wrestling / TV Reports

411’s EVOLVE 14 Review 6.28.12

July 2, 2012 | Posted by TJ Hawke

June 28th, 2012
Ybor City, Florida

Commentators: Lenny Leonard, Colt Cabana, & Daffney

Jake Manning [1-1] (w/ Chuck Taylor & The Swamp Monster) vs. John Silver [1-1]
Swamp Monster was the most over person, which warms my heart.

Silver had some success early in taking the bigger man down. They ended up on the apron and Manning gave Silver a snapmare onto the apron. Lenny Leonard had a great reaction on commentary. Manning started to get the heat after that. Silver made a wacky comeback, which included a diving cannonball splash in the corner. Manning avoided a diving uppercut. Manning hit a backbreaker/spike Mic Check combo: 1…2…NO! Manning appeared to be going for a DVD, but Silver escaped and hit an arm-trap backstabber: 1…2…3

This match worked. It didn’t set the world on fire or anything, but they got the crowd involved. I’m not really a fan of either guy, but they got the job done here.
Match Rating: **1/2

Chuck Taylor grabs the microphone and says that he will win the Freedom Gate Title at Evolve 15. He says the first challenger will be The Swamp Monster. Knowing that will never come to pass saddens me greatly.

Chuck Taylor [8-3] (w/ Jake Manning & The Swamp Monster) vs. Colt Cabana [0-0]
This is Colt’s Evolve/DGUSA debut. Taylor is the Wins Leader of Evolve, and he is getting a Freedom Gate title shot at Evolve 15.

Colt was doing some Colt things early, and Chuck proved to be an excellent foil for this. This was good times. Colt was on the middle rope, and Chuck kicked out his right leg which got caught in the ropes. Taylor then went after Colt’s right leg. Taylor got the figure-four leglock. Colt managed to roll both men to the floor, but Taylor kept the submission on for a bit. Taylor tried to get a countout win, but Colt made it back in. Taylor tried for another leg submission, but Colt kicked him out of the ring. Taylor went for a springboard, but Colt hit a palm strike as Taylor was on the way down. Colt made a big comeback. Colt got a nearfall with a Butt Butt. Taylor went for another figure four, but Colt got a nearfall with a small package. Colt went for a figure four, but Taylor reversed the leverage. Colt reversed it right back and Taylor managed to kick out of the hold. Taylor went for a moonsault, but Colt avoided it. Taylor managed to lock in the single leg crab and Colt tapped out.

This was another fun undercard match that also put Taylor’s submission over strong going into his Freedom Gate Title shot. I would like for Cabana to return to Evolve for sure. Taylor doing comedy seems strange since he a Freedom Gate Title shot the next night, but he’s never really been a super serial wrestler (so whatever).
Match Rating: **1/2

The Scene [2-0] (Caleb Konley & Scott Reed w/ a young lady) vs. Mike Cruz & Cheech [0-0]
The Scene came out to silence, except for one guy booing. Lenny Leonard says he is no longer going to learn the names of the Scene valets. LOL. He’s only called their valets by their names once. Cruz and Cheech have never tagged together before. The tag division has always been a weakness of Evolve.

The Scene quickly played the numbers game to cut off Cheech. That didn’t last long though, and Cruz quickly tagged in. Cruz had much success against the Scene by himself. Cruz wiped out Konley with a suicide dive. Cruz went to the top rope, but Reed tossed him to the mat to cut him off. The Scene started to work over Cruz. Cruz killed Reed with a series of kicks. Cheech tagged and ran wild. He hit an awesome somersault plancha on Konley (that the camera mostly missed but it still looked good). Cheech hit a diving cross-body on Reed for a nearfall. The Scene hit Cheech with a double team move for a nearfall. Cruz made the save. Cheech killed Konley with a diving facewash and a 619 from the floor. Cruz hit Konley with a springboard frog splash: 1…2…NO! Reed sent Cheech to the floor, which allowed the Scene to hit That’s Obscene on Cruz: 1…2…3

This was another solid match to start off the show. I left this match far more interested in what Cruz and Cheech could do as a team going forward than the Scene. I really hope they continue as a team because they are fun and being in a team covers up a lot of their weaknesses.
Match Rating: **1/2

Style Battle Round Robin Tournament
Jon Davis [1-3] vs. Tommy Taylor [0-0]
You get two points for a win and lose one point for a loss. Davis said he would retire if he didn’t win all three of his matches. Taylor is a local veteran, who had seemingly retired.

