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Evolve 82 recap & review: Bro retains, Doom Patrol win the tag titles, and Ethan Page is the last man standing


The show is live with Trevin Adams in the ring welcoming us to the show. He passes the mic to Timothy Barr for a little bit of hype for our main event Last Man Standing match. Trevin introduces Matt Riddle and he takes the mic with a trademark "Bro."

He says we may have heard that he's the first ever WWN Champion and he considers himself the champion of champions. But winning isn't enough, and now he has to defend against everybody in Evolve and in WWN. So first and foremost, he has to take on a guy who's beaten him three times in Evolve now, Tim Thatcher. It is, in fact, the only way to start his title reign out right, he says.

Stokely Hathaway comes out, first berating Matt for calling him Trashy Tim before saying that he's right, Thatcher had three successful title defenses against him, and adds that by the end of the night, he'll be representing the WWN Champion. And if Tim had his way, he'd be the opener every night so he could get the hell out of here, so let's do it right now!

Matt Riddle (c) vs. Timothy Thatcher (WWN Championship)

Grappling to start, Tim trying to take Riddle down but Matt turns it around into an ankle lock and forces the break. Bro takes his back but Thatcher turns it around and wrenches his ankle before shifting to the arm, but Riddle uses his frame to force another break.

Challenger with a sleeper, champion backs him in the corner but Tim holds on so Bro does a senton that leaves the former Evolve Champion gasping! Laying kicks to the back in, overhead elbows to the ribs, trying to soften Thatcher's midsection for Bromission. Tim traps the leg, jockeying for position before settling on the standing half crab, popping over and sitting back into it.

Again Bro makes the ropes, Thatcher hits the Karelin lift and starts laying strikes in on the champion before locking a reverse chinlock in and falling back, forcing Riddle into a bridge of sorts. Matt pops out, cross armbar applied, Tim has his hands locked and Tim gets his toes on the ropes.

A knee lift to the midsection, Thatcher mounts the champion and lays forearms into his face before grabbing an armbar of his own. Shift to a triangle as Riddle stands, nearfall, deadlift... into the powerbomb! Leaping forearm in the corner into an exploder suplex, Bro is fired up, high jump senton... THATCHER CATCHES HIM INTO A SLEEPER HOLD!

Matt fighting to his feet, Tim's weight bearing down on him, he gets the ropes, Ringkampf cutoff into a butterfly suplex and a nearfall. Knees to the ribs, pounding, hammer blows to the back, Riddle having trouble defending himself and Thatcher slips outside. Face smash into the apron, overhead elbow, back into the ring, waistlock, Riddle standing switch, release German suplex!

BRO 2 SLEEP COUNTERED INTO THE FUJIWARA ARMBAR! Riddle rolls through, looking for the Bromission but Tim isn't rolling over easy, hammering elbows to the back...

Matt Riddle wins by submission with Bromission, retaining the WWN Championship.

Man, these two guys, with a proper finish, it's never anything less than excellent. Fantastic match.

Stokely Hathaway gets in the ring and Thatcher stares at him while our Bro paces to the side.

Stokely gets on the mic and says everyone knows he's managed champions in the past, and the Dream Team is associated with greatness. Tim was champion for 596 days, and he didn't hang out with the fans, sign autographs, any of that. That's what Riddle does, but Tim just stays in the back and focuses on his wrestling while Stokely handles the business.

"Be like Mike," they say. No, you should be like Tim. (Agreed!)

Riddle says he doesn't hang out with the fans because it's his job, he does it because it's fun, and he can do whatever he wants. He chooses to be here, he asks for his music and takes his leave, hugging Papa Hales on his way out as if to punctuate his point.

ACH vs. Austin Theory

Starting with a lockup, ACH goes for a dirty break but Theory ducks the chop. A bit of light grappling from there, ACH with the veteran's advantage but Austin more than holding his own. Heating up with arm drags and legsweeps, trading cradles and then kicks, Theory gaining an advantage and laying punches in in the corner.

ACH back in it, shoulder thrusts, leapfrogs, back and forth, Austin lays him out with a pump kick! To the apron, slingshot stomp, snap suplex, thinking Unproven Cutter but ACH slips away twice and does the "What's that?" chop to the gentleman's area! Frankensteiner, Theory blocks a dive but gets caught by a dropkick and the Penalty Kick from the apron!

Austin hung up on the barricade while referee DA Brewer counts. Back in the ring, springboard reverse STO connects, kick to the back, fist drops, a knee drop, but none of it will put the 19-year-old away. Off the ropes, a swinging neckbreaker, a stomp, Theory is down but still swinging, literally throwing wild haymakers and hitting only air.

Another neckbreaker, ACH follows with a reverse chinlock, putting his weight into it but Austin gets away. Trying the STO again, Theory blocks, clotheslines, leg pick, standing shooting star press... NO GOOD! Boot countered, a chop rings out across LaBoom, Austin back into it with a crazy flipping standing blockbuster variant for two!

Blocking a charge, ACH catches him, fireman's carry neckbreaker over the knee, setting him up top, Theory slips under, catches him with a backbreaker rack, spin-out powerbomb... NOT ENOUGH! Cross-leg suplex lift, ACH slips out, gets caught with an enzuigiri but has the wits about him to shift to trading charging forearms, gets the facelock...

ACH wins by pinfall with Buster Call.

Very good match, well designed to make Austin Theory feel like a really big deal and increase his perceived ability to hang with the longer-tenured members of the roster. And make no mistake, the kid can go and played an equal part in the proceedings.

Drew Galloway makes his entrance and gets on the mic. He says he's finished with Evolve and gets "You sold out!" chants. He says he gave everything to this place but was met with nothing but disrespect. When he lost the title, his foot was under the rope, he was suspended unjustly twice, and referee DA Brewer threw his match against Riddle at Evolve 79 out despite him not tapping!

So he's done with this place, he's not the same as everyone in the back. He's tried to give the gift of wrestling and everybody spit it back in his face. He made himself and he's not a sheep like everybody else. He doesn't have to come back to this smelly little nightclub and he tells the crowd they stink, to boot.

He didn't have to be here tonight, he chose to be here because he's closing the chapter on Evolve and taking back everything he gave to the company. Over the next two days, he's gonna burn this bitch to the ground. He tells DA that he knows he didn't want to screw him last time and he knows that he's been told to screw him tonight.

He gets it, he has to provide for his family. He says tomorrow you'll have to kill him to make him say "I Quit", and tonight he's gonna prove that Zack Sabre, Jr. is not only a quarter of the man he is, but a tenth of the champion he was, and when he's done he's gonna want to burn his boots.

He tells Brewer that they're friends, but he screwed him, so he can't trust him... GALLOWAY BACKHANDS BREWER TO THE MAT! He tells Zack that if he has the balls he'll come out here and fight him like a man in New York.

Drew Galloway vs. Zack Sabre, Jr.

Sabre obliges and they start brawling while referee Brandon Tolle checks on Brewer. Release suplex from Galloway! Off the ropes, ZSJ catches him with an uppercut that sends him outside. Sabre wraps his arm around the barricade and kicks it before hitting the Jim Breaks Special elbow stomp on the floor.

Chop, tilt-a-whirl slam on the apron and Galloway's back in it. He catapults Zack under the ropes! Sabre shifts the momentum, octopus hold in the barricade! Back in the ring, ZSJ throwing uppercuts, wrenching Drew to the mat by his arm, bending the fingers back, Galloway shoves him away and catches him with the short piledriver on the rebound!

Boots in the corner, a stomp to the side of the neck, my god. Belly-to-belly suplex and Drew soaks in the, uh, atmosphere from the crowd. Sabre drawing himself to his feet, Galloway jawing at him and throwing a disdainful slap but Sabre comes back at him, hands, a Pele kick, a high kick ducked so he sweeps low and catches him clean across the sternum with the Penalty Kick!


Page holds up the Evolve Championship and gives it to Galloway, who sets it on the mat reverently before All Ego puts boots to ZSJ. Galloway heads behind the curtain... HE'S GOT A SLEDGEHAMMER! Page has Sabre in a WAR Special as Drew pulls the title over, he's about to shatter the plate when Keith Lee comes down!

