Monday, July 27, 2015

SHINE 28 offers a solid card and an underwhelming delivery

I am fan of women's wrestling. I say that with no trepidation whatsoever as I feel women are just as good wrestlers as men. I own a few SHIMMER DVDs (and desperately wish they would start using a streaming service that gives full events.) But SHIMMMER has a sister company in the form of SHINE, that runs on internet pay-per-view. Part of the World Wrestling Network, it suffers from commentary by one of the worst announcers in wrestling today, Lenny Leonard, but her cohost Amber Gertner at least tries to make up for it. But with a solid card on paper, I decided to make the jump and try out SHINE 28.

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The show opened with 90s independent wrestling icon (and brief WCW & WWE star) Malia Hosaka (with classic WWE star Leilani Kai) going up against La Rosa Negra. Rosa is an interesting part of the roster as she is the only member of the roster to really embrace a bit of cheesecake in her entrance. The match starts out well, but a clear injury to the throat early caused Rosa to have breathing issues. (The show later reported she actually went to the hospital for assistance post-match.) The match stretches out long past its clear need to finish as Malia kept the match going despite Rosa barely being able to keep up for much of the match. (If I'm incorrect and Rosa was just selling all match, she should be hired immediately by WWE.)

After that gross start, So Cal Val joined the announce team for Renee Michelle versus Amanda Rodriguez. This is Renee's debut while Amanda has completely changed her look. This match is a pretty generic "wrestling for no reason" battle, but it does serve to establish Amanda as a heel aligned with Ivelisse.

Tracy Taylor took on Su Yung (with April Hunter) next in a battle of former partners. I haven't seen Su Yung in action for quite some time, probably since her first couple post-FCW matches. She's got a drastically different look, seemingly inspired by the Great Muta now. This was a very solid match between two talented up-and-comers. But unfortunately it was derailed by a poorly booked finish, as Tracy blocked Su from spitting her black mist, causing her to choke. She rolls to the outside to get counted out.

Leva Bates and Amber Gallows finish off the first half of the show with a solid, back and forth battle. Both women threw everything at the other, but Leva picked up the win. Mia Yim came in to pull April Hunter from ringside near the match's end, a move that would echo later in the night.

The match of the night featured Vanessa Kraven making her way down from Canada to take on Jessicka Havok. Havok is huge, but Kraven has a couple inches on her, so this became a powerhouse brawl. Kraven and Havok hit each other like a ton of bricks, but Kraven pulled out a sunset bomb to just get the three on Havok.

Allysin Kay (a woman that hasn't lost a match in months, yet hasn't got a title shot) battled Mia Yim (a.k.a. TNA's Jade) next. April Hunter was again at ringside for Kay, but Leva's attempt to help her partner Mia backfires as she distracts the referee from counting Mia's three count. The distraction allowed Kay to recover and hit a brutal discus lariat.

Post-match Mia screamed bloody murder at Leva and shoves her, clearly signaling a split between the two.

The SHINE Tag Team championship was on the line in the semi-main event as Cherry Bomb and Kimber Lee defended against Valifornia's Andrea and Marti Belle. But like almost every match in the night, this ends shady as Daffney made her return with a new tag team, The Iron Maidens, and cleaned house on all four women for the no contest.

The main event saw Santana Garrett defend the SHINE championship against a woman that never got a rematch after her loss, Ivelisse. This one started out strong, but about ten minutes in goes haywire as Ivelisse appears to reinjure her previously broken foot. Eventually, the referee deemed Ivelisse unable to continue and ended the match without a pinfall or submission. The show ended there, after giving two title matches without a clear victory.

I have been informed by a few SHINE fans that this isn't indicative of the SHINE product and this was just a bad show. But going in already not a fan of the weak commentator, this makes it hard to consider ordering another show. It is a shame, as the women here are all excellent competitors. But even the best wrestlers can't save a product with no clear booking.

SHINE 28 is available for replay at for anyone still interested.

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