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Csonka’s Evolve 47 iPPV Review 8.15.15

August 15, 2015 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s Evolve 47 iPPV Review 8.15.15  

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Evolve 47 iPPV Review 8.15.15

– Tracy Williams defeated Biff Busick @ 13:17 via submission [***¾]
– Drew Gulak defeated Rick Swann @ 12:15 via pin [**½]
– Chris Hero defeated Mike Bailey @ 11:43 via pin [****¼]
– Anthony Nese & Caleb Konley defeated Trent Baretta & Rey Horus @ 16:06 via pin [***]
Anything Goes Match: Ethan Page defeated Johnny Gargano @ 14:30 via pin [**]
Evolve Title Match: Champion Timothy Thatcher defeated Zack Sabre Jr. @ 24:10 via submission [****½]

Biff Busick vs. Tracy Williams: With these guys, we’re getting a catch wrestling/grappling style match here. This has been the style Evolve has moved more towards (not completely, there is variety) and the key to these matches is to make it appear to be a grappling session instead of an overly choreographed series of holds. They did some great counter wrestling early, going back and forth with no one getting a clear advantage. I dig guys like Busick, who when they apply a headlock, look like they are actually putting on a hold instead of going through the motions. With no one getting the advantage in the grappling, Busick decapitated Williams with a stiff lariat, which allowed him to take control. From there it broke down into a striking battle, with stiff forearms and some throws mixed in. They had a hiccup late as Busick looked to go into a lariat spot early and basically fell down, up to that point it had been really clean. Busick got a great near fall late off of a half nelson suplex followed by a diving uppercut. Williams would counter the choke into the throw from Busick, and connect with the spike DDT into the crossface to pick up the submission win. This was a big upset and a huge win for Williams, who looked great here. Overall this was a very strong opening match.

Rich Swann vs. Drew Gulak: Gulak is the no frills grappler, while Swann is more of your charismatic cruiserweight style wrestler, so we’ll have the old clash of styles here. The early portion of the match was Gulak outwrestling Swann and grounding him with ease, even bending Swan in half at one point. Gulak then focused his work on the arm, which comes across as annoying to a point because Swann is a high flyer, and you should target his legs. Just as I say that, Swann starts his comeback and runs wild with his speed, hitting dropkicks and kicks to Gulak. Swann then slowed things down and applied a chinlock, with the arm that had been worked over for about four minutes. Yup. Gulak would get control back, and right back to work on the arm. After another few minutes of work on the arm, Swann made a comeback and went for a standing 450, and as he did Gulak kicked him in the face and made the cover for the win. Some of the work was really good at times, but the odd choices in psychology and selling really held the match back. The finish was fun and fresh though.

* Post match, Gulak said that this is what catch is al about, not singing and dancing. He also said that he owed Gargano (who came out to check on Swann) one, and Gargano told him anytime. Gargano then cut a promo on Ethan Page, hyping their match later tonight. Timothy Thatcher then came out and spoke about Gargano wanting Galloway to give up the DGUSA Title and leave the past in the past. Thatcher then gave him the title and told him if he wanted to retire the title, then he could. Swann, who finally got to his feet, then put the title on Gargano and they posed before they left. That felt odd and forced, ‘tis the season to turn I think. So the Open the Freedom Gate Title is apparently no more, just like the tag titles, and so officially ends the association with Dragon Gate.

Chris Hero vs. Mike Bailey: Hero going old school with the dream team Christian Laettner jersey. They shook hands, but Hero rubbed the head of Bailey like you’d do a little kid, so Bailey lit him up with kicks early on. Hero would quickly fight back, and just start to light up Bailey with stiff strikes (elbows, forearms, knees). Hero’s brutal looking offense (in the good way I mean) along with his mocking of Bailey created a good dynamic for Bailey to play the fight from the bottom babyface. They had a great back and forth match here, with a great crowd that reacted to the big moves and near falls just as good as you could have hoped. Bailey kept firing up as Hero was laying in big time strikes. Bailey survived the rolling elbow and the sitout powerbomb, both got near falls. I almost thought they were going to go too long with the near falls, but the crowd got hotter, cheering for both and buying the falls. Hero finally hit the ripcord elbow to pick up the win. Hero gets back on track and adds another great performance to his 2015 resume of matches, while Bailey lost nothing in defeat; he’s even more loved for going toe to toe with Hero, and also getting Hero’s respect post match. They beat the hell out of each other, and everything they did just clicked and worked well. It was easy to get into this match, they had a plan, they stuck to it and they didn’t go too long.

* Trent Baretta is no longer with the premiere Athlete Brand. So Cal Val came out with Anthony Nese & Caleb Konley “to watch the match”. I smell a Teddy Long special coming. Val’s actually been good in her heel role. Baretta said he quit because Val was a tuna scented hussy and he hated her face.

