On August 9th, Women Superstars Uncensored debuted a new idea. A “Secret Show” held the night before the Uncensored Rumble iPPV – a show recorded, not for DVD release, but as a bonus (or incentive, if you will) for fans who subscribed to their new StreamWSU service. The show featured most of the women who were due to compete at Uncensored Rumble the next day and were in town already. It’s actually a pretty neat idea – WSU get some extra content for their streaming service without the expense of flying in talent twice over, and it’s a new show for the fans to enjoy. Given its “intimate” nature (very small crowd, very small training centre style building with nothing but bare walls on two sides of the ring), it’s not a show that reeks “quality” to your first time WSU fan – but if you’re already subscribing to StreamWSU, you’re already a pretty committed fan and will appreciate some new content regardless of the look.
However, the show is already infamous as the show which resulted in an injury to Athena in the main event – an injury which took her out of the following night’s WSU World Title match and looks set to keep her out at least until the new year… meaning the show sorta became much more newsworthy than it necessarily should’ve been. With the next Secret Show scheduled for tonight (the night before Blood And Thunder tomorrow), and the recent addition of the first Secret Show to the StreamWSU content list, I figured I’d take a look.
1. Addy Starr & Xandra Bale beat Jody D’Milo & Kaitlin Diemond when Starr pinned D’Milo following a Sliding D.
2. Sassy Stephie pinned Cherry Layne with a Kiss My Sass.
3. Ezavel Suena beat Jessie Kaye with an armbreaker submission.
4. Jewells Malone pinned Nyla Rose with an Acid Drop.
5. Santana Garrett pinned Taeler Hendrix with a Shining Star Press
6. Christina Von Eerie pinned Santana Garrett (who was subbing for Shanna in this match)
7. Jenny Rose, Veda Scott & Jessie Brooks beat Athena, Barbi Hayden & Claudia Del Solis when Rose pinned Solis following a DDT.
• First impressions first, then… this venue is a garage. It’s the CZW training school, I understand. As far as a venue to actually present a wrestling show – well, it’s not the first show I’ve seen presented from a garage, and it probably won’t be the last. It looks clean and well lit, but size wise, it’s not large enough to get fans around all four sides of the ring – and in fact, one of the sides can only accommodate a single row.
• Seemed like around 30 people in the building – and considering you had to go out of your way to contact WSU management to find out the location of this show, it’s a bunch of pretty loyal fans in the crowd, so despite their small numbers, the atmosphere wasn’t bad at all.
• Bobby Dempsey was randomly sitting there, just being Bobby Dempsey… Sadly no ‘Caribbean Bobby Dempsey’ matches on the show though. Yes, that’s a very inside reference. Congratulations if you got it.
• Denver Colorado and Drew Gulak handled commentary, while Gulak handled MC duties. Colorado, of course, has plenty of experience and handles much of the work, but they were fine for a show like this. Kinda loose and relaxed. A bit of preparation wouldn’t have gone amiss though – Gulak appeared to freeze for a second during his intros for the opener when he suddenly realised he had no idea who Kaitlin Diemond or Jody D’Milo were (or at the very least, which was which), and there were references once or twice to not having seen particular wrestlers work before.
• D’Milo & Diemond came out to a KISS track (“Love Gun”, to be precise), making them my sentimental favourites in the opener. The match was solid enough. Addy Starr came across as the biggest “star” in the match, which is understandable given she’d been a big part of the “new” WSU to date. D’Milo showed some personality on the other side, and Xandra Bale seems to make a habit of quietly getting on with it on shows – solid and throws in a few nice touches here and there. Fine for what it was, and Starr/Bale used several big moves on D’Milo in succession in putting her down.
• There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just say it. Sassy Stephie vs Cherry Layne was a terrible match. Awful. I know this wasn’t the longest show in the world anyway, but I’d honestly have been tempted to just leave the match off the streaming version. The match wasn’t Stephie’s fault, I’ll hasten to add… and I’m not sure this did anything for anybody. I’ve not seen Cherry Layne wrestle before (other than a one second “in and out” slot in the Uncensored Rumble the next day), and I don’t know much about her, but it appears that she’s not ready to be in front of an audience. She takes a million steps running the ropes and her execution was no good. Two bulldog spots fell apart, and her chops and clotheslines had absolutely no attack in them. Stephie tried to hold it together, but there was only so much she could’ve done. Post match announcement says the time of the match was 8:30? I know time stood still a couple of times, but that was far too long.
