Despite being the home of Evolve, IPW: UK, FIP and OTT, in many ways, the flagship of FloSlam is actually SHINE. The all-women’s promotion, a part of WWN (parent network of Evolve, FIP, and Style Battle), was the fledgling wrestling streaming site’s first ever live event with SHINE 38 in November of last year. The library now contains SHINE 1 – 20, plus the last five, and they add more weekly. It’s added a broader accessibility to watching women’s indie wrestling to fans who may not have considered ordering some of the women’s wrestling centric streaming services for Stardom World Wonder Ring or wait for DVDs from Shimmer.
By providing SHINE as part of the package of other respected indie promotions, Shine has a good chance of emerging as the break out promotion for women’s wrestling and gaining some new fans simply because it’s available. They’ve really turned up the heat since Shine 38 and it comes to a head tonight at Shine 40 as Shine Champion Ivelisse (a 2-time Trios Champion on Lucha Underground) defends her title against the #1 contender for the title, a 20-year wrestling legend from Sorel-Tracy, Quebec, the original Extreme Warrior Queen, LuFisto.
We start off with Shine announcer Lenny Leonard announcing that the SHINE Champion was injured before the event and has not been medically cleared to defend her title in tonight’s main event. In fact, she has been forced to vacate her championship! Whaaaaa..?!?
No.1 contender LuFisto comes down to the ring demanding that the title be handed to her as she was supposed to face Ivelisse. Mercedes Martinez comes down and tells LuFisto that the “Latina Sensation” and SHINE Original was back and she deserves a title shot more than anyone in the locker room.
Allysin Kay comes down and berates them both, saying that she is also a SHINE Original and that if anyone is deserving it’s her.
Leonard announces that the originally planned Challenger Series match between Allysin Kay and Mercedes Martinez will now include LuFisto and it will be a Triple Threat for the vacant Shine Championship, tonight in the main event.
First Match: Four Way Fray: Su Yung vs. Jayme Jameson vs. Jesse Belle Smothers vs. Angel Rose
Angel Rose comes down first, making her SHINE debut, followed by “Full Blooded Italian” Tracey Smother‘s ‘daughter’ Jesse Belle Smothers. Jayme Jameson follows, with the demonic Su Yung coming in last.
Angel Rose starts off facing off against Su Yung, with the newest Shine member showing no fear in the face of the maniacal Yung. They rush each other and but instead of attacking each other, they dive through the ropes, each attacking Smothers and Jameson on the floor.
Rose pairs off with Smothers by the ring, slamming her head off the apron. She enters the ring to face Yung, he disposed of Jameson at ringside.
Smothers and Jameson enter and break up a pin attempt by Yung, with Jameson taking out Yung in the corner, while Smothers stomped a fallen Rose.
Smothers sneak attacks her ally by attempting a quick roll up on Jameson, by Jameson kicks out at two and disposes of Smothers out the ring, returning to Su Yung in the corner.
Jameson gets Yung up to the top rope, who is soon joined by Rose to attempt a superplex on Yung. Smothers runs up and slams Jameson and Rose from the top rope, effectively double superplexing Yung as well.
Jameson recovers first and removes Smothers from the ring, then turns her attention on Rose. In a display of brute strength, Jameson toss Rose like dart, only to walk into an attack by Yung.
Yung drags Jameson out to the bar in the venue, followed by Smothers and Rose. All four climb the bar, with Yung DDTing Jameson on the wooden bar top. Rose drops Smothers on the bar, cheers Yung with a beer, then they go at it with each other.
Smothers trips Yung on the bar top, causing her to fall, then suplexes Yung on the concrete bar floor.
Jameson emerges slams Rose and throws Yung over her shoulder, then tosses her into the crowd. Jameson and Smothers are arguing over who should take out Yung for good, when Rose lands a top rope moonsault onto the three on the floor.
Smothers recovers first and pulls Yung into the ring, where she throws on the camel clutch. Yung refuses to submit, so Smothers goes for the pin, but is broken up by Jameson. The two begin to slug it out.
Yung gains some energy and takes out both Smothers and Jameson, then turns her attention to Rose, returning to the ring. Yung pins Rose after a spinning Michinoku Driver.
Shine On: Solid opening match. High energy and all four women really shone (no pun intended). Yung took a beating, especially on those brutal bar shots, but emerged victorious, like a wounded animal. Rose had an impressive debut, showing a lot of guts, especially with that top rope moonsault to the floor. Jameson really got to showcase her power in this match, throwing the others around with ease. Smothers showed her veteran psychology and really pulled the match together. These four went toe to toe and worked tough and it set a real tone for the night.
