Shine 38 (Review)

It’s a new era in professional wrestling, as Shine becomes the first wrestling promotion to air a live event on the FloSlam streaming network. Two-time Shine champion Ivelisse defends her title against Vanessa Kraven in the main event…


Andrea
vs.
Mercedes Martinez

A hard hitting, no disqualification match to start the night. I liked the promo that opened the show, and Martinez is good on the mic, throwing pure trash at Andrea. Action went ringside very early on, and the parent in me didn’t fail to notice that when Andrea threw Martinez into a group of empty chairs, the chairs almost slid back into a child sitting in a pram. Not really the wrestlers fault – more on the parents who were so close to ringside with their child. Still, no one died!

I did almost think Martinez would die though, with two teases of a baseball bat to the head from Andrea. Sadly, we never really got the pay off on that, but at least Martinez did get some offence in with the bat. Nice spot too when Andrea spat a drink into Martinez’s face.

Felt like about 10 minutes passed before any real wrestling took place, with everything prior being pure street fight. Probably the right way to book it, to be fair. I did think the chairs got a bit overused as weapons, and would’ve liked to see them get a bit more creative (maybe I’m spoiled having watched ICW Pray For Mofo live the day before).

Martinez got the three count after Andrea missed a splash from the second rope, which Martinez capitalised on to get the win. Some interesting moments here, and a good opening match that just felt it could’ve done a little more to get me raving about it.

2star


Priscilla Kelly
vs.
Chelsea Diamond

Diamond was making her Shine debut, and was up against it with the crowd, who were all behind Kelly. Not surprising that she is over, given she and WWE’s Paige share the same look, and the latter has spent most of her time over with crowds since she debuted on US television. That said, Kelly does stand out, and the crowd chanting “we don’t know you,” at Diamond was rather entertaining.

There were some snippets of chain wrestling to start the match, bringing a much different approach to proceedings than what was on show in the previous Andrea/Martinez bout. The tease of an early finish was certainly legit, with Kelly landing a strong kick to Diamond’s head, only for the debutant to kick out at two. Diamond woke up at this point, and handed out a bit of a beat down. Eventually she would pick up the win after coming off the top rope to put Kelly away for the three count.

This was a nice match, but missed some psychology for me, personally – that would have pushed my rating up a little higher, no question. Impressed by Kelly, no question.

2star


Miss Rachel
vs.
Tracy Taylor

My issue with this match is that I felt it told the wrong story. Miss Rachel was the bigger opponent here, able to easily manhandle Tracy Taylor, but rarely did they play on that. Very early on, Taylor locked Miss Rachel in a threatening submission hold, and it just felt too soon for Taylor to be applying moves like that. Miss Rachel was physically dominating her at times, but too often was it randomly broken up by Taylor taking physical control herself, which just didn’t feel right.

The win came from Taylor getting a surprise roll up on Miss Rachel, and that was a good finish, but it just didn’t seem like the surprise flukey win against the giant opponent that I feel they were going for. Miss Rachel’s dominance should’ve been right throughout the match, not broken up by odd moments where Taylor was suddenly able to out power her much larger opponent. I just didn’t buy it.

2star


Aria Blake (C)

vs.
Brandi Lauren
(ACW Women’s Championship)

I really enjoyed Brandi Lauren’s heel work, with her facial expressions those of a pure bitch. Her interactions with the referee were great. She keeps developing all of that, she’ll go places regardless of her ability. She would do good to put on a little more muscle mass in my opinion though, but she looks great as she is now to be fair.

I enjoyed the early beat down outside the ring, and the face first collision into the ring post looked sweet. Unfortunately, there were quite a few botches with took me out of it, especially the failed hammerlock DDT by Blake to Lauren. Crowd picked up on that too, but they still enjoyed a good near fall when it looked like Blake was beat.

The title match ended as a No Contest after outside interference, Jenna destroying Blake to end Brandi Lauren’s hopes of winning the title (although it did look like she was about to tap out anyway). A real nothing match, with some sloppy action at times.

1star


Rachel Ellering

vs.
Rhia O’Reilly

A very technical match opening, with both women trying to outdo the other. The announcer was really putting over their technical ability, and the names of other people who had come out from Lance Storm’s wrestling school. I really loved O’Reilly bullying Ellering throughout, and it made Ellering’s baby face comebacks (and comeback attempts) that much more rewarding.

The finish came when Tessa Blanchard came out to distract the referee just as Alluring had it won, allowing the distraction to give O’Reilly time to recover and get the win out of nowhere. I had no real problem with that, and I enjoyed the match a lot. Definitely the best on the show until this point of the presentation.

3star


Jesse Belle Smothers

vs.
Leva

Really liked Smothers’ ring gear, which was a level beyond anything on the show thus far. Looks like she belongs amongst top talent. Leva’s entrance was pretty sweet, and the look it awesome, it’s just a shame that it’s all a wig as she goes from standing out so much, to suddenly looking just like any other competitor.

I really hated the early moments with the teddy hair and the wigs. It went on far too long, and put the match down a peg or two, in my opinion. Once they cut all that, we got a reasonably decent match, but it felt like it took forever to get to that point.

Really loved Smothers working Leva’s old broken ankle, and how much the commentary hit that point home – good continuity when Leva couldn’t deliver a kick because her ankle gave way as she went to do it. It was all over when Leva pulled out the surprise win just as Smothers was about to end it for the win herself. I liked the story here, but the early shenanigans with the stuffed toy really took me out of the match.

2star


Raquel

vs.
Tessa Blanchard

I really like the look Raquel is putting together for herself, and it’s an odd mash-up of Nicki Minaj and Kim Kardashian. I’m not necessarily sure it suits the physical style she wrestles though, that said. Blanchard has a great look, and looked so comfortable locking in her technical style early in this match.

This was a very physical match, and I was very impressed with Raquel’s physical performance. Both women simply beat each other up here, and it was great to watch. Ellering’s outside interference could have been called the moment Blanchard did the same to her in the earlier match she had with Rhia O’Reilly. Loved the confrontation between Blanchard and Ellering, after the latter cost Blanchard the win.

Raquel is definitely one to watch for the future, and Blanchard already comes off as a star for me. Shame the final sequence got messed up, but fair play to them for redoing it  and making sure the match ended the way they wanted it to.

3star


C4 (Amber O’Neal & Kennadi Brink)

vs.
ACR & Shayna Baszler

Shayna Baszler is a legit beast. I remember her on The Ultimate Fighter, and she’s just one tough fighter. She adds real danger to her matches, and it’s something they played on early in this match with her so effortlessly getting Kennadi Brink into various submission holds. The commentary was great here too, made me almost feel like I was watching an MMA fight where someone was in trouble very early on.

Really enjoyed Brink’s heel work, and her reaction when Baszler tagged back in was perfect, and just helped sell further this idea that Baszler is a monster who the other talent are afraid to go one on one with. The match ultimately ended when Brink was unable to stop Baszler putting her into a cross arm breaker, leading to an immediate tap out.

Decent match, although I thought ACR was a little sloppy at times. Good story with them trying to keep Baszler out of the ring, and Brink was just so much fun to watch. Solid effort.

2star


Sweet Saraya Knight

vs.
Su Yung

This match was insane! I haven’t seen such brutal battle in a long time. Saraya literally spent almost the entire time beating the holy hell out of Su Yung, hitting chair shots to the head, throwing her around like a rag doll, smashing beer cans on Yung’s head, and more. It was bloody compelling to watch, yet slightly uncomfortable at the same time – exactly what I think they were going for. And Saraya Knight is just a crazy woman, which we already knew.

There was one spot, where Saraya wrapped a wire around Yung’s neck, and hung her over a ledge at ringside. A woman in the crowd was legitimately shocked, and her vocal reactions near the camera really sold how nuts this move was. Respect to Yung for taking it, and it was damn memorable, but those kind of spots come off as so dangerous that you do wonder whether they are work the risk.

At first, I wasn’t a fan of the count out finish, with Su Yung getting the W. It wasn’t Yung’s win that sat wrong with me, it’s just that we’d had no teases of victory for either lady, which would’ve just made the excitement unbearable. In the time since I viewed the match, I’ve softened to it though, and the match itself was just an incredibly violent experience for which I have to respect both ladies. Saraya took a DDT on a bar top covered with thumbtacks, for crying out loud! Given how relatively tame the whole show had been until this point, the brutality of this match was a surprise, bit a pleasant one.

5star


Lufista

vs.
Alyysin Kay
(#1 Contenders Match for the Shine Championship)

Lufista didn’t waste much time going for Alyysin Kay’s knee brace, and from that point on, it was all about damaging the knee even further. I really liked Kay’s selling of it, always clutching it in pain whenever she delivered a kick with it, etc. Rather frustrating that the forgot about it later in the match mind, especially given it was the injured knee that got taken advantage of at the end of the match for Lufista to get the win via submission.

I didn’t mind the interference of C4, especially given Lufista claimed in her opening promo that she didn’t need support, as it sold the idea that Kay could beat her. But Kay was bullied so much throughout, that she never really got an equal amount of dominance in the match over Lufista, so when C4 came out to stop a Kay win, it didn’t feel like Kay really should’ve been close to getting the pin anyway.

Decent match, and probably the come down needed after the crazy Sweet Saraya Knight and Su Yung match.

2star


Ivelisse (C)

vs.
Vanessa Kraven
(Shine Championship)

This match really reminded me of the Bayley/Nia Jax match from NXT Takeover: London in 2015, with a very similar dynamic established early on that carried on throughout the championship match: big, strong, powerful challenger dominating the champion, who tries to lock in submission holds for an out of the blue win. I think Bayley/Jax did it better, but I loved Ivelisse’s work here, and I don’t think there was any question that she’d win. By the way, loved the transition from the failed spear by Kraven into a guillotine choke by Ivelisse – should’ve ended the match right there with that.

Avulse looks like a damn star, by the way. Good attire, particularly during her entrance, very nice physique, and just great all round character work which I’m sure comes from her time working with larger promotions. What I would give to see her in todays NXT or WWE Smackdown Live – she’d be perfect.

Lufisto was entertaining at ringside, and it made sense for her to be there, but I do find her presentation a little forced, and I’m not personally convinced that seeing Ivelisse defend against a bigger woman yet again is the best way to vary her title reign. I’d like to see a different match up, basically, but I’m sure the time will come for that.

Lufista’s beating of Ivelisse after the match, aided by C4, looked really good when Ivelisse was trying to be the strong babyface fighting back, only to get overpowered. I did think it got a bit messy when everyone else came out to brawl in the ring and at ringside though.

3star


Final Thoughts:

The second half of this PPV had some damn good matches, and I liked what was set up for the future, but the first half of the card really was a bit too weak for me, and I would have preferred some of those minutes got added onto the later matches to give them more time.

Being the first show on the FloSlam network, I thought this was a good introduction, and the HD picture quality was very good. There’s a lot of love for women’s wrestling right now, and I think that with the new streaming network, Shine will be able to get more eyes on its product, meaning they need to nail their camera work ASAP, and ensure some of the weaker matches perhaps don’t make the televised card. Really looking forward to seeing how this company develops itself now that it has FloSlam.


Match of the Night:

Sweet Saraya Knight vs. Su Yung


Shine 38 Overall Score:

2star

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