EVOLVE 60 5/6/2016
Written by: Brian Bayless
May 6, 2016
From the MCW Arena in Joppa, MD
Your host is Lenny Leonard.
Lio Rush comes out to the and tells the crowd he wants to show them what he can do as he hypes them up.
Lio Rush vs. Caleb Konley
Konley attacks Rush before the bell. Rush rolls outside after a hiptoss then Konley follows and starts laying into him. Rush finally fights back and ends up taking Konley down with a bulldog off of the apron. Back inside, Rush gets just a one-count but he is able to dodge some strikes on the apron and lands a kick. However, Konley slides out and ends up powerbombing Rush onto the apron. The crowd chants for Rush as Konley tosses him back inside and hits a side salto suplex for a nearfall. Konley then locks on a body scissors and ends up decking Rush after he escaped. Rush fights back with a flurry of strikes then hits a dropkick as Konley rolls outside. Rush flies out with a tope con hilo then back in the ring, Rush hits an elbow drop for a nearfall. Rush rolls through a frog splash then they work a reversal sequence that ends with Rush hitting a reverse hurricarana then a Shining Wizard for two as both men are down. Rush tries another hurricarana but Konley blocks that and hits a reverse Alabama Slam before hitting a cradle suplex for a nearfall. Konley then hits a Gory Bomb before working the O Face submission. Rush lifts himself up but Konley rolls through a sunset flip. Konley charges as Rush hits a flipping uranage as both men are down. They get up and trade strikes as Rush wins that exchange then takes Konley down before hitting a frog splash for the win (10:22) ***1/4.
Thoughts: Good opening match. They overcame some timing issues at the beginning here and things turned out fine. Rush’s offense looks pretty good too. He’s a tiny guy but as far as a worker, I’m impressed. Konley is decent I suppose but in no way stands out here.
Devastation Corporation (Blaster McMassive & Flex Rumblecrunch) vs. Bravado Brothers
This is the EVOLVE debut for Devastation Corporation. Blaster is one tall dude. They look like a mix of the Powers of Pain and the Ascension in terms of face paint and ring gear. Flex and Lancelot start off the match as they go back-and-forth trading strikes. Lancelot knocks Flex down then the match breaks down as Blaster flies across the ring to knock Harlem off of the apron. They brawl outside as the Bravado Brothers are in control until Flex drops Harlem on the ring apron. Devastation Corporation beat on Lancelot in the ring as they get a few nearfalls until Flex uses a modified abdominal stretch. Flex misses a corner splash then Lancelot fights off both men before making the tag. Harlem runs wild and almost puts Blaster away with a clothesline. Devastation Corporation fights back and hit stereo suplexes as they set up for a double-team move but that gets broken up as Blaster gets hit with a powebomb/lungblower combo for two. Lancelot puts each guy in a single leg crab then pulls the ropes down on Flex as Harlem flies out and hits a senton. Then, Blaster tries a coast-to-coast tope con hilo but ends up taking his own partner. Christ, he got some height on that. Back inside, the Bravados boot Blaster down then hit the Gentleman’s Agreement for the win (8:23) **1/4.
Thoughts: This match was average. Blaster is very athletic for someone his size and I’d be surprised if the WWE did not at least bring him in for a tryout in the near future. The Bravado’s are a solid team.
