Losing the WWE Divas Championship may be the best thing to happen to Paige.
In dropping the belt, the 21-year old has turned heel and has a feud set up with AJ Lee, who returned to the promotion on last night’s Raw and won the title, turning babyface in the process. The double-turn should also be able to let Paige spend some more time on a microphone to develop a character – something which has been lacking from her run since graduating to the main roster back in April. Instead of having fans learn about who she is, her motivations and her goals, WWE instead to throw her out there against a bunch of wrestlers to beat with more development put into her opponents than in her. Alicia Fox’s tantrum gimmick was borne out of a need to create interesting challengers, and Naomi’s title challenge at Money in the Bank on Sunday was garnished with the impending heel turn of her partner Cameron. Conversely, very little has been done to create a gimmick for the woman they were seeking to beat.
That should change now, and she will be working opposite the woman who carried the Divas division for close to a year before dropping the title three months ago and taking some time off. However, there is work that needs to be done. While we can imagine that Paige will be angry, vengeful and upset about losing the Divas Championship last night (as evidenced by her storming through the backstage area and refusing an interview request), her promo skills were not up to the level of AJ. That could be for a number of reasons – nerves, lack of experience doing it on this level, or the writers being able to work out what and how she should say things as they haven’t establish who Paige is yet.
A similar situation happened earlier in Paige’s career, back when she was Britani Knight. While she was a well-liked babyface on the UK scene, she was catapulted to a new level by turning heel and really getting a chance to work on a self-absorbed, sneaky bitch gimmick which gave people a reason to dislike her and hope to see her defeated. If a similar situation is played out over the weeks and months in WWE, it will probably lead to more fans having more of an opinion on her and subsequently caring about whether she wins or loses. In fact, it’s how things worked for her in Florida Championship Wrestling and later NXT – she started as a heel and then evolved into a babyface because of her toughness and attitude – so a similar thing could happen here.
There were some tweets last night about how Paige would be sent back to NXT because of this title change, alleging that the experiment had failed. That’s possible, but hugely unlikely. Firstly, AJ Lee needs a fresh feud as she has wrestled literally everybody in the Divas division, and beaten them all – the only one who is any sort of challenge is Paige, as they have traded the championship and would really benefit from a match on PPV with a storyline behind it. Also, what sort of message does it send to the wrestlers still in NXT if she is forced to return to Florida? It would kill morale amongst those who are itching to be elevated, knowing that it could be fleeting. WWE has invested a lot on these wrestlers, so to appear give up on someone after developing this character over two years and then a further three months on the main TV shows may not go down well with aspiring names.
Everyone remember: Rocky Maivia did not get over at first, and it was a heel turn which set him on his way. Let’s see if Paige ends up more like The Rock and less reminiscent of Gail Kim’s first WWE run where she became champion on her first night but never really got off the launchpad.
Meanwhile, AJ Lee clearly isn’t pregnant, as the rumours suggested she may have been following her wedding to CM Punk last month. In fact, the layoff should have seen any nagging injuries, aches and pains heal up and she should be in better shape than when she left.
WWE Diva Emma (Tenille Dashwood) was arrested yesterday afternoon on suspicion of sixth degree larceny (theft) at a Wal-Mart in Hartford, CT. She was arrested at 1pm and held for more than an hour before being released. The 25-year old did not appear on last night’s Raw, which was pointed out by her running buddy Santino Marella during a skit on the show – though she did send a couple of tweets after the arrest.
WWE issued a statement, saying “WWE is aware that Tenille Dashwood (WWE Diva Emma) was arrested for shoplifting. Ms. Dashwood is ultimately responsible for her personal actions.”
The Courant reports that Dashwood appeared in community court earlier today and was ordered to do community service. Her lawyer Hubert Santos says it was a “mistake” as she was using the self-checkout machine and forgot to pay for a case for an electronic device – reportedly for an iPod.
The maximum punishment for sixth degree larceny (theft of items totalling $250 or less) is a fine of up to $500 and up to three months in jail. Under Connecticut law, should Dashwood complete the community service, she should not get a criminal record – which would be beneficial for someone working in the US on a visa.
We’ve been busy this week. As well as all the links you see highlighted throughout the Roundup, we have also started out Good Half Year series with Serena Deeb and Ivelisse Velez. In addition, we’ve posted a match between Jenny Rose and Marcela, and there is also a new Women Of Wrestling Podcast for you to listen to. Our guest – Cherry Bomb, who talked about the SHINE show she was due to appear at (but didn’t make it due to travel problems). Still, there’s plenty more content on there for your enjoyment.
