Trish Stratus spoke about the current crop of WWE Divas and while she was complimentary, it was tinged with criticism.
“Right now you see the girls with the girls, which is fine, but you can only do so much with the same characters. Unfortunately, they don’t have super developed characters at the moment,” she told CBS News. “The potential is there because there’s some great workers. That’s what we had at the moment things shifted for us. We had the right things.”
I got to get in the ring with The Rock and Kurt Angle… Big Show tossed me over the top ropes. Certainly, those things all resonate with the fans.”
The WWE Hall of Famer and record-setting Women’s Champion seems to like what the current crop like AJ Lee and Paige are doing, but having them align themselves with male characters may not necessarily work out. Brie Bella seems to have regressed in her development as both a wrestler and a character since she became more integrated with her husband Daniel Bryan – while Nikki seems to be fine without associating herself with main squeeze John Cena, even though to do so would compromise Cena’s squeaky clean gimmick to be seen with his bitchy other half. While Stratus may claim that wrestlers like Paige need more development, at least the growth is coming while being independent of a guy rather than because of it. If you look at AJ Lee’s history, it’s filled with alignments with men like Primo, Daniel Bryan, Kane, CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler – and she enjoyed the best push of the wrestling aspect of her career when she stood by herself.
Sure, Trish enjoyed her first main event alongside Triple H against The Rock and Lita in the summer of 2000, though she was no great wrestler at the time and was there more because of the way she looked rather than the strength of her character – which was still in the process of being shaped. When Lita main evented Raw around the same time, the storyline was focussed on The Rock, Triple H and Kurt Angle’s impending SummerSlam main event and her Women’s Title challenge against Stephanie McMahon was the sideshow – albeit one with a popular outcome.
It’s a fair argument that Paige, AJ and the rest may not be as popular as Lita and Stratus were at their peak but at this point if they succeed they can claim all the credit – similarly if they bomb it can’t be blamed on their alignment with men. Besides, the pair have been feuding for six months, while Lita and Trish battled on and off for six years. The correct writing could get the new stars over without ever having to associate themselves with the males – and would that not be the most positive feminist statement that WWE could make?
Female Fight Season continues this weekend with Absolute Intense Wrestling’s Girls Night Out tapings which feature a mixture of stars, fresh faces and one return after an extended absence.
The main event of GNO13 is a rematch from the previous taping earlier this year with Athena defending the Women’s Championship against Allysin Kay – who is hoping it’s third time lucky when it comes to title challenges in the last month. Considering the match where Kay lost the belt was an impromptu contest, it will be interesting to see the dynamic when both are billed as being ready for each other.
Elsewhere we have international returns in the shape of Nikki Storm and Xandra Bale, as well as the US debut of KC Cassidy, who will take on Storm in a first-time ever encounter. There are also some domestic debuts by second-generation wrestler Tessa Blanchard as well as Chasity Taylor, who will be coming in from North Carolina. The return comes in the form of Mary Elizabeth Monroe, who hasn’t been at a GNO since the first one in 2009.
AIW has invested a lot in women’s wrestling in the last year. As well as having the GNO shows, the promotion has spent a lot of time working with people like Athena, Seleziya Sparx and Heidi Lovelace – which included a Battle of the Sexes intergender event over the summer which seemed to go over well. These GNO shows will be intriguing in the sense that it is providing a platform for wrestlers to make big impressions, and will be highlighted by the stars to draw in the audience. It will certainly be worth a watch.
We’ve had a mixed bag of stuff on the website this week: there’s been a Retro with Ayako Hamada and Faby Apache teaming with their respective fathers, a video of Sasha Banks before she signed with WWE, an interview with Violet O’Hara where she talked about getting Match of the Night at Bellatrix X – which she accomplished – and a prediction for who will win this year’s Pro Wrestling Illustrated Female 50.
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AJ Lee is such an unlikeable babyface. After sitting at the commentary desk watching Paige beat Naomi with a ropes-assisted roll-up on Main Event, she took to the ring and hit Paige in the back of the head with the Divas belt for no reason. It’s the most heelish thing that’s been done in the Paige/AJ feud since Paige turned on July 21. Speaking of that feud, it was nudged along on Raw with Paige saying that Alicia Fox – who was beaten by AJ on the show – was her new best friend. Elsewhere on Raw, Brie Bella beat Eva Marie and Cameron in a handicap match set up by sister Nikki, and Layla defeated Rosa Mendes in the latest Total Divas advert… Bayley secured another shot at the NXT Women’s Championship after beating Alexa Bliss on last Thursday’s show. She then issued the challenge to Charlotte, who accepted – their match will take place on Thursday… The Wrestling Observer reports that Vince McMahon has a rule in place that none of the Total Divas cast can be Divas Champion. There is also the proviso that he’s always liable to change his mind at the drop of a hat. Speaking of the Observer, it reported that AJ Lee had been a victim of the nude photos hacking scandal which has been going on this month. It’s not true – the alleged photo is not her, and she said so on Twitter at the weekend… Cameron worked at the Performance Center earlier this year in the hope of improving. It may not have worked… A self-professed insider posted on Reddit that the Bella Twins may fight in a Hell in a Cell match at the PPV with the same name. It seems unlikely though. AJ Lee and Paige are rumoured to be fighting at the show though… Tamina Snuka says she is doing agility ladder drills as part of the rehab of her ACL.
It was thought to be very unlikely that there would be a Knockouts match at Bound For Glory in Tokyo, Japan on October 12 after Wrestle-1’s Jimmy Suzuki tweeted “We have too many good cards and having difficulty make it less than 10… Sorry but I don’t think there will be a room for girls this time”. After that was said, it was announced yesterday that there would be a women’s match after all – Havok will face Velvet Sky in what appears on paper to be a heel v heel match… Speaking of Havok, she faces Gail Kim with the Knockouts Title on the line on tomorrow’s Impact Wrestling episode.
Mickie James and her boyfriend Magnus have welcomed their first child into the world. Donovan Patrick Aldis was born on Thursday morning… LuFisto will defend the Women Superstars Uncensored Championship at NCW Femmes Fatales XVI on October 25 against the debuting Mia Yim… Since she’s unable to be part of Absolute Intense Wrestling’s Girls Night Out shows this weekend, Seleziya Sparx has lined up another booking – she’s defending the Conflict Wrestling Women’s Championship against Jewells Malone in a No DQ, Falls Count Anywhere match… Nikki Valentine became the first Lucky Pro Wrestling Women’s Championship on Friday by beating Davienne in a cage match… Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling titleholder Nicole Matthews retained her title by beating Danny Deeds on Saturday. Elsewhere on the show, a tournament kicked off to determine a new Women’s Champion with Cat Power beating Violet… LuFisto – who told Wrestle Talk TV that protege Kalamity has now retired – went after DJ Hyde with a knife on Saturday’s Combat Zone Wrestling show for his murder of Pegaboo on WSU’s show earlier this month. Nevaeh beat Kimber Lee in a WSU showcase match on the same event… Hudson Envy held onto the Alternative Wrestling Show Women’s Championship at the weekend by beating Leah Von Dutch… Angelus Layne challenges Gary Jay for the St Louis Anarchy Championship on Friday in a 2 out of 3 falls match… Heather Patera and Kimber Lee are teaming up for AAW’s Tag Team Championship tournament taking place on October 17… Portia Perez made a grandstand challenge to Ronda Rousey on Twitter for her to show up to fight her at SHIMMER. Don’t bet on it happening though. Incidentally, SHIMMER says the advance ticket sales for the tapings coming up in two and a half weeks are the best ever and it’s expecting a legit sellout on Saturday when you factor in the walk-up sales.
Following her month-long participation in the Stardom 5*STAR GP, Cheerleader Melissa has been named as a US advocate for the promotion in order to see which Americans could be useful in the promotion.
Kimber Lee’s been booked into another match for Southside Wrestling’s collaborative weekend with Combat Zone Wrestling. She will team with Drew Gulak against Kay Lee Ray & El Ligero in Nottingham, England on October 10… They will fight again: after at least three contests over the course of 2014, Rhia O’Reilly and Addy Starr will wrestle as part of Pro Wrestling: EVE’s return at XWA’s show on November 1… Sammi Baynz beat Blue Nikita in the main event Builders’ Cage Match at Bellatrix X on Sunday to retain her RQW European Women’s Championship. Elsewhere on the card, Chanel scored her first win the promotion by beating Saraya Knight following interference from Baynz, Liberty defeated Allysin Kay to hold onto the Bellatrix World Championship, and Penelope beat Violet O’Hara in a cracker to win the British Title. The show ended with a massive brawl between Sammi and Saraya… Nikki Storm will defend the Pro Wrestling: EVE Championship against Kay Lee Ray in a No DQ, No Count Out match on October 31’s XWA Wrestling show. It’s her first defence since her DQ loss to Rhia O’Reilly in May last year.
Estrellita is out at the moment with a rib injury, meaning her scheduled challenge for Xeuxis’ CMLL Mexican Women’s Championship has been postponed.
Australia & New Zealand
Harley Wonderland is demanding that her title challenge to Riot City Wrestling Women’s Champion Demi Bennett be delayed until a time of her choosing… There will be an intergender match at Melbourne City Wrestling’s 4th Anniversary Show on November 1. Tommy Hellfire & Siren Monroe face The Cremator & Vixsin.
September 23: Gatoh Move (Tokyo, Japan) – Sayaka Obihiro b Emi Sakura; Riho b Sayaka Obihiro; Riho b Hatsuhinode Kamen; Madoka b Riho; Madoka v Makoto went to a draw; Kaori Yoneyama b “Kotori”
September 23: WWE Main Event (Little Rock, AK) – Paige b Naomi
September 23: CMLL (Guadalajara, Mexico) – Marcela, Silueta & Skadi b Amapola, Dalys & Tiffany
September 24: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Risa Sera b Akane Fujita; Miyako Matsumoto b Meari Naito; Mio Shirai & Yuri Kotobuki b Hamuko Hoshi & Shiori Akiba; Maki Narumiya & Makoto b Tsukasa Fujimoto & Koyuki Hayashi
September 25: Ray Produce (Tokyo, Japan) – Makoto & Koharu Hinata b Kikutaro & Hamuko Hoshi; Tomoka Nakagawa b Gabai-jichan & Cho-un Shiryu in a 3-way; Command Bolshoi b Kaho Kobayashi; Ray & SYU*RI b Leon & Meiko Satomura
September 25: WWE Superstars (Memphis, TN) – Naomi b Alicia Fox
September 25: WWE NXT (Orlando, FL) – Bayley b Alexa Bliss
September 26: Pro Wrestling WAVE (Tokyo, Japan) – Mika Iida b Rabbit Miyu; Sawako Shimono b Koharu Hinata; Fairy Nipponbashi b Kyuri; Sumire Natsu b Shiori Akiba; Kaho Kobayashi & Risa Sera b Rina Yamashita & Manami Kanda
September 26: WWE SmackDown (Little Rock, AK) – Layla & Summer Rae b Natalya & Rosa Mendes
September 26: NWA Signature Pro (Tampa, FL) – Leva Bates & Mia Yim b La Rosa Negra & Solo Darling
September 26: Lucky Pro Wrestling (Hudson, MA) – Nikki Valentine b Davienne to win the LPW Women’s Championship
September 26: RESISTANCE Pro (Willowbrook, IL) – Crazy Mary Dobson b Angel Dust
September 26: WWE House Show (East Rutherford, NJ) – Natalya b Paige
September 26: I Believe In Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Santana Garrett b Joey Mayberry
September 26: Santino Bros Wrestling (Bell Gardens, CA) – Ruby Raze b Ali Hussein
September 26: CMLL (Zumpango, Mexico) – Australian Suicide & Faby Apache b Eterno & Sexy Star
September 27: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Maki Narumiya b Akane Fujita; Maki Narumiya b 235; Kurumi & Kyuri b Miyako Matsumoto & Shiori Akiba; Kurumi v Yuka -went to a time limit draw; Tsukasa Fujimoto & Risa Sera b Aoi Kizuki & Yuri Kotobuki
September 27: Tokyo Joshi Pro (Tokyo, Japan) – KANNA b Ai Shimizu; Yuka Sakazaki b Chikage Kiba; Miyu Yamashita & Shoko Nakajima b Nonoko & Erin
September 27: Scottish Wrestling Alliance (Glasgow, Scotland) – Bete Noire b Nikki Storm
September 27: American Wrestling Rampage (Killarney, Ireland) – Kasey Owens & Leah Owens b Kazza G in a handicap match
September 27: Combat Zone Wrestling (Dayton, OH) – Nevaeh b Kimber Lee
September 27: Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada) – Cat Power b Violet; Nicole Matthews b Danny Deeds
