Where to watch ‘The Wrestler’

thewrestler.jpgSearchlight has been nothing but methodical in their distribution of ‘The Wrestler’, relying on word of mouth to build the anticipation for the film and Oscar buzz for Mickey Rourke’s performance as Randy “The Ram” Robinson. ‘The Wrestler’ is going to have a long run, but, finding a theatre to watch it in that isn’t sold out is going to be a challenge.

Few venues and a lot of buzz is equaling sold out theatres. The number of theatres showing ‘The Wrestler’ increased over the weekend by 84 theatres to a total of 144 theatres nationwide. ‘The Wrestler’ enjoyed an impressive per venue gross of $14,410 over the weekend. That brings the total revenue over $5,000,000 since the movie’s release five weeks ago- which is pretty good. The question is: How can you get past the oscar-curious throngs to watch Randy “The Ram” Robinson before your buddies do?

We recommend keeping track of where ‘The Wrestler’ is going to open up next at an online site like fandango.com. And we’re not going to risk a sold out show- we’re going to pre-buy our tickets at fandango.com as well. We thought we’d pass our plan along to fellow fans of wrestling. Our motto is, ‘Let someone else get stuck in the line for a sold out show.’

The last question is, is ‘The Wrestler’ worth the bother? To answer the question, it stars Mickey Rourke. Anyone watch ‘Sin City’? Didn’t anyone catch Rourke’s performance as Marv? While some fairweather fans jumped onboard when critics started talking Oscar Performance, we never gave up Rourke. Mickey even made ‘Barfly’ endurable. We even liked Rourke in ‘Live and Die in LA.’ Another good reason to watch is Marisa Tomei. We can’t wait to see our ROH favorites on the silver screen as well, such as Alex McGuiness and the Necro Butcher. We’re wondering if we’ll get a glimpse of Daisy Haize, MsChif or Sara Del Ray. Bottom line is, if you love wrestling, how can you NOT see this movie?

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To check out where ‘The Wrestler’ is playing, click on the poster.

SHIMMER Daffney – Amplified Shriek Machine

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Gail Kim Backstage at 800th RAW

8352200.jpgHonestly, when we read that RAW 800th episode would feature a 16 Diva Royal Rumble, we immediately thought that Gail Kim was about to debute on RAW. Then the Fabulous Moolah came out and our hopes were dashed- although it’s great to see the ‘First Goddess of the Squared circle’ still performing. Now our source is telling us that Gail Kim was backstage at the 800th taping and we’re happy to hear- apparantly- Gail’s ready to commit to WWE’s schedule (taking a break was a good idea for Kim, she’ll be working 300 days a year for the next three years).

On reflection, we realised that having Gail come out without a buildup would be a total letdown on what should be an eagerly anticipated- and rating boosting- event. The first official announcement for Gail’s return should be her Tron after a woman’s match and her appearance the following week, or implying a ‘mystery’ woman wrestler in a match while acknowledging her signing with WWE online. Point is, build it up- Ratings on TNA were boosted 300 000 viewers every time Gail wrestled and these viewers should be made aware of her first appearance on WWE! WWE will send a serious signal to viewers by either building Gail and setting aside ten minutes for her first match, or just throwing her into a quick match like an afterthought. Obviously, we’re encouraging the first option and praying WWE doesn’t screw up and go for the second option.

Okay, we’ll calm down. Time to be Zen and say, ‘We will see.’

This is a good time to bring up another thought about the wrestling market. Economic theory states that when demand increases for a product, the price of the product increases and consumers will go to a substitute product, increasing demand for the substitute, in turn shifting the price of the substitute and effecting the price of the first product, which will shift the demand for the first product, ect. ect. We think we wrote that right….

Point is, when demand increases for one product, the quantity demand increases for substitute products as well.

When talent crosses over from WWE to TNA or vice versa, it’s a big deal, which should in theory increase demand for both products. The RAW draft and cross-talent promotion is supposed to mimick this idea, but fails because everyone knows it’s all the same company and there’s no demand for that kind of kayfabe. Wrestling fans are asked to suspend reality to enjoy the matches and we think it’s a sticking point for wrestling fans when explaining their enthusiasm to non-believers. So, wrestling fans like to point out what’s real, the physicality and the competition between promotions. When a promotion scores talent from other promotions, it’s a big deal for fans.

Now, let’s be real for a moment before we continue and point out that WWE is like the ocean and TNA is like a river. TNA is a substitute to WWE, THE substitute and barring a major catastophic event, always will be.

