Tonight, live from the Orpheum in Ybor City, FL, SHINE Wrestling presents its twentieth instalment, headlined by what promises to be a killer match between the top babyface and the top heel in the promotion – Champion Ivelisse Velez and challenger Serena Deeb, representing the Valkyrie stable. It’s pretty much the biggest match that the promotion can put on right now, and comes on the heels of Serena’s clean pin over the Champ last month at SHINE 19 in the Elimination Match main event.
Elsewhere, Allysin Kay and Jessicka Havok are planning on putting their rivalry to rest – by knocking out their opponent for a count of ten in a Last Woman Standing match, and the Lucha Sisters will make another defence of their SHINE Tag Championship against the winner of a Four Corner Survival match featuring the Kimber Bombs, Legendary, the S-N-S Express and the Buddy System. We talked to one half of the Kimber Bombs – Cherry Bomb – yesterday on the Women of Wrestling Podcast, and she is confidently predicting victory for herself and birthday girl Kimber Lee.
You can still order the show live (if you’re still in time) or the VOD soon after at WWNLive.com, and meanwhile, we’ll be covering the live results as they come in right here.
1. Four Corners Survival: Legendary (Malia Hosaka & Brandi Wine) defeated S-N-S Express (Sassy Stephie & Jessie Belle Smothers) vs Buddy System (Heidi Lovelace & Solo Darling) & Kimber Lee. Hosaka pinned Kimber following a Legendary double-team Gordbuster.
2. Crazy Mary Dobson beat Amber O’Neal via DQ after O’Neal used a steel chair.
3. Su Yung defeated Justine Silver via referee stoppage following The Purge and the Yellow Fever.
4. La Rosa Negra pinned Shanna with a Frog Splash.
5. Candice LeRae beat Nevaeh when she reversed a Backpack Stunner into an O’Connor Roll.
6. SHINE Tag Team Championship: Legendary (Malia Hosaka & Brandi Wine) beat Lucha Sisters (Leva Bates & Mia Yim) to win the SHINE Tag Team Championship. Wine pinned Yim after Leilani Kai tripped Mia during a quebrada attempt.
7. Last Woman Standing: Allysin Kay beat Jessicka Havok when Su Yung hogtied Havok’s legs so she couldn’t get up.
8. SHINE Championship: Ivelisse Velez v Serena Deeb went to a 60 minute time limit draw.
• Let’s start with the main event – which, like Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels’ Iron Man Match at WrestleMania XII, I’m sure will produce polarising opinions. Some will say it was too long, too drawn out and wasn’t as exciting as other matches on the card (ones which we will cover later on). Others will say it was like wrestling used to be – a struggle between two equally-matched competitors, featuring a number of physical twists and turns. I’m in the latter category. I loved this match and the story which they told.
• There was no wasted motion in this contest, where half the story was told by what physically happened, and the other half was by the emotions they drew from me. On the physical side of things, Deeb spent good portions of the match working on the arm and leg of the titleholder, before reverting to the back. Velez counterbalanced with her own attack of Serena’s leg with kicks, and also looking for submissions from moves like a guillotine choke. Visually, Deeb was fantastic with her facial expressions as she looked cool and cocky at some points, confused and frustrated at her inability to get the win, and damn near manic at other times when she smelt victory.
• The big points out of the match were that neither woman hit their finisher – Deeb attempted two spears, one of which saw her hit the ring post while the other was countered into a guillotine – while Velez’s sole attempt at the Vertigo Kick saw the challenger move and her connect with the referee. In fact, that ref bump worked into the big controversy of the contest as Deeb went for her second spear which was blocked into the choke, and Serena clearly tapped out while the referee was trying to shake to cobwebs, only to then get to the rope to cause the official to break the hold.
• The two came face to face but didn’t shake hands afterwards, so we’re looking at a rematch. Hopefully they won’t go an hour again for their own sakes as the Orpheum was reportedly at a sweltering heat, which you would imagine for Florida in June. Both women were puddles by the end, and Deeb’s pristine white gear had turned a murky grey. They had been through the mill for our entertainment, and I thank them for it.
