If the plan is still for AJ Lee to defend the Divas Championship against Naomi at WrestleMania XXX, then WWE is certainly going round the houses to do it – that’s if they’re even planning to do it.
Before her injury to her eye socket occurred, it was reported that the plan was for Naomi to be the one to end AJ’s mammoth title reign (which is now the longest run in WWE history be it for singular or combined reigns) though it was said that the plan would still be on for WrestleMania on April 6 if the Funkadactyl could be cleared in time. It was partly because of that possibility that AJ had a title defence against Cameron at Elimination Chamber and again on the subsequent SmackDown. However things have gone in another direction in the last week as there now seems to be a queue of pretenders to the throne.
Natalya made AJ tap out in a tag match on SmackDown on Friday and is to get a Divas Title shot on tonight’s live edition of Main Event. Meanwhile on last night Raw, Nikki Bella got the pin on the titleholder as part of another tag team match, after which she held up the Divas belt while Natalya – who was on commentary – looked on. It seems as if there is a bottleneck of challengers, though it’s also up in the air as to who the champion may be by the time we get to WrestleMania.
PWInsider says the reason why AJ was pinned on last night’s show was as some sort of punishment for her boyfriend CM Punk not returning to WWE the previous week in Chicago, and that she may be further chided for her other half’s actions by swapping the Divas Championship to Natalya tonight. The website also claims that the new plan for WrestleMania could be Natalya defending the title against Nikki Bella and Naomi, with no AJ in sight. That’s a possibility, considering the staredown after the tag match yesterday, which also featured a distinct lack of AJ.
I would say the smiting of their top Diva as if she is a pawn in a bigger game is something that WWE may have done in the past but it seems to have evolved past that to pay more attention to the long term booking rather than engaging in pettiness. Stranger things have happened but to flip-flop the title on such short notice with such little backstory may be a disservice for the losing AJ, the winning Natalya and the title itself.
I’ve thrown out the whole playbook for the Divas division for the run up to WrestleMania and am stopping trying to foresee what WWE is booking. Instead of predictions, let’s just see what happens.
Maria Kanellis was not a happy camper a year ago. After being close to a return to WWE and seeing it fall through, she laid the blame squarely at the feet of the Bella Twins, accusing them of sabotaging her attempts to come back and presumably be part of the original Total Divas cast.
Things changed in the middle of February when she publicly tweeted Nikki and Brie to apologise for her words over the last year or so, wishing them well and hoping they could all move on from a Cold War of unpleasantness. She now seems to have gone a few steps further to enjoy inner peace, and talked to Between The Ropes’ Steven Muehlhausen about it.
Here’s the thing. I was asked to go back last year (to WWE). It fell through and that is all I know. I mean I had heard lots of other things. I had heard other things from different people. But at the end of the day, the fact is I didn’t go back. So no matter what happened and who knows, I mean I don’t know nobody knows what really happened. But I didn’t go back and I’m very happy to be at Ring of Honor. So, I apologised to the Bellas for everything that happened and that was it. I talked to them (the Bellas) and decided you know what, water under the bridge and that’s it. I guess I could be angry forever, but I’m not going to be (laughing). Because there’s no reason for it. I don’t want to be angry or upset because I don’t know.
It totally was (a blessing in disguise). I realised that within a month of it happening, I realised how much of a blessing it was. I don’t know if I want to be on the road 300 days a year. I don’t know if I want that anymore. I really enjoy my time at home and I enjoy going to school and I enjoy seeing my fiancé at work. I don’t know if I want that life anymore. So maybe some part of the universe decided you know what, you don’t really want that life anymore. I loved WrestleMania, loved travelling the globe and it was great, fun and exciting, but I’ve done it. So for me, this is exactly where I should be now. I have no hard feelings whatsoever with anybody. I just want all women in wrestling to succeed now. I’m getting married later this year and Big Daddy V passed away and that was so tragically sad. I just have no desire to angry, no desire whatsoever.
I’m glad that Maria is now in a better place. Without the bitterness and anger, she appears to be much more settled and looking forwards rather than back – and that’s a healthy outlook to have. Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees and it appears that taking a look at the big picture has helped to put her priorities in order and only allow happiness to affect her rather than negativity. More power to her.
It’s nice to see hard work pay dividends, and that is what happened in Malmo, Sweden on Saturday when Svensk Wrestling Syd collaborated with the Nordic Women’s Wrestling Alliance to present the Queen of the Ring show – a tournament to determine a number one contender for Aurora Flame’s NWWA Championship. While the tournament format may have not been the most straightforward of ones and the eventual winner was unable to challenge for the belt, it has created a new prospect for the future and also received mainstream media coverage in the local newspaper.
Before the show even took place, titleholder Flame and tournament participants Jessica Love, Lady Lory & Sara Elektra released video promos hyping the event. Elektra’s was the most bizarre and entertaining promo I’ve seen in quite a while as she threatens the other “poontang holders” in the tournament, promises to “shag and brag” her way to victory and told the opposition to “prepare your anuses”. Seriously, it was weird and brilliant in equal measures. However, regardless of the content, it worked as to drawing eyes to the product and produced what was reported to be a hugely enthusiastic crowd.
Despite her promise to come “multiple times, baby”, Elektra was beaten in the opening round by White Tigress’ crossface. Lady Lory beat La Viuda Negra with a Death Valley Driver in the next match while Miss Mina forced Jessica Love to tap out to a Japanese armbar at the same time that Love was pinning Mina – as a result, both advanced to what would have been a 3-way match, which became a 4-way elimination.
White Tigress was the first to go thanks to a Lory schoolboy, with Love then pinning Lory with a double arm DDT, but then tapping out again to Mina’s Japanese armbar for the Nordic Valkyrie to get the win. Unfortunately, Mina injured her ankle in the match was couldn’t wrestle the following match against Aurora for the title, so as the final eliminated participant, Jessica got the shot – but Love’s injured arm fell victim to the champion’s cross armbreaker.
After the match, Mina issued a challenge to Aurora for a hardcore match for the belt in her home country of Norway on March 29, which was accepted – and will be the first women’s hardcore match in the history of the country.
While unconventional, fans reportedly left happy and are now looking ahead to the next title match at the end of this month. A job well done, I’d say.
Elsewhere on the site this week, we have had a new My Name Is interview with New Zealand’s Scarlett, a Retro featuring new faces Cheerleader Melissa & Sara Del Rey (wrestling as Nikki), and a match from the end of last year between new Canadian names Jasmin & Skyler Rose.
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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Nikki Bella defeated Alicia Fox on the live episode of Main Event last Tuesday… Charlotte’s push got underway on NXT last week when she beat Emma.
Velvet Sky, Madison Rayne & ODB beat Lei’D Tapa, Alpha Female & Gail Kim on last week’s Impact Wrestling. Sky pinned Alpha with the In Yo Face, which puts an end to her storyline in TNA for now… Madison Rayne beat Gail Kim in the cage at Lockdown on Sunday to retain the Knockouts Championship. She won with a spear off the top rope.
Smash Wrestling’s CANUSA Classic returns later this year, and the build-up is already underway. A four way match between Courtney Rush, LuFisto, Vanessa Kraven & Seleziya Sparx will take place on March 30 to determine who will be the team captain. LuFisto led the team last year… Rain was released from hospital on Thursday, 20 days after her car accident… Three more matches have been announced for Absolute Intense Wrestling’s Girls Night Out 11 & 12 shows on March 29. Kay Lee Ray will make her US debut against Mickie Knuckles, Sassy Stephie faces newcomer Kaela and Angelus Layne wrestles Jasmin… SHIMMER will announce its main event for Volume 62 in New Orleans, LA on April 5 at some point this week… Barbi Hayden successfully defended the NWA World Women’s Championship on Saturday, beating Kat Green on an NWA Branded Outlaw Wrestling show… Melanie Cruise was kicked out of Supreme Wrestling Entertainment after losing a match to Stacy Shadows on Sunday following interference from Dehok… SHINE 18 will take place on April 18… Kacee Carlisle will wrestle Mickie Knuckles at Valkyrie Women’s Wrestling on May 24… Jessie Belle justified her heel turn to win the Ohio Valley Wrestling Women’s Championship on last week’s show by saying that nobody would have expected her to outsmart Lei’D Tapa by hiring Randy Royal as a hired gun. The thing is that considering Tapa’s status in OVW must be a question mark because of the breaking of ties with TNA and Lylah Lodge being in Japan, Jessie only has Ray Lyn as a challenger… La Rosa Negra turned babyface at Pro Wrestling Syndicate’s Bombshells 9 show on Saturday, saving Missy Sampson from a beatdown by Strength In Numbers – Amber Rodriguez, Jessie Kaye and new member Hania. Also on the card, Serena Deeb defeated Mia Yim in a match which was well received by the audience… Mademoiselle Rachelle revealed that the third member of her team to join Sassy Stephie & Jody D’Milo at NCW Femmes Fatales XIV on April 19 will be Anna Minoushka. On the opposing team will be the already-announced Pink Flash Kira & Mary Lee Rose, along with Vanessa Kraven… Former WWE Diva Stacy Keibler married Jared Pobre in a surprise ceremony on a Mexico beach on Saturday. She has reportedly been seeing him for seven months. Keibler, 34, had previously dated George Clooney for two years before they split in July 2013.
Kellie Skater & Tomoka Nakagawa retained the SHIMMER Tag Team Titles in the main event of Joshi 4 Hope V on Sunday, beating Madison Eagles & Evie… Syuri beat Kyoko Kimura on Sunday to retain her REINA World Championship… Jessica James has returned to Japan to wrestle for Diana. She wrestled in a 3-way on Sunday’s show as Lady Poison. Also on the card, Lylah Lodge made her Japanese debut in the opening contest… Hikaru Shida & Tsukasa Fujimoto racked up their 6th Ice Ribbon International Ribbon Tag Team Championship defence on Sunday, beating Mio Shirai and Miyako Matsumoto.
April Davids defends the Preston City Wrestling Cruiserweight Championship against Bubblegum on March 28… It’s on – Rhia O’Reilly and Addy Starr will face off again at LCW Roses on May 10. Starr won their first match at the debut Roses show via DQ… Viper, Bete Noire & Sammii Jayne face Courtney Stewart, Debbie Sharpe & Fiona Fraser in a Scottish Wrestling Alliance’s first ever women’s elimination match on April 5… Danni Hunter will put the Futureshock Women’s Championship on the line against Lana Austin on March 23.
Australia & New Zealand
Nikita Naridian has been added to New Horizons Pro Wrestling’s Global Conflict tournament in May, joining Kellie Skater, Madison Eagles, Evie, Mercedes Martinez, Saraya Knight & Demi Bennett.
March 3: CMLL (Puebla, Mexico) – Amapola, Dalys & Princesa Blanca b Estrellita, Lluvia & Marcela
March 4: WWE Main Event (Detroit, MI) – Nikki Bella b Alicia Fox
March 6: WWE NXT (Winter Park, FL) – Charlotte b Emma
March 6: TNA Impact Wrestling (London, England) – Velvet Sky, Madison Rayne & ODB b Alpha Female, Lei’D Tapa & Gail Kim
March 7: Pro Wrestling 4U (Newcastle-Under-Lyme, England) – Van Damage & Jenna b Paul Malen & Violet Vendetta
March 7: WWE SmackDown (Detroit, MI) – Natalya & Eva Marie b AJ Lee & Tamina Snuka
March 7: Pro Wrestling Conflict (Columbus, GA) – Devyn Nicole b Black Ice & Amber O’Neal in a 3-way
March 7: Championship Wrestling From Hollywood (Bell Gardens, CA) – NY Knockout Nikki b Sage Sinn
March 7: NWA Smoky Mountain (Church Hill, TN) – Jessie Belle Smothers b Roni Nicole
March 7: Big Time Wrestling (Lynn, MA) – Reby Sky b Jasmin
March 8: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Maki Narumiya b 235; Tsukushi b Kaho Kobayashi & Tsukasa Fujimoto in a 3-way; Mio Shirai & Miyako Matsumoto b Kurumi & Risa Sera; Hikaru Shida v Hamuko Hoshi went to a time limit draw
March 8: Gippsland Pro Wrestling (Moe, Australia) – Nikita Naridian b Siren Monroe
March 8: New England Championship Wrestling (Hessdorf, Germany) – Melanie Gray b Kick Ass Jane; Amber Rox b Jessy Jade
March 8: Svensk Wrestling Syd Queen of the Ring (Malmo, Sweden) – White Tigress b Sara Elektra; Lady Lory b La Viuda Negra; Jessica Love v Miss Mina ended in a draw; Miss Mina b White Tigress, Lady Lory & Jessica Love; Aurora Flame b Jessica Love
March 8: Target Wrestling (Stranraer, Scotland) – Kasey Owens b Viper
March 8: Tidal Wrestling (Darlington, England) – Kay Lee Ray v Violet O’Hara
March 8: Big Time Wrestling (South Paris, ME) – Reby Sky b Danny Miles
March 8: Combat Zone Wrestling (Voorhees, NJ) – Greg Excellent & LuFisto b Cherry Bomb & Pepper Parks
March 8: WWE (New York City, NY) – AJ Lee b Cameron
March 8: New England Championship Wrestling (Beverly, MA) – Jasmin b Sammi Lane
