SHINE 8 in Review: Though Victorious, Valkyrie Receive Their First Taste of Retribution

shine8The Swiss philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau once famously said “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet”. However, in the short-fused, attention-bereft world of professional wrestling, that’s a mantra that we often find ourselves questioning. So how refreshing it was at SHINE 8 to see the patience of so many people (including ourselves) pay off in so many ways!

Having been on the receiving end of Valkyrie’s wrath multiple times since the stable’s formation in January, Amazing Kong has had plenty of time to ponder just how to get her revenge. Fortunately for Kong, she was not the only one who had a bone to pick with Rain and her cohorts, and with Mia Yim, Christina Von Eerie and the debuting Angelina Love on her side, it looked like Valkyrie had finally met their match.

What happened was a crazy, frenzied melee that spent more time outside the ring than it did inside. Every woman had her moment, Angelina Love showing exactly why she’s a 5-time TNA Knockouts Champion with a fine performance on her SHINE debut, while Ivelisse continued the momentum from her ‘match of the year’ candidate against LuFisto at SHINE 7 with an excellent showing here. The wildcards of the babyface team Mia Yim and Christina Von Eerie also impressed, showing no sign of nerves whatsoever in their first main event appearances in SHINE. The match ended with Made in Sin breaking Von Eerie in half with a vicious Eighth Deadly for the three-count, but that wasn’t the end of it. While Valkyrie were celebrating in the ring, the remaining faces rushed to Von Eerie’s aid. Three of the Valkyrie members managed to escape, but Ivelisse was left at the mercy of her opponents, who gave her each a taste of sweet revenge. Whether this has to do with Ivelisse’s recent involvement in TNA and is SHINE’s way of writing her out of the story or not is anybody’s guess, and it’ll be interesting to see how things fall into place for in this angle come SHINE 9. Regardless, seeing the show end on a high note for the faces is a welcome change to proceedings, while keeping Valkyrie strong in victory.

Another person who’s had to remain patient in the past few months is Reby Sky, who had been the victim of both a physical and emotional assault by Jessicka Havok as of late. After two comprehensive beatings at the hands of Havok – one caused by Sky’s boyfriend Matt Hardy throwing in the towel on her behalf – Reby had a point to prove, so threw out a challenge. If Jessicka Havok won, Sky’s career would be over. If Reby won, Havok would have to stand in the middle of the ring and declare that she does indeed respect Reby as a competitor.

Havok dominated the match from the start, manhandling Reby, who simply could not compete with Havok’s sheer strength. However, Sky stayed resilient, and somehow it paid off, as in one whirlwind moment of insanity she managed to land a huge Twist of Fate on Havok onto a steel chair while the referee was incapacitated, and pick up the shock victory. Havok, although clearly beside herself with rage, took the defeat on the chin and admitted that although she still doesn’t like Reby, she has no choice but to respect her in the ring. A huge rub for the vastly-improved Reby Sky, while Jessicka Havok loses no momentum (and in fact, almost comes out of the defeat looking better).

Another violent feud reached breaking point last night as Leva Bates and Kimberly did battle yet again, continuing their epic, enthralling rivalry this time in a Fans Bring Weapons/I Quit Match. For over fifteen minutes they pummelled each other with everything they could find, using chairs, a baking tray, a dustbin, a baseball bat and even the ring bell, before Kimberly got the final laugh, tying a helpless Leva to the ropes and unleashing a flurry of far more baking tray shots to the head than I felt comfortable watching. But it’s a testament to the intensity of the feud that I kept watching anyway, and as Kimberly celebrated over an unconscious Leva to level the score at 2-2 between them, I’m left just as excited as ever for what’s to come next in what could well become a historic rivalry in women’s wrestling.

But the match of the night from a purely wrestling standpoint has got to go to the veterans Mercedes Martinez and Nikki Roxx. Their first outing last month at SHINE 7 was impressive enough, with Roxx picking up the win with her trademark Barbie Crusher, but they took their game to another level this time, starting off with some slick, seamless chain wrestling that soon snowballed into a hard-hitting, back and forth wrestling clinic that saw Mercedes Martinez redeem herself for her previous loss, pinning Roxx with the Fisherman Buster. With the scores tied once more, expect to see this feud continue on to the next show.

The second half of the show was a magnificent hour and half of action, with pretty much no negatives to comment on. Unfortunately, the first half couldn’t quite live up to that standard. It wasn’t without its moments though – Santana and Sojo Bolt had the standout match of the half, with a tremendous, athletic effort from both competitors. I could watch Santana’s Shining Star Press for hours and hours on end and not get bored!

Elsewhere, Nikki St. John turned plenty of heads by wrestling – and winning – her match against Luscious Latasha without even taking her glasses off! Although the match itself wasn’t quite the same spectacle – sorry, I’ll get my coat – the quality of the in-ring action was above average, even if the contest itself was far too short. Meanwhile, Su Yung picked up an impressive submission victory over Brittney Savage, making her tap to Yellow Fever in what was otherwise a decent but forgettable bout, while Brandi Wine was unsuccessful in a solid effort against Jayme Jameson, despite having Malia Hosaka in her corner to distract the referee and get some sneaky offense.

Make no mistake about it, this was the best SHINE show to date. The undercard, though unspectacular, fulfilled its purpose well, while the final five matches could all be legitimate match of the night contenders. It’s the perfect reward for our patience, for as some of the promotion’s first real feuds begin to reach their climax and the characters are solidifed as mainstay fixtures on the card, we as viewers are able to put serious emotional investment in what we’re watching. With Angelina Love as the sole debutante this time, the roster looks pretty much complete, and with such diversity in experience, style, personality and strength there are sure to be plenty of avenues yet to explore. SHINE 8 for the most part is a must-watch for all independent women’s wrestling fans, and if you’ve never got round to checking out an independent show before, this is a great place to start!

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  • Dave Muscarella

    This show, and this company for that matter, was fantastic. I agree that the first half was a little week, esp the 2nd match, but the last 5 matches more than made up for it. Leva/Kimberly was brutal and epic. Some of the spots in the match with the ring bell and especially the where Leva was tied in a cloverleaf in the ropes were truly creative and fun. I do agree that there was too many shots to the head, but I think that just proves how intense the feud has gotten.

    And Mercedes vs Roxx was a classic technical wrestling match. In a show with so many wild and crazy moments, it was really nice to have a pure wrestling match on the show. Mercedes really deserves a lot of credit for consistently putting on great matches with a pretty big variety of opponents.

    I also thought Reby vs Havok was done well too. Jessicka lost but still camr across as a badass. I am very interested to see where Havok goes from here. SHINE 9 will most likely have a large assortment of international talent, so if we get Havok vs Eagles or Havok vs Evie, it will be really exciting.

  • pumped up kicks

    Thanks Adrian for the write up! I know the indie post don’t get as big as a reception as the mainstream news, but the people that like the indies sure do appreciate it!

    • Melissa K Killer 2010

      so true I really appreciate diva dirt giving us these write up.

  • jonboi

    Never seen shine but this does sound great, I’m in the uk does anyone know how & where I can order or watch online?

    • Adrian, it’ll cost about a tenner but you won’t be disappointed :)

      • Number One

        That’s if you order in advance. If you order on the day of the event, it’s $15.

      • jonboi

        Thanx guys gonna go on now..

  • KaitlynLover<3

    I would love to see one of this shows, but I don´t have money for it :(

    • Raekon

      If you could save around 15$ it will be more than worth it.

      All shows are going for several hours and have great action in them.
      Shine 7 and 8 were the best for me out of the ones I watched so far (I started at SHINE 5).

      If you watch it live its only 10$, 15$ is if you buy Live &VOD (that’s what I always do).

      Video On Demand lets you login to the site and watch the show as many times as you want after it aired (it’s as if you have it on video).

      • pumped up kicks

        I didnt know VOD let you do that! Next time Ill spring the extra 5$ to do that.

        • Raekon

          Yep, that’s the meaning of it. :)
          I have SHINE 5 to 8 till now.

          You can also buy as VOD all episodes available since SHINE1 or order the DVDs that are available so far from the official SHINE Wrestling site.

          I wanted a Valkyrie Sweatshirt from their shop but with all the taxes and stuff because I’m located in Germany it will cost me double the price or more. :(

  • Raekon

    Was a awesome show as usual and worth to stay up the whole night again for me. :)

    I hope they will keep going strong with the shows!
    Next show SHIMMER at the 6th april and SHINE 9 soon after. :)

  • divaindemise

    Are there DVDs available? This promotion seems to have gone from strength to strength; I’m particularly keen on watching the Leva Bates/Kimberly feud and Ivelisse’s match with LuFisto.

    • GailKim95

      Yes they sell DVDs on their website. The Lufosto/Ivelisse match was great! You won’t be disappointed

    • redsandman99

      I’ve only seen the first two dvds for sale on the website. I do intend to get those though I wish I knew when the others would be put out for sale.

    • Raekon

      The DVDs unfortunately taking quite long (8th show and still only the first 2 available on dvd).

      However, you can still buy the Video On Demand version from and watch the show whenever you want and as often as you want.

      Both matches you mentioned were great and Lufisto vs Ivelisse was fantastic.

  • Sapphire Eyes

    I so want a DVD of this show too.