Evolve 67 – 8/20/2016
Lenny Leonard introduces the show and runs down the card. He announces that there will be a special guest commentator for the Evolve Title Match between Timothy Thatcher vs Drew Gulak. Leonard introduces Joey Styles to the crowd who says that he reached out to Evolve and that Leonard agreed to allow him to do play-by-play. Styles says that he and Leonard might be the best announcing the fans hear this week.
1) Kobe Durst vs Ethan Page
Durst is from Toronto and I have felt in seeing him locally that he might develop a higher profile soon. Leonard says that Page has taken Durst under his wing and that Durst impressed Evolve officials at a recent seminar. They go back and forth and Page gives Durst a big backdrop. Page chops Durst in the corner. Durst gives him a back elbow but Page gives him a tilt-a-whirl and a head-kick. Durst gives Page a high leg-drop. Durst goes up top and Page gives him a superkick and an icono-clasm. Page gives Durst a package piledriver and pins him to win the match. Page takes the mic and says they have one weekend left before Johnny Gargano says farewell. Page says he wants the people to see Gargano say he forgives him. Page says he will do whatever he has to do to make Gargano forgive him.
2) Peter Kaasa vs Tony Nese
They roll on the mat and Kaasa gets a roll-up. They go back and forth and then they both hit high backdrops. They trade forearms and Nese hits a kick and a knee-strike. Nese chops Kaasa who comes back with a clothesline and a springboard rana. Nese spills to the floor and Kaasa does a tope con giro. In the ring, Kaasa does a running shooting star press. Kaasa bodyslams Nese. Nese goes for a vertical suplex but Kaasa knees him in the head. Nese drops Kaasa on the top rope and gives him a flying knee to the head. Nese throws Kaasa into the corner and he falls to the floor. Nese hits two tope suicida’s. Nese takes Kaasa back inside and nails a missile dropkick. Nese grabs a body-scissors on the mat and moves into a rear naked choke. Kaasa punches out and hits a clothesline then gives Nese a snap suplex. Kaasa does a back suplex and then goes up top where Nese stops him with a forearm. Nese superplexes Kaasa. They trade strikes and Kaasa gets Nese in a suplex. Kaasa is hitting Nese with chops and forearms but Nese gives Kaasa a Michinoku Driver. Nese misses a 450 splash. Kaasa goes to the top and misses a shooting star press. Nese then goes up top and hits the 450 splash and pins Kaasa for the win.
3) Tommy End vs Matt Riddle
Riddle hugs Papa Mike Hales and kisses him on the cheek on the way to the ring. End and Riddle exchange kicks to start. Riddle takes him down but End escapes a submission attempt. Riddle knocks End down with a punch and then lays into him with knees in the corner. Riddle kicks End in the face. End throws a kick but Riddle slaps him to the mat. Riddle continues with knees and stomps in the corner. End boots Riddle in the face. Riddle knees End in the ribs and gives him two gutwrench suplexes. Riddle grabs End’s arms and stomps on his chest. Riddle grabs End in a triangle choke but End gets his foot on the ropes. Riddle continues with strikes but End fires back with punches and a head-kick. End kicks Riddle in the chest but Riddle gives him a fisherman buster. They get to their feet and End hits Riddle with kicks and knee-strikes. End kicks Riddle in the elbow (which Thatcher had been working the night before). End also stomps on Riddle’s wrist and then hammerlocks him and rams him into the turnbuckle. End puts Riddle in an armbar but Riddle gets the rope break. Riddle catches End in a knee-bar but End gets the rope break. End kicks Riddle in the head then goes up top and misses a double stomp. Riddle forearms End who hits him with a jumping knee-strike. End goes up top and gets the double stomp followed by a spin-heel-kick. End kicks Riddle in the chest repeatedly but Riddle fires up and up-kicks End in the head. Riddle gives End a tombstone. Riddle elbows End in the head but End gets him in a knee-bar. Riddle hits more strikes and puts End in the Bromission. End taps out to give Riddle the win.
4) Cedric Alexander vs Zack Sabre Jr.
