December 11, 2016
From the Memorial Hall in Melrose, MA
Lenny Leonard is your host.
Fred Yehi w/ Tracy Williams vs. Jeff Cobb
Both guys start off by grappling but keep ending up in a stalemate. Yehi then takes Cobb down and tries to work the leg then switches to a rear chinlock. Cobb lifts Yehi up on his back then starts wrenching the hands of Yehi to break the hold. Cobb then busts out a standing dropkick as Yehi charges then blocks a chop and hits a pumphandle overhead slam. Yehi comes back with a pair of dropkicks then works the neck. Cobb tries for a back suplex but Yehi floats over and uses a rear choke. Cobb shakes him off then they end up colliding as both men are down. They have a reversal sequence that ends with Yehi hitting a pair of German suplexes. Yehi tries for an Octupus Hold but Cobb blocks it and hits a headbutt. Yehi catches a second headbutt attempt and hits a kneelift and tries a rolling elbow but gets caught with the Tour of the Islands as Cobb wins the match (9:46) ***.
Thoughts: Good match. Cobb needed to go over since he is up for a future title and Yehi stayed strong in defeat. Cobb is a welcome addition to EVOLVE and the company is smart to give him a strong push right off the bat.
After the match, Drew Gulak comes out to confront Yehi & Williams. Yehi tells Gulak he trains and works hard, which is why he is the FIP World Champion and one-half of the EVOLVE Tag Team Champions, before telling Gulak he does not see any gold around his waist. Gulak tells Yehi he’s been there and done that and is now only concerned about the WWN Championship. Gulak then promises to defeat Williams tonight as Williams tells Gulak when he wins, Gulak will be out of the WWN Championship Tournament. Gulak agrees and says if he wins then all of Catchpoint will be gone from the tournament. Good way to set up the main event and push the Gulak vs. Catchpoint feud.
Chris Dickinson & Jaka vs. Darby Allin & Peter Kaasa
The story here is that Dickinson & Jaka will receive EVOLVE contracts with a win. Dickinson & Jaka attack their opponents before the bell. Kaasa comes back with a double clothesline then clears the ring before flying out with a somersault plancha and nearly smashes his head off of the floor. Back inside, Kaasa suplexes Dickinson then tags out as Allin and Jaka mix it up. Allin & Kaasa use quick tags to stay in control. Dickinson distracts Allin then Jaka takes out Allin with a chop block. Jake & Dickinson beat on Allin as they cut off the ring. Dickinson bullies Allin as he continues to rough him up. Dickinson eats boot on a charge then they work a reversal sequence that ends with Allin tagging out. Kaasa runs wild in a nice sequence then fights up top with Dickinson. Jaka also heads up and they hit Kaasa with a double superplex. Kaasa pulls the ropes down on a charging Jaka then hits Dickinson with a hurricarana. Allin is tagged in and heads up top but Dickinson catches a coffin drop attempt and hits a release German suplex. Jaka suplexes Kaasa on the floor then heads back in as Allin is hit with a Doomsday Chokeslam for the win (9:33) **1/2.
Thoughts: The match was fine but really nothing special or anything. Dickinson & Jaka were kept strong and Kaasa got some shine too. These four are probably going to be EVOLVE regulars going forward.
After the match, Trevin Adams comes out with contracts for Dickinson & Jaka but Larry Dallas interrupts and conducts an interview. He