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Csonka’s EVOLVE 102 Review

April 5, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s EVOLVE 102 Review  

Csonka’s EVOLVE 102 Review

Non-Title Match: DJZ defeated FIP Champion Austin Theory @ 9:30 via pin [**¾]
– Will Ospreay defeated AR Fox @ 15:55 via pin [****]
EVOLVE Tag Team Title Scramble Match: The End won @ 9:10 via pin, but do not win the titles [**¾]
Non-Title Special Challenge Match: Champion Keith Lee defeated Darby Allin @ 10:25 via pin [***¼]
– Timothy Thatcher & WALTER defeated Daisuke Sekimoto & Munenori Sawa @ 21:55 via submission [***¾]
EVOLVE Title Match: Matt Riddle defeated Champion Zack Sabre Jr. @ 20:59 via submission [****]

– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

– You can read my preview of the show at this link.

– Attendance is only about 400; Bloodsport did about 800 earlier today.

FIP Champion Austin Theory vs. DJZ: DJZ grounds things to begin. Theory fights to his feet, but DJZ hits an arm drag. They work into some counters, Theory grounds things, but DJZ fights back and hits a RANA. Theory cuts him off with a right, and follows with kicks. DJZ hits knee strikes and a springboard elbow. Theory powders, and then rolls back in with a dropkick, covering for 2. He follows with rights, and whips DJZ to the buckles. Theory grounds the action, and then hits a gut wrench toss. The fee froze for a bit, and as we come back, theory hits a lariat, but DJZ comes back with a German. Theory cuts him off, they work up top and DJZ hits a sunset bomb and DDT, covering for the win. DJZ defeated FIP Champion Austin Theory @ 9:30 via pin [**¾] This was a pretty good opener, with an abrupt finish that caught the crowd off guard.

– Post match, Theory complains about a fast count. He says he will face and beat Keith Lee tomorrow. He wants Lee to put his WWN Championship on the line and he’ll put his FIP tile on the line.

– The WWN site crashed for me and I had to switch to Fite TV.

AR Fox vs. Will Ospreay: AR Fox is out with his crew. Ospreay is heavily taped up following getting really banged up against Scurll at Sakura Genesis. They lock up, work to the ropes and we get a clean break. They pick up the pace, working into kick counters. They work to the floor, working more counters and back in, they tease cutters and work into a stand off. Really nice stuff. Ospreay hits a RANA and dropkick, as Fox powders. Fox’s group distracts Ospreay, allowing Fox to attack, and he focuses on the neck. He now lays the boots to Ospreay, and grounds the action. Ospreay fights to his feet. Fox cuts him off and again attacks the neck in the ropes. Fox covers for 2. Fox works a neck crank, and hits the twisting suplex, covering for 2. Fox continues to focus on the neck, grounding the action. Ospreay slowly fights to his feet; Ospreay then connects with the back handspring kick. Ospreay follows with kicks, an enziguri and then takes out the crew on the floor. Fox cuts him off, and back in, hits a springboard code breaker for 2. Ospreay counters out of sliced bread, and dropkicks Fox to the floor. Ospreay then follows with the Sasuke special, wiping out the pile. Back in and Ospreay hits the springboard forearm and running shooting star press for 2. Fox cuts off the Oscutter, hits a superkick and follows with a slingshot cutter for 2. Fox up top and misses the swanton. The head kick follows, and then a dropkick and enziguri; Fox hits a German, but Ospreay counters back with a Spanish fly. They trade strikes now, Ospreay gets fired up and he lights up Fox, but Fox hits a knee strike, but Ospreay hits a big sitout powerbomb for a great near fall. He drapes Fox over the ropes and heads up top, gets distracted by the crew and Fox hits lo mein pain and the 450 for a great near fall. Ospreay fights back, and hits a dive onto he crew on the floor. The Robinson special and Oscutter finishes it. Will Ospreay defeated AR Fox @ 15:55 via pin [****] Despite coming into the match banged up, Ospreay delivered. They had a great match that would have been better without the distraction spots, which didn’t add anything to the match. But both guys delivered, but considering the circumstances, Ospreay was on another level.

