EVOLVE 74

November 10, 2016

From La Boom in Queens, NY

Lenny Leonard is your host

 

Jaka vs. Drew Gulak

Gulak grounds Jaka then works the arm. They end up in a stalemate after some matwork then Gulak kicks Jaka in the gut and hits a suplex for two. Gulak works a side headlock for a while until Jaka reverses with an armbar. Gulak is able to go on the attack and starts stomping away. Jaka fights back as he is now in control. He gets two with a suplex then works a reverse chinlock as he drives his knee into Gulak’s back. Jaka chops Gulak down then hits a bunch of mounted punches before working a surfboard. Gulak is able to dump Jaka outside then flies out with a tope. The crowd chants for Gulak as both men roll inside to beat the count. Jaka beats on Gulak in the corner but runs into a forearm smash then Gulak hits a flying clothesline for two. Gulak boots Jaka in the face then these two start lighting each other up with chops. Jaka gets two with a rolling kick then they struggle that ends with Gulak hitting a reverse neckbreaker for two. Gulak puts on a Dragon Sleeper with a bodyscissors but Jaka is able to reach the ropes after a brief struggle. Jaka fights back from the apron then brings Gulak up top as they fight until Gulak hits a butterfly superplex. Both men are down then Gulak gets up and tries to work the leg but Jaka fights him off and hits a powerbomb for two. Jaka is shocked and rolls Gulak up again but still only able to get a two count. Gulak ducks a spin kick then hits a few strikes before getting a nearfall with a tombstone. They trade strikes as the crowd cheers then Gulak catches him with a Dragon Sleeper and gets the win as the referee calls the match (16:54) ***1/2.

Thoughts: Really good opening match. Jaka has impressed in his first couple of EVOLVE matches and is someone who should stay around. Gulak needed the win since his loss to Thatcher at EVOLVE 72.

 

After the match, Larry Dallas comes out to the ring and tells us he’s no longer a manager here in EVOLVE but now a radio star on SIRIUS. Dallas then says he is here to ask the hard questions as he wants to know if Catchpoint is dead. Gulak smiles and jokingly calls Dallas a “National Treasure” then says he made himself perfectly clear about it being a failure and now its time to focus on the next chapter of his career, like the WWN Title. Tracy Williams now comes out and says its not Gulak’s place to say when Catchpoint dies as Dallas steps between the two. Dallas then tells Williams how he has always been in Gulak’s shadow since being in EVOLVE and stirs up things. Williams then tells Gulak how he never dwelled on his failures and shows the EVOLVE Tag Team Belt as Williams talks about how he is equal to Gulak, who smiles and pats Williams on the face before leaving. Solid segment to continue the rift between Gulak and Catchpoint.

 

Chris Dickinson vs. DUSTIN

They story here is that Dickinson is fighting for an EVOLVE contract this weekend. Dickinson hits a release German suplex as DUSTIN bails. Dickinson beats on DUSTIN in the corner then leaps off of the top with a hurricarana for two. DUSTIN sends Dickinson outside then flies out with a pescado. DUSTIN boots Dickinson from the apron then connects with a missile dropkick. Dickinson rakes the eyes but DUSTIN takes him down and starts targeting the back. Dickinson tells DUSTIN to kick him harder in the back as he sits on the mat then gets up but DUSTIN rakes his eyes. DUSTIN tosses Dickinson outside were they trade strikes until DUSTIN chokes him out with someone’s shirt. They are back in the ring where Dickinson fights back. Dickinson breaks out of a cobra clutch with a back suplex as both men are down. They get up and go back-and-forth until Dickinson gets two with a powerslam. DUSTIN fishhooks Dickinson as he was on his shoulders and hits a DDT. DUSTIN hits two more DDT’s but cannot put Dickinson away so he locks on a submission hold. Dickinson escapes and hits a Falcon Arrow then a Death Valley Bomb but still unable to put DUSTIN away. He places DUSTIN up top and hammers away but DUSTIN slips off and takes Dickinson off with the Awful Waffle and gets the win (10:53) ***. Man, that finisher looked vicious.

