It’s time to SHINE once again, as Florida’s finest return with another card of women’s wrestling. This edition is very heavily top-loaded, as the vast majority of the biggest names in the promotion are featured in an absolutely massive 5 vs 5 elimination tag team match. On one side, the reconstituted Valkyrie stable, with leader Serena Deeb and her deputies April Hunter, Allysin Kay, Taylor Made and Su Yung – and on the other side, a team of SHINE All-Stars, including the SHINE Champion Ivelisse Velez, the SHINE Tag Team Champions of the Lucha Sisters (Mia Yim & Leva Bates), Jessicka Havok and Tracy Taylor.
Underneath, we have Leah Von Dutch and Taeler Hendrix facing off, as both make their returns to the promotion. Additionally, Amazing Kong takes on “The Wrestling Goddess” Athena, Solo Darling battles Luscious Latasha, the S-N-S Express’ Nevaeh will face Justine Silver, and La Rosa Negra takes on Niya Barela. Furthermore, there are promised appearances by pro boxer “La Rebelde” Noemi Bosques and Carmin from The Mike Calta Show. You can still order the show at WWNLive, but we’ll also be bringing live results after the cut.
1. Solo Darling pinned Luscious Latasha with an O’Connor Roll.
2. Nevaeh pinned Justine Silver with a Death Valley Driver.
3. Leah Von Dutch pinned Taeler Hendrix after hitting her with a clog behind the referee’s back.
4. La Rosa Negra pinned Niya Barela with a backslide.
5. Amazing Kong pinned Athena with a powerbomb.
6. Elimination Match: Valkyrie (Serena Deeb, April Hunter, Allysin Kay, Taylor Made & Su Yung) beat Ivelisse Velez, Mia Yim, Leva Bates, Jessicka Havok & Tracy Taylor. Serena Deeb & Taylor Made were the Survivors.
Order of Elimination:
1. Leva Bates pinned by Taylor Made after she and Allysin Kay hit the Seven Deadlies.
2. Tracy Taylor passed out while caught in Su Yung’s Yellow Fever.
3/4. Jessicka Havok & Allysin Kay were both simultaneously counted out of the ring.
5. April Hunter pinned by Ivelisse after Ivelisse kicked her in the head.
6. Su Yung pinned by Mia Yim following Yim’s Package Piledriver.
7. Ivelisse pinned by Serena Deeb when Deeb sat down on an attempted Code Red.
8. Mia Yim pinned by Serena Deeb following a Spear.
• Serena Deeb and Taylor Made both survived in a 40+ minute main event which capped off the show in pretty spectacular fashion. Not to be unkind to the undercard, but this was very much a one match show – if you bought this (or you go on to purchase on VOD), it’s for *this* match, and it delivered. Su Yung’s new goth “mentally disturbed” look is the most interesting and compelling she’s been in her entire SHINE run – coming across as a loose cannon on the Valkyrie side. She didn’t seem to want to face her old partner Tracy Taylor for a while, until she snapped and eliminated her. Tracy Taylor’s contributions were limited but perfectly decent. The Lucha Sisters cosplayed as characters from Kill Bill (with Leva as The Bride and Mia as Gogo Yubari), so both looked good not only aesthetically, but also in the ring. Leva may have been eliminated first, but she did a great job during her time communicating that this was a “big” match, and that the babyface team couldn’t wait to get their hands on Valkyrie. Yim, conversely, was the last eliminated, and although it was by Serena, the commentary was still pushing the agenda of a future Tag Title match between the Lucha Sisters and Made In Sin, which makes sense, but will probably not happen just yet until Allysin Kay finishes her program with Jessicka Havok. Speaking of Kay vs Havok, their stuff was excellent (with Kay avoiding Havok like the plague for as long as possible) – though for this reviewer at least, their double elimination through countout was probably the single most predictable elimination of the night. Their feud remains hot, but I’m getting increasingly curious to see what stipulation they can eventually have to blow that feud off in a satisfactory manner. For somebody who doesn’t wrestle regularly any more, April Hunter more than held up her end of the deal when she was in the ring, and kudos too to Taylor Made who went coast to coast in the match – her survival right to the end was all the more surprising as she was basically the babyface’s punching bag for the first ten minutes of the match. However, the undoubted highlight of this entire match, in my view, was the action between Serena Deeb and Ivelisse Velez. These two produced some fantastic stuff towards the end, and if I had any doubts as to whether their eventual match/feud over the SHINE Championship was going to be great, I would have had them erased. Deeb beating Ivelisse surely secures that as the main event of SHINE 20, and I can’t wait for it. Can we talk about just how great Serena Deeb is as a heel? For someone who was always such a fiery and likeable babyface, Deeb’s transition to the dark side is so well played you’d think she’d been doing it for years. Her mannerisms, her facial expressions, and the style in which she wrestles… all perfectly pitched to be a top heel. Her aggression too. Everything – it’s a great package. She’s not the “cool” heel doing flashy moves either – she’s eminently hateable during the match. So, so good. So yeah, as a main event… and as the reason why you’d want to put some cash down to see this show, this elimination match delivered.
