Evolve 82 Review
WWN Champion Matt Riddle is called to the ring to start and he calls himself the champion of all champions. He says just winning the belt isn’t enough, that he has to defend it against all challengers. He says there is one man in Evolve he has yet to beat and who has beat him three times. Riddle calls him “Trashy Tim” referring to Timothy Thatcher. Stokely Hathaway comes out and says that Thatcher has defeated him and defended the Evolve Championship against him three times. Hathaway says by the end of the night he will be managing the WWN Champion. Hathaway says to start the main event now and Thatcher comes out.
1) WWN Title: Matt Riddle (c) vs Timothy Thatcher
They tie up and try for holds to start. Thatcher goes for an ankle lock but Riddle grabs his ankle and Thatcher gets the rope break. Thatcher goes for the leg but Riddle gets his back. Thatcher wrenches Riddle’s ankle and then gets the arm and drives his knee into it. Thatcher drives his knee into Riddle’s ribs and applies a sleeper. Riddle drives him into the corner and then drops back on him. Riddle kicks Thatcher in the back and starts elbowing him and kneeing him in the ribs. Riddle elbows him in the head but Thatcher goes for an armbar. Thatcher applies a single leg crab and then deadlifts Riddle into a gutwrench suplex. Thatcher uppercuts Riddle and applies a facelock. Riddle floats over and attempts a cross armbreaker but Thatcher grabs the bottom rope. Thatcher mount Riddle and hits him with elbows. Thatcher goes for a cross armbreaker but Riddle rolls him up and then deadlifts him into a slam. Riddle hits a running forearm in the corner and gives Thatcher an exploder suplex. Riddle hits a senton but Thatcher catches him in a sleeper. Riddle gets to his feet but Thatcher knees him in the gut and gives him a butterfly suplex. Thatcher continues to knee him in the ribs then drapes him on the apron and hits him with elbows. They return to the ring and Thatcher tries a German suplex but Riddle counters and hits a German. Riddle goes for the Bro 2 Sleep but Thatcher grabs him in a Fujiwara Armbar. Thatcher gets out and stretches Thatcher into a Bromission for the submission victory to keep his title. Hathaway comes in the ring and says that everyone knows he has managed champions in the past and his name has always been associated with greatness. Thatcher waves him off and walks to the back. Hathaway says that Thatcher was champion not because he hung out with fans and signed autographs but because he wrestled while Hathaway took care of the marketing. Hathaway says that people say you should be like Mike but that you should be like Tim. Riddle says he doesn’t hang out with fans and sign autographs because it’s his job, he does it because it’s fun.
2) Austin Theory vs ACH
They tie up to start and ACH misses a chop. They tie up again and trade holds on the mat with ACH getting the arm. They stand and trade wristlocks and trade armdrags. Theory misses a dropkick and they trade roll-up attempts. ACH kicks Theory in the gut but Theory fires back with a dropkick. Theory chops ACH and whips him into the corner but ACH hits an up-kick. ACH hits a dropkick and hits him with elbows in the corner. ACH whips him in the corner but takes a boot to the face. They criss-cross and ACH gives Theory a reverse atomic drop. Theory hits a dropkick and give ACH a running clothesline in the corner. Theory suplexes ACH. They trade strikes and ACH gives him a low blow. ACH does a humping hurracanrana. Theory goes to the apron and ACH dropkicks him to the floor then gives him a dropkick from the second rope. ACH does a running soccer kick on Theory from the apron. ACH drops him gut-first on the guardrail. ACH gives Theory a uranage in the ring and kicks him in the back. ACH gives Theory two fist-drops and a knee-drop. Theory fights back with punches but ACH gives him a swinging neckbreaker. ACH stomps on Theory who swings with punches but misses. ACH gives him a neckbreaker and applies a headlock. Theory fights out with punches but ACH runs his shoulder into Theory’s gut. Theory blocks a uranage attempt and hits a moonsault. ACH whips Theory into the corner but takes a boot to the face. ACH chops Theory in the corner. Theory catches ACH in a version of the Canadian Destroyer. ACH jumps over a charging Theory and kicks him in the face. ACH puts Theory on his shoulders and drops him neck-first across the knee. ACH rams Theory’s head into the turnbuckle. ACH takes Theory up top but Theory grabs him in a torture rack and gives him a spinning slam. Theory punches away at ACH and goes for a suplex but ACH floats over. Theory hits an enzuiguri and they trade elbows. ACH gives him a brainbuster and gets the pinfall.
