This is my first time actually writing anything other than a comment on a Wrestling blog. I don’t normally do this; because honestly I don’t really think I have all that much to say that anyone wants to hear. This isn’t me being humble, I’m just more of a listener than an opinion giver. But I thought I would share my experience because I realize how lucky I am to have seen this show and hope that some of you might check out Shine if it comes to your area.
The venue for Shine was Ybor, City Florida and a tiny little hole in the wall bar/music venue. The crowd seemed like a mixture of die hard fans and newbies curious to see if this promotion is really any good. I met up with my husband and a few friends we’ve formed from going to NXT house shows and we noted on the diversity of the crowd: young, old, White, Black, Latin, Asian, male and female; everyone and anyone seemed to be there. I saw a few fans with Jessica Havok shirts but most seemed to have their WWE apparel on with a few NXT shirts sprinkled in the crowd.
Despite the bare bones set up the production quality was fantastic; the women had amazing entrances and music and their kayfabe all around was fantastic. They each had truly unique characters from Jessica Havok’s scary bad ass monster chick to Crazy Mary’s lunatic fringe and Leva Bates hardest working woman in show business gimmick…they were all fantastic and clearly distinguishable characters with interesting and compelling motivations behind their actions. Yes, you can write compelling stories for women that don’t involve them stealing each others boyfriends or headbands or being crazy (but of course sexy) mean girls. Half of the women in Shine would not qualify as sexy but they would qualify as hugely entertaining and exciting actresses/athletes.
As far as the wrestling, it was full on technical and extreme. Brass knuckles, tables, ladders and chairs were all featured along with suplexes galore, head kicks, high flying rope acrobatics and power bombs aplenty. My favorite by far was Mary Dobson who never took a moment off from her kayfabe and sold every move like a champ. Her tornado DDT followed up by a half crab reversal was a thing of beauty. She then hit a running knee that certainly wasn’t “brie mode” and could teach the diva a thing or two about actually looking intimidating. My husband loved Candice LeRae and its hard to argue with that as she came out with a back pack literally filled with “things” including thing 1 to thing 7 from the doctor Suess classic. Her air head nice girl routine was awesome and backed up by some great ground and pound wrestling. And of course the lovely and hysterical So Cal Val who couldn’t be anymore interactive with the crowd exchanging jeers one on one while interfering with the match. Pinkies Up, indeed to Valkyrie, one of the main stables of Shine; they are a funny hilarious mixture of over confidence and snarkiness (is that a word?) making for a great bunch of heels. Their scary metallic Madonna era bras were a hoot as well likely making for the best “eye candy” of the night while still not feeling voyeuristic.
What else can say other then I was hugely entertained and plan to go to the next Shine event. These wrestlers really are incredible and I hope you get the opportunity to see them for yourself someday!