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DVD Review: Shimmer, Volume 5 (5-21-06) with Knox-Haze, Martinez-Del Ray, Roxx-Kong

Dec 29, 2006 - 11:12:00 AM
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By Chris Vetter, Torch Contributor

Shimmer Women’s Athletes returned to Berwyn, Ill., on Sunday, May 21, 2006, where Volumes 5 & 6 in a series of all-women’s wrestling shows were taped. This is a review of Volume 5, which I consider to be the best all-women’s show I’ve ever seen!

If you saw Shimmer Volumes 1 & 2, you know the crowd was perhaps 70 to 80. However, with each taping, the crowd size has grown, as the buzz about this promotion has increased. The crowd here is a legit paid total of 176 fans, and this venue is packed. Lighting was ok. They have nice lights set up above the ring, and this event was filmed with three cameras. There also was a video screen above the entrance ramp! The red canvas looks new.

On commentary is (promoter) Dave Prazak and wrestler Allison Danger. They do a good job making it feel like they are calling the action live, although it was actually dubbed in later. I’ve mentioned this before – when they worked together in IWA-Mid South on play-by-play, they had a more jovial, almost flirtatious, banter back and forth. Here, however, they stick to calling the action. I’ve always been a huge fan of Prazak’s play-by-play anyway, but here, because he’s promoter, he’s also able to push across the storylines he wants to play up, which is an added bonus.

What is really important is that neither the announcers, nor the crowd, treat the ladies as “eye candy.” All the action is done with a serious focus on WRESTLING.

* Daizee Haze opened the DVD with a backstage promo, saying that she has already beaten Rebecca Knox once, and she can do it again in a best-of-three-falls match.

* A clip aired of Haze beating Portia Perez in a dark match to open the show. (The entire dark match is a bonus feature on this disc). Rebecca Knox attacked Haze after the match to set up their match later.

(1) Rain defeats Lorelei Lee at 9:18.
Good match. Lorelei wore blue & red. Rain wore purple & black. They traded arm holds, and Rain applied a headscissorslock and did some pushups! On commentary, Prazak & Danger talked about the big matches later on the show, and Prazak noted that Shantelle Taylor had signed with WWE since the last taping. Lorelei came back with a handspring back elbow, and Rain rolled to the floor at 3:30. Back in the ring, Rain hit a Lungblower to the chest, and that got a huge pop! Rain took over, choking Lee and hitting some hard chops, then a running knee to the chest, and Rain was dominating.

Rain hit a bulldog at 6:00, and she pulled Lee down by her hair. Prazak really pushed the debut of Amazing Kong later in the show. “Our roster’s gone international,” Danger added. They hit double crossbody blocks, and both women were down. Lee airballed a dropkick, but she still got a nearfall. Lee hit some rolling suplexes. Rain went for the Raindrop/inverted DDT, but Lee blocked it. Rain hit the Electric Chair/fallaway slam with a bridge, to score the pin.

* A clip aired of the six-woman tag match from the ROH show in Chicago Ridge on March 31, 2006.

(2) MsChif defeats Cindy Rogers at 7:59.
Cindy wore black pants & a pink top. MsChif wore her green & black, and she got a huge pop from this crows. They traded nice armbars and had a standoff. Prazak talked about MsChif’s ongoing feud with Cheerleader Melissa. Rogers applied a cross-armbreaker. MsChif hit some blows to the back and she growled at the ref. MsChif applied a Camel Clutch in the ropes at 3:00, then she hit a Bubba Bomb.

Rogers used a variety of submission holds, including a front guillotine choke and a mid-ring Octopus. MsChif hit a nice hurricanrana, then she bridged backward and pulled back on Rogers’ head at 6:30. Rogers hit a Russian Legsweep. MsChif hit the Desecrator/modified implant DDT, for the pin! Good action.

* Nikita cut a backstage promo, telling us she is from the United Kingdom. “We have some tough bitches in Europe, too,” she said. She said she’s wrestled all over the world. “You don’t mess with an English girl,” she said.

(3) Amber O’Neal defeats Serena at 8:12.
O’Neal wore her hot pink top & bottom, and she’s a prissy southern belle blonde. Serena came to the ring, also in pink, and she has brown hair. “I don’t appreciate you trying to steal my look,” O’Neal said. They started with an intense lockup, and Serena applied a hammerlock, and O’Neal SCRAMBLED to the ropes, squealing in pain. Amber hit some chops; Serena fired back with harder chops. They brawled to the floor, and Amber yelled at the fans. Prazak talked about Serena’s background in OVW. Fans chanted “Walmart Barbie!” at O’Neal.

