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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In Video: Ice Ribbon’s show from November 24th: Fujimoto defends the ICEx∞ Championship/Tomoka Nakagawa’s final appearance

Tsukasa Fujimoto vs KizukiMonth from now, Tsukasa Fujimoto heading into her tenth title defense as ICEx∞ Champion at Ice Ribbon‘s year-end annual show “RibbonMania.” Just a few days ago, its announced that Fujimoto’s next challenger would be in the form of a current champion outside the promotion. It turned out; current JWP Openweight Champion Arisa Nakajima would be the competitor stepping up to the plate, as her title is also on the line. On December 28th, Fujimoto will be defending her title against Nakajima in the main event of RibbonMania at Korakuen Hall. That same day, same building, Fujimoto will be challenging Nakajima for the Openweight Championship as part of JWP’s “Climax.” A possible unification of the titles could happen, as this wouldn’t be the first time Fujimoto or Nakajima have unified championships.

The video features the entire show from November 24th, featuring Fujimoto retaining the ICEx∞ Title against Aoi Kizuki after two Venus Shoots. The International Ribbon Tag Team Championship is also on the line as champions Maki Narumiya and Risa Sera (STAP) take on Cherry and the soon-to-retired Meari Naito. Yuuka wrestled twice on the show, taking on Kurumi in singles action and teaming up with Mio Shirai and Yuri Kotobuki against Akane Fujita, Kyuri and 235 to open the show. Tomoka Nakagawa also appeared on the show, she and Mochi Miyagi took on Maya Yuhiki and Tsukushi; Nakagawa’s final match in Ice Ribbon. Moreover, Neko Nitta makes her first title defense as Triangle Ribbon Champion against Miyako Matsumoto and Chon Shiryu. Peep the entire show; share with us your comments about the show on our Facebook and Twitter.

Photos courtesy of Ice Ribbon, Kazushi Mitsuhashi

Video courtesy of Gaijins Stuff via YouTube

Kana and Arisa Nakajima become the REINA World Tag Team Champions

Kana REINAREINA Joshi Puroresu has been on a bit of resurgence. In 2013, the promotion established a working relationship with Wrestling New Classic, as their female competitors became affiliated with both promotions, going into effect in January of this year. Six months later, Wrestler New Classic officially closed its doors after coming to terms on an agreement with Keiji Mutoh that sought its male roster be integrated over into WRESTLE-1. Over the years, REINA has dealt with its own setbacks due to changes within management that seen the promotion be rebranded and re-launched, the future of its current roster looked uncertain. However, Makoto, Syuri, Lin Byron, Haruka Kato and on regular competitors in Yumko Hotta, Dump Matsumoto, Alex Lee and Aki Shizuku have remained affiliated with the promotion to this day, as more competitors have been brought in.

With Syuri as the current and reigning REINA World Women’s Champion and luchadoras La Silueta and Amapola holding the CMLL-REINA International Junior Heavyweight Championship and RENA-CMLL International Championship respectively, the promotion crowned their new REINA World Tag Team Champions in Arisa Nakajima and Kana yesterday at Shinkiba 1st RING. Debuting back on August 30th under her role as storyline consultant, Kana made the decision to strip Ariya’ and Makoto of the titles, making it the fourth time the REINA World Tag Team Titles were declared vacant. Her shenanigans continued. On September 30th, she disgraced the WNC Women’s Championship by referring to the title as “garbage” and tossing it outside the ring, this occurred following Syuri’s final defense of the belt against Makoto in the main event. The first former champions wanted to preserve the posterity of the title by locking in a briefcase for good, but Kana’s antics turned the sentimental moment into a pull-apart brawl.

Kana & Arsa Nakajima REINA A tournament was held on yesterday’s show to determine the new champions. In the first round, Nakajima and Kana defeated Eri (Eri Susa) and Haruka Kato following a German Suplex Hold from Nakajima on Kato. Syuri and Lin Byron also made it past the first round, besting former champions Makoto and Maki Narumiya. In the finals of the tournament, Lin Byron turned on her partner as Kana and Nakajima delivered Double Buzzsaw Kicks to Syuri to become the REINA World Tag Team Champions. For the new titleholders, this is Kana’s first run with a championship in REINA. Despite her previous affiliation with Wrestling New Classic in the past, she never competed under the promotion. Nakajima is now a double champion, currently holding the JWP Openweight Championship.Also on the show, Kellie Skater picked up a loss to Kyoko Kimura. Dump Matsumoto and Yumiko Hotta defeated Sakura Hirota and Miyako Matsumoto in a rematch. In addition, Alex Lee and The Winger went over on Koharu Hinata and Yuji Kito.

