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Evolve 106 recap & review: Davis returns, Allin and WALTER have the best match, and we’ve got a Bad, Bad Champion

World Wrestling Network

The show starts just about ten minutes after the scheduled bell time with Lenny Leonard and “Hardcore Giant” Ron Niemi in the ring to talk up the card and to announce a double-header with Shine for their New York return on September 8.

John “Bad Bones” Klinger vs. Josh Briggs

Bad Bones in with the double knees from the jump... NOPE! Putting the pressure on, just dominating young Briggs, Falcon Arrow hits but it’s still only a nearfall! A suicide dive carries the offense on, up top, missile dropkick, a second dive... JOSH COUNTERS WITH A CHOKESLAM INTO THE APRON! Couple nearfalls under his belt, Briggs with a spinning side slam and it’s close but no cigar.

Whip, Josh runs through a lariat and freight trains Klinge back down! Corner lariat, tells him he doesn’t like him, Mafia kick, back suplex gutbuster... only a nearfall! Forearms, Bad Bone fills with resolve and starts firing back! Big chops, cut off with a forearm, a back elbow, duck a northern lariat, pump kick and a German suplex from the German!

Another one, charging in, cut off with the goozle but Klinger counters the chokeslam with a Codebreaker! Knee strikes, a basement superkick... SO CLOSE! Headed to the second, Briggs catches him, hosses him up, Bad Bones slips out, catches the boot, fires back, off the ropes, swinging backbreaker... NO GOOD! Hanging Josh’s neck over the ropes, Klinger considers his positioning, fails to suplex him to the floor and gets caught with a boot.

Off the ropes... SUPERMAN SPEAR! ONLY TWO! Bad Bones tuning up the band but he’s caught with a forearm when he charges in...

Josh Briggs wins by pinfall with the M5.

Really fun opener, hot from the start, I was a little concerned about the idea of pitting two guys who are so fresh and in need of momentum against each other, but the execution of the match alleviates that for the most part. Briggs looks like a monster, Bad Bones looks like a crafty vet who just got barely out-powered, good stuff all around.

Candy Cartwright and Jarek 1:20 make their way to the ring. Jarek gets on the mic and says he made Jason Kincaid disappear, and tomorrow he’ll do the same to Darby Allin and represent Evolve into the future, because he’s the most inspirational person in the room.

JON DAVIS IS BACK! He tells Jarek to shut up and that he came back for a fight. We’ve got a match!

Jon Davis vs. Jarek 1:20

Mat grappling to start, Jarek bragging about his escape. Handshake offered, Davis just yanks him into the corner and brutalizes him! Back suplex, only one, backfist, kick to the back, headed to the floor and the violence continues with a low crossbody against the apron! Back inside, chop against the ropes, 1:20 blocking the whip at first and able to yank Jon into the ropes throat first and follow with a neckbreaker for a nearfall.

Jockeying for position, Ace Crusher almost takes Davis the match! Tornado DDT blocked, catch the crossbody, swiging backbreaker and a nearfall! Striking in the corner, beating the magic man down, chops and punches, whip across and a huge dropkick... ALMOST! Clubbing strikes, caught in the corner, tornado DDT hits this time... BUT DAVIS KICKS OUT!

Spinebuster connects, Argentine backbreaker rack but Jarek counters with a headscissor! Superkick, catch the Frankensteiner, powerbomb, German suplex, lariat... IT’S OVER!

Jon Davis wins by pinfall with the Siberian Bear Crusher combination.

I am super excited for Jon Davis to be back in Evolve. His first run as unstoppable force didn’t go so well, but he’s really reinvented himself in FIP as more of a grappling and power-striking machine (almost WALTER-esque, to make a comparison) and it’ll be nice to have him around. As for the match itself, it was a solid showcase for the new-look Davis and that’s all you really needed here.

AR Fox and the Skulk come out for their tag team showcase. Fox cuts a promo hyping it up and sets the teams

The Skulk (Adrian Alanis & Liam Grey) vs. the Skulk (Leon Ruff & Tommy Maserati)

Grey and Maserati to start, into some mat grappling and then a bit of light lucha. Turning the heat up, tags made, Ruff ducks a lariat and Alanis hosses out of a Sling Blade! Knucklelock, Leon with the bounce into a springboard Frankensteiner! Fox is so excited he’s running around the ring! Double dropkicks clear the ring!