• The big surprise of the night was the SHINE Tag Team Championship changing hands, as Legendary won their Four Corner Qualifier and then downed the Lucha Sisters to win the belts, thanks to some interference from Leilani Kai, who was introduced at the start of the show as backup for Malia Hosaka and Brandi Wine. It’s just a shame that the two matches which comprised this title change were nothing to write home about.
• The four-way which opened the show had a spanner thrown in the works straight away as Cherry Bomb didn’t make it to the show, meaning that Kimber Lee went it alone against Legendary, the Buddy System and the SNS Express. In fact, she was doubly solitary as each team had representation on the outside with Kai, Daffney and Nevaeh respectively. Lee’s decision to fly solo saw her baby face herself to the crowd, and she certainly fought as such.
• The match itself was a chaotic mess which did nothing for me. There was always stuff happening but it didn’t feel important. Hosaka was the MVP, working for much of the contest and taking a lot of bumps – strange, when you consider she and Wine would be working again later in the evening. The finish came when Kai pulled Daffney off the apron to cause the distraction, leading to the double team Gordbuster on Kimber and a confusing few moments where both members of Legendary scooted out of the ring only for Malia to come back in for the pin.
• The Tag Team Championship match felt like the decision was made to have the finish in mind and to call the rest in the ring, which led to some instances where the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing. A prime example was Mia Yim going for a quick hurricanrana on Hosaka only for Malia to not take the bump. It felt like the Lucha Sisters were going for stuff at 100mph without it meaning much. Credit to Malia again for working her socks off though – it’s a pity that her efforts didn’t lead to higher quality contests.
• The title change itself also came out of nowhere, so it makes one wonder if external forces are affecting either Yim or Leva Bates. We’ll see, but it also makes you wonder who Legendary’s challengers will be considering they beat every team in the promotion in one night.
• Elsewhere, Amber O’Neal turned heel against Crazy Mary Dobson, who was substituting for Leah Von Dutch who couldn’t make it to the show. O’Neal started out working babyface but started using more aggressive tactics and then completed the turn when she went under the ring to grab a chair to use as a weapon against her plucky opponent. She then made a gun with her fingers, put it to Mary’s head and yelled “Boom, bitch”, which is reminiscent of New Japan’s Bullet Club stable, of which her husband Doc Gallows is a member. I expect there to be a rematch, which I happily welcome. Bullet Club O’Neal should be interesting.
• Su Yung’s SHINE gimmick is so intriguing and interesting. Justine Silver’s character isn’t, and served as cannon fodder to get over Yung’s heel schtick. Su’s new finisher setup known as The Purge saw her pull a white glove from her tights and plunge them into Silver’s mouth, rendering her unconscious before locking in the Yellow Fever for the referee stoppage. I am fascinated with Yung and want to see more.
• In fact, we *did* see more of Su, as she managed to return to ringside to hogtie Jessicka Havok’s legs to gift Allysin Kay the victory in their Last Woman Standing match. As for the action, it was what you would expect from these two, but with the 10 count rules in effect. If I’m honest, I would have preferred this to be the end of their hostilities as the feud started 8 months ago, but it looks like they’re going to fight again because of the screwy ending and because of Havok curing a rather large chunk of Kay’s hair after the match.
• Another new promotion, another great first impression by Candice LeRae. Her match with Nevaeh was well received and should expand her growing legion of fans. Getting the win over someone who is part of an established stable is also a good sign for the future.
• Rounding off our report is the match that would probably have been your Match of the Night if the main event wasn’t to your tastes. Shanna and La Rosa Negra have crazy chemistry and proved that their match at SHINE 18 wasn’t just a case of the stars aligning. This was great stuff, peppered with comedy from Portugal’s Perfect Athlete – who was wearing quite the Brazil replica kit – using a football to score a penalty between Negra’s uprights. If you pardon the pun, it wasn’t perfect – as a hurricanrana attempt by La Rosa didn’t come off and ended up looking like a powerbomb counter, but they carried on as if Negra still had the advantage. Had she sold it and Shanna made it look like it was her plan all along, it would have been better. Having said this, this was a top contest which I really, really enjoyed.
• So SHINE 20 was a smorgasbord of wrestling. Some comedy, some shocks, some excitement and a big main event, offering something for everyone. If the main event isn’t your thing, you have Shanna v La Rosa Negra to grab your attention. Good stuff.
– Lee Burton