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Following her WWE departure, Vickie Guerrero penned a long thank-you letter which was posted on WWE.com. Among the people who got a shout-out were Vince & Stephanie McMahon, Edge, Tamina Snuka, Undertaker, Dolph Ziggler, Michelle McCool and Teddy Long. It was quite touching, though two people who didn’t like it were her former in-laws Hector Guerrero and his wife Penny, who slated her on social media for not thinking the Guerrero family. Vickie stayed quiet about it until yesterday, when she wrote “I am free from their chaos and negative lives… hope they find peace”… Oft-used Rosebud Becky Lynch (TAFKA Rebecca Knox) made her NXT TV debut on last Thursday’s episode, defeating Summer Rae with a leg trap overhead suplex. The Beautiful Fierce Females continued their in-fighting… Former NXT trainee Sarah Backman (Shara) married Bo Dallas last week… Jerry Lawler returned the favour from him checking out Paige’s rear end last week on Raw by having a photo set up on Sunday where the tables were turned… As well as Paige defeating Naomi at Money in the Bank to retain the Divas Championship, Layla beat Summer Rae in a stinker… Naomi and Cameron got into a shoving match with each other on last night’s Raw after beating Nikki Bella in a handicap match, set up by Stephanie McMahon – Cameron wanted to punish Nikki, while Naomi just wanted to get the mismatch over with. The match was a punishment for Nikki inviting Brie to Money in the Bank the previous night, which saw her being thrown out by Stephanie. The apparent plan is for Brie to wrestle Stephanie at SummerSlam with the stipulation being that Brie can get her job back. Quite why McMahon would offer that is a massive hole in logic.
Gail Kim pinned Angelina Love as part of a tag team match which saw Kim and the returning Taryn Terrell beat the Beautiful People… A number of northeast wrestlers were offered tryouts during the New York tapings last week. World Women’s Wrestling Champion Mistress Belmont and Kasey Ray have been highlighted.
Courtney Rush defends the Acclaim Pro Wrestling Women’s Championship against Kc Spinelli on July 12. There will also be a six way match to determine a new number one contender… The main event of Valkyrie Women Wrestling’s second show on July 19 will be LuFisto v Kacee Carlisle… Veda Scott, Kc Spinelli & Addy Starr will all be part of NCW Femmes Fatales XIV on August 16, while Xandra Bale will return from injury and be in action by then – she’s booked against Cherry Bomb at Smash Wrestling’s July 20. Kimber Lee v Missy and Sassy Stephie v Vanessa Kraven have also been announced… Nicole Matthews defends her Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling Women’s Title against an un-retired Veronika Vice on July 12… Candice LeRae will make her Absolute Intense Wrestling debut in September… Jillian Hall says she is working on an autobiography. She was hospitalised again recently for undisclosed reasons – the former Divas Champion tweeted a picture of herself… SHINE Champion Ivelisse Velez and Serena Deeb went to a 60 minute time limit draw in the main event of SHINE 20 on Friday. Elsewhere on the card, Allysin Kay defeated Jessicka Havok under screwy circumstances in a Last Woman Standing match, while Malia Hosaka and Brandi Wine won the SHINE Tag Team Championship from Leva Bates and Mia Yim after winning a qualifier earlier in the show. There was also a Minnesota Home Wrecking Crew reunion as Lacey and Rain were both backstage… Randi West defeated Mistress Burgandi, Thunderkitty and Ludark Shaitan to win the IWA Mid-South Queen of the Deathmatches tournament on Saturday. Heidi Lovelace had to pull shards of broken glass out of her back after losing her semi final match against Shaitan… Kimber Lee will be touring Europe in October with Combat Zone Wrestling, with dates booked in Germany and England… On the subject of Kimber Lee, she and Annie Social will defend the Women Superstars Uncensored Tag Team Championship against Veda Scott and Rick Cataldo on July 12… Su Yung won the 6th Annual Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen of Queens tournament. The American Joshi Champion defeated Candice LeRae, Jessica James and Leva Bates in contests where her title was also on the line. Miss Diss Lexia replaced the injured Angelus Layne after defeating Paige Turner earlier in the show.