Tommy legal again, and Adrian destroys him with a lariat! Liam back in, working Maserati over, quick tags to put boots to him in the corner, huge backbreaker into a slap to the face from Alanis! A senton misses and Tommy crawls but Grey yanks Ruff off the mat! Distractions, schoolboy into a dropkick, Leon tags in! Diving lariat, fired up, Arabian Press senton in the corner!

Ruff and Maserati working Adrian over... STANDING MOONSAULT DDT! NOT ENOUGH! Tommy with a Penalty Kick off the apron to take care of Grey but Alanis hits a backbreaker on Leon, Liam off the top with a splash...

The Skulk win by pinfall with a lateral press from Adrian Alanis on Leon Ruff.

AR Fox’s kids are incredible. They put me in mind of watching Special K on old ROH shows, just a bunch of hyper-talented kids who do crazy stuff and are always, always entertaining.

AR gets on the mic and puts the match over before calling DJ Z out.

AR Fox vs. DJ Z

DJ going right to the air horns and Fox takes a bit of offense, turning the heat up. Tight exchanges, awesome stuff, neither man able to land a deciding move... AR BLOCKS A CUTTER AND HANDSPRINGS INTO A LEG DROP! Zema gets a headscissors and a dropkick to send Fox to the floor, where he lands an honest-to-god Shoryuken on DJ!

To the floor, Ayla Fox gets involved and puts Zema’s helmet on! AR takes advantage... COAST TO COAST! Diving guillotine leg drop on the apron and the Skulk celebrates! Back inside, the cover comes up empty Zema gets a backslide, no good, sunset flip, reversed, DJ gets another pin on the kickout! Striking, jawbreaker, Sling Blade into a kip-up and Fox is fired up!

Senton atomico... NOBODY HOME! DJ blocks a dive from the apron by moonsaulting into the Skulk! Off the ropes... TOPE CON GIRO INTO THE CRUSH! DJ honestly busts out a couple things that I can’t barely call here. Like a tornado... neckbreaker and a ripcord rolling cutter. Anyway, Fox with the fireman’s carry into the buckles, a powerbomb... NOT QUITE!

Ace Crusher, springboard Ace Crusher, AR has a Dragon sleeper! Zema gets the ropes! Trying to set Foxcatcher up, blocked, off the ropes, DJ with a Codebreaker, superkick in the ropes, Fox is hung up... QUEBRADA! NOT ENOUGH! DJ up top, he hesitates, Fox charges in... LO MEIN PAIN! ONLY A NEARFALL! AR up top... KNEES UP ON THE 450 SPLASH! NOT ENOUGH!

Up top, corkscrew moonsault, nobody home, Fox with the double wrist-clutch...

AR Fox wins by pinfall with Foxcatcher.

So this was just a good ten minutes of high octane highspots from two of the best high flyers in the world with zero room to breathe. Hell of a match, and a real improvement on their first one in Evolve.

Darby Allin vs. WALTER

Allin with a dropkick that sends WALTER to the floor at the bell but the Ring General takes care of him and heads back into the ring! A boot cuts Darby’s return off, but he gets back in and... tries going strike for strike with WALTER. It goes like you’d expect and then the Ring General biels him like a sack of garbage! Release Thunder Fire Powerbomb!

Darby jumps up on WALTER and punches away but gets slammed back down! Hanging him up in the ropes, big clubbing crossfaces and Allin clatters to the floor! Out after him this time and chops ensue! PRESS SLAM TO PUT DARBY BACK IN THE RING! Allin’s right back into it with dropkicks but the Ring General catches one and turns it into a Boston crab!

Allin gets the rope but the damage is done and WALTER chokes him in the corner! Jockeying for position, a dropkick connects and Darby starts to rally but he’s caught into the Gojira Clutch! Ringkampf Special! Giant step, just standing on Allin’s head before grabbing a wristlock and clubbing him with further chops. Wrist control maintained, chops to the THROAT and he gets a TIGHT nearfall off of one of them!

