One of the most memorable experiences I’ve had as a wrestling fan was my first Pro Wrestling EVE show at the Resistance Gallery in London. The atmosphere in the venue, positioning of the ring next to a wall (allowing some innovative moves), excitable fans and quality of wrestling on show made for a fantastic night.
Pro Wrestling EVE has played an important role in developing a number of performers in the last decade: Two former champions have gone on to win WWE titles, Britani Knight (Paige) and Nikki Storm (Nikki Cross/A.S.H.).
In May 2018, Pro Wrestling EVE took the ambitious step to branch out to a bigger venue in the renowned York Hall for the first Wrestle Queendom. Several historic matches took place, including Kay Lee Ray versus Meiko Satomura (which was equally as good as their critically acclaimed match from NXT UK) and Viper (Piper Niven/DouDrop) versus the Japanese legend Aja Kong.
The packed crowd in York Hall also witnessed a ladder match and a War Games match. The main event saw Charlie Morgan take the Pro Wrestling EVE title from Sammi Jayne in a match which featured a Jeff Hardy-esque balcony dive.
Wrestle Queendom 2 followed in June 2019 and before the show was best value for money Meet and Greet I have ever attended. The second incarnation saw an even more star studded card, including Stardom competitors Yuu, Kagetsu, Mayu Iwatani and Arisa Hoshiki. There was a brutal ‘Undead’ (hardcore) match involving Impact’s Su Yung and Session Goth (Moth) Martina. Another competitor from Impact, Jordynne Grace was involved in a grudge match with Laura Di Matteo.
EVE standouts Wrestle Friends (Jetta and Erin Angel) won the tag team championship in an emotional match against Medusa Complex (Charli Evans and Millie McKenzie) and former champions Diamond Vogue Collective (Jinny and Mercedez Blaze). Recent AEW signee Jamie Hayter retained her International Championship in a fantastic triple threat match over Nina Samuels and Utami Hayashishita.
The main event saw Kay Lee Ray lose the Pro Wrestling EVE title to Viper. It was well known before the match that this would be the last appearance in EVE for both due to them signing with NXT UK, and there was a twist after the match with Rhia O’Reilly cashing in her title opportunity to win the gold.
Wrestle Queendom 3 took place in January 2020, just prior to lockdown. A number of talents from the previous two events were unable to compete due to them signing NXT UK contracts. The depth of the roster was on show, however, as a number of performers stepped up to replace them.
The event featured talented international competitors Maki Itoh, Yuka Sakazaki (both from Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling) and Nor “Phoenix” Diana from Malaysian Pro Wrestling.
The first part of the co-main event saw Rhia O’Reilly successfully defend against Laura Di Matteo. The finale saw an elimination tag match between the defending champions Sammi Jayne and Gisele Shaw, the Woke Queens (Debbie Keitel and Valkyrie) and Medusa Complex. Medusa Complex had been one of the best tag teams in wrestling in the previous 12 months, having amazing matches with teams such as The Rascalz (M.S.K. in NXT), Chihiro Hashimoto and Yuu, and Schadenfreude (Kyle Fletcher and Chris Brookes). It was no surprise when Charli and Millie were victorious and ended the night holding the titles aloft in the ring.
The rich history of Wrestle Queendom brings us to this Friday (27th August 2021), where Wrestle Queendom 4 emanates from 229 The Venue in London. The matches announced at the time of writing are:
Mercedez Blaze vs Clementine
Mercedez was part of the She-1 tournament in 2019 and has wrestled at the last two Wrestle Queendom’s. A regular competitor for PROGRESS in 2021, she came close to winning the Progress women’s title on a number of occasions.
The first Wrestle Queendom was the first live wrestling show that Clementine ever attended. She is as at a disadvantage in terms of experience but as one of the brightest talents in Europe, she may get the biggest win of her career to date.
EVE International Championship
Kasey (C) vs Emersyn Jayne vs Maddison Miles vs Nightshade vs Debbie Keitel vs Hyan
Northern Ireland’s Kasey is facing a difficult challenge to hold on to her EVE International Championship as she takes on five other challengers. The globe is well represented in this match, with Kasey battling Scotland’s Emersyn Jayne, Canada’s Maddison Miles, England’s Nightshade, Ireland’s Debbie Keitel and America’s Hyan.
Kasey is no stranger to championship gold as she is a three time ICW Women’s Champion. She is also no stranger to Maddison Miles, having defeated her in March 2020 to become number one contender for the International Championship, beating Sammii Jayne later in that evening to win the title.
Maddison Miles is one of the youngest competitors on the card and has massive potential. Having started her career in Canada she has been a frequent competitor in RevPro and Bellatrix in the last couple of years.
Hyan is the current Heart of Shimmer Champion and has appeared in AEW and ROH in recent months. Her early career was spent in Booker T’s Reality of Wrestling promotion – her worldwide experience makes her one of the favourites to dethrone Kasey.
Emersyn Jayne is an impressive former Pro Wrestling EVE Champion, EVE International Champion and EVE Tag Team Champion (as Sammii Jayne). Emersyn has been a standout of the British wrestling scene for a number of years and is another of the favourites in this match.
Nightshade has been a strong competitor in EVE for the last three years and she will be hoping her experience of facing wrestlers such as Mercedes Martinez, Yuu and Shazza McKenzie will help her come out victorious in this match.
Debbie Keitel is a former EVE Tag Team Champion as part of the Woke Queens, beating Laura Di Matteo and Mercedes Martinez in a tournament final in October 2019. Debbie has competed in a number of promotions across the UK and Ireland including Rev Pro and OTT, and is now looking for singles gold in EVE.
Rhia O’Reilly defends her title against 29 other competitors in a rumble match
If Kasey has a difficult task retaining her title, Rhia O’Reilly has an almost impossible task as she takes on 29 other women in a rumble match. Rhia is a three time EVE champion and her current reign has lasted for over two years. She has successfully defended her title against competitors such as Jetta, Roxxy and Alpha Female.
At least six of the competitors are not being announced beforehand, meaning we could see some surprises – perhaps some international competitors or returning stars. Of the competitors announced so far, here are five of the challengers to look out for:
Laura Di Matteo – One of the best unsigned wrestlers in Europe, she has been competing in EVE since 2016 and recently made appearances for NXT UK. She has come close to winning the EVE championship in the past, perhaps Wrestle Queendom 4 will be her time.
Nightshade – The possibility of leaving the night as a double champion is entirely possible for Nightshade. The rumble match will favour her (she was runner up in the rumble match at Wrestle Queendom 3) and it would be in the other competitors interests to team up and eliminate her early.
Lana Austin – Lana went to a time limit draw with Yuka Sakazaki at Wrestle Queendom 3, so her stamina should help her in the rumble match. She is one of the most experienced competitors in the match having previously competed in Japan, ROH, Impact and NXT UK.
Jetta – The Princess Diana of wrestling would be a popular winner with the Pro Wrestling EVE fanbase. A former tag team champion and winner of the 15 woman rumble match at Wrestle Queendom 3, this could be her first singles title success.
Alex Windsor – Out of action since 2017, this event marks her return to action following successful surgery. Prior to her injury she would have been one of the favourites to win, but only time will tell if she is back to 100 percent.