Pro Wrestling EVE – Wrestling with an Agenda


When last we left our heroines in Pro Wrestling EVE, little miss Roxxy had become the #1 Contender for Rhia O’Reilly’s EVE Championship! While Rhia was confident in her chances, an equalizer showed up in the form of Jayla Dark – like Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon, she’s THIS close to her retirement, but she’s got one last job to do, and that’s make sure that O’Reilly doesn’t survive as the champ for much longer. With all that in mind, it’s a good night for a title match, so let’s return to the Resistance Gallery, shall we?

PRO WRESTLING EVE – WRESTLING WITH AN AGENDA – The Resistance Gallery – September 14th, 2019

And a familiar voice welcomes us to the show, as Leah Owens is back on commentary with Dann Read after an extended absence, while Emily Read, awesome mohawk at full mast, is our ring announcer as usual. Let’s get to the show!

We’re starting things off with a fatal 4-Way, and Holidead makes her way to an EVE ring for the first time in almost a year. Out next is Jetta, the only true British wrestling legend in my book. Yeah, I said it. Billy Robinson can fuck right off. I mean, I guess not, considering his current state of deadness, but still. Bow down to the Princess Diana of professional wrestling, subjects! Jetta tells us that Erin Angel is once again not here, and that they’ll have an announcement about the status of the tag titles next month. I do wonder what’s going on with that. Out next, we’ve got a debuting wrestler for EVE named Trish Adora, who is a student of 3D Academy and was, as Dann says, recommended to EVE by Nikki Cross. Good enough for me. And finally, the music of the Medusa Complex brings forth Charli Evans, always a welcome sight.

Holidead vs Jetta vs Trish Adora vs Charli Evans

Charli attacks everyone to start us off. Jetta and Trish team up for a bit on Charli and Holidead, and Trish hits a nice spinning sideslam on Charli. Holidead and Trish pair off and Adora gets two off an enzuigiri. Holidead comes back with a lariat and scares Charli back out of the ring. Airplane spin into a Samoan Drop by Holidead. Jetta saves and we get a chop battle, bulldog by Jetta and a swinging neckbreaking into a Mutalock puts Holidead down, but Charli breaks that up. Evans and Jetta face off now, then decide to team up on Holidead, but they run into a double chokeslam from the dead one, prompting Dann: “I don’t know what it is about dead people, or nearly-dead people, but they fucking love the chokeslam, man!”

Indeed, Dann. Indeed.

Trish comes flying in with a nice crossbody and now everyone is down. We get a four-way slugfest from the knees, make their way to their feet, then hit big moves to knock everyone down again. Spinebuster from Holidead on Trish, but Charli hits a hammerlock Flatliner on her. More chaos ensues and Holidead manages to take advantage, hitting Angel’s Wings on Trish for the pin. HOLIDEAD OVER JETTA, TRISH ADORA, & CHARLI EVANS, PINFALL, 7:51

THOUGHTS: **1/2 Showcase match for Holidead in a lot of ways here, and they gave Trish a little room to work with for her debut. Charli is a premier worker and is always going to be good, and Jetta was rock-solid as you’d expect. This was fine.

Right into the next one, as the music of the Diamond Vogue Collective welcomes Jinny to the ring! And she’s quickly followed by Mercedes Martinez, who gets in Jinny’s face as the crowd chants for her. This should be very good.

Mercedes Martinez vs Jinny

Chain wrestling to start with Jinny grabbing an armwringer, then Mercedes picking the leg of Jinny and they head to the mat. Jinny controls with a bodyscissors there, which Martinez turns into a chinlock. Jinny’s facials are incredibly good. She conveys every emotion necessary to sell the match, from arrogance to panic to contempt.

Headlock takeover is turned into a headscissors by Jinny, escaped by Mercedes with a slap. Jinny fires back and my god, her forearms are better than most wrestlers, male or female, that I see. Mercedes takes back over with a chokeslam and a cross-corner whip. Jinny traps her in the corner and then comes out with a ‘rana, then back to the corner for more kicks. They’re working their asses off in there to sell this thing.

Fallaway slam by Mercedes gets two. She goes for a Samoan Drop but Jinny escapes, then comes off the ropes and puts Martinez in an Octopus! She stretches and cranks it and fights for it and I’m deeply fucking into this. Mercedes tries to escape, so Jinny rolls into a cravat. Martinez comes back with rolling vertical suplexes, holding Jinny up to let her think about it before hitting the third. Martinez goes for a Fisherman’s Buster, but Jinny escapes and levels her to put both women down. Awesome.

Jinny misses a charge and Mercedes puts her on the top rope, but Jinny elbows free, Martinez not deterred, spider German off the top by Martinez! 1. 2. NO! Fisherman’s Buster is reversed into a small package, then an Acid Rainmaker from Jinny! 1, 2, NO! That should have been the finish. Jinny puts Martinez in the Liger-style surfboard, then a camel clutch, but Martinez bites her hand to get free, then puts Jinny in a Dragon Sleeper for the tapout. GREAT match. MERCEDES MARTINEZ OVER JINNY, SUBMISSION, 13:46

THOUGHTS: **** This was two good professional wrestlers putting on an excellent professional wrestling match, which is, I would think, the reason we watch this stuff in the first place. Good pacing, great selling, good technical work across the board; this is the type of match that EVE should be striving for all the time.

A word about Jinny, if I may. My first exposure to her was on NXT UK, before I discovered EVE. And I freely admit, I didn’t give her the credit she deserved, but let me say this – I was wrong. She is an outstanding worker who can hang with anyone they want to put her in there with. And as I watch her, I totally understand her casting as a heel, and I think she can have a long and successful career as one in whatever company she works for. But my God, seeing her sell like crazy and work in a way that would engender massive sympathy as a babyface makes me hope that they can figure out a way to turn her at some point, because I think she could excel in that role if given the chance. She’s terrific.

Up next we’ve got ourselves a tag team match! Out first, it’s Livvii Grace and Nightshade, to the requisite boos from the crowd. And the voice of Darth Vader brings out Jayla Dark and Laura Di Matteo! Wait, no LDM theme music? Booo. I’ll just start humming it to myself. “The game, the game…”

Livvii Grace & Nightshade vs Jayla Dark & Laura Di Matteo

Crowd chants for Laura, because, you know, she’s awesome. Bell rings and we’re off with all 4 women pounding on each other to start. They head out into the crowd right away, with Nightshade tossing Laura into a wall on the floor. Back in the ring with the heels double-teaming Jayla, as the ref apparently is going to make this tornado rules…..and no-DQ, as Livvii gets a staple gun, and Nightshade helpfully provides a photo of herself, which Grace staples to the back of Dark. Livvii is kind enough to sign it for her, which, hey; free autograph! Find the positives where you can!

Laura makes the save to the delight of the crowd and gets a kendo stick to pound on both Livvii and Nightshade. Laura sets up a couple of chairs, but Grace hits her from behind with a chair, allowing Nightshade to hit Jayla with a suplex onto both chairs for two. Laura makes the comeback and sends Grace out, then DDTs Nightshade on a chair, Jayla follows with a senton onto a chair on Nightshade, but Livvii breaks that up. Livvii goes to work on both faces with a chair now, and they prep a table. What IS this?

Dark gets put on a table and Livvii goes up with Laura, but Laura fights off Nightshade, then dives off onto her in the crowd, and that gives Jayla a chance to catch Livvii on the top rope with a powerbomb through the table for the pin. JAYLA DARK & LAURA DI MATTEO OVER NIGHTSHADE & LIVVII GRACE, pinfall, 7:46

THOUGHTS: ** This was not for me. I have several things here. One, Laura wasn’t used to near her full potential in this match, and since she’s one of the best workers in the entire company, that’s not good to start. Two, Livvii and Nightshade aren’t that great. I think that Nightshade has some potential, but I’m not seeing it with Grace. Three, this type of hardcore brawl kind of drives me nuts on a certain level in EVE because they hide it under the ‘Spirit of EVE’ mantra, but less than two months ago, Laura was getting DQ’d in a match because her opponent got tripped, and now, they just whack each other with chairs willy-nilly? There were some good bumps in the match, but it felt like one of those ECW-style brawls where there was no match flow, instead replacing it with spot, setup, spot, setup, etc. Overall, I wasn’t feeling this one, sorry.

Post-match, the heels aren’t happy and they attack Laura while Jayla is getting looked at by the trainer, Nightshade destroying Laura’s knee with a chair. They look to Pillmanize the ankle, but Dark is back in to make the save, but the heels take over on her too. Finally, Roxxy comes down to make the save and she wants a mic as Dann is in now to survey the carnage. Laura does a fucking PHENOMENAL sell job of not being able to walk here and needs to be carried back up to the balcony.

Roxxy is sick and tired of this crap, and she wants Rhia O’Reilly right now for the title! Rhia’s music hits and she seems amenable to this; she makes her way down with Grace and Nightshade in tow, holding the belt in Roxxy’s face.

Rhia O’Reilly (C) vs Roxxy – Pro Wrestling EVE Championship match

Lockup and Rhia takes her to the corner with forearms, then a senton for two. Roxxy tries a reversal but O’Reilly runs her over. Nice little bit as the crowd taunts Rhia, so she slaps Roxxy in tune with the chanting. Roxxy finally comes back with a dropkick. More kicks, then a dropkick to the knee and a doublestomp. Grace and Nightshade get on the apron, but Roxxy dropkicks them off the apron and chases them into the crowd with the ref in tow, allowing Jayla Dark to run in with a Death Valley Driver on Rhia. Roxxy comes back in and hits a top rope double stomp, 1, 2, 3! Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a new Pro Wrestling EVE Champion! ROXXY OVER RHIA O’REILLY, pinfall, 3:39

THOUGHTS: *1/2 This was more of an angle than a match, truthfully, so I rated it as such. My spider-sense was going off when they put a world title match this early in the show and it went less than 4 minutes that Rhia was going to get the title back at some point before the show was over, because it really just didn’t make sense otherwise. As for the actual work in the match, it was fine, but the gaga with the story far outweighed what they did in there.

Post-match, Roxxy celebrates with the belt as Rhia screams in the ring about the interference by Jayla Dark. Rhia wants to see the footage as Emily sends us to an intermission.

We’re back with Rhia on the mic, and after a few minutes of ranting, she wants the ref in the ring right now. Oh joy, we’re gonna do HHH/Jericho, aren’t we?

Ref Lauren makes her way down to the ring, and Rhia starts in immediately, saying that as women, they have to work twice as hard in the industry to get half the recognition; and when they make an error, it reflects badly on every woman in the industry. She says that she didn’t even want Lauren to ref her match and says that even with their lax rules in EVE, outside interference is still a DQ. She forces the cameraman to show Lauren the Dark interference from earlier, which Lauren does acknowledge. She asks does Lauren wants to be the woman referee who messes up the finishes? Oh, that’s just distasteful, and not in a good way. But Rhia respects her as an official, and she has to do the right thing and void that match!

Yep. Full-on HHH/Jericho here.

Anyway, Lauren agrees with Rhia, and Rhia calls Roxxy back to the ring to bring her belt back. Roxxy comes out, getting extra points for wearing the belt. Roxxy, of course, tells Rhia to fuck off and take the belt from her if she wants it like the fighting babyface Roxxy is! Nah, not really. She just hands it over, but does get the mic and point out that if the match is void, Roxxy is still the #1 contender, so she wants her match to still happen tonight! Rhia agrees and our main event is back on.

Oy. Okay, so here we go. I don’t particularly like this angle because I didn’t like it the first time, mostly because the babyface gets nothing here – instead of standing up and daring the heel to take back the belt, they just surrender it and that drives me batty. But here’s the other thing, and this is what bothered me the most about this whole deal: Rhia’s line about being women in the sport being used as angle advancement.

One of the things that I like a lot about this company are its politics and its unabashed celebration of female wrestling as a whole. I can recommend the shows to friends and tell them that it’s a different type of female pro wrestling, with the punk vibe underscored by a strong sense of empowerment. And now, they use this type of stuff for heel heat, instead of letting it be the strongest undercurrent of the entire promotion, which is that the women aren’t just as good as men, but they’re better in a lot of cases and first and foremost, they’re just professional wrestlers, period, full stop.

You’ve got the top-positioned heel in the company using the feminist aspect of the show in an attempt to put heat on herself, and it’s just so…lazy. One of the best things about EVE is its booking, something that not a lot of other wrestling companies can truthfully say. But this struck me as the simplest form of gaining heat, which does no favors to Rhia O’Reilly, who went from just 2 shows ago cutting a promo that I praised heavily, in which she justified her actions in a way that would have given her many more layers than a typical heel, to literally becoming a craven hypocrite desperate to keep her belt.

And I know, I know, heels are supposed to be that way, and the truth is that I get that. But in this case, I was hoping that Rhia would be a little deeper than that, someone who was convinced that her actions, whilst quite heinous, were justified because she really did want to do something for the greater good; she just couldn’t see that what she was doing wasn’t actually in service of that. Instead, we’ve simply pivoted to greedy hypocrite champion, and that’s fine, but I wanted more. This whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth and I hope that we’re done with it all relatively soon, and I really hope that we don’t get more female empowerment speeches as a heat-getting device in EVE for awhile after this.

Anyway, on with the show!

Up next, we’ve got an EVE debut, with Angel Hayze! She’s out and awaiting her opponent, who is former EVE champ, Sammii Jayne, who we’re told is one of Angel’s trainers.

Angel Hayze vs Sammii Jayne

To the mat we go, with Angel getting neato escape from a legscissors into a side headlock, which Jayne quickly reverses out of. Jayne takes over against the ropes and hits her with a flying forearm for two. Kicks from Angel, which she definitely needs to put a bit more into, and we get some pinfall reversals off that. They battle over a backslide and Jayne takes her to the mat with an armbar.

Fallaway slam gets two for Sammii, back to the armbar. Angel breaks it and gets a ‘rana, then forearms and Sling Blade for two. Facebuster and a super-great knee to the face from Angel gets two.

Jayne starts a comeback, but Angel hits a DDT and rolls through into a front facelock, cranking on it, but Jayne breaks with a suplex and both women are down. Back up and they slug it out until Angel gets a superkick to the back of the head. Jayne comes back with a Teardrop suplex. Sliding German suplex from Jayne, but she gets superkicked on her way back into the ring. Tilt-a-whirl…..something gets two for Hayze. Sammii catches a superkick, Angel counters with a ‘rana, but a second attempt from Jayne gets the powerbomb.

Sammii goes up and Angel meets her there, Jayne tries a powerbomb off the top, but settles for a German off the top for two. That was neato. Running knee to the head gets two for Sammii, and Angel’s got nothing left, so Sammii finishes her with a Driver for the pin. SAMMII JAYNE OVER ANGEL HAYZE, PINFALL, 16:36

THOUGHTS: **1/4 Angel tried hard out there, but has some work to do. Jayne is a good hand in the ring and will almost always produce a watchable, if not great, match most of the time, and she did here. A lot of the match didn’t pick up until near the end and there were noticeable spots where Angel was awkwardly out of position, but the potential is certainly there – her superkicks were excellent and she can move in the ring. Overall, a bit below but there’s room to grow here.

Onto our next match, a SHE-1 qualifier! Out first, we’ve got the other member of the Medusa Complex, Millie McKenzie! She hits the ring with a big hug and a middle finger for Emily and the rest of the crowd. Emily’s her bestest friend, dontcha know? Out next we’ve got Solo Darling, who’s been around a while, but is making her Pro Wrestling EVE debut!

Millie McKenzie vs Solo Darling – SHE-1 Qualifying match

Chain work and to the mat we go, where Darling controls with an ankle lock. Modified surfboard and inverted figure-four punish the legs of Millie even more, to the delight of the crowd. Dann makes an excellent point about Darling working a 16-foot ring as opposed to an 18-foot one. Millie escapes, but Darling picks her and puts another lock onto the legs on the mat, but Millie breaks that with the point of her elbow to the knee.

Back up and Darling dropkicks Millie in the knee, then kicks across the chest. Stomp into the mat gets two. Solo goes for another hold and Millie crawls out of the ring and jumps into Emily’s arms, burrowing like a child and making me giggle. Back in and Millie screams and keeps trying to make the ropes, prompting Solo to shout “Why is she so LOUD!” Hee! Solo pulls her legs through the ropes and puts Millie in a Texas Cloverleaf using the ringpost as Millie screams in pain. Match has been ALL Darling for the first ten minutes.

Millie finally gets a bit of a breather as she suplexes her onto the apron, then pounds away in the ring. Dropkick by Millie gets two. Solo kicks to try a comeback, but Millie snaps off a cutter for two. Solo regains control and puts on a Cloverleaf in the center of the ring this time, Millie makes the ropes. She slides out and crawls for her life as Darling gives chase. Solo catches up to her and bulldogs her off the club wall onto the floor.

Solo carries her back to the ring and stacks her up for two, then back to the Cloverleaf. Millie kicks her off, so Solo stands her up in the corner and CHOPS the shit out of her. Sounded like a goddamn rifle shot. Tornado DDT from Darling, she goes for a second, Millie escapes with a superkick. Spear attempt from Millie is caught by Solo, as Millie had nothing on it, and Darling gets a second tornado DDT, into a throw for two.

Another Cloverleaf attempt gets turned into a cradle for two, Darling with a pumphandle slam for two. Millie escapes another Cloverleaf with an overhead suplex, then suckers Darling into charging her….and Millie NAILS her with a spear using the charging momentum of Solo to pick up the pin! MILLIE MCKENZIE OVER SOLO DARLING, PINFALL, 21:09

THOUGHTS: ***1/2 I liked this match MUCH more the second time I watched in than I did the first. Millie is just an awesome performer on so many levels, to her temper tantrums to the way that she wrestles the match as a heel, going from terrified to confident to angry in the course of the match as things are happening to her, giving her work more of an organic feel than most wrestlers have. Darling was excellent here as well, working off Millie and playing the patient babyface who fell prey to getting suckered in by McKenzie. Criticisms are that the match was too long for the high point they were shooting for, and the continuous Cloverleaf spam by Darling got a bit repetitive after awhile. I did love the finish, which they set up by having Millie’s spear get caught early in the match and forcing her to figure out a different way to hit it, i.e. using Solo’s momentum to deal most of the actual damage as opposed to Millie getting a big running start. I like that type of thing in wrestling.

Charli Evans makes her way down to the ring to check on Millie, then grabs a mic. She points out that both of the Medusa Complex are qualified for the SHE-1, and she guarantees that one of them is going to walk out as the new Ace of EVE. She was supposed to have a singles match tonight and it was turned into a 4-way, and she wants her singles match. She challenges anyone in the locker room to come out right now and fight her – she’ll even fight Dann! No one comes out, so Charli says she’ll put her SHE-1 qualifying spot on the line, then! Well, that’s enough to entice one Mercedes Martinez to come down the steps, and that leads me to believe that it’s match time!

Charli Evans vs Mercedes Martinez – SHE-1 Qualifying match

Evans pounds Mercedes to start with forearms. More punishment in the corner, but Martinez turns the tide with a big chop and some kicks. Delayed dropkick by Mercedes for two. Evans back on offense with a running kick to Martinez in the corner. Suplex attempt is blocked by Mercedes and they exchange cradles before Charli drops her with a knee to the jaw. Charli off the ropes, spinebuster by Martinez gets two.

Stretch on the mat from Mercedes, but Evans hangs on. Rolling suplexes by Mercedes, but the third one is reversed into a fallaway slam by Charli for two. Evans stretches the arm and kicks it. Mercedes reverses and gets a stomp into the mat for two. Hammerlock Flatliner from Charli gets two. Evans goes up and gets caught, Mercedes goes for her top-rope German, Charli kicks her off, Mercedes back up and she puts Evans on her shoulders, Death Valley Driver off the top!

Evans rolls out and yanks Mercedes against the middle rope, then comes back in with a Fujiwara armbar. Martinez escapes it, Charli goes back to it, Mercedes makes the ropes. Guillotine choke by Evans and she cranks it, but Mercedes escapes and hits a Fisherman’s Buster out of nowhere! 1, 2, 3! MERCEDES MARTINEZ OVER CHARLI EVANS, PINFALL, 10:48

THOUGHTS: ***1/4 I thought this was excellent, actually. Both these women are really good professional wrestlers, and this match was super fun and told a fun story with the heel’s big mouth getting her in trouble. They better figure out a way to get Charli back in the SHE-1, though.

Main event time!

Roxxy is out first for her second attempt at this, and Rhia follows shortly thereafter, Livvii & Nightshade in tow. Let’s try it again.

Rhia O’Reilly (C) vs Roxxy – Pro Wrestling EVE Championship match

Roxxy charges with a dropkick, then swinging double knees in the corner. STO for one. She charges again, but Rhia catches her and T-Bones her into the corner. Rhia chokes her against the ropes and pounds her down. Stomp spot gets a bit messed up, but they do it again and it works.

Big headbutt from Roxxy and she hits Rhia with kicks, but O’Reilly cuts that off and chokes her against the ropes again. Rhia goes for the Rhiadjustment on the apron, but Roxxy blocks and sunset flips her to the apron, then dives off the top onto Nightshade and Rhia. Rhia makes the comeback and hits a draping DDT while Dann is commentary talking about Rhia’s belief that he and Emily are too soft and shouldn’t have let Kay Lee and Viper main event Queendom since they weren’t staying with the company and see, that, that’s a really interesting character there, a heel who does the right thing the wrong way, but they already pretty much destroyed that earlier in the night when it comes to layering out Rhia’s character, so I’m pretty much done with that.

Exploder suplex by Rhia, then another. A Fisherman’s suplex has Roxxy in a lot of trouble, but she manages to block the Rhiadjustment, so Rhia hits her with a Rainmaker. Roxxy catches a charging Rhia with a dropkick and sunset flips her into the buckles. Roxxy goes up, but Rhia cuts her off and hits a Muscle Buster…for two. Oh, COME ON. Rhia knees her in the face with the brace on and Roxxy is KO’d, and the ref stops the match. RHIA O’REILLY OVER ROXXY, REF STOPPAGE, 8:31

THOUGHTS: ** So, here’s my honest question – why? You spent two entire shows putting Roxxy over and getting her ready for this show, and then, let’s look at what they did with her: she wins the title for a few seconds after blatant interference by another babyface, when forced to return the title she doesn’t fight for it at all and just meekly gives it back, and then she gets a rematch in which there’s no interference and not only does she do a job, she does a KO spot after the heel champ takes most of the match. The work in the match was fine if below average, but what I can’t help but wonder is who this whole thing helped, because I don’t think it helped Roxxy and Rhia is a 3-time champ who doesn’t need to be put over this strong.

Like, Rhia was completely wronged on this show in every way – she came out for her match before it was scheduled because she was challenged and that shows bravery, she was screwed when the supposed good guys attacked her from behind, then she overcame that to get her title back and when it got down to one on one, she proved she was the better woman and won. And don’t give me the knee brace argument, because storyline-wise, once the ref approves of what you have on in the ring, then you’re good to go. They said she could wear the brace, so she did.

I know Roxxy isn’t my proverbial cup of tea, but she deserved better.

Anyway, Livvii and Nightshade hit the ring after the match and the three of them get Roxxy up and Rhia hits her with the Rhiadjustment. Jayla Dark hits the ring to try to make the save, but 1 don’t beat up 3, and she takes a whuppin’. Chokebomb from Nightshade on Dark, and Rhia hits the Rhiadjustment on her as well. O’Reilly goes out and finds some barbed wire, then stretches it across the mouth of Jayla and yanks back as the crowd calls her a sick fuck.

O’Reilly, Nightshade, and Livvii take their leave as Emily and Dann get in the ring to check on Dark, who wants a mic. “Rhia, I can’t be fired, I can’t be suspended….I have nothing left to lose. You want to fucking go? On the 27th of September, let’s fucking go.”

Hit Jayla’s music, and we’re done.

FINAL THOUGHTS: There was a lot of good wrestling on this show and that makes it a thumbs up alone. Jinny/Mercedes was really excellent and will probably be in the upper echelon of EVE matches this year, and the McKenzie/Darling match was good, as was Evans/Mercedes. I don’t have much to say about the main event angle that I didn’t say in the recap – I don’t love where it’s seemingly heading and I’m honestly not sure it’s going to get better, but the strength of EVE is that they normally come up with good wrestling on every show regardless of whether or not I love their booking.

Truth is, I know that I’m not going to agree with every decision they make on the booking side, just like I’ll disagree with every company on earth that I watch for something. And that’s how it should be, so here’s hoping that EVE comes up with something that I’ll like for the main event in the future.

Regardless of that, these women work their asses off and almost always leave it all on the canvas, so I look forward to watching their work, to say the least. You should too.

Check out EVE on Demand here:

As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,

Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter