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Evolve 107 recap & review: Briggs turns Hathaway down, Saieve Al Sabah gets a big win, and Riddle clobbers Fox repeatedly

World Wrestling Network

The show starts just a few minutes after the scheduled bell time with Lenny Leonard and “Hardcore Giant” Ron Niemi in the ring to talk up the show for us.

Dominic Garrini vs. Josh Briggs

Briggs in hot with a Mafia kick... NOPE! Clubbing away, hard whip, spinning side slam, none of it able to put Garrini away. Dom snaps off a German suplex into the turnbuckles, follows with running double knees and a butterfly suplex into a nearfall before grabbing a guillotine choke. Josh fights out with body blows, off the ropes... Garrini’s got the triangle choke!

Briggs hosses himself out of it but is caught with a sleeper hold after a charge. Flagging, fading, Josh stumbles but is able to find the wherewithal to counter with a backpack senton! Wild back elbows from the big man, flying shoulder tackle, into the back suplex gutbuster but it’s only good for another two-count. Dom gets a Kimura lock on, Briggs escapes with clubs and they move on to trading forearms.

Slugging it out, Garrini lands a flush knee to the jaw, off the ropes, back into the Kimura but Josh has a counter...

Josh Briggs wins by pinfall with the M5.

Really good David-and-Goliath opener. Could have maybe used a few more minutes but what we had played really well and the finish in particular came off great.

Stokely Hathaway gets on the mic after and puts Briggs over, saying he has everything he needs to succeed... except him, essentially. Stoke whips out a Catch Point contract and tells him he doesn’t need to read the fine print because it’s called fine for a reason, and it’s a very good time, baby.

Josh takes the contract and leaves without giving an answer.

Adrian Alanis comes out for a match with the Skulk and the fire alarm goes off, which initially leads to some confusion but the Skulk just end up partying until somebody figures out how to turn it off.

Adrian Alanis vs. BSHP KNG

Alanis using his strength early, hard shoulder blocks, a backbreaker into chops but KNG gets into the ropes and creates some separation. Slipping out of a fireman’s carry, BSHP clocks him with a right for a nearfall! Adrian back into it with a fireman’s carry flapjack into the turnbuckles and a senton, KNG gets back at him with a spinning spinebuster. Setting him up, senton atomico, the knees are up...

Adrian Alanis wins by pinfall with a schoolboy pin.

Good solid stuff from two newcomers. Nothing too special, but Alanis stands out from the rest of the Skulk by virtue of his physicality so it’s nice to see him get a shot to show what he’s capable of in singles action.

AR Fox gets on the mic to congratulate his protege and declare his intent to beat Matt Riddle tonight.

Darby Allin vs. Jarek 1:20

Allin shoves Jarek and takes him down into a flurry of grounded pal strikes, Oklahoma roll... NOPE! Shotgun dropkick, back elbow, monkey flip, Last Supper denied, springboard crossbody, still no! Up top, 1:20 crotches him and puts him in the Tree of Woe for a seated senton! Trading shots, quebrada comes up empty but Darby takes him down and again tries to cave his head in with strikes!

Allin catches a kick, turns it into a rolling kneebar, Last Supper again denied and the action spills to the floor as the fire alarm goes off again! Jarek puts him into the barricade and steps on him on the apron before drawing him up and hanging him over the ropes in the corner. Jockeying for position, he knocks Darby down, perches,,, and Allin rolls away from the elbow!

Striking, Yoshi Tonic, reversed, basement superkick and both men are down and out. Back at it, 1:20 gets him up, hits the Canadian DDT... DARBY ALLIN WILL NOT STAY DOWN! Superkick follows but he still can’t keep the daredevil down! Up top... AVALANCHE CANADIAN DDT BUT DARBY GETS HIS FOOT ON THE ROPES! Back to the Tree of Woe, Coast to Coast... ALLIN SITS UP AND DODGES! One Coffin Drop...

Darby Allin wins by pinfall with a second Coffin Drop.

Really good match, Darby still kind of an underdog but not getting the crap beat out of him now that he’s bested WALTER, just taking everything Jarek has to give him and fighting on until victory. A bit shaky early, and the fire alarm was obviously not optimal, but good stuff all the same.

