Just finished watching vol 33.
Wasn't too impressed with the first hour, hour & 1/2 of the show. The new girls didn't make much of an impression on me (that said, Athena does have presence & attitude, contrary to her partner), and up until DelRey/Nevaeh, the action wasn't really memorable (Serena/Skater had potential, but was way too short at barely 7 minutes, and wasn't that great if you're neither a Skater or a Deeb mark).
I liked the Lebell Lock finish of SDR/Nevaeh (but then again, barely 5 minutes is unsufficient), Matthews/McKay II was very good, Daizee/Kurihara II was solid, Nakagawa/Hamada was great (but ultimately, it was nothing more than another special attraction match)... and the title match was once again somehow disappointing, as far as i'm concerned. Just like Shirley Crabtree, I really can't seem to really be invested in Eagles matches - even with CheerMel looking mighty fine. But at no point did I felt that Melissa could win the match and dethrone Eagles on her first title defense. Also, Eagles' finisher seems kinda weak.
So, all in all, would I recommand watching this volume ? Sure. Buying it ? Not so sure. Eleven matches (+ interviews & backstage segments) on a 176 min card still seems way too much, especially when most older volumes had 7-9 matches, tops, and globally much stronger cards.
(And the more I watch recent Shimmer volumes, the more I miss Jetta & the IHWC's mid-card comedy.)
I miss the Homewreckers too. And I actually agree with you quite a bit about this volume.
I like Athena, and a bunch of people in the matches before Del Rey's, but none of them were that great. Decent, but I wasn't too engaged.
I kinda liked the SDR match, Daizee's match was fun, Hamada's match was fantastic, and the title match was MsChif/Stock disappointing. Quite frankly, it seems like anytime you have a match after Hamada, it's bound to disappoint, whoever you are.
However, the match of the volume for me was Matthews vs McKay. It wasn't the most technically sound match (though it was good on that end too), but it was the most engaging to me. Much like their Vol 30 match, which I was able to watch recently, it was brutal and action packed. McKay is a great face in peril, and I'm not surprised she's moving up the card.
But honestly, I've been more impressed by Matthews. Similar to Cat Power earlier this year, she's had a string of pretty dang good matches, and she's getting better and better. However, the thing that makes me such a fan of her is that she's not only a good wrestler.
She's a great worker, something that SHIMMER has been losing since the Homewreckers left the promotion.