EVE crowned new tag team champions as they returned to the Resistance Gallery for the last time before the SHE-1…

New tag champions were required because Jetta and Erin Angel vacated the tag titles last month (after no defences), because of something that Erin was going to announce on this show. I’ll admit, despite it being cancer awareness month, the name of this show had me worries… also on this card was the return of Kris Wolf, who was slated for some (non-wrestling) involvement after her retirement in May. Speaking of Kris, she opens the show as her and Emily go through what’s affectionately known as “rules and shit”.

Leah Owens and Dann Read are on commentary.

EVE Tag Team Championship Tournament Semi Final: Livvii Grace & Rhia O’Reilly vs. Laura Di Matteo & Mercedes Martinez
Nightshade’s in SHE-1 qualifying action later, but she’s joining her mates at ringside as commentary tells us that Rhia’s going by the nickname of “the Righteous”. If you’re minded, add your Joseph Conners joke here…

There’s a jump start from O’Reilly and Grace, with Livvii throwing Martinez outside so they could double-team di Matteo. Running knees from Rhia keep Laura down, before Livvii almost left Rhia hanging on a tag in the morning minute. She tags in eventually and goes for Mercedes, just to wind her up before a clothesline dropped Laura for a near-fall.

A chinlock gives Laura something to fight out of, as Rhia and Livvii continue to coax Martinez into the ring so they could cheat some more. O’Reilly’s Finlay roll drops di Matteo ahead of a back senton for a near-fall, before Livvii returned to get a two-count of her own from a slam. Finally Laura hits back with a backcracker, before tags brought in Martinez and O’Reilly. A dropkick from Mercedes wipes out Grace, ahead of a neckbreaker to O’Reilly. There’s a quick tag to bring Laura back in for a double-team wheelbarrow splash for a near-fall. Livvii headbutts Martinez out of the ring as we’re back to them double-teaming Laura as Dann complains about the refereeing. Check one off on your bingo card!

Laura’s dropped with double-team hiptoss powerbomb before Grace brawled with Martinez in the crowd… which backfires when Laura rolled up Rhia for the win. Way too short at five minutes and change, but I guess it ticked a box marked “Laura got a win over the champion” for down the line. **¼

Post-match, Grace, O’Reilly and Nightshade beat down Martinez and di Matteo, leading to Laura getting knocked out as Rhia went all ‘93 Lex Luger on us with her knee brace before vowing to win the SHE-1. Commentary ponders out loud if Laura di Matteo can wrestle again, and I’m getting Jack Sexsmith vibes as a medic wanders in to check on her. We know he’s a medic because it says it on his shirt.

Nina Samuels vs. Gisele Shaw
Nina brags about getting her wish, as EVE made a Nina-centric sizzle reel which is meant to be the new intro video going forward. They air it, complete with star wipes… and you know what? As much as this was meant to be comedy, I’d not be against them having a bunch of these.

Nevermind, Gisele Shaw interrupts it, much to Nina’s chagrin as Dann has his tongue firmly in cheek while thinking out loud: “how can anyone in WWE have a part in propaganda”. Yep, Crown Jewel’s coming up, so expect some counter-programming from EVE. Which is a good thing. Shaw accuses Nina of being insecure and irrelevant, as they get going. Samuels started off throwing shots, only to get taken down with a ‘rana as Shaw looked to catch her out with acrobatics. Some rope-walking followed ahead of another ‘rana, taking Samuels outside ahead of the Air Canada tornillo… but Nina rolls back in and ends up taking a crossbody instead.

Ducking doesn’t save her from a superkick as it was all Shaw here, but right on cue, Nina catches Gisele’s leg in the ropes and began a fight back. The Curt Hennig neck flip nearly gets Nina the win, as does a dropkick in the ropes as the crowd railed on her star wipes. Samuels keeps up with forearms, but Shaw responds in kind before another springboard was cut off and turned into a backbreaker.

Elbows from Shaw give her scant hope, as Nina pulls the hair, but frustrations were building as Shaw was proving resilient. They trade forearms as Shaw found a second wind, ducking under a kick before an elbow drop drew a near-fall, only for Nina to land a reverse suplex for a near-fall of her own. Samuels heads up top but has to cartwheel away from Gisele before she boots her in the corner… following up with a Go 2 Sleep… but Shaw escapes and lands a springboard cutter instead for a two-count. Shaw’s caught on the top rope by Samuels’ forearms, before a superplex was headbutted away with Shaw retaliating with a tornado DDT that gets caught… but Shaw escapes and snatches the win with an O’Connor roll! An enjoyable sprint of a match, with Shaw picking up a big win over Samuels, who is certainly having bad luck since she dropped the EVE title. ***

