So, I’ve had nearly 24 hours to digest the events of Femmes Fatales VIII on Saturday night at the Centre St-Barthelemy in Montreal, Quebec (full results here), and to be honest, I’m still struggling on where to begin. I suppose the easiest place is to say that I’ve seen the first six Femmes Fatales shows on DVD, and this was the best one yet, in my view. (I’ve picked up the DVD of FF VII, but everybody was in agreement by the end of the night that this was the best show in company history, top to bottom). There wasn’t a bad match on the show, in fact – and when it was *really* good – as it was for Cheerleader Melissa vs Hailey Hatred in particular, it was utterly fantastic. It’s not a newsflash for patrons of this website in particular that both Melissa & Hailey are tremendous pro wrestlers – so the fact that they put on such a great match is hardly unexpected. Hard hitting, technically sound, and nicely paced – the twenty minute time limit flew by way too quickly, ending with Hatred holding out in a Kondo Clutch for what seemed like an age before eating a curb stomp. “Five more minutes”, which were put up on the big screen as a 5:00 countdown clock, gave us more of the same and ended with a raucous final 1:00 where the two simply struck each other into oblivion with back and forth strikes like a marathon runner sprinting the last hundred metres. Brilliant stuff.
LuFisto vs Jazz was also a thoroughly fun (and violent) match, but while Hatred & Melissa had a distinctly Japanese style, Jazz & LuFisto brought a different kind of violence after a teased double DQ finish when Jazz & LuFi both decked each other with their respective title belts (DCW and Lucha POP!). Jazz reminded the “Super Hardcore Anime” that she was the one who “started Extreme”. From there, the fight resumed on a no disqualification basis, going around ringside, into the crowd and featured a suplex on the entrance ramp. Back in the ring, Jazz used a Jazz Stinger on some chairs, but LuFisto came back with a Mangalizer on two chairs for the pin. Post match, Jazz & LuFisto shook hands, which was a pretty fitting way to end the match. The night before, LuFisto had talked to me about how much respect she had for the former ECW & WWE star, so I know it meant the world to her to be able to have this match. It’s a shame that Jazz isn’t still working on a more visible national level, and it was a lot of fun to watch her work.
LuFisto was involved again at the end of the show, following the third of three main events – Kalamity defending her Femmes Fatales International Championship against Mercedes Martinez. In many ways, this was the best I’ve seen Kalamity look – she looked confident and credible as champion, in this her first title defence on a Femmes Fatales show. Unfortunately, by the end of the night, she had taken a back seat to a Mercedes Martinez heel turn, and a brawl between Martinez and LuFisto, which had to be separated by security. In some ways, given that I now want to see LuFisto take on Mercedes, the ending worked – but on a personal level, I feel like I’d have wanted Kalamity as champion to be more dominant in the match and involved in the ending of the show, standing tall as the new symbol of Femmes Fatales rather than take what seemed to be a back seat to the real grudge between Martinez & LuFisto. Your mileage may vary on how you view this one, but I felt it ended the show on a strange note. Yes, Kalamity beat Martinez, but Martinez had a visual pinfall on Kalamity earlier in the bout – so an inside cradle on a Fisherman’s Buster attempt seems a little less decisive than I’d have liked. Good, if short, match however, and Kalamity can be pleased with her work.
There were a couple of other debuts on the undercard, with Aussie Jessie McKay making her Femmes Fatales debut against Angie Skye and Femmes Fatales’ first European talent Rhia O’Reilly debuting opposite She Nay Nay. McKay handled Angie Skye in relatively short order, winning a solid match with the Boyfriend Stealer. McKay was in an unenviable position of coming on straight after the intermission and being sandwiched between the Melissa/Hailey and Jazz/LuFisto matches, but she was – as expected, very popular. O’Reilly, on the other hand, came in as a complete unknown, but ended up receiving chants of “Finlay’s Daughter” and notably “Please Come Back”. As far as making a first impression, I think O’Reilly can chalk up this weekend simply as “Mission Accomplished”.
Kellie Skater’s time in Japan has been well spent, as she looked great against up and coming local star “The Pink Flash” Kira. Kira appeared nervous at the start of the match, which is understandable as it was her biggest challenge to date, but she settled down into what became a good encounter. Kira’s look and enthusiasm will win her many fans, and although she lost to Skater’s Skate & Destroy, and I hope she continues to get chances like this. In the opener, firecracker Sweet Cherrie defeated Portia Perez via rollup in what was in many ways a perfect opener. The preliminary match was a four way elimination match, and was won by Missy, who has adopted a Raven-esque character with cut-off jeans, a t-shirt, grunge entrance music… and a slightly disfigured teddy bear. Mary Lee Rose eliminated Milouu first before falling to an Anna Minoushka spear. Minoushka was later schoolgirled by Missy for the upset.
For a first time visitor, I was glad that the promise I’d seen in the DVDs to date translated to the live environment (and by the way, both the venue and the setup are fantastic for pro-wrestling) – and after so many times of flying across the Atlantic to see SHIMMER, I’m glad to say that Femmes Fatales brought me the same rush of excitement in being ringside for genuine world-class wrestling like Hailey vs Melissa, but also let me check out some of the talented and promising young talents in the Quebec area – which I think was the entire raison-d’etre for the promotion in the first place. On his facebook, FF booker Stephane Bruyere described the show as “Most successful and best overall without a doubt!”, and I can’t add much more to that. July 7th is the date for Femmes Fatales IX and features the invasion of the Midwest Militia (see below for video), the return of Nicole Matthews (who will team with Portia Perez to take on Sweet Cherrie and a partner of her choosing), and – one presumes – LuFisto vs Mercedes Martinez. I doubt I can make it back again so soon, but I’d urge anybody who has been playing with the idea of going to Montreal for a Femmes Fatales trip (as I have for a while) to do exactly that and get themselves to the next show. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll regret it.
– Stew Allen