SHINE 17 posterAfter crowning a singles champion at SHINE 11 last June, SHINE adds another title to the promotion by establishing Tag Team Champions. Eight teams are vying for the gold – some established, some new, some who are relatively fresh-faced and some who have years of ring time. We have taken a look at the more viable contenders, though it is really anybody’s guess as to who will walk out of SHINE 17 with the championship.

Elsewhere, new SHINE Champion Ivelisse Velez puts her belt on the line against Mercedes Martinez, though the titleholder is likely to have an eye on the other non-tournament match on the card where the woman who replaced her in ValkyrieSerena Deeb – takes on Angelina Love.

You can order the event by clicking here, but you can also keep up with all the results after the jump – and we’ll also offer our thoughts on the event too…

SHINE Tag Team Championship Tournament Quarter Finals:
1. Made In Sin (Allysin Kay & Taylor Made) beat The West Coast Connection (Tracy Taylor & Su Yung). Taylor pinned Su with the Seventh Deadly.
2. The SNS Express (Sassy Stephie & Jessie Belle Smothers) defeated MsEerie (Christina Von Eerie & MsChif). Stephie pinned Von Eerie with the Kiss My Sass.
3. The Buddy System (Heidi Lovelace & Solo Darling) bested Legendary (Brandi Wine & Malia Hosaka). Lovelace pinned Wine following a slingshot into a Daffney punch to the face.
4. The Lucha Sisters (Mia Yim & Leva Bates) beat The Kimber Bombs (Cherry Bomb & Kimber Lee). Yim pinned Lee with a package piledriver.
Non Tournament:
5. Serena Deeb defeated Angelina Love with the spear.
SHINE Tag Team Championship Tournament Semi Finals:
6. Made In Sin beat The Buddy System. Taylor pinned Solo after the Seventh Deadly.
7. The Lucha Sisters defeated The SNS Express. Yim pinned Smothers with a 450 splash.
SHINE Championship:
8. Ivelisse Velez defeated Mercedes Martinez with the Code Red to retain the SHINE Championship. Valkyrie hit the ring to attack Velez but Martinez made the save. Mercedes and Ivelisse shook hands afterwards.
SHINE Tag Team Championship Tournament Final:
9. The Lucha Sisters beat Made In Sin to win the SHINE Tag Team Championship. Yim pinned Kay with a Quebrada.

