wrestling / Columns

Csonka’s EVOLVE 110 Preview

August 11, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka

Welcome back to column time with Larry as we preview the EVOLVE 110 event. We’re coming off of a great set of shows (EVOLVE 108 & EVOLVE 109), which saw Shane Strickland defeat Matt Riddle for the EVOLVE championship in an excellent match, and Joey Janela overcoming game challenger Darby Allin to retain the WWN Championship in another excellent match. Feel free to make your picks in the comment section. Thanks for reading! It’s wrestling, we love it and will disagree. The only rules are “have a take, be respectful, and don’t be a dick.” Evolve is again moving into the next stage of their existence, with Matt Riddle finishing up and heading to WWE. Who will step up in the wake of Riddle, Zack Sabre Jr, Fred Yehi, and Keith Lee all gone? Can the promotion keep the momentum from last weekend? We’ll find out…

Freelance World Championship Match: Champion Isaias Velasquez defends vs. Matt Knicks: Since they’re in the home base of Freelance, the Freelance boys get on the show, and when they are around, the crowds tend to be really into them. I don’t know a lot about the feud, but with a hot crowd and the guys working hard, I am sure that this has a chance to be good. WINNER: Isaias Velasquez

Jon Davis vs. Josh Briggs vs. Anthony Henry: JD Drake defeated Jon Davis, Josh Briggs, & Odinson at EVOLVE 108, with Davis & Briggs basically costing each other a chance to win and seemingly kicking off a feud by doing so. Anthony Henry defeated Jon Davis at 109, while Briggs picked up a hinge win over Jaka. They all put in very good performances, and that gives me high hopes for this match, which I think could easily be a very good one. Anthony Henry took a big loss to Saieve Al Sabah at EVOLVE 108, and needs another rebound here, especially considering he’s facing, and likely losing to WALTER at EVOLVE 111. Henry has been stepping up, Davis has been a lot of fun in his return, and Briggs has been killing it and has proven himself to be a quality signing for the company. WINNER: Anthony Henry

Chris Dickinson, Dominic Garrini, & Stokely Hathaway vs. The Skulk: This is a “warm-up match” for Dickinson & Hathaway ahead of their match with Tracy Williams the next night, where Williams’ & Hathaway’s career will be on the line. The Skulk are AR Fox’s students, they are wacky, fun, and do a lot of flippity dos and sell a beating well so this could be fun. I would expect Dickinson & Garrini to do most of the work here to allow Big Stoke to bat cleanup and pick up the win. BUT the thing to watch here is the fact that Hathaway teased firing Garrini at EVOLVE 109, and if that continues here, it may play into tomorrow ‘s big match, where Garrini could cost Hathaway his EVOLVE career. WINNERS: Chris Dickinson, Dominic Garrini, & Stokely Hathaway

DJZ vs. AR Fox with Ayla & The Skulk: AR Fox may have had the best weekend out of anyone at (EVOLVE 108 & EVOLVE 109), beating WWN champion Joey Janela in a non-tile match, and then Saieve Al Sabah at as well as teaming with the Skulk to beat The End. The man has been on a roll, delivering in the ring, and will get a shot at the WWN Title in a triple threat match against Janela & Theory at 111. DJZ has been a fun part-time addition to the EVOLVE roster, putting in great performances. He’s already lost two times to Fox, once at EVOLVE 97 and again at EVOLVE 106; the matchmaking is puzzling to me, other than they just want a potentially great match on the card, which I can understand. Unless Gabe throws us a curveball, which he is known to do from time to time, Fox should win since he’s in a title match the next night unless the plan is for DJZ to win and get added to that match. WINNER: AR Fox

WALTER vs. JD Drake: Like fox, JD drake had a great weekend at 108 & 109, defeating Jon Davis, Josh Briggs, & Odinson in a four-way and then Garrini the next night. The blue-collar badass has some momentum in his newly minted singles career, but now has to face the motherfucking big daddy, WALTER. RED ALERT KIDS, THIS WILL BE BIG LADS DOING BIG LAD THINGS AND WILL LIKELY BE GREAT! WALTER will be in a bad mood, coming off of his loss to Darby Allin, and that’s bad news for Drake. I have a feeling that this will be a big weekend for WALTER, and that Drake will take the loss here before winning his rematch with Riddle at 111. WINNER: WALTER

Jaka with Stokely Hathaway vs. Tracy Williams: This will be part of the build to the EVOLVE 111 career vs. career match between Tracy Williams vs. Chris Dickinson & Stokely Hathaway. That match is Hathaway’s career vs. Williams’ career, and this match will be all about softening up Williams ahead of that match. I imagine a lot of Catch Point related shenanigans here, possibly a revisit of Stokely Hathaway stabbing Williams with a screwdriver, and Jaka picking up the win to really set up Williams as the underdog at 111. WINNER: Jaka

Dream Partner Tag Team Match: WWN Champion Joey Janela with Penelope Ford & Saieve Al Sabah vs. EVOLVE Champion Shane Strickland & FIP Champion Austin Theory with Priscilla Kelly: This is part of the continued push of new WWN signee Saieve Al Sabah. Sabah defeated Anthony Henry in a good match at 108, but I felt he failed to deliver and was a bit exposed in his 109 loss to AR Fox. He works hard and shows potential, but is a really unrefined overall worker. But he’s getting a chance to shine here and they have teased a match with Strickland, which was originally set for 109, but was canceled as Strickland was banged up from his 108 title win. It’s likely for the best that they delay Strickland vs. Sabah for a while as Sabah is still finding his legs in EVOLVE, and he shouldn’t take a high profile loss like that yet, and he’s certainly in no position to beat Strickland at this time. It’s also part of the build for the EVOLVE 111 WWN title match, which will feature Janela & Theory. This match is a huge opportunity for Sabah, and also helps set the stage for the tile scenes. WINNER: EVOLVE Champion Shane Strickland & FIP Champion Austin Theory

Matt Riddle vs. Darby Allin: Both men are coming into this match with varying degrees of success from last weekend. At EVOLVE 108, Darby Allin defeated FIP World Heavyweight Champion Austin Theory in a very good non-title match, while Shane Strickland defeated Champion Matt Riddle in one of EVOLVE’s best matches of 2018. At EVOLVE 109, Matt Riddle defeated FIP World Heavyweight Champion Austin Theory in a great non-title match, while WWN Champion Joey Janela defeated Darby Allin in one of EVOLVE’s best matches of 2018. Both men are capable of having a great match, and Riddle has been busting his ass on his farewell tour for the company that made him a name and star on the indie scene. The funny thing with Riddle is that when training at the Monster factory and trying to get into WWE, he reportedly called WWE and told them since they weren’t signing him that he was considering ROH, WWE then brokered the deal to get him into EVOLVE. In my opinion, this worked out perfectly for Riddle &EVOLVE, and of course, now WWE. Gabe and EVOLVE carefully cultivated Riddle, he quickly learned and grew, started working other places, got even better, and became a draw and star for EVOLVE. And now it comes full circle and he’s off to WWE. Riddle is another top star leaving, and EVOLVE has to continue to cultivate new stars, which is what they have been doing with Darby Allin. Allin has grown from a crash test dummy to a viable underdog and now into a very good pro wrestler. He’s had some great matches this year, and a signature win over Riddle will be the crowning achievement he needs to be a newly minted main event star for the company. WINNER: Darby Allin

– End Scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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