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Csonka’s EVOLVE 76 Review 1.27.17

January 28, 2017 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s EVOLVE 76 Review 1.27.17  

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Csonka’s EVOLVE 76 Review 1.27.17

– Jaka defeated Peter Kaasa @ 9:30 via pin [***]
– Darby Allin defeated Chris Dickinson @ 6:30 via pin [**¾]
– Jason Kincaid defeated DUSTIN @ via submission [**½]
– Ethan Page defeated Zack Sabre Jr. @ 13:30 via DQ [***½]
– Matt Riddle defeated ACH @ via 13:55 pin [****]
EVOLVE Tag Team Title Match: Champions Tracy Williams & Fred Yehi defend defeated Timothy Thatcher & Jeff Cobb @ 16:05 via submission [***½]
– Chris Hero defeated Keith Lee @ 21:50 via pin [***]

– Catchpoint (Williams, Yehi, Riddle, Dickinson & Jaka) are out to kick off the show. There will be a lot of new faces in EVOLVE, and tonight they will prove their dominance.

Jaka vs. Peter Kaasa: Catch Point is at ringside. They test each other’s power early, Kaasa picks up the pacing, sending Jaka to the floor. Kaasa has sadly cut off his sweet mullet, for a rat-tail. Kaasa hit a German; both guys fired up and traded strikes. Jaka clubbed away at Kaasa, leading to a floor brawl. Good intensity so far from both, back in the ring and Jaka hits a Muta-like elbow drop for 2 and follows with a capture suplex. Jaka grounds Kaasa, hitting head butts and a DDT for 2. Kaasa fires back with strikes, hits s tilt a whirl and then follows with a standing corkscrew press for 2. STRAPS ARE DOWN for Kaasa, heads up top and leaps over Jaka, and is sent to the floor. Jaka hits the plancha, showing off more of his game tonight. Back in and Jaka up top, cut off by a Kaasa Angle slam off the ropes for a near fall. Kaasa goes for a moonsault but the rope snapped and he landed on his head! Fucks sake. Jaka then hits the powerbomb and picks up the win. Jaka defeated Peter Kaasa @ 9:30 via pin [***] Good match with smooth back and forth action, and they thrived even with the rope break, going right to the finish. Kaasa looked to be just fine, thankfully. Jaka has so much potential and seemingly improves every time I see him.

– We shoot to a video package as they repair the ring.

– Austin Theory debuts in EVOLVE at the February shows. He’s a good signing for the company.

– We’re back and the ropes are repaired. Kaasa is being checked on in the back.

– Catch Point is back out, claiming that the opener is what they are all about. They will defend the titles against the EVOLVE Champion and a former Olympian tonight. Dickinson wants his chance right now and his match is about to begin.

Chris Dickinson vs. Darby Allin: Dickinson looks to bully Allin, but Allin uses his speed; Dickinson counters the coffin drop, and then flings Allin across the ring and into the buckles. Dickinson hits the running powerslam for 2, and then beats down Allin in the corner. Dickinson hits the brainbuster as he works a slow and methodical attack, and appears to be enjoying himself as he beats down the smaller Allin. Allin keeps fighting back, but Dickinson cuts him off and looks for the razor’s edge, but Allin counters with the RANA, sending Dickinson to the floor; the coffin drop follows. They brawl on the apron, with Allin hitting head butts. Back in and Dickinson absolutely folds Allin in half with a German. Dickinson hits another, but Allin then gets a cradle for 2. Dickinson hits the clothesline, but then Allin counters the razor’s edge again and gets the cradle for the win. Darby Allin defeated Chris Dickinson @ 6:30 via pin [**¾] They did a good job of playing the bully vs. underdog formula, with Allin surviving long enough to pull off the upset victory.

– Post match, Dickinson snaps and attacks Allin, and Catch Point pulls him off. Dickinson’s post match attack will cause waves in Catch Point, and he’s the right guy to take the loss because he will go insane with anger, especially losing to Allin.

