Ohio Valley Wrestling has a rich history when it comes to women’s wrestling. With working relationships with both WWE and TNA over the last decade and a half, it has seen some of the most successful names in the top flight promotions cut their teeth and hone their skills. Some, like Mickie James, Lisa Marie Varon (Victoria/Tara), Katarina Waters (Katie Lea/Winter) and Gail Kim worked for the promotion after being signed to WWE. Others like Beth Phoenix, Jillian Hall and ODB moved to Louisville, KY to be in the right place to improve and be noticed, while some like Serena Deeb moved there to learn from scratch. Its Women’s Championship history is a litany of big names, and it has a big presence for what is essentially a local promotion.
So it comes as a big disappointment that OVW has seemingly phased out its women’s division for the time being.
The last time the Women’s Championship was defended was at the start of the summer when Lei’D Tapa retained the title at the June 7 Saturday Night Special when she beat Jessie Belle and Ray Lyn in a 3-way. At the time, it seemed that she was set to defend against Belle and Mary Elizabeth Monroe – considering Jessie was the former titleholder and Mary was in line for a shot after beating Lyn in the previous week’s TV episode – but Monroe didn’t make it to the show. Since then, there has been no women’s matches on TV, with the only contests being a few dark matches before the tapings with Monroe wrestling TNA new face Rebel – the most recent of which was on August 20. With the departure of Lylah Lodge (and possibly Ray Lyn & Monroe), the impending retirement of Jessie Belle and Tapa seemingly back in Charlotte, NC, the promotion’s female roster is in tatters.
A fan contacted OVW to find out what was going on with the women’s division and received this response, which was posted on the OVWMania website:
‘At this time we do not have Women’s wrestlers who can fully commit to being apart of OVW for a variety of reasons. Being apart of OVW extends beyond just appearing for our television show therefore we do not feature them. If this upsets you then realize there are other companies out there who are fully dedicated to Women’s wrestling. All it takes is a Google search.’
The statement can be broken down into two halves. The first two sentences makes it seem as if it is struggling to find women to commit to OVW – though it does not specify what duties they are expected to undertake, if they are required to attend a minimum number of training sessions or whether there is also a sticking point of money coming into play, but OVW clearly has its reasons for not having many females on the books at the moment. However, the final two sentences feel much more terse and snide, ostensibly urging anyone who wants to see women’s wrestling to go elsewhere as it won’t be happening in OVW for the foreseeable future.
It’s such a shame considering how the promotion presented a 4-way ladder match for the Women’s Championship a year ago this month featuring Taeler Hendrix, Tapa and the Blossom Twins in a well-received contest which main-evented that week’s TV show. At the time, OVW was coming off the well-executed – yet hurriedly concluded – same-sex romance storyline involving Hendrix and Heidi Lovelace, and was set to have a big contest on the cards with Tapa challenging Trina Thompson for the title – though the belt was vacated when Thompson suffered an injury, leading to the ladder match to determine a new champion.
If it so desired, OVW could try and book the likes of Crazy Mary Dobson and Mickie Knuckles (who used to work in the promotion as Izza Belle Smothers and also held the title) as they have licences to wrestling in the state – as Kentucky is one of the few places left in the US where you need documentation to legally wrestle – though it would still leave a very shallow roster.
It could be that OVW has suffered since TNA pulled its working agreement as part of a cost-cutting measure, though the promotion still presented women’s wrestling in the three and a half years between its arrangement with WWE ending in February 2008 and striking up the TNA deal in November 2011, with the title being traded between the likes of Deeb, the Blossoms, Hendrix, Epiphany and Lady JoJo. OVW was always an attractive option for wrestlers as it gave them the chance of working weekly TV and getting the experience of working to cameras and time frames, though it seemingly isn’t generating the pull that it used to.
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!
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PWInsider reports that Diva storylines may get more risqué in the future – nothing like the Attitude era, but just with a more mature edge to it. It claimed that the spot a few weeks ago where Layla pulled Rosa Mendes’ gear down to reveal her bare bottom may not have been an accident… Kendall Skye has left WWE after requesting her release and revealing her departure on Friday. Former Hollywood stuntwoman Kendra Smith had wrestled around 20 matches on the NXT house show loop since her debut in May last year after signing with the company 3 months before, but was yet to make her first TV appearance. She also had experience in Muay Thai and kickboxing… Dana Brooke made her NXT debut last week, teaming with Sasha Banks to beat Bayley & Alexa Bliss… Sasha Banks released a videoblog last Thursday sending a message to Charlotte, saying she wants to become the NXT Women’s Champion… AJ Lee won the Divas Title at Night of Champions on Sunday in a 3-way involving defending titleholder Paige and fellow challenger Nikki Bella. Nikki wasn’t involved in the decision and sister Brie didn’t have an effect on the outcome, so it makes one wonder why Bella was involved in the match in the first place. The win will mean AJ Lee is back on the road, considering she is wearing the title again – she hasn’t been doing the house show loop recently, with Paige defending the belt against Natalya… On last night’s Raw, Natalya beat Summer Rae in a fallout from Total Divas when Natalya kicked Summer out of her car. Elsewhere, Brie and Nikki Bella talked some more – and you can read Stew’s thoughts on their feud by clicking here. Nikki said she wanted exclusive rights to the Bella surname, then insulted Brie’s husband Daniel Bryan, which prompted Brie to try and put her sister in the Yes Lock before Nikki scooted away. Afterwards, AJ wrestled Nikki and made her tap out to the Black Widow to write her out of the title picture. Paige was on commentary saying she and AJ were no longer friends or frenemies. She had also changed her character and look by dropping the skipping and going back to wearing all black instead of purples and reds.
