Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Shimmer Volume 46 Wrap Up Spectacular

HI I’M THE INTRO!

I’M CUTE AND AM LEADING YOU FURTHER INTO THE POST!

SHIMMER Volume 46
Courtney Rush vs. Sassy Stephie

Mrs. Cewsh: I really appreciated Stephie’s work as a midcard heel a few volumes ago, but I’m starting to feel like she’s not progressing. She either needs to be on more volumes and get a storyline, or she should be left off in favor of others. This “one match every 4 volumes” thing isn’t working.

CewshOkay, so remember how I said in the Volume 45 wrap up that I didn’t see much in Courtney Rush and didn’t enjoy her whole deal?  Yes, that doesn’t stop here.  Sassy Stephie does a fine job heeling up on her and letting Rush make a fine comeback, and the fans certainly respond to Rush.  But at this point, I just wasn’t feeling her yet.  Something was missing and it made her matches flat.  Add that to the fact that Sassy Stephie is a solid under card heel, but not exactly setting the world on fire, and this was a sort of a forgetful opener.

Courtney Rush Over Sassy Stephie Following An Olympic Slam.
Saraya vs. Veda Scott

Cewsh:  Oh poor, poor Veda.  What did you do to deserve this?  Did you call Danger’s baby fat?  Did you call Dave Prazak short?  Did you drink from the wrong cup in the Temple of the Holy Grail?

Veda comes out and is excited and perky and charming, right up until Saraya’s music hits (matches in Shimmer are rarely announced beforehand) at which point she cowers in the corner and begs the ring announcer to get her out of this.  The fans, in turn, promptly begin cheering “Please Don’t Die” at the top of their lungs.  This does not seem to cheer her up very much.  Neither does the malicious ass stomping Saraya subjects her to.  Before she even gets around to that, Saraya takes this chance to bat a fan’s drink out of their hands (and directly into my face), tear a flower a fan brought her to pieces with her teeth and then to scare a woman (the lovely Jennifer from RingBelles) in the front row so badly that she screamed, which only egged Saraya to attempt to jump the guard rail into the stands after her.  As the Saraya phenomenon takes place, I believe I must use science to illustrate the effect she is having on the crowd as the tapings progress.

Science Takes The Edge Off Of All Of That Pants Wetting.

As you can see, we started at very little at the beginning of the tapings, and after only one day we’re to the point where people are dodging out of her way when she comes towards them.

But how much worse can it really get?

Mrs. Cewsh: Veda is just the cutest. I never thought of the value of a wrestler who seems so scared of wrestling, but it’s endearing and funny and really put her over.

I will say no more on Saraya, lest she find me and terrorize me.

Veda Scott Over Saraya Following A Disqualification When Saraya Would Not Break A Submission Hold.
LuFisto vs. Nikki The NY Knockout

Cewsh:  Nikki is from New York.  She is very emphatic about this.  She is also about 6 feet tall, so this is really kind of a bummer for Lufi, who we’ll generously call 5 foot to make her feel better.  But Lufi is a double hard lady, and when Nikki grabs Pegaboo and declares that Lufi’s beloved manager hates her, that shit is on.

I Mean Seriously, Making It Seem Like Someone’s Doll Manager Hates Them By Using Ventriloquism Is Just Mean.

Unfortunately for New York, Montreal had its number this time.


LuFisto Over Nikki Following The Mangalizer.
Sara Del Rey vs. Leva Bates

Cewsh:  Leva Bates doesn’t really win matches.  She comes out, charms everyone in the room, gets horribly harmed by someone and then she leaves more over than she started.  This is a remarkably rare thing in pro wrestling, and it makes her one of the most valuable people on the roster.  Here she plays cannon fodder to set up for the start of a significant run of heelishness for Sara Del Rey.  I have to say that despite having heard of Danger’s tag team with Del Rey but having never seen them wrestle together, Danger nevertheless played the roll of the betrayed and furious ex tag team partner angry at what her partner became extremely well.  For her part, Del Rey played the cool and detached heel about as well as it possibly can be played, and they set up the tag match for tomorrow as a genuinely huge match right off the bat.

See, this is why you can’t always point the finger at booking or writing in professional wrestling.  The booking plan here was very simple.  Danger confronts Del Rey about her behavior and a tag match gets set up.  But the performances of Danger and Del Rey really take it to a different level.  While Saraya may be the most noteworthy story of the weekend, this feud steps up quickly into the number 2 spot.

