We’ve had WSU; we’ve had Femmes Fatales, and now it’s the turn of SHIMMER as part of wrestling’s March Madness.

Cheerleader Melissa walks into these four DVD tapings as the SHIMMER Champion, while Ayumi Kurihara and Ayako Hamada hold the Tag Team Championship. Although no matches have been announced, we offered some thoughts about what could happen, but they are just musings and nothing more. We will all find out together how things will unfold.

Stew is in Berwyn, IL watching the shows live, and will offer up thoughts on the tapings later on. For now, we will bring you results as they happen, so keep refreshing the page to keep up with all the developments.

Click after the jump to dive in. It’s going to be a busy one.

SPARKLE:
a. December pins Angelus Layne with a small package while holding the tights.

SHIMMER Volume 45:
1. Courtney Rush pins Rhia O’Reilly following the Skyward Suplex.
In a video promo, Athena calls out Mercedes Martinez, who attacked her with a chair on volume 44.
2. Melanie Cruise & Mena Libra defeat Shazza McKenzie & Veda Scott. Cruise got the pin following a top rope legdrop on McKenzie.
Nicole Matthews says she has a title shot against Melissa, but it interrupted by Sweet Saraya, who asks to talk to her.
3. Sara Del Rey pins Leon following a big powerbomb.
4. Sweet Saraya makes Davina Rose tap out to a Boston Crab.
In an interview with Amber Gertner, Kellie Skater says she’s tired of being seen as a joke. She will face Ray later.
5. Jessie McKay beats Mia Yim with the Boyfriend Stealer.
A Madison Eagles video plays, where she promises to be back.
6. Ray pins Kellie Skater with a Phoenix Splash.
Cheerleader Melissa says her reign will not end at the hands of Nicole Matthews after one DVD.
7. Hailey Hatred & Kalamity beat LuFisto & Kana. Hatred pinned LuFisto following a running powerbomb.
Martinez talks down Athena during an interview with Amber Gertner.
8. Portia Perez defeats Christina Von Eerie with a superkick.
9. Ayumi Kurihara & Ayako Hamada retain the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship by beating ReGeneration XAllison Danger & Leva Bates. Hamada pinned Danger with the AP Cross.
10. Athena defeats Mercedes Martinez with the O-Face.
11. SHIMMER Champion Cheerleader Melissa retains the title by beating Nicole Matthews with the Air Raid Crash despite interference from Perez, who also attacks the titleholder after the match.

SHIMMER Volume 46:
1. Courtney Rush pins Sassy Stephie with the Skyward Suplex.
2. Veda Scott defeats Sweet Saraya by reverse decision after Saraya refuses to release the submission hold.
3. LuFisto beat NY Knockout Nikki with the Mangalizer.
4. Sara Del Rey defeats Leva Bates with the Royal Butterfly. Del Rey applies an armbar after the match, with Allison Danger making the save. Danger challenges her to a tag team match, but doesn’t believe that Del Rey can find a teammate
5. Leon & Ray beat Mia Yim & Davina Rose. Leon hit a Swanton on Rose for the pin.
Portia Perez vowed to win the SHIMMER title from Cheerleader Melissa. Like with Nicole Matthews on volume 45, Sweet Saraya asked to talk to Perez.
6. Kellie Skater pins Kc Spinelli with a Skate And Destroy.
7. Jessie McKay defeats MsChif with a small package to become the number one contender to the SHIMMER Championship.
Del Rey asks Melissa to be her partner, but is turned down. Rush offers herself up, but Del Rey refuses.
8. Nicole Matthews uses a draping Vancouver Maneuver to beat Athena.
Matthews also turns down Del Rey’s offer to be her partner, but Rush is still making herself available.
9. Mercedes Martinez pins Kana following a Fisherman Buster.
Lacey appears for a cameo, with Del Rey trying to recruit her. Lacey also refuses. Rush tries to bribe Del Rey with gum to get her to buckle. Sara takes the gum, seemingly agreeing to Rush’s request.
10. Ayumi Kurihara & Ayako Hamada beat Kalamity & Hailey Hatred to retain the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship. Kurihara pinned Kalamity after an Exploder Suplex.
11. Cheerleader Melissa retained the SHIMMER Championship after beating Portia Perez with an Air Raid Crash. The champ suffers a beatdown after the match from Perez and Matthews with McKay making the save, but Melissa doesn’t trust her, as it’s now apparent that Saraya has put a bounty on Melissa’s head.

Tomorrow will see Cheerleader Melissa defend the SHIMMER title against Jessie McKay, while Ray & Leon will challenge Ayumi Kurihara & Ayako Hamada for the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship.

Live Observations via Stew

It’s very late, I’m writing from memory and I’ve had an afterparty after the show – so with that in mind, here’s some observations from ringside. I’ll try and do a bullet point for each match.

Vol 45
• SPARKLE match between Angelus Layne & December was fairly brief. December is making her third SPARKLE appearance in a row, which ties the record for SPARKLErs. Couldn’t really tell much about Layne due to the seemingly abbreviated time.
• Rhia O’Reilly (making her SHIMMER main card debut) had the task of being a Irish heel on St Patrick’s Day. Not the easiest of jobs, but one that she absolutely relished. I think pairing her with the uber charismatic Courtney Rush can only have been a good thing to help her ease into the task. I’ve seen lots of Rhia over the last year and she’s coming on leaps and bounds, and showed it here, looking comfortable in the biggest match of her career to date. Rush was predictably fun.
• I know Shazza McKenzie & Veda Scott have been hanging out and training together since Shazza came over from Australia, but by God do they have chemistry as a tag team. Promising debut from McKenzie.
• Leon had a great debut too, in a match with Del Rey. Standard match with Leon rallying the crowd behind her very well. For those who have never seen her before, Leon has the best spear in the business.
• Those who had suggested that Saraya Knight should have been rested following Britani’s signing with WWE or that her act wouldn’t work without her daughter were dead wrong. If anything, she’s crescendoing. She’s now going *into* the crowd in search of victims. Across the two tapings today, she grabbed crowd members, went over the barricades twice, slapped MC Joey Eastman, laid out Kevin Harvey and generally tried to incite chaos. As a fan, I love it. Absolutely joyous to watch, and although she’s had “bigger” matches, her two matches today were quite possibly the best matches she’s had to date in SHIMMER
• Jessie McKay vs Mia Yim was proclaimed as a “friendly” match, to the point where I felt *sure* one of the two was turning. Lo and behold, it was a friendly match with no turn. That, in 2012, is a swerve. Good match though.
• Kellie Skater has finally moved off opening match duty, and looks good for it. Her match with Ray was superb. For her part, Ray has a style that gets her over with a new fanbase pretty quickly. Amongst her repertoire, she hit the cartwheel powerbomb, which I utterly love.
• Hailey Hatred & Kalamity vs Kana & LuFisto was fantastic. Legitimately great, and up there for match of the day (along with the other Kalamity & Hailey Hatred tag match… go figure). We all know how good Hailey Hatred is, but I’m sure Kalamity turned some heads today. I mentioned how comfortable and assured she looked last weekend at Femmes Fatales, and she looked it here too – and worked the majority of the match, in fact. There was just too much good stuff to talk about here. Kana once again awed me with her technique, and for someone who has openly been discussing coming to the end of her career, LuFisto has rarely looked sharper than she does at the minute. Interesting to see Hatred vs Kana in tag format too. The match was such that it actually couldn’t be followed, and the crowd actually struggled to get into the next couple of matches.
• The unlucky match following was Portia Perez vs Christina Von Eerie, which was fine. Von Eerie’s “Oi!” chants lacked the vigour of previous appearances, possibly due to the previous match.
• Following an early segment which saw Re-X posing for in-ring pictures with the champs, Danger & Bates worked really hard in their dream match with Hamada & Kurihara. Danger especially had her working boots on, working solidly with Hamada and taking three finishers in succession en route to defeat (Moonsault from Hamada, Exploder from Kurihara and AP Cross from Hamada).
• Athena vs Mercedes Martinez was great stuff, and Athena was really popular with the crowd (and let’s be honest, doing stuff like an O-Face to the floor will do that for you). Martinez’ heel turn is definitely taking, and she was tremendous here.
• Melissa vs Nicole was a really hard hitting match with some believable close finishes – I felt sure more than once that Matthews was going to wreck Melissa’s title reign right out of the gate. As noted above, the subplot of Saraya clearly having some sort of nefarious plan for Melissa is filling me with anticipation. I don’t even want to type it, but I’m excited about possibilities.

