The first contender for Rhia O’Reilly’s EVE title was decided as the tournament that started at the Dawn of a New Era came to a head.

Refreshed from a month off, we’re straight back into things at the Resistance Gallery… commentary is from Dann Read and nobody else it seems.

Diamond Vogue Collective (Jinny & Mercedez Blaze) vs. The Stonewall Rebellion (Rebel Kinney & Skye Smitson)
Sadly, Mercedez Blaze seems to have ditched the Demolition-like head gear… this was an open challenge, answered by the debuting Stonewall Rebellion, with Rebel Kinney getting a tag team partner in the form of Skye Smitson, who was making her first “main show” appearance for EVE, having last done the SHEVOLUTION debut show a year or so earlier. I think Skye’s entrance video may be the first time BEW footage made EVE on Demand…

Blaze and Jinny swap frequent tags to try and annoy Smitson, before Jinny started by taking her down with a chinbar. Smitson hit back, but was quickly back on the mat as Jinny went for a leg grapevine. They switch between holds as Jinny tried to control the arm, but Skye held on and resisted a shoulder tackle, only to get pulled back by the hair. A dropkick from Smitson lands for a one-count on Jinny, before she rolled her up following a missed boot out of the corner… only for Jinny to land a forearm for a quick two-count. Blaze tags in to choke away on Smitson in the corner, but things switch around as Blaze was suddenly on the defensive, until she scored with some headscissors into the corner.

A neckbreaker from Blaze drops Smitson, who somehow managed to avoid some running knees before landing a lariat as Smitson finally managed to tag in Kinney. There’s a shoulder tackle from Rebel, before a dropkick from Skye drew a two-count. Another pinning attempt followed from a headbutt, as Kinney built up momentum with a fallaway slam, but Blaze is able to get a blind tag out as Jinny ran wild with headscissors.

Blaze’s shotgun dropkick keeps Kinney in the corner for a two-count, as the relatively inexperienced Rebel was having trouble. Another neckbreaker from Blaze is good for a two-count,before Kinney found a brief opening… and lost out when her back senton missed. Jinny’s back to stomp on Kinney in the corner, before a snapmare and a chinlock kept Rebel down more. A forearm from Jinny sent Rebel falling into the corner, but she couldn’t make the tag on her fall down. Jinny pulls her up, but the Queenmaker (Rainmaker) is blocked as a headbutt sent both women down… eventually Skye’s tagged back in to clear house with spinebusters, but Jinny’s back with the Queenmaker, before Rebel’s Protoplex continued the Parade of Moves.

A spear from Blaze drops Kinney, but at least the referee was smart to who was legal, refusing to count her pinning attempt, which drew our first moan at the officials from commentary. Jinny and Kinney stay in, with Rebel’s forearms earning her a back elbow as that referee still wasn’t doing anything to clear the ring, allowing Skye and Rebel to hit a double-team pendulum backbreaker for a near-fall.

Blaze gets rid of Rebel with a rope-assisted TKO, only to get obliterated with a big boot from Smitson… who in turn ate a satellite DDT and a Queenmaker as Jinny took the win. This felt rough in parts, but this was a pretty decent opener between two teams still looking to get used to each other. That Stonewall Rebellion name’s going to rub some people up in a weird way, given how “on the nose” it is… **¾

Jetta’s introduced to the ring for an interview bit. She tells us that Erin Angel’s not here because they’d overdone some celebrations. The crowd murmuring somehow overwhelmed Jetta’s promo at times, as she tells us that she’s now looking for a partner to take on the Woke Queens, who actually had flights this month. Her hunt was interrupted by the returning Sammii Jayne, who’s ditched her old music (sadly), and is still looking to be accepted by the crowd. They have long memories…

…as does Jetta, who shot her down. Sammii stays out as she wants to show she’s changed, but for now she’s a match…

SHE-1 2019 Qualifier: Sammii Jayne vs. Charli Evans
Sammii had qualified for last year’s SHE-1, but dropped out through injury. Is 2019 going to be her year?

This was Sammii’s first EVE outing since January, and she starts by taking Evans down with a wristlock, before Charli countered out into a full nelson. The back-and-forth ends on the ropes as Jayne went for a Fujiwara armbar, but she breaks as she’s now a goodie… which the crowd slightly clapped. They go back-and-forth on a knuckle lock, with Evans and Jayne bridging back before Sammii sweeps the leg and gets a one-count out of it.

Shoulder tackles follow, with Evans winning out ahead of a diving splash for a two-count, before some kicks seemed to rock Sammii. Jayne returns with a dropkick off the ropes, before she went back in with a roll-through armbar, complete with a leg stretch that ended in the ropes. Sammii keeps up on the arm, as she looked to bolster the “Queen of Catch” tag line… but the crowd’s strangely quiet. Almost like they weren’t sure of how to react to someone who’s been away from EVE for large spells lately. A diving forearm and a knee drop gets the crowd going, with Charli getting caught in the corner with a splash, only for Sammii to head up top, and get caught as Evans just dropped her across the turnbuckles.

Some choking in the ropes follow, as Charli looked to get some revenge for earlier, working over the arm of Sammii – complete with some questionable biting. A La Magistral roll-up’s good for a near-fall, as the crowd finally started to chant for Sammii Jayne… who responds by landing a diving forearm off the ropes, almost Tito Santana like, before a leg drip and a German suplex-like throw took Evans into the corner. Perhaps going for a pin in the corner wasn’t entirely wise, as Charli just got to the ropes easily, before her attempt at a running knee got countered with a roll-up for a near-fall. Jayne’s similar knee gets her another two-count before Charli lifted a Gory Bomb from Kay Lee Ray’s now-unused EVE arsenal for a near-fall of her own.

Chops from Evans keep Jayne by the ropes, as the pair continue to go tit-for-tat, ending with a Saito suplex from Evans… which just seemed to anger Jayne, who replied with a German suplex. Charli finally gets her knee strike in, then a Fisherman’s suplex for a near-fall as commentary played up the time limit. Evans runs into some knees in the corner before she pulled Sammii onto the turnbuckles. There’s retaliation as Sammii throws Charli’s head into the balcony ahead of a top rope ‘rana for a near-fall, following up pretty damn quickly with the Shadowfax baseball slide German suplex and a springboard DDT for another near-fall. Dann screams about the time limit again, which seemed to prompt Jayne into a risk that backfires as she leapt into a kick before an elevated DDT got Charli the win. Technically this was fine, but this crowd was beyond dead for babyface Sammii for most of the match. With any luck she’ll not be away for eight months so this can build… ***

Rhia O’Reilly’s introduced to ringside next, alongside Livvii Grace and Nightshade. She says what’s going on is “for our own good”, before addressing the top contender’s tournament which “has been going on for the last two months”. Or the last show. There’s a highlight package from that last show, which is a nice touch, as the crowd seem to be largely on the side of Roxxy. There’s an interruption from Laura di Matteo, who was eliminated in the first round via DQ, and she’s got a bee in her bonnet over how she was eliminated.

Rhia tries to convince everyone she had nothing to do with Laura getting DQ’d… then leaves. Except Nightshade and Livvii quickly return to beat down Laura. There’s a chokebomb from Nightshade, as Livvii does the fake tears thing. Dann abandons commentary to try and get the next match thrown off, as Laura was meant to have had a qualifier… but Laura refuses to let it happen.

SHE-1 2019 Qualifier: Laura Di Matteo vs. Nina Samuels
It’s a bit of a mountain for Laura to climb, as she’s got to get past a former EVE champion to make it into the SHE-1.

Nina charges at Laura at the bellm looking to capitalise on the earlier attack. A brief flurry from Laura’s withstood as Samuels took her into the ropes for a kick that earned a near-fall. Samuels ragdolls Laura into a backbreaker for a two-count, as di Matteo finally fought back, landing a slap before a springboard got caught and turned into a wheelbarrow facebuster for a two-count. A second springboard DDT’s blocked as Laura eventually got free with a superkick, before an enziguiri and a trapping Fisherman buster sent Nina into the corner. Laura keeps up with a flying ‘rana out of the corner, before a tornado DDT led to a near-fall. The grounded Octopus followed, but Samuels rolls out before she booted Laura in the middle of the ring.