Disdainful slaps, jawing at the former skateboard, and Darby digs deep, dropkick, stomp, WALTER to the floor... SENTON ATOMICO OFF THE POST! Again with the chops on the floor, stomp the hand on the apron and Darby’s on his back like a spider monkey! Slam onto the concrete but Allin continues inexorably, putting the Ring General’s hand into the post!

Back inside, diving crossbody headbutt but Darby bounces off of WALTER and is headbutted after! Up for the powerbomb... YOSHI TONIC COUNTER! ALMOST! Desperate to stay in it, trading strikes, to the ropes with the Gojira Clutch, counter the Ringkampf Special, O’Connor roll, tornillo... NOPE! Trapping his arm, punching and headbutting the hand!

WALTER goes for a chop and regrets it! Fujiwara armbar locked in, the Ring General forces his way out... Darby’s got a guillotine choke! WALTER clubs his way to reverse it into a butterfly suplex! Huge lariat... IT’S NOT OVER UNTIL IT’S OVER! Allin counters a powerbomb with a wristlock, WALTER throwing lefts but Darby won’t let go and slings him into the ropes!


Darby Allin wins by pinfall, reversing the Gojira Clutch into a pin.

An incredible match, legitimately I think one of the best Evolve matches ever. Allin pinballing around early, finding ways to fight into it, destroying WALTER’s hand with such innovative offense... and even after all that WALTER was still almost insurmountable. Amazing stuff.

Post-match, WALTER drops Darby with a boot!

Bryan Idol vs. Mike Verna

Bit of mat grappling early, Idol decides he wants to go striking and they trade chops with Verna’s having rather more effect. Jockeying for position, Mike catches him into a slingshot suplex for one! Setting him up in the corner, Idol shoves him away... AVALANCHE SPIKE FRANKENSTEINER! Verna follows it up with a suicide dive and high fives a fan!

Back inside, trading, Mike to the floor this time and Bryan takes flight! Again back inside and trading strikes, enzuigiri from Verna, slingshot reverse STO from Idol, setting him up, double jump moonsault but nobody’s home! Back on their feet, Mike with the back suplex, Idol lands on his knees but walks into chops, rolling solebutt, up top, up and over, off the ropes... BUCKLE BOMB!

Short whip, slam into the ropes, not enough to put Bryan Idol away. Verna heads up top, senton atomico, again nobody home! Idol from behind, ramming him into the turnbuckles...

Bryan Idol wins by pinfall with a swinging inverted DDT.

Well, Mike Verna looked really good here, at least. Crowd loved him, too. Idol just did not click here, though.

Anthony Henry, Timothy Thatcher, & “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams vs. Catch Point (Chris Dickinson, Dominic Garrini, & Jaka)

Chaos from the start, we got a brawl! Everybody out of the ring, eventually Thatcher and Jaka coalesce out of the chaos in the ring, clubbing the crap out of each other! Charging in, spinning wheel kick, Tim blocks a throw as we focus on Henry and Dom on the floor for a minute and Thatcher gets the old-school belly-to-belly suplex off the ropes!

Dickinson on Hot Sauce, stomping away before tagging Jaka in. Working him over, quick tags, but a southern lights suplex on Garrini lets Williams make a tag to Thatcher! Straight suplex, cross armbar applied and a tag to Henry. Anthony draws Dom up, repeated uppercuts, back to Tim, looking for the half-crab but Garrini kicks him over and over for breathing room.

Half-crab achieved, STF transition, Jaka tries to break it up but Thatcher doesn’t relent. Tag to Anthony, off the ropes with a Penalty Kick for two. Dom with a German suplex, guillotine choke, tag to the Dirty Daddy! Stomping away, snap suplex into a cover, no dice, tag to the Smooth Savage. Pressing the attack, Henry eventually slides under, gets a dropkick, off the ropes and a kick from Chris only fires him up!

