Ringbelles Roundup (23 December 2014) – Awards, Natalya talks lots of stuff and more

2013 awards Mercedes MartinezRingbelles usually goes to the trouble of creating physical awards for its year-end honours but things have been a bit strained in the last few months, so there’s no glass trophy for this year’s winner. However, after considering not doing them due to the intention of closing, I’ve decided to write a little bit about the awards which we did want to highlight.

Last year’s victor of the top prize was Mercedes Martinez, who had excelled as NCW Femmes Fatales International Champion and was also a very solid hand in SHINE and SHIMMER, though she decreased her bookings in 2014 and eventually stepped away from the ring after dropping the International belt to Courtney Rush in August.

There are just two awards this year – that’s because the Discovery of the Year honour was going to be dumped anyway. The reason is because there’s a big disparity between when we discover someone and when others do the same. For example, Nikki Storm won last year’s Discovery title even though we’ve been championing her for years, but she made a big splash on US fans with her antics at SHIMMER so we went with it despite it not making the most sense. As a result, the Wrestler of the Year and Breakout Star of the Year will be the ones we’ll look at.

Let’s start with the latter, which was a very competitive category. Sammi Baynz was given consideration for being so great at Bellatrix’s shows in 2014, wrestling Blue Nikita three times and also having another entertaining outing against Liberty. In addition, she made a good impression in her Scottish debut where she took on Viper at Fierce Females’ Mad Maxine show in July and returned in August to team with Liberty against the Owens Twins. Kay Lee Ray also received a lot of thought for turning heel in Fierce Females, and making it to the final three of TNA’s British Boot Camp 2 show. She also held Southside Wrestling’s Speed King title for a lot of the year and won the first Aerial Assault match held in Europe, beating five men to do so. Had she won British Boot Camp, she may have snared the award. Mia Yim also received a look after winning both the SHINE Tag Team and singles championships this year, as well as receiving her first SHIMMER title shot in April, though was unsuccessful in that attempt.

Heidi Lovelace Dave MuscarellaHowever, the Breakout Star of the Year title goes to Heidi Lovelace, who showed her versatility in matches all across North America. While she showed her comedic and light-hearted side in SHINE alongside Solo Darling, she also decided to work IWA Mid-South’s reprisal of the Queen of the Deathmatches tournament, beating Hudson Envy in a Tacks, Ladders and Canes match before losing to Ludark Shaitan in a Fans Bring The Weapons contest. That also goes along with her well-received work in SHIMMER, impressing in both singles and tag team action.

Heidi has also excelled in intergender competition, making it to the quarter finals of Absolute Intense Wrestling’s JT Lightning Invitational Tournament before losing to Michael Elgin, and also scored the AAW Heritage Title by beating Matt Cage – though her work in Wrestling Is Fun has helped her to break new barriers for women in wrestling. Lovelace fought through two matches – including a six-way elimination match – to make it to the final of the Young Lions Cup tournament, which she won earlier this month by beating Missile Assault Ant in the final, showcased in the pre-show of Chikara’s Tomorrow Never Dies iPPV. In doing so, she became the first female victor of the cup and also solidified her as a well-appreciated performer who has the ability to adapt her style for different types of matches against different opponents. It’s a safe assertion to say that the Punk Rock Rag Doll will climb even higher in 2015.

So, the other award is the Wrestler of the Year honour, which was a pretty tough call. Paige has been winning accolades all over the place this year after winning the WWE Divas Championship on two occasions as well as holding the NXT and Divas belts at the same time. She also racked up quite a few successful defences on PPV before turning heel and really ratcheting up her character work. Elsewhere, LuFisto had one of her best years by winning the Women Superstars Uncensored World Championship by beating Mickie Knuckles, Allysin Kay and Jenny Rose, as well as getting into an angle with WSU owner DJ Hyde and his hand-picked star Sassy Stephie which led to the Wounded Owl Ronin going after Hyde with a knife on a Combat Zone Wrestling show. In addition, she almost wrested the SHIMMER Championship from Cheerleader Melissa at volume 63 in April and undergoing a mild heel turn the following week before reverting back to being a babyface. However, our winner has showed off her wrestling skills at a main event level and has also showed how she can verbalise too.

Ivelisse VelezIvelisse Velez started off the year by winning the SHINE Championship from Valkyrie cohort Rain but was kicked out of the group because of her victory and turned babyface in the process, which saw her get over huge with the fans. Successful defences over Mercedes Martinez, Saraya Knight, Nevaeh and Madison Eagles all followed, along with an entertaining 60 minute draw against Serena Deeb before dropping the belt to Mia Yim in China last month. In addition, she has been able to display more character development since dropping the belt by getting obsessive over winning it back, shown by her aggression levels in her win over Amanda Rodriguez on the last show and then getting involved in Yim’s defence against Nevaeh which led to the match ending in a DQ win for the challenger. While this is all a good example of how she has evolved her persona, it has also been demonstrated in new ventures.

Velez signed on for Lucha Underground and has proved herself to be an entertaining heel who can irritate on the microphone. Teaming up with Son of Havoc, she has been tormenting Sexy Star, which las led to the pair engaging in a feud, which also saw her debut for AAA in Mexico where the roles were reversed and Sexy was the heel with Ivelisse working as the babyface. When you factor in how much her star has risen in the last 12 months and how much more marketable she was this time a year ago, you can understand why Ivelisse has earned Ringbelles’ Wrestler of the Year award, and also makes you wonder how both WWE and TNA had the chance to have her on their books and both let her slip through their fingers. I don’t understand wrestling sometimes…

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Natalya WWENatalya spoke to the Mirror UK about things like Total Divas – where she claimed the tensions between she and husband Tyson Kidd was genuine, as well as the reaction to her being booked to beat Charlotte in less than 3 minutes on Raw earlier this month:

“We don’t control a lot of things in WWE, it’s live TV, you can’t control how long you’re going to get. Sometimes you’re going to get 20 minutes and sometimes you’re going to get 20 seconds, you just have to maximise those minutes and do the best you can.”

She also discussed the difference between the Divas wrestling in NXT and on WWE’s main roster:

“That’s why I go to NXT, any chance I get, I go to NXT. I want to be on Raw, I want to be on SmackDown, and NXT, and Total Divas, and Main Event, and Superstars, and I want to be on the WWE app – because I want to take any moment I can to get TV time and I want to tell stories.

“The girls and the guys in NXT are extremely fortunate because Triple H has taken NXT under his wing. I tell Triple H this, I look around the room and make sure no one’s looking, and I tell him it’s my favourite show. It’s my favourite show because the Superstars and Divas do get time and it’s a cool show because you get to watch these different characters grow and come to life.”

It seems as if there is a lot of love being openly directed towards NXT at the moment without trying to knock the main product as a result. Natalya was very diplomatic with her praise and dodged criticising her bread and butter.

