From covering its very first show for this website to becoming one of the two promoters, I have a long history with Femmes Fatales. Without my involvement over the years, there’s no way I would’ve co-written a book on the history of women’s wrestling. So it’s with great pride, just a few days before its 20th show, that I present to you a short history of Femmes Fatales and my personal top 10 moments.

I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting in the crowd of an all-women show in Saguenay, Quebec. I had made the five-hour ride with ring veteran LuFisto, who is a close friend of mine. It was the first all-woman show I had ever attended, and I was intrigued since I didn’t know all the competitors. But man, was I ever blown away by it! Saguenay had three or four pretty good female wrestlers that had never seen the light of day in Montreal. Kim Leduc, the daughter of Quebec wrestling legend Paul Leduc, was also in attendance. A few weeks later, she called a meeting with LuFisto, Sweet Cherrie (LuFisto’s first trainee), and myself.

On the agenda was the creation of Quebec’s first all-women’s promotion.


In July 2006, l’Association de Lutte Feminine (ALF), or Women’s Wrestling Association, was born. And it became a success. Women from all over the province finally had a place where they could all wrestle and improve together. The first three champions were Kacey Diamond, Stefany Sinclair and La Parfaite Caroline, three girls from Saguenay we had seen a few months before.

Sadly, the promotion only lasted two and a half years.

A few months later, seeing the buzz that ALF had created and the potential such a division could bring, long-running Quebec wrestling promotion NCW decided to bring back an all-women’s promotion and offered LuFisto and Stephane Bruyere, who was the head booker at the end of ALF, to get on board. Along with two NCW members, Eric Salottolo and Anthony Tonin, they started NCW Femmes Fatales on September 5, 2009.

The goal was to bring the top women wrestlers in Montreal to level up the quality of the shows and to help the local workers progress and get better opportunities. Getting a close relationship with SHIMMER Women Athletes, which by that time was only four years old, was the first of many good decisions the team made. The first show had the likes of Cheerleader Melissa, MsChif (who was then SHIMMER champion), Sara Del Rey, Cherry Bomb, Portia Perez, LuFisto and a bunch of girls from all over the province, eager to prove themselves. The main event, LuFisto vs. Cheerleader Melissa, was even voted match of the year in the province of Quebec that year.

The crew before the debut Femmes Fatales show. Photo by Mathieu Sage

After covering the first show for SLAM! Wrestling, I wanted to get back into the mix. Because of personal reasons, I had departed ALF a few months after its creation, but my enthusiasm for women’s wrestling was always there. Since I was good friends with all of Femmes Fatales’ management, I started to ring announce and do backstage interviews. On October 1, 2011, I experienced my first SHIMMER tapings week-end, the first of many. I also started getting more involved with management details until Stephane decided to leave in the fall of 2014, right after Femmes Fatales 16. I took over as head booker and ran only one show, before NCW’s new management decided to pull the plug on the Femmes Fatales format we had been doing since the beginning. Therefore, LuFisto and I were let go and NCW ran two shows with mostly local performers. The Femmes Fatales title was only defended sporadically on NCW shows. In the midst of all this, as we were sitting at one SHIMMER show, Dan Murphy and I decided to pitch the idea of a book on the history of women’s wrestling, that ultimately became Sisterhood of the Squared Circle.


When NCW head booker Michael Bisson went to his first SHIMMER weekend in July of last year, he was so impressed that he wanted to bring back the brand. It was something he and I had been talking for a little while, but that weekend really cemented the whole thing. Neither Stephane Bruyere or NCW wanted to come back in the project, so with the blessing of NCW, we associated ourselves with C*4, bringing Femmes Fatales to Ottawa for the first time.

Femmes Fatales had been too important for me not to get on board with this. Without Femmes Fatales, Sisterhood of the Squared Circle would have never been written, not by me at least. Also, seeing so many girls who worked at Femmes Fatales getting opportunities with Impact Wrestling or World Wrestling Entertainment was always something I took as a proof we were bringing the best talent possible. Cherry Bomb (Allie), Allysin Kay (Sienna), Jessicka Havok and Courtney Rush (Rosemary) all won Impact’s Knockout title. Mercedes Martinez and Mia Yim competed in the Mae Young Classic. Jessie McKay (Billie Kay), Kimber Lee (Abbey Laith), Jasmin (Aliyah), Nikki Storm (Nikki Cross) and Athena (Ember Moon) are all at NXT, the latter being champion. And both Sara Del Rey and Portia Perez are working behind the scenes, the former being a major player in this women’s evolution.

So I had to give it a try, at least for one show, and see if we could revive this or not. And so far the response to it has been awesome. Mercedes Martinez is back as champion; Havok is back too; Tessa Blanchard worked the Mae Young Classic; Britt Baker is a blue-chip prospect; Vanessa Kraven has never been as over as she is right now; Alexia Nicole just came back from a WWE try-out. That’s just six out of the 14 wrestlers we’ll have on hand this Saturday. So you never know who’s going to be the next one to be a star and it’s very rewarding as a promoter.

Looking back at Femmes Fatales’ history, many great moments decorated the promotion. So if you allow me, I’d like to give my personal top 10 moments in Femmes Fatales’ history.

Anna Minoushka on P.J. Tyler in Feb. 2010. Photo by Mathieu Sage


10-When Rosemary was PJ Tyler

As women’s wrestling fans know, before going to Impact, Rosemary was wrestling under the name of Courtney Rush. But what some may have forgotten, is that before Rush, she was PJ Tyler. A rookie with a year of experience in the business when she started at Femmes Fatales 2, she became the champion a few years later. I remember her telling me in early 2015 that she thought she would never get signed by Impact or WWE. She ended up being Impact Knockout Champion for 266 days! She was a huge part of Femmes Fatales’ success.

LuFisto hands over the Femmes Fatales title to Kalamity in October 2011. Photo by Minas Panagiotakis,

9-The rise (and fall) of Kalamity

The Granby-native started at the bottom but quickly became the future of Femmes Fatales. She defeated LuFisto for the title and was the first one to get over at SHIMMER after LuFisto. But the tag of being “the next LuFisto” is never an easy one to get in Quebec. Health problems put her on the sidelines and sadly, she never came back to wrestling. That said, it’s still a positive story for me, as she had the charisma and the “it” factor to become successful.

Tessa Blanchard and Vanessa Kraven win the SHIMMER tag team titles in Berwyn, Ill., in Nov. 2016. Photo by Ricky Havlik,

8-Vanessa Kraven leads the pack of Femmes Fatales talents to SHIMMER

Aside from LuFisto and Kalamity, Kacey Diamond, Anna Minoushka, Sweet Cherrie, Angie Skye, Pink Flash Kira, Mary Lee Rose, Stefany Sinclair all performed on a SHIMMER show or on its preshow. But none of them had the success Vanessa Kraven had. She made her Femmes Fatales and SHIMMER debuts two weeks apart, in April 2014. She soon became a mainstay in Berwyn, Illinois, and ended up winning (and losing) the tag titles with Tessa Blanchard, becoming the first Quebec female wrestler to win a SHIMMER title.

7-LuFisto vs Hamada: part 1, act 2

At Femmes Fatales 5, LuFisto and Ayako Hamada had a heck of a fight, so much that it finished second in the rankings for match of the year in Quebec, sandwiched between Kevin Steen vs. Paul London, and Kevin Steen & Mike Bailey vs. American Wolves. Not bad company! What people might not remember is that the two of them were scheduled to main-event Femmes Fatales 2, but a snow storm prevented Hamada from flying to Montreal. Femmes Fatales 20 will mark the first time the promotion has run in February since then.

Bellatrix champion Allison Danger in March 2013. Photo by Valérie Gauthier-Bujold

6-The night three women’s titles were defended

March 30, 2013 marked something special as three different women’s title were defended on the same night. Courtney Rush won the Bellatrix title from Allison Danger, Saraya Night defeated LuFisto to retain the SHIMMER title, and Mercedes Martinez triumphed against Kalamity, ending the Oncoming Storm’s 539-day reign, the longest in Femmes Fatales’ history. It would be the first of two reigns for Martinez. On a sad note, it was one of Danger’s last matches, her last one in Canada, as she retired two weeks later due to injuries.

An emotional LuFisto after winning the debuting Femmes Fatales title. Photo by Mathieu Sage

5-LuFisto becomes the first Femmes Fatales champion

It was only fitting that the most decorated Quebec women’s wrestler of the last 30 years becomes Femmes Fatales’ first champion. She defeated Sara Del Rey in the first round, Kalamity in the semi-final, and Portia Perez in the final of the tournament at Femmes Fatales 4. She kept it for nearly a year before losing to Kalamity. She won it back in 2015, being the only two-time champion with Martinez.

4-Femmes Fatales X, the biggest women’s wrestling weekend

The year 2012 was perhaps the biggest one for the company and we were looking to end the year with a first: two shows on the same day. And we went all in: Mercedes Martinez vs LuFisto in a steel cage match; Kalamity defending against Athena and Australia’s Kellie Skater; Japan’s Hiroyo Matsumoto vs. LuFisto; Cheerleader Melissa, Courtney Rush, Cherry Bomb, Ryo Mizunami, Saraya Knight, France’s X-Cute Sweet, plus plenty of girls from Quebec and Ontario stacked both cards. Business-wise it could have been a little better, but it’s still the biggest day for women’s wrestling in Montreal.

Saraya Knight roars at the crowd in March 2013. Photo by Minas Panagiotakis,

3-Saraya Knight, the baddest Montreal has ever seen

Saraya Knight made her Femmes Fatales debut in 2012, wrestled three matches for a total of 7:18 minutes and it was enough to be voted third runner-up in the best heel category in the Quebec wrestling awards. Two years later, she was voted second runner-up. Never in the history of the Quebec indy scene has a wrestler, male or female, been able to get that kind of reaction so fast. Paige’s mom was the talk of the province and if she would lived somewhere other than England, she would have been booked by all the promotions here. It’s something I’ve never seen before and probably never will see again.

Sara Del Ray, SHIMMER champion. Photo by Minas Panagiotakis,

2-A SHIMMER tag team title change in Montreal

July 2012. Sara Del Rey is scheduled to face Femmes Fatales champion Kalamity in the main-event. At the time, she was co-holder of the SHIMMER tag team titles alongside Courtney Rush when she got the call to go to WWE. Since SHIMMER’s next show was going to be too late and since Femmes Fatales was the only place where both Rush and Del Rey were booked at the same time, SHIMMER’s promoter Dave Prazak asked if we could do a title switch to avoid the belts being vacant. Luckily enough, former champions The Canadian Ninjaz (Nicole Matthews & Portia Perez) were also on the card and an angle was made for the match to happen unannounced to the delight of the fans. To this day it’s still the only SHIMMER title change outside of the United States.

Melissa Anderson tortures Hailey Hatred. Photo by Minas Panagiotakis,

1-Cheerleader Melissa vs Hailey Hatred, the best match in Femmes Fatales history

At Femmes Fatales 7, in March 2012, Stephane Bruyere had a plan in mind. He wanted to pit SHIMMER champion Cheerleader Melissa and Hailey Hatred. Melissa was the best female wrestler on the indy circuit while Hatred was just back from a very successful two-month tour in Japan and was really the talk of the women’s scene at the time. In her first match back in North America, she went toe-to-toe with Melissa and the two of them offered a 25-minute limit draw — 20 minutes plus a five-minute overtime period — that kept fans on the edge of their seats. By the end of the match, fans gave the two women a standing ovation and a “please come back” chant. It was soon called a classic, as Pro Wrestling Illustrated‘s senior editor Dan Murphy, who was at the show, praised the match in a two-page featured in The Wrestler magazine.

In closing, I’d like to take a minute to thank both LuFisto (Geneieve Goulet) and Stephane Bruyere. I have been involved with the promotion almost since its inception, but to me, Femmes Fatales will always be these two names. They have represented the province of Quebec, its female wrestlers and the Femmes Fatales brand in such a good way that even two years later, Michael and I are able to bring it back and get women’s wrestling fans behind it one more time. In a business where you don’t run a wrestling promotion for money, compliments are often the payoff of a promoter or a booker and both deserve the highest mark of recognition. We will make our best to honour what they started nine years ago. To Gen and Steph, merci!

C*4 & Femmes Fatales present

Saturday, February 24, 2018
Vanier Columbus Club
260 McArthur Ave,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

– Femmes Fatales championship match: Mercedes Martinez (c) w/Twiggy vs. Vanessa Kraven
– Tessa Blanchard vs. Britt Baker
– Jessicka Havok vs. Samantha Heights
– Stefany Sinclair vs. Hudson Envy
– Misty Haven & Stacy Thibault vs Kira & Xandra Bale
– KC Spinelli vs. Alexia Nicole

Front Row Reserved – SOLD OUT; General Admission – $20 (online ticket 21$)
Doors: 6:30 p.m.; Meet and Greet: 6:30-7:30 p.m.; Start time 8:00 p.m.


Pat Laprade wishes this coming Saturday’s show will give the fans some great moments like the ones aforementioned. He’d also like to remind everyone that tickets will be available at the door and the afterparty will be held at Grace O’Malley’s just next to the venue.

Hailey Hatred and Cheerleader Melissa go at it in March 2012. Photo by Minas Panagiotakis,