DVD Review: Queens Of Chaos (13 May 2005)

Before SHIMMER existed, France had its own female promotion, featuring wrestlers from around the world, culminating with the crowning of the first ever World Queens of Chaos Champion.

Results
1. Skye pinned Rebecca Knox with a Fisherman’s Suplex.
2. Erin Angel v Jersey went to a no-contest when Kid Kash interfered.
3. Kid Kash & Trinity defeated Sick & Nikita. Trinity pinned Nikita following a moonsault.
4. Sick beat Kid Kash with a magistral cradle.
5. Sumie Sakai defeated Sweet Saraya with a rolling cradle.
6. Nikita won a Rumble to become the World Queens of Chaos Champion.
Order of entry: Nikita, Sakai, Saraya, Angel, Knox, Jersey, Skye, Trinity
Order of elimination: Saraya by Angel; Jersey by Angel; Skye by Knox; Sakai by Knox & Trinity; Knox by Nikita; Angel by Nikita; Trinity by Nikita

Highlights
• Skye scored an upset pin over Rebecca Knox after being beaten on for much of the contest. Well, it’s considered an upset, but by this time, Skye had trained in Atlanta with William Regal, Chris Benoit, Dave Taylor and Bryan Danielson (now WWE‘s Daniel Bryan).
• Kid Kash interfered in the Erin Angel/Jersey match, caused havoc in his own intergender tag team match, and is beaten up by all the women when he tries to interfere in the main event.
• Sumie Sakai and Sweet Saraya signed a contract for their match, which is just an excuse to get some heel heat on Saraya ahead of the contest. The two had a pull-apart fight to close the angle.
• Nikita (now TNA‘s Winter) won the main event Rumble after starting the match with Sakai. Nikita was the only face left in the final four, and eliminated them all singlehandedly to win the title.

Observations
• First off, the production is great. Considering this was filmed in 2005, the quality of the picture and editing is better than some DVDs that are coming out today. The venue has a large video screen, decent sound system and great lighting.
• The DVD was split into four 25 minute episodes, so I imagine this was broadcast on TV at some point.
• Each wrestler does a brief promo to introduce themselves, though some are better than others. Saraya, Sakai and Knox do short speeches, while Skye only tells us her name and where she’s from.
• F this crowd. There is a vocal minority that a crude, obnoxious and crass. From lines like “I’ve got a hard-on”, “show your tits” and calling people “bitch” all the time, they really ruin the mood.
• Skye wrestled in a school uniform, which was suggested to her by the promoters. At the time, she was wrestling in blue outfits, and while it works for her, it’s also an excuse for some titillation. Speaking of which, Knox’s leather trousers kept riding down, showing off her underwear. Between the two, the pervert section of fans had a lot to get worked up about.
• The match itself was fine, with Knox bringing the comedy when she goes to the top, then drops to the middle and then to the bottom rope, claiming it’s too high. She then misses with the subsequent legdrop. You can see why she was booked to wrestle in Canada for ECCW and in the US for NECW in the same year, and for SHIMMER in 2006.
• Erin Angel and Jersey’s match never really got going. Between the fans getting on Erin by saying she had a “fat ass” and quite a bit of uninspired action, it’s nothing to get excited about before Kash interfered.
• Jersey is adorable. A tiny German girl with a pretty face, she disappeared in late 2006 and has never returned. A real shame. Meanwhile Erin is pretty unrecognisable when you compare to how she looks these days, as in 2005 she was carrying more weight and had blonde braids down to her waist. If she wasn’t wearing her regular style of gear, you may not even know that it was her.
• Quick note: at the time of filming, Skye was 19 year old, while Knox and Angel were 18, so it’s forgivable if they were not the finished articles.
• Kid Kash dominates any segment he is in far too much. He annoys me in a go-away heat way, and it affects my capacity to be rational. Sick is a German wrestler who I’ve never heard of before, so the interactions in the intergender match and the singles contest are forgettable to me. As for Nikita and Trinity, they worked well together, even though it would have been nicer to see them in a singles match. Trinity’s match-ending moonsault was great too.
• Trinity was working for TNA at the time, and would briefly work for WWE’s revival of ECW the following year. It is a shame that she never made it big, as she had the look and ability.
• Saraya… was Saraya. As SHIMMER fans have now discovered, she can get instant heat, and it doesn’t take longs with the fans in Toulouse, France. On the flipside, Sakai is beloved as a cute joshi, so the foul-mouthed fans forgot about their insults and got into the match – which is a great compliment to Saraya and Sakai.
• The Rumble match didn’t tell much of a story until the final four, but there were some nice spots. Nikita stole Sakai’s camel clutch spot, which Sumie was less than happy about, yelling “you stole my move!” Meanwhile, Erin’s hair ended up hurting her, as her braids were tied to the ropes, and in another moment, Trinty choked her out with them. Unfortunately, Saraya looked like she suffered a pretty serious back injury, though you never find out what caused it, as there was a cutaway and when we returned, she was on the mat and didn’t recover for several minutes. She ended up being eliminated off-camera and was helped to the back.

Match of the Night
Sumie Sakai v Sweet Saraya
Quite frankly, this match is the best by a mile. Featuring a strong heel, a loveable babyface and a crowd that is into the contest following the contract signing at the start of episode 3, this already had much going for it before the bell rang.

Sakai can have fun – albeit similar – matches, and she does so here with Saraya, as they start out with the Brit controlling Sumie with headlocks and even manages to escape a headscissors on the mat with a headstand, which will always amuse me. Sakai pulls out her camel clutch spot where she grabs the hair, waits until the referee gets to 4 and swaps hands to restart the count, and the fans ate it up, counting along with the ref while Saraya yelled out in frustration. However, not to be outdone, Saraya thrills the fans in her own way with a whirlybird flying headscissors, counters a Sakai attempt at a second missile dropkick with a Trish Stratus-style rana out of the corner, and hits a TKO for a near-fall.

After that, the match wraps up unusually quickly, as Sakai kisses her opponent, then executes a rolling cradle to score the three count. Afterwards, Saraya softens by shaking hands with Sakai, and both leave to the applause of the fans.

Overall Impressions
I’ve been harsh on Queens of Chaos in the past, saying that it wasn’t worth the money when people asked if they should buy it. At the time, it cost me £20, which I subsequently thought was very steep considering the duration of the DVD – just shy of 2 hours – and that there are really no blowaway matches on the card. However, there are some elements which deserve praise.

The promotion spent money flying in Trinity and Sumie Sakai from the US as well as plucking wrestlers from across Europe for the show – and in future shows, brought in the likes of April Hunter, Portia Perez and Christy Hemme from across the Atlantic. In retrospect, it may be that the early ambition of the promoters is what killed Queens of Chaos in the long run, as it must have overspent on talent like Trinity, Hunter and Hemme – the latter of whom must have been extra expensive considering she was only just out of WWE at the time – and couldn’t have recouped it through ticket or DVD sales.

The production value was great from the start, and the replay gimmick – which shows it from multiple angles in slow motion like on the old THQ games like WCW/nWo Revenge, WrestleMania 2000 and No Mercy was a nice touch.

However, I still can’t recommend the DVD to you. Considering the price and the fact that every wrestler has had better matches elsewhere – Skye, for example, had her shining moment at ChickFight VII; Knox tore up SHIMMER in the promotion’s early days; Saraya making waves in WAW, Pro Wrestling: EVE and SHIMMER in recent years and Angel is a million times better now that she was then – there is no real reason to buy this. However, if you are still intrigued, it is still available with a new cover at Amazon.

- Lee Burton