Welcome to edition 200 of the Ringbelles Roundup. With its inception taking place before the website was officially launched, the Roundup’s first edition was on February 1, 2011 and was pretty slim. These days, the newsletter is usually between 3,500 and 4,500 words but has swelled to more than 5,000 on certain special occasions. It’s been a big undertaking and I’m proud for it to have been posted every Tuesday, without fail for 200 straight weeks.
To mark the occasion, I’ve thrown the main body of the Roundup open to you. I took to Facebook and Twitter, saying that if there was any question about the website that you wanted answered, I would consider it. With that in mind, here are the queries I received…
– What did you and Stew feel was missing from online coverage of women’s wrestling that inspired you to start the site? – Martin Bentley
Honestly, it was complete coverage. Some site focussed on WWE and TNA with a nod to the indies. Some focussed on joshi and there were others who looked at places like Britain or Mexico – bit nothing really tried to touch every base that it possibly could. We felt that all women’s wrestling, no matter how big or small should be given a spotlight – and that spotlight wouldn’t be on the big guns and let the others try and catch some light. Whatever was most important at that moment got our attention as it was based on merit, not what promotion you find yourself wrestling for.
Granted, we could be better at covering things like lucha and joshi but we do our best to give them focus when we can. We like to think that when it comes to all-women shows around the world, we’re the best place to look, even though we can’t cover everything as there are so many hours in the day and Stew and I always had full-time jobs to balance.
For example, this Roundup isn’t knocked up on the Tuesday, as trying to compile a 4,000 word document on just one day each week would be an impossibility – it needs additions at all times during the week. When you couple that with shows that we attend or cover – with SHIMMER trips being the trickiest – as well as other newsworthy items going on during the week, this is close to being a full-time (unpaid) job.
– How come your audio shows are so much better quality than most others? – Dave Muscarella
If you mean audio quality, we do our best to upload them at a higher bitrate, which is why Women Of Wrestling Podcasts are limited to 90 minutes because of our upload limits these days, which also means that mammoth shows like the Christmas 2012 show with six guests can’t happen again without a dip in quality.
If you mean content-wise, I think it’s because we let the guest do most of the talking. When I listen to some other podcasts – especially the ones presented by former wrestling personalities – I find myself being frustrated by the guests being cut off or overshadowed by a presenter who just has to spout some words of wisdom or a superfluous anecdote. I have a rule that if I choose four random points in a podcast and hear the presenter’s voice more than twice, I give it a miss. Let the guest talk – that’s why you have them on in the first place – and don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions.
We also do a lot of research. We check out histories, key points and also check previous interview with other sites so we’re not raking over the same ground again. Instead, we look for a new spin on a previously covered topic. Stew and I were very proud for coming up with original questions and have often been thanked by guests after recordings for finding new things to discuss.
Finally, structure – instead of just going chronologically through a career we nail key points and try to group subjects together if we can. Nothing we do is really revolutionary – we just wanted to produce interviews that we would like to listen to.
– Why do you only interview people for My Name is if they make the first move? – James
It’s a gesture of intent. My Name Is was designed to be for new faces to introduce themselves to a wider audience or to try and raise your profile to the next level. All we ask is that the wrestler themselves shows that they are ready to boost their own image and we will always roll out the red carpet. After all, if you’re not ready to shout about yourself, why should you expect anyone else to do the same for you?
On a side note, it’s nice to jump back and listen to past MNI interviews and compare it with the position they find themselves in now. Seleziya Sparx and Viper were early interviewees, and look at how great they are now.
– Do you make use of online translators for your Japanese news or do you have a person providing information? – David Falcon
The honest truth is that online translators are a life saver. It’s not the most accurate thing ever as Japanese to English translations are very literal and don’t make much sense as a result but you try to negotiate your way through it. As for the results, sites like Purolove are far better than we could ever be when it comes to joshi – though that site’s in German so the translator still comes in handy.
Incidentally, Ciara is a far stronger follower of joshi that I am and she produces some excellent stuff.
– How do you choose your interviewees? What’s the best podcast you have done and why? Dream interview – if you could interview anyone in the world, who would it be?
We tend to try and schedule WOW Podcast guests based on what they’re going to be doing and make that the centre-point of the interview. The more interesting the activity – as well as their history – makes them a good chat. Fight Like A Girl interviews usually have a stronger focus on what is going on at that particular time but can also tend to go off on tangents, but aren’t a career overview.
I’m not sure about best, but one of my favourites is the second Ivory interview, which was recorded a week after the first. I was late arriving home from work for the interview so Stew spoke to her for a few minutes until I got ready and she didn’t moan or complain – and when I got online she asked me how I was doing and if I’d had a good day at work. This was a former WWE Women’s Champion taking a genuine interest, and I was really touched by it. What followed was a really natural and easy interview which was so much fun to record. I also enjoyed our first Courtney Rush interview and part of the post-show chat was so hilarious that part of it was spliced into the show – if you’re interested, it’s the Meese Are Dicks conversation.
As for dream guest, we have a list of people and they are grouped into certain levels. Ivory was in that list, as are Wendi Richter, Madusa, Stacy Keibler and more. Some are pipe dreams while others felt more realistic. Personally, I’d say Richter would be my top choice, while Stew wanted Missy Hyatt.
Originally, I wanted the Roundup to be a female version of the Wrestling Observer with some editorial content at the start – I don’t know if I accomplished it but I’m glad that so many people read it every week. There’s nothing else like the Roundup out there at the moment, and I’m glad that there is a one stop document for fans of women’s wrestling to know what’s going in around the world. Thanks to everyone who reads it.
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 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.
Charlotte is booked for the Raw in Greenville, SC on December 9 and the SmackDown tapings the following day in Columbus, GA. She also spoke to the Huffington Post about living up to father Ric’s legacy, saying “The biggest thing holding me back is fear. Being afraid to fail and not live up to such a legacy my dad has made. I do feel the pressure, but I also feel the drive. My dad was really hard on me as a kid in sports, so this is no different”… Alicia Fox got a surprise win on Paige on last week’s Superstars when she caught her former friend in a small package… Becky Lynch pinned Bayley with a handful of tights on Thursday’s NXT… Following on from last week’s Raw when Nikki Bella made sister Brie dress up as AJ Lee for an “exhibition match”, Lee dressed up as Nikki for her win over Brie on SmackDown. Bella won the Divas Title at Survivor Series when Brie kissed AJ to cause the distraction and the quick end. Brie looked happy that her sister had won the belt, and then she beat AJ last night on Raw with the help of Nikki – with AJ zinging the sisters by saying talent is not sexually transmitted as a jibe at Brie’s marriage to Daniel Bryan and Nikki’s relationship with John Cena, seemingly overlooking the irony that AJ herself is married to CM Punk. There was no explanation as to why Brie turned, which – when you take into account how much airtime was dedicated to this heap – must make the Bella feud the most redundant and awful Diva storyline in years. Incidentally, talk that AJ is on her way out of WWE are untrue, according to the Wrestling Observer, that her title loss went as planned (though the participants didn’t know it was to be less than a minute long until the final moments before the match) and it wasn’t done to quickly write her out.
Taryn Terrell won the Knockouts Championship on last Wednesday’s Impact Wrestling – the final on Spike ahead of the promotion’s move to Destination America in the new year. She beat Havok and Gail Kim in a 3-way when she pinned Kim with a sunset flip to score the title… Kay Lee Ray impressed in her workout time in the ring on last week’s British Boot Camp. She worked against DJ Z.
Stephane Bruyere and NCW Femmes Fatales have parted ways. Writer Pat Laprade will take over the role of Talent Coordinator… Hudson Envy defeated Cheerleader Melissa on Saturday’s Alternative Wrestling Show event to retain the Women’s Championship – only it was by DQ when Melissa refused to stop choking her opponent with her wrist tape… Former WWE Women’s and Divas Champion Beth Phoenix is to be honoured at April’s 50th Annual Cauliflower Alley Club Reunion… Mickie James spoke to the Miami Herald about becoming a mum, saying she had a pretty intense delivery and that she has been getting advice from fellow first-time mum Trish Stratus. She was also asked about a possible return to WWE and was pretty candid: “I think, ‘I’m better than 90 percent of the talent on TV now. Why am I going to step to the side to just train the future?’ I’m not ready to do that, and I’m not trying to be arrogant and self-absorbed. I can see how it can come off that way, but it’s the truth. You look at least 75 percent or at least 80 percent on TV now. I know in my heart of hearts that I can draw more money than them and that I am better than them. I can put more asses in the seats than them”… Melanie Cruise returned from three months in Japan and has struck gold already. She beat Mickie Knuckles on Saturday’s Strong Style Wrestling show to win the vacant Allied Independent Wrestling Federations’ World Women’s Championship… Ivelisse Velez revealed that she has been working with a torn rotator cuff in her shoulder for the last nine years, and hurt her back just before her release from WWE developmental in 2012 and was only given two weeks of rehab, regardless of whether it solved the problem or not. She has also said that her shoulder is slowly recovering… Four more matches have been announced for SHINE 23 to go along with Mia Yim defending her newly-won championship against Nevaeh. Legendary’s Malia Hosaka and Brandi Wine put the Tga Team Championship on the line against the Kimber Bombs; Heidi Lovelace and Solo Darling take on Marti Belle and Jayme Jameson; Taylor Made faces La Rosa Negra and Thunderkitty will battle Leah Von Dutch.
Maki Narumiya was injured from a Miyako Matsumoto double foot stomp during a tag match on last Wednesday’s Ice Ribbon show. The match had to be stopped when she suffered breathing issues… Former JWP Openweight Championship rivals Kana and Arisa Nakajima won the vacant REINA World Tag Team Championship last week, defeating Lin Byron and Syuri in a tournament final. Byron actually turned heel on her partner to facilitate the title change… Tomoka Nakagawa wrestled her final S-Ovation show on Monday ahead of her retirement in a couple of weeks. Called Last Shot, she and Kyoko Kimura lost to Aja Kong & Misaki Ohata in the main event…
Kay Lee Ray and Paul London went to a double DQ on Saturday’s Kamikaze Pro event when they double chokeslammed the referee before deciding that they were both winners… Speaking of KLR, she retained the Fierce Females Scottish Championship on Sunday when she pinned Leah Von Dutch. Elsewhere, Nikki Storm got past Hardcore Glamour’s Sara to try and get closer to another shot at Kay Lee, while Courtney beat Fiona Fraser in a Three Stages of Hell match to settle their differences. Fraser gave up the first fall via DQ when she used a chair and then got the quick tap out with an armbar when the contest went to submission rules. However, the subsequent Glasgow Street Fight was eventually won by Courtney when she made Fiona tap out to a Dragon Sleeper, beating her opponent at her own submission game. The next show is on January 11 when there will be Team Hardcore Glamour v Team Storm in a 5-on-5 elimination match… Destiny announced on Facebook that she is retiring from the ring after 13 years. She’s currently pregnant… Addy Starr suspects her hand may be broken… Viper, Violet O’Hara, Nadia Sapphire, Rhia O’Reilly and Ruby Summers have been added to Empress Pro’s debut show in January.
Zeuxis defeated CMLL Mexican National Women’s Champion Estrellita last Wednesday. It was meant to be a title match but was downgraded. After the victory, Zeuxis demanded a title shot… Sexy Star defeated Ivelisse Velez on last Wednesday’s Lucha Underground. Having said that, there were some very marked edits in the contest. Sexy Star also appeared on behalf of the promotion at the Latin Grammys last Thursday.
Australia & New Zealand
Madison Eagles won the vacant IndyGurlz Australia Championship on Friday in a 4-way also involving Saraya Knight, Evie and Demi Bennett. Eagles retained the strap the following evening by beating Knight in a singles match… KC Cassidy won the first Vera and Jenny Cup as part of Melbourne City Wrestling’s charity show on Sunday, beating Evie and Toni Storm in a 3-way in the final.
