Kana and Arisa Nakajima become the REINA World Tag Team Champions

Kana REINAREINA Joshi Puroresu has been on a bit of resurgence. In 2013, the promotion established a working relationship with Wrestling New Classic, as their female competitors became affiliated with both promotions, going into effect in January of this year. Six months later, Wrestler New Classic officially closed its doors after coming to terms on an agreement with Keiji Mutoh that sought its male roster be integrated over into WRESTLE-1. Over the years, REINA has dealt with its own setbacks due to changes within management that seen the promotion be rebranded and re-launched, the future of its current roster looked uncertain. However, Makoto, Syuri, Lin Byron, Haruka Kato and on regular competitors in Yumko Hotta, Dump Matsumoto, Alex Lee and Aki Shizuku have remained affiliated with the promotion to this day, as more competitors have been brought in.

With Syuri as the current and reigning REINA World Women’s Champion and luchadoras La Silueta and Amapola holding the CMLL-REINA International Junior Heavyweight Championship and RENA-CMLL International Championship respectively, the promotion crowned their new REINA World Tag Team Champions in Arisa Nakajima and Kana yesterday at Shinkiba 1st RING. Debuting back on August 30th under her role as storyline consultant, Kana made the decision to strip Ariya’ and Makoto of the titles, making it the fourth time the REINA World Tag Team Titles were declared vacant. Her shenanigans continued. On September 30th, she disgraced the WNC Women’s Championship by referring to the title as “garbage” and tossing it outside the ring, this occurred following Syuri’s final defense of the belt against Makoto in the main event. The first former champions wanted to preserve the posterity of the title by locking in a briefcase for good, but Kana’s antics turned the sentimental moment into a pull-apart brawl.

Kana & Arsa Nakajima REINA A tournament was held on yesterday’s show to determine the new champions. In the first round, Nakajima and Kana defeated Eri (Eri Susa) and Haruka Kato following a German Suplex Hold from Nakajima on Kato. Syuri and Lin Byron also made it past the first round, besting former champions Makoto and Maki Narumiya. In the finals of the tournament, Lin Byron turned on her partner as Kana and Nakajima delivered Double Buzzsaw Kicks to Syuri to become the REINA World Tag Team Champions. For the new titleholders, this is Kana’s first run with a championship in REINA. Despite her previous affiliation with Wrestling New Classic in the past, she never competed under the promotion. Nakajima is now a double champion, currently holding the JWP Openweight Championship.Also on the show, Kellie Skater picked up a loss to Kyoko Kimura. Dump Matsumoto and Yumiko Hotta defeated Sakura Hirota and Miyako Matsumoto in a rematch. In addition, Alex Lee and The Winger went over on Koharu Hinata and Yuji Kito.

Photos courtesy of Yuichi Kojima

Information courtesy of Joshifans, Cagematch, Joshiresu

Ayako Hamada and Yuu Yamagata win the WAVE Tag Team Champions for a second time, Hikaru Shida retains & Ryo Mizunami’s return

Hamada & Yamagata 2 Tomoka Nakagawa and Kyoko Kimura’s reign as WAVE Tag Team Champions is no longer a thing. Yesterday at Pro Wrestling WAVE’s “Virgin Code,” Ayako Hamada and Yuu Yamagata unseated Kimura and Nakagawa of the titles in the main event at Korakuen Hall. Beating Sakura Hirota and Mika Iida in the finals of the 2014 Dual Shock WAVE (the promotion’s tag team tournament) to become champions, Revolucion Amandla has lost in their first title defense. For the third time this year, the WAVE Tag Team Championship has changed hands. This time the titles have found their way back around the waists of Yuu Yamagata and Ayako Hamada, known as “Las Aventureras.”

Winning last year’s Dual Shock tournament, Las Aventureras defeated Cherry and Shu Shibutani for the WAVE Tag Team Championship following an Air Raid Crash from Yamagata to Shibutani. From there, Las Aventureras were successful in their first two title defenses, but failed in their third against Isami Kodaka and Yuko Miyamoto-making them the first male competitors to hold the titles. Kodaka and Miyamoto dropped the titles to Iida and Hirota as part of a three-way involving Yamagata and Hamada. Sakura Hirota and Mika Iida’s reign lasted through 52-days after successful defenses against the likes of Misaki Ohata and Mio Shirai to advance to the finals of the tournament and against Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru and Hibiscus Mii.

A year to the day they originally captured the titles for the first time, Ayako Hamada and 10712747_285601164982423_8236364081297358941_nYuu Yamagata are once again champions. The Regina di WAVE Championship and the Revolution Championship Wrestling Women’s Championship were on the line as Hikaru Shida successfully retained against Mari Apache. Shida wrapped up the match following a Three Count of Soul, picking up her second title defense as Regina di WAVE Champion and first as RCW Women’s Champion.

Also on the show, Sumire Natsu celebrated her one-year anniversary in the company, teaming up with Yumi Ohka in losing effort to Shibutani and Moeka Haruchi. Hiroe Nagahama made her official debut, taking the loss to Mio Shirai. Melanie Cruise, Dynamite Kansai and Fairy Nipponbashi defeated Tsukasa Fujimoto, Misaki Ohata and Kana as Cruise got the Chokeslam on Ohata. Sakura Hirota defeated Sawako Shimono and Rina Yamashita, Koharu Hinata and Cherry defeated Mika Iida, Kaho Kobayashi and Yua Hayashi following a Lariat from Yamashita to Hayashi. After the match, Yamashita made a challenge to Rabbit Miu for the for the JWP Junior/POP Championship.

Ryo MizunamiRyo Mizunami’s return to the promotion is scheduled for the February 11th show. Sent to the sidelines following a right meniscus and ligament rupture earlier this year, during a press conference it was announced that Mizunami’s injury required surgery and could potentially see her out of action up to months or more. Yumi Ohka was on hand for the announcement, citing that Pro Wrestling WAVE and ZABUN are behind Mizunami through recovery. Mizunami appeared on yesterday’s show, her first match back will be against Ohka on February 11, 2015 at the Korakuen Hall.

Photos courtesy of Pro Wrestling WAVE, Kazushi Mitsuhashi

Information courtesy of JoshiFans, Cagematch, Pro Wrestling WAVE

SHIMMER volumes 69-70 live results

It's SHIMMER time againAfter a monumental title change at the conclusion of yesterday’s DVD tapings, SHIMMER returns for another two shows with Nicole Matthews looking to kick off her title reign in style against challenger Evie – though she has history working against her. The New Zealander got the win in their first encounter in the promotion earlier this year on volume 66 and is also on a four-match winning streak, so she could be seen as the favourite going into this title match.

Elsewhere, Tag Team Champions Tomoka Nakagawa and Kellie Skater face a tough challenge from Saraya Knight and Mayumi Ozaki who formed an alliance after yesterday’s tapings which also saw Rhia O’Reilly brought into the fold. Grudges will come to the fore with Jessicka Havok looking to dismantle Portia Perez, while the fallout from volume 68’s main event also sees Cheerleader Melissa and Athena square off.

Kay Lee Ray faces Kana, AKINO battles Mia Yim, Courtney Rush takes on Nikki Storm and Vanessa Kraven goes up against Crazy Mary Dobson over the course of today’s double tapings.

As with yesterday, NHB GirlsReid Allen is providing us with results so keep hitting refresh to see them come in as they happen.

