Saturday, 16 May 2015

Rumble In The Jungle - Fierce Females

Disclaimer: I haven't wrote in a while. I do still have some things up my sleeve, so keep checking here, the Facebook and Twitter for updates. But for now, what could have dragged me out of my semi-retirement? Why, it must be time for another Fierce Females show!

Fierce Females presents "Rumble In The Jungle"
Back once again Walkabout Glasgow (128 Renfield Street, G2 3AL)
This time a new night (Friday 29th May) and new price (only £8!)

So far only one thing for this show has been announced, a 20 woman rumble match, so I have frankly held off on writing about it as there wasn't much to write. But now thanks to new General Manager Christopher Saynt, I have something to write about:

Twenty women enter the ring, one woman remains at the end and she, ladies and gentlemen, will be your Fierce Females champion. Will someone dethrone Kay Lee Ray, who has held the title since its inception, or will the dominant champion persevere in her biggest challenge yet?

Join me in this article as I run down what I consider to be all the potential outcomes for the ten most likely to win this, and in doing so I will also give you a quick update on every single wrestler who has ever competed for Fierce Females, because I'm nice like that.

The format will be as follows - a Win-Loss-Other record for each wrestler, a bit about their Past and what I think the Future would hold with them as champion. Simple! For the record I will be combining all results from Fierce Females 9 events thus far as well as the Fierce Females title tournament qualifying matches from ICW's Tramspotting event and the Fierce Females title match from ICW's Dave's Not Here event. To me, those three matches are as canon as everything else and the company's history before the relaunch last year should not be ignored. Want to debate it? I welcome all comments from all avenues!

Finally, if you enjoy the read, get your butts along to Walkabout for what promises to be an exciting show and keep an eye on my Twitter and Facebook above for some exciting projects coming up in the near future. Now, on with the show and an exhaustive list of the potential winners.

Nikki Storm - 6W - 1L - 1 No Contest

Past: The Ms Nicola Storm who appeared on Fierce Females' debut show is worlds apart from the crowd favourite Nikki who stands before us to. In addition to her 6 official victories, Nikki was also on the winning side twice at the ICW affiliated shows. Storm's victory over Canadian Portia Perez in September 2013's "XX It's In Our DNA" show was in my eyes a masterpiece. Since the relaunch, Nikki defeated both Bete Noire and Debbie Sharp in the same night to become number one contender to Kay Lee Ray's championship, with that match ending in a No Contest following the most shocking heel turn I have ever witnessed. With Kay Lee Ray joining forces with the Glamour Gym (Carmel and Sara), it was the Gym that would dominate the rest of 2014 for Nikki - her sole loss coming in a tag match against the Gym, following up with two victories over Sara to end the year.

Future: As the match with Perez showed, Nikki can compete with athletes all around the globe. A quick glance at 2015 so far sees Nikki compete in Japan, Florida, Scotland, England, San Jose, Cleveland and North Carolina! Nikki also has experience as a champion but hasn't held gold for six months since losing the Pro Wrestling: Eve title last November. Although a longshot at even being in the Rumble (Nikki is currently competing for STAR DOM in Japan), her worldwide experience, strong connection with the fans and considerable talents both in the ring and on the microphone cements her status as the strongest candidate to take the Fierce Females title and perhaps take it on tour around the world. Back home, recent butting of heads with the group dubbed Hardcore Glamour would set the table for many interesting bouts between a vengeful Kay Lee Ray and an opportunistic Carmel, with Sara, Bete, Debbie and Fiona Fraser all also looking to avenge their losses to Nikki in the past.

Likelihood: Strong. It all depends on whether Nikki will be at the show or still in Japan. If Storm shows, I have her pegged as the favourite to win it all.

Kay Lee Ray - 7W - 1L - 1 No Contest

Past: A near identical Win/Loss history as Nikki's, the difference is that Kay Lee Ray has held the Fierce Females championship for most of that time. This historic matches between Carmel Jacob and KLR are really the foundation that Fierce Females was built upon, so it was fitting that the first ever show be headlined by a Last Woman Standing match between the two. Although this controversially resulted in Ray's only loss to date, it was sweet victory from there on out as Kay Lee battled to defeat Rhia O'Reilly and Viper on the same night to be crowned champion on the 4th of May 2013. Fast forward two years and KLR has seen off Carmel (in another Last Woman Standing match), former WWE & TNA star Awesome Kong (in a match including Viper), Sammii Jayne, April Davids and Canada's Leah Von Dutch. Each match has been a battle.

