Women’s Wrestling Revolution Five Year Plan
January 28 2018
We’re in Worcester, Massachusetts at the “Electric Haze”. I’m very excited to watch a show where you can see, on the hardcam, a tree out of the window. This is my first show from Powerbomb.tv. I’ve just signed up for them. You can to at powerbomb.tv and get ten days free. Let’s see how their production is…
We go straight into the opening match with no graphics or anything.
There’s a lot to process right there. I love being able to see people casually walking by on the street, cars passing and, of course, an actual tree. Background is exciting! The ring announcer appears to be Steven Seagal. There are kids around ringside but, just out of shot, there’s also a bar. It appears to be wrestling in a pub with brick walls and most of the crowd are standing. It’s not a big venue but it looks like my kind of grimy undergraps.
Sonya Strong vs. Jordynne Grace
Grace is a powerhouse. You don’t see many 21 year old female wrestlers who are built for power lifting. Sonya has a similar number of years in the business, mainly through House of Glory, but has less of a name and less exposure. The technique of both ladies is solid and Sonya drives the action. When Grace does kick into gear she is explosive. She’s so fast and so athletic. It’s pretty stunning. I’m all in for those hip attacks and tasty lariats. Sonya gets the upset win with a handful of tights on a roll up. Grace looked very impressive here. Sonya looked good too. Solid opener.
Final Rating: **3/4
Kennedi Copeland vs. Terra Calaway
Terra is the “Queen of the Dinosaurs”. I’m not convinced the dino hat is a good idea but she is a huge, intimidating woman. Kennedi is much smaller. A skinny kid, there to be dismantled. Her offence looks like crap because Calaway is too big to take her spots. In particular a Blockbuster goes wrong and Terra’s full nelson slam finish isn’t good either. This is a total pass.
Final Rating: ½*
Vanity, Kasey Catal & Kris Stadtlander vs. Alexxis, Taeler Hendrix & Gillian Leigh
Commentary put Stadtlander over huge. She has a space gimmick but she’s green as grass. Kasey Catal looks to be a better prospect. Her movement looks better. The Hendrix team work definitively heel. It helps having the more experienced wrestlers leading the match. Alexxis is a 13-year pro, works for Impact and is TV ready. Taeler is a ten year pro and escaped Ohio Valley Wrestling. Alexxis is the star of the match. It’s not even close. The way the intensity increases when she gets in there is palpable. She forces everyone around her to up their game. While Taeler occasionally looks clumsy, despite her experience, Alexxis is clinical. The other team are nowhere near as good. Catal does a good job taking heat but Vanity’s hot tag is awful. She gets the tag and then stops in the ropes because she’s supposed to be cut off. It makes no earthly sense to just stop. If the other person isn’t in place for it, it’s on them. Don’t stop. You never stop. When it’s the heels targeting Kasey it’s pretty good. Everything after the hot tag is garbage. Faces pick up the win.
Final Rating: *1/4
Willow Nightingale vs. Solo Darling
I’ve seen Solo, from Chikara, but Willow is new on me. She’s a happy-go-lucky girl with big hair. It’s a playful contest before they start to unleash the strikes. Solo is technically solid and it probably helps her, from a size perspective (wrestling a larger opponent), that she’s done so much intergender work. Both ladies impress me a great deal. I’ve seen Solo do good work but Willow has good power offence too. Solo, by virtue of the effort that’s gone into her look, especially her gear, comes across like a star. Solo makes a point of working the leg from the start, a sneaky early leg kick, and she keeps going back to it, eventually taking this with a Sharpshooter in an accomplished match up. Good stuff.
Final Rating: **3/4
Skylar vs. LuFisto
LuFisto has been in the business for so long she must have thought this women’s revolution was never going to come. She’s been wrestling for 20 years. Skylar is a pretty redhead, looking to capture that Eva Marie market. She’s only been around for a few years and she lets LuFisto control this. LuFisto feeds her some comebacks and Skylar shows some decent fire. Skylar is showing such good effort that LuFisto opts to heel it up and batter Skylar’s boobs. Skylar’s secondary comeback isn’t as good. She looks tired and her timing is off. LuFisto finishes her off with a variation on the Burning Hammer, with Skylar clearly out of gas. This was really good until the second comeback phase.
