Y Kant Natalie Win?
There are few hotter actresses in the world as of this writing than Natalie Portman. Of course, she has plenty of huge box
office behind her with films like the “Star Wars” trilogy and “Cold Mountain”, but Portman also possesses
the other two thirds of the Hollywood trifecta, knockout looks and plenty of acting cred, including an Oscar nomination for
“The Closer” this past year. In the FCWF, however, the 24-year-old stunner has performed more like, say, Darlanne
Fluegel, doing B-movies and TV guest shots to absolutely no critical notice.
Portman’s struggles, including a recent bloody defeat in a barbed wire match against Elisha Cuthbert at “War For
Independence”, which marked her fourth loss in four tries this year, have been well documented, with a recent appearance
in the “Who’s Not” section of this very magazine included. But, if the issue of the quality of Portman’s
performances is settled, the question that has not been is “Why?” Why can’t Natalie win?
“I wish I knew,” says FCWF observer Joe Shaw. “I like Portman. She’s a sweet young lady and I’d
like to see her succeed, but there’s nothing I can put my finger on as to why she doesn’t. She seems to have more
ability than she shows, or, maybe not, but I think so. There have been some matches I thought she’d win that she didn’t,
and, it’s gotten to the point now that she’s an underdog almost every time she gets in the ring. You hope it doesn’t
get to the point where she expects to lose. I don’t think it’s there yet. Her attitude still seems very good,
but…she needs a win, that’s for sure.”
FCWF analyst Don Pritchett has a different take. “Natalie isn’t the biggest woman in the federation, and lots
of people think that might be the problem, but I don’t agree. I mean, Salma Hayek regularly kicks ass, and she’s
not that big, either. Plus, Portman’s smart as a whip…she graduated freaking HARVARD for heaven’s sake.
She knows what she’s doing in there, that’s for sure, and, every time out, she’s IN the match. She doesn’t
get overwhelmed or anything. So, I’ve gotta wonder if the problem might be a lack of an ability to finish. I’ve
seen that before in the FCWF. Maybe she needs a new finisher or a new approach to sealing the deal.”
Former FCWF manager Shelly Shaw, though, thinks Pritchett is off base. “I had wrestlers like Natalie, who got into funks
they couldn’t seem to get out of, and the biggest mistake you can make is to just keep going out there and doing the
same stuff and waiting for things to take care of themselves. You don’t want to throw away the basics of your game,
of course, but, when you’re losing match after match, some changes need to be made, and I don’t see that happening
with Natalie. Somebody at ‘Camp Portman’ is telling this girl that everything is OK, but, at this point, I can’t
believe a woman as sharp as Natalie is buying that. It’s broke, and you’ve gotta fix it.”
The last word, as usual, goes to FCWF color man Cy Howard. “Look, Portman is gonna be all right. The girl has a huge
following and consistently puts plenty of butts in seats. That bein’ the case, there’s no danger of her not getting
quality matches, win or lose. And, it says here that, sooner or later, the girl’s gonna start to win. She’s too
ring savvy not to. She’s turned in some good performances where she just hasn’t managed to get over the top, but,
eventually, she will. Winning breeds winning. If she can get a couple in the hopper, things will change, and everybody’ll
forget about losing streaks and articles like this one.”
By Don Pritchett
The stunning blonde, who’s been around
the FCWF for over five years now and has been a consistent winner since her debut, has clearly reached another level. For
the better part of the last year, she’s been unbeatable and seems to be entering her prime at the age of 28. Jaime,
a former gymnast, has plenty of physical gifts, including quickness and athleticism that are the envy of most other FCWF competitors.
Combine that with her ever-improving in-ring skills and a gritty determination and you’ve got a recipe for a top contender,
which is exactly what Jaime has become as evidenced by four impressive wins in the last six months, including an eye-opening
victory over powerful Cori Nadine at “Girls Of Summer”. Jamie’s firmly ensconced in the top 10 now and,
if she stays healthy and continues with her current form, no one should be surprised if she gets a shot at the gold…and
How long ago it seems that Roberts was
at the, well, head of “The Redheaded League”, one of the top stables in the FCWF and, both in singles and her
tag team with Nicole Kidman, was a threat to just about any competitor in it. It was five-plus years ago, but it might as
well be five hundred when you look at Julia in the ring today, where she’s clearly not the same woman she used to be.