Neither man could get the advantage early. Davis couldn’t overpower him and Taylor couldn’t lock in a submission. Taylor hit a blockbuster/neckbreaker combo, and he then went after the left arm of Davis. Davis caught him with a snap powerslam for a nearfall. Davis was in control for a while after that. It’s been a very methodical match. Taylor slapped him and Davis had a great look on his face after that. Taylor got to his feet and delivered some strikes. Davis went for a powerslam, but Taylor locked in a sleeper. Davis escaped, but Taylor took him down with a leaping lariat. Davis came back with DAT SPINEBUSTER. Davis hit a running knee: 1…2…NO! Davis called for the lariat, but Taylor avoided hit and hit a nice tornado DDT. That got Taylor a nearfall. Taylor hit a dropkick, but Davis bounce right back with a POUNCE. Davis then hits Three Seconds Around the World: 1…2…3

Very methodical match that I enjoyed, but it may not have been for everybody. For the sake of the crowd, they probably should have gone with a faster paced match, but I think this worked for the most part. The Style Battle itself doesn’t mean much, but Evolve is doing a good job of presenting these matches to mean more than the average Evolve match.
Match Rating: ***

Style Battle Round Robin Tournament
AR Fox [4-1] vs. Bobby Fish [3-4]
Fish has won his last three matches in Evolve. Fox was the 2011 Style Battle Winner. These two apparently had an unbelievable match at the 2011 Jeff Peterson Cup.

Colt Cabana joined the commentation station shaped like a table. “Go Fish” chants! I love you JP and Ben. Fish and Fox went back and forth to start with neither man getting a decisive advantage. They ended up on the floor, where Fox hit the Kick Flip moonsault to light up the crowd. Fox rolled him back in the ring and hit a slingshot legdrop. Fish was put on the apron and Fox hit a top rope legdrop. Fox has no concern for his well-being, but he is great to watch. Fox went for a frogsplash, but Fish got his knees up. Fish laid in some huge kicks. One of those kicks sent Fox to the floor. Fish was now in complete control. Fox avoided a big kick, and he came back with some nifty kicks of his own. Fish came back with a tilt-a-whirl back breaker and his beautiful moonsault: 1…2…NO! FISH KILLED HIM WITH A ROUNDHOUSE KICK: 1…2…NO! That was awesome. Fox caught him with a rollup for a nearfall. Fish hit the Roddy gutbuster and a big sole butt for another nearfall. Fox tried to come back with Lo Mein Pain, but Fish blocked it. Fox hit an enzugiri and springboard dropkick which sent Fish to the floor. Fox then hit the springboard 450 to the floor. Fox somehow landed on his feet, but he then collapsed to the floor. This match is great by the way. Both men got in before the 20 count. Fox hit the My Dick Explodes and a shooting star cannonball splash in the corner: 1…2…NO! Fox followed that with a senton atomico: 1…2…NO! Fish avoided a springboard move and both men started trading strikes. Fish took him down with a dragon screw legwhip. Fox came back with the middle rope diving ace crusher: 1…2…NO! Fish avoided a Contra Code and rolled him up for a nearfall. Fish got the Fish Hook out of nowhere! Fox taps out!

Lenny Leonard comes to the ring and brings up that Fish is now 4-4 after starting 0-4. Fish cut a promo that did more to get over “Evolve is all about Wins & Losses” than anything else Evolve has done since the company started. Fish says the rest of the Style Battle is his chance to get above .500.

Great match that quite frankly blew away the other Style Battle matchup. Pardon the cliché, but Fox and Fish left it all in the ring and didn’t hold back at all. This match was so much fun, and I can’t wait to watch more of these two men in Evolve and DGUSA.
Match Rating: ***3/4

Sara Del Rey vs. Santana Garrett
This match was put together to hype the Shine Wrestling promotion, which starts in July and is run by the WWNLive crew. Synergy~!

Daffney was on commentary for this match. Del Rey was in control early and often. Garrett took her down with a headscissors, but Del Rey came right back with a boot to the face. Garrett took her down with a legsweep, and Del Rey just palmed her face and shoved her down. Garrett took her down with a hurricanrana, but Del Rey came back with a pair of axe kicks. Koppou Kick! Del Rey then hit the Royal Butterfly: 1…2…3.

Del Rey got the microphone and buried Garrett. She wants to know if that was really was the best Shine had to offer. Del Rey says she wants the best, and that she wants a challenge that she has never had before. Del Rey called out Jazz.

Just a glorified squash match to put over Del Rey as the face of the Shine promotion. Garrett didn’t do much to impress me.
Match Rating: *1/2

Johnny Gargano [6-4] vs. Tony Nese [0-3] vs. Alex Reynolds [3-0] vs. Lince Dorado [0-1]
Gargano is obviously still the Open the Freedom Gate Champion. Nese recently quit TNA. Despite being in TNA for 10-11 months, Nese only managed to miss three weekends of Evolve. I question Nese’s “official” record. He didn’t eat the pinfall in the four way match he was in, and the first Style Battle didn’t count for the records. Reynolds has quickly gotten three singles victories in Evolve, but he came out to crickets. Lince had a strong showing at the DGUSA Wrestlemania weekend this year. Lince was a replacement for Silas Young, whose absence was never explained.

Reynolds and Lince start the match off. Nese attacked Lince from behind. Reynolds sent him to the floor with a dropkick. Gargano then hit Reynolds with a dropkick. Lince took Gargano down with a springboard corkscrew press. Lince then dropkicked him to the floor. Nese knocked Lince down and hit a slingshot Lionsault. Reynolds took Nese down with a Sick Kick. Lince went for a Lionsault on Reynolds, but Gargano hit Lince with a dropkick in mid-air. Gargano caught Nese with a Gotcha spear. He then hit Reynolds with tope suicida. He then hit Lince and Nese with a pair of rolling sentons from the apron. Gargano took out Reynolds with a slingshot DDT: 1…2…NO! All four men did a Tower of Doom spot. Nese hit Reynolds with a series of kicks. He tried to powerbomb Lince, but Lince reversed it into an X-Factor. Gargano hit Lince with a superkick! Reynolds hit Gargano with a moonsault, but Nese hit Reynolds with a deadlift German, only for Lince to hit Nese with a Ghetto Stomp. Gargano and Reynolds then stood on the floor, looking up, and waited for Lince to hit a moonsault to the floor. That did not look organic at all, even by the standards of moonsaults to the floor. Back in the ring, Lince tried to hit a hurricanrana on Gargano, but the champ reversed it into a powerbomb. Nese then killed Gargano with a dropkick to the back and a powerbomb. Gargano sold his back as if he was really injured. Gargano recovered to hit Reynolds with a Lawn Dart and a Hurt’s Donut. Lince hit Gargano with a Shooting Star Press to the back, while Nese hit Reynolds with a 450 Splash: 1…2…3

Lenny Leonard came into the ring. Nese, in full heel mode, challenged Gargano to a match at Evolve 16.

This was the traditional Freestyle match that happens on almost every DGUSA/Evolve show, and it didn’t disappoint. Everyone (even Alex Reynolds who I am not super excited to watch) did their part well. Lince made for a fine replacement for Silas Young. Tony Nese looked good in his return match, and I am definitely glad he is now getting a push.
Match Rating: ***1/2

El Generico [1-2] vs. Samuray Del Sol [0-2]
This is the first time in Evolve’s history that two guys with sub-500 records are main eventing a show. Doesn’t make sense to me, but at least it should be a great match. This is a big match for Del Sol who has already gone over Masato Yoshino in DGUSA, but has yet to win in Evolve despite some strong performances. He had mostly been protected in multiple man matches, so this is sort of a “sink or swim” situation for him.

They went back and forth to start, with neither man getting a prolonged advantage. Del Sol used his speed to stay ahead of Generico for a bit. Del Sol pulled off an incredible headscissors that I couldn’t do justice with words. Del Sol then promptly almost botched something, but they made it work. Del Sol hit a slingshot somersault press. This match is getting Del Sol over huge with the crowd. Generico is very good at his chosen profession. Generico finally stopped Del Sol’s momentum with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Generico slowed the pace down some as he worked over Del Sol. Generico hit a split-legged moonsault for a nearfall. Del Sol came back with a high kick and a diving corkscrew armdrag, which sent Generico to the floor. Del Sol hit a Fosbury Flop. Del Sol also caught the ropes and the apron on the way down, but in some ways that just made it more impressive. Back in the ring, Del Sol hit a standing Contra Code for a nearfall. Del Sol then hit a Code Red: 1…2…NO! Del Sol stood on Generico’s back for a second before pulling off the Code Red. It was awesome. Generico came back with a Blue Thunder Powerbomb: 1…2…NO! Del Sol avoided a Yakuza Kick and went to the top rope. Del Sol avoided a turnbuckle brainbuster attempt. Back on the mat, Del Sol ran into a Michinoku Driver: 1…2…NO! Generico connected on the Yakuza kick this time and hit a half-nelson suplex: 1…2…NO! Generico called for something, but Del Sol rolled him up for a nearfall. Generico hit another Yakuza, and he then hit the TURNBUCKLE BRAINBUSTAHHHH: 1…2…3!

El Generico called out Low Ki, and he said he wanted a rematch. He also put over Del Sol. Christina Von Eerie came out after the match wearing Mad Blankey gear. The cameraman focused on her ass. Her promo was pretty much incoherent, but I deciphered that she said DGUSA belongs to Mad Blankey. Von Eerie slapped him three times and said he had no balls for not hitting back. Generico then gave her a Yakuza kick. He was very regretful of his actions.

Fantastic main event that has to be considered to be one of the best matches in Evolve history. I can’t wait for their rematch at Evolve 15. Del Sol may have left this match as a star. Generico did his job perfectly here, and Evolve/DGUSA is so lucky that ROH dropped the ball with him.
Match Rating: ****

Final Thoughts: I really liked this show, and I am glad Evolve is now on a run of very entertaining shows. After the great roster of Evolve dragged the shitty North Carolina crowds to good shows, this Florida crowd certainly did their part to make a fun environment for the show to flourish in. This card didn’t quite have the depth of Evolve 12 and 13, but the consistency and variation of styles made for one of Evolve’s best overall shows. I would put the main event up there with some of the best matches in Evolve history, and it at least has to be considered a top ten Evolve match ever. El Generico has been a great steal for DGUSA/Evolve, and he helped to make Samuray Del Sol a rising star in this match.

Recommendation: Thumbs up for Evolve 14. Order it at WWNLive.com.

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