After two months off, SHINE returned to its home in Ybor City, Florida for another loaded – and shaken-up – card that was perhaps a little on the rushed side.
Since SHINE were last here we’ve had some changes… of course, the big Red Wedding storyline with Su Yung ended up being abandoned over WrestleMania weekend for… reasons. We also had a change to the card tonight, as the scheduled Priscilla Kelly/Malia Hosaka match was cancelled after Hosaka left the company following a “creative disagreement”.
It’s been a topsy-turvy a few months – and with an announcement later on in the show, it’s not settling down anytime soon!
But first, my usual FloSlam rant… if I’m watching on-demand, I don’t want to be clicking through half an hour of the scrobbler to avoid promos from Ethan Page, Catch Point and others before getting to my show. It’s lazy on both parts – the end user and the editor! We don’t have any in-ring opening segment, as ring announcer Kid Cadet gets us underway with our opening contest. FloSlam’s sprung for a new canvas, and for once the ropes aren’t loose as all hell. The trade-off there is more FloSlam branding around the venue, but I’ll take that…
It’s worth noting that she was wearing a crop top with “Fight Wayne Fight” on it, a reference to Wayne van Dyke – better known as ACW’s Richard Delicious, who sadly passed away the following day after suffering multiple heart attacks during a match several weeks earlier.
Dementia D’Rose vs. Aja Perera
D’Rose looks to be a cross between Solo Darling and Ryusuke Taguchi (there’s a mash-up I never thought I’d say), whilst Aja Perera came out to what I swear was some sound-alike music from a Sonic game.
D’Rose uses her rear end to butt out of a waistlock early, before missing a sit-out splash, allowing Perera to hit a leg lariat to the back of a kneeling D’Rose. Some headscissors take Dementia out (and for the record, I loathe that as a first name), where Aja follows in with a low-pe, only to get caught with a headbutt when they returned to the ring.
Aja elbows out of a fireman’s carry and cartwheels her way into an armdrag, before running into a forearm as D’Rose took over with some mounted punches. In the end though, D’Rose missed the D’amnesia running hip attack, before scoring with a leg lariat that wiped Aja out. A running sit-out splash follows for a near-fall, before a second one leads to a camel clutch with some face clawing that almost resulted in a DQ.
Perera makes a comeback, ducking a clothesline before she’s back into the corner where D’Rose’s “weapon of ass destruction” comes into play again. Shouldn’t that pun mean that she breaks asses, rather than uses hers as a weapon? Aja impressively throws D’Rose with a German suplex out of the corner, before a flurry of strikes led to a cutter attempt, and a headscissors driver for a near-fall. D’Rose returns with some headbutts to take Perera into the corner, then takes her back in there with a shotgun dropkick as the D’amnesia running hip attack gets her the win. A sound David and Goliath-esque match, but for some reason D’Rose started to act like she was crazy after the match. That’s not what Dementia is… **¼
Dynamite DiDi vs. Maria Maria
I swear these chiptune entrance themes are getting worse… Maria Maria is a masked luchadora, who does something approximating a flamenco dance as part of her entrance.
DiDi offers a handshake at the start, and Maria falls for it… only to counter with a clothesline and a back senton for an immediate near-fall. A standing flip senton/legdrop gets another near-fall, as does a schoolboy as Maria is clearly looking to get the hell out of here. DiDi tries the handshake thing again, but it ends up a a dance before Maria turns it into a headlock/elbow drop.
Maria head up top but gets knocked down as DiDi hit the ropes… leading to a bump that gave me visions of the Machine back in WCW. Somehow that gets DiDi a near-fall as she rushed in with a series of hip attacks that only got her a near-fall before she moved in to choke away at her masked opponent.
A sunset flip gets Maria a near-fall, only for a DiDi clothesline to get things back to parity, as we go to the camel clutch as I swear DiDi’s just picking stuff from the opening match. Maria tries to chop away, but DiDi kicks her low and goes to a front facelock, before a clothesline leads to a hair-pull from Maria for a two-count. They try that again as they go to the backslide, but Maria reverses it and turns it into a Gory Bomb for the win. This was alright, but I wasn’t a fan of them a fair amount of stuff from the opener! **
Kiera Hogan vs. Priscilla Kelly
Hogan was a replacement for Hosaka after that falling out, which kinda put a spanner in the works of the whole “respect” story that was going on. Kelly’s representing the Carnies here apparently… as opposed to Uncle John’s Friends (FIP) and whatever-the-hell-she’s-doing in EVOLVE.
Hogan starts out well, taking down Kelly with dropkicks and armdrags, before running into a back elbow as Kelly leapt out of the corner into a flatliner of sorts that dumped Hogan on her shoulder. Kelly sticks a foot out to sweep Hogan’s leg, sending her flying out of the ring for a spot of crowd brawling.
Kelly gets whipped into a supporting column as Hogan tries to take a count-out win. That doesn’t work, as Kelly returns to the ring just as Aria Blake and Candy Cartwright appear at ringside to mock Priscilla, just as Kelly takes a rope hung DDT and a snap suplex. Kelly returns with a head kick, but the tandem of Blake and Cartwright get involved as Blake combined with Hogan to hit a double DDT for the win. So it seems that Kiera Hogan’s part of Candy Cartwright’s group of mean girls, but that was really the only notable thing from that outing which started off wobbly and just about stabilised before the finish. *¾
ACR vs. Lindsay Snow
Fresh off some Impact appearances, ACR’s back in SHINE for this outing against Lindsay Snow, who’s ditched the mask she’d had for her prior appearance here.
Snow starts with a waistlock takedown on ACR, before a legsweep gets the Peruvian Rodriguez just a count of one. They work some more mat-based stuff as Snow flips out of some headscissors before trying to grab a knee bar… which ACR escapes and tries to turn into a Muta lock, but Snow grabbed the ropes before anything could happen.
At the second attempt, Snow grabs that knee bar, forcing ACR to grab the ropes before a series of armdrags and hiptosses put the former Sicaria member on the back foot. A right hand knocks ACR off the apron and to the floor, before she sidesteps a baseball slide dropkick and poses in the corner…
A drop toe hold takes Snow into the ropes as ACR looks to get back into it, but Snow rebounds into a crossface that’s quickly escaped from, as ACR tries a surfboard stretch that’s broken via a chinbreaker. Regardless, ACR goes back in with some chops, then gets some receipts before opting to throw Snow across the ring by her hair.
Snow nearly wins it with a schoolboy after a missed charge in the corner, before ACR bit her way out of an armbar, allowing her to hit a butterfly suplex for a near-fall. They both go for a crossbody at the same time, meaning they collide to the mat together… but it’s Snow who pops up first for some clotheslines and a release Fisherman’s suplex, before landing a uranage for a near-fall.
ACR quickly replies with a high kick though, and that’s enough to bring this solid back-and-forth contest to an end, as the out-on-her-own ACR picked up the win. ***
Aria Blake vs. Aerial Monroe
Aria’s out with Candy Cartwright and her latest friend Kiera Hogan, which puts Monroe at a really severe disadvantage, at least in terms of support.
Blake escapes a hammerlock by ruffling Monroe’s hair, which angered Aerial into s response, shoving down Blake for a Boston crab. Blake’s forced into a splits for a near-fall after that, as Monroe just toyed with her opponent, forcing her to clap her hands whilst in a double armbar.
A hair pull gets Blake back in it though, before an eye rake set up for an Axel Dieter Special of all things! Monroe escapes and lands a backfist to knock them both down, but Monroe gets back up for some more forearms, only to get caught in a bridging backslide that Monroe flipped out of before a count count be made.
Kiera Hogan and Candy Cartwright get on the apron as the referee falls for the distraction tactic yet again, allowing Blake to hit a completely legal running knee for a near-fall. Monroe returns with more forearms, before scoring with a diving clothesline for another two-count. Blake nearly gets it with a double-arm DDT, before falling to the Dirty Dancing (ripcord into a slap) as Monroe gets the win in a pretty decent outing – but can we please cool it with the interference trolling?? **¾
SHINE Tag Team Championship: La Sicarias (Ivelisse & Mercedes Martinez) vs. Santana Garrett & Gabi Castrovinci (c)
On the last SHINE show, Santana had a fill-in partner in the form of Chelsea Green… Chelsea came out, thinking she was still part of the team, only for Gabi Castrovinci (formerly Impact’s Raquel) to come out and put her straight.
We start with Ivelisse and Gabi, as a series of knees to the midsection softened the champion, who found herself taken down with a series of armdrags. Gabi replies with a springboard armdrag, which didn’t look too good, before bringing in the more experienced Santana Garrett, who went to work over Martinez.
