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Csonka’s EVOLVE 111 Review

August 12, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka
Stokely Hathaway EVOLVE Malcolm Bivens Image Credit: EVOLVE
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Csonka’s EVOLVE 111 Review  

Csonka’s EVOLVE 111 Review

– Saieve Al Sabah defeated Jaka @ 12:10 via pin []
– Darby Allin defeated Bryan Idol @ 3:17 via pin [**]
– Josh Briggs vs. Jon Davis went to a double DQ @ 9:15 [**¾]
– WALTER defeated Anthony Henry @ 12:25 via pin [****]
– Matt Riddle defeated JD Drake @ 14:30 via referee stoppage [****½]
EVOLVE Title Match: Champion Shane Strickland defeated DJZ @ 20:42 via submission [****¼]
WWN Title Match: AR Fox defeated Champion Joey Janela, Austin Theory, & Darby Allin @ 9:05 via pin (no title change) [****]
Williams’ Career vs. Hathaway’s Career – I Quit Handicap Match: Tracy Williams defeated Chris Dickinson & Stokely Hathaway @ 19:40 [***¾]

– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

Saieve Al Sabah vs. Jaka: Hathaway & Garrini are out with Jaka. They lock, up, work into some back and forth, and Jaka grounds the action. Sabah fights back, picks up the pace, and hits some arm drags. Jaka fires back with strikes, Sabah looked for, I guess a dropkick, but came up like 3-feet short and time stood still. Jaka fires back and Sabah now hits his dropkick, don’t repeat the spot dude. Sabah up top and hits a flying clothesline for 2. Jaka stuns him off the ropes and covers for 2. He now takes the heat, choking out Sabah in the ropes, and picking up near falls. The XPLODER follows and Jaka covers for 2. Sabah tries to fire back, but Jaka hits a DDT and covers for 2. Jaka lays uppercuts, but Sabah low bridges him to the floor. Sabah follows him out and then hits a bad looking apron moonsault, almost landing on his head. Back in and Sabah up top for a spinning high cross for 2. Jaka follows with strikes, but Sabah counters into a suplex. The corkscrew elbow follows for 2. Jaka fires back and Sabah sloppily counters the Jaka bomb off into a cradle for 2. Jaka now lays him out with a kick, covering for 2. Jaka now hits the big lariat for 2. Sabah again sloppily counters the Jaka bomb, but runs into a back kick and Jaka covers for 2. Jaka takes him up top, follows, and Sabah shoves him off and they blow a counter spot. Sabah now sorta hits a senton attack for 2. Go home guys, this isn’t getting better. Sabah follows with a blockbuster and picks up the win. Saieve Al Sabah defeated Jaka @ 12:10 via pin [*½] This was an uncharacteristically sloppy and pretty bad EVOLVE match. Jaka worked hard and tried to make the best of it, but Sabah was horribly sloppy here. They are trying to push him and I appreciate that, but he needs A LOT of work.

– Hathaway runs down Jaka for losing post match.

Darby Allin vs. Bryan Idol: Idol attacks at the bell and takes Allin to the floor. Back in and Allin gets a small package for 2. Idol counters out into a back breaker. Knee strikes follow, and Idol hits a butterfly suplex. Allin dumps him and hits a suicide dive. Back in and Idol then spears Allin through the ropes and to the floor. Back in and the suplex gets 2. Idol takes him up top, follows, but Allin fights him off and hits the coffin drop, last upper finishes it. Darby Allin defeated Bryan Idol @ 3:17 via pin [**] This was ok, and at least the right man won. Stop trying to make Earl Cooter a thing.

Josh Briggs vs. Jon Davis: They battle at the bell and Briggs runs wild and gets an early cover for 1. They continue to trade, but Briggs runs into a spinebuster and Davis covers for 1. Davis follows with strikes and dumps Briggs. He follows and Davis follows with an apron lariat. To the floor and Davis lays in chops; they trade until Davis hits an apron suplex and cuts him off. Back in and Davis maintains control, laying in big strikes and Briggs fires back. Briggs now hits a flying clothesline and they trade running strikes, and Briggs hits the back breaker for 2. Briggs sets, misses the big boot, and Davis hits the blue thunder bomb for 2. To the apron they go, Davis lays in strikes and Briggs connects with an apron uranage. Back in and Briggs heads up top and hits a high cross for 2. He looks for choke breaker, but Davis fights him off with kicks. Davis hits the catatonic back breaker into a flatliner, but Briggs kicks out at 1. Davis dumps him with a suplex and Briggs rolls to the floor. Davis follows, they brawl on the floor, and into the crowd and the ref throws this out. Josh Briggs vs. Jon Davis went to a double DQ @ 9:15 [**¾] This was a pretty good match that was going well until the flat finish. I get the finish to continue the feud, but I don’t think that it played well.

