SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
“EVOLVE 64“ iPPV REPORT
JULY 16, 2016
Report by Sean Radican, PWTorch columnist
AIRED LIVE ON WWNLIVE.COM
Lenny Leonard interviewed Stokely Hathaway at the beginning of the show. Hathaway said we won’t see TJP vs. Zack Sabre Jr. tonight. Hathaway said in the interest of fairness, TJP needs a day of rest to prep for his match against Thatcher tomorrow. The fans booed. He said if tomorrow is for the EVOLVE Championship, TJP will need the rest for the biggest celebration in EVOLVE history in Boston. The fans booed. Joanna Rose then introduced the first WWE CWC Spotlight match.
(1) Cedric Alexander vs. Johnny Gargano in a WWE CWC Spotlight match. Brandon Tolle did the same thing the refs did before the CWC matches on the WWE Network this week and both men shook hands. The fans chanted this is awesome before the match started. They had a crazy exchange early with both guys avoiding moves before they came to a stalemate. Alexander sent Gargano to the floor and went for a dive, but Gargano cut him off with a slingshot spear! WOW!
Alexander caught Gargano with a dropkick and followed up with a suicide dive to wipe him out! Gargano took a huge chop and did the Flair flop for a 2 count! Gargano ducked a dive and Cedric landed on his feet only to eat a big enzuguri. Gargano hit his signature rolling kick a short time later. Cedric went for a springboard, but Gargano superkicked his legs out from under him. He then hit an enzuguri from the arpon. He followed up with a slingshot DDT for a 2 count. This crowd is red hot!
Alexander slipped out of a lawn dart and went for a springboard. Gargano went for the Gargano escape, but Alexander countered it. He hit a Michinoku driver a short time later for a 2 count. They went back and forth and hit each other with a superkick at the same time! Holy s—t! Both men were down. They got up and went back and forth. Gargano hit a lawn dart, but Alexander popped p and hit a superkick and brainbuster for a near fall! OH MY GOD! The fans went mental as both men were slow to get up. They got up and went at it. Gargano ended up rolling through on Alexander and he got the Gargano escape for the win!
WINNER: Johnny Gargano.
Star rating: (***3/4) – They tore it up in the opener, which went about 14 minutes or so. The fans were red hot for the back and forth action.
After the match, Galloway wiped out Gargano from behind. He hit a big release powerbomb and the fans booed. Galloway had a blank expression on his face. He went and grabbed a chair, but Page slid in front of Gargano. Galloway nailed Page with several chairshots. Drew Gulak came out and sent hit a dropkick that sent Galloway to the floor. The fans chanted or Gulak. Gulak grabbed the mic and said they had run EC3 right out of EVOLVE. He told Galloway he wanted to do this right now!
Page was shown being helped out by several officials. Chuck Taylor ran down to the ring and the fans lost their minds after he wiped out Gulak. Catch Point ran out and Taylor and Galloway bailed. Leonard said Gulak had brought Taylor into the company. Galloway got on the mic and said his message was so strong that allies would grow. Galloway then presented the fans with Dustin. That’s Taylor’s real first name. Galloway said they challenged Catch Point tonight. He said it would be Dustin and Galloway vs. Catch Point for the tag titles. He said this was Catch Points chant to prove that they’re men.
Tracy Williams took the mic and asked Galloway if he knows where he is. He said this is NYC. Williams said this is EVOLVE and they are Catch Point. Williams said this is their home. Williams asked Gulak if he wanted to defend the titles. Gulak agreed that the titles would be on the line. Leonard said Dustin hadn’t been on EVOLVE since EVOLVE 36 after a dispute with EVOLVE management. Leonard wondered why he would attack Gulak after bringing him to EVOLVE. Catch Point questioned each other before leaving the ringside area.
(2) Darby Allin vs Chris Dickinson vs. Tony Nese vs. Fred Yehi in a Four-way Freestyle. Williams was supposed to be in this match, but he’s out in order to defend the EVOLVE Tag Team Championships. Dickinson almost killed Allin right after the bell tossing him over the top right into the guardrail on the floor. This guy has a death wish. Leonard said this was effectively a triple threat. Yehi stomped on Nese’s hand and eventually nailed him with a basement dropkick. Allin began to rise on the outside. This was all action during the early going. Nese ended up alone in the ring. He set up for a dive, but Allin tripped him. Allin teased a move on Nese, but hit a trust fall to the floor to take out Yehi and Dickinson. Holy s—!
