Correspondent: Pat Lucey
Shimmer Women Athletes (known more popularly as SHIMMER) is an all-female women’s wrestling promotion based out of the Chicago, Illinois area that has been in existence since November of 2005. The goal of SHIMMER is to provide a serious platform for the most-skilled female professional wrestlers from across the globe with a forum to truly shine as athletes and perform at the most competitive level.
SHIMMER takes a unique approach to taping their live events that enables it to stand out from other independent wrestling companies. On average they tape nine shows, or “Volumes”, a year spaced out between two weekends in the Chicago area (equating to two a day). Additionally, they hold one show during Wrestlemania weekend in the host city. Throughout the weekend of November 11-12, on the 12th anniversary of their debut event, they taped Volumes 96-99.
SHIMMER VOLUME 96
Berwyn Eagles Club
November 11, 2017
RISE (Shimmer’s Development Promotion) provided 3 pre-show matches to kick off the day
-ACR and Valentina Loca defeat Hawlee Layne and Samara
-Kylie Rae And Miranda Salinas defeat Karen Q and Ray Lyn
-Kikyo defeats Heather Monroe
-The first match was inoffensive. Nothing memorable but no one looked bad.
-The second match was more fun. Kylie Rae was very popular for two reasons: she is a native of Chicago with a Pokemon themed entrance and ring gear.
-Lyn/Karen Q are doing a “strange bedfellows” gimmick where neither wanted to team with each and were constantly trying one-up up each other.
-Unfortunately, Kikyo injured her elbow/shoulder area badly after landing the frog splash. She was helped to back by officials and was seen wearing arm sling for rest of weekend. Here’s to a speedy recovery.
-Standouts from the pre-show were Kylie Rae, Miranda Salinas & Karen Q.
Zoe Lucas vs. Rachael Ellering
Zoe is based out of the UK who is notable for working promotions such as Rev Pro, Progress, Pro Wrestling Eve as well as working a tour for Stardom over in Japan. Zoe impressed Shimmer officials during a RISE seminar over in England earlier this year. Rachael Ellering, on the other hand, has made quite a name for herself working for practically every major promotion in the US over the last year or so, including competing in WWE’s Mae Young Classic. So being both ladies first time working for Shimmer, this was interesting to watch. Rachel wins in 4:15 with a reverse powerbomb. This was a good opener. Fast paced with both ladies shining here. Zoe played a fantastic smug heel, while Rachel was great at naturally playing off as the babyface.
-Mercedes Martinez, the current reigning Shimmer Champion, and Nicole Savoy come out for a live promo. Their group is known as “Trifecta,” with Shayna Baszler formally being part of their group. Mercedes starts by telling the crowd that Shayna has moved on to better opportunities (that being WWE/NXT). Mercedes goes on to introduce the newest member of Trifecta; the legendary AJA KONG. Mercedes referred to Aja as the Number Two of the trio, sparking a dumbfounded reaction from Savoy.
Team Blue Nation (Jessica Troy & Charli Evans) vs. Ashley Lane & Deonna Purrazzo
Blue Nation, representing Australia, start the match by getting on Lane/Purrazzo’s case for not having a team name. Lane then tells the crowd they’ll be known as “Hottest Free Agents.” Team Hottest Free Agents gets the win at 11:09 with a rolling elbow/German suplex combo. The match was a bit slow-paced and think it would have been better with a couple minutes shaved off, but otherwise, it was not bad. Blue Nation continues to be quite the entertaining tag team, while on the opposite end I thought Lane/Purrazzo don’t have enough chemistry here.
Kiera Hogan vs. Britt Baker vs. Kellyanne vs Samantha Heights vs Ivelisse vs. Shotzi Blackheart
Britt got best entrance reaction here, followed closely by Shotzi. The rules explained at the beginning that no tags were necessary, however, only two women could be in the ring at the same time. First pinfall/submission would win the match. Kellyanne wins at 9:00 with a running backpack stunner. Like most multi-women matches at Shimmer, it was a good fast paced match with all the women here showcasing their individual skills along with a handful of unique spots. If I was to nitpick, the referee didn’t do a good job enforcing the rules but it didn’t cause any major problems.
Marti Belle vs. Saraya Knight
Both ladies have a fairly long history with Shimmer, with Saraya being a former Shimmer Champion. Saraya’s matches tend to be wild, hardcore-ish brawls and this was pretty much what it was. Saraya wins at 6:10 with her finisher: a modified leg trap camel clutch. A good brawl with Marti, who is not known to be a brawler. She was able to give back what Saraya was giving.
Tessa Blanchard (w/ Vanessa Kraven) vs. Candice LaRae
Tessa & Vanessa (known as Mount Tessa) are the current SHIMMER Tag Team Champions, though they’ve shown a tension between each other for quite some time, with Tessa constantly berating Vanessa and solely calling herself “The Tag Team Champions”. Tessa wins at 8:35 from jumping off the top rope and hitting a double knee facebreaker. A damn good match here with the story here being Vanessa trying to interfere on Tessa’s behalf but not being able to help much. Afterwards, Tessa berates Vanesa.
Aoi Kizuki vs. Mia Yim
Mia is known as the “Joshi Gatekeeper,” as she has had quite a number of matches against Joshi talent in Shimmer and winning most of them. Aoi, known as the “Happymaker” is making her Shimmer debut with this match. Mia wins at 10:10 with a Package Piledriver. Decent enough match, although I thought Aoi looked little sloppy at the beginning. However, Mia was able to carry her throughout the later parts. Perhaps it was nervousness, as this was Aoi’s first match in the United States?
Lufisto & Hudson Envy vs Solo Darling & Thunderkitty
During the last set of Shimmer tapings in July, Lufisto attacked and injured both Solo & Kitty, so they are looking for revenge here. Solo/Kitty win at 10:08 after Solo pushes Lufisto into Envy, who was on the apron and hitting a fisherman neckbreaker combo. Fine enough tag match. Both teams showed good chemistry with each other considering each was teaming up for the first time. I can see both teams transitioning into long-term duos. Solo was helped to the back showing signs of a knee injury.
Vanessa Kraven (w/ Tessa Blanchard) vs. Delilah Doom.
During the previous night’s RISE event Doom became the new Phoenix of RISE champion and ever since joining the RISE/Shimmer roster has quickly become a fan favorite. Doom wins at 7:00 with a sunset pin after Tessa accidentally distracts Vanessa. Tessa attacks Doom after the match and gets in Vanessa’s face. They both proceed to beat on Doom for a bit until Leva Bates, who teamed with Doom a handful of times during the last set of Shimmer tapings, makes the save. I love a good “David vs. Goliath” match and this was one. Also, I have to state just how good Tessa is at running her mouth and playing off the crowd’s reaction.
Cheerleader Melissa vs Shazza McKenzie (c) (Heart of Shimmer Championship Match).
The Heart of Shimmer Championship acts as Shimmer’s version of the Intercontinental/United States Championship. Shazza wins the match at 12:20 after reversing Melissa’s powerbomb attempt into a hurricanrana pinfall. Solid, but I was having higher expectations going into it. Unfortunately, the match felt like it was dragging for a good portion of it. Shazza continues to prove why she is one of the more likable females on the roster.
Nicole Savoy vs. Hikaru Shida
Shida has not competed in the company since 2014 but has since still remained as a popular Joshi talent with Shimmer fans. Throughout the match, Nicole was receiving “Number 3” chants after Mercedes’ earlier promo. One funny spot I’d like to point out was Shida throwing her signature kendo stick at Nicole while she was on top rope and completely missing her. Thankfully, no one in the crowd was hit. Shida wins at approximately 12:00 after a running knee. The best match of the taping, bar none. Aja Kong comes out afterward and berates Nicole afterward for losing and for shaking Shida’s hand.
Havok (w/ Nevaeh) vs Mercedes Martinez (c) (Shimmer Title Match)
This will be Havok’s second time challenging for the Shimmer Title, as well as being Martinez’s 9th Title defense during her second reign. Nevaeh is still showing signs of a nasty knee injury she suffered during this past July, so she was merely here to show moral support for her friend Havok. Martinez wins at 13:47 with a fisherman buster. A good way to close the show but, unfortunately, it just couldn’t follow the previous match. Another problem I had was at no point did I believe Havok could win. Not because I could never see Havok as the Shimmer champion but there were no close nearfalls during the match that had me believing in a title change. Nonetheless, this was still a solid match, a good showcase for both Martinez and Havok and a fine way to end the first Shimmer taping.
Normally the first of four tapings are used as a way kickstart the weekend, having a handful of good-to-great matches and introducing a number of storylines that will unfold throughout the weekend. If this ended up being your first time watching Shimmer than I would firmly say this was a good show in which to introduce newer fans to the product. All the major stories played out smoothly, as the majority of Shimmer’s top talents were showcased nicely here. The top matches to look out for here are Tessa/Candice, Shida/Savoy and Havok/Martinez.
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(Pat is a lifelong wrestling fan from Cleveland, OH. He can be found HERE on Twitter.)
Enjoy this match recently posted on the SHIMMER YouTube channel featuring Hikaru Shida v. Athena from Volume 66. (If you look closely, you may even see correspondent Pat Lucey in the audience.)