|Image credit: Shimmer Women Athletes|
The first round interested me greatly while angering a lot of long time Shimmer fans as it featured multiple upsets. While Cheerleader Melissa took the win in the opening match, veterans LuFisto and Jessicka Havok took losses to Nicole Savoy and Kimber Lee, neither of which surprised me as I picked Savoy for the winner of the tournament while Kimber has great success as the current Chikara Grand Champion.
Another Chikara regular Heidi Lovelace, former Shimmer champ Nicole Matthews and longtime indie favorite Candice LeRae completed the semi-final six, only for two more upsets removed Melissa and Matthews from the final round. It would be Heidi Lovelace, Nicole Savoy and Candice LeRae in the three way final.
Last year going into the ChickFight Tournament, I had no clue who Nicole Savoy was. As a native Californian, she was an obvious pick for the San Jose show. She impressed with a shock win over Candice LeRae that night, before falling to New Zealand's Evie in the semi-finals. Still, she looked great with a mix of suplexes, strikes and submissions, basically everything I like in professional wrestling. I predicted a lot of attention paid to her by Shimmer in the coming year.
That didn't quite happen. She went one for four at the next set of Shimmer's tapings, while the next four shows saw her go two and two, though one loss was to the standing Shimmer champion in a main event. Still, it seemed like the powers that be saw the same things I saw in Savoy as a future women's star.
The Heart of Stardom event proved to be her moment to shine. From her upset over LuFisto in the opening round, submitting the hardcore icon, followed by her defeat of Kimber Lee in the semi-finals, she looked like a million bucks. The main event she dominated for much of the match, ultimately submitting two more foes to take the Heart of Stardom championship and show herself to be a true submission specialist.
Smart money will predict a strong push for Savoy over the next year at Shimmer shows as she will seek to elevate her new title to the level of Madison Eagles' Shimmer Championship. I suspect Savoy will start to shine at those shows and start to draw attention from more independent promotions around the country.
And if WWE and NXT are smart, a contract won't be far removed. Savoy has everything it takes to be a major wrestling star. Let's make that happen.