Photos courtesy of Yuichi Kojima

Information courtesy of Joshifans, Cagematch, Joshiresu

In Video: Mary Elizabeth Monroe vs Nyla Rose & Amber Rodriguez in title action at Covey Pro

Nyla Rose & Selene Grey Covey Pro Covey Pro Wrestling is not a promotion that is talked about often. Like other promotions, its forced to take the backseat to conversations involving its competitors, as majority of indy wrestling fans tend to support those with bigger audience. Growing up in Virginia, I had no knowledge of independent wrestling or that there were promotions operating within the state. It wasn’t until I started following the career of a young Alexis Laree (Mickie James) that KYDA Pro Wrestling of Manassas, Virginia was brought to my attention. Vanguard Championship Wrestling (Norfolk, Virginia), Maryland Championship Wrestling and West Virginia Championship Wrestling are just some of the promotions that are running within proximity, in addition to the occasional shows from other promotions like Ring of Honor.

On a Saturday night back in 2010, I came across Covey Pro while channel surfing. Going through the list of local channels available to me, I noticed it said “wrestling” and immediately I turned to it. The show was taped in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia and featured former WWE Superstar Tatanka. I admit, keeping up on the promotion has not been a top priority, but seeing a women’s division has been more incorporated into the product, just might bring me back into catching the show on Saturday nights. For starters, Mickie James, Jessie Belle (McCoy) and Mary Elizabeth Monroe (going by Mary Elizabeth Hatfield) are former women’s champions in the promotion. Back in April of 2011, James defeated Hannah Blossom to become the first titleholder; she dropped the belt to Belle that November. From there the title was traded back and forth between Jessie Belle and Mary Elizabeth Monroe, making Monroe a three-time champion.

The first video sees Nyla Rose taking on Mary Elizabeth Monroe for the Covey Pro Women’s Championship. Defeating Monroe with a Muscle Buster from the top rope, Rose picked up the tournament win with her feet on the ropes to become the champion. The match took place a year ago, as this episode was leading up to the then upcoming Paddle on the Pole title match between Rose and Amber Rodriguez. Rodriguez retained after rolling up a distracted Nyla Rose for the win, Rose believed she had won the match, though the referee had initially counted to three, he realized that Rodriguez’s foot was under the rope and threw out the call.

That leads us into last week’s episode, which seen the current champion defending against the debuting Selene Grey, with Rose as the special guest referee. The show starts with a message from Grey to Rodriguez, saying that she is going to take her title. The match starts around the twenty-eight minute mark with some word exchanged between both competitors. Frustrated with the referee’s counting, Rodriguez confronted Rose, all for Selene Grey to capitalize on the distraction and rolled her up for the win. Grey’s first title defense is scheduled for this weekend’s card in Gettysburg, PA, defending against both Rodriguez and Rose.

Video courtesy of Covey Pro on YouTube

Information courtesy of Covey Pro

Wrestling Cares Association & AWS to present women’s Race For the Ring 2

Katarina Leigh WCAWrestling Cares Association will be presenting their second women’s tournament this coming January. The promotion will be collaborating with Alternative Wrestling Show for the “Race For the Ring 2: California Gold Rush,” as next year’s tournament will feature eight tag teams from the AWS roster. The two-day tournaments will be kicking off at the American Legion Posts in South Gate, California on January 23rd, as the first rounds will be worked through-the semifinals and finals will be held the following day, January 24th.

Katarina Leigh won this past year’s tournament; she defeated Candice LeRae in the first round of the “Beat the Champ Series” after submitting her to a Boston Crab to gain the final fall, besting LeRae two-to-one. Her next opponents scored the first pinfall in their match, Taeler Hendrix and Tracy Taylor gained the upper-hand on Leigh immediately into the contest, all for the match’s momentum to shift in Leigh’s momentum favor, becoming more aggressive throughout the rounds. On January 18th of this year, Leigh faced off against Cheerleader Melissa in the finals of the tournament. She and Melissa fought to sudden death- by the two-minute mark; both competitors tied with three wins apiece. Leigh reversed Melissa’s Air Raid Crash into a sunset flip to end the match. Leigh’s hand was raised-making her first Ladies Beat the Champ Series Champion.

As opposed to five women competing in the previous tournament, this time around twelve women will be vying for the championship ring, which will be presented to the winner. The first eleven competitors announced for the tournament are; Hania, Nicole Savoy, Datura, former AWS Women’s Champion Christina Von Eerie, Savana Riley, Kahmora, Marriah Moreno and regulars of AWS in Kikyo Nakamura,

Katarina Leigh vs Cheerleader MelissaRaze, Brittany Wonder and Sage Sin, the final competitor to be announced. Wrestling Cares Association has a scoring system implemented for their tournaments. Matches will be under a ten-minute time limit, as competitors will be fighting to collect the most points. Every win through pinfall, submission or count-out will be one point. If competitors are tied while the time limit expires, additional three-minutes will be added. If there is no winner at the end of the three minutes, both competitors will be eliminated from the tournament.

