Shine 29
Welcome to Shine 29! This was by far one of the best nights of wrestling  I’ve seen live.  The heat between Valifornia and Valkyrie was infectious and not lost on an equally hot and highly appreciative crowd.  This was Shine’s coming out party, and to all the uninitiated: you are missing out on some  seriously skilled wrestling and some first rate story telling. On to the matches:

It all started with some bad news, the Island Girl, Tracy Taylor, was not able to make it to the show. Our somewhat vertically challenged announcer, Rob Naylor, comes to the ring and discusses the night’s hot topic: will Valkyrie and Valifornia merge under one banner? Well not if AK-47 has something to say about it. Allysin Kay most certainly was not in favor, noting that Valkyrie does not need the likes of So Cal Val and her crew. Pinkies up and out and Kay, “the classy one,” set us all up for the night’s dramatic punch line (pun most definitely intended).

  1. “Crazy” Mary Dobson (with Daffney) defeats Miss Rachel

Great mismatched size match with Crazy Mary looking sharp with some wonderful limb manipulations and grappling against the powerhouse Brit. Crazy Mary, the undeniable heel in the match, seemed somewhat stunned by the overwhelming support of the fans, who truly went crazy seeing her back again at Shine, me being one of them!  Miss Rachel was also fantastic slamming Mary with a sharp leg drop to the mid section, making Mary look like an empty tube of toothpaste. Lots of head-buts galore and the two ladies both seemed frustrated with their inability to put the other away.  Ultimately Crazy Mary needed some outside intervention from the vicious Daffney to set up her outstanding  combo of a cartwheel knee drop to a top rope, moonsault for the win. Crazy Mary is back alright and Shine is the better for it! Great match to kick of the night!

2) Taylor Made (with April Hunter) defeats Cherry Bomb

First out for Valkyrie is Taylor Made, and she is here to prove that Valkyrie are not on a losing streak. This started out vicious and stayed that way the whole match. These two tiny ladies bounced off each other beautifully working headlocks and wrist reversals along with a brutal clothesline take down by Cherry Bomb. Cherry Bomb honestly looked like a line backer in this one slamming Taylor Made  with a series of shoulder tackles that the Buccaneers would envy. My favorite part of the match was both ladies wonderful reversals of each others’ suplex attempts keeping the pacing even and the audience in complete suspension of disbelief. Finally, Cherry Bomb got the upper hand nicely blocking Taylor Made’s neck breaker and hitting her signature Death Valley Driver for the win.  But no! April distracts the referee just in time for Cherry Bomb to fall victim to Taylor Made’s behind the back roll up. Loved these wrestlers’ non-verbals with each other, and just a few looks at Cherry Bomb and the crowd could tell that this feud was far from over.  The tag team Champion may have lost but she was not going to leave quietly. Outstanding match and I would have given it my match of the night if it hadn’t been for the next brawl.

3) Leva Bates and Mia Yim (the Lucha Sisters) defeat Valifornia’s Andrea and Jayme Jameson (with So Cal Val)

Wow can Leva Bates make an entrance!  WWE needs to have her give a clinic to their wrestlers on how to enter a ring.  Bates and Yim come out looking like Swayze and Reeves from the 90’s movie Point Break, with Yim sporting a Nixon rubber mask and Bates rocking the Reagan rubber mask. Lots of rump shaking later and then the wrestling took over. This was honestly the best wrestling I have ever seen out of Leva Bates who made me a convert.  For me, the match up of Andrea and Leva Bates completely stole the show.  Andrea was on an absolute rampage tearing Mia Yim apart with some awesome leg drops and flying knees. Not to mention that power bomb! I wouldn’t be surprised if Yim is walking crooked for a few weeks. Eventually the battered Yim, hot tags Bates in who literally cleaned house. Bates’ chicken wing and bridge to Jayme was a thing of beauty only later out done by an awesome jaw breaker to Andrea. Some great team work by the Lucha Sisters ended the bout with a Yim piledriver and a Bates super kick of doom.  But it’s after the win that things get really interesting.  While the reunited Lucha Sisters are feeling high on life, Andrea starts cleaning house on a surprise attack by Daffney’s new badies, Iron Maiden.  A seriously pissed off Cherry Bomb joins in the fray and basically all hell breaks loose.  Andrea looked awesome here, like a crazed vigilante out to inflict pain. Lexie Fyfe eventually comes out and threatens to suspend Daffney and her Iron Maiden if they don’t leave.  After a tense stand off Daffney and her crew retreat but its clear we haven’t seen the last of them. For me this was match of the night, and my conversion to full on Leva Bates mark.  Honestly, what took me so long, I’ll never know.