The action continued at a rapid pace as the fans fired up huge. Dickinson turned Nese inside out with a lariat and everyone was down. Dickinson hit a falcon arrow on Allin, but only got a 2 count. Yehi blocked a move from Allin and hit a German with a bridge. Nese broke it up and hit a DDT, but Dickinson broke up the pin! Dickinson got Allin up top and hit the Pazuzu bomb, but Nese managed to steal the pin for the win. Great Four-way action.
WINNER: Tony Nese.
Star rating: (***1/2) – This was a great action packed match. These guys tore it up.
(3) Wheeler Yuta vs. Ethan Page. Yuta impressed in a WWNLive tryout. Page hit the RK Ego and a buckle bomb during the early going. He then spiked Yuta with the package piledriver for the win.
WINNER: Ethan Page – Dominant performance from Ethan Page here.
After the match, Page asked the fans to applauded Yuta. Page said he had a message for Gargano. He said Gargano needs to forgive Ethan Page. Page said he had taken a beating for Gargano tonight and he did it for Gargano. He said he would take more beatings to prove to Gargano that he’s not the same Ethan Page. Page said Gargano’s plate is full and he’s only one man. He said Gargano needs Page as his tag team partner and friend. Page said maybe Gargano would listen to the fans, which got a positive response for the most part.
(4) Jigsaw vs. Zack Sabre Jr. I’m so thrilled to see Jigsaw get this opportunity. Jigsaw went for a pinning combination, but Sabre bridged out of it. Jigsaw and Sabre went back and forth and Jigsaw got a crucifix pin for a 2 count. Jigsaw did a head stand out of a head scissors and Sabre looked impressed as he sat on the mat. Jigsaw got a head scissors on the mat. Sabre managed to get a head scissors on Jigsaw at the same time. Jigsaw got out of it, but Sabre managed to counter him. He got a bow and arrow, but Jigsaw landed on top of him and they came to a stalemate. Jigsaw went for a surfboard, but turned it into a chinlock instead. He eventually shoved Sabre down and went back on the attack.
Jigsaw continued to work over Sabre. He worked on a groin stretch, but Sabre countered it into a kimura. They ended up in the ropes and Jigsaw went to the apron selling his arm. Sabre began working over Jigsaw. Sabre got a stranglehold with his knees on Jigsaw’s back. Jigsaw floated over for a 2 count. He pulled the ropes on Sabre a short time later and wiped him out with a huge flip dive over the top to the floor and the fans fired up. He went on the attack as the fans continued to fire up. He caught Sabre with a huge lariat as he came out of the corner.
They went at it near the apron and Sabre got an octopus through the ropes. Sabre ate an enzuguri and ended up draped over the middle ropes. Jigsaw came off the top with a double stomp for a near fall. Sabre got an octopus a short time later in the middle of the ring. He went right after Jigsaw’s arm, but he freed himself by driving Sabre into the corner. Sabre caught Jigsaw in a kimura with a body scissors.
Jigsaw got to this feet and eventually freed himself and hit a big brainbuster. He made the cover, but Sabre managed to kick out at 2. They went back and forth. Sabre eventually got a bridging pin for a near fall. Sabre hit a German and a PK for the win.
WINNER: Zack Sabre Jr.
Star rating: (***1/2) – This was a really good showing for Jigsaw. Sabre went over here, but Jigsaw looked really good in defeat.
(5) Matthew Riddle vs. Roderick Strong. Riddle came out wearing the EVOLVE Championship. Strong came out to a big pop. They went back and forth right away. Strong eventually hit a back breaker to slow Riddle down. Riddle did a double leg takedown. He did some ground and pound before hitting a gut-wrench suplex. Riddle hung onto Strong and hit another gut-wrench suplex and the fans applauded. Strong went for a chop, but Riddle decked him with an overhand chop. They went at it on the apron and Strong dropped Riddle chest-first onto the ring frame. He then dropped Riddle back-first over the guardrail a short time later and the fans gasped. Riddle fought out of a back breaker and went for a big roundhouse kick, but Strong caught it and hit a back breaker! WOW!
Riddle fired back up top and hit a flying knee strike to the head and both men were down. Riddle went after Strong’s arm. Strong countered and got on top of Riddle and stomped his face. Riddle went for a springboard, but Strong nailed him with a knee to the legs for a 2 count. Strong went back and forth off the ropes hitting forearms and elbows to the back and front of Riddle’s head. He finished the sequence and made the cover for a near fall. WOW! Riddle slipped around Strong and went for an arm submission, but Strong elbowed his way out of it. Riddle hit a springboard elbow a short time later, but only got a 2 count. Strong took his knee pad down, but Riddle cut him off with an enzuguri and both men were down!
They battled up top a short time later. Strong hit a superplex. Riddle went for a springboard and missed only to eat a sick kick by Strong for a near fall. Strong hit a Gibson driver. Riddle kicked out and Strong immediately applied the Stronghold. Riddle fought to the ropes and eventually kicked Strong off of him. Riddle hit a kick to the head. He then looked in a big modified abdominal stretch for the win! WOW!
Both men shook hands and hugged after the match.
WINNER: Matthew Riddle.
Star rating: (***3/4) – This was a really good hard-hitting match. Strong looked to be in control. These two went at it hard leading into a great finish with Riddle tapping Strong out with a modified stretch. Riddle is so good for his experience level.
Riddle cut a promo after the match and the fans chanted bro at him. He called out trashy Tim. He said he called him out every time he’s in EVOLVE and he never faces the challenge. Riddle trash talked Thatcher and rubbed the belt on his crotch. Thatcher came down to the ring and got in Riddle’s face. Riddle told Thatcher he had his Trashy little belt. He asked Thatcher what he was going to do.
Stokely Hathaway got on the mic and asked Riddle where he was earlier in the show. Hathaway said he’s not the type of person to stir up trouble. Hathaway looked at the EVOLVE Championship and said it’s not up to the standards of the Dream Team. He told Riddle to polish it up and make it presentable. Riddle rubbed the belt on his crotch. He said Riddle would hand the belt to TJP tomorrow. Hathaway said the next time they were in New York on Sept. 11, it would be him vs. TJP for the EVOLVE Championship. Hathaway said Riddle wouldn’t make it there because Tim had said the next time someone touched the belt he would hurt them. Riddle threw the belt at Hathaway. Thatcher asked for the mic and then snapped Hathaway’s finger. Riddle backed away from Thatcher and blew him a kiss.
Marty Scurll’s music played and the fans fired up. Riddle got bac into the ring and took the title with him. Scurll got on the mic and sung a lullaby to Thatcher about hurting him with the chicken wing. Thatcher said he didn’t come from England to argue. He said he came here to be the new EVOLVE Champion.
(6) EVOLVE champion Timothy Thatcher vs. Marty Scurll. Leonard said Hathaway was going to the hospital to check for a broken left thumb. It looked like Thatcher had the upper hand, but Scurll slammed him shoulder first into the mat. Scurll went on the attack and began working over Thatcher. Scurll went after Thatcher’s arm and stepped over on it while Thatcher was on the mat. Scurll grabbed Thatcher’s arm and stomped on his chest several times. He then grabbed a triangle. Thatcher lifted him up, but collapsed to his knees. Scurll went after Thatcher’s fingers a short time later. Ouch! Thatcher fired back.
They went back and forth. Thatcher hit a side Salto suplex. He held on and hit another side-Salto. He continued to hold on and hit a third side Salto suplex. Scurll fired back with a side Salto suplex of his own. Thatcher hit a Saito suplex, but only got a 2 count! Scurll asked the crowd to be quiet as he went after Thatcher’s fingers. Thatcher then grabbed a Fujiwara arm bar. The fans booed and Scurll escaped. They went back and forth until Thatcher hit a big German for a near fall. Scurll asked the fans to be quiet again and this time he snapped Thatcher’s fingers apart.
Thatcher fired back and went for a gut-wrench suplex. Scurll landed on his feet and applied the crossface chicken wing! Leonard screamed that Scurll beat him with this hold in Dallas. Thatcher tried to escape and Scurll hit several elbows. Thatcher tossed Scurll off and hit a headbutt to the back of his head. He then grabbed a choke sleeper and it was all over.
WINNER: Timothy Thatcher to retain the EVOLVE Championship.
Star rating: (***1/2) – This was a good match. I never really bought into Scurll getting the win here, but he had a good showing before Thatcher put him away.
After the match, TJP attacked Thatcher. They went back and forth until Catch Point ran down and dragged TJP away. Gulak and Thatcher went face-to-face. They will wrestling on Aug. 20. TJP hit Thatcher with a KO kick and some members of Catch Point didn’t look happy. Several officails ran down to help Thatcher.
Drew Galloway and Dustin came down to the ring. Everyone from Catch Point left the ring except for Gulak and Williams.
