Show opens with Joanna Rose and Lenny Leonard in the ring. Lenny welcomes us to the show and quickly moves us along to our first match of the evening.
Fred Yehi vs. Jeff Cobb
Yehi declares Cobb to be in BIG TROUBLE before the bell even rings! Grappling early, Fred careful to not let Jeff use his strength advantage but Mr. Athletic is his equal if not superior on the mat and Yehi ends up working underneath before escaping. They keep at it, back and forth, Fred taking Cobb's back and struggling to pick a leg before going with a rear chinlock, Cobb standing right up in it to show his strength.
Soon after they go slugging before Cobb throws the tag champ across the ring with a pumphandle fallaway slam! One standing moonsault connects, but Yehi dodges a second and it's stomps and dropkicks to take the Olympian off balance. Fred reverses a back suplex to a sleeper, Cobb counters with a sleeper and both men end up out on the mat. Yehi goes for a dive, Cobb counters thinking Jackhammer, Fred out and starts throwing the big man around with German suplexes!
Third in the trifecta is reversed into a gutwrench by Cobb, Yehi floats over into a octopus, Jeff blocks, awesome sequence. Yehi jumps in but Cobb catches him...
Jeff Cobb wins by pinfall with the Tour of the Islands.
Good opener. Again, a little short and sweet, but clearly the plan is to establish Cobb as a new and dominant force here in Evolve.
Cobb shakes hands with Yehi and motions at the camera that he wants the title and Drew Gulak comes down to call Catch Point a failure again. Fred tells him he has no shame in losing to a man like Jeff Cobb, and he's gonna work hard, train harder, and get better and better, and there's a reason why he's the FIP World Heavyweight Champion and an Evolve Tag Team Champion. In the meantime, he doesn't see any titles around Drew's waist.
Gulak says that's cute, but he's been there and done that, and right now the only title he's concerned about is the WWN Championship. One man is gonna preside over all the promotions in WWN, and that's all he cares about. And tonight, he's gonna beat Tracy and prove that Catch Point is dead. Hot Sauce calls Drew so confident he's living in the future, but tonight isn't over yet. He proposes higher stakes to their match tonight, suggesting that if Drew loses, he doesn't get to compete for the WWN Championship.
Gulak agrees, on the condition that if Hot Sauce loses, all of Catch Point also be forbidden to enter the WWN Championship tournament. He says that Hot Sauce will always be in his shadow and hauls off and slaps him in the face!
Darby Allin & Peter Kaasa vs. Team Pazuzu (Chris Dickinson & Jaka) (If Dickinson & Jaka win, they get Evolve contracts)
Kaasa takes on both uncontracted men two on one once the opening chaos subsides, sending them outside and throwing a huge tope con giro! Tag made to Darby, who is taped up all over and favoring a knee, he rolls over Jaka for a bit before tagging Peter back in. Crossbody powerslam is loose but connects and soon enough Allin's back in, they're keeping it snappy to sap Jaka's power, which I type just as he sends Allin in the corner and tags Dickinson in.
Jaka clips the daredevil's knee and Chris snaps off a Falcon Arrow, leaving him gasping. Jaka comes in and the Pazuzu men keep working Darby over with quick tags, the Dirty Daddy hitting a military press powerslam at one point. Darby throws a couple big desperate slaps and Dickinson levels him with a flurry of slaps in return before focusing on the bad knee for a moment.
Allin gets a leg up, low bridges Chris but he comes right back in with a sunset flip, holds the clutch... Darby reverses! Tag made, Kaasa in like a house afire, suplexes and slams, a standing corkscrew moonsault for a nearfall. Pazuzu double team him, hitting a superplex, Allin back in, Coffin Drop... DICKINSON CATCHES HIM WITH A GERMAN SUPLEX! They have Allin in an electric chair...
Team Pazuzu win by pinfall with a Doomsday Device chokeslam on Darby Allin, earning themselves Evolve contracts.
This was a lot of fun, with Darby having an uncharacteristic amount of control at times, Kaasa doing Kaasa things, and Jaka and Dickinson working hard to stay ahead of them.
Trevin Adams hits the ring to present Dickinson and Jaka with their Evolve contracts. He says they've had a long road and asks them how they feel when Larry Dallas hits the ring. He says a moment like this calls for a nationally syndicated journalist and he works for Sirius XM, so he'll take it from here.
He congratulates them and bids the crowd offer a round of applause before continuing asking them if they had any doubt as to whether they deserved it. Dickinson's been trying to get a roster spot since the first show and most of the fans in attendance didn't know who Jaka was before tonight, so why do they think they deserve the opportunity. Dickinson grabs Dallas by his lapels and Larry begs off, saying he's just a civilian.
Dickinson tells him to shut up and impressing Dallas means nothing. This is an impressive moment, but it's just the beginning and he's seen nothing yet. Dallas tries to congratulate them once again and they walk off
Dick Togo vs. "All Ego" Ethan Page
Page mocks Togo to start and Dick immediately takes him down and starts wrestling circles around him, but Ego's strength keeps him competitive. Indeed, a hard elbow strike gives him an opportunity to control the pace of the match for the first time, keeping a stream of strikes coming and hitting an impressive delayed vertical suplex for a nearfall.
Togo gets back in it with slaps and a stalling slingshot senton atomico but Ethan gets him up for the cross-arm Iconoclasm and gets another nearfall out of it. Disdainful punches from Page, then a backbreaker before he tries to grind Dick own with a reverse chinlock. The Kaientai man slips out and Page starts throwing hands, but Togo is defiant and flips him off before dropping him with a lariat. Snapmare into a crucifix pin for a nearfall sets up an arm-trap crossface but Ego uses his strength to lift Dick up and slam him to escape. Things spill outside and Togo drops Page with a DDT on the floor!
RKEGO countered for two, they end up struggling up top before Dick headbutts Ego to the floor and hits a tornado DDT for a close nearfall. Pedigree connects, Togo heads up top for the senton but the pool is empty as Ethan rolls to the apron. A second RKEGO connects... NOT ENOUGH! Page sets up his own Pedigree, Dick slips out, spits in his face and throws hands. Page throws a roundhouse, Togo stays on him with more kicks of his own but Page hooks his shoulder...
"All Ego" Ethan Page wins by pinfall with a Spinning Dwayne.
Enjoyable match, with Togo using his experience and acumen to try and dodge Page's size and strength advantage.
My stream goes iffy for a second and I miss the start of Ego's promo, but he says he's restoring chaos in Evolve. Togo beats up Blaster McMassive and nails him with a Pedigree that spikes his head into the mat!
Chris Hero vs. DUSTIN
Okay, I missed the beginning of this one restarting my modem but we come back and DUSTIN is throwing chops on Hero on the outside before taking him in, he's just dominating Hero to a practically unconscionable degree. Hero manages to create separation throwing a heavy hand, and then taking it to the erstwhile Chuck Taylor with chops and kicks, putting the show on the other foot.
Hero and DUSTIN trade knees but Chris reverses a suplex attempt into a Crash Landing for two! Basement DDT from DUSTIN and he and Hero go back and forth. Sole Food sends Hero outside and DUSTIN connects with a tope con giro or, one supposes, a tope on Hero. Chris gets a boot up in the ring, DUSTIN counters to a pin and uses the ropes but Hero is able to get out and goes for a rolling elbow, referee Brandon Tolle in the way and the Greatest of All Time stops himself short.
DUSTIN with a low blow into a small package, Hero kicks out, he looks for a piledriver but eats a bicycle kick. DUSTIN throws one in return, superkick, third blocked, rolling elbow! Death Blow! Hero hits the short piledriver, reasserts the clutch, hooks the leg...
Chris Hero wins by pinfall with the Gotch piledriver.
Hard to judge because of my internet acting up at the beginning, but this was pretty solid. Not sure I buy Hero on the defensive against DUSTIN, but I also didn't see how it was set up, and the finishing run, while kind of standard for 2016 Chris Hero, was still pretty fun.
Matt Riddle vs. Ricochet
Riddle right in with a dropkick! Ricochet doesn't let the Bro take the advantage, though, throwing a forearm and hitting a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for our first cover before targeting Riddle's back. He's got the back-to-back bow-and-arrow in with the obligatory taps of the head into the middle turnbuckle before lifting Matt up but the Bro has a slap rush for him. He runs into a thrust spinebuster and Ricochet follows up with the People's Moonsault... RIDDLE CATCHES HIM INTO A TRIANGLE CHOKE!
The Future of Flight gets out of it only to eat a German suplex into the rolling Karelin lifts, four in total. That airtime senton connects but it only gets Riddle two. Ricochet gets off a dropkick to counter the springboard knee and he's back in it with an enzuigiri and a flurry of offense ending in a running shooting star press and a nearfall. Falling kick to the back of the head, he's looking for the Regalplex but Bro fights out with elbows, sunset flip, ducks a kick, Bro 2 Sleep blocked, strikes exchanged, Pele kick, 360 enzuigiri, both men are out on the mat!
On their feet they trade chopes and forearms, Ricochet looks to win the exchange with uppercuts but Riddles right back with a slap rush before locking a guillotine choke on. Ricochet tries to break by ramming Riddle into the corners but it's not working. Ricochet hits his suplex combo for a nearfall, shooting star press off the top... NO GOOD!
Benedryller countered, Bro 2 Sleep connects, jumping Tombstone piledriver... RICOCHET LIVES! Hammerfists, Riddle catches him...
Matt Riddle wins by submission with the Bromission.
Awesome match, although somewhat impressively the "worst" of Ricochet's three matches this weekend. That dude is just incredibly good when you nudge him even slightly out of his comfort zone.
Drew Gulak vs. "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams
Trading full nelsons to start, Gulak sends Hot Sauce to the apron and Tracy comes back in with an arm drag. Soon they end up trading forearms, charging across the ring, until Williams sends his mentor outside with a dropkick and follows with a suicide dive. Tracy grounds Drew with a cutthroat choke but Gulak gets out soon enough and turns the tables with a side headlock.
Criss-cross, Gulak gets two off a sunset flip, headlock takeover and right back to the mat. Hot Sauce ends up looking for the crossface to finish things but Gulak bails for a breather, taking a walk around the ring as referee Brandon Tolle counts. When he gets back in Williams is right on him with a suplex into a keylock before working the arm with knee drops to set up a neck crank but Drew reverses it.
Half-halch suplex connects and Tracy follows with a stiff knee to the ribs before throwing punishing forearms in the corner. Gutwrench into an arm-trap neck crank but Sauce breaks it quickly and shifts gears, drawing Gulak back to his feet for more forearms. Gulak gets his suplex into the ropes off and starts throwing stomps but Williams comes back at him with a dropkick as the crowd chants for Catch Point.
More strikes on his mentor, including a wicked chop that sends the founder of Catch Point staggering. They struggle in the corner and Gulak gets an avalanche body slam off before putting the boots to Hot Sauce, sending him outside. It's no pillar-to-post beatdown just yet, though, as they jockey for position before Gulak breaks away for a simple chop. Tracy catches a boot and hits a dragon screw before tying Drew's leg up in the barricade and dropkicking it!
Back in the ring Williams throws a diving senton for two before stomping at Gulak's knee. On their feet they trade more strikes before Hot Sauce hits a big splash for two and goes back to the knee, stepping and wrenching. More strikes in the corner and Williams is looking for the brainbuster or the DDT off the top and Gulak pushes him to the mat before crumpling himself on the bad knee.
Drew scoots away and back body drops Tracy over the ropes to the outside before hitting a hobbling suicide dive. Hot Sauce hits a dive of his own and they go back to slugging it out in the ring, culminating with a falling lariat from Williams. Gulak hobbles to his feet after some struggle hits a superplex for two. Gulak passes through a Trailblazer into a sort of deathlock armbar pinning combination before switching to an Indian deathlock and bridging back.
Hot Sauce gets some room and they trade blows until he breaks out and Gulak slams him into the ropes. A second leads to a pin but not a fall and he switches to a chinlock before shifting to a stump puller and yanking Williams' foot behind his head until he makes the break. Back to his feet and throwing forearms again but Gulak fires off a headbutt. It's Hot Sauce's turn to slam and suplex him into the ropes before hitting a Doctor Bomb for a nearfall!
More forearms and Williams catches his mentor in a kneebar! Gulak sits up desperate for the break and manages to get the ropes and heads outside, so the Maltese Falcon hits a diving splash to meet him!
Hot Sauce with no care for his own safety.— FloSlam (@FloSlam) December 12, 2016
Watch Live: https://t.co/9S2coDiOSJ pic.twitter.com/BwVouiRWk4
Tracy drags Drew back in the ring and dives into Gulak's waiting boots but he's one step ahead, catches the feet, and turns it into a figure four leglock. Gulak rolls over and reverses the pressure but Hot Sauce manages to re-reverse and get the ropes. Williams looking for a suplex to the outside, Gulak blocks and they struggle on the apron until Drew gets off a Crash Landing on the apron!
Williams barely beats the twenty count back into the ring only to run into a folding powerbomb and a high-angle over-the-knees Boston Crab! Gu-Lock is in... HOT SAUCE GETS THE ROPES! Back to trading strikes, struggle up top, Hot Sauce with the DDT into the turnbuckles! Lariat, brainbuster... GULAK KICKS OUT! Crossface applied, Williams wrenching back but Drew gets a foot on the ropes. More struggle in the turnbuckles, Hot Sauce down, Gulak throws a diving lariat!
Gu-Lock is back on in the middle of the ring but Williams slips out and locks his crossface back on!
"Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams" wins by submission with the crossface, ensuring Drew Gulak is not allowed into the tournament to crown the first WWN Champion.
Sorry to say, but that was a disappointment. It went well over half an hour and was majority forearms by volume, which in and of itself isn't necessarily a bad thing, but for whatever reason it just fell flatter than flat. Not to say that there weren't a lot of good set-pieces, the count-out nearfall into the submission exchanges that actually ended it was a lot of fun, but it was just too little, too late. A bummer, especially as Drew Gulak's last match here in Evolve.
Catch Point handshakes all around with the remaining three members as Gulak stews. Drew is cutting a promo but my feed is squirrely again so apologies if I miss anything important. He says Catch Point is about the art of competition, and he admits that Hot Sauce was right, that Catch Point is bigger than any of them. He exchanges a Catch Point handshake and a hug with Williams when Dickinson and Jaka hit the ring.
Chris gets on the mic and says they want in. Gulak says it's not his call to make and gives the mic to Tracy. He asks if they want in and offers the handshake to Dickinson and Jaka in turn. Riddle and Yehi follow suit. Gulak gets back on the mic and says his time is done in Evolve, but he knows that the man that wins the WWN Championship is a member of Catch Point and is in the ring right now.
Drew heads to the back, stopping along the way to hug Gabe Sapolsky and Catch Point follows suit, Riddle flashing a Papa Hales shirt to end the show.
Kind of a weak show, although admittedly a lot of that is the main event casting a shadow over things. But there was still a lot to like, with Cobb/Yehi, the tag, Page/Togo, and especially Riddle/Ricochet all being worth the watch for sure. And hey, you get it as part of your FloSlam subscription, overflowing with a bounty of shows, so why not check those out if you have access?