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Evolve 83 recap & review: Catch Point join the Dream Team, a new Gatekeeper, and Galloway says farewell


The show is live with Trevin Adams and Timothy Barr in the ring. Trevin welcomes us and Timothy gives us the breaking news that Galloway/Riddle III is now a WWN Championship match. And thence into the action!

Austin Theory vs. "All Ego" Ethan Page

Page right in with Tan Sheamus! Taking Theory to the woodshed and yelling in his face that he's going to take his head off, but Austin is able to duck around, take it to the apron, top rope Asai moonsault! Fighting around the ring and back into it but Gatekeeper Blaster runs a bit of interference and All Ego catches him with a rope-hung double underhook backbreaker.

Priscilla Kelly comes to ringside as Ethan continues punishing the rookie with elbows and knees, Theory is throwing punches to try and back him off, to the apron, shoulder thrust, rolling thunder dropkick gets him that separation! Strike combo gets Austin a nearfall, taking Page corner to corner, struggling, Ethan clocks him with an elbow and gets the cross-arm Iconoclasm to turn things back around.

Raking the face, sitting into his back, choking him on the ropes, All Ego looking to grind the life out of Theory here, locking a reverse chinlock. Looking for Spinning Dwayne on the escape, ducking and dodging, standing moonsault gets Austin two. Struggling in the middle of the ring, trading forearms, Theory with the running shooting star press but it's not enough.

Rolling thunder but All Ego is ready...

"All Ego" Ethan Page wins by pinfall with Spinning Dwayne.

Fun opener. Page is great bullying the new kids around and Theory's immensely gifted in his own right. And a really cool finish with the rolling thunder getting countered like that, given that Austin does it in so many different ways.

After the match, Priscilla Kelly comes over and kind of strokes Austin before leaving.

Stokely Hathaway has a special announcement, and he comes down with "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams in tow! Tracy says Catch Point spend more time bickering than they do fighting, and from the beginning, this has been about competition. That's all he wants to focus on, is fighting. He's not a manager, and maybe it's time somebody took care of the business side of Catch Point.

Stokely says it's true, as of April 23rd, 2017, he represents Catch Point! Catch Point has been trademarked! He's going to take them to new heights, the next level, with marketing. Catch Point athletic wear, Catch Point dojos, Catch Point all over the world.

He represents Tracy Williams, he represents Fred Yehi, he represents the new tag team champs Dickinson and Jaka, and of course, he also represents WWN Champion Matthew Riddle! The tag champs and Yehi come down and Hathaway greets them happily. Yehi gets on the mic and says he didn't sign up for this, that Tracy has lost his way, and if this is what Catch Points is all about, then Fred Yehi quits Catch Point.

Fred takes his leave, Williams talks to Dickinson and Jaka but Chris grabs the mic. He says he wanted to be part of Catch Point because he took pride in Evolve offering the best competition, and if this is still about competition, he wants in. Hot Sauce reassures him it's about competition, and they have something to settle. Williams wants a match against Dickinson right now!

Chris Dickinson vs. "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams

Grappling early, exchanging wristlock for headlock, and then to bull moose shoulder tests, Hot Sauce pulls ahead and goes after the leg a moment. A bit of light lucha and Dickinson takes him off guard with a charging elbow and Williams takes a breather outside with Stokely.

Back in and back to grappling, Chris really laying in on the wristlock but Tracy gets him to the mat and resumes his attack on the leg, driving his knee into the mat and wrenching his foot back at an awkward angle. Stomps follow, but Dickinson gets out of the hole with a few kicks and a knee.

Grinding Hot Sauce down with a reverse chinlock but a counter suplex and a wicked knee right into a pin stem the tide. Kind of a Divorce Court bulldog, but the lack of focus gives Dickinson room to catch him with a half nelson suplex. Struggle in the corner, Williams catches him with the underhook DDT into the buckle and then a half-halch brainbuster on the mat... NOPE!

Reverse cravate in, Chris counters into a fireman's carry, head into the buckle, Michinoku Driver impact... NOT ENOUGH! Jockeying for position over a waistlock, Tracy catches him with a back suplex, shotgun dropkick sends him outside. Dropkick on the apron, Dickinson fires back with kicks on the floor.