Havok won a battle royal on last Wednesday’s Impact Wrestling to become the number one contender to Gail Kim’s Knockouts Championship. Rookie Rebel fractured her arm during the match in what was only her second match in the promotion… Brooke and boyfriend Robbie E’s quest on The Amazing Race starts on CBS this Friday.
Amazing Maria has undergone complete reconstructive surgery on her ACL for a second time. She’ll likely be out for more than six months… Allysin Kay will challenge Athena for the Absolute Intense Wrestling Women’s Title in the main event of Girls Night Out 13 on October 4. KC Cassidy will make her US debut on the show when she faces Nikki Storm… Kimber Lee took a hell of a beating in her defeat at Chikara’s King of Trios Night 1 show on Friday. She, Lace Steel & Jolly Roger were beaten by 17, Jigsaw and The Shard. Thunderkitty also lost on Night 1 – she was teaming with Marion Fontaine and Jervis Cottonbelly, who lost to the Devastation Corporation… Barbi Hayden retained the NWA World Women’s Championship on Saturday’s NWA Houston show by beating Peyton Gates. She then took the microphone and turned heel, saying that changes were coming. Her next defence in the promotion will be on October 25 against Delilah Doom… Lords of Pain reported that Sunny suffered some sort of seizure during an autograph session in Middletown, NY on Sunday. She responded to the reports saying she got dizzy and fainted because she had not eaten for some time… Amazing Kong’s been talking about possibly retiring, but isn’t going to make a big deal of it. She told SLAM! Sports “[Y]ou never know how many more of these I’m going to do. I’m not a big announcer of, ‘Hey, I’m going to retire.’ I think I’ll say, ‘Okay, that was my last match’”… Speaking of Kong, she captained the USA team in Sunday’s SMASH CanUSA Classic show, though her side was beaten by Team Canada – in a reversal of last year’s result. Vanessa Kraven turned on countrywoman – and MVP of the night – Courtney Rush after the medals were presented… Celeste Bonin, Gail Kim and Dark Angel all attended the Olympia bodybuilding show in Las Vegas at the weekend… Barbi Hayden lost the Anarchy Championship Wrestling Televised Title to Jojo Bravo on Sunday… Seleziya Sparx and Jasmin will compete in a Ladder Match for Alpha-1 Wrestling on November 2 for ownership of Sparx’s dog, Peanut. Jasmin dognapped Seleziya’s pet back in July and has been taunting her ever since.
Aoi Kizuki is the next challenger for Tsukasa Fujimoto’s ICEx∞ Championship… Mayumi Ozaki & Kyusei Sakura Hirota captured the vacant OZ Academy Tag Team Championship earlier today when they beat Aja Kong & Tsubasa Kuragaki in the tournament final. The belts were held up after Hiroyo Matsumoto’s ACL injury meant that she and Tomoka Nakagawa could no longer defend the titles… Io Shirai may be in line for a shot to regain the World of Stardom Championship after winning this year’s 5*STAR GP tournament earlier today. She beat reigning champion Yoshiko to take the tournament.
We forgot to mention it in the last Roundup, but congratulations to Destiny, who is pregnant… Kasey and Leah Owens beat Viper and Bete Noire at Insane Championship Wrestling’s show on Sunday. The twins may be on the verge of a heel turn… Viper takes on Sammii Jayne on October 18’s Scottish Wrestling Alliance show in Motherwell, Scotland. Fiona Fraser will be the guest referee… Leah Von Dutch will wrestle Nikki Storm for the first time on October 24 for the SWA’s show in Glasgow… Bellatrix – which has its Bellatrix X card coming up this Sunday and is discussed by Miss Mina on our latest Fight Like A Girl interview – announced earlier today that it had secured a TV deal with MyChannel, which broadcasts on the satellite TV. Sunday’s event will now be a TV taping and will be broadcast on the new show, which premieres on November 1.
