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Csonka’s EVOLVE 99 Review 1.14.18

January 14, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka
Stokley Hathaway Beyond Wrestling EVOLVE 99
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Csonka’s EVOLVE 99 Review 1.14.18  

Csonka’s EVOLVE 99 Review 1.14.18

Prelim Match: Brody King vs. Darby Allin went to a time limit draw (10:00) [**¾]
Prelim Match: Jarek 1:20 defeated Snoop Strikes @ 5:38 via pin [**¼]
Prelim Match: KTB defeated Wheeler Yuta @ 5:13 via pin [**]
Non-Title Match: FIP Champion Austin Theory defeated Jason Kincaid @ 8:57 via referee stoppage [**½]
– Timothy Thatcher defeated Fred Yehi @ 13:52 via submission [***½]
Tornado Tag Match: Odinson & Parrow defeated Tracy Williams & Dom Garrini @ 7:51 via pin [**½]
– Matt Riddle defeated Jaka @ 12:38 via submission [****]
Non-Title Match: WALTER defeated Zack Sabre Jr @ 18:05 via pin [****½]
WWN Title Match: Champion Keith Lee defeated Chris Dickinson @ 16:00 via pin [***¾]

– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

– My Top 23 EVOLVE Matches of 2017.
– My Top 24 ROH Matches of 2017.
– My Top 8 Matches of December 2017.
– My NJPW WrestleKingdom 12 Takeaways.
– My Top 38 WWE Matches of 2017.
– My Top 25 Matches of 2017.

– You can catch up with EVOLVE by checking out reviews of EVOLVE 96 here, EVOLVE 97 here, and EVOLVE 98 here.

– Darby Allin arrives prior to the prelims, stating and discusses coming up short last night, and that he needs to start again at the bottom on the prelims.

Brody King vs. Darby Allin: Allin slaps King and then demands that King slaps him. Allin fires up, picks up the pace and sends King to he floor and hits a dive and follows with strikes. Allin then gets a chair after slamming King to the barricade. King fights back, but gets dropkicked back to he floor. Allin hits a suicide dive, taking control back. He looks for a coffin drop, but King catches him with a German for 2. Allin fights back, locks on an arm bar, but King makes the ropes. They work back to the floor; Allin hangs King over the barricade and follows with another suicide dive. Allin up top and hits a coffin drop over the barricade, onto King in the crowd. King fights back, as they brawl into the crowd. King slams Allin into a pillar, and then tosses him over the barricade to the ringside area. Back in the ring and King covers for 2. King then turns Allin inside out with a lariat, covering again for 2. Allin locks on an arm bar with a minute to go, King escapes and sets Allin in the tree of WHOA, hits a cannonball. Time expires. Brody King vs. Darby Allin went to a time limit draw (10:00) [**¾] I dig Allin looking to go back to the beginning and rebuild himself. It work after he gave it all but lost out on his dream, with him now looking to goon another journey for the title. Allin never attempted one pin here, proving he could survive again, but failing to win after last night’s devastating loss.

Snoop Strikes vs. Jarek 1:20 w/Candy Cartwright: They lockup to begin, Strikes immediately picks up the pace and hits a wheelbarrow bulldog, covering for 2. Jarek cuts him off, and hits a cutter, covering for 2. Jarek starts attacking the knee of Strikes, grounding Strikes and taking control. Jarek is getting more aggressive here, but Strikes manages to hit a German. Strikes is slowed by the knee, but lays in uppercuts and hits a blockbuster, covering for 2. Jarek cuts off sliced bread, hits the KO shot, and covers for 2. Strikes hits an arm drag, and then a back stabber. He slowly heads up top, and hits the frog splash, covering for 2. Jarek counters code red, attacks the knee and hits a big ending for the win. Jarek 1:20 defeated Snoop Strikes @ 5:38 via pin [**¼] This was an ok little match, with Jarek picking up a much-needed win as he looks to get onto the main card.

KTB vs. Wheeler Yuta: KTB looks to use his power to begin, but Yuta picks up the pace and hits an arm drag. The dropkick follows for 1. Yuta up top, the high cross is caught and KTB tosses him to the floor. KTB then suplexes Yuta back into the ring, covering for 2. The sliding lariat follows, and that gets 2. They trade strikes, and KTB hits a suplex, covering for 2. Yuta gets a roll up, but KTB kicks out. Yuta hits a missile dropkick, and follows with a dive to the floor. Back in and Yuta hits a high cross for 2. Yuta follows with a superkick, but KTB slams him down and sorta hits a lionsault for the win. KTB defeated Wheeler Yuta @ 5:13 via pin [**] This was of missed a messy finish.

