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- Top 5: Sensational Sherri
A cornerstone of the Hulkamania era, few women stood out as much as Sensational Sherri. More than capable of holding her own, Sherri was a rare talent. One that neither surpassed nor was eclipsed by the larger than life personalities that surrounded her. Whether she was in the ring or a valet, she elevated everyone around her. With the new age she helped usher in, fizzling out soon after it started, Sherri Martel is a name lost on modern fans. And who can blame them? The evolution of wrestling over the last 40 years has been drastic. Anything before the early 00s does not gel with our modern sensibilities from a storyline and in-ring perspective. Combine that with WWE’s failure to treat these women with the reverence and awe they do of other wrestlers of the era. I do not blame modern fans if Sensational Sherri is not on their radar. Despite all this, Sherri still endures. She is a name that stands out and, along with Miss Elizabeth, as one of the defining characters of the Hulkamania Era. For those not in the know, here are a few of Sherri Martel’s finest moments to show why Martel’s name continues to be synonymous with 80s/90s wrestling. 5. Sherri Martel Wins the WWF Women’s Championship on her Debut Debuting at the Sam Houston Arena on July 24th 1987, Sherri stood across the ring from, at that point, the biggest name in women’s wrestling, The Fabulous Moolah. The two were polar opposites, Moolah, a grizzled woman in all black, Sherri pretty and in 80s neon colours. In a massive upset, Sherri won the title on her first night in the company, a rare feat that only Paige and Gail Kim have achieved since. By modern standards, the match is slow. Yet, that fact doesn’t dampen the impact of what was a passing of the torch moment. With the departure of Wendy Richter, Sherri looked posed to be one of the staples of the division. The match marked the beginning of Sherri’s 440-day title reign, making her one of the longest-running women’s champions. Sadly the division never had the opportunity to flourish. Three years after her title victory, the division would dissolve. 4. Sherri’s Induction into the Hall of Face 2006 was a stacked year for WWE’s Hall of Fame. Headlined by Eddie Guerrero and Bret Hart, Sheri was also inducted and the second woman to receive the honour. The accolade shows not only her popularity amongst fans but amongst the boys. Having earned the respect of Ted DiBiase, Jessie Ventura and Shawn Michaels, Sherri proved she was just as deserving of her spot as any man. 3. Managing Shawn Michaels Managers are like wine. When paired with the correct dish, the end result can be a total game-changer. They can elevate something already good into something truly outstanding. For Shawn Michaels, his perfect accompaniment was Sensational Sherri. Fresh off valeting for Randy Savage and Ted DiBiase, Sherri lent her star power as a heel to Shawn Michaels, who was fresh off throwing his best friend through a glass window. Shawn had been a babyface opening act as one half of The Rockers. Now on the verge of moving up the card, Shawn needed someone to give him that extra boost to really get the fans to hate him. Coming in as Shawn’s side piece, Sheeri was the missing piece of the puzzle, helping to elevate Shawn’s new ‘Boy Toy’ persona. Most iconically, Sherri lent her voice to Shawn’s entrance music. Singing the words to Sexy Boy went hand in hand with the obnoxious persona of the couple. The song was so iconic that it continued to follow Shawn for the rest of his career, well after the ‘sexy boy’ moniker lost its meaning. Sherri was the special ingredient that helped lift The Heartbreak Kid from talented tag team specialists to main-eventer. 2. No Holds Barred Promo If you distilled everything about the Hulkamania era into a promo, this is it. It’s loud, it’s colourful, it’s downright insane, and it is one of the first things that springs to mind when I think of Sensational Sherri. It shows the true power she had as a presence in wrestling. Any lesser performer would be swallowed by the massive personalities of The Macho King and Tommy “Tiny” Lister. Sherri matches their insanity, going full Saturday morning cartoon villainess. 80s wrestling in its purest form. 1. Sensational Sherri at Wrestlemania 7 In one of the few genuinely touching moments in WWE, Sherri’s moment in the spotlight in the reuniting of Macho Man Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth is Sherri’s crowning achievement. It is Sherri doing what she does best, elevating a scene. The way she dashes away from the Ultimate Warrior to her putting the boots to a semi-conscious Savage. She may not be the focus of the moment, but Sherri plays a pivotal role. She is the inciting incident in an iconic moment in WWE History that outshone the main event of that year. It is a must-watch moment, made all the better by Sherri’s presence. #ShawnMichaels #SherriMartel #RandySavage #womenswrestling #sensationalsherri #WWF #womenswrestlingtalk #WWE
- IMPACT! Welcomes Awesome Kong To The Hall of Fame
IMPACT! Wrestling will be inducting Awesome Kong into the 2021 Hall of Fame. In addition, the ceremony will take place in Las Vegas on Saturday, October 23rd. All in all, the announcement of her induction comes after going public with her retirement during NWA EmPowerrr last month. This monumental moment makes her the first Black woman to be inducted into IMPACT! Wrestling’s Hall of Fame. Gail Kim Congratulates Her Old Rival Gail Kim took to social media to congratulate her longtime friend and notable rival. She goes on to share the importance the legend has on women’s wrestling. Her rivalry with Kim goes down in history as one of the greatest feuds of all time. Moreover, Awesome Kong’s legacy and influence within the world of wrestling lead back to her days in Japan in the early 2000s. During her time in TNA, she becomes a two-time Knockouts Champion. in addition, she is a former Knockouts Tag Team Champion with partner and TNA legend, Hamada. All in all, her accolades and accomplishments become the blueprint of wrestling. She watches the newcomers of today live on the legacy she helped build within the Knockouts division. The Future Of The Kong Futhermore, our very own, Stephanie Hardy, caught up with the former Knockouts Champion during NWA Empowerrr. She discusses owning her career and says, “I have my fingers in some pies of entertainment.” The GLOW star is hanging up her wrestling boots, for now. All in all, the anticipation of her path outside of the ring keeps us locked into what is next. A true legend, Awesome Kong we thank you. With the return of Knockouts Knockdown slowly approaching, will we see an appearance from Awesome Kong, herself? Tune into Knockouts Knockdown airing Saturday, October 9th on IMPACT! Plus. #Knockouts #ImpactWrestling #AwesomeKong #womenswrestling #GailKim
- Top 5: Charlotte Flair
The Queen, Charlotte Flair, has won a total of 15 singles championships within her career and refers to herself as the most decorated women’s wrestler of all time. The grand slam champion went on to win the 2020 Women’s Royal Rumble and is one of only two women to hold the NXT Women’s Championship on two occasions. So, what’s next for The Queen as she returns to the blue brand? While we wait, here are my Top 5 Charlotte Flair matches of all time. #5 – Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya / NXT Takeover (2014) Photo Credit: WWE This match takes us back to the beginning days of NXT. These women have their sights on one thing and one thing only: becoming the new NXT Women’s Champion. Spoiler: The Queen did just that. #4 – Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch / WrestleMania 32 Photo Credit: WWE Charlotte comes in as the last WWE Diva’s Champion and leaves the first WWE Raw Women’s Champion. However, that task did not come easy for The Queen as she faces longtime friends and half of the four horsewomen, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch. #3 – Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch / Women’s Evolution Photo Credit: WWE The rivalry between Flair and Lynch lands them in a Last Woman Standing match at the first-ever WWE all-women’s pay-per-view. This match gives WrestleMania main event feelings and foreshadows the next chapter for The Man and The Queen. #2 – Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks / Hell in a Cell Photo Credit: WWE In this monumental moment, The Boss and The Queen become the first women to step inside Hell in a Cell. This is also the first time women main event the pay-per-view for WWE. You can feel the electricity moving through the arena as soon as the bell rings. These women broke barriers in the WWE and continue to push the importance of exposure when it comes to women’s wrestling and programming. #1 – Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka / WrestleMania 34 Photo Credit: WWE Ending the streak of Asuka, Flair proves that anyone who plans to enter the division must go through The Queen first. This match causes quite an uproar and mixed emotions from the crowd and within the WWE Universe. After the match, the two competitors hug it out and Asuka says she is happy that it is Charlotte that ends the streak. Be sure to catch more Top 5 matches of your favorite women wrestlers later this month! To see each match in full, check out the WWE Network exclusively on Peacock. https://youtu.be/XF57kJWIz0I #SashaBanks #asuka #CharlotteFlair #BeckyLynch #WWE #Natalya
- 8 Women Who Deserve Their Own Biographies
Wrestling biographies can really hit and miss. Books like Have a Nice Day and Hitman: My Crazy Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling are seminal works, entertaining and were key in smartening fans to the wrestling business. Their quality and enlightening perspective are what wrestling books have been chasing since Mike Foley scribbled his wrestling career on legal notepads. Some have come close to recapturing the blend of insight and crazy stories that made these books so popular. However, others have been less than stellar, written by someone with an axe to grind. Despite the varying degrees of quality, one thing that is missing from the wrestling biography game is the female despective. It feels like any wrestler who had an iota of notoriety during the Attitude Era has a biography. With the exception of a few histories chronicling the rise of women’s wrestling and a handful of WWE autobiographies, the women’s experience remains an untapped market. As the saying goes, women do everything men do, and they have to do it backwards and in high heels. The wrestling world is no different. Having to deal with the bumps, the hectic schedule, and the added issue of surviving a male-dominated industry. The stories of the women of wrestling are equally, if not more compelling, than their male counterparts. To honour those women of wrestling’s past, here is a list (a by no means exhaustive one) of the women whose stories need to be told. Alexa Bliss With her best wrestling days still to come, some might think that it is a little too early for Alexa Bliss to be writing a biography. But Alexa Bliss has faced more than her share of challenges to make for an inspirational read. While her accolades in the ring cannot be denied, it is Alexa’s life outside of the ring that adds another layer to her story. Bliss has been very vocal about her struggles with her childhood eating disorder. Overcoming her mental health issues, Bliss found solace in fitness. Earning her IFBB Pro card within a year and competed at the Arnold Classic Women’s Bikini class in 2012 and 2013. Bliss reached the pinnacle of the fitness industry, an accolade that some spend their whole lives chasing. Before that, she was a division I cheerleader. Despite her success, Alexa constantly struggled with the burden of expectation she placed on herself. Inside the wrestling business, Alexa has done everything. She has been a manager, a multiple-time women’s champion. She has played a role in the rise of Niki Cross, Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey. While she may not be as world travelled or have the lineage of her contemporaries, Alexa has a relatability and a past that could inspire those struggling with mental health and eating disorders. Bayley Full disclosure: I am a huge Bayley mark. I still remember the odd luck on a small girl’s face as she noticed we were wearing the same ‘I’m A Hugged’ tee at an NXT show. So naturally, I had to put her on this list. In my opinion, What makes Bayley more of an intriguing topic than the other Four Horsewomen is her change in character. While all these women have found success as both faces and heels, Bayley has gone from cuddly cute babyface to an uber Karen with a haircut to match. I want to know how such a tonal shift affected Bayley and the thought process in developing the character. Her early career was equally as interesting. Bayley crossed paths with Mercedes Martinez and Serena Deeb and even tagged with Mia Yim during her time in Shimmer. It would be great to read about what Bayley thinks WWE saw in her and what ultimately landed a spot in developmental. Obviously, she went onto NXT, where she became a mega-star. Her much-lorded rivalry with Sasha Banks remains one of the defining moments of the brand. Helping to usher in the ‘women’s revolution.’ The most underserved Four Horsewoman, a book highlighting Bayley’s career, would shine a light on a mainstay of the modern era that rarely gets the credit they deserve. Terri Runnels Few people that fall backwards into the wrestling business stick around for long. Terri Runnels is the exception to the rule. Initially working as a make-up artist for CNN, Runnels was flung into the crazy world of professional wrestling. She acted as a valet to some of the greatest names in professional wrestling, including Mike Rotunda, Ricky Morton, Terry Taylor as part of WCW’s York Foundation. Her run with her husband Dustin Runnels saw her play a pivotal role in developing the Goldust character. Runnels was even granted the freedom to create her own persona, Marlina, an opportunity rarely given to women at the time. During the Attitude Era, Terri teaming up with Jaqueline Moore and Ryan Shamrock to form Pretty Mean Sisters (P.M.S.) and was involved in a horrendous abortion angle. Two if the bottom of the barrel low points of women’s wrestling, it would be interesting to see what 20 years of hindsight have affected Terri’s view on such angles. During her later career, Terri was given the role of ‘handler’. Mentoring younger talent like the Hardy Boyz and a very troubled Perry Saturn. A man who, by his own admission, never worked a match sober his entire WWE run. Terri appeared to take an almost motherly role in supporting new talent, keeping them on the straight and narrow (relatively speaking). A rarely explored side of wrestling, we know that Tim White looked after Andre and Heenan was paired with Flair, At WWE, when it was at its most popular when toxic masculinity ruled the locker room. If Dark Side of The Ring is anything to go by, Terri has some stories to tell. While a tell-all is probably too salacious, the duality of a valet and wrestler’s wife is a unique perspective that few others can offer. Jazz Jazz is a wrestler who rarely gets her due. While hardcore fans know her, Jazz’s underutilization in WWE means many fans aren’t familiar with Jazz and her journey. Jazz was rocketed into the world of wrestling thanks to her impressive look. Honing her skills in ECW, Jazz was one of the few women with wrestling training. From there, she continued to learn under The Junkyard Dogg, one of the most beloved Black wrestlers, before making her jump to WWE. She continued to flourish and travelled the world, working for Shine, the NWA, Chikara, and Impact Wrestling. Married to fellow wrestler Rodney Mack, Jazz has the rare accolade of having a relationship that has endured the hardships of the wrestling business. The two have formed a lasting relationship and continue to train talent in their wrestling school, The Dog Pound, alongside Thunder Rosa. With Jazz announcing her retirement recently, the former two time WWE champion wants to cap off her career with a world tour. After which, there would be no better time for Jazz to reflect on everything she has accomplished. Ivory Another journeywoman on the list. It feels like Ivory was at the right place at the wrong time. A staple of the Attitude Era, Ivory (along with Jaqueline Moore and Luna Vachon) was one of the few competent wrestlers when bikini and evening gown matches were at their height. Appearing right before the resurgence in women’s wrestling with the arrival of Trish Stratus and Lita. Ivory’s contributions to wrestling are often overshadowed by her more famous contemporaries. Yet her journey is equally fascinating. Ivory got her break wrestling for the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling, a promotion that shot back into public consciousness after the success of the hit Netflix series of the same name. Working in GLOW’s various off-shoots and even a brief stint in Herb Abrams’ ill-fated UWF. Ivory’s early career is unique. Enshrined in pageantry and the sports entertainment style of wrestling, compared to heading to Japan to carve out a name for herself. Despite not having an array of opponents that could match her wrestling skills. While at the WWE Ivory made the most of every opportunity. She was a utility player, trusted enough to work with Chyna, an 80-year-old Mae Young and even Cindy Margolis. Later she took a role as a trainer in Ohio Valley Wrestling and even helped in the second season of Tough Enough. With a reputation as a solid hand, Ivory’s story is one that rarely gets the opportunity to be told. Biographies are reserved for champions. The stories of journeymen like Dean Malenko or Jerry Lynn fall to the wayside as they just don’t have the star power as their peers. Ivory is the exception. As a multiple-time women’s champion, her popularity matches her skill. Combine that with her connection to GLOW, Ivory’s time in the world of wrestling deserves to be told. Alundra Blayze At one point in time, if you heard the name Alundra Blayze or Medusa, one moment would instantly spring to mind. The one that can be found in every Monday Night Wars and Attitude Era documentary. A pissed off Medusa fresh off being future endeavoured from WWF, dumping the women’s title in the trash on Monday Night Nitro. Until recently, this was considered