Eva Marie announced last week that she and WWE have parted ways. We're sad to see her go, but can't say we're surprised. Miss All Red Black Everything hasn't really been active in the ring for the past year and between her new movie Inconceivable, her NEM fashion brand and new projects in the works, she's clearly finding opportunities and success outside of WWE. The company, of course, needs it's talent to wrestle and generally works out arrangements that let Superstars whose commitments take them away from ring too long out of contracts. Happily, the parting appears amicable - Eva doesn't discount the possibility of returning to wrestling in the future. We wish her the best and have no doubt that with her big dreams and work ethic her star will keep on rising!
Wrestling fans were surprised last night to see Maria Kanellis make her return to the WWE! Along with her husband, Mike, the duo are now members of the Blue Brand and will be appearing on Smackdown Live. Maria was last seen in a WWE ring back in 2010, but has been very busy since then, appearing in numerous wrestling companies around the world, as well as continuing her education. While she may or may not be stepping back in between the ropes, we know that no matter what, she's going to one to watch on the fashion front. xoxo
So, this is kind of luke-warm off the press rather than smoking hot, but Mickie James is back! Which means "hey Mickie, you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind, hey Mickie!" is now stuck in my head :). In addition to being a fantastic wrestler, Mickie brought a country bombshell-next-door vibe to diva's fashion with her rootsy sensibilities. It's a theme we've missed, which makes it doubly exciting to see her back on the roster. And since she's signed a multi-year deal with WWE, it looks like we'll be enjoying said style for a good, lengthy time :) With all the incredible new talent, plus all the diva returns over the last year or two, right now is a really amazing era for divas' fans. Charlotte and Becky, plus Maryse and Mickie, as well as Maria over on the Impact side: like, what a time to be alive, right?!
Ooooo! Brandi said she had big surprises in store for us and awesome projects to be revealed and now... THIS! She's signed to Impact Wrestling as one of their new Knockouts! I don't know what this means for the KO's division, but I know for dang sure it means something AWESOME for us. Maria has been the undisputed moving force behind the KOs ever since her arrival earlier this year. Brandi is a lot like a Maria in many ways - a strong driven women, with a powerful vision, a fabulous sense of style...and a bit of a temper. Will these two ladies be besties and rule the roost between them? Or will the gloves come off and war go on? I can not wait to find out!
PS If you're worrying over poor Cody - don't! Impact has signed him as well, so, like #TheMiracle of Mike and Maria, the #GameChangers, Cody and Brandi, will be a duo. Oh, the possibilties! #Goosebumps I'm so excited for Cody and Brandi; they've both wanted an opportunity to show what they can do for some time and I just have a feeling they're both going to make the most of this one...which means Hurricane Brody has just made Impact :)
Eva Marie is following the Bella's lead. She recently teased her upcoming fashion line via an Instagram snap of her photoshoot for the new brand. It will be called NEM Fashion and, like the Bella's Birdiebee lingerie line, it will feature a pay-it-forward marketing concept. If these pics are indicative of the line's vibe, it should be straight up Eva Marie style: on-trend and super sexy! We can't wait for more info...and the launch :)
Eden officially announced that she and WWE have come to an amicable agreement about the terms of her release and she will no longer be ring announcing for the company. The news is not overly surprising, given her husband, Cody Rhodes, recent departure. It is, however, quite sad to those of us (like ME!!!!) who adored her in-ring fashion...actually, ALL her fashion. *sniffles*. Eden was the first, and so far only, diva to win our Hall Of Fame Fashion Review Best Dressed award two years running, and she's regaled us with quantities of fabulous style all the days in between. I will miss her classy, chic looks so much! In happier news, though, Eden also made it clear that she has a new opportunity or two on the horizon, something she'll be telling us more about in the days to come (yay! Fingers crossed that it means we still get to see her style someway, somehow :) ) and also, that her blog, BeingBrandiRunnels.com will continue (double yay! She always has interesting things to say. Also, she's already posted a blog giving a bit of a heads up as to where she's headed, so definitely be sure to check that out!). So, while I'm sorry about her departure, I'm thrilled that Eden has new, exciting things to look forward to. I wish the very best to both her and Cody, two people for whom I have tremendous respect and who I believe deserve the successes they have earned so far, as well as the ones they will attain in future.
Ok, so maybe it's a little more like ..warm...off the press than hot since E! announced it a bit ago..BUT...if you haven't heard :): there will be a spin-off of Total Divas starting on E! in the fall. It will be called Total Bellas and will follow the day-to-days of Nikki and Brie, as well as Daniel Bryan and John Cena...and their attendant four-leggeds. Since the Twins rocked their time on Total Divas, I can't help but think this show will be equally amazeballs. And naturally, anything that provides more fashion - esp Bellas fashion ;)- for me to savor and discuss is a good good thing in my world! So, bring on the (Total) Bellas!
Edit: The series will premiere on Oct 5!
