(ROHbot Note: Next week, The ROHbot Report continues its "ROHbot Milestone Series" with matches 60-41. Also, I'll have results and the fallout from the second set of Sinclair TV tapings to analyze. But for now, enjoy some all women action from the talented and lovely ladies of SHIMMER)
There's truly something amazing about a champion who looks like he or she could lose their title at any moment, but somehow overcomes the odds and ends the night the same way they started. MsChif is a fine example of one of those champions. After nearly two years and thirteen title defenses, MsChif hasn't appeared any stronger, yet anymore vulnerable than she does right now. At SHIMMER Volume 30, her fourteenth challenger to the SHIMMER title is hoping to exploit that vulnerability just like she did during the first and only SHIMMER title tournament. That challenger is none other than one of the best in the world, "Dark Angel" Sarah Stock.
But Stock isn't the only one looking for SHIMMER gold. Both Cheerleader Melissa and Madison Eagles have staked their claim to be next in line for a shot at whoever is the champion. Seeing that this is wrestling, there's only one way to settle a dispute over #1 Contender status: in the ring.
Will MsChif add Sarah Stock's name to an already impressive list of would be champions, or is it Stock's time to fly high into the night? Can Cheerleader Melissa finally attain the SHIMMER title shot she's desperately needed, or will Eagles soar away with a victory, and a shot at the champion? But there's no question bigger than this one: Is SHIMMER Vol. 30 Worth Your Money?
SHIMMER Volume 30
Malia Hosaka vs. Leva Bates
This is Bates main card debut in SHIMMER, and she did a good job catching Hosaka off guard early when Malia's attempt to jump her from behind actually cost Hosaka as Bates put Hosaka in several arm bars. Not only did Hosaka's arms feel the pain of Bates' grappling, but also her torso, legs and head. Angry, Hosaka worked her way off her back before slamming Bates to the mat by her hair.
Using the ropes to burn Bates' face, Hosaka was in complete control. Several hair mares by Malia brought forth a lot of confidence. A nice neck breaker from Malia put Bates in position for something off the ropes. Before Hosaka could jump, Leva yanked Hosaka off her roped perch with the iconoclasm. Rather than go for the pin, Leva took Malia's spot on the ropes, missing a missile dropkick right after. One Glam Slam later by Malia, and Hosaka ended Bates' debut with a loss.
In the back, Daizee Haze explained her anger about her student Jamilia Craft intervening in Haze's beat down on Misaki Oat at Volume 29. Tonight, Haze and her partner Tomoka Nakagawa will take Craft back to school in a tag match.
RJETT (Rachel Summerlyn & Jessica James) vs. Melanie Cruise & Annie Social
After a quick game of rock, paper, scissors, the much smaller James found herself stuck in the ring with the six foot tall Cruise. Neither James and Summerlyn did well at the start, but a flurry of dropkicks from James actually downed the big woman. James made a huge mistake by going for a cross body block. Catching James, Melanie executed a sick spinning sidewalk slam.
With Social tagging in, the illegal chokes and insults kept James grounded near Team Social's corner. When Cruise tagged in, she tried to knife edge chop and slam the air out of Jessica. A big suplex by the now legal Social allowed Annie to put Jessica in a rear chin lock while mouthing off even more. Jessica thought she had a chance to turn the tides by ducking a double team clothesline, but ended up running into a leg lariat from Cruise with the help of Social. Flipping her way out of a superplex attempt, Jessica was able to dropkick her way to Rachel.
Summerlyn ran in, actually swinging James by her arms so Jessica could dropkick Melanie. When that unique double team didn't put Cruise down for the count, Rachel executed the Moss-Covered Three-Handled Family Credenza … for a near fall!
Missing the running double knees in the corner, Rachel found herself getting whipped into the turnbuckles. After crushing Rachel with James and Social in the corner, Cruise and Social pitched Summerlyn to the floor. With James all alone, she had no choice but to take a double team Cruise Control, and the loss for her team.
