It's SHIMMER time again
It’s the kickoff to SHIMMER’s Vols 54-57 tapings in Berwyn, IL at the Eagles Club with Vols 54 & 55 being recorded today. We’ve got a big preview of the Vol 54 taping up already, and we’ll be updating this page with results after the conclusion of both of today’s volumes. As noted in the preview, we’ll be back with thoughts and pictures from the event at some point thereafter. Enjoy!

SPARKLE
a. Angie Skye, Marti Belle & December beat Pink Flash Kira, Leah Von Dutch & Xandra Bale. Skye pinned Bale with The Hard Goodbye.
b. Heidi Lovelace beat Angelus Layne with a hairpull takedown.

SHIMMER Volume 54
1. Santana Garrett defeated Miss Natural with a Shining Star Press.
2. MsChif pinned Rhia O’Reilly with a Descecrator.
3. Evie beat Kimber Lee with the TTYL.
4. Kalamity defeated Yuu Yamagata with the Kalamityville Horror.
5. Veda Scott & Shazza McKenzie beat Leva Bates & Allison Danger. Scott pinned Danger with a schoolgirl.
6. Kana made Jessie McKay tap out to a cross armbreaker.
7. Ayako Hamada beat Melanie Cruise with a top rope moonsault.
8. Jessicka Havok defeated Serena Deeb with a sit out powerslam.
Jessika Havok chokes Serena Deeb9. Kellie Skater & Tomoka Nakagawa beat Nicole Matthews & Portia Perez when the Canadian Ninjas deliberately got counted out to retain their titles.
10. Courtney Rush defeated Athena, Saraya Knight & Madison Eagles in a 4 way. Rush pinned Athena with the Skyward Suplex.
11. Cheerleader Melissa pinned Mercedes Martinez with an Air Raid Crash to retain the SHIMMER Championship.

SHIMMER Volume 55
1. Jessie McKay pinned Yuu Yamagata with the Boyfriend Stealer.
2. Allysin Kay made Thunderkitty tap out to a gogoplata.
3. Sassy Stephie & Jessicka Havok beat Santana Garrett & Heidi Lovelace. Havok pinned Lovelace with a chokeslam.
4. Christina Von Eerie defeated Saraya Knight via DQ.
5. Athena beat Taylor Made with the O-Face.
6. Veda Scott & Shazza McKenzie beat Nicole Matthews & Portia Perez via DQ.
7. Kalamity pinned MsChif with the Kalamityville Horror.
8. Tomoka Nakagawa & Kellie Skater beat Allison Danger & Leva Bates. Nakagawa pinned Bates with a Fisherman Suplex.
9. Madison Eagles pinned Kana with the Hellbound.
10. Mercedes Martinez defeated Ayako Hamada with the Fisherman Buster.
11. Cheerleader Melissa beat Courtney Rush with the Kudo Driver to retain the SHIMMER Championship.

Thoughts on the shows
• Two matches for SPARKLE this time out. The first was a six woman encounter, worked for the most part by Angie Skye and Leah Von Dutch. Those two seemed to be in the ring most of the time, so left the best impression. Angie Skye was one of the highlights of SPARKLE last October and again today – I think she’ll get a main show shot soon. Wouldn’t be surprised if Von Dutch does too.
• Heidi Lovelace & Angelus Layne (who is back in a SPARKLE match again after a main show appearance at Vol 52) was entertaining. A bit rough around the edges, but not bad at all. Lovelace has something.

• Miss Natural has new gear from when I last saw her, and it’s a massive upgrade. It’s impossible to dislike Santana, who went over Natural strong here.
• Although O’Reilly/MsChif had some history for why the match should happen (both were involved in running in during the main event of Vol 52), it never really felt like there was any particular grudge to settle. It was just a match. O’Reilly dominated quite a bit of it too.
• Evie vs Kimber Lee kicked things up a few gears with two young women eager to impress – and impress they did. They also kicked each other exceedingly hard and drew a lot of people into their match. I think most people are going to say Evie was great in this – and she was – but on a personal note I really enjoyed Kimber Lee’s work, which came with a dash more personality. Either way – more from these two please.
• We’ve been spoiled at SHIMMER for seeing some of the best joshi talent over the last few years, and it’s for that reason that Yuu Yamagata sadly goes down as nothing more than average. She never looked comfortable in there with Kalamity who looked like she struggled to do anything with her – and short of a couple of spots where she showed some personality, Yamagata appeared to be pretty much a passenger en route to a loss. Kalamity tried her best.
1• One of the major stories going into SHIMMER weekend was the impending retirement of Allison Danger, and it was interesting to see how that retirement would be handled. If today is any example, Danger is eschewing one final “big push” to instead put over some other people on her way out. Selfless work. The match with Veda & Shazza didn’t do much for me at all, but I did appreciate the gag at the end when Danger, playing a Ninja Turtle, was unable to get back on her feet after being put on her back.
• Kana vs Jessie McKay brought the level back up again with a really good match, full of trademark Kana technical stuff and Jessie’s likeable determination. Not sure how long it lasted, but I could’ve had more of it – and Kana’s finisher, a flying cross armbreaker, was lovely.
• Ayako Hamada vs Melanie Cruise may not have continued Ayako Hamada’s streak of regularly having the best match on any given SHIMMER Volume, but she did give Melanie Cruise her best SHIMMER match to date. Credit to Cruise for her work on the last set of tapings in October for getting herself this opportunity, and she’s really working to her size now, which used to be a bit of a criticism in past years… however, with Jessicka Havok making a splash in SHIMMER now as the powerbombing/chokeslamming physically dominant-type heel, I think Cruise will struggle to find a role for herself. Perhaps she’ll prove that hypothesis wrong, but we’ll see. Either way, good performance.
• Speaking of Havok, she plays the role of the beast very well – and Serena Deeb is the prototypical “defender of the faith” type babyface against her invasion. As noted in last week’s review of Vol 53, Havok brings something both physically and personality-wise different to the promotion, and she looked motivated. The match featured interference by Stephie & Rachelle, leading to Havok getting the pinfall. I have the impression that these two can do better if they end up getting matched up again. Havok got good heat.
• The issues that led to 3G getting pinned last weekend were nowhere to be found in their match this week with the NINJAs, so this was a pretty standard tag match. The finish was a horrible cop out, but pretty clearly designed to be part of a longer story.
• I loved the four-way with Saraya/Eagles/Athena/Rush – best match on the volume for my money. It was 4dripping with personality and it felt like a fight – a struggle – between four decidedly different people. Rush looked strong early, but a lot of the match featured Eagles & Knight either working together or subtly against each other, using Rush or Athena as punching bags. Heel vs Heel matches are a rarity in SHIMMER, but given that Eagles is getting a mostly positive reaction from the crowd on her return, I’d love to see Saraya vs Eagles. Athena got to look good and hit her O-Face, although she didn’t get the pin – and ended up taking Saraya’s rocking horse submission hold, Eagles’ Hellbound and Rush’s Skyward Suplex on the way down, so even in losing she didn’t lose any standing. More on Eagles later.
• Cheerleader Melissa vs Mercedes Martinez was a very good SHIMMER Title match, and they did go a bit Cena/Rock near the end with reversals and trading finishers – but it never felt like a match Melissa was going to lose. Not in her first defence.

