It’s finally arrived. After two shows of build-up – which has included eight qualifying matches – as well as one suspension (leading to another pull-out) and one injury withdrawal, SHINE Wrestling will crown the winner of tonight’s tournament as its first champion.
We discussed the show in this week’s Ringbelles Roundup and have also had a look at who we feel are the five most likely winners. In addition, we have also spoken to Valkyrie‘s Ivelisse Velez – who was one of our five picks – as part of the latest Women Of Wrestling Podcast.
The show is being broadcast live on iPPV at WWNLive.com – and you can still order the show by clicking here – but we will also be updating the results as the proceedings unfold, and will be offering thoughts on the show afterward. Click after the jump and keep hitting refresh to see the results as they happen.
Bracket A Fatal Four Way Qualifier – Winner Faces Rain in the First Round
1. LuFisto defeated Mercedes Martinez, Nikki Roxx & Su Yung. LuFisto pinned Yung with the Burning Hammer.
Bracket B Fatal Four Way Qualifier – Winner Faces Santana Garrett in the First Round
2. Ivelisse Velez beat Amazing Kong, Angelina Love & Kimberly. Velez pinned Kimberly with a Code Red.
Bracket A First Round
3. Jessicka Havok defeated Saraya Knight via DQ when Knight used a chair.
Bracket B First Round
4. Mia Yim pinned Leva Bates with a German Suplex from the second rope.
Bracket A First Round
5. Rain beat LuFisto with a schoolgirl while grabbing the tights.
Bracket B First Round
6. Ivelisse Velez pinned Santana Garrett with a spin kick.
Bracket A Semi Final
7. Rain defeated Jessicka Havok via count out.
Bracket B Semi Final
8. Mia Yim pinned Ivelisse Velez with a schoolgirl after Rain accidentally hit Ivelisse with her cast.
9. Rain defeated Mia Yim with the Implant DDT to win the SHINE Championship.
• So, it was Rain who ended up becoming SHINE’s first champion, but how was the route to the title for the leader of Valkyrie? Well, let’s go through it…
• First off, ring announcer Chasity Taylor was great. After a couple of wobbles on the last show, she was composed and enthusiastic. Thumbs up to her.
• Some people were complaining that their live feed wasn’t working on their computers, too. Some got around it by watching on their tablets and iPads, but help in correcting their problems was slow by WWNLive. The problems sorted themselves out, but it was up to the viewers themselves to sort out alternatives for themselves. It was also strange how indiscriminate the issues were, as it affected some PCs and some Apple computers, but not all.
• The opening four-way was great. Starting with Nikki Roxx revealing that she had officially sided herself with Daffney, she had new gear including a teeny top hat. Some may say she looks a bit kooky, but Roxx likes to have fun, and this gear conveys that inner fun side that she has. However, when the bell rang, she was all business, getting in the face of rival Mercedes Martinez. Highlights included Martinez and LuFisto beating the piss out of each other and Su Yung playing the underdog role well, getting her licks in when she could and not backing down.
• The second four-way wasn’t as strong, but still had its moments. Going for more of a comedy feel, Kimberly started by putting Thing dolls in all four turnbuckle posts – which also saw her produce a larger Thing for Amazing Kong… as she’s bigger – and using them as distractions from time to time. Ivelisse Velez made the big difference when she raked Kong’s eyes, causing her to deliver an Implant Buster to ally Angelina Love while her vision was impaired. However, considering it was every woman for themselves, I don’t know why Kong was so distraught when she realised what she had done. As for the finish, the Code Red by Velez was as smooth as double cream.
• Jessicka Havok and Saraya Knight’s match spent very little time in the ring. Jumping Havok as she made her entrance, Knight took the early advantage in a match which spilled around the whole of the Orpheum and included a lot of shots below the belt from both parties. The pair fought onto the bar, and onto the stage twice – which included a terrifying moment where Saraya’s neck was spiked into the floor with a piledriver where Havok dropped to her knees rather than by sitting down.
• While this was a great brawl which was pretty even and helped to put Havok over as a babyface, the finish soured things for me. After a world of crotch shots, attacks with stools, pool cues and chairs on the outside, the referee called for the bell after Knight hit Havok with a chair shot from the floor while Jessicka was in the ring. It’s hard to buy the validity of the DQ because of all that had preceded it. After the bell, Saraya went after her opponent’s knee.
• Leva Bates and Mia Yim struggled to follow that, so slowed things down early on with straight wrestling between the two babyfaces. It picked up after a while, but this contest suffered from trying too hard to be a classic. With loads of false finishes and near-falls from moves like a Pepsi Plunge (top rope Pedigree), Sliced Bread #2 and somersault senton outside the ring by Bates and a Quebrada, turnbuckle powerbomb and sit out powerbomb from Yim, it felt like they went too long for what was a quarter-final. I’m not saying that it was bad as it wasn’t – it was a good match, but considering its place on the card, it was too much.
