wrestling / TV Reports

Csonka’s Evolve 49 iPPV Review 10.17.15

October 17, 2015 | Posted by Larry Csonka
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Csonka’s Evolve 49 iPPV Review 10.17.15  

 photo EVOLVE_Wrestling-645x370_zpsemxtbnbg.jpg

Evolve 49 iPPV 10.17.15

– Andrew Everett defeated Matt Cage, Anthony Nese and Peter Kassa @ 9:37 via pin [***½]
– Matt Riddle defeated Jonathan Gresham @ 4:45 via submission [**½]
– Chris Dickinson defeated Tracy Williams @ 13:30 via submission [**½]
#1 Contender’s Match: Trevor Lee defeated Drew Gulak @ 19:58 via pin [***¼]
– The Premiere Athlete Brand defeated Milk Chocolate @ 3:30 via pin [**½]
– Willie Mack defeated Earl Cooter @ 5:30 via pin []
– Trent Baretta and Rocky Romero defeated TJ Perkins and Timothy Thatcher @ 17:30 via pin [***½]
I Quit Match – If Gargano Loses, He Will Leave WWN: Johnny Gargano defeated Ethan Page @ 26:01 [****]

– You can order Evolve on iPPV on VOD here.

– The show, which was supposed to start at 7PM ET, started at 7:21PM ET. The delay was reportedly due to the long line of fans in line to meet Sami Zayn.

Anthony Nese w/So Cal Val vs. Andrew Everett vs. Matt Cage vs. Peter Kassa: This is the return of the “freestyle match,” which Evolve ran way too much early on and thankfully got away from for a good while. Nese is a mainstay, while the other three have made limited appearances. The first few minutes were completely fast and furious, with all four attacking, some dives, cannonballs, Sasuke specials and then Nese doing the power spot where he powers the guy up for a powerbomb, but this time he tossed his man into the floor onto the others. Cage went for a counter into a stunner at one point and whiffed, he and Nese recovered well enough though. Everett did his big shooting star press to the floor, everyone was working really hard here, likely trying to impress with the whole Evolve/WWE relationship rumors/reports and such. We got the big move buffet down the stretch, Cage rolled out of a Peter Kassa senton try, but as he laughed at Kassa, Everett hit a shooting star press and scored the victory. The teased that Nese would run in to break it up, but he didn’t, and commentary made sure to mention that Nese and Everett didn’t have much interaction, clearly teasing something for the future. This was a fun opening match, it had a good pace and energy, they had the crowd involved and it was exactly what it needed to be.

Matt Riddle vs. Jonathan Gresham: Gresham had a run in CHIKARA as Hieracon, but has improved a ton since then. He’s had some shots with ROH, but hasn’t caught on there and has been traveling around working the craft. Riddle is a former MMA fighter and wrestling fan, he looked to have some promise but couldn’t stop smoking weed (he got popped twice). Gresham works well with a lot of guys, flying or grappling, and Riddle has a ton of grappling and amateur wrestling in his background, so he could thrive in the Evolve atmosphere. Riddle came out in MMA shorts and no shoes or boots, looking like a Von Erich. They did a lot of grappling and counter wrestling, as well as a lot of pinning combination reversals. It was a bit rough in spots, but I felt that Gresham did a very good job laying out a match and plan for them, and Riddle got to show off his athletic ability, did perfectly fine here overall and showed some good heel tendencies. He won with a heel hook. It worked fine enough for a debut, they kept it short, kept to Riddle’s strengths and put a good guy in there with him to make sure Riddle looked good. It was nothing great, but I felt it worked for what they wanted it to be.

* Chris Dickinson came out and cut a promo on Riddle post match. He ran down Riddle, and then Riddle said he didn’t even know who Dickinson was and that no one in Evolve could stuff him. Riddle heeled on Dickinson, and then Dickinson slapped Riddle. Oh Jesus, Larry Dallas is here. He wanted to sign Riddle, and Dickinson laid him out. They tried to do a big pull apart to hype the match for tomorrow as Riddle said, “whoa, cool yourself bro, just cool yourself man.” Riddle’s in ring heel stuff seemed good, but his stoned bro shtick afterwards fell flat.

Chris Dickinson vs. Tracy Williams: Williams was supposed to face Willie Mack here, but Mack had flight issues and arrived to the venue as this match started. Gabe Sapolsky stated on Twitter that Mack will wrestle tonight, but obviously in a different match. They worked the technical brawl style here, with Williams working the body and looking for grappling holds and submissions, while Dickinson did the grind it out, suplex, stomp and punish attack. I appreciated the change in style, very different from the opener and grittier than the previous match. Dickinson worked the knee of Williams late, using a figure four and then working him over in the corner. Williams escaped a superplex, hit a single arm DDT and then rolled into a crossface, but Dickinson escaped. Dickinson would go back to the knee, and lock in the trailer hitch for the win. I thought that it was a technically fine match, with good intensity from both; but it felt really long towards the end and I just never got emotionally invested at any point.

* Post match Gulak ran down Williams for losing, and was then ready for his next match.

Winner Gets An EVOLVE Title Shot At Evolve 50: Drew Gulak vs. Trevor Lee : The winner gets the title shot against Thatcher tomorrow night. Both guys work well as the title challenger for tomorrow. Lee is a guy they want to push more with some of the recent departures. Gulak and Thatcher have history, with Gulak getting the better of most of the feud. Gulak grapplefucked him early, which allowed him to control and took Lee out of his comfort zone. Lee started to make a comeback and seemed to be rolling, but when he was entering the ring Gulak dropkicked the knee, and then Lee’s leg got “trapped” in the ropes. Gulak then went to work on the leg of Lee, using strikes, submissions and pretty much anything he could to keep control. Lee was able to counter some of Gulak’s attack, leading to the comeback. He was selling the leg mostly well, but the dead jump into a flying double stomp is a sketchy move selection. Lee’s selling continued to be sketchy as the match went overly long. I say that because they got to a level, they stayed there, then they tried to do spots to make it feel like a big time classis, but it was just there. Lee would keep trying Germans, and when they didn’t work, he’d his three or four moves in a row (all needing his “injured” leg” and when Gulak would kick out, he’d then hold the leg and pretend to sell. Now this is important because if he had sold more, and then slowly started to comeback I could take the finishing stretch more. Instead he’s doing dead lift Germans, God’s last gift and all kinds of shit; making the work of the leg feel like complete busy work and as if it didn’t mean anything. Much like the last match it was technically good, and they did a lot of good things; if you trim it a bit and either eliminate the leg work or actually sell it, it all would have meant so much more. I loved the closing stretch, but feel that it didn’t work in the context of the match that they worked. In my opinion, you just can’t establish something as such a larger part of the match and then just ignore it. I wanted to love this, I ended up only liking it.

* Williams gave Gulak shit for losing, and then said that Gulak can do better, and that they can both do better. Gulak ended up saying that they were on the same page and they left together.

* Val, Nese and Caleb Konely came out. Konley complained about being overlooked and Val said they should be the tag team champions. Brandon Watts and Randy Summers (Milk Chocolate) then came out, rapping their way to the ring. They want the Evolve tag team titles that don’t exist. We get a match

Caleb Konley and Anthony Nese vs. Milk Chocolate (Brandon Watts and Randy Summers): Konley and Nese ran wild early, Milk Chocolate made a comeback but they got cut off and Nese and Konley did a doomsday style deal, which led to the dive into he barricade. Nese and Konley ended then after that, it was a fun and entertaining extended squash and was a good win since they face Trent Baretta & Rocky Romero tomorrow. Milk Chocolate had a good hope spot/run in there, and I wouldn’t mind seeing them get a real shot down the line. Also, that was how Nese and Konley needed to work forever, they looked aggressive and like legit threats.

Earl Cooter vs. Willie Mack: This is Mack’s Evolve debut. Cooter appears regularly on the various WWNLive shows. This was basically a showcase for Mack, here to introduce him to the WWNLive audience. He controlled, Cooter made a comeback for a bit and even got a near fall off of an unprettier, which the ref actually counted three on. The crowd gave him shit for that, as they should have. Cooter would miss a knee drop from the top, allowing Mack to make his comeback. Mack then destroyed Cooter with a sick German suplex, and hit the corkscrew senton for the win. It was a rough in spots, and Cooter got way too much in on Mack; Mack should have ran through him and called it a night. The botched three count was really bad, and this was an overall poor first impression of Mack to the WWNLive fans.

Timothy Thatcher and TJ Perkins vs. Trent Baretta and Rocky Romero: This is the latest gimmick from Evolve, since they don’t have tag team champions anymore. Basically they are doing established teams vs. super teams as a special attraction sort of deal. Perkins and Romero started and did some nice counter wrestling, once Perkins got an advantage, Romero poked him in the eyes because he had enough of that shit. Val, Konley and Nese watched the match, setting the stage for tomorrow’s match. After the basic back and forth beginning, Thatcher and Perkins took control of the match. Thatcher’s give no fucks attitude was on display when Baretta slapped him, so Thatcher just head butter him in the face. Commentary did a good job of explaining that Romero and Perkins broke in together, leading to some fun in ring work from them. Baretta and Romero finally got the heat off of a double team on Perkins. The heat felt really long (it wasn’t) and completely pedestrian, there was no juice to it. Thatcher got the hot tag, hit some suplexes and tried to rip arms off, leading to Perkins getting a hit tag, but Baretta and Romero quickly took control back. Perkins countered strong zero and then Perkins and Thatcher got submissions at the same time. Romero rolled Perkins into Thatcher for the escape, and then more miscommunication allowed RPG Vice to score with strong zero on Perkins for the win. They told the basic story of the regular tag team being able to survive the storm and then the miscommunication between the guys that normally do not work together had issues, and lost. Perkins had words with Thatcher post match and left. This was a fun match overall, but it hit one level and stayed there. Every time you thought it would amp up and go to the next level, it just didn’t. it was also another match that felt longer than it was, which is never a good thing.

