They fight again: after a huge, hard bitting war which scooped Match of the Night honours from this writer at Bellatrix VIII in March, Sammi Baynz and Blue Nikita are set to do battle again at Bellatrix IX (stylised to BellatrIX) with Baynz’ RQW European Women’s Championship on the line. Baynz’ representation – and Bellatrix co-owner – Axl Lynch was a factor in the last contest, knocking the challenger out with a shot to the back of the head, and it took Nikita winning the 30 woman Bellatrix Rumble to earn another shot at the title. Will Nikita’s second opportunity slip through her fingers again, or will she be able to overcome the potential outside interference to snare the championship? We’ll find out.
The rest of the card is comprised of a Queen of the Ring tournament, which returns after skipping over 2013. We are guaranteed a new Queen as the 2012 winner has been ruled out because of injury – as revealed by Saraya Knight on the latest Women Of Wrestling Podcast, Destiny split the bone in her big toe right down the middle earlier this week, forcing her out of action for the time being – she will be replaced by Amy-Lee Kramer. Joining her will be Knight, World Champion Liberty, Penelope, Erin Angel, Skarlett, Bacardi and Lady Lory, and you can see a look at the line-up’s histories here.
We will be updating results as they happen below, so keep hitting refresh to see the developments as they happen – and we will bring you photos and thoughts following the conclusion of the show.
Queen of the Ring quarter finals
1. Saraya Knight made Bacardi tap out to the Bridal Rocking Horse.
2. Lady Lory pinned Penelope with a T-Bone Suplex.
3. Erin Angel defeated Amy-Lee Kramer with a flipping neckbreaker.
4. Liberty beat Skarlett with the Liberator (Air Raid Crash).
Queen of the Ring semi finals
5. Lady Lory pinned Saraya Knight following interference from Axl Lynch and Sammi Baynz.
6. Liberty made Erin Angel tap out to a Muta Lock.
7. Karama, Tia Valentine, Luminous & Lorna beat Holly Burrage, Madison, Holly Norman & Elsie. Lorna pinned Elsie with her feet on the ropes. Valentine and Luminous objected to the cheap win.
Queen of the Ring final
8. Lady Lory defeated Liberty with a Death Valley Driver to win the Queen of the Ring tournament.
RQW European Women’s Championship – hardcore rules
9. Blue Nikita v Sammi Baynz went to a double knockout. Saraya Knight came out to book the pair in a hardcore steel cage title match at Bellatrix X on September 28.
• I expected Sammi Baynz v Blue Nikita to be the Match of the Night… and it was. Fought under hardcore rules, it was still a controlled affair that focussed on telling the story and working the crowd rather than leathering each other with indiscriminate objects to try and generate a reaction. Weapons ranged from makeshift kendo sticks to dustbins to steel chairs and other plunder, but the real tale came in the distraction from Axl Lynch to save his charge from defeat. In the end, both women were rendered unconscious by simultaneous kendo stick shots to the head – two of only three in the match, so things were kept safe – leading to the double knockout result.
• Saraya Knight came out afterwards to voice her displeasure at Lynch getting involved for the second time in the evening – more on that later – and saying that Nikita keeps getting messed around and can’t secure a fair shot at the title. As a result, she made the decision to book another contest between the two at September 28’s Bellatrix X inside a cage where Saraya will choose the weapons. As we found out afterwards, this won’t be your regular sort of cage – instead, it will allow the wrestlers to still go to the outside, but will keep them contained and everyone else out.
• As with last time, the match involving the younger trainees garnered the biggest reaction – partly because they had so many supporters in the crowd, and that was even more evident considering there were eight girls involved in this one. The winning quartet was made up of half babyfaces and half heels with Karama and Lorna happy to be more aggressive while Tia Valentine and Luminous wanted to play fair – exemplified when Luminous was reluctant to take on Holly Burrage due to the huge size difference, and when Valentine and Luminous sent Lorna and Karama packing for cheating to win. Karama is a standout with her character, facing expression and natural saltiness while Lorna is along the same track. Elsie shows promise too, while Burrage is still adorably fun.
• So, the tournament. Saraya started out with a short clobbering affair against Bacardi where the only actual wrestling move of the match was the Bridal Rocking Horse finish – the rest was punches and forearms. It was short and sweet enough, so no real complaints here.
• Penelope was my choice to win the tournament, so it was a surprise to see her lose in the opening round to Lady Lory. The key to the match was the attempt to connect with their finishers – Penelope failed to lock in the Mexican Surfboard, but Lory nailed the T-Bone suplex for the win. The defeat means that Penelope has lost three Bellatrix matches on the bounce, and her most recent success was a tainted one at last summer’s Bellatrix 6 against Alpha Female due to the unsolicited interference from Destiny. Her last real clean win was over Miss Mina at Bellatrix 4 in November 2012. Penelope needs a victory.
• New gear, new edge – Amy-Lee Kramer’s got a new heel character which sees her engage with the fans a lot more, and works well to create support for the babyface. She and Erin Angel had a tidy outing, but nothing spectacular – though you wouldn’t expect a world-beater of a contest in the opening rounds of a tournament.
• Liberty against Skarlett was the best of the quarter finals with the heel getting a lot of time with the advantage, though that works for the reigning World Champion, who generates a lot of sympathy. Liberty was stretched a lot during the contest, but her resilience was the key to victory, scoring the win with the Liberator.
• As mentioned earlier, Axl Lynch got involved in two matches on the show – the other being Knight’s semi final against Lory where her came out to protest a suspected low blow by Saraya which would have seen her get disqualified if the ref had deemed it as illegal. As he distracted the official, Baynz ran out to nail Knight round the head with a kendo stick shot to allow the German to advance to the finals. These two left nothing in reserve.
• The only all babyface match of the show was a well-contested encounter which saw Angel – who partially changed her gear in-between rounds, circa Randy Savage at WrestleMania IV – fall to Liberty in a match which I would like to see without them having wrestled a match and facing the prospect of another. While neither woman held a clear advantage throughout the match, it was fun albeit shorter than I would have liked.
• That leaves us with the final between Lory and Liberty which saw the German score the clean win over her opponent to claim the Queen of the Ring trophy and to improve her standing for World Title contention, considering she beat the champion. The finish came somewhat out of nowhere, but it was the best match of the tournament and the dynamic really gave the fans someone to cheer for – and you could feel their deflation when Liberty lost, which bodes well for a potential title match down the line. Just to round things off, Destiny came out to present the trophy but said that it was a hollow win because she wasn’t in the tournament and left by calling Lory the “Princess of the Ring”, rather than Queen. There may be a potential match between those two down the line as well.
• So that was Bellatrix IX, a more low-key show than ones that we have experienced in the last year and a half but had more of an emphasis on storyline compared to the others, which were more like one-off attractions. It established Lady Lory, who improved on her strong Bellatrix Rumble showing in March by becoming Queen, taking down the reigning World Champion in the process. Building up the regular roster is a prudent move, as any imports may generate some extra ticket sales but it’s the wrestlers who are there every show who need to keep things gathering pace. Elsewhere we have the ongoing power struggle with Lynch and Knight which may end with things getting physical, as well as a part 3 to Baynz v Nikita with the highest stakes yet – and I’m fine with them fighting again. Bellatrix X is shaping up rather nicely.
– Lee Burton