As soon as this show was announced I was eager to buy tickets and the fact that it was on Father's Day also played a big role in that. Some sons take their fathers out for lunch or even to a baseball game for Father's Day. This year, for what feels like the first time ever, Quentin and I went out and celebrated in a style which I never have before: doing something that we both like.
There were six matches set going into this show as well as the Little Mean Open Challenge and I was excited for all of them. In some ways this felt like the same roster as the previous show with the matchings shifted around but at the same time, we have Masha Slamovich in and Jody Threat out, for example. It was a nice combination of sticking with the formula which worked on the first show, but slightly adjusting it so that it didn't feel like the exact same show.
When we got to and then inside the White Eagle we saw Love, Doug and bought merch from Veda Scott. I will continue to plug this every chance I get but Veda Scott (and they admit this) has merch which is very much cat-themed and, well, Quentin likes cats so this works perfectly when buying him a shirt. We also saw Little Mean Kathleen just wandering around and she was one of the first people to greet us, which was neat. I told her Quentin was going to answer her open challenge.
I was thinking about this show a lot because the two main matches would be Trish Adora vs. Davienne and Willow Nightingale vs. Masha Slamovich. I thought, for some reason, that one of these matches would open the show and the other would close it out. Davienne opened the previous show, so I thought she might get that headlining spot (which she did) and then that could mean Willow-Masha would open, which I was literally on the edge of my seat for just thinking about it.
Realizing that Megan Bayne vs. Riley Shepard was opening the show was a nice surprise because it was set to be the hot opener. Riley Shepard got a lot of cheers and I heard people other than me yell out "Let's go Riley!" Megan Bayne is... something else. Partly she gets cheered and partly she gets booed. I think she has a great look as a character and gets the job done inside the ring. She's on the taller side, so she's intimidating: she really executes those power moves. But I think the crowd just needs to decide whether or not to cheer her. While I don't feel like we need the "face vs heel" aspect of wrestling any more, I think either having the crowd fully behind her or against her would just elevate her so much.
In the second match of the night we saw Ashley D'Amboise pull off the victory over Tina San Antonio. Tina San Antonio goes to 0-2, while Ashley D'Amboise goes to 1-1. Interestingly enough, since these first two matches just switched opponents from the last show, why not have Riley Shepard (who is also now 1-1) vs. Ashley D'Amboise at the next show? It would be fun and could tell the story, but at the same time I'm starting to like Ashley D'Amboise because she told me that she liked my t-shirt so maybe she should be up against someone I will boo. This match with Tina San Antonio really brought out the side of Ashley D'Amboise which is to be cheered though and I enjoyed that.
Both of these opening matches were really well fought. There were moments where I thought Riley Shepard would win, but then there were also moments when I thought Megan Bayne might win and she kicked out. Neither Riley Shepard nor Tina San Antonio looks bad in defeat as they both fought really hard. I also yelled "Go back to The Alamo" at Tina San Antonio when it was quiet and I'm not sure what she did in response because the ref was in the way but the fans near her laughed. I hope the replay caught it.
While this was the second show in the WWR+ reboot, it perhaps already has the record for loudest boos heard during a match and they were directed towards Alisha Edwards. The crowd was really behind Kennedi Copeland during this match and they were heavily booing Alisha Edwards. Always the professional though, Alisha Edwards played into it and seemed to elicit even more boos by taunting the crowd. The fact that this ended in a DQ makes me hope for a rematch where there are no rules and Kennedi Copeland can get some revenge.
The Little Mean Open Challenge was answered by Kaia McKenna, which brought about the rematch from the previous show. With Kaia McKenna getting the win, this made the rivalry 1-1 so I'm only assuming they have to do the rubber match, right? I feel like at the last show people didn't know what to make of Kaia McKenna or Little Mean Kathleen- maybe it was their first time seeing either of them. Kaia McKenna was getting a lot of cheers and chants, but so was Little Mean Kathleen. During the opening match, it felt weird to have both women cheered but during this match it just worked. I think it would be different if the crowd was 100% behind Megan Bayne but sometimes she did heel things and got booed.
I distinctly remember at the last show when Little Mean Kathleen came out I tried to start an "LMK" chant by myself and no one else was sure what I was doing. This time though, I didn't even have to start the "LMK" chants. They were already there. People were on board and knew what was up. I love that since the last show the fans have just embraced Little Mean Kathleen and she is just on her way to becoming such a huge star. And Kaia McKenna is right there with her, so it feels only appropriate that they're taking this ride together.
I remember when I was growing up I used to go to every WWE show in Connecticut (and sometimes MA) and then there would be these local shows that I would go to as well. Most of the time the show would be sold on "Featuring this former WWE superstar and a bunch of names you never heard of before". Not to date myself, but we did go to at least one show where Doink the Clown was the main attraction. I feel like wrestling has evolved in this way now though where it's no longer just one person who has you buying a ticket but the entire roster and this couldn't be more true than in the tag team match of Kings Of The District vs. Scrunchie Pals.