In the ring, Amber pulled Serena’s hair, hit a hard clothesline, then a Russian Legsweep at 5:30, and she was in charge. She pulled back on Serena’s head and her nose! Serena fired up, hit a clothesline and a flying forearm for a nearfall, then a nice spear for a believable nearfall, but Amber reached the ropes at 7:30. Prazak mused about who would team with Ariel later in the show. Amber hit an STO Uranage for a nearfall, then she won it with a rollup and a handful of tights. “She just robbed Serena!” Prazak shouted. Ok match.

(4) Lexie Fyfe & Malia Hosaka defeat Arial & Josie at 11:59.
Ok match. Fyfe & Hosaka really work well as a heel tag team, and Prazak drove home the team name “The Experience” several times when talking about them. Josie is a black woman; I’ve seen her wrestle in MN & WI for years, but this was her Shimmer debut; she wore a gold outfit. Arial wore white with red trim. Arial and Hosaka started, and Arial got some quick rollups. Arial outwrestled both heels early, and the heels stalled. The crowd chanted, “quit your whining!” at the heels. Josie tagged in and hit a bodyslam for a nearfall on Hosaka. The faces hit a team armdrag at 3:30.

The heels began to work over Josie. Arial made the hot tag, and she dropkicked Hosaka. Hosaka hit a spin kick to the shoulder for a nearfall, then she tossed Hosaka across the ring by her hair! Fyfe hit a sideslam, and the heels are making plenty of illegal switches. The crowd was hot, yelling at the ref! Hosaska hit a snap suplex. Josie made the hot tag at 10:30, and she hit a bodyslam on Fyfe. All four women brawled in the ring. Arial missed a second-rope frogsplash. The teams hit a team faceplant, and Fyfe pinned Arial. There was tremendous heat through this match, especially for the illegal switches.

* A clip aired of MsChif battling Cheerleader Melissa at “Shimmer Volume 4,” where Melissa bent MsChif in half, and made MsChif’s own foot kick herself in the head! Prazak described it as the most violent woman’s match he had seen.

(5) Allison Danger defeats Cheerleader Melissa at 9:45.
Good match. Melissa wore her black robe and pink one-piece outfit. Danger wore all black. Prazak called this one solo, and he noted these women had fought in the afore-mentioned six-woman match at the ROH show in March, but this was their first singles match. They started with an intense lockup, and they traded stiff forearms. Prazak noted that both women had won a big match on Volume 4 (I love it when wins & losses actually matter!!!) Melissa hit some blows to the back, stomps, and she choked Danger in the ropes. Melissa went for a Copkillah, but Danger sat down to avoid it.

Melissa with in charge, applying a modified sleeper (using just one arm), while hitting strikes with her open hand. Melissa hit some crossface blows at 6:30. Danger hit a spinning facebuster over her knee, then a neckbreaker over her knee for a nearfall. Melissa hit a running knee in the corner. Suddenly, MsChif came out to ringside at 9:00. Melissa applied a modified Figure Four Leglock, but Danger reached the ropes. MsChif distracted Melissa, which allowed Danger to get an inside cradle for the pin! Good match, but cut short by MsChif.

* Immediately after the match, Melissa rolled to the floor and began to brawl with MsChif! This was HOT. All five referees, plus a few of the women wrestlers, ran to ringside to separate them. The crowd loved the action. WOW, this looked good on DVD!

(6) Amazing Kong defeats Nikki Roxx at 10:39.
Wow, I dug this match. Kong is a large black woman from Japan, and she wore a black gladiator-style outfit. She was billed as 232 pounds. (Prazak said Kong is 6 foot, but I stood next to her, and she’s closer to 5’10”.) Nikki, in comparison, was listed as 145 pounds, and she wore a green top & bottom. The crowd immediately chanted, “Please don’t die!” at Roxx, and Roxx couldn’t help but laugh! Someone taunted Kong with a “Mark Henry!” line. The match began, and Kong let out a monster scream, and Roxx backed up! Kong pushed Roxx to the mat. Roxx slapped her! Kong hit a bodysplash for a believable nearfall at 1:00!

Danger re-joined the commentary booth, saying she was still groggy from her match earlier. (Again, I like how they play up that they are calling this live.) Kong hit some hard chops, as Roxx was tied in the ropes! They brawled to the floor, where Kong slammed Roxx’ head on the steps, then she whipped Roxx into the guardrail. In the ring, Kong hit a guillotine legdrop, then she applied a sleeper, and the crowd rallied behind Roxx. Kong hit some more hard chops, and she slammed Roxx to the mat at 4:00. Roxx hit a flying forearm, and she applied a Figure Four Leglock, but Kong reached the ropes.

Kong hit a huge Stinger Splash in the corner, and she made an arrogant cover for a nearfall. Roxx hit some stiff forearms, but all they did was make Kong ANGRY. Kong screamed and slapped Roxx in the face. Kong missed a second Stinger Splash, and Roxx hit a bulldog for a nearfall at 6:30. Roxx hit a missile dropkick. Kong hit a powerbomb and more chops. However, Roxx avoided a move, and Kong fell to the floor. Roxx then hit a top-rope dive to the floor!

