By Big Red Machine
From September 22, 2017

ZACK SABRE JR. PROMO - He basically said "let's ignore all of these backstage headlines from the past week for the moment and focus on the wrestling because I and all of the other wrestlers are here to wrestle."


Lots of mat-wrestling and striking, like you would expect from evolve, but with a very Jason Kincaid flavor. They started off with Zack doing his submissions but Kincaid managing to use his flexibility, athleticism and hand-standing abilities to find ways out, which led to Zack getting frustrated. From there Kincaid started to take over, and he had Zack on the defensive for long enough that it really looked like Kincaid might beat the champ here, but Zack kept kicking out. Now it was Kincaid who started to get frustrated and he took some time to do his meditation pose where he finds his inner peace lest he snap and bad things happen, and Lenny Leonard said that it was the first time we'd seen him do this during a match. I'm not actually if that's true or not, but it did work as something to give me some hope that this angle with Kincaid possibly snapping is actually moving along rather than just treading water. Kincaid doing his meditating gave Zack time to recover and Zack took over and eventually pulled out the win via submission with the CFS1 (at least I think that's what his wacky submission where he sits on the opponent's back and grabs both of their arms is called).

STEPHEN WOLF vs. AUSTIN THEORY (w/Priscilla Kelly) - 4.5/10

A fine showcase win for Theory.

DARBY ALLIN vs. TRACY WILLIAMS (w/Stokely Hathaway) - 6.75/10

Lenny Leonard noted that Stokely was nowhere near as well groomed and well dressed as he usually is, speculating that Timothy Thatcher's departure from both EVOLVE and from Stokely's employ has been causing him quite a bit of distress.

They did some wrestling, then brawled into the crowd, and as Tracy was choking Darby on the guardrail or something like that to set up for a spot, some asshole fan decided that rather than getting out of the way like he should be doing, he was going to lean in and try to take a selfie with himself, Tracy and Darby. I don't know if he got his picture (though I really hope he didn't) but as Tracy sent Darby flipping back over the guardrail, his foot smacked into this asshole's drink and spilled most of it. I don't know if they did that on purpose, but I truly hope so.

Stokely came over to yell at the same asshole fan, who responded to this by trying to get a selfie with Stokely... and as a result he now has a nice picture of himself with his big, douchebag smile while Stokely Hathaway angrily flips him off behind his back.

They had a very good match with Darby showing that he can hang with Williams as a technical wrestler. The finish saw Darby go for the Gibson Lock and Tracy kept kicking him in the face to prevent him from locking it in but Darby still never let go of Tracy's legs and just kept going for it until Stokely jumped up on the apron to distract the referee and Williams poked Darby in the eye to escape. Williams then nailed Darby with a lariat for the win. Maybe I'm wrong, but this is the first time I can actually remember Williams out-and-out cheating since his heel turn back in the spring.

DJ Z vs. FRED YEHI - 7.5/10

A great showing from DJ Z, and the usual unorthodox offensive greatness from Yehi. I'd expect to see DJ Z back in a WWN promotion in the future.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Weird and bad. Jarek 1:20, a wrestler with (I kid you not) a magician gimmick, showed up claiming he was sent out here by WWN officials to give Fred Yehi "a bonus, based off of the audience response to that match." He was given $500 and milked the crowd for each hundred to be given to Yehi, with the crowd chanting for Jarek to "GIVE HIM MORE!" Jarek then announced that he thought that Yehi's performance was only worth "five-hundred pennies," and magically transformed the Benjamins into Washingtons, then threw them at Fred. Jarek then walked off with Fred's money. You'd think Yehi would have chased after him or something but he didn't.
This whole segment made very little sense. If WWN management was going to give Yehi a performance bonus based on the crowd's reaction, why wouldn't Gabe or Sal or a referee or whoever be sent out to do it? Why would they give the money to another wrestler to do this? And not just any other wrestler, but a heel with a magician gimmick, who seems quite likely to just steal the money?

Then Jarek just walked backstage, where you would assume WWN management was probably pretty pissed at him, which begs the question of why he didn't just run out the door with the money? The only explanation that I can think of was that he is going to give the money back to WWN management and was just trying to make some sort of weird point that he didn't think Yehi deserved the money, but if he just gives the money back to WWN officials, they'll just go ahead and give it to Yehi, won't they?

KEITH LEE & MATT RIDDLE vs. CATCHPOINT (Chris Dickinson & Jaka) (w/Stokely Hathaway & Tracy Williams) - 8/10

Awesome tag team action, with Riddle as the bro in peril. Riddle and Lee worked extremely well together... except for the two time they accidentally hit each other, the first of which allowed Catchpoint to take back control of the match, and the second soon led to Riddle getting pinned by Dickinson. An excellent finish to set up Riddle defending against Dickinson in the near future and to build some dissension between Riddle and Lee for their inevitable rematch down the road. Speaking of which...

POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Very good. Stokely grabbed Riddle's WWN Championship and started to parade around the ring with it before Riddle gave chase and got it back. Catchpoint then engaged in a shouting match with Lee and Riddle before finally leaving the ring. All of this served to get Riddle even more angry than he already was, is that it becomes more understandable when he started to get angry at Lee. Lee offered him the fist-bump of friendship like Riddle had done after their match at Evolve 87, and this time it was Riddle who hesitated... but instead of eventually accepting it like Lee did, Riddle smacked Lee's hand away, pie-faced him, then shoved his WWN Championship in Lee's face before angrily walking off.

Work Horsemen (Anthony Henry & James Drake)(c) vs. TROLL BOYS (Ethan Page & ACH) - 6.75/10

This match had an odd feeling about it, as it almost seemed structured as if the Troll Boys were in the babyface role. And now that Henry and Drake, who offered to put the titles up for the chance to prove the Troll Boys' comments about them on commentary last month to be wrong, have lost the belts cleanly to the team whose gimmick is that they disrespect the fans, the company, and the sport, they almost feel like they have to be heels just because they failed so spectacularly that it makes me angry at them.

Final Thoughts
A great show from EVOLVE, although it was certainly brought down a bit by the sub-par main event. Tomorrow's show, with the Troll Boys as the tag champs, should be quite interesting.

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