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Csonka’s EVOLVE 126 Review

April 13, 2019 | Posted by Larry Csonka
JD Drake EVOLVE
6.1
The 411 Rating
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Csonka’s EVOLVE 126 Review  

Csonka’s EVOLVE 126 Review

OFFICIAL RESULTS
– Watts & Summers defeated Task Force @ 6:40 via pin [**½]
– Brandi Lauren defeated Lacey Lane @ 7:20 via pin [**]
– Kona Reeves defeated Colby Corino @ 8:20 via pin [**]
– Anthony Henry vs. Adrian Jaoude went to a double DQ @ 6:00 [**]
– Shane Thorne defeated Curt Stallion @ 11:45 via submission [***¼]
– Leon Ruff defeated AR Fox & Adrian Alanis @ 14:50 via pin [***½]
Falls Count Anywhere Match: Angelo Dawkins defeated Eddie Kingston @ 4:40 via pin [**]
EVOLVE Championship Match: Champion Austin Theory defeated Raul Mendoza @ 15:50 via pin [***¼]
WWN Championship Match: Champion JD Drake defeated Shane Strickland @ 27:59 via pin [***¾]


– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

– Adam Cole & Kassius Ohno are working the May events.

Task Force vs. Watts & Summers: These guys are all seminar standouts, including the ref. One stand out will get extra work with NXT down the line and also receive a tryout. Watts & Summers are Tony Nese students. Watts & Summers tame early control, working double teams and picking up near falls. Task Force cuts off the offense, working quick tags and double teams as they take control. Wholesale changes follow and Watts hits a dive and top rope leg drop. It breaks down, miscommunication from Task Force and that leads to a Watts roll up and win. Watts & Summers defeated Task Force @ 6:40 via pin [**½] This was a perfectly solid opener from the prospects.

– Task Force attacks post match, but NXT’s Babatunde makes the save and destroys them.

Brandi Lauren vs. Lacey Lane: They lock up and separate. Lock up again, and Lane hits a shoulder tackle. The cradle gets 2. They work to the ropes, and Lane follows with chops. The lucha arm drag follows. Lane dumps Lauren and follows, but gets tripped up on the apron. Back in and Lauren covers for 2. Lauren chokes her out, and then lays the boots to her. Lauren grounds the action, and follows with knee strikes and a running boot for 2. Lane fires back, but Lauren cuts that off. She runs into a back elbow, kicks by Lane, and follows with arm drags. Lauren to the floor and Lane hits an apron superkick. Back in and the springboard dropkick follows for 2. They work into counters and Lane hits a superkick for 2. They work up top and Lauren stuns her off the ropes and follows with a neck breaker for the win. Brandi Lauren defeated Lacey Lane @ 7:20 via pin [**] This was ok, but rather lethargic.

– Kona Reeves arrives and cuts a promo. No one likes him. Kona claims he’s a superstar, and he’s looking for competition. But he doesn’t see any. He goes to leave, but Colby Corino arrives. We get a match.

Kona Reeves vs. Colby Corino: Corino goes for pin attempts, picking up near falls. Kona cuts him off and grounds things. The full nelson follows, but Corino counters out but Kona lays n strikes. Corino then cradles him for 2. Corino dumps him and follows with a suicide dive. Kona cuts him of with a slam to the apron, and attacks the back. Back in and Kona follows with strikes. Corino avoids the charge and rolls him up for 2. Kona fires back with kicks and covers for 2. He grounds things, and follows with a suplex for 2. The back breaker connects for 2. Kona again grounds things, but Corino dumps him. Kona now flies back in but eats a kick. Corino follows with rights, a dropkick and an enziguri. Corino hits meteora and that gets 2. Kona cuts him off but Corino cradles him for 2. Kona rolls to the floor, Corino follows, and he rolls Kona back in. Kona cuts him off and hits a knee strike and the Kona rush finishes it. Kona Reeves defeated Colby Corino @ 8:20 via pin [**] This was serviceable, with Kona looking the same as always.

Anthony Henry vs. Adrian Jaoude: Jaoude avoids the early takedown, they work to the ropes and break. Jaoude with a takedown, but Henry counters out. Jaoude follows with kicks, gets the takedown and looks to work the arm. Henry counters into a heel hook, and they roll to the apron. Henry attacks with kicks and knee strikes, and works into an arm bar. Jaoude escapes, but Henry gets a guillotine. Jaoude fights, and suplexes out. Henry follows with a flurry of strikes, Jaoude answers back and covers for 2. Henry battles back with a German and head kick for 2. Henry up top and has to roll through on the double stomp. Jaoude looks for an arm bar, Henry fights and escapes with an eye rake. They trade and brawl, and the ref waves it off. Anthony Henry vs. Adrian Jaoude went to a double DQ @ 6:00 [**] This was ok with a really flat finish.

– They brawl post match.

Shane Thorne vs. Curt Stallion: They lock up and work to the ropes. Stallion grounds the action, but Thorne escapes. The test of strength follows; Thorne grabs the hair and gets the advantage. Stallion counters out, and Thorne powders. Back in and Stallion hits arm drags, dropkicks, and the high cross for 2. Thorne cuts him off with a Saito suplex and Stallion rolls to the floor. Thorne follows and posts him, and then slams him off a railing. Back in and Thorne covers for 2. Thorne grounds the action, working a neck crank. Stallion fires back, but eats an uppercut. Thorne follows with the cannonball, and then lays in kicks. The PK follows for 2. Stallion lays in chops, but Thorne connects with uppercuts. Stallion hits a desperation German, running boot and knee strike. The suicide dive follows. Back in and Thorne knocks Stallion off the ropes, misses a cannonball and Stallion hits the hesitation dropkick. The DDT follows for 2. The air raid neck breaker connects and that gets 2. Thorne cuts him off with a Saito suplex, heads up top and pulls Stallion up but Stallion fires back and Thorne knocks him off. Stallion hits a head butt, and follows with a SUPER German suplex for 2. They trade strikes, chops, and slaps. Stallion fires up but Thorne kills him with a lariat and powerbomb. Stallion counters into a roll up for 2. He lays in knee strikes, but Thorne taps him with the wing clip. Shane Thorne defeated Curt Stallion @ 11:45 via submission [***¼] This was a good match and easily the best thing on the show thus far.

AR Fox vs. Adrian Alanis vs. Leon Ruff: They lock up, Alanis hits shoulder tackles and they work into three-way spots and then into a stalemate. Fox tries to work with someone, they dump Alanis and Ruff cuts off Fox with kicks. Alanis takes over, laying in chops on Ruff. The uppercut and dropkick follow for 2. Fox in and cradles Alanis for 2. He follows with a flurry of kicks and the cutter gets 2. Twister on Ruff, and kicks follow from Fox. Fox works over Alanis on the floor, and back in, covers Ruff for 2. Fox follows with a backbreaker and DDT for 2. Ruff fires back with chops and strikes, and then a German. Alanis cuts him off, and then slams him onto Fox. The senton follows, and the pop up powerslam follows for 2 on Fox. Ruff flies in with the blockbuster and everyone is down. The code breaker on Alanis follows. Ruff now looks to fly, but Fox cuts him off. Fox hits coast to coast, and Ruff follows with a dive onto both opponents. Fox takes him out, and Alanis overhead tosses him to the floor and onto Ruff. Alanis now hits the suicide dive. To the apron they go as Fox lays in strikes on Alanis. The cutter follows and Fox now rolls Ruff back in. Ruff hits the enziguri and then hits the rolling neck breaker for 2. Alanis makes the save, lays in chops and dropkicks Fox. Alanis suplexes Ruff onto Fox, and the powerbomb follows for 2 on Ruff. The enziguri follows, Fox is back and hits the double cutter on both. The swanton to both connects. The 450 then gets 2 on Alanis. Alanis fights off fox catcher, but Ruff cuts off lo mein pain with a German. Alanis hits the missile dropkick, but Ruff gets the crucifix for the win. Leon Ruff defeated AR Fox & Adrian Alanis @ 14:50 via pin [***½] This was a very good and action packed match with the Skulk remaining one of the most fun & over acts in the company. Alanis comes up short again, and you have to wonder if a heel turn may be coming.

– NXT’s Eric Bugenhagen arrives for some air guitaring. He’s no Kyle O’Reilly. Eddie Kingston then lays him out.

Falls Count Anywhere Match: Angelo Dawkins vs. Eddie Kingston: Dawkins arrives and they brawl outside as our next match begins New Jack style with the Profits music playing. They fight back to the bar, with Dawkins controlling. Kingston battles back, and they finally work into the ring. Kingston whips him with his vest and then chokes him out. Dawkins battles back, hits the fall away slam and then follows with the pounce. They brawl into the crowd, Bugenhagen attacks Kingston and Dawkins hits the spear for the win. Angelo Dawkins defeated Eddie Kingston @ 4:40 via pin [**] This was an ok brawl while it lasted, and likely sets up a Street Profits vs. Unwanted rematch for the tag titles.

EVOLVE Championship Match: Champion Austin Theory vs. Raul Mendoza: Theory refuses the handshake and here we go. They lock up working to the ropes and break. Lock up again, Mendoza works a cravat, but Theory counters out and grounds things. Mendoza escapes and mocks a frustrated Theory. They work into some back and forth, trade arm drags and both miss a dropkick and kip up into a stand off. Mendoza starts working the arm, but Theory lays in chops but Mendoza picks up the pace and gets a rolling cradle for 2. He follows with chops, but Theory cuts off the springboard attack and dumps Mendoza. The champ follows and hits an apron suplex. Back in and Theory covers for 2. He follows with chops, and then whips Mendoza to the buckles. Theory follows with a suplex, covering for 2. The running boot connects for 2. He grounds the action, but Mendoza fires back and hits a running enziguri. Mendoza follows with a missile dropkick, and then the suicide dive. Back in and Mendoza covers for 2. They trade strikes, but Mendoza counters the rolling DDT into a suplex for 2. Mendoza up top and rolls through on the 450, and Theory buckle bombs him and hits the 2k1 for 2. They trade strikes, Mendoza fires up and hits the tidal crush kick in the corner. Mendoza follows Theory up top, and hits the RANA for 2. Theory gets the cradle for 2, Mendoza counters attaxia, and gets the swinging cloverleaf and drags Theory to the ground. Theory hits the superkick, and ataxia finishes it. Champion Austin Theory defeated Raul Mendoza @ 15:50 via pin [***¼] This was a good match, and while the fans really liked Mendoza and NXT talents have won EVOLVE gold in the past, there was simply no real drama created in terms of a possible title change. Mendoza looked really good here.