Galloway retreats and Sabre breaks Gatekeeper Flex's arm!

Okay, so that match technically never started, but that was a whole match of content so I'm gonna stick a review blurb here, and that was awesome. Pissed off Zack Sabre, Jr. is best Zack Sabre, Jr., and Galloway never lets you down in a brawl, plus the stuff with All Ego and Galloway nearly breaking the title worked well.

Lee picks up the title and hands it back to the champion. Sabre leaves and Keith gets on the mic and says he doesn't know why Galloway ran off, he thinks he's a friendly fellow. Since they didn't want to play, he supposes he'll take the time to welcome a Mr. Kyle O'Reilly!

Keith Lee vs. Kyle O’Reilly

Feeling out, Kyle probing with kicks and keeping his distance but Lee closes the distance and forces him in the corner. O'Reilly keeps throwing, trying to get the big man off his balance but whatever you can do, he can do better and Keith throws a buzzsaw roundhouse over the former ROH World Champion's head!

Lee takes a moment to welcome Kyle back to Evolve and invites him to bask in his glory but KOR gets a wristlock, off the ropes to escape, trying a leapfrog and Kyle picks the leg into a heel hook! Keith gets the ropes but O'Reilly is on him with kicks to the arm and the leg before he gets to his feet.

Trying for a suplex, no good, back to the wristlock, Lee throws a punch but KOR gets him hammerlocked, he can't get it all the way in, hammerlock Divorce Court! To the mat, laying elbows and a knee in on it, dragging him up and reapplying the hammerlock but Keith is just too big and strong to control with a single arm at this point in the match.

Overhead tossing belly-to-belly, big hammering blow to the back and Lee locks kind of a grounded abdominal stretch in before taking his knuckles and scraping them along Kyle's ribs. O'Reilly on the leg, can't take the big man down and he gets the ropes. Trading forearms, Keith throws him in the corner and cracks a headbutt off, across the ring, body avalanche, and the big double overhand chop takes the air out of KOR's lungs.

He declares himself limitless, a little bit of trash talk but it gives O'Reilly time to get a boot up on the charge. Boots on boots, ducks a lariat, strike rush, he's thinking brainbuster but Keith Lee is very large and ain't going up yet. Shoulder armbreaker, trying a back suplex, Lee blocks and takes a hamstring kick for his trouble but definitively fights away with an overhead elbow.

Kyle right on him off the ropes, tries one more time for the suplex, gets the Limitless One off his feet... AND LEE TURNS IT INTO A CROSSBODY! HUGE BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPLEX... KYLE O'REILLY LIVES! Trading forearms, this time one takes KOR right off his feet but he comes back in for more every time.

Throwing and throwing, Lee is staggered and Kyle gets up faster every time, both men wobbling, O'Reilly throwing everything he has, and a sliding knee strike takes the big man off his feet! Picking the leg, thinking half-crab but Keith kicks him off. Off the ropes, trading kicks and then lariats and both men are out on the mat!

Barely beating the standing ten-count, Lee finds himself on the apron and knocked down with a Mafia kick, Kyle's calling for it, diving knees off the apron! Back in the ring, O'Reilly climbs the turnbuckles, missile dropkick but Keith bowls him over with a Pounce immediately! Huge spinebuster... NOPE!

Lee climbing the turnbuckles, this has had a relatively low success rate for him in Evolve so far... and KOR cuts him off with a kick. Follows behind, thinking back superplex, denied, he throws a kick...

Keith Lee wins by disqualification after Kyle O'Reilly accidentally kicks him in the groin.

Keith gets on the mic and says there's no way the match is gonna end on an accidental kick to the People's Anaconda. Kyle's here, he's a bad man, they will continue this!

Kyle puts the boots to him and gets a nearfall! Trying for a cross armbar, he gets all of it but Lee makes the ropes. Strikes exchanged, O'Reilly keeps throwing and takes the big man's leg out from under him. Filled with resolve, Lee hoists him up, Spirit Bomb... NOT ENOUGH?!