Pop-up dropkick, slingshot to the apron, and Jaka shoves him into Dickinson, who slams him into the apron! Back in, Jaka with a nearfall, and Thatcher chases Stokely Hathaway to the back! Dom working Henry over now, Tim returns, Garrini with a nearfall off a knee drop and into the guillotine choke again for a tag to the Dirty Daddy. Brainbuster connects, the Lethal Lover kicks out and Chris clears Tracy from the apron!

Thatcher tries to get involved as Dickinson chokes Henry with a reverse chinlock and hey, Stoke’s back. Elbow strikes from Anthony, boot up, up top in one fluid motion but he gets cut off. Tag to Jaka, a headbutt knocks Dickinson down, a kick takes Dom out, double missile dropkick on the tag champs! Tag to Hot Sauce, he comes in hot and drops both with a double lariat as Thatcher beats on Garrini on the floor!

Up and over, back elbow, Jaka yanks him off the turnbuckles but Williams turns it into a DDT... DICKINSON BREAKS IT UP! Block a kick, knock him down with a lariat, Jaka tries to steal it but he can’t keep him down! Strike combo, Tim tags in, enzuigiri into the butterfly Jackhammer and Dom comes in only to get choked out with a sleeper! Henry tags in, double leg into an STS on Jaka!

Hot Sauce has a crossface on Chris! Dom puts Tim out on the floor and Dickinson powerbombs Williams into Henry and Jaka! Goozle, Anthony pops up, Frankensteiner, jockeying for position, headed up top, the Smooth Savage crotches him and climbs to meet him but Thatcher yanks him down and locks the sleeper in! Anthony perches but the double stomp hits Tim!

Jaka throws Henry into an enzuigiri from Dickinson...

Catch Point win by pinfall with a schoolboy pin from Jaka on Anthony Henry.

Really good match. Not a huge amount to say about it, but it was exciting throughout and the finish should pay off into a really excellent Thatcher/Henry sooner or later.

Henry goes to apologize to Thatcher but Tim hits the enzuigiri and dusts his feet off on him!

Austin Theory (c) vs. Joey Janela (WWN Championship)

Theory cocky early, grinning after a collar and elbow put Janela in the corner. Dominating through a few exchanges, he flexes and Joey thrusts his crotch at him from the mat! Priscilla Kelly gets on the apron, Janela dances at her and Austin puts him into the post for it! Reverse chinlock applied, trying to grind him down but Joey gets out and pummels him with chops in the corner.

Whip across, again Theory dodges and puts him into the buckle, rolling thunder dropkick, only a nearfall! Thinking about the TKO, denied, Joey to the apron, basement dropkick and a knee trembler and he’s fired up! Fireman’s carry... DEATH VALLEY DRIVER ON THE APRON! Cover comes up empty, they trade punches on their feet, Austin with a back suplex, Joey lands on his feet, clobbers him with a forearm, and counters rolling thunder into a powerbomb!

Jackknife cover... NOPE! Waving at TPK as she tries to give her man advice, Janela draws him back up but gets slapped in the face. Forearms and stomps to the corner, the Bad Boy with a bicycle knee to follow it, off the ropes and Kelly interferes! Theory with the cheap shot, up for the TKO and Penelope Ford runs interference this time! Schoolboy for two, superkick... NOT ENOUGH!

Perching up top, he’s a bad, bad boy, double stomp empty, TKO connects... JOEY JANELA AIN’T GOING DOWN TO THAT! Austin has the title belt in hand as Ford wipes Kelly out with a diving crossbody! Theory distracted, package piledriver... AUSTIN FINDS THE WILL TO KICK OUT! Joey sets him up top, Austin maneuvers him around... AVALANCHE TKO STILL CAN’T PUT JANELA AWAY!

Again Austin has the title in hand and this time he heads up top with it but Penelope takes it from him! SHOTEI! Janela climbs up... BRAINBUSTER! IT’S OVER!

Joey Janela wins by pinfall with an avalanche brainbuster, winning the WWN Championship.

Okay, so this started off kind of disjointed and awkward, but by the end it hit a fever pitch and finished in a really satisfying manner. And, of course, Janela as WWN Champion is super exciting.

After the match, AR Fox comes to the entranceway for a moment.