Anthony Henry vs. Timothy Thatcher

Henry in with a pump kick and strikes in the corner, a backslide, no dice! Tornado DDT, again only two, striking away but Thatcher fills with resove and gives it back to him! Belly-to-belly suplex off the ropes, uppercuts, a boot to the face but Anthony starts filling the gaps with slaps. Going for a half-crab, Tim sits down in it before repositioning for kicks to the back and shifting to a rear chinlock.

Knee to the ribs, going for the Karelin lift but Henry counters with a dragon screw! Figure four countered into a small package, grounded slaps to the face, trying the cross armbar but Anthony keeps his hands locked and gets out and into kicks to the back and a basement dropkick! Picking a leg, hamstring kicks traded, now the Karelin lift connects!

Following with an ankle lock and Henry’s forced to dip through the ropes and to the floor to escape! Thatcher capitalizes, smashing him against the apron. Back inside, trading shots, Anthony fires up, Tim catches a boot but Henry’s able to slip out, pick the ankle and grab an ankle lock of his own! Thatcher to the ropes, out, sleeper hold, escape, victory roll pin for two!

Big uppercut, Henry back with leg kicks, Thatcher grabs him by the throat and slaps the taste out of his mouth but his leg gives out! Big roundhouse kick... NOT ENOUGH! He gets Tim into the ropes, dragon screw, slide under, pick the leg and he puts the knee into the post repeatedly! RINGPOST FIGURE FOUR! Thatcher crawls away from the corner, visibly in agony!

Uppercut, the enzuigiri, a Saito suplex, the adrenaline keeping him on his feet, butterfly Jackhammer... NOPE BUT HE GOES RIGHT INTO THE FUJIWARA ARMBAR! Slip out, dragon screw blocked, cross armbar but Henry counters into the ankle lock! Tim kicks him off, Penalty Kick... NO GOOD! BACKDROP DRIVER! Clutching his arm, Anthony heads up top but Thatcher rises to meet him.

Jockeying for position, Henry knocks him down, double stomp for a nearfall and back to the ankle lock! He grapevines, falls back, kicks at the knee...

Anthony Henry wins by submission with an ankle lock.

What a match! Like, obviously I’m biased, these are two of my personal favorite wrestlers working today wrestling in the style that is my favorite, but this was incredible. Tim excels at the heavy leg selling here, Henry leading with the striking before heading to a more submission-based game was great, just fantastic all around.

Post-match, WALTER checks on Thatcher and lays Henry out with a boot!

Theory cuts a promo during entrances and vows that as long as he has the FIP World Heavyweight Championship he’ll be the face of WWN.

Joey Janela and Penelope Ford interrupt! He reminds Theory that he beat him for the WWN Championship last night and says he wants in the match! Austin calls him an indie piece of trash and Joey says he’s gonna take the title back to Asbury Park. He’s in the match!

Austin Theory (c) vs. DJ Z vs. Joey Janela (FIP World Heavyweight Championship)

Theory takes Janela down and pounds on him! They fight to the floor... DJ WITH THE TOPE CON GIRO! Back inside with Auustin, jabs, a Hot Shot, a neckbreaker, the air horns go off and he continues punching the champ in the corner. Theory puts Zema on the floor, Joey’s back in with corner lariats and stomps but his running boot is evaded and DJ trips him up for a plancha and quebrada that are good for two.

Jawbreaker, springboard, Janela counters with a powerbomb! Double rolling thunder dropkick as Austin gets back into it, knee lift, dumping DJ to the floor he puts boots to the Bad Boy in the corner. Smashing his face into the turnbuckles, hammer whip, a snap suplex only gets one and here comes the reverse chinlock. Joey fights out, Theory gets a standing moonsault, knees up... DJ with a diving Frankensteiner!

The match breaks down and Janela’s the only one left standing... suicide dive! One more! Austin cuts a third off, Ford perches up top... diving crossbody takes Theory out! Priscilla Kelly cannonballs off the apron onto her! O’Connor roll denied, Zema fighting them both off, big DDT on Theory and he pins both guys at once for a nearfall!

Shoving Joey into Austin, tuning the band up... rolling thunder DDT blocked, flush knee from Janela, schoolboy from Theory... NOPE! Clubbing away at each other, Joey with a knee and a dropkick, the running knee in the corner connects this time! Blu-Ray... DJ BREAKS THE PIN UP! Ducking lariats, Codebreaker, TKO onto Joey... NO GOOD! Austin sets DJ up top... ZEMA WITH THE AVALANCHE FRANKENSTEINER BUT IT’S NOT ENOUGH!

