SHIMMER

The second day of tapings for SHIMMER Women Athletes is underway, with a big SHIMMER Championship match announced, as well as a return match which could feature some very brutal consequences.

Headlining Volume 60 will be Cheerleader Melissa defending the SHIMMER Title against LuFisto, after the Super Hardcore Anime came to the aid of Leva Bates and Allison Danger on Volume 58, as well as Hiroyo Matsumoto on Volume 59 (you can see all the results here). It should be an emotionally charged contest between the increasingly-viscious Melissa (who is riding high after also coming top of the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Female 50 yesterday) and the never-say-die challenger.

Also announced yesterday is a rematch from Volume 59, where Nicole Matthews and Hikaru Shida will face off in a contest where Shida’s kendo stick will be legal. The bamboo weapon was instrumental in Matthews’ win yesterday, using it out of the sight of the referee – but today, it’s in play, and both women could be battered and bruised by the end.

Elsewhere, the Global Green Gangsters put the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship on the line against Sassy Stephie & Nevaeh, Matsumoto takes on kleptomaniac Portia Perez, Heidi Lovelace wrestles Nikki Storm, Santana Garrett faces Mercedes Martinez, and Allysin Kay battles Kana.

We’ve got all the results and goings on from the Berwyn Eagles Club in suburban Chicago, IL courtesy of Reid Allen. Click the jump for results.

SPARKLE
a. Midianne pinned JK Kennadi with a schoolgirl.

SHIMMER Volume 60
1. Nikki Storm beat Heidi Lovelace with the Eye of the Storm.
Courtney Rush delivers a pre-taped promo, declaring her support for the Global Green Gangsters.
2. Mia Yim defeated Melanie Cruise with a 450 Splash.
A pre-taped promo featuring Athena is shown, where she promises that her shoulder injury won’t end her and she will be back, better than ever.
3. Kimber Lee & Cherry Bomb beat Crazy Mary Dobson & Mary Lee Rose. Rose was pinned by Lee following a Lungblower/German Suplex combination.
4. Saraya Knight made Thunderkitty tap out to the Bridal Rocking Horse. After the match, Saraya challenged Christina Von Eerie to a Three Stages Of Hell Match, which was accepted. The first fall will be pinfall only; the second will be submission only; the third – if needed – will be fought under hardcore rules.
5. Kana defeated Allysin Kay via a Kana Lock tap out.
6. Portia Perez pinned Hiroyo Matsumoto after ramming her head into the exposed turnbuckle. She had exposed two of them so she could use one while the ref was fixing the other. Portia stole the Gojira mask to go with Thunderkitty and MsChif’s gear.
7. Mercedes Martinez beat Santana Garrett with a Fisherman Buster after Garrett missed a Shining Star Press.
8. Global Green Gangsters (Kellie Skater & Tomoka Nakagawa) defeated Sassy Stephie & Nevaeh to retain the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship. Nevaeh was pinned by Skater following 3G’s double kick finisher.
Amber Gertner interviewed LuFisto backstage. LuFisto says she’s fighting for Danger and everyone Cheerleader Melissa has bullied.
Madison Eagles comes out and issues an open challenge. It’s answered by Jessicka Havok.
9. Madison Eagles beat Jessicka Havok with the Hellbound.
Lisa Marie Varon made a surprise appearance to praise SHIMMER and its wrestlers, thank the Chicago fans and plug the afterparty at The Squared Circle.
10. Hikaru Shida pinned Nicole Matthews in a Kendo Stick Match after swinging the stick into Matthews’ head and nailing the Three Count. Afterwards, Eagles came out to mock Nicole.
11. Cheerleader Melissa beat LuFisto with an Air Raid Crash to retain the SHIMMER Championship. Melissa was bloodied above her left eye during the match, and continued her attack after the bell. Kana came out to help LuFisto, but Melissa was rescued by Mercedes Martinez.

