Evolve 6: Aries vs. Taylor (11/20/2010)- Union City, NJ
OPENING PROMOS- all good
Jimmy Jacobs (4-1) told us that he needed a win tonight to either keep pace with or pass Chuck Taylor for the leader in both wins and overall record. Drake Younger notes that if he wins tonight, he will be the first person in EVOLVE to make it to 4-0. Johnny Gargano said he was going to beat Jimmy Jacobs tonight so that they would both be 4-2.
After the usual explanation of EVOLVE video we got the usual little documentary-bit videos of the main eventers. Chuck Taylor was asleep on a couch. Austin Aries was in a suit and showed up at the arena, said high to some younger wrestlers, then shooed them away. My big takeaway so far is that the building they’re in looks like a total dump.
DRAKE YOUNGER(3-0) vs. SILAS YOUNG(0-1)- 6/10
Austin Aries joined Lenny Leonard on commentary tonight, as Leonard F. Chikarason was “on assignment.” If he’s not going to come back with something to show us for this “assignment,” just say he’s sick or on vacation or something like that.
This for a guy who is so determined to stay undefeated, Drake sure seems to make making a really stupid move by going for a suplex onto a chair. He’s lucky Silas reversed it. Other than that, this was a good action opener. Silas got the upset win, keeping Drake away from the top of the leaderboard. Drake was very upset after the match, kicking the guardrail and throwing a chair and so for.
FOUR-WAY MATCH: Rich Swann(0-1) vs. Tony Nese(0-0) vs. A.R. Fox(0-0) vs. Scott Reed(0-0)- 6.5/10
Fox went for his kick-flip off the post and came up way short of everyone else. He also almost hit his head on the steps on the way dawn. It was terrifying. The rest of the match was a lot of good action stuff, and missing so badly earlier didn’t stop the crowd was falling in love with Fox. Fox was the guy who picked up the win in the end, so that worked out well.
DRAKE YOUNGER IS ANNOYED AT HIMSELF BACKSTAGE- good
LARRY DALLAS & SOME HOT CHICKS SHOW UP AND SIT IN THE “RESERVED” SECTION- The reserved section has Champaign and pictures of Larry. The fans chanted “WOMEN’S WRESTLING!” in protest of Larry bringing eye candy into the building.
BOBBY FISH(0-4) vs. KYLE O’REILLY(2-2)- 8/10
This was the usual Fish vs. O’Reilly awesomeness. Fish picking up his first win felt like a huge moment after all of the build it had gotten, and the idea of him getting that win over the first man who beat him- back in the opening match of the very first show- was a nice artistic touch.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- great
Fish cut a great babyface promo, and Kyle O’Reilly showed Bobby respect as well.
SUPER SMASH BROTHERS(0-0) vs. UP IN SMOKE (3-0)- 6.75/10
SSB look tiny compared to their 2020 selves. They lost a solid match to Cheech & Cloudy. In their post-match interview, Cheech & Cloudy said that 2011 would be their year. And it might well be, but this tag team division is so unexciting that it’s really hard to care.
BOBBY FISH BACKSTAGE- fine
Someone who I don’t recognize but who lost tonight congratulates Bobby on his first EVOLVE win. Bobby thanks him, and gives him the advice to just keep sticking with it “until it clicks.”
Bobby then calls up his girlfriend (the one who had been urging him to quit wrestling over the phone after his loss at EVOLVE 3) to give her the good news.
RELAXED RULES MATCH: Jon Moxley(0-1) vs. Homicide(0-0)- 7.75/10
Homicide snubbed Larry Dallas on a handshake, earning him loud cheers from the crowd. They had a great brawl, with Moxley working over Homicide’s perennially-injured shoulder. Moxley won by stoppage when the referee stopped the match for the sake of Homicide’s future. My one complaint about this match was that I thought it got way too violent for merely Relaxed Rules, but other than that, it was great.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- started off good but went on for WAAAAAAAAY too long.
Homicide got angry and kicked the referee. Moxley taunted him that doing that in EVOLVE would get him suspended. Homicide grabbed his fork, and Moxley goading him into stabbing him with it in the hopes of making Homicide suffer further punishment from the office. Homicide proceeded to stab Moxley not just in the face, but also in the ground and in the throat with the fork. Homicide kept daring Moxley to hit him back but Moxley wouldn’t. This would prove to be Homicide’s only match in EVOLVE, so I’m guessing he was just banned for life, and it’s pretty hard to give him any lesser punishment with how long this stabbing went on… which, by the way, was far too long, to the point where it got quite boring and I just wanted something else to happen. There is only so long you can sit there and watch Moxley goad Homicide into stabbing him in the head with a fork, and that time is a lot less than the ten minutes this went.
Moxley eventually said the N word, causing Homicide to shove the ring-bell hammer in his mouth, and then leave. Then Moxley ran his mouth some more, so Homicide came back but decided not to attack Moxley. Homicide went to leave again and Moxley just kept running his mouth until Homicide came back a third time. Moxley tried to run away but Homicide caught him and gave him a piledriver onto a chair. Homicide told Moxley that this was not over, but as I said before, Homicide never wrestled in EVOLVE again.
CHUCK TAYLOR & JOHNNY GARGANO BACKSTAGE- interesting
Taylor has proposed some sort of deal to Gargano. Gargano doesn’t seem to trust it, but didn’t seem to rule out accepting it, either.
AUSTIN ARIES EXERCISES BACKSTAGE- sure, why not?
LARRY DALLAS HAS BOUGHT SOME PROMO TIME- fine
He tells us he is going to start “sponsoring” fighters. He brings his two female companions into the ring. He tells the redhead (I rewound it three times but couldn’t catch her name) that he has bribed the office into giving the job as a backstage interviewer that she has wanted, and he sends her off to go do that.
He lets his other female companion introduce the first wrestler he has signed (Lenny Leonard later told us that this second female was Reby Sky). She reveals that it’s Chuck Taylor, and while doing so, cut a decent cheap-heat promo. Many hugs were exchanged. Chuck then cut a promo saying that once he beat Austin Aries in the main event, he would be unstoppable.
ADAM COLE(1-2) vs. RICOCHET(2-2)- 7.5/10
Gabe sure knew the future when he saw it.
JIMMY JACOBS(4-1) vs. JOHNNY GARGANO(3-2)- 7.75/10
The sense of dislike between these two was quite palpable. Both guys worked the head and we got some pretty creative spots. Unfortunately, “creative” does not always mean good, and the finish here was absolutely not good. Said finish was Gargano “rolling through” the Contra Code and rolling over Jimmy and rolling him up… which is essentially no-selling Jimmy’s finisher, as even if you “roll through” the Contra Code, you’re still starting out by taking the same bump that supposedly does debilitating damage to the opponent every other time.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- meh
Gargano, Larry Dallas, and Reby Sky celebrated Johnny’s win. Jimmy Jacobs cut a promo on Larry Dallas telling him he didn’t belong in a wrestling ring. I liked that Jimmy called out that Larry’s supposed “VIP section” was, in Jimmy’s words “pretty bootleg.” It’s always weird when someone does this gimmick and they have this supposed “VIP section” and it’s just plastic folding chairs and a little table and some booze. Having Jimmy call this out turns Larry not really being as rich as he pretends to be into part of the storyline.
Larry didn’t like being on Jimmy’s bad side, so he offered to not only take him to a club tonight, but also to let him have Reby Sky. Reby was not happy with this, but Larry convinced her to go along with it. Jimmy insulted Reby and joked about her having large breasts. I choose to believe that Jimmy turned down a night with Reby Sky because he still does and always will love only Lacey.
Meanwhile, fans chanted “YOU ARE GAY!” at either or Jimmy. It was 2010. Reby responded to Jimmy by cutting a promo on him and slapping him. When she went to slap him a second time, he blocked it and spanked her. Again... 2010. Actually, 2010 is even late for both of those things.
This segment mostly didn’t work for me. Jimmy Jacobs feuding with Larry Dallas makes sense, but Jimmy has been so consistently unlikable in EVOLVE that I’m having trouble cheering for him. Also, it should be noted that Reby really hadn’t anything to warrant Jimmy insulting her. Yeah, she insulted the fans earlier, but Jimmy shouldn’t care about that because he’s pretty much a heel, too. The conflict here feels natural, but I don’t have anyone to root for. Also, the spanking part seemed totally unnecessary, and Reby happily going back to Larry after he was ready to pimp her out isn’t very good for someone who you want to make into an actual character (and there is no reason to let her cut two promos if you don’t have plans to keep booking her).
JON MOXLEY PROMO- weird
He was talking about being “indestructible” while bending his own pinky back with pliers.
CHUCK TAYLOR(4-1) vs. Austin Aries(0-0)- 7.75/10
This was the first time outside of a few matches in CHIKARA that I have seen Chuck Taylor really look like a main event singles wrestler. Unfortunately for Chuck, he didn’t pick up the win and take sole possession of first place on the leaderboard. The story of the match was Aries working over Chuck’s head. Chuck tried a Sole Food off the top rope, which looked terrible.
AUSTIN ARIES PROMO- He puts Taylor over for his determination, but repeats Bryan Danielson’s criticism of Taylor from the previous show, saying Chuck isn’t applying himself enough and not taking things seriously.
HOMICIDE, ADAM COLE, & DRAKE YOUNGER BACKSTAGE- good
Homicide creeps Cole out by showing him the fork with Moxley’s blood on it. Drake Younger shows up to chat with Homicide and insists that Homicide show him around New York and consume alcohol with him. They offer for Cole to come along but he turns them down. After they leave, Cole tells the camera “I do not know if I belong here.” And apparently he decided that he didn’t, as this was his final appearance in EVOLVE until he returned in 2018 on loan from WWE.
SILAS YOUNG CONFRONTS JOHNNY GARGANO- good
Remember that cliffhanger at the end of the first show with Silas Young? Apparently he did decide to go and party with everyone. Unfortunately for Silas, he’s an alcoholic, and the reason he hasn’t been seen in EVOLVE since the first show is that he’s been at home, trying to get clean. Now he’s going to take his rage out on Gargano when he gets him in the ring. Silas’ promo was good, but once again, we seem to have a feud without a babyface here, as Gargano is definitely a heel, and Silas… dude: YOU chose to go out and party with them. I wasn’t there so I don’t know exactly what happened, but unless Gargano spiked your drink or forced the alcohol down your throat, the decision to drink was YOURS. Don’t blame Gargano for that.
This was a pretty good show from EVOLVE, but one that I can’t help but feel disappointed after watching. The lack of likable people is a worrying sign (I can’t think of anyone I feel any real desire to see succeed other than Bobby Fish and Drake Younger), and knowing that ROH contracts mean that Cole and O’Reilly are out the door takes away two guys who have at least been on a journey of some kind (especially Cole). The wrestling is good and I like the atmosphere, but I don’t have much of a reason to root for anyone. The next show isn’t until April of 2011, so hopefully the reason for that is that Gabe has realized the problem and done something of a soft reset with his midcard, taking the time to figure out who his new crop of guys to focus on will be.
PWG, EVOLVE, AAW, WWN, etc
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