Lots of stuff happened at Wrestlecon, most of which you can buy on iPPV at WWNLive.com and you can already download the CHIKARA show here at Smartmarkvideo. Greg was on-hand for plenty of it. Here are his pics from SHIMMER and CHIKARA, featuring the returns of Serena Deeb, Madison Eagles, and Amazing Kong, Ayumi Kurihara’s final US match, and Cheerleader Melissa taking back what’s hers. Oh, and a bit of Jyushin “Thunder” Lyger.
Here’s our final gallery from the most recent SHIMMER tapings. This was the one where Allysin Kay, as she long ago prophesized, got in the ring with The World Famous Kana (although rumor has it she’s still looking forward to a one-on-one confrontation). Also, Athena continued making her case that she is the best by taking on the best in Ayako Hamada. All this, and lots of ninjas. Enjoy!
SHIMMER Volume 50 saw the cross-generational Joshi dream match of Kana versus Ayako Hamada come to American soil, in what is now largely considered, “the best fucking match ever.” There was also the welcome return of SHIMMER original Lexie Fyfe, who looked fantasticin the main event elimination match. Please enjoy our photos, volume 51 and 52 are coming soon!
Greg, boss that he is, attended yet another three day international wrestling summit with the AAW/SHIMMER Weekend. Here’s his wonderful photos from the first of the four SHIMMER shows. This was the one where Athena found herself in the main event, Courtney Rush lost herself in the past, and, delivering on months of trash talk, Portia Perez actually, finally, for real beat Kana. Enjoy!
Cherry Bomb’s career has been on a steady incline for the past few years. She’s firmly established herself as the Sovereign ruler of Ontario wrestling by holding titles in two companies and outright dominating a third. She also branched out across the globe, appearing in places like SHIMMER, WSU, and AIW. And, by the way, she toured Japan, facing the likes of Madison Eagles and Yoshiko Tamura. As 2012 begins, Cherry has her sights set on establishing herself as more than just an up-and-comer. She’s a match away from an AIW title shot, featured in highly touted major motion picture, and managing to stay one step ahead of her nemesis Courtney Rush. Hello world, here’s your Cherry Bomb.
What do you love about wrestling that’s made you spend the past seven years of your life doing it?
Wrestling holds a very special place in my heart. I lost my dad at a very young age and wrestling was something we used to watch together. I remember being a kid and going to watch live events with him, and they are some of my happiest memories. It wasn’t until I got older that I even considered becoming a wrestler, but the first time I stepped into a squared circle I felt a closeness to my dad. Wrestling is the glue that keeps us together.
You stay in incredible shape. What’s your training regimen like?
I bust my ass six days a week! Typically I lift weights, followed by 50 – 100 flights of stairs, and then I do between 100 – 300 free squats in a row. Never underestimate what regular squats can do for you, I challenge you to 100 – 200 everyday! Then I finish it all off with a cupcake; red velvet, obviously.
You’ve steadily been moving your way up the ranks of the wrestling scene. One of the matches where people really began to take notice of you was against Sara Del Rey and Femmes Fatales. Tell us what it was like taking on the woman many consider the best in North America.
To be honest, I felt honored. I had been wanting to wrestle her for a long time, and I feel like I walked away learning so much. She is such a talented wrestler, and constantly proves to everybody just how amazing she is. I would like the opportunity to face her again, as I feel I have come along way since September 2009.
This weekend is AIW’s Girl’s Night Out. You’ll be taking on Allysin Kay. What are your thoughts on her and this match? Are you worried she might bring a machete?
I have faced Allysin a few times in Canada, and first let me say this, what people say about her is true; she’s out of her fucking mind. Does that intimidate me? No. This match is for the number one contenders spot for the AIW Women’s Championship. I don’t care if she brings brass knucks, a machete, or a grenade launcher: I’m going to superkick her face off!
That night either Mickie Knuckles or Sara Del Rey will leave the building with the AIW Women’s Title. Which of those wrestlers would you rather face for the title and why?
