EVE marked International Women’s Day with a return to iPPV – and a tough test for Sammii Jayne, as she put her International title on the line twice in one night.
Bethnal Green’s Resistance Gallery was the scene, as we open with a troll job: The Uprising’s video! It’s a video package to build to Alpha Female as Rhia O’Reilly’s challenger, since Alpha hasn’t been around for a while. Sophia Lang and Martina start the show on commentary as Sophia has a rotating list of people joining her.
Kira Chimera vs. Laura di Matteo
This was Chimera’s ResGal debut, having debuted as part of the Rumble at WrestleQueendom 3. Meanwhile, Laura di Matteo’s got her “alternative” theme, which seemed to catch the regulars off guard.
Chimera launched into di Matteo at the bell, taking her from corner-to-corner before cracking the Italian with an elbow. A tornado suplex out of the corner followed for a two-count, but Laura’s right back with a missile dropkick for a near-fall of her own before a tombstone put Kira away. Pretty squashy, but it gets Laura back on the board. **
Kasey vs. Maddison Miles
Kasey’d done a lot of travelling today – having started the day wrestling in Oberhausen for WrestlingKult before hot footing it to London for this. The winner gets a shot at the International champion later in the evening…
Miles is all smiley and happy here, a stark contrast to Kasey, and she started out well, taking Kasey into the corner before a backslide drew an early near-fall. Kasey responds by choking Miles in the ropes, before an armbar kept the Canadian on the deck. A crossbody from Miles offered some hope, but Kasey’s right back with a death valley driver and a PK for the win. A bit of a sprint, as EVE are blasting through this card. ***
Clementine vs. Jetta
For some reason the entrance videos didn’t make it into the live edit, so we’re just getting blank screens as the crowd reacts. If you’re expecting anything other than shenanigans, well… I hope you’re enjoying your first EVE show!
Jetta has an offer for Clementine – a Terry’s Chocolate Orange. Was that a hangover from Christmas? Of course, you’ve got to tap and unwrap, but instead they both try and twist it open, before Jetta clocked Clementine with it. Now THAT’S tap and unwrap… although they never unwrapped it. Clementine tries to fire up, and trips Jetta out of the corner for a near-fall before Jetta came back with a neck crank. Jetta begins to get frustrated as she can’t quite get to Clementine for a chop, which tired her out… allowing Clementine to go for a People’s Elbow, only to get stopped as they argued over the move. Problem was, a lot of this didn’t get picked up by a microphone, so…
Jetta manages to land her version of the elbow, then countered an Unprettier from Clementine before she blocked a wheelbarrow for a standing pin. Not quite how you usually see that done, but it was effective. **
Video package time: it’s to announce Mercedes Blaze and Chakara as a team to challenge the Medusa Complex down the line. They’re running with the name “Da Bad Bitches Club”.
EVE International Championship: Holidead vs. Sammii Jayne (c)
Holidead tried to get under Sammii’s skin from the off, as she talked her way into a Test of Strength… which the champion tries to monkey flip out of before the pair went to work on each other’s arms.
Jayne’s back with a springboard lucha armdrag for a near-fall, before a ‘rana out of the corner found its mark. A double-jump missile dropkick is next, but Holidead catches Sammii on the outside, throwing her into the apron as the challenger tries push ahead, landing a vertical suplex for a near-fall.
A reverse cravat contorts Sammii ahead of a neckbreaker, before a front kick and a headbutt left the champion in a heap. Holidead followed that up with a pendulum submission, swinging Sammii’s head into the bottom buckles, but the champion’s able to hit back with a missile dropkick for a near-fall.
Holidead comes back with a spinebuster for a near-fall, then a Samoan drop, before a swinging side slam’s countered with a roll-up. Sammii adds pressure with a bicycle knee for a near-fall, before Holidead went for a swinging side slam that she eventually switched into an Air Raid Crash for another two-count. Sammii’s able to respond with an enziguiri on the top rope, before a ‘rana and a death valley driver got the win. A nice, hard-fought match as Sammii completed title defence one of two… ***
We get a match from the 2019 SHE-1 in the interval, which caught me out…
Zoe Lucas vs. Rebel Kinney
We keep it topical as Zoe uses hand sanitizer before the bell. I mean, it’s an effort, but I guess a wrestling match is just going to nullify that?
Zoe charges at Rebel, but just gets taken into the corner for shoulder charges as Rebel’s one-liners made their way to commentary. A simple slam lands… and Rebel Kinney gets the win, despite Zoe Lucas clearly having her foot on the rope, and that leads to a hissy fit. Rebel owns up to having seen it, so the referee restarts the match. I’m not a fan of referees being made to look this foolish…
Lucas cracks Kinney with a leg lariat as we resume, then again in the corner before a running X-Factor dropped Kinney for a near-fall. Some ground and pound follows, as Lucas stayed on top of Rebel, following in with a Scorpion kick for a near-fall. A Final Cut follows… and that’s the emphatic win. This was fine, as they continue to give Rebel ring time – it’s a long road. **¼
Post-match, EVE bring back their new, un-named interviewer. Zoe blows her off. Rebel doesn’t, as she calls out Skye Smitson for a chat. If people hadn’t seen her on commentary, saying “I know you’re up there” could have been a very dark turn of phrase. Skye heads down to the ring, then chases out the interviewer before she helped up Rebel…
Skye tried to explain away her actions as being for the good of her career, before they played footage from WrestleQueendom 2 last year of Viper hugging Kay Lee Ray. They loop a clip of Skye applauding at ringside from the crowd, as this seemed to become “Skye got selfish because others were”. This was really good stuff from the “bad guy believes what they did was right” playbook – as she manipulated everyone around Rebel to the point where her friend gave up and left.
Skye Smitson vs. Martina
Well, we had a scheduled match, so why not get on with it?
Skye takes a swig of beer, but sprays it at Martina, who came right back out with a knee for a near-fall. Chops follow, but Skye blocks some before coming in with a dropkick. They’ve swapped out Skye’s nickname for “the Imposing Poser”, which is a bit of a tongue-twister, as Smitson boxes away at Martina in the corner for a two-count.
Danielson elbows to Martina’s taped-up shoulder exacerbate things, but Martina’s able to recover briefly. Smitson took her back into the corner, but a roll-up a knee strike and a head kick swings it back for Martina… who then shrugged off a low blow (because, biology) as a headbutt and double-jump Seshbreaker out of the corner led to another near-fall. Skye tries one more fight-back, landing a clothesline off the top before a Smitson Effect (Cross Rhodes) leads to the upset. Say what you will, the story of Smitson finding form along with her new allegiance is being told well. ***
They replay the promo video from the top of the show…
EVE Championship: Alpha Female vs. Rhia O’Reilly (c)
This was Alpha’s first appearing here in 18 months, last at the Resistance Gallery in a loss to Chihiro Hashimoto.
Alpha charges out at the bell to batter Rhia in the corner, but the champion fought back as the pair traded right hands, until Rhia headed onto the apron to hotshot Alpha in the ropes. A Judo throw takes Rhia down again though, as a flurry of punches led to an Anaconda Vise from Alpha, but O’Reilly got a foot to the ropes to save herself.
O’Reilly’s back to the ropes after some more clubbing shots, before she took Alpha outside… and here’s the crowd brawl! Alpha’s taken into the ring post, before she whipped Rhia into the bar… Alpha heads onto the bar for a hanging choke hold, which Rhia broke up with… a fork?! A random-ass cable’s used for choking next, as O’Reilly continued to keep the match in the crowd, before finally returning to the ring with a chair. Of course, she lays out Alpha with chairshots, but the challenger’s able to respond, dropping Alpha on the apron… but a shot shot with the knee brace and the double-arm DDT ensures that Rhia left with the title. This was okay, but very much a template “EVE big match” – with the crowd brawling and weapons. Interestingly, Rhia did it on her own though… **¾
Post-match, Rhia declared herself the only Alpha in EVE, but she gets interrupted pretty quickly by Jetta, who talks about Rhia’s title wins. Jetta accuses Rhia of being selfish, while she’s only here to entertain the fans… it felt very WWE-like, that wording. Jetta turned it around as she talked about her desire to win titles… and that led to her asking for another title shot: in a title vs. career match. The way they phrased it was that if Jetta didn’t leave EVE’s anniversary show on May 10, she’d retire… of course, all of that is up in the air.
Before the main event, Emily Read gave a speech about EVE’s history – including running family shows, and running “the men’s club”, talking about selling it out and making it “their clubhouse”. That led to the announcement of “No Man’s Land” – a show on May 8 with a crowd of those who are non-binary and those who “identify as women”. Yeah, the poster said “women attendees only”, and I’m not about to touch this topic with a barge pole. Sadly, the fall-out from this on social media led to Emily announcing her resignation from EVE – and of course, other world events placed all of this into doubt anyway.
EVE International Championship: Kasey vs. Sammii Jayne (c)
So after that bombshell, we’ve got Sammii Jayne’s second match of the night. At least Kasey’s also on her second of the night (third of the day). Very much like WrestleMania X!
Kasey attacks Sammii as she entered the ring as the challenger forced the issue from the off, stretching Sammii with a standing surfboard. Jayne escapes the corner to land a forearm, then a running dropkick… but Sammii’s limping on the way to a double-jump missile dropkick that drew her a near-fall.
Kasey’s quickly back on top though, pulling down Sammii by the hair as commentary was pushing Sammii as the “iron woman” of EVE. Right on cue, Sammii makes another comeback, landing a dropkick that forces Kasey to the outside… ahead of a tope to the outside. Sammii rolls Kasey back inside, and the challenger’s right back out with a tope of her own, before the pair exchanged forearms on the apron until she snuck in an apron death valley driver.
Back inside, a roll-up and a knee strike connect for a two-count as Kasey got to the ropes, but Sammii continued to limp as she went up top for a superplex. She rolls through on the landing for a Falcon arrow, but Kasey kicks out, and quickly returns with a German suplex. There’s a response in kind as superkick follow, but Kasey caught out Sammii with knees… only to be met with a powerbomb as they kept swinging for the fences.
A uranage/spinebuster from Kasey nearly wins her the match, but Sammii slides in with Shadowfax to keep going, only for Kasey to land the death blow seconds later after a wheelbarrow roll-up and a thunderous knee strike gets the pin. That knee felt a little anticlimatic with the crowd, as they were expecting things to go a little longer… but that knee was enough to shatter the iron woman as Sammii Jayne lost her title after barely a month. A solid sprint of a main event, but one I wish had more time to breathe. ***¼
Post-match, Sammii congratulated Kasey… then instantly invoked her rematch clause for the April show. Again, like with all of the reports I’m doing these days, “huge asterisk on that one.”
So, with current events making it likely that this is the last EVE show for the time being, the promotion had a pretty solid showing going into an enforced break. Unless they find a way to push ahead with no-fan shows or something like that. While EVE have never really been a “workrate” promotion, there was plenty between the bells here for you to sink your teeth into – but once the world comes out of this, it’ll be interesting to see where things head with all things EVE related.