Man, that Hell in a Cell main event…..
Holy fuck. In all the bad ways that phrase can connotate.
Anyway, let’s cleanse the palate and return to the Resistance Gallery for another outing with the kickass women of Pro Wrestling EVE, shall we?
When last we left our heroines, Rhia O’Reilly remained EVE champion after defeating Roxxy in the main event of Wrestling with an Agenda. Meanwhile, the SHE-1 looms in November, with WrestleQueendom up in January. Who will rise up to end this title reign? Well, assuming Rhia makes it that far at least, because our main event tonight is the final meeting between Rhia and Jayla Dark, who retires this weekend but wants to put one more ass-kicking on Rhia before she does. To the Resistance Gallery!
PRO WRESTLING EVE – FRIDAY NIGHT RIOT – The Resistance Gallery – September 27th, 2019
We’ve got Dann Reid and Sierra Loxton on commentary tonight, with Emily’s Mohawk (accompanied, as always, by Emily) doing our ring announcing.
Out first, we’ve got an EVE debut with Priscilla Kelly making her way down the steps! I’ve only seen Kelly work once before in the Mae Young, but Jim Cornette’s absolute favorite wrestler has obviously become a bit infamous with some of her antics on the indy circuit. And her opponent, the greatest wrestler produced by the United Kingdom (apologies to Zack Sabre Jr, but I’m sure he’d concede the point), it’s Jetta! She heads down and is, for the first time in awhile, holding her half of the EVE tag team titles with her. Interesting. Emily even takes the time to announce her as such for the first time in awhile.
Jetta vs Priscilla Kelly
Circle and Kelly controls with a cravat, then takes her down into a chinlock and licks her face. Okey-dokey. Back down to the mat and now it’s Jetta with a wristlock. We’re on our feet again and Priscilla wants a test of strength, and the crowd is down for this. As Jetta goes to lock up, Kelly stops her and says that it wouldn’t be a debut for Priscilla Kelly if she didn’t do things her way, so she…..reaches into her tights and rubs her crotch.
Alrighty, then. This promotion rules.
Jetta reluctantly locks her fingers, but Kelly breaks and slaps her across the face with her, uh, crotch hand. Jetta no-likey and she takes Kelly to the mat with a wristlock, then pulls a bottle of purell out of her tights and cleans off the offending hands, allowing Priscilla to reverse. Kelly sends her to the corner and hits three Superman punches, then a reverse kick to the head for two. They trade the advantage a few times before Kelly just hauls off and levels her with a right hand, then chokes her against the ropes.
Dropkick gets two for Kelly. More kicks from Kelly, then it’s back to the hands in the crotch before fish hooking Jetta. Ew. Jetta is PISSED and hits a neckbreaker, then a Mutalock with a fish hook of her own. They slug it out mid-ring and Kelly gets an STO for two. Kelly gets an abdominal stretch on the mat, but Jetta makes the ropes. Kelly puts the badmouth on her, which fires Jetta up into a Codebreaker and a Fisherman’s suplex. The ref checks on both women and Jetta takes advantage, poking Kelly in the eyes and rolling her up with the old Greco-Roman feet on the ropes to pick up the pin. JETTA OVER PRISCILLA KELLY, PINFALL, 11:57
THOUGHTS: ***. The story of this match was Priscilla Kelly. She’s a very weird mix of wrestler and outrageous, and sometimes one overwhelms the other. On the one hand, her work in the ring was actually quite exemplary – snap and force to her kicks and forearms, chain-wrestling smoothly, and as a worker she looked better than a lot of wrestlers I’ve seen for her age and experience level. On the other hand, her gimmick, that she does outrageous/weird stuff in her matches, can overwhelm at points if you’re not willing to roll with it and it can sometimes cut into the flow of the match, at least from what I could glean. But it’s what gets her booked and makes her money, and she does it well, so who am I to say otherwise, I suppose. All I can say is that I came into this not knowing if she could work a match very well, having seen very little of her stuff, and I am leaving it with the full knowledge that she is pretty goddamned good and I’d like to see her do more of the wrestling, so to speak. Jetta was an excellent opponent for her here, in that she’s so over with the EVE crowd and can work comedy-style matches and elevate them. All in all, this was a very pleasant surprise that I liked even more on the rewatch.
Post-match, Jetta calls for a round of applause for Kelly, and the crowd gives it to her, chanting “Please come back!” Jetta points out that she has her tag belt back, but unfortunately, she and Erin will no longer be able to team together for reasons that will become known later, so they’ll be vacating the tag belts. Dann, on commentary, says that Erin will be back next month, and I for one really want to know what the fuck is going on. Jetta thanks Erin and says that there will be a tournament to fill the vacancy, Dann saying that the tournament will take place on October 12th.
