Watch Highlights of Candace’s season During the 2017 season, Parker was voted into the 2017 WNBA All-Star Game, making it her fourth all-star nomination. She would finish the season averaging 16.9 points per game and advanced to the WNBA Finals for the second season in a row. Candace Parker's Marriage With Husband Shelden Williams. Candace Parker and Shelden Williams, the power couple, filed for divorce in November 2016. It came to an end when Shelden filed for divorce stating 'irreconcilable differences'. The couple was separated prior to their divorce. It's unbelievable that the basketball couple's marriage didn't ... WNBA's Candace Parker Pays $400k In Alimony to Divorce NBA Hubby WNBA's Candace Parker Pays $400k In Alimony... To Divorce NBA Hubby ... Dr. Dre's Biz Partner Accuses Nicole of Grand Theft ... Candace Parker: Rumors, Controversy/Scandal. Once, there was a rumor of Candace and Shelden Williams divorce. Later, the rumor turned out to be true as the couple broke up. Apart from that, she has never faced any controversy to date. It seems she has total focus on her work rather than stuck in any controversy. View candace parker’s profile on LinkedIn, the world's largest professional community. candace has 3 jobs listed on their profile. See the complete profile on LinkedIn and discover candace’s ... Get to know the 34-year old basketball player Candace Parker, before she got famous (e.g. All-American basketball player for the WNBA`s Los Angeles Sparks). IMDB reports Switched! was Candace Parker's first TV appearance in 2003. Parker appeared on the Fox television show “Hell’s Kitchen” and was hoping to stir up a victory at Gordon Ramsay’s Las Vegas restaurant. Partnered with Hell’s Kitchen All-Star, Michelle, Candace was immediately thrown into the fire where she had to do all the cooking while her chef partner coached her through the process. WNBA superstar Candace Parker has just been hit with divorce papers from her husband, a former NBA player, who's demanding spousal support. On 19-4-1986 Candace Parker was born in St. Louis, Missouri. She made her 2 million dollar fortune with Olympics & Los Angeles Sparks. The basketball player is married to , her starsign is Aries and she is now 34 years of age. Candace Parker’s Boyfriend. Candace Parker is single. She is not dating anyone currently. Candace had at least 1 relationship in the past. Candace Parker has not been previously engaged. She has one daughter, Lailaa, with NBA center Shelden Williams. Her older brother Anthony played in the NBA. According to our records, she has 1 children.
Thank you so much for reading along with the 30-day series. I have one more post for you, and it’s a bonus. Today we look at the careers of five of the most important women in modern American independent wrestling, on whose backs the real Divas/Women’s (R)Evolution began. I would also like to plug the new subreddit /QueensoftheRing
for more discussion about women’s wrestling, past and present. Prologue
All five of these women got their starts in the late 90s-early 2000s at a time when women’s wrestling in the United States was very much an endangered species. Following the collapse of the territory system, it didn’t exist but for the occasional filler match in WCW and ECW, the AWA was dead, the NWA World Women’s Championship was inactive, few of the remaining holdout territories that hadn’t folded offered anything at all, and Moolah had sold her title to the WWF. You had GLOW, POWW, LMLW, the LPWA, and WOW – all short-lived women’s promotions – holding the torch alive for women’s wrestling at a time when women’s wrestling was a falling star. The Professional Girl Wrestling Association of Penny Banner was the only long-lasting women’s organization, and mostly facilitated booking girls through other promotions. The only major promotion to sustain interest in women’s wrestling for any length of time was the WWF.
Despite that, the WWF Women’s Championship had a troubled history. There was the Original Screwjob (which frankly seems far less original when you know about Burke and Byers, but Moolah had done enough to largely erase the contributions of the women who came before her from the business). There was the deactivation of the title during Rockin Robin’s reign. There was the revival with Madusa as Alundra Blayze and the partnership with AJW, only for the division to be shuttered once again. By the close of the century, the WWF revived women’s wrestling within itself once more as little more than a booby prize, an excuse to titillate the audience by giving it to whomever Vince McMahon thought had the nicest breasts that day. This is a time when the championship was won by stripping the opponent, or wrestling in gravy, or losing a match by being stripped to your underwear (as Debra did), or by a man in drag as a joke, where at no point did the concept of wrestling seem to even factor into the picture.
The Divas division of the post-Lita and Trish era is derided as being the nadir of women’s wrestling in WWE but compared to the Attitude Era prior to the folding of WCW it would have seemed a golden age. That is what women’s wrestling was as the five women profiled today were first breaking into the business, and each of them balked and said that wasn’t for them. Each took their own path to improving the situation on the independent scene, and all five would come together at the Berwyn Eagles Club in Berwyn, Illinois, where Dave Prazak and Allison Danger made the daring attempt to start an all-women wrestling promotion in the United States that aimed to be more like AJW, GAEA, Jd’, or JWP than any American women’s promotion had ever tried to be. That promotion, SHIMMER, is still the shining star of the independent scene for women in American wrestling thirteen years later.
The following five women could very well be considered the five pillars of women’s independent wrestling in the 21st century. Without their work, as well as that of the others they’ve wrestled and trained, SHIMMER would probably not be the success story it is and women’s wrestling in America would potentially still be endangered. LuFisto
Born on February 15, 1980 in Sorel, Quebec, Genevieve Goulet became interested in wrestling when she saw tapes of Manami Toyota, Bull Nakano, and Akira Hokuto. Luna Vachon and her unique look, however, was a much more local inspiration. After being coached through training by Pierre Marchessault and Patrick Lewis, retired wrestler Lise Raymond gave LuFisto the final pep talk that cemented everything together. LuFisto
was advised to stand up for herself and never let wrestlers who didn’t want women in wrestling demean her, and that it’s “better to be a bitch and secure one’s spot than to get along with them” (Laprade and Murphy, 358).
LuFisto debuted as Lucifer in 1997, wrestling across Canada, the U.S., Europe and Japan. Over the course of these early years she became Luscious Lucy, then Precious Lucy, and finally LuFisto. She made her mark as a hardcore wrestler and was soon known as the First Lady of Hardcore, leading to an invitation to wrestle some extreme shows for Lucha Libre Femenil, before taking a two-month tour of Japan where she trained with Sara Del Rey and Kana.
has never been signed to a major promotion. She talked to WCW in 2000, though for obvious reasons (namely, their freefall collapse) nothing came of this. In 2009 she nearly signed with TNA, but the arrival of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff put an end to that. LuFisto heard rumblings that it was due to her looks, as she didn’t look “enough like the Beautiful People” (Laprade and Murphy, 357). She had a tryout with TNA in 2012, and tried to enter both TNA’s Gut Check Challenge and WWE’s Tough Enough
, but was passed over. LuFisto
has reason to claim responsibility for the legalization of intergender wrestling in Ontario. That began in April 2003, when a hardcore intergender tag team match she was scheduled for was cancelled due to another promoter filing a complaint with the Ontario Athletic Commission (predictably, these rules only applied to independent wrestling, as WWE had run intergender matches in Ontario without interference from the Commission). LuFisto enlisted the help of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, making the case that “the regulation in question was a violation of [her] human rights, based on [her] gender” (Laprade and Murphy, 362). On May 10, 2006, the Ontario Athletic Commission not only lifted the ban on intergender wrestling, but deregulated professional wrestling completely. OAC commissioner Ken Hayashi said of the decision:
It's been something we've been considering for a while. There's been a lot of requests from promoters for de-regulation. The bottom line is there were no real health and safety regulations (to oversee), that's the main thrust of this office. Wrestling is choreographed, pre-arranged. I think we are the only jurisdiction in Canada that still regulates it. It was just a matter of time and that time has come; we no longer regulate professional wrestling.
Of the five women profiled today, LuFisto has been wrestling the longest. Despite this, she is the only one not to be a SHIMMER original, making her debut in SHIMMER on volume 7. She’s appeared on 65 of SHIMMER’s 100 volumes (and will likely add to that number today and tomorrow as volumes 101-104 tape), and has wrestled numerous times against and alongside women like Cheerleader Melissa, Kana, Mercedes Martinez, Rain, Kellie Skater, the Canadian Ninjas, and Amazing Kong.
For the past 20 years, LuFisto
has been a constant force on the independent scene, where she’s earned numerous accolades. Among her past championship accomplishments are the CZW Iron Man Championship (the first woman to win it), two reigns with the NCW International Femmes Fatales Championship, the WSU World Championship, and numerous others from smaller promotions. She’s won several tournaments, including the 2007 IWA Mid-South Queen of the Deathmatch tournament, the 2007 Sherri Memorial Cup Tournament (with partner El Generico), and the 2010 NCW Femmes Fatales Championship Tournament. Other honors include being inducted into the Association de Lutte Féminine Quebec Female Wrestling Hall of Fame and winning the 2008 CZW Best of the Best People’s Choice award. LuFisto
is, at the time of writing, the current reigning Shine champion. LuFisto
suffered a stroke on April 17, 2010, but it only kept her out of the ring for a month and a half. There’s no doubt she’s one of the toughest women in professional wrestling today. She was recently diagnosed with cervical cancer. The easiest way you as a fan can help LuFisto with her medical bills (she’s Canadian, but because she is now an American citizen she has to deal with American healthcare) by visiting her website
and buying merch. Matches NGX May 7, 2005, vs. Princesa Sugey, hardcore match CZW November 10, 2007, vs. Sabian ALF October 12, 2007, with El Generico vs. Misty Haven and Alex von Payton (round 1 Sensational Sherri Memorial Cup SMASH August 18, 2013, vs. Vanessa Kraven CZW Prelude to Violence May 31, 2014, with Kimber Lee vs. Jessicka Havok and Nevaeh Beyond #HOGxBEYOND June 17, 2016, vs. Sonya Strong Beyond Over-Nite Sensation December 11, 2016, vs. Kimber Lee Beyond #Caffeine April 2, 2017, vs. Deonna Purrazzo Beyond Feeling Minnesota April 30, 2017, with Jordynne Grace (Team PAWG) vs. Anthony Greene and Brick Mastone (ΑΣΣ) Sara Del Rey
The Death Rey
, the Queen of Wrestling
, The American Angel
. Sara Del Rey has gone by many names, but she was born Sara Ann Amato on November 13, 1980 in Martinez, California. She started wrestling in 2001 after being trained by Brian Danielson, and today she’s the assistant head coach in WWE’s Performance Center, being the driving force behind the rise in quality of WWE’s women’s division.