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This is the final Ringbelles Roundup before this website departs but I am happy to say that this portion of the site may continue on after our departure. Contributor Ciara Reid has accepted my offer of taking it over and posting it elsewhere, though where that may be is still up for discussion – so if you’re interested in having it, send her a tweet at @ciara92189.

Ciara used to write something similar when she was linked with Angrymarks so she has the ability to cover wrestling from all over the world, and will put her own personal stamp on it. Hopefully this will mean that women’s wrestling fans looking for a weekly fix of what is going on globally will still have somewhere to get it.

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WWE
Nikki Bella retained her Divas Championship by beating Naomi on Tuesday’s live SmackDown show. It was set up on the Main Event show broadcast earlier. Naomi is currently in a strained relationship with husband Jimmy Uso, which means that when you consider the issues between Natalya and Tyson Kidd, WWE has two rocky marriage angles going on at the same time… Becky Becky Lynch Bayley WWELynch’s heel turn kicked up a notch when she tapped out Bayley on last week’s NXT with her new submission hold, the Four Leaf Clover… It was 1-1 for Emma last week. She lost to Paige on Main Event but beat Summer Rae on Superstars… Alexa Bliss has been beating Carmella & Dana Brooke in 3-way matches on the latest NXT house shows… Speaking of Dana, she will be representing WWE at next year’s Arnold Classic bodybuilding event. She will be competing in the fitness division. She told WWE.com, “My dreams are coming true. It’s like Christmas came early for me. I cannot feel more honored. This just shows how much WWE wants their athletes to succeed. I’m blessed. I will not let the WWE Universe down”… Former developmental talent Shaul “Raquel Diaz” Guerrero is engaged to current NXT talent Aiden English… Developmental Diva Dasha Kuret ring announced NXT’s show in Tampa, FL last Friday… Paige was named Diva of the Year by Rolling Stone magazine… Following in AJ Lee’s footsteps, Emma has launched her own personal website, entitled tenilledashwood.com… Natalya pinned Brie Bella on last night’s Raw before knocking Nikki off the apron, leading her holding the Divas Title belt. Looks like Nattie’s next in line.

TNA
Brooke Tessmacher and Robbie E were eliminated from The Amazing Race last week, missing out on the $1m prize.

North America
Jessica James will make her SHINE debut next month as part of SHINE 24. Meanwhile, after what happened at SHINE 23, a 6-woman tag team match has been announced for on January 23. Kimber Lee, Cherry Bomb & Leah Von Dutch will face Legendary members Malia Hosaka, Brandi Wine & Thunderkitty… Speaking of Hosaka, she will be honoured with a Retired Women’s Wrestling Award by the Cauliflower Alley Club next April. Someone at the CAC later noticed the error and removed the “retired” part of the title… Two matches have been announced for Women Superstars Uncensored’s next show on February 21. Hania and Athena face off again, though this time it will be under Tables Ladders and Chairs rules, while Kimber Lee & Annie Social get another shot at Tag Team Championship JT Dunn and David Starr after beating them in individual matches on the last show… Athena challenges Su Yung for the Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Championship on January 18… Athena also defended her Absolute Intense Wrestling Women’s Championship on Saturday at Metroplex Wrestling’s show in Bedford, TX. She beat Claudia by curb stomping her onto thumbtacks and making her tap out to the Red Wedding… Nevaeh is eyeing up a February return from her knee injury.

Japan
Hikaru Shida’s joint Pro Wrestling WAVE Regina di WAVE and Revolution Championship Wrestling title defence against Mio Shirai on Sunday’s WAVE show ended in a 30 minute time limit draw… Mio Io Shirai StardomIt’s confirmed: sisters Mio and Io Shirai will wrestle on February 14 on Mio’s self-produced show. It was made official after today’s Stardom show after Io’s match where she teamed with Mayu Iwatani & Masaaki Mochizuki to beat the retiring Miho Wakizawa as well as Manami Toyota & Genki Horiguchi. 35-year old Wakizawa is stepping away after 18 years of competition… Two title changes on Diana’s show earlier today. Keiko Aono defeated Manami Toyota to win the singles title while Jaguar Yokota & Sareee beat KAORU & Mima Shimoda to win the tag straps. The show was topped off with Kyoko Inoue beating Yumiko Hotta in a No Ropes Barbed Wire Current Blast Time Bomb Death Match.

Europe
As you would expect, Southside regular Kay Lee Ray has been added to the 4-way to crown the first Queen of Southside. Debuting Saraya Knight is the other person who has been announced.

Mexico
Lucha Underground is interested in signing Dark Angel, according to the Wrestling Observer. Considering she’s part of CMLL and Lucha Underground has ties with AAA, that could be a difficult ask.

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Results

December 16: WWE Main Event (Grand Rapids, MI) – Paige b Emma

Naomi Nikki Bella WWEDecember 16: WWE SmackDown (Grand Rapids, MI) – Nikki Bella b Naomi

December 16: CMLL (Guadalajara, Mexico) – Zeuxis b Princesa Sugehit

December 17: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Hamuko Hoshi & Akane Fujita b Miyako Matsumoto & Yuri Kotobuki; Neko Nitta b Maya Yukihi; Maki Narumiya v Meari Naito went to a time limit draw; Arisa Nakajima & Risa Sera b Tsukasa Fujimoto & Hanako Nakamori

December 17: Union Tokyo, Japan) – Cherry & Ladybeard b Riho & Sayaka Obihiro; Mio Shirai b Ryu Gouma

December 17: WWE Tribute to the Troops (Columbus, GA) – Naomi, Emma & Natalya b Paige and Nikki & Brie Bella

December 18: WWE NXT (Orlando, FL) – Becky Lynch b Bayley

December 18: WWE NXT house show (Tampa, FL) – Alexa Bliss b Carmella & Dana Brooke in a 3-way

December 18: WWE Superstars (Detroit, MI) – Emma b Summer Rae

December 18: AAA (Mexico City, Mexico) – Jennifer Blake & La Jarochita b Cinthia Moreno & Sexy Lady

December 19: Diana (Kawasaki, Japan) – Megumi Yabushita b Meiko Tanaka; Keiko Aono & Mask De Sun b Kaho Kobayashi & Koharu Hinata; Kaoru Ito b Tomoko Watanabe; Jaguar Yokota, Kyoko Inoue & Sareee b Yumiko Hotta, KAORU & Mima Shimoda

December 19: WWE NXT house show (Jacksonville, FL) – Alexa Bliss b Carmella & Dana Brooke in a 3-way

December 19: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Dark Angel, La Vaquerita & Marcela b Amapola, Dalys & La Seductora

December 20: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Shu Shibutani & Miyako Matsumoto b 235 & Kyuri; Maki Narumiya b Yuka; Risa Sera v Kurumi went to a time limit draw; Tsukasa Fujimoto & Aoi Kizuki b Hamuko Hoshi & Tsukushi

December 20: Attack Pro Wrestling (Bristol, England) – Pete Dunne & Mark Andrews b Nixon Newell & Chris Brookes

December 20: 4 Front Wrestling (Bristol, England) – Nadia Sapphire b Chardonnay

December 20: WWE house show (Winnipeg, MB, Canada) – Natalya b Paige

December 20: Metroplex Wrestling (Bedford, TX) – Athena b Claudia

December 20: WWE NXT house show (Lakeland, FL) – Alexa Bliss b Carmella & Dana Brooke in a 3-way

Tsukasa Fujimoto Tsukushi Resuner YokoyamaDecember 21: JWP (Tokyo, Japan) – Yako Fujigasaki b Haruka Kato; Eri b Yua Hayashi & Raideen Hagane in a 3-way; Kayoko Haruyama b KAZUKI; Command Bolshoi & Kyoko Kimura b Leon & Hanako Nakamori; Arisa Nakajima & Tsukushi v Tsukasa Fujimoto & Rabbit Miyu went to a time limit draw

December 21: Pro Wrestling WAVE (Osaka, Japan) – Fairy Nipponbashi b Moeka Haruhi; Yuu Yamagata b Hiroe Nagahama; Yumi Ohka b Kaho Kobayashi; Kana b Rina Yamashita; Shu Shibutani b Mika Iida; Misaki Ohata b Sawako Shimono; Hikaru Shida v Mio Shirai went to a time limit

December 21: Stardom (Osaka, Japan) – Kris Wolf b Momo Watanabe; Act Yasukawa & Kellie Skater b Kaori Yoneyama & Hatsuhinode Kamen; Io Shirai b Mystique; Kairi Hojo & Koguma b Reo Hazuki & Takumi Iroha; Nanae Takahashi & Miho Wakizawa b Yoshiko & Mayu Iwatani

December 21: Tidal Championship Wrestling (Leeds, England) – Lana Austin & Ruby Summers b Nixon Newell & Violet O’Hara

December 21: Insane Championship Wrestling (Glasgow, Scotland) – Layla Rose b Sammii Jayne

December 22: WWE Raw (Minneapolis, MN) – Natalya b Brie Bella; Naomi, Alicia Fox & Emma b Paige, Cameron & Summer Rae

December 22: CMLL (Puebla, Mexico) – Amapola, La Comandante & Zeuxis b La Vaquerita, Lluvia & Princesa Sugehit

December 23: JWP (Tokyo, Japan) – Arisa Nakajima, Command Bolshoi & Rabbit Miyu b Leon, Raideen Hagane & Yua Hayashi; Kayoko Harumya b Yako Fujigasaki; Hanako Nakamori won a battle royal

December 23: Diana (Kawasaki, Japan) – Yuiga & Hamuko Hoshi b Kaho Kobayashi & Koharu Hinata; Eiger & Mask De Sun b Arisa Nakajima & Raideen Hagane; Takako Inoue & Cherry b Keiko Aono & Megumi Yabushita; Tomoko Watanabe b Meiko Tanaka; Kaoru Ito b Manami Toyota to win the Diana World Championship; Jaguar Yokota & Sareee b KAORU & Mima Shimoda to win the Diana World Tag Team Championship; Kyoko Inoue b Yumiko Hotta

December 23: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Reo Hazuki b Momo Watanabe; Act Yasukawa b Kris Wolf; Koguma b Kyoko Kimura, Kaori Yoneyama, Hatsuhinode Kamen, Mystique & Kellie Skater; Io Shirai, Mayu Iwatani & Masaaki Mochizuki b Miho Wakizawa, Manami Toyota & Genki Horiguchi; Yoshiko b Saki Akai; Nanae Takahashi & Kairi Hojo b Takumi Iroha & Risa Sera

Upcoming

December 26: Absolute Intense Wrestling (Cleveland, OH) – Tessa Blanchard, Jennifer Blake & Heidi Lovelace v Veda Scott, Alexia Nicole & Jasmin

December 27: Squared Circle Wrestling (Elmira, NY) – Cherry Bomb v Mickie James

December 27: AAW (Berwyn, IL) – Heidi Lovelace v Chris Sabin

Kimber LeeDecember 28: Ice Ribbon Ribbonmania (Tokyo, Japan) – Tsukasa Fujimoto v Arisa Nakajima

December 28: JWP Climax 2014 (Tokyo, Japan) – Arisa Nakajima v Tsukasa Fujimoto

December 28: Beyond Wrestling (Providence, RI) – Kimber Lee v David Starr

January 3: Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (Vancouver, BC, Canada) – Cat Power v Kate Carney

January 4: Scottish Wrestling Alliance (Glasgow, Scotland) – Debbie Sharpe v Viper

January 4: PROGRESS Wrestling (London, England) – Jinny v Pollyanna

January 4: Inspire Pro Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Barbi Hayden v Veda Scott; Jessica James v Kimber Lee

January 11: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland)

January 17: Empress Pro (High Wycombe, England) – Bete Noire & Viper v Addy Starr & Rhia O’Reilly; Ruby Summers v Chardonnay; Nikki Storm v Pollyanna

January 17: Lone Star Wrestling (Cypress, TX) – Barbi Hayden v Tessa Blanchard

January 18: Alpha-1 Wrestling (Hamilton, ON, Canada) – Seleziya Sparx v Allysin Kay

Athena Su YungJanuary 18: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Jessica James v Jojo Bravo; Athena v Su Yung

January 23: SHINE 24 (Ybor City, FL) – Malia Hosaka, Brandi Wine & Thunderkitty v Kimber Lee, Cherry Bomb & Leah Von Dutch

January 23: Valkyrie Women’s Wrestling (Woodbury Heights, NJ) – Kacee Carlisle v Mistress Belmont; La Rosa Negra v Aja Perera

January 24: Pure Wrestling Assocation (Kitchener, ON, Canada) – Kc Spinelli v Courtney Rush; Kaitlin Diemond v Beautiful Beaa; Jewells Malone v Alexia Nicole; Holly Madison v Silvie Silver; Ingrid Isley v Skylar Rose

February 7: Family Wrestling Entertainment (Jamaica, NY) – Candice LeRae v Veda Scott; Taeler Hendrix v Katarina Leigh

February 8: Tidal Championship Wrestling (Leeds, England) – Violet O’Hara v Nixon Newell

February 14: Mio Shirai Produce (Tokyo, Japan) – Mio Shirai v Io Shirai

February 21: Women Superstars Uncensored (Voorhees, NJ) – Hania v Athena; Kimber Lee & Annie Social v JT Dunn & David Starr

February 22: Dragon Pro Wrestling (Newport, Wales) – Nixon Newell v Pollyanna

February 22: Bellatrix 12 (Norwich, England)

March 14: Rock N’ Wrassle (Nottingham, England)

April 4: NCW Femmes Fatales (Montreal, QC, Canada) – Courtney Rush v Saraya Knight; Portia Perez v Xandra Bale

April 11/12 – SHIMMER Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)

– Lee Burton
– Photos by Mercedes Martinez (1), Dave Muscarella (2), WWE (4,5,7), Stardom (6), Youji Kawauchi (8)
– 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

© Ringbelles

Ringbelles Roundup (29 July 2014) – Stephanie McMahon is awesome, plus a discussion on blood in women’s wrestling

Stephanie McMahon Brie Bella WWEThe conclusion of last night’s Raw saw the real main event of SummerSlam take shape.

