Ringbelles Retro: Halloween hilarity with Victoria

Sumo Victoria WWELisa Marie Varon is amazing. As well as being a great wrestler who can be all serious and eyes-on-the-prize, she is also secure enough in herself to be silly, be the butt of jokes and create some truly funny moments. One of them is part of this week’s Retro, which saw the WWE Divas dress up for a Halloween battle royal on the October 29, 2007 episode of Raw. While others dressed tough or sexy, Varon – then under the name of Victoria – donned a sumo suit.

Thinking about it, it’s a brilliant move, as the extra bulk of the outfit makes her difficult to throw over the top, because of the lowering of her centre of gravity – so much so that it saw her tumble down the ramp in her entrance, after ring announcer Lilian Garcia struggled to maintain her composure while introducing her.

Her appearance in this match is a stark contrast to the Retro we posted in the summer when she and Trish Stratus knocked lumps out of each other at the 2002 Survivor Series but it shows the versatility she possesses. Click the jump and enjoy. Continue reading “Ringbelles Retro: Halloween hilarity with Victoria”

Ringbelles Roundup (8 October 2013) – Saraya and Melissa settle things, AJ Lee injured, Total Divas in-ring debut

22 Cheerleader Melissa Saraya KnightI certainly didn’t see it coming, and I doubt many others would have.

On Sunday evening at Bellatrix 7, I was fully expecting Saraya Knight to win the war against Cheerleader Melissa on her home turf by finally beating her decisively, ending the six and a half year feud between them – four of which were spent with silent hostility in the air from opposite sides of the Atlantic. However, instead of there being an out and out winner of the feud, there was a time limit draw following 20 minutes of battering each other both inside and outside of the ring. As a result, it seemed as if nothing was settled between them. With two wins, two losses and two draws each, it was a total stalemate – but that seemed to be perfectly acceptable to both. Continue reading “Ringbelles Roundup (8 October 2013) – Saraya and Melissa settle things, AJ Lee injured, Total Divas in-ring debut”

In Video: TNA Knockouts Knockdown preview

tna-one-night-onlyAhead of the release of the all-women TNA One Night Only PPV on September 6, the company has put together a preview video to sell the event to US viewers – ones in the UK will get it for free five days later. Hosted by Christy Hemme, it features a montage of all the Knockouts Champions since the title was created in 2007; a look at the Gauntlet Match at Bound For Glory in that year which determined the inaugural titleholder; a recap of the feud between Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell which featured a great Last Knockout Standing Match at Slammiversary this year and also a fine Ladder Match on Impact Wrestling in July; and a rundown of all the women who will be involved in the show itself.

The event was taped in March – you can read results of it here if you don’t mind spoilers – and it is interesting to see which Knockouts are no longer with the company in the time the show was recorded and it making to air. Tara, Taeler Hendrix and Madison Rayne have all gone – though Rayne didn’t wrestle on the show as she was already pregnant – while Brooke Hogan has also parted ways with TNA – which is a big continuity error, considering she is the one advertised as putting the event together but was unceremoniously dumped in the storylines. In addition, Terrell – who was clearly a big priority for TNA – has disappeared from our screens.

Still, it’s a nicely put together hard-sell for the show, so click after the jump, rekindle some memories and see if it can pull some money from your bank account. Continue reading “In Video: TNA Knockouts Knockdown preview”

Ringbelles Roundup (27 August 2013) – Speculation on Tara's future, Total Divas, #PipeBombshell & more

TaraIt’s been a pretty quiet week as far as news from the world of women’s wrestling is concerned, but one thing which stood out was what one former TNA Knockout said about the company – as well as what she didn’t say.

