A name that is everywhere now is Masha Slamovich. The first time I saw her when she was announced for Camp Leapfrog's match at Fight Forever, and was billed as returning from Japan. I hadn't gotten into the indie scene until she was stuck in Japan, but I wish I had seen here sooner. Ever since returning she has truly become a standout in every company she steps foot in. When looking at Masha's career we're going to look at Slamovich version 1, 2, and version 3. So let's get started.
We're going to be looking first at version 1, from Masha's debut until January 2020. In this time she started wrestling in 2016 before missing 2017 and returning in 2018. This is when she truly came into her own, defining Nickel City Wrestling's Women's Division with a dominant championship reign. In 2018 she won the VPW Women's Championship, defeating Kris Statlander for the title. She spent much of 2019 all over the country everywhere from Limitless to Beyond and WWR to VXS to WOW to Impact. We'll talk a lot about her NCW Women's Title reign in particular when we get to the top ten, but she won the belt after attacking first champion Corrine Mink. Even in this first part of her career, she had that vicious streak. Then she was scheduled to go to Japan.
Masha had her first match in Japan in February 2020, and I don't need to tell you all what was about to happen. I've included Masha's interview with IWTV's Sam Laterna about being the last foreign wrestler on excursion in Japan, because she would be there almost a year. She was actively wrestling that whole time though, in companies like Marvelous, Ice Ribbon, Heat Up, Assemble, WAVE, and Sendai Girls. With that much experience her year abroad was definitely not wasted. It's so hard to imagine what that must have been like, but considering all she did in that time, it's clear she made the most of her situation. Although she was off of our screens for a year, she was getting better and constantly training. This is what I call Masha version 2: the last American fighting her way through the Japanese roster in any company that would let her. Finally though, like I said, Camp Leapfrog welcomed her home.
Beginning with that amazingly large 18 person match at Fight Forever, she has carved a new path as the scary dominant force that everyone must face. She's fought the likes of Willow Nightingale, Deonna Purrazo, Allysin Kay, and of course, the women we will see on this list. This is Masha version 3, the returning monster that even when she loses will leave devastation in her wake. It's impossible not to get excited everytime Masha is announced for a match, and Slamovich always delivers. She's had an amazing first half of 2021, including becoming GSW Soul of Syndicate Champion. I can only imagine what we'll see in the back half of the year. Until then, here are my picks for Masha Slamovich's best matches.
#10:Max the Impaler vs Megan Meyers vs Masha Slamovich
We're going to see a lot of Nickel City Wrestling on this list, because Masha's time there really seems like a hidden gem. despite being short, this match is so freaking cool because it's a triple threat elimination casket match. Max the Impaler is becoming well known for her work in ROH and other places, but Megan Meyers is someone I had never seen before this list. Watching this match you get to see Masha Slamovich version one, and even then we have some brutal hardcore wrestling. People getting choked with ropes, the nature of a casket match itself, and although Masha isn't bleeding here, it's easy to see where her career is going. The match tells a great story as well by nature of being an elimination match. Max takes out Megan first, and that establishes her as the dominant threat. When Masha first gets near the casket, it looks like Max is going to throw her in. Masha ultimately needs a crutch to win the match(like a literal physical crutch) and get the lid shut. Max puts up a great fight, and there's a reason she's everywhere now. Masha definitely showed she's a dominant champion in this match though, and certainly deserved the win. This is just one of Masha's many title matches for NCW that's on this list, but I think it's a great first look at her.
#9:Masha Slamovich vs Vert Vixen
I love New Texas, so I was happy to see this match when researching Masha. It's not a hardcore match, but we still get people thrown into chairs, the floor, fans, you name it. The first few minutes of the match barely have any wrestling in the ring, and for much of that out of the ring action Vert is in control. Masha finally is able to swing momentum back her way with a powerbomb onto the apron. Both women wrestle quite well, and absolutely kill it. Vert is almost a mirror image of Masha in terms of aggression, and I wasn't expecting this to be such a similar matchup. Masha's last name is SLAMovich for a reason, and as strong as other moves are here, her actual slams are just so impressive. Masha hits a beautiful piledriver that I thought would be the end, but soon after locks in a submission, and holds the move after she taps. It's a great match indeed.