A year after her debut in 2001, Del Rey
was accepted to a tour with ARSION in Japan, where she sat under the learning tree of Aja Kong and truly began to hone her craft. She wrestled in Japan and Mexico, and wound up back in the United States to take part in the first taping for Dave Prazak’s new all-women’s promotion SHIMMER, where she and Mercedes Martinez fought to a time-limit draw in their first match together. SHIMMER was at that time closely-affiliated with Ring of Honor, and Del Rey was a fixture of the nascent Women of Honor division, as well as in CHIKARA.
In SHIMMER, Del Rey
was the de facto locker room leader. She was there to wrestle for the first 48 shows without missing a one before she was signed to WWE. She was the ace of the promotion, and in the words of Dave Prazak she was someone “young wrestlers looked up to” as “someone to aspire to be like because she proved that gender doesn’t have to hold one back from being a top-flight pro wrestler.”
Del Rey won the 2007 tournament to crown the first SHIMMER Champion
, and in 2010 she got to have a dream match, partnering with Claudio Castagnoli against Manami Toyota and Mike Quackenbush. In 2011 she got to wrestle and defeat Aja Kong, Tsubasa Kuragaki, and Ayako Hamada. Del Rey is one of the rare few wrestlers from outside of Japan to have defeated Asuka at any point in her career, and one of only two to do it twice. And in 2012 she got the rare distinction of placing #430 in the PWI 500 after having defeated such male wrestlers as Castagnoli and El Generico (Laprade and Murphy, 408). From March to July 2012, she and Courtney Rush were the SHIMMER Tag Team Champions as the Queens of Winning, making her the first woman to have won both the SHIMMER Tag Team and singles championships. Del Rey
signed with WWE in 2012 and retired from active wrestling, taking on her current role of trainer in the Performance Center. It’s her “lifelong passion,” she told Vice. Her enduring legacy is WWE’s revived, revitalized, revolutionized women’s division. Matches ROH , vs. Taeler Hendrix ROH, vs. Amazing Kong AIW, vs. Hailey Hatred SHIMMER June 2, 2007, vs. Lacey to crown the first SHIMMER champion Jersey All Pro Wrestling, December 11, 2010, vs. LuFisto for the JAPW Women’s Championship SHIMMER October 2, 2011, with Madison Eagles vs. Ayumi Kurihara and Ayako Hamada for the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship
Bonus promo segments: Sara tries to find a partner on SHIMMER volume 47 Mercedes Martinez
Born Jasmine Benitez on November 17, 1980 in Waterbury, Connecticut, Mercedes Martinez
grew up as a fan of professional wrestling and was inspired by wrestlers like Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage. GLOW
gained a fan in her as well. She played basketball in high school and college until she was injured and had to quit. That’s when she learned of a new pro wrestling school opened by Jason Knight (Laprade and Murphy, 244). Like LuFisto, she’s never been signed by a major promotion, though she has worked a few matches for ROH and WWE in her tenure.
Within a month of beginning her training, Martinez had her debut match in 2000, and Knight gave her the name Mercedes Martinez. She made the rounds of the New England independent circuit, impressing enough to impress Dave Prazak, who brought her in to main event SHIMMER’s first show in a time-limit draw against Sara Del Rey, the first of 69 volumes she has wrestled on for SHIMMER (possibly as many as 73 after this weekend). In 2005 and 2006 Martinez
worked the indies, being a highlight of SHIMMER’s shows and in 2007 she became part of Ring of Honor’s Vulture Squad stable. She won several titles, including the NWA Midwest/IWA Mid-South Women’s Championship, the WXW Cruiserweight Championship, and the WXW Women’s Championship.
In 2006 Martinez
was given a tryout with WWE in a match against Victoria, but she wasn’t what they were looking for (Laprade and Murphy, 345).
“I was told to revamp myself,” she said, in reference to the feedback the WWE road agents provided following the match. “My style was too aggressive for them – too hardcore, too strong-style. I had to tone it down and we could go from there. I didn’t want to water down myself and be something they wanted me to be when I knew what I was capable of at that time.”