* Through out the show the crowd has chanted “take his chair” and various people would take the chair of this one front row fan and use it. it was fun because they didn’t dominate with it, and the wrestlers played along to various degrees.

* Ethan Page came out to Triple H’s music, and did the water spit to fuck with the fans. He’s also dressed like the Rock (think corporate Rock feuding with Foley in 99) with the black shirt and pants. The thing was that this crowd BOUGHT that Triple was coming out due to the recent news. It was a rather great troll moment.

I Quit Match – If Gargano Loses, He Will Leave WWN: Johnny Gargano vs. Ethan Page: The story goes back to WrestleMania weekend, where Gargano “endorsed” Page to be brought in to WWNLive. Page would turn on him, they would feud, Page would also turn Rich Swann against Gargano adding more insult to the entire situation. Both guys have had good matches during the feud, but I feel that they haven’t had a great match in Evolve. I have heard great things about matches they have had outside of Evolve, so I am hoping we get that here. Gargano attacked right away and tried for an immediate submission, which I liked; he showed his hate but also showed he wanted to win to save his WWNLive career. They brawled into the crowd and Gargano used a belt and then started to rapid fire a stack of chairs onto Page (he threw like 20 at him). After more brawling, and Gargano kicking Page’s ass, he rolled him back into the ring and they started to get chairs from the fans and tossed them in the ring. Page would turn the tide by countering a tornado DDT and then grabbing a chair and swinging it into the side of Gargano’s head. They were the mostly plastic chairs, but still. Page wrapped the chair around Gargano’s neck and slammed him to the post after that. Gargano would eventually comeback from the attack and introduce a table into the fray. Unfortunately statistics say that when you introduce the table you tend to go through it, so Page hit the sack of shit slam on Gargano, sending him through the table in the corner. Page continued to be in full troll mode, crotch chopping at the fans, attempting a pedigree, doing Rock like punches and then using the OLE kick, mocking Zayn. Page eventually made a lowly ring technician loosen the bottom rope and that allowed Page to grab the screw from the buckle. Page then finally connected with the pedigree, and bur didn’t want the ref to check on Gargano. He opted to get another table, work Gargano over with some more chair shots and then they fought to set up the table spot. Page headed up top and Gargano followed, and ended up hitting the tornado DDT off the ropes through the table. Neither man would quit, Gargano finally fired up and landed about 45 forearms (yes, he landed a LOT), until he walked into a Rock bottom from Page. Page grabbed the mic and demanded that Gargano say “I Quit” and Gargano said that Page would have to kill him. The crowd totally gave Page shit for saying the words “I Quit”. Page teased using the rope to choke out Gargano, but then grabbed the ring ropes. Gargano fought back and wrapped the rope around his neck and locked in the Gargano escape, and then used the ring screw with the hook and FISH HOOKED Page on top of that and forced him to quit. They did a great job of working themselves into a great match, and that’s not a back handed compliment. They started at one level, had great intensity, added to the violence, added more mayhem and it all worked well together and peaked at the end. It was a long match, but unlike some of the earlier matches, didn’t have the drag factor and never felt long. Overall the main event delivered and came off as a fitting ending to the feud between he two.

* Post match, Gargano said that his path to the Evolve title starts now.

* End scene.

* Thanks for reading.

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

The final score: review Good
The 411
At the end of the day Evolve 49 is a good and strong event, but fell short of great. Evolve’s best events have been when they stuck to the smaller and more focused card (5-6 matches) and tonight strayed from that. But this wasn’t the sole problem, a few of the matches that were good could have likely been better if shortened, because they felt long and lost the energy. Willie Mack’s travel issues caused havoc here as well, having to go into Williams vs. Dickinson cold hurt that match, and the Mack vs. Cooter match really didn’t need to happen, I know why it did (they paid to bring him in) but the show is helped if that match actually doesn’t happen. The main event delivered in the ring and as a blow off to the feud, Page was in complete heel troll mode and came off as a great foil to Johnny Wrestling. I did appreciate how they laid out the show, as it had a good flow most of the time from match to match, which helped make it feel easy to watch. This was far from their best effort in 2015, but Evolve continues to be a consistent product.