EVOLVE 70 iPPV REPORT: Radican’s rundown of card including Zack Sabre Jr., Chris Hero, Drew Gulak, Matt Riddle, A.R. Fox


OCT. 14, 2016

Note: I missed the first four matches due to technical issues with my Roku.

(1) Darby Allen beat Anthony Henry.

(2) Nathan Cruz beat Jason Kincaid.

(3) Fred Yehi beat DUSTIN.

(4) The Gatekeepers beat Bunk & Funk in a squash.

Ethan Page cut a promo with The Gatekeepers by his side. He ran down Timothy Thatcher and said he would become the EVOLVE championship tonight and take the company to new heights. Thatcher came out and held up his title. He signaled that he wanted to start the match as Page hid behind The Gatekeepers. Page eventually agreed to start the match.

(5) EVOLVE Champion Timothy Thatcher vs. Ethan Page (w/The Gatekeepers). This was really flat with Thatcher dominating a lot of the action for the bulk of the match. They did a ref bump late in the match after Thatcher kicked out of a RKEgo and a super RKEgo. Thatcher fended off The Gatekeepers and Page hit him with a belt shot from behind. Another ref came out and made the count, but Thatcher kicked out at the last second. Page wiped out the second ref and Thatcher came up bleeding. Thatcher eventually tapped out Page to the Fujiwara arm bar after Page escaped the first attempt.

Winner: Timothy Thatcher to retain the EVOLVE Championship

Star rating: (*3/4) – This was just a really fault match and the crowd never got into it.

Stokely Hathaway came out after the match and pitched Thatcher joining forces with him to form a new version of the Dream Team. He had one of his girls make it rain on him with a wad of cash. Thatcher blew him off and left the ring. Hathaway said that Thatcher didn’t say no.

(6) Tracy Williams vs. Zack Sabre Jr. Leonard said Sabre’s goal now is to win the EVOLVE Championship. They went back and forth on the mat with Sabre working a head scissors submission over and over for the most part. Things got heated finally and they exchanged some blows become Sabre went back to work on Williams on the mat. Williams fired back and hit an awkward wheelbarrow slam and then a double stomp. Sabre then went right back to work on him with a cravat. Williams tried to lift Sabre up and he ended up dropping him on his head.

Williams and Sabre went back and forth on the mat. Sabre went for an arm bar, but Williams got a crossface. Sabre got a kimura a short time later, but Williams got to the ropes. Williams hit a German and Sabre got right up only to eat a clothesline for a 2 count. Both guys went for leg submissions at the same time. They then began nailing each other with kicks before letting go of each other. Both men were slow to get up after that exchange. Sabre got a triangle and Williams lifted him up and dumped him on the mat for a 2 count. Sabre went after his arm, but Williams hit a piledriver for a near fall. Sabre finally got a double arm bar with his foot on top of William’s head for the win.

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr.

Star rating: (***1/2) – This match started slowly, but it heated up big time during the second half. The technical style seems to have run its course with the EVOLVE audience and the wrestlers need to advance the style in order for it to stay over.

(7) Drew Gukak vs. Chris Hero. Hero got the better of Gulak for the most part during the realty going until Gulak caught him with a dragon sleeper. Hero got to the ropes and they went to the floor. Hero no-sold several forearms and decked Gulak on the outside with a huge elbow. Hero laughed off Gulak’s attempt to suplex him. He grabbed Gulak’s nose to stop a Saito suplex attempt. Gulak eventually connected with a suplex and both men were down. Gulak was rolling but Hero nailed him with the cyclone kill for a 2 count. Hero hit a couple of kicks to the face and Gulak spit at him. Hero decked him with a diving forearm. Gulak fired up again and eventually decked Hero with a big lariat for a 2 count.

Hero fired back and hit some huge chops and a straight right. They went back and forth and Gulak got the GuLock. Hero eventually managed to get to the ropes. Gulak tried to lift Hero off the mat for a piledriver. He tried to go for a Gotch, but Hero folded on top of him for a 2 count. They went back and forth and Hero hit a short piledriver. Hero then hit a Gotch piledriver, but Gulak kicked out at 2. Hero hit several rolling elbows in the corner. Hero hit a huge rolling elbow to the back of Gulak’s head as he was on his knees for the win.

Winner: Chris Hero

Star rating: (***3/4) – The lack of crowd heat hurt the match a bit at first. They were more into this match than most of the other matches I saw on the card.

After the math, Drew Galloway came down to the ring. He offered Hero a handshake, but Hero patted him on the stomach and walked out of the ring.

Galloway got on the mic and said Hero had made an example of Drew Gulak. He said Hero is a true independent success story. He said he wanted to talk about Matt Riddle. The fans started a bro chant. Galloway said Riddle had them fooled and he was the reason Galloway couldn’t wrestler tonight. He said as long as he’s in EVOLVE, Riddle will never be the top guy. He said he had extended his hand to Riddle and looked what happened. He blamed Riddle for his injury. He asked the fans to clasp their hands because his doctor had said by some miracle he avoided neck surgery that would have put him out a year. Galloway said he had a suitable replacement for him and that was A.R. Fox. He said Fox was an example of how EVOLVE used to be and would replace him tonight.

(8) A.R. Fox vs. Matt Riddle. Fox nailed Riddle with a dive over the top to the floor as he made his entrance and the fans fired up. Riddle took control and dominated Fox on the matt until Fox fired back with a sling blade. Riddle eventually sent Fox to the floor with a springboard knee strike. Fox fired back and hit lo mein rain to the floor! They went back and forth until Riddle countered Fox and hit a huge brain buster that left both men down. Riddle hit Bro to sleep on Fox for a near fall, which is a GTS with a knee to the ribs. Riddle hit several big knees to Fox’s ribs. They want back and forth and Fox hit a springboard ace crusher and a big swanton for a near fall. Fox went up top again, but missed a 450. Riddle hit several elbows and applied the bromission for the win.

Winner: Matt Riddle

Star rating: (***1/2) – They didn’t get as much time as the previous matches, but he crowd was into this clash of styles. Riddle looked good throwing Fox around and Fox got in some nice high-flying offense before submitting to the bromission in the end. Riddle continues to get more and more over show by show.

After the match, DUSTIN attached Riddle from behind. Galloway got into the ring and was about to finish off Riddle, but Catch Point made the save to a good pop. Gulak got on the mic and Catch Point turned their attention to Riddle. Gulak asked Riddle if he’s with them. Riddle said Bro, I never left. Riddle and Gulak shook hands. Riddle shook hands with Yehi and then Williams. Catch Point then did their hand signal and the fans chanted for Catch Point.

Contact Sean at pwtorchsean@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @seanradican

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