– Austin Theory w/Priscilla Kelly make their way to the ring. Theory says he defended his title last night, and then laid out Evolve Champion Zack Sabre Jr. He is what every guy wants to be, young, good, looking, and unbeatable. He will be the next Evolve champion, and has to get rid of all distractions. Theory promises to make this Kincaid’s final Evolve match.

Jason Kincaid vs. FIP Champion Austin Theory w/Priscilla Kelly: They brawl right away, taking the fight to he floor and finally into the ring. Kincaid battles back, hits a double stomp, but Theory cuts off the senton. He then stomps away at Kincaid, but Kincaid sends him to the floor and looks for a RANA but Theory slams him to the apron. Back in and Theory takes control, hitting a suplex for 2. Theory talks shit, allowing Kincaid to fire up and lay in strikes. Theory cuts off the slingshot with a superman punch. Kincaid cuts off the suplex and stuns Theory off the ropes. Kincaid fires back with clotheslines and a rolling neck breaker. The rolling knees follow, and then a code breaker gets 2. They trade strikes, Kincaid follows with head butts but Theory follows with a big right, dropping Kincaid. The last shot gets 2. Theory lays the boots to Kincaid, heads up top and mocks Kincaid, allowing Kincaid to catch him with a falcon arrow, doing the deal and covering for 2. Kincaid up top, he gets cut off, and Theory follows him up. Kincaid hits a superkick and misses the double stomp, crashing to the apron and floor. The ref waves it off as commentary plays up that he blew out his knee. Theory attacks but refs make the save. FIP Champion Austin Theory defeated Jason Kincaid @ 8:57 via referee stoppage [**½] This was a solid match overall, with a finish (hopefully) designed to keep Kincaid away from Theory as Theory & Kelly continue their rise.

Timothy Thatcher vs. Fred Yehi: They take things to the ground right away, working their grappling, with Thatcher powdering to the floor. Back in and Yehi grounds things, but Thatcher quickly works for an arm bar. Yehi escapes, making the ropes and he takes a powder. Back in and Thatcher grounds the action, working a bow and arrow, but Yehi escapes. Thatcher now starts looking to work the arm, and then lays in ground and pound, as well as stomps. Yehi pulls Thatcher to the floor, follows with chops and heads back into the ring. Yehi attacks the leg with stomps and follows with a double stomp. Yehi now grounds the action, maintaining control. Thatcher slowly fights to his feet, but gets dumped with a suplex, and Yehi covers for 2. Yehi continues to punish Thatcher, laying in clubbing strikes, but Thatcher catches him with a bell to belly. Thatcher follows with chops, and slams Yehi to the apron. Thatcher grounds things, they trade strikes and Thatcher follows with gut wrench suplex, covering for 2. Yehi escapes another suplex, hitting a powerbomb and press, covering for 2. Thatcher escapes the fisherman’s buster and hits the Saito and then butterfly suplex, covering for 2. Yehi hits a desperation German, and follows with a backstabber. Yehi grabs Thatcher’s scarf and puts it on, running wild and taking control back. The fisherman’s suplex gets 2. Thatcher counters, but Yehi hits a German. They work into a series of counters, uppercuts by Thatcher follow. He locks in the sleeper, Yehi counters into a pin and that gets 2. Thatcher now locks on the arm bar, and Yehi taps. Timothy Thatcher defeated Fred Yehi @ 13:52 via submission [***½] Your mileage will vary on this one, but I am a big fan of the grappling, less is more style that they used here. It was deliberate, everything meant something, and overall this was very good, with Thatcher picking up a big win, while the story of Yehi’s fall continues.

Tracy Williams & Dom Garrini vs. Odinson & Parrow w/Drennen: They start brawling on the floor, and Williams and Odinson pair off as Parrow and Garrini make their ways into the ring. Parrow finally cuts off Garrini’s submissions, Williams in and trades strikes with Parrow. Odinson then kills Williams with a pounce. Williams survives, starts to fire back, but gets cut off as the numbers game gets to him and The End work double teams, and take Garrini to the floor. The big lads end up running into each other, Garrini returns and runs wild for a bit. Williams takes out Odinson as Garrini and Williams work double submissions on Parrow. Odinson returns, tosses Williams, but Garrini keeps fighting and going for submissions. The End hit a version of the super collider, and follow with overkill for the win. Odinson & Parrow defeated Tracy Williams & Dom Garrini @ 7:51 via pin [**½] As a match I found this to be completely solid, but largely disjointed, and lacking heat. Tornado tags can be a ton of fun, but without a solid flow and the lack of energy, it was jus there. From a storyline perspective, this worked very well as they are building The End up for a shoat Dickinson & Jaka, so The End defeating their CatchPoint teammates and dominating them worked really well.