Drew Galloway comes out and takes the mic and says this is his last weekend in Evolve. He says that he has been met with nothing but disrespect. He says that when he lost the Evolve title his foot was under the ropes. When he lost to Zack Sabre Jr. the referee DA Brewer (who is in the ring) stopped the match and he didn’t tap out. He says he is done with this place and that he decides where his career is going. He says he didn’t have to be here tonight, he chose to be here. He says he is closing his chapter with Evolve as he is taking back everything he gave to the company. He says that over the next two days he will burn it to the ground. He says that tomorrow he has a match with Matt Riddle. He says that Zack Sabre Jr. is not only a quarter of the man he is, he is a tenth of the champion he was. He turns to Brewer and says they’re friends and then headbutts him. He calls Sabre to come out and says it isn’t a match and for Sabre to fight him like a man.
3) Drew Galloway vs Zack Sabre Jr
They brawl and Galloway throws Sabre after lifting him for a suplex. Sabre hits a running uppercut and takes Galloway outside and runs him into the guardrail. Sabre works Galloway’s arm on the floor but Galloway gives Sabre a tilt-a-whirl onto the apron. Sabre is half under the ring and Galloway slingshots him into the metal bottle of the apron. Galloway picks up Sabre for a bodyslam but Sabre gets out and ties Galloway up in an octopus while he is tangled in the guardrail. They trade chops and return to the ring where Sabre hits uppercuts. Sabre gets Galloway in an armbar. Galloway whips him into the corner and gives him a piledriver. Galloway stomps on Sabre’s head and then chops him in the corner. Galloway gives Sabre an overhead release belly-to-belly suplex. Galloway slaps Sabre around and Sabre fights back with slaps and uppercuts. Sabre sweeps Galloway’s legs and punts him. Galloway kicks him in the knee but Sabre gets a cross armbreaker on a standing Galloway. Sabre moves into a triangle choke and then a hammerlock. Sabre starts stretching out Galloway’s other arm but gets attacked by Ethan Page and The Gatekeepers. Blaster throws the Evolve title in the ring and Page hands it to Galloway who taunts Sabre. Page then stomps on Sabre and punches him in the head. Galloway grabs a sledgehammer from the entranceway and prepares to smash the title belt with it. Keith Lee bowls over The Gatekeepers and chases off Galloway. Sabre then wrenches the arm of Flex the Gatekeeper in a hammerlock. Lee hands the belt back to Sabre.
Lee takes the mic and says that something about him drove Galloway, Page and the Gatekeepers away. He says he doesn’t know why they didn’t want to play as he is a friendly fellow. He says if they didn’t want to play he will take this time to welcome Kyle O’Reilly who comes to the ring.