So Martinez said thanks but no thanks and went back to the independents. “I don’t regret turning them down because what they wanted wasn’t right for me,” she said. If what’s going on now [a greater emphasis on athleticism and workrate] had happened 10 years ago, I believe I would have been there.”
One of Martinez’s biggest accomplishments came under Sean McCaffrey’s stewardship of Women Superstars Uncensored. She was brought in as a top star and a booker, winning the WSU championship on March 7, 2009. Martinez made many marks in history during her feud with Angel Orsini, including the first women’s bullrope match, and on June 6 in an Iron Man match. Feeling a 30 minute match would be too easy and even ho-hum, they made a 60 minute match that went into sudden death overtime, ending at a final time of ~71 minutes, officially becoming the longest women’s match ever (blowing away every the 60-minute draw in AJW and even the 63 minute no contest claimed on Mildred Burke’s behalf for her shoot with June Byers). Martinez
would hold the title for three years before dropping it to Jessicka Havok, but not before breaking her own record in a title defense on August 6, 2011 against Lexxus (Impact’s Alisha Edwards) that went 73 minutes.
In 2017 Martinez
was part of WWE’s Mae Young Classic, where she advanced to the semi-final before losing to a familiar face from SHIMMER: Shayna Baszler
. Baszler, Martinez, and Nicole Savoy were a stable in SHIMMER at the time called Trifecta
, with Martinez
as the SHIMMER champion and Savoy as the Heart of SHIMMER champion, with Baszler as the extra muscle.
Following the tournament, Baszler signed with WWE, and Aja Kong was brought in as a new third member of Trifecta, with Martinez explicitly calling her the new #2 of the group, to the annoyance of Savoy. Savoy
would turn on Trifecta and win the SHIMMER Championship from Martinez. Martinez unsuccessfully challenged Savoy for the title at SHIMMER 100. Martinez
is a highly decorated champion with nearly thirty championship reigns in her career. She is currently the SHINE Tag Team champion with Ivelisse as well as the WSU Champion (in her third reign). She recently lost the NCW Femmes Fatales International Championship to Vanessa Kraven and the SHIMMER Championship to Nicole Savoy.
In 2014 Martinez was inducted into the WXW Hall of Fame, and in 2017 she was inducted into the WSU Hall of Fame
. In 2011 she was #2 in the PWI Female 50. She’s still going strong, as well as teaching newer wrestlers through seminars with RISE. Matches WWE Heat June 12, 2006, vs. Victoria (tryout match) SHIMMER October 2, 2011 and March 17, 2012, vs. Athena (highlights from vols. 43 and 44, entirety of the match from vol. 45) AAW November 26, 2016, vs. Kimber Lee for the SHIMMER championship WWE Network July 14, 2017 Mae Young Classic round of 16, vs. Princesa Sugehit July 14, 2017 Mae Young Classic quarterfinal, vs. Abbey Laith July 14, 2017 Mae Young Classic semifinal, vs. Shayna Baszler Nov. 15, 2017 NXT, vs. Ember Moon MsChif
Rachel Frobel, née Collins, was born in 1976 in St. Louis, Missouri. A microbiologist by trade, she was profiled on The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers
(here are some clips
), where she revealed that her inspiration to wrestle came when a secretary asked her what she would do if she could pick any thing fun to do in life. She began training in 2000, one of only two women in her class and the only one who stuck with it past two shows.
She debuted in July 2001, and wrestled intergender matches until Daizee Haze came into the picture. The two worked each other and as partners across the Midwest independents, and in 2005 the two took part in the first SHIMMER taping. Haze wrestled Lacey in the main event while MsChif
wrestled an intense brawl against Cheerleader Melissa. With her banshee scream and imposing look, MsChif by all appearances should have been the heel, but in reality she was the face of the match. In her tenure with SHIMMER, MsChif would wrestle on 52 volumes. MsChif
won the NWA World Women’s Championship from Christie Ricci in January 2007. MsChif explains that NWA promoter “Ed Chuman really wanted to kick up the women’s division and get it out into the spotlight,” perhaps an attempt to reverse some of the damage it had done to its own reputation in women’s wrestling during the early TNA years, but “unfortunately, several of the NWA promotions didn’t have a lot of money and weren’t willing to invest in women’s wrestling. It never took off quite the way Ed wanted” (Laprade and Murphy, 368).
Around this time, MsChif would say that she had no intention of going to WWE, explaining:
It’s sad to me to see talented women wrestlers go to waste because the WWE won’t really let them wrestle. Instead they use them as nothing more than sex objects. I don’t ever want to leave wrestling the way I wrestle now. I don’t want to be told what I can and can’t do.
