Cewsh Reviews – Shimmer Volume 63 Recap Spectacular

Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of our participation award winning coverage of Shimmer Women Athletes! It’s been a whole 6 months since Shimmer last moonsaulted it’s way out of our lives, but with Spring comes a whole new set of Shimmer tapings to get pumped about, and as always, your Cewsh Reviews team was front and center for every moment of it.

We’re Pretty Easy To Spot, Actually.

Over the next week, Mrs. Cewsh and I will be recapping each of the four volumes that were taped over the weekend so that we can get you up to speed on what the premier women’s wrestling company on the planet is up to. And boy howdy, folks, were they ever busy. We have more international talent than ever before, a legendary babyface embracing her dark side, and someone who apparently spent the last 6 months binge watching Game of Thrones. All that and more is still to come, along with numerous pictures from the weekend that you won’t find anywhere else.

So let’s get to it, so you to can find out just why it is that Shimmer is wrestling’s best kept secret.

Now, the way that Shimmer works is that they tape 4 full length shows twice a year, with 2 shows each on Saturday and Sunday. For each day they also have two dark matches which are called “Sparkle” matches, and are used to develop and try out potential main roster talent. So when you see us separate Sparkle and Shimmer, don’t get confused. Sparkle girls aren’t quite Shimmer worthy just yet.


a. Angelus Layne pinned Mary Lee Rose with a Victory Layne (TKO). 

Mary Lee Rose (Left) and Angelus Layne (Right)

Mrs. Cewsh: I like Angelus a lot and I’m so happy she’s beaten PCS and returned, but this was the worst Sparkle I’ve seen. She didn’t mesh with Mary and it resulted in a slow, bland match.

Cewsh: Bland is a nice way to put it. Angelus did her thing terrifically, and looked like the star that I’m sure that she will be, but Mary Lee Rose has not impressed in her time Sparkling thus far. Her offense seems to be in slow motion, and her look just isn’t on the same level as the talent she’s working with. I’ve only had a few matches to judge off of thus far, but while I hate to say it, I just don’t think she’s Shimmer quality as a talent. I would love for her to prove me wrong, but I just haven’t seen it in the ring.

b. Angie Skye & Stacy Shadows beat Diana Hall & Pink Flash Kira. Skye pinned Kira with the Hard Goodbye.

Pink Flash Kira (Left) and Diana Hall (Right)

Mrs. Cewsh: Abysmal. Angie deserves to be main roster, but she can’t carry three women who have no idea how to structure a match or where to be in a ring. People in wrong corners, selling dead center of the mat so people have to wrestle around you. Maybe it was just a bad morning, but this certainly didn’t show that anyone’s ready to move up the card.

Cewsh: We’ve mentioned before how Angie Skye was stuck spinning her wheels in Sparkle for ages, despite being the most polished talent ever to Sparkle in Shimmer’s history. During the last tapings, she finally got her main roster shot, only to be stuck back down here at the bottom on this show in a match that was just a flat out sloppy mess. Things were going okay until the last few minutes, but I can’t express to you how much things fell apart in that last sequence. People in the crowd were cringing and yelling at the wrestlers that they were out of position, and it was just not a great sight.

Angie Skye isn’t even remotely to blame here, and Kira has also shown real flashes of promise, but these first two matches really put a bad taste in my mouth for a lot of their peers.

SHIMMER Volume 63

1. Evie defeated Rhia O’Reilly with a double stomp in a Tree of Woe. 

Evie (Left) and Rhia O’Reilly (Right)

Cewsh: Rhia O’Reilly is back after a short absence, and she has some ground to make up, seeing as she left off just when Saraya was considering making her her apprentice in evil. She didn’t get the win here, but she definitely had the crowd right where she wanted them, and looked even better than the last time we saw her. Evie, for her part, is just marvelous. One of the rarest things in wrestling is a performer who can move at light speeds in the ring, while still being crisp and in control at all times, and not only does Evie make that look easy, she manages to be completely lovable while doing it. With Jessie McKay seemingly done with Shimmer, it really does seem like Evie is priming herself to march right into Jessie’s vacated place in our hearts.

Mrs. Cewsh: Rhia’s looking mean. That’s definitely not a bad thing and I was really happy to start the volume off with a hard hitting (kicking) match to move on from the dark matches.

2. Nevaeh pinned Christina Von Eerie with a Death Valley Driver.

Christina Von Eerie

Mrs. Cewsh: Oi4K is the best thing that could have happened to Neveah. She’s another wrestler who’s really benefiting from a super mean, hardcore makeover. I’ve never loved her in singles competition before, but this was fun and nasty.