• Rain’s best match of the tournament was against LuFisto. April Hunter made her mark in the contest, going after the Canadian’s recently healed knee at points which allowed Rain to get the heat – which included a lot of cravate-based offence, including an Ace Crusher and a nice side Russian legsweep – but LuFisto rallied back with big chops, facewashes, a crossface and a diving headbutt. However, when LuFisto went for the Burning Hammer, Hunter again interfered, allowing Rain to get the cheap pin.
• The feed cut out at the start of Velez v Santana Garrett so I missed the start, though this seems to have been across the board. However, once the picture was restored, things were pretty damn good. Bringing out her buddy Amber O’Neal to counteract Hunter, leaving Garrett and Velez to put together a nice wrestling match. Ivelisse focussed on her opponents back with moves like the Kondo Clutch and Boston Crabs, but a Santana Divorce Court saw the side turn as she picked up the pace. Nailing the Sole Food (Eat Defeat), Garrett went for the Shining Star Press allowing Velez to connect with a twisting spin kick to the head for an impressive victory.
• Jessicka Havok v Rain never happened. Havok came out limping as a result of the attack by Saraya, and was attacked by Knight again before she got to the ring. Multiple chair shots followed, and the referee counted Havok out of the ring before the bell rang. I understand that it helps to get over the story that Havok was screwed out of competing but it was a weak count-out considering the match had never even started.
• That quick angle also meant that Ivelisse got the raw deal – as mere minutes after beating Santana, she was back out to take on a much more rested Mia. The heel Velez had received around six minutes to recuperate, while babyface Yim had around twenty. Still, them’s the breaks of the running order, but it meant that the antagonist looked a bit hard done by.
• As for the match, Velez utilised a lot of holds which allowed her to conserve her strength while Yim was looking to strike hard and often. However, Mia’s attempt at a tope suicida almost ended in disaster as she caught her foot on the middle rope and landed hard on the wooden floor.
• The crux of the contest was the closing moments, where Hunter distracted the ref while Rain came in the for the interference, only to be cut off by Yim. After regaining control, Velez went to check on her leader, who was sitting on the apron – but Rain, without looking, hit Ivelisse in the head with her cast, allowing Mia to get the pin. Afterwards, Velez and Rain had words, but things appeared to be smoothed over.
• Just before the final, Daffney added Solo Darling to he expanding group of women looking to enforce justice in SHINE, and she dubbed the team as the All Star Squad… or ASS for short. Shame that Solo didn’t get a chance to talk, as her New York dialect is to die for.
• I bet very few people would have bet on a Rain v Mia Yim final, and that was one of the issues with this match. When you consider that both Santana and Leva are both more over with the fans than Mia at this point, the audience may have been louder for the championship decider if either of them had been involved. Heck, the intrigue of an exhausted Valkyrie cohort Ivelisse going against Rain may have provoked some interest too. It’s not Yim’s fault – it’s just that she’s not had as much of an opportunity to establish a run or get a lot of big wins in SHINE yet. However, she was thrown a lifeline when SHINE VP Lexie Fyfe banned Velez and Hunter from ringside so it would be a clean singles contest.
• As for the match, it was probably the weakest of the tournament. They worked hard enough, but there wasn’t much of a story to the contest as barring facing each other in the 8-woman main event of SHINE 8, their paths haven’t really crossed. The finish was also curious too – after gaining a reputation for cheating to win every contest, Rain won the belt with a clean as a sheet Implant DDT for the victory.
• So Rain is the champion, and cleared the final hurdle on her own. As a result, I doubt that Yim has much claim for a return match, as she was defeated fair and square – though Rain did ostensibly get a bye in the semi-finals. When you look at potential challengers, one of the first may be Havok, as we’ll never know what would have happened if she had wrestled that match. Longer-term, Rain may have to look closer to home, as there may be a cuckoo in her nest. Ivelisse didn’t seem fully cool with having her spot in the final cost by her teammate, and would have have lay down for her leader in the final, or would the pair have fought? We’ll never know, but check out the picture on the right. Sure, it’s a snapshot – but Ivelisse is looking straight at the belt.
• Match of the Night? Well, it is arguably the Knight v Havok melee, though nods would be given the opening four-way, Rain v LuFisto, Velez v Garrett and Yim v Bates – though I still contend that the last one would have been better if it had less stuff packed into it. As for Star of the Night, despite Rain winning the title and Yim making it to the final and exceeding many expectations, Ivelisse was the standout. Top wrestling, great character work and a few open ends which can be pursued in the future.
• Overall, SHINE 11 was a good example of the skill of its roster. The tournament had some head-scratching moments, like the Saraya DQ, Havok being counted out without her semi-final actually starting and Ivelisse having to fight against the odds of exhaustion even though she’s a heel – though that final point may be a critical point over time. It’s a testament to the promotion as to how quickly it has grown in that time and its perception as a major player is firmly cemented now. While not the best card it has presented, SHINE 11 was still a good way to mark its first anniversary.
– Lee Burton