EVOLVE Tag Team Title Scramble Match: Champions Chris Dickinson & Jaka vs. The End (Parrow & Odinson) vs. James Drake & Anthony Henry vs. Tracy Williams & Dom Garrini: This is 2 In At A Time, No Tags Needed, 1st Fall Wins It and if Dickinson & Jaka lose the fall, they will lose the EVOLVE Tag Team Titles. They start off with a mass brawl, with everyone working over the End, and send them to the floor. The champions battle with Drake & Henry. Williams pulls Henry to the floor, allowing Garrini to attack Drake. Williams in and he works over Henry, Stokley wants Garrini to lay down for Dickinson, but Williams breaks that up. The Catch Point boys all brawl, and Dickinson covers Garrini for 2 as Drake makes the save. Dickinson drops Drake on his head with an overhead belly to belly. The champions dump Drake, The End returns with chokeslams on the champions. The super collider follows, and Williams makes the save. Drake and Henry back in and they work double teams as Garrini makes the save. He works over Henry, hitting a knee strike for 2. Williams takes out Jaka with a German, Henry runs Garrini into Williams, Dickinson in and he and Jaka looks for death trap, Drake breaks it up and he and Henry double team Dickinson, but Odinson makes the save. The End clears the ring until Henry wipes them out. Henry takes out Drennen, allowing Parrow to hit a German. The End hits the hell on earth and win. The End won @ 9:10 via pin, but do not win the titles [**¾] This was overly chaotic, and never fully locked into a smooth flow, but at least they kept things moving along. The rules also felt stupid, as the End won, but didn’t get the titles.

Non-Title Special Challenge Match: WWN Champion Keith Lee vs. Darby Allin: Lee easily over powers Allin to begin, tossing Allin around. Allin tries to fire up with chops and strikes, picks up the pace and then sends Lee to the floor. Lee catches the suicide dive and Allin fights him off and follows with another suicide dive and then a tope. Back in and Lee cuts off a coffin drop with a pounce. Lee follows with clubbing strikes, and lays in chops. Allin tries for a guillotine, Lee fights but Allin stuns him off the ropes. Lee grabs him and tosses him across the ring. The corner splash follows, and Lee follows with chops. Lee tosses Allin across the ring once again. Lee misses a charge, Allin fires back with strikes. Allin takes out the knee and follows with a coffin drop. The stunner follows, and then a sunset flip gets 2. Allin follows with back elbows, Lee cuts him off, and Lee hits a running cross body for 2. Lee laughs off Allin’s strikes and drops him with a big right. Allin picks up the pace, but Lee kills him with an elbow and spirit bomb. Lee doesn’t cover, instead looking to lay in more punishment. Allin pulls himself up, lee lights him up with strikes and hits ground zero and that’s it. Champion Keith Lee defeated Darby Allin @ 10:25 via pin [***¼] That was a good and fun match, with Lee largely dominating and Allin continuing to play the resilient babyface.

– Post match, Lee comments on Theory’s challenge, and accepts his challenge for tomorrow.

– Candy Cartwright arrives, distracting Allin, and allowing Jarek to attack Allin. He lays out Allin.

Daisuke Sekimoto & Munenori Sawa vs. Timothy Thatcher & WALTER: Thatcher and Sawa to begin. Thatcher works to ground things, Sawa counters out and escapes. They work into some grappling. Thatcher counters into a chicken wing, but Sawa escapes. Sekimoto and WALTER tag in. BIG LADS! They lock up, working the power game. WALTER lays in chops, and Sekimoto answers back. WALTER lights him up, but Sekimoto fires up and they continue to trade. Sekimoto hits shoulder blocks, but WALTER takes him down. Sekimoto hits a dropkick, WALTER is not impressed and drops him with a bog boot. The slam follows, and Thatcher tags in. He lays in knee strikes, WALTER tags back in and lays in more chops, dropping Sekimoto. Thatcher back in and works the half crab. WALTER takes out Sawa, allowing Thatcher to maintain control. WALTER tags back in, lays in more chops, Sekimoto fires back and they trade center ring. WALTER drops him with more chops, and tags in Thatcher. More knee strikes by Thatcher follow, and the gut wrench suplex follows for 2. WALTER back in as they continue to isolate Sekimoto. WALTER misses a charge and Sekimoto looks for a slam, but gets cut off. They trade chops and strikes, and Sekimoto hits a desperation lariat and Sawa tags in. He and Thatcher trade strikes, Sawa lays in kicks and lays in rapid-fire strikes. The enziguri follows and Sawa hits dragon screws on both Thatcher and WALTER. Sekimoto tags back in and works over Thatcher with back breakers. The crab follows, Sawa in and locks on an arm bar. WALTER makes the save. Sawa back in and hits an elbow drop on Thatcher, and then looks for a leg lock. Thatcher tries to fight out with slaps. But Sawa transitions into a Muta lock until WALTER makes the save. Sekimoto tags back in, working over Thatcher in the corner. He follows with chops. But Thatcher answers with uppercuts. The enziguri follows, one for Sawa and WALTER gets the hot tag. Chops for all! Sekimoto avoids a charge, WALTER fights off the double teams and follows with lariats. The German on Sawa follows and then a butterfly suplex connects. WALTER and Sekimoto trade strikes, Sekimoto hits a slam and heads up top. And the missile dropkick connects for 2. WALTER blocks the lariat, they trade chops and fire up. They just light each other up, and they work into a double down. We get wholesale changes to Thatcher and Sawa. They light each other up, Sawa goes rapid-fire but Thatcher grabs an arm bar. Sawa escapes, but Thatcher gets the arm bar again. Sawa makes the ropes. Thatcher lays in knee strikes, Sawa cuts him off with kicks and a big right. The octopus hold follows, Sekimoto gets the rack on WALTER, but WALTER slips into the Gojira clutch. WALTER & Thatcher get slammed together, and Sawa & Sekimoto double team Thatcher, and Sekimoto Germans Sawa & Thatcher. WALTER tags in and takes out Sekimoto, and lariats Sawa a few times and covers for 2. Thatcher takes out Sekimoto as WALTER gets the Gojira clutch and Sawa taps. Timothy Thatcher & WALTER defeated Daisuke Sekimoto & Munenori Sawa @ 21:55 via submission [***¾] I was really surprised that Sawa & Sekimoto lost here, as I though they would win in order to really set up their upcoming title shots. Instead, Thatcher & WALTER get much needed momentum ahead of their tag title shot. This was a very good, and fun, hard-hitting match. It was missing a hot crowd and an overall sense of drama to make it a really great match though.

