WWE made a complete pig’s ear of successfully dealing with the situation surrounding Emma and her shoplifting arrest.
To recap the story: Emma (Tenille Dashwood) was arrested on June 30 at a Wal-Mart in Hartford, CT on suspicion of sixth degree larceny. She was brought before the community court the following day and sentenced to one day of community service in exchange for having no mention of it on her criminal record. Her lawyer argued that it was a genuine mistake and she simply forgot to pay for the iPad case worth $21 – a reasoning which WWE appeared to believe and accept.
Bryan Alvarez discussed the situation on one of his online shows last week, saying that Emma may have been the victim of bad timing. He says he spoke to a Wal-Mart employee who said that at any other time of the month she would have been reminded that she had not paid for the item and that she can sort it all out without any legal ramifications. However with it being the end of the month and staff having certain quotas to fill, they went the extra mile with her and pressed charges.
The 25-year old received sympathy from many corners of the wrestling world. In a recent blog, former WWE announcer and VP of Talent Relations Jim Ross said:
Seems as if too many people are jumping to conclusion regarding Emma’s arrest for shoplifting. Count me as someone who has forgotten to pay for a small item at a grocery store, etc and then went back in to settle up. My dealings with Emma have been nothing but positive when I was traveling to Orlando and Tampa to work with the young talents. I have no issue giving her the benefit of the doubt in this matter.
That sentiment was shattered on Wednesday when WWE released its typical terse statement saying that the company had released Emma from her contract. Social media blew up at the apparent hypocrisy of it all, considering other wrestlers who were arrested for alleged violence, drug use and corruption did not receive any recourse from WWE – and in some cases were gifted opportunities.
In February 2005, Ric Flair was arrested following a road rage incident in Charlotte, NC. Flair allegedly got out of his car, grabbed a motorist by the neck, kicked the door off the motorist’s sport utility vehicle, and was charged with two misdemeanors, injury to personal property and simple assault and battery. The incident was parodied on WWE TV by Edge to foreward their ongoing programme.
In August 2012, Funkadactyl Cameron was arrested for an alleged DUI in Tampa, FL where she either failed a breath test or refused to give a specimen of breath. She allegedly offered an officer $10,000 to “let her go because she would lose her job”, and did not inform WWE of the arrest – the company responded by saying “Ariane [Cameron] did not alert us to this matter, we are investigating and will take appropriate action.” If any action was taken it was nothing serious.
In February 2013, Jack Swagger was arrested in Gulfport, MI and was charged with a DUI and possession of marijuana. While the drug charge was later dismissed he was sentenced to six months probation and a suspended jail sentence. While awaiting trial, he wrestled for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XXIX.
All of these incidents are higher up the criminal totem pole than a shoplifting charge, which is why there was such dismay, shock and anger at Emma being released for a shoplifting charge that sources within WWE even admitted would likely blow over within a few days. By releasing her, it meant that it was highlighted even further and put a stain on her name. However things got even stranger three hours later when WWE pulled a u-turn and reinstated her, saying “Upon further evaluation, WWE has reinstated Tenille Dashwood (WWE Diva Emma) but will take appropriate punitive action for her violation of the law.” Judging from the incidents listed above, that would mean a push on TV, right?
The whole incident is an embarrassment for WWE as someone made the unilateral decision to fire someone on a relatively minor crime – and I’m not excusing Emma for it by the way, as she did technically break the law – but then had to do an about-face when someone higher up in the company realised the horrendous double-standards being shown and how it would rake up a lot of dirt from a lot of wrestlers’ pasts just to make an example. At that point it was too late and people had already taken WWE to task for its actions in this case and lack thereof in others, but WWE is a big beast and it will survive this latest scandal. Emma may not be so lucky.
Yes, her reinstatement means that she will wrestle on the Australia tour next month but her name was dragged through the mud. She ended up being featured on wrestling websites and TMZ for days and here we are talking about it eight days later. She had to go through the firing and rehiring in public – which must also be the quickest rehiring in wrestling history – and has to try and shake off that stigma to try and get back on track.
It gets worse though, as her train has been further derailed by the announcement by Santino Marella that he is to retire from the ring following a third neck injury. Marella and Emma were on-screen partners and now that he is no longer wrestling, she has no real direction within WWE. It could be that she may get to wrestle more often as the character which she portrayed on NXT rather than as a ditzy Santino clone but considering the mess that she finds herself in the middle of, that may be a stretch.
