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Csonka’s SHIMMER 71 – ChickFight Tournament Review 3.28.15

March 28, 2015 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s SHIMMER 71 – ChickFight Tournament Review 3.28.15  

As a reminder, this will not be another traditional recap, but instead it will be a mash up of the Rs, Instant Analysis and my usual Twitter ramblings I would do during the shows; completely uncensored and as the ideas flow unfiltered to the old keyboard. Remember, this is a review; and I am here to review the show. As always, I encourage discussion and even disagreement, just do so in a respectful manner. I will be doing the review for Raw and most PPVs and iPPVs going forward.

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SHIMMER 71 – ChickFight Tournament Review 3.28.15

~ First Round Match: Evie defeated Portia Perez @ 8:00 via pin [**¼]
~ First Round Match: Nicole Savoy defeated Candice LeRae @ 9:00 via [**¾]
~ First Round Match: Nikki Storm defeated Cherry Bomb @ 6:00 via pin [***]
~ First Round Match: Kay Lee Ray defeated Kimber [email protected] 8:00 via [***]
~ First Round Match: Mia Yim defeated Athena @ 12:00 via pin [****]
~ First Round Match: Cheerleader Melissa defeated Jessicka Havok @ 8:00 via [**]
~ Second Round Match: Evie defeated Nicole Savoy @ 9:00 via pin [***½]
~ Second Round Match: Kay Lee Ray defeated Nikki Storm @ 7:00 via pin [**¾]
~ Second Round Match: . Cheerleader Melissa defeated Mia Yim @ 8:00 via DQ [*]
~ SHIMMER Title Match: Champion Nicole Matthews defeated Tomoka Nakagawa @ 16:00 via pin [**]
~ ChickFight Tournament Finals: Kay Lee Ray defeated Evie and Cheerleader Melissa @ 13:00 via pin [***]

* You can SHIMMER 71 on iPPV/VOD at this link.

* Tournament Description: The ChickFight Tournament at SHIMMER 71 will be a one day, twelve woman, single elimination tournament! The winner will receive a SHIMMER Championship match in the future. The tournament will be held under the same format as the Volcano Girls event of ten years ago, with three brackets. There will be six first round matches, three second round matches, and a three-way elimination final match to determine the tournament winner.

* This is a throwback for me as I used to review ChickFight TV on 411, which was on MAV TV and was footage from the various tournaments.

First Round Match: Portia Perez vs. Evie: Portia Perez is a SHIMMER mainstay, and one half of the very successful Canadian Ninjas tag team (her partner is SHIMMER champion Nicole Matthews). Evie is a good babyface from Australia, and has history with SHIMMER champion Nicole Matthews as they are 1-1 in singles matches. Matthews then made her appearance, tried to distract Evie but Perez ended up colliding with her partner. Evie then hit the TTYL (GTS) to score the win. This was fine opening match, with the tease of issues between the Ninjas, leading to Evie scoring the win and teasing the rubber match with Matthews.

First Round Match: Nicole Savoy vs. Candice LeRae: Candice LeRae is best known for her PWG tag team with Joey Ryan and her intergender matches. In a post Sara Del Rey era, LaRae is one of the few that makes it work and work well. Nicole Savoy is known for her work in the California indy scene, and debuted with SHIMMER at volume 67. They worked really well together as Candice hit her trademark stuff ad they worked a still and athletic match, to a good reaction from the crowd. Savoy scored the win with the tiger suplex. LaRae’s nose was busted open post match as it appeared her knees crashed into her own face. I’m disappointed that Candice didn’t advance because I feel like I don’t get to see her wrestle enough, but I really liked this and thought that it was a nice step up from the opener.

First Round Match: Nikki Storm vs. Cherry Bomb: Nikki Storm is a quality talent with tons of charisma, and got a chance on British Boot Camp 2 but got passed over. Cherry Bomb is the regular partner of Kimber Lee. These two did some comedy where they yelled back and forth before the bell. Cherry Bomb controlled early, constantly cutting off Storm and countering the perfect storm. There was a really awkward spot about five minutes in, where they did a neck breaker spot but oddly fought over it, they did the move and then both laid there selling it as if they forgot who was supposed to be on offense. Storm countered the running DVD and the superkick, leading to the fisherman’s neck breaker to score the win. This was another fun match, smart work and Storm’s charisma is amazing.

First Round Match: Kimber Lee vs. Kay Lee Ray: Kimber Lee tags with Cherry Bomb, and Kay Lee Ray debuted back at volume 62. Kay Lee Ray was looking to use her speed and highflying to take the advantage, but Lee was able to use her power and basic heel tactics to cut her off and take control of things. From there they worked a clean and well paced back and forth match on the level of the previous match. The finish saw Lee hit a senton, and then she backed onto Ray for the pin, but Ray got the crucifix on her and that cradle was enough to score the pin. The show’s off to a nice start here.

First Round Match: Mia Yim vs. Athena: I am looking forward to this match, this could be great and you could have booked this as the tournament finals and I would have been pleased. Both ladies are really good, and I don’t get to watch them nearly enough. They worked a fast paced open, not all of it clean but it was entertaining. Athena took control with a series of dives, and they had the crowd with them big time. They then went in to a striking exchange, and Athena got a near fall off of a fisherman’s buster. Athena then slowed things down, working the midsection and some submissions before they went into another striking exchange. These two are friends, and you can tell because they are laying some shit in here. This had a big time feeling, as they didn’t work it like an opening round match and you never felt as if they were holding back. Athena got a near fall off of the “O Face,” but then Yim battled back and scored the package piledriver (after a hiccup initially going for it) and the 450 for the win. This was easily the best thing on the show so far. The only draw back to this is that Athena is already out of the tournament.