November 17: CMLL (Puebla, Mexico) – Amapola, Tiffany & Zeuxis b Estrellita, Goya Kong & Marcela
November 18: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Zeuxis b Estrellita
November 19: Pro Wrestling WAVE (Tokyo, Japan) – Mika Iida b Rina Yamashita; Mari Apache & Sawako Shimono b Kaho Kobayashi & Shu Shibutani; Kana b Moeka Haruhi; Melanie Cruise b Hiroe Nagahama; Hikaru Shida & Yumi Ohka b Mio Shirai & Misaki Ohata; Ayako Hamada & Yuu Yamagata b Tomoka Nakagawa & TAKA Michinoku
November 19: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Meari Naito b Akane Fujita; Aoi Kizuki b Raideen Hagane; Rutsuko Yamaguchi b 235 & Risa Sera in a 3-way; Miyako Matsumoto & Eri Susa b Tsukasa Fujimoto & Maki Narumiya; Risa Sera b Takumi Iroha
November 19: TNA Impact Wrestling (Bethlehem, PA) – Taryn Terrell b Havok & Gail Kim in a 3-way to win the Knockouts Championship
November 19: Combat Zone Wrestling (Blackwood, NJ) – Brittany Blake, Frankie Pickard & Persistent Percy b Ben Ortiz, Jonathan Evans & Trooper Audubon
November 19: Lucha Underground (Los Angeles, CA) – Sexy Star b Ivelisse Velez
November 20: REINA (Tokyo, Japan) – Arisa Nakajima & Kana b Eri & Haruka Kato; Syuri & Lin Byron b Makoto & Maki Narumiya; Kyusei Sakura Hirota & Miyako Matsumoto b Dump Matsumoto & Yumiko Hotta via DQ; Dump Matsumoto & Yumiko Hotta b Kyusei Sakura Hirota & Miyako Matsumoto; The Winger & Alex Lee b Yuji Kito & Koharu Hinata; Kyoko Kimura b Kellie Skater; Arisa Nakajima & Kana b Syuri & Lin Byron to win the REINA World Tag Team Championship
November 20: WWE Superstars (Roanoke, VA) – Alicia Fox b Paige
November 20: WWE NXT (Orlando, FL) – Becky Lynch b Bayley
November 20: WWE NXT house show (Tampa, FL) – Sasha Banks b Charlotte
November 21: Pro Wrestling WAVE (Warabi, Japan) – Mika Iida b Eri Susa; Fairy Nipponbashi b Yako Fujigasaki; Sawako Shimono, Rabbit Miyu & 235 b Kaho Kobayashi, Rina Yamashita & Raideen Hagane; Yua Hayashi b Hiroe Nagahama
November 21: New Horizons Pro Wrestling (Perth, Australia) – Madison Eagles b Saraya Knight, Demi Bennett & Evie to win the IndyGurlz Australia Championship
November 21: Southside Wrestling Entertainment (Sheffield, England) – Chris Brookes & Nixon Newell b Kay Lee Ray & El Ligero
November 21: WWE SmackDown (Knoxville, TN) – AJ Lee b Brie Bella
November 21: WWE NXT house show (Cocoa Beach, FL) – Sasha Banks b Charlotte
November 21: Strong Style Wrestling (Goshen, IN) – Melanie Cruise b Mickie Knuckles to win the AIWF World Women’s Championship; Jack Thriller b Heidi Lovelace
November 22: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Tsukushi b Akane Fujita; Tsukushi b Kyuri; Tsukushi b 235; Maki Narumiya & Risa Sera b Miyako Matsumoto & Meari Naito; Kurumi & Yuka b Tsukasa Fujimoto & Aoi Kizuki
November 22: Kyusei Sakura Hirota Produce (Tokyo, Japan) – Arisa Nakajima b Mio Shirai & DASH Chisako; Leon & Ray b Mask AGO & Mari Apache; Saku Uematsu b KAORU; Ayako Hamada & Yuu Yamagata b Gabai-jichan & Gabai-bachan; Meiko Satomura b Kyusei Sakura Hirota; Meiko Satomura b Kyusei Sakura Hirota; Meiko Satomura b Kyusei Sakura Hirota
