wrestling / Columns

Csonka’s EVOLVE 106 Preview

June 23, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka

WELCOME back to column time with Larry! Today, I am going to discuss and preview tonight’s EVOLVE 106 event. EVOLVE 104 & 105 were reboot shows for the promotion as they brought in new talent as they prepared for life without standouts and Fred Yehi, Zack Sabre Jr, & Keith Lee. Lee finished up in class ion those shows, putting in great performances and an emotional farewell. The promotion again proved their resiliency as they delivered a pair of high-quality events, hammering home that EVOLVE is more than the promotional name, but also something that they do very well. These shows could have been extremely lackluster or even bad, but they took chances, mixed things up and delivered a really fun and memorable weekend. Now it’s time to follow up on that weekend and press forward into the company’s latest era…

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The Skulk vs. The Skulk: The Skulk are AR Fox’s students who come to ringside during his matches in EVOLVE. They are largely harmless and more of a hype train than anything for him but have worked in FIP & Style Battle. They are on the show for no real reason than to give them a chance to do more than jump and dance around, but it feels odd pitting them against each other. Also, while I am sure that they will work very hard, I am finding it hard to care about “The Skulk vs. The Skulk” because it’s The Skulk vs. The Skulk, they have no names, no identity, and simply exist. Maybe EVOLVE 106 will be a chance to change that WINNER: … The Skulk?

Bad Bones vs. Josh Briggs: Briggs made his debut last month, signing with EVOLVE after impressing with other independents. Bad Bones is a star in Europe and is looking to make waves in the US. The problem for Bones is that while I am sure he’ll be bringing the fight to Briggs, Briggs is the new kid on the block and the new toy EVOLVE is looking to push into the mix. I imagine that this will be a fun and hard-hitting affair, and while Bones will look good, this feel like it should be all about Briggs winning and establishing his momentum. WINNER: Josh Briggs

Chris Dickinson, Jaka, & Dominic Garrini with Stokely Hathaway vs. Tracy Williams, Timothy Thatcher, & Anthony Henry: Tracy Williams has been excommunicated from the Catch Point stable, he had been in control of the stable until his poor decision making, and giving Stokley Hathaway the power he needed to take things over and oust the final remaining Catch Point original. Catch Point was Williams’ legacy, handed down to him by the Reverend Drew Gulak who first shared the word and message of the Catch Point way. Williams defeated Dominic Garrini, gaining a measure of revenge but was punished for it at EVOLVE 105 when Catch Point attacked. Now, Williams has a new bond with Anthony Henry (who again failed to win the tag titles from Dickinson & Jaka) after helping him fight off Catch Point at EVOLVE 105, and they will join with another man who has issues with Stokley Hathaway, former EVOLVE champion Timothy Thatcher. There is a lot of talent here, and this should be a very good and heated match due to the history involved. I have high hopes forth this but feel that the teamwork and unity of Catch Point will win out here, possibly leading to a team of convenience for Williams and Thatcher to challenge for the tag titles. WINNER: Chris Dickinson, Jaka, & Dominic Garrini

WALTER vs. Darby Allin: WALTER and Darby Allin were originally set to face off at EVOLVE 103 during Mania weekend but a concussion suffered by Allin saved him from death at the hands of the big daddy WALTER. Allin is coming off of a win in a four-way at EVOLVE 104 but was then destroyed at the hands of Shane Strickland at EVOLVE 105. Allin is a great underdog performer, who always gets the crowds into his matches. Watching him pinball for WALTER and scoring some fun desperation near falls will be what makes this match. But unfortunately for him, WALTER is a completely different beast than anyone else in the company. WALTER don’t do big lad flippies, WALTER tosses you around, mauls you like a bear, will chop your chest until you bleed, and just when you think you’ve had enough, he’ll go technical and choke you out without a second thought. Allin’s redemption story still ongoing, and while I think he’ll eventually be set for a feud with Austin Theory, I think the big daddy destroys poor Darby here. WINNER: WALTER

AR Fox with Ayla & The Skulk vs. DJZ: If the booking I have in mind all goes to plan, I think I know how this plays out. At EVOLVE 107 (the next night) Fox gets an EVOLVE Title shot of Riddle is still champion, but I believe that Riddle will lose the title to Strickland. Meanwhile, DJZ is challenging for the FIP title the next night, so in all honesty, there should be little doubt in him winning There will be a lot of stories in play here over the two nights, but DJZ wins here in what should be a tremendously fun, highflying match as both guys have been delivering big in recent performances. WINNER: DJZ

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WWN Championship Match: Champion Austin Theory with Priscilla Kelly defends vs. Joey Janela with Penelope Ford: The official story on this one is that “EVOLVE officials have had enough with the spoiled brat behavior of Theory and Kelly” so they brought in the bad boy Joey Janela and Penelope Ford in order to teach them a lesson. While I don’t think that Janela is a great wrestler, he’s a tremendous guy at building his brand and making people to pay and see him. He makes moments, he makes things work and delivers in many ways a lot of others don’t. Janela & Ford to EVOLVE feels like a possible long-term angle with Theory & Kelly, and that brings up a lot of possibilities, including singles matches and mixed tags. It will be interesting to see what Janela brings in his debut, and as I said, this is just the beginning, and due to that, Janela is unlikely to win the title here, but I am interested to see how they play this and where it goes. I’d guess it will have an impact on EVOLVE 107… WINNER: Austin Theory

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EVOLVE Championship Match: Matt Riddle defends vs. Shane Strickland: Shane Strickland made his return to EVOLVE at EVOLVE 104 in a non-title match against EVOLVE Champion Matt Riddle. They had an absolutely awesome main event, one of EVOLVE’s best of the year, and shot a hell of an angle and gave a huge vote of confidence for Strickland in his return to the company. The story was great, with Riddle controlling early and just delivering a beating, but Strickland survived the onslaught, which led to his attack of the arm. His work was great, crisp, clean, and focused, while Riddle’s selling ruled and his fight spots came at exactly the right time. They had a hot crowd that was invested into the story that they were telling, reacting to Strickland’s dickish punishment and Riddle’s comebacks, adding a ton to the overall package. Strickland was set as a player on night one back, and his give no fucks destruction of Riddle during an after the match was tremendous. I have a feeling that Strickland & Riddle are set for a long-term feud, which is great for the company, and if that is the case, I think that we may get a title change here to play off of the first meeting and really get that rolling. WINNER: Shane Strickland

– End Scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”