Sunday, 16 September 2012

Why A Partnership Between WWE And SHIMMER Makes Sense For Everyone

As I'm sure you've worked out by now, I'm quite keen on womens wrestling. It's also fairly obvious that WWE need to find a way to improve their divas division, and that SHIMMER is one of the best all-woman wrestling promotions in the world. As such, the idea of them working together is one that seems to have no negatives. This post will outline the way I would envision such a partnership working, and what both companies - and their talent - would gain from the link up.

How It Would Work

Two words - talent exchange.

I'm proposing that WWE and SHIMMER draw up trade lists of talent available for the other promotion to utilise on their shows. In other words, WWE would send SHIMMER a list of the divas they are prepared to send SHIMMER for their next set of tapings, and SHIMMER would send WWE a list of the women available to work any WWE television tapings or PPVs. Both sides would then agree on how many women can be selected, and make their picks.

This would be more difficult for SHIMMER since they don't keep their talent under exclusive deals, but I've got a solution for that, don't worry. What I would do is introduce a policy whereby anyone who has appeared on a SHIMMER taping in the last eight volumes (including the SPARKLE preshow, and possibly also the last two SHINE events) can opt in or out of the trade list at any point at which they are elligible to be on the list.

For example, let's say Mercedes Martinez has opted in to the trade list, but she has a WSU show coming up and she's getting a shot at regaining her WSU Champioship. She could decide to opt out for dates around the WSU show, and opt back in afterwards. This would ensure that the SHIMMER ladies are available to work for WWE without having to lose any of their regular bookings, and because it's unlikely that everyone will be working at the same time, WWE will still always be able to call on SHIMMER talent to use on their shows.

A similar scheme could be applied to WWE talent, whereby any divas - whether they are on the WWE or NXT roster - wishing to go to SHIMMER for their next taping could opt in and be elligible for selection. The only problem I could see is that some divas may not want to go to SHIMMER, but I'm sure WWE's management could convince them it was a good move for their careers, and besides, there are plenty of ex-SHIMMER talents under WWE deals right now - Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Paige and Skylar Moon have all appeared on SHIMMER or SPARKLE shows in the past - and they have also previously employed ex-SHIMMER talents like Serena Deeb and Kharma. On top of that, CM Punk is a friend of SHIMMER promoter Dave Prazak, Paige's mother Saraya is the current SHIMMER Champion, and with Sara Del Rey supposedly signing with WWE there would be a good core of talented workers who know the value of working at SHIMMER, and enough good will between the two companies to make such an arrangement seem plausible.

What Everybody Gains

First off, WWE would gain a massively increased divas division and immediately be able to put on matches of much greater quality without having to spend massive amounts of money signing a lot of new girls to contracts. It is most likely that the SHIMMER ladies would be used as enhancement talent to help get the contracted WWE divas over, but it would also enable WWE to take a closer look at anyone who interested them and test them out on a televised event before they decide whether or not to try and sign them.

With the divas getting infrequent appearances on television, and usually drawing no significant crowd reaction, it seems to me that, instead of training and working house shows against each other, they would benefit from working against other talented workers who could expose some of the less experienced girls to new styles and techniques, in an environment where the crowd are genuinely passionate about womens wrestling and their matches are guaranteed to recieve a strong reaction. SHIMMER is undoubtedly the best place in America for this. I have no doubt that working with the likes of Saraya Knight, Cheerleader Melissa & LuFisto for a couple of days would be of much greater benefit to the divas progression than doing a couple of house shows, and the addition of WWE talent to the SHIMMER roster would have great benefits for the Illinois based company as well.

SHIMMER don't exactly have trouble selling out the Berwyn Eagles Club as things stand now, but with the addition of names like Kelly Kelly, Tamina Snuka or even up-and-coming talent like Raquel Diaz, they may be able to slightly increase their prices and generate some extra income. Depending on how much WWE publicised the partnership, it could also help increase the profile of SHIMMER among more casual wrestling fans, thereby increasing their DVD and merchandise sales. I would also like to see WWE provide a small amount of financial backing to SHIMMER, in order to enable them to pay their talent slightly more per appearance.

If we work on the assumption that SHIMMER runs two sets of tapings a year, each consisiting of four shows, and that they use 35 women per show, paying an average wage of $1000 per worker per show, then doubling the wages of every women used in a year would only cost WWE $280,000, which is hardly anything considering how much they make every year. This would in turn make SHIMMER a more attractive proposition for female wrestlers, leading to more new names appearing on their shows and increasing the talent pool WWE can select from. This could also benefit WWE on their world tours, as they could call on local talent to work shows in places like Japan, Australia and Great Britain.

The talent from both companies would gain the chance to experience new wrestling styles and to work in a totally different environment to the one they are used to. WWE divas would get to experience a variety of new wrestling styles and have the opportunity to work up close with fans who know and care about womens wrestling, whilst SHIMMER women would get the chance to experience the WWE way of life, adapt to the WWE style of wrestling and work in front of crowds far bigger than any they have performed to on the independent scene.

Both sides could also use the partnership to increase merchandising opportunities. SHIMMER are known for having merch sales between tapings, so WWE could send the divas to SHIMMER shows with diva related shirts and dvds, and incentivise them by giving the divas a slightly increased percentage of the merch sales from SHIMMER shows. WWE, meanwhile, could stock small quantities of merchandise from their selected SHIMMER wrestlers on the shows they work, as well as selling a range of SHIMMER merch both at shows and online, with WWE taking a pre-agreed percentage of the profits from any of these sales.


There really does not appear to be any significant downside to a working agreement between WWE and SHIMMER - both sides are likely to gain financially, they will gain more options in terms of booking their matches, and the talent from both companies will have the opportunity to expand their wrestling horizons further, and gain a fuller understanding of the industry they work in.

The biggest stumbling block I could see to such a partnership is WWE's apparent disinterest in womens wrestling, but should they decide they want to return to the glory days of Trish, Lita et al, they could do a lot worse than starting by teaming up with SHIMMER.


  1. I would love to see MsChif tormting the Divas, but WWE does not need Shimmer, not even TNA. They can do what they want. If they want the girls, they would hire them and create a show for their network. Shimmer would benefit with the exposure, but why would WWE admit their girls wrestle like crap at best and the indies are far better?

    1. The way I see it, WWE would be able to use SHIMMER as an unofficial developmental territory, sending girls there to learn new moves and understand how to work a crowd. They'd also be able to test out potential signings without the risk of wasting a lot of money if they don't work out.

      Let's say they like Leva, but aren't sure if her cosplay gimmick would work. They could use her for a show as a jobber and test it out - if it works then they can always go ahead and sign her, but if it bombs they can then let her go back to SHIMMER whilst creative come up with another gimmick without having to pay her. It also stops them having to constantly job out Natalya (and Beth, but by the sounds of it they're going to have to stop that one soon anyway).

      I'm aware most of the things I've said WWE could gain from SHIMMER are things they could go out and do on their own, but I reckon they'd learn more from going to SHIMMER than they seem to have done from OVW, FCW/NXT and working house shows.

      Obviously the girls who've worked the indies can go to NXT to learn the WWE style, but the girls who have been in WWE a while and still can't wrestle aren't exactly going to get better doing the same things that haven't improved them so far, so why not show them what women are capable of doing in the ring and try to inspire them to want to get better?

  2. I wrote out a long reply and it got lost somehow :/

    Anyway, to cut a long story short, this is a fantastic idea. WWE have a strong divas division at the moment both in terms of marketable faces and fairly decent wrestling ability and this could only be a good thing in terms of raising it to the next level.

    We used to care about the diva division when it featured the liked of Molly,Trish,Lita and Victoria etc, and there's no reason why it can't be relevant again