The finals of 2019’s SHE-1 were all-but-confirmed as the Resistance Gallery hosted some Sunday afternoon graps…
There was more injury news overnight as Nicole Savoy and Angel Hayze joined were ruled out of the show – their replacements came in the form of Rebel Kinney and Ayesha Raymond (making her first EVE appearance in almost two years) respectively. This Sunday afternoon slice of action is back at the Resistance Gallery, with Leah Owens and Sierra Loxton back on commentary.
SHE-1 2019 Block C: Mei Suruga vs. Jazz
Mei’s unable to progress due to tie-breakers, so survival is the name of the game here.
Jazz almost took mercy on Mei from the off, but instead opted for a Test of Strength. The crowd was up for it anyway, as was Mei… who was easily overpowered as Jazz instantly went into her book of tricks, taking Suruga into the corner by the hair. Mei’s back with the springboard armdrags, but Jazz puts on the brakes before Suruga took her into the corner for… a playful pat on the head. Mei keeps doing it, booping Jazz… and eventually she pays with a headbutt, as it threatened to become one-way traffic, with Jazz clubbing Mei in the middle of the ring. Throwing Mei down just gets a one-count, so Jazz tries to choke out the rookie. It doesn’t work, as Suruga got free, but she gets caught out as her sunset flip was blocked… before she just poked Jazz in the eye!
Mei found a second wind, charging Jazz into the turnbuckle, then into the wall. I guess Emi told her about it after all! Dropkicks from Mei keep her on top, but a sudden Michinoku driver out of nowhere got Jazz the win. Jazz just misses out on tie-breakers then, while Mei’s brave debut ends with just one win… as for this match, it was a cracker between a veteran and a newbie, and one that you shouldn’t skip over if you’re cherry picking from the 18 SHE-1 outings this year. ***¼
SHE-1 2019 Block A: Mercedez Blaze vs. Kasey
Kasey would need a win here and a win for Angel Hayze’s replacement later on to make a play-off for the finals, thanks to her loss to “Mercedes with a S” yesterday… while this was a chance for “Mercedez with a Z” to get on the board.
Kasey told Blaze, in no uncertain terms, she’d have to go through her to prove herself… and offered a free shot at the bell. Forearms didn’t work, so Kasey just blasted Blaze as the pair went shot for shot, before Blaze returned fire with a shoulder tackle. A neckbreaker’s next as Mercedez stayed on top of the Northern Irishwoman, but Kasey turns it around, dumping Blaze in the buckles.
Some clubbering on the mat from Kasey keeps Blaze at bay, as did an armbar that ended in the ropes. A handspring back elbow gives Mercedez a breather, as did a shotgun dropkick and a butterfly suplex into the corner, eventually getting Blaze a near-fall. She looks to underline it all, but Blaze gets taken into the corner for a running knee, with a DDT nearly getting the win. Kasey keeps up with a low dropkick, but she’s surprised with a spear off the middle rope before she snatched a win with a roll-up. This was a good little outing, with Kasey initially dominating, before she dug deep to grab the win just as Mercedez was getting her way back into things. ***
SHE-1 2019 Block C: Jetta vs. Rhia O’Reilly
Jetta’s still looking for her first ever SHE-1 win… and with Rhia already confirmed as a finalist… could it be?
Well, Rhia tried to talk Jetta into walking out of the match… and the first few minutes pass as Jetta points out that Rhia’s dad was even against her. Tick tock. Eventually Rhia threw the first shot, taking Jetta into the ropes for knees to the midsection as commentary put over the brace. A seated surfboard stretch agonises Jetta, as did some stomps to the back… but Jetta outsmarted Rhia and took her into the corner for all the punches she was too scared to give Jazz.
Mounted boob punches follow, which just annoyed Rhia, who came back with clotheslines before a running boot and a neckbreaker got Jetta right back in it. At least for a brief moment, as Rhia quickly turned it around and choked on Jetta right in front of her dad. Crossface punches follow from Rhia, then a low dropkick to take Jetta outside, where Rhia’s dad got another close-up view. Jetta strikes back by pounding Rhia’s knee, attacking it with a can and some forearms, which hushed the crowd as everyone thought Rhia’d done it again. Of course it’s a ruse, as Jetta’s tossed with an Exploder, bringing the crowd right on Rhia’s back again for faking the injury. It’s one-way traffic from there, as commentary started to drop hints about the time limit.
Rhia trips Jetta out of the corner ahead of a standing STF, throwing in some fish hooks for good measure, as the EVE champion wasn’t pulling any punches. Jetta’s lifted to the top rope, but she’s able to come out with a twisting reverse DDT out of the corner. A Finlay roll puts Jetta back down as a back senton almost earned the win, before Jetta tried to snatch a win with a roll-up… only to find out they were too close to the ropes. A lungblower’s next for a two-count, before Jetta hit the back cracker… and floated in for the Jetta lock, but Rhia’s able to roll into the ropes for an eventual break. Using the ref as a cover, Rhia lands her Rhiadjustment DDT for a near-fall… but it’s not enough, and that just angers Rhia into berating the referee she’d already been convinced was against hear.
We’re into the final few minutes as Rhia flattened Jetta with a curb stomp… but rather than going for a pin, a crossface followed as Jetta looked to cling on for another draw. Jetta went one better, getting to the ropes, before Rhia began to spam curb stomps, hitting three in a row as the clock kept ticking. Rhia re-applies the crossface as we hit the final minute, but as the clock counted down, Jetta pushed up and managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat as she pinned the champ. Well, that’ll show her for being too arrogant…this was a well worked match that had me thinking they were teasing a draw, but they went one better. My only criticism here was that this didn’t feel to be part of any immediate story, but hey, if Jetta’s in 2020’s SHE-1, put the house on her finishing with three points (don’t). ***¼
SHE-1 2019 Block A: Ayesha Raymond vs. Mercedes Martinez
Raymond was subbing for Angel Hayze, but this was virtually a gimme for Martinez, who had to win to make the evening’s finals.
Martinez was the early aggressor here, grabbing and clinging on with a side headlock before some kicks had Raymond down for a goddamn running knee. That looked nasty, regardless of where it hit. Raymond responded with a Japanese stranglehold, but Martinez struck back, literally, taking Raymond into the corner for some shoulder charges. A battle of suplexes saw Raymond haul up Martinez for a stalling suplex, eventually dumping her down to the mat as that stranglehold was reapplied. Martinez again gets free as the pair began to trade shots, with Ayesha scooping up Martinez for a tombstone… which is escaped as Martinez rolled her way into a takedown as a curb stomp almost got the win. Nice to see EVE joining Seth Rollins in killing that as a finish lately!
Ayesha’s back with a Fisherman suplex that rolled into a Falcon arrow, as both women ended up on the mat as they refused to hold back. Martinez slipped out of a powerbomb, but she ended up landing badly, almost in an Alley Oop, before she shot back with a sudden roll-up to get the win. Save for a few moments, Raymond looked solid despite being called at late notice, but that finish almost derailed things for sure. Mercedes ends the SHE-1 with a 100% record, and surely the favourite for the evening’s final. ***
SHE-1 2019 Block B: Rebel Kinney vs. Gisele Shaw
Despite having been announced on commentary as “taking time away”, the lure of the SHE-1 was too great for Rebel Kinney, who’s back on her own now Skye Smitson’s travelling.
We get a wacky new chant to the tune of John Cena’s music, as Kinney’s going to have the fans on-side against a more aggressive Gisele Shaw, who was dishing out single-finger salutes. A win here for Shaw would put her on four points, and potentially setting up for a play-off. Kinney tried to win this early with roll-ups, similar to what we saw with James and Hayze on the first show, before Shaw just slapped her away. Rebel’s back with a shoulder charge into the corner, following up with a headbutt. Yep, the one-liners are staying. Shaw took offence and looked to go to work on the arm, throwing in some meaty chops for the fun of it… but Kinney fought back in kind.
Shaw stops it by going back to the arm, while mocking the crowd with a bow. An overhead wristlock’s next, along with an eye poke, before some boot chokes looked to keep Kinney down. An Irish whip sent her twirling into the corner, but Rebel heads up and misses a back senton, almost getting pinned straight afterwards. Shaw throws another strong series of slaps, but that just fires up Kinney, who smashed back in with crossbodies and a fallaway slam, with a falling headbutt getting another two-count.
A side slam pushes Kinney even further, before Shaw elbowed out of a Fireman’s carry and landed another high kick, which led to a Fujiwara armbar for the submission. A decent showing from Kinney, who capitalised as Shaw’s arrogance threatened to cost her, but in the end, it was the Canadian’s aggression that did the job. I’m liking this side of Rebel – too many other promotions have used her in the relatively easy “diva” role. **¾
SHE-1 2019 Block B: Millie McKenzie vs. Laura Di Matteo
A win for Millie means we’ve got a three-way play-off on the evening show, while a win for Laura means she’s through with a 100% record.
Millie started by looking for a German suplex, but Laura took her to ground in an armbar, before the favour was returned. A roll-up from Laura nearly shocks, before she tripped Millie into the ropes for a dropkick to the back. Millie returns the favour with a roll-up, before she scored with a swinging neckbreaker that drew a two-count. Laura’s back with a suplex as they went tit-for-tat, before a series of dropkicks had Millie rolling to the ropes for cover. Heading up top, Laura’s forced to forearm Millie to the mat before she missed a missile dropkick… allowing Millie to respond with a shotgun dropkick that almost ended it.
Millie heads up, but got caught with a superplex, before the pair traded forearms back-and-forth… as Millie looked to pull ahead. A low dropkick trips di Matteo ahead of a diving back elbow, but McKenzie went for an Octopus hold and got caught out as Laura hit back with one of her own, which almost ended with a roll-up. From the kick-out, di Matteo’s back with an enziguiri before she went back to the grounded Octopus stretch. It’s escaped, as Millie eventually hit back with Angel’s Wings for a near-fall, before Laura’s tease of a tombstone ended with her getting German suplexed, then speared as Millie grabbed the win to force a play-off! A heck of a sprint to wrap up the afternoon show – as McKenzie, di Matteo and Shaw will need one more match to determine who’ll be in the finals. Cracking stuff. ***½
The Sunday afternoon show was easily the best of the round-robin cards from this year’s SHE-1 – keeping the card short and thereby making it an easy watch. No unnecessary bloat, no non-tournament matches – you’re in and out quickly, with some really good wrestling to boot. If you’ve skipped the first two shows for whatever reason, dive in on show three to see how everyone made it to the final…
Block A: Mercedes Martinez (3-0; 6pts); Kasey (2-1; 4pts); Ayesha Raymond* (1-2; 2pts); Mercedez Blaze* (0-3; 0pts)
Block B: Laura di Matteo, Millie McKenzie, Gisele Shaw (2-1; 4pts); Rebel Kinney* (0-3; 0pts)
Block C: Jazz, Rhia O’Reilly (2-1; 4pts); Jetta, Mei Suruga (1-2; 2pts)
Laura di Matteo, Millie McKenzie and Gisele Shaw will face off in a three-way play-off at the start of show four to decide who advances to the finals out of block B – while Rhia O’Reilly’s win over Jazz on show two earned her her spot in the finals via tiebreakers.
* Substitutions: Mercedes Blaze (for Aleah James), Ayesha Raymond (for Angel Hayze), Rebel Kinney (for Nicole Savoy). Substitutes inherited the points totals of the person they replaced.