As soon as I found out about this show I purchased a ticket to go. A short while later, it was announced that Riley Shepard would be wrestling. Riley Shepard is Quentin's favorite wrestler so I went ahead and got a ticket for him as well. This was such a strange day because I went to a baseball game at 10 am- supposed to be a doubleheader but the second game got rained out around 1 pm. There was some thunder and lightning but never really a lot of rain- at least not from what I saw as we went up to MA.
If you book a show within driving distance of me that's all women (This show is WWR+ because it also features an Eel O'Neal and a Lucha Baseball) I'm going to find a way to go to it. That's just everything I love about wrestling is women's wrestling. When we got to the show we eventually got to seats and then it wasn't that long before it started. I feel like by the time we got in and got ready (Quentin ordered pizza from the bar) it was almost 5 so we were making good time. I didn't realize Beyond wouldn't take an intermission so my only complaint about this show is that by the end my butt hurt from sitting for so long (Which is also partly my fault because I could have gotten up and walked around)
Since Quentin and I started going to wrestling again during the pandemic, this is the fourth show we've attended. At the previous shows, I spent some time with my phone trying to make photos as wrestlers entered and such but it doesn't always work well. So even though there was this whole thing about tweeting during the show and using the hashtag to get it trending I decided before the show that I wasn't going to touch my phone during the show and just live in the moment there. I think I did that pretty well and it gave me a few different moments with the wrestlers when they were inside the ring which I might not have otherwise had if I was on my phone.
I was thinking at one point before this show what the opening match would be. I only really knew what the last match would be and so I wondered do you start off and kind of try to have each match progress to outdo the one before it or do you open with a bang and have that hot opener. One idea I did think of was Davienne and Delmi Exo opening the show as the hot opener and it did and it was. This match told such a great story because a lot of Delmi Exo says about Davienne being a gatekeeper but getting stagnant might be true, but Davienne is also in this position where she is booked everywhere for a reason. Delmi Exo had something to prove though as a singles wrestler as she typically teams with Ashley Vox as Sea Stars.
I like the idea that one day Davienne and Delmi Exo will meet again and at that point, maybe then, Delmi Exo can get the win. There was also a point during this match where Davienne asked Delmi Exo where Ashley was and someone said she was in the back getting ready for her match. This is one of those moments where I'm not sure what the viewers on IWTV knew versus what we knew live, but more on that as we get to it.
The second match saw Riley Shepard mount the comeback to defeat Tina San Antonio. Tina San Antonio played the role of the heel really well and I'd go see her wrestle again just to boo her. Riley Shepard is someone who I feel like I might show bias to because she's Quentin's favorite wrestler, but she has that look in the sense that if you took a group photo of everyone on this show and looked at it twenty years from now you could easily pick her out. And in the ring she can just go, which I think she proved here for everyone on IWTV who may not have seen her before. I think the biggest thing holding Riley Shepard back is exposure and this hopefully gets her name out there to where everyone is wearing her shirt.
I don't say this often enough about wrestling matches but I think it's because it might not be true but Erica Leigh vs. Becca has this feeling of what during the old territory days of wrestling guys like Harley Race and Ric Flair used to do. You know, you'd see them wrestle each other a hundred times but it was okay because you always knew it was going to be a hell of a match. And I feel like that's something Erica Leigh and Becca could have- where they could fight each other all over the country and every match could be on television and I'd watch them all.
This was a tough match for me because I like both these women but then Becca started doing some heel things so it made it easier to boo her. I'm not trying to think about how many matches I've seen from either of these women before but this really was one of the best Erica Leigh matches I've ever seen (which if you know Erica Leigh says a lot) and Becca just showed out in this match. Becca pulled out moves that-- it wasn't just me going "Oh, I didn't know Becca could do that" it was "Oh, I didn't know any wrestler could do that". I hope both of these women get booked everywhere forever, even if not against each other.
In a funny live note, when Erica Leigh first came out Quentin actually started "Poo poo pee pee" so I joined in and then so did the fans sitting next to us. Drew walked by us at one point and kind of gave us this glare- even with the mask on- like "C'mon, guys, don't chant that" but Erica Leigh kept gesturing with her hands for us to do it. And then fans on the opposite side of us started chanting "poo poo pee pee" and it was out of our hands. So we all did it. And it was wonderful.
Little Mean Kathleen came out next as just this ball of energy. This was a match where I thought "Oh yeah, I knew you were on this show" but I didn't know they'd be wrestling each other. Kaia McKenna came out next and I was once again conflicted as to who to cheer for because I love both these ladies. Kaia McKenna is a character who gets it done in the ring and I truly feel she could have a great match with anyone. This is the third (third!) show in a row where we saw Little Mean Kathleen and I tried early on to start an "LMK" chant but I was the only one doing it so I stopped. By the end of the match though, others were also chanting "LMK" so how cool is that? Both ladies got that "Please come back" chant and I want to see them both everywhere as well.
This whole show really- with a few exceptions- was "I love everyone in this match" and the tag team match was further proof of that. I absolutely love Jordan Blade. In a few years, she's going to have taken so many ankles that everyone is going to know her name. Eel O'Neal is part of the Goon Squad but I told him that he's the one I actually like. When he came out and went by me I screamed "EEL!!" and I think I scared him. Now, at the same time, I love The Outfielders. Boomer Hatfield and Molly McCoy are two of the best wrestlers out there right now and as a tag team they're even better. During the beginning of the pandemic I was buying merch online from wrestlers and I got the pins and stickers from The Outfielders and so it's crazy because they're on my laptop and my refrigerator as a magnet.
You really couldn't have asked for a better tag team match during this show. This was a tag team match that would have been the finals of a tournament to crown tag team champions in other promotions. This wasn't just a good match this was a good tag team match and I think that's because of how well both of these teams work together (Again, Molly and Boomer are two of the best) and then how the four of them come together as well. Watching Boomer Hatfield and Jordan Blade chain wrestle was just something I want to see in every match.
I didn't know that Kennedi Copeland was on this show. I found when she came out through that curtain and I was like "KENNEDI!!!!" Then, I remembered that Jody Threat was on this show as well- and didn't have an announced opponent- only when she came out. My heart went from "OMG KENNEDI" to "OMG JODY" to "OMG KENNEDI VS JODY" in such a quick time I needed a moment but this card did not let up even for a second. This match was wild. I didn't know who to cheer- again- so I just wanted them both to win.
They came over near us because Kennedi Copeland threw Jody Threat into her own merch table (Let that sink in for a moment) As Kennedi Copeland had the arm of Jody Threat wrapped through a chair I saw Quentin stretch out his leg like he was trying to kick Jody Threat but he told me he was just stretching. I have to watch him though because as much as I tell him not to touch the wrestlers he always seems to want to get involved in the matches.
At this point- for me- came the breather before the main event (which I didn't know about until after the fact) So I know that Megan Bayne and Ashley D'Amboise have both been on the AEW YouTube shows and I've seen them on there as well but I haven't really seen them otherwise so I didn't know what to make of them at first. By the end of the match though the crowd seemed solidly behind Megan Bayne and I applaud the effort of Ashley D'Amboise as well. I think the thing which worked against these two women- for me- was that they were vs each other. But you put one of them against a wrestler I've seen before and it becomes a different match. Still, this was a solid match and Megan Bayne is way over.
Prior to the main event we were told that this would be our main event. I was under the impression- up until this point- that we still had an Ashley Vox match and we were never really told anything about what happened there. I'm going to watch the replay of this on IWTV (cheap pop) just because it was that good of a show so I'll also see if commentary addresses this.
The theme of this show for me was being torn between which wrestler to cheer for because I honestly love everyone on this show so much. The main event- Trish Adora vs. Willow Nightingale, first time ever, was the pinnacle of that "I don't know who to cheer" for me. But when they were in the ring I yelled "WILLOW!!" and she told me she liked my mask so I was on the "Let's Go Willow!" side of the dueling chants. What can I say about this match? It lived up to everything I thought it would be and more. Two of the best wrestlers- women or not- in the world today. Simple as that.
With WWR+ returning on Father's Day, I'd say the future looks bright. You could do an entire show with these same wrestlers and just change their opponents and it would still be amazing. But you could also bring in other women and mix it up. There were eighteen competitors on this show and the cool thing is you could easily find eighteen different wrestlers (bring in Bussy and have Effy be the plus) and have a solid show as well because women's wrestling is just that damn good right now.
But we have some matches which didn't happen on this show that could next time around. Trish Adora vs. Edith Surreal or maybe Trish Adora will be vs. Davienne because of how the show ended. Erica Leigh vs. Solo Darling still needs to happen. And I'd like to see just about any of these other women fight each other but also if someone is booked elsewhere and substitutions need to be made the show will still be great. This was, undoubtedly, the best professional wrestling show I have ever been a part of live.