Second Match: Malia Hosaka vs. Brandi Lauren
Brandi Lauren, a protege of former ROH World Champion Jay Lethal, comes out first, followed by “The Modern Day Moolah” Malia Hosaka. Hosaka is a 30-year veteran who was a part of WCW‘s Women’s division during the early days of the Monday Night Wars, facing off against Lelanai Kai, Madusa and WCW Women’s Champion Akira Hokuto.
A real showcase of the Old Guard vs The New Blood, as Lauren and Hosaka start off tough, trading holds early.
A spinning heel kick from Hosaka turns the tide, and Hosaka begins to work on the arm of Lauren in the middle of the ring.
Lauren gets a short lived comeback, but Malia counters into a double arm submission that forces Brandi to tap quickly.
Shine On: Brandi Lauren is coming along nicely for a young talent – she’s only been wrestling approximately a year. She’s got great potential with some more matches under her belt. Fortunately, she was in the ring with a 47-year old who has travelled the world. Hosaka looked great and the veteran was gritty and methodical in her dismantling of the younger opponent.
Third Match: Xandra Bale vs. Aerial Monroe
Aerial Monroe enters the ring first. For those who don’t follow the indies regularly, you may recognize her as one of the first squashes by Nia Jax, back in August on Monday Night Raw. A trainee of Cedric Alexander and George South Jr., she’s a regular from Queens of Combat, who has recently debuted for SHINE.
Her opponent comes down next, Toronto, Canada’s “Suicide Blonde” Xandra Bale, who has also competed in Shimmer and her hometown’s Smash Wrestling.
An attempted dual show of respect turned ugly when Bale tried to touch Monroe’s mohawk and the two quickly got physical, going out onto the floor early.
Aerial slams Bale into the ring post, then brings her up onto the ring apron. Bale tries to fight back and gets Monroe back into the ring, where she starts to work on Monroe.
The two are evenly matched, swapping technical and physical attacks. Monroe lands a running elbow off the ropes, but only gets a two count in the first serious pin attempt of the match.
Bale fights back and gets her own pin attempt, following a spinning heel kick, but again, only a two. She attempts a Fisherman’s neckbreaker but Monroe counters and lands a Facebuster, but only a two.
Bale lands a Buff Blockbuster on Monroe and gets a 2 1/2 count, but Aerial kicks out. Monroe fails to land a heavy lariat, and Bale counters with her Fisherman’s Neckbreaker for the pin.
Shine On: Fun match. I have to admit I wasn’t expecting much from this (solely because they were the two I knew the least of) and I was pleasantly surprised. The two had a great chemistry in the ring, showing some athleticism, technicality and a willingness to get physical. Fun match and would be a fun feud if they chose to continue.
Fourth Match: Leva Bates vs. Candy Cartwright
The pink glitter of “The Cutie Pie” Candy Cartwright enters first, followed by the indie’s Queen of Cosplay, Leva Bates (known in NXT as Blue Pants), who came to the ring in an Assassin’s Creed outfit, complete by “murdering” about seven people in the crowd, fans and tech crew alike.
Leva takes over early and quick, to the point where Bates is simply playing with her like a cat with a mouse. Cartwright runs outside the ring, but Bates goes under the ring and cuts Candy off on the other side, throwing her back into the ring.
Once back inside, Cartwright takes control, working Bates in the corner before landing a running bulldog in the center of the ring. She then puts Leva in ‘The Greatest Submission Everrrr’, a Bow and Arrow, but Bates refuses to give up. Candy rolls her over and chokes her for a 3 count before releasing, then continuing her assault.
Bates fights back and catches Cartwright in a Crossface Chicken Wing, but Candy pulls herself to the ropes to break the hold. A lariat from Candy and a quick pin attempt, but Leva kicks out. Cartwright does a cartwheel into an elbow drop but again, only a two from the ref.
Bates pulls a Low Blower (a reverse Code Breaker) out of nowhere and both women lay wounded in the ring. They slowly get up and begin to trade blows in the middle of the ring.
Leva catches wind with a flurry of kicks and knee lifts, before going for a Northern Lights Suplex for the pin, but Candy kicks out at two. Leva to work Cartwright in the corner, with a running kick and double knee from the ropes, but another two count.
Cartwright turns the tide, landing a 619 on Bates when she gets caught in the ropes, followed by a top rope body press but again two.
