One week before WrestleQueendom 3, EVE were back at the Resistance Gallery to help set the stage…
It’s straight to the action, with Sophia Lang on commentary.
Zoe Lucas vs. Jinny
It’s Zoe’s first outing at the ResGal in almost a year, and she’s fiercely independent… those who have tin hats may want to look at this as Rev Pro vs. PROGRESS, STARDOM vs. NXT UK… or just a first meeting between the two since July 2016.
It’s a little tentative at the start, with both women looking to grab a body part, switching between headlocks, headscissors, escapes and takedowns in the process. Jinny uses her leg to try and get Zoe’s hands off the ropes as a submission attempt ended with a break, before Lucas scored almost a Judo throw on the way to an armbar on Jinny. After getting free, Jinny goes in with a wristlock, then a toe hold, but Lucas rolls free as we’d passed the halfway mark with the feeling-out process still going on. They go for duelling kicks, but Zoe finds a way through before she flings Jinny across the ring, only for Jinny to reply with some knees in the corner.
A ‘rana from Jinny takes Zoe back into another corner as she proceeds to throw her across the ring… but Zoe responds with a legdrop through the ropes that dropped Jinny onto the apron. Jinny’s stretched in the ropes from there, as Zoe began to get a little sarcastic with the ref… going back to the hair mares before she sidestepped a charge from Jinny in the corner. Boot chokes keep Jinny down, as do some kicks, before Jinny evaded a forearm and slapped the taste out of Zoe’s mouth. A head kick knocks Jinny back into the ring, getting an eventual two-count, before another forearm from Jinny had Zoe down. We’re into the final 90 seconds as Jinny’s Acid Rainmaker’s countered with a Scorpion kick, before the pair began to trade shots once more.
Jinny slides through into a seated surfboard, walloping Zoe with kicks as time ticked down, but in the end Jinny lands an Acid Rainmaker just as the time limit ran out. A really good match to get us going here, albeit one that perhaps tipped off the draw with the early pace. ***¼
Nina Samuels is out pretty soon afterwards to crow to Jinny about her latest setback. Nina’s here on the condition that Jinny doesn’t touch her… or the match at WrestleQueendom’s off. Jinny’s asked to take a seat so Nina “Samules” can have her open challenge, which was answered by London Lucha League’s Clementine.
Nina Samuels vs. Clementine
A handful of people knew who Clementine was, so Sophia’s filling in the blanks for the rest of us.
Nina quickly throws Clementine into the corner, then boots her down as some hair pulling in the ropes kept it one-way. Dann Read jumps in on commentary right as Clementine made a comeback, but it’s short-lived as she’s tripped up for a near-fall. More hair pulling follows, but Clementine snatches a roll-up for a near-fall, before a snapmare and a Curt Hennig-esque neck flip gets Nina right back in it.
A full nelson’s next as Clementine’s forced to hold on, and almost nicks it with a roll-up as she found a second wind… clotheslines knocking down Samuels before Clementine went up top for a crossbody. She doesn’t follow up with a pin, and instead tries for an ANgle slam, before she’s pushed off into a backbreaker as Nina looked to finish things. A wacky spinning heel kick just about takes down Clementine, who was still looking for the upset, but after she’s booted through the ropes, Samuels finished her off with a corkscrew plancha into the ring for the pin. Not as squashy as you’d think, but this went exactly as it should given the experience levels on hand. **¼
Post-match, Nina tries to attack Clementine afterwards – Jinny comes in to chase her away and kicks the turnbuckle to signify what she’ll do to Nina next week. That match, by the way, won’t be on the Fite stream, so you’ll have to be there or wait for the EVE On Demand VOD to see it…
We cut to Double Denim Dann in the ring talking about the sold-out WrestleQueendom 3 (except they put more tickets on sale). He introduces Nor “Phoenix” Diana, who’ll be debuting for EVE. She’s the first wrestler in the world to perform in a hijab, and she’s asked who she wants to face at WrestleQueendom. Of course, she’s interrupted as Zoe Lucas wanders out. Zoe chases Dann out of the ring, then throws a temper tantrum because she only drew earlier. You can guess the rest: Zoe issues the challenge, and we have a brief scrap as Phoenix sent Lucas packing with headscissors.
Millie McKenzie & Woke Queens (Debbie Keitel & Valkyrie) vs. Gisele Shaw, Mercedez Blaze & Sammii Jayne
Wacky trios match time, as we’re building to the tag title match next week. Charli Evans is still away, so Millie’s teaming with the former tag champions.