DUSTIN vs. Jason Kincaid: they lock up and work some back and forth, with Kincaid using some creative counters. Kincaid is a unique dude, really stands out and works in a way that no one else on the roster does. DUSTIN cuts him off and they brawl to the floor. DUSTIN posts Kincaid and then takes the heat back in the ring. Kincaid keeps trying to fight back, but DUSTIN remains one step ahead and constantly cuts him off. They again brawl to the floor as DUSTIN’s heat slows. Kincaid blocks a slingshot senton, but DUSTIN hits eat defeat for the near fall. DUSTIN up top, but Kincaid slams him off the ropes and looks to put together some offense. Kincaid hits a powerslam into the double stomp. The blockbuster follows for the near fall. Soul food by DUSTIN, but Kincaid hits a lariat and then follows with a slingshot into the stunner for 2.Falcon arrow (HE DID THE DEAL) by DUSTIN gets 2. Kincaid fights off the awful waffle, but DUSTIN gets the powerbomb into the half crab. DUSTIN then transitions onto the STF, but Kincaid makes the ropes. DUSTIN hits a running knee strike, but Kincaid stuns him off the ropes, but the suicide dive is caught and DUSTIN hits a delayed vertical suplex out of that on the floor. DUSTIN gets a chair, but the ref took that away. Kincaid fights back with a stunner. The double stomp off the ring post connects; he then locks in the passionate release for the win. Jason Kincaid defeated DUSTIN @ via submission [**½] DUSTIN showed more aggression than usual, but it was really lethargic until the final two minutes. They had a lot of good ideas, but the execution felt off. Kincaid winning was the right call as he is one of the new faces on the rise.

Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Ethan Page with The Gatekeepers : ZSJ was starting to make a run for the EVOLVE title, but Ethan Page attacked him and then defeated him at EVOLVE 72, killing his momentum; Page was pissed as he had failed to defeat Thatcher and win the title. ZSJ attacked before the bell, during the entrances, attacking the arms of Page and the Gatekeepers. ZSJ tortured Page for a bit, but Page posted him and rolled him into the ring and we officially started things off. Page slowed things down, using his size and power advantage. ZSJ fires back with some running kicks, Page then kicked him to the floor; ZSJ hit a tornado DDT, but Page cut him off with a tilt a whirl slam to the floor. Page maintained control on the floor, they rolled back in and Page worked the heat. It’s perfectly fine but I keep waiting for Page to show some real anger in his attacks, it just lacks emotion for me. ZSJ managed to fire back with kicks to the arm and then connected with a series of strikes and he got totally fired up; Page blocked the PK, but ZSJ hit a dead lift bridging German for 2. ZSJ then worked for the dragon sleeper and then the traditional sleeper, but Page rolled into the ropes. They traded strikes, ZSJ worked a hanging guillotine and then transitioned into the hanging Kimura. Page slammed him to the mat to escape. ZSJ countered the running kick, locked in the octopus hold, Page powered out and they battled up top. Page fought off ZSJ and hit the powerslam off the second rope for the near fall. RKEGO then got another near fall. ZSJ took the back and transitioned into the triangle choke, Page fought but had to tap. Ethan Page defeated Zack Sabre Jr. @ 13:30 via DQ [***½] This was a very good outing with Zack Sabre Jr. showing more aggression and working a different style match to reflect that. The finish works to extend the feud, keeps Zack Sabre Jr. strong and adds to his anger as he seeks to take Page out before going for the title.

– ZSJ held on post bell, the Gatekeepers hit the ring and Darby Allin helped run them off as he watched Page pass out. To Allin, this was a measure of revenge for Page bringing in Cage to try and end Allin’s career. The referee then reversed the decision, because ZSJ wouldn’t release the hold.

