Perhaps no one personifies what SHIMMER is all about more than Sara Del Rey. With a strong in-ring work ethic, powerful frame and graceful demeanor, she has established herself as one of the top female talents in the world. In 2008 she entered the year in the midst of her reign as the first and only SHIMMER Champion. When she lost that title to MsChif on Volume 18, Sara took to heart the boos she was hearing during that night and completely reinvented herself. She became darker, angrier, and changed her style. Over the next two shows, she ran roughshod through the midcard, and though this was a new Sara, one thing that did not change was the quality of matches she was having. She is one of two SHIMMER wrestlers who worked every show in 2008 and had all their matches nominated for Match of the Year (excluding the battle royale on Volume 19). Although she had a dramatic personality shift in the middle of the year, it went as smooth as could be hoped and Sara thrilled SHIMMER fa ns just as she always has through her rivalries with MsChif and Serena Deeb. Though she may no longer be champion, it’s apparent the fans regard her more highly than ever.
MVP or workhorse… whatever you like to call it, Cheerleader Melissa was perhaps the most consistent competitor in SHIMMER in 2008. She is the other member of the roster who worked every show and had all her matches nominated for Match of the Year. That says a lot about how much the fans truly love Melissa, as her hard-hitting style has thrilled old fans and won over new ones all year long.
2nd Runner Up: MsChif (48 Points)
The reigning SHIMMER Champion got her year off to a tremendous start by winning the title from Sara Del Rey. With her unique offense and personality, the fans have rallied behind her as the standard bearer of the promotion. Her in-ring work has been as good as it ever has been, as most of her matches were nominated for Match of the Year. Her reign atop SHIMMER is well deserved and a long time coming.
On Volume 17, SHIMMER fans were ecstatic to welcome back Mercedes Martinez, who had been absent in 2007 due to injury. Mercedes picked up right where she left off, having an early Match of the Year Candidate against Wesna Busic and coming out on top. The fans were with her, and she racked up wins, though she came up short when she finally got her shot at the SHIMMER Title. However, for Mercedes, this may only be the warm-up for the year to come.
At the start of the SHIMMER season, Nevaeh had not yet debuted. Ashley Lane had just debuted at the end of 2007, and both were looking to find their niche within the roster. That niche came with the growing tag team division, and Ashley and Nevaeh were a first class team long before they tagged in SHIMMER. After a lackluster start by losing to the Experience, Lane and Nevaeh picked up what had to be considered the biggest upset of the night on Volume 18 when they beat perennial favorites the Minnesota Homewrecking Crew, Lacey and Rain. By the end of the season, Lane and Nevaeh had become the first ever SHIMMER Tag Team Champions. Many have called them the female version of the Rock ‘n Roll Express or the Rockers, due to their innovative double team offense and movie star good looks. One thing is for sure… Lane and Nevaeh have rocked SHIMMER in 2008.
1st Runners Up: The Canadian Ninjas (60 Points)
Portia Perez and Nicole Matthews came within a hair of taking the top spot, but perhaps failing twice to become SHIMMER Tag Team Champions and Portia’s feud with Allison Danger taking away her tag focus stalled them just enough to settle into second. It certainly isn’t due to lack of fans; the Canadian Ninjas have amassed quite a fanbase despite playing on the wrong side of the tracks. This ridiculously awesome duo may just take the top tag prize in SHIMMER before it’s all said and done, and anyone who tries to stop them will have to face the wrath of the Ninjas.
2nd Runners Up: International Homewrecking Crew (54 Points)
When Lacey left the Minnesota Homewrecking Crew, and wrestling in general, what was Rain to do? The answer came in the form of the UK’s Jetta, who fit in with the Twin Cities Twosome like a glove, and thus the International Homewrecking Crew was born. Jetta and Rain are still attempting to gel as a team, but they have had their share of success in 2008. Their only tag loss came during the Gauntlet to Ashley Lane and Nevaeh, who went on to become the champions. However, the IHWC hold a victory over Lane and Nevaeh from July, and you know if they get the chance they will parlay that into a shot at the tag titles sometime in the future.