Back to the apron, strike for strike, Hot Sauce with a pump kick, up top, nobody home, Chris hooks him, Falcon Arrow for a nearfall! Slugging it out, forearm for forearm, both men beginning to wobble, rapid-fire, Dickinson with an enzuigiri, he springboards in for a lariat but Williams catches him...

"Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams wins by submission with the crossface.

That was a hoot. Hard hitting action in the Catch Point style for sure. (And as an aside, Dickinson's second really good match today-- make sure to check out his match against Ace Romero from the Tier 1 show this afternoon as well.)

Post-match Williams offers the Catch Point handshake, Dickinson is hesitant but accepts while Jaka gets a mic. Jaka says he likes money and competition, so he invites ACH to come here right now and get it done!

ACH vs. Jaka

Feeling out early, testing each other in a collar and elbow repeatedly. To the mat and Jaka has a bit of an advantage but ACH is no schlub himself, reversing the wristlock every time before they trade quick covers and Jaka slaps him across the back hard. More quick covers from ACH, but Catch Point's Savage catches him off guard with a headbutt and more back slaps.

Firing in the corner, Jaka informs ACH that he's in his city now before they do some exchanges off the ropes and ACH catches him with a Manhattan drop into a double stomp to the back and a dropkick to the side of the head! Staying on his head, knee drop, trading forearms into a swinging neckbreaker for two.

Trading chops, Jaka's fired up (YEOW!), looking for northern lights but ACH blocks, the distraction chop to the gentleman's area follows. Jaka's not out though, chaining kicks into an exploder he gets a nearfall, corkscrew elbow drop, the Catch Point man firmly under control.

Kneeling surfboard applied, grinding ACH down but the flyer has other ideas, breaking loose, kicks and chops. Jaka catches him with a straight suplex, flips him over, waistlock, ACH fighting for his life but the German suplex is nigh inevitable. Hard chops, choking him against the corner while Hot Sauce cheers him on, just punishing ACH with punches to the head.

To the apron, ACH knocks him down with some kicks, Jaka pops back up and forces him to do it again, and a second time, so ACH busts out the triangle dropkick, to the apron, Penalty Kick! Springboard into the reverse STO, it's a nearfall but Jaka has gas left in the tank.

ACH with a boot into a Codebreaker... NOPE! Heading up, Jaka's out but not down and the pool is empty. Spinning wheel kick blocked with a dropkick, Buster Call slips out, spinning wheel kick connects, Jaka lifts him up...

Jaka wins by pinfall with a sit-out powerbomb.

Really good match. Love the dickhead streak ACH has been cultivating the longer he goes without major success in Evolve, stuff like the "What's that?" chop to the groin or the wicked Manhattan Drop he hit here, and Jaka's just a joy to watch.

Catch Point handshakes all around after as Stokely celebrates with his new clients.

David Starr vs. Keith Lee

Cautious early, Starr dipping away and back in to try and chip away at the big man. Lee catches his hand on a chop and tosses him away but David is able to catch him with a drop toehold and a kick to the side of the head, Keith dodges the dive, Starr goes for a Frankensteiner but just gets powerbombed into the apron!

Lee soaks in the adulation of the fans before heading back in the ring and hammering David with punches, crumpling him to the mat. Starr creates an opening, ducking a charge, chops and forearms machine gun in the corner, Keith raging back at him, he back body drops the big man in the corner!

Front chancery applied, he takes Lee off his feet but the friendly fellow peels his arm off and cracks a headbutt across his prow! Desperation forearms from David but Keith Lee sends him literally seven feet in the air with the thrust spinebuster! Too long on the cover and Starr kicks out, however.

Big slap, trying to do whatever he can, ducking punches, coming off the ropes with a lariat, Lee is staggered but passes him to the apron, where David catches him with his trademark DDT into the apron! Another lariat takes the man off his feet in the center of the ring and the King of Taunts fires up.

Charges in, gets caught for the Spirit Bomb but counters the clutch into a sunset flip powerbomb! Trying to trap the arms for Product Placement but Lee is too massive, off the ropes, dropdown, he runs through a lariat and the big man hits a headscissors takeover! Body avalanche, huge double chop, Keith declares himself Limitless!

Starr gets a kick off but Lee is able to keep himself together, pick him up...

Keith Lee wins by pinfall with Ground Zero.

Very good match, Keith Lee has real trouble having anything less since coming to Evolve. And hopefully not the last for Starr here in Evolve, as he fits right in. And Brooklyn agrees with me, because he gets a "Please come back!" chant.

Fred Yehi vs. Kyle O’Reilly

Fred immediately informs Kyle that he's in BIG TROUBLE and takes him to the mat. Intense grappling, Kyle in guard, Yehi trying for a Stretch Muffler but O'Reilly pushes him into the ropes and forces the break. KOR takes Fred's back, Yehi escapes, Kyle goes after the leg and again to the break.

Waistlock takedown, Fred working a side headlock, O'Reilly eventually shoots him off but falls prey to the stomp to the hand. Kneeling figure four, forcing Kyle's legs apart, the former world champion fend him off but Yehi just refocuses to a kneeling leglock, wrenching the foot.

Stepover toehold stomp, KOR desperate to get away, Fred catches him with a capture suplex and locks him down with a rear chinlock into a neck crank and then a stump puller to bring it back to the leg. He crosses the legs and punches him in the knee before stomping it as a parting measure.

Firing chops now, Kyle trying to get air but the former Catch Point man is on him. Charging forearm, rolling elbow scouted and O'Reilly uses a burst of adrenaline to throw a strike rush before his leg starts to give out on him! Throwing stomps, knees, a big one off the ropes and he locks Yehi down with a bodyscissors, pasting the back of his head with forearm strikes to boot.

Fred turns it into a pin but KOR grabs the armbar and Yehi hustles to the ropes! Shoulder armbreaker, arm wringer slam, both men are down a limb now. Fist drop to the foot but Kyle comes back hard with a knee, hammerlock, forearms, snapmare into a top wristlock. Fred fighting mad, O'Reilly tries to shift to a guillotine but Yehi gets away.

To the mat, hammering his face with elbows, Fred can't protect himself and KOR locks the armbar but the ropes are too close to allow a win. Charging forearm, armbreaker to a back suplex and into a heel hook seamlessly! Bit of a mistake because Yehi can grab the foot in return and O'Reilly's leg is more damaged, wrenching the hook in and forcing Kyle to roll to the ropes.

Trading strikes, off the ropes and Fred stomps his foot, rolling elbow countered with a boot, chop block, figure four leglock applied! Again, O'Reilly rolls to the ropes and forces the break. Yehi drags him to the center of the ring, stomp to the knee, pop-up German suplex... NO GOOD!

Kick for chop, Ax and Smash blocked, Fred catches him with a dragon screw, nuke misses the first time but he can't dodge forever and Kyle gets his knee nuked! Powerbomb countered with a back body drop, the armbar is on but countered with a pin! O'Reilly can't even get to his feet, Yehi stomps his leg again and locks a guillotine choke on.

Struggling to his feet, Fred has a fisherman driver ready for him, knucklelocks, Liu Kang bicycle kicks to the chest! Kyle back in with an arm wringer, Yehi tries to counter to a sleeper hold but KOR counters back with a suplex! Regalplex hooked but Fred fights away with elbows. Boot blocked, stomp dodged, strike rush into a sliding knee and both men are down on the mat.

Front chancery, Yehi blocks the brainbuster but Kyle gets a guillotine in, taking the wind out of him. Ax and Smash connects, Fred back in with an elbow and a nuke! Trading kicks now, each man targeting the body part he's been going after, screaming agony as their bodies begin to fail.

Stereo slaps take them to their feet and back onto the mat. Yehi fires up, full nelson, Kyle reverses, trying for a Kimura lock but he can't get the arm behind, Fred firing knees at his head, O'Reilly hits the brainbuster... FRED YEHI LIVES! Cross armbreaker applied, Yehi desperately holding his hands together...

Kyle O'Reilly wins by submission with a cross armbar.

Amazing match, just two dudes grinding each other down until only dust and ash remains. I always love a "one guy goes for the arm and the other goes for the leg" story and this is about as good an example as you'll ever find.

