Pro Wrestling: EVE says goodbye to its original home of the Delphi Centre in Sudbury, England today with Special Edition III, a card shrouded in mystery.
With the main advertised draws for the show being the appearances of Tommy Dreamer and the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase, the top female attraction has been the UK debut of Leah Von Dutch, who has made a lot of waves in her short time in wrestling, and is the guest of the latest edition of the Women Of Wrestling Podcast, which you can download here. What we do know is that apart from Von Dutch, the rest of the roster for the show consists of Kay Lee Ray, Erin Angel, Carmel Jacob, Sara-Marie Taylor, Shanna, Rhia O’Reilly, Amazon Ayesha Ray, Bete Noire, Viper, and Kasey & Leah Owens, with the first match revealed being Ray v Viper in singles action, and the promotion’s Twitter has also made reference to Shanna and Von Dutch being involved in a tag team match.
EVE will also be looking to get things back on track after having to cancel its Special Edition II show in February following a chaotic No Man’s Land 2 show earlier in the month where Taylor won the chance to challenge for the EVE Championship, which was recaptured by Nikki Storm from Emi Sakura on the same show – however Storm is not on this card, as she is competing in Japan at the moment.
In addition, the promotion has also said that it is “trying something new out and redeveloping ourselves in terms of format, structure etc while at the same time going back to our original foundation that people appreciated so much”, which also seemingly involves blurring the face/heel line a little. We’ll see what comes of it during the show – the results of which you can see after the jump…
1. Kay Lee Ray & Erin Angel defeated Shanna & Leah Von Dutch. Angel pinned Von Dutch with a moonsault.
2. Rhia O’Reilly pinned Bete Noire with the Rhiajustment.
3. Amazon Ayesha Ray beat Viper with a choke bomb.
4. Sara-Marie Taylor & Carmel Jacob defeated Kasey & Leah Owens to advance to the final of the Tag Team Championship tournament. Jacob pinned Leah with an Air Raid Crash.
5. Viper pinned Shanna with a Viper bomb.
6. Sara-Marie Taylor beat Bete Noire, Leah Owens & Amazon Ayesha Ray in a 4-way. Taylor pinned Owens with a pumphandle slam.
7. Rhia O’Reilly pinned Erin Angel with the Rhiajustment.
8. Kasey Owens beat Leah Von Dutch with a twisting press.
9. Carmel Jacob defeated Kay Lee Ray in a 2 out of 3 falls match.
– Jacob pinned Ray by reversing a Sunset Flip with the help of Sara-Marie Taylor.
– Ray pinned Jacob immediately afterwards with a schoolgirl.
– Jacob pinned Ray with a hangman’s DDT.
10. Tommy Dreamer beat Joe FX & Sam Slam in a hardcore 3-way. Dreamer pinned Slam with a DDT.
11. Kay Lee Ray won a battle royal.
• With a healthy crowd of around 150 making a lot of noise and getting involved in the action – even without any real match line-up to speak of – Pro Wrestling: EVE bowed out of its birthplace in style. At four hours, it ran quite long, but the audience maintained its enthusiasm for the most part – except for in one particular place, which I’ll get to.
• The opener was a star-studded affair which was a bit weird in places. For example, the heels busted out some moves early on which would usually be considered tantalising near-falls in different circumstances. For example, Von Dutch’s first move when she tagged in was an X-Factor, while Shanna used Low-Ki’s Warriors Way double stomp in a tree of woe very early on. Bit strange.
• Having said that, the actual finishing sequence had an array of big combinations like Von Dutch using a Finlay Roll to set up for a Shanna frog splash for a long two count, while the babyfaces using a KLR swanton followed by an Angel moonsault for the win. A nice match with an unconventional start.
• Ama-Reilly went 2-0 in singles matches against their rivals She-X in a feud which has been going on since last November’s Wrestle Fever show and spilled over into No Man’s Land 2. First up was Rhia O’Reilly beating Bete Noire in a decent enough match, but was eclipsed in the following contest where Viper and Amazon Ayesha Ray clubbed the hell out of each other in an intense outing which showed just how much of a difference the latter’s Japanese trip has made. She pummelled the Scot, but made sure Viper had the openings to launch a big babyface comeback. Good stuff.
• Incidentally, She-X stripped of all the comedy stuff and showing more intensity is a million times better. More of that, please.
• After that pair of matches, we were informed that the two teams would fight again in the future as part of the quarter finals of the EVE Tag Team Championship tournament after their original attempt to do the match in February never got started. In addition, I would imagine the other contest featuring Angel & KLR against Raquel Arijon & Blue Nikita which was meant to happen at the cancelled Special Edition II will also take place soon, with the two winning tandems meeting in the semi finals. However, things also progressed with the Owens Twins and the Glamour Gym meeting to see who would make it to the finals in their bracket.
• Overall, I preferred this tandems match to the opener, as it flowed better, apart from one weird moment when the Glamour Gym tried to do the switcheroo that the twins can do due to being identical, but Taylor and Jacob can’t because they look nothing like each other. The twins then went into a long description of how it should work, only to be battered by the heels, and making them look really silly in the process for mucking around in a championship tournament semi-final. Wasn’t keen on that moment, but the rest of the match was fine – though a big thumbs up to Taylor, who busted out a totally unexpected Diamond Dust stunner. I wasn’t expecting that…
• Viper squashed Shanna, literally and figuratively. It was the shortest match of the show and didn’t really do Portgual’s Perfect Athlete any favours, though it did make Viper look like a beast. Shanna tried to regain some heat by saying she will become the EVE Champion after winning the Queen of the Ring tournament next month and challenging tag team partner Nikki Storm for the belt, but it seemed a strange time to talk about how great you are after losing two matches in one night.
• Let us not forget that both member of the Glamour Gym are also owed title shots – Jacob was meant to challenge then-champion Emi Sakura in February but the Gatoh Move founder’s flight was delayed, while Taylor won the Three Minute Warning match at No Man’s Land 2 to earn a crack at the belt. Taylor’s momentum continued in the 4-way where she got the win in a match which was dominated by Ayesha Ray, only to be distracted by Jacob, allowing her partner to get the pin on Leah Owens. Despite the loss, Amazon looked great.
• O’Reilly’s second win of the evening saw she and Erin Angel start out with technical stuff but then turned into comedy with the pair playing hide and seek against each other with a series of spots which saw the heel outsmart the babyface on two occasions before being outfoxed by a cleverer Erin. The finish came somewhat out of nowhere, but the Rhiajustment DDT was put over huge on this show.
• Kasey Owens had to use her twisting press from the top twice to beat Leah Von Dutch because referee Chris Roberts counted the first as a two despite Von Dutch staying down for what was apparently the finish. Improvising, Von Dutch broke out the Dutch Clutch – a Cobra Clutch/Camel Clutch combination – before setting up for a second press. As for the rest of the match, it was a better showing for Leah, and allowed her to show off more heel mannerisms and enjoy a better outing. However, she had a tough time of it, as it was hard to get the fans to boo a pretty blonde Canadian.
• In fact, pretty much every woman, babyface or heel, got some sort of positive reaction at times.
• Jacob and KLR’s 2 out of 3 falls match was meant to be their feud-ender in the promotion, and stemmed from No Man’s Land 2 where Jacob cost her rival the win and gifting it to Taylor in a contest which saw them fight all over the building for the duration of the match. At least, that’s what I presume the storyline was, as there wasn’t a mention of their backstory, so I’m filling in the blanks here to a certain extent.
• The first two falls came in quick succession before the pair inevitably brawled everywhere, including a dive by Kay Lee off the bar, and then attempting to jump down a flight of stairs in a spot that I’m convinced would have seriously injured both of them had she tried it. Luckily, Taylor was there to provide interference.
• The finish was another confusing one as Jacob hit a big Hangmans DDT for what looked like a 2 and a half, but Chris Roberts counted 3 and called for the bell, even though Carmel sold the near-fall with shock and Kay Lee’s shoulder was clearly up. Despite this, the match ended with a lot of head scratching before KLR got some revenge by laying Carmel out with a Gory Bomb. I wouldn’t be shocked to see them wrestle again to clear up the controversy – which I would be fine with, as matches between these two are always great, as was this. Match of the night.
• If the show had ended there, I would have been more than satisfied, but then the men’s match took place with Tommy Dreamer beating up Sam Slam and Joe FX, neither of whom ever felt like a threat to the former ECW World Champion, and consequently took the gleam off the contest. Nobody really believed anyone other than Dreamer was winning, and in Joe FX’s case, few could believe he was in the match in the first place. Seriously, his physique looked soggy and he stuck out like a sore thumb.
• After the match, Dreamer put over the EVE roster and invited them all out to accept the thanks for the fans, which was a nice touch. In the ring, Shanna flirted with Dreamer before attacking him with a stunner and all the women dumped him out, leading to an impromptu battle royal which Kay Lee Ray won, finally eliminated Ayesha Ray. It left the fans with a positive moment after the men’s 3-way, which would probably have been a flat way to bid goodbye to Sudbury.
• Overall, the show – which didn’t have a bad match all night, though the men’s contest was unnecessary – primarily put over O’Reilly, Ayesha Ray, Jacob and Taylor, but it didn’t feel like a card which fits into the story lines, with the only real development being the Glamour Gym making it to the Tag Team Championship tournament final. While the wrestling was enjoyable enough, because of a lack of announced card, it was tough to get too excited about how it all fits together. If anything, it felt like the matches could stand alone for EVE’s On Demand service – not that there’s anything up with that, as it’s a money-spinner for the promotion – but story progression should get back on track at Queen of the Ring on May 25.
• Speaking of which, because of our tweeting throughout the show, Nikki Storm got wind of Shanna’s comments about wanting to go for her EVE Championship. So, never one to miss making a comment, the titleholder uploaded some thoughts to YouTube – and while you’re at it, check out some of the other videos she’s made in Japan, as she’s been saying quite a lot, and it’s darned engrossing.
– Lee Burton