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Evolve 110 & 111 preview: How do you follow up on a man getting stabbed in the eye with a screwdriver? TWICE?!

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 110 (live from Chicago, Illinois) and Evolve 111 (live from Livonia, Michigan), and as always, I’m here to give you the low down on what’s going down.

Video Roundup

Evolve 108 Recap: It’s Official...

Evolve 109 Recap: Who Is The WWN Champion?

Bonus Material: Careers On The Line At Evolve

Evolve Update: Get Prepared For This Weekend

Evolve 110 (Saturday, August 11, at 4PM Central)

Darby Allin and Matt Riddle go toe-to-toe in a battle of men who failed to leave last weekend as champions. Pride is all that’s on the line here, but it’s not hard to argue that this match means more to Allin than it does Riddle, given all the swirling rumors about Matt’s impending exit from the indies and into WWE’s mostly-loving bosom. So for the King of Bros, it’s pride, but for Darby, it’s a way of life, a continued upwards trajectory in Evolve, and, yes, even perhaps a chance to stake a claim to another shot at the gold he so desires.

It’s dream partner tag team action as Joey Janela teams up with Saieve Al Sabah to take on the team of Austin Theory and freshly-crowned Evolve World Champion Shane Strickland. These two teams of veteran and relative rookie are funhouse mirror versions of each other— both feature a hot-headed cocky firebrand and a cool, calculated, reserved assassin of a grappler, but which is the vet and which is the rookie is mirrored across the teams.

WWN Champion Janela is, of course, modern-day indie wrestling’s most prevalent and unpredictable wildman, and he teams with Al Sabah who, in his short Evolve run to date has shown a real killer instinct and a natural tendency to make each and every piece of offense as effective as possible. Whereas Evolve World Champion Strickland shocked the world by coming into Evolve, declaring his intent to take the title from Matt Riddle, and doing so quickly and efficiently over only the course of a few weekends of action, and Theory is as brash as they come.

There are real concerns of cohesion between the teams even before you consider that both Theory and Janela will have their valets at ringside— this could end up way outta control, folks!

“Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams continues his war against Stokely Hathaway with a grudge match against the Smooth Savage, Jaka. Williams comes into this at less than 100% after being STABBED IN THE EYE TWICE WITH A SCREWDRIVER last week. Jaka, meanwhile, is at peak physical condition after taking the unfriendly giant Josh Briggs to his limit. The best thing Hot Sauce can do here is perhaps to concentrate less on winning the match and more on neutralizing Jaka to the point where he won’t be able to interfere on Sunday.

Either way this feud has really picked up over the last few shows and is easily one of the hottest things going in Evolve, and that makes this match something to watch out for.

Two of the best big men going today clash as JD Drake takes on WALTER. My oh my, this is a HOSS FIGHT for the ages, my friends, and if it weren’t for the Hot Sauce/Stoke feud having so much heat, this might be my preemptive pick for match of the weekend. The chops exchanged alone will start this match somewhere around 3.5 stars and it’s only up from there!

Veteran high flyers test their mettle against one another as AR Fox takes on DJ Z. This is a rematch from Evolve 97, and while that one wasn’t the best possible match they could have had with each other, a second try between two men as talented as Fox and Zema is always welcome.

Freelance Wrestling makes their presence known as two-time Freelance World Champion Isaias Velazquez defends against Matt Knicks. Velazquez is the closest thing Freelance has as a heir to Mustafa Ali’s legacy, and Knicks is a well-decorated tag team champion. If you’re not familiar with Freelance, this match will make you want to go check out the archive on, folks.

A triple threat deepens some of Evolve’s newest feuds as Anthony Henry, Jon Davis, and Josh Briggs are set to face one another. Davis has gotten into it with both Henry and Briggs, and Josh for his part doesn’t really like anyone. This will be heated, but if I had to pick any man to scrape out the win here, it’s wily Anthony Henry and his multi-dimensional grappling attack.

Catch Point keep busy with trios action against the Skulk. Stokely Hathaway gets his hands dirty teaming with Dominic Garrini and Chris Dickinson, and let’s just hope whoever of the Skulk they’re arrayed against all leave with both eyes totally intact, folks.

Evolve 111 (Sunday, August 12, at 4PM Eastern)

Joey Janela takes on all comers as he defends the WWN Championship against both AR Fox and Austin Theory. Issues abound that created this match, from Fox’s disapproval of the way his wayward student Theory has slipped from the path, to his non-title victory over Janela last weekend, to Joey’s earning the WWN Championship over Austin in the first place. So, it’s a three-way grudge match, and the title is almost secondary from a certain point of view. But however, still on the line, and still very important to whoever leaves with it and their future in Evolve.

In what’s sure to be one of the most violent and exciting matches in Evolve history, “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams takes on Chris Dickinson and Stokely Hathaway in a handicap “I Quit” match in which the loser between he and Stoke will be forced to retire. Furthermore, the winner gets his choice of an Evolve title shot at an upcoming show. There’s a lot on the line here, but it all boils down to one thing...

...what do you do to get revenge on a man who’s stabbed you in the eye twice with a screwdriver? That’s a moral event horizon that’s rarely crossed even in ultraviolent deathmatch wrestling, a moment akin to “All Ego” Ethan Page swinging a shovel at Darby Allin with intent to decapitate, to Jimmy Havoc threatening to murder Will Ospreay with an axe, to Homicide pouring Drano down Colt Cabana’s open throat.

Running Hathaway out of Evolve might not be enough, even if Tracy can overcome Stoke’s damn numbers game.

It’s a rematch of one of the best Evolve matches of the year as JD Drake takes on Matt Riddle. They tore the house down at Evolve 100 and I’d be shocked if they didn’t do it again, folks. Riddle and Drake is a hard-hitting visceral wrestling match made in heaven, and if this truly be Matt’s last battlefield, a second round against the New Age Enforcer is a damn good way to go out.

DJ Z takes on Shane Strickland in non-title action. Billed as a thank-you match to Michigan for showing Evolve such strong support, there are no real special stakes here, no drama coming in, just two incredibly talented wrestlers going at it.

Following up on Drake vs. WALTER the night before, Anthony Henry gets his crack at the Ring General in Livonia. Henry’s biggest singles win in Evolve to date came over WALTER’s Ringkampf partner Timothy Thatcher in June. Now he looks to repeat against the mammoth Austrian himself. It’s a tough row to hoe, but if anybody can cut the Ring General down, it’s Anthony Henry. Expect violence!

Saieve Al Sabah gets another big match as he takes on one half of the tag team champions in the form of Jaka. Jaka proved himself time and again last year against the likes of Zack Sabre, Jr. and now Al Sabah gets the same chance against the Smooth Savage.

Plus more from Darby Allin, Josh Briggs, Jon Davis, and others yet to be announced pending the results of Evolve 110.

Like what you read?

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