While we updated last night’s Women Superstars Uncensored double DVD tapings (click here for results) featuring the J-Cup and Jessicka Havok v Mercedes Martinez, among others, our Twitter and Facebook accounts were flooded with comments about the booking. Messages we received included terms such as ‘confused’, ‘silly’, ‘pointless’ and ‘ridiculous’. Because of these references, as well as the official release from WSU, we felt there was enough to dive into the debate and release a few feelings of our own.
First though, a recap…
• Brittney Savage won the J-Cup for the second year running, defeating Ezavel Suena, Annie Social and Athena to take the tournament and earn a WSU Championship match on the subsequent DVD taping.
• Allysin Kay and Sassy Stephie held onto the Tag Team Championship by defeating the team that they beat to win the belts in the first place, Jana and Luscious Latasha.
• Tina San Antonio defeated Marti Belle in an Uncensored Rules match after bleeding all over the place following being hit in the head with a bottle.
• Martinez regained the WSU Championship by beating Havok, who lost the belt on her first defence. Havok’s foot was under the bottom rope, which caused her much anger when the result stood. The loss was also Havok’s first in singles competition in the promotion.
• Havok destroyed Marti Belle to retain the Spirit Championship.
• Queen of the Ring Jennifer Cruz beat Jana to remain undefeated in 2012.
• Alicia defeated Allysin Kay, causing another blip in the Midwest Militia‘s dominance.
• After defeating Athena, Rain promised to retire if she could not win the Uncensored Rumble on June 16. Earlier in the show, Lexxus promised to win the Rumble for the second straight year.
• Savage v Martinez for the WSU Title became a triple threat when Havok invoked her rematch clause and won the belt by pinning Martinez after Savage nailed the titleholder with a diamond cutter, but was thwarted by Stephie.
So they are the talking points – after the jump, we’ll look at who has benefited and who has suffered…
First off, the positives.
• Kimber Lee and Athena ended up thrilling fans. Though that is something that we have come to expect from Athena these days, for Kimber Lee to earn such high plaudits in what is still her rookie year is worthy of praise. Coupled with her showing at AIW Girls Night Out 5 and 6, she seems to be one to watch out for – so much so that WSU is offering her a place on the roster. Athena made it to the finals of the J-Cup – though with a bye in the semis due to Lexxus v Alicia finishing in a double count out in the quarter finals – and was also in the semi-main of the second taping, falling to Rain.
• Jessicka Havok left the tapings with the WSU Championship, though had to go around the houses to do it. More on that later.
• Kay and Stephie are now firmly the tandem to beat in WSU after seeing off the Soul Sisters. One would think their next challengers would be Bones and Roses (Jessie “Bonesaw” Brooks and Jenny Rose). Brooks won praise for her progression – and getting rid of the old red gear which did not suit her – and Rose was talked up too.
• The Tina San Antonio/Marti Belle feud is done. Good thing too – it never really took off, and was stunted by their uninspiring encounter back in March. This match was said to be better though.
• Tina also seems to be getting a new direction, teaming with Rick Cataldo and Ezavel Suena as part of the Rick’s Chicks faction. That name encapsulates who the star of the group is though…
• The preparation for the Uncensored Rumble is well underway, with a number of matches having been announced and Rain’s promise that she will retire if she does not win the Rumble match itself.
However, there were also a number of negatives.
• Brittney Savage won the J-Cup last year and seemingly hasn’t moved up the card, as she was entered into it this year and won it again. One could argue that she hasn’t progressed in WSU in the last 12 months. On the following taping, she received a title shot and lost, meaning that in the space of 24 hours, she ascended to the top, and then returned to her level of bubbling under the main event. She will face Sassy Stephie at the Uncensored Rumble. These two have been feuding for years now. They should both be allowed to move on.
• Nothing against Savage, but there was an opportunity to give a new name the chance to win the tournament. Jenny Rose and Athena could have been prime candidates.
• Who really got elevated on these tapings? As far as the storyline progression goes, only Jennifer Cruz, and it seems that the audience isn’t keen on her push, based on the feedback we’ve received.
• Speaking of the audience, there were about 60 people at the show in Deer Park, NY, which is pretty disastrous. The reported attendance for the promotion’s flagship Anniversary Show was also low, which brings WSU’s promotion of its shows into question.