• By comparison, Jessie Kaye vs Ezavel Suena was a considerable step up in quality, but in all honesty, it was nothing to get excited about. Kaye was rather popular with the fans, and they didn’t do anything bad, but this was one of those matches that happened, it was fine, and I never need to see again.
• Nyla Rose vs Jewells Malone was next, and if you remember my review of the Uncensored Rumble show itself, you’ll remember how much praise I gave the Jewells Malone vs Barbi Hayden match, due in a large part to the fact that the two engaged the crowd and showed fire and personality after a few pedestrian matches. Well, Jewells did it again here. I don’t think the match itself was particularly spectacular, but what was spectacular was Malone’s fiery babyface comeback against the larger and more physical Rose. Malone’s face told the story – she was determined and she was dragging the fans with her. Really great stuff. She finished Rose with an Acid Drop (almost as if to show Cherry Layne how it’s done) and made herself a star. We’ve been high on Jewells Malone here at Ringbelles for some time, but it’s pretty clear that with a little more experience under her belt, she’s going to be fantastic and should be booked *everywhere*.
• The best match of the show was next, however, as Santana Garrett took on Taeler Hendrix. This was technically the best match of the night as far as actual execution was concerned, but it also featured two more women who completely inhabit their characters and make themselves likeable (or not) accordingly. I’ve seen Taeler Hendrix work as a babyface before, and while she’s good at it, she’s definitely someone who seems to carry off being a heel even better. While Santana is flashier, Hendrix keeps it simple, works her heel mannerisms and is very effective. She’s funny too – “I’m in pain right now, I’m too busy to talk to you!”, she told the referee at one point. Santana won with the Shining Star Press in a match I’d be only too happy to see again.
• MOAR SANTANA, you say? Don’t mind if I do. Yes, Miss Garrett worked double duty on this show, and two matches in succession, no less (albeit either side of an interval in real life). Christina Von Eerie’s opponent was originally scheduled to be Shanna, but Shanna was apparently unavailable through injury (suffered in customs that day, but not enough to keep her off the Uncensored Rumble show the next day) – so this was one of those “open challenge” gimmicks. CVE vs Santana was actually fine, but with the way the show was set up, Santana was selling tiredness from her previous match, making the match less competitive than it might have been otherwise. It gave Santana a chance to show some good babyface fire in defeat though. Von Eerie hit the 138 for the win.
• The main event, then. The Athena-killer, if you will. Honestly, it was a bit of a disjointed match, and certainly wasn’t as good as some of the other matches on the show. Barbi Hayden worked most of the match for the Texan team, and she was actually pretty much fine throughout – with the commentators marvelling how she was “built like a beautiful brick shithouse” (a fine compliment!). Jessie Brooks still literally has one facial expression. Things kinda fell apart when Claudia Del Solis eventually tagged in. Not sure what happened, but everybody’s timing just went out the window, and Team ROH had no idea how to deal with Del Solis. Del Solis was getting the “monster” treatment, but in doing so, the match ground to a halt. Athena took a German Suplex from Brooks, landing on her shoulder, then Brooks accidentally busted Claudia’s nose. Not sure if it was just the camera angle, but it looked like Del Solis was staying down on a pinfall attempt from Jenny Rose, but the referee claimed she kicked out at two even though I couldn’t see any movement. From there, a few improvised moves later, and a Rose DDT pinned Del Solis after all. In fairness to everybody involved, the injury to Athena probably screwed up whatever the finish was supposed to be, but the match was already veering off track anyway.
So… quite the mixed bag of a show, really. The main event is notable and newsworthy for Athena’s injury, but it really did end the show on a down note after the likes of Malone, Hendrix, Garrett and Von Eerie had all worked so well immediately prior. It’s not a long show (just shy of an hour and a half), and I really want to express how much I like the idea of producing one of these Secret Shows the night before all of the main WSU events. This show (as Uncensored Rumble was) definitely seemed to usher in a new generation of performers to WSU. Some worked, some didn’t, but as an experiment, it’s completely worth trying. If you’ve got StreamWSU already, check it out – or Hendrix vs Garrett at the very least – or if you’re ordering Blood And Thunder tomorrow, you’ll get a free trial of the streaming service (contact WSU with your proof of purchase to claim it).
— Stew Allen