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Dark Pegasus Video Review: SHIMMER Vol. 1

March 13, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: SHIMMER Vol. 1  

SHIMMER Women Athletes Vol. 1
by J.D. Dunn

I’d actually been interested in checking this out for a long time. I heard of the show when it first happened, and then 411’s own Mike Campbell told me he’d heard great things about it. I picked up this DVD a few months ago, but I just haven’t gotten around to reviewing it until now. Hopefully, if I’m entertained enough, I’ll catch up all the way through Vol. 10.

  • November 6, 2005
  • From Chicago, Ill.
  • Your hosts are Dave Prazak and Allison Danger.

  • Opening Match: Shantelle Taylor vs. Tiana Ringer.
    Good stuff early as they immediately try to establish that they are wrestlers. Shantelle cartwheels out of a waistlock, so Tiana tries the same thing, but Shantelle goes with her! Great spot there. Shantelle charges her but gets sideslammed for two. Tiana goes to work on Shantelle’s back. Shantelle tries to ride her down into a front facelock, but Tiana backkicks out of it. Tiana hits a pendulum backbreaker and holds Taylor over her knee. Shantelle fights out of it but runs right into a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker. Ringer grabs a camel clutch to work the back further. She lets it go to splash Shantelle’s back, but when she tries again Taylor rolls over and gets her knees up. Shantelle blocks a superplex but gets wobbly. They seem lost for a second, but Shantelle fights her off and finishes with a missile dropkick at 8:38. Like a lot of young wrestlers, they seemed comfortable doing their usual spots and groundwork, but once they tried to get more complex, the match broke down. I think they’ve both gotten much better at the more improvisational stuff since. **

  • Team Blondage vs. Cindy Rogers & Nikki Roxx.
    Nikki Roxx (Roxxi Laveaux) is almost unrecognizable with straight bleach-blonde hair. Team Blondage is Amber O’Neal and Krissy Vaine, playing mall bitches. Vaine was signed to a WWE developmental deal, but I don’t think anything ever came of it. Amber, of course, is the reporter who hung around with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Kidding. They threaten to take a walk early, prompting the audience to start a “chicken” chant. Roxx and Rogers get tired of waiting and chase them around the ring. Finally, the match starts, but Amber is too worried about her short tights revealing her ass to wrestle much. Rogers tosses Amber around, forcing her to tag to Vaine. Krissy gets more of the same, but Amber lends a helping hand from the outside, and the heels take over on Nikki. Amber gets one off a boot to the gut. This is a long heat segment on Nikki. Maybe too long. O’Neal puts Roxx down with a sleeper, but Nikki fights up, but they collide for the double KO. Rogers gets the hot tag and cleans house on Team Blondage. The match breaks down, and Rogers tries a sunset flip. Amber reaches in from the outside to keep Krissy from being taken over, and Team Blondage picks up the blemished win at 12:53. Not great wrestling, but Team Blondage showed great bitchy personality. *1/2

  • Rain vs. Ariel.
    Ariel is not the ECW one. You might remember her in the early days of Ring of Honor as a valet. Rain mocks her short stature, so Ariel slaps her around. To the floor, Rain pummels Ariel down. Back in, she starts pulling hair and arguing with the ref. She tries a German Suplex, but Aries blocks and counters to a Victory Roll for two. Rain misses a charge and gets DDT’d. Ariel hits Triple Vertical Suplexes for two. A Northern Lights gets two more. The Dariel (Diamond Cutter) finishes at 8:46. Like most of the other wrestlers on the card, they do well when hitting suplexes and the moves they’ve practiced, but the in-between parts (like punching) give them fits. *3/4

  • Lexie Fyfe vs. Christie Ricci.
    They trade some nice basic moves. Ricci actually shows great timing. Fyfe rides her down and puts her in a camel clutch, though. Like a good heel, she stretches Ricci against the ropes and argues with the ref about it. Ricci comes back with a superplex and a back heel kick. Lexie blocks a splash with her knees, though. That sets up the TKO on Ricci at 8:26. **

  • Cheerleader Melissa vs. MsChif.
    YES! Most people probably know I’m a longtime Melissa fan. MsChif is sort of like Poison Ivy from the Batman comics if she were played by Luna Vachon. Melissa jumps her off the bell, but MsChif screams and comes back. Melissa knocks her down again, but MsChif screams and gets up again. MsChif wins a slugfest and takes Melissa down into a hammerlock/straight-jacket smother. Melissa slips out and slaps MsChif around. She stands on her face for a bit and then turns her over into a reverse Texas Cloverleaf. As if that’s not enough, she bends MsChif over and makes her kick herself in the back of her own head. You know, I’m actively against marriage, but if I weren’t, I’d soooo marry Melissa. MsChif bodyscissors her over into a bridging chinlock (á la Muta… sort of). Melissa takes her to the floor and bends her over the steel guardrail. She picks her up and slams MsChif into the post. They slug it out, but Melissa wins that and Boston Crabs her over the railing. That’s sick. Back in, MsChif fights out of the Vertebreaker and hits a quebrada. MsChif starts nailing her with clotheslines in the corner like some female Vader. That fires Melissa up, though, and she hits a pair of dropkicks. She misses a third and eats the turnbuckle. MsChif starts slingshot stomping her into the buckle. Melissa counters a rana to a powerbomb for two. She goes for the Vertebreaker again, but MsChif counters to the Desecrator (Arm-scissor single-arm DDT) for a bit of an upset at 15:05. The difference between this match and the previous ones was like night and day. Both of these women not only had good execution on their moves, but they had well-defined personalities as well (rather than just “Well, I’m a heel so I’ll yell at the crowd a lot”). Melissa looked particularly good, and it’s no wonder she’s called the Bryan Danielson of women wrestlers. ***1/4

