Welcome to my review of EVOLVE 90. This is the first review that I have done for an EVOLVE show. I have seen a few EVOLVE shows in the past, but I have never done a full review of one. Let’s get this review started.
Ethan Page & ACH vs Chris Dickinson & Jaka
The show starts with the announcer going through the card. He hands the mic to another announcer who is introducing this match as a Special Attraction Tag Team Match. This first match is Ethan Page and ACH versus Chris Dickinson and Jaka. Ethan Page and ACH come to the ring with a custom theme referring to them as Trollboys. They are both rapping/singing over the COPS theme. After the theme stops playing it gets a loud “That was awesome” chant by the crowd. I agree, it was pretty awesome. Dickinson and Jaka are representing Catch Point.
Ethan Page grabs a mic and insists on doing live commentary while doing this match. After both ACH and Ethan Page talk on the mic for a long amount of time, Dickinson and Jaka attack them. Jaka starts against ACH. Once the fighting finally starts, Ethan Page is no longer on commentary. ACH is thrown off the ropes by a newly tagged Dickinson and shoulder tackled. Chris goes for a pin but Ethan breaks it up. Jaka gets tagged back in and continues to isolate ACH in the corner. Dickinson gets tagged in again and does a double team on ACH. Jaka gets tagged in. ACH finally fights back with a double stomp. ACH brings Jaka into the corner and tags in Ethan Page. Page dodged a move and hits Jaka with a nice clothesline.
Jaka reverses a move and goes off the ropes. Jaka takes a Spinebuster off the ropes. Ethan Page goes for the People’s Elbow, but since he has no elbow pads, he takes off his long pants. He tries for the People’s Elbow but Jaka dodges and tags in Dickinson. Page takes a hard, hard kick from Dickinson and tags in ACH. Ethan Page gets tagged in and takes a kick from Dickinson. He kicks out of a pin, but gets taken into the corner where Jaka isolates him. Jaka headbutts Page in the back, then does a Powerdrive Elbow for a 2 count.
Jaka drives Page back into the corner and tags Dickinson in. Dickinson gets another close pin via a suplex. Jaka gets tagged in once again and does a Splash in the corner onto Page. He goes for a pin and gets a 2 count. Jaka takes out ACH in the corner, then puts Ethan Page in the corner to tag Dickinson back in. Ethan Page starts to make a comeback, fighting out of a move. He hits Dickinson with a Big Boot. Page tries for a tag but Jaka gets tagged in and he takes out ACH. Jaka attacks ACH but he counters and tries for the hot tag again. ACH finally gets the hot tag as Dickinson gets tagged in too.
A few minutes later, Dickinson and Jaka throw ACH off the ropes. They hit a High Low on ACH but he kicks out of the pin. Jaka attempts a Deathcrash but Ethan stops it. Ethan hits an RKEgo, and ACH hits a Bustercall on Dickinson for the win.
This match had some great wrestling in it, and the comedy was okay. This is no knock at what they do whatsoever, but it just feels like this type of wrestling comedy isn’t for me. It’s like the “so terrible that it’s funny” stuff that I’m not a huge fan of. Anyways, the wrestling was good. It felt like the tags between Jaka and Dickinson were way too excessive. There was maybe 20 tags. I didn’t even write down every single tag. Let’s move onto the next match.
Craig Mitchell vs. Darby Allen
EVOLVE 90’s second match of the night is Craig Mitchell versus Darby Allen. When Craig Mitchell heads around the crowd during his entrance he makes sure to trash talk many fans. Darby picks up a mic before the match, which is met by many fans saying “Don’t!” and “People like you don’t talk!”. He says that everything he says is directed to Timothy Thatcher. He says that this match is for him. While the whole promo was happening, Craig Mitchell was being help back by the referee.
This match starts with the two locking up. When the hold breaks, Mitchell slaps Allen. Allen goes for a roll-up after the second time that they lock up. Darby turns a handshake into a roll-up, then goes for a Springboard Armdrag. This takes Mitchell outside the ring for a breather. Mitchell slaps Darby once again when his is getting in the ring. Moments later, Darby goes to the top rope, but hit legs get pushed. Mitchell hits a Neckbreaker off the top rope. Darby gets hit with a German Suplex after he goes off the ropes. That was a very cool spot. Darby gets slammed down for a pin but he kicks out.
Allen also hit a Code Red but that got a kickout. He followed that up with a “Gibson Leg Lock” while pinning Mitchell to get the win. I thought this match was good, but I feel the Code Red would have been a better spot to finish the match with. I thought that was a great move.