WALTER vs. Anthony Henry: WALTER refuses the handshake and tosses Henry down. WALTER stuffs the shot and Henry works to the ropes. Henry tries to work leg kicks, WALTER cuts him off, and Henry makes the ropes. Henry dares to lay in chops on WALTER, WALTER is not amused and drops him with a huge forearm strike. He catches a high cross, but Henry slips out and lays in leg kicks. WALTER hits the big boot and the punishment begins. WALTER lays in openhanded slaps and drops Henry. Henry keeps looking for leg kicks, but gets cut off, and WALTER locks on the crab. Henry makes the ropes, and WALTER lays in kicks on Henry. The big chops follow and WALTER dumps him to the floor and follows. WALTER now slams him onto the apron but back in, Henry hits a dragon screw and dropkick. WALTER catches the suicide dive and lays in chops before tossing him into the crowd. WALTER teases a powerbomb, Henry escapes and hits an apron double stomp. Back in and Henry hits the missile dropkick, but WALTER rebounds with John Wooooooooo! Henry back to the leg kicks and dragon screws, he dropkicks out the knee, and hits a PK and standing double stomp for 2. The figure four follows but WALTER escapes with strikes. WALTER lays in the chops and gets the clutch, Henry makes the ropes, but WALTER hits the brainbuster for 2. Henry dares WALTER to hit him more, so he does with thunderous chops. Henry with a flurry, and hits code red for a great near fall. Henry up top, and hits the double stomp into a cradle for 2. WALTER then counters the figure four into a cradle for the win. WALTER defeated Anthony Henry @ 12:25 via pin [****] This was a great match, with Henry bringing way more fight to WALTER than WALTER had anticipated. Henry looked great here, and while he lost, he gained a lot showing so much fight against WALTER. This was great stuff, keeping WALLTER a badass and showing that Henry can hang with and challenge top guys effectively.

– WALTER attacks post match and JD Drake makes the save.

Matt Riddle vs. JD Drake: Unless reports are wrong, this is Riddle’s final EVOLVE match. This is a rematch from their great EVOLVE 100 match. They talk some shit and trade chops right away in a throwback to their last match. Riddle lays in a flurry of strikes, hits knee strikes and a series of running forearms. He finally misses one and Drake connects with a lariat and they head to the floor. They brawl around the ring, Riddle lays in kicks, but Drake fires back with forearm strikes, dropping Riddle to the floor. Back in and Drake hits the big boy senton for 2. The XPLODER follows for 2. Riddle fires back with an up kick and fisherman’s buster, and that gets 2. Riddle with the senton, and then hits one off the second rope for 1. Riddle lays in kicks and hits a pair of running sentons for 2. Riddle lays in kicks to Drake in the corner and follows with a flurry of strikes. Drake finally cuts him off with a knee strike and sliding lariat for 2. But Riddle powers up and hits bro to sleep and a German; Drake pops up and hits an overhead belly to belly toss. the leg lariat off the ropes gets 2 for Drake. They work into a series of counter, Riddle hits a powerbomb and knee strike and that gets 2. Drake fires up and they trade strikes, work into counters, and Riddle powers up Drake into the tombstone for a great near fall. Riddle lays in kicks, they trade chops, Drake is getting pissed and they just keep throwing bombs. Head kick by Riddle, Drake firs back with a high kick, and then hits the destroyer! Cannonball by Drake. Heads up top, and the moonsault connects for a great near fall! Drake back up top and hits another moonsault, but Riddle survives! Drake back up again, Riddle cuts him off, but Drake counters the powerbomb into a RANA! He follows with a knee strike and powerbomb and another knee strike. The styles clash connects and Riddle kicks out again! Riddle takes it to the ground, locks on the bromission, Drake fights and the ref stops it. Matt Riddle defeated JD Drake @ 14:30 via referee stoppage [****½] While I would have loved for Drake to take this one, he didn’t need to judging by the post match reaction as Riddle left him alone and he got a standing ovation for his effort. This was absolutely awesome, playing off of and even improving on their first meeting with more hard-hitting action, a greater sense of urgency, and some absolutely tremendous drama down the stretch. Drake had been doing well so far in his singles career, and while he went 0-2 on the weekend, he put in two tremendous performances against WALTER & Riddle that showed that he can hang with anyone, and won over the crowds both nights; he’s a made man in EVOLVE.

