Archive for the ‘NWA: ECCW’ Category

The Wrestling Observer newsletter are reporting that WWE Mae Young Classic tournament entrant Nicole Matthews has been banned from competing in the United States for five years.

Matthews, who hails from British Columbia in Canada, had problems coming over the border into the US recently, and she’s been handed a raw deal by the authorities for problems with her Visa; this follows on from an incident fellow indy star (and Canadian) ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey experienced a few years ago. He had similar issues with his Visa back in 2016, and his ban runs to 2021.

Meanwhile, Matthews’ woes will continue until 2023, and that will prevent her from working with WWE or for any North American independent company outside it. That, rather sadly, includes Shimmer, a promotion she’d been tied to since 2006.

Matthews beat Isla Dawn in the first round of the 2018 Mae Young Classic before losing to Tegan Nox at the Round of 16 stage.

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Former Impact Wrestling Knockout Chelsea Green, aka Laurel Van Ness, spoke to The Roman Show at the annual Florida Supercon. They sent us these highlights:

Her relationship with Zack Ryder:

“He inspires me. I want to be there (WWE) more now because I want to spend time with him.

“We do try to keep wrestling separate from our relationship. I always wanted to be there no matter what and I want to stay true to that. I worked up kind of the wrestling ladder to get there. I hope we can be there to be together. He does inspire me with my character. Sometimes we sit down and go through different things I can do things with my character because he has been doing it for so long.”

If she knows if she will participate in the Mae Young Classic:

“Not yet. So stay tuned. I think there is so much amazing talent to be uncovered so I am waiting Ill know when you guys know.”

WWE signing Io Shirai and Kairi Sane:

“I knew that they would. I am glad the world opened their eyes to female Japanese stars. I think people for so long paid attention to Mexico, Canada, Australia and England and never Japan. It was kind of crazy. Now, they see how fearless they are.”

WWE has announced four more competitors for The Mae Young Classic – WWE NXT Superstar and former American Ninja Warrior competitor Kacy Catanzaro, Japanese women’s star Io Shirai, Canadian indie veteran Nicole Matthews and current PROGRESS Women’s World Champion Jinny, who is also working the WWE NXT UK brand.

These four competitors join former WWE Divas Champion Kaitlyn and NXT Superstar Rhea Ripley as confirmed MYC entrants. It was also reported this week that Vernice Gabriel from The Philippines has been booked for the tournament, which tapes in early August to air later this Summer on the WWE Network.

Below is WWE’s announcement on the 4 new competitors:

Mae Young Classic field widens with addition of international standouts, “American Ninja Warrior” pioneerThree international standouts — Japanese phenom Io Shirai, Canadian ring veteran Nicole Matthews and British up-and-comer Jinny — and former “American Ninja Warrior” competitor Kacy Catanzaro are the latest competitors confirmed for this summer’s Mae Young Classic 2018.

Shirai was recently introduced as WWE’s newest signee at a Live Event in Tokyo. One of the most decorated wrestlers in the modern history of Japan, “The Genius of the Sky” has captured countless titles in her home country and was named the top women’s wrestler for the past three years by Tokyo Sports, a national newspaper. Shirai is renowned for her incredible suplexes and high-flying attacks.

Perhaps best known for her groundbreaking performances on “American Ninja Warrior,” Catanzaro —who was recruited into the WWE Performance Center earlier this year — looks to make an impact in her WWE Network in-ring debut. Though she may not have a wealth of wrestling experience, Catanzaro has been earmarked as a prospect to watch, given her otherworldly athletic abilities. A former Division I gymnast, she was the first woman to scale “American Ninja Warrior’s” “warped wall” and has twice been listed on Sports Illustrated’s “Fittest 50” list of the world’s best female athletes.

A 12-year ring veteran from Vancouver, Matthews has established her name around the globe, having competed in Canada, the United States, England, Japan and Australia. Matthews has faced the likes of Becky Lynch, Asukaand WWE Performance Center trainer Sara Amato. She boasts an aggressive, bullying style of wrestling and likes to finish opponents with a devastating rolling cutter she calls the “Vancouver Maneuver.”

Rounding out this set of competitors is London’s Jinny. Less than three years into her career, Jinny journeyed into a WWE ring for the first time at the 2017 WrestleMania Axxess. Known for her hard-hitting style inside the ring, Jinny is the reigning women’s champion of the U.K.-based PROGRESS Wrestling and holds the distinction of being the first female graduate of PROGRESS’s wrestling school.

 

Chelsea Green, f.k.a. Laurel Van Ness in Impact Wrestling, was the special guest on Women’s Pro Wrestling Weekly with TK Trinidad and Evan T Match.  Here are more highlights that they sent to us:

Coming up with the Laurel Van Ness character:

“I started on Impact Wrestling as just a typical mean girl, Regina George [character in Mean Girls movie] knockoff. I was bored with it. I feel like that is what every girl falls into when they are trying to be a heel girl character. I just find it overdone, and unless you can do it really well it becomes overdone. They kind of threw me a bone when they gave me a storyline with Allie and husband Braxton Sutter where I was able to get married. As we were planning this marriage segment and I am going to be left at the altar, I thought to myself, okay, how can I make this as dramatic as possible and make this as different and ridiculous. At this stage, nobody is talking about my character. Nobody is talking about a girl that is a typical blonde, mean girl that is on television. That is just not something people care about. When we got into doing the segment on television, I was the most dramatic human on the planet. I would stay crying. I would drink champagne. I would throw flowers around, and when I got into the back when the segment was done, Dutch [Mantell] was there saying, ‘oh my gosh, that was absolutely brilliant!’. ‘We need to film something, anything, where you are continuing on this mental breakdown.’ That is what it looks like you are doing in the ring, you are having a mental breakdown. So, we sat down in the makeup room and I sat on the floor and he told me to smear my lipstick, and I said that it isn’t going to work because my lips are my skin color so it’s not going to work. He told me to put on red lipstick, but I told him that during the scene I didn’t have red lipstick on, he said to me to put it on and smear it. He then told me to wet my face a little so my makeup can be smeared. He said to act crazy and sing a song and do something crazy. I am sitting there with makeup smeared, sitting on the ground with no shoes on. Being an absolute nutcase. I am not joking, I didn’t think that it was ever going to be used, but all of it aired and it was one of the most-watched segments of that year. From there, we just carried on the craziness.”

How boyfriend Zack Ryder helped her develop the character:

“I think the great thing is about my character is that talking with someone, someone always has some sort of suggestion because they can relate my character with a crazy ex-girlfriend, or a psycho mom or psycho sister, or a drunk-hot mess that they saw at the bar last week. You can relate it to whoever you want. With that comes these amazing suggestions from people. I get caught up in this character thinking that I have to go one way or another to the point that I believe that I need to be this drunk girl that never wrestles, but my boyfriend [Zack Ryder] takes a step back and says to me that I can take this character into whatever direction I want it to go. I should also stop making the character drunk, but instead, I should make her a psycho. You need a snapping point, and with that snapping point how would the crowd know that I snapped? He suggested having my lipstick slipped to me and that becomes my ‘thing.’ That is my weapon so the crowd knows that this is it, she is turning it up, and the match doesn’t become what it was before. Those little kind of pointers is where he helps me with. Where in the match I should make it happen and where it should happen, but I mean, really, there are fans that help me with this. There are fans that help me with certain suggestions where even I hadn’t thought of it and I end up using it.”

Dating Zack Ryder:

“At first we based on our relationship on everything but work, and I think that is what helped us and how we fell in love because on our first date we didn’t talk about wrestling. Like I said, I don’t know wrestling. I don’t know the things he has done in the past. He tells me stories, but I am not sitting there thinking that I already knew that and that I was watching it on YouTube. I genuinely have no idea, but I love it and am interested in it.

“Of course, it is hard when we are on the road. Last week he was in Europe so we didn’t see each other for several weeks, but on the other hand, we are both doing the same thing and we are doing this together on the same team. I know what he is going through when he can’t call me and vice versa. I believe it is the best thing in the world to trust each other. I know when he is not texting me, I know he is busy at work and I am busy too, so it’s great. It’s hard. It’s a job, but that is kind of what every relationship is and you just try to make it work. This past week it was harder than usual because he wasn’t home all week while I am sitting at home Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and Thursday, but the minute the weekend hits I am off to the indie shows, I am off doing business so it is totally fine. It definitely is tough when one person is really busy and the other is sitting at home, but we rarely have that, so we have been lucky.”

Chelsea Green, f.k.a. Laurel Van Ness in Impact Wrestling, was the special guest on Women’s Pro Wrestling Weekly with TK Trinidad and Evan T Match. They sent us these highlights:

If she goes back to train with Lance Storm:

“At first, since I have been wrestling for about 4 years now. For the first couple of years, I would go back often, even if it was just for a day to help out another girl to help out in his class, or to brush up on a move that I wanted to learn. Now, because I am based in Orlando, Florida compared to being based out in Canada, I don’t have that opportunity as much. However, whenever I do have a chance to go back to Calgary, I go back and visit him because honestly, as many lessons as I have learned, travelling and meeting new people [to train with], Lance Storm knows everything. I swear to you, any question you can have about moves, psychology, gimmicks, the history of pro wrestling, he knows. Lance Storm is an encyclopedia of wrestling knowledge. He really drills the necessities into you so that when you go out there you won’t do stupid things. You just start from the basics, which is amazing.”

Influences after leaving Storm’s wrestling academy:

“I would say, because people don’t know this about me, but I knew nothing about pro wrestling. Not a thing. I had never seen a pro wrestling ring until I was maybe around grade 11. Lance Storm taught me everything that I know. Then, when leaving ‘Storm’s Wrestling Academy,’ I would say that the person who taught me the most after leaving the school would be Billy Gunn because he influenced me on Tough Enough, and now I am really close with his family. He always gives me great advice. The other person would be Gail Kim because she helped me get the job from Impact Wrestling. She trusted and supported me, as well as elevated me along the way as I went.”

Being kicked off of Tough Enough:

“What happened was, I did Tough Enough, and when I got kicked off and didn’t get a contract, I thought – and this was naive of me, but I assumed that they would see how much that I loved this and how quickly I learned, and that no matter what even when I left I would be receiving a contract. So when I left Tough Enough and sat on my couch for about a month or two as I waited and waited and never received a call, I kind of had to think outside the box and had to think, ‘okay, now what?’ I am now stuck in Canada. I am not legally allowed to work in the United States. I really don’t know what I am doing, and for the amount of time that I spent being on Tough Enough, I really wasn’t wrestling. I had to come up with something different. I asked myself where are people going to generate a buzz to make a name for themselves? The two places I thought of were Mexico or Japan. I worked on trying to get to Mexico, which was the first thing that I really wanted to do, but a couple of my girlfriends thought that I should learn how to wrestle before I go to Mexico, so I should try out in Japan. That is how I kind of got over there in Japan. I still didn’t really know what I was doing, but with the language barrier over in Japan, they don’t know that you don’t know what you are doing, so every crazy move that I wanted to try, they were like, okay, let’s try it. That is how my confidence and movesets grew by trying things that I wouldn’t have tried had I been here in the United States.”

If WWE has reached out to her regarding the second inaugural Mae Young Classic:

“I have not been contacted yet. I don’t know if you know who Britt Baker and Santana Garrett are. We stay in contact and there are no secrets with us girls. We tell each other exactly what is happening. What conversations we have had with WWE, but none of us have heard anything. I know that a lot of girls, a lot of buzz about it, where they have heard from people in the Performance Center, but I have not heard anything about it. I am keeping myself really busy at the moment, and it is really full. That way, if they don’t call, I am not worried about it, and if they do call I would be totally excited, but either way, I’m happy because I am busy.”

