Friday, 14 April 2006 08:30
As part of my newfound love of women’s wrestling, I’ve been looking into getting my hands on footage from all around the world. The latest disc to catch my eye was a European release from the "France Catch" organisation, who run a male promotion called FSF (Fighting Spirit Federation) and a sister promotion called Queens Of Chaos. DVDs seem fairly thin on the ground so far, as the promotions don’t seem to run very often. The following show was recorded on May 13th 2005 in Toulouse, France and features future SHIMMER girl Rebecca Knox (who will debut on SHIMMER, Vol 3), former TNA star and current WWE developmental talent Trinity, along with regular US performer Sumie Sakai and a selection of the best female workers in Europe.
Rebecca Knox vs Skye
This is my first time seeing both of these girls work, although I’m already somewhat acquainted with Rebecca Knox’s story. Coming from Ireland myself, and taking into account my newly acquired love of women’s wrestling, I felt duty bound to seek out some K-Nox action, in preparation for her eventual SHIMMER debut. She’s a protégé of Fergal Devitt, who has just recently got the call-up from the Inoki Dojo in LA and is making his NJPW debut this month. Let me get this out of the way first – Rebecca Knox is in no way unattractive. There, I said it. Her opponent for this show is Skye, from Hertfordshire, England. According to some biographical info I was able to dig up on young Skye, she once had a WWE tryout match and counts Dave Taylor, William Regal and Chris Benoit amongst her trainers. Well, that certainly raises my expectations tenfold for this match. Skye wrestles in a schoolgirl outfit by the way. I am fine with this. I am also fine with her using “Cherry Pie” by Warrant as her entrance music. Oh yes. Despite Rebecca seeming a little stilted doing her pre-taped promo to camera, she is absolutely at ease in the ring and her character shines through as she effortlessly jaws with the crowd. “Do you like that?” she sneers to the crowd as she kicks Skye’s head in. Skye hit intermittent comebacks, including a couple of headscissors takedowns – but really the match was carried by the much more capable Knox. I was enjoying the match so much that I laughed out loud as she went for a top rope move… then stopped and descended to the middle turnbuckle because it was (in her own words) “too high”… only to descend further to the bottom turnbuckle before launching a legdrop. The legdrop missed, naturally. Bizarrely, and much to my dismay, Skye followed this up immediately with a fisherman suplex for a three count. How utterly depressing. A distraught Knox threw a tantrum post match. This was thoroughly enjoyable stuff, thanks entirely to the divine Miss Knox. I await her advance on SHIMMER with some anticipation!
Erin Angel vs Jersey
Erin Angel is another English girl, hailing from Southampton. The most interesting trivia fact I can offer about Erin is that she’s only 4’11” and counts one of her career highlights as having valeted for Jake Roberts on a show in Croydon. Fair enough. Her opponent is German competitor Jersey. I wish I could tell you something about Jersey, but I know absolutely nothing about her, other than she’s a honey. The crowd agree, as a vocal section actually chant “She’s a honey”. Erin plays heel, but the increasingly vocal crowd aren’t giving her an easy time, encouraging her to “Shut the fuck up”, and “Hide your ass, for God’s sake”. For sake of clarity, Erin does indeed have a big ass. This was remarkably old school, with Erin playing bully and Jersey playing the underdog – unfortunately, it was far too basic and slow paced to be particularly entertaining. Apparently Kid Kash wasn’t a fan either, as he ran in and threw both girls from the ring, insisting that no-one “came to see any girls”. At that point, the copyright notice comes across the screen and it becomes clear that the show is being presented in episodic format.
Back, in what I guess we can therefore call Episode 2, and Kash is cutting a promo. Kash introduces Trinity, and a quick challenge later, we go to a mixed tag match.
Kid Kash & Trinity vs Sick & Nikita
Sick is a German bloke, according to the graphic. That’s as far as my knowledge goes, I’m afraid. Nikita is regarded by many as one of the best women around in the UK scene, having wrestled for the FWA on many of their big cards – often against men. The vocal minority is back again in this match with such chants as “Fuck his gay ass”, and alarmingly, “Trinity sucks dicks for crack, doo da, doo da”, although thankfully they get into it pretty quickly because Nikita is very, very over. The match itself was pretty ordinary, and the addition of the guys didn’t really add a lot to the mix. In fact, I’d have much preferred to see this contested as a one-on-one match as I have reason to believe that Nikita is better than the pretty average showing she produced here. The ending came when Kash bodyslammed Nikita and Trinity hit her patented moonsault for the pinfall. That ended episode 2.
Episode 3 begins with a signing ceremony for a match between Japan’s Sumie Sakai and the UK’s Sweet Saraya. The match didn’t appear to be for a title, so it’s not clear why there was a storyline reason for a televised contract signing. Saraya started by getting some easy heel heat by insulting the natives. Anyway, the general rule of wrestling contract signings is observed, as there is the expected post-signing catfight.
Before we get on to the actual match, we get clipped highlights of a one on one match between male competitors Kid Kash and Sick. I think the implication here is that Kash and Sick are having a singles match arising out of their tag encounter on episode 2, although from checking the promotion’s website it turns out that the Kash vs Sick match was actually the opening dark match on the show. It seemed like a fairly decent looking match, albeit one in which I had very little interest. Sick got the win with a Magistral Cradle.
Sumie Sakai vs Sweet Saraya
Sakai is a name that will be familiar to many US indy fans, as she makes her home in Philadelphia and competes for a number of promotions in that area. Saraya is pretty famous in the UK not only because she is widely regarded as one of – if not the – best women wrestlers in the country, but also because she was at the centre of a long and dragged out missing persons case in 2005 which made national newspapers. Despite her fame and the fact that I’ve read a fair bit about her over the years, I’m fairly certain that this is the first time I’m actually going to see her work a full match. I hope she lives up to the hype, at any rate. She’s certainly got the surly charm that contrasts well with the super sweet Sakai, as she refuses a handshake and attacks Sakai from behind. Mere moments into the bout, Saraya convinces me of her greatness by doing a Muga-style headstand escape from a headscissors, which is more than enough to convince me that I want Saraya to win the match. Saraya even pulls out a couple of pages from the Trish Stratus playbook with a lovely whirlybird headscissors and a Stratusfear rana. Sakai may be really small, but her work was immense in this one. I’ve made mention of some fairly obnoxious chants in the last couple of matches, which I think were probably the result of a fairly restless crowd – but in this one, the crowd were totally buying into Sakai as the fiery babyface, clapping wildly at her comebacks and genuinely booing Saraya’s heel tactics rather than formulating offensive chants. In short, they completely bought what the girls were selling – and there’s no higher praise than that. The ending was out of nowhere, as Sakai suddenly screamed what sounded like “SHUT UP, BITCH!”, kissed her full on the lips and cradled her into rolling cradle which eventually got the three count. The two exchange a handshake at the end. This was truly grand stuff, and that ends Episode 3.
Episode 4 is a Royal Rumble style match to determine the first Queen Of Chaos Champion. Picks #1 & #2 are Nikita and Sumie Sakai. Sakai, as you might expect, is still stupendously over with the crowd, as they repeatedly chant for her. Nikita & Sakai put on an entertaining first segment until Sweet Saraya enters at #3. Saraya proceeds to stomp a mudhole in Sakai, allowing Saraya and Nikita to go at it as they have done numerous times around the UK. There’s a triangular submission attempt going on as the clock ticks down to announce Erin Angel as #4. Erin gets a strong heel response, which is only heightened by going after the popular Sakai. Rebecca Knox joins us at #5 and is promptly Pedigreed by Saraya within half a minute. Hey! I’ll say this much though – Saraya’s offense is fantastic. Everything looks like it hurts. Entry #6 is Jersey, who makes Rebecca Knox her first target. From my reckoning there are only two more entrants and there hasn’t been a single elimination yet. #7 is Skye, who doesn’t do a lot of note. It’s difficult to stand out in a Battle Royal environment as it is mostly kick/punch/lift type stuff, but Sakai has a brainwave and decides to try and tie Erin Angel’s braided hair to the ropes~! Final entrant (#8) is Trinity… and now we’ve got to start seeing some eliminations. Kid Kash makes another unwelcome appearance to throw around the girls… but the girls team up to stomp him out of the ring. Hey – fun spot, I guess. Back to business, and Jersey goes first – calmly lifted over and out by Erin Angel. Skye follows quickly afterwards, courtesy of Erin & Rebecca, before Trinity becomes the second girl in the match to make creative use of Erin’s braids by proceeding to choke her with her own hair! Distressingly, Sakai is next eliminated. She went over the top and landed on the ring steps – much to her joy – until Trinity dropkicked her legs and she hit the floor. I felt sure Sakai would make it to the end. Oh well. It’s at this point that I realised that Saraya isn’t in the ring any more – so I had to rewind the disc only to find that apparently Saraya was eliminated off camera by Erin, even before Jersey went out. That’s fairly disappointing too. Back to real-time and our final four are Nikita (who has now been adopted as fan favourite, given Sakai’s elimination), Rebecca Knox, Trinity and Erin Angel. Nikita eliminates Rebecca (who has a tantrum) and follows that up by eliminating Erin, who takes a very athletic but at the same time entirely horrible looking bump over the top rope… and we’re down to Nikita vs Trinity. After a couple of minutes, Nikita elevates Trinity over the top and celebrates… but wait… Trinity is still on the apron. Before she gets a chance to do anything, Nikita dropkicks her off and becomes the first ever Queen Of Chaos Champion. A fun Rumble.
Well, it was a hit and miss show which came back with a strong finish after a dull middle section. I adored seeing Rebecca Knox for the first time – and I’ve already sourced out more K-Nox shenanigans for future review (such as the Canadian Supergirls promotion) and the Sakai vs Saraya match was textbook stuff… but a lot of the other action was distinctly average. Skye & Jersey showed little or nothing and in the case of Jersey especially looked barely out of training. Erin Angel is a promising young heel, but her offense looks really poor, although that’s something that will improve over time. I also wasn’t a fan of incorporating a couple of men into the show. I guess Kid Kash’s name helps as a draw for fans who may not usually spend money to go and see an all-women’s show – but at the same time, he ended up on three of the four shows featured on this DVD, and that’s just too much as far as I’m concerned.
This was a nice change of pace from the SHIMMER shows – the wrestling wasn’t up to SHIMMER standards for the most part, but the core talents (Saraya, Nikita, Knox, Sakai) are all very capable of producing the goods. While the latter two may be making their names in North America now, I was definitely entertained enough to want to see more Queens Of Chaos action.
As I type this, the English shopzone portion of the website is currently down, but you can order this DVD (and others from the FSF range) on the French language shop. Payment is accepted via paypal.
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