DJ back up top, Janela cuts him off... AVALANCHE BRAINBUSTER BUT THEORY SWOOPS IN...

Austin Theory wins by pinfall with a folding press on Joey Janela to retain the FIP World Heavyweight Championship.

Hot start, constant violence, Theory being a slimy snake to steal the win and save his title, I don’t have a lot of stuff to say here, but a good match all the same.

Jaka vs. John “Bad Bones” Klinger vs. Jon Davis vs. Saieve Al Sabah

Right at it, Davis with a pop-up single-armpower bomb on Sabah and chops and punches on Bones! Stomping away, well in charge, Jaka backs off and Jon gets met with a forearm from Klinger when he charges in but is able to hit a neckbreaker / DDT that gets broken up by Jaka on the pin! Bad Bones with a spinebuster, Al Sabah runs in with a standing moonsault and he and Klinger get into it until Jaka dropkicks both of them!

Jabs from the Smooth Savage, whip across, Saieve ducks a lariat and gets a dropkick off, fired up! To the apron, Jaka takes him out with a superkick, overhand chop to Bad Bones but the German hits a pair of German suplexes on the Catch Point man! To the corner, Davis gets behind them... GERMAN SUPLEX ON BOTH MEN INTO A BRIDGE BUT HE CAN’T PUT BONES AWAY!

Charging corner lariats, running dropkicks, the big man running wild! Al Sabatah comes at him with a crossbody and is caught into a swinging backbreaker and a spike reverse STO but Klinger breaks the pin up! Jaka rolls Davis up for two, rolling Shotei, kick and a knee and he’s fired up! Bones with a half nelson on Jaka, he escapes but gets caught with the snap scoop powerslam for two!

Big chops from the former leader of RISE, up and over to the apron, Saieve back in it, Jaka has them both on the apron and he dives into Jon... WHO CATCHES HIM AND ROCK BOTTOMS HIM ON THE APRON! Bad Bones jockeying for position with Al Sabah, Davis comes over and cuts them both off, climbing to join them... DOUBLE SUPERPLEX! JAKA WITH A SPLASH! NOT ENOUGH!

Smooth Savage with punches and chops for Sabah and Bones, they clear him out, Saieve knocks Klinger to the apron and off with a knee to send him into Davis at ringside! Straight suplex, kip-up and Al Sabah... CORKSCREW TOPE CON GIRO! Shoulder block, slingshot up and over, Jaka catches him with a knee... NOPE! Jockeying for position in waistlocks... BAD BONES TAKES THE OUT WITH A SUPERMAN SPEAR BUT JON GERMAN SUPLEXES HIM OUT OF THE COVER!

Bear hug on Jaka, he escapes by boxing the ears but gets run over with a boot! Spinebuster for Sabah, he goes in on Bones but gets half nelson suplexed with an assist from the Smooth Savage! Jaka and Bad Bones trading forearms, jumping double chop to the back, pump kick exchanged for T’Challa, YEOW! Charging in on Saieve...

Saieve Al Sabah wins by pinfall with a corkscrew blockbuster on Jaka.

Did not see that coming, but a well-deserved victory for Al Sabah! Good fun clash of styles four-way stuff here, with Saieve’s flying meeting Davis’ power game, Bad Bones’ cunning, and Jaka’s striking to make for a memorable encounter.

Chris Dickinson vs. “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams (Catch Point Rules)

Stokely Hathaway runs down the Catch Point Rules for this match.

Hot Sauce immediately takes the foul for punching Dickinson in the face! And a second one! And a third, he’s out of rope breaks! BUT HE’S STILL PUNCHING! REFEREE BRANDON TOLLE HAS TO CALL IT!

Chris Dickinson wins by disqualification.

Williams gets his hands on Stokely after the match but Chris makes the save and German suplexes him on his dome! Mounted punches, chest kicks, Tracy fires up and German suplexes him in return! Big lariat takes his head off and Hot Sauce goes back over to Hathaway. This time Dom makes the save but Williams is ready with a German suplex and a lariat!

Back after Stokely, dragging him up and now Jaka makes the save! T’Challa misses, lariat, and now the Dirty Daddy’s up and at him! Hathaway makes his escape and Catch Point put boots to their former leader, holding him down and letting Stoke punch him in the face repeatedly.

