SHIMMER‘s contribution to this Female Fight Season kicks off today with a double DVD taping featuring 38 wrestlers and sees its first show headlined with a titanic encounter, with Cheerleader Melissa putting the SHIMMER Championship on the line against Kana with each wrestler claiming a win over the other in the promotion. Elsewhere, four joshis will make their SHIMMER debuts as AKINO, Tsukasa Fujimoto, Kaori Yoneyama and Mayumi Ozaki all look to make a big first impression, and it seems like Ozaki is gunning for Saraya Knight.
Portia Perez is seemingly looking to make peace with Jessicka Havok after accidentally hitting her in the head with a wretch on the last taping and the Coffee Cold War between Madison Eagles and Perez’s partner in crime Nicole Matthews is also expected to carry on.
We’ll update this post with all the results as they come in courtesy of Reid Allen, and he has also agreed to let us know about the big matches and moments from the first day of this bumper weekend of wrestling. Sit back, keep hitting refresh, and we’ll watch it all unfold.
SHIMMER volume 67
Before the tapings began, Allison Danger took to the ring to eulogise our dearly departed friend Stew Allen. There was a five bell salute in his memory.
1. Kimber Lee & Cherry Bomb defeated Bambi Hall & KC Cassidy. Lee pinned Hall follow a lungblower/German suplex combination.
2. Heidi Lovelace pinned Nicole Savoy with a frog splash.
3. Sassy Stephie beat Crazy Mary Dobson with the Kiss My Sass.
4. Athena made Nikki Storm tap out to a modified Bow and Arrow. As a result she will be part of a triple threat SHIMMER Title match on the next volume.
5. Portia Perez beat Courtney Rush via DQ when Jessicka Havok came out to attack Perez. Rush was not happy with Havok’s interference causing her to lose.
6. Nevaeh pinned Jenny Rose with a Death Valley Driver.
7. No DQ – Mayumi Ozaki pinned Saraya Knight with a spinning backfist. The pair shook hands afterwards and then went to the bar.
8. Evie pinned Kay Lee Ray with the TTYL.
9. LuFisto beat Rhia O’Reilly with the Burning Hammer.
– Knight came out afterwards to attack LuFisto – Ozaki also came out and it turns out that Ozaki, Knight and O’Reilly are a unit.
10. Nicole Matthews v Madison Eagles went to a draw. Matthews pinned Eagles while in a sleeper hold but tapped out at the same time.
– The winner was meant to move on to the triple threat title match on volume 68, so referee Bryce Remsburg says both will advance and the main event will now be a 4-way.
11. Kaori Yoneyama, AKINO & Tsukasa Fujimoto defeated Kellie Skater, Tomoka Nakagawa & Mia Yim. Yoneyama pinned Skater with a senton.
– Afterwards, Yoneyama and Fujimoto challenged Skater & Nakagawa for the Tag Team Championship. 3G accepted.
12. SHIMMER Championship – Cheerleader Melissa (c) beat Kana after 10 curb stomps and 2 Air Raid Crashes to retain the title.
SHIMMER volume 68
1. Cherry Bomb pinned Thunderkitty with an inside cradle.
2. Xandra Bale defeated Miss Natural by countering the Natural Disaster with an inside cradle. Natural attacked Bale afterwards.
3. Marti Belle beat Solo Darling with the Stroke.
4. Kay Lee Ray pinned Kimber Lee with a Gory Bomb and Swanton Bomb.
5. Leva Bates defeated Nevaeh with a Cutter after escaping a Death Valley Driver.
6. Nikki Storm beat Candice LeRae with the Eye of the Storm.
– Courtney Rush came out to say that she was initially upset with Jessicka Havok causing her to be disqualified, but says she’s past it now. She then called out Veda Scott.
7. Courtney Rush made Veda Scott tap out to the Sharpshooter.
8. AKINO pinned Heidi Lovelace with a Saito Suplex.
9. Vanessa Kraven beat Jessicka Havok via count out following a distraction by Portia Perez.
10. No DQ – Saraya Knight & Mayumi Ozaki defeated Kana & LuFisto. LuFisto was pinned by Knight following interference from Rhia O’Reilly.
11. Evie pinned Mia Yim with the TTYL.
12. SHIMMER Tag Team Championship – Kellie Skater & Tomoka Nakagawa (c) defeated Kaori Yoneyama & Tsukasa Fujimoto to retain the titles. Nakagawa pinned Yoneyama following the Hangover.
13. SHIMMER Championship: Fatal Four Way Elimination – Nicole Matthews defeated Cheerleader Melissa (c), Madison Eagles & Athena to win the SHIMMER Championship.
– Athena eliminated Cheerleader Melissa following a Hellbound from Eagles, Vancouver Maneuver from Matthews and then the O Face.
– Matthews pinned Athena with a tights-assisted roll-up.
– Matthews pinned Eagles after she launched a fireball at Madison.
• Hello, good readers of Ringbelles! I am Reid Allen from NHB Girls and I have been asked by Lee to provide the live recaps of this SHIMMER weekend. And to start, I’d like to borrow a quote from the great John Oliver and say, “Let’s all just acknowledge for a moment that this is weird. It looks weird, it feels weird, it even sounds weird.” I wish more than anything that it was Stew’s words you were reading right now instead of mine. So I hope I do him, Lee and all you readers justice with this recap…
• First of all, I want to go on record and say that for my money, SHIMMER Volume 67 may be the single greatest card ever put on by the promotion. Before yesterday, I’d have said that Volume 65 held that distinction in a landslide but 67 certainly made a very strong case for being in the conversation. Seven of the twelve matches were in the range of “great” to “outstanding.” And while 65 had a greater number of matches in that range, I feel that the best stuff delivered by 67 eclipsed the best matches on 65. So it’s a tough judgment to make about which was truly “better.” I’d advise that you buy the DVDs as soon as they’re released and judge them for yourself because both are well worth your money.
• Now, moving on to the big news of the day and that is the crowning of Nicole Matthews as the new SHIMMER Champion, who bested Madison Eagles, Athena and former champion Cheerleader Melissa in an elimination match to earn the gold. While the tactics she ended up using to ultimately claim the championship are certainly controversial and will no doubt be hotly debated for the duration of her reign, nobody can deny that Nicole is certainly worthy of representing the company as champion. She has grown into one of the finest wrestlers in the world today and her reign will no doubt be filled with some classic defenses to add to her resumé.
• Anybody who doubts her skills should be sat down and forced to watch her match against Madison Eagles from Volume 67. Those two went out and put on one of the best displays of technical wrestling ever seen in the promotion. Both girls were absolutely surgical with their offense as they dissected key limbs of their opponent with Eagles focusing on the arm and Nicole tearing apart Madison’s bad knee. It was very reminiscent of Bret Hart‘s masterpieces from the 90’s and it even threw out direct shout out to a couple by replicating the finish of his match against Roddy Piper at WrestleMania VIII and Steve Austin at Survivor Series 1996. But this had the added element of after Nicole using the turnbuckle to flip back over Madison and pin her to the canvas, she submitted to Madison’s submission hold during the count and so the match was declared a draw, letting both girls advance to the title match on the next volume.
• One thing that is for certain is that in addition to a furious Madison Eagles, Nicole will have no shortage of prospective challengers wanting a shot at her title. There were several very impressive debuts as well as some exciting new developments from ones familiar to the fans. The joshi contingent that came over for these shows were all impressive. And while Mayumi Ozaki seems to be more focused on raising hell after aligning herself with Saraya Knight and her prodigy Rhia O’Reilly, the remaining debuts all certainly made very strong impressions. The one who stood out most for me was AKINO who unleashed a flurry of some of the hardest kicks I’ve ever heard live. Tsukasa Fujimoto and Kaori Yoneyama both brought a ton of speed, energy and athleticism to their matches as well. I would be happy to see all four return in the future.
• Another extremely impressive debut was from Nicole Savoy. She may have had the most impressive debut match I’ve seen from somebody not coming in with any real fanfare. She and Heidi Lovelace had an absolute cracker of a match in just the second match of the tapings. This match was preformed at such a pace and with such intensity that it would not have looked out of place going five or six matches later on the card. They really set the standard for what the rest of the locker room would need to try and eclipse later. And while there did end up being an abundance of great matches, this one should not be overlooked in the grand scheme of things. Be sure to keep an eye on Nicole Savoy because even from just her one match, it was very apparent that she has the potential to become a serious force in the future.
• Elsewhere, a couple of favorites added a new wrinkle to their personalities that will keep things interesting for their future opponents. Nikki Storm seems like she’s dangerously close to snapping and really getting violent. While during her entrance and prematch speeches, she was her usual overconfident, vain and downright hilarious self, once the bell rang she frequently had wild outbursts of punches and choking before she’d take a few deep breaths and reign herself back in. Who knows what may happen if she ever decides to not worry about keeping her cool? And Courtney Rush did away with her usual jovial entrances by eliminating all the dancing, singing along with her theme and greeting the fans. Rush was clearly all business in her first two matches of the day against two of her chief rivals, Portia Perez and Veda Scott. Now that Rush has achieved revenge on Veda for her tactics in their Volume 66 match, we may see a return to a happy Courtney on the remaining volumes.
• Speaking of Perez, she is living very dangerously with her antagonizing of Jessicka Havok. The two got into a brawl during Portia’s match with Rush after Havok stormed the ring, seeking revenge for Portia accidentally hitting her with a wrench at the previous taping. Portia returned the favor later during Havok’s match with Vanessa Kraven. And real quick, I just want to tangent and rave about how great that match was. Two of the biggest women ever to compete for SHIMMER went face to face and had a very physical, very entertaining war. But Perez ended up being the difference maker as she came out to distract Havok, allowing Kraven to brutalize her on the outside and secure a countout win. When Portia and Havok inevitably collide, we may see Jessicka Havok provide some truly graphic violence against the Canadian.
• That will conclude my initial thoughts for now. I will be back tomorrow to wrap things up and provide news of any further happenings from an already memorable tapings. If you’d like to follow along with all the results as they happen, I will be on Twitter providing all the results and highlights live from the Eagles Club, or do a search for the hashtag #AAWSHIM to get not only my coverage but several others also in attendance. See you tomorrow.