Joey Styles fired from EVOLVE after crude Trump-inspired comment, Thatcher suffers concussion (w/Radican’s Analysis)

By Sean Radican, PWTorch columnist



During a segment with Stokely Hathaway at EVOLVE 72, Joey Styles turned ring announcer to Joanna Rose and said, “Joanna, you look great tonight… and if our next President were here tonight, he’d want to grab you by the…” Styles did not finish the punch line. EVOLVE booker Gabe Sapolsky immediately posted on Twitter that he was upset by Styles’s comment writing, “I deeply apologize for Joey Styles’ comments and am furious.”

Styles was allowed to announce the main event of EVOLVE Champion Timothy Thatcher vs. Drew Gulak. After the main event, Sapolsky took to Twitter again. “We’ve parted ways with Joey Styles and that’s my final comment on this,” he wrote. “Thank you for your support.” FloSlam tweeted out support of Sapolsky’s decision to terminate Styles on Twitter after the show as well.

According to one source, Sapolsky had instructed the roster to stay away from political commentary in their promos, as he wanted to provide people with an escape after election week. Sapolsky confirmed this in an exchange with Cornette on Twitter today. Corvette wrote: “Joey Styles gets fired for funny p— grabbing joke, but the unfunny a–wipe that started it all gets elected POTUS? WTF is wrong w/people?” Sapolsky replied: “Jim, if you specifically instructed someone not to do something like that on a show & they did it, you would have gone after them with a bat.”

Radican’s Analysis: With EVOLVE trying to keep a good corporate image given their relationship with WWE and FloSlam, it’s not a surprise that Styles was fired immediately for his comments directed towards Rose. Styles even hinted during his promo exchange with Hathaway that he had been instructed to stay away from political commentary, which makes it all the more confusing as to why he directed a very crude and unfunny joke towards rose. In addition to making an inappropriate joke directed towards Rose, Styles also disobeyed a directive from Sapolsky, which was likely the nail in the coffin for him.


EVOLVE Champion Timothy Thatcher suffered a severe concussion during his main event title defense against Drew Gulak. He went to the hospital after the show and was released overnight. Sapolsky announced the concussion and Thatcher’s removal from the EVOLVE 73 lineup tonight in Joppa, Md. As a result, Tony Nese who was set to face Thatcher has an open contract.

Radican’s Analysis: Thatcher and Gulak had a brutal No Ropes match at EVOLVE 72. They took some big bumps outside of the ring, but more concerning was the bumps they took  after the boards were exposed under the canvas and padding. Thatcher and Gulak even bumped awkwardly at times into a hole of sorts that was created when a few boards were removed from the ring. I haven’t been able to find out exactly what caused Thatcher’s concussion, but sources close to Thatcher have told me that it was a very scary situation over night when he went to the hospital before eventually being released. The bumps Thatcher and Gulak took on the exposed boards were brutal during the match. Thatcher is said to be resting comfortably today, but it was definitely a very scary situation for Thatcher and those that accompanied him to the hospital last night.

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