Wrestlicious episode number five. Yes, it's still alive.
The show opens with a very surreal segment, as Leyla Milani's section of the Wrestlicious rap plays . . . only to be cut off in the middle but an odd video effect. That leads into a shot of a woman tied to a chair and gagged. Said woman is only shot from behind, but there is also a second woman standing in front of her facing the camera. The woman facing the camera is ROH and SHIMMER alumna Becky Bayless, who on an earlier episode was announced as being one of the competitors in the Wrestlicious battle royale under the name of "Brooke Lynne." Becky (or Brooke) never really identifies herself but calls the woman in the chair "Leyla" and says that Wrestlicious is HERS now. She cuts a chunk out of the woman's hair with a pair of scissors and walks off camera to end the segment.
Of course, we were never shown the face of the woman in the chair, so it was most likely a stand-in for the real Leyla Milani, leading me to believe that for some reason her relationship with the company ended before they could get enough footage to insert her into every episode of season one. The segment itself offered a weird juxtaposition, as it was the first thing to even begin resembling a serious promo in Wrestlicious history and Becky did a good job of delivering it without being a cartoon character . . . but the hokey nature of the concept (eliminating a woman from a television show but cutting a small chunk of her hair) and the ridiculous attempts at shooting around a woman who was so obviously not Leyla Milani cancelled out a lot of good that Becky's mic work could have done.
After the traditional Wrestlicious opening video package, Jimmy Hart is standing around and waiting to open the show, but he can't find Leyla. Brooke Lynne runs into the shot and claims that she is the new host of Take Down because Leyla is a "little tied up." They try to tie Brooke's character into Jersey Shore and throw to the announcement of our main event, which is the Naughty Girls (a Catholic schoolgirl-themed trio) against the odd combination of the Southern Belles and webmistress Paige Webb.
Felony is behind CGI bars, and an off-camera convict asks her what she's in for. She was "test driving" a police car, you see.
Marley, Paige Webb, and Draculetta are all added to the Wrestlicious battle royale, and our commentator tells us that there's only one more announcement of wrestlers left before the match is filled up.
Another comedy segment features Malibu Mackenzie, "nurse in training." Mackenzie might look familiar to fans of David McLane's old Women of Wrestling promotion, where she played the role of Lana Starr. She tells a patient that she'll give him a spanking if he doesn't take his pills. He says that actually sounds like a good idea, so Malibu slaps him across the face.
Lil' Slamm, a model with no prior wrestling experience, is featured in the Wrestlicious Spotlight, a.k.a. our weekly bikini shoot.
The Wrestlicious Rewind brings us highlights of last week's Sierra Sheraton vs. Marley main event, including Sierra's big (designer) boot finisher.
Paige Webb reads more e-mail. A guy tells him that he knows she likes pictures of men in uniform, so he sent her a picture of him dressed as a French maid. She then views the picture and freaks out. Why would you even look at something like that?
Savannah the Southern Belle is here to educate us about her vocabulary in a segment entitled "School Belle." Today's word of the day is "bare," which, in a delightful pun, she uses in a sentence as though it were the word "beer." Oh, those nutty southerners and their no talking much goodly.
The Naughty Girls are in detention. Two of them were in for fairly mundane reasons, but the third is in for studying anatomy in the boys' locker room. HA-CHA~!
The participants in our main event are featured in the first edition of "Wrestlicious Heroines," which is a series of still comic book frames supposedly depicting events that set up our main event. Yes, somebody involved in this show's production apparently said to themselves, "Hey, professional wrestling isn't nerdy enough . . . let's up the ante by combining it with a COMIC BOOK." Also, no offense to the comic artist, but his rendition of one of the Southern Belles looks uncannily like Walter Matthau.
The Naughty Girls (Hope & Faith) w/ Charity vs. Paige Webb & Charlotte the Southern Belle w/ Savannah the Southern Belle
I guess it's time to identify the players. We've seen Paige and Charlotte on prior episodes of Wrestlicious, with the former being current WWE wrestler Serena Deeb and the latter being SHIMMER and southern indy star Amber O' Neal. This week, a second Southern Belle has joined them, but she's just a model. The Naughty Girls are reigning SHIMMER Tag Team Champions Portia Perez and Nicole Matthews, usually known under their collective name of the Canadian N.I.N.J.A.S. Hope is Matthews and Faith is Perez, with Charity being their non-wrestling model counterpart. They've also got a stereotypical-looking nun named Sister Ophelia hanging around with them, because three people wasn't quite enough.
Hope and Faith are out first with baskets, taking collections from the audience. They're then interviewed by Johnny C., who they inform that Sister Ophelia told them to collect money for charity. It turns out to be capital-C Charity and not little-c charity, though. Charity is lead down the entrance ramp by her ear by Sister Ophelia. Ophelia tells her girls that she has to go "clap her erasers" and that they'd better be good while she's away. Who brings unclapped erasers to a pro wrestling event? Anyway, the Girls' opponents enter, with our announcer telling us that Southern Belle Savannah will only be at ringside because she is injured. Well, I guess this is only going to be a tag match and not the six woman I originally thought it was. Hope and Faith are making fun of the Belles while they make their entrance, mocking the parasols they are carry and asking why they need umbrellas indoors. Savannah tells them what a parasol really is and, in response to a question about what it's used for, she simply says "this," at which point she taps Perez on the head with it.
Faith begins with Paige Webb and calls her a four eyes. The first spot of the match is Paige doing a striptease with her jacket and her hair coming down, which she does in the reverse order of what most people would expect. Faith and Webb circle one another, but there's an immediate tag to Hope. Hope gets the first bit of offense with an armdrag and hits a second off of another lockup. A third lockup produces the same result for a third time, but this time Paige responds with a fireman's carry and some Deeb armdrags for a two count. That sets up the tag to Charlotte, who applies an armbar before kicking away and snapmaring her opponent down to the canvas. She drops a leg on to the outstretched arm and tags Ms. Webb back in for a double axe handle down on to the limb. She drops some elbows on Hope's bad arm but gets caught with an eye rake that gives us a tag to Faith.
Faith is taken down with a drop toe hold by Paige, but Hope grabs the techie's hair as she's running the ropes to set up the heat. The Naughty Girls double team their opponent in the corner when Charlotte complains to the referee about the hair pull, and Hope tags back in, getting a two count off of a back elbow. Faith returns to the match with an illegal chokehold before giving Paige some shoulders to the gut in the corner and switching off to Faith, who applies a front facelock. Of course, that gives us a pretty good tease of the hot tag, and Paige actually makes it . . . only for the referee to be distracted by Faith. The Naughty Girls do some double teaming, after which Faith picks up her partner's front facelock, even using the ropes and getting some extra leverage from Hope. Eventually Webb regains a vertical base and tries to punch her way out of the hold, but a hairpull takedown cuts that off. A clothesline by both Naughty Girls takes Webb off of her feet one more time, but the Girls' celebrating comes back to bite them, as Charlotte runs in behind their backs and pulls Paige over to the babyface corner.
The Belle tags in and is a Gone With the Wind-esque house afire, taking out both of the schoolgirls with slams and whatnot. She hits her Confederate Crush on Hope and trades off to Paige, who is now totally reenergized. She unloads on Hope as we get a split screen of Charity, who is going under the ring and loading up a purse with a brick. The weapon is slipped to Faith, who swings it at Paige. The shot is ducked, the brick connects with Hope, and the good girls get the pinfall to end this match.
Winners: Paige Webb & Charlotte the Southern Belle
The final visual of the show is Brooke Lynne cutting in and telling us to watch the show next week if we know what's good for us.
For the last couple of weeks, I've been complaining about the Wrestlicious being painfully formulaic. A lot of the same "formula" elements were present this time out, but there were two elements that helped this show stand out from the rest of the pack. First of all, Becky Bayless' character, if you ignore the stupid name and the minor reality television references, appears to be the first and perhaps only serious heel in the promotion. That alone was a breath of fresh air, though it might get stifled if she's relegated primarily to hosting and doesn't do that much as a wrestler. Monotony-breaking element number two was the inclusion of Porita Perez and Nicole Matthews in this week's match. Perez and Matthews are the first regular tag team that we've seen transplanted in to Wrestlicious, and, fortunately, they were allowed to pretty much do their normal routine when it came to the bout aside from a change to their names and gear. There have been some decent tag matches on Take Down before, but the fact that this week's featured a polished, cohesive tag team unit that was comfortable working with one another kicked things up another level and turned this in to what I would call the best Wretlicious match to date by far. I don't know that I could ever give a "thumbs up" to an episode of this show without throwing up the Birdseye Steamfesh meal that I had for dinner, but tonight's edition of Take Down has come closer to earning my seal of approval than any other thusfar.