3rd Runners Up: The Experience (52 Points)
Lexie Fyfe and Malia Hosaka, weighing in at a combined 34 years in the wrestling business, have been the team to beat in SHIMMER for over two years. Having only suffered two losses in that time, the Experience is still going strong. Many thought them a sure thing for the first tag champs, until they were upset by Lane and Nevaeh in the finals of the Gauntlet. But like the IHWC, the Experience also hold a victory over the champs and it seems like only a matter of time until these two veterans have their own run with the gold.
Honorable Mentions: Allison Danger & Jennifer Blake, Cat Power & Veronika Vice, Cheerleader Melissa & MsChif, The Dangerous Angels, Danyah & Jennifer Blake, The Minnesota Homewrecking Crew, The Pink Ladies, The Suicide Blondes,
Anyone who doubts Wesna being the best newcomer in 2008 only needs to watch her matches. Though she only wrestled on two thirds of the shows, her matches with Mercedes Martinez, Amazing Kong and LuFisto were nominated for Match of the Year, and her encounter with Amber O’Neal wasn’t too shabby either. Fans have been calling for the Croatian Panther to come to SHIMMER for a long time, and in 2008 they got their wish. Wesna reciprocated that support by delivering in a big way. Though she only amassed one win during the SHIMMER season, it’s certainly enough to get another shot in the coming year. Her insistence on taking on the big dogs in SHIMMER is only going to make her better, and it would be no surprise to see her knocking on the SHIMMER Champion’s door sometime soon.
1st Runner Up: Jennifer Blake (72 Points)
Talk about a photo finish. “Girl Dynamite” Jennifer Blake finished one point behind Wesna for Newcomer of the Year. It’s easy to see why it was so close; though Wesna had the best matches of any newcomer, Blake made the biggest impact. She impressed Allison Danger enough to earn her praise after their match, as well as a chance to be her tag team partner on the next show. She formed a team with LuFisto to attempt to gain the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship, and took Cheerleader Melissa to her limit on the last show of the season. And all this with under two years of professional experience. Look for big things from Girl Dynamite if this pattern continues in the coming year.
2nd Runner Up: Cat Power (67 Points)
The debut that wasn’t supposed to be. Little did Cat Power know when she tried out on the pre-show at the start of the season that she would later that night be thrust onto the main show to replace an injured Allison Danger. She did well enough to get another look, and by the end of the year won over the fans with her new, um, “catty” demeanor. Cat Power(meow) has the potential to be a top personality in SHIMMER with the ring skills to back it up.
3rd Runner Up: Nevaeh (25 Points)
At the beginning of 2008, Nevaeh wasn’t a part of SHIMMER. By the end of 2008, she had a title belt. That about says it right there for Nevaeh, who became one half of the first SHIMMER Tag Team Champions with her partner Ashley Lane. Though not yet given a chance to break out into singles or truly show her personality, Nevaeh has been the dominant tag wrestler of the newcomers. That was enough to get her a high ranking spot in this category.
Most Improved Wrestler of the Year: Serena Deeb (82 Points)
A landslide victory. After a lackluster 2007 for various reasons, Serena Deeb was mysteriously absent at the start of the season. However, in July she made her return and it was as if someone had lit a fire under her. This was a new, smarter, more confident Serena. She was immediately asking for matches against top opponents, and wasn’t afraid to take to the microphone if she needed to get something off her chest. She started strong with a win over Danyah, but then ran into the roadblock named Sara Del Rey. Serena impressed everyone by hanging in there with the former champ, only to fall in defeat. However, Serena was not deterred and by the end of the season had accomplished two goals: she had pinned her rival Sara Del Rey and earned a future shot at the SHIMMER Championship. Her in-ring skills had noticeably improved as well, and gained quite a bit of support from the SHIMMER fans because of that. The sky is the limit for Serena Deeb, who looks to be up to the challenge of climbing even higher on the SHIMMER ladder and achieving any goal she sets for herself.
1st Runner Up: Amber O’Neal (45 Points)
Amber O’Neal has long been referred to as the resident “diva” in SHIMMER. To some, that would imply that her mat skills are not at a level that a competitor of SHIMMER should be at, but still more who have watched her over the years have come to know better. It was evident in her matches against Lorelei Lee and Shark Girl that Amber was on the ball as the saying goes, and so she was then thrown to the wolves. And she held her own with those wolves. Though winless against Mercedes Martinez and Wesna Busic, Amber showed that she could hang with some of the top ring generals of SHIMMER and that has raised her stock considerably in the eyes of the fans.