Valkyrie grabs the mic to call out management for their match making, before she told Millie not to try anything funny. Millie starts by spearing Gisele, as the SHE-1 finalists went at each other… and it’s a manic start to the match as the Woke Queens cleared house. Shaw and Sammii charge back at the bell as a double knee drop almost ended things early on Valkyrie, as the reigning tag champions looked dominant early.
A sunset flip from Valkyrie lands for a near-fall, but Valkyrie’s quickly back on the defensive as Shaw used a chin lock to restrain. Valkyrie frees herself with an enziguiri, but Shaw clears the apron to stop a tag from being made before launching in with some clothesline to get herself a two-count. The pair trade kicks, with a Pele from Valkyrie eventually buying her enough time to tag out, with Keitel coming in, charging into Sammii Jayne with headscissors and a running knee in the corner. Mercedez Blaze is in to break up a Northern Lights suplex, before Millie McKenzie tagged herself in… and quickly got taken down with a bicycle knee… which started some aggravation between her partners.
Millie “accidentally” shoves Keitel into to break up a pin, and Keitel didn’t take too kindly to that as Valkyrie had to fight back with a running Blockbuster on Blaze. Sammii cuts off her momentum with a Shadowfax as the Parade of Moves continues, before Millie’s search of German suplexes got thwarted by Gisele Shaw. Millie goes for a spear, but ends up taking out Kitel, who just punches her out as Shaw capitalises with a trailer hitch for the submission. This worked better in execution than it did written down – Millie’s two slip ups in quick succession being too much for the Woke Queens to handle, but it felt a little rushed all told. **¾
Post-match, the Woke Queens lay out Blaze, then hit Millie with the Woke Note – flying axe kick/backbreaker combo.
The second half started with Rhia O’Reilly interrupting proceedings, telling us she’d offered out someone in the roster a non-title match. Skye Smitson apparently answered the call, as we then move to talk of Laura vs. Rhia next week, with Rhia telling us she’ll have back-up while Laura’ll be alone. Cue Laura di Matteo, who has her own back-up in the form of Heidi Katrina. I’m already feeling suspicious… anyway, this segues into a match, as Livvii Grace is out in her ring gear. Tellingly, Rhia goes to the back as Laura sticks around…
Livvii Grace vs. Heidi Katrina
Katrina starts off hot with a dropkick, taking Livvi to the outside before a legdrop caught her in the ropes for a near-fall. Some shots from Heidi keep her ahead, but Livvii charges Katrina and comes back with a running knee, only for Heidi to respond with knees and elbows of her own. A headbutt from Livvii, then a German suplex gets her back in for a near-fall, before a Stunner from Heidi and a top rope legdrop got her the win. They kept it short, but this was more a showcase for Heidi than anything else. **
Chakara vs. Aleah James
This was Aleah’s first match back in EVE after an injury curtailed her SHE-1 campaign.
There’s some hesitation to start us off before a lock-up saw Chakara grab a headlock ahead of the obligatory shove-off and shoulder tackle response. James tries to return with a hiptoss, but it’s blocked… so she goes for a sunset flip, getting a two-count out of it. Headscissors follow, before Aleah’s caught in the ropes and brought down with a neckbreaker, as Chakara threw some calculated boots.
A gutwrench suplex follows from Chakara, then an Exploder, before a deliberately-applied camel clutch almost led to the submission, only for James to crawl to the rope for the break. She’s quickly met with a hammerlock DDT as Chakara’s lackadaisical cover gets her a two-count, and James is right back with a lungblower and a shotgun dropkick as her second wind kicked in. Chakara cuts it off with a headbutt, then caught another lungblower before a dropkick led to a near-fall. A ‘rana has James back on top, as does a stomp, then a goddamned MOONSAULT STOMP… and that’s enough for the win. Chakara pays the price for being too cocky, and it led to the upset. **½
By the way, if you’re a fan of matches without commentary, that last one will be a keeper – somehow the commentary volume got dialled all the way down…
Lana Austin vs. Jetta vs. Laura di Matteo
Jetta wants to start with a Test of Strength, which gave way to a litany of roll-ups as we reached the stalemate.
Everyone gets chants, while Jetta just wants more handshakes, which she tried to sucker in Lana with, but the Mancunian was too smart and sent Jetta outside. Laura tries to get a win with a dropkick, but Jetta breaks up the pin and proceeded to go for rolling suplexes on the Italian, finishing with a Fisherman suplex for a two-count.
Lana’s Thesz press breaks up a People’s Princess Elbow, before Laura returned to stop a pin after a crossbody. A Muta lock from Jetta has Laura in trouble, but Lana cuts it off as she tries to go for a pin, only for Jetta to let go… Laura head up for a missile dropkick, which she lands before a forearm from Austin stopped this mini Parade of Moves. Jetta and Laura trade shots, stopping to go after Austin… who then ended up in a Tree of Woe. Nothing comes of it as Austin kicks her way free, before Jetta herself ended in a Tree of Woe, with Austin’s spear stopping Laura from capitalising. Austin tries to get a win with a draping DDT, but Laura sneaks out and gets the win with a roll-up. Without commentary, I had no idea what they were going for. Sure, Nightshade’s illness forced a change in the card, but three good guys in the same match led to a crowd that didn’t back any of them for long, and led to a weirdly muted final appearance for Laura before her big title match. **½
After the match, Lana tells us she was meant to face Nightshade – with the winner facing Yuka Sakazaki at WrestleQueendom. She appeals to EVE management to get the match because she’ll never be able to go to Japan because she’s got kids… Emily sympathises and calls Lana an inspiration… and Lana gets her match!
Skye Smitson vs. Rhia O’Reilly
Skye’s back from her tour of Germany, and she’s brought her nickname back with her. Except they still call her the Queen of Dropkicks, and they’ve taken the E off her name. Hopefully not out of spite!
This is a non-title affair, one because Rhia’s defending it in a week and two because Skye’s never won in EVE. O’Reilly starts by trying to work over Skye’s wrist, but Smitson reverses into an armbar as the pair went hold-for-hold on each other, eventually going to the mat as Skye looked to work over Rhia’s arm. They counter back-and-forth as Skye stays on the wrist, before Smitson let go and hit a dropkick.
Rhia’s quickly back with a clothesline for a two-count, before a back elbow in response gets Skye a near-fall. A Samoan drop puts the champion back on top for a two-count, before a chinlock began to wear down the returning Smitson. After Rhia trash talked, Skye fought back with kicks, trapping the champion in the corner ahead of a running knee, but Rhia’s right back in with a Finlay roll and a back senton for a near-fall.
A full nelson keeps Skye down, but she returns fire with an uppercut, taking Rhia into the corner… only to get tripped into the turnbuckles as the champion kept on throwing shots. Following up with a curb stomp, Rhia looked to keep the pressure going, but she ends up getting dropkicked into Livvii Grace and Rebel Kinney on the outside, as a tope looked to follow. Skye’s cut-off in the ropes as Rhia keeps up with forearms by the apron, before she dragged Smitson in for a draping DDT for a near-fall. After being lifted up top, Smitson kicks Rhia away and came down for a pump kick, before a superkick had Rhia in the corner… but too close to the ropes to be pinned.
Smitson keeps going with an uppercut after Rhia’d gone up top, then superplex’d the champion to the mat. A knee strike, then the Smitson Effect – a Cross Rhodes – almost led to the win, but Rhia kicked out… Skye tries to keep the pressure up, but she’s distracted by Livvii on the outside, then turned around into a Rhiadjustment double arm DDT as the champion eked out a win. A strong showing for Skye on her return, but in the end it’s the champ’s usual tricks that got the job done. ***
After the match, Rhia O’Reilly invoked politics and said that Laura’d be evicted from Britain when Brexit happens. I mean, there’s settlement schemes… O’Reilly then told a story about how Laura “wasted” her mum’s money on a wrestling career that’s gone nowhere… and we end the show with a scrap.
For a “go home” show, Battle Cry was a bit of an odd one – certainly changes to the card meant that this wasn’t quite the show EVE wanted to put on, but that three-way semi-main did Laura di Matteo very few favours going into her title match. As for the rest of the show, they built the tag title match as best they could. If you exclusively follow EVE via VOD, you didn’t get the full card (I don’t know if the live audience did), which feels like a missed opportunity, so here it is:
EVE Tag Team Championship: Gisele Shaw & Sammii Jayne (c) vs. Woke Queens (Valkyrie & Debbie Keitel) vs. Medusa Complex (Millie McKenzie & Charli Evans).
EVE Championship: Rhia O’Reilly (c) vs. Laura Di Matteo
Martina vs. Maki Itoh
Yuka Sakazaki vs. Lana Austin
Killer Kelly vs. Roxxy
Nor “Phoenix” Diana vs. Zoe Lucas
WrestleQueendom Rumble: featuring Jetta, Nightshade, Livvii Grace, Rebel Kinney, Skye Smitson, Mercedez Blaze, Chakara, Dominita and more TBA.
If you’re there live, or watching on-demand through EVE’s VOD, you’ll also get Nina Samuels vs. Jinny – but that match won’t be on any of FITE’s coverage. FITE.tv will be showing WrestleQueendom 3 live on Saturday January 11, and all willing, we’ll be following along too.