The Final Belle

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The final day of 2014 is also the final post on this website – and to mark it, dotted throughout this final post are logos from our history, some which have never been seen before, as they were used when we were still trying things out. The end of the site’s got a positive edge to it though, as the Ringbelles Roundup (now in the capable hands of the talented Ciara Reid) will have a new home from next week when it becomes part of the PWPonderings website, as revealed yesterday. That’s a big comfort and it also makes me glad that Ringbelles will continue in some fashion in 2015.

However, it is still with some upset that I bid farewell to this website. Since its official launch in March 2011 – following months of beta-testing and plenty of confabulation before that – there has been more than 1,700 posts, 171 audio podcasts and more than 200 Roundups. We have reported on 223 events, posted more than 350 videos and have reviewed dozens of shows. In doing so, I’d like to think that we have helped to increase the profile of women’s wrestling around the world and also cast a critical eye over it, as well as higher-profile outfits like WWE and TNA. With news, views, reviews and interviews from wrestlers from the past and present around the world, Ringbelles has endeavoured to give female athletes a voice and platform. I hope that we leave the scene in a positive situation.

While Stew and I contributed the bulk of posts, there are others who helped to this site’s success, and that leads to a torrent of thank you messages.

When this site first launched, we were a team of four – Stew, myself, Shanti and Jennifer. While Shanti’s personal life meant that her contributions were not as often as she hoped, her support was a big help and I thank her for being there at the start. Similarly, Jennifer’s commentaries in the first year provided some controversial and lively talking points. She also reported matches from WWE and TNA’s pay-per-views for a while too, and was very enthusiastic about the subject. Since going our separate ways there has not been any direct contact but I understand she is in a good position in her life, and I wish her all the best.

Thanks also to Rhi Lockwood from NHB Girls. She has been a great source of support over the last few years, joined Stew and I for SHINE iPPVs and also stepped in to cover Women Superstars Uncensored shows when neither of us were available. Rhi, I’m grateful in ways you will never know.

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We also had blogs from talent from around the world – to Nikki Storm, Madison Eagles, Veda Scott and Taya Valkyrie, thanks ever so much for taking the time out of your lives to write pieces for the site. Similarly, I have a lot of gratitude for Courtney Rush and Angelus Layne who recorded podcasts for the site and provided some amusing, interesting and emotionally powerful audio.

Next, the great people who sent us results from shows which we were unable to attend – and that’s a lot, believe me. Reid Allen, Ben Ward, Martin Alexander, Chris Kelly, Pat Laprade, thank you all for providing updates from shows in order for us to relay them to the rest of the world. However, I must single out Dave Muscarella for his tireless commitment to travelling to shows, tweeting results, taking photos and providing thoughts from some of the bigger events.

As well as meeting great fellow fans at shows in North America and the UK, I have also been fortunate enough to strike up some friendships with women within the wrestling scene who have been very open with news and their feelings. For example, this website may not have existed were it not for Allison Danger being the first Women of Wrestling Podcast guest. Her welcoming nature was always well appreciated, and her retirement was a highly emotional moment. Similarly, some of our most emotionally-charged tales came from LuFisto, a woman who has great passion for wrestling and has made a lot of selfless sacrifices to help others along the way. Saraya Knight holds the record for being featured in the most podcasts, appearing four times and stunning us with stories where she went blind, was nearly beaten to death by fans, suffered health issues and much more. She has also been a sounding board for us from time to time and has become a good friend.

Elsewhere, women like Angelus Layne, Serena Deeb, Kimber Lee, Courtney Rush, Nikki Storm, Amber Gertner, Allysin Kay, Sassy Stephie, Daffney, Alpha Female, Amazing Kong, Rhia O’Reilly, Shanna, Kellie Skater and more have been very open and honest with us, and we respect their honesty and openness. Similarly, thanks to the likes of Saraya, Dave Prazak, Stephane Bruyere, Drew Cordiero, DJ Hyde, Dann Read, John Thorne and Mikey Whiplash for helping us with updates concerning their respective promotions. Without your input, Ringbelles would have been a poorer place.

Finally, thanks to you, our audience. With every view, comment, share, like, retweet, favourite and the like, you spread the word of women’s wrestling and those involved in it. Keep buying tickets, going to shows, buying DVDs, VODs, iPPVs and MP4s, as well as buying merchandise like t-shirts, signed photos and stuff.

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Just one more thing – I’m planning to archive the website on a free blog page so everything can still be accessed. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter accounts – which are staying open – to see what’s going to happen. Should the archiving not go according to plan, all the audio will be uploaded to our YouTube page. That will be quite a big undertaking so it may take some time, but I’ll keep you posted.

So that’s it – the end of Ringbelles. Thanks to everyone who has contributed, supported and spread the word of the website since our launch, you won’t be forgotten. I’ll be keeping a foot in the women’s wrestling world in some form or fashion so I’m not going the way of the dodo, and you can follow my thoughts on my Twitter – but as mentioned, check out PWPonderings for the Roundup as well as wrestling news and results. But for now, this is Lee Burton on behalf of Ringbelles, tapping out.

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