4) Su Yung (with April Hunter) defeats Luscious Latasha, sort of?

Okay, so we have a problem here.  There is no one to face Su Yung and our favorite, undead wrestler demands an opponent. So out pops fresh faced and adorable Luscious Latasha, who did a great job working the ring psychology of the plucky under-dog against the unpredictable monster.  Su Yung is seriously the most creative athlete in wrestling.  She is like watching a live horror movie, as she perfectly blends her highly original character with her wrestling moves. My favorite part of this match was when Su dropped her straps, to the “oooh’s and aaw’s” of the mostly male audience only to be caught in the ropes by the highly skilled Latasha.  While things looked bad for Su, she amazingly comes back with a super strength sit out power bomb to the luscious one. Su then ended it off with an absolutely spectacular airplane spin to a Michinoku Driver. How is this tiny women so strong?  It must be all of that blood she is drinking!  Su then gives Latasha a taste of said blood slowly dripping it into her victim’s breathless mouth.  This was awesome and disgusting!  The referee finally can take no more of Su’s form of celebrating and he reverses the win decision, leaving Su in a rage of inconsolable sobbing. Beautiful match and great story telling, what else can you expect from Su Yung.

5) Jessicka Havok defeats LuFisto

You knew this match was going to be amazing from the get go, with ring general LuFisto versus the technical wizardry of the Havok death machine. LuFisto looked especially great here and I think she deserved the “you still go it” chant so I’ll give it to her now: you still got it girl! My favorite part of the match was when Havok and LuFisto went all out street fight exchanging chops outside the ring followed by Havok whipping LuFisto’s head back and forth over the apron like a jack in the box. LuFisto and Havok then both stood up, seemingly about to re-enter the ring, when LuFisto goes completely crazy nailing a cannonball off the apron leaving Havok face planted and LuFisto bleeding. Damn and double damn! In the end, high flying LuFisto is blocked on the top turnbuckle and and fed to the Havok “Air Raid Crash” for the win. Awesome bout between two true wrestling professionals.

6)Leah Von Dutch defeats Brandi Wine (with Leilani Kai)

LVD the “Dino Hunter” was back at Shine and ready to take on one half of Legendary in the form of the ever confident Brandi Wine. Of course this is Leilani Kai’s show, so expect a lot of foul play and outside ring antics. Even before the bell ring, Kai was at it, tripping LVD and distracting the clearly ADHD plagued referee.  For me the best part of the match was Brandi Wine’s head kicks to LVD, followed by an airplane spin to a clothesline. The very dizzy LVD is then stunned by a sweet Brandi Wine uppercut that would make Cesaro proud. Ultimately LVD emerged the victor on a boot to the face followed by a camel clutch of sorts. Not to be outdone, Malia Hosaka, the other half of Legendary emerges with Thunderkitty in tow to the lay the beat down on LVD. Our young heroine is left defenseless until Ivelisse and Amanda Rodriguez show up, not so much to help LVD, but to avenge La Rose Negra’s beat down by Hosaka from Shine 28.  I loved the continuity here and Ivelisse’s refusal to play hero.  For Ivelisse this was personal and LVD’s match was just an excuse to enact some vengeance. So with that perfect set up, onto match 7!