So, why shouldn’t WWE promote TNA?

TNA could be the ‘paper tiger’ (read ‘The Prince’) that WWE needs to boost their ratings. If TNA could only grow their share of the market! TNA isn’t building market share on their own. TNA’s style of booking- turning any momentum the company builds into a swerve- is going to keep the company perpetually under the rader, until it folds. What TNA needs is a boost from WWE.

Is that crazy? Not at all- WWE is the ocean, TNA is the river. A rating boost from WWE could actually lift TNA to near parity with RAW’s low ratings, creating the illusion of an outside threat coming to bring down the ‘WWE Universe’ That sudden growth won’t do TNA a lick of good in the long run, because TNA lacks the resources to hold a sudden spike in their ratings (not that it wouldn’t benefit them) and what’s killing TNA isn’t the market, but their management. What it means for WWE is the ‘real’ competition between rival companies that created the ratings bonanza of the attitude era.

What I’m saying is, TNA needs WWE to do well to grow. WWE needs decent competition to grow. They need each other. Wrestling’s market share on cable is shrinking and that’s bad for both companies. If WWE folded tomorrow morning, TNA would fold tomorrow afternoon.

Now that the point had been made, here’s the contention: WWE is screwing up by refusing to acknowledge the existance of rival companies. ‘WWE Universe’ is a terrible idea because it reinforces an image that wrestling fans have come to associate with ‘stale’ programming, that WWE is all there is to wrestling and there is no competition. That contention may stroke Vince’s ego, but, we’ll point out that it was Turner Broadcasting’s interference that cost WCW the war and not anything WWE was doing to win. It’s time Vince got off his laurels and picked a fight with someone!

That brings us back to Gail Kim (although this should apply to all WWE talent, coming in or going out). WWE should build Gail and acknowledge what she did for the TNA Knockouts and then gloat that they have her. WWE should recognize ROH and TNA and pick a fight with their competition. It wouldn’t cost anything to increase demand for TNA and pop them up above the radar for a week and the law of demand says they will in turn, harvest an increase in demand for WWE programming.

But don’t leave off there, WWE should also promote ROH. Let TNA fight for their niche market against ROH, while WWE protects their core market! Be honest, if Larry Sweeny popped up on RAW for a few weeks to cause trouble, wouldn’t you tune in?

BANG! TV Women’s Championship match “The Claw” Claudia Reiff vs Awesome Kong, Gail Kim watch

j-claw-belt.jpgFunk’s Corner – Coming to !BANG! TV for the Women’s Championship, “The Claw,” Claudia Reiff vs Awesome Kong

Awesome Kong comes to the Funking Conservatory’s !BANG! TV Taping Sunday October 26th to face “The Claw,” Claudia Reiff.

Gail Kim was the last to hold the Funking Conservatory Women’s Championship and now Gail Kim’s commitments to future endeavors have resulted in her relinquishing her title and belt to the Funking Conservatory Board of Directors.

The Funking Conservatory Board of Directors have decreed the re-claimed Funking Conservatory Women’s Championship will be on the line when “The Claw” and Awesome Kong step into the ring.

This will be the most important wrestling match for Claudia “the Claw” Reiff and fully deserved. “The Claw” came to the Funking Conservatory with a degree in Physical Education from the University of Miami with the desire to become the best wrestler that she can be. As a professional wrestler few can match the Claw’s accomplishments.

“The Claw” has wrestled many of the top stars in the business and holds pinfall victories over Gail Kim, Lexie Fyfe, Sumie Sakai, and Missy Hyatt.

Gail Kim is ranked # 3 woman wrestler in the world by Pro Wrestling Illustrated Magazine. Awesome Kong is currently ranked # 1 woman wrestler in the world by Pro Wrestling Illustrated Magazine.

If Claudia “the Claw” Reiff is able to gain a victory over Awesome Kong, The Claw could make a strong case for ranking #1 for next years Pro Wrestling Illustrated Rankings.

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Gail Kim turning over the belt because of the terms for her future endevours? That’s got WWE written all over it.

Update on next SHIMMER DVD taping on 10.19.08

2008_08020012.jpgJessi Virtusio for southtownstar.com gave some updates on the Independant Wrestling scene, including the next SHIMMER DVD this Sunday.

Shimmer

Tickets are moving fast for Shimmer’s next DVD taping on Sunday in Berwyn. Front row is sold out, and more than half of the other tickets available have been snapped up by fans planning to check out the show.

