SHIMMER Volume #17 Review

shimmer.jpgTAG TEAM MATCH
The International Home-Wrecking Crew (Rain & Jetta w/Lacey) vs. Jennifer Blake & Danyah: With the addition of Britain’s Jetta to the established tandem of Rain & Lacey, the team known as the Minnesota Home-wrestling Crew has officially become the “International” Home-wrecking Crew. While Rain & Jetta take the developing tag team division by storm, Lacey will dive back into the deep end of the singles division where she belongs. The Home-wreckers were up against the debuting Canadian tag team of Danyah & “Girl Dynamite” Jennifer Blake. Danyah is in phenomenal shape, and while she is somewhat clumsy in her offense, her energy is refreshing. Jennifer Blake is a tiny little blonde with an explosive elegance worthy of the name “Girl Dynamite.” She reminds me of a young Talia Madison (TNA’s Velvet Sky) when she first got started. Rain & Jetta dominated Blake for a long time before Danyah got the hot tag and secured a brief advantage. After a while, Jetta nailed Danyah with a stunning Stranglehold Lung-blower and rolled into a Stranglehold submission for the very impressive victory. However, I must say this was a very strong showing for Danyah & Girl Dynamite from Canada.

SINGLES MATCH
Nicole Matthews vs. Shark Girl: Nicole Matthews, another lovely Canadian, is too young and inexperienced to be playing a heel in SHIMMER – but that is what she is. Shark Girl is being portrayed as an import from the orient, but everybody knows that it’s really the vivacious Daffney under the mask. The British Columbia beauty had no choice but to be heel against a fan-friendly character like Shark Girl. The pretty little Shark won the match and sent Nicole Matthews pouting all the way to the locker room.

TAG TEAM MATCH
The Experience (Lexie Fyfe & Malia Hosaka) vs. Ashley Lane & Neveah: Lexie Fyfe was sporting a brand new haircut that she got five days beforehand when she appeared on Monday Night RAW portraying “Hillary Clinton” in a parody match against a fake “Barack Obama.” The new hair style actually makes the heel Fyfe look really cute. The Ohio-based tag team of Ashley Lane & Neveah are a couple of blond bombshells who could have a starring role in any man’s dreams. Ashley Lane (previously known as Lexi Lane) took a tremendous beating at the hands of the Experience. Neveah eventually got the hot tag and enjoyed a brief flurry of offense before getting decimated by Fyfe & Hosaka for the finish. This match was almost a carbon copy of the Rain/Jetta vs. Danyah/Blake match. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Lane & Neveah as they evolve with the tag team division.

SINGLES MATCH
Amber O’Neal vs. “Country Girl” Lorelie Lee: This would be a rematch from Volume 16, where Lorelei Lee scored a rare victory over Amber O’Neal. Despite being on the longest losing streak in SHIMMER history, Amber O’Neal seemed quite enthusiastic as she pranced to the ring for a second chance at the lovely Country Girl. O’Neal got serious very fast and attacked Lee from behind during her entrance. Lorelei quickly turned the tide, and Amber became increasingly frustrated with her own inferiority. Amber regained her composure and took the fight to Lorelei Lee, dropping the Diva act and finally taking the task seriously for a change. Amber successfully avenged the loss to Lorelei by scoring a slick pinfall via a roll-up to finally end the losing streak that has held her down for so long!

SINGLES MATCH
Daizee Haze vs. Cindy Rogers: Cindy Rogers has certainly come a long way since she debuted on the very first SHIMMER DVD. Although she doesn’t look like much on first glance, she has proven to be one of the most consistent performers on the roster and possesses the ability to hang with just about anybody in the ring. Before the match, Rogers had the audacity to assault Daizee’s flower gimmicks and throw them into the crowd. Roger targetted the Haze’s knee and did a pretty good job messing up the slender limb of the Woodstock flower-child. Daizee struggled to fight through the pain, and managed to score a surprise roll-up to score a pin over the Definition of Technician. After the match, a thwarted Cindy Rogers stole Daizee’s flowers, so Daizee retaliated by stealing Cindy’s trademark leather jacket.

