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Evolve 64 Recap & Review: Thatcher retains, Chuck Taylor and Jigsaw return, new tag champions, and more!

Jose Flores on Twitter

Bit of a delay to get things straightened out before the show, but we're live in the ring with Joanna Rose and Lenny Leonard. Lenny runs down the card when Stokely Hathaway interrupts him.

Stokely gets on the mic to resounding "Moose!" chants from the people of Queens and says we won't be seeing TJP vs. Zack Sabre, Jr. because Dream Team management has decided that Perkins needs a day of rest to prepare for his hypothetical title match tomorrow. He promises the biggest possible day of celebration tomorrow in Boston and passes the mic to Joanna to announce our opening match!

Cedric Alexander vs. Johnny Gargano (WWE Cruiserweight Classic Spotlight match)

Referee Brandon Tolle gives his instructions live on mic to follow official CWC guidelines. Johnny Grappling in full effect to start, controlling Cedric with a wristlock while Cedric comes back going after the ankle. Pretty soon the heat turns up and both dudes start slinging kicks that get dodged.

Chops for forearms and Cedric nails a huge dropkick to Johnny's face before heading to dive city and following up with a through-the-ropes springboard reverse STO! More chops in the corner and Johnny flops to the mat, spent. Cedric follows up going to town on Johnny's head with kicks and punches and elbows. Gargano mounts a comeback with a few enzuigiri variations (including his trademark roll-through) before laying Alexander out with a gamengiri in the corner and the slingshot DDT.

Johnny goes for the Lawn Dart but Cedric slips out and goes for a springboard which gets caught into Gargano Escape! Out again for the biggest Michinoku Driver I've ever seen! A series of simultaneous strikes ending in knockout double superkicks! Gargano cuts a springboard off with a superkick and follows with a successful Lawn Dart but Cedric catches him with a brainbuster! Back elbows to block Lumbar Check but Cedric tries again only to get rolled into Gargano Escape!

Johnny Gargano wins by submission with Gargano Escape.

Great opener! I love Johnny Grappling but it's always nice to see Dragon Gate USA Johnny come out to play.

Drew Galloway cuts him off mid-celebration! Jackknife Powerbomb! Galloway brings a chair into the ring but Ethan Page runs in to take Johnny's shots for him! Drew Gulak runs in and fights Gargano off before asking for a mic.

He says at the last show they ran "that Fred Flintstone lookalike" EC3 off and he's gonna do the same to Galloway right now. Referee D.A. Brewer comes out and we're off!

Or not, because holy shit it's Chuck Taylor! He lays Gulak out and Catch Point come running down to the ring.

Galloway on the mic, he says to relax because he'll always be one step ahead. Sometimes he might seem alone in this war, but when the message is strong, the allies will grow. He presents to us Dustin, who carried Gargano as part of Ronin just like he did when they were tag champs. And he issues a challenge, Dustin and Galloway against Catch Point for the tag titles tonight.

Hot Sauce accepts the challenge! We got a tag title match set for later!

Chris Dickinson vs. Darby Allin vs. Fred Yehi vs. Tony Nese

Chris Dickinson starts the match by cold chucking Darby Allin into the barricade in a ridiculously brutal way. Refs are checking him, seems like he's out.

Yehi gets things going for real by scooping a rollup on Dickinson. Stomps on Nese's legs as Allin begins shakily getting to his feet. Allin finally back up after a minute and he picks Nese's leg before nailing a trust fall dive off the top into Dickinson and Yehi! Sasuke Special from Nese onto all three of them!

Nese going for the pumphandle piledriver, Allin slips out, goes for a lariat, Nese does the bridge/kip-up evasion. Yehi back in with an elbow, Dickinson tries to cut him off with a boot and just gets a fist dropped on his foot! Allin with some low double palm strikes to Dickinson before getting powerbombed and Falcon Arrowed for his trouble. Springboard headbutt and Yehi goes for the German but Allin turns it into a rollup. Stomp to the hand! German!

Nese succeeds on the pumphandle piledriver and Dickinson barely squeaks in to break it up. Rolling Thunder European Uppercut from Nese sets up Dickinson for a superplex attempt from Allin that he reverses into a second rope crucifix powerbomb!

Anthony Nese gets the win by pinfall with a 450 splash on Darby Allin.

A bit rough in the early going while I was worried about Darby Allin on the outside but once that got going it was plenty of fun.

