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Csonka’s EVOLVE 82 iPPV Review 4.22.17

April 22, 2017 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s EVOLVE 82 iPPV Review 4.22.17  

Csonka’s EVOLVE 82 iPPV Review 4.22.17

WWN Title Match: Champion Matt Riddle defeated Timothy Thatcher @ 10:15 via submission [***½]
– ACH defeated Austin Theory @ 13:50 via pin [***½]
Non-Title Match: Champion Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Drew Galloway was a no contest @ 6:40 [NR]
– Kyle O’Reilly defeated Keith Lee @ 20:00 via pin [****]
EVOLVE Tag Team Title Match: Chris Dickinson & Jaka defeated Champions Tracy Williams & Fred Yehi @ 15:25 via pin [***½]
Last Man Standing Match: Ethan Page defeated Darby Allin @ 18:55 [**½]

– No Lenny Leonard on commentary tonight.

– WWNLive Champion Matt Riddle makes his way to the ring for some promo time. As the WWN Champion, he is the champion of champions. But first thing first, he has to deal with trashy Tim Thatcher, who he’s never beaten. That match will kick off the show.

WWN Title Match: Champion Matt Riddle defends vs. Timothy Thatcher w/Stokely Hathaway: As expected, they grapple right away and work to a stalemate. They both look for ankle locks, and then grapple as Riddle grounds Thatcher, but Thatcher quickly takes control, attacking the arm. Thatcher then works knee strikes to the ribs and locks in a sleeper, but Riddle gets to his feet and slams Thatcher to the corner and then the mat. Riddle lays in kicks and then elbows and knees to the ribs. Thatcher then locks in the half crab, but Riddle makes the ropes. Thatcher hits a gut wrench suplex, covering for 2. They trade strikes, and Riddle works for the arm bar but Thatcher makes the ropes and connects with knee strikes and then forearms before transitioning for an arm bar and then the triangle. Riddle hoists him up into a sitout powerbomb to break that. The crowd loves Riddle. Riddle then hits the corner forearm and XPLODER. Thatcher then counters the senton into a sleeper. Riddle to his feet with Thatcher on his back, makes the ropes and Thatcher hits a float over butterfly suplex for 2. More knee strikes by Thatcher, who is working with really good aggression here. He then works over Riddle on the apron, back in and Riddle fights back with elbows and a German. Thatcher escapes bro to sleep, countering into an arm bar. Riddle fights, escapes and looks for the bro mission and Thatcher taps! Champion Matt Riddle defeated Timothy Thatcher @ 10:15 via submission [***½] Very good opener, with Riddle finally defeating Thatcher, submitting him clean. The match was smartly worked, physical and gritty, and had the crowd the entire time.

– Hathaway says that he took care of Thatcher and made him great, and Riddle says he does what he wants and chooses to be here. He has no time for Hathaway’s shit.

ACH vs. Austin Theory: They lock up, both men looking for an advantage; ACH works the arm and grounds Theory. Theory escapes, they work a fast paced series of counters and both go for pinning combos until ACH cuts him off with a kick. Theory the hits a dropkick, and follows with rights. ACH counters an Irish whip and hits the dropkick after a really fun counter exchange. Really fun action so far, great pacing as Theory hits a bicycle kick. The corner clothesline and double stomp follows. The suplex connects for Theory, and he covers for 2. Theory staying one-step ahead until ACH hits a cheap shot, the RANA follows and then sends Theory to the floor. The PK off the apron follows for ACH. ACH looks to be showing more of a mean streak here, back in the ring and ACH hits the uranage for 2, showing frustration. ACH takes the heat, hitting fist drops and a knee drop for 2. Theory tries to fire p but runs into a neck breaker for 2. ACH then starts to slap Theory around, hits another neck breaker and then grounds theory with a chinlock. Theory finally cuts off ACH with clotheslines, and hits a standing moonsault for 2. Theory stops the charge, but ACH fires back with chops. Theory then cuts off another charge attempt with a running blockbuster for 2. ACH fires back with an enziguri, and then the ushigoroshi. ACH slams Theory to the corner, they battle up top and Theory escapes and hits a spinning powerbomb for a great near fall. They trade strikes, enziguri by Theory and they then trade running forearm strikes; ACH hits the brainbuster and puts Theory away. ACH defeated Austin Theory @ 13:50 via pin [***½] Another very good match, worked in a completely different style than the opener, and one that did a great job of getting Theory over with the live crowd. I also loved ACH showing frustration and having to get a bit mean and dirty to overcome the youngster; that also really helped put over Theory, who at 19, has a really bright future.