Photos courtesy of Wrestling Cares Association

Information courtesy of Wrestling Cares & Alternative Wrestling Show

In Video: Some Oz Academy

Oz Academy Here at Ringbelles, we have posted a bunch of matches from over in Japan. Promotions like World Wonder Ring STARDOM, Ice Ribbon, Pro Wrestling WAVE, REINA Joshi Puroresu(just to name a few) have been featured on this website. But in comparison, OZ Academy has not received that same amount of attention, but not on purpose. Majority of these shows we’ve stumbled across have either been uploaded to Dailymotion or YouTube, making it easier to access. Therefore the availability allows us to share them with you as well.

OZ Academy has a show scheduled for Sunday, headlined by the Openweight Championship match, Tsubasa Kuragaki will make her first title defense as champion against Tomoka Nakagawa. The rest of the card is here. The promotion will be holding another show on November 8th and closing out the month at the Nagoya Club Diamond Hall on November 30th.

The video features the promotion’s “Heart On Wave“show at Shinjuku FACE back on September 23rd. The show featured a decider for the vacant OZ Academy Tag Team Championship between Mayumi Ozaki and Sakura Hirota against Aja Kong and Tsubasa Kuragaki, as Hiroyo Matsumoto’s untimely injury forced she and Tomoka Nakagawa to vacate the belts. The rest of the card consisted of two singles matches-Yumi Ohka taking on Manami Toyota and Mio Shirai meeting Hamuko Hoshi. Besides the title match, there were two additional tag team matches-including Hikaru Shida and Kagetsu wrestling Kaho Kobayashi and AKINO and the latter between Misaki Ohata and Nakagawa agaisnt Ayako Hamada and Dynamite Kansai.

Photo courtesy of Oz Academy

Video courtesy of RealHero via Dailymotion

Kuragaki to defend the Openweight Championship against Tomoka Nakagawa

Tsubasa Kuragaki Last Monday, Tsubasa Kuragaki ascended the Oz Openweight Championship by defeating AKINO in the main event at Korakuen Hall. The 19-year veteran stood tall with the promotion’s flagship championship as the current titleholder’s 537-day reign ended in her eighth title defense following a Hammer Wing from the challenger. Nearly one year to the day she wrestled her final match as a competitor on the JWP roster, Kuragaki snagged her fourth singles title in her career, her second title since becoming a freelancer(currently Artist of STARDOM Champion), becoming the fifteenth Oz Academy Openweight Champion.

However, Kuragaki’s first title defense been announced for Oz Academy‘s upcoming show at Shinjuku FACE. At “Face Off,” Kuragaki will be defending the Openweight Championship against the soon-to-be retired Tomoka Nakagawa. Back on March 30th, Oz Academy kicked off a tournament to nominate the next challenger to the Openweight Championship, involving Hiroyo Matsumoto, Nakagawa, Hikaru Shida, Sakura Hirota, Kagetsu and Kuragaki, the winner would go onto face AKINO for the title as part of the June 4th show. Nakagawa fended off Shida Hirota and bested Kuragaki in the finals on May 11th, her unsuccessful attempt at the title handed AKINO her seventh defense.

Despite her loss, AKINO has set a record-breaking eighteen-month run as champion, becoming the longest reigning and the most successful titleholder in the promotion’s history with back-to-back wins over opponents like Mio Shirai, Sonoko Kato, Ayako Hamada and Leon. For Nakagawa, the title shot comes a month and two days ahead of her impending retirement from professional wrestling. Aside from holding the defunct SMASH Divas Championship in November of 2011, it’s possible that Nakagawa could end her career on a high note with another singles title run.

Hikaru Shida & Aja Kong Also announced for the show, the ongoing feud between Aja Kong and Shida continues, as Kong will be teaming up with Mari Apache against Shida and Kagetsu. Ahead of the match, Shida will be defending the Regina di WAVE Championship and the Revolution Championship Wrestling Women’s Championship against Apache at Shinkiba 1st RING on October 29th for WAVE’s “Virgin Code.” Following their debuts at SHIMMER this past weekend which you can read about here and  here, Mayumi Ozaki, Kaori Yoneyama and AKINO will be in tag team action as well-Ozaki, and Miyako Matsumoto will be taking on Kaho Kobayashi and Dynamite Kansai as AKINO, Syuri and Yoneyama will be taking on Yumi Ohka, Kyoko Kimura and Mio Shirai. There will also be a singles match between Sakura Hirota and Manami Toyota.

Photos and Information courtesy of Oz Academy, Pro Wrestling WAVE, Cagematch,