Ethan Page vs. Wheeler Yuta

Page welcomes Yuta to Evolve by dropping him with a single kick right out the gate. Punishing chops and strikes in the corner before Page throws his beautiful fallaway slam. He goes for the press slam to the outside but Yuta slips away! An arm drag gets followed up by low dropkicks and Page goes to the apron to regroup.

Fireman's carry slam takes Yuta over the ropes and back in the ring and Page hits RKEgo before following with a buckle bomb.

Ethan Page wins by pinfall with a package piledriver.

Not much to it, really, but neither anything to complain about. Certainly wouldn't mind Yuta getting a better chance to show his stuff in the future.

Page asks the crowd for a round of applause for Yuta as he's carried to the back before saying that he'd love nothing more than to chat it up with all of us, but this message is for Johnny Gargano. Whether Johnny likes it or not, he's got to forgive Ethan Page because he's alone in this fight. What more does he have to prove after the beating he took that left him with no feeling in his right side? He'll go through a million more to prove to Johnny that he's not the same dickhead he was last year. Johnny needs to learn that his plate is full-- he's got NXT, he's got the CWC, he's got everything here in Evolve, but he's just one man. He needs Ethan Page as a tag partner and as a friend.

He's got everybody telling Johnny to give him a chance and he won't listen but maybe if the crowd makes some noise they'll listen to him. A rousing chant of "Friendship!" goes up!

Jigsaw vs. Zack Sabre, Jr.

Grappling to start, naturally enough, Jigsaw somewhat surprisingly getting the better of the Technical Wizard. Sabre takes charge with some wrist control but Jigsaw flips out of it. Zack with a cravate, Jigsaw with an armbar, Zack with a headscissor, hold-for-counterhold we go, culminating with a double headscissors!

ZSJ going for a double knee bow-and-arrow and Jigsaw flips out for a nearfall. Jigsaw working a stepover wristlock hard before rolling it into a stump puller pin! Bodyscissors into a nearfall and Jigsaw traps the legs but Zack manages to grab a Kimura!

The tide is turned, with Sabre working a wicked double wristlock neck crank before wrenching Jigsaw's ankle with a half-crab type toehold. A second follows after a break, this time with a foot to the back of his head! Sabre invites some chops before picking the leg again and going for a modified stump puller! Japanese Stranglehold follows, forcing Jigsaw back to his feet on the bad leg. A switch and Zack regains control before dropping down into a surfboard variant with the choke still applied.

Jigsaw with a big tope con giro! Follows it up with a missile dropkick and charges into the corner with a European Uppercut and a lariat! Sabre with an Octopus in the ropes, but Jigsaw gets Zack tied up in the ropes and does a double stomp to his back! Sabre counters a jumping knee, picking the leg and rolling into a bridging Gedo Clutch for a nearfall before regaining the Octopus and wrenching Jigsaw's wrist. Jigsaw stands up and rams Sabre head-first into the turnbuckle!

Tornado DDT into a Kimura and Zack tries to amp up the leverage by grapping Jigsaw's free hand but he's slippery. Jigsaw back to his feet and he reverses into a sheerdrop brainbuster! Yakuza Kick in the corner, Jigsaw tries to follow up with a German and Zack rolls him up again.

Zack Sabre, Jr. picks up the win by pinfall with a Penalty Kick.

Excellent match. Surprised to see Jigsaw have so much control for so long but he did great with it.

Matt Riddle vs. Roderick Strong

Riddle makes his entrance wearing the Evolve World Championship title belt yet again.

So good to hear End of Heartache again. Roddy throws his t-shirt in Riddle's face! Grappling to start, but not the usual genteel pace, both guys trading hammerlocks like they mean to win with them before Roddy rides Riddle momentarily and brushes his back. Riddle with waistlock control quickly returns the favor as a "Shitty Little Boots!" chant goes up. Soon followed by "Shitty Little Feet", which is hilarious. Thank you, Queens.

Back up and they turn it up, ducking and diving and Strong starts laying kicks and stomps in. Roddy hits his first backbreaker of the match before hooking Riddle's nose and just wrenching back full force. Riddle takes him down and just starts laying into him before hitting the rolling Karelin Lifts. Hard overhand chops send Strong corner to corner and leaving him out of it on the apron before a basement dropkick sends him all the way outside.

Roddy baits him in and manages a press slam from the apron onto the apron! Backbreaker on the barricade! Pinfall attempt back in the ring and Roddy goes back to the stomps before dropping an abdominal stretch backbreaker. Going for a sleeper Riddle elbows out only to run face first into a dropkick!