Wrestling New Classic presented its final show on Thursday, which had three joshi contests. Alex Lee got the pin for her team as she and La Comandante defeated Kaho Kobayashi & Koharu Hinata; El Hijo Del Pantera & Makoto beat YO-HEY & Lin Byron, with Makoto doing a public farewell with Byron as the latter won’t be competing in REINA, while Syuri made a successful defence of her REINA World Championship by downing Aki Shizuku… Act Yasukawa has vacated the Wonder of Stardom Championship due to her ongoing battle with Graves’ Disease, which is an auto-immune issue to do with her thyroid. There will be a four-woman tournament on July 27 featuring Miho Wakizawa, Mayu Iwatani, Kairi Hojo & Takumi Iroha.
April Davids will face a debuting female competitor on Preston City Wrestling’s August 1 show… Saraya Knight, Sammi Baynz and Liberty will all appear at Fierce Females on July 20 where they will face Bete Noire, Viper and Sammii Jayne respectively… Revolution Championship Wrestling crowns a Women’s Champion this weekend with four qualifying matches and the winners going forward to a ladder match later in the show. You can see the card in the Upcoming section below.
Zeuxis has issued a challenge for Estrellita’s CMLL Mexican National Women’s Championship. The pair wrestle tonight.
Australia & New Zealand
Evie makes her debut in Melbourne City Wrestling next month, wrestling Toni Storm.
June 23: Sendai Girls (Sendai, Japan) – Hiroyo Matsumoto b Manami Katsu; Rabbit Miu b Kyusei Sakura Hirota; La Comandante & Yumiko Hotta b Raideen Hagane & Leon; Kagetsu b Tsubasa Kuragaki; Kyoko Kimura b DASH Chisako
June 24: IWA East Coast (Campbell’s Creek, WV) – Mad Man Pondo & Crazy Mary Dobson b Ron Mathis & Heidi Lovelace
June 24: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Dalys, Tiffany & Zeuxis b Estrellita, Goya Kong & Lluvia
June 25: JWP (Tokyo, Japan) – Sachie Abe b Yuuka; Natsu Sumire & Yume Hayashi b Kyuri & Sareee; Rina Yamashita b Rydeen Hagane; Misaki Ohata & Risa Sera b Manami Katsu & Rabbit Miu
June 25: Destination 1 Wrestling (New Albany, IN) – Crazy Mary Dobson b Samantha Heights
June 26: Wrestling New Classic (Tokyo, Japan) – La Comandante & Alex Lee b Kaho Kobayashi & Koharu Hinata; El Hijo Del Pantera & Makoto b YO-HEY & Lin Byron; Syuri b Aki Shizuku
June 26: TNA Impact Wrestling (Bethlehem, PA) – Gail Kim & Taryn Terrell b Angelina Love & Velvet Sky
June 26: WWE NXT (Winter Park, FL) – Becky Lynch b Summer Rae
June 27: True Grit Wrestling (Leeds, England) – Lana Austin b Violet O’Hara
June 27: WWE SmackDown (Pittsburgh, PA) – Paige b Cameron
June 27: Freelance Wrestling (Chicago, IL) – Mason & Devin Cutter b Melanie Cruise & Jordynne Grace
June 27: SHINE 20 (Ybor City, FL) – Malia Hosaka & Brandi Wine b Sassy Stephie & Jessie Belle Smothers, Heidi Lovelace & Solo Darling and Kimber Lee; Crazy Mary Dobson b Amber O’Neal via DQ; Su Yung b Justine Silver; La Rosa Negra b Shanna; Candice LeRae b Nevaeh; Malia Hosaka & Brandi Wine b Leva Bates & Mia Yim to win the SHINE Tag Team Championship; Allysin Kay b Jessicka Havok; Ivelisse Velez v Serena Deeb went to a time limit draw
June 27: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Dark Angel, Marcela & Princesa Sugehit b Dalys, La Seductora & Princesa Blanca via DQ
June 28: World Woman Pro Wrestling Diana (Tokyo, Japan) – Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru b Megumi Yabushita & Sachie Abe in a 3-way; Kaoru Ito & KAZUKI b Keiko Aono & Mask de Sun; Yumiko Hotta b Dump Matsumoto via count out; Command Bolshoi & Shinobu Kandori b Sareee & Tomoko Watanabe; Jaguar Yokota, Kyoko Inoue, Manami Toyota b KAORU, Mima Shimoda & Takako Inoue
June 28: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Maki Narumiya & Yuuka b 235 & Meari Naito; Hamuko Hoshi & Masaaki Ikeda b Lou Lourdes & Neko Nitta; Kurumi b Yuri Kotobuki; Risa Sera & Tsukasa Fujimoto b Aoi Kizuki & Kyuri