Australia & New Zealand
Impact Pro Wrestling New Zealand Women’s Champion Britenay defeated Brook Duncan on Saturday in a match where a fan vote decided that Megan-Kate would be the ref. After counting the fall, Megan-Kate took off her referee shirt to reveal a BFF top, indicating a reunion with Evie – this time as heels… Mick Moretti and Madison Eagles defeated Ryan and Robbie Eagles at Newcastle Pro Wrestling’s show on Saturday.
September 16: WWE Main Event (Biloxi, MS) – Brie Bella b Cameron
September 17: TNA Impact Wrestling (New York, NY) – Havok won a battle royal
September 18: WWE NXT (Orlando, FL) – Charlotte b Emma
September 18: WWE NXT House Show (Wauchula, FL) – Dana Brooke & Sasha Banks b Alexa Bliss & Bayley
September 19: Southside Wrestling (Sheffield, England) – Kay Lee Ray & El Ligero b Joey Ryan & Candice LeRae; Morgan Webster, Tyler Bate & Dan Moloney b Nixon Newell, Jonathan Gresham & Chris Brookes
September 19: Chikara (Easton, PA) – 17, Jigsaw & The Shard b Kimber Lee, Lance Steel & Jolly Roger; Blaster McMassive, Flex Rumblecrunch & Max Smashmaster b Thunderkitty, Marion Fontaine & Jervis Cottonbelly
September 19: Southern Wrestling Entertainment (Shepherdsville, KY) – Crazy Mary Dobson b Lylah Lodge
September 19: WWE SmackDown (Biloxi, MS) – Paige b Nikki Bella
September 19: WWE House Show (Charleston, WV) – Paige b Natalya
September 19: WWE NXT House Show (Orlando, FL) – Alexa Bliss & Bayley b Sasha Banks & Dana Brooke; Charlotte b Becky Lynch
September 19: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Zeuxis b Goya Kong, Estrellita, Marcela, Princesa Sugehit, Amapola, Tiffany & Dallys la Caribeña in a cibernetico
September 20: Chigusa Nagayo Produce (Nagoya, Japan) – Rabbit Miyu b Yua Hayashi; Dump Matsumoto & Yumiko Hotta b Tomoko Watanabe & Takako Inoue; Kayoko Haruyama b Raideen Hagane; Bolshoi Kid b Eiger; Nanae Takahashi, Ayako Hamada & Yuu Yamagata b KAORU, Megumi Yabushita & Kyoko Kimura
September 20: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Mochi Miyagi b Meari Naito & 235 in a 3-way; Maki Narumiya & Miyako Matsumoto b Mio Shirai & Yuri Kotobuki; Kurumi v Yuka went to a time limit draw; Aoi Kizuki, Hamuko Hoshi & Risa Sera b Tsukasa Fujimoto, Kyuri & Tsukushi
September 20: Newcastle Pro Wrestling (Charlestown, Australia) – Madison Eagles & Mick Moretti b Ryan Eagles & Robbie Eagles
September 20: Impact Pro Wrestling (Mt Albert, New Zealand) – Britenay b Brook Duncan
September 20: Westside Xtreme Wrestling (Wickede, Germany) – Svetlana Kalashnikova b Nixon Newell
September 20: Pride Wrestling (Glasgow, Scotland) – DCT & Viper b Mr Byers & Fiona Fraser
September 20: WWE House Show (Huntsville, AL) – Brie Bella, Emma & Naomi b Nikki Bella, Eva Marie & Cameron
September 20: NWA Houston (Cypress, TX) – Barbi Hayden b Peyton Gates
September 21: Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru Produce (Osaka, Japan) – Yumi Oka & YO-HEY b Billy Ken Kid & Hibiscus Mii; Kana) & Arisa Nakajima v Tsukasa Fujimoto & Misaki Ohata went to a time limit draw; Eri Susa won a battle royal; Hikaru Shida, Rina Yamashita & Manami Toyota b Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru, Ayako Hamada & Yuu Yamagata; Hikaru Shida, Rina Yamashita & Manami Toyota b Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru, Ayako Hamada & Yuu Yamagata
September 21: Gatoh Move (Tokyo, Japan) – Makoto b MIZUKI; YAZAWA b Emi Sakura, Sayaka Obihiro, Ryuichi Sekine, Kaji Tomato & DJ Nira; Riho & HARASHIMA b Kaori Yoneyama & Madoka
September 21: Diana (Ikarabi, Japan) – Cherry b Koharu Hinata; Jaguar Yokota & Kaoru Ito b Tomoko Watanabe & Megumi Yabushita; Mima Shimoda b Keiko Aono; ZAP T & ZAP I b Kyoko Inoue & Sareee
September 21: Insane Championship Wrestling (Glasgow, Scotland) – Leah & Kasey Owens b Bete Noire & Viper
