FIP WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH:
Anthony Henry(c) vs. Absolute Andy - 7.75/10
An excellent opener that told the story of Henry realizing that he had to chop Andy down to negate his size advantage so he worked over his leg with kicks and submissions. Andy going for a lot more high risk stuff than he usually does did a good job of getting over the importance of the title and how much Andy is willing to risk for it.
SEVEN-WAY ELIMINATION MATCH FOR A WWN CONTRACT:
Colby Corino vs. Anthony Greene vs. Barrett Brown vs. Cyrus Satin vs. Harlem Bravado vs. John Silver vs. Shotzi Blackheart - 7/10
Shotzi Blackheart wasn't originally supposed to be in this match but she complained that there were no women in it so they let her in. She cut this whole promo about how it's 2019 and women are just as tough as men, etc. and yeah it gets a pop from the crowd, but I would much rather just have her booked in the match from the beginning. This way you save some extra time that you can use for wrestling and, more importantly, you avoid the situation like we have here where letting Shotzi into the match because she is right about this requires you to portray the promotion as being sexist, making the promotion look bad. Instead of showing us how progressive you are by spending time having someone give a speech about equal treatment and correcting the company, show us how progressive you are by having the company lead by example and just treat everyone equally from the get-go. (It also avoids the question why Shotzi is hanging out in the locker room if she's not booked on the show and doesn't have a contract. If you're going to do this then at least have her come through the crowd and hop the barricade.)
And, of course, whenever we do this sort of thing we need a designated sexist for the woman to beat up right away, so Cyrus Satin is given that role and immediately hit with a bunch of moves by Shotzi and eliminated. This makes the company look even sillier for having him in the match in the first place if he's got such a glass jaw.
That bit aside, this was actually a great match. The pacing was excellent, the match was structured to make sure you cheered the babyface (Shotzi, Silver, and Greene) and booed the heels (Colby and Bravado), and the results were rather unpredictable as it felt like all of the remaining wrestlers aside from Brown had a real chance to win the contract (Shotzi because of the pre-match segment and having picked up some recent wins in SHINE, Harlem Bravado has been chasing an EVOLVE contract for months, Greene got over big on last month's EVOLVE show in this same building, Colby because of his current angle, and Silver has been booked to be impressive but never quite able to pull off the win since coming to EVOLVE a few months ago).
TITLE VS. TITLE MATCH:
Allysin Kay(SHINE Champion) vs. Miyu Yamashita (TOKYO Princess of Princess Title) - 7.25/10
Before the match Mercedes Martinez came out and accused Kay of ducking her (Kay missed a flight so she couldn't make a scheduled title match last month). She said that Kay had better not lose the title tonight because Mercedes wants to take the title from her in their match here at La Boom in June.
Well... guess who went and lost the title. Mercedes Martinez is not going to be happy about this, and when Mercedes Martinez is not happy, people tend to get hurt. Allysin Kay is also very unhappy, because the she lost by referee stoppage while in a choke, even though she never lost consciousness.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Meh. Kay attacked Yamashita and had to be pulled off of her by the referees. Yamashita cut a promo on Jay inviting her to come to Japan for a rematch. This came across as WAY too nice and polite of a promo to cu ton someone who just attacked you after a match. That being said, based on how great this match was, I'd definitely be interested in watching whatever Tokyo Joshi Pro show this rematch winds up on.
AUSTIN THEORY & BRANDI LAUREN vs. DARBY ALLIN & PRISCILLA KELLY - 6/10
Priscilla is wearing a hat and sunglasses and is not acting anything like the Priscilla Kelly we've seen over the past two years in EVOLVE. This was supposed to be a "mixed tag" but the referee just let them wrestle like it was a tornado match. Standard stuff happened. The heels won, with Brandi pinning Kelly, which is rather surprising with the hindsight that this was going to be Darby's last match in EVOLVE.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Fine. The heels beat the babyfaces down after the match until Josh Briggs ran them off. Briggs helped Darby up and Darby told Briggs to "go get that championship."
TEAM wXw (Alexander James, Jurn Simmons, & Marius Al-Ani) vs. THE UNWANTED (Eddie Kingston, Joe Gacy, & Shane Strickland) (w/Colby Corino) - 7.25/10
The Unwanted jumped the bell on Team wXw, and while their backs were turned, to boot. Very unsportsmanlike. This was a great action-match, though I found watching this particular wXw team- and Alexander James and bald Jurn in particular- be the babyfaces to be a little weird after all of my exposure to them in wXw.
WWN TITLE MATCH:
J.D. Drake(c) vs. Kazusada Higuchi - 6.75/10
They started off doing "take turns letting the other guy hit you to see who can hit harder" chop battle. I know I've railed against this spot a lot (especially recently) but it didn't bother me here, and I'd like to explain the reasons for that:
1. These are two guys who have never been in the same ring before, so this sort of feeling out process combined with the desire to measure the opponent makes a bit more sense. Throw in the fact that that they were both on yesterday's EVOLVE show where they saw- and heard- each other throwing some of the loudest chops I've ever heard in my life, and you can see how a sort of curiosity would develop. Compare to New Japan where it's the same guys wrestling each other doing the "take turns letting the opponent hit you" spot, where the same guys have wrestled each other every night in a tag match for eight straight shows and done this same thing so they probably know how hard the other one can hit by now and it becomes a spot that they do rather than a spontaneous occurrence built on emotion.
2. This happened at the very beginning of the match. This is a decent way to start off a wrestling match (especially between two people who have been in the same ring before). It is not a good thing to do in the middle of a match where a lot has already happened that should be raising the competitors' (and especially the babyfaces') ire. "You hit me with illegal foreign object and/or tried to illegally choke me with a camera cord and/or done various other illegal things to me... so now we shall calmly take turns letting the other hit us" is not a natural human emotional progression.
After that battle ended the match had some good and exciting spots, but it felt way too rushed. Like they skipped a chunk of the match after transitioning out of that opening phase and then skipped another slightly smaller chunk between the middle and end. It felt like watching a tape of a great match that then had to be clipped to fit into the TV show.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Good. After Higuchi left, The Unwanted came out and attacked J.D. Drake. As usual, Colby came out first and got his butt kicked, but in doing so created an opportunity for his stablemates to attack their target from behind. This sort of thing has happened several times now and I believe Colby himself has yet to pick up a win, so I'm pretty sure there is some sort of significance to it.
Drake actually held his own against both tag team champs pretty well but was then knocked silly by a knee from Strickland. I liked the way that although Drake never actually fought back after that point, it still took a hell of a lot more punishment for them to actually knock him off of his feet. No one came out to help J.D. Drake, which both I and the commentators found a little odd considering that his tag team partner Anthony Henry is in the building. Strickland did his arm-snapping move to Drake. The Unwanted then posed over Drake's fallen body, with Strickland holding up Drake's WWN Championship.
DAMNATION (Daisuke Sasaki, Tetsuya Endo, & Soma Takao) vs. A.R. FOX & THE SKULK (Adrian Alanis & Leon Ruff) (w/Ayla Fox & the Skulk) - 8/10
The usual six-man craziness, though really nothing you haven't seen within that context before.
A good show from the WWN. The action was all good, we got a good mix of talent from across the various promotions as well as some good storyline advancement for the two main WWN promotions (SHINE and EVOLVE). Given the composition of the card, I'm not really sure what else I could have asked for.