The bumper weekend of DVD tapings that is SHIMMER is upon us with more than 30 of the world’s top female talent descending on the Eagles Club in Berwyn, IL for what will be around 40 matches over the next two days.
Following the controversial ending of SHIMMER 62 last week in New Orleans, LA, LuFisto will team up with tag partner Kana to take on Mercedes Martinez and SHIMMER Champion Cheerleader Melissa, looking to get some revenge following her loss in her title challenge, and to possibly secure another crack at the championship at some point over the weekend.
Elsewhere, we may see friction within the Canadian Ninjas following Nicole Matthews‘ decision to team with Madison Eagles to unsuccessfully challenge the Global Green Gangsters for the Tag Team Championship last week – a move which raised the hackles of Portia Perez, who tweeted her displeasure at the development.
You can read more about what we could see over the next four DVD tapings by looking at this week’s Roundup, but we will also be bringing you live results courtesy of the Twitters of Reid Allen and Dave Muscarella, who we thank for their constant great work in getting the word out to the rest of us – and Stew will be back after the tapings for some in-depth thoughts. Click the jump to see the results – and keep hitting refresh to make sure you’re up to date.
a. Angelus Layne pinned Mary Lee Rose with a Victory Layne (TKO).
b. Angie Skye & Stacy Shadows beat Diana Hall & Pink Flash Kira. Skye pinned Kira with the Hard Goodbye.
SHIMMER Volume 63
1. Evie defeated Rhia O’Reilly with a double stomp in a Tree of Woe.
2. Nevaeh pinned Christina Von Eerie with a Death Valley Driver.
3. Jessicka Havok defeated Kay Lee Ray with a chokeslam from the top rope.
4. Courtney Rush makes Marti Belle tap out to a Sharpshooter.
5. Kimber Lee & Cherry Bomb beat Leva Bates & Veda Scott. Scott was pinned following a Codebreaker/German Suplex combination.
6. Madison Eagles made Heidi Lovelace tap out to an STF.
7. Saraya Knight pinned Tomoka Nakagawa with an Inverted DDT following a distraction from Rhia O’Reilly.
8. Yumi Ohka defeated Athena with a Tiger Suplex and running Yakuza Kick.
9. Ray & Leon beat Portia Perez & Nicole Matthews. Both Ninjas were pinned following a moonsault by Ray and a Senton Bomb by Leon.
10. Kellie Skater pinned Nikki Storm with the International Incident.
11. Mia Yim defeated Hikaru Shida with a Package Piledriver.
12. LuFisto & Kana beat Cheerleader Melissa & Mercedes Martinez. LuFisto pinned Melissa with the Burning Hammer.
SHIMMER Volume 64
1. Athena pinned Cherry Bomb with the O-Face.
2. Melanie Cruise beat Kay Lee Ray & Nikki Storm in a 3-way. Cruise pinned Ray following a Tombstone Piledriver.
3. Heidi Lovelace beat Angie Skye with a Frog Splash.
4. Saraya Knight & Rhia O’Reilly defeated Leva Bates & Veda Scott. O’Reilly pinned Bates with the Rhiajustment after Scott walked out on her partner. Allison Danger tries to stop a post-match beatdown but is held back.
5. Christina Von Eerie pinned Marti Belle with a stranglehold lungblower.
6. LuFisto made Nevaeh tap out to an inverted Indian Deathlock.
– Afterwards, LuFisto got the microphone, challenged Melissa to another title match and refused to leave until she got it. Melissa responded that in order to get another shot, LuFisto will have to start from the bottom like she had to. Acting as mediator, Danger agreed with Melissa’s point, but declared that she will have to defend the title on Volume 64 against Yumi Ohka.
7. Courtney Rush beat Evie, Nicole Matthews & Madison Eagles in a 4-way. Eagles (accidentally) kicked Matthews in the head and Rush pinned Nicole with a T-Bone Suplex.
– Matthews and Eagles argue after the match but Portia Perez convinced them to bury the hatchet so they can all turn their attention to Rush. The trio then go after Courtney and Evie, but a chair-swinging Heidi Lovelace made the save.