“Shimmer a unique entity in professional wrestling,” promoter Dave Prazak said. “It is a show you can’t see anywhere else, from any other company. We have a total of 32 women wrestlers from around the world all gathered in Berwyn this Sunday to present an entirely female professional wrestling show.

“Fans will see not one, but two full length DVD releases filmed during the course of the live event, from 2 until approximately 8 p.m., with an intermission between the DVDs where the fans can meet the wrestlers. It’s an experience that only Shimmer can offer a wrestling fan.”

This weekend’s event also will feature the crowning of Shimmer’s first tag team champions via gauntlet.

“We decided to take things slowly and wait until the wrestlers were well-established with our fan base before introducing title belts,” Prazak said of the new championship. “The first Shimmer tag team champions will be crowned as part of the Volume 21 portion of the Oct. 19 taping.

“Shimmer waited until we had completed 10 volumes of our DVD series before beginning the tournament to crown the Shimmer singles champion in June 2007. We then waited another 10 DVDs before choosing to introduce Shimmer tag team titles.

“Over the course of the first 20 volumes of the Shimmer DVD series, fans became familiar with each of the tag teams on the Shimmer roster that it’s simply the right time to crown one of them as the top team in the company, and have title matches from this point forward.”

Prazak was proud to tout the talent booked for the DVD cards.

“Fans attending the taping in person will see not only some of the most well-established and world-traveled women in pro wrestling like Total Nonstop Action (Wrestling) stars Amazing (Awesome) Kong and Nikki Roxx (Roxxi Laveaux) , Shimmer champion MsChif, Ring of Honor mainstays Sara Del Rey and Daizee Haze, and international stars like Montreal’s LuFisto, Germany’s Wesna Busic, and the United Kingdom’s Jetta, but also some of the brightest new prospects on the scene today.

“Former Ohio Valley Wrestling women’s champion Serena Deeb, Ohio’s Ashley Lane and Nevaeh, and Canada’s Portia Perez and Nicole Matthews join a crew of determined female athletes who are looking to build their reputation as part of Shimmer.”

Prazak stressed that Shimmer is more about sport than sex appeal.

“Shimmer is a more serious brand of women’s professional wrestling than some fans have become familiar with from watching wrestling on television. We present our stars first and foremost as athletes who are just as capable as the men are in the squared circle, who just need a forum to show fans and their peers their true abilities.

“In Shimmer, the women aren’t eye candy or an afterthought. They are the entire show, and one that cannot be duplicated anywhere else.

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These are the latest SHIMMER works by Rico Mann and Reggie Parks.

Sara Del Ray- no time for Chicks!

saradelray.jpgFormer SHIMMER Champion Sara Del Ray posted on her blog,

Chicks!

I often wonder what possesess chicks to do the things they do…..I saw the most ridiculous thing at the gym and it really fired me up.

Much more than Chicks in wrestling (which I will address at another time).

This broad was wearing a freaking push up bra at the gym!!!!!! Sure she could have just gotten off work and forgot a regular bra but I doubt that was the case and considering I have seen her multiple times each in said “gym attire” I ruled that out. I had a lot of time to think on this and it is just one of the stupidest things I have ever seen.

This is what is wrong with the world. People are much more concerned with how they look and trying to bring attention to themselves than taking the task at hand applying themselves and getting the job done.

Screw you Chicks at the gym taking up space, breathing my air. Seriously you are a waste of space…leave the gym for the serious…..If you need to put a full face of makeup on and a push up bra to work out you have deeper issues and should spend time in a mental help facility.

Sara Amatto, who we know as the former SHIMMER Champion Sara Del Ray, has also wrestled as American Angel, Nikki and Nic Grimes. Sara was born in Martinez, California on November 13, 1980. Amatto has been wrestling since 2001 and has been trained by Donovan Morgan, Pro Wrestling IRON Dojo, Antonio Inoki, Bryan Danielson and All Pro Wrestling Boot Camp.

Sara Del Ray is a mainstay for SHIMMER Women Athletes, as well as Mexico’s Lucha Libre Femenil and has appeared for many indepentent promotions in the United States, including IWA Mid-South, Ring of Honor, All Pro Wrestling, CHIKARA and has competed under a mask as Nic Grimes for the MTV promotion Wrestling Society X.

Sara Del Ray defended the SHIMMER title against such notable opponents as Lacey, Amazing Kong, and Sara Stock, before losing the title to MsChif. Sara has been pretty vocal about her losss of the SHIMMER women championship to MsChif and has her targets set on regaining the SHIMMER gold and getting even with MsChif.

