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June 16, 2013 / Bill Thompson

Candice LeRae vs. Cheerleader Melissa from Quintessential Pro Wrestling 2013

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Thoughts from Bill Thompson:

This was a few weak sequences away from being a serious match of the year contender. Near the end of the match there’s a Sunset Flip Powerbomb that Candice LeRae doesn’t execute properly, and then that is followed up by a miscommunication spot where LeRae is supposed to duck a Cheerleader Melissa Clothesline but instead they sort of stumble into one another. From that point on the match sputters a bit as Melissa tries to figure out a way to get back to the missed Clothesline spot as it was the set-up for the finishing stretch of the match. These are all bad moments in the match that do detract mightily from what is otherwise a really good bordering on great contest.

One of the main reasons I liked this match so much was because of the roles the two women chose to play. LeRae is much smaller than Melissa and the match plays to their respective physical statures. Too often Melissa’s Japanese output leaves me cold because she doesn’t play the monster to her much smaller counterparts. That’s not the case here as around the six to seven minute mark Melissa murders LeRae with a Shoulderblock and from there she bullies LeRae around the ring and acts every bit the monster that she can be. It really was a joy to watch two women slide so effortlessly into their roles. Melissa is convincing as the dominant monster, and LeRae is easily able to get the crowd behind her as the fighting from underneath sympathetic babyface.

The beginning of the match is pretty swell as well, and not what I was expecting in the least. They don’t get right into the monster versus prey story. Rather the beginning of the match is centered around Melissa and LeRae chain wrestling. It’s not just useless chain wrestling though. Melissa is nifty in the various ways she works over LeRae’s neck, really utilizing an Alligator Roll in the best possible way. LeRae counters with a simple Side Headlock, but she works it in and manages to find neat ways to apply the hold. All this matwork leads to the murderous Shoulderblock, and it’s a great moment where Melissa basically says fuck this mat shit, because she’s frustrated, and changes the course of the match by beating the tar out of LeRae.

The early matwork also plays into the finish. It does suck that they messed up the finish run on their first try, but they nail it really well once they actually get into it. LeRae’s Sunset Flip counter to a Melissa Kryptonie Krunch is well timed and a very believable nearfall. And Melissa going for the Kryptonite Krunch makes sense not just because it’s her main finisher, or because LeRae is smaller, but also because she spent so much time in the early matwork session working over LeRae’s neck. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a match where the beginning leads to the middle and ties into the end.

I’m still not super familiar with LeRae, but I did enjoy what I saw in this match. She’s not on Melissa’s level, who remains one of the best women workers in the world, but LeRae is really good at playing the sympathetic babyface and is very smart in how she plays said role. This match is just about the right time, and if not for the few flubs I mentioned earlier I was set and ready to label this as an easy match of the year and a match that people need to go out of their way to see. I’m not going to go that far, but Melissa and LeRae put on a really good wrestling match that would be fifteen minutes well spent for any professional wrestling fan.

Bill Thompson

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