Matt Riddle vs. Anthony Nese
Riddle is acting quite cocky here as both men jockey for position. They take it to the mat after that until Nese blocks a kimura attempt. The crowd starts an “awkward silence” chant as things get quiet then Riddle starts laying into Riddle in the corner. Nese fights back and kicks Riddle down for a two count. Nese lands on his feet after trying a double jump moonsault then flies out to hit Riddle with a Fosbury Flop. Nese starts chopping Riddle then they work a reversal sequence until Riddle tosses Nese’s leg over the guardrail and kicks him down. Riddle tries to suplex Nese back into the ring and they battle over that until Riddle kicks him then takes Nese off of the apron with a springboard knee strike. Riddle teases a dive but instead slides out and slaps Nese across the face as the crowd applauds. Riddle brings Nese back inside and hits a pair of deadlift gutwrench suplexes. Nese blocks a kick then lands on his feet after a German Suplex attempt before he hits Riddle with a double stomp. Nese follows with a pair of leg drops. They fight over a suplex until Riddle drops him with a Fisherman’s Buster as both men are down. They get up and trade strikes until Nese drills him with a super kick. Riddle then hits a clothesline before applying a kimura. Nese escapes then hits Riddle with his injured arm and starts selling that as he then switches to his good arm. Riddle blocks a suplex in midiar with a knee strike then re-applies the kimura but Nese is able to suplex him for a two count. Riddle hits a pair of double knee strikes in the corner but misses the third attempt and get drilled in the face. Nese gets two with a running knee strike to the face then heads up top but Riddle catches him midiar with a knee strike. Riddle gets a nearfall with a German suplex then tries a kimura on the mat but Nese was able to escape. Nese then tries a pumphandle but Riddle yanks him down with his injured arm then puts on a cross armbreaker as Nese taps out immediately (11:33) ***1/2.
Thoughts: Really good match. Riddle has tons of charisma and Nese is an underrated worker. Riddle is someone who has all the tools to be a star someday. I imagine he will be in NXT a lot sooner than later.
Marty Scurll vs. Johnny Gargano
Scurll breaks cleanly in the corner then mockingly bows to Gargano. The crowd chants for both guys as they trade off working the arm. Both guys are working smoothly here. Scurll then cheapshots Gargano after attempting a test-of-strength then stomps his hand as he starts taunting his opponent. Gargano regains control after hitting a pair of arm drags. They go back-and-forth as they escape from each others finishers before ending in a standoff. The crowd starts a “USA” chant as Gargano welcomes him to America with a chop. Scurll chops him back then Gargano hits him even harder until Scurll uses an eye poke. Scurll ends up outside after that as Gargano flies out with a tope. They then fight on the floor then Scurll blocks a suplex with an arm wringer. Gargano rolls outside where Scurll super kicks him from the apron. Back inside, Scurll works over the arm for a bit. Gargano blocks a move then hits a suplex as both men are down, with the crowd getting behind Gargano. Scurll misses a charge as Gargano takes him down then follows with a rolling kick. Gargano gets two with a slingshot DDT. They trade super kicks then Scurll blocks a rolling kick then follows with a pair of super kicks as that gets two. Scurll waits for Gargano to get up then calls out for the chicken wing but Gargano drops down and uses a victory roll for a nearfall. They fight up top until Scurll cuts him off then takes him down with a draping Ace Crusher for two. They have a reversal sequence then trade strikes until Gargano hits a discus clothesline as both men are down. The crowd starts a “this is awesome” chant as Scurll starts breaking the fingers of Gargano then tries again for the chicken wing but Gargano counters and tries for the Gargano Escape. They keep trading counters on the mat then Scurll uses the Cattle Mutilation until Gargano reaches the ropes. Gargano dodges an uppercut then puts Scurll in a backslide for two. Gargano then lawn-darts Scurll into the turnbuckle then applies the Gargano Escape for the win (20:21) ***3/4. The crowd shows their appreciation with a “that was awesome” chant.
Thoughts: A damn good match. While not the best technical match, it was quite fun and entertaining throughout. Scurll is a fantastic and underappreciated talent who tends to get overshadowed by some of his other peers like Will Ospreay and Zack Sabre Jr but he is just as talented.
Gargano then grabs the mic and puts over the crowd before getting down to business as he calls out Drew Galloway. Gargano is perched up top as Galloway eventually comes out. Galloway sits in the corner as Gargano calls him out for saying that the WWE/NXT and EVOLVE relationship was a bad thing that compromised Independent wrestling. Gargano asks Galloway to look around and see if this is compromised and brings up how six years ago, Galloway was wrestling in the WWE while he was here at EVOLVE 2, saying he has no idea what Independent wrestling is about. They get face-to-face as Gargano points out how NXT allows guys like him to shine and take part of the Cruiserweight Tournament. Gargano then calls Galloway out for blowing his chance in the WWE as the “chosen one” before asking him not to blow everyone elses chances. Galloway asks for the mic as Gargano drops it at his feet but Galloway sucker punches him. Ethan Page runs out to break it up as Galloway bails then the bell rings to start their match. I thought the mic work from Gargano was really good here. The angle, with Galloway pissed at Independent guys “selling out” by going to work for NXT while guys like Gargano are working for NXT and praising it for giving guys like him a chance to shine to a larger audience is certainly intriguing.
Drew Galloway vs. Ethan Page
Page flies out with a tope after the bell. Galloway fights back but Page reverses an Irish whip to send Galloway into the post. Back inside, Galloway regains control as he hammers away in the corner. Page fights back and hits a backdrop. Galloway sends Page out of the ring then drops him across the guardrail. Back inside, Galloway gets two off of a clothesline before calling Page a “bitch.” Galloway hits a forearm smash but Page is able to catch him with an enziguiri as he came off of the top rope. Both men exchange strikes until Page hits a powerbomb for a nearfall. Galloway fights back but Page catches his crossbody attempt then hits a fallaway slam. Galloway cheap-shots Page off of a break then hits an Air Raid Crash for a nearfall. They trade strikes again until both men knock each other down. Page escapes a move then hits a DDT for two. He heads out on the apron then slingshots in for an Ace Crusher as that gets two. They struggle for position then Galloway uses the ref as a shield so he can low-blow Page then Galloway puts him away with the Future Shock DDT (10:15) **1/2. After the match, Galloway hits Page with a second DDT.
Thoughts: A decent match. I’m not the biggest Page fan but he tries hard at least. Galloway is really developing into a fantastic all-around performer too. He has the look, mic skills, and can work inside of the ring.
Galloway grabs the mic and tells Gargano that he might have blew it for himself in the WWE but he is the one who made his own name and does not need a machine behind him. Galloway then calls out everyone for going nuts over the WWE when they became involved with EVOLVE as they used to talk about their love of Independent wrestling and are now selling out. Galloway said that WWE did not make EVOLVE, he did, and how after tomorrow night, no one will be talking about the cruiserweights, they will be talking about himself. Galloway then attempts a 3rd DDT but Gargano runs out with a chair for the save. Gargano looks down at Page, who is reaching out his arm for help, but Gargano walks off. Page then struggles to his feet and eventually gets out under his own power. Galloway was great here. However, the end with them now trying to draw sympathy for “All Ego” Ethan Page got no reaction at all from the crowd. I have no idea what Gabe sees in Page to warrant this kind of a push. It reminds me somewhat of how he booked Xavier in 2002 and Matt Stryker in 2003 while in Ring of Honor.
Before the Tag Team Title match, Stokely Hathaway tries to drive a wedge between Catchpoint by hyping up TJP and trying to pit the others against each other. Gulak then grabs the mic and tells Hathaway to leave.
EVOLVE Tag Team Title Match: Fred Yehi & TJP w/ Stokely Hathaway vs. Tracy Williams & Drew Gulak (c)
All four of these are in the Catchpoint stable and the teammates will be facing each other tomorrow as part of the WWE Cruiserweight Series Tournament qualifying matches. TJP and Gulak start off on the mat. Williams tags as he works a fast-paced sequence with TJP until catching him with a crossface. TJP takes Gulak out of the corner with a headscissor takedown then tags Yehi as he chops Gulak in the corner. TJP tags in to work over the knee for a bit until Gulak fights out and tags as Williams now works over the knee of TJP. Gulak & Williams stay in control until TJP comes back with an octopus hold. Yehi tags in and suplexes Gulak for two before using a body scissors. Gulak comes back with a DDT then tags out as Williams roughs him up. Williams then grounds Yehi and starts laying into him with headbutts while maintaining a body scissors. Gulak & Williams start stretching out Yehi until he finally escapes and makes the tag. TJP runs wild then the match breaks down as Yehi stretches out Gulak, who is struggling to escape and does when Williams breaks the hold. Gulak gets hit with a powerbomb/frog splash combo for two as Williams breaks up that pin. Williams gets the ropes pulled down on him but avoids a pescado from TJP. In the ring, Yehi and Gulak go back-and-forth in a nice sequence. Yehi tags out to TJP as the match breaks down again with all four men down after a flurry of action. Yehi & TJP mistime some sort of double-team move then Gulak makes TJP tag with the Dragon Sleeper (17:14) ***1/2.