Cewsh: Solid match. Nevaeh doesn’t have any upward momentum in Shimmer, but she’s still good for a solid midcard match, and this was exactly that.

3. Jessicka Havok defeated Kay Lee Ray with a chokeslam from the top rope.

Jessicka Havok

Mrs. Cewsh: Kay Lee Ray is one of the few main stage debuts this time around and she’s a delight. Watching Havok beat the crap out of someone who can bump their ass off for her never gets old. I do wish KLR had shown a little more personality in this match. I didn’t get a whole lot of “hardcore daredevil”. Even just a little pre-match promo to introduce her?

Cewsh: I. Love. Monsters. If I started a religion, the core tenet of my faith would be that if we are all kind to one another and did good deeds, we will be rewarded in the afterlife by infinite matches between small high flyers and giant world killers. So in my book, there was no better way to introduce the Scottish Skywalker than to have her suffer at the mercy of Jessicka Havok. Havok has come a long way since her debut in Shimmer, and I am beyond myself with excitement to see her filling the role that has been left empty since Amazing Kong left years and years ago.

4. Courtney Rush makes Marti Belle tap out to a Sharpshooter.

Marti Belle

Mrs. Cewsh: I’m kind of over Courtney Rush, but the rest of the Eagles’ Club disagrees. Marti is fantastic and worked a vain heel gimmick to good effect, but she could have been Mantaur and the crowd wouldn’t have cared.

Cewsh: Mantaur would be over huge in Shimmer. Though, it would have to be WOMANTAUR.

5. Kimber Lee & Cherry Bomb beat Leva Bates & Veda Scott. Scott was pinned following a Codebreaker/German Suplex combination. 

Leva Bates (Left) and Veda Scott (Right)

Cewsh: This is the beginning of a weekend long storyline that will eventually see Veda Scott turn heel and begin her Goldberg-esque winning streak of 2-0. It starts here, with Leva and Veda having some trouble working as a team, before Scott takes the loss against the mega charismatic KimberBombs. The trouble is still under the surface as everyone goes to the back, but it is definitely still there, and since this is only their first match teaming together, that’s probably not a great sign.

Mrs. Cewsh: Leva shouldn’t still be in tag matches. She got the entire brunt of the Allison Danger retirement rub and she’s…losing in a team with Veda? Now, it did set up a future storyline, so I can’t be too mad, and KimberBombs are probably my favorite tag team not named the Ninjas, so it was still a good, fun match. But it felt like a real backslide for Leva.

6. Madison Eagles made Heidi Lovelace tap out to an STF. 

Madison Eagles (Left) and Heidi Lovelace (Right)

Mrs. Cewsh: A good but not overly memorable midcard match that unfortunately resulted in Madison breaking her wrist in a freak accident. :\

Cewsh: Madison Eagles does not have bad matches. She doesn’t. If you think that you’ve seen a bad Madison Eagles match then you are wrong, and also probably ugly.

7. Saraya Knight pinned Tomoka Nakagawa with an Inverted DDT following a distraction from Rhia O’Reilly.

Saraya (Left) and Tomoka Nakagawa (Right)

Mrs. Cewsh: It’s a Saraya match. You know what you’re getting in the ring. However, the woman can get nuclear heat and I’ve never seen such a loud, sustained reaction that she goaded out of us for Nakagawa. She should teach.

Cewsh: The twin stories of this match are the unbelievable reaction that Tomoka Nakagawa received during this match, and the reestablishment of the partnership between Saraya and Rhia O’Reilly. Nakagawa’s chants got so loud and crazy at one point, that I actually lost my voice just trying to keep up with them, and it may be very possible that she is Shimmer’s top babyface even when she’s not in the ring with a heat magnet like Saraya. But whether she is or not, she still fell to Saraya here, as Rhia ran out and helped her new mentor score a victory, which leads to a tag title shot later in the weekend.

Using Saraya’s supernatural heat to put over a younger talent is a no brainer, but I think O’Reilly is an especially good choice for this. She’s a natural heel who really seems to be growing in confidence every time we see her, and you can almost see a baby Saraya in her. Of all of the great things Saraya has done in Shimmer, making Rhia a top level heel might well be the thing she can hang her American legacy on if it all works out.

8. Yumi Ohka defeated Athena with a Tiger Suplex and running Yakuza Kick.


Mrs. Cewsh: She might be using the gimmick elsewhere, but this was my first taste of the “Fallen Goddess” Athena. She’s coming out with a heraldic standard, she has the direwolf on her tights, and she’s now from the “realm of ChicagobackslashDallas”. As a massive Game of Thrones fan, I’m so into this. I’m also really into the change in demeanor. She’s not calling people hussies. She’s not doing the backspring slap, but a backspring, slide outside, crescent kick, which is way more impressive. I don’t mean to ignore Yumi in this description, but Athena just shines so much brighter than (almost) any other woman on the roster.

Cewsh: In gymnastics there are two ways to win. You can either pursue technical perfection on tricks you know you can perform perfectly, or you can floor it and attempt to win by performing insane moves that nobody else can match. The first camp produces most of the winners, but every once in awhile someone from the second group will come along and completely change everything. And the concept of flooring it at all times, and going for the greatest possible trick no matter what, is Athena to a tee. She throws herself into moves that don’t even seem to make sense until she pulls them off, dazzling everyone with acts that are both spectacular and utterly ballsy, and she never, ever slows down.

While this might not exactly sound like a compliment in 2014, she reminds me of Sabu. Not the broken down joke that he is now, but the Sabu of the mid 90s, who captured the imagination of audiences by being purely fearless. There was nothing he wouldn’t try, and no lengths he wouldn’t go to in order to make everything he did awe inspiring. And that is Athena today. And with her finally hitting on a gimmick that feels truly “big time” with her Game of Thrones inspired style, Athena is poised to become the biggest thing in women’s wrestling. It’s just a matter of whether she does it here, or on a bigger stage altogether.

9. Ray & Leon beat Portia Perez & Nicole Matthews. Both Ninjas were pinned following a moonsault by Ray and a Senton Bomb by Leon.

Ray (Left) and Nicole Matthews (Right)

Cewsh: Ray and Leon are an electrifying pair of Joshi luchadors, who faithful readers may recall as having stolen an entire weekend during their last visit to the States, in a match with Ayako Hamada and Ayumi Kurihara. Here, they are up against the premier female tag team of the decade in the Canadian Ninjas, and the result is about what you’d expect.

It must be said that with all of the Joshi vs. North America matches that we get, surprisingly few of them feature miscommunication on a noticeable level. In this match, Ray and the Ninjas seemed to have trouble staying on the same page until the end, which hurt the middle of the match more than a little. But the finish was hot, and everyone came out of this looking fantastic, so it hardly even matters.

Mrs. Cewsh: God am I happy to see Ray and Leon back. They are one of the brightest, most high energy acts on the scene and watching them interact with the Ninjas? Perfection.

10. Kellie Skater pinned Nikki Storm with the International Incident.

Nikki Storm (Left) and Kellie Skater (Right)

Mrs. Cewsh: Oh Nikki. I’m so happy with this whole damn card. Unfortunately, I’m not in love with Skater outside of Three G right now. Without the Roo Roids and the double team moves, I’m just missing some connection. When I see her alone, I kind of just want Nakagawa to show up.

Cewsh: Nikki Storm is the best comedic heel character in wrestling today. Write that shit in stone, people. Because it’s not up for debate.

11. Mia Yim defeated Hikaru Shida with a Package Piledriver.

Mia Yim (Top) and Hikaru Shida (Bottom)

Mrs. Cewsh: Remember what I said about Athena shining bright? That goes for Mia Yim too. The fact that she’s not signed to a major company boggles my mind. Shida is an unbelievable talent and maybe the best joshi signing since Ayumi Kurihara. Together they have what could have been MotN on another taping.

Cewsh: During our recaps of the last Shimmer weekend, the overriding theme was, “Mia Yim has achieved her potential and is living up to her hype.” And while quite a few other people stood out of those shows, it was Yim who really took huge strides into the spotlight, setting herself apart from her peers and demanding attention. That continued into this weekend as well, with a fantastic match against Shida here. And while Yim was terrific, and continued propelling herself towards a well deserved title shot, this match was actually a cleverly disguised hint at who the true MVP of this weekend would turn out to be. But more on that later…

12. LuFisto & Kana beat Cheerleader Melissa & Mercedes Martinez. LuFisto pinned Melissa with the Burning Hammer.

LuFisto (Left) and Kana (Right)

Cewsh: This match grew out of the feud between Cheerleader Melissa and LuFisto that has dominated the last several Shimmer shows. It all began with the retirement of Allison Danger, and the utter disrespect that Melissa showed her on the way out, including intentionally trying to cripple her fellow legend in Shimmer history. Outraged at this, LuFisto fought back on Danger’s behalf, and so began a feud that culminated in an epic two out of three falls match for the title live on iPPV over Wrestlemania weekend. But while LuFisto is enjoying a renaissance in both her life and wrestling career, she just wasn’t able to overcome the odds and defeat Melissa, (thanks in no small part to a hearty dose of Mercedes Martinez interference.)

So as we roll into Volume 63, LuFisto is looking for some good ol’ revenge against both Melissa and Mercedes, and has recruited her on again, off again tag partner Kana to aid her in getting it. And on the surface, that’s exactly what happens here. The good guys thrash the bad guys, and LuFisto finally gets a pinfall victory over the champion. So everything is all good, right? Well, yes and no. Yes, the babyfaces won, and that’s great. But no, this is more complicated than that for two reasons. 1) This will lead into a storyline in the next Volume that is among the most controversial and confusing in Shimmer’s history and 2) the impact of the good guys winning was muffled heavily by a group of people in our section loudly chanting for Melissa the entire time. All of the usual arguments come into play about whether or not it’s cool to cheer heels when they’re trying their best to be heels, but, well, it diminished this match, and the impact it could have had. It hurts the match and the performers, whether the fans have the best of intentions or not, especially in such an intimate setting.

Mrs. Cewsh: Once upon a time, at my first Shimmer show, I happened upon something that’s stuck with me for almost half a decade now. Daffney was outside the afterparty, and at the time she was a heel, but she was telling everyone stories and showing us cat pictures on her phone. One dude approached her and said, in this super proud way, “I love you so much, I NEVER boo you.” Daffney looked at him and in the saddest voice I’ve heard, asked, “Why? Am I doing a bad job?” And this guy seemed so confused. He was like, no, I love you. I want you to know it, so I cheer! And Daffney said, and this sticks with me, “If you like what I’m doing, boo me louder than anyone.” I saw the guy on day two and he did! Because he genuinely thought that was appreciation and once he learned better, he showed it in a more appropriate way.

Now look, you paid your $80 and I paid mine. I can’t tell anyone in the crowd what to do. But if you’re cheering the heels because you love Melissa and you want her to know it? You’re probably ACTUALLY making her job harder than it needs to be. You want her to hold the belt for the rest of her life? Boo that shit. You’re cheering because you’re not into who she’s facing? Then don’t say anything. But don’t cheer the heel. It’s only hurting them.


Cewsh’s Conclusion:

Cewsh: This isn’t the best Shimmer card you’ll ever see, especially since you can usually measure these things by how many truly great matches that got packed onto one show. Really, only Yim/Shida stands out here by Shimmer standards, though the rest of the show was fun and satisfying at various points along the way. But the real story of the weekend hasn’t even remotely begun to be told, as things really start to go nuts on the very next Volume. As such, this feels like the transitional show that it is. Seek out Yim/Shida, and buy the show to complete your collection, but the real goodies are ahead.


Well that’ll do it for us this time, boys and girls. We hope you enjoyed the first of our four recaps of Shimmer weekend, with the rest to come as the week rolls on. I hope that reading this has given you a spark on interest in checking out Shimmer if you never have before, or has inspired you to give it another look if it’s been awhile, because this isn’t just a promotion we like, it’s one we believe in.

We don’t blow smoke up Dave Prazak’s ass because he pays us to, (though that would be nice,) or because we’re trying to suck up to the wrestlers or seem indy and cool for liking something obscure. We praise and promote Shimmer because it represents something truly unique and special in the wrestling world. It is an independent promotion that brings together the very best female talent from promotions all over the globe, from Japan and England and Australia and Canada and damn near everywhere else where rings exist. It takes all that talent and somehow makes them all belong, giving them the chance to expand both their, and our, horizons in the process. It is a sanctuary of simple, match focused booking in a sea of overly complicated and preposterously serious competitors. It is a company that makes you feel at home once you find it. It is fun, and comedic, and epic and has produced some of the top women’s talent of the past decade, (Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Madison Rayne, Paige, Emma and so many more.) And most important of all, it is just so fucking good.

Shimmer is the heart of the wrestling world right now. And these things simply do not last forever. Find out for yourself now, and you’ll always be able to say that you were there while it was changing the wrestling industry from the ground up. If you aren’t convinced yet, we have three more chances to win you over this week. So until the next one, remember to keep reading and be good to one another!

Now enjoy some more pictures from Shimmer Volume 63!

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