  • Allison Danger vs. Beth Phoenix.
    You know Beth, of course. She looks and acts more like Jillian Hall here. They go comedy early, which is probably a good idea after the last match. They criss-cross, but Allison puts on the breaks and watches Beth tire out as she runs the ropes. Allison kips up out of a wristlock, so Beth tries the same thing but can’t do the kip-up. Beth comes back with chops and plants a liplock on the referee as she chokes Danger out with her knee. She works in the old ‘choke with the wrist tape’ trick. Prazak says that Beth has a tremendous future ahead of her. Good call. She grounds Allison with an armbar-and-chinlock. Allison comes back with a chinbreaker, though. She does the same move but turns it into a neckbreaker for two. Phoenix goes for the Beth Valley Driver (tee hee), but Allison slips off her shoulder. Beth reverses a waistlock and rolls her up, but Danger reverses that and gets the pin at 10:42. Very different from the previous match. It was a little more personality-driven and light-hearted. Still quite good, though. **3/4

  • Sara Del Rey vs. Mercedes Martinez.
    Lots of mat wrestling to start, and damned if it isn’t pretty good. They slug it out, and Del Rey hits a back kick. Del Rey gets called for choking, which she objects two. That allows Martinez to come back with a DVD neckbreaker. She hits a backdrop suplex, but Del Rey comes back with an Octopus Stretch. Martinez escapes and grabs a surfboard. Del Rey nearly knocks her into next week with the Polish Hammer. That sets up a powerbomb that folds Martinez in half. ONE, TWO, TH-NO! Martinez hogties Del Rey and takes a breather. That’s kind of goofy post-1955, but I guess it works in the context of the match. She dropkicks Del Rey out of it, which proves to be a mistake because Del Rey comes back with a rollup and a German Suplex for two. Martinez hits an Exploder for two and locks in a Dragon Sleeper. She starts yanking at Sara’s face, forcing the ref to break the hold. She switches up to a Butterfly Lock, but Del Rey is in the ropes. Del Rey comes back with the Royal Butterfly submission, but she can’t get her over with the slam. Del Rey collapses, allowing Martinez to pick her up for the Fisherman’s Buster. ONE, TWO, THR-ohhhh. Time-limit draw at 20:00. Actually, I count 19:00, but that’s neither here nor there. This was some solid wrestling action that was on par with anything from the WWE men’s midcard recently. ***1/4

  • Prazak tells us that Cindy Rogers has challenged Krissy Vaine to a singles match for Vol. 2.
  • Lacey vs. Daizee Haze.
    Lacey accuses Haze of bringing a loaded flower to the ring. Lacey, of course, is an awesome whiny heel, and it shows here. She shrilly complains about hair-pulling and then pulls Haze’s hair. The ref catches her, so Lacey ducks out and gets a drink of water. Lacey calls for a test of strength, but Haze rides her down into a hammerlock. Daizee charges but gets tossed into the turnbuckle. Daizee comes back with a headscissors, but Lacey catches her going up and shoves her back in the ring. They slug it out, but Lacey goes back to hair-pulling. She hits a pair of running knees into Haze’s back but misses a third one. Haze misses a charge, though, and Lacey legsweeps her into the turnbuckle. ONE, TWO, THR-Haze gets her foot on the ropes. Haze slips out of a bow-and-arrow, but Lacey catches her trying a crossbody and ties her in the tree-of-woe. She stretches Haze out but stops to take a drink of water, allowing Haze to kick her way out of it. Haze knocks her silly with a Tornado Chinbreaker. YAKUZA KICK! ONE, TWO, THR-NO! The lariat gets two more. Lacey catches her going up and hits a rope-assisted neckbreaker. Haze gets a sunset flip for two, but Lacey hits a TKO neckbreaker for two of her own. Daizee reverses a whip and hits the Heart Punch. That sets up the Mind Trip at 22:19. ***1/2
  • The 411: The first four matches were nothing special. In fact, I thought to myself that these women were no better than the much-derided Divas. Even Team Blondage, who at least showed personality, wasn't very entertaining in the ring. Once we got to the Cheerleader Melissa/MsChif match, this thing started kicking ass and never looked back. Not only did they put on quality matches, but they had different kinds of matches so that it never really got boring. My one complaint is the lack of individual personalities, something that would be solved in future episodes.

    Solid thumbs up.

    Final Score:  7.5   [ Good ]  legend

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