wrestling / TV Reports

411’s EVOLVE 15 Review 6.29.12

July 5, 2012 | Posted by TJ Hawke

June 29th, 2012
St Petersburg, Florida

Commentator: Lenny Leonard

Tony Nese [1-3] vs. Mike Cruz [0-2]
Nese made his Evolve return the night before at Evolve 14, where he pinned Alex Reynolds in a match that also featured Johnny Gargano and Lince Dorado. Cruz debuted in Evolve at 12 and 13, where he lost two singles matches.

Cruz hit a dropkick early that sent Nese to the floor. Cruz followed that up with a tope suicida. Back in the ring, Cruz hit a middle rope cross-body for a nearfall. Nese managed to cut him off and hit a backbreaker. Nese started to get the heat after that. Cruz avoided a slingshot Lionsault, but ate an enzugiri. Nese then connected with the slingshot Lionsault for a nearfall. Nese hit a bridging deadlift German suplex for another nearfall. Cruz halted Nese’s momentum with a step-up enzugiri. Cruz made a comeback and got a nearfall with another enzugiri. Nese then killed him with a one-arm buckle bomb and a running knee: 1…2…NO! Cruz came back with a Tidal Crush: 1…2…NO! Cruz went to the top rope, but Nese crotched him. Nese hit an avalanche German suplex, and then a 450 Splash: 1…2…3

Tony Nese cut another heel promo after the match. He says he wants an answer to his challenge to Johnny Gargano.

This was a good opener that I enjoyed, but the crowd seemed disinterested at times. The environment for this show seems nowhere near the quality of Evolve 14. We’ll see how that affects the show.
Match Rating: **3/4

Style Battle Round Robin Tournament
Bobby Fish [4-4] vs. Tommy Taylor [0-1]
Fish has two points, and Taylor has -1 points in the tournament.

Taylor got a Japanese Stranglehold early. Taylor transitioned that into a kimura. Fish escaped and went for some submissions of his own. Fish almost got the Fish Hook, but Taylor managed to get into the ropes before Fish locked it in. They traded some rollups. Fish hit a slingshot senton for a nearfall. Taylor came back with a swinging DDT for a nearfall. Fish came back with some stiff kicks, including a high kick to the face for a nearfall. Fish went for a diving headbutt, but Taylor avoided it. Taylor hit a tilt-a-whirl Ace Crusher: 1…2…NO! There seemed to be a miscommunication, but regardless, there was a sequence that ended with Taylor selling his braced up leg. Fish promptly locked in the Fish Hook, and Taylor almost immediately tapped out.

Bobby Fish chose not to say anything after the match.

Much like the opener, this match entertained me, but the crowd is really bringing down everything so far. At one point, Fish was practically begging for a reaction and the crowd gave him nothing. Fish looked good once again, and I am enjoying Taylor’s work. I wish I knew of him sooner.
Match Rating: **3/4

Style Battle Round Robin Tournament
AR Fox [4-2] vs. Jon Davis [2-3]
Fox has -1 points and Davis has 2 points in the tournament.

They ended up on the floor early. Fox hit a soccer punt from the apron, and he then hit the Kickflip Moonsault. Fox followed that up with two diving guillotine legdrops on the apron. In the ring, Fox got a tornado small package for a nearfall, but Davis then promptly killed him with a huge chokeslam: 1…2…NO! Davis was in control for a bit. Fox hit one stunner and went for another, but Davis caught him and hit reverse back suplex. Davis hit a huge buckle Bomb and a fucking SICK KICK: 1…2…NO! Fox came back with a springboard Ace Crusher. Fox then hit a springboard missile dropkick and a shooting star cannonball: 1…2…NO! Fox followed that up with the My Dick Explodes. Fox went for a Lo Mein Pain, but Davis blocked it. Fox hit an enzuigiri, but Davis hit him with a big forearm and the Fucking Machine Suplex: 1…2…NO! The crowd woke up for that. Fox came back with some kicks and a senton atomico: 1…NO! Davis ended up on the floor, which allowed Fox to hit the springboard reverse cannonball splash onto Davis. That move. Fox rolled Davis back in the ring and hit a springboard 450: 1…2…NO! Davis came back with another Buckle Bomb, but Fox avoided another Sick Kick. Fox hit a Pele, but Davis then hit Three Seconds Around the World: 1…2…3!

Bobby Fish came out to confront Davis after the match. They cut promos on each other. The winner of their match at Evolve 16 will be the 2012 Style Battle Winner. Both men are at .500 now, so the loser will leave with a losing record, and the winner will have a winning record. I am intrigued.

This match was what AR Fox does best: fun matches. Davis again looked great, as his character has a great new edge. It’s really a shame that Fox’s momentum after his great performances at Evolve 12 and 13 has stalled, but at least this Jon Davis story is intriguing. I want to see both men in main events for DGUSA and Evolve this year.
Match Rating: ***1/2

Lince Dorado [0-1] vs. Scott Reed [0-1] vs. Jake Manning [1-2] vs. Caleb Konley [2-1] vs. John Silver [2-1] vs. Alex Reynolds [3-1]
I don’t really see the point of The Scene being in singles matches when it can be avoided, but this match will probably be entertaining.

Dorado and Silver started the match out. Lenny Leonard got in another ‘broad’ crack when referring to the Scene’s valets. All right, I’ve talked to many people who have put Lenny Leonard over as a human being, and I have no reason to doubt these people. However, he really needs to stop calling women ‘broads.’ First off, it’s wrong. Secondly, he is not a character on The Sopranos. He is the voice of a business, and thus, the DGUSA/Evolve promotions look like scumbags when he refers to women as “broads” (and whatever other terms he uses). Rise above the hate. Be a star. Manning and Reynolds did a completely forgettable sequence. Konley and Reed were forced to go at it. Konley tried to do the Fingerpoke of Doom on Reed, but the other four broke it up. That just confirms my belief that it is stupid for the Scene to be in singles matches, never mind both of them being in the same match. The Scene and Manning ended up on the floor. Silver and Reynolds wiped out the Scene with stereo tope suicidas. Lince then hit a springboard senton plancha to wipe out everyone. Reed ended up in the ring and ate a diving splash from Lince. Lince hit Konley with a springboard corkscrew press. The Scene double teamed Lince. The Manscout tried to celebrate with them, but The Scene just double teamed him as well. Silver and Reynolds hit bridging Germans on the Scene for a pair of nearfalls. Everyone traded a lot more moves and nearfalls that got no reaction. This crowd sucks. The match mercifully ended with Lince hitting Manning with a tornado DDT and shooting star press: 1…2…3.

The crowd didn’t care about anyone in this match, and they seemingly reacted when Lince did something cool. Considering the other five men aren’t really interesting, it’s hard to blame them. With that in mind, Lince has done very well for himself so far this weekend (and he was great at the DGUSA Wrestlemania shows). I hope his push continues beyond this weekend.
Match Rating: **1/2

Colt Cabana [0-1] vs. Cheech [1-0]
Cabana made his Evolve debut in a losing effort at Evolve 14. Cheech has wrestled in about 5-6 tag matches in Evolve, but this is his only second singles match.

Colt stayed in control at first using a combo of comedy and chain wrestling. In other words, it started like ever Cabana match does these days. Cheech cut him off with a flap jack. They went back and forth for a bit until both men ended up on the top rope. Cabana gave him the turnbuckle gutbuster: 1…2…3.

Pretty much a nothing match that didn’t do anything for either man, unless the goal was just to remind everyone that Colt can still win matches after losing to Chuck the night before. There was nothing really wrong with this match, but I just didn’t really see the point of it. I hope there are bigger and better things in Colt’s future for Evolve/DGUSA. Cheech would greatly benefit from continuing to tag with Mike Cruz in the future.
Match Rating: **

El Generico [2-2] vs. Samuray Del Sol [0-3]
They had an awesome main event at Evolve 14, but Del Sol really needs a win more than just another great performance.

They went back and forth to start with neither man getting a decisive advantage. They showed each other a lot of respect. Generico managed to take him down with a leg lariat, and he went to work on Del Sol after that. Del Sol came back with a hurricanrana, and he then locked in an Indian Deathlock. Generico made the ropes, but Del Sol hit a rolling DVD. Generico came back with a scoop slam. Del Sol ended up on the apron, and Generico sent him to the floor with a Yakuza kick. There was no outside dive. Weird. Del Sol just rolled back in. Generico went for another Yakuza, but Del Sol avoided it and Generico fell to the floor. Del Sol then hit a double jump corkscrew press plancha. Back in the ring, Del Sol hit a Code Red and a snap hurricanrana for a pair of nearfalls. Del Sol went for a rolling senton corner splash, but Generico avoided it. Del Sol avoided another Yakuza. Generico hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for a nearfall. Del Sol came back with a tornado DDT: 1…2…NO! Del Sol then hit a springboard reverse hurricanrana: 1…2…NO!!! That was amazing. Del Sol went for a 450, but Generico got his knees up. Ouch. Yakuza from Generico! Generico went for a turnbuckle brainbuster, but Del Sol avoided it and hit a super reverse hurricanrana: 1…2…3!!!

Probably not as great as their match at Evolve 14, but I thought this was another super entertaining match. Their matchups being based on respect and the story of Del Sol just becoming flat-out better as a result was well told. Also, the story makes even more sense now that we know they will be teaming together in DGUSA. DGUSA/Evolve has handled Samuray Del Sol beautifully. He is threatening to upstage Callihan and AR Fox this year, as far as being the next big star, but we will see how the rest of the year shakes out. El Generico deserves a ton of credit for making Del Sol look great in these matches. I truly believe that Generico is the best wrestler in the world. If Evolve/DGUSA continues to book him, I will be more than glad to watch their products.
Match Rating: ***3/4

Johnny Gargano© vs. Chuck Taylor (w/ the Swamp Monster & Jake Manning) [Open the Freedom Gate Championship]
This feud has been brewing in DGUSA since September. Their past feuding in Evolve before the official storyline merger has been mostly glossed over. Evolve and DGUSA going from having separate universes to suddenly being in the same universe has always been hysterical to me.

Gargano hit a big corner kick and a lawn dart to start the match. Gargano sent him to the floor and hit a slingshot plancha. Gargano tried to use some plunder on the floor, but they ended up back in the ring. Back to the floor, where Taylor got the upperhand and started yelling at a girl as Chuck Taylor is wont to do. Taylor set up some chairs, but Gargano managed to backdrop him on the chairs. More brawling on the floor. Gargano went for a superkick but he took out the timekeeper by mistake. Taylor then piledrived Gargano onto the steel steps that Gargano previously arranged. Taylor started to get the heat after that. Gargano reinjured his back in story the night before, so Taylor mostly went after Gargano’s back. Gargano avoided a moonsault, and he went for the Gotcha Spear, but Taylor reversed it and hit a neckbreaker. Ugh. Lenny Leonard tried to explain that Chuck Taylor’s first win in Evolve didn’t count still because it was a qualifying match. In reality, that win was turned into an actual win to set up Gargano and Taylor (and Jimmy Jacobs) having the same record before Evolve 7. Yes, I pay attention Evolve. You should too. Get your own stories straight. If you don’t know your own past, why would anyone else care? Gargano came back with a rolling kick and a Gotcha Spear. They got to their feet and traded some strikes. Gargano got the advantage and hit a sit-out powerbomb: 1…2…NO! Gargano locked in the Gargano Escape, but he had to release the hold because of his back pain. Taylor came back with a release buckle northern lights suplex: 1…2…NO! Crowd rallied behind Gargano. Taylor hit a Rock Bottom and a Lionsault: 1…2…NO! Gargano avoided an Omega Driver and a got a nearfall with a small package. Gargano took him down with a discus lariat. They got to their feet and traded more strikes. Taylor got the single leg crab! Gargano made the ropes. Gargano went for a corner IED kick, but he hit the referee by mistake. Taylor then kicked him the balls, but there was no referee to count. Taylor called for the belt, and Taylor set up for a belt shot. Gargano avoided it and hit a Hurt’s Donut on the belt: 1…2…MANNING PULLED OUT THE SECOND REFEREE! Gargano wiped out both of them with a tope suicida. Taylor hit another low blow and an Omega Driver: 1…2…NO! Taylor tried for another belt shot, but he accidentally hit the Swamp Monster. Gargano hits a superkick and a Hurts Donut: 1…2…NO! Gargano Escape! Taylor taps out!

Gargano accepted Tony Nese’s challenge for Evolve 16. He says that he’s not putting the Freedom Gate Title on the line, because he wants the title match with Tozawa to happen. Kind of buried Nese for not being worthy and himself for not thinking he could beat Nese. I guess that’s kind of a wash though.

This was arguably “overbooked,” but I really have no problem with it because everything they did made sense based on Gargano and Taylor’s characters. I guess this is the blowoff to this story, which seems kind of silly considering how long this feud has been brewing. They deserved to be able to do this on a DGUSA show, and it probably should have been a street fight type of match. With all that in mind, I really enjoyed this match, and I definitely appreciated the effort involved. If this match happened with the Evolve 14 crowd, we may have had a low-end MOTYC. C’est la vie.
Match Rating: ***1/2

Final Thoughts: This was the third straight good show from Evolve. They have a really talented roster, and the main stories seem to be getting tightened up as Evolve slowly becomes the primary focus of the WWN Universe (which I am happy about). Generico and Del Sol had another very strong match, Bobby Fish, AR Fox and Jon Davis continue to show why they deserve bigger and better opportunities in 2012, and the main story of DGUSA/Evolve since September (Gargano vs. Taylor) had a solid conclusion. The rest of the matches weren’t especially exciting, but they didn’t drag down the main selling points of the show. The whole show felt very similar to Evolve 14, but I definitely enjoyed this show less because of the pretty wretched crowd. Live reports suggest that crowd wasn’t picked up well by WWNlive, so this show may be best viewed on DVD.

Recommendation: Thumbs up, but not as enthusiastically as the last three Evolve shows. Order it at WWNLive.com.

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TJ Hawke

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