She would lose the title to Amazing Kong in April, before winning it back on April 27, 2008, the day after she won the SHIMMER Championship
from Sara Del Rey. She would hold the SHIMMER Championship for 715 days before dropping it to Madison Eagles, the longest reign with the title on record, and would hold onto the NWA World Women’s Championship for 818 days before dropping it to Tasha Simone. She was also the NWA Midwest Women’s champion for four years during this period. This time as a triple champion helped her earn her spot at #4 on the PWI Female 50 for 2009. MsChif
married Michael Elgin on July 4, 2013, and they had a child in September 2015. MsChif’s last match to date was on May 11, 2014. If she intends to return to the ring in the foreseeable future, she hasn’t said, but she has also not made any official statement of retirement. She’s not ready just yet to close the door on wrestling (Laprade and Murphy, 369). Matches ROH, vs. Daizee Haze, Lacey, and Ashley Lane EWF, with Christina Eerie vs. Candice LeRae and Davina Rose SHIMMER April 7, 2007, vs. Amazing Kong RQW 2007, vs. Eden Black and Cheerleader Melissa for the RQW Women’s Championship D1W June 7, 2013, vs. Crazy Mary Dobson Cheerleader Melissa
Born Melissa Anderson on August 17, 1982 in Los Angeles, Cheerleader Melissa
is a second generation wrestler. Her father, Doug Anderson, had her attending Cauliflower Alley Club banquets from the time she was a teenager. When his tag team partner opened a wrestling school in San Bernadino, she signed up at the age of 15.
She trained under the tutelage of Billy Anderson (no relation, but he was her father's tag team partner) and began touring the All Pro Wrestler circuit as a manager to the Ballard Brothers, a pair of heelish hockey players as their villainous cheerleader. She received additional training from Christopher Daniels and Brian Danielson before having her first match in 1999 on her 17th birthday, where she lost to Lexi Fyfe. She thought “Cheerleader Melissa” would be just a temporary thing, but she “realized very quickly that in the field of sports entertainment, that the name Melissa wasn’t marketable – it wasn’t catch and not getting people’s attention at all” (Laprade and Murphy, 354).
In 2002 Melissa was invited to Japan to work with ARSION, wrestling against Lioness Asuka on her 20th birthday. By 2004 her hard work was already paying off, when the Cauliflower Alley Club gave her their Future Legend Award. They weren’t wrong.
On the West coast she wrestled for ChickFight, and when SHIMMER opened its doors in 2005, she was right there on the first show, proving her heel credentials against MsChif. The most prolific wrestler for the promotion, she has wrestled on 89 volumes of SHIMMER (and likely more this weekend), most recently defeating Shotzi Blackheart at SHIMMER 100
As far as SHIMMER goes, she wrestled the most consecutive volumes of any SHIMMER wrestler, working the first 60 volumes. She would have wrestled the first 80 straight volumes if not for having to get stitches at the hospital following a match with LuFisto on volume 60, forcing her to only appear in a run-in on 61 after rushing from the hospital to make the show in time.
Melissa would become the SHIMMER champion
in 2011 by defeating Madison Eagles. She would lose it to Saraya Knight, before regaining it on April 6, 2013 by defeating Knight in SHIMMER’s first ever cage match to become the first two-time SHIMMER champion (an honor only she and Mercedes Martinez share). This helped make her #1 on the PWI Female 50 for 2013. Through her time in SHIMMER, she also became only the second American to have two pinfall victories against Kana (WWE's Asuka)
All the while, Melissa tried out for WWE in 2006, though she was passed over. She was at one point considered for a spot in WWE prior to that tryout, but nothing came of it due to a change in direction (namely, the dropping of the Muhammad Hassan character). She was originally to have been part of the Muhammed Hassan and Khosrow Daivari group, and this led to the persona she adopted when she first joined TNA in 2008 as Raisha Saeed
. She managed Awesome Kong and occasionally wrestled in this role, but she was criminally underused. At some point someone in TNA realized this, so they asked her to do double duty. She debuted as Alissa Flash
in 2009 and wrestled outside the niqab all while also wearing it to wrestle for and/or against Kong as well (October 20 and 21, 2009, for instance saw her wrestle as Saeed one day and Flash the next, losing to Awesome Kong and Tara, respectively). She requested her release from TNA in 2010 due to feeling underused.
In 2014 she was made president of Stardom’s American branch, responsible for booking American talent for Stardom shows. In that role she and Madusa have had many conversations relating to the struggles of being a woman in wrestling (Laprade and Murphy, 356-57).
“When I talk to Madusa, I sometimes feel like I’m talking to a version of myself from the future. We’ve had so many of the same experiences. When she worked for some of the bigger companies, she would struggle because she had trained in Japan with that style. She would wrestle and the men would be pissed that they had to follow her. I was like, ‘Oh God, you too?’”
In the middle of season 2 of Lucha Underground
Melissa debuted as Mariposa
. It was her first taste of a big tv production since her TNA days. She wishes everything happening in women’s wrestling right now could have happened a few years ago when she was younger, believing that women’s wrestling “is on the verge of a breakthrough” in all parts of the industry (Laprade and Murphy, 357). Matches WWE Heat May 26, 2006, vs. Victoria (tryout match) Impact May 5, 2009, vs. Daffney Impact May 27, 2009, vs. Sojo Bolt Impact November 15, 2009, vs. Hamada QPro February 1, 2014, vs. Joey Ryan Lucha Underground May 4, 2016, vs. Sexy Star No Más match DDT June 26, 2016, vs. Matt Stryker for the DDT Ironman Heavymetalweight championship UCW May 2017, vs. Marti Daniels, Nikita LaFleur, Gabrielle Arce, Dementria, and Paradise (gauntlet match) Sources
Clapp, John, “WWE’s Secret Weapon: How Sara Amato is changing the Divas division WWE.com
(March 11, 2014)
Kreiser, Jamie Melissa, “Getting into MsChif
” for SLAM! Sports
(April 16, 2007)
Lacroix, Corey David “Ontario de-regulates pro wrestling
” for SLAM! Sports
(May 29, 2006)
Laprade, Pat and Dan Murphy, Sisterhood of the Squared Circle: The History and Rise of Women’s Wrestling
(ECW Press, 2017)
Laprade, Patric, “Ten years later, Cheerleader Melissa far more than a future legend
” for SLAM! Sports
(June 3, 2014)
McCaffrey, Sean, “In praise of Mercedes Martinez
” for SLAM! Sports
(July 13, 2017)
Winkle, Luke, “The WWE’s First-Ever Female Trainer is Ushering in a New Golden Era for Women Wrestlers
(April 26, 2015)
Previously: Minerva Cora Livingston Clara Mortensen Ida Mae Martinez Cora and Debbie Combs Penny Banner The Beauty Pair Babs Wingo, Marva Scott, Ethel Johnson Judy Grable Jaguar Yokota Susan Tex Green The Glamour GirlsDevil Masami Mae Weston Sandy Parker Monster Ripper Kay Noble Vivian and Luna Vachon The Crush Gals Gladys Gillem Beverly Shade Evelyn Stevens Sensational Sherri Princess Little Cloud Dump Matsumoto Nell Stewart Lola Gonzalez Manami Toyota June Byers Mildred Burke
Welcome back to So You Wanna Learn Indy Wrestling, the series that introduces you to the biggest names and companies of independent wrestling. This week is a special preview edition of this year's King of Trios tournament presented by Chikara Pro. I am breaking down each team, a summary of who's who and their history with the promotion. This will also cover the announced (so far) extra matches for the weekend. THE BIG ONE IS BACK!
With the return of Chikara comes along the return of the biggest weekend in the promotion's season. A total of 16 trios will compete in this year's tournament to decide who is the best trio in the entire world. King of Trios has brought in names such as The One Man Gang, Demolition, 2 Cold Scorpio, Tommy Dreamer, 123 Kid, The Young Bucks, Haku, Colt Cabana, and a slew of other mixed bag of talents. The tournament is as simple as can be, bracket styled sudden death that spans an entire three nights until the last remaining teams face off for the Trios Medals. The last group to hold the medals were The Spectral Envoy in 2012 (after defeating Team ROH consisting of Michael Bennett and The Young Bucks).
The Spirit Squad
|Team Name ||Members |
|The Spirit Squad ||Kenny, Johnny, & Mikey |
|The Spectral Envoy ||UltraMantis Black, Hallowicked, & Frightmare |
|Team UK ||Damian and Pete Dunne & Mark Andrews |
|The Colony ||Fire Ant, Silver Ant, & Worker Ant |
|The Devastation Corporation ||Max Smashmaster, Blaster McMassive, & Flex Rumblecrunch |
|3Peck0 ||3.0 (Scott Parker and Shane Matthews) & Archibald Peck |
|The GEKIDO ||The Pieces of Hate (Jigsaw and The Shard) & 17 |
|The Golden Trio ||The Throwbacks (Dasher Hatfield and Mr. Touchdown) & Icarus |
|Dr. Cube and The BDK ||Dr. Cube & The BDK (Ares and Nøkken) |
|KE4TPG and Princess Kimberlee ||Knight Eye For The Pirate Guy (Lance Steel and Jolly Roger) & Kimber Lee |
|Team Extravaganza ||Old Fashioned (Jervis Cottonbelly and Marion Fontaine) & Thunder Kitty |
|The Odditorium ||Sinn Bodhi/Kizarny, Sir Oliver Grimsly, & Qefka The Quiet |
|The Bloc Party ||Mr. Azerbaijan, The Proletariat Boar of Moldova, & Prakash Sabar |