Sara Del Ray and Allison Danger make up the “Dangerous Angels” and together they have competed in both SHIMMER and ROH.

Sara is one of the few female mainstays of ROH and is a member of Larry Sweeney’s Sweet & Sour Inc.

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Sara works hard and has no tine forchicks.

Daizee Haze in middle of Love Triangle Feud

Daizee HazeShe’s a lover, not a fighter. But she does enjoy a good, clean wrestling match! Meet Daizee Haze…the groovy, high-flying, peace-loving, hippy chick who is making a big splash in rings across North America. While she may be one of the smaller girls on the indy scene today, Daizee makes up for her lack of size by leaving the mat and taking some major air to deliver stunning blows to her opponents. And all those muscles built up from her daily training regimen help a lot, too. Sure she may be a peace-nik outside the ring…but once the bell sounds, expect a good, hard, clean wrestling match from Daizee Haze!”

– www.glorywrestling.com

Daizee Haze, former IWA Mid-South Women’s Champion and APW ChickFight 6 Tournament winner, is a mainstay in SHIMMER Women Athletes. Daizee Haze actively works the indy circuits, has made several appearances on TNA and has a recent interview by Jeremy Borash on the May 1, 2008 edition of TNA Today.

Daizee Haze’s troubles come out of the work she does for ROH. Daizee has found herself in the middle of a storyline love feud and the situation ain’t pretty. Daizee’s mentor and friend Delirious developed a crush on her and just couldn’t seem to work up the guts to ask her out. Daizee has always considered herself ‘just on of the guys’ and has a reputation for being a straight arrow in the locker room, never even dating another wrestler. A feud in wrestling required a heel and that heel is Rhett “Addicted To Love” Titus, who would come out to the ring to interrupt Delirious’s efforts to ask out Daizee and hit on Daizee himself.

2.jpgRhett Titus has been trying to be the ‘first wrestler to get with Daizee’ and has even gone as far as to change his look and try trickery and subterfuge to get past Daizee’s guard. Delirious finally disposed of his rival and ask Daizee out, only to get the ‘friends’ letdown from Haze.

Now a few weeks later, Titus has started showing everyone backstage footage on his cell phone that he claims is proof that he scored with Haze. Daizee denies “Addicted to Love’s” claims. The crowd has been giving Haze heat, who think she should have agreed to a date with Delirious.

Delirious, meanwhile, hurt and confused, has fallen in with Jimmy Jacobs and his The Age of the Fall stable. Recently Delirious got even with Titus, busting his head open in the ring. Unfortunately, the unstable Delirious also showed how heartless he has become when he ended the career of former partner Pelle Primeau in Chicago at the urging of Jacobs.

‘The worst part in all this is that Haze now realizes she made a mistake by giving Delirious the “friend” line. It might be too late as Jacobs has a firm influence on Delirious. Daizee now finds her reputation in shambles and she has lost a friend. Delirious has become a monster in The Age Of The Fall.’

Next time your freind complains about the lack stories in ROH, give him this ‘Dangerous Laisons’ epic.

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Finishing Moves: Mind Trip (Snapmare driver), The Daizee Cutter, The Heart Punch
Favorite Moves: The Daizeecanrana , Missile Dropkick, Yakuza kick

Results from SHIMMER’s October 13th, Berwyn, Illinois DVD Taping

SHIMMER Championship TournamentOn October 13, SHIMMER: Women Athletes returned home to the Eagles Club in Berwyn, Illinois to tape Volumes 15 and 16 of their popular DVD series. The Eagles Club was filled to capacity with 250 fans, over 90% of whom actually had their tickets in advance. The audience was hot throughout the night, and they had good reason to be with the action that was delivered.

Joey Eastman, usual SHIMMER ring announcer, was not on the show. He was missed.

There were two SPARKLE dark matches, which, as is traditional, featured male wrestlers. Rob Conway was supposed to compete in one such match but cancelled at the last minute for undisclosed reasons. I was unable to get the names of most of the competitors. The first match was a portly African American gentleman named Cadillac Jones beating two random men in a handicap match. The second was a six man tag featuring six men that I’d never seen before in my life. The finish was a guy who looked like a skinny Justin Credible (try to wrap your head around that) pinning one of his opponents with a shooting star press.

Taped for Volume 15

Match #1: ‘Jezebel’ Eden Black def. Amber O’ Neal. O’ Neal, as always, did a great job of getting the crowd in to the match. The story was that Amber wanted to work at a much slower rate but that Black was a bit more fired up and tried to hasten the pace. Jezebel eventually locked in her Garden of Eden triangle choke while O’ Neal was pulling her hair and distracted by the referee. The former Team Blondage member made the ropes and was quickly back on offense, however. Unfortunately for her, she’d get locked in the Garden of Eden again, this time after Black blocked a slap. A fun opener, to be sure.

Match #2: Portia Perez & Nicole Matthews def. Ashley Lane & Lorelei Lee. This was Lee’s return to SHIMMER after being ‘benched’ due to a poor win/loss record. Matthews (who is out of Canada and wrestles elsewhere as Nikki Matthews) and Lane (who is out of Ohio and wrestles elsewhere as Lexi Lane) were both making their debuts. I had my worries about this match because those three are among the least experienced wrestlers on the roster, but they wound up putting together a match that was perfectly fine. I couldn’t tell what exactly the finish was supposed to be, as Perez basically fell on top of Lane and laid there while the three count was made. I’m guessing she was supposed to have her feet on the ropes but wound up not being close enough.

Match #3: Jetta def. Serena Deeb. Jetta was our third debut in a row. She’s from the United Kingdom and was making her first trip to the States. Her mannerisms are very similar to those of Lacey and Rain, something which would be further explored later in the evening. She picked up the victory with a rather unique combination, hitting what would best be described as a straightjacket lungblower and then rolling through in to Jinsei Shinzaki’s Heavenly Lock for a submission.

Becky Bayless interviewed Allison Danger. Bayless said that the last time Danger was in Chicago, she lost a two out of three falls match to Cindy Rogers. Danger’s response? ‘That was in Florida.’ Anyway, the gist of the interview was that, despite her recent losing streak, Danger now has her sights set on the SHIMMER Title. Unfortunately, she was interrupted by Rogers, who said that in order to move up, Danger was going to have to go through her. The Definition of Technician then attacked Danger, and we had ourselves an impromptu match.

Match #4: Allison Danger def. Cindy Rogers. This was very similar to their match on Volume 10, with a lot of brawling and use of the guardrails. Danger wound up getting the victory when Cindy was tangled in the ropes, leaving her an easy target for a neckbreaker.

Match #5: Cheerleader Melissa def. Alexa Thatcher. I was surprised by the crowd reaction to Thatcher, which was actually stronger than Melissa’s at some points. Melissa continually went for the Kudoh Driver (vertebreaker), and finally got the pinfall with it. Thatcher sold the move like she was dead, laying immobile for quite some time and requiring the entire referee crew to assist her from the ring.

Match #6: The Minnesota Homewrecking Crew of Lacey & Rain def. Portugese Princess Ariel & Josie. Ariel & Josie had teamed together on earlier DVDs but had recently been doing singles work. Josie’s dropped a ton of weight since I last saw her and looks great. This was a pretty standard M(n)HWC match, with plenty of good double teaming, and, of course, cheating. Ariel was pummeled for quite some time and then got the hot tag, after which she and Josie hit a variant on the Hart Attack, with Ariel coming off of the second rope to deliver the clothesline. However, that wasn’t enough to put away the Homewreckers, as minutes later they got Ariel in to their spike tomikaze and got the win. All four women were at the top of their games here, particularly Ariel, who at one point busted out a sick spinebuster that I’d never seen from her before.

Match #7: The Experience of Lexie Fyfe & Malia Hosaka def. MsChif & Daffney. This was a bit of a grudge match, as Chif & Daffney dealt the Experience their first loss in tag team competition. To get revenge, Fyfe and Hosaka did a number on Daffney’s bad knee at the last SHIMMER show in Florida. The knee was also the focal point of this match, with the veterans doing a good job of targeting it until Daffney slipped away and tagged MsChif. The scream queen ran wild, but she was ultimately herded away from the ring so that Fyfe and Hosaka could hit their double team gordbuster on Daffney and get the win. The four-way brawl that occurred between the women towards the end of the match was near perfect, with a ton of action, yet not so much that the crowd couldn’t follow it. It’ll be interesting to see how that gets edited together for the DVD.

