We’re back with another show with the kickass ladies of EVE wrestling to determine a #1 contender to Rhia O’Reilly’s EVE title. Without further ado, let’s return to the Resistance Gallery!
PRO WRESTLING EVE – FIGHTS AND FALSE LASHES – The Resistance Gallery – August 10th, 2019
When last we left our heroines, the #1 Contenders’ tournament was down to two – Little Miss Roxxy & Millie McKenzie. One of them will be the first challenger to Rhia O’Reilly at our next show in September. In the meantime, Rhia’s henchwomen, Nightshade and Livvii Grace, seem to have taken a particular interest in Laura Di Matteo, while EVE as a promotion is in the midst of a large rebuild after the exodus of a lot of talent. Lurking in the background of all of this chaos? The 2019 SHE-1 and WrestleQueendom 3, taking place in November and in January, respectively.
We’ve got Dann Read flying solo on commentary with Emily Read (as always, accompanied by Emily’s bitchin’ mohawk), as usual doing the ring announcing.
Up first, we hear the music of the Diamond Vogue Collective! Jinny and Mercedez Blaze make their way out, and Emily informs us that we have ourselves an Open challenge. Who’s going to answer it? Well, the first music we hear is that of the Psycho Dyke, Rebel Kinney! She gets on the mic and talks about the person that believed in her the most when she came to London – together, they are the Stonewall Rebellion, and that person is Skye Smitson!
Now that’s interesting. As usual, EVE is not afraid to wear their politics on their sleeve. Without going too deeply into history here, the Stonewall Riots took place in 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in New York – they were a seminal moment in LGBT history for many reasons, most of them far beyond anything I’m going to write in a pro wrestling recap filled with sad attempts at cheap humor. Suffice to say, Rebel Kinney being the one to adopt that name for her tag team with Skye is very appropriate and you should check out more about the Riots, because they’re a fascinating piece of American history.
Anywhoo, back to fake fighting in skin-tight outfits and stuff.
The Diamond Vogue Collective (Jinny & Mercedez Blaze) vs Stonewall Rebellion (Rebel Kinney & Skye Smitson)
This is Skye’s first appearance in EVE in more than a year, according to the always handy Cagematch database. After a few fakeouts from the DVC, Jinny and Skye start us off. Jinny works her to the mat with a trip, then a front facelock. Off the ropes, and Jinny slaps Skye, which seems ill-advised. Skye with a brief comeback after a dropkick, but Jinny just drops her with a shot which looked great.
Blaze in and she runs Skye’s ear along the middle rope, but Smitson has had ENOUGH of this shit and we get chops from Skye. Doesn’t last long Blaze hits a double underhook suplex and a swinging neckbreaker. Blaze gets a bit greedy, and that results in Skye getting a tag, and Kinney’s in. Headbutts and a fallaway slam get two on Blaze. Jinny gets a tag and ‘ranas Rebel for two, along with a shotgun dropkick by Blaze. They cut the ring off on Kinney and beat on her for awhile. Rebel tries to come back, but misses a top rope senton. Jinny in and she stomps away in the corner, Acid Rainmaker time, but Rebel reverses into the…..Acid headbutt? Either way, it’s enough to get the tag to Skye, who’s a house afire as she comes in! Jinny catches her with an Acid Rainmaker, but all 4 women end up in the ring and just clobber each other with big moves, including a top rope spear from Mercedez. Finally, a tornado DDT & an Acid Rainmaker on Skye end it with Jinny getting the pin. DIAMOND VOGUE COLLECTIVE OVER THE STONEWALL REBELLION, PINFALL, 13:32
THOUGHTS: ***1/4. I thought this was pretty good, even if it shows how much better a worker that Jinny is than, well, everyone else in the match. But Blaze has some potential – she’s got good strikes and that dropkick in the corner was great. Skye was very good, and Rebel is alright – I haven’t seen enough of her work to figure out if she’s any good or not. I want to see a bit more before I decide for myself. The match was worked at a decent clip, with little resting and the right finish. No problems here.
Also, why the fuck did Dann keep saying it was Skye’s debut? She lost to Charlie Morgan last year at SHEvolution. Does he just mean as a tag team with Kinney?
Alright, moving on. Emily tells us that she has someone to introduce us to, and that’s one-half of the EVE tag team champions, Jetta! Jetta has some bad news for us – Erin’s not here tonight, so she needs a tag team partner. There’s a pretty funny story about her and Erin celebrating and it leading to shenanigans, but we don’t need to go into that here. Because you should watch it.
Anyway, Jetta says she’s still going to wrestle tonight, she’ll just need to find a partner. And wouldn’t you know it, but the music of Sammii Jayne hits. Jetta, once again proving herself the smartest babyface in all of wrestling, doesn’t trust this shit for a second, saying that while Sammii’s gear may have changed, her personality is still the same, and while Jetta may be in search of a partner, she’s not desperate. All points to Jetta.
But it turns out that Sammii’s not here for that – rather, she’s here for a SHE-1 qualifying match. As she says on the mic, she has changed but she knows she’ll have to prove it, and right now, she’s out here for a fight, so Charli Evans? Get out here! The music of the Medusa Complex brings out Charli, so let’s do this match right now.
Charli Evans vs Sammii Jayne – SHE-1 2019 Qualifier
Wristlock reversals galore to start, and Charli stomps on Jayne’s fingers. More chain wrestling and Jayne gets Evans down to the mat, and we get a clean break from Sammii, much to the surprise of Dann. Shoulderblock battle is won by Charli, and she lays in kicks for two. Jayne gets an awkward dropkick for two, and we’re back to holds and armbars from Sammii. The technique here is actually very good, but it’s a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing so far.
Jayne goes to the legs now and splashes Charli, sandwiches her in the corner for two and goes up, but Evans cuts her off and drops her on the top buckle for two. Charli takes over and beats her up, with a running kick in the corner. Back to the mat with a wristlock into a stretch, and Charli bites her fingers just to make sure we know who the heel is.
Crowd chants for Jayne as Dann is just completely weirded out while Evans keeps torturing the arm. Jayne makes the comeback and suplexes Charli into the buckles. They trade cradle attempts and Jayne gets a knee to the head for two. Gory Bomb by Charli gets two. Crazy Saito suplex by Evans, but Jayne no-sells it and hits a German suplex and both women are down. They get up and slug it out, Evans with a knee to the face and a Perfectplex for two.
Jayne comes back and goes up, but Evans yanks her off the top rope, neck first onto the buckles. Charli goes up, but Sammii meets her there and slams her head into the balcony, then ‘ranas her off the top for two. Sliding German gets two for Jayne. Spinning DDT gets two for Jayne. Frustrated, Jayne goes up to finish, but gets hit in the gut on a splash attempt by a knee from Charli, and the Rampaige finishes Sammii off to send Evans to the SHE-1. CHARLI EVANS OVER SAMMII JAYNE, PINFALL, 17:15
THOUGHTS: ***. This was a tale of two matches – the first match, where they did some decent chain-wrestling and holds that was tedious and went on way too long, and the second match, where they just threw big moves at each other until someone went down that had some really decent tension and a decent ending. I’m not sure that the two fit together all that well, but that having been said, it was better than average. Evans is a premier worker who is always going to have a solid outing at minimum, and Jayne looked fine here. They missed the peak of the match because of how long it went; realistically, it would have served the match better to be at about 12-13 minutes, but they wanted an epic here so that’s what they went for. If you get too bogged down in the beginning, you won’t enjoy the match as much, but if you stay with it, they stick the landing to a reasonable degree.
Emily tells us that it’s time to welcome to the ring our 3-time EVE champion, Rhia O’Reilly! And here comes the champ herself, flanked as usual by Livvii Grace and Nightshade. Crowd no-likey. She recaps the #1 contenders tournament and we get video recaps of last month’s first two rounds. Rhia wonders why they boo her one minute, then get excited about a match she made the next. Pick a side, guys! This is not Rhia’s best work here. I liked her speech and her turn last month, but she’s just reciting stuff here and I’m not feeling it.
But that doesn’t matter, because that music indicates that we’re about to be joined by Laura Di Matteo! Laura isn’t wasting any time here as the crowd chants her name, and she grabs the mic from Rhia. She thought that her and Rhia were friends, that they were cool, so why did Livvii and Nightshade interfere in her match last month? Rhia tells her that hey, they are friends, that she believed in Laura and it’s unfortunate what happened in her match, and if she has a problem with Livvii and Nightshade, that’s between her and them. O’Reilly drops the mic and stalks off, as do Grace and Nightshade…..but now Livvii and Nightshade hit the ring again and the beatdown is on! They batter the shit outta Laura and Nightshade drops her with a chokebomb.
Dann leaves commentary and hits the ring, saying that they’ll need to call off Laura’s SHE-1 qualifier match that’s up next, but Laura begs him to let her fight, with the crowd very much also wanting to see her fight. Finally, Dann acquiesces, so hit Nina’s music! Nina Samuels makes her way down for their match, and her queen bitch facial expressions are just fantastic.
Nina Samuels vs Laura Di Matteo – SHE-1 2019 Qualifier
Di Matteo can barely stand in the corner, but says she’s ready and we ring the bell. Nina immediately flattens her with a punch and kicks away. She sets Laura up against the ropes and dropkicks her into the wall for two. Vicious backbreaker from Nina gets two. Kicks from Nina get two, as Laura is doing a crazy awesome sell job of being out on her feet.
Faceplant from Samuels gets two, and now Nina is getting kind of pissed off that Laura is still hanging around here. GTS attempt is countered into a superkick from Laura to pop the crowd. Forearms from Laura! Fisherman’s Buster from Laura! Laura comes off the second rope with a ‘rana, then a tornado Flatliner for two, with Nina making the ropes.
Nina stops her with a boot now and goes up, then hits Angel’s Wings for two as Laura won’t stay down. Nina goes up now but Laura cuts her off and goes up instead, missile dropkick by Di Matteo! Nina cuts off the suicide dive and hits a pescado for two. The pacing on this match and story is fantastic. Nina misses a kick and gets send outside, and now the tope from Laura hits! Back in and Laura goes for a Tombstone, but that’s reversed into Snake Eyes and a boot from Nina for two. Slam and Nina goes up for the moonsault, with Dann saying that she only does this when she’s desperate. Laura cuts that off and Nina drops into the Tree of Woe, with Laura taking that opportunity to hit the Tombstone and pick up the pin to head to the SHE-1! LAURA DI MATTEO OVER NINA SAMUELS, PINFALL, 9:38
THOUGHTS: ****1/4. This was brilliant storytelling from these women from start to finish. Each one of them played their part beautifully, with Laura playing the underdog babyface and Nina playing the arrogant heel to absolute perfection. The timing of the comebacks from Laura were great, as they let the heel beatdown go on as long as it needed to before introducing the comeback spots to fire up the crowd, ensuring that they never lost the thread of the match. The match played to every strength in the ring that both women have and it was paced brilliantly, including Laura hitting the ‘big’ move to put Nina away at the end. This was wonderful. This was professional wrestling.
I know I’ve been a huge booster of Jamie Hayter here, and I still am, but if the plan is to have Laura Di Matteo overcome all the odds and be the one to dethrone Rhia, I am fully on-board that train. She’s fantastic.
Laura lets out a scream of triumph after the win.
Up next, we’ve got a tag team match! And out first, we’ve got the Woke Queens, Debbie Keitel and Valkyrie. Hey, any team with ABBA entrance music can’t be…..naw, who am I kidding? ABBA is devil music. And here comes Jetta! She gives us some of her dulcet vocal stylings, loved by the crowd and somewhat tolerated by everyone else! Jetta has scoured backstage; it is a big backstage, after all. And there’s some amazing athletes back there, but she’s got one, so bring out her tag team partner!
And it’s Session Moth Martina! Martina does her entrance, which one could argue is the second best entrance ever involving an open beer, if only because of Sandman. Although, in Martina’s defense, she’s a better worker than Sandman ever was. Anyway, Martina blows herself up during her entrance but recovers nicely as we’re introduced to their tag team – the Wrestle Friends with Benefits!
Goddamn, I love this promotion.
The Woke Queens (Debbie Keitel & Valkyrie) vs Wrestle Friends with Benefits (Jetta & Session Moth Martina)
Debbie shotguns her coffee and she’s ready for action, while Martina wouldn’t mind another drinky-drink from her beer before we kick things off here. We get a, uh, criss-cross with Debbie running at full speed while Martina just slows down to watch and drink. Some beer mists from Martina finally sober Debbie up and the Woke Queens are cleared from the ring. Valkyrie tries to come in with a splash off the top rope, but there’s no beer in the pool for that one. Double low blows by the Queens are blocked and we get double Bronco Busters from Martina and Jetta, with Moth enjoying hers for a bit too long.
The Queens declare that vengeance will be theirs and they finally take over on Moth. Armbar by Valkyrie and we get some doubleteams from the Queens, until heel miscommunication ensues and Debbie ends up destroying Valkyrie’s arm by accident. Man, this must be what it’s like in a world where the IIconics are actually good. More heat on Martina, but she escapes and it’s hot tag Jetta, who cleans house. Martina back in and she hits strikes and an abdominal stretch bomb. All 4 women are in the ring now and Martina goes for a superkick, but hits Jetta by accident and that causes Jetta to get rolled up for the pin. WOKE QUEENS OVER WRESTLE FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS, PINFALL, 9:36
THOUGHTS: **1/4. Total comedy match. We drifted a bit too far into over the top territory more than a few times here, but I kind of suspect that was the point of the match, honestly. It was fun, but sloppy and not exactly the best when it came to the pacing. But I’m not sure that a rating here really matters – either you’re going to laugh your ass off, or you’re not and that’s the whole thing. I was about halfway, so that’s what I gave it.
Our burlesque performance is Bonnie Knockers.
And it’s main event time!
Out first, it’s Millie McKenzie! All wicked smiles and middle fingers, she rolls in and throws her jacket at Emily before sitting down in the corner. And there’s the music of Roxxy! Someone’s gotta be the #1 Contender, so let’s see who can pick up the win here!
But first, the music of Rhia O’Reilly hits and she heads down with Livvii and Nightshade to catch the action up close and personal. Well. I’m sure that will end well.
Roxxy vs Millie McKenzie – #1 Contenders Tournament Final
Roxxy controls on the mat with a wristlock to start us off. Back to their feet and Millie takes her over with a side headlock, Roxxy quick to the headscissors off that. Same sequence with the roles reversed, stalemate again.
Roxxy gets control and beats Millie from corner to corner, with a springboard double knees getting two for Roxxy. Millie back at her with a few dropkicks now, then more kicks to the back. Neckbreaker from Millie gets two. Match is very solid thus far.
Slugfest and Roxxy makes the comeback after winning that with a headscissors and an STO for two. Roxxy ties Millie up and puts her in a Cloverleaf variant, but Millie escapes to the ropes to break. Millie screams in pain against the ropes from the leg injury, but she valiantly makes her way to her feet and seems okay to continue after a few moments…..and then she valiantly hits Roxxy with 2 German Suplexes as it turns out the injury MAY not have been as severe as she let on.
Running cutter (“Outta nowhere!” – Dann) gets two for Millie. They battle on their knees, then back to their feet. Roxxy hits a sunset flip that looked like it was supposed to go into the buckles, but they were too far away to hit the move. That gets two. Millie grabs a choke after kicking out, but goes for a German and Roxxy rolls through for a double stomp and goes up. Top rope double stomp grazes Millie, who rolls out of the ring.
Roxxy DDTs Millie through the 2nd rope and slaps on a Dragon Sleeper, but here comes Charli with the kendo stick that rearranged Roxxy’s dental work on the last show, tossing it into the ring and having a convo with the ref. Roxxy doesn’t get fooled and she gets her hand on the stick first, complete with a priceless expression on Millie’s face.
So Charli gets in the ring to take one for the team, offering Roxxy a ‘free shot, bitch’ – Charli ducks the first shot, but then it’s Roxxy swinging for the fences on Charli, just wearing her out. Charli gets sent to the floor as a result and Millie hits a spear on Roxxy, but Roxxy rolls her over at two for a crucifix pin that gets three and makes Roxxy the #1 contender. ROXXY OVER MILLIE MCKENZIE, PINFALL, 16:23
THOUGHTS: ***3/4. There was something missing here that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but it was enough that I couldn’t go ****. I think it was a combination of some sloppy work (missing the buckle bomb, the awkward spot with the stick and ref, some missed spots/bumps) and the fact that Roxxy pretty much had to win here, as her facing Rhia made the most sense, which kind of divested a bit of the drama from it. The match felt flat to me in spots where I don’t think it should have felt that way, because I wasn’t as invested as I wanted to be in it. The ringwork was okay, Roxxy was fine, and Millie was her usual great self in many spots. It was good work, not great work.
Post-match, Rhia and her crew surround Roxxy, and O’Reilly offers the handshake. “See you in September, bitch” sayeth Rhia, and she exits the ring which means only one thing – Livvii and Nightshade attack Roxxy and beat her down.
But this time, Roxxy’s got some help as the music of Jayla Dark hits, and for the first time since Wargames at WrestleQueendom 1, Jayla Dark is back in an EVE ring! She clears the ring as the crowd chants her name. Dark on the mic now – she says that her retirement match is on the 28th of September, so she can’t take the title from Rhia, but she can make damn sure that Rhia doesn’t hold it for much longer! She mentions that Rhia ruined Viper’s last night in EVE at WrestleQueendom – as she’s a former tag partner of Viper’s, she takes that very seriously, indeed. She dares any of them to get in the ring, and it appears that Nightshade is up for it. Ring the bell!
Nightshade vs Jayla Dark
Dark destroys her in the corner with forearms, then a running kick to Nightshade, before mounting and throwing forearms. Nightshade mounts a brief comeback with a few butt bombs and a cannonball in the corner, but Dark kicks out at 1! Big spear from Nightshade for two, but her suplex attempt is blocked and Dark finishes with the Death Valley Driver. JAYLA DARK OVER NIGHTSHADE, PINFALL, 3:03
THOUGHTS: *1/2. Not really much here, but I don’t think there was supposed to be much. Just a way to show that Dark is back and get her ready for next month.
Roxxy and Jayla celebrate to end the show.
FINAL THOUGHTS: A very decent show highlighted by greatness from Laura Di Matteo, whose performance was absolutely scintillating. As for the rest – a bit of a mixed bag. Roxxy and Millie had a fine match, but I just can’t give Roxxy any chance next month against O’Reilly, so I’m kind of ambivalent towards the whole thing. The show was solid top to bottom, but I’m waiting to be blown away by the next big thing like a Jamie Hayter or a Charlie Morgan. That could take some time, but EVE has earned my trust as a viewer so much that I’m going to give them a shot – I think it’s probably Laura if they cultivate her story properly, and nothing I’ve seen indicates that they’re going to screw it up. As usual, EVE remains one of the best-kept secrets in pro wrestling, so the hope is that the more that we talk about them, the less of a secret they become.
As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,
@MrSoze on Twitter