THE SPECIALISTS SPECIALIST- Indy Scene: Preview of SHIMMER-Women Athletes Debut Show- Sunday, Nov. 6 in Berwyn, IL
Nov 2, 2005 - 7:46:00 PM
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By Barry Kasten, Torch Contributor
It’s been a long time. I shouldn’t have left you (insert brief pause here) without a strong rhyme to step to. If you recognized the preceding line as Eric B. and Rakim, you should take time out to pat yourself on the back. Today we journey to the Midwest and, more specifically, Chicagoland to take a look at a new promotion running it’s first show this weekend. SHIMMER – Women Athletes (shimmerwrestling.com) is aiming to successfully run an all-female wrestling promotion that concentrates on athletics and wrestling ability. Promoter Dave Prazak, who also currently works for Ring of Honor and Full Impact Pro and spent several years working with IWA-Mid South, shared some information with me about his vision for SHIMMER.
Background of SHIMMER’s Formation
Prazak stated that a number of things lead to him forming the SHIMMER promotion:
He said that working closely with Full Impact Pro in Florida for the past year has helped him realize the potential that exists for promotions that gear their shows towards DVD distribution. Each SHIMMER event will be a two DVD taping in the Chicagoland area. This appears to be a sound strategy by Prazak as non-nostalgia and non-Lucha shows are not seeing strong attendance numbers right now. Further, the nostalgia and Lucha indy shows that are doing well right now are only hot in certain parts of the country. SHIMMER DVD’s will be released by Ring of Honor’s website (rohwrestling.com) in an attempt to tap into an already existing fanbase. When I asked Prazak why he chose to use ROH’s distribution as opposed to other wrestling DVD distributors, he said that he has been working on production phases of projects for ROH and FIP and can use the same production methods for SHIMMER. He elaborated about the relationship with ROH by saying, “SHIMMER is sort of a way that ROH can support women’s wrestling without force-feeding its audience women’s matches on the ROH shows on a regular basis, since it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.” SHIMMER will use many names familiar to ROH fans such as Lacey, Allison Danger, and Daizee Haze. This further made the decision of which distributor to use rather easy.
He also believes that an all female wrestling promotion in the US that focuses on wrestling, rather than gimmicks and T & A, can be successful. By including Women Athletes in the title of the promotion, Prazak hopes fans will get the idea of how the product will be presented and get across that the women will have a chance to show their talents. Although the mention of women’s wrestling carries a certain not so good connotation with it to many fans, SHIMMER will attempt to change that by establishing dignified athletes in matches at a higher level that you will see on television. They’ll have a tough hill to climb with some of the WWE matches we’ve seen recently featuring untrained women suffering in front of millions. If someone wrote down a transcript of all the talking Trish had to do with Christy as Mania this year, it would take up several large bookshelves. Basically, I can’t argue with Prazak’s assertion that women’s wrestling has never been given a real shot in this country. Many women’s promotions have attempted to promote strictly sexuality or cartoonish characters and have not had a good in ring product. While many women’s promotions in Japan have now fallen on hard times, there have been successful women’s organizations run in the Land of the Rising Sun. The content will not be too risqué but Prazak thinks that wrestling fans that enjoy watching the “divas” will be able to enjoy the shows as well.
Many on the internet have speculated that the almost exclusively women’s wrestling event, Volcano Girls, run by IWA-Mid South in May of 2004 sold very well and may have something to do with SHIMMER’s beginning. Prazak was unsure of specific sales numbers but noted that shortly after release, it was selling just as well as another big event that IWA-MS held the same weekend that featured a largely hyped Tag Team Title Tournament and the first ever match between Chris Hero and Samoa Joe. “If it’s an entertaining show, wrestling fans will want to watch it,” says Prazak.
Other note: Prazak and Allison Danger will be the primary announce team for the initial taping.
SHIMMER – Women Athletes
4:00 PM - Sunday, November 6th, 2005
The Eagles Club (6309 26th Street), Berwyn, IL
As there are not a lot of outlets for women to wrestle in the US, I asked Prazak how he found talent to use for SHIMMER. He noted that he’s always been a fan of women’s wrestling and as a result has developed friendships with female wrestlers. Through these relationships he’s been able to see a lot of tapes from around the world and was able to assemble a roster of 18 for the debut taping, with more wrestlers to be added in the future. Securing talent that has formerly appeared on national television is something that Prazak would not hesitate to do if the right situation arose. He believes the promotion can survive without ex-WWE stars but having select wrestlers with TV exposure come in to teach the roster could help the SHIMMER product.
All tickets are $15. Front row seating will be given out on a first come, first serve basis. Fans attending the Ring of Honor show in Chicago Ridge on Saturday will be given coupons to save $5 on the price of a ticket to SHIMMER.
Here is the lineup for Volume 1 of the 2 volume taping. The Volume 2 lineup will form as a result of the matches on the first half of the show.
Daizee Haze Vs. Lacey
I think it’s a good move to put two of your more recognizable faces in a match together. Both wrestlers are capable of putting on a strong performance.
Sara Del Rey Vs. Mercedes Martinez
I’ve seen Martinez on IWA-MS shows before and she is a solid wrestler. Del Rey has competed in Japan.
Allison Danger Vs. Beth Phoenix
From occasionally browsing Danger’s livejournal, I know that she watches plenty of wrestling. Every time I’ve seen her, she’s improved. Phoenix recently moved close to Louisville and works with WWE’s developmental territory, OVW. On the VIP forums, Torch writer Dusty Giebink said she has a good look, can talk, and her in ring ability is progressing.
Cheerleader Melissa Vs. MsChif
MsChif is an entertaining character with a gothic gimmick. She does a lot of screaming.
Tiana Ringer Vs. Shantelle Taylor
"Team Blondage" Krissy Vaine and Amber O'Neal Vs. Cindy Rogers and Nikki Roxx
Rogers has appeared in ROH before. Team Blondage has a place in Derek Burgan’s heart.
Christi Ricci Vs. Lexie Fyfe
Rain Vs. Ariel
Wrestler bios and more information on SHIMMER can be found at shimmerwrestling.com.
I certainly wish Dave Prazak well in his quest to start a women’s wrestling promotion. The talent that I have seen from this list certainly has the potential to put on an entertaining wrestling product. I think the relationship with ROH will be key. They have a website that makes gets people in, racks up a lot of sales, and has great service. However, they’ve also been a bit behind with the FIP promotion when it comes to getting the product released in a quick manner. Hopefully the production staff learned a few things when starting up FIP that will allow SHIMMER to be released to the fans soon. I look forward to hearing about the results of the tapings this weekend. If you’re in the Chicago area and have nothing to do with your Sunday afternoon, give them a shot.
Barry Kasten is giddy about the coming weekend. An ROH show and a huge college football game. He scoffs at odds makers that have the Wisconsin Badgers as double-digit underdogs at Penn State this weekend. Eat it Sheridan! Get a hold of him at email@example.com with any comments you may have.
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