Introduction - My intention in reviewing SHIMMER was to pick up where BRM and Kirbs left off, as I didn't deem it necessary to re-tread old ground, but considering Kirbs stopped at 6, I figured that would be a half way decent place to start as a prologue. Plus there's a promo on this show that I just HAD to talk about ( which my DVD release didn't even have) so I'm just going to implore you to look at "Rebecca Knox promo from Shimmer 6" on Youtube
Are you back yet?
LOOK AT HER. This girl with the hammed up Irish accent is the hottest thing in professional wrestling right now in 2019 . (Censored) amazing what time does.
Allison Danger promo - Terrible. Her emotions were there, she sold being angry at Rebecca Knox for her antics well, but was it really necessary for her to recap, literally volume by volume (and I really hope they stop calling the shows 'volumes" in promos, it gives me the same cringe watching a nerd lecture someone on comics does) in such a Joe Friday "Just the facts m'am" way? It just felt like what was said here could've been delivered much more succinctly.
Recap of the finish of Amber O'Neal vs Serena Deeb from the last show - Oh no. Dave Prazak is on play by play commentary. Amber's roll-up with the tights was bad, the reffing was bad (she waited a full second before counting 3)
Amber O'Neal vs Serena Deeb- 4.5/10
I hate doing this because ya know, indies, but the lighting is bad (it looks like they're intentionally obscuring natural light when this building looks like the (censored) Bat Cave. The ring announcer is drive-thru speaker levels, Dave Prazak's voice is already starting to grate.
Anyway, onto the wrestling. To the credit of the women in the ring, even without the video package, you can tell who the heel is supposed to be (Amber O'Neal is freaking fantastic), and thus who the babyface is. The two tell a very general wrestling story at first (which I'm sure was revolutionary in 2006). Literally the only thing I didn't like about this match was the finish, where a cradle pin after a suplex looked really inorganic and weird. The bad lighting also rears its ugly head, as when Serena bolts from the ring and has her arm raised by the ref all I see is silhouettes As an aside, I really like Alilson Danger on commentary. She's basically the babyface version of a heel color person, getting incensed whenever heels cheat and really pulling for the babyfaces. I wish we saw this more often.
Amazing Kong and The Experience (Lexie Fyfe and Malia Hosaka) vs Ariel, Cindy Rogers and Josie - 5.5/10
The babyfaces come out to "C'est la vie" by B*Witched which was a mark out moment for me. I'm not expecting good things from this match because the future Shojo Bolt is here.
It takes all three babyfaces to get Kong off her feet. They immediately do this spot. Then Malia gets tagged in and out wrestles Ariel. The babyfaces look terribly incompetent to start. Malia and Cindy have a fun technical flourish. Josie tags in and works the arm. The heels get the heat on Cindy when she tags back in. Then she fires back and tags out, and the faces fuck up a double back elbow. Now they put the heat on Josie. Kong tags in and the commentary goes up a notch. God Kong is so good. And she tags out and it becomes clear that Josie and Lexie cannot get their timing straight. To Josie's credit she gets the crowd behind her when she's got the heat applied to her. The heat segment goes so long that the commentary team is actively running out of stuff to say. Josie finally makes the hot tag, and the babyfaces knock down Kong with a Double Clothesline despite needing all three to take her down earlier. We miss a cheap shot by the Experience to focus on Kong. The heels hit the Gordbuster and Amazing press for the win. This match was a bit clunky but the meat and potatoes of it were good.
Nikki Roxx vs Lorelei Lee - 4.5/10
The story in the beginning is that this is the iron woman (Roxx) vs the potential filled rookie (Lee) and the two go hold for hold Loreli does a super wacky backwards handspring elbow and it just looked bad. Missing this move gives Nikki the momentum. This sequence is so uninteresting that the commentators hype Alison's match with Rebecca Knox, and she and Prazak (who's less annoying now) do a much better job than in the promo earlier.
Lorelei fires back, but she looks like she's moving in slow motion with everything she does.
Lee runs a sports nutrition website, which the announcers plug, which leads to the cringiest exchange of all time, in which Alison speculates that if Nikki went to "double-u double-u dot 2good2b.com" enters her e-mail, and the website password, she could stand a better chance. I'm literally begging for Michael Cole to come in and use some buzzwords here.
It goes back and forth, Roxx hits her super convoluted finisher The Barbie Crusher, for the pinfall victory. They shake hands post match
Nikita vs Daizee Haze - 8.5/10
The two go hold for hold at first, but Nikita turns heel after the first exchange. This match then becomes a small beloved babyface vs a hard hitting heel. I've never seen a hurricanerana countered into a crab and then a curb stomp to the back, which Nikita has been working over all match. Also never seen a heart punch worked into chain wrestling. These two hell for leather, with Daizee winning with a sunset flip. It gives you the indication that Nikita is dangerous and Haze barely won. This was a GREAT match, that if anything makes me upset on how Nikita was used everywhere else
A recap of Rebecca Knox's antics so far - Man, the heel turn at Volume 3 looked PERFECT. Knox was so good even then. Alison also sold how pissed she was at Knox cheating to beat Daizee Haze.
Pure Wrestling Rules Match
Rebecca Knox vs Alison Danger - 7.5/10
Okay, I get why Knox's promo wasn't on the DVD. This is not at all indicative of the AMAZING heel she is. She comes to the ring screaming and skipping, almost like a fusion of Nikki Cross and AJ Lee. In the ring she indignantly asks "WHY AREN'T YOU CHEERING ME" which is amazing. Friend of the show Bryce Remsburg is your referee and reads out the rules. Hilariously when he asks both women if they understand the rules, some guy in the crowd goes "NO!"
Anyway, what starts is a lot of stalling, which includes a spot that involves Allison sneezing onto the Irish flag which is a bit too silly for a feud between two heated rivals and then we get to some technical wrestling, which has a lot of Sting vs Ric Flair pantomime selling, and Rebecca working the leg, which Danger sells expertly
The match really picks up when Rebecca starts sneaking punches, which causes Alison to punch Rebecca twice in a row in full view of the ref which makes her look dumb. Then we get some fun technical wrestling and some brawling on the outside which we can't see, including Rebecca's head being driven into the Irish flag which, again, is a bit too silly. The crowd really picks up when Allison burns her last rope break, which allows Becky to get a lot of heel character over, and Allison to fire up. Rebecca burns through her final rope breaks, but this doesn't really come into play as she just reverses a flying crossbody and wins without even putting her feet on the ropes.
I hate the fact that this match was above average at best. Because these two worked their hearts out, but weird comedy, weird selling at the beginning, weird pacing of the elements of the match coming into play, and an abrupt finish means that this match gets a score that might not be indicative of the work that was done.
Mercedes Martinez promo gets interrupted by Lacey - She wants Sara Del Ray, but Lacey gives he shit for wanting it, and challenges her to a tag match where the Minnesota Homewrecking Crew (great tag team name by the way) will wrestle Mercedes and a mystery partner. Lacey got major heel heat from me for denying me a match between those two and shitting on the idea of it. Sara shows up and wants to be Mercedes' partner.
Mercedes Martinez and Sara Del Ray vs The Minnesota Homewrecking Crew (Lacey and Rain) - 8.75/10
This is a good tag team match. Unfortunately Allison Danger comes back out for commentary, which I didn't like. She also teased a match between Knox and Hayes next volume, as well as Sara Del Ray against Nattie Neidhart!
The babyfaces have control early but using old school tag cheating, the Minnesota Homewrecking Crew take control. But, Sara fires back briefly , and you can tell she goes a level harder than everyone else. MHWC hit some very fluid double teams and cheat a lot. There's a false hot tag which always rules. Sara is stronger than most of the women, and also just gets how to do little things like a close 2 and a half count. Back cracker/lungblower combo on Mercedes once she tags in and I don't like her being on defense already. A miscue allows MHWC to pick up the win.
This was a great tag team match, in the grand scheme of things I like Mercedes barely getting offense in, gives her a bit of extra character development to work with.
Post-match - Mercedes angrily tells Sara she has her rematch now. This was AWESOME. Nobody turned heel, but Mercedes is pissed, and wants to settle it in the ring.
A recap of the Cheerleader Melissa/MsChif feud thus far - AMAZING. This must've been mind blowing at the time, but some of it, like MisChif being slammed onto concrete and the finish of their Falls Count anywhere match at Vol 4 is insane even now. The pull apart brawl at Vol 5 makes this match feel like it's bigger than SHIMMER itself.
Last Woman Standing
MsChif vs Cheerleader Melissa - 9/10
Now THIS is how a Last Man Standing match should start, just immediate, wild brawling. The two go back and forth on horrifying guard rail bumps.
One of the things I hate about young Prazak on commentary is that 90 percent of it is exposition about previous volumes, which is annoying in itself, but now he's giving us a play by play of all the spots they've done to each other. Now if they re-use any of those spots the mystique will be ruined.
Anyway, Cheerleader is an enigma to me, she wears glittery nighties to the ring but still hits like a truck. This the only match where the lack of lighting works, because it makes you feel like the wrestlers are going places they aren't meant to. Cheerleader bends MisChif back first over the chair and it's a spot Prazak listed, awesome buddy. And now there are lights. Thanks for making every other match with outside the ring brawling hard to see for no reason you guys. Prazak just explained the rules of an LMS twice now and now he's worse than Michael Cole. Prazak describes "a skateboard type thing, a wooden board with wheels on it" as being used during their Falls Count Anywhere match. That's a skateboard pal. Prazak is providing exposition for shit WE SAW IN THE VIDEO PACKAGE BEFORE. Last Man Standing Matches only work if the commentators use that time to describe how things hurt and Allison does that in spades after a Code Green. Now we see MsChif is the cool babyface where Melissa is the badass heel. MsChif gets bent nearly in half and no sells it, holy shit. Now they're punching and stomping the shit out of each other in the crowd. A chair assisted surfboard stretch looking thing looks cool. Chair assisted camel clutch also looks cool. More guardrail bendyness. I'm conflicted about this On one hand I like this because it plays into how the Falls Count Anywhere match ended, but on the other are submissions really conducive to the majority of a Last Man Standing match. Melissa goes for the Vertebreaker onto the chair but MisChif hits the Desecrater. Now it's MisChif's turn to get some shine. She hits Delirious' Panic Attack, which was a cool nod. Cheerleader takes control and hits a BRUTAL top rope Neckbreaker. MisChif hits a Desecrater on the chair for the win. Overall, this was a match of moves, but they were harder hitting than everyone else on the card. This certainly felt like a main event, and a GREAT match at that.
This is the first show I've ever done where I've felt bad about my review. I'm sure this stuff was amazing when it came out, but here in 2019 it just seems like a women's promotion that's trying too hard to do gimmick matches associated with male wrestling, when in reality only a few people (MisChif, Melissa, Haze, Nikita MHWC, Del Ray, Martinez, Danger, and to a lesser extent Kong and Knox) have their characters down and their fundamentals down. This is all done amid some mediocre production, and a TERRIBLE play-by-play man. I feel badly about this because maybe I'm the problem? Maybe I'm not the right guy to review SHIMMER? I'm going to give SHIMMER one more go with Volume 7, and if I still feel like I'm not doing SHIMMER justice, I'll stop.