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RADICAN'S EVOLVE 45 IPPV REPORT 7/10: WWNLive blows up the card & delivers huge main event title match - Galloway vs. Thatcher, Strong vs. Sabre, Jr., Hero, Val, more

Jul 11, 2015 - 2:46:56 PM


JULY 10, 2015

The Premier Athlete Brand came out to kick things off. Is this a permanent tradition on all shows now? So Cal Val got on the mic and made a midget joke at the expense of Rob Naylor. She put over the PAB and announced Caleb Konley was the new FIP champion. She said on July 24 Marti Belle & Andrea would become the new Shine Tag Team Champions. She then said tomorrow night in Orlando, Trent Baretta would beat Drew Galloway to become the new EVOLVE Champion. She said The PAB is unstoppable. Gary Jay then came out and said he had been waiting for this opportunity for 12 years. He challenged Konley to a match.

(1) FIP champion Caleb Konley (w/The PAB) vs. Gary Jay in a Non-Title match. Jay sent Konley to the floor during the early going and nailed him with a series of dives through the ropes and the fans fired up. He went for a chop on the outside a short time later, but Konley ducked and he chopped the post on the outside. Konley then lifted Jay up and tossed him into the post on the floor. Jay took a beating for a long period of time and Konley went after his arm. Andrea interfered to keep Konley in control.

Jay finally hit a huge splash on Konley against the ropes that sent both men to the floor. Jay got a flurry of offense in, but Konley cut him off. He went for a Regalplex, but Jay blocked it. Konley went for it again a short time and nailed it this time. Konley hit a DVD bomb, but Jay kicked out at the last second and the fans fired up behind Jay. Jay mounted another comeback and nailed Konley with a shotgun dropkick into the turnbuckles. Konley managed to fight Jay off up top and he hit his leap up moonsault for the win.

Val got back on the mic after the match. She said The PAB was bringing the fans great success. The fans booed Val.

WINNER: Caleb Konley.

Star rating: (**1/2) – This was a good start to the show. Jay wrestled from behind the entire match and the crowd got behind him as he mounted several comeback before ultimately coming up short up.

Rich Swann’s music then played and he came out wearing a mask. Swann got on top of the bar and danced as the fans clapped. Swann got on the mic and said the last time in Orlando, he and Johnny Gargano beat their asses. He said he had some unfinished business with Trent. He told Trent to put his drink down and get ready to go all night long with Rich Swann.

(2) Trent Baretta (w/The PAB) vs. Rich Swann. On commentary, Lenny Leonard mentioned that it had been a long time since Trent had been in an EVOLVE ring. Swann hit a flurry of moves on Trent and then nailed him with Tozawa’s signature punch in the corner. Baretta nailed Swann with a dropkick as he came off the second turnbuckle and began working him over. Swann mounted a comeback and eventually nailed Trent with a jumping huracanrana off the turnbuckles. They went back and forth a short time later and Trent caught Swann with a big German. Trent went to work on Swann and hit a big tornado DDT for a 2 count.

Swann fired back after some back and forth action and hit a handspring ace crusher for a 2 count. Baretta rolled under the ropes and they went at it on the apron. Swann went for a shoulder tackle, but Trent jumped over him and nailed him with a leg drop. They exchanged blows on the apron and Swann lit up Trent with strikes, but Trent slipped around him and hit a suplex on the apron and the fans fired up. Swann was very slow to get back into the ring, but he managed to beat the ref’s count. Trent lifted Swann up and he grabbed the ropes. Swann eventually turned it into a huracanrana for a 2 count. Swann went up top, but Trent got up and turned him inside out with a big belly-to-belly off the top. Trent hit a running knee for a near fall and went for the dude buster, but Swann countered it into a backslide for a 2 count. Swann then hit a big roundhouse kick to the head and a frog splash off the top, but Trent kicked out at the last second. Wow! Both men got up and traded blows, but neither man would go down. They went back and forth off the ropes and Trent hit a huge running knee to the head followed by the dude buster for the win.

Val got on the mic again and gloated about The PAB winning another match. Val said if they wanted to know how much more winning they could do, she said they could win all night long. The fans booed as Trent had his hand raised by Andrea.

WINNER: Trent Baretta.

Star rating: (***1/2) – After a slow start, these two really turned up the heat and put together a really fun match. Swann took some big bumps during the match and pulled off some spectacular maneuvers. The finishing sequence, particularly the nearfalls, were well done.

Andrew Everett made his way down to the ring. A few fans chanted 3-and-0. It’s time for Nese vs. Everett.

(3) Anthony Nese (w/The PAB) vs. Andrew Everett. Nese went to duck under Everett, but he caught Everett’s leg. Nese spilled to the outside after colliding with Everett. Everett favored his leg before going back at it with Nese. Everett got the upper hand, but favored his knee as he went after Nese. They went back and forth off the ropes and Everett favored his knee while moving at a rapid pace. He connected with a springboard missile dropkick. Nese ended up on the floor, but Everett wiped out Nese and Konley with a huge flip dive to the floor. Everett continued to be able to move around despite his leg. He hit a standing SSP for a near fall. He set up for another dive, but Andrea grabbed it. Nese then jumped back into the ring and nailed Everett with a big clothesline. Nese finally went after Everett’s leg and nailed it with a stomp. Everett tried to bounce off the ropes, but Nese cut him off with a body block to the legs. Nese went for a moonsault, but Everett moved out of the way and began to mount a comeback. Everett hit a German and then turned it into a pinning combination for a nearfall. That was a nice pinning combination.

They ended up trading blows in the middle of the ring a short time later. They went back and forth and Everett fended off a one-arm power bomb from Nese and hit an enzuguri from his back. Everett went for a hurricanrana, but Nese tossed him off and nailed him with a superkick for a 2 count. That was incredible execution on that sequence. They went back and forth and Everett hit a reverse hurricanrana for a 2 count. Nese went after Everett’s knee a short time later. Everett tried to kick him off and Nese muscled him up and hit a one-arm buckle bomb. Nese then applied a half crab. Everett fought and managed to get to the ropes. The fans chanted for Everett and Nese nailed him with several slaps. Everett fired back with several forearms, but Nese countered him and hit a sit-out piledriver for a near fall and the fans gasped. Holy crap! Nese went up top and Everett nailed him with an enzuguri. They battled up top and Everett dumped Nese off. He then hit a huge SSP for the win. Holy s---!

Everett got on the mic and addressed Konley on the outside. He said he had just taken out his boy Nese. Everett said the FIP Championship wouldn’t look bad around his waist. He asked Konley to accept his challenge. Konley shook his head. Everett said it’s his decision. He said he didn’t know that Val had surgically removed his balls. Konley got into the ring and grabbed the mic. He told Everett he had the match tomorrow in Orlando. There seemed to be dissension among the PAB after the match, but Val smoothed things over.

WINNER: Andrew Everett.

Star rating: (***3/4) – Everett appeared to hurt his leg early and Nese didn’t go after it right away, but eventually targeted his leg down the stretch. It was amazing to watch Everett be able to move around the way he did, despite the apparent injury.

Chris Hero came out wearing a Charles Barkley throwback Phoenix Suns jersey.

(4) Trevor Lee vs. Chris Hero. Hero was also wearing Phoenix Suns ring gear. After an initial feeling-out period, Lee caught Hero with a big dropkick as he came off the ropes. Hero fired back and went to work on Lee on the outside. Lee tried to mount a comeback inside the ring, but Hero cut him off and hit a big senton. Hero went for a tombstone, but Lee managed to get out of it. Lee then hit a moonsault block off the second turnbuckle for a 2 count. They went back and forth. Lee ended up tripping Hero to the floor. He then nailed him with several running kicks to the chest from the apron to the floor before Hero finally went down and the fans fired up. The fans chanted for both men with Lee in control. Lee went for a cross-body off the ropes, but Hero turned it into an Ace Crusher for a 2 count.

They went back and forth and Hero went for a roll-up, but Lee eventually countered it into a dead-lift powerbomb and the fans fired up. Lee went up top, but Hero rolled to the other side of the ring. Lee went after Hero, who nailed him with a rolling Elbow. Lee ducked another rolling elbow and missed a roundhouse kick, but connected with the other foot. He then hit a deadlift German with a bridge for a 2 count. Hero countered out of a suplex and hit a death blow, but Lee kicked out at the last second. The fans fired up as both men regrouped. Lee mounted a comeback surprising Hero with his signature belly to belly maneuver off the ropes. They then exchanged bombs in the middle of the ring. Lee ducked a moonsault from Lee and connected with a pair of rolling elbows. Lee then hit a third rolling elbow and the fans grasped. Hero then tossed Lee into the ropes with a rainmaker variation and bounced him right back into a rolling elbow for the win.

Hero clapped for Lee after the match before leaving the ring. Hero asked for the mic as the ref tried to help Lee on the floor. Hero asked the fans to give it up for Lee. Hero said EVOLVE was filled with guys that are good. He said guys like Drew Gulak and Biff Busick. He said they’re good, but not good enough. Hero said he wanted challenges because he’s the guillotine here and he would keep taking their heads off. He dared EVOLVE to find someone better than Hero. A fan said Zack Sabre, Jr. is better than Hero. Hero said nine years ago he got on a plane and kicked a 16-year-old Sabre’s ass. He said he also got on a plane and kicked Sabre’s ass in Japan. He asked the fan if he had anything to say and the fans didn’t say anything.

WINNER: Chris Hero.

Star rating: (****1/4) – This was another really good match between Hero and Lee. They had some incredible exchanges during this match. Hero was unable to hit a piledriver on Lee during this match as he did in his previous match. The assault of rolling elbows on Lee to finish the match was crazy, especially the Rainmaker variation into the ropes.

The fans threw streamers at Zack Sabre, Jr. and then chanted his name when he got into the ring. Roderick Strong was out next to a good ovation for the crowd. Strong gave Sabre a shove before the ref backed him away.

(5) Zack Sabre, Jr. vs. Roderick Strong. The fans were fired up for the start of the match. Strong locked up with Sabre and then bailed to the floor. Leonard had a great line saying he speaks the Queens, New York language when they were talking about Sabre on commentary. They had some good back and forth sequences on the mat during the early stages of the match. They went to a sequence using a knuckle lock and eventually came to a stalemate and the fans applauded. Strong bailed to the floor once again to buy some time. The pace picked up and Strong went for a leap frog, but Sabre slid around him, grabbed his leg in mid-air, and tripped him to the mat. Sabre got a kimura on Strong, but Strong lifted him and drove him into the corner.

They battled up top and Sabre got a hold of Strong’s arm and wrenched on it. Strong managed to free himself with a punch. Strong tried to toss Sabre from the top to the floor from the apron, but Sabre fought out of his grasp. Strong eventually crotched Sabre on the ropes and he spilled to the floor. Strong lifted Sabre up on his back in the torture rack position and tossed him onto the apron and the fans fired up. Strong dragged Sabre on the floor by the legs and tossed him right into the big post near ringside. Sabre got back into the ring and Strong immediately hit an Angle slam for a 2 count. Strong smiled at the crowd and hit Sabre with some light stomps in the corner. Sabre tried to fire back with some uppercuts, but Strong nailed him with a huge chop and hit suplex for a 2 count. “Roderick Strong is beating Zack Sabre, Jr. like he stole something,” said Lenny Leonard on commentary. Sabre mounted a comeback and hit a diving European uppercut off the turnbuckles. The fans fired up as Sabre and Strong were down for a moment. Sabre nailed Strong with a series of running European uppercuts in the corner and the fans fired up and chanted for Sabre.

Sabre hit a huge kick to Strong’s arm a short time later. Sabre then positioned Strong’s elbow at an unnatural angle and stomped down on it. Sabre blocked a chop from Strong a short time later, positioned his elbow on the mat, and stomped down on it. Ouch! Sabre blocked another strike from Strong and bent his elbow back, but Strong managed to fight his way free. They began trading blows in the middle of the ring. Strong caught Sabre with an enziguiri up top a short time later. Sabre managed to knock Strong to the mat and hit a jumping knee off the top to his elbow. He then hit a German with a bridge for a near fall and the fans fired up again. Strong mounted a comeback and lit up Sabre with a series of blows in the corner. He eventually dumped Sabre down to the mat, but only got a 2 count.

The fans chanted “Both these guys” before they went at it again. Sabre rolled through on Strong and caught him with a bridging pinning combination for a near fall. Strong hit two huge knee strikes to the head and followed up with a superplex. He floated over and Sabre went for an arm bar, but Strong walked him over to the ropes and snapped Sabre’s neck under the middle rope and the fans fired up again. Strong got the Stronghold a short time later. Sabre kicked his way out and went for an arm bar, but Strong nailed him with a huge boot to the head to break free. Strong lifted Sabre up and they began trading blows. They went back and forth exchanging counters until Sabre got an octopus, but Strong turned it into a Dr. Bomb for a nearfall. They went back and forth again and Sabre got another pinning combination for a near fall and the fans applauded once again.

They began exchanging blows from their knees. The pace quickened and both men were stunned. They began kicking at each other lightly. They then got to their feet and Sabre decked Strong with a big forearm, but Strong kicked his leg out and nailed him with a kick to the head. Strong nailed Sabre with several forearm, but Sabre countered him and got a cross-arm breaker. Strong rolled over and Sabre grabbed a Fujiwara arm bar, but Strong got the ropes right away. Sabre hit a running kick to Strong’s arm in the corner. He then nailed him with a huge running kick for a 2 count. They went back and forth and Strong surprised Sabre with a running kick to the head. He then hit a gutbuster and the sick kick for a near fall. Strong then went for the end of heartache, but Sabre slipped out and turned it into a kimura. Sabre then transitioned into his signature double arm submission for the win.

Sabre left the ring after the match. Strong then got on the mic when he left and thanked Zack. Amazing.

WINNER: Zack Sabre, Jr.

Star rating: (****3/4) – This was absolutely incredible Strong put one hell of a beating on Sabre during the first part of the match. Sabre mounted a comeback and kept pecking away at Strong’s arm with some brutal arm work. The finishing stretch was incredible with so many great counter sequences. This was one hell of a war.

Drew Galloway nearly knocked down the entranceway making his entrance. He appears to be excited about the main event against Timothy Thatcher.

Thatcher got on the mic. He said he took one slap from Biff Busick and lost five weeks. He said instead of a non-title match, he wanted the EVOLVE Title on the line. Galloway got on the mic and paused. He said he had just turned 30. He said Hero had given him an opportunity in his first match outside of WWE and he became EVOLVE Champion. He said it’s hard to go last at an EVOLVE show because every match is MOTY. He said everyone believed in him and he had taken the title around the world and defended it. He said the best damn wrestlers on the planet were in EVOLVE. He said he then beat Gargano for the DGUSA Title during WM weekend. He said he became the face of WWN that night. He said he had done everything he could for the title. He said Thatcher is a hell of a wrestler. He said he was going to put both of his titles on the line. He said lets show these fans two MFers kicking the s--- out of each other.

(6) EVOLVE & DGUSA Champion Drew Galloway vs. Timothy Thatcher – EVOLVE & DGUSA Championship match. They went at it hot and heavy during the early going. Thatcher nearly caught Galloway with an arm bar a couple of times, but Galloway managed to escape and they came to a stalemate. Galloway got the upper hand and hit a big boot to the side of his head. He continued to go after Thatcher’s head before hitting a big belly-to-belly suplex. They exchanged blows and Thatcher nailed Galloway with a headbutt and he rolled to the floor. Both men traded uppercuts on the floor and Thatcher finally decked Galloway with a huge uppercut. Galloway fired back and set up a garbage can upside down. He then nailed Thatcher with a shoulder breaker over the garbage can. Galloway went after Thatcher’s arm back inside the ring a short time later.

Thatcher shook off a couple of slaps and fired up. He nailed Galloway with several knees to the ribs and went for an arm bar, but Galloway blocked it and eventually kicked him right in the head before stomping on his ear. Thatcher caught Galloway on the apron and tossed him shoulder-first into the ringpost. It looked like Thatcher was going for a future shock DDT, but Galloway backdropped him into a bridging pin. Thatcher held on and hit a double underhook suplex. Thatcher went for the fujiwara arm bar, but Galloway managed to fight out of it. They traded blows in the middle of the ring. The fans fired up as they continued to trade. Thatcher nailed Galloway with a kick, but he bounced off the ropes and hit a running boot to Thatcher’s head and both men were down as the fans fired up.

They battled up top and Thatcher shoved Galloway to the mat, but he nailed him with a headbutt to his injured ear. They went back and forth again. Galloway got shoved down to the mat, but he nailed Thatcher with a running kick to the head. Galloway lifted Thatcher up and hit an emerald frozien off the second rope for a 2 count. Thatcher fired back a short time later. He went for the Fujiwara arm bar and eventually got it in the middle of the ring. Thatcher then lifted Galloway’s arm up and he tapped! Holy s---! Wow.

The fans stood in disbelief and then applauded after Thatcher won. Leonard said the crowd had witnessed the birth of a new age. The fans applauded and chanted for Thatcher. Galloway handed the DGUSA title to Thatcher first. The fans chanted one more belt. Galloway looked at the EVOLVE Championship. He kissed it before handing it to Thatcher. Both men then shook hands. Thatcher shook hands from his knees and Galloway dropped down with him before hugging him. Thatcher then pointed in appreciation as he left the ring. The fans chanted for Galloway and he told them to chant for Thatcher. Thatcher got on his knees and celebrated with both titles. The fans chanted you deserve it at Thatcher as he kneeled in the ring. Leonard signed off by saying, “Timothy Thatcher is the man!”

WINNER: Timothy Thatcher to become the new EVOLVE and DGUSA Champion.

Star rating: (****) – This was one heck of a match and they got the crowd into it right away going at it hot and heavy before the action settled down. Galloway brutally attacked Thatcher’s injured ear throughout the match and Thatcher went after Galloway’s arm, but couldn’t get an armbar until the end when he locked in a Fujiwara arm bar. This result was certainly not expected and the fans reacted huge to the Thatcher winning both titles.

Brief overall thoughts: (9.5) – This was one of the best wrestling cards I’ve seen all year from start to finish. EVOLVE decided to go all-out with the injuries to Biff Busick and Davey Richards, which forced them to reshuffle the card.

They gave away a ton on this show and the big matches delivered in spades. Lee-Hero was another excellent match between these two, as they have incredible chemistry in the ring. Strong vs. Sabre, Jr. is one of the best matches I’ve seen all year and you should go out of your way to see it as soon as possible if you didn’t watch the show live. The main event, with Galloway putting up the DGUSA and EVOLVE titles against Thatcher in a match that was originally supposed to be non-title, was excellent. They managed to follow the Sabre-Strong match, which was a monumental task in itself. Thatcher and Galloway went to war and the match produced a surprise title change that shocked the fans in attendance.

I’ll be interested to see where EVOLVE goes from here, as they blew the doors off in terms of giving away huge matches. Timothy Thatcher being a double champion is a huge story as well and it seemed like the plans for him to climb back to the top of the mountain were thrown out on this night. EVOLVE continues to produce high-quality wrestling cards with a wide variety of matches. I implore you go purchase this show if you haven’t been following EVOLVE lately. The company has turned the corner and is producing some great shows. This show was amazing.


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