Saturday, January 14, 2017

SHINE 40 Review

SHINE 40 Review
January 13th, 2017 | The Orpheum in Ybor City, Florida

Typically, I wouldn’t be able to catch every WWN event. That is no longer the case with FloSlam.TV, which I signed up for earlier this week. I won’t be doing reviews for every FloSlam.TV show but when I have the time, I will, like this one. It’s my first SHINE show since 35, where Ivelisse won the title.

Speaking of Ivelisse, news broke shortly before the show started that she was not cleared to compete and had to vacate the title. When Lenny Leonard brought it up to start the show, her scheduled opponent, LuFisto, came out to claim the gold. She was interrupted by SHIMMER Champion Mercedes Martinez and then Allysin Kay, who both also wanted the title. A Triple Threat main event was scheduled to determine a new champion.

Su Yung def. Angel Rose, Jayme Jameson and Jessie Bell Smothers in 12:20
I’m pretty sure this was my first look at Rose and Smothers. Rose was the only one not intimidated by Yung and went right at her before they both dove outside to take out the other two women. From there, this followed standard multi-person match format. Each girl was given a chance to do her thing with lots of in and out action and no down time. Yung was clearly the heavy favorite and her character and look are certainly different. The fight made it over to the bar, where Yung hit a DDT on top of it. Rose pulled out an impressive moonsault to the outside, taking out Jameson. It came down to Yung and Rose, as it should have, and Yung put her away with a spinning Michinoku Driver. I thought this was a fun opener with lots of action. Yung was the clear star but Rose stood out and was very impressive.***

Malia Hosaka def. Brandi Lauren in 5:30
Lauren has a good look and this is my first time seeing her. Hosaka has been around forever, even working in WCW in the 90’s. I’ve seen her a fair amount in SHIMMER. I love how commentary said Hosaka was cranky and not angry. It’s a fitting adjective. Lauren pandered to the crowd early, which only made Malia crankier. Malia wore her down with the DREADED nerve hold. Lauren showed some fire in a comeback attempt, but fell to a submission. Decent enough match. Lauren is green but showed flashes of potential. Extra quarter star for Hosaka yelling throughout and being entertaining. 

Xandra Bale def. Aerial Monroe in 9:12
Again, it’s my first look at both women. The crowd seemed to like Monroe. Bale went after her hair early, which triggered Monroe to inform her that you “never touch a black girl’s hair.” Bale apologized but deliberately went after it again, cementing herself as the antagonist. This was a good back and forth match with Bale playing a good heel and Monroe impressing with resilient babyface offense. She survived some big offense and came close a few times. Bale would go on to win with a spinning fisherman’s suplex. I came away impressed by both women and the match quality ticked upward here. The ladies shook hands after the match. **½

Candy Cartwright def. Leva Bates in 9:29
Leva Bates came out in Assassin’s Creed related cosplay and her staged entrance was fun, with her beating up random fans. Candy looks like straight out of WWE’s “Divas” era. Leva doesn’t wow me with her ring work but she’s always fun and the cosplay gimmick is a smart way to make sure she gets a pop, even with unfamiliar audiences. Candy played the bitchy role, talking trash and showing a lot of attitude, while Leva fought from underneath. Leva was fine here for the most part but Candy looks awkward. There were several spots that came off looking very poor. Cartwright won in a bit of an upset with the Candy Crush (inverted neckbreaker of sorts). Too many moments that just looked fake to make this any good. 

Rachel Ellering def. Chelsea Green in 10:41
They called this the “Lance Storm Special” since both girls came from his wrestling school. Ellering is the daughter of legendary manager Paul Ellering. Green was the arrogant heel but once Ellering got going, she got her ass handed to her. Ellering was throwing bombs and Green tried to give it back but Ellering was having none of that. She shook them off, dared her to bring more and fired back bigger blows. Green busted out the Orton rope hung DDT for two and threw a bit of a tantrum. Ellering avoided an Unprettier and scored with a TKO to win. Best match on the show so far. Their chemistry was spot on due to their history. Outside of one lame looking rollup, everything was crisp. I loved the contrast of the arrogant prissy Chelsea and the aggressive, hard hitting Rachel. I’m more impressed with Rachel each time I see her. ***¼

SHINE Tag Team Championship: Raquel and Santana (c) def. C4 (Amber O’Neal and Kennadi Brink) and Las Sicarias (Amanda Carolina Rodriguez and Thea Trinidad) in 8:32
I’m familiar with everyone in this except Brink. Thea was dressed like Harley Quinn (complete with bat and “pudding” choker) but didn’t go all-in with the hair. With just two women legal at once, C4 was content to sit back and watch ACR and Santana start. Like the multi-person match earlier, everyone got a bit of time to strut their stuff. There was an underlying story of Raquel trying to prove herself as not just someone riding Santana’s coattails. C4 was the more interesting of the challengers and a did great job with trash talk. Santana got the hot tag but it wasn’t until a Las Sicarias miscommunication where Thea kicked ACR that she picked up the win. Santana sent Thea outside and hit the shining star press to retain. Fun little match here with everyone getting a good opportunity and it advanced the stories for Raquel and C4 since ACR left with them. **¾

SHINE Championship: LuFisto def. Allysin Kay and Mercedes Martinez in 17:52
LuFisto, the leader of C4, was an early punching bag. Kay and Martinez took turns attacking her while badmouthing one another. Once they stopped working together, they all traded offense. Kay took LuFisto to the bar for a beating, but stopped to get a drink and to tell a young fan not to do the same. Martinez relaxed in the ring, waiting since she knew the match couldn’t end out there. All three women brought big offense and some hard strikes. Martinez got the first close near fall with a brainbuster. They worked a cool spot where LuFisto had Kay in a submission and Martinez put LuFisto in one at the same time. Kay got revenge at the bottom of a good old fashioned tower of doom spot. There were near falls on a fisherman buster, German suplex and even a burning hammer. Outside, Martinez suplexed LuFisto onto a row of steel chairs. Kay and Martinez both nearly won on several occasions down the stretch, before Kay got a rear naked choke in. Martinez pulled a Bret Hart circa Survivor Series 96 or WM8 and countered into a pin. She had Kay’s shoulders pinned but LuFisto crept over and covered her for a confusing win. That was on pace to easily be the best thing on the show but that finish hurt it for me. I’ve never been a fan of it, and it didn’t even seem like LuFisto had the pin for three. Also, if Martinez could be pinned by LuFisto, then here shoulders were down too and the pin on Kay shouldn’t have counted. Still, other than that the match was strong with some great drama built up near the end. ***½

Overall: 6/10. I enjoyed this show. There were some good things and some bad, but for the most part, it moved along briskly and was fun. I wasn’t a big fan of the Hosaka/Lauren match or Bates/Candy, though both had positives. Ellering/Green and the main event were the best things on the card, while I also liked the Tag Team Title match and the opening four way. I’ll be checking out SHINE 41 when the time comes.