wrestling / TV Reports

Csonka’s EVOLVE 116 Review

November 10, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka
mustafa ali EVOLVE wwe 205 live 32018
6.9
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Csonka’s EVOLVE 116 Review  

Csonka’s EVOLVE 116 Review

OFFICIAL RESULTS
– Jake Lander defeated Joey O’Reilly @ 7:10 via pin [**]
– Adrian Alanis defeated Barrett Brown @ 7:07 via pin [**¼]
– Josh Briggs defeated Jason Kincaid @ 7:01 via pin [**½]
Freelance Title Match: Champion Isaias Velasquez defeated GPA @ 7:50 via pin [**½]
Non-Title Match: EVOLVE Champion Fabian Aichner defeated Anthony Henry @ 15:00 via DQ [***¾]
WWN Title Match: Champion JD Drake defeated Austin Theory & Harlem Bravado @ 9:50 via pin [***¼]
– Mat Knicks defeated Mike Fierro, BSHP KNG, & Cyrus Satin @ 4:30 via pin []
– Kassius Ohno defeated Shane Strickland @ 19:00 via pin [***½]
EVOLVE Tag Team Title Match: Champions The Street Profits (Dawkins & Ford) defeated AR Fox & Leon Ruff @ 19:50 via pin [***¼]
– Mustafa Ali defeated Darby Allin @ 15:00 via submission [***½]


– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

– You can check out my top 49 matches of OCTOBER list at this link.

– My EVOLVE 115 review is at this link.

Jake Lander vs. Joey O’Reilly: This is a #1 contender’s match for the Zero-One USA Junior Championship. They lock up and work to the ropes. They lock up again and more of the same. Lander picks up the pace and hits a springboard into a RANA. He heads up top and leap s over O’Reilly and O’Reilly hits a German to the buckles and covers for 2. O’Reilly grounds the action. Lander fights to his feet and O’Reilly catches him with a dropkick for 2. O’Reilly lays the boots to him, and hits a stunner and disaster kick for 2. The suplex follows and that gets 2. The running kick and standing moonsault follows for 2. O’Reilly blocks a leg lariat but Lander cradles him for 2. They work into a double down, Lander back to the feet and O’Reilly catches him with an enziguri but Lander hits a knee strike and tornado DDT for 2. O’Reilly counters back, lays in rights, and Lander follows with kicks, and after a slip, hits the reverse RANA for the win. Jake Lander defeated Joey O’Reilly @ 7:10 via pin [**] This was ok, but far from smooth.

Barrett Brown vs. Adrian Alanis: They lock up and Alanis lays in chops. Brown counters but Alanis grounds him. Brown picks up the pace, hits a back elbow but Alanis follows with chops. Brown trips him up and picks up the pace, laying in uppercuts. Forearms follow and Alanis hits an overhead toss to the buckles. The leg drop follows for 2. Alanis grounds things, Brown fires back and lays in strikes, but runs into a tilt a whirl slam for 2. Alanis now lays in chops, and that gets 2. Brown fires back with kicks and strikes, but Alanis hits a back breaker. Back to the feet, Brown hits kicks and a running dropkick. Another dropkick follows, but Alanis follows with a slam and senton for 2. Alanis takes him up top and lays in chops and follows him up. Brown tries to fight him off, shoves him to the mat and the high cross follows. The superkick follows for 2. Brown follows with slaps, misses a kick and Alanis huts hard knock but Brown counters into a cradle for 2. Alanis hits hard knock again for the win. Adrian Alanis defeated Barrett Brown @ 7:07 via pin [**¼] This was another ok match, Alanis is improving and Brown shows some potential.

