WSU: Breaking Barriers 2 review
Twenty four hours removed from Women Superstars Uncensored‘s iPPV Breaking Barriers II and this writer is still at a loss for words. The show had it’s ups and downs as any show will, but when the ending of the War Games main event went down, it had me in shock and disbelief. The ending completely overshadowed the War Games match itself as well as the rest of the show. I’m going to attempt to write up a coherent report and put my thoughts and opinions into some sort of structure.
The first match was the Boston Shore (Amber and Lexxus) defending the WSU Tag Team Championships against the reunited International Home Wrecking Crew of Rain and Jetta. Back at WSU’s last DVD tapings in August, it was originally announced that Serena Deeb would be Rain’s partner since both women had had problems with the Shore. However, Serena pulled out of the match (which led to her being announced as Melina‘s opponent for Breaking Barriers II), leaving Rain without a partner. Not for long though – in a surprise twist, Rain brought Jetta out of retirement to take on the Shore.
Unfortunately, part way through the match the feed went out and by the time it came back, Niya was coming out to take on Jennifer Cruz in a “Loser Leaves WSU” match. A shame, as the match between the Shore and the IHWC was looking very good with the veterans of Rain and Jetta working over the younger women. The Shore retained the belts. As for the “Loser Leaves WSU” match, it came about due to the fact that WSU wants to free up roster spots for new talent. Both Cruz and Niya have the worst win/loss records in the company, hence the match that was made. Niya hit a crossbody off the second rope into a pinning attempt, but Cruz reversed to get a three count. You know what they say, never say never in wrestling, so it remains to see if Niya will return to WSU at some point. Niya has a style that stands out, and looks good in the ring despite only wrestling since 2008. It will be interesting to see where she goes from here.
Jennifer Cruz cut an in-ring promo afterwards, saying she could defeat any woman. Cue the entrance of the WSU Hall of Famer April Hunter, who was looking absolutely dynamite. Cruz tried to blow off wrestling April, making accusations that she wasn’t a woman but in a relatively quick match April made Cruz submit. April got on the mic to state that she wants and has earned a full time spot on the roster. Cindy Rogers and Jon Harder on commentary agreed.
Next was the six-way elimination match for the NYWC Starlet Championship. However, due to Barbie and Monique not being able to attend, it was reduced to four – the champion Nikki Syx taking on “Bonesaw” Jessie Brooks, Gabby Gilbert and Violet. Violet was the first one out, pinned by Gabby, and seeing as it was my first time watching Violet I didn’t get a good feel for her. Gabby next made Jessie submit via the Crossface, working over the arm that Nikki had damaged on the outside. However, Nikki retained when she rolled up Gabby for the win. The former Roxie Cotton looked impressive in this four way and I enjoyed watching her work against Bonesaw and Nikki.
In a match to determine the number one contenders for the WSU Tag Team titles, the Soul Sisters, Jana and Luscious Latasha, took on the Marti Belle and Tina San Antonio of the Belle Saints. Despite starting out as a team, as the match went on the tension between Marti and Tina got more and more obvious until the team imploded, giving the Soul Sisters the win after Jana locked in the Jana Vice on Marti. Along with Mia Yim, Latasha spent time recently in Japan and her smooth execution in this match showed her improvement. The Soul Sisters are one of the best tag teams in WSU, Jana being the powerhouse and Latasha bringing the speed.
As for the Belle Saints, after the match Marti revealed the secret she had found out about Tina: namely, that Tina had been contacted and in talks with the WWE. This wasn’t the whole scenario, however, because Commissioner Amy Lee came out to reveal footage that showed Tina faked her injury from months ago. The attack was faked so Tina could take time out and try out for the WWE. Tina apologised repeatedly until Marti accepted, but when she went to hug Antonio, Tina laid Marti out, telling everyone she was tired of putting up with Marti’s losing.
Becky Bayless made her WSU return to take on “The Boy Diva” Rick Cataldo in a grudge match that was the lowest part of the card. As you would expect, no real wrestling here, just a brawl that took place on the outside and inside of the ring. Cataldo started it off with a promo that ripped Becky, even bringing up her DUI. This brought out Becky who countered by stating Rick was not only disrespecting her, but disrespecting WSU fans and the women in the back who busted their ass in the ring. The crowd was largely indifferent, except for a vocal few who backed Cataldo, calling Becky “Cookie.” Becky won via a neckbreaker.
Amy Lee and her assistant came to the ring to tease who would be facing Melina (in a promo that featured a lot of vulgarity from Amy, as is par for the course). Instead she brought out Serena Deeb first, who didn’t so much cut a promo as speak from the heart about her concussion and overall condition. She affirmed what she had said to Stew and Lee in the Women Of Wrestling Podcast from November 4th, and also what she had said in an interview with Newsday.com, that she still had no concrete answer as to her condition and if she would be able to return to the ring. However, when describing how far she had come in her career, how much she had overcome to get to where she is today, she vowed, “I will never, ever take ‘no’ for an answer.” A stirring, heartfelt talk from one of the sweetest, most determined women in wrestling. She joined Cindy and Jon for commentary during Melina’s match.
Amy told Serena that whenever she was ready and truly healthy, she always had a spot in WSU. After trying to get the crowd revived for Melina (which didn’t really work), she announced the former WWE Diva’s opponent – the woman who had taken Mercedes Martinez to the limit in a 73 minute match, one half of the Boston Shore, Lexxus. Melina had a nice video prelude that included some lightning spaced inbetween her silhouette. The crowd was dead for most of the match, only coming alive towards the end with dueling chants for both women. Lexxus was a surprising choice but since they are looking to build her up, it makes sense. Melina looked rusty, missing a few spots, but picked up the win with her Sunset Split.
During the match, the other half of the Shore, Amber, came out with a chair but Serena drove her off. Afterwards, both Shore members beat Melina down until Rain made the save (Serena being unable to get involved physically). The two helped Melina up and to the back.
Backstage, the Midwest Militia of Sassy Stephanie, Allysin Kay and Jessicka Havok cut a promo promising to fulfill everything they’ve threatened to do. The WSU Hall of Fame Class of 2012 was announced with a nice video package. The names are Cindy Rogers (which had been announced previously), the late Georgiann Makropoulos (a wrestling historian who ran the Wrestling Chatterbox newsletter and was vital in keeping wrestlers in contact with each other and with the WWE, just to name a few of her contributions to wrestling), Jana and…TNA President Dixie Carter.
The Hall of Fame entrants make sense except for the obvious one. Given the WSU promoter’s public statements about TNA, the idea that Dixie Carter would be put into the HOF is mystifying. The only contribution she has made to wrestling is to create the Knockouts division – a division that started out with such promise but now is a shell of it’s former glory. Plus, given the fact that we know so much about how TNA treats it’s female talent, not to mention their shabby treatment of a woman who competed in WSU previously (Daffney), I daresay that this has to be a joke. If it isn’t, one has to wonder exactly why WSU wants to honour her.
We got another backstage interview with the Soul Sisters, which was interrupted by Lexxus screaming at a laid-out Serena. A great video package was shown that told the story of how the rivalry between the Midwest Militia and Mercedes, Alicia and Brittney Savage came to be. Rain shot a promo, feeling that she should have been included in the War Games match due to her problems with the MWM but that she would settle things with the Shore. At ringside, Tina came out to explain her actions and challenged Marti to a match at the WSU Five Year Anniversary show in March. Also for March, it was announced that Alicia and Brittney would take on Allysin Kay and Stephie in an uncensored rules tag team match. All this took place as the cage was being set up. It took quite a bit of time and the four corners weren’t connected so there were gaps inbetween.
Finally, the match everyone was waiting for. I couldn’t tell you the rules as they went too fast for me to catch, but both teams waited on the outside as two participants started, then one person from each team entered the cage until all 6 were in and the referee entered. Basically there were no rules. Amy had appointed herself referee to keep things under control but she ended up as a casualty of the MWM herself. The match started with Mercedes and Stephanie, followed by (in order): Allysin, Savage, Jessicka and lastly Alicia. Once they were all in, things got chaotic, so much so it was hard to follow. One moment stood out where Havok and Kay hoisted Savage up and threw her like a javelin into the cage. At one point Havok was busted open, bleeding from her forehead. Kay was hung upside down from the top of the cage in a tree of woe position for longer than any other wrestler I’ve seen.
The ending was controversial, to say the least. Havok got out of the cage and came back with a bag of handcuffs. She handcuffed the door shut, locking Mercedes out, leaving her to climb back into the cage. One by one, the MWM handcuffed first Amy, then Brittney and lastly Alicia to the cage or to the ropes, leaving Mercedes alone. Allysin went to the back during all this and brought out a machete, coming into the cage with it. Havok got on the mic, running down everyone in the ring, asking Mercedes to quit. When she refused, Stephie and Allysin held her down and Havok put the machete to her throat, again telling her to quit. Mercedes not only refused but spat in Jessicka’s face. It was only when they had stretched Martinez out on the canvas, holding her by her arms and legs, with Jessicka standing over her, preparing to stab the champion did Brittney screamed that they quit. The Midwest Milita have won. After, Jessicka got the WSU title and stood over Martinez, holding up the belt and the machete.
Wow. Where do I begin?