The two start trading momentum in a series of battles, before Bates goes to the top rope, but she is Gorilla Slammed to the mat from Cartwright. Bates attempts to fight back, but a quick Candy Crush takes Leva down and Cartwright gets the 1-2-3.
Shine On: Candy Cartwright looked great in this match – she’s come a long way in the past year. Her confidence is strong and she showed some great heel charisma with solid ringwork. Bit of an upset seeing Cartwright go over fan favourite Leva Bates, but a win that will elevate Candy. Another feud that would be fun to follow.
Fifth Match: Rachael Ellering vs. Chelsea Green
The announce team dubs this the Lance Storm Special, as both participants are trainees of former WWE, WCW and ECW Superstar Lance Storm.
Chelsea Green, the former Tough Enough contestant who’s now a regular on Impact Wrestling as Laurel Van Ness (part of Maria Kanellis‘ cabinet), comes down first, followed by second generation grappler Rachael Ellering, daughter of WWE Hall of Famer Paul Ellering (former manager of The Road Warriors, current manager of NXT tandem Authors of Pain), whose also appeared in NXT and just about most indie promotions.
Hard to believe both have only been wrestling for a few years. Neither have reached their potential by far, but both are proving to be quick learners who have developed a real knack for storytelling in the ring with solid action.
The two trade battles early, with each one getting in some solid moves, with tenacity and intensity. A few minutes in, Green takes command and begins to work Ellering in the corner, face stomping her face into the bottom turnbuckle.
Green continues to roughhouse Ellering in the center of the ring, as the fans chant for Ellering to fight back. She obliges, but her comeback is cut short by a stiff clothesline, which Green follows up with a pin attempt. Ellering begrudgingly kicks out at two.
Green attempts to pull Ellering up, but is met by a high quick and both land on the floor. The get up and trade irish whips until Ellering lands a spinning elbow and gains momentum. An enziguri leads to Ellering’s first pin attempt, but Green kicks out at two.
Ellering catches an attack by Green and lands a pop-up spinebuster, but Green counters the pin attempt with a desperation move that rattles Ellering.
The two trade tired punches until Ellering gets fired up and yells “HIT ME, BARBIE!” before landing a series of elbows before landing the STO to put Green down. She goes to the top rope, but Green cuts her off and lands a draping DDT for a 2.8 count.
They trade blows again and Ellering catches Green with the Holy Buckets (F5) and scores the win.
Shine On: Another great match, between two young women who are sure to be huge stars, either in the indies, NXT or WWE in the years to come. Chelsea Green gets to show more off in Shine than she does as Van Ness in TNA and Ellering has progressed immensely in the last year alone. If you’ve only seen her from her enhancement matches in NXT, you’ve never seen what she can do. Big win for Ellering as her career is about to explode.
Sixth Match: SHINE Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Match: Santana & Raquel (c) vs. Las Sicarias (Thea Trinidad & ACR) vs. C4 (Amber O’Neal & Kennadi Brink)
Former SHINE Champion Ivelisse’s crew, Las Sicarias, comes out first, with Thea Trinidad (wife of WWE’s Austin Aries) and ACR coming out without their leader. The C4, featuring Amber O’Neal (wife of Luke Gallows) and Kennadi Brink, come out next, followed by the Tag Team Champions, Santana and Racquel. Although it appears since she’s no longer with TNA, Racquel is back to using her real name, Gabby (the name people would know from seeing her on Tough Enough).
ACR starts facing off against Tag Champ Santana Garrett. Garrett has been earning her stripes the past few years, with Championship reigns in SHINE and Japan’s World Wonder Ring Stardom, plus a run in TNA as Brittany. Lately she’s had a few NXT matches, including ones against Emma and NXT Women’s Champion Asuka. She’s easily one of the top women’s wrestlers in the world and she’s travelled the world honing her craft.
Kennadi Brink is in now and slams ACR into the corner, where Amber O’Neal tags herself in and the two work ACR over in the corner. Amber finally drags ACR into the corner where a pin attempt ends at two. Amber brings ACR back the corner, followed by a huge boot that lands ACR in the middle of the ring. O’Neal continues to unload on a damaged ACR.
Thea Trinidad comes in to break up a leg submission, but she’s pushed out by the ref, but a double clothesline take both women down. Both women make the tag to their team mates, bringing Kennadi and Trinidad into the fight.
Trinidad fights stronger early, but she soon ends up in the wrong corner, and Amber tags back in and they double team Thea. Gabby takes Kennadi out and Amber takes out ACR. Santana tags in and picks up the win on Trinidad.
After the match, ACR walks out on Trinidad, leaving with Brink and O’Neal as the newest potential member of C4, replacing Andrea, who lost a Loser Leaves SHINE match back at SHINE 39 (she’s since signed with the WWE).
Shine On: A solid match and much needed win for the new tag team of Santana and Gabby. Santana is entering cocky heel territory, from her comments following their title win, to her avoiding her partner and taking the win herself tonight. ACR looked solid in the ring and aligning with C4 will get her some spotlight time, especially if Ivelisse is out for sometime. A match versus Trinidad is imminent. Amber continues to be a dominant physical ring general, who compliments Kennadi well.
Main Event: Triple Threat Match for the Vacant SHINE Championship: LuFisto vs. Allysin Kay vs. Mercedes Martinez
Allysin Kay has been a top name in women’s wrestling for a few years now, where she’s been a dominant force in AIW, Shimmer, Ring of Honor, and most recently TNA (under the name Sienna), where she’s already captured the Knockouts Championship once.
LuFisto is out next, in her Nazi meets RCMP outfit, followed by another veteran in Mercedes Martinez.
The ring action starts early and after some early blows from all three competitors, LuFisto takes over the battlefield first, taking down Martinez then dragging Kay into the middle of the ring. Kay fights back, taking down LuFisto before Martinez takes her out.
The three ended up in a slugfest that finally drags over to the bar, with Allysin and LuFisto getting physical on the bar and against the grated railing.
Mercedes attacks LuFisto but LuFisto turns it around, ramming Martinez into the ring post and into the fans’ seats, before climbing back into the ring to face a resting Kay.
The French-Canadian veteran goes straight for Kay, dominating her in the corner, fighting off a returning Mercedes and sending her back to the crowd.
LuFisto goes for a pin attempt, but Mercedes pulls LuFisto off from the ringside, then begins to beat on LuFisto on the ring apron.
She then climbs into the ring and takes on Kay. Mercedes lands a delayed suplex but only gets a two count, but a returning LuFisto takes over.
The three lock in a Human Centipedesque three person submission, but Kay gets to the ropes and it’s broken up.
Martinez gets LuFisto to the top rope and goes for a Superplex, but Kay powerbombs Martinez from the top rope, who ends up Superplexing LuFisto as well.
Allysin takes out LuFisto in the corner, followed by a running boot on LuFisto by Martinez. Kay goes for another but eats an elbow from LuFisto who then German Suplexes Martinez and cannonballs Kay in the corner.
Martinez breaks up LuFisto’s pin attempt and lands a Fisherman’s Neckbreaker but Kay breaks up the pin. Kay slams Mercedes followed by LuFisto landing a Burning Hammer on Kay.
LuFisto drags Mercedes into the crowd and the two begin clearing fans. Martinez reverse a Burning Hammer attempt into a suplex onto the chairs, leaving LuFisto broken and stunned. Mercedes rolls LuFisto back into the ring, but Kay tries to roll up Mercedes but a two count. A discus lariat from Kay on Mercedes for another attempt, but Martinez’ feet are on the rope.
Kay gets Martinez in a sleeper hold in the middle of the ring, but Mercedes fights to stay awake. Mercedes raises her hand on the last count and stands up, pulling the classic Bret Hart pulled on Roddy Piper and kicked back off the turnbuckle to a roll up on Kay for the pin. Just as the ref started the count, LuFisto jumped on Mercedes covering Kay and the ref counted three.
Mercedes assumed she had the win, but the referee awards the match to LuFisto who had the final pin.
Fellow C4 members Amber O’Neal and Kennadi Brink come out to celebrate with LuFisto as we go off air.
Shine On: A lot of action in the main event, with a deserving champion crowned. Only down side was the Superplex into a Power Bomb from Top Rope spot being used again, when it was just used in an earlier match – didn’t feel as special. But that aside, these three got physical and tough out the gate and they only got more intense as the match went. All three are veterans at the top of their game so it was to be expected, but this match set up a potential feud between two icons of the women’s indie scene – LuFisto vs Mercedes.
A solid card from top to bottom – not a bad match on the card. Every match did it’s job and the intensity unleashed in the opening match carried throughout the night, ending with the legendary LuFisto capturing her first ever SHINE Championship.
If you’re just reading the recap out of curiosity, SHINE 40 is a great starting point if you want to find out what SHINE is all about.