SINGLES MATCH
Amazing Kong vs. The Portuguese Princess Ariel: The crowd was in extreme awe of the massive Amazing Kong (known in the TNA circle as AMAZING Kong). Ariel skipped out to the ring pretending to not be scared of her colossal opponent. God bless Ariel for believing that she had an ice-cube’s chance in hell of getting anything over on Kong. Talk about oblivious. A few moments into the match, Kong rammed Ariel head-first into the guard rail and all I can say is, “that looked like it really hurt!” Kong went backstage to get a chair, but referee Laura bravely snatched it away from her. Back in the ring, Kong challenged Ariel to a classic Greco Roman Knuckle-lock, but poor Ariel couldn’t reach. Ariel went to the second rope so she could pull off the feat, but double-crossed Kong with a boot to the face and a flying elbow! Kong quickly recovered and splashed Ariel for a two count. Kong began the methodical destruction of Ariel, but Ariel would just not let herself get pinned. Basically the same match that Kong had with Nikki Roxx last year. Ariel is great, but I don’t believe she is worthy of that kind of triumph. For every devastating move Kong delivered, Ariel would find a way out of it or kick out after a two-count. Kong got pissed off at the female referee, so she kicked her in the belly button and gave her an Amazing-bomb! The other referees came out to check on their fellow zebra and senior referee Bryce Ramsburg disqualified Amazing Kong and fined her for putting her hands on a referee. The fans began chanting Ariel’s name so I guess the match served its purpose of getting Ariel to the next level – maybe.

SINGLES MATCH
Mercedes Martinez vs. Wesna Busic: The long awaited American debut of the Croation Panther, Wesna Busic, has finally come to fruition. This proved that SHIMMER will go to extreme lengths to bring in the top women wrestlers from all over the world to add as many different flavors to their product. I’ve seen Wesna on some ChickFight DVD’s and I became an instant fan of hers and I know you will too. Mercedes Martinez had just recently returned to active wrestling following a shoulder injury that had her side-lined for over a year. There’s only one way to find out who the “hardest hitter” is between two very competitive wrestlers. Late in the match, Wesna planted Martinez with a CB4-driver and it looked like Mercedes may have re-aggravated her shoulder injury. Double M immediately rolled out of the ring, but Wesna was like a Shark and turned her opponents “injury” into a target. Wesna turned up the heat, but Martinez fought back with loads of heart and countered another CB4-driver and nailed a Fishermens-buster for an inspiring victory. Martinez helped Busic to her feet and they embraced as a show of respect. After the match, Becky Bayless congratulated Mercedes Martinez and welcomed her back to the SHIMMER roster. Mercedes said she was happy to back and claimed that if she was not injured she would be SHIMMER champion because she is the only person in SHIMMER who has defeated Sara Del Rey (the current champion). Mercedes said she would go through Del Rey, or anybody on the roster, to get the SHIMMER championship.

SINGLES MATCH
Lacey (w/Rain & Lacey) vs. “Dark Angel” Sarah Stock: Sarah Stock is the best female wrestler in the world in my humble opinion – and I’m ‘just’ arrogant enough to believe that my opinion counts for something in the wrestling business. Lacey was accompanied by her fellow Home-wreckers, Rain and Jetta. One thing I do not understand is how a trio of man-haters can call themselves home-wreckers? Maybe it’s just that the men love them so much that their relationships with their girlfriends and wives are negatively affected. Sure, why not. Lacey really stepped up her game, after spending recent times working in the tag team division with Rain. Sometimes Lacey’s “cheap heat” tactics get on my nerves (not in a good way), but there is no question she is one of the most skilled girl wrestlers SHIMMER has to offer. Dark Angel was blessed with the most perfect combination of natural beauty and natural ability of anyone I can think of. The fish-net stockings and exposed butt cheeks are hardly necessary but certainly appreciated by myself and so many others. In a way it makes her even more dangerous. It was a long hard-fought match that was so good that it would be a crime not to sign a rematch for sometime in the near future. Lacey worked over Sarah Stock’s back, but the Dark Angel stuck with it and was eventually able butterfly Lacey’s arms and connected with the Tiger-driver for the victory!