Josh Briggs vs. Jason Kincaid: Briggs tosses Kincaid around to begin. Kincaid works for a guillotine, Briggs escapes but Kincaid hits a neck breaker and covers for 2. Briggs catches the suicide dive and slams Kincaid to the floor. Back in and Briggs follows with corner elbows. The big boot follows and the cover gets 2. Kincaid counters a slam into a choke, but Briggs shakes him off. Kincaid follow with double knees, but Briggs cuts him off with ground and pound. Kincaid takes Briggs to the apron and hits a double stomp. The slingshot is caught; Kincaid slips out and hits a springboard x-factor for 2. Kincaid drops the straps and they trade, Kincaid hits a rough looking cutter for 2. Kincaid heads up top and to the post and misses the double stomp; Briggs hits the big boot and go to hell for 2. Kincaid counters F5, and the high cross follows for 2. He locks on compassionate release but Briggs counters into a cradle for 2. They work up top and Briggs hits a super F5 for the win. Josh Briggs defeated Jason Kincaid @ 7:01 via pin [**½] This was solid, Kincaid was competitive, but Briggs picked up the win to continue his momentum.

Freelance Title Match: Champion Isaias Velasquez vs. GPA: GPA backs away to begin. They lock up; GPA looks to outwrestle the champion, and works into a cradle for 2. They work to the floor, back in and Velasquez scores with a dropkick and GPA powders. GPA then attacks the knee, posting Velasquez, and then follows with a suplex to the buckles. GPA lays the boots to him and follows with a suplex for 2. GPA now lays in knee strikes, and whips Velasquez to the buckles, and covers for 2. GPA grounds the action, Velasquez fights to his feet, but GPA takes him to the corner and works him over. GPA misses a charge, and Velasquez hits an enziguri and follows with a hesitation dropkick. The knee strike and sliced bread follows for 2. GPA hits a flurry of jawbreakers, and the sitout powerbomb follows for 2. Velasquez trips up GPA, hits a superkick and the DDT follows for the win. Champion Isaias Velasquez defeated GPA @ 7:50 via pin [**½] This was a solid match that the Freelance fans seemed to enjoy, but it lacked in drama and sense of urgency.

Non-Title Match: EVOLVE Champion Fabian Aichner vs. Anthony Henry: Ok, time to get serious now boys. Henry attacks at the bell and beats Aichner down. He lays the boots to him and Aichner picks up the pace and hits a dropkick and dumps Henry. He follows him to the floor and lays in chops and strikes. Back in and Henry takes out Aichner’s knee, and then grounds him and stomps on the knee. Aichner cuts him off with a powerslam and follows with strikes and a clothesline. Henry goes back to the knee, cutting off Aichner as he looked to go up top. Henry continues to attack the knee, keeping the bigger man grounded. Henry keeps kicking at the knee, and works into a death lock variation. Aichner makes the ropes and fires back with strikes and chops until Henry attacks the knee. Aichner finally cuts him off with a belly to back suplex and both men are down. Back up and Aichner fires up with strikes and a clothesline. The tilt a whirl back breaker connects and the Finlay roll and moonsault combo platter hits and that gets 2. Henry fights off the powerbomb, hits a head kick, and heads up top. Aichner pops up and hits an overhead superplex and that gets 2. Henry fights off the suplex, hits an enziguri and the tornado DDT follows for 2. Henry is frustrated now, lays in kicks to the knee, breaking Aichner down. Aichner blocks a kick and hits the spinebuster. Aichner lays in a flurry of strikes, but Henry goes back to leg kicks and then gets turned inside out by a lariat. The brainbuster follows for a good near fall. Henry counters the powerbomb into a RAANA and transitions into a single leg crab. Aichner tries to power to the ropes, but Henry transitions to a crossface. He then gets an ankle lock and German suplex for 2. Henry up top and the double stomp misses, and Aichner hits a pop up back breaker and the powerbomb (hasta la vista baby) but Henry rolls to the floor. Henry now hits a dragon screw in the ropes, and heads back up top and but Aichner manages to cut him off. He follows him up and Henry hits the sunset bomb for 2. The superkicks follow and Henry hits the double stomp and Aichner gets his foot on the ropes as the ref counts 3, so no pin. Henry is pissed with the ref, shoves him down and that’s a DQ. EVOLVE Champion Fabian Aichner defeated Anthony Henry @ 15:00 via DQ [***¾] This was very good stuff, Henry is a heel in Freelance and really played that up here as they have been slowly teasing a heel turn for him in EVOLVE. This was very good, Henry looked like a real contender while Aichner continues to deliver. Lenny Leonard was great on commentary, highlighting Henry’s history in kickboxing as he utilized kicks to brutalize the knee and leg of the champion. The DQ played well here and will allow them to revisit this match down the line, which I hope that they do.

– Drake arrives to cool down Henry. Theory arrives and runs down Drake for not looking as good as him and not looking like a real champion. Drake calls Theory a Pumpkin Spice Latte drinking millennial and says he’s been busting his ass in wrestling almost as long as Theory has been alive. Drake continues to mock Theory’s manhood and wants to do the title match right now.

WWN Title Match: Champion JD Drake vs. Austin Theory with Priscilla Kelly vs. Harlem Bravado: Theory runs at the bell and that allows Bravado to attack and hit a missile dropkick or 2. Bravado clears the ring and follows with a tope onto both men. Back in and Bravado hits the blue thunder bomb for 2 as Drake makes the save. Theory fights off straight cash homie, and the suplex follows for 2. Bravado cuts off Theory and dropkicks Drake. Theory then hits the rolling thunder dropkick but Bravado counters the standing moonsault and Drake hits a running knee strike and takes over and picks up near falls. They all trade strikes, Drake hits clotheslines, and the cannonball on Theory follows, Kelly in and superkicks Drake. She hits a cannonball from the apron onto Bravado as Theory hits the blockbuster for 2 on Drake. Drake cuts him off with chops and strikes, takes Theory up top and Bravado is back in and he and Drake trade. Drake misses the cannonball and Bravado hits a tower of London onto Drake and that gets 2. Theory powders, Bravado drops the kneepad, misses the knee strike as Drake hits a spinebuster and drill but. Drake up top and Theory snags him up and hits 3 seconds around the world for a good near fall. Theory talks shit to Drake, lays in strikes, and Bravado hits a stunner on Theory, straight cash homie I countered and Drake hits the drill bit and the moonsault finishes Bravado. Champion JD Drake defeated Austin Theory & Harlem Bravado @ 9:50 via pin [***¼] This was a good all action match, with some solid teases of Drake losing before finally retaining.

Mike Fierro vs. BSHP KNG vs. Cyrus Satin vs. Matt Knicks: They all brawl at the bell, Fierro tosses dudes around and then misses catching BSHP KNG and then picks him up and slams him. Knicks cuts off Satin and follows with a suicide dive. Satin hits a suicide dive on Knicks and BSHP KNG. Fierro cuts of Satin and press slams him into the ring and follows with a fall away slam for 2. BSHP KNG hits a cutter on Fierro, and dropkicks Knicks. The suplex on Satin follows, and he heads up top and the swanton follows. Fierro Germans him, cuts off Knicks, and Satin hits Fiero with a missile dropkick. Fierro with a powerbomb, Knicks superkicks him and the Michinoku driver finishes Satin. Mat Knicks defeated Mike Fierro, BSHP KNG, & Cyrus Satin @ 4:30 via pin [*½] This was rough, sloppy at times, and really disjointed.

Kassius Ohno vs. Shane Strickland: They play to the crowd and Strickland offers a handshake. Ohno accepts and then lays in chops and kicks to Strickland. Ohno ties Strickland up in the ropes and follows with chops. Strickland fires back with strikes, but Ohno cuts him off and the senton gets 2. Ohno grounds things, hits a knee drop and the big boot follows. Ohno lays the boots to him but Strickland counters the senton with knees. He follows with strikes and attacks the knee. Strickland looks to ground things, laying in strikes and choking out Ohno. Strickland goes back to the knee and Ohno powders to the floor. Strickland follows him out, they trade chops, and back in, Strickland starts grounding things, focusing on the knee and laying in stomps. Strickland now follows with chops and strikes; Ohno to the floor and Strickland hits the running kick from the apron. Back in and Strickland is completely focused on the knee, grounding Ohno and ties up the leg. Ohno rakes the eyes to escape, they trade strikes, and Strickland pummels Ohno and lays in ground and pound. Strickland looks for a suplex, Ohno fights it off, so Strickland attacks the knee. The enziguri follows, but Ohno hits a release dump suplex. They fire up, trading strikes and Ohno is pissed now. He just walks through Strickland’s strikes and lays in huge forearms and hits an enziguri and running senton for 2. Strickland now looks for a German, Ohno is mot impressed and dumps Strickland but Strickland slides back in and hits the German. The cutter follows for 2. Strickland now lays in grounded elbow strikes, looks for a knee bar, but Ohno kicks him away. Ohno counters the sunset flip but Strickland lays him out with a kick and the double stomp connects and Ohno kicks out at 2. Strickland stomps the knee, hits a PK, and Ohno counters the cutter into a cravat suplex. Ohno’s knee gives out, but he was faking, and he then hits a rolling forearm and back breaker slam into the cover for 2. Ohno heads up top and the moonsault misses! Strickland runs into a rolling elbow, but fires back with kicks and knee strikes. Big boot by Ohno, and the high-tension elbow finishes Strickland. Kassius Ohno defeated Shane Strickland @ 19:00 via pin [***½] This was a very good, hard-hitting match, that saw Strickland change up his gameplan in order to try and overcome a more than game Ohno. It didn’t have the drama or hot crowd like the Aichner match, but it delivered. Ohno is still so very good and makes everything he does mean something. I still think Strickland may not belong for EVOLVE judging by recent losses.

– Anthony Henry arrives and says he’s been working his ass off for 15-years and is sick and tired of being this close only for some new guy to come in and take his opportunity. Hr praises Ohno and wants to prove that he can be the best. He apologizes for his actions last night and hopes to wrestle him soon. Ohno says he didn’t hear an apology. Henry says he’s very sorry for disrespecting him. Ohno says he sees a lot of himself in Henry, and knows what he’s going through by getting passed over. Ohno accepts the apology and says maybe they will meet in the ring, sooner rather than later.

EVOLVE Tag Team Title Match: Champions The Street Profits (Dawkins & Ford) vs. AR Fox & Leon Ruff: The Skulk are at ringside. Ruff and Dawkins start us off. Young Leon talks some trash and shows off his sped early on. Ruff gets a side headlock, but Dawkins carries him to the corner and sets him up top. They slap each other and Ruff gets the sunset flip for 2. Dawkins now hits the shoulder tackle, and now Fox and Ford tag in. They work into some back and forth, and then Ford grounds things. Fox fights to his feet, Ford fights out of a side headlock, and they work into back and forth with both hitting arm drags. This is like AR Fox vs. the New AR Fox. Fox look to work the arm, slowing Ford, but Dawkins tags in and Fox hits the lucha arm drag/head scissors combo. Ruff tags in with a high cross on both. Double superkicks to Dawkins connect, and they then double team Ford and dump him a double teams on Dawkins follow. Fox and Ruff follow with stereo topes over the ring post. Dawkins tosses Ruff into the crowd as Ford hits an apron bomb on Fox. Back in and Dawkins takes control on Ruff, laying in a back elbow and covering for 2. Ford tags in and maintains control on Ruff, just pummeling him. Ford has things grounded, Ruff fights to his feet and gets a cradle for 2. Ford attacks the arm, cutting him off, and tags in Dawkins. Dawkins grounds things, and then lays in big rights and covers for 2. Ford back in and they double-team Ruff, and the cover gets 2. Ford grounds things, going back to the arm. Ruff avoids a charge, and rolls for the tag. Fox in and runs wild on the champions and Ruff joins in as they hit stereo cutters for the near fall. The champions battle back, and they isolate Fox and the doomsday blockbuster follows for 2. Dawkins tags back in, takes Fox up top and follows him. They battle for position, Fox shoves him off, and the 450 misses. Ford then misses a swanton, tag to Ruff and he fires away with strikes until Ford cuts him off and lays in rights. Ruff hits Cheeky Nandos, and then heads up top and Ford counters the sunset bomb and follows with knee strikes and the sitout powerbomb gets 2. Dawkins back in, Ruff and Fox fire back and they all trade strikes. They dump Ford, Dawkins attacks, and tosses Ruff onto Fox and the skulk. The champions hit the prophecy for the win. Champions The Street Profits (Dawkins & Ford) defeated AR Fox & Leon Ruff @ 19:50 via pin [***¼] This was good, but not nearly as heated or smooth as the Profits previous matches. They had good ideas, they all worked hard, but I feel that it suffered from going too long and would have benefited from some editing because longer isn’t always better. Add in no real drama of a title change and it tops out at good

