Bayley officially became the number one contender for the NXT Women’s Championship on last Thursday’s programme when she defeated Sasha Banks by reversing the Just Facelock into a pin, playing on the last match involving the pair where Bayley was forced to tap out to that move. Charlotte came out at the end to raise Bayley’s hand, but the challenger doesn’t trust her because of their history, as Charlotte attacked Bayley to join the Beautiful Fierce Females last November, ending their friendship in the process.
Essentially, the high profile contest between the NXT Women’s titleholder and happy-go-lucky doe-eyed fangirl has been on the cards since then, and they will face each other at the Takeover 2 live show in three weeks. They have been wrestling each other on recent NXT house shows in preparation, which is probably necessary to make sure that Charlotte capitalises on the high praise she received for her match against Natalya back in May. Things are a little different this time as while Bayley has six years of experience, it’s still less than Natalya and could mean for a more awkward affair if everyone isn’t on the same page. Considering how many times they are wrestling on house shows – four times in the last month – and how much work they are presumably putting in at the Performance Center, things should be fine.
The match itself is a curious one. Bayley has really taken off among the fans who visit NXT’s TV tapings. With wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube men, bright colours and happy music, she is infectiously fun and taps into the same sort of awe and excitement that fans get around wrestlers from time to time. She has been known to offer hugs to wrestlers – so much so that fans chant “Bayley’s gonna hug you” during her matches and her finish known as the Belly-to-Bayley is more amusingly titled the Hugplex… which it is, when you think about it.
AJ Lee was described as being outside what was considered the template for what a WWE Diva should be. Paige’s early gimmick was to be outside the mould by calling herself the Anti-Diva. However, they are still more Diva-esque than Bayley – and like AJ and Paige, it doesn’t matter to the fans at Full Sail University, who have wholly embraced her kooky, naïve nature – though that naivety has been slightly eroded by Charlotte’s betrayal and her feud with the BFFs, which you could argue she “won” considering the stable split up. It’s almost as if they’re fed up of what they’re being told what a woman should be and are happy for the diversity which is slowly emerging – and if the chips fall a certain way, she could be NXT’s third Women’s Champion.
The possibility of this happening may be higher than you may think as there is talk of fast-tracking Charlotte to the main roster sooner rather than later. Should that happen, she would have to drop the title, as Paige vacated the belt when she graduated up so having both champions vacating the title doesn’t help with the title’s momentum. Besides, having Bayley as champion will be a great feel-good moment and will set the table for defences against Sasha Banks, who is probably next in line to get the championship.
Not bad for a woman who before signing for WWE was an entertaining wrestler, but was lacking a real character. Now she’s brimming with it, and is a prime example of what the company’s Performance Center can do.
Courtney Rush’s quest to become NCW Femmes Fatales International Champion has been more than a year in the making, and was not killed off due to her suffering a broken collarbone at a very inopportune time.
Rush’ run towards the title came about because of Kalamity taking a sudden absence from wrestling, and saw her slotted into the number one contenders’ match at Femmes Fatales XII last June, though the match ended in an inconclusive fashion when both women were disqualified. The pair were meant to clash again at the following show but Courtney suffered the aforementioned broken bone, removing her from the contest. Rush was to be replaced by Xandra Bale, but the Suicide Blonde broke her fibula, ruling her out and seeing Melissa eventually put into the main event tag team match, meaning that the original rematch could still take place at Femmes Fatales XIV under Iron Woman Match rules.
That contest also ended without a clear winner as the 30 minute time limit expired with each wrestler boasting one decision over the other, so both were inserted into a 4-way match for the championship at Saturday’s Femmes Fatales XV, which also incorporated LuFisto and titleholder Mercedes Martinez.
Rush ended up winning the title by making the champion tap out to the Sharpshooter, proving the 30-year old with her highest-profile title win to date, and also means that she has challengers ready-made. For example, there is still the threat of Cheerleader Melissa who was eliminated at the same time as LuFisto due to a double pin, which means that Rush is yet to secure a decisive victory over her rival. A win over her would solidify her title reign and really catapult her into a true main event status.
The title change also ushers a new era for the promotion, as Martinez had held the belt for 504 days – though not a record, as Kalamity’s run with the title checked out at 539 – so it freshens up the possibilities for title matches and feuds. It is also the first time that the title has been held by a wrestler who is neither a Quebec native or a a well-established veteran. Rush’s reign gives her an opportunity to elevate herself from perennial challenger to bona-fide championship material, and could see that perception carried over into other promotions – and it’s something that Femmes Fatales can boast about down the line.
Elsewhere on the site, we’ve got a review of the Alternative Wrestling Show’s 4th Women’s Tournament which took place back in May, and we also have a big apuestas match from CMLL with hair and masks on the line.
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Paige repeated her actions from last week’s Raw on SmackDown when she came out during AJ Lee’s match against Eva Marie, causing AJ to jump out of the ring and attacking her rival, causing her to be counted out… At SummerSlam, Paige pinned AJ with the RamPaige to win the Divas Championship on her 22nd birthday. Meanwhile, Stephanie McMahon defeated Brie Bella after Brie’s twin sister Nikki turned on her… Both storylines continued on Raw when Stephanie stood by the side of Nikki, who said that she turned because Brie was always treated more favourably, and never mentioned how she was the one who took the brunt of the abuse when Brie quit in June. Brie came out to confront her sister and was slapped, causing her to leave the ring in tears. Nikki’s promo was overacted, but was nowhere near as bad as Brie trying to look upset – and why WWE is going with a soap opera backstory instead of dealing in the reality which we’ve seen is such a head scratcher. Elsewhere, AJ did the distraction job during Paige’s match with Natalya, causing her to be pinned by the Queen of Harts. AJ came in claiming that she wanted to give Paige a hug but the new champion scooted up the aisleway… Emma took a nasty spill to the floor during her match with Alicia Fox on SuperStars last week. It was from the move where Fox holds her victim in a pavement slam position and them dumps them through the second rope to the outside. Emma came up clutching her shoulder – which required surgery a few years ago because of repeated dislocations – but finished the match without a problem, beating Alicia with the Emma Lock… Former WWE developmental Diva Anna Bogomazova (AKA Anya) is considering taking legal action against the company for releasing her while recovering from surgery for a broken arm… The Bella Twins were asked by the LA Sports Times who they would like to induct them into the WWE Hall of Fame if they ever received the honour. Brie chose Natalya, while Nikki went for her other half, John Cena. Summer Rae chose Stephanie McMahon… Speaking of Stephanie, she has two t-shirts out – one of which you saw on Raw last night which trolls Daniel Bryan’s Yes shirt – but she has said that the profits will go towards a charity she and husband Triple H set up in the memory of Connor Michalek, who died from brain cancer at the age of 8… Sasha Banks did an interview WWE.com saying that she’s glad to be rid of her former BFF teammates Charlotte and Summer Rae.
Gail Kim defeated Taryn Terrell, Velvet Sky and Angelina Love to retain the Knockouts Championship on last week’s Impact Wrestling. The continued growing dissension within the Beautiful People was furthered during the match. That reunion has been a huge flop… Former WWE employee Matt Sydal (Evan Bourne) talked about Terrell’s early days of training during a Kayfabe Commentaries interview, mentioning that she had so little knowledge about wrestling that she went for a cover once when her opponent was lying on their stomach… The female applicants who made it to the match stage of British Boot Camp received good praise from judges Al Snow, Gail Kim and Samoa Joe on Saturday.
