#Review: The Summit (8/10/19)

Last weekend, a landmark event in women’s wrestling took place. The Summit was a collaborative effort to produce an independent supershow. SMASH hosted SHIMMER, RISE, and Femmes Fatales in Toronto for the biggest collaboration in independent women’s wrestling ever in North America. Held at the Midtown Event Theatre, The Summit had a total attendance of 353 (all seating was sold out and remaining attendance was standing room only).

KC Spinelli vs. Rosemary with Xandra Bale as the Special Referee to crown the Inaugural SMASH Women’s Champion

I had thought this would be a perfect closer, but it makes sense as an opener as well. A guaranteed new champion makes all the sense in the world when you want to get a crowd going from the beginning.

The Summit
Photo / RiSE

KC Spinelli reveals that she’s wearing a Danger Zone shirt, a nod to her former team with referee Xandra Bale. This match has a solid build in the early going, with Rosemary and Spinelli trading advantage. A missed moonsault opens the way for Rosemary to hit a spear. Spinelli kicks out, then turns a second attempt into a Samoan drop. Rosemary, however, hits a butterfly DDT to win the match and become the first SMASH Women’s champion.

This was a solid match, but it felt like it was just ramping up when it ended.

Dust & Veda Scott vs. The Sea Stars (Delmi Exo & Ashley Vox)

As we prepare for our regularly scheduled match of Dust vs. Delmi Exo, Dust jumps Exo from behind during The Summit. Ashley Vox comes to her sister’s aid, and Veda Scott attacks Vox. The brawl continues until the referee and ring announcer declare that this match will now be a tag team match.

The Summit
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It’s a simple story of two heels playing dirty to hold their own against the experienced team. Dust and Scott take control early against Vox, building heat toward the eventual hot tag. Exo comes in all fired up and firmly takes control of the match as the crowd chants for the Sea Stars.

Dust is able to mount just enough of a comeback to tag Scott in. At this point, everyone hits big moves and Scott almost wins off a muscle buster variant. The Sea Stars, however, are able to break that pin and score the victory off a senton where Vox bounce’s off Exo’s shoulders on her way down.

This was a good tag team match that worked very well.

Shotzi Blackheart vs. Delilah Doom

This match showcases the familiarity both women have with each other quite effectively in the opening moments, as they both attempt the same moves during The Summit. Neither is able to get a clear advantage early on, but Doom does eventually take control. The offense in this match is fast-paced and intense throughout the early going, selling the grudge.

The Summit
Photo / RiSE

The match slows down a little during its second act, but overall the match stays strong through some good exchanges and facial selling. Blackheart hits some rolling German suplexes into a Tiger suplex and Cattle Mutilation. That was pretty excellent work right there. Delilah Doom wins the match via verbal submission with a really cool hold and earns a shot at the Phoenix of RISE championship.

After the match, Blackheart offers a handshake to Doom, who slaps her and spits in her face before leaving the ring.

This was a step above the earlier matches on the show. I wouldn’t say it was better than their match at RISE 8, but it continued the story they’ve been telling fairly well.

Zoe Lucas (c) vs. Aerial Monroe for the Phoenix of RISE Championship

Lucas is so great the little things that make her a detestable heel during The Summit. Her exaggerated reverence for the belt as the referee presents it to her before the bell rings is just perfect. Veda Scott joins Dave Prazak on commentary.

The Summit
Photo / RiSE

Monroe dominates to start, and fan interaction is high on her priority list. She just throws Lucas into the laps of the crowd to chop her. when they’re outside the ring. Lucas mounts a comeback following a ring post spot. She has no allies here on this show, so she spends her time slowly working over Monroe through the middle portion of this match.

The third act of the match begins with more back and forth, though Lucas still holds control for the beginning portion. This match brilliantly plays off the finish of RISE – Luminous when Monroe manages to get the rope break and keep fighting. She then counters the scorpion kick into a sunset flip to win the championship.

Lucas grabs the belt and a microphone and throws a tantrum before Monroe can even be announced as champion. She declares that there is nobody who can take that belt away from her, and Bull Nakano comes out and beats Lucas down with nunchucks. She takes the belt and presents it to Aerial Monroe.

This match continues the show’s trend of each match being better than the last.

