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RADICAN'S "EVOLVE 43" iPPV REPORT 5/30 - Hero-Lee MOTYC, debut of Speedball, Galloway-Busick main event

Jun 3, 2015 - 9:46:03 PM

By Sean Radican, Torch columnist


MAY 30, 2015

Joanna Rose is the ring announcer for the evening. The venue appears to be a nightclub and the lighting is dark.

The PAB was out first to kick off the show. So Cal Val got on the mic and said the PAB has come to New York to ask one question. She asked what is wrong with this picture. Val said gold is missing from around their waist. She said they were robbed of the tag titles. She said the PAB was disgraced. Val then went on to say her name was dragged through the mud. She said they would redeem themselves tonight. She went on to say a quick hello to Roderick Strong. She said she knew he was watching and she left him a key to her room…to talk business. Val said they would show why they’re the best in the world tonight. She said they would show their new attitude right now. Nese then grabbed the mic and called out Rey Horus.

Ron Niemi and Lenny Leonard are in on commentary.

(1) Anthony Nese (w/The PAB) vs. Rey Horus. Nese jumped Horus during the ring introductions and dominated the action for several minutes. Horus mounted a comeback and went to work on Nese with his flashy Lucha style offense. The fans fired up after Horus sent Nese to the outside. He set up for a dive, but Nese slid into the ring and nailed him with a leg lariat. Horus got a running start and hit a big splash over the top to the floor to wipe out Nese a short time later. Horus dominated the action for a stretch until Nese fired back and hit a big clothesline. Nese took a minute to regroup and then covered Horus for a 2 count. Nese went after Horus’s mask, but Horus managed to fight Nese off. Horus went off the ropes a short time later, but Nese caught him with a dropkick for another 2 count. Horus escaped a body lock on the mat and mounted another comeback. The fans fired up once again after Horus came off the top with a hurricanrana and then hit a dropkick for a 2 count. Both men ended up exchanging chops in the middle of the ring. Horus went for a German, but Nese landed on his feet and hit a double stomp for a 2 count. They went to a punch exchange in the middle of the ring. Horus blocked a superkick and hit a reverse hurricanrana. Nese wobbled on his legs, but surprised Horus with a superkick and both men were down. They battled up top a short time later. Horus hit a variation of the rising sun move that Del Sol used to use off the top for a 2 count. It was sort of like an inverted code red. Horus went up top, but Nese ducked under a leap frog attempt and hit a one-arm buckle bomb. He then hit an inverted piledriver for a near fall and the fans applauded. Nese went up top, but Horus crotched him. They went back and forth standing on the ropes near the turnbuckles. Horus then hit a super hurricanrana off the top for the win. Holy crap!

Konley tried to hump Horus after the match, but he bailed to the floor. Leonard mentioned that Nese had almost hit Jimmy Snuka in the face with a streamer. He said Snuka was sitting behind the announce position. Konley and Nese argued after the match and began shoving each other. Val tried to play peacemaker and Nese left and went to the back.

Winner: Rey Horus

Star rating: (***1/2) – This was a fantastic opener. The fans were very much into Horus’s offense, but both guys looked really good here in this match that went back and forth from bell-to-bell. Horus’s super hurricanrana at the end looked awesome.

Konley got on the mic and told Val to control Tony. Konley said he was angry and called out Davey Richards to the ring.

(2) Caleb Konley (w/So Cal Val) vs. Davey Richards. Richards went right after Konley. The ref couldn’t separate them and the ref called for the bell to start the match. Konley finally bailed and the fans chanted for Richards. Gulak came in on commentary for this match. They went back and forth on the mat exchanging holds. Richards got an ankle lock, but Konley countered and got a seated variation of his own. Richards then slipped away and grabbed a Texas cloverleaf, but Konley got the ropes. Richards got the upper hand and nailed Konley with several kicks. Richards sent Konley to the floor and nailed him with a running kick on the apron. Richards nailed Konley with some big kicks to the chest all the way around the ringside area. Richards set up for a suplex off the apron to the floor, but Konley blocked it and hit a leg sweep. Konley crotched Richards over the barricade on the floor and then dumped him back-first over the apron. Konley worked over Davey as Val gloated on the outside. Konley distracted the ref and Val choked Davey on the bottom rope. Richards rolled through on Konley a short time later and hit a double stomp and both men were down.

The fans fired up and chanted for Richards. They went back and forth and traded blows in the middle of the ring. Richards got the upper hand and hit a handspring enzuguri for a 2 count. They went back and forth and Richards caught Konley with a knee. They went back and forth and Konley hit a spinning back fist and a Regalplex for a near fall and the fans applauded. The fans chanted for Richards and they ended up going at it near the apron. Richards caught Konley up top with a kick from the apron. Richards then hit a sunset bomb. He then hit a knockout kick and went up top. He went for a double stomp, but Konley got out of the way and hit a cradle driver for a near fall. The fans fired up and chanted for Richards after he kicked out. Konley went up top, but Richards crotched him. Richards hit several headbutts to the back of Konley’s head up top. He then hit a super belly to back suplex. Richards was slow to make the cover, but Konley managed to kick out. They exchanged blows and Richards hit several forearms. They went back and forth off the ropes and Richards hit the alarm clock. He then hit a huge running boot in the corner and a Saito suplex. Richards went up top again. This time he connected with a double stomp, but Konley kicked out! Holy crap! Richards then signaled for creeping death and hit a spinning knockout kick for the win.

Richards got on the mic after the match. He took to the mic and said he would get his boy down here and show her what tag team wrestling is all about. Richards said he didn’t come to EVOLVE for pats on the back. Richards said he shows up and steals the show every time. He said some like him and some don’t. He said he came here to make history, which starts with the EVOLVE Title. Richards asked how many guys he had to beat before he got his title shot. Richards said the hunt would continue and he got a good reaction for his promo.

Winner: Davey Richards

Star rating: (***3/4) – This was a really good match. Konley looked good going toe-to-toe with Richards. The crowd was fully behind Richards, but Konley got some good near falls late and managed to avoid Richards’s double stomp the first time and then kicked out of it when Richards connected with it down the stretch. Richards hitting a spinning KO kick to finish off Konley was spectacular.

(3) Mike Bailey vs. T.J. Perkins. The fans chanted for both men before they went at it. Bailey has a martial arts background if you’re unfamiliar with his work. Bailey broke free of a cross-arm breaker and hit several kicks and strikes on Perkins. Perkins managed to block some of them and they ended up separating once they ended up in the corner. Both men went back and forth with strikes. They blocked each other several times until Bailey hit a spinning kick that sent Perkins to the mat for a 2 count. Perkins hung himself into the ropes and Bailey teased charging at him. Perkins dropped down to the mat and Bailey stopped short and nailed him with an axe kick to the back. Perkins fired back and got the upper hand. He went after Bailey’s leg, but Bailey nailed him with some palm strikes from his back to break free. The announcers mentioned that Bailey is a fourth degree black belt. Perkins hit a dragon screw and went back after Bailey’s leg. Bailey mounted a comeback after ducking a standing twisting senton from Perkins. He nailed him with a SSP. Bailey went on the attack and nailed Perkins with a 360 enzuguri. Bailey went back and forth lighting up Perkins with kicks. Perkins blocked several of the kicks, but Bailey connected with an enzuguri as the action picked up. Bailey hit a series of running kicks in the corner, but Perkins blocked a third attempt and went for a cross-arm breaker. Bailey blocked it, so Perkins went for a leg lock, but they were in the ropes.

The fans fired up and Bailey surprised Perkins with a rollup for a 2 count. Perkins went for another powerbomb attempt, but Bailey turned it into a leg drop and both men were down on the mat. Bailey nailed Perkins with a kick up top. Perkins hit a boot out of the corner and went for a cross-body, but Bailey caught him with a standing corkscrew SSP for a 2 count. Bailey went for a SSP into a knee drop, but Perkins got out of the way and drilled him with a sit out slam for a 2 count. Perkins went up top for a frog splash, but fell right into a triangle choke from Bailey. Perkins slipped out and got an ankle lock. Bailey rolled through and went after Perkins’s leg, but Perkin’s bridged over into a pinning combination for the win.

Bailey offered a handshake after the match, but Perkins patted him on the shoulder and walked to the back.

Winner: T.J. Perkins

Star rating: (***1/4) – This was a lot of fun to watch at times. Bailey was a lot of fun to watch with his unique martial arts based offense. I wasn’t a big fan of the finish, as it looked like Bailey could have just let go of Perkins’s leg to break the hold.

Hero got a huge pop coming out to face Trevor Lee. He was wearing an old school Shawn Kemp Supersonics jersey. Hero had on awesome Supersonics style gear.

(4) Trevor Lee vs. Chris Hero. Leonard says these two had an awesome rivalry going that started in PWG. They went to a fast exchange. Hero booted Lee out of the air when he went for a leap frog. Lee fired up and hit several strikes before nailing Hero with a dropkick. Hero fired back a short time later and hit a short right that dropped Lee. Hero then made the cover for a 2 count. Hero followed Lee to the floor and nailed him with a punch. Hero hit several light kicks to Lee’s head and Lee fired back with a kick to the face. Lee went after Hero and walked right into a huge elbow from Hero and the fans fired up with Lee down on the floor. They ended up back in the ring and Hero countered Lee and dumped him down to the mat out of the suplex position for a 2 count. Hero hit some light Kicks to Lee’s head, but Lee fired back with a leg trap pinning combination for a 2 count. They went back and forth and Lee caught Hero with a pair of running kicks to the chest on the apron. Lee went for a third running kick from the apron, but Hero punched his leg out from under him. Hero went after Lee’s leg and snapped it over the bottom rope. Hero dragged Lee into the ring and continued to work him over. Hero countered Lee a short time later and got a single leg crab. Lee managed to get the ropes, but Hero got right on top of him and dropped a knee to the head. Lee trashed talked Lee and nailed him with a slap to the face and then a big knee. Lee spit in Hero’s face and went to town on him in the corner. Hero turned Lee around and dropped him with a huge elbow and both men were down. The crowd fired up huge for that sequence!

Hero was up first and he tired up Lee’s leg over the middle rope and pulled down on it. Lee fired back with a kick to Hero out of the corner. Lee fired out of the corner again a short time later and hit a big knee lift and a Saito suplex for a 2 count. Lee went for a German and Hero tried to fight out of it. Hero was almost out of Lee’s grasp, but Lee held on and hit a German for a 2 count. Hero nailed Lee with several big kicks to the head, but Lee wouldn’t go down. Hero went for a rolling elbow, but Lee turned it into a spinning power slam for a near fall. Holy s—t! The fans fired up as Lee was up first. Lee caught Hero charging at him with a knee to the head. He went up top. Hero ended up rolling out of the way. Lee came off the top and went after Hero in the corner, but Hero caught him with a rolling elbow for a near fall. Hero picked up Lee and hit the death blow, but Lee kicked out at the very last second and the fans gasped. Hero sold shock as the fans chanted for Lee. Hero tried to go for a piledriver, but Lee dropped down to a knee. Hero then hooked in a cradle piledriver and spiked Lee. Hero didn’t go for the cover and he lifted up Lee for a tombstone that was good for the win. Good lord!

Hero got back into the ring and went after Lee and the fans booed. Hero teased hitting Lee with a big move, but he ended up raising his hand and leaving the ring. The fans chanted for Lee before he left the ring.

Winner: Chris Hero

Star rating: (****1/2) – Hero has been so impressive lately and this was another awesome match under his belt. These two went to war and Lee mounted some great comebacks, despite Hero working over his leg and nailing him with some hard elbows and straight rights throughout the match. They did a great near fall down the stretch with Lee kicking out of the death blow before Hero finished him off with two piledrivers. This match will definitely help Lee going forward.

(5) DGUSA Tag Team Champions Johnny Gargano & Rich Swann vs. Drew Gulak & Tracy Williams. The fans were clearly behind Gargano and Swann during the early going. The announcers mentioned that the champions had no idea who they were going to face in this match when they put out the open contract. Gargano got the Gargano escape on Williams during the early going, but Williams got to the ropes quickly. Swann taunted Gulak and they went to a fast exchange that ended with Swann nailing Gulak with a dropkick. Gulak tried to charge at Swann, but he got out of the way and Gulak spilled to the floor. Williams eventually got the upper hand on Gargano and began working him over. Gulak tagged in and went after Gargano’s leg. Gulak got the cattle mutilation on Gargano and floated over him several times while maintaining the hold. Gulak then applied an ankle lock, but Gargano got the ropes. Gargano finally mounted a comeback and tagged in Swann, who knocked Gulak off the apron and went at it with Williams. Williams went up top, but Swann caught him with a jumping hurricanrana and the fans fired up. Swann caught Williams and Gulak with a double ace crusher, but could only get a 2 count on Williams. Gargano tagged in and favored his leg. The action broke down and Gargano went for a rolling kick on Gulak, but Gulak caught it and eventually got an inverted Texas cloverleaf variation. Gargano struggled, but eventually got to the ropes.

Gargano fired back a short time later and hit the lawn dart on Gulak. Gargano favored his leg and went back after Gargano. Williams made a blind tag and the action both down. Gargano and Swann wiped out Williams and Gulak with a pair of stereo superkicks. The fans fired up as Gargano wiped out Gulak with a dive through the ropes. Williams and Swann traded blows in the middle of the ring. The pace picked up and Gargano got the Gargano escape on Williams, but he countered it into a pinning combination for a 2 count. Williams charged at Gargano, but ran right into a knee to the face. Gargano applied the Gargano escape on Williams. Gulak tried to break it up, but walked right into a 360 enzuguri from Swann. Swann then wiped out Gulak with a senton off the apron. Williams was then forced to tap.

After the match, Swann got on the mic. He said its performances like this that make him love pro wrestling. Swann talked about the difficult road to get to New York and mentioned the three blown tires that he had on the way here. Gargano got on the mic and told Swann he’s like a brother to him. Gargano said DGUSA made them what they are today. He said unfortunately DGUSA is in the past. He said they have to look towards the future. Gargano said they were going to retire the DGUSA Tag Titles. Swann acknowledged the boos and said what if EVOLVE had tag team championships. The fans then started the yes chants. Leonard said if anyone had the clout to retire the DGUSA Tag Titles it was Gargano and Swann.

Winners: Rich Swann & Johnny Gargano to retain the DGUSA Tag Team Titles

Star rating: (***) – This was a good match. It was a bit methodically paced at times with Gargano getting his leg attacked throughout much of the match. The pace really picked up down the stretch and they delivered a good finishing stretch to conclude things. It’s sad to see the titles apparently be retired in favor of new EVOLVE Tag Team Titles being created. There were so many incredible matches over the years for the DGUSA Tag Team Titles.

Busick got a big pop coming out for the main event. Galloway came out with the EVOLVE Championship around his waist. He then went to the back and came out with the DGUSA Championship. Galloway got into the ring and raised both titles. Busick got right in his face and they went head-to-head before the ref pulled them apart.

(6) DGUSA Champion Drew Galloway vs. Biff Busick. Busick got a half crab and transitioned it into the sleeper choke, but Galloway quickly got to the ropes. Both men shoved each other and began exchanging blows in the middle of the ring. Busick charged at Galloway a short time later, but Galloway got out of the way and tossed him to the floor. They battled through the crowd and Galloway ended up back dropping Busick into a pile of chairs that Busick had set up. Galloway carried Busick to the exit and tossed him out the door and out of the venue. The fans fired up and Galloway carried Busick back towards the ring. Galloway then tossed Busick off his shoulders and into the ring and the fans applauded. Busick mounted a comeback a short time later and hit a huge uppercut off the ropes for a 2 count. Busick slapped Galloway across the face and Galloway tossed him into the corner and stomped the crap out of him. Galloway then nailed Busick with a sick kick off the ropes for a 2 count. They went back and forth and Busick capped the sequence with a big diving clothesline and the fans applauded with both men down on the mat. Both men got up and began exchanging blows. Busick got a sleeper on Galloway, but Galloway climbed the ropes with Busick on his back. Galloway fought Busick off, but Busick jumped right back on him. Galloway ended up hung upside down, but he nailed Busick with a big punch. He then went up to the second turnbuckle and jumped at Busick, but ate a huge uppercut for a 2 count.

Galloway hit a superplex out of the dragon suplex position and the fans fired up, but Busick managed to kick out at 2. Galloway went for his future shock DDT, but Busick dropped it. Galloway hit a piledriver a short time later, but Busick kicked out at 2 again. Busick flipped off Galloway with a double finger salute from his knees and Galloway hit a sliding kick for a 2 count. Galloway sold frustration after Busick kicked out. Busick countered a tombstone attempt and grabbed the choke sleeper. Busick eventually transitioned to a rear naked choke. Galloway countered the judo throw a short time later and hit the future shock DDT for the win.

Galloway got on the mic after and put over Busick. He said he felt privileged to be a double champion, but he was facing competitors like Busick every show. Galloway thanked Busick and extended his hand. Busick quickly shook Galloway’s hand and headed to the back. He asked who was there when he fought Strong in a cage. A few fans applauded. Galloway said the final chapter in their feud tomorrow would be in New York.

Johnny Gargano came down to the ring. He took the mic from Galloway and shook his hand. He said Galloway has been a great champion. He said Galloway deserves the DGUSA Championship. Gargano said he and Swann had made the decision to leave the past behind. Gargano said the DGUSA Championship made him who he is today. He told Galloway it’s time to let it go. Gargano asked Galloway to retire the DGUSA Title. He asked Galloway to focus on the EVOLVE Title because the DGUSA Title represents the past. Galloway said he respects what Gargano is saying. He said in his first match against Hero after leaving WWE, he won the EVOLVE Title. He said he beating Gargano for the DGUSA Title was hit WM moment. He asked Gargano if he would do the same if he had just won the title. Gargano said he would never retire the title. He said the fans deserved a rematch. He said if Gargano could beat him for the DGUSA Title, he could wipe his a—with it as far as he was concerned. Galloway left the ring and shook hands with Gargano. Gargano said they have to look towards the future and talked about EVOLVE 44 the next night. He said he would get in the ring against Ethan Page. If Page beats him, he has to shake his hand, but if Gargano wins, Page is out of EVOLVE. Gargano said if he had his way, Page would not have a future after tomorrow.

Winner: Drew Galloway to retain the DGUSA Championship

Star rating: (***1/2) – This was a very good main event. Galloway dished out a ton of punishment to Busick. Busick made several comeback and appeared to be on the verge of finishing Galloway off, but could not hit his judo throw into a choke finishing combination.

Overall thoughts: (8.0) – This was a strong show. Every match delivered something enjoyable in one way or another. The lighting for the venue was darker than I would like for a wrestling show, but it improved for the last couple of matches when it appeared they turned some of the lights up a bit. The reason to see this show is for the Chris Hero-Trevor Lee classic, but stick around for the rest as there as a lot of storyline advancement on this show.

The PAB ate up around 50 minutes of this show which lasted two and a half hours. Usually that would draw some ill will out of me, but on this night, I thought they did a great job to kick off the show. A paired down version of The PAB with just So Cal Val at ringside did a lot for me compared to the huge entourage that usually accompanies Anthony Nese and Caleb Konley. Both men need to get better on the mic, but as for their individual matches, they both delivered.

Chris Hero’s ascension on the indie scene last year amazes me. Last year he drew a lot of complaints from fans for his physique after suffering a back injury, but he’s been nothing short of tremendous this year in the ring. Hero doesn’t have a great physique right now, but he’s gotten in better shape and if he wrestles the way he has this year, it doesn’t matter to me in the least if he doesn’t have six pack abs. Hero’s striking, ring presence, and charisma are shining through this year and his match against Lee set the fans on fire. Go out of your way to see this match. Lee gained a lot in my eyes coming out of this match, despite taking the loss.

The semi-main and main events were both good matches. I enjoyed the tag title match even though it took a bit to get going. It was good to see Swann and Gargano vacate the DGUSA Tag Titles after the match, as it’s clearly time to put DGUSA in the past in favor of EVOLVE Tag Titles.

Galloway-Busick was a very good main event. It really got going during the second half of the match after a standard crowd brawling segment during the first half of the match. Galloway impresses me greatly with his ring presence and charisma. He’s one of my favorite performers to watch and the match told a good story that saw Galloway put a beating on Busick before withstanding several comebacks and finishing him off. I liked the post-match angle as well with Gargano asking Galloway to vacate the title to set up a future match between them.

Hopefully EVOLVE can find a way to light this venue better because it looks really good. The video screens above the ring and opposite the hard camera with the EVOLVE logo added to the look of the show.

EVOLVE is a promotion worth investing time and money in. I’ve yet to see a show in 2015 that I didn’t like. This was a very good show that pushed things forward from a storyline standpoint and won’t insult your intelligence. I especially like how smoothly the rankings have been incorporated into the commentary. You are truly missing out on the most consistent indie promotion in wrestling right now if you’re not watching these shows.

You can purchase “EVOLVE 43” at As always, I recommend getting a Roku for the best viewing experience. For more information about upcoming EVOLVE dates and lineups visit


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