It's a rough ride being a wrestling fan...your favorites come and rise and fall and go and return. Brie Bella has recently confirmed her retirement from WWE to start a family. We wish her the very best! She will be sorely missed in the ring...although we're hoping she'll still give us some IG fashion snaps from time to time to satiate our craving for her fabulous style sense. She'll also...gulp...be leaving the cast of Total Divas. Can you even? What's a fashion-wrestling fangirl to do? Other than cry copious mascara tears, wail loudly and worry that life will never be the same, you mean? Well, the Big Dub has, for once, provided some consolation for our devastation. Maryse will be joining Total Divas! Along with her will be Lana and Renee! Woop! Now, that's an influx of fashion design to raise the spirits of even the most overwrought fashionista! So, while we're listening to tear-jerker tunes and sobbing for our lost Brie, we can welcome Maryse and Co. with open arms. How's that for an emotional roller coaster? Told ya it's tough to be a wrestling fan ;)
According to the Powers that WWE, it is time to say good bye to the butterfly belt. I can't deny that I will not miss that horrid pink thing even one teensy bit. Not a smidge. Not a brass farthing. The butterfly belt was intended to represent the metamorphosis of the WWE Women's Division into the Divas' Division...and a sorrier representation could hardly be imagined. Butterflies, though I love them, simply don't conjure up the athletic toughness and fierceness of a lady in the WWE. The debut of that belt was met with some of the harshest criticism I have ever seen...and wrestling fans are not generally known for diplomacy. It was justified. The belt was frilly, a bit silly and waaaaay too pink. At WrestleMania 32, Lita was on hand to unveil a brand new belt. This one is a marked improvement: the pink is gone, the butterfly is gone. The crystal "WW" set on the scarlet background looks like a competitor's belt and something worthy of a WWE woman wrestler. And, like the Diva's belt, it is meant to usher in a new era for the female side of the roster. I can't deny that I feel a bit of sadness over that. I became a wrestling fan just a year before the debut of the butterfly belt, at the very beginning of the growth of the Divas' division from entertainers and athletes to something more. It was the aesthetic of these women as divas which drew me in, because it meant something more than just big muscles and a loud mouth or a sexy fantasy gone public. It meant that these ladies were, indeed, ladies, that they had a girly side. They loved the things I loved: shoes and makeup and most especially, FASHION. It was this concept of the girls that connected me with them and made me respect and honor them, not just as athletes, as comediennes, as fitness inspirations, but also as style inspirations. And that was, and is, a very special dynamic, unmatched in any other area of sport or entertainment because it resides at the intersection of all three. Throughout the blossoming of the division into the Diva era, there were vociferous complaints from fans and the ladies alike that women weren't getting their due, that they could do more. There was a constant clamor for greater opportunity. That opportunity is now here. It's faces are Charlotte, Sasha and Becky: the three marked as the chosen ones by their receiving - and slaying - a match at WrestleMania...and not just the practically regulation Battle Royal, but a real match. The Divas' division is now in the hands of this triumvirate to guide where they will. Based on what we saw this weekend, I have no doubt the course they steer it on will be a bright one indeed, and I look forward to seeing the star of the division ride high for years to come. Yet, they owe something, not just to the greats of the far past -the Moolahs, the Wendi Richters, the Sensational Sherris-, not just to the middle past - the Litas and Trish Stratuses- , but also to those of the near past - the Maryses, the Michelle McCools, the Laylas...the ladies who ran and built the division into Divas, who embraced that epithet and what it meant. They, too, expanded the division. Because of their vision, vehicles like Total Divas and Muscle & Fitness covers, which extend the reach of this division dramatically, are now possible. The Divas' banner ushered in a way to connect to a more feminine side of the wrestling audience in a special way. They made it not only ok, but madly cool, to be a wrestling fan, an athlete and a fashionista too. This was the era I cut my wrestling teeth on, and an era I and many others cherish because of the concept it brought to life. So while Charlotte, Sasha and Becky are leading the charge to still greater heights of wrestling achievement in this new era, I hope they won't forget to borrow a few good things from the Divas era, to keep intact those aspects of Divahood that make the wrestling ring a place where girly girls and fashionistas feel welcome and find inspiration, and to keep reminding newbie wrestling fanchicks that it's fabulous and flawless to be an a$$-kicker and a classy girl all at once. #RealTalk
Iiiiiiiit's almost heeerrre! The Bella Twins are launching their new brand: Birdiebee. If you watch Total Divas, you already know that Brie and Nikki have been working on this for some time and it's finally happening! Birdiebee is a lingerie line created by the ladies with a unique pay-it-forward component. Make sure to follow the brand's official twitter: @birdiebee for as-it-happens info on the launch.
Update 7.30.16: For every pair of undies purchased, the brand will donate one to a girl in need. Brie and Nikki are currently planning a September launch, to coordinate with Fashion Week.
Update 3.10.17: Finally, a bit of news! The ladies are working on their branding for this line so that it not only is about the product - the long-awaited lingerie -, but also has a feminine care aspect, offering information and inspiration. They intend to launch the line in Fall 2017.
Welcome to the place where wrestling & fashion join hands. #BeInspired #LoveFashion Let the Fierce be with you! ;) Peace & Glitter!
Brie: shoe-lover :) fashion-lover and generally glamorous semi-dork
Photos used for criticism and comment under US Copyright Act Section 107.