Wrestle Queendom was a landmark event as Pro Wrestling Eve held the first ever all women wrestling show at York Hall. This was the biggest women’s wrestling show ever to be held in the UK. There was a lot of pressure to deliver here, and I personally had great anticipation for this event. Let’s delve into the proceedings.
Pro Wrestling EVE
May 5, 2018
Watch: EVE on Demand
Addy Starr, Emi Sakura, Laura Di Matteo & Rhio O’Reilly def. Blue Nikita, Charli Evans, Jamie Hayter & Jayla Dark
We’re opening the show with War Games! There was a real intensity before the match got started as both teams surrounded the cage and brawled with one another a bit before being separated. Set a good tone of hatred early on. Emi Sakura is in first for the babyfaces and Blue Nikita for the heels. Nikita went for early pinfalls, which bothered me. I hate the idea that a wrestler wouldn’t know the rules of a match they’re in, especially on a big show like this. Heels attacked Emi from outside the cage, real dastardly stuff. Emi is a great face in peril. Heels win the coin toss which they did in real time, very old school.
There was fun back and forth as the rest of the women came in. Emi was especially good throughout. Evans and Hayter looked quite good on the heel side, taking good bumps and having well timed cutoffs of the babyfaces. Laura Di Matteo has improved quite a bit, her offensive bursts were on point. Addy Starr, who had previously been retired, was good in peril and resorted to a brawling style of offense. Jayla Dark, the heel leader, cannonballed onto everyone in a big moment. Not to be outdone, the babyface leader Rhia O’Reilly dove off the cage onto everyone as a way to make her entrance into the match.
From here the momentum swings were done as a team. The faces would all get the upper hand, and then the heels. Quadruple submissions by the heels get broken up. The babyfaces barraged the heels with several team moves. Quadruple submissions by the babyfaces and all the heels tapped. This was a fun opener with a satisfying conclusion. ***1/2
Jetta vs. Kris Wolf
This was fine but ultimately unnecessary. Plenty of comedy in this match as Wolf would foil Jetta at every turn. The highlight of this match saw Jetta put on the wolf head and simulated urinating on Kris Wolf using a water bottle. Proper heel stuff there. Since there was a double pin it was decided both women would move onto the ladder match. **1/2
Nina Samuels def. Jetta, Kasey Owens, Kris Wolf, Leah Owens, Livvii Grace & Millie McKenzie
This was EVE’s take on the Money in the Bank match. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a mess. Adding both Jetta and Wolf to this match only made it more overstuffed with bodies. Leah Owens has a great entrance and is an engaging personality, but she had a bad night in the ring. She attempted a leg drop off the ladder onto McKenzie (who was very close to the ropes at the time), and hurt herself on the landing. The move didn’t look good either, which is a disaster. She had to be helped to the back.
Livvii Grace, who had a banger of a match with Jordynne Grace in EVE earlier this year, was sloppy here. Jetta and Wolf were fine. Aside from Wolf diving onto everyone on the outside, and Jetta doing a “fear of heights” gimmick, they were unmemorable. Same goes for Kasey Owens.
The two standouts, as I predicted, were Nina and Millie. Nina did great character work throughout, and her bumps and offense looked good. Millie was the highlight as her signature spot where she German suplexed everyone got over big and was a lot of fun. In particular when Millie was about four suplexes in, and Nina entered the ring, only to attempt to run away in fear before Millie caught her and threw her as well. The other big spot came when Millie swung Kasey off the ladder into a cutter, shades of Orton/RVD from a Money in the Bank match years ago.
Nina picked her spot and grabbed the briefcase. She was one of the two options I had figured, and it’s probably good that EVe isn’t pushing Millie too hard out of the gate. She’s only 17 after all. Let her have a journey. Meanwhile, Nina is the type of character who can get a lot out of this kind of gimmick, and is also a worthy title challenger. **3/4
Kay Lee Ray def. Meiko Satomura
This was my most anticipated match and it did not disappoint. Kay Lee Ray showed why she’s one of the best wrestlers in the world here, keeping pace with the legendary Meiko Satomura. This match built incredibly well, from the mat work and chain wrestling at the start to the bombs they threw at each other down the stretch. Satomura had been unbeaten in EVE up to this point, and the story of Ray trying to overcome the unbeatable legend was told very well. The big moves and near falls at the end were very dramatic and well timed. Ray showed a ton of resilience here, kicking out of Satomura’s Death Valley Bomb. Satomura similarly survived Ray’s big move, the Gory Bomb.
It looked like it was gonna be over as Satomura hoisted Ray up for a third DVB but Ray reversed it into a cradle and scored the shocking upset. My only gripe is that the cradle could’ve been a bit tighter for such a big win, but besides that this was excellent. ****1/4
Aja Kong def. Viper
The only wrestler that can match Kong’s presence and attitude in the ring is Minoru Suzuki. Just watching the difference in energy between Viper and Kong was surreal. Viper looked nervous and thrilled to be wrestling the legend, while Kong in the corner exuded an aura of ‘Well, it’s another day at the ass kicking office.”
Crowd was very into both women. Kong made it clear early she was the heel here, tricking Viper during an exchange of shoulder block attempts. Kong is not as mobile as she once was, but her experience and aura more than make up for it. Kong gets a lot out of doing little things. Unable to physically dominate Viper like she can with most women, Kong used shortcuts and tricks to throw Viper off her game. Viper, for her part, did a great job selling and working from underneath, which she rarely does in her matches. Kong gave Viper a brainbuster and I was concerned she had killed her; she dropped Viper right on her head.
Viper avoided the backfist a couple times but eventually Kong caught her with it, before putting Viper away with a diving elbow drop. It made Viper look strong that Kong used two big moves to beat her. This match was fun while it lasted, which isn’t very long. It met expectations without exceeding them. ***1/2
Charlie Morgan def. Sammii Jayne
This was great! I was concerned this match wouldn’t be able to follow this stacked card, and I’m happy to say I was wrong. These two went out there and had the best match I’d seen from either of them. Morgan dove off the balcony, playing into her daredevil style. They did a strong style spot where they kept suplexing each other until they both collapsed. They survived each-other’s finishers in dramatic fashion. Jayne took a great table bump as well. Morgan had great fire throughout this match and really commanded the spotlight like a true main eventer. If this is what we have in store for the rest of her title reign then I’m all on board. The finish was reminiscent of a No DQ match Eddie Guerrero had with Edge on Smackdown in 2002, a legendary match which saw Eddie bleed hardway and was also the match that turned Eddie face with the crowd. Morgan was on a ladder and Jayne was standing on the top rope, and Morgan gave her an avalanche DDT into the ring. No one gets up from that, and Morgan secured the pin and became the new Pro Wrestling EVE champion. This was great. ****
At six matches in under three hours, Wrestle Queendom is a breeze to watch. The back half of the card is especially strong. More-so than even the match quality, there’s a really great atmosphere throughout the show. A real can do attitude. Dan Read loses his mind on commentary multiple times, repeating stuff for the live crowd he’s already said, so that may bother some people. There are several freshman hiccups in the show, and you can feel how new all this is to a lot of the people involved, but overall this was a great first step and very successful showing. One of my favourite shows this year.