At SHIMMER Volume 31, Madison Eagles did the seemingly impossible by using a two SHIMMER win streak to lead her to the SHIMMER title; thus ending the near two year long reign of MsChif. One of those victories came via a win over Cheerleader Melissa thanks to an illegal pin. Regrouping herself, Cheerleader Melissa defeated the red hot Ayako Hamada before issuing a challenge to Eagles. Now, in her first title defense, Madison Eagles has to defeat the woman she cheated to earn her #1 Contender status three Volumes ago.
Speaking of Hamada, she will have her hands full once again in this Volume. Like many of her previous SHIMMER contests, Ayako's opponent is a first time encounter in the form of fellow Joshi wrestler Tomoka Nakagawa. Like Cheerleader Melissa, Jessie McKay and Ayumi Kurihara have insisted that at this event they face the women who recently defeated them in closely contested matches - Nicole Matthews and Daizee Haze respectively.
Can Cheerleader Melissa finally avenge her travesty of a loss from two Volumes ago, or is she the first in a long line of unsuccessful challengers in this era of the Eagles? Will Ayako Hamada's experience prove to be the deciding factor in her first time encounter with Tomoka Nakagawa, or will it prove to be just ineffective? Have Jessie McKay and Ayumi Kurihara learned enough from their last matches with their opponents for this Volume to pull off the much-needed victory, or will Nicole Matthews and Daizee Haze have a trick up their sleeves one more time? But no question is more important than this one: Is SHIMMER Volume 33 Worth Your Money?
SHIMMER Volume 33
RJETT (Rachel Summerlyn & Jessica James) vs. Athena & Bonesaw
Rachel and Athena had the privilege of kicking this one off. The smaller in height and weight Athena tried to power Summerlyn off the mat, but ended up being kicked and cradled off a failed test of strength. Bonesaw tagged in, almost getting a pin on Rachel when Summerlyn began conversing with James. When Athena saw her partner was in trouble following a failed Three Amigos, Athena demanded James tag in.
Athena's attitude got the better of her, allowing RJETT to use the old shove and trip maneuver seen in many an '80s movie. It wasn't until Athena and Bonesaw actually started working together did things turn around for them. Grabbing James by the hair to stop a head scissors on Bonesaw, Athena set up James for Bonesaw's power bomb.
James recovered minutes later, firing off forearms. In an impressive show of strength, Athena stopped James' momentum by catching her with a spine buster. Bonesaw kept the focus on James' back, backbreaking and suplexing James in between clubbing forearms to the back. Jessica showed a great amount of heart by not submitting to the camel clutch, but found herself stuck on the wrong part of town.
James used the Irish whip to her advantage, turning Athena's tilt-a-whirl attack into a DDT that spiked Athena on her head. As Athena tagged out, so did James to a red-hot Rachel. Running big boot by Rachel leveled Bonesaw to gain a nice ovation. Athena broke up Rachel's bridging back drop suplex before tagging herself in. Athena decided to mouth off at her own partner before being leveled by the Unidentified Flying Partner.
James' Hard Boiled Egg laid out Bonesaw before RJETT finished Athena off with You're Toast. You know, because RJETT is from the International House of Paincakes (no that's not a typo).
At SHIMMER Volume 32, Jamilia Craft shocked everyone by pinning Malia Hosaka.
Cat Power vs. Jamilia Craft
The larger Cat Power realized early Craft wouldn't be intimidated. To cool Craft's jets, Power slowed down everything by stretching. When the action finally resumed, Craft outwrestled and outmaneuvered Power until Cat took another powder. Using Jamilia's lack of experience against her, Cat lured Craft into a chase that ended with Power stomping Jamilia when she reentered the ring. Big running clothesline by Power off an Irish whip almost gained her a three count. The fans were behind Craft as shed tried to brawl her way to an advantage. Power stopped any kind of comeback Craft had in mind by clawing her eyes. Craft recovered, going for a few pinning combinations in hopes of catching lightning in a bottle like she did at the last Volume. Power stopped the pins, and avoided Craft's clutches before putting her to sleep with the Catnap.
Amber Gertner was in the back with Jessie McKay. According to Amber, McKay asked for a Vol. 30 rematch with Nicole Matthews. McKay wanted to prove she deserves a title shot by defeating one half of the SHIMMER Tag Team champions. Speaking of SHIMMER champions, in comes Madison Eagles. McKay's fellow Pink Lady quickly dismisses her old partner to get her "designated" interview time. Gertner ruined Eagles' happy mood by informing the champ will defend her title tonight against the woman she beat to earn her first SHIMMER title shot, Cheerleader Melissa.
Allison Danger vs. Leva Bates
Danger displayed her veteran prowess by easily working her way out of a rear chin lock to stretch Bates in a modified surfboard. Danger seemed to enjoy being one step ahead of anything Bates had in mind; even when it seemed Bates had Allison in trouble. Danger was literally looking Bates in the face and explaining how she was going to free herself from Bates holds. Even with Bates in her grip, Danger heard the little things like someone's cell phone ringing. Pulling a page out of Samoa Joe's book, Danger sidestepped whatever Bates had in mind when Leva sprung off the middle rope.
Bates found herself tied in the ropes; opened for a running knee to Bates' back before Danger gained a close two count. Taking a running forearm to the chest, Bates seemed to be in trouble. Learning from what just happened, Bates stopped the second forearm, almost sunset flipping her way to victory. Danger quickly kicked out, regaining control. Blocking a face buster, Leva started firing off some knife edge chops. Furious, Leva whipped Danger in position for a slingshot dropkick in the corner. Stopping Bates' running attack with a dropkick to the rib set up Danger's STO … that gave Allison a near fall! Danger had one more trip up her sleeve in the form of the Shimmering Warlock. Danger quickly made the cover, gaining a dominant victory.
Danger grabbed the microphone afterwards, congratulating Bates for the hard fought match. Danger took her complements one step further by saying she sees a bright future for Leva Bates. Before Danger could leave the ring, Veronica Vice tried to jump her from behind. Danger turned around before Vice could complete her attack, asking her what's her deal. Vice explained she's here to take the opportunity women like Bates are being handed. Danger offered Vice a chance to be made a star courtesy of Allison Danger at the next Volume. Vice answered Danger's challenge with a hard slap across her face.
Melanie Cruise vs. Taylor Made
Cruise easily powered Made around the ring as the fans backed Taylor. Taylor decided to up the match's pace, actually taking Cruise down via a head scissors. So fired up about her attack, Made left herself wide open to be yanked face first into the middle turnbuckle when she approached Cruise. Using a short arm knee to the stomach, Cruise cockily pinned Made. Before the ref's two count, Made grabbed Cruise's flexing arms, almost pinning her with a roll up.
Big spinning sidewalk slam by Cruise didn't end the match thanks to another cocky cover by Melanie. Blocking Cruise Control, Made almost pinned Melanie with a crucifix. Made's momentum was stopped quickly, getting slammed face first. Cruise decided to scale the ropes for a guillotine leg drop. At the last second, Made moved, sending shockwaves of pain through Cruise's spine.
Made rallied to her feet, firing off knife edge chops. Cruise blocked the third chop, shoulder ramming Made in position for the avalanche splash. Made kicked her way out of the bad situation before executing a flying neck breaker … for a two count! Sadly for Made, she ran into Cruise Control seconds later, ending her SHIMMER debut with a loss.
In the back, Cheerleader Melissa reflected on her tenure in SHIMMER that saw her title opportunities end due to messed up circumstances; such as Madison Eagles beating her in that #1 Contender match by using the ropes for leverage. But tonight, Cheerleader Melissa promises to go home with the gold.