In the back, Cheerleader Melissa and MsChif stood to talk about their previous tag encounters. In both of those matches, the SHIMMER champion took the fall. So, in all respect, Melissa decided to put their team on hiatus simply because Melissa wants a title shot. Sarah Stock (TNA's Sarita) entered the scene to remind Melissa that tonight, she'll walk out of Berwyn the new SHIMMER champion. But there's someone missing from this conversation. Wait, never mind. In comes Madison Eagles. MsChif ended the three women's bickering, telling Eagles and Cheerleader if they want a shot at either herself or Stock, they can wrestle for it tonight in a one on one match.
Lufisto vs. Cat Power
Power got the jump on Lufisto, but "The Super Hardcore Anime" fought through Power's haymaker-like chop with a few of her own. Power almost found herself in the Burning Hammer, scurrying to the ropes once she freed herself from Lufisto's grip. The test of strength ended with Lufisto suplexing Power for a two count. Lufisto tried to turn up the pace, but her cross body block attempt ended with her being slammed. Getting a little ahead of herself, Power took too much time posing before attempting a running forearm. Lufisto avoided the attack, dropping Power in the corner before connecting with that thunderous cannonball.
Both women got up, through forearms. The strikes didn't drop Power, but a belly to back suplex did. Once again, they rose off the mat, throwing hands. Lufisto switched her plan, kicking and clotheslining Power for a two count. A few kicks to Power's back, and one to the head shockingly didn't put Cat Power down. Reversing an Irish whip allowed Power to hit a double knee-running bulldog combination … for a two count!
Lufisto fired herself up following an insulting slap, blocking the Catnap before hitting the Burning Hammer to put Cat to sleep.
Mercedes Martinez vs. Kellie Skater
The uber confident Skater found herself posing after every counter or avoidance in the match's opening seconds until Martinez kicked her in the abdomen when Skater started doing push ups. A couple of kicks to Kellie's back and chest respectively rocked Skater early. Using an Irish whip for some momentum, Skater exploded off the ropes with a clothesline. "Rate Tank" showed her chopping and kicking prowess shortly after prior to hooking Martinez in a camel clutch. When Mercedes didn't submit, Skater went back to her chopping plan. That plan didn't go too well as Martinez fired back with chops of her own before sweeping Skater in a butterfly lock. Refusing to give up, Skater angered Martinez enough for Mercedes to chop, slap, kick, and practically do whatever Mercedes felt like doing that would wear Skater out even more.
Martinez made a mistake by going for the Fisherman Buster. Skater stopped Martinez's finisher, kicking Martinez in position for the buzzsaw kick … gaining a two count! Skater thought she had Martinez in bad shape, but Mercedes exploded from her cornered position with another hard knife-edge chop. The follow up flurry of forearms by Martinez had the fans chanting in approval, and Skater begging for some breathing room. Big spine buster by Mercedes didn't get her the three count, surprising Martinez.
Once again, Skater stopped the Fisherman Buster, kicking Martinez off her feet. Instead of keeping Martinez grounded, Skater pulled Mercedes back up so she could chop her some more. This proved to be a match-ending mistake for Skater as Mercedes turned the tables, using a slew of chops to stun Kellie before finally hitting the Fisherman Buster. The pin fall was elementary.
Ayumi Kurihara vs. Nikki Roxx
Kurihara wanted to see where the power lies immediately. Realizing that the taller Roxx had a strength advantage, Ayumi turned the knuckle lock into a series of holds, including the front guillotine. Roxx countered the submission by putting Ayumi on the top turnbuckle. Continuing to display her mat skills, Roxx found herself trying to make a deal with Ayumi to stop her from twisting and contorting Nikki. When the proposition didn't pan out, Roxx had to work her way out of the seated abdominal stretch. Taking Ayumi to a knee by her arm, Roxx threatened to bite Ayumi's fingers. The action made Kurihara turn the heat up, slamming Roxx face first against the top turnbuckle. A pair of double knees in the corner put Roxx in position for a running dropkick that almost ended Roxx's night.