New Impact Wrestling Knockouts champion Laurel Van Ness was recently interviewed by The Orlando Sentinel, who was promoting the Impact television tapings from January 10-15. During the interview, Laurel revealed that her contract with Impact Wrestling expires in June of 2018. Below are some highlights:

Winning the Impact Knockouts title:

“I’m definitely proud. It’s something I worked really hard for. For me, a couple of things bring me down to earth. Just because I have the belt doesn’t mean I’m the best in the world – it means the company trusts me enough and has faith in my ability. They know I’ll bring 110 percent every time. So I’m nervous but excited to show there’s a reason I have this.”

Recent reports that she requested her release from Impact Wrestling:

“Nothing fazes me anymore. That Knockouts locker room is my constant. We focus on us, our friendships and our match quality and we can’t think about anything else. Our job is to put on the best show possible for you, and that’s what we want.”

Laurel Van Ness spoke with McMahonsplaining, The With Spandex Podcast on a number of wrestling topics. Here are some of the highlights via Uproxx:

The origin and evolution of her character in Impact Wrestling:

“Well, everyone asks me that. It started out basically where, yes, when I was left at the altar, everything that happened after I was left at the altar, so me dropping down to my knees and being the most dramatic human in the world, that was me. Then when I got to the back, everyone was leaving, that was the last day of tapings, and Dutch [Mantel] came up and said, ‘I just want you to cut a quick promo. We don’t know if we’re gonna use it. You’re gonna sit, and you’re gonna cry.’ So as I was doing this promo, drinking champagne, which was real champagne, it was like my second bottle of champagne.

Oh yeah. I’m drinking the champagne, and he’s kind of shouting ideas at me, like, ‘Oh, sing. Sing ‘The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow.’ Do you know that song?’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, sure.’ He’s like, ‘Act crazier. One more take, but do it even crazier.’ When that aired, it kind of took off in this weird way I never thought it would. So then when I came back for the next set of tapings they were like, ‘Okay, we’re gonna roll with this crazy bride. I think we’ll keep you in the dress.’ I was like, ‘Oh, that’s cool.’

From there on it was them saying to me, ‘Do whatever you want and be as crazy as you want, and hopefully we have to tell you to dial it down.’ So every time I went out there I did something crazier. You know, more outlandish than the last time I went out there. But I can’t just say it was only me, because what I loved about Laurel, and I still love about Laurel is that every time I was kind of going through a match someone random in the locker room, it could have been Dutch, it could have been Abyss, it could have been EC3 or Spud. Random people have always had ideas. One idea, Pat Kenney was like, ‘Oh, you should do an airplane around Kong.’ I was like, ‘Sure. Done.’ He said that as I walking out, and then that became Laurel’s thing.

Someone else was like, ‘Hey, I saw this funny spot where you take the girl down, and then you pin her like Cameron from WWE. Pin her on her stomach, and you think that that’s real.’ So then I’m like, ‘Easy. I’ll do that,’ as I’m going out there again. And the next time it’s like, ‘Oh, you should get tangled up in the ropes, that’s funny. And then you should get hit with this move,’ and I’m like, ‘Okay. Sure.’ So it’s kind of like this weird character where it doesn’t matter what you tell me to do, I can go out and do it because I am the most unexpected kind of random character. Nothing that I do you question and be like, ‘Wait. Why?’ You know what I mean? Because it’s fun like that.”

Her smudged makeup look:

“Oh my gosh. It’s my favorite thing ever. It’s so funny, because I go in in the morning and I get my makeup done. I’m looking good, I take selfies. Then they’re like, ‘Okay, Chelsea. You’re on in three matches,’ and I’m just like [smearing] makeup all over my face. My lipstick’s going everywhere, and smudging my makeup.”

Winning the Impact Knockouts Championship:

“It’s crazy, isn’t it? It’s so crazy. Bound for Glory week was such a whirlwind. With it being filmed in Canada, it was really exciting for me. Although it was on the East Coast and I’m from the West Coast, still felt like I was kind of in my hometown, I don’t know. It felt like this wrestling world had come full circle, and for it to come full circle and then for them to be putting the title on me was also really overwhelming. I wrestle Rosemary for the title, which you’ll have seen by now I guess. She could tell you the same thing, and Gail would say the same thing. They told me three times that I was winning that match. I didn’t realize that that match was the finals at the tournament for the title.”


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