WSU Fifth Anniversary Show
Women’s Superstars Uncensored
Reviewed by Joe Babinsack
The world has definitely changed in WSU.
Not only are they gearing up for a national DVD release soon, but the longest reigning Champion on the indy scene has lost her crown. And the Midwest Militia is reigning supreme in the New Jersey based promotion.
Now, there is no question that I’m a hug Mercedes Martinez fan, and going into the DVD, knowing what was going to happen, I was not looking forward to it. My take on titles is that long reigns are so alien to the landscape that Martinez builds up her reputation and the credibility of both herself and the title with all the defenses.
But in the case of a promotion building upon history, respect for the sport, and respect for the fans, one does not have to always agree with results. And, when the execution makes it work, sometimes even the most unwanted scenarios turn out to be a lot more interesting than anticipated.
What’s important for WSU is that this is a promotion that mixes talent well: it plays to former mainstream names, it has a slew of home grown talent, and it has an undeniably capable Champion. Well, it still does, but her name is not Mercedes Martinez.
What’s more important today is that WSU now has a dominant heel group, a former Champion gunning for revenge and to reclaim her Title, and a roster that can fill out a card on several levels.
Now, the Midwest Militia (Jessicka Havok, Sassy Stephanie & Allysin Kay) has all the belts. They have taken a level of violence to the promotion, have been tested by WSU’s best and the best of guest stars, and are now in control.
It’s a very interesting setup, and sets the stage for bigger and better things.
In an industry where factions are laughable, using big names (for an indy promotion) is worse, and the concept of being a heel is so completely alien to reality that it must be noted when it works, WSU is hitting its stride in terms of creativity, using talent and building up future matches. The best part of the 5th Anniversary show isn’t just the awesome main event, but the developing storylines, and also the obvious set up for a rematch (and the wondering about how and when that will play out.)
Mercedes Martinez (World Champion) vs Jessicka Havok (Spirit Champion)
I’m the guy that said Amy Lee vs Awesome (or was that Amazing) Kong was a MOTY candidate, so my perspectives are always going to be flawed. So there’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll take Martinez/Havok over the much ballyhooed WrestleMania matches in a heartbeat.
For one thing, these ladies were selling, putting passion into the action and pulling out violence at a believable pace. I’m very happy Havok has lost the machete gimmick, because that was too crazy. But Jessicka Havok as a “Magnificent Beast” was more intense here, from her opening promos about getting her shot, to the highly emotional response when that belt was handed to her.
Martinez always pulls out the stops. What impressed me here was her ability to sell the battle, and the obvious investment of the crowd into believing her capable of pulling out the win. How much of a back injury is involved in the selling is a mixture of work and shoot, I’m sure, but carrying it off? That’s pure talent.
Another aspect of the match was that the violence did take center stage, and this was a war. This was no “you wrestle or get DQ’d garbage that marred Punk/Jericho”, this was a battle of two wrestlers who knew it was going to be a war, who didn’t resort to technical wrestling, and who did take it across the NYWC Sportatorium, using tables, chairs and a door!
Was it perfect?
Well, there’s always the nitpicking. Referees shouldn’t be setting up spots. It did go a little too long. Why Havok has the Spirit Championship is a little tired. There are times when going to the top rope really loses a lot of luster when it’s obvious that tired wrestlers have to be careful and have to set things up. And seeing Martinez lose the belt four days short of a three year reign!
But what I enjoyed was seeing it play out. The finish was equal parts brilliant and potentially botched, but I always love that combination. Some may argue, some may overfocus, but this wasn’t a situation where a run-in marred the finish or a person won just because, just because.
Jessicka Havok is your new WSU Champion, being able to drape an arm over the former Champ, after both crashed hard through a table, to the mat.
It screams of a rematch, it puts an exclamation point on a visually brutal match, and it sets up a very interesting storyline.
J-Cup Qualifier: April Hunter vs Annie Social
Here’s where WSU does guest stars and local stars the best. April Hunter is a long time veteran, having made her name in other places and doing other things, but she’s a frequent guest of WSU. Annie Social is more local, and if Christina Ricci was a wrestler, she’d be the perfect ‘sister’ for Social.
Wow, do these gals make sure to focus eyes on prominent features.
WSU Tag Team Title Match: The Soul Sisters vs Lexxus & ???
Should it not be Da Soul Sistas, or I’m I straying into lingo I should not be using?
