clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Evolve 92 recap & review: Troll Boyz win the titles, Matt Riddle has a bad night, and Zack Sabre, Jr. loves the wrestling

World Wrestling Network

The show kicks off about fifteen minutes past our scheduled bell time with Joanna Rose in the ring to welcome us to the show and get us right into the first match of the evening.

Jason Kincaid vs. Zack Sabre, Jr.

Sabre gets on the mic first and said there's no beating around the bush, there have been some headlines today but he doesn't give a toss. He's a professional wrestler, he loves pro wrestling like we do, and we're going to show how much we love wrestling and Evolve and prove to the whole world why indie wrestling is setting the standard for everyone.

Grappling to start, Sabre working the arm but Kincaid stays right with him the whole way until the champ chooses to break and regroup. Go behind, waistlock, Jason reverses to a side headlock, Zack reverses in turn to a headscissors and wrenches it way in for the choke until the Gift escapes with a slick headstand. Back to the grapples, ZSJ riding him before going back to the arm, wrenching and tearing.

A knucklelock sequence now, Zack turning it into a wristlock and wearing down the joints but Kincaid escapes with a one-hand handspring arm drag! Sabre taking him to the mat with a side headlock but again a headstand escape and the Technical Wizard might be getting a little hot under the collar.

And he shows it with an uppercut only to run into the cartwheel powerslam into the double stomp for a nearfall! Chop in the corner, whip reversed, up and over, Jason rolls back and through into prayer position only to get nailed by the Penalty Kick! Bow-and-arrow sequence follows, trading kicks and ZSJ gets mad and locks a wrenching guillotine choke in, the Gift barely forcing him to the ropes.

Uppercuts connect, one sending Kincaid to the floor! Back inside, Jason throwing leg kicks from the mat like he's Antonio Inoki and again Sabre snaps, this time going back to the arm with a kneeling surfboard. To the standing, stopping an initial escape but getting flipped off all the same as Kincaid rallies. Slingshot dropkick paintbrushes the champion, springboard into a tornado DDT but ZSJ counters into a northern lights suplex and rolls through into the armbar!

Wrenching back, Jason fighting it and so Zack switches, Ode to Jim Breaks, bending WAY far back, rolling it into a pin... NO GOOD! Jawbreaker denied and they start slugging it out, Kincaid with a thrust to the midsection that transitions to charges. Sweep the leg, drag the champ outside, slingshot forearm and both men are on the outside!

The Gift arranges the steps to his liking, hits a weird-but-awesome swinging dropkick thing in the ropes, slingshot blockbuster, holding the facelock, slingshot Falcon Arrow... NOT ENOUGH! SWITCHING TO AN ARMBAR ON THE KICKOUT! But Sabre has his hands clasped and rolls the whole pile into the ropes! Back to the strikes, charging uppercuts, both men running low, Sabre gets a second wind and rolls a backslide into a half-crab!

Stepover toehold, trapping the arm, crossface applied, shifting to an armbar but Kincaid makes the ropes! Boots up on the charge, second and third verses are the same, the Gift leapfrogs Zack and sunset flip buckle bombs him! Coast to Coast (to floor), to the ringpost, diving double stomp... ZACK SABRE, JR. LIVES! Bit of a breather to compose himself, he grabs a fireman's carry on the champ but Sabre rolls through, rolling through on rolling through, he has Sabre's own European Clutch on him... NO GOOD!

A kick puts Zack in the corner, charging senton, setting Sabre up top, Kincaid gets behind him, looking for Diamond Dust but ZSJ stays put! Back up, diving Hurricanrana and Sabre holds on and rolls through! Sitting on his head, wristlocks, trapping the arms...

Zack Sabre, Jr. wins by submission with Young Boy Killer.

So that ruled. Great opener, Zack here to re-establish himself after a month away in New Japan, but Kincaid won't just be steamrolled, and both guys worked exceptionally well together in terms of their respective anger issues, such as it is.

Austin Theory vs. Stephen Wolf

Priscilla Kelly is here and touching Wolf awkwardly before the bell. Into the match, feeling out and Stephen gets an early advantage and howls, leading Theory to mock him and try to explode on him, but no dice, as Wolf snaps off a Frankensteiner! Austin cuts him off after with a lariat and puts boots to him in the corner.

Hammer whip, Stephen in agony here and Theory locks a reverse chinlock. Wolf escapes and rallys but Austin tosses him off into a wicked Blue Thunder Driver! Overhead elbows and back to the chinlock, Stephen fights out with elbows and a jawbreaker but Austin catches him with an elbow that spins him out hard! Kicking away with disdain, Wolf wakes up with a series of kicks, he's fired up but Theory catches him...

