Yes, folks, the dust has barely had time to settle from WrestleMania weekend and it’s already time for another Evolve show! Indeed, the World Wrestling Network’s premier brand is headed back to Ybor City, Florida barely a week after Mercury Rising 2019. Owing to the short timescale involved on the turnaround, we’re gonna do this lightning round style, so let’s list the card out and break it down!
Evolve 126 (Saturday, April 13, at 7PM Eastern)
- Adrian Jaoude vs. Anthony Henry
- Adrian Alanis vs. AR Fox vs. Leon Ruff
- Brandi Lauren vs. Lacey Lane
- Curt Stallion vs. Shane Thorne
- Angelo Dawkins vs. Eddie Kingston (Falls Count Anywhere Match)
- JD Drake (c) vs. Shane Strickland (WWN Championship)
- Austin Theory (c) vs. Raul Mendoza (Evolve World Championship)
So, first the obvious thing— that’s a lot of NXT talent!
So much so, in fact, that the World Wrestling Network is billing this as a night of matches that could only happen in Evolve, and with only two out of seven matches not featuring any NXT talent, they’re not wrong!
The most exciting of these NXT/Evolve matches is, for me, Dawkins vs. Kingston. Street Profits’ feud against the Unwanted has been pretty hot, Angelo has especially shown a lot of growth as a talent during his time in Evolve, and a falls count anywhere in the Orpheum between the Curse of Greatness and the War King sounds like a recipe for violence and brawling in the literal streets!
Right on its heels, however, is Henry vs. Jaoude, a match that got announced, got taken off the card, and literally while I was in the middle of writing this added back in. Adrian and Anthony are both hard-hitting strikers who can grapple with the best of them, and both became must-watch members of the Evolve roster almost immediately after joining it. This match, in other words, should be excellent!
Last but certainly not least of our Evolve matchups, Theory/Mendoza and Stallion/Thorne are both of a pair— hot young Evolve talent ready to prove their worth against underappreciated NXT talent that are, themselves, ready to show William Regal that they have what it takes to challenge for NXT gold, and both should certainly be scrappy. Plus WWN’s newest signee, Brandi Lauren, gets in on the action as part of Evolve’s commitment to have more women’s matches, taking on Lacey Lane.
Plus NXT’s Eric Bugenhagen will be performing live! And Colby Corino is announced but doesn’t seem to have a dance partner... Hmm.
And finally, our two non-NXT matchups. AR Fox meets his two star pupils, Leon Ruff and Adrian Alanis, in an all-Skulk three-way that should just be a hoot as all Skulk matches are.
But then... Drake vs. Strickland. Oh my. The King of Swerve may have made a real mistake trying to break the New Age Enforcer’s arm at Mercury Rising, because he’s bringing all the wrath of the WWN Champion down around his head in short order. It’s a good thing Shane’s been finishing up his indie dates, because he might need a few months off before he arrives wherever he’s headed, after the Blue Collar Badass is done with him.
There you have it, folks
Excited to tune in on WWNLive (either as an individual iPPV purchase or at no additional cost with your Club WWN subscription) and catch this tonight, Cagesiders?