Today is November 6, 2008. It’s been three years since the debut SHIMMER event.
It has become a bit of a tradition that with each passing year that this company has been in existence, I extend a huge thank you to every individual who has made it possible along the way. Many of those people have been a part of this project from the very beginning, and have remained a part of the team for a solid three years now, contributing in their own way to making a serious United States based entirely female professional wrestling promotion a success.
When we ran our first show, there was no way I would have expected to one day be celebrating three years of producing both a DVD product for the fans, and also providing a platform for the most talented women wrestlers to show what they’re made of to an audience which will appreciate their efforts.
When we founded SHIMMER in late 2005, it was a risk. Honestly, it still is, as we only continue to remain in operation on a show to show basis. It is through the financial support of our dedicated fan base that we are able to continue to do what we do. The first, and biggest “thank you” of all, goes to every fan who has spent their hard earned money on tickets to our live events or our DVD releases.
Particularly right now, given the state of the economy, in combination with wrestling’s general low level of current popularity, it means a great deal to us that you are still willing to throw your support behind our product financially. We realize that the public doesn’t have much money right now to spend on such things as professional wrestling, but we greatly value your dedication to our crew. It is the way that all small wrestling companies are able to remain in business right now. Thank you!
My second “thank you” goes out to our entire roster of women athletes who have put their physical well being on the line during our three years thus far, for the sake of giving you your money’s worth and breaking the stereotype that women in this part of the world cannot deliver in the ring. To date, fifty-one female wrestlers have competed in the SHIMMER ring, and I personally appreciate the contributions of each and every one of them. To SHIMMER’s women athletes, I thank you!
Of course, there are dozens of individuals who make SHIMMER possible who you never see inside the ring, or on camera. So many people are responsible for bringing our live events to fruition, particularly Danny Daniels and everyone at AAW in Berwyn. The shows can only be captured on camera with the assistance of our cameramen Mike Robles, Jesse Irwin, Dave Puente, and Michael Z. That footage can only translate to DVD through the efforts of Puente’s editing skills and being willing to tolerate my demands in the production studio when it comes to the final DVD product. Those DVDs can only be manufactured and get to you through the assistance of Sal Hamaoui at the World Wrestling Network, everyone in the office at Ring of Honor, and the staff of Big Vision Entertainment. We only have a presence online with the help of ClickWrestle.com, the contributing staff to our web site, plus Nick Andrews’ music videos for YouTube, and everyone who posts across cybers pace to help spread the word about what we are doing. To everyone who has helped contribute to producing our DVD series, delivering that product to the wrestling fans, and making it known to fellow fans that we exist, thank you!
When I look back at these three years of SHIMMER, I’m extremely proud of the accomplishments we’ve made as a team during each individual year.
Our first year was the test to see if a product such as ours even had an audience, and could survive as an alternative to what the wrestling fans were being offered by existing organizations already. Thankfully, the fan base was there to throw their support behind our efforts.
Our second year saw us crown the first SHIMMER Champion, and establish our own title in the professional wrestling world, while firmly solidifying our core roster of top athletes as our own (in many ways “home grown”) stars. Each of these women had their work cut out for them when it came to presenting themselves as THE attraction, not just a side portion of the show which they may have been relegated to serving as elsewhere.
Though some members of our roster have gone on to later become television stars, each of our women built their initial name and reputation based on their wrestling skill, ring presence, and determination to make it, without the aid of television exposure. We didn’t need to bring in established television stars to give you the best in a women’s wrestling show. These women already were the best, and proved it with their outings inside the ring. And you treated them as stars.
When I look back at our third year of operation, I see it as a year of growth and building for our future. Wrestlers who where here since day one such as Daizee Haze, Sara Del Rey, Cheerleader Melissa, MsChif, and Mercedes Martinez (to only name a few), were embraced by you as our true stars, based solely on their early performances on our DVD series. Wrestlers who made their way to SHIMMER competition a bit further into our operation like an Amazing Kong or a Sarah Stock, eventually earned your approval as well, based on their level of performance. In year three, I feel that several members of our crew really stepped up their game and brought their performance to the next level, to the extent that we can really count on them to deliver those truly memorable matches during the years to come, not only here in SHIMMER but across the wrestling landscape.
