Oh I was also going to add to my show reviews that every time I've read about a set of tapings there was always talk about how some fans have, not quite ruined, but hurt other's enjoyment of the shows. Well sod all that. Every fan I spoke to that weekend was great; Dantastic, Stevea21, Sureshot, JessAndreia, Sir Dave of Danger, Goddess of Cats, the guy who's training to be a wrestler who's name I've sadly forgotten and many more were all great company to spend the weekend with.
Aaron is our young friend training to be a wrestler in southern CA. I gotta give props to his father, who is just the coolest low-key guy. You gotta respect parents that enable their kids having the time of their lives.
And I agree with your point, Woo. It was great meeting and hanging with you, Charlie, Dave, Aaron and all. Staying at the Rodeway Inn was a perfect opportunity to be able to meet some of the coolest and most knowledgeable wrestling fans around.
Aaron and his dad went with Dantastic and I to Brookfield Zoo and his dad paid admission for all of us which blew my mind. All three of them were awesome to hang out with. (And Dan, I did NOT cry at the snow leopard cub!)
I apologize in advance if I forgot to mention anyone from the forum or people I met this past weekend, there's just too many great people that I got to meet.
To all the fans that I had the privilege to hang out with for the weekend: Woo, Dantastic, Stevea21, Sir Dave of Danger, Goddess of Cats, Cuda, "Freddy Krueger", Eugene, Shupercousin, Sakebito, Mattokun, Nagashimark of the Joshi Fans group; thank you guys for making me and my dad feel welcome this past weekend. I came into the weekend with the one goal of making some good friends as well as build relationship with the ones I made when I was there last spring, I can say for certain that I've accomplished that goal that weekend. I got to see more of the area this time around, from visiting the Brookfield Zoo with Dantastic and Goddess of Cats to eating at The Squared Circle for the first time. Everyone that I got to talk with through the week was pure class, and are all people that I would be glad to call friend. My confidence has grown tremendously since the last time my dad and I came out to the tapings, and I thank you guys for making that possible. You guys are the best and I hope to see you all again in the spring!
Last Edit: Oct 25, 2013 10:03:40 GMT -6 by aaroni93
Post by MC LevaMark on Oct 25, 2013 18:04:32 GMT -6
As has become a tradition with these post taping reflections, I first want to give a shoutout to my Round Table folk: Amsterdam; Chairman Liger and his associate, Mark; My favorite Missourians, Scott and Patty; Pat Ketza; Dynamite Dave; Sign Guy Jim, and the others whose names escape me or I’ve yet to learn. The discussions continue to be fun and free of malice, which is totally awesome. Being that my blood family doesn’t like wrestling, I love having you guys there as a surrogate family to enjoy wrestling with. And in the vain of the chant we came up with… AT LEAST IT’S SOMETHING! *clap, clap, clapclapclap* AT LEAST IT’S SOMETHING! *clap, clap, clapclapclap*
To those who were conspicuous by their absences: Gene Hoffman and his wife, God be with you and we hope to see you at Shimmer again when health permits. Michigan City Dave, Fez, and other round table regulars, you were missed. Be well, my friends.
Also, to my fellow analysts in the Statler and Waldorf Memorial Observation Row; Spiffie, Sox Hat Kelly, and John. We may not be able to make sense out of senselessness, but it sure fun to try.
So… my thoughts on this past weekend:
-Never forget Volume 19 & 20: The announcement before entering the Eagles’ Club on Saturday that perennial Shimmer favorite, Ayako Hamada was unexpectedly unable to be on the shows, was disappointing, for certain. This coming after the unfortunate injuries to Courtney Rush and others intended to be on the card, as well as the noticeable absence of Serena Deeb. However, I will always harken back to one of my all-time favorite tapings, Volume 19 & 20, when there were more than a few featured talents including the much beloved Daizee Haze, who were unable to compete on the show for various reasons, and that there was actually concern that the volumes were going to be weak by comparison to others.
The exact opposite ended up happening, though, as all the talent that was available put on spectacular performances, and even produced the Shimmer match of 2008 in the first encounter between LuFisto and Melissa.
Just like that Saturday in early July ’08, I feel that the absence of key talents like Hamada, Rush, and Deeb only served to inspire the available roster to take it to a whole other level for this weekend and proved to be, save for a few things which I’ll touch on later, my favorite taping in recent memory.
-Starbucks vs. Tim Hortons: It warmed my heart this taping to see Dave take a chance on something we’d discussed in round table for at least the last three tapings… a legitimate heel vs. heel match. After a plethora of face vs. face matches that were explained away by “friendly contests” or “competitors looking to compete friendship notwithstanding” that have been very frequent over the last few years; finally, it is proven that much like HBK vs. Rick Martel from Summer Slam ’92 before it, Madison Eagles vs. Nicole Matthews made it work and work spectacularly.
It was easily in the top 3 matches in this set of tapings, arguably the best. Also, the fact that they kept trading barbs with each other in their introductions the entire weekend was a masterful application of icing to this delectable cake. It also helped that Nicole threw in her never-done-better-by-anyone-else-in-the-history-of-wrestling-ever Northern Lights Suplex during the match. I don’t recall her using for at least a year and a half, so as if the match wasn’t awesome enough already… Thank you, Ms. Matthews. Thank you.
-Portia, the Entrance Gear Thief: Again a weekend long story arc which had Portia Perez steal the prized entrance gear of Thunderkitty, MsChif, and Hiroyo Matsumoto. Continuity gets high marks(i.e. the gear didn’t get returned backstage allowing Portia to flaunt her obtaining the spoils of war) and all involved in this story pulled off their roles in it marvelously. Hiroyo, in particular, despairing over not being able to return to Japan without her Gojira mask was gold. I can’t put into anymore words without sounding redundant how much I enjoyed this storyline, so I will leave it at that.
-Kevin Harvey: When filling in for Joey the first time all the way back on Volume 15&16, I thought Kevin Harvey was a capable substitute. Granted, he wasn’t Joey. After all, Joey Eastman is a very unique individual, which is what made him such an entertaining ring announcer for Shimmer. However, a year previous when Joey had to leave early due to Superstorm Sandy, Kevin stepped up and showed that he again that he is able to do the job when the situation calls.
When it was revealed though that Joey had stepped down from his role as Shimmer ring announcer, and Kevin was the logical full time successor, would he be up to the task? I am happy to say that Mr. Harvey dashed my doubts completely first with his crowd interactions that he hadn’t done quite as much outside of the required announcements and plugs in the previous outings. But, what truly sold me on the idea that Kevin had made the job his own was when he started announcing the Joshi talent in Japanese. Having been a ring announcer myself, I can say for certain that I have never attempted and succeeded at learning another language for the purposes of an introduction. So, kudos to you, Kevin Harvey. Your efforts are appreciated.
-The Tag division’s much overdue dose of relevance: It has been the opinion of not just myself, but others among the Shimmer Faithful that the tag division; and consequently, the tag team titles; just couldn’t seem to get over the hump in terms of being truly meaningful. Throughout much of its existence, tag title defenses were made against teams that were just thrown together seemingly at random and didn’t have much build up or an established method to determine what earned a team a title shot.
While there is evidence to support that the tag division’s day was coming over the last few tapings, I don’t believe it fully came to fruition until this taping. Team 3G are great champions for the division and get all the best out of their opponents, and vice versa. I was also very impressed by Made in Sin (who are the new Minnesota Home Wrecking Crew. Yes, I said it.), Kimber-Bomb (Cherry Bomb has always been underrated, imo, and Kimber Lee is a great complement to her), and LuKana (need I say anything). As a fan of tag team wrestling, I’m glad that my favorite promotion is making an effort to make it relevant again.
-Who is Mia Yim?: In Observation Row this taping, we came to a consensus that much like Kana before her, Mia Yim is growing on us through impressive showings all weekend. However, also by consensus, we determined that there is one thing she is lacking… a distinctive character that makes her standout.
While some would argue that what do characters matter in Shimmer since from the beginning, it is more about the competition than the entertainment trappings of the nationally televised promotions, I say thee nay. The Minnesota Home Wrecking Crew were the devious pretty girls who resorted to all manner of trickery to gain an edge. Allison Danger was the benevolent and altruistic defender of right who did her best to inspire others to achieve success the right way. Even Cindy Rogers had a distinct character, even if it took her turning heel for it to truly shine through as the smug and self-assured submission specialist.
But, in jumping back to the present, who is Mia Yim? What makes her tick? Why should I cheer or boo her? I’m feeling that I want to invest fanship in Mia, but I don’t feel like I know her any better than I did when she debuted. I don’t want the answer from those who had followed her before she came to Shimmer. I want Mia to answer this question in the ring. Maybe it’s a piece of ring gear akin to Hiroyo’s Gojira mask; maybe it is a promo that reveals her deepest motivations for competing… I don’t know. But, I feel that once she reveals who she is… much like Kana whom I also wasn’t immediately sold on, Mia Yim will be counted high among those who draw me to Shimmer.
-Nekky Stahrm: Not since Rebecca Knox has there been such a wonderfully difficult to understand promo due to accent as Nikki Storm. On top of that, her character and in-ring ability have certainly endeared her to me and everybody that I talked to. She’s great and I hope to see her back.
-Leva and Hiroyo and Thunderkitty: My three favorite babyfaces. I don’t think I can properly express in words how much I enjoy their work. There’s nothing more to say.
-Things that made me go “huh?” or “WTF?”: There were quite a few things that I was confused by, and at least one thing that was unsettling.
First, while there was established commeraderie between Sassy Stephie and Nevaeh, not having one of the participants in the ring make mention of who Savannah Summers was in the immediate wake of her running in to save Santana was a pretty big misfire. Lack of motive for the save(i.e. are Savannah and Santana pals? Does Savannah just have strong sense of justice?), lack of any possible history of animosity against the heels in question… it was just a head scratcher and left me wondering why the subsequent teaming of Sav-Tana was even taking place.
Second, why is Mercedes suddenly Melissa’s hench? Something that was even understood during the Meliss-Chif era was that Melissa preferred to be a loner, and therefore would have no need of minions. Likewise, Mercedes is far too proud a warrioress to play second fiddle, even to pretend to be pals with Melissa to manipulate her into a giving her a title shot down the line. So why this out of character for both ladies alliance?
Third, the perceived clustercuss that was VonEerie vs. Mum on the last volume. Okay, so it was established that it was going to be 3 rounds, and that two out of three falls was the way to win, though no concession was made in the likely event (considering the brevity of said rounds) that one or more of the rounds went to a time limit draw. As the first round did go the time limit, and it initially seemed the second round had too as there was no clear indication that Mum had submitted; why was the decision made to say that she had?
Knowing that two falls had to be won to attain victory, the somewhat forced sounding announcement that Mum had submitted telegraphed who was going to win the final fall, taking interest out of seeing where the match went from there for me and others around me. Would it not have been better to just declare that the hardcore round was to be “sudden death” due to both previous rounds being draws, therefore still maintaining the mystery of who would win since either participant could win at that point, rather than Von Eerie won the second fall “because the plot says so.”
Also, concerning this same match, I noted that Kevin Harvey had said in the opening legalities that Shimmer is “generally a family show”. Even with the caveat of “generally” being thrown in, I have a hard time accepting that use of a staple gun passes for even “generally” family friendly.
It’s one thing when blood is accidental, like what happened to Melissa earlier in the day, or when Chif got bloodied in the Falls Count Anywhere match with Melissa on Volume 4. Those things happen. But, blood drawn by virtue of staple gun to forehead does not just happen. It’s a level of brutality that I think goes counter to the family friendly credo of Shimmer. It’s not like street fights and weapons matches (a.k.a. hardcore) haven’t happened in Shimmer before. None of those resorted to that level and were still very effective… to say nothing of the fact that it isn’t like we don’t already know the unparalleled ruthlessness of Saraya Knight. She’s scary enough without a staple gun.
Fourth, considering the mishap that caused Melissa to get 10 stitches… does this mean that the Originals Streak is over? Considering that despite appearing in some capacity on a taping, once Daizee, Danger, and Chif didn’t compete in a match on a DVD, their streaks were considered officially at an end. Therefore, given that Melissa only showed up at the end of the Mercedes/LuFisto match and was not actually competing in the match, does this mean that no more original Shimmer Athletes have a streak to uphold? I would think so due to Melissa’s lack of active competition in all the volumes at the taping. Though, I presume this is a subject for great debate.
In any case, these are my opinions. You are free to agree or disagree with them as you see fit.
Proud Supporter of the Blue Lantern of Space Sector 2814, Leva Bates.
Lamenting the Shimmer departures of The Homewreckers(especially Rain), Danyah, and Shark Girl. Thanks for the memories.
Post by JessAndreia on Oct 25, 2013 19:07:22 GMT -6
I may be wrong here, but had Melissa not gotten injured at volume 60, we might not have seen Mercedes face LuFisto at Volume 61 and playing Melissa's partner in crime. However considering the huge rivalry Mercedes and LuFisto have at NCW FF, it made sense for Mercedes to side with Melissa against LuFisto.
I think it was meant to be LuKana vs Mercedes and Melissa at Volume 61. As for why Mercedes did it, maybe because Lufisto beat her on Saturday or maybe she was sticking up for a fellow Shimmer original (though saying that Lufisto began way back at Vol 7).
Shimmer has definitely had an interesting reliance on knowing what's going on with other Women's companies lately. I follow WSU/Shine/NCW loosely, so I knew the Havok/Stephie pairing and Stephie/Neveah and Melissa vs. LuFisto made sense. I wonder, though, if there's not a concerted effort by these companies to book complimentary angles to help each other out.
Post by capricornscott on Oct 27, 2013 21:13:22 GMT -6
I wrote a review of Volumes 58 - 61. It is really long, so I didn't want to post the whole thing here. Here is a little bit of it, but the rest is on my blog.
One Fan's Review of SHIMMER Volumes 58-61 Earlier this month, I made my 6th trip to Berwyn, Illinois. The 10 hour drive is filled with excitement and speculation, but nothing compares to experience of being at a SHIMMER taping weekend. Throughout the weekend, there were many "hits" and a few "misses", but this was a weekend filled with great wrestling. There are so many people and things that happened that deserve to be "hits" and a few "misses", so I am going to group as many things together as I can. This is a long one, so bear with me.
Before I get into the "hits" and "misses", I would like to offer my thanks to Dave Prazak, Allison Danger, Kevin Harvey, and all of the SHIMMER crew. This group of people have put together one of the best rosters in the wrestling industry and we, the fans, get the opportunity to experience this weekend of greatness twice a year.
Kevin Harvey - When I heard the announcement that Joey Eastman was retiring, my heart sunk. But, when I found out that Kevin was going to be the new announcer, I knew we'd be in solid hands. I wasn't expecting just how good he was going to be. Match 6 of Volume 57 was the turning point that made me a full out Kevin fan. The decision to do the traditional Japanese introductions was extremely impressive. Kudo, Mr. Harvey.
The Returns - Hiroyo Matsumoto and Nevaeh were the major returns this past weekend after both missing the spring weekend. I never realize how much I miss Hiroyo until she returns. She is such a joy to watch in the ring. One of the most talented women on the roster and without a doubt, the happiest. Nevaeh has always been a miss for me. I had not really ever seen anything from her that wow'd me. But, since the last taping, I've watched some of her CZW work, which start to impress me. Then, this weekend, she really showed me that she has a spot. I would really like to see her back.
The Rising Stars - This was a great weekend for the women that are up and coming. Women like Su Yung, Veda Scott, Thunderkitty, Heidi Lovelace, and Mia Yim all had their best showings so far. Gotta give props to Thunderkitty for keeping the "Trailer Made" chant alive in her match on Volume 61. Mia Yim had probably the biggest rise of the roster. Her time in Japan has been very beneficial for her. If anyone had any doubt about her before Volume 58, those doubts should be gone now.
Storylines - SHIMMER has often been criticized about a lack of storylines. I thought the stories thisweekend were fantastic. We had the Klepto-Portia arc begin on 58 and run all the way to wrap on 61. This was great to watch. Portia is such a good story teller in the ring and I couldn't see anyone else pulling this off. The Lufisto/Melissa arc is something that I assume came into be with Hamada's last minute travel issues. It worked out really well and I can't wait to see how it finished up in the spring. My favorite, however, is the Madison Eagles/Nicole Matthews feud. SHIMMER has never been a promotion to have many heel/heel matches, but this is working so well. The two put on a fantastic match on 58 and the constant shots throughout the weekend were fantastic.
Post by JessAndreia on Oct 27, 2013 21:23:56 GMT -6
To answer the question on what happened between Saraya and CVE to cause that 2/3 falls match to take place: if I remember correctly, Saraya Knight was pinning Su Yung in the four-way and CVE broke it off and pinned her (Su Yung) instead. Thus making Saraya angry.
While I think Mia Yim has room to grow in terms of developing her character with promos, etc, I think she actually does have a character - a much-loved babyface - and while that's generic in certain ways, her performance in the ring is so good, and she's so good at making you care about her that I'm fine with giving her time to further develop from there. I'm always happy to see her listed on a bill.
As compared to Santana Garrett, who is being sold as a babyface, and I'm not buying what she's selling. There's a vacancy to her presentation - the biggest example being the tag-team match where she's smiling prettily in the corner the whole time that her partner was being destroyed. The whole one-expression thing would work better for me if she were being presented as a heel. In fact I'd like her better as a heel. I certainly don't care if she wins a match. The problem with that, though, is that she'd suffer as a heel in comparison to Taylor Made and Cherry Bomb, who would be treading somewhat the same territory, only with more personality and being generally more fun.
Post by JenniferL134 on Oct 28, 2013 20:45:38 GMT -6
Hearing everyone's thoughts about the shows is always a highlight after they're done. These weekends have a way of renewing our love of wrestling.
I also think that these tapings proved that SHIMMER is bigger than any one person or people. Sure we were all bummed that a few were out with injuries and then Hamada had travel issues - but these open spots caused others to step up. LuFi in particular showed why she's a solid dependable person. She fit right into the SL with her own health issues giving her a perfect pretext to get involved and we had a continuation of her feud with Mercedes. Plus Im a huge Cherry Bomb fan and I was stoked to see her and Kimber there as a team. Hope she's a regular from now on. But overall this shows the depth of the roster. There's always other women who want to step up and seize the opportunity to Shine. No pun intended.
And if this culminates in LuFi becoming the next SHIMMER Champion so much the better. She's definitely worthy of it.