Cheerleader Melissa continues her quest towards Madison Eagles‘ SHIMMER Championship, while Jessie McKay and Nicole Matthews settle their feud in a best of three falls match.
1. Kellie Skater defeated Courtney Rush with a Skate And Destroy.
2. LuFisto beat Sassy Stephie with the Mangalizer.
3. Rachel Summerlyn made Mena Libra tap out to the Texas Cloverleaf.
4. 3S (Hiroyo Matsumoto & Misaki Ohata) beat Pretty Bitchin’ (Nikki Roxx & Ariel) to retain the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship – Matsumoto pinned Roxx following an Exploder Suplex.
5. Mercedes Martinez pinned Britani Knight with a Fisherman Buster.
6. Daizee Haze & Tomoka Nakagawa defeated Mia Yim & Jamilia Craft. Nakagawa pinned Yim with a Fisherman Suplex.
7. Jessica James pinned Athena after hitting the Hard Boiled Egg.
8. MsChif beat Sweet Saraya with a Desecrator.
9. Serena Deeb defeated Portia Perez via DQ when Perez hit Deeb with a cookie sheet.
10. Nicole Matthews beat Jessie McKay in a best of three falls match. Matthews took the first fall with a tights-assisted O’Connor Roll, McKay equalised with multiple Schoolgirl Crushes, and Matthews scored the third fall with the Vancouver Maneuver.
11. Cheerleader Melissa & Ayako Hamada beat Madison Eagles & Sara Del Rey when Hamada rolled up Eagles for the pin.
• 3S continue their run as SHIMMER Tag Team Champions and establish themselves as the most over team in the promotion’s history with a second successful title defence over Pretty Bitchin’.
• Both Sweet Saraya and daughter Britani Knight are defeated by SHIMMER originals, MsChif and Mercedes Martinez respectively. The former sees the Knight’s manager Rebecca Knox get involved in the match but gets her comeuppance when a Saraya basement dropkick goes awry.
• Haze and Nakagawa earn a SHIMMER Tag Team Title shot by remaining undefeated, beating Mia Yim & Jamilia Craft.
• The Serena Deeb/Portia Perez feud that began following Deeb’s return to the promotion after her release from WWE the previous year continues and starts to involve weapons.
• Nicole Matthews and Jessie McKay put their on-off feud to bed after their best of three falls match after trading victories in singles and tag matches.
• Ayako Hamada pins Madison Eagles to earn a shot at the SHIMMER Championship, much to the chagrin of Cheerleader Melissa, who wanted to get the pin to earn the shot for herself.
• Even in the opening match, Courtney Rush carries herself like a star. Her match with Kellie Skater (who now deserves a rise up the card) is a neat mix of action and comedy – perfect for an opening match.
• Mena Libra bumps like a hero. It’s strong, impactful and makes it look like she’s taking the beating of her life. Don’t dismiss her because she wears black and ties her hair back – she’s no nonsense, and it’s what makes her great.
• 3S are awesome. Great tag team moves, connect with the crowd and can’t help to put a smile on your face. It’s a shame that Misaki Ohata isn’t keen on the air travel that requires her coming to SHIMMER – she’s missed. As far as the match is concerned, one of the great moments is Matsumoto & Ariel engaging in a shoulderblock battle to see who can knock the other over. Trust me, it sounds basic, but you’ll really get into it.
• You can see why WWE were so keen on Britani Knight (now Paige). She antagonises the crowd into a frenzy with her pompous attitude, and yet still hams it up with the constantly-animated Rebecca Knox. Martinez also brutalises Knight with her chops before putting her away with the Fisherman Buster.
• Daizee and Tomoka are the perfect foil to 3S. Cheap, mean, nasty and so easy to dislike – well, Haze, more than Nakagawa, who has this inherent likeability to her, despite her weasel-like tactics. Meanwhile, Yim and Craft have evolved since this point, as Yim has multiple trips to Japan under her belt, while Craft has found her niche as Jenny Rose.
• Considering they wrestle each other regularly in Anarchy Championship Wrestling, you would expect James v Athena to be great. And it was. Athena’s backflip into a slap in the corner was brilliant, while James’ pimp slap at the end of the match was just as great. The match-winning Hard Boiled Egg (Yakuza Kick) also looked like it killed Athena. Great match.
• MsChif v Saraya was a little short for my tastes, but considering it is 4th from the top of the card, it’s appropriate. Knox taking on MsChif in a screaming match doesn’t go well for the Irish lady either, then she’s belted in the face by an errant Saraya dropkick. I’d like to see these two have a longer contest in the future.
• The finish of Deeb v Perez is more of a continuance than a conclusion, leading to them crossing paths again on volume 40 and then settling things on volume 43. As a standalone contest, I’d say it has its legs cut off by the DQ, but Perez heels it up like nobody else, Deeb is the perfect antithesis and their chemistry cannot be denied.
• There were also some nice interludes, which include the competitors in the main event arguing with each other in a backstage interview, and the Knight Dynasty attacking Leva Bates in the dressing room, setting up a match between ReGeneration X (Bates & Allison Danger) against the Knights on volume 40.
• Nicole Matthews and Jessie McKay are main-eventers in every way. Dynamic, exciting, driven and engaged in a great match here. Similar in some ways, vastly different in others, they gel as opponents and McKay loses nothing in defeat. She fought her tail off, debunked the “Diva” insinuation that Matthews had been throwing her way, and showed that she should not be dismissed for being pretty, as talent and beauty can co-exist. Matthews, meanwhile, is the person you love to hate. With the absences of Serena and Madison Eagles from the next tapings, there are spots at the top for both of them.
Match of the Night:
Cheerleader Melissa & Ayako Hamada v Madison Eagles & Sara Del Rey
Of course, considering the talent in the ring, why wouldn’t you expect this to be great? Starting out with Melissa encouraging Eagles to get into the ring, the SHIMMER titleholder refuses, meaning we get to see Del Rey and Melissa beat each other again like we saw on volumes 9, 17 and 24, to name a few – and no, that is not a complaint. After being cut off by a conniving Del Rey and Eagles, Melissa is mercilessly beaten on for an extended time, while Hamada gets more and more agitated on the apron, as per the usual tag team format. However, Del Rey’s cockiness gets the better of her as she is hit with a Samoan Drop for the hot tag from Melissa to Hamada.
Weirdly, the hot tag starts off with her coming unstuck at the hands of Eagles, but then sees her gain traction as she attacks her opponents with her big kicks and high-flying offence – seriously, you sometimes forget just how excellent Ayako Hamada is. Unexpectedly, it is she who pins Eagles to earn a title shot on volume 40, which frustrates Melissa, who knows that getting the fall over the champion would have earned her the same opportunity. There is a little discussion between Hamada and Melissa before they celebrate their victory together. Excellent stuff.
The show of the SHIMMER weekend last match was undoubtedly volume 37, but 39 is also a great outing for the roster, with six matches ranging from good to great, and not one stinker on the card. Providing some threads to expand on in future volumes, SHIMMER 39 sees the continuation of some storylines (Haze & Nakagawa’s run towards the Tag Team Title, Serena Deeb and Portia Perez’s feud getting more heated, and Melissa’s fight to get a second title shot) and the conclusion of another in McKay v Matthews that saw both benefit and improve their profiles in the promotion.
You can buy volume 39 – as well as many of the other SHIMMER DVDs by clicking here.
– Lee Burton
(Photos by Wrestlin’ Wally)