A good half year for… Nikki Storm

Nikki Storm Youji Kawauchi

Confession time – this choice was incredibly tight, as two other European-based athletes have enjoyed similarly successful half-years. However, the self-proclaimed “World’s Finest” has had a storming six months – pun intended – and narrowly edged into being included in our extended biographies. We will let you know about the ones who also had great half-years but just missed out in our wrap-up piece coming this weekend – but for now, we take a look at six months in the life of the Pro Wrestling: EVE Champion Nikki Storm

2013 started fairly low for the 24-year old, losing in the semi-finals of the RAD:PRO Mixed Tag Team Championship tournament alongside Martin Kirby to Rubix Roach and Kirsty Love, and then saw her being unsuccessful in her title challenge against April Davids for the FutureShock Women’s Championship.

So January was a write off, but February more than made up for it.

Nikki Storm Tony KnoxAfter winning and losing the EVE Championship in the space of a few minutes last November, Storm got a rematch for the title against Emi Sakura at No Man’s Land 2, and regained the strap in the match of the night which demonstrated her ability and character. Storm came in all angry and cocky, but as Sakura put up more of a fight her look of confidence slipped and was replaced with desperation. The pair told a great story, and Emi put the new champion over huge, recovering her momentum in the promotion after her 18-month win streak was derailed on what was expected to be her shining moment.

The following month, Nikki successfully defended the title against Davids in the first EVE title match to take place on Scottish soil. However, Storm would miss a number of big UK-based shows like EVE’s Special Edition III and ICW: Fierce Females’ Luke… Who’s Yer Da? because she was out of the country partaking in her next major adventure.

Mid-April saw the Glasgow native fly out to Japan for three weeks to work half a dozen shows with JWP (as well as a sneaky extra booking with Wrestling New Classic as part of a seven-way Women’s Title match). She started by teaming with rival Emi Sakura against Maury and Hanako Nakamori, which resulted in a victory. Three six-woman matches and a battle royal followed, and for her final match, Storm was given the opportunity to wrestle in a singles match – defending Nikki Storm, Arisa Nakajima Kana Youji Kawauchithe EVE Championship against Nakamori, which say her retain the title and return the belt to Europe. You can hear more about Nikki’s trip to Japan in our Fight Like A Girl interview.

Back home, with challengers lining up for the EVE Championship, Storm was disqualified in her defence against Rhia O’Reilly at Queen of the Ring, and with a desire to expand her profile, made her debut for Bellatrix at Bellatrix 6 on June 23, defeating Miss Mina.

That Bellatrix match was an example of how Storm has evolved both as a wrestler and as a character. When she feigned a knee injury after jumping from the top rope, it appeared so real that one wrestler who was watching from backstage admitted that she was worried they would be taking Nikki to hospital and spending the night there. As it turned out, it was all a part of her wicked ruse to steal the pinfall, which she celebrated with typical good grace by mockingly hopping up the aisleway before turning and taking a bow. The match was also an example of how Storm can be relied to go into the ring with a brand new opponent and make it work – though credit also goes to Mina for being equally accomplished in keeping up her side of the deal.

Nikki Storm has Emi Sakura in a Dragon SleeperWe have talked a lot about the growth of Nikki over the lifetime of this website, but it was always with the proviso that she was still learning her craft. In the last six months, she has gone from learning it to honing and polishing her skills, while at the same time still training hard and continuing to pick up new skills. A good example is how she spent her down time in Japan inbetween training and wrestling, where she picked up her iPhone, set it to video mode and produced a number of promos – sometimes on specific topics, or others where she used it to flesh out her character’s background, motivation and goals. It saw her delivery change from yelling threats to being more broody and sinister. Jake Roberts once asserted that if someone has enough power that they can speak softly and everyone will listen. Nikki Storm is starting to whisper, and more people are taking notice as a result.

– Lee Burton
– Photos by Youji Kawauchi, Tony Knox & Ringbelles

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