SHIMMER VOLUME 97
Berwyn Eagles Club
November 11, 2017
Live Correspondent: Pat Lucey
**STOP! Read the results of SHIMMER Volume 96 HERE before continuing!**
Veda Scott vs. Aoi Kizuki
This was interesting to watch considering two things: Could Kizuki improve after her first Shimmer match? And how/if Veda has improved after her recent tour over in the U.K. Kizuki wins at 5:30 after a top rope twisting splash. It was not a bad way to start the second taping of the day. Veda is known to be a reliable opener for Shimmer as she still gets a good amount of heat from the crowd. Kizuki looked better here from her previous match, and Veda showed signs of overall improvement.
Courtney Rush & Dust (Paradise Lost) vs. Samantha Heights & Brittany Blake
Courtney Rush is known to most fans these days as Impact’s “Rosemary,” while Dust was formally known to mid-western fans as Angel Dust. Dust & Rush formed a team together sometime earlier this year at a RISE event, and since then Dust has been seen as sort of a prodigy of Rush, including as slightly changing up her look and now carrying around a barbed wire bat. Samantha Heights has seen a handful of Shimmer competition while this is Brittany Blake’s Shimmer debut after competing in RISE. Paradise Lost wins at 10:28 after Dust delivered a double stomp to Blake. Good tag match. Both teams looked good here. While I thought Dust has always been underrated, she has definitely shown signs of improvement in character and body language since teaming with Rush. I’d like to see Paradise Lost get a tag team title shot in the near future. Heights/Blake looked impressive as well.
Zoe Lucas vs. Britt Baker
Zoe decides to cut a pro-British/Anti-American promo before the match. While not that creative, I always find them entertaining. Britt wins at 7:20 with rolling elbow. Damn fine match. Good use of ring psychology from Zoe, while Britt was looking smooth here.
Lufisto vs. Rachael Ellering
Lufisto wins at 8:11 after a swinging reverse STO (think Bray Wyatt’s finisher). Good hard-hitting action. Lufisto continues to prove just how underrated she is, while Rachel continues to prove how good she is considering her experience.
Charli Evans vs. Candice LaRae
Candice wins in 8:36 with Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (a top rope swinging neckbreaker). The match started out slow but picked up toward last few minutes. Charli is good at antagonizing the crowd.
Hudson Envy vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto
Hiroyo is another Joshi talent who has made a high number of appearances in Shimmer over the last couple years. She is very popular amongst fans. Hudson, on the other hand, had a long tour of Japan with the Stardom promotion back in 2015, and, while not unfamiliar with stepping in the ring with Joshi talent, this will be a first-time singles encounter between the two. Hiroyo wins in 9:12 with an impressive backdrop driver. Pretty stiff contest throughout making this a fun watch.
Cheerleader Melissa vs. Chelsea Green
This will be Chelsea’s first singles match in Shimmer after having regularly teamed with her “Fire & Nice” partner Britt Baker during the last set of Shimmer tapings. Melissa wins at 8:57 with an Air Raid Crash. The match was an alright match but I never felt like Chelsea and Melissa clicked. I don’t like saying it but I feel Melissa has lost a step or two since returning to Shimmer earlier in the year, and being a former two-time Shimmer champion it’s disappointing to see.
Nicole Savoy vs. Saraya Knight
While my Volume 96 review noted Saraya is known to be a wild brawler these days, she can also hang in the ring just based on her technical wrestling skills, with this being one of those examples. Nicole continued to get plagued with “Number 3” chants throughout the match. Nicole wins at 10:15 with an Armbar variation submission hold. Slow start, but still a good technical/submission showcase for both women here.
Leva Bates & Delilah Doom vs. Tessa Blanchard & Vanessa Kraven (Mount Tessa) (c) (Shimmer Tag Team Championship Match)
Leva and Doom win at about 11:00 after some more miscommunication from Tessa and Vanessa, with Leva proceeding to hit a Codebreaker on Vanessa and Doom rolling her up for the surprise win. As expected with most Leva Bates and Delilah Doom matches, this was a fun match.
After Tessa gets in her face and blaming her for the lost, Vanessa finally snaps and pie faces Tessa down to the mat. Vanessa tells her that tomorrow she gets a match with her and will do whatever she wants to Tessa. I must say it was very gratifying to see the implosion of Mount Tessa after teasing it for the last two years.
Kellyanne vs. Shazza McKenzie (c) (Heart of Shimmer Title Match)
Both these Australian natives are pretty familiar with each other, though this is their first encounter here in Shimmer (with exception of a gauntlet match in 2015). After winning the 6-way match at Volume 96, I honestly thought Kellyanne could have won here. There were a number of nearfalls here that further established those thoughts, however, Shazza wins the match in 9:36 after top rope stunner followed by a submission for the tap out. Good title defense. Hard hitting and left me wanting a more.
Aja Kong vs. Mia Yim
This was the biggest match heading into the weekend. Not only was this a dream match for Mia, but known as “The Joshi Gatekeeper” she had something to prove here. It is also pretty rare to see an Aja Kong singles match these days, let alone one in the United States. After a tremendous back and forth contest, Aja wins at 9:10 after a backfist and brainbuster. By far the best match of the weekend so far. Aja is known to be a legend, but if you don’t believe Mia to be one of the best female competitors in wrestling today, perhaps in all of wrestling period, then I hope this match changes your mind.
Hikaru Shida vs Mercedes Martinez (c) (Shimmer Title Match)
As with the previous title defense from Volume 96, Mercedes and Shida had a tough act to follow. Though I can honestly say both competitors were able to pull out a splendid main event here that didn’t play second fiddle to Aja/Mia. Throughout the match, Mercedes was teasing Nicole Savoy, who accompanied her to ringside, and yelling remarks such as “that’s how you get it done” after Shida previously defeated Savoy. Mercedes eventually wins at 13:55 after locking in an ankle submission tapping out Shida after working over her ankle throughout the match. Again this was an excellent match.
Aja Kong comes out to assist in a beatdown on Shida after the match. Savoy takes Shida’s Kendo Stick and teases hitting her with it, but instead takes turns smacking Mercedes & Kong effectively ending the Trifecta trio. In a great moment to end the show, the crowd shows their support for Savoy and chant “Number 1”.
Volume 97 is filled with plenty of great matches and moments that will impact Shimmer for the foreseeable future. Matches such as Envy/Matsumoto, Shida/Mercedes & Aja/Mia must be seen. Moments such as Doom/Bates winning the Tag Team Titles, Mount Tessa imploding and Nicole Savoy turning on Trifecta made for some memorable moments. If Volume 96 was a good introduction to newer fans of Shimmer, then Volume 97 was a good way to keep the newer fans hooked and wanting to see more.
(Pat Lucey is a lifelong wrestling fan from Cleveland, OH. He can be found HERE on Twitter.)
Check out this great trailer for SHIMMER Volume 63!