2nd Runner Up: Nicole Matthews (41 Points)
Nicole Matthews was not only part of a successful tag team in 2008, but she was able to show what she could do in singles action as well. She impressed fans with her outings against Shark Girl and Lorelei Lee, and then came a true test in the form of a returning Nikki Roxx. Nicole was able to do well against her too, and her versatility was cemented in the minds of all the fans.
3rd Runner Up: Portia Perez (29 Points)
Portia Perez has come a long way from losing in two minutes in her SHIMMER debut. She has had some help from a yellow chain, chocolate chip cookies, ninja headbands and Nicole Matthews to get to where she is now, but Portia has truly improved in the last two years. Her tag matches with Matthews were all nominated for Match of the Year and she has managed to hold her own in singles action as well, starting an incredibly entertaining feud with Allison Danger.
Honorable Mentions: Ariel, Ashley Lane, Daffney, Daizee Haze, Jetta, Lorelei Lee, Mercedes Martinez, MsChif, Nikki Roxx, Rain, Sara Del Rey
Many fans had been calling for it, and on Volume 20 it was delivered. Two of the hardest-hitting women on the planet seemingly forever separated by thousands of miles and a national border faced off in a first time encounter. They brought the stiffness in equal increments, though LuFisto did make the mistake of going to the outside with Melissa, where she was mercilessly swung into the guardrail. However, LuFisto was able to rally back, but seemingly nothing in her arsenal could put down Melissa. Finally, LuFisto was unable to get up after being on the business end of the Kudoh Driver, the most lethal move in Melissa’s arsenal and one that no one has kicked out of. The fans were raving about the match almost as soon as it had ended, making Volume 20 one of the most anticipated releases in SHIMMER history. There were many great matches in 2008, but on this night the stars aligned right for Cheerleader Melissa and LuFisto, and they gave everyone something special.
1st Runner Up: Volume 17 – The Dangerous Angels vs. MsChif & Cheerleader Melissa (40 Points)
The main event of Volume 17 is perhaps the best tag match in SHIMMER history. Both tandems had a history of teaming and they went at it tooth and nail. MsChif seemingly threw everything but the kitchen sink at Sara Del Rey to keep her down, but due to unfortunate circumstances could not keep her down for three. However, Melissa had better luck, driving down Allison Danger with a vicious Air Raid Crash that fractured Danger’s collarbone and put her out of action for two months.
2nd Runner Up: Volume 18 – Cheerleader Melissa vs. Sarah Stock (28 Points)
Melissa makes yet another appearance as the MVP of 2008 took on perhaps the MVP of 2007, Sarah Stock, on Volume 18. Stock had the psychological advantage going in, having knocked Melissa out of the SHIMMER Title Tournament in the first round in a previous encounter. Melissa was determined to get that win back, and this time didn’t fall for the trick that earned Stock the victory last time. Melissa was able to maneuver her into the Kudoh Driver to pick up a well earned victory.
A title shot was a long time coming for both of these competitors, and what better way to settle who got it than in the ring? Mercedes wanted to work her way to the top of SHIMMER after being absent from the title tournament a year before due to injury. Melissa had been a mainstay at the top of the card since that time, and felt that it was her time. As you can tell by now, a Melissa match is going to be a treat, evidenced by the fact that her matches swept all the top spots in this category. This match seemingly became a race of who could hit their finisher first, and it was Mercedes who was able to hit Melissa with the Fisherman’s Buster and earn the victory.
