It has been 19 months since their previous encounter, and tonight, the pair meet again. Pro Wrestling: EVE Champion Alpha Female defends the title against number one contender Nikki Storm, with Storm possessing a psychological advantage in that the only defeat on Alpha’s record in the whole of EVE history was by her hands. It’s the main event of Wrestle Fever – EVE’s second foray into iPPV, and you can watch it by ordering it here.
On what is a bumper card of action, JWP Openweight Champion Emi Sakura puts the title on the line against Kay Lee Ray in the first defence of the belt in the UK, while Sakura’s running buddy in Gatoh Move Kaori Yoneyama teams up with April Davids against Hannah and Holly Blossom, with the winners meeting the victors in another tag match involving Kasey & Leah Owens against Amazon Ayesha Ray & Rhia O’Reilly and a mystery team in a mini tag team tournament.
The other high-profile encounter sees former TNA Knockouts Champion Angelina Love take on the Glamour Gym’s Carmel Jacob – elsewhere, Kirsty Love faces Blue Nikita, Janey Britannico steps into the ring against Shanna, and Erin Angel competes against Scottish newcomer Fiona Fraser.
While you’re keeping up with the results, you can have a read of Nikki’s most recent blog where she discusses Wrestle Fever and our chat with her as part of a recent Women Of Wrestling Podcast, and you can click the jump to see the results as they happen.
Emi Sakura and Kay Lee Ray signed the contract for the JWP Overweight Title match.
1. April Davids and Kaori Yoneyama beat Hannah and Holly Blossom when Yoneyama pinned Holly with a Chaos Theory German Suplex.
2. Bete Noire and Viper defeated Kasey and Leah Owens & Rhia O’Reilly and Amazon Ayesha Ray in a 3-way when Viper pinned Kasey with an Electric Chair Drop.
3. Janey Britannico pinned Shanna with a cradle. Nikki Storm interfered afterwards to beat on Janey. Alpha Female made the save but took a chairshot to the leg.
4. Erin Angel beat Fiona Fraser with a frog splash.
5. Emi Sakura retained the JWP Overweight Championship by beating Kay Lee Ray with a Magistral Cradle.
6. Blue Nikita pinned Kristy Love with the CB4 Driver.
7. Angelina Love beat Carmel Jacob via DQ.
7a. Carmel Jacob and Sara-Marie Taylor beat Angelina Love and Erin Angel. Angel was pinned by Jacob following a double DDT.
8. Viper and Bete Noire defeated April Davids and Kaori Yoneyama when Viper pinned Yoneyama with a Michinoku Driver.
9. Nikki Storm beat Alpha Female by referee stoppage to win the Pro Wrestling: EVE Championship.
9a. Emi Sakura pinned Nikki Storm with a 450 Splash to win the Pro Wrestling: EVE Championship.
A rematch between Sakura and Storm was announced for the weekend of February 2/3, and a War Games match will take place on February 23 between Team Alpha Female and Team Nikki Storm.
• April Davids & Kaori Yoneyama make a fun team, and it was a treat to see Yoneyama on these shores. Their match with The Blossom Twins was solid too, and I was pleasantly surprised to see Davids/Yoneyama pick up the victory with a *sweet* Chaos Theory from Yoneyama.
• The second match in the mini tag tourney was a mess though. Ama-Reilly walking out was heel heat that ultimately wasn’t followed up on during the show, and left two inexperienced teams to work the rest of the match. It wasn’t clear from then on who was supposed to be babyface/heel as both sides bent the rules, yet both asked for crowd support. Regarding the team of Viper & Bete Noire though – I understand the concept of She-X, I’m just not sure I like it yet – I need more convincing. I appreciated Viper getting some promo time, but I might take some convincing that she’s better as a DX-inspired face than a heel. Don’t know if it came across on the stream, but when Bete Noire launched herself off the top rope to the floor early, she did it whilst yelling “I REGRET NOTHING!”, which tickled me.
• A quick word on Ama-Reilly’s exit – considering both were such an integral part of EVE’s last show in July, it seems to be a massive fall from grace that they barely registered on the iPPV, especially since both have expanded their brands internationally since then – with Ray touring Australia and wrestling at PWWA, and O’Reilly debuting at SHINE and rising up the ranks in SHIMMER. If fans were buying the iPPV to see more of them, they would probably have been left disappointed.
• Shanna vs Janey Britannico had no real issue behind it, but they did some fun lucha-inspired spots. The finishing cradle didn’t look good at all (minimal body-to-body contact) but the match was more of a backdrop for Nikki Storm’s post match run-in and luring of Alpha Female to the ring for the injury angle. The promo and angle were both great though.