In the ring, Roxx tried a top-rope headscissors takedown, but she didn’t quite rotate right. Kong hit a double-arm faceplant for a nearfall. Kong hit a second-rope frogsplash for a nearfall… but Kong pulled her up at 10:00! Kong slapped Roxx in the face, then she hit a sitdown powerbomb for the pin. The crowd gave this match a standing ovation. “You’ve got to admire the heart of Nikki Roxx,” Prazak said. A replay of the finishing spot aired.

(7) Nikita defeats Lacey at 14:56.
Lacey wore purple & yellow, and the crowd instantly booed her! Nikita wore a red & black top and black pants, and she has brown hair. The crowd was loudly chanting, “Lacey sucks!” before the women had started. Lacey yelled at “all the perverts to stop taking her picture!” Prazak said that Nikita had appeared on the ROH “Frontiers of Honor” show in 2003 – I don’t remember her there. They traded quick arm holds, and Lacey hit a spine kick, so Nikita hit her own spine kick, then Nikita hit a Curbstomp at 5:00! Nikita hit a backbreaker over her knee, and Lacey stalled on the floor.

As Lacey was climbing back in the ring, she grabbed Nikita’s left arm and snapped it over the top rope! Lacey immediately began to work over the injured arm. Nikita came back with a backslide for a nearfall at 9:00. Lacey choked Nikita, and Lacey yelled at the ref. Lacey stayed on top with a DDT and a clothesline in the corner. Nikita hit some chops in the corner. Lacey gave Nikita a hotshot on the turnbuckle. However, Nikita’s knee caught Lacey directly in the mouth, and Lacey was bleeding from the mouth. (The camera angle here didn’t catch the knee strike to the face; I saw it much better live.)

Prazak on commentary talked about Lacey & Rain as “the Minnesota Home Wrecking Crew,” and he wondered when we would see them as a tagteam. Nikita hit a standing neckbreaker, and both women were down. They traded stiff forearms, and Nikita hit a Mafia Kick, an enziguri, and a backbreaker over her knee for the pin. Very good women’s match.

* A clip aired of Rebecca Knox vs. Daizee Haze from Shimmer Volume 4, which set up this rematch.

(8) Rebecca Knox defeats Daizee Haze in a best-of-three falls match at 28:05.
Very good match! Knox is a Brit who I think looks a bit like Keira Knightley, and she wore her dark green outfit. Haze wore gold & white. They did a little dance-off early, and the crowd let Knox know she lost. They traded armbars, and Haze hooked on a Front Guillotine Choke, then she applied a nice modified Tequila Sunrise/single-leg crab. This is a lot of good mat wrestling and reversals. Haze applied a headscissorslock at 8:00.

Knox hit a swinging neckbreaker for a nearfall. Haze dove to the floor on Knox at 14:00, and they were both down on the floor. They traded chops on the floor. Knox tossed Haze HARD into the guardrail. In the ring, Knox missed a top-rope guillotine legdrop. Haze hit a Heart Punch, then the Mafia Kick to the side of the head for a pin at 17:22! Haze is up 1-0. They traded stiff forearms, and Knox hit a nice dropkick for a nearfall, then some quick armdrags and a snap suplex and a hard kick to the chest. Danger started to become annoyed with Knox, as Danger said, “She’s too cocky for her own good.” Knox got a rollup, grabbed the ropes for leverage, and got the pin at 23:10!

After the cheap pin, Danger began to openly cheer for Haze on commentary, as Danger was disgusted with Knox’s cheating. Haze tied Knox in the Tree of Woe and hit a running knee to the gut. Knox came back with a missile dropkick. Knox applied a reverse Figure Four Leglock, but Haze reached the ropes. Haze went for the Heart Punch, but Knox avoided it. Knox hit a sideslam for a nearfall. Knox again hooked on a modified Figure Four, and she grabbed the ropes to get leverage for a pin! Good back-and-forth mat wrestling.

* Allison Danger immediately left the commentary booth, and she ran to ringside and complained to the ref about Knox using the ropes. Danger got on the mic and talked about the ROH Pure Title rules, and she challenged Knox to that match at the Volume 6 taping. (Each woman gets three rope breaks, then the ropes are in play.)

* A clip aired of Sara Del Ray vs. Mercedes Martinez from Volume 1. Sara Del Ray did a backstage promo, saying she wanted her rematch with Mercedes Martinez, but this time, with no time limit!

