Last week in the Tuesday Top 10, I tripled the number and revealed that I’m doing a three-parter in celebration of the tenth anniversary of Chicago-based women’s Indy wrestling promotion SHIMMER Women Athletes. In the first part of the countdown, we saw a sassy villain, one tough mohawk, a Latina Sensation, and an underrated Amazon among others. This week, we continue the ride through SHIMMER with ten more women who I’ve been highly entertained by since I started checking out the promotion. A quick reminder that I’m focusing mainly on their time in SHIMMER, so their time in other promotions (WWE and TNA included) will not play a huge part in the rankings. That’s not to say they’ll automatically get a low placement, but don’t assume you know who’s #1 due to their legacy in other organizations. Also remember that this list is all-opinion; if you’re a fan of any wrestlers on the list or any other athlete from SHIMMER history who I left off the list, hit me up on Twitter and let me know your own personal favorites. Now let me just say that the countdown from this point on was incredibly difficult to do seeing as it mixes some of SHIMMER’s bigger names with some of my personal favorite talent lower on the card; in most cases, it was a struggle deciding who should go higher than who. Should the people with the most impact and name recognition go higher or could I place the smaller-yet-still-impressive and entertaining grapplers above them and still have this list be taken seriously? Hopefully I’ve created a pretty decent balance between the two, but I guess we’re gonna find out these next two weeks, now aren’t we?
Without further ado, let’s get on with it: FearlessRiOT’s Top 30 Favorite SHIMMER Stars, Part Two!
#20. Cherry Bomb
These days, Cherry Bomb is carrying around a lot of hardware, including the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship that she and Kimber Lee won on Volume 72 from the Global Green Gangsters. And all those belts are well earned; surprisingly, Cherry Bomb didn’t debut on a main SHIMMER taping until SHIMMER 50 in 2012, though she did previously compete on Sparkle twice. She wasn’t successful in a match until Volume 58 in tag team action; she and Kimber would eventually win the Tag Team Titles in 2015. And even though Cherry Bomb tends to lose the majority of her one-on-one matches despite coming out on the winning end of tag matches more often than not, she’s still one hell of an athlete and very beloved one too if the outpouring of support after her recent unfortunate injury are anything to go by.
#19. Amazing Kong
A little weird that Amazing/Awesome Kong isn’t in the Top 10 of this list, huh? She’s one of the most recognizable faces to ever compete in the promotion due to her Knockouts-Title-winning run in TNA and her sadly brief and disappointing run in WWE. But before any of that, she was one of the feature attractions in SHIMMER due to the fact that most fans had never seen a female wrestler with the size, intimidation factor, and overall attraction of Kong before and probably still haven’t since. She’s always been a force to be reckoned with in SHIMMER. She’s won the large majority of her matches there with most of her losses happening on a technicality. Not to mention that it’s hard to forget the image of her contorting MsChif’s frame in a way that questions the physics of the human body. It’s really amazing if you haven’t seen it yet; in fact, you can watch it below.
#18. Kellie Skater
Kellie Skater probably has the longest ring intro ever because it is necessary to let the people know how big she is in her neck of the woods as well as the level of jealousy the Incredible Hulk has for her impressive arm muscles. But is it warranted? Does she deserve such praise? Well, she made my Top 20, so I say yes. As mentioned in the Nakagawa entry, Skater was previously a longtime rulebreaker (assuming you wanna count using a protein shake as a substitute for Popeye’s Spinach as cheating) before deciding to change her ways. And it paid off big time as she and Nakagawa would be Tag Team Champions for a lengthy period of time before losing them to the Kimber Bombs recently. Oh, yeah, and Mercedes Martinez did THIS to her chest at SHIMMER 30. Yeah, when the Rate Tank calls herself indestructible, she’s not lying.
#17. Nikki Storm
I remember I was in-attendance for Nikki Storm’s SHIMMER debut. Before that taping, I was unfamiliar with her work; in fact, the first time I’d ever heard of her was when she was announced to attend. Therefore, I had no idea what to expect out of her. Now that I’ve gotten a taste of the Nikki Storm Experience, I can say with confidence that she’s one of my favorite wrestlers out there right now, male or female. At the show I attended, she showed skill, she showed personality, she was obnoxiously funny; and to boot, she defeated Su Yung in her first match and has since gone on to defeat wrestlers like Thunderkitty and Veda Scott. Heck, she’d be higher if she had more appearances to her name; her last appearance in SHIMMER was at the ChickFight Tournament this year; and even though she’s rumored to be WWE-bound eventually, I hope “The Best in the Galaxy” is at the upcoming October tapings for one more go-round.
