The SHE-1 continued on Saturday night, with the second show of four giving us our first injury sub of the weekend…
We’re watching this on-demand from a sold out Resistance Gallery in Bethnal Green, London. Pretty soon after the afternoon show, news broke of an injury to Aleah James, who’d been forced to pull out of the remainder of the tournament with a back injury. Leah Owens and Sierra Loxton remain on commentary… although I’m having to watch this on mute because the YouTube stream replay has the sound massively out of sync.
SHE-1 2019 Block B: Gisele Shaw vs. Millie McKenzie
Millie’s playing up being Emily’s “best friend”, which is some mischievousness waiting to happen.
We start up with Shaw trading holds with Millie, only to end up on the mat as McKenzie went for an armbar. Shaw returned with a hammerlock on the deck, but a rope break saves Millie as the feeling-out process continued. Another struggle of holds led to Millie grabbing a waistlock, only for Shaw to go to the ropes to void a German suplex… only to fall to a spinning neckbreaker as Millie looked to draw first blood. Shaw responds by snapping Millie’s legs back, as she looked to destroy McKenzie’s vertical base, stomping away on the knee before she resorted to a toe hold. More kicks to the leg left Millie in agony, as did another toe-hold, but switching between those attacks ended up giving Millie the chance to get free, using an enziguiri before she started chopping away on Shaw.
McKenzie finds her way in with an Octopus stretch, pulling her down into the ropes though as a break was called for. Millie tries for a German suplex, but Shaw fought free and hit a half-nelson suplex for a near-fall, before some Angel’s Wings got Millie back in for a near-fall. The audio of the match has spoiled the finish at this point (good job I watched live!), as Millie again tries for a German suplex, only for Shaw to escape and roll her into a bridging Trailer Hitch for the submission. A nice finish as Shaw’s work throughout the match paid off – and that aggression from the opener’s continuing here into more of a snarl than anything competitive. ***
SHE-1 2019 Block C: Jetta vs. Mei Suruga
How have people not figured out to learn the words to “Nobody Does It Better” when Jetta’s wrestling? If you’re in crowds for her matches long enough, you’ll eventually be asked to do karaoke…
Jetta offers a handshake to Mei from the off, and it’s graciously accepted. I think Mei breathed a sigh of relief after that… but Jetta just took her down, almost apologetically, as she was looking for her first ever SHE-1 win. Mei responds with a hammerlock, which drew exasperation from the veteran, who responded by almost being rolled up… then by getting rolled around the ring by Sugura for a near-fall. We’ve got some comedy from there as a dazed Jetta rolls up the referee… with Mei counting the pin. Jetta celebrates, then promptly shat herself realising what’d happened, as Suruga comes back with the springboard armdrags and the stomps before she pulled Jetta into a bow and arrow-ish hold. Some misdirection got Jetta back in as she clattered Mei with a shoulder tackle, before she looked to force a submission with an armbar.
An Exploder suplex has Mei in the ropes for a near-fall, but she’s back with a doe-see-doe, only for Jetta’s airplane spin to get her back on top. Jetta borrows Mercedes Martinez’s Three Amigas… and gets them off… but she keeps going for four before she handed Mei to the ref so she could have a breather. Number five follows, but Mei countered with a roll-up for a near-fall, then with body scissors and a bulldog into the buckles.
Jetta countered a second one by hanging Mei in a Tree of Woe, following in with a dropkick for a two-count, following up with a grounded Cobra Clutch… but Jetta’s Million Dollar Dream turned into a nightmare when she went for a Jetta lock, only for Mei to counter with a roll-up for the win! Jetta’s 0 for 2 yet again, and her SHE-1 is over… as Mei got on the board in her second match. Some good stuff here, with Jetta playing up well to the experience advantage without it ever seeming patronising. ***
SHE-1 2019 Block A: Kasey vs. Angel Hayze
Kasey’s looking for a win to keep her chances alive here… but having lot to Mercedes Martinez already, it’s an uphill battle.
The early echanges saw Hayze go for a wristlock, but Kasey easily reverses the hold, taking the Scotswoman down for an armbar and an early pinning attempt, before Kasey used a cravat to roll Angel into a sleeperhold on the mat. They continue to cycle through holds, but Kasey just slaps Hayze away… but the relative rookie hit back, ducking a PK and hitting some kicks of her own for a near-fall. Kasey’s back in though, beating down on Hayze before wrenching back on her with a chinlock that ended in the ropes. A suplex gets Kasey a near-fall, so it’s back to the camel clutch-like grip, then another cobra clutch, with Hayze fighting free before she was struck with a back elbow. An arrogant, single-handed pin gets a near-fall for Kasey, who went back to the cobra clutch… but again Angel got free and side-stepped as Kasey went for the knees in the corner.
Hayze tries to charge in, but gets caught with a hanging armbar in the ropes, before she made a comeback with some running forearms. Angel keeps going with a superkick, before she rolled a Fisherman’s suplex into a guillotine choke…but Kasey rolls up and charges into the corner to break it up. The running knees follow, but Angel responds with a Slingblade for a near-fall, before Kasey hit back with the uranage/Sky High powerbomb for the win. Hayze looked pretty good in defeat here, but Kasey made her experience edge count as she finally picked up her first SHE-1 win. Ever. ***¼
SHE-1 2019 Block A: Mercedez Blaze vs. Mercedes Martinez
Blaze was subbing for an injured Aleah James, and she’ll be picking up her (no) points for the rest of the tournament.
Blaze tried to outsmart Martinez early on, rolling underneath an early clothesline attempt as Blaze did the dumb thing and flipped off Martinez. Cue chops and forearms as the veteran looked to end things early, following up with more of the same in the corner. Blaze turned it around with a knee in the corner, before she wrapped Martinez’s leg in the corner…but a follow-up superplex was shoved away as Blaze instead had to go for a ‘rana out of the corner instead.
A shotgun dropkick’s next from Blaze, then the running knees and a spinning neckbreaker as she looked to pick up the upset. Martinez responds with a spinebuster for a near-fall, as she tried to force her way back in with a variety of blows, that led to a suplex as she teased the Three Amigas. Blaze fights back with forearms, then with a hip attack on the top rope as a spear took down Martinez for a near-fall… right as the audio spoiled the result. Martinez fights out of a death valley driver, wriggling onto the apron before she hit a running goddamn knee of death and a release Fisherman’s suplex for the win. Good effort from Blaze, but in the end the experience edge was enough for the veteran to make it to four points. ***
SHE-1 2019 Block B: Nicole Savoy vs. Laura di Matteo
Di Matteo comes into this with a win from earlier in the afternoon, while a loss for Nicole Savoy would eliminate her.
We got going with Savoy testing Laura with some kicks, only for the Italian to try and roll down the American for an ankle lock. They matched each other move for move on the mat, before Laura forced Savoy to powder outside for a break following a hiptoss and dropkick… but Laura just follows her out there with a dive. Back in the ring, Savoy puts the boots to di Matteo, following up with a snapping armbar as she tried to lever Laura’s shoulder out of its socket. More arm work followed with a hammerlock from Savoy, who trapped the arm ahead of a rear naked choke, which ended in the ropes. Undeterred, Savoy keeps up the beating as a series of kicks knock di Matteo down in the corner, but a tornado DDT gets Laura back in it as she almost won the match out of nowhere.
A gutwrench suplex from di Matteo’s reversed as Savoy lands it instead for a near-fall, with Savoy staying on top with a slam getting another two-count. Savoy switches it up by trapping Laura’s arms behind her head, forcing a rope break, before some knees forced a comeback… which came in the form of headscissors and a clothesline. Savoy lifts Laura to the apron, but di Matteo’s back in with a missile dropkick for a near-fall… and after she survived a German suplex, quickly pulled down Savoy into a grounded Octopus stretch. Savoy rolls around to get to the rope, still with Laura on her, only for di Matteo to reapply it moments later after dragging Savoy away from the ropes. Second time wasn’t the charm though, as Savoy got back to the ropes, then came back out with a dropkick, but Laura’s quickly back on top, kicking out of a Magistral cradle before she came back with a lungblower and a gutwrench tombstone for the win. A hard-fought outing, but in the end Laura’s road to another title shot seemed to be destined here, as evidenced with the win. ***¼
SHE-1 2019 Block C: Jazz vs. Rhia O’Reilly
A win puts Rhia through, and she started out the aggressor with a lock-up… but Jazz rolled with her around the ropes as neither woman relented.
Jazz seemed nonplussed by Rhia’s attempts to get under her skin, like when she got lifted up top and patted on the head. A slap underscored that, as the match quickly descended into strikes, before Jazz’s star jumps just annoyed Rhia, as we’re back to the strikes. O’Reilly stops it by taking Jazz into the corner with shoulder charges, before a snapmare out of the corner and a Curt Hennig neck flip left Jazz in a heap.
O’Reilly heads outside for a chair, but we get the comedy “swing, miss, and hit myself” off the ropes spot, as Jazz proceeded to set up that same chair, before she choked on Rhia in the ropes. Jazz takes it outside, throwing Rhia off the apron before a running boot took things into the crowd, where Rhia’s whipped into a bin. Dann’s there to help keep things calm, but Rhia has other ideas, heading towards the bar and it’s notoriously iffy lighting. Good job there’s cameras flashing from the crowd to provide some lighting! Rhia gets whipped across the Resistance Gallery, then thrown into a wall repeatedly as we’re back to wrestling in shadows as Rhia looked to take over. Jazz tries to fight back, but Rhia clubs her down before they headed back towards the ring, with Rhia being pulled into the ring post repeatedly.
Back inside, Rhia’s caught with a Jazz Stinger onto the chair for a near-fall before Jazz began to stomp on O’Reilly’s repaired knee. Rhia’s back with a knee of her own ahead of a DDT onto the chair… and that’s it! A little out of nowhere, but I guess after you’ve done a crowd brawl and some weapons stuff, there wasn’t too much more you can do. I’m not a fan of crowd brawls in the ResGal, especially as a packed crowd really limits the available offence… but I get why they did it – the bad guy needed to take a shortcut to beat the revered veteran after all. **¾
The evening show was a slight step up from the afternoon’s affair, but I’d say if you’re going to watch, wait for it to hit EVE on Demand and sign-up there – the audio sync issues make it impossible to watch on YouTube in its current form. Another quick half-dozen matches set the stage nicely for the final round of block matches on the Sunday… which we’ll have to wait to hit on-demand as the YouTube stream only covered Saturday’s pair of shows.
So your standings after the first day… we’ve already got one qualifier for the final as Rhia O’Reilly’s two wins today left her untouchable on tie-breakers, as her opponent for show three (Jetta) unable to match her score.
Block A: Mercedes Martinez (2-0; 4pts); Angel Hayze, Kasey (1-1; 2pts); Mercedez Blaze* (0-2; 0pts)
Block B: Laura di Matteo (2-0; 4pts) Millie McKenzie, Gisele Shaw (1-1; 2pts); Nicole Savoy (0-2; 0pts)
Block C: Rhia O’Reilly (2-0; 4pts); Jazz, Mei Suruga (1-1; 2pts); Jetta (0-2; 0pts)
* Mercedez Blaze substituted for Aleah James, and took on her points record