wrestling / TV Reports

Csonka’s Evolve 66 Review 8.19.16

August 19, 2016 | Posted by Larry Csonka

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Csonka’s Evolve 66 Review 8.19.16

WWE CWC Spotlight Match: TJ Perkins defeated Cedric Alexander @ 15:25 via submission [***½]
– Jigsaw & Peter Kaasa defeated Tracy Williams and Fred Yehi @ 13:45 via pin [***]
– Ethan Page defeated DUSTIN @ 11:30 via pin [**]
WWE CWC Spotlight Match: Drew Gulak defeated Tony Nese @ 18:16 via pin [***]
Evolve Title Match – No Holds Barred: Champion Timothy Thatcher defeated Matt Riddle @ 16:46 via submission [****]
– Cody Rhodes defeated Zack Sabre Jr. @ 18:06 via submission [***]

WWE CWC Spotlight Match: TJ Perkins w/Stokely Hathaway vs. Cedric Alexander: On paper, this is a hell of a way to kick off the show. Nice work to begin, with Alexander working a wristlock and he and Perkins doing a lot of counters based around that. They then did the same working head scissors, the best thing is that they are working an easy and basic open, with the crowd into it completely. They picked up the pace, with Alexander frustrating Perkins and mocking him with the dab. They kept up the pace for a bit, with Alexander connecting with a kick to the head and taking control with chops. Perkins was finally able to counter with a kick out of the corner and then attacked the knee of Alexander. Perkins then lit Alexander up with uppercuts and then back to the knee with a variation of the Indian deathlock and then the Muta lock. Great focus on the leg by Perkins here. Perkins missed the slingshot senton, allowing Alexander to make a comeback. After some counters, Alexander hit an enziguri and then hit a springboard lariat, but was slow to cover due to the knee, and only got 2 when he made the cover. Perkins countered the brainbuster, and rolled into the knee bar but Alexander was too close to the ropes. They traded strikes center ring, and then traded kicks and did a double down. They got to their feet; Perkins hit a springboard DDT and then the KO kick for a near fall. Alexander countered a suplex into a Michinoku drover for a near fall. The brainbuster also connected, but again only got a near fall. Alexander avoided a series of kick and Perkins scored with the knee bar and picked up the win. That was a really good opener overall, with strong work from both and an invested crowd. They had a couple of small spots where it was rough, but it was nothing major and they easily recovered. This was a good way to kick off the show.

– Hathaway cut a promo about the greatness of Perkins, and also hypes his match on the Cruiserweight Classic next week. He then said the cruiserweights were coming to Raw, and told Stephanie to call him because each and every day, Perkins’ price goes up. “Give me a call and lets make this money.” Hathaway is great. Perkins and Alexander embraced post match.

Tracy Williams & Fred Yehi vs. Jigsaw & Peter Kaasa: Nice back and forth grappling by Williams and Jigsaw to begin, with both trying to go for the legs early. They worked to a stalemate, so Kaasa and Yahi tagged in and went back and forth Kaasa was using his speed, but Yehi cut him off by catching the leg and took control. Yehi had some great counters, but Kaasa caught him with an angle slam. Williams and Jigsaw tagged back in, and worked another great back and forth, just smooth counters with good energy. Williams and Yehi then took control, with Yehi getting a near fall off of an overhead belly to belly. Williams and Yehi worked the heat on Jigsaw, Jigsaw would get his hope spots but they would counter his offense with something simple, but brutal, to keep control. Jigsaw would connect with a dropkick off the second rope and the make the hot tag to Kaasa. Kaasa ran wild with a combination of speed and power moves as Jigsaw scored with a dive onto Yehi. Williams then got tossed to the floor and he then connected with a sweet ass version on the Sasuke special. Back in the ring, Kaasa hit a northern lights suplex into a deadlift suplex for a near fall. Kaasa would miss the moonsault, and Williams locked in a rear naked choke and then a lariat for a near fall. He then worked the crossface, Jigsaw made the save. All four men in, they ran through a big move buffet and that led to Jigsaw and Yehi properly tagging in. Yehi hit a series of Germans and got a near fall. Jigsaw fought back and hit a double stomp and a brainbuster for the win in a big upset. The beginning was a bit disjointed, and the finish felt as if it came out of nowhere, but this was a good showing from all four.

