HI I’M THE INTRO!
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.
Cewsh: Okay, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
Mrs. Cewsh: MsChif, you are tremendous.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: ↑
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?
I’m the conclusion! I conclude things and then they’re over and you can go back to looking at cats!