First Round Match: Cheerleader Melissa vs. Jessicka Havok: Cheerleader Melissa is one of my favorite wrestlers and a SHIMMER mainstay. Havok is a beast and recently had a run with TNA. Melissa broke down Havok early, grounding the bigger opponent and then landing multiple curb stomps. Havok was able to battle back, but then Cheerleader Melissa got a roll up out of nowhere and got the feet on the ropes to score the nefarious victory. Havok threw a fit and vowed to kill Melissa at the SHIMMER tapings in two weeks. This was a big match and I had a lot of high hopes, but came away disappointed. It wasn’t bad, but he finish; combined with the fact that it was missing the energy of the previous matches hurt this one.

Second Round Match: Evie vs. Nicole Savoy: They worked a good, and fast paced open trading kicks and then Savoy catching Evie on a leapfrog and scoring with a knee bar. Savoy worked suplexes and submissions (on the leg) to take control of the match. The crowd buys into Evie as the face big time. Evie made the comeback and hit a running high kick, but when she tried another Savoy connected with a high cradle suplex for the near fall. They battled up top, and Evie knocked Evie vs. Nicole Savoy into the tree of woe, and hit the big double stomp off of the top for the win. They worked a fun match, but the one thing that bothered me was the lack of selling of the leg by Evie. If that is added in the match is even better. That being said, this was one of the better matches on the show and Savoy impressed here.

Second Round Match: Nikki Storm vs. Kay Lee Ray: Nikki Storm controlled the bulk of the match, with the story that she was constantly frustrated because Kay Lee Ray kept kicking out and fighting back. Ray countered a backslide into the Gory bomb, and then hit the senton to score the victory. This was a fine match, a step down from the previous one but still enjoyable.

Second Round Match: Mia Yim vs. Cheerleader Melissa: I am looking forward do this, it has a ton of potential to be really good. Melissa took control early and grounded Yim by working the legs and locking in an inverted figure four. Melissa also continued to take shortcuts when needed to keep her advantages. Yim sold the knee well, and then we had a ref bump. Havok then ran in and attacks Melissa. The referee sees this and disqualifies Yim. The match never really got going, and I hated the booking and that finish with every fiber of my being. Yim has this fantastic outing, and then basically gets nothing in and then we get that horrendous finish. This was easily the worst thing on the show all around.

SHIMMER Title Match: Champion Nicole Matthews vs. Tomoka Nakagawa: Tomoka Nakagawa is one half of the SHIMMER tag team champions, and is retiring in two weeks following the next SHIMMER tapings. Nakagawa got CRAZY streamers from the fans. Nakagawa got some early run, and then Matthews used some shortcuts and dominated the action by outwrestling her challenger. Every time Nakagawa looked to made a comeback, Matthews would cut her off or use a shortcut to take control back. Matthews gave no fucks either as she dared the referee to disqualify her, since that would allow her to keep the title. They also had some miscommunication issues (as in Nakagawa almost waiting on Matthews at times). Perez came to ringside and distracted the ref by tossing a chair in, he yelled at her as Nakagawa got a cradle for like a 10 count, but he was distracted. Nakagawa got another near fall as Perez distracted the ref. Matthews would use the chair, hit the Vancouver maneuver and scored the win. If that was the only “nefarious” finish on the show it would have worked fine, but with the booking of the Melissa matches it came off as completely annoying. The match felt like an extended squash at times, and not in the crazy suplex, Lesnar vs. Cena kind of way. They did stuff, Matthews dominated, I felt that Nakagawa got very little and then the finish sucked since we’ve already seen too much bullshit.

* They announce that next year that the WWN Live shows will be held across the street from WWE AXXESS.

ChickFight Tournament Finals: Evie vs. Kay Lee Ray vs. Cheerleader Melissa: The winner of the match gets a future shot at the SHIMMER title. This is elimination rules. Havok’s music played, which distracted Melissa as she then appeared and watched on. Evie then kicked Melissa in the face, and Ray hit the senton and they eliminated Melissa after 5-minutes; the old Monday Night Raw distraction finish. I hate that on a weekly TV show, and hate it even more here. So instead of Melissa scoring quality wins and then the young girls looking to prove themselves eliminating her on their own, we get really bad booking and a distraction finish. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy that it got down to these two, but the path to get there was poorly constructed. Also, after hyping Melissa as “the ChickFight” queen (essentially, they harped on it on commentary) her booking was just horrible. Once we got past that, Ray and Evie had a good match and worked really hard. They were tired, but overcame the bad booking to deliver some quality action to close the show. Ray hit the missile dropkick and then the senton to score the win and become the tournament winner. Ray and Evie embraced post match and then Ray celebrated her victory.

* End scene.

* Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Good
The 411
The booking surrounding Cheerleader Melissa and Havok nearly derailed this entire show, which is a shame. That booking felt lazy and took away from a show that featured a lot of hard work and good wrestling. But if you take that bullshit out, you’ll enjoy a lot of this show as these ladies showed that they can deliver just as good as the men in the ring. Kay Lee Ray walls away your winner, Evie comes out looking like a great babyface and Mia Yim defeated Athena in a great match that stole the show. The show had its issues, but overall I would call this a good event. SHIMMER certainly belongs in the mix during WrestleMania weekend, unfortunately along with the good wrestling they also share some of the same bad habits.