Thoughts: Good match but Yehi & TJP really fucked up at the end. It looked bad. Besides that, the match was technically sound and having Catchpoint wrestle each other, with Hathaway trying to promote his client over the rest of the stable, makes for an interesting dynamic.
After the match, Gulak grabs the mic as he holds up the EVOLVE Championship, which is held by Timothy Thatcher who is currently MIA. Gulak tells Thatcher he owes each member of Catchpoint a title shot. Matt Riddle then comes out as he says Thatcher can defend the title against the real champion as he grabs the belt then walks away as Hathaway follows him up the ramp as they start talking. They are continuing to tease conflict within Catchpoint and Hathaway is playing a role in that here.
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Chris Hero
The crowd chants for both men to start. Sabre escapes from a test-of-strength then Hero toys with him by placing Sabre on the top turnbuckle. Hero works the arm for a bit as Sabre tries to fight out. Sabre then works a hold as Hero holds him up but that gets broken up when Hero backs him into the corner. Hero decks Sabre before lighting him up with chops in the corner. Sabre fights back with uppercuts until he gets shoved outside then drilled with an elbow. Hero kicks Sabre in the face as he is beating the crap out of him in the aisle. Sabre fights back but Hero comes back with another boot to the face. Back inside, Hero continues to beat on Sabre. He tries a senton but Sabre catches him with a cross armbreaker as Hero is able to reach the ropes. Hero then guillotines Sabre on the bottom rope. Hero walks around outside then comes back in as Sabre blocks a kick then takes Hero down and hits the Penalty Kick. Sabre hits a running uppercut in the corner before connecting with an enziguiri. Sabre works an octopus hold but Hero dumps him on the apron and hits a running boot to the face. Sabre yells at Hero to bring it and hits a few more kicks before stopping to knock Sabre off with an elbow smash. Hero poses then tries a flip dive but lands on his feet as Sabre avoided the move then hit a Penalty Kick from the apron. Sabre takes Hero down with a diving uppercut from the apron. Back inside, Sabre fails to get Hero up for a German suplex but drops down to use an upkick then sweeps Her down as Sabre grinds his foot on Hero’s elbow as Hero screams at Zack to stop. Hero gets up and knocks Sabre down with an elbow drop as the crowd applauds while both guys are on the mat. Hero gets up and hits a rolling elbow for a nearfall. Sabre is able to put Hero in a kimura while being lifted up for a slam. Hero then uses a modified Dragon Sleeper before getting two with the Hero’s Welcome. The crowd quiets as Hero starts yelling at Sabre then the crowd as he lays into Sabre. Hero yells to Sabre, calling him “young boy” as he kicks him in the face. Sabre ducks a ripcord elbow and manages to get two with a bridging rollup. Hero catches Sabre then hits a jumping piledriver for two. Short piledriver gets two. Hero gets frustrated as the crowd starts a mild dueling chant then tries another piledriver but Sabre drops to his knees. Sabre ends up taking him down with a guillotine choke before almost putting him away with a cradle. Sabre then hits Hero with a German suplex then follows that with a Dragon Kick. Sabre gets two with the Penalty Kick as both men are down. Hero ends up hitting Sabre with a ripcord elbow after escaping from an armbar then hits a tombstone piledriver for the win (29:08) ****1/4.
Thoughts: Awesome match. However, the ending was abrupt and did not fit in with the rest of the match, IMO. These guys work great together and the crowd was into them for the duration of the match. I’d seek this one out.
After the match, Hero demands the crowd to stand up as he tells them to applaud Sabre. The crowd chants for Sabre as Hero talks about how tonight, Sabre was very close to becoming the greatest of all-time. Hero then makes fun of Sabre’s accent and points out his submission work before saying that Sabre brings the best out of him then puts over the crowd for making them bring out the best of each other. Hero then proclaims himself as the undisputed #1 contender before walking off.
Final Thoughts: This was a good show. It had a great main event and they have two intriguing storylines going on with Galloway vs. NXT/WWE and the internal trouble brewing within Catchpoint. EVOLVE is really starting to hit a groove at the moment and these shows can be purchased live for $9.99 or the option to watch live and keep forever On Demand for just $14.99 by clicking on the link below.