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Evolve 74 recap & review: Catch Point retains, Dick beats Hero, Cody turns heel, and more!


Show opens with Joanna Rose and Lenny Leonard in the ring. Lenny thanks the fans in Queens and mentions our main event before handing the mic to Joanna to announce the opening match.

Drew Gulak vs. Jaka

Grappling early, Jaka not afraid to get right into it with a maestro like Gulak, but the former Catch Point man is always a step ahead. Test of strength, Gulak goes for a kick and Jaka catches it, leading to his first victory in an exchange here tonight. Drew has to break at one point and heads outside for a breather before coming in and switching his game to strikes and suplexes before trying to grind Jaka down in a headlock with a bit of wrist control to boot.

Jaka struggles, getting to his feet at times but Gulak sticks on him, refusing to break the hold until it gets reversed into a headscissors armbar. The former Catch Point man right on Jaka with stomps to the back and a slam into the ropes for two. Jaka manages to keep from sinking and starts bringing it in return, keeping the match from being one-sided.

Back drop into chops and Drew is out before one but Jaka stays on him, headbutts and hammerblows into a kneeling surfboard to try and grind him down. Gulak escapes and fires off a suicide dive that rattles the barricades! But back in the ring once again Jaka presses the advantage until Drew levels him with a forearm and a followup diving lariat that gets a close nearfall.

Strikes exchanged, Jaka stands defiant and ends up throwing a spinning wheel kick for a nearfall of his own! My stream goes a bit wobbly but Gulak has the Gu-Lock in! Jaka nearly reverses to a pin and ends up getting the ropes to break it. Chokebomb nearfall, Jaka bids Gulak get up... and my stream is way too choppy to try and do any sort of real recap here. Gulak does get off a sweet suplex lift piledriver though, ala Cozy Crush Dynamite.

Drew Gulak wins by referee stoppage with the Gu-Lock.

Streaming problems (which I'm pretty sure were on my end) aside, that was a fun opener.

Larry Dallas shows up to boos. He's here to ask Gulak about Catch Point. Drew says he made himself perfectly clear that Catch Point is a failure and it's time for him to focus on the next part of his career, the WWN Championship.

Hot Sauce hits the ring and Larry proceeds to basically crap all over him, telling him to admit that deep down he's in Drew's shadow. By way of answer he reveals his tag title belt, saying he won the titles with Drew and they lost the titles, but after that he didn't dwell on the loss, he got together with Fred Yehi and won the titles back. So he doesn't care what Dallas has to say, he's here to talk to Gulak. The original Catch Point duo have a face off and Drew pats Williams' cheek dismissively before walking off. Larry asks Hot Sauce for comment and he just says he has tag titles to defend.

Chris Dickinson vs. DUSTIN

Dickinson takes an early advantage with a big release German suplex and presses the attack with chops, kicks, chokes, and even a headscissors takeover. DUSTIN turns it around with a dive and keeps momentum on his side with a wicked eye gouge. Two can play that game, however, and the Dirty Daddy returns the favor.

Chris fires up and the match ends up outside, going pillar to post until DUSTIN chokes him with a t-shirt. Back in the ring they go hard, DUSTIN gets Sole Food off but Dickinson catches him off the ropes with a powerslam for a nearfall. The erstwhile Chuck Taylor grounds Chris with a bodyscissors Cobra Clutch but the Pazuzu man breaks it and they go right back to hard striking.

Enzuigiri into a Falcon Arrow gets another tight nearfall, as does a fireman's carry Michinoku Driver, the former tag champ is on the back foot in a bad way now but it ain't over yet. They struggle in the corner...

DUSTIN wins by pinfall with an Awful Waffle out of the corner.

Pretty solid brawl that admittedly had a bit of trouble keeping my interest.

Brian Cage vs. Darby Allin

Darby clobbers Cage with a dive before he even finishes his entrance! COFFIN DROP ON THE APRON! Cage recovers and Allin dives onto him only to get caught into a suplex slam and laid out with lariats in the corner. Brian just manhandling him now, pop-up slam, up and over into a backbreaker, just dumps him on his head with a German suplex but Darby Allin will not die.

Standing moonsault gets another nearfall. Pumphandle facebuster gets two amidst all the brutality and Cage ends up chucking Allin chest-first into the guardrail. He drags Darby up from the apron... DEADLIFT SUPERPLEX! ONLY TWO! Darby's alive but not able to create separation and Cage continues, two powerbombs into an F-5 but he doesn't make the cover. Allin out on his feet, Cage draws him up... PRESS SLAM FROM THE RING TO THE STAGE!

Gabe Sapolsky is checking on him as the referee counts... DARBY GETS UP AT 19! HE DIVES OFF THE STAGE... BUT FALLS SHORT!

Brian Cage wins by countout.

Holy hell. That was incredible. Darby Allin is the maddest of men.

Ethan Page hits the ring and says to let that be a lesson to anybody on the roster-- if you stick your nose into Ethan Page's business, money talks, and he can hire a machine to handle things. He hands Brian Cage an envelope and says that he's got some business tonight.

There's a guy in the back named Cody and he hates his friggin' guts. He's never met somebody as self-aware as Cody, because his presence on the indies really is an American Nightmare. Don't worry, he's gonna beat the money wasted out of him right now.

Cody Rhodes vs. "All Ego" Ethan Page

Cody offers a handshake and Ego ain't having it so he makes a finger gun at him because he's in Bullet Club now and don't you forget it. The crowd demands a pizza roll, Cody obliges, Ethan fakes one out and flips a double bird before the action commences for real. Delayed vertical suplex from Rhodes, Jackhammer from Page, Cody heads outside and a fan in an Ethan Page shirt distracts him and helps Ego out only to get the bird himself.

Cody tries a dive but Ethan ducks him and the grandson of a plumber just eats barricade. Butterfly backbreaker off the barricade follows and we head back in the ring. All Ego laying a beating on, shoulder thrusts and forearms into stomps and knee drops. Cody gets some life back in, double lariats, Beautiful Disaster connects and both men are out on the mat.

Rhodes builds up a head of steam off the ropes, looking for Cross Rhodes but Ego ducks him and ends up dropping him with that tilt-a-whirl slam of his for two. RKEGO connects but Cody manages to get a reverse STO off into the turnbuckles and dives off the top with a crooked moonsault for a nearfall. Rhodes looking to go up top when Blaster McMassive distracts him just long enough for Ego to meet him... AVALANCHE POWERSLAM! NOT ENOUGH!

Cody sandwiches Page against referee Ryan Tolak before punching him and hip tossing Page onto him to boot, so there's the heel turn. Brian Cage runs in, Darby Allin runs in after him, Cody and Darby high five, Cody offers a too sweet but ends up using the former skateboarder to wipe out Blaster. Ego gets a pin for about a ten count but Tolak is still out of it. Cody kicks him in the ding-ding as the ref wakes up...

Cody Rhodes wins by pinfall with Cross Rhodes.

Gotta admit, I was ready to excoriate this one if it wasn't good. Ethan Page, as much as I love to hate him, has been hit and miss in Evolve, and Cody Rhodes still hasn't quite managed to shed his WWE-TV-match skin, so I was wary. Well, it managed to hold my attention pretty well, but that was all thanks to Ethan Page.

Cody leaning on his newly announced Bullet Club membership in a promotion where Bullet Club is not a thing started me off on a sour note and things went downhill from there, including the "you could see it coming from space" heel turn and shenanigan-filled end. I really want to want Cody around, but he's just not showing anything new or interesting or compelling to my eyes.

After the match, Ethan Page admonishes his Gatekeeper for not keeping the gate.

Jeff Cobb vs. Matt Riddle

Grappling is the word of the day, like you'd expect. Cobb looking for a waistlock, Riddle looking for a choke, stalemate. Waistlock takedown from Riddle and Cobb soon returns the favor, but using his greater strength to just chuck Riddle across the ring. Bro nearly gets an armbar in but Jeff makes the ropes and they soon end up jockeying for position again until Matt gets a knee strike and a few kicks to the back off.

Chest kicks in the corner into pummeling the Olympian with forearms and then a double knee strike into the exploder suplex, Riddle's on a roll. Pair of sentons connect and get Riddle two but Cobb fires off a capture suplex and it's right back to even! Pumphandle fallaway slam, snap suplex, waistlock lifted and swung into a Karelin lift, Jeff Cobb is amazing. Bro 2 Sleep connects, jumping Tombstone piledriver... Cobb's still in it!

Overhead blows to the back of Cobb's head, Bro is looking for Bromission but Jeff is a large enough human being that he can't pull him in and he manages to escape. Riddle on him like a spider monkey, trying for a sleeper but Cobb fights him off...

Jeff Cobb wins by pinfall with the Tour of the Islands!

A little short, and not the barnburner of a match I know they could have had here, but a good match. A rematch, of course, would be fantastic. And what a shock ending!

Stokely Hathaway hits the ring, Evolve World Championship around his waist. He says he saw something just now he's never seen before and explains the Dream Team to Cobb. Life is about a struggle to make it to the top, everybody loves a good sob story. He says Jeff deserves to be happy, because if you looked up pro wrestler in the dictionary, you'd see TJ Perkins, you'd see Timothy Thatcher, and you'd see Jeff Cobb.

It's attitude, it's strength, it's courage, it's walking into a room and everybody knowing who you are, and he says Jeff is special. And so he's gonna offer him something rare, but not his sweater, no, a guaranteed spot in the Dream Team and thus on the Evolve roster. Stokely gives him a contract and tells him he can go ahead and sign it backstage and his life will never be the same again.

Cobb says he knows Timothy Thatcher is out there watching, and he tells Stokely that the only contract he wants is a contract for an Evolve Championship match before throwing the title and the mic back in his face. Stokely has the saddest look on his face and leaves the ring.

Booo, Jeff, booo. You and Thatcher could have run Evolve hand in hand in hand with Stokely!

Catch Point (Fred Yehi & "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams) (c) vs. Peter Kaasa & Ricochet (Evolve Tag Team Championship)

Kaasa and Hot Sauce start with some light grappling, and frequent breaks before Williams escalates with a suplex and Kaasa takes him outside with a dropkick and a Cactus Clothesline before skinning the cat back in. Tags made, Ricochet slingshots into the ring and Yehi is not impressed, declaring Ricochet to be in BIG TROUBLE.

Fred tries to ground Ricochet with a waistlock but the Best of the Super Junior winner uses his not inconsiderable grappling abilities to keep it an even game until a waistlock takedown from Yehi leads him to take a breather outside. Ricochet makes his best attempt at dodging but Fred lays in his stomp to the hand anyway. Handspring headscissors blocked by simply shoving Ricochet to the mat but the followup stomp is also dodged and they proceed to have an awesome exchange, dodging all over the place.

Kaasa in, straight suplex and a chinlock, trying to grind the tag champ down. Tilt-a-whirl slam into a standing moonsault comes up with a nearfall, tag to Ricochet who comes in with a stalling slingshot senton atomico. Ricochet tees off a kick into his back-to-back bow-and-arrow, smashing Yehi's head into the middle turnbuckle and tagging Kaasa back in. Yehi levels him and tags Hot Sauce back in.

Peter goes chopping and Williams cuts him off, eventually tagging Yehi in, who grabs a stump puller before just wrenching hard on Kaasa's foot in kind of a modified Haas of Pain. Sauce back in as Catch Point continue punishing him, he's got a grounded octopus in before switching to kneeling figure four leglock. He and Ricochet get into it a little and Williams adds a butterfly stretch to the submission before tagging Fred back in.

He goes for a crossbody and Kaasa turns it into a fallaway slam, desperate for the tag! Ricochet in, uppercuts but Tracy comes in to help his partner. The Future of Flight sets 'em up and knocks 'em down with the neckbreaker/DDT tandem! More awesome ducking and dodging ends with a Regalplex before Ricochet brings Kaasa in. Whip-assisted Stinger Splash comes up empty and Catch Point turn the tables, Williams hitting a back suplex backbreaker and throwing Ricochet into a dropkick from Yehi.

Hot Sauce legal, he hits a wicked elbow on Ricochet but gets a dropkick in return, tag made to Kaasa who comes in with a flurry of forearms. They put together an impressive series of strikes into a Blue Thunder Driver but Yehi breaks the pin up! Kaasa dumps him outside and heads back to Hot Sauce, going for mounted punches but Williams Gallon Throws him into the turnbuckle when he hesitates before the tenth.

Slugging it out but Ricochet comes in with an Ace Crusher, running shooting star press, corkscrew Lionsault from Kaasa... TRACY WILLIAMS KICKS OUT! Ricochet trading chops with Williams, Kaasa and Yehi in, Fred with a series of Germa suplexes, stomp to Ricochet when he comes in and all hell breaks loose, culminating with Kaasa's awesome cradle German suplex lift into a twisting powerbomb! Kaasa and Yehi alone, slugging it out, Cactus Crossbody takes them outside, Ricochet with a Tiger feint kick on Hot Sauce before throwing a Dragon suplex!

Yehi has a guillotine choke locked in on Peter as they get back in the ring but Kaasa turns it into a northern lights suplex and then a northern lights bomb! Ricochet tries to put the exclamation point on it but Hot Sauce breaks it up and things go squirrelly again.Williams with the underhook DDT out of the corner and a lariat, tag made, he takes Kaasa down into a crossface.

He fights out, Olympic slam and the straps are down! Up top, Kaasa comes up empty with a shooting star press and Hot Sauce locks a crossface on! Yehi keeps Ricochet busy...

Catch Point win by submission with a crossface from "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams on Peter Kaasa, retaining the Evolve Tag Team Championship.

Great match. Yehi and Ricochet have some real chemistry, they need to have a singles match sooner rather than later.

Chris Hero vs. Dick Togo

Grappling early, Hero trying to use his size and strength while Togo tries to clip his wings. Shoulder blocks traded, Togo more than holding his own. My stream is iffy again but they're brawling on the outside, Togo giving as good as he gets and then it dies on me completely. I refresh, and I get a "The stream could not be found." error. These issues are not on my end.

Stream comes back and Hero gets a nearfall off a rolling elbow! Hero snaps off a piledriver, still not enough! Clubbing rights, he picks Dick up for a Tombstone but Togo reverses to a victory roll. Short piledriver, Togo's right out with a kick to the face and both men lay on the mat. Dick up top, Hero cuts him off, he's thinking avalanche piledriver but Togo's fighting him.

He knocks Chris away and gets a boot up to block the rolling elbow before hitting a diving DDT for two. Togo looking for a Pedigree, Hero gets out, rolling elbow, Tombstone... NO GOOD! Dick is out on the mat and Hero drags him to his feet for an elbow. Togo wakes up and spits in Hero's face, flipping the bird. Strikes exchanged, Hero goes for the ripcord rolling elbow, Togo hits the Pedigree! HERO OUT AT ONE!

Dick lays in superkicks, another Pedigree, he heads up top...

Dick Togo wins by pinfall with a diving senton.

Obviously missing part was a bummer and I'll have to go rewatch on the VOD, but what I saw was pretty good right there.

Hero and Togo have a moment before Dick leaves and Hero signals for the mic. He describes how the diving senton feels in words I don't quite catch and asks the crowd to give it up for Dick Togo. He starts talking about Togo and somebody starts talking and he puts 'em down hard. There's a lot of people here, he continues, and most of them have seen Dick Togo wrestle live for the first time or for the first time period tonight.

This, somehow, elicits a "We love Dick!" chant.

So, Hero continues, go on YouTube and look up the history of Dick Togo because he's one of the best damn wrestlers ever. He tried to start wrestling up in Vietnam and in Bolivia after retiring but pro wrestling was in his heart and he couldn't give it up, and if you ask Hero, he made the right decision.

There's one thing Hero has to tell us now, he's wrestled for 18 years in all sorts of buildings and countries, and he's wrestled for Evolve since the second show, and La Boom is special. In 2016 Evolve ran shows all over the country and La Boom blew all those other towns out of the water, he says, and DUSTIN shows up with a chair.

He slow-claps and gets on the mic to tell Hero about what a 2016 he's had, with all those classic matches. DUSTIN continues, denigrating Hero's 2016, La Boom, and telling Hero that tomorrow is gonna end with him flat on his back. But actually to hell with Boston, he wants to do it right here, right now. Hero slaps him across the face and leaves! DUSTIN stews for a minute before slamming the chair down and walking off to end the show.


Not the greatest of Evolve shows, had a bit of a sag at times, and the smattering of streaming issues were a bummer (although to be fair, my first significant issues of the FloSlam era, they’ve done great) but it started and ended well, and Darby Allin, as always, died exceedingly well. Plus an excellent tag match and strong singles matches in Gulak/Jaka and Togo/Hero, and hey, even a Bro match that isn’t a worldbeater is still worth watching, right? But don't take my word for it, check it out on VOD on FloSlam for yourselves, folks.

Credit to @CoCoButterGFQ for the header image. There are other pictures of the event you can check out on his twitter.

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