Scale: 1-10 with 10 being The Impact Players (Great), 5 being Team Canada (Good), and 1 being The Un-Americans (Fast Forward). NC is for matches that can’t be fairly scored, i.e. extremely short matches, squash matches, etc.
Tenille vs. Malia Hosaka – 6/10
I’ve found all of Malia’s singles matches in SHIMMER so far to be really superb, and this was another strong outing. Tenille more than held her own against the veteran, a theme that reappears throughout the DVD.
Allison Danger vs. Kellie Skater – 7/10
“The Rate Tank” is my favorite of recent fresh to SHIMMER faces, and it’s all because of her extreme level of intensity and aggressiveness. Sitting in the crowd I felt like Danger was being pounced on by Wanderlei Silva, after he had been bitten by a werewolf ((I was contacted by Kellie Skater. She informed me that she is actually, “more bad arse than Silva and a Werewolf combined.” I regret the error.)). Tank is terrifying, in the good way. Danger was back in phenomenal wrestling shape survived the initial mauling. This is another match that played off the vet/frosh potential upset dynamic, the highpoint of which was an excellent submission sequence that had me on edge during both viewings.
Daffney & Rachel Summerlyn vs. Rain & Jetta – NC
It was reported that Daffney was dealing with a fairly serious injury coming into the SHIMMER tapings, so it was quite a pleasant surprise to see her scheduled in a match. However, the match turned out to be an extended, yet riveting, beatdown of Rachel as she desperately tried to hold her own against the IHWC. The IHWC does a good job putting the boots to her, and Rachel does a great job of garnering sympathy and making believable tag/comeback attempts. This was a nice emotional setup for a Rachel vs Daff feud (which is a continuation a long running feud from Texas’ ACW).
Ariel vs. Cat Power – 6.5/10
NCW Femmes Fatales II is the event where Cat Power made her definitive turn as a main event competitor but it’s this match that, in hindsight, began to lay the groundwork. Ariel impressed me as much as she has for the past several volumes an they both work well together to put on a solid, believable match. This really showcased how far Cat has come since her initial encounter with Ariel on SHIMMER Vol. 18. Cat brought both a Stretch Muffler and a Side Effect into her arsenal, much to my approval.
Lane & Nevaeh vs. Wesna & Melanie Cruise – 6.5/10
This was Tag Team experience vs size and strength and it’s never quite clear which is more of an advantage. Lane and Neveah are really impressive here, I can’t get enough of Lane’s kick to the head and Neveah’s Azumi Hyuga-esque running knee. Melanie didn’t get to toss the Ohio girls around as much as I expected, but the high impact finish made up for it.
Cheerleader Melissa vs. Nicole Matthews – 8.5/10
This match has everything you could possibly ask for. Cheerleader Melissa is the best in the world right now, and Nicole not only keeps up but dominates for a significant portion of the match. Nicole kicked and lariated through Melissa, and then took a some serious smashing in return. The match is epic. Props to The SHIMMER Office, as they likely had to shuffle things around due to Nicole’s fellow Canadian Ninja Portia Perez catching the swine flu before the show. When life hands you lemons, have Cheerleader Melissa beat the lemons into a pulp.
Jessie McKay vs. Sara Del Rey – 7.5/10
SDR is at the top of her game now; her wrestling and her gimmick are more engaging than they’ve ever been, which says a lot. Jessie McKay had already demonstrated with her strong vol. 25 match against Melissa that she’s decidedly not just a “cute” wrestler. Result? A fine match. The Valkyrie was in charge, but Jessie was never far out of it. She skillfully and credibly went hold for hold with one of the best. Bonus points in this match for SDR’s mockery of JMack fanboys. Sidenote: Jessie is very good, serious wrestler and some more athletic gear could help reflect this. Perhaps something from the Manami Toyota line?
LuFisto vs. Amazing Kong – 8/10
Nasty. Brutish. Short. A stiff brawl like this doesn’t need a lot of time to be great, especially between fighters like Kong and LuFisto. I could watch these two beat the crap out of each other 100 times.
Ayako Hamada vs. Mercedes Martinez – 8.5/10
This is one match that I appreciated even more on DVD, since the vol. 28 Ayako vs SDR match initially overshadowed it. As a long time Ayako fan her performance here is everything one could hope for. This was the hard hitting, high flying, power bombing Ayako that drew me into Joshi in the first place. Mercedes, of course, was an excellent first SHIMMER opponent for Ayako as their styles go hand in hand. It was a superb match that I’d love to see happen again.
MsChif vs. Nikki Roxx – 7.5/10
This is a rematch from my favorite bout of ACW’s American Joshi Queen of Queens event. There’s a significant difference due to the fact that Roxx turned rulebreaker in Texas, but kept in clean in Chicago. It still made for quite a hold for hold match that re-established Nikki’s place in the main event while also showing just how dominant a champ MsChif is. Samoa who?
Bonus Match: MsChif vs. LuFisto – 8/10
Thanks to a production malfunction Vol. 27 fans also get a chance to see the main event for the vol. 26 show, with commentary this time. The match is terrific. Hard hitting edge play wrestling lovers, this is your victory pose. Both LuFisto and MsChif get in touch with their heel side and show just how far they’ll go to win/retain the SHIMMER title.
Commentary, Inteviews, Storylines, Etc. – 9/10
In early SHIMMER volumes I thought the commentary from Dave and Allison was a bit too dry, especially considering how entertaining we knew both were. Those days are long gone as the talk on this volume was very witty, informative, and always added something to the matches.
There are several good promos on this DVD, including the hilarious Dr.’s excuse promo from P2. One of the greatest SHIMMER promos of all time occurred as Cat Power decided to taste the fear on the face of backstage correspondent Amber Gertner. You just have to see it.
As usual with SHIMMER all the booking decisions made sense, everyone looked good, storylines were started, moved forward, or resolved in rational manners, and I finished the DVD immediately wanting to see the next. SHIMMER really makes it look easy.
Overall Rating – 9.0/10
This is easily one of best SHIMMER volumes so far. Every match is good and several are flat out great. You get over 3 hours of high quality wrestling, great promos, fresh matchups, and Lexie Fyfe on a stick for $15 or less. People will be talking about Matthews vs Melissa for a while, and I don’t think any serious wrestling fan should miss out on Ayako Hamada’s debut in the top promotion for female wrestling on this side of the Pacific. Buy it.