On October 1st and 2nd Berwyn Eagles Club once again hosted SHIMMER: Women Athletes as it held its volumes 41-44 tapings. This was my second trip to SHIMMER and the culmination of months of anticipation that started as soon as volume 40 ended.
SHIMMER always seems to outdo itself, and this time was not an exception. The shows were crazy good and filled with many great moments, too many to recapture in great detail. Instead I offer notes on some of my personal favorites from the weekend:
Hailey Hatred – The reigning JWP Champion made her SHIMMER debut and she did not disappoint. While only appearing on the October 1st show (as she defended her titles against Cherry Bomb October 2nd in AIW), she had a great match against Kalamity, then turned around to team with Kalamity against Mena Libra and Melanie Cruise. Hatred’s impressive power, brutal kicks and devastating running Lyger Bomb showed why she is a four crown champion in Japan. See all of that, and more, in this great match between her and her BFF, Kaori Yoneyama:
Cherry Bomb – One of the surprise appearances of the weekend was Cherry Bomb making her return to SHIMMER on the SPARKLE pre-show. Cherry Bomb teamed with KC Spinelli to face the team of Allysin Kay and Mia Svennson in a match went to a time limit draw. It was a very good match, well above the normal SPARKLE standards. and if you haven’t seen Cherry Bomb, check this clip of her Top Ten moves. The names alone are amazing:
Sara Del Rey – Fans always know that they will not be disappointed by an SDR match, but she truly delivered this weekend. She had a beautiful victory over Yumi Ohka, one of the best matches of the weekend against Kana (which exceeded all the hype), teamed with Madison Eagles in great main event against the SHIMMER tag team champions Ayumi Kurihara and Ayako Hamada, and beat the upstart “Human Suplex Machine” Courtney Rush in another good bout. She was 2-2 for the weekend, but the fans were 4-0 and won every time she stepped foot into the ring. She’s the consummate professional, and as much fun as it is to hate her demeanor and tactics, her wrestling will always leave you astonished. Below, watch her maul a very game Taeler Hendrix:
Madison Eagles – She is Number 1. Eagles received a plaque from Pro Wrestling Illustrated for being named the top female wrestler in the world in their recent listing. Eagles backed that up by defeating Serena Deeb in a fantastic match that went all over the (Madison) Eagles Club. It looked as if ME was on the ropes and ready to be defeated but, as has become the norm, she fought back to put Deeb into her Hellbound and secure the title. Madison had another tough opponent trying to take her title in Hiroyo Matsumoto. Once again, Eagles pulled a spectacular victory from the clutches of defeat. However, she wrestled Cheerleader Melissa on volume 44 and lost the SHIMMER championship in perhaps the best match of the weekend, a fitting way to close the shows. Eagles definitely showed why she was voted #1, and even though she lost her title, it would be hard to take away that status. She is just that good. Here are the top ten moves that brought Madison to the top of the wrestling world:
Yumi Ohka – Ohka put on an impressive display in each of her matches. She stood toe to toe with Sara Del Rey in her debut match, she went on to defeat Courtney Rush via a chokebomb, defeated Mia Yim vis Tiger Suplex, and then had a gorgeous outing against Serena Deeb (whose spear proved just as devastating in America as in Japan). It was refreshing seeing new Joshi talent in SHIMMER, and Ohka impressed the next weekend in NCW: Femmes Fatales against Cheerleader Melissa. She won the fans over with her charisma, technical skills, and face-smashing Yakuza Kicks. See Ohka across the ring from three legends as she teams with Ayumi Kurihara and Sawako Shimono to take on Yoshiko Tamura, Meiko Satomura, and Ayako Hamada:
Tomoka Nakagawa – Tomoka is my favorite villain in SHIMMER. Wrestlers from Kana to Kurihara have praised her in ring skills, and the fans love to boo her. Although she and Daizee Haze lost the SHIMMER tag team titles on volume 41, she bounced back to win a four-way match against Kellie Skater, LuFisto and MsChif, by pinning the former SHIMMER Champ! Her efforts against MsChif and Kalamity on the next two volumes were less than successful, but there is no doubting that Tomoka is a staple of SHIMMER and one of the best in the world today. TAJIRI agrees, and said she was the top woman in the world before she took on Serena Deeb in the SMASH Women’s title tournament:
Kana – What more can be said about Kana? Fans were awaiting her arrival in SHIMMER perhaps more than any other wrestler, and she delivered. From the video vignettes, in which she dissed SDR and Melissa, to her debut win over Mia Yim, to her off-the-charts win over Sara Del Rey, her narrow loss to Cheerleader Melissa, and her victory over Lufisto in perhaps the weekend’s best match, Kana was a star. Each of her matches was better than the last and Kana backed up everything that was expected of her. She impressed outside of the ring as well, going around the post-SHIMMER party, talking with, and greeting every fan. It’s refreshing to see that someone so successful and so highly praised operates without the superstar ego. Here’s another recent, stellar performance from Kana against Ayumi Kurihara:
Special mention to the following wrestlers:
Lufisto showed why she is one of the best against Kana. That match was in my top 3 for the weekend. Kalamity, Davina Rose, Buggy, and KC Spinelli were a breath of fresh air, and would be welcomed back by fans for sure. Hiroyo Matsumoto was charismatic as always, and gave her all to her fans. Regeneration-X had many fun matches, and the Back to the Future costumes were tops!
If you’ve never made the trek to Berwyn, but have always wanted to, do yourself a favor and start preparing now for spring 2012. You will not be disappointed and everything about the weekend will be magical. Especially this: