EVOLVE 78





EVOLVE 78

By Big Red Machine
From February 24, 2017

EVOLVE 78

MATT RIDDLE vs. ANTHONY HENRY - 6.5/10


A good showing for Henry against one of Evolve's top names. Riddle showed him respect after the match to get this point across.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Meh. Matt Riddle cuts a promo saying that he wants to win lots of belts in 2017, not just the Progress Atlas Championship... but first he wants to kick Drew Galloway's ass. Instead of Galloway out comes Riddle's Catchpoint teammates. Catchpoint leader Tracy Williams comes out and tells Riddle to settle down because tonight is about Fred Yehi, who is not only the current FIP World Heavyweight Champion, but is also challenging for the Evolve World Title, both of which are belts that Riddle said he wants to win this year. Yehi then cut a good promo saying that he would beat Thatcher for the title tonight reminding us that the last time he was in this building he made Tony Nese tap out to win the Evolve World Tag Team Titles. Chris Dickinson then grabbed the mic from Yehi and shouted that he getting tired of talking and he wants his match right now!

I usually really like the way Gabe books the shows with these transitional segments because I think it does a lot to help the shows flow better, but sometimes they can come off as a bit forced, which is how I felt about this one. I also thought that the way they tried to transition over from Riddle's promo to Yehi's- (i.e. the stuff Tracy Williams said) made Tracy come off kind of like a jerk. It felt a little bit like he was out here and kind of rebuking Riddle really for no reason at all.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT PART 2 - Much better. Instead of Dickinson & Jaka's scheduled opponents, Ethan Page's Gatekeepers, Larry Dallas comes out instead because his experience as a nationally syndicated journalist allows him to sniff out the major stories. He notes that a win tonight could put Jaka & Dickinson in line for a shot at the Evolve World Tag Team Titles, currently held by their fellow Catchpoint members Tracy Williams & Fred Yehi (who, by the way, do not seem to have their belts with him). Williams replies by reiterating his usual point that "Catchpoint is about competition" and then shuts down any further questioning from Dallas by reiterating that "tonight is about Fred Yehi." Dickinson seems kind of annoyed that this, but then again "kind of annoyed" is Dickinson's default state. Jaka calms him down about and we get Catchpoint handshakes all around.

AUSTIN THEORY vs. DARBY ALLIN - 5/10


Priscilla Kelly, who is part of the Uncle John's Friends stable in FIP (which Darby Allin is also a member of) same out to watch the match at ringside. Speaking of Darby Allin, apparently he and Ethan Page have both been told that if they interact in any way tonight, they will both be barred from all WWN-related shows and activities over WrestleMania weekend.
The match was very good for the time it got, with lots of cool athletic moves. It was nice to see Darby Allin get the chance to just be an athletic wrestler rather than the crash test dummy that he always seems to be in Evolve. Theory gets the win in his Evolve debut. Priscilla Kelly walked off right after the match ended, so we can assume she isn't happy with Darby's loss.

JASON KINCAID vs. ETHAN PAGE (w/the Gatekeepers) - 6.75/10


Another strong showing for Kincaid. He really stands out because of his unique style. ROH really missed the ball by not signing him as quickly as possible. After he match Chris Dickinson & Jaka came out and said that they wanted their match right now so we got...

THE GATEKEEPERS vs. CATCHPOINT (Chris Dickinson & Jaka) - 6.75/10


Jaka and Dickinson pick up the win. Apparently they are undefeated as a team in Evolve.

TRACY WILLIAMS vs. ACH - 7.75/10


Great match! WONDERFUL selling by ACH. This ACH feels SOOOO much different than the guy in random spotfests we saw in ACH (and based on some comments that both Lenny Leonard has made about ACH wanting to "perform his art his way" or "his vision" of his art, I get the feeling that maybe the spottiness was Delirious-mandated). ACH picks up another big win over a member of Catchpoint. Lenny Leonard is pushing that a win tomorrow night would put him in line for an Evolve World Title match WrestleMania weekend.

JEFF COBB vs. DREW GALLOWAY - 5.75/10


I'm sorry. I just don't understand what people see in Cobb.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Good. Galloway calls out Riddle and says that they don't have to wait until tomorrow night. Riddle comes out and they brawl. Galloway pushes Riddle into Cobb as Cobb was getting up from being laid out by the Future Shock DDT at the finish of the match so Cobb hit Riddle with the Tour of the Islands. Drew slid out of the ring as the rest of Catchpoint came out to check on Riddle. Cobb and Jaka got into a shoving match. Meanwhile, Galloway taunted Riddle on the outside.

ZACK SABRE JR. vs. KEITH LEE - 6.75/10


This was a really fun match. Lee has great facials, and got to show his wrestling acumen a bit here. He is also a big strong dude who Zack could basically climb all over to lock in his cool submission holds. They did a lot of stuff to emphasize Lee's size advantage and Zack did his usual work on the arm. The match was very good.

STOKELY HATHAWAY PROMO - awesome.

EVOLVE WORLD TITLE MATCH:
Timothy Thatcher(c) (w/Stokely Hathaway) vs. Fred Yehi (w/Tracy Williams, Chris Dickinson, & Jaka)- 8.25/10


Matt Riddle is suspiciously absent from Catchpoint's corner in his match. Hmm...

The match was awesome. A nice combination of grapple-f*ck and Yehi's signature stomping maneuvers and other maneuvers targeting the foot. Yehi definitely has the potential to be a tippy-top star for Evolve by the end of the year.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT - good
Williams tries to console Yehi after this big loss. Meanwhile, Dickinson & Jaka have picked up their teammates' Evolve World Tag Team Championship belts. After a brief stare-down they return the belts to their rightful owners and we get some very intense Catchpoint handshakes all around.

Yet another great show from Evolve, although slightly below the quality of wrestling we usually get from them.

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