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RADICAN’S EVOLVE 62 BLOG
JUNE 10, 2016
YBOR CITY, FLA.
AIRED LIVE ON WWNLIVE.COM
Rob Naylor and Lenny Leonard previewed the show in the ring.
(1) Fred Yehi vs. Anthony Nese. Is it written in stone that Nese must be in all opening matches? No PAB with Nese on this night. Yehi missed a stomp early, but connected a short time later with a stomp to Nese’s leg. Nese fired back with a combination of kicks and got a 2 count. Yehi hit a stomp to the chest and kept his foot on Nese for a 2 count. Nese fired back after Yehi dominated for several minutes and hit a leg sweep on the apron. Nese dominated the action for a long period of time. Yehi made an unorthodox comeback and hit a dragon screw and a dragon suplex and both men were down. Yehi is so great. He does foot stops, foot punches, and runs the ropes unlike anyone I’ve seen. He’s a lot of fun to watch. They went back and forth and Nese ended a big sequence with a huge superkick that left both men down on the mat. They got up and began trading blows. Yehi finally hit a stomp to Nese’s hand and a rolling elbow for a near fall! They went back and forth down the stretch. Nese eventually missed a 450 and Yehi immediately applied the Koji clutch for the win.
Winner: Fred Yehi.
Star rating: (***1/4) – This match was a little slow to get going, but was really fun down the stretch.
Nese cut a promo after the match. He told the fans not to clap for him, but for Fred. He said he had been in a rut for a long time. He said the PAB turned into two guys acting like jerks. He said he was done with the PAB, but Tony Nese is still here. He said he knew the Cruiserweight Classic could turn his career around. He said tomorrow EVOLVE was hosting a WWE CC Flashpoint match. Nese said he wanted an opportunity to be in the tournament tomorrow. He said he’s not asking for an opportunity. He said tomorrow he would take his opportunity.
(2) Darby Allin vs. Ethan Page. This is a re-match from EVOVLE 59, which saw Page beat Allin. Allin was trained by Buddy Wayne! The announcers said this was a different Allin, who was no longer just a wrestler fresh off impressing during a WWN Live seminar. Allin used some high-flying to ground Page. He eventually got a 2 count with a springboard splash. Page lifted Allin off the top rope and ran across the ring and tossed him over the top to the floor. Holy s—t! That was savage. Several refs came out to check on Allin. Allin eventually stirred and tried to fight back to his feet. Allin finally got back into the ring to beat the 20 count and the fans applauded. Page acted like he didn’t want to finish Allin off. He told Allin just to go to the back, but Allin nailed him with a chop and flipped him off. Page wiped him out with a kick to the face and Allin kicked out at 1. Page hit a delayed jack hammer, but Allin managed to kick out at 2. Allin ducked a charge in the corner and hit a springboard headbutt. Page hit a slam off the top a short time later. He set up for the slingshot ace crusher through the ropes. Page hit it, but Allin kicked out at two. Allin caught Page with a nifty small package for a near fall out of a tilt-a-whirl. He went for another springboard, but Page nailed him with a huge kick. Page hit the package piledriver a short time later for the win.
Page shook hands with Allin after the match. The fans then started a chant for Allin once he was helped to the back.
WINNER: Ethan Page
Star rating: (***1/2) – This was one heck of a performance from Allin. He took a ton of punishment from Page and kept getting up. Allin was really good with his high-flying, but impressed me the most with his selling after the big spot when Page dumped him to the floor.
Cedric Alexander was out next for his EVOLVE debut and he got a big pop.
(3) Cedric Alexander vs. Matthew Riddle. Both men shook hands before the match began. Both men had a feeling out period before Alexander got the upper hand during the early going. Riddle went for a kimura and then snapped Alexander’s arm down to the mat for an arm bar attempt, but Alexander managed to get out of it. Riddle fired back and hit a gorgeous German to halt Alexander’s momentum. Yehi mounted a comeback a short time later and hit the Kobashi chops in the corner. They went back and forth after Alexander tried to mount a comeback and both men were down after Riddle hit a Fisherman buster. Wow! Both guys traded blows in the middle of the ring and Alexander grounded Riddle with a 360 enzuguri and the fans applauded. Alexander got a near fall a short time later with a Michinoku driver and the fans broke out in a this is awesome chant. Alexander ducked a springboard from Riddle and hit a huge back breaker, but Riddle got his foot on the bottom rope at the last second. Wow! Holy s—! What a near fall. Alexander went for a springboard, but Riddle caught him with a knee to the face. Riddle then clamped on a neck crank submission with the hooks in and Alexander had to tap.
Both men shook hands after the match and the fans applauded. The fans chanted thank you Cedric and he told them don’t say thank you because he’s going to be here for a very long time.
