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Reviews From the City of Orange: SHIMMER Vol. 6

February 11, 2008 | Posted by Mike Campbell
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Reviews From the City of Orange: SHIMMER Vol. 6  

In the whole spirit of complete disclosure, I would like to thank the fine people at Big Vision Entertainment for including this DVD in their latest screening pack.

Taped May 21, 2006

I know, I’m jumping around a bit with the SHIMMER reviews and messing up continuity, but it can’t be helped. A combination of my insistence on reviewing a variety of promotions, and other obligations have forced my hand. It’s all good though, because there’s good stuff on the horizon. Amazing Kong! The tag team of debut Sara Del Ray and Mercedes Martinez! And Melissa and Mschif going another round!

Amazing Kong . . . takes part in a trios match, but it may as well be in a handicap match against three Joe Thurmans.
Lacey and Rain . . . make their SHIMMER tag team debut, and put on quite the fun southern tag match.
Mschif . . . shows an almost Jack Evans like ability to withstand punishment, but ultimately comes out on top.

If this is any indication, I got the answer to the question I posed from the first SHIMMER show (if Team Blondage were any good, or just doing a good job with their gimmicks), and I’m happy to say that it’s the former. As good as she is doing the diva gimmick (and she doesn’t look too shabby in the shiny black gear either), she shows that she’s capable inside the ring. It’s established early on that Serena is clearly the better wrestler, taking Amber to the mat several times, and controlling her with various holds like a simple front chancery. Serena makes a simple mistake in dropping her head too early, and gets herself in a world of trouble. Amber doesn’t do much of note from a wrestling perspective, but she does quite a bit of damage with heel tactics like choking and hair pulling. There’s also one awesome moment when she’s lighting up Serena with chops, and stops to check her nails. Amber also surprises with a very nice vertical suplex. Amber makes her own mistake though, and opens herself up to a spear, a nice revenge spot from when Serena ducked her head too early, and Serena avenges her previous loss to Amber when she cradles her after a vertical suplex for the win. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, but it’s nice to see that Amber has more to offer than just a nice figure and a diva character.

If you haven’t seen Kong before, you must do so immediately. There are things to like about this match, but it goes on for a bit too long, considering what they were working toward. Rogers’ team doesn’t have a prayer, that’s obvious in the first minute of the match, all three of them try to knock Kong down, and fail. It’s not until all three of them work together that they can take Kong off her feet. What do they do when they’ve accomplished that? They celebrate and play to the fans instead of putting the boots to her. Any other time Kong is involved in the match its Vader vs. Joe Thurman.

Kong isn’t involved a whole lot though, a good chunk of the match features ‘The Experience’ (Hosaka and Fyfe) working over Josie, it’s fun to watch, because Hosaka and Fyfe are both awesome heels and really get the crowd riled up, but neither shows a whole lot as far as real wrestling. There’s one nice moment where Rogers has Hosaka in a surfboard and Hosaka bridges herself back and uses the leverage to get the ropes for the break, but that’s more the exception than the rule. A lot of the heel control segment features hair pulling, eye raking, and double teaming in the corner. There is one very nasty spot, where Hosaka rams Josie’s head in Fyfe’s elbow in the corner, similar to a heel tag team spot, with the illegal man’s boot. It’s disappointing because with so much experience between them (19 for Hosaka and 11 for Fyfe) you’d expect them to show a lot more, but the match is about Kong, so they take a backseat. Josie makes a hot tag, but it doesn’t matter, Kong dispatches both Ariel and Rogers with ease, leaving Josie to get planted by a double gourd buster and then flattened by Kong’s ‘Amazing Press.’ I could have told you right away Josie would be jobbing, Kong looks like something out of a scary movie, and what’s one of the general rules of scary movies? The black dude always dies.

If Nikki wanted to start climbing the ladder work working her way toward main events, this isn’t a bad starting point. Lee’s lack of experience shows here, and that’s what eventually takes Nikki to victory, but they throw in a few nice touches along the way to show the edge that Nikki has. The dueling roll-up spot in the opening moments is rather nice, Lee catches Nikki completely by surprise, and Nikki is a good sport about it, and gives Lee some credit. Ten seconds later Nikki does the same thing, to show Lee that she can play that game too. That more or less sets the tone of the match, Lee tries to work over Nikki with an armbar, but Nikki counters to her own. Lee tries to wear her down with a wrist lock, and Nikki one-ups her with a hammerlock. Lee goes for too much though, and attempts a handspring elbow and misses, which puts Nikki in control. Nikki tries to finish her off quickly with a lot of basic stuff, going for pins after simple moves like a bodyslam. Lee continues to fight, and won’t be finished off that easily though, Lee hits a Japanese armdrag, but is too worn down to follow up, which allows Nikki to plant her with the Barbie Crusher and beat her.

As nice as it was to see them go out there and use their time well, by telling a good story, there was still one big problem, simply put, Lee’s offense is about as ugly as it gets. The missed handspring elbow had no real momentum and looked bad, they also had an Irish whip segment, that ended with Lee dropping Roxx with what might have been a leg sweep, but it was hard to tell. Most of Lee’s strikes also looked bad. Again, the storytelling was nice, and very much appreciated, but Lee’s inexperience was on full display here, and not always in the good furthering the story type of way.

While this is relatively short, it manages to make its point. Nikita’s win on the previous show (over Lacey) gave her a case of the swollen head syndrome, and she expects to be able to plow right through The Haze, but like Alison Danger said on commentary ‘Dynamite comes in small packages,’ and The Haze is Dynamite. Nikita tries to straight up out wrestle Haze in the early going, but time and again finds herself unable to do so. Nikita’s frustration gets the better of her and she attacks The Haze from behind and wound up needing to use dirty tactics like choking her on the ropes in order to gain control.

Nikita’s control segment is fun enough to watch, she targets Haze’s back in an attempt to wear her down for the Uranage Backbreaker, and makes good use of various submissions, including a very nice seated abdominal stretch. Nikita even busts out the ultimate spot in a Curb Stomp, but aimed more for Daizee’s back than the typical Curb Stomp to the head. Nikita is also smart to enough to show that she’s not losing sight of her goal. She doesn’t get too caught up in working over Haze. She makes a few attempts in between the spots to attempt the Uranage Backbreaker. But Daizee is just too tough and too determined to stay down, she hits a facebuster in a cute counter to a delayed vertical suplex, and blocks an attempt at the Uranage Backbreaker with her own attempt at the Heart Punch, neither of which are successful. Daizee only uses one really big move in the match, a Tornado Daizee Cutter. Nikita was smart enough to not get caught up in her strategy, but not smart enough to know when to give it a rest, and after several attempts at her finisher, Daizee counters with a cradle and scores a flash pin. Like the last match, it was rather short, but they used their time wisely and effectively, and this had the bonus of the match itself being worked much better, thanks to both women’s spots being much more clean looking than those of Lorelei Lee. ***

There are things to like about this match, but this comes off feeling a bit flat by the end. There’s really nothing that seems consistent about it, which is probably why it comes off the way that it does. Despite handing Alison Danger her first defeat, and avenging her loss to Daizee Haze, via illegal tactics, there aren’t many to be found here from Knox. There’s the closed fist strikes behind Bryce’s back, but watch practically any of Nigel’s Pure Title matches from early in his reign, and you’ll see that (although the rules have apparently been altered so that three closed fists is an automatic disqualification rather than getting docked rope breaks and only being disqualified if you’re out of them), and the same way Danger gets mad and retaliate, only to be caught, warned, and eventually docked, is the result of most early Nigel defenses. After Knox runs Danger out of rope breaks, she grabs the ropes at every chance, but that doesn’t seem to make any difference. The holds and the pin don’t seem any more threatening than without the ropes.

It’s fun to watch Knox work over Danger’s knee, but aside from the taunting of her by calling her ‘peg leg,’ there isn’t much personality to it. It’s nice to see that Knox can put Danger in some freaky looking crab holds and leg locks, but there’s no real edge to anything that she does to make anyone really hate (or love) her for what she’s doing, and on the other side of the coin, there’s nothing Danger does while getting worked over that would make anyone rally behind her. All they’ve really got is their history. It also doesn’t help that ‘peg leg’ wasn’t too consistent with selling her knee either. Despite Knox running her out of rope breaks with leg holds, she’s got no problem giving Knox several face busters on her knee, and then doing an STO. Also, despite supposedly preparing with Nigel, there’s very little ‘pure wrestling’ to be seen from Danger, there’s the cute wrist lock exchange in the opening moments, and the stretch plum choke, but that’s a trademark Alison spot, nothing unique. Also, the finish is almost out of nowhere. Danger gives Knox a cross body press, and Knox rolls through to win. No use of the ropes, nothing to do with Danger’s knee, either getting her into that predicament, or failing to get her out, it comes off feeling tacked on. Again, there are things to like, such as Danger’s antics of getting under Rebecca’s skin, the wrist lock stuff, and watching Knox put the hurt on Danger’s leg. It’s just a shame that it came off the way it did, considering the potential is had.

I needed a good pick-me-up after being let down by the last match, and this match sure did the trick. But there aren’t many things that a good old southern tag match *won’t* be a good pick-me-up for. Sara and Mercedes show that they’re on the same page early on taking turns pelting Lacey with chops and working in several quick tags in between spots to show the precious ‘continuity’ that Gorilla always went on about in tag matches. But once Lacey cheap shots Sara from the apron and her and Rain go to work on Sara, this really kicks into the next gear and gets flying. Both of the heels are fun to watch here, but Lacey much more than Rain, Lacey shows the same mean streak that she had in her match with Daizee Haze from the first SHIMMER show. Not to say Rain is bad, but compared to Lacey, she’s rather underwhelming. It comes off like Lacey is leading the show and that Rain is just along for the ride. Rain’s only really notable moments on offense are her and Lacey double teaming Sara. While Lacey has a bunch of good moments of her own, including the ultimate slap in the face, locking Sara in the Butterfly Lock.

The really nice thing here is that while Lacey and Rain clearly have the edge for teamwork, it’s still clear that Sara is the better wrestler, and they’re not afraid to play off that. Every time they try to take a break from working over Sara and she gets to her feet, she starts to hammer away, resulting in the illegal member to attack her from behind to slow her down. There’s also one great spot, where Sara started giving Lacey headbutts, but went a bit too far and wound up hurting herself leaving her open for more abuse. Sara’s eventual comeback and tag aren’t the result of some mis communication, but she by using her power advantage to plant Rain with a big powerbomb (the spot that UT likes to do when he Last Rides someone from the corner). Mercedes doesn’t get the big house of fire run of offense, she dispatches Lacey, and then quickly takes out Rain with a spine buster, but it’s all of thirty seconds long. The booking for the finish is predictable, but not in a bad way. Sara miscues a charging kick and hits Mercedes, Rain throws Sara to the floor and Lacey hits her DDT and pins Mercedes. After their time limit draw, and Sara winning the rematch, there was obviously going to be a third match, and this was a fine set up, and a damn fine match too. ***1/4

MSCHIF vs. CHEERLEADER MELISSA (Last Woman Standing Match)
Some would call this a spotfest, but that would be a bit misleading. A ‘spotfest’ is when storytelling and psychology are left by the wayside in favor of busting out a bunch of cool looking stuff. However, that’s exactly what they need to do in this case, bust out as much as they can in hopes of rendering one another unconscious, or at least rendering them unable to stand. Like their first match, Melissa does most of the heavy lifting for the offense, and once again puts Mschif in all kinds of nasty looking submissions, including a Boston Crab that redefines the idea of ‘sitting back’ in the hold. Melissa also uses a Camel Clutch, with the assistance of a chair, that garners an Iron Sheik reference on commentary. When she’s unable to get the win that way, Melissa concentrates on hitting her finisher, The Kudo Driver, but also is unsuccessful, and that’s what eventually leads to her downfall.

The one thing that hurts this a lot, isn’t something the women could really control, the extended brawl on the floor was probably great for the fans, but watching it on DVD was very hard to follow at times, because of the darkness of it. But the lack of good lighting doesn’t take away from the intensity and hatred they both show here. Mschif stretches Melissa out a bit herself, using her own chair assisted Boston Crab, but uses the chair to tie up her arms and put more weight on her back. Mschif also pulled over several brutal double stomps to the back, and an ode to Delirious with a panic attack. In the end though, it all came down to one thing, Melissa’s inability to hit the Kudo Driver, and after her sixth or seventh attempt, Mschif countered with a Desecrator on a chair to keep her down for ten. Considering the sheer amount of moves and spots they both do, it’s easy to label this as a spotfest, but the spots do have a significant purpose, so I guess you could call this an organized spotfest, and it’s a very fun one too.

The 411: Although nothing here was up to the level of the first SHIMMER show, it’s still quite the solid show overall, with nothing being flat out bad, and headlined by two very fun matches, easy recommendation for this show.
Final Score:  7.5   [ Good ]  legend

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