The worst-case scenario is that she completes the Australian tour and is then quietly let go, but that would be just as bad as her release last week. It could be that the whole situation has bought her some time within WWE but she may not be doing much while she is there. It’s a shame – a $21 error may have buried her six feet deep.
Blimey, it’s been busy on the website this week. We’ve written nine articles about wrestlers who have had a Good Half Year. So we have eight full-length pieces on Serena Deeb, Ivelisse Velez, LuFisto, Barbi Hayden, Miss Mina, Mia Yim, Paige and Heidi Lovelace – and we also have a piece on the others who can say they have done well so far in 2014. On top of that, we’ve posted a match between Kay Lee Ray and Shanna, where KLR is the one working heel.
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!
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Nikki Bella was put into another tag match against the Funkadactyls on Main Event last Tuesday, with Stephanie McMahon saying she needed to team with Alicia Fox. Fox kicked Bella in the face as she went for the tag, and was pinned by Cameron while Naomi lamented her participation in all of it… The Beautiful Fierce Females are done. Sasha Banks and Charlotte defeated Bayley and Becky Lynch on NXT but Charlotte did nothing to help Banks after the match when Bayley attacked Sasha to stop her taunting Becky. The groups have been bickering for weeks, partly because of a returning Summer Rae feeling out of place due to Charlotte winning the NXT Women’s Championship and no longer being the outright leader… Divas Champion AJ Lee defeated Eva Marie in non-title action on SmackDown – Paige, who was at ringside, teased an attack but shook AJ’s hand instead. Eva Marie is still poor… Some bits to talk about from the weekend house shows: Paige worked against Natalya in the opening matches of the Canada shows. Paige lost both matches via Sharpshooter submission where she still worked babyface, and the match received a “This is awesome” chance in Toronto. Meanwhile, the Funkadactyls beat Summer Rae and Rosa Mendes on the the loop (so I’m struggling to know if Rae is a face or heel). Cameron walked out on Naomi during the match, but Naomi still secured the win… Both feuds converged on Raw when Paige and AJ defeated the Funkadactyls. Cameron refused to tag in for most of the match but then tagged herself in at the end, falling to the Paige Turner. Cameron and Naomi got into a fight afterwards. Elsewhere on Raw, Alicia Fox and Nikki Bella were to work a match where both women had their hands tied behind their backs but Fox attacked Bella while Nikki was tied up so the match didn’t take place… The Wrestling Observer claims Thea Trinidad (former TNA Knockout Rosita) may be on the verge of being signed to the WWE roster. She has been serving as a Rosebud over the past few weeks… Renee Young has joined the Superstars commentary team, making her the first full time female commentator on WWE TV since Lita on Sunday Night Heat in 2003 – and the only one which immediately springs to mind before that was Stephanie Wiand, who worked on Superstars in 1994-95. Triple H commented, saying “She’s got a great voice that cuts through the clutter. She is very knowledgeable about WWE, about its history, about the talent and she is really willing to step up and do her homework”. Likewise, Brandi Rhodes has been upgraded to backstage interviewer on the main roster.
Gail Kim won the Knockouts Championship from Angelina Love on last week’s Impact Wrestling. Brittany also turned heel on Madison Rayne in her best work in the promotion so far.
Veda Scott will wrestle Gregory Iron in a steel cage at Absolute Intense Wrestling’s show on July 25. The show is named Battle of the Sexes and will feature nothing but intergender matches. Also on the card is Athena v Louis Lyndon, Kimber Lee v Rickey Shane Page and Alexia Nicole v Sparx… Kc Spinelli will challenge Leah Von Dutch for the Pure Wrestling Association Elite Women’s Championship on July 19 after beating Beautiful Beaa last Tuesday… There hasn’t been a women’s match on Ohio Valley Wrestling TV for more than a month… D’Arcy Dixon defends the RESISTANCE Pro Women’s Championship against Angel Dust on July 25… Ivelisse Velez defends the SHINE Championship against Shanna on Friday’s Full Impact Pro show from Ybor City, FL… Women Superstars Uncensored is making a big deal about Jessicka Havok threatening to show up at Saturday’s iPPV in Voorhies, NJ in what is the first real statement by Havok about being stripped of the World Title and being barred from the promotion back in May. We’ve not been able to check it out to confirm this, but this all screams of an angle.
