SHIMMER Volumes 43 & 44 results and thoughts
Day Two of SHIMMER is in the history books, and now that the smoke has cleared from the shimnanigan-filled afterparty, it’s time to go back and review an absolutely amazing day of action. In my opinion, Day Two (encompassing Vols 43 & 44) was a stronger day of tapings than Day One, featuring many great matches and topped off with a history making Vol 44.
In male pre-show action, the team of Knight Wagner, Jordan McIntyre and the indiest man alive (a wrestler I failed to identify, but who wore the indytastic combination of a mask, t-shirt and pleather pants) defeated Team CLASH. After that, SPARKLE action saw Jett Riley & Kimberley Maddox beat December & Buggy Nova, while KC Spinelli pinned Su Yung with a hard powerslam.
1. LuFisto pinned Maja Svensson with the Mangalizer.
2. ReGeneration X (Allison Danger & Leva Bates) beat Sassy Stephie & Nevaeh after a Sonic Screwdriver on Stephie.
3. Nicole Matthews pinned Davina Rose with a Roll Of The Dice.
4. Hiroyo Matsumoto defeated Kellie Skater with a side suplex.
5. Saraya Knight pinned Ariel after a Sunset Flip Powerbomb.
6. Courtney Rush pinned Nikki Roxx following an Angle Slam.
7. Yumi Ohka pinned Mia Yim with a bridging Tiger Suplex.
8. MsChif pinned Tomoka Nakagawa after a Desecrator.
9. Mercedes Martinez & Athena went to a double countout. After the match, Athena wanted to restart, but Martinez walked off.
10. Jessie McKay pinned Britani Knight following a Boyfriend Stealer. Afterwards, Saraya Knight came out and berated Britani for letting down the Knight family name, and disowned her – suggesting she could put out a want ad and find a better daughter than Britani. Britani eventually snapped and the two brawled in a breathtaking extended pull-apart brawl. Britani vows to leave, but wants one match with her mother on Vol 44 to settle it all.
11. Serena Deeb pinned Portia Perez in an amazing no holds barred match, after spearing Perez off a table the two were standing on at the time.
12. Cheerleader Melissa defeated Kana after an Air Raid Crash. Post match, ring announcer Joey Eastman revealed that the win made Melissa the new top contender for Madison Eagles’ SHIMMER Championship.
13. SHIMMER Tag Team Titles: Ayako Hamada & Ayumi Kurihara (c) defeated Madison Eagles & Sara Del Rey to retain their titles after Hamada pinned Del Rey with an AP Cross.
1. Kellie Skater pinned Davina Rose after a Skate or Die.
2. Taylor Made pinned Veda Scott with a neckbreaker.
3. Kalamity pinned Tomoka Nakagawa with a Kalamity Driver.
4. Sassy Stephie & Neveah beat Ashley Lane & Mia Yim with a Kiss My Sass from Stephie on Yim. Former partners Nevaeh & Ashley Lane had already brawled to the back.
5. Serena Deeb pinned Yumi Ohka with a Spear.
6. ReGeneration X, Christina Von Eerie & MsChif beat Mena Libra, Melanie Cruise, She Nay Nay & Bonesaw when Von Eerie pinned She Nay Nay with a Pedigree.
7. Hiroyo Matsumoto pinned Jessie McKay with a side suplex.
8. Sara Del Rey pinned Courtney Rush with a Royal Butterfly.
9. Athena beat Mercedes Martinez via DQ when Martinez blatantly used a steel chair to attack the ankle of Athena. This seemed to cement a double turn, as Martinez was booed, while Athena was cheered. Athena pledged to get back at Martinez, but claimed she thought her leg was broken.
10. Kana beat LuFisto with the Kana Lock.
11. Britani Knight pinned Saraya Knight in a no DQ match with a Knight Light DDT.
12. SHIMMER Tag Team Titles: Ayako Hamada & Ayumi Kurihara (c) beat The Canadian NINJAs (Portia Perez & Nicole Matthews) after Kurihara pinned Perez after an Exploder Suplex.
13. SHIMMER Title: Cheerleader Melissa pinned Madison Eagles (c) with a rollup after escaping the Hellbound – NEW CHAMPION. After celebrating with the fans, Melissa was jumped and assaulted by Nicole Matthews, who claimed that this was “her time” now.
Click after the jump for more thoughts
Today’s SPARKLE pre-show matches featured the return of former SPARKLErs Jett Riley & December – but it was Buggy Nova who captured most hearts & minds and left the most positive impression on the fans. In the other pre-show match, KC Spinelli again looked good, and Su Yung had a better showing too.
Maja Svensson moved onto the main card and did really well against LuFisto.
Davina Rose concluded her weekend with a 0-4 record, but looked very at-home in the ring with a selection of SHIMMER’s more established names (Martinez, Perez, Matthews & Skater). Talk about being thrown in at the deep end – but Rose can be proud of a strong weekend’s work. She remains on the vanilla side as far as giving her any real personality, but that will come in time.
Speaking of Skater, the “Rate Tank” had the best match of her SHIMMER career on Vol 43 (against Hiroyo Matsumoto).
