EVE returned to the Resistance Gallery at the end of September for Jayla Dark’s final appearance in Bethnal Green.
I know I’m picky, but that new-ish opening video with the new EVE slogan stuck over it is setting off my OCDs… Dann Read and Sierra Loxton are on commentary.
Priscilla Kelly vs. Jetta
It’s an EVE debut for Kelly on her first tour of the UK… while Jetta came out with a rediscovered/remodelled EVE tag team titles, which look suspiciously inspired by the old WWF Intercontinental strap. I swear those things had a sticker on before…
Emily randomly reminds us that Jetta was one half of the tag team champions at the end here. Foreshadowing. Priscilla starts with a cravat as she took down Jetta for a licking, which drew a pantomine-like “that’s disgusting” from the crowd before Kelly went for a Test of Strength… of course, it’s got to be gross, so she reaches into her trunks to add a little extra to it. A slap adds insult, before Jetta grounds Priscilla so she can dig out some hand sanitizer to clean her up. Okay, that was funny.
Kelly comes right back with an armbar, including some, erm, boob biting? Forearms follow in the corner, as does a thrust kick that dropped Jetta for a near-fall. Priscilla walks all over Jetta, but gets tripped down before Jetta got her own back, as a lot of the comedy spots kinda got overplayed on commentary. A forearm from Kelly knocks Jetta into the ropes ahead of some stretching, then a dropkick to the back for a near-fall. Kelly grosses it up some more as she fish-hooks Jetta after having gone into her trunks again, but that just fires up Jetta as she lands a neckbreaker and a fish-hooking Muta lock. Another exchange of forearms ends with a STO from Priscilla for a near-fall, before a grounded Octopus stretch was broken in the ropes.
Jetta fires back with a lungblower and a suplex, before Kelly tried to win with a roll-up and a handful of tights… but Jetta gets a poke to the eye in then won the same way, outdoing Priscilla at her own game. Comedy-wise, this was alright, but this was an outing better seen live – without commentary walking over it all. **½
After the match, Kelly got a “please come back” chant, before Jetta addressed having the tag title belt back… although it’d be the last time she’d hold it. Jetta mentioned that her and Erin Angel could no longer “perform as a tag team”, with no reason given… so she vacates the belts, then thanked Erin “for their years” together as a tournament would be held in October to determine the new champions.
Holidead vs. Gisele Shaw
This was a SHE-1 qualifier, and it started with Holidead trying and failing with a jump start.
Holy crap, this has a 30 minute limit?!
Shaw hit first with a springboard ‘rana, which took Holidead outside for a Tornillo – or the Air Canada, as she’s labelled it. At least until the airline gets wind of it… Back in the ring, Holidead chopped Shaw silly, before a Tree of Woe added to, erm, her woes. A missed boot in the corner turns it around, but Holidead quickly recovers… and finds out that EVE doesn’t believe in count outs.
Shaw’s back with a satellite DDT, before things descended into back-and-forth forearms. A Curt Hennig-ish neck flip drops Holidead for a two-count, as does a springboard cutter, before Holidead caught a crossbody and turned it into a spinebuster. Holidead keeps up with a Samoan drop for a near-fall, only to get caught with a thrust kick and the Monarch Butterfly – a tornillo into a knee drop – for the win. Gisele has a thing for airlines, eh? This was nice and brisk, wrapped up in a shade under ten minutes, with a tonne of action. Good stuff! ***¼
Jinny vs. Kanji
Kanji’s been given the nickname “the Firestarter”… perhaps as a nod to her being seen as a prodigy?
The obvious chants didn’t impress Jinny, who went in for a headlock takedown… but Kanji’s out easy and quickly working on the arm, only for Jinny to escape and take Kanji back down in a front facelock. They stay on the mat, as Jinny continued to work on Kanji’s arm, before they broke down into a series of ref-trolling one-counts.
Kanji sweeps the leg and lands a legdrop on Jinny, before a handspring enziguiri drew a near-fall. Jinny responds by simply throwing Kanji into the mat, but a springboard gets Kanji back in it, before some rolling O’Connor rolls allowed Jinny to counter back with a seated surfboard a la Liger. Kanji responds with a STO, rolling through ahead of a low dropkick to Jinny… but the NXT UK star’s not done, cracking Kanji with a forearm to swat away a springboard, before a second forearm drew another near-fall. A barrage of palm strikes take down Kanji, before Jinny went for a Style Clash… it’s kicked out of as Kanji retaliated with a slingshot spear, before an Acid Rainmaker from Jinny got the win. Good stuff, with Kanji giving this her best shot… but in the end, Jinny was able to squeak past. ***
Nina Samuels vs. Sammii Jayne vs. Tsukasa Fujimoto
Fujimoto was making her EVE-in-London debut as she’d be having Jayla Dark’s retirement match the next night. Nina’s mad about not being featured much in EVE’s highlight packages, but then she remembers she’s on the NXT UK entrance video so it doesn’t really matter. Even though she proceeded to demand a Nina-only video to open the October EVE show… whenever it is.
We open with a three-way knuckle lock, but Nina pushes both opponents back in a Test of Strength before the tables turned with a series of roll-ups as everyone trolled the ref with two-counts. Nina took a beating as Sammii and Tsukasa took their shots on her, before they focused on each other, before Nina returned to ruin a handshake. Samuels hits a neat reverse suplex, dropping Fujimoto onto Sammii, before a tiltawhirl backbreaker dropped Tsukasa for a near-fall. Sammii’s back with a double-jump missile dropkick to Nina as the Scotswoman pushed on, before a neckbreaker left Nina laying.
Fujimoto’s back with a missile dropkick that sent Sammii flying, before a series of kicks had Nina in agony on the mat, leading to a near-fall. Samuels’ slam barely affects Fujimoto, before a trio of kicks left all three women down. After getting back to her feet, Fujimoto broke ahead, scoring with a version of Martina’s Jägerbomb before trapping Sammii in an Octopus. She’s quickly caught in a wheelbarrow facebuster by Samuels, but Sammii Jayne keeps it ticking along, only to get shoved outside as Tsukasa ended up getting hung up in the ropes as a Code Red was blocked. One Go 2 Sleep later… and Nina walks out with the win. Action packed and all kinds of fun, with Fujimoto really standing out on her first outing at the ResGal. ***¼
Sierra Loxton’s introduced to ringside next – she updates the crowd on her recovery from a broken back; and that once the screws are out of her back next year, she’ll be able to wrestle again. That’s a heck of an update, considering how bleak things originally looked…
Mercedez Blaze vs. Trish Adora
This isn’t a SHE-1 qualifier of anything, just a match… and it starts with Blaze grabbing a headlock and clinging on for dear life, before taking Adora into the corner…
But Trish is right back with a series of armdrags, before a roundhouse kick almost took Blaze’s head off. It’s ducked, as Mercedes drops her in the corner, following in with a butterfly suplex for a near-fall, before she caught Adora on the top rope with a Trish Stratus-like ‘rana. A rear naked choke from Blaze looked to have Adora in trouble, but Trish gets up and backs into the corner to break the hold. Mercedes reapplies it, so a running stunner/chinbreaker gets her free for reals, before some clotheslines helped Trish to get ahead, as the match then descended into a battle of strikes.
Blaze’s hip attack caught Adora ahead of a spear off the middle rope, but it’s not enough as Adora’s able to get back up, going to the top rope… only to get crotched and met with a Tower of London for the win. This was fine, but since the majority of the crowd didn’t know what Blaze’s finish was, this felt like it ended all of a sudden. That’s two singles wins for Blaze and Jinny, as the Diamond Vogue Collective push for the tag titles. **¾
Skye Smitson vs. Roxxy
Having had her run as EVE champion undone by some CTRL+Z from the official last time out, Roxxy’s presumably looking to have another shot.
Skye’s back in a singles capacity, having tagged with Rebel Kinney six weeks earlier… she proves to be a bit of a roadblock early on as Roxxy’s shoulder tackles had no effect, but Roxxy’s dropkick sure did… only for Smitson to hit one of her own. I mean, they’ve dubbed her the “Queen of the Dropkicks”, so you’ve kind of got to to live up to that nickname.
Roxxy keeps in with a suplex, only to get a receipt as Skye looked to roll through for a Falcon arrow, landing it for a near-fall. A spinebuster from Skye keeps her ahead, but Roxxy’s strikes have Skye bleeding ahead of a wheelbarrow/double stomp. Skye tries to build back, but she’s caught in the turnbuckles with a DDT, before a flying stomp put her away. Brave effort from Smitson, but Roxxy was always on the cards to get a win as she looked to get back to the title picture. ***
Solo Darling vs. Emi Sakura
There’s still no Officer Magnum. Remember when EVE had some pugs who almost took the spotlight at every show? Emi Sakura’s still rocking the Freddie Mercury jacket, and all the Queen puns you can shake a stick at…
Emi looks for a Test of Strength, but gets kicked in the leg instead before a simple toe hold had her in trouble. At least until Solo let go, as Emi’s able to lean back and grab a headlock, as the pair went back and forth on the mat, before Emi burst into rage with snapmares and a surfboard stretch that led to Solo being popped away. Kicks from Solo provide an instant response, before a pair of Honey Steamer tornado suplexes had Sakura stunned. A tornado bulldog’s next, as was a Figure Four, only for Emi to get back with a splash in the corner and a butterfly backbreaker, before a Flatliner dumped Solo in the middle of the ring.
A chop battle broke out, before Emi finally blocked a Honey Steamer… before Solo went for a rope-walk ‘rana for a near-fall. Darling adds to that with a death valley driver, but she gets caught on the top rope… falling right by the wall as Sakura proceeded to hit a crossbody through the ropes ahead of a draping butterfly backbreaker. Solo kicks out from all that though, then started another strike battle before a pumphandle slam nearly got the win. The Sharp Stinger’s next from Solo, but Emi gets to the rope before quickly snatching the win with a La Magistral after a little over ten minutes. A heck of a sprint, which did good for Solo towards the end of her UK tour… although with Emi Sakura already having been announced as potentially finishing up here, this felt a little… weird, I guess? ***½
Why yes, I do skip forward… it’s just not my thing.
No Disqualification: Jayla Dark vs. Rhia O’Reilly
Rhia’s title isn’t on the line here… and christ, we’ve got almost half an hour left when the netrances start, so this is going to be Jayla’s last hurrah at the ResGal.
Jayla ran wild early on before we had the obligatory “into the crowd” spot… barely 40 seconds in. That has to be a record. They brawl around the bar, throwing each other into the walls around the ResGal, while the barman was pretty damn clingy to his bottle of Jameson whiskey, which of course meant that Rhia used it as a weapon, hitting Jayla in the back with it before they returned to the ring.
Uh, and indeed, oh.
Charging Jayla into the corner gave Rhia enough time to head outside for a staple gun, which she used to, erm… staple her nether regions. There’s staples up top too, going all over the hair before we saw the referee conspicuously throw away something. I don’t know what, because Jayla didn’t come up bleeding…
In the meantime, Rhia’s tossed chairs into the ring, which she’s thrown into with such force one of them breaks, before Dark headed outside and grabbed a motorcycle helmet to prevent against retaliatory chairshots. Smart. Rhia tests it, and finds out the hard way the helmet works, before Jayla tossed some her way, then threw the helmet at her.
A back senton misses, which gave Rhia the opportunity to use said chairs, before she brought in… a sheet of plywood? The two struggle after it’s propped up in the corner, but Jayla’s eventually suplexed through it, before Rhia went out and grabbed a spool of barbed wire, like she did at the last show. Except this time, she wraps the wire around the ropes, and at least the ref isn’t helping her like in every other plunder match you get on the indies.
Rhia stops after covering a few feet of the ropes in wire, but Wrestling Logic dictates that she must end up in the wire… and sure as shit, she does. A dropkick sends her back into the barbs, before a reverse STO dropped Rhia for a near-fall. We’ve more plunder as Jayla gets a table, while Nina Samuels glitches out on commentary. That table’s set up as Dark goes for a superplex, but instead Jayla gets pushed down… she climbs back up and screamed “I regret nothing” before pulling herself and Rhia back into the table… with Rhia landing on top of her to score the win. Err… what? Even commentary sold it as Jayla sacrificing herself, but I didn’t quite get what the stakes, or indeed, what the reasons were for that. Finish aside, this was an entertaining plunder match, even if you got the feeling that the ResGal crowd didn’t quite give this the gravity it perhaps was looking for. Especially when the bitter rivals celebrated with cans of cider moments afterwards. ***
After the match, Dann Read got the crowd going for Jayla, before they played a video package to mark her retirement at the ResGal, showing her initial repackagign as Jayla Dark, all the way through to her appearance at the first WrestleQueendom… and recent highlights. I get there were reasons why, but I do wonder how much bigger this particular retirement tour would have felt had she not been away from EVE for so long before it?
It’s noteworthy that EVE are continuing to lean into their sorta-GLOW direction here, giving almost everyone a nickname (although thankfully, not as outlandish as GLOW or Wrestlicious – I’d rather take “dropkick queen” as a nickname, rather than an entire character with Skye Smitson wearing a crown and the like), but this slight transition feels a little weird. Still, for this show, like the first half of most double-header shows, this felt like a bit of a softball that was pitched, and at least hit as EVE were back in the unfortunately familiar position of saying their goodbyes…