SHIMMER Volume 61
1. Santana Garrett pinned Nevaeh with the Shining Star Press.
2. Jessicka Havok defeated Crazy Mary Dobson with a sitout chokeslam.
3. Mia Yim beat Angie Skye with a 450 splash.
Hiroyo Matsumoto cut a promo saying she can’t go back to Japan without the Gojira mask which was stolen by Portia Perez on Volume 60. She demanded a rematch.
4. Thunderkitty defeated Taylor Made via referee stoppage with a sleeperhold.
5. Nicole Matthews beat Heidi Lovelace with the Vancouver Maneuver. She came out with a Madison Eagles shirt and poured coffee on it.
6. Leva Bates pinned Nikki Storm with a Pepsi Plunge.
7. MsChif defeated Miss Natural with the Obliteration.
8. Hiroyo Matsumoto pinned Portia Perez after ramming her head into an exposed turnbuckle and delivering a backdrop driver, despite interference from Nicole Matthews. Thunderkitty & MsChif came out to recover their gear.
9. Global Green Gangsters (Kellie Skater & Tomoka Nakagawa) beat Kimber Lee & Cherry Bomb to retain the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship. Lee was pinned following 3G’s double kick finisher.
10. Christina Von Eerie defeated Saraya Knight in a Three Stages Of Hell Match.
- Round 1 (Pinfall only) ended in a 5 minute draw.
- Round 2 (Submission only) went to Von Eerie after making Saraya tap to a Bow and Arrow.
- Round 3 (Hardcore Rules) went to Von Eerie after she choked Saraya with a belt for the tap out.
11. Madison Eagles beat Hikaru Shida & Kana in a 3-way. Eagles pinned Shida with the Hellbound.
12. Mercedes Martinez pinned LuFisto in a Falls Count Anywhere Match with a Fisherman Buster onto a chair after Cheerleader Melissa nailed LuFisto in the head with the SHIMMER Championship belt.

Cheerleader Melissa not wrestling on this volume means her run of wrestling on 60 consecutive volumes has come to an end. However, she has still made an appearance on every show.

SUNDAY THOUGHTS

• Normal service resumed here. For my money, Day 2 of this set of SHIMMER tapings was much better than the first day – with Vol 60 in particular taking the “Best Volume of the weekend” honours by some margin. Lots of really good stuff to talk about on these tapings (which included payoffs to some of the stuff from Saturday’s tapings) along with a couple of downright bizarre matches which didn’t live up to the lofty expectations they’d set. More on that as we go through the shows… which this time I’ll attempt to cover chronologically.
• SPARKLE was just one match today – a rematch from the previous day, this time with the opposite result. Promising. I think I personally preferred the one from Saturday, but I had no problems with this.

Vol 60
• Nikki Storm vs Heidi Lovelace was really quite fun. Storm is already over with the crowd, and her ability to promo (and the fact that she does it before each of her matches) makes her seem a bit special. I’ve been enjoying Heidi’s work for some time, and it was great to see her back in SHIMMER in a competitive match. On a personal level, I wish she’d been available all weekend instead of just the one day.
• Mia Yim vs Melanie Cruise was a million times better than you’d expect any “second match on the card” to be. Mia Yim was the babyface success story of the weekend, I believe – and she and Cruise just clicked here. Best match of either woman’s SHIMMER career to date. The crowd reacted huge too. Near falls, excitement, drama. In retrospect, actually one of the best matches of the weekend – and really nice to see it. Cruise and Yim have floated around the SHIMMER roster for a while, and while Cruise really had a great set of tapings earlier in the year, here it was Yim’s time to shine. Finish was the 450 (Firebird) Splash, which I think is visually just as impressive as the Sky Yim (Skytwister Press) but probably safer to land.
• Kimber Lee & Cherry Bomb (henceforth also referred to as The Kimber Bombs) are my new favourite tag team. Really. I am outrageously entertained by them, and their match here against Mary Dobson and Mary Lee Rose was by and large a Kimber Bombs showcase. All my boxes are ticked right there. Will mention more about this later, but Crazy Mary was definitely getting over with the fans too.
• Saraya vs Thunderkitty was next, and Saraya promised that she’d wrestle Thunderkitty “submission wrestling style”, only to do her typical physical brawling style. A one sided affair, but after the match we get challenges thrown out (and accepted) between Saraya and Christina Von Eerie to a Three Stages of Hell match on Vol 61.
• Allysin Kay vs Kana was next. This was the match announcement which popped me most when it was made public on the morning of the show. I’m a huge fan of both (they’d easily be in my top 5 favourites in SHIMMER), so this was a bit of a dream match in prospect. Sadly, it never materialized. Well, the match happened, but it was no good. Really. I imagine there are two ways to approach wrestling someone like Kana – you either try and go kick for kick with her in her own style (like Kimber Lee did on the last Volume), or you approach it from another angle and try and do something different. I think that was Allysin Kay’s plan here, with lots of stalling and character stuff, but the match stalled in first gear and never clicked at all. A complete styles clash, and a very rare misfire from Allysin Kay here, while Kana seemed mostly content to just play along with the time wasting until eventually she pounced into action with the Kana Lock. The biggest disappointment of the weekend, based on expectations vs delivery.
• Portia Perez vs Hiroyo Matsumoto (the first of two today) was more of Portia’s kleptomania gimmick this weekend (Jean Perez Lafitte, anybody?), as it ended with her taking Matsumoto’s Gojira mask. Similar in some ways to Portia’s two matches on Saturday, albeit more physical. You could sorta see how this was finishing a mile away. Fun though.
• Santana Garrett vs Mercedes Martinez was exactly as you’d expect, given their respective positions in the company. Garrett got some shine and showed off some of her big moves, but Martinez was ultimately better and stronger and won.
• 3G vs Stephie & Nevaeh was really great. Not sure what happened to Nevaeh, but she looked like she had a fire lit under her. She showed a ton of personality trash talking Skater & Nakagawa and flashing them evil looks. Her wrestling was really good too. Whatever motivated Nevaeh, KEEP DOING IT. I used to be a really big fan of Nevaeh in SHIMMER, and this match got me back on that bandwagon again. One of the best matches of the day.
• Madison Eagles vs Jessicka Havok was great when it happened at SHINE a few months back. It was great here too. I wrote on yesterday’s report that Havok needed something to get her teeth into other than just semi-competitive squash matches – and this was her one chance to do it on this set of tapings. It was a heel-heel match, but I think the fans gravitated towards Havok – suggesting that maybe a face Havok (like at SHINE where she doesn’t compromise anything about her character, but just happens to be wrestling people that the fans hate) might be a positive idea for SHIMMER as well. Would be happy to see these two wrestle any time.
• The Kendo Stick match between Hikaru Shida and Nicole Matthews was really good (better than Shida vs Matthews on Vol 59). There were a couple of moments where weapons shots (with a chair or the kendo stick) were really soft, but at the same time, there were times when they totally leathered each other. Matthews had some really nice innovative ways to use the stick other than just as a weapon of blunt force, although it was certainly a couple of stiff shots (to the body and to the head) followed by the Three Count from Shida that won her the match.
• Looking across the entire weekend, Cheerleader Melissa vs LuFisto was the best main event match of the tapings, I think. For a set of tapings influenced greatly by last minute changes due to circumstances beyond the control of the promoter, LuFisto was not only just a safe pair of hands to turn to, she really went out of her way to deliver. This was, as noted, a rematch of the 2008 SHIMMER match of the year (forty volumes ago, by the way…!), and they delivered the drama here, enhanced by the blood caused from a stray LuFisto elbow to Melissa’s forehead. I don’t think I necessarily thought Melissa would lose her title on this set of tapings, but part of me did start to believe here. LuFisto lost, and even after the events of Vol 61, she’s seemingly very likely to get another shot in early 2014, whenever that is.