the defining moment of Alundra Blayze’s career. But Blayze was so much more than a hotshot angle dreamed up by Eric Bischoff. Raised by a single mother, Blayze has memories of living on food stamps and welfare. From there, she fell in love with wrestling and transitioned into the life of an indie wrestler earning a measly $5 a match. Heading to the AWA, she quickly won the women’s championship and became the first woman to win PWI’s Rookie of the Year. One of the first, Blayze, headed to Japan, where she had the lumps knocked out of her learning the Japanese strong style. Other Americans managed to ride it out for a year. Blayze surpassed them all, staying for three. Her reward was the respect of her contemporaries and massive popularity. One so strong that Blayze even returned to Japan as the WWF champion. As the only American woman on the card, Blayze put her title on the line against wrestling legend Bull Nakano at the Big Egg Wrestling Universe super-card, in front of 42,000 people inside the packed Tokyo Dome. Blayze abandoned the wrestling business after her career ended in 2001 and continued to succeed in everything she did, whether dog grooming or monster truck driving. It wasn’t until her induction into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015 that Blayze stepped back into the wrestling spotlight. Now Blayze helps other women recognize the power of their brand and the financial side of being independent contractors. Much like how Have A Nice Day provided insight into becoming a wrestler, Blayze’s book could teach would-be wrestlers how to establish themselves as indie wrestlers. Blayze set a precedent, one that was replicated time and time again. Luckily this is one biography we might not have to wait long to read, with ECW Press announcing a planned autobiography released in 2023. Jaqueline Moore The importance of Jaqueline cannot be understated. As one of the few Black wrestlers during the Attitude Era, she, D’Lo Brown and Charles Wright were the only Black performers who weren’t former NWA champions, third-generation superstars or signed to a million-dollar contract. She was a mainstay of the women’s roster who helped inspire the likes of Bayley, Bianca Belair, Sasha Banks, and Naiomi. Even playing a pivotal role in helping show Trish Stratus the ropes. As a woman who made appearances in WCCW, USWA, Smokey Mountain Wrestling, WCW, WWE, TNA, and even Atsushi Onita’s FMW, Jaqueline is undoubtedly the most well-travelled woman on this list. Her globe-trotting career saw her manage and wrestle a who’s who of wrestlers greatest legends. With a tough as nails reputation and being viewed as ‘one of the boys,’ Jaqueline’s biography would be a wild ride and an insight into a Black woman’s journey through pro-wrestling. AJW Arguably the most significant women’s promotion of all time, All Japan Women’s Pro-Wrestling is a much-lorded promotion that revolutionized Joshi wrestling. At its height when women’s wrestling was non-existent in the States, AJW was the place for women’s wrestling, influencing countless wrestlers. The company has a rich history stemming from the 1960s. One that involved a mandatory retirement age of 26 and a tumultuous end in the mid-00s after the company’s owners went bankrupt. During that period, AJW produced huge stars like Bull Nakano, Aja Kong and Akira Hokuto. It is responsible for 19 Wrestling Observer 5 Star matches (if Dave Meltzer’s opinion is your sort of thing). A number that WWE is still chasing. With star Manami Toyota being responsible for 13 of the 19. The influence of AJW continues to be felt today yet like everyone else on this list it rarely gets the credit it deserves when it comes to its influence on women’s wrestling in America. However, a book on the most prolific women’s promotion may be more complicated than you think. A lot of information has been lost to time, especially AJW’s numerous untelevised events. Then there is the painstaking task of translating any material from Japanese to English. There may be some challenges, but that would not prevent an author from writing a compelling book on a promotion that shaped women’s wrestling. Honourable mentions: Sherri Martell, Nancy Benoit, Miss Elizabeth Sadly the wrestling world is littered with women who have left this world too soon. Nancy Benoit, Sherri Martell and Miss Elizabeth all played pivotal roles in wrestling and were defining figures during their time. I have left them off this list because, unfortunately, the thoughts and opinions of these women have been lost to drugs, alcohol, and murder. While it is not too late for their stories to be told, such a biography would come with its own set of problems. A second-hand account would come with the added challenge of portraying such women objectively. While trying to treat the sad nature of their untimely passing with dignity. The two goals are inherently contradictory and would inevitably clash. It doesn’t mean that these women are any less deserving. Just, the ends result would never match hearing a first-hand account. This is just scratching the surface of the women in pro-wrestling. My list is by no means definitive. There are countless other women equally deserving of having their stories told. As the female empowerment movement in the wrestling world continues to grow, it is equally important to honour the women of the past. While Hall of Fame spots and legends contracts are all well and good, giving these women a platform to share their experiences would be even better. These women lived the life of wrestlers while dealing with the added bullshit of surviving in a male-dominated industry. Such a perspective has rarely been explored and is at risk of being forgotten. But what do you think? Who’s biography would you read? Sound off in the comments, and be sure to let us at Women’s Wrestling Talk know whose biography you’d like to read next. #Ivory #JaquelineMoore #WCW #BullNakano #AlexaBliss #ECW #nxt #womenswrestling #Jazz #AlundraBlayze #Bayley #womenswrestlingtalk #WWE #FourHorsewomen #TerriRunnels #AJW
- Top 5 Moments! -Thunder Rosa
Screenshot of Thunder Rosa with her many championships. Thunder Rosa made her wrestling debut in 2014 wrestling in several companies and promotions such as NWA, Impact, Lucha Underground, Stardom, and AEW. Since her debut, Thunder Rosa has shown time and time again why she is one of the best women wrestlers around. She has had many accomplishments both inside and outside of the ring over the years. I wanted to give my top 5 moments that stood out to me as a viewer and a fan. Screenshot of Thunder Rosa VS. Britt Baker #5 Thunder Rosa VS. Britt Baker in the Unsanctioned Lights Out Match Thunder Rosa and Britt Baker participated in the Unsanctioned Lights Out match. This match showcased hardcore-style wrestling. While many focused on the images of Britt bleeding, I saw how both ladies told a great story. Thunder Rosa’s skillset was shown throughout the match, making her my favorite to win this match. Thunder Rosa was indeed victorious. This match was also the first women’s main event in AEW Dynamite. Screenshot of Thunder Rosa’s AEW Appearance #4 Thunder Rosa and her surprise debut on AEW On August 22, 2020, Thunder Rosa made a surprise appearance on AEW Dynamite. She challenged Hiraku Shida to a championship match at AEW, All Out. Thunder Rosa made her challenge via a vignette. This moment marked the first time a champion from another wrestling promotion came to AEW and competed. #3 Thunder Rosa vs. Hiraku Shida (All Out 2020) –AEW World Women’s Championship AEW’s women’s division has been the subject of much criticism. On August 22, 2020, Thunder Rosa made her challenge against Shida for the championship. This match was both technical and physical, showcasing both women’s unique styles. Thunder Rosa came into this match and proved to the world why she was one of the best women wrestlers out there. She delivered a beating to Shida, but ultimately she lost the match. She did this as the NWA World Women’s Champion and showed just how well she could work with other women around the world. Screenshot of Thunder Rosa and Mission Pro #2 Thunder Rosa and Mission Pro Wrestling Thunder Rosa started Mission Pro Wrestling in 2019 based out in Texas. Mission Pro is an all-women wrestling promotion. With the help of the Female Fighting Phenom, Jazz, Thunder Rosa is teaching, training, and allowing other women wrestlers to have the opportunity to shine. Many of the women from Mission Pro have been in AEW matches such as Vertvixen, Madi Wrenkowski, Red Velvet, and Big Swole. There aren’t many women-only wrestling promotions. Mission Pro helps elevate the game for other women in the wrestling industry. It also helps address the lack of women’s matches we have seen over the years. Screenshot of Thunder Rosa winning the International Princess Championship. Before I get to my number #1, I wanted to give an honorable mention to Thunder Rosa for winning the International Princess Championship. On January 5, 2020, Thunder Rosa appeared on Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling to have a match against Maki Itoh. She was victorious, becoming the first non-Japanese wrestler in Tokyo Joshi History to win this title. Screenshot of Thunder Rosa winning the NWA World Women’s Championship. #1 Thunder Rosa Becomes NWA Women’s Champion! Ever since her NWA debut on October 29, 2019, Thunder Rosa was a force to be reckoned with. She had feuds with Ashley Vox and Allysin Kay. Thunder Rosa continued to make a name for herself in NWA. Thunder Rosa will get her shot at the NWA World Women’s Championship by going against Allysin Kay at NWA Hard Times. She defeated Allysin Kay, becoming the new NWA World Women’s Champion. Thunder Rosa was the first Mexican-born wrestler to win the title. Thunder Rosa has already paved a path with so much greatness, and I can’t wait to see what she does next. Until Next Time! xoxo #Stardom #LuchaUnderground #womenswrestling #AllysinKay #NWA #womenswrestlingtalk #BrittBaker #ThunderRosa #MissionProWrestling #AEW #Impact #Top5s
- Rok-C Wins Ring Of Honor Women’s World Championship
Rok-C defeats Miranda Alize, becoming the youngest champion in ROH history and the new ROH women’s world champion. This finals match concludes the ROH Women’s Championship tournament and yet again herstory was made in the world of wrestling! Before the match, Rok-C talks about no longer being a caterpillar but not yet being a butterfly either. Her victory over wrestling legend, Angelina Love, got her the ticket to the finals and her wings are starting to show. Photo Credit: New Texas Pro Wrestling She says: “it doesn’t matter how old you are. it doesn’t matter what you look like. It doesn’t matter where you’re from. You can be anything you want to be,” which is what makes her The Prodigy. The match begins with the legendary Bobby Cruise introducing the women while Alize denies Rok-C’s handshake. The evenly matched pair perfectly lock up and the advantage goes up in the air. Alize’s confidence starts to get the best of her as Rok-C begins to take control. Gaining the edge, Rok-C continues to use her foot techinique but slowly loses it with the power of Alize. Rok-C struggles to break free from the Miranda Rights crossface which gave Miranda the win in the semifinals. Although the submission is unsuccessful, Rok-C gains the strength to counter into her own crossface and later finishes Alize with Code Roc. She is joined in the ring by Maria Kanellis who presents her with the ROH Women’s World Championship. Moments later, her mom and dad join her in the ring for the monumental celebration. The D.M.D. herself, AEW Women’s World Champion, Dr. Britt Baker, takes to twitter to congratulate the newly awarded champion from one to another. Could we see a possible match between these two in the near future? The undefeated strike continues for Rok-C and the question of who’s next for the newly crowned champion begin to arise. Victories bring challenges and the other women of ROH have their eyes set on the championship, especially NWA Women’s Invitational Cup winner, Chelsea Green. Check out the list below for a full match card and result list of ROH Death Before Dishonor and catch more of the women of ROH on Fite TV. Photo Credits: SBNation / Cageside Seats #RokC
- Almost A Superhero: Is Nikki A.S.H. WWE’s Greatest Storytelling Device?
