Wednesday, February 17, 2016

DVD Review: SHINE 1 (July 20th, 2012 / Ybor City, FL)

If you have not been following along or are simply reading this years into the future, the first SHINE event I witnessed was actually SHINE 8 and so the reasons for purchasing all of the SHINE events and some of the comments as if this is actually SHINE 2 and not SHINE 1 would be explained in that review.    Though when I inevitably archive them they will be chronologically and so this also needs to be stated.

Lenny Leonard had the call on these matches by himself as Daffney strictly did ring introductions.   As per a video package prior to the main event I learned that there were matches as part of Dragon Gate USA events which were filed under SHINE before it got this, its first ever iPPV.    But, of course, there is also SHIMMER and other various promotions out there strictly for the ladies.

Now let's get onto the show!

Match One: Kimberly vs. Veda Scott

From SHINE 8 I recognize Kimberly and know where her future is headed based upon the commentary in that match (Losing streak, no one wants to team with her, tag team with Leva Bates, blood feud with Leva Bates) and I'm fairly certain that I only recognize Veda Scott from Ring of Honor.    Though I believe I've seen her fight in Ring of Honor I only like to ever think of myself as being annoyed by Veda Scott simply because she reminds me of SoCal Val who is one of those women of wrestling that everyone seems to love but I just cannot figure out why.    Let's just say that I would wait in line and pay $100 to meet just about anyone else on this card (Sorry, Tina San Antonio and Tracy Taylor) at some sort of wrestling convention ten or twenty years from now and ignore a line where Veda Scott (and SoCal Val for that matter) were signing autographs for free.   I don't know why I feel that way but I just do.   It's not that I am buying into their heel qualities either... I just don't like Veda Scott.  (Side Note: She also was managing Moose last I saw her in ROH and that guy kind of bothers me as well)   So Veda Scott won this match and I guess given that this was a show from several years ago and looking at where Kimberly is now and where Veda Scott is now it only seems to make sense who has the stock going up and who seems to be in somewhat of the same place.   So yeah, an opener and not the "hot WWE opener" you might be conditioned to like but I like to think of it more as being all uphill from here.

Match Two: Tina San Antonio vs. Santana

I'm pretty sure that Tina San Antonio is an adult film star name if I've ever heard one.   Does it help that the only adult movie I really know is that "Debbie Does Dallas" one (Which I once saw a comic book for and did not buy) and both San Antonio and Dallas are in Texas?   I mean, people have the last name Austin and when I think of Stone Cold Steve Austin I somehow don't think "Austin is in Texas" even though Stone Cold really is from Texas.   But there is just something you can't deny about relating San Antonio with Texas and... Yeah... This name is awkward.     Needless to say, Santana gets the win because from here she goes on to bigger and better things while hopefully Tina San Antonio changes her name.    Santana had a strong match on SHINE 8 and now I can tell why she is looking to be the Daizee Haze of SHINE.

Match Three: Allysin Kay & Taylor Made vs. Su Yung & Tracy Taylor

So I'm not sure what happens to Su Yung and Tracy Taylor after this- maybe a few more losses and then a break up- but this seems to be the best introduction to Allysin Kay (aka the AK-47, who was my highlight of SHINE 8 in many ways) and Taylor Made.   It's also worth noting that the two will eventually join Rain and Ivelisse to form VALKYRIE.    While I fully realize that TNA once tried to have Knockout Tag Team Champions and then the titles just seemed to disappear, I've been thinking more and more about how WWE should have female tag team champions because they could have Sasha Banks & Naomi as a tag team, The Bellas, Charlotte & Becky Lynch, Emma & Dana Brooke, Eva Marie & Nia Jaxx, Bayley & Asuka and then just so on like that.   I remember a lot of female Australian wrestlers being on NXT recently so throw some of them together as tag teams, you know, it's what they did in the 1980's or whenever-- ask the Rock 'n' Roll Express.   But of all the female tag teams I've seen or imagined in my mind since I grasped the concept that women could form tag teams just like the men (Which seemed so impossible growing up with the likes of Sable and later Lita) I would have to admit that based upon their involvement at SHINE 8 and this match right here, Taylor Made and Allysin Kay have to be my favorite female tag team.    WWE obviously wasn't ready for ~diva~ tag team division yet because they barely are now but if TNA was paying attention here maybe there would still be KO Tag Team Champions.   It's all I'm saying.

Match Four: Cherry Bomb vs. Christina Von Eerie

So this match was kind of a  big deal for both of these women and I must admit that when watching SHINE 1 we broke it up into two parts because I generally work nights and so by the time I get home we don't have time to watch the entire show in one sitting.    Well, the first night we watched it we actually ended right before Match Six.   The next night when we tried to pick up where we left off my wife had taken the DVD out to watch Harry Potter or something and so I started back at this match again because it was a lot of chapter selecting and then asking Quentin whether or not we'd seen the match yet.   This was the first one we stopped on and he said "no" so we watched it (and the next match) a second time, which I didn't mind.     I like Cherry Bomb and I'm not really sure how to describe her other than the fact that she's Cherry Bomb and a good wrestler in the ring.    She's just Cherry Bomb, you know.   But then on the other hand, there's Christina Von Eerie (who was in the main event of SHINE 8) and all I can think of when I see her is how someone out there decided a gimmick should exist of a punk rock type person because, hey, she can have a mohawk and come out to punk rock music.   It just seems so much like... a gimmick.   And not just a gimmick, but like, an old WWE gimmick back when all people with accents were automatically heels (Wait...) and the characters were like, "Hey! A cowboy!" and that sort of thing.   This makes me never really sure whether this is a cheap gimmick like, "Oh, hey, it's that punk chick" (Because clearly other women who wrestle listen to punk rock just don't find the idea of wrestling with a mohawk appealing) or if it's actually kind of perfect because it fits with that old school wrestling mentality.    Still, Christina Von Eerie is probably the best person for me to interview for Raised by Gypsies in a rock-n-wrestling way because I love wrestlers and everything but some of y'all have shit taste in music.

I was rather surprised to see CVE get the win here, as they seemed to be stressing before and during the match that Cherry Bomb kind of needed this win to establish herself, but it was a really good back and forth match with a lot of near falls.   In some ways, I felt like if this was an old school ECW match there would have been times when CVE managed to kick out and the crowd would have been chanting "bullshit" at it.    But the crowds here aren't quite as harsh.   Well, not until the next match anyway.   But this did have that nice quality that had me watching both times and thinking both times "Okay, that must be it" and then someone kicks out.    This was just a stellar example of a good old fashioned wrestling match telling a story and when people see The Bellas on television and wonder why women are where they are within wrestling and question how I could not only enjoy women's wrestling but an entire promotion based around it, well, this is the match they should be able to see so they can go, "Yeah... I get it now"   Now if someone can just show me a match for Veda Scott or SoCal Val that can make me feel that way about either of them.   

Match Five: Reby Sky vs. Jayme Jameson

Jayme Jameson actually won her match on SHINE 8 as did Reby Sky but I think I made a comment (or at least strongly thought) about Jayme Jameson sounding like an adult film star name, probably because of the Jenna connection-- who I, of course, know because of Tito Ortiz.    But I remembered seeing this match the first time around when watching it the second time because a fan yells something before the match which I think/hope was "Check her boots!" at the ref and Jayme Jameson says something like, "Yeah, check her boobs" and grabs her own boobs.   It was strange but kind of funny.    Then Jayme Jameson says that Reby Sky looks like a chupacabra and tries to get a chupacabra chant going by starting it herself and guess what?   It does go for a little bit.   Whoa.  I would have pegged Jayme Jameson as the heel, but okay.   Maybe people in the crowd didn't like Reby Sky because of the whole Matt Hardy thing but who knows.    Reby Sky did win this match but I was kind of hoping she would lose to pay some dues.   She must have paid those dues before SHINE got their own iPPVs, huh?   I don't know.  I'm still not convinced... I have yet to see that match that makes me a fan of Reby Sky even though I was somewhat impressed by her match at SHINE 8 against Havok.   That made me believe Reby Sky could wrestle and so it did give me a new found respect but it didn't make me a fan.    I want her to win me over as either a convincing face or heel and not just a character in a wrestling video game, you know.   That's what she feels like right now to me.    And yet, I somehow also became more of a fan of Jayme Jameson after seeing this match and thinking she might win it.   No joke, I want to see more Jayme Jameson matches.    Someone book her on everything please.

Before the next match we had an in ring presentation for some kind of award presented by Diva Dirt to Jazz.   It was nice since Jazz changed the mold of what was thought of as a female wrestler in many ways- at least to the point where she went from ECW to WWE and so she did it on a larger scale than others- and of course the presentation was interrupted by Mercedes Martinez who had sour grapes and, um, spoilers-- they're going to fight each other at SHINE 2.    This also served as a segway into the next match in which Leva Bates came out dressed as Spider-Man, though Lenny Leonard did refer to her as Spider-Woman.   Leva Bates tried to do the upside down kiss with the ref before the match but only got attacked by Mercedes Martinez for her troubles.  

Match Six: Mercedes Martinez vs. Leva Bates

This match was actually quite good and showed why I like Leva Bates so much.   Bates came out dressed as Spider-Man, which was constantly corrected by others to "Spider-Woman", and she went upside down in the corner to try and get that movie magic kiss from the referee.     Of course, this lead to Mercedes Martinez to attack Leva Bates and I really want to say right now that I feel like Mercedes Martinez is one of the best things to come out of the state of Connecticut.    With the hard-hitting action in this match Leva Bates proved that she could take a beating but Mercedes Martinez proved why she is still among the toughest in the game today as she picked up the victory.   Such a great match.

Match Seven: Nikki Roxx vs. Rain

I remember both of these ladies from when I used to watch Shimmer via Netflix back when they sent me discs and this match did not disappoint.   It's strange how Rain seemingly has spent so much time not making it to WWE and neither has Nikki Roxx.   What is WWE doing wrong that they won't add more women to their roster?   Or is it that they just don't want to go?   Either way, this is a fine match and what you would expect from these two crafty veterans and it makes for about as much hype as you would expect when seeing it on paper (or a computer screen) and, well, that level of hype can often times be hard to live up to but Roxx and Rain find a way.   Rain got the win here and of course we know her fate will lead her to form VALKYRIE.  

Match Eight: Jazz vs. Sara Del Rey

I grew up watching ECW back before a lot of other people were watching ECW.   I saw Chyna in WWE and all of that, but Jazz was one of those women in ECW where she fought the men and you just believed that she could defeat them in a shoot fight.   She just had that toughness that WWE was trying to fake in the size of Chyna.    Jazz was one of the first women who really made me think that women could wrestle just as well as men, but hey, I grew up watching Sunny, Sable and others in WWE who, um, you know, weren't really in ring competitors.    I feel like there was a lot of time after Fabulous Moolah for people to not take women as seriously as wrestlers.     But Jazz changed that all for me.

On the other side of this match we have Sara Del Rey who is kind of like the female version of Daniel Bryan.   She was someone I saw compete a lot in the early '00's and kind of became one of the best independent women wrestlers at one point and for quite some time, actually.    She currently is down in NXT as a coach (I wish she would get in the ring for WWE though) and has had a hand in helping to shape the women of WWE into actual wrestlers so that one day we can go back to having them fight in a respected manner again.

I know that certain things in life aren't possible.   Even when Moolah was still alive, it wouldn't be the same to see her fight Sara Del Rey or even Trish Stratus because they were just from such different times.   But Jazz is someone who could fight Sara Del Rey and they are close enough in "eras" that you wouldn't go, "Oh yeah, Jazz is way too old to stand a chance here".   And, oddly enough, Jazz did win this match and she won it in such a manner that makes you want to see these two go at it in a best of five series or something similar.   You know, it's not often you find two women you could watch fight forever but this could be it right here.  

This match alone makes this DVD something you should be into but the undercard also does help make it worth much more than the asking price.    Of course the next DVD is going to be Jazz vs. Mercedes Martinez after the events from this show and I can only imagine how those two are going to tear the house down.    Yeah, if you're a fan of professional wrestling and you're not watching SHINE then you need to be.  

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