Ringbelles Roundup (23 September 2014) – OVW’s vanishing women’s division, Bellatrix secures TV deal & more

ODB Serena Deeb OVWOhio 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 Lei'D Tapareasons 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.

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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!

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WWE
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 Paige WWEBella. 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.

TNA
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.

North America
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 Vanessa Kraven Steve ArgintaruDoom… 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.

Japan
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.

Europe
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
Megan-Kate EvieImpact 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.

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Results

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

Heidi Lovelace Angie Skye Steve ArgintaruSeptember 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

Io Shirai Yoshiko StardomSeptember 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

Upcoming

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

Nikki Storm KC CassidyOctober 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

Cheerleader Melissa Courtney RushOctober 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

© Ringbelles

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WOW Podcast #72 with Heidi Lovelace

WOW Heidi Lovelace

Episode 72 with Heidi Lovelace

We’re big advocates for Heidi Lovelace here at Ringbelles – so a year and a bit after we had one of her first ever wrestling interviews on an edition of Fight Like A Girl, we thought it was time to welcome her back and feature her on the main Women of Wrestling Podcast – and why not? She’s done so much in the last year or so that she’s got a lot to talk about. Amongst the topics discussed in this 90 minute show include winning the AAW Heritage Title last Friday night in Chicago (her career highlight to date), a breakdown of the great months-long storyline she was involved with in Ohio Valley Wrestling last Summer with Taeler Hendrix, becoming a player in SHIMMER this year, ushering in the return of CHIKARA, making sense of intergender wrestling, wrestling for AIW, working heel, being one half of The Buddy System with Solo Darling at SHINE, and yes, squirm-inducing tales from the IWA: Mid South Queen of the Death Matches show this year… not to mention the reason *why* she wanted to do a Death Match tournament in the first place (and whether you’ll see her in any more). There’s talk also of future plans, and this episode’s Wacky Roadtrip Story involves crotch chopping and veiled threats to kill. Yes. Take a listen!

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Ringbelles Roundup (10 June 2014) – Cauliflower Alley Club honourees, Fierce Females & Bellatrix

Santana Garrett Thomas J. RudeTNA’s Brittany became only the third woman in the history of the Cauliflower Alley Club to receive the Future Legend award. Given the honour under her real name of Santana Garrett, the 26-year old follows in the footsteps of Mariko Yoshida (2006) and Cheerleader Melissa (2004).

Four years into her career and currently on the verge of a heel turn in TNA, Brittany is getting an opportunity to portray a character. While working on the indies, she did not have much of a chance to develop a persona in SHINE and was booked more sporadically in SHIMMER. While the way her character is being booked in TNA may be up for debate, she is getting to learn some valuable attributes like working for TV, hitting cues, working to time and so on.

“It’s been a heck of a year,” she said to SLAM Wrestling. “I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to work with some of the best. I debuted in TNA against Gail Kim and beat her, which was huge. I think the experience I got while working for SHIMMER and SHINE helped prepare me for TNA. It has been a blast with TNA so far.

“I was very shocked and excited, and I think that showed as I was going up there,” she added. “I didn’t have a speech prepared or anything. You look at some of the past winners, like Cheerleader Melissa and Kurt Angle. Those are some big shoes to fill. It was overwhelming.”

While Melissa marketed herself on the Future Legend name, it means that Brittany is unlikely to do the same. She used the name in TNA while wrestling as Alissa Flash, so it is doubtful that too much of a deal will be made about it, though it is certainly a flattering award to receive.

It may also not be the golden chalice that the name lends itself to be. While the Future Legend award has gone to the likes of Angle (2000), Chris Benoit (weirdly, in 2001 when he was challenging for the WWF Championship), Frankie Kazarian (2005) and Takeshi Morishima (2007), it has also had its fair share of misses. Still, that’s the chance you take when you make such a bold prediction. Nevertheless, it is a big honour for Britanny to receive so it is now up to her to do her best to make good on it. We’re sure she’ll give it her all.

Cheerleader Melissa Debi Pelletier Thomas J RudeMeanwhile, the first female Future Legend recipient upgraded to receive the Active Women’s Wrestling award. Cheerleader Melissa has certainly accomplished a huge amount in the decade since she was first honoured at Cauliflower Alley, winning two ChickFight tournaments and being the first woman to win the SHIMMER Championship on two occasions. In addition, she has wrestled under two gimmicks in TNA as Raisha Saeed and Alissa Flash, and has also worked on WWE TV – coming tantalisingly close to being offered a contract as a potential female member of Muhammad Hassan’s entourage in 2006.

“I was approached by WWE to be that female character,” she told SLAM. “But they changed their mind and it ended up being only one wrestler and one manager. But with that information being known out there, that got back to Dutch [Mantell] and it fit the image that he wanted to create with Raisha Saeed so that’s when the ball started rolling.

“I am satisfied with how my career has been in the past years,” she said. “I don’t regret anything. I enjoyed the last 10 years. I didn’t know where wrestling was going to take me and I’m very satisfied with where it brought me so far.”

Debi Pelletier received the 2014 Women’s (Retired) Award. She debuted in the summer of 1983 after just two weeks of training from her future husband Jay York – using the gimmick of the Killer Tomato. She also wrestled for Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling as Dallas and competing in the American Wrestling Association as Killer Tomato again. She also wrestled against the likes of Sherri Martel and Wendi Richter during her AWA run, though was done by the end of 1986. It was a curious choice for the award considering the brevity of her time in the ring and her lack of impact on the industry.

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Kay Lee Ray Sammii Jayne mrdavidjwilsonAfter a quiet start to 2014, Fierce Females is regaining its traction. A breakaway from Insane Championship Wrestling was accompanied by the decision to hold smaller shows to build up to their supercards means more potential storylines, more opportunities for talent to wrestle and more exposure for the produce by putting the smaller cards on YouTube. The latest of these shows took place on Sunday in Glasgow where Scottish Champion Kay Lee Ray defended her title against Sammii Jayne – who won the right to challenge for the belt by beating Bete Noire and Viper earlier this year.

The match was a raucous affair which saw the action spill not just out of the ring but out of the building, with Kay Lee leaping onto Sammii from the roof of a nearby parked car. In the end, the title stayed where it was, but it was a great opportunity for Jayne to ascend to the main event of a Fierce Females card and successfully carry the load. It’s encouraging that while Fierce Females could stick with the established big names the country has produced, it is giving rising talent an opportunity to push themselves.

Ray’s next challenger will be Nikki Storm, who was cheered by a heel-supporting contingent on the show. Storm defeated Noire and Debbie Sharpe to earn the shot and set up a match which – unfathomably – hasn’t taken place in the duration of Fierce Females. In fact, to our knowledge, the last time the pair fought in a singles match was September 2012. That’s unfathomable considering the circles they’re in and the companies they both work for, but there you go.

That contest will take place at the Mad Maxine supercard in late July, though there is also another match which has been announced for the show. Following Carmel Jacob and Sara Marie Taylor defeating Leah Owens and emergency partner Viper – as well as the attack on Kasey Owens injured ankle after the bell – the pair will face the Owens Twins in a Tag Team Elimination Last Woman Standing Match. Kasey’s injury should have healed up by then, and then we should see a resolution of a story which started in April with Sara and Carmel getting wins over Leah and Kasey respectively. It seems that the heels have the advantage considering their run of wins, but with the rules being thrown out of the window, we could see a turning of the tables.

It’s something of a relief for Fierce Females to be gathering steam again. It presented one of our favourite shows on 2013, and it’s nice that the momentum is building, and is giving the huge depth of talent in Scotland its own all-women shows.

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Ballatrix IXBellatrix IX (stylised to read as BellatrIX) takes place on Sunday in Norwich – and like Fierce Females, it will predominantly feature local talent in a one-night tournament. Queen of the Ring was skipped over last year but it is back for this card which will determine a new monarch of the promotion.

The “outsider” names of Lady Lory and Bacardi are in action against Penelope and Saraya Knight respectively in the opening round, with Destiny taking on Erin Angel and Scarlett wrestling World Champion Liberty in the remaining two quarter finals. The brackets have not been revealed yet so we’re not aware of potential semi final and final contests, but there is the chance of a number of entertaining outings, considering there is a lot of talent in those eight names. However, the top contender for Match of the Night comes in the other announced contest.