I rarely tune in to WWE. Ideological differences caused us to drift apart after being a die-hard fan for nearly two decades. I still catch The Big Four and listen to the poor YouTubers tasked with recapping the RAW and Smackdown. With AEW in my life, I very rarely feel the need to go back. That is until a recent event piqued my curiosity. Bouncing down the ramp, an ear-to-ear smile donned in blue and gold, as if ripped straight from a golden age comic. Ditching her old persona, the person we knew as Nikki Cross had transformed into Nikki A.S.H (Almost Super Hero). It felt different, fresh, unlike anything currently on the roster. The gimmick change has had a mixed reception. Yet where some see a goofy, childish character, the eternal optimist in me sees the potential for fantastic storytelling. It has never been a better time to be a heavily gimmicked character. Both hardcore and casual fans alike have embraced the likes of Orange Cassidy, Danhausen, and The Fiend. Personally, I stan hard for the alien from the Andromeda galaxy Kris Statlander. When you look at the last decade’s landmark moments, you can guarantee a strongly gimmicked character isn’t far behind. Another niche of pop culture that has enjoyed an unprecedented surge in popularity is superheroes. People are no longer getting shoved into lockers for liking Captain America or Iron Man. Fringe heroes like The Guardians of the Galaxy or Vision are household names thanks to the efforts of Marvel and Warner Brothers. Being the perfect Venn diagram of these sections, Nikki A.S.H. has all the makings of the next John Cena. Okay, maybe she’ll never match Cena’s drawing power. Still, if booked correctly, she could fill the Superman archetype used throughout wrestling. As much potential as I see in Nikki A.S.H., it seems things have already begun to turn. In a few months, Nikki has won Money in the Bank, cashed it in, and lost the title to Charlotte Flair. That signature WWE booking, the “we want to push you but not enough that we want to take an actual chance on you”, the Ceasaro special. A few months into her run, it feels like Nikki is already floundering. She is stuck somewhere between an inspirational figure for children and a goofy parody. The latter may have worked for the Hurricane and Mighty Molly, but this is a different world, one that has been conditioned to want a more nuanced caped crusader. Nikki A.S.H. can be more than that, a prism for exploring themes and ideas rarely explored in wrestling. Speaking about the origin of her character Nikki sites the 90s X-Men animated series as her inspiration. The X-Men are literally a group of outcasts, shunned by the world for being different. It’s something that Nikki has dealt with, her whole tag team runs with Alexa, and she has always been viewed as this crazy-lady stereotype. It has always been there, so why not use it, ditch the slightly saccharine “I want to be an inspiration for the children” origin, and show that through her actions? The other influence Nikki referenced is Spider-Man: The Animated Series. Along with every other iteration of Spider-Man, the show is predicated on Uncle Ben’s wise words, “With great power comes great responsibility”. Nikki could effortlessly embody the responsibility felt by our favorite web-slinger and what more is ripe for exploration and unheard of in the wrestling world. Have Nikki struggle with living up to fan's expectations and her own. Make her vulnerable and sympathetic, something WWE has done so well in the past. It is not hard to do either. Pick a comic, literally any comic, and there is an internal struggle or crisis of self-confidence that you could use. While such nuanced storytelling may be out of the reach of WWE, there is one story that Nikki is tailor-made for. The redemption of Alexa Bliss. A hero is only as good as a villain, and Alexa is the perfect foil for Nikki. Two friends turned bitter enemies. One desperately tries to pull her friend back from the brink of madness, with the other deliberately trying to corrupt her. Have Alexa manipulate Nikki, saying that Nikki abandoned her when she needed her the most. Have that be the finish to a match, where Alexa wins, leaving Nikki to question if she is strong enough to be a superhero. Then culminate it all in a massive cinematic match a-la the Firefly Funhouse, where Nikki is forced to confront that she failed Alexa. In realizing her failure and embracing Alexa as her friend no matter what, Nikki vanquishes the demon inside Alexa and becomes a fully-fledged superhero. It is epic, nuanced, and unlike anything, WWE has done. Nikki would come out of it as a much stronger character, one that more fans could get behind and serve as a way for Alexa to transition away from her demon persona. I know this is a lot of armchair booking, but this is just one possible scenario and serves as a testament to Nikki A.S.H’s potential. Ultimately the story of Nikki A.S.H. is still being written. No gimmick is perfect from the word go (at least in modern WWE, it isn’t). There are always kinks that need to be ironed out as the performer, writers, and agents get used to the new character. However, the fundamental idea of a superhero in wrestling is evergreen. The archetype has manifested itself in Hulk Hogan, John Cena, and countless others. Nikki is the next extension of that, and right now is the perfect time for it. Our world is pretty bleak. Having a bright and colorful hero to restore our faith in humanity is more important than ever. Whether this Nikki is a hero to do it remains to be seen, but the only way we will know is if she is given a chance to fly.
