SHINE 13 Report: A return to form as Rain defeats Angelina, Allysin Kay returns, Nikki Storm debuts and much more. (Now updated with thoughts and pictures)

Shine13posterTonight at the Orpheum in Ybor City, SHINE Wrestling presents SHINE 13, as we continue the title reign of the Radiant One, Rain – as well as the countdown to her eventual retirement. With only two more SHINE shows to go (October and December) before Rain’s proposed retirement date at the end of 2013, Angelina Love is in prime position to take the title from the woman she’s gone 1-1 with in SHINE so far. If you remember, at SHINE 7, Rain defeated Angelina Love with an Implant DDT, while Angelina returned the favour via a Botox Injection at SHINE 10.

If Valkyrie didn’t have enough to worry about regarding the SHINE Championship, they’re also possibly facing an issue surrounding the returning Allysin Kay. Valkyrie, SHINE and many fans have missed the AK47 since her “suspension” and subsequent tour of Japan – but with her opponent in tonight’s tag team match turning out to be one of her best friends – Jessicka Havok – the question remains, is Kay loyal to Valkyrie or Havok? J-Hav has already posed the question. Tonight we get the answer.

There are also debuts on SHINE 13 for Scotland’s Nikki Storm, who starts an extended US tour (which will take in Fight Season shows for AIW, WSU and SHIMMER Women Athletes), up-and-coming Canadian Xandra Bale and the always entertaining Nevaeh. Check out the entire card after the jump, watch live at WWNLive.com as well as live results as they come in.

1. Su Yung defeated Taeler Hendrix, La Rosa Negra & Xandra Bale in a 4-way. Yung made Bale tap out to the Yellow Fever.
2. Nikki Roxx pinned Leah Von Dutch with the Barbie Crusher.
3. The S-N-S Express (Sassy Stephie & Jessie Belle) beat The American Sweethearts (Amber O’Neal & Santana Garrett). Stephie pinned O’Neal with the Kiss My Sass.
4. Mercedes Martinez pinned Solo Darling with a Fisherman Buster.
– After the match, Martinez went for another Fisherman Buster, with Roxx making the save, which brought out Von Dutch to go after Nikki. Kimberly cleared the ring of Leah, and left with the All Star Squad.
5. Nevaeh defeated Leva Bates with the Backpack Stunner with a little help from the S-N-S Express. The American Sweethearts made the save.
6. Mia Yim pinned Nikki Storm with a 450 Stomp.
7. Allysin Kay & Ivelisse Velez beat Amazing Kong & Jessicka Havok. Velez pinned Havok with the Vertigo (spin kick).
8. Rain defeated Angelina Love with the Implant DDT to retain the SHINE Championship.

• That was more like it. After a pretty ropey SHINE 12 last month, 13 ended up a lucky number for SHINE as the promotion turned in a strong show that certainly addressed many of last month’s complaints. Well done to all involved with that. Things made sense, the wrestling was stronger, and I don’t know whether someone specifically gave a pep talk about this before the show or not (after last month’s deathly quiet crowd,) but there was a LOT more working of the crowd and a lot more personality shown by the participants this month. The result? A much livelier atmosphere and a much better viewing experience.
• TNA have a million problems of their own to worry about right now, but I’d like to believe that at least someone associated with that company watched Taeler Hendrix in the opener of SHINE 13 and thought “We’ve made a massive mistake here…”, as Hendrix laid down a marker for the rest of the night with some fantastic heel character work. From interrupting everybody else’s introductions onwards, Taeler worked her character to perfection – showing a verve that the Knockouts division sorely lacks these days. It can be hard to stand out in a four way (and La Rosa Negra probably found that out most of all as she was most anonymous in the match), especially one so short – but I came away keen to see more of Su Yung’s new attitude, more of Taeler Hendrix’s self-absorbed gimmick, and even see more of Xandra Bale throwing herself off the top rope. Decent opener – just, as noted, a bit too short.
Leah Von Dutch Nikki Roxx SHINE• We’ve said before on this website that we believe Leah Von Dutch “gets it” – and that was evident with her match against Nikki Roxx of the All Star Squad. Working heel, Von Dutch used a heel version of her music and proceeded to not only facially sell her heel character, but work as a heel too. She did nothing flashy – nothing to make you go “oooh!” – she just got the heat on Roxx, worked her over like a pro, and sold when Roxx made her comeback. She didn’t use her flashy moves, and didn’t have to “get her shit in”… and even when she went for a cartwheel, she cartwheeled, stopped, and used a standing back rake. Brilliant. Nikki Roxx was, as ever, reliable and solid. When she made her comeback, it mattered – and she beat Von Dutch clean. Good match.
• The S-N-S Express and the American Sweethearts showcased the burgeoning tag team division in SHINE as, one suspects, we start the road to eventually crown a set of tag team champions. Energetic match, especially from the seemingly omnipresent Santana (that’s not a complaint, by the way) and Sassy Stephie. Santana hit a tope suicida and eventually a Shining Star Press, but eventually she went down to Kiss My Sass from Stephie (with added dropkick from Belle). I think this was the right booking decision – the American Sweethearts are already over, but the win for the S-N-S Express made them seem like a credible threat. Enjoyed.
Solo Darling Mercedes Martinez SHINE• If Leah Von Dutch was impressive as a heel in her match, then Solo Darling was delivering the masterclass in the babyface sell job. Outsized and outgunned by the more experienced Martinez, but armed with a bubbly attitude and beaming smile, Darling was eminently likeable… just as well, because Martinez beat the piss out of her. If you have a chance to watch this one back, just watch how well Solo sells everything, how anguished her face is, and how she responds positively with hope when the fans start to chant her name. Watch her throw her hand up and almost grasp in desperation. Absolutely beautiful stuff. The finish was also intriguing, as the referee was unsighted due to Daffney, allowing Martinez to hit a low blow and deliver the Fisherwoman Buster. This was a match where Martinez looked strong, but Darling looked great in defeat. She’s really been a discovery this year in SHINE. More of this please.
• After the match, a hyper (and very popular) Kimberly ran in and at least appeared to join the A.S.S. I was struggling to see where Kimberly was going post Leva feud, so this might just be the key to taking her character further. Instead of crazy as a bad thing, crazy as a *good* thing.
• Next up, Nevaeh and Leva Bates had a solid match. Can’t complain about it other than to say that it was just there. If anything, it was just a set-up to the ending, which saw the S-N-S Express get involved on behalf of Nevaeh – leading to Nevaeh’s backpack Stunner win – and the save from the American Sweethearts. So we had Nevaeh leave with fellow Ohioan Sassy Stephie and Jessie Belle (apparently as a newly formed trio/faction), and the American Sweethearts and Leva left in the ring, again, coincidentally or not, teasing another trio. Not sure what SHINE is playing at, but establishing Roxx/Darling/Kimberly, Nevaeh/Stephie/Jessie and Santana/Amber/Leva all as teams on the same night made me wonder whether SHINE’s tag titles might end up being trios titles instead?
Nikki Storm Mia Yim SHINE• We’ve been on the Nikki Storm bandwagon here at Ringbelles for quite a while, so it was quite the moment to see Nikki’s US debut live on iPPV – and quite the thrill to see it go so well. From twitter insta-feedback and from our own opinions, Nikki Storm vs Mia Yim ended up with Match of the Night honours. Storm worked mouthy heel, and when we say mouthy, we mean mouthy. She jawjacked with the crowd, with her opponent, with the referee – and did her level best to be as annoying and hated as she could. It didn’t take much then for the crowd to respond positively to Mia in her comebacks and make this a top match. Yim kicked out of Storm’s big moves – The Eye of the Storm and the Cyclone Neckbreaker – and won with a 450 splash that truthfully looked more like a 450 stomp. Great stuff.
• Allysin Kay & Ivelisse Velez vs Amazing Kong & Jessicka Havok was entirely based on the will they/won’t they dynamic between Allysin Kay and Jessicka Havok. Kay in particular appeared unwilling to get involved with Allysin Kay Jessicka Havok SHINEany physicality towards Havok, but was happy to wrestle Kong. Ivelisse was great here as the irritant here, trying to instigate something between the (former?) friends throughout – and she worked really hard in this match. Kong, much as we saw last weekend at Fierce Females, is moving around the ring really well and really swiftly at times too. Just really good storytelling in this match, and after an apparently accidental discus lariat from Kay to Havok, Ivelisse followed up with the Vertigo Kick to pick up the massive win. There are certainly issues still to be cleared up here, and I’m super keen to see what happens next.
• I didn’t mention the lack of April Hunter at ringside for the last match with the Valkyrie team, but her absence was doubly noticeable when Rain came out to defend her SHINE Championship entirely solo. (It turns out that Hunter was otherwise engaged this weekend with what she called “moving hell” on twitter), but nevertheless, it resulted in a straight one-on-one match between Rain and Angelina Love. Love hit a Botox Injection for a near fall (that move beat Rain in their last meeting in SHINE), but Rain eventually came back Angelina Love Rain SHINEwith an Implant DDT for the pin and to retain the title. With so much character stuff going on at the show, as well as run-ins and shifting allegiances, it was initially quite shocking to see a clean win for the heel champ, but I have no problems with that at all. We’ve seen Rain cheat to win in the past, but it’s nice to remember that she can win clean too. It adds to her credibility as a champion, and to the worth of the belt. When someone eventually beats the Radiant One for the belt, it should actually mean something.
• So, all in all, SHINE 13 was a significant return to form – and it’s easy to see why. Storytelling was much less ambiguous, and the questions that are still to be answered are questions I actually want to see answered. The answer to the dead crowd from last month was to actually spend some time WORKING them, which was done in practically every match here. There are clearly plans going forward with the establishing of new factions/trios, the ongoing issues between Havok and Kay, and just who gets the next title shot at Rain? One might argue that after pinning J-Hav in the semi-main, we might just see SHINE 14 headlined by the Battle of Valkyrie with Rain vs Ivelisse. I’d buy that.

— Stew Allen

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