EVOLVE Title Match: Champion Shane Strickland vs. DJZ: They lockup and Strickland grounds the action right away. DJZ starts to counter out and then picks up the pace with a RANA, jawbreaker, and springboard back elbow. The lucha arm drag into a cradle follows for 2. Strickland is frustrated as DJZ seemingly has an answer for everything early on as he grounds the action and works submissions. Strickland finally escapes to his feet, lays in uppercuts and heads up the ropes but DJZ cuts him off with a powerbomb. Strickland powders to the floor, and DJZ follows with a suicide dive. Strickland cuts him off with kicks and knee strikes, but DJZ fights back and hits a running cross body into the chairs. Backing, Strickland back to the floor and then traps DJZ in the ring skirt and connects with the superkick. Back in and Strickland covers for 2 and then starts working the arm. He then lays in running knee strikes and the Saito suplex gets 2. Strickland keeps things grounded, but DJZ counters into a straightjacket hold. They work into some slick counters, and DJZ hits a neck breaker. DJZ follows with a clothesline and lionsault for 2. The reverse DDT connects and DJZ covers for 2. DJZ up top and Strickland catches him with a gut buster and knee strike for 2. DJZ gets a cradle and transitions into a koji clutch. Strickland rolls, powers up but DJZ gets the reverse RANA. The ZDT connects for a great near fall as Strickland makes the ropes. DJZ lays in thunderous chops, but Strickland connects with a knee strike. He heads up top, DJZ crotches him, and follows him up. Strickland lays in strikes, DJZ answers and hits the super RANA. Strickland counters the ZDT into a triangle and DJZ fights for the ropes, but fades, and then makes the ropes with one last lunge. Strickland gets pissed as they work to the apron. Strickland lays in strikes, and hits the superkick and DJZ lays hanging of the apron. DOUBLE STOMP by Strickland connects and back in, and he heads up top and hits another doubles stomp but DJZ kicks out at 2. Strickland does the arm break spot, and the arm bar finishes it. Champion Shane Strickland defeated DJZ @ 20:42 via submission [****¼] We’re three in a row on great matches as DJZ delivers a banger against Strickland. The story early on was the champion taking his challenger way too lightly. DJZ go to control and not only looked good, but they made it believable that Strickland could lose in his first title defense. They worked a spectacular closing stretch, and Strickland has this awesome second gear he slips into when he’s pissed/frustrated, where he just becomes extremely violent and that is what allowed him to overcome the game challenger. I wish DJZ got the chances to shine in Impact that he gets in places like EVOLVE & AAW, because he’s really great.

WWN Championship Triple Threat Match: WWN Champion Joey Janela vs. Austin Theory vs. AR Fox vs. Darby Allin: Ford, Kelly, & Ayla are all at ringside along with the Skulk. Janela has to be pinned or submitted to lose the championship. Darby Allin arrives and wants in and Janela accepts; Fox and Theory aren’t happy. The Skulk is sent to the back. Theory powders and this leads to a series of dives as we start off hot. Janela then hits a wild senton off the top and Allin follows with a coffin drop! Fox with an over the post dive and this is fucking nuts already. Back in and Fox works over Janela, but Allin and Theory return and it’s rapid-fire offense time. Theory now hits the rolling thunder dropkick and now he and Fox come face to face. It’s student vs. teacher here, Fox can’t pull the trigger and hits a dive onto Janela. It’s all action and near falls back in the ring, Theory hits a super three seconds around the world, Fox hits a 450 and the near falls continue. Fox hits a dive onto Allin as Janela hits Theory with an apron DVD. Back in and Janela hits a package piledriver on Fox for 2. Kelly and Ford brawl at ringside, Ayla returns and wipes them out with a suicide dive. Cutter by Fox on Janela, Allin and Theory back in and Kelly in to make the save. Theory buckle bombs Allin but he hits a stunner. It completely breaks down, Fox stops Theory from covering Janela, Theory begs off, and Fox lays in a flurry of kicks and hits Fox catcher for the win… but not the championship. AR Fox defeated Champion Joey Janela, Austin Theory, & Darby Allin @ 9:05 via pin (no title change) [****] This was an absolutely great balls to the wall sprint. It was different than anything else on the show and simply delivered; the crowd was insane for all of this.