4) Keith Lee vs Kyle O’Reilly
O’Reilly kicks Lee in the knee to start and throws some strikes. Lee throws him across the ring but O’Reilly elbows him. Lee shoulder-blocks O’Reilly and misses a spin-kick. Lee stops and asks O’Reilly to bask in his glory but O’Reilly grabs a wristlock. Lee leapfrogs him and attempts a bicycle kick but O’Reilly catches his leg and grabs a leglock. O’Reilly goes for a suplex but Lee blocks him. O’Reilly holds onto a wristlock but Lee hits strikes. O’Reilly grabs a kimura and slams Lee to the mat. O’Reilly grabs another kimura and knees Lee’s arm. Lee is on his knees and O’Reilly kicks him in the arm and applies a hammerlock. Lee punches his way out. O’Reilly tries to get Lee’s leg but Lee gives him an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Lee stretches out O’Reilly’s arm and digs his fist into O’Reilly’s ribs. O’Reilly goes for leg-kicks but Lee stomps him. O’Reilly goes for the leg but Lee gets the ropes. Lee punches O’Reilly and they trade elbows. Lee headbutts him in the corner. Lee whips O’Reilly into the corner and gives him an avalanche. Lee slaps him across the chest and then whips him to the other corner. Lee charges but O’Reilly kicks him in the face. O’Reilly does three more kicks to the face and hits knees and a leg-sweep. O’Reilly knees him in the stomach and hits a running elbow in the corner. O’Reilly gives Lee an armbreaker and goes for a back suplex that is blocked by Lee. O’Reilly goes for it again but Lee drops elbows on him. O’Reilly knees him in the gut and lifts him for a back suplex but Lee lands on top of him. Lee gives O’Reilly a belly-to-belly suplex. They trade several forearms. O’Reilly kicks him and continues with forearms and they continue to exchange. O’Reilly throws knees and punches and hits a shining wizard to knock Lee down. O’Reilly goes after the ankle but Lee strikes back with forearms. Lee picks up O’Reilly who escapes and hits a lariat but Lee takes him down with a lariat of his own. They get to their feet and O’Reilly knocks Lee to the apron and knocks him to the floor with a running kick. O’Reilly hits a dropkick. Lee returns to the ring and O’Reilly hits a missile dropkick but Lee fires back with a pounce. Lee slams him to the mat for a two-count. Lee climbs to the top rope but O’Reilly kicks his knee and crotches him on the top rope. O’Reilly goes for a belly-to-back superplex but Lee fights him off. Lee is still on the top rope and O’Reilly kicks him but hits him low and gets disqualified. Lee takes the mic and insists on the match continuing the match and the bell rings again. O’Reilly stomps Lee in the head and grabs a cross armbreaker. Lee rolls through and gets his foot on the ropes. O’Reilly gives Lee leg-kicks and knocks him to his knees. Lee gets up and gives O’Reilly a pop-up super-bomb. Lee picks up O’Reilly and taunts him but O’Reilly grabs him in a guillotine choke. Lee throws him but O’Reilly comes back with a tilt-a-whirl DDT. O’Reilly gives Lee a brainbuster and gets the pinfall.
5) Evolve Tag Team Titles: Tracy Williams and Fred Yehi (c) vs Jaka and Chris Dickinson
This is a match between members of Catchpoint. Yehi and Jaka started and taunted each other before tying up. They hit each other with shoulder-blocks. They miss strike attempts until Jaka headbutts Yehi who fires back with a chop. Jaka slaps Yehi across the back. Yehi gets Jaka down and stomps his knee. Yehi gives Jaka a basement dropkick. Dickinson and Williams tag in and trade wristlocks and go back-and-forth with holds. Williams gets Dickinson down and works the leg but Dickinson fights back with kicks. Williams grabs an ankle lock but Dickinson gets the ropes. Dickinson goes for a Niagara driver but Williams rolls him up. Williams continues with more roll-ups and attempts a cross-face but Dickinson gets a roll-up. Dickinson gets a strike and tags in Jaka who headbutts Williams and gives him a vertical suplex. Jaka chops Williams and tags in Dickinson who continues with chops. Dickinson kicks Williams in the back and tags in Jaka who works over Williams. Williams fights back and tags in Yehi who suplexes Jaka. Yehi stomps on Jaka’s knee and hits a seated dropkick. Williams tags in and he and Yehi headbutt Jaka. They whip Jaka into the ropes but he dropkicks them. Williams gets Jaka in position for a top rope stomp by Yehi on Jaka’s barefoot. Yehi and Williams give Jaka a double dropkick. Yehi and Jaka trade forearms and Yehi gives him a flapjack. Yehi goes for a German suplex but Jaka gives him a heel kick. Dickinson tags in and clotheslines Williams and Yehi. Dickinson holds Williams for a basement dropkick by Jaka and then gives him an exploder suplex Yehi grabs Jaka’s back and Jaka rolls to the floor. Williams gives Dickinson a missile dropkick and Yehi gives him a German suplex. Yehi applies the Koji Clutch on Dickinson while Williams applies the crossface to Jaka. Williams and Yehi switch spots but Dickinson gives Williams a tiger bomb. Dickinson goes for a piledriver on Williams on the apron but Yehi makes the save with a dropkick. Yehi trades forearms with Dickinson on the apron. Jaka hits a tope suicida on Williams and Dickinson gives Yehi a deathdrop on the apron. Dickinson picks up Yehi on his shoulders and Jaka gives him a deathdrop from the top rope. Jaka charges Williams in the corner but eats an elbow. Williams and Yehi hit a legsweep. Williams legdrops both Jaka and Dickinson. Williams goes for a piledriver but Dickinson makes the save. Dickinson grabs Williams and gives him a pazuzu bomb for the pinfall and title win.