A backbreaker attempt out of the corner fails momentarily due to a barrage of chops and slaps from Riddle but Strong regains control and hits the backbreaker hard enough that Riddle spasms on the mat. Setting Riddle up on the corner gets Roddy a series of hammer blows to the back of the head and neck before Riddle decapitates him with a diving knee! Rolling elbow into an End of Heartache attempt but Riddle reverses it into his fisherman buster!

Riddle looking for the cross armbar but Roddy stomps him in the face. Fireman's carry, Riddle slips out and goes for a springboard but Roddy cuts him off with a knee to the calf. From there into a sequence that I honestly can't do justice to with words, Roddy criss-crossing the ring with strikes and finishing with his tossing back suplex. Looking for Strong Hold, Riddle tries to turn it into an arm submission but Roddy fights out with elbows.

Fireman's carry gutbuster but Riddle's able to pop up and hit the springboard knee! Forearms on forearms, Strong with a gourdbuster but Riddle with knees! Roddy back with knees of his own once both men recover, then to the top for a superplex! Fireman's carry and Riddle slips out, springboard knee attempt, SICK KICK! GIBSON DRIVER! STRONG HOLD! Riddle fights out with kicks!

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

My god. That was everything I hoped it would be. One of those matches that's so good it makes you a little emotional just on principle.

Riddle on the mic with the title belt again. Of course, he immediately calls out "Trashy Tim", and points out how repetitive this is getting. He'd hurt anybody that touches his belt, so "whatcha gonna do about this?", he says, rubbing the belt on his gentleman's area.

Thatcher out, face to face. He slowly unzips his jacket as Riddle asks what he's gonna do. He's beaten everybody in his path, so what's he gonna do? Thatcher takes the jacket all the way off and Stokely slips in. He asks Riddle to hold the title up and says the title is nice, but not up to the Dream Team's standards. So he's gonna need Riddle to do him a solid, polish it up and make it presentable because he'll be handing that title over to the new champion TJP tomorrow. And the next time we're in Queens, on September 11th, he'll give Riddle a title shot against Perkins.

Stokely points out the thing about Thatcher hurting guys who touch the belt and Riddle chucks the belt at him like it's lava. Thatcher makes like he's not gonna do anything but ask for the mic and when Stokely comes close he breaks his damn finger!

Marty Scurll out with the mic. Riddle waits for him to get in the ring before slipping back in to grab the belt, saying he forgot something of his. Scurll sings a lullaby about putting Thatcher in the crossface chickenwing, because of course he does. He's not been in Evolve for very long but he's here to be Evolve Champion, so let's get this started.

Marty Scurll vs. Timothy Thatcher (c) (Evolve World Championship)

Scurll hesitant early on, Thatcher trying to get in to grapple and Scurll backing away. The Villain grabs a headscissor and Thatcher deadlifts him into a half crab.

Thatcher grabs an armbar for a moment but Scurll works his way towards a leg submission only to get slipped into a double knee bow-and-arrow. Scurll going for a knucklelock but Thatcher slaps his arm away and lays strikes in! Wristlock takedown and Thatcher takes a breather on the outside but Scurll superkicks him from the apron! Scurll fishhooks Thatcher's nose, seemingly looking for the chickenwing but deciding on a Dragon Sleeper variant instead.

Butterfly suplex into one of those stomps to the elbow that always make me nauseous. Scurll follows up by stepover stomping the hand, and Thatcher goes Inoki/Ali for a moment, kicking from the mat. Fakeout superkick catches Thatcher for two before both men trade slaps. Double wristlock stomps to the champion's shoulder into a triangle choke but Thatcher's defiant. Counter powerbomb attempted but Thatcher can't quite get the impact. Scurll shifts into a seated armbar and manipulates the fingers a bit before stomping them to the mat.

Thatcher's going to that place! Gets to his feet and lays in forearms and uppercuts before going for some kind of slam. Scurll goes for the chickenwing but Thatcher gets the rolling Karelin Lifts. Scurll with a Karelin Lift of his own and Thatcher drops him with a Saito Suplex! Into the Fujiwara but Scurll flips out and hits a powerbomb. Scurll shushes the crowd while blatantly looking for a finger to break but Thatcher catches him in the Fujiwara again. Superkick comes up empty and he goes for the fakeout again only to get booted! Thatcher looking for a German and Scurll wishbones the fingers!

Thatcher can't quite toss the Karelin Lift and Scurll gets the chickenwing! Kicks to the ribs but Thatcher fights out! Elbows to the surgically repaired ear! Back to the chickenwing! Thatcher throws him off and follows with a Northern Headbutt!

Timothy Thatcher retains the Evolve World Championship by submission with a sleeper hold.

One more quality title defense for Mr. Thatcher on the way to getting his mojo (and title belt) back.

TJP rushes the ring after and rolls around with the champ before Catch Point pull him off! Gulak and Thatcher nose-to-nose! TJP with a flash roundhouse knocks Thatcher out!

As Catch Point try to calm Perkins down, Galloway and Taylor are back out. They make like they want to talk to Riddle but Gulak and Williams aren't having it and we're off.

Catch Point (Drew Gulak & "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams) (c) vs. Drew Galloway & Dustin "Chuck Taylor" Howard (Evolve Tag Team Championship)

Commentary's calling him Chuck Taylor and Galloway's just calling him Dustin, so there's my compromise.

Just an all-out brawl to start, all four men on each other. Hot Sauce cuts a swathe through, getting Galloway crossfaced momentarily before Taylor breaks it up. Galloway and Gulak in on each other and Galloway dominates, throwing Gulak around before making the tag.

Back in moments later and throwing him around again, Galloway indicates that Hot Sauce should suck it. Quick tags here as the challengers try to pick Catch Point apart, but Hot Sauce makes it in and immediately goes after Taylor's arm with Divorce Court. Lovely assisted tossing back suplex from the champions. Hot Sauce back on the arm, picking him apart with a double wristlock.

Galloway press slams Hot Sauce into the barricade and follows with a backbreaker on the apron! Hot Sauce fighting back bravely with strikes but he eats the Alabama Slam for two. Slaps and slaps but Williams loses his balance and Galloway traps him and makes the tag. Reverse chinlock with a knee to the back, trying to grind the life out of Hot Sauce, he comes back with slaps but Chuck cuts him off with a powerslam and there go those quick tags again.

Delayed release vertical suplex from Galloway and he sits down in an armbar, mocking Gulak before Hot Sauce manages to get a cradle German to counter! Tags and Gulak is a sea of slaps and chops and knees! Atomic drop into the GuLock but Galloway breaks it up! Snap suplex into the corner gets two. Hot Sauce back in for a missile dropkick and sets Galloway up on top for a butterfly superplex. Just Facelock applied but Galloway uses his size and turns it into a jumping tombstone!

Gulak in again with a diving corkscrew uppercut but gets caught by a reverse STO/dropkick combo before Taylor applies an inverted keylock headscissor. Sauce drops Taylor with a piledriver and all hell breaks loose! Galloway and Gulak brawling on the outside, Galloway slingshots Gulak under the ring into the bare metal supports of the apron! Suicide dive from Sauce but when he gets back in Taylor powerbombs him twice before looking for Awful Waffle!

Drew Galloway and Dustin "Chuck Taylor" Howard become your new Evolve Tag Team Champions when Dustin pins "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams with Awful Waffle.

A bit chaotic at times but a lot of fun, and it's great to see Chuck Taylor Dustin in action for Evolve again.

Galloway on the mic to say he told us so. "Fuck TNA!" chants go up and he says this isn't about any particular group, but rather about how Evolve talks about wanting to make it on their own and then gets in bed with WWE. Tonight they broke Evolve's spirit, he says. They're saving Evolve from itself and when he beats Johnny Gargano tomorrow, he's gonna rip out its heart. In Brooklyn, they're gonna be at full strength, Dustin, Galloway, Chris Hero, Ethan Carter III, and Cody Rhodes. It's okay to boo, because we don't know any better, and they know what's best.

Taylor on the mic to say that he's been here since day one, Evolve 1, in day one in New Jersey, when Gulak was still a "piece of crap in CZW". Then when Uncle Paul comes with his contracts for everybody, where's his contract? Where's his time to shine? So right here in Evolve, with Drew Galloway by his side, Chuck Taylor is dead, and each every one of "you morons" killed him. And Drew Galloway's gonna break the only other man left from Evolve 1's back.


How many times do I gotta say Evolve did it again, folks? They're on fire, and this angle just keeps getting hotter. Introducing Taylor, who has so much history with the company in general and Gargano in specific, to Drew Galloway's band of anti-NXT crusaders was a fantastic idea.

Plus, as usual, a brace of excellent matches. Strong/Riddle clearly leading the pack, but Sabre/Jigsaw, Gargano/Alexander, and Scurll/Thatcher all in the hunt, and it's hardly as if the main event or the four way were anything less than good.

And of course, join me back here tomorrow at 7PM Eastern in the live thread for the next one. They do have a habit of getting better and better...

Thanks to Jose Flores on Twitter for the header pic!

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