Volume 17 – Amber O’Neal vs. Lorelei Lee
Volume 17 – Wesna Busic vs. Mercedes Martinez
Volume 17 – Sarah Stock vs. Lacey
Volume 18 – Ashley Lane & Nevaeh vs. The Minnesota Homewrecking Crew
Volume 18 – Wesna Busic vs. Amazing Kong
Volume 18 – MsChif vs. Sara Del Rey
Volume 19 – Jennifer Blake vs. Allison Danger
Volume 19 – Sara Del Rey vs. Ariel
Volume 20 – Allison Danger & Jennifer Blake vs. The Canadian Ninjas
Volume 20 – Sara Del Rey vs. Serena Deeb
Volume 20 – Mercedes Martinez vs. MsChif
Volume 21 – Sara Del Rey vs. Serena Deeb
Volume 21 – Tag Team Championship Gauntlet
Volume 21 – Ariel vs. Cheerleader Melissa vs. Amazing Kong vs. Mercedes Martinez
Volume 21 – Daizee Haze vs. MsChif
Volume 22 – Cheerleader Melissa vs. Jennifer Blake
Volume 22 – Ashley Lane & Nevaeh vs. The Canadian Ninjas
Volume 22 – Wesna Busic vs. LuFisto
Volume 22 – Serena Deeb vs. Sara Del Rey
Daizee Haze is cute, has an easygoing demeanor, always goes for the cheap laugh and will go out and have classic matches against her opponents, often playing the underdog to a larger competitor. This is what makes the Haze so appealing today even though she has been in SHIMMER since the beginning. She has staying power with the fans, many of whom were legitimately dismayed in July when she announced to the crowd that she couldn’t wrestle due to injuring herself during training. She vowed to come back and get a title shot against MsChif and that’s exactly what she did. The two put on yet another classic match, but Daizee came up short. But Daizee has always been the perfect foil for the bad girls of SHIMMER, whether wrestling a mainstay like Cindy Rogers or a newcomer like Miss Natural. Daizee will always have the fans behind her, and with her becoming the head trainer of the SHIMMER Academy, it looks as if she won’t be going anywhere in the near future.
1st Runner Up: Serena Deeb (65 Points)
Another photo finish. Serena Deeb emerged this year as a rising star, and many started to notice just how well she plays the babyface role. Serena goes out of her way to connect with the crowd and get them behind her, and once given the chance to run with the ball, she went the distance. It would be no hard feat for Serena to take the top spot in this category in the future.
2nd Runner Up: Ariel (44 Points)
The plucky and lovable Ariel has always enjoyed the cheers of the fans, but she took it to the next level this year. After hanging in there with Amazing Kong while playing perhaps the ultimate underdog, she managed to come away not only unscathed, but with a win… technically. Ariel was also given the ball in 2008, and ran with it, all the way to a title shot against MsChif. With the fans just starting to take notice of what she has to offer at a higher place on the card, there’s no telling how far she can go.
3rd Runner Up: LuFisto (42 Points)
LuFisto made her return in 2008, and immediately won over fans with her “Super Hardcore Anime” persona, showing genuine gratitude and warmth at the reception she received. Though she’s stocky and hard-hitting enough to not have to play the underdog, she instead wins over fans by bullying and mocking her opponents in the ring and also gave us one of the goofiest interviews in SHIMMER history.
Honorable Mentions: Allison Danger, Cheerleader Melissa, Daffney, Jennifer Blake, Jessie McKay, Madison Eagles, Mercedes Martinez, MsChif, Nikki Roxx, Sarah Stock
Taking another award, Death Rey has truly lived up to that moniker this year. After hearing jeers from some of the fans at the start of the season, Del Rey completely reinvented herself. The persona that emerged was darker, angrier, eyebrowier. Her new look has allowed Sara the luxury of the old beauty vs. the beast method of getting her matches over with the fans. She will now go out of her way to bury anyone who dares cheer her, and she bullies and roughs up her opponents mercilessly. She is the unstoppable monster, but a monster who has also shown vulnerability, making it easier for fans to get behind her opponents. She has added the brutal axe kick to her finishers to go along with the more graceful Royal Butterfly and has no problems using it indiscriminately to knock people out. The presence of her agent Larry Sweeney has only added to the fans’ distaste for her, and flat out refusing to wrestle followed up by sneak attacking the SHIMMER Champion the same night is enoug h to make anyone want to see someone, anyone, take her down.
1st Runner Up: Portia Perez (55 Points)
Many fans have rallied behind Portia despite her cheap tactics, and it’s easy to see why; Portia is a dork, and therefore easily relates to wrestling fans worldwide. However, that changed once her feud with Allison Danger began. When Danger became pregnant, Portia confronted her rival, claiming that she was simply out of shape and afraid to wrestle. She ended it by saying she was not only going to end Allison’s career but “end something else.” She charged Allison, but was taken down by an official before she could do any harm. It had a noticeable effect on the fan’s reactions to her later in the night during her match. Portia is not afraid to be hated and controversial, and now she is both.
