★★★★★ EVE – Riot Grrrls of Wrestling at Resistance Gallery
Bethnal Green plays host to a night of sweaty, empowered, feminist grappling – and delivers a piledriver of a night out!
On a warm and windy evening in East London, To Do List ventured along to the Resistance Gallery to relive our teenage years, cheering on a bunch of heroes and villains as they tussled and tangled between the ropes at EVE – Riot Grrrls of Wrestling.
The name probably tells you that WWE this ain’t – instead of (mostly) macho, oiled-up meatheads, EVE is all about death-defying, jaw dropping, action packed wrestling stunts… by women! Yes, this is feminist punk wrestling – you maybe never knew you needed this in your life, but it’s about to become your favourite entertainment.
An evening at the Resistance Gallery watching the amazing ladies of EVE is about so many things – yes, there are the outfits, the faces and heels, the wild lunges, top-rope leaps, submission holds and body slams. And yes, there is the intro music, the soap opera storylines, trash talk and panto-like crowd work. But there is also – vitally – a sense of empowerment, solidarity, equality and acceptance.
To Do List had a great time, necking decently priced beer whilst boo-ing (but occasionally secretly rooting for) the villainous baddies and (mostly) cheering on the plucky crowd favourites. There were some amazing tag teams locking horns: The Diamond Vogue Collective – Jinny and Mercedez Blaze – and the Woke Queens were both perfect combinations of sassy character and pure athleticism. Laura Di Matteo has one of the best crowd chants in wrestling (we won’t spoil it for you), and Rebel Kinney gave us all the punk attitude we could take, and then some!
You would maybe be forgiven for thinking that EVE might just be a GLOW cash-in, a style-over-substance knockabout. But, actually, you wouldn’t be forgiven – because what exactly about women’s wrestling makes you think any of this would be a half-arsed let-down? Leave your prejudices at the door, because EVE – a safe space for everyone but the wrestlers (and really, secretly, a safe space for them but only because they’re so effin’ good at what they do) – is about defying expectations and sticking two fingers up to the doubters! Oh, and it’s a great night out too!
I am Joint Editor at To Do List. I like: nice pubs, film marathons, not doing real marathons, bad comedy, plays/musicals with shorter second halves, and the Oxford comma.