SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
RADICAN’S EVOLVE 76 REPORT
JAN. 27, 2017
SAN ANTONIO, TEX.
AIRED LIVE ON FLOSLAM.TV
Catch Point came out first and Williams said they would prove that they are dominant tonight.
(1) Jaka (w/Catch Point) vs. Peter Kaasa. In a sad bit of news, Kaasa cut his mullet and now has a rat tail. This turned into a good back and forth match with Kaasa making several comebacks. At one point he went up top for a moonsault, but the rope snapped and he looked to have landed on his head. Jaka then quickly hit a powerbomb on him for the win. This was fine for what it was. I’d like to see Jaka improve the presentation of his character and give fans something to latch on to. He’s bound to get lost in the shuffle as part of a larger group if he doesn’t do something to stand out more.
Star rating: (**1/2)
They took a break to fix the ropes. Catch Point then came back to the ring to cut a promo. Chris Dickinson ended up saying he wanted his match right now.
(2) Chris Dickinson (w/Catch Point) vs. Darby Allin. It was scary to watch this match right after the ropes were fixed given some of the stunts Allin likes to pull. Dickinson blocked a coffin drop attempt early and went on the offensive. The match was built around Dickinson trying to finish of Allin with the Pazuzu bomb, but being unable to. At one point they went to a cool sequence where Allin countered a Pazuzu bomb attempt into a hurricanrana on the floor. He then hit a coffin drop to the floor to fire up the crowd. Allin finally ended up slipping out of another Pazuzu bomb attempt later in the match and he got a pinning combination on Dickinson for the win.
Winner: Darby Allin
Star rating: (**3/4)
Dickinson went after Allin after the match, but Catch Point was able to drag him away.
(3) DUSTIN vs. Jason Kincaid. Kinkaid has a unique look and in-ring style, which is good given that it takes a lot to stand out from the pack on the indies. DUSTIN managed to have the upper hand throughout most of the match by staying one step ahead of Kinkaid. They did a nice spot late in the match where DUSTIN caught Kinkaid going for a dive and carried him around the ring before delivering a vertical suplex. The ref took a chair away from DUSTIN a short time later and Kinkaid eventually hit a stunner and a double stomp off the ringpost. He then submitted DUSTIN with passionate release. DUSTIN isn’t clicking as a heel for me right now. He just kept the match at a very slow pace during the early going. Things did pick up nicely late.
Winner: Jason Kincaid
Star rating: (**1/2)
(4) Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Ethan Page (w/The Gatekeepers). Sabre attacked Page and The Gatekeepers as they were making their entrance to start things off hot. Page got the upper hand and worked over Sabre for a long period of time. I thought this segment of the match was a bit too methodical given that Page should have been more upset after Sabre’s attack to start the match. They battled up top later in the match and Page hit a nice power slam. The action was actually quite good leading into the finish, which saw Sabre submit Page with a triangle. Sabre held on after the bell and Darby Allin came down to the ring and watched Page pass out. The storyline here is that Allin is upset with Page for bringing Brian Cage to EVOLVE. Sabre wouldn’t let go of the hold and the ref ended up giving the win to Page. I wasn’t a fan the reverse decision, but the action was good.
Winner: Ethan Page via reverse decision
Star rating: (***1/4)
(5) Progress Atlas Champion Matt Riddle vs. ACH in a Non-Title match. Riddle offered a handshake and then patted ACH’s chest after he accepted before the match started. They went back and forth during the early going with Riddle trying to get ACH down on the mat and ACH trying to utilize his high-flying. They had really good chemistry with Riddle utilizing his power and MMA-style offense against ACH’s speed throughout the match. They built to a really nice sequence late where they traded snap German suplexes and both men were down. Riddle eventually hit bro to sleep followed by a fisherman buster for the win. The crowd was red hot for most of this match and both men shook hands after it was over to a big ovation.
Winner: Matt Riddle
Star rating: (****)
Thatcher & Cobb are up next to challenge Catch Point for the EVOLVE Tag Team Championship. Hathaway made a deal with Cobb that if he teamed with Thatcher, he would get a shot at the EVOLVE Championship.
