In 1972, the Fabulous Moolah wrestling in the first ever women's match at Madison Square Garden, that match, along with the her first tour in Japan in 1966, changed the format of women's wrestling forever.
Before then, "Lady Wrestlers" wrestled 90 minute shoot matches when male wrestlers refused to appear, or wrestled alligators and bears at carnivals.
Nowadays, the female wrestling scene in the WWE is composed of two minute tag matches, dance contests, and constant absences from pay-per-views.
Despite this, there is in fact a small glimmer—or shimmer, if you will—of hope for women's wrestling.
Chicago-based SHIMMER Women Athletes was formed in October 2004, and had its first show on November 6, 2005.
Since then, 43 women from around the world, and who have trained all around the world, including current WWE Divas Natalya, Beth Phoenix, Katie Lea, Florida Championship Wrestling's Serena Deeb, and TNA Knockouts Awesome King, Madison Rayne, Taylor Wilde, Sojo Bolt and Raisha Saeed have come up through the promotion.
Former TNA Knockout Roxxi Laveaux, also mentioned during Hit the Ropes interview this past week that she's been wrestling with SHIMMER since its inception.
A deal with TNA was signed in April of last year, allowing SHIMMER athletes to compete for the company.
Ring of Honor (ROH) and Full Impact Pro consider the organization a "sister promotion", even recognizing the SHIMMER championship, currently held by MsChif, and the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship, recently won by The Canadian NINJAS.
Their official website even has a tribute page for WWE Hall of Famer "Sensational" Sherri Martel, with comments from SHIMMER talent, something TNA Knockout Rayne, who wrestled for SHIMMER as Ashley Lane, feels is very important.
"If it weren't for the women who came before our generation, laying the foundation for us, we would have nothing to work for," Rayne said.
Because of the their Illinois base, SHIMMER's three to four tapings (totalling six to eight DVDs per year) are held between April and November.
Thanks to UGO.com, Lethalwow.com and Visuex.com/SHIMMER for all the information used in this article.