It’s day two of the SHIMMER tapings in Berwyn, IL (you can find out the results, thoughts and photos from yesterday’s DVD tapings by clicking here), and a number of matches have been announced.
After defeating both Canadian Ninjas in singles matches yesterday, Cheerleader Melissa defends her SHIMMER Championship against Jessie McKay, aware that Sweet Saraya has apparently put a bounty on her head.
Elsewhere, the Tag Team Championship will be on the line as holders Ayako Hamada and Ayumi Kurihara defend against high-fliers Ray and Leon in an all-joshi affair, Mercedes Martinez takes on Hailey Hatred, and the unlikely team of Sara Del Rey and Courtney Rush will meet ReGeneration X – Allison Danger & Leva Bates.
As with yesterday, we will be adding the results to this post as they happen, and Stew will offer his thoughts from ringside later. Click after the jump and keep hitting refresh to follow the goings-on.
a. Nikki St John pins Angelus Layne with a bulldog.
SHIMMER Volume 47:
A Serena Deeb video is shown, with her wishing the promotion and the talent all the best.
1. Rhia O’Reilly defeats Taylor Made with a double arm DDT.
2. Kellie Skater beat Veda Scott with the Skate and Destroy.
3. Kalamity pins Kc Spinelli following the Kalamityville Horror.
Jessie McKay’s promo is interrupted by Sweet Saraya, who threatens her to do as she’s told in her title challenge against Cheerleader Melissa.
4. LuFisto & Kana beat MsChif & Christina Von Eerie when Kana made Von Eerie tap to a Kana Lock.
Courtney Rush is seen getting Sara Del Rey’s coffee.
5. Athena defeats Sassy Stephie with the O-Face.
6. The Canadian Ninjas – Portia Perez & Nicole Matthews – beat Mia Yim & Davina Rose with the Funky Cold Medina.
7. Shazza McKenzie beat Sweet Saraya via DQ.
8. Courtney Rush & Sara Del Rey beat ReGeneration X – Allison Danger & Leva Bates. Rush pinned Danger with a Skyward Suplex.
9. Mercedes Martinez uses a Fisherman Suplex to beat Hailey Hatred.
Cheerleader Melissa talks to Amber Gertner, saying she hopes Jessie McKay will stay true to herself.
10. Ayumi Kurihara & Ayako Hamada successfully defend the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship, beating Ray & Leon. Kurihara pinned Leon with a small package.
11. Cheerleader Melissa defeats Jessie McKay with an Air Raid Crash to retain the SHIMMER Championship. Saraya brawled with Melissa to end the taping.
SHIMMER Volume 48:
1. Kc Spinelli defeats NY Knockout with a Tiger Bomb.
2. Mia Yim & Davina Rose beat Mena Libra and Melanie Cruise. Yim gets the pin on Libra with a Skytwister Press.
3. Shazza McKenzie defeats Rhia O’Reilly with the Overdrive.
4. Kana made Kellie Skater tap out to the Kana Lock.
5. Leon pins LuFisto following a Phoenix Splash.
6. MsChif & Christina Von Eerie beat Hailey Hatred & Kalamity when MsChif hit the Desecrator on Kalamity.
7. Athena defeats Ray with the O-Face.
A video is shown of Saraya attacking Melissa knee backstage.
8. Courtney Rush & Sara Del Rey beat the Canadian Ninjas, ReGeneration X and Ayumi Kurihara & Ayako Hamada in a 4-way elimination match to win the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship. Regeneration X were the first team to go after Leva was rolled up by Perez. Kumihara & Hamada were next out after being defeated by Del Rey. Rush small packaged Portia to win the match, despite Del Rey walking out on her.
9. Sweet Saraya made Cheerleader Melissa tap out to win the SHIMMER Championship.
Stew’s View from Ringside
Apologies for the delay in getting these thoughts up, everybody. A combination of being exhausted from the weekend, a useless WiFi connection on Monday morning at the hotel, a travel day on Monday as I flew back to the UK and a day of catching up on sleep and one or two personal issues on Tuesday means this is much later than I’d have liked, but hopefully the thoughts are still relevant…
• SPARKLE today featured Nikki St John, who I saw working at POWW vs Saraya on Friday. Again, wasn’t a long match, but it was fine. After last time saw a massively bloated SPARKLE roster, this has been clearly pared wayyy back this time, with only three names Sparkling this time.
