We’re going back to our FloSlam subscription to take a quick look at January’s SHINE 40 show.

Since this is FloSlam, we have almost an hour of looping footage… Once the show starts, Lenny Leonard announces to the crowd that Ivellise wasn’t medically cleared to wrestle, before revealing that she’s had to vacate the title. Literally as soon as that was said, LuFisto comes out – having found a way to get through the entrance way and avoid the camera that was trained on the massive SHINE logo.

LuFisto takes the title belt away from Lenny, who tells her that she’s not going to be named champion just because Ivelisse withdrew. More music hits as Mercedes Martinez appears comes to the ring and throws her name into the hat for a title shot. Yet more music now and out comes Allysin Kay (TNA’s Sienna)… she does the same, and gets into an argument with Mercedes over their no-shows. Lenny sets up a triple-threat for the title in the main event – and this is a great example of how you can condense of those 20-minute Raw segments into five minutes!

My word, that bottom ring rope is as loose as hell. It wobbled just by someone breathing on it. For a WWN group, this ring looks a little low-rent, with turnbuckles that looked more like pillows than anything else. If you remember the pre-2017 Rev Pro Cockpit ring, you’re on the right tracks!

Angel Rose vs. Jesse Belle Smothers vs. Jayme Jameson vs. Su Yung
The tattoo count was already high from the opening segment, and Rose kept that batting average high. We last saw Su briefly in that Godawful opener on the FIP show, and hopefully her name will be tied to a better match this time!

Rose and Yung dive onto Smothers and Jameson after the pair had chosen not to start – and Yung looked to have taken a nasty landing as she caught her feet on the ropes during her low-pe. Despite the dives, we go back to Rose and Yung for a while as this quickly turned into a standard four-way with two working and two laying low.

We get a Tower of Doom as Smothers powerbombs Rose and Jameson during a superplex attempt to Yung, before collecting a trio of two-counts. Rose gets dropped with a Snake Eyes by Jameson, which somehow made that bottom rope wobble some more, before Yung took Jameson to the bar – where Smothers was already sitting for some reason. All four women fight on top of the bar as Jameson eats a DDT from Yung, whilst Rose gives Smothers a Stunner.

Yung and Rose share a drink on top of the bar before the fight continued, where Yung was swept onto the bar by Smothers and then suplexed onto the floor. Jameson carries Yung back to the ring, before she propelled Su into the front row. Rose breaks up a fight between Yung and Jameson with a moonsault off the top, but Smothers picks up the pieces and drapes herself over Yung to collect a couple of near-falls.

Smothers wrenches back on Yung in a camel clutch, before releasing the hold and getting a two-count as Jameson comes in to trade forearms with Smothers. A nose grab keeps Jameson at bay, but Yung gets back to her feet as Rose hits a jawbreaker on Smothers. Yung pulls off an innovative headscissor variant, pulling Jameson into Smothers in the corner as the pair end up outside. Somehow Rose kicks out at one from a Samoan Driver off the top rope, before a spinning Michinoku Driver gets Su the win. A pretty good opener that was clearly set up to get Su over. **½

Brandi Lauren vs. Malia Hosaka
Hosaka has become something of a regular on the Florida indy circuit, and she’s taking on a newcomer in SHINE in a winless Brandi Lauren. Malia berates the fans for booing her, saying “I don’t need your approval – I have talent”. Quite!

As soon as the bell goes, Lauren plays to the crowd for cheers… Hosaka does the same to boos. Basic heel/face stuff then! Lauren lands a couple of armdrags early, but Hosaka replies by taking her down with an armbar. They go to the corner where Lauren gets a few forearms in, before she runs into a spinning heel kick from Hosaka who goes back to that arm. Lauren gets just a one-count from a surprise cross body as Hosaka then grabs a nerve hold which ends via an imaginary rope break that the referee called for. Perhaps that bottom rope wobbled into the vicinity of Lauren’s foot? Back in the ring, Hosaka goes back to that nerve hold, before a missed clothesline ends with Lauren getting an Ace crusher for a near-fall.

Brandi gets a two-count out of a spinning heel kick, before landing a drop toe hold to Hosaka, only to get caught in a grounded, scissored armbar for the submission. This was deliberately slow paced, and the closest you’ll get to a squash around here. *½

Aerial Monroe vs. Xandra Bale
I’ve not seen either of these women before, and Monroe is apparently only two months into her wrestling career.

We start with some basics as a headlock takedown is countered with some headscissors by Bale, who then ruffles Aerial’s hair. Apparently “you don’t touch a black girl’s hair”… so Bale apologises and does it again after scoring a drop toe hold. Bale keeps Aerial down with a shoulder tackle, but falls into a big boot that turned into a dropkick on the way down. Bale calls for a time-out to check for her teeth, before Monroe slides out to drop the Canadian Bale on the apron as she tried to return. They trade shots on the apron, ending with a reverse legsweep to the rookie, who’s then booted back down to the floor by Xandra. Monroe’s thrown back into the ring and is covered for a two-count before Bale wrenches back on her in a kneeling surfboard stretch.

Monroe fights free and drops Bale with a kick to the head for a two-count, only for Bale to hit back with a cross-armed back cracker before following with a kick to the chest for two. Aerial hits back with a slap and a running elbow for a two-count, but the more experienced Bale comes back with a spinning heel kick that grazed Aerial for another two-count.

Bale tries for the Fisherman neckbreaker, but Monroe blocks it and instead hoists her up for a Blue Thunder bomb that almost won her the match. A back elbow and a palm strike gets Monroe another two-count, so she runs into the corner with a forearm, before Bale returns the favour. Monroe misses an avalanche, and gets dropped with a Blockbuster for yet another two-count. Bale then lands that swinging Fisherman’s neckbreaker and gets the win to end a decent match that had its moments – certainly Monroe did not look too bad for her lack of experience. **¼

For some-reason the VOD of the SHINE show kept freezing and pixelling out at random times – I can only think that’s corruption rather than buffering.

Candy Cartwright vs. Leva Bates
The well-endowed Cartwright looks like the sort of character that WWE would have done had their Divas division back in the day decided to ape Wrestlicious. She’s been around for over six years, but seemingly has only had a handful of matches, which isn’t encouraging. Her opponent is Leva, who’s lost her surname and is cosplaying as Will Ospreay… I know, it’s Assassin’s’ Creed, as she chokes out some randomer who’s just happening to stand by the entrance. Either that or she’s crossed together Ospreay and Paul Robinson.

Good lord, Leva’s entrance has her dancing on the bar and punching some more plants. If this were at the venue WWN used the prior weekend, that could have been done literally as well.

Cartwright pokes away at Leva, who replies by drawing a blade from her arm. After getting rid of the blade, Candy’s easily rolled into the corner as she charged at Leva, before that corruption masks a chop in the corner. Candy switches around and lays in some forearms, before Leva avoids a charge in the corner, then slingshots into the ring for a roll-up into a spear. Yeah, I might have been right to have been worried. Leva chases Candy around the ring, before she instead crawls under the ring as Candy plays to the crowd. She re-emerges and chops Candy before hauling her back inside, but Candy takes over with a Kevin Nash-like big boot choke in the corner. A leaping clothesline into the corner and a bulldog sees Candy try and channel CM Punk, before she folds up Leva in a bow and arrow lock that Candy calls the “Greatest Submission Ever”.

Eventually Candy releases the hold and mounts Leva for a choke instead of a cover, before they trade some more strikes. Leva kicks and punches away again on Candy, before taking her down into a crossface, but Candy manages to pull herself towards the ever-loosening bottom rope. Candy recovers with a clothesline to drop Leva, getting only a count of one from that, before she cartwheels over Leva and drops an elbow for a two-count.

Leva switches a neckbreaker into a back cracker on Cartwright, before standing back up to unload with a series of chops. I guess chops hurt you more if you’ve got a bigger bosom? I don’t know… Kicks from Leva knock Candy down, before a knee lift and a Northern Lights gets her a two-count. A shotgun dropkick gives way to a double knee strike that gets the former Blue Pants another near-fall, as pixellation gives way to a comeback from Candy.

Cartwright chokes Leva in the ropes and follows up with a 619 before going airborne with a crossbody that gets her a near-fall. Leva’s taken to the corner for some more forearms, before Leva leaps off the middle rope for what might have been a well saved diving lungblower that ended up more like a Meteora. Candy kicked out at two after that, so Leva went back up for the Pepsi Plunge (Pedigree off the top rope)… but Candy dropped down and press slammed Leva to the mat.

From there, Candy threw some more forearms before blocking an O’Connor Roll and landing the Candy Crush (a reverse spin-out neckbreaker) for the win. After the rough start this got better, but Candy’s strikes looked pretty bad at times. Leva’s had better matches, but for me the ever-changing cosplay act makes it hard to buy into whatever character she has. *¾

Chelsea Green vs. Rachel Ellering
Billed as the “Lance Storm Special”, this saw Chelsea Green (or Laurel Van Ness from TNA if you prefer) against the daughter of Paul Ellering as two products of the Storm Wrestling Academy faced off.

They start with a lock-up as Ellering grabs a wristlock that’s reversed back and forth before they move to waistlocks as a roll-up in the ropes gives away to the indyriffic back-and-forth near-falls from sunset flips. From the kick outs, Ellering tries to whip Green into the ropes, but she ends up having to settle for a snapmare and a kick to the chest as the on-demand feed pixels out again.

It recovers to see Green scurry to the outside to avoid a big boot from Ellering… but that big boot came anyway as Ellering knocked her to the floor! Rachel tries for a kick from the apron, but a reverse legsweep sends Ellering face-first to the apron as Green tries to steal a pin from that. Green takes over from there as Lenny Leonard drops in a reference to a TNA storyline for the handful of folks who keep up with their spoilers. A clothesline from Green gets her a near-fall, before she rams Ellering’s head into the turnbuckles. Some mounted punches lead to a couple of pinfall attempts as we go back to the chinlock with Green maintaining her upper hand.

Green tells Ellering that she’s “messed with the wrong Lance Storm student”… and that gets her a big boot out of the ropes as both women crash to the mat. More clotheslines from Green earn her some rolling elbows, then a step-up enziguiri as Ellering almost took the win. A pop-up spinebuster gets Ellering another two-count, which gave way to a battle of forearm smashes between the two.

More pixellation leads to Ellering demanding that “Barbie” hit her, and so we got some windmill-like chops before an STO took down Green. Chelsea came back with a rope-hung DDT for a near-fall, before she pulls Ellering out of the corner and up into an Unprettier attempt. Ellering avoids that and gets the TKO for the win! A really solid match between a duo who seem to have a really good grounding. ***½

I’m not sure if it’s just this show or my internet, but there’s been a LOT of buffering and pixelling on this on-demand show – almost to the point where it ruined that last match.

SHINE Tag Team Championship: Las Sicarias (Thea Trinidad & Amanda Carolina Rodriguez) vs. C4 (Amber O’Neal & Kennadi Brink) vs. Raquel & Santana (c)
Thea Trinidad used to be better known as Rosita in TNA, and for some reason she’s here as Harley Quinn – some nine months before Halloween! For obvious reasons I’ll be calling Rodriguez ACR, since that’s the name Lenny Leonard commonly used. Raquel was most recently in TNA after appearing on the last season of WWE’s Tough Enough, and Santana Garrett is also a TNA alumni, but we’ll just forget that six month run as Brittany!

ACR and Santana start us out with wristlocks as my VOD pauses. It resumes with Santana being forced out of a hammerlock as they work a headlock takedown into some headscissors and my word this chain-wrestling is pretty smooth given some of the stuff we’ve seen. A double dropkick leads to a stand-off… which drew barely any reaction from the Orpheum crowd. I now get what Alan Boon means by “Florida has too much wrestling and they don’t deserve any of it”.

Raquel (who was billed as “Gabi” here… kayfabe, Lenny!) and Thea tag in as C4 just seem to be content in mouthing off from the apron. Thea boots down Amber and Kennedi, before she turns around into some armdrags from Raquel. A floatover suplex gets Raquel a two-count, but Thea comes back with a roll-up for a two-count before she hits an up-kick to Raquel.

Kennadi Brink tags in forcefully on Thea, and the first thing she does is grab a wristlock on Raquel, who replies with a sunset flip for a near-fall. Backbreakers follow, as ACR tags in and scores a near-fall with a crossbody on Brink. ACR’s caught in the C4 corner as Brink and O’Neal double-team her, before Amber uses her boot to choke away. A kick to the back gets Amber a two-count as C4 isolate ACR away from any possible tag out.

Amber boots ACR in the corner for a near-fall, so she mounts ACR for some mounted right-hands from above. Another snapmare gives way to a kick to the back, then a grounded trapped-leg abdominal stretch looked to force a submission, but Trinidad runs in to break it up. A double clothesline takes down ACR and Amber, but they manage to tag in their partners, allowing Thea to hit a clothesline then a Code Red for a two-count as Amber broke that up.

More double-teaming from Amber and Thea forces Raquel to break up a pinning attempt, before Brink and Raquel fight on the floor. Santana tags in and drops Amber with a knee, only to take a chin-breaker from Thea as Las Sicarias work a brief double-team. ACR’s knocked down by Trinidad, and after a superkick, Santana lands the Shining Star Press (handspring into a moonsault) for the win. This was a real short match, but good for what it was. **¾

After the match, ACR and Thea come to blows, and ACR leaves with C4. Well, they were down one person after Andrea took the fall in a loser-leaves-town match… I’m guessing there was a miscommunication in this match as Lenny constantly called Raquel “Gabi”, so perhaps there’s a full-on name change coming now she’s left TNA?

SHINE Championship: Allysin Kay vs. LuFisto vs. Mercedes Martinez
This is for the SHINE title that was vacated by Ivelisse in her absence earlier.

Allysin and Mercedes got into each other’s faces at the bell, but that just allowed LuFisto to jump the pair of them… and that’s when things went awry for the C4 leader, as she quickly was targeted. Kay and Martinez play a game of “can you top this?” with attacks to LuFisto in the corner, which gave way to the two of them breaking up the other’s pinfalls. LuFisto breaks up a small package as she goes to stomp away on Martinez, before dishing out hip attacks to Kay and Martinez – with Kay almost being upended by it! Kay turns things around and gives a hip attack straight back to LuFisto, but Martinez comes back and takes Kay into the corner as we surprisingly don’t go to a “two in, one out” routing.

The camera shies away from Kay reaching out to the crowd for something, instead opting n LuFisto getting drilled with forearms as she laid in the front row. Back inside, Kay chops away at Mercedes in the corner, but again LuFisto breaks it up as she throws Allysin to the floor so she can pick up on Martinez. LuFisto drops Martinez with a snap suplex, but before she can capitalise, Kay drags her to the outside for some more chops by the apron as they end how the show started: with brawling by the bar! Mercedes just sits and lays in the ring as Allysin gets a drink, before she takes to grinding LuFisto’s head in some mesh by the bar.

All three women end up outside trading chops, and again it’s LuFisto who’s become a target… but she manages to reverse an Irish whip as Martinez ends up becoming one with the crowd. Again in the ring, LuFisto finally takes over with some kicks to Kay’s knee whilst keeping Martinez on the outside with kicks through the ropes. A snapmare and a kick to the back leads to a neck crank on Kay, but again LuFisto can’t make a pin as Martinez drags her out of the ring. Kay gets caught in a reverse figure four by LuFiso as my feed pixels out, returning as Martinez ties up LuFisto in a double-leg nelson until the entire sequence ended when Kay reached the ropes. Allysin manages to recover to assist a mini tower-of-doom, but that seemed to have hurt her seemingly “good” knee, as she grabbed the knee that didn’t have a brace on it.

Despite that, Kay charges at LuFisto with an avalanche, with Martinez giving her a big boot for good measure… but LuFisto recovers with a German suplex to Martinez and a cannonball to a downed Kay in the corner! Martinez made the save after a two-count, then landed a Fisherman’s buster on LuFisto as everyone took their turns breaking the other’s pins. A German suplex from Kay takes down Martinez, but she can’t make the cover and so takes a Burning Hammer from LuFisto – as Mercedes makes a save to prevent the three-count from happening. All three end up outside the ring again, with LuFisto and Martinez going back to the bar… and LuFisto’s rearranging some chairs into a makeshift landing pad… but wrestling logic returns as LuFisto takes the suplex through arrangement of chairs. They finally return to the ring, but LuFisto rolls all the way out to the other side of the ring.

Kay looks to capitalise as she hits a discus lariat on an otherwise distracted Martinez – but Mercedes gets a foot on the rope to stop the count. Mercedes gets a small package for a near-fall herself, before Kay grabs a rear naked choke on Martinez, finally sinking it in… but of course, Martinez fights up after the arm-drop gimmick, and forces her way to the corner. From there, Mercedes climbs the ropes and flips over to force Kay’s shoulders to the mat – similar to how Bret Hart reversed a Million Dollar Dream way back when – but LuFisto jumps into the pile and somehow steals the pin. They announce LuFisto as the champion, which makes absolutely no sense at all, especially when Lenny Leonard played that the story was Martinez tapping to Kay, whilst ignoring that Kay was being pinned by her as the same time! The finish hurt the match, but it was a fine main event otherwise, as C4 (well, the three they have left) celebrated with the title. ***¼

This was my first exposure to SHINE, and streaming issues aside, it was a decent show. Certainly, this promotion will be one of the many that has benefitted from being a part of FloSlam after previously only being available on iPPV. Shows like this perhaps would have not gone down well on iPPV, particularly that mid-card which just felt weird.

Unlike FIP though, this show didn’t leave me feeling dumber for having watched it. Except for the finish to that main event. I can see me adding SHINE to a somewhat-regular rotation, particularly since they’re in the once-a-month club when it comes to cards. Once I’m more familiar with the roster and their storylines, the “what worked” section might carry a bit more weight, but for now…

What Worked: Vacating a title and crowning a new champion on the same night can be a bit hit-and-miss, but this sort-of worked. If the Ivelisse injury is legitimate, this should lead to an obvious rematch… if it’s a cover, then maybe not. Quite a few of the lesser-known names on the undercard impressed me as well, and I can certainly see why there’s a lot of buzz around Su Yung… but I haven’t yet seen her in a situation where she can showcase her full potential.

What Didn’t: The finish of that main event. I rewatched it several times and still don’t know how LuFisto piling onto Mercedes’ flipped-out choke means her pin counts… Also: Candy Cartwright – it all depends on where they go next from here, but Candy certainly didn’t impress in her outing. I’ll check out some of her other matches before we can figure this out as a one-off or a pattern.

Thumbs: Middle