Pro Wrestling EVE continued their path to WrestleQueendom 2 by celebrating their ninth anniversary… and with a couple of farewells to boot.
It’s back to the usually-packed Resistance Gallery here, and we’ve got Dann Read flying solo on commentary.
WrestleFriends (Erin Angel & Jetta) vs. Dis’nae Give a Fuck Princesses (Kay Lee Ray & Viper)
Normally I’d be a little annoyed at how, while EVE have a show at York Hall with indeterminate opponents for their new tag team titles, we’ve got a tag match here that has no obvious implications. However, in the days ahead of the show, EVE revealed that this was to be Kay Lee Ray and Viper’s final appearance for them at the Resistance Gallery. Yeah, “Mountain” was a thing here. For those who were hoping it wouldn’t… do you not know these crowds?
Referee Tom Scarborough called for “serious tag team wrestling”, and they go a little overboard on that. Jetta comparing her and Erin’s friendship to KLR and Viper’s starts something… like a pro wrestling equivalent of Mr. and Mrs. All of a sudden, some skipping ropes are thrown down from the heavens and we start skipping as the time limit starts to tick away on-screen.
Viper and Kay Lee Ray give up skipping and hog tie their opponents in the ropes, before shoving them down for some near-falls. The referee unties them as we then get a game of Twister. Sadly, non-title. Somehow, they managed to manipulate Twister into some wrestling moves, with Kay Lee turning into a single leg crab, which deserves all the stars in the world for that. They give up Twister for… Hungry Hungry Hippos, as EVE waits for a toy company sponsorship. Jetta knocks the board away… and gets her wrist slapped as the match finally gets going, I guess.
No, they all slip on the balls.
From piggybacks, they run the ropes, but it’s Viper and Kay Lee Ray who go down… then slap down their opponents before Kay Lee Ray looked to use Viper as a battering ram. All four women stayed in the ring, with Kay Lee Ray chopping down Jetta like a tree… and that led to a chop battle that somehow had the ref chopping Jetta.
Jetta gets her own back though, before Viper squashed her and Erin with a crossbody on the way to a near-fall. Hungry Hungry Hippos return as Jetta tried to use it as a weapon… but Viper disarms her and accidentally nails Kay Lee Ray with it as Erin’s crossbody almost stole the win. Viper returns fire with a stuffed VIper Driver on Erin Angel, but Jetta makes a save, before a pair of wheelbarrow roll-ups got the win with a little under 7 minutes to go.
Well, if you want to show someone what “normal” EVE is with a single match, that’s the one to go for!
After the match, we get teary farewells from Kay Lee Ray… but not Viper, who tells us they have one more match: at WrestleQueendom. Kay Lee says WrestleQueendom will be the last time they wrestle for EVE, before adding “for now”… with Viper adding “until we get fired”.
Charli Evans vs. Laura Di Matteo
With Millie McKenzie away on tour again, the Medusa Complex is represented solely by Charli Evans and her cap-stealing ways.
A running boot at the bell surprises di Matteo as Evans looked to win this one in short order, but a kick-out meant that Charli had a lot more to do… with a suplex dropping Laura ahead of a hammerlock. Laura tries to fight back, and succeeds with a roll-up out of the corner, then a crossbody, only to get decked with a clothesline.
Kicks from Evans fire up the Italian, but Laura can’t get out of the ropes as she had her leg torqued on. Another kick to the back draws a two-count, as di Matteo finally mounted a comeback, taking down Evans with headscissors and a dropkick. A forearm from the apron looked to keep Laura in it, but she’s taken to the top rope, then thrown into the balcony wall for a delayed two-count.
Laura fires back with a superkick and a DDT for a near-fall as Charli was suddenly on the back foot, but she clings onto the ropes and decked di Matteo with a forearm. Di Matteo replies with an uppercut as they go back and forth, ending with a springboard DDT from di Matteo. From their feet, we get chops back and forth until Laura trapped Charli with an Octopus by the ropes.
Charli quickly hits back with a roll-through and a superkick, before the Widow’s Peak led to a near-fall. Laura’s placed on the top rope, but she comes down with a missile dropkick, only for Charli to come back with a head kick. It’s shrugged off by Laura, who quickly puts Charli away with a snapmare driver for the win. A little on the brief side as commentary (when it arrived) seemed to use this more as a way to build up Laura’s eventual match with Jordynne Grace. **¾
Nina Samuels comes out to make an announcement for WrestleQueendom 2, as she’s still salty over the latest Bethnal Green Screwjob, thanks to Kris Wolf’s involvement in Nina’s title match. They replay that, with Nina talking over the taped commentary to complain about a slow count, then a fast count. Nina leans into how she won later in the night when Tom Scarborough, “a referee with the proper corporate training” counted her pin in the Kris Wolf Gauntlet.
Just as Nina was about to make an announcement, Jamie Hayter came out to chants of “default face”. Yeah… Good save there by Nina from the insider lingo. Jamie has her own announcement, which included her taking aim at Nina recycling promos like WWE recycles storylines. Well, that’ll get the crowd on her side. Jamie makes her call: she’s cashing in her SHE-1 win to face Utami for the EVE International title. I wouldn’t try to say Hayashishita either! Nina riles Jamie by reminding her of a loss to Emi Sakura… and long story short, we have a challenge as Nina proposes a match against Jamie. If Nina wins, she gets into the International title match.
Nicole Matthews vs. Little Miss Roxxy
This was Nicole’s first appearance in EVE since the first SHE-1 some 18 months earlier, which may explain why she was a little unfamiliar with the situation with the facilities here.
We start with some short jokes, which led to the crowd mocking Nicole for needing to pee. Yup. From there, the wrestling starts with Roxxy looking to work an arm, before Matthews scored with a headlock takedown as the pair kept it grounded in the early going. There’s a bridging backslide from Roxxy for a near-fall, before she leant back on Matthews in a double armbar stretch to force the Canadian to the ropes.
Roxxy keeps up up with elbows in the corner, then a dropkick, but Matthews came back with a neckbreaker in the ropes before she committed treason by stomping on Roxxy’s sacred Greggs cup. A backbreaker stretch adds physical pain, as the crowd replied with chants of “Tim Hortons sucks” to make the match less about wrestling and more about coffee. I approve. After sending Roxxy into the corner, Matthews gets caught with a trip and a slingshot double knees as the match remained finely balanced. A neckbreaker drops Roxxy again though, leaving her prone for some Danielson elbows and a surfboard stretch, following up with some mid kicks to the chest as the crowd’s Tim Horton hate just got Roxxy in more trouble.
Eventually Roxxy catches one and hung up Nicole in the ropes for a DDT, before some shoulder charges led to a STO out of nowhere for a near-fall. An enziguiri out of the corner led to a crossbody, but Matthews catches Roxxy and hurls her with a fallaway slam, only for Roxxy to respond with a sunset bomb in the corner for a two-count. The back-and-forth momentum continued as Matthews snapped into Roxxy with a Fisherman’s suplex for a near-fall, before a trapped-arm Octopus stretch on the mat has Matthews scrambling for the ropes. A rolling elbow and a brainbuster has Roxxy back in trouble not long after, before a headbutt and a Code Red planted Matthews for the win. A maiden win for Roxxy, and it’s a big one for her. ***
Post-match, Roxxy cuts a promo as she issued a challenge for WrestleQueendom against “someone from Stardom”. No names mentioned, but that’ll be a trial by fire.
Jinny vs. Bobbi Tyler
It’s nice to hear Jinny’s original music, while Bobbi Tyler’s leaning fully into the Tokyo Cyber Squad part of her character – since EVE’s recognising Stardom big time. IPW and HOG, on the other hand…
We start out on the mat as Jinny’s opening headlock was countered with headscissors… but she gets out into a leg grapevine, then a front facelock as Jinny transitioned with ease. They keep coming too as Tyler countered headscissors with body scissors, forcing Jinny to reach for the ropes for a break. Jinny comes back with an armbar as Tyler was forced to use what was left of her voice to deny a submission, instead countering back with a cross armbar as they continued to inch ahead for an advantage. That cross armbar’s escaped as Jinny switches into a Fujiwara-style armbar, only for Tyler to get free and go after Jinny’s arm, pulling her down for a two-count.
Jinny tries to roll up Bobbi from another armbar attempt, but instead gets clocked with an enziguiri as the pair began to throw strikes. A forearm’s replied to with a hook kick as Jinny looked for the Acid Rainmaker, but Jinny’s able to hit back with kicks to the back before choking Tyler in the ropes. Tyler tries to fight back with forearms, but she’s just decked by Jinny for a near-fall, with a suplex getting a similar result. Bobbi responds with forearms of her own, but some headscissors from Jinny put her right back on top as she rolled Tyler through into a seated surfboard. Bobbi’s too close to the ropes and easily forces the break though, but she can’t avoid more forearms as Jinny kept forcing the issue.
A bicycle kick from Tyler gets a near-fall, before she headed up top… and got caught with a gamengiri. Ah well. Another kick to the ropes traps Bobbi in the turnbuckles, as an X-Factor spikes Tyler for a near-fall… and with Jinny shrugging off another comeback, she just plasters Bobbi with a forearm and an Acid Rainmaker for the win. Pretty simple, although commentary telling us repeatedly that Bobbi was under the weather probably means she’ll be back for a second bite of the cherry. **¾
Nightshade vs. Rebel Kinney
Having relocated to train, Kinney’s clearly being primed for greatness within EVE – and if you’re of a cynical mind, she certainly ticks all the boxes.
Having made her full show debut a month earlier, she’s very raw – and there’s a lot of the act that could be works in progress… but there’s something to be said for the fact that she’s clicked out of the gate with a lot of the EVE fanbase.
Nightshade tries to psyche out Kinney, trading shoulder tackles before Kinney charged Nightshade into the corner. They go corner-to-corner, swapping shoulder charges and body splashes before a headbutt from Kinney led to a one-count. A backbreaker and uranage combo helps Nightshade back into it, as she took advantage of Kinney calling shots, before she choked away on Rebel in the ropes.
Clubbering forearms in the corner keep Kinney on the back foot, but Rebel comes back out and gets met with a clothesline from Nightshade. A back senton followed for a near-fall, but Rebel responds with Sole Food and a fallaway slam as she showed off her power. Nightshade’s quickly back up and hits one of her own, taking Kinney into the corner for a cannonball, before running into a powerslam as Kinney couldn’t capitalise by going for a cover. Kinney’s able to land a Vader Bomb, but it’s not enough, before she ended up getting caught with a choke bomb as Nightshade came closer.
Another turnaround sees Nightshade trapped in the corner for a shoulder charge as Kinney lifts her up for a superplex… and gets it off! There’s a kick-out at two from that, but Kinney delays her follow-up and telegraphs a second Vader bomb, as Nightshade countered with a powerbomb out of the corner for a win. Decent considering the experience levels, and I have a feeling Kinney’s gonna be more of a rough houser down the line. Thankfully, the one-liners were kept to a minimum here. **½
Nina Samuels vs. Jamie Hayter
Set up earlier in the show, this was perhaps Nina’s last chance at getting into a marquee-level match at WrestleQueendom, having talked her way into a potential title match. Although I’m not quite sure how Jamie Hayter became Bobbi Tyler…
Jamie Hayter’s cheered here, for being the lesser of two evils, and she seems to be enjoying this… did someone swap sides? Not in that way…
After a terse handshake, the pair catch each other’s kicks… and hair pulls, before the referee separating them led to the ref getting shoved down as a fight broke out. Joining Nina on the apron, Hayter’s shoved into the ring post, then kicked off of the apron as Nina clambered on the underside of the balcony before “Spider Nina” was dropped head-first into the bar. That’s a new spin on the bar brawl.
Samuels keeps up, leaping off the bar into Hayter before putting the boots to her, but Hayter turns it around as she took Nina back towards the bar… this time throwing her into the wall by the toilets. Again, Nina recovers as the brawl heads back towards the ring, but it’s Jamie back on top as they returned inside the ropes. A drop toe hold and some knees to the back keep Hayter in the corner, before an armbar has Hayter subdued.
Jamie manages to fight back as she suplexed her way free, but Nina hit one of her own before trapping Hayter in the ropes for an eventual dropkick. It gets her a two-count, but the match remains finely poised as Hayter hits a suplex into the corner, before a facewashing boot rocked Nina… who couldn’t avoid a Falcon arrow-like move that took Nina into a choke… but she’s able to get a finger to the rope to force the break.
Nina hits back with a slingshot corkscrew plancha from the apron for a near-fall, but Hayter slips out of a GTS and lands a headbutt, taking Nina into the ropes as she set her up for some kicks from the apron. A kick from Samuels takes Hayter down to the floor, but Nina took too long to follow up as her slingshot plancha sent her into the crowd as Hayter’s tope exacerbated things.
Back inside, a uranage backbreaker and a Falcon arrow backbreaker gets Hayter a near-fall, before the pair began to trade forearms again. Samuels looked to be edging ahead as they trade roundhouse kicks, before she caught Hayter in Emi Sakura’s butterfly backbreaker. Nina tries to head up top, but she’s caught with a superplex that rolled into a Falcon arrow as Hayter came closer still, following up with a GTS before she got caught with a small package – with Nina grabbing a handful of tights for the win. After having crowed about being cheated out of the EVE title, Nina’s found a huge shortcut to get into the International title match at York Hall… and it made for a thoroughly displeasing finish to the show for this crowd. ***
A solid show, but sadly one that didn’t really have the feel of a big anniversary event, as it seemed to be overshadowed by the light-hearted farewell. Yes, the Resistance Gallery saw its final appearance for Kay Lee Ray and Viper. For now. Until they get fired. Or Vince and/or Paul lose interest. Aside from that though, this kept things ticking as EVE continued down their path to York Hall. At time of writing EVE have two announced shows left before WrestleQueendom 2: their usual early-month outing at the Resistance Gallery, and a Friday night show in Brighton, 48 hours before the big show. Still, that leaves us with just two fully locked-down matches for York Hall:
EVE Championship: Kay Lee Ray (c) vs. Viper
EVE International Championship: Utami Hayashishita (c) vs. Jamie Hayter vs. Nina Samuels
There’s still question marks over a lot of the card: Little Miss Roxxy’s got a TBC Stardom opponent, while Charli Evans and Millie McKenzie were last set to be challenging for the new EVE tag team championships, but there’s been nary a mention of that, or of any prospective challengers in recent shows. Needless to say, it feels like there’s a lot of water to go under the proverbial bridge before EVE return to York Hall next month.