November 22: Stardom (Fukushima, Japan) – Kairi Hojo b Momoe Watanabe; Kris Wolf b Mystique; Kellie Skater b Miho Wakizawa; Yoshiko & Reo Hazuki b Kaori Yoneyama & Hatsuhinode Kamen; Io Shirai, Mayu Iwatani & Takumi Iroha b Nanae Takahashi, Koguma & Kairi Hojo
November 22: Tokyo Joshi Pro (Tokyo, Japan) – Shoko Nakajima b KANNA; Ai Shimizu b Chikage Kiba & Yuka Sakazaki in a 3-way; Nonoko & Akane Miura b Miyu Yamashita & Erin
November 22: New Horizons Pro Wrestling (Perth, Australia) – Madison Eagles b Saraya Knight
November 22: Kamikaze Pro (Birmingham, England) – Nixon Newell b Charlie Garrett; Kay Lee Ray v Paul London went to a double DQ
November 22: Proving Ground Pro (Petersburg, IL) – Lucy Mendez, Mario Andrew Crivello, Perry Winkle, Peter Schwanz & Randy Ray b Cousin Gator, Duke Cornell, Joey Anderson, Krotch & Melanie Cruise
November 22: Empire Stare Wrestling (Lockport, NY) – Pepper Parks & Cherry Bomb b Joey Ryan & Candice LeRae
November 22: Alternative Wrestling Show (South Gate, CA) – Hudson Envy b Cheerleader Melissa via DQ
November 23: Melbourne City Wrestling ‘Fight For A Cause’ (Hampton Park, Australia) – Evie b Shazza McKenzie; Toni Storm b Siren Monroe; KC Cassidy b Miami; Demi Bennett b Savannah Summers; Vixsin b Izzy Shaw; KC Cassidy b Evie & Toni Storm in a 3-way
November 23: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland) – Viper b Layla Rose; Carmel Jacob b Chanel; Sammii Jayne b Bete Noire; Nikki Storm b Sara; Courtney b Fiona Fraser; Leah & Kasey Owens b Sammi Baynz & Liberty; Kay Lee Ray b Leah Von Dutch
November 23: HXC Wrestling (Manchester, England) – Nadia Sapphire & Faith Lehaine b Pollyanna & Lana Austin
November 23: Tidal Wrestling (Leeds, England) – Lana Austin b Nixon Newell & Addy Starr in a 3-way
November 23: Smash Wresting (Mississauga, ON, Canada) – Candice LeRae & Joey Ryan b Cherry Bomb & Pepper Parks
November 23: WWE Survivor Series (St Louis, MO) – Nikki Bella b AJ Lee to win the WWE Divas Championship
November 24: Ice Ribbon (Yokohama, Japan) – Mio Shirai, Yuka & Yuri Kotobuki b 235, Akane Fujita & Kyuri; Tomoka Nakagawa & Mochi Miyagi b Tsukushi & Maya Yuhiki; Cho-un Shiryu b Neko Nitta & Miyako Matsumoto in a 3-way to win the Triangle Ribbon Championship; Kurumi b Yuka; Maki Narumiya & Risa Sera b Cherry & Meari Naito; Tsukasa Fujimoto b Aoi Kizuki
November 24: S-Ovation “Last Shot” (Tokyo, Japan) – Tomoka Nakagawa & PSYCHO b Kaori Yoneyama & Madoka; Mayumi Ozaki b Eiger; Ray & Yuu Yamagata v Leon & Tsukasa Fujimoto went to a time limit draw; AKINO b Kellie Skater; Aja Kong & Misaki Ohata b Tomoka Nakagawa & Kyoko Kimura
November 24: JWP (Osaka, Japan) – Yako Fujigasaki b Yua Hayashi; KAZUKI & Raideen Hagane b Jaguar Yokota & Eri Susa; Command Bolshoi b Leon; Rabbit Miyu b Rina Yamashita; Arisa Nakajima & Hanako Nakamori b Kayoko Haruyama & Misaki Ohata