October 12th? That’s this weekend! Jesus fuck EVE, I can only handle so much, I still have to review She Regrets Nothing after I’m done with this one. I’m not Tommy over here.
Onto our next match, then. It’s Holidead! She’s out and she’s still pretty weird. And her opponent is Gisele Shaw, who I’ve literally seen one time ever, in a 4-Way match with the Sendai Girls promotion, I think. I was kind of lukewarm on her there, let’s see how she rolls in a singles. This is, we’re told by Emily, a SHE-1 qualifier.
Holidead vs Gisele Shaw – SHE-1 Qualifying match
Shaw attacks right away, but Holidead manages to escape and we stalemate. Shaw goes crazy with ‘ranas and sends Holidead to the floor, then goes up for a twisting press onto Holidead on the floor. She calls that ‘Air Canada’, apparently. Back in for a two count. Gisele tunes up the band, but Holidead ducks that and takes over with stomps.
Holidead hangs her in the Tree of Woe and dropkicks her. That gets two. Shaw tries to come back with a superkick, but she ends up on the apron and Holidead boots her to the floor, with the crowd and Dann being there to catch her. Back in and Shaw goes for a tornado DDT, Holidead blocks and sends her off the ropes, and Shaw whirls around and gets the DDT anyway.
Back up and they slug it out with some good shots, and Shaw gets a Natural Selection for two. Shaw with an Oscutter for two. They trade kicks and Gisele gets a Trouble in Paradise, with Holidead grabbing the bottom rope at two. Bodypress attempt turned into a slam by Holidead for two. Killswitch attempt is blocked, so Holidead hits a Samoan Drop for two. A few more reversals and Shaw hits a superkick, then goes up for a twisting splash off the top to finish off Holidead and advance Shaw to the SHE-1. GISELE SHAW OVER HOLIDEAD, PINFALL, 9:28
THOUGHTS: ***. Those last few minutes were awesome. Big moves, counters, the whole shebang. Shaw was really fun to watch and so was Holidead – they meshed really well. I would have liked to see a bit more story to the match as opposed to what seemed like them just hitting moves, but the moves they hit were pretty good, so that’s a nitpick at best. These two were fun out there. Shaw could probably go to WWE tomorrow if she wanted, honestly.
The music of the Diamond Vogue Collective brings Jinny to the ring for our next tilt. A quick reminder – Jinny is awesome. And her opponent is going to be Kanji, who had her first singles match a few EVE shows ago and I thought she did pretty well.
Jinny vs Kanji
Lockup and Jinny just whips her over with a headlock takeover. They work the mat and get back to their feet, with Kanji holding an armwringer. Jinny reverses that to a front facelock and these two just WORK these holds and sell them like they’re hanging on for dear life with the intensity they’re showing here. Back to the arm for Kanji, but Jinny counters with a headscissors.
Kanji breaks that and we’re back to a headlock. Jinny reverses to the arm, and then we’re back to the mat for a nifty pinfall reversal sequence. A few moves later and Kanji ends up with her head on the middle buckle and Jinny snaps off a kick that had me wincing. Kanji comes back with a handstand into a kick, Ospreay-style. That gets two.
Knee strike and a delayed senton get two for Jinny. She works the crowd with taunts before sending Kanji facefirst to the mat a few times. They run the ropes and Kanji springs off with a forearm for two. They trade rollups and Jinny gets a Liger surfboard out of that. Kanji breaks and gets a one-armed STO, then a dropkick to the back of Jinny’s head. Blind charge misses and Kanji goes for another springboard….right into a big right from Jinny for two.
Slaps from Jinny and Kanji thinks she slaps like a bitch, so Jinny obliges and slaps the shit out of her before absolutely destroying her with a big forearm. (Dann: “Slaps like a bitch but hits like a motherfucker right there”) Jinny loads her up – Styles Clash! 1, 2,NO! Kanji ends up on the apron and hits a slingshot spear for two. She goes up, but gets caught with a forearm and the Acid Rainmaker finishes for Jinny. JINNY OVER KANJI, PINFALL, 10:29
THOUGHTS: ***3/4. I bow to the wonder that is Jinny. Her facial expressions and selling emotions are just so far ahead of most wrestlers, it’s insane. When she’s out there, I BELIEVE in what she’s doing and that she cares about it. I can watch her work and follow the flow of the match almost merely from the faces she makes at points to convey anger, exasperation, whatever the match needs at that particular moment. Kanji impresses again, as she held up her end nicely, although I admit I’m curious to see her work with someone who isn’t Jinny or Charli Evans, who are two of EVE’s best workers. Regardless, this was excellent and well worth watching.
Up next, it’s triple threat time! First to the ring is Nina Samuels, drawing her usual vociferous crowd reaction. This woman makes drawing heat an artform in the Resistance Gallery. She wants the mic and cuts a promo about being disrespected by Pro Wrestling EVE in the entrance video for the show, while NXT UK has no such problems – but she’s been assured by management that for the next show, the intro video will feature her and only her! But for now, she’s here to put a beating on Sammii Jayne and some Japanese legend!
Aw man, I hope we don’t lose Nina. I’d miss her tremendous trolling of the crowd more than I can put into words.
Sammii Jayne is out next, giving us two former Pro Wrestling EVE champs in the ring now. And last out, we’ve got Tsukasa Fujimoto, who is back in EVE for the first time in 8 years. Let’s do this.
Nina Samuels vs Sammii Jayne vs Tsukasa Fujimoto
Nina’s resting bitch face should be cast in iron and put in a museum. We get a 3-way test of strength to start, with Nina falling on top of both other women for two. We get a crazy rolling cradle sequence from all 3 women before Nina boots Tsukasa down, only to fall victim to a rolling headscissors from Jayne.
Sammii and Tsukasa look to shake hands, but Fujimoto goes with a kick instead and they go at it. They trade moves into a standoff, and now we get a handshake, allowing Nina to attack from behind. God bless that woman. She works over Fujimoto with a necksnap for two. Jayne comes back in and takes over for awhile with a springboard dropkick on Nina and a fallaway slam on Fujimoto.
Nina back in and she takes over on Jayne for a bit, and we get the weaker part of Nina’s game, where she has to be on offense. Lots of hairpulling and stomping ensue. A double KO takes out her and Sammii, allowing Fujimoto to come back in with a missile dropkick on Jayne and a regular dropkick on Nina. Much kicking of Nina ensues to the delight of the crowd.
Jayne back with a jumping enzuigiri to put Fujimoto down, and now all 3 women are on the mat. Back to their knees and they slug it out. Jayne and Fujimoto double-team Nina, who fights them off briefly but the numbers catch up to her. She keeps fighting away and hits an underhook slam on Jayne, but Fujimoto goes to a beautiful abdominal stretch that she rolls from that position into a slam! What is that move called? It looked absolutely bitching. Fujimoto puts Jayne into an Octopus, but Nina breaks that up.
Nina and Fujimoto now, and Nina slams her facefirst from a wheelbarrow position. Jayne tries a tornado DDT, but Samuels blocks that and dumps her. Fujimoto back and she goes for a Code Red, but Samuels dumps her into the ropes, then brings her back in and hits a GTS for the pin. NINA SAMUELS OVER TSUKASA FUJIMOTO & SAMMII JAYNE, PINFALL, 11:02
THOUGHTS: ***1/4. Another match I liked more on the rewatch, in that Nina Samuels can get enough heat to carry the match on that alone. Combine that with the fact that Fujimoto is excellent and Jayne is quite good as well, and you get a pretty decent triple threat. Ever since her comeback to EVE, Jayne has looked much better than she did in the first several matches I’d seen her in. She’s a solid worker who isn’t going to break the scale or anything, but she’ll give you decent work with the right partner. Fun match.
Emily calls Sierra Loxton down to the ring off commentary to have a chat. The freaky princess comes down and grabs the mic. She isn’t wrestling tonight, but after her next surgery, it looks like she can wrestle again! Crowd is happy with this development. While she’s not wrestling, she’ll be doing commentary, so you’re not getting rid of her that easily!
Up next, we once again hear the music of the Diamond Vogue Collective, which can only mean that we’re getting Mercedez Blaze now! And her opponent, who we met at our last show, is one Trish Adora!
Mercedez Blaze vs Trish Adora
Blaze controls with a headlock, hanging on through a suplex attempt by Adora to take her over. Trish does a nifty hammerlock into a fireman’s carry, then catches a charging Blaze with hiptoss. Adora with another and Blaze has to duck out of the way of a spinkick, but she suckers Trish into the corner and takes over.
Mercedez chokes Trish against the ropes and fires away with forearms. Headscissors off the top for Blaze and Trish is in trouble. That gets two. Trish fights up out of a Blaze sleeper, but Blaze goes right back to it. Jumping stunner breaks it for Trish. Trish hits clotheslines and a bodypress, then fires away with rights.