The Good: Cindy makes a welcome and refreshing addition to the commentary table. As I wrote in the Uncensored Rumble IV review, Jon Harder was a great change to the previous commentator, but having a second person to work with and react to made it better. All the moreso since Cindy, being a former wrestler and having worked with most of the WSU talent, provided a lot of information. They worked very well together.
The Boston Shore versus the IHWC was a good way to start out the iPPV, despite losing the feed midway through. It was great to see Jetta looking good since her retirement, her and Jetta picked up right where they left off. The Shore retaining made sense due to it being unlikely Jetta will remain out of retirement. Also, April Hunter looked amazing and if she is 100% healthy then it will be interesting to see where she goes in WSU.
I particularly enjoyed watching Gabby Gilbert, Jessie Brooks, and the Soul Sisters. I’m really looking forward to the feud and match between Marti Belle and Tina San Antonio. Marti makes a terrific underdog babyface, her stature and wrestling style fit the role whereas Tina’s attitude and arrogance have kicked off her heel turn with a bang. Marti keeps getting better each time I see her wrestle, and if she ever has the chance, I hope she follows Latasha and gets to train in Japan. I feel she would do really well there.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Serena Deeb is one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever met, on the inside and outside. Everytime she speaks, its so intense yet so real, so heartfelt. Words can’t do her justice.
The War Games match was every bit as intense, as brutal as anyone could have imagined. It exceeded expectations. There was a bit of wrestling but most of it was an outright brawl. All three of the MWM were vicious, and it was quite a shock to see Stephanie go from being a sweet babyface only a few months ago to being this dark, violent woman. A good shock, however, since it shows her range. I already knew that Havok and AK-47 were brutal but their work at Breaking Barriers went above and beyond. You felt that these women were absolutely capable of anything. The ending left me far more disturbed and shocked than any horror movie I’d ever seen.
The Bad: The stream cutting out during the first match was disappointing; however, this wasn’t WSU’s fault. Nor was it their fault that they had to move to a new venue, which was considerably darker and made it harder to see. The fact it took so long to set up the cage was surprising. It also would have helped to have a camera inside the cage, but there wasn’t nearly enough space.
The promos were good but the excessive amount of cussing, especially by Amy Lee, continues to be one of WSU’s worst points. I understand the “U” stands for “Uncensored” – however, when at every other show you have Amy threatening to “skull-fuck” someone, it comes off as excessive and unnecessary. It’s the same complaint I have with TNA when it comes to their women. Every other word in a promo is whore, bitch, slut, skank. Words have meaning, they have power. When you use an insult excessively, it’s power is diminished. It used to be when someone called their opponent a bitch, it meant something – it meant a line was crossed and things had gotten personal. Now, it means nothing. There are several promotions that have had, and continue to have, stirring, heart-felt, rage-inducing promos without a single curse word used. Call me old fashioned but I think the less cussing, the better. It’s a lazy way of getting heat. If you’re good on the mic, you don’t need to go that route to get a response.
Speaking of heat, the crowd at this show was absolutely dead for most of it, and disrespectful at points. One point was when Serena was speaking. Some idiot had the nerve to chant, “We Want Melina!” while she was talking about her career-threatening injury. She handled it with utter class, but that was only one instance where I wondered if the people in the crowd actually wanted to be at the show or not. Melina hardly got a reaction, despite being one of the draws for the show. They came alive for the War Games match fortunately – if you didn’t respond to that match, you were a corpse quite frankly.
Lexxus, I felt, was a disappointing choice but given the fact I thought initially that Amy Lee had chosen herself for the match, it was a step up. She was chosen due to the fact she had gone 73 minutes against Mercedes. However, after it was announced Serena was unable to compete, any second choice was going to suffer in comparison. Since WSU was determined that it would be someone with WSU roots, the choices were limited. Lexxus did a fine job in the match – Melina looked like she had ring rust, blowing two spots that I could see. It was a disappointing match overall.
Altogether, I am still not certain how to feel about the ending. On one hand, considering the promos that the MWM had shot, they had to live up to expectations. People expected something shocking, something brutal and something that hadn’t been seen before – WSU certainly delivered that. On the other hand, despite the fact they decimated the Commissioner and three of WSU’s biggest names, it still remains that the MWM didn’t get a definite win. They had to resort to threatening Mercedes’ life before Savage made the decision to quit for her team. In a way, it was a cop out of an ending – after all, we all knew Havok wasn’t going to actually stab Mercedes. Wrestling is a tight rope act, creating a balance between reality and fantasy. This teetered dangerously close to falling off the edge. However, it got people talking so kudos to WSU for that.
All in all, this was a one match show that felt disjointed. It lacked the flow of the Uncensored Rumble IV. Perhaps it tried too hard, but despite some good matches and an controversial main event, it fell flat. Hopefully the Five Year Anniversary show in March will find the balance and give fans the total package.
- Jennifer Logsdon