That team (Jana, a Hall of Famer now.. and Latasha), has been around for a long time, but never held the belts. Lexxus (having gotten a big push earlier) is trying to take it further by going solo. I’m not quite sure what’s up with Amber, but it seems vastly more than just a storyline.
Shades of Mean Gene getting involved in a tag match, as Lexxus pulls ring announcer Destiny to stand at the ropes. There’s a lot of contrivance in this match and the following, and way too many appearances (run-ins, but not quite exactly that), but it played out an important storyline.
First, The Soul Sisters do get the belts, after Tina San Antonio jumps into the action, but gets laid out by Marti Belle, her erstwhile tag team partner/blood feud adversary. Obviously a Tag Team Champion basically going alone against any credible team, and after already working earlier on the card, is destined for a loss.
Then, the expected Midwest Militia challenge, acceptance and second title change.
Too much here in terms of working double duty, playing in other feuds and overall overbooking to the point I was thinking of another three-letter promotion (ok, think about that and how vastly more appropriate it would be for this promotion other than Uncensored).
Seems like Lexxus is headed for a face turn, but then, who’s turning on that side?
Uncensored Rules Tag Match: Sassy Stephanie & Allysin Kay vs Alicia & Brittney Savage
The Midwest Militia versus the top babyfaces in WSU not named Mercedes Martinez.
Kinda weird to have barbed wire, lots of crashes through tables (and a door) and not so much color. This was a different style than the rest of the show (until the Main Event) – putting over the violence of the heel faction. This was everything you’ll never see on the mainstream: body shapes and sizes, gals who can actually work, and telling a solid story in the ring and out of it.
Seriously, does anyone see Alicia putting Allysin Kay through a door on Cable TV?
(Although I’m all for seeing more of Savage or Stephanie.)
The Sassy one’s “Kiss my Sass” brings about the finish. Was there ever a more successful heel turn than hers, or ever a series of turns like Brittney Savage (or even Alicia) that tremendously enhanced their characters?
This was a definite Fifth Anniversary Show match to showcase WSU.
LuFisto and Kalamity headed to WSU?
Wow, there will be some rocking with the MWM, that’s for sure.
Grudge Match: Marti Belle vs Tina San Antonio
Jim Ross has a phrase for such matches. I’m really not one for belaboring a match that wasn’t working well. With a few “Grudge Matches” on the card, there was the potential for something less like a Grudge, and more like a badly worked match, and this was that match.
Jennifer Cruz vs Becky Bayless
Bayless had that run in that national association. Cruz is old school heel. I really can’t figure out the point of this one. Either put over the returning WSU talent, or put over the heel being a heel. Doing the typical indy match where everyone does spots and each lady gets their chance to shine?
Well, the problem is that things can be hidden if the match is short enough.
Jessie (Bones) Brooks & Jenny Rose vs Rick Cataldo & Isabel Swena
There’s a lot of potential in Jessie Brooks, who can pull off the Homicide swagger. Jenny Rose is better known to most as Jamilia Craft. The setup is that these two had a pretty rough battle, and now have each other’s respect. “Bones and Roses” has a good ring to it, until someone gets nominated to the Hall of Fame in Cleveland….
Rick Cataldo, in polka dots or not, is a high comedy figure. I’m told Isabel Swena is someone known to the WSU crowd.
Not so bad a match or story or delivery, although that’s in comparison to what follows.
Lexxus vs Rain
This was a good example of WSU using Old School, one wrestler up the card, the other wrestler down the card, dynamics. Is Lexxus ready for bigger and better things? Most likely. Does she need more experience in the ring? Well, a little bit.
But moving talent up means challenging them, putting them in with experienced hands, and seeing if they sink or swim, and Lexxus seems to be rising to the challenge.
J-Cup Qualifier: Athena vs Leva Bates
I’m a sucker for a well booked tourney, and while this as an opener – considering some other matches that followed – seems a bit of mispositioning, this was a good match.
Bates has an inspired fashion sense, and there’s something “Big Bang Theory” about her ever-evolving look. Athena looks like a Commodores song come to life, and I don’t mean that in a disrespectful manner. Both are earning their experience and both could become players on the indy scene before long.
Overall, WSU is expanding its horizons and establishing itself beyond just the place where former mainstream stars stop by to play. With top talent at the main event level, and with an undercard that mixes together new and veteran talent, enough creativity (and sometimes too much), as well as a strong sense of tradition, it is definitely a promotion to watch.