O'Reilly crawling over, Keith drags him up and demands he bask in his glory but the taunt gives Kyle time to get a guillotine choke! Counter suplex, boot up on a charge, KOR with a tilt-a-whirl DDT, front facelock...

Kyle O'Reilly wins by pinfall with a brainbuster.

Welcome home, Kyle. So glad to finally have you here. And of course, Keith Lee remains the entire truth. Awesome match, and the story of Lee having matches won but making the mistake of taunting or going too big is a good one that will serve him well on his way to the title.

Catch Point (Fred Yehi & "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams) (c) vs. Doom Patrol (Chris Dickinson & Jaka) (Evolve Tag Team Championship)

Yehi immediately declaring his Catch Point comrades to be in BIG TROUBLE and Jaka gives him a YEOW! in return. This continues for a minute until they get into it, probing, a bit of grappling, a bit of bull moose shoulder block trading, ducking and dodging, and thence to trading strikes.

The stomp finally connects with the knee and Fred nukes him! Tags made, Dickinson and Williams right to grappling, just awesome wristlock exchanges here until Hot Sauce sees an opportunity to work the legs. Turning the temperature up a little, Chris pulls ahead and tags Jaka in to work Catch Point's current leader over.

Quick tags, raking the face, nothing off limits, but Yehi makes it back in and evens the score a little. Stomp to the knee, another nuke for Jaka, and now it's the champions playing the quick tag game. Headbutts, they don't have much effect, Catch Point's Savage fends them off as long as he can but Fred comes off the top with a diving stomp to the foot!

Another for the hand, Jaka's in a bad place right now even as Hot Sauce finally takes his leave again. Jaka firing up, trading forearms but he eats a flapjack, blocks a German suplex, spinning heel kick gets him some separation and Dickinson is stoked for the tag.

In like fire, clotheslines aplenty, a baseball slide assisted half nelson suplex, Williams back in, Yehi with a dragon screw, Tracy with missile dropkick, Yehi with the German suplex, Koji Clutch and the crossface are both in but the legal men are mismatched so the Catch Point men have to switch!

Dickinson gets out... SIT-OUT PAZUZU BOMB! Looking for violence on the apron, Yehi saves his partner with a dropkick! He and Dickinson trading forearms on the apron, Hot Sauce comes from behind AND JAKA WIPES HIM OUT WITH A HUGE SUICIDE DIVE! INVERTED DDT ON THE APRON! HOISTING YEHI UP, DEATH TRAP... YEHI KICKS OUT!

Jaka charges in, Yehi blocks, forces him to hit a stunner on Dickinson, tag to Williams. Doom Patrol with the double team, Tracy dropkicks 'em both, up for the piledriver but Chris makes the save with a kick, hoists him up...

Doom Patrol win by pinfall with a Pazuzu Bomb from Chris Dickinson on "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams, winning the Evolve Tag Team Championship.

Bit of a slow start, but man, that was awesome once we got out of the feeling out. Dickinson and Jaka really have zero problem putting it all on the line, and this was the best option to continue the Catch Point story, to boot.

Post-match, Yehi and Williams offer up the Catch Point handshake and it is gladly accepted when that shit-stirrer Larry Dallas shows up, as unwelcome as ever. He claims to have the scoop of a century, and according to his sources in the back, it seems that Stokely Hathaway is in discussions with Tracy Williams about becoming the agent for Catch Point.

Williams gestures like that's crazy and denies it, but Stokely comes down all the same. Hot Sauce bails and Hathaway follows. Fred Yehi blasts Earl Cooter off the apron (and Earl gets hung up bad on the guardrail, hope he's okay) before nuking Larry Dallas! A GERMAN SUPLEX! ANOTHER! YES! OUR LONG NATIONAL NIGHTMARE IS OVER! A THIRD FOR GOOD MEASURE! ANOTHER NUKE!

My word, they have to take the mat off to remove Larry's unconscious body from the ring.

Darby Allin vs. "All Ego" Ethan Page (Last Man Standing Match)

Ethan Page makes his entrance carrying a shovel, my god.