The tide turns as Mercedes takes Garrett into the opposite corner as the challengers eked their way back into things, with Ivelisse stomping away on Santana before landing a short-DDT for a two-count. Eventually Gabi comes back in to land some shoulder tackles to Martinez, before a tiltawhirl into a side Russian legsweep sets up Gabi for an armbar… but the ring fills as the match breaks down, at least until Mercedez nails a chokebomb/spinebuster combo for a two-count on Gabi.
Ivelisse comes in to wear down Gabi some more, using a grounded Cobra clutch and a strangle hold, before forcing a two-count out of a Northern Lights suplex. A figure four headscissors keeps Gabi on the mat as the isolating tactics keep the relatively inexperienced Gabi in for a lot longer than she perhaps would have wanted.
Out of nowhere, Gabi slips out of a slam from Martinez and lands a cutter, allowing her to tag in Santana for some Soul Food (Eat De-feet), only for Ivelisse to quickly cut-off Santana’s offence. A tornado DDT off the ropes helps Gabi regain some order, only for her to be caught in the Three Amigas suplexes by Mercedes. Gabi’s not the legal woman though, which means that Mercedes ends up turning into a superkick as a Shining Star Press from Garrett looked to win it… but this time Ivelisse broke up the pin as the ring again filled up.
Santana tried for a wheelbarrow suplex, but Mercedes caught it and turned it into a wheelbarrow driver with some help from an Ivelisse superkick as La Sicarias snatched the belts! Like everything else on this show, it was way too short, but I liked the story of La Sicarias isolating Gabi before shocking Santana to win the titles. ***¼
Now, does that mean we get a feud of sorts between Gabi and Chelsea Green? Speaking of…
Chelsea Green vs. Allysin Kay
It’ a little weird seeing Chelsea wrestling in Florida without her in a wedding dress and looking like a mess. So much show that Kay pondered out loud if she knew her from somewhere…
That line of questioning snaps Chelsea into action, as she rams Allysin’s head into the turnbuckles, before Kay throws her Canadian opponent to the outside as the pair went for a tour around the bar. With some added forearms and chops! They even end up on the bar, where Chelsea sneaks a drink as she tried to crawl back to the ring, before deciding to try and kick Allysin off the chair… and ends up missing.
They continue to go around the ring as Kay tapes Chelsea’s mouth shut so she can get some more chops, before Kay rammed Chelsea’s head repeatedly into the apron. Green finally got some offence in, reversing an Irish whip to send Allysin into a supporting column, before both women connected with running big boots at the same time.
Kay gets up first to land a Northern Lights suplex for a near-fall, only to end up taking a DDT of sorts from Chelsea for another two-count as Green looked to go up top to finish this off… her leap’s caught and turned into something by Kay, and that’s enough for the win. I’m guessing it was meant to be a Randy Orton-style cutter off the top, but that looked really bad as the finish. *½
Candy Cartwright vs. Renee Michelle
Okay, this faction is verging on overexposure on this show now. Yes, Candy’s out with Kiera and Aria, as Renee Michelle’s first appearance here in over a year has her at the same disadvantage that Aerial Monroe faced earlier.
Michelle starts by wringing the arm of Cartwright, but the pair go back and forth with wristlocks until Renee scores with a headlock takedown. With a handful of hair, Cartwright escapes into a bridge, but quickly goes back to square one as the arm work continued. Another hairpull frees Candy, and allows her to hit a corner lariat, before her bulldog out of it went wrong as Renee stayed put.
Michelle comes back with some kicks that force Cartwright to the mat, before a middle rope moonsault got her a near-fall – with Aria Blake and Kiera Hogan running in for the blatant DQ. Not much of a match before the run-ins, I’m afraid, but it does set up something imminently… *½
The crowd chanted “bullshit” at the finish, causing Candy to freak out. They go after Renee on the outside for some reason, before Aerial Monroe, then Priscilla Kelly head out to even things up. The Mean Girls try to mean, but Monroe grabs the microphone and issues a challenge, so I guess we have an impromptu trios match now, despite another high-pitched Candy freak-out!
Candy Cartwright, Aria Blake & Kiera Hogan vs. Priscilla Kelly, Aerial Monroe & Renee Michelle
Candy refuses to enter the ring as her two friends get beaten down 3-on-2… at least until Renee gives chase and stars trading forearms around ringside.
Monroe decks Blake with the Dirty Dancing, whilst Hogan gets thrown to the outside by Kelly. Michelle lands a crossbody to Cartwright and Blake whilst Priscilla chops Hogan in the crowd, and this less a match than a poorly-shot brawl, featuring such directing choices as the cameraman cutting away from a stomp to the rear, before focusing on Priscilla… erm, fondling Kiera Hogan’s breasts.
