Congratulations on surviving this week. You’ve officially made it to She-1 weekend, and it’s going to be a belter.
We’ve been introducing you to the twelve women who will descend on Bethnal Green’s Resistance Gallery to wreak havoc this weekend (read our articles on Block A, Block B and Block C). With less than 24 hours before our wrestling odyssey kicks off, our writers have set down their predictions. Who will win the league and a title shot at next year’s record-breaking York Hall show?
The interesting thing about the She-1 is that there are several potential winners. But I honestly don’t see anybody beating Laura DiMatteo. She hasn’t been pinned or submitted in a singles match since she debuted for EVE, and she’s been in high-profile matches against the likes of Kris Wolf. It makes sense to use that to build to a main event slot. The problem is that I think she’s going to pin Sammi Jayne in their Block C match, and she doesn’t need to pin the champion if she’s going to get a title shot anyway. Maybe their match goes to a draw…
Either way, I’m predicting that Laura goes into the final alongside Meiko Satomura, because she’s Meiko Satomura, and another strongly booked EVE regular, Kay Lee Ray. I wouldn’t necessarily rule out Nicole Matthews, but this will be her EVE debut: if Meiko isn’t getting pinned, I think the KLR in Killer is established enough to give the winner a major rub. And no, I’m not just saying that because I want to see this match more than I want sunshine, rainbows and tea.
I would say this, but I just can’t look past Meiko Satomura for the York Hall main event. This is her third time in the UK this year, and after nearly twenty years of working almost exclusively in Japan she really seems to have taken to the place (and is reported to be in the market for a trip to Wigan). It’s also got a ready-made story behind it: Satomura beat our incumbent champion back in February, but that was before Jayne had risen to the status she has now. Jayne has been building up her reputation as EVE’s franchise player since Spring, but her defence at York Hall ought to represent an escalation in terms of the challenges she’s had to face, so who better than one of the most respected – and generous – women’s wrestlers of the century so far?
I suspect that Jayne won’t make the final, in order to build up anticipation for that clash. Martina could act as the banana skin preventing the champion’s progression, kind of like how Kris Wolf stopped Io Shirai from reaching last year’s 5 Star Grand Prix final (shenanigans). Laura Di Matteo seems the most likely candidate to progress from group C, given her unbeaten record in EVE to date. And for all Charlie Morgan’s babyface potential I suspect that the winner of group A will be someone whose level of experience bridges Satomura’s and Di Matteo’s, like, oh let’s say Kay Lee Ray.
One of the great things about the SHE-1 is that there are a number of plausible finals, which you couldn’t necessarily say about, for example, this year’s G1 Climax. So I may very well be wrong, but here goes. Block A is very open, but never bet against Kay Lee Ray in a tournament (she reached the final of EVE’s last one). In Block B I can’t see past Meiko Satomura, and the fact that the final is a three-way means that she wouldn’t necessarily have to be pinned to be defeated, which adds intrigue. Block C is the one I’m least sure of, but I’m going with Sammii Jayne to win the group and the tournament too.
The stipulation is that if the champion wins they can nominate their challenger at EVE’s big York Hall show next May, so I’m predicting that in a fit of hubris she calls out Rhia O’Reilly, the former champion she put on the shelf, and they settle their beef once and for all on EVE’s biggest show ever.