So AJ Lee is getting married. Congratulations to her. Her fiancé CM Punk made the announcement at a Chicago Cubs game last week that the pair are tying the knot next month, and his soon-to-be bride was standing to the side of the broadcast booth as he made the revelation.
This upcoming wedding is another in the apparent slew of nuptials taking place in WWE at the moment. With Natalya & Tyson Kidd, Naomi & Jimmy Uso and Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella all getting wed in the past year, there’s a lot of romance in the air, and so much of it is going on in public too.
I remember that fans never really knew that Randy Savage and Elizabeth were a couple – which made for a disappointing kayfabe situation where they were married in storyline in August 1991 and then divorced in real life a year later – while it wasn’t initially a point that Goldust and Marlena were husband and wife during their early run, though it became a storyline in 1997 and they divorced two years after that. Marc Mero and Sable were never acknowledged as being together, and her subsequent marriage to Brock Lesnar hasn’t been brought up either. Heck, even Triple H’s marriage to Stephanie McMahon wasn’t made explicit to fans until 2009 during The Game’s build up to his dire WrestleMania 25 match against Randy Orton, though the pair had been married and divorced in storyline and then tied the knot for real in 2003, with insider nods to their relationship made in 2007 and onwards.
There are others, but legit marriages between wrestlers never seemed as big of a deal as it is now. There have been real weddings televised by WWE in the past, such as Uncle Elmer getting wed as well as Gangrel and Luna Vachon making it official on Halloween in 1994, but it seems that with the company’s venture into “reality” TV with Total Divas has put more of an emphasis on the private lives of the women involved in wrestling. This is also spilling over into the main WWE TV product, with Daniel Bryan having to show vulnerability to protect his wife Brie, which some argue is hurting his character – though the opposite viewpoint could be made, saying that she adds another dimension to his persona. Either way, there are certainly more couples now than there has been in a while.
It’s unlikely that Punk and Lee will acknowledge their marriage on screen – though AJ did a good job of flashing her engagement ring on TV when she got the chance – as it doesn’t seem like there’s much hope of Punk returning to WWE in the future. In addition, his name is only mentioned in hushed tones in the company at the moment, so she’s taking a big step in having arguably the top Diva of the last few years getting married to a person whom WWE wants no part of. Will his current standing affect her position in WWE, or will she even come back, instead choosing to stand alongside her husband and his desires? I’m not saying that Punk would pressure her into quitting her job but she may elect to do it of her own volition – but if that does happen, that would leave a sour taste in my mouth.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while as it’s gnawed away at me and now seems as good a time as any to discuss it. This is probably more relevant for The Soap Box, but it’s a slow news week.
Following her Divas Championship defeat to Paige on the April 7 episode of Raw, AJ Lee decided to take some time off. While I don’t doubt that she was feeling burned out after nine months of having the division on her shoulders and giving the division some life, just upping and leaving the way that she did seems a little one-sided. After all, when she ascended to the Divas Title, she thoroughly defeated Kaitlyn to the point that her career was left in tatters. Following that, the Bellas, Naomi and Natalya all took turns in falling to her in order to prolong her massive reign, culminating in AJ beating every female member of the roster in one match at WrestleMania XXX. The whole division was focussed around getting her over and it worked, though the drawing power of every other woman was affected, as nobody ascended to be that classic rival that could have really cemented her run with the belt.
Enter Paige, who wins the belt with one move in what could be argued in some circles as a fluke, and could really do with a defining win to kickstart her run with the Divas Championship. At this point, AJ would have likely been booked to have a rematch against Paige at Extreme Rules which would have seen paige get the comprehensive win over the former Divas titleholder and really slingshot Paige into that top position.
That didn’t happen. Instead, without a top challenger, Tamina Snuka was put into the role and was offered up as the first victim – and while beating a larger opponent helped, it didn’t capture the imagination that a defeat of AJ Lee would have. It seems that a horrid by-product of AJ Lee dominating the heel side of the roster is that when she left there was nobody who was slightly close to her level. That’s an issue that the writers should have addressed and didn’t, and now it is Paige who is having to have competitive matches against people like Aksana and Alicia Fox who as Divas Champion, she should not have trouble beating. However in order to create threats to her belt, she has to look vulnerable and that doesn’t help in boosting her credibility as the champion.
When interviewed by Digital Spy, Paige was asked about a possible return of AJ Lee, with her replying: “If she does come, great! I can’t wait, because then it gives me more competition and I know she’s going to be coming straight after me. She’s going to be full of anger and she’s going to be better than ever.”
If anything, AJ could have delayed her departure to put over Paige like so many others had done for her, but instead she left at the first opportunity to be with her other half without fully finishing up her duties before going on hiatus. Dropping the belt isn’t the same as putting someone over – she left the job unfinished.
Of course, AJ doesn’t have the final say so the ultimate blame for a dearth of challengers for Paige lands with the writers for not having some sort of contingency plan for if Lee ever left. They spent so long getting her over at the expense of everyone else, and now that AJ is gone, they’re up excrement creek with a lack of steering equipment.
Am I off about this? Leave your opinions in the comments below – I’d be interested to know what you think.
Elsewhere on the site, we’ve had reviews and interviews. Addy Starr joined us for a Fight Like A Girl about how nobody at her workplace knows she’s a wrestler, and we also have a review of AIW’s Girls Night Out 11 from March. In addition, we’ve posted the full Svensk Wrestling Syd Queen of the Ring tournament from earlier this year, so go and have a watch of that.
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? Would you want to discuss your feelings on any particular subject about women’s wrestling as part of The Soap Box? 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 I Am Not A Bad Person and WoMan Up shirts.
Alicia Fox chucked another wappy after losing to Emma on Main Event. It is said that she slapped Tony Chimel so hard that she gave him a concussion – she tweeted that she sent him some flowers. She did deal Paige her first TV defeat since debuting on the main roster last month, beating her on last night’s Raw in London, England – though there was a 10 second delay between her delivering a boot to Paige’s head and getting the pin, which is an absolute age. Alicia’s win sets her up for a Divas Title challenge in the future, so we will reserve judgement on the booking of the championship picture for now. Elsewhere, Summer Rae returned to confront ex-dance partner Fandango and new squeeze Layla. She kissed Fandango then fought with her replacement. It’s unclear as to whether Summer is meant to be a babyface or heel, and why the story is she and Layla brawling over a man isn’t the best way to promote women… Amazon Ayesha Ray, Laura Cruz, Miss Louise Jane, Katy Lees and Chanel were members of Adam Rose’s Rosebuds on Raw… Nikki Bella beat Natalya on SmackDown in a repeat from last week’s Raw, though this time it had Eva Marie as a referee – and she was predictably bad at the job. Natalya was in a sour mood afterwards… Paige revealed to WWE.com that The Rock took her aside at WrestleMania XXX and gave her some advice, saying ‘“I just want you to stay humble and hungry.” Those words have literally been stuck in my head for the last month. Never be satisfied, but always be hungry’… E! has reportedly ordered 10 more episodes of Total Divas… Rosa Mendes suffered a bloody nose during her match at the Glasgow, Scotland house show on Wednesday, while Aksana worked babyface against Alicia Fox in Rome, Italy on Thursday… It’s confirmed: there will be a third season of Total Divas. It will premiere on E! on September 7, with Rosa Mendes joining the existing cast.
Gail Kim defeated Velvet Sky on last week’s Impact Wrestling en route to what will presumably be a Knockouts Title challenge against Angelina Love. That will probably take place at Slammiversary on June 15.
Mickie James confirmed on Totally Driven Radio that she is indeed pregnant. She is due to give birth in September. Rumours started swirling after she bowed out of in-ring action during indie bookings earlier this year… Mary Elizabeth Monroe debuted in Ohio Valley Wrestling last week and had a successful first outing by making Jessie Belle tap out to the Rainbow Cross (guillotine choke)… Mickie Knuckles made her first successful defence of the RESISTANCE Pro Women’s Championship on Friday night, defeating Paloma Starr… Molly Holly worked as a special guest referee for the Nicole Savoy v Kikyo Nakamura match at Saturday’s Big Time Wrestling show… Kimber Lee suffered a busted nose during her match with Drew Gulak at Beyond Wrestling on Sunday, which she won with an Alligator Clutch. Gulak also put her over after the match… Joyce Grable inducted Sherri Martel into the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame at the weekend. Grable was inducted last year and has been battling cancer… Maria Kanellis revealed during a Q&A on Twitter that she is contracted with Ring Of Honor until December and that she is planning to do more movie work over the summer… Rain says she will be at SHINE 19 on Friday, and that her external wound from her car crash in February has finally healed. You can see the full SHINE 19 card in the Upcoming section below.
Risa Sera will challenge Tsukasa Fujimoto for the Ice Ribbon ICEx∞ Championship on June 15 at Hiroshima Ribbon… Command Bolshoi’s fractured a bone in her foot. It’s not clear when she will be back.
Kay Lee Ray will face old rival Martin Kirby on August 9 with Kirby’s Southside Wrestling Speed King Championship on the line. The pair have waged some brutal battles in the past… Kasey Owens’ doctor says that her fractured metatarsal should be healed enough by the end of this month that she would be able to return to training… Midlands-based Kamikaze Pro Wrestling is launching a women’s division. Nadia Sapphire and Nixon Newell are the first two names to have been announced, and they will be involved in a mixed tag team match on Sunday.
Io Shirai successfully defended her World Of Stardom Championship against Star Fire on Saturday at Lucha Fan Fest. In doing so, she made her eighth successful defence, making her the most successful holder of the title in Stardom’s history.
Australia & New Zealand
Mercedes Martinez won the IndyGurlz Championship on Saturday by beating Saraya Knight… Depending on which way you want to look at it, Evie stole/liberated the Impact Pro Wrestling Women’s Title belt on Saturday, interfering in Interim Champion Britenay’s defence against Carmen Rose. Evie still insists she’s the rightful titleholder.
May 13: WWE Main Event (Greensboro, NC) – Emma b Alicia Fox
May 13: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Estrellita, Marcela & Skadi b Dalys, La Comandante & Zeuxis
May 14: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Kurumi b Koharu Hinata; Shiori Akiba b Koyuki Hayashi; Meari Naito & Neko Nitta b Mio Shirai & Yuka; Tsukasa Fujimoto & Hamuko Hoshi b Risa Sera & Kyuri
May 14: WWE (Glasgow, Scotland) – Paige, Cameron & Naomi b Layla, Rosa Mendes & Tamina Snuka
May 14: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Mary Elizabeth Monroe b Jessie Belle
May 15: WWE (Newcastle, England) – Paige, Cameron & Naomi b Layla, Rosa Mendes & Tamina Snuka
May 15: WWE (Rome, Italy) – Alicia Fox b Aksana
May 15: WWE NXT (Winter Park, FL) – Charlotte b Alexa Bliss
May 15: TNA Impact Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Gail Kim b Velvet Sky
May 16: WWE (Leeds, England) – Paige, Cameron & Naomi b Layla, Rosa Mendes & Tamina Snuka
May 16: WWE (Turin, Italy) – Aksana b Alicia Fox
May 16: WWE SmackDown (Greensboro, NC) – Nikki Bella b Natalya
May 16: RESISTANCE Pro (Willowbrook, IL) – Mickie Knuckles b Paloma Starr; Crazy Mary Dobson b Thunderkitty & Heather Owens in a 3-way
May 16: Premier Wrestling Federation (Hubert, NC) – Mia Svensson b Katie Taylor
May 16: WWE NXT (Tampa, FL) – Kendall Skye b JoJo; Bayley & Becky Lynch b Sasha Banks & Charlotte
May 16: SMASH Wrestling (Barry’s Bay, ON, Canada) – Vanessa Kraven b Jasmin
May 16: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – La Seductora, Princesa Blanca & Tiffany b Dark Angel, Princesa Sugheit & Silueta
May 17: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Mio Shirai & Yuka b Kyuri & Shiori Akiba; Risa Sera b Koharu Hinata; Maki Narumiya b Mochi Miyagi; Tsukasa Fujimoto & Hamuko Hoshi b Natsuki☆Taiyo & Tsukushi
May 17: Impact Pro Wrestling (Auckland, New Zealand) – Britenay b Carmen Rose via DQ
May 17: Bunbury Pro Wrestling (Bunbury, Australia) – Mercedes Martinez b Saraya Knight to win the IndyGurlz Championship
May 17: Melbourne City Wrestling (Thornbury, Australia) – Miami b Shazza McKenzie
May 17: Westside Xtreme Wrestling (Fulda, Germany) – Melanie Gray v Svetlana Kalashnikova went to a double count out
May 17: WWE (Nottingham, England) – Paige, Cameron & Naomi b Layla, Rosa Mendes & Tamina Snuka
May 17: WWE (Innsbruck, Austria) – Nikki & Brie Bella b Aksana & Alicia Fox
May 17: Grand Slam Wrestling (Moosic, PA) – Sammi Pandora b Shogun Machete
May 17: Big Time Wrestling (Newark, CA) – Nicole Savoy b Kikyo Nakamura
May 17: Universal Independent Wrestling (Dallas, GA) – Mickie Knuckles b Pandora to win the UIW Women Championship
May 17: Adrenaline Championship Wrestling (Eldersburg, MD) – Diaz & Kacee Carlisle b Robby Illuminati & Renee Michelle
May 17: SMASH Wrestling (Barry’s Bay, ON, Canada) – Vanessa Kraven b Jasmin
May 17: Lucha Fan Fest 7 (Tlalnepantla, Mexico) – India Mazahua, Mayu Iwatani, Princesa Mohicana & Xena v Estrella Negra, Kairi Hojo, Krazy Star & Mystique went to a no contest; Io Shirai b Star Fire
May 17: Ultimate Championship Wrestling (Bay City, MI) – Ingrid Isley b Seleyzia Sparx
May 17: TNA (Biloxi, MS) – Madison Rayne b Velvet Sky
May 17: Vendetta Pro Wrestling (King City, CA) – Kiara Dillon b Terra Calaway
May 17: Southern Championship Wrestling (Marietta, GA) – Justine Silver b Chelsea Diamond; Brittany b Luscious Latasha
May 17: AAA (Tapachula, Mexico) – Faby Apache, Jennifer Blake, Mascarita Sagrada & Pimpinela Escarlata b Mamba, Mini Abismo Negro, Sexy Star & Taya Valkyrie
May 18: UNION (Tokyo, Japan) – Mio Shirai, Daichi Kazato & Tomoya Kawamura b SAGAT, Madoka & Kaori Yoneyama;Ladybeard & Saki Akai b Cherry & Danshoku Dino
May 18: JWP (Tokyo, Japan) – Kayoko Haruyama & KAZUKI b Manami Katsu, Yako Fujigasaki & Yua Hayashi; Arisa Nakajima & Hanako Nakamori b Sachie Abe & Raideen Hagane; Leon b Nise Leon
May 18: World Woman Pro Wrestling Diana (Kawasaki, Japan) – Jessica James & Lylah Lodge b Yuiga & Hamuko Hoshi; Kaho Kobayashi b Mask de Sun; Jaguar Yokota & Kaoru Ito b Tomoko Watanabe & Raideen Hagane; KAORU & Mima Shimoda b Yumiko Hotta & Keiko Aono; Kyoko Inoue b Sareee
May 18: WWE (Birmingham, England) – Nikki & Brie Bella b Aksana & Alicia Fox
May 18: WWE (Cardiff, Wales) – Paige, Cameron & Naomi b Layla, Rosa Mendes & Tamina Snuka
May 18: FutureShock Wrestling (Stockport, England) – Dave Rayne, Nordic Warrior & Lana Austin b Don Meacho, Ryan Hendricks & Danielle Hunter
May 18: Beyond Wrestling (Providence, RI) – Kimber Lee b Drew Gulak
May 18: TNA (Hattiesburg, MS) – Madison Rayne b Velvet Sky
May 18: Alpha Omega Wrestling (Indio, CA) – Tab Jackson b Jacob Tarasso; Evan James b Andrea The Giant
May 18: Squared Circle Wrestling (Toronto, ON, Canada) – Cherry Bomb & Jasmin b Seleziya Sparx & Alexia Nicole
May 18: Pro Wrestling Revolution (Morgan Hill, CA) – Savannah Riley b Nicole Savoy
May 18: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Paige Turner b Johnny Axxle, Lil’ Tony & Stan Summers in a 4-way; Angel Blue & Su Yung b JoJo Bravo & Ricky Romida; Barbi Hayden v Athena went to a no-contest
May 19: WWE Raw (London, England) – Alicia Fox b Paige
May 23: New Horizons Pro Wrestling “Global Conflict” (Perth, Australia) – Demi Bennett v Mercedes Martinez; Nikita Naridian v Saraya Knight; Evie v TBA; Madison Eagles v KC Cassidy
May 23: Snakepit Pro Wrestling (Adelaide, Australia) – Kira Somers v Sara Jay
May 23: Outback Championship Wrestling (Melbourne, Australia) – Vixsin v Josh Shooter
May 23: SHINE 19 (Ybor City, FL) – Ivelisse Velez, Leva Bates, Mia Yim, Jessicka Havok & Tracy Taylor v Serena Deeb, Allysin Kay, Taylor Made, Su Yung & April Hunter; Amazing Kong v Athena; Leah Von Dutch v Taeler Hendrix; Niya v La Rosa Negra; Nevaeh v Justine Silver; Solo Darling v Luscious Latasha
May 24: Extreme World Wrestling (Hastings, England) – Skarlett & Erin Angel v Sammi Baynz & Destiny
May 24: Valkyrie Women’s Wrestling (Brooklyn, NY) – Kacee Carlisle v Mickie Knuckles; La Rosa Negra v Marti Belle; Mistress Belmont v Sumie Sakai; Hania v Cherry Bomb; Jessie Brooks v Davienne
May 24: Global Wrestling Association (Dyersburg, TN) – Devyn Nicole v Black Widow
May 25: House Of Pain Evolution (Derby, England) – Liberty v Shax
May 25: Kamikaze Pro (Birmingham, England) – Damian Dunne & Princess Nadia v Chris Brookes & Nixon Newell
May 25: WrestleForce (Harlow, England) – Erin Angel v Dragonita
May 25: I Believe In Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Brittany v Jessicka Havok
May 25: Inspire Pro Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Barbi Hayden v Portia Perez; Veda Scott v Athena v Angelus Layne; Miss Diss Lexia & Paige Turner v Kat Green & KC Warfield
May 31: Fight Club Finland (Helsinki, Finland) – Jessica Love v Heimo Ukonselkä; Miss Mina v Sara Elektra
May 31: Alternative Wrestling Show (South Gate, CA) – Cheerleader Melissa v Serena Deeb; Hudson Envy v Brittany Wonder; Christina Von Eerie v Kahmora; Nicole Savoy v Datura; Allie Parker & Kitana Vera v Raze & Sage Sinn; Candice LeRae v Amazona; Cole Pistol v Kikyo Nakamura
June 1: Target Wrestling (Penrith, Scotland) – Nikki Storm v Viper
June 7: Pride Wrestling (Glasgow, Scotland) – Nikki Storm v Viper
June 7: RAD:PRO Wrestling (south Shields, England) – Sammii The Dolly v Vulture; Freya Frenzy v Switch
June 7: Pro Wrestling Syndicate (Rahway, NJ) – Missy Sampson, La Rosa Negra & Annie Social v Jessie Kaye, Hania & Amber Rodriguez
June 7: Northeast Wrestling (Ansonia, CT) – Reby Sky v Alexxis Nevaeh
June 8: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland) – Kay Lee Ray v Sammii Jayne; Debbie Sharpe v Courtney; Nikki Storm v Bete Noire; Sara Marie Taylor & Carmel Jacob v Leah Owens & TBA
June 8: SMASH Wrestling (Etobicoke, ON, Canada) – Cherry Bomb v Vanessa Kraven
June 13: Queens of Combat (Charlotte, NC)
June 13: All Pro Wrestling (Daly City, CA) – Cheerleader Melissa v Reby Sky
June 14: Pro Wrestling Alliance (Casula, Australia) – Evie v Shazza McKenzie
June 15: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Tsukasa Fujimoto v Risa Sera
June 15: Bellatrix 9 (Norwich, England) – Blue Nikita v Sammi Baynz
June 21: Remix Pro Wrestling (Marietta, OH) – Allysin Kay v Brooke Tessmacher
June 28: Warzone Wrestling (Wendouree, Australia) – Savannah Summers v Siren Monroe v Harley Wonderland
June 28: IWA Mid South Queen of the Deathmatches (New Albany, IN)
July 1: Pure Wrestling Association (Cambridge, ON, Canada) – Kc Spinelli v Beautiful Beaa
July 6: British Empire Wrestling (London, England) – Dragonita v Dean Michael; Toni Storm v Kasey Owens
July 12: German Hurricane Wrestling (Nauheim, Germany) – Svetlana Kalashnikova v Stella
July 12: Women Superstars Uncensored (Voorhees, NJ) – LuFisto v Mickie Knuckles
July 20: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland)
August 9: Southside Wrestling (Nottingham, England) – Martin Kirby v Kay Lee Ray
August 16: NCW Femmes Fatales XV (Montreal, QC, Canada) – Mercedes Martinez v LuFisto v Cheerleader Melissa v Courtney Rush
October 18-19: SHIMMER: Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)
– Lee Burton
– Photos by WWE (2,3), New Horizons Pro Wrestling (4), TNA (5), Tabercil (6)
– 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