East Coast Wrestling Association is to hold a tournament on October 11 to determine a new Women’s Champion after Renee Michelle and Jessie Kaye went to a double pin earlier this month, causing the title to be held up. They will both be in the tournament along with Jenny Rose, Annie Social, Tessa Blanchard and Chasity Taylor… Heidi Lovelace became the first woman to win an AAW singles championship on Friday night when she defeated Matt Cage to win the promotion’s Heritage Title… SHINE has released the rest of the card for Friday’s SHINE 21 iPPV, which is being described as Havok’s Last Stand, as Jessicka Havok will face Allysin Kay one last time with stipulations which are yet to be announced. Elsewhere, Taylor Made takes on La Rosa Negra, Thunderkitty wrestles Justine Silver, and Heidi Lovelace & Solo Darling battle Marti Belle & Jayme Jameson… The Kimber Bombs beat Vanessa Kraven and LuFisto on SMASH Wrestling’s show at the weekend and continued their attack after the bell, causing Kraven and LuFisto’s Team Canada members for September 21’s CanUSA Classic – Jewells Malone, Xandra Bale and Courtney Rush to hit the ring to make the save. It was also announced that Amazing Kong is the captain of Team USA, leading Kimber Lee, Cherry Bomb, Veda Scott and Allysin Kay… Tessa Blanchard will compete at Valkyrie Women’s Wrestling’s show on October 24… Hudson Envy will make her NCW Femmes Fatales debut on October 26 for Femmes Fatales XVI.
Melanie Cruise is travelling to Japan this week to work with Pro Wrestling WAVE. Booker GAMI says she will be there for three months, so that rules her out of the the next SHIMMER tapings… Ice Ribbon held its eighth Teens event in Tokyo on Thursday. Rabbit Miu (18) & Tsukushi (16) defeated Risa Sera (22) & Takumi Iroha (21) in the main event… Speaking of Rabbit Miu, she won the JWP Jr and POP Championships for a second time on Sunday, defeating Sareee. Elsewhere, Sachie Abe retired from wrestling after 18 years of competition following a series of matches, ending with KAZUKI defeating her… Carlos Amano has retired due to a brain stem injury. She’s had to stop immediately, so she has already wrestled her final match. The 38-year old’s last contest was on May 11’s OZ Academy show – she and Manami Toyota lost to Dynamite Kansai & Kaori Yoneyama. The 19-year veteran’s first title was back in 2000 when she and Command Bolshoi snared the JWP Tag Team Championship, and she has won two OZ Academy Openweight titles between 2008 and 2010… The cards for Stardom’s 2014 5*STAR Grand Prix have been announced, with shows throughout September. You can see the listings here.
Fierce Females has announced another show, which will take place on October 26. It’s a charity show with the proceeds going to Cancer Research UK… Kimber Lee will face Kay Lee Ray at Southside Wrestling on October 11 as part of the Combat Zone Wrestling collaboration taking place that weekend. Kay Lee Ray will defend the Southside Wrestling Speed King Championship against five opponents on October 12 in what will be Europe’s first ever Aerial Assault match… Speaking out Southside, they welcome Candice LeRae and Joey Ryan on September 19 in Sheffield in what will be their first UK appearances… Allysin Kay has been announced for Bellatrix X, which will take place on September 28. No opponent has been revealed yet… Kerry Cabrero & Bacardi won a mixed tag team tournament held by UK Main Event Wrestling on Saturday.
Canada’s Taya Valkyrie became the first non-Mexican to win the AAA Reina de Reinas Championship on Sunday when she defeated Faby Apache at TripleMania XXII, breaking her nose in two places in the process. She later revealed that her next goal is to get the hair of both Apache and Jennifer Blake.
Australia & New Zealand
Izzy Shaw v Savannah Summers v Harley Wonderland takes place at Riot City Wrestling on Saturday to determine the next challenger for Demi Bennett’s Women’s Championship.
August 13: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Kurumi & Tsukushi b Akane Fujita & Miyako Matsumoto; Tsukasa Fujimoto b Koyuki Hayashi; Maki Narumiya b Rina Yamashita; Rabbit Miu & Tsukushi b Kyuri & Risa Sera
August 13: Rockstar Pro (Dayton, OH) – Crazy Mary Dobson b Heidi Lovelace
August 14: Ice Ribbon Teens (Tokyo, Japan) – Mai Ichii v Sakura Tsubaki went to a time limit draw; Cherry, Meari Naito & Sachie Abe b 235, Akane Fujita & Yako Fujigasaki; Kaho Kobayashi & Rydeen Hagane b Kyuri & Natsu Sumire; Fairy Nihonbashi, Manami Kanda & Yume Hayashi b Koharu Hinata, Koyuki Hayashi & Tsukushi; Koguma & Kurumi b Sareee & Yuuka; Rabbit Miu & Tsukushi b Risa Sera & Takumi Iroha
August 14: WWE Superstars (Portland, OR) – Emma b Alicia Fox
August 14: WWE NXT (Winter Park, FL) – Bayley b Sasha Banks
August 14: TNA Impact Wrestling (New York, NY) – Gail Kim b Taryn Terrell, Angelina Love & Velvet Sky in a 4-way
August 14: Fighting Back With Cancer (Ottawa, ON, Canada) – Angie Skye b Eve & Kira in a 3-way
August 15: WWE SmackDown (Seattle, WA) – Eva Marie b AJ lee via count-out
August 15: Real Canadian Wrestling (Edmonton, AB, Canada) – Skarlet b Melissa Coates
August 15: AAW (Berwyn, IL) – Heidi Lovelace b Matt Cage to win the AAW Heritage Championship
August 15: TNA (Indiana, PA) – Madison Rayne b Angelina Love
August 16: Ice Ribbon (Warabi, Japan) – Hamuko Hoshi v Akiba Shiori went to a time limit draw; Kurumi & Kyuri b Cherry & Akane Fujita; Risa Sera b Yuka; Tsukasa Fujimoto & Tsukushi b Maki Narumiya & Rina Yamashita
August 16: Europe Catch Tour Association (Oye-Plage, France) – Lady Lory b Emilie Sauvage
August 16: Futureshock Wrestling (Stockport, England) – Danni Hunter b April Davids & Lana Austin in a 3-way
August 16: UK Main Event Wrestling (Maidstone, England) – Bacardi & Kerry Cabrero b Sakura Lily & Furio; Faith Lehaine & Crazy Billy Duffy b Joel Lightning & Nadia Sapphire; The Phantom & Felony b Dow Jones & Marcella; Doug Williams & Jenna b Joseph Conners & Violet Vendetta; Kerry Cabrero & Bacardi b Crazy Billy Duffy & Faith Lehaine; Doug Williams & Jenna b The Phantom & Felony via DQ; Kerry Cabrero & Bacardi b Doug Williams & Jenna
August 16: NCW Femmes Fatales XV (Montreal, QC, Canada) – Kimber Lee b Missy; Kira & Mary Lee Rose b Addy Starr & Kaitlin Diemond; Vanessa Kraven b Sassy Stephie; Portia Perez b Angie Skye, Diana Hall, Mistress Belmont, Veda Scott & Xandra Bale in a Gauntlet Match; Sweet Cherrie b KC Spinelli; Courtney Rush b Cheerleader Melissa, LuFisto & Mercedes Martinez in a 4-way to win the NCW: Femmes Fatales International Championship
August 16: I Believe In Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Brittany, Jason Cade & Sweet Thang Willie b Chasyn Rance, Josh Hess & Oso Panda
August 16: Premier Wrestling Xperience (Hickory, NC) – Tessa Blanchard b Rachel
August 16: TNA (Washington, PA) – Madison Rayne b Velvet Sky
August 16: Vendetta Pro Wrestling (Simi Valley, CA) – Raze b Sage Sin Supreme
August 16: Conflict Wrestling (Kitchener, ON, Canada) – Jewells Malone b Aiden Rayne
August 16: WWE (San Jose, CA) – Layla & Natalya b Paige & Rosa Mendes
August 16: NWA Branded Outlaw Wrestling (San Antonio, TX) – Barbi Hayden v Jessica James