November 24: Sendai Girls (Fukuoka, Japan) – Kagetsu & Kaho Kobayashi b Ray & Alex Lee; Eiger b Kyusei Sakura Hirota; Kyoko Kimura b Tomoko Miyagi; Ayako Hamada b DASH Chisako; Aja Kong & Tsubasa Kuragaki b Meiko Satomura & Syuri
November 24: Stardom (Fukuoka, Japan) – DASH Chisako b Kellie Skater; Kyoko Kimura & Kris Wolf b Kaori Yoneyama & Hatsuhinode Kamen; Mayu Iwatani b Mystique; Yoshiko, Takumi Iroha & Reo Hazuki b Nanae Takahashi, Miho Wakizawa & Kairi Hojo; Io Shirai b Koguma
November 24: WWE Raw (Indianapolis, IN) – Brie Bella b AJ Lee; Natalya & Tyson Kidd b Adam Rose & The Bunny
November 28: Shropshire Wrestling Alliance (Dawley, England) – Ryan Smile & Pete Dunne v Chris Brookes & Nixon Newell
November 29: Warzone Wrestling (Berwick, Australia) – Savannah Summers v Kellyanne English
November 29: Showcase Wrestling (Dumfries, Scotland) – Viper v Leah Owens
November 29: XWA Wrestling (Colchester, England) – Nikki Storm v Rhia O’Reilly; Addy Starr v Kay Lee Ray
November 29: Beyond Wrestling (Providence, RI) – Kimber Lee & Drew Gulak v Cherry Bomb & Pepper Parks
November 30: Southside Wrestling (St Neots, England) – Kay Lee Ray v Nixon Newell
November 30: Futureshock Wrestling (Stockport, England) – Danielle Hunter v Toni Storm
November 30: Queens of Combat (Winston-Salem, NC) – Mickie James v Tessa Blanchard; Joey Ryan & Candice LeRae v Mia Yim & Leva Bates; Sojo Bolt & Dani Jackson v Amber O’Neal & Jessie Kaye; Angelina Love v Nevaeh; LuFisto v Jessicka Havok
January 18: Alpha-1 Wrestling (Hamilton, ON, Canada) – Seleziya Sparx v Allysin Kay
December 5: SHINE 23 (Ybor City, FL) – Mia Yim v Nevaeh; Malia Hosaka & Brandi Wine v Kimber Lee & Cherry Bomb; Heidi Lovelace & Solo Darling v Marti Belle & Jayme Jameson; Taylor Made v La Rosa Negra; Thunderkitty v Leah Von Dutch
December 5: St Louis Anarchy (Alton, IL) – Candice LeRae v Angelus Layne
December 6: CHIKARA (Philadelphia, PA) – Heidi Lovelace v Missile Assault Ant
December 7: PAID Promotions (Morecambe, England) – Nikki Storm v Viper v Lana Austin v Kay Lee Ray
December 21: Tidal Championship Wrestling (Leeds, England) – Lana Austin & Ruby Summers v Nixon Newell & Violet O’Hara
January 4: PROGRESS Wrestling (London, England) – Jinny v Pollyanna
January 4: Inspire Pro Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Jessica James v Kimber Lee
January 11: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland)
January 17: Empress Pro (High Wycombe, England)
January 23: SHINE 24 (Ybor City, FL)
February 22: Dragon Pro Wrestling (Newport, Wales) – Nixon Newell v Pollyanna
March 14: Rock N’ Wrassle (Nottingham, England)
April 4: NCW Femmes Fatales (Montreal, QC, Canada) – Courtney Rush v Saraya Knight; Portia Perez v Xandra Bale
– Lee Burton
– Photos by WWE (2), Melanie Cruise (3), KC Cassidy (4), Ichiban Drunk (5), David Wilson (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