– Post match Williams slapped Yehi for losing, so Yehi then laid out Jigsaw and slapped Williams back. They then shook hands.

Ethan Page vs. DUSTIN: They brawled right away, which considering the angle was the right call because no one wanted to see a straight up grappling match. Page slipped after slamming DUSTIN to a table, but grabbed the mic and said he was ok was planned to beat DUSTIN’s ass. They continued their battle around ringside, with page maintaining control. Page then hit a suicide dive, and then took the action back to the ring. DUSTIN managed to trip up Page in the corner and finally put some offense together. Page tried to fire up, but DUSTIN attacked the knee to slow him down. At about five minutes in this feels fine, it seemingly lost a lot f the energy from the performers and the crowd. Page countered a RANA into a sitout powerbomb, and both men struggled to their feet. Page fired up and made his comeback, slammed DUSTIN off the ropes and got a near fall. They went to the floor, where DUSTIN tripped up Page and then hit a piledriver on the floor. They did a countout tease on Page, who barely made it back in and ate a superkick for a near fall. Page fought off another piledriver, but DUSTIN hit soul food and sent Page to the apron. Page fought back and hit the RKEGO, but DUSTIN quickly hit a DDT for 2. He hit another for 2. DUSTIN then worked a Gargano escape, Page managed to power out and hit Gargano’s lawn dart. The big boot followed and page covered for 2. DUSTIN countered out of the package piledriver, but Page then escape the backslide and hit the package piledriver for the win. Both guys worked hard, but it quickly lost energy after the first few minutes and felt really flat and overall disappointing the rest of the way. Page winning was the best thing about this, because it makes sense and fits the angle he’s been a part of.

WWE CWC Spotlight Match: Tony Nese vs. Drew Gulak: Nese actually went into Gulak’s wheelhouse early, looking to grapple with the captain of Catch Point. Nese did well here, grounding Gulak, but Gulak was too slick for him and not only countered out but got to his feet. This was some really nice back and forth, but both guys countering the other several times before having a stand off. Nese looked really good here, controlling with a mix of his speed and power. He kept grounding Gulak, but he toyed with him too long in that regard and Gulak’s skill overcame and he took control with an inverted figure four. Nese escaped, they went back and forth and Gulak went to the ropes but Nese cut him off and then hit a running one-armed buckle bomb, the running knee strike scored and he covered for a near fall. This match has more energy than the last, but it feels a bit lethargic at points and the crowd is losing interest. Nese hit a springboard moonsault for the near fall. Gulak fought back, sent Nese to the floor and hit a suicide dive. This brought the crowd back around as Gulak rolled him back in for a near fall. Gulak then worked a hanging guillotine, but Nese powered out and pulled Gulak up for a suplex, Gulak dropped back down, but Nese finally dumped him on the roped and hit a knee strike. Nese then hit the Fosbury flop, rolled Gulak back in and went for the 450 but crashed and burned. Nese then fought out of the dragon sleeper, and hit a sit out piledriver for the near fall. They slowly traded strikes, Gulak grabbed Nese’s beard and slapped the hell out of him and then hit an electric chair for a near fall. They both fought up top, Gulak hit a superplex and they did the double pin tease for a near fall. Gulak up top and hits a lariat for a near fall. Nese hit a series of kicks, but then Gulak countered a leapfrog into a sunset flip and scored the win. The start was good, but then they played too much with Nese working in Gulak’s world, which took the crowd out of things because he was not working a Tony Nese match. He would in the second half, and the crowd got more into it then, but it felt way too long. This would have been a tighter and more enjoyable match by trimming off 5-minutes or so. Nese has really improved over the last year, but I felt some of the layout and pacing felt off. It wasn’t bad, and the ending stretch was really good with a good and slick finish, but it could have been better.

– Gulak cut a promo to antagonize Thatcher, who did come out, but IT WAS A TRAP and Riddle attacked and we’re starting our title match

Evolve Title Match – No Holds Barred: Champion Timothy Thatcher vs. Matt Riddle: They brawled on the floor and took advantage of the no holds barred stipulation. They word work back into the ring and it was crazy fists. Thy both settled down and then worked for submissions, with both men working really good looking ground and pound until Thatcher attacked the ankle of Riddle, even manipulating the toes. Riddle would escape, working suplexes and then elbows to the ribs of Thatcher before rolling into an arm bar. Thatcher got the ropes, but had to roll all the way to the floor to break. Riddle teased a dive, went to the floor and they continued to battle back and forth. Thatcher again got control back, and then hit a delayed vertical suplex followed by knees to the ribs. The gut wrench suplex got 2. Riddle is selling like a champ here as Thatcher works him over with strikes in the ropes. Riddle manages to hit a knee off the ropes for a near fall. it felt as if it was missing something, but they were able to pick things up very well. Riddle worked stomps into a triangle choke with elbows. Thatcher powered Riddle to the ropes and choked out Riddle as he had the triangle, forcing him to break. They traded strikes, Thatcher again hit the gut wrench and got a near fall. Thatcher got a rear naked choke and pulled Riddle back into the ring, but Riddle hit a backdrop suplex to break it. he then caught Thatcher with a knee and looked for the twister, but Thatcher countered into a knee bar. They did a series of counters, Thatcher back to the knee bar and the he grabbed a knee bar. They slapped the hell out of each other, rolled to the apron and then the floor. We went back to the ring, Thatcher hit a butterfly suplex into a fujiwara arm bar but Riddle escaped and hit the fisherman’s buster and then the JUMPING tombstone, but Thatcher kicked out and into the arm bar again. Riddle tried to drag Thatcher to the floor, but ended up hanging there and had to tap. Thatcher refused to break the hold until Gulak made the save. Riddle was really next level here with his bumps, his selling and pretty much everything. It’s amazing how quickly he’s progressed. I was all about the title change here tonight, but the finish was top notch and works IF Gulak wins tomorrow. I am down on Thatcher as the champion, but they put together a hell of a match here, one of the better Thatcher outings of the year.

– Gulak and Thatcher went face to face, and then Gulak dropped Thatcher and stood tall. Gulak dropped the belt on Thatcher and told him he could hand it back tomorrow when he beats him. The crowd chanted paper champ at Thatcher.

Cody Rhodes vs. Zack Sabre Jr.: Cody is out in the long tights, and has a ton to prove here. There has been a lot of talk, but he’s never really had a run of great singles outings and will get the chance to show his stuff this weekend. Nice back and forth here as ZSJ did ZSJ things; he controlled with ease and was easily able to counter Rhodes several times. It was all ZSJ early, as he almost looked insulted that Rhodes was trying to grapple with him. Rhodes eventually escaped and looked like he was going to hit a cop killer, but worked it as a submission hold. Rhodes slowly took control, hitting a gut buster suplex and then some knees. He went for the disaster kick but ZSJ countered with a dropkick and went back to work on the arm of Rhodes. ZSJ talked shit during this, asking of Rhodes wanted to really do this as he kept kicking at the arm. They worked to the floor, with ZSJ slamming the hand and arm of Rhodes into the barricade. He missed a kick to the barricade, and Rhodes started to attack the knee. Rhodes couldn’t put together a prolonged attack as ZSJ went back to the arm and tied up Rhodes like a knot. Rhodes hit a desperation side effect for a double down. He then attacked the knee and followed with the disaster kick for a near fall. ZSJ hit the half and half suplex followed by the soccer kick for a near fall. He then punted the arm; Rhodes went for an Alabama slam but ZSJ countered into the hanging kimura. Rhodes made the ropes, they worked into a series of reversals and ZSJ got a cradle for a near fall. Rhodes then hit cross Rhodes for a near fall. ZSJ worked a hanging arm bar, Rhodes powered him up and powerbombed him down. Rhodes then locked in an inverted figure four and ZSJ tapped. Apparently that is called the “American Nightmare.” The match came off oddly mainly due to the finish that felt out of nowhere. The match was good, and Cody worked out of his comfort area for sure, but it wasn’t a blow away performance by any means. I will reserve judgment until I see more.

– Post match, Cody called Zack back into the ring and helped him to his feet. They hugged and shook hands. He said he bet on himself, but also Evolve bet on him. For 10-years he was on TV and grew up in front of them, but grew up in a shadow… but he loved that shadow. He didn’t know what to do until about 20-mintes ago, and came out to prove al of the naysayers wrong. As far as Drew Galloway goes, he is not his man and is not part of his plan.

* End scene.

* Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Good
The 411
On a weekend with a lot of choices out there for the wrestling fans, Evolve once again put on a good show. Not at the level of previous shows this year, but they continue to link the shows together well and also set the stage for the next night. They have been one of the more consistent companies this year.