(7) EVOLVE Tag Team Champions Catch Point (Drew Gulak & Tracy Williams) vs. Drew Galloway & Chuck Taylor. They went at it hot and heavy during the early going. Gulak wanted Taylor. Taylor tagged in and they put the boots to Gulak. Gulak took a beating from Dustin. Galloway tagged back in and continued working him over. Dustin and Galloway tagged in and out to work over Gulak. Williams tagged in and went to work on Taylor. The fans chanted for Williams as he worked over Taylor. Taylor took a tandem belly-to-back suplex, but Taylor managed to kick out at 2. Taylor fired back and hit a dropkick for a 2 count.
Galloway tagged in and put the boots to Williams. Galloway got cut off and Taylor hit him with a senton for a 1 count. This match hasn’t had a lot of heat so far. Williams tried to mount a comeback, but Galloway cut him off and Taylor got into the ring and dropped a knee on him. Leonard wondered how long Galloway had this planned, as he was working very well with Dustin. Galloway lifted up Gulak before just dumping him down to the mat. Gulak and Dustin tagged in at the same time. Gulak got the upper hand with a series of strikes that drove Dustin into the corner. Gulak got the Gu-lock, but Galloway quickly made the save. Gulak countered Taylor and hit a snap suplex into the turnbuckles for a 2 count.
The pace picked up and Williams got the crossface on Galloway. Galloway got up and feed himself with a tombstone, but Gulak made the save. That was nice, but the crowd didn’t really care. Taylor fired back on Gulak and they hit a double team flat liner. Taylor then applied a variation of the Koji clutch on Gulak. Gulak began to fade and the ref checked his arm, but Gulak still had some fight in him. The fans fired up and Gulak managed to get to the ropes. Gulak finally fired back and tagged in Williams, who tried to fend off Galloway and Taylor.
The action picked up with all four men in the ring. Taylor drove Williams into the corner and Galloway nailed him with a running kick. Williams caught Taylor with a piledriver a short time later for a 2 count. Galloway fought out of an ankle lock and brawled to the floor with Gulak. He put Gulak under ring frame and hit a slingshot. OUCH!
Taylor fired back against Catch Point and hit a pop-up powerbomb. Taylor got consecutive nearfalls, then Taylor hit the Awful Waffle for the win! Wow! New tag champs.
WINNERS: Drew Galloway & Chuck Taylor to become the new EVOLVE Tag Team Champions
Star rating: (***1/4) – The action was good, but the fans were flat given the heel vs. heel dynamic. The action picked up nicely down the stretch and this got good late.
After the match, Galloway got on the mic and said, “I told you so.” The fans booed. He said this isn’t about any group. He said this is about hypocrisy in EVOLVE. He said EVOLVE had jumped on the back of a machine in reference to WWE. Galloway said he’s trying to save EVOLVE from itself. He said when he beats Gargano tomorrow he’s going to rip out EVOVLE’s heart.
Galloway said on August 20 they’re back in New York. He said they would be at full strength. He said next month, it would be him, Taylor, EC3, and Cody Rhodes. Galloway said thankfully they knows what is best for the fans.
Taylor got on the mic. He said he’s been in EVOLVE since day 1. HE said he was in EVOLVE before Gulak was even a wrestler. He said he was in EVOLVE when Gulak was in CZW. He said where’s Paul with his contract? He said Chuck Taylor is dead. HE said now they have the titles and tomorrow the only other man left from EVOLVE 1 will be gone. He said Galloway would break Gargano’s back. WOW!
Overall Thoughts: (7.5) – This was a really solid card. There wasn’t anything worth going way out of your way to see, but this show set up several things for the future. There wasn’t really a match that really blew me away on the card. Everything was good to really good, though.
The storylines got a lot of attention tonight, as the Thatcher-Catch Point feud is ready to launch on the next show. Elsewhere, it looks like Galloway and the anti-WWE faction are going to be formidable heels for the next couple of months at least. Adding Chuck Taylor to the group was a nice touch and later he renounced his name.
This show is the weakest EVOLVE card I’ve seen this year, but that’s not a bad thing. EVOLVE has set a really high standard this year and this show went by like a breeze. Every match ranged from three stars to three-and-three-quarter stars. The main event ended the show on somewhat of a down note compared to the rest of the card given the heel vs. heel dynamic, but Galloway’s post-match promo was strong as he announced his entire stable would be in full force in August. Thumbs up.
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