Review: WSU Secret Show #2 – Shanna triumphs in J-Cup, Nikki Storm impresses as a babyface

Shanna by Ichiban DrunkTonight at an undisclosed location (likely to once again be the CZW Training School), Women Superstars Uncensored will be presenting their third “Secret Show” in front of a select group of fans. Tonight’s show is particularly interesting as it features a defence of the WSU World Championship by Jessicka Havok against “Portugal’s Perfect Athlete” Shanna. Bumped from tomorrow’s “Mutiny” iPPV in favour of a Havok vs Alpha Female match, Shanna’s title challenge will be the biggest match so far in this fledgling series of shows, which are made available exclusively through StreamWSU.com. The first show from last August (which we reviewed here) was infamous for being the show where Athena picked up the injury which sidelined her for the rest of the year, but was otherwise an interesting, intimate, but ultimately very low budget show – and a nice bit of bonus content for the streaming service. Therefore, before we get the results of Secret Show #3, we’ve gone back to check out Secret Show #2 from October 2013 – featuring the “International J-Cup” tournament – a one-night, eight women elimination tournament. Let’s see how it stacks up.

Results
1. J-Cup Quarter Final: Barbi Hayden pinned Kimber Lee with a Hayden Halo DDT.
2. J-Cup Quarter Final: Nikki Storm pinned Jody D’Milo with an Oklahoma Roll.
3. J-Cup Quarter Final: Jewells Malone pinned Jenny Rose with a roll-up suplex counter.
4. J-Cup Quarter Final: Shanna pinned Santana Garrett with a Stunner.
5. Non Tournament Match: Cherry Bomb pinned Leah Von Dutch with the BSE.
6. J-Cup Semi Final: Nikki Storm pinned Barbi Hayden with the Cyclone Neckbreaker.
7. J-Cup Semi Final: Shanna pinned Jewells Malone following an eye-poke and Stunner.
8. J-Cup Final: Shanna pinned Nikki Storm while holding the ropes to win the J-Cup.