Jaka vs. Matt Riddle: Jaka defeated WWN Champion Keith Lee in a non-title match last night (the only man to defeat Sabre & Lee), while Riddle lost to AR Fox on the same show. They lock up, grapple a bit, and work to a stalemate. Riddle then hits rolling gut wrench suplexes, tossing around Jaka with ease. He follows with chops, and then charging corner forearm strikes. Jaka then sidesteps him and follows with a rolling kick, covering for 2. Head butts follow from Jaka, and he then chokes out Riddle in the ropes. The suplex follows, and Jaka covers for 2. He follows with the elbow drop, and grounds Riddle, starting to work the back. Jaka follows with ground and pound, and an XPLODER for 2. Jaka up top, gets cut off and Riddle follows him up, but gets head butted to the mat. Jaka jumps off but eats a dropkick for the double down. Riddle follows with a knee strike and fisherman’s buster for 2. Jaka fights back, hits a suplex, but the runs into the high kick and Riddle covers for 2. Riddle follows with a senton and another. Jaka counters the third attempt, hits head butts and strikes, but Riddle hits a German, Jaka pops up and hits one of his own. They continue to trade Germans, Jaka hits the back elbow and strikes, sweeps the leg and counters bro to sleep with the challa kick and both men are down. They fight to their feet, trading strikes as the crowd is into this exchange. Jaka counters a kick and hits the running knee strike for 2. The superkick follows for another 2. Riddle locks on a sleeper, Jaka escapes and hits a powerbomb for a great near fall. Jaka locks on a sharpshooter, Riddle fights, and Jaka pulls him back center ring. Riddle rolls into a knee bar, lays in kicks and escapes. Knee strike by Riddle, the tombstone follows and Riddle covers for another great near fall. Riddle lays in elbow strikes, but Jaka fights and bites the arm, but Riddle hits a powerbomb. Riddle lays in elbows and lock on the bromission for the win. Matt Riddle defeated Jaka @ 12:38 via submission [****] This was easily the best thing on the show so far, as they worked a great back and forth match. Jaka continues to thrive when out in big singles matches, working up to his competition and possibly setting the stage for a singles run down the line. They kept a great pace, worked in some great near finishes and getting a crowd that had been very tame into the match. Both guys delivered here, and Riddle picks up a much needed win after his loss to Fox the previous night.

Non-Title Match: EVOLVE Champion Zack Sabre Jr. vs. WALTER: WALTER looks to use his size advantage to begin, but Sabre is able to escape. WALTER then starts to toss him around, making Sabre look like a highflier. WALTER starts working the arm, grounding Sabre. It’s all WALTER early. Sabre now works leg kicks, breaking WALTER down, but WALTER powers back and takes Sabre down. Sabre bridges up, and lays in uppercuts. WALTER just no sells those and takes Sabre down with chops. They start slapping each other; WALTER hits a big boot and chokes out Sabre in the ropes. WALTER tosses Sabre across the ring with a slam. Sabre now starts to work into his grappling game, but is quickly cut off with chops. WALTER is slowly starting to destroy Sabre with strikes and chops. Sabre again with leg kicks, pulls a knee bar, but WALTER makes the ropes. To the floor they go and WALTER dumps him on the apron and follows with more chops. Every time Sabre fires up, WALTER is there to cut him off. WALTER tosses him back into the ring, and continues to abuse Sabre. Sabre hits a desperation tornado DDT, but can’t follow up. Sabre manages to hit a PK, but WALTER cuts off the second, but Sabre locks on an octopus. WALTER escapes, but Sabre follows with running uppercuts. WALTER hits the shotgun dropkick to end that bullshit. Sabre slaps WALTER, but eats a big boot and WALTER follows with a German & butterfly suplex for 2. Sabre counters a powerbomb and looks for the octopus, and cranks back on the arm. WALTER escapes and then Sabre slips out, avoids the dropkick and hits the PK. Sabre attacks the arm with kicks, but WALTER kills him with a big palm strike. Sabre looks for the European clutch, but WALTER escapes and decapitates him with a lariat. Sabre counters a powerbomb into a guillotine, but WALTER hits a butterfly suplex to escape. Sabre lays in a series of kicks, but WALTER cuts him off with chops. Sabre keeps trying to fire up with strikes, but WALTER keeps dropping him with single shots. Sabre manages to roll into an arm bar, and then into a triangle choke. WALTER powers out into the powerbomb, hits another and Sabre kicks out! WALTER hits another powerbomb and finally pits Sabre away. WALTER defeated Zack Sabre Jr @ 18:05 via pin [****½] This was an excellent co-main event match, and a great example of how to work a big man vs. little man match. The story was that Sabre was the superior grappler, but constantly got pulled into WALTER’s game. While Sabre was able to link together some great exchanges, WALTER was constantly able to cut him off with a singular move or strike, due to his power and size advantage. They have worked together before and know how to mix their styles very well, and while Sabre tends to dominate matches, it was refreshing to see his opponent take most of the match and make him fight from the bottom. The action was smooth, seamless, and at times very brutal. The match was excellent, and this should give us a rematch, for the title, possibly over Mania weekend; I am all in.