Future: Although Kay Lee Ray has seen off a wide variety of opponents, she has also proven capable of putting on a great match with anybody, leaving plenty of fresh challengers on the horizon. In addition to this, although currently allied I don't think anyone would grudge seeing KLR face off against Carmel for a third time. The No Contest ending to Nikki Storm's challenge has left a lot of fans dying for a rematch. In addition to this, with Kay Lee's experience wrestling in America with SHIMMER, SHINE and part of TNA's British Bootcamp show she is more than worthy of remaining our champion for a long time. Although many would welcome a change after two years, I cannot deny that Kay Lee has the tools and ability to edge through and retain even against 19 competitors.

Likelihood: Strong. Although mathematically the odds are against her retaining, she hasn't faltered for even a second in her two year plus reign so I see no reason to doubt her now.

Viper - 9W - 5L

Past: If you looked at Viper's 14 results and couldn't tie it to the 9 shows that's okay. Viper is renowned for pulling double duty on Fierce Females shows. She has twice competed in a tournament on one night (winning the semi-final and losing the final each time), she has twice competed in a singles match and won only to step up to the plate when someone needed to challenge Glamour Gym in a tag match to lose later in the show. Add on to that her phenomenal performance against both Kay Lee Ray and Amazing Kong when the former retained her Fierce Females championship, and the durability of Viper cannot be questioned.

Future: Besides taking on her friend and sometime tag partner Bete Noire a couple of times, Viper is better known as the guardian of the Fierce Females roster, standing up to the bullies within in the form of Glamour Gym and putting up a challenge to the visitors, defeating Sammi Baynz, Violet O'Hara and Lana Austin to name a few. Each time she is gracious in victory, raising the hand of her opponents at the end of every match. This good role model mentality is met with a strong physicality also - she managed to hand the monstrous Layla a defeat in her last Fierce Females outing.

Likelihood: Strong. Great attitude, strength and the stamina to fight several times in a night, Viper could be the total package as the next Fierce Females champion. Her mic skills were put on show during TNA's British Bootcamp as well, delivering the most heartfelt explanation for her being on the show that I personally saw bring a table of fans to utter silence and enthralment.

Carmel Jacob - 5W - 3L

Past: Before we proceed, watch that video. Now think about three minutes. Could you talk for three minutes solid, never mind in front of a crowd, never mind endorsing someone who was once your fiercest rival, never mind making sense, never mind not pausing for breath, never mind making it rhyme. Three minutes is a long time to talk for in any circumstance.

To say Carmel is the best on the microphone is doing her an injustice. Whenever she is put in a position to speak, she captivates, and do you want to know why? Because she has conviction. That is why fans gravitate towards her. Early last year she set in motion a war on the entire Fierce Females roster and specifically on the Owens Twins, attacking an injured Kasey to which fans weren't outraged, in fact many claimed to 'endorse' the attack. Why? Because they believed in Carmel and her survival of the fittest mentality. Carmel came out on top in the main event of the very first Fierce Females show and although her record has had ups and downs since then (her three losses were to Kay Lee Ray, Crazy Mary Dobson and in a tag match) she has remained convincing and full of conviction from the start.

Future: Carmel has always divided opinion. Some are blindly loyal to her no matter her actions, others are disgusted at the shortcuts she takes to advance. I honestly have no idea what a Carmel victory this month could spell. One thing is for sure, I would doubt the volatile personalities in Hardcore Glamour could survive if the belt currently around Kay Lee Ray's waist was suddenly on that of Carmel. While these two have gone to war in the past, it is a match I would never get sick of seeing. Beyond that, with her vicious tongue she has managed to make an enemy of everyone so there are no shortage of opponents sharpening their blades ready to get stuck in at a moment's notice. But with a vocal section of the audience cheering her on regardless, could we even see a slight change in attitude from Carmel? One that would use her strengths to further the title and defend it viciously against all comers. With many women from all corners of the globe descending on Fierce Females in the past, could Carmel become the passionate defender of the crown?

Likelihood: Medium-to-Strong. While I personally believe Carmel deserves to hold the belt at some point soon, a part of me says that she's simply made too many enemies to survive the rumble. A tough one to call, her ingenuity might keep her in good stead.

Sammii Jayne - 6W - 1L - 1 No Contest

Past: In the last show before the 2014 relaunch, Sammii Jayne debuted in a no contest. In the first show of 2014 she defeated both Bete Noire and Viper in a one night tournament to become the number one contender to Kay Lee Ray's crown and in the very next show put on a spectacular showing trying to win that title, leading to her only loss. Since then she has put on Match Of The Night contenders defeating Nixon Newell, Liberty, Lana Austin and Bete Noire.

Future: Sammii's versatility and quick, agile moves make her a very dynamic wrestler. She exploded into the Fierce Females main event in early 2014 and has since been putting together solid matches against many first-time opponents. As well as her in-ring capabilities, a series of online vignettes with Debbie Sharp have shown her to be a very funny wrestler as well, meaning she could fit into any number of match types going forward.

Likelihood: Medium. If it weren't for the fact that she came up short in her one title match, I would have her higher on the list. However as the reigning RAD:Pro Mix Tag Title champion she does have a title reign on her wrestling CV, although to date I don't believe she has defended that belt yet.

Sara-Marie Taylor - 3W - 7L

Past: Although Carmel and Kay Lee Ray are, rightfully so, credited with creating a huge buzz around Scottish female wrestling, it is a misconception to call them the originators. That title belongs to Sara who started out before both of her Hardcore Glamour compatriots. With that said however, Sara's record in Fierce Females has been less than memorable with two of her victories coming in tag matches and her sole solo victory being over Leah Owens. An unremarkable history, Sara remains the darkhorse of her group.

Future: With that being said, what better way for a darkhorse to emerge than sweeping the biggest title in the biggest match of Fierce Females history? As the saying goes, it's always the quiet ones. While Roman Reigns was getting recognition for his size and Dean Ambrose for his voice, it was Seth Rollins who struck first, disbanding the Shield he created and becoming the first one of the trio to win the big title in WWE. In a similar vein, wouldn't it be delicious if Sara leapfrogged both Kay Lee Ray and Carmel to take the title in a moment of pure selfish advancement? I'd love it. In terms of future opponents, just remember - every time Carmel has attacked the lockerroom, Sara has been right there by her side. Plenty of enemies to go around.

Likelihood: Medium. While I personally would be very happy seeing Sara reward herself by becoming the forerunner of the group, and think it would lead to some incredibly interesting title defences, her history doesn't bode her particularly well.

The Owens Twins - 5W
Kasey Owens - 1W - 1L
Leah Owens - 1W - 2L

Past: Obviously a strong tag team, The Owens have also shown versatility in 2014 in singles action with Kasey earning a victory over Bete Noire via Ref Stoppage and Leah splitting a win apiece with Sara. In my opinion, since her injury and being the target of vicious attacks from Glamour Gym, Kasey has come out swinging as the more vicious of the two Twins. However Leah's international career cannot be ignored. Both have fought in Spain and Japan but Leah has come away with two reigns as the RCW Women's Champion.

Future: While The Owens are a dominant tag team force and it seems almost inconceivable that they would split, who says they need to split? With one woman as the champion and the other constantly watching her back and giving sisterly support, it would be doubly as hard for anyone to take the belt from either one of their waists. That being said, the gold may also lead to green eyes and with each sister knowing the other inside out, a battle of the twins could also be on the table.

Likelihood: Medium. It's tough to see the Owens as anything other than the best female tag team in the UK, which is a testament to how incredible a duo they are, but look a little bit closer and see that both have the tools to be champion. I personally would pick Kasey over Leah based on the aggression I saw last year in Fierce Females, but with two reigns internationally on her resume there is no doubting that Leah would be the bookies favourite.

Layla Rose - 3W - 1L

Past: With the mantra of Barbie Breaker, Layla made a solid impact on Fierce Females amassing three victories (over Lucy Cole, Fiona Fraser and Courtney) before running into the solid Viper. What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? In this case, Viper stopped Layla's reign of terror. For now.

Future: While striking fear into the hearts of the Fierce Females crowd, Layla has also been able to win them over with her fierce and strong offence. She truly takes no crap and is intimidated by nobody. While yet to have a deep run in the company she has shown enough to suggest that she could be a truly dominant champion. Additionally she has some worldwide experience too, having wrestled on mainland Europe for Wrestling Stars, DWA and SCW to name a few.

Likelihood: Medium-Low. While I think it would be an incredibly interesting change of pace from Kay Lee Ray, Layla still only has four matches to her name in Fierce Females. As a Brock Lesnar monster type of champion, a Layla reign could definitely work.

Bete Noire - 10L

Past: While Bete is the only wrestler besides Viper to have appeared on every show, her Win/Loss record is worlds apart from her friend's. It is perhaps ironic that her Fierce Females career began with back-to-back defeats to Viper, Bete's perhaps strongest moment came as her defeat to Kasey Owens was by Ref Stoppage as opposed to submission or pinfall. Still, it's not all bad - Bete has put on some great matches against world-renowned talent such as Crazy Mary Dobson and Saraya Knight.

Future: Excuse me while I indulge in some armchair booking here. Just over six months ago a secondary title was announced, meant to be called the Internet Championship. Things change and we all move on, but for me that seemed to be the perfect opportunity to build up Bete's underdog story, have her first victory be for that championship, and you have a ready-made success story and excitement at the knowledge that Bete has proven she can be defeated at any moment. These things could still transfer over to this rumble in my opinion and would be a great story, not unlike Daniel Bryan, that we could all buy in to.

Likelihood: Low. While the above scenario still stands, there hasn't been a lot of build-up around Bete's loss rate. She will be the first to admit most of her defeats come from her No Regrets style of hard-hitting and dangerous attacks. She is a fighter first and foremost. I will still await with eagerness her first victory in Fierce Females, but I don't see it coming at the rumble.

There are my Top Ten contenders for winning the Fierce Females title on the 29th, but what about the rest of the roster?  Surely there is still a chance that Courtney (2W - 3L - 1NC) or Fiona Fraser (2W - 4L - 2NC) could have a shot in the rumble? While it's true that their war with each other was a highlight of 2014 (Courtney would be the eventual victor, with them sharing a win apiece and going to a double countout, their final bout was a Three Stages Of Hell match with Courtney winning the pinfall segment, Fiona winning the submission segment and Courtney prevailing in the street fight segment), the momentum behind Courtney's never-say-die attitude and Fiona's technical and submission techniques will surely make both fantastic wrestlers to watch in 2015 but they are just shy of the top ten in my opinion.

The only other member of the regular Fierce Females roster is Debbie Sharp (2W - 1L) who has shown great potential in the ring, and her promo work both live and in online segments are hilarious and engaging, she has cruelly been plagued by injuries (#PrayForDebbie!) and would need a few more consistent wins under her belt to reach the top ten.

From there we look outwith the main Fierce Females roster. There's a plethora of 'dream' outsiders who have yet to make an appearance in Fierce Females, from Candice LeRae to Kimber Lee, Cheerleader Melissa to AJ Lee. Some outside appearances are outlandish (though with her connection to Saraya Knight I still hold out hope that Paige may make an appearance one day), some are a bit more likely (if I keep pestering Candice on Twitter she'll show up, right?) but there is still a chance that some fresh new face may make their debut and sweep the title out from under everyone.

As promised, here is a complete run-down of the entire Fierce Females historic roster from a quick most likely to least to round things off. I hope you enjoyed this article and look forward to seeing you at the show.