Sure, the final match on the show in Los Angeles on August 17 will be John Cena against Brock Lesnar, but last night’s episode was a show-long arc which took the next big step in the feud between Brie Bella and Stephanie McMahon and ending with a match being set between the two.

The programme began with a recap from last week where McMahon struck Bella – who was a paying customer – and her subsequent arrest. Later on, Stephanie talked to husband Triple H backstage about what it was like being in a police cell, and how their plan for the evening needed to work. The plan was revealed as the couple went to the ring in order to ask Brie to join them, though they were interrupted by Chris Jericho, who reprised his feud with Stephanie from 2000-2002 and for a brief spell in 2009 (ignoring their alliance for about a month around WrestleMania X8) and busted out some decade-old insults. It all meant that Stephanie – who barely said a word during the segment but was still the focal point because of her sorrowful remorse and then frustration at Jericho’s jokes – would have to wait to speak to Brie.

McMahon was seen knocking on the Divas’ locker room door, which was answered by Brie’s sister Nikki, who said that her twin would be in the building later on. That meant Stephanie coming out for the final segment of the programme to speak to Brie, and then tried to bargain her way out of a battery charge. She said Nikki would no longer be put into handicap matches and would also receive a raise, though that wasn’t enough for Brie, who said that she wanted her job back. McMahon argued that one Bella was enough for WWE, so Brie said that she would see Stephanie in court – in fact, she said it three times during this piece – to which the boss lady relented, saying that Brie was reinstated. As things appeared to be over, Bella said she had one more demand, which was a match at SummerSlam. Stephanie asked her if she wanted a Divas Title match or a Total Divas showcase, but Bella said she wanted a match against her, which Stephanie was reluctant to agree to, and did so seemingly in tears – but showed that she was up for her first contest since she lost to her father at No Mercy 2003 – by slapping Brie off the apron to the floor, which led to the pair having a pull-apart brawl. It was a spectacular segment, and 90% of the credit for it – as well as the entire feud in general – has to go to Stephanie, and that’s something I wouldn’t have said a year ago.

You see, be her heel or face, Stephanie McMahon was a complete pain in the neck in the past. As timid Steph entering a relationship with Test or getting kidnapped by the Undertaker, she was as wooden as you would expect a 22-year old to be. Her heel turn was helped in that she was aligned with Triple H and had storylines with the charismatic Kurt Angle and Jericho over that time. She then had a minor miracle against Trish Stratus at No Way Out 2001 and was shoehorned into the Invasion storyline as the owner of ECW, which didn’t suit her character and saw her irritating-level go astronomical into go-away heat, which culminated with her splitting with HHH (in storyline) and then being banished from the company just after WMX8.

Her absence lasted 115 days, as she returned as the babyface General Manager of SmackDown and was involved in feud with Eric Bischoff, Sable and father Vince, but also saw the babyfaces sliming up to her – including John Cena, who rapped about how good looking Stephanie was, which was pretty lame for the man who was the coolest face in the company at the time – before being made to vacate the position in the aforementioned No Mercy match.

She’s had a couple of cameos over the years – taking a Stone Cold Stunner from Steve Austin in 2005, being the General Manager for a few weeks in 2008 and again the following year, as well as being beaten up by Randy Orton in the build-up to him against HHH at WrestleMania 25, but made a Stephanie McMahon 2 WWEfull-time return to the roster about a year ago as part of the Authority, and has been stellar in being the ultimate person to hate. She started by being a thorn in the side of Daniel Bryan, which led to her raising the ire or Brie Bella while Bryan was forced out of action due to injury a couple of months ago.

Since her comeback, her character has been amazing, and she has eliminated the over-acting and screechy voice which she had during her original heyday over a decade ago, and replaced it with a cooler exterior and a real ability to be able to hold the crowd in the palm of her hands. Moreover, while Paul Heyman is notably great at creating money promos, Stephanie has been even better at getting under the skin of fans around the world and has even managed to do something that Heyman hasn’t done in recent years – elevate other wrestlers.

While Heyman has been the mouthpiece behind Brock Lesnar, he has faltered in getting over the likes of Ryback, Curtis Axel and Cesaro, while there is more interest in Brie Bella than in any other point in her 6-year career, and sister Nikki has also received some residual benefits by being victimised by Stephanie with all the handicap matches. Using nothing more than verbiage, three slaps and a quick catfight, Brie Bella v Stephanie McMahon is possibly the real money feud which will culminate at SummerSlam – and the fact that McMahon has already received a level of comeuppance from Vickie Guerrero recently hasn’t made a difference, partly because it hasn’t been acknowledged since it happened.

The support for Stephanie’s work seems to be pretty universal. There is support for her character, promos, acting, reacting and every facet which you would expect from a non-wrestler in WWE. If Ringbelles had a Non-Wrestler of the Year award, Stephanie McMahon would be receiving it, hands-down.

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Candice LeRae Joey Ryan“Attn ladies in wrestling…stop carving yourselves to shreds. Nuff said.”

Velvet Sky sent that tweet on Sunday and it caused a shedload of reactions from different people. One person accused of her of sending the non-specific message in the direction of Candice LeRae and Veda Scott, who both bled on Saturday night in their respective main event matches at Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Absolute Intense Wrestling. LeRae bled after being struck in the face with a steel chair as she and Joey Ryan dethroned The Young Bucks to win the PWG Tag Team Championship in a Guerrilla Warfare Match, while Scott pinned Greg Iron in the cage match main event of the Battle of the Sexes show, which ended with Veda leaping from the top of the structure where a table was sat across two corners, driving herself through her former AIW Tag team Championship partner, who was lying on his own table.

It could just be a coincidence that Sky made that statement on the same weekend that these matches took place, or it may have more behind it – but the tweet itself has been somewhat polarising. While some fans and wrestlers have supported the sentiment, others have come to the support of Scott and LeRae by saying they’re free to do whatever they like. Honestly, both sides are probably right.

Blading oneself is something I would never encourage, but there are circumstances where I can see the logic behind doing it. Both of these matches are feud ending situations where the storylines have been ongoing for some time. LeRae and Ryan have been feuding with the Young Bucks for close to a year while Scott and Iron have teamed and then warred over the last 20 months. If there was ever a time in these feuds to increase the drama with blood, this was probably it. True, some would argue that you shouldn’t really need to cut yourself in front of a crowd of a couple of hundred, and it’s still questionable when you’re competing in front of tens of thousands, but at least the payoff is better in the latter instance – though the final decision to cut is down to the wrestler themselves, and if they can square it with themselves and feel it’s worth it, that’s their business and nobody else’s.