2nd Runner Up: Lacey (31 Points)
The phrase “Gone, but not forgotten” comes to mind. Lacey was only around for the start of the season before retiring, but it’s a testament to the role she played while an active wrestler that she was able to finish so high in the category. There is nothing nice about Lacey. She cheats, yells and screams and repeatedly expresses her disgust for every fan she comes in contact with. In her two and a half years with SHIMMER, Lacey made an indelible impression on the fans, and her spot is a hole that won’t easily be filled.
3rd Runner Up: Amber O’Neal (29 Points)
As the resident diva of SHIMMER, Amber O’Neal represents everything that the fans hate about some of the so-called women’s wrestlers in a certain larger company. Amber likes to spend just as much time in front of a lens as she does in the ring, as anyone who has been to her MySpace page can confirm. Though she can back it up in the ring, the question on any given night is: will she choose to? Amber is someone who gets what she wants in a match through stalling and whining, though some feel it’s a game she plays and all part of her strategy. Whatever the case, the fans certainly don’t appreciate it, as she hears during every moment of her matches.
Allison Danger and Portia Perez have a true feud going in SHIMMER. Upset about Danger’s comments about her youthful appearance and the fact that she endorsed Jennifer Blake as one of Canada’s best women’s wrestlers, Perez made it plain that she was out to get Allison. She did so on Volume 20, reinjuring her shoulder during a tag match and putting her out of action once again. When Allison next showed up on Volume 22, she revealed her pregnancy, which Portia took as a coward’s way out of facing her in the ring. She went on to threaten Danger by telling her she was not only going to end her career but “end something else.” She made to charge Allison, but was stopped by a referee. This of course enraged Allison Danger, who told Portia she was so lucky that she was pregnant and couldn’t retaliate. This feud is far from over, and already it is receiving the highest accolades from the fans.
1st Runner Up: Serena Deeb vs. Sara Del Rey (79 Points)
A classic case of a young underdog wanting bigger matches, Serena Deeb went up against Sara Del Rey on Volume 20. Sara won the match, but it was a breakout performance for Serena, who won over the fans. Citing the fact that her knee couldn’t take Sara’s offense in the previous match, she goaded Sara into a rematch on Volume 21. She fell again, but this time put up more of a fight. Serena seemed ready to move on, until MsChif told her that if she could achieve her goal of beating Del Rey, she would give Serena a shot at her title. Serena agreed, but Sara didn’t. With the presence of her agent, who claimed there was no reason for Del Rey to face someone she just beat twice, Sara took the night off from the ring. However, she just couldn’t resist attacking the woman who took the title from her at the end of the night, which brought out Deeb to make the save. It was on once again, and this time it was Serena’s night. After faking out Del Rey on the ropes, she leveled her with her Spear and pinned her shoulders to the mat, establishing herself as a contender for the SHIMMER Title.
2nd Runner Up: MsChif vs. Sara Del Rey (42 Points)
This started on Volume 17, with Sara Del Rey being upset that MsChif and her partner Melissa were getting more cheers than her, the SHIMMER Champion. Though MsChif was not able to get the pin on Del Rey, she did keep her down for well over a three count, which MsChif cited when asking for a title shot on Volume 18. Sara agreed, and MsChif managed to pull it off, pinning Sara with her Desecrator. The loss of her title sent Sara over the edge, and she adopted a darker persona with one goal in mind: to regain her title. She hit somewhat of a roadblock in Serena Deeb, but got her title shot, though due to the interference of her agent she acquired it at an ROH show and not a SHIMMER show. That didn’t stop her from coming out and sneak attacking MsChif after a hard fought title defense against Ariel on Volume 22, however.
3rd Runner Up: Ashley Lane & Nevaeh vs. International Homewrecking Crew (34 Points)
After upsetting the Minnesota Homewrecking Crew, Ashley and Nevaeh once again ran up against Rain, this time with her new partner Jetta in tow on Volume 20. Lightning did not strike twice for Lane and Nevaeh, though the IHWC’s win was due to some chicanery. The two teams met again as part of the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship Gauntlet. Rain and Jetta were somewhat weary after their match against the Suicide Blondes and immediately had to face another set of blondes. This time it was Lane and Nevaeh coming out on top, and they went on to claim the Tag Team Titles by the end of the Gauntlet.
