Here's a list of frequently asked questions concerning SHIMMER WOMEN ATHLETES. We will regularly make additions to this FAQ as time goes by so that it can become more complete.
(UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 3, 2014)
Q: What is SHIMMER Women Athletes?
A: SHIMMER is an all female professional wrestling organization based in Chicago. The goal of SHIMMER is to provide the most skilled women pro wrestlers with a forum to truly shine as athletes and perform at the most competitive level. SHIMMER management has selected an elite crop of women from around the wrestling world who are determined to show that women's wrestling isn't just a modeling contest, it's an athletic contest. Fans who are looking for a promotion that puts the focus on the actual wrestling ability of the women involved must look no further than SHIMMER.
Q: When did SHIMMER start?
A: The formation of SHIMMER was announced publicly in a press release on October 4, 2005. The first SHIMMER event was held at the Eagles Club in the Chicago suburb of Berwyn, IL on November 6, 2005. The show consisted of 18 women wrestlers from around North America.
Q: Is SHIMMER a family friendly wrestling show, or is it adult oriented in terms of content?
A: SHIMMER takes pride in being a women's wrestling product that you can bring your kids to, which is suitable for all ages.
Q: What's this talk of "tapings" and "it's a DVD product?"
A: Recognizing the successful business model implemented by Ring of Honor and other similar smaller wrestling promotions, SHIMMER has focused on producing a DVD product to sell worldwide as its main source of revenue. SHIMMER spares no expense to bring in the most talented and deserving female wrestlers, regardless of where they are geographically located. As a result, the high cost of flying in over twenty wrestlers for each live event necessitates filming two DVD releases at each live show. Since 2009, SHIMMER has made a habit filming four DVDs in a weekend, with two consecutive days of live events for fans to plan a trip to attend live.
Q: What was SHIMMER's connection to Ring of Honor?
A: SHIMMER began as a "sister promotion" to Ring of Honor, which was the main distributor of SHIMMER DVD releases from 2005-2011. Beginning in mid-2011, SHIMMER switched to distributing the DVDs ourselves via www.SHIMMERwrestling.com in an effort to put 100% of the DVD revenue back into our future live events.
Q: How often does SHIMMER hold live events?
A: SHIMMER typically produces nine new full length DVD releases during a given calendar year. Since 2009, our format has been two taping weekends per year, during which we film four DVDs over the course of a two day weekend of live events. Starting in 2013, we added to our schedule a single DVD taping in the city in which WrestleMania is taking place, the day before WWE's event. Our taping season takes place between the months of March and November each year.
Q: Why doesn't SHIMMER run live events during the winter?
A: Since we film our DVD series in Chicago, and we are so heavily reliant on smooth airline travel to bring all of the talent in for each taping, we cannot afford to risk scheduling a show during a time period when weather conditions often cancel flights, or close down the airports in Chicago. In 2006 we tried holding a taping during February, and due to snow, three key wrestlers were forced to miss the show, and an additional five wrestlers had their original flights cancelled because of the weather. We were lucky enough to be able to move those wrestlers to flights on airlines that were still operating that day, because otherwise we may have had to cancel the show entirely. We can't afford to take a risk like that again, with over twenty flights for each taping, so we've simply declared the winter months to be SHIMMER's "off season."
Q: Why doesn't SHIMMER tape more frequently?
A: The bottom line is, women's wrestling is a niche product. With as much wrestling as is currently available on free television, DVD, and on the internet these days, there isn't a big enough market to support more than 8 new DVDs of a women's wrestling product such as ours over the course of a year. From a financial standpoint, SHIMMER cannot take the risk of flooding the market with so many DVD releases that the majority of our fans couldn't afford to purchase all of them. We need strong sales numbers for each and every DVD we produce in order to remain in operation, so we limit the number of new releases each year to a reasonable number for our fan base to support financially support.
Q: What is the World Wrestling Network, and what does it have to do with SHIMMER?
A: The World Wrestling Network is the company in Tampa, FL which handles all of the editing of the DVD releases for SHIMMER, SHINE, Full Impact Pro, Dragon Gate USA, EVOLVE, and a handful of other independent wrestling promotions.
Q: Why are many of the early SHIMMER DVDs no longer available for me to purchase?
A: Our product is released on actual DVDs, not burned DVD-R's. As a result, we must order each DVD title in bulk. Once we sell through all of the copies of each DVD title, it becomes out of print. We are a small company, and it isn't financially logical for us to place a bulk re-order of a DVD we produced four or more years ago and hope that we sell enough copies to even cover the replication costs. Though the day may come that we re-issue earlier releases in the series, we can only currently afford to produce a single run of each DVD title.
Q: What's with the retail versions of Volumes 1 through 6 that are out there?
A: Several years ago, we released Volumes 1 through 6 of our DVD series in retail through Big Vision Entertainment. The retail release of those DVD titles is slightly different from the first edition copies. The main difference is that the entrance music has been removed for distribution of our matches in retail. The actual bell to bell action in each match appears in its entirety on both versions. The cover artwork is also slightly different for the retail version of each release. Also, beginning with Volume 5, the retail versions include a Photo Gallery section, which is a feature that is not included on the first run. Volume 6 was the last DVD title which we released in retail.
Q: What is www.ClickWrestle.com and what are its ties to SHIMMER?
A: ClickWrestle is a wrestling video on demand service through which you can purchase individual matches for viewing on your computer. They are a business partner of ours, and offer SHIMMER matches for immediate download, in addition to matches from several other promotions from around the world. The entire SHIMMER video library is available from ClickWrestle on demand (which obviously includes matches from our out of print DVDs).
Q: How much material has SHIMMER produced thus far?
A: SHIMMER has produced over 200 hours of original video content as of September 2014. It is available in both DVD form as well as at www.ClickWrestle.com as video on demand. To date, SHIMMER has filmed 66 unique events, released as individual Volumes of first run material on DVD.
Q: What is the "License Number" associated with each wrestler on the SHIMMER roster?
A: When each wrestler participates in their first match on a SHIMMER or SPARKLE card, they are given a wrestler's license. The first two wrestlers on the first SHIMMER show were Tiana Ringer and Shantelle Taylor, so they were issued licenses #01 and #02. As of September 2014, SHIMMER has issued licenses to 128 wrestlers.
Q: Which wrestlers left SHIMMER due to being signed to WWE contracts?
A: Beth Phoenix, Krissy Vaine, Shantelle Taylor, Nikita, Nattie Neidhart, Serena Deeb, Amazing Kong, Sara Del Rey, Britani Knight, Rebecca Knox, and Davina Rose are wrestlers who have left SHIMMER in the past after being given WWE deals.
Q: Why have some SHIMMER wrestlers been able to appear on WWE and TNA shows without leaving SHIMMER?
A: All of the SHIMMER wrestlers are independent contractors. We do not have any of our talent under exclusive deals. In the past, both WWE and TNA have booked some of the SHIMMER wrestlers on a nightly basis, without signing them to contracts. For example, Mercedes Martinez and Cheerleader Melissa have both appeared for WWE while still remaining active on the SHIMMER roster.
Q: What is the difference between "Inactive," and "Alumni" status for wrestlers who have appeared for SHIMMER in the past?
A: "Alumni" status indicates a wrestler who has signed an exclusive contract with another wrestling organization which renders them no longer available to SHIMMER. "Inactive" indicates that particular wrestler has either decided to take time off from pro wrestling in general, or is still active for other promotions, but is not under any sort of exclusive contract elsewhere.
Q: Will we ever see "Alumni" or "Inactive" wrestlers in SHIMMER again?
A: The door is never closed to any wrestler who has appeared for SHIMMER in the past. If contractual status changes, or the right circumstances present themselves, anyone could potentially return to SHIMMER at some point in the future.
Q: Several female wrestlers from Japan began appearing in SHIMMER during 2010. What are SHIMMER's ties to the joshi scene?
A: SHIMMER has a working agreement with S-Ovation Company, Ltd, which produced live events in Japan under the IBUKI banner for several years, and more recently as Joshi 4 Hope. S-Ovation and Ring Stars are responsible for most of the joshi talent you see in SHIMMER. We have also worked with freelance joshi talent.
Q: Why does SHIMMER film its DVD series at the Berwyn Eagles Club?
A: We feel it is the perfect setting for our product on DVD. We'd rather fill a small venue than run a larger building which may have empty seats. We also have the necessary elements readily available to us at the Eagles Club to produce DVDs that look good on camera (ring lights, video screen, etc).
Q: Is SHIMMER going to go "on tour" to other cities?
A: We have no plans to take SHIMMER "on the road," with the exception of WrestleMania weekend each year. Again, we're primarily a DVD series, which means the most important aspect for our tapings is the appearance of the event location on camera. We have such a strong fan following in the Chicago area that we can fill the Berwyn Eagles Club without even announcing any matches, and the location looks ideal on camera. There's no reason to roll the dice and move the shows to other cities where we may not have a big enough following to draw a respectable crowd, and may not be able to set up our live production in the appropriate way.
Q: I noticed Nora "Molly Holly" Greenwald appeared for SHIMMER on May 21, 2006. Why isn't she on the DVDs filmed that day, and will she ever wrestle for SHIMMER?
A: Nora's appearance was an added bonus for the live crowd that day. She did not wrestle on the show, but signed autographs, posed for photos, and sold merchandise. Though we have extended the offer to Nora to wrestle in SHIMMER if she ever wishes to return to the ring, she hasn't expressed an interest in wrestling again.
Q: Why did SHIMMER wait until Volumes 11 & 12 to crown a champion?
A: We made the decision to wait until the promotion had developed a fan base that was familiar with the various members of the roster before holding a tournament to determine a champion.
Q: Will we ever see a secondary SHIMMER singles title established?
A: That is undetermined at this time.
Q: Who made the SHIMMER Championship and SHIMMER Tag Team Championship belts?
A: The SHIMMER title belts were designed by Rico Mann, and were crafted by the "King of Belts" Reggie Parks. This is the same team responsible for many of the current belts you see today, including the IWGP Heavyweight Championship as well as all of the belts in TNA and the UFC.
Q: Will we ever see a SHIMMER television show?
A: We have no aspirations of producing a television show. We are a DVD series, and we believe in "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." As a live event and DVD product, we have the freedom to produce the kind of matches which we wish to present to our fan base. In doing television, a wrestling company must answer to the network in terms of content. Not to mention, there are additional expenses involved in producing television which make the idea of doing TV something we're just not interested in.
Q: What is SHIMMER's stance on running pay-per views or internet pay-per-views?
A: As of September 2014, we have run two live iPPVs. They were SHIMMER 53 from Secaucus, NJ on April 6, 2013, and SHIMMER 62 from New Orleans, LA on April 5, 2014. Both of the events took place during WrestleMania, in conjunction with other World Wrestling Network shows from Dragon Gate USA & EVOLVE. As the necessary equipment to produce a live iPPV was already in place for those events, we made our show available as well. We do not have plans to do iPPVs from the Berwyn Eagles Club, mainly due to the venue lacking a reliable internet connection to do so.
Q: Is there a SHIMMER wrestling school for women interested in becoming a part of the SHIMMER roster?
A: We previously operated a SHIMMER class in conjunction with Ring of Honor's school in Pennsylvania. When our working relationship with ROH came to an end, so did our connection to their training program. We do not currently operate our own school.
Q: Is there an official SHIMMER mailing list?
A: Yes. There are two, actually, and we encourage everyone to sign up for both in order to stay informed about the latest happenings, DVD releases, and other information from SHIMMER management. We have our Yahoo Group, located at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shimmerwrestling/ which serves as our E-mail list. Make sure you adjust your settings to receive "individual E-mails" when you join the group, or else you won't get sent each update. We also have a snail mail list, to which we send *FREE* glossy flyer cards prior to each taping. We send the free glossy cards to everyone who wants them, no matter where in the world you are located! If you aren't already on the list, E-mail email@example.com with your full name and postal mailing address, and you will be added.
Q: What is SPARKLE?
A: SPARKLE is the pre-show at the live SHIMMER events. It serves as a method of trying out potential new female talent for future appearances on the SHIMMER DVD series. Since the SPARKLE matches exist specifically to be dark matches for evaluation purposes, we do not sell the SPARKLE matches on video. We occasionally post one of the better SPARKLE matches on YouTube for free viewing.
Q: At the live events, is there an opportunity to meet the wrestlers, get autographs from them, and get pictures taken with them?
A: Yes. We hold an intermission between the filming of the two DVDs at every day of taping, where you can interact with the wrestlers and purchase merchandise items from them. You can also interact with the wrestlers at the official after party following each taping. We encourage you to buy your favorite wrestler her food and drinks as a way of showing your support!
Q: Where is the after party, and is there any age requirement to get in?
A: The SHIMMER after party location varies from taping to taping, but we always select a location which permits fans of all ages to attend. It has previously been held at both Michael Anthony's Restaurant & Bar on Ogden Ave. in Berwyn, 39TEN Lounge (which has since closed down) in Lyons, and Paisans Pizzeria & Bar, also on Ogden Ave. in Berwyn.
Q: I'd like to help spread the word about SHIMMER to other fans. How can I be of assistance?
A: We encourage our fans to spread the word about the SHIMMER live events and our DVD series to other fans online. Adding links to www.SHIMMERwrestling.com to your signatures on message boards, posting reviews of our DVDs, etc. all help us in many ways. If you live in the Chicago area and would like to help distribute flyers promoting our upcoming tapings in your area, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org expressing your interest.
Q: How can I contact SHIMMER?
A: You can reach us by snail mail at SHIMMER Women Athletes, PO Box 3294, Lisle, IL 60532, USA. Our voicemail/hotline number is 630-776-9356. Contact email@example.com to reach us by E-mail.