All Ego shoves referee DA Brewer aside and they start brawling hard! Darby snaps off a headscissors takeover and dropkicks Page out of the ring before throwing a suicide dive that knocks him into the stage! Ethan sends him back-first into the apron hard before climbing onto the stage.

Allin follows and waffles him across the back with a chair before telling the fans to clear the way... ROPEWALK CLOTHESLINE TO THE STAGE! Clawing at Page's face, All Ego cracks him across the back of the head with a forearm. Darby wrenches his head over the barricade, clawing at his face again, but Page hits the cross-arm Iconoclasm into the crowd!

Darby just about to his feet at eight but Ethan cracks him over the back with a chair and slams him onto another, restarting the count. The edge of the chair into his face, he dumps Allin over the barricade... APRON POWERBOMB! All Ego calls the count off immediately and sends Darby back in the ring, he's got some masking tape, he tries to tape the chair to Darby's back but it doesn't quite stick, so he just manually holds it against his back on a body slam.

Hard chop in the corner, mounted punches, just laying them in over and over, yelling at Darby but he gets a blank stare in return. Bidding him rise, Tan Sheamus blocked, step-up senton across his back! Springboard Coffin Drop, Page is propelled outside, Darby climbs, chair in hand... CHAIR-ASSISTED COFFIN DROP ONTO GATEKEEPER BLASTER!

BLOOD IS STREAMING DOWN ETHAN PAGE'S FACE! HE HAS THE SHOVEL! Allin ducks one, backflips over a second and wallops Page with a chair! HE'S GOT THE BODY BAG! Allin climbs the turnbuckles but he slips and Ethan capitalizes immediately with a powerbomb! Running package piledriver!

PAGE CLIPS HIM WITH THE SHOVEL AND TURNS HIM INSIDE OUT! DA Brewer is checking on Darby, bleeding from the arm, but All Ego knocks him aside to put Allin in the body bag. One foot, then the other, but not zipping it, choosing to lay punches into Darby's face instead.

Zipped halfway up, Page has a jar of thumbtacks! HE'S DUMPING THEM ONTO ALLIN IN THE BAG! HE ZIPS HIM THE REST OF THE WAY! PICKING HIM UP, RELEASE POWERBOMB! All Ego stops the count and waves Blaster back in the ring. Drawing the back up, Darby gets to his feet and Page unzips him, blood spotting his back where the tacks pierced him and Page waves a pair of handcuffs around.

AUSTIN THEORY HITS THE RING! HE TAKES BLASTER OUT BUT EATS TAN SHEAMUS! Priscilla Kelly rolls up, coming in the ring behind Ethan, she circles him but backs in to the corner and Page back body drops Darby into her on a charge! All Ego sets up a chair... RELEASE POWERBOMB THROUGH THE CHAIR! Ethan and Blaster throwing chairs into the ring, Page hammers Allin's back with thrown chairs as Blaster keeps 'em coming.

Darby under chairs, Page waffling him through them, Theory comes back in but Ethan fends him off with a Spinning Dwayne! He literally throws Austin and Kelly into the pile and stands tall as DA counts...

"All Ego" Ethan Page wins when Darby Allin is unable to answer a standing ten count.

Holy hell. How do you even process a match like that? Darby Allin is a crazy man, taking some of these bumps. Everything after the bodybag powerbomb felt a little superfluous, but in makes sense in the context of their last match so I'm not too bothered.


This was a show coming in that I had very high expectations for, given that five of the six matches had obvious main event potential at any other show, and by and large it delivered on those expectations. Riddle/Thatcher and KOR/Lee were both excellent matches, Galloway/Sabre wasn't actually a match in the end, per se, but the action was still really good, and the other three were all varying shades of good to great.

And on the storyline side, Catch Point's implosion seems to have been halted... except Hot Sauce is further away from his stablemates than ever before. Plus Keith Lee continues to be a world-beating performer caught out by perhaps a bit of foolhardiness and a tendency to overindulge his own bravado, and All Ego has seemingly exterminated Darby Allin once and for all.

Check the replay when it goes up on FloSlam, hopefully before the end of the night.

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