September 27: Ronin Pro Wrestling (Miami, FL) – La Rosa Negra b Leva Bates; Solo Darling b Justine Silver via DQ
September 27: Alternative Wrestling Show (South Gate, CA) – Raze b Melissa Coates; Hudson Envy b Leah Von Dutch
September 27: West End Wrestling (Stowe, PA) – Annie Social b Amber Rodriguez
September 27: Pro Wrestling Riot (Titusville, FL) – Chasyn Rance b Santana Garrett
September 28: Pro Wrestling WAVE (Osaka, Japan) – Mio Shirai b Moeka Haruhi; Melanie Cruise b Sawako Shimono; Misaki Ohata b Shu Shibutani; Mika Iida & Sakura Hirota b Sumire Natsu & Rina Yamashita; Dynamite Kansai & Fairy Nipponbashi b Kana & Kaho Kobayashi; Yuu Yamagata, Mari Apache & Ayako Hamada b Hikaru Shida, Yumi Oka & Tomoka Nakagawa
September 28: Chigusa Nagayo Produce (Takasaki, Japan) – Leon b Yua Hayashi; Yumiko Hotta & Takako Inoue b Dump Matsumoto & ZAP; Kayoko Haruyama b Rabbit Miyu; Nanae Takahashi b Koguma; Command Bolshoi & Arisa Nakajima b KAORU & Mima Shimoda
September 28: Sendai Girls (Niigata, Japan) – Hanako Nakamori b Raideen Hagane; Eiger b Alex Lee; Manami Toyota & Tsubasa Kuragaki b Kagetsu & Ray; Meiko Satomura & DASH Chisako b Aja Kong & Kyoko Kimura; DASH Chisako won a battle royal
September 28: Ice Ribbon (Kanagawa, Japan) – Tsukasa Fujimoto b 235; Jun Kasai & Miyako Matsumoto b The Winger & Mochi Miyagi; Tsukasa Fujimoto, Maki Narumiya & Risa Sera b Akane Fujita, Kurumi & Tsukushi
September 28: PAID Promotions (Morecambe, England) – Kay Lee Ray b Carmel Jacob
September 28: Scottish Wrestling Alliance (Beith, Scotland) – Courtney b Viper
September 28: Bellatrix X (Norwich, England) – Erin Angel b Lady Lory; Amy-Lee Krammer b Shax; Penelope b Violet O’Hara to win the Bellatrix British Championship; Chanel b Saraya Knight; Liberty b Allysin Kay; Karama & Leah Elise b Holly Burage & Elsie; Skarlett b Miss Mina; Sammi Baynz b Blue Nikita
September 28: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – La Vaquerita, Princesa Sugehit & Skadi b La Comandante, La Seductora & Zeuxis
September 29: WWE Raw (Rosemont, IL) – Layla b Rosa Mendes; Brie Bella b Cameron & Eva Marie; Alicia Fox b AJ Lee
September 29: CMLL (Puebla, Mexico) – La Comandante & La Seductora b La Vaquerita & Lluvia
October 3: House Of Pain Evolution (Mansfield, England) – Nixon Newell v Violet O’Hara
October 3: Premier British Wrestling (Lambert, Scotland) – Kasey & Leah Owens v Kay Lee Ray & Lucy Cole
October 3: St Louis Anarchy (Alton, IL) – Gary Jay v Angelus Layne
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: Revolution Championship Wrestling (Barcelona, Spain) – Audrey Bride v Leah Owens v Hikaru Shida
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 4: Ring Wars Carolina (Lumberton, NC) – Devyn Nicole v Katie T
October 4: Coliseum Championship Wrestling (Evansville, IN) – Marriah Moreno v Mickie Knuckles
October 4: American States Wrestling Alliance (Mansfield, OH) – Nevaeh v Samantha Heights
October 4: Conflict Wrestling (Kitchener, ON, Canada) – Seleziya Sparx v Jewells Malone
October 4: Absolute Intense Wrestling Girls Night Out 13 (Cleveland, OH) – Tessa Blanchard v Veda Scott; Athena v Allysin Kay; Nikki Storm v KC Cassidy; Taeler Hendrix v Xandra Bale; Angel Dust v Chasity Taylor; Annie Social v Thunderkitty
