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FCWF Magazine

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COVER STORY:

Y Kant Natalie Win?

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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.”

WHO’S HOT

By Don Pritchett

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Jaime Pressly
 

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 soon.

WHO’S NOT

By Cy Howard

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Julia Roberts

 

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

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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 MISS. 

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.

The Cy Howard Interview…

 

Still "Dangerous"-Danielle Fishel

 

It was 1999 when an 18-year-old Danielle Fishel made her debut in the FCWF, and, in the six years since, the redhead has established herself, if not as a top contender, as one of the federation’s top risk takers. There’s no type of match she’s not willing to try and no opponent she won’t step through the ropes against, so Ol’ Cy thought it might be interesting to sit down with her for a little talk.

 

CH: How did you come by your nickname, “Dangerous Dani”?

 

DF: Well, it’s really cool because the fans gave it to me. They started chanting it at my matches and it kind of caught on. I’m not sure why, but I think it’s because I’ve been in so many dangerous matches over the years.

 

CH: There’s no doubt about that. How is it that you keep getting involved in those types of contests?

 

DF: Well, I’m not afraid to try new things and I’m not afraid to give my best shot against anyone in the FCWF in any kind of match. If somebody comes to me with a contract for a bout, it’s almost certain I’m gonna sign it.

 

CH: You’ve been in lots of different specialty matches in your career. Which was the toughest physically?

 

DF: No question it was the “Buried Alive” match against Maria Grazia Cucinotta. She’s so big and strong that you really take some punishment when you go against her in any match, and, in that one, a lot of the action took place outside the ring, which made it worse. Getting choke slammed on the concrete is not an activity I’d recommend to anyone, let’s put it that way. (Laughs).

 

CH: How can it put this so that you don’t take it the wrong way…there are folks that, shall we say, might have been put off taking part in matches of that type after you fought Maria…

 

DF: But not me? (Laughing). I see where you’re going with this Cy. No offense taken. But I’ll never let a loss affect my confidence. Every time I step in the ring, I believe I can win. In fact, every time I wrestle, I believe I’m going to win. There’s no doubt I’ve lost some, but I’ve won some, too, and I’ve given a good account of myself every time out. Win or lose, my opponent always knows she’s been in a match.

 

CH: What other matches stick in your memory?

 

DF: Oh, there are a bunch. I remember a taped fist match I won against Brittany Murphy that was downright brutal. We were both bloody by the time it was over…

 

CH: Which is par for the course for you…

 

DF:  (Laughing). Yeah, no doubt about it. Someone told me once that some fan did a study of all the FCWF matches over the previous five years and determined that no one bled more times than I did over that span. I’ll take his word for it, because I’ve bled plenty. I remember being busted open in a chain match, and, off course, there were some cage matches and a strap match…I had welts on my back for a couple of weeks after that one. And I was in a scaffold match, too, which was pretty brutal.

 

CH: Are there any matches you haven’t had a chance to be involved in that you’d like to try?

 

DF: Well, I’ve never done a ladder match, but I’ve seen a few of them and they’re exciting as heck. And, I’ve never been in a Hell In A Cell match, either and those can get pretty violent…which is right up my alley.

 

CH: So, what are Dangerous Dani’s plans for the future?

 

DF: Just to keep getting better and putting it on the line. Like I said, give me a contract, and I’ll sign it. I’m going to keep at it until I’m wearing that strap…and I’ll go through anyone and anything to get it.