Match #8: “Dark Angel” Sarah Stock def. Daizee Haze. Stock was appearing unannounced, and the crowd went nuts for her. They did some awesome mat wrestling during the first five minutes, literally better than any other quick back and forth exchange that I’ve seen two women do. At one point it looked like Haze had the Dark Angel beat with a Yakuza kick, but Stock rolled to the outside. Daizee followed her out with a dive. I couldn’t see the impact from where I was sitting, but there was a sick thud on the hardwood floor as a result of that one. As Haze was going down, it looked like Stock might’ve been slightly out of position to catch her. Daizee was fine, though, and the match continued. Eventually Haze got in a heart punch and looked for the Mind Trip, but Stock blocked it and turned the move in to a victory roll to win. Great stuff all around. This may have been the best match that I’ve ever seen live. Well, at least it was until . . .

Match #9: Sara Del Rey def. Amazing Kong to retain the SHIMMER Title. Though the crowd was small, there was definitely a ‘big fight’ atmosphere in the air for this one. The two wrestled a back and forth contest, with Kong perhaps having more of an edge the longer that the match wore one. They both managed to get in all of their trademark moves, and Del Rey did land a German suplex on the big girl, as she’d recently done in ROH and FIP. More impressive still was the fact that Del Rey got Kong up in to the Royal Butterfly AND took her over in to the slam. After this move, both women were down with referee Bryce Remsburg applying the count. Del Rey was up around eight, while Kong could not return to her feet before ten, and thus lost the match. The reaction to the finish was interesting. If you had your eye on Kong, it was pretty clear from her positioning during the eight count that she wasn’t getting up, and that gave some (myself included) an inkling of how the match was going to turn out. Others, however, had their attention elsewhere and didn’t even realize why the bell rang when it did. Those people were not happy, and there was a small ‘bullshit’ chant. I personally didn’t think that the ending weakened what was otherwise a great contest, though I’m betting that there were members of the crowd who would disagree with me.

The main events for Volume 16 were announced immediately after the Kong/Del Ray finish, which I’m guessing was a move to pacify those who were unhappy with the way the match ended. For the most part, it appeared to work.

Taped for Volume 16

Match #1: Lorelei Lee def. Amber O’ Neal. Lee was quite green during her initial SHIMMER run but showed a world of improvement here. She hit two big moves (a cross body and an elbow) out of beautiful handsprings which propelled her at least halfway across the ring. I don’t recall what she used to get the win, but it may have been a bulldog variant. This was probably a step below O’ Neal/Black but was still a fine opener.

Match #2: Cindy Rogers def. Daffney. This match was odd. Early on, Daffney fell to the floor, and she started once again selling her knee, almost to the point where I thought they were doing an injury angle. However, she did get back in to the ring and was still selling it like crazy. Then, out of nowhere, she just started wrestling again. I’m not talking about the situation in which a wrestler starts making a comeback and stops selling at the same time. It was like gears changed, and, all of a sudden, we were in a completely different match. Rogers ultimately won with the TCB, her version of the dragon sleeper. This was far from being the best match in SHIMMER history.

Match #3: Ariel & Josie def. Portia Perez & Nicole Matthews. This was another solid tag team match in a series of them. Fans were all over Perez with chants about the fact that she, in their words, ‘looks twelve.’ Matthews may actually look younger, but nobody picked up on that. Portia got her first singles win in SHIMMER by beating Josie with a chain shot, and they did do a couple of spots that acknowledged that history. The finish came when Josie and Portia were brawling on the floor, and Josie did something (my view was blocked) to take Perez out of commission for quite some time. This resulted in Matthews being lifted up by Ariel for a unique double team in which Josie comes off of the top rope with a blockbuster while her partner slams the opposition down in a spinebuster-like move.

Match #4: Alexa Thatcher def. Ashley Lane. These two had a somewhat unremarkable contest, though it wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination. Lane has a look that could probably get her a WWE contract any time that she wanted it (think Kelly Kelly). Sadly for her, the look did not prevent her from being kicked straight in the face by Alexa, which lead to the pinfall.

Match #5: The Experience of Lexie Fyfe & Malia Hosaka def. Allison Danger & Serena Deeb. Deeb’s always been an odd wrestler for me to watch, because she looks like a very fit, attractive woman but then wrestles like a babyface from Jim Crockett Promotions in the 1980’s. Given that fact, I guess it only makes sense that she played Ricky Morton here. Ultimately she tagged in Danger, and the faces made their comeback. I loved the comeback just because Serena Deeb threw her punches during this portion of the match, and I swear that she’s the only female wrestler on the planet who can throw a good looking jab to the face. The punches were not enough to win, though, as Danger and Deeb were separated just long enough for Serena to eat the double gordbuster and get pinned.