Cheerleader Melissa vs. LuFisto vs. Priscilla Kelly vs. Allysin Kay

Kelly and LuFisto start the match with crotch-rubbing handshakes. The match spills outside right from the beginning, and it quickly turns into Melissa attacking LuFisto with chairs while Kay and Kelly brawl among the fans.

Photo / RiSE

A four-way submission provides a fun spot in the match, after which Melissa and Kay work together against Kelly and LuFisto. LuFisto hits a big tower of doom on the rest but can’t capitalize. There’s some really cool synchronized work in the late middle of the match. Kelly eventually hits Osteoporosis on Kay, but LuFisto breaks it up. LuFisto tries to hit a Burning Hammer, but Kelly escapes and hits Osteoporosis on LuFisto to win the match. LuFisto raises Kelly’s hand after the match before miming that she’d like a one on one match in the future.

This is a fun, wild four-way. Kelly gets the win, going over three veterans of the North American women’s scene.

Mercedes Martinez (c) vs. Jordynne Grace for the Femmes Fatales International Championship

As is characteristic of Martinez’s matches, this match has some really cool grappling sequences as she and Grace go hold for hold in the early part of the match of The Summit. Grace does some pushups while holding Martinez in a headscissors, showing off her strength. She takes the early advantage in the match with some impressive power displays.

Photo / RiSE

While Charlotte Flair may have inherited her father’s penchant for robes, Martinez seems to have stolen his knack for playing dirty. She comes back a bit thanks to her chicanery, but Grace is able to regain control with her strength. A huge senton from the top from Grace sees Grace selling her back huge, and she can’t cover in time for the three. She slams Martinez repeatedly, only selling the back each time.

The story of this match is really about how Martinez can overcome Grace’s power game. Cheating doesn’t work for long, and any comebacks Martinez can make are short-lived. It’s only by surviving and letting Grace weaken her back further than Martinez can capitalize.

A huge avalanche death valley driver seemingly marking the turning point. Martinez kicks Grace into the referee and hits a German suplex, then takes the championship belt and tries to hit Grace. She misses and Grace hits a pump handle driver for the visual pin. Grace, frustrated, takes the belt and tries to use it, only to eat a boot to the face and a Fisherman Buster onto the belt for Mercedes to win and retain.

After the match, Martinez cuts a promo telling Grace that she may be on tv, but she needs to remember who Martinez is. She tells Grace to go back to tv and come back to the big leagues when she’s ready. Grace knocks Martinez down and throws the belt down onto her before leaving the ring.

This is the match of the show, and of the weekend, hands down. Everything you could want this match to do, it does flawlessly. Watch it.

Nicole Savoy (c) vs. Nicole Matthews for the SHIMMER Championship

Solid grappling marks the beginning of this match, as Savoy cockily dabs during some of her holds during this match of The Summit. Despite the cockiness, she gets the better of a lot of the early exchanges. The commentary makes a clever nod to Matthews’ current status as being barred from the US by quoting her plans for if she becomes champion. Matthews will defend the championship everywhere except the Berwyn Eagles Club because those fans “don’t deserve” to see the title defended anymore.

Photo / RiSE

Matthews takes control through the middle of the match, working over Savoy with methodical precision. Savoy and Matthews eventually spill out to the floor, and Savoy gets back into things with a running leg lariat into the chairs. Savoy avoids a brainbuster onto the ring apron and hits a huge suicide dive into the chairs. Big strikes from both women follow a double down, and Matthews can’t close the deal.

The final act of the match sees a lot of back and forth as Matthews cannot figure out how to put Savoy away. Savoy hits a butterfly superplex for two, and suddenly she is the one unable to believe she can’t get the three. She kicks out of a brainbuster at 2.99, then out of a brainbuster and the Vancouver Maneuver. Matthews has no idea what to do as the crowd chants “You can’t beat her.” Savoy manages to catch Matthews with the SavoLock for the submission victory.

Aerial Monroe comes out after the match, and #SwoleFamily celebrate together as champions.

This match is also fantastic, almost as good as the one preceding it.

Final thoughts

The Summit was the biggest independent show of Summerslam weekend, and it turned out two of the best matches of the weekend. I would say you can put Martinez/Grace right up against Shirai/LeRae for overall match of the weekend. As a whole, it came together rather well and did a great job of creating a North American equivalent to the old AJW Dream Slam shows. We need more of this in women’s independent wrestling, and I hope The Summit can become an annual event held every Summerslam weekend.