The original contest between RQW European Champion Sammi Baynz and Blue Nikita at Bellatrix VIII in March was a rip-roaring, hard-hitting affair in what we proclaimed as the best on the card. Baynz won after Nikita was hit in the back of the head by Axl Lynch, allowing the titleholder to gain the pinfall on an unconscious challenger. Nikita protested against the interference but the decision stood, though she was granted an opportunity to earn another shot by getting a slot in the Bellatrix Rumble due to a slot opening because of injury to Skarlett. In the end, she entered the fray late and got the win by last eliminating Lory.

Considering what was presented in March, we’re confident it should be another barn-burner of a match. The interesting thing will be how they change things up to thrill the audience even further. However there are other factors to consider, such as whether Lynch will be a thorn in Nikita’s side once again and whether she can overcome that to win the belt. Baynz has enjoyed a hell of a renaissance since her return at the end of last year and stole the show on the Bellatrix v SHIMMER show last November in her title win over Liberty. Can she go three for three in Match of the Night honours at Bellatrix? Don’t bet against it.

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Elsewhere on the site, we have posted videos of Natsuki☆Taiyo’s retirement show as well as a match from earlier this year between Serena Deeb and Mia Yim. Oh, and the Women Of Wrestling Podcast made its return after a four month hiatus – we talked to Sassy Stephie about a range of things like the Lingerie Fighting Championships, being considered a veteran, WSU and her engagement as well as plans for the wedding reception.

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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!

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WWE
Summer Raw Sasha Banks Charlotte WWEBest wishes to Tamina Snuka, who has had knee surgery to repair the ACL and meniscus in her left leg. It’s claimed she suffered it during a match – her final contest was a loss against Paige at the SmackDown tapings on May 27 – and she may be out for the rest of the year… Summer Rae returned to NXT last week during Charlotte’s match against Bayley. Summer raised Charlotte’s hand after her win and then went after Bayley, with Charlotte and Sasha Banks joining in – so Rae is back in the Beautiful Fierce Females stable. Paige and Emma made the save… Speaking of Paige, she successfully defended her Divas Championship against Cameron on Superstars in a contest where the challenger was more heelish than ever. Naomi was not impressed with her buddy’s attitude… Carmella (Leah Van Damme) and Devin Taylor (Brittany Fetkin) made their in-ring debuts at NXT’s house show in Tampa, FL on Friday… Paige defeated Alicia Fox again on Raw. Fox then went after her tag team partner Aksana after the match as part of her latest wobbler. Elsewhere on the show, Summer Rae attacked Layla backstage by pouring milk over her head and then slamming it into the make-up table… Natalya talked to CBS Minnesota about Stephanie McMahon, saying “When she’s on, you don’t want to take your eyes off the screen, you want to see what she’s doing next. You don’t worry if she’s a woman or a man, you don’t care she’s Vince McMahon’s daughter. Whatever she’s doing is really, really good”.

TNA
Taryn Terrell is expected to return to Impact Wrestling at the promotion’s tapings in Bethlehem, PA this week. She went away last year to have her first child and competed at the Knockouts Knockdown PPV last month… On last week’s Impact, Brittany apologised to Madison Rayne for coming on strong in the ring on the previous episode and offered to help Rayne in her Knockouts Championship challenge to Angelina Love, but was rejected. She still came to the ring during the match which annoyed Madison – and led to Velvet Sky blinding Rayne with hairspray so Love could get the win. Brittany did nothing to stop Velvet.

