the February 1 show in London, England, as well as the following date in Birmingham. She wrestled singles matches for the Xplosion tapings – the first against Alpha and the next saw her take on Gail Kim. I was at the Birmingham taping, and while I won’t spoil the result, Shanna looked perfectly comfortable in that ring in what was a big opportunity for her to impress. She wasn’t just cannon fodder for the full-time Knockout either – she got in her fair share and even got to nail the Perfect Press.
Since announcing that she would be wrestling for TNA, Shanna has encouraged her fans to get the attention of the company to demonstrate her fanbase and how much she wants to be part of the promotion. She has retweeted many of the messages sent to TNA, and is showing her enthusiasm and overwhelming desire to sign a contract, while also increasing her brand and marketability. No doubt, she has a lot of people backing her, which is very encouraging.
Meanwhile, Alpha kept very quiet about her bookings, which saw her signed up for all four shows in the UK. Her first match was an Xplosion taping against ODB, but – without spoiling what she does – makes appearances on the Impact Wrestling tapings too. She also competed in a six Knockout elimination match at the One Night Only taping in Birmingham, being given the full superstar treatment along the way. Like Shanna, she has retweeted messages of encouragement but hasn’t gone as far as urging them to contact TNA to offer her a contract.
Had this been WWE instead of TNA that we were discussing, you would confidently say that Shanna’s approach would be counter-productive. When potential signees make a big noise about wanting to get a deal, it tends to blow up in their face – that’s why wrestlers keep a very low profile as they finish up their indie dates before moving to Florida. Shanna’s public petitioning would not go over well with WWE – however, we’re talking about TNA, and the company could be intrigued by someone who is so eager to be part of the product. Someone with that passion and determination would surely go all-out to make sure that they deliver the best performances possible, right?
An argument would be that Alpha’s higher-profile on the shows would be an indicator that TNA may be more interested in her. She is certainly a physical presence, and is put into a big Knockouts storyline right away. However on the flip side, that storyline is pretty much tied off by the end of the Impact Wrestling tapings and it may be that she was only a short term deal. If you couple that with the fact that the gigantic German still has commitments in Japan and there is already a monster Knockout in Lei’D Tapa – who also has the benefit of not requiring a working visa to arrange – you could contend that Alpha has had her time in TNA for now. In that sense, Shanna’s fewer, lower-profile matches may be a sign that they are dipping their toe in the water with her to see if she is someone they could utilise on a long-term basis.
Another factor is that Shanna will be making multiple trips to the United States in 2014 – starting with this weekend, which we will get to later on – and revealed to us last month that she will be part of SHINE’s March show. Considering TNA tends to record shows in bulk – and doesn’t need to do anymore tapings until March – it could be that her trips could coincide with the Impact Wrestling recording dates. Of course, this is all pie-in-the-sky thinking with no solid proof behind it, but considering her travel plans and her desire to work for TNA, Shanna is making herself very available, which is an attractive prospect for the company.
Regardless, both have received very positive reactions for their work and should benefit from a swelling in their respective fan bases over the last week – and those fan bases could swell further after this weekend…
Both Shanna and Alpha wrestle Jessicka Havok on Friday and Saturday respectively for Women Superstars Uncensored. Shanna’s match at WSU’s third Secret Show will be for Havok’s WSU World Title – a match which was moved forward a day to allow for Alpha’s debut. The Portuguese grappler was granted the shot after winning the International J-Cup at the last Secret Show in October, and at first glance could be perceived as someone for Havok to roll over. However, because she has multiple returns to the States planned, Shanna could conceivably come back to WSU for potential defences. You could also imagine that a title change at the Secret Show could be potentially financially lucrative for the promotion, as it can promote the fact that the only way you can see the match with by getting a subscription to its VOD service.
Win, lose or draw, Havok will take on Alpha Female the following day at the Mutiny iPPV in what will be the German’s US debut, though isn’t set to be a title defence, should Havok still hold the belt. Considering the buzz which has been generated, WSU may have made the correct decision in making this the marquee match, even though it may potentially overshadow a title change, as Shanna is booked alongside Chris Dickinson to face Candice LeRae & Joey Ryan in a Queen and King of the Ring qualifying match – an interesting contest, though possibly not the highest profile reveal of the new titleholder on iPPV.