Nikki turned a suplex against Ayumi, following up with a running big boot. Roxx couldn't believe it when Ayumi kicked out of Roxx's follow up pin attempt. Fighting her way out of a superplex, Ayumi missile dropkicked Roxx not once, but twice. Going for the pin, Ayumi actually smiled when Roxx kicked out. Ayumi bounced off the ropes, running into a sit-out spine buster similar to the Barbie Crusher. Holding Kurihara's shoulders to the mat, Roxx couldn't believe it when Ayumi kicked out. Roxx bent over to pull Ayumi off the mat, only to find Kurihara lifeless. When Roxx grabbed Kurihara's hair, Ayumi pulled Nikki in via a small package … for a two count!
Ayumi jumped to her feet, using the codebreaker to put Nikki in position for that running dropkick while Roxx sat beside the ropes. Pulling Roxx to her feet, Ayumi used a snap suplex to gain another two count. Once again, Roxx caught the incoming Ayumi; this time hitting the Cutie Special … for another near fall! Roxx had the Barbie Crusher in mind. Ayumi countered the finisher at the last second, rolling Roxx up for another win in SHIMMER competition.
At SHIMMER Vol. 29, Daizee Haze attacked Misaki Ohata after losing to Ohata. When Jamilia Craft came to stop the disrespectful actions of her teacher, Haze dumped Craft on her head.
Daizee Haze & Tomoka Nakagawa vs. Misaki Ohata & Jamilia Craft
No honor in the handshake as both Craft and Ohata felt kicks that knocked them out of the ring. Haze pulled Craft back in, using a pair of chops that pleased Daizee. The strikes didn't make Craft happy as she tried to fire back. Sadly for Craft, she found herself on the wrong part of town early. Nakagawa tagged in, losing the advantage for her team when Craft turned an arm bar into a la magistral that she used to set up a seated dropkick. Tagging in, Ohata started dropkicking Nakagawa over and over again until she felt it was time to tag out. Tomoka poked Craft's eyes to make her way to Daizee. Haze insultingly slapped Craft before hooking her in the camel clutch.
Team Daigawa were having a grand time choking Craft while Ohata argued with the referee. Jamilia was taking shots from every side of the ring whenever Nakagawa or Haze felt the need to distract the referee so the other could do work. Turning an Irish whip against Haze, Craft was able to suplex Haze before tagging out.
Ohata used a cross body block to take down both opponents, almost pinning Haze. Before Ohata could German suplex Haze, Nakagawa ran in, using an enzuguri that rocked Ohata. Haze switched positions with Misaki, German suplexing Ohata for a two count thanks to Craft intervening. Distracted by Craft's involvement, Haze got caught by Ohata and a flying arm bar. Thankfully for Haze, Nakagawa was there to break up the submission before Daizee could tap out. Using another cross body block, Misaki downed Tomoka so Ohata had a chance to tag out.
Flying off the top rope, Craft clotheslined Nakagawa, but couldn't get the pin. A little too excited about her attack, Craft left herself wide open for Haze's tiger suplex, and a pin fall.
SHIMMER Tag Team champion Nicole Matthews vs. Jessie McKay
Matthews really didn't appreciate the stalemate after the initial collar & elbow tie up, slapping McKay. When an angry Jessie started chasing the champ, Matthews exited the ring in hopes of catching Jessie with an elbow drop when Jessie followed her back inside. Jessie not only avoided the elbow drop attempts, but also unleashed a pair of double knees to a seated Matthews. A head scissors topped off by a clothesline had Jessie feeling good. McKay took too much time motioning for her next attack, allowing Nicole to cross body block Jessie as McKay stood against the ropes.
Nicole dragged McKay to the steel ring post, pulling McKay's arms and legs so Jessie's abdomen was driven against the steel. Nicole's focus on McKay's midsection not only kept Jessie grounded, but also rallied the fans behind the fan favorite even more. McKay heard the fan support, and used it to catching a running Matthews with another head scissors. Unfortunately for Jessie, when Matthews kicked out of McKay's follow up pin, Nicole kicked McKay's abdomen like a soccer ball. Matthews had Jessie stuck in the ring's middle in a body scissors. McKay showed some incredible strength by prying her way out of the hold, but was so hurt she couldn't capitalize. As fellow Canadian Ninja Portia Perez put over the credentials of her partner, Nicole Matthews did whatever she felt like; including some shoulder rams and a few illegal chokes.
McKay held on, turning an Irish whip into a straightjacket neck breaker. Both women started throwing forearms and chops when they got to their feet. When she saw she was losing the battle, Nicole kicked Jessie in the stomach three times to drop McKay to a knee. Suddenly, McKay exploded with the School Girl Crush … for a near fall!
Nicole broke free of the Boyfriend Stealer set up, but took a kick to the head for her trouble. The SHIMMER tag champion stopped McKay's follow up pin, and clotheslined Jessie for a near fall of her own. Matthews scaled the ropes for something when McKay jumped to her feet. Throwing forearms and chops, McKay was able to hit a frakensteiner on the champion to a huge response from the pro-McKay fans. After several seconds, McKay went for the pin, but only gained a two count. McKay went for another kick to the head after a failed Irish whip, but Nicole ducked the attack. This proved horrible for McKay as Nicole used McKay's captured arm to hoist McKay off the mat with a pump handle gut-buster. With McKay stunned, Nicole finished "Everyone's Favorite Girlfriend" via the Last Rites.
Sara Del Rey vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto
The intense opening tie up saw both women struggling for an advantage. Del Rey added an exclamation point to that strength advantage she had by forcing Matsumoto against the ropes before chopping her. The test of strength actually displayed both women's flexibility until Del Rey broke the knuckle lock. Del Rey turned her attention to Hiroyo's legs by kicking Matsumoto's left limb. Blocking a suplex, Hiroyo put Sara in a camel clutch topped off by Matsumoto pulling on Sara's nose while pandering to the crowd. Hiroyo, still smiling after her insulting attack, took a series of forearms to the jaw that weakened her base. The follow up head-butt by Sara had the same result as her forearms. Shoving Hiroyo into the corner, Sara began her barrage of kicks aimed at Hiroyo's chest and jaw.
Freeing herself from a side headlock, we got a shoulder block battle that turned into Sara throwing kicks again. Avoiding the running big boot from Sara, Hiroyo was able to dropkick Sara not once, but twice. "Death Rey" kicked out of Matsumoto's follow up pin, turning Hiroyo's waist lock into an opportunity to kick Hiroyo upside the head. Blocking the Piledriver, Hiroyo hoisted Del Rey onto her shoulders to unleash a huge gut-buster … for a two count!
Sara ducked Hiroyo's rolling forearm, and stopped Hiroyo's Back Drop Driver attempts, but found herself caught in pinning predicaments that made Hiroyo question if the ref screwed up. Unfortunately for Hiroyo, Sara stopped her fiery assault with a kick against Matsumoto's cranium, followed by the running rolling senton splash. Somehow, Hiroyo kicked out of Del Rey's pin. Matsumoto didn't stop the referee's hand hitting the mat three times after Del Rey's Piledriver, giving Sara another SHIMMER victory.
At Volume 20, Portia Perez injured the left shoulder of Allison Danger. Two Volumes later, Perez tried to hurt the pregnant Danger in unspeakable ways. Thankfully, before Perez could complete her goal, referees tackled her. At the next Volume, Perez and Danger - who had her child by then - got into a locker room emptying brawl. Danger thought she'd get some revenge in a No DQ match at Vol. 24, but the numbers game proved too much when Matthews interfered. Instead of being satisfied with a win at Vol. 24, Perez used a belt to choke Allison out on Vol. 25. Four Volumes later, Perez added insult to injury by spitting in Danger's face before super kicking Allison into unconsciousness.
Last Woman Standing match: SHIMMER Tag Team champion Portia Perez vs. Allison Danger
No introductions in this one as Danger rushed the ring to attack the already entered Perez. Attaining a belt from one of the fans, Allison lost her advantage when Perez kicked the belt out of Allison's hands before snap marring Danger after wrapping the belt around Danger's neck. Perez was having a great time choking Danger with the belt and her boot. Danger rallied to her feet, slapping the taste out of Portia's mouth. With one well-placed boot, Perez dropped Danger once again. Allison turned the tides, forearming Perez to the floor when Portia went for a springboard maneuver. Grabbing the belt, Allison whipped Perez's back with that fan's belt. Looking at the crowd, Danger decided it was time to take this battle to the people. Portia tasted the bar counter prior to Danger slamming Perez on the merchandise table.
