Last night, the hundred or so fans in Marshalltown, Iowa, were witnesses to wrestling magic. Three women, a veteran and two newcomers, put on, not only one of the best women’s matches I’ve ever seen, they put on one of the best wrestling matches I’ve ever seen in my thirty-plus years watching the sport.
Freshly minted IPW Women’s champion Miss Frankie Jay, Sierra Avery and “The Queen B” Brooke Valentine took the audience on an emotional ride in a falls count anywhere, three way title match. With a thin women’s roster, you sometimes think “eh, I’ve seen this before, they’ll do this spot, this spot, etc.” Nope, not last night. These three tore the house down and came out working like they had something to prove…..well, they proved it.
Fans assumed that Frankie Jay would be at the disadvantage, with Avery and Valentine both being fan favorites and not having to be pinned to lose her title. However, as soon as the bell rang, Avery showed a mean streak, attacking Valentine from behind and she and Jay took the two on one advantage, hoping to take the powerhouse out of the match early. Things were going to plan, until Avery attempted to pin Valentine, angering the champion.
The action soon spilled to the outside, with the combatants hitting each other with a variety of slams, punches and taking turns throwing each other into the convention center wall. That was enough to get the first “this is awesome” chant of the night as the packed house was on their feet and completely into the match.
This was one of the featured title matches on the card, but it was obvious some of the crowd was in shock at the athleticism of the competitors, they certainly weren’t expecting to see these three fighting on the outside, but absolutely no one in attendance was expecting when Avery threw caution to the wind and dove from the top turnbuckle to Jay and Valentine, standing on the outside. Now, the chants were what they should have been, “Women’s Wrestling……WOMEN’S WRESTLING!!”
Let’s put this in perspective, last night’s venue had ten foot ceilings, they were in a ring they weren’t used to and they weren’t in a “marquee” town. It didn’t’ matter, you have these three taking slams on the concrete, falls over the top rope and a dive from the top to the outside, just to name a few highlights. It seemed from the start that these women had something to prove and prove it they did.
As you’d expect from the veteran, Frankie Jay found a way to retain her title, leaving Valentine and Avery, heartbroken in the middle of the ring. Well, their characters were heartbroken, but they all had to be beaming with pride on the inside. This was as close to a perfect match and a perfect story as you can get in independent wrestling, women’s wrestling, professional wrestling, and one I’ll never forget.
By Chris Manning