8. Kana made Thunderkitty tap out to a crucifix armbar.
– Mia Yim is interviewed. She says she wants to be SHIMMER Champion but Mercedes Martinez says she’s not worthy of facing Melissa.
9. Hikaru Shida pinned Kimber Lee with a top rope hurricanrana followed by a Three Count (running knee).
– Amber Gertner tries to interview LuFisto but she’s sent away, upset at being called unworthy to be SHIMMER Champion. Saraya Knight then shows up to offer LuFisto advice on how to get a title shot but LuFisto walks away.
10. Mia Yim beat Mercedes Martinez with an inside cradle.
SHIMMER Tag Team Championship
11. Kellie Skater & Tomoka Nakagawa (c) beat Ray & Leon to retain the titles. Nakagawa pinned Ray with the 120% Schoolboy.
12. Cheerleader Melissa (c) pinned Yumi Ohka with an Air Raid Crash to retain the title. LuFisto tried to interfere on Ohka’s behalf but Yumi refused her help and delivered a Yakuza Kick to her. The pair brawled after the bell.
That’s all for today – we’ll be back later with thoughts on the two tapings.
Madison Eagles injured – participation on Vols 65-66 in question.
It’s late night here in Chicago, and sleep is calling before another day of tapings at the Eagles Club – it’s too late to update with full thoughts right now, but will update hopefully in the morning. For now, just wanted to bring you news that former SHIMMER Champion Madison Eagles, one of several walking wounded wrestlers on the show today (not that you’d know it, given how everybody performed), added to the ankle injury she went into the shows with by managing to break her wrist on what was basically a freak accident during the match with Heidi Lovelace on Vol 63. The incident wasn’t noticeable to the live crowd at the time, and Eagles went on to work on Vol 64 with a taped up wrist and hand. Turns out after seeking medical assistance, that the wrist was broken. The actual incident, we understand, happened when Lovelace came off the top with double knees to Eagles’ shoulders, taking her down to the mat. Unfortunately for Madison, her hand and wrist were caught in the collision. There’s no blame here – just one of those things. Eagles, being Eagles, will no doubt want to work Vols 65 & 66 on Sunday – but it looks highly doubtful that this would be possible. I’m sure news will filter through official SHIMMER channels in the morning about Eagles’ situation.
For now, please join us in wishing all the best to an extremely tough lady. Get well soon, Madison.
Vol 63 thoughts
It’s the morning after the day before in Chicago as I sit down to type some notes. Will be rushing out to breakfast in the medium term future before today’s shows, but before then, let’s look back at what will go down as one of the absolute best days of SHIMMER action in the history of the promotion. As usual for a “post SHIMMER thoughts” update, I want to preface this by saying that this is my opinion based on no note-taking, and after a few hours sleep – so if I missed something or if your mileage varies on a particular match, that’s cool. Sound off in the comments if you wish.
• Let’s touch on SPARKLE first. If this was one of SHIMMER’s best days ever, it didn’t reflect that with the SPARKLE matches, which were both disappointing. Angelus Layne tried hard and can come out of this with a bit of pride, but Mary Lee Rose had a bad day. She didn’t look on the right page at all. Likewise, the tag match never really went anywhere and the finish didn’t look great. Let’s move on.
• Evie vs Rhia O’Reilly was the show kick-off proper, with “kick” being an operative work – and was a heck of a fun contest. Very much enjoyed. They both looked very happy to be back on the roster. Actually, truth be told, before the match, ring announcer Kevin Harvey really kicked the show off with an Ultimate Warrior tribute, where he looked skywards, shook ‘dem ropes and then proceeded (for reasons best known to himself and eventually his chiropractor) to take a straight backwards bump to the floor. Crazy man.
• Nevaeh vs Christina Von Eerie was fine. Nevaeh actually had a thoroughly great day, especially with her best singles match in SHIMMER history coming up later, but she’s a super aggressive and bitchy heel nowadays. Von Eerie, as has been her style of late, didn’t have the mohawk, and had to cheerlead the crowd a bit with “Oi” chants before they got going.
• Jessicka Havok vs Kay Lee Ray was fantastic. The dynamic between the two was super, with the large power based offence of Havok vs Kay Lee Ray’s speed and high-flying. Havok’s best match in SHIMMER to date by some way, and a great debut in Berwyn for KLR. Havok’s look with one side of her head shaved, is also really good. Absolutely nothing bad to say about this match.