Austin Theory wins by pinfall with Theory KO.

Good solid match, although at the risk of sounding like Captain Smark I wish Theory wouldn't linger in those chinlocks like he's wrestling a WWE TV match and needs to go to commercial. Great to see Stephen Wolf get the opportunity to work for Evolve, too, and he made the most of it for sure.

Darby Allin vs. "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams

Hot Sauce right to grappling, looking to control the match from the jump, but Darby can play that game, although he never takes control for long. Williams gets a Calf Killer late in the exchange and Allin forces the break but the damage is done even as Darby picks the arm and takes a bit of a lead for a while. This sets Hot Sauce to going hard, striking, suplex into a Kimura lock attempt but Allin rolls around and blocks him.

Reversing to a hammerlock, but Tracy escapes and starts pummeling Darby with forearms. Off the ropes, springboard into a Coffin Drop but he barely clips Hot Sauce. Trying again, Williams lays him out with an elbow, Allin with two off an O'Connor roll, he slingshots in as Tracy bails, changing gears... TOPE CON GIRO!

Darby slapping away on the floor into just hurling himself bodily into Williams, tossing him into the barricade, but Hot Sauce sidesteps a charge, clears the front row and throws him over the barricade! Into the crowd, chops, back over knocking some poor guy's beer all over the floor! Back inside, knee drop to the shoulder as Stokely Hathaway jaws with the guy who lost his beer!

Single-arm straitjacket choke, Allin fights out, Williams with a butterfly, forced to shift to a hammerlock guillotine choke, up and over with the suplex, only a nearfall! Stepping on Darby's hand over the ropes, a shotgun elbow, disdainful knees and then forearms, Allin trying to stand firm but eventually buckling to the mat!

Last gasp, thrusts and shoulder blocks, Hot Sauce bowls him over and draws him to feet by the chain around his neck. Backflip up and over, kicking Williams away, springboard tornado DDT, a wicked landing but only a nearfall and Darby mounts Hot Sauce for grounded punches, up top, Coffin Drop... THE KNEES ARE UP! INTO THE CROSSFACE! FOOT ON THE ROPES!

Back to the crossface, countered into a pin, only a nearfall, charging into a back elbow, suplex into the turnbuckles for a tight nearfall! Thinking about a brainbuster, Allin counters with a knee, throwing slaps and ducking the return, Yoshi Tonic and another nearfall! Trying the Gibson Lock, Williams with upkicks but Darby won't let go and Stokely runs interference keeping the referee's eyes off long enough for an eye rake...

"Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams wins by pinfall with a lariat.

Really good match, Darby more confident than last time, having beat Timothy Thatcher and all, and able to bring his skills to bear better rather than just kind of surviving. Really like the finish, too, with Stokely doing his magic and Hot Sauce willing to cut any corner to keep his momentum going into tomorrow's WWN Championship match.

DJZ vs. Fred Yehi

Quick exchanges to start, settling into mat grappling, good long segment with DJ in control and they stalemate. This leads to Yehi bowling him over, looking for the stomp but he can't get it, back body drop counters some underhooks and he finally gets the stomp to the hand! Alternating arms, switching to the legs momentarily before hitting a double stomp to the midsection!

Big hip toss from Fred, working the surgically repaired abdomen with shoulder thrusts in the corner, stopping an up and over, tight exchange, and a leapfrog into a springboard back elbow cuts the FIP World Heavyweight Champion off! Overhead elbows from Ion into a chop exchange, aborted into a stomp to the foot, legsweep and Yehi nukes him!

Action spills to the outside, DJ put into the barricade where he back body drops Fred into the seats and dives over the barricade onto him! Back in the ring, shoulder thrust, slingshot in but Yehi gets a flapjack off into a tossing Karelin lift! Zema floats over on a suplex, a Frankensteiner doesn't get all of Yehi but he spills outside anyway, sidesteps the dive but Ion has no problem running the apron for a suicide dive through the corner!

Slingshot splash back in, springboard moonsault... NO GOOD! Off the ropes, back elbow, DJ with the arm-trap cloverleaf but he gives it up after a second when it's clear that's not enough to put Fred Yehi away. Fakeout transition into Mongolian chops, then the Liu Kang kicks, but Ion denies whatever followup he's planned and lands a flipping slam of some description.

Rolling through... FRED PRACTICALLY DECAPITATES HIM WITH THE NUKE! Forearms and chops, Yehi's fired up, Zema tells him no more chops so he gets a rolling palm strike and a lungblower for a nearfall! Thinking about a brainbuster, DJ slips out, Manhattan Drop to an upkick, rolling through but again Fred counters, with a German suplex this time!

