Apologies for the delay in getting to you, but we’re in Chicago, working on a poor wifi connection and there is much socialising to be done, but we’re finally updating you with the results of the tapings of volumes 37 and 38 of SHIMMER: Women Athletes, held in Berwyn, IL on Saturday.

So we’ll furnish you with the results and my thoughts on any standout moments.

Volume 37

SPARKLE: Bonesaw b Jett Riley with a double-arm DDT. Bonesaw’s improved since her last SHIMMER outings last year and looks much more aggressive with her forearm strikes, so good on her. Jett Riley is one colourful individual – it makes her stand out and be memorable, so thumbs up for that too.

SPARKLE: Brittany Force b Rhia O’Reilly by getting a pin while her feet were on the ropes. Force is a tough-looking cookie, and her appearance is aggressive yet mildly sleazy, which works for her character. O’Reilly flew over to Berwyn on her own dime for the opportunity to wrestle for SHIMMER, which makes her the most far travelled SPARKLER in the promotion’s history.

MsChif b Kellie Skater with the Desecrator. MsChif’s return to SHIMMER after her freak shoulder injury while preparing for the tapings last September was in a comedy outing, but she still had her sharp edge taking out the Rate Tank.

Mena Libra b Courtney Rush with a samoan drop with a bridge. Rush (formerly PJ Tyler) unleashed a shedload f impressive suplexes on the bigger Libra, which got the crowd into the contest, even though neither are SHIMMER regulars, and are pretty unknown to the Berwyn crowd, even though both have SPARKLEd here before. Both Rush and Libra have something to offer SHIMMER.

A backstage interview with Christina Von Eerie was interrupted by Sara Del Rey, who proceeded to beat the holy crap out of the spiky-haired punk and send her down two flights of stairs to show who was superior. Very different to previous backstage segments, this one used actions as well as words, setting up a match later on in the tapings.

LuFisto b Tomoka Nakagawa with a downward spiral. LuFisto’s trimmed down so much that she’s selling her old gear, as it buries her these days. She looks great for it too. Nakagawa – as with all the Joshi 4 Hope girls – came out draped in the Japanese flag. It must be a pretty rough time for them back home.

In a pre-taped segment, Mercedes Martinez did a promo inside the ring before doors opened challenging Madison Eagles for the SHIMMER title.

Regeneration X b Jamilia Craft & Mia Yim. Leva Bates came out dressed as the 11th Doctor (bowties ARE cool) and Allison Danger was sporting a 10th Doctor getup. Yim has gotten a lot better since last September – her time at the SHIMMER Academy seems to be serving her well.

In a backstage promo, Cheerleader Melissa argued that she was due another shot at the SHIMMER title after pinning Eagles in the main event of volume 36. Eagles interrupted, saying she would have to work her way back into title contention.

Christina Von Eerie b Sara Del Rey via countout. Del Rey had dominated Von Eerie for most of the match and even neglected the opportunity to beat her at one point. An errant kick on the outside caused her to be counted out – showing Del Rey to be a vicious badass and Von Eerie as the plucky newcomer. Nicely done. Del Rey choked out Von Eerie after the match, setting up a rematch for the next taping.

Cheerleader Melissa b Athena with a Kudo Driver. Melissa starts the road back to a SHIMMER title shot, and Athena proves she can hang with the top liners. I say it now: Athena is MONEY.

In the shocker of the night, SHIMMER’s original foreign heel Rebecca Knox returned to the promotion for the first time in 4 years as manager of Britani and Saraya Knight. The mother/daughter combination caused nuclear heat before their match. We later found out someone got so mad that they SPAT on Saraya. It’s real in Berwyn, damnit. Knox’s appearance is down to where she lives these days – just 15 minutes from the venue, as she’s studying in the Chicagoland area.

The Knight Dynasty b Pretty Bitchin’ by DQ. The finish came when Ariel disarmed Saraya of a knuckle-duster gimmick of some kind, then hit the British veteran with it, just as the referee returned his attention to the action. You could feel the hate oozing through the walls. Britani, Saraya and Knox is a dream – that nobody even imagined could be possible – came true.

Serena Deeb b Daizee Haze with a spear. This match was easily the most technically sound of the day, though the reaction was a little muted at first because of the fallout from the Knights, which is a shame, as in it’s own right, this was great – and was apparently the most appreciated match by the wrestlers watching backstage. I was remarking earlier how you never see wrestlers work a body part anymore – well, Deeb and Haze worked on each others’ arms, making this fan very, VERY happy.

Ayako Hamada b Jessie McKay with the AP Cross. Happy Hamada still remains, which is great. McKay continues to be taken seriously as a near-to-the-top-liner, and easily held her own with the Joshi veteran.

3S b The Canadian Ninjas to win the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship. Portia Perez and Nicole Matthews’ near-two year title reign was ended by Hiroyo Matsumoto and Misaki Ohata in a great tag match, culminating with Ohata getting the 3 after the Ninjas’ attempt at the Funky Cold Medina was foiled.

Madison Eagles b Mercedes Martinez to retain the SHIMMER title. A heated brawl that found its way into the crowd, Martinez was thought to have the edge, considering she won in their last meeting on volume 24. Eagles got the win with the Hellbound.


Volume 38

Daizee Haze b Courtney Rush with a Tiger Suplex. A great Battle of the Abs, proving that Rush could fill the gap left by a retiring Cat Power.

Tomoka Nakagawa b Jessica James. Nakagawa is still a great annoying heel. After the match, Daizee Haze came out to congratulate Tomoka and let us know that they would be reforming their undefeated tag team in the near future.

Pretty Bitchin’ b Regeneration X with stereo victory rolls. Another comedy match from Danger and Bates, playing on moments from Doctor Who (most notably the Weeping Angels) and from The Big Bang Theory (*knockknockknock* “Penny?”). The ending was slightly messed up, but I promise you, when it comes to the DVD, you’ll never even know.

Sara Del Rey b Christina Von Eerie with the Royal Butterfly. Von Eerie put up more of a fight this time round, but fell to Del Rey in another good Del Rey match. But then again, there are NO bad Del Rey matches.

Cheerleader Melissa b Melanie Cruise with an Air Raid Crash. These two beat the piss into each other inside and outside of the ring. This was Cruise’s best SHIMMER match to date, though it ends the unbeaten run she was working on.

In a backstage promo, Madison Eagles says there are no worthy challengers for her SHIMMER title, so she was taking the night off. Eagles is fantastic in promos.

The Canadian Ninjas came to the ring to complain about how unfair it was that they had lost the tag team titles. They were interrupted by Serena Deeb who said she was so bored with Matthews and Perez, and had drafted a tag team partner to shut them up. That turned out to be Jessie McKay, though Matthews dismissed her as being a “Bella Twin with an Australian accent”. Looks-wise, Nicole may have a point, but McKay is awesome, and the Bellas are just OK.

Serena Deeb and Jessie McKay b The Canadian Ninjas when McKay pinned Matthews with a Boyfriend Stealer. Two storylines were merged into one match here, and while I feel it’s a shame that the Ninjas have lost two matches in a row – one to a thrown together tandem – it could indicate that they are slated to become singles wrestlers. Lord knows, they both have the ability to do so.

Mercedes Martinez b Rachel Summerlyn with the FIsherman Buster. Summerlyn gets better every time. I used to dislike her, but my opinion of her has been totally changed in the last 18 months or so, to the point that I love to watch her work. Mercedes is Mercedes – a reliable, exciting wrestler who will always put on a great contest.

Madison Eagles b MsChif with the Hellbound to retain the SHIMMER Championship. Looks like that night off didn’t go to plan. A decent match with the heat we usually expect from Eagles these days.

3S b the Knight Dynasty to retain the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship. Another fine piece of winding up from Saraya, Britani and Knox, coupled with the sheer loveable factor of Matsumoto and Ohata resulted in a good match. In the space of one day, the Knight Dynasty are easily the most hated act in SHIMMER history… in a positive way.

Ayako Hamada b Ayumi Kurihara with two AP Crosses. The generational dream match didn’t disappoint. In fact, Hamada really laid it in to Kurihara with the head kicks, and then paid tribute to the fans afterwards, and insisted that Japan will never give up – in reference to the earthquake and tsunami earlier this month. This was a proper hard-hitting battle which was the perfect way to cap off one of the best days of SHIMMER tapings ever.

That’s right, no bullshit – these tapings were excellent, volume 37 in particular. The Rebecca Knox return, the Knight Dynasty doing their best to cause a riot, the tag team title change and Eagles and Martinez brawling all over the Berwyn Eagles Club is something you HAVE to see when it comes out on DVD.

Tomorrow we will bring you reaction from volumes 39 and 40, and we may try and sneak in some interviews too.

– Lee Burton

Follow Lee on Twitter (not that I’m on much at the moment, I’m drinking Blue Motherfuckers with Jessie McKay)

Nick O'Donoghue says:

Nice writeup Lee,
37 was amazing, I think Saturday was the best day of Shimmer I have been to, match for match

Scott says:

Yesterday was an incredible day of matches. I am so happy that my first live Shimmer experience was the debut of The Knight Dynasty and the return of Rebecca Knox! Getting my picture with Saraya, Melissa, and Madison was a nice touch as well.