Evolve 105 (5/20/2018)- Livonia, MI
N8 MASTERSON & ORLANDO CHRISTOPHER vs. THE END (Drennan & Parrow) (w/Odinson)- 4/10
They had an okay match that ended when Drennan used his metal club for the DQ. The End then destroyed Masterson & Christopher. Part of me is amused by the theory that this wasn’t originally planned as a DQ but when Christopher hit a chandelier doing a diving elbow drop (to an opponent the whole way across the ring, tied in the tree of woe!) Gabe freaked and didn’t want to risk anything else happening and immediately changed the finish (which came very shortly thereafter).
The End beat up Masterson & Christopher. Ron Niemi said that the fans were chanting “one more time” and had “turned” on Masterson & Christopher, but it sounded a lot more to me like they were chanting “YOU STILL LOST!” at The End. Tracy Williams eventually came out to make the save, resulting in…
TRACY WILLIAMS vs. ODINSON (w/The End)- 6/10
They had a good slugfest with a great finish that played off of Tracy’s work on Odinson’s head.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- good
Catchpoint attacked Tracy Williams after The End left. Stokely told Tracy that he had taken his group and his identity, and that now he would take Tracy’s career. Thankfully, The WorkHorsemen came out to make the save before Catchpoint could do anything to Tracy. Tracy cut a promo saying that even though they had been to war against each other,. He has always respected them, and promised to return the favor by having their backs tonight in their tag title match against Catchpoint.
BRIAN IDOL ATTACKS CURTIS CLAIN AND CUTS A PROMO- he calls out Fred Yehi for the FIP show in this week… which is odd because I thought Yehi was done with WWN.
MYRON REED vs. A.R. FOX (w/the Skulk)- 8.5/10
I laughed at The Skulk insisting on patting down the referee. The match was an excellent combination of athleticism, work on the head and neck with some COMPLETELY CRAZY high-flying. The false finish in the Dragon Sleeper was excellent, and the feeling of chaos created by the dives at the end were the sort of thing that make a match memorable. Definitely an elevating performance for Reed, and Fox continues to up his game back to main event level here in his renewed EVOLVE run. This match was AWESOME. Fox and The Skulk showed Reed respect after the match, in their own odd way.
FRAY: J. Spade (w/Natalya Markova) vs. Matt Delray vs. Bu Ku Dao vs. Snoop Strikes vs. Johnny Flex vs. AC Mack vs. Dominic Garrini vs. Josh Briggs- 4.5/10
This was random guys coming in and doing stuff until Garrini came in and got the first elimination. Then Briggs came in and dominated everyone. He did wind up getting knocked to the outside temporarily (but never left his feet) at which point Garrini eliminated Strikes, setting us up for a showdown between Garrini and Briggs which Briggs won in very convincing fashion. The match was nothing special, but it very effectively accomplished its goal of getting Josh Briggs over a true force to be reckoned with.
DJ Z vs. ZACHARY WENTZ- 7.5/10
A needed win for DJ Z to keep him strong and at the top of the WWN Title contendership list, and a strong performance for Wentz against an established veteran. Wentz’s matches are definitely something to watch, as he comes off more in the Darby Allin vein where his high-flying feels more “daredevil” than “impressive flips.” It sets him apart from guys like Bucks, A.R. Fox, Volador Jr., etc.
SHANE STRICKLAND PROMO- good
He brings everyone who might have missed last night’s show up to speed on his new heelishness and what he did to Matt Riddle last night. He then cut a promo on Darby Allin, vowing to break Darby’s arm just like he did to Riddle last night. Darby then came out and cut a promo telling Strickland that he wasn’t afraid of a broken arm, but was afraid of what he might do to Strickland, and so we started…
SHANE STRICKLAND vs. DARBY ALLIN- 8/10
Strickland did exactly what he said, working over Darby’s arm and utterly destroying it. This time he stopped after the bell rang (well… and a few seconds afterwards) and didn’t get DQed so he even came out of here with the win while looking just as vicious as last night. Darby was his usual hard-fighting self, which made it all the more powerful when even he had to tap out.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- fine
Just like last night, Candy Cartwright appeared gleefully warn Darby that “Jarek is coming,” and just like last night, she got very upset when Darby ignored her, following him to the back and yelling at him the whole way.