Thoughts: Good match. This might have been the best DUSTIN has looked in a singles match since coming back to EVOLVE. The finisher looked deadly too. DUSTIN also needed a win heading into his match against Hero at EVOLVE 75. Dickinson has the talent to help EVOLVE but does have a reputation of being difficult and reckless in the Independent scene.

 

Darby Allin vs. Brian Cage

Allin attacks Cage during his entrance. He hits Cage with a coffin drop on the apron as the fans all chant for Allin. Cage catches Allin coming off the top and drops him with a brainbuster before beating him in the corner. Allin floats over on a slam but gets pancaked then Cage boots him in the ribs. Cage hits a pair of backbreakers but Allin kicks out at two. Cage hits a pair of German suplexes but that still only gets two. Cage continues to beat on Allin, who continues to kick out of his pin attempts. Allin tries a springboard but Cage shoves him off as Allin crashes into the guardrail. Cage brings Allin back inside with a deadlift superplex but that only gets two. Allin ducks a discus clothesline as Cage plays around before tossing him but Allin lands on his feet and gets two with a crucifix. Cage gets pissed and drills Allin with a discus clothesline and starts hitting him with slams and powerbombs before telling the fans in the front to disperse as they do. The first few rows are empty as Cage picks Allin up and press slams him over the guardrail and on to the stage. The referee counts as a few fans chant for the others to throw Allin back. Allin tries to head back but cannot beat the twenty count as Cage wins (8:10) ***.

Thoughts: Allin’s underdog character who absolutely refuses to quit continues to be a highlight of EVOLVE. Cage destroyed him and Allin’s dangerous in-ring stuff actually, to me anyway, would make him even better in Sami Zayn’s current role on RAW against Strowman due to how Allin is just as nuts as Mick Foley was in the ring.

 

After the match, Ethan Page comes out flanked by the Gatekeepers. They all shake Cage’s hand as Page tells us what we just saw is a lesson the whole roster should pay attention to as the “machine” took care of business. Page then switches focus on his opponent, Cody (Rhodes), as he rags on Cody for calling himself “The American Nightmare” and says his run on the Independent scene has been a nightmare for the other wrestlers then tells him to get in the ring.

 

Ethan Page w/ The Gatekeepers vs. Cody

The crowd starts up a “too sweet” chant as Cody smiles. They mock each other to start off the match. Cody hits Page with a delayed vertical suplex but Page comes back with a jackhammer then taunts Cody by sticking his ass in his face to point out the “Era of Ego” written on his trunks. Cody ducks out for a breather then yells at a fan as Page attacks Cody from behind. The fan then holds Cody as Page lands a few punches. Page then flips off the fan but gets dropkicked off of the apron. Cody misses a double jump plancha and hits the guardrail before Page hits a draping backbreaker. They head back inside where Page gets two with another backbreaker. They work a reversal sequence that ends with Cody hitting a Disaster Kick as both men are down. Cody is up first and runs wild until Page takes him down with a clothesline. Page hits a tilt-a-whirl front slam for two but Cody catches him with an inverted DDT. Cody then flips off the fan who held him earlier but Page lands the RK-Ego. Cody fights back and tries something off the top that was way off but it ended up getting a two count. Cody heads back up top but Page gets up too and hits a super powerslam but that only gets two. Cody comes back and tries to hit Page but ends up hitting the ref. Cody then tosses Page onto the ref before hitting the Cross Rhodes. Cage runs in and clotheslines Cody but Allin runs in for the save. Cody gives Allin the “too sweet” but then tosses him out then Page goes for a pin but the ref is still out then Cody kicks Page in the junk and hits the Cross Rhodes for the win (14:11) *3/4.

Thoughts: The match started off amusing but deteriorated after that and the finish was a complete mess. Page is positioned as a top heel in EVOLVE and having Cody being heelish in tossing Allin over the top rope seemed dumb and really zapped the little energy left in the match.

 

Jeff Cobb vs. Matt Riddle

They shake hands to start then mix it up and end in a stalemate. We get another stalemate after a struggle on the mat neither man is able to gain an advantage. Cobb tosses Riddle, who says “holy shit” as he smiles while pulling himself up. Riddle tries for an armbar but Cobb was able to reach the ropes. Riddle then hits a running knee strike then beats on Cobb in the corner. He hits a running knee strike then follows with an exploder. Riddle hits a pair of sentons as that gets two but Cobb fights back and tosses Riddle down. Cobb hits a few uppercuts in the corner before hitting a pumphandle toss as that gets two. Cobb tosses Riddle around some more but Riddle fights back. He hits Cobb with a jumping tombstone for two then hammers away before trying to apply the Bromission. However, Cobb is too big and rolls out. Riddle jumps on Cobb’s back and gets rammed into the corner. Riddle charges but Cobb catches him with the Tour of the Islands to get the upset win (9:06) ***1/4.

Thoughts: Good match but not their best. Seemed more like a preview of what else they can do here and I expect both men to face off again in the future.

 

After the match, Stokely Hathaway comes into the ring to tell Cobb he is speechless for the first time in his life over what he did to Riddle. Hathaway then talks to Cobb about the “Dream Team” and mentions his clients, such as former WWE Cruiserweight Champion TJ Perkins and current EVOLVE Champion Timothy Thatcher before mentioning Cobb as his third. Hathaway tells Cobb how he is special and will offer him a guaranteed spot in the Dream Team, which also guarantees a spot on the EVOLVE roster. Hathaway tells Cobb how lucky he is and how he can tell his girlfriend they have someone to take care of him as the crowd chants for Cobb not to accept. Hathaway then offers a contract to Cobb and to look it over backstage. Cobb looks at it then grabs the mic. He says Thatcher is out there watching and to tell him the only contract he wants is for the EVOLVE Championship match before tossing the contract and throwing the mic. Hathaway is pissed but ends up raising the belt in the air. They’ve already establish Cobb as a title contender right out of the gate with a win over Riddle what appears to be a title match against Thatcher. Cobb has come on strong recently in PWG and AAW appearances and is a great candidate to step in for other top EVOLVE guys who have left.

 

EVOLVE Tag Team Championship Match: Ricochet & Peter Kaasa vs. Tracy Williams & Fred Yehi (c)

Williams and Kaasa mix it up to start. Williams grounds Kaasa then works the arm but Kaasa comes back with a dropkick. Williams gets clotheslined outside then Ricochet tags in as the crowd goes wild. Ricochet flips in again for the crowd as Yehi tags and stares him down and declares Ricochet to be in big trouble. They go back-and-forth then the crowd starts a dueling chant. Ricochet stomps Yehi, who stomps him back as they go back-and-forth ending in a stalemate. Ricochet then uses a kip-up and takes Yehi down with a dropkick after an impressive sequence. Kaasa tags and puts Yehi in a chinlock then hits a tilt-a-whirl slam. He gets two with a standing moonsault before tagging Ricochet, who slingshots in with a senton before mocking Williams as that gets two. Kaasa tags in but Yehi hits a clothesline then Williams tags and beats on Kaasa. Yehi tags and puts Kaasa in a stump puller as the champs are in control. Kaasa is able to catch Yehi with an overhead slam then makes the tag as Ricochet comes in but gets attacked from behind by Williams. Ricochet then fights them off with some nifty offense. He calls for Kaasa but Yehi takes care of both men. Ricochet gets hit with an atomic drop/dropkick combo as that gets two. Ricochet fights off both men trying to make the tag but fails. Ricochet is then able to boot Williams in the corner and hits a dropkick as he makes the tag. Kaasa & Ricochet double-team Williams and almost put him away with a Blue Thunder Bomb but Yehi breaks up the pin. Ricochet & Yehi hit Williams with a few different splashes but still cannot get the win. Kaasa misses an elbow drop then Yehi tags in and hits a pair of release German suplexes. Ricochet runs in and drops Yehi with a knee strike then Williams comes in and hits a flying forearm. Williams hits Kaasa with a brainbuster then the match completely breaks down as all four men are down. A “this is awesome” chant breaks out then Yehi and Kaasa spill over the top rope. Ricochet hits Williams with a Dragon Suplex after a reversal sequence as they head outside. Yehi and Kaasa are back n the ring as Yehi puts on the guillotine choke. Kaasa lifts him for a pair of Northern Lights suplexes then Ricochet hits a shooting star press from the top as Williams breaks up the pin. Williams DDT’s Ricochet on the turnbuckle then hits a lariat before tagging in and putting Kaasa in a crossface. Kaasa escapes and hits an Angle Slam but misses a shooting star press as Williams puts on the crossface and Yehi prevents Ricochet from coming in to break up the hold as Kaasa taps out (25:25) ****.