How do I cheer against Jordan Blade? How do I cheer against Becca? How do I cheer against Erica Leigh? It's something my mind can't comprehend. When The Higher Society came out, I was hoping they would be put into the match as a triple threat so I would have someone to boo. But this was one of those matches where you knew it was going to be good going into it, but after seeing it you just realized it was more than you ever expected it to be. The Kings Of The District are legit and one of the best tag teams out there today. Erica Leigh is the Pro Wrestling Magic Champion for a reason and Becca has been on a hot streak recently, the likes of which we haven't seen for quite some time.
I also really enjoyed how this told the story of The Higher Society attacking after the match but then being attacked by Sea Stars to set up the next match. Either The Kings Of The District or Scrunchie Pals could return to vs The Higher Society and yet at the same time both of those teams could also vs Sea Stars. Sea Stars perhaps received the most applause of the night and I think it just worked so well because they are so loved and Higher Society is so hated. I wouldn't even mind a fourway tag match with all the teams, though that can sometimes be a bit of a mess.
Through all of this, you have to also remember The Outfielders- Boomer Hatfield and Molly McCoy- who were on the first show and victorious. There are also any number of other tag teams which exist out there that can seemingly come into WWR+ at a moments notice. So for having only three tag team matches over the two different shows, the WWR+ tag team division is already miles ahead of many other promotions and I love it. Some mixed teams we could see come in include Bussy, Petty In Pink and the team of ABBS/Abby Jane, but there are also tag teams of women I'd enjoy seeing such as Allysin Kay & Marti Belle.
The first of the two main events saw Willow Nightingale vs. Masha Slamovich. As soon as Masha Slamovich's music hit I said- rather loudly- "Oh shit!" and Quentin turned at me and asked "What did you just say?" Sometimes at wrestling you are allowed the swear pass. I didn't know how I was going to handle this match going into it, but I knew Willow Nightingale was tough and this match just showed that side of her so well. Both of these wrestlers just went out there and left it all in that ring. Even in defeat, Masha Slamovich still looks like a star and that's not easy to say these days.
While other fans were chanting "Here we go Willow here we go" I was part of the fans countering it with "MA-SHA!" but I think that is also part of what made this match so special. I realized as soon as Masha Slamovich came out and some fans were cheering while others were booing that I was not alone. The internal conflict I felt during this match was not solely on me and others felt the same way. It is impossible not to love Willow Nightingale. If you boo Willow Nightingale you just shouldn't be around live wrestling because it's not even one of those ~cool~ things to do (like the way some fans cheer for RSP)
Masha Slamovich tends to play the role of the heel, but in this specific match too it should have been clear cut to cheer Willow and boo Masha. Willow Nightingale didn't get booed at all, but Masha Slamovich did get some cheers (not just by me) and I think that's one of the many reasons why this was just such a huge match and is going on my MOTY list. It's one thing when you expect a mixed reaction or a certain amount of cheers or boos, but I felt like this could have and should have been an easy cheer-boo scenario and it wasn't. What other two wrestlers could generate such a scene? I struggle to find their names.
We weren't even at the main event yet and out comes Davienne to vs. Trish Adora. I respect Davienne, but when you're up against Trish Adora, I'm going to cheer for Trish. I first heard about Trish Adora on Twitter and the first match where I really saw her and thought "That's the future right there!" was the Iron Match against Tony Deppen. Since then I feel like Trish Adora has just become one of the fastest rising stars in all of wrestling and the crowd just loves her. Davienne almost hit DaviEND Your Life right in front of me but Trish Adora moved out of the way at the last second.
The ramifications of this match were quite interesting as well. With this loss, Davienne goes to 1-1 (which could put her against Riley Shepard or Ashley D'Amboise) and with this win Trish Adora goes to 2-0. Trish Adora has had two huge wins over Willow Nightingale and now Davienne, but do you know who else is 2-0 since WWR+ came back? Megan Bayne. I'm going to have to watch the replay to see if commentary mentioned this, but Megan Bayne came out and confronted Trish Adora and apparently we're going to get the match of the undefeated at the next show as well as Willow Nightingale vs. Tina San Antonio and I'm already prepared for both of them. New faces, same faces, the next show is going to somehow find a way to be bigger and better than this one and I can't wait.
After the show went off the air (I didn't find out until later this wasn't on IWTV) Willow Nightingale came out and challenged Wheeler Yuta for the Independent Wrestling Championship. I love WWR+ because they are (mostly) women only but the fact that we have names like Willow Nightingale, Trish Adora and Masha Slamovich vs. Jody Threat on the next Beyond Wrestling show, "Masterclass", just makes me excited for that as well. I realize continuity and storytelling in wrestling may go against the norm, but Beyond Wrestling and WWR+ do it and I am here for it.
As always I must point out that Beyond Wrestling shows are fan-friendly to the point that after the show everyone comes out to sell merch and take photos so if there is a particular wrestler on a Beyond show you want to meet you are 97% guaranteed that it will happen. I will end this review the only way I see appropriate and that is by saying that when I went up to Masha Slamovich at the merch table she said "Buy my merch or I'll hurt your favorite wrestler" to which I replied "But you're my favorite wrestler".