August 17: JWP (Tokyo, Japan) – Raideen Hagane, Yako Fujigasaki & Yua Hayashi b Fairy Nipponbashi, Rina Yamashita & Sumire Natsu; Rabbit Miyu b Sareee to win the JWP Junior & POP Championships; Kayoko Haruyama, Leon & Hanako Nakamori b Arisa Nakajima, Meiko Satomura & Kana; Command Bolshoi & Kyoko Kimura b KAORU & Mima Shimoda; Jaguar Yokota & Megumi Yabushita b Sachie Abe & KAZUKI; Jaguar Yokota & Megumi Yabushita b Sachie Abe & KAZUKI; KAZUKI b Sachie Abe
August 17: OZ Academy (Tokyo, Japan) – Manami Toyota b Kyusei Sakura Hirota; AKINO b Kaho Kobayashi; Yumi Ohka, Mio Shirai & Kyoko Kimura b Hiroyo Matsumoto, Kagetsu & Hikaru Shida; Tomoka Nakagawa b Mayumi Ozaki; Aja Kong & Tsubasa Kuragaki b Kaori Yoneyama & Dynamite Kansai
August 17: Stardom (Sendai, Japan) – Azumi b Maaya; Kaori Yoneyama b Hatuhinode Kamen & Alpha Female in a 3-way; Miho Wakizawa b Reo Hazuki; Takumi Iroha b Kris Wolf; Io Shirai, Mayu Iwatani & Yoshiko b Kairi Hojo, Koguma & Nanae Takahashi
August 17: Insane Championship Wrestling (Edinburgh, Scotland) – Carmel Jacob & Sara b Leah & Kasey Owens
August 17: HXC Wrestling (Manchester, England) – Sam Bailey & Lana Austin b Mikey Whiplash & Violet Vendetta
August 17: SMASH Wrestling (Toronto, ON, Canada) – Cherry Bomb & Kimber Lee b LuFisto & Vanessa Kraven
August 17: I Believe In Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Brittany & Chasyn Rance b Ashleigh Lynn Ford & Joey Mayberry; Cherry Lane & Mike Reed b Lizzie Parris & Gabriel Black,; Brittany & Chasyn Rance b Cherry Layne & Mike Reed
August 17: Wrestling For Charity (Redwood City, CA) – Kikyo Nakamura b Jack Flag
August 17: AAA TripleMania XXII (Mexico City, Mexico) – Aerostar, Jennifer Blake, Mascarita Sagrada & Pimpinela Escarlata b Mamba, Mini Abismo Negro, Sexy Star & Súper Fly; Taya Valkyrie b Faby Apache to win the Reina de Reinas Championship
August 17: CMLL (Guadalajara, Mexico) – Zeuxis b Lluvia
August 17: WWE SummerSlam (Los Angeles, CA) – Paige b AJ Lee to win the Divas Championship; Stephanie McMahon b Brie Bella
August 18: WWE Raw (Las Vegas, NV) – Natalya b Paige
August 18: CMLL (Puebla, Mexico) – Estrellita, Goya Kong & Lluvia b Amapola, La Seductora & Tiffany
August 22: Hybrid Pro Wrestling (Sunderland, England) – Kirsty Love v Freya Frenzy
August 22: SHINE 21 (Ybor City, FL) – Leah Von Dutch v Amazong Kong v Nevaeh v Su Yung; Ivelisse Velez v TBA; Malia Hosaka & Brandi Wine v Leva Bates & Mia Yim; Kimber Lee & Cherry Bomb v Jessie Belle Smothers & Sassy Stephie; Jessicka Havok v Allysin Kay; Taylor Made v La Rosa Negra; Thunderkitty v Justine Silver; Heidi Lovelace & Solo Darling v Marti Belle & Jayme Jameson
August 23: Riot City Wrestling (Wayville, Australia) – Izzy Shaw v Savannah Summers v Harley Wonderland
August 24: RESISTANCE Pro (Willowbrook, IL) – Paloma Starr v D’Arcy Dixon v Angel Dust v Lucy Mendez
August 25: Conwy County Wrestling (Llandudno, Wales) – Nadia Sapphire v Jezabeth
August 29: Shropshire Wrestling Alliance (Dawley, England) – Pete Dunne & Ryan Smile v Chris Brookes & Nixon Newell
August 29: British Championship Wrestling (Kilmarnock, Scotland) – Liam Thomson & Carmel Jacob v Grado & Kay Lee Ray
August 30: Impact Pro Wrestling (Auckland, New Zealand) – Britenay v Evie
August 30: Svensk Wrestling Syd (Malmo, Sweden) – Miss Mina v Penelope
August 31: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland) – Sammii Jayne v Nixon Newell; Layla Rose v Miss Cole; Kay Lee Ray v April Davids; Nikki Storm & TBA v Carmel Jacob & Sara; Viper v Lana Austin
September 5: Pro Wrestling 4U (Newcastle-Under-Lyme, England) – Pollyanna Peppers v Nixon Newell
September 6: Tidal Wrestling (Darlington, England) – Ruby Summers v TBA
September 6: North Shore Pro Wrestling (Montreal, QC, Canada) – Sassy Stephie v Pink Flash Kira
September 7: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Star Fire v Io Shirai; Nanae Takahashi v Cheerleader Melissa; Kairi Hojo v Kaori Yoneyama; Koguma v Yoshiko; Takumi Iroha v Kyoko Kimura; Mayu Iwatani v DASH Chisako
September 11: WWE NXT Takeover 2 (Winter Park, FL) – Charlotte v Bayley
September 12: Target Wrestling (Carlisle, England) – Kay Lee Ray v Kasey Owens
September 13: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Takumi Iroha v Koguma; Kyoko Kimura v Mayu Iwatani; Yoshiko v DASH Chisako; Cheerleader Melissa v Kairi Hojo; Star Fire v Nanae Takahashi; Io Shirai v Kaori Yoneyama
September 13: UK Wrestling (Wakefield, England) – Heidi Katrina v Shanna
September 13: Women Superstars Uncensored (Voorhees, NJ)
September 15: Stardom (Osaka, Japan) – Kairi Hojo v Io Shirai; Cheerleader Melissa v Star Fire; Kaori Yoneyama v Nanae Takahashi; Kyoko Kimura v Yoshiko; DASH Chisako v Koguma; Mayu Iatani v Takumi Iroha
September 20: Pride Wrestling (Glasgow, Scotland) – DCT & Viper v Mr Byers & Fiona Fraser
September 21: Insane Championship Wrestling (Glasgow, Scotland) – Leah & Kasey Owens v Bete Noire & Viper
September 21: SMASH Wrestling CANUSA Classic (Toronto, ON, Canada)
September 23: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Kaori Yoneyama v Cheerleader Melissa; Io Shirai v Nanae Takahashi; Star Fire v Kairi Hojo; Koguma v Mayu Iwatani; Kyoko Kimura v DASH Chisako; Yoshiko v Takumi Iroha
September 26: Lucky Pro Wrestling (Hudson, MA) – Nikki Valentine v Davienne
September 28: Bellatrix X (Norwich, England) – Sammi Baynz v Blue Nikita
October 3: Family Wrestling Entertainment (Brooklyn, NY) – Ivelisse Velez & Tommy Dreamer v Candice LeRae & Joey Ryan; Hania v Veda Scott
October 4: Warzone Wrestling (Berwick, Australia) – Toni Storm v Savannah Summers
October 4: Empress Pro (High Wycombe, England) – Addy Starr v Pollyanna Peppers
October 4: Family Wrestling Entertainment (Brooklyn, NY) – Maria Kanellis v Ivelisse Velez; Candice LeRae & TBA v Veda Scott & Christina Von Eerie
October 8: Tidal Wrestling (Leeds, England) – Violet O’Hara v Kimber Lee
October 11: Southside Wrestling (Nottingham, England) – Kay Lee Ray v Kimber Lee
October 11: East Coast Wrestling Association Women’s Championship tournament (Carneys Point, NJ)
October 12: Southside Wrestling (St Neots, England) – Kimber Lee & Drew Gulak v Jim & Lee Hunter; Kay Lee Ray v El Ligero v Will Ospreay v Mark Andrews v Rich Swann v Shane Strickland
October 18-19: SHIMMER: Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)
October 24: Valkyrie Women’s Wrestling (Brooklyn, NY) – Sumie Sakai v Kacee Carlisle
October 25: NCW Femmes Fatales XVI (Montreal, QC, Canada)
October 26: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland)
November 1: Flemish Wrestling Force (Limsburg, Belgium) – Leah Von Dutch v Katey Harvey
November 16: Tidal Wrestling (Newcastle, England) – Kay Lee Ray v Shax
November 23: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland)
– Lee Burton
– Photos by WWE (1,2,4), Karen Broadway (3), Youji Kawauchi (6), Tabercil (7)
– 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