Veda Scott AIWOne tweeter argued with Velvet’s advice by insinuating that undergoing cosmetic surgery in order to secure more bookings shouldn’t be encouraged either – referring to how Sky, like many other wrestlers, have elected to go under the knife, be it to become more marketable or for reasons outside of wrestling. It may have been a cheap shot, but some may argue that there is some validity to the point – nobody can judge the reasons for what someone does to their own body, so why can’t everybody live and let live?

If you want to blade in a match or you want to have cosmetic surgery, go for it. If you can square it with yourself and you’re happy with your decision, what’s stopping you?

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We’ve had two new interviews on the website this week. We’ve got a My Name Is with Amanda Rodriguez, as well as a Women Of Wrestling Podcast with Mia Yim on a slew of topics, and she’s very open and honest with them all. We also have two matches – an intergender match involving Kimber Lee against JT Dunn, and Kc Spinelli winning the Pure Wrestling Association Elite Women’s Championship from Leah Von Dutch.

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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!

Also, we add loads more links, video and thoughts on women’s wrestling on our Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Like and follow us for even deeper coverage.

Meanwhile, if you want one of our t-shirts, click here and pick which shop is best for you. We have stores for the US/Canada (which also ships to Australia) and one for the UK and mainland Europe. Check out the latest Wrestling Yay, SHIMMER Like A Girl and No Limits 2.0 designs, as well as the Evielution and Free AK47 shirts which we are selling at cost price, and the brand new I Am Not A Bad Person and WoMan Up shirts.

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WWE
Lana was back delivering promos on Main Event last Tuesday ahead of Rusev’s match against Jack Swagger, which ended in a DQ win for the American – though there was no mention of “recent current events” like there was at Battleground just over a week ago. It’s telling that the feud has been moved from Raw and SmackDown on cable and network TV respectively to a WWE Network-only show… Charlotte defeated Summer Rae on last week’s NXT to successfully defend her NXT Women’s Championship. The match was painfully dull and the usually enthusiastic audience chanted “boring”, even breaking out the Mexican wave… Two of the WWE Diva feuds were interwoven on SmackDown when Paige wrestled Naomi. Skipping out like Divas Champion AJ Lee – on whom she turned during last week’s Raw – Paige then cut a short promo says despite what happened, with the Briton saying that she still liked AJ, and still liked Naomi, though it was painfully obvious as to how disingenuous she was being. Just as they were about to lock up, Cameron’s music hit which distracted Naomi, allowing Paige to attack her from behind, nail the RamPaige Paige AJ Lee WWEand then get the tap out win with the PTO before skipping away. Cameron then took to the ring to beat up on her former friend. Incidentally, Naomi’s new look does little for her. The braids and taxicab look is a step back from her Funkadactyls style… Elsewhere on Raw, Paige apologised for her attack on AJ saying she was young and impetuous. The Divas Champion came out to say she was having none of it, and Paige said AJ was “crazy” if she didn’t believe her. The pair ended up fighting. Naomi also got a measure of revenge when she and Natalya defeated Cameron and Alicia Fox… The Wrestling Observer claims that Nikki Bella may turn heel on her sister Brie after their storyline with Stephanie McMahon comes to an end. The pair have also answered questions from WWE.com about the feud… Speaking of Brie Bella, she was with husband Daniel Bryan when the pair returned to their home in Phoenix, AZ on Thursday night to find two burglars escaping from their property. Bryan managed to restrain one, who was later arrested. They had only moved into the home 10 days previously… AJ Lee and Paige have started wrestling each other on the road. Hopefully, this will make for a smoother match when they next wrestle on TV… Summer Rae and Layla’s tandem is nicknamed “Slayers” – with the ‘S’ from Summer and ‘lay’ from Layla. It really is Lay-Cool mark II.

TNA
It was announced last Wednesday that Brooke has signed a new multi-year deal with the company… Gail Kim’s Knockouts Championship defence against Taryn Terrell on last week’s Impact Wrestling went to a no-contest after the Beautiful People interfered. The match was nowhere close to the quality of their Last Knockout Standing or Ladder Matches from last year before it was thrown out – possibly because this was Terrell’s first match in the 6-sided ring… Kazarian and Christopher Daniels recently did a shoot interview where they discussed the horrendous Claire Lynch storyline where AJ Styles was accused of cheating on his wife with her. They said she had no idea what she would be doing when she auditioned for the role, and they said she “wasn’t ready” for the “wacky world of pro wrestling”. Considering she worked at the Universal Resort, it could have been Leva Bates who landed that role.

North America
Jessie Belle Smothers has announced that she is to retire from wrestling, writing on Twitter that “I’ve done my best to chase my dream but sometimes Ya gotta realize you’ve done all you can”. Her final match will take place in October. The 28-year old debuted in 2010, losing to to her SNS Express tag team partner Sassy Stephie before debuting in Ohio Valley Wrestling in April the following year. She became part of the Smothers Twisted Daughters with her “sister” Izza Belle Smothers (Mickie Knuckles) and won the promotion’s singles championship on two occasions. She was also involved in a controversy with Tracy Smothers in 2012 who wanted her to stop using the surname, though things smoothed over. She is married to Ryan Howe, who was a competitor on the 2011 season of WWE’s Tough Enough and is also a member of the OVW roster… Former TNA Knockouts Champion Katarina Leigh Waters has been announced as the General Manager of California promotion Apex Pro Wrestling. Her first show will be on August 16… Marti Belle regained the New York Wrestling Connection Starlets Championship on Thursday, beating Rick Kimber LeeCataldo and defending champion Chrissy Rivera in a 3-way… Kimber Lee suffered the mother of all shiners on Thursday. When we asked her what happened, she called it a “freak accident”… D’Arcy Dixon was more heelish in her win against Angel Dust at RESISTANCE Pro’s show on Friday. Elsewhere on the card, Thunderkitty defeated Lucy Mendez… Jessicka Havok’s been selling all of her merchandise at rock-bottom prices, calling it a “close-out sale”… Hudson Envy defeated her trainer LuFisto on Friday to retain her Alternative Wrestling Show Women’s Championship… Mistress Burgandi beat Mickie Knuckles in a Taped Fists Match on IWA Mid South’s Friday show – Heidi Lovelace was the referee… Athena retained her AIW Women’s Championship by submitting Heidi Lovelace on Saturday’s matinee show… Barbi Hayden beat Mia Yim on Sunday’s Inspire Pro Wrestling show to retain the NWA World Women’s Championship. Rachel Summerlyn also made what was promoted as her final appearance in a wrestling ring. Her final match was in February last year.

Japan
Tokyo Women’s Wrestling’s biggest show will take place on Saturday when they hold a card at Shin-Kiba 1st Ring… Mayu Iwatani won the vacant Wonder of Stardom Championship on Sunday, defeating Kairi Hojo & Miho Wakizawa in a one-night, four-woman tournament… Hikaru Shida won Pro Wrestling WAVE’s 2014 Catch The Wave League on Sunday, beating Misaki Ohata in the final. Meanwhile two men hold the promotion’s Tag Team Championship, with Isami Kodaka & Yuko Miyamoto beating Ayako Hamada & Yuu Yamagata to take the straps – you can see more on those stories here.

Europe
Nadia SapphireLeah & Kasey Owens have been confirmed for TNA’s British Boot Camp 2 auditions this Thursday… Another blood injury happened on Saturday, but this one was accidental: Nadia Sapphire cut her head open on a board during her Coventry Pro Wrestling Women’s Championship defeat to Lizzy Styles. She had to be taken to hospital to get the wound glued shut.

Mexico
Taya Valkyrie pinned Faby Apache in their trios match on Sunday ahead of AAA’s TripleMania Reina de Reinas Championship match next month… Silueta has challenged Zeuxis for her CMLL-Reina International Junior Championship after beating her on Sunday.

Australia & New Zealand
Carmen Rose suffered a broken arm on Saturday’s Impact Pro Wrestling show during the tag team match alongside Britenay against Evie & Olivia Shaw. She got it from blocking one of Evie’s kicks. Rose and Britenay won, but Evie stole the Women’s Championship belt again.

**

Results

July 19: Tokyo Women’s Wrestling (Tokyo, Japan) – Miyu Yamashita & KANNA b Yuka Sakazaki & Erin; Shoko Nakajima b Ai Shimizu; Nonoko b Chikage Kiba

July 21: REINA (Yokohama, Japan) – Keizo Matsuda & Kazuhiro Tamura b Yuji Kito & Yoshihiro Doguchi; Tsukushi b Alex Lee; Makoto b Kyusei Sakura Hirota; La Comandante b Kurumi; Maki Narumiya & Neko Nitta b Syuri & Kaho Kobayashi

July 22: Pro Wrestling WAVE (Tokyo, Japan) – Kana & Natsu Sumire b Hikaru Shida & Sakura Hirota; Tomoka Nakagawa b Moeka Haruhi; Ayako Hamada & Yuu Yamagata b Kaho Kobayashi & Tsukushi; Mika Iida b Sakura Hirota; Mio Shirai, Misaki Ohata & Tsukasa Fujimoto b Cherry, Kyoko Kimura & Shuu Shibutani; Yumi Ohka b Sachie Abe

July 22: All Pro Wrestling (Burlingame, CA) – Candice LaRae & Joey Ryan b Brittany Wonder & Marcus Lewis

July 23: Rockstar Pro (Dayton, OH) – Miss Diss Lexia b Duke Beefhammer

July 23: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Lousiville, KY) – Rebel b Mary Elizabeth Monroe

July 24: WWE NXT (Winter Park, FL) – Charlotte b Summer Rae

July 24: WWE (Tulsa, OK) – AJ Lee b Paige

July 24: TNA Impact Wrestling (New York City, NY) – Gail Kim v Taryn Terrell went to a no-contest

July 24: Evolution Pro Wrestling (Clarksville, IN) – Ian Rotten & Mistress Burgandi v Joseph Schwartz & Randi West went to a no contest

July 24: New York Wrestling Connection (Deer Park, NY) – Marti Belle b Chrissy Rivera & Rick Cataldo in a 3-way to win the NYWC Starlets Championship

July 25: WWE SmackDown (Orlando, FL) – Paige b Naomi

July 25: Independent Wrestling Entertainment (Dexter, ME) – Cali Capone b Mistress Belmont

July 25: Juggalo Championship Wrestling (Kaiser, MO) – Mad Man Pondo & Crazy Mary Dobson b The Butler & The Maid

July 25: RESISTANCE Pro (Willowbrook, IL) – Thunderkitty b Lucy Mendez; D’Arcy Dixon b Angel Dust

July 25: IWA Mid-South (New Albany, IN) – Mistress Burgandi b Mickie Knuckles

July 25: Alternative Wrestling Show (South Gate, CA) – Hudson Envy b LuFisto

July 25: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Amapola, Princesa Blanca & Zeuxis b Goya Kong, Marcela & Silueta via DQ

July 26: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Cherry b Akane Fujita; Kurumi & Manami Kanda b 235 & Kyuri; Rabbit Miu v Tsukushi went to a time limit draw; Tsukasa Fujimoto & Yuuka b Mio Shirai & Yuri Kotobuki

July 26: Impact Pro Wrestling (Auckland, New Zealand) – Britenay & Carmen Rose b Evie & Olivia Shaw

July 26: Scottish Wrestling Entertainment (Dundee, Scotland) – Viper b Nikki Storm

July 26: Scottish Wrestling Entertainment (Perth, Scotland) – Sammii Jayne b Debbie Sharpe

July 26: Coventry Pro Wrestling (Coventry, England) – Lizzy Styles b Nadia Sapphire to win the CPW Women’s Championship

July 26: Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (Reseda, CA) – Candice LeRae & Joey Ryan b Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson to win the PWG Tag Team Championship

Veda Scott AIWJuly 26: Absolute Intense Wrestling (Cleveland, OH) – Athena b Heidi Lovelace; Seleziya Sparx b Alexia Nicole; Bobby Beverly b Angel Dust; Hania b Colin Delaney; Davey Vega b Jasmin; Jenny Rose b Tyson Dux; Rickey Shane Page b Alexia Nicole; Seleziya Sparx b Eddie Kingston; BJ Whitmer b Heidi Lovelace; Athena b Louis Lyndon; Veda Scott b Gregory Iron

July 26: WWE (Edmonton, AB, Canada) – Emma & Natalya b Alicia Fox & Rosa Mendes

July 26: WWE (Oklahoma City, OK) – AJ Lee b Paige

July 26: IWA Midwest (Pekin, IL) – Mickie Knuckles b Thunderkitty

July 27: World Woman Pro Wrestling Diana (Kawasaki, Japan) – Yuiga b Koyuki Hayashi; Eiger b Keiko Aono; Sareee b Kaho Kobayashi; KAORU & Mima Shimoda b Kaoru Ito & Tomoko Watanabe; Kyoko Inoue & Manami Toyota b Yumiko Hotta & Mask De Sun

July 27: JWP (Nagoya, Japan) – 235 & Neko Nitta b Yako Fujigasaki & Yume Hayashi; Hanako Nakamori & Masashi Aoyagi b KAZUKI & Otoko Sakari; Command Bolshoi & Kayoko Haruyama b KAORU & Rydeen Hagane; Rabbit Miu defeats Leon; Arisa Nakajima b Sachie Abe

July 27: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Mayu Iwatani b Kairi Hojo; Miho Wakizawa b Takumi Iroha; Nanae Takahashi b Alpha Female, Kaori Yoneyama & Hatsuhinode Kamen in a 4-way; Yoshiko & Reo Hazuki b Io Shirai & Koguma; Mayu Iwatani b Miho Wakizawa to win the Wonder of Stardom Championship

July 27: Pro Wrestling WAVE (Tokyo, Japan) – Mika Iida & Kyusei Sakura Hirota b Shu Shibutani & Cherry and Mio Shirai & Kyoko Kimura in a 3-way; Misaki Ohata b Tsukasa Fujimoto; Tomoka Nakagawa b Hiroyo Matsumoto; Isami Kodaka & Yuko Miyamoto b Ayako Hamada & Yuu Yamagata to win the WAVE Tag Team Championship; Sawako Shimono & Rina Yamashita b Moeka Haruhi & Fairy Nipponbashi; Misaki Ohata b Yumi Ohka; Hikaru Shida b Tomoka Nakagawa; Kana & Sakura Hirota b Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru & Hibiscus Mii; Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru & Hibiscus Mii b Kana & Sakura Hirota; Tomoka Nakagawa b Hiroyo Matsumoto, Tsukasa Fujimoto & Yumi Ohka in a 4-way; Kaho Kobayashi b Sumire Natsu; Hikaru Shida b Misaki Ohata

July 27: Kamikaze Pro (Birmingham, England) – Nixon Newell b Marshall X

July 27: Insane Championship Wrestling (Glasgow, Scotland) – BT Gunn & Chris Renfrew b Kay Lee Ray & Stevie Boy to win the vacant ICW Tag Team Championship

July 27: Beyond Wrestling (Providence, RI) – Kimber Lee b Silver Ant

July 27: WWE (Dallas, TX) – AJ Lee b Paige

Kaitlin Diemond Skyler Rose TabercilJuly 27: WWE (Calgary, AB, Canada) – Emma, Layla & Natalya b Alicia Fox, Eva Marie & Rosa Mendes

July 27: Crossfire Wrestling (St Catharines, ON, Canada) – Skylar Rose b Kaitlin Diemond

July 27: Inspire Pro Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Athena b Kat Green; Delilah Doom b Solo Darling; Jessica James b Miss Diss Lexia & KC Warfield in a 3-way; Leva Bates b Paige Turner; Barbi Hayden b Mia Yim

July 27: Ring Of Honor (Laurel, DE) – Veda Scott & Jenny Rose b Hania & Mandy Leon

July 27: AAA (Ecatepec, Mexico) – Mamba, Sexy Star & Taya Valkyrie b Faby Apache, Jennifer Blake & Pimpinela Escarlata

July 27: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Silueta b Zeuxis

July 28: WWE Raw (Houston, TX) – Naomi & Natalya b Cameron & Alicia Fox

Upcoming

August 1: Preston City Wrestling (Preston, England) – April Davids v TBA

August 2: Mid Atlantic Memories (Charlotte, NC) – Taryn Terrell v Amazing Kong

August 3: Mid Atlantic Memories (Charlotte, NC) – Tessa Blanchard v Chasity Taylor

August 3: Wrestling Is Fun (Easton, PA) – Heidi Lovelace & Equinox v Oleg the Usurper & Jaka

August 8: House Of Pain: Evolution (Mansfield, England) – Violet Vendetta v Nixon Newell v Ruby Summers v Felony

August 8: Pro Wrestling All-Stars of Detroit (Melvindale, MI) – Hudson Envy v Thunderkitty v Randi West

August 9: Melbourne City Wrestling (Craigieburn, Australia) – Evie v Toni Storm

August 9: Southside Wrestling (Nottingham, England) – Martin Kirby v Kay Lee Ray

August 9: SMASH Wrestling (Brantford, ON, Canada) – Courtney Rush v Allysin Kay

August 10: Pro Wrestling Kingdom (Birmingham, England) – Nixon Newell & Chris Brookes v Ryan Smile & Lana Austin

August 10: FutureShock Wrestling (Stockport, England) – Danni Hunter v Lana Austin v April Davids

August 10: Insane Championship Wrestling (Edinburgh, Scotland) – Nikki Storm v Viper

August 10: Southside Wrestling Entertainment (St Neots, England) – Robbie X v Jimmy Havoc v Zak Northern 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; Addy Starr & Kaitlin Diemond v Mary Lee Rose & Pink Flash Kira; Sweet Cherrie v Niya Barela

August 16: Conflict Wrestling (Kitchener, ON, Canada) – Seleziya Sparx v Jewells Malone

August 17: Insane Championship Wrestling (Edinburgh, Scotland) – Leah & Kasey Owens v Carmel Jacob & Sara

August 17: SMASH Wrestling (Toronto, ON, Canada) – Cherry Bomb & Kimber Lee v LuFisto & Vanessa Kraven

August 17: AAA TripleMania XXII (Mexico City, Mexico) – Faby Apache v Taya Valkyrie

Brie Bella Stephanie McMahon SummerSlamAugust 17: WWE SummerSlam (Los Angeles, CA) – Brie Bella v Stephanie McMahon

August 22: Hybrid Pro Wrestling (Sunderland, England) – Kirsty Love v Freya Frenzy

August 25: Conwy County Wrestling (Llandudno, Wales) – Nadia Sapphire v Jezabeth

August 30: Svensk Wrestling Syd (Malmo, Sweden) – Miss Mina v Penelope

August 31: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland)

September 6: Tidal Wrestling (Darlington, England) – Ruby Summers v TBA

September 12: Target Wrestling (Carlisle, England) – Kay Lee Ray v Kasey Owens

September 13: Women Superstars Uncensored (Voorhees, NJ)

September 21: Insane Championship Wrestling (Glasgow, Scotland) – Leah & Kasey Owens v Bete Noire & Viper

September 21: SMASH Wrestling CANUSA Classic (Toronto, ON, Canada)

September 28: Bellatrix X (Norwich, England) – Sammi Baynz v Blue Nikita

Shanna Hikaru ShidaOctober 3: 4 Front Wrestling (Swindon, England) – Shanna v Hikaru Shida

October 4: Warzone Wrestling (Berwick, Australia) – Toni Storm v Savannah Summers

October 8: Tidal Wrestling (Leeds, England) – Violet O’Hara v Kimber Lee

October 18-19: SHIMMER: Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)

October 24: Valkyrie Women’s Wrestling (Brooklyn, NY) – Sumie Sakai v Kacee Carlisle

November 16: Tidal Wrestling (Newcastle, England) – Kay Lee Ray v Shax

November 23: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland)

– Lee Burton
– Photos by WWE (Front page, 1,2,5), Joey Ryan (3), Absolute Intense Wrestling (4,8), Kimber Lee (6), Nadia Sapphire (7), Tabercil (9)
– 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

© Ringbelles

Ringbelles Roundup (3 June 2014) – Charlotte v Natalya, Serena v Ivelisse & Natsuki☆Taiyo retires

Charlotte WWEThere have been many plaudits for Charlotte’s NXT Women’s Championship tournament victory over Natalya at Takeover last Thursday, and with good reason. It was a great match which played to both women’s strengths – and with Charlotte’s father Ric Flair and Natalya’s uncle Bret Hart in their respective corners, it added to the drama of the whole deal. Given a big video package to hype it, a seal of approval from former titleholder and reigning WWE Divas Champion Paige, big entrances – along with new music for Charlotte which is a dance track with Flair’s theme sampled – 17 minutes to have a contest which built up to a fever pitch and shows of respect after the bell, the match was a home run and the best contest of the show.