• The surprising highlight of the undercard was the battle of the Puerto Ricans, as Niya Barela faced off with La Rosa Negra. When pro-boxer Noemi Bosques put these two over before the bout as being the match she was looking forward to most, I can’t say I shared her optimism – I mean, there’s no backstory to the match, and although La Rosa Negra really did have a good performance last time out with Shanna, I wasn’t expecting these two to mesh like they did. These two let their latin tempers flare, and backstory or no backstory, they fought like there was real bad blood to settle between them… and the fans really reacted to the fire, as was evident by the volume in the building. Barela and Negra worked in some tight near falls too, which the fans were buying, and generally over delivered on every level. There were one or two seconds of momentary miscommunication, and the backslide finish didn’t seem to have Niya’s shoulders exactly on the mat, but don’t let that take away from the fact that this was the easily best match on the undercard. Congratulations to both.
• Leah Von Dutch vs Taeler Hendrix was entertaining, but was one of a few matches on the undercard which suffered from being either babyface vs babyface or heel vs heel. Sometimes those matches work, but it’s just as likely that the crowd don’t have anybody to cheer for in the match – and I think that’s what happened here. With both established as heels (and Von Dutch especially most recently being associated with her “Dino Hunter” gimmick where she’s taking credit for running veterans out of SHINE – something which the commentators tried to tie into this match, but wasn’t really relevant here), this match ended up being the two trying to out-heel the other… and I actually quite liked it. Both are good at what they do, though Taeler is arguably the more demonstratively heel (physically accosting referee Frankie Gastineau, removing turnbuckle pads then pleading innocence, etc.) The finish saw both women go for weapons under the ring, but while Hendrix couldn’t connect with her choice of weapon (hair tongs, I believe?), Von Dutch waffled Taeler with a Dutch clog to the head for the win. I enjoyed this more because I enjoy both performers than anything else, but I’d have enjoyed them more heeling it up against a babyface that people can get behind and really create some heat.
• Also a victim of the heel vs heel thing was Nevaeh vs Justine Silver. Nevaeh tried, and was clearly in control of the match – and from time to time the fans would get behind one or other of the competitors for a moment or two, but the match really just didn’t click at all. With no obvious hook for the fans to connect with, it was unmemorable, and Silver had a bit of an off night on a few occasions. I enjoyed Silver last month, and Nevaeh is always someone I like to watch, but this one isn’t anything that you need to see.
• Speaking of matches that didn’t seem particularly important in the grand scheme of things, I suppose I’d put Athena vs Amazing Kong in that category. Not really sure what to say about it other than it was a match. It happened. It was fine, and Kong won with a powerbomb soon after Athena escaped an Implant Buster. I wasn’t clock watching, so I don’t know how long this one went, but it didn’t seem terribly long. My bigger problem was just that it didn’t seem important or consequential. It was babyface vs babyface, but they weren’t fighting for anything in particular. I’m not sure about having Kong win, but I suppose that depends on how many shows Athena’s coming in for going forward. It’s possible they’ll work towards a rematch where Athena gets the win too, so maybe we’ll see where this fits into the plan in the coming months, but otherwise chalk this one up as a slight disappointment given the people involved.
• Neither of the openers, Solo Darling nor Luscious Latasha, are tall girls, but they pack a punch. That was what I got out of the opening match of SHINE 19. I had a bit of freezing on my stream during this match, so I apologise I can’t say an awful lot about it other than the bits I saw (and I know more than one person who suffered from stream issues throughout the show – so I’m happy to report that my stream was pretty much perfect from this point onwards.) Solo Darling did a cute spot where she was being beaten, went outside the ring, had a drink of Daffney’s sugar-infused punch, then went back in and started hammering Latasha with Kobashi chops in the corner. SUGAR RUSH! Darling won with an O’Connor Roll, which you rarely ever see finish a match these days. I liked the effort, but the match wasn’t anything special. Fine for an opener.
• Remember what I said about this being a one match show? Yep. That. If you’re strongly minded to see the elimination tag match, I can absolutely tell you that it’s more than worth your time – and as far as I’m concerned, La Rosa Negra vs Niya Barela is a surprisingly great “extra” for your money. How much you enjoy the rest of the undercard may well depend on your personal mileage as to how much you enjoy any of the specific wrestlers and how much you really want to see them. Unfortunately, if you put ten of your top names in a single match, you really can end up having an issue filling the rest of the show with compelling matches – but fortunately for SHINE, putting all their eggs in the one basket paid off with one of the best main event matches in the promotion’s history.
— Stew Allen