April 5 2019
We did a quick check to see who’d wrestled the most over Mania weekend (It was LAX/Lucha Bros with nine matches each). I’m not intrigued to see which women’s wrestler got the most bookings. I have to think it was Kris Stadtlander with six. Every other contender I can think of has five; Shotzi Blackheart, Shazza McKenzie, Solo Darling etc.
Nicole Savoy (c) vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto
Starting with the main event is pretty ballsy but a few shows have done that this weekend. I love both these women. I think Savoy is criminally underrated and Matsumoto is the Japanese wrestler who seems to constantly get overlooked when people are talking about the best from Japan. Hiroyo is having a great time. Yelling “I’m Godzilla” and beating Nicole up and yelling “New York” and posing. It’s her happy time.
Matsumoto’s big forearm in this in murderous. I love it. They have some tidy false finishes and this match really delivers as an opener until a big hesitation fuck up near the finish. It looks like Savoy forgot where she was. They re-find their rhythm and the dragon suplex finishes for Savoy, although Matsumoto kicked out. Savoy looks hurt and she has a chat with the ref for some time after the bell. It looks like a back fist knocked her silly. Great officiating from Aubrey Edwards to make sure she was ok. Mixed bag here. If they’re nailed everything this was heading places, let me tell you. Great character work and everything was landing until Savoy got into trouble.
Final Rating: ***1/4
Veda Scott vs. Allie Recks vs. Brandi Lauren vs. Hyan vs. Shotzi Blackheart vs. Indi Hartwell vs. Brittany Blake vs. Leva Bates
Leva Bates is out here cosplaying as Britney Spears from one of her music videos.
Shotzi Blackheart is the most over women in this. There are way too many women involved and some of them are not experienced enough for a match with so much complexity involved. Like Hyan, Brittany Blake and Leva Bates. When Shotzi leaves after the opening sequences the match falls off a cliff. Ideally this should have had a far less competitors. Hyan making a mess of the 450 Splash on the finish is a perfect example of this. It leaves Allie Recks for dead.
Final Rating: *
Allysin Kay vs. Kris Stadtlander
Stadtlander is only halfway through her weekend here. She has three matches on the Saturday. Allysin typically doesn’t lose but she’s on her way to defend the SHINE belt against Miyu Yamashita on the Mercury Rising show after this.
She’s pre-emptively pissed off. This is a very heel-ish performance from her and it gives Kris somewhere to work from. The match is a little bit untidy unless they stick to the basics. It’s a Catch 22. If you try for harder spots you’re more likely to get them wrong but then you’ll never improve. Pretty much every difficult spot in this looks bad but if they don’t even attempt it the match would be dull. Spinning lariat finishes for Allysin Kay and this was well received but the mistakes glared out at me.
Final Rating: **1/4
Su Yung vs. Shazza McKenzie
Su comes in with the theatrics and Shazza just takes her to the mat and outwrestles her. By comparison Su is absolutely murderous. She sets Shazza up on a chair at ringside and sentons onto her for kicks. I’m genuinely worried that Shazza has broken something. The Hanging Neckbreaker Stunner is fucking incredible too. I love it. It’s weird because they’re so tentative at times and then murder occurs. Basically the strikes are super safe and the spots are scary. They brawl up top a bit and then the Shazztastic Stunner takes care of the Bloody Undead Bride. Good match but the strikes were an issue throughout.
Final Rating: ***
SHIMMER Tag Team Championship
Cheerleader Melissa & Mercedes Martinez (c) vs. Holidead & Thunder Rosa
Twisted Sisters are in their purple gear. I don’t know if that’s good luck gear for them but they were wearing red when they lost at the Penis Party.
I have a complex relationship with Mercedes. I respect what she’s done and how many guys she’s trained but at the same time I feel that the business has moved a little. Cheerleader Melissa is very similar. When she came through there wasn’t a lot of talent on the indie women’s divisions. Now the level has improved. That said they’re veterans in a world that doesn’t have a lot of those so they fulfill a role. Especially Mercedes who can control the pace of a match and get people more over. Melissa has been good in Lucha Underground but somehow less impressive on the indies. If I’m one of Twisted Sisters, I don’t want to take that tag team powerbomb because it’s fucking ugly. There’s another horrific botch afterwards that’s supposed to be a Code Red and I’m not pretending it’s well executed. In fact most of this match isn’t well executed, which is not what you want from veterans. Melissa is particularly culpable. The finish; a Curb Stomp off the top, is the best move of the entire match so at least that’s a positive.
Final Rating: *3/4
Tessa Blanchard vs. Britt Baker
Britt is signed to AEW. I’m shocked that Tessa isn’t. Maybe she’s too difficult to deal with. I know she’s with Impact at the moment but that feels like a third place achievement right now. Congratulations; you’re the bronziest wrestler in this match. Tessa looks aggressive here, clearly on top in the action and putting AEW in their fucking place. If she starts screaming “fuck you Cody” while hooking rest holds we’ll know what’s up.
This match does way better with the strikes. Both of them look mean and purposeful. That’s not consistently so and there are a few comical failures. Baker going after a lucha rope running spot and forgetting (or just missing) the ropes altogether.
Tessa does some great character work here too. She looks frustrated about not winning but she hides it from Britt. All Britt ever sees is the focus and anger. She never sees the frustration. Tessa kills her with a sit out powerbomb and the receipt is a slightly botchy driver. To be fair; they are killing each other for my amusement. If only the little spots weren’t so silly. Like Tessa rolling Britt into the ropes for a pin, where the ropes break it up. Of course she grabbed the rope; you rolled her into it! Comms here is hilarious. Every time someone hits, or tries to hit, a Canadian Destroyer he yells “Code Red”. They definitely over egg the pudding here with way too many big moves and spots. Sometimes less is more and they do a fine job of driving the match through hate. It doesn’t need a bunch of big bombs before Tessa finishes with the Buzzsaw DDT. Definitely the best match on the show so far though.
Final Rating: ***1/2
Steph De Lander, Jessica Troy, Charli Evans & Zoe Lucas vs. Kris Wolf, Solo Darling, Ashley Vox & Delmi Exo
This is Kris Wolf’s last match in SHIMMER before retiring this year. I miss her already. Her entrance fills me with so much joy. I’m thrilled I had the chance to see her wrestle live at EVE last year.
Kris recovers Tito from Charli Evans and that’s one of the biggest babyface occurrences of the year. I’ve not seen Ashley Vox for a while and my word, she’s gotten good! She is four-five years into her career and this the point where if you’re going to get good you do. Pleased to say she’s made it. It’s telling she eats the heat segment here. Once we get into the later stages the match is all about Wolf and they keep refusing to acknowledge it. It doesn’t surprise me because Wolf is so giving as a wrestler but the need for an overall fun time takes away from the beautiful human being that Wolf is. Meteora finishes for Wolf and she’s done. I’m not crying. My eyes are just very damp today.
Final Rating: ***1/4
Heart of SHIMMER Championship
Dust (c) vs. Samantha Heights
Dust, also known as “Zoey Skye”, is actually a 12 year veteran. I first saw her last year and was very impressed. She wasn’t on the Mania weekend show last year but won this belt shortly afterwards. Heights hits a fucking insane dive over the rail in the early going. That shows how determined she is. They follow that with a horrible looking botch on the floor. I assume it was a powerbomb but that doesn’t happen so Dust double stomps Sam off the apron. That’s one bad spot sandwiched between two awesome ones. Hell of a start. Heights doesn’t give a fuck in this match. Her dives are reckless, in a good way, and she goes all out. It’s not a perfect match, far from it, but I always appreciate people pushing themselves to be better. The timing could probably use work and Heights misses a few times and it’s not even close. Dust looks the more composed of the two, which is helpful as she’s heel and controls the pace. A lot of things go wrong and not least of all is the finish. I’m not sure even what it’s supposed to be. So on one hand there’s a lot of effort and I applaud that but on the other this was a mess.
Final Rating: **1/4
On the plus side we end the show with “Any Way You Want It” by Journey because Samantha Heights has terrific choice of entrance music. All the best of luck to her in the future.
This was a good show but WWE have been recruiting heavily from the North American scene to build its women’s division and there’s also been competition from elsewhere. This also ran the same day as Stardom so there was no chance of talent sharing. That said there were some fine performances here (Tessa/Britt Baker the stand out) and the send off for Kris Wolf was lovely. I’m still not convinced that I’ve ever seen a home-run SHIMMER show but they’re solid and I was never bored here.