Still on the outside, Michelle kicks away Cartwright before we go back to Hogan and Kelly in the ring, with the latter kissing Kiera before a springboard into a DDT off the middle rope gets the win. That was no good – I get the whole “I’m fed up of your friends attacking mine”, but this felt like they rushed through several shows of storylines in the space of an hour. It really didn’t help that the trios match was just a brawl with a sloppy finisher. DUD
Trevin Adams appears in the ring next to make an announcement on behalf of SHINE… apparently the influx of new talent in SHINE was a precursor to something. They’re creating a second singles title: the Nova championship! It’ll be crowned in a 16-woman tournament that’ll take place over two days in the Orpheum, with both shows live on FloSlam on July 13 and 14. Yes, those are the exact same days that WWE will be taping their WWE Women’s tournament at Full Sail University. Barely 100 miles away. Kneejerk, much?
SHINE Championship: Leva Bates vs. LuFisto (c)
After being totally in the bubble and not “getting” Leva’s Tina Belcher cosplay over WrestleMania weekend, it seems that she’s ditched the Cosplay stuff, and is just making do with video game soundbytes in her entrance. Does this mean the match’ll be good because less time was spent on the costume?
Stupid question time – what on earth did Leva do to get a title shot? Her last few outings have been losses, and she’s coming into this with a losing run since returning to singles action here last September…
After mocking Leva’s usual style, LuFisto gets slapped as the challenger lit into her with a vengeance… only to miss a charge into the corner and quickly eat a cannonball and big boot from LuFisto. A chop in the corner rocks Leva, who’s then choked against the ropes, then thrown with a butterfly suplex for a near-fall, only to get caught with a headscissor takedown as Leva tried to fight back.
Leva comes back with some knees, but another charge into the corner’s abruptly halted with a clothesline, allowing LuFisto to grab a camel clutch for a brief moment. The pain continues as LuFisto drags Leva across the ring post for a submission attempt, before rolling her across the ring apron for some clubbing forearms. A fightback sees Leva knock LuFisto into the front row for a chop, but she’s quickly charged back into the apron as Leva takes some kicks for an instant receipt.
It’s time for another visit to the bar, which Leva uses to dive off of into a crossbody, before they fight into the unlit part of the Orpheum, where Leva’s thrown down, before she returns to trip LuFisto on the bar. Back inside, Leva rolls into a kick to LuFisto’s knee, as she nails a Sliced Bread for a two-count, which prompts Leva to spend too much time moaning about the count that she gets caught with a fireman’s carry into a double-knee gutbuster.
Leva gets her shoulder up from that just in time, before she tries to hit a Pepsi Plunge – but LuFisto clubs out of that top rope Pedigree and goes for a superplex instead. Instead, Leva scores with a double stomp to the back for another two-count, then gets a superkick for similar result. The back and forth continues as both women headed for a win, with LuFisto coming close from a fireman’s carry spinebuster, before a Tiger Bomb only gets a one-count for the champ!
Leva Hulks up from that and slaps away at LuFisto, who quickly replies with a spinning backfist and a Burning Hammer to score the pin. That final sprint was really out of nowhere, but that was perhaps the best Leva match I’ve seen as a mixed bag of a show ended on a good note. ***¼
Before anyone has a pop at my ratings – I’ve always been one for NOT grading on a curve. SHINE has become known for having some good matches, but this show had a LOT of filler. A good match is a good match, regardless of the gender of those involved. If your “match” is just a brawl with a series of sloppy strikes that’s hard to watch, and a finish that’s almost dangerous, then it’s going to rank really badly in my estimation.
Ten matches in a little over two hours was way too many. It meant that everything was too short, and often felt rushed. So when so many of them were disappointing, you have to question the booking decisions that were made. Did you even need ten matches?
It felt like at least some of the Candy Cartwright and friends story was written after Malia Hosaka walked out on SHINE, but did we really need the creation, antagonising and blow-off in the same show?! Granted, SHINE’s had a few issues with talent being signed away from them recently, with Andrea leaving for WWE, and Kennadi Brink seemingly going the same way, but that’s no excuse to drop storylines cold without even a cursory explanation, as seemed to have been the case with ACR joining C4 (and of course, the Hosaka/Su Yung incidents as well).
With any luck things will have calmed down enough to have a more fluid show in July, for the Nova championship tournament that’s got more than a few heads shaking…