** SHIMMER DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens **
April 7th, 2007- – – – – Berwyn, Illinois
SHIMMER Women Atheletes Volume #9
SHIMMER is back with volume nine of their innovative series of DVD’s featuring the best damn female wrestling in North America. The first match was between SHIMMER veteran Rain and the debuting “Jezebel” Eden Black from England, making her first ever trip to the United States. Jezebel doesn’t look like much but, damn, she is a red-hot stick of dynamite. She looks like a mini-Lita. Eden Black actually made Rain tap out to her “Garden of Eden” submission move to win the match and make a distinct impression on the entire SHIMMER community ( 6.5 / 10 ).
Northeast-based Alexa Thatcher made her SHIMMER debut against “The Portuguese Princess” Ariel, who has been on the SHIMMER roster since day one. Everyone has to call Ariel “The Portuguese Princess” now just in case people go to a show thinking they will see Shelly Martinez, the artist formerly known as “Ariel” in the WWE/ECW. I wonder if the legendary Les Thatcher would be proud of little Alexa carrying on the Thatcher name inside the squared circle. Alexa is another one of those small female wrestlers who seriously doesn’t look like much but ends up surprising you with a good performance. Ariel made sure she wasn’t going become the victim of volume nine’s second upset victory; Ariel won by pinfall after a fairly short match ( 5.5 / 10 ).
Lexie Fyfe and Malia Hosaka, collectively known as “The Experience,” faced off with Cindy Rogers and SHIMMER ambassador Allison Danger. In the new gimmicks department, Danger was wearing this creepy Geisha (forgive me if that’s the wrong term) mask from Japan. The story behind the Danger/Rogers combination is that Cindy was on the brink of turning heel on volumes seven and eight, but Allison took her aside and straightened her out backstage. So the “Technician” Cindy Rogers is back on the babyface side of the tracks – or is she? After a long match, Allison Danger was taking a beating and every time she was close to getting a tag, Rogers would be distracted by the fans or something else. Eventually Rogers completed her heel-turn and gave her own partner a face-buster to help The Experience score another big victory ( 7 / 10 ). Allison Danger cut a promo backstage (exclusive to DVD) vowing bitter revenge on Cindy Rogers for betraying her. Awesome promo.
Portia (pronounced Porsha) Perez, who has a special place in my heart because she lives in Canada AND sent me an autographed photo, had a very important match with Josie. This much was way too long – they should have pushed the envelope and hit all their spots because neither of them are very over with the fans (yet). Portia went old school and wrapped a chain around her fist and cleaned Josie’s clock behind the referees back to get her first win in SHIMMER competition ( 5 / 10 ). Nice finish and will get certainly some good heat on Perez.
Rebecca Bayless joined the SHIMMER crew as an in-ring “interviewer” – lord knows why they would hire someone with no talent. Bayless’ first assignment was to interview the “Scream Queen” Daffney – who has been popping up everywhere lately. Daffney took the microphone from Bayless and said she will be wrestling in SHIMMER eventually but for now she is going to scout some talent and become a manager.
Amber O’Neal, the remaining member of Team Blondage, wrestled Daizee Haze in a “Dumb Blonde vs. Stoned Blonde” match. They showed a couple of fans in the crowd who had carefully constructed a cardboard cut-out of The Haze with movable arms and everything. I thought that was very creative and well worth acknowledgement, so kootos to the production crew for including the fans in the show. Despite being extremely talented, I honestly don’t think Amber O’Neal is over doing her gimmick alone. I said it before and I’ll say it again – she needs to reform Team Blondage with another blonde wrestler. Here’s some trivia; did you know Amber O’Neal used to wrestle as “Amber Holly?” Yup! Daizee Haze won the match, which turned out to be a short contest ( 6 / 10 ).
Tiana Ringer went head-to-head with the wrestler with best ass in the wrestling business, Nikki Roxx – who you might know as “Roxxi Laveaux” in Total Nonstop Action. Roxx is barely recognizable in her Voodoo Chick gimmick, but at least somebody half decent is finally getting an opportunity they deserve. Tiana is one of the best heels in SHIMMER and definitely under-rated, but Nikki Roxx is far superior. Nikki defeated Tiana to keep her winning streak alive – I look forward to seeing Roxx in main events ( 6.5 / 10 ). Rebecca Bayless asked Roxx about her goals in SHIMMER and Roxx challenged the winner of tonight’s Melissa/Del Rey main event.
The irritating motor-mouth heel, Lacey, battled OVW sensation Serena Deeb in a very hard-fought match. Lacey was on offense for most of the match, which usually means the babyface would make a come-back and go over. There was a brief come-back but Lacey stopped Deeb in her tracks with an Implant DDT to pull out the victory ( 7.5 / 10 ). They will both be sore tomorrow.
MsChif bravely stepped into the ring with Amazing Kong, even after they showed a video package featuring all the carnage that Kong has left in her path of destruction. Kong has a history of dishing out pain, and MsChif has the highest threshold for pain – so this has created an interesting dynamic between these two unique grapplers. MsChif faired pretty well for a while but found herself up in the torture-rack being forced to kick herself in the back of her own head! Kong then hit a psychotic missile drop-kick from the second rope and went for the top rope splash – MsChif tried to move by rolling onto her stomach but Kong still landed right on top of her (I’m unsure if that was the way it was planned or not). MsChif made an amazing come-back after that, with the fans up on their feet chanting “this is awesome! this is awesome!” Amazing Kong kept nailing various finishing moves but MsChif kept kicking out. MsChif was mercifully put out of her misery with a Tornado Power-bomb in the middle of the ring ( 9 / 10 ). Unbelievable. It’s no wonder these two were featured on the cover design of this DVD.
It was time for the main event, which caught me off guard because the show seemed to be going by quite fast. The pride of San Francisco, Cheerleader Melissa, wrestled fellow California-native Sara Del Rey. I’m sure these two have wrestled many times in the past, but I believe it’s the first time for me to see it. What a treat for me personally, to see my two favorites lock it up on a SHIMMER DVD. Del Rey is, of course, coming of her first lose in SHIMMER at the hands of her nemesis Mercedes Martinez on volume eight. Melissa was looking to extend Del Rey’s losing streak to TWO! The action started rough, that turned brutal, then turned painful, and finished in spectacular fashion with a dramatic Butterfly Suplex by Sara Del Rey to rebound from her loss on volume eight with a well-earned victory on volume nine ( 9 / 10 ).
Final Thoughts: The two main events were “so awesome” for totally different reasons. SHIMMER gets better and better with every outing. It’s no coincidence that they will be featured in the upcoming edition of the PWI500 Magazine – a huge accomplishment for an American female wrestling promotion.