What’s next for Melissa Anderson aka SHIMMER Cheerleader Melissa?

Slam! Wrestling had the privilige of a great interview with Future Legend Cheerleader Melissa at the Cauliflower Alley Club reunion. We get to read about Cheerleader Melissa’s reasoning for leaving TNA and what’s she’s been up to.

Slam! Wrestling reports that it was changes on the creative side, including the departures of Dutch Mantell and Scott D’Amore, that contributed significantly to the move.

“It was the changes behind the scenes, and nothing more. It was a very mutual split and it was time to move on. TNA is going forward with their direction as a whole, as a company, and I saw all the other opportunities.”

Cheerleader Melissa has set her sights on Lucha Libra.

“I’m in light talks with Mexico, and that’s something that I would really love just to add to my career. I spent a lot of time in Japan, the United States, Canada, a lot of time in Europe. I never really gave Mexico a shot, so that’s a personal goal for myself right now.”

Another project in the works is a working agreement between the various promotions worldwide that showcase women’s wrestling.

“The new project I’ve been working on is the Female Fight League, which the announcement was just made during the Cauliflower Alley convention, the Baloney Blowout. Basically, it’s going to be a female version of the NWA. The details are still being worked out. We really want to do something to boost female wrestling as a whole throughout the world, and, mainly, the United States.”

Slam! Wrestling asked Melissa if the Female Fight League perhaps a reaction to the state of women’s wrestling at the moment?

“There’s a lot of people that have been coming up to me that are a little bit frustrated with the state right now. Is it going up? Is it going down? I can’t really speak on that. But there’s a lot of frustration, and there are a lot of wrestling fans that are big fans of female wrestling.”

Slam! Wrestling lists off Femmes Fatales in Montreal, ChickFight in California, SHIMMER out of Chicago, WSU in New England, and Pro Wrestling EVE in England and says that not all of the companies are on board yet with the Female Fight League.

Melissa explains, “It’s very, very good that we have those companies out there, and we hope for, with the Female Fight League, that these companies are able to work together to make it bigger in the United States. Our companies, they’re so spread out, we’re not really in competition with each other, so we need to find a way to work together to put a lot more focus on it.”

You can read the whole article at Slam! Wrestling.

In our opinion, Cheerleader Melissa is in the right track in regards to women wrestling. Women’s wrestling is in a niche market within wrestling. The best company models for women wrestling are going to be small, lean and mean, and no one company is going to threaten the market share of another company. There’s only so much growth for women wrestling and that limits the threat of new promotions popping up to steal market share for any established company. An alliance, then, with each company taking a region and working together to promote all women wrestling makes sense.

We just posted up our thoughts on what Lisa Marie Varon should be doing next. In our opinion, Lisa Marie Varon could up her game and work more on the business side of wrestling. Lisa doesn’t have anything else to prove in-ring. Her rub and her connections in the industry, including ex-divas like Trish Stratus, Stacy Keibler and now Mickie James, could make a tremendous difference in getting a time slot for independent women wrestling on TV. A show where creative control isn’t in the hands of Jimmy Hart, or Vince McMahon, and there’s adequate funding for a quality product.

What’s next for Lisa Marie Varon aka TNA Tara?

lisaconnectedLisa Marie Varon and TNA have failed to come to terms over a modest increase in wages and Lisa has given her fans her two week notice on MySpace. TNA has been adament about not increasing the wages for the Knockouts, who also happen to be their top draw. Awesome Kong left, Sarita and Wilde are rumoured to be planning on leaving as well. Our favorite energizer bunny, Christy Hemme, meanwhile has apparently had her wage increased to triple what her other- wrestling- padres are earning. What reason does Lisa Marie Varon really have to stick around?

TNA is not doing well in the ratings. This Monday’s TNA iMPACT! scored an 0.50 cable rating with 739,000 viewers.

This is not yet the end of the world for TNA. Every wrestling promotion has these dark days in which the promotion struggles to find the right story and right wrestler to connect with their audience and fill the seats. The story goes, ‘one day someone walks out and does something that gets over with the audience and the promotion’s owner hears the crowd cheer- or boo- and he realises they’ve found the next Big Thing.’ The angle, and the wrestlers involved, is worked to death. The promotion finds its stride, its identity, and its followers for a time. And the savvy owner is always looking for the next Big Thing after this Big Thing runs its course…and that’s how a wrestling company stays afloat. Sometimes every promotion has to be kissed by the angle of death in its darkest hours before it can find the next Big Thing. Sometimes the threat of impending doom is needed to force the promoter to take a reality check. Promoters with egos think they know what the fans want better than the fans themselves. TNA’s bound to get its reality check before the money runs out.

Unless the next Big Thing involves a girl wrestling.

TNA is apparently filled with egos fixated on ‘what ought to be’ over the reality of ‘what is.’ To paraphrase Eric Bischoff, if the audience isn’t connecting with the product, it’s because the audience are idiots. So what? PT Barnum would have been tap dancing in the back to discover he’s got a room full of suckers to hock his wares to. There are terrible ideas as to what TNA needs floating around in the back of this promotion, being pushed by people whose egos exceed their business savvy. The emperor has no clothes, and all messengers- even the paying messengers in the audience- are being shot.

Here’s what everyone but the management in TNA realise:

Fact: TNA management scurries to hire every future endeavoured WWE talent.

Fact: TNA promotes every geriatric, overexposed piece of WWE-kissed product they overpay to acquire over their own talent.

Assertion: TNA management thinks that the WWE product is better than their own product.

Quote: “Every battle is won before it is fought.” – Sun Tzu

Assertion: TNA cannot win head-to-head with a company that is bigger and better than they are. TNA management cannot even assert that they thought they had something better and were proven wrong. They knew they were outgunned going into the fight.

Conclusion: TNA lost this battle before they shifted to Monday nights.

Assertion: TNA has absolutely no logical reason to go head-to-head with a company that is bigger and better than they are at this time.

Conclusion: TNA management is absolutely delusional.

(We’re going someplace with this)

Fact: TNA top draw is consistently the Knockouts.

Fact: TNA management isn’t willing to pay for their women wrestlers.

Fact: TNA management believes that their labour budget should be used to hire outsourced WWE talent.

Conjecture: TNA management, being delusional, refuse to believe that people want to The Knockouts product- fit women who can wrestle and just happen to be sexy because they’re fit- over washed-out WWE talent.

Fact: TNA is using the Knockouts for sex appeal with the thinking that cleavage and tummy will get the target audience to tune in, and then the WWE talent can step in and hold the audience’s attention.

Fact: This strategy doesn’t work. The cable ratings plunge after the focus is off the Knockouts.

Conclusion: TNA is totally ruining The Knockouts division in their efforts to cram ex-WWE talent down the throats of their fans.

Okay, we can go on here. But, why bother?

We’re fans of female wrestling because of the total women wrestler package. Fit women are sexy, athletic women are sexy, but we’re fans because women wrestlers who can cut a promo are entertaining; women wrestlers who can wrestle are entertaining! The coolest women wrestlers project confidence, power and danger to the audience. That’s actually part of the fun. Forcing women to flaunt it in front of a crowd to get people to pay attention is exploitive, creepy and weak. Whatever happened to girl power? We’re fans of the total package and we want The Knockouts to be entertaining, sexy and we want them to kick butt!

The way TNA is using the Knockouts is a far cry from the Awesome Kong and Gail Kim feud back in 2008. The product has lost its way.

So, to wrap this up: Lisa, you’re talented, beautiful and sexy. You have a good mind for business, too. You came to TNA to wrestle in a good women’s division and that opportunity isn’t there anymore.

Why not start your own promotion?

You’re looking for a vehicle for a reality show? Hook up with Trish Stratus, Stacy Keibler, Lilian Garcia, and Mike Adamle and build your own division. Get talent like Cheerleader Melissa, Dark Angel, Hamada, Daffney, Taylor Wilde, and Amazing Kong on board. Go on an extended tour of North America, Mexico and Japan and produce the show on the road. Use a documentary/reality show style between matches and you’ll create a great product on a shoe string budget. Keep the roster small because you’ll have talent to use and showcase everywhere you go. You can feature different women wrestlers from different regions each episode, and build entire episodes AROUND women wrestlers like MsChif, Sara Del Ray, and LuFisto. Watch season 1 of ‘Lost’ and build back stories leading up to every match (one weekend show could unravel over several episodes). Have fun mixing kayfabe and straight shoots. Have fun being in control of the creative process for once. There are so many great stories deserving to be documented in women’s wrestling. This would be an amazing reality show.

The other option is for women wrestlers like yourself to always be stuck trying to prove yourself to washed-up, delusional chauvinists that you’re a top draw. If TNA management didn’t get it after years of the Knockouts getting top ratings, they’ll never get it. So, forget them. Take the bull by the horns yourself and your destiny into your own hands.

Final 25 Diva Battle Royal Card and predictions

wm251.jpg25-Diva Battle Royal:

The Card: Tiffany, Bri Bella, Nikki Bella, Beth Phoenix, Layla El, Jillian Hall, Alicia Fox, Michelle McCool, WWE Divas Champion Maryse, Mickie James, Eve Torres, Kelly Kelly, Natalya Neidhart, Rosa Mendez, Gail Kim, WWE Women’s Champion Melina, Katie Lea, Maria, Mae Young, Santino Marella, Torrie Wilson, Jackie Gayda, Nidia, Victoria and Tammy “Sunny” Sytch.

Candice Michelle apparently won’t be in the match because of her ankle injury.

What’s surprising is the inclusion of Santino Marella and Mae Young. We’re going to call what happens here. Santino comes out and Mae Young takes him out, with Candice Michelle’s help. Mae Young never enters the ring and therefore, doesn’t get thrown over the tope rope to certain doom.

If Trish were in this match, we would say it’s all her’s, but she’s apparently declined. In a recent appearence on CTV, where Trish called the weather, Trish’s hair was dyed black and she was quoted as saying that a one-time appearence satisfies her itch for wrestling. Some people say the Battle Royal was done with her in mind, so this may be a bad sign.

The next speculation is how Gail Kim will perform. Will she take it? The answer is: the last time Gail Kim came into WWE and won a big match- the Women’s title, the crowd turned on her and she went heel. WWE would be wise to have Gail Kim as the final four and give her time to shine, but ultimately give the belt to another Diva. There would be nothing lost in Gail Kim losing to Torrie Wilson.

We’ve thought about it and our prediction is someone WWE constantly undervalues and completely deserves this accolade: Mickie James!

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Trish Stratus Reads the Weather

Trish Stratus stepped in for Dave to read the weather. Trish has a new look…what do you think is better for Trish…blond or brunette?

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