It’s been a big week for Rhia O’Reilly. On Saturday, she enjoyed her best match of the year so far in a losing effort to eventual Fierce Females Scottish Champion Kay Lee Ray as part of the excellent Luke… Who’s Yer Da? card. On Monday, it was announced that she would defend her British Championship against Erin Angel at Bellatrix 6 on June 23. However, before she gets to that contest, she takes part in her highest stakes match to date.
On the same day that she is celebrating the third anniversary of her official debut at Pro Wrestling: EVE‘s first show – where she lost to Sara-Marie Taylor, but rebounded later on, teaming with Becky James to beat April Davids & Jenny Sjodin and Carmel Jacob & Taylor in a 3-way – it was announced that she would challenge Nikki Storm for the promotion’s championship at the Queen of the Ring show on May 25 in Nottingham, England.
The announcement marks a resurgence for The Fighting Irish in the promotion after a period of uncertainty. Following a limp heel turn – which came about because of her not winning matches – she continued staring at the lights before aligning with Amazon Ayesha Ray at the first Special Edition show last July. The tandem allowed her to become more mouthy and antagonistic before hiding behind the muscle of her tag team partner to solve the problems, which saw her beat Kirsty Love, and then their Ama-Reilly collective weasel their way into the Tag Team Championship tournament by beating the Blossom Twins to steal their spot. However, their momentum seemingly derailed when they took a walk during their match at EVE’s Wrestle Fever iPPV last November. The inconclusive results continued at February’s No Man’s Land 2 when Ray and O’Reilly went to a no-contest with She-X (Viper & Bete Noire), who were paired following their unfinished business at the iPPV.
However, O’Reilly Rhia-bounded at last month’s Special Edition III card with two convincing and decisive victories over Noire and Angel with her Rhiajustment DDT, putting over the effectiveness of the finisher and making her a threat. In addition, she is also technically part of the Tag Title tournament, so she could conceivably snare the singles and tag belts over the coming months.
While the challenger has found her groove, the champion hasn’t been resting on her laurels. Storm has spent the last three weeks in Japan wrestling for JWP, and also made a successful defence of the EVE strap, beating Hanako Nakamori last Sunday in Tokyo on Sunday – adding to the retention of the title by beating April Davids on a Scottish Wrestling Alliance card in March. In fact, Nikki won more than she lost on her Japanese tour, and has also taken the free time to produce a shedload of promos, including one on the cat which lives in JWP’s dojo.
The announcement means that the next EVE Championship match will feature a heel against a heel – with fellow heels Jacob and Taylor due shots in the future and Shanna promising to win the QOTR tourney and challenging her (former?) tag team partner for the title. As far as fan support goes, May 25’s championship match will be a free for all. Who’s going to emerge with the belt? Be in Nottingham on May 25 and find out.
– Lee Burton
– Photo by Slammin Ladies