Austin Theory vs Jason Kincaid
The next match has been called a Special Attraction Match. Austin Theory, accompanied by Priscilla Kelly, faces Jason Kincaid. Austin Theory is on a streak, defeating Trent Barretta at the last EVOLVE show. These two had some very good chain wrestling during the opening minutes of this match. Jason Kincaid got one of his moves reversed into a backbreaker of Theory’s which was a good move. After Theory was dominating for many minutes, Kincaid snapped when he got spat in the face twice. He hit a double stomp twice, Scoop Powerslam, and a double stomp a third time. Off the second rope Kincaid hit some type of Blockbuster. That whole sequence of moves was good.
Kincaid charged toward the corner of Theory but he got kicked away. Theory hit a full blockbuster of his own. Later on, Kincaid tried a Double Stomp from the top of the pole, not the rope. Theory dodged and hit a Neckbreaker instead. Kincaid rolled out outside the ring. Theory tried to dive to the outside, but Kincaid caught him and hit him with a Stunner.
Back in the ring, Kincaid goes to the top rope. He gets distracted by Priscilla who starts squealing loudly. He eventually jumps, but gets caught and put into a Theory’s Knockout for the win.
This match was good, I thought that Kincaid did a great performance in this match. I don’t have too much of an issue with the distraction finish, but it is a spot you see very often. That’s never going to change in wrestling. It will always be a spot that you will see. Okay, that was a good match, I think that Kincaid carried it a little. But that’s not a bad thing, it just speaks to how one wrestler is a veteran and how the other is much younger.
Tracy Williams and Rory Gulak vs Anthony Henry and James Drake (EVOLVE Tag Team Title Match)
Our first match for gold this evening is Tracy Williams and Rory Gulak challenging Anthony Henry and James Drake. Rory starts against Drake. The two do some grappling for a couple minutes. After that, Rory says his “Amazing!’ catchphrase a few times. He is met with a kick from Henry after mouthing off too much. Drake gets tagged in, and a few minutes later Tracy Williams gets tagged in too. The two trade some big chops. Drake gets put in the corner for a double team when Rory gets tagged in once again. Henry and Drake respond with a nice double team of their own.
Gulak starts suffering. Williams gets tagged in and slammed onto Rory by Drake. Drake gets tagged in again and hits a Suplex for a two count. Rory tries to get to his corner but he gets stopped by Drake. Henry gets tagged back in. They do like 3 double team moves this time. The ref is resisting calling how long Drake was the illegal member in the ring. Whatever.
Gulak is able to make a comeback and eventually tag Tracy Williams back in. Tracy does some chops then puts Henry in a submission. Henry makes it to the ropes. A few minutes later, Henry tries for a hot tag but gets stopped by an Ankle Lock. He fights out of the ankle lock, does a Scoop Powerslam, then finally tags in Drake. Rory Gulak gets tagged in too. Drake does a good Exploder Suplex. Rory does a Bridge Suplex that is a very close count. Tracy gets tagged in once again. Tracy does a Missle Dropkick, then a move later does a brainbuster to Henry. He pins Henry, thinking he is the legal man. Later on, Henry hits an absolute crazy spinning kick to win the match. Drake pinned for him.
Wow, that final move was absolutely insane. I loved that. The match however, felt a little confusing at the end. It felt a little all over the place at the end, which I didn’t like. But other than the finish, I didn’t have much to dislike about this match.
After the match, Catch Point beats up Rory Gulak. Looks as if Rory has been kicked out of Catch Point. He takes a absolutely brutal Pazuzu Bomb at the end of the beatdown.
Timothy Thatcher vs Keith Lee
The next match, which is a grudge match, is Timothy Thatcher versus Keith Lee. The match immediately starts with a shoulder tackle by Keith Lee. The two continue to trade blows for a few minutes in this match. Timothy tries for a slam of some sort but Keith gets out of it and hits Thatcher with a right arm. He does a slam of some sort then elbows him too.
Moments later Keith Lee does some more chops. His chops are so deadly. Later on Keither Lee gets dragged to the apron where Thatcher hit his head on the match. Back in the ring, Thatcher put Lee in a leg submission of some sort. He eventually escaped via the ropes. Thatcher knees Lee while he is on the ground. Lee takes a few stomps too. Thatcher puts Lee in a submission move on the ground, but Lee gets up and eventually escapes. Both of them are back on their feet at this point. Thatcher is trying with clotheslines and uppercuts to take him down, but he doesn’t go down. They both go off the ropes, and Lee shoves Thatcher, making him go flying.
When they both get back on their feet, Thatcher hits a belly-to-belly on Lee. He goes for the pin but only gets a two count. Timothy then goes for the Fujiwara Armbar. Timothy lets go of the hold, but seconds later puts it back on. Lee fights out and does a Side Suplex. Lee pins Timothy for a two count. Later on, Lee hits Thatcher with a Forearm that knocks him out. He goes for the pin and wins the match.
This match was enjoyable. It was a slower pace than what most of the other matches on the card so far, but it was still good. I did feel that the end of the match was a little abrupt, but it didn’t take away from the whole match too much.
Fred Yehi vs Walter (Progress Atlas Title Match)
The first of two main events tonight, is the next match. Fred Yehi faces Walter in a Progress Atlas Title Match. This match starts with a lockup between the two. They both do some grappling and close competition. Yehi hits a Shotgun Dropkick in the early moments of the match. They trade chops, and Yehi stomps Walter’s feet. He targeted the feet quite a bit. Later on Yehi gets taken outside the ring due to a Big Boot. Outside the ring now, Yehi takes a hard chop from Walter. He does another chop, and he does an uppercut. Yehi fights back by stomping Walter’s hand on the steel steps.
Walter drops Yehi on the apron of the ring. They both get back in the ring. Yehi takes two hard kicks to the back from Walter. They trade chops again. When Yehi gets back up, he gets suplexed by Walter. Walter picks up Yehi and forearms him. They trade slaps now. Yehi falls once again. Walter does a leg drop onto Yehi. Yehi starts gaining momentum. He takes Walter down by kicking him in the chest while cradled on the mat. When Walter gets up he hits a German Suplex and a Butterfly Suplex. He goes for the pin but gets a two count.
Yehi starts gaining momentum once again, doing a double stomp twice on Walter. He then does a deadlift german suplex. The crowd is very behind Yehi. When they both get back up on their feet, Walter does a nice Release Powerbomb for a 2. He waits for Yehi to get up. He tries for the sleeper hold. Yehi gets down to his knees with this sleeper hold. They both get to the top rope. When Yehi is hanging, he does upkicks. He gets back on the top rope with Walter, and does a Superplex. He goes for the pin, but gets a kickout at two and a half. Walter hits a Powerbomb when they both get up from a pin. Yehi takes a Boot, then a German Suplex, then a Clothesline. He goes for a pin but kicks out. Yehi then gets put in a Sleeper. The referee ends in as Yehi is out. What a match.
I thought this match was amazing. Could easily go for match of the night. I don’t really have any critiques except maybe there was too many chops. I say it could go for match of the night, but keep in mind that I haven’t seen the main event yet. So up until this point at least, this is the match of the night.
Lio Rush vs Matt Riddle
It is finally time to review the main event of the evening. Lio Rush faces Matt Riddle. Even though Riddle is the WNN Champion, this match is not for the championship. The two shake hands at the start of this fight. Lio dodges a high kick from Riddle at the beginning of the fight. Lio goes for the first pin in the match, getting a 1 count after a kick. Riddle then does multiple punches to Lio, then hits a Forearm in the corner. He tries for it a second time, but Rush dodges. Riddle catches Lio for a Ankle Lock moments later. He puts Lio in a corner again and does a splash. Riddle follows that up with a slam and a Senton. He goes for the pin to only get a two.
Minutes later we see a near fall when Riddle hits a Bro To Sleep then a German Suplex. Later on Riddle hits a nasty Jumping Knee Strike. I loved that move. We saw another near fall with a Fisherman Buster from Riddle. He did a second Fisherman Buster, then after a pin tried for a Tombstone. Lio countered, but Riddle countered that for a “Jumping Tombstone”. Lio kicked out of that.
The two trade blows (seems like the cliche spot of the night), with Lio winning the exchange. He throws Riddle off the ropes and tries for the Rush hour, but Riddle reverses it into a Jumping Tombstone. He does elbows them puts Lio in the Bromission. Lio taps out to that move.
After the match, Catch Point attack Matt Riddle. Walter also comes out to do a faceoff with Riddle. He gets attacked too. Keith Lee comes out and saves them. That ends the show.
I don’t dislike this match, but the end felt very abrupt. Also, we saw like 10 “trading blows” spots tonight, which is pretty lame if you ask me. I still stand by my claim that Fred Yehi versus Walter was the match of the night. EVOLVE, and the wrestlers involved in this show have nothing to be ashamed of. This was a great evening of matches. Can’t wait to review EVOLVE 91. But until then, I got to go.