The match itself was great, with the pair exchanging holds at the start and Charlotte looking to beat Natalya at her own technical wrestling game and Natalya taunting Flair by delivering a “whoo” right at him. Charlotte got the edge with a dragon screw from the apron which probably worked better in theory than in practice, and went for a risky moonsault which didn’t pay off. It gave Natalya the opening to lock in a Sharpshooter before Charlotte beautifully reversed it into a figure four leglock and ended with her hanging off the apron for extra leverage. Back in the ring, she abandoned her plan to re-apply the hold in order to lock in a Sharpshooter of her own while looking square at Hart in what was a great moment. Natalya fought loose but was kicked away, allowing Charlotte to nail her Bow To The Queen facebuster for the clean pin. Seriously, this match was brilliant and is worth going out of your way to watch.

It’s even more startling considering Charlotte debuted less than a year ago and didn’t start training until mid-2012. She’s been promoted as being a natural in the ring, and there’s a lot of evidence to support that. Coupled with her gymnastic ability, height and physique, she is certainly a great prodigy for the Divas division, but let’s not get too carried away yet. Continue reading “Ringbelles Roundup (3 June 2014) – Charlotte v Natalya, Serena v Ivelisse & Natsuki☆Taiyo retires”

TNA Knockouts Knockdown 2 results (spoilers)

Brittany Madison Rayne Taryn Terrell Brooke Tessmacher ModernMythTNA recorded its second One Night Only pay-per-view focussed on the women of the promotion yesterday in Orlando, FL. As we revealed last month, the company was reaching out to indie wrestlers to swell the numbers for its Knockouts Knockdown 2 show, especially considering the roster has thinned out since the first taping last March. In addition, some Knockouts who have been recently absent also made their return to TNA.

It’s pretty much the same format as last year with Knockouts taking on non-contracted talent with the winners making it to a Gauntlet Match to determine the Queen of the Knockouts. Spoilers are after the jump, courtesy of PWInsider – though we’ve corrected a couple of errors. Continue reading “TNA Knockouts Knockdown 2 results (spoilers)”

Ringbelles Roundup (29 April 2014) – TNA Knockouts, SHINE 19 main event, Fierce Females goes it alone

Velvet Sky Angelina Love TNAI’m stumped by the TNA Knockouts Division.

On one hand, it’s got a sense of direction with the reforming of the Beautiful People, a new champion in Angelina Love, a babyface Gail Kim, Madison Rayne having a superfan/annoying gnat in Brittany, and the promotion gearing up for a second Knockouts Knockdown PPV taping. On the other, it’s resorted to a gimmick which was done to death and peaked in 2008, has Gail Kim in a face role for which she is fine but less effective than being a heel, a damp squib of a title reign coming to an end and things feeling a bit stagnant.

Part of me feels optimistic that storylines can be brought about with the Beautiful People’s reign of terror and a triumvirate of Kim, Rayne and Brittany looking to stop it – though the latter may easily switch to being a heel after being rejected by Madison enough times – and the likes of ODB in the sidelines with Taryn Terrell expected back at some point. I can also credit TNA for putting together a storyline which culminated at a pay-per-view and had the correct result to keep the wheels turning.

So why can I not get more enthused about the division? Continue reading “Ringbelles Roundup (29 April 2014) – TNA Knockouts, SHINE 19 main event, Fierce Females goes it alone”

Ringbelles Roundup (18 March 2014) – Diva perception, AJ v Natalya & more

John Laurinaitis“Candice Michelle went to PWG in 2008 & raved about me to John Laurinaitis. When I saw him, he said ‘What does a Diva know about wrestling?'”

This is a tweet from Joey Ryan which he posted back in January – one of many which he wrote in reference to his tryout with WWE, where he asserts that was told that he was too old and too experienced to be in developmental.

Despite his wrestling persona being someone who is quite misogynistic and employs moves like the Boobplex, it is clear that he would not be allowed to do moves like this unless the recipients were comfortable with him – in fact, because of the amount of inter gender wrestling that he does, you could argue that he’s a huge advocate for women’s wrestling. With these tweets, one would imagine that Ryan is not thinking about trying out again, but it’s difficult to see if he has an axe to grind. If he does, it calls into question the validity of the claim – but if it is real, what does this say about WWE’s former Senior Vice President of Talent Relations?

Laurinaitis – who resigned from the post in July 2012 but still works within WWE – has form with not taking the Divas division very seriously. In 2006, he suddenly hired two models who he spotted in a catalogue – 20-year old Victoria Crawford and 19-year old Barbie Blank, who became known as Alicia Fox and Kelly Kelly respectively. It doesn’t show that much respect for women who toil for years to become good wrestlers to see two women hired just by how they pose in swimwear. While WWE still does hire women with no wrestling background, they do seem to go for people who have athletic ability. Summer Rae for example, used to be part of the Lingerie Football League, while new signing Shara used to be a competitive arm wrestler. Continue reading “Ringbelles Roundup (18 March 2014) – Diva perception, AJ v Natalya & more”

Ringbelles Roundup (24 December 2013) – Courtney Rush cleared, awards insight & more

23 Courtney RushYou know you have intrinsic importance when people seem to work around you to make things work.

Courtney Rush participated in her first training session after receiving clearance from her doctor. She has been given a clean bill of health after fracturing her clavicle on September 15 in the pre-show ahead of Smash Wrestling’s CAN USA event in Toronto, ON, Canada. At the time, nobody knew she was hurt as she was wrestling under a hood under the name of La Tigre Diablo against Jasmin, and the break happened in what Rush described at the time as a “freak accident”. She didn’t appear on the show as planned, and instead was rushed to hospital with the fear in her head that the plans she had for the following month or so were out of the window.

Rush had been due to travel to England to defend the Bellatrix World Championship at Bellatrix 7 on October 6, but the match between Liberty and she was pushed back – meaning that she would not have to relinquish the title which she won from Allison Danger at NCW Femmes Fatales XI in March. She still participated in the proceedings, turning heel and costing her title challenger the RQW European Championship, which she dropped to Sammi Baynz.

Like Bellatrix, Femmes Fatales also made concessions to accommodate Courtney’s literal tough break. Continue reading “Ringbelles Roundup (24 December 2013) – Courtney Rush cleared, awards insight & more”