SHIMMER returns to iPPV for its second straight WrestleMania weekend with SHIMMER 62, headlined with a titanic encounter between reigning champion Cheerleader Melissa and challenger LuFisto.
After their bloody match at volume 60 last October which was won by Melissa and LuFisto getting a pinball win over her during a tag match the following week at NCW Femmes Fatales XIII, the stakes have been raised to their highest point with this title match will be decided under two out of three falls rules and will have a mammoth 90 minute time limit. You can see more about the background to the match by clicking here.
Also in action will be Tag Team Champions Kellie Skater and Tomoka Nakagawa along with Madison Eagles, Nicole Matthews, Athena, Mercedes Martinez, Mia Yim, Heidi Lovelace, Nikki Storm, Hikaru Shida, Kimber Lee, Veda Scott and SHIMMER debutantes Candice LeRae and Ivelisse Velez – the latter of whom was announced yesterday evening after the revelation that Barbi Hayden had withdrawn from the show.
We will be watching the show live – and you can do the same by clicking here to order the event – but if you aren’t in a position to catch it, we will have results updated live from New Orleans, LA after the jump.
1. Sassy Stephie & Nevaeh defeated Heidi Lovelace & Solo Darling. Stephie pinned Darling with a double-team spinebuster.
2. Leva Bates pinned Veda Scott with a Pepsi Plunge.
3. Kay Lee Ray beat Vanessa Kraven with a sunset flip.
4. Ivelisse Velez pinned Kimber Lee with the Code Red.
5. Athena defeated Candice LeRae with the O Face.
NCW Femmes Fatales International Championship
6. Mercedes Martinez beat Courtney Rush with a Saito Suplex to retain the title.
7. Nikki Storm pinned Thunderkitty with the Perfect Storm.
8. Hikaru Shida beat Evie with a running knee to the face.
SHIMMER Tag Team Championship
9. Kellie Skater & Tomoka Nakagawa defeated Nicole Matthews & Madison Eagles to retain the titles. Skater pinned Matthews following The Hangover.
SHIMMER Championship – 2 out of 3 falls
10. Cheerleader Melissa beat LuFisto to retain the title.
– LuFisto won the first fall with a Mangalizer.
– Melissa won the second fall with an Air Raid Crash.
– Melissa won the third fall after interference from Mercedes Martinez, who hit LuFisto with the Femmes Fatales International title belt.
• First off, get well soon to Mia Yim, who tweaked her knee in the finish of her SHINE Tag Team Championship defence on Friday night and was forced to miss this show. She insists that she will be fine for the Berwyn tapings next week, so we wish her all the best.
• Because it’s an iPPV, there will naturally be comparisons between this show and SHIMMER 53 last year. Let’s just say it outright from the beginning: this show was way, WAY better. Granted, the entranceway for last year was spectacular and you couldn’t see most of the crowd on this show because the ring was on the stage, but with not one of the ten matches falling below the classification of “good”, SHIMMER 62 was an amazing showing from everyone who stepped into the ring – and half of the contests were contenders for Match of the Night. As a result, this review may come across as a bit gushing, but trust me when I say that you really need to go out of your way to watch this show.
• Solo Darling made her SHIMMER debut and spent the bulk of the time in the ring as the babyface in peril for the opener – and that’s good as she is so good at making you will her on. Credit also to Sassy Stephie and Nevaeh for their solid tag team work – reminiscent of the SHINE Tag Title match on Friday, it was nothing out of the ordinary and stuck to the tried and tested tag team match format, but there’s a reason why it’s used so often, and that’s because it works. When Darling finally made the tag to Heidi Lovelace for the flurry of offence, the crowd was ready for her to unleash her kicks. Unfortunately for the Buddy System – who were introduced by their SHINE mentor Daffney who was the ring announcer for the show – the experience advantage was the deciding factor as a double team spinebuster secured the victory for the heels. This warmed the crowd up very nicely.
• Credit to Veda Scott – she has really stepped up her game over the past year with performances at places like Absolute Intense Wrestling and it showed here against Leva Bates. Considering Leva – dressed for this show as New Orleans mutant superhero Gambit – can be hit and miss at times, there was a possibility that this may not have worked out, but it was similar to her match with Miss Natural last year in that things fell nicely into place and the pair had an entertaining outing. Bates’ victory with a Pepsi Plunge from Bret’s rope (second rope) keeps up her momentum after beating Nikki Storm at volume 61.
• Kay Lee Ray and Vanessa Kraven both had great debuts. With half of the story told before the bell rang, the towering Kraven sought to beat on her Scottish opponent while the redhead tried to use her speed to get an edge. Despite this, KLR’s high-flying was rationed – and that made it even more satisfying when she finally made it work for her, nailing a tope through the ropes and also connecting with a Swanton Bomb in the final third of the match. In the end, it was a combination of the power and speed which saw Kay Lee get the pinfall as she snuck out of Kraven’s grasp to execute the winning sunset flip. Top job by both.
• Slick, slick wrestling next as Kimber Lee and Ivelisse Velez put on a cracking contest in what was the latter’s SHIMMER debut. With her swagger, smooth offence and ability to make you care for her welfare, Ivelisse slotted in perfectly – and Kimber Lee was as great as ever. Big chops, forearms and kicks were the order of the day here, with one of my personal favourite moments being when Velez connected with a Scorpion Kick – however it was a combination of the Vertigo Kick and the Code Red which saw Ivelisse notch up a win in her debut over an established talent. One would hope that means we will be seeing more of the SHINE Champion in SHIMMER very soon… possibly next week…?
