With just over two months to go until the tapings for SHIMMER Vols 49-52 in the traditional Eagles Club in Berwyn, IL (tickets available here), we’re able to exclusively bring you confirmation of the first wave of wrestlers to be added to the bill. Joining Allysin Kay (who was announced live on air at Shine 1 last month) in Berwyn will be the SHIMMER Champion Saraya Knight, the SHIMMER Tag Team Champions of Nicole Matthews & Portia Perez, and the former SHIMMER Champion Cheerleader Melissa!

For Saraya and Melissa, their destinies at the last tapings were inextricably intertwined, with Knight sending a collection of hired guns to try and take out Melissa on Vols 45-47 before completing the job with a backstage knee attack and a title challenge on Vol 48. For crowd favourite Melissa, dropping the SHIMMER Title during her first weekend as Champion seemed like an impossibility – but then Saraya Knight laughs in the face of the impossible. However, the question is – has Knight inadvertently lit a fire under Melissa? There can be no doubt that Melissa (who now becomes SHIMMER’s last remaining ever present) will want to become the first ever two-time SHIMMER Champion, and will be training her Terminator-type radar right on Knight. There is only one way to find out what’s going to happen – be there October 27th & 28th.

As for the team of Matthews & Perez, collectively known as the Canadian NINJAs, they come into this set of tapings as the first two-time SHIMMER Tag Champions on the back of a typical piece of opportunism that transpired at NCW: Femmes Fatales IX in July. The NINJAs had beaten the team of Sweet Cherrie & Cherry Bomb to apparently earn a shot at the SHIMMER Tag Titles at Femmes Fatales X in November – only for Perez & Matthews to demand their title shot on that same night – even though both champions Courtney Rush & Sara Del Rey were booked in big matches elsewhere on the card. Rush was a fighting champion. Del Rey was not – and the short lived reign of the Queens of Winning was ended before it had really begun with Del Rey never tagging in and the consequently outgunned Rush being pinned by a Perez superkick. The NINJAs are now once again top of the heap in the rejuvenated SHIMMER Tag division, but with a deep pool of talent yet to be announced for the show, they are likely to have their hands full. We’ve already heard Leva Bates throw out a title challenge for these tapings on behalf of ReGeneration X (at Shine 2 this past weekend, after beating Perez in an excellent singles match), but we’ll have to wait and see how the talent pool stacks up before we can assess the challengers.

Saraya Knight is in her first reign as SHIMMER Champion, and debuted on Vol 37 on March 26th, 2011. Portia Perez is in her second reign as SHIMMER Tag Team Champion, and debuted on Vol 7 on October 22nd, 2006. Nicole Matthews is in her second reign as SHIMMER Tag Team Champion, and debuted on Vol 15 on October 13th, 2007. Cheerleader Melissa debuted on Vol 1 on November 6th, 2005.