• So SHINE Wrestling (presumably) complete their titleholder lineup with the crowning of a first set of tag team champions in The Lucha Sisters – Mia Yim & Leva Bates. All in all, a good show – but before we discuss what happened, let’s briefly run over one or two production issues and get them out of the way. As noted last month, the upgrade of the production to HD 16:9 output is gratefully appreciated, and production wise the shows have never looked better – but it’s also worth pointing out that there were focus issues at this show – with the main hard cam in particular being slightly out of focus for most of (if not all) the show. The WWNLive.com website apparently also went down at one point during the show – right as Angelina Love made her entrance for her match with Serena Deeb – throwing everybody watching out of the feed and out of the site for a few minutes. In positive news though, the VOD of the show was uploaded and available in double quick time, so if you haven’t bought the show and fancy seeing the crowning of the first tag team champions, you can go do so *immediately* at WWNLive.com.
• Not going to lie, I thought there was a better chance to see a heel team like Made In Sin or The S-N-S Express win the tournament rather than the Lucha Sisters, who were teaming up for the first time in Leva Bates Kimber Lee SHINE 17SHINE, but I can totally see why the SHINE braintrust backed Yim & Bates to take the first tag titles. Both have played a big part in the promotion to date, Leva since SHINE 1, Mia since SHINE 2, both have received big singles pushes (Yim to the finals of the inaugural SHINE Title Tournament; Bates triumphing over Kimberly in SHINE’s first really major singles feud) yet both were looking unlikely to progress in singles much further at the minute, both are local and very popular, and it gives both a new freshness to see them as a team. The outpouring of retweets and congratulations on social media that followed their win seems proof positive that a lot of people see these belts in good hands and are genuinely happy to see Yim & Bates get their hands on a title. In other news, the Lucha Sisters team gets Leva away from the “dark Leva” cosplays of late, which in this writer’s estimation, didn’t make her a particularly sympathetic character. Your mileage may vary on that.
• The Lucha Sisters had some really good matches en route to the tournament win – including apparently stealing a double team spot from Los Ben Dejos (their significant others). Their opener, against The Kimber Bombs (Kimber Lee & Cherry Bomb) was outrageously fun, with the characters of Kimber and especially Cherry shining through in a match that had me smiling throughout – the contrast between the highly-strung Kimber Bombs and the determined Lucha Sisters worked a treat in that one. Their semi-final with the S-N-S Express was possibly the tag team match of the night, with again the contrasting dynamic of the fast-paced Lucha Sisters working with the old school southern style tag team work of the Express. The finals vs Made In Sin was becoming a really good match too, though in my estimation it’s a real shame that the babyface champions for the inaugural Tag Titles won thanks to the heels being screwed over by a third party – in this case Jessicka Havok, who came out, pulled Taylor Made off the apron and stood in position for the tag from her old “friend” Allysin Kay. When Kay saw Havok, she was so shocked she immediately fell victim to a double team Sliced Bread #2 and a Yim quebrada. It was an effective moment to pop the crowd, but it undercut Yim & Bates’ victory a little bit.
• Speaking of Made In Sin, SHINE’s first great tag team had a bit of a renaissance on this show, delivering three quality performances across the three rounds of the tournament. In the semis, they beat The Buddy System of Heidi Lovelace & Solo Darling and in the opening round against The West Coast Connection of Su Yung & Tracy Taylor, both with the Seventh Deadly.
• I really enjoyed the formation and first match of The Buddy System last month at SHINE 16, and I really enjoyed both of their matches at this show. I think Solo Darling is adorable and an absolute boss Allysin Kay Heidi Lovelace Solo Darling SHINE 17at being a babyface in peril, and Heidi Lovelace is one of the brightest rising stars in the women’s independent scene at the minute. Add in the fun and games of Kimberly (and her plush “Things” at ringside) and you’ve got a really good combination. Their opener against the team of Legendary (Brandi Wine & Malia Hosaka) was excellent formula veterans vs rookies tag team stuff, though bizarrely Heidi’s babyface hot tag at the end could scarcely have been any colder. Maybe the SHINE audience are taking a bit of time to really get into this team, but I hope they do. There’s a lot of potential in The Buddy System.
• I had hoped that the S-N-S Express would exploit the Freebird Rule in the tournament, and enter a different combination of Stephie/Nevaeh/Jessie each round, but that sadly wasn’t to be – Stephie & Jessie worked both matches and, as noted above, they absolutely know what they’re doing as far as working a good southern tag match – and I love them for that. Their best performance was in the semi finals against the Lucha Sisters. I’m sure we’ll see much more of the Express going forward.
• Really strong performance by MsChif in her opening round match, teaming with Christina Von Eerie against S-N-S Express, working most of the match, in fact. Was interesting to note that this was the MsChif Jessie Belle Smothers SHINE 17first time Von Eerie has been back in the promotion since the pretty awful SHINE 12 back in August where she was involved in multiple segments that made little sense at the time (and still don’t). There was a moment of weirdness at the end of their match where Von Eerie appeared to get incensed at Nevaeh’s interference, causing a moment of team disharmony that eventually cost MsEerie. Not sure if this is was a deliberate storyline callback to Von Eerie’s earlier tweener-type character or not, but there does appear like there might be something up with MsEerie (or maybe just CVE) going forward.
• Likewise, there may be something up with Su Yung too going forward. After Made In Sin dispatched of Su in the opener (after April Hunter had pulled Tracy Taylor off the apron), commentator Lenny Leonard made mention of a weird “staring into space” type look on the face of Su as she and Tracy embraced after the match. It wasn’t particularly caught on camera, but I’m presuming there’s woe coming for the West Coast Connection soon too.
• The singles match between Angelina Love and the newly heeled-up Serena Deeb was, as mentioned, sadly interrupted by a temporary outage on the website. Not sure how long it was out, but when we returned, we were already getting into the end phase of the match. Appeared pretty good, as you might expect. The referee was wiped out by an errant Deeb spear, so was nowhere to be seen when Love hit Deeb with a Botox Injection for the visual three count. A dash of April Hunter interference and a second spear from “Dirty Deebs” ended the match.
• Best match of the night by a country mile was the SHINE Championship match though, as Ivelisse made her first defence of the title against her fellow Puerto Rican, Mercedes Martinez. This was wrestled in a completely different style to everything else on the show – slow, deliberate chain and submission wrestling, slowly building to bigger moves and lots of heavy, heavy strikes. It was exactly Ivelisse Velez Mercedes Martinez SHINE 17what you’d want a World title match to be in that regard. Mercedes Martinez is amongst the best in the world at this, and Ivelisse went right along with her here, move for move, strike for strike. Some really nice counters and reversals too – such as Martinez reversing out of a Guillotine Choke into a Fisherman Buster. The Code Red won the match for Ivelisse in a match that once again sees Ivelisse taking match of the night honours and really secures her place not only as the SHINE Champion, but as one of the most dynamic and exciting female talents on the independent scene today. No particular indication of a next challenger, other than that a post-match attack by Valkyrie would suggest an Ivelisse vs Serena match likely to take place soon – possibly at SHINE 18? No date was announced for the show yet, so it’s unknown whether that might take place next month or in April.
• All in all, a good show with some really strong performances, highlighted by a really excellent Martinez vs Velez match. I look forward to seeing who challenges The Lucha Sisters next too, as you’d imagine Made In Sin are off the table as the Havok vs Kay feud rumbles on. There are no immediately obvious challengers, but we’ll see what happens – perhaps rematches with the S-N-S Express or the Kimber Bombs might be on the cards? I could dig either one. There have been better SHINE shows, but this is definitely worth a watch.

– Stew Allen