• Rhia O’Reilly got any main card butterflies out of the way yesterday, because she was far more comfortable and relaxed today… case in point here against Taylor Made. Taylor had also impressed at POWW, and she and Rhia worked well here. Really pleased with how this one turned out.
• I have very little memory of Kellie Skater vs Veda Scott happening (40+ matches in two days will do that for you), so I can say nothing about it other than it happened.
• Kalamity vs Kc Spinelli was great. Spinelli has become one of the company’s biggest success stories of this set of tapings. She’s *scarily* hyper for her matches, making her almost impossible to dislike. Kalamity had another superb performance too. Her execution is perfect and she’s throwing herself into things with so much confidence. It’s great to see someone grow right before your eyes from match to match. She’s developed a brilliant Spinebuster which is clearly modelled on Rock’s execution, and she hit an absolutely marvelous STO (not sure if it was in this match or yesterday) that looked amazing. Kalamity at full force is scintillating.
• LuFisto & Kana vs MsChif & Christina Von Eerie was an interesting mix of styles. I think Christina may have been out of her depth a bit, but it was still a rather fun match.
• Athena vs Sassy Stephie continued Athena’s run of having great matches this set of tapings. If her matches with Mercedes last time out started to establish her as a player, then this set has been her chance to show that she deserves to stay in that spot, and she’s proving herself worthy of it every time she steps in the ring.
• I raised an eyebrow at the fact that the Canadian Ninjas were back teaming up on this volume. I guess in retrospect, given that they were in a Four Corners match for the Tag Titles on Vol 48, they needed to re-establish themselves as a working and successful tag team. I haven’t mentioned it yet, but Nicole was regularly wearing a personalised version of the “Portia Perez Hates Me” t-shirt this weekend – adjusted with masking tape to say “Portia Perez *likes* Me (-ish)”. Superb.
• Shazza McKenzie became the next victim of Saraya, albeit one who actually had their hand raised by way of disqualification. More of the same in the vibe of Saraya’s matches with Davina & Veda, though this one ended with Saraya being carted out by numerous members of staff and male wrestlers. Wouldn’t be the last time this weekend.
• The Courtney Rush/Sara Del Rey partnership is GOLD. If you want a comparative duo, think Raven & Stevie Richards slightly re-tooled for 2012, with the sullen Del Rey (who barely tolerates their partner) and the perky and eager-to-impress Rush. Call them the Queens of Winning or Death Rush, they’re uproariously entertaining.
• Hailey Hatred vs Mercedes Martinez seemed a struggle. Seemed rough around the edges and a bit loose, and for me at least didn’t live up to what I had hoped for – even if it was one of the better matches of the taping. There was a pretty scary moment where Hatred landed on Martinez’ upper body full force as Martinez tried what looked to be a top rope sunset flip/powerbomb combo. I believe that necessitated Martinez being pulled from Vol 48, so I hope she’s alright.
• Ayumi Kurihara & Ayako Hamada vs Ray & Leon was the match of the weekend, without a shadow of a doubt. All joshi, and all action – the crowd were brought to their feet during the closing stretches by the near falls – and I don’t remember the last time a match did that. The final stretch was phenomenal, and continued the streak of tag matches being the best match on each volume. One of the best matches I’ve ever seen live.
• Cheerleader Melissa vs Jessie McKay was a drama. It had become clear that Jessie had been intimidated by Saraya to “finish the job” on Melissa, so there were two key segments in the match where Jessie had to battle her conscience. Outside the ring, she had Melissa at her mercy with a chair, but refused to use it, and back inside the ring, as she wound a chain around her fist. The choice was there, and McKay chose the side of the angels, and eventually paid for it with an Air Raid Crash from Melissa. Good match, more storyline based than McKay’s last title challenge in the US (vs Madison Eagles, which remains one of the best SHIMMER Title matches in history). The post match attack by Saraya saw another near riot situation, and Saraya being dragged out with men holding all of her limbs.
• New York Knockout’s second appearance of the weekend was much like the first. Sound, but lacking any particular spark – though she did get a particularly creative “Kirstie Alley” chant at one point. Some nice New York vs New Jersey banter with Spinelli, who may be the perfect show-starter.
• Was pleased as punch for Mia Yim & Davina Rose to rack up their first victories against Cruise & Libra. They’re a good team.
• Rhia O’Reilly vs Shazza McKenzie was another strong performance by O’Reilly, and it was nice to see McKenzie work a match on a more even par after seeing her taking on monsters like Cruise & Knight.
• I’ve never seen Kellie Skater in a more serious mode than she was against Kana. I think the match lasted maybe six minutes, and Kana won clean with the Kana Lock, but it was an all action six minutes. Skater has gone from opening match comedy to a far more rounded competitor – be it kickbox-y shooting with Kana, being a lucha base for Ray, working regular Western style with Spinelli or working with newer talent like Veda. As someone who’d grown tired of the usual Tank “open challenge -> splat” gimmick, I approve of this. Next step is to find a proper feud to sink her teeth into.
• Leon got “Please Come Back” chants after her match with LuFisto. Endorsed.
• If you were expecting a serious match from MsChif & Von Eerie vs Kalamity & Hailey Hatred, you were disappointed. I’m torn on the match, because given that Kalamity & Hatred produced the best two matches of Saturday and I had high hopes that after Ray/Leon vs Hamada/Kurihara had raised the bar even higher on Vol 47 that the ball was back in their court to try and top it again – however, given how hard both worked on all three tapings already, I can’t be too sad if they want to take one match to have some shenanigans and comedy. Still seems weird, but I can’t say that stuff like CVE’s Mohawk poking ‘Chif in the eye didn’t raise a chuckle. Disappointed with the result, but fun match nonetheless.
• Athena vs Ray was excellent stuff, and while Athena is clearly a very over babyface now, Ray wasn’t short of support. Ray was a major hit this weekend, and as she left I couldn’t help but wonder what’s going to happen next set of tapings assuming that Tomoka Nakagawa, Hiroyo Matsumoto & Yumi Ohka are all free and available to return to SHIMMER. You can’t say that Ray & Leon didn’t earn their spots this weekend either – but I’m sure it would be cost prohibitive to bring over all eight of SHIMMER’s regularly active joshis on one taping, and Lord knows, I don’t know how you even start to try and decide who gets rotated out.
• The four corners tag match was SHIMMER doing Sports Entertainment as the Death Rush storyline was played out wonderfully. There was more Del Rey vs Danger action here too, and to some extent it’s disappointing that Hamada & Kurihara were kinda overshadowed in their title loss, but the greater story was still to be told. If your heart didn’t go out to Courtney Rush in this match, then quite frankly you’re dead inside. Her pluckiness and unwavering belief in SDR was the heart and soul of the match, and when Del Rey briefly fought back against the Ninjas (after laying down and offering to be pinned just minutes earlier), the place exploded. Put simply, the match got me hook, line and sinker – and when Del Rey walked out on her partner, I genuinely cared. The emotion was real… and it turned to joy when Rush rolled up Perez. Courtney’s weekend ended on a high, and she jumped up about at least ten spaces on the roster with this weekend. To me, she becomes as essential a part of SHIMMER as any of the established bedrock.
• I always wanted to see Saraya vs Melissa one more time. I never expected it to be this weekend, and even when it became clear that it was happening, I never really expected that Saraya would win and complete the near five year revenge story. The fact that this all happened still has me buzzing, and I loved the nod to the history between them by having Saraya target Melissa’s injured knee. The match seemed like a real battle – like there was some real grappling going on to be on top and control the match, which added to the drama. When Melissa tapped and the bell rang, it was a surreal moment. She’d actually won the title! Part of me immediately thought that we’d get some sort of Dusty Finish, but no… it actually happened. Saraya’s music (Faint by Linkin Park) played, and Saraya strode around the ring with the title. I was so goddamn happy, and for me at least it was the best finish to a SHIMMER weekend I can ever remember. Two title changes in the final two matches to two of my absolute favourite wrestlers in the world in Saraya & Courtney, and I’m calling this one an absolute win.