– Stokley Hathaway arrives to talk shit on Thatcher & WALTER. Darby Allin arrives and WALTER tosses him to the floor. He then kills him with a powerbomb.

EVOLVE Championship Match: Champion Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Matt Riddle: This is their third match in EVOLVE, they are 1-1. They work to the ground to begin, both look for submissions, but Sabre quickly counters out. Riddle counters, switching position; Sabre looks for a guillotine and Riddle makes the ropes. They continue to grapple, but Riddle makes the ropes. Riddle works into an arm bar, but Sabre quickly makes the ropes. Riddle hits rolling gut wrench suplexes, and the senton for 2. Riddle lays in strikes, and follows with kicks, rocking Sabre. Sabre counters into a heel hook, and then stomps away at the ankle of Riddle. Sabre keeps it grounded, working the knee and ankle of Riddle. Sabre now starts bending Riddle in half, but Riddle makes the ropes. Sabre is like a surgeon here, picking apart Riddle’s legs and even manipulating the exposed toes. Sabre sweeps the legs, and follows with uppercuts and a DT into a grounded abdominal stretch. Sabre transitions to an arm bar, but Riddle makes the ropes. They trade strikes, Riddle fire sup with chops and rapid-fire strikes. Sabre is down, but then counters a German into a guillotine. Riddle powers him up into a fisherman buster. Sabre counters the second, and locks in a hanging kimura. Riddle powers up into a perfect-plex for 2. Sabre counters out of bro to sleep, and they work into counters, Sabre blocks the arm bar and rolls into a heel hook. Riddle then escapes an arm bar, and hits a one armed German for the double down. Sabre lights him up with uppercuts, Riddle looks for the twister, but Sabre escapes; Riddle hits a knee strike and powerbomb for a good near fall. Riddle lays in kicks, they work into a series of counter spots and Sabre gets the European clutch for 2. Two PKs follow by Sabre, he locks on the heel hook again. Riddle fights and makes the ropes. Sabre attacks the knee again, keeping Riddle down. Sabre is in full dick mode, just relentlessly attacking the knee of Riddle. They trade slaps, but Riddle hits a big knee strike and hits bro to sleep and a bridging German for 2. Riddle hits a senton, heads up top and the senton is caught by Sabre into an arm bar. Riddle fights, escapes and then Sabre locks in the octopus hold. Riddle counters out and hits the Gotch tombstone for a great near fall. Riddle follows with elbows, but Sabre counters the bromission and ties u p Riddle with orienting with napalm death, but Riddle counters out into the bromission and wins the title! Matt Riddle defeated Champion Zack Sabre [email protected] 20:59 via submission [****] They had a great main event, meshing their styles well and playing off of their past matches, with the counters and finish teases. Sabre continues to have a great 2018, Riddle brought it and won the title as I expected he would. It may not have been a MOTYC, but it was a great way to close the show.

– They share a fist bump post match.

– Riddle cuts a post match promo, and says he couldn’t be happier.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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

The final score: review Good
The 411
EVOLVE 102 was a good show, that gave us some great wrestling, a big title change, and also set the stage well for tomorrow’s WWN shows. Fox vs. Ospreay & Riddle vs. Sabre are the must-see matches from the show.