Charlie Morgan got her belt back as a red-hot EVE continued to build for this year’s She-1 Series with their latest show at the Resistance Gallery.

We’ve done a horrible job of keeping up with EVE since WrestleQueendom, despite being at their live shows… so we’ll recap the main happenings: a week after WrestleQueendom in May, Kasey Owens was revealed to be the mystery assailant of Charlie Morgan from shows prior… and in June she dropped her last name and took the EVE title hostage. Kasey was given the ultimatum of returning the title tonight or she’d face the consequences… as well as lose her shot to get into this year’s She-1.

Anyway, this show dropped barely 72 hours after it happened, and there’s more than just the live edit as we’ve commentary dubbed in, along with plenty of graphics. This is looking really polished. Dann Read (eyepatch and all) and initially Nina Samuels are on commentary tonight.

Charli Evans vs. Laura di Matteo
This is a She-1 qualifier, with Charli nearly throwing up after being announced as from the Gold Coast. Eh, close enough.

Di Matteo looked to go for Evans’ arm early on, but they keep it on the mat as the pair keep it on the mat, with Charli and Laura looking to out-do each other with lucha stylings, before some bodyscissors almost eked out an early win for the Italian. A dropkick gets a similar result, but Evans begins to edge ahead, throwing chops to keep Di Matteo at bay.

A springboard crossbody out of the corner looked to stem the tide, but a wheelbarrow from Evans keeps her momentum going while a train passed by overhead… but eventually Laura mounted another comeback with clotheslines and enziguiri, before taking Evans into the corner for a series of running uppercuts. Laura’s up top for a missile dropkick for another near-fall, following in with a back cracker and a tornado DDT as Evans was clinging on here.

That was the curse of the writer though, as Evans surges back into it with a cradle DDT that almost got her the win. A striking battle’s next as the pair tried to catch the other out, with Laura tripping Charli into a grounded Octopus… but she can’t keep the hold on as Evans stands them back up so she could land a series of lariats and a Downward Spiral-like move to get the win! Charli Evans makes it into November’s She-1, while Laura’s stuttering form since last year’s tournament continued. A solid sprint of a match, although don’t mistake any perception of a lethargic crowd for “not caring” here. ***

Rhia O’Reilly vs. Millie McKenzie
Currently out of the EVE title picture (ahem), Rhia’s in a bit of a weird spot on the roster right now… not exactly rudderless, but also not really having that much to do. It’s a “present versus future” match here, as Millie McKenzie’s got a big challenge on her hands.

We’re straight in with a German suplex from the opening handshake, but Rhia’s back up only to take a crucifix as Millie was all over her more experienced foe. Forearms in the corner are stopped by way of an Exploder into the turnbuckles, but Millie’s up at one and right back in with her forearms. Whatever friendly fire there was quickly evaporated as Rhia began to throw clubbing forearms, before decking Millie with another one to the throat. Nina Samuels had the best prediction for this – that they keep on throwing those forearms (albeit said slightly differently!) – as Rhia looked to force a submission out of Millie, first using a single-leg crab, then a surfboard stretch and a curb stomp. The Finlay roll’s next, but Millie’s right back up with a spear as a set-up for more German suplexes… which get blocked, so Millie lands a cutter instead.

Now come the German suplexes, with Rhia getting close and closer to landing on her head, before deciding to “eff it” and dump Millie with the Rhiadjustment DDT for the. This was fun when it got going, but that finish felt massively out of nowhere. I’d love to see a rematch without external issues like, I don’t know, trains? ***

The next match was supposed to be a singles outing, but Erin Angel had alternative ideas… she wanted a rematch against Jamie Hayter after their match last month was interrupted by Jetta’s attempt to help. Erin’s on her own after her “contract” with Jetta expired, and bless her, she’s still trying to find her feet. Hayter comes out… but she was meant to be wrestling Addy Starr and doesn’t want any part of this, especially since she feels that Erin ought to be good enough to beat her in spite of any distractions. Not to matter… Addy and Erin don’t mind if it’s a triple-threat, nor does Emily Read, so we’ve got a new match.

Erin Angel vs. Jamie Hayter vs. Addy Starr
Erin tries to charge at Jamie at the bell, but she’s instantly sent outside as our scheduled match broke out, with Addy cornering Hayter with a knee and a cannonball.

Hayter returns by charging Starr into the corner, then rushing in with a knee and a suplex into the buckles as Erin Angel remained MIA. She finally returned, climbing the top ropes to crash into Hayter with a crossbody for a near-fall, only for Starr to break up the cover as the three eventually worked their way into the neckbreaker/DDT combo. Starr and Hayter exchange kicks, only for Erin to hit a missile dropkick to the pair of them, before mounting a comeback of her own with armdrags and neckbreakers… including a wacky flip neckbreaker to Jamie. Starr’s back in with a low dropkick, but Hayter cuts her off with a forearm as we have more three-way stuff when Angel hits a cutter as Starr held up Hayter in position.

The match turns into a bit of a slugfest as Starr comes in with a nice suplex before heading up top… where she’s knocked down by Hayter, and then eventually sent flying into the crowd as Angel looked for an Unprettier on Hayter. For some reason the referee’s on the outside tending to Addy, allowing Jetta to come down and count the pin… then ring the bell to properly confuse Erin. It’s not official though, and as Erin stands there all confused, she’s rolled up and pinned by Hayter. This match was decent in parts, with some three-way spots that came off (and others that perhaps didn’t), but on the whole it told a good story, with Erin Angel again being easily hoodwinked by Jetta. **¾

Post-match, Jetta tried to explain herself, promising to appeal the result as Nina Samuels on commentary talked over it all… she wanted her match now, and so she interrupted the “domestic” so she could do a wrestle. Erin wanted to fight Nina, but instead Samuels was happy with her scheduled opponent… who she said was “really going to challenge me.”

Nina Samuels vs. Mischa East
Mischa’s been around EVE for a while, but she hasn’t been able to pick up a win yet… and has been in the “already in the ring”/enhancement talent role as of late.

Rhia O’Reilly takes over on commentary here, as Nina kicks her in the head to start us off, and I think we’ll be lucky to see any offence here. A whip sends Mischa into the corner for some running knees to the back of the head, before a snapmare and a Mr. Perfect-esque neck snap keeps her on the defensive. Samuels’s up next with a tiltawhirl backbreaker, then a boot choke and a running boot in the corner as a Go To Sleep completed the squash. Thanks for coming, Mischa!

Killer Kelly vs. Kay Lee Ray
Since debuting in EVE at the end of March, Killer Kelly’s become a bit of a cult figure… but she’s yet to pick up a win here. Her run against top line opponents continues, and with Kay Lee Ray warming-up for her She-1 qualifier against Viper next month, this isn’t going to be an easy match for her.

From the opening tie-up, it’s Kelly who grabbed the upper hand… and the neck of Kay Lee Ray as she worked towards one of her favourites: the cravat. Ray tries to escape by rolling to the ropes, but Kelly clings on through a slam, before Kay Lee Ray finally cartwheeled out of it. Kelly’s response? To throw a chop… and ask for one in return.

Of course, it’s more than that, as they exchange plenty of those damned things, while stopping for a water break in the middle, before it just escalated into a forearm battle. There’s no clear victor, before Kelly stops herself from getting tripped and instead pulls Kay Lee Ray into a surfboarded Dragon Sleeper. Ray tries to fight free, but she just gets helped back to the mat as Kelly shoved her free. The Shibata-ish dropkick’s telegraphed, allowing Kay Lee to stop it with a low kick and work her way into a Koji clutch… a hold that’s nearly turned into a pinning predicament as Kelly came back with a cravat and some knees to the face.

Kay Lee’s on the ropes, but she has enough in her to hit a trio of superkicks… a fourth one’s caught and replied to with an enziguiri, before the pair go back to the forearms. Another superkick nails Kelly, who refuses to go down… until a pair of clonking headbutts put both women down. Eventually they get back to their knees as they fought back to their feet, throwing more forearms and elbows, but it’s Kay Lee who edges ahead with some forearms, pulling Kelly back by her tights for a shot to the lower back. Pulling Kelly up by the pigtails perhaps wasn’t the best idea, as it sparks another fightback, with Ray getting chopped into the corner ahead of a big boot as Kelly takes her down for that Shibata-ish dropkick. It’s good for a near-fall as Kay Lee somehow got a shoulder up just in time.

An attempted Gory Bomb’s escaped as Kay Lee hits back with a superkick for a near-fall, before she’s caught on the top rope by the Portuguese. A superplex is stuffed by Ray, who crotches Kelly… but all ideas of a double stomp are stopped when Kelly sits up and throws her down with a spider German suplex! After freeing herself, Kelly’s back down to claim a near-fall from that, before another German suplex led to an awkward landing for the Scot… we’ve another German attempt, but Kay Lee rolls through, and after she ducks a head kick, she sneaks in a Gory Bomb, and the epic encounter is over! A hell of a showing for Killer Kelly, perhaps her best yet, as she took Kay Lee Ray to the limit – and while you sense that first win isn’t too far away, in the end Ray continues the run of her EVE career. ****¼

After intermission, we’re greeted by Kasey… who’s here with the EVE championship belt. Last month they did the storyline where she ran off with the title (fleeing in a getaway car) and was given an ultimatum to return the title… or else. So she just returns here with the strap. I get other promotions are running similar storylines (including another one that also runs in the Resistance, with Roy Johnson stealing the belt and Instagramming his journey home to watch Love Island with it…), but this felt a little weird.

Anyway, Kasey reiterates that she feels like she should be the champion, since Charlie only entered the She-1 after she “let Charlie beat her”. Surely that should just be Kasey being mad at herself for not having a killer instinct then? There’s no room for sentiment in wrestling and all that! I do like how they’re positioning it as “selfish versus selfless” mind you… especially when Kasey rips into Charlie for “rushing to sign a WWE deal”. Charlie’s out to claim her belt, but it seems like Kasey wasn’t the only challenger, as Rhia O’Reilly appears to put over Charlie, and claim that she was responsible for her being in EVE.

Long story short, Rhia wants something for that… and she asks for a title shot. Seems there’s a lot of people that Charlie’s had favours from that she’s had to be strong-armed into repaying!

Jetta vs. Toni Storm
In recent months Jetta’s really thrown herself behind the “Princess Diana of British Wrestling” tag, while the production crew threw themselves behind not letting her sing her ring music. It’s for the best. As for this match… it was a bizarre one.

Jamie Hayter’s in on commentary, and after an opening handshake, we see Toni wringing the arm of Jetta… who returns the favour with a wristlock. They go back and forth on that, before Storm just whips the arm and takes Jetta down to the mat… only to get that given back to her straightaway. We’ve another handshake offer, but Toni cheapshots her with an arm whip as we head to the mat with a front facelock, before we go back to the wristlock, with Toni trying to roll-out… and eventually doing so. It’s nice, simple wrestling here, with both women focusing on a body part with varying degrees of success.

Toni goes for the wrist again, and uses a monkey flip to take it to the mat, only for Jetta to grab a leg and switch things into a leg spreader… but we’re still going all World of Sport-y as Storm escaped into a headlock, only for Jetta to fish-hook the Australian to get herself free. We’re still swapping headlocks, before some wacky rope running led to a roll-up that nearly gets Jetta the win! Some trapped headscissors looked to force a submission out of Toni, but she flips over into a La Magistral for a two-count as the tit-for-tat stuff gave way to an overhead wristlock attempt from Jetta. Toni gets to the ropes with relative ease, before she bursts out with a series of strikes… only to get caught with a swinging neckbreaker as the deliberate pace of the match continued.

With Toni on the deck, Jetta looked to roll back the clock for a People’s Elbow… stopping at first because she has no elbow pads. So she grabs Toni’s baseball cap… then the sunglasses, before Toni offers her her own elbow pad to complete the look. There’s a weird moment as they parade to the crowd before Jetta trips Toni for the People’s Elbow, but Toni moves away after having ages to recover… before Toni has her go… and misses as well. Cue Peter Griffin selling!

Jetta breaks it up with a fish-hook, then a low blow (err?), but a baseball slide dropkick puts Jetta into harms way, as Toni gets some fans to help pull Jetta repeatedly into the ringpost. With Jetta writhing in the corner, Toni asks for a drink… and duly gets her beverage of choice: a pina colada! Complete with the Joey Ryan song and screaming Jetta in the corner.

What. Am. I. Watching?

Toni stops the music break to try and beat Jetta with a clutch pin… it doesn’t work, so Storm has to keep up with a neckbreaker and a bridging armbar in a bid to force the submission. Jetta escapes and responds with a version of the Muta lock, only for Toni to get to the rope as well, before Jetta catches her up top with a Victory roll, but Toni reverses it and gets the win! This was oh so weird to watch live… a good, basic wrestling match that will get varying results depending on the kind of wrestling you like. The comedy stuff in the middle could lose a few people, but on the whole this was perfectly acceptable graps. ***

Post-match, Toni Storm grabs the microphone and plays up the EVE trope of what that usually means. She recounts one of her last trips to Japan where she went to a 20-minute draw with Meiko Satomura… she wants a rematch, but it’ll be on “mummy and daddy’s” money – and it’s been granted, as it’ll happen on one of EVE’s many September shows… namely the “Thursday before Walthamstow” at the Resistance Gallery.

Kasey vs. Charlie Morgan
This is another She-1 qualifier – and a non-title outing, despite Charlie being reunited with her belt.

We’ve a jump start as Kasey hits Charlie in the back with a chair, taking the match outside and into the crowd. Morgan, who finally gets her ring jacket off, manages to land a superkick before she tossed Kasey into the bar, before the favour’s returned, complete with some kicks as commentary fell silent… because they couldn’t see anything from their balcony position.

Charlie recovers with some rough housing of her own, before she gets whipped into the ring post. That allowed Kasey to go to the toilets for a chair (I don’t know either), which she quickly drop top holds Charlie into as I think we’re beyond the realm of a normal count-out here. Morgan recovers again, placing Kasey in the chair for a superkick as Dann’s left commentary to see what’s going on… arriving just in time for Charlie to hit a lucha armdrag off the bar, before Charlie clears the ringside area for a PK… only for Kasey to sweep the leg and send her onto the apron. Finally they make it into the crowd, but not before Kasey throws in a couple of chairs: the IKEA black, green and white specials!

A middle finger barely gives Charlie time to avoid a running knee as Kasey sent her out of the chair… but she’s right back with a superkick before Morgan set up a couple of chairs for a sit-down bar fight. Charlie edges ahead with forearms, only for a single one from Kasey to rock her some more as this looked to get more and more intense.

They simultaneously kick each other out of their chairs as they looked to reset themselves… all while the crowd recycled an England chant for Charlie… who manages to surprise Kasey with an implant DDT. Problem was, Kasey instantly rolled to the outside, where she’s able to use an uppercut to stop a dive from Morgan, and give her time to bring out some more plunder in the form of a table.

Kasey props the table against the turnbuckles, but she’s nearly whipped into it as she has to use an elbow to save herself. It’s Charlie’s turn again as they try to suplex each other into the wood, only for Charlie to get suplexed in the ring and hit with a running knee for a near-fall. From there, Kasey moves the table into the middle of the ring… but an uppercut from Charlie and a superkick left her flat across the table… just as Charlie looked to head up to the top rope.

But she didn’t stop there… she goes higher, walking the ropes and up to the gantry as they replayed the balcony dive from York Hall… but this time she crashes and burns with a senton bomb as Kasey rolled away, before instantly scoring the pin! At the expense of the current champion, Kasey’s in the She-1 series… as she’s a little closer to gaining the title shot she feels she rightfully deserves. This was alright as a main event – hey saved the crowd brawling and the plunder for this one, but as far as getting the story going, it did exactly what was required. **½

On the whole, EVE’s storylines have been pretty solid this year, especially since they were robbed of any chance to do the “instant rematch” stuff after Sammii Jayne broke her ankle not long after WrestleQueendom. Kasey’s turn on the whole has been executed well (even if I’m not a fan of how they got away from her stealing the title so quickly), while the majority of the EVE roster have been handled in such a way that pretty much all of them would be considered viable challengers – without it ever coming over as everyone being “parity booked”, as has can so easily be the case.

Don’t forget, there’s still the ongoing threat of Nina Samuels and her wild card opportunity hanging in the background… and with about half a dozen shows between now and She-1, there’s all to play for! EVE currently have a seven-day free trial of their http://eveondemand.pivotshare.com streaming service – jump on it, if only to see this show