Nixon Newell will face Marshall X in intergender action on Kamikaze Pro’s July 27th show in Birmingham, England… Leah Owens became the first Revolution Championship Wrestling Women’s Champion on Saturday in Barcelona, Spain. She qualified for the 4-way final by beating Lady Lory via DQ then beat Bete Noire, Kay Lee Ray & Nikki Storm in the main event to win the title. The 4-way was meant to be a ladder match but was changed to a one-fall match because the ladders didn’t arrive on time… Lady Lory & Saraya Knight went to a double KO on Saturday in a match where Lory’s Europe Catch Tour Association Women’s Championship was on the line. The pair will wrestle again… Rhia O’Reilly defeated Addy Starr in a Lego Deathmatch on PROGRESS Wrestling’s show on Sunday.
Estrellita successfully defended her CMLL Mexican National Women’s Championship last Tuesday, defeating Zeuxis… Taya Valkyrie will challenge Faby Apache for the AAA Reina De Reinas Championship at TripleMania XXII on August 17. It will be the first women’s title match at TripleMania, and should Valkyrie win, she will be the first non-Mexican woman to hold the belt.
Australia & New Zealand
It was announced that Savannah Summers and Toni Storm will be part of WWE’s tryouts in Melbourne next month. Sara Jay had already been announced – and there may be more names to come… Demi Bennett retained her Riot City Wrestling Women’s Championship on Saturday, beating Blair Alexis. Harley Wonderland beat Kellyanne English on the same card… Carmen Rose defeated Evie on Impact Pro Wrestling’s Saturday show. Interim Women’s Champion Britenay also stole back the title belt after Evie nicked it on the last show.
July 1: WWE Main Event (Newark, NJ) – Naomi & Cameron b Nikki Bella & Alicia Fox
July 1: Tigerfest (Brompton, ON, Canada) – Alexia Nicole & Ashley Sixx b Jasmin & Marcus Marquez
July 1: Pure Wrestling Association (Cambridge, ON, Canada) – Beautiful Beaa b Kc Spinelli; Bambi Hall b Reia Von Slasher
July 1: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Estrellita b Zeuxis
July 2: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Kurumi defeats Kaho Kobayashi; Shuu Shibutani b Koharu Hinata; Misaki Ohata b Hiroyo Matsumoto; Mio Shirai & Yuuka b Meari Naito & Sachie Abe
July 2: Combat Zone Wrestling (Blackwood, NJ) – Brittany Blake & Joe Gacy b Finneus James & Kimber Lee
July 2: Rockstar Pro Wrestling (Dayton, OH) – Mikael & Pompano Joe b Lufisto & Duke Beefhammer
July 3: WWE NXT (Winter Park, FL) – Charlotte & Sasha Banks b Bayley & Becky Lynch
July 3: TNA Impact Wrestling (Bethlehem, PA) – Gail Kim b Angelina Love to win the TNA Knockouts Championship
July 3: AAA (Veracruz, Mexico) – Mamba, Mary Apache & Taya Valkyrie b Faby Apache, La Jarochita & Pimpinela Escarlata
July 4: Pro Wrestling WAVE (Tokyo, Japan) – Ayako Hamada, Rina Yamashita & Yuu Yamagata b Moeka Haruhi, Natsu Sumire & Yumi Ohka; Fairy Nihonbashi & Kana b Hikaru Shida & Shuu Shibutani; Kyoko Kimura b Tomoka Nakagawa; Tsukasa Fujimoto b Sakura Hirota; Hiroyo Matsumoto b Mika Iida; Misaki Ohata b Mio Shirai
July 4: PROGRESS Wrestling (Knebworth, England) – The London Riots & Rhia O’Reilly b FSU & Addy Starr
July 4: WWE (Windsor, ON, Canada) – Natalya b Paige
July 4: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Dalys, La Seductora & Tiffany b La Vaquerita, Lluvia & Princesa Sugehit
July 5: AAA (Vallarta, Mexico) – Mamba, Mini Abismo Negro, Sexy Star & Taya Valkyrie b Jennifer Blake, La Jarochita, Mascarita Sagrada & Pimpinela Escarlata
July 5: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Hamuko Hoshi b Kyuri; Kurumi b Risa Sera; 235 & Neko Nitta b Mochi Miyagi & Tsukasa Fujimoto; Mio Shirai & Yuuka b Maki Narumiya & Tsukushi
July 5: Impact Pro Wrestling (Lynfield, New Zealand) – Britenay & Liam Fury b Olivia Shaw & Brook Duncan; Carmen Rose b Evie
July 5: Riot City Wrestling (Wayville, Australia) – Demi Bennett b Blair Alexis; Harley Wonderland b Kellyanne English
July 5: Revolution Championship Wrestling (Barcelona, Spain) – Kay Lee Ray b Blue Nikita; Bete Noire b Pollyanna Peppers; Leah Owens b Lady Lory via DQ; Nikki Storm b Kasey Owens; Leah Owens b Bete Noire, Kay Lee Ray & Nikki Storm in 4-way to win the RCW Women’s Championship
July 5: WWE (Broomfield, CO) – Naomi & Cameron b Summer Rae & Rosa Mendes
July 5: WWE (London, ON, Canada) – Natalya b Paige
July 5: Pure Wrestling Association (Tottenham, ON, Canada) – Jody D’Milo b Beautiful Beaa
July 5: Destination 1 Wrestling (New Albany, IN) – Nevaeh b Samantha Heights; LuFisto b Crazy Mary Dobson
July 5: New England Championship Wrestling (Brockton, MA) – Davienne b Toxis
July 5: Heartland Wrestling Association (Middletown, OH) – Heidi Lovelace b Cherry Bomb & Amber Rodriguez in a 3-way
July 5: Xtreme Intense Championship Wrestling (Detroit, MI) – Taeler Hendrix b Alexia Nicole
July 6: OZ Academy (Hakada, Japan) – Hiroyo Matsumoto b Sakura Hirota; Hikaru Shida, Manami Toyota & Tomoka Nakagawa b Mio Shirai, Shuu Shibutani & Yumi Ohka; Aja Kong & Tsubasa Kuragaki b AKINO & Kagetsu; Mayumi Ozaki b Dynamite Kansai
July 6: World Woman Pro Wrestling Diana (Kawasaki, Japan) – Sareee b Hayashi Koyuki; Keiko Aono b Koharu Hinata; Kyoko Inoue b Hayashi Koyuki & Sareee in a handicap match
July 6: JWP (Osaka, Japan) – Manami Katsu & Yume Hayashi b Rydeen Hagane & Yako Fujigasaki; Manami Katsu b Hanako Nakamori & Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru; Arisa Nakajima & Jaguar Yokota b Leon & Rabbit Miu; Kayoko Haruyama b Kana; Command Bolshoi & Kyoko Kimura b KAZUKI & Sachie Abe
July 6: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Maaya b Azumi; Koguma b Reno Hazuki; Alpha Female b Miho Wakizawa; Mayu Iwatani & Yoshiko b Hatsuhinode Kamen & Kaori Yoneyama; Io Shirai & Takumi Iroha b Kairi Hojo & Nanae Takahashi
July 6: Europe Catch Tour Association (Gravelines, France) – Lady Lory v Saraya Knight went to a double KO
July 6: PROGRESS Wrestling (Knebworth, England) – Rhia O’Reilly b Addy Starr
July 6: British Empire Wrestling (London, England) – Toni Storm b Kasey Owens
July 6: I Believe In Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Brittany b Lizzie Parris
July 6: WWE (Toronto, ON, Canada) – Natalya b Paige
July 6: WWE (Kingston, ON, Canada) – Cameron & Naomi b Summer Rae & Rosa Mendes
July 6: Steel City Pro Wrestling (Hamilton, ON, Canada) – Beautiful Beaa b Jewells Malone
July 6: Alpha-1 Wrestling (Hamilton, ON, Canada) – Seleziya Sparx b Jasmin
July 7: WWE Raw (Montreal, QC, Canada) – Nikki Bella v Alicia Fox was a no contest; Paige & AJ Lee b Cameron & Naomi
July 11: Full Impact Pro (Ybor City, FL) – Ivelisse Velez v Shanna
July 12: Newcastle Pro Wrestling (New Lambton, Australia) – Harley Wonderland & Madison Eagles v Rachel Rose & Demi Bennett