Now, age may well be an issue, as Roberts turns 38 in a few months, but it says here it’s more than that. Not only have
Julia’s in-ring performances been desultory at best for a couple of years now, the latest example being an absolute
shellacking by Kelly Hu last month, but, unlike in her halcyon days, the redhead’s dance card, is, shall we say, mostly
open lately. The bout against Hu was her first since January, a layoff that would have been unthinkable in years past…and
that was when she was still seeing plenty of tag action with Nicole. Considering that Roberts remains a top draw, one wonders
with her recent performances and lack of activity, if she’s losing interest. Time will tell, but it’s clear that
something has to change if Roberts wants to end a long slump.
Hit Or Miss
By Shelly Shaw
|The Stunning Cuthbert
It happens every month. The FCWF signs some new talent and all the experts
throw out opinions as to how these competitors will fare in the federation. Well, in this column, we won’t take guesses,
educated or otherwise, we’ll look at the evidence, examining the ladies who entered the federation about a year ago
and looking at how they’ve done and what their prospects are.
Elisha Cuthbert (Signed July, 2004)…The
blonde stunner has been a success in every way possible. In the year she’s been in the federation, Cuthbert has put
together a superb record in the ring, shown tons of talent, become a regular on pay-per-view, and built an extensive fan base.
She’s hot in Hollywood and even hotter in the FCWF, moving steadily up the rankings while getting plenty of pop...and
things are just going to get better from here. Elisha is an unqualified HIT.
Beth Ostrosky (Signed July, 2004)…How can I put this delicately…Ostrosky’s
year in the federation wasn’t, shall we say, exactly a success. Despite her physical gifts, the leggy blonde turned
in mostly middling performances in the ring and wasn’t the most active of competitors. Her mediocrity extended outside
the squared circle, where she never generated much interest from the fans. And, as icing on the cake, even the federation
suits that signed her were clearly unimpressed as they declined to renew her contract last month, making Ostrosky the ultimate
Ashlee Simpson (Signed July, 2004)…There
are some folks who are less than impressed by the younger Simpson sister, but a quick look at the facts of her FCWF career
tells a different story. In singles action, Ashlee has more than held her own, which is no surprise as she’s plenty
athletic and has decent size. But, it’s in the tag ranks, teamed up with sister Jessica, where she’s really shone,
as, in less than a year, the team battled its way to the top of the rankings and fought (unsuccessfully) for the title against
long-time champions Terry Farrell and Jeri Ryan. The brunette, who, not yet 21, will likely just get better from here, also
draws plenty of heat, both from her numerous fans and, of course, her detractors. Like her or not, Ashlee Simpson is a HIT.
Paris Hilton (Signed, August, 2004)…Probably the toughest call I’ve had to make in the life of this column involves Paris. On
the one hand, you have the fact that the tall blonde doesn’t usually, you know, win. And, worse, that she sometimes
looks both bad and disinterested in not doing so. There’s also the fact that she’s been in two different tag teams
in her year in the fed, and, like in her singles career, the results have been mostly bad. But, and this is a big “but”,
Hilton is huge when it comes to fan interest, mostly among those who root fervently for her defeat (and are rarely disappointed).
She’s in the ring regularly, whether in singles or tag action, and has hit a pay-per-view card more than once. So, reluctantly, considering her in-ring talents, or lack thereof, I’ve
got to rate Paris a HIT.
Nicole Richie (Signed August, 2004)…Let it be known that I like Nicole, but in assessing her career so far one has to come to the conclusion that she’s
Paris without all the heat. Oh, Nicole has her fans, but she gets nowhere near the pop Paris does and her in-ring work, if
anything, might be worse. Richie had little success as Hilton’s tag partner and absolutely none in singles action since
their breakup. And, her recent weight loss that left her looking more like a stick figure than a wrestler has left her as,
perhaps, the physically weakest competitor in the FCWF. Unlike the former best friend she’s feuding with, Nicole is
very easy to categorize as a MISS.