Lio Rush vs. Zack Sabre, Jr. (c) (Evolve World Championship)

Mat work early, Zack trying to suck Lio in and Rush doing his best to hang. Sabre using the bones of his forearm to scrape Lio's face, forcing him against the ropes and then grabbing a cravate, hoping to frustrate the younger man and force him to make a fatal mistake but Rush keeps his cool.

Stepping close, using his speed to fake the champion out but ZSJ grabs his wrist and goes to work, applying the Jim Breaks Special and wrenching him unholy. Lio gets a facelock and it's Sabre that loses his cool, throwing an uppercut and charging, getting passed to the outside!

Rush knocks him down with a kick and Zack grabs a guillotine, wrenching unholy. Lio trying a kick, Sabre gets a leglock and forces the break. Uppercut and a boot, wrenching Rush's foot and and getting him caught in a leg-trap crossface, letting him out only to kick his leg out from under him.

Punch for uppercut, ZSJ moving forward inexorably and laying him out again. Stepover leglock into a deathlock, kneeling armbar added and Sabre goes after the wrist, twisting and hammerlocking before turning it into a deathlock STF and then a guillotine choke! This whole sequence, my god.

Lio throws a kick that nearly takes Sabre out on its own but Zack is right back at him with uppercuts before grabbing the leg and going back to the ankle. Rush escapes with a reverse chinlock and some punches to the head but he can't stand. Sabre toying with him with kicks, Lio gets to his feet at last, off the ropes, Zack catches him with a chinlock and into a grounded octopus hold!

Escape, Pele kick, Sabre catches it into an ankle lock! Rush gets the ropes but he's in agony, the champion just calmly stepping on his feet, swatting away strikes as Lio gets to his feet. A forearm connects but his leg gives out and he's right back down. Back up for more, he strings a few together, trading charges, in visible pain as he forces his leg to give more.

Handspring kick knocks Sabre to the apron, slingshot dropkick into a suicide dive! Back to the ring, Lio dragging himself up top, diving stomp but the pool is empty, his leg buckles and Zack clobbers him with another uppercut. Penalty Kick dodged, poison Frankensteiner into a tilt-a-whirl DDT... NOT ENOUGH!

Headed back up top, trying to figure out what else he can do to put the champion away and ZSJ cuts him off, going after the arm. Knocked down, charges back in, Lio with an enzuigiri, frog splash...SABRE CATCHES HIM INTO A HEAD AND ARMSCISSORS! ELBOWS TO THE HEAD! SHIFT TO AN ARMBAR BUT LIO TURNS IT INTO A PIN!

Pele kick connects, Sabre ducks a followup and plants him with the Dragon suplex! Jockeying for position in the corner, Zack catches a boot and hits the Penalty Kick, a second clips him, a third... LIO OUT AT ONE! RUSH HOUR! UP TOP! FROG SPLASH! NO GOOD!

Lio staring ahead, trying to figure out what he can do next, throwing his wrist tape at the champion and following it with a chest kick but Zack sits up calmly in return. A second, he wants more! A third caught, Rush fires back with a slap, one in return, head to head, slugging it out forearm for forearm!

ZSJ firing away, Rush dodging, strike rush, crescent kick, a low one, Sabre ducks him...

Zack Sabre, Jr. wins by pinfall with the double wristlock bridging pin, retaining the Evolve World Championship.

That was incredible. Awesome story from the jump, with Sabre infuriated that Lio would dare try to grapple with him, gradually giving way to a battle of equals as Lio dug deep. I could maybe quibble about the leg losing importance late, but the arc of the story otherwise is strong enough for me to give it a pass.

Ethan Page is on the stage and he has a story for us about yesterday, where a sick and disgusting man ended another wrestler's career. That man was Sabre, when he broke Gatekeeper Flex's arm. He could have come back to work with his arm in a sling, but All Ego doesn't work with a sick Gatekeeper.

Gatekeepers, he can find left and right... Nick Comoroto hits the ring and blindsides Sabre! Sabre manages to catch him in a Kimura lock but Gatekeeper Blaster hits the ring and takes him out with a black hole slam. Page stands over Sabre and tells him to remember this, because their match in May is going to end the exact same way, with him holding the title.