Match #6: Daizee Haze, MsChif, & Eden Black def. Lacey, Rain, & Jetta in a six woman tag. There was a lot of comedy early on, and it was actually quite good. Highlights included the heels bringing out lab goggles to block MsChif’s green mist, Haze assaulting the bad girls’ bottles of Propel fitness water, and a three-way game of rock, paper, scissors between Rain/Lacey/Jetta to determine who would start the match. No, I don’t know how rock, paper, scissors is supposed to work with three players, and neither does Lacey, which she rather loudly admitted. Four minutes went by before the actual wrestling started, and the first thing of note was a big six-woman submission spot. The match continued with quality exchanges between the ladies and more comedy being intermingled. Towards the end, Daizee Haze and Eden Black both hit dives on the heels, with MsChif teasing a suicide dive but ultimately opting to scream at her opponents through the ropes.

Match #7: Amazing Kong def. Cheerleader Melissa. Melissa was portrayed as much less of an underdog than most of Kong’s opponents, as her hard hitting style allowed her to go toe to toe with the Amazing One. There were a ton of huge moves in this matc, and I couldn’t possibly list them all. Highlights included Melissa giving Kong a rana off of the second rope and a fat double stomp from the top. Unfortunately, Kong was not curb stomped at any point. Melissa did go for the Kudoh Driver, but it was blocked. Not long after that, Kong was able to hit her back fist and her Amazing Press to take home the victory. This may have been the best match of Volume 16, and I would peg it as being just as good as the Kong/MsChif and Kong/Haze matches from Volumes 9 & 10.

Match #8: Sara Del Rey def. “Dark Angel” Sarah Stock to retain the SHIMMER Title in a two out of three falls match. Yes, there were plenty of ‘Let’s Go Sara(h)!’ chants in the opening moments of this one. For the first five minutes or so, they did a quick back and forth match until Stock was able to get the advantage thanks to the POWER OF LUCHA LIBRE. She did a series of three big lucha spots and was going for a fourth when Del Rey hit her with a German suplex out of a wheelbarrow position to score the first fall in just under ten minutes. Fall number two saw Del Rey dominating for the most part and getting a little bit frustrated by her inability to put away Dark Angel. At one point, Stock fought out of the Royal Butterfly and later got her own rollup, evening the score at one fall apiece. This makes Stock only the second woman in SHIMMER history to pin Del Rey, the first being the injured Mercedes Martinez. The third fall was also dead even until, out of nowhere, the champion got a rollup out of the corner and retained her title. From my angle, Stock’s shoulder actually came up at one point during that final pinfall, though I don’t know if it was a mistake that can be covered by camera work or something intentional that will play in to a rematch. I’d say that this was a very good main event, albeit a step below Del Rey/Kong and Haze/Stock from earlier in the evening.

Overall: One of the reasons that I keep going back to SHIMMER is that they keep delivering, and tonight was no exception. I would have paid $30 just to see Stock vs. Del Rey, Stock vs. Haze, Kong vs. Melissa, or Kong vs. Del Rey. However, the fact that I got all four of those matches plus highly entertaining undercards made this ticket a great buy. Though I’m sure that there will be some folks lining up to complain about the ending to the much-hyped Kong/Del Rey title bout, it did make sense in the context of the match, sets up a potential rematch, and certainly wasn’t enough to put a damper on all of Volume 15 for yours truly. The entire taping ran about six and a half hours, but it never once dragged and provided entertainment throughout. The fact that the card can keep its audience captivated for such a long period of time is probably the best testament to the product’s quality. Kudos to Dave Prazak and to the SHIMMER roster, as they’ve hit another one out of the park and produced two more DVDs that are must-haves for any fan of women’s wrestling.

Source: Ryan Byers/411Mania

Notes About Upcoming SHIMMER DVD Releases

SHIMMERIt’s a busy time for SHIMMER as far as our DVD production goes. We are one week away from the release of Volume 9. The Volume 9 DVD features Amazing Kong vs. MsChif, as well as Cheerleader Melissa vs. Sara Del Rey, and will be included in next week’s ROH merchandise update.

Volume 10 is currently in production, and should be released just a few weeks after Volume 9 hits. In two weeks, we head to Florida to begin working on Volume 11, which will be a two disc release featuring 20 matches in all, including the entire SHIMMER Title Tournament plus non-tournament bouts as well!