Trish goes up, but a twisting splash misses and gets two for Blaze. They slug it out, but Mercedez hits her with the full Taguchi, then spears her off the top for two. Trish comes back with kicks and goes up again, but Blaze crotches her there, and the Tower of London finishes for Mercedez. MERCEDEZ BLAZE OVER TRISH ADORA, PINFALL, 8:33
THOUGHTS: **3/4 I think that Blaze has it. She’s been better and better each time I’ve seen her, and it feels like she’s putting together what she needs to be a really good worker. Adora is green as grass, but that’s okay – I don’t know what I think of her quite yet. The effort is certainly there, no question. But Blaze is the real deal.
Up next, Skye Smitson makes her way to the ring! She was here before as part of the Stonewall with Rebel Kinney, but this time she’s in singles. And her opponent is none other than the (almost) former EVE champ, Little Miss Roxxy! Roxxy’s theme music is bitchin’, by the way.
Skye Smitson vs Roxxy
Handshake to start. Headlock and Roxxy tries a shoulderblock, but that’s not happening as Skye stands her up. Second try goes just about as well. Third try and Roxxy hits a dropkick, but Smitson hits her with a better one, then a splash in the corner. Cross-corner whip and Roxxy drops her, then sweeps the leg and comes back in with double knees to Skye.
Smitson blocks a suplex and hits one of her own, then a suplex into a Falcon Arrow for two. They trade the advantage for a few moments, then Roxxy hits an STO for two. Smitson puts a stop to that with a spinebuster and appears to be busted open from the mouth.
A few counters later and Roxxy rolls through into a double stomp, then a DDT out of the corner. Roxxy goes up for the top rope double stomp and misses it, but gets two anyway. Dann calls it, which he should. A second try gets the pin for Roxxy. ROXXY OVER SKYE SMITSON, PINFALL, 6:39
THOUGHTS: **1/2. Just a match to help rehab Roxxy a bit after last month’s debacle, this was fine. Smitson played the heavy to let Roxxy fight out from underneath, which is always a good story that works well in wrestling. I wonder if they went home a bit early or not, as Skye was busted open pretty good near the end of the match.
Our last match before the main event is up! Solo Darling is out first, and she’s followed by Emi Sakura! Emi is, of course, in full Freddie Mercury gear. Every time I see Emi, all I can think of is “If Lane’s mom from Gilmore Girls had taken a different path, this would be her.” This should be good.
Solo Darling vs Emi Sakura
Solo kicks Emi’s leg, so Emi wants a test of strength. Solo agrees to this, then kicks Emi in the leg. Cloverleaf by Solo, which, let me tell you, she can definitely do. Darling does for a slam, but that’s not happening, as Sakura picks her up with one hand and slams Darling instead. Throws from Emi, and she slaps on a surfboard.
Solo comes back with kicks for one. Tornado DDT, and Solo keeps the facelock applied and hits a second one. Darling off the top with a bulldog for two. Darling slaps on a reverse figure-four now, but Emi makes the ropes. Suplex attempt is blocked by Sakura into a neckbreaker. Splash in the corner from Emi. Flatliner from Emi and Darling is rocked.
They chop each other and Darling comes with a kick, Emi no-likey that. Wristlock by Solo leads to a ‘rana off the ropes by Darling, and she goes up now. Emi cuts her off with a slap and Solo ends up against the wall, and that doesn’t go well for her, as Emi splashes her against said wall. Emi goes up now, Twisting Vader Bomb! 1, 2, no!
Darling tries to come back with kicks and she levels Sakura with a big right, then an abdominal stretch into a slam for two. Darling looks to finish and comes off the ropes, but Emi trips her and rolls her up with La Magistral for the pin! EMI SAKURA OVER SOLO DARLING, PINFALL, 10:26
THOUGHTS: ***1/2. Really good, fun match here with kind of a weak ending, but I can live with a flash pin. Both women are very good workers and there was no reason to think this would be anything other than good. They hit each other hard, let the match breathe when it needed to, and overall I thought this one was just a shade off match of the night.
Post-match, we get a handshake and a hug. Awww.
Main event time! I’m going to come clean before this starts – I did not like this match all that much on the first view, but I do want to try it again.
Jayla Dark makes her way to the ring, ready for her penultimate match, her last time in the Resistance Gallery. And here comes Rhia O’Reilly, the EVE champion! Say what you want about Rhia, but her Battle Royale inspired merch gets a thumbs up from me, at least.
Jayla Dark vs Rhia O’Reilly – Non-title, No DQ grudge match
They rush each other to start and throw hands. Lots o’ punching. They hit the floor and they’re in the crowd now, and Jayla sends Rhia to a wall. Rhia responds in kind. I gotta get me one of those Piledrive a Fascist shirts. More brawling ensues and Rhia hits Dark with a bottle.