TAG TEAM MATCH
The Dangerous Angels (Allison Danger & Sara Del Rey) vs. Cheerleader Melissa & MsChif: The systematic development of the SHIMMER tag team division continues with a very high profile tag team main event. All four of these girls are adored and respected by the fans, but that didn’t mean there was any lack of heat – especially when long-time rivals Cheerleader Melissa and Sara Del Rey were grappling in the ring. I’m just waiting for Allison Danger to “pull a Paul Orndorff” and turn on her partner so she can go after the SHIMIMER championship. That did not happen. The closing moments of the match were very intense. Del Rey reversed the Code-Red from MsChif into a Dragon Sleeper. Melissa came in and cracked Del Rey from behind and planted her with an Air-Raid Crash. MsChif followed up with the Unhallowed Grace (Lionsault) on Del Rey. Danger made the save after a two-count. MsChif put Del Rey out with the Desecrator but the referee was busy breaking up a fight between Melissa and Allison! Del Rey was totally out of it, but somehow managed to tag Danger in, just as MsChif tagged in Melissa. Melissa briefly fought with Danger until planting her with an Air Raid Crash and scoring the 1-2-3 to win the match for her team! The story of the match was how MsChif dominated SHIMMER champion, Sara Del Rey!

(thnx to Brad Dykens at onlineworldofwrestling.com)

WWE announces new title! Women results for iMPACT! 06/06/08,

divas2.jpgBIG news today, as Vickie has just announced on Smackdown that there will be a new Smackdown Divas Title! Vickie talked about how much she always admired Fabulous Moolah and her long title reign, and how she wanted to give the women of Smackdown an opportunity. We are excited for the Divas, as this is a huge change of direction for WWE in regards to their women’s product (will we ever see another bra and panty match? Alas!). However, announcing a women’s Smackdown title is like putting the cart in front of the horse. Does Smackdown have enough in-ring talent to make the competition for this new belt meaningful? We’ll have more on this…

Women highlights from iMPACT!

“The Knockouts Street Fight – ODB vs. Velvet Sky w/ Angelina Love

This was another all out brawl, that saw ODB and Velvet Sky fight all throughout the Impact Zone. Angelina Love tried to get involved, but ODB overcome the odds and powerslammed her way to victory.

Winner Via Pinfall – ODB

After the match, The Beautiful People beat down ODB, only for Roxxi Laveaux and Gail Kim to run out and make the save. Mickie Knuckles then came out and helped the Beautiful People regain control, before placing a paper bag over the head of Kim.”

(later in the night)

“Jeremy Borash, Riesha Saeed and Awesome Kong made their way to the ring.

A package was then shown of The Awesome Kong Challenge.

Jeremy Borash then picked a few volunteers from the crowd, who turned out to be: prowrestlers Amber O’Neal, Becky Bayless and Daffney. Daffney was choosen as the contestant and put her mouth guard in for the match.

Awesome Kong $25,000 Challenge – Awesome Kong w/ Riesha Saeed vs. Daffney

Squash! Awesome Kong completely mauled Daffney and swung her into a guardrail, before hitting her with the Kong Bomb for the pin, as Amber O’Neal and Becky Bayless watched on in horror.”

Check out all the iMPACT! results for 06/05/08 at www.wrestlingconfidential.com!

Ring Divas News: The “CyberStorm” Has Passed…Who Was Left Standing?

