We’re in the calm before the storm that is SHIMMER Weekend, and in a slightly surprising move, the SHIMMER Office have released the entire card for the first of the four tapings this weekend ahead of time – adding a bunch of intriguing new matchups to the three already announced a couple of days ago. Therefore, in a few short hours, SHIMMER Vol 54 will feature the following matches.
• SHIMMER Championship: Cheerleader Melissa vs Mercedes Martinez
First ever two time SHIMMER Champion Cheerleader Melissa makes her first defence of her second reign (a week after winning it in the Steel Cage) against “The Latina Sensation” Mercedes Martinez, who last weekend defeated Ayumi Kurihara in Ayumi’s last US match before retirement. A battle between two SHIMMER originals who were part of Volume 1 back in 2005, but have only fought once in SHIMMER competition – when Martinez beat Melissa on Vol 19 in July 2008. Will we get the same result today?
• SHIMMER Tag Team Championships: Canadian NINJAs (Portia Perez & Nicole Matthews) (c) vs Global Green Gangsters (Kellie Skater & Tomoka Nakagawa)
During last weekend’s Vol 53 iPPV, it looked like 3G were on course to possibly upset the Canadian NINJAs and walk away as the new SHIMMER Tag Team Champions – however, communication issues (or possibly philosophical differences) between Skater & Nakagawa resulted in Nicole Matthews taking advantage of the situation, spitting water in Skater’s face and Perez rolling up Skater with a handful of tights. A week later, will history repeat itself, and will confirmed friends Skater & Nakagawa be on the same page?
• Grudge Match: Serena Deeb vs Jessicka Havok
Jessicka Havok shocked the wrestling world at Vol 53, intruding on Serena Deeb’s return interview segment and kickstarting a grudge that saw Havok’s SHIMMER debut last weekend, teaming with Nevaeh & Sassy Stephie to face Deeb and Regeneration X in an impromptu challenge. The six woman match saw Deeb victorious after hitting the Spear on Neveah, only to see Havok lay Deeb out after the match. Seven days later, the two collide.
• Top Contenders Four Way Survival: Saraya Knight vs Madison Eagles vs Courtney Rush vs Athena
Although it’s not outright spelled out, there’s an excellent chance that this four way will see the winner getting a SHIMMER Title shot at Vol 55 later today – and it’s an intriguing match featuring two veteran matriarchs of their respective scenes who have both held SHIMMER gold and two fast rising possible future SHIMMER Champions. England’s Saraya Knight & Australia’s Madison Eagles are almost mirror images of each other from different sides of the globe – both are responsible for training a lot of future talent from their respective areas, both are married into the business and promote wrestling shows in their territories as their family business (including specific offshoot women’s promotions – Bellatrix & PWWA respectively), both have come back from believed career ending knee injuries in the past and both have won SHIMMER gold. Meanwhile, Ontario’s Courtney Rush is in the middle of a singles resurgence after her Death Rush tag team was forcibly torn asunder last Summer, capturing two singles titles in the last few weeks (including the World Title of Saraya’s own Bellatrix promotion), while the “Wrestling Goddess” Athena is coming off a career high win over Ayako Hamada last weekend at Vol 53. Plenty of potential options coming out of this one.
• Jessie McKay vs Kana
Jessie McKay’s return to SHIMMER for the Spring tapings this year (after missing last Fall’s taping block) and Kana being thrust back into the singles ranks due to LuFisto’s unfortunate injury last weekend has thrown up this intriguing matchup. It’s a first time match for SHIMMER, although the two did meet once before in Chikara in 2011 (Whet your appetite with a clip from Chikara’s Podcast-A-Go-Go)
• MsChif vs Rhia O’Reilly
Back at Vol 52 last Fall, Ireland’s Rhia O’Reilly found herself involved in the main event match – not as a participant, but as one of Saraya Knight’s insurance policies to make sure she kept her title against Cheerleader Melissa – and in fact it was O’Reilly’s throwing in of the title belt which proved the difference maker on the night. Coming out to try and run off O’Reilly was Melissa’s sometime tag team partner MsChif – and with MsChif not being on Vol 53 last weekend, O’Reilly & ‘Chif will now finally meet in singles competition in an actual sanctioned match
• Ayako Hamada vs Melanie Cruise
Melanie Cruise had a very strong couple of days last October here in Berwyn, and she’s been rewarded with the chance of a lifetime here – taking on our 2012 Wrestler of the Year Ayako Hamada. Hamada will be looking to get back on the winning track after losing to Athena last weekend.
• Regeneration X (Allison Danger & Leva Bates) vs Veda Scott & Shazza McKenzie
The first match of Allison Danger’s retirement countdown this weekend sees the team of Regeneration X take on the team of Veda Scott & Shazza McKenzie in what looks likely to be a good natured, competitive battle between two of SHIMMER’s most popular teams.
• Kalamity vs Yuu Yamagata
Two of the competitors in Vol 53’s “five way” match spin off into a singles match – and that’s likely to be a much better showcase for both. Quebec’s own Kalamity has always impressed against joshi talent, with great matches in the past against Tomoka Nakagawa (Vol 44), Ayako Hamada (Vol 49), and not to mention tangling with Ayumi Kurihara & Kana in tag matches. Pro-Wrestling WAVE’s Yamagata will be looking to impress in her Berwyn debut.
• Evie vs Kimber Lee
Speaking of Berwyn debuts, here are two *highly* touted young wrestlers who both made their SHIMMER debuts last weekend at Vol 53 and will be taking their first bow at SHIMMER’s home venue this afternoon. Evie comes to us from New Zealand, where she’s been turning heads in PWWA especially, while Kimber Lee has been impressing everybody with her work in AIW, WSU, CZW and more. Both will be looking to get their SHIMMER careers kickstarted with a win here.
• Santana Garrett vs Miss Natural
Santana was an undisputed undercard hit last October at SHIMMER, showing a combination of charisma, good looks, athleticism and potential – something she’s been building on in SHINE in Florida too. Miss Natural made her SHIMMER return last Fall, going 3-1 across the weekend and impressing a lot of people (only losing to current SHIMMER Champion Cheerleader Melissa). This will be a big chance to climb the ladder for either woman.
In addition, scheduled for SHIMMER action this weekend but not taking part in Vol 54 include Made In Sin (Allysin Kay & Taylor Made), Sassy Stephie, Christina Von Eerie and more, while the current SPARKLE (pre-show) lineup across the two days includes the returning SPARKLERS Thunderkitty, Heidi Lovelace, Angelus Layne, Pink Flash Kira and Angie Skye along with debuts for Marti Belle, Xandra Bale & Leah Von Dutch.
As far as website coverage is concerned – both Lee & myself are here all weekend to attend all the shows. We’ll be uploading complete results from the tapings at the conclusion of each Volume. We’ll then update with thoughts, opinions and photographs at some point thereafter. Bear with us – these weekends are both great *and* hectic – but we still aim to bring you the best coverage of the weekend we possibly can.
— Stew Allen