• Candice LeRae and Athena had to follow that – and follow it they did, as the quality of contests stayed way up there. Fought at a much faster pace than the previous match, both women went for it, with LeRae hitting a slick rana early on and both going for lovely submission holds. Athena turned a standing hammerlock into a tighter version on the mat while Candice locked in a great Octopus stretch before we went into the home straight with LeRae delivering a (sans) Ballsplex into the turnbuckles but quickly falling victim to the match-winning O-Face. Top stuff.
• That concludes the debuts for the show. All five could easily fit into SHIMMER’s roster and deliver something interesting. We’ll see how many of them will be back.
• The first title defence of a non-SHIMMER title in the promotion’s history came next as Mercedes Martinez put the NCW Femmes Fatales International Championship on the line against anyone who wanted to answer her challenge. Stepping up was Courtney Rush, and the pair changed the pace of the show by settling things down with a technical contest which was well needed after the strikes and speed of the last couple of matches. After a sneak attack before the introductions, Martinez chose to scoot to the outside and took her sweet time getting back into the ring, breaking the ten count before heading back into the fans for a longer break. Rush came close to winning the belt with a couple of big suplexes and one of the nicest Sharpshooters you will ever see – though the finish came soon afterwards as Mercedes nailed a desperation Saito Suplex to retain the title.
• “The Best Wrestler in the Galaxy” came after the intermission, as Nikki Storm battled Thunderkitty in a nice contest. Fought under the unique qualities that Thunderkitty’s gimmick affords her, Storm kept things simple and heelish by using dirty and cheap tactics and meant that when TK responded with her comeback, the fans ate it up and really popped for her going for the Iron Claw submission. However, Nikki escaped by ramming TK into the corner and hitting The Perfect Storm for the three. A good match which went well after the intermission.
• Hikaru Shida v Evie was strikes aplenty. Loads of kicks and knees, with a particular high spot being when Evie had her kick from the apron blocked by Shida, who swept her leg out, sending her crashing face first onto the hardest portion of the ring. Shida also seemed to have been reading the Cesaro playbook as she busted out a Giant Swing and a superplex while Evie was standing on the first rope on the outside of the ring, much like the Swiss did to Sami Zayn on a number of occasions. Evie fought hard, but Shida was too much for her as an enziguri, Falcon Arrow and running knee strike was enough to keep the Kiwi down for three. Another great contest.
• The penultimate match was mostly storyline as “frenemies” Madison Eagles and Nicole Matthew teamed up to go for the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship. Earlier, Matthews picked Eagles as a partner because Portia Perez was busy trying to “find a cure for osteoporosis”, according to Nicole. Both spent most of their challenge to 3G trying to sabotage the other – whether it was spoiling each other’s ring introductions or shoving their partner off what might have been the winning fall so they can claim it for themselves. In the end, the bickering got too much and Kellie Skater & Tomoka Nakagawa got the win with the Hangover double kick. Good wrestling, but the dynamic between Nicole and Madison was the main focus here. And thankfully, no forks…
• And so to the main event, which had my heart beating faster as the match went on. Credit to Dave Prazak on commentary as he recapped every aspect of the feud between Cheerleader Melissa and LuFisto to bring everyone who was watching on the iPPV up to speed while the pair kept it at a considered pace in the beginning with headlocks, leglocks and the like, as neither wanted to lose that first fall. It was around 20 minutes when the deadlock was broken as the Super Hardcore Anime connected with the Mangalizer for the three, but the bout was tied up within moments and Melissa scored the Air Raid Crash to even things up at 1-1.
• From there, the brawling began as both went for a victory over their exhausted opponent. Twice, LuFisto went for the Burning Hammer and was thwarted, but connected with the reverse dana which served her well on SHIMMER 60. From there, she ascended to the top rope but Melissa pulled referee Bryce Remsburg into harm’s way and he was wiped out, allowing Mercedes Martinez to sneak in to nail LuFisto with her International Title belt to allow Melissa to sneak away with the win, much to the anger of the crowd.
• It was a ballsy move to end the iPPV like that. As was pointed out on commentary, LuFisto was fighting for those who she had stood up for against Melissa in the past - Allison Danger, Bates and Hiroyo Matsumoto had all been recent victims of the champion’s bullying nature – and to see her cheated out of the belt was a bitter pill to swallow. However, it likely leads into next week’s 4 DVD tapings, so judgement will be reserved.
• The finish was also made more telling as it was the only match of the night to have a ref bump, outside interference or a screwy ending. All of the other victories – whether the match was won by heel or babyface – were clean finishes, which made the main event shenanigans stand out even more.
• SHIMMER 62 was a fantastic card of action with matches of different shapes and sizes – tag teams, high-flying, big strikes, slick moves, technical wrestling, old-school – and storyline developments for next weekend. Can LuFisto get revenge against Mercedes Martinez and Cheerleader Melissa, even though she is outnumbered? Will Madison Eagles and Nicole Matthews explode beyond this Cold War status we’re in at the moment? Will the returns of Courtney Rush and Athena change the dynamic at the top of the card, and how many of the debuting names will be back for Berwyn? We’ll have to wait and see.
• What I know for sure is that if you didn’t order SHIMMER 62, go out of your way to watch the VOD. It’s that good. I’m not going to pick a match of the night here as there were so many contenders – Velez v Kimber Lee, Athena v LeRae, Martinez v Rush, Shida v Evie and Melissa v LuFisto could have taken it, depending on your preference of wrestling.
– Lee Burton