Drew Galloway vs. Matt Riddle (c) (WWN Championship "I Quit" Match)

Frye/Takayama punches out the gate and Galloway bails! Riddle follows and they trade chops on the outside. Back in the ring, Drew brings a chair with him and stomps Matt's face and ankle in before setting the chair up. Thinking piledriver, Bro reverses, Drew slips out, tilt-a-whirl backbreaker into the chair!

Riddle back in with forearms in the corner, exploder suplex, he goes and gets the chair, setting it across Galloway and he hits the senton on it! A second without it, but Galloway isn't nearly done yet. Claymore connects, he sets Riddle across the bottom turnbuckle, hooks his arms over the middle and wrenches him back with a reverse chinlock, but the Bro will not quit!

Catapult into the apron, still not enough to end it. Riddle back in with a straight suplex on the concrete floor! Drew rakes his eyes on the apron, fireman's carry... DEATH VALLEY DRIVER ON THE APRON! He just throws Matt back in the ring and follows, overhead belly-to-belly suplex!

Trading slaps, a big knee from our Bro, but Galloway cracks him into the mat with the short piledriver! Struggle in the corner, Drew caught in the Tree of Woe... SPIDER BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPLEX! Drew charges in... BRO 2 SLEEP! BROMISSION IS LOCKED ON BUT GALLOWAY WON'T QUIT! HE TAKES THE MICROPHONE AND HITS MATT WITH IT UNTIL HE BREAKS THE HOLD!

Future Shock, a second, Drew jawing, a third! Galloway gets the chair back in, underhooks... FUTURE SHOCK ON THE CHAIR! BRO WON'T QUIT!

Galloway heads outside for plunder and comes up the tag rope! He ties Riddle's hands together behind his back and to the middle rope! Punch on punch, so many punches, Drew demands referee DA Brewer check but Bro stands defiant! Galloway pins Brewer in the corner and berates him before heading back over to Matt.

A kick fends the NXT-bound star off and DA unties him! Pele kick, running knee, fisherman buster! Knucklelocks, stomping Drew's chest in but he won't quit! More stomps, a triangle choke applied but still Galloway screams in pain rather than quits... DEADLIFT COUNTER POWERBOMB!

Drew back outside for plunder and he gets a sledgehammer... BRO STEPS ON IT AND TELLS HIM NOT TODAY! A headbutt in return, Galloway uses the sledgehammer to clobber Bro's gentleman's area but he still won't quit! Drew insists that Brewer check again but it just gives Matt a chance to lock the Bromission! Slaps to the ribs, he wrenches it back...

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

We're three for three on excellent matches in the back half of this show. Exactly the kind of match Galloway should go out on, a great end to the Riddle feud, just fantastic stuff.

Catch Point come to the ring, accompanied by Stokely Hathaway. Stokely congratulates Riddle on retaining and says he's proud to have him as part of the team. He asks if he's ready to make that money and Matt takes the mic to chants of "Just say Bro!"

He says Bro...

No way!

Galloway spit on him and blindsided him with a lariat! He throws the WWN Championship down as Catch Point leave! Drew beats him down with punch on punch and Stokely tells him they're going to end him! Galloway prowls with the sledgehammer but Keith Lee hits the ring and again Drew backs off.

Stokely gets in Keith's face, Lee pokes him and Bro is there to scoop him up... BRO 2 SLEEP! Keith gives Riddle the title belt and they hug and fist bump. They depart together, is this a proper alliance?!


Rare is the show that just gets better and better with every match, but this might have been one. Certainly, in any case, you're unlikely to find a string of three matches as good as the last three here, which ran the gamut of everything that makes Evolve such a great promotion, the intense technical wrestling wizardry of KOR/Yehi, the in-match storytelling in Sabre/Rush, and the anything goes brawling of Riddle/Galloway.

Plus we got some real storyline movement, with Catch Point aligning with Stokely Hathaway only to lose Fred Yehi and our Bro in the process, plus ACH's growing mean streak and All Ego replacing his fallen Gatekeeper. Really like the symmetry where, despite the best and most noble of aspirations towards competition, Catch Point inevitably finds itself warped into a toxic vehicle for revenge against one man-- first Thatcher (who may end up in cahoots with them now, being part of the Dream Team and all) and now Riddle.

Check it out once it goes up in the archive on FloSlam, hopefully by the end of the night.

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