SHIMMER Volume 69

1. Courtney Rush pinned Nikki Storm with the Deep Sea Diverticulitis.
– Marti Belle came out to cut a promo but was interrupted by Madison Eagles, who was still angry over yesterday’s events. Eagles says she wants to fight, even though the doctor doesn’t recommend it, leading to…
2. Madison Eagles beat Marti Belle with Hellbound.
3. Kimber Lee & Cherry Bomb defeated Heidi Lovelace & Solo Darling. Solo was pinned by Cherry after the Lungblower/German Suplex combination. The Kimber Bombs then said they wanted a Tag Team Title shot.
4. Rhia O’Reilly pinned Xandra Bale with the Rhiadjustment after Bale was distracted by Miss Natural.
5. Jenny Rose beat Veda Scott, Candice LeRae & Leva Bates in a 4-way. Rose pinned Scott with a Flatliner.
6. LuFisto defeated Nicole Savoy with a Burning Hammer.
7. Tsukasa Fujimoto & Kaori Yoneyama beat Sassy Stephie & Nevaeh. Fujimoto pinned Stephie with the Venus Shoot.
8. Cheerleader Melissa beat Athena via referee stoppage. Melissa legitimately knocked out Athena with a curb stomp and the match was stopped when Melissa applied the Kondo Clutch. Athena was helped to the back.
9. Kana made Kay Lee Ray tap out to the Kana Lock.
10. Portia Perez beat Jessicka Havok via DQ when Havok attacked referee Bryce Remsburg.
11. Mia Yim pinned AKINO with a Firebird Splash.
12. SHIMMER Tag Team Championship – Kellie Skater & Tomoka Nakagawa (c) defeated Saraya Knight & Mayumi Ozaki to retain the titles. Nakagawa pinned Ozaki with the 120% Schoolboy.
13. SHIMMER Championship – Nicole Matthews (c) pinned Evie with the Vancouver Maneuver to retain the title.

SHIMMER Volume 70

1. Nikki Storm beat Kaori Yoneyama with the Eye of the Storm.
2. Vanessa Kraven pinned Crazy Mary Dobson with a chokebomb.
3. Allysin Kay & Taylor Made defeated KC Cassidy & Bambi Hall. Cassidy was pinned with a wheelbarrow/cutter combination.
– The Global Green Gangsters came out for an interview which was interrupted by the Canadian Ninjas. Nicole Matthews says neither of them will ever be THE Champion. Tomoka Nakagawa laid out Matthews and posed with the SHIMMER Title.
4. Kay Lee Ray beat Candice LeRae with a Gory Bomb and Swanton Bomb.
5. No DQ – Saraya Knight & Mayumi Ozaki defeated Solo Darling & Heidi Lovelace when Ozaki pinned Darling following a Polish Hammer with a chain wrapped around her fist.
– Saraya grabs Daffney after the match but Daffney hits her in the groin.
6. Veda Scott pinned Thunderkitty with her feet on the ropes for leverage.
7. Evie defeated Jenny Rose with a TTYL.
8. AKINO beat LuFisto with a Saito Suplex.
9.  Miss Natural bested Xandra Bale with a Jumping Spike Piledriver.
10. Mia Yim defeated Tsukasa Fujimoto via Package Piledriver.
11. Kana made Courtney Rush submit with a Rings of Saturn.
12. Athena made Cheerleader Melissa tap out to the Red Wedding (cross-leg STF).
13. SHIMMER Championship – Nicole Matthews (c) v Tomoka Nakagawa – the match didn’t last long, with Portia Perez breaking a pin off a Fisherman’s Suplex and the match gets thrown out. Kellie Skater wants to fight
14. SHIMMER Tag Team Championship – 3G (Kellie Skater & Tomoka Nakagawa) vs Canadian Ninjas (Portia Perez & Nicole Matthews) – the Kimber Bombs attacked and the tag match was thrown out. Jessicka Havok entered the ring, followed by Madison Eagles who gave everyone  a round of stunners. Eagles and Havok demanded an 8 Woman No DQ tag
15. Jessicka Havok, Madison Eagles & 3G defeated the Kimber Bombs & the Canadian Ninjas with a Hellbound, a Hangover and a Chokeslam.