Perez had to poke Danger in the eyes to gain some breathing room. Dragging the steel ring steps beside the guardrails, Perez dove over the barricades, cross body blocking Danger into the front row chairs. The action returned to ringside, with Portia slamming Danger face first against the steel ring post. This attack opened a cut above Danger's left eyebrow that Perez felt could be worse if she kept punching and biting it. Danger had enough of Perez's insults, spitting in Portia's face. Perez responded with a kneeling super kick that put Danger on her back. Somehow, Danger made it to her feet before the referee's five count, actually catching the running Portia with an STO.
Before Danger could follow up, Nicole Matthews, with chair in hand, ran to ringside. After sliding the chair in, Nicole got into a fight with Jennifer Blake. Blake super kicked Nicole, dragging her to the back after Portia super kicked Danger. Danger rolled to the floor, giving Perez the chance to go for a baseball slide. Danger caught Perez's incoming legs, swinging Portia into the Lovelace Choker on the floor!
When the action returned inside, Danger unleashed a STO-Old School Expulsion combination on Perez against the chair Nicole slid in. As Perez struggled to her feet, Danger dared Portia to get up. At the ref's eight count, Perez's body gave out, allowing Danger to win this violent rivalry.
#1 Contender's match: Cheerleader Melissa vs. Madison Eagles
In a moment that has to be mentioned, Eagles decided she'd use a different version of entrance fan interaction. Rather than touch the front row attendees, Madison high fived the air near their hands while doing everything in her power to avoid physical contact.
The mouthy Eagles almost infuriated Melissa early by getting into a shoving contest. Eagles quickly realized that her original strategy wasn't a good one, deciding to grapple instead. The early minutes saw Eagles go hold for hold with the SHIMMER veteran, but almost put herself in position of that curb stomp. Melissa realized it was too early for the maneuver, going for a body slam instead. Eagles' height advantage stopped Melissa's idea, but Melissa's mat skills allowed Cheerleader's mistake to ground Eagles again thanks to a single leg takedown. Eagles worked her way off the mat, turning the tables before going shoulder block for shoulder block with Melissa. Melissa plowed through Eagles prior to body slamming Eagles to a nice ovation. Similar to the opening seconds, Eagles insulting action - a slap this time - infuriated Melissa. Kicking Eagles into the barricades after Madison slid to the floor for haven, Melissa went to grab Eagles.
Showing great flexibility, Eagles kicked Melissa's head as it poked through the ropes. Eagles had Melissa looking for the ropes to save herself from Eagles' submissions and kicks. A big clothesline by Eagles ended Melissa's comeback attempt. Rolling Melissa onto her stomach, Eagles put Melissa in a modified STF that didn't make Melissa quit. Fighting through Hell Bound, Melissa Samoan dropped Eagles to a great ovation.
Eagles stumbled to her feet, getting clotheslined until Melissa curb stomped her. Unfortunately for Melissa, Eagles was too close to the ropes for Melissa to get the three count. Eagles started firing back with chops, but that just angered Melissa. The referee had to stop the corner assault of chops and slaps by Melissa. This momentary argument between Cheerleader Melissa and the ref allowed Eagles to recover and avoid a running knee strike before snap marring Melissa into a rolling senton splash.
Both women were looking for their patented finishers, leading to a clothesline duel that saw both hit the mat. Melissa was the first to get up, grabbing Eagles. Madison was playing possum, cradling Melissa. With the referee out of position, Eagles was able to throw her legs across the ropes, holding Melissa down to win the #1 Contender spot.
During the initial SHIMMER title tournament almost twenty Volumes ago, Sarah Stock shocked the SHIMMER world by pinning and eliminating MsChif from the title tournament.