Here comes Josh Briggs! They drag Hot Sauce up for him but he boots Jaka and chokeslams the other two! He pulls the contract out and tears it up! Williams and Briggs shake hands!

Hot Sauce gets on the mic and calls Stokely and his goons out, saying he doesn’t care who, one or all of them, he wants a fight on August 5!

So this was really cool. I absolutely love it whenever we get good, character- and story-driven reasons for a short match like that, and Hot Sauce beating the crap out of Dickinson to get to Stokely is a very good example of such a reason. The post-match angle also worked really well and Briggs and Williams as allies is an interesting thought.

AR Fox vs. Matt Riddle (c) (Evolve World Championship)

Tentative in the feeling out, Riddle with a takedown but Fox soon stalemates him! Back at it, judo throw, transitioning, into an ankle lock and AR seeks refuge in the loving arms of his Skulk on the floor. Back in, ducking and dodging, Fox gets a dropkick off and celebrates prematurely, running away when Deep Waters comes after him! Around the ring, back in, our Bro raining palm strikes down and going for the cross armbar.

AR with a pin and he gets kicked to the apron, where Matt draws him up the turnbuckles before getting shoved down and hung up for an outside-in blockbuster! Armbar of his own applied, but Riddle won’t break his grip and reverses to the powerbomb! To the apron, big knee strike... FISHERMAN BUSTER INTO THE SKULK! Another one back in the ring... FOX KICKS OUT!

Charging forearms ensue, the overhead exploder suplex, high jump senton, only one! Rolling Karelin lifts, again only a nearfall! Fox with a matrix evasion, enzuigiri, capture brainbuster... SO CLOSE! Palm strike rush, Pele kick dodged, judo throw, powerbomb lift, hoss over... BRO 2 SLEEP COUNTERED TO AN ACE CRUSHER! SPRINGBOARD ACE CRUSHER! THE DRAGON SLEEPER IS ON! RIDDLE ROLLS THROUGH THE ROPES TO ESCAPE!

FOX WITH THE OVER THE RINGPOST TOPE CON GIRO! BACK IN... 450 SPLASH ISN’T ENOUGH TO PUT OUR BRO AWAY! FOXCATCHER... RIDDLE FINDS THE WILL TO GET ONE SHOULDER UP! UP TOP AGAIN FOR THE 450 BUT MATT ROLLS TO THE FLOOR! Back inside, desperate palm strikes, Bro 2 Sleep and the knee dodged, another knee hits, powerbomb, knees on knees! Raining elbows down... TOLLE CALLS IT!

Matt Riddle wins by referee stoppage with repeated knees and elbows to the head to retain the Evolve World Championship.

These guys have had a bunch of great matches both here and in Beyond, and this was the greatest of them. From the one-sided start to the fever pitch offense from both men late in the match and Riddle just hammering him with knees and elbows like an absolute psychopath to get the stoppage. Super high level stuff.

Post-match Theory lays Riddle out with the TKO! Fox gets in his face and he and TPK leave with AR holding Ayla Fox back.

Riddle gets on the mic to put Fox over and offer him another shot whenever he wants it, which gets Fox to induct him into the Skulk! He calls Austin Theory out for August 5, offering to put the title on the line.

(As a reminder, Adam Cole vs. WALTER was taped but not broadcast as part of the internet pay-per-view, hence I will not be covering it here.)


I’m pretty confident in saying that Evolve’s current direction has things back on track in a big way after this one, folks. Anyway, two great matches on this one, Riddle/Fox and Henry/Thatcher, a pair of fun multi-man matches and a short-but-sweet story-driven Dickinson/Williams and it all makes for a show that, while not quite as strong as last night’s in the ring, is still operating at a high level.

Storyline-wise, Josh Briggs refusing to align with Stokely and forming a loose alliance with Hot Sauce in his war against his former comrades is good stuff, as is Ringkampf’s attitude continuing to slide from “serious competitors” to “kind of a pair of dicks. Darby Allin’s done with Jarek, presumably, Saieve Al Sabah made a hell of an impact in his debut, and Theory’s managed to parlay what is essentially a losing weekend in a chance to divest Riddle of his gold.

Check it out on WWNLive (or at no additional charge as part of your Club WWN subscription which as an experiment will be uploading this show within the next 72 hours instead of the usual two week gap), folks.

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