– Ford cuts a promo about being back home and thanks his family for being there. They tease a party, and Fox and the Skulk return. They all have a fun dance party.

Mustafa Ali vs. Darby Allin: Allin sits in the corner, making Ali wait. They lock up, work to the ropes and work into some fun counters. Allin picks up the pace, hits a lucha arm drag and they stand off. They pick up the pace again and Ali gets a cradle for 2. Allin works into a series of pin attempts and then dares Ali to attack. Allin rushes him to the corner, Ali hits the RANA but Allin dumps him and hits the suicide dive. Allin attacks the arm and follows with chops. Back in and Allin grounds things, continuing to work the arm. Ali tries to power out, but Allin maintains control. Ali finally escapes and hits a spin kick. He follows with clotheslines and a dropkick. Ali now lays in chops, an enziguri and the rolling x-factor gets 2. Allin back to the arm but Ali lands a flurry of kicks and covers for 2. Allin counters the suplex and gets a cradle and then the high cross for 2. He transitions into an arm bar, Ali fights, and makes the ropes. Allin dumps him to the floor, heads up top and the coffin drop connects. Back in, Allin up top and Ali cuts him off. He follows him up and Allin shoves him off and then coffin drops into a superkick for 2. Enziguri by Ali and the RANA follows for 2. Ali lays in superkicks, and follows with a tornado DDT for 2. Ali keeps telling Allin to stay down and tells the ref that he should stop it. Ali drags Allin to his feet, but Allin gets the last supper for 2. The stunner follows and Ali counters into a koji clutch and Allin taps. Mustafa Ali defeated Darby Allin @ 15:00 via submission [***½] This was a very good main event, with Ali working hard and giving Allin a lot in terms of selling and bumping for him. Ali’s selling of the arm was really good here, carrying it at his side almost the entire match and rarely using it. In the end Allin lost and suffered another set back, but did well and looked as if he belonged in there with Ali.

– Post match, Ali puts Allin over and says he respects him. Ali says Allin has heart and says Allin is the heart of EVOLVE. Ali says he’ll win the cruiserweight title in a few days and when he does, he’ll give Allin a shot. Allin leaves in disappointment. Ali thanks the crowd and says that indie shows like this made him. His wife brings his cute little daughter into the ring to celebrate. Ali tells her the crowd is his family and even though he left for a while they still remember him because he worked hard.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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

6.9
The final score: review Average
The 411
Like EVOLVE 115, this show felt a bit bloated with too many matches that the show didn’t need. But unlike 115, it didn’t have the high-quality matches to really make it worth it. I really wish EVOLVE would stick in their wheelhouse and go back to the 5-7 match format. Overall, EVOLVE 116 was a pretty good show with nothing “must-see” in my opinion, but some good stuff and some possible set up stuff for the future.
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