Thoughts: Excellent match that was structured quite well as they kept getting more intense as the match went along. Kaasa has a lot of promise and some freakish athleticism while Ricochet was his usual amazing self. I do like the Williams & Yehi pairing for Catchpoint though and they are two guys to keep an eye on in 2017.

 

Dick Togo vs. Chris Hero

Togo takes Hero down but Hero gets up and places Togo on the top rope. Togo goes back and grounds Hero, who breaks a hammerlock and works the legs. Togo bounces off of Hero, who makes fun of Togo for being short. Togo then tells Hero to hit the ropes. Hero tries to outsmart him with a bicycle kick but Togo dodges it and roughs up Hero. Togo misses a slingshot kick and gets booted down. Hero then follows with a senton and they end up brawling outside where Hero takes over. Hero gets back inside as Togo crawls in and gets hit with a knee drop. Togo then tells Hero to bring it and gets flattened with an elbow smash as Leonard talks about his career, which started in 1991. Togo comes back with a standing dropkick then gets his knees up as Hero tried a senton. Togo tries for a suplex but ends up getting slapped then Togo hits it anyway. Hero comes back with a boot to the face but Togo ducks a ripcord elbow and gets two with a crucifix. Togo puts Hero in a crossface then hits a baseball slide to take Hero out. Togo then flies out with a senton as the crowd chants for him. Togo slingshots in with a senton for two but Hero comes back with a rolling elbow. Hero then gets two with a piledriver before firing away. Togo counters a tombstone with a victory roll then Hero hits a short piledriver but Togo gets up and boots him in the face as both men are down. They fight up top as Hero gets shoved off and Togo hits a tornado DDT for two. Togo sets up for the Pedigree but Hero gets out and hits a rolling elbow. He then hits Togo with a tombstone for two before roughing him up some more. Togo refuses to back down so Hero lays into him even harder. Togo ducks a ripcord elbow then hits a Pedigree but only gets one as Hero flips him off from his knees. Togo comes back with three straight super kicks before hitting another Pedigree then he heads up top and hits a senton for the win (19:07) ****.

Thoughts: Awesome match. This was a lot of fun and Togo can still go and is in good shape for someone 47 years of age. He can still really get up high for his senton. A fun way to close out the show.

 

After the match, both guys hug then Togo leaves. Hero asks for the mic and says he feels like he can throw up at any moment to sell how that top rope senton felt. Hero then tells the crowd to give it up for Togo as the crowd starts up a “we love Dick” chant as Hero tells us to check out his work on YouTube and puts over Togo’s story of coming back to wrestling. Hero then talks about wrestling for 18 years and being here in EVOLVE since their second show. Hero calls EVOLVE a special place and that their fans are special too. DUSTIN then comes out with a chair and starts sarcastically clapping as the crowd shows their displeasure with a “fuck you, Dustin” chant. DUSTIN puts over the year Hero has then tells Hero and the crowd to go fuck themselves and how he’ll end the year just like he did tonight, flat on his back. He then challenges Hero right now as he holds on to a chair. They square off then Hero slaps him across the face and leaves as they will be facing off the next night at EVOLVE 75. The crowd chants for Hero then rags on DUSTIN as Leonard hypes tomorrow’s show. They did a hell of a hype job for that match and Hero got himself over strong as a babyface.

 

Final Thoughts: I thought this was a strong show. They are bringing in new talent and making them look important plus we got two excellent matches to close out the show. The Page/Cody match was the only blemish here. They also did a great job at hyping up EVOLVE 75. Despite all of their departures, EVOLVE is still putting out a quality product.

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