Our third year saw someone like Serena Deeb break out as a top performer. Though she may not be one of the flashiest performers in independent pro wrestling today, doing all of the latest “innovative” maneuvers, Serena is the pure embodiment of what a young, determined babyface professional wrestler should be. Her display of emotion in addition to her execution during her matches are second to none, and her matches this year, particularly her series against Sara Del Rey, really translated her true abilities and raw potential to the audience in a huge way. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Serena is in many ways our Ricky Steamboat, and it’s for many more reasons than just the beautiful armdrags. She’s “got it,” and is going to achieve great things in this profession.
Jetta‘s vocal personality and the very animated way she carries herself in the ring has been a unique, amusing, and in my opinion essential aspect to our shows ever since her arrival. She was put in the position of becoming a headliner on one of our events earlier this year and was able to deliver in that role just as effectively as she had been a perfect midcard addition to our roster during her initial outings. Jetta has also shined as a great tag team wrestler at the side of Rain, making the International edition of the Home Wrecking Crew a unique entity in its own right, separate from Rain’s earlier established partnership with Lacey. For every master of technical wrestling, high flying wizardry, or hard hitting, strong style brutality we have on the show, we need someone like Jetta on the card just as much.
Not only Jetta & Rain, but our entire tag team division really came into its own during our third year. It was truly the right time to establish SHIMMER Tag Team Champions, to go alongside the SHIMMER Championship prize.
Lexie Fyfe & Malia Hosaka continued to be SHIMMER’s standard for tag team wrestling, in many ways teaching the younger generation of female performers what tag team wrestling is, through the process of stepping into the ring against them. Taking the newer teams to school, in the case of “The Experience,” is not just a figure of speech. They are a key part of our roster’s continued growth.
Portia Perez & Nicole Matthews as “The Canadian Ninjas” turned into one of our most entertaining acts in short order. At the same time, I must also compliment Nicole’s performances in singles action during this past year. Matthews has really matured into almost a completely different, more confident and skilled pro wrestler, and has done it before our very eyes ever since her arrival one year ago, at the time as just Portia’s Canadian buddy. Through her combination of Kosher pickles, chocolate chip cookies, ninja ways, and youthful appearance, Perez has oddly become one of the most over characters on our shows. And she can’t be bodyslammed.
Ashley Lane & Nevaeh, perhaps the tag team duo most dedicated to the concept of being tag team wrestlers out of the entire bunch, put in solid efforts against each of the other teams on the roster over the course of 2008, including several rematches after exchanging wins and losses with their opponents. They bring out the best in one another as tag team partners, while also highlighting the skills of their opponents in the process of facing them in their matches, and I have no doubt that they will represent SHIMMER’s tag team division with pride as champions in the future. You can only have effective heel tag teams with great babyfaces to complement them. Ashley and Nevaeh are committed to traveling the wrestling world as a team, both to continue to better themselves as tag team wrestlers, and also spread the word of SHIMMER to fans everywhere they compete, by regularly defending the title belts.
Though not a part of the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship Gauntlet on Volume 21, the two teams which headlined Volume 17, MsChif & Cheerleader Melissa and the “Dangerous Angels” of Sara Del Rey & Allison Danger, delivered one of the best all around tag team matches we’ve ever featured on one of our shows. With MsChif focused on defending her SHIMMER Championship, and Del Rey and Danger having different viewpoints at present, it’s uncertain as to what either team’s future tag team contributions may be, but during this past year they certainly made their mark.
Australia’s “Pink Ladies” of Madison Eagles & Jessie McKay were a tremendous addition to our October 19th taping as a tag team unit. Their crisp double team combinations and excellent grasp of pro wrestling’s fundamentals resulted in some of the best tag action of the taping, and both women proved that they are worthy of their spots in the SHIMMER locker room. As I write this, I am in the studio in Tampa beginning the production phase of Volumes 21 & 22, and the Pink Ladies’ outings on these two DVDs make me excited to see what they can do in the future inside the SHIMMER ring.
After initially forming their tag team on the Canadian indies, the “Suicide Blondes” of LuFisto & Jennifer Blake brought their explosive style of tag team wrestling to SHIMMER for the Gauntlet, and plan to do so well into the future for SHIMMER’s tag team scene.
Not only as a team with LuFisto, but as a singles competitor, “Girl Dynamite” Jennifer Blake has begun to emerge as someone to keep your eye on during the course of the next few years. Though she is still quite new to pro wrestling, for someone with as little experience as Jen has at this stage of her career, she shows such fantastic potential. Her matches against Allison Danger and Cheerleader Melissa this year give us just a taste of what is to come once Jennifer Blake gets some more ring time under her belt. She is one of those cases where it will be an exciting ride as we watch her grow as a professional wrestler in SHIMMER competition during the coming months (and hopefully years)!
In addition to the relative new additions to our roster making their own progress during our third year, a wrestler such as Ariel, who has been here from the beginning but never really emerged as a main eventer on our shows, began to show her true abilities as of late. Ariel showed she can put on high energy contests against the likes of Amazing Kong and Nikki Roxx this year, elevating her own status in the SHIMMER hierarchy in the process.
Daffney was able to put her past history of knee injuries behind her, which plagued her early SHIMMER tenure as a wrestler, and ended 2008 on a very positive note. Daff has always been a great source of entertainment on professional wrestling cards, and contributed to SHIMMER’s presentation this year in ways that only she can.
One of Europe’s best, “The Croatian Panther” Wesna Busic, was thrust right into the main mix from her debut, facing established stars like Mercedes Martinez and Amazing Kong, and instantly showing our fan base, who may not have been very familiar with her, that she is at that same level when it comes to her ring skills. She brought out a fantastic side to Amber O’Neal on Volume 21 as well, who herself showed once again that when thrown to the wolves, even our resident “Diva” Amber can hang with the hard hitters on the roster! Wesna closed out her first year as a part of our roster with the International Dream Match against LuFisto, which won Match of the Night honors from several fans in attendance at our October 19th taping. Wesna successfully lived up to her worldwide reputation by delivering in the SHIMMER ring during ’08.
Even though she may be new to our locker room, I look forward to Miss Natural remaining a solid veteran presence on our shows into the future. 2008 additions like Cat Power (meow) and Danyah are still working to carve their own niche in the SHIMMER realm, but are slowly becoming more comfortable in their roles on our events. Even newer talents like Rachel Summerlyn, Stephie Sinclair, Cherry Bomb, and Melanie Cruise all made their way to Berwyn for the opportunity to prove their worth to the fans, as well as their fellow wrestlers in the locker room and earn future spots. Their dedication to wrestling and willingness to learn should be applauded.
Though I do view year three as the year that so many of the aforementioned women began to really make their mark and come into their own as talents which we can count on for SHIMMER’s future, that is not to say that our established crew of top level talents weren’t also a big part of this year’s success as well. After all, the main eventers are the draw, even if I like to focus on the talents which are still being developed!
Daizee Haze, though sidelined for one of our tapings during this past year, came through in her performances on our DVDs, while also being a huge part of SHIMMER’s future development with her activity at the ROH Wrestling Academy, and new role as SHIMMER Trainer. I look forward to Daizee continuing to be the heart (punch) of SHIMMER during year four, just like she has been since that first main event match against Lacey back on Volume 1.
It was great to continue to be able to feature the talents of Amazing Kong and Nikki Roxx on our events, despite their current contractual status with TNA. Thanks to the assistance of both Bill Behrens and Bob Ryder, we were able to have both women remain a part of our family during year three. Kong is, without a doubt, the most awe inspiring female wrestler out there today. She is an attraction in and of herself. Nikki has developed, through her added travels and opportunities over the past year and a half, into a top flight athlete in every sense of the word. She brings a level of confidence and professionalism to every match she is a part of, that by having matches against the likes of a Nicole Matthews, Danyah, Jetta, or even longtime colleague Ariel, she brings them up a few notches while being their opponent. That is a very valuable contribution for a wrestler to make to a wrestling show.
Cheerleader Melissa and Mercedes Martinez both came through as MVP’s this year. Melissa’s tag outing on Volume 17, as well as singles bouts against Sarah Stock, LuFisto, and Jennifer Blake are all memorable for their own reasons. LuFisto vs. Melissa was a magical moment in SHIMMER’s history. I don’t think anyone will ever forget the exchange between the two during the closing moments of their Volume 20 war, and the literal scream of intensity at one another along the way. Martinez’s match against Melissa on Volume 19 will go down as one of the most solidly wrestled contests we’ve ever featured. It was a great display of why both women can be considered among the best female wrestlers in the world today. Martinez’s return to SHIMMER action in general this year resulted in a string of fantastic matches, showing that, despite that shoulder injury which sidelined her for over a year, she’s still the same Mercedes that helped establish our company with her feud against Sara Del Rey a couple years ago.
The two women who held the SHIMMER Championship during year three were both such essential parts of our existence, it can’t effectively be put into words.
Sara Del Rey’s complete transformation from the wrestler we grew to love during SHIMMER’s early days, into the vicious, more focused Death Rey of late 2008, meant we witnessed a complete change in Sara’s role and method of contribution to our product as a whole as well. As great as she was in her initial position as the face of the promotion, she is just as important, if not more, in her current role as the intimidating ex-champion intent on regaining “her belt.”
While Sara Del Rey as the inaugural SHIMMER Champion brought the same brand of skilled wrestling champion to the title which her trainer Bryan Danielson did to the ROH World Title during his reign, her successor has proven to be a quite different, yet also quite worthy title holder in her own right.
“Your Soul’s Tormentor” MsChif had the unenviable task of being the wrestler on the SHIMMER roster who had to follow in the footsteps of Sara Del Rey’s 20+ minute technical wrestling clinics, but nonetheless has come through in that role every single time since being crowned SHIMMER Champion back in April. MsChif’s style of matches, and overall ring presence has such a different feel to it than any other character in women’s wrestling that it makes her title reign something unique, which can’t even really be compared to Del Rey’s. Chif’s title win, and subsequent defenses of the title, be it against a classic heel like Jetta, a hard hitting strong style opponent like Mercedes, a long time adversary and training partner in Daizee, or another fan favorite like Ariel, have all offered something different in terms of each match’s content, and have displayed MsChif’s versatility.
Allison Danger, while currently out of active competition (as she put it, due to “carrying the next generation of SHIMMER wrestler”), remains and important cog in the SHIMMER machine from an organizational standpoint. Don’t forget, she gave her collarbone to the SHIMMER cause during year three as well, and still made it to the merch table for you all at intermission before heading to the hospital!
Wrestlers like Sarah Stock and Lacey made excellent contributions early during year three before being put on the sidelines. I look forward to Sarah’s return to SHIMMER action during 2009 (as well as the also injured Cindy Rogers, and an eventual return for “The Jezebel” Eden Black in due time). I’d like to thank Lacey for all of her hard work and physical exertion in the SHIMMER ring during our first three years. Lacey was, without a doubt, one of the important building blocks of SHIMMER as a company, and helped put us on the map. Thank you!
Looking ahead, I can’t wait to see what year four has to offer, not only in terms of the potential matches inside the ring, but also what it has to offer each of our talented women athletes, who are growing better and better with every passing day of additional professional wrestling experience. I’m glad that SHIMMER can assist each of these performers in achieving their goals in this industry, and be an outlet for them to show the world what women athletes can do when given a real chance.
Thanks for three productive years, everybody!
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VOLUMES 19 & 20 AVAILABLE ON DVD!
Volumes 19 & 20 of the SHIMMER DVD series are now available for immediate worldwide shipping from ROHwrestling.com.
SHIMMER- WOMEN ATHLETES Vol. 19 (DVD)
1. 21 Woman Battle Royal
2. Portia Perez vs. Shark Girl
3. Danyah vs. Serena Deeb
4. Ashley Lane & Nevaeh vs. Cat Power & Veronika Vice
5. Amazing Kong vs. Lorelei Lee
6. Nikki Roxx vs. Nicole Matthews
7. Allison Danger vs. Jennifer Blake
8. Rain vs. LuFisto
9. Sara Del Rey vs. Portuguese Princess Ariel
10. Cheerleader Melissa vs. Mercedes Martinez
11. MsChif vs. Battle Royal Winner (SHIMMER Title Match)
SHIMMER- WOMEN ATHLETES Vol. 20 (DVD)
1. Shark Girl vs. Veronika Vice
2. Portia Perez & Nicole Matthews vs. Allison Danger & Jennifer Blake
3. Amazing Kong vs. Danyah
4. Daffney vs. Cat Power
5. Rain & Jetta vs. Ashley Lane & Nevaeh
6. Nikki Roxx vs. Portuguese Princess Ariel
7. Sara Del Rey vs. Serena Deeb
8. LuFisto vs. Cheerleader Melissa
9. MsChif vs. Mercedes Martinez (SHIMMER Title Match)
VISIT THE SHIMMER FORUM