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Csonka’s EVOLVE 101 Review

February 18, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s EVOLVE 101 Review  

Csonka’s EVOLVE 101 Review 2.17.18

Prelim Match: Garrini defeated KTB @ 3:35 via submission [**]
Prelim Match: Rayo defeated Ace Perry & Dante Cabenero @ 2:38 via pin [NR]
Prelim Match: Jason Kincaid defeated Jarek 1:20 @ 9:20 via submission [**½]
– The End defeated James Drake & Anthony Henry @ 6:35 via pin [**]
– Fred Yehi defeated Shane Mercer @ 11:45 via submission [***]
Non-Title Special Attraction Match: Champion Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Chris Dickinson @ 16:15 via referee stoppage [***]
– Joe Keys defeated Ken Dixon @ 7:30 via pin [*]
No Holds Barred Non-Title EVOLVE #1 Contender’s Match: Keith Lee defeated Tracy Williams @ 19:33 via pin [***]
Four-Way Elimination #1 Contender’s Match: Matt Riddle defeated Austin Theory, Darby Allin, & Jaka @ 14:00 via pin [***½]

– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

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

– My EVOLVE 100 review is at this link.

KTB vs. Dominic Garrini: Garrini lost on last night’s show, and was busted down to the prelims, where he’s had lot of success. Garrini grounds things, looking for am arm bar. KTB escapes and hits a running blockbuster for 2. He follows with strikes and chops, but Garrini counters back with a German for 2. Garrini now works a hanging kimura. KTB powers out into a spinebuster, and covers for 2. Garrini fights back with strikes and a jumping knee for 2. KTB fights off the suplex, counters strikes and slams Garrini down. The lionsault misses, and Garrini locks in the arm bar for the win. Garrini defeated KTB @ 3:35 via submission [**] This was an ok match, with Garrini picking up a solid rebound win.

Ace Perry vs. Rayo vs. Dante Cabenero: Cabenero shoves them both around, and talks some shit. He lays in rights on Perry, Rayo dumps him and Rayo punts Cabenero. Perry sends him to the floor, and follows with a tope, wiping both out. Back in and Rayo hits an enziguri on Cabenero. The disaster kick gets 2. Perry back in and hits a cutter on Rayo. Cabenero cuts off Perry with a Saito suplex. Rayo back and lays out Cabenero with a kick for the win. Rayo defeated Ace Perry & Dante Cabenero @ 2:38 via pin [NR] There wasn’t much to this, and it was extremely rushed.

Jarek 1:20 vs. Jason Kincaid: These two previously fought to a draw on the prelims. Both really need a win here. They work some back and forth to begin; Jarek takes early control, going for several covers. Kincaid counters out and Jarek takes time to pose. Kincaid dumps him to the floor. Back in and Kincaid hits a powerslam into a double stomp, covering for 2. Jarek sends Kincaid to the floor with an enziguri, and hits the illusion elbow drop to the floor. Back in and Jarek covers for 2. Kincaid misses a charge, and Jarek connects with double knees for 2. Jarek grounds the action, and Kincaid fires up, but they end in a double down. Jarek gets tripped up and Kincaid hits a springboard forearm. He follows with clotheslines and elbows, and then the neck breaker. The knee drop follows for 2. Jarek rolls to the floor, Kincaid follows but Jarek sneaks back in. He hits the sleeping beauty punch for 2. Kincaid cuts of the suicide dive with a cutter. The double stomp gets 2. Kincaid locks on the compassionate release, Jarek fights, and taps. Jason Kincaid defeated Jarek 1:20 @ 9:20 via submission [**½] This was a solid match, with Kincaid picking up a much-needed win. But considering that both guys desperately needed a win, this really lacked in drama and had no real sense of urgency.

James Drake & Anthony Henry vs. (Odinson, Parrow w/Drennen): Drake & Henry call out the End for a fight and they run wild early with dives. It breaks down into a big brawl, but the End quickly fights back, trying to isolate Henry. Parrow powerbombs Henry off of the post and roll him back in and Odinson continues to control, just tossing Henry around and covering for 2. Odinson then hits a suplex, grounding the action. Odinson keeps attacking, but Henry counters an F5 into a DDT. Hot tag to Drake, he and Parrow brawl. Drake hits an overhead belly to belly on Odinson, but Parrow cuts him off. Henry back in and Parrow lights him up with rights. Henry follows with leg kicks and a head kick, covering for 2. Drake in and they double-team Parrow until Odinson hits a pounce on Drake. Henry up top and Drennen takes out his knee. Parrow powerbombs him for the win. The End defeated James Drake & Anthony Henry @ 6:35 via pin [**] This was an ok match, it started off hot & heavy, but lost steam the longer it went on. The End wins to stay in tag title contention.

Fred Yehi vs. Shane Mercer: Yehi is a WWN standout, while Mercer has been really impressive, especially on the prelims, showing a ton of potential. Yehi looks to ground the action early, working slick exchanges. They work to the ropes and we get a break. Yehi follows with strikes and chops, Mercer answers and hits a shoulder block. The T BONE suplex follows. They trade strikes, but Yehi counters and hits a German. Mercer cuts him off with a pop up powerslam, covering for 2. Mercer follows with elbow strikes, but Yehi hits a backstabber, and lays in kicks. The half and half suplex connects for Yehi, covering for 2. Yehi grounds things, working the back and shoulders of Mercer. Mercer finally escapes, and Yehi follows with chops. The fisherman’s buster connects, and Yehi covers again for 2. They trade hard strikes, Yehi fires up and then hits a snapdragon suplex for 2. Yehi to the ropes, and leaps off into a hanging guillotine, but Mercer powers out and suplexes Yehi. Yehi hits a cradle for 2. Mercer connects with a lariat, and then a dump suplex for 2. They trade strikes center ring, and Mercer now hits a tombstone for a close 2. They trade forearms now; Mercer cuts of Yehi, hitting a lariat. Mercer takes Yehi up top and hits a moonsault slam, but Yehi counters into the Koji clutch and Mercer taps. Fred Yehi defeated Shane Mercer @ 11:45 via submission [***] This was a good back and forth match, with Mercer getting a lot in before losing to the more experienced Yehi. Yehi picks up another win, going 2-0, and breaking his recent losing streak.

Non-Title Special Attraction Match: EVOLVE Champion Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Chris Dickinson: Dickinson looks to work strikes, they work to the ground and Zack looks for a knee bar, but Dickinson makes the ropes. Dickinson looks to keep things on the ground, which is a mistake as Zack starts working the knee. Dickinson manages to kick his way out, escapes and covers for 2. Dickinson lays in chops, but Zack attacks the arm to cut him off. Dickinson counters out, and he looks to work the leg. Zack counters, and Dickinson makes the ropes. Dickinson now connects with a suplex, and follows with mounted rights. Dickinson now lays in leg kicks, and continues to attack the leg of Zack. Zack counters and locks in a dragon sleeper and grounds things. Zack transitions to working the arm. Dickinson escapes, lays in chops and then slams Zack to the buckles. Zack counters out of a powerbomb attempt, and locks on the ankle lock. He then lays in kicks to the chest of Dickinson, but Dickinson fires up and lays in kicks on Zack. Dickinson looks for the crab, but Zack pulls guard and locks on a triangle. He then transitions to the double arm bar, and into a cover for 2. Zack now lays in uppercuts, Dickinson answers back with slaps. Dickinson looks for the powerbomb, Zack escapes but Dickinson cuts him off, and covers for 2. Dickinson follows with more kicks. They trade kicks, and Zack locks on a knee bar. Dickinson makes the ropes. Zack back to he leg kicks, but Zack attacks the arm and as he locks on a guillotine, Dickinson does the deal, hitting the falcon arrow for 2. Zack now locks on the octopus, but Dickinson counters into a running DVD for 2. They trade strikes and chops, Dickinson hits a head kick but Zack counters the powerbomb into a triangle but Dickinson powers him up and hits the powerbomb for 2. Zack counters into the double arm bar, ties up the legs, and lays in kicks and the ref stops it. Champion Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Chris Dickinson @ 16:15 via referee stoppage [***] This was a good wrestling match, the work was clean and they built to a nice finish. But while the work was good, there was no drama and a severe lack of crowd investment. I really thought this had a chance to be great, because Sabre is one of the best in the world and I really though that Dickinson would step up and deliver here with this big chance. This was one of the least exciting/interesting Sabre matches I’ve seen in some time.

Ken Dixon vs. Joe Keys: This is an MCW showcase match. Keys looks like a rejected extra from Miami Vice, while Dixon looks like a junior member of Sanity. They lock up, and Dixon attacks the arm right away. Keys counters out, hitting a slam. Dixon back to he arm, grounding Keys and covering for 2. Keys look for a sunset flip, but Dixon curb stomps him to escape. Keys gets a cradle for 2. Dixon cuts him off, and climbs the ropes, but Keys slams him to the mat. He follows with grounded rights; the gut wrench suplex gets 2. Keys works a body scissors, Dixon escapes with elbows and a roll up with the tights for 2. They work into a double down. They trade strikes; Dixon follows with clotheslines and a spinebuster for 2. Keys hits a backstabber, covering for 2. Keys works a stump puller variation, but Dixon escapes and locks on the crossface, but Keys counters out. Dixon hits the flatliner, but Keys rakes the eyes, and hits a draping neck breaker for the win. Joe Keys defeated Ken Dixon @ 7:30 via pin [*] This wasn’t good, there was no fire, no crowd heat, and considering the big chance they got on iPPV, felt very lackadaisical.

No Holds Barred Non-Title Match: WWN Champion Keith Lee vs. Tracy Williams w/Stokely Hathaway & Dom Garrini: This is part of Stokely’s war against Lee, as he’s been sending Catch Point after him for months. Lee attacks at the bell, just pummeling Williams with strikes. Williams keeps firing back, but he’s just pissing Lee off. Lee now lays in double chops, Stokley distracts Lee, allowing Williams to clip the knee of Lee. Williams starts attacking, trying to break the big man down. Williams now grounds the action, and gets a chair. He works over Lee with chair shots and then wedges the chair in the corner. Lee hits a big spinebuster and Williams rolls to the floor. Lee follows him out, Williams grabs the ring bell, backing off Lee. Williams throws the ring bell at Lee, and then attacks the knee. They brawl on the stage, Williams teases a German, but Lee fights him off and tosses him off of the stage onto Garrini. Lee drags Williams back to the ring, and back in, Lee hits elbow strikes and sets Williams up top. Lee follows him up, but Williams fights him off and hits the missile dropkick. Williams then sends Lee into the chair and rolls him up for 2. Garrini gets out a ladder, and Stokley slides it in. Williams works over Lee with ladder shots, covering for 2. Williams now chokes out Lee with the ladder, and then attacks the knee with it. Williams follows with Lee strikes, Lee finally manages to fire back with strikes, and slams Williams to the buckles. Lee now starts tossing Williams across the ring. Williams gets the ladder, and throws it at Lee and then dropkicks it into Lee’s face, covering for 2. Garrini in and works over Lee’s knee and then eats a spirit bomb for his troubles. Stokely in and attacks Lee, but lee just slams him to the mat. Stokley begs off, Williams back in and attacks lee with the ladder. Lee cuts him off with a head butt, heads to the ropes and looks for he moonsault, but Williams attacks the knee. He then Germans Lee of the ropes and that gets 2. Williams grabs the ladder again, and slams it off of Lee’s back. Williams wraps the ladder around Lee’s head, working a crossface. Lee fights and makes the ropes, bit there are no rope breaks thanks to the stipulation. Lee powers up, but Williams slams the ladder off of Lee’s back. Williams props up the ladder in the corner, Lee fights him of with elbows, and then Williams follows with forearms. Lee pounces Williams into the ladder, and hits ground zero for the win. Keith Lee defeated Tracy Williams @ 19:33 via pin [***] They did a nice job of working the stipulation and size difference. This was good, but similar to Sabre vs. Dickinson, there was a severe lack of urgency and crowd reaction. It felt very flat, ad it never hit that next level.