Final Rating: **1/2
Delmi Exo vs. Holidead
Speaking of great looks; Holidead is incredible. The makeup, the gear, the movements around the ring. It’s a fully fledged thing. I’m almost disappointed when the match starts with a lock up. Delmi on the other hand looks raw and inexperienced. She attempts a lucha hand-held thing out of the corner and it’s awful. Then a baseball slide. Awful. She’s spent a lot of time in Chikara so it’s surprising to me that she’s not particularly good. She looks a bit spaced out so I wonder if she took a shot to the head in the early going that I didn’t see. When she does hit stuff it’s surprisingly graceful but it seems to alternate between graceful and fucked. There’s way too much fucked. There are so many times where the commentator has to cover for her weak offence by saying she “hasn’t got all of it”. Or any of it sometimes. The finish is a Jay Driller and Holidead drops Delmi right on her head. That looked sickening. This match alternated between Holidead throwing some cool offence and Delmi hitting weak offence in response. At least they both made it out alive.
Final Rating: *3/4
Faye Jackson vs. Allie Recks
Faye Jackson has both Jon Gresham and Stokely Hathaway in her corner. Allie Recks has been around for a few years. She has a good look and has spent some dollar on her gear, which I always appreciate from young up and comers. Bet on yourself. Faye has a big power and size advantage. Comms compare it to Terra/Copeland earlier but it’s way better than that. Recks has far superior movement, probably due to her cheerleading background. Her moves lack intensity but the sizzle is there. It just needs more steak. Faye uses her size with reckless abandon, at one point landing all her weight on Allie’s knee. That cannot be good. She was lucky to get away without a serious injury. Faye drops Allie with the Michinoku Driver for the win.
Final Rating: **1/2
Davienne, Miranda Vionette & Mistress Belmont vs. Deonna Purrazzo, Karen Q & Tasha Steelz
Purazzo is the big star here.
Her team, “Team Adams”, feel like a bigger deal just because she’s leading it. The other women are her friends and fellow trainees. Belmont was unannounced but slides in to jump Purazzo right at the start. Calling Deonna the “best women’s wrestler on the planet” is a bit of a stretch. She has the potential to end up in that conversation but not for years. Miranda has been absent from wrestling due to pregnancy and this is her first match back. She is rusty and blows a backbreaker on Deonna. Belmont hasn’t wrestled since April so she’s not exactly crisp. It’s an uphill struggle for Deonna. The match is at its best when Team Adams are unloading offence, although Tasha takes a wicked bump over the top to the floor. A big part of the match is Sammy Lane, the original member of the heel team, getting involved but she fucks up on the finish and Karen Q gets a roll up win. This had a higher quality level than anything else on the show.
Final Rating: ***
Janelope vs. David Starr & Tessa Blanchard
Starr has a new duo introduction for him and Tessa. There’s been a lot of Starr List mimicry recently. This wasn’t one of the wittiest and the crowd boo some of it and Starr happily heels it up by supporting the Eagles (Superbowl is forthcoming – Philly vs. New England). Starr spends as much time working referee Kevin Quinn as he does the other team. It’s really hard to tell who heels it up the most here because Janela is a “bad boy” so he has no compunctions about beating up Tessa and Starr runs down everyone bar Tessa, even though he doesn’t show much aggression towards Penelope Ford. Tessa definitely fares better, of the two women, taking it to Joey and often tying him up in wear-down submissions. Ford and Blanchard have good exchanges, even though Penelope blows a handspring something fierce on Starr. It’s a pity because it’s one mistake in a match loaded with well-planned sequences and strong performances. I’m particularly fond of the timing on the double superkick spots. Not everything takes place within the rules of tag team wrestling, therefore confirming that Kevin Quinn isn’t familiar with the rules of pro wrestling. But hey, it’s entertaining so that’s what it’s all about right? The finish is dumb with Penelope Ford rolling Tessa into the ropes before pinning and Quinn doesn’t even notice and counts it anyway. Fuck’s sake. David Starr is naturally apoplectic because of this terrible display of refereeing. Quinn wasn’t even looking at the shoulders. Shocking. Aside from the one slip up and the awful finish this was good.