September 21: SMASH Wrestling CANUSA Classic (Toronto, ON, Canada) – Kimber Lee b Xandra Bale; Veda Scott b Jewells Malone; Cherry Bomb v Courtney Rush went to a double DQ; Vanessa Kraven b Allysin Kay; Angie Skye b Heidi Lovelace; Taeler Hendrix b Leah Von Dutch; Courtney Rush & Xandra Bale b Cherry Bomb & Kimber Lee; LuFisto b Amazing Kong
September 21: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Paige Turner b Baby Dumplins, Livi Loca, Paula Fate, Stan Summers, Starr Venus in a 6-way; Angel Blue b Darin Childs; Athena b Solo Darling; Jojo Bravo b Barbi Hayden to win the ACW Anarchy Televised Championship
September 21: WWE Night of Champions (Nashville, TN) – AJ Lee b Paige & Nikki Bella in a 3-way to win the WWE Divas Championship
September 21: LEGEND (Tlalnepantla, Mexico) – Vaneli b Diosa Atenea, Dulce Luna, India Mazahua, Lady Dragon, Princesa Mohicana, Sexy Angel & Sexy Girl in a cibernetico
September 22: Daijo (Osaka, Japan) – Yuu Yamagata, Hikaru Shida & Mika Iida b Kana, Tomoka Nakagawa & Kaho Kobayashi; Kuinshinbo Kamen b Kyoko Kimura; Fairy Nipponbashi, Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru & Hibiscus Mii b Benten-Musume, Misaki Guriko & Nyanbar; Ayako Hamada b Rina Yamashita; Yumi Ohka b Sawako Shimono
September 22: WWE Raw (Memphis, TN) – Natalya b Summer Rae; AJ Lee b Nikki Bella
September 23: OZ Academy (Tokyo, Japan) – Manami Toyota b Yumi Ohka; Kagetsu & Hikaru Shida b AKINO & Kaho Kobayashi; Mio Shirai b Hamuko Hoshi; Dynamite Kansai & Ayako Hamada b Tomoka Nakagawa & Misaki Ohata; Mayumi Ozaki & Kyusei Sakura Hirota b Aja Kong & Tsubasa Kuragaki to win the OZ Academy Tag Team Championship
September 23: JWP (Tokyo, Japan) – Arisa Nakajima & Yako Fujigasaki b KAZUKI & Raideen Hagane; Command Bolshoi b Yua Hayashi; Leon & Hanako Nakamori b Kayoko Haruyama & Rabbit Miyu
September 23: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Miho Wakizawa, Reo Hazuki & Maya b Hatsuhinode Kamen, Kris Wolf & Azumi; Mayu Iwatani b Koguma; Kyoko Kimura b DASH Chisako; Yoshiko b Takumi Iroha; Kairi Hojo b Star Fire; Kaori Yoneyama b Cheerleader Melissa via count out; Io Shirai b Nanae Takahashi; Io Shirai b Yoshiko
September 26: Lucky Pro Wrestling (Hudson, MA) – Nikki Valentine v Davienne
September 26: RESISTANCE Pro (Willowbrook, IL) – Angel Dust v Crazy Mary Dobson
September 27: Scottish Wrestling Alliance (Glasgow, Scotland) – Nikki Storm v Bete Noire
September 27: Ronin Pro Wrestling (Miami, FL) – Leva Bates v Dynamite Didi
September 27: Alternative Wrestling Show (South Gate, CA) – Raze v Melissa Coates
September 28: PAID Promotions (Morecambe, England) – Kay Lee Ray v Carmel Jacob
September 28: Bellatrix X (Norwich, England) – Sammi Baynz v Blue Nikita; Liberty v Allysin Kay; Penelope v Violet O’Hara; Lady Lory v Erin Angel; Miss Mina v Skarlett; Amy-Lee Krammer v Shax; Chanel v Saraya Knight
September 28: Alternative Wrestling Show (Hemet, CA) – Leah Von Dutch & Kahmora v Melissa Coates & Sage Sinn
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: Coliseum Championship Wrestling (Evansville, IN) – Marriah Moreno v Mickie Knuckles
October 4: American States Wrestling Alliance (Mansfield, OH) – Nevaeh v Samantha Heights
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
October 4: Absolute Intense Wrestling Girls Night Out 14 (Cleveland, OH) – Taeler Hendrix v Mary Elizabeth Monroe
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: SHINE 22 (Ybor City, FL)
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: 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
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; Portia Perez v Xandra Bale
October 26: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland)
November 1: Flemish Wrestling Force (Limsburg, Belgium) – Leah Von Dutch v Katey Harvey
November 2: Alpha 1 Wrestling (Hamilton, ON, Canada) – Seleziya Sparx v Jasmin
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
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 (3), Steve Argintaru (4,6), Evie (5), Stardom (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