April 2, 2016 in Dallas, TX
Big show for Shimmer as they crown their first Heart of Shimmer Champion, a secondary title being introduced on this show in a 12-woman tournament.
First round match: Leva Bates vs Cheerleader Melissa.
Leva out in Kingdom Hearts Sora cosplay. Leva calls the fans the true heart of Shimmer. This was fine, but they didn’t mesh particularly well and there were awkward exchanges. Leva also never felt like she really had a chance. On the plus side – Kudo Driver.
First round match: Candice LeRae vs. Cherry Bomb
Nice to see Cherry back from injury. Candice on fire to start, and wakes the crowd up with a dive to the outside. Cherry takes over with a kick and screams at Candice to strong crowd reaction. Good back and forth match, with Candice advancing with a quick crucifix after Cherry hit her with a Death Valley Driver. This should have opened the show.
First round match: Lufisto vs Nicole Savoy.
Savoy gets right into Lufisto’s face during the intros, and kicks at her hand when offered a handshake. I adore Savoy. They light into each other with strikes and it’s a million miles an hour already. Savoy gets the advantage and is all over Lufisto. Lufisto responds in kind once she’s able to take over. Nicole eventual traps Lufisto… and makes her tap!!! Great match and a nice surprise. I was sure Lufisto would be in the finals. With Lufisto gone Savoy is the favorite to win I think, although not entirely sure a heel will take it.
First round match: Kimber Lee vs Jessica Havok.
Rematch from the last set of tapings. Lee looking good finding ways to deal with Havok’s size. Continues throughout the match, as Havok uses her size and power to press the advantage, and Lee counters with strikes and holds. Havok gets the stretch muffler, but Cherry out for the distraction and Lee wins with a rollup. Interesting. Dave usually keeps the face/heel balance in matchups, but we’ve got Savoy/Lee in the second round. Good match.
First round match: Heidi Lovelace vs Veda Scott.
Veda cheating at every opportunity like a good heel should. Nice spot on the outside where Heidi pulls Veda off the barricade and kicks her in face. Split crowd. Started slow and basic but picked up a lot as the match went. Heidi wins with a big senton off the top. Veda gets an ovation after the match, but says she still hates the audience like a good heel should.
First round match: Nicole Matthews vs Crazy Mary Dobson.
Interesting match, as Mary upset former Shimmer champion Saraya Knight at the last taped show. Was disappointed when this match was announced. A loss here and Mary’s momentum from upsetting Knight is gone. Yet back to back wins over former champs and she’d pretty much have to take the tourney. Decent match with Mary playing the underdog and Matthews getting the expected win. Bit of a waste.
Semi-final match: Candice Lerae vs Cheerleader Melissa.
Candice dives onto Melissa during her entrance, skipping ring intros. Melissa takes over and destroys Candice with her signature wheelbarrow swing into the guardrail repeatedly. This got intense down the stretch, with Candice shaking off numerous double stomps to hits multiple of her signature “boxplexes” to upset Melissa. Hard hitting battle with a definitive finish over a two time Shimmer champ to really establish Candice as a contender.
Semi-final match: Kimber Lee vs Nicole Savoy.
Cherry Bomb’s sent to the back immediately, upsetting the tag champs. Both stay in character, leading to an interesting dynamic, but Savoy is the crowd favorite. Good showing for Lee, but Savoy is too much for her and wins with her second submission victory of the evening. Savoy’s looking like a world beater.
Semi-final match: Heidi Lovelace vs Nicole Matthews.
Another good match with Heidi defeating the former champ and ending Matthews’ triple crown quest with the senton she beat Mary with. I like that all three finalists were made to look extremely strong going into the deciding match, and Heidi’s senton now already has credibility as a finish.
The interview segment with Shayna Baszler fell kind of flat. She was fine explaining her qualifications and talking about bringing catch wrestling style back to pro-wrestling, but she just kind of threw out the fact that she’ll be wrestling at Shimmer 81 as an aside at the end. Didn’t come across as the big announcement it should have been.
Final elimination match: Candice Lerae vs Nicole Savoy vs Heidi Lovelace.
Excellent final and a fitting end to the tournament. Heidi powered out of the ring early on and after some good exchanges Savoy eliminated Candice in pretty quick fashion. Heidi and Nicole have good chemistry, and the end portion of the match was exciting. Savoy kicked out Heidi’s new senton finish at one point in a big near fall.
One misstep as Savoy locked in the submission she beat Lufisto with and Heidi looked around for the ropes without selling pain at all. I understand she should be trying to escape, but scream or something while doing so when both arms are supposedly being pulled near out of their sockets. Savoy later locks in the cross arm breaker (which she beat Lee with) for the win and the championship. Dominating tournament for Savoy, much to my delight.
Great effort from all involved and good wrestling up and down the card. Savoy is the perfect choice to showcase the new title and it gives the spotlight to a deserving up and coming star.