If anyone had any doubt that the ladyfolk can put on a great show, this would have allayed their fears.
The card was built around a three-women, three-match round-robin tournament, featuring O’Reilly, Penelope, and the extremely impressive Liberty, who emerged victorious in the main event – she and O’Reilly (who ended up bleeding from the mouth) traded some stiff blows and powerful moves. Indeed, so hard-hitting was this contest that when Liberty struck her opponent and broke the beaded bracelet around her wrist, I was convinced O’Reilly had lost some teeth and that was what the little white things were flying across the ring.
It also included a four-way battle royal, with eliminations through the ropes – Sakura Lily was last woman standing, and immediately took Sweet Saraya up on her open challenge.
It was a treat to see Saraya in full flow – after running a training session during the afternoon, she then proceeded to give Sakura Lily a proper schooling, and also managed to terrify the hell out of referee Chris Roberts while threatening the testicular integrity of various men in the audience.
With shows like this, there can be no question that there are some extremely high-quality women workers on the UK scene at the moment – they should be given the chance to shine, and it’s really encouraging that IPW:UK seem to be heading that way.
Promoter Daniel Edler tells me that as well as providing some variation to what can be quite a “samey” men’s card across the UK, he thinks that putting on good women’s shows also encourages more women to train as wrestlers, ensuring a new stream of talent to the industry.
Let’s hope he’s right – and that IPW:UK continue to promote the very best of women’s wrestling in this way.
Picture: Rhia O’Reilly hiding her battle scars with a copy of ‘Spandex, Screw Jobs and Cheap Pops’!