The WWNLive stream on my computer is too pixelated to be usable, so no screens this time. I think I've seen one SHINE event before and, if memory serves, it came off like SHIMMER's less ambitious kid sister. Let's see if that nebulous memory is accurate.
Shazza McKenzie vs. Miss Rachel
Miss Rachel wears a greyscale Union Jack, redolent of tears and social discomfort. Shazza McKenzie is Australian. They unfortunately don't mock one another's accent to kick things off and instead indulge in some pushdowns that are a little too speedily executed to be believed. Rachel looks better when she's throwing clubbing blows and tossing Shazza into corners. Meanwhile, the wrestling announcers annoy the fuck out of me by saying "nonplussed" when they really mean "calm or unexcited". Note to Jim Ross, Lenny Leonard, and the rest of you people, "nonplussed" means "surprised"! Look it up! You can look it up while this match is happening, because there's not much that you'll miss. If SHINE 26 were a date, this match would be the "parking the car" part of it or "deciding which socks to wear".
Andrea vs. Nikki Storm
Nikki Storm declares herself a "sexy monkey" and "the white chocolate cheesecake of sports entertainment." Unbelievably, Storm keeps that level of high quality going once the match begins! She displays a lot of energy and is really credible on offense, considering she's wrestling a giantess in Andrea. Andrea outguns Storm with power moves, but there are periodic Nikki Storm comebacks, so it's not a rehash of the one-sided opening match. Andrea looks like someone put Cheerleader Melissa and a dieting Bull Nakano into Dr. Brundle's telepods. Outside interference leads to someone mopping the canvas with her head and this seemed more like a storyline-centered outing than an attempt at a great wrestling match. Still, both ladies were fun and bless Nikki Storm for showing the effects of her beating while stumbling to the back.
Tessa Blanchard vs. Evie
Tessa Blanchard brings a guy named Tommy Thomas to ring-announce her and he berates the regular lady ring announcer for being a "makeshift hussy in a dress." Cut SHINE a break, they could probably not afford a genuine hussy in a pantsuit. Again, we see the effects of people using terms without looking them up in the dictionary first. I'm not a wrestler, so I can't determine how green Tessa Blanchard is (you can check other wrestling expert sites for that). But I think she's already got a good handle on being a good bad girl. She uses basic, logical offense and is quick to slide out of the ring and throw a fit when things don't go her way. It's impossible to dislike her when you see her race into a turnbuckle with cero miedo while Evie leapfrogs her attacks. I like some of Evie's stuff here, like snapping her own leg into a prone Blanchard. But there are other times where she makes bad decisions, like a too-distant top rope attack that basically leads to her scraping Blanchard's calf. This had its rougher moments, but wasn't unenjoyable. Tessa Blanchard wins my heart by walking out quivering while Tommy Thomas wraps her in a jacket.
Marti Belle & Jayme Jamison vs. Solo Darling & Crazy Mary Dobson (w/Daffney)
I fear that Solo Darling is going to prove that my rule of movies also applies to wrestlers. It's a great name, so let's see how much she disappoints me. She's apparently like a furry or a blonde white woman version of Jun Kasai, I guess? And don't get me started on Crazy Mary Dobson. My complaint is pretty much the same as WWE's "crazy" women. They never act crazy or do anything crazy. If Crazy Mary Dobson said, "Jews started all the wars!" or "Jet fuel cain't melt steel beams!", I would kind of get it. But she basically just wears a hockey mask and then wrestles like a normal wrestler. Maybe she is crazy because James Dobson is her dad. I liked Jayme Jamison dishing out some punishment, as her strikes looked really good, but then Solo Darling enters and her strikes look like she is poking people in random places. The rule holds true. There appears to be some genuine confusion about the ending as Dobson hits a crossbody pin while she's not legal and everyone is NONPLUSSED. So Darling just does a rollup and they call it a day. Later, Andrea molests a squealing Daffney as the other baddies set the table with Solo Darling. A fan then says something about "Sweet tits". God damn America.
Madison Eagles vs. La Rosa Negra
MADISON EAGLES! I am almost as absurdly excited once La Rosa Negra enters the arena, as she does this ridiculous prolonged stripper entrance complete with lots of twerking. Madison Eagles covers her own eyes and the ring announcer's eyes! MODESTY!! Eagles is a villain here and fails to mutilate Rosa with a fork, then gets tope-d. The fast and furious pace will continue throughout the match, which is executed very sagely, with Eagles overpowering Rosa, who must rely on guile and quickness for her brief triumphs. Even the slowdown sections of this are winners, as Eagles really wrenches on a chinlock and Rosa contributes with excellently anguished facial expressions. Even when Rosa is on offense, she doesn't fail to show how worn out she is and I am pleased. Madison Eagles is great, La Rosa Negra looks good, and this is your first good match of the night.
Saraya Knight & Su Yung vs. Leva & Jessicka Havok
Crazy Su Yung acts crazy and Saraya has pretty smashing corpsepaint. Leva is famous for cosplaying and comes out dressed as a middle-aged suburban dad with a shirt from the 80s band The Misfits. Saraya and Leva start off, and Saraya takes advantage of the no-DQ stip and kicks Leva right in the vag. Don't worry, though, it doesn't hurt AT ALL, as Leva proposes a test of strength not a minute later. Sigh, Leva Bates. There's some brawling, some on the outside. Havok tries for a tope, but catches her feet on the ropes. Thankfully, no one seems to be hurt and Havok immediately compensates by locking Su Yung in a standing stretch muffler. The action spills to the balcony and soon it's raining women, as both Su Yung and Leva end up taking falls. Iffy selling aside, the match was moving along pretty crisply until outside interference lead to an unsatisfying end. Su Yung's aggrieved face after winning=winning.
Kellie Skater & Tomoka Nakagawa vs. Cherry Bomb & Kimber Lee
Does this match have the first collar and elbow of the night?? Surely it can't be true, but I don't want to rewind and check, so let's move on. This was an enjoyable match that I think could have been stronger if it were shorter. They had time to do comedy sequences: a headscissors marathon that mostly didn't work and an airplane spin marathon that only worked when Skater said (I think), "I don't like this very much!" They had time to do two back-to-back prolonged beatdown sections, with Cherry first being Queen of Getting Beaten Up and then Nakagawa stealing her crown. The best parts were the closing moments, when everything got more heated and physical and zany chains were cast aside for tooth-rattling brawling. The non-finish and post-match arguing points to a rematch, even though Nakagawa is retiring soon, so maybe it happened at SHIMMER? Or something? As for this, fine enough, but could've been very good with some trimming.
Allysin Kay vs. Kay Lee Ray
Allysin Kay has a porcupine bra to protect her from Bill Cosby. She also leads a group called Valkyrie and makes a sign for it with an extended pinkie, like how rich British people drink tea. When Allysin Kay says, "She should be dead by now!", it's easily the best part of the match, so that should tell you everything. This felt like it never got going.
Santana vs. Mia Yim
Santana is the NWA Women's champion, Mia is the SHINE champion. The winner of this one gets both. This did a better job at exploiting the lengthy, epic title match feel than the tag match did. I liked how deliberate the pacing in the early stages was and how both ladies really expressed how hard they were fighting to get out of submission holds. You could point to parts of this and say, "Oh, it's AJW karaoke night" with the "Give up!" screeches and such. And, yeah, at times it's like a Frankenstein's monster made of Japanese wrestling clips. But then you see how they exploit an earlier match's non-finish and tease the same thing here, only to change course splendidly. Smart as fuck! I've never seen Santana and I've never liked Mia Yim, so it probably says something that I walked away impressed by this and will probably watch it again.