July 12: German Hurricane Wrestling (Nauheim, Germany) – Svetlana Kalashnikova v Stella
July 12: German Stampede Wrestling (Marburg, Germany) – Blue Nikita v Penelope
July 12: Empress Pro Wrestling (High Wycombe, England) – Pollyanna Peppers v Rhia O’Reilly
July 12: Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (Vancouver, BC, Canada) – Nicole Matthews v Veronika Vice
July 12: Women Superstars Uncensored (Voorhees, NJ) – LuFisto v Mickie Knuckles; Nevaeh v Brittany Blake; Jewells Malone v Jessie Kaye; Kimber Lee & Annie Social v Veda Scott & Rick Cataldo
July 12: Acclaim Pro Wrestling (Greely, ON, Canada) –Courtney Rush v Kc Spinelli; Vanessa Kraven v She Nay Nay v Jody D’Milo v Kaitlin Diemond v Portia Perez v Angie Skye
July 19: Valkyrie Women’s Wrestling (Brooklyn, NY) – Kimber Lee v Cherry Bomb; La Rosa Negra v Nevaeh; Davienne v Mistress Belmont; LuFisto v Kacee Carlisle; Jessie Brooks v Samantha Heights; Angel Dust v Sumie Sakai
July 19: Pure Wrestling Association (Kitchener, ON, Canada) – Kc Spinelli v Leah Von Dutch
July 20: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland) – Leah & Kasey Owens v Sara Marie Taylor & Carmel Jacob; Kay Lee Ray v Nikki Storm; Sammi Baynz v Viper
July 20: Smash Wrestling (Toronto, ON, Canada) – Cherry Bomb v Xandra Bale
July 25: RESISTANCE Pro (Willowbrook, IL) – D’Arcy Dixon v Angel Dust
July 25: Alternative Wrestling Show (South Gate, CA) – Hudson Envy v LuFisto
June 26: Absolute Intense Wrestling (Cleveland, OH) – Veda Scott v Gregory Iron; Athena v Louis Lyndon; Rickey Shane Page v Kimber Lee; Alexia Nicole v Sparx
July 27: Kamikaze Pro (Birmingham, England) – Nixon Newell v Marshall X
July 27: Ring Of Honor (Laurel, DE) – Veda Scott & Jenny Rose v Hania & Mandy Rose
August 1: Preston City Wrestling (Preston, England) – April Davids v TBA
August 9: Melbourne City Wrestling (Craigieburn, Australia) – Evie v Toni Storm
August 9: Southside Wrestling (Nottingham, England) – Martin Kirby v Kay Lee Ray
August 10: Pro Wrestling Kingdom (Birmingham, England) – Nixon Newell & Chris Brookes v Ryan Smile & Lana Austin
August 16: NCW Femmes Fatales XV (Montreal, QC, Canada) – Mercedes Martinez v LuFisto v Cheerleader Melissa v Courtney Rush; Missy v Kimber Lee; Vanessa Kraven v Sassy Stephie; Addy Starr & Kaitlin Diemond v Mary Lee Rose & Pink Flash Kira; Sweet Cherrie v Niya Barela
August 16: Conflict Wrestling (Kitchener, ON, Canada) – Seleziya Sparx v Jewells Malone
August 17: AAA TripleMania XXII (Mexico City, Mexico) – Faby Apache v Taya Valkyrie
August 22: Hybrid Pro Wrestling (Sunderland, England) – Kirsty Love v Freya Frenzy
September 6: Tidal Wrestling (Darlington, England) – Pollyanna Peppers v Ruby Summers
September 7: Tidal Wrestling (Leeds, England) – Pollyanna Peppers v Lana Austin
September 21: Insane Championship Wrestling (Glasgow, Scotland) – Leah & Kasey Owens v Bete Noire & Viper
September 28: Bellatrix X (Norwich, England) – Sammi Baynz v Blue Nikita
October 3: 4 Front Wrestling (Swindon, England) – Shanna v Hikaru Shida
October 18-19: SHIMMER: Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)
November 16: Tidal Wrestling (Newcastle, England) – Kay Lee Ray v Shax
– Lee Burton
– Photos by WWE (1,3,6), Hartford Police Department (2), Abel Silva (4), Tabercil (5)
– 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