This is breaking the streak of my birthday DVDs a little but there’s a very good reason. The main one being this comes chronologically before the last DVD I got for my birthday. But another reason is that this is probably my favourite SHIMMER event out of the ones I’ve seen and it was only the second one I ever saw. I think that the company has really come into a good position with this set of tapings and they’ve gone in a great direction since. So this is the final Volume taped at this particular weekend and we are “live” from the Berwyn Eagles club as always.
The card is as follows:
*Kellie Skater vs Taylor Made
*Christina Von Eerie vs Mercedes Martinez
*Melanie Cruise vs MsChif
*Athena vs Jessie McKay
*The Knight Dynasty w/Rebecca Knox vs Re-Generation X
*Sara Del Rey vs Jessica James
*Cheerleader Melissa vs LuFisto vs Serena Deeb vs Portia Perez (4-Corner Survival)
*Ayumi Kurihara vs Nicole Matthews
*Seven Star Sisters* vs Daizee Haze & Tomoka Nakagawa (SHIMMER Tag Team Championships)
*Madison Eagles* vs Ayako Hamada (SHIMMER Championship)
Kellie Skater vs Taylor Made
Kellie Skater swaggers out with a protein shake and even more personality than was shown on Volume 30. She trash talks the crowd and they jeer “steroids!” at her (much to her displeasure). Taylor Made these days is known as one half of a duo called Made In Sin with Allysin Kay. However here she has no discernible character other than having blonde streaks at the front of her hair. Kellie is as obnoxious as ever and mocks her opponent by waving her biceps in her face. Nothing of note happens in the match until Kellie takes a powder outside, doing a few squats and sipping the protein shake for good measure. She does the standard heel shtick when she gets back into the ring and, again, it’s nothing of note. The Rate Tank has Taylor in a fireman’s carry and does some squats again. She hits a Samoan Drop but Taylor rolls through into a crucifix pin for two. After a bit of a comeback, Taylor hits a running stunner but only gets two. Kellie then scores the win with a Throwback. Not much to talk about here; the match was simply there and got two people on the card. Kellie kept things interesting with all her mannerisms but she was bogged down by having such a bland opponent. Taylor is pretty and she at least involved the crowd but she’s a much better heel. The match was well-wrestled but not exactly top of the re-watch list.
Winner: Kellie Skater via a Throwback. 6/10
Mercedes Martinez vs Christina Von Eerie
The crowd really comes alive as Christina Von Eerie makes her way to the ring and she lets Joey Eastman wear her sunglasses and denim jacket (“Joey Eastman looks ridiculous” – Portia Perez). I really come alive as I hear Mercedes Martinez coming out to “Live At Jimmy’s” and I’m compelled to do my spastic robot salsa dancing. Mercedes and Christina have a cutesy little moment where Mercedes wonders if she can spike her hair too. It serves to let us know this will be a friendly encounter. The match has a very smooth technical opening that’s nice and fast-paced. Christina goes for a few early pinfall attempts but Mercedes takes control with a sick big boot. The match gets a little less friendly as Mercedes plays with Christina’s hair and starts the slapping and chopping. And she does it all with a big Cheshire Cat smile on her face. Christina comes back with a headscissors and monkey flip, but misses an enziguri. Mercedes takes advantage and locks in a Regal Stretch. After some more slaps from the Latina Sensation, she snapmares Christina off the top rope for two. She then locks in her trademark butterfly submission. Christina escapes by headbutting Mercedes (not sure if that’s legal) and whacking her with a step-up enziguri. She climbs up top and lands a crossbody for two. She sets Mercedes up for a Pedigree but Mercedes counters with a back drop. She then hits the Fisherman Buster and celebrates her win by fixing Christina’s hair and salsa dancing with the ref. Now this is one of my favourite SHIMMER matches. As I seem to say every time, Mercedes was voted #2 on the 2011 PWI Female 50 for good reason. She can work with just about anyone and produce a stellar match. Christina took the beating, sold her ass off and delivered offence of her own that looked very solid. Adding to the quality of the match was how over both women were. Also the commentary was hilarious; Dave Prazak and Portia Perez first discussed whether or not CVE’s hair counted as a foreign object, what should go into the hypothetical SHIMMER rule book and what moves Portia felt should be illegal. Yeah this is the match that turned me into a SHIMMER mark.
Winner: Mercedes Martinez via Fisherman Buster. 7.5/10
Melanie Cruise vs MsChif
Melanie Cruise is on her own with no sign of Annie Social tonight (she also looks like Cheerleader Melissa’s sister but that’s not important right now). Surprising to see MsChif on so early in the evening but that doesn’t mean I’m any less glad to see her. She’s not glad that the ref tries to check her and screams accordingly. Melanie chops right away and brings MsChif to her knees, really showing her nasty streak. Turning her back is a mistake however as she walks into a series of Kobashi-type chops and headbutts from MsChif. MsChif looks like she’s going for The Desecrator but changes tack and hits a beautiful headscissors. She tries to clothesline her opponent and the sixth attempt takes Melanie off her feet. Melanie gets back up however and resumes dominating the former SHIMMER Champion. MsChif ties up Melanie’s legs and tries to lock her in a Figure 4 but changes it up into a pin attempt instead. Melanie cloverleafs the legs and tries to bend MsChif up but she gets to the ropes pretty quickly. MsChif counters a slam attempt into the Gateway To Anihilation but Melanie is right back on her feet to cut her off. She counters The Desecrator and plants MsChif with a spinning side slam. MsChif manages to kick out and goes for a sunset flip. Melanie blocks it and sets her up for a chokeslam. MsChif blocks and connects with The Desecrator for victory. Can I say what a treat it is to see MsChif wrestle? The woman has such a unique style and character that I almost wish she could have been SHIMMER Champion forever. And Melanie Cruise manages to show that she is not just a lumbering giant. She really impressed me in this match. It wasn’t as fun as the previous bout but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t solid. Good job from both participants, especially Melanie Cruise.
Winner: MsChif via The Desecrator. 7/10
Jessie McKay vs Athena
Athena really has to try her best to ignore the applause the fans are giving her, showing how unsuited to being a heel she is. Jessie McKay meanwhile looks as if butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth as usual. She literally does a full circle around the ring and high fives every row of fans. The crowd are very excited for this match as well. Athena is convinced that it’s impossible for Jessie to outwrestle her so that when she does, she believes EFG must be hiding a foreign object. A really nice technical sequence opens this match. Really good chemistry between these two. The fans even shout “wrestling, yay!” as Athena slaps on front facelock. She properly takes control as she hits Randy Orton’s backbreaker from the corner. Jessie tries to block a chicken wing attempt and arm drags Athena to escape. Athena targets Jessie’s back and torques her leg as well. Athena hits a COD slam but that only gets her two. Jessie gets a hurricanrana with help from the ropes and then hits a side facebuster. She floors Athena with the Schoolgirl Crush but the Wrestling Goddess kicks out. Athena counters the Boyfriend Stealer and hits the Ultimate Back Slash. Now that’s an impressive move. The commentators really sell how big a deal it is for Jessie to kick out of it. Athena’s not done yet and she hits the O-Face, the force of which sends Jessie out of the ring. Athena has taken too long before going for a cover so Jessie kicks out. Everybody’s Favourite Girlfriend hits a northern lights bomb followed by the Boyfriend Stealer for the win. Simply amazing and beautiful match; Jessie McKay is not only beautiful and charismatic, she is able to put on great matches with just about anyone. Athena was impressive too but perhaps too much so. She was getting chants from the crowd and absolutely failing to maintain her heel status. No wonder the bookers had her turn face two volumes later.
Winner: Jessie McKay via Boyfriend Stealer. 8.5/10
Saraya & Britani Knight w/Rebecca Knox vs Allison Danger & Leva Bates
We see a replay of a backstage segment from Volume 39 where Rebecca Knox, Saraya and Britani Knight attacked Leva Bates backstage. This means it’s time for The Knight Dynasty to make their way to the ring in a manner reminiscent of the Insane Clown Posse. Seriously, they act like they’ve been given the Joker’s laughing gas. Re-Generation X meanwhile are all business as they run through the curtain and don’t give us time to appreciate their Kick Ass inspired outfits. Leva Bates hits Britani with an enziguri straight away but Britani pulls her outside and hurls her into the crowd barricade. Saraya and Allison Danger go at it as Saraya keeps a key lock on Danger’s arm. Danger attempts to escape with a flying headscissors but Saraya keeps the lock on. Danger is able to escape by flipping at the ropes but Saraya cuts her off. Britani and Leva in now and a double arm sweep from RGX. Leva attempts a Litacanrana but Britani catches her and drops her with an Alley-Oop. Saraya tags in but Leva catches her off guard with a springboard arm drag. Leva keeps the offence coming with a nice backflip off the top rope and a crossbody. The Knights regain control however and really go to town on Ms Bates with some incredibly stiff offence. Leva catches Britani in a headscissors but a second one is blocked and turned into a sidewalk slam. Leva eventually gets the hot tag, and Danger STOs Britani and powerslams Saraya. Britani goes for a dropkick in the corner but Leva illegally enters the ring and blindsides her with a clothesline. She then hits a great move on both the Knights – a simultaneous snapmare-headscissors combo. Meanwhile Danger goes to suplex Britani but Rebecca Knox trips her up and holds her feet down to give the Knights the win. Leva doesn’t let them walk away and body blocks mother and daughter from the top rope as they’re leaving. Danger throws Rebecca into the ring and plants her with the Lovelace Choker. Well this one was a bit more of a brawl than a standard tag match and I didn’t like it on the first viewing. It came across much better on the second viewing however; Leva worked most of the match by herself, looking very solid out there with the two veterans. This was my first introduction to Britani/Paige and I definitely prefer her current badass character to the clownish heel she plays here. The Paige character seems to be a much better fit in terms of being natural. I’d also say this was the stiffest match of the night; you could really feel the animosity between all five of these women, which I mean in a good way.