On the retail side of things, Volume 4 hits retail on August 7th. It is already available for pre-order online via Amazon.com and various other assorted retailers. Some of you have noticed that the more recent SHIMMER titles in retail have not been shelved at the actual Best Buy store locations. The situation with Best Buy is that they’re scaling back in general on the number of DVD titles that they are shelving (you’ll notice that a significantly fewer number of pro wrestling DVDs are being shelved at their stores lately), and unfortunately we’re included in their cutbacks.

Best Buy is still carrying all of our retail releases on their web site to order online, so they’re still working with us in that respect. There’s a chance we could wind up on Best Buy shelves again, but I’m not counting on it. I’m just glad that we got the level of national distribution we did for Volume 1 on Best Buy shelves while we could.

All of the other various retailers that have carried (and shelved) the earlier SHIMMER releases will also be carrying Volume 4. If you’ve seen the earlier titles on shelves at local retailers, future DVD titles from us will be able to be found there as well.

We’re currently preparing the Volume 5 footage for its retail release in the fall. As most of you know, we slightly revise the edit of each title for retail, mainly to eliminate the entrance music that is present on the initial run of each release. I know many of you have disliked the royalty free music that has been placed over the entrances on our early retail releases. As a result, we’ve made the decision, beginning with Volume 5, to simply start each match with ring announcer Joey Eastman introducing the participants, eliminating entrances entirely. That’s one of the benefits of using the “boxing style” introductions in SHIMMER, where the ring announcer doesn’t announce who the wrestlers are until both of them have completed their entrance and the music has ceased playing.

We are also adding a new photo gallery feature to the retail versions of our DVDs as well. It’s something extra that we can easily add, since we have so many excellent photos to work with after each and every taping.

Again, for those of you who prefer to have copies of the initial run of each release for your collection (with the original entrances intact), we strongly encourage you to pick up each new release as it becomes available through Ring of Honor. Once we sell out of the initial run of each title, we won’t be re-issuing it again in that original form. For example, ROH is now selling the retail versions of Vols. 1 through 3 because we’ve run through the stock of the initial run of those three releases. There’s a limited number of copies of the initial run of Vols. 4 through 6 left, so act quickly if you want to have the original version of those releases on your shelf. I expect ROH to switch over to selling the retail version of Vol. 4 within the next two months or so once the stock has run out.

That’s the latest, everybody!

SHIMMER News: Weekend Recap, Free Stuff, & More

Daizee HazeRecap of Big Weekend for SHIMMER Stars

Several of the SHIMMER women participated in wrestling events over the course of this past weekend. Here’s a quick recap…

Friday, 5/11 – Daizee Haze defeated Nikki Roxx at ROH’s “Reborn Again” in Hartford, CT.

Friday, 5/11 – Amazing Kong defeated Ann Brookstone in a wild falls count anywhere match at Fight Sports Midwest’s “Chapter Two” in Portage, IN. Also on the event, Lacey made her FSM debut as a manager by helping the Phoenix Twins defeat the Iron Saints in a tag team match.

Saturday, 5/12 – Sara Del Rey defeated Daizee Haze at ROH’s “Respect Is Earned” in New York, NY at the Manhattan Center. This match will appear on the DVD release of the ROH event from that night (it won’t appear on the PPV).

Sunday, 5/13 – Amazing Kong lost the AWA World Women’s Title in Los Angeles, CA to Nanae Takahashi. Also on the card, Cheerleader Melissa defeated Saki Maemura following the Kudoh Driver.

Get Free Glossy SHIMMER Flyers by Mail

Much like we did before the Vols. 9 & 10 taping, we’re sending out FREE full color glossy double sided flyer cards to everyone who is on the SHIMMER snail mail mailing list. If you received the mailing from the last taping, that means we have your address, you’re already on our mailing list, and you will also receive this mailing. Yes, this offer is also open to SHIMMER fans that live outside of the United States.

If you have yet to send us your snail mail address, and would like to be added to the mailing list to get the free flyers, just E-mail your full name and address to us at shimmernews@yahoo.com and we’ll get them out to you right away!

Also, if any of you are in the Chicagoland area and would like to help us spread the word locally about the Vols. 11 & 12 tapings by distributing a large amount of flyers in your area, please E-mail us and let us know, and we’ll hook you up with tons of flyers if you think you can get ’em all distributed. Thanks everybody!

New Official SHIMMER Web Site Almost Ready!

We’re about ready to launch the brand new SHIMMERwrestling.com. Keep your eyes peeled to the web site during the next few days to check it out!

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