One of the hot topics in wrestling is belt collectors. That title is usually given to anyone holding three or more championships at once, and currently Kenny Omega is most often called that. Today, we're looking at a belt collector many people may not be familiar with: Lizzy Evo.
As I said, you need three at a time to be a belt collector, and Lizzy Evo currently holds the Preston City Wrestling Women's Championship, the TNT Women's Championship, and the CATCH Pro Wrestling Women's Championship. She still gets pictured with the Defiant Women's Championship even though the belt is retired now, as she was the last ever champion. She has popped up all over the place in the UK, and just made her Progress Debut recently. Today we're going to look at her rise from the age of 14 to being one of the best in the UK, her title wins, and of course, some of her best matches.
Lizzy made her debut in 2013 under the name Lizzy Styles for Coventry Pro Wrestling, and spent the first two years of her career there exclusively. She would continue working in CPW until 2019, and in 2014 became their Vixen's Champion. 2016 saw her have her first trip outside the UK, as she headed to Japan. She did three matches in Stardom during her trip, and even won her last singles match there. That year also saw her debut in Tidal Championship Wrestling. She would go on to win the TCW Women's Championship from Lana Austin, who is probably her biggest rival. As of this writing they've shared the ring 25 times, and I feel they certainly aren't done.
The TCW and CPW belts are the only ones that Lizzy has ever lost. From here on out, every belt she wins she either retires or is still holding to this day. We've talked about Defiant before when we looked at Speedball Mike Bailey, but after the company changed from WCPW to Defiant I feel like a lot of people forgot about the company(thanks Windy City Pro Wrestling), and people only remember the first few Women's Champions. Nixon Newell(Tegan Nox) was the first, followed by Bea Priestly(Blair Davenport) and Kay Lee Ray. Compared to them, Kanji and Lizzy Evo don't have the same name recognition here in the States, but the matches being put on were fantastic. She would carry the belt into Built to Destroy 2019, and when she retained she cried.
She picked up the first of her current belts in 2020 when she won the TNT Women's Championship, and then entered the second Great British Heritage Tournament for CATCH Pro Wrestling and became the first ever CATCH Women's Champion. On top of that, she's the first champion ever in the company. Finally, she picked up the Preston City Wrestling Women's Title, and that brings us to her current belt collector status. She made her Progress debut against Alexxis Falcon, who we'll see later on this list, and came up short. As of this writing, her most recent match was her second Progress match where she beat Raven Creed. So she's one and one in the company, and the Liverbird seems to have a bright future there. She's in possibly the best spot of her career right now, and I can't wait to see what she does next. without any further adieu, let's look at some matches.
#10: Lizzy Evo vs Lucia Lee
This match was the first one in the Great British Heritage Tournament for the CATCH Women's Championship. It was Lucia's debut for the company, and she came across well here despite Lizzy easily being the tournament favorite. Lucia put a good offense, and the crowd was behind her from the beginning. Lizzy winning was never in doubt though, and she really came across dominant.
Evo can play the sneaky heel, or the cocky one, and this match almost feels like the pilot run for her time with the belt. Her dirty tactics are mostly kept to moves in the ropes and some dragging by the hair, and most of her bigger attacks are nice, clean strikes. Lucia has a beautiful step up enziguri and a devastating heel hook as well. Evo winning was obvious, but moves like that made me doubt for even a moment. That in and of itself was a lot, and makes me want to see more of Lee.
#9: Lizzy Evo vs Chantel Jordan vs Ivy vs Skye Smitson
This match from Wrestle Carnival sees Lizzy defending her CATCH Wrestling Championship against just about everyone. This is actually the only time that any of these three opponents make the list, but I was very impressed by them. Chantel Jordan especially could fit in great with the rising shoot style women of the USA. Skye Smitson has a very well established look and energy that immediately hooked me. Despite all the names in this match, Evo still comes off looking dominant well before the final bell. It amazes me how well she acts as champion despite only being 22 We're seeing people rising to the top younger and younger, and Evo proves in this match that she belongs at the top.
She knows how to control the ring to her advantage, and her kicks come across as wicked. The segments without Lizzy are great too, with Chantel kicking the heads off of Ivy and Skye being my favorite; Jordan goes for a kick to the back of Ivy's head, who ducks, and her foot hits Skye Smitson with full force. Outside of Lizzy, Chantel really stood out in this match, and she's certainly a name I'll keep in mind. The ending actually teases Jordan winning before the ref realizes that Lizzy had her hand under the rope. I really, really want to see a rematch one on one between these two, but Lizzy was able to look strong retaining but also establishing Chantal as a great threat.
#8: Lizzy Evo vs Laura Di Matteo
This was a great number one contenders match continuing Evo's rise up the ranking in Defiant. Evo had been doing fantastic in Defiant up until this point, only losing a triple threat to Laura Di Matteo at the last PPV. Lizzy wanted to avenge that loss, and at this point she knew Di Matteo pretty well. We have another Di Matteo match later on this list but earlier chronologically, that is the perfect explanation for why these two go so hard in this match. The best spot in this match for Di Matteo is her perfect missile dropkick, possibly better than Evo's.
After that spot the fight really kicks into a higher gear where every spot looks like it could lead to the decision. It's ultimately a big German suplex and that knee strike that I can't get enough of that gets Lizzy the win. Her actual Defiant title win isn't on this list, but this match really set the scene for the rest of Defiant. She then takes a marker to Di Matteo's forehead, firmly establishing her as the heel going forward.
#7: Lizzy Evo vs Chakara vs Evee Black
I am absolutely stunned that this is the only match where Lizzy has shared the ring with Chakara. No tag matches, not gauntlets, no battle royals, nothing. This was actually Chakara's TCW debut, and as of this writing her most recent match was in TCW, so it's rather neat to see where her time in this company began. While Chakara is one of the first names to come up discussing the British Women's scene, Evee Black is a bit more of a hidden gem. This was my first time seeing her, and I was happy to discover her in this match. Chakara comes off as the strongest in this match, and in comparison to other multi-person matches on this list,
Evo seem to sneak around a lot more. There a lot of segments of Black and Chakara facing off, with Evo playing spoiler. It truly is interesting to see Evo in this role as it's such a contrast to her current belt collector role. Evo at one point in this match is having submissions applied by both her opponents, and that's not just a position she finds herself in during, say, the Wrestle Carnival fatal four way. Doing some digging, Lizzy has faced Black in a singles match, but Black and Chakara have only ever been in this one together. It makes this match really unique in terms of its competitors, and as such a must see, as you won't get it anywhere else: not even close.
#6: Lizzy Evo vs Laura Di Matteo
I feel like Laura Di Matteo is one of the better known women from the UK scene, and this match from Tidal shows way. This is probably the earliest Di Matteo match that I've seen, so it's odd to see her as the underdog. She hits a pretty pair of arm drags early on that really great the crowd on her side. The match quickly turns into a slug fast as both women start to elbow the crap out of each other. They hit some great clotheslines as well and the match maintains a good pace.
At this point Lizzy was still Tidal Women's Champion, and she retained her belt here in tremendous fashion. Lizzy hits a big missile dropkick but Laura kicks out at one. Laura almost wins with a roll up but Evo manages to hit a big running knee for the decision. She's only 18 here, and comes across like a hungry champion. She may be on top of the mountain, but she still feels like she has more to prove. It's a story she tells in the match very well, and this wasn't the fight I was expecting to have so much brutality. Neither woman holds back, and I still can't get over those elbows.
#5: Lizzy Evo vs Lana Austin
Lizzy and Lana seem destined to fight forever, as this was already the 8th time they'd been in the ring together. What makes this match special though, is that it's the first time Lizzy ever beat her in a singles match. Lana starts the match telling Lizzy to just lay down for the pin, which she obliges. She turns it into a pin attempt, and I thought that might have been it. Thankfully, we get a delightful match instead. Lana stays in control for much of the fight, but Lizzy is constantly looking for even the smallest opportunity. Evo doesn't just want to win, she wants revenge.
She wants to prove to Austin that she's her equal, and would never lay down for the pin. Evo does a great job selling but doesn't look weak. When she's allowed to start getting her offense in she hits a nasty eat de-feet, before her usual lariats and missile dropkick. When Lizzy hits a cutter for the pin it's only after countering a big attempt from Austin. I love what this says: that Evo couldn't just outpower Austin, she had to outsmart her. She then rolls her out of the ring so she can have the ring all to herself and celebrate her win. It's a really nice feel good moment and a fitting end to a really nice match.
#4: Lizzy Evo vs Kanji
This is Evo's Defiant debut, and it started a great run for Lizzy. Kanji has more recently held the Progress Women's title which she unfortunately had to vacate. She is a grappling machine and matches up well with Evo. They flow really well in the ring, and there really is no slow section. Evo hits a nasty uppercut as Kanji flies off the ropes, and that move I think best represents this match. The whole thing has that brutal feeling and unexpected counters. You can't really predict this match, as evidenced by the fact that Lizzy wins. She would quickly rise up Defiant's ranks, but this match immediately got the crowd on her side. Evo, like many of her best matches, uses some big knee strikes to her advantage that always impress me.
Evo gets Kanji in the tree of woe with a rough face wash before hitting another knee strike to win. With a couple of exceptions like Ibushi and Omega, I think Evo has one of the best running knees out there. Hers is also delivered differently than a V-Trigger, so it really feels like its own thing, and she's the best at that version of a knee strike. This match set up her meteoric rise in Defiant, and there's a reason so many Defiant matches are on this list. She became a star of the final months of the company, and none of that would have happened without this match.
#3: Lizzy Evo vs Lana Austin vs Session Moth Martina
Taking place at the first ever CATCH Wrestling show, this elimination match was the perfect way to start the women's division for this company. We've already seen Lana on this list, and we'll see her again, but they just truly feel like perfect opponents. Adding in the phenomenal Session Moth Martina to the mix makes this incredibly fun. The opening exchange where Lana and Lizzy each try to pin Session Moth and although that makes no sense since it's an elimination match, it makes me smile. Martina gets a beer at one point that re-energizes her, and she really plays spoiler here to Lizzy and Lana. These two fierce rivals are trying to face off, and they aren't here for Martina's antics. Martina spends a good chunk of the match just hanging out in the crowd while the others beat the crap out of each other.
Session gets eliminated first, and that leaves the last couple of minutes for Lizzy and Lana to square off. Lana hits a beautiful rolling elbow that I thought could have been the win, but Lizzy manages to kick out. Lizzy gets the win, despite Lana having her foot on the ropes, and they set up the VAR(virtual assistant referee) which rules no pinfall. The match resets and Lana almost wins again. Lizzy hits two big knee strikes for the real win, and it was just a really fun match. The commentators mention that VAR is a football thing(soccer for us Americans) and I really like it. I'd love to see more wrestling companies go to the instant replay of sorts for stuff like this. For CATCH's first women's match, they started strong.
#2: Lizzy Evo vs Lana Austin
This show was incredibly bittersweet as it was the last ever Defiant Wrestling show. Every belt was on the line for the honor of being the last ever champion. These two would do anything to have that belt, and as such this was a Last Woman Standing match. Austin and Evo brawled all around the arena, and for the first half especially it seemed that Austin would win the belt a second time. Evo finally turned it around with a suplex onto four open folding chairs. This also has possibly my favorite spot in any wrestling match as Evo takes the referee's belt off and uses it to whip Austin. Austin gets back by DDTing her off an end table onto the hardwood floor.
Just like all great Evo matches, she hits her beautiful running knee strike that gets a nine count, before she hits another one on the apron sending Austin to the floor. What really makes it special is that as Austin goes to the floor, Evo flips her off. It's one of the last ever matches for Defiant Wrestling, and there's so much emotion because of that. It really feels like something to remember, and you can tell how much it means to Evo. It's probably the best match on the show, and a great farewell to Defiant's Women division.
#1: Lizzy Evo vs Alexxis Falcon vs Rhio vs Clementine
This was the finals of the Great British Heritage Tournament, and I love the format. This was the second iteration of the tournament, and the finals are always held as a fatal four way ironman match, which is just so cool to see. NXT did it in the Fall of 2020, but the first Great British Heritage Tournament was in January of that year. Unlike that NXT match, this one actually has a winner, so that's a plus! Although this was the second tournament, this was the first one to crown a champion, which arguably makes this the biggest match in CATCH Pro Wrestling's short history. Alexxis Falcon would go on to be Evo's first opponent in Progress, and Rhio currently holds the TCW Women's Championship that we saw Lizzy defend several times on this list. Clementine is probably the least famous as of now, but she's definitely going places. Lizzy got the first decision and took that early advantage through the entire match. Evo and Falcon seemed to be on the same page, but turn on each other quickly.
Lizzy gets the second fall, and with 18 minutes left in the mach it's 2-0-0-0. As I've said throughout this list, when Evo is allowed to be the dominant heel, she does a fantastic job. This entire tournament feels built to make Evo look like a star, and it does its job. By the 15 minute mark Lizzy is still the only one on the scoreboard, and it starts to sink in for the crowd that Evo is going to win. In the opening round they were cheering for "anyone but Evo" and they start to realize the dastardly heel is going to be crowned the inaugural champion. Falcon manages to pin Evo and finally get on the board with about 13 minutes remaining. Rhio gets a submission on Falcon while Clementine sneaks from out of nowhere to pin Lizzy.
All of sudden, with ten minutes remaining, it's 2-1-1-1. Lizzy seemed unstoppable, but the others finally got their groove and put Lizzy's win in jeopardy. Lizzy adapts a really interesting strategy of keeping everyone from getting inside the ring, almost like a reverse battle royal, because they can't get a pin outside the ring, which means she would win. Eventually that falls apart, and we get a great tower of doom spot. Clementine gets so, so close to getting the tying pinfall but time expires. I want to see Evo defend against Clementine, but today that doesn't matter. Evo became the first ever champion in CATCH Pro Wrestling, and it's easily my favorite match of hers, full stop.