Vol 46
• Courtney Rush vs Sassy Stephie was good fun. It’s a pretty thankless task to be first on after the interval, but they did good. It’s a shame that there’s no Nevaeh this weekend, after the momentum she and Stephie had built last time as a tag team.
• Veda Scott was Saraya’s opponent/victim on this volume. Loads has been said about Saraya, but I want to take a moment to compliment Veda Scott on projecting such great sympathy. She looked terrified at times (with good reason, sure – but her reactions did so much to help make Saraya even more hateable). I’ve said before how I think Veda has “it”, and she certainly showed it here.
• NY Knockout (announced as such, with no “Nikki”) had a fairly standard debut with LuFisto. NYKO was working the “don’t hit my face” gimmick. I wouldn’t call it massively memorable as a debut, but there was some fun and hijinks involving Pegaboo which elevated it a tad. Hoping Nikki can do more to separate herself from the pack.
• Sara Del Rey vs Leva Bates was for all intents and purposes a squash match to bring back a storyline thread from several years ago between Sara Del Rey & Allison Danger. Tag action set for tomorrow.
• Leon & Ray vs Mia Yim & Davina Rose was another really good match. Yim & Rose really did well, and didn’t look out of their depth. It’s been drawn to my attention that Yim is now 0-8 on SHIMMER Volumes and Rose is 0-6. I’m fine that they lost here, but these two need wins badly.
• Kellie Skater vs Kc Spinelli was one of those matches that I found myself referring to as shockingly good. Obviously neither are bad wrestlers, but I was just pleasantly surprised that they seemed to have such strong chemistry with each other. May well have been Skater’s best match in SHIMMER yet.
• MsChif’s new “A Clockwork Orange” inspired gear is… err.. inspired. She got down to “a bit of the old ultraviolence” on McKay (even warbling “Singing In The Rain” whilst doing it). There was a finishing sequence which saw MsChif reverse McKay’s Boyfriend Stealer into a Desecrator, then reversed by McKay back to the Boyfriend Stealer… I’m sure no less than 20 times. It was one of those things that started awesome, then became a bit silly, then went past that point until it became awesome again. Turns out after all those reversals, McKay punched ‘Chif in the gut and hit an inside cradle for the pin.
• Nicole Matthews vs Athena was one of the best matches of the night. A somewhat split crowd, with the Matthews fans in full voice.
• Mercedes Martinez vs Kana was brutal and vicious, and fantastic.
• Kurihara & Hamada vs Kalamity & Hatred edged out Kalamity & Hatred’s earlier match as match of the night. Simply put, Kalamity & Hatred were the MVPs of the day. There were a couple of moments early in the match where, of all people, Hamada seemed to be a bit off on her timing, but once everybody got on the same page, it was fantastic.
• I didn’t see a lot of the pre-match crowd brawl between Cheerleader Melissa & Portia Perez. What I saw was brutal, and included launching chairs at each other and fighting briefly into the men’s toilet. By the time they got in the ring and the bell rung, Perez went for a cover and nearly won the title after an official match time of about 0:03. Back in the ring, the match was pretty great thereafter. I’d put it a shade below Melissa/Matthews, but it was very good all the same.

I’ve got to be up in a few hours to do this all over again, so I can’t really think of what else to say other than that the day was immense, with zero bad matches. Great job all round.

– Stew

Fightingirls says:

ATHENA is the best !!!

My dream : ATHENA vs Pamela ”Black Tiger” from Fightingirls.com (Montreal,Canada).

I was there live and it was amazing. Love the Lacey/Del Rey segment as well.

Also, I was impressed with Ray’s and Leon’s debuts and after hearing the announcement of my dream match, I think Kurimada is in trouble later today. Hope the champs survive.

Saraya is gold and the mafia stuff with the Ninjas is tremendous. Can’t wait for the epic Melissa/Saraya war to commence later today.

Kudos to Kana/Mercedes and Nicole/Athena for awesome matches. Cheers, mates!

Jay says:

Let’s go Hailey! Kalamity! Ayumi! Melissa! Sara! Leva! Athena! Nicole! Portia! Skater!

Nugoyxi says:

Volume 45 has been shaping up to be really good so far!

Nugoyxi says:

Very excited for 46!

I’d like to see-
-Sara del Rey vs Ray
-Ayako Hamada & Ayumi Kurihara vs Leon & Ray
-Mercedes Martinez vs Kana
-Leva Bates vs Veda Scott
-Leva Bates & Veda Scott vs Mia Yim & Jessie McKay

among many matches these tapings! :D