• Lexxus promised to win the Uncensored Rumble for a second straight year. Like with Savage winning the J-Cup again, it only highlights how Lexxus’ career in WSU has levelled off recently. Despite wrestling Martinez for 74 minutes last August, taking on Melina in November and pulling double duty in March, she is no closer to being perceived as a main-eventer as she was a year ago.
• In fact, therein lies the issue. At the top of the card are Havok and Martinez, with Alicia, Savage, Kay and Stephie on the next level down, then possibly Rain and Lexxus, and a chasm between them and everyone else – not in talent, but in perception of who the real stars are. Sure, Athena and Lexxus may be doing fine for themselves, but while the Militia controls the titles, they aren’t going to get a sniff at any championship matches. Likewise, despite Alicia getting a win over Kay, the faces are pretty much playing catchup.
I have saved the Martinez/Havok situation until last though, for obvious reasons. It is the be-all and end-all for the promotion right now, and understandably, WSU wants to get as much out of it as possible, though they may be running the risk of trying to get too much.
When Havok won the WSU Championship from Martinez in March, it established her as the unarguable top dog. She had both singles titles and still held an unbeaten singles run in WSU. Two months on, and she loses the title in her first defence with a screwy ending, which also signals an end to her undefeated run, which seems like a massive dent in her armour. This is the new WSU Champion – a woman with more momentum than anyone else in the promotion, and is poised to start demolishing people to establish herself as THE woman, which would make things even more special when someone rocks up to beat her, take the belt and kill her unbeaten streak. Instead, that honour went to the woman who needed it the least – the former WSU Champ who had held the title for three years and had beaten everyone in her path for close to 50 defences. For her to then lose the title three hours later back to Havok did nobody any favours – Havok’s unbeaten run is dead, Martinez now has the moniker of being the shortest reigning WSU Champion in history and it was all done for a one-night, two DVD angle which had the sole intention of setting up a match between the two at the Uncensored Rumble on June 16. Why not have a no-contest or a DQ win for Martinez if you wanted to set up another encounter between the two, instead of throwing away two years of victories which had been accumulated by Havok?
Which brings us to that contest on June 16 – a Casket Match.
Firstly, I can understand the logic. Jessicka has threatened to kill Mercedes on a number of occasions, and the feelings between the two run so deep now that it needed a gimmick match, and one that is synonymous with death is what WSU has gone with. Havok and Mercedes can talk about wanting to kill each other, bury each other and make each other’s careers rest in peace. I get that, and as a theory, I can’t argue against it.
However, Casket Matches are silly, and most of the time lack tension, as rolling someone into a box is not as dramatic as going for a pinfall or submssion or even climbing a ladder or a cage. It is also a relic that WWE doesn’t even use anymore. In fact, in the last 10 years, there have only been four Casket Matches on WWE pay-per-views, the last one being at Survivor Series 2008. As a gimmick, it is dead – if you pardon the pun. Last Woman Standing, Falls Count Anywhere… either one of these would have been applicable given the history of the feud (Last Woman Standing being a match about brutality, whereas Falls Count Anywhere would nullify the possibility of a pinfall with a foot being under a rope). In a promotion which likes to make things seem very real, a Casket Match sticks out as looking somewhat cartoony. On the plus side, the promos for the match should be very good.
This is not a piece to hate on WSU – on the contrary, I am concerned for its direction. Looking at the results and progression (or lack thereof) of some of the regular names is a cause of concern that I hope WSU is addressing. For example, the amount of repetition. Savage became a 2-time J-Cup winner, while Martinez & Havok became 2-time WSU Champions on the same night, while Lexxus is talking about becoming a 2-time Uncensored Rumble winner, Havok defended the Spirit Title against Marti Belle for the second show in a row and there was also the sticking point of the same spot of referees being distracted coming up last night. The promotion takes pride is having long-running storylines, so I hope we are at the middle point of a number of them, which will see new names rise up to take on the established stars.
A champion is only as strong as the opponents and matches given to them. It will do Havok no favours for her to defeat a bunch of women who the fans do not perceive are a serious threat to her or her Championship. Once she defeats Martinez at the Uncensored Rumble – and she really has to – we hope there is a new challenger waiting in the wings. She deserves that test.
– Lee Burton