It’s certainly set to be a titanic clash between Havok and Alpha, and could likely work to both women’s advantage. Havok’s matches tend to be against either brawling opponents like Saraya Knight or women of a similar height or size like Madison Eagles. Considering Alpha is both of those things, it may work in their favour and make for an entertaining contest.
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Natalya got two wins on TV last week, beating Tamina Snuka and Summer Rae on Main Event and Superstars respectively. Naomi also got some shots in on AJ Lee after the Divas Champion tried to attack Natalya after win over Tamina… Total Divas will return to E! on March 16 at 9pm and will run for 10 weeks… TMZ got photos of the Bella Twins jogging on a Los Angeles beach while wearing bikinis. You can bet that it was pre-arranged… Devin Taylor was interviewed by WWE.com, where she said “My goal here is to take WWE by storm. I want to interview and wrestle on Raw, SmackDown, pay-per-views, and of course, one day, WrestleMania”… Paige v Emma for the former’s Women’s Championship will take place on the first NXT live episode on February 27… Looks like Emma’s first feud in WWE will be with Summer Rae. Fandango’s dance partner took Emma’s sign from her on last week’s SmackDown – but undeterred, Emma just held up another one. She was invited into the ring by Santino Marella on last night’s Raw for a dance-off against Summer and won it. The dancing didn’t get over well but it took a while for the NXT fans to take to it… Brandi Rhodes – who went by Eden Stiles during her first WWE developmental run – is now going by simply Eden… Looks like recent signee Sarah Backman has had some cosmetic surgery… Jillian Hall was backstage at a house show in Orlando, FL over the weekend, tweeting “never say never” when asked on social media if she was returning. Funny – it was only last month when she said she would be retiring unless she was booked in matches against Mickie James or Melina… Stephanie McMahon reportedly bumped into Stacy Keibler in New York last week and chatted with her about a possible return. News also emerged of Stephanie talking about trying to lock in a big name for the Hall Of Fame, and now some are linking that to Keibler. Not sure how huge of a name she is… Naomi suffered either a bruised orbital bone or eye socket as well as a scratched cornea during her match on Raw last night, courtesy of a kneedrop by Aksana. She didn’t suffer a concussion though… Lana made her first appearance on Raw last night too in a promo alongside Alexander Rusev.
Gail Kim was interviewed by Peter Rosenberg. She said that she is a better “fit” for TNA than WWE when you look at the way the women are treated and the time given for matches. She also said that she was meant to be the first opponent for Kharma in 2011, but wasn’t keen as she knew she would be squashed and it would have ruined their history in TNA… Velvet Sky broke up with Chris Sabin (on screen) at the Impact Wrestling show in Glasgow, Scotland on Thursday… TNA has announced a One Night Only PPV in Japan in conjunction with WRESTLE-1. Gail Kim and Madison Rayne will make the trip.
Angelus Layne is demanding that Darin Corbin publicly apologise for what she claims was sexual harassment ahead of their match at St Louis Anarchy on February 28. She says if she doesn’t, she’s going to end his wrestling career… Reby Sky and husband Matt Hardy were arrested in the early hours of New Year’s Day, according to TMZ. The website later claimed that the alleged fight took place because Sky questioned Hardy’s sobriety. In her first mention of the incident since it went public, she said “Friendly reminder that I ain’t gotta explain sh*t to anybody” before shilling 8×10 photos. Indeed – she does not have to explain herself… Courtney Rush was beaten in her return following the fractured clavicle she suffered last September, losing to Jasmin via DQ – Rush reports that she felt no pain from the healed bone. However, Jasmin didn’t leave with her Great Canadian Wrestling Women’s Title – she was beaten by Skylar Rose straight afterwards, as Jasmin had been incapacitated by a Rush piledriver onto the belt… Barbi Hayden’s dark match against Santana Garrett at Women Superstars Uncensored Mutiny this Saturday will now be for Hayden’s newly-won NWA World Women’s Championship. However, in doing so WSU has pretty much telegraphed who will win. You can hear Barbi talk about her title victory over Kacee Carlisle by clicking here… SHIMMER has intimated that there will be some new faces for SHIMMER 62 in New Orleans, LA in April. It later posted a video featuring Candice LeRae… Made In Sin (Allysin Kay & Taylor Made) and the SNS Express (Sassy Stephie & Jessie Belle Smothers) have been announced for SHINE’s Tag Team Championship tournament at SHINE 17 on February 28… Women’s Extreme Wrestling is planning a PPV for next month… Heidi Lovelace’s execution of the CHIKARA Special on Joe Pittman at National Pro Wrestling Day on Saturday triggered a run in on a slew of rudos, only to be thwarted by CHIKARA faithful – which led to the return of CHIKARA… Nicole Matthews retained her Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling Women’s Title on Saturday, defeating Kc Spinelli… Mia Svensson and D’Arcy Dixon face off at Ring Wars Carolina on Saturday in a Strap Match… The first name announced for Valkyrie Women’s Wrestling’s International Joshi Grand Prix on May 24 is Kimber Lee… Vanessa Kraven v Xandra Bale v Mickie James has been announced for Smash Wrestling on February 23.
