Last month at WWN Battle of the Belts, Natalia Markova won the Shine championship. But, it appears as though Ivelisse did not want to lose clean to put over the rising star Natalia. After a great back and forth match, Ivelisse kicked out of Natalia’s finisher awkwardly. A few moments later Natalia got the three count after a simple DDT. Natalia remained in character to give the appearance that everything went according to plan. However, Ivelisse made no attempt to hide that she was legitimately upset. She attacked the ref and then grabbed the belt from Natalia’s hands. Only after a bow and show of respect from Natalia did Ivelisse hand it back to her. It appeared to many onlookers as if this match was supposed to end differently. It looked like Ivelisse went into business for herself to make it look like some sort of screw job.
So now let’s fast forward to Shine 70, the rematch between Ivelisse and Natalia Markova. The Russian Crush is now an even bigger star, having debuted for the NWA and is making a name for herself as a featured performance in many promotions. The match itself was great, at one point the crowd was shouting, “this is awesome” and I couldn’t help but agree. The end, however, left a bad taste in my mouth. The referee was distracted and Ivelisse hit Natalia with brass knuckles and became the champion once more.
While this is typical heel behavior, it makes zero sense from a booking standpoint to have Natalia win the title, only to lose it again the very next match. It makes the championship less prestigious, and it makes the promotion look disorganized. It also gives credibility to the rumors and the less than flattering words said about Ivelisse on the dirt sheets.
At some point backstage between Ivelisse and the bookers, they decided to hand the title back to her. But in this writer's opinion, this was the wrong call. WWN SHINE was very disrespectful to a woman who always carries herself with the utmost class and always gives 100 percent every time she performs. When SHINE handed that belt back to Ivelisse they essentially said “we don’t believe in you Natalia“ and for that, shame on you WWN Shine.
This “win” for Ivelisse was selfish, and did not consider the long term implications. Ivelisse has hit her ceiling as a performer. She burned her bridges with both AEW and WWE due to rumors of her selfishness. Natalia Markova’s star potential is limitless, and she will easily move past this incident. Each passing day more people will know the name Natalia Markova, and she will continue to collect championships, earn prestige, and gain traction as a major player in this industry.