TREY MIGUEL vs. AUSTIN THEORY (w/Priscilla Kelly)- 7.25/10
Theory wins in a strong showing by Miguel. Priscilla Kelly managed to not get involved this time, perhaps suspecting that her actions last night already had her in hot water with WWN and EVOLVE officials.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- good
A.R. Fox and the Skulk came out and performed a dance routine that offended Priscilla Kelly because… well… really just because it happened in her general vicinity. Fox then cut a promo telling Austin Theory- one of Fox’s WWA4 students just like the members of the Skulk- that he should stop pretending that he isn’t one of them. Priscilla shouted that Theory is nothing like one of them, and she and Ayla Fox got into a shouting match, ending in Priscilla shoving Ayla, who was held back by the rest of the Skulk. A.R. Fox offered Theory a t-shirt (I assume it was a WWA4 shirt but we never got a good look at it) and told him to think about it. Fox and his crew retreated while Kelly spat on and stomped on the shirt, which Theory looked pleased with.
As far as kicking off a story for Theory and Fox this was a good angle, but if the connection the announcers drew between Theory’s attack on Skulk members Leon Ruff and Liam Grey before their scheduled match last night is supposed to be part of this then I would have liked Fox to be a little more angry. I understand the idea behind him not being angry, but I don’t like it.
EVOLVE TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Catchpoint (Chris Dickinson & Jaka)(c) (w/Stokely Hathaway) vs. The WorkHorsemen (Anthony Henry & James Drake)- 8.75/10
An extremely intense tag team match that had that real “blow-off” feel about it. Tracy Williams came out at one point to chase Stokely away (and Dominic Garrini wasn’t far behind Tracy) but Catchpoint won clean anyway. Despite losing the feud, Drake and Henry came out of this feeling like real players in the company, and got a HUGE ovation from the crowd. That being said… with the WorkHorsemen and The End both now vanquished, who is there left for Catchpoint to face?
AUSTIN THEORY CALLS OUT A.R. FOX- He is angry that Fox “ruined [his] moment” earlier so he will put his WWN Championship on the line against Fox in August when EVOLVE returns to Detroit so he can get revenge.
NO ROPE BREAKS MATCH FOR THE EVOLVE WORLD TITLE: Matt Riddle(c) vs. Keith Lee- 8.75/10
An excellent, hard-hitting brawl that also did a great job of weaving in the stories of Riddle’s injured arm, the size difference between them, and Riddle’s desire to not lose his title. Lee going after Riddle’s injury (similar to Riddle taking advantage of Lee’s injury at the Style Battle Season 1 Finale) was a great little touch because it’s an example of Lee, in his final appearance, displaying the “killer instinct” that Chris Hero told him he needed to find within himself back in Lee’s first appearance (and Hero’s last). Given their history, Riddle was the perfect final opponent for Lee, and the fact that Riddle was champion and could put the belt on the line provides a fine excuse to make Lee’s final match the main event as well as once again pushing Riddle’s “all of my title matches have no rope breaks” gimmick.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- good
Riddle calls out Shane Strickland for a fight so he can get some revenge for last night. Strickland did come out… armed with a chair. The fans called him a pussy. He teased getting the ring but told Riddle he wouldn’t fight him until he was given a title shot.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT #2- This was the goodbye for Keith Lee. First Riddle gave a nice speech about Lee making him a better wrestler and making wrestling fun, then Lee gave his speech and had his usual fun with the crowd. It was touching.
An absolutely AWESOME show from the EVOLVE! The company definitely seems to have found its way again after what felt like a few months of floundering storyline-wise. The roster has been shaken up we’ve got some new blood on the rise, plus some the old crew still killing it in the ring… plus John freakin’ Klinger is coming in on the next show (oh yeah, and Joey Janela) so it should only get better from here on out.
PWG, EVOLVE, AAW, WWN, etc
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