Corner elbow, rolling elbow countered into a jawbreaker and both men are staggered. Leapfrog but Yehi counters into a lungblower! Fisherman buster... NOT ENOUGH! A chop gets a slap and Fred hauls off with more chops, to the second but Zema charges in with an avalance Frankensteiner, he finally hits the Rolling Thunder DDT... STILL NO GOOD!

Up top, Ion dives but Yehi is ready with an upkick...

Fred Yehi wins by submission with the Koji Clutch.

Really good match, with perhaps the greatest Nuke of our time, wherein Fred damn near took DJ's head off. The clash of styles stuff not played up as much as maybe I'd hope but it came in really strong in when it did, like said Nuke and the finish, so zero complaints here.

Jarek 1:20 comes down with a couple hundred dollars in hand. He introduces himself and says he was sent by WWN officials to give Fred a bonus for that performance, five hundred dollars to be exact. He gets in the ring and asks who thinks Fred's performance was worth a hundred dollars, then two hundred, and at that point he gives Yehi two hundred. The crowd wants him to get more and he hands over the third bill.

And so to four and then five, and he takes the bills back, counting through them before folding them up and flicking his wrist... THEY'RE ONE DOLLAR BILLS NOW! He throws some of the money at Fred and says that and a hot dog is what he thinks Yehi is worth before taking his leave.

Doom Patrol (Chris Dickinson & Jaka) vs. Keith Lee & Matt Riddle

Lee and Jaka to start, Keith easily outpowering the Smooth Savage, and so Jaka shifts to grappling to try and grind the Limitless One down. He changes it up again, looking for a Frankensteiner but Lee hosses him clean up and forces him to escape! Tags all around, Dickinson rolling around with Riddle on the mat, looking for a pin but Bro grabs an ankle lock and we get a stalemate.

Backing Riddle into the corner, Deep Waters gets a guillotine choke but the Dirty Daddy escapes and starts hammering him with elbows! Matt turns it around, palm strikes left and right into an armbar attempt but Chris keeps his hands locked and reverses to a waistlock to force the break. Trading chest kicks, Riddle snaps a German suplex off that staggers Dickinson!

Karelin lift connects, into a pair of high jump sentons, but the combination is only good for a nearfall! Bro to the apron, Jaka with the assist, Falcon Arrow... NO GOOD! Jaka legal, lotus lock sets up a dropkick and the Smooth Savage goes to work with strikes, targeting Matt's head. Chop for chop, knee lift, slap to the back, the Dirty Daddy tags back in and presses the attack further.

Inverted figure four, another tag sets up a headbutt to the ribs and quick tags continue to rule the match. Chris with a wicked powerbomb... STILL NO GOOD! Riddle rallies, sweet exchange with the Smooth Savage and both men are down! LEE GETS THE TAG! Clearing house on Catch Point, Stinger splashes, Riddle back in to continue the chain with forearms, meeting in the middle but Dickinson and Jaka move away and Matt clobbers Keith with the knee!

Rolling elbow into an exploder suplex... MATT RIDDLE LIVES! Keith in, electric chair, diving knee Doomsday Device... NOT ENOUGH! Another close nearfall, Lee going for the Spirit Bomb but Dickinson reverses into a facebuster, Jaka and Riddle going at it and the Smooth Savage comes out ahead with a spinning wheel kick!

Palm strike rush, Lee going for the fireman's carry elbow but Jaka slips away and he clobbers our Bro! Total Elimination on Keith, kicks wipe Riddle out...

Doom Patrol win by pinfall with a Doctor Bomb into a folding press from Chris Dickinson on Matt Riddle.

So that was every bit as fun as you'd expect from these four dudes in tag action. Don’t take my lack of words for lack of an endorsement though, just man, what do you even say? The echoing misguided strikes from Lee and Riddle providing a backbone, Dickinson and Jaka the well-oiled team keeping them down but not out, just great stuff overall.

Catch Point get in the ring as whole to taunt Riddle and Lee a bit before moving on. Keith offers a fist bump but Matt's not having it, raising the WWN Championship in his face and storming off!

Troll Boyz (ACH & "All Ego" Ethan Page) vs. WorkHorsemen (Anthony Henry & James Drake) (c) (Evolve Tag Team Championship)

Ethan Page makes a big deal of taking off his shorts to reveal his main event gear before heading and getting on the mic. He wants to be clear, there's nothing better than people paying money to watch grown men beat each other in their underwear, but there's nothing worse than paying good money to see that and not making any noise, so don't be an awkward sucker!

All Ego gets on the camera and frames some glamour shots of ACH for our benefit here at home and presumably because beginning the match would cause him actual physical pain, but we get there eventually. Henry and ACH to start, the challenger making a big deal of waving him in, but he ends up hugging the bottom rope for dear life.

Troll Boyz conducting the crowd in a singalong of their own theme, before ACH hugs Anthony's leg, which leads him to reverse into kind of a bow-and-arrow and then a deathlock but again ACH has a deathgrip on the rope and the break is forced. Side headlock, shoot off, up and over into backflips but Henry's had about enough and drops him with a rolling solebutt when he spends literally all day posing.

Whip, ACH starting to get serious, stringing dropkicks together and now it's the champ's turn to stall a bit, choosing to tag Drake in. New Age Enforcer squares up and ACH shrinks, tagging Page in. Bit of bull moose action, testing their strength in a lockup, James gets a side headlock, shot off, shoulder block and Ethan is unmoved.

A long series of shoulder blocks are exchanged until Page gets sick of it and tells the New Age Enforcer that his tits hurt. A chop does nothing but Drake's in return buckles him and we get a tag, but ACH wants to form Voltron by getting on Page's shoulders, leaving WorkHorsemen free to clear house! Drake off the ropes, sliding lariat gets a nearfall!

Henry and Drake starting the double-teams, Codebreaker into a double stomp, Henry legal now, stomping away, quick tag, New Age Enforcer absolutely wiping ACH out and forcing Ethan to make the save for a nearfall! ACH throwing chops like mad to try and break away but he just gets set up for a catapult spinebuster... NOPE!

Drake throwing an elbow before going for a reverse chinlock sleeper with a knee to his back, an escape for the Troll Boy but he gets caught with a dropkick and Henry tags back in. Exploder suplex, ACH in real trouble but he gets an enzuigiri off when the Lethal Lover climbs up top. Passing Drake off... FIREMAN'S CARRY ON BOTH WORKHORSEMEN! HENRY SLIPS OUT BUT ACH DROPS JAMES ONTO HIM WITH A FIREMAN'S CARRY SLAM!

All Ego tags in, charging forearm, Anthony ducks the lariat only to caught by the inverted gutwrench, Tanned Sheamus forces Drake to DDT his own partner! Spinning Dwayne denied with elbows, a big right, Henry off the ropes and right into a powerslam attempt but he slips out, Page sends him outside, Tanned Sheamus blocked by Drake but he takes a tilt-a-whirl slam!

Anthony with a missile dropkick, charging forearm into a back suplex, northern lights with the bridge, only a nearfall! New Age Enforcer with a fireman's carry but Page slips out and misdirects them, ACH legal, double stomp on Henry, German suplex on Drake... NO GOOD! WorkHorsemen chaining strikes on ACH in the corner into the cannonball, fireman's carry neckbreaker / powerbomb combo... ACH LIVES!

The match breaks down and spills outside, ACH with a Penalty Kick off the apron and Henry returns the favor with an apron STO! Ethan cuts Anthony off in the corner... VANITY SEARCHES HIM INTO DRAKE ON THE FLOOR! All Ego up top, with a shrug of his shoulder he hits the Swanton and holds the champion down for ACH but the New Age Enforcer stops them cold!

Wicked chop on Page, up and over, Ethan ducks the lariat, Tanned Sheamus connects, ACH is waiting, 450 splash... NOT ENOUGH! All Ego takes Henry down...

Troll Boys win by pinfall with Buster Call from ACH on Anthony Henry, winning the Evolve Tag Team Championship.

Excellent match, the Troll Boyz trademark of comedy shifting seamlessly into some hot, hot tag team action in full effect. Bummed my dudes the WorkHorsemen lost but no complaints from me, at least not as long as they're still on the shows being part of Evolve's sudden tag team revolution.


Despite today's unpleasantness, Evolve 92 rose above and ended up being a great show. And a large part of that falls squarely on the tag division, which continues to be excellent here-- I truly believe you put on two matches with some combination of Doom Patrol, Troll Boyz, WorkHorsemen, and one of Evolve's trademark superteams and you're basically already halfway to a great show, at least as far as pure in-ring action goes. Not, of course, that any of the singles matches were lacking-- okay, Theory/Wolf was a little pedestrian, but I always enjoy seeing somebody from the seminar making the most of their shot.

And storyline-wise we got a few interesting tidbits to chew on-- obviously Troll Boyz in ascendancy is the big takeaway there, but Riddle storming off after he and Lee lost to Doom Patrol is an interesting thought, and I'm here for Jarek 1:20 bringing a little of his, ah... magic (no regrets!) to Evolve opposite Fred Yehi.

Check it out on, folks.

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