Misaki Ohata vs. Ariel
A stern collar & elbow tie up ended with Ohata taking Ariel down, going for the cross arm bar early. Ariel blocked the attack, only to get forearmed in the chest. Snap marring Ariel, Ohata turned a failed rear naked choke into a body scissors pinning combination. When Ariel tried to turn the tables, Ohata locked her in a knee bar. Ariel had to forearm her way out of the submission. Snap marring Ohata, Ariel unleashed a running dropkick that almost knocked Ohata out. Ariel wanted to turn this one into a brawl, and almost won the match after forearming Ohata's jaw.
Fisherman suplex couldn't get Ariel the win, but it did fire Ohata up. Misaki took a power slam, but turned a kick out of Ariel's pin attempt into another arm bar. Ariel saved herself by rolling Ohata into a pinning combination. When Ohata kicked out, Ariel leveled her to set up the Three Amigos. Kicking out, Ohata lured Ariel into another arm bar. This time, Ariel made it to the ropes to save herself. Taking a missile dropkick, Ariel found herself fighting off the mat. Ohata stopped Ariel's assault by basement dropkicking Ariel. Before Ariel could realize what happened, Ohata grabbed her with the Fairy Lock.
Stuck in the ring's middle, Ariel had no choice but to tap out.
Kellie Skater decided to make her Wolverine-ness known to all the fans, and most importantly, everyone in the back with an open challenge to anyone who had the guts to test her indestructible nature. If you don't know by now, Kellie Skater is incredible. The crowd suddenly jumped to their feet. Not because of Skater's muscles that make the Incredible Hulk green with envy, but due to the return of Serena Deeb!
Serena Deeb vs. Kellie Skater
We were off with this impromptu match that saw Deeb send Skater running after a barrage of strikes. As the chants of "Welcome back!" echoed out, Kellie Skater asked for a time out to power up thanks to a quick workout and a sip of her supplement drink. After regrouping herself, Skater locked up with the former WWE Diva, shoving Deeb to the mat. A disrespectful slap by Skater infuriated Deeb with Serena slapping Skater in response before using a few of those deep arm drags. Skater stopped Deeb's momentum by sidestepping a charging Deeb in the corner. Serena couldn't stop herself from shoulder ramming the steel ring post.
Understand what just happened, Skater went for a cross arm bar that almost made Serena tap out. Skater's attacks centered on Deeb's left arm as she tried her best to submit the returning Deeb. Losing her focus by playing to the crowd, Skater missed a running jab that allowed Deeb to fire off some of those Virginia jabs of her own following a one armed body slam. Kellie Skater tried to her best to avoid it, but Deeb's Spear laid Skater out so Deeb to make her return match a successful one.
Amber Gertner was in the ring to interview the one and only Nikki Roxx to ask Roxx about her future plans in SHIMMER. Of course, Roxx's plans for the future involve becoming the next SHIMMER champion.
Sara Del Rey vs. Nevaeh
Nevaeh shockingly outwrestled Del Rey in the early moments thanks to a side headlock. Instead of wrestling her way out of the hold, Sara just shoved and slammed Nevaeh until the Ohio Girl was in a bad position. Pushing Nevaeh against the turnbuckles, Sara unleashed a slew of forearms to set up another Irish whip. Nevaeh exploded out of the corner, hitting a neck breaker for a two count. Sara easily hoisted Nevaeh off the mat seconds later, executing three backbreakers in a row. Nevaeh used Del Rey's shoving her against "Death Rey" by dropkicking Del Rey in position for a running knee strike. STO by Nevaeh dazed Del Rey for a very close two count. Sadly for Nevaeh, Sara kneed her way to another advantage before big booting her to gain another two count. Blocking Del Rey's wrist clutch torture rack, Nevaeh was able to hit Sliced Bread #2. Somehow, Del Rey grabbed Nevaeh when she went for the pin, putting Nevaeh in the LeBell Lock. Nevaeh quickly submitted.
At SHIMMER Vol. 30, Nicole Matthews and Jessie McKay had a war that ended with Nicole winning thanks to Last Rites.
