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Csonka’s EVOLVE 105 Review

May 20, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s EVOLVE 105 Review  

Csonka’s EVOLVE 105 Review

– N8 Mattson & Orlando Christopher defeated The End @ 9:05 via pin [**]
– Tracy Williams defeated Odinson @ 9:25 via submission [**¾]
– AR Fox defeated Myron Reed @ 13:00 via pin [***½]
THE FRAY: Josh Biggs won @ 8:35 via pin [**]
– DJZ defeated Zachary Wentz @ 9:50 via pin [***¼]
– Shane Strickland defeated Darby Allin @ 15:05 via referee stoppage [***¾]
Non-Title Match: WWN Champion Austin Theory defeated Trey Miguel @ 9:36 via pin [***]
EVOLVE Tag Team Title Match: Champions Chris Dickinson & Jaka defeated Anthony Henry & James Drake @ 16:40 via pin [****¼]
EVOLVE Championship Match – No Rope Break Match – The Final War: Champion Matt Riddle defeated Keith Lee @ 18:10 via pin [****½]

– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

– You can check out my EVOLVE 104 review HERE.

The End (Parrow & Drennen) vs. N8 Mattson & Orlando Christopher: The End are coming off of their latest failure to win the EVOLVE tag titles. After some basic back and forth, Christopher hits a dropkick and sends Drennen to his corner. Parrow tags in, Christopher attacks but gets instantly cut off and Parrow pummels him and then tosses him across the ring. Drennen back in, Mattson tags in and works him over, running wild. Parrow in and powerbombs Mattson into his partner. Parrow back in and the End takes control, working double teams. Drennen hits a superplex, covering for 2. Parrow back in and the chokeslam gets 2. The torture rack follows, and then tosses him to the buckles. Mattson finally starts to make a comeback, hits the MX and tags in Christopher. Christopher runs wild on Drennen, who is out of position on the stretch of spots. Drennen up top, into the tree of WHOA, and Christopher goes coast to cost (hitting the chandelier) with an elbow drop. Drennen grabs his club and attacks for the DQ. N8 Mattson & Orlando Christopher defeated The End @ 9:05 via pin [**] This was OK at best, but one of those matches I hate as they ask you to invest time into a match with no story and then refuse to give you a finish. The End feels like such a dead act.

– The End beats down the winners until Tracy Williams makes the save.

Tracy Williams vs. Odinson: That leads right into the next match, Odison tries to run wild with his power, but Williams cuts him off with the Suzuki hanging arm bar. Odinson quickly escapes an takes control back. Odinson starts tossing Williams around with suplexes. But Williams fires up with strikes until Odinson hits an overhead belly to belly for 2. They workup top, Williams cuts him off and gets a guillotine. Odinson powers out into a suplex for 2. He follows with uppercuts and chops, Williams follows with clotheslines and Odinson is rocked. The Saito suplex follows by Williams. He then lays in corner clotheslines, heads up top and Williams hits the missile dropkick. Williams plants Odinson with a DDT, which gets 2. They trade strikes and chops, Odinson hits an enziguri and running powerslam for 2. Williams counters the F5 into a crossface and Odinson taps. Tracy Williams defeated Odinson @ 9:25 via submission [**¾] This was a pretty good match, I don’t know if it was because he was working with Williams or not, but Odinson came off better as a singles here.

– Post match, Catch Point attacks Williams and that leads to Drake & Henry making the save. Williams thanks them and puts them over, saying tonight is their night to win the tag titles. He promises to have their back id Hathaway or Garrini get involved.

– Cyrus Satin arrives for a match, but Bryan Idol (from FIP) arrives and lays him out. He’s creating an opportunity even though they are given to others. He cuts an “I should be the guy” of the promotion promo. At Friday’s FIP show, he wants to face Fred Yehi. So Yehi is good enough to work FIP, but they couldn’t lock him up to keep him p the important shows?

AR Fox vs. Myron Reed: The Skulk is out with Fox. They immediately work into a series of counters, and into a stand off. Fox offers a handshake, and tries to attack. Reed saw that coming and work into some really fun back and forth. Reed then hits a high cross for 2. Fox then stuns him off the ropes and follows with kicks and a slingshot neck breaker. Fox takes control; looking annoyed that Reed is daring to hang with him. Fox then hits the twister for 2. Reed starts to battle back, but Fox cuts him off with a neck breaker. Reed then counters a suplex into a stunner. The dropkick follows, and then hits a springboard uppercut for a near fall. Fox then plants him with a flatliner for 2 as he continues to look frustrated. Lo mein pain follows for 2. Fox then misses a 450. They trade strikes, Fox hits a superkick and springboard cutter; the dragon sleeper follows and Reed battles for the ropes and makes it. Fox hits a bicycle kick, but Reed fires back and hits a dive onto the Skulk. Fox then wipes him out with a dive. To the apron and Reed hits a cutter in the ropes. Reed then hits a cutter to he floor onto the Skulk. Back in and Reed eats a superkick and the fox catcher finishes him. AR Fox defeated Myron Reed @ 13:00 via pin [***½] This was a very good match, allowing Reed to hang with Fox, a top guy, and also allowing Fox to maintain momentum as he works back towards a title shot, likely against Theory.

THE FRAY: Snoop Strikes vs. J. Spade vs. Jonny Flex vs. Matt Delray vs. Buku Dao vs. AC Mack vs. Dominic Garrini vs. Josh Biggs: Eliminations are by pin or submission; a new man enters every minute. Spade and Delray start us off. They work some back and forth, Spade takes control and Buku Dao is in. He works over Delray, covering for 2. Next in is Snoop Strikes. Delray got eliminated (2:30) during Snoop’s entrance. Snoop runs wild, hitting knee strikes and a sliced bread. Spade cuts him off as Flex is in. The three Wildkat cuts work over Snoop, and of course turn on each other. AC Mack is in next. He hits a meteora on Spade, and Snoop is back and cuts him off. Mack fights back, and Garrini is next. He gets dumped as Dao submits Mack (5:33). Garrini attacks, arm bars Dao and he taps (5:55). Josh Biggs is now in. Snoop attacks, but Biggs tosses him around. Chokebreaker and Spade is gone (6:42). Chokebreaker and Flex is gone (7:10). Garrini dumps Biggs and Snoop hits a suicide dive. Garrini triangles him and that’s a tap (7:45). Biggs and Garrini are left, they work back and forth as Garrini locks on a sleeper. Biggs escapes, chokebreaker, and that’s all. Josh Biggs won @ 8:35 via pin [**] This was ok and a nice way to get Biggs over, who just signed. But it never felt locked in and was way too frantic, and lacked any real big moments to make it feel overly fun or special. Garrini and Biggs could be fun coming out of this.

DJZ vs. Zachary Wentz: They work a fun, counter filled opening stretch. Wentz hits a high cross, to the floor they go and DJZ slams Wentz onto the apron. DJZ then tosses him into he crowd and hits a dive over the barricade. Wentz then follows with a dive off of the barricade. They work back into the ring and DJZ follows with an inverted DDT. DJZ now grounds the action, working the arm. Wentz escapes to his feet, they trade strikes and DJZ hits a superkick. Wentz hits a desperation knee strike, but gets turned inside out with a DJZ lariat. DJZ stuns him off the ropes, and the springboard moonsault eats knees. Wentz dumps DJZ and follows with a dive. The PK connects, but DJZ rolls him up for 2. Wentz follows with a flatliner and standing moonsault for 2. Wentz up top, DJZ cuts him off and follows him up. Wentz knocks him to the mat but the senton eats knees. DJZ looks for DZT but eats a knee strike and cutter for a great near fall. Wentz up top but gets crotched. DJZ follows and hits the SUPER RANA; the DZT follows for the win. DJZ defeated Zachary Wentz @ 9:50 via pin [***¼] This was a good, and fun back and forth match that allowed both men to shine. I was actually surprised that Wentz dropped another. This was just missing something to take it to the next level, but was enjoyable.

– Strickland talks bout WWN not signing him three years ago, so he went onto become a star on his own and made WWN regret it. And when he came back, he took out WWN’s top star in Riddle. He broke the unbreakable. He runs down Darby Allin and promises to break his arm.

Shane Strickland vs. Darby Allin: Strickland had an awesome match with Riddle at 104, absolutely fucking up Riddle’s arm and dominating the champion in a DQ loss. They lock up, work to the ropes and break. Allin grounds things and gets a cradle for 2. Strickland then gets pissed, attacks and immediately attacks the arm going for the arm bar. Allin makes the ropes and Strickland breaks clean. Allin follows with a lucha arm drag, and high cross for 2. The cradle follows for 2. Strickland cuts him off, lays in strikes, chops, and then a head scissors. The big lariat turns Allin inside out. Strickland lays in grounded strikes and dumps Allin on the ropes gut first. Allin counters back and hits a stunner and cradle for 2. They work up top and Strickland starts attacking the arm of Allin trapping it in the post and trying to break it. They go to the floor with Strickland continuing to stay focused on the arm and torturing Allin. Strickland rolls him back in, continuing to try and hurt Allin’s arm. Allin manages to power up enough to hit a suplex and transition into his own arm bar. Strickland quickly escapes, lays in strikes and Allin fires up and pisses off Strickland. Strickland keeps unloading, finally taking Allin down again. Allin rallies and hits code red for 2. Strickland about murders Allin with a knee strike, taking him down again. Strickland heads up top, but gets cut off and rakes the eyes of Strickland. He backdrops him to he mat and coffin drops tight into an arm bar. Strickland does the arm snap spot ala Pentagon on the previously broken arm of Allin. Strickland reapplies the key lock and the ref stops it. Shane Strickland defeated Darby Allin @ 15:05 via referee stoppage [***¾] This was very good as WWN works to establish Strickland as an instant top guy. Allin is a spectacular underdog and takes an sells a beating extremely well, and was the perfect guy to put in this spot to continue Strickland ‘s elevation.

Non-Title Match: WWN Champion Austin Theory with Priscilla Kelly vs. Trey Miguel: Theory over powers Miguel to begin. Miguel picks up the pace and lays the boots to Theory. Theory quickly cuts him off, but Miguel hits a RANA and kicks Theory to he floor. Miguel sorta hits a step up dive, coming up a little short. Back in and Miguel looks for a split legged moonsault and eats knees. Theory follows with a lariat. The suplex follows for 2. Theory then follows with a rolling dropkick for 2. He now stomps away at Miguel, and follows with forearm strikes. He follows with elbows and then into a chinlock. Miguel battles to his feet, hitting a knee strike and neck breaker. The enziguri follows and then hits meteora for 2. Miguel heads up top, but gets crotched. Theory follows him up and Miguel fights him off but Theory cuts off the sunset bomb. Miguel hits a 619 and then a top rope meteora gets 2. Theory posts him and hits a buckle bomb and the last shot gets 2. Miguel counters attacksia, but gets posted again. Attacksia finishes Miguel. WWN Champion Austin Theory defeated Trey Miguel @ 9:36 via pin [***] This was a good back and forth match, with Miguel looking good, but ultimately failing. It really needed a hotter closing stretch and drama to be more.

– AR Fox and the Skulk arrive to follow up on last night’s angle. Fox’s wife and Kelly have a brief pull apart, and that’s it.

EVOLVE Tag Team Title Match: Champions Chris Dickinson & Jaka vs. Anthony Henry & James Drake: Hathaway & Garrini are at ringside. Dickinson attacks at the bell, working over Henry. He lays in chops and Jaka tags in. Jaka hits a bicycle kick and splash for 2. The champions work quick tags and double teams, but Henry fires up and gets the tag to Drake. He and Dickinson face off and trade chops and kicks. Drake hits a Saito suplex and Jaka tags in. He takes Drake down, but Drake fires up with a lariat. Henry tags back in and works over Jaka in the corner. Jaka fire back with strikes and chops, but Henry cuts him off with kicks, and the cover gets 2. Henry fights of the double teams, but Dickinson trips him up allowing Jaka to hit a spinebuster for 2. Jaka follows with elbows, strikes, and kicks in the corner. He then grounds things and covers for 2. Dickinson in and hits a German, and then chokes out Henry. The snap suplex follows for 2. Quick tags follow from the champions as they isolate Henry, working the heat and picking up near falls. Jaka follows with a lariat for 2. Jaka takes knocks Drake to the floor, allowing the champions to double team Henry. Dickinson just destroys Henry with kicks, and now looks for a choke as he takes the back of Henry. Tracy Williams arrives to fire up the challengers. Henry mounts a comeback, trading vicious strikes with Dickinson. The enziguri follows and Hathaway distracts Drake to cut of the tag. Williams chases he and Garrini away, Henry makes the comeback and hits a missile dropkick. Hot tag to Drake! He runs wild with chops and runs the champions together and hits the big lad senton for 2. The challengers now work double teams, and Drake covers for 2. Henry up top and Jaka runs drake into him and hits a German; Dickinson hits a run up doing of the deal with the super falcon arrow on Henry. Jaka hits a German for 2. The champions now double team Drake, and have control firmly back. They call for the death trap on Henry, but Henry counters into a cradle for 2. Jaka kills him with a running knee strike, but Henry gets the tag to Drake. The big man runs wild with a lariat and the challengers run wild on Dickinson. Henry up top and hits the double stomp, Drake hits the moonsault and Jaka flies in for the save! Dickinson cuts of Henry, and the champions hit an assisted leg drop spot and Henry falls to the floor. Jaka Germans Drake, but he pops up and hits an XPLODER! He takes Jaka up top, Dickinson cuts him of and the death trap finishes Drake. Champions Chris Dickinson & Jaka defeated Anthony Henry & James Drake @ 16:40 via pin [****¼] I really thought we’d be heading towards a title change here, and the work of the match really added to that feeling as they worked an absolutely great match, with great action that kept escalating, and hot crowd that was buying hard into all of the near falls. This was laid out extremely well, everyone looked good, and it was easy to buy either team winning but at the end of the day. Jaka & Dickinson continue to reign supreme, while Henry & Drake continue to put in really impressive performances, and with the loss, may be headed for the singles ranks; this was simply a really great effort from everyone involved.

– Austin Theory offers AR Fox a title match in August.

EVOLVE Championship Match – No Rope Break Match – The Final War: Champion Matt Riddle vs. Keith Lee: This is the final battle between the two, and supposed to be Lee’s final EVOLVE match as he heads to WWE. Riddle is coming in injured following the assault by Strickland the night before. Riddle shoots, but Lee quickly tosses him aside. Riddle is already favoring the wrapped up left arm. Riddle looks for a sleeper, but Lee fights that off. Riddle looks to grapple, but Lee uses the bad arm for an escape. Riddle attacks with chops, and Lee answers back. They trade and light each other up. Riddle mixes in kicks and works over Lee in the corner. The running forearms follow, Lee cuts him off, attacking the bad arm and drops Riddle with a big left. Lee follows with knee strikes and clubbing strikes to the back of Riddle. Lee cuts of a springboard knee with the pounce, which gets 2. Lee now starts really focusing on the left arm of Riddle, and just continues to pummel him. Lee then tosses Riddle around the ring. The corner splash and double chops follow from Lee. Lee continues to toss him around with ease. Riddle gets a Suzuki hanging arm bar in the ropes, Lee fights out of the ropes and Riddle lays in more forearms. Riddle is great here, selling the arm and fighting the whole way with basically one arm. Riddle hits a desperation German, but Lee easily escapes because Riddle can’t keep his grip. Riddle follows with the senton, lays the boots to him and hits another senton. Riddle follows with elbow strikes and looks for the twister, but can’t lock it in, due to the injured arm. Lee starts to attack the arm, powers up and escapes. Lee fights of the tombstone and he drops Riddle with the tombstone for a good near fall. They trade strikes and chops, head kick by Riddle but Lee rebounds with a lariat for the double down. They fight to their feet and trade again, Riddle escapes the spirit bomb but eats a huge lariat for 2. Riddle catches Lee on a float over and hits the tombstone for a good near fall. Lee blocks the running knee, and unwraps the injured arm of Riddle. Riddle fires up and counters into a ground zero on Lee for 2. Riddle lays in kicks; Lee catches one and hits the spirit bomb but Riddle kicks out at 1! Riddle peppers him with strikes, but Lee quickly counters into ground zero for 2. Lee is frustrated, hits bro to sleep, but Riddle rebounds with a knee strike. Riddle heads up top and hits he big senton for 1! FIGHTING SPIRIT! Knee strikes by Riddle, but Lee kicks out at 2. Riddle hits another running knee strike and finally finishes Lee. Champion Matt Riddle defeated Keith Lee @ 18:10 via pin [****½] This was an absolutely awesome main event, a fitting close to the feud and a beautiful send off for Lee who has been an essential part of the WWN world since signing. They played extremely well off of their past meetings with fun call backs, working to a hot crowd and making sure to close of the feud in style. This was one of those throw it all at the wall matches, there was going to be no rematch, and Riddle went over clean and decisively, but Lee went out looking absolutely great and in a way, rewarded for his great time with the company. To me there are rare times that the one count/fighting spirit kick outs work perfectly, and this was one of those times. There was no coming back, so having them throw everything at each other, and survive enough to add to the drama, worked here, especially in front of a very receptive crowd. This was billed as the final war, and the work, the crowd reaction, and simply everything worked here. Riddle is locked into his next feud. Lee got to say goodbye; it all worked as well as you could have hoped for.

– Post match, Riddle calls out Strickland, who arrives with a chair. Strickland strolls a round the ring to “Swerve’s a pussy” chants. Riddle wants to fight, but Strickland powders and laughs at Riddle. Strickland tells him no fight until he gets a title shot. Riddle says that’s a pussy move and then puts over Lee. Riddle says they have known each other for a year and wrestled all over the world with and against each other. Riddle says guys like Lee make wrestling great, and make his opponents better. He appreciates Lee and loves him and wishes him the best “wherever you end up, we don’t know.” The crowd chants NXT. They hug. The crowd chants “thank you Keith & NXLee” before a chorus of “bask in his glory” as Riddle gives him the ring. He thanks the fans and say he has so much he could say as he gets “you deserve it” chants. He says leaving EVOLVE is going to be harder than he expected, and says that the fans have made this special. Lee then asks that the fans continue to support him wherever he goes and to bask in his glory; whatever happens, please fill up this building and keep supporting EVOLVE, and says he loves the fans.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
EVOLVE 104 was a great introduction to the new era of EVOLVE, and EVOLVE 105 was a more than fitting sequel to that show. The company continued to introduce new talent, they set up Fox vs. theory and continued the elevation of Strickland with a big win making it clear that he is the next man up for Riddle. They had a great and invested crowd all night, and while this weekend had many more questions than certainties as we came into it, EVOLVE found a way to move on into a new era without Yehi, Sabre, & now Lee by delivering two extremely strong events. The next chapter of EVOLVE is off to a very promising start.

article topics :

EVOLVE, EVOLVE 105, Larry Csonka