The show begins about twenty minutes after the scheduled bell time to allow for the Cedric Alexander vs. Fred Yehi dark match to play out. Lenny Leonard and “Hardcore Giant” Ron Niemi welcome us to the show and we immediately get going!
Fred Yehi vs. ???
Yehi right in with the shotgun dropkick! Into the corner, hard chop, a biel, another chop, a German suplex but dude lands on his feet and fires off a headbutt! Fred right back at him with a flapjack and another German suplex, this one connecting all the way. Following with a double stomp to the back, wristlocks applied...
Fred Yehi wins by submission with the Liu Kang bicycle kicks.
"Just" a squash of a guy from the seminar, but fun to see Fred so dominant, and I love the idea of a submission/stoppage off the Liu Kang kicks.
Anthony Henry vs. Jason Kincaid
Grappling to start, Henry looking to assert his dominance on the mat but Kincaid is right there with him, and eventually the Lethal Lover resorts to a forearm smash. Gift back with the cartwheel powerslam into the double stomp but Anthony's out at one! To the apron, Jason dives over, thinking sunset flip but Henry blocks and fires off a double stomp before apron powerbombing Kincaid neck-first into the apron!
Charging heel kick against the barricade, back inside and Jason throws kicks from the mat like Antonio Inoki only to walk into a flurry of punches from Henry, just demolishing him in the corner. The Gift blocking punches in the middle of the ring, firing back only to eat a knee against the ropes. Kincaid goes low on a charge, crossbody sweep into a triangle forearm!
Slingshot blockbuster into the slingshot Falcon Arrow, climbing up top but Anthony meets him with a military press slam! Kincaid returns the favor into a Michinoku Driver impact! To the apron, thinking about a German suplex but Henry fights out with elbows, Jason maneuvers himself inside on the same spot, and soon catches the PWX World Heavyweight Champion with a rope-hung facebreaker!
Fireman's carry, Anthony out with elbows, he catches Jason with a snap German suplex off the ropes! The Gift ducks a kick, tries an up-and-over but Henry catches him with an Air Raid Crash for a nearfall! Diving double stomp... NOPE! Following up with knee strikes, a chop, an elbow when Kincaid tries to stop him from running the ropes... JASON KINCAID SPRINGBOARD TURNING SIDE EFFECT!
Both men down and out, the Gift barely gets a cover but it's not enough to end the match. Climbing atop the ringpost again, nobody home on the stomp, Henry with a pop-up folding powerbomb right into the half-crab on the kickout! Shifting to a stepover toehold, grabbing the reverse chinlock sleeper, rolling over almost like a sideways Muta Lock but Jason is able to get the ropes!
Kincaid outside, Henry looking for a dive but he gets caught by a stunner! Back in, the double stomp off the ringpost hits, the Gift traps his arm...
Jason Kincaid wins by submission with Compassionate Release.
Very good match, Jason Kincaid's resilience and wacky offense match up well with a hard-nosed Anthony Henry, freshly bereft of the tag titles and not happy about it. Whole final sequence especially, from the missed stomp onward, exceptional stuff.
Kincaid shows respect to Henry after, who's pissed off but not willing to violate his basic human decency and attack the West Virginia mystic.
Austin Theory vs. James Drake
Drake in hot, throwing hands and tossing Theory away when he tries to get back into it. Stalemate, Austin starts paintbrushing him and James fires right back with those deadly chops of his. Theory gets a dropkick off only to get freight trained over seconds later! A lariat and a folding press get him a nearfall, into uppercuts, the New Age Enforcer well in control.
Headbutt in the corner, a big biel, but Priscilla Kelly's had enough of her man getting his ass beat and screams her way into a cut-off. Austin outside, smashing Drake's face into the apron before taking him back in the ring and continuing to press the attack and keep the big man off guard but none if it is enough to end the match.
James gets some separation with a huge right, uppercut and an enzuigiri in the corner, Theory back in with a Rolling Thunder dropkick for a nearfall! Theory KO denied, whip reversed, back elbow up, low superkick, another Rolling Thunder manuever denied, Sick Kick... NOPE!
Thinking about Drill Bit, Theory slips away, Drake ducks a lariat and boxes his ears, spinning backfist, release back suplex powerbomb, a buzzsaw roundhouse kick... AUSTIN THEORY LIVES! Rolling over, calling for the moonsault, Priscilla Kelly gets on the apron and screams her head off before launching a cannonball onto Anthony Henry at ringside! Nobody home on the moonsault, Austin in with a forearm, fireman's carry...
Austin Theory wins by pinfall with the Theory KO.
Good match, I feel like Theory has kind of plateaued to an extent but Drake was a good matchup for him. Lot of power vs. speed stuff played well, and another really good final stretch, with the New Age Enforcer putting some great stuff together only to have TPK interject herself bodily.
Post-match, Jason Kincaid comes out to talk to Theory off-mic, but Kelly drags Austin away.
Bryce Benjamin vs. GPA vs. Matt Knicks vs. Stevie Fierce (c) (Freelance Championship)
Fierce and GPA knock Knicks and Benjamin back in order to get into it with each other, and GPA in turn puts Stevie outside and dives on him! Bryce knocks the former champ of the apron and starts getting into some tight exchanges with Matt before wiping GPA and Fierce out with a tornillo! Knicks goes for a springboard and slips, nearly landing on his neck but he's fine thank god!
Off the ropes, the champ looks like he's gonna dive but it's a fakeout to check himself in a mirror. Matt off the ropes landing a kick, wiping GPA and Benjamin out, he climbs up top but Stevie cuts him off, climbing from the outside... SUPERPLEX TO THE FLOOR! GPA on Knicks in the aftermath, jawbreakers get a German suplex and Bryce comes in, a Rock Bottom sequence goes slightly askew but the damage is done.
GPA gets the Straight A off on Benjamin... FIERCE BREAKS IT UP! Up and over, Russian legsweep into the turnbuckles, a boot to the face and the champion is well in charge. Bryce charges in, backbreaker into underhooks, turning him over...
Stevie Fierce wins by pinfall with an Unprettier, retaining the Freelance Championship.
A little on the short side and rough around the edges in places, but the Freelance lads made the most of their time in Evolve here. Just all out action, start to finish. Good stuff.
Darby Allin vs. DJZ
Test of strength drama early, both men flipping over each other in the corner. Arm drag for Darby, double leg, quebrada, nobody home but a kick sends DJ to the floor, back in, tight passes, flips, stalemate! To the apron, back in, out again, kind of a lazy superkick but Ion picks his leg after and breaks Darby's back on the apron! Back in, slingshot splash into a moonsault, only a nearfall!
Whips and charging blows, missile dropkick, Zema well in control, stomp to the face into a chickenwing neck crank but Allin doesn't stay down for long. A lariat wipes him out in turn, back suplex facebreaker, struggle in the corner, Darby turns it into a Dragonrana! Slugging it out, Allin gets the springboard back elbow but DJ yanks him out of the ring and throws him into the barricade!
Darby hangs Ion over the barricade with a suplex and dives head-first into the small of his back! Zema's got fight left in him even as he clutches his back in pain, setting Allin up in a chair but he's got the charge scouted and blocked with a forearm! More of 'em, Darby climbs up top... OVER THE RINGPOST SENTON ATOMICO INTO A SEATED DJZ!
Slow to get in the ring, Allin makes a desperate cover... NO GOOD! Over the charge, O'Connor roll, only two, Darby right into a springboard crossbody but still not enough! Attempt at the Last Supper, blocked, up top, moonsault... THE FEET ARE UP! Rolling Thunder DDT... NOPE! Corkscrew moonsault but nobody's home, Darby springboards into a crooked-but-effective Yoshi Tonic! Crossing the legs...
Darby Allin wins by pinfall with Last Supper.
Well that ruled! Just two excellent crazy luchamen doing excellent crazy lucha things, and it adds up to a great match. Only way you could top this would be to make it a three-way with AR Fox in, I reckon.
Here comes Jarek 1:20 to do some money magic again. He puts Darby's performance over, especially "the flip onto the chair thing" and jumps into his spiel from yesterday about being sent by WWN officials to give Allin a bonus, asking who thinks it was worth a hundred dollars, two hundred dollars, all the way up to five hundred, and the crowd think he's worth it.
But again, Jarek turns the hundreds into ones, saying that and a hot dog is what he thinks Darby is worth.
And so we go to a rare-for-Evolve intermission.
Doom Patrol (Chris Dickinson & Jaka) vs. Troll Boyz (ACH & "All Ego" Ethan Page) (c) (Evolve Tag Team Championship)
Stalling early, as is Troll Boyz' nature, but eventually we get Page on Jaka, testing their strength and trading breaks against the ropes. The Smooth Savage shoots in with a waistlock, switching through holds until he gets a wristlock and the crowd bids Ethan to do something cool, which he obliges with a cartwheel reversal into a side headlock!