I have my sights set on that title, so regardless of who walks away the champion on Sunday I will be ready to steal the gold.
Last year you had a historic opportunity in AIW to win the JWP Open-Weight title in its first defense outside of Japan. You faced Hailey Hatred, who was possibly the wrestler of the year in 2011. Not a lot of people gave you a chance going into that match, and most were shocked when ou refused to back down from her vicious strikes. Tell us what that match was like for you.
I knew going into this match that everyone was going to assume that I couldn’t hold my own against Hatred. I think I even took her by surprise when, no matter what she threw at me, I wouldn’t give up. I put my body through hell and kept asking for more. In the end I may not have walked away the champion, but I feel I earned the respect of Hailey, and the fans. I know that people underestimate me, and I love proving them all wrong.
You completed a stint in Japan in late 2010. Describe for us your experience on the tour. Would you consider following in Hailey’s footsteps and going back full time?
Wrestling in Japan was a goal of mine since I had started, so when I was asked I jumped on the opportunity. It was such an incredible experience. I had the opportunity to work for several different companies and train in the dojos. I learned SO much while I was over there, and have changed my style to incorporate a Joshi flare to it. The only thing that I really had to get used to was the food. I’m a vegetarian, so I pretty much lived off protein shakes and these little chocolate bears which I am now obsessed with. If given the opportunity I would definitely go back! I feel like I have grown since my last tour and have so much more to bring to the table.
Some huge news for you last year involved your role in the film Beat Down 1. First, tell us about the film and how you got involved.
The film is centered around a young girl named Fran, who wants to get involved in the wrestling business against her fathers wishes. I was contacted to audition for stunt work, but discovered that they were looking for someone to play the role of a rival wrestler. I had never acted before, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to take a crack at it and I’m so thankful I did!
What about this particular film that made you want to try it?
I liked the fact that this was a film about wrestling, and more so that it was about women in wrestling. After meeting Deanne Foley, the director, and seeing how much research she had done, and how much respect she had for what we do, the film became very special to me.
You actually play “Cherry Bomb” in the film as well. Without giving too much away, are there going to be some differences between the real Cherry Bomb and the Big Screen version?
You may notice some small differences to say the least! Cherry in the film is very threatened by Fran. She is spiteful and nasty, and stops at nothing to make Fran’s life a living hell. She views Fran as an outsider who doesn’t deserve a spot, because she hasn’t earned it. There is one scene in particular where Fran shows up thinking she is going to wrestle a match, but instead is forced to sell t-shirts. Rather than accepting that that is part of paying her dues, she complains that it isn’t fair. Any wrestler will tell you the importance of paying your dues, it’s how this business operates, so I can see how that would rub Cherry the character the wrong way.
Another female wrestler who is in the film is someone you know very well, Courtney Rush. You guys have known each other for a while and were at one point friends. How did you come into contact with one another and what were your early matches with her like?
First of all, I wouldn’t say Courtney and I have ever been friends, acquaintances maybe, but I wouldn’t call her my friend. We had a few matches in 2009 and 2010, but to be honest we worked for different companies so I never paid too much attention to her until last year.
Of course these days Rush is waging a full on war against you. She’s become increasingly bitter, hostile, and aggressive. What exactly is her issue? Do you think some of Rush’s animosity comes from the fact that you were more heavily featured in the trailer that was released? Or the fact that she has trouble beating beat you fair and square with any of her 3,980 suplexes?
Courtney Rush is threatened by me, plain and simple. There can only be one person in the top spot in Ontario and I am standing there. It drives her insane that she has to go to such extreme measures to beat me. Everytime she loses she rattles off all of these excuses for why she lost, and how I did this and that; it’s pathetic really. Let’s be honest: Courtney Rush and her 3,980 suplexes don’t stand a chance against my BSE, and it’s eating her alive.