March 8: Pro Wrestling Syndicate Bombshells (Avenel, NJ) – La Rosa Negra b Taeler Hendrix; Jessie Kaye b Grandma Butcher; Angel Dust b Vanity; Serena Deeb b Mia Yim; Cristina Diamond b Jennifer Cruz; Hania b Sienna Duvall, Sumie Sakai & Mistress Belmont in a 4-way; Missy Sampson b Amber Rodriguez
March 8: NWA Branded Outlaw Wrestling (San Antonio, TX) – Barbi Hayden b Kat Green
March 8: Chair City Clash 4 (Thomasville, NC) – Kacee Carlisle b Samantha Starr
March 8: Conflict Wrestling (Kitchener, ON, Canada) – Jewells Malone b Leah Von Dutch
March 8: Supreme Wrestling Entertainment (Beaver Dam, Wisconsin) – Stacy Shadows b Melanie Cruise
March 9: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Alpha Female b Koguma; Kaori Yoneyama b Kellie Skater; Io Shirai & Takumi Iroha v Hiroyo Matsumoto & Mayu Iwatani went to a time limit draw; Nanae Takahashi b Yuna Manase; Natsuki☆Taiyo & Yoshiko b Act Yasukawa & Kairi Hojo
March 9: Ice Ribbon (Nanyo-shi, Japan) – Maki Narumiya b Yuka; Risa Sera b Sumire Natsu; Hamuko Hoshi b 235; Maki Narumiya & Hanako Nakamori b Meari Naito & Sachie Abe; Shu Shibutani b Tsukushi & Neko Nitta in a 3-way; Hikaru Shida & Tsukasa Fujimoto b Mio Shirai & Miyako Matsumoto
March 9: Joshi4Hope V (Tokyo, Japan) – Kagetsu b Rina Yamashita; Leon b Crazy Mary Dobson; Alpha Female b Sakura Hirota; Alpha Female b Sakura Hirota (again); Hiroyo Matsumoto & Yuhi v Natsuki*Taiyo & Yoshiko went to a time limit draw; Misaki Ohata b Tsukushi; Kellie Skater & Tomoka Nakagawa b Madison Eagles & Evie
March 9: REINA Joshi Puroresu (Tokyo, Japan) – Arisa Nakajima & Rabbit Miu b Kaho Kobayashi & Sareee; Ariya b Alex Lee; Dump Matsumoto b Haruka Kato & Koharu Hinata in a handicap match; DASH Chisako & Sendai Sachiko b Makoto & Ray; Aki Shizuku b La Comandante; Syuri b Kyoko Kimura
March 9: World Women’s Pro Wrestling Diana (Tokyo, Japan) – Crazy Mary & Lylah Lodge b Evie & Cindy Sanders; Aiger b Yuiga & Lady Poison in a 3-way; Kaoru Ito & Cherry b Mima Shimoda & Keiko Aono; DASH Chisako & Sendai Sachiko b Sareee & Kaho Kobayashi; Jaguar Yokota b KAZUKI; Kyoko Inoue, Tomoko Watanabe & Manami Toyota b Mask de Sun, Yumiko Hotta & Takaco Inoue
March 9: Southside Wrestling Entertainment (Nottingham, England) – Joseph Connors b Kay Lee Ray & El Ligero in a handicap match
March 9: I Believe In Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Jason Cade & Josh Hess b Chasyn Rance & Santana Garrett
March 9: IWA Mid-South (Clarksville, IN) – Ian Rotten & Mitch Page b Kaden Sade & Russ Jones, Chris Castro & Matt Knicks, Angelus Layne & Thunderkitty and Dale Patricks & Josh Crane in a 5-way; Jordynne Grace, Kongo Kong & Randi West b Corporal Robinson, Heidi Lovelace & Mickie Knuckles
March 9: TNA Lockdown (Miami, FL) – Madison Rayne b Gail Kim
March 10: WWE Raw (Memphis, TN) – Brie Bella & Nikki Bella b AJ Lee & Tamina
March 14: Ironfist Wrestling (Birmingham, England) – Nixon v Danni Hunter
March 14: Brew City Wrestling (West Allis, WI) – Melanie Cruise v Stacy Shadows
March 14: Pure Wrestling Association (Cambell River, BC, Canada) – Bambi Hall v Reia Von Slasher
March 14: Jersey Championship Wrestling (Edison, NJ) – Tina San Antonio v Renee Michelle