#8:Masha Slamovich vs Holidead
this is the second match the two have had for Hybrid Wrestling, and I think they're certainly destined for a third. While the first match ended in a clean win for Holidead, this one went to a double knock out after both women went off the top rope through a door that had a trashcan on it. For over 20 minutes these two beat the absolute hell out of each other, and it was probably match of the show. I say that even though this show had the Mance Warner vs One Called Manders match I talked about in the Manders list. This match had the crowd eating out of their hands with every nearfall. Masha channels Mad Man Pondo coming out with a stop sign, and the moment you see that sign you know this match is going to be crazy. They brawl all over the arena, and wreck multiple rows of chairs. It's a very bitter war that also has some brutal submissions locked in. Similar to what I said with Megan Meyers, Masha's perfect opponent is someone who is also an absolute maniac in the ring: the kind of person who will hit her with a kendo stick while she's in a trash can. You must see this match, and like I said, hopefully we get one more.
#7:Masha Slamovich vs Edith Surreal
Everyone I present to you the Soviet Deathmatch. Taking place at Frogsport for Camp Leapfrog, this match is just so cool. First of all, it's kind of a cinematic match in that it is presented as being broadcast in the 80's from the Soviet Union. Second, it takes place in the snow, and a snowy deathmatch is just such a cool visual. Third, the behind the scenes of this match was documented in The Life of Edith Surreal on IWTV. Considering this match took place at Camp Leapfrog, I don't think people were expecting the gory spectacle that we got. It was absolutely brutal, and as I said, the snow just made the whole thing worse as someone could easily slip. I said before that Masha is often set up like a sort of final boss for the hero to triumph over, and Edith really had to give it her all in this match. I'm fairly shocked that Edith did win, but she certainly earned it. If you watch The Life of Edith Surreal, you will see people from Camp Leapfrog calling it the company's greatest match, and it would be hard for me to disagree. A must see match that I hope we get another one of. Give me more Soviet Deathmatches!
#6:Masha Slamovich vs Kimber Lee
This match may be the most recent, but it had to be on this list. Masha may have come up short, but the fact that she fought in only the second all women match in Pitfighter says something. Kimber Lee fought in the first one against Sadika, but the match went to a no contest when both women ran off into the back in the middle of the match. This match got absolutely brutal, and one point Lee literally choked Masha with a steel chair. Masha has been in a lot of these big deathmatch and No DQ matches that she has just barely lost, but she has an uncanny ability to look dominant in defeat. When someone beats Masha it doesn't look like they won, it looks like they survived. After getting her face grated on the cage wall, Lee is wearing quite the bit of the crimson mask. both women end up bloody, and on a show with deathmatch classics like John Wayne Murdoch vs Akira, these women were able to bring the blood and gore just as much as anyone else. This was Masha's ICW debut, and I hope we see her again and again and again. Many of you know it's one of my favorite deathmatch companies, and Masha fits in perfectly. At one point she puts Kimber up on her shoulder and slams her through the door in a particularly nasty spot. Kimber just barely squeaks out the win, but Masha put on an amazing performance here.
#5:Masha Slamovich vs Janai Kai
So yes, Masha does lose here, but she had to win two matches just to get to this point. I actually suggest watching the entire Shoot to Thrill show from Combat Fights Unlimited. Being shoot style the matches are fairly short and seeing how both women got to the finals is worth it. Masha beat both her opponents pretty quickly: both under five minutes even. Janai had a bit of a harder time getting to the finals, as her semifinal match with Jordan Blade was the only one to go into the third round. This match, like the superfight before it between Edith Surreal and Allysin Kay, was five rounds of three minutes each. I really thought this match would go to the decision, but the match ended in the fifth round. Masha never relents in this match, and is very much a charging bull that Kai has to work around. This balance is executed perfectly and the entire match feels like either woman could win in a split second. It uses the rounds structure very well, similar to how good some of A-Kid's British rounds matches have been, and really plays with how the last few seconds of a match play out. Ultimately, Janai hits a gorgeous kick that sends Masha down for the knockout win, but both women put on a great match that will surely be on every highlight reel this company puts together for a long time to come.
#4:Masha Slamovich and Meiko Satomura vs KAORU and Ryo Mizunami
Coming to us from Sendai Girls, I had to include something from Masha's extended time in Japan. I couldn't think of a better representation than her teaming with Meiko Satomura, which has to be seen as a seal of approval. Masha even starts the match, and it's great to see her take on the Gaijin monster role that so many before her have. To see her as the 2020 Vader or Stan Hansen absolutely decimating, but with enough respect of the crowd to be teaming with Meiko is just so wonderful. Masha takes literally twenty chops in a row at one point. Masha's opponents are quite good at tag moves which shows they have experience as a team, whereas this was Meiko and Masha's only time teaming together. When Meiko finally gets in the ring it's quite exciting, and you can tell the crowd is happy to see her. the match itself is great but really it's just so wonderful to see Masha and Meiko as a team here. Masha is definitely a rising star, and Meiko is an all time legend. So seeing the two in the ring together is really special. It's such a vote of confidence for Masha that she got to team with Meiko in Satomura's own company of all places. My opinion on who the next big women's wrestling stars will be really doesn't matter, but Meiko's on the other hand, is the biggest sign of respect. Towards the end of the match we finally see Meiko and Masha hitting tag team moves, which just makes me incredibly happy. This was a very special match and a great find.
#3:Masha Slamovich vs Megan Meyers
We talked about her back in #10, but once again we're taking a look at Megan Meyers, and her feud with Masha is fantastic. She starts the match with a very Wyattesque crab walk(I mean the crowd chants Yowie Wowie even) and I didn't know it until watching this match, but that's the perfect opponent for Masha. So often we see Masha as the heel against sweet as apple pie faces, but Masha as the heel against a creepy, sinister face works just so well. The fact that Meyers isn't getting the same national recognition as Slamovich is a travesty, and I encourage you to find some of her matches. This match is easily Masha's biggest threat to the title to date, and it shows Masha isn't just a weapons wrestler. This is a traditional wrestling match with all your normal rules, and she thrives. The two of them have a certain intensity to their matches where even simple moves like an arm drag look absolutely brutal. Similar to the kneeling cutter from Kennedi Copeland I mentioned, Megan hits a kneeling hurricarana that really got me thinking what a cool move that could be. Masha does ultimately pull out the win using a tote lid though, which sets up...
#2:Masha Slamovich vs Megan Meyers I Quit Match
Masha and Megan one more time. This time these two just beat the absolute hell out of each other. The noose rope from the casket match comes back into play in this one, and I am a sucker for when a feud has a recurring weapon. Megan grabs what looks like a piece of popcorn ceiling, and my friends, oh my friends, it is the best weapon shot you will ever see. Masha whips and chokes Megan with her belt first and hits a brutal submission. One thing you see in a lot of Slamovich matches is that Masha doesn't usually go for a straightforward submission: she finds some combination of two moves that makes both look more brutal. Megan finally breaks that ceiling board of some sort and it explodes. Like it goes flying in thirty different directions. If you've read my articles on some deathmatch wrestlers, then you know I love unique weapons, and this match sees a shutter being used of some kind. As the match wears on, it looks like any move could end the match, and the ref is constantly checking on both women as it feels like we are seconds away from it all being over. Masha is just a monster in this match, just bouncing a chair off Meyers's back. Slamovich begins losing her temper and just chokes Megan. Meyers is able to catch Slamovich off-guard when she grabs a pipe, and puts her in the tree of woe on the outside of the ring. Meyers begins just beating Meyers with any weapon she can find over her shin, until she is holding the pipe. Slamovich is helpless as Meyers has the pipe ready to swing. Meyers grins at the ref nodding for him to ask her, and Slamovich finally quits. Meyers absolutely earned this win, but it was a fantastic swan song for Masha's title reign.
#1: Masha Slamovich vs Kennedi Copeland
These two would have a rematch more recently in Limitless Wrestling, but this one is definitely the better of the two. I said you'd be seeing a lot of NCW on this list. The story here is fantastic. Masha lost to Corinne Mink in deciding the first NCW Women's champion. Masha attacked her and forced her to vacate the belt. Here, Masha gets her shot for that vacant title against Kennedi Copeland, and it seems attacking Mink paid off. At this point actually, Masha and Kennedi have had several matches, but this one is still the best. Masha was definitely the favorite coming into the match, as she had already challenged for the belt in that first match, but Copeland very much holds her own. Masha shows both her aggression and athleticism, hitting powerful strikes as well as a little handstand knee attack. This is the earliest Masha match on the list, but you still see all the signs of the Masha we know, including that arrogant streak. Kennedi is a very talented wrestler, and I am a big fan the kneeling cutter, for lack of a better word, that she hits towards the end that I thought would end the match. Ultimately though, Masha hits a disgustingly good powerbomb to win the title and start an incredible run of matches for a very good title.