Back in May, we looked at the Men's Super 8 tournament. The tournament has been going on longer than I've been alive. I said then that we would be looking at the Women's Super 8 when it was time, and that time is now; like, right now! The ECWA Women's Super 8 2021 airs July 31st at 2PM EST live on IWTV. So let's take a look at every Women's Super 8 up until this point, and then preview this year's show.
As we talked about last time, the East Coast Wrestling Association began holding the Super 8 tournament in 1997. That tournament has happened every year, uninterrupted. The history of the Women's tournament has been a little rockier. Like the men's, the show is a one night, 8 person, single elimination tournament, but it hasn't been as constant in its happening. The first show was in 2014, followed by 2015, 2016, and 2017. They missed the next year but returned in 2019. Of course, 2020 sucked, but they are back now! Originally though, it wasn't called the Women's Super 8. It was super 8 Chickfight. The shows were copromoted with Chickfight, who have since gone out of business. The 2019 tournament was the first to be held solely by ECWA, and as such, was just the Women's Super 8. Frankly, I'm a fan of the name change, as it gives a sense of parity, and shows that ECWA cares enough about its Women's division to hold a show for them on their own without any other company. As of now only five Women's Super 8s have happened, but we only have four winners. Deonna Purrazzo won back to back in 2015 and 2016, making her not only the only women to do that, but the only person ever out of the 30 total Super 8s. As I mentioned in the men's article, Christopher Daniels won twice, but not back to back. For the men's article I went over ten particular years of the tournament to check out, but with only five having happened so far, we're going to talk about all of them. Before we go any further, I just want to point out that all of the past tournaments are on IWTV except for some reason 2017. Odd omission, but we'll still talk about it. Much like the men's Super 8, the tournament is often based on who should be successful, rather than who is successful. While Tessa Blanchard and Deonna Purrazzo have gained much fame, Karen Q(also known as Mei Ying) and Quinn McKay have not become household names, but their work shows they very well could. That is what makes the Super 8 so special, as who wins is truly surprising every year. I genuinely have no idea who could win this year's tournament, but I'll give you my hopes at the end.
Some fantastic names in this first tournament which was also for the vacant ECWA Women's Championship. Besides eventual winner Tessa Blanchard we have Gabby Gilbert, Renee Michelle, Tina San Antonio, and unsung hero Jenny Rose. Rose is a huge part of the independent scene and has been for some years now. She still represents Ring Of Honor well, and came close to winning this show. These women knew they were setting the bar for what a Women's Super 8 would be like, and they set that bar high. A fun bonus about this show is that it's hosted by We talked in the men's article about Super 8 putting on one time only matchups, and this is the only time that either Tessa or Gabby faced Jenny Rose. It's a great start for the tournament.
Competitors: Tessa Blanchard, Jenny Rose, Gabby Gilbert, Renee Michelle, Annie Social, Candy Cartwright, Nikki Adam's, and Tina San Antonio
Deonna Purrrazzo, take one. This show did a great job showing a brand new group, as only Tessa returned. Blanchard made it to the finals, and I love when the former winner tries to repeat but gets stopped by the newcomer. We saw it happen in this year's Men's Super 8, and if Killian McMurray ends up anything like Purrazzo then he's set. Our semifinals get rounded out by the always good Brittany Blake, and Kennadi Brink, who you probably know as WWE referee Jessika Carr. One of my favorites, Terra Calaway, as well as Savannah Evans compete as well. The story here was a simple one: Blanchard wanted to repeat her win, and Purrazzo had something to prove. It's the kind of story that is so, so, simple, but it fits the tournament format so well. Tournaments only need but so much story; too much story and you drown the show in complicated plots. Anyone can follow this show, and it gives a great payoff, as well as sets up the next year's show.
Competitors: Deonna Purrazzo, Tessa Blanchard, Brittany Blake, Kennadi Brink, Savannah Evans, Terra Calaway, Miranda Vionette, and Daysia Danielle.
Deonna Purrazzo 2: Electric Boogaloo. This whole show is Purrazzo doing what Blanchard couldn't, and it's fantastic. Again, Purrazzo is the only returning wrestler from the last year. Again, she fights to the finals. Again, she faced some great names to get there. The only difference though, is that Purrazzo won. This show is just stacked, as you have both Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz four years before Fire N Flava, as well as Britt Baker, Karen Q, Faye Jackson, Maria Manic, and Aja Perera. Karen Q would go on to the finals, but it's not quite her year. This is somehow the only time that Purrazzo and Hogan have had a singles match, and it's definitely a shame because they work so well together. This is just a wonderful show start to finish, and like I said, is carried by a simple story told effectively.
Competitors: Deonna Purrazzo, Karen Q, Britt Baker, Kiera Hogan, Tasha Steelz, Faye Jackson, Maria Manic, and Aja Perera
The final Purrazzo tournament, and the one that seemed hers so many times. This is the only tournament to have a triple threat finals, although that wasn't the structure of the tournament. The semifinal of Karen Q and Santana Garrett went to a time limit draw, and as much as Deonna would have loved an automatic win I'm sure, the final became a triple threat. As I said though, Q and Garrett went to a time limit draw, so they were at a disadvantage based on time in the ring. Despite the odds being against her, Karen Q was able to get the win in most unpredictable tournament final of the Women's Super 8. Due to the format, we only have one semifinalist: Skylar, who recently returned to WWR+. Allie Recks has been very active in ROH as of late, while none of the others in the first round has competed this year, last wrestling in either 2020 or 2019. As mentioned in past years, the story here is great as the queen of Super 8 gets dethroned. For a bit it seemed like this would be the last Women's Super 8, and what a way to go out.
Competitors: Deonna Purrazzo, Karen Q, Santana Garrett, Skylar Marie, Allie Recks, Samantha Heights, Christina Marie, Kaitlin Diamond
Finally we reach the most recent tournament on the list. The only former competitor in this tournament is Nikki Addams. The title was on the line throughout the tournament, and in a move not common in tournaments, the belt changed hands every round. Scarlett Bordeaux won it from Miss Jasmine in the opening round but dropped it to Gabby Ortiz in the semifinals. It would have been more expected for her to retain the belt then, but ultimately lost the belt in the finals to Quinn McKay. That unpredictability makes for a great watch, as things are constantly changing. McKay beat Addams in the semifinals, getting the big win over the only tournament veteran. Like I said in the men's tournament, ECWA is often a few years ahead on talent, so we might start to see names like Gemma Cross soon, and Zoey Skye has been great to watch. The tournament was a great return for the show, and I'm glad to see a name win who isn't everywhere now.
Competitors: Zoey Skye, Gemma Cross, Quinn McKay, Miss Jasmine, Nikki Addams, Scarlett Bordeaux, Gabby Ortiz, and Sammi Pandora
And now we come to today. Gabby Ortiz and Tina San Antonio both have a second shot at winning the tournament, but they have six new competitors to contend with if they want to get the win. Ashley D'Amboise, Vicious Vicki, Megan Bane, Adena Steele, Erica Leigh and Damaris Dawkins all make their first appearance this year. Megan Bane is replacing Kaia McKenna, and that immediately makes her the favorite. Her entering the competition is a huge change for the tournament, and everyone should watch out. My personal pick for the tournament is Erica Leigh, because I gotta represent Virginia. She is actually great though, locality aside. It's great to see San Antonio returning this year, as ECWA does often use returning veterans to help establish new stars in this tournament. There's a few names I haven't seen yet, but I look forward to seeing the impression they make in this tournament. In addition to the tournament, there are a couple title matches, but the one I want to highlight is Wheeler Yuta defending the IWTV Championship against Killian McMurphy in the 99th defense of the belt. I mention this because McMurphy got this chance by winning the Men's Super 8. As a bit of a sneak peak, whoever wins this match faces Daniel Garcia on August 8th at IWTV 100. Next week I'll be doing an Indie Talent Showcase on the IWTV Championship ahead of that show!
So that's the Women's Super 8. It may have a smaller run, but it's been great so far, and I hope that after a couple of bumps it's back to being annual!