Though the actual REASON for that is not what you might expect…

Sara Del Rey Over Leva Following The Royal Butterfly.
Ray and Leon vs. Mia Yim and Davina Rose



Cewsh:   I’m still kind of having trouble with the Mia Yim and Davina Rose team.  They’re a collective 0-117 in Shimmer and really seem to have nothing in common beyond what I would guess to be a desire to actually win a match from time to time.

If that is their goal, they never even had a chance against Ray and Leon, and they are getting ready for a tag title match against Hamada and Kurihara.  And ohhhhhhhhhhh boy is that going to be some shit to see and no mistake.

Mrs. Cewsh: Ray and Leon were really the stars of the weekend and this match is designed to highlight them. It was very smart to put the Joshi primarily with women who have previously worked in Japan. Mia does the heavy lifting for her team and it shows that her time overseas did her a lot of good.

Ray/Leon Over Mia Yim/Davina Rose Following A Swanton Bomb from Leon To Davina.
Portia Perez Hates You, Loves Money

Mrs. Cewsh: Promo from Portia Perez. She says she’s going to beat Melissa for the title. Saraya interrupts and says she’ll pay Portia double what she paid Nicole. This seems agreeable.

KC Spinelli vs. Kellie Skater

Mrs. Cewsh: As we said, Skater’s moving up from opening match and trying a little more seriousness. KC Spinelli Sparkled on the last shows, so she’s new to us.

Unfortunately, I didn’t love the match. Skater’s her usual entertaining self, but Spinelli seemed a little green and bland. I never felt like it clicked.

Cewsh:  I hate to be mean about any of the women in Shimmer, and I sort of feel like I already used up my allowance on Taylor Made.  But even with that said, KC Spinelli is just not working for me.  I have never seen a wrestler actively berate and guilt the fans in attendance to cheer for them before, and i’d sort of rather not see it again.


Skater Over Spinelli Following A Skate And Destroy.
Jessie McKay vs. MsChif

Mrs. Cewsh: MsChif, you are tremendous.

Awesome.

Cewsh:  Having this be a number one contender’s match makes a lot of sense, because these are two of the biggest fan favorites in the company, and people have been clamoring for both of them to get another title shot.  MsChif because she’s one of only 4 Shimmer champions and hasn’t pursued the gold much since coming back, and McKay because he incredible star making performance against Madison Eagles deserves an encore.

What also makes sense is that this was a tremendously fun match.  Because come on, how can you like watching these two do anything together?  I’d pay reasonable money just to see them have a picnic. 

Jessie McKay Over MsChif Following A Roll Up.
Sara Del Rey Has No Friends: Part 1

Mrs. Cewsh: Sara Del Rey is looking for a tag partner for tomorrow’s match with Re-X. Unfortunately, her first choice, Melissa, reminds her that she has a title belt to defend. And also she hates her. Courtney Rush pops up and volunteers, but Del Rey isn’t having it.

Nicole Matthews vs. Athena

Mrs. Cewsh: This is going to be remembered as the match where Andy Long had to feel up Athena’s butt.

It should be remembered as an excellent match that protects Nicole after her loss on the last volume and cements Athena as the kind of rising star who can hang with a number one contender.

But it’ll be remembered for the pockets.

Cewsh:  This was a good match, and really speaks well of these two fast rising stars.  But the match was almost secondary to the finish where Matthews has Athena’s feet on the top rope and executes the most vicious Roll of the Dice I’ve ever seen.  It’s a spot I’ve seen before, but never nearly that awesome.

Nicole Matthews Over Athena Following A Vancouver Maneuver.
Sara Del Rey Has No Friends: Part 2

Mrs. Cewsh: Sara Del Rey asks Nicole Matthews to be her partner but is turned down, as Matthews reminds her that she has a partner. Courtney Rush tries to volunteer again, but again Sara refuses.

Mercedes Martinez vs. Kana

Cewsh:  I don’t think I’m really rocking any boats here when I say that in recent tapings before the last ones, Mercedes Martinez had gotten a little stale as a character.  It was sort of the same act we’d seen from since day one and she wasn’t really progressing towards the title or doing much of anything, really.  But ever since turning heel of Athena, Martinez has experienced a 180 degree turn from stale.  Her character is fun, incredibly heelish and she even seems more energized by the change.  As a result her matches all weekend, including this one here, are just so damn good as Mercedes is disrespectful and good enough to back it up.

