The British Independent scene is full of incredible talents.
I’ve been grateful for every opportunity I’ve had to wrestle the likes of Chantal Jordan, Lana Austin, Hannah Taylor, Nadia Sapphire etc. and each match has brought something different.
However, when big Boris gives us back our freedom and I force COVID-19 into submission via a swift Cattle Mutilation, who do I want to step into the ring with?
The answer is, everyone. But in particular, there are five names at the top of my list.
Nightshade is one of my favourite people to watch wrestle, particularly as a heel. Possibly due to her longevity in the business, her ability to captivate a crowd and pull almost anyone through to having a great match is unprecedented. Recently, Nightshade has made waves with Pro Wrestling EVE in a faction with EVE Champion Rhia O’Reily, Livvi Grace and Skye Smitson (an entire group of power women) and last year, well deservedly, debuted in Japan.
Her facial expressions while interacting with crowd members are brilliant and within her matches, everything looks so clean and polished. Her tag team with Jayde, known as ‘NightJayde’ – I love a good pun – and also as ‘Sanitarium’ could tear it up with any other team on the circuit, their real-life friendship shows within their matches as they always look like they’re on the same wavelength.
Nightshade is the perfect person to put against someone debuting or a very new worker as she can definitely make them look amazing while still looking great herself.
I believe Jetta has accumulated 18 years in Professional Wrestling, albeit with a few breaks during this stint. That’s how long I have been alive. I recall watching her have a retirement match in 2010 or 2011 again Britani Knight (WWE’s Paige) prior to her signing with WWE.
The ‘Sensai of Shall I’ is instantly entertaining as a heel or a face, as soon as her music hits, the room fills instantly with a chorus of “Nobody Does It Jetta [better]” and genuinely, nobody does. As far as comedy wrestling goes, Jetta is up there with the likes of Session Moth Martina and Orange Cassidy as everything she does is just hilarious.
Her off-the-cuff retorts and killer promos make her truly one of a kind, the way she just hurls pure abuse at her opponent is so real and isn’t your generic wrestler promo. My favourite type of wrestling is when you believe what someone is saying, and Jetta’s promos are the reason she’s known as “Coventry’s Loudest” – although I feel like I’m definitely up there, perhaps ‘Coventry’s Second Loudest’? Speaking of Coventry, I and Jetta share a home town thus I believe a derby in the city would be one hell of a showdown between the two of us. Or anywhere else.
Despite all her attributes as a character, within the ring Jetta is so technically sound and has wrestled all over, it says a lot about someone who can debut in 2002 and still be putting on excellent matches in 2020, and still being one of the most entertaining people on any card. Any young female workers should look at Jetta should they want to see how to be great in this industry and I’m incredibly hopeful our paths cross as soon as possible.
3. Lizzy Evo
If you look up underrated in the dictionary, there’s a picture of Lizzy. I 100% believe in Lizzy’s character and ability because she is always herself and doesn’t care what anyone thinks, one of my personal role models. I’m glad that in recent years, more promotions are letting her loose on their women’s rosters and on their men’s rosters too as she’s the perfect advocate for intergender wrestling; anyone who doesn’t think intergender wrestling is “legit” should watch Lizzy knee a bloke in the face and then get back to me.
As current TNT Women’s Champion, she’s taken the position of a leader amongst an already incredible division and really become the woman to beat, everyone’s vying for that title – similarly to when she was Defiant Women’s champion. Her matches against Lana Austin at Defiant are still some of my favourites.
One of my favourite memories of Lizzy was from Wrestlegate where she took on Gisele Shaw and Chardonnay, introjecting herself into an already made match and making the entire crowd absolutely despise her instantly and then having an insanely good match with the two, using baby wipes afterwards to wipe off all of Gisele’s makeup while belittling her – something super simple but left such an impact in everyone watching.
I started my career at Coventry Pro Wrestling, where Lizzy spent years as the top woman and probably the promotions biggest draw for a long time so I think that story is ready to unfold in the ring as in recent years, I’ve taken that position there. I see a lot of similarities between myself and Lizzy, and I think when it eventually happens it’s going to be a really hard-hitting affair and I doubt either of us will have a jaw left afterwards.
2. Charli Evans
I don’t think it’s unrealistic to state Charli as one of the best wrestlers in the world, or she certainly will be in the coming years. Her recent matches back in her home country of Australia mean unlike a lot of us, she’s getting that in-ring time and is gonna come back even better to the BritWres scene.
Evans has absolutely taken the scene by storm since she came to the UK as a singles competitor and as a tag team with Millie McKenzie ‘Medusa Complex’, racking up incredible matches in all the top promotions like Progress, EVE, Fight Club Pro, Kamikaze Pro, TNT, Rev Pro, Riptide, Attack!, Resurgence and so on. She really worked her way to the top of the scene by showing every single promoter why she deserved spots on bigger shows. Her technical ability makes her really unique as it’s not as common to see Women Wrestlers that are as well versed in that style.
The GIF that circulated of Evans super kicking Jessica Troy in their most recent match is one of the most beautiful superkicks I have ever seen and instantly made me want to watch the rest of the match if you haven’t seen it you should. Another must-see trilogy of matches is the series of Kanji vs Charli from Wrestling Resurgence. I believe either 2 or all 3 of the matches are up free on their Youtube channel. Their matches are genuinely a testament to Women’s wrestling and made me wanna train 100x harder to get to their levels. I’ve been referred to as a ‘B-Tech Charli Evans’ a good few times and honestly?
That’s one hell of a compliment, whether it was intended to be or not.
1. Millie McKenzie
On my first day of wrestling training, I was asked what my goal was in this business. I said I wanted to be like Millie McKenzie and I still stand by that as a solid goal. Two personal favourite McKenzie matches are her vs Chantal Jordan at last year’s Frost Fight at Kamikaze Pro and her vs Toni Storm at Pro Wrestling EVE’s Not Made To Be Subtle from 2018.
Honestly, there’s no shortage of exceptional matches that Millie has been a part of, every match I’ve seen her in she has so much fun with it and has the most spot-on serious to silly ratio, going from German Suplex-ing men almost double her size and brutalising people with forearms to dressing as ‘Grinchy McKenzie’ at Riptide. I’ve noticed in recent years, a lot of less well known female workers have gone on to imitate a lot of Millie’s move set and in-ring style and it goes to show was an influence she’s had on the scene in such a short time.
Much like her tag partner Charli, she’s been everywhere and done so much, a lot of which before she even turned 18. She’s even worked for WWE on their NXT UK brand and she and Evans have held tag titles for Sendai Girls in Japan. I don’t think there is anyone else on the scene that can fire up in a match the same way Millie does and rally a crowd behind her, she is just the perfect, lovable baby face and it’s no surprise that she is adored by fans worldwide. This is the match I’m most eager for when wrestling is back properly.
Earlier in the year when the lockdown restrictions were eased, I was able to go and train with Millie for a few weeks and she went above and beyond to help me improve. We’ve currently only met on a show in a multi-woman match at Wrestling For last year, so I’m hopeful we’ll get a single or a tag match at some point. We’re both also from the same area, another reason I’ve always been so inspired by her, seeing someone from Coventry get so huge in wrestling at such a young age made me want to do that.
I think everyone should be looking to Millie for advice and seeing her as a role model, very few people work harder than her.