Sunday, 23 April 2006 03:47
Before there was SHIMMER, there was SuperGirls.
SuperGirls was the all-women offshoot of Canada’s ECCW promotion, which run its first back-to-back taping in Surrey and Vancouver on the weekend of September 23 & 24 last year, six weeks before Dave Prazak brought the revolution to the US. However, unlike SHIMMER, which is still proving to be a viable commodity in the wrestling market, SuperGirls (as a standalone fed) seems to have essentially died after these first two tapings. Their website still says “Check back soon for updates on upcoming SuperGirls events!” but it looks suspiciously as if this DVD and its sister volume are all we’re going to see, although the SuperGirls title belt remains active on ECCW shows.
And so to the show, and we are welcomed by MAURO RANALLO~! of PRIDE fame, along with the stereotypical boa wearing co-host, known simply as Ladies Choice. Mauro stresses that SuperGirls isn’t about “T & A”, but Ladies Choice explains he’s “like Colonel Sanders – All I’m interested in is legs, breasts and thighs”.
Much like the Queens Of Chaos DVD I reviewed last time, the action here is split into episodes rather than presented as a full show, and episode #1 kicks off with a gentleman by the name of Scotty Mac in the ring. As far as I can gather, Mac is a male wrestler from the ECCW promotion. He is wearing a pink Stetson, by the way. He introduces Rebecca Knox, the first SuperGirls champion (who became the champ by beating Miss Chevius on an ECCW show). She comes out for some promo action, but the levels on the house mic are fairly low. She runs down some of the rest of the roster – mentioning LuFisto, Cheerleader Melissa & Nattie Neidhart by name. Not much to report, so let’s get to the action.
Belle Lovitz vs Tiffany
Belle is a Stampede regular and is a graduate of the Hart Family dungeon. She’s also one half of the Stampede Girls tag team with Nattie Neidhart, according to Mauro. Her opponent is Tiffany, a regular for APW in California and also one half of a regular tag team, that being Girls Gone Wrestling with the great, great Cheerleader Melissa. I wouldn’t usually mention the referee, but the referee in this match is a midget called Beautiful Bruce. Really. Belle starts with some tomfoolery and callisthenics until each girl slaps the PISS out of each, and it’s on. Belle plays heel, and seems pretty adept at it. Tiffany makes the comeback, and it strikes me as so weird to hear Mauro Ranallo calling wrestling moves. Short-ish match, which ended with Tiffany failing at a monkey flip attempt and Belle pinning her with her feet on the ropes. There was absolutely nothing wrong with this match, but nothing spectacular either. Exactly what you’d be looking for in an opening match, I suppose.
Sexy Samantha Slides & Ladies Choice come out for a promo, so Mauro is joined in the booth by “Starmaker” Brian Summers. Ladies Choice gets a chance to drop in his “Man with the plan and the golden tan” line for the fifth time within twenty minutes of this DVD starting. He says stuff. I’d be lying if I said I remembered what he said within five seconds of him saying it.
Pyro vs LuFisto
First out for this match is the masked Pyro, a local BC girl whom Mauro identifies as being a veteran of the Maniac Wrestling Alliance. Her opponent is LuFisto, a girl I’ve heard a lot about over the last couple of months as she’s been having some legal issues, and been trying to petition her way into CZW. She’s got a penchant for death matches too, which disturbs me somewhat. Her official website is full of pictures of her bleeding profusely. She’s identified by Mauro as being a seven time men’s champion in Montreal, as a matter of fact. Pyro is the heel with the crowd, but LuFisto proceeds to assault her right off the bell, kicking her, stretching her and even biting her fingers. Pyro gets intermittent moments of offence, but this is almost all LuFisto. The match is worked pretty snugly, a point which is demonstrated when LuFisto doesn’t so much deliver a Face Wash bootscrape as she just drives the sole of her boot into Pyro’s head. Hey, it got a “Shinjiro Ohtani” reference out of Ranallo, nonetheless. LuFisto wraps up proceedings by using a chickenwing butt drop into a wacky lucha style arm submission using her legs for the win. The match wasn’t particularly evenly contested, but it did the job in showcasing Lufisto, who entered an impressive performance.
Sexy Samantha Slides vs Madison
Slides is accompanied by Ladies Choice, and both Summers and Ranallo repeat his “golden tan” line – so we’re up to seven mentions of that catchphrase within 30 minutes, and frankly I want to see him get his ass kicked right now. Both girls are local, but Madison is the distinct babyface. They start with a Malenko-Guerrero sequence, which is highly irritating because the referee for this match (a Polish girl called Anya) is moving in s-l-o-w motion and takes three years to move from one pin attempt to the next. Slides plays heel really well, and grating catchphrase aside, Ladies Choice makes an excellent nefarious manager – even taking the opportunity to punch Madison behind the referee’s back. The fans are really into Madison, chanting her name, and once again the work is pretty strong. The ending came when Slides distracted the official and Ladies Choice threw powder into the face of Madison, who was sitting on the middle rope. A powerbomb later, and Samantha Slides had her hand raised in victory while LC jigged in the ring. Good old school match. The post match beatdown continued, which got strong heel heat until a fat dude called Fast Freddy Funk makes the save. Madison lays down a challenge for a mixed tag match “next week”.
Nattie Neidhart vs Cheerleader Melissa
This is my first time seeing Jim Neidhart’s daughter in action, and Mauro reminds us that Nattie is possibly the first third generation women’s competitor. Good point, actually. If she’s any good, WWE would do well to bring her in based solely on her name value. She’s wrestling APW’s Cheerleader Melissa, who is possibly my favourite Indy women’s wrestler based on my (still limited) experience of the style, so I’m really looking forward to this. Neidhart is accompanied by her partner Belle Lovitz, while Melissa comes out alone. Melissa even cracks a smile, which is a surprise to anyone following her SHIMMER appearances. She even slaps hands of the ringsiders, so she’s working babyface tonight. The match starts with some pseudo MMA style rolling, and it becomes clear pretty quickly that both these girls know exactly what they’re doing. Neidhart hits a release German suplex which sends Melissa out to the floor, holding her head. She lay there for long enough that I can’t help but think she really got her bell rung. Not that Neidhart cared – she came outside, slapped Melissa, then suplexed her on the hard wood floor. Ouch. Melissa got absolutely womanhandled from that point onwards, even taking a Michinoku Driver II. Melissa got a couple of chinks of offence with flash rollups, but Neidhart came back with a Sharpshooter and even a rear naked choke. Melissa eventually has enough and fires up, taking the fight to Neidhart and getting some near falls of her own from a fisherman’s suplex and missile dropkick. Melissa locks on a Sharpshooter of her own, but Belle Lovitz distracts the referee who misses Nattie tap out. Uh oh. Melissa’s partner Tiffany comes out to even the odds, but only succeeds in distracting the referee for long enough for Belle to break up the Sharpshooter. Tiffany chases Belle around the ringside area, while Nattie re-applies her own version of the Sharpshooter which this time draws the tap out from Melissa. Damn. Melissa issues the challenge after the match for the inevitable tag match between Girls Gone Wrestling and the Stampede Girls. Nattie gets some mic action too, and seems very comfortable. She even throws in a little Anvil-esque chuckle. This was far and away the standout bout so far. Melissa, who impressed me so much as a heel in the past, proved to be an extremely effective babyface, full of fire when it mattered – and Nattie Neidhart looks to have a great package. Based on this match, she looks good, she’s got an impressive array of moves, she’s comfortable performing and she’s got a marketable surname. WWE need to get her under a developmental deal right now. Melissa too, of course. She’s still my favourite. I also fully endorse Dave Prazak bringing Nattie Neidhart into SHIMMER and booking a rematch.
We move on to Episode 2 of SuperGirls, and Mauro runs down the matches for the show – namely Rebecca Knox defending the SuperGirls title against LuFisto, and the mixed match set up last episode featuring Ladies Choice.
Nattie Neidhart & Belle Lovitz (The Stampede Girls) come out to address the challenge of GGW. Melissa & Tiffany arrive on the scene and eventually the tag match is set for later in the show.
Sexy Samantha Slides & Ladies Choice vs Madison & Fast Freddy Funk
Fast Freddy Funk is a fat, fat man, and is wearing a vest which is cut to reveal plenty of flesh. He takes it to Ladies Choice early, and Samantha scoots off the apron when LC wants to tag at first. Slides eventually does come in, and unsurprisingly can’t do much with Funk. Funk does take a couple of bumps for Slides, mind you – so at least he’s game. Despite Funk probably outweighing all three of the other participants put together, the heels get heat on him. In fact, the heels dominate 90% of the match, alternately getting heat on Funk and Madison. The ending sees Ladies Choice whack Funk with a chair, then brawl on the floor while Madison hits a sunset powerbomb on Slides. Nice finish to an entirely forgettable bout. Slides has impressed me in these two matches, Madison (despite being the crowd favourite) has not.
SuperGirls Title: Rebecca Knox vs LuFisto
I mean this in the nicest way possible, but Rebecca Knox is infectious. Seriously. Heel or not, I can’t help but smile when she dances out to the ring and does her prissy heel gimmick. She’s so awesome. LuFisto is good too, and the two kick the match off with some strong chain wrestling. In fact, the match builds really well throughout as they transition from the low risk early stuff to some big impact moves, to some pretty effective out-of-the-ring brawling and then back into the ring to build to the finish. LuFisto again delivers not so much of a bootscrape as a stiff as hell stomp to the ear before setting up a Candice Michelle style hanging headscissors which results in LuFisto’s pants coming down. Rebecca rallies with an athletic springboard from the top and a Michinoku Driver II for two. LuFisto takes over and hits an Emerald Frosien for what looks like the climactic pin – and then it all goes to shit. The referee (Anya) gets up at the count of two and wanders across the ring to have words with Scotty Mac, Rebecca’s valet for the evening. This was so bad, as LuFisto had the obvious pin and Scotty wasn’t even getting in the ring. LuFisto takes an age getting a big table set up in the ring, and then rather than use it, she goes to the ropes to join in a discussion with the referee and Scotty. This took at least half an hour. Scotty passed the belt to Rebecca in full view of the dizzy official (who wasn’t even smart enough to look away for the sake of the booking), and she blasts LuFisto in the head. Rebecca then *further* distracts the referee while Scotty comes in and powerbombs LuFisto through the table. Despite there being the remnants of a table in the ring, not to mention a broken LuFisto lying in the middle of it, the referee has no problems counting the pinfall win for Rebecca. What a disaster of a finish to what was building up to be another cracking match in the tradition of Neidhart/Melissa from earlier. It was needlessly overbooked at the end and there was little reason for a table to be involved other than for LuFisto to further prove her hardcore credentials. In saying that, the referee made it a BILLION times worse. She was easily the least competent official I’ve ever seen – and you can think of the ground that covers. Her counts were really slow, she didn’t have a clue what to do when the girls were fighting on the outside, she displayed no emotion or authority in her work, and she wasn’t even smart enough to play stupid when it mattered. Ugh. Great match up to a point, then it all went wrong.
The Stampede Girls vs Girls Gone Wrestling
Maybe it’s just me, but if the Minnesota Homewrecking Crew (Lacey & Rain) have the best female tag team name of all time, I think Cheerleader Melissa & Tiffany have the worst, as Girls Gone Wrestling. This tag team match is the main event of the second episode of SuperGirls and the final match of this DVD. This was a kind of strange one, possibly slightly abbreviated as this is everyone’s second match of the evening. After an early sequence when GGW worked over Belle, The Stampede Girls took control over Tiffany for a while. The heat (and the action) was so-so, until Tiffany made the tag to Melissa – who then exploded into life with righteous FURY – destroying Neidhart with lariats, elbows, and yes – to repay the favour from earlier, a suplex on the wood floor. Tiffany and Melissa dispatch Lovitz with a slingshot suplex before Melissa polishes off Nattie with an Air Raid Crash. A disappointing match given the build up, but on an entirely personal level I loved seeing Melissa get her revenge from the earlier singles encounter. She certainly looked the class of the field in this match.
That was my first taste of SuperGirls, and it was an enjoyable experience. The girls I was expecting to excel did just that (Knox & Melissa), and I was introduced to three other girls who all left a strong impression on me (Neidhart, LuFisto, Slides), so on that level I can only quantify this show as a success and offer it my recommendation. In fact, the Melissa vs Neidhart match was the best women’s match I’ve seen outside SHIMMER – so it’s worth getting hold of just for that. I look forward to seeing Vol 2, which features a SuperGirls title match between Rebecca Knox and Cheerleader Melissa, which is somewhat of a dream match for me. When I see it, you’ll read about it here.
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