Other PPVs RADICAN'S EVOLVE 20 VOD REPORT 5/30 - EITA vs. Tomahawk T.T., Fox makes first EVOLVE title defense, Gargano reinforces heel turn on commentary
Jun 1, 2013 - 6:47:30 PM
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By Sean Radican, Torch columnist
RADICAN’S EVOLVE 20 REVIEW
MAY 30, 2013
TAPED AS A VOD FOR WWNLIVE.COM
(1) DGUSA Open the Freedom Gate Champion Johnny Gargano beat Matt Jackson in a Non-Title match. Jackson caught Gargano going for a spear through the ropes and hit three rolling northern lights suplexes with the last one sending Gargano into the turnbuckles during the early stages of the match. Jackson targeted Gargano’s back and continued to work him over for several minutes. Gargano mounted a comeback and the crowd got behind him. Gargano played to the crowd and Jackson caught him with a spear and hit three powerbombs capped with a buckle bomb for a 2 count. The crowd fired up after Gargano kicked out. They went to a big exchange and Gargano ended up bouncing off the ropes after Jackson nailed him with a superkick right into a discus lariat and both men were down. They battled on the apron and Jackson ended up nailing Gargano with a crazy springboard DDT on the apron. He followed up with a 450, but Gargano kicked out at the last second. The crowd fired up as Jackson sold disbelief.
Both men battled up top a short time later and Gargano hit a sunset bomb out of the corner. Gargano got Jackson in the Gargano escape a short time later, but Jackson got his foot on the rope. They went to a big exchange and Gargano ducked a clothesline and hit hurts don’t it for a nearfall. Gargano then applied the Gargano escape for the tap out win.
Star rating: (***) – This was a good opening match. The crowd seemed to favor both men during most of the match and they had some really good exchanges, especially down the stretch. I don’t like the pairing of these two in a match at this time given that both men are trying to establish themselves as heels right now.
After the match, Gargano asked the fans if they enjoyed the match. The fans applauded. Gargano said it was his honor to be the leader of the DGUSA locker room. Gargano said they couldn’t wait to put on the finest pro wrestling in the world. Gargano said the opening match was just the beginning. Gargano said this weekend, history would be made. Gargano said he loves everyone and thanked the fans for coming.
Radican note: Gargano got more cheers than boos for his sarcastic post-match promo, which isn’t a good thing. The fans should be booing him 100% at this point.
(2) Brian Cage (w/ Larry Dallas & Trina Michaels) beat Chuck Taylor. They are building up a more focused Chuck Taylor right now and the Gentleman’s Club isn’t with him this weekend. Cage caught Taylor going for a dive to the outside and pitched him into the ringpost. Cage then tossed Taylor like a ragdoll through several chairs. Cage has a red rooster hairstyle going on right now. He dominated the action and continued to overpower Taylor while Dallas bragged to the fans on the outside. The crowd fired up after Cage hit a pair of big back breakers on Taylor. Taylor fired back and got a half crab on Cage, but he pushed Taylor off and he went crashing to the outside. Taylor fired back and caught Cage in an octopus submission a short time later. Cage escaped and caught Taylor coming off the top a short time later in the suplex position before dumping him to the mat for a 2 count. The crowd fired up after Taylor’s kick out. Taylor fired back a short time later and hit a quebrada for a 2 count. Taylor applied the half crab again, but Cage dragged himself to the ropes. Taylor went for the awful waffle, but Cage slipped out of it. Cage eventually ended up hitting a big discus lariat and then he hit weapon x for the win.
Star rating: (**1/2) – This was a fine match, but it never got out of second gear. Cage hit a couple of impressive maneuvers and got the crowd into the match at times, but the finish fell flat as it looked like they had trouble executing weapon x.