If there’s one thing I would say first and foremost for Shimmer, it is that they can take a character that you don’t care about, and completely turn that on it’s head and make you a fan overnight.  It has happened time (Athena) and time (Madison Eagles) and time (Daizee Haze) and time (Tenille) again.  And here with Martinez it has fully happened again, thanks in no small part to her busting her ass and making all of her matches this weekend show stealers.

Mrs. Cewsh: I’m  not sure I agree with Cewsh here. Martinez seems less vicious heel and more grumpy tweener. It doesn’t hurt the match, far from it, but I don’t think it’s a revolutionary character.

BUT!

Boys and girls, do you like chops? Do you like kicks? Do you like watching people get chopped and kicked as hard as possible until you’re pretty sure they will die? Of course, you say? Well  then have I got your MOTY.

My god, MY chest hurts just thinking about it.


Mercedes Martinez def. Kana via Fisherman’s Buster.
Sara Del Rey Has No Friends: Part 3

Cewsh:  LACEY!

Mrs. Cewsh: Sara Del Rey runs into Lacey outside and asks her to team with her. Lacey laughs  hysterically  and refuses. Courtney Rush shows up again and tricks Del Rey into being partners by preying on her well known love of gum.

Shimmer Tag Team Championships – Ayako Hamada and Ayumi Kurihara (c) vs. Hailey Hatred and Kalamity

Mrs. Cewsh: Loved this match. Both teams work well together, and even better, they work well with each other.

Cewsh:  I feel like it may be more efficient at this point to have “Ayako Hamada does not have bad matches” engraved on some kind of stone tablet.

Ayako Hamada And Ayumi Kurihara Over Kalamity and Hailey Hatred Following An Exploder Suplex From Kurihara To Kalamity.
Shimmer Championship – Cheerleader Melissa (c) vs. Portia Perez

Cewsh:  I’ll be honest.  As a main event match, this was probably the biggest disappointment of the weekend.  Portia Perez is an incredible character, has great presence and has great promo skills, but when it comes down to her wrestling someone the size of Melissa she has trouble establishing herself as a viable threat.  To compensate, this match quickly becomes a brawl all over the building.  This will probably be great and add infinitely to the match on DVD but from our seats we had no idea what was going on, so the crowd was a bit flat for it.  Once things got into the ring it was better and when Nicole Matthews ran in to help beat down Melissa at the end, the crowd was HOT over it.  They popped huge when Jessie ran down to save Melissa and then were very sad when Melissa rejected Jessie’s help.

Something I want to point out here is that they’re painting Cheerleader Melissa as a beleaguered champion who is being attacked from all sides and can’t even take a breather long enough to figure out what to do about it.  This is interesting because Melissa has been a fairly dominant babyface throughout her run, and nobody she faced this weekend is hugely threatening to her title in normal circumstances.  But as Saraya’s bounty adds and adds onto her shoulders, she starts to get beaten down and paranoid.

It’s very simple and very effective storytelling.  And it will pay dividends later.

Mrs. Cewsh

Cheerleader Melissa Over Portia Perez Following An Air Raid Crash.
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Shimmer Recap Conclusions:

Mrs. Cewsh: I can definitively recommend 4 matches on the card. For any other promotion, that would be astounding. For Shimmer, it’s one of the weaker shows. There aren’t really any bad matches, but several of them are worth writing home about.

What is worth writing is how absolutely amazingly funny Courtney Rush is. Her sense of comedic timing in the tag-partner skits is off the charts and she plays the eager, naive fan girl perfectly. She should really abandon the suplex machine gimmick and focus entirely on this skill.

Props to Del Rey too for staying completely in character for the whole thing, including on Twitter after the show and during intermission the next day. It just made it funnier.

Cewsh:  The theme of this night seemed to be oddly matched opponents.  While this made some matches fall a bit flat and others produce surprising results, ultimately this took on the feeling of a transitional show.  That’s hardly a bad thing (not every show can be Wrestlemania and this one was downright overflowing with story developments) and if anything it made me want to see the next show even more.  Which is good.  Because the next two shows may very well be the best in Shimmer history.  How you ask?

