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Csonka’s EVOLVE 100 Review 2.16.18

February 17, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s EVOLVE 100 Review 2.16.18  

Csonka’s EVOLVE 99 Review 1.14.18

Prelim Match: Darby Allin defeated Jason Kincaid & Jarek @ 5:45 via pin [**¾]
– Fred Yehi defeated Dom Garrini @ 7:32 via pin [**¾]
– Anthony Henry defeated Tracy Williams @ 10:55 via pin [***½]
EVOLVE Tag Team Championship Match: Champions Chris Dickinson & Jaka vs. The End is a double DQ @ 4:02 [*]
– Matt Riddle defeated James Drake @ 13:35 via referee stoppage [****]
WWN Championship Match: Champion Keith Lee defeated AR Fox @ 20:35 via pin [****¼]
EVOLVE Championship Match: Champion Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Austin Theory @ 19:10 via submission [****]

– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

– My preview for EVOLVE 100 & 101 is at this link.

From Queen, NY celebrating EVOLVE 100.

Prelim Match: Darby Allin vs. Jason Kincaid vs. Jarek 1:20 w/Candy Cartwright: Jarek was part of the recent WWE tryouts. If Allin doesn’t win here, he loses his chance at EVOLVE 101, and will be replaced by the man that beats him here. Allin powders as Kincaid starts off, working over Jarek. Kincaid dumps Jarek, and Allin is in now, working over both men, running wild. Kincaid cuts him off, and takes control. He stuns both off the ropes, and slingshots in with a dropkick for 2 on Jarek. They work to the apron, Kincaid slingshots in Allin and Jarek hits a cutter. Kincaid puts Allin in the tree of WHOA, but Alin grabs the beard and tosses Kincaid off the ropes. Jarek goes coast to coast on Allin and the leg drop and KO shot follows for 2. Jarek suplexes Kincaid onto Allin, but Allin battles back and drapes them over the ropes and heads up top, hitting the coffin drop. Kincaid now cuts off Allin. But Allin hits a high cross for 2. The stunner follows and now locks in the last supper for the win. Darby Allin defeated Jason Kincaid & Jarek @ 5:45 via pin [**¾] This was a pretty good opening match, with a solidly invested crowd, and Allin getting back on track with a win.

– Post match and Jarek runs down Allin, and Allin lays him out. Allin then says that this will be his company.

Fred Yehi vs. Dom Garrini: Yehi has been on a losing streak and needs a win here. Yehi grounds the action early, but Garrini separates. Garrini now takes things to the ground, looking to work the leg. Yehi makes the ropes, and he then gets a takedown. Yehi looks to focus on the leg, and lays in stomps. Garrini gets a takedown, and looks for a choke. Yehi looks to counter out, does and hits a double stomp. They trade strikes, and Yehi follows with kicks and hits a half and half suplex for 2. Garrini now lays in strikes and a back breaker. The guillotine follows, Yehi escapes but Garrini follows with a big knee strike for 2. Yehi counters into a flatliner into the Koji clutch. Garrini escapes, hits a knee strike and transitions into an arm bar. Yehi escapes, lays in strikes and they targets the knee. The snapdragon suplex follows for a good near fall. The butterfly suplex follows for the pin. Fred Yehi defeated Dom Garrini @ 7:32 via pin [**¾] This was a pretty good back and forth match, but it lacked heat and the finish felt flat.

– Post match, Yehi cuts a promo, claiming to be in a class of his own, and that he is a “Savageweight.”

Tracy Williams w/Stokely Hathaway & Faye Jackson vs. Anthony Henry: Henry is all fired, attacking at the bell, but Williams cuts him off and grounds the action. Williams then transitions into a cradle for 2. Henry fights back, and they work into a stand off. Henry follows with leg kicks, but Williams grounds things and gets sent to the apron and then kicked to the floor. Henry now follows with a double stomp from the apron. Back in we go, and Henry covers for 2. They trade chops now, but Henry cuts things off, and lays in kicks on Williams. Henry looks to grounds things, but escapees and hits a double stomp. Henry hits a desperation German, follows with kicks until Williams cuts him off and they trade big time strikes. Williams hits a pair of big boots, and a vicious lariat. Williams follows with a XPLODER and clotheslines. The superplex follows for 2. Williams looks for the crossface, but Henry escapes. The sitout powerbomb scores for 2 on Williams. Williams cuts him off, heads up top and misses the double stomp, and that allows Henry to hit a missile dropkick. The enziguri follows, but Williams counters out into a belly to back suplex for a good near fall. Williams teases a piledriver, Henry fights it off, but Williams battles and hits it anyway, and locks in the crossface and Henry makes the ropes. Big Stoke is pissed, argues with the ref and Williams gets slammed into Stoke. That allows Henry to pick up the upset with a head kick. Anthony Henry defeated Tracy Williams @ 10:55 via pin [***½] This was a very good, back and forth match, with Henry getting to look really good, before picking up the surprise win over the established Williams. This was an important performance for Henry and a huge win for him.

– The End arrives and brawls with the tag champions, leading to our tag title match.

EVOLVE Tag Team Championship Match: Champions Chris Dickinson & Jaka vs. The End (Odinson, Parrow w/Drennen): The End control with ease following the pre-match attack. Dickinson manages to fire up and hit a big German on Odinson. Jaka tags in, and works over Odinson and then takes out Parrow. The end battle back, hitting a super collider, and tossing Dickinson. Jaka fights off a superbomb and hits a RANA off the ropes. Dickinson tosses in chairs, as does Odinson. The ref throws out the match as we have a chair battle. Champions Chris Dickinson & Jaka vs. The End is a double DQ @ 4:02 [*] This was completely disappointing, and was done because they were hesitant to commit to a winner, and instead, continued the feud.

– They brawl post match, with Anthony Henry getting involved. Big Stoke celebrated and Drennen looks to attack, but Williams saves him. Jaka & Dickinson hit him with the death trap. Catch Point stands tall post match.

– Riddle thanks everyone for coming, and wants tonight’s match to be a no rope break match. Drake agrees.

Matt Riddle vs. James Drake: Riddle recently beat Yehi & WALTER in no rope break matches. Riddle grounds things immediately. Drake powers out and follows with chops. Riddle cuts him off with kicks, and follows with forearms. Riddle then follows with a German. To the floor they go and Drake lights up Riddle with a big clothesline. Back in and they trade hard chops, and Drake follows with the sack of shit slam and big lad senton. Drake maintains control with a running knee strike and running clothesline. Drake follows with strikes and a head kick, covering for 2. They both fire up, laying in more chops. They trade Germans, Riddle hits a jumping knee strike, and hits bro to sleep but Drake rebounds with a huge lariat! My God they keep trading sick chops, but Riddle hits a knee strike and another German for 2. Riddle hits a pair of running senton, covering for 2. Riddle follows with knee strikes, and then hits another after connecting with kicks, covering for 2. Riddle follows with more kicks, Drake dares him to lay in more, but starts to fade. Drake manages a leg lariat of the ropes, covering for 2. Drake follows with a big lariat, but Riddle survives. Drake continues to attack with chops, destroying Riddle’s chest. Riddle misses a kick and Drake hits the sack of shit slam. Drake follows with a cannonball, heads up top, and the moonsault connects for a great near fall! Drake backup top, but moonsault into the triangle, and Riddle follows with elbows and strikes; they roll into the ropes, and Riddle transitions to an arm bar. Drake escapes, but Riddle hits a powerbomb and knee strike, and that gets 2. Riddle stomps away on Drake, follows with strikes and the ref waves it off. Matt Riddle defeated James Drake @ 13:35 via referee stoppage [****] This was an absolutely great match, and a breakout performance for Drake as a singles performer in EVOLVE. He’s mostly been a tag worker for the company, and while he’s been good, this was a huge chance for him, as he stepped up big time with one of EVOLVE’s best. Drake not only worked up to Riddle’s level, but they worked such a great back and forth match that it was believable that he had a real chance of winning. I also dig Riddle trying to make more matches no-rope break matches, they add a different dynamic to the cards and he’s the best guy for the gimmick, delivering each time out. This was a great effort fort both guys.

– Drake gets a standing ovation for his performance.

WWN Championship Match: Champion Keith Lee vs. AR Fox w/Crew: Lee chases Fox to the floor, leading to Fox stalling. Fox back in and looks for a takedown, but Lee drops him with strikes. Fox pinballs for Lee as Lee beats on him. Fox gets in a kick, but Lee cuts him off with a Shoulder block. They work into the international as Fox connects with a dropkick. Fox follows with kicks and a corner dropkick. Fox now rakes the eyes, and follows with a bulldog. Lee to the floor and Fox’s moonsault is caught but Fox counters and posts him. Back in and Fox connects with a dropkick, but Lee kicks out at 1. Fox mocks Lee, and lays the boots to him. The bicycle kicks follow, but Lee pounces him to cut him off. Lee follows with a slam and elbow drop for 2. Lee now tosses Fox across the ring. The corner splash and double chops follow. Lee eats a boot on the charge, and Fox hits the springboard missile dropkick. They work into a series of counters, Fox hits the springboard cuter and swanton for a close 2. Lee cuts him off, and the back breaker connects for 2. Fox counters the spirit bomb, but Lee hits a huge chokeslam for 2. Fox manages to dump Lee to the floor and follows with a tope. Fox sets up Lee between the ring and barricade, and hits the moonsault. Fox looks to roll Lee back in and does. Fox up top, and the 450 connects for 2. Fox is shocked that Lee kicked out. They trade strikes center ring, Fox picks up the pace, and hits the enziguri and a rolling elbow as both men are down. Back to their feet, and Lee follows with strikes and chops. Lee’s ground zero is countered into s cradle for 2. But Lee hits the big lariat for 2. Fox battles back, hitting a destroyer for a good near fall. Fox looks to finish the champion, but Lee hits the spirit bomb, but Fox kicks out at 2. Lee is pissed now, they work to the corner and Lee sets Fox up top and follows. They trade strikes, Lee snags up Fox but Fox counters out and hits a sling blade and then hits the 450 for a GREAT near fall. Fox pulls Lee to his feet, and lee hits ground zero and finally retains. Champion Keith Lee defeated AR Fox @ 20:35 via pin [****¼] This was another great match, with Lee retaining as expected, but both guys working a great layout, playing into the size & style difference very well, and most importantly, putting doubt into who was actually going to win. The escalation of the action and drama was a very well done, and the final few minutes caused some excellent crowd reactions, and the homestretch kicked ass.

EVOLVE Championship Match: Champion Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Austin Theory with Priscilla Kelly: Theory is the current FIP champion (not on the line here), and was part of the recent WWE tryouts. This is a huge star making opportunity for Theory, working against one of the best in the world. They work some basic back and forth, with Theory trying to overpower the champion. Zack just slaps him in the face, and follows with uppercuts. He then lays the boots to Theory, and Theory backs off. They work a test of strength, but Zack escapes and they trade strikes. Kelly trips up Zack, but he locks on a triangle, but Theory makes the ropes. Theory hits a side back breaker, cutting off the champion. Zack counters out, looks for an ankle lock, but Theory cuts him off and slams him to the buckles. He follows with forearm strikes, and again whips Zack to the buckles. Theory is in control, but Zack takes out the knee and follows with a PK. Zack counters the rolling dropkick and applies a head scissors, tying up Theory. Theory makes the ropes. Zack follows with kicks, lighting up Theory and taking him down. Uppercuts follow, and then a tornado DDT into a rolling guillotine. Theory then hits the blockbuster for 2. Zack counters back with kicks, but they collide and end up into a double down. They trade strikes, Zack escapes the TKO into a European clutch for 2. Theory hits the Theory KO for a good near fall. Theory looks to fire up, laying in strikes on Zack. The powerbomb is countered into an octopus stretch. Theory powers his way to the ropes. Kelly flies in with a missile dropkick as Theory took the ref. Theory follows with ataxia for 2. Zack counters into the triangle choke, but Theory powerbombs out to escape, and covers for 2. Theory stalks the champion, but Zack locks on a sleeper, drags Theory to the mat, but Theory counters out into 3 seconds around the world for a good near fall. Zack hits the European clutch and 2 PKs for a near fall. they trade strikes from thier knees, battle to their feet, but Theory hits a dropkick, but Zack gets the octopus, but Theory hits the Theory KO for a great near fall. Zack counters ataxia into the banana split, Theory fights, but has to tap. Champion Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Austin Theory @ 19:10 via submission [****] This was another great match, and Theory did a good job of carrying himself like a star in his first big time WWN main event. I was concerned about how he would handle the pressure and if the fans would buy into him challenging such a dominant champion like Sabre. But they worked a smart match, Theory got a lot in and came off like a legit challenger and even threat to the champion. Sabre retains here, continuing his great title run, while also helping to elevate Theory, who had a breakout performance here.

– Post match, Sabre thanks the fans, as Matt Riddle arrives. Riddle praises Sabre, but says that he will be the next champion. Sabre says that he’ll give Riddle a shot, if he works his way to it. Riddle is excited he may get a chance. Priscilla Kelly in the ring and tries to seduce him. Theory back in, and lays him out with the theory KO. Theory says Riddle is the past, and that he is EVOLVE’s future. He adds that he’s what every man wants to be and that no one can touch him. The idea here was a sound thought, and giving Theory a chance against Riddle makes sense, but Theory’s promo came off poor, as he didn’t play off of the crowd well at all; it felt very mechanical.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

 photo fe36ffd0-0da4-4e3b-a2d3-b026b341dd87_zps41ef5d61.jpg
“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Good
The 411
EVOLVE 100 was a good show, with a solid, but largely unforgettable undercard. But thanks to Tracy Williams vs. Anthony Henry and the final three matches, the show turned into an overall good one. If you’re cherry picking matches, the final three are all great and well worth your time. The only thing I didn't like was the tag title angle.