Matt Riddle vs. ACH: ACH looked to use his speed, so Riddle tried to ground him and work his submission game. This led to a really well done back and forth series, leading to a stalemate. Riddle then started to toss ACH around with some suplexes, he then hit a jumping knee strike, sending ACH to the floor. Back in the ring, Riddle kept control, hitting the gut wrench suplex. ACH managed to fight back, picking up the pace and sending Riddle to the floor and following with the PK off the apron. Back in the ring and Riddle again worked suplexes. Riddle follows with chops and kicks, but ACH is slick and rolls into the Muta lock. That was slick. Riddle made the ropes, but ACH kept on the attack laying in a series of chops. ACH is right properly fired the fuck up now and pays Riddle back by landing leg kicks. Knee strikes by Riddle cause ACH to crumble to the mat. They trade strikes center ring, lighting each other up; they then trade snap German suplexes for the double down. They go face-to-face, trading forearm strikes and then they just throw bombs. BRO TO SLEEP by Riddle, fisherman’s buster follows and ACH is done.

Matt Riddle defeated ACH @ via 13:55 pin [****] ACH will be a regular going forward, and did well here against EVOLVE’s favorite son, Matt Riddle. This was rather great, worked at a great clip with almost no down time and no messing around from either guy on offense. This was booked very evenly, ACH looked good and after a few wins for him they can rematch them down the line with possibly a title shot on the line.

– Riddle runs down his killer 2017 so far, the bro wants a title belt in WWNLive and feels 2017 will be the year of bro. DUSTIN then attacked from behind, using a chair to set up their match tomorrow. DUSTIN runs down the MMA guy and announces tomorrow’s match is a no DQ match. He then stomps out Riddle, noting that it was for Drew Galloway.

EVOLVE Tag Team Title Match: Champions Tracy Williams & Fred Yehi defend vs. EVOLVE Champion Timothy Thatcher & Jeff Cobb with Stokely Hathaway: The deal here is that Jeff Cobb was rising up the ranks, and wanted a title shot. Stokely Hathaway agreed to this on behalf of him client (EVOLVE Champion Timothy Thatcher) for tomorrow’s show, if Cobb would team with Thatcher to challenge for the EVOLVE Tag Team Titles. The good brother Stokely Hathaway got Thatcher a remix of his theme! After Thatcher and Yehi did some back and forth, Williams tagged in and he and Thatcher just threw big strikes, trying to knock each other down. Yehi tagged in but ran right into a belly-to-belly suplex. He quickly swept the legs, pulled Thatcher to his corner and Williams tagged back in. Thatcher finally tagged Cobb in, he did big man powers spots, largely no sold Yehi’s attacks and hit a spinning belly to back suplex. Thatcher tagged in to pick the bones of a downed Yehi, working the arm and then delivering knee strikes. Cobb tagged back in, and showed off his power game against the smaller Yehi. Williams got the hot tag, ran wild on Cobb but couldn’t get him off his feet. Williams finally hit the belly to back suplex to get him down. Williams then took out Thatcher, and covered for a near fall. Thatcher and Cobb cut off Williams and took the heat on him; Cobb is tossing guys around like small children here. So far he and Thatcher are working well together, but just as I say that they try to one up each other by hitting repeated suplexes on Williams. Thatcher gets a bit too full of himself, and the delay allows Williams to hit a brain buster and get the hit tag to Yehi. Really great hot tag to Yehi, he tosses Thatcher to the floor and then eats a German from Cobb. Williams makes the save, works over Cobb and hits a dive to the floor as things start to break down. Williams posts Cobb and then clotheslines him into the post. During this time, Thatcher and Yehi go back and forth, koji clutch by Yehi and THATCHER TAPS! Champions Tracy Williams & Fred Yehi defend defeated Timothy Thatcher & Jeff Cobb @ 16:05 via submission [***½] This was a very good match, working a double heat on the champions and doing some set up for thru title match between Cobb and Thatcher, without the cliché tag partners can’t get along; they tried to one up each other for sure, but the drama was all post match. The Thatcher loss was played very well on commentary, questioning if he was healthy yet and then wondering if he would be questioning himself during the next day’s title defense. This was great work from Lenny Leonard. The win works to keep the tag champions strong and also sets up Yehi as a title contender down the line.