#16. Allysin Kay
It is while putting this list together that I came to realize how many matches Allysin Kay has lost during her SHIMMER tenure. And it’s certainly not for lack of ability; she can hold her own in the ring and is legitimately one of the best, most effective talkers you’ll find in wrestling. No need to worry about her though since her matches tend to be a lot of fun and she is still easily one of the most entertaining women in the game, and her alliance with Taylor Made in the team of Made in Sin being a very effective villainous team. They’re fought for the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship more than once and could very well win them one day. Or even better: imagine Ms. AK-47 claiming the SHIMMER Title for herself one day. P.S.: The woman has great taste in entrance music; pick up a volume she appears on and find out how truthful that claim is.
[The video below is from SHINE Wrestling]
Last week on WWE NXT, Asuka came to Full Sail and immediately got into it with the self-proclaimed “Total Diva” Dana Brooke and the recently Anti-Fun Emma. Kana’s debut in SHIMMER was in 2011 in a winning effort against Mia Yim. Originally, the “World Famous” one had trouble making comrades in the locker room; however, after a very physical match with LuFisto on Volume 44 (please buy that awesome show if you haven’t), she found someone she shared a mutual respect with an scored a tag team partner in the process. While the team of LuKana never won any tag team gold, Kana is one of those wrestlers who can put on a great match with just about anyone: Athena, LuFisto, Melissa, Del Rey. And her epic encounter with Ayako Hamada on Volume 50 is a must for any women’s wrestling fan to watch.
#14. Saraya Knight
Saraya Knight came to SHIMMER in 2011 along with her daughter Britani and their good friend Rebecca Knox. They were successful in tag team action and eventually landed a shot at the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship. Shortly after, she would be all alone as Britani and Rebecca would eventually find themselves in a completely bigger battleground where they remain to this day. Saraya made a name for herself though as she eventually went on to win the SHIMMER Championship from bitter rival Cheerleader Melissa. She lost the title back to Melissa in a cage match on Volume 53 and since then has remained one of the best, most entertaining heels in the company. Do I need to mention that violent little battle with Christina Von Eerie again?
The Super Hardcore Anime is one of the most popular women in the Independent scene today, likely because there’s so much more to her than meets the eye. Don’t let the fact that she brings a doll named Pegaboo to the ring fool you; LuFisto has faced off with the best of them and impressed the masses more often than not. She has an uncanny agility and she can brawl with the best of them; she can hit you with a submission of kick you down to size. Though she has yet to capture either belt, she’s challenged for both the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship (with Kana) and the SHIMMER Championship, in a very personal, physical rivalry with Cheerleader Melissa. LuFisto is sure to remain one of SHIMMER’s top stars as long as she is available to entertain (and Pegaboo came avoid moments like this.)
#12. Veda Scott
Veda Scott deserves an award for being consistently awesome. She’s an amazing promo and fun to watch in the ring. So what has she been up to in SHIMMER? Sadly, she’s notch a pretty huge L column since her very short debut on Volume 44. She won on Volume 46, but it was a DQ victory because Saraya Knight woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning. She’d finally earn a real victory on Volume 53 as a part of her partnership with Shazza McKenzie, and would be on such a role that she and Shazza would even earn a shot at the Tag Team Championships on Volume 55. She even turned in short-yet-entertaining matches against Mercedes Martinez and Nikki Storm on Volumes 58 and 59 respectively. Veda continues to appear in SHIMMER and she’s always one of the people I most look forward to seeing.
[The video below is a mini-documentary on Veda]
When I first decided to check out SHIMMER matches, I decided to check out the DVD covers for the promotion. One person I noticed was on a ton of their covers was this pale woman with green hair who usually had her tongue hanging out. Her name is MsChif and she quickly became one of the most recognizable faces in SHIMMER for me. And it was fitting because she ended up being SHIMMER Champion for close to two years before losing it. She’s also well known in the promotion for having uncanny flexibility; in the very first Volume, Cheerleader Melissa stretched MsChif so far that her foot touched the top of her head. And I already mentioned the Awesome Kong moment. Recently, she’s formed a decent team with Christina Von Eerie. If you’re new to SHIMMER, I highly recommend checking out MsChif as one of the first wrestlers to get familiar with.
What do you think of this edition of Tuesday Top 10? Leave a comment or tweet me up @FearlessRiOT with your opinion or even to suggest a topic for the next edition. And make sure to return next week for the finale to this three-parter!
[All pics in this post are by Gilda Pasquil.]