Saturday 6 September 2014

FF - Strewth Sheila

Disclaimer: Doing a bit of a different thing with my write-up this time. This was "doubler day", a Fierce Females show in the afternoon then an ICW show along the road in the evening. There will be a lot of reviews, results and opinion pieces wrote about this one, such as this one from The Royal Mumble. So, here is my take on things.

Fierce Females - Strewth Sheila
Sunday, 31st August 2014 - 2pm
Walkabout, 128 Renfield Street, Glasgow, G2 3AL
FF - Website | Facebook | Twitter

By the time Fierce Female's next show rolls around in October, it will have been more than two years since their very first show. In those 24 months there have been many highs, a few lows and some very historic moments. Through it all, one common thread has run - the dominance of Kay Lee Ray.

It all started with Kay Lee Ray vs Carmel Jacob, September 2012, Last Woman Standing. In what was an instant-classic, the two women wrestled fiercely in the ring, outside the ring and right through the crowd. Although history shows Carmel as the winner of that match, those who saw it know that Kay Lee Ray stood up at 8. This was a loss only in name alone - Kay Lee Ray may have been knocked down, but on the night she got back up and in the future of Fierce Females she got back up in style.

At "Luke... Who's Yer Da?", Kay Lee Ray performed double-duty, defeating both Rhia O'Reilly and then Viper, to be crowned the first, current and only Fierce Females Scottish Champion. She has went on to defend that title against Viper, Amazing Kong, Sammii Jayne, Nikki Storm and Carmel, avenging her Last Woman Standing defeat in the process.

Throughout it all, Kay Lee Ray has utilised every strength in her arsenal - speed, versatility, resilience and cunning. Most recently, Kay Lee has had a change of heart teamed up with her hated rival Carmel and her partner Sara, putting to rest years of hostility. This new trio, dubbed Hardcore Glamour, made an incredible and violent impact at the Mad Maxine event, putting a stop to Nikki Storm's attempt to wrest control of the Fierce Females title from Kay Lee, bringing us to tonight's dual Main Events - Nikki Storm having to find a partner to help her take on Carmel and Sara, and Kay Lee Ray having to dig deep once again to defend her title against the returning April Davids. But first, we had a packed event of six other incredible matches to get through.

Match 1 - Rhia O'Reilly vs Leah Owens
You know you're getting value for money when a wrestling event starts with Rhia O'Reilly coming out. Both women got the pace for the night started with a hard-hitting, vicious contest which Rhia seemed mostly in control of. Everything from eye rakes, to submission holds, to a rolling fireman's carry got Rhia to her pinfall victory with the Rhiadjustment DDT.

Match 2 - Layla Rose vs Miss Lucy Cole

A lot of the discussion surrounding Miss Cole focus upon her "Barbie Doll" looks, as if this is some kind of slight against her fortitude. Let me tell you, it must have taken a vast amount of pure courage to get into the ring against a woman as downright scary as Layla Rose.

Bringing everything to the table including German suplexes and German insults, Layla sought to dominate her opponent both physically and psychologically. While Cole put up as great a fight as anyone could have, in the end Layla accomplished her goal, pinning Miss Cole following an impressive Fallaway Slam.

Match 3 - Viper vs Lana Austin
With Lana evidently the physical underdog, it's no wonder that so many in attendance thought they were due to witness a murder rather than a wrestling match. Viper silenced the "Viper's Gonna Kill You" chants however, insisting that Lana be given a fair shake of the stick.

Lana took this opportunity, and ran with it. Despite being physically blocked by Viper at almost every turn, Lana continued to throw everything at the Fierce Females veteran. A 2nd rope Tornado DDT was blocked by Viper. Running crossbody attempts were blocked by Viper. Lana even attempted the "Matrix slide" type maneuver normally seen from Carmel, but Viper countered this with a crossbody of her own.

In the end, despite all Lana could throw at her, Viper stood strong and caught Lana coming off the top rope to perform the Viper Driver (Michinokou Driver) for the pinfall victory. A successful defense of Fierce Females pride, Viper showed there was heart in this company to go along with the brawn, extending a genuine handshake to her defeated opponent. Lana accepted, and Viper treated her to a lift to the backstage, carrying the smaller woman through the crowd to much heartfelt applause, even stopping to post for photos. Good vibes following a good match, this was shaping up to be a great night.

Segment - Carmel Corner

Carmel came out alone and orated a simply wonderful poem. She was then joined by Kay Lee Ray and through the course of their interview, Carmel probed Kay Lee about her motivations, KLR stated that she doesn't have to explain her actions to anyone, but emphasised that she trusted Carmel. Both women called for Sara to join them in the ring.

However, it was Nikki Storm who ran into the ring and brawled with the duo, making the point that she would not back down from their threats and newfound gang mentality. It was ultimately futile however as Sara joined in and the three beat Nikki back out of the ring. Sara then took to the microphone and explained that even Fierce Females owner Mikey Whiplash didn't stand a chance now that KLR had united with them, that the trio would now be known as Hardcore Glamour and they now "run this shit".

The full segment can be viewed here:

Match 4 - Nixon vs Sammii Jayne
The pick of many for Match Of The Night, my attempt at a blow-by-blow will no doubt do this match no justice whatsoever. Whether this event is shown free on Youtube, or digitally released, or even sees a DVD at some point, you have to watch this match.

Both women began the match with purpose, some wristlock action leading to early pin attempts. Back and forth they went, with armdrags, headscissors, enzeguiris, snapmares and dropkicks. At one point the action fell to the outside, with both women tumbling between the bottom two ropes.

After getting back in the ring and producing a historic battle, the writing was on the wall for Nixon. Despite managing to evade Sammii's first attempt at her springboard cutter finisher, Nixon's attempt at a moonsault also bore no fruit, leading to Sammii connecting with the springboard cutter (affectionately called Bitch Please) from the apron for the pinfall victory.

I know I am not alone in saying this - but Nixon simply has to return to Fierce Females, hopefully sooner rather than later and, if I'm being entirely honest, a straight rematch against Sammii Jayne would go down a treat.

Match 5 - Nikki Storm & ??? vs Carmel Jacob & Sara
Nikki demanded that she be allowed to start the match, despite not having a partner. Starting off with a fire still burning in her from earlier, Nikki dragged the two members of Hardcore Glamour around the ring, delivering a kick and elbow in the ring.

The promising start came to an end however as Carmel steadily gained advantage of the situation, taking time between beatings to mock Nikki Storm, gesturing to the empty corner and making light of Nikki's dire situation.

Sara then got involved, delivering no-nonsense offense and a sublime pumphandle slam. Despite still bruising from her battle with Sammii Jayne, Nixon made a somewhat surprise appearance, jumping up on the apron and calling for Nikki to tag her in. Almost immediately, Fiona Fraser made an appearance. Fiona has made no secret of her admiration of Hardcore Glamour, Carmel Jacob in particular, and seemed to be using the situation as an advantage to maybe curry some favour with Carmel. Fiona earnestly pleaded with Nixon to change her mind, using all manner of verbal tricks to sway Nixon's mind. After a few seconds consideration, Nixon relented, dropped from the apron and left with Fiona.

Seemingly on her own again, the situation could call for only one woman. A woman who is not averse to fighting twice in one night. A woman who protects her company with words and actions. A woman who does not leave another stranded against Hardcore Glamour, ever. The conscience of the locker-room. Viper.

Despite protestations from her friend and some-times opponent Bete Noire, seemingly pointing out that Nikki arguably would not do the same for them, Viper charged on, a sense of moral right calling her to the ring over any personal feelings towards Nikki.

With the odds now evened up, Nikki and Viper began a period of attack, seeming hellbent on putting an end to the misery Carmel and Sara always seem to cause. But it caught up to them. The duel beatings on Nikki caught up to her. The match with Lana Austin caught up to Viper. Carmel caught up to a steel chair, attacking Viper with it on the outside and severing her link with Nikki long enough for Sara to roll Nikki up for the pinfall victory.

Match 6 - Bete Noire vs Kasey Owens

Bete came out, heavily taped up around the shoulder area. She could have ended this before it began. She could have taken a raincheck and no-one would have blamed her. But she can't. It's not in her nature. Bete Noire is a warrior, and this was a war.

I can't provide you with a blow-by-blow here, I was simply too engrossed. I believe at some point Bete Noire went up top, but got crotched. There was a huge shoulder suplex. Guts got spin-kicked. Kasey went for some springboard kicking action. Did Bete hit an AA? I'm honestly not sure, you'll just need to wait for the footage.  (Edit: Yeah, pretty sure she did!)

What I am sure of is this. Bete Noire did not tap out. Bete Noire did not give up. The record may show her as 0-7, but that is on the referee. Kasey Owens, having worked diligently on Bete's injured arm, locked in an armbar, but Bete did not tap out. Kasey applied pressure with her impossibly strong leg pushing against Bete's throat, but still Bete did not tap out. The referee stopped the fight, but Bete was ready to battle on.

It is only a matter of time before Bete finally tastes victory in Fierce Females, but tonight showed she can battle with no regrets without putting herself in too much danger. We'll unfortunately never know what could have been had the fight continued, but I do know one thing. Something seems to be changing slightly in Kasey Owens. Since her injury and subsequent attack by Carmel and Sara, she seems to be hitting harder in her matches. There is a certain joy in her expression as she inflicts damage on her opponents. I noticed it last time when she was dropping Carmel on the hard, Walkabout floor. I noticed it this time when she was particularly vicious in targeting Bete's arm. Kasey is a woman who was recently injured herself, but there was no empathy in this war. Who knows if this will lead to anything, but I for one am in a bit of fear about Kasey Owens.

Promo - Debbie Sharp
Many felt that Debbie would be the one to team with Nikki Storm. There was an announcement of an injury to Debbie, but right up until bell time, some chose not to believe. But as Bete Noire made her way backstage, Sharp herself came out to confirm our worst fears.

Debbie is in fact injured. Severely. A broken collarbone that may take a while yet to heal. Still, she is a woman of the people, and was here to allow us to see her and all her beauty. After a few minutes giving us an update and reminding us all how awesome she is and how humbled and privileged we should feel in her presence, we were left with an empty ring and no more Sharp. All we can do now is #PrayForDebbie

Match 7 - Fiona Fraser vs Courtney
Can I just mention - this was half past 4 in the afternoon! On a Sunday! After all we'd witnessed, I was fatigued. I stupidly chose the brief period of time between Debbie leaving and before the music for the next entrances started to take a quick breather.

I returned a few minutes later, just in time to see the referee ruin yet another match. Double count-out! From what I understand, the two women did make it to the ring, then there was some tussling and maybe a chair got involved? I honestly don't know, I missed it so brief as it was. A real shame, but now that the feud has gone 1-1-1 my appetite for a proper resolution has only grown.

Match 8 - Fierce Females Championship
Kay Lee Ray (c) vs April Davids
So here we are. Kay Lee Ray, the one and only Fierce Females Champion, set to do battle against an opponent of Nikki Storm's choosing.

April Davids, last seen at the very first Fierce Females event, where her ill-fated teamup with Lisa Fury led to a loss to the Owens Twins. Outwith a few ICW appearances since then, her part in that tag match may have been all many of the fans in attendance had heard of her.

April Davids is so much more. The former FSW Champion of Manchester, former PCW Cruiserweight Champion in Preston, owner of the most impressive pair of elbows I've seen in a long time (elbows she put to great use in this match), April seemed poised to add the Fierce Females belt to her list of impressive accolades.

But this is Kay Lee Ray's house, and she was here to cement that fact. Not happy with her initial entrance, Kay Lee seamlessly looped right back to the entrance area and began it all over again. Such confidence, charisma and arrogance can come only in one entirely comfortable with her surroundings. If her words and actions last time around were an exclamation point on the physicality Kay Lee brings to wrestling, her actions tonight were set to underscore the sheer presence she owns.

But presence means little to April Davids. Bored of the Champion's double-entrance, April leapt out of the ring, diving on Kay Lee Ray and starting the battle through the crowd towards the pool table. Once back in the ring, Kay Lee Ray started us off properly with a springboard dropkick. From there, both woman gave it absolutely everything in their test to prove who is the most tough female in wrestling.

April, for my money, seemed to be delivering bombs that would have put any lesser female down, but Kay Lee Ray never gave up. Time and time again, she battled back like a true Champion. Freed of the shackles of her "good" girl, smiling-face-of-the-company status, it would have been too easy for KLR to resort to underhanded tactics to slow down Davids' momentum. Instead, the champ took every shot on the chin, and responded with one of her own.

The decision to win this battle cleanly was taken out of KLR's hands somewhat, as the rest of Hardcore Glamour got involved towards the end, allowing KLR to capitalise and rollup April for the pinfall victory. 

An almost disappointing ending to what had been a fair, sporting contest thus far. What was not a disappointment was the night as a whole. Eight fantastic matches featuring several engaging performers, great storylines and death-defying feats. I apologise that I couldn't bring the usual level of detail that I normally strive for, but that happens. I hope you enjoyed this write-up and, if you weren't there on Sunday, please be sure to check out Priscilla, Queen Of The Walkabout on 26th October (a charity show in aid of Cancer Research) and Come And Say G'Day on 23rd November. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Also check out Breaking Baws for a documentary featuring backstage footage as Bete Noire prepares for Strewth Sheila.

Photo credit as ever goes to @MrDavidJWilson.

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