Thoughts

• I’m on the road back home to Minnesota and have had some time to collect my thoughts about all that happened over this past weekend. In the grand scheme of things, this was a bit of a strange weekend with how pretty much all the major matches and developments happened very early in the weekend. There was certainly good stuff worth checking out on the final two days but you definitely got the feeling that the climax had already happened.

• Pretty much the entire weekend revolved around the war between the Canadian Ninjas and Madison Eagles & Jessicka Havok. J Hav was already targeting Portia Perez for hitting her in the head with a wrench in the Spring but the interesting development was the escalation in the Nicole Matthews and Madison Eagles feud. Before this weekend, their rivalry was treated very lighthearted with a lot of playful banter and poking fun at each other over things like taste in coffee. But that seems like a distant memory now that they’re throwing fireballs at each other. One of the better moments of the weekend was Madison’s first appearance after the fire incident where she appeared genuinely upset about how Nicole had suddenly changed from a goofball to diabolical and wondered if this was Nicole’s plan all along when they became friends. For someone as skilled and dominant as Eagles, this was a nice bit of vulnerability shown from her that I think really helped make her even more sympathetic to the fans than just getting burned would have.

Jessicka Havok Portia Perez Kristin Roper• Meanwhile, Jessicka Havok finally was able to get her hands on Portia Perez but her bloodlust proved to be her undoing as she wouldn’t stop pummeling her despite referee Bryce Remsburg’s pleading. And after Havok forcefully shoved Bryce out of the ring, he had no choice but to disqualify her and award the win to Portia. Afterwards, Nicole appeared shouting “We won!” and the two celebrated like they won the tag titles. And in the main event, despite Madison Eagles showing up to assault Nicole before her title defense against Evie, Matthews was able to leave with the championship after a spirited battle with the Kiwi.

• The plot for the next volume got started with the Global Green Gangsters doing an interview in the ring to discuss the Kimber Bombs requesting a shot at the tag team championships and that looked like it was heading for Tomoka Nakagawa discussing her upcoming retirement. However, Nicole and Portia gatecrashed, incredulous why so much attention was being given to Nakagawa. Nicole said that no matter how long Tomoka held a tag team title, she would never hold Nicole’s title and that prompted Tomoka to attack the Ninjas and send them scurrying. This led to the main event of Nicole defending the SHIMMER Championship against Tomoka. But as we would find out, the actual main event was far bigger.

• The initial title match was thrown out rather quickly as Portia Perez interfered after about three minutes. This caused an irate Kellie Skater to come to the ring who wanted to fight because her friend got screwed out of a title shot, even offering to put up the tag titles as incentive to get the Ninjas to agree to a match. This brought out the Kimber Bombs who presumably were upset their challenge got passed over and they ended up attacking 3G and getting *that* title match thrown out. So then finally Jessicka Havok and Madison Eagles rushed the ring (the latter with four Stone Cold Stunners for the Ninjas and Kimber Bombs) and demanded to team with 3G for a No Disqualification 8 woman tag match. And after disposing of the Kimber Bombs and sending Nicole fleeing from receiving a retaliatory fireball, Portia was left all by her lonesome to take everyone’s finishing moves and get pinned to end the weekend.

• I apologize for writing so much about that one feud but that was really the only thing of consequence that happened over the weekend. There were a couple miniature spats that got reasonably resolved before the conclusion of Volume 70 but nothing that really seems like it will continue further. Athena and Cheerleader Melissa had a match based on Athena pinning Melissa in the title match on 68 and later in that match, Melissa’s distraction caused Athena’s elimination. But Athena got legitimately knocked out early in the match by a Curb Stomp and the match was ended shortly after. Once it was decided she was okay, a rematch with the stipulation of knockout or submission falls only got signed that Athena won. Elsewhere, Saraya Knight and LuFisto briefly continued their feud from the Spring but by Sunday, both parties were busy with other things. Mia Yim and AKINO had a singles match based off their interactions in the big trios match on Volume 67. And on the undercard, Xandra Bale and Miss Natural traded victories. So despite regular acts being there and as entertaining as ever, it really felt like much of the shows were in a holding pattern.