– Darby Allin arrives and asks Sabre for another title shot. He makes the mistake of pissing WALTER off and gets his ass kicked.

WWN Championship Match: Champion Keith Lee vs. Chris Dickinson: Hathaway & Jaka are at ringside. This is Dickinson’s biggest EVOLVE singles match to date and a huge test for him. His partner Jaka has repeatedly stepped up, and this is his chance to do the same. Dickinson rushes Lee at the bell, but Lee quickly fights him off and takes control, working him over in the corner. Dickinson keeps fighting, laying in kicks, but lee again stops that and knocks Dickinson to the mat. Hathaway distracts Lee, allowing Dickinson to catch Lee off the rope and hit the Pazuzu bomb for a near fall. Dickinson follows up with kicks and strikes, knee strikes follow and Dickinson covers for 2. Dickinson follows with body shots, and then works over Lee in the corner. Dickinson now grounds the champion, working an inverted cloverleaf. Dickinson follows with more kicks, again covering for 2. Lee counters an Irish whip and hits a corner splash. He then tosses Dickinson across the ring. Dickinson hits a missile dropkick, and then another. Lee catches the high cross, follows with strikes but Dickinson hits a high kick and lariat. Lee is getting pissed, they trade strikes and kicks, working into a double down. They get back to the feet, trade chops and strikes, but neither man is giving in. Dickinson hits corner clotheslines, but Lee cuts him of with a high angle spinebuster. Lee to he second rope and the moonsault connects for 2. Dickinson counters ground zero into a cradle for 2. The enziguri follows and Dickinson again covers for 2. Lee pops Dickinson up and hits the spirit bomb but Dickinson kicks out. Lee heads up top, but Dickinson cuts him off and follows him up. Dickinson hits a reverse SUPER RANA for a good near fall. Dickinson picks up Lee, but Lee escapes and lands elbows. Head butt by Lee, and that gets 2. Lee again looks to go up top, Dickinson cuts him off and follows him up, and the SUPERPLEX follows for 2. Dickinson stalks Lee, follows with strikes and kicks, but Lee hits ground zero and retains. Champion Keith Lee defeated Chris Dickinson @ 16:00 via pin [***¾] This was an overall very good main event, with Dickinson busting his ass to deliver in the main event spot, and Lee being very gracious in his selling to make his challenge look as if he belongs. I loved that Hathaway & Jaka didn’t get involved, and appreciated the ONE distraction spot they engineered, allowing Dickinson to hit a pazuzu bomb for a good near fall and to allow him to take the initial heat. The one thing that hurt the match, and held it back from being great, was that I never believed that Dickinson was winning, and judging by the reaction, the crowd didn’t either.

– Post match, Tracy Williams attacks Lee, setting up his title match for next month.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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

The final score: review Good
The 411
EVOLVE 99 was a show that took a while to get warmed up, and once it did, it ended up being a good show. While not quite as good as the previous three events, the show was good and largely continued the company’s momentum. If cherry-picking matches, Thatcher vs. Yehi, Riddle vs. Jaka, Sabre vs. WALTER, & Lee vs. Dickinson are the must-see matches.