(3) Lince Dorado won a Six Way Fray over Andrew Everett and Caleb Konley and Jon Davis and Shane Strickland and Tommy Taylor. Konley and Strickland started things off. Stickland’s gear has a sprite theme and looks slick. I’m not a fan of Konley’s new leopard print mixed with purple combination, as it looks like something he’d wear if he were still in the Scene. Davis came out next to no music. Davis is now wearing a tight black singlet, which is a big improvement over his C.M. Punk style shorts during WrestleMania weekend. Davis quickly wiped out Konley and Strickland. Leonard said if Davis got DQ’d this weekend, he would be suspended. Strickland jumped on Davis’s back, but Davis managed to fight off Konley before nailing him with a senton with Strickland still on his back. Wow! Andrew Everett came out next and wiped out Konley and Strickland with a springboard missile dropkick. He then sent Davis to the outside and nailed all three men with a springboard SSP.
Lince Dorado was out next. Dorado wiped out Strickland and Everett, who looked completely stupid standing there while he went up top and nailed them with a SSP. Dorado continued to run wild in impressive fashion. The action picked up with Strickland hitting a springboard 450 to the floor wiping out several men. Davis tried to powerbomb Dorado to the outside, but he ended up turning it into a moonsault that wiped everyone out. Davis ended up catching Dorado with a buckle bomb a short time later. Tommy Taylor came out next as the last man into the match. Davis hit a double German on Konley and Strickland that sent Strickland flying onto Everett. Davis only managed to get a nearfall on Strickland when he held on with a bridge after the German. Davis eliminated Everett after nailing him with a big clothesline.
Strickland hit a code red on Davis for a nearfall and the crowd fired up behind him. Davis fired back on Strickland a short time later with a series of power moves capped by three seconds around the world to eliminate him. Everyone left in the match ganged up on Davis. Davis countered a triple team and sent Taylor and Dorado flying into the corner, which crotched Konley who was standing on the top rope. Davis went up top, but Konley fought back. Taylor ended up hitting the tower of London on Davis and Dorado and Taylor covered Davis to eliminate him. The action continued at a rapid pace with Konley, Taylor, and Dorado remaining in the match. Taylor cut off Konley up top and hit the tower of London for the elimination on Konley. The match came down to Dorado vs. Taylor. Taylor lifted Dorado over his head and hit a huge sit out powerbomb for a nearfall. The crowd fired up for Dorado after he kicked out. A meow chant started for Dorado. Dorado countered the tower of London and hit a hurricanrana for the win.
Star rating: (***1/2) – This was a very good Fray match. Jon Davis was the star of the match hitting a ton of impressive maneuvers on his opponents. It is nice to see Everett, who has wrestled as Chiva Kid, in EVOLVE, although he wasn’t featured heavily in the match. Dorado also stood out and it’s not a surprise that he did since he’s a star in this kind of match usually.
(4) Tomahawk T.T. beat EITA. The crowd fired up after both men came to a stalemate after an early exchange. Both men began chopping each other. Tomahawk hit a sick chop on EITA and EITA smiled. The pace picked up and EITA caught Tomahawk with a big dropkick. Eita began working over Tomahawk before nailing him with a big overhand chop to the chest in the corner. The fans tried to rally behind Tomahawk. Tomahawk countered EITA with a suplex attempt. EITA tried to fight out, but Tomahawk powered him up and suplexed him to the mat. Tomahawk silenced the crowd before nailing EITA with a ridiculous chop a short time later. The crowd fired up as Tomahawk continued to dominate the action. EITA ducked a clothesline and hit a springboard dropkick on Tomahawk. He then went up top and hit a moonsault to the floor and the fans fired up. Tomahawk ducked a charge in the corner and nailed EITA with a wicked chop. The pace these guys are wrestling at is incredible. Tomahawk caught EITA with a big shoulder tackle off the ropes and the fans chanted for him. They battled near the ropes and EITA nailed Tomahawk with a big kick that draped him over the ropes. EITA followed up with a guillotine leg drop off the top.
EITA set up for a dive to the outside, but Tomahawk ran in and nailed him with a big slam for a 2 count and both men were down. Both men got up and began exchanging some wicked chops. EITA pushed Tomahawk off the top a short time later and he crotched himself on the top rope. EITA tried to walk the ropes towards Tomahawk, but he slipped and ended up nailing him with a kick instead. Tomahawk and EITA went back and forth. EITA ended up draping Tomahawk over his back before bringing him all the way over in a reverse Alabama slam. The crowd chanted for both men as EITA went up top. EITA missed a moonsault, but landed on his feet. Tomahawk nailed EITA with several big chops and double chops, but EITA kicked out at the last second and the fans went nuts. Tomahawk EITA up top and hit the Razor’s edge off the top for a nearfall. Tomahawk then hit the night ride for the win.
After the match, The Young Bucks came to the rings as the fans applauded for EITA and Tomahawk. Matt got on the mic and put over the match between EITA and Tomahawk. Matt said on Sunday they had a title match against EITA and Tomahawk. He said he couldn’t wait to face them. Matt said they just wanted to shake hands. The Young Bucks shook hands, but then took out EITA and Tomahawk with a series of superkicks. A ref got in the ring and told the Young Bucks they can’t do that because they will get suspended. Matt grabbed the mic and laughed. He said everyone that orders an iPPV or attends a live show comes to see them. Matt said if the titles were stripped from them, the titles would be meaningless. Matt said the Young Bucks do whatever they want. Matt said he would superkick Gabe in his head right now. The crowd chanted for Matt to do it. Gabe was at ringside filming the angle. Matt said Nick was going to beat A.R. Fox for the EVOLVE title and then they would be double champions. He said they couldn’t suspend them much less touch them.
Star rating: (***3/4) – This was a really good match. These guys wrestled at an unreal pace at times and put together some fantastic exchanges. I really thought the Razor’s edge off the top that Tomahawk should have been the finish, but other than that, this was fantastic. The post-match angle was a good way to establish the Young Bucks as heels, but EVOLVE is going to have to enforce their own rules if they’re going to mean anything when it comes to post-match attacks.
(5) The Bravado Brothers (Lancelot & Harlem Bravado) beat Sugar Dunkerton & Maxwell Chicago in an Entertainment match. Johnny Gargano came into the commentary booth with Lenny Leonard. The crowd was hot for Chicago. They were split in their support for the Bravados. Chicago said he didn’t know how to do a lockup to open the match. Dunkerton made Harlem dance and he got upset. Dunkerton then put a full nelson on Harlem and danced with him. Harlem then danced by himself and got upset when he realized what he was doing. Dunkerton told Harlem he was worse than Summer Rae before giving him a dip after a nice dance. Harlem ended up kicking Dunkerton in the shin and he screamed like a baby. Chicago yelled at the Bravados and kicked them both in the shins. The Bravados told him they had pads on. Harlem then kicked Chicago in the shin and he dropped to the mat and cried in pain.
The crowd clapped as Dunkerton and Chicago got stereo nearfalls on the Bravados with a pair of small packages. Chicago got on the mic and said tonight was the first entertaining match in EVOLVE. He then sang a song. Dunkerton then sang “Call me maybe.” Lancelot grabbed the mic and said they need to sing some classic. He said he was going to sing one of Grandma Bravado’s favorite songs. He then sang “Lean on me.” Dunkerton then helped him continue the song, but the Bravados ended up rolling up Dunkerton and Chicago from behind for a double nearfall. Harlem hit a 2k1 bomb on Dunkerton for a nearfall and the action picked up. Maxwell hit a blockbuster out of the corner on Harlem. They went for the doomsday device on Lancelot, but he couldn’t lift him up. The Bravado’s wiped out Chicago and hit Dunkerton with the gentleman’s agreement for the win.
Star rating: (**) –I really enjoyed the dancing spots at the beginning and the singing towards the end. This was a nice way to lighten things up for the fans after intermission.
(6) Anthony Nese beat Samuray Del Sol. Mr. A is off on official business, so Nese is going at it alone. Leonard said he didn’t know when or if Del Sol is finishing up with EVOLVE and DGUSA. Leonard asked Gargano about Del Sol winning the title from him on Sunday. Gargano asked Leonard if the people wanted a champion that wasn’t going to be there for the fans like he is. Nese and Del Sol went to a fast-paced exchange and the fans fired up before both men came to a stalemate. Nese worked over Del Sol on the mat, but he escaped and they came to another stalemate. Del Sol fired up and hit a corkscrew arm drag off the top on Nese. He then hit a flying DDT through the ropes on Nese and the fans fired up. Del Sol hit another corkscrew arm drag on Nese off the apron. He looked to have hurt himself performing the move with no mats on the floor. After another slick exchange, Del Sol caught Nese with a code red for a 2 count.
The fans chanted lucha in support of Del Sol. Nese slipped behind Del Sol to the outside and tripped him as he came off the ropes. Nese kicked Del Sol to the outside and eventually hit him with a superkick on the floor. Nese then hit a crazy dive over the top to the outside and the fans chanted for him. If Nese wants to get over as a heel he should discourage the cheers after he executes an impressive maneuver. Gargano sarcastically talked about Del Sol on commentary as Leonard questioned his tactics in the ring. Leonard asked him why he hit Shingo with the chain. Gargano said Shingo needed to be sacrificed for the greater good. He said the people are happy with him as champion. Leonard asked him why he did what he did to Shingo and Gargano said he will make history this weekend and the people will see why he did it. Nese worked over Del Sol for a long period of time before grabbing a body lock. D3el Sol fired back and tried to mount a comeback. He eventually hit a moonsault off the second turnbuckle that he turned into a DDT for a 2 count. The crowd fired up with both men down on the mat. Del Sol caught Nese with a kick to the head and then sliced bread for a 2 count. Both men were slow to get up once again.
Nese fired back and hit a nice pump-handle powerbomb for a 2 count. Some fans chanted for both men as they got up and began exchanging strikes. Nese got a rollup for a 2 count. Del Sol fired back with a rollup of his own and they began exchanging pinning combinations for nearfalls. Nese eventually hit a one arm dead-lift buckle bomb on Del Sol, but he kicked out at 2. Nese went for a release German, but Del Sol landed on his feet and nailed Nese with a kick. Del Sol went up top, but Nese recovered and cut him off. They battled up top, but Nese managed to hit Del Sol with a spider suplex. Nese then bridged up and came off the top with a 450 for the win.
Star rating: (***1/2) – This was a really good match between these two. Nese showed that he could keep up with Del Sol wrestling Del Sol’s style, which is really impressive. If Nese is going to get over, he’s going to have to show some depth to his character. He didn’t do much of anything to enforce his new heel character during this match and the commentary was there to reinforce the Gargano-Del Sol match at EVOLVE 22 more than get his character over. The fact they are teasing the Summer of Del Sol makes me think that they aren’t going to do it.
(7) EVOLVE Champion A.R. Fox beat Nick Jackson (w/Matt Jackson). The crowd was hot for Fox prior to the opening bell. Nick played some mean air guitar before locking up with Fox. They went to a quick exchange and Fox took Nick down with a dropkick. Fox teased a dive, but Nick got out of the way on the outside. Gargano talked about CIMA disrespecting him on commentary. Fox took control of the match and hit a split-legged moonsault for a 2 count. Gargano talked about Rich Swann next and said he had to be sacrificed for the greater good. Fox and Nick had a crazy exchange on the apron and they ended up on the floor where Nick wiped out Fox with a kick. Nick and Matt then posed for the camera while Fox was crumpled in a heap behind them. Fox ducked a charge in the corner and sent Nick to the outside. Fox nailed Nick with a series of dives through the ropes. He went for a third dive, but Matt tripped him from the outside. Nick went to work on Fox after hitting a springboard X factor. Matt and Nick posed for the hard camera after Nick cut off a Fox comeback attempt. Fox ended up pushing Nick to the Matt off the top. He went for a 450, but missed and landed on his feet. Fox then hit a big face spike and the crowd lightly applauded.
The pace picked up as Fox went on the attack. Fox connected with a springboard code breaker for a 2 count. Fox went up top and went for an inverted splash, but Nick got his knees up. Nick hit a running knee strike in the corner and went for a kick, but Fox got out of the way only to walk right into a superkick for a 2 count. Nick went up top, but Fox grabbed the ropes and crotched him. Matt got up on the apron and Fox went for Lo Mein pain, but Nick countered it into a sit out powerbomb off the top for a nearfall. Matt ran in with Nick distracting the ref and hit Fox with a superkick. The fans fired up for Fox after he kicked out of Nick’s pin attempt. Fox fired back a short time later with a springboard ace crusher. The fans rallied behind Fox and he hit a diving senton in the corner. Fox charged at Nick, but ended up hitting a flip dive over the ringpost onto Matt on the outside. He then hit a swanton on Nick for a nearfall. That was a crazy sequence from Fox. The fans chanted for Fox as he went up top again. Fox went for a leg drop on the apron, but Nick got out of the way and nailed him with a superkick. Nick smiled and posed on the apron before hitting a springboard splash for a 2 count.
The fans tried to rally behind Fox once again. Nick hit another superkick, but Fox didn’t go down. Matt urged him to hit another superkick, so he did. Fox dropped to a knee and Nick went for another superkick, but Fox ducked and hit an enzuguri. Fox ended up catching Nick with a kick up top a short time later and he hit Lo Mein pain for the win.
Fox got on the mic and cut a promo after the match. Fox said EVOLVE was about all professional wrestling styles. He said he would accept a challenge from anyone that went outside of the box and evolved the sport of pro wrestling. Fox said it was time for him to step his game up and raise the prestige of the EVOLVE title. The fans chanted for Fox to close the show.
Star rating: (***1/4) – The match started out slowly and the crowd seemed burned out. Fox did a good job of overcoming the odds with Matt interfering at ringside and came across as a gutsy champion to pull out the win in the end. Although the match started slowly and dragged in spots, the second half of the match was very good with Fox and Nick putting together some good exchanges. Fox’s post-match promo was a good way to establish that he’s going to take on wrestlers of all styles as EVOLVE champion.
Overall score: (7.5) – There were a lot of good matches on this show, but the crowd was small and although they were hot most of the night, the show would have come across better with a larger crowd. The highlight of the show was the EITA-Tomahawk T.T. match. These guys tore it up in the ring and set the crowd on fire with their fast paced exchanges and hard-hitting chop battles.
In terms of building talent the show mostly did a good job of establishing a direction for several of the wrestlers on the roster. Chuck Taylor seems to be changing his attitude about the Gentleman’s Club and as his character is changing, it didn’t hurt him to lose to Brian Cage. Johnny Gargano did a really good job on commentary of establishing his heel character and upcoming matches. Gargano and Leonard had some nice exchanges about his change in attitude and built up his match with Del Sol as well as touched on his potential future matches with CIMA and Rich Swann.
On the other hand, Tony Nese had a really good match against Samuray Del Sol and picked up a big win over him, but he continues to struggle when it comes to getting his new heel character across in the ring. If Nese could find a spark as a heel and get the fans to turn on him, he would be a top guy in DGUSA and EVOLVE in no time.
The Fray match was a lot of fun and Jon Davis really sparked the match with his high impact offense that had the crowd gasping. Lince Dorado also shined in the match, as he thrives in that type of environment. The other acts in the match seemed mostly forgotten, as Shane Strickland, Caleb Konley, Tommy Taylor, and Andrew Everett didn’t stand out from the crowd.
The main event started off slow, but when it came to establishing some credibility for A.R. Fox, EVOLVE accomplished the mission. Fox overcame interference from Matt Jackson on the outside and showed guts down the stretch before putting Nick away with his finish. Fox’s post-match promo also did a good job of establishing his mission as EVOLVE Champion going forward.
If you want to see a show with good wrestling up and down the card with the wrestlers laying the foundation for future shows, this show is worth picking up. The crowd was hot for most of the show, but didn’t generate a ton of noise because of the small attendance. There are definitely several matches worth checking out here, especially EITA-Tomahawk T.T., as these two are going to just keep getting better and better in the future and are amazing to watch at times right now.
You can purchase the “EVOLVE 20” VOD at WWNLive.com.
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