- The Doctor Retains While Ruby Soho Plans Her Next Destination
Ruby Soho is here! Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. retains her championship against The Galaxy’s Greatest Alien, Kris Statlander, in yet another amazing match from each competitor. Starting off strong, Statlander takes Baker to the limits, going for the Spider Crab to end the match, leaving her efforts unsuccessful. Even for Baker, The Pittsburgh Sunrise and her infamous stomp were not enough to take the alien down just yet. Surviving the second kick-out, Statlander submits from the Lockjaw and Baker now can move on to her next opponent. As Dr. Britt Baker DMD retains, Ruby Soho’s destination is complete. She arrives as the joker in the casino battle royal, becoming the next contender for the AEW Women’s Championship. Other competitors include former AEW Women’s Champions, Nyla Rose and Hikaru Shida, along with final four members, Tay Conti and runner-up, Thunder Rosa. Rivalries within the battle continue to form which foreshadows future matches within the division. Now, the issue is whether the DMD is ready for what Ruby will bring to AEW.
- Latina Heat: The 10 Best Female Latina Active Wrestlers
When you think of Latin American female wrestlers, there are plenty who may come to mind. Women from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Brazil, and other countries have been making an impact in the WWE, AEW, and several independent promotions throughout the United States. Coming up with a list of the ten best Latina active wrestlers was a difficult task. There are many women who were considered but did not quite make the list, including Sexy Star, Miranda Alize, Delmi Exo, Amanda Rodriguez, Ashley Vox, Vulcana, Dulce Tormenta, Alejandra the Lion, Shaul Guerrero, Eva Marie, Zelina Vega, Katrina Cortez, Elektra Lopez, Katalina Perez, Alex Gracia, Jazmine Allure, and Labrava just to name a few. #10 Melina Slam Wrestling A wrestling veteran, Melina Perez is Mexican American and hails from California. Melina held five women’s titles in the scene and continues to stay active, challenging Deonna Purrazzo for her title at NWA Empowerrr. #9 Diamante Last Word on Pro Wrestling With more than a dozen years of fighting experience, Diamante is Cuban American and was born in Miami. As Adrenaline she is a WOW tag team champ and she held many titles in ICW. Diamante had a successful partnership with Ivelisse in AEW. #8 Mercedes Martinez The Overtimer From Connecticut, Mercedes Martinez is of Puerto Rican descent. She made her debut in 2000 and has held many titles in several promotions including SHINE, SHIMMER, WSU, and more. After starring in NXT she was released by the WWE in 2021. #7 Christi Jaynes Last Word on Pro Wrestling Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and now residing in Texas, Christi Jaynes is one of the best independent wrestlers right now. In her five years in the business she has held titles in RCW, SWE, and more. #6 Tay Conti wrestlingnews.co Also born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tay Conti has become much more successful after being released from the WWE’s NXT. She has made a name for herself in AEW after joining the Dark Order and continues to be a threat for the AEW Women’s Championship. #5 La Rosa Negra Wrestling Inc. La Rosa Negra has been the best independent women’s wrestler in 2021. Hailing from Puerto Rico, she made her debut in 2005 and is the Mission Pro Wrestling champion and former WWC champion. #4 Raquel Gonzalez Ringside News Raquel Gonzalez really made a name for herself when she won the NXT Women’s Championship in 2021 after holding the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships with Dakota Kai. Raquel is Mexican and hails from Texas. #3 Ivelisse Sportskeeda Born in Puerto Rico and residing in Florida, Ivelisse Velez has been tearing up the wrestling scene since 2005. She holds the Shine, SWE, and LNO championships and has had successful runs in AEW and Lucha Underground. #2 Bayley CBS Sports Some wrestling fans might be surprised to learn that Bayley is Mexican American. She is from California and is no stranger to anyone, having held the SmackDown championship twice, Raw championship, NXT championship, and tag team championship twice. #1 Thunder Rosa Sportskeeda Coming in at #1 is none other than Thunder Rosa. Whether you know her from AEW and her amazing win over Britt Baker in the lights out match, from being the former NWA champ, holding titles in Shine and Lucha Underground, or owning Mission Pro Wrestling, Thunder Rosa is numero uno! #wrestlingblog #prowrestling #wrestlingrankings #latinawrestlers #womenswrestling #wrestling #wrestlingpodcast #womenswrestlingtalk
- Up & Comers: 16 Women’s Wrestlers on the Rise in 2021