All four men shake hands after the match but Larry Dallas enters the ring and says he has the scoop of the century. Dallas says according to his sources in the back Stokely Hathaway is in discussions with Tracy Williams about being the agent of Catchpoint. Williams says that Dallas is crazy and Hathaway enters the ring and he and Williams leave at the same time. Yehi stays in the ring and dropkicks Dallas and gives him three release German suplexes. Yehi hits another dropkick and then leaves.
6) Last Man Standing Match: Darby Allin vs Ethan Page
Allin comes out with his bodybag. Page comes out with a shovel and only Blaster of The Gatekeepers is with him. They trade punches hockey-fight-style to start. Allin gives Page a running headscissors and dropkicks him out of the ring. Allin hits a tope suicida. Page runs Allin’s back into the apron. They follow each other into the crowd and Allin knocks Page down with a chair. Allin goes to the top rope and does a diving headbutt onto the floor. They brawl at ringside and Page gives Allin an iconoclasm into the crowd area. The referee starts counting but Page hits Allin with a chair. Page bodyslams Allin on a pile of chairs. Page hits him in the head with a chair. Page powerbombs Allin on the apron and then rolls him inside. Blaster throws tape to Page who attempts to tape a chair to Allin but it doesn’t work. Page hits Allin with a chair and then bodyslams him on a chair. Page hits Allin with chops and punches. Page goes for a boot to the face but Allin blocks him, knocks him down and hits a senton. Allin hits a springboard back elbow and Page rolls outside. Allin goes to the top rope with a chair and dives backward onto Page and Blaster with it. The referee is counting Page on the floor and Page is busted open. He stands up and gets in the ring with the shovel in his hands and Allin brings in a chair. Allin somersaults over Page who is charging with a chair. Allin beats Page with a chair. Allin lays out the bodybag. Allin goes to the second rope but slips and Page gives him a powerbomb and a package piledriver. Page nails him in the head with the shovel. The referee is checking Allin for blood. Page rolls Allin into the bodybag and punches him in the head. Page closes the bodybag halfway and grabs a container of thumbtacks. Page pours the thumbtacks onto Allin then closes up the bodybag and powerbombs him in the bodybag. The referee is counting but Page stops him and calls Blaster into the ring. Page picks up Allin and opens the bodybag and grabs handcuffs from Blaster. Austin Theory comes out and runs off Blaster. Page hits Theory with a bicycle kick and Priscilla Kelly comes to the ring. Page picks up Allin but notices Priscilla who distracts him. Allin charges Page who backdrops him into Priscilla. Page sets up a chair in the ring and powerbombs Allin onto it. Page throws chairs into Allin and Blaster starts throwing chairs into the ring. Page piles chairs on to of Allin and hits him with a chair. Theory hits the ring but Page gives him a Spinning Dwayne. Page piles Theory and Priscilla on top of Allin as the referee counts to ten giving Page the victory. Page then walks to the back with his shovel and Blaster following him. Theory attends to Allin in the ring and then carries him to the back.
This was a good show. I would have preferred a longer match for Riddle vs Thatcher but they are both in very different places in Evolve right now so it makes sense. Theory vs ACH was good and Galloway and Sabre had a fun brawl. Lee vs O’Reilly was the match of the night and while some might disagree with the result I suspect there will be a rematch soon. I thought the tag title match was good and the title change made sense. I thought Page was good in the main event and while I think Allin is ok he is definitely a danger to himself. But the match did help to continue to eleva