SHIMMER title: MsChif (c) vs. Sarah Stock
Both women found themselves trying to end this one quickly with some pinning combinations. The stalemate that came from the exchange actually angered Stock enough to start a knife-edge chop exchange. MsChif almost made a crucial mistake by Irish whipping Stock toward the corner. Stock ran up the ropes, springing off with a cross body block that nearly gained Sarah the title. MsChif jumped to her feet, catching Stock with Gateway to Annihilation … for a near fall!
The standing moonsault by the champion, as well as Unhallowed Grace couldn't put Stock down for the three count. Using her impressive agility, Stock turned an Irish whip into an arm drag that set up Stock's dropkicks. In a modified version of the champ's Gateway, Stock stomped MsChif instead of forearming her as MsChif did. Stock's advantage was lost when MsChif turned the Oklahoma slam into a modified tornado DDT. The double stomps in the corner against Stock's back by MsChif didn't get her the three count she was looking for. Stock countered the Desecrator attempt, but ended up being slammed face first against the mat for a submission try. Similar to MsChif, Stock turned her failed attack into a submission, but couldn't make her opponent submit even though MsChif's boots were almost touching the back of the champ's head.
Stopping an ascending Stock, MsChif yanked Sarah off the ropes with that rolling Death Valley driver, but couldn't put the challenger away after that attack took too much out of both women. Once again, Stock stopped the Desecrator, going for the Tiger Driver. Stock lost that attack, getting dumped on her head. "Dark Angel" recovered, hitting La Reienera. Stock opted to go for the Tiger Driver instead of a pin. Flipping of the Tiger Driver set up, MsChif was able to pull Stock into the Desecrator. Quickly making the cover, MsChif successfully defended her SHIMMER title for the fourteenth time.
Is It Worth Your Money: Usually I write about how SHIMMER has its pattern of a solid, yet forgettable undercard topped off by their impressive upper card full of wonderful action and exciting matches. But that synopsis can only be used for situations where most of the undercard is good. It's kind of hard to put Vol. 30 in that prior category when most of your undercard matches are better than "good". The first tag team match wasn't anything special, but told a great story, and drew you in. While Kellie Skater is seen mostly as a comedy figure, she's displayed levels of serious greatness throughout her SHIMMER tenure that would make her a perfect foil for someone if given a long-term storyline. In the ring, Mercedes proved that previous assessment about Kellie true as she and Skater had one of the most entertaining matches of the evening. It was truly a breakout moment for Kellie as she hung with the same woman who was at one point the only woman to pin Sara Del Rey.
Speaking of Del Rey, her match, as well as all the matches involving the Joshi, were well put together, and most importantly, thoroughly exciting. I know this has been said and written in the past, but Ayumi Kurihara and Hiroyo Matsumoto are the real deals. So far, they can do no wrong; and I look forward to see what else they bring to SHIMMER. Now don't think I'm shortchanging Ohata and Nakagawa. Sadly, they were pretty much played second fiddle in their match that focused on solidifying Haze's turn from Vol. 29.
Jessie McKay and Nicole Matthews had a main event level match that proved once again McKay isn't just another pretty face, and both are future main eventers waiting to happen. Another Australian who not only had a stellar match, but also began her trek toward main event status was Madison Eagles. As good as it was, Eagles vs. Melissa had a feeling of foreshadowing to it that gave us a nice hint that when these two clash in the future, it's going to be bigger and badder than before.
Then there's Last Woman Standing. The key to having a great LMS or LWS match is simple: bring the hatred. And with over a year of story and animosity, Danger and Perez brought more hatred than anything you could've imagined. Behind the MsChif-Melissa feud from the early SHIMMER days, Danger-Perez is definitely the best rivalry in SHIMMER history (sorry Del Rey and Martinez).
I wrote earlier on MsChif's vulnerability, and how there was a chance Stock would exploit that possible weakness. Not only did Stock prove me right, but also did it in the early minutes. The sense of urgency in both women displayed showed how they felt they had the other's number, and could call it at a moment's notice. Everyone watching was on the edges of their seats because they didn't know when the end would occur.
Simply put, this is one of the best SHIMMER shows to date. If you want to find out what real women's wrestling is about, this is the DVD to show you.
SHIMMER Vol. 30 Is Worth Your Money.