• I’d been quietly looking forward to Fiona Fraser vs Erin Angel. Although I’d never seen Fraser work, the talent level of the rest of the Scottish contingent combined with the word that she works a technical/World of Sport inspired style raised my expectation levels. Plus, she was wrestling Erin Angel, who is great at that style. Things started well, with some nice chain wrestling, but then things went south. I appreciate that Fiona’s not been training for very long, but I think with hindsight being 20/20, she shouldn’t have gone anywhere near as long as she did here – similarly, her bumping left a lot to be desired. I love the idea of the female “technical wiz”, but I don’t think Fraser was good enough for that position yet, especially if the show is broadcasting worldwide on iPPV.
• Emi Sakura vs Kay Lee Ray was not only the match of the first half of the show, it was match of the night. Sakura’s matches at the EVE vs ICE Ribbon event were marked with a light-heartedness that wasn’t evident here – this was serious Sakura. KLR continues to impress with each showing, throwing her best at the JWP Champion, and between the two of them producing a match worthy of that belt. I can only hope that this will hasten opportunities for Kay Lee to make her way to Japan, where she has every opportunity to be a star.
• I was very impressed with the ability of Kirsty Love to stick in there and be competitive with a veteran like Blue Nikita. I haven’t seen Kirsty in a while, but she looked confident and composed not only in hitting some high-risk stuff, but also in the back and forward strike battles. She’s clearly been working hard, and that’s tremendous to see. Kirsty was one of the most over performers of the night too. Blue Nikita was her dependably strong self, and this was really good.
• Carmel vs Angelina ended with a ridiculously swift and disappointing DQ, but was restarted as a tag match after interference by Sara and a save by Erin Angel. Angelina was very popular with the audience, and seemed to be responsible for drawing a lot of punters (if her line for photos was any indication), so kudos to Dann Read for a canny booking here. I love Carmel though – I think the way she carries herself is fantastic, and she’s able to back it up in the ring too, and I think she had a good night. In fact, while the tag match was fun, part of me thinks I’d have liked to just see the original advertised singles match. Nevertheless, this was enjoyable.
• Bete Noire & Viper had a better showing in their tag match with Davids & Yoneyama, and they make a fine power team. Was taken aback that Viper pinned Yoneyama. Big win for her.
• I really enjoyed the main event. It was your generic walkabout weapons-filled brawl, but it was done with a lot of emotion and most importantly of all, it felt like a a proper vicious fight. The crowd definitely split a bit, with a portion supporting Nikki, which I think is just a by-product of the size difference between the two. Alpha Female is monstrous compared to Nikki Storm, and when that monster is beating up a resilient smaller girl, it’s hard not to go with the underdog. Storm (who had new gear) had a career performance here, and finally won the belt with a couple of vicious chair shots to the head and a Nagata Lock III. Alpha passed out and Storm won the belt.
• What happened next? Well… while I’m sure we can properly judge what happened in the coming months, my initial reaction was disappointment. Don’t get me wrong, I like Emi Sakura and I actually don’t have a problem with her winning the EVE Title and taking it to Japan/Thailand, I just didn’t like the timing as it felt like it took away Storm’s moment. Sure, it does have the heel getting her comeuppance, but I think there was far more you could do with Storm as mouthy champion before Sakura (or whoever) closed it. To be fair, Sakura’s victory did get a big pop, and there’s a rematch set for early 2012, and I’m sure the continuance of close relations between EVE and Gatoh Move is going to be good for our stars getting an opportunity to go overseas – I can just say that on a personal level, I was disappointed.
• Overall, while I had misgivings about some things (Storm’s impromptu title loss, Ama-Reilly’s apparent disappearance, Fiona Fraser’s inexperience being exposed), there was plenty of praise-worthy stuff here – Alpha vs Storm had plenty of smoke and mirrors, but that’s still no guarantee of a good match, which is what we got here. Kudos to them. Blue Nikita vs Kirsty Love was a surprisingly strong match, with Love having come on in leaps and bounds. Angelina Love, as noted, appeared to be worth her weight in gold as far as the draw was concerned. It was a pleasure seeing Yoneyama perform live. And in Emi Sakura vs Kay Kee Ray you had a superb title match. Hopefully the 200+ will be back in February and the forward momentum continues.
- Stew Allen
Ringbelles was also fortunate enough to grab a few minutes with Angelina Love and ask her about her match at EVE, her life after TNA, wrestling in Canada, and where she’s heading to in the future. Click here to listen.