• Jessie McKay vs Yuu Yamagata was fine. Yamagata still needs a breakout match.
• The next match featured what I can only describe as AK47 vs TK ’57 as Allysin Kay took on 50’s throwback Thunderkitty. I quite liked this. Thunderkitty’s gimmick is well realized, and Kay remains one of my favourite performers to watch in the ring.
• Stephie & Havok vs Lovelace & Garrett was nothing more than a showcase for Stephie & Havok – and more precisely Havok. Santana was being blocked in the aisle way by Stephie & Rachelle, allowing Havok to powerbomb and chokeslam Lovelace into oblivion. Heidi played her role as fodder for Havok very well, and Santana was basically protected by not having her drop the fall. Fine work.
• Christina Von Eerie vs Saraya Knight happened as a result of an impromptu pushing match and brawl at the merch table during intermission between volumes. Anybody wondering whether Saraya remains a credible part of the roster after dropping the title needn’t have worried – she’s even getting heat from the fact that she’s a FORMER champion… which elicited a chant of “Was! Was! Was!” from the crowd, and she’s still getting some of the best heel heat in the company. Von Eerie won on a reverse decision after initially appearing to lose on a knockout punch – only to win due to use of a foreign object.
• Athena vs Taylor Made was notable both for the “Trailer Made” chant from the crowd and Allysin Kay’s antics on the outside of the ring, taking photos and apparently tweeting them live from ringside, whilst all the time directing traffic in the ring. Was thinking during the match that with all due respect to Taylor, I’d like to see Kay vs Athena instead… and I think there’s a good chance that happens tomorrow.
• I didn’t like Veda & Shazza vs the NINJAs very much. It never clicked at all for me, and while Veda & Shazza remain an adorable duo, this wasn’t for me. The big story point of the match was that the NINJAs tried to get themselves deliberately counted out to retain their titles only for 3G to stop them. This led to the NINJAs deliberately getting disqualified by striking Veda/Shazza with the title belts. 3G challenged the NINJAs again, but referee Bryce Remsburg ordered singles matches between 3G and the NINJAs, presumably for Vol 56 tomorrow.
• I could have happily done with less comedy in the Kalamity vs MsChif match – but that’s kind of the way MsChif’s character has gone in recent years a lot of the time. Big win for Kalamity though, who went 2-0 today. About time she got a decent bit of momentum going.
• Regeneration X vs 3G suffered from an inevitability that Regeneration X were always going to lose here… and lose they did. It was fine.
Cheerleader Melissa v Courtney Rush• Madison Eagles vs Kana was the match of the day. My God this was good. We said it last week, but Madison Eagles is so *dead on* back on form after her injury it’s hard to comprehend. These two worked super hard and appeared to have super chemistry. A million head kicks from both parties too. This was a level way above everything else on the day.
• Mercedes Martinez vs Ayako Hamada was also superb, and even though it struggled to follow Eagles/Kana, they gave it a damn good shot and came close – even kicking out of what would’ve been expected to be near falls near the end of the match at a count of ONE! Even from an AP Cross. Almost impossible for these two to not deliver a great match.
• Cheerleader Melissa vs Courtney Rush was Courtney proving that she could hang at the absolute top level – and there’s no doubt after this match that she can. There was a bit of dance action at the start, but after that it was essentially all business and Rush’s best singles match in SHIMMER. A babyface/babyface match, Melissa worked subtle (and at times not so subtle) heel for a lot of the match, ensuring that the crowd remained split. Rush got very close with a Skyward Suplex, and did avoid an Air Raid Crash, but finally fell to the Kudo Driver. Excellent match, and ensured that Vol 55 was capped off with three great matches.

• Based on the booking from today and what we can expect for tomorrow, we can look forward to singles matches between 3G and the Canadian NINJAs (and maybe another title match on Vol 57?), possibly Allysin Kay vs Athena, and it looks quite likely that Madison Eagles is closing in on a title shot – so we may get Melissa vs Eagles. There’s also Mia Yim tomorrow too. And of course, we’ve got Allison Danger’s retirement match. Join us tomorrow for more coverage as SHIMMER weekend reaches its climax with Vols 56 & 57.

— Stew Allen

Matthew says:

Thanks, Craig.

Matthew says:

Who played the faces and heels in the Sparkle matches? Same question for Evie/Kimber Lee.

Craig Russell says:

In the first Sparkle match – Angie Skye, Marti Belle & December were the heels and Pink Flash Kira, Leah Von Dutch & Xandra Bale were the faces.

In the second Sparkle match – Angelus Layne was the heel, and Heidi Lovelace was the face.

In the Evie/Kimber Lee match – Evie was the face, Kimber Lee was the heel. Their match was a lot of fun to watch. I am hoping Evie is at the after party tomorrow night(she was not there tonight) because I do want to try and meet her.