– Larry Dallas arrived to try and cause drama, asking Hathway about Thatcher tapping. Hathaway said that Cobb tapped and Cobb lost because he gave up on the team. Cobb promised to win the title tomorrow, and asked when Thatcher became Hathaway’s bitch.

Chris Hero vs. Keith Lee: This is Hero’s last weekend on the indies, and he is facing new WWNlive signee Keith Lee. They worked a slow beginning, Hero started to attack the arm but Lee did a little lucha roll to escape, surprising Hero. Lee kept going to use his power, but Hero cut him off with a cravat. Hero keeps breaking lee down with some of that fancy world of sport shit. They start to pick up the pace and the TOP ROPE BRAKS, thankfully hero caught himself and was fine. The crowd chanted “These ropes suck & FUCK THAT ROPE!” Hero and Lee remove the top rope and throw it to the floor. Hero then attacks, still using the ropes to attack in a great moment of improv. They then brawled to the floor, just throwing bombs; Hero then told the ref, “no count outs” as they’re just winging it here. Hero then just said fuck it and started to work his regular spots on the floor, including a swanton off the apron to the floor. Hero then demanded the ref count out Lee since he had the advantage. Back in the ring, Hero worked over lee, but Lee fired up and best Hero down with strikes. Lee hit the suplex for a near fall. Hero took Lee to the corner, climbed to the, well the top I suppose, and hit a variation on the Osaka street cutter for a near fall. Lee countered the rolling elbow with a sweet lariat for the near fall. Lee climbed to the sorta top rope and THAT FUCKING ROPE BROKE AGAIN. Just go to the finish boys, safety first. Hero worked elbows, but Lee hit a huge powerbomb for the near fall. Hero hit a series of elbows, then a bicycle kick, two rolling elbows and then a third to the back of the head. Hero then hit a Gotch piledriver for the win. Chris Hero defeated Keith Lee @ 21:50 via pin [***] This was far from the great match I expected here; Hero looking to go out with a great match and Lee looking to prove himself, but the ring would not cooperate. I feel bad for Keith Lee, this was a huge opportunity for him to deliver and show he could be a player in EVOLVE. But with that being said, Keith Lee and Chris Hero had a better match with two and then one rope than most people have with a fully functioning ring. This was actually a tremendous display of overcoming adversity and improvising to still present something fun and worth watching. In the end it certainly comes off as disappointing due to the circumstances, but they did better than anyone could imagine. My main complaint is that they shouldn’t have gone so long and went home sooner, if not for better quality, for the safety of the performers. Lee came off as a beast as Hero had to MDK (murder death kill) him to win.

– Post match, Hero said ropes breaking suck, but he still managed to win the match. Hero then put over Lee, noting that he had it all… but lacked a killer instinct. Hero said he had to find it, and once he did no one could stop him. He said if Lee found it no one could stop him either. Zack Sabre Jr arrived and told Hero that he can’t leave until he beats him tomorrow, and when I beat you, “Chris Hero can stay, but Kassious Ohno can fuck off to Florida.” Hero then offered the rare handshake to Lee.

One last thing, before anyone tries to start a false narrative that “EVOLVE is some shit indie with poor quality equipment,” this has never happened before and I chalk it up to a set of unfortunate circumstances.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Good
The 411
Against all odds, and rope breaks, EVOLVE 76 was a good show. There was no bad wrestling, they set up stuff well for tomorrow’s show. The guys you expected to deliver did, the new guys are doing well and at the very least the show is memorable. It could have been much worse, but it’s a credit to the performers that they thrived. Lee’s debut isn’t what he or the promotion wanted, but he was put over big time by Hero, which will go a long way with the EVOLVE audience.