June 28: Herts and Essex Wrestling (Takeley, England) – Sammi Baynz b Shax
June 28: Scottish Wrestling Entertainment (Dundee, Scotland) – Sammi Jayne b Nikki Storm & Viper in a gauntlet match
June 28: Preston City Wrestling (Preston, England) – Lana Austin v Jenna went to a no-contest
June 28: Pro Wrestling Academy (East Haven, CT) – Candy Cartwright b Lucy Diamond
June 28: IWA Mid South Queen of the Deathmatches (New Albany, IN) – Miss Diss Lexia b Paige Turner; LuFisto b Jordynne Grace; Heidi Lovelace b Hudson Envy; Randi West b Mistress Burgandi; Thunderkitty b Jewells Malone; Ludark Shaitan b Kiki Rose; Randi West b Thunderkitty; Ludark Shaitan b Heidi Lovelace; Randi West b Ludark Shaitan
June 28: New York Wrestling Connection (Deer Park, NY) – Chrissy Rivera v Marti Belle went to a double DQ; David Starr & JT Dunn b Dickie Rodz & Nikki Starr to win the NYWC Tag Team Championship
June 28: New England Championship Wrestling (Stockton, MA) – Mistress Belmont, Sammi Lane & Toxis b Davienne, Lizzie Raze & Nikki Valentine
June 28: Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada) – Nicole Matthews b Jaida
June 28: Premier Wrestling Xperience (High Point, NC) – Tessa Blanchard b Chasity Taylor
June 28: WWE (Bangor, ME) – Paige & Nikki Bella b Alicia Fox & Rosa Mendes
June 28: WWE (Portland, ME) – Santino Marella & Emma b Fandango & Layla
June 28: World Xtreme Wrestling C4 (Allentown, PA) – Kacee Carlisle b Niya
June 29: REINA (Tokyo, Japan) – Neko Nitta b Koharu Hinata; Alex Lee b Katu Yu; Macho Pump & Syuri b Kid Tiger & Ray; La Comandante & Yumiko Hotta b Aki Shizuku & Ariya to win the REINA World Tag Team Championship
June 29: PROGRESS (London, England) – Rhia O’Reilly & Nikki Storm b Rosie Leigh & Mischa East
June 29: Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen of Queens (Austin, TX) – Athena b Jenny Rose; Leva Bates b Angel Blue; Jessica James b Miss Diss Lexia; Su Yung b Candice LeRae; Leva Bates b Athena; Su Yung b Jessica James; Su Yung b Leva Bates
June 29: IWA Mid South (Clarkesville, IN) – Thunderkitty, Heidi Lovelace, & Ludark b Hudson Envy, Jordynne Grace, & Randi West
June 29: TNA (Lakewood, NJ) – Gail Kim & Madison Rayne b Angelina Love & Velvet Sky
June 29: Absolute Intense Wrestling (Cleveland, OH) – Gregory Iron b Veda Scott via DQ
June 29: Definitive Wrestling International (Riverview, FL) – Chelsea Diamond b Leilani Kai
June 29: WWE Money in the Bank (Boston, MA) – Paige b Naomi; Layla b Summer Rae
June 30: WWE Raw (Hartford, CT) – Naomi & Cameron b Nikki Bella; AJ Lee b Paige to win the WWE Divas Championship
July 1: Pure Wrestling Association (Cambridge, ON, Canada) – Kc Spinelli v Beautiful Beaa
July 5: Impact Pro Wrestling (Lynfield, New Zealand) – Evie v Carmen Rose; Britenay & Liam Fury v Olivia Shaw & Brook Duncan
July 5: Riot City Wrestling (Wayville, Australia) – Demi Bennett v Blair Alexis; Harley Wonderland v Kellyanne English
July 5: Revolution Championship Wrestling (Barcelona, Spain) – Leah Owens v Lady Lory; Pollyanna Peppers v Bete Noire; Kay Lee Ray v Blue Nikita; Kasey Owens v Nikki Storm
July 5: Heartland Wrestling Association (Middletown, OH) – Cherry Bomb v Heidi Lovelace v Amber Rodriguez
July 6: British Empire Wrestling (London, England) – Dragonita v Dean Michael; Toni Storm v Kasey Owens
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 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 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 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
August 16: Conflict Wrestling (Kitchener, ON, Canada) – Seleziya Sparx v Jewells Malone
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), Jerry Lawler (4), Alex Castle (5), Youji Kawauchi (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