Since the beginning of professional wrestling it seems as if one statement was true: a match needed one good wrestler (face) who the crowd wanted to see win going up against one bad wrestler (heel) who the crowd wanted to see get beat up. When that dynamic changed can be debated but in the 21st Century the need for a "face vs heel" match seems to less and less necessary. Now more than ever fans are able to cheer for who they want or even like all of the participants in one match. Even the most-hated 44OH! sell t-shirts, washing away the idea of the true heel, a concept which only exists in less wrestlers these days than I can count on one hand.
The first time I saw Masha Slamovich I was entranced by the sheer violence. It's not just in the way that you wouldn't want to get into a fight with Masha Slamovich in a bar, but also the technical aspect of her skills. Growing up in my formative years watching ECW, she was equal parts Taz and Tommy Dreamer. Though I am by no means her only fan, many of the circumstances she finds herself in during wrestling seem to be on the heel side of things.
For one thing, Masha Slamovich attacked Edith Surreal at an art class prior to their meeting at Camp Leapfrog's Frogsport. Most recently though, Masha Slamovich was overlooked and not booked in a match for the Global Syndicate Wrestling show "Catalyst". GSW started their Women's Championship Tournament on this show. Masha was not booked in it. Masha was upset by this and rather than give her a match, GSW banned her from the building. As a fan, this upset me (and many others) who were looking forward to seeing Masha Slamovich on that show.
During GSW "Catalyst", Masha Slamovich showed up after the first match and attacked The Hyan, piledriving her on the stage and sending her out of the building on a stretcher. The crowd was mostly booing, but this is where the black and white of "heel vs face" in wrestling gets put into that grey area. Certainly, Masha Slamovich could have stayed home and followed the rules, but at the same time, I (as do other fans) feel as if she should have been on the show. In some ways, you could very easily argue that the blood is on the hands of GSW management for not giving her a match.
This unbridled rage and destruction Masha Slamovich brings with her and the trail of bodies she leaves behind is my favorite part of professional wrestling. I love Edith Surreal. I love The Hyan. But, seeing Masha Slamovich dish out the pain is something I just love more. You could look at it as a matter of them being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Their matches were unfortunate because someone has to play the role of Masha's victim and on that night it just happened to be them.
Then I had this thought about what would happen if someone I really loved as a wrestler- one of the wrestlers I love most- was put into a match with Masha Slamovich. Would I cheer and clap the same way for Masha to destroy, say, Riley Shepard? (Please don't book that match, but really do) This internal conflict was something which I didn't imagine having to deal with for some time so I put it into the back of my mind. And then it happened.
At Beyond Wrestling "Project Dolphin", Willow Nightingale issued the challenge to Masha Slamovich. Willow Nightingale is easily the most likable wrestler in the entire world. If you ask a wrestling fan, they will either tell you that they love Willow Nightingale or they don't know who she is (in which case I'd point them to any number of amazing matches Willow has been a part of) How can I, in good conscious, cheer on Masha Slamovich as she inflicts violence upon Willow Nightingale? My love for Willow Nightingale makes me not want to, but my love for Masha Slamovich has me conflicted.
Willow Nightingale is by no means to be underestimated. As much positivity as she brings to the ring with her, Willow can get the job done and has the aggression needed to hang with Masha Slamovich. This match might very well be one of the toughest tests of Masha Slamovich's career up until this point. But this match is also going to fill me with the most internal conflict I have ever had about any match up until this point in my life as well. It's going to be great and I'm not sure how I will react until the very moment the music hits on Sunday.
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