Trent Baretta & Rey Horus vs. Anthony Nese & Caleb Konley: I was afraid that they would do the singles match between Trent Baretta & Rey Horus, and then have it develop into the tag, so I was glad when they just made the tag match. I like Horus; he’s been a good addition to the roster and the best thing to come from those King of the Indies shows over WM weekend. Nese and Konley distracted Baretta early, which led to them working over Horus on the floor and then getting the heat on him. Nese and Konley then proceeded to work one of the blandest non-WWE heat segments since their last major tag match. It’s not bad, it’s just there and feels like, “we have to do this to get to the fiery babyface comeback”. Horus did some cool stuff to get to the tag, but the reaction to Baretta’s “hot tag” was Luke warm at best. Part of that was the poor heat segment, and part of that was the way that the PAB broke up (online and not on the show). We got another hot tag, this time to Horus, who looked to mess up his springboard into the ring and possibly hurt himself. He paused and was holding his ribs a bit, but carried on and wiped out Nese with a suicide dive. It broke down, Baretta got posted and that led to the PAB working over Horus. They had a great near fall, which I really think should have been the end, it felt right and looked great; but they kept going and Baretta made the save. They had everyone in the ring for a while, and then Horus decided to make a proper tag. Val distracted Baretta late, Horus got crotched, and then Nese hit the 450 for the win. In ways it just felt as if it went too long, they had a great finish point and went past it, and it didn’t lead to the crowd getting more invested, and it started to feel long. If you end sooner with the better finish, and fix the heat segment, it’s a completely different (and likely great) match.

Anything Goes Match: Johnny Gargano vs. Ethan Page: STREET FIGHT CLOTHES, none of that wear your gear shit here. For those not familiar with the booking, Gargano brought in Page over WM weekend when they had veterans sponsoring new guys. Page, being a dick, turned on him and they made it his goal to rid the WWNLive universe of Gargano. They brawled at the bell, and went right to the floor where they would brawl in the crowd and eventually into a balcony/staging area. Page tried to use the rope to choke out Gargano (an old tick of Gargano’s) but he escaped and looked for the lawn dart into a chair in the corner, but Gargano didn’t make it and dropped Page short of the target. They then had a sword fight with the plastic chairs. Rich Swann then hit the ring to stop Page from using the chair and of course turned on Gargano. Page laid out Gargano with chair shots, Swann then hit the frog splash and Page got the pin with one foot. I never really got into the match, lets get to that first of all. It felt like a basic plunder match, and didn’t have the heat, crowd reaction or physical feel of Hero vs. Bailey, despite having all of the advantages. I appreciate the effort, but I just did not get into this match as I did the opener or the previous match. I don’t quite follow the logic here, as tomorrow Gargano has to face an opponent of Page’s choosing. I would have thought that would be tonight to soften up Gargano for this big match. To me it feels backwards, even with the announcement that Swann is the opponent tomorrow. I feel as if I have seen the match too many times already. But that’s just me. I’ll see how it plays out tomorrow.

* Post match we get promos from Page and Swann, Swann says Page reminded how much of a bad person Gargano was, pretending to care about the fans and kids with cancer. Swann then said that Gargano only cared about himself and only wanted Swann in the background singing and dancing. Swann posed with the Open the Freedom Gate Title, and then put in on Page. Not a great promo from Swann, he hit some of the key points fine, but tomorrow’s follow up will be the important part of this. One has to wonder if they are looking to write Gargano out, considering recent NXT appearances.

EVOLVE Title Match: Champion Timothy Thatcher vs. Zack Sabre Jr.: Timothy Thatcher really broke out during WM weekend, and then got the big push to the title, which I was all for. ZSJ is a phenomenal talent, and it’s always a pleasure to get to watch his matches. His outings vs. Strong this year are essential viewing. This will be a lot of grappling, as that is in Thatcher’s wheelhouse. ZSJ is also an accomplished grappler, but also works in striking as well as a light heavyweight style at times, he’s basically World of Sport on crack. Some tremendous grappling early, with both guys working very smooth transitions and also keeping the crowd into the action. They worked these great reversals of the Japanese necktie early, and then after both were fishing for arm bars, Thatcher started to work the leg of ZSJ and finally was able to take control. From there we had some absolutely great counter wrestling, with Thatcher working the knee and ZSJ working for the arm. ZSJ’s work of the arm, especially the transitions and fining fresh ways to get into the holds was so appreciated. ZSJ laid in some crazy soccer kicks late, running full tilt and forgetting to sell a bit, which was annoying. They did such a good job of keeping the crowd into the match with the work, which working this style is not always easy. The final few minutes was filled with strikes and very well done submission counters, and Thatcher retained when he finally got an heel hook on ZSJ out of the scramble. Going in, I was 100% sure that Thatcher was retaining, so their job as to put on a great match and make me buy that ZSJ could actually win, and I bought a few near finishes, and more importantly the live crowd did as well. This was another great match, and very different from Hero vs. Bailey and Busick vs. Williams.

* End scene.

* Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Overall another very good show from Evolve, with Williams vs. Busick, Hero vs. Bailey and Thatcher vs. Sabre Jr being the standout matches. While there were things I feel could have been done better, or were things I didn’t quite get into, there was nothing bad at all on the show. I just didn’t get into Page vs. Gargano, and the Swann heel turn didn’t feel like a big moment; tomorrow’s follow up will be the key to the success of that angle. This is definitely worth your time for the wrestling, especially Williams vs. Busick, Hero vs. Bailey and Thatcher vs. Sabre Jr; those were your standout efforts for the night.