Honorable Mentions: Amber O’Neal vs. Lorelei Lee, Cat Power vs. Daffney, Ashley Lane & Nevaeh vs. The Experience
Another landslide victory. Allison Danger has always shown heart for the business of professional wrestling and SHIMMER, but she started off the year in a bad way after a grisly incident involving her collarbone being fractured after taking an Air Raid Crash from Cheerleader Melissa. That didn’t stop her from coming out later that night to let the fans know what was going on and give an impassioned speech about the women in the back. Working hard at her rehab, Danger was back in only two months, competing at the July taping. However, this time life reared itself in the form of a little bundle of joy who would come to be named Kendall Grace. Allison’s quest to get back in the thick of things in SHIMMER was derailed by pregnancy. However, she still had the heart to come all the way to the final show of the season to address the fans. For many, the birth of a child is a life changing experience, one that forces them to reevaluate their lives and priorities. However, when Allison speaks, it’s not about if she’ll come back to wrestling, but when. And after going through all of that in the last year, who could compete with that?
1st Runner Up: Daizee Haze (48 Points)
Daizee Haze was going along smoothly until a freak back injury during training forced her out of competition a week before the SHIMMER July show. Despite not being able to wrestle, Daizee still addressed the fans and it was obvious that she was heartbroken at not being able to mix it up in the ring. Luckily for Daizee, she was able to recover in a quick manner and was back in action at the October show, not missing a beat.
2nd Runner Up: LuFisto (45 Points)
Being known as the First Lady of Hardcore comes at a price. Weeks after making her SHIMMER debut in 2006, LuFisto’s back injuries had gotten to the point where she had to take an indefinite hiatus from wrestling, and perhaps retire. She searched within herself long and hard for a decision about that possibility, and eight months later we all found out the answer when it was announced she had returned to the ring. Immediately the fans wanted her back in SHIMMER, and in July it finally happened. LuFisto was ecstatic to be back, and genuinely moved by the fans’ warm embrace of her return.
3rd Runner Up: Nikki Roxx (25 Points)
Nikki Roxx had to leave SHIMMER in 2007 after signing a contract with a larger wrestling organization. However, the possibility of a comeback presented itself in May when SHIMMER reached an agreement to be able to feature that organization’s wrestlers. But why even bother to come back, when she was getting a larger paycheck and national television exposure? For Nikki Roxx, that answer is she has a passion for wrestling and for SHIMMER and its fans. She returned to action in July and it was as if she had never left.
She eats cookies in the ring, looks like a teenager, calls herself a ninja, wears pink and bullies unborn fetuses. Say what you will about Portia Perez, but you have to admit, she’s got style. In a promotion full of good wrestlers, Portia has managed to find a niche that has made her stand out from the pack, that niche being her personality. As just a plain babyface, no one took notice of Portia. Then came the fateful day when she hit Josie with her Playskool Chain. Since then she has gained quite a following, and as her feud with Allison Danger has shown, her hard work has paid off as she is being given a chance against the big dogs.
1st Runner Up: Jetta (58 Points)
Jetta’s prissy attitude and disdain for the fans makes her a standout personality in SHIMMER. She plays it to the hilt AND somehow manages to go over the top at the same time. Her Coventry accent gives her a unique sound among the ladies in the promotion, as she mocks them in attempt to make fools out of them, though it is usually she who ends up looking foolish.
2nd Runner Up: LuFisto (39 Points)
LuFisto may be the First Lady of Hardcore, but she is also the “Super Hardcore Anime,” a goofy Japanese-French-Canadian who is extreme cuteness juxtaposed with random acts of violence, and has some of the most outrageous ring outfits in wrestling. Her ability to bully her opponents in a way that makes the fans laugh in addition to her ring skills has won their hearts.
To be in the running for Best Babyface and Best Heel, obviously you have to have a personality. These two may be on opposite ends of the spectrum as far as fan support, but as has been discussed, both have the personalities as well as the in-ring skills to be amongst the most beloved competitors in SHIMMER.
Honorable Mentions: Allison Danger, Amazing Kong, Ariel, Cat Power, Daffney, Jennifer Blake, Lacey, MsChif, Nicole Matthews, Nikki Roxx, Rain, Sara Del Rey, Shark Girl
A vicious move in which Melissa elevates her opponent upside down across her back and then drives them head first into the canvas, the Kudoh Driver is also a valuable weapon in her arsenal. No one has been able to kick out of it yet, and it has led Melissa to two victories in 2008, over Sarah Stock and LuFisto.