 - Rhia O'Reilly (4W - 1L) was prolific in Fierce Females early shows, but last appeared in August 2014. She is still wrestling today and is the current Pro-Wrestling:EVE champion as well as historically Bellatrix British champion.
 - Leah Von Dutch (2L) with losses at the hands of Carmel and Kay Lee Ray, Leah has the international chops having wrestled over the UK, Europe, her native Canada, and USA to name a few. A very charismatic wrestler.
 - Saraya Knight (1W) has one victory over Bete Noire and is wrestling royalty. If anyone from the Bellatrix/WAW camp could come back and take the title it would be Saraya. If you don't know who she is and don't know why, I suggest you clear your diary and begin googling.
 - Crazy Mary Dobson (2W) American native, impressed greatly in her victories over Bete Noire and Carmel, was last seen in September 2013 holding Kay Lee Ray's belt aloft and demanding a title shot. Is now rumoured to be in talks with WWE/NXT. Fans are dying for her to return to Fierce Females however.
 - Liberty (2L) one loss in a singles match and one in a tag, Liberty is the current Bellatrix World champion and a former RQW and WAWW champion as well. Adding the Fierce Females title to that would bring prestige UK-wide.
 - Chanel (1L) a WAW and Bellatrix native, her one loss was opposite Carmel and she is the current Bellatrix British champion.
 - Sammi Baynz (2L) one loss via singles, one via tag. Has been wrestling for ten years and has a plethora of titles under her belt.
 - Kirsty Love [as Kirsty Loveign] (2L - 1NC) more known as a tag wrestler, despite being a Scottish native has competed more in England in recent years and hasn't wrestled for Fierce Females since September 2013. Would make for a big surprise return, that's for sure.
 - Nixon Newell (1L) only has one defeat to Sammii Jayne against her name but I personally think she's brilliant.
 - Lana Austin (2L) has competed all over England for the last few years, won the the Attack 24:7 title for less than a day and is the current FSW Women's champion. Was on TNA's British Bootcamp and has potential.
 - Erin Angel (4W) won four times in Fierce Females first three shows and also competed in a triple threat match over a year ago in London, with Carmel and Kay Lee Ray (which Carmel won) which was originally supposed to be for the title. Erin hasn't competed in Scotland since the initial Fierce Females shows.
 - April Davids (2L) more likely to be seen in PCW, April Davids had a great title match with Kay Lee Ray last year which she ultimately lost.
 - Danni Hunter (1W) defeated Violet Vendetta (1L) in October's show. Danni was FSW Women's champion for over a year.
 - Ayesha Ray (1W - 1L) was an imposing figure in the first iteration of Fierce Females but hasn't been back since the relaunch. Wrestlers more in Essex / London areas, I would love to see a match between her and Layla Rose.
 - Violet O'Hara (1L) former Bellatrix British champion.
 - Lucy Cole (1L) a recent graduate of the PBW Academy, her loss came at the hands of the Barbie-Breaker Layla Rose.
 - Portia Perez (1L) is a SHIMMER regular in America although had a cool stint in Scotland at the end of 2013. Would love to see her come back, her match with Nikki Storm was all kinds of entertaining.
 - Amazing Kong (1L) while being a worldwide name was eliminated first in her three-way match for the title and is currently tied to TNA. I also sincerely doubt the ring would hold Kong's impressive size as well as 19 other females, but if she were to turn up she would be a force to be reckoned with for sure.
 - Shanna (2L) "Portugal's Perfect Athlete" was defeated twice in one night at Fierce Females, however has worldwide notoriety and a couple of TNA dark matches in her resume.
 - Blue Nikita (1L) defeated once by Erin Angel on Fierce Females second show, is more likely to be found in her native Germany.
 - Faith Lehaine (1L) & Nadia Saphire (1L) lost in an interesting tag bout opposite the Owens Twins. 
 - Penelope (1L) is currently on hiatus from wrestling but hasn't ruled out a comeback. An excellent talent, she is sorely missed.
 - Sakura Lily (2W) won a singles and a tag match, her short two year career seems to have come to an end as of August 2014.
 - Shelly Star (1NC) hasn't been seen in wrestling since her No Contest in September 2013, as far as I'm aware.
 - Lisa Fury (2L) tasted defeat in two tag matches in Fierce Females first two shows, which seem to have been the last two matches of her ten year plus career.
 - Holly Rocamora (1L) in a career that spanned 18 months and seemingly only four matches, Holly was defeated by Rhia O'Reilly at Fierce Females first ever show.

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