October 4: Absolute Intense Wrestling Girls Night Out 14 (Cleveland, OH) – Taeler Hendrix v Mary Elizabeth Monroe; Tessa Blanchard v Chasity Taylor; Xandra Bale v Angel Dust
October 5: Dragon Pro Wrestling (Newport, Wales) – Addy Starr v Pollyanna Peppers; Rhia O’Reilly v Nixon Newell
October 5: Futureshock Wrestling (Stockport, England) – Danni Hunter & Bete Noire v Lana Austin & Viper
October 8: Tidal Wrestling (Leeds, England) – Violet O’Hara v Kimber Lee
October 10: Southside Wrestling (Nottingham, England) – Kay Lee Ray & El Ligero v Kimber Lee & Drew Gulak
October 10: SHINE 22 (Ybor City, FL)
October 11: Discovery Wrestling (Edinburgh, Scotland) – Shanna v Viper v Sammii Jayne
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: TNA Bound For Glory (Tokyo, Japan) – Havok v Velvet Sky
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: DOA Wrestling (March, England) – Penelope v Chanel v Addy Starr
October 18: Scottish Wrestling Alliance (Motherwell, Scotland) – Viper v Sammii Jayne
October 18-19: SHIMMER: Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)
October 24: Scottish Wrestling Alliance (Glasgow, Scotland) – Nikki Storm v Leah Von Dutch
October 24: Valkyrie Women’s Wrestling (Brooklyn, NY) – Sumie Sakai v Kacee Carlisle; Kimber Lee v La Rosa Negra; Tessa Blanchard v Nikki Addams; Kimber Lee v La Rosa Negra v Hania; Mia Yim v Jessie Brooks
October 25: Southside Wrestling (Stevenage, England) – Mark Andrews v El Ligero v Will Ospreay v Rich Swann v Kay Lee Ray v Curry Man
October 25: NWA Branded Outlaw Wrestling (San Antonio, TX) – Kat Green & Danny Ramons v Athena & Mathew Palmer
October 25: NWA Houston (Cypress, TX) – Barbi Hayden v Delilah Doom
October 25: NCW Femmes Fatales XVI (Montreal, QC, Canada) – Jodi D’Milo v Vanessa Kraven; Courtney Rush v Cheerleader Melissa; LuFisto v Mia Yim
October 26: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland)
October 31: XWA Wrestling (Sudbury, England) – Nikki Storm v Kay Lee Ray
November 1: Melbourne City Wrestling (Melbourne, Australia) – Tommy Hellfire & Siren Monroe v The Cremator & Vixsin
November 1: Flemish Wrestling Force (Limsburg, Belgium) – Leah Von Dutch v Katey Harvey
November 1: XWA Wrestling (Colchester, Essex) – Rhia O’Reilly v Addy Starr
November 2: Alpha 1 Wrestling (Hamilton, ON, Canada) – Seleziya Sparx v Jasmin
November 8: 4 Front Wrestling (Brisol, England) – Nadia Sapphire v Chardonnay
November 8: Women Superstars Uncensored (Voorhees, NJ)
November 15: Riot City Wrestling “City Chicks” (Adelaide, Australia)
November 15: True Grit Wrestling (Leeds, England) – Lana Austin v Nixon Newell
November 16: Tidal Wrestling (Newcastle, England) – Kay Lee Ray v Shax
November 16: British Empire Wrestling (London, England) – Dragonita v Dean Michael; Lola & Nina Samuels v Astronomica & Nightshade
November 21: New Horizons Pro Wrestling (Perth, Australia) – Saraya Knight v Demi Bennett v Evie v Madison Eagles
November 23: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland)
November 23: SMASH Wrestling (Mississauga, ON, Canada) – Candice LeRae & Joey Ryan v Cherry Bomb & Pepper Parks
March 14: Rock N’ Wrassle (Nottingham, England)
– Lee Burton
– Photos by WWE (1,2,4), Chad Simplicio (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