The MiC's WSU: Vastly Underrated Yet Influential
Photo Credit: ProWrestling.Wikia.com
I think I’ve waited long enough to write this piece. This has been something I’ve wanted to write about for a long time, but reasons unbeknownst to myself, I just never did. Now that I’m pretty much as outside of pro wrestling as I’ll ever be right now, I think it’s as good a time as ever to do this.
My time in Women Superstars Uncensored might be the most fun I’ve ever had in wrestling.
WSU was a company that has never gotten the love it ever truly deserved when it comes to how women’s wrestling has been presented. Starting out of the ashes in 2007 of a failed wrestling company called WRESTLING Superstars Uncensored, WSU became a revolutionary company that hit the iPPV market hard, redefined characters and storytelling within the realm of a “niche” market, and really was the forefather (or foremother, technically. Not funny, I know) of what you see on mainstream TV wrestling today.
I know a lot of people credit SHIMMER as the definitive and premier women’s wrestling company in the United States, and they deserve its due, but WSU wasn’t just WRESTLING: it was a well-rounded company with stories and performers. A lot of that credit has to obviously go to WSU promoter and owner Sean “the MiC” McCaffrey.
The MiC is a virtual legend inside the world of independent wrestling. Cutting his teeth under the tutelage of Frank Goodman in New York and creator of the mid-2000 indie wrestling version of TMZ, the Declaration of Independents, McCaffrey helped shape the way women’s wrestling was looked at in the Northeast. Probably the greatest beer drinker I have ever or will ever see, the tattooed blue-collar MiC was blunt, honest to a fault, and politically incorrect. Yet, he was fair, kind, and had a great mind for wrestling.
WSU grew into a respected company in New York and New Jersey. Whether in Lake Hiawatha, the ACE Arena in Union City, the NYWC Sportatorium in Long Island, or various other spot shows throughout the area, WSU had a very loyal fan base that followed them everywhere. In the days where the DVD market was dying, WSU consistently sold a plethora amount of discs at live events and online. Since there were no free matches given away on YouTube, WSU matches came off as special and something you HAD to see. Even before shows, there were little fan fests in which fans came to meet and greet with the WSU roster.
From starting as an iPPV cameraman in 2010 to becoming the play-by-play man in 2011, while following the promotion through results and word-of-mouth on forums, WSU was a place to be. Until the MiC sold the company to Drew Cordeiro and Beyond Wrestling in June 2012 (another long-winded story for another day), I genuinely always had a vibe that something special would happen at every WSU event. Commentating either solo or with Cindy Rogers as my commentary partner always was a blast to do. It was an absolute fun experience from my end.
Naturally, the phenomenal talent that performed in the ring trumped all of that. The best women wrestlers from the Northeast and throughout the United States came to ply their trade there. From “Prime Time” Amy Lee, Mercedes Martinez, and Alicia down to Jessicka Havok, Lexxus, and Brittney Savage, characters and performers became well-versed, multi-layered competitors inside and outside the ring. WSU wrestlers had the opportunity and forum to grow and develop ideas, whether creatively or with themselves inside the ring. Personally, I have not seen a company utilize the ability for creative freedom before or after WSU under the reign of the MiC.
Of course, this being the Professional 3, I want to really illustrate three points about WSU that made it stand out above all else to me as it came to a performer within the company.
MERCEDES MARTINEZ’S 1092 DAY REIGN AS WSU CHAMPION – The prestige of the WSU championship really became something to behold when Mercedes Martinez won the belt. From March 7, 2009 to March 3, 2012, “the Latina Sensation” literally held WSU on her back with her incredible championship reign. Winning it at the 2nd Anniversary Show in a bull-rope match against Angel Orsini, Martinez took the championship and defended it against a WHO’S WHO of opponents and in different types of matches. Multiple triple-threat matches, five-ways, Winner Takes All Ladder matches, Uncensored Rules, I Quit matches, and so on and so on. She took the championship to ACE, EVOLVE, ICW in New York, NYWC, and NWS and successfully defended the belt. She made history TWICE by wrestling and defeating Orsini in a 70-minute match on June 6, 2009 and then trumped it by going 73 MINUTES with Lexxus on August 6, 2011! Jazz, Rain, Alicia, Brittney Savage, Nikki Roxx, Angelina Love, Awesome Kong, Sumie Sakai, and Serena Deeb were among the list of victims Martinez put down as champion. A near three-year reign as champion, Martinez survived all the odds until losing it against Jessicka Havok at the 5th Anniversary Show. The credit to WSU management combined with Martinez’s charisma and undeniable talent made for a very special title reign that should be remembered for years to come.