GOOD QUESTION.

I’m the conclusion!  I conclude things and then they’re over and you can go back to looking at cats!

The Shimmer Volume 45 Wrap Up Spectacular

Wrestling!  Yay!  Shimmer!  Yay!  Reviews!  Yay!  Saraya!  Boo!

Hello muffins.  For some people March is basketball, but around here March is for Shimmer.  And once again we are here to bring you our post taping coverage.  Who retained?  Who lost the belts?  And who is SHOCKINGLY photogenic?  All this and more to come from a weekend that contained the best that wrestling has to offer.  Tonight we’ll recap the very first Volume that was taped over the weekend (out of four) and all week long we’ll be recapping the other shows as Shimmer week rolls on.  Would we say we’re excited?  We’re more than just excited.  We’re My Little Pony excited.
 

Just Replace The Word “Winter” With The Word “Shimmer” And Let Your Brain Turn To Goo.
SPARKLE 
December vs. Angelus Layne

Cewsh:  I can definitely confirm that this match took place.  Anything else would simply be asking for too much.

Mrs. Cewsh:  December has Sparkled 2 or 3 times now and she’s not a bad opening talent but with her generic female indy heel gimmick (really? Vain is your gimmick?) I can’t ever see her moving up to the big show.

Miss December Over Angelus Layne Following A Rollup Wherein Tights Were Unjustly Pulled.
SHIMMER Volume 45
Courtney Rush vs. Rhia O’Reilly

Mrs. Cewsh:  O’Reilly Sparkled a couple shows back working a generic face gimmick.   Here she plays the heel to a much greater effect.  Great heel music, but the overall match was pretty forgettable.

Cewsh:  Let the record show that at this point in the shows, I saw nothing in Courtney Rush.  Like it genuinely bothered me that she seemed to have ripped her entire moveset off from Japanese wrestling tapes and I couldn’t see an original thought to her.  Of course, these things tend to change…
 

Courtney Rush Over Rhia O’Reilly Following An Olympic Slam.
Athena Promo

Cewsh:  Athena cuts a promo about how she wants to be taken seriously and about how she’s going to force Mercedes Martinez to take her seriously in their grudge match later tonight.  She then calls Mercedes a Hashtag Hussy, which was easily the top catchphrase of the weekend from fans in the crowd, who would randomly chant it during other people’s matches.

Mena Libra and Melanie Cruise vs. Veda Scott and Shazza McKenzie

Mrs. Cewsh:  Veda Scott is the last graduate of the Shimmer/ROH Wrestling School partnership.  She’s an IRL law student and looks like your favorite librarian.  Shazza McKenzie is another one of Madison Eagles’ Aussie students and looks like if Barbie and Veronica Mars had a baby.  Together they make the cutest cannon fodder you’ll ever find. 

Cewsh:  What is a Veda Scott and where can I get one?  They are adorable.

The most noteworthy thing here during this prolonged squash match is the dramatic improvement of Melanie Cruise.  After several tapings she really seems to be coming into her own in terms of presence and comfort in the ring, to the point where during the match I leaned over to Mrs. Cewsh and told her that Cruise is a surefire future Shimmer Champion.  It’s far off in the future, but the ground work is already being laid.

Mena Libra and Melanie Cruise Over Veda Scott and Shazza McKenzie Following A Top Rope Leg Drop from Cruise to Shazza.
Nicole Matthews Promo

Cewsh:  Nicole Matthews is outside and talking up her title match in the main event of this show against Cheerleader Melissa.  She is unshakably confident in her impeding victory, but that confidence lessens considerably when Saraya creeps up out of nowhere and declares that she has a business proposal for Matthews and will pay good money for her time.  They wander off together to plot diabolical things and this cannot be good for Melissa or anyone else for that matter.

Sara Del Rey vs. Leon

Mrs. Cewsh:  Having seen none of Leon’s previous work, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this match.  From her entrance to the final bell, Leon was one of the most high energy and impressive performers that I have ever seen. 

Pssh, Gravity? That’s For Losers.

Cewsh:  Absolutely right, and Sara Del Rey is the star maker.  And let the record show that this was the first match on this Volume to completely steal the show.  On virtually any other Volume it would be THE match that people walked away remembering.  Bear that in mind as we move forward.

Sara Del Rey Over Leon Following A Powerbomb.
 Mia Yim and Jessie McKay Promo


Mrs. Cewsh:  This was kind of a weird promo.  Both women were tripping over themselves to assure us how friendly the match was going to be.  It really made it seem like a heel turn was a possibility, but there wasn’t any resolution at the end. 

Saraya vs. Davina Rose

Mrs. Cewsh:  Davina Rose is Serena Deeb’s protege.  She had a big time storyline on the last 4 Volumes with Serena, but because Serena is on the injured list this time around she’s flying solo.  Having only seen her on Volume 41 I wasn’t sold on her.  Saraya Knight, however, I’m TOTALLY SOLD ON.  This is another extended squash match, as all of Saraya’s were this weekend with one notable exception.  Saraya comes out, Davina looks scared, Saraya beats the ever loving fuck out of her and it takes half the locker room to get her back to the back. 

Cewsh:  If you listen to not one single other word I saw in this wrap up, please listen to me now.  On this weekend in Berwyn, IL, Saraya Knight walked out through the curtain and became the top heel in American wrestling.  This may seem long a tall order for a 40 something British woman who has a kid in WWE Developmental, and who is less physically imposing than many of the referees, but this is no joke.

From the second Saraya entered the arena, things shifted in a major way.  All of a sudden she was taking swings at fans, and bullying them whenever she pleased.  Any attempts to antagonize her by tough guy fans twice her size was met with scathing wit that stung and full handed slaps that stung worse.  The fear she instilled in the crowd consisting entirely of smarks who knew better is nothing short of crazy, and hasn’t been seen in this country since the days of Brusier Brody and Abdullah the Butcher.

Think i’m exaggerating?  By the second show of the taping, the fans took to loudly chanting “Please Don’t Die” at anyone unlucky enough to get in the ring with her.  Right up until she would walk by, that is.  She squashed Davina Rose here, but the win was entirely secondary to the act.  And when ring announcer Joey Eastman gave her some lip, she slapped him so hard that he was still  flexing his jaw back into working motion at the after party.

This is some seriously next level shit, people.  This is a woman who makes grown men sit down with a glance.  And she’s been unleashed on Shimmer.  I hope I’m not underselling it when I say that this act is the most must see thing in Shimmer history.

Saraya Over Davina Rose Following A Modified Single Leg Boston Crab.
Kellie Skater Promo

Cewsh:  Skater is backstage and says that she’s sick and tired of being seen as a joke character and wants to prove herself against top international competition.  It’s interesting to see a more serious side to Skater as she shows here, and they’ve clearly decided that it’s time to move her past the opening match warm up comedy hour she has been excelling at for a good long while now.  It’s hard to say if it will work, but it’s worth a try.

Mia Yim vs. Jessie McKay

Mrs. Cewsh:  At the time, I remember thinking that this was a good match.  But here we are two days removed from the shows and I can’t remember anything about it.

Cewsh:  The trouble with so much wrestling in so short a time is that sometimes perfectly fine matches that aren’t overly memorable slip through the cracks and this is one of those.  It was just sort of there, and while Jessie McKay is, at this point, a charisma machine, there wasn’t anything here to write home about.

Jessie McKay Over Mia Yim Following A Boyfriend Stealer.
Madison Eagles Video

Mrs. Cewsh:  We cut to a video of Madison Eagles explaining how much she wishes she was here and how disappointed she is that her shoulder injury isn’t where it needs to be for her to compete.  It’s a pretty depressing promo, but she ends by promising that we will see her back in Shimmer someday.  I don’t think it’s the way that any of us wanted to see a great champion go out, and I know that I wish her a speedy recovery.

Cewsh:  And I wish her gummy bears.

Ray vs. Kellie Skater

Mrs. Cewsh:  Kellie Skater has been the definition of an opening match wrestler.  It’s a spot she’s good in, but not a spot you can stay in forever.  Here she’s fresh off a tour of Japan and facing our second new Joshi, Ray.  We were a bit more familiar with Ray than we were with Leon, since Ray worked in SMASH as Lin Bairon, but nothing could prepare us for seeing the high flyer in action.  Skater looks a little more serious and it works for her, pulling out some interesting moves and meshing well with the Japanese style.  I do think that she is need of a character revamp, though.  Either a face turn or a more vicious heel persona, because the fans often don’t know how to react to her current gimmick. 

Cewsh:  First of all, Ray was dazzling.  She was crisp, she was freakishly agile and she was a joy to watch that I never expected.  Skater did a good job grounding her and setting up for Ray’s big comeback, but this was a highlight match for Ray more than anything, and while Skater showed she can be a more serious heel effectively, this was Ray’s world, and the Rate Tank was just jobbing in it.

Ray Over Kellie Skater Following A Sky Twister Press.
Backstage interview with Cheerleader Melissa. 

Mrs. Cewsh:  Melissa’s appeal has never laid in her promo skills and this is a pretty standard attempt.  Nicole stole her moment from her (jumping Melissa after she won the Shimmer Championship on Volume 44) and now Melissa will make her pay.

Hailey Hatred and Kalamity vs. LuFisto and Kana

Mrs. Cewsh:  Three of the girls in this match are basically new to me.  I’ve previously seen one Kalamity match as a bonus match on a previous Shimmer volume and of course I’ve seen Kana on Youtube.  Both had previously impressed me and neither disappointed this time out.  With so many different languages being spoken in the locker room, miscommunication can be a big issue for the foreign girls (Kana speaks only Japanese, Kalamity speaks only French.), but I didn’t notice any issues here.

Excellent tag match that made good use of all four of its participants.  Kana and Hailey, especially, were a joy to watch together. 

Cewsh:  Kana and Hailey hatred are probably the two biggest names in Joshi wrestling right now.  Kana has taken the entire Joshi world by storm since her arrival in SMASH and Hailey hatred has just plain bulled over everyone in her path to win so many titles that it’s getting kind of ridiculous.  Having them wrestle here, as well as LuFisto and her protege Kalamity clashing, is a pretty big deal.  The match doesn’t try to make things too epic, as this is still just a midcard match, and in the end everyone has a good time and leaves more over than they started.  And while LuFisto appears to be in amazing shape now and seems more energized and excited that i’ve seen her in a decade or more, it’s the sheer star power of Kana and Hatred that steal the show.

They are next level talents and they act like it.

Hailey Hatred and Kalamity Over LuFisto and Kana Following A Running Powerbomb From Hatred To LuFisto.
Mercedes Martinez cuts a promo on Athena backstage.

Mrs. CewshThere were A LOT of promos on this show and this one kind of got lost.  Mercedes and Athena had a double turn starting on Volume 43 after Mercedes refused to restart their match after a double count out.  It culminated on Volume 44 when Martinez took a chair to Athena’s knee, possibly breaking her leg.  Tonight’s the rematch and Mercedes isn’t worried.

Portia Perez vs. Christina Von Eerie

Cewsh:  Portia Perez is not a nice person.

Here, Perez has a singles contest against Christina Von Eerie that doesn’t really have much purpose beyond getting two prominent roster members some screen time, but Portia Perez treats every match like it’s done something to personally wrong her, so she just goes ahead and ruins Von Eerie’s day.  She bullies the bigger woman around, messes up the trademark mohawk and finally ices her off with a superkick to cement herself as one of the top dogs in Shimmerland once again.  And she did it all with a scowl that could curdle milk.

Portia Perez Over Christina Von Eerie Following A Superkick.
Shimmer Tag Team Championships – Ayako Hamada and Ayumi Kurihara (c) vs. Regeneration X (Allison Danger and Leva Bates)


Mrs. Cewsh:  This was a cute match.  Re-X came down to the ring dressed as Rocky and Apollo Creed and if you follow Danger at all you’ll know it’s been her career goal to wrestle Hamada.  This results in a nice spot early on when Ayumi and Leva are in the ring, Leva goes for a tag and Danger asks Ayumi to tag in Hamada saying “Dream!  Dream!”.  Ayumi does and then Dangers asks Leva to take a picture on her phone of the two of them together.

Somehow, David Otunga Is In The Foreground Of This Phone Photo Too.

It ends with the ref taking a picture of all four of them posing before going on with the match. 

Cewsh:  Look, Ayako Hamada doesn’t have bad matches.  That’s not hyperbole, it’s actually just a thing that does not take place.  Even here, where the styles of the two teams really couldn’t conflict any more, the teams manage to put together a charming and fun match that got the crowd laughing and cheering along.

Ayumi Kurihara and Ayako Hamada Over Re-X To Retain The SHIMMER Tag Titles Following An AP Cross From Hamada To Danger.
Mercedes Martinez vs. Athena

Mrs. Cewsh:  This seemed like a great, heated grudge match, though it was hard to tell since we were on the opposite side of the ring from the action.  This really put over Athena and made her seem like a legitimate midcard star. 

Cewsh:  Star is right.  Before this match, Athena had been someone to watch, without a doubt, but in this one performance she went from a young lady with great potential and a long way to go, to an immediately upper midcard sensation knocking on the door of the main event.  Here she finally put it all together with the truly amazing finisher, the confidence, the intensity and the fire.  As a result, Mercedes was able to make her a star tonight.  The sky’s the limit.

Athena Over Mercedes Martinez Following An O-Face.
Shimmer Championship – Cheerleader Melissa (c) vs. Nicole Matthews

Mrs. Cewsh:  Nicole’s a great wrestler, but I feel like she still has a way to go before being seen as a real the threat to the title.  The previous match had been so hot, that fans were kind of quiet here and it did affect the enjoyment of the match.  It certainly wasn’t bad, and Portia’s interference did add some interest but it wasn’t really to my taste. 

Cewsh:  At the end of the match, Portia comes tearing ass down and destroys Melissa with the title belt, before standing victorious over the fallen champion.  Will this lead to the natural title match between the two?  Maaaaaaaybe…

Cheerleader Melissa Over Nicole Matthews To Retain The SHIMMER Title.

—————————————————-

Shimmer Volume 45 Wrap Up Conclusions:

Mrs. Cewsh: With the exception of the main event, I thought every match really worked.  At the end, I was left feeling that this was one of their strongest showings.  It set a lot of storylines in motion for the rest of the weekend and resolved any unanswered questions from the last tapings. 

Cewsh: Shimmer is great.  I’m not just saying that because I have been replaced by some kind of spam bot designed to respond positively to women slapping each other in the face.  Shimmer really, truly is the best wrestling promotion in North America.  Here they proved it in spades, by producing a show that had no less than 4 matches on it that would have stolen the show on any other indy card this year.  The main event was maybe a tad disappointing, but with the incredible array of main event talent at their disposal, they could afford to take a chance on Nicole Matthews and i’m glad they did.

You won’t hear me say a bad word about this show.  ME.  Not having a bad word to say!  Ordinarily that would just be horrible for business here at Cewsh Reviews, but I’m so happy from Shimmer that I can’t be buggered to care.

Shimmer!  YAY!

We hope you enjoyed our recap of the first of four Shimmer Volumes that took place over the weekend.  All this week we’ll be featuring our recaps of the other tapings, so stayed tuned for those, give Dave Prazak your money and while you keep reading, make sure to be good to one another.

Cewsh Interviews – Chris Masters

Good evening, boys and girls.  We have an incredibly special treat for you tonight, as we officially forgo our usual reviews and instead take an opportunity to interview one of the most interesting figures in wrestling this decade.  I could, of course, only be talking about the Masterpiece himself, Chris Masters!  Tonight, Chris takes time from his busy schedule to sit down with us to talk about his career, his future and what he thinks of sites just like this one.

Continue reading

The Life And Times Of Mildred Burke

Afternoon, boys and girls. I’ve gathered you here for a special purpose, and an entirely educational one, but I promise not to keep you too long so you can get back to your porn and your cat macros.  The topic today is one close to my heart as, in honor of Women’s History Month, we honor Mildred Burke, the greatest female draw in wrestling history and the mother of women’s wrestling worldwide.

 
Also An Alternative Transportation Enthusiast.

The funny thing is that you may not have heard of her, and you may never see any of her work, yet she is one of the most influential wrestlers to ever live and is almost solely responsible for women’s wrestling becoming a reality.  So who is this lady who grabbed the wrestling world by the balls and held on? As with so many stories like hers, it’s not about who she was. It’s about what.

When Mildred Burke was 18 years old, she was a waitress on an Indian Reservation in bumfuck New Mexico. To hear her tell it, she met a dashing man, looked around at the place, and said “Balls to this” and headed for the big city with him. Lucky for us she did, because that man introduced her to the world of professional wrestling and without this lucky stroke of fortune the wrestling world would be drastically different today. But i’m getting ahead of myself. Later on, despite being married with a child, Burke began dreaming of becoming a professional wrestler, being the sort of woman who vicious face beatings come naturally to. On a lark one day she went and introduced herself to a trainer by the name of Billy Wolfe and asked to train. Now remember, this was 1935. It wasn’t exactly a golden age of equality for women, so when Wolfe saw this chick barging into his place thinking she was as good as a man, he decided to fuck her over to teach her a lesson. He sent one of his boys to body slam her to show her what was what and make her run away crying. Instead, Burke promptly picked his brawny ass up and planted him down with a picture perfect body slam, conceivably one handed, and asked to be trained again. Wolfe agreed and then left to change his pants.

 She Had That Effect On People.

Thus began a partnership between the two that would lead to Wolfe and Burke traveling the country together and eventually getting married. Their marriage was a shambles of course, he was still a dickhead remember and a womanizing one at that, but from the partnership Burke began to become known as the premier female grappler of her day. She shoot wrestled over 200 men during this time and lost only once and held the Women’s championship all over the country, including becoming the very first NWA Women’s champion and held the Women’s World Championship for a whopping 17 GODDAMN YEARS. Thanks to her, an entire movement for women’s wrestling began to grow with her at its head, and for years it seemed like things couldn’t be better for her. Finally, though, her crazy terrible marriage took its toll and she sought a divorce from Wolfe. Unfortunately since this was 1952, getting a divorce from him meant that not only was she shunned as a pariah from many places that had welcomed her before, but Wolfe also got her kicked right the fuck out of the National Wrestling Alliance. After the NWA tried to convince her to be a good girl and get back together with her husband (at which point she allegedly sent them a picture of her middle finger) it was agreed that Wolfe would sell Burke the company she had gotten going, and would not run his own promotion in competition to her for at least 5 years.

He waited about 5 seconds.

Wolfe then began offering Burke’s wrestlers 75% of the house to come and work for him, which was a totally ridiculous amount devised clearly only to bankrupt Burke. It worked. When she tried to convince the NWA to choose her and her money drawing over the guy twiddling his mustache like Snidley Whiplash in the corner, she was promptly told to no woman was allowed to be present at an NWA conference and forced her to wait in the lobby. They ruled that no woman could own a wrestling promotion and gave everything to Wolfe, and then theoretically went home and kicked puppies and stole candy from babies and  performed other acts of cartoonish evil.

Then, in a scene so ridiculously pro wrestling that its hard to believe it really happened, Burke wrestled Wolfe’s daughter in law Julie Byers for the title in a shoot fight that Wolfe rigged with a corrupt referee.

Burke Took This Pretty Well, All Things Considered.

Burke lost the first fall, and then chaos ensued during the second so that no actual end to the match ever happened. Wolfe ran and told the NWA that Byers won, though, so they crowned her their new NWA Women’s champion, and continue to to this day. Burke, though, believed that she was still the champion and took her actual title belt to her newly founded World Women’s Wrestling Association. She defended the title there until she retired in 1956, and then through her tireless efforts to promote women’s wrestling worldwide, it became the official championship of AJW. Otherwise known as the promotion where women like Jaguar Yokota, Akira Hokuto, Manami Toyota and Aja Kong plied their trade and their incredible achievements would never have been possible had not Burke brought the concept to their country and personally endorsed it every step of the way.

In the twilight years of her career, Burke trained wrestlers, and had a hand in the development of everyone from the Fabulous Moolah (who was her protege) to Bertha Faye. To this day, her name remains virtually blacklisted from the history books thanks to a lifelong smear campaign by her husband and the National Wrestling Alliance never acknowledged her accomplishments at any point after the split. But Burke couldn’t be bothered to give two shits. No matter what obstacles people put in her way, she still managed to be the mother of women’s wrestling worldwide, and perhaps one of the most influential wrestlers to ever live. And her influence lives on today.

Oh, and Billy Wolfe died horribly of pneumonia over in 1963. Burke would go on to outlive him by 26 years. So you know, happy endings and that.

We hope you enjoyed this spotlight on one of the most overlooked pioneers and draws in wrestling history.  She wasn’t special because she was a woman.  She was a woman who was motherfucking special.  We would love to hear about other women throughout wrestling history who have inspired you and who you don’t feel have gotten their due, and if nothing else, hopefully this gets you thinking about how incredibly far we’ve come and how far we still yet have to go.