Wow, here I am. I’m officially part of the NHB Girls team. I’m still a bit stunned that that this was able to happen. I never imagined that by putting in the small effort of sending out live results from the SHIMMER Women Athletes tapings that it could lead me somewhere like this. So first and foremost, I’d like to thank Rhi, Cory and Jonesy for this opportunity to join the team and help show the world about the damn fine athletes that reside in Australia and New Zealand.
I guess I just wanted to take a little bit of time to introduce myself to the readers of the site who may not already know who I am. So, as was said in the introduction post, my name is Reid and I live in Minnesota, USA. I’m 25 and make a living by doing retail work for our local professional hockey team, the Minnesota Wild. Outside of getting some sort of job in wrestling, this is basically a dream job for me. Hockey is as big of a deal as it is where I live as cricket and Aussie rules football is down there. So to have a job where I’m surrounded by such an important part of the culture is so much fun.
But enough about my personal stuff, let’s talk about how I got involved in the Australian wrestling scene. My initial exposure was thanks to SHIMMER Women Athletes and when Madison Eagles and Jessie McKay first came over for the Volume 21-22 tapings. Like most of the fans, I was completely in the dark about these two. But it didn’t take very long to realize just how much I’d been missing out on.
I was immediately drawn to Madison and how fluid and crisp she was in the ring. Everything she did look like it came so easy to her and she made every move look so effortless and natural. There was also just a massive vibe of confidence coming from her that was refreshing. She knew exactly what she was doing in the ring and how to do it cleanly, safely but still look awesome. After just two matches, I knew she could be a very, very big player in SHIMMER if she got the chance. Once Madison won the title, I knew I had to start getting to see the shows live because I knew there were some great matches on tap. And I was not disappointed one bit. When I saw her early SHIMMER stuff, it was clear Madison was good but I never had an idea just how good she was. Each match she had that weekend was better than the last and she really made herself stand out against some great competition like Cheerleader Melissa, Ayumi Kurihara, Ayako Hamada and others. Plus, I got a real personal mark out moment during her match with Jessie McKay where I was the only one cheering for Madison and she personally screamed her thanks to me and then correctly pointed out to Jessie that my ‘AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE!’ chant was for her and not for Jessie. That was amazing.
But elsewhere on those shows was another Aussie who quickly got my attention as well. I had seen Kellie Skater’s earlier SHIMMER work but hadn’t really managed to get a feel for her. She just seemed like this skinny, pale thing with way too much self-confidence who got brutalized by the top talent. Then I got to see her live and see her compete against girls more at her level on the card and I was quite impressed with what I saw. But much like with Madison, I didn’t realize just how much talent Skater really had in her.
That all changed, though, when I read the results of PWWA’s Last Woman Standing tournament, which Skater won defeating Madison in the finals. And initially, I was dumbfounded by the result. Skater beat Eagles? Really? I decided I had to see for myself just how this was possible since based on what I’d seen in SHIMMER, Eagles was a main-eventer who consistently had the best match on the show while Skater was just some little comedy act who just flexed her muscles and drank protein shakes. But then I saw the tournament and I was blown away with how wrong I was. Sure, Skater still had a lot of the personality quirks she showed at SHIMMER but the talent and skill she showed was light years better than what I’d seen in America.
From that point on, I became a big fan and advocate of Skater in SHIMMER. Because I now knew just how much talent she had in her and felt like those talents were being wasted for being a light-hearted comedy heel on the very bottom of the card. So watching her transform from basically a joke into one of the best talents in the world over the past couple years has been very satisfying.
So my interest in the Australian scene is largely due to Madison and Skater. And thanks to those two breaking into the American scene, I’ve gotten the chance to see more great talent like Tenille Tayla, Shazza McKenzie and Evie. But I’m still getting involved in the scene and finding just who else Australia has to offer the world. That’s why I’m so thankful for NHB Girls for doing the work they do by shining a spotlight on the scene that has already produced many great wrestlers. So to be able to help shine that spotlight a little brighter is a tremendous honour and I look forward to the future of my affiliation with NHB Girls, not just for my personal benefit as a wrestling fan but hopefully for many, many others like me.
- Reid Allen
- Pictures by Cory Lockwood Photography, NHB Girls & PWWA