There’s been a lot of talk about Pro-Wrestling: EVE as of late, the all-female, all-inclusive wrestling promotion based in London has been making waves and in the wake of Netflix’s smash hit series GLOW has garnered some big mainstream attention. The likes of the New York Times, The Independent, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Kerrang, The Metro and many more have featured EVE in recent months, but there’s more to the promotion than their attention-grabbing feminist punk rock image and ethos and the wrestling world needs to start taking greater notice, because EVE isn’t just good women’s wrestling, EVE is good wrestling full stop.
To understand why EVE feels like such a breath of fresh air, you have to look at the wrestling scene as a whole in the UK. Even in the bigger promotions there’s not usually space for more than one women’s match on a card (if at all) and often it can feel like promotions are ticking a box by having a women’s title or division that they’re unable or unwilling to treat as an integral part of their product. When given the space to breathe, when given a spot on the card intended as something more than a change of pace or a token nod to diversity, the quality on offer is undeniable and it’s obvious that with such a level of talent behind them EVE are on to something special.
However, as people talk about that rich vein of talent British wrestling has tapped into, more often than not that discussion centres on the men’s side of things. Which, to my mind, goes to show how under-represented women’s wrestling still is within the scene at large, in spite of numerous high-profile British women’s wrestlers making big names for themselves abroad. Nowhere is that divide more starkly in contrast than on a Pro-Wrestling: EVE show, where up and down the card there’s women’s wrestling talent (both well and not so well known) showing off character and skill that should easily be receiving the same sort of widespread acclaim as some of their more notable male counterparts.
Giving these wrestlers a place to perform to the fullest of their potential is certainly a big part of what makes an EVE show stand out from amongst the crowd, but another big factor is the atmosphere itself. Promoter Emily Read and her husband Dann have gone to great lengths to create a hate-free, welcoming, safe environment for wrestlers and fans alike and the result is one of the most vibrant and varied wrestling products I’ve had the pleasure of attending. Set in a unique but tiny shoe-box of a venue beneath a railway viaduct in Bethnal Green, EVE regularly pack in over 100 fans for their events and are there again on September 8th after two consecutive sell-outs.
It’s a space that could easily feel intimidating under a different banner, but with EVE it feels cosy. More amiable banter and supportive enthusiasm than ill-mannered heckling and general shitty behaviour, of which EVE makes a point of not standing for. There’s even a pug sitting under the stairs at most shows, EVE’s unofficial mascot. The promotion has an endearing D.I.Y feel to its events, and it’s through this that you get a sense of just how important and personal EVE is to Emily and Dann.
There’s a real sense of excitement from the wrestlers as well, and that’s something that permeates the group as a whole. It feels special, it feels daring and unique, and with EVE’s biggest year to date ahead of them as they gear up to head across the road to the famous York Hall in 2018, it feels like they could be on the cusp of something big.
Come check it out for yourselves on September 8th at The Resistance Gallery in Bethnal Green, when Pro-Wrestling: EVE return with ‘We Do Right – Not Nice’ – TICKETS