North America
The full SHINE 20 card’s been announced. As well as SHINE Champion Ivelisse Velez v Serena Deeb, Leva Bates and Mia Yim put the Tag Team belts on the line against the winner of a four corner survival match earlier in the night between Sassy Stephie & Jessie Belle Smothers, Kimber Lee & Cherry Bomb, Malia Hosaka & Brandi Wine and Heidi Lovelace & Solo Darling. Elsewhere, Allysin Kay and Jessicka Havok seek to end their feud in a Last Woman Standing Match. Taylor Made was booked against La Rosa Negra but she’s been pulled for some reason. Instead, Negra will face Shanna… LuFisto has been announced for next month’s Valkyrie Women’s Wrestling show in Brooklyn, NY… Brittany has been pulled from the Remix Pro Wrestling show on June 21 due to a conflict of scheduling – instead, Allysin Kay will challenge Sassy Stephie for the Fury Women’s Championship… Mary Elizabeth Monroe missed last weekend’s Ohio Valley Wrestling Saturday Night Special – she was meant to face Women’s Champion Lei’D Tapa and Jessie Belle in a 3-way with the belt on the line. Ray Lyn took her place and was pinned by Tapa, who retained her title… Lylah Lodge has announced that she last left OVW… Amanda Rodriguez won the Pro Wrestling Syndicate Bombshells Majestic Championship on Saturday by pinning La Rosa Negra as part of a six-woman tag team match on Saturday. Tatevik the Gamer was meant to be on the card but reportedly no-showed… Cherry Bomb suffered a tore ligaments in her ankle in her match against Vanessa Kraven at Smash Wrestling on Sunday, and it will keep her out for around two weeks. Kraven won the match via referee stoppage… Ivelisse Velez and Candice LeRae face each other at Full Impact Pro’s show in June 22. Velez’s SHINE Championship will not be on the line… Hudson Envy defeated Jacob Tarasso in a Good Housekeeping match on Empire Wrestling Federation’s show on Friday… Renee Michelle won the East Coast Wrestling Association Women’s Championship from Jessie Kaye on Saturday.

Japan
Tomoka Nakagawa’s announced her intention to retire from wrestling on December 4 – though that may just be a domestic retirement and she may wrestle a few more dates overseas in early 2015. The 32-year old 9-year veteran still holds the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship with Kellie Skater and the OZ Academy double straps with Hiroyo Matsumoto… DASH Chisako is the next challenger for Arisa Nakajima’s JWP Openweight Championship after beating Kayoko Haruyama, Rabbit Miu and Risa Sera Maki Narumiya Youji KawauchiKAZUKI in a one-day tournament… Maki Narumiya and Risa Sera are still the Ice Ribbon International Ribbon Tag Team Champions after being the Lovely Butchers on Saturday’s 8th Anniversary show.

Europe
Rhia O’Reilly plowed through four women on Sunday’s IPW:UK/Progress card as part of a gauntlet match but was quickly beaten by Tennessee Honey.

Mexico
Taya Valkyrie became the number one contender to Fabi Apache’s AAA Reina de Reinas Title after winning a cibernetico last Wednesday… Amapola admitted to Fuego En El Ring to being a little stagnant before winning the CMLL-REINA International Championship, and wants to rack up a racord number of defences. She also says she wants to beat Marcela and Dark Angel for their hair in apuesta matches.

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Results

June 3: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Amapola, Tiffany & Zeuxis b Estrellita, Goya Kong & Lluvia

June 4: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Rabbit Miu b Yuuka; Hamuko Hoshi & Tsukasa Fujimoto b Akane Fujita & Meari Naito; Kaho Kobayashi & Makoto b Akiba Shiori & Risa Sera

June 4: OZ Academy (Tokyo, Japan) – Sonoko Kato b Kyusei Sakura Hirota; Kagetsu v Mio Shirai went to a time limit draw; Kaori Yoneyama & Madoka b Manami Toyota & Kanjyuro Matsuyama; Arisa Nakajima & Hikaru Shida b Mayumi Ozaki & Yumi Ohka; Aja Kong, Tsubasa Kuragaki & Kyoko Kimura b Dynamite Kansai, Ayako Hamada & Hiroyo Matsumoto; AKINO b Tomoka Nakagawa

June 4: Tokyo Women’s Wrestling (Tokyo, Japan) – Shoko Nakajima b Miurakane; KANNA vv Yuka Sakazaki went to a time limit draw; Miyu Yamashita v Erin went to a time limit draw; Chikage Kiba b Nonoko

June 4: Rockstar Pro Wrestling (Dayton, OH) – LuFisto b Samantha Heights

June 4: AAA (Guanajuanto, Mexico) – Taya Valkyrie b Sexy Star, La Jarochita, La Magnifica, Mary Apache, Cinthia Moreno & Sexy Lady

