The advertised card for this one is as follows:
- Jamie Hayter vs. Madison Eagles (SHE-1 Block A Match)
- Millie McKenzie vs. Viper (SHE-1 Block A Match)
- Charli Evans vs. Kasey (SHE-1 Block B Match)
- Kris Wolf vs. Rhia O’Reilly (SHE-1 Block B Match)
- Command Bolshoi vs. Jetta (SHE-1 Block C Match)
- Jinny vs. Toni Storm (SHE-1 Block C Match)
Under the cut I’ll let you know how it went, but before I get to the spoilers I’ll talk a bit about the venue. It’s small – really small, as in the ring takes up more space than the audience on the floor and the commentary desk and gorilla position are upstairs on the balcony.
That makes it not great if you’re claustrophobic, and it’s mostly standing room only (though arrangements can be made if you absolutely have to sit down or bring in a wheelchair). The plus side is that it’s very intimate; wherever you are, you are close to the action, sometimes very close, and the crowd are generally good at rearranging themselves so everyone can see. Where I was stood, under the balcony, I could even hear a little of the commentary.
Because you’re so close, the wrestlers know how easy it is for you to hear them, so dialogue plays more of a role in matches than it really could in a larger venue. (At one point Jamie Hayter even berated the commentary team for something they’d said.)
It’s a very different experience either to watching wrestling in a larger venue, and an aspect which the video material doesn’t really bring out. That’s a positive in some ways – if someone has a body odour issue in your vicinity you will become aware of it – but nonetheless I’d recommend shows at the Resistance Gallery to folk if the constraints of the venue aren’t a deal-breaker for you.
Millie McKenzie vs. Viper (SHE-1 Block A Match)
The opening match Viper saw a lot of banter between Viper and Millie; Viper seems to get more of a face response in EVE than she does in World of Sport, and that crowd affection has also translated into her being the current EVE International Champion. Millie gave a good fight despite coming across as an underdog, but Viper won with a sneaky reversal of a sleeper hold into a pin.
Charli Evans vs. Erin Angel (SHE-1 Block B Match)
This was a change from the advertised card – Erin wasn’t originally booked for this – and perhaps that may be why it seemed to get a more subdued reaction that other matches of the evening as the audience tried to work out who’d dropped out. Charli won, much to the crowd’s displeasure.
Jamie Hayter vs. Madison Eagles (SHE-1 Block A Match)
Holy shit, Madison Eagles is a seriously intimidating presence. Her ring gear is on point too, even if I couldn’t help but think a little of the Pigeon Boys from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Hayter won in a match whose essential story was “chickenshit heel beats clearly superior opponent with combination of chickenshit cowardice and shenanigans and genuine resilience”.
Kris Wolf vs. Rhia O’Reilly (SHE-1 Block B Match)
Kris’ gimmick is “feral wild woman, mild furry tendencies, yells about smashing boxes, loses her temper when people treat her like she’s cute”. Rhia made that mistake and Kris won.
Command Bolshoi vs. Jetta (SHE-1 Block C Match)
Command Bolshoi is an amazing masked joshi badass. Jetta’s gimmick is that she’s the 2-count queen and insists on being introduced as having pinned all sorts of amazing names from the world of women’s wrestling… for a 2-count. Apparently Jetta didn’t have a brilliant G1 last year and something tells me she won’t have a good one this year; Bolshoi wins with submission.
Kasey vs. Toni Storm (SHE-1 Block C Match)
This is the other changed match on the card. Evidently, Jinny couldn’t make it, so instead of getting a preview of potential upcoming NXT UK action we have an extremely over Toni beating an extremely booed Kasey after a brutal match. But can she beat her embarrassment at being introduced as the Mae Young Classic winner and getting a “you deserve it” chant from the crowd?
With no draws on the card, round 1 finishes up with a nice and simple picture as far as the scores go: Storm, Bolshoi, Wolf, Hayter, Evans and Viper all have 2 points, nobody else has any.