To The Victor Goes The Spoils: A Review Of The Gold Rush Lady Luck Tournament


Cheerleader Melissa, the very first Lady Luck Champ, is no stranger to gold.

In today’s wrestling world, misogyny is the biggest mistake to make since Greg Valentine’s disparaging remarks towards women’s wrestling. And now, with women’s wrestling being placed on notice, the entire world supports women’s wrestling and denouncing Mr. Valentine’s words. And with Gold Rush Pro Wrestling’s Lady Luck Tournament, the women of independent wrestling will more likely take the words of “The Hammer” and shove it down his throat. With a card featuring talented names like Cheerleader Melissa, Nicole Savoy, Thunder Rosa, Brittany Wonder and many others, it is bound to have a winner at the end of it all.


The first match of the night features former Tough Enough participant Shotzi Blackheart and a student of current EVOLVE Champion Timothy Thatcher, Brittany Wonder. Back and forth action from these ladies, but this got ugly when Shotzi tried to distract Brittany with her bear, but that backfired when Brittany Wonder delivered her finisher while Shotzi was down. Brittany Wonder is the winner of the first round.

Physicality (And Brutality) at its finest.

Physicality (And Brutality) at its finest.

Second match of the night featured Lisa Lace and traveled veteran of women’s wrestling Kikyo Nakamura. The two started getting real physical from the start, but this match was all Nakamura’s to win and Lisa Lace’s to lose. Nakamura will do anything to win this match, even if a few rules needed to be bent a bit. Physicality is Nakamura’s gameplan for this match, not allowing the young Lace any openings. But with a few moments of momentum from Lace in the 5-minute mark, but Nakamura put a stop to the momentum. With a Spinning Pumphandle Powerbomb to her victim, Kikyo Nakamura advances to round 2. But with a brawl at the end of the match between Lisa Lace and Kikyo Nakamura, there’s a lot of bad blood between these two.


The third match featured Datura and Thunder Rosa, featured two very distinctive styles. While Datura is a luchadora through and through, Thunder Rosa is also, but with a few moves she picked up from Japan. While I have to say that Rosa tends to showboat a bit, that won’t cut it against some real stiff competition. These ladies went back and forth with high risk moves and high impact maneuvers that will give anybody their money’s worth. At the end of it all, Thunder Rosa picks up the pin and win, which means she moves on to the next round.


Next came a rematch from the April AWS/QPW Show in April between Nicole Savoy and SHIMMER Icon Cheerleader Melissa. While Nicole has the advantage in youth and speed, Melissa has the ultimate advantage when it comes to experience and her moveset is a whole lot better. While technical for the first part of the match, it has gotten physical in the later stages of the match. But at the end, it was Cheerleader Melissa that got the win via the Avalanche Samoan Drop.

In the first match of round 2, we see Thunder Rosa take on Kikyo Nakamura one on one. While the two have different styles, but Kikyo deserves the advantage when it comes to power. Kikyo’s power might have been the biggest advantage, but it might be a bigger downfall. In the end, it was Thunder Rosa that got the win via countout, with a little help from Lisa Lace, who distracted Kikyo by taking a stop sign from her, which she was planning on beating Rosa with it. This west coast rivalry between these two ladies is at a fever pitch, so its more than likely that these two will be in the same ring again.

On deck was Brittany Wonder and Cheerleader Melissa, winners of their round 1 matches. While Brittany has a lot of promise in the future, but Melissa is a first class talent all the way. While the physicality of this match is somewhat gotten to an extreme point. But once the Air Raid Crash is delivered, it’s game over. Cheerleader Melissa moves on to the finals, where she’ll face Thunder Rosa in a clash of the STARDOM stars.

I don't know about any of you folks, but this was my match of the night selection.

I don’t know about any of you folks, but this was my match of the night selection.

And finally, it’s the battle the SHIMMER stars, Thunder Rosa and Cheerleader Melissa. A member of Odeo Tai vs. ½ of the California Dolls 2.0. In their first ever one on one encounter these two have unique styles all their own, but when it comes right down to it, the aggression will come into play. Rosa brings agility to the table, but Melissa brings experience and strength to the mix. Back and forth these ladies go looking to get the momentum and the win, move after move looking to get a victory. In the end, the winner of the Lady Luck tournament happens to be Cheerleader Melissa, no stranger to tournament matches herself as she picks up the 1-2-3 to get her first championship in 2015.

In the end, the Cheerleader was the only one left standing.

In the end, the Cheerleader was the only one left standing.

Although I’m impressed with the quality of the matches that Gold Rush has given us, and  the fact that they livestreamed it for us to enjoy their product without giving thought of the Greg Valentine opinion is a plus in my book. I think it’s an amazing opportunity for women’s wrestling to stand out and showcase their talent during a time a revolution is happening. Women do have a place in wrestling and this event proved it. While it may be a unpopular opinion on many levels, but I believe Cheerleader Melissa vs. Thunder Rosa is my favorite match of the night, considering the fact they wrestled overseas with STARDOM. Tremendous showing from both ladies, and safe to say, an epic encounter if there ever was one. I have been doing wrestling journalism for three years dating back to the Blogspot days, but when it comes to wrestling like this, it makes us believe that women’s wrestling matters everywhere.

While the tournament proved to us women’s wrestling fans that even though what Greg Valentine said is vile, these ladies made him eat his words. I’m proud of all the ladies in the ring who participated in this event, especially Thunder Rosa, Cheerleader Melissa, Brittany Wonder and Nicole Savoy; for telling Greg Valentine to shove it. Women’s wrestling matters, and I’m extremely proud to support it no matter what. And to those who continue to defend it, and to those who perform at their best like Rosa, Melissa, Nicole and so many others; Thank you. Thank you for reminding me why I love wrestling. Thank you for showing us why Greg Valentine’s words do not matter in today’s wrestling world. And thank you for showcasing your athletic talent in the ring. Women’s wrestling isn’t about the looks, it’s about the athleticism, case closed.

Women wrestlers do have a place in wrestling after all.

To catch this event and other matches from Gold Rush Pro Wrestling, check out their YouTube Channel. Be sure to check them out on Facebook ant Twitter.

Photo credits: Abela Photography and John Williams Photography

You can follow me on Twitter @matthewhollie as well as The Barbwire Blog’s official accounts:
Twitter: @BarbwireBlog
Instagram: @barbwireblog


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