June 5: Pro Wrestling WAVE (Warabi, Japan) – Mika Iida & Sumire Natsu b Moeka Haruhi & Tsukasa Fujimoto; Kaho Kobayashi v Shiori Akiba went to a time limit draw; Hiroyo Matsumoto v Misaki Ohata went to a time limit draw; Kyoko Kimura b Shu Shibutani; Risa Sera v Rina Yamashita went to a time limit draw

Cameron Paige WWEJune 5: WWE Superstars (Indianapolis, IN) – Paige b Cameron

June 5: WWE NXT (Winter Park, FL) – Charlotte b Bayley

June 5: TNA Impact Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Angelina Love b Madison Rayne

June 6: Scottish Wrestling Alliance (Cumbernauld, Scotland) – Nikki Storm b Courtney

June 6: Pro Wrestling 4 U (Newcastle Under Lyme, England) – Jenna b Violet Vendetta

June 6: WWE SmackDown (Cincinnati, OH) – Natalya b Alicia Fox

June 6: WWE (Detroit, MI) – Eva Marie & Nikki Bella b Aksana & Rosa Mendes

June 6: TNA (Bowie, MD) – Angelina Love b Gail Kim

June 6: Empire Wrestling Federation (Covina, CA) – Hudson Envy b Terrazo

June 6: WWE NXT (Tampa, FL) – Carmella b Devin Taylor; Alexa Bliss & Becky Lynch b Charlotte & Sasha Banks

June 6: Empire Wrestling Federation (Covina, CA) – Hudson Envy b Jacob Tarasso

June 6: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Marcela, Princesa Sugheit & Silueta b Dalys, La Seductora & Princesa Blanca via DQ

June 7: Ice Ribbon (Kitazawa, Japan) – Kaho Kobayashi & Koharu Hinata b Rabbit Miu & 235; Mio Shirai b Akane Fujita; Shiori Akiba b Kyuri; Meari Naito & Neko Nitta b Kurumi & Yuka; Tsukasa Fujimoto b Yuri Kotobuki; Shu Shibutani b Miyako Matsumoto & Cherry; Maki Narumiya & Risa Sera b Hamuko Hoshi & Mochi Miyagi

June 7: Yuiga Produce Indie Girls Fighting (Tokyo, Japan) – Haruka Kato b Space Pink; Sakura Hirota b SAKURA; Bikushi & Micro b Choco & Yuko Miyamoto; Aki Shizuku v Yuiga went to a time limit draw

Sammii Jayne Rad Pro WrestlingJune 7: Newcastle Pro Wrestling (New Lambton, Australia) – Bee Boy & Rachel Rose v The Blue Oni & Shazza McKenzie

June 7: Pride Wrestling (Glasgow, Scotland) – Viper b Nikki Storm

June 7: RAD:PRO Wrestling (South Shields, England) – Vulture b Sammii The Dolly; Freya Frenzy b Switch; Debbie Sharpe b Danny O’Dochery

June 7: German Wrestling Federation (Berlin, Germany) – Blue Nikita b Brenda Star, Micaela & Vanessa La Bestia in a gauntlet match

June 7: New European Championship Wrestling (Hessdorf, Germany) – Jessy Jade b Stella

June 7: Northeast Wrestling (Ansonia, CT) – Reby Sky b Alexxis Nevaeh

June 7: Wrestling For Charity (San Jose, CA) – Kikyo Nakamura b Tab Jackson

June 7: WWE (Las Cruces, NM) – Paige b Alicia Fox & Natalya in a 3-way

June 7: WWE (Madison, WI) – Nikki Bella & Eva Marie b Aksana & Rosa Mendes

June 7: East Coast Wrestling Association (Newark, DE) – Renee Michelle b Jessie Kaye to win the ECWA Women’s Championship

June 7: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Lousiville, KY) – Lei’D Tapa b Jessie Belle & Ray Lyn in a 3-way

June 7: Pro Wrestling Syndicate (Rahway, NJ) – Jessie Kaye, Hania & Amber Rodriguez b Missy Sampson, La Rosa Negra & Annie Social (Amber won the Majestic Championship)