EVE Tag Team Championship Tournament Semi Final: Woke Queens (Debbie Keitel & Valkyrie) vs. Jinny & Kanji
With Mercedes Blaze occupied elsewhere, Jinny had a mystery partner… which turned out to be Kanji, with her performance last month apparently impressing Jinny… who took shots at Keitel for being a “cheap version” of herself. Oof. By the way, earlier hype for this seemed to hint that the mystery partner was being added to Jinny’s Diamond Vogue Collective, but that was dropped…

The Woke Queens have a caffeine fit before the bell, as we get going with a simple side headlock from Jinny, who then took Keitel down with an armbar. Commentary lays out briefly as the action in the ring is verbose, but not for long as Jinny went back to the armbar. Kanji’s briefly in, before she tagged Jinny to lay out Keitel with forearms to the front, then back, before a knee lift left the Irishwoman in the ropes. There’s frequent tags from the first-time team, as Jinny revelled in being able to drop a swear word or two… but Keitel gets free and brings in Valkyrie as they hit double clotheslines and elbow drops for a two-count.

Jinny’s back in with a ‘rana to Valkyrie, but Kanji comes in to stop Keitel from interfering as… yes, the referee lost control of a tag match. Big shock, I know. Maybe Tom just skips the tag team referring classes in Enfield? Kanji’s step-up leg drop gets a near-fall, but Keitel fires away on Jinny as the Irish ganged up on her. A palm strike from Valkyrie just annoys Jinny, as she fired back with windmilling slaps and a headbutt to knock Valkyrie down. Kanji tags in and clears house, landing a springboard forearm to Valkyrie, following in with headscissors and a 619 in the corner, before Keitel and Valkyrie save each other from a leap. Because comedy. Kanji eventually hits them both with a missile dropkick, before Jinny and Kanji caught their opponents in the ropes with dropkicks and clotheslines.

In the end, Kanji got hung up in the corner with a neckbreaker by Keitel, almost getting Valkyrie the win as Dann badly needs to train his refs. All. Of. Them. Even if it is a bit. Keitel keeps up the pressure with a backbreaker, but Kanji fought out to avoid a legdrop as Jinny returned, only to get dumped with a Tiger suplex as Kanji’s springboard stunner lands amid a Parade of Moves, with Jinny’s Acid Rainmaker completing the set. Jinny looked to finish off Keitel with an X-Factor out of the corner, before Kanji’s moonsault finds its mark for a near-fall, thanks to Valkyrie’s save. All four women stay in the ring until Valkyrie’s overhead kick took out Jinny, before her Death Note leg drop dropped Kanji over a backbreaker for the win. The polar opposite of the other semi – this was all action, and a hell of a way for the Woke Queens to stake their claim for the belts. ****

After the match, Jinny took the mic and challenged the Woke Queens to a rematch down the line.

Kasey vs. Roxxy
This was a SHE-1 qualifier – with the winner being added to a field that’ll also include some wildcard picks ahead of next month’s tournament.

Roxxy’s giving up some height to Kasey, but she wasn’t backing down as the Geordie took down Kasey with headscissors, following up with forearms in the corner. A high kick in the corner has Kasey down on the mat, before Roxxy landed her version of the Combinacion Cabron for just a one-count. Kasey fought back by kicking away Roxxy’s knee, before a Gory stretch was countered as Roxxy sat up and turned it into a victory roll, following through with a stomp as Roxxy sent Kasey outside. She follows her, but Kasey’s got a chair, which got kicked into her head, as the pair proceed to brawl around the Resistance Gallery. Kasey grabs the chair, but she’s sat in it as Roxxy knocked her out of it with a running crossbody.

Kasey fought back through the crowd chair and all, as they finally made it back to the ring, but Roxxy cuts her off with a double stomp onto the side of the ring. Kasey wanders away, going up the “other” staircase, eventually appearing on the other balcony as the pair fought above the ring, with Kasey hanging back over the balcony with a hanging armbar. They wander back down the stairs, with Kasey back in control, only for her PK to miss as Roxxy went for a roll-up. A STO out of nowhere gets Roxxy a near-fall, before she rolled Kasey into a grounded Octopus stretch, albeit too close to the ropes as Kasey forced a break. An up-kick from Kasey turns it back around, as does a violent low dropkick, before she got caught in the corner as Roxxy hit a hanging piledriver out of the corner for a near-fall… with Kasey barely getting a finger to the rope in time.

Roxxy drags Kasey away and heads up top again, but the stomp misses as Kasey sneaks in with an abdominal stretch roll-up… and that’s the win! Roxxy’s out of SHE-1… but perhaps those dates in Germany may help her come back anew in 2020? A heck of a match, even if you’re not a fan of the around-the-venue brawling. ***½

The second half started with another SHE-1 qualifier, as Nightshade was meant to take on Angel Hayze. Livvii Grace was out with her, but Nightshade sent her to the back, perhaps because she was taking the newcomer Hayze lightly.

Nightshade vs. Angel Hayze
We get going with a lot of Kevin Dunne-ish camera cuts back-and-forth, before Nightshade took Hayze into the corner for a clean break, complete with a patronising head pat.

Hayze responds with a forearm, before her crossbody was caught… but she wriggles out and looked for a waistlock, only for Nightshade to make the ropes as Hayze proceeded to find her forearms had no effect. Cue Kris Wolf, who randomly suggested this become a death match.

Death Match: Nightshade vs. Angel Hayze
Kris brought a box with goodies in, including a fluffy baby shark, which Hayze battered Nightshade with. Yeah, it didn’t work. Fluffy sharks to the head left Hayze on the mat, before Nightshade slammed her onto it for good measure.

Next up from Prime Wolf Now was another box: which was empty. So Nightshade just wrecks it on Angel’s head. There’s another box, but Nightshade just breaks it with her boot before an empty box of crisps rattled… with a carrot inside it? O-kay. Nightshade tries to give Angel one of her five-a-day, but Hayze just spits it back at her. Carlito vibes here. Kicks from the Scotswoman rock Nightshade for a near-fall, as Angel went for another box… giving Angel Tito! That’ll have been an entertaining trip through customs. Tito headbutts Nightshade, then masked Nightshade’s vision ahead of some running uppercuts in the corner. Tito’s handed back so Hayze could land a Slingblade for a near-fall, before another box was given to Angel, which included… barbed wire?!

I swear that’s the same spool they’ve had for ages now. Angel doesn’t want any part of it, and ends up running into an elbow and a headbutt from Nightshade, before a chokebomb led to a near-fall. Wolf hauls in one more box as Nightshade went for the finish, then came into the ring to pull something out of the big box. To avoid poisoning the ads here, I’ll just say that Kris pulled out “a stick”. A very black, wobbly stick, that’s been described on other indie shows as, ahem “a marriage preserver”. The crowd howl in disbelief because Kris is so pleased with her “stick”, but Angel Hayze has to tell her what it really is. Nightshade manages to get hold of it, then throws it away for Kris to catch, before a leaping axe kick dropped Nightshade for the win. This was the very definition of a Marmite match – the stick shtick at the end got very silly very quickly, but if you were going to find a way for Hayze to slip into the SHE-1, then this was a good way to do so without hurting Nightshade too much. **½

Leyla Hirsch vs. Skye Smitson
Having massively impressed for wXw in Germany a week earlier, Leyla Hirsch was making her UK debut, coming with a big recommendation from Simon Gotch. Oh God, will that now poison my YouTube recommendations now?

Hirsch is giving up some height to Smitson, but that’s not unusual for her. She starts with a single leg takedown, but Smitson ends up in the ropes, before Hirsch found her way in with a North/South choke that she let go of. Smitson looks for a dropkick, but misses as Hirsch found her way through, sending Skye outside for a low-pe. Another low-pe followed, but Smitson took over back inside with a dropkick for a two-count as they hammer the new “Queen of Dropkicks” nickname. Hirsch quickly rolls back with a cross armbreaker, but Skye got free and booted Hirsch down for a near-fall. They go back and forth in the corner, with Skye missing a leaping elbow before Hirsch ran in with double knees and a slingshot dropkick, following up with a Saito suplex for a near-fall.

Skye’s back with an uppercut as she pushed on, trading forearms with Hirsch, before a kick to the leg led to Leyla landing a knee strike for a near-fall. A Sky High powerbomb nearly got Skye the win, before the pair hit each other with duelling forearms to knock each other down. Smitson tries to pull Leyla up, but she’s surprised with a cross armbreaker… ending quickly in the ropes, before a superkick decked Leyla for a near-fall.

Hirsch responds with a German suplex and a murderous lariat… but it’s still not enough, as Leyla ends up going to the top rope, only to miss a moonsault. A Falcon arrow from Skye’s up next for an instant response, but it’s still not enough, before Hirsch came back in with a headlock takedown, transitioning into a cross armbar for the tap. This was bloody great – Skye’s not had much to do in EVE, but her and Hirsch meshed really well… and showed me that that weekend in Germany was not a one-off. Keep an eye on Leyla when she heads back to the States… ***¼

After the match, Skye – who was still winless in EVE – took the mic and announced that she’d be going abroad for a bit to better herself. She didn’t name names, as they’ll be revealed soon.

Following the burlesque act, Erin Angel comes to the ring with the (vacated) EVE tag titles, which look a LOT like the classic WWF Intercontinental title. She’ll be making her announcement after the main event…

EVE Tag Team Championship Tournament Final: Woke Queens (Debbie Keitel & Valkyrie) vs. Laura Di Matteo & Mercedes Martinez
The Woke Queens had a bit more of a slog to get to the final, having that absolute banger earlier on… while di Matteo and Martinez had a quicker match, except Laura was beaten down afterwards, so… swings and roundabouts?

The Woke Queens jump their opponents before the bell, and hey, I eagerly await Dann burying Tom Scarborough’s officiating here. The medic returns to check on Laura, as I guess the Woke Queens are bad guys for that attack… but the medic allows her continue, so they attack again. The bell rings, but Mercedes and di Matteo hit back with clotheslines, as Laura already looked woozie. Not to worry, Mercedes chops through Valkyrie, before hauling her up for a stalling suplex that the crowd tried to count along to… and somehow failed despite there being a big clock ON THE SCREEN. It’s good for a near-fall though, before Laura came in with a release Fisherman’s suplex for another near-fall on Valkyrie.

Laura keeps stopping to compose herself, but she’s able to dictate the pace… at least until Valkyrie slipped out of a piledriver and ended up throwing Laura into Keitel’s boot. I’m not sure why the Woke Queens are suddenly playing baddies after being on the other side of the divide earlier, but we’ll go with it. A tag brings in Keitel, who snapmares and grounds Laura with a chinlock, as the Woke Queens played the game well. Keitel works over Laura with some fish hooks (hi Justy!), which dragged Martinez into the ring as she was livid over how things were going. Laura tries to break through for a tag, but Keitel just smothers her with forearms before Laura finally responded… landing some headscissors ahead of a missile dropkick.

Rather than tag out, di Matteo goes for a cover and gets a near-fall, before Keitel mauled her again… and that just keeps di Matteo in trouble. A suplex from Valkyrie’s good for a two-count as Dann does his moaning about the ref. Laura’s choked in the ropes, but replies with an enziguiri and a tornado DDT as she finally crafted an opening for herself… Which she takes! Martinez tags in and throws Valkyrie with an Exploder suplex… there’s a spinebuster for Keitel too as a German suplex folded up Valkyrie once more. Laura asks to tag in again, and she gets it… so she can hit a step-up plancha off Mercedes into the Woke Queens on the outside!

Back inside, a Saito suplex dumps Valkyrie as Martinez and di Matteo set up for a finish, but the grounded Octopus from di Matteo’s broken up by Keitel, who again aimed for the head with a stomp. A right hand from Keitel lays out di Matteo, as does a full nelson facebuster, before Martinez came in and rolled Keitel into a curb stomp. Di Matteo and Valkyrie are legal, and they quickly trade forearms before Valkyrie caught Laura with an ushigoroshi. Keitel comes in for the old Cryme Tyme finisher, but Martinez breaks up the pin just in time, only to get peppered with mid kicks from the Woke Queens. Eventually Mercedes begins to block them and fight back, landing an avalanche death valley driver to Keitel!

Laura’s still legal though, but she can’t keep up a tombstone as things threatened to fall apart as the ref took an aeon to count a roll-up… and when Martinez gets thrown outside, it’s just a matter of time as a backbreaker and a Death Note connected as the Woke Queens left with the gold! A little shaky at the end, and I was bugged by them “switching sides”, but the Woke Queens leave with the tag team titles as the bigger story seemed to be Laura di Matteo working hurt. ***¼

Well, I say bigger story – they left this one for social media: Erin Angel announced that she was having to step away from wrestling because she was pregnant, although this wasn’t being called a retirement, as Erin as looking to return down the line.

Congratulations Erin, and all the best for the future!

So, while we ended with good news (at least in terms of the reason why Erin Angel is stepping away), EVE have pressed reset on the tag team division – giving us some new champions as hopefully something can become of that scene going forward. While SHE-1 buys them time, there is at least some more variety in the tag division, with the Diamond Vogue Collection now at least being established, while we’ve got two from Rhia/Nightshade/Livvi and of course, the Medusa Complex once they both return from Japan. Of course, having more tag teams wouldn’t go amiss, but they’re at least in a better position than they were in June when the titles first came into the promotion.