Vol 61
• Santana vs Nevaeh was good. Nevaeh was still in a similarly sassy mood to her earlier tag title match, and I guess this match was a way of giving her a win after losing to Mercedes earlier, while not hurting Nevaeh as she’s more involved in the tag ranks anyway. Santana’s coming along well.
• Jessicka Havok vs Crazy Mary Dobson was what you’d expect. A shame to see Havok return to her apparent holding position after the Eagles match on the last volume, but this was a fun match. As noted earlier, there’s something about Crazy Mary that is connecting with these fans. I’ve seen it first hand at ICW: Fierce Females, where she’s an absolute superstar… and while there’s a hell of a lot of competition for places at SHIMMER, there’s no doubt she had a positive first impression.
• Mia Yim vs Angie Skye was, as I noted yesterday, a much better place for Skye to debut on the main show than as an “enhancement talent”. Sure there was absolutely no way that the result was going to be anything other than a Yim win, but Skye was allowed to be competitive and hit a lot of stuff. Nothing to be disappointed with here.
• Thunderkitty vs Taylor Made happened. It didn’t do an awful lot for me to be honest. Filler match. I do like Thunderkitty, and she is a cult favourite, but four appearances on a weekend might be pushing the joke too far.
• Nicole Matthews vs Heidi Lovelace was really enjoyable. As noted earlier, I’ve really been enjoying what I’ve seen of Heidi this year, so it was certainly great to see her lock up with Matthews. There was a hint of a possible upset in this one. It ultimately didn’t happen, and long term with the issues between Eagles and Matthews still unsettled it wouldn’t have made any sense to do anyway, but I got the impression that putting someone like Heidi over someone established like Nicole could really have gotten over huge.
• Leva Bates vs Nikki Storm featured Leva cosplaying as Han Solo, and while the outcome was somewhat predictable (Storm had been making copious mentions of her undefeated record, and it seemed destined that the four volume arc would likely end with the final taping of the weekend), it was still a very enjoyable outing, and the finish – yes, a Pepsi Plunge (Pedigree off the top rope), which got a huge pop.
• MsChif vs Miss Natural was a decent, hard fought match, notable mostly for ‘Chif breaking out the old Obliteration finisher.
• Much like Nikki Storm’s “unbeaten” arc, you just knew Portia Perez was going to get her comeuppance on the last volume of the weekend, and so it was. Nice blowoff to the “stealing gear” angle, as Hiroyo and also ‘Chif and Thunderkitty all got their stuff back, while Portia got what was coming to her. Entertaining, so even though the ending was in little doubt, the fun was in the journey rather than the destination.
• 3G vs The Kimber Bombs was great fun, and was a perfect matchup between an already established and over babyface team with an exciting and entertaining heel team. Not going to lie, I wanted to see Kimber & Cherry win here, but it was not to be… but the means of their demise was their own overconfidence, as Kimber determined that she had an idea that couldn’t fail – and instructed Cherry to go to the top rope. Kimber also climbed up the inside, so the plan appeared to either be for Kimber to deliver a superplex on Cherry on top of the prone members of 3G, or for Cherry to deliver a released front suplex on Kimber, again, onto the bodies of their opponents. We’ll never know, as 3G cut them off and finished it soon after with their as-yet-unnamed finish. I liked this. It was like a Wile E Coyote moment, where the best laid plans of Kimber Lee just backfired. Once again though, full credit both to 3G for having a fantastic weekend, but also to Kimber & Cherry for really coming out of nowhere as a team and being so great.
• Christina Von Eerie vs Saraya Knight was, unfortunately, a complete mess. It was announced, apparently out of nowhere that the 2/3 falls stipulation (at least in the way the fans understood it) was actually 2/3 “five minute matches”, meaning that if any of the falls went to a 5 minute draw, that fall would be ruled as such. However, the wrestlers, timekeeper and referee all seemed confused as to what was going on. It was further determined that the winner “must win two of the matches” to win the competition, so after a confusing first fall led apparently to a draw, and with fall two going to Von Eerie, us fans were left confused as we went into “the third and final match” under the impression that while Christina could win the match 2-0, the best Saraya could do would be to draw it at 1-1. What would happen then? Would there be a fourth fall? If so, what were the stipulations of the “Fourth Stage of Hell”? The actual content of the third fall was fine – there were weapon shots a plenty, $20 notes being stapled to CVE’s head, all sorts of violence, and eventually a submission through the use of Von Eerie’s studded belt. Von Eerie was bleeding too. The competitors tried very hard to have a good match, and certainly physically pushed themselves to achieve that goal – but the match came off as confusing and ultimately disappointing due to the confusing way the match turned out.
• With the injury to Melissa, I am under the impression that the original idea for the Vol 61 main event of Melissa & Mercedes vs Kana & LuFusto was out, and with Mercedes and LuFi taking the main event slot in a singles match, Kana ended up being added to the Madison Eagles/Hikaru Shida match to make it a three way. Glad she was, because the moment where she pulled a spoon out of her gear to counter Eagles’ fork was more than worth it. Good stuff, with Eagles winning. Seemed short though, and while it keeps Eagles’ gimmick of not having lost a match since she lost her title, it possibly derailed Kana’s momentum towards a title shot. Shida got a nice “Please Come Back” chant, as did most of the new debuts this weekend.
• The main event of Martinez vs LuFisto was a war of a match, and one that will probably be better to watch on DVD due to the walkabout nature of the first half of the match being difficult to follow live due to line of sight issues in the building. Probably impossible for these two to have a bad match by this point also. As noted above, while Melissa’s streak of wrestling on every SHIMMER Volume may have ended with Vol 60, she made an unexpected return here, laying out LuFi with the belt, and ending the weekend underlining the direction going forward with a Melissa/LuFisto rematch on the cards. Nothing is either officially (or unofficially) confirmed yet, but expect that either at the WrestleMania weekend event in New Orleans or the next set of Berwyn tapings in 2014.

• Overall then, after some misgivings about yesterday, I thought Sunday was a superior set of tapings, with Vol 60 in particular being the pick of the bunch, although I’m still tempted to say that my favourite match of the entire weekend was still Kana vs Kimber Lee on Vol 59. I’ll say again that the lack of a number of top names did hurt this weekend, but there were definitely people whose stock raised here… LuFisto ended up as a huge beneficiary of the absences, as she’s currently hotter than she’s been in a long time, and the Melissa/Mercedes axis seems like an interesting partnership. 3G retained their popularity after winning the belts in April, while The Kimber Bombs and Nevaeh & Sassy Stephie both turned out to be very credible challengers – either of whom could easily be re-heated to get a further title shot. On the singes side of things, Mia Yim was your biggest breakout star of the weekend. Her performances were stronger than anything I’d seen to date in SHIMMER, and more to the point, she was showing personality and slowing things down a bit. The “Mia Yim” chants got stronger throughout the weekend, not to mention more intense. The Eagles/Matthews feud was also very interesting, because SHIMMER has traditionally not done heel/heel matches as a general rule, but here’s a full blown heel/heel feud that looks set to roll on until the next tapings. There were failures during the weekend – notably the mix-ups during the Von Eerie/Saraya feud and the Kana/Kay match, but nevertheless, another strong weekend in general. Roll on April.

– Stew Allen