A butterfly suplex from Samuels follows, prompting Nina to head up top… she’s got to cartwheel away from a charge as Laura eventually got her to miss with a kick. Laura’s missile dropkick sends Nina outside, but her dive’s cut-off as a slingshot corkscrew pescado into the ring lands for a near-fall. Nina gets thrown outside again as a step-up kick misses di Matteo, who finally lands her tope before going for a tombstone. It’s countered as Nina rolls back and caught Laura with a lawn dart, then a big boot in the corner for a near-fall, before Nina lands a slam as she looked to go up top once more.

A moonsault’s blocked as Laura crotches Nina, hanging her in a Tree of Woe for a baseball slide dropkick… before she pulled Samuels out of the corner into a tombstone, spiking Nina for the win. If you wanted to be reductive, yeah, Nina starting with a big advantage and losing isn’t great, but considering the long term plan’s clearly for Laura di Matteo to be the big challenger for Rhia, this worked perfectly. ***¼

The Woke Queens (Debbie Keitel & Valkyrie) vs. Jetta & Martina
If you want to be reductive, then in EVE, the Woke Queens are all about coffee, screaming “woke” and listening to ABBA…

Meanwhile, Jetta found her tag partner – someone who’s also had recent issues with RyanAir… Martina! Debbie Keitel’s gone all Tweek on us with excess caffeine, which means she wants to lock-up with the referee, while the crowd presumably want her heart to explode with another swig. We start with criss-crossing, ending with Martina spraying beer in her face. Valkyrie ducks a second beer spray, but eventually gets the boozy mist, before Martina and Jetta landed Seshbreakers and back crackers. The comedy continues as Valkyrie whiffs with a crossbody before she took a drop toe hold into Keitel as the Woke Queens turned into a row boat… at least until Debbie screamed.

The Woke Queens go for low blows, but they’re caught in traps, then met with Bronco busters, with Martina enjoying it more than was probably normal. Eventually there’s a turnaround as Martina got double-teamed, with a double elbow drop getting a near-fall, while Valkyrie looked to work over Martina’s arm. There’s some old-school cheating behind the ref’s back as Jetta was getting baited, as the Woke Queens continually focused on Martina’s arm. Of course, it eventually backfires as the arm breaker led to Keitel working over Valkyrie’s arm because she’s still so hyper from the coffee that she couldn’t tell people apart. Figures.

Valkyrie’s able to come back, trapping Martina in a front facelock until the eventual tag out was made, with Martina overcoming some double-teaming as Jetta came in to throw the Woke Queens around. A low blow from Keitel stops a back cracker from Jetta, but they couldn’t avoid a double team flying Seshbreaker from Martina, who made her own comeback, almost winning with a Jägerbomb. Instead though, the Woke Queens hit back as Keitel’s clothesline put paid to Martina, before another back cracker from Jetta was broken up, allowing Valkyrie to win with a roll-up. Well, they played this for comedy and it worked, but this felt a little… weird. That’s two months in a row that the tag title picture here has been murky, with the champions either not in action nor defending… heck, not even with contenders being cued up. **¾

Time for the burlesque act as this is apparently only a five-match bill? Check ‘em…

Pro Wrestling EVE Championship Number One Contender’s Tournament Final: Millie McKenzie vs. Roxxy
There’s an interruption before we got going as Rhia O’Reilly and her crew appeared for a closer view of the final.

Roxxy starts by taking Millie down in an armbar, sending her scurrying to the ropes with some tickling. Is that allowed as a submission? They keep things somewhat slow paced too, with Millie fighting out of a toe hold, before some headscissors were used to keep Millie on the mat.

McKenzie got free, but was quickly on the deck again, this time using headscissors to wrench away on Roxxy, who used a headstand and a splits to get her way out. Elbows keep Roxxy in the corner, but she’s able to find her way back with a single-leg dropkick after some misdirection, before a slingshot knees in the corner built up to a near-fall. Millie’s back with a dropkick of her own, taking Roxxy into the ropes again as some chops continued to wear down Roxxy. A spear’s countered with a roll-up for a near-fall, as Millie snapped back in with a Twist and Shout neckbreaker for a near-fall, before some kicks left Roxxy in a heap. It’s almost too easy for Millie, at least until Roxxy fought back with some tiltawhirl headscissors as the fightback was on.

Running elbows send Millie back into the ropes, before a STO drops Millie for a two-count. Go behinds led to a thwarted O’Connor roll as Roxxy had to pratfall Millie ahead of a wacky submission, where she tied up the legs ahead of a reverse Octopus… but Millie slips free and got to the ropes. That hold seemed to tweak Millie’s leg, as she was backing off… but it’s a ruse as she charges into Roxxy with a German suplex. A headbutt stops Millie briefly, until a stunner put Roxxy down, as the pair were going tit-for-tat with strikes until a sunset bomb from Roxxy sent Millie crashing into the corner for another near-fall. Millie goes for another German suplex, but ends up getting rolled through for a stomp… which was added to with another stomp off the top as Millie rolled outside for cover.

Trapping Millie in the ropes, a hanging DDT followed as Roxxy quickly pulls her into a Dragon sleeper in the middle of the ring… only for Charli Evans to appear with the Kendo stick that bust open Roxxy’s mouth last month. Millie tries to use it, but instead Roxxy got it and was tempted with a free shot at Charli Evans. Which she took, with interest, to the back. That distraction opened it up though, with Roxxy getting a spear… only to roll-up Millie with a crucifix while being pinned to win the final. A pretty solid final, which they kept a straight-up match without any distractions or whatnot from the outside. ***

After the match, Rhia, Nightshade and Livvii circle Roxxy and tease an attack, especially since Roxxy got pulled in on a handshake. Sure enough, it came as Rhia walked away… but there’s a quick save as Jayla Dark’s music and video cued her run-in. Jayla’s not been around EVE since last year’s WrestleQueendom, and recently announced that she’ll be retiring in September…

Dark was announced on commentary as “the one woman girl gang”, so clearly a good guy having been part of the Deserving squad, last fighting against Rhia O’Reilly. At least that bit is still true! She’s here to get payback for Viper, having had her last night in EVE ruined… and since Jayla can’t get a shot at the belt because of that impending retirement, she’s going to take down her new-found army. Cue impromptu bonus match!

Jayla Dark vs. Nightshade
Jayla’s return as a good guy is getting a markedly better reception that Sammii Jayne’s was, it must be said…

Nightshade charges at Dark, but ends up missing as she eats some forearms as the Scotswoman put a beating to her with some stomps and a face-washing boot. Some elbows get Nightshade back in it, taking Dark into the corner for some ruinous hip attacks and a cannonball. That barely gets Nightshade a one-count, as she followed up with a back senton that grazed Dark… who got all of hers for a near-fall. Livvii Grace tries to provide a distraction, but she’s taken down by Roxxy (off camera), as a spear from Nightshade lands for a near-fall. Dark’s quickly back with a death valley driver as Nightshade seemed to struggle for wrist control… and that’s the win.

That’s a win to re-establish Jayla for a farewell run, as the show ended with Rhia trash-talking her and Roxxy on the apron…

After a month off, EVE have a busy September, with their regular Resistance Gallery show on-tap in addition to their scheduled debut in Stratford two weeks later as the road to SHE-1 continues. It’s easy to forget given that the last one was recent, but WrestleQueendom 3 is less than six months away… and there’s a lot to get on track with. Rhia O’Reilly’s official in-ring return from injury (not counting the title win at York Hall, or the Kris Wolf gauntlet appearance) is likely to headline September’s Resistance Gallery show, which should at least put the title “back in play”… and as for the tag titles… well, that’s a picture that so far has yet to be painted.