I feel like I’ve already written this article. And in fact, I have. This time last year, I was congratulating Heidi Lovelace on “A good half year” for the first six months of 2013, and here I am, twelve months later (to the very day, no less), doing the same thing. Points for consistency, at least, right? Unlike last year, however, when we were talking about Heidi in the terms of being this “promising” talent that people might not yet have heard of, there’s a really great chance that by this time you’re not only aware of Miss Lovelace, you’re a fan.
In SHINE, Heidi’s been the buddy in “The Buddy System” with Solo Darling – a quirky and fun tag team where Heidi’s kind of like the serious one in the team (in the words of Solo, Heidi “holds my hand and makes sure I don’t get lost”) – and after their debut mach together at SHINE 16 on January 24th, they instantly became one of my favourite acts in the company – thanks in no small part to Heidi, whose work at the time in selling an injured knee and creating sympathy for her team was specifically noted in our review at the time as being so effective that it should be something *everybody* should be doing. At the Tag Title tournament at SHINE 17, The Buddy System beat Legendary but lost to Made In Sin in the semi finals, but continued to impress and entertain. After a quick pop over to SHIMMER in New Orleans at WrestleMania weekend, where Heidi & Solo lost to the S-N-S Express in a crowd-warming opener, the dynamic duo returned to SHINE at SHINE 20 as one of the four teams in the Tag Title 4 way eliminator, though were not involved in the decision. Considering The Buddy System holds a tag team win over the team of Legendary, maybe (hopefully) we could see TBS challenging for the SHINE Tag Titles in the second half of the year.
Speaking of SHIMMER, this past April was the first time Heidi’s been available for an entire weekend, rather than having another booking on one of the two days, and boy, was it worth it! Four matches across the two days, including singles matches against great talents like Madison Eagles and Jessicka Havok, and a heated six-woman teaming with Evie & Courtney Rush against Havok & The Canadian NINJAs. Hopefully full weekend participation at SHIMMER is a given going forward, as for the first time, Heidi felt like a genuinely important part of a SHIMMER taping rather than a special guest. PWI’s Dan Murphy highlighted Lovelace in an article he wrote for SLAM! Wrestling in April, which included the following assessment by Allison Danger – “Heidi is one of the strongest babyfaces on the independent scene today. You can always count on her to draw the emotion of everything single fan in the room.”
It turns out that Heidi’s also a great heel too, as is displayed in AIW, where she teams with Annie Social as “The Social Network”. At Girls Night Out 11 & 12 on March 29th, the duo defeated Jenny Rose & Seleziya Sparx in a fun, twerk-heavy comedy match before they held their own in a competitive intergender match with the AIW Tag Champs, The Jollyville Fuck-Its. More notably in AIW was that Lovelace was given a spot in this year’s #JLIT tournament, and just as Kimber Lee did last year, exceeded expectations, turned heads and generally impressed the hell out of everybody – defeating Rickey Shane Page in the first round before having a great match with Michael Elgin in the Quarter Finals (Elgin was also defending his AIW Absolute Title in this match). Safe to say Heidi was buzzing after the experience, tweeting “Got kicked in the face, got a little tipsy, and got a “tough bitch” chant @aiwrestling , overall one of the best weekends in my career #JLIT”
Over at AAW, Lovelace has been continuing to impress, picking up wins over the likes of Seleziya Sparx and Heather Patera en route to an unsuccessful title challenge for Matt Cage‘s Heritage Title in another of those trademarked Lovelace intergender classics just a couple of weeks ago… as she tweeted at the time “Although he was a male chauvinistic pig, I will not forget my match with @proudcaucasian at @AAWPro for the rest of my career #brutal”
She’s also had bookings with Evolution Pro Wrestling and Juggalo Championship Wrestling (both places where she’s run across Crazy Mary Dobson in both singles and intergender tag formats), she’s had some more intergender action at Beyond Wrestling and continues her association with the Chikara crew by appearing in the (sort of) main event of National Pro-Wrestling Day 2014 (her match with Joe Pittman directly led into the events of the return of Chikara as an ongoing promotion) and returned to Chikara proper at Quantum of Solace in Chicago last month, losing to Ophidian. Perhaps most heads were turned in IWA: Mid South, where Lovelace (already a regular in their women’s division) entered the 2014 Queen of the Death Matches tournament this past weekend, defeating Hudson Envy in a Tacks, Ladders and Canes match before losing to Ludark Shaitan in a Fans Bring The Weapons match.
Hopefully from looking at just some of these 2014 highlights for the first six months of the year you’ll see why we’ve described Lovelace recently as the “most varied performer in all of the US” today. I don’t think anybody can touch her range of styles – from wrestling women to wrestling men, from adorable babyface to sleazy heel, from technical savvy to lighttubes and thumbtacks, from singles to tag teams – she’s an amazing talent who really, I expect to be writing about *every* year at this rate. I’m not complaining either.