– Galloway cuts a pre-match promo, noting that he’s finished with EVOLVE; he gave this company everything but was constantly disrespected. He is no sheep and decided where his future lies, and he is happy to not have to return to this shitty little nightclub anymore. He didn’t have to be here, he chose to be here, and over the next two days, will burn this bitch to the ground. He tells the ref that he knows he’s been told to screw him tonight, and says he will never quit, and tonight makes Sabre quit the business.

Non-Title Match: EVOLVE Champion Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Drew Galloway: Galloway kicks off his final weekend with EVOLVE in this match. After laying out the ref, demands that ZSJ come and fight him like a man. ZSJ hits the rung and they brawl, with Galloway running wild and tossing ZSJ around the ring. ZSJ fires up with uppercuts and they brawl to the floor, where ZSJ attacks the arm, using the barricade. Galloway slams ZSJ to the apron, but ZSJ fights back, tying up Galloway in the barricade in an octopus hold. They work back into the ring, trading strikes and then ZSJ once again breaking down Galloway by attacking the arm. Galloway cuts that off with the stuff piledriver. Galloway then attacks the neck, and then starts to toss him around again. They then trade slaps, uppercuts by ZSJ and then hits the PK. Galloway begs off, and then kicks ZSJ in the knee, but ZSJ locks in a triangle choke, and then transitions into the hanging kimura and then the ode to breaks. Ethan Page and the Gate Keepers arrive and attack ZSJ. Page hands Galloway the EVOLVE title, he lays it out and Galloway then bails to grab a sledgehammer. Page holds Sabre but KEITH LEE rushes out to make the save for the EVOLVE title belt. Sabre attacks one of the Gatekeepers, with commentary teasing that he broke his arm. Lee picks up the belt and lays it on Sabre’s shoulder. Champion Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Drew Galloway was a no contest @ 6:40 [NR] Overall a good angle, continuing the Page vs. Sabre issues and teasing Sabre vs. Lee for the title. It will be interesting to see how much Galloway does tomorrow, considering he was limited here and WWE pulling Hardy from House of Hardcore on Friday.

– Lee cuts a promo and says that Page and Galloway were not in the mood to play and he’s not sure why they left, because he considers himself a friendly fellow. He welcomes Kyle O’Reilly back to EVOLVE next.