• Courtney Rush returned to Berwyn in match #4, taking on Marti Belle, making her main show debut. Belle worked some good character stuff, based around her big hair and a tin of hairspray – and Belle’s personality is definitely her best trait. Rush looked good, and was as entertaining as ever. I was never in doubt as to who would win, but that didn’t matter. Rush came across as, carried herself as, and was accepted as a big star. Marti Belle has a spot on the undercard for some hair-based shenanigans.
• Right, I’m a massive fan of The Kimber Bombs, and holy cow are they still the most outrageously entertaining act in the company. Only one other act comes close (and we’ll hear about that later), but the KBs are just a riot at being idiots who could probably still actually *kill* you if they tried. It’s a bizarre dichotomy. Bates & Scott were a fun team, based, I suppose on a mutual respect following their shockingly good match at Vol 62 last weekend. Leva was the X-Men’s Rogue for this match, which resulted in the spot where she took her glove off, touched Kimber Lee, which meant that Leva-Rogue “absorbed” Kim’s powers – which appeared to be the ability to pull off a suplex while shaking her ass 🙂 Miscommunication between Bates and Scott where Leva missile dropkicked Veda by accident led to the finish. There was a tense staredown, but they hugged it out a couple of times and seemingly put their issues behind them. Seemingly.
• Madison Eagles vs Heidi Lovelace was really good, and was a great way to elevate Heidi, who we’re already pretty damn high on here at Ringbelles. As noted above, apart from breaking her wrist on an innocuous accident, Eagles was already working on an ankle injury, but you wouldn’t know it at all. She was an absolute trooper here. I really enjoyed this. Could be Heidi’s first step to becoming a proper player here in SHIMMER.
• Saraya Knight vs Tomoka Nakagawa was a masterclass by Knight in how to get the crowd just eating from your hand. Knight’s old “go around ringside and berate everybody” schtick was becoming a bit tired, so she found a brand new way to make people hate her – cutting a promo before the match where she referenced her daughter Paige (and in doing so ensured that she didn’t get any reflective babyface pop for her daughter’s achievements), and cut a promo on the crowd and their reactions to Tomoka Nakagawa. Now, Tomoka is already super popular in SHIMMER as one-half of the tag team champions, but I’ve never heard a louder and more sustained reaction to anybody than Saraya was able to “create” for Tomoka early in this match. The Eagles Club was absolutely rocking. The match itself was good – typical Saraya style brawling and such – but the twist came when Rhia O’Reilly created a distraction, causing Nakagawa to get pinned. Tomoka then suffered a beatdown at the expense of both Knight and O’Reilly – which surprisingly didn’t result in a Kellie Skater run-in.
• Yumi Ohka vs Athena was kicky and move-heavy. A good match, and actually a somewhat surprising finish when Ohka pinned Athena clean. I wasn’t quite expecting that, and I think I probably wasn’t alone in that. Ohka’s kick-based offence remains scintillating.
• Ray & Leon vs The Canadian NINJAs was excellent. Ray and Leon were welcome back as heroes, and the Canadian NINJAs apparently had (at least) one more great match left in them as a team. Everybody worked their butts off in this.
• The reference I made earlier to the only other act that could touch The Kimber Bombs for sheer entertainment was to a certain young Scottish lass named Nikki Storm, who is so watchable it’s a joy. She went into character overdrive in the next volume in particular, but she was still amazing to watch here. With a match between she and Skater, you’d expect (and you got) some strong character driven stuff, but at no time did they go overboard or lose the feeling that this was a contest. Hats off.
• Mia Yim vs Hikaru Shida was absolutely one of the best matches of the day, and Mia Yim ended up as one of the biggest stars of the day. If October was a turning point for Mia as far as really coming out of her shell, making her moves mean something really learning how to grab an audience, then this was Mia taking it to the next level. She was selling her knee (remember she missed Vol 62 last weekend), creating sympathy from the crowd, and making all of her comebacks really meaningful. Shida is Shida, which means she’s always on point and always impressive, but the match was all about Yim and this rematch ended up even better than their highly impressive first meeting on Vol 58 last October.
• LuKana vs The Mega-Bitches (not an official name, but surely an accurate unofficial name) was the match everybody was waiting for. It started fast with a big brawl between all four, before settling down into a regular tag match format. LuFisto and Melissa seemed to stay apart for a good amount of the match. Mercedes and Melissa, considering they’re a less regular tag unit than LuKana, were a fantastically slick unit, full of double-teams and referee distractions. Everybody got the finish they wanted too, when after a few teases, LuFisto hit the Burning Hammer for the very popular win.
• Was this the best SHIMMER Volume ever? Could well be. It was seriously strong, and everybody brought it big time. Thoughts on Vol 64 will have to wait for a little bit longer, but coming off Vol 62, this company is on a creative roll. As a teaser for the forthcoming Vol 64 thoughts, all I can say is… that 3G vs Ray & Leon match? WOW. WOWOWOW.
Vol 64 thoughts
• So… Vol 64, then. Quite a high profile opener with Athena involved in it, and quite a fun match for the most part, with Cherry Bomb having a fun solo outing here. My only criticism of this match, and it might not stand up after rewatching, but live, it seemed like Athena just hit the O-Face out of nowhere for the pin. Seemed to lack a crescendo.
• The 3-way between Melanie Cruise and the Scottish contingent of Nikki Storm and Kay Lee Ray was immense fun. Storm hammed it up to an incredible degree, for the most part trying to manipulate the 6 footer Cruise into doing her dirty work for her. Storm’s body movement and facial reactions were just in another world from everybody else on the show, and I was giggling throughout… then curiously, Melanie Cruise, by way of mocking KLR audibly said something to the effect of “See? They’re not cheering for you – they’re too busy laughing at her” – and actually, it struck me that we were. If you wanted to be objective about it, Storm’s antics didn’t really do anything for Kay Lee as a babyface – and that might be something she has to be careful of in future, but on a purely subjective level, this was probably the match that made me laugh and smile more than anything else on the day. Cruise’s tombstone was sweet too.
• Heidi Lovelace’s match with Angie Skye was never likely to reach the levels of her match with Madison Eagles on the previous volume, but it was still a fine effort and a fine showcase. Angie Skye’s potential is there, but she’s yet to really have a defining match or moment that makes her an essential part of the roster yet. This certainly did a lot more for her than the SPARKLE tag match did, of course.
• Saraya Knight & Rhia O’Reilly vs Leva Bates & Veda Scott was a two-fold match – one, it gave a further win to Knight & O’Reilly to establish them as a SHIMMER Tag Team Title threat, but secondly to be the backdrop for the split of the newly formed Bates/Scott team and the start of Veda’s heel turn. Leva was dressed as Marvel Comics character Deadpool, by the way, in one of Leva’s best costume looks ever. Credit to Veda for selling the heel turn on her face and with her body language even before she pulled back from making the tag to Leva – and as someone who’s been a big fan of Veda’s heel work in AIW, I’m pleased to see a SHIMMER version of that character too.
• Christina Von Eerie vs Marti Belle was one of those matches that it’s difficult to remember much specific about, but I do remember being pleasantly surprised by it, which I’d say is a success at least. A good match perhaps outshone by others around, looking back.
• LuFisto vs Nevaeh was, as I mentioned earlier, Nevaeh’s best singles match in SHIMMER. Sure, being in there with LuFisto will certainly help, but Nevaeh was on point throughout, combining good wrestling with a personality we never used to see. The one thing to point out here is just how weird it was that we got LuFisto wrestling on the mid card on the volume after she pinned the SHIMMER Champion in a tag match. As nothing was announced to the crowd about what the main event would be for Vol 64 by this point, I think a lot of the crowd were expecting Melissa vs LuFisto IV and therefore spent the first half of the match a bit dumbstruck. LuFisto and Nevaeh brought them back though, and the crowd got into it. LuFi’s inverted Indian Deathlock finish was a clear signal to Melissa, who also uses that submission move, and she made the challenge after the match for another title match. The following promo with Allison Danger (who seems to be taking on the role of “Boss Lady” – SHIMMER’s first real authority figure) explained that LuFisto had to work her way up to challenge Melissa again, but then threw in a somewhat conspiratorial line about “if Yumi Ohka wins, LuFisto will be in line for a shot”, which seemed to all but confirm LuFisto would get involved in the main event.
• The Four Way with Rush, Evie, Matthews and Eagles was a lot of fun. More “Worst Best Friends” shenanigans with Matthews and Eagles. Was pleasantly surprised that Courtney Rush was the beneficiary of the miscommunication, putting her at 2-0 for the weekend, and the post-match angle where Portia Perez tried to get everybody on the same side to attack Rush only for Heidi Lovelace to make the save was really good. This set up a trios match on Vol 65 – but as we’ve seen from the news about Eagles wrist injury, it didn’t quite work out as was initially planned. With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, the fact that Eagles was able to do what she did in this match was kinda crazy. She’s a tough cookie.
• Kana fought Thunderkitty. This legit happened. Ring announcer Kevin Harvey was legitimately jumping for joy for this – a dream match for him. And y’know what? For a match between a fifties throwback American lady wrestler and a progressive, hybrid joshi star, this actually worked quite well. The intrigue factor was there, as, I think, was the simple question of how much Kana would “get” or respect TK’s gimmick. It turned out that both seemed to really enjoy the match, and while there were certainly times I felt Kana smother Thunderkitty with reversals and submission attempts, TK had her chance to shine too. Kana got the win eventually, but I think Kevin would argue that we were all winners here.
• While the Kimber Bombs are, as noted, one of my favourite acts in the company, I’ll always be happy to see a Kimber Lee singles match on a SHIMMER weekend, because if it’s someone like Hikaru Shida opposing Kimber, it’ll be great. Back in October, Kimber vs Kana was a huge weekend highlight for me, and this time, even amongst a lot of competition from so many great matches over the weekend, this one ranks high for me. Great near falls.
• Mia Yim vs Mercedes Martinez was next, and was the last stop on Mia’s long journey to a SHIMMER title shot, as she had to try and beat Melissa’s rear gunner, Mercedes. As you might expect, given that it has already been established that Yim’s knee is injured, the majority of the match saw Mercedes target that injury, while Yim tried to protect it, and where possible, fight through it. Yim did use some high-flying in the match on her comeback, but she always went back and touched or held her knee after the move, in acknowledgement that yes, she’s still hurt. Really enjoyed this one. Yim won with an inside cradle, securing her a SHIMMER Title shot at Vol 65.
• 3G vs Ray & Leon? Look, I’m going to be blunt here. When this comes out, get this DVD and watch this match. This was an absolute cracker of a match, where they seemed bound and determined to break the world record for most believable near-falls in SHIMMER history. Talk about working people into a frenzy! I was positive on more than one occasion that Ray & Leon were winning the titles – no more so than the moment when Ray hit her cartwheel powerbomb on Nakagawa (I think) for the desperately near fall. 3G set up their double team finishes more than once, but could never quite hit it, so Nakagawa grabbed the sneaky rollup with the 120% Schoolboy. Match of the weekend right here.
• How in the hell would Melissa vs Ohka follow the tag title match? Surprisingly well, in fact. I think in retrospect, maybe they could’ve swapped the last two matches around, but Melissa vs Ohka worked through the initial 3G/Mascaras Voladores hangover and constructed a really tight match, which Ohka took a lot of with her running kicks to the face. With Melissa still managing to command a decent amount of cheers despite her position as lead heel in the promotion, she tried her best to heel it up in this one, so as not to become the valiant babyface against the strong challenger – and it really helped the match. LuFisto eventually came out to try and help Yumi Ohka win the title, but Ohka didn’t want LuFisto’s help and kicked her in the head, Melissa was able to pounce and hit the Air Raid Crash for the win.
• On Saturday night, all I could think was that while Vol 64 had the best match of the day (and the entire weekend, as it happened), Vol 63 in the afternoon was the stronger top to bottom – but really, there was nothing bad on Vol 64 at all. Interesting to note a few more angles being booked in SHIMMER too, with things leading consecutively between volumes. By the end of Saturday night, I couldn’t wait for Sunday. A great day’s wrestling.
– Stew Allen
– Photos by Sean Sloan