Empress Sayuri vs. Amy LoveFans, we are just a few hours removed for the event that had promised to change the face of RingDivas, and more importantly of women’s wrestling, forever…Battle Angels: CyberStorm 2007. So, while several questions remain to be answered, the main thing on everyone’s mind right now is, “Did Battle Angels: CyberStorm 2007 make good on it’s promises”? You’re damn right it did…and went way beyond that!

Battle Angels: CyberStorm 2007 is by far the hardest hitting PPV that RingDivas/Battle Angels has ever presented. From the opening bout to the main event, these lovely gladiators layed it all on the line in the pursuit of the ultimate victory. Some succeeded…some failed…but everyone showed that they are more than just “a pretty face”…these divas can fight!

Battle Angels: CyberStorm 2007 features several great matches, including Jessicka Havoc vs. Lexi Lane in a wild brawl that leaves one unlucky lady beaten and battered in the middle of the ring…Angelina vs. Vanessa Kraven where the returing Amazonian Kraven shows why she is considered one of the best, if not most violent, women in the sport today…and TNA Knockout SoCal Val vs. The Grand Yubari where the beautiful TNA Knockout goes one-on-one with the deadly submission specialist in a battle of that will leave you begging for more. And fans, don’t forget the main event…Empress Sayuri vs. Amy Love in a match to unify the RingDivas World Championship and the FightGirl Championship! Oh yeah…you have to know that whenever Sayuri and her DragonStar team mates are involved in a match, things are going to get interesting…and this match is no exception. I just got through watching it, and instead of spoiling it for all of you, just let me say that the ending has got to be seen to be believed…and even then you might not believe it!

And fans, if that isn’t enough…Battle Angels: CyberStorm 2007 also features a sneak peek at the upcoming RD Studios movie, Girls of War, featuring SoCal Val and Crystal Johnson. This preview is hot!

So, whether you are a fan of hard hitting women’s wrestling or just like to watch super sexy, scantily clad women roll around with each other…do yourself a favor and pick up a copy (or download) of Battle Angels: CyberStorm 2007 today!!

Joe Babinsack Looks at Chick Fight V

Participants of Chick Fight VAside from solid wrestling, two ways to get my attention are superior graphics and a well booked tournament, and having it be women’s wrestling certainly adds its own appeal.

Chickfight is a San Francisco based operation run by Jason Deadrich, and has recently run events in the UK. It features some of the top women wrestlers in the country, and the world for that matter, but the glory of the promotion is a regular tournament that pits eight top women’s wrestlers in a grueling competition.

In the latest DVD installment, Chickfight V, wrestlers from Neo Ladies Pro Wrestling (Japan) join the fray, including Yoshiko Tamura, Tanny Mouse and Sumie Sakai. Tamura is holder of both the NEO Singles title and the NWA Pacific Title; Mouse is a solid veteran; and Sakai is a baby-face looking hardcore dynamo.

Filling out the tournament seeds are ECW great Jazz, the ubiquitous Allison Danger, West Coast standout Cheerleader Melissa, Chickfight IV winner MsChif and one time TNA star Simply Luscious.

The first thing that stands out is the awesome DVD production values. It simply cannot compare to any other promotion on any level. Augmenting that is the background and statistical information that is often lost in other products. We get a stylized ring entrance for each wrestler, with hometown, vital statistics and even training background.

The graphics nicely set up the matches, and the announce team of Jason Deadrich and Shane Stoli are exactly what is necessary: intelligent, low key and insightful, providing no distractions and lots of interesting commentary. Unlike so many products, it is impossible to watch Chickfight without coming out of it knowing the names of the participants and a wealth of background
material.

The tournament is set up nicely by the graphics, as well as the solid booking.

Since few tournaments in the US hold up to high standards (or low ones, at that!) Chickfight comes across as unique and worthwhile. I’m always a sucker for a great tournament: it forces finishes, it provides a great “measuring stick” and it demands rematches down the road.

From the basis of watching only one Chickfight tournament, I can see that the promotion excels at the presentation.

Eight fighters is a solid seeding for the tournament, with four first round matches, two semi finals and the championship match.

It was beyond simply interesting how the announce team set up the “unique” styles of several of the first round matches. The Japanese women had some quirks, and a wide range of reputations. It seems as though the announcing was acknowledging the disparities in talent when talking about someone’s “unique” style. That was apparent with Tanny Mouse, and most notably with Simply Luscious.

The Mouse took on Cheerleader Melissa, the latter having participated in all the first five Chickfight tournaments, but having won none of them. That was a not so subtle hype job. All things considered, this was close to a squash as the promotion is going to put on, as Cheerleader Melissa got to display her talents, aggression and interesting finishing hold – the Curb Stomp – where she lifts the prone gal up by both arms, and stomps the back of her head.

There’s not a lot of margin of error on that one.

The next match featuring that “unique” style highlights the wrestling talent of ECW/WWE’s Jazz. Actually, don’t take that sarcastically, although most anyone in the ring with Simply Luscious, on that night, would be taken at the world class level just to get a good match going. The announcers had a field day with Luscious, and there must be more to the story. (At one point Luscious looks for a breather, but Jazz drags her back in the ring for more.)

[Another perspective comes from the bonus tag team match, pitting Luscious and Allison Danger against the Japanes duo of Sakai and Mouse. It wasn’t that great of a match, but it put Simply Luscious in a spotlight as being far more annoying than Allison Danger, and for that, I simply remain amazed.]

Jazz pulled out the victory with the STF, which is both a rarity for her to use a submission hold, and a rarity anymore for Masahiro Chono’s masterpiece of a submission hold to actually score the win instead of just looking nifty.

Yoshiko Tamura is touted as one of the best women’s wrestlers in the world, and she gets to shine with Allison Danger.

[Danger, I learned from this DVD, is originally from Canada, which explains her strange Can/Am/Japan T-shirt image and saying. I always thought she was simply from the less hospitable side of Pennsylvania. I’d love to further reference the “evil” Canadian theory that goes back to the Rougeaus, but it doesn’t seem appropriate at this time.]

Reputations are lived up to in this match.

Tamura works a stiff, aggressive and technically sound style. She has a particularly devastating knee attack, where she rushes the corner and strikes her opponent’s head multiple time with her knee. (sort of like Delirious’s clothesline assault.) Everything Tamura does builds to the match, sets up psychology and comes across utterly believable, dangerous and hard hitting.

Danger, as always to me, has that certain something where she manages to do something inexplicable – not bad, not crazy, but instills just that sort of “huh” type reaction in me. Sometimes its leading the crowd in clapping when she’d be better off circling her opponent, sometimes its overselling instead of interacting, other times its just a cloying display of personality.

But Danger does tend to live up to the talent of her opponent, and it’s a match that builds the reputation of the Chickfight tournament.

Which can also be said of the final first round tourney match.

Sumie Sakai is the perennial underdog, due to size and appearance, but as the announcers hype, she’s a hardcore style wrestler. That’s pretty much what you might expect of MsChif, but here she shows another facet of her talent. She plays up the overconfidence of being the defending Chickfight Tournament winner (from iteration 4.0) and sells much of the match, selling the point that Sakai came here to prove herself, and took advantage of someone expecting to sail through to the Semis.

Eventually, and likely at the point where Sakai does her traditional kiss of the opponent, Mschif does wake up and show her stuff. Well, she shows that she can batter her opponent and make her tap out in weird contortionist positioning. Here, Mschif grabs one arm in a hammerlock and the other in a crossface position and ties Sakai up in a pretzel.

What I love about the Tournament format is that is presents an opportunity for pacing, for match-ups and for speculation. Chickfight takes advantage of those opportunities to the fullest: while the first set of matches are merely interesting and worthwhile, they strongly set up the second round, having already established certain storylines, match-ups and expectations.

The semi final round is thus set up for big things, and it doesn’t fail to produce.

These aren’t just matches, they are wars.

Like I said, the opening matches set up the second round, and the second round sets the final match up as even bigger. The pairings are Jazz against MsChif, and Melissa against Yoshiko; the former being a battle of the powerhouse against the last tournament champion, the latter pairing up the most decorated of the contestants against the most rounded wrestler

(who happens to have been in all the tournaments to this point, without winning it….)

Jazz vs. MsChif is a well anticipated matchup. Jazz is all about power – but in the first match she showed she can hang with the faster paced, submission oriented current style of wrestling. The announcers tout her ECW background, and all that plays well against MsChif, who by reputation, move set and attitude has taken those expectations of an ECW wrestler and hyped them up beyond belief.

It comes across as an epic battle, the powerful force against the bendable –but unbeatable body. This is the kind of give-and-take that makes a great match, and the believability factor is in full effect. It’s also the kind of match you’d expect in a high profile tournament, where everyone’s giving it all.

The other semifinal is the hometown favorite, Cheerleader Melissa, against the top of the Japanese food chain in Yoshiko Tamura.

This is another classic, far more technical but no less brutal than the other semi. The big picture is the story, the story of Cheerleader Melissa overcoming odds to make her way to the finals and the tournament championship. The cover alone paints the picture, with Melissa stretched out, reaching for the victory.

But the long term and tournament booking are also flawless and compelling. It’s wonderful when the matchmaking and the individual efforts line up “correctly” and make the whole more than just a sum of the parts. Each match builds up the tournament, and each round sets up the next.

Melissa overcomes the “best wrestler” in the field, then is pitted against the most powerful and the “biggest name”.

The bonus match, just to digress a moment, is the “consolation” match, between Tamura and MsChif, and a great bonus it is. Ten minutes of solid and hard hitting action. In a sense, MsChif has a lot to prove in this match. She works it a little less stiff, a little slower and a lot more technical than I’ve seen of her.

She also pulls out the standing moonsault, and highlights her uncanny flexibility in a series of near-falls, crazy submission attempts and a great ability to take punishment.

It was an “old school” feel from the opening announcements, and even in what appears to be a huge hangar with few fans, the atmosphere can barely contain the passion.

Of the seven tournament matches and the consolation, the final four are without doubt some of the best wrestling around.

The final match is the culmination and cannot be looked at without watching the entirety of the tournament. Not that I’m dissing it, but its what you would expect after seeing some hard-fought matches leading up to this championship match. It’s a little slower, a little more methodical than the semis, but here’s two women who are pounding the heck out of each other, and are telling a match with the utmost of respect for the craft of pro wrestling.

My only criticism is that the finish seemed to come too cheaply, but again, after a long day of wrestling, just winning the match is an effort beyond all efforts, and an accomplishment well worthy of respect.

If I were to choose an “MVP” of the tourney, it would be Jazz. It’s easy to cast aside the reputation of the WWE and not expect much from a name level talent slogging away at the indy level, but Jazz stepped up and delivered, working a hard pace in three straight matches, carrying someone in the first, and not losing a beat to two of the top gals in the sport today, and two with whom she matched up well with, in terms of style and expectation.

If you can’t figure out who won, well, then that’s all the more reason to go out and buy the DVD.

Chickfight has a growing reputation and a great roster, as well as the connections to Japan and elsewhere to highlight the best wrestlers in the world. It’s booking is top notch, the amount of nonsense is absolutely nil, and the packaging and presentation of the product is something that needs to be emulated by a lot of other indy promotions.

By the way, ChickFight also has a toll-free number for info: The 24-hour toll-free number is 1-888-337-5103

Joe Babinsack can be reached at chaosonejoe@yahoo.com. Don’t forget to bug your comic book shop about Headlocked: Work of Art. Next up is some ROH and potentially an opinion piece on the nature of pro wrestling.

Source: Wrestling Observer

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