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Csonka’s EVOLVE 103 Review

April 6, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka
Matt Riddle Evolve EVOLVE 93
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Csonka’s EVOLVE 103 Review  

Csonka’s EVOLVE 102 Review

Title vs. Title Match: FIP World Heavyweight Champion Austin Theory defeated WWN Champion Keith Lee @ 10:50 via pin [**]
– Timothy Thatcher defeated Dominic Garrini @ 5:32 via pin [**¼]
– AR Fox defeated DJZ, Jason Kincaid, and Chris Brookes @ 8:35 via pin [***]
– Chris Dickinson defeated Mark Haskins @ 16:47 via submission [**¾]
– WALTER defeated Tracy Williams @ 8:52 via submission [***¾]
– Munenori Sawa defeated Jaka @ 10:38 via submission [***½]
EVOLVE Championship Match: Champion Matt Riddle defeated Daisuke Sekimoto @ 15:30 via referee stoppage [****]

– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

– You can check out my EVOLVE 102 review HERE.

– They try to announce some changes to the card, but the audio on the house mic is absolutely horrible. Jarek & Candy Cartwright arrive. He wants a match, is told no, and he leaves.

– The crowd appears light again for the show.

Title vs. Title Match: WWN Champion Keith Lee vs. FIP World Heavyweight Champion Austin Theory: This was set up last night. Theory attacks at the bell; Lee cuts him off and hits a clothesline. Lee talks some shit and follows with clubbing strikes. More strikes and knees follow, Theory fires back but Lee stops that with forearms. Lee then tosses him across the ring, but Theory trips him up and hits a standing moonsault for 1. Theory lays the boots to Lee, and follows with strikes but Lee gets pissed and fires back, dropping Theory. Theory counters out of ground zero, but Lee hits a high angled spinebuster for 2. Theory fights back with a dropkick and blockbuster for 2. Theory follows with rights, they trade, and Lee hits a big elbow for 2. Lee climbs the ropes and Theory cuts him off and looks for a powerbomb. He then gets the rack, and into 3 seconds around the world for 2. Lee battles back and hits the spirit bomb for 2. Lee looks for ground zero, Theory escapes and we get a ref bump and low blow, the TKO gets the win, see you at Takeover Keith. FIP World Heavyweight Champion Austin Theory defeated WWN Champion Keith Lee @ 10:50 via pin [**] This was ok at best. It was extremely lethargic, had no drama, and a shit finish. Theory as double champion and not keeping Fred Yehi are both questionable calls in my opinion.

– The crowd chants “Thank You Keith,” they know he’s leaving.

Timothy Thatcher vs. Dominic Garrini: They look to grapple right away to no surprise. Garrini grounds things, and starts looking to work the arm. Thatcher quickly counters out, and they work into counters, with Thatcher making the ropes. Thatcher works strikes and knees, but they work to the ropes. They trade strikes, Garrini hits a flying knee and German. He looks for the arm bar, but Thatcher makes the ropes. Thatcher now slaps the shit out of Garrini, hits a Saito suplex and then a butterfly suplex for the win. Timothy Thatcher defeated Dominic Garrini @ 5:32 via pin [**¼] This was a short and ok match, but not much to speak of though.

– Jarek arrives during the introductions, but gets run off by Kincaid.

AR Fox vs. DJZ vs. Jason Kincaid vs. Chris Brookes: Brookes is replacing Tracy Williams. The ref tosses Fox’s crew to the back. They all brawl at the bell, Kincaid and Fox are tossed, allowing Brookes to work over DJZ. He tosses him, Fox back in and he follows with arm drags and a dropkick. Kincaid is back, working over Fox, and covering for 2. DJZ is back, taking Kincaid to the floor. Brookes trips up DJZ and lays the boots to him. Fox cuts him off, and takes out Brookes & DJZ. Kincaid back in and everyone brawls. DJZ hits a dive, and Kincaid follows with a coffin drop from the post. We get floor brawling as Fox hits an over the post dive, wiping everyone out. Kincaid and DJZ back in the ring; Fox in and works over both. The rolling DDT gets 2. Brookes hit a slingshot cutter on Fox for 2. DJZ cuts him off, but Brookes and Fox attack, but DJZ takes them both down. They then answer back with superkicks, but Kincaid cuts them off, and covers for 2. They work to the corner, and it again breaks down into brawling. Fox runs wild with kicks, DJZ then hits a double stomp into a 450. Kincaid cuts him off and hits a falcon arrow, doing the deal, and covering for 2. DJZ cuts him off with a face buster for 2. Brookes makes a comeback, hitting a draping neck breaker on DJZ, but Fox hits lo mein pain and the fox catcher for the win. AR Fox defeated DJZ, Jason Kincaid, and Chris Brookes @ 8:35 via pin [***] This was a good and chaotic change of pace match, bringing some good energy to the card. Fox picking up the win made the most sense.

Chris Dickinson vs. Mark Haskins: Haskins is replacing Travis Banks. Haskins grounds things right away, but Dickinson escapes and they work into a stand off. Haskins works the side headlock, grounding things again. Haskins starts looking to work the arm to set up his arm bar finish, but Dickinson starts to overpower him. They work to the ropes, and we get a clean break. Haskins again goes after the arm, and follows with a dropkick. Haskins follows with knee strikes and kicks, covering for 2. Dickinson lays in chops, and then shoulder tackles. The corner clothesline connects, and the powerslam gets 2. To the floor they go, with Dickinson in control, slamming Haskins to the steps. Haskins’ shoulder is cut open from that, and back in, Dickinson works him over, and chokes him out in the ropes. Dickinson slows the pace, and follows with leg kicks. Dickinson starts working the leg of Haskins, and follows with clubbing strikes. Dickinson looks for a powerbomb, but Haskins fights it off. Haskins fires up with strikes, lays in vicious kicks and then drops Dickinson with a big right. The knee strike follows, and then running uppercuts. Dickinson cuts him off, but Haskins rolls into the crossface, traps both arms, but Dickinson makes the ropes. Haskins rolls into a Michinoku driver and gets 2. Haskins lays in kicks, but Dickinson rolls him up for 2, and then rolls into a heel hook. Haskins makes the ropes. Haskins cuts off Dickinson with a dropkick, but Dickinson does the deal with a falcon arrow for 2. Haskins fights back with kicks, and follows with a top rope double stomp for 2. Haskins now locks on the sharp shooter, but Dickinson escapes and locks in a heel hook, and Haskins taps. Chris Dickinson defeated Mark Haskins @ 16:47 via submission [**¾] This was a pretty good back and forth match, with clean work. There was nothing technically wrong with it, but it was missing some drama and felt like they went long just to go long.

Tracy Williams vs. WALTER: Williams is replacing Allin here. WALTER looks to toss Williams around, but Williams answers back with kicks. WALTER cuts him off big a big chop and slams, covering for 2. They trade strikes now, and more big lad chops from WALTER connect. WALTER locks on the choke, but Williams makes the ropes and escapes. WALTER then follows with a German, and then more chops. The butterfly suplex follows, and WALTER covers for 2. WALTER takes him up top, Williams battles back and knocks WALTER to he mat. WALTER cuts off that bullshit and slams Williams to he mat. Williams fires up with strikes, and then a Saito suplex. They work up top, battling for position and Williams hits a buckle DDT and then another. The top rope splash follows for 2. WALTER fights off a cross face, and slams Williams to the mat. WALTER then drops him with chops and a lariat. Williams counters out of the choke into a crossface. WALTER makes the ropes. WALTER now hits a German, and a lariat, covering for 2. More chops by WALTER follow and the choke finishes Williams. WALTER defeated Tracy Williams @ 8:52 via submission [***¾] This was a very good and enjoyable hard-hitting match, easily the best thing on the show so far. Thier styles worked well together here, as Williams has enough striking and submission sills to believably keep up with WALTER early on, but eventually, the big daddy just chopped him down and subbed him with the choke. WALTER is so damn good.

Jaka vs. Munenori Sawa: They brawl at the bell, and then work to the mat, exchanging submission attempts. Sawa takes control with strikes and they work to the floor and trade strikes. Sawa goes rapid-fire, and then lays in kicks on Jaka. They are not fucking around, this is just keep throwing until the other man stops. Sawa fires up and takes control, but Jaka send shim to he barricade and follows with a superkick. back in and Jaka lays in knee strikes, covering for 2. Jaka follows with rights and the lariat drops Sawa, The head butt gets 2. Jaka hits the corner spin kick, and the choke bomb gets 2. Jaka now locks on the sharpshooter, Sawa fights and Jaka pulls him back center ring and transitions into an STF. Sawa makes the ropes and Jaka continues to attack with strikes. Sawa battles back, lays in strikes and kicks. The leg lariat follows, and Sawa covers for 2. Jaka hits a German, but Sawa immediately transitions into working an arm submission. Jaka fights to his feet and escapes with a suplex. They trade strikes form their knees, Sawa hits a head butt, but Jaka answers back with one of his own. They trade strikes and slaps, fighting to their feet; Jaka hits a head butt, but Sawa drops him with a big rights, covering for 2. Sawa locks on the octopus, Jaka is trapped center ring, and he has to tap. Munenori Sawa defeated Jaka @ 10:38 via submission [***½] This was a very good match, just a notch below the previous one. Their styles mixed well together, and Jaka was not only a great opponent for Sawa, but continues to impress in singles action. I wish this was a La Boom show, as they would have been insane for Sawa’s act, this crowd seems not to be into almost anything tonight.

– The End arrives and kicks the shit out of Jaka. Dickinson arrives and makes the save. It breaks down into a big brawl, Garrini tries to make the save and fails. The End looks to attack Stokley Hathaway, but Tracy Williams makes the save and Catch Point makes the comeback and clean house.

– Riddle proclaims that all EVOLVE title matches will be no rope breaks matches.

EVOLVE Championship Match: Champion Matt Riddle vs. Daisuke Sekimoto: Sekimoto is going no boots tonight, to make things even with Riddle. Riddle out grapples Sekimoto early on, they work to their feet and Sekimoto wants to go Sumo style. Riddle agrees, and they collide. Riddle gets the takedown, grounds things, but Sekimoto pulls a heel hook. Riddle escapes and lays in strikes in the ropes. Riddle now lays in leg kicks, and then locks on a triangle. Sekimoto says fuck that and powerbombs Riddle to escape. Riddle fires back with chops; Sekimoto no sells him and attacks with chops, grounding Riddle. Sekimoto follows with more chops and a slam for 2. He follows with the crab, but Riddle escapes and follows with strikes and elbows, just beating down Sekimoto in the ropes. Sekimoto lays in forearm strikes and chops, and then a clothesline and gut wrench suplex for 2. Sekimoto with more chops, looks for a German, but Riddle grabs a leg and counters. Sekimoto lays in clubbing strikes and Riddle counters the German, but gets decapitated by a lariat. Riddle counters back, hitting a knee strike and fisherman’s buster for 2. A trio of sentons follow by Riddle, and the cover gets 2. He follows with knee strikes, and then the gut wrench suplex connects for 2. Sekimoto counters bro to sleep and gets the rack, but Riddle looks for a kimura to escapes and lock son an inverted triangle in the ropes. Sekimoto escapes with knees, knocking Riddle to the floor. Riddle makes it back in, but walks into chops. He and Sekimoto light each other up with big chops, they fire up and Sekimoto hits a big lariat. Riddle fights back, hits the up kick and bro to sleep. The bridging German gets 2. Riddle lays in kicks, but Sekimoto is PISSED and just absorbs them and they trade big strikes and kicks. Riddle hits a head kick, but Sekimoto hits a head butt. Riddle lights him u with knees and hammer fists and the ref stops it. Champion Matt Riddle defeated Daisuke Sekimoto @ 15:30 via referee stoppage [****] This was a great match, playing into the 15-minute window that Riddle thrives in, and they kept it simple, playing to their strengths. The action was great, consistent, they got the crowd into things and delivered a hard-hitting title match, that was easily the best match on the card overall. I love Riddle declaring all EVOLVE title matches no rope break matches, as it plays into his matches coming into the weekend. The finish came off very well, thanks to the work leading into it, and the crowd completely buying into the stoppage on Sekimoto.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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

The final score: review Good
The 411
Injuries to Banks & Allin caused changes to the card, and hurt it a bit due to canceling anticipated matches, but EVOLVE did a good job of covering and was another good show, just a bit below 102 quality wise. EVOLVE I having a strong weekend so far with some great matches, but is lacking the blow away performances of years past to really stand out.