Here’s our final gallery from the most recent SHIMMER tapings. This was the one where Allysin Kay, as she long ago prophesized, got in the ring with The World Famous Kana (although rumor has it she’s still looking forward to a one-on-one confrontation). Also, Athena continued making her case that she is the best by taking onÂ the best in Ayako Hamada. All this, and lots of ninjas. Enjoy!
SHIMMER Volume 50 saw the cross-generational Joshi dream match ofÂ Kana versus Ayako Hamada come to American soil, in what is now largely considered, “the best fucking match ever.” There was also the welcome return of SHIMMER originalÂ Lexie Fyfe, who looked fantasticÂ in the main event elimination match. Please enjoy our photos, volume 51 and 52 are coming soon!
Greg, boss that he is, attended yet another three day international wrestling summit with theÂ AAW/SHIMMER Weekend. Here’s his wonderful photos from the first of the four SHIMMER shows. This was the one where Athena found herself in the main event, Courtney Rush lost herself in the past, and, delivering on months of trash talk,Â Portia Perez actually, finally, for real beat Kana. Enjoy!
One of the hidden gems of 2011, Davina Rose is a name fans slowly are becoming moreÂ aware of. With her appearances for SHIMMER and ArenaChicks,Â Northern California’s RoseÂ has made an impressive step into the national spotlight and is severing as a worthy ambassador for her home promotion, Big Time Wrestling. Her passion, heart, and constant smile reminds fans ofÂ the woman who happens to beÂ herÂ mentor, the amazingÂ Serena Deeb. An admirable, but daunting,Â comparison. Filling those boots won’t be any easier with the likes of Portia Perez and Nicole Matthews already gunning for her. Luckily, she has an Egyptian god watching her back. DDS is proud to present, Davina Rose!
Becoming a wrestler isnâ€™t something the average person aspires to. Who or what captured your imagination and made you a fan? What was the defining moment when you knew you wanted to become a wrestler?
Well, I was always a tomboy growing up (and still am), playing all kinds of sports everyday so I already had that love for sports in my blood. The first time I saw wrestling, my Dad and brother were watching it and I honestly thought nothing of it until I saw Randy â€œThe Macho Manâ€ Savage. All I saw was huge muscles, bright colors, and a big smile on this guys face. It looked like he was having the time of his life. That was when I was when I got hooked into wrestling. It wasnâ€™t until I saw the women wrestling, like Ivory, that I knew I wanted to actually be a part of it. Throughout time like my teenage years I fell in love with the Hardy BoyzÂ and Lita, and they are definitely a big part of me being a wrestler right now.
Tell us about your gear. You of course have a rose, but you also have an Egyptian symbol. Can you explain the symbolâ€™s significance to you?
I try to keep my gear very athletic looking. Ever since I was younger, I knew I wanted to treat wrestling as the sport that it is and not use my body or showing off skin to get any other attention. As for the rose on most of my tights, it obviously symbolizes my name. â€œRoseâ€ is actually my middle name. My Mom gave me that name because ever since she can remember, my Grandpa would give my Grandma a dozen roses every week, so it meant a lot to her, which made it mean a lot to me. Even more now that my Tadgu (Grandpa in Welsh) recently passed away in June.
The Egyptian symbol is the â€œEye of Raâ€ which symbolizes protection. Before my first wrestling match my family was excitedÂ but, of course, worried about me. So a few days before my match I got the Eye of Ra tattooed on the back of my neck to feel protected and know that someone is always watching my back. Itâ€™s also just a cool design; I was getting bored of the roses!
Big time wrestling seems to be your home promotion, give us some insight on that company and how you discovered them? Who were you trained by and what was your training like?
I began training in 2008 when I was 18 with my head trainer Jason Styles, along with Ryan Von Kool, KimoÂ Kanaloa, Chico Navarro, Mike Silva, and Shane Kody. My first day there were also 3 other guys starting who were all best friends. I was the only girl there, and still am to this day. We trained twice a week for 2 hours in this small warehouse that barely had enough room for the ring and no bathroom! It was perfect. It was a very intimidating being a teenage girl with all these men, in a manâ€™s world, but I loved it.
