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Evolve 106 & 107 previews: Joey Janela debuts, Adam Cole returns, and more

World Wrestling Network

Yes indeed, ladies, gentlemen, and assorted nonbinary folks, it’s time for the World Wrestling Network to come back in to your home with Evolve 106 (live from Brooklyn, New York) and Evolve 107 (live from Melrose, Massachusetts), and as always, I’m here to give you the low down on what’s going down.

Video Roundup

Evolve 4K Mini-Doc: The Evolution of Austin Theory

Catch Point Rules? What?!?!?

Evolve Mini-Doc: Why Shane Strickland Why?!?!

Evolve Special Report: Josh Briggs Is Here In Evolve!

Preview: Matt Riddle vs. AR Fox at Evolve 107

Janela Evolves!

The Skulk In An Uproar!? Can Fox Corral His Pack???

Evolve 106 (Saturday, June 23, at 8PM Eastern)

Matt Riddle defends the Evolve World Championship against Shane Strickland. At Evolve 104, Riddle won a victory in name only when Strickland refused to break his trademark short armscissors in the ropes and got DQ’d. Shane was a whirlwind of innovative arm-based offense the entire match, and he had a point to prove— he’s the most dangerous man in Evolve, and he’s headed for the title.

And as good as our Bro is, as much as he’s on a best-in-the-world level hot streak this year, Strickland might just take it from him. Evolve World Championship matches are, by order of the champion, contested without rope breaks. The only reason why Swerve didn’t secure victory last month was refusing to make the break, forcing referee Brandon Tolle to count the disqualification.

Riddle may end up hoist by his own petard.

Joey Janela makes his Evolve debut with a chance to make a huge splash as he challenges Austin Theory for the WWN Championship. He’s a Bad, Bad Boy, he’s the hottest thing going in indie wrestling today, and he’s been signed by Evolve to compete on every event this summer! So not only is he here, making a big splash with a title match on night one, but making matters worse for Theory? Joey will have backup in the form of his tag team partner and Bad, Bad Girl, Penelope Ford, likely neutralizing Priscilla Kelly before she can even intervene on the champion’s behalf.

If he can knock off Janela, Austin will cement his credentials as WWN Champion. If Joey wins, he’s likely going to take the title all across the country, including to his next name-branded GCW show, Joey Janela’s Lost in New York in August. It’s a match that very much decides the tenor of half of Evolve’s singles scene for the foreseeable future, folks.

In a match originally scheduled for WrestleMania weekend and delayed due to injury, Darby Allin finally meets the ultimate target of his heavyweight death wish head on in the form of WALTER. This is gonna get messy. Real messy. WALTER’s heavy hands plus Darby’s drive to hurl himself headlong into any problem he faces is a recipe for hamburger chest. But as I harp on so often here, Darby is an immensely talented technician when he’s not hurling himself from support beams and diving off of stages. He can’t match WALTER’s power and striking, but on the mat he may well be able to hold his own with the Ring General, and that may make all the difference between a W and an L.

It’s odd couple trios action as Anthony Henry, “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams, and Timothy Thatcher unite to face the full might of Catch Point. Each of these men has a different bone to pick with Catch Point. Thatcher was their original focus, and for a time loosely allied with them through the person of Stokely Hathaway, but that’s over, turned to dust thanks to Ringkampf making their way to US soil. Henry, as part of the WorkHorsemen with JD “Real James” Drake won the tag titles from the Doom Patrol of Jaka and Chris Dickinson, but have come up short against them recently and the Lethal Lover is fighting mad. And last but certainly not least, Hot Sauce, Drew Gulak’s protege, cast out of the faction he helped build by Mr. Hathaway.

These six men are accomplished grapplers, all of them, but this isn’t going to be a mat wrestling extravaganza, no way. There’s too much violence in their hearts for that. This is gonna be a slugfest.