– Post match, Lee lays out Stokely with the spirit bomb. The End arrives and Drennen talks about destroying Drake & Henry. They will end the war against Catch Point, by cutting of the head of the snake. Dickinson out to try to stop them, but he gets his ass beat. Garrini is back, but he also gets beat down. There is no reaction at ALL for this. Henry & Drake arrive and have chairs and they make the save.

Four-Way Elimination Match: Matt Riddle vs. Austin Theory w/Priscilla Kelly vs. Darby Allin vs. Jaka: the winner gets an EVOLVE title shot over WrestleMania weekend. Theory & Riddle to begin, playing off of last night’s angle. Theory immediately tags out to Allin. Allin quickly gets a cradle, which gets 2. They work some fun back and forth until Riddle drops Allin with a jumping knee strike. The German follows and Theory attacks Riddle. They trade strikes until Theory hits a suplex for 2. They work through a fun series of counters and Riddle sends Theory to he floor, but Jaka attacks and lays in strikes. Kelly distracts them, allowing Theory to attack. He then takes out Allin, while Jaka & Riddle brawl to the floor. Kelly hits a cannonball off of the apron, wiping them out. Theory & Allin battle, Allin choke shim out in the ropes and then hits a suicide dive onto Jaka. We’re back to Riddle & Theory. They trade strikes, Riddle hits a superman punch, and follows with running forearms until Theory cuts him off with a dropkick. Riddle catches him with a high kick, but Theory hits 3 seconds around the world for 2. Allin back in, but Theory cuts him off as Jaka returns. He lays in rights in Theory in the corner. The spinebuster follows, Riddle hits a running knee strike, and Allin hits a code red on Theory and he’s gone @ 8:20. The final three trade chops, Riddle looks to fire up but Jaka bites his foot to counter a kick. Allin then takes control, hitting corner attacks, but a bro to sleep, and German gets 2 for Riddle. Jaka takes out Riddle, but Allin goes for the last supper. We get an accidental ref bump, Jaka hits a low blow and sitout powerbomb, eliminating Allin @ 11:50. Jaka & Riddle trade strikes, and now big time chops. Riddle with the sleeper, but Jaka escapes. Riddle hits bro to sleep, and then a German for he double down. Jaka counters the knee strike, hits one of his own and the powerbomb gets a good near fall. Riddle hits a German, but Jaka fires up and they trade Germans. Riddle now hits the jumping tombstone for the win. Matt Riddle defeated Austin Theory, Darby Allin, & Jaka @ 14:00 via pin [***½] This was very good match, easily the best thing on the show, It started off good, and got better with the Theory elimination, as it became more focused. The #1 contender’s stipulation was added tonight, so Riddle winning made the most sense.

– Post match, Riddle promises to win the title. EVOLVE champion Zack Sabre Jr. arrives and they have a stare down as Riddle claims EVOLVE is his company.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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

The final score: review Average
The 411
Following some very good to great shows in December & January, and a strong EVOLVE 100 show, the streak ends tonight with a flat and mediocre (but far from bad) show from EVOLVE. There was a huge disconnect between what was being delivered in the ring and the reaction, or lack their of, from the crowd. The prelims were completely forgettable, the End matches start off fun and then quickly fade. Yehi won a good match and is back on track, the Sabre & Lee matches were good, but has no soul to them or anything to make you emotionally invested in them, the MCW match was bad, but at least the main event was very good. The tag title feud will continue, but it’s the same three teams and the End is a fun brute force, but their matches continue to not hold my interest. I also feel that thy really failed to hammer home a strong build for Mania weekend. This was a solid, but mediocre event from a company that tends to deliver on a very high level.

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EVOLVE, EVOLVE 101, Larry Csonka