The Burning Hammer is a move in which LuFisto lifts her opponent into a reverse fireman’s carry and then drives them head or face first into the mat. A large part of LuFisto’s success in 2008 can be attributed to this move, as it was responsible for her two victories over Rain and Wesna Busic.
2nd Runner Up: Sara Del Rey’s Royal Butterfly (33 Points)
The move that won Sara Del Rey the SHIMMER Title remained just as potent in 2008. After butterflying the arms, Sara lifts her opponents off their feet into a submission, and if unable to get them to give up, she flings them overhead with a suplex. She beat both Ariel and Serena Deeb with the move.
3rd Runner Up: Cheerleader Melissa’s Air Raid Crash (30 Points)
Melissa again makes the list with her lesser finisher. Melissa elevates her opponent upside down while hooking a leg with one arm and the head with another. She then drives them into the canvas with brutal force. She beat Jennifer Blake and Allison Danger with the move in 2008, in the latter’s case fracturing her opponent’s collarbone.
Responding the new “catty” persona of Cat Power during their match, Daffney introduced an interesting foreign object into wrestling vernacular: the ball of yarn. When she tossed it into the ring, Cat went ballistic, trying to bat at the ball of yarn with her cla… uh, hands, and allowing Daffney to get the upper hand in the match.
LuFisto was perhaps a bit too excited to return to SHIMMER. In an interview, LuFisto broke down completely, freaking out Becky Bayless with a hug while delivering a promo that was more energy than coherence.
2nd Runner Up: Volume 22 – MsChif acquires assistance from a “rowdy” fan (23 Points)
What to do if you need to scream and your throat’s sore? MsChif’s screaming has long given her a psychological edge in her matches, but she found herself unable to do so in her title defense against Ariel. So she tied up her opponent in the ropes and a fan at ringside was more than happy to assist the champ by screaming in Ariel’s face.
3rd Runner Up: Volume 17 – Nicole Matthews denies any pulling of the fin (16 Points)
The deliberate pulling of appendages is of course a no-no in wrestling, but a fan jumped the gun, or the shark in this case, by accusing Nicole Matthews of pulling Shark Girl’s fin. Nicole simply responded: “LIES!”
Volume 17 – Lacey tears up an Age of the Fall sign.
Volume 18 – Nicole Matthews: “1, 2, 3, winner!”
Volume 18 – Allison Danger tells off a fan.
Volume 18 – Mercedes Martinez mocks Cindy Rogers.
Volume 18 – Lacey, Rain and Jetta taunt an allegedly ugly fan.
Volume 19 – Jetta wins the battle royale.
Volume 19 – Nicole Matthews accidentally trips herself.
Volume 19 – Portia Perez comes out eating a cookie.
Volume 19 – Fans sing “C is for Cookie” at Portia Perez.
Volume 19 – Portia Perez’s promo on Allison Danger.
Volume 19 – Rain’s “Where’s Lacey?” entrance.
Volume 19 – LuFisto and Rain’s biting contest.
Volume 19 – Jetta’s superplex on MsChif: “That was my best move!”
Volume 20 – The look on Danyah’s face when Kong’s music hits.
Volume 20 – Portia Perez’s Bodyslam Challenge.
Volume 21 – Amber O’Neal’s reaction to Wesna Busic’s music.
Volume 22 – USA chant at Malia Hosaka.
Volume 22 – Allison Danger: “The things we wrestlers do to pass the time when we’re out with an injury.”
Volume 22 – Nikki… ROXX! Jetta… SUCKS! WWE… BOO!
Volume 22 – Jetta refuses to wrestle until the fans acknowledge that she too rocks.
Volume 22 – Mercedes Martinez mocks Amber O’Neal.
Shocker of the Year: Serena Deeb pins Sara Del Rey (43 Points)
It was easy to see that Serena Deeb was a star on the rise in 2008. It was not easy to see that she would get her big victory over an athlete she had lost to twice previously, Sara Del Rey. After getting beat on for most of the match, Serena was able to rally back and take down Sara out of nowhere with the Spear to get the pin in a shocking upset.
With a surefire money match against Mercedes Martinez seemingly on the horizon, few had reason to believe that Sara Del Rey would lose the title before then. There was even a little bit of ambiguity behind MsChif getting a title shot, since she didn’t pin Del Rey in the tag match. But win the title she did, and it came as such a shock that there was a even a little delay in reaction amongst the fans in attendance as they had to let what just happened sink in.
2nd Runner Up: Volume 22 – Larry Sweeney appears in SHIMMER (34 Points)
It was always emphatically stated that there would be no males in SHIMMER, aside from support roles like ring announcers and referees. That all changed on Volume 22 when “Sweet ‘n Sour” Larry Sweeney walked through the curtain to comfort his client Sara Del Rey in the ring. It remains to be seen if Sweeney’s appearance was a one-time deal or if he’ll be back in the future.
3rd Runner Up: Volume 17 – Amazing Kong powerbombs referee Laura Mattano (29 Points)
After going toe to toe with Sara Del Rey and beating Cheerleader Melissa, many expected Ariel to be easy pickings for Amazing Kong. When the plucky crowd favorite showed more fight than perhaps was wise, Kong started to take out her frustrations on referee Laura Mattano. That wasn’t too out of the ordinary, but what was out of the ordinary was Kong picking up Mattano and driving her down with her sitout powerbomb, giving Ariel the win by DQ.
Volume 17 – Shark Girl debuts.
Volume 17 – Amber O’Neal shows her aggressive side.
Volume 17 – Allison Danger fractures her collarbone.
Volume 18 – Lane & Nevaeh beat Lacey & Rain.
Volume 18 – Lacey wrestles her last match.
Volume 18 – Sara Del Rey gets booed.
Volume 19 – Jetta wins the battle royale.
Volume 19 – Amazing Kong dislocates Lorelei Lee’s jaw.
Volume 19 – Jennifer Blake has a breakout night.
Volume 19 – LuFisto returns to action.
Volume 20 – Mercedes Martinez fails to win the SHIMMER Title.
Volume 21 – Madison Eagles’s mad skillz.
Volume 21 – The Experience lose for only the second time.
Volume 21 – Ashley Lane & Nevaeh win the Tag Titles.
Volume 21 – Amazing Kong is able to work despite injuries.
Volume 21 – Ariel wins Four Corner Survival.
Volume 21 – Daizee Haze fails to win the SHIMMER Title.
Volume 22 – Allison Danger reveals that she is pregnant.
Volume 22 – Portia Perez vows to “end something else” on a pregnant Allison Danger.
Volume 22 – Referee Bryce Remsburg is easily able to take down Portia Perez.
Volume 22 – The Canadian Ninjas fail to win the tag titles.
Volume 22 – Sara Del Rey thrown over guardrail and nails a fan who puts his hands on her.
Overall Show of the Year: Volume 20 (58 Points)
Volume 20 featured the Match of the Year in Cheerleader Melissa vs. LuFisto, and had a strong undercard as well. There was angle advancement with the Danger/Perez feud escalating. All this was done without many of SHIMMER’s top names, who were absent for the night.
1st Runner Up: Volume 22 (54 Points)
SHIMMER’s season finale, which may have overtaken the top spot if fans had more time to acquire it before the voting period ended. The show featured quite a few Match of the Year Candidates, an appearance by Larry Sweeney, a controversial angle involving Allison Danger and Portia Perez and a star being born in Serena Deeb.
2nd Runners Up: Volumes 17 & 18 (TIE – 48 Points)
April 26 was apparently a good night, as both shows accumulated the same amount of votes. Both had Match of the Year Candidate main events, and the historic first SHIMMER title change occurred on Volume 18. They also featured the debuts of some notable names such as Jennifer Blake, Wesna Busic, Cat Power and Nevaeh.
3rd Runners Up: Volumes 19 & 21 (TIE – 37 Points)
Though not as strong as SHIMMER’s other 2008 offerings, there is still plenty of quality to be found. The historic first SHIMMER Tag Team Champions were crowned on Volume 21, as well as quite a few Match of the Year Candidates. Volume 19 featured a unique main event, as well as an entertaining battle royale to open the show, plus a Match of the Year Candidate in Melissa vs. Mercedes.
Discuss the results of the 2008 SHIMMER Awards in the following thread at The SHIMMER Forum…