Two of the best high flyers in the world today collide as AR Fox and DJ Z meet. Fox and DJ have competed against each other twice in their recent Evolve careers, and the first of those was a straight singles victory for Fox. There’s not a hell of a lot of story here beyond Zema perhaps wanting to get his win back, but it should be a fun match all the same.

John “Bad Bones” Klinger makes his Evolve debut opposite hot new signing Josh Briggs. As the leader of RISE in wXw, Bad Bones co-opted a youth movement and bent it in his own image before an indefinite suspension force him out of the company, and now he’s made his way to Evolve... and he’s facing quite the angry young man who needs some direction in his career.

Think about it, that’s all I’m saying.

AR Fox’s Skulk stands divided upon themselves as they clash in tag team action. Lineups have not been announced, but this is huge opportunity for Fox’s talented students to prove themselves on a big stage.

Plus more featuring Jarek 1:20 and others yet to be announced.

Evolve 107 (Sunday, June 24, at 7PM Eastern)

Adam Cole returns to Evolve for the first time in eight years to defend his NXT North American Championship against WALTER. The bad news is, like every other time WWE have sent talent to Evolve (throw us a bone sometime, Triple H!), this one will not be broadcast on the live iPPV. The good news is it is being filmed for future release! They’re not saying where just yet and my money would be on the WWE Network, possibly as part of an episode of NXT, but anything is possible, one supposes.

AR Fox and Matt Riddle clash for the third time in an Evolve ring. The first time Fox was brought in as Drew Galloway’s secret weapon in his war against Riddle for declining to join his anti-WWE crusade, the second a tour de force marked by Riddle’s increasing frustration at Fox’s getting the ropes. This time, if Riddle defends against Strickland the night before, the Evolve title will be on the line and there will be no rope breaks in play.

That plays right into our Bro’s hands, naturally. But if Swerve manages to topple him the night before, not only will Riddle come in lacking momentum, Fox will be able to taunt him and take advantage of a frustrated ex-champ by using the ropes to their full advantage.

Either way, when Fox and Riddle meet, you know you’re in for something explosive, folks.

Austin Theory defends his FIP World Heavyweight Championship against arguably his fiercest rival in Evolve to date, DJ Z. These two are 1-1, with DJ having beaten Austin the day before he won the WWN Championship from Keith Lee, and Theory got his win back last month with some, ah, assistance from Priscilla Kelly. And seeing as this is an FIP title match, FIP rules are in effect, which means this match is effectively anything goes!

Needless to say this would seem to favor Theory and Kelly, but Zema is a veteran with friends and backup everywhere on the indies, and certainly he’s smart enough to bring an enforcer with him to counteract TPK’s influence.

Chris Dickinson challenges “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams to a Catch Point Rules match. This is also a rubber match, the origins of which stretch all the way back to Evolve 49 in 2015. They’re 1-1, and now, Catch Point Rules come into play. These are basically the old ROH Pure ruleset, so a 20 count on the floor, three rope breaks, no closed-fist punches, and so on, and both men excel in this kind of environment. Which Catch Point will prevail, new or old?

Darby Allin finally gets his hands on Jarek 1:20 in singles action. The magician has been trying to take the daredevil’s spot on the main card at Evolve, and a victory here, especially if Allin loses to WALTER, will make his case for him way better than twisting the aces would.

Dominic Garrini has a chance to play giant-killer against Josh Briggs. Briggs beat Garrini in the FRAY! last month, and now Dom’s out to cut him down to size. These two are among the most talented youngsters to walk through Evolve’s doors in recent memory, and by all rights this should be a breakout moment for one or both of them, depending on whether you feel Dom’s already broken out or not.

Plus more featuring Jaka, Anthony Henry, Timothy Thatcher, Bad Bones, Joey Janela, and more. What these men will be doing will be revealed after the events of Evolve 106, folks, but jumble ‘em up any way you please and I don’t think there’s a bad matchup in the bunch.

Like what you read?

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