In an interview released on the Wrestling Observer, the former Tara (Lisa Marie Varon) talked about how she will “never” return to TNA, kept tight-lipped about the worst things concerning the promotion, and also openly praised WWE’s direction with the Divas both on the main shows and in NXT. Now, I would imagine that because of her being so direct about her lack of desire to return to the promotion, there are probably some stories there but are being held back out of professional respect to not run down a company which still has people she likes working there, or she’s saving it for when the time is right. She also goes out of her way to praise the opposition, which raises an eyebrow or two. Continue reading “Ringbelles Roundup (27 August 2013) – Speculation on Tara's future, Total Divas, #PipeBombshell & more”

Tara talks TNA release, whether she will return & more

Tara TNASince her release from TNA in July 18, Tara has kept quiet about her feelings on the subject. However, she has broken her silence in an interview which was posted at the Wrestling Observer website about being let go and how she was going to leave anyway, as well as if she will return to the promotion in the future.

When asked about being released, Tara – real name Lisa Marie Varon – said:

It was a surprise to me. I went to TNA because I wanted to work with some of the great female wrestlers that I hadn’t faced like [Amazing] Kong, ODB, and Sarita. TNA has definitely shifted their focus as far as the women’s division. It was really my love of wrestling that kept me going. I didn’t think it was the right fit for me anymore. My contract was up in a month or two. They knew I wasn’t going to re-sign. First, they had the travel guy call me and tell me I was released. Then Dixie [Carter] called me later that day and said that it was a financial thing, and they knew I was ready to jump ship anyway. I think the classy thing to do would have been to give me the opportunity to quit rather than getting released. But at the end of the day, everyone got what they wanted. Continue reading “Tara talks TNA release, whether she will return & more”

Ringbelles Roundup (23 July 2013) – Divas Title 5th birthday, Knockouts division & more

Beth Phoenix Divas ChampionThe WWE Divas Championship turned 5 years old on Saturday, and has evolved from the secondary title on the SmackDown brand to being the top belt in the promotion. Some would argue that in that time, the prestige of the primary women’s title in the biggest wrestling promotion in the world has dropped for various reasons, but it’s what we’re being presented, and it would be worth a look to see what state the title and the division itself is in right now.

Announced on June 6, 2008 by then-GM Vickie Guerrero so the women on her roster would have their own title, with the inaugural champion being Michelle McCool, who made Natalya tap out at that year’s Great American Bash. At the time, McCool was the pet project for WWE’s future, having been in the original Diva Search in 2004 and floating around for a long while before hitting a groove as a wrestler. However, she was a pretty unexciting one – and despite defeating Maryse a number of times over the course of the next month, it was the French Canadian who wrested the title from her in December of that year, which saw McCool turn heel on friend and special ref Maria Kanellis after the contest’s conclusion.

Maryse embarked on what is still the longest Divas Championship reign in the title’s history at 216 days, but her matches were pretty poor, and could not compare to the Raw brand’s women’s roster which was seeing the likes of Melina, Mickie James and Beth Phoenix competing over the Women’s Championship. However, during Maryse’s reign, she was drafted from SmackDown to Raw and took the belt with her, while Women’s Champion Melina went in the other direction. Continue reading “Ringbelles Roundup (23 July 2013) – Divas Title 5th birthday, Knockouts division & more”

Ringbelles Retro: Victoria's violence

Victoria Tara Survivor Series Trish Stratus WWEConsidering the sudden news about the TNA release of Tara last night – something which she hasn’t publicly acknowledged as of now, it feel appropriate that we delve back into her history of matches spanning more than a decade, where she has been the focal point of both TNA and WWE. For this week’s Retro, we jump back all the way to November 17, 2002.

After a brief period as one of the Godfather’s Hos in the summer of 2000, Lisa Marie Varon was taken off TV for about two years for training and development, and repackaged as Victoria, the unhinged maniac who was given a storyline background with Trish Stratus which was partly based in reality, as both had been fitness models before joining WWE. Victoria re-debuted on the July 7, 2002 broadcast of Sunday Night HeAT, and the pair squared off on pay-per-view for the first time at No Mercy in October, where Stratus – who by this point had won her third Women’s Championship – successfully defended her title. However, the hostilities continued, and it reached the point where it was decided that the pair would face off again under Hardcore Rules at the Survivor Series in New York City’s Madison Square Garden… Continue reading “Ringbelles Retro: Victoria's violence”