Final Rating: ***1/2
This was the same day as the Royal Rumble so they trumped WWE’s rumble match by a matter of hours. The match features everyone that’s already been on the card. That means it’s a 20 women Rumble. Deonna Purazzo draws #2, which puts her, a favourite, at a considerable disadvantage. #3 is Tessa Blanchard and #4 is Penelope Ford, thus immediately recreating the semi-main event match. It’s a smart move to have some of the most talented women come in early.
Yep, it’s a Rumble alright. Lots of rope hugging and they keep it all simple. Ford is the first thrown out thanks to Belmont and Davienne teaming up but Karen Q takes momentum back to Team Adams and Belmont gets tossed. Skylar, who came in at #1, goes out to a chorus of boos. Deonna vs. Tessa is a major highlight as they show some genuine hate in their strikes. I want that match! Grace comes in at #8 and looks like a clear cut favourite right away due to her powerful lower body. The ladies don’t do a bad job of recreating a Rumble match but it’s loaded with flaws. Too often anyone attempting a move finds bodies in their way and has to stop. Gillian Leigh’s frustration at not being able to hit a corner move is palpable. Terra comes in at #12 and she’s there to clean house. This is an old ‘women’s battle royal’ so you don’t have to go over the top rope; just out of the ring. So Gillian is eliminated by being thrown under the bottom rope. Something doesn’t ring true about that. Grace and LuFisto get rid of Terra after a brief period of dominance. Sonya manages to dump Deonna Purazzo and her ‘three month plan’ is looking strong. She wants that match with former WWE wrestler Emma, which is the prize awaiting the winner of this match.
The whole thing is cheap with no music and the crowd yelling “EEEEEHHHHHH” every time the count down ends. Most of the action is uninspired. The success stories are Tessa Blanchard, who controls the ring for large periods, LuFisto and Jordynne Grace. They’re the ones that have a good understanding of multi-person matches. Faye Jackson enters at #17 and she’s the biggest competitor in the match now Terra is out. Delmi Exo is one of the last in and she’s terrible again. Just useless with her weak strikes and her timing is lame. She tries to go nuts on Tessa and that almost works but everything else is so bad. Solo Darling is in this for a disappointingly short time. #20 is Alexxis. As she enters there are seven women in the ring. She makes it eight, using her second orange gear. Hendrix tries an interesting tactic of hiding outside the ring, behind the ring post. Alexxis and Taeler team up to throw Faye out and that’s the power of team work. I’m a fan of the quality left at the end. The final six are all good wrestlers. So WWR know who the talent are, they just spread them out on the show. Alexxis throws Taeler out after they get into an argument. That leaves….
FINAL FOUR: Alexxis, Sonya Strong, Jordynne Grace and Tessa Blanchard. One of them will meet Tanielle Dashwood. Grace knocks Alexxis out after the heels/faces team up. Tessa goes up top, which is dumb, and gets knocked out of the match by Sonya. We’re back to where we started! Sonya vs. Jordynne. Sonya won earlier but she doesn’t here. Jordynne hooks a bearhug on the apron and mauls Sonya before dropping her to the floor. Jordynne Grace wins. This was a perfectly competent match. I didn’t like the ‘through the ropes’ stipulation but I guess some people didn’t want to take the over the top elimination and there wasn’t a lot of space around ringside.
Final Rating: ***
This wasn’t the most successful of shows from WWR. A lot of the undercard was untidy with some of the competitors looking too inexperienced to have their matches critiqued by the eyes of the world on Powerbomb. That said it ended quite well. The last three matches were all fine and the likes of Allie Recks, Holidead, LuFisto and Solo Darling all looked good, even if their matches weren’t that strong. Some of the action was downright dangerous, which is always a worry when inexperienced wrestlers are attempting things but some of the action was far too lightweight as well. You could probably clip half the wrestlers off this show and put together a better card. That said you need 20 for the ‘rumble’ match so I can see why they had so many people here. I hope WWR’s actual five year plan is better than the content of this show. No offence meant.