After 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.
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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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