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Sami Callihan replacing Timothy Thatcher at Evolve's Royal Rumble weekend shows

Gabe Sapolsky on Twitter

The company line at the time of Solomon Crowe's departure from NXT was that it was a mutual decision, and the door was open for a return.

Coming to the rescue of Triple H's chosen indy business partner Gabe Saplosky, for cards taking place in the same area as WWE's Royal Rumble festivities this weekend, at shows where NXT will have a presence, is a good indication that that sentiment was more than just lip service.

Sapolosky broke the bad news to fans that one of his biggest stars and current champ, Timothy Thatcher, will miss Evolve 53 - 54 - 55 due to a staph infection. Thatcher was set to partner with Zack Sabre Jr. in the tournament to crown Evolve's first ever tag champions. That role will now be filled by Sami Callihan (Crowe's ring name outside of WWE).

Earlier in the week, Gabe announced the first round pairings for Friday, Jan. 22's Ybor City, Fla. show.

EVOLVE Champion Timothy Thatcher & Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Chris Hero & Tommy End

Caleb Konley & Anthony Nese with So Cal Val & Andrea vs. Harlem & Lancelot Bravado

Trent Baretta & Rocky Romero vs. Dan Barry & Bill Carr

Johnny Gargano & Drew Galloway vs. Drew Gulak & TJ Perkins

Sami slots right in where the champ had been:

You can order the shows at WWNLive's website here, and we'll have Evolve coverage right here at Cageside Seats this weekend. Click here for a (slightly outdated based on this news, but still awesome) preview.

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