Keith Lee vs. Kyle O’Reilly: on Earth-2, this is an ROH title match. O’Reilly uses his speed to begin, working leg kicks and rapid-fire strikes. Every time Lee catches up with O’Reilly, O’Reilly lays in some leg kicks and strikes for quick separation. O’Reilly relies on kicks early to try and break Lee down, O’Reilly then foolishly looks for a suplex, allowing Lee to land some strikes but O’Reilly hits a hammerlock DDT. O’Reilly is focusing on the arm here, but Lee works some clubbing strikes and an overhead belly to belly. Lee slowly beats on O’Reilly, and then Lee works a grounded abdominal stretch, trying to break O’Reilly in half. O’Reilly rolls for a knee bar, but Lee makes the ropes. They trade strikes; Lee takes him to the corner and works him over. Lee hits the corner splash and then the chops follow. O’Reilly counters the corner charge, landing high kicks and then back to the leg kicks and knee strikes in a great flurry. Lee is finally down, and O’Reilly again makes the mistake of going for a suplex, but Lee is too big. O’Reilly keeps attacking with the leg kicks, a jumping knee follows, but Lee counters the Saito suplex into a cover. The belly to belly by lee follows for a good near fall. O’Reilly tries to fire up, but lee pummels him with forearm strikes. O’Reilly back to the leg kicks, and then forearm strikes but it only looks to annoy Lee. O’Reilly finally hits a running knee strike, sending Lee to the mat. O’Reilly looks for an ankle lock, but Lee kicks him away and runs through a kick and then levels O’Reilly with a lariat. They struggle to their feet, O’Reilly low bridges Lee to the apron and sends him to the floor with the running kick; O’Reilly hits the double knee strike off of the apron, rolls Lee back in and then hits the missile dropkick; Lee then hits a high angle spinebuster for a near fall. Lee heads up top, but O’Reilly attacks the knee and crotches him up top. O’Reilly follows him up, they battle for position and O’Reilly kicks Lee low as he was up top and the ref DQs him. O’Reilly begs the ref, explaining that he was looking for a leg kick again, but Lee refuses to allow this accidental kick to his anaconda to stop this match and demands it continue. O’Reilly attacks as they restart, looks for the arm bar but Lee powers out to the ropes. They start to beat the hell out of each other, with Lee hitting the huge powerbomb out of nowhere for an awesome near fall! Lee limps over to O’Reilly, who tries to pull himself up; and then locks in the hanging guillotine. Lee just tosses him away to escape; O’Reilly follows with a tornado DDT and managed to hit the brainbuster for the win. Kyle O’Reilly defeated Keith Lee @ 20:00 via pin [****] This was an overall great match, Lee continues to look like a monster and O’Reilly looked great in his return. I think they played the dynamic of the monster vs. the drafty mixed martial artist well, with O’Reilly continually trying to break Lee down and teasing the suplex the entire match. The real issue, and I know they wanted big matches for O’Reilly upon his return, is that this was a match neither man should have lost. We can talk all day about how both came out looking great, but it feels that Lee’s momentum has been continually cut off, just as it gets going. I honestly wish they had gone with that DQ finish, the crowd loves Lee and it felt like a great time to turn O’Reilly, as he could have played off of the angle that he’s back to take what is his.

EVOLVE Tag Team Title Match: Champions Tracy Williams & Fred Yehi defend vs. Chris Dickinson & Jaka: Yehi and Jaka to begin, and once they are done yelling at each other, they get to the action. Yehi takes control, laying in the stomp and then tagging in Williams. Dickinson also in now, they work a solid back and forth with Williams attacking the knee. Nice back and forth action here with both guys keeping a good pace, but Williams manages to stay one-step ahead of Dickinson. Jaka tags in, and they isolate Williams in their corner. Yehi tags in, the champs try to double-team Jaka, but he fires back with strikes until Yehi hits stomps to his feet. Williams& Yehi hit double dropkicks on Jaka, and cover for 2. Jaka and Yehi trade strikes, Jaka fights off a German and hits a spin kick. Tag to Dickinson, he runs wild on Williams & Yehi; Jake returns to help and they hit the superkick/XPLODER combo. Williams cuts off Dickinson with a missile dropkick, Yehi follows with a German and then lock sin the koji clutch, Williams with a crossface on Jaka. Dickinson escapes, hits the sitout powerbomb on Williams and tosses Yehi. Yehi manages to save Williams from an apron bomb, Yehi and Dickinson battle on the apron as Jaka nearly dies on a dive attempt. But Jaka returns, and he and Dickinson hit the death trap, but Yehi manages to kick out at 2. Yehi fights both men off, gets the tag to Williams and he runs weld on the challengers. Dickinson saves Jaka from a piledriver and then kills Williams with the Pazuzu bomb for the win. Chris Dickinson & Jaka defeated Champions Tracy Williams & Fred Yehi @ 15:25 via pin [***½] I think that this was a much needed title change, as they had to advance things; I also love that they didn’t do it with a predictable turn of Dickinson & Jaka, instead they have been slowly teasing a Williams turn down the line. This was a very good match, the closing stretch was great and they created some great drama and near falls.

– They all shake hands post match, Catch Point = Love. Oh joy, here comes Larry Dallas. He’s here to stir up some shit, saying that Stokely Hathaway is in discussion with Williams to agent Catch Point. Williams denies this but Hathaway arrives and tells Dallas to shut up. Williams bails because Catch Point is pissed, and Hathaway followed. Yehi tosses Earl Cooter and then kills Dallas with a running dropkick and German suplex. The crowd asks for more, so Yehi hits another German. Yehi hits one more to the delight of the crowd. YEHI AIN’T DONE YET and hits another running kick.

Last Man Standing Match: Darby Allin vs. Ethan Page w/Gatekeeper McMassive: Page arrived with a shovel, planning to bury young Mr. Allin. Page is dressed for a 1980s Crockett Bunkhouse brawl, I approve. They go crazy fists brawling to begin; Allin hit a RANA, dropkick and then a suicide dive as they brawl on the floor and then onto the stage. Allin back to the ring; he dives off the top onto the stage to wipe out Page. Allin rakes at the eyes of Page, who counters with an iconoclasm into the first few rows of chairs. Page continued his assault, hitting an apron bomb. Back in the ring, Page gets some duct tape and tapes a chair to the back of Allin; this seems like a bad plan. It didn’t work so Page beat on Allin and then slammed him on the chair. Page then slowly punishes Allin with chops and rights, but Allin fights back and trips up Page, hitting a senton and then following with the springboard coffin drop. Allin then uses the chair to hit the coffin drop to the floor, wiping out Page and Gatekeeper McMassive.

Page is busted open now, he grabs the shovel and returns to the ring, Allin avoids a shovel shot and works over Page with chair shots. Allin tries to put Page in the body bag, heads up to but slips off; Page hits a powerbomb and the package piledriver. Page then lays him out with the shovel, which cut open Allin. The ref checks on him and looks to clean him up. Page puts him in the body bag, and then gets a cup of thumbtacks from McMassive; Page pours them into the body bag and zips it up. Page them powerbombs the body bag, but Page stops the count and McMassive enters the ring and Page opens the bag and demands he attack. Austin theory makes the save, taking out McMassive but Page kicks him to the floor, Pricilla Kelly is out and distracts Page. Page then tosses Allin into Kelly, and he gets another chair. Page then powerbombs him onto the open chair, and the ref counts. Page gets more chairs, piles them up and then hits Allin with more chair shots. Mcmassive tosses in more chairs, Page hits the spinning Dwayne, tosses Theory and Kelly onto Allin and the ref calls for the bell as Allin can’t answer the count. Ethan Page defeated Darby Allin @ 18:55 [**½] With all due respect to both guys, who did some insane shit and worked really hard, but this fell completely flat with me. The EVOLVE 81 match was far superior and felt like the perfect culmination to the feud. This felt like an unnecessary extra chapter, and I feel hurt the feel good moment of Allin’s win at EVOLVE 81. It felt as if they wanted to one up EVOLVE 81 but the action and drama never got to that level, that was going to be hard to accomplish, and I wish they hadn’t tried.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

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The final score: review Good
The 411
Despite the main event, which fell flat for me, EVOLVE 82 was an overall good show with a great overall effort from the roster. The wrestling up and down the card was good to great, Riddle is off and running as WWN Champion, the Galloway write-out has begun, they teased heel turns for ACH & Williams and gave us a much-needed tag title change. There’s a lot of moving parts happening in EVOLVE as they look to begin another new era with guys leaving and new ones coming in. It will be interesting to see where all of the parts end up, and tomorrow’s show will be an important one in terms of follow up. What you need to see: O’Reilly vs. Lee, Yehi Killing Larry Dallas