Two weeks after WrestleQueendom 2, Rhea O’Reilly began life as the new champion – and explained just why she did what she did at York Hall as Charlie Morgan bid farewell to EVE…
We open with a video package recapping WrestleQueendom 2… along with the show-ending angle that saw Rhea O’Reilly leave with the title. From there’ we’re taken to the Resistance Gallery as Emily Read announces we’ve got a number one contenders tournament – something that was just thrown out without any explanation. I get Rhea O’Reilly, the EVE matchmaker, is evil and all that now, but some sort of token offering would have been nice. Dann Read and Nina Samuels are on commentary today.
Quarter-Final: Charli Evans vs. Kanji
Charli’s keeping her Rob Zombie music, which stylistically felt like a better fit than Billie Eilish. It’s a rematch of a feud that’s been rumbling around the country, most notably with Leicester’s Wrestling Resurgence, who are holding an Iron Woman match between these two at the end of August.
Charli charges at Kanji at the bell as this one started out very strike-heavy, with Charli making a point of working over Kanji’s left arm. Commentary makes a point of saying how Charli’s got a point of winning these sort of tournaments, as the Aussie continued to dominate, throwing Kanji down to the mat from a sleeperhold. A modified STO got Kanji back in it, as she begins to pepper Evans with forearms, including one from a springboard, before a 619 in the corner put Kanji on top. A roll-up saw Kanji counter a kick for a near-fall, before she Alabama Slammed Evans for another two-count. Kanji tries to follow up, but she’s caught on the top rope and thrown into the balcony before a roll-through bicycle knee led to another two-count for Evans.
Back-and-forth forearms in the ropes nearly wipe out the cameraman too, before Evans backslid and followed in with a La Magistral for another two-count… Kanji shrugs off superkicks, then spears Evans as the pair ended up crashing to the mat. Evans gets back up as she looked for a Gory Stretch bomb, but it’s not enough to put away Kanji… who got back up with a slap and a tornado DDT. From there, Kanji almost wins with a frog splash, then with a springboard stunner… but Evans rolls outside to avoid getting pinned. Not to worry, Kanji follows her, but gets caught with an electric chair facebuster on the apron, before Evans returned with a mounted DDT for the win. This was a heck of an opener, with both women’s familiarity with each other showing – creating a furiously-paced match. ***¼
Quarter-Final: Millie McKenzie vs. Laura di Matteo
We’ve a tetchy start as the pair opened with lock-ups that repeatedly took each other into the ropes.
Laura looked to draw first blood with a dropkick, but Millie rolls outside to give herself some distance, before a swinging neckbreaker led to a near-fall. Livvii Grace and Nightshade appeared at ringside to cheer for Laura… or so it seemed. Millie uses forearms to club Laura around the ring, before an instant response led to di Matteo scoring with some clotheslines. A release Fisherman’s suplex took Millie into the corner, before a missed dropkick allowed Millie to fight back with German suplexes… only for Livvii Grace to trip Millie for a DQ after we’d barely passed the five minute mark. Way too short for this to be anything more than a plot device in all honesty… *¾
After the match, Laura raced to the back as commentary wondered if Laura was really linked with Livvii and Nightshade.
Quarter-Final: Raven Creed vs. Little Miss Roxxy
After the first minute was spent absorbing the crowd’s reaction, Roxxy sent Raven packing with some crab walking to really get inside Creed’s head.
Some biting from Creed got her space as she took down Roxxy, going after the left arm and wrist, stomping it into the mat. Creed mocks the crowd as she started to wear through Roxxy with chops, only for Roxxy to dish out some of the same before she got dropped with a big clothesline. The match descends into a striking battle, culminating in duelling headbutts. Roxxy found a second wind, landing some forearms and a STO, before she cracked Creed with a leg lariat in the corner for a near-fall. Creed puts the brakes on with a hair-pull, with a diving knee almost leading to the upset… but Roxxy’s back with a wheelbarrow stomp for a near-fall. Roxxy’s momentum continued with a sunset bomb… and that proved to be enough for the win. Solid stuff, but these one-night tournaments (partial or otherwise) are always tricky when it comes to dealing with double-duty (or better). ***
Rhea O’Reilly’s announced to the ring next, complete with a new music and video for her and her lackeys. She’s here to address what she did, saying she did it “for the future of EVE” and “for each and every one of you.” Isn’t that a Vince-ism? Rhea turns the crowd on her some more by saying that Charlie Morgan “walked out on you”, then took digs at Viper and Kay Lee Ray for running for the pay cheques. Well, wouldn’t you?
Rhea turned talk to how Dann and Emily were ready to let the EVE title go to a company that’s the “antithesis of EVE”, so she did what was needed to be done to stop that. She has a point there. O’Reilly’s no longer EVE matchmaker, and tonight’s tournament was to create a new contender… but only because she doesn’t think anyone deserved it yet, especially because the three semi-finalists so far all lost at York Hall. Apparently the winner of the tournament gets their shot in September… and the crowd boos as if they were conflicted by what Rhea had said.
Quarter-Final: Kasey vs. Yuu
Kasey’s been given a new nickname, “the mother of chaos”. Whomever’s maintaining that list on Cagematch is going to be kept busy…
Kasey’s in no hurry as she just sits in the corner at the bell, before she got going, looking to work over Yuu’s arms, but there’s a quick takedown from Yuu as she got free, only for Kasey to go back to that left arm. Things descend into a battle of forearms, before Yuu caught Kasey and spun her down with a sidewalk slam. A back senton followed for a near-fall, as did some chops while Yuu kept control of the wrist. Whips take Kasey into the corner, but Yuu just runs into a big boot… then a hanging armbar in the ropes ahead of a missile dropkick for a near-fall. That’s followed up with a cracker of a running knee as Kasey looked to put Yuu away… but it wasn’t enough for a three-count.
More kicks from Kasey put Yuu down, but Kasey goes to the well too often as a kick’s caught and turned into a buckle bomb. From there, a cannonball trapped Kasey for a near-fall, before an attempted katahajime was countered in the ropes. A snap Judo throw shocks Kasey though, as Yuu got straight back in, finishing her off with a Last Ride at the eight minute mark. A nice sprint of a match, with Yuu making it to the semis with a little trouble. ***
Nightshade vs. Shazza McKenzie
It’s interesting that Livvii’s not in action here – it’s taking her well over the year mark since she last wrestled for EVE…
McKenzie’s completely befuddled by the Lampshade-related chants, as we start with Nightshade taking McKenzie into the corner in a bid to get under her skin. The mind games continued as Nightshade charged Shazza into the corner, riling her up to the point where the Aussie began throwing chops in a bid to wear down Nightshade. Some kicks to the back and a running legdrop gets a near-fall, but Nightshade puts on the brakes and dumped Shazza with a clothesline. A back senton followed in for a near-fall, as Nightshade began to rough up the Aussie, choking her with a boot in the corner ahead of another nasty clothesline.
McKenzie avoids a charge into the corner as she looked for a top rope ‘rana… but she doesn’t quite get all of it as Nightshade’s back in with a headbutt and a German suplex. A grounded abdominal stretch follows briefly before Shazza got free and caught Nightshade with kicks in the ropes. That’s topped off with a crossbody off the top rope for a near-fall, before an inadvertent victory roll nearly got the win for Shazza. She keeps up with a German suplex into the corner and a running knee for a delayed two-count, before Livvii Grace appeared to provide a distraction. Shazza falls for it, but she avoids a charge from Nightshade, before nearly winning with a roll-up. From there, Nightshade landed a choke bomb out of nowhere, and that’s the win at a shade over ten minutes. This was a decent way to get Nightshade a win over an import – keeping her strong for… whatever’ll happen down the line, given she’ll likely be Rhea’s hired muscle for a while. **¾
Lana Austin & Mercedez Blaze vs. Wrestle Friends (Erin Angel & Jetta)
This was non-title, since Blaze and Austin aren’t a regular team. Then again, Lana’s singing probably disqualified them from the shot… it may well have stunned Dann into silence, as he disappeared here.
Mercedez threatened to walk if the fans didn’t respect her… then she remembered she had a match to win. Her early offence quickly got halted by Angel’s crossbody, but a shoulder tackle knocks Angel down, only for Blaze to run into a drop toe hold as Angel got a tag in – something that Dann took a few swipes at on commentary. I’m guessing they never got around to fully coaching their officials… Lana gets to sing as Jetta and Erin use Blaze as a rowboat, before the singsong continued with “if you’re happy and you know it”. Yeah…
That all backfired on the champions as Jetta found herself cornered, courtesy of Blaze’s shotgun dropkick, but Mercedez then kept herself in as Austin started to get agitated on the apron, She got the eventual tag, and nearly put away Jetta with a low dropkick, but it’s not long before Blaze came back in to keep Jetta cornered with shoulder tackles. A leaping double knee and a double underhook suplex nearly gets the win, as Jetta got a foot on the rope just in time… and it seemed to lead to some arguments as Austin came in, but couldn’t tag out as Blaze just watched Jetta make a quick comeback. Finally, Blaze tagged back in as she used a full nelson to keep Jetta on the mat.
Jetta tagged out, but the ref’s distracted by Austin, so it doesn’t count… at the second time of asking, Jetta got free and held Blaze for a crossbody, which Angel tries to get the cover on despite not being legal. Good job the ref’s distracted again! Now Erin gets the hot tag, flying into Austin with a missile dropkick before a sunset flip… didn’t seem to count? For whatever reason the ref didn’t go down as all semblance of control had been lost. Angel’s neckbreaker calms things down, only for Austin to make the save… from there, Blaze randomly refused to tag out, and instantly got caught with a Killswitch from Angel, as her bullishness instantly backfired. This was a little too “all over the place” for my liking, but then again we should have expected the hastily-put-together team to have no cohesion, I guess. **½
After the match, Austin hugged the champions as they left, before getting into an argument with Blaze, who shoved her down after getting mad that she wasn’t able to tag with her usual partner.
Semi-Final: Millie McKenzie vs. Yuu
The winner of this advances to the final in August’s “Fights and False Lashes” show.
Yuu’s disgusted by Millie flipping her off at the bell, and she started bys ending Millie scurrying for cover after a quick waistlock takedown. When she got back in, Millie sparked a brief forearm exchange, before Yuu caught her with the spinning sidewalk slam and a back senton for a two-count. From there, Yuu monkey flipped Millie into a cross armbreaker attempt, but it didn’t come off as Millie quickly got free for a shotgun dropkick into the corner. Millie tries to force a submission with a side headlock, but Yuu gets free, only to get caught with a crucifix for a near-fall. Judo throws follow as Yuu took Millie to the mat, as a set-up for a back senton as Yuu stuffed a planned comeback from Millie. Yuu waited as Millie tried to fight back with forearms, but there’s an instant response as both women had trouble finding their mark… leading to Yuu catching Millie in the corner with a cannonball.
Yuu looked to take Millie up for an avalanche Code Red, but there’s some resistance as Millie slipped out and hit a press slam instead. A German suplex followed for a near-fall, as Yuu surprises her again with a cross armbreaker… she couldn’t keep hold of it though, as Millie got free and hit a stunner, then a spear for the win. Interestingly, there wasn’t even a hint of a run-in here, as Millie got the clean-as-a-sheet win to book her spot in the final. ***
Semi-Final: Charli Evans vs. Little Miss Roxxy
Could this be an all-Medusa final?
Roxxy started out hot, trying to avoid that as a shotgun dropkick and some ground and pound took Evans into the corner. Headscissors took her into the opposite corner for an elbow and a leg lariat as the Geordie nearly won this in the opening 40 seconds. Evans fought her way back into it with some short clotheslines, before taking Roxxy into the ropes as she looked to wear her down. Some more kicks left Roxxy in the corner for a face-washing boot, as she was left holding the side of her face more often than you’d think. Still, she had enough left in her to trade chops with Evans, only to get dropped again as Evans continued to kick away at Roxxy.
Commentary goes silent again as the pair trade charges into the corners, where a big boot rocked Roxxy ahead of a suplex attempt. She fought out and headbutted Evans, only for another clothesline to leave them both on the mat for a spell. We’re back to forearms and chops though, before Roxxy’s STO nearly booked her spot in the final. A wheelbarrow roll-through and a stomp drew another near-fall for Roxxy, as Evans then rolled outside to grab a chair. That chair’s quickly put to use after she punched away Roxxy’s dive… and EVE’s no-DQ rules came into effect. Roxxy rolls outside as she looked for a Kendo stick, but Evans intercepts and uses the stick first, throwing in a sideways swipe that Roxxy took with her mouth, which caused her to lose a tooth.
Despite the stream of blood, Roxxy continued, but not for long as she shocked Evans with a schoolboy for the quick win. A rather brutal finish, which curtailed a pretty decent match – but full credit to Roxxy for finishing this. **½
We fade out and back in as “the fat roadie” Dann introduced the farewell for Charlie Morgan. We’ve had way too many retirement announcements in the last few months. Charlie’s introduced for what was billed as her final wrestling appearance, as Dann put over Charlie’s coming out as a real watermark for other wrestlers. There’s also a call-out to how Charlie came back early from her broken collarbone because she lied about recovery times… that’s not the first person who’s done that! There’s even a sly reference to how Charlie chose EVE over a WWE booking… which explains how that relationship ended! A video package followed, showing the fateful dive that ended her career, the retirement announcement and a series of highlights, from old promo pics, to all the dives… to the SHE-1… and the title win at York Hall. Charlie’s final words? She’s proud of her career, of what she accomplished, before leaving us all with the message: “be fearless, be brave, be you” as the night came to a close with an obligatory ten-bell salute.
It’s unusual to see EVE doing an eight-match card – especially since shows at the Resistance seem to top out at six. Still, with EVE in a rebuilding phase after losing a lot of top stars in one go, this was a pretty solid show, with Roxxy clearly being singled out as a potential future challenger, while the seeds are there for Laura di Matteo to get what could could cynically call “Charlie’s old spot” – if only in terms of main event status. EVE’s now got an unusually quiet spell as they have no shows until August, as the road to SHE-1 should start to pick up….