Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s Pro Wrestling EVE (26/11/16) Review

Added by Josh Woodcock

Pro Wrestling EVE was back last Saturday at the Resistance Gallery with the first ever UK appearance of Manami Toyota. To many she’s the best wrestler in the world, male or female and she can back that up with 17 of her matches being awarded 5* by the Wrestling Observer between ‘91 and ‘95. To put that in perspective she’s had more than the entire history of WWF/E.

But, before Toyota’s match with Blue Nikita, Pro Wrestling EVE put on a incredible show despite some last minute absences.

The Resistance Gallery, also used by Lucha Britannia and their Lucha School is a rather unique venue for wrestling; a creative arts space in East London. It’s intimacy ratcheted up the atmosphere which makes for a very hot crowd. The pacing and variety of styles and match-ups on the show meant the crowd was never threatened to be quiet.

Jetta vs Jinny

Things started up with veteran heel Jetta taking on the nuclear heat machine Jinny. Jetta has been retired since 2010 but returned to the ring earlier this year for IPW and hasn’t stopped since. This was a fun match between two heels, although anyone facing Jinny is automatically a face. They both played on Jetta’s veteran status when she complained that Jinny was countering her moves because she has watched her back catalogue of matches. But that wasn’t enough to stop Jetta winning via roll up.

Kay Lee Ray vs Nixon Newell vs Alex Windsor

Kay Lee Ray and Nixon Newell are the talk of the indy circuit in the UK and in this match it was easy to see why. Both were pitted against Alex Windsor in a Triple Threat in a fast paced match that saw Newell and Ray teaming up for several spots to take down the heel. It almost made it into a handicap match. Windsor apply a double Muta submission on both of them before they returned the favour later on with a double chokeslam to share the win. It was an intriguing match-up that played on the face-face-heel dynamic really well and everybody came out looking strong.

Laura di Matteo vs Shanna

The following match saw Laura di Matteo take on Shanna. This was the first time I’ve seen Laura Di Matteo in solo competition, previously seeing her in PROGRESS. It was great to see how she has come along since then, more than holding her own against the more experienced Shanna, who has been in Japan working in Stardom over the summer. They spilled into the crowd for the only outside brawl of the show that changed things up a bit. Di Matteo won with the roll-up.

Pro Wrestling EVE Championship Match – Rhea O’Reilly © vs Emi Sakura

Normally title matches go on last, but when you have Manami Toyota making her UK debut that can be forgiven. Rhea O’Reilly defended against Emi Sakura, better known as the founder of Ice Ribbon, one of the bigger joshii promotions in Japan. The crowd were very much on her side in a hard hitting match with momentum swinging both ways with O’Reilly very much the underdog in the ring. But she managed to pull it off and Sakura tapped out to the rhiadjustment, setting up a rematch at EVE’s double header in February.

Manami Toyota vs Blue Nikita

Manami Toyota came out to a riotous crowd, desperate to see their idol in action for the first time. She came out in full armour looking as if she was ready to go to war. Her opponent Blue Nikita played up to her heel role. Toyota was the star of the match. Still active despite being more than twenty years removed from her run of 5* matches, Toyota demonstrated that she could still go. She pulled off many of her signature moves such as the Manami Roll and her arsenal of suplexes and top rope maneuvers. Blue Nikita did brilliantly making Toyota look good and got some credible offense in herself. The outcome was a foregone conclusion with Toyota pinning Blue Nikita with her trademark Japanese Ocean Cyclone Suplex.

After her loss Blue Nikita broke character and cut a promo thanking Toyota, explaining to us and her how much of an inspiration Toyota was all those years ago when she started training and that she will always treasure this match against her. It was an emotional, heartfelt moment. By the end there was barely a dry eye in the house.

Overall, an excellent show from top to bottom, showing that female talent in the UK is in very rude health with an exciting future. A double show was announced for February 18th at the same venue. It this was anything to go by it will be a cracking show.

Twitter – @JoshWoodcock

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