The Bellatrix British Championship will be on the line at Bellatrix 8 on March 2. Champion Erin Angel will defend against Violet O’Hara. Destiny, Sakura Lily, Miss Highlight, Kraz, Phobia and Amy Lee Kramer have been added to the 30-woman Rumble match too. We also know who will enter first and last, as results from at battle royal Sunday’s World Association of Wrestling show mean Destiny will be number one, while Kramer will be number 30… Kay Lee Ray, Carmel Jacob and Erin Angel meet in a 3-way for Insane Championship Wrestling’s show in London, England in May… A second match has been announced for LCW Roses’ second show on March 1. Leah Owens will face Wales’ Nixon… Sammii Jayne and Debbie Sharpe challenge Viper for the Scottish Wrestling Entertainment Future Division title on February 22 in a rematch from Ladder Match last October – which was won by Sammii. You can see Jayne and Sharpe’s latest match here… Aurora Flame’s next Nordic Women’s Wrestling Alliance title defence will be on February 22 at a Wrestling Legends show in Walsrode, Germany. She will put the belt up against Amber Rox & Sara Elektra in a 3-way.
Australia & New Zealand
Britenay became the Interim Impact Pro Wrestling Women’s Champion, beating Olivia Shaw on Saturday. IPW decided to crown a placement champion while titleholder Evie is in Japan.
January 28: CMLL (Guadalajara, Mexico) – Amapola, Dalys & Zeuxis b Dark Angel, Goya Kong & Silueta
January 29: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Hikaru Shida & Yuka b Cherry & Kurumi; Tetsuya Nakazato b Bete Noire; Tsukasa Fujimoto, Mio Shirai & Miyako Matsumoto b Shuu Shibutani, Meari Naito & Risa Sera
January 29: TNA (Dublin, Ireland) – Madison Rayne & ODB b Gail Kim & Lei’d Tapa
January 29: WWE Main Event (Toledo, OH) – Natalya b Tamina Snuka
January 29: WWE NXT (Winter Park, FL) – Bayley b Sasha Banks
January 29: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Jessie Belle b Ray Lyn
January 30: Wrestling New Classic (Tokyo, Japan) – Makoto & Bambi b Takuya Kito & Mio Shirai; Syuri b Lin Byron, La Comandante & Yuki Shizuku in a 4-way
January 30: WWE Superstars (Cleveland, OH) – Natalya b Summer Rae
January 30: TNA Impact Wrestling (Glasgow, Scotland) – Madison Rayne & Velvet Sky b Gail Kim & Lei’D Tapa
January 30: CMLL (Toluca, Mexico) – Dark Cuervo & Mary Apache b Drago & Faby Apache
January 31: WRESTLE-1 (Tokyo, Japan) – Hiroyo Matsumoto b Kellie Skater
January 31: Premier British Wrestling (Maybole, Scotland) – Kay Lee Ray b Kasey Owens
January 31: Pro Wrestling Guerilla (Reseda, CA) – Adam Cole & Kevin Steen b Candice LaRae & Joey Ryan
January 31: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Dalys, Princesa Blanca & Princesa Sugheit b Dark Angel, Estrellita & Marcela
February 1: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Hamuko Hoshi & 235 b Mio Shirai & Yuka; Maki Narumiya & Risa Sera b Cherry & Neko Nitta; Hikaru Shida b Kurumi; Tsukasa Fujimoto b Bete Noire
February 1: Impact Pro Wrestling (Lynfield, New Zealand) – Britenay b Olivia Shaw to win the IPW Interim Women’s Championship
February 1: Australian Wrestling Federation (Parramatta, Australia) – Selene & Shazza McKenzie b Mighty Mel & Rachel Rose
February 1: WrestleRock (Richmond, Australia) – KrackerJak b Mad Dog & Vixsin in a 3-way
February 1: New European Championship Wrestling (Hessdorf, Germany) – Jessy Jade b Melanie Gray
February 1: Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (Vancouver, BC, Canada) – Nicole Matthews b Kc Spinelli
February 1: Great Canadian Wrestling (Oshawa, ON, Canada) – Jasmin b Courtney Rush via DQ; Skylar Rose b Jasmin to win the GCW Women’s Championship
February 1: National Pro Wrestling Day (Eason, PA) – Heidi Lovelace v Joe Pittman went to a no contest
February 1: Vicious Outcast Wrestling (Connellsville, PA) – Samantha Star b Jessie Kaye to win the VOW Vixens Championship
February 1: Quintessential Pro Wrestling (Monrovia, CA) – Cheerleader Melissa b Joey Ryan; Candice LeRae & Christina Von Eerie b Peter Avalon & Ray Rosas
February 1: WWE (Orlando, FL) – Cameron & Naomi b Aksana & Alicia Fox
February 1: WWE (Wichita, KS) – Natalya b Tamina Snuka
February 1: Bruiser Wrestling Federation (Buckingham, VA) – Jennifer Blaze b Kacee Carlisle via DQ
February 2: JWP (Tokyo, Japan) – Manami Katsu b Yako Fujigasaki; Command Bolshoi b KAZUKI; Arisa Nakajima, Sachie Abe & Rabbit Miu b Kayoko Haruyama, Leon & Hanako Nakamori via count out
February 2: Pro Wrestling WAVE (Warabi, Japan) – Manami Katsu b Rina Yamashita; Cherry b Tsukushi & Yako Fujigasaki in a 3-way; Rabbit Miu b Fairy Nipponbashi; Mika Iida b Kaho Kobayashi; Risa Sera & Hikaru Shida b Sumire Natsu & Yumi Ohka
February 2: Sendai Girls (Sendai, Japan) – Evie b Sakura Hirota; Kagetsu & Ray b AKINO & Rydeen Hagane; Meiko Satomura b Tsubasa Kuragaki; DASH Chisako & Sendai Sachiko b Mio Shirai & Sareee
February 2: Stardom (Nagoya, Japan) – Yuhi & Yuna Manase b Hiroyo Matsumoto & Koguma; Yoshiko b Kellie Skater; Io Shirai & Takumi Iroha b Kyoko Kimura & Act Yasukawa; Nanae Takahashi & Kairi Hojo b Miho Wakizawa & Mayu Iwatani; Natsuki*Taiyo b Kaori Yoneyama
February 2: PROGRESS (Balham, England) – Lord Jonathan Windsor & Rhia O’Reilly b Ali Armstrong & Rosie Leigh
February 2: Pro Wrestling Ulster (Belfast, Northern Ireland) – Katey Harvey b Nikki Storm
February 2: WWE (Lakeland, FL) – Cameron & Naomi b Aksana & Alicia Fox
February 2: WWE (Kansas City, MO) – Natalya b Tamina Snuka
February 3: WWE Raw (Omaha, NE) – Naomi b Aksana
February 5: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Lovely Lylah v Jessie Belle
February 7: Absolute Intense Wrestling (Cleveland, OH) – Allysin Kay v Veda Scott
February 7: Women Superstars Uncensored (Voorhees, NJ) – Jessicka Havok v Shanna
February 8: Melbourne City Wrestling (Tullamarine, Australia) – Mike Burr, Jay Andrews & Miami v The Cremator, Tommy Hellfire & KC Cassidy
February 8: Revolution Championship Wrestling (Barcelona, Spain) – Kasey & Leah Owens v Carmel Jacob & Nikki Storm
February 8: Britannia Wrestling Promotions (Buckley, England) – Violet Vendetta v Lana Austin
February 8: Women Superstars Uncensored (Voorhees, NJ) – Jessicka Havok v Alpha Female; Sassy Stephie & Allysin Kay v Kimber Lee & Annie Social; Shanna & Chris Dickinson v Candice LeRae & Joey Ryan; Marti Belle v Ezavel Suena; LuFisto v Athena; Mickie Knuckles v Jewells Malone; Barbi Hayden v Santana Garrett; Jenny Rose v Veda Scott
February 8: Combat Zone Wrestling (Voorhees, NJ) – Christina Von Eerie v Candice LeRae
February 8: IWA Mid South (Clarksville, IN) – Heidi Lovelace v Jordynne Grace; Angelus Layne v Thunderkitty
February 8: Ring Wars Carolina (Fayetteville, NC) – Mia Svensson v D’Arcy Dixon
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 15: Texas Outlaw Promotion (Mineral Wells, TX) – PaigeTurner v Angel Blue
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: Wrestling Legends (Walsrode, Germany) – Amber Rox v Aurora Flame v Sara Elektra
February 22: International Pro Wrestling: United Kingdom (Swanley, England) – Sakura Lily v Nikki Storm
February 22: Scottish Wrestling Entertainment (Dundee, Scotland) – Viper v Sammii Jayne v Debbie Sharpe
February 22: Pure Wrestling Association (Kitchener, ON, Canada) – Beautiful Beaa v Skylar Rose
February 22: Pro Wrestling Syndicate (Rahway, NJ) – Angelina Love v Missy Sampson v La Rosa Negra v Mickie James
February 22: Pro Wrestling Revolution (San Francisco, CA) – Christina Von Eerie v Cheerleader Melissa
February 23: Smash Wrestling (Kitchener, ON, Canada) – Vanessa Kraven v Mickie James v Xandra Bale
February 25: Kana-Pro (Tokyo, Japan) – Kana v Meiko Satomura
February 27: WWE NXT (Winter Park, FL) – Paige v Emma
February 28: St Louis Anarchy (Alton, IL) – Angelus Layne v Darin Corbin
February 28: SHINE 17 (Ybor City, FL)
March 1: World Association of Wrestling (Norwich, England) – Courtney Rush v Saraya Knight
March 1: LCW Roses (Leicester, England) – Nikki Storm v Amazon Ayesha Ray; Leah Owens v Nixon
March 2: Bellatrix 8 (Norwich, England) – Sammi Baynz v Blue Nikita; Courtney Rush v Liberty; Saraya Knight v Penelope; Erin Angel v Violet O’Hara
March 7: Real Deal Wrestling (Grimsby, England) – Ellie Rollins v Leah Heart
March 7: Pro Wrestling Conflict (Columbus, GA) – Devyn Nicole v Black Ice v Amber O’Neal
March 8: Tidal Wrestling (Darlington, England) – Kay Lee Ray v Violet O’Hara
March 8: Pro Wrestling Syndicate Bombshells (Avenel, NJ) – Missy Sampson v Amber Rodriguez; Lufisto v La Rosa Negra; Hania v Sumie Sakai v Sienna Duvall v Alexxis Nevaeh v Angie Skye v Mistress Belmont; Serena Deeb v Mia Yim; Annie Social v Taeler Hendrix; Grandma Butcher v Jessie Kaye; Angel Dust v Vanity; Jennifer Cruz v Cristina Diamond
March 9: Joshi4Hope V (Tokyo, Japan) – Hiroyo Matsumoto v Yuhi
March 14: Ironfist Wrestling (Birminham, England) – Nixon v Danni Hunter
March 15: Warzone Wrestling (Berwick, Australia) – Savannah Summers v Miami
March 15: Pride Wrestling (Glasgow, Scotland) – Glen Dunbar & Nikki Storm v Viper & Chris Saynt
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
April 26: Hardcore Roadtrip (London, ON, Canada) – LuFisto & Jewells Malone v Leah Von Dutch & Jazz
May 4: Insane Championship Wrestling (London, England) – Kay Lee Ray v Carmel Jacob v Erin Angel
May 24: Valkyrie Women’s Wrestling (Brooklyn, NY)
– Lee Burton
– Photos by Ringbelles, Scarecrow Magic Designs, Tabercil, Britenay, WWE
– 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