Opinion
• Not going to lie – Barbi Hayden vs Kimber Lee is a bit of a dream match here at Ringbelles HQ, such is the love we have for both these competitors. If anything though, its positioning here as an opening match meant it was never as good as in my mind it could be – and I’m pretty sure I remember hearing that Kimber was under the weather at the time too. At a shade over five minutes long, it wasn’t an epic, but it definitely was entertaining. To be honest, the match seemed led by Hayden, who showcased herself excellently in this match – both with aggression and with personality. Her use of her “womanly” charm to seemingly cheat in front of the referee without being disqualified was excellently done. Was amused to hear Denver Colorado on commentary refer to the referee as being “intimidated” by Hayden’s antics. Hayden won with her patented spiked DDT in a Barbi stretches Nikkimatch that I thoroughly liked, but seemed like a taster of what it could be (and hopefully might be) somewhere down the line.
• Babyface Nikki Storm, eh? Yes, that’s what we got here. Happy, smiling, hand-slapping Nikki Storm. While she worked as a heel the next night at the Blood and Thunder iPPV, needs dictated that this was not the usual mouthy Scot. The good news is that while heel is assuredly her best role, Storm’s quite capable of being an effective babyface – pumping the crowd up and winning their support. Her opponent here was Canada’s Jody D’Milo, who played the larger heel role. Both commentators used the term “pugnacious” to describe Storm, and that was very much the style of the match, with D’Milo using strength and size, and Storm using speed and technique. A missed Vader Bomb from D’Milo and an Oklahoma Roll from Storm picked up the win for Scotland’s Finest.
• Next match up was Toronto’s Jewells Malone taking on Jenny Rose in what was for the most part a straight babyface match. There were a couple of subtle heel mannerisms in Rose’s work, and she did complain that she kicked out when she was pinned with a schoolgirl, but otherwise a pretty dead-on, well contested match. I like Malone, and commentary swung in the direction of suggesting she was the underdog because she hadn’t competed at the level of competition Rose had in Japan – which only made her all the more likeable. As noted, a roll-up finish, but nothing wrong with this. Decent.
• The final match of the opening round saw Portugal’s Shanna take on the USA’s Santana Garrett, who was, in fact, decked out in an Old Glory style costume. Much like the Barbi Hayden/Kimber Lee match, this one was perhaps just a little bit one sided – Shanna took the lead in this one, and apart from a few rallies from Santana, won in relatively convincing style. Shanna’s self-absorbed “perfection” gimmick is excellent, and surprisingly intense at times. She even went so far as to correct Denver Colorado on the finish, whilst pinning her opponent – “That was a Stunner, you idiot!”. Santana got some post match retribution by hitting Sole Food on Shanna, but Shanna progressed to the semis.
• Non tournament action next, as two Canadians went at it – with Leah Von Dutch (albeit announced from Amsterdam, Netherlands) taking on Cherry Bomb. Cherry was great Cherry Bomb polls the fanshere – she works hard at doing very little. Much of her offence consisted of hair pulls, back rakes and the odd wrestling move like the Cattle Mutilation, but she sells personality by the bucketload. Whether it’s hypocritically complaining about her hair being pulled, taking a time-out with the fans to complain about how badly treated she is, a bit of comic overselling for some of Von Dutch’s offence or just generally talking smack at her opponent, the referee or poor old Denver Colorado on commentary – Cherry’s so watchable. Good match between the two, ending when Cherry avoids the KLM (moonsault) and hits the BSE (Best Superkick Ever) for the pin. There honestly wasn’t a lot to the match outside of the basics, but it was thoroughly enjoyable stuff.
• First semi final was next, as Barbi Hayden took on Nikki Storm in a match that seemed only handicapped by brevity. I was enjoying this one – Hayden being condescending to Storm, beating her down for the most part, only to see Storm rally and reverse an attempt at the Hayden Halo DDT into her Cyclone Neckbreaker for the pin. I could’ve easily enjoyed a few more minutes of this. “I’m the winner…” muttered a dejected (and factually inaccurate) Hayden on the way to the back.
• Second semi final saw Shanna vs Jewells Malone in a more competitive match than the other semi, with Jewells keeping the tempo high in the early going and showing some nice fire. Shanna had to cheat to win with a sneaky eye poke leading to the Stunner and the pinfall, but this was good. Malone looked strong in defeat, and Shanna went to the finals on the back of two straight Stunner victories.
• And so, the final. An all European affair with Portugal’s Shanna vs Scotland’s Nikki Storm. It’s openly discussed on commentary whether Shanna and Storm would’ve ever fought before then, and while they have a number of promotions in common in Europe, I can’t think of any time this match has happened before. Without having a stopwatch running, this felt like the longest of the matches on the show, and the one which sold the fatigue factor for each of the two competitors’ third match of the night. Whereas most of the rest of the matches had pretty clear finishes, here Shanna and Storm worked in a few close two counts. It made for a nice change of pace, and probably from a purely in-ring perspective, the strongest match of the night. Storm kicked out of the Stunner (unlike everybody else), but ended up falling to a messy roll-up with feet on the ropes. Unsatisfying ending, but that’s OK – Shanna’s the heel. Storm tossed Shanna from the ring to end the show – no trophy presentations or anything like that, unfortunately.

Overall impressions
This is cheap content for WSU. No frills… and because of that, the shows do feel pretty low rent. The Nikki Storm by Ichiban DrunkCZW Training School is a garage, there aren’t many fans in attendance (not a lot of room), the ring announcer doesn’t have a microphone (and doesn’t really need one given the size of the garage) and although there is entrance music, it seems most of the time to either fail or cut off whilst talent is on the way to the ring. Get behind the initial impressions though, and there’s fun to be had here – and for someone who digs on personality in his wrestling, there are some pretty great talents to see here. Barbi Hayden, Cherry Bomb and Shanna all entertained on that front, as did Nikki Storm – who was genuinely a really good babyface here. The talent pool for the show was excellent too – putting a spotlight on many of the newer stars to enter WSU last year, and that’s absolutely fine with me too. We’ve commended WSU for the influx of new talent, and this was a diverting and fun way to spend an hour and a half. There’s nothing here that would necessarily be a **MUST SEE** match (it’s worth pointing out that the much more high profile iPPV was less than 24 hours later, so nobody was going at 100mph), but if you’ve got StreamWSU, what are you waiting for? Check this out.

— Stew Allen
— Featured Nikki Storm and Shanna photos by Ichiban Drunk, other shots screencapped from StreamWSU

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