In spite of Rush’s efforts, you remain NSP’s Queen. You’re also TCW champion and CCW Champion. What can you tell fans about these companies, and what it means for you to be the top woman in each them?
Neo Spirit Pro Wrestling has been a top promotion in Ontario since 2001. The energy backstage at a NEO show is like no other company I have ever worked for. Every single person in the locker room is ready to give everything they have to make that show something special for the fans. “Showtime” Eric Young has even gone on record saying NEO is one of the best wrestling companies in the world! I am very proud to be a member of their roster.
I have been working for Classic Championship Wrestling since 2005, and was their first ever women’s champion. I love working for CCW because they put a serious emphasis on women’s wrestling. They usually have two women’s matches per card and they always have the women’s championship match as the semi-main event, which I think shows the importance of that title.
Tri-City Wrestling is a newer company out of Kitchener, Ontario. Much like CCW, this company focuses a lot on the women’s division. I have successfully defended my title against Allysin Kay and Courtney Rush who, by the way, didn’t take too kindly to that and attempted to beat me with a chair. What a surprise.
You’re often called a “rising star” and “one to watch” but at this point in your career are you anxious to start being considered a current top star, like a Portia Perez or LuFisto?
I already am a top star, the world just doesn’t know it yet.
You’re obviously a beautiful woman and committed to being a serious wrestler. Many people don’t think those two things go together. Do you ever have to deal with a conflict between embracing your femininity and being respected for your wrestling ability?
I am so sick and tired of people having this idea in their head that women wrestlers can’t look good and be good in the ring. I have worked incredibly hard to be where I am and I continue to work on my craft. Do I still enjoy getting my nails done, and going to the tanning salon? Yes! Do I love make up, shoes, and getting my hair done? Yes! This shouldn’t be a deciding factor on whether or not I am a good wrestler, and anybody that thinks that way is a close minded idiot.
What are some other future goals you have in wrestling? What promotions and places would you like to wrestle?
I would love to go back to SHIMMER and WSU, as both are great companies with women that I would love to compete with. One of my major goals is to obviously work for a company that allows me to do what I love for a living, but above all else, I would love for people to look at me one day and say “Cherry Bomb, she is a good wrestler.” Not a good “women’s wrestler,” a good wrestler, period.
What’s Cherry Bomb like away from the ring? What sort of music, movies, and games are you into?
I am a personal trainer Monday through Friday so I spend a lot of time in the gym. When I’m not working or on the road, I love spending time with my cock-a-poo, Hulk Hogan, or getting hooked on RPG games like Fable. I have a few shows that I am glued to: Dexter, Vampire Diaries, Boardwalk Empire, Modern Family, Happy Endings, The League, True Blood and I am obsessed with Friends and Big Bang Theory (BAZINGA!). In terms of music I listen to just about anything, but prefer rock/punk/alternative. Some of my favorite bands are The Misfits, Rise Against, Pennywise, Hawksley Workmen, among many others.
Who are some wrestlers you would you like to face in the future?
There are so many! Some that come to mind are Madison Eagles, Sara Del Rey, Serena Deeb, and Angelina Love. But if I could work anybody, it would be Trish Stratus. Trish is one of the reasons I started wrestling in the first place, she was my inspiration. To be able to wrestle a match with her would truly be a dream come true.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to your fans?
Thank you! Thank you for all of your support, if it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be here! The best is yet to come, 2012 will be the Year of the Bomb!
Final Fantasy VII, the most beloved chapter in the long running video game series, features the story of an insecure and unsure boy who only finds his place in the world after emulating the man he aspired to be. Of course, only by stepping out from that person’s shadow was he able to fulfill his destiny as hero and savior of the world. This past Saturday at NCW: Femmes Fatales VII, fans witnessed a similar transformation. Billed as an International Summit, Montreal’s Centre de Loisirs St-Barthelemy was home to some of the world’s best wrestlers including new SHIMMER Champion Cheerleader Melissa, Pro Wrestling WAVE Ace Yumi Ohka, and Australian powerhouse Kellie Skater.