Winners: Saraya & Britani Knight via shenanigans. 7/10
Sara Del Rey vs Jessica James
We’re treated to the sight of the Queenly Wave as Sara Del Rey comes down to the ring. Jessica James is her usual “headlining Red Bull and crystal meth” perky self but looks terrified at who she’s facing. Someone in the crowd even shouts out “please don’t break her in half”. After the introductions, there’s also a “please don’t die” chant. The fans obviously don’t expect Jessica to last that long. Del Rey punks Jessica by raising her hand…to do the Queenly Wave. The opening moments of this are a cat-and-mouse game between the two until Jessica manages to score an arm drag takedown. Del Rey doesn’t hold back and immediately traps Jessica in a surfboard, really bending her practically in half. Del Rey continues to punish her opponent and it’s a little disturbing to watch. She even grabs Jessica’s hand and forces her to do the Queenly Wave. She uses the other hand to scrape Jessica’s face. What comes next isn’t pleasant as Jessica gets locked in a Gory Special which eventually transitions into an inverted dragon sleeper from that very position. Melina Perez would be proud. Jessica manages to escape and get a small package but Del Rey regains control with a kick to the face. Del Rey refuses to go for pins; instead she just enjoys inflicting more punishment on poor little Jessica. However as Del Rey goes for a powerbomb, Jessica manages to escape and hit an enziguri. She’s found a formula that works as she takes Del Rey off her feet with more kicks. She then locks into a front guillotine. Del Rey tries to free herself by slamming Jessica against the turnbuckle, but the hold stays locked in. Del Rey is on her knees and tries to slam Jessica…but wait! The hold stays on! The crowd are calling for Del Rey to tap and Jessica is screaming with intensity. Del Rey suddenly reverses into the Royal Butterfly for the win. She sells the damage to her throat as she goes backstage. Meanwhile, as Jessica regains consciousness, she finds the crowd chanting her name. They’re obviously hugely impressed, as am I. This has shades of Nikki Roxx battling Amazing Kong and virtually every other David vs Goliath wrestling match in history. There wasn’t that much offence coming from Jessica but that was remedied with the guillotine spot at the end. That was probably the most exciting part of the match and Jessica makes a fantastic underdog. She works much better as a singles wrestler and I’d like to see more of her on the indies. I was impressed with how she didn’t just resort to typical lucha type moves as would normally be the case here. She thought outside the box and pulled out different hit-and-run tactics than you’d normally see. It’s a shame SHIMMER doesn’t have a division for cruiserweight wrestlers where the likes of Jessica and others could have a title to fight for.
Winner: Sara Del Rey via Royal Butterfly. 7.5/10
Serena Deeb vs LuFisto vs Cheerleader Melissa vs Portia Perez
There’s a replay of the controversial finish to the Serena/Portia Perez match from Volume 39. We have a 4-Corner Survival match now where the rules are only two wrestlers may be in the ring at a time. The others must tag in and out. Portia Perez is the only heel here and she is getting incredible heat. The fans chant “die, Portia, die!” over and over. Perez starts off with LuFisto in a classic test of strength. Perez grabs her opponent by the hair and slams her down. LuFisto goes straight to a leg lock which Perez counters into a short-arm scissors. LuFisto turns that around into a camel clutch with the legs grapevined. LuFisto is on fire with flying forearms and a flipping senton. She tags Serena in and Perez scampers away to tag Melissa. Perez high tails it to the curtain, wanting no part of Serena. This is meanwhile apparently the first time Serena and Melissa have ever wrestled each other. The crowd is very divided, with duelling “let’s go Serena/Melissa” chants. Melissa goes after Serena’s arm in a really nice wrestling sequence and Serena comes back with a monkey flip. Serena goes after Melissa’s neck, doing her best to keep a headlock on. Melissa uses the middle rope to help herself escape with a back suplex. Melissa then gets Serena into a hold called the Kondo Clutch and it looks very effective. Serena blocks a hip toss and gets Melissa with a short-arm clothesline. LuFisto tags in and goes after Serena’s back. Butterfly suplex from the Super Hardcore Anime, followed by a camel clutch. Serena gets a bit of offence back with arm drags and dropkicks but LuFisto dodges the last one. It’s time for a good old-fashioned chop off between the two women, LuFisto eventually sending Serena flying into the ring post. Perez takes the time to attack Serena on the outside and do more damage to her injured arm. Melissa and LuFisto fend her off before she can do any more though. Perez tags into the match and can now legally go after the arm. Melissa and LuFisto continue to break up Perez’s pin and submission attempts, clearly not wanting her to get away with anything. Serena tags LuFisto who immediately punishes Perez with some Kobashi chops. For some reason, Melissa enters the ring and starts brawling with LuFisto. Serena makes a blind tag which allows Melissa and LuFisto to take their fight to the outside and go backstage. Perez realises she’s alone with Serena and the former Diva gets revenge with a series of atomic drops. She lays Perez out with a huge spear for three. But the referee did not see that Perez had her foot on the bottom rope. Nonetheless Serena is still the winner. This match didn’t really make a lot of sense and was really just there. It was well wrestled and told a good story but it went too long and served no purpose. If they wanted to promote Serena and Perez’s rivalry, a tag match would have worked better. Serena and Melissa vs the Ninjas and they could have had LuFisto face Ayumi Kurihara. I enjoyed the ring work but overall the match was just too long for me to enjoy. Nice work between Serena and LuFisto though.
Winner: Serena Deeb via spear (on Portia Perez). 6/10
Ayumi Kurihara vs Nicole Matthews
The first of our Joshi-involvement matches is up now and it’s a traditional face vs heel bout. I really like Ayumi Kurihara and she’s one of my favourite Joshi talents. She’s very over with the crowd, as is Nicole Matthews. We start off with a test of strength which quickly moves into a really nice chain wrestling sequence. Nicole Matthews is surprising me. What doesn’t surprise me is that Nicole quickly resorts to classic dirty tactics. She doesn’t hold back either and is able to match Ayumi’s style. Has she wrestled in Japan before? Nicole appears to be going after Ayumi’s arm with a grounded abdominal stretch. Ayumi smashes her knees right into Nicole’s face twice before climbing to the top rope. She locks Nicole into an illegal arm bar over the ropes and is forced to break before five. She then locks in what looks like an Anaconda Vice but I’m not exactly sure. Nicole gets to the ropes anyway and connects with a German suplex for two. Nicole up top now but Ayumi meets her with a clothesline on the way down. Ayumi then blasts Nicole with an absolutely sick missile dropkick and attempts the Uranage. Nicole blocks it and hits the ropes but is met by Ayumi’s knee to her face. Nicole comes back with a brainbuster that only gets a two count (which she is NOT happy about). She sets Ayumi up for the Vancouver Manoeuvre but Ayumi blocks it and is able to hit the Uranage this time for three. Lovely match which of course is to be expected. Ayumi didn’t feel simplified or watered down working with Nicole Matthews and the match was one of the better ones that evening. Ayumi does great missile dropkicks and I just love watching her hit that Uranage.
Winner: Ayumi Kurihara via Uranage. 7.5/10
Daizee Haze & Tomoka Nakagawa vs Misaki Ohata & Hiroyo Matsumoto
The Tag Team titles match is up now and the heels appear to have gone shopping with MsChif for their gear. Can I say that I just love 3S as a team and wish they’d wrestle as a tag team more often at SHIMMER events. What follows is in fact one of the best matches I’ve ever seen. Seriously, not just at a SHIMMER event. I’m talking one of the best matches I’ve seen period. Hiroyo Matsumoto and Daizee Haze start off and I really don’t need to describe what happens. It’s amazing wrestling and I love watching it happen. Nakagawa tags in but bypasses Matsumoto’s test of strength and just kicks her down below. 3S do a series of three double teams. First an assisted dropkick, secondly a splash-leg drop combo and thirdly Matsumoto gutbusters Ohata onto Nakagawa. Ohata then unleashes a flurry of dropkicks on Nakagawa. Amazing stuff. Matsumoto tags back in now and goes to town with chops before tagging Ohata back. She locks in an arm bar but Daizee immediately enters to break it up by spitting water into the eyes of Ohata. The Haze goes to work on Ohata’s arm and really dishes out some stiff punches. Nakagawa prevents Ohata from making the tag and the heels continue to isolate her. Ohata is able to trap Nakagawa in a cross arm breaker but she gets to the ropes and Daizee trips Ohata. Matsumoto attempts to help out but Nakagawa sends her flying over the top rope. Nakagawa does a little handspring into a low dropkick and the heels are really punishing Ohata. She finds that a few pin attempts do the trick in keeping Nakagawa at bay and is able to hot tag Matsumoto. She hits a crossbody on both her opponents and we then see another amazing 3S double team; with Daizee on her back, Matsumoto catches Ohata and the two of them drop onto Nakagawa. They’re not done yet and Ohata lands a splash onto Nakagawa for two. Nakagawa misses an enziguri and Ohata locks in the cross arm breaker once again. Nakagawa bites her way free and blasts Ohata with a boot to the face before tagging Daizee. Ohata gets a German suplex on the Haze, followed by a low crossbody for two. Matsumoto tags in, counters a heart punch and hits a torture rack into a gutbuster. Daizee shockingly kicks out and the match continues. The champs prepare for their fallaway powerbomb double team but Daizee gets her knees up, sending Ohata rolling across the canvas. Nakagawa blindsides Matsumoto with a step-up enziguri and that’s all Daizee needs to hit a Tiger Suplex. And that gives us new SHIMMER Tag Team Champions. I can’t really say any more other than that was just an amazing display. The closing moments of the match were just absolute chaos and watching the whole thing was an unreal experience.
Winners and New SHIMMER Tag Team Champions: Daizee Haze & Tomoka Nakagawa via Tiger Suplex. 10/10
Madison Eagles vs Ayako Hamada
It’s main event time and this match is coming about after Ayako Hamada pinned Madison Eagles in a tag match on Volume 39. This was the match that made me want to buy the DVD in the first place after all. The fans are actually chanting “new champ!” while the introductions are going on (Madison reacts accordingly). The women hold nothing back and go to town on each other with stiff kicks to every extremity they can reach. Hamada delivers a release German suplex less than two minutes into the match but they end up colliding in the middle of the ring with a double facecrusher. Both women now on the outside and – you guessed it – it’s time for a brawl. Madison actually cannonballs Hamada from off the apron. The brawl extends to the crowd and there’s a scary moment where Madison drops Hamada right on her head with what was either a suplex or brainbuster. Hamada responds by bashing Madison in the head with the lid of a trash can. Hamada brings Madison back to the ring and lands a missile dropkick. But the champ springs right back up with a knee to Hamada’s face, followed by a brainbuster for two. Madison sets her up for Hell Bound but Hamada rolls out and slaps on a sleeper hold. She then delivers a second missile dropkick, this time hitting Madison in the back. She then hits her third missile dropkick and plants Madison with a sit-out powerbomb. Madison is able to kick out and delivers a vertical suplex. Now it’s Hamada’s turn to spring back up and she spin kicks the champ in the head. Madison is knocked loopy by an enziguri and superkick but she shockingly kicks out of Hamada’s AP Cross at one. Hamada goes for it again but Madison counters with Hell Bound. Hamada kicks out so Madison hits it again and that’s it. When I first saw this match, I didn’t like it that much but it comes across better on the second viewing. The only thing I didn’t like was the brawling around the ring, especially that botch I mentioned earlier. The end was a bit abrupt too but aside from that, it was a hard fought and well wrestled match. It was worthy of being a main event anyway, which isn’t something that can be said about a lot of main event matches. Hurry back soon, Madison.
Winner and still SHIMMER Champion: Madison Eagles via Hell Bound. 7.5/10
So that was really a great experience finally getting to watch Volume 40 over again. Altogether it’s probably the best SHIMMER card I’ve seen so far and overall one of the best wrestling shows I’ve watched period. Every SHIMMER DVD I keep purchasing has to try and match this one in terms of quality. Aside from the boring opening match and the strange 4-corner, every match was quality and served a purpose. If I ever try to get anyone I know into SHIMMER, this is the Volume I get them to watch. I’m gonna leave it there before you all get diabetes from this puff piece. You can purchase this DVD and others at: