After crowning a Nova champion in July, SHINE returned to the Orpheum for their latest slice of action.
Hey, FloSlam… have you still not learned how to trim out the excessive stuff at the start of shows on-demand? There’s almost 45 minutes to fast forward, which is annoying thanks to a buggy web player that now freezes if you skip ahead too much too quickly. Anyways, once we get to live stuff, Trevin Adams quickly pitches to the warm-up match…
Kamilla Kaine vs. Miss Hanna
I guess Kaine is the one to boo here as she’s slapped away an opening handshake, and just as I wonder “hey, is the American football-inspired get-up intentional”, commentary tells us she used to play in the Lingerie Football League.
Kaine’s all over Hanna early, at least until a back heel kick stopped her in her tracks ahead of an awkward Stunner-ish move. Of course, we get the football tropes as Kaine hits some three-point stances into shoulder charges, and it’s really one-sided as a series of clotheslines keep Hanna down.
Hanna’s comeback looked uncertain at parts as she went for a standing moonsault knee drop, but that misses… and she’s eventually dropped with a spear for the win. Basic, but effective stuff for a pre-show match. Both need a lot more experience to sharpen their games, I feel. **
Cue an uncomfortably long pause as we see Trevin Adams standing in the ring, and it’s time to get things going as La Rosa Negra headed out “unplanned”. La Rosa’s got problems with ACR, who’s been involving herself in matches in recent weeks… Rodriguez hits the ring, and she’s instantly attacked, so I guess we have a match?
Anything Goes: La Rosa Negra vs. Amanda Carolina Rodriguez
Fists fly at the bell as the former members of the now-imploded La Sicarias had a score to settle… so they go straight into the crowd where the chairs are freely used.
This is more of a fight than a match, as we’re waiting a while before anything close to a regular move’s used, although Negra hits a splits-esque legdrop for a two-count as she changed tack. That cost her too, as ACR stomps Negra back to the outside… and literally, they go to the outside, as they fight through some fire doors as the street outside the Orpheum became a makeshift arena.
ACR and Negra stop traffic as things get insanely blurry for some reason. Was it foggy in Ybor City that night? Somehow, Lenny Leonard can see better than we can, and the opportunity for impressive visuals was cut short as they return to the ringside area.
Things shift back and forth as the fighting gave way to more orthodox wrestling, and it’s not too long before ACR gets the win as Negra ran into a boot in the corner. Well, that was a pretty solid brawl – just a shame we couldn’t see the outdoors stuff! It felt like a rather sudden blow-off, but we’ll have to see where these go after here. **¾
We’ve got a post-match interview, like Style Battle, but it’s curtailed as Negra chases away ACR mid-promo.
Natalia Markova vs. MJ Jenkins
Markova’s back after making an impression during the last SHINE weekender, and I swear that’s a Eurovision song she’s coming out to. She’s got the debuting MJ Jenkins as opposition, and from the opening handshake we’ve got the bare bones of a match, with reversals and the like.
Markova’s apparently got a decade of experience, but she’s struggling here against MJ, who hits a big spinning heel kick for a two-count. A comeback comes in the form of kicks from Natalia, eventually scoring with a big high kick for a near-fall ahead of some back-and-forth chops.
Jenkins rebounds with boots and knees in the corner, before they boot each other at the same time to force a standing ten count. They return for clotheslines, but MJ edges ahead with some back elbows before a missile dropkick almost won it. Markova tries to snatch the win with a bulldog, only for MJ to end things with a Widow’s Peak. That was fine, but a lot of the match felt like it was at half-speed – I get selling, but moving slowly doesn’t equate to selling in this short a match! **½
It looks like that post-match interview attempt earlier was just a one-off…
Stormie Lee vs. Lady Chardonnay D’Arcy
Like Nathan Cruz, D’Arcy is over in the States on a brief tour – you may recognise her more as NGW’s Chardonnay, or Lady Katherine D’Arcy (before she smashed the two names together for this current character). There’s no sign of the prim-and-proper act that we last saw her with here, so forget about the butler!
Stormie roughs up D’Arcy early on, and it’s another even start as Lee’s kept down with a wristlock, before a cartwheel into a dropkick took Stormie down… but it’s not long before she starts clubbing away on D’Arcy. Lee offered a free shot, and although it was taken, she stayed on top of things whilst mocking the crowd. Eh, it’s the first time a heel’s done that tonight, so it stood out a little.
A version of a Dragon sleeper keeps D’Arcy down, as does an armbar, before Chardonnay launched into a spirited comeback, dropping Stormie with a Finlay roll for a near-fall. D’Arcy built to a Tower of London, but Lee fought free and just dropped her with the K5 – a weird sit-out jawbreaker – for the win. That finish looked odd, and totally out of nowhere. As for the match, it was fine, but forgettable given SHINE avoid storylines in the undercard. **¼
Stormie gets a post-match promo, mostly telling D’Arcy to go back to her country… except she’s off to STARDOM instead.
Vanessa Kraven vs. Dementia D’Rose
Kraven’s back in SHINE for the first time since March, and she’s immediately pushing away the charge of the onrushing D’Rose. They exchange charges into the corner as Dementia edges ahead with some headbutts before missing a hip attack.
Kraven doesn’t miss with her cannonball, but it barely gets a one-count, as the pair head on to chop each other silly in the corners. Those chops just anger Kraven though, but she’s unable to bounce back as she’s sent into the ropes with a hip attack. An Earthquake-style sit-out splash nearly does the job for D’Rose, then a sit-down Whoopee Cushion out of the cushion as Vanessa’s finding herself in an unusual defensive position here, with a camel clutch almost forcing a submission… but she fights free and hits a Meteora to the back of the head for a near-fall.
Dementia bites away on Kraven to get back in it, leading to a Samoan drop for a near-fall as the two continue to trade shots until Kraven snuck in the Cliff Hanger (choke bomb) for the win. A solid match, but again this felt a little slow paced at times. Good to see Kraven back in SHINE, but the fact this was an even match makes me feel that there’s no plans? **¾
After the match, D’Rose attacked Kraven from behind and crushed her with a series of hip attacks in the corner. So… that’ll be a rematch or what? We’ll have to wait for SHINE 46 to see if they remember it!
Cutie Pie Club (Candy Cartwright, Kiera Hogan & Aria Blake) vs. Aja Perrera, Dominique Fabiano & Lea Nox
Well, they’re at least condensing this into one match I suppose, after the CPC were all over that SHINE weekender in July. They’re facing a makeshift trio who mock the CPC with backflips and cartwheels… and I’m hoping that that’s not the highlight.
Perrera and Cartwright keep it basic early on, before Aria Blake runs into a log roll from Aja… Lea Nox keeps Blake down with a roll-through snapmare before drilling her with a pump kick for a two-count as SHINE’s answers to Mean Girls struggle. At least, they did until Fabiano took too long playing to the crowd…
Fabiano manages to regain the advantage, but Kiera Hogan rolls to the outside to regroup – only for some baseball slides to keep the CPC down. A dive off the apron from Nox does the same job, as does a flip cannonball from Fabiano, who came so close to landing on her head.
Back in the ring, Hogan took over on Fabiano, as the Cutie Pie Club triple-team her with some slightly-too-effective choking, judging by the colour of Fabiano’s face. Cartwright returns to do her part in a double suplex, before pulling Dominique into a bow-and-arrow submission… almost pinning herself in the process.
Blake gets tagged in and tried to force a submission with the Axel Dieter Special, before releasing as she too nearly got pinned, ahead of a duelling headkick. More tags get us to Aja Perrera, who gets a two count with a Butterfly driver, and things start to get a little spotty from there as Lea Nox comes in to hit a standing moonsault, before acting all surprised that she couldn’t score a pin as she wasn’t legal.
Perrera and Hogan were legal though, which led to a hissy fit as Candy hit a top rope crossbody… which the ref also wouldn’t count the pin on. Stuff like that just makes wrestlers look dumb, does it not? Nevermind, Candy gets a blind tag in, and lands the Candy Crush neckbreaker/facebuster on Nox, and that’s enough for the win. This went a little too long for a “established team against randomers” match, but such is the way with SHINE, you can’t have someone take too much offence in case they suddenly get plans… **¾
After the match, Candy and her friends had promo time. Apparently she’s getting another shot at Priscilla Kelly’s NOVA title at Style Battle. Spoiler: it wasn’t good. Surely Kiera Hogan should have had it since it was her birthday weekend?
Brandi Lauren vs. Allysin Kay
Or Ava Storie vs. Sienna in Impact! Speaking of, Kay had her GFW Women’s title with her, which opens a huge can of worms given what’s happening with GFW and Impact!
Lauren runs around ringside at the start, avoiding Kay with a Benny Hill chase scene, before using some of the crowd to hide behind. It’s getting a little tiresome, but then finally Lauren misses an elbow drop and Kay finally gets her hands on her.
There’s back and forth as Kay forearms and chops Lauren in the corner, but Brandi escapes and stomps away… only for Kay to capitalise on every hesitation that’s made. Somehow, a reverse DDT only gets a one-count, so Lauren takes the fight outside… where she sends herself into a chair with a hip attack. Allysin has better luck with hers, as they fight on the bar before going back to ringside.
An RKO gets Lauren a two-count “outta nowhere”, before she tries to resort to foul means… the ref removes a steel chair from her, which allows Kay to hit a Stunner for the win. Pretty decent, but Lauren dives onto Kay’s GFW belt and hits her with out after the match… so this is clearly building up towards a no-DQ match down the line. ***
SHINE Nova Championship: Jordynne Grace vs. Priscilla Kelly (c)
Grace went out in the semi-finals of the Nova title tournament in July, so I guess it makes sense to be the first one to challenge for the belt in SHINE.
The pair escape strangleholds early, as Kelly steps free whilst Grace goes for power as the pair look to immobilise the other through holds. When they pick up the pace, Grace charges down Kelly with shoulder tackles, making her size and power difference show, before a caught kick just earns the challenger a knee strike.
Jordynne retaliates with a back suplex for a near-fall, but the champion comes back with a snapmare as she looked to kick away on a grounded Grace before choking her against the bottom rope. A missed corner charge somehow gives Kelly a chance to bite Grace’s shiny (costume’d) rear end, before Jordynne escaped a Made in Sin attempt and hit a spinebuster instead. Grace recovers quickest and nearly wins with a Michinoku driver, before locking in a bear hug again, which gets countered and back into a suplex.
Kelly makes a comeback and splats into Grace with a crossbody off the top for a near-fall, before getting something similar with an STO. Grace hits back out of the corner with a Liger Bomb, but that too gets a near-fall, as Kelly rushes in with a half-nelson suplex before pulling Graced into the Made In Sin for the submission. A pretty solid match, with Grace enjoying large parts of the match before being made to pay for a slip up at the end. ***½
After the match, Candy Cartwright and her pals hit the ring to beat down Kelly and Grace, but they quickly overcome the numerical advantage as the Cutie Pie Club scatter.
SHINE Championship: Holidead vs. Ivelisse vs. LuFisto (c)
We’ve a triple-threat for the title here, just because. I guess their draw in the opening round of the Nova title tournament somehow qualifies them for this? LuFisto’s eschewed the last few parts of her old military gear, so I’m guessing that’s C4 dead and buried.
Ivelisse and LuFisto have beef since the former was made to vacate her title – which LuFisto then won back in January. The former champ uses headscissors to sent LuFisto into Holidead, as commentary reminds us that there’s no eliminations here, so of course, we’re in for lots and lots of broken-up pins.
Ivelisse tries to snatch an early win over Holidead, but there’s a kick-out as LuFisto scarpers to the outside… and gets joined outside by the other two for some chops in front of the crowd. Ivelisse gets laid out so we get Holidead and LuFisto for a bit, with the SHINE newcomer charging the champion into the corners, before missing a shoulder charge as she went all the way through to the ringpost.
LuFisto keeps knocking Ivelisse away so she can keep this as a singles match, and a series of boots to both challengers seemed to have this clear sailing for LuFisto. A diving dropkick keeps Holidead in the corner, but Ivelisse is perching on the ropes ready to strike… and strike she does with a tornado DDT!
Ivelisse mounts LuFisto for some punches on the ground, as it’s Holidead’s turn to be kept out of the ring, meaning that LuFisto had no help and had to kick out after Ivelisse rolled the dice on her. A rolling snapmare into a kick gets another two-count for Ivelisse, who then had to contend with an arisen Holidead, who went for her with a superplex, only for LuFisto to change plans and turn it into a Tower of Doom instead.
LuFisto took took long to celebrate, which sparks a series of German suplexes before Holidead lands a swinging side slam into an Air Raid Crash for a near-fall. An inverted figure four from LuFisto has Ivelisse in trouble… but Holidead rolls them over and traps the champion in a camel clutch as the double submission attempt didn’t pay off.
Holidead tried for a package piledriver, which Ivelisse broke up… a missed big boot from Holidead catches her in the corner as Ivelisse was sent outside, allowing LuFisto to drop Holidead with a Burning Hammer for the win… despite Ivelisse’s despairing dive! This felt a little “by the numbers” in terms of a triple threat match, but this kept things going if they are going back to Ivelisse/LuFisto down the line. ***
After the Nova title tournament, which was a bit hit and miss, this was a solid show by SHINE standards. It started out a little shaky, but it picked up by the end, which seems to be the standard as you run the gamut between inexperienced and the established wrestlers. Thing is, fans have been burned by SHINE’s storylines in the very recent past, with Su Yung’s feud against LuFisto being and Malia Hosaka’s crusade against newbies being abruptly halted (without a pay-off) in recent months. That could be the reason why obvious storylines are being limited to single-show deals – but unlike other WWN properties, it doesn’t seem to be hurting the crowds.