This is the final WWE Cruiserweight Classic Spotlight Match. Alexander and Sabre do some great back-and-forth until Alexander leapfrogs Sabre who grabs Alexander’s leg and throws him to the mat. Sabre goes for a bow-and-arrow but Alexander gets out. Alexander gets Sabre in a flying headscissors and then dropkicks him. Alexander hits Sabre in the corner with chops and kicks. Alexander charges Sabre in the corner and attempts to slingshot in but Sabre gives him an uppercut. Sabre works on Alexander’s ankle. Alexander fights back with chops but Sabre cranks his neck. Sabre continues to work Alexander’s neck and grabs a cravate. Alexander misses a dropkick and Sabre stomps on him. Sabre continues to throw forearms and uppercuts. Sabre maneuvers Alexander into a surfboard variation. Alexander gets out but Sabre ties him up in the ropes. Alexander knees Sabre in the face, gives him a soccer kick to knock him to the floor and then hits a tope suicida. Alexander drives Sabre’s head into the mat inside and then hits a head-kick off the ropes. Alexander hits an uppercut but Sabre gets a tornado DDT and floats through into a dragon sleeper variation. Sabre stomps on Alexander’s back. Alexander punches Sabre in the face and nails him with forearms. Sabre catches Alexander in a triangle armbar. Alexander gets out and hits an enzuiguri and a Michinoku Driver. Alexander goes to the apron and springboards in but eats an uppercut. Sabre gives him a soccer kick. They trade forearms and strikes. Alexander headbutts Sabre and gives him a brainbuster. Sabre grabs Alexander in an octopus hold then falls to the mat and starts kicking him in the head for a referee stoppage. Sabre takes the mic and says that from now on his focus will be on becoming champion.
5) Chris Hero vs Cody Rhodes
Rhodes offers a handshake to start but Hero slaps him in the face. Rhodes dropkicks Hero and then takes him down and stomps him. Rhodes continues to offer the handshake but Hero goes to the floor instead. Rhodes shakes hands people in the front row. Hero and Rhodes trade chops and Rhodes holds Hero up for a delayed vertical suplex and drops him face-first. They go to the floor and trade chops and elbows. Hero picks up a piece of guardrail but Rhodes punches him through it. Hero hits Rhodes with elbows and they brawl through the crowd. They stand up on the bar and Rhodes slaps Hero to the floor. Rhodes slaps at Hero on the floor and Hero headbutts him and drops an elbow on him. They return to the ring and Hero clubs Rhodes with a forearm. Rhodes fights back with strikes and whips Hero into the ropes where Hero flips to the apron and rests on the floor. Hero returns to the ring and gives Rhodes a big boot in the corner. Hero throws a forearm and throws Rhodes to the floor saying “We don’t want you here!” Hero gives him a bicycle kick on the floor but Rhodes attacks him and they return to the ring. Hero knocks Rhodes down with elbows. Rhodes struggles and Hero boots him in the face. Rhodes fights back with kicks but Hero elbows him in the face. Hero goes to the crowd and grabs a cut-out of Dusty Rhodes’ face from a fan and attacks Cody with it. Hero goes up top with it but Rhodes cuts him off, grabs it and kisses it and then superplexes Hero. Rhodes throws punches and elbows and avoids a rolling elbow but Hero hits back elbows. Rhodes slams Hero face-first to the mat. Rhodes gives Hero a back elbow and then goes up top for a moonsault but Hero catches him in an ace cutter. Hero hits the rolling elbow. Rhodes backslides Hero who kicks Rhodes and hits another rolling elbow. Hero goes for a ripchord rolling elbow but misses and Rhodes slams him. Rhodes punches and headbutts Hero who hits him with a bicycle kick. Rhodes gives Hero a jumping knee and a dropkick off the second rope. Hero gets Rhodes in a piledriver and then hits the ripchord rolling elbow. Hero goes for the Cross Rhodes but Rhodes counters out of it. Rhodes goes for a figure four but Hero up-kicks him. The referee is attending to Hero when Drew Galloway comes out and attacks Rhodes with a cowbell. Hero hits rolling elbows and then hits an elbow to the back of the head for the pinfall. Galloway gets on the mic and taunts Rhodes for thinking he could become an independent success on his own and says “You’re either with us or against us.” Gulak hits the ring and runs off Galloway. Gulak then calls out Thatcher for their match
6) Evolve Title: Timothy Thatcher (c) vs Drew Gulak
Joey Styles joins Lenny Leonard on commentary. They grapple starting out and Thatcher goes after a cross armbreaker. Gulak gets out and goes for the ankle but Thatcher gets the leg. They separate and Thatcher takes Gulak down and knees himself in the back and then the gut. They get to their feet for a test of strength and Thatcher goes after an armbar. They get to their feet but Thatcher grabs a cross armbreaker attempt and turns it into a short-arm scissors. Gulak maneuvers into a crossface and Thatcher gets the rope break. Gulak grabs the headscissors with Thatcher bridging out and getting a body-scissors. Gulak attempts to pin Thatcher who monkey-flips out of it. Thatcher gets the mount and throws strikes. They stand up and Thatcher does a hammerlock into a suplex. Thatcher goes for a gutwrench but can’t get it and applies a headlock instead. Gulak gets out and hits two dropkicks and a tope suicida. Gulak chops Thatcher on the floor and rolls him inside. Thatcher rams his shoulder into Gulak’s get and applies an armbar in the ropes and the referee makes him break the hold. Thatcher throws Gulak outside and gets the armbar in the ropes which is broken by the referee again. Thatcher runs Gulak’s shoulder into the guardrail and they trade strikes. Thatcher rams Gulak’s arm into the apron and hits an uppercut. They trade more strikes and Thatcher bends Gulak’s arm around the ringpost. They return to the ring and Thatcher hits Gulak with knees and forearms in the corner. Gulak fires back with forearms but Thatcher slams his arm into the mat and goes for the cross armbreaker again. Gulak gets out and gives Thatcher a German suplex. They clothesline each other twice and Gulak gives Thatcher a Saito Suplex. Gulak stomps on Thatcher twice and then kicks him. Thatcher goes after the arm again but Gulak gives him a backbreaker. Thatcher goes after an armbar but Gulak gives him a piledriver. Thatcher slaps away at Gulak who punches back and goes to the apron. Thatcher goes after the arm in the ropes and brings Gulak inside with a gutwrench. Thatcher throws uppercuts and Gulak throws punches. Gulak gets Thatcher’s back and throws strikes. Gulak slaps on the dragon sleeper but Thatcher gets the rope break. They get to their feet and trade slaps and Gulak hits a spinning backfist. Thatcher headbutts Gulak twice and gets a one-count. Thatcher headbutts him twice more and gets the pin. Gulak offers to hand the title to Thatcher as he said he would and notes he is a man of his word. Thatcher notes he said he would hurt whoever touched the title and he is also a man of his word. Thatcher kicks him in the face and applies a sleeper.
Tracy Williams comes out and faces Thatcher to save Gulak but Williams is chop-blocked by Dustin and EC3. Galloway enters the ring as well and Thatcher leaves with the title. Dustin and EC3 work over Williams’ leg. Galloway asked to speak to Styles who comes to the ring. Galloway says they have an opening for a centre-piece for an inspiration and someone who knows the business better than anyone else on earth. EC3 says they need a mouthpiece. Fred Yehi and TJP hit the ring and brawl with their opponents for the next match. Tracy Williams is taken out. Gallloway demands an answer from Styles. Yehi suggests that the match be he and TJP vs Galloway, EC3 and Dustin in a no-disqualification match.
7) Evolve Tag Team Title Match: TJP, Fred Yehi and Ethan Page vs Drew Galloway, EC3 and Dustin (c)
TJP dropkicks EC3 to start the match and Yehi hits EC3 and Galloway with a plancha. EC3, Galloway and Dustin and Galloway gives TJP a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Galloway powerbombs TJP in the ring and starts stomping on his fingers. TJP boots a charging Galloway in the face and hits a missile dropkick. Galloway and EC3 take over on TJP and give him a double-tackle. They place TJP’s and Yehi’s faces on chairs at ringside. Ethan Page hits the ring and does a tope suicida on Galloway and EC3. Page punches away at EC and Yehi and TJP double-team Galloway. All six men brawl at ringside and Page gets the RK-EGO on Galloway in the ring. Yehi dropkicks EC3’s legs. EC3 charges Yehi in the corner and gives him an Angle Slam. TJP goes for a springboard DDT but EC3 catches him and Galloway boots him in the face. Yehi dropkicks Galloway in the knees and stomps on his achilles heel but EC3 clotheslines him. Page hits EC3 with a bicycle kick and Dustin hits Page with a jumping knee-strike. Yehi gives Dustin a tornado DDT. All six men are down. EC3 throws punches at Yehi who fights back with chops and a stomp on the foot. Yehi gets EC3 in the Koji Clutch but Galloway breaks it up with a chair. Page drop toeholds Galloway face-first on the chair. Page goes for the RK-EGO but Galloway throws him onto the chair. Galloway gives Page the Future Shock DDT and TJP breaks up a pin attempt. Galloway chops TJP who avoids some offense and throws Galloway to the floor. TJP hits Galloway with a pescado followed by Dustin doing a tope con giro. TJP drop toeholds Dustin inside and dropkicks him. TJP goes up top and Galloway throws the tag title belt at him. Dustin gives TJP the awful waffle for a three-count messed up be the referee. Dustin then gives TJP a piledriver for the pinfall.
Cody Rhodes attacks them after the match and goes after Galloway with a chair but Galloway escapes. Joey Styles gets on the mic and makes fun of Dustin, Galloway and EC3. Styles said he wants to be a matchmaker and said that on September 11 Cody Rhodes is scheduled to face Johnny Gargano. Styles suggests that instead Drew Galloway and Chris face Rhodes and Gargano and everyone accepts. Rhodes takes the mic and says whatever he does now he was born a wrestler and will die a wrestler. Rhodes says he was born a wrestling fan, that this weekend was about wrestling and that he will die a wrestling fan.
This was a great show that I’d actually read negative reviews of before finishing it. All the matches were really good and the Rhodes vs Hero and Thatcher vs Gulak matches were great. Some might feel that the last match was overbooked but the action was good. I liked Evolve 66 on Friday, but overall would say this show was as good or better.