A few weeks ago, it was announced that Rise would be making its return to SoCal on June 29th.
And with the announcement that Madison Eagles would be making her promotional debut, I started trying to figure out how I was supposed to function for the next six months.
Ever since Rise announced that it would be running in SoCal about a year ago, Madison Eagles was at the top of my list of talent I wanted to see. But I figured it would never happen due to costs of travel.
Then it was announced that Nicole Matthews would be coming to South Gate. My mouth dropped. We had a Skilled Death Artist show up unexpectedly at Rise 2 and seeing how Nicole was Skilled Death Artist #1, every subsequent announcement from Rise, I hoped would be her.
Now, not only do I get to see Madison Eagles, but add to that her partner/friend/frenemy? C’mon now…
Why it Worked
Any other wrestlers in that storyline and it wouldn’t have had the same magic that it did.
Nicole Matthews and Madison Eagles (along with supporting Worst Best Friend Portia Perez) know how to walk the fine line between comedic and hated heel.
Madison, for one, trained NXT’s Peyton Royce and Billie Kaye. To me, when you see them doing their Iconic mean girl routine, they’re channeling their inner Madison Eagles.
The Canadian Ninjas (Nicole Matthews and Portia Perez) have that Heenan-esque heel quality where you want to hate them, but they’re so amusing it’s hard to.
I understand not everyone follows Shimmer as closely as I do, so I dusted off my Shimmer DVDs to give you a rundown of the Worst Best Friends story.
(All DVDs available from shimmerwrestling.com)
It all began at Shimmer #58 where Madison Eagles issued an open contract.
Nicole Matthews answered.
In a 20 minute classic, this match had it all. Comedy (including Madison and Nicole trying to shank each other with forks, double chops to the ref, and overall trying to “out heel” the other), chain wrestling, submission attempts, and dives.
Madison was even announced as being “definitely taller than Nicole Matthews” and Nicole was introduced as being “from the Greatest Country in the Commonwealth.”
This is a match I’ve seen over a dozen times and it never fails to entertain me. I know what’s coming next and it’s still a fun watch.
You really need to watch this match at least twice, once with the commentary on and once with it off. Dave Prazak and Portia Perez (as usual) knock it out of the park doing their best Gorilla/Brain routine. But just listening to how Madison and Nicole interact with the each other, as well as the audience, is where it all starts to take shape.
The match ends in a time limit draw and as the fans clamored for 5 more minutes, both heels teased it, but ultimately declared themselves co-winners of the match.
Madison would go on to further volumes to face different opponents, while Nicole feuded with Shida Hikaru, culminating in a kendo stick match.
The fans continued to demand a rematch and Nicole even teased it by coming out and pouring Starbucks coffee (Madison’s favorite) on a Madison Eagles t-shirt (also, her favorite).
Madison later came out with the coffee-soaked shirt and the saddest sad face you’ve evah seen.
The Worst Best Friends Unite (?)
At Shimmer #62 Wrestlemania weekend in NOLA, Nicole addressed the possibility of a rematch with Madison, but stated that they are in fact, best friends (or “best mates” in her best Australian accent) and a rematch wouldn’t happen.
Madison refuted this claim, saying that Nicole was the worst best friend “evah” but reluctantly agreed to team up against the Shimmer tag champs 3G (Kellie Skater and Tomoka Nakagawa).
Their teamwork and chemistry in this match was tested, ultimately losing due to a series of entertaining miscommunications.
The Beginning of the End
A match was scheduled for Shimmer #64. It would be Nicole Matthews vs. Evie (NXT’s Dakota Kai) vs. Madison Eagles vs. Courtney Rush (Whatever happened to her???). While this match was a 4 way, it turned more into Madison and Nicole vs. Evie and Rush.
This time The Worst Best Friends worked more cohesively. But just as it seemed that Nicole had the pinfall, Madison would break it up (apologetically).
Shimmer #65 saw Nicole and Portia Perez storm the ring, issuing the challenge to Madison. The crowd believed the match they wanted to see was about to happen, only to be disappointed by an injured Madison Eagles.
Madison was appalled that Nicole would even challenge her because she KNEW she was injured and even went to the hospital with Madison.
This brought Evie, Heidi Lovelace (Smackdown Live’s Ruby Riott), and Courtney Rush to “break up their little WB Drama” and challenge the Worst Best Friends to a match. Madison, Portia, and Nicole were left to find a new tag team partner in the form of Jessica Havok.
This six-man tag saw the faces come out victorious, with Portia and Nicole playing the cowardly heels and leaving The Havok Death Machine to do the majority of the work (who was none too pleased).
At Shimmer #66, Nicole took on Evie. Madison would appear at ringside to “support” her best friend but cost her the match when Nicole tried to prove that HER brainbuster was better than Madison’s.
This Feud Gets Lit (Literally)
The rematch everyone wanted to see finally took place at Shimmer #67, but with title implications. The winner of the match would go on to face Athena (NXT Champion Ember Moon) and Shimmer Champion Cheerleader Melissa (UPW’s Cheerleader Melissa).
Picking up where they had left off at Volume 58, Madison and Nicole put on an amazing performance, mixing in comedy with technical wrestling in an epic battle.
The end of the match, though, saw confusion.
As Madison locked in a submission on Nicole, Matthews reversed it into a pin. As Senior Referee Bryce Remsberg counted the 3, Matthews simultaneously tapped out.
It was decided that the 3 way elimination match would now be a 4 way (dun, dun, duuuuun).
During the title match, the first to go was Cheerleader Melissa, ensuring that a new champion would be crowned.
Athena was eliminated by Matthews and it was once again down to the Worst Best Friends.
With some outside help from Portia Perez, Matthews was able to secure the victory and become champion after throwing a fireball in Madison’s face.
The Worst Best Friends were officially… done.
Many in SoCal don’t follow women’s wrestling as closely as I do, so on one hand, I understand that they might not know who Madison Eagles or Nicole Matthews are. Admittedly, it does leave me a bit shocked that they don’t recognize what a big deal these two talents coming to SoCal is.
But on the other hand, I’m envious of fans who get to discover them for the first time.
Either way, get your tickets, kids. It’s going to be another big AWS/Rise weekend and you can damn sure bet I’ll be there.
Support SoCal Wrestling, Book Joshua Shibata, and Happy Rusev Day.