clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Evolve 62 Recap & Review: Timothy Thatcher Retains, Chris Hero Betrays Evolve

Will Henderson on Twitter

Lenny Leonard, Rob Naylor, and Joanna Rose in the ring to welcome us to the show. Lenny runs down the top of the card real fast, Rob puts over the title belt situation, and away we go!

Anthony Nese vs. Fred Yehi

Tentative start as Yehi ekes out an advantage with his grappling skills. Nese is game, trying to make openings wherever he can when Yehi catches him with the stomp to the knee and tries to kick it up another notch before a series of kicks actually turns the tide for the Premier Athlete.

Doesn't last long though and Yehi's right back at the legs to keep it from happening again, working a stump puller. Match goes to the outside and the momentum shifts again, this time with Nese working Yehi's back and neck. Momentum swings become less dramatic from here as both guys wear out a little and start trading bombs. Nese counters the Koji Clutch into a deadlift powerbomb!

Fred Yehi wins by submission, catching Anthony Nese in the Koji Clutch as a counter to a 450 splash.

Real fun opener, right there, and it's great to see Yehi finally pick up a win.

Nese on the mic, he says he doesn't deserve the applause because he's been in a rut for the past year. When he came into Evolve, he was just floating around, so he decided that he wanted to make his name a part of something, he wanted to create a brand, and that was the Premier Athlete Brand.

The original idea was to have the best athletes with him, but over time, it turned into two guys acting like assholes. He doesn't know why he let it go for so long, but Valifornia is done with, the Premier Athlete Brand is done with, but Tony Nese is still here, and he knows one thing that can turn his career around-- the WWE Cruiserweight Classic. And tomorrow, he wants an opportunity to be in that tournament, he's taking an opportunity.

Darby Allin vs. Ethan Page

Well, Darby Allin's coming out to Pentagram, so I already love the guy. Page using his size and strength advantage early on but Allin's fast enough to try and get around him. It's not to be, though, as Page catches him out of the corner with a kick and proceeds to Gorilla Press him over the ropes and to the outside clean into the support beam!

Allin crawls back in the ring, defiant, and lays a chop into Page before getting laid out with a boot. A delayed Jackhammer follows but Allin refuses to die. A slam off the top and Page lies in wait for the springboard cutter, but still, Allin will not die. Allin grabs a tilt-a-whirl small package and follows it with a springboard but Page is ready to boot him in the head once more!

Ethan Page wins by pinfall with a package piledriver.

Always enjoy the "new guy refuses to die" story and this was no different. That Gorilla Press spot was just crazy.

Cedric Alexander vs. Matt Riddle

Grappling to start, trading waistlocks and jockeying for position. Cedric pulls out ahead, chaining a backflip into a headscissors and throwing chops in the corner, punctuating it all with dropkicks. Riddle right back, going for the throat, looking for a win with the Kimura and an armbar and then just dumping Cedric on the back of his neck with a German Suplex before a pair of rolling Karelin Lifts.

Alexander brings the violence in the corner, machine gun chops and stiff kicks into a sequence that sees both men laid out. Kneeling slaps traded into standup forearms and Riddle begins winning the exchange with slaps before Alexander hits an enzuigiri to bring them right back to nil. Cedric positively destroys Riddle with a Lumbar Check but Riddle gets a foot on the ropes! Alexander to the top but he jumps right into Riddle's knee! Riddle drops him on his knee with the fisherman buster!

Matt Riddle wins by submission with a leg trap neck crank.

Hell of a match. I mean, it was a Matt Riddle match, so you kinda knew that going in, but Cedric more than held up his end of the bargain.

The crowd chants thank you at Cedric and he replies with, "Don't say 'thank you' yet, you'll be seeing me here for a long time!" Great news!

Bravado Brothers (Harlem & Lancelot Bravado) vs. Catch Point (Drew Gulak & "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams) (c) (Evolve Tag Team Championship)

Harlem and Gulak to start, feeling each other out for a bit before switching off to their partners. Match is very back-and-forth here, each team gaining a slight advantage in turn before the other finds a fresh opening to reverse fortunes again. A backbreaker into a double team back suplex and Catch Point are really laying it in on Harlem here.

Camera totally misses a running Liger Bomb from Lancelot to Gulak as the tide shifts yet again. Superplex into a crossface from Williams but Lancelot gets to the ropes! Drew Gulak with one of the more innovative suplexes I've seen, grabbing a three-quarter facelock and hooking the leg up and over.

Gulak in, but the Bravados break it up and hit a Gentleman's Agreement! Lancelot absolutely plants Williams with a rope-hung DDT! Suicide dive Doomsday Device! Wheelbarrow facebuster/cutter combo on Williams but it isn't enough to dethrone the champions! Tope con giro from Harlem followed up by a powerbomb/lungblower! Lancelot with a torture half-crab but Gulak makes the save!

Gulak and Harlem on their feet slugging it out to the outside but Lancelot and Hot Sauce are the legal men. Sauce drops him head first into the ropes with an underhook DDT off the top and follows it up with a sheerdrop brainbuster.

Catch Point retain the Evolve Tag Team Championship when "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams pins Lancelot Bravado following an avalanche half-halch DDT.

Maybe a little much on the back-and-forth action in the first half of the match, but that back half was fire.

Officials in the ring as Lancelot struggles to his feet before Catch Point offer a handshake.

Drew Gulak on the mic, saying that what you have in the ring is two proud tag team champions. In Catch Point, they believe in competition and he and TJP will be representing Catch Point in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic. He has the Evolve World Championship in his bag. Someone chants "You deserve it!" and he replies saying that the man who deserves it is in the back.

Thatcher should be ashamed because another man has his title and he should be married to the title. Gulak says he kisses the title every morning and goes on to remind Thatcher that he owes every man in Catch Point a title match. He says he wants Thatcher to man up and grant them what they deserve when unfamiliar music hits. It's Timothy Thatcher!

Thatcher on the mic, he told them they'll all get their time and their shot, but tonight he's got an incredibly tough competitor in Chris Hero, so Catch Point has to leave his ring right now.

Hero on the mic! Aren't you guys done for the night, he asks. He doesn't know if he speaks for everybody, but it's time to put the kids to bed and let the men talk business. Gulak says in the spirit of competition, they'll let this match happen and they head off to the back.

Chris Hero vs. Timothy Thatcher (c) (Evolve World Championship)

Intense grappling out the gates as you'd expect, with Hero forced to the ropes in a front facelock soon enough. Both men looking to damage the other's arm early, Thatcher bringing Hero low with a hammerlock and Hero again forcing the ropes. Hero targets Thatcher's bum elbow with a senton but the champion stays in it, going back to the hammerlock. Hero switches gears, working the leg with a series of modified deathlocks before Thatcher follows suit, wrenching the foot and grapevining the leg.

Finally Chris Hero goes back to his bread and butter, hammering Thatcher with elbows and kicks. Hero gets whipped into the ropes and Thatcher plays his game now, throwing European Uppercuts, but Hero returns the favor with big boots to the temple. The last one backfires and Thatcher catches the foot into a heel hook in the ropes! Hero knocks Thatcher off the turnbuckle to the outside with a straight right hand that echoes through the building! And a second seated in the first row!

Back in the ring Thatcher back on the foot and Hero counters a dragon screw by trying to rip Tim's face off. Hero hammering Thatcher down on the mat but the champion's defiant streak kicks in and the determination cuts through the haze. Rolling elbow and Thatcher flinches, leading Hero to switch to a knee strike, but Thatcher drops the big man with a Saito Suplex! Thatcher with a butterfly suplex and knees to the ribs before getting to mount and raining blows down on the challenger. A trip to Uppercut City but Hero comes back with the short piledriver!

Hero brings Thatcher to his feet and starts laying elbows in, one, two, Thatcher down to a knee, the third rolling but Thatcher stands defiant! Hero with a goozle and Thatcher throws suplexes in response. Elbow number four drops Thatcher but it's only good for two! Hero looking for the Gotch Piledriver but Thatcher goes for the Fujiwara Armbar in response and Hero counters that with a Death Blow style headbutt to the back of Thatcher's head! Thatcher counters a senton into a crucifix pin for a nearfall. Rolling elbow countered into a headbutt but it isn't enough! Fujiwara Armbar!

Timothy Thatcher retains the Evolve World Championship by submission with a cross armbar.

Let's do about a hundred more of those, shall we? Might be my favorite matchup in all of pro wrestling right now, full of escalations and adjustments.

Matt Riddle out to confront Thatcher, followed shortly by the tag champs (Gulak carrying the world title belt) and Stokely Hathaway.

Hot Sauce on the mic to "congratulate" Thatcher for retaining his title before reminding Thatcher of his debt and asking for their match tomorrow to be for the title. Gulak says that Catch Point will do what Chris Hero couldn't do and Hero is angry. Stokely says TJP is the uncrowned Evolve Champion and he respects Tracy and Catch Point, but now is not their time. Gulak's talking about title shots all willy-nilly but what they really need to do is defend the tag titles against the Dream Team. Stokely makes referee Brandon Tolle put the world title around his waist.

Thatcher responds, saying he said he'd defend the title against all of them and he meant it, so Hot Sauce has his title shot. But every one of them who have disrespected the title by touching it, by laying hands on it, he'll hurt them. So of course Stokely drops the belt like it's a hot potato.

Riddle says Thatcher had to cheat to retain the title against him and he'll always be trash. He'll beat his ass again and take the belt, which he then raises over his head.

Drew Galloway & Ethan Carter III vs. Johnny Gargano & TJ Perkins TJP (Unsanctioned Street Fight)

Electric atmosphere, with dueling "Johnny Wrestling!" and "EC3!" chants. And the ref goes right down! Fighting immediately to the outside afterward, of course. Galloway and TJP out by the bar and this is awesome.

Galloway sends TJP into the wall while EC3 drinks a beer! Garbage cans thrown around and fighting goes out into the street. Gargano and EC3 fighting in a rickshaw! Galloway Lawn Darts Gargano into a street lamp! They're out in traffic, this is absolutely nuts. Galloway whipped into a support beam for a building across the street! EC3 takes a powder back into the building for a moment to fake Gargano and Perkins out but our boys catch him with superkicks!

Back in the building at last they even do us the favor of heading right to ringside. Galloway and Carter too sweet each other because of course they do and TJP hits a crazy sliding springboard dropkick before Gargano follows with the tope!

Fighting proceeds back to the bar where Perkins slides EC3 down the bar into a Gargano superkick and the Evolve boys celebrate by dancing on the bar! Gargano with a diving crossbody onto Carter! TJP tries one of his own on Galloway but Drew drops him onto his own merch at the gimmick table! A tornado DDT nearly takes out a cameraman and Galloway chucks Gargano into the support beam! A fireman's carry and Galloway does squats before chucking Gargano in the ring.

Galloway drags Brandon Tolle into the ring to try and finish it, but Gargano kicks out of their double Razor's Edge. Johnny Wrestling has enough wits about him to try for a rollup on Carter to no avail. Perkins back in and he's just flying all over both dudes. Hard to keep up but just great tag team sequences from Gargano and Perkins. Galloway with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex on Gargano just chucking him like a sack of potatoes.

Stereo submissions on the invaders! Galloway has a turnbuckle hook but he gets laid out with superkicks! Gargano calls for the tables like we're doing a greatest hits of tag wrestling, but once they get it set up they eat stereo low blows! Galloway jackknife powerbombs Perkins through the table, straight down from a great height!

Drew Gulak out to check on TJP as Gargano rolls out to beat on Galloway but Chris Hero lays Gulak out with a piledriver! Boot to Gargano and a short piledriver!

I thought Evolve was your home, Chris! Galloway with a tombstone on Perkins!

Ethan Carter III picks up the win for his team with a One Percenter on TJP.

Crazy, crazy match. Everything I'd hoped it was gonna be, brawling to the outside, in the street, on the bar, just crazy. Worth every penny.

Carter lays referee Brandon Tolle out again and Galloway gets on the mic. They told us, he says, this company needs some heroes. It wasn't a war, he says, and EC3 points out that it was a decimation. Galloway can't stand hypocrisy, and you can make it on your own, you don't need to jump on the machine.

They were gonna make a statement bigger than the Cruiserweight Classic, they had an idea that was independent, and now they've got Chris Hero on their side. Beside the fact that they're right, who can stop them now? Galloway digs to try and remember the fourth guy in their crew, the guy he was tag champions with, who was that?

Oh yeah, Cody Rhodes. They'll be self-made men, not somebody's bitch. August 19th in Maryland, Cody Rhodes is coming for Johnny Gargano.

Drew passes the mic to Carter and Ethan Page comes out only to get Future Shocked for his trouble. Now that Fake Ethan's out of here, it's time to use words as a weapon and Carter struck a fatality up north and my feed cuts! But not like technical difficulties, nope, the show is over!

They're not gonna give EC3 the platform to speak! Amazing ending.


Well, this angle isn't getting any less exciting. Chris Hero's aligned with the anti-NXT forces (completely blowing my prediction for EC3's open challenge tomorrow, heh), Cody Rhodes is coming right into the mix; it's gonna be a hell of a summer for pro wrestling. A crazy main event, Alexander/Riddle and Hero/Thatcher III delivering big, and a brace of solid undercard matches makes for another great showing from Evolve.

Be sure to join me here tomorrow night at 8PM Eastern for Evolve 63 live from Orlando where I'm sure we're going to get even more 2016 pro wrestling action between the open challenge and Cruiserweight Classic Flashpoint.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats