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Evolve 63 Recap & Review: Nese Qualifies, Gargano Answers EC3's Open Challenge

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Feed is live early with some dark match action!

Joe Coffey vs. Rory Gulak

Commentary tells us this match is happening as a result of both men standing out at yesterday's seminar. Rory, naturally enough, is Drew's younger brother, and Joe Coffey is a UK standout I'm seeing for the first time here. Grappling aplenty, with Coffey using his size advantage and swinging Rory around in a full nelson and then a butterfly. Gulak strikes back with athleticism and speed but Coffey shows some of his own, the big man hitting a diving crossbody off the top.

Joe Coffey wins by submission with an elevated standing Boston Crab.

Fun little showcase. Certainly wouldn't mind seeing more of either man.

And back to the logo screen as we wait for the show proper.

Logo screen, logo screen
Evolve Wrestling logo screen
Loops before the show starts
Purple atom, flash of light
Look out, there goes the logo screen!

Bit of a delayed start due to some issues with the lighting, but we're in the ring with Trevin Adams and Joanna Rose. Trevin runs down the changes to the card as a result of last night's happenings and announces that this building will be the site of next year's WrestleMania weekend shows.

Cedric Alexander vs. Fred Yehi

Usual feeling out to start, Yehi perhaps gaining a slight advantage going after Alexander's back and legs, but Cedric dodges Yehi's stomps time and again, denying him full control. Chop for chop, slap for slap, Cedric pulls ahead but Yehi suckers him in and finally nails the stomp to the leg. A stump puller forces Cedric into the ropes and Fred doesn't break until four.

Alexander fights back, taking a stomp to the foot but managing to duck a rolling elbow and eventually sending Yehi to the floor and hitting a tope rib-first on him. Yehi gets the Koji Clutch but Alexander has the wherewithal to get to the ropes! Back on their feet they go trading forearms and again Yehi is on the back foot. He manages to get the Koji Clutch in the air but before he can power Alexander back to the mat Cedric rams him back-first into the turnbuckle!

Cedric Alexander wins by pinfall following a Lumbar Check.

Awesome opener. Loved the story of Alexander having to dodge Yehi's stomps at all costs.

Bravado Brothers (Harlem & Lancelot Bravado) vs. Darby Allin & Jason Cade

Boo, no Pentagram tonight, as Allin enters to Cade's theme. I haven't been this upset about Evolve entrance music since Drew Gulak stopped using Rainbow in the Dark.

Cade & Lancelot start and the Bravados try to isolate Cade early on, but the high flyer manages to break out with a leg lariat and get the tag. Allin busting out an old-school headscissors takeover but Harlem cuts him off hard on a dive.

Stereo dives get caught by the Bravados and both men driven back first into the barricade. Back in the ring the Bravados take turns working on Allin's back, surely still sore from being chucked into a support beam by Ethan Page last night. Allin eventually breaks free off a corkscrew springboard headbutt (of all things) and Cade comes in hot with a Meteora!

Short-arm knee strike, superkicks, and it's time for some trademark Fly Cade Fly action! A Frankensteiner off the basketball hoop! Corner knee, corner boot, Northern Lights suplex into a double stomp! Makes the tag but Lancelot manages to pick them apart during some tandem offense and make a tag of his own. Harlem tosses Allin into Cade with an exploder and follows it up with the Tiger Driver!

The Bravado Brothers win following a double-team Gory Special into a reverse STO on Darby Allin.

Fun tag with some quality high flying. Allin and Cade got more time than I expected for a tossed together team.

Matt Riddle vs. Trevor Lee

Matt Riddle comes out wearing the Evolve World Championship belt and chucks it into the ring.

Greco-Roman knucklelock to start, testing each other's strength before Riddle takes it to a wristlock and gets a cross armbar, looking for the early win. Lee rolls and strains, only getting out after stomping Riddle in the face and then going for a few more in the corner. Riddle comes in with slaps and Lee cuts him off with a big knee. He ain't the only one, though, and Riddle hits a big one on a springboard. He goes for the followup baseball slide slap but the Carolina Caveman dodges and lays him out from the apron before running him into the guardrail twice, looking for a countout.

Lee chucks Riddle literally three-quarters of the way across the ring on a biel throw, following it up with chokes and scrapes in the corner. Riddle tries to come back with slaps but Lee cuts him off with a stomp to the foot and wishbones two of Riddle's toes! Lee goes for God's Last Gift and Riddle reverses it into his own fisherman buster! Lee goes for the leg and Riddle comes at him with knees to the ribs before the rolling Karelin Lifts. Double knees in the corner and Trevor Lee returns the favor with his pop-up double stomp!

Riddle lighting Lee's chest up with kicks, Lee comes back with a leaping forearm but eats a knee and a German Suplex, somehow landing on his feet! Riddle grabs the Kimura but he can't get it all the way in and Lee goes for a suplex only to have Riddle pop out. Elbows for elbows!

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

Hell of a match, but I expect nothing less. Not gonna be able to get Trevor Lee wishboning the toes out of my head anytime soon.

Timothy Thatcher (c) vs. "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams (Evolve World Championship)

Hot Sauce on the mic, asks Thatcher to give him a second and address his Catch Point compatriots. When this match is over, he doesn't want an asterisk, he doesn't want anybody to say that he only won the title because his boys helped him out, so he wants them to head to the back.

Intense grappling from the jump, with a real sense of intensity and pace to it. Kitchen sink grappling, looking for the first advantage they can find and attacking it. Both men grab leg holds and end up in the ropes, but soon it's all about the arms. Thatcher gets the foot and there's blood in the water but Hot Sauce fights through it and we get some Ali/Inoki action before Williams land a cartwheel knee and follows it with an octopus stretch into a Russian Legsweep into a grounded octopus!

Hot Sauce working a cravate but Thatcher starts dissecting his arm in response. Williams lays Thatcher out with a Teardrop Suplex and starts laying into the champion with dropkick after dropkick. Hot Sauce Superplex followed by a diving splash for a two-count. Double lariat and Thatcher drops the challenger with a Saito Suplex! Karelin Lifts and Thatcher's all fired up, looking for the butterfly suplex but Williams backs him into the corner for chops only to get it turned around on him.

Second rope underhook DDT into the ropes but Thatcher counters the followup with a Fujiwara! Williams slips out and hits the piledriver! Forearms for uppercuts, followed by a headbutt! Williams fights out of another Fujiwara and lands the sheerdrop brainbuster! Into the crossface, Thatcher desperately trying for the ropes and Hot Sauce pulls him back to the center of the ring and switches to a sleeper. Thatcher to his feet but Hot Sauce holds on. Thatcher applies his own sleeper and takes him over!

Timothy Thatcher retains the Evolve World Championship by submission with a Fujiwara Armbar.

One down, at least three to go. Awesome match. Super excited to see my man cross the one year mark!

Riddle back out with the belt and a microphone. Bro, he says. He's not really surprised about Tracy, since he's named after a "bitch". "Trashy Tim", he asks, when is he gonna get his shot at the belt?

Stokely Hathaway out to say that everybody around here is getting what they want except for him, and he's the one that got TJP in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic. As he looks around this ring, he doesn't see anyone else going to the WWE, no one else representing Evolve. On those nights, Thatcher will be crying and doing fake British people stuff, and Riddle will be somewhere in some dingy "stank-ass" bar, popping BLLs and Snapchatting undesirable women, but the Dream Team will be in WWE. And with that comes a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T, and since he's smarter than everybody in the building, he'll explain. That means we should treasure and thank him every time he's in the ring, telling him we love him and whatnot. He tells Thatcher he wants a yes or no on TJP's title shot.

Thatcher says TJP will get a title shot, and then he wants Riddle, no holds barred. Well that's gonna be awesome.

Kid Cadet interviews Anthony Nese in the entrance ramp, asking him about his shot to get in the Cruiserweight Classic tonight. He says he regrets acting like a jerk, and this is the biggest match of his entire life.

Anthony Nese vs. Drew Gulak vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Lince Dorado vs. TJ Perkins TJP (WWE Cruiserweight Classic Flashpoint Elimination Match)

Ah, we're getting interviews with each man. Lince Dorado out now, he says it means everything to him and it's a chance to showcase everything he can do.

TJP, for his part, is looking forward to going on the WWE Network and showing everyone why he's the greatest.

Gulak is not pleased to be interviewed during his entrance, but he's looking forward to showing the world how Catch Point thrives on competition.

Johnny Gargano says he's living proof that there's a new era in WWE, and it all begins with the Cruiserweight Classic. It's about guys like him who have spent years traveling the world and busting their balls for this business getting an opportunity and about getting Evolve out there and about making pro wrestling awesome again. And that, he says, is definitely best for business.

Match narrows down to Gargano and Gulak right off the bat, engaging in an excellent series of close calls before Nese rolls back in. Nese shows his athleticism with a Daniel Bryan-esque corner evasion moonsault and a kip-up. Dorado just dodging all over the place, wrestling literal circles around Gulak! Gargano nails Dorado with the Superman Spear!

Catch Point goes to work on Gargano with rolling leglocks before Nese and Dorado get back into it. TJP with a Gory Special inverted crab combo and Gulak runs in to grab a Camel Clutch on poor, crabbed Gargano. Dorado clears the board with a tope and nails Gulak with a missile dropkick before getting cleared himself with a TJP leg lariat. Sweet assisted stunner on Nese when Gargano sweeps Perkins' leg! Lawn Dart on Nese!

Drew Gulak eliminates Johnny Gargano with a sunset flip.

Lince Dorado with a huge moonsault to the outside! EC3 and Galloway run in and destroy Gargano as he makes his way to the back! Handspring stunner from the cat man!

TJP eliminates Lince Dorado by submission with TJ Clutch.

Nese puts boots to TJP in the corner but Gulak attacks him from behind! Catch Point tries to take him apart but Nese gets a nearfall on both men at the same time, bridging a German Suplex over a prawn hold. Sasuke Special! Nese goes for a Frankensteiner on Gulak but Gulak stands firm only to have TJP swoop in and hit one of his own!

TJP eliminates Drew Gulak with a double chickenwing gutbuster.

Leaping neckbreaker from Perkins sets up a tornado DDT attempt but Nese just puts him back on the turnbuckle for a gamengiri and a Frankensteiner. Perkins goes for TJ Clutch but Nese drops to one knee to stop it. Perkins dropkicks the knee and starts stomping away.

Slap for slap but TJP goes back to the knee with kicks and a dragon screw. Nese with a Rolling Thunder European Uppercut but Perkins lays him all the way out with a lariat. Perkins grabs an armbar and Nese deadlifts him for the powerbomb but Perkins is a step ahead and slips out for a double stomp. Pumphandle countered as Perkins hits a Detonation Kick! Suplex combo and Perkins comes up empty on a frog splash!

Nese with a nearfall on the pumphandle fire thunder! Chops and forearms lead to kicks in the corner and Perkins seems to be out of answers when he hits a flash roundhouse and follows it up with a superkick! Nese has his wits and hits the buckle bomb before following with another fire thunder!

Anthony Nese wins the match and qualifies for the WWE Cruiserweight Classic by eliminating TJP with a 450 splash.

Wonderful chaos in the Dragon Gate USA style!

Drew Galloway vs. Ethan Page (Anything Goes Match)

Page is hot to fight but Galloway denies him, wasting time hanging around on the outside.

Bell rings and Page leaps in with the takedown, hammering Galloway on the mat! That beautiful fallaway slam sends Galloway to the outside and he ducks into the crowd, lying in wait to toss a trash can at Page's head. Page returns the favor and Galloway grabs something or other to load his palm. Attempted whip into the wall but Page reverses, Galloway blocks and Page just kicks his head off.

Into the bleachers, chop for forearm they climb to the top and Galloway rams Page's head into the wall. Steps leading to a door and they take turns trying to chuck each other over the handrail. Page ends up chucking Galloway head-first into a protrusion on the wall anyway! Ego gets a chair and hammers Galloway in the stomach and then headfirst into a table. Back to the entryway and Galloway hotshots Page onto the barricade! Page suplexes Galloway on the hardwood and the resulting thud is sickening.

Galloway crawls over to the bleachers Page superkicks him before getting release spinebuster'd onto the linoleum! Back toward the ringside area again, Page over the barricade like a sack of potatoes and Drew deigns to toss him back into the ring. Galloway starts flooding the ring with chairs and Trevin bothers to justify why there are chairs under the ring, which I appreciate. Page hooks a chair under Galloway's throat and goes for the Russian Legsweep!

Ethan Page gets a ladder and stretches it from the apron to the barricade! Galloway denies the suplex and boots Page off the apron! Galloway whipped face first into the ladder! Back in the ring again, Galloway picks the ladder up and tries to throw it at Ethan Page's head! The ladder is set up and Page climbs it to hit Galloway but Galloway slips around and jackknife powerbombs him off of it! Galloway sets some chairs up, looking for the piledriver but Page slips out and eventual back body drops him through them!

Page sets Galloway's head against a chair and tries for the springboard cutter, but Galloway just tosses him through the chair!

Drew Galloway wins by pinfall with a Future Shock on the chair.

Excellent sequel to their first one. All around the arena, back in the ring, just some real good high level brawling.

Ethan Carter III in the ring and he asks what Drew's gonna do now that he's beaten Ethan Page. He's going to Disneyworld! They don't have to be here, Drew says. They're choosing to be here, they have the houses, the cars, they're fine. They're here because they love independent wrestling and they know what's best for us.

EC3 takes the mic and says that his open challenge has been canceled due to lack of opponents. Ethan Page, decimated, Drew Gulak got his block knocked off, and TJP's a shell of his former self, so no one's left standing. Cut the feed, we're out of here.

Johnny Gargano out. He says that he's still standing, and as long as there's a breath in his body, he's ready to fight for this company. If EC3 wants him gone, he'll have to put him down. Gargano doesn't care about pinning him, so he wants a last man standing match.

EC3 accepts and we're on!

Ethan Carter III vs. Johnny Gargano (Unsanctioned Last Man Standing Match)

Gargano taking it to EC3 with punches right away before hitting a suicide dive! Fighting near the barricade and EC3 dumps Gargano belly-first on the rail! Through another rail and into the lighting rig! Carter sets him up on the apron and hammers his back before choking him against the ropes. Press slam on Gargano followed up by a corner avalanche and an Olympic Slam. Gargano back in it with the slingshot DDT before raining left hands down!

Carter with a high knee, looking for the Pedigree but Gargano reverses for a Side Effect! Superkicks! EC3 lays referee D.A. Brewer out! Gargano going to town on EC3's abs and chest with the point of a chair. By all rights, Johnny Wrestling has this one won, but with no official, he's stuck. Jamie Tucker out but Carter gets to his feet before he can event out. Gargano goes for the Superman Spear but EC3 blocks it and turns it into One Percenter!

EC3 lays Gargano out with a chair and then knocks Jamie Tucker out! Now he's ordering a crew member to dismantle the ring! They're unscrewing the top rope! Once they finish, Carter orders them away and grabs a steel turnbuckle hook. Gargano dodges with a drop toehold and locks on Gargano Escape! He's using the turnbuckle hook just like he did against Ethan Page! Drew Galloway runs out and Future Shocks Gargano! The crowd counts to 11 and Galloway raises EC3's hand.

Carter grabs a table as Galloway drags Brandon Tolle out from the back. Galloway gets Gargano up for a powerbomb but Gulak and Perkins run out and atomic drop his ass! EC3's surrounded in the ring and begs Brandon Tolle to save him, but Tolle just pats his face. TOLLE STUNNERED HIM! HE HIT A STUNNER!

Johnny Gargano wins!

Great match to end a great weekend of wrestling.

Tolle does a spinaroonie! And the worm! This is fantastic.

Gargano on the mic, saying this is the first time he's ever seen a ref do a Stone Cold Stunner. Don't worry, he says, the Referee 3:16 shirts will be on sale at the merch table before asking if we enjoyed the show. Crowd does "Yes!" in response. I agree! Tolle's under 205, he might win the Cruiserweight Classic! He thanks everybody for coming and he'll see everybody in a couple weeks at the Cruiserweight Classic.


What a show. I'm always hesitant to push this hard in these for fear of recency bias, but I genuinely think this might be the best show Evolve has put on in the time I've been watching. Every match delivered both in the ring and in the greater scheme of the promotion, there were no sort of "undercard leftovers" problems where you end up with some dudes doing stuff just to do stuff, just start to finish excellence. Highly recommend you purchase this one on VOD if you missed it live.

Be sure to join me here next month for previews of Evolve 64 and 65, from New York and Massachusetts, and stick around in the meantime for all your other pro wrestling needs!

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