April 7 2018
We’re in NOLA. You get that. I have a few minutes to prepare for this show so I looked up the card. There’s nothing that really excites me on here but there’s a lot of talent that I’m excited about going forward so it’ll be interesting to see who stands out. Plus this is the only women’s show this weekend and it’s nice to see them getting some exposure.
Charli Evans & Jessica Troy vs. Fire & Nice (Chelsea Green & Britt Baker)
Charli is an Aussie who has been plying her trade in the UK. Jessica Troy is also an Aussie. Fire & Nice come out to Warrant’s Cherry Pie. So I like them. But I hate Troy because she does a goddamn 619. Why would you do that move? The Aussies generally don’t cover themselves in glory. Some of the tag stuff is ok but I’m not keen on their basics. A lot of the bumps have wicked snap on them here, which is a good sign but it’s the near misses and the waiting for spots that don’t work. It’s the stuff that doesn’t connect rather than the stuff that does. Chelsea Green is the focal point. She’s getting to be more than gimmick. Charli takes an Unprettier knees first and that’s not a good bump. Then she pops right back up into the next sequence. There are major issues here but it’s exciting enough to paint over them. The Aussies go over and get booed for it.
Final Rating: **1/4
Mia Yim, Kay Lee Ray & Rhia O’Reilly vs. Veda Scott, Zoe Lucas & Kellyanne
Oh, I did not sign up for Veda Scott. Get that trash out of here and we might have a good match up. Veda is deliberately bad in this match because it suits her character, which I’m kinda fine with actually. Zoe Lucas is far better at the entitled snob gimmick though. She’s so good on the apron, throwing a hissy fit. The heel group work over Rhia, presumably because she’s the least well known of her trio. Kellyanne is competent but generic. She doesn’t have Zoe’s presence but she looks more comfortable. Veda has to botch something and it’s not noticing Mia hit a Pele Kick, provoking a delayed bump. It’s a pity because everyone else works well around her. Zoe’s mockery of Mia’s bad wheel is a highlight. KLR pins Zoe with a Swanton and that whole team looked solid. Team Veda was more of a mixed bag.
Final Rating: **3/4
Kimber Lee vs. Samantha Heights
Kimber is back after a failed NXT stint. She’s up against Ohio’s “Lost Girl” Sam Heights. Sam is pretty small and Kimber has a big weight and presumably power advantage. There has been a lot of debate over why Kimber washed out of WWE but I have a theory. She doesn’t stay still enough. Doesn’t enjoy the moment. Everything is too rushed. She’s also tonally a mess. Going from broad comedy to heavy hits with no real linear narrative behind it.
I kinda like Heights but wish she didn’t wear a hoodie to the ring. Why? Who wrestles in a hoodie? Kimber isn’t in the best of condition, which is a pity. This is not the best first step back out into the Indies. She does at least have a little star power and the effort is there, even if the appearance is not. Kimber finishes with a powerbomb and the landing was rough for Sam. This was a battle. Hopefully Kimber can repair her reputation on the Indies. It’s taken a beating of late.
— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) April 7, 2018
Final Rating: **3/4
Shimmer Tag Team Championship
Delilah Doom & Leva Bates (c) vs. LuFisto & Hudson Envy
Hudson Envy is one of the most heavily tattooed women’s wrestlers I’ve ever seen.
The champions hail from “Noah’s Arcade”. Wayne’s World references are ok by me, ladies. Leva Bates is not a good professional wrestler. Her timing is routinely dreadful but at least she’s a happy go lucky babyface who can be covered for. A heel’s job is generally to make less competent face’s look good. It does not help that Delilah has a slip on the ropes and it effects her confidence. They have another flub on a sunset flip where Hudson lands wrong and this match is not going well. Leva’s low dropkicks are poor and LuFisto’s bumps aren’t much better. There are issues at every turn. The heels make amends by just roughing up Leva. If in doubt, just stiff someone! The accidental collision at the finish is actually well done and Doom pulls off the pin. This had some pretty major issues with the champs looking like fluke winners to all the mistakes.
Final Rating: *1/2
Cheerleader Melissa vs. Shotzi Blackheart
I love Shotzi Blackheart. Sensational look. Decent wrestler.
The pacing here is exhilarating. Shotzi going after Melissa, one of Shimmer’s historically top tier talents. Melissa is calm as fuck, slowing it down and going after Shotzi’s leg. It’s a focused attack and shows how easy it is to put a match together. The crowd don’t care but I do.
It’s a very basic match structure but I dig it. I also like how much Melissa allows Shotzi to have. It’s a giving performance from the veteran. Melissa doesn’t have the best of movement around the ring, her little trot to pick Shotzi up for the finish for example, but when she’s hitting moves the execution is crisp. Air Raid Crash finishes and they told a tidy self contained veteran vs. upstart storyline here. Easy!
Final Rating: ***
Deonna Purrazzo vs. Madison Eagles
Purrazzo is carving out a reputation on the US Indies as the next big Indie stand out in women’s wrestling. She’s not quite there yet. Madison is a more established name. They kick off with some very good technical wrestling.
Eagles is in great ring condition. Her movements are very smooth despite two heavy knee braces. It’s clearly the best technical work on the show and they throw in some personality too. Madison is a little cocky and Deonna a little too respectful for her own good.
The mat stuff is an absolute clinic. I love it. It shows how Deonna has improved her all round game and Eagles is simply one of the best women’s wrestlers the North American scene has to offer. The action is tremendous. It’s not a music video in the making or anything but it’s all so smooth. Eagles kicks Purrazzo in the head for the pin and this was easily MOTN.
Final Rating: ***3/4
Nicole Matthews vs. Toni Storm
Toni is establishing herself as one of the world’s best. Nicole is a good heel but that’s about it. Her work is good enough for her to be in this match but if they wanted Toni to steal the show this isn’t a dream opponent.
Matthews throws in a lot of light heel shtick. She’s good at it. Toni brings the same smoothness in her transitions that Eagles had. If the roles were reversed and Toni was the heel she could drive the match beautifully. Only personality wise their alignments are correct. Nicole spends most of the match in charge, which doesn’t quite work for me. Toni’s finish is Strong Zero, a piledriver, and yet she’s not allowed to do it. So why even tease it? Toni wins with an armbar instead, catching Nicole by surprise.
Final Rating: ***
Heart of Shimmer Championship
Shazza McKenzie (c) vs. Tessa Blanchard
Shazza is Australian too, which you can clearly tell from her name. How many Shazza’s exist outside of Australia? Rumours persist about Tessa’s attitude, which is the reason why WWE are not in on her. It never shows in the ring. She looks smooth and fast here, executing everything well until falling off the ropes literally as I type that. Reviewers curse! She does at least pay it lip service by selling it. The trouble with pre-planning a whole match is that they can’t turn it into a story. There’s no room for that improvisation but it is a good recovery to run a few spots afterwards.
Tessa does a good job of getting back in the saddle and she takes a great bump trying a crossbody into the ropes. They batter each other after that too. Lots of heavy strikes and both women look good. Shazza takes a huge bump off the corner Codebreaker. It was a massive face spike and the crowd think it’s over. Tessa’s diving codebreaker, which sees Shazza topple out to the floor is also a huge spot. Shazza took a huge bump, again. A frustrated Tessa goes for a third big spot but gets taken down with a cutter off the top and Shazza retains. This was really strong with both women throwing themselves into the big spots with wild abandon. No fear!
Final Rating: ***3/4
Nicole Savoy (c) vs. Mercedes Martinez
This is the main event. Savoy is the one with huge potential. Every time I see her she’s added stuff and looks more comfortable. Her strikes are looking sharper, her spots are cleaner. The potential is becoming genuine stardom. Martinez always had a ceiling and this is it. She’s a big Indie star, top level here, but she’s not going to WWE. At 37 she’s still in good shape and should go down in history as a decent talent. Savoy is destined for greater things. The counters are not great here, they’re not slick, but they’re fine. The smoothness isn’t quite there in the transitions but the match structure is solid. Mercedes struggles taking a few of Savoy’s more ambitious spots, even strikes. Martinez just can’t take stuff. Savoy ties her up and gets the submission to retain. This was fine.
Final Rating: ***
A couple of really good matches here. Purrazzo-Eagles was MOTN followed by Shazza-Tessa. A lot of other decent matches in between. Like with the other niche shows it didn’t blow me away but it was good enough. Some talents to watch out for here. Shazza McKenzie is suddenly on my radar. Come to UK, please! Nicole Savoy is going to be a star, sooner or later. Tessa Blanchard and Deonna Purrazzo both continue to improve. I thought Madison Eagles was the outstanding performer on this show. She’s someone the PC could use when she retires. So slick, so smooth, so effortless. Any young wrestler would benefit from seeing her work and learning that technique.