June 7: Northeast Wrestling (Ansonia, CT) – Reby Sky b Alexxis Nevaeh

June 7: Buffalo Championship Wrestling (Niagara Falls, NY) – Jennifer Blake b Beautiful Beaa

June 7: AAA (Veracruz, Mexico) – El Elegido, Faby Apache, Mascarita Sagrada & Pimpinela Escarlata b Mamba, Mini Abismo Negro, Sexy Star & Silver King

June 8: World Woman Pro Wrestling Diana (Kawasaki, Japan) – Sareee b Koharu Hinata; Kaoru Ito b Koyuki Hayashi; Keiko Aono & Mask de Sun b Kyoko Inoue & Kaho Kobayashi

June 8: JWP (Itabashi, Japan) – Manami Katsu b Raideen Hagane; DASH Chisako b Kayoko Haruyama; Command Bolshoi, Sachie Abe & Rabbit Miu b Arisa Nakajima, Yua Hayashi & Kana; KAZUKI b Aki Shizuku; Hanako Nakamori b Leon; Aki Shizuku b Raideen Hagane; DASH Chisako b Rabbit Miu; KAZUKI b Hanako Nakamori; Manami Katsu b Yua Hayashi; Arisa Nakajima b Sachie Abe & Kana in a 3-way; Kayoko Haruyama & Leon b Command Bolshoi & Kyoko Kimura; DASH Chisako b KAZUKI

June 8: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland) – Nikki Storm b Bête Noire; Debbie Sharpe b Courtney; Viper b Fiona Fraser; Nikki Storm b Debbie Sharpe; Carmel Jacob & Sara Marie Taylor b Leah Owens & Viper; Kay Lee Ray b Sammii Jayne

June 8: Tidal Wrestling (Leeds, England) – Violet O’Hara b Ruby Summers & Felony in a 3-way

June 8: IPW:UK/Progress (Swanley, England) – Tennessee Honey b Evian Sky, Jinny Sandhu, Mischa East, Rhia O’Reilly & Rosie Leigh in a gauntlet match

June 8: Pro Wrestling Revolution (Watsonville, CA) – Kikyo Nakamura b Kitana Rivera

June 8: WWE (Rochester, MN) – Eva Marie & Nikki Bella b Aksana & Rosa Mendes

June 8: WWE (Rio Rancho, NM) – Paige b Alicia Fox & Natalya in a 3-way

June 8: I Believe In Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Brittany b Su Yung & Lizzie Parris in a 3-way

June 8: SMASH Wrestling (Etobicoke, ON, Canada) – Vanessa Kraven b Cherry Bomb

June 9: WWE Raw (Minneapolis, MN) – Paige b Alicia Fox

Upcoming

June 13: Queens of Combat (Charlotte, NC) – Heidi Lovelace v Marti Belle

June 13: All Pro Wrestling (Daly City, CA) – Cheerleader Melissa v Reby Sky

June 14: Pro Wrestling Alliance (Casula, Australia) – Evie v Shazza McKenzie

June 14: Melbourne City Wrestling (Tullamarine, Australia) – Miami v KC Cassidy; Siren Monroe v Toni Storm; Savannah Summers b Miki Fortune

June 15: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Tsukasa Fujimoto v Risa Sera

Kasey Owens Nikki StormJune 15: Target Wrestling (Kendal, Scotland) – Kasey Owens v Nikki Storm

June 15: Bellatrix 9 (Norwich, England) – Blue Nikita v Sammi Baynz; Saraya Knight v Bacardi; Destiny v Erin Angel; Lady Lory v Penelope; Liberty v Skarlett

June 15: British Empire Wrestling (Mitcham, England) – Pollyanna Peppers v Addy Starr

June 21: Great Bear Promotions (Middlewich, England) – Nixon v Lana Austin

June 21: Remix Pro Wrestling (Marietta, OH) – Allysin Kay v Sassy Stephie

June 22: Full Impact Pro (Maitland, FL) – Ivelisse Velez v Candice LeRae

June 27: True Grit Wrestling (Leeds, England) – Violet O’Hara v Lana Austin

June 27: SHINE 20 (Ybor City, FL) – Sassy Stephie & Jessie Belle Smothers v Kimber Lee & Cherry Bomb v Malia Hosaka & Brandi Wine v Heidi Lovelace & Solo Darling; Su Yung v Justine Silver; Leah Von Dutch v Amber O’Neal; Taylor Made v La Rosa Negra; Nevaeh v Candice LeRae; Jessicka Havok v Allysin Kay; Leva Bates & Mia Yim v TBA; Ivelisse Velez v Serena Deeb

June 28: Warzone Wrestling (Wendouree, Australia) – Savannah Summers v Siren Monroe v Harley Wonderland

June 28: IWA Mid South Queen of the Deathmatches (New Albany, IN) – LuFisto v Jordynne Grace

June 29: Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen of Queens (Austin, TX)

Veda Scott AIWJune 29: Absolute Intense Wrestling (Cleveland, OH) – Veda Scott v Gregory Iron

July 1: Pure Wrestling Association (Cambridge, ON, Canada) – Kc Spinelli v Beautiful Beaa

July 6: British Empire Wrestling (London, England) – Dragonita v Dean Michael; Toni Storm v Kasey Owens

July 12: German Hurricane Wrestling (Nauheim, Germany) – Svetlana Kalashnikova v Stella

July 12: Empress Pro Wrestling (High Wycombe, England) – Pollyanna Peppers v Rhia O’Reilly

July 12: Women Superstars Uncensored (Voorhees, NJ) – LuFisto v Mickie Knuckles

July 19: Valkyrie Women’s Wrestling (Brooklyn, NY)

July 20: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland) – Leah & Kasey Owens v Sara Marie Taylor & Carmel Jacob; Kay Lee Ray v Nikki Storm

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

August 16: NCW Femmes Fatales XV (Montreal, QC, Canada) – Mercedes Martinez v LuFisto v Cheerleader Melissa v Courtney Rush

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

– Lee Burton
– Photos by Thomas J Rude (1,2), David Wilson (3), WWE (5,7), Youji Kawauchi (6), Rad Pro Wrestling (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 (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”

Ringbelles Roundup (27 May 2014) – WWE Diva booking, wrestlers venturing into MMA & more

Alicia Fox WWEWWE really is baffling sometimes.

In order to build up to Paige’s Divas Championship defence against Alicia Fox this Sunday at Payback, Fox was booked to lose clean to Emma on last night’s Raw. After the match, Alicia threw another wobbler, attacking the victor, giving people wedgies, stripping them of their t-shirts and pouring soft drinks over herself and ringside fans.

Quite how Alicia Fox losing builds up anticipation for her match against Paige in five days is beyond me. By all rights, she should be winning to make her appear to be a threat, but instead she’s falling to Emma, whose star is pretty low at the moment. The issue is that her most marketable attribute comes after her losing, so it makes you wonder what will happen on Sunday. Should she win, she can’t lose it at ringside. That makes you think a Paige win is more likely, but her booking since winning the belt hasn’t showcased her that favourably. Sure – for the most part she is winning, but she still needs that strong story with possible promos so people can get to know her a bit more. At the moment she’s the champion who gets beaten up, hits a move and wins – which hardly puts her over as a dominant titleholder.

It’s a rough situation. Should Paige win at Payback, Fox gets to go off on one but doesn’t make her any conceivable threat, and having her win the belt would help with her credibility and help to build up more names in the division. However by doing that, you cut the legs off Paige and make it look like her reign was the fluke that her detractors claimed. Someone is losing big on Sunday, and we’ll have to wait and see who that will be. Continue reading “Ringbelles Roundup (27 May 2014) – WWE Diva booking, wrestlers venturing into MMA & more”

Ringbelles Roundup (8 April 2014) – Paige, Lita, bumper wrestling weekend & SHIMMER

Paige WWELots 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…

And her last. Continue reading “Ringbelles Roundup (8 April 2014) – Paige, Lita, bumper wrestling weekend & SHIMMER”

Ringbelles Roundup (1 April 2014) – Athena, SHINE, SHIMMER, Lita & more

Athena AIW Champion by Dave MuscarellaGetting 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”