SHIMMER Volume 20
SHIMMER Women Athletes
Reviewed by Joe Babinsack
Volume 20 of SHIMMER features two hard hitting main events, several top matchups, and features the efforts of Amazing Kong, Daffney and two strong Tag Team matches.
SHIMMER has a strong Tag Team division, with “The Canadian Ninjas” and “The International Home Wrecking Crew” not only great names but great wrestlers. Their opponents, respectively, are the newcomers Ashley Lane & Nevaeh, and the makeshift Canadian team of Allison Danger & Jennifer Blake.
Oh, yeah, there’s a title match involved with the Ninjas vs Lane & Nevaeh.
As always, SHIMMER puts wrestling on display with few distractions but plenty of promos and storyline development, solid talent and matchups that are always made meaningful. SHIMMER remains one of the few promotions that seems capable of building to future matches, and uses the slots on the card for purposes other than just putting a few talented wrestlers out there to take up time. It remains ironic that the women’s wrestling groups are usually the ones that keep the best traditions and formatting of wrestling alive these days.
SHIMMER’s approach features storyline recaps and explaining why the current matchup is important, and Dave Prazak remains one of the most underrated announcers around, even if a certain other promotion doesn’t seem to realize what it’s missing.
The early card features a strong injury angle with Allison Danger at the hands of the Canadian Ninjas, a priceless look on Danyah’s face when Amazing Kong is announced, and while there’s no slacking throughout the event, the very best of Volume 20 is at the top of the card.
LuFisto vs. Cheerleader Melissa shows what two talented Women Athletes can do in the ring, if professional wrestling is the essence of their effort, and not just posing or looking pretty. Cheerleader Melissa is now the SHIMMER World Champion, but at Volume 20, she was re-establishing herself back at the top of the food chain.
LuFisto is a dynamo in the ring. She’s on the shorter side, which plays out in the opening sequences in a quite amusing manner, but exudes a power that is impressive, as well as an Anime type of style that makes her doubly unique. Her hard-hitting, often daredevil style is more than just dangerous on a few levels, but she’s a wrestler that never gives less than a stellar performance.
What can be said about Melissa that hasn’t already been said many times?
There are few wrestlers around, of any gender, that can mix it up in a variety of styles and make it look so easy. While the name is always a bit cheesy, the action and workrate never fails. Whether working a more technical approach or trading chops, high impact maneuvers or surprising high risk spots with LuFisto, there’s an essence to Cheerleader Melissa’s work that cannot be denied.
Both ladies provide an amazing display of power, and putting together a match.
Neither this match, nor the next (let alone Amazing Kong earlier on the DVD) are for the dainty divas of the mainstream.
The headliner of Volume 20 is MsChif vs Mercedes Martinez, who I unabashedly say are two of my most favorite wrestlers around. (Yeah, and I waited years to review their match…. Go figure.)
MsChif is the well-deserving SHIMMER World Champion as of Volume 20, and Mercedes has been the WSU World Champion for some two years now, but likely not at the time of this match. Either of these ladies would provide a jarring physical mismatch to most of what we see on TV these days.
Both bring unique qualities to the ring: MsChif is very much a contortionist, intimidating in spite of her stature, and brings a devastating array of rapid attacks. Martinez is powerful, aggressive and well rounded.
The two, as should be expected, bring it at the very highest level of professional wrestling, especially in an era where Daniel Bryan and CM Punk are World Champions,
What was great about the match was the story-telling, with Martinez playing heel and MsChif playing solid Champion. While I don’t like to see this style or story in every match – two relatively equal talents battling to get their finisher applied – it played out very well here, with the requisite counters, build up and a few kick-outs and rope breaks to keep the drama alive.
It was a battle of skill, power and wills, and more importantly, allowed both ladies to display their approaches. By the end of the match, we saw Martinez’s power and MsChif’s flexibility worked in, we saw them take it to hard-hitting levels, we saw them take it out of the ring and work some spots that should be copied elsewhere.
Yes, there was the requisite “This is Awesome!” chant at the three quarter mark.
But it wasn’t mockery, banal or undeserving, and neither was the action in the ring.
It was, as expected, but then some, a top notch level of professional wrestling, and one that deserves more attention – in terms of this match and the ladies involved.
In an era where Daniel Bryan and CM Punk are World Champions, it’s kinda foolish that the best Women Athletes in the world aren’t working mainstream matches. But as long as MsChif, Mercedes Martinez, Cheerleader Melissa and Sara Del Rey are wrestling, true fans of the sport should be seeking them out and shattering expectations.