7)  Amanda Carolina Rodriguez and Ivelisse defeat Thunderkitty and Malia Hosaka (with Leilani Kai)

Before I even recap, let’s just say: “kitty got claws” was the chant of the night! Thunderkitty got to show her wrestling acumen and wonderful character acting as she ran away from Ivelisse while clawing and suplexing Rodriguez to oblivion. Ivelisse’s series of leg kicks were fast and furious and Rodriguez looked sharp against the always amazing Malia.  Best part of the match for me, was Malia abandoning Thunderkitty to the wrath of Rodriguez and Ivelisse leaving her victim to a stunning guillotine to DDT combo. And Ivelisse kept going after the win; assaulting Thunderkitty before her somewhat indifferent team finally rescued her. Man, Thunderkitty, time to find some new allies!

8)  Vanessa”the Mountain” Kraven defeats Athena”the goddess of wrestling”

What a wonderful match-up; there was pretty much nothing these two wrestlers didn’t try to inflict on each other. The high flying goddess appeared to have the upper-hand early on but Kraven is a work horse with a seemingly bottomless wrestling repertoire. Key moment for me was Athena’s head scissors to  Kraven followed by a baseball slide to the floor and Athena loudly declaring Kraven to be a “hussy!”  Awesome use of the word hussy and wonderful reaction by Kraven, who then almost decapitates the Goddess with a brilliantly timed enzuigiri. My other stand out moment was the “powerbomb heard round the world” by Kraven to Athena to end the match. Simply put, these two ladies rock together and Kraven needs to be the next Shine champion; end of story! Jessica Havok was also impressed and basically begged Kraven for a re-match of their killer Shine 28 feud.  Kraven was less then interested walking away from Havok despite the loud boos from the crowd demanding Havok versus Kraven part two.I’m guessing the fans will win out in the end on this one.

9) Shine Championship Match: Santana defeats Allysin Kay (with April Hunter)

Kay and Santana put on an absolute clinic here leaving us all on in suspense and on our feet.  This battle went in and out of the ring seamlessly while these two whipped each other around like rag dolls. At one point I gave up my seat, while AK-47 barreled Santana in the chest with punches and kicks, only to whip her back into the ring apron. Back in the ring, Kay and Santana go back and forth between Kay’s masterful grappling and Santana’s onslaught of kicks. I loved how Kay slid Santana into the Boston crab hold again and again along with knocking out the referee with her signature discus lariat. Unfortunately with no Zebra at hand, Kay is left with no official and Santana manages to escape.  This leaves Hunter thinking enough is enough and Kay and her start to exit the match with the belt in hand.  Hey that’s one way to win, after all! Of course Santana wasn’t having it, forcing Kay back into the ring and then almost immediately being defeated by a beautiful cradle shock. However, Santana, the superwoman, kicks out, nailing Kay with a hurricanrana for the win. Kay was great here as the love-able tweener that we all were rooting for against the almost too perfect, or John Cena-esque, Santana.  However, she couldn’t quite make it through because no one can really beat superwoman, can they?

After the pin to Kay,  Valifornia comes out to clean house attacking Santana in the ring.  This sends out most of the Shine crew including Cherry Bomb and Latasha who enter the fray to defend our champion. After much chaos, the members of Valkyrie and Valifornia stand in the ring and inform Kay that they have decided to join forces.  Kay won’t hear this nonsense and she immediately attacks Andrea and Hunter declaring herself to be a free agent with her fists. Despite her teammates pleads ring side, AK-47 walks out alone her statement made, that Shine champion or not, she is not going to be bullied into a false alliance.  Great moment for Kay, and wonderful story telling all around.

This installment from Shine was pitch perfect, showing once again why independent women’s wrestling is an unstoppable force. Whether you call it a “revolution,” divas, women, athletes or wrestlers, it’s time to call this what it is; a damn good artistic spectacle.


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