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 15: Vanguard Championship Wrestling (Penn Laird, VA) – Kacee Carlisle v Sammi Pandora
March 16: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Yuna Manase v Koguma; Takumi Iroha v Madison Eagles; Hiroyo Matsumoto, Miho Wakizawa & Mayu Iwatani v Kaori Yoneyama, Sunrise Mask 1 & Kellie Skater; Act Yasukawa v Yuhi; Kyoko Kimura & Alpha Female v Nanae Takahashi & Kairi Hojo; Natsuki*Taiyo v Yoshiko; Io Shirai v Cheerleader Melissa
March 21: House of Pain Evolution (Mansfield, England) – Lana Austin v Violet Vendetta
March 21: Highspots Queens Of Combat (Charlotte, NC)
March 21: Lutte NGE (Châteauguay, Quebec, Canada) – Angie Skye v Pink Flash Kira
March 21: RESISTANCE (Chicago, IL) – D’Arcy Dixon, Amazing Maria, Starr Venus, Thunder Kitty & Angel Dust v Mickie Knuckles, Camron Star, Lucy Mendez, Devyn Nicole & Jessie Belle Smothers
March 21: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Marcela v Dalys
March 22: Impact Pro Wrestling (Lynfield, New Zealand) – Britenay v Olivia Shaw
March 22: RAD:PRO Wrestling (South Shields, England) – Freya Frenzy & Vulture v Kirsty Love & Rubix Roach
March 22: Alternative Wrestling Show (South Gate, CA) – LuFisto v Hania; Christina Von Eerie v Hudson Envy
March 23: Futureshock Wrestling (Stockport, England) – Danni Hunter v Lana Austin
March 28: Preston City Wrestling (Preston, England) – April Davids v Bubblegum
March 29: Absolute Intense Wrestling Girls Night Out 11 & 12 (Cleveland, OH) – Mia Yim v Athena; Allysin Kay v Leah Von Dutch; Kay Lee Ray v Mickie Knuckles; Sassy Stephie v Kaela; Angelus Layne v Jasmin
March 29: Acclaim Pro Wrestling (Greely, ON, Canada) – Courtney Rush v Vanessa Kraven
March 30: Ice Ribbon (Tokyo, Japan) – Hikaru Shida v Tsukasa Fujimoto
March 30: Smash Wrestling (Etobicoke, ON, Canada) – Courtney Rush v LuFisto v Vanessa Kraven v Seleziya Sparx
April 5: Scottish Wrestling Alliance (Motherwell, Scotland) – Viper, Bete Noire & Sammii Jayne v Courtney Stewart, Debbie Sharpe & Fiona Fraser
April 5: SHIMMER Women Athletes (New Orleans, LA)
April 12-13: SHIMMER Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)
April 18: SHINE 18 (Ybor City, FL)
April 19: NCW Femmes Fatales XIV (Montreal, QC, Canada) – Cheerleader Melissa v Courtney Rush; Angie Skye v Cat Power; Sassy Stephie, Jody D’Milo & Anna Minousha v Mary Lee Rose, Pink Flash Kira & Vanessa Kraven; LuFisto v Nikki Storm; Portia Perez v Kaitlin Diemond; Mercedes Martinez v TBA v TBA v TBA; Deziree v Mistress Belmont
April 24: Hardcore Roadtrip (London, ON, Canada) – LuFisto & Jewells Malone v Leah Von Dutch & Jazz; Warhed & Jewells Malone v Lufisto & Necro Butcher
April 26: Remix Pro Wrestling (Marietta, OH) – Sassy Stephie v Athena v Cheerleader Melissa
May 4: Insane Championship Wrestling (London, England) – Kay Lee Ray v Carmel Jacob v Erin Angel
May 10: LCW Roses (Leicester, England) – Rhia O’Reilly v Addy Starr
May 10: Women Superstars Uncensored Queen and King of the Ring (Voorhees, NJ) – Jessicka Havok v LuFisto
May 24: Valkyrie Women’s Wrestling (Brooklyn, NY) – Kacee Carlisle v Mickie Knuckles
June 9: Bellatrix 9 (Norwich, England) – Blue Nikita v Sammi Baynz
– Lee Burton
– Photos by WWE, Ring Of Honor, Michael Ruebsamen, Center Ring, Youji Kawauchi, Tabercil, 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, WrestlingData