– Theory cuts a promo, putting himself over as 2-0 against the Undisputed Era (previously beating Strong & O’Reilly), and runs down Bobby Fish as not important before challenging Adam Cole for next month. But not to worry, it won’t be for the title so Cole won’t have to worry about choking.

WWN Championship Match: Champion JD Drake vs. Shane Strickland: They lock up and Strickland grounds things until Drake makes the ropes. Lenny Leonard does a great job on commentary, selling the previous shoulder issues of Drake and Strickland’ deadly submission game. Drake grounds Strickland, lays in elbows, but Strickland attacks the arm but Drake breaks. Strickland powders, Drake follows and chases him around the ring. Back in and Strickland attacks with strikes, but Drake cuts him off with chops. He lights up Strickland, punishing him with chops. Drake takes him to the floor and continues the attacks. Strickland posts him, attacking the shoulder. Drake fires back with rights, head butts, and then chokes him out. Back in and the senton follows for 2. Drake lays in more chops, and follows with a slam and splash for 2. Back to the floor, and Strickland posts Drake and follows with head kicks. Strickland continues to lays in kicks, and back in, Strickland covers for 2. Strickland keeps things grounded, working the arm of Drake. Drake finally makes the ropes, Strickland lays in chops and Drake is not amused by this at all. Drake firs back, but Strickland attacks the arm again and cuts him off. Drake counters out, but Strickland follows with chops and strikes. Drake manages to dump him, but Strickland back in and gets the triangle. Drake goes Rampage Jackson with a powerbomb, but Strickland keeps control of the arm. Drake escapes and hits a huge lariat with the good arm, and both men are down. Drake follows with chops, an overhead suplex and leg lariat. Drake follows with chops, and the spinebuster connects for 2. Drake heads up top, Strickland cuts him off and follows him up. Drake fights him off, but misses the leg lariat. Strickland follows with knee strikes, covering for 2. Strickland attacks with elbows to the shoulder, Drake fights out but his arm is too hurt to hit the drill bit. He manages a one armed slam, and both men are down. Strickland slaps the shit out of Drake, Drake fires back, and they trade center ring. Strickland attacks the bad arm, and looks for an arm bar. Drake kicks him away, and then hits a lariat and shining wizard for 2. Strickland counters the drill bit, hits a knee strike, and heads up top. Drake cuts him off, follows him up and teases a superplex. Strickland fights out, and hits a DVD off the ropes for 2. Swerve kick by Strickland, but Drake rolls to the floor. Strickland follows and heads into the crowd. He hits the swerve stomp from the stage, and back in hits another but Drake kicks out. They go face to face, trading strikes and Strickland hits the knee strike for 2. Strickland locks on an arm bar, but Drake rolls and stomps away at Strickland. They trade clotheslines, Strickland lays in kicks, and cradles Drake for 2. 619 by Strickland, but rolls into a stunner. The cannonball follows, and the drill bit connects and Strickland is done. Champion JD Drake defeated Shane Strickland @ 27:59 via pin [***¾] This was a very good match and best thing on the show, that suffered from going a bit too long and losing steam down the stretch. With Strickland about to report to the PC, this was a good use of him to help put over Drake’s title run further; this was the best match on the show.

– The Unwanted attack post match, but Anthony Henry makes the save.

– End Scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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The 411 on Wrestling Podcast returns to the 411 Podcasting Network for episode 10. On the show, 411’s Larry Csonka is joined by long time friend and podcasting partner Jeremy Lambert Jr III to share some Raw & Smackdown thoughts and then break down Impact United We Stand & The ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard events. The show is approximately 145 minutes long.

* Intro
* Raw & Smackdown Thoughts: 4:00
* Impact United We Stand Review: 27:45
* G1 Supercard Review: 64:15

You can subscribe and listen to the 411 on Wrestling Podcast via the
above player on Transistor, or on the following platforms:

* iTunes
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* Google Play

6.1
The final score: review Average
The 411
I have no real issues with the EVOLVE/NXT relationship. It gives fresh matches, and underutilized NXT talents a place to work and grow as performers. What bothers me is the departure from what really worked for EVOLVE, which was the tighter 5-7 match layout that lasted just over two hours and delivered more often than not. EVOLVE 126 was far from a bad show, it was just an average one overall.
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