However, it was a match between two of Quebec’s own that was the main attraction, as Kalamity challenged her trainer, partner, and rival LuFisto for the NCW:FF International Title. This bout was the culmination of years of friendship, rivalry, love, hatred, and violence1. Stepping out of the shadows of her mentor, the “Oncoming Storm” took her spot amongst the upper-echelon of the sport and became the new face women’s wrestling in Quebec.
NCW: Femmes Fatales VII
October 8th, 2011 Montreal, QC, Canada
A. Mary Lee Rose (w/ Mademoiselle Rachelle) defeated Millou with the Encore – “Punk Rock Princess” Mary Lee Rose was scheduled to meet Cheerleader Melissa in a featured bout, but, fearing reprisal for months of attacks and trash talk, backed out and was thus bumped down to the pre-show. She didn’t seem all that bothered by the demotion and even brought Millou a stuffed turtle, perhaps to suggest her young opponent lay down’ to take a nap. Milouu took the ‘gift’ and spiked it, leading Mary to attack and gain the upper-hand, which she retained for most of the bout. Between that and Mdsm. Rachelle’s usual “hands-on management” Millou was easy prey to Mary Lee Rose’s Encore.
Post-Match the FFVII intro video was aired. The crowd clapped when clips of former SHIMMER Champion Madison Eagles were displayed.
1. Angie Skye defeated Cherry Bomb with the Tight Pull – We dig Cherry Bomb. She’s continually improving all aspects of her wrestling, from adding the Cattle Mutilation to her repertoire to dropping people with Sliding Ds like a female Canadian Masato Tanaka, she’s pretty rad. However there’s a major hole in her game that needs to be addressed: she has not developed an effective counter to having her tights pulled. Last Femmes Fatales Cherry lost a match to Britney Savage with this maneuver. This time Bomb had cool new shiny gear and we thought maybe there was some anti-grip technology involved. Unfortunately, CB did not have that feature installed.
Both women started this match off by exchanging leg kicks and, after some cheap shots from Skye, Cherry lit her up with some chops. Angie managed to gain control with the “Montreal Special” (Snapmare/Spinal Tap/PK, staple combo amongst the Femmes Fatales roster). Skye choked Cherry over the second rope, then hit a running flying high kick to Cherry’s exposed spine lead to a 2 count. Bomb rallied back with a flying lariat, Sliding D, sick sick sick corner Shining Wizard straight to Skye’s face! Going in for the kill, Cherry Bomb applied Cattle Mutilation but Skye managed to get her feet to the ropes. Visibly frustrated, Cherry argued with the official which allowed Angie to steal the victory with, you guessed it, a roll up and handful of tights.
Post-match, Cherry continued to berate the official and proceeded to kick the bottom rope, which Montreal fans are really, really into.
2. The Sherbrooke Connection (Loue and Kira) defeated Anna Minoushka and Missy – The women from Sherbrooke have been very successful in Femmes Fatales, but they may have come into this match as underdogs against the bigger, stronger, angrier team of Anna and Missy. Anna actually chose to start off the match against both opponents at the same time, and succeeded in tossing them around. The Connection showed off their tag pro wres prowess once Missy tagged in, utilizing a double back elbow and tandem elbow drops. Minoushka attempted to intervene but was somehow controlled by the referee.
The Sherbrookes then laid Missy out with a Hart Attack, which led to Anna making her way back in. Again, the “Russian Tigress” chose to fight both Kira & Loue simultaneously. An overzealous Loue tried a hurricanrana and was thwarted by a heavy powerbomb, deep from the Heart of Mother Russia. Kira sought to choke out Minoushka, but Anna wouldn’t stay down, so Loue jumped on her back, too! The screaming powerhouse carried both her assailants on her back and drove crushed them in the corner. The SC tried a new, effective, strategy of dropping Anna with leg kicks and double drop kicking her out of the ring. That left Missy alone as she took a top rope body splash from Loue and a double team cover for the loss. Kira and Loue celebrated their biggest win yet, while furious Anna shoved an apologetic, and criminally underrated, Missy.
3. She Nay Nay defeated Xandra Bale with the Fujiwara Arm bar – No one on the corner has swagger like She Nay Nay, although Xandra Bale’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tribute gear gets her pretty close. The latest in descendent in the historic line of Canadian “Suicide Blondes,” Bale relied on her speed and agility but, too often, was grounded by the Street Technique of She Nay Nay. At one point she put vicious boots to Bale and tried to break her arm over the guardrail. More semi-legal techniques lead to a flying hip attack and DDT for a close two-count for She Nay Nay. Bale was then slapped into a Fujiwara armbar, but was able to scrampe to the ropes.
Sensing victory, She Nay Nay came rushing in with her beautiful scissor kick and missed! Xandra fired back with spinning heel kick and headed to the top turnbuckle for high-flying cross-body. Xandra missed the top rope dive and was placed in an even deeper Fujiwara until she was forced to submit. She Nay Nay unceremoniously threw a felled Xandra Bale right out of the ring, and happily danced her way to the back. In spite of the lack of sportswomenship the Montreal crowd, who in the past has had no love for the Miami native, offered a bit of applause.
4. Mercedes Martinez defeated Tiana Ringer with the Fisherman Buster – After a four-years-too-long absence, Tiana Ringer made her return to ring. As Anthony put it on Twitter, “No one has had a sexier comeback to wrestling.” Indeed Tiana looked to be in the best shape she’s ever been. She definitely needed that, given she wase was facing WSU Champion Mercedes Martinez. Besides making the mistake of chopping Martinez first, Ringer looked fantastic and kept pace with her S-Grade opponent. Though Ringer resorted to a lot of cheap tricks and tactics, there were many hard shots and technical maneuvers executed by both women, in this match. Tiana caught MM off-guard with a few new moves and hit her patented Scorpion Kick from out-of-nowhere on the apron. Mercedes welcomed Ringer back to wrestling by tenderizing her chest and delivering an ultra-delayed vertical brainbuster. Tiana nearly secured victory with the South Palm Beach driver, but Mercedes, after having to fight harder than anyone expected, ended things with the Fisherman Buster.
Afterwards Martinez said, being as she’s undefeated in Femmes Fatales, she should be next in line for a title shot.
5. Cheerleader Melissa defeated Yumi Ohka with the Air Raid Crash – As anyone who has seen her out of the ring knows, Yumi Ohka takes her fashion very seriously. So much so that in the ring she insists on leaving imprints of her designer boots on the faces of her opponents. It’s probably not the best way to go about sharing a style tip, but it makes for some insane matches.
This was an insane match. Not surprising. Cheerleader Melissa (did we mention she is the new SHIMMER Champion, because it feels good saying it), usually prefers to be the one leaving the bootprints and always goes into full on Terminatrix mode when put against a Joshi wrestler. We were too in awe to take play-by-play notes on this one, just know you have to buy it when it’s released. Stellar, brutal match by two of the top women on the planet.
This piece of wrestling artwork was nearly defaced by some ‘punk,’ as Mary Lee Rose ran down to the ring with Mademoiselle Rachelle, and a chair, in tow. Even after having just engaged in a war, Cheerleader Melissa was fought off her attackers with a kick straight to Rachelle’s grille and an booming Air Raid Crash to Mary Lee. She didn’t even have to use the chair. File this moment under: Don’t Fuck with Melissa.
6. Courtney Rush defeated Kellie Skater with an Argentine Suplex – These two faced each other previously in SHIMMER with Skater ending up on top. To show there were no hard feelings, Rush brought Skater a stuffed kangaroo, which Tank promptly punted into the second row (Skater’s hapless New Jersey Jets could probably use her on the squad). After the punt there was a bit of a pose down, which Skater arguably won. Then there was a bit of arm wrestling which Rush definitely won.
