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Evolve 112 recap & review: Stokely Hathaway returns and is sad, Briggs puts an end to the Catch Point War, and Janela retains in a wild main event

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World Wrestling Network

The show begins just about five minutes after our scheduled bell time with Lenny Leonard and “Hardcore Giant” Ron Niemi in the ring to welcome us to the show and hype up our main event before getting right into the action!

Jaka vs. Leon Ruff

Ruff takes care lining up his first shot, laying two heavy chops in on Jaka, but the Smooth Savage makes him pay for it in kind before throwing him around a bit. Choking him on the ropes, the Skulk try to get Leon back into it with moral support but Jaka stays on him, clubbing and stomping. Whip, big back elbow, but the young man refuses to go down that easy.

Rings of Saturn applied, Ruff reverses to a pin... NOPE! Back suplex, he lands on his feet but Jaka cracks him with a superkick... SO CLOSE! Schoolboy pin, no good, the Smooth Savage with a wicked lariat but it’s evident that he’s going to have to go harder than that to defeat the Skulk man. Pummeling him with punches, whip across, Leon gets a boot up, back in with chops and forearms, putting a rally together only to get cut off with a knee!

Back in it, Manhattan Drop, knucklelock into a multi-springboard Frankensteiner and Leon Ruff is rolling! He charges into an uppercut but keeps his wits and clocks Jaka with an enzuigiri, cannonball... NO GOOD! Whip reversed, waistlock, the Smooth Savage breaks, big elbow... JAKA BOMB COUNTERED TO A VICTORY ROLL FOR TWO! Rolling thrust, Shotei, Ruff gets a few shots of his own in return, bridging German can’t put the tag champion away!

Chris Dickinson hits the ringside area to beat the Skulk down, Leon is distracted and he turns around into the two-handed choke...

Jaka wins by pinfall with the Jaka Bomb.

This was really good, a prime slab of rookie vs. vet action. Leon Ruff was real impressive both as the kid out of his depth as the tag champ wailed on him and in terms of fire and athleticism on the comeback trail, and, of course, it’s always a pleasure to see the happiest gang on Earth doing their thing.

Doom Patrol beat the Skulk down some more for good measure after the match, finishing up by Pazuzu Bombing Ruff into Adrian Alanis.

AR FOX MAKES THE SAVE! DOUBLE ACE CRUSHER RUNS DOOM PATROL OFF BUT AUSTIN THEORY ATTACKS HIM FROM BEHIND AND HITS ATAXIA!

Theory gets on the mic and introduces himself before saying what he did to Fox, he’s gonna do to Velveteen Dream, and he doesn’t care if any of his friends or family are here, because after tonight, he’s gonna own this building.

Facade & Jason Kincaid vs. “Chainsaw” Joe Gacy & Steve Pena

Gacy and Facade to start, but Kincaid quickly inserts himself and the boys fresh off their DDT excursion start in with the double-teams, fast and furious. Pena runs in, the same fate befalls him, but Joe manages to slow Face down by cutting him off mid-handspring with a dropkick! Overhead elbows follow, quick tags to keep the AIW man off balance.

Pena happy to grab the hair to keep the advantage as the quick tags roll on, Gacy hammering uppercuts, off the ropes with a knee and transitioning into an arm-trap crossface after the nearfall! Face rallies, kicks on kicks, Matrix evasion to a reverse roundhouse and he gets the tag to Kincaid! Diving splash, on his feet off a back suplex, he makes Pena forearm Gacy and follows it up with a tornado DDT!

Duck a lariat, suicide dive, Joe squares him up... BIG MAN SUICIDE DIVE! Facade joins in the fun... BRILLO FACADE! Cover gets two, Compassionate Release applied but he breaks when Gacy comes in. Steve hits a German suplex, tag back to Joe, Alabama Slam, sitout powerbomb... FACADE IN LIKE A TORPEDO TO MAKE THE SAVE! Perching, Kincaid cuts him off with a Michinoku Driver!

Tags made, Facade laying kicks in before hitting a suplex lift capture Michinoku Driver... NOPE! A nutso bridging choke but Gacy makes the save! Jockeying for position in the corner, the Gift gets a buckle bomb off, he and Facade pray on opposite corners... ropewalk missile dropkick... AND KINCAID CLIMBS THE SUPPORT BEAM TO HIT THE DOUBLE STOMP! IT’S OVER!

Facade & Jason Kincaid win by pinfall with a double stomp off the support beam from Kincaid on Steve Pena.

Okay, so first off, my apologies because Facade & Kincaid are a team that is just a hair too fast for my fingers! Second, I’m pretty excited to see Gacy in Evolve-- I was watching CZW all through his reign as World Heavyweight Champion and while the plot meandered pretty hard, he was always putting good work in, in situations both deathmatch and mundane.

Post-match, Gacy turns on Pena and drops him with a lariat.

Harlem Bravado vs. JD Drake

Circling, Bravado tries to insist there be no chops on account of them both being upstanding North Carolina gentlemen. Collar and elbow, Drake backs him in the corner and goes for a chop but backs off when he sees the terror on Harlem’s face. Back to the lockup, Bravado in control this time and he immediately hits a chop, the bastard!

Off the ropes, the New Age Enforcer’s strength and agility come into play in turn before he lays Harlem out with a chop! A second chop sends him to the floor and Drake plays to the crowd a moment before following. That turns out to be a mistake as Bravado’s able to hit a dropkick for an advantage before clubbing away. Charging around, the first try lands home but Drake cuts the second off with a chop!

Pop-up haymaker on the apron, but when he tries to press the attack, Bravado ducks and JD’s hand goes into the post on a chop! Up top, Harlem dives and targets the injured arm! James switches arms and clobbers him with chops on the apron, back inside, Bravado tries to hide behind the gentleman’s agreement... AND DRAKE CHOPS HIM IN THE FOREHEAD!

Harlem manages to take Drake down, raining mounted punches down on him, but in the corner JD’s had as much as he can take and steels with resolve! Whip across manages to stagger Drake, a lariat takes him down, but he can’t put him away! Overhead elbows, tearing at his face, off the ropes... NEW AGE ENFORCER DROPS HIM WITH THE EMERALD FLOWSION!

Charging strikes, Manhattan Drop, Sick Kick... NOT ENOUGH! Diving leg lariat also gets a nearfall, Drill Bit blocked, they trade chop for chop, forearm for forearm, kick to the midsection sets up a boot and a northern lights suplex for Bravado for two. Sidestep a charge, Harlem gets crotched in the turnbuckles... BIG BOY MOONSAULT BUT BRAVADO IS ABLE TO KICK OUT!

Up top again, Harlem gets under Drake, but JD sits down on him and follows it up with a cannonball! More chops, another Drill Bit reversal, Bravado blocking lariats with boots but he can’t stop a chop, underhooks...

James Drake wins by pinfall with Drill Bit.

This lost the plot a little bit towards the end but the stuff with the “gentleman’s agreement” was pretty fun as was the injured hand story, even if it was a little less central than I’d like. And as always with the New Age Enforcer, the big exchanges delivered and delivered big, so hardly a bust. Good match.

Aja Perera vs. Dementia D’Rose vs. Kiera Hogan vs. Priscilla Kelly

Kelly & D’Rose to start, TPK ducking and dodging to even the size differential, laying kicks in, staying vicious, primal scream but Dementia nails her with a hip attack! Pass to the floor, Perera in for her, bridging pin from Priscilla, jockeying for position, Aja gets her into the Tree of Woe and hits a wicked kic combo. She turns around to see Hogan in, D’Rose with the assist, and Kiera is on fire with body avalanches to set up a cover!

Cutie Pie Club running wild but TPK pulls Hogan out before she can finish Perera off and takes her out! D’Rose with the hip attack, Aja knocks her down in turn, off the ropes and she dives on the Cutie Pie Club! Kelly up top... SOMERSAULT SENTON INTO THE CRUSH! Back in, Dementia breaks up a cover, catches TPK off the ropes into an elevated chickenwing backbreaker for two!

Perera with a kick combo, Kiera wipes her out with a single kick, Cutie Pie Club fired up, tandem hip attacks but a second try sees Aja with the sidestep and D’Rose wipes her partner out! Sliding Ace Crusher into a stiff knee from Aja, Priscilla back into it with a standing STO... NOPE! Superkick, Dragon suplex... SO CLOSE! Up top, Cutie Pie Club in to cut TPK off, Perera breaks them off but gets speared to the floor by D’Rose, Kelly gets the edge on an exchange...

Priscilla Kelly wins by pinfall with Osteoporosis on Kiera Hogan.

Fun match, fast and loose action with a nice throughline of the Cutie Pie Club working together against the other two, and a good showcase for Shine.

Anthony Henry vs. Darby Allin

Intense struggle out the gates, Henry overpowering Allin, to which Darby turns the speed up and hits a huge springboard arm drag for two! Fujiwara armbar, into a guillotine choke, monkey flip, Anthony wipes him out with a lariat! Penalty Kick off the apron countered with a leg trip and the action goes to the floor, where Allin throws him into barricade and steps alike!

A dive follows, but when he climbs up top Henry recovers and cuts him off for a big backbreaker into the turnbuckles! Anthony just pummeling him with strikes on the floor, throwing him into the barricade, more strikes, back suplex into the apron... only a nearfall! Darby fighting back desperately but he gets clocked with knees and a half-halch suplex into a bodyscissors head-and-arm triangle choke!

Shifting to a pair of backbreakers, cover comes up empty again and Henry follows it up with a Gory Special. Allin’s able to counter with an arm drag, Shotei, more palm strikes, Anthony firing punches of his own and a wicked forearm buckles Darby! More palms, Yoshi Tonic... NOPE! Henry back in charge, running knee, fireman’s carry gutbuster, Tenryu Powerbomb into the Tiger Driver... NOT ENOUGH!

Up top, Darby cuts him off, jockeying for position... ALLIN GETS A SUPERPLEX FOR TWO! Slow to their feet, palm strikes for knees, gourdbuster into the ropes and Anthony is back in charge. Off the ropes... SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB OVER THE ROPES AND TO THE FLOOR! Back in, drawing him up... VERTICAL DROP BRAINBUSTER CAN’T PUT ALLIN AWAY!

Headed up top, again Darby cuts him off with a palm strike! Shoved down, Henry lands on his feet, ducking and diving, shotgun dropkick, arm wringer, standing Diamond Dust... NOT ENOUGH! Up top... COFFIN DROP STILL ISN’T ENOUGH! Cross the legs...

Darby Allin wins by pinfall with the Last Supper.

Excellent match. Everything from the Tenryu Powerbomb / Tiger Driver sequence clean through to the end was especially compelling as both men unloaded everything they had at each other.

Darby offers a hand after the match but Henry isn’t having it at first, visibly frustrated before begrudgingly accepting the handshake.

...STOKELY HATHAWAY IS HERE?! He says he’s a man of his word, he lost and he doesn’t work here as a manager, but there are other opportunities in the company and he pitches Tim Barr on taking the ring announcer job over from him. Barr tries to talk sense into him and referees come down to escort Mr. Hathaway out of the ring.

And so we go to intermission.

Jon Davis vs. “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams

Davis in control early, using his strength to push Williams around and literally throw him into the corner, but Hot Sauce is able to get his shots in. Jon returns heavy forearms of his own only for Tracy to get the cross armbar in the ropes! Arm hanging limp, Davis catches a crossbody and hosses him out of the counter before blocking the O’Connor roll and dumping Williams to the floor.

Jockeying for position on the apron, Hot Sauce takes Davis’ leg out with a dropkick and sends him to crash to the floor on the bad arm! On the floor, Jon manages to pull ahead with carefully targeted strikes but the arm has a bullseye painted on it and Tracy’s able to leverage the injury to retake the momentum. Davis gets a desperation powerslam off and both men are down and out!

Belated cover comes up empty, Jon clearly still not a hundred percent in the bad arm but able to land a slam all the same. Freight train elbow off a whip for another two, Hot Sauce fires up for forearms but Davis is able to deck him and take him back out! Up and on his feet, Tracy gets the Cobra Twist but Jon fights out with back elbows! Sidestep a kick, looking for that southern lights suplex, first try no, second try yes!

Raining elbows down, picking the arm but Davis is able to get his feet under him and shove him into the corner. Out of the corner, diving bulldog into a Fujiwara armbar, overhead elbows to soften him up, switching it up, looking for the piledriver and he’s tossed away! Big lariat, looking for a powerbomb, Williams slips out and Jon is able to nail him with a forearm!

Looking for another slam, countered into a DDT and then the guillotine choke! Shift to a double wristlock, Davis posts to his feet, deadlift into a swinging backbreaker and a fallaway slam... NO GOOD! Down and out, on his knees but still full of fight and defiance, Hot Sauce pulls himself up the big man and cracks him across the face! Jon gets a nearfall off a Shining Wizard!

Forearms, rolling elbow, backfist, but Davis ducks the lariat on the first try! Second lariat connects, a third is reversed into a German suplex and Jon follows it with a Sick Kick! Up top... MOONSAULT COMES UP EMPTY! Williams grabs the arm and rolls him up...

”Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams wins by pinfall with La Casita.

Really good match, Hot Sauce very much the guy that’s outgunned but able to find opening after opening until he can find the window to climb through and Davis, as always, great as the dominant monster who’s every bit capable at keeping up with you on the mat but why bother with that when he can throw you around so easily?

Post-match, Davis takes Tracy’s head off with a lariat! He says Williams might have won the match, but he won the fight.

Chris Dickinson vs. Josh Briggs

Dickinson attacks Briggs before the bell and lays into him at ringside! Into the barricade, into the steps, choking him with a t-shirt and finally Josh reverses a suplex to get himself some room to breathe. In the ring, we get the bell at last and Briggs charges in with a lariat! Spinning side slam gets two, boot is sidestepped, Josh is crotched and the Dirty Daddy dives and splashes him across the back!

Mounted punches, Briggs fires back with forearms in the corner only to get German suplexed for a nearfall. Pick the legs, Chris turns him over for the Boston Crab. Toe to toe, chop for chop, Josh runs through a lariat and takes Dickinson out with a leaping lariat. Back elbow, backbreaker, another nearfall, going for the M5, countered into a Frankensteiner!

Still in charge, gutbuster connects but Chris slips out, big nearfall off a lariat! On the apron, jockeying for position... DIRTY DADDY DEATH VALLEY DRIVER ON THE APRON! JOSH BRIGGS CAN DO WILD STUFF TOO, CHOKESLAM ON THE STEEL STEPS! Back inside, big boot in the corner, Go to Hell, M5 denied and Dickinson locks a sleeper hold on! Tornado DDT to follow it up and the Dirty Daddy is rolling!

Briggs ducks a roundhouse kick, goozle...

Josh Briggs wins by pinfall with M5.

A nice wild brawl, a bit heavy on the back and forth once things settled down but that closing stretch was as hot as anything.

AR Fox vs. Joey Janela (c) (WWN Championship)

Struggle early and Fox counters an Ace Crusher with a handstand senton! Janela into the striking soon enough, heavy chops, forcing AR to a rolling leg pick that puts Joey face-first into the turnbuckles in one of the more unique counters I’ve seen. Punching away, keeping Fox staggered, but AR’s able to get an enzuigiri off and springboard into a wheelbarrow bulldog!

Leg drop follows, twisting suplex, only two and Fox is starting to get frustrated. AR up top, Janela with palm strikes in the corner, jockeying for position, fireman’s carry... BLU-RAY CAN’T PUT FOX AWAY! A knee and boots in the corner as the Skulk fan Fox and try to wake him up. Joey going for the package piledriver, slipped out, Foxcatcher denied, Janela hits a hangman’s neckbreaker for one!

Reverse chinlock applied, Fox gets to his feet and throws wild body blows only for the Bad Boy to drop him with a DDT that gets a nearfall! Falling elbows, kick to the back of the neck, the champion clearly frustrated as he heads up top. AR gets up in on him but gets cut off and Joey dives... CAUGHT WITH THE ACE CRUSHER! SPRINGBOARD ACE CRUSHER ROLLED INTO A DRAGON SLEEPER BUT JANELA COUNTERS!

Superkick, Matrix evasion, enzuigiri, rolling elbow and Fox rolls to the apron! Trip, slingshot dropkick, rolling thunder... CUT OFF WITH A SUPERKICK! Both men down, slugging it out on their knees, reserves running low. To their feet, Janela ahead, Fox stumbling and unable to defend himself but just about able to get his shots in edgewise.

Pass through the ropes... SUICIDE PLANCHA! Kickflip moonsault connects and the Skulk applaud their mentor! AR takes things back inside and hits a senton atomico... NOPE! Up top again, 450 splash... THE KNEES WERE UP! SO CLOSE! Huge lariat, snap sheerdrop brainbuster... FOX WON’T STAY DOWN THAT EASY! AR with the back body drop and referee Jake Clemons gets wiped out!

The Skulk put boots to Janela, Penelope Ford makes the save but they run her off in turn! Pop-up lungblower takes the champion out, Ford up top... DIVING CROSSBODY WIPES THE SKULK OUT! Handspring shoulder block, sidestep the charge, big forearm, duck a lariat, tilt-a-whirl facebuster and Penelope finishes up with suicide dives out of opposite sides of the ring!

Fox clocks Janela in the face with the title belt right as Clemons wakes up... JANELA KICKS OUT! Up top, 450 splash... STILL NOT ENOUGH! To the apron... JOEY JANELA DEATH VALLEY DRIVER FROM THE APRON TO THE FLOOR! Back inside, up top, diving double stomp... AR FOX KICKS OUT! Small package gets AR two, Joey hits a superkick, trap the arms...

Joey Janela wins by pinfall with a spinning package piledriver, retaining the WWN Championship.

What a match! Just a nonstop barrage of high intensity cool stuff almost start to finish.

Overall

Not the greatest show of the year, but a good solid outing for Evolve. The main event was killer, and Davis/Hot Sauce as well as Henry/Allin were both great matches as well. Plus it’s nice to have a bit of women’s action on the card-- generally speaking the lack of women in Evolve doesn’t bug me too much because WWN do have Shine, but a little bit of cross-pollination like this is always welcome.

Storyline-wise, the most intriguing thing here was a down-and-out Stokely Hathaway showing up to break our hearts by begging for a chance to ring announce, which could just be a cute beat they did because he was hosting one of his social media seminars at the tryout before the show, but could also develop into any number of plot points going forward.

Davis continues to work his “you won the match, but I won the fight” gimmick, which eventually not winning matches will come back to haunt him, but for right now it’s strong character work. And, the tag match sets up both the team of Kincaid and Facade who, while I worry about my ability to successfully recap their lightning-fast style, were very enjoyable here, as well as bringing Joe Gacy in, with his post-match turn on Steve Pena having me thinking that maybe he’s beginning a story here. Time will tell!

Check the VOD out when it hits WWNLive, either as a standalone purchase or at no additional cost as part of your monthly Club WWN subscription.