(6) EVOLVE Tag Team Champions Catch Point (Tracy Williams & Fred Yehi) vs. EVOLVE Champion Timothy Thatcher & Jeff Cobb (w/Stokely Hathaway). This was a very enjoyable tag match. It was an even back and forth contest. Cobb got a chance to show off his power, as at one point he broke up a Yehi pin on Thatcher and dead-lifted him into position for a fantastic looking overhead suplex. The story here was whether or not Cobb and Thatcher would get along. They ended up not having any noticeable problems during the match, which I thought was the right way to play it here. Yehi has improved his look and is now wearing decent looking gear and wrestling sneakers. He’s also put on a noticeable amount of muscle mass. He ended up grounding Thatcher before tapping him out with the Koji clutch. The crowd seemed surprised he won and then exploded into Yehi chants. I wasn’t expecting the finish there either, but it does establish Yehi as a dangerous man on the mat. He’s someone that’s going to have a huge year in 2017.
Winners: Fred Yehi & Tracy Williams to retain the EVOLVE World Tag Team Championship.
Star rating: (***1/2)
Larry Dallas came down to the ring dressed in a lavender suite. He asked Hathaway about the champ tapping out. He asked if Thatcher could rebound from the loss in time for his title defense tomorrow. Hathaway called Cobb a fat slob. He said Thatcher didn’t tap out to lose. He tapped because Cobb gave up on him and his team. Cobb directed his attention towards Thatcher. He said he had known him for a long time, but tomorrow he would take the title off of his waist. He said if they are friends, he had some real talk for him. He asked Thatcher when he became Stokely’s bitch. Dallas said he had made tomorrow’s title match much more exciting. He nearly backed into Thatcher before diving out of the ring. That was funny.
(7) Chris Hero vs. Keith Lee. Hero went into the ropes during the early going and they broke. Hero managed to hold himself, but appeared to tweak his neck. Hero asked the ref to help him take the top rope out of the ring. The fans chanted f—k that rope. Hero and Lee then tossed the entire top rope to the floor. Hero ended up surprising Lee with a bicycle kick. The action heated up with a back and forth exchange on the floor. At one point, Hero hit a big swanton off the apron to the floor on Lee. Later in the match, Lee went to the second rope for a moonsault and it gave out completely. Lee landed right on top of Hero and appeared to avoid a nasty fall like the one Kaasa took earlier in the show. A short time later, Lee blocked an elbow attempt from Hero and hit a huge sit out powerbomb for a near fall. The finish of the match saw Hero nail Lee with a flurry of elbows. He couldn’t get Lee to go down. Hero eventually ended up hitting the Gotch piledriver for the win. The ropes breaking definitely interrupted the flow of this match a couple of times, but it was still really good.
Winner: Chris Hero
Star rating: (***1/2)
After the match, Hero got on the mic. He said he’s the greatest of all time and he doesn’t just say it, he believes it. Hero said the top and second rope had snapped, but he managed to piledriver Lee to win the match. Hero put over Lee with a little freestyle rap. He told the fans to applaud Lee. The fans gave Lee a big pop and then chanted his name, as Lee continued to recover. Hero asked who was watching Lee for the first time and a lot of fans clapped that they had seen him for the first time Hero mentioned he had had over 2,000 matches. He continued to put over Lee. He said he had it all except one thing. Hero said he didn’t have for a long time, but developed over the last three years. He said it was killer instinct that Lee lacked. Hero told Lee to find that killer instinct and nobody would stop him.
Sabre came down to the ring and got on the mic. He said this is Hero’s weekend. Sabre said he would show him a killer instinct tomorrow. He said when he finally beats Hero, he can stay and Kassius Ohno can piss off to Florida. Sabre then left the ring. Hero got the mic and said he would make Sabre bleed and knock his teeth out tomorrow. He also corrected the pronunciation of Kassius. Hero then told Lee he had earned this and offered a handshake. Lenny Leonard said Hero rarely offers a handshake after the match. Both men hugged and the fans applauded. Hero and Lee posed on the bottom rope to end the show.
Overall score: (6.5) – There was some good wrestling on this card, but the undercard dragged a bit and the only match really worth going out of your way to see was the ACH-Riddle match. Unfortunately the ring breaking at the beginning and then again at the end of the show made me a bit nervous watching the matches. Kaasa took a nasty spill at the beginning show when one of the ropes broke. Then the top and middle rope broke during the main event between Hero and Lee. I was really looking forward to Hero vs. Lee, but it was hard to get into it given the ropes breaking twice. There was some good stuff on this show, but if you’re looking to run through the essential stuff on a jam-packed wrestling weekend, I would watch Riddle vs. ACH and move along.
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