SHIMMER Tag Team champion Nicole Matthews vs. Jessie McKay
Nicole powered her way to an advantage off the initial tie up, but it was McKay's technique that kept her from being locked in whatever Nicole had in mind for any period of time. The crowd was definitely pro-McKay as they locked up again. This time, Nicole used an unclean break to yank Jessie into a pin attempt. Tempers began flaring when Matthews noted she almost ended the match with her pinning combination before McKay responded with the same comment following a School Girl Crush attempt. Rushing Nicole into the corner, McKay was wide open for a back body drop. McKay saved herself from hitting the floor by landing on the apron, but Nicole completed her earlier idea by dropkicking Jessie before she could reenter.
Shockingly, Nicole found herself being beaten around ringside after McKay caught her with a head scissors on the floor! Reversing an Irish whip into the barricades, Nicole finally turned the tides in her favor. After kicking and chopping McKay over and over again when the action returned inside, Nicole blatantly choked McKay with her boot. As the fans got behind Jessie, Matthews mocked the fans and McKay. This bumping her gums almost caused Matthews to lose her advantage when McKay started firing off forearms. A quick rake of Jessie's eyes ended McKay's barrage. Using her knee, Nicole had Jessie's back being bent in a horrible way.
Once again, it was Nicole's mouthing that cost her as she gave Jessie enough time to recover, and almost pin Matthews following a neck breaker. Matthews quickly jumped to her feet, kneeing the incoming McKay before kicking Jessie off her feet. Nicole made a big mistake by pulling McKay off the mat to forearm Jessie. McKay fired back, leading to a forearm exchange that ended with both women connecting at the same time, almost knocking each other out.
McKay rallied to her feet, executing a satellite head scissors and the hurricarana. Nicole's wild clothesline allowed McKay to belly to back suplex Nicole to gain a near fall. Showing her ninja qualities, Nicole sprung off the middle rope to avoid the charging Jessie, hitting a huge Lariat … for a two count!
Blocking Last Rites and taking an insulting slap to the mouth, Jessie unleashed the Lipstick Kick to get another two count. Stopping the Boyfriend Stealer, Nicole caught Jessie with two big boots topped off by a northern lights suplex. Somehow, Jessie kicked out right before the three count. Nicole tried to superplex McKay, but Jessie countered by dumping her over the top rope. When McKay turned around, Nicole leapt off the top rope. Jessie threw her leg up, connecting with the School Girl Crush to knock Matthews out of midair! Jessie made the cover, but only gained a two count!
Matthews somehow fought back, almost hitting Last Rites following a German suplex. McKay turned the failed Last Rites set up into the Boyfriend Stealer. Hastily covering Matthews, Jessie evened the score in her series with Nicole Matthews.
At SHIMMER Vol. 32, using a well timed shove to the floor, and some baseball slides Daizee Haze defeated Ayumi Kurihara via a count out to end Ayumi's undefeated SHIMMER steak.
No Count Out match: Ayumi Kurihara vs. Daizee Haze
During Ayumi's in-ring introduction, Haze attacked Kurihara from behind. A shoulder block took Ayumi off her feet, and put her in position for a double stomp. Haze had Ayumi pinned against the turnbuckles, throwing right hands. Ayumi fired back, dropping her with those running double knees not once, but twice. Scaling the ropes, Ayumi lured Daizee into the hanging arm bar in the ropes. A little too happy for her own good cost Ayumi when Daizee kicked her to the floor before a celebrating Kurihara could reenter. Running across the apron, Haze kicked Ayumi's head incredibly hard. Whipping Kurihara from one end of ringside to the other, Haze found a focal point in Ayumi's back.
When the action returned inside, Ayumi tripped Haze into an open guard ground and pound onslaught before having her legs and arms butterflied. Haze used Ayumi's hair to roll her over before suplexing her in position for a modified Last Chancery. When Ayumi didn't give up, Haze unleashed two senton splashes that knocked the wind out of Kurihara, and further damaged Ayumi's back.
Of course, Ayumi didn't take the attacks lying down, almost victory rolling Haze before being dropped again. Northern lights suplex couldn't get Haze the pin, nor did the German suplex. Slapping Ayumi only fired her up. They were going forearm for forearm until Ayumi caught Haze with the codebreaker. With Haze lying against the ropes, Ayumi unleashed one of those running dropkicks. Ayumi scaled the ropes, only to miss the missile dropkick. Desperate, Haze went to undo one of the top turnbuckle pads. Ayumi recovered, grabbing Haze before dumping her with the Uranage Suplex. Ayumi quickly made the cover, avenging her loss from SHIMMER Vol. 32.
Ayako Hamada vs. Tomoka Nakagawa
Hamada enjoyed taunting the short Nakagawa with the test of strength until Tomoka stomped on her foot. Hamada attempted to be one step ahead of Nakagawa by stopping her incoming attack with a boot, but ended up getting punched instead. A couple of hair mares by Nakagawa had the referee reprimanding her. Ayako stopped Nakagawa's illegal acts before the referee could by kicking Tomoka in the face. Chopping and head-butting Tomoka saw Nakagawa looking for haven on the floor. Hamada rushed her on the apron, but ended up being slammed against the turnbuckles. Nakagawa's follow up dropkick actually fired Hamada up, but the raking of Ayako's eyes did not.
Hamada rolled to the floor, getting into an exchange with Nakagawa when she followed. Grabbing a fan's chair, Hamada wanted to whip Nakagawa into the seat. Nakagawa reversed the Irish whip, sending Hamada back first against the chair. As the referee checked on Ayako, Tomoka grabbed her water bottle to beat Ayako down. Ayako took the bottle from her, giving Tomoka a taste of her own medicine. Nakagawa recovered, dropkicking and forearming her way to an advantage until she missed the enzuguri. The slap exchange rocked both women, so Hamada just threw an enzuguri when the going got tough.
Superplex by Hamada only gained Ayako a near fall, impressing Portia Perez on commentary. As Ayako argued with the referee, Nakagawa took a swig of water. When Hamada grabbed Nakagawa, Tomoka misted Hamada to blind her. Running enzuguri by Nakagawa almost gained her the three count, but Hamada rallied to her feet. Turning the clothesline attempt against her, Ayako dropkicked the stunned Nakagawa in the face before slamming her in position for the moonsault. Moonsault missed, and Nakagawa put Hamada in the Last Chancery. Hamada hung on long enough for Nakagawa to give up on the submission and go for the knockout blow.
Ayako not only survived the sliding clothesline, but also a knee trembler. Avoiding another clothesline attempt, Hamada caught Nakagawa with the super kick-power bomb combination … for a near fall!
Taking another kick to the face, Nakagawa countered the AP Cross with a roll up … for another two count! Nakagawa's disbelief that Ayako kicked out allowed Hamada to catch her for another AP Cross set up. This time, Hamada executed her finisher, ending this first time battle with a victory.
At SHIMMER Vol. 30, Madison Eagles became the #1 Contender to the SHIMMER title by defeating Cheerleader Melissa with a well timed placement of her feet on the ropes. At Volume 31, Eagles pulled off the upset by ending the near two year reign of MsChif to become the third SHIMMER champion. One Volume later, Cheerleader issued a challenge to the champ to prove she can beat her. Madison entered the ring, motioning that she's the champ, and Melissa's not.
SHIMMER title: Madison Eagles (c) vs. Cheerleader Melissa
Both women came charging at the sound of the bell, going forearm for forearm early. Melissa gained the advantage, throwing a slew of punches from her mounted position in the corner before shoulder blocking Eagles to the floor. Melissa left the ring to follow, but Eagles lured her into a kick to the abdomen. Eagles wanted to slow Melissa with the side headlock, but the challenger hastily turned the tables that saw the champion grounded in the hold. Looking for a hold that would keep their opponent down for any significant amount of time seemed to be a smart strategy until Melissa powered herself and Eagles off the match before crushing the champ between Melissa's body and the turnbuckles.