DEVELOPING THE NEXT GENERATION – As you look at the talent that have walked through a WSU locker room, there were a group of women that had immense potential. Combine the MiC and the talent formulating opportunities to extenuate the positives, you have a hungry locker room. Going as far back as seeing Alexa Thatcher and Miss April in the early days, the future was then. Thatcher went on to perform in ROH several times, while Miss April became AJ Lee and set the WWE on fire with reckless abandon, firmly placing the building blocks together for the “divas revolution” in the early 2010s that would ultimately formulate this year.
So on and so on, my era of WSU had some real stars that came together. If it wasn’t for WSU and the creation of the Midwest Militia, Jessicka Havok and Allysin Kay (Sienna in TNA) don’t get the first step of indie fan recognition and develop into the stars they are now. If not for the Belle Saints tag team alongside Tina San Antonio, Marti Belle doesn’t go and maximize her opportunities to become an extremely popular talent she is now.
On top of which, prior to the sale, some real talent were in the midst of being developed as the next generation of the company. Jennifer Cruz was the most hated woman in the company. Niya Barela was gaining popularity for her hard work and determination inside the ropes. Nikki Addams was just completing her rookie year in the industry and was finding herself in the ring. And needless to say, Lexxus was WELL on her way to becoming the next torch bearer of WSU. If the company was not sold, in my opinion, the MiC had himself quite the future to build upon with the next generation of the company.
HISTORY – Within a 5 year span, WSU made a lot of memorable moments within the realm of pro wrestling. As I alluded to earlier, Mercedes Martinez and Lexxus had the longest women’s match in history, going 73 minutes on August 6, 2011 in the ACE Arena in Union City, NJ. At Breaking Barriers II on November 19, 2011, Martinez, Alicia, and Brittney Savage faced the Midwest Militia in the first ever Woman’s War Games match. Martinez and Havok even had the first ever casket match in women’s wrestling on Uncensored Rumble V, the final MiC owned WSU show. Combine the various Uncensored Rules matches and all other shenanigans that have happened over the years, WSU relished in making history.
Even with championships, they relished in the prestige of the “triple crown”, which was holding the WSU World, Spirit, and Tag Team Championships at some point during their WSU careers. Alicia and Jessicka Havok are the only two ladies to hold all 3 belts.
Yet, they’ve also respected history. Starting in 2009, WSU installed the WSU Hall of Fame, respected women wrestlers that have come before the current generation. Here is a list of the current inductees of the WSU Hall (credit Wikipedia and not my fuzzy memory).
Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org
The one name on there that will always strike me odd forever is DIXIE CARTER. I will never forget the MiC asking me to induct her into the WSU Hall with a speech on March 3, 2012. It was the oddest thing. We all knew she wouldn’t be there and I had the dubious duty of trying to write a speech to induct her. With an obvious tough task ahead, I remember writing it and making it as strong as possible. I genuinely believe that the entire roster was stunned on HOW strong it was, to the point to where Mercedes actually told me, “You made her sound stronger than she deserved.” Regardless, that might be an odd piece of history, but history none the less.
I’ve always felt like I wanted to write this piece. Although Cordeiro ultimately sold the company to DJ Hyde of CZW, Women Superstars Uncensored will always be linked to the MiC, Rob Sternberg, and the phenomenal talent roster that wrestled in his locker rooms from 2007-2012. There will never be another time like it and it truly harnessed the greatness of what women’s wrestling could be, if treated with respect, prestige, and consistent development of new talent to the forefront.
Thank you MiC for bringing me in and for the most fun I’ve had in wrestling. It might have been for a little over a year, but it truly was a great thriving time for women’s wrestling and for what could be. Also, thanks for the Corona in Long Island, that one time.
WSU footage IS available out there with a Subscription to CZW Studios.