I have experienced the buzz you feel after a SHIMMER weekend on a number of occasions, though recently I have been following the enthusiasm from fans in a more remote sense. While the festivities were ongoing in Berwyn, IL on Saturday and Sunday, I was at home in the UK keeping up with results and reaction, and for the most part, everyone was buzzing so much that Chicago could have experienced a very unlikely earthquake.
With volume 63 being called one of the best shows in the promotion’s history and the Tag Team Championship match on the following volume being described as one of the greatest in the company’s seven and a half years. So many wrestlers – be they new faces or long-running stars – impressed and improved their standing that it’s tough to start.
Insane Championship Wrestling Fierce Females presents its first show of 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland this evening, where a new #1 contender to Kay Lee Ray‘s Scottish Championship will be decided. Viper, Debbie Sharpe, Bete Noire and Sammii Jayne will compete in a four-woman tournament to see who will earn the next crack at the title.
Elsewhere, Kasey and Leah Owens are in singles matches against Carmel Jacob and Sara respectively, with Fiona Fraser taking on newcomer Courtney.
Lots of stuff to cover in this Roundup, and we start with the goings-on in WWE over the last few days…
AJ Lee survived the odds put against her by Vickie Guerrero to retain the Divas Championship at WrestleMania XXX. By tapping out Naomi, she defeated her 13 challengers for the title in a match which played to the strengths of its more skilled participants and managed to generate a slight buzz – which was a herculean effort considering the wave of depression in the Superdome in New Orleans, LA because of Brock Lesnar beating the Undertaker in the previous contest – and also stuck it to Guerrero for putting her in such a disadvantageous position and for emerging victorious. Standing on the middle rope, AJ soaked in the victory, which was her most high profile in her Divas Championship reign…
Getting injured seems to have had ultra-positive effects on Athena.
It’s not like the Wrestling Goddess was doing badly for herself when she went down with damage to her shoulder last August. She was a day away from challenging for the Women Superstars Uncensored Championship and was a mainstay in SHIMMER, as well as getting into Absolute Intense Wrestling. Things were going well for her – and while getting hurt could have been a huge setback that sent her skidding off the tracks, she has used the time away to her advantage.
Employing a look inspired by Game of Thrones, the 25-year old revamped her image with new gear, altered her character and has worked on her promos, employing the catchphrase of making “art out of war” and doing away with calling her opponents “hussies”. In addition, while the time off to let her shoulder heal may have been a frustrating wait, it has also allowed her body to recover from the constant grind of being on the road and wrestling on a regular basis. It’s likely that when she returned to action at the start of this year, she had no niggling aches and pains, which seems to have given her a new lease of life.
That renewed vigour was evident at WSU’s Mutiny show where she and LuFisto put together an early contender for Match of the Year which saw the Texan defeated – but gaining a lot of new plaudits along the way. That buzz followed her to AIW’s Girls Night Out tapings last weekend where she was such an integral part of the double show that promoter John Thorne skipped out of his own show to go and pick her up from the airport in Cleveland, OH after her flight was affected by inclement weather. The show experienced a long intermission to allow Athena to get to the building and wrestle Mia Yim in their scheduled match – which against received a wealth of thumbs-up reviews. Continue reading “Ringbelles Roundup (1 April 2014) – Athena, SHINE, SHIMMER, Lita & more”→
If you haven’t listened to last week’s Fight Like A Girl with Bête Noire, do so – it’s an engrossing chat and she certainly has a lot of interesting topics to cover. One of them is Insane Championship Wrestling: Fierce Females, and her most memorable match so far is undoubtedly her weapons-filled brawl with Crazy Mary Dobson at Luke… Who’s Yer Da? last May.
Chairs, makeshift tables, kendo sticks and staple guns all made appearances during this battle which elicited big reactions from the crowd in Glasgow, Scotland, and was a standout performance for both women. Noire proved that she can absorb huge amount of punishment – something which we have seen repeated since this match – as well as dish it out, and Dobson thrilled with a mixture of brawling and high-flying tactics, and she spoke to us about her first Scottish trip for a Fight Like A Girl last year.
Former My Name Is guest Bête Noire has achieved quite a bit since she was busy introducing herself to the world in 2012 – not least of which was taking the time to go and live and train in Japan at the ICE Ribbon Dojo earlier this year. We’ve got that to talk about, but first… she’s just had laser eye surgery, and *newsflash* – apparently it kinda hurts. We talk about fun trips to A&E/ER rooms, including that time she had the imprint of a title belt basically TATTOOED across her forehead… whilst accompanied by BBC Documentary cameras. Speaking of the Beeb, we discuss last week’s Insane Fight Club documentary profiling Insane Championship Wrestling (BBC iPlayer link for UK residents), the reaction to the documentary and its stars, and naturally talk a bit about ICW’s spin-off female promotion Fierce Females, where Bête has gone to war with the likes of Viper and Crazy Mary Dobson. And of course, there’s Japan. How it happened, how it went, missing home, training differences between Scotland and Japan, and the feeling on whether she’ll be back there soon. Oh, and tea. Naturally. An intriguing 40+ minute chat. Enjoy.
Episode 65 with Portugal’s Perfect Athlete Shanna
It’s taken over two years since she said “yes” to a podcast appearance to get everything aligned for this show to come together, but the delay has been all for the better because she had a big year last year with US tours taking in appearances in WSU, AIW and SHINE – and she’s on the verge of a third US visit next month to challenge Jessicka Havok for the WSU World Championship at WSU Mutiny on February 8th. We talk to Shanna about all manner of things, including her experiences on her last two US tours, the origins (and pronunciation) of her ring name, her initial years in the business, working with ABC Catch in mainland Europe, injuries, the match that Shanna describes as her “best match ever”, thoughts on TNA (where she finished second in last year’s GutCheck voting), exclusive news and teasers about upcoming US tours and possible bookings and some of her loves away from wrestling… including, yes… 80s rock music~!