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PWTorch DVD review
SHIMMER Vol. 23
Taped in Chicago, Ill.
Released in 2009
By Sean Radican, Torch columnist
Star ratings and analysis
(1) Nikki Roxx beat Cat Power. Strong opener with the crowd taunting Power, who came out dressed like a cat. Roxx got a strong reaction from the crowd. In the end Roxx won the match with the voodoo drop. (**1/2)
2) Amber O' Neal beat Tennille. This was another solid undercard match. Tennille is a graduate of Lance Storm's wrestling school. Both women engaged in some hard-hitting action in the ring and on the outside. In the end, Tennille took the loss after a very nice pinning combination from O'Neal. (**3/4)
(3) Daffney beat Melanie Cruise. Daffney looked good here, but couldn't take own the bigger Cruise early on. Cruise was making him Shimmer main card debut here after winning a sparkle match (dark match) on the last set of Shimmer tapings. In the end, Daffney took the win with a version of the code breaker. (**1/2)
(4) Sara Del Rey beat Madison Eagles. This was a really good undercard match. Eagles took the attack to Del Rey after taking a sustained beating during the early stages of the match. Eagles hit a real nice hurricanrana on Del Rey at one point as well. The finish was well-done as Del Rey countered a DDT attempt from Eagles and nailed her with the royal butterfly suplex for the pin. (***1/4)
(5) LuFisto beat Kellie Skater. Skater did some mic work prior to the match and said she couldn't be beaten. LuFisto really took the attack to her here and I enjoyed her anime gimmick, which made her stand out on the undercard. The finish saw LuFisto win the match with the burning hammer, which looked much safer than when some of the male independent wrestlers have used it in the past. (**)
(6) Daizee Haze vs. Nicole Matthews went to a 20 minute time limit draw. Haze worked over Matthews's arm for a long period of time. Matthews didn't sell the arm work well and the story of the match felt disjointed at times. The match was designed to get Matthews over by taking Haze to a time limit draw, but something just didn't click between the two until the last 5 minutes of the match. (**3/4)
(7) Amazing Kong beat Mercedes Martinez. Best match on the card up to this point. Kong beat on Martinez, but Martinez eventually made a spirited comeback and nailed Kong with a series of kicks, but Kong wouldn't go down. Martinez hit her fisherman's buster on Kong, but she kicked out. Kong eventually won the stiff 12 minute contest with the amazing bomb. (***1/2)
(8) SHIMMER Tag Team Champions Ashley Lane & Neveah beat Rain & Jetta in a 2 out of 3 Falls match. The action was solid throughout here, but the match was overbooked. Lacey came out early and reversed a cradle so that Rain could pin Lane for a 1-0 lead. Lane got a quick rollup a few minutes later to tie it at 1-1. Lane then continued to take a sustained beating for awhile until finally making the hot tag to Neveah. The action broke down at that point and Jetta nailed Neveah with a shot from a chain wrapped around her fist. At first it looked like there was a title switch, but the ref reversed the decision and Lane & Neveah quickly got the win after an STO/Kick combination on Jetta. (***)
(9) Wesna Busic beat Cheerleader Melissa. This was fantastic. The match started with Busic working over Melissa's arm with some MMA style holds on the mat. The match then evolved into an all-out war with both women exchanging stiff strikes at one point in the middle of the ring that really got the crowd into the match. Annie Social, who had one of the managers licenses handed out for the show got into it with Melissa on the outside at one point, which gave Busic enough time to recover and eventually get the pin with the CD4 driver. (***3/4)
(10) SHIMMER Champion MsChif beat Serena Deeb. This was a solid main event, but it felt like it could have built longer towards the finish than it did. MsChif worked over Deeb's back early on and also did some nice mat work. Deeb made a fiery comeback and eventually managed to hit the spear on MsChif, but she ended up rolling out of the ring because of the momentum. In the end Deeb rolled through the desecrator, but MsChif held on and managed to hit her with the desecrator for the pin. (***1/4)
Overall thoughts: (7.5) Shimmer Vol. 23 was a solid show. There weren't any bad matches on the card and several of the matches were very good. The undercard was used to establish some new faces to the DVD and audience while the second half of the crowd featured the showcase bouts.
The undercard didn't feature a great match, but a lot of the new faces in Shimmer made a good impression, as Tennille, Melanie Cruise, and Madison Eagles all had good showings in singles competition. None of the new faces won, but they established they belong in the promotion in competitive matches against the Shimmer regulars. The best showing on the undercard was a really good match featuring the impressive Madison Eagles taking on Sara Del Rey. Nikki Roxx also set the tone for the card with a good opening match against Cat Power.
The highlights of the second half of the card were the Kong-Martinez and Melissa-Busic matches. These were the two best matches on the card. The sometimes quiet crowd in Chicago really came alive for Kong and she delivered a short, but awesome heavyweight style bout against Martinez.
Busic-Melissa was also really good and gets my nod for best match of the night. The feud between the two was established using highlights from their hard-hitting contests in the Chickfight promotion, which usually runs DVD tapings overseas. Shimmer smartly promoted this as the first encounter in North America between these two women and they delivered a hard-hitting bout that pleased the fans.
The main event between MsChif and Serena Deeb was built with backstage interviews during the undercard and the announcers did a good job of talking about why this match was taking place throughout the show. The match itself was very good, but it needed more time to develop to go to the next level. The angle shot after the main event with Kong and Del Rey attacking MsChif and declaring they both wanted title shots was well-executed.
It's obvious Shimmer owner Dave Prazak puts a lot of time into making these Shimmer releases special. He also does a great job of selling his angles on commentary. I really enjoyed all of the replays showed after most of the matches on the show, which did a good job of selling the drama of the matches they featured.
The show also did a good job of laying the groundwork for the next volume with a really good pull-apart brawl between Allison Danger and Portia Perez to build to their street fight on Vol. 24. Prazak also added a new wrinkle into the DVDs by introducing 2 managers licenses into the storylines, which allowed for some intriguing angles to be built around Annie Social and Lacey during the show.
I give this show a recommendation. You can't beat the value included for $14.95 and can likely get it for less than that when ROH runs a sale.