WINNER: Matthew Riddle.
Star rating: (***3/4) – This was one heck of a back and forth match. Alexander was on his A Game tonight and looked great in his EVOLVE debut. The fans really ate this match up as it went on. Great stuff all around here.
(4) EVOLVE Tag Team Champions Catch Point (Drew Gulak & Tracy Williams w/TJP & Fred Yehi) vs. The Bravado Brothers (Harlem & Lancelot Bravado). Harlem and Drew kicked things off. Bravados got the upper hand and Lancelot tagged in and began working over Gulak. Williams got the upper hand on Lancelot a short time later and hit a stomp, but Lancelot fired back with several uppercuts and Harlem tagged in and hit one of his own. The Bravados switched in and out as Gulak protested to the ref that they were breaking the rules. Williams mounted a comeback and tagged in Gulak, who hit a big scoop slam on Lancelot. Lancelot took a sustained beating from Catch Point. Lancelot fired back and hit a huge diving clothesline. Harlem got the tag and went to work on Gulak. Harlem baited Williams into the ring and then the Bravados went to work on Gulak on the outside with the ref distracted. Williams finally got the tag from Gulak and went to work on Harlem. He hit a big sliding kick on Harlem. Catch Point began tagging in and out. Gulak went to work on Harlem’s arm and locked in a nice combination leg/arm submission. Harlem finally cut Gulak off and tagged in Lancelot. Lancelot ran wild on Williams. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of heat for this match so far. Lancelot and Gulak went back and forth a short time later. Lancelot won a battle of forearm shots, but only got a 1 count. Lancelot hit a running Liger bomb a short time later for a 2 count. Williams got the tag from Gulak and ran wild on The Bravados as the action picked up. Williams got the cross face on Lancelot, but he managed to get to the ropes. Harlem got a tag from Lancelot and knocked Gulak off the apron before going after Williams. Something about the pacing of this match is off.
Neither team has had the advantage for very long. Gulak got a near fall on Harlem with a variation of the Regal-plex for a near fall. Gulak caught Harlem in the dragon sleeper, but Lancelot ran in and flipped him over. The Bravados then hit the gentleman’s agreement, but Williams made the save at the very last second. That was a good sequence, but the crowd just didn’t care. Harlem took care of Gulak on the outside. The Bravados then hit a doomsday suicide dive on Williams and the fans lost their minds. That’s a sick spot. The Bravados hit a tandem ace crusher on Williams inside the ring a short time later, but Williams kicked out at the very last second. Harlem booted Gulak off the apron and wiped him out with a sick dive. The Bravados nailed Williams with a sick tandem back stabber. Lancelot then immediately applied a single leg crab. Gulak struggled to get into the ring and finally pushed Harlem into Lancelot to break up the submission. Wow! The fans started a Catch Point chant with all four men down. Harlem and Gulak began trading bombs in the middle of the ring. Harlem then hit a Cactus clothesline on Gulak. Lancelot was left alone in the ring with Williams. They went back and forth and Williams caught Lancelot with a DDT on the top rope and then a brainbuster for a near fall. Gulak slammed Harlem on the floor. Williams then hit an avalanche style on Lancelot for the win. Wow!
Lancelot appeared to be hurt after the match. A couple of EVOLVE officials got into the ring to help him. Lancelot eventually got up under his own power.
WINNERS: Drew Gulak & Tracy Williams to retain the EVOLVE Tag Team Championship
Star rating: (***) – This was a long match that had a very dull first half. The pacing seemed off and the fans didn’t seem to want to get behind either men. The match got really good during the final stretch and both teams worked awfully hard to get the crowd invested.
Both teams shook hands. Drew Gulak then grabbed the mic. He said they were proud tag team champions. He said that Catch Point believes in competition and mentioned that he and T.J. Perkins would be in the Cruiserweight Classic. He said he had the EVOLVE World Championship in his bag in the locker room. He said the man that deserves that title is in the back. He said Thatcher might be the champion, but when you’re the champion, you don’t let another man sleep with your title. He said he had kissed the title every morning. He said Tim owes them each a championship match. The fans chanted where is Thatcher? Gulak said he wanted Thatcher to grant them what they deserve. Thatcher then made his way to the ring, but not before knocking over the EVOLVE entrance sign. Gulak grabbed the mic and Thatcher picked it up. He said they would all get their shot at the title. He said tonight he had a tough competitor in Chris Hero. He said they need to leave his ring right now.
Hero’s music played and he came out for his championship match. Catch Point still had not left the ring. Hero got on the mic and said he thinks it’s time to put the kids to bed and let the men handle their business. He told Catch Point to get out of our ring. Gulak got on the mic and in the spirit of competition, they would let the match happen.
(5) EVOLVE champion Timothy Thatcher vs. Chris Hero. Hero shook hands with Thatcher before they went at it. Thatcher went after Hero’s arm on the mat, but Hero managed to get to his feet and he pushed Thatcher into the ropes to force a break. Hero forced Thatcher into the corner a short time later. He teased taking a shot at him, but ended up offering a clean break. Hero went to work on Thatcher’s arm and hit a senton on it. Thatcher got a leg submission on Hero and he tried to kick his way out of it, but Thatcher wouldn’t let go. Hero then grabbed the ropes to break the hold. Hero got right up and hit several big forearms on Thatcher. Thatcher fired back and caught Hero with several big uppercuts near the apron. Hero fired back and nailed Thatcher with a big kick. Thatcher fired up and glared at Hero. Hero nailed him with another kick to the head on the apron, but Thatcher wouldn’t go down as he continued to glare at Hero. Thatcher caught Hero going for a running boot and got a knee bar using the ropes for leverage, but he was forced to let it go by the ref. Thatcher continued to go after Hero’s leg until he suddenly got caught with a straight right that sent him to the floor. Hero nailed Thatcher with a running kick that sent him flying into the seats on the outside. Thatcher managed to beat the 20 count, but Hero nailed him with a big senton. Thatcher tried to mount a comeback, but Hero caught him with a straight right that decked him in corner. Hero picked Thatcher up and slapped him across the face. Thatcher went for a dragon screw, but Hero stopped it and raked Thatcher’s eyes. Hero hit several big shots, but Thatcher fired up and nailed Hero with a big forearm. They traded shots and Hero hit a big boot to Thatcher’s face, but Thatcher fired right back with a Saito suplex that left both men down. Wow!
Thatcher got the mount position and began nailing Hero with punches. He went for a cross-arm breaker on Hero, but Hero got to the ropes. They went back and forth and Hero caught Thatcher with a short piledriver for a near fall! Hero nailed Thatcher with some big forearms, but he wouldn’t go down. Thatcher glared at Hero and nailed Him with a German and a backdrop driver, but Hero got up and no-sold it. Thatcher went for a short headbutt, but Hero cut him off with a big forearm for a 2 count. Holy s—t! Thatcher dropped to a knee to block a piledriver attempt. Thatcher blocked at Gotch piledriver attempt. Thatcher went for a Fujiwara arm bar, but Hero blocked it. Hero looked like he was going for death by elbow, but instead he hit a headbutt to the back of Thatcher’s head for a near fall. Hero went for a rolling elbow a short time later, but Thatcher caught him with a short headbutt for a 2 count. Hero kicked out and Thatcher went right to the Fujiwara arm bar. Thatcher switched arms and got a cross-arm breaker and tapped. Wow!
After the match, the fans chanted that was awesome. Catch Point came down to the ring after the match. Tracy Williams got on the mic and said he had defended his title, but his title was with them now. Williams said he didn’t steal thing. He looks them in the face and takes it from them. Gulak held up the EVOLVE title that Thatcher had left behind. Williams challenged Thatcher to put his title on the line. Gulak said Catch Point would do what Hero couldn’t and take the title from him. Hathaway got on the mic and said TJP is the uncrowned EVOLVE champion. Stokely said now is not Catch Point’s time. Hathaway said Thatcher needs to defend the EVOLVE Championship against the Dream Team. Hathaway made Brandon Tolle put the title around his face right in front of Thatcher. Thatcher looked upset. He got on the mic and said Williams would get a title shot tomorrow. Thatcher said as he works his way through Catch Point. He said everyone that disrespected the title by laying a finger on it would get hurt. Hathaway took the title off right away. Riddle said Thatcher had cheated to keep his title. He said he beat Thatcher twice and he’s trash. Riddle said he would beat his ass and take his belt. Riddle held the title up in Thatcher’s face. Riddle left the ring with the EVOLVE Championship on his shoulder.
WINNER: Timothy Thatcher.
Star rating: (****1/4) – This was a great match with Thatcher simply refusing to go down to Hero’s striking offense. These two have great chemistry and this was another great technical hard-hitting encounter between both men. The crowd was into the match, but the heat wasn’t there to take this match to a higher level.
(6) Ethan Carter III & TNA Hvt. Champion Drew Galloway vs. Johnny Gargano & TJP (w/Stokely Hathaway) in a Non-Sanctioned Street Fight. The fans chanted back and forth for Gargano and EC3. EC3 asked if the mask is unsanctioned and he nailed the ref with a punch. Both teams then began brawling. Both teams brawled into the crowd. It was hard to see what was going on as both teams went at it on the floor. They went to the streets and Gargano punched EC3 in a bicycle taxi. LOL that was great. Both teams went at it on the street outside the venue. Galloway tossed Gargano into a light pile. TJP and Gargano whipped Galloway into a light pole on the other side of the street! EC3 then headed to the outside. Gargano and TJP eventually nailed him with a double superkick. Wow! They brawled back into the venue. The action was chaotic, as Gargano nailed Galloway with a big dive through the ropes. TJP got a chair and used it on EC3. TJP placed EC3 on the bar and slid him into a superkick from Gargano. Gargano and TJP then did the Pee Wee dance on the bar. Gargano then hit a dive off the bar to take out EC3. TJP went for a dive on Galloway, but he got caught and dumped onto the merch table. The announcers mentioned TJP landed on his own merch that was for sale at the venue. LOL. Galloway got Gargano on his shoulders and did squats on the floor. He then tossed Gargano into the ring. Gargano ended up isolated in the ring. EC3 and Galloway began working him over. EC3 told Galloway to get a ref. He then taunted the fans, but got cheered. Galloway forced Tolle out to the ring. EC3 and Galloway nailed Gargano with a double choke slam for a 2 count. EC3 and Gargano yelled at the ref. Gargano ended up rolling up EC3 for a near fall as Galloway yelled at the ref.
TJP recovered and ran into the ring. He hit a double arm drag on Galloway and EC3. He continued to run wild on both of his opponents. Gargano recovered on the floor and caught Galloway with a slingshot spear. TJP hit a big frog splash on EC3, but Galloway made the save! Galloway and EC3 mounted a comeback and got the upper hand. Gargano got isolated and EC3 and Galloway took off one of the turnbuckle covers. Gargano fired back and tossed EC3 into the exposed turnbuckle. TJP then recovered and sent Galloway to the floor with a dropkick. Galloway fired back on TJP on the floor with a chair. He went after Gargano with a chair, but Gargano tripped him and got the Gargano escape. TJP put EC3 in an ankle lock with a grapevine. EC3 broke up Gargano’s submission with an eye poke. Galloway then made the save for EC3. Galloway and EC3 took a pair of double superkicks a short time later and the fans applauded. They put a table in the ring, but EC3 and Galloway hit stereo low blows. Galloway and EC3 hit a tandem powerbomb on the table on TJP. Gargano was then shown down on the floor. He popped up and tossed a chair at EC3. Gargano wiped out Galloway as well and went into the ring to check on Perkins. Gulak came out to check on TJP as well. Hero ran into the ring suddenly and wiped out Gulak and Gargano with short piledrivers. The fans booed. Hero then grabbed TJP and held him. He then gave TJP to Galloway. Galloway hit a tombstone on TJP and smiled. EC3 then hit a headlock driver on TJP for the win.
Winners: EC3 & Drew Galloway
Star rating: (***3/4) – This was an entertaining brawl. The segment outside of the venue was really entertaining, especially Gargano and EC3 fighting in a bicycle taxi. The lighting on the outside wasn’t great, so a lot of the brawling segments were well lit.
After the match, Tolle raised the hands of the winners. EC3 then patted Tolle on the face before decking him. Galloway got on the mic. Galloway said this wasn’t about who’s wrong and who’s wrote. He says they’re right and they are wrong. EC3 said they just decimated everyone. Galloway said he would do this alone, but EC3 joined him. Galloway said they wanted to show they could make it on their own and don’t need the backing of a machine. Galloway said they would make a segment bigger than the cruiserweight tournament. He said with Hero on the side, nobody could stop them. Galloway said their numbers were growing. EC3 and Galloway talked about their brother with face paint. He said it turned out they were talking about Cody Rhodes. Galloway said on Aug. 19 Cody was coming for him. Galloway then introduced the main event of the evening. He then gave EC3 the mic. Ethan Page came down to the ring, but Galloway gave him a future shock DDT right away. EC3 said now that fake Ethan is gone, he has some words. He said last time he was on the mic he hit a fatality up north. He said a man in the office said he couldn’t say a few things, but they had forgotten he doesn’t answer to him. He said he was going to drop the most controversial statement in the history of wrestling. EC3 then plugged Slammiversary and Lenny Leonard screamed for his mic to be cut. EC3 and Galloway then left the ring. That was great.
The cameras surveyed the damage as an EC3 chant started. Leonard and Naylor apparently thought the show was over as they joked about Leonard’s line to cut the mic.
Overall score: (8.0) – This was a really good show. It didn’t feature a blow-away match, but as a whole, EVOLVE delivered a product that is worth your money. All of the matches were good, although the tag match went around 27 minutes and dragged at times. The last two matches were really good and I like the invasion angle with many non-WWE wrestlers being introduced to go against EVOLVE and WWE. Thumbs up.
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