EVOLVE 63 6/11/2016
Written by: Brian Bayless
June 11, 2016
From the Orlando Downtown Recreation Complex in Orlando, FL
Your host is Trevin Adams
Tonight, Timothy Thatcher will face Tracy Williams for the EVOLVE Title. Plus, Tony Nese has been added to the four-way cruiserweight elimination match and if he wins, he gets to participate in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic
Cedric Alexander vs. Fred Yehi
This match starts out on the mat with Alexander working the arm. Yehi escapes and rolls Alexander up for two then takes him down near the ropes as Alexander bails. Back inside, Yehi grounds Alexander and stretches him out as he works the legs. Yehi tries for his stomps but the referee backs him off as Alexander was in the ropes. They go back-and-forth on the mat in a nice sequence until Alexander hits a satelitte headscissors then a dropkick. Alexander lays into Yehi with chops but Yehi strikes back. Yehi yanks Alexander down in midair then stomps his ankle. Yehi gets two with a snap suplex before working over the neck. Yehi switches to a body scissors then rolls up Alexander and stretches him out. He chops Alexander down in the corner as Yehi continues to show more aggression than usual. Alexander catches a stomp but Yehi prevents him from making a kick. Alexander gets out of that predicament and hits a pair of suplexes. Yehi is out on the apron where Alexander takes him off with a soccer kick. Alexander flies out and sends Yehi into the railing before tossing him back inside. Yehi dodges a springboard dive but Alexander uses a victory roll before getting a nearfall with a Michinoku Driver. Yehi catches Alexander with an elbow smash then hits a dragon screw. Yehi takes Alexander down with a discus forearm then gets two off of a German suplex. Yehi locks on the Koji Clutch but Alexander is able to get his foot on the ropes. They slug it out after Alexander escaped from a waistlock. Yehi works a hanging submission after a reversal sequence but Alexander is able to lift him on his shoulders for a Death Valley Driver before hitting the Lumbar Check for the win (12:03) ***3/4. After the match, both guys shake hands.
Thoughts: Excellent opening match. Alexander was wasted in Ring of Honor and has been a great fit so far in EVOLVE. And Yehi is a future star. His in-ring style great and he shows a ton of intensity in the ring.
Jason Cade & Darby Allin vs. The Bravado Brothers
Cade, who has a bit of a hip-hop gimmick going on, nearly trips over the ropes while entering the ring. Cade and Lancelot start off the match and break cleanly against the ropes. Lancelot then attacks Cade and tags his partner as the Bravados are in control. Cade rolls over Harlem and snaps of a hurricarana then hits a dropkick. He tries for a dive but Lancelot trips him up as Harlem is now on the attack. Cade hits a spnning wheel kick and tags out as Allin does not even get a one count after a dropkick. Harlem rolls outside after getting hit with another dropkick but is able to cut off a tope in midair with an uppercut. Harlem beats on Allin for a bit until the latter floats over and hits a headbutt. Cade and Allin hit a double dropkick and attempt running dives from the apron but get caught and rammed into the guardrails. The Bravados rough up their opponents on the floor then return to the ring and beat on Allin as they target his back. The Bravados use quick tags to cut off the ring as they stay in control for a bit. Allin comes back with a springboard headbutt then makes the tag. The crowd is quiet as Cade hits a double knee smash to the chest of Lancelot. Cade cleans house then Allin comes in as they hit stereo topes. Cade then gets on the apron and leaps and hangs on the basketball rim before dropping down to hit Harlem with a hurricarana in a crazy spot. Back in the ring, Cade hits Lancelot with a double stomp after rolling through a Northern Lights suplex as that gets two. Cade then walks into a clothesline after he tagged Allin as Harlem is beating on his smaller opponent. Harlem hits Allin with an Exploder as he landed on his partner. Allin kicks out of a Tiger Driver then Lancelot tags in as Harlem puts Allin in the Gory Special while Lancelot runs and jumps, taking Allin down with a reverse STO as that gets the win (11:14) **1/2.
Thoughts: This match started off slow but became more exciting towards the end. Cade shows some good high-flying ability and Allin plays the underdog role well. However, the Bravados do not do much for me personally.
Trevor Lee vs. Matt Riddle
They start off fighting for leverage until they are in the ropes. Riddle works a cross armbreaker as Lee attempts to deadlift him but gets yanked back down. Lee finally escapes and stomps Riddle in the corner before choking him out with his boot. Riddle comes back and ends up taking Lee off of the apron with a springboard knee smash. Riddle tries a baseball slide but Lee dodges that and jumps up to the apron to hit a running kick. Lee roughs up Riddle on the floor then rolls inside as Riddle is just able to beat the ten count. Lee tosses Riddle across the ring as he stays in control. Riddle tries to fight back but Lee stomps on his foot (Riddle wrestles barefoot) and tries to rip off his toe. Riddle jumps on Lee’s back but gets rammed into the corner then hit with a bicycle kick. Lee tries a suplex but Riddle blocks that and hits a fisherman’s buster as both men are down. Riddle is up first and slugs away. He hits a pair of deadlift gutwrench suplexes. Lee comes back with a double stomp as both men are hurting on the mat. Lee hammers away on Riddle’s back but Riddle returns the favor. They hit all sorts of strikes in a crazy sequence that ends with Riddle working an armbar. Riddle tries for the kimura as Lee attempts to block that with a suplex but Riddle works the Bromission as that gets the win (10:05) ***1/2.
Thoughts: Great action while it lasted. I’d love to see a longer match between the two. Riddle is a phenom and Lee is another exceptional talent that continues to improve.
Tracy Williams w/ Catchpoint vs. Timothy Thatcher
Before the match, Williams tells his fellow Catchpoint members to head back to the locker room as he does not want an asterisk next to his name when he wins the EVOLVE Title. These guys are quite intense as this match starts. They both try to gain the advantage as the grapple on the mat. They fight over an armbar as Thatcher is now in control. Williams breaks out and hits a fireman’s carry slam before he stretches out Thatcher. He reverses a hold and grapevines the leg then starts choking out Thatcher with his foot. He then works an octopus hold and even takes Thatcher down on the mat while maintaining it but Thatcher escapes and puts on an ankle lock as Williams escapes to the ropes. Thatcher is now in control as he grounds Williams, who tries to fight back. Thatcher lays into Williams, who is able to come back and hit a Teardrop suplex for a nearfall as he is back in control. Williams then gets two with a missile dropkick. He gauges Thatcher then hits a superplex. Williams then flies off the top with a splash but Thatcher is able to kick out of that. Williams cuts off a comeback attempt with a discus lariat as that gets two. Williams is starting to get frustrated then they clothesline each other before Thatcher hits a Saito suplex as both men are down. The crowd is engaging in a mild dueling chant as Thatcher is up first and hits a pair of deadlift gutwrench suplexes. Williams drives Thatcher into the corner and they trade strikes until they end up top where Williams DDT’s Thatcher on the top turnbuckle but Thatcher is able to put on an armbar. Williams gets out and hits a piledriver but took too long to cover as that only got two. They trade strikes again as Thatcher almost puts him away with a headbutt then applies an armbar. Williams escapes and hits a brainbuster as that gets two. He now puts Thatcher in a crossface then switches to a rear naked choke in the middle of the ring. Thatcher powers out and puts Williams in a sleeper before taking him down and putting him back in the armbar for the win (17:03) ***3/4.
Thoughts: Really good match but the last couple of minutes didnt do it for me. Yet again, Williams looked great in singles action. He is one of the more underrated talents on today’s Independent scene. The Catchpoint vs. Thatcher storyline continues to intrigue as well.
After the match, Riddle comes out and asks Thatcher when will he get his title shot. Stokely Hathaway comes out to say that everyone but himself is getting what they want. He then talks about getting TJP in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic and how neither Riddle and Thatcher are representing EVOLVE in the WWE. He makes fun of them both for what they will be doing instead of being in the WWE and thinks they should be thanking him. He then tells Thatcher he wants an answer to whether or not he will give TJP a shot at the EVOLVE Title. Thatcher tells him that TJP will get a title shot then he points at Riddle, saying he wants him in a No Holds Barred match. I’m loving all of the dynamics going on here, with Catchpoint all wanting a title shot and Hathaway driving a wedge into them by looking out for his guy, TJP. The news of the No Holds Barred title between Riddle and Thatcher sounds awesome and I assume that is where Thatcher drops the strap and Hathaway backs Riddle.
Before the WWE Cruiserweight Classic Flashpoint Match, Kid Cadet is with Tony Nese, who apologizes for acting like a jerk and calls this the biggest match in his entire life. Cadet then interviews the other participants before they hit the ring as the other four are already in the tournament and talk about they will show everyone what they can do then Gargano talks about how this tournament is for guys like himself, who has wrestled for a decade, the exposure and the chance to make professional wrestling awesome again as that is best for business.
WWE Cruiserweight Classic Flashpoint Match: Tony Nese vs. Lince Dorado vs. TJP vs. Drew Gulak vs. Johnny Gargano
This match is under elimination rules. Gargano and Gulak face off as the other three guys got dumped outside. They work a nice mat sequence that ends in a stalemate to show off what they can do. Gargano ducks outside after breaking out of an an ankle lock as Nese comes in to take down Gulak, showing off his agility. Dorado gets tripped up by Nese as the action is fast and furious. Dorado clears Gulak from the ring and tries a dive but Gargano cuts him off with a slingshot spear. TJP & Gulak team up to work over Gargano but Dorado and Nese break that up. TJP puts Dorado in the Gory Special then stretches out Gargano, leading to a wacky multi-man submission hold. Gargano runs into a knee in the corner then torpedoes Nese into the corner but as that happens, Gulak surprises Gargano with a rollup for the pin as Gargano has been eliminated (7:01). Everyone is shocked by Gargano being eliminated first as Dorado sends Gulak to the floor with a hurricarana before taking everyone out with a moonsault to the floor. In the aisle, Drew Galloway and Ethan Carter III are waiting for Gargano as Galloway takes him out while EC3 laughs over EVOLVE fighting amongst themselves while they reap the benefits. Dorado rolls TJP back inside then hits a crossbody and a springboard stunner. Dorado heads up top and misses a splash as TJP puts on a leg lock and grapevines the leg as Dorado taps out (9:24). Gulak is beating on Nese then hits a slam before working a side headlock on the mat. Nese fights back then blocks a sunset flip by TJP while taking over Gulak with a German suplex as he almost gets the double pin. He then flies outside to take them out with a Fosbury Flop. Back inside, TJP & Gulak finally stop Nese. However, TJP takes Gulak off the top with a rana then hits him with some sort of lungblower variation for the pin (13:07). We are now down to TJP and Nese, who gets to join him in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic if he wins this match. Nese chops TJP in the corner until he gets hit with a reverse neckbreaker. They fight up top where Nese hits a hurricarana then heads back up but TJP cuts him off and hits a basement dropkick as Nese is selling his knee. TJP starts attacking the knee but Nese fights back and gets a few nearfalls as he is trying everything he can to win this match. TJP hits a rana then rolls through with an armbar. Nese lfits him up but TJP takes him back down and almost gets the win with a kick to the face. Both men are down as Nese starts doing everything he can to win, even hitting a reverse piledriver but TJP still manages to stay alive. Nese starts kicking TJP in the corner but is caught with a roundhouse kick. Nese fights back again and hits a reverse piledriver before he finally gets the win with a 450 splash (20:12) ***1/4.
Thoughts: Great action at times but overall it was too long and the end with Nese doing everything he can to put away his smaller opponent came off like he was an underdog and it looked weird. He was on offense most of that time as well. I think it would have came off better if Gulak was the last guy left with Nese, personally. I did like how EC3 and Galloway came out to rough up Gargano as well to continue that feud.
Anything Goes Match: Ethan Page vs. Drew Galloway
Page takes Galloway down to start. They trade strikes until Page catches Galloway and hits a fallaway slam. Galloway rolls outside and heads through the crowd as Page follows. Page stomps Galloway on the leg then chases him off by tossing a trashcan. Galloway tosses something in Page’s face then chops him around. Page reverses an Irish whip and catches Galloway with a big boot as they are fighting near the cookie table. They head to the top and fight on the staircase as they try to throw each other over. Page tosses Galloway into the wall as they start to make their way back to the ring. Galloway drops Page throat-first on the guardrail then after some more fighting, Page suplexes Galloway on the floor. Page charges as Galloway tosses him down then Galloway yells while standing in the crowd. Galloway dumps Page back over the guardrail as they head back into the ring. Galloway pulls out another piece of a guardrail from underneath the ring then starts tossing chairs into the actual ring. Galloway misses a chairshot as Page takes the chair and puts it across Galloway’s throat as he hits a leg sweep. The ladder is draped across the ring and the guardrail as Page gets knocked off of the apron and hits the ladder as he falls to the floor. Galloway motions for the camera man to get out of the way as he tries to whip Page into the ladder but that gets reversed as Galloway is knocked down. Back inside, Galloway uses a chair to jab Page in the ribs. They fight over the ladder as Galloway takes Page off with a powerbomb as that gets two. Galloway now sets up two chairs that are facing each other as he tries to piledrive Page, who escapes. They have a reversal sequence that ends with Galloway getting backdropped on top of the chairs. Page covers for a two count then gets up and sets up for the RK-Ego but Galloway escapes as Page lands on a chair then Galloway hits the Future Shock for the win (14:53) ***1/4.
Thoughts: These two had a pretty good brawl. It was slower-paced than anything else tonight but made sense considering the type of match. Page, while still nothing special, continues to show improvement in the ring.
After the match, EC3 comes out and asks Galloway where he is going now after winning the “big one” as Galloway said he is going to Disney World. Galloway then tells us this is a perfect example of how they will win at all costs. He says they are trying to save EVOLVE from itself as they have money, homes, and cars and do not even need to be here. EC3 says his open challenge has been cancelled due to lack of opponent as no one is left standing. However, Gargano limps out and challenges EC3 to a Last Man Standing match. The crowd goes nuts then EC3 accepts the challenge. I liked this segment a lot. EC3 is awesome on the mic in his heel role. I’d wish he would be here more often but it looks like he is not returning anytime soon.
Unsanctioned Last Man Standing Match: Ethan Carter III vs. Johnny Gargano
Gargano immediately fires away then tosses EC3 to the floor. He flies out with a tope then inflicts more punishment as the fans are behind Gargano. EC3 catches Gargano and dumps him on the Guardrail with a TKO as Gargano is on the ground. EC3 then whips Gargano into the guardrail as he falls down again. They head back inside as Gargano tries to fight back but EC3 hits him with a press slam. EC3 follows with the Olympic Slam as the referee counts as Gargano gets up after seven. Gargano avoids a charge and hits a rolling kick. He follows with a slingshot DDT then catches his breath in the corner. They slug it out as Gargano wins that but he then ends up running into a high knee. EC3 tries for a pedigree but Gargano escapes and yells out “Brother Nero, its over” before hitting the Side Effect. EC3 is down then gets up and knocks out the referee. Gargano grabs a chair from the crowd and whacks EC3 in the face but the ref is unable to count. Gargano hits EC3 in the chest with the end of the chair then heads up the aisle and comes back but EC3 uses a headlock driver to bring him back in as Gargano barely beat the ten count. EC3 hits the ref again then demands the ring crew take the ring apart. They start taking it apart as EC3 hits a chair while Gargano is unable to pull himself up by the ropes as the top rope is off. EC3 tells the ring crew to leave then takes the hook used to loosen the ropes but Gargano ducks the attack and puts on the Gargano Escape. Drew Galloway runs in and hits the Future Shock then goes to the back and drags out another referee as EC3 brings a table and sets it up outside of the ring. Galloway sets up for a powerbomb but TJP and Gulak break it up and knock Galloway down before heading inside where they surround EC3 and beat him down. Even the ref hits EC3 with a stunner as he falls outside on top of the table and to the floor as the ref counts as Gargano wins the match (13:28) ***1/2. After the match, Gargano celebrates with TJP, Gulak, and the referee.
Thoughts: I really liked this match. It told a great story and the heels finally got their comeuppance after constantly cheating throughout the match.
Gargano grabs the mic and talks about being with this company for a long time and puts over the ref for using a Stone Cold Stunner, joking how the referee 3:16 shirts will be on sale soon. He then asks the crowd if they enjoyed the show and how its a very exciting time in wrestling as it all starts here before he tells the crowd to stay tuned for the Cruiserweight Classic. A fun way to close the show with the good guys standing tall.
Final Thoughts: Another good show by EVOLVE, which has been putting out the most consistently good product in the country at the moment. The storylines are clicking and the in-ring product is great.