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Evolve 143 & 144 previews: Dexter Lumis arrives, Joaquin Wilde returns, and more!

Evolve 143 poster World Wrestling Network

The World Wrestling Network is bringing Evolve back into our lives this weekend with Evolve 143 from Ybor City, Florida and Evolve 144 from Orlando, Florida, so without further ado, let’s list ‘em out and break ‘em down!

Evolve 143 (Friday, January 17, 7PM Eastern)

  • FIP Mini-Card: Dirty Blondes (Leo Brien & Michael Patrick) vs. the End (Odinson & Parrow)
  • FIP Mini-Card: OAO (Hunter Law & Snoop Strikes) vs. Precipice (Chance Auren & Omar Amir)
  • FIP Mini-Card: Jon Davis (c) vs. Troy Hollywood (FIP Florida Heritage Championship)
  • Anthony “Sharkbait” Gutierrez vs. Leon Ruff vs. Liam Gray vs. Stephen Wolf
  • Adrian Alanis vs. Denzel Dejournette
  • Avery Taylor vs. Santana Garrett
  • Brandi Lauren vs. Indi Hartwell
  • Curt Stallion vs. Dexter Lumis
  • AR Fox vs. Brendan Vink
  • Besties in the World (Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett) (c) vs. the Unwanted (Eddie Kingston & Joe Gacy) (Evolve Tag Team Championship)
  • Anthony Greene vs. Josh Briggs (No Disqualification Match)

Evolve 144 (Saturday, January 18, 7PM Eastern)

  • Shine Mini-Card: Jenna vs. Natalia Markova (c) (Shine Nova Championship)
  • Shine Mini-Card: BTY (Jayme Jameson & Marti Belle) vs. Triple Aye (Aja Perera & “Big Swole” Aerial Monroe)
  • Brendan Vink vs. Stephen Wolf
  • Denzel Dejournette vs. Joe Gacy
  • Anthony Greene vs. Rik Bugez
  • Avery Taylor vs. Brandi Lauren
  • Anthony “Sharkbait” Gutierrez vs. Eddie Kingston (No Holds Barred Match)
  • Besties in the World (Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett) vs. the Skulk (Adrian Alanis & Liam Gray)
  • Joaquin Wilde vs. Leon Ruff
  • AR Fox vs. Mansoor
  • Dexter Lumis vs. Josh Briggs (c) (Evolve World Championship)

Okay, so... turnover is inevitable in the pro wrestling business, and nowhere is this truer than on the indies.

And to be sure, the Evolve roster is still stacked high with incredibly talented men and women, from vets like AR Fox and Eddie Kingston all the way on down to the newest roster members, men like Adrian Alanis and Liam Gray or the Besties in the World.

But man, it can’t help but feel like a downgrade when our new loaners from NXT are the likes of Dexter “Samuel Shaw” Lumis and Mansoor. Don’t get me wrong! Mansoor/Fox is gonna be a killer, killer match— certainly Mansoor vs. Cesaro from the last Saudi Arabian show was great and I expect this one to live up to it— but seeing WWN newsmails crow about it like it’s a dream match for the ages feels like a bit of an oversell.

And to be fair, Lumis was part of one of my favorite Impact Wrestling angles ever, when Jaxson “Gunner” Ryker intervened to help him after Mr. Anderson got him committed to an insane asylum, a rare pro wrestling angle that treated mental illness sensitively and with nuance, so I’m... intrigued in his long-term prospects here. Wrestling-wise, however, Stallion and Briggs will take care of him just fine but he’s never been a guy to set my world on fire.

It really doesn’t help that Evolve is lacking both of its aces in the hole this month, with Anthony Henry and JD Drake both missing these shows, the two men who are most likely to have a matchup that makes me go “holy shit I gotta see this!” out of any current Evolve regulars.

Malaise aside, there are some real gems on these cards to look forward to— the four-way that sees the return of Stephen Wolf should be high-flying fun as will Wilde returning against Ruff, Kingston and Sharkbait are gonna beat the hell out of each other, as are Greene and Briggs, plus the Besties always tear it up and the women’s division is developing nicely even with the hit of losing Shotzi last month.

There you have it, folks

Looking forward to checking these out, Cagesiders?

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