There is a feeling of deja vu with this, considering the Rate Tank was also singled out for praise at this time last year too, but credit where credit is due – Kellie Skater has had a storming first six months of 2013.
As with in 2012, the Australian started her year in Japan restrengthening the ties which she had built during her first extended trip there, wrestling in both WAVE and Stardom, straddling the battle lines which exist between the two promotions – though it was in the latter promotion where she primarily competed during her visit, and also experienced new accomplishments…
The second night of Stardom’s New Year Stars show on January 14 saw a 4-team tournament to crown the first ever Artist Of Stardom (six woman) Champions, with Skater aligned with her Global Green Gangsters tag partner Tomoka Nakagawa and visiting Portia Perez under the banner of Team SHIMMER, with the trio defeating Io Shirai, Mayu Iwatani & Natsumi Showzuki to reach the championship decider. However, they ended up being beaten by the triumvirate of Act Yasukawa, Natsuki*Taiyo & Saki Kashima. A series of strong – yet usually unsuccessful – matches followed until her departure from Japan at the end of March, at which point she darted across the Pacific to Canada, where she would then spend a couple of weeks brightening up the life of many – including Courtney Rush, who openly admitted that she was in a funk about wrestling before the arrival of the Colossus of Bacchus Marsh.
A victory over Angie Skye at NCW Femmes Fatales XI saw Skater slip back into her babyface role which had started to bloom in the latter part of 2012 thanks to her standing up to – and taking the fight to – then-SHIMMER titleholder Saraya Knight as part of the main event of volume 51. That match saw the 25-year old blossom from being an amusing mid-card heel to someone who the fans had watched grow over the years to become more than a figure of fun. The deflation fans felt when she lost the match was indicative of how much people cared about her fortunes – and was a sign of things to come.
The four-way Tag Team Championship match at SHIMMER volume 53 on iPPV was somewhat overshadowed by LuFisto’s horror moonsault into thin air, but the main story inside the ring was 3G nearly securing the titles at their first attempt, but were halted by the Canadian NINJAs capitalising on confusion between Skater and Nakagawa. The latter had wanted to spit water into Perez’s eyes by the Rate Tank had stopped her, urging her to play by the rules. As she begrudgingly complied, Nicole Matthews showed she had no scruples by gobbing the liquid into Skater’s eyes and allowing Portia to get the pin. Having been cheated out of winning the belts, so began a four DVD story which would lead to one of the most visceral reactions in the promotion’s 7 year history…
The following week in Berwyn, IL, 3G defeated the NINJAs on volume 54 – however, it was via count-out, when the titleholders decided to take their ball and go home when their reign was in jeopardy. In other promotions, a rematch would be on the cards, but that isn’t the case in SHIMMER so the pair had to earn another shot – firstly by getting past ReGeneration X on volume 55. The pair also came out to stop Perez and Matthews doing another runner during their title defence against Veda Scott and Shazza McKenzie, though the heels then got themselves disqualified by hitting the challengers with the belts.
From there, the decision was rendered that volume 56 would see two singles matches, and if 3G could beat both NINJAs in solo outings, it would help their cause a great deal. Skater put away Matthews with the International Incident and Perez v Nakagawa ended in a double DQ, with the announcement that 3G and the NINJAs would face off on volume 57 in a no count out, no DQ match with the titles on the line.
Fittingly the main event of what was an emotional day (due to the announcement of Allison Danger revealing she had suffered a stroke and then bowing out in her last match) the SHIMMER faithful needed a pick-me-up, and they got one with a building-wide brawl, some big near-falls and a huge eruption of emotion watching Kellie Skater evolve from a curtain-jerking, Walter Mitty comedy act into a serious, hard-hitting, lump-taking worker with a massive amount of empathy and ability finally winning the Tag Team Championship with her friend. It was an amazing moment for those watching live, and will likely transfer well to DVD too.
A quick venture to SHINE saw her get assaulted with hair straighteners and being thrown into one of McKenzie’s outfits for a very different look for the tomboy-ish Skater, and then a return home for a well-earned rest – so much so that she hasn’t wrestled since mid-April. In fact, Kellie has yet to wrestle in Australia in 2013, which is pretty astonishing when you consider how much she has accomplished so far this year.
The first half of this year has been a continuation of the good work Skater put in during 2012. Working in Japan, travelling the globe, brightening everyone’s lives – be they wrestlers or fans – and putting together some quality outings along the way, the Rate Tank is every inch the superstar. For years, she was the wrestler that fans would – by design – laugh at, though everyone should now be taking Kellie Skater very seriously.
– Lee Burton
– Photos by Rob Myers, Tabercil, Mattnordstom & Kellie Skater