Saraya Knight was back as being a force of nature today. Following a fairly quiet (by her standards) match with Allison Danger on Vol 41 and the match with herself and Britani vs Hamada & Kurihara on Vol 42 being little other than a backdrop to continue the Britani storyline, Saraya seemed to come out today with fire in her belly. Her match with Ariel on Vol 43 was a masterclass in being a heel (which in turn led to Ariel being more over than she has been probably since she faced Amazing Kong). She didn’t have to do all that much either – but had the crowd eating out of her hand.
As far as Britani is concerned, her story played out exactly as we imagined it would – with her mother disowning her and Britani proving herself as being worth far more than her mother could have thought. Their match was less a wrestling match and more a war. Chairs and trash can lids were used with abandon before Britani pinned her mother clean with a Knight Light.
I think I want a Courtney Rush match on every wrestling show I ever go to from now on, please. Her combination of charisma, wrestling ability and look is nigh-on perfect – and whether it was wrestling with veterans like Roxx & Del Rey today, or being a dork trying to challenge Sara to a dance-off, her charm and likeability factor is off the scale.
To be perfectly honest, after Day One, I wasn’t sure what Yumi Ohka’s unique selling point was. While all the other joshis have something unique about them, Ohka seemed to lack anything that made her stand out. She was just a “good wrestler”. After Day Two, I’m sold on her. I still can’t really tell you what she brings to the table that differentiates her from everybody else, but after two great performances against Mia Yim & Serena Deeb, all I can say is that she’s definitely capable of producing the goods.
The anticipated Mercedes Martinez heel turn and Athena babyface turn that Lee hinted at in yesterday’s update was seemingly completed at the same moment, as the two switched sides in a double turn on Vol 44. The move should give a new edge to Martinez (assuming it sticks, because Martinez is always hugely popular in the Eagles Club) and prime Athena for a new push on the babyface side.
Serena Deeb had an incredible weekend. There is not another member of the roster who has her passion and intensity, and certainly nobody who seems to give themselves 100% to what they are doing at any given time more than she does – whether that be selling, making fiery comebacks, inciting the crowd to action with a mere look, or throwing the best punches in the business – Deeb is utterly fantastic. Her match with Portia Perez was the best in their series of matches, and to follow that up with another amazing job with Yumi Ohka soon afterwards speaks volumes. Here is a woman turning heads, everybody.
While Lee had reservations about Kana this weekend, I’m happy to count myself as a believer. If we want to talk uniqueness, Kana is your girl. She does a style that is completely different from everybody else, and frankly her technique is scary good. She does intricacies that set her apart from the rest of the roster – and as someone who’s watched wrestling for as long as I have, seeing someone so unique is refreshing. She carries herself like a star too. I enjoyed all four of her matches across the weekend very much.
After both of yesterday’s matches were backdrops to ongoing storylines, today allowed Ayako Hamada & Ayumi Kurihara the opportunity to open up and really shine as SHIMMER Tag Champions in two hot matches. They damn near had to draw a gun and shoot Sara Del Rey to get her to stay down on Vol 43, while Vol 44 had its ref bumps, but nevertheless was a fantastic match against the NINJAs.
Maybe a future contender team will be the Ohio team of Nevaeh & Sassy Stephie, who have shed their previous lives as jobbers to the stars and revived their SHIMMER careers with their new tag team. Although they came unstuck against ReGeneration X, Stephie & Nevaeh were (and are) full of potential. A quick word about fellow Ohio girl (and Nevaeh’s former partner) Ashley Lane, I have no idea at this point what the future holds for Lane & SHIMMER, but she made a fun, refreshing addition to the roster and I’ll be happy and pleased to see her booked again. Oh, and far from the deliberately unflashy style she uses when wrestling as Madison Rayne, this was the return of the Ashley Lane of old.
I figured that Kalamity would face Mena Libra today following the result on Vol 42, but her match with Tomoka on Vol 44 was great. I’m already sold on Kalamity from experience watching Femmes Fatales, but she equipped herself admirably. Three strong showings means she’s going into FF next weekend with a lot of momentum.
The eight woman tag team match on Vol 44 was curious – mostly because Mena Libra’s team put me in mind of a SHIMMER version of WCW’s old Dungeon of Doom stable with the odds & sods of the heel side of the locker room put together in a wacky team. I guess that makes Mena Libra into The Taskmistress?
Cheerleader Melissa’s ascent to the top of the SHIMMER ranks has been a long time coming, and the pop from the faithful when she pinned Eagles to halt her reign as champion and begin her own was pretty special. Melissa’s been on every volume since Vol 1 and in all that time has been recognised as one of the two or three most consistent performers in the company. As you might expect, her title match with Eagles was an utter war – going all over the Eagles Club. A crazy affair. Curiously, this is the first SHIMMER Title change that the crowd saw coming. That’s not a criticism, by the way – just a statement of fact given that the last two title changes (Del Rey losing to MsChif and MsChif losing to Madison Eagles) were so unexpected. Also curious to see Nicole Matthews indicate her desire to win the belt so immediately. Matthews has long been considered one of the biggest can’t-miss talents in SHIMMER, and I think everybody has her pegged as a future SHIMMER Champion, but already? So soon? We’ll have to wait until the Spring of 2012 to find out, I imagine.
- Stew Allen