|The Flood ||Jimmy Jacobs, Eddie Kingston, & Volgar |
|The Colony:Xtreme Force ||Missile Assault Ant, Arctic Rescue Ant, & Orbit Adventure Ant |
|L.A.X ||Homicide, Hernandez, & Chavo Guerrero |
This is the Spirit Squad's first go at Chikara and a reunion for the group.Obviously some members of the group have gone on to do bigger and better things (looking at you, Mitch), but once you done the green jumpsuit you're in for life. Johnny Jeter has been in retirement since the mid 2000's, Kenny has been attending college and Mikey has become Mike Mondo. Hopefully this group can make it past the first round and cheer their way into the finals at The Palmer's Center. The Spectral Envoy
The dark and devious UltraMantis Black and his two closest allies, Hallowicked and Frightmare, look to claim a total victory in the tournament once again. The trio has been quite active as of late (alongside Blind Rage), combating The Flood and Deucalion. This trio has been running strong for a few years now and I don't see them being stopped anytime soon. Team UK
The Dunne Bros. and Mark Andrews make their Chikara debut as well this weekend. The group has recently been working alongside Ophidian The Cobra, reason probably why they got the call to enter the tournament. This, however, is not their first trip stateside so they are familiar with the Chikara style of wrestlers. I honestly don't actually know much about these guys, sorry. The Colony
When you think Chikara, you think of The Colony (and ice cream). This group has been in the forefront of almost every major storyline and angle in Chikara history. Silver Ant and Fire Ant have won the King of Trios tournament before back in 2011 (alongside Soldier Ant) and hope to reclaim their medals once again with the help of Worker Ant. The technical prowess of Silver, the highflying lucha of Fire, and the rough and rugged power of Worker should prove to be deadly in this year's tournament. The Devastation Corporation
Accompanied by their promoter Sidney Bakabella, The Dev. Corp. are three larger-than-life men that will stop at nothing to make good money. Since being bought out by The Flood, the trio have acted even more dastardly than they did on their own. These men of power and paint have some athleticism that has to be seen to be believed and can take you out with anything from a big boot to a plancha. 3Peck0
Since the events of The Ashes of Chikara
movie, Archie has been hanging out alongside 3.0 a lot as of late. It may help that they are all Canadian. Marchin' Archie is the most suitable replacement for a third man to 3.0 since Generico went back to Mexico and Gran Akuma left Chikara. Another team who's focus has been on The Flood, this group should be the favorite to sweep out Flood teams and win it all this season. The GEKIDO
The Gekido are a complicated entity, to say the least. Former students of The Wrestle Factory who flunked out then believed to be alternate reality versions of current talent then joined by Jigsaw, a longtime technico of Chikara. Although, he has been leaning back to our side since he has not appreciate the ruthlessness his partners have carried (a main reason why Jigsaw jumped ship in the first place), especially against his brother Jolly Roger. The Gekido may be on the fast track to implosion if Jigsaw can not get along with Shard and 17. The Golden Trio
This team is self explanatory. Gen 1 Original and Grand Champion Icarus will be teaming with Campeonatos De Parejas The Throwbacks (Dasher Hatfield and Mr. Touchdown). It will be interesting to see the dynamic of Touchdown and Icarus since both had a similar upcoming in Chikara as mega-rudos but became technicos over time. All three have been part of the #IAmChikara movement and the driving force leading the fight against The Flood. Icarus is also a former King of Trios winner alongside F.I.S.T (Gran Akuma and Chuck Taylor). Dr. Cube and The BDK
An interesting trio combining two of the most dangerous forces in Chikara history, as well as representatives of The Flood. I would presume that Tursas would have filled out the trio instead of Dr. Cube but he has since been dead via ThunderFrog.
Dr. Cube not teaming with Haak and Slash is also very interesting in this instance. Ares is a former King of Trios winner (alongside Tursas and Claudio Castagnoli/Cesaro) so his experience should come into play. KE4TPG and Princess Kimberlee
This is a trio of Chikara history and Wrestling Is Fun's present. Knight Eye For The Pirate Guy are Chikara originals and were holders of the Campeonatos De Parejas but were never officially considered champions (after they were taken back by the previous champions The Pieces of Hate). Jolly Roger is well known to be the brother of Jigsaw and it should be interesting how that comes into play during their match. Also to be taken into note is that there are multiple Lance Steels and it is not known which one is the current version. Kimberlee is a great addition to this trio and has been tearing up the female wrestling world, should help them get far. Team Extravaganza
Resident Wredditor Jervis Cottonbelly returns to Chikara from a career-threatening beating via Eddie Kingston and The Flood (as well as broken ribs) to team with Marion Fontaine and Thunderkitty. This team is technically an outsider group as they represent the Olde Wrestling promotion. Jervis has not been seen in a Chikara ring since his brutal beating and his partner Fontaine should help him get back into the groove of things. Superpowered woman Thunderkitty is a wildcard in the group as she is a rudo, but should get along well with the two based off a good meshing of styles. The Odditorium
The former WWE Superstar Kizarny/Sinn Bodhi leads a group of circus freaks and represent The Flood at King of Trios. Kizarny was formerly working alongside The Batiri when they were brought in, but initially left after being tricked in receiving the Eye of Tyr. Now he's back alongside Qefka The Quiet and former technico Sir Oliver Grimsly to wreak havoc and attempt to destroy Chikara once again. Kizarny's dirty tactics, Grimsly's highflying and Qefka's technical abilities should make for a dangerous trio to mess with during the three-day tournament. The Bloc Party
As the Baltic Siege died, The Bloc Party rose to even more power. The trio of evil foreigners have worked alongside The Flood in attempts to destroy everything good and happy in the world. With their (seemingly never-ending) feud with the Baltic Siege now over, the group has their sights set on Trios medals and should be a dark horse in the tournament (especially that Mr. Azerbaijan guy, he has the deadliest powerslams in all of pro wrestling). The Flood
Jimmy Jacobs is evil, plain and simple. Though he is not the leader, Jacobs has guided The Flood to create mayhem in Chikara and even lead to death amongst technicos. Jimmy has also convinced Eddie Kingston to tag along for the ride. Kingston is doing whatever it takes at all costs to get "her" back (The Grand Championship) and he sees that joining The Flood will be the only road back to glory. This is Volgar's Chikara debut as he was one of the anonymous Condor Security men frequently seen in plague doctor masks. Two seasoned veterans and a, presumably, rookie should bring an interesting twist to the shows. I fear that they have the ability to win it all. The Colony: Xtreme Force
ARTIC RESCUE ANT!
ORBIT ADVENTURE ANT!
MISSILE ASSAULT ANT!
The merch pushing products of Wink Vavasseur are making their King of Trios debut (even though they were the 2011 King of Trios winners, after being awarded the medals in 2013 from The Colony). The group have also aligned themselves with The Flood and other evil ants of The Swarm, Deviant and Combatant. All three have become more than acquainted with the original Colony and look to topple them once again in the opening round of the tournament. L.A.X
This was the biggest surprise of the announced teams. Hernandez is a former TNA Tag Team Champion, respectively with both Homicide, a former TNA X Division Champion, and Chavo, a former ECW Champion. Chavo was never technically a part of LAX (though Hector Guerrero was) but it would seem fitting he would fill out the empty spot in the trio. With their many years of experience in the WWE, TNA, ROH, and other promotions, L.A.X should be a trio not to be underestimated.
Also taking place during this weekend is the Rey De Voladores
tournament, an eight person mini tournament to name the King of The High flyers. Two fatal four way elimination matches and then the winners go on to face one another in the finals. The last Rey De Voladores was 2 Cold Scorpio after defeating ACH in the finals at National Pro Wrestling Day 2013
.(not all entrants have been announced so this will be updated over time)
|Name ||Short bio |
|Tigre Uno ||Current TNA superstar, formerly Extreme Tiger of AAA |
|Shynron ||Up and coming high flying sensation of Chikara |
|Rich Swann ||One half of Inner City Machine Guns, seen primarily in DGUSA/Evolve/PWG |
|Chuck Taylor ||Former King of Trios and Rey De Voladores winner, expert of white-trash lucha |
|The Great Sanada ||Protege of The Great Muta, former TNA X-Division Champion, Seiya Sanada of Wrestle-1 |
|Amasis ||One half of the Osirian Portal, Chikara original |
|??? || |
|??? || |
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!
Along with TWO TOURNAMENTS comes singles and atomicos action!
The formerly undefeated newcomer "Smooth Sailing" Ashley Remington
hopes to add another point to his already overwhelming score towards a Grand Championship match by beating former WWE Superstar Yoshi Tatsu
, making his Chikara debut!
A "Battle of The Bow Ties" will take place during Night 2 as the most hated man in Chikara, the self proclaimed hero of Ecuador, and bow tie connoisseur Juan Francisco De Coronado
battles against Ethan Carter III's best friend and winner of TNA's UK Boot Camp Rockstar Spud
, also making his Chikara debut!
In a recently announced match The Submission Squad
, the only team of four that competed in trios action (in widely considered the worst match in Chikara history), made the point they want atomicos action (if their car doesn't break down on the way there like usual) against four unannounced opponents...(I'm praying it's The Spirit Squad alongside Mitch).
Also announced for the weekend is a tag team gauntlet! The first team announced so far are Kodama and Obariyon, The Batiri
And that's this year's King of Trios! It is not being streamed via iPPV due to contractual restrictions of certain wrestlers, but will be available for purchase on DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital at SMVOD.com soon after.
Thanks for reading! Hope you got some idea of what's going on for this big return. Next week is, per request of a user, the toughest woman in wrestling Candice LeRae!
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