At SHIMMER last month, we saw Evie and Kimber Lee earn their roster spots and Jessicka Havok take her spot, whether we liked it or not. We saw Serena Deeb and Madison Eagles make their first trip back to Berwyn after long absences due to injury, and they did not miss a beat. We saw Allysin Kay TwitPic mid-match. We saw Mercedes Martinez and Ayako Hamada try their absolute best to destroy each other. We saw one of the most wild, goofy, amazing spectacles of a four-way match that wrestling has seen. We saw Nicole Matthews and Portia Perez cheat and cheat and cheat and cheat and cheat and be dicks. We saw Cheerleader Melissa take a very dark turn as she began her second reign as champion. We saw that the Global Green Gangsters, Kellie Skater and Tomoka Nakagawa, truly “Got this.” We saw the end of an era as Allison Danger, one of the founders of the company and a pioneer in the world of “American joshi” wrestling, compete in the final match of her career.
This is the first of our four part gallery for the SHIMMER weekend, enjoy.
Lots of stuff happened at Wrestlecon, most of which you can buy on iPPV at WWNLive.com and you can already download the CHIKARA show here at Smartmarkvideo. Greg was on-hand for plenty of it. Here are his pics from SHIMMER and CHIKARA, featuring the returns of Serena Deeb, Madison Eagles, and Amazing Kong, Ayumi Kurihara’s final US match, and Cheerleader Melissa taking back what’s hers. Oh, and a bit of Jyushin “Thunder” Lyger.
This weekend Madison Eagles returns to SHIMMER. As well as Serena Deeb. As well as Amazing Kong. All three of these amazing wrestlers (and lovely people) have been away for far too long. I wish I could be there, but thankfully there’s a live iPPV option. It’s 1AM on Sunday for me, probably a more reasonable hour on Saturday for you.
Watch the above video by our own Chris C., with a massive tune by Coheed and Cambria, to get hyped. Enjoy the bonus matches as well and get ready to stomp-clap-stomp-stomp-clap to Prelude 12/21 again.
SHIMMER: Madison Eagles vs. Jessie McKay
SMASH: Serena Deeb vs. Tomoka Nakagawa
AJW: Amazing Kong vs. Ayako Hamada
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 on the best in Ayako Hamada. All this, and lots of ninjas. Enjoy!
SHIMMER Volume 50 saw the cross-generational Joshi dream match of 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 original Lexie Fyfe, who looked fantastic 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 the 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, Portia Perez actually, finally, for real beat Kana. Enjoy!
Another month, another edition of SMASH bringing variety and color to the wrestling world. This edition featured the crowning of the first ever SMASH men’s Champion, a #1 contender’s match to determine the first challenger for Kana’s Women’s title, and the next chapters in the love/hate stories of Kito/Mio and Kovac/Bairon.
October 28th, 2011
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
- World Tryout Match: AKIRA defeated Sugar Dunkerton with the Musasabi Press at 7:29
- YO-HEY defeated Hajime Ohara with the Dragon Fly at 4:31
- Handicap Tag Match: Keizo Matsuda & Katsumi Hirano defeated Takuya Kito with a Lariat from Matsuda at 5:11
- 4 Way #1 Contender Elimination Match: Tomoka Nakagawa defated Syuri, Ray, and Makoto for a shot at the SMASH Women’s Title at 5:24
- Genichiro Tenryu & Yusuke Kodama defeated Michael Kovac and Rob Raw with Diving Crossbody from Kodama to Raw at 8:21
- Tatsumi Fujinami & Ultimo Dragon defeated Yoshiaki Yago & Kengo Mashimo with a Backslide from Fujinami to Yago at 12:45
- Kana defeated Aki Shizuku with the Kana Lock at 8:06
- SMASH Title Tournament Final: Starbuck defeated TAJIRI with a Piledriver to become first SMASH Men’s Champion
Yes, FCF founder Starbuck bested SMASH founder TAJIRI to become the first ever SMASH Champion. As people who read our SMASH.21 recap know, this is not the first time a title has changed hands between the two. Previously it was Starbuck bringing the FCF belt back to Finland after TAJIRI had captured it. No doubt TAJIRI will look for the first opportunity to bring his promotions’ top prize back to Japan, but before he has a chance,Starbuck faces a huge challenge from another European competitor.
Michael Kovac had been dropping hints1 about the “God of European Wrestling” coming to SMASH. Starbuck had already sent the God of Mexico, VENENO, packing. He’ll no doubt have a bit more trouble with Dave “Fit” Finlay. Yes, the Belfast Bruiser is coming to SMASH and will be the first challenger for the title on November 24th’s SMASH.23. This will surely be a phenomenal match and a tough challenge for Starbuck. It will also keep the SMASH roster from holding their own title for at least another two months.
Sugar Dunkerton finally made his SMASH debut, and managed to get his basketball through customs without raising suspicion. He may have wont he tip off, but SMASH ace AKIRA pulled out the clutch jumping splash to win in the 4th Quarter. Somehow, some way, Hajime Ohara lost to YO-HEY, continuing his skid. Soon, hopefully, he’ll retrieve that swagger he had when he pinned KUSHIDA before his departure to New Japan.
Kito’s latest ploy to win Mio Shirai’s cold, black heart failed miserably. He put himself in a tag match, sans partner, hoping that Mio would run from the commentary booth to his aid. No such luck. Pro-Tip Kito: She has Sadistic in the name of her faction. She’s not capable of empathy. She enjoys both watching and making you suffer. Sort it out.
The death of love continued. Lin “I got your ‘bitch’ right here!” Bairon made her shocking return, low-blowing her former lover Michael Kovac, costing him a match. Kovac and Lin have quite a history and while Kovac hoped to reconcile (after attacking her and driving her away from SMASH for several months), Lin was having none of it. In fact she seemed back to her old, pre-Kovac, pre-bitch self, and was no longer under the suave Austrian’s sway. She wants revenge.
In an, apparently, ultra-high-speed elimination match, Tomoka Nakagawa secured the first shot at Kana’s title by turning back Syuri, Makoto, and Ray. TAJIRI has said that he feels Tomoka is the Best in the World, and I’m sure he’s giddy about the possibility of her taking the title away from his best frienemy. Makoto came out with some cosplay maids, probably from the Maid Cafe she moonlighted at on her birthday. Oh! And Bull Nakano was ringside to promote her upcoming retirement show on January 8th.
And finally Aki Shizuku made her jump from the backyard to the big league’s in what was reportedly a great non-title match with SMASH Women’s Champion Kana. This was a huge opportunity for Aki since, as we talked about in our exclusive interview with her. she is a relative unknown even to dedicated Joshi followers. To go from obscurity to the semi-main event in Korakuen Hall is a rare opportunity. She made the most of it.
As you can see in the photos the amateur stand-out tossed the champ around with ease in the early going. Even though Kana handpicked Aki as an opponent, she still seem surprised by Aki’s strength and technique. Aki put up a great, impressive fight but could not avoid the inevitable as Kana put her out with the Kana Lock.
This was a non-title match but still an important one for Kana, and especially Aki. It was great of SMASH and Kana to give her this opportunity to showcase her talent to a wide audience. SMASH should be commended for their constant effort to bring fresh blood into the promotion, and Aki deserves a hand for delivering in such a high-pressure situation. Kana even showed Aki an extremely rare post-match sign of respect. As TAJIRI tweeted, “SMASH is where dreams come true,” and Aki’s dream of being one of the top Joshi has officially begun.
And that was SMASH. Enjoy the pictures below the cut, see you next month! And, after that, we’ll be reporting live from SMASH.24 on December 30th at Korakuen Hall. Peace!