DVDs - VGames - Books SHIMMER Vol. 1 DVD Review: Debut of chronological review series - Taylor Wilde, Beth Phoenix, Haze vs. Lacey, Melissa vs. MsChif I
Jan 23, 2011 - 10:21:31 PM
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By Anthony Beckingham, Women's Wrestling Specialist
SHIMMER Vol. 1 DVD review
November 6, 2005
The event began with the ring announcer bringing out all of the participants for the show. Juxtaposing the current set-up with how they started, you can really see this is a company that paid its dues and earned its stripes. The entrance way was simply a door; presently, it’s a full set-back curtain with a TV screen. Also, the crowd has grown significantly and is a lot more lively. All matches have a 20-minute time limit, except for the main event, which has considerably more at an hour.
(1) Shantelle Taylor (0-0) beat Tiana Ringer (0-0) at 8:35. Solid opener showing with Ringer’s attitude conveying this is serious wrestling and both women showing flexibility and innovation you won’t see with men. Dave Prazak on commentary tells us both women wrestle regularly in Ontario, though Ringer is from Florida. Taylor (later TNA’s Taylor Wilde) takes the early advantage with spinning wrist holds. Ringer puts Taylor in a waistlock, Taylor cartwheels out and waistlocks Ringer who tries to do the same, but Taylor cartwheels in tandem every time to stop the counter. A sloppy section sees Ringer put Taylor up in the turnbuckle and after some stalling Taylor gets a good-looking missile dropkick for the pin. (**)
(2) Team Blondage (Krissy Vaine & Amber O’Neal) (0-0) beat Cindy Rogers & Nikki Roxx (0-0) in 13:17. Team Blondage cut a promo putting over their outfits, talking like Valley Girls. They stayed out of the ring after the bell rang, so the referee began counting. After two minutes of breaking the count, O’Neal opted to start against Roxx. Allison Danger on commentary put over Team Blondage’s tag team experience. After all four tag in and out, Roxx is isolated. After bumping heads, Roxx and O’Neal get the tag. Rogers cleans house, but Blondage clear the ring. Rogers goes for a sunset flip, but Vaine sits on her with O’Neal holding her hands down. (**)
(3) “Portuguese Princess” Ariel (0-0) beat Rain (0-0) at 8:45. The match was structured to build to a big move, then pin, kickout, and repeat. It was helped by Rain’s selling. Rain fleed the ring, but Ariel followed out and hit Rain against the ring mat and railings. Prazak put over Ariel’s Mexican and Japanese experience. Rain used Ariel’s hair for most of the match, but the referee never scolded her for it. Rain put Ariel in an electric chair for her finisher, but she rolled into a two-count pin. Rain kicked out of a triple-snap suplex and then Northern Lights suplex. Ariel kicked out of the Raindrop reverse DDT, then won with an Irish-whip-powered cutter. (**1/2)
(4) Lexie Fyfe (0-0) beat Christie Riccie (0-0) at 8:34. Good match that built well but stalled just before the end. Former NWA World Women’s champion Fyfe started things off with a hammerlock and kept going back to it. Riccie locked on an armbar, Fyfe complained about hair-pulling, and used a thumb to the eye while the referee was distracted. Fyfe grabbed Riccie’s mouth in a camel clutch and later choked her on the second rope. Fyfe went to the top, but Riccie crotched her, then superplexed her to reset the match. Riccie missed a diving splash allowing Fyfe to set up the Attitude Adjustment TKO for the pin. (**1/2)
(5) MsChif (0-0) beat Cheerleader Melissa (0-0) at 15:05. First marquee match of the show. It's weird to think of this as an upset now, but at the time, MsChif had only really wrestled for Gateway Championship Wrestling, feuding with Daizee Haze, ROH’s Delirious, and Matt Sydal (WWE’s Evan Bourne). No messing around her. Melissa ran into Chif with forearms, but Chif no-sold with her trademark banshee scream. Even the referee was scared of the scream. Melissa applied a high-angle Texas Cloverleaf on Chif, forcing her to kick her own head! Melissa brutalized MsChif outside, including a Gory Special on the guardrail. Melissa tried a Kudo Driver (belly to back piledriver), but Chif broke free and hit a springboard moonsault to the standing Cheerleader. Another Kudo Driver was reversed into a Desecrator scissor DDT for the pin. (***1/2)
(6) Allison Danger (0-0) beat Beth Phoenix (0-0) at 10:34. This was a bit of a comedy match with Phoenix playing a ditzy, timid Barbie character. Yes, Beth Phoenix. They started old-school with a cross-cross until Danger stopped once Phoenix tired herself out running back and forth. Danger kept Phoenix down with wrist and arm holds, Phoenix countered by choking Danger, and she distracted the referee with a kiss. Phoenix tried the Beth Valley Driver, which led to three reversals and Danger getting the pin. (**1/2)
(7) Sara Del Rey (0-0) vs. Mercedes Martinez (0-0) went to a 20-minute draw. First time meeting anywhere between the Inoki Dojo trained Del Rey and East Coast sensation Martinez. They started off with a hand shake and some ground-based chain wrestling. Lots of power moves including an underhook suplex from Del Rey leading to a two-count. Martinez fired back with a fireman’s carry neckbreaker for a two. After a series of big moves from both, Martinez tied Del Rey’s hands and legs up, then took a breather in the corner and low-dropkicked Del Rey out of it. Del Rey applied the Royal Butterfly Lock, but Martinez wouldn’t tap, so Del Rey let go through tiredness. Martinez hit her Fisherman Buster finisher, but the time limit ended at the count of two. (***1/2)
(8) Daizee Haze (0-0) beat Lacey (0-0) at 22:20. The high-strung Lacey spent most of the match shouting at the referee, taking water breaks, and spitting on the crowd. Haze climbed the turnbuckle to bid Lacey back in, but Lacey jumped up and semi-chokeslammed her from the top rope into the ring. Lacey got serious with some punch and stomp brawling, then drove both knees into Haze’s back and stretched her around the ringpost. Lacey then applied a bow & arrow lock, a favorite hold of mine. Haze reversed the Tree of Woe, sat up, and kicked back with a cutter. Haze’s heart punch/Yakuza kick combo got the narrowest of two counts. TKO neckbreaker from Lacey, but still no pin. Haze set up the heart punch followed by the snapmare driver Mind Trip for the win. (***)
The show ended with Allison Danger backstage telling viewers to mark down the date, November 6, 2005, as day Shimmer began, proving that women are more than eye candy and that they live and breathe this business just as much as men. “Tonight proved that American joshi is possible,” she said.
Overall Rating: 7.5. Aside from the sloppy turnbuckle mount in the first match, there weren't many missed moments on this DVD. Melissa-MsChif and Del Rey-Martinez are both superb matches in their own way. The main event, while a confusing spot after the first-time meeting of Del Rey and Martinez, was also of note. Lacey was so good as a character in ROH I sometimes forget how much she can go in the ring. The main problem with this DVD is the lack of a loud audience. Being the first show, it’s pretty slim pickings and the audience is still learning who is who. It’s a testament to the work in the opener and the three marquee matches how loud the limited crowd became.
FYI: Volume 1 sold out long ago, but was recently re-released in a Collector’s Edition with Volume 2 available at ROHStore.com. For more information visit ShimmerWrestling.com.
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