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EVOLVE 65 iPPV Report
July 17, 2016
In-person Report by Mike McMahon, PWTorch TNA contributor (@MikeMcMahonPW)
MELROSE, Mass. — EVOLVE wrestling made its New England debut on Sunday night at Memorial Hall in Melrose, Massachusetts. The venue has hosted numerous pro wrestling events in the past, with the local Millennium Wrestling Federation, of which John Cena, Sr. is part owner, running the building for more than decade.
Evolve filled up the building, with approximately 400 people (maybe more). By my count, there looked to be about 120 seats around ringside and then more on the stage, with general admission filling up the five rows of regular stadium seating behind that.
Many in the crowd attended the Beyond Wrestling show earlier in the day, which was also streamed on WWNLive for the first time.
(1) Cedric Alexander beat Tommaso Ciampa by pinfall in a WWE Cruiserweight Classic Spotlight Match. This was a fantastic opener. The crowd really got behind Ciampa early as the hometown favorite. There was some comedy early with back-and-forth between Alexander and Ciampa. After the match, it appeared that Ciampa was legitimately banged up. He walked gingerly to the back and looked like he had his shoulder/back wrapped under his t-shirt when walking around the crowd later in the night.
(2) Ethan Page beat Travis Gordon by pinfall. This was basically a squash match for Page, who got the win and was then laid out by Drew Galloway setting up the end of the show and also a match later in the calendar. Some in the crowd seemed disappointed in how little Gordon got to showcase his flips in this match.
(3) Matt Riddle beat Marty Scurll by submission. Scurll was really great as the heel and the live crowd was playing along well. The crowd was quiet at the beginning of this match but they got them back midway through and the people were with them on the finish.
(4) Catch Point (Drew Gulak & Fred Yehi & Tracy Williams) beat Chris Dickinson & Darby Allin & Jonathan Gresham via submission in a Catch Point Open Tryout Match. In terms of reaction, there was a similar arc with this match. The crowd was quiet early but came alive for the finish. Williams was legitimately busted open, hard way, after a dive to the outside. The back of his head was gushing blood, either from the floor or the barricade. Williams put a towel to the back of his head and went to the back as Gulak and the rest of Catch Point remained in the ring for a short promo which led us to our next match …
(5) EVOLVE champion Timother Thatcher beat TJP by pinfall to retain the Evolve Hvt. Title. There was a lot of good action in this match and the contrast in styles was evident while telling a really compelling story. Most people weren’t expecting a title change where this match was third down on the card, but they came alive with a few of the near falls towards the end.
(6) Zack Sabre, Jr. beat Tony Nese by pinfall in a WWE Cruiserweight Clsasic Spotlight Match. This match was fantastic. Sabre, Jr. is a won with a pinning bridge, which was very impressive. Nese looked great here as well. The crowd felt a little burned out prior to this, especially the Beyond fans who had been there for about seven hours to this point, but this match brought the building to life.
(7) Drew Galloway beat Johnny Gargano by pinfall. Not many of the matches earlier in the night went to the outside of the ring, and it was evident why here in the main event. The match practically started on the outside, which Galloway getting caught up in the apron early and then pulling off a slingshot after positioning Gargano under the ring itself, launching him up and face-first into the steel support beam of the ring. There were a lot of near falls and the live crowd was with this match from start to finish. It was a very good ending to the show.
After the match, Ethan Page charged the ring to run off Galloway, who was about to attack Gargano following a post-match promo. Gargano apologized for letting everyone down and walked to the back.
Page closed the show by announcing that Evolve would return to Memorial Hall in Melrose on December 11 for another show.