By Big Red Machine
From November 10, 2019
MIKE VERNA & KEKOA vs. THE UNWANTED (Sean Maluta & Colby Corino) - 6/10
Everyone looked good. The Unwanted picked up a much-needed win.
UNWANTED SEGMENT - Interesting. Eddie Kingston cut a promo saying that Joe Gacy would do tonight when Colby Corino failed to do last night and defeat A.R. Fox. Colby jumps up and insists to Eddie that he almost had Fox beat and just needs another chance but Kingston said he wasn’t good enough, just like his father. This caused Colby to slap Eddie Kingston and walk off. Kingston was amused by this, and Lenny Leonard suggested that he might have gained some more respect for Colby over the incident.
REINA GONZALEZ vs. ALEX GARCIA - meh squash
This went on longer than it needed to.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Fine. Reina beat her opponent up after the match, then cut a promo lamenting the level of competition she has been given.
BABATUNDA vs. BRANDON TAGGART - 5.75/10
An enjoyable hoss fight. This was the best Babatunde has looked so far, and Taggart felt like he came out of this like a bigger star despite the loss simply because he got more offense in on Babatunde than anyone else so far.
Announced for next month is WALTER VS. THATCHER!
AUSTIN THEORY vs. CURT STALLION - 6.75/10
I thought Theory was only around as long as he was Evolve Champion. He lost the title last night, so why is he still here? He pointed at Adam Cole- who is here doing a signing- on his way to the ring. I’m going to be pretty annoyed if that doesn’t pay off in an EVOLVE ring.
They went about eleven minutes, with Theory controlling most of it. The match was going along well and approaching the point of being great when Anthony Greene showed up to distract Stallion, leading to Stallion getting rolled up and pinned, which is the same angle we did with them last month. Because G-d forbid Austin Theory put a second person over clean on his way out the door.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - HATED IT! Greene distracted Stallion so that Harlem Bravado could jump him from behind and the heels beat Stallion down, ending in a Tornado Unprettier onto a chair. The heels then all had a party for Theory, saying he was the reason that Triple H watches NXT and talking about how great Theory was. If Anthony Greene had gotten down on his knees and sucked Theory’s dick it wouldn’t have been out of tone for this at all. Eventually the Skulk- “the family that Austin Theory left behind”- came out to the entranceway as Theory was leaving, and after a brief stare-down with A.R. Fox, Theory was allowed to go on his way.
What the f*ck, Gabe?! The unrepentant douchebag does not deserve a happy ending! He should be sent off with his tail tucked between his legs! I get that this was supposed to be an inversion of the “indy sendoff” trope but COME ON! This was Austin Theory causing one me last frustration on his way out the door.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT #2 - I didn’t like this one, either. Fox headed to the back, and the Skulk said they wanted to start their match against Greene & Bravado now but Matt Sydal came out and cut a promo on them. The gist of this is that he was upset that after nearly having his career ended last night, Leon Ruff didn’t even apologize to him in the locker room. He railed against the lack of respect taught at A.R. Fox’s WWA4 training center and saying that his training at the WWN Training Center is much better. This alone is something I wouldn’t have really liked, as it strays way too close to the whole “they’re not really trying to hurt each other” line of worked-shootiness (obviously they’re not kayfabe intending to end each other’s careers, but the idea that an apology would be necessary is too insider, IMO), but throw in the fact that Sydal tried to incorporate his whole “help you open your third eye” schtick into his anger and it completely derailed this promo.
Anyway, Sydal wants in on the match, so we wind up with…
MATT SYDAL, HARLEM BRAVADO, & ANTHONY GREENE (w/Brandi Lauren) vs. THE SKULK (Liam Gray, Leon Ruff, & Adrian Alanis)- 7.25/10
Great babyface in peril stuff and a great heel finish, successfully getting over both Sydal’s new heel attitude and (along with the earlier attack on Stallion) Greene’s new finisher.
AVERY TAYLOR vs. VIPRESS (w/Mr. Ruda) - no rating, never happened. Fine segment
Brandi Lauren jumped Taylor before the match, ending with a guillotine on the guardrail. It’s nice to see them do something with Brandi that doesn’t involve Shotzi Blackheart. Brandi thinks that this is her “woman’s division,” so she assaults Avery for having the temerity to win a match that Brandi was also in here in EVOLVE (back at Evolve 135, as Lenny Leonard helpfully reminded us).
ANTHONY GUTIERREZ CALLS OUT THE UNWANTED - Fine. He doesn’t care who he gets; he just wants a match with one of them right now. This challenge results in…
ANTHONY GUTIERREZ vs. MIKE DONOVAN - no rating, meh segment
Gutierrez won in moments with the armbar. He then got jumped by the Unwanted. Ruas came out to go after Kingston, resulting in the scheduled…
ARTURO RUAS vs. EDDIE KINGSTON - no rating
They wrestled for a bit, with the story being Kingston going to the eyes whenever he got into trouble. Eventually Natalya Markova came out and gave Kingston a wrench, which he hit Ruas in the eye with for a DQ. Another frustratingly short match and another Unwanted DQ. Also, Natalya Markova is just SOOOOOOOO meh.
ALLYSIN KAY vs. SHOTZI BLACKHEART - 6/10
On commentary, Reina Gonzalez pushed the idea that she didn’t care about getting DQed if she had to; all she cared about was being the last woman standing at the end of the night. The match itself was solid enough, and Shotzi beating the Shine Champion came off like a big deal.
JOE GACY vs. A.R. FOX (w/Ayla Fox) - 7/10
They told a story about Fox’s expertise at both hitting and countering the Ace Crusher. Gacy picked up the clean win, which the announcers put over as a HUGE deal. They also put over him kicking out of Lo Mein Pain as a huge deal, which I found weird, as it never came across to me as a particularly protected me.
EVOLVE TITLE MATCH:
Josh Briggs(c) vs. J.D. Drake vs. Anthony Henry - 7/10
The story of the match was Henry being the little weasel waiting on the outside and only coming in when it was advantageous for him. The finish saw Drake seem to have things won when Henry broke things up, with Henry getting pinned by Briggs soon afterwards. The announcers pushed this as Henry once again costing Drake the Evolve Championship.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Good. Drake attacked Henry after the match and kept beating him up. Briggs came back out to break it up but Drake floored him with a punch. Drake seemed to realize what he had just done and snapped out of it (complete with the whole looking at his own hands “what have I done?” pose) then left. Briggs cut a promo telling Drake he had just made the biggest mistake of his life. Briggs then continued with a usual show-closing stuff and came off as very jovial, and definitely lot someone who probably does not like people as his entrance claims.
This a disappointing show from EVOLVE, and I’m saying that about I show I wasn’t even expecting much from in the first place. Gabe really needs to knock it off with these annoying DQs and short matches and give the matches some decent time to develop and finishes that don’t make me feel like I wasted my time watching something that didn’t matter. You know… the stuff he used to be an expert at. EVOLVE barely even feels like EVOLVE anymore.