Women’s wrestling has picked up in a big way in 2021 after a down year. Brand new wrestlers are popping up across the country and some ladies who have been in the game for a few years are starting to get noticed. To be on this list of up and coming women’s wrestlers these ladies have to have been wrestling for no more than five years and not currently be signed to WWE, AEW, or Impact. Hopefully you will be reminded of a few of your favorites and discover some new wrestlers to keep an eye on. Feel free to share your comments on Twitter about who you agree or disagree with and who will become a big star in the years to come. You can find the author of this article @WWTRankingsDude and the hosts of Women’s Wrestling Talk on @WWTalkPod. #16: Sarah the Rebel The first wrestler on this list is our very own WWT host Sarah the Rebel. She started out as Razor in WOW and then began competing as Sarah the Rebel in independent promotions such as OVW, Empower, and more. Be sure to catch her on the Women’s Wrestling Talk weekly shows as well as in the ring. #15: Karma Dean Making her debut earlier this year, Karma Dean was trained by Cody Rhodes and featured on the Nightmare Academy showcase on YouTube. Karma has appeared in national fitness competitions and pageants and is an actress who gives off some Carmella vibes. With her ties to AEW she could show up on Dark in the near future. #14: Amaris Blair Glamorous Amaris Blair has been training for a few years and recently made her in ring debut in 2021. Check out her interview on Women’s Wrestling Talk. The proudest moment of her career was wrestling her mentor Amber Rodriguez for the Elev8 Pro Women’s title. #13: Eve Levine This amateur wrestler made the transition to professional wrestling in 2020 and has been featured on FSPW Jewels of Wrestling. So far her biggest moment was main eventing Premier Wrestling League’s first women’s championship match. She has the perfect combination of strength, speed, and amateur ability. #12: Ava Wilde The powerhouse Ava Wilde made her debut in 2020 and trained under Dustin Rhodes at the Rhodes Wrestling Academy and was featured on their showcase. She has been involved in bodybuilding and fitness competitions and set records. Ava reminds some of Chyna, Kamille, or Jade. She joined Mission Pro Wrestling’s first faction WAR in June 2021. #11: Brittnie Brooks Brittnie Brooks is new to the scene and her name is appropriate because she looks something like a 90’s pop star. But don’t let her looks fool you; she can go in the ring. Brittnie defeated Freya the Slaya this year and went on to win the Arizona Wrestling Federation women’s championship against Sandra Moone, Maya Martinez, and Brynn Thorne. #10: Julia Hart You might not know her by name but if you watch AEW you know Julia Hart as the cheerleader. She is not signed with AEW but has appeared on Dark after her connections from training at the Nightmare Factory and recently got her first win. Julia is only 19 and pulls off being a cheerleader so well because she really is one. She also trained with Ken Anderson and has been paired up with the Varsity Blondes in AEW where she may get signed at some point. #9: Labrava Labrava made the top 10 in our first ever independent women’s wrestling rankings. She competes in Florida and has held the OCW and POW women’s championships. She is a member of the faction Controversial Inc. Labarava was the first ever Pride of Wrestling women’s champion and keeps improving with every match. #8: Haley J “HollyHood” Haley J was #3 in our first ever indie women’s wrestling rankings and racked up more wins than any other female competitor in the first quarter of 2021. The OVW women’s champion is a second generation wrestler as the daughter of Amazing Maria and continues to push the limits. #7: Notorious Mimi Notorious Mimi has been tearing it up in New Jersey. Still in her late teens, Mimi is a former TCW Goddess Champion and won the MFPW Women’s Championship in 2021. Mimi has competed in promotions including Invictus, Global Syndicate, and more. She has a bright future and had an awesome ladder match against Vicious Vicki in 2021. #6: Skye Blue The young Skye Blue made her debut in 2019. She won the Chicago Style Wrestling Women’s Championship in 2020 and the ZERO1 USA Women’s Championship in 2021. Skye Blue has also wrestled in AEW and NWA and has a bright future. #5: Freya the Slaya Freya the Slaya should be no stranger to fans of Women’s Wrestling Talk. As the only female wrestler in Alaska she competes against men sometimes half her size. Freya has wrestled for AEW and NWA and has been training and wrestling in the lower 48 states when she can. Her size, strength, and moves resemble the likes of Bull Nakano, Kevin Owens, and even Andre the Giant. Check out her interview on WWT. #4: Vicious Vicki The vivacious Vicious Vicki has been tearing it up in her home state of New Jersey for the past few years. She won the TCW Goddess Championship in 2020 and held four belts at the same time in 2021. She has a stellar win-loss record for 2021 and has had quite the rivalry with the Notorious Mimi. #3: Trish Adora Everyone knows Trish Stratus, but now everyone should know Trish Adora too. She has been wrestling since 2016 and is the Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora Wrestling Champion. Trish has competed in Ring of Honor, Game Changer, Beyond Wrestling, and more. She even competed against Kairi Sane in NXT. #2: Jennacide Even though she is somewhat of a veteran, Jennacide can still be considered an up and comer. She started wrestling in 2016 and is a former ACW Women’s Champion and Diamonds Division Starlight Champion. Formerly known as Jenna Von Muscles, she has competed in many promotions including the NWA, AEW, and Mission Pro. #1: Brooke Valentine Brooke Valentine made her debut in 2017 and is the ZOWA Women’s Champion. The Queen Bee is a young powerhouse who has competed in Game Changer and several other independent wrestling promotions. She was trained by Michael Elgin and you can see some similarities in the ring. #wrestlingblog #prowrestling #womenswrestling #wrestling #wrestlingpodcast #womenswrestlingtalk