(9) Sara Del Ray defeats Mercedes Martinez at 21:56.
Excellent match. This was a rematch from the Volume 1 taping. Mercedes wore a pink top and black pants. And Sara wore white & blue stars with lime green. They started with an intense lockup and some quick rollups. Sara hit a headbutt, and they traded suplexes, and they stood nose-to-nose in the ring. Did I mention how intense this was? Sara tied up Mercedes’ legs, and Mercedes hit some blows to the chest to escape. Mercedes applied a nice modified half-crab, but Sara reached the ropes at 8:30. Sara applied a Camel Clutch, then she hit a hard kick to the stomach. “I’m just sitting here in complete and utter shock,” Danger said of the physical match.

Mercedes returned a hard kick to the stomach, and she hit some stiff forearms and chops in the corner. Sara tried to springboard off the ropes, but Mercedes caught her with a dropkick. They brawled to the floor, where Mercedes whipped Del Ray into the guardrail at 14:00! In the ring, Mercedes threw some punches, and she was in control. Mercedes hit a reverse suplex, dropping Sara on her head and stomach for a nearfall. Sara came back with a German Suplex with a bridge for a believable nearfall at 17:00, then a second-rope superplex, and the crowd popped.

Mercedes hit a back suplex. Sara hit a back elbow that sent Mercedes to the floor. Sara then dove through the ropes onto Mercedes on the floor, and both women were down at 19:30. In the ring, Mercedes applied an Octopus on the mat, but Sara managed to roll Mercedes over and score the pin! The finish came out of nowhere. The crowd gave the women a well-deserved standing ovation. On par with their great match at Volume 1. Prazak was particularly passionate on commentary.

* In a backstage promo, Hosaka & Fyfe called themselves “the perfect tag team,” because they have so much experience on their side.

* Cheerleader Melissa and MsChif agreed to meet again, as another clip of their Volume 4 match aired.

* Mercedes Martinez cut a promo, saying she wanted another match with Del Ray. Lacey interrupted her, and she challenged Mercedes to a tag match, if Mercedes can find a partner. Del Ray walked up, leaving the viewer to assume that Mercedes will choose Sara to be her partner!

The main DVD lasts 2 hours, 55 minutes.


BONUS match: Daizee Haze defeats Portia Perez at 2:29.
This is a “Shimmerwrestling.com exclusive download match.” Perez is perhaps 5’2” and she has the face of a 14-year-old girl; she looks really, really young, and she wore black with pink trim. No commentary for the bonus match. They opened with some nice standing switches, and Perez got some nice rollups. Haze hit some stiff forearms. Perez hit a headscissors takedown. Haze nailed the Heart Punch, then a Daizee Cutter/stunner, to score the pin.

* Rebecca Knox ran in the ring and hit Haze with a German Release Suplex. Knox cut a great heel promo saying we live in a “Hicksville town” and “we smell like ugly people.” Knox told Haze, “You must be dreaming if you think you’ll get two pins on me.” The entire length of the bonus material is about 7 minutes.

Final thoughts:
WOW, a women’s show that went a full three hours! An impressive show! Even though I saw it live, I didn’t mind picking it up to watch it again on DVD. I said it at the top – this is the best women’s show I’ve ever seen, and the best of the 8 Shimmer events so far. (No, not all the shows have been released yet.)

Volume 5 combines the best of what we saw at Volumes 1 & 2 (Lacey in action, the brawl between Del Ray & Martinez), and the best of what I liked about Volumes 4 & 5 (the debut of Rebecca Knox), plus the great new additions to the roster in Amazing Kong and Nikita. This is easily the most stacked roster for a Shimmer show, despite the prior defections to the WWE!

Del Ray vs. Martinez was an amazing match. I liked this match more than volume 1, largely because it had a clear winner, and the crowd was larger, hotter, and more into the action, making the rematch even better! Haze vs. Knox was an equally amazing match, and that earned second-best here. Knox is out with a head injury, and hopefully she’ll be back in action soon!

Nikita-Lacey was sharp and earned third-best. Kong vs. Roxx could have been a squash, but it wasn’t. This was one of those rare, special matches where the loser (Roxx) gained so, so much in defeat, as her gutsy showing really elevated her in the eyes of the fans. Roxx, since this match, has become a big fan favorite, and she’s climbing up the Shimmer roster. Kong is like a female version of Samoa Joe; she’s wide, thick, but not really heavy, and she has great quickness and intensity. I hope to see her come back!

The five opening matches were solid. Nothing bad at all, but nothing spectacular. The top four matches really carry this show, though.

Prazak clearly is putting a lot of thought into this product. The storylines make sense, and they don’t insult the viewer, or the wrestlers (which is so rare in women’s wrestling!) Much like an ROH DVD, I really enjoy the short breaks, highlight packages, and promos between matches.

I give this show my highest possible rating. Big thumbs up. If you only see one women’s show, ever, it should be this one. Purchase this DVD at www.rohwrestling.com for $15.


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