Kay Lee Ray Evie Kristine Roper• Four of the people who made big strides, though, were people just starting or still fairly young in their SHIMMER careers. Scotland’s Kay Lee Ray returned to Berwyn and really broke out this weekend with four singles matches that ranged from great to outstanding. She was put in the ring with a bunch of established talent and really impressed against all of them. Her matches with Evie, Kana and Candice LeRae were all wonderful and while her match with Kimber Lee didn’t quite measure up to the other three, it was still a very solid, very hard-hitting outing.

• And although I touched on them in my Saturday recaps, AKINO and Nicole Savoy were both very welcome additions to the roster. AKINO capped off her weekend with the aforementioned match with Mia Yim and then faced LuFisto, someone AKINO had a hand in training. They were well on their way to a spectacular match that just when it was getting really exciting, ended prematurely for my taste after an AKINO Saito Suplex. Nicole Savoy also got to try her hand against the Wounded Owl Ronin on the previous volume and had another incredible match. This was more like a match out of All Japan Pro Wrestling in the 1990’s with all the brutal strikes and dropping each other on their head and neck. Who knows what the future holds in regards to AKINO returning but Nicole Savoy is absolutely one to pay attention to. Even though she only had two matches and lost them both, she really held her own with two double-tough opponents in Heidi Lovelace and LuFisto and she certainly has the potential to be a major player in SHIMMER over the next couple years.

• Finally, this weekend saw the Berwyn debut of Canadian veteran Vanessa Kraven who immediately made an impact. I already touched on her match with Jessicka Havok, a match that I believe is the closest SHIMMER will ever come to a climactic fight from a Gojira film, but her other match of the weekend was a dismantling of Crazy Mary Dobson. Kraven is also someone to watch in the future because she has a complete set of skills that she can bring to matches. She has a wide array of power moves, she has the speed and agility to fly if necessary and her strikes rival the hardest ones of Mercedes Martinez. With SHIMMER feeling like it’s in a transitional phase, someone like Vanessa Kraven could really make an impact sooner than later.

• That will wrap up my sort of general thoughts for the weekend. However, I will be back on my home site of NHB Girls later in this week to provide a more thorough breakdown of the weekend for the Australasians who competed. Otherwise, that will do it for me for the SHIMMER tapings of October 2014. I have a need to thank Lee Burton for giving me the chance to share my thoughts with you readers. Even though it still breaks my heart that it’s not Stew’s column you’re reading, I hope I did him and his legacy justice this weekend because everything done this weekend by everyone in the Berwyn Eagles Club was done with his memory in mind and wanting to make him proud. Until next year, this is Reid Allen signing out.

– Photos by Kristine Roper

SHIMMER volume 67-68 live results: New Champion crowned

SHIMMER logo

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.

**

Thoughts

Nicole Matthews Portia Perez SHIMMER• 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.

Nicole Matthews Madison Eagles Ichiban Drunk• 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.

Vanessa Kraven Jessicka Havok Kristine Roper• 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.

Photos by SHIMMER (1), Ichiban Drunk (2), Kristine Roper (3)

Cheerleader Melissa v Kana announced for SHIMMER Volume 67

Cheerleader Melisa Kana SHIMMER

The first match has been announced for next weekend’s SHIMMER DVD tapings in Berwyn, IL – and it’s a big one. Promoter Dave Prazak revealed on the Pro Wrestling Experience show on Chicagoland Sports Radio earlier today that Cheerleader Melissa will defend the SHIMMER Championship against Kana on the Volume 67 taping on October 18.

The challenger goes into the title match with a four match winning streak under her belt. She teamed with LuFisto to beat Melissa and Mercedes Martinez on Volume 64 then defeated Thunderkitty, Nikki Storm and Cherry Bomb on the following three editions to earn the shot at the title. Amazingly, this is the 33-year old’s first shot at the promotion’s top championship, three years after her debut on Volume 41 where she defeated Mia Yim.

In Melissa’s case, things have been successful for her in the singles ranks, but two tag team defeats in the spring saw her finish 2-2 on the most recent Berwyn tapings. However, she has successfully turned back the challenges of LuFisto, Yim and Yumi Ohka so far this year and is 18 months into her second reign, racking up nine defences so far.

Melissa and Kana have fought in the promotion once before – a number one contender’s match on Volume 43 which was won by Melissa en route to claiming her first SHIMMER Championship – and competed in the aforementioned tag team match earlier this year. In essence, that’s 1-1 – the edge may lie with the champion because of the singles victory, but the challenger is the one enjoying the unbroken string of victories. It’s going to be an interesting encounter.

If you want to be in attendance at the Berwyn Eagles Club next Saturday to see the contest, you had better get your skates on. There are only 27 tickets available and the show is expected to sell out. To book yours, click here, as the likelihood of there being any available on the day is pretty slim.

In Video: The final defense of the WNC Women’s Championship

Syuri vs Makoto WNC As mentioned in this week’s Roundup, Syuri successfully defended the Wrestling New Classic Women’s Championship against Makoto as part of last Tuesday’s show for REINA. It turned out to be the final defense of the title as it was officially retired. The match held significance as the first two champions fought one last time for the title. Syuri originally dropped the title to Makoto in her first defense back on March 31, 2013 at Shinjuku FACE. From there, Makoto dropped the strap to Lin Byron that April and would have another run at the championship as part of a three-woman round-robin tournament for the vacated belt, involving her, Syuri and Serena Deeb.

Deeb walked out as the victor, but the title went back to Syuri last September, making her a two-time champion and the most successful with five title defenses within her 377-day reign. Through her time of contention Syuri’s collection amassed to four titles, collecting the CMLL-REINA International Championship, the REINA World Women’s Championship that she still currently holds and earning her first kickboxing title, the Krush Women’s Championship. With the promotion closing its doors back in June, the female roster has continued to be affiliated with REINA Joshi Puroresu to this day. For the second time Syuri has become the final holder of a championship, winning its predecessor, the SMASH Divas Championship back in February 2012 by defeating Kana. At Shinkiba 1st RING, the story of the WNC Women’s Championship was brought full circle as Syuri stood tall and the belt was locked away in the briefcase for good.

Photography courtesy of Yuichi Kojima

Video courtesy of Monster Zero! via Dailymotion

 

In Video: Melanie Cruise vs Tomoka Nakagawa

Cruise vs NakagawaBack in August, Pro Wrestling WAVE’s booker GAMI had announced that a “tall gajin” would be debuting in time for the promotion’s seventh anniversary. It turned out that a towering Chicago native in Melanie Cruise would be the competitor fitting that description. The six-foot frame of Cruise crossed paths with Kana on that show, with Cruise taking the loss at Shinjuku FACE. But Cruise has managed to bounce back since that loss with singles victories over Shuu Shibutani and Sawako Shimono. Cruise is currently involved in the ongoing 2014 Dual Shock WAVE tournament as she is partnered up with Moeka Haruchi. Known as “Merazoma,” Cruise and Haruchi managed to make it past the first round, defeating Cherry and Shibutani(Classic Gals), but picked up a loss against Tsukasa Fujimoto and Mio Shirai in the quarter finals on Wednesday.

The footage sees Cruise taking on one-half of the SHIMMER Tag Team Champions in Tomoka Nakagawa back on September 7th at Shinkiba 1st RING. Cruise’s first trip over to the country will see her current stay last three months, missing the back-to-back cards for AIW’s Girls Night Out and the upcoming SHIMMER 67-70 tapings. Following her departure, Nakagawa will be wrapping up her ten-year career with her final show scheduled for December 4th. Feel free to comment with your thoughts on Cruise’s arrival in Japan.

Photography courtesy of WAVE