While Tank didn’t get in reps in this match, she did resort to drinking her *ahem* supplements to their usual effect of increased strength and durability. However all the adamantium in the world can’t get between Courtney Rush and Suplex City. Tanks attempt to throw her powdered enhancements in the eyes of Courtney backfired as Rush managed the strength hurl the Tank around the ring, for a series tying victory.
7. Tomoka Nakagawa defeated Portia Perez and Sweet Cherrie with mist to the eyes of Portia Perez – It’s difficult to provide objective analysis of this match as, on her way to the ring, Portia Perez stole my ridiculously awesome shades, feeling they looked better on her. They did look pretty rad with her outfit, though. Jerk.
Anyway, this was a really fun three-way that saw Tomoka Nakagawa, try to one up Portia in acts of evil, mostly down to poor, sweet Cherrie who was caught in the middle. At one point she was being choked in the ropes and bitten in the face while the ref haplessly gave a 5-count. On this night, though, it was Nakagawa who proved the most diabolical as, after surviving a deadly Ninja Choke attempt, she caught Portia off guard with a water to the eyes and a roll up. Karma!
Oh, and the sunglasses? They were eventually returned and, as part of that arrangement we are obligated to say: be sure to attend Anarchy Championship Wrestling’s Portia Perez Appreciation Night on October 23rd in Austin, TX. Also, it would be really awesome if Rachel Summerlyn made available to Portia Perez a healthy and stout donkey for Portia Perez to ride during Portia Perez Appreciation Night.
8. NCW Femmes Fatales International Title Match: Kalamity defeated LuFisto (c) with the Kalamityville Horror 2K11 to become the new Champion – We don’t have the words for this match. LuFisto and Kalamity are small, tough, violent mirror images of one another and it always makes for a great match. However, the stakes were higher than their previous bouts as LuFisto looked to further establish her dominance of FF champion and Kalamity, after a strong debut in SHIMMER, hoped to finally prove she was no longer the student, but the master.
As great as Ohka versus Melissa was, this match exceeded it and all previous expectations. Kalamity came with her usual, stylish aggression from leg kicks to various cross-arm chokes to her always stunning “Diving K” corner elbow. I’m not sure if we’ve seen LuFisto as aggressive since her death match days. She wailed on Kalamity with an indescribably loud chair shot, and then another. This even drew shouts of, “Pourquoi?!” from the Lufi loving crowd (her answer, “Because I want to win!”).
Miss Murder wasn’t done as she dragged the Kalamity onto the apron and participated in one of their classic kick/chop/elbow/punch battles. The defending champ eventually came out on top and used the advantage to set up Kalamity for a crushing corner double stomp. A Mangalizer followed that looked to put an end to things but Kalamity somehow managed to kick out. She gave LuFisto her own finisher but she kicked out as well! Fans sensed that it was time for an Ultimate Technique, but instead of LuFisto’s Burning Hammer, Kalamity pulled out a Fisherman Spike Michinouku Driver (Kalamityville Horror 2K11, go with it) for the biggest win of her career! Totally mind-blowing match, and another you should absolutely purchase the DVD for.
It was a special to see LuFisto wrap the belt around Kalamity’s waist as she, somewhat, passed the torch to her protege. The moment was somewhat sort lived as Mercedes Martinez, making good on her promise from earlier in the night, came down to say she was next in line for the Femmes Fatales title.
And that was Femmes Fatales VII! Every match on the show was strong and two were absolutely classics. We’re already looking forward to attending the next one in March especially since both Serena Deeb and Jazz have been announced. Below, see our pictures from the event and an epic video with Courtney Rush, Cherry Bomb, Kellie Skater, Portia Perez, Mercedes Martinez, LuFisto, Yumi Ohka, Tomoka Nakagawa, and the just crowned NCW Femmes Fatales International Champion, Kalamity! Peace.