I had a discussion the past few days with a celebrity wannabe from the west coast, who decided to lecture me about the realities of professional wrestling. As if I needed schooling on that subject.
There are those who look at the sport we love and follow, and can’t tell the difference between a suplex and a hammerlock, let alone the stylistic differences that exist in the country of Japan.
These people can’t tell a strong style match from a hardcore one, or a gauntlet match from a scramble rules fiasco recently booked (in triplicate) by the WWE.
Ok, well, I can understand not comprehending those rules.
Point is, there’s a depth and breadth to professional wrestling, and if all you can point out is stereotypes, storylines that fuel hatred and finalizing the talent of the individuals in the squared circle, then don’t waste your time with me.
In the Womens’ Professional Wrestling genre, there are some established indy promotions, notably SHIMMER and ChickFight.
I’ve reviewed quite a few SHIMMER DVDs (and more to come!) and I’ve had the pleasure of doing some bios on top stars (Sara Del Ray, Cheerleader Melissa and MsChif (with more to come!) and I’ve also seen my name on the back of the ChickFight Goldrush collection (yes, Dr Keith and company, I’ve got Big Vision DVDs to review in plenty!)
But recently, I’d been alerted to WSU -- Women Superstars Uncensored.
While the name is a mouthful, the action is vastly comparable to those other women’s promotions. ChickFight is comprised of tournaments that do resemble wars. SHIMMER is an old-school booking atmosphere, with movement up and down the card.
WSU? Well, they’re more of a modern day promotion, but without all the typical WWE related nonsense. They rely more upon familiar faces, but they have a strong roster, with ladies like Mercedes Martinez, Angel Orsini, Nikki Roxx, Alexa Thatcher as well as more of the East Coast crew.
In terms of WWE names, the then current champ was Tammy Sytch, and Dawn Marie appears on this DVD, plus we get to see Awesome Kong, Lacey Von Erich and of course, this site’s favorite prognosticator, Missy Hyatt.
The matches range from top notch bouts that could headline SHIMMER or ChickFight, but also some more comedic interludes.
WSU promises a more family based product -- strange in conjunction with the name, but the wrestling is solid, better than your typical WWE crap, and the storylines are interesting enough.
Sure, there are some stereotyping, but nothing terribly insensitive.
Hate? Well, hate in wrestling is an interesting thing. When done right, and when it builds dynamics such that the crowd thinks two wrestlers are going out there to kill each other, then it pretty much works well.
When hate incites the crowd to violence, well, that’s another story.
Dawn of a New Day features the best of what WSU has to offer. It has the connections to bring in top names, it has the foundation to draw in up-and-coming names, and it certainly has the ability to make excellent use of talent.
Watching Mercedes Martinez battle Mickie Knuckles is certainly watching a war. (By the way, best wishes to Mickie and a speedy recovery from her bad injury.) When I say that there’s another promotion that shows wars, well, WSU can do the same.
Between this match and the Kong/Lee epic, if you’re looking for hard hitting action, you’ve come to the right place.
If you’re trying to keep track of names across promotions, the names stay the same, but sometimes the “alignment” changes. Cindy Rogers is a face in WSU, and Nikki Roxx is a heel. But they’re both great talents, and they shine in a tag match.
There’s a six-person tag as well, that combines some stereotypical roles. But anything with Annie Social in it is well worth the effort. Roxxi Cotton and Rick Cataldo do an interesting “mall rats” mixed tag, and establish the storyline.
There’s something about Alere Little Feather that is crossing the line, but I’m sure it will all work out. But the heart of the tag is the Soul Sisters, who do a great job in the ring.
One feature of this DVD is Lacey Von Erich’s debut in WSU. She’s with Missy Hyatt, and I’m not quite sure why Missy didn’t go out of her way to instruct her charge on the finer points of ring attire.
Not that I’m complaining too much, but looking for a wardrobe malfunction does distract from the match. Angel Orsini plays the perfect role in this match.
Lacey certainly has talent, looks and understanding of the business to go far.
Becky Bayless is the Ring of Honor interviewer, and heel persona in WSU. She of course gets into an angle with Dawn Marie during an interview session. A bit long with Bayless, but satisfying in the end.
But the absolute can’t-miss match here is Awesome Kong and Amy Lee.
I know that far too many people dismiss women’s wrestling as something to overlook, but show me a match this year with the inherent potential and deliverance of this battle.
I don’t think there are that many (OK, Cena/Batista, but they just can't rev up this level of intensity.)
But here we have two powerhouses, one a leather jacked biker chick, and the other, the Amazing and Awesome Kong. It’s well presented throughout the DVD, and it only takes a few glances to realize the dynamics.
These gals want to kill each other.
And, they very much show it in the ring. At one point, the action spills out off the apron, and the announcer talks of “two monster trucks going at each other” -- and I can’t think of a better description.
These two ladies (hey, I don’t want them mad at me) are just crushing each other with the punches and non-stop action.
The end looks a little familiar, but with the TNA Women’s champ in the ring, there has to be an acceptance of inevitability. It’s a match I highly recommend, and should be at the top of anyone’s list of best matches of the year. Seriously.
If you’re into watching women’s wrestling, don’t overlook WSU. It has the talent, the looks and the booking that puts it in line with the other promotions out there.