After an encouraging start in January, LCW Roses returns for its second show in Leicester, England today. Dubbed War of the Roses, it is headlined by Nikki Storm against Amazon Ayesha Ray – a match that came about because Storm won the Roses Rumble match in controversial circumstances. The winner of the Rumble was meant to hand-pick their opponent for the main event of this show, but because of the shady ending where Storm snuck back into the ring after being eliminated because no referee saw her being thrown out, her punishment was to have her opponents picked for her. That will be Amazon – a woman who has spent the last few months in Japan, and discusses it and more in our most recent Women Of Wrestling Podcast.
Elsewhere on the show, we have the LCW Roses debuts of Leah Owens, Nixon, Bete Noire, Lana Austin, Dragonita, Sakura Lily, Kirsty Love and Freya Frenzy. Click the jump to see the results as they happen.
Flyers at the venue indicate the next show will be on May 10th, and feature Addy Starr, Rhia O’Reilly, Nikki Storm & Kay Lee Ray.
1. Pollyanna Peppers won a three-way featuring Dragonita & Sakura Lily when Pollyanna pinned Sakura Lily with a sit-out Pedigree.
2. Shauna Shay & Violet Vendetta beat Faith Lehaine & Nadia Sapphire when Violet pinned Nadia following the Betty Rage (Eat Defeat).
3. Felony won a three-way featuring Kirsty Love & Freya Frenzy when Felony made Kirsty pass out to a Triangle Choke.
4. Nixon pinned Leah Owens with a schoolgirl.
5. Bete Noire & Viper beat Jenna & Lana Austin when Viper pinned Austin following a combination face-first Electric Chair Drop/Ace Crusher.
6. Nikki Storm pinned Amazon Ayesha Ray with a small package after Ayesha missed a top rope splash.
• While War of the Roses had its moments, it was not as strong as the original LCW Roses card. What was strange about this show is that while three of the six matches (Vendetta/Shay v Sapphire/Lehaine, Viper/Noire v Jenna/Austin and Storm/Amazon) had backstories stemming from the original show, there was no mention of their respective histories. Had this have been done, it may have helped to fill out the knowledge of the audience.
• The event started off on a cold note, as Pollyanna Peppers, Dragonita and Sakura Lily were all reading off different hymn sheets. It was an awkward and uncomfortable contest to watch as there were times when participants lost their way. It meant Peppers spent sizeable portions of the match muscling her opponents into place for spots – most specifically for the train gimmick we were told is used in Gatoh Move where opponents are placed like sleepers to be stomped on or rolled over – and setting up for the moment of the match where she had Dragonita in a Gory Special while holding Lily in a Boston Crab. This was one to forget.
• Faith Lehaine and Nadia Sapphire worked their heel gimmick well before and during their match – Nadia was spraying air freshener around the ringside to antagonise the fans – though the fact that we weren’t reminded of the backstory (Nadia turned on Violet after their loss to Jenna & Viper in January) meant that there wasn’t as much heat for this match as there could have been. Moreover, because of an injury restricting Vendetta’s participation, it meant that Shay spent a lot of the time getting beaten down in a situation that she may not have been ready for. Weirdly, instead of running the ropes she ran to them, stopped and turned around, which was very awkward indeed. Having said that, the action after the hot tag was good and the heels did well to make us dislike them.
• I still like Felony’s gimmick. She plays it really well and it still worked next to Kirsty Love’s comedy – yes, we had baby face Kirsty here and it was such a welcome sight, as she is so great at making people smile. With quippy one liners and that babyface sympathy, she was great. She and Freya Frenzy also did well to thwart Felony’s attempts at attacks, though she got the edge by ramming Love into the ringpost, and got the win with the triangle choke causing Kirsty to pass out. Frenzy is really slight too, but she’s adorable – and was beaten up after the bell by Felony and Barricade, before being carried to the back like a rag doll by the heels. A better 3-way than the opener.
• On a side note, why was there two triple threat matches on this card? Each of them were diluted because of the other and there was no reason for either of them to happen.
• Thankfully, the second half picked up starting with Nixon against Leah Owens. Much like with Lehaine and Sapphire, Owens worked the crowd and made sure that despite both of them debuting, they both made a connection with the audience. Leah did a good job beating on her opponent, and Nixon’s selling was really great – some of the moves looked like they were doing serious damage. A nice job by both, and I’d like to see more of Nixon in the future. Besides, her theme music is Joan Jett’s Bad Reputation – and as evidenced by Cherry Bomb and Ronda Rousey, anyone who uses that tune as their theme is automatically awesome.
• Like with the other tag match, a little backstory about Viper turning on tag partner Jenna during the Roses Rumble match after the pair had beaten Vendetta and Sapphire would have been nice to explain why they were on opposing teams and why Jenna was a babyface now. However, it was nice to see She-X working as vicious heels again and their tag team moves were gratefully received. While Jenna wasn’t out of place, she was somewhat overshadowed by the debuting Lana Austin who executed some really nice aerial moves and delivered some Steamboat-esque hope spots where she would get a shot in before the heels continued with their clubbering. She-X’s finish – an electric chair variation of the 3D – also looked great.
• So to the main event, which had a different feel to the other contests in that it was less of a match with spots and more of a wild scrap. Ayesha Ray and Nikki Storm beat into each other with the smaller heel getting the edge by going after Amazon’s midsection to wear her down, while Ayesha fought back with hard shots and a double slap to Storms back which was so hard that you could clearly see the handprints. This was one of those match which made you feel like the bigger babyface was in trouble, which isn’t always easy to do. The finish came when Ray went for a splash from the (very loose) top rope and missed, hurting her knee in the process. Nikki got the small package pin and scooted out of the ring like a thief in the night.
• As a stand-alone show, War of the Roses had its moments with a number of fun matches, though it took a couple of contests to get any traction. The thing is there’s another show on May 10 and unlike with the first card, nothing as announced or teased for the next event so your guess is as good as mine as to what is going to happen. If anything, I’d hope for a Rhia O’Reilly v Addy Starr rematch, as the original showed serious promise.