Matt Riddle (c) vs. Shane Strickland (Evolve World Championship)

Strickland interrupts Riddle during his entrance and beats him down! Dragging him across the floor by his neck with his own t-shirt! Finally satisfied, Shane backs off and the bell rings. Pressing the attack, German suplex and a low jumping crescent kick get an early nearfall! Riddle back into it, slap rush, jockeying for position, Pele kick caught and Swerve levels him with a lariat!

Running knee in the corner, up into a Saito suplex, toying with our Bro, slapping and jawing at him but Deep Waters fires right back. Grounded forearms, kick out, trapping the arms and NOW we get our armwork, wrenching and clubbing the shoulder! Ode to Jim Breaks, Matt fighting, throwing him off, fireman’s carry, slip out, duck the knee, rolling through, the knee connects the second try!

Powerbomb rolled into the knee, only a nearfall! Charging forearms ensue, leaping elbow, overhead exploder! High jump senton gets two, knee to the ribs, and into the rolling Karelin lifts. Shane slips out, German suplex, Bro rises to his feet, knee and a German suplex of his own... NOPE! German suplex lift dropped into the Bromission! Elbows, Matt locks it on but Swerve keeps moving and stretching and gets the ropes to no avail!

Stomps to the back in the ropes, overhead elbows but Strickland grabs the arm and levers it, Riddle climbs... POWERSLAM ON THE APRON! Back inside, up top... SWERVE STOMP! RIDDLE BRIDGES OUT ON PURE INSTINCT! Back to the Ode to Jim Breaks, Riddle fights out, Shane with upkicks, maintaining wrist control, backed into the corner, snapmare into the Bromission!

Overhead elbows, locking it on, Swerve rolls out! Duck a lariat, land on his feet off a German suplex and Riddle accidentally takes referee Brandon Tolle out with a knee strike! Forearms for slaps, a double leg to the mat, they roll out of the ring beating on each other! Matt with huge backfisty chops, kicks on the apron, Strickland returns hard punches!

They’re fighting to the back but the camera doesn’t follow! THEY’RE ON THE STAGE! SHANE PULLS THE CURTAIN DOWN AND THE LOCKER ROOM IS REVEALED! Strickland gets into it with AR Fox, Jon Davis, and Anthony Henry, jawing at them! He tries to back off but they carry him off and dump him back in the ring! We’ve got an impromptu lumberjack match with the roster at ringside!

Brandon Tolle is still out of it and Strickland springboards... SOMERSAULT SENTON INTO THE ROSTER! RIDDLE DRAGS HIM BACK IN BY HIS HAIR! Sleeper hold applied! Nowhere to go, no referee to accept the sumbission, Shane’s out! Bromission is on but now the roster’s trying to break it up! They help Strickland to the back and Riddle gets on the mic, so presumably...

The match goes to a no-contest.

So this was a worthy successor to the first one, wisely staying away from just being built from the same structure, taking the arm stuff down a notch and just focusing on the animosity between these two men. The finish might under other circumstances come off as overwrought, but I like it here-- the roster doesn’t really want anything to do with Strickland or Riddle, and Shane made the mistake of choosing to go after them instead of the title.

It doesn’t hurt that a non-finish after a heel victory in the first round reminds me very much of the feud Drew Galloway and Roderick Strong had here in Evolve, so here’s hoping for round three inside of a cage!

Riddle gets on the mic and says he choked Shane out, apologizes to Tolle, and says tonight was a great show but not because of them, but rather the fans.


This was a fantastic show from Evolve. WALTER/Allin was one of the best matches in Evolve history, Riddle/Strickland, Fox/DJ Z, and the six-man were all really good to great, and Janela/Theory ended strong after a bit of a weak start. Really only Idol/Verna was seriously lacking.

Story-wise, we’ve got a Bad, Bad Boy in town, Ringkampf seem increasingly aloof, Jon Davis returned, and the Evolve title scene is really interesting right now in that neither man competing tonight is much appreciated by the locker room. Very interested in seeing where we end up tomorrow.

Check the VOD out when it hits WWNLive, folks, or in just 72 hours at no additional cost with your Club WWN subscription.

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