The champion raked her way out of the bad position, motioning for the curb stomp. Melissa stopped Eagles' planned attacks by tripping and tying up Eagles. Once again, Madison rolled outside, luring Melissa after her. The champ shoved Melissa into the barricades before choking her. Rolling the challenger back in, Eagles hooked Melissa with a Texas cloverleaf. The crowd was thoroughly pro-Melissa. The challenger rallied to her feet, looking to trip Eagles after pushing her into the ropes. Exposing her back to do so, Melissa felt all of Eagles' weight collide with her back via a double stomp from the champ.
Eagles mix of holds and high impact attacks aimed at the challenger's back momentarily disabled Melissa. Cheerleader Melissa fired herself up, but any clubbing blow to her back dropped the challenger every time. A Boston crab topped off by grabbing one of Melissa's right arm preventing the challenger from grabbing the rope with her near arm almost saw Melissa pass out from the pain. Field goal kick twisted Melissa's spine; as did a series of European uppercuts aimed at the same region.
The champ made a mistake by allowing Melissa to get up and start throwing forearms. After big booting Madison off her feet, Melissa locked in her in an Indian deathlock that might have won her the match if Eagles didn't make it to the ropes. Blocking the Air Raid Crash, Madison used a running knee to almost retain the title.
Melissa survived the Lariat, and blocked Hell Bound to execute her Air Raid Crash. Upon hitting the mat, Eagles rolled to the floor. The time it took to pull Eagles back in, the champ had recovered and was able to kick out of Melissa's pin attempt. The champ was aware enough to block the Kudo Driver, rolling the challenger up with a handful of tights. Melissa kicked out, curb stomping Eagles following a failed cradle … for a near fall!
Once again, Eagles fought her way out of the Kudo Driver by kicking Melissa in the head. Hoisting her up, Eagles connected with Hell Bound. Falling on top of the lifeless challenger, Eagles pinned Cheerleader Melissa to successfully defend her SHIMMER title for the first time.
Is It Worth Your Money: This has to be annoying to you who have read most of my SHIMMER reviews, but the same opening can be used almost all of the time - the SHIMMER formula works. It's that simple. Following a few good, yet forgettable matches with some interesting contests sprinkled in between (Danger and Ohata's technical dominance, Deeb's return bout), we're treated with several main event quality contests. Of course there's the main event that delivered without taking away from a future rematch. Eagles used the same strategy that helped her win the title by trying not to fight fire with fire like Melissa loves doing. In a brawl, Eagles knew she couldn't win; so she did everything to slow the match down while working over Melissa's back to prevent Melissa's core based finishers. The match was smart, well paced with exciting closing moments (pretty much everything after the Air Raid). An excellent way to kick off Eagles' reign.
Not to be outdone before the main event even happened, Hamada and Nakagawa went all out by mixing some comedy with the hard hitting action most Hamada matches are known for. The story of Hamada losing control early because of her not taking Nakagawa seriously helped emphasize how Tomoka could truly be a force in SHIMMER if women aren't careful (even if they are). Fellow Joshi star Ayumi Kurihara also had an incredible match with Daizee Haze. They have wonderful chemistry, and the accolades of being two of the best women's wrestlers today is well warranted.
Sooner than later, Jessie McKay and Nicole Matthews will be talked about in the same breath as the women mentioned above if they continue to produce battles like the one here. Jessie looked like a world beater while Matthews came across as a woman whose championship/cocky attitude is the only thing that can destroy her game plans and leave her open for losses. If this is a sign of the future for SHIMMER, then color me excited.
Once again, the SHIMMER formula pays off with a solid first half and a memorable second half that leaves you with a smile.
SHIMMER Volume 33 Is Worth Your Money.