The show opens at our scheduled bell time with Lenny Leonard and “Hardcore Giant” Ron Niemi in the ring to welcome us to the show and hype up some of the card before getting right into the action!
Anthony Henry vs. Facade vs. Harlem Bravado vs. Jason Kincaid vs. Jon Davis vs. Josh Briggs
Briggs and Davis in each others’ faces before the bell!
Scramble rules in effect, Kincaid and Henry to start with a bit of light grappling, Jason bringing his unique flair to the proceedings but Anthony stays on him like glue. The Gift with some lucha libre, double jump Arabian Press arm drag, Facade runs interference and he gets the slingshot stomp to the apron! Bravado in, he gets caught with a swinging facebreaker but is able to hit a neckbreaker in return.
Facade in, kicks connect, and a Senton de la Muerte double stomp in the corner! Springboard bulldog puts Harlem out and Davis comes in to establish dominance by way of brutal chops. Facade throwing kicks, quebrada and Jon hosses him up into an STO backbreaker out of it before tossing him aside! Briggs in, HOSS FIGHT, throwing wicked forearms, they clobber Henry and Bravado when they come in and go right back to hammering each other!
Back suplex facebreaker from Josh gets two, Kincaid calls Facade in for stereo enzuigiris, off the ropes, Briggs catches Facade with a lariat and throws the Gift into his own partner! Henry missile dropkick and Josh boots him out of the ring after! Bravado decides discretion is the better part of valor and runs right past Briggs to dropkick Facade! Josh hip tosses Jon into the ring, charging elbow, the “I don’t like you!” kick comes up empty and Davis drops him with a back suplex!
Boot for Anthony, big powerslam for Jason and Jon Davis is running wild! Over to Henry, big chop, up and over, the Lethal Lover slides under, enzuigiri, tornado DDT! To the outside, getting the crowd behind him, Henry hits running dropkicks on Harlem, Facade, and Kincaid in turn before getting popped up by Davis and improvising a double stomp off the apron!
Diving knee off the apron, Bravado from behind to knock him down with a boot, and he fakes a dive out after. Low bridge on Briggs, off the ropes... HARLEM BRAVADO SUICIDE DIVE! The Gift lands him up, tope con giro! Facade is next... BRILLO FACADE! Anthony up top, going for a diving Frankensteiner but Jon Davis catches him... AND POWERBOMBS HIM OVER THE ROPES AND TO THE FLOOR INTO THE CRUSH OF MEN!
Jon tunes up the band, off the ropes, Briggs is right on him... M5 BUT DAVIS IS ABLE TO KICK OUT! Big men jockeying for position in the corner, Facade and Kincaid send them to the floor before perching up top themselves and getting cut off by Henry! Bravado comes over... TOWER OF DOOM! Harlem can’t follow up because his knee gave out on him! Briggs takes him out and heads back in the ring for another round of Godzilla fight with Davis!
Big boot, a second charge is countered with a powerbomb, German suplex, short-arm lariat... SIBERAN BEARCRUSHER BUT LITERALLY EVERYONE BREAKS IT UP! Jason leapfrogs Facade and Jon puts him down with authority! Assisted Diamond Dust, flip piledriver, Kincaid runs interference but Henry breaks the pin up anyway! Uppercut cuts Harlem off, double whip, he ducks and dodges, forearm and a straight suplex, underhooks, Straight Cash Homey... AGAIN HENRY WITH THE SAVE!
Brainbuster denied, Straight Cash Homey denied, reverse STO into the buckle, a kick, vertical drop brainbuster but Josh breaks it up! Victory roll, no good, big boot wipes the Lethal Lover out, swinging backbreaker, a big neckbreaker, JON DAVIS BREAKS IT UP! Back to the HOSS FIGHT, Briggs and Davis slug it out with forearms, the other four pair off as well and trade forearms themselves!
Josh with the Cactus Clothesline, Harlem sends Jason to the floor, Facade fights him and Henry off two for one, reverse roundhouse out of a Matrix evasion, he walks the ropes... COAST 2 COAST! Henry up top...
Anthony Henry wins by pinfall with a diving double stomp on Facade.
Holy hell what a way to open the show! This was everything a scramble can be at its best, it advanced storylines, it gave everyone a chance to shine, just fantastic work. Great match.
JD Drake vs. Joey Janela
Drake just throwing Janela around to start, bringing his strength to bear in a big way. Joey plays his game, trying to wear him out with shoulder blocks, but that just means it’s time for some big boy lucha libre! The Bad Boy turns the speed up and finally manages to knock the New Age Enforcer to the floor, where he lands a diving forearm. Trading chops, the pop-up haymaker connects and Janela’s limp on the apron!
Back inside, only good for one, a knee drop to the face follows and Joey’s disoriented but willing to throw hands all the same! Chop for wicked chop, two absolute madmen hammering at each other and Drake tells him he’s gonna learn today before dropping him with the most vicious one yet! Continuing to lay the chops in, sheer volume gets Joey somewhere but a body slam attempt betrays him.
JD with the tilt-a-whirl Flowsion... NOPE! More chops as the New Age Enforcer shows his dominance but when he heads up top a Shotei staggers him. Jockeying for position, another Shotei... AVALANCHE FRANKENSTEINER! A superkick follows... ONLY ONE! Defiance on his face, Drake walks into another superkick but still he won’t stay down! Up top, double stomp comes up empty, Drake with a Shining Wizard... STILL NO!
Trading shots on the apron... JD HITS A GERMAN SUPLEX ON THE APRON! Back inside, only a nearfall, big man hits a senton and still can’t put the WWN Champion away. Vader Bomb comes up empty, Joey hits a rolling elbow, fireman’s carry... DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! SO CLOSE! Drake stumbles to the floor to regain his wits and Janela dives on him! The referee blocks a second but Penelope Ford hits a diving senton atomico to the floor!
Joey finally gets his second suicide dive, his back bugging him but he’s still in control as he runs into a boot and gets dropped by a diving leg lariat! JD slow to capitalize, pulling himself up the ropes, perching up high, Ford runs interference and Janela gets under him... BUT DRAKE COUNTERS WITH A FRANKENSTEINER! Joey charges in, JD drops low and Janela blasts Penelope off the apron by accident!
Drake spinning backfist, Drill Bit connects, he heads up top...
JD Drake wins by pinfall with the moonsault.
Two for two on awesome matches thus far tonight! This was a tale of Drake’s sheer strength and size playing against Janela’s mad determination and willingness to put his body on the line, chops on chops, sheer visceral pro wrestling violence, this is well worth seeking out.
Stokely Hathaway is here again! He rolls into the ring and gets on the mic and says he’s a man of his word and he doesn’t work here anymore, but he’s looking for an opportunity, and he’ll do anything. Doom Patrol come out and Chris Dickinson asks if he’s looking for an opportunity, and acknowledges that he lost his contract so he can’t manage them, and last night didn’t work out too well for him.
But Chris has a job for him, and if he wants an opportunity so bad, he’ll be a pro wrestler and they’ll fight right now because Dickinson owes him one! A referee hits the ring and we seem to have a match!
Chris Dickinson vs. Stokely Hathaway
Dickinson clobbers Hathaway at the bell! Up in the crucifix...
Chris Dickinson wins by pinfall with the Pazuzu Bomb.
Poor Stokely. All he wanted was an opportunity! He tried to gouge a man’s out for you, Chris, and this is how you repay him?!
Doom Patrol (Chris Dickinson & Jaka) (c) vs. the Skulk (Adrian Alanis & Leon Ruff) (Evolve Tag Team Championship)
Doom Patrol start the violence while the Skulk at large are in the ring being the happiest gang on Earth, because of course they do. Dickinson tossing Ruff around but Leon doesn’t crumple and stays fighting, at one point catching a chop and setting up a multi-jump springboard Frankensteiner out of it! Charging in, caught with a backbreaker, he ducks a lariat but Jaka trips him up and the hot tags begin.
Working Ruff over at length, he lands on his feet on a back suplex, hits a big DDT on the Smooth Savage and the way is clear... TAGS MADE! Alanis in hot with a lariats and chops, sending him off the ropes for a beautiful spinning spinebuster... NOPE! Running double teams on the Dirty Daddy, but Jaka cuts Adrian off with a superkick and leaves Chris an opening.
Alanis gets him up again, Emerald Flowsion connects... STILL NO! Jockeying for position in the corner, Jaka hits a running powerbomb on Alanis, Dickinson has Ruff up... AVALANCHE PAZUZU BOMB! DIVING SPLASH! JACKKNIFE PIN, IT’S OVER!
Doom Patrol win by pinfall with a jackknife pin from Chris Dickinson on Leon Ruff to retain the Evolve Tag Team Championship.
Fun for what it was, the Skulk lads got a nice bit of shine and that finishing sequence was crazy even if the match as a whole wasn’t exactly superlative.
Post-match, Austin Theory gets on the mic to mockingly praise the Skulk on their effort before telling Fox that he can feed off their careers but after this match everyone in this building will see that the student has surpassed the teacher.
AR Fox vs. Austin Theory
Theory bails, playing mind games with his teacher early, but Fox dives on him when he stops to jaw at the Skulk! Another dive goes up the entry and he’s got Austin where he wants him, raining punches down on him in the corner! Theory turns it around on him, throwing him into the buckles! Jockeying for position, huge cannonball from AR, he heads up top and lands on his feet when Austin crotches him!
Big dropkick, looking for Foxcatcher but Theory fights him like mad and snaps him into the ropes! Dragging Fox around ringside, mocking him, pressing the attack back in the ring, a snap suplex comes up empty and he simply rains mounted punches down on his one-time mentor. Catapult throat-first into the ropes, reverse chinlock applied before drawing him up, snapmare into a double stomp, standing moonsault... THE KNEES ARE UP!
Kick combo into a jawbreaker, hammer whip catches him and strangles Fox’s rally in its cradle! Covers made, feet on the ropes but referee Jake Clemons catches him! Back to the chinlock, and almost out of instinct alone Fox hits a springboard Ace Crusher for some separation! Wild, desperate punches, a Lou Thesz Press into more punches, a Sling Blade, up top... SENTON ATOMICO FOR A NEARFALL!
TKO blocked but a buckle bomb lands true, crossleg brainbuster over the knee... SO CLOSE! In the corner, jockeying for position, Lo Mein Pain... ONLY TWO! Fox up top but the knees are up on the 450 splash! Counter small package... NO GOOD! Rolling thunder dropkick, both men are down and out. On their knees, slugging it out forearm for forearm, to their feet still swinging, Matrix evasion and a big roundhouse kick for AR!
Charging in, cannonball caught and turned into a buckle bomb but Fox comes charging out of the corner with Meteora in return! Theory on his knees, begging for a reprieve but all AR gives him is a series of kicks to the head! Going for a moonsault, Austin recovers and catches him... SPIN-OUT ARGENTINE POWERBOMB TO THE FLOOR! Following after, drawing him up and back in but Fox is canny and gets a small package for two!
Theory manages to hook an arm and a leg...
Austin Theory wins by pinfall with Ataxia.
Good match, a bit of an abrupt ending and I could have done with a few less chinlocks, but they carried the teacher vs. student aspect really well and it was a good time overall.
Post-match, Theory gets on the mic and says he doesn’t care if you boo, he’s on top of the world and that right there shows that the student has surpassed the teacher. He turns to Priscilla Kelly and asks what she’s doing in his spotlight and tells her to stay in her rightful place and hold his FIP World Heavyweight Championship.
A furious TPK takes a step back and considers her options as Theory continues to fluff himself up. Darby Allin attacks from behind with a dropkick! Kelly hesitates a moment before leaving after Austin.
Shane Strickland (c) vs. “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams (Evolve World Championship)
Grappling to start, Williams targeting Strickland’s legs at first. Things get hot after a slap to the back of Shane’s head and we’re trading chops! Southern lights suplex, arm-trap toehold, knee across the back of the neck and a basement dropkick, Hot Sauce shifting to more of a kitchen sink strategy to find the weak spot. Strickland backs him in the corner, choking him with a boot, superkick follows.
Up top, jockeying for position, Swerve gets him hung up in the Tree of Woe and hits the double stomp for two! Pressing the attack, more stomps, piefacing him in the corner, big boot, and Tracy turns him around for a chop. More chops, octopus hold applied, shift to a sunset flip, only two! Shane in with a dropkick for two of his own, knees and chops but Hot Sauce gets fired up and steely resolve fills his visage!
Chops of his own, single leg powerbomb into the half-crab! Shift to the STF but Strickland gets a hand on the ropes to force the break! Repeated shoulder thrusts in the corner, hard whip across, boot up on the charge, jockeying for position in the corner and Hot Sauce gets the half-halch DDT into the turnbuckles! Missile dropkick connects and he’s fired up! Corner lariats, up top, butterfly superplex... NO DICE!
Ducking and dodging in the corner, Tiger feint kick connects, rolling thunder Ace Crusher blocked and Hot Sauce throws forearms. Strike rush from Swerve, fakeout kick, leaping kick to the back of the head and now the rolling thunder Ace Crusher works... NOT ENOUGH! Corner knees, pop-up Saito suplex... STILL NO! More strikes from the champion, but Hot Sauce blocks and decks him with a lariat!
Death Valley Driver is only good for a nearfall! Suplex lift to pop the champ up top, but Strickland’s able to pry his way out and set Williams up in the Tree of Woe, but Tracy slips out and cuts him off before the Swerve Stomp! To the second... AVALANCHE PILEDRIVER! SOMEHOW SHANE KICKS OUT! THE CROSSFACE IS ON BUT SWERVE MAKES THE ROPES!
Jockeying for position on either side of the apron, Strickland tries a sunset flip before switching to just brute force dump Hot Sauce to the floor. Setting him over the barricade, Shane pops up to the apron... DIVING STOMP TO THE BACK! Back in, up top, Swerve Stomp... YOU CANNOT PUT HOT SAUCE DOWN LIKE THAT! Hammerfists, taking Tracy’s back, clubbing the bicep, stepping on his damn head as he tears the shoulder sleeve off!
Stepping on the bad wrist, grabbing the far wrist... HE BREAKS HOT SAUCE’S ARM! Referee Brandon Tolle checks Hot Sauce but he won’t give up! Grabbing at the broken arm, Tracy shoves him aside and throws chops with his good arm, the bad danging limp at his side! Trying a one-armed piledriver, no good, off the ropes and Swerve swings him around into a cross armbar... IT’S OVER!
Shane Strickland wins by submission with a cross armbar to retain the Evolve World Championship.
Excellent match, a hungry Hot Sauce confounding the champion at every turn only for Swerve to stay on him and prevail because he’s willing to cross the line of breaking a man’s arm to win a wrestling match.
Now this is more like it! Yesterday’s show was fine, but THIS is the red-hot Evolve that I’ve been enjoying all summer. The opening scramble, Drake/Janela, and the main event were all superlative matches, and best of all, the show was a lean, trim affair that came in under two hours long.
Storyline-wise, we may have well and truly seen the last of Stokely Hathaway now that Dickinson got his pound of flesh, Theory “proved” that he’s better than his teacher but his arrogance may have cost him his closest ally, and Swerve has checked one man off the list of those who stepped up to challenge him but he’s far from finished with them. No huge angles, no groundbreaking developments, but we’re humming along nicely for the time being.
Check it out on VOD through WWNLive with your Club WWN subscription, folks.