The name of Pro Wrestling: EVE’s final show of 2019 officially was Wristlocks and Rhinestones, but certain, er, events transpiring in the UK just days before the show required a last-minute modification of moniker. Welcome, then, to your recap and review of the pithily-titled, ‘Let’s Get Shitfaced And Scream Into The Void’.

First to scream into the void was Laura DiMatteo. Regular EVE viewers will already know that DiMatteo has been a tad disgruntled of late; her vicious attack on Rhia O’Reilly during the SHE-1 final took the reigning EVE Champion out of commission, allowing Millie McKenzie to clinch the victory. But that’s not nearly enough for DiMatteo, who called O’Reilly out before the show had even got fully underway. O’Reilly reminded DiMatteo that she already had a match scheduled – but that she was welcome to take on henchman Nightshade later in the show.

To our first match of the night:

Sammii Jayne def. Jinny

It’s still a little jarring to hear the crowd fully behind Sammii Jayne, who left EVE a resolute heel and returned from injury claiming to have turned over a new leaf. It seems like Jayne really has gone legit, though, and although cheering for Jinny is undoubtedly her due it seems as though Jayne is fully rehabilitated with the EVE faithful. This was a hard match to call, then, and still harder fought. Jinny never misses a beat – why she’s not better utilised in NXT UK is anyone’s guess, but from a selfish perspective, the longer EVE get to keep her around, the better. Sammii Jayne is no slouch, though, and quick thinking from the fiery Scot saw Jinny rolled up for the 3-count.

It wasn’t over there, though.

Nina Samuels – the human personification of that Bird’s Rights Activist tweet – made her way to the ring, interrupting an uncharacteristically generous Jinny. According to Samuels, Jinny’s praising of her now former tag team partner Mercedez Blaze, as well as injured partner Kanji, is a sign that the Queen has gone soft. Losing to Sammii Jayne was the icing on the cake. Samuels was quick to remind everyone that she had never lost to Jayne at EVE. And since Samuels’ scheduled opponent, Millie McKenzie, was unavailable, perhaps Jayne would like to step up…?

Spoiler: she did, in fact, step up.

Sammii Jayne def. Nina Samuels

Credit where it’s due – Sammii Jayne showed no signs of exhaustion in this, her second match in a row. Samuels may have had the benefit of fresh legs, but her customary arrogance did her no favours; underestimating Sammii Jayne is never a smart decision and with everything to prove, Jayne gave this one her all. Nina Samuels went out the same way Jinny did: a roll-up pin, with egg on her face.

Next out: Gisele Shaw, who claims that by virtue of the fact that she tapped out Millie McKenzie during the SHE-1, she is the real Ace of EVE. This goes down like a lead balloon with the crowd, who are less than impressed with Shaw’s diva attitude of late. As if this bold claim weren’t enough, Shaw calls out Pro Wrestling: EVE Tag Team Champs, the Woke Queens, who cheerfully saunter down to the ring to answer her call.

Woke Queens respond to Shaw’s ‘whining’ by offering her a shot at the Tag Team titles – if she can find herself a partner by the time the main event swings around.

… all of which led up to our first title defence of the evening.

Rhia O’Reilly def. Jetta to retain the Pro Wrestling: EVE Championship

Regular readers will already be aware that I have been championing Jetta’s cause for a little while now, so it was gratifying to see the Princess Diana of EVE finally get her shot at gold. But even having Rhia’s dad in her corner wasn’t enough to see Jetta to a win. The ever-vicious O’Reilly busted Jetta’s nose open, leaving her dazed and breathing blood. As if that weren’t enough, Nightshade interferes behind the ref’s back, targetting Jetta’s knee. Limping and bleeding, Jetta falls easy victim to the Rhiadjustment. Rhia retains – and more importantly, reminds us all how dangerous she is when provoked. Who can possibly stand up to this unstoppable force of nature?

Heidi Katrina def. Mercedez Blaze

Both Heidi Katrina and Mercedez Blaze are highlights of any EVE show, and putting them together is a stroke of genius. Cocky heel Blaze badly underestimated Essex’s finest, and though she did not go down without a fight, go down she did. Katrina is an absolute superstar; she looks amazing, she holds herself with easy confidence, and she wrestles like a freight train. With Skye Smitson on a German excursion, it’s good to have someone flying the hench flag for EVE. This was enormous fun, and full credit to both Blaze and Katrina, whose well-judged mix of humour and straight-up ass-kicking made this one of the best matches on the card. A thunderous top rope leg drop clinched the win for Katrina, and send Blaze scurrying off to the back.

A brief interlude between matches and a video package announces that Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling and AEW star Yuka Sakazaki will be making her EVE debut at Wrestle Queendom 3. Exciting times!

Laura DiMatteo def. Nightshade

She’s already beat Livvii Grace, and she’s on the warpath. Laura DiMatteo might have a clear size disadvantage, but she’s all fired up and Nightshade soon realises that she may have bitten off more than she can chew. Utilising her speed and agility, DiMatteo expertly dodges and reverses much of Nightshade’s formidable offence. She’s indefatigable, and Nightshade can only withstand so much punishment. DiMatteo submits Nightshade and demands a title shot at Wrestle Queendom 3.

Dann Read takes to the mic to inform the crowd that O’Reilly has refused the match. Surprise surprise. But, Dann continues, O’Reilly is contractually obligated to defend her title at Wrestle Queendom 3. And as it happens, the number one contender is none other than Laura DiMatteo. Hard luck, Rhia. See you in January.

Gisele Shaw & Sammii Jayne def. Woke Queens to become NEW Pro Wrestling: EVE Tag Team Champions

Woke Queens, complete with tinsel and reindeer antlers, make their festive way to the ring where a lone Gisele Shaw stands, defiant. Who, they ask, has she secured as a partner for tonight’s main event? Believe it or not, it’s Sammii Jayne, wrestling her third match of the night. Jayne makes it clear to Shaw that she’s only in it for the gold, but could this be a sign that Sammii Jayne’s new leaf is not quite as turned over as we’d thought…?

Festive carnage ensues. With tinsel tag ropes and wrapping paper kendo sticks, Woke Queens quickly find themselves brutalised; who knew rolls of paper could leave such enormous welts? Sammii Jayne looks improbably fresh as she and Shaw trade places to isolate Debbie Keitel, grinding her down and keeping her from the tag. The tide turns somewhat when Valkyrie eventually tags in, but the damage is already done, and somehow Sammii Jayne and Gisele Shaw pull the ultimate upset: Shaw submits Keitel to claim the EVE Tag Team Championships.

The former Tag Team Champs aren’t about to take defeat lying down, though. As newly-divested champions, they’re entitled to a rematch. And since Wrestle Queendom 3 is right around the corner, what better time than the eleventh of January to claim back what is rightfully theirs?

The stage is set for Wrestle Queendom. We could well see the crowning of a brand new EVE champion; we could well see the end of Laura DiMatteo’s career at the hands of Rhia and her cronies. We could see Woke Queens become 2-time Champs, or we could see Gisele Shaw prove once again why she’s the real Ace of Eve. Only five weeks to go, and everything to play for. Let’s see what 2020 holds for Pro Wrestling: EVE.

All images courtesy of Laura Mauro