As 2011 draws to a close, the Diva Dirt writers have each picked a personal highlight to reminisce on the year gone by.
My greatest moment of 2011 is a strange one, as most of you reading this probably haven’t seen it at all. At this past set of SHIMMER tapings in Berwyn, IL, Cheerleader Melissa captured the SHIMMER Championship, an event that seemed to be years in the making. In my humble opinion, this was one of the most emotional title wins in women’s wrestling this year.
When the SHIMMER Championship was introduced in 2007 by way of a two day, 16 woman tournament, many fans considered Cheerleader Melissa as a favorite to win. Melissa had several high profile victories under her belt at that point and had cemented her position in the promotion as a top contender. However, Melissa was knocked out of the tournament in the first round by the debuting “Dark Angel” Sarah Stock (TNA’s Sarita), shocking many in the process.
Melissa went on to become one of biggest stars in SHIMMER, but the SHIMMER Championship was still just out of her reach. That all changed in April 2010 when Melissa faced off against Madison Eagles in a #1 Contender’s Match for a shot at MsChif’s championship. Unfortunately for Melissa, Madison cheated her way into a title shot and went on to become SHIMMER Champion, leaving Melissa, as well as the SHIMMER fan base, furious.
At the next set of tapings, Melissa demanded that she receive the title shot that she was cheated out of by Madison Eagles and SHIMMER management granted her request. Melissa fans rejoiced at the news, believing that this was going to be Melissa’s chance at redemption — a chance to prove to the world that she was deserving of one the most prestigious titles in women’s wrestling. Sadly, Melissa came up short once again, effectively dashing her championship dreams.
Melissa spent the next few volumes working her way back into title contention, defeating the likes of Britani Knight, Christina Von Eerie and Kana along the way. On Volume 44 of SHIMMER, Melissa got her rematch against Madison Eagles and this time it was all or nothing. During the match, the crowd was on the edge of their seats, as Melissa and Madison gave it everything they had in a match that covered nearly every square inch of the Berwyn Eagles Club.
You could cut the tension in the air with a knife each time a near fall was had or a submission hold was locked in. Melissa was so close to the title she could taste it and as fans, we were living vicariously through her.
In the end, Melissa managed to get the pinfall and finally capture the title she had been chasing for so long; and at that moment, the Berwyn Eagles Club exploded in rush of excitement and elation. Whether you were a fan of Melissa or not, you couldn’t help but to get on your feet and cheer for the new champion. And as she stood in the middle of that ring, overcome with emotion and eyes glassy with tears, it was as if she won that title, not only for herself, but for every one of her fans.
While I don’t think the overwhelming reaction to Cheerleader Melissa’s win could be nearly as strong on film as it was live, I suggest that you all go pick up the DVD as soon as it hits shelves, as it is a moment you won’t forget anytime soon.