Southern California wrestling gained a lot of national attention last year. As someone in Northern California, how do you view the scene? Would you say youâ€™ve had great opportunities there?
I believe Northern Cali and Southern Cali are two very different wrestling worlds. Southern Cali has way more promotions, way more exposure, and way more women wrestlers! Iâ€™ve only wrestled there a few times for NWA Hollywood and I had a great time.
When I first started, all the girls I wrestled were from SoCal. With the exception ofÂ Christina Von Eerie, whom I had the pleasure of working with a few times, I think Iâ€™m the only NorCalÂ girl around right now. But honestly, I cannot complain one bit. Kirk White has given me the biggest opportunities with BTW and I couldnâ€™t ask for more. He has never let me down since day one, I was never left out of a show and heâ€™s always brought someone in for me to wrestle. Through Kirk and BTW shows Iâ€™ve had the opportunity to wrestle ODB, Awesome Kong, Daffney, Serena, and many more great women.
Is there any place youâ€™re very interested in working or training outside the country? Any promotions you have on your radar to perform for?
I want to go anywhere! The more I wrestle, and the more people I meet, the more anxious I get to see the world. Like any other wrestler I would love to go to Japan, Mexico and Australia being that wrestling is very big and respected in those places. But Iâ€™ve got my eye on Canada for the next place I want to train and wrestle in. I love the Canadian style; I believe it will add so much to me as a wrestler. I would love to work for ECCWÂ over there. In the states, WSU in New Jersey is the next promotion Iâ€™d like to wrestle for.
Nicole Matthews may be the most hateful woman in wrestling. Whether she’s in Japan berating fans with her equally despised partner Portia Perez, or in her native Canada belittling every other woman who steps into the ring (including camera operators), or in SHIMMER spoiling memories for hundreds of screaming Melissa fans, Matthews uses the full force of her incredible talent to raise herself up by tearing everyone else down. Unfortunately, it’s working. After a historic reign as SHIMMER Tag Champion and an MVP-like year in the promotion in 2010, Matthews has gone on to add stamps from two new continents to her passport, dominate the women’s division of ECCW, and put herself firmly in the hunt for the SHIMMER singles title. All while letting everyone know how awesome she is and how much everyone else sucks. The scary part is, she sort of has a point. We caught up with Matthews to discuss in detail her recent “Lariat the World” multi-continental tour, her hatred for KC Spinelli and her love for streamers.
Thanks for joining us again Nicole. When we last spoke, it was in a joint interview with Jessie McKay and Madison Eagles, as you prepared for your September 3rd PWWA Three Way Dance for the SHIMMER title. Can you tell us about that experience? The wear and tear of the travel, the jet lag, your first SHIMMER title match. What are your recollections of the experience?
It was definitely in my top 5 favorite matches I’ve had. Something clicked with the three of us, and I hope everyone picks up that PWWA DVD, because it was a match that I feel wasn’t like a typical three-way dance. I don’t usually like that kind of match, but with the talent in the ring that night, something clicked, and we hit it out of the park.
The jet-lag and travel was something that I haven’t experienced to that extent before, but I learned to adapt fast since September was the month of travel for Nicole Matthews. I’m glad I didn’t feel jet-lagged for the SHIMMER title match, because I didn’t want any excuses for a poor performance for myself.
Being in a SHIMMER title match gave me a taste of being a main eventer. The expectation of delivering gave me such a rush. I can, and will, most definitely get used to it.
The match itself was great and the best on the show. Did you go into this match with a different outlook, considering that it was for the SHIMMER title?
I never expect anything less than the best out of myself, so that wasn’t really a different outlook than usual. Being in there with Madison Eagles, the best female wrestler in the world right now, did push me that much more. The last thing I wanted was to be outclassed by her, and I don’t think that was the case at all.
So you went to Australia, wrestling Madison Eagles multiple times, how did you unwind from that huge week when you came back home?
I did a whole lot of nothing when I came back! I tried to get back on my normal schedule, but it took a couple days to get back to it. I basically came home, regrouped, went to the gym, and went to training. After all, Australia was the first of three big trips for me that month.
Right, you received the call to go over to Japan and wrestle for Pro Wrestling REINA on their late September shows. Can you tell us how you found out and what your initial reaction was?
I was contacted about it some months ago, but didn’t want to get too excited or announce it because as everyone in wrestling knows, things change in a blink. When I got the plane ticket confirmed though, I was super excited. I don’t think I can properly express it on paper, but Japan has been my goal since I started wrestling. Who gets to do what they’ve dreamed of doing their whole lives and gets to achieve their #1 goal?
How was the trip overall? Did you have any time for recreation or sightseeing?
It was an amazing experience. There wasn’t too much time for sightseeing, but I wasn’t too concerned about that. Being able to share the experience with Portia and Sara really made the trip special too. I would love to go back.
What were your impressions of the REINA promotion? And the Japanese fans? We hear the Ninjas actually got streamers?
REINA was a great promotion to work for. They really made the experience a great one. The Japanese fans were awesome too. It was a bit of an adjustment working in front of a more quiet crowd, but I think we adjusted pretty well. And we did get streamers. I think it was mostly because on the first night, we were pissed that we didn’t when Mia Yim did, and let the fans know our displeasure.
What did you think of your matches in Japan?
I was really happy with our first outing against Mia and Sara. Weirdly enough, since I’ve been working at SHIMMER with both of them, it was my first time wrestling either Mia or Sara. We beat them, so what isn’t there to be happy about? Not many female wrestlers out there can boast a victory over Sara Del Rey, but now you can put Portia and I on that short list.
It was disappointing losing to Zeuxis and La Comandante, but we didn’t let them win the belts easily. It was personally my first time wrestling two wrestlers who wrestled the lucha style, so I’m not ashamed to admit it threw me for a bit of a loop. Not a good excuse to lose, but at least I’ll be more prepared next time.
My favorite match of the tour was our match with Hiroyo and Saya. I knew what Hiroyo would bring, but Saya was a mystery. For someone who is so new, she more than held her own. Even though the match was pretty back and forth, at the end of the day, the Ninjas came out on top. Plus, I got to do a snow angel in the streamers. WIN!
Zeuxis had this to say about the Canadian Ninjas in our recent interview: Â â€œExcellent team made up of two great fighters, but we were able to show that we were better. Hopefully we can have another match with them.”
I hope to face them again too. I want to take those titles off them!
And right after REINA you made your way to Chicago for SHIMMER. Did you have any time to prepare?
Usually for a couple of months leading up to SHIMMER, it is my main focus. This time, it was a bit different seeing how busy September was, so that threw me off a little. I had two days between getting back in Vancouver and leaving for Chicago, so it wasn’t much time. I did manage to get in the ring to try some moves and reversals out in those two days though, because I am a machine.
Let’s walk through SHIMMER weekend. On Volume 41, you lost to Hiroyo Matsumoto.
Super tough loss, but it was a good battle. I think me and Hiroyo have similar styles, and I would love to get back in there and beat her. She was just extra mad because I beat her in that tag match in REINA. Lesson learned: avoid pissing off a Joshi.
On Volume 42, you pinned Serena Deeb after Portia Perez interfered. Your skills speak for themselves, why do you continue to rely on short cuts to win?
Look, it’s not like I had a walkie-talkie telling Portia when to come out. I didn’t need her to interfere. But, she wanted to get into Serena’s head, and I totally support that. Tag teams are about compromise. If I had wanted to mess with Jessie McKay some more on Volume 41, Portia would have been more than happy to let me.
Besides, it’s not as if Portia hit her with a chain. It was still the Vancouver Maneuver that got the pin!
On Volume 43 you defeated Serena’s protege, Davina Rose. Any thoughts on this SHIMMER newcomer?
She has potential, yadda yadda yadda. Look, I’m not going to crap on her, because one day she’ll be really good. But why was I in that match? Third match on the card? Seriously? I should have been in the main event. I should always be in the main event.
You were interviewed by Amber Gertner on that show and stated that you wanted a SHIMMER title shot. Given your recent history, that’s a fair point. However, you were interrupted by Cheerleader Melissa. How did you feel about that?
I was pissed. Melissa’s arrogance is going to be her downfall, guaranteed. She pretended she didn’t even know who I was. Nothing gets me fired up more than getting disrespected like that. She obviously knows who I am, and she better be threatened by it.
On Volume 44, The Canadian Ninjas were defeated by SHIMMER tag team champions Ayumi Kurihara and Ayako Hamada. What happened here? Is it possible your head wasn’t in the game, since you were also focused other matters?
My head was in the game fine. You know what I wasn’t anticipating? Chairs! I’m pretty sure that’s illegal. Are there no rules in Japan over these things1? And even if there are not, are SHIMMER tag matches under Japanese rules all of a sudden?
Another thing! Why did it take so long for the Ninjas to get their rematch? We were both clearly in a singles mindset: we both went five volumes straight doing singles competition. Maybe if we had been in a tag team groove, things would have been different.
In the final match of the SHIMMER taping Madison Eagles faced Cheerleader Melissa for the title. Were you watching the monitor backstage?
Yes, I always watch my competition. I was impressed by the match, but I was also pissed that Melissa was, once again, getting an opportunity I should have been given. How many times has Madison faced and beaten her? Why was she being forced to have to face her again? It was agitating.
Of course a new SHIMMER Champion was crowned in Cheerleader Melissa. Everyone was ecstatic as she celebrated what many feel was a long overdue win. You then came from backstage and savagely attacked her, driving her into the ringpost, and laying her out in the ring. You forever tarnished what many feel was the high point of that SHIMMER taping, if not SHIMMER itself. What do you have to say about your actions?
Awww, did I ruin everyone’s special moment? Boo hoo!
There wasn’t a better time to make a statement. She’s going to disrespect me? I gave it right back.
More than that though, it was a message to the locker room and to the fans. The Nicole Matthews who faced Shark Girl and who drank out of Big Gulp cups no longer exists. It’s my time. It’s time for Melissa and some of the other SHIMMER ‘originals’ and ‘veterans’ to realize there’s a new breed coming up, and if someone like Melissa won’t give me the respect I deserve, I’ll take it from her.
I’m not here to amuse SHIMMER fans anymore. I’m here to be the best and to be SHIMMER champion.
It doesn’t seem like your concerned about any repercussions Melissa has in store.
Bring it on. I’m younger, faster, and smarter. In fact, I’m just plain better than her.
More immediately, you have an ECCW title defense versus KC Spinelli on October 28th. Any thoughts on this match? Spinelli impressed many at the last SHIMMER tapings and has been garnering a lot of support. This is in spite of you constantly bad mouthing her as a wrestler. Do you think there’s any chance you will leave Surrey, BC without the ECCW women’s title?
Spinelli doesn’t stand a chance. She never has, and she never will. The name of the game is wrestling. All I hear is how much passion and fan support Spinelli has. I must have missed when passion equaled talent. Oh, does she try really, really hard? That’s nice. She still isn’t the talent I am though. I’m not sweating Spinelli. She can fist pump her way down to the mat when I pin her again.
In closing, do you have any parting words for the fans? How about Cheerleader Melissa?
Fans:Â I don’t care if you like me, but stop praising mediocrity. Praise greatness AKA Nicole Matthews. Thank you!
Melissa: I’m going to ruin your title reign like I ruined your celebration. See you next SHIMMER taping.
To learn more about Nicole Matthews, follow her on Twitter (@nmatthewsninja). Also check out this match from ECCW featuring Nicole in a three-way against Veronika Vice and KC Spinelli.
There are actually not rules in Japan over these things. ↩