Williams’ Career vs. Hathaway’s Career – I Quit Handicap Match: Tracy Williams vs. Chris Dickinson & Stokely Hathaway: Williams still has his eye all wrapped up due to the screwdriver attacks by Hathaway. Williams and Dickinson brawl at the bell, Hathaway drops to the floor and distracts Williams and then heads to the back. Dickinson attacks the eye of Williams, and Hathaway brings out a table and sets it up on the floor. Dickinson posts Williams, and again attacks the eye. Dickinson takes him up top and teases the superplex to the floor. Williams fights him off and Hathaway grabs his leg and Garrini is out. Williams shoves him off the ropes and through the table. Dickinson now superplexes Williams. Hathaway tosses in chairs and bets on Williams with chair shots. He goes after the eye, but Williams won’t quit. Dickinson holds the chair in front of Williams’ face and Hathaway dropkicks it into his face. Williams won’t quit. Hathaway hits another chair-assisted dropkick and Dickinson continues to attack with chair shots. Hathaway in with chair shots and now Dickinson dropkicks the chair into Williams’s face, but Williams won’t quit. Williams fights back with chair shots as Hathaway gets a ladder. Williams wedges a chair in the corner, but Dickinson low blows him and gets the ladder. He lays it in the corner, attacks the eye of Williams, but Williams rallies again and DVDs Dickinson onto the ladder. The crossface follows, Dickinson won’t quit, and Hathaway has the screwdriver again. Williams fights him off, but Dickinson hits a chair shot. The bow and arrow follows and Hathaway gets the screwdriver and stabs at Williams’ eye. Dickinson wedges a chair into the corner and Williams runs him into it. Williams gets the crossface on Hathaway but Jaka makes the save. Jaka sets up chairs, takes Williams up top but Williams hits the buckle DDT and then suplexes Jaka onto the chairs. He goes after Hathaway, but Dickinson cuts him off with a half and half suplex. Dickinson uses a chair to stab at Williams’ eye, Hathaway gets a table and they bring it into the ring after some trouble. They slam Williams face first into the leg of it and then set up the table and use the ladder as a bridge. Dickinson looks for the powerbomb, Williams escapes but gets backdropped onto the table; he still won’t give up. He and Dickinson climb onto the table, low blow by Williams, and he piledrives Dickinson through the table and Williams now gets thumbtacks. Hathaway tries to hide, so Williams goes back after Dickinson. Hathaway back in and Williams chokes him out until Hathaway drops back and slams Williams into the tacks! Hathaway gets the screwdriver, but Williams chokes him out again and Hathaway gives up. Tracy Williams defeated Chris Dickinson & Stokely Hathaway @ 19:40 [***¾] This was an overall very good main event with everyone playing their roles extremely well, some good violence, and a great payoff to the feud. With his win, Williams gets rid of Hathaway, and has earned a title shot of his choosing.

– Post match, Dickinson shoves down Hathaway and leaves. Hathaway cuts a promo and praises his time in EVOLVE and thanks them for the opportunity. He then shit talks the crowd a bit, and thanks them. Whether you loved or hated him, he tried to do his best. Tonight things didn’t work out, but he appreciates the opportunity given to him. Stokely Hathaway has left the building…

So here I am with my thoughts of you
And this world I’ve left for me
Stoic faces when I think of you
And how I once believed
So now you call me, but you know I won’t let you through
I’ve myself to deceive

So leave the memories alone
I don’t want to see
The way it is, as to how it used to be
Leave the memories alone, don’t change a thing
And I’ll hold you here in my memory

Much love to Stokely Hathaway, he will be missed.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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

The final score: review Amazing
The 411
EVOLVE 110 was a good and strong show, maybe a stand up double in baseball terms, but EVOLVE 111 was a grand slam. The show started off rough and I was afraid that EVOLVE had finally hit the wall and was about to have a poor or bad show. But once we got past those first three matches, we broke into a NJPW-like stretch of great matches, four in a row that completely turned the show around. WALTER vs. Henry started us off as WALTER goes 2-0onthe weekend, gaining momentum and Henry showed that he could hang with a top star. Riddle vs. Drake was excellent, even better than their first match, and Riddle gets to walk out of EVOLVE with a win as a thank you while Drake may have gone 0-2 on the weekend, he proved that he can hang with anyone, and won over the crowds both nights; he’s a made man in EVOLVE. Strickland vs. DJZ was great as Strickland gets his first title defense and DJZ continues to prove that man underestimate him. the WWN Championship Triple Threat Match was just an insane sprint that the crowd loved and delivered since there was nothing else on the card like it. The show closed out with the very good I quit match, where Williams finally overcame, and Stokely Hathaway’s unfortunate exit from the company. I hope that good brother makes all the money, he deserves it. This is an absolutely must-see show and in my opinion, one of EVOLVE’s best ever.