Evolve 31: Hero vs. Galloway (8/8/2014)- Ybor City, Florida
STYLE BATTLE 2014 TOURNAMENT ROUND ROBIN CHALLENGE MATCH: Timothy Thatcher vs. Drew Gulak- 7.25/10
This “new chapter” in the history of EVOLVE starts off with a match that feels even more appropriate with hindsight, as Timothy Thatcher makes his EVOLVE debut in an excellent technical contest with Drew Gulak. This was as just about as EVOLVE as a match can get.
STYLE BATTLE 2014 TOURNAMENT ROUND ROBIN CHALLENGE MATCH: James Raideen vs. Biff Busick- 6.75/10
LINCE DORADO & DOS BEN DEJOS vs. JESUS DE LEON & THE JUICY PRODUCT (David Starr & J.T. Dunn)- 6.5/10
A nice little fun six-man spotfest to change the pace up a bit.
MATT SYDAL vs. JOHNNY GARGANO- 7.75/10
Sydal got a great reaction in his first US match since his release from WWE. These two then went out and put on a GREAT wrestling match. Sydal got the win in his EVOLVE debut. Gargano was not happy about losing, as evidenced by the crazed manner in which he responded to Joanna Rose’s attempt at a post-match interview. It did, however, serve as good build to his big blow-off against Rich Swann that will main event the final show of this weekend’s triple-shot.
THE PREMIER ATHLETE BRAND (w/Su Yung) vs. THE INNER-CITY MACHINE GUNS (Rich Swann & A.R. Fox) (w/Ivelisse)- 8/10
Gargano tried to attack Swann before the match but Swann cut him off by knocking him off of the apron. EVOLVE officials then dragged Johnny to the back. While Johnny’s attack was unsuccessful, it did distract Fox and Swann enough to allow the P.A.B. to jump them and Ivelisse from behind to start things off. From there they had a pretty standard story tag match with great action and a very exciting last five minutes or so. P.A.B. won, but Swann still tried to convince Su Yung to leave them for him because he likes her and they don’t always treat her so well.
EVOLVE TITLE MATCH: Chris Hero(c) vs. Drew Galloway- 7.75/10
I had completely forgotten what beardless Galloway looks like. He looks SOOOOO much younger.
This was supposed to be a non-title match but Hero insisted on putting it on the line. They told a fine story of Drew wanting to prove himself against Hero, which was definitely the right story to tell in order to establish Drew as the new top babyface in the company, as he came out of this match as your new Evolve World Champion.
DREW GALLOWAY PROMO- excellent babyface stuff.
A great show from EVOLVE, and an extremely historic one as well. As Lenny Leonard made clear at the beginning of the show, this show was intended to “start the second chapter of this company” and it certainly did that with the influx of new talent and Drew’s title win. When looked at in hindsight, however, I think a better comparison is to another period of change in a Gabe-booked promotion: ROH’s Reborn series. This show- or even this weekend, were just the beginning of the changes. This show is the EVOLVE equivalent of ROH Reborn: Stage One, and, coincidentally, ROH’s big Reborn series lasted for the seven shows, in hindsight, the big series of changes of in EVOLVE really takes place over the seven shows from Evolve 31 to Evolve 37, and hopefully, within the next few weeks I’ll be looking at all of them. See you soon with Evolve 32: Sydal vs. Ricochet.
PWG, EVOLVE, AAW, WWN, etc
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