Pro Wrestling EVE: Redefining Women’s Wrestling

Pro Wrestling EVE

While women independent wrestlers are gaining more steam in the international wrestling scene and indie boom of the current era, it’s sometimes easy to forget the promotions that were strictly women’s wrestlers, born out of a repressive culture in mainstream (and to an extent indie) promotions that kept women’s matches to a minimum and still had a mentality that women couldn’t be viable draws. While IMPACT Wrestling and Ring of Honor brought in women in the early stages of their history and with far more respect than women had seen in years, the options still weren’t there like was for the men, in regards to room on most rosters.

The need for women’s promotions that could fully utilize the growing surge of young women becoming pro wrestlers was apparent – not since All Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling (AJW) pushed its way into the history books of the industry in 1968 has other global territories needed a platform for its women talent base to thrive. Thanks to the revolution of AJW, joshi wrestling has become big business in Japan, with the likes of Stardom, Sendai Girls, Pure-J and OZ Academy creating international stars. In the US, it was lead by SHIMMER, founded in 2005 by former ROH employee Dave Prazak and women’s indie wrestler Allison Danger. SHIMMER’s initial success lead to other all-women’s promotions throughout the country, like Women Superstars Uncensored (WSU, 2006), Shine Wrestling (2012), Queens of Combat (QOC, 2014) and Women Wrestling Revolution (WWR, 2016).

Pro Wrestling EVE: Redefining Women’s Wrestling

In the UK, it was one of the UK’s wrestling icons, “Sweet Saraya” Knight of the infamous Knight Family (and mother of WWE Superstar Paige) that kicked off the UK’s women’s revolution, creating the World Association of Women’s Wrestling (WAWW), the sister promotion to her and her husband Ricky Knight‘s World Association of Wrestling (WAW). In 2013, it was rebranded as Bellatrix. But while WAW was hugely influential in the development of future women’s wrestlers, it wasn’t until Emily Read and her husband Dann got together to create something special in 2010. The all-women’s promotion Pro Wrestling: EVE.

Right from the debut show in 2010, Pro Wrestling EVE was something new. It was not just a new platform for the best UK women’s talent to showcase their skills and grow, but it was a stopping ground for legends and budding stars from around the world as well – the first show featured German veterans Blue Nikita and Alpha Female (aka Jazzy Gabert), Swedish indie star Jenny Sjodin, Ireland’s rising star Rhia O’Reilly, UK vets like Saraya Knight and Pollyanna, and bright new talent like Jetta, April Davids, and Saraya’s daughter Britani Knight (aka Paige). The first two years would see Liberty (Alex Windsor), Scotland’s Nikki Storm (NXT’s Nikki Cross), Viper and Kay Lee Ray, Canada’s Leah Von Dutch, former IMPACT star Angelina Love, and many more come through and become regulars. They would partner with Japan’s Ice Ribbon, with many stars coming over to face the EVE regulars. It was during this exchange that EVE formed a lifelong friendship with Ice Ribbon owner and joshi legend Emi Sakura (who still performs with EVE to this day). It would also start an EVE trademark of bringing in some of the best joshi wrestlers, past and present, from multiple promotions that has remained to this day.

Following their Queen of the Ring event in May of 2013, EVE suddenly shut down. Emily had hit some rough times mentally and was later diagnosed bi-polar. She took years off to get her health back to manageable terms and in 2016, EVE was relaunched and they’ve never looked back. With most of the original women returning to the company, they brought in even more new emerging stars, like Nixon Newell (Tegan Nox), Toni Storm, Jinny, Sammii Jayne, Laura Di Matteo, Martina “The Session Moth”, and more, and made a bang by bringing over such joshi icons as Manami Toyota, Meiko Satomara and Command Bolshoi. They’ve seen some of their stars become bigger stars through the likes of PROGRESS, NXT, and even the WWE.

This May, they hosted their most ambitious event to date, the massive Wrestle Queendom. Held on May 5, 2018 at the York Hall in London, EVE sold out a 1,000 seat venue for the largest all-women’s wrestling show in European history. The card features the first ever women’s War Games match, an absolute classic match up between Meiko Satomura and Kay Lee Ray, a glimpse at one of the UK’s fastest rising stars Millie McKenzie near the start of her ascension, and the coronation of Charlie Morgan to main event status. Not to mention a hard hitting affair that pit Japanese legend Aja Kong against Scotland’s Viper.

Photo: EVE

If you’re a fan of women’s independent wrestling, if you’ve been impressed with the WWE‘s Mae Young Classic, if you are a fan of SHIMMER, Shine or the women’s division of IMPACT Wrestling, but haven’t heard of Pro Wrestling EVE, you’re in luck. Today, Pro Wrestling EVE released this year’s Wrestle Queendom, in it’s entirety, for free. So if you’ve got about 2 hours and 45 minutes one day, watch this event. It’s the perfect starting point to getting the perfect idea of what Pro Wrestling EVE is about – which is showcasing simply the best women’s wrestling in Europe, Japan and beyond in a punk rock show of magical proportions.

 

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.