Back in the ring, and more bottle shots ensue. Shoulderblocks from Rhia in the corner and she goes out and gets the staple gun. Joy. Rhia brandishes the staple gun and staples Jayla in a….sensitive area, giving us the immortal call “Staple gun right to the vag!” I might up the match rating by a * just for that alone. Crowd thinks Rhia is a sick fuck, moreso when she starts stapling Dark in the head. Yay, wrestling!
O’Reilly gets chairs from under the ring, giving Dann some choice words as he’s come down to ringside. Dark comes back with kicks and sets up chairs, then drives Rhia’s face into them. Rhia gets the chair away from Jayla, so Dark goes under the ring and gets a police helmet. What IS this? Rhia hits her over the head with the chair, but Dark no-sells it and starts throwing chairs at Rhia’s head.
That gets two and Dark tries a senton, but misses, and Rhia hits a chairshot to the back of Dark. O’Reilly preps a table in the corner, then hits an exploder on Dark through it. O’Reilly goes out again and gets the roll of barbed wire from the last show, rolling it around the ropes. She tries to whip Jayla into it, but Dark reverses that and sends Rhia into it, then dropkicks Rhia into it, then hits a Flatliner for two. Fireman’s carry by Dark is countered into the Rhiadjustment and both women are down.
Back up and Dark rocks O’Reilly with a headbutt, then forearms. Now Dark goes out for plunder, and it’s another table. Dark sets up the table and puts O’Reilly on the top rope and they slug it out up there. Finally, Dark grabs Rhia and yells at her “You know what, Rhia? I regret absolutely fucking nothing!” and dives off with Rhia through the table, Holmes/Moriarty style, but Rhia lands on top of her and gets the pin. RHIA O’REILLY OVER JAYLA DARK, PINFALL, 16:08
THOUGHTS: *1/2. They tried hard, they really did, but this did not work. This was the worst of ECW all over again, with wrestlers setting up weapons instead of trying to win the match (although I’ll give them some leeway there, since they advertised it as a grudge match, so them wanting to hurt each other more than win can be argued), and it negatively impacted any flow the match had. Instead, it was a lot of sloppy brawling with some moves here and there, but there’s just no way I can really say much for this outside of the fact that the two wrestlers were doing what they could. It just wasn’t enough. Also, if Rhia was going over anyway, why not have her make it a title defense? The story is more than enough – Dark and Rhia were enemies dating all the way back to the first WrestleQueendom, where Dark led an entire squad of heels into Wargames against Rhia. And Rhia’s whole argument about Kay Lee Ray and Viper main-eventing Queendom for the EVE title even though they were leaving would have even more resonance if Dann and Emily forced her to defend her title against someone who was also leaving, albeit to retirement. Why not touch on those things?
I hate that this ended on a downer for me, and I will once again remind anyone who reads this that I am BIASED, in that I don’t particularly like hardcore matches at all, so if you want a reason to disregard the thoughts and rating I gave the match, there you go. But I’ll stand by what I said – this was not a good match.
Post-match, Rhia drags herself to the apron, where she sits with her head down, and Jayla eventually rolls over to join her as the crowd gives them an ovation. They pop some beers and drink, then exchange a look as Dark slides back into the ring. Dann asks the crowd to give one last ovation to “the one-woman girl gang, Jayla fucking Dark!” Dann reminds us that while her retirement match is tomorrow, this is her last night in the Resistance Gallery, and he feels it’s appropriate to play a little video for her here.
Video highlights of Jayla’s career play. Back in the ring now, and Roxxy comes in for a hug, with some of the roster coming down as Dann calls for one more ovation for “one of the toughest women I’ve seen in my life!”
Jayla sits cross-legged in the ring as music plays. The scene fades to black.
FINAL THOUGHTS: An excellent undercard is more than enough for a recommendation here. In fact, if you look at the fact that EVE regulars like Laura Di Matteo and the Medusa Complex weren’t on this show, it’s actually a testament to the company’s depth that they had the chance to let a lot of women shine on this show and they came through in spades. No really bad matches outside of the main event with a few standouts that were ***1/2 or better, EVE continues to deliver show after show. I still cannot believe how much I missed with Jinny especially, as every time I watch her, she impresses more and more.
Check out EVE on demand and throw them a few bucks to check their stuff out. It’s probably better than the $9.99 you’re currently spending: https://eveondemand.pivotshare.com/
Take care all, and watch some wrestling.
As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,
@MrSoze on Twitter