Rachel Evers vs. Jessie Elaba

First is the Queen of Strong SMILE, Rachel Evers, here to avenge her loss to Abby Laith, and Lady Godzilla, who vows to destroy women.

Out first is Miss Rachel who already has the crowd on her side. I had no idea she was dating Chris Hero (I’m sorry I refuse to call him his NXT name), then out comes Hiroyo, whose theme reminds me of Baki The Grappler. Her dream opponent? The Undertaker.

Handshake to start.

Tie up with no clear advantage. Both run the ropes into stereo shoulder blocks, nothing. Clothesline from Evers, Hiroyo no sells like she’s Chyna. Hiroyo gives the receipt, doesn’t phase Rachel.  Finally Hiroyo with the first takedown of the match with another shoulder block. To press her advantage, she runs the ropes to be tripped by Evers who pops up, bounces off the ropes into a low dropkick, she follows up with a beautiful gutwrench for two, she goes to bring Hiroyo back to her feet, Hiroyo throws her off, only to be met with a kick to the face that doesn’t even stagger her.

Evers charges, Hiroyo slides through the ropes onto the apron and stun guns her. Hiroyo wants the crowd to get into her match as she ascends the top rope and hits a missile dropkick that was so hard that you could hear the feet pop and cave in Evers’ chest. Her neck, her back, her chest just got cracked. Only two. Now a biel, then a snapmare and a rear chinlock, followed by a series of chops. Evers looks more than annoyed but she’s pushed back into the corner. Hiroyo charges and catches the boot of Evers who sticks it out. She swings her legs to the side, and stomps on the torso, presses her boot to her sternum, then runs splashed knees first into her torso, followed with a Vader Bomb with the knees to her stomach. Two count. She sets Evers up for the Saito Suplex, no luck. Evers with elbows. Undaunted, Hiroyo tries again, no joy. Evers escapes, Hiroyo comes off the ropes and meets a popup spine buster slam.

Slugfest. Slobber knocker. Evers gets the upper hand. Hiroyo winds up and connects to Evers chin. Hiroyo off the ropes is met with a kick/knee into a diamond cutter. Senton! Two. Renée is not OK right now. Evers with a powerbomb attempt. Back body drop from Hiroyo. Looking for a breather Rachel heads to the corner, Matsumoto charges, misses, hit with a back heel trip/STO. Second rope spinning leg drop. Two. More hands, however, Matsumoto blocks and starts to slap the ever-loving piss out of Rachel, left and right, left and right. She goes for a discuss punch only to get slapped on the ear. Evers off the ropes, Hiroyo does the same, levels her with a clothesline. Two count.

Another saito suplex attempt turned into an inside cradle for two. Back elbow into a German and up pops Evers, Lio Rush style. Kick to Matsumoto’s arm, and then Matsumoto clothesline the everlasting life out of Rachel. She pulls her up slowly, goes for a powerbomb, reversal, another reversal, and Hiroyo hoists Evers into a powerbomb position once more and lets her HAVE IT. Matsumoto ends her with the Rock Drop. She will face Toni Storm.

Here she is backstage with Sho Funaki.

Thoughts: Good overall match, but the best of the first round? No. I did feel some type of way having Rachel lose two first round matches in a row, but hey, cookies and crumbling, right? I must say, though, this match, much like most matches this week, seemed like extended squashes, and though good wrestlers with cool spots, there was something about the match I just wasn’t really into. I am curious to see this Matsumoto/Storm match.