Shoot off, a bit of light lucha ends in a one-count off a crossbody from Jaka. Throwing hands, All Ego staggered but he catches a dive into a goozle and turns it into a Lawn Dart! Knucklelock, the crowd chanting for Old School and he climbs the turnbuckles but he needs a hand from ACH to actually walk the ropes... ETHAN PAGE HITS OLD SCHOOL!
Dickinson tags in, and Page obliges the crowd again by tagging ACH in in turn. Chris picks ACH's leg and immediately ACH hauls ass to the ropes for the break! Stokely Hathaway not well pleased, but the Dirty Daddy continues, before backing off despite being mounted on ACH's back in perfect position. Dickinson asks ACH what he's doing and gets a kip-up in response.
To the corner, shoulder armbreakers, whip, up and over and up and over and up and over and up and over and into a moonsault but nobody's home and he lands on his feet into a pose as Chris stands impatient behind him. Running knee devastates him, into mounted punches! Chops against the ropes, referee Brandon Tolle counting as he continues to target the arm, a whip but ACH catches him with the dropkick to the knee and one to the face after some unnecessary-but-cool flips.
Again with the posing and Jaka lays the champ out! Tag made, Doom Patrol working him over as Tolle tries to create some order but the match responds by breaking down further. Double suplex gets a nearfall, continuing to keep ACH isolated, spinning spinebuster into a knee drop gets another nearfall but Page breaks it up!
The assault continues, the only breathing space ACH can get is that Jaka doesn't work his arm over unmerciful when he's legal, but he creates an opening by ducking a kick that the Smooth Savage takes in his stead, ducking a double lariat, and sending Doom Patrol crashing into each other! German suplex for Jaka and he gets the tag to All Ego!
Inverted gutwrench connects, Tanned Sheamus into the DDT, he runs into a knee but it doesn't stop him, Lawn Dart denied, and the powerslam connects for a nearfall! Jawbreaker into a German suplex and the Catch Point lads swing ahead again, trying to set Death Trap up but Ethan breaks away and tags ACH in. Hot with stomps on the Dirty Daddy but he charges into a boot from the Smooth Savage!
Enough wherewithal to set up the double fireman's carry spot again, clubbing Jaka with Dickinson and hitting the standing fireman's carry slam that follows! Doom Patrol back into it, Doctor Bomb into a diving splash... ALL EGO BREAKS IT UP! Double back suplex, ACH lands on his feet, double Frankensteiner, tag back to Page! RKEgo on Chris as ACH hits the apron Penalty Kick on Jaka!
All Ego climbs and hits the Swanton, ACH follows after but Jaka cuts him off! Gamengiri on Ethan into an enzuigiri from the Dirty Daddy...
Doom Patrol win by pinfall with Death Trap, winning the Evolve Tag Team Championship for a second time.
Really good match, as is to be expected from these guys at this point in time. I wasn't super sold on ending the Troll Boyz' reign so quickly, but, well, read on and get a load of THAT post-match development, friends!
WorkHorsemen come down and Anthony Henry says they may have won tonight but they've never beat them, and they want a rematch right now! Stokely gets in his face and says they don't talk to them, they talk to HIM. He tells them to get an agent, call the Dream Team office, and then maybe, just maybe, they'll get their rematch.
They get in his face and he backs off behind his boys, saying he's not a physical men, and the tag champs aren't physical men, but he knows somebody who wants to get physical... DOMINIC GARRINI! DOM ATTACKS HENRY FROM BEHIND, SNAPPING HIS ARM BACK IN A KIMURA LOCK! A KNOCKOUT KNEE FOR DRAKE!
Catch Point take their leave and the WorkHorsemen collect themselves before heading to the back to get Anthony's arm looked at.
Keith Lee vs. Zack Sabre, Jr. (c) (Evolve World Championship)
Sabre cautious early, keeping his distance and looking for an opening to take Lee down or fire off a few leg kicks and work his magic. Keith begins applying his power before turning up the speed, running right through a kick... POUNCE! Staying on the champ, throwing hands and the Limitless One is able to take a good long beat before going back at it but ZSJ floats over a suplex into a sleeper hold!
Floating over again, Kimura lock for a moment and then back to the sleeper, trying to keep the big man off balance. Falling back, thinking about a German suplex but Lee goes down with him and the Technical Wizard shifts back to the sleeper, the hooks are in but Lee is able to overpower him and gets the better of a strike exchange handily!
Sabre wakes up quickly enough and is able to pull ahead with a few kicks and go to work on Lee's arm, stomping away! Going after the leg as well for good measure, throwing kicks to the shoulder, just trying to wear as many things down as possible. Jim Breaks Special, wrenching the arm but Keith tosses him away! Stinger splash, those ham hock overhand chops and the Limitless One stares across the building like a vengeful god!
Whip across, ZSJ comes back with a low dropkick into leg kicks, Lee ducks the buzzsaw and hops over a sweep but Sabre picks the leg! Stepover toehold, Keith gets the ropes but the damage is done! Off the ropes, Lee nails Zack in the back of the neck with a forearm and composes himself for a moment before grabbing a front facelock but again Sabre slips away from the suplex, this time landing the Pele kick to the arm into more arm kicks!
Up for the Kimura, Keith counters into a suplex for two! Again just a beat too long and Zack starts throwing uppercuts. Reversing an attempt to catch him into the triangle choke but Lee escapes with another big chop! Cross armbar, back to the triangle, Keith gets to his feet... DEADLIFT SPIRIT BOMB! Both men down and out, Lee gets to his feet first, Sabre needing the assistance of the ropes but he's the first to throw hands as we go into a strike exchange.
Again Zack is laid out, stumbling over but he's stil got a few uppercuts left! Elbow combination from the Limitless One and he's thinking about the Doomsault... NOBODY HOME! Penalty Kick, a leg kick, another Penalty Kick... LEE KICKS OUT AT ONE AND SENDS SABRE FLYING! Go behind, thinking about the octopus but Keith counters into a backbreaker, wristlock applied into a lariat, fireman's carry... SABRE FLOATS OUT OF GROUND ZERO INTO A PIN! IT'S OVER!
Zack Sabre, Jr. wins by pinfall, reversing Ground Zero into a pinning predicament and retaining the Evolve World Championship.
Incredible match, David and Goliath action at its finest. My only quibble is that I feel like the "Lee is easily distracted by the adoration of the crowd" story got hammered in a little too hard here, but better too hard than not hard enough.
Matt Riddle (c) vs. "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams (WWN Championship Anything Goes Match)
Riddle right in with a knee but Williams sidesteps and takes him to the mat as the struggle intensifies. Intense grappling continues, the ropes providing no solace since this is an Anything Goes Match, Riddle gets an exploder suplex off into the high jump senton for a nearfall before landing a knee. Karelin lift, rolling into the second, charging forearms putting the challenger in an uncomfortable place but he's able to get the boots up and block.
Hot Sauce with a sliding forarm into a southern lights suplex for two as Stokely Hathaway and Dominic Garrini look on. Tracy going after the arm now, double wristlock, Bro hosses him up but he slips out, German suplex, Riddle to his feet! Slap rush, Hot Sauce blocks the kick and lays him out with a forearm!
Action to the floor... RIDDLE COUNTERS A PESCADO WITH THE KNEE STRIKE! Trading chops on the floor, Williams recovering, putting him into the barricade so hard the barricade falls over part way! Matt puts him up on apron in return, wicked chest kicks from the floor ring out as our Bro's face takes on the grimace of a god of war. He turns around... HOT SAUCE FLINGS A CHAIR AT HIM!
Choking him with the chair, pressing the attack, ordering the first row to clear but Deep Waters fires back. It's not enough because the half-halch suplex connects and Riddle goes into the unforgiving chairs! Back in the ring, Hot Sauce turns it up, knee drop to the back of the neck on a chair... NOT ENOUGH! Picking the leg, ankle lock, Matt kicks him off throws the chair at him... BRO KNEEMINATOR! NO GOOD!
A German suplex follows and Riddle gets the chair, setting it up and cracking an overhand chop off to keep Williams stunned as he sets him up on top. Climbing after, fisherman buster denied... HOT SAUCE AVALANCHE UNDERHOOK DDT INTO THE CHAIR! OFF THE ROPES FOR THE LARIAT... STILL NOT ENOUGH! Tracy grabs the chair and rams it into Riddle's ribs hard!
Disdainful kicks, jawing at the champion, but Bro catches a boot, release powerbomb, Bro 2 Sleep, bridging German suplex... STILL NO GOOD! Another bridging German, another kickout, he keeps the waistlock, a third... HOT SAUCE REVERSES THE PIN INTO THE CROSSFACE! TRAPPING THE ARM, ROLLING BACK AS MATT NEARLY GETS THE ROPES AND BRO GETS TO HIS FEET AND RUNS THE WHOLE THING OUTSIDE AND TO THE FLOOR!
Slugging it out on the apron, Riddle pulls ahead but gets denied the fireman's carry, bicycle kick for knee strike... FISHERMAN BUSTER ON THE APRON! Deep Waters stays on the apron and draws Williams up to him only to get met by a low blow! APRON PILEDRIVER! Hot Sauce asks Stokely to take care of something and he goes and adjusts the barricade while Tracy rips up a fan's sign at ringside.
A section of guardrail separated, they bridge the apron to the rest of the barricade with it before using the crossface to drag the champion over to it. Deadlifting Matt back in the ring but he wakes up and lands a forearm, triangle knee strike and it's Hot Sauce laid out on the rail... HIGH JUMP SENTON ON THE RAIL! Back in the ring... JUMPING TOMBSTONE INTO THE CHAIR... TRACY WILLIAMS LIVES!
ELBOWS RAIN DOWN... JAKA AND DICKINSON HIT THE RING TO BEAT THE CHAMPION DOWN! DEATH TRAP BUT WILLIAMS IS OUT! WORKHORSEMEN MAKE THE SAVE! Both men actually in the match up and at 'em, off the ropes repeatedly, Riddle lands a lariat but it's only a nearfall! Up top, Tracy cuts him off, half-halch applied... AVALANCHE BLOODY SUNDAY! MATT RIDDLE WILL NOT DIE!
The crossface is back on and Riddle gets the ropes but they will not save him! To his feet, thinking Tombstone, Hot Sauce blocks, the Pele kick connects, fisherman buster not enough, he rolls through, a second into the small package, still can't do it, nor will a third! Gotch-lift on the Tombstone piledriver, overhead elbows again...
Matt Riddle wins by submission with the Bromission, retaining the WWN Championship.
I mean, not that it's always a totally foolproof shorthand, but just look at how much I ended up ALLCAPS-ing there, folks. SO many cool exchanges, escalations, and callbacks, the stipulation used in a really smart way, interference that was exciting but didn't really make the difference, just an excellent wrestling match no matter how you look at it.
Riddle gets on the mic with his trademark "...Bro" before continuing, asking the locker room to come out. It's not a normal talk, he has something to say. The locker room, wrestlers, announcers, and referees alike come down, with the exception of Catch Point. He says it's not news, you've seen Evolve's name in some headlines, but he wants to get one thing straight-- Evolve is about wrestling.
He says he considers the men in the ring with him as some of the best wrestlers in the world, and he wants us to know, Evolve loves us, and you can always find them on WWNLive.com. If it wasn't for Evolve he wouldn't be where he was, in his spot, traveling the world, and Keith Lee takes the mic from him.
Lee addresses him by his full name and says he called everybody out like he's some kind of locker room leader but all he says is "Bro", and it's proven day-in, day-out, and he proved it yesterday with how he handled their miscommunication yesterday. His patience is thin, he's not in a good mood, and at some point they need to have one more for the WWN Championship, and it needs to be a Last Man Standing match.
Matt agrees and shoves him, which gets a shove in return, and the locker room has to pull them apart! Eventually they're good and separated and Lee is the last man in the ring, whereupon he takes his leave with a scowl etched across his normally jovial face.
Another really good show from Evolve, although I preferred last night's by just a hair. But Sabre/Lee and Williams/Riddle were incredibly high-caliber matches, the tag titles and DJZ/Allin were also very good, and nothing on the card approached bad.
Storyline-wise... can I get away with just leaving "DOMINIC GARRINI" here in ALLCAPS? No? Darn. Seriously though, Dom is a great addition to the roster, and if you haven't seen him wrestle, rest assured he and his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu derived wrestling style will fit RIGHT in here at Evolve. My only regret is that Timothy Thatcher's in Europe and that matchup is off the table for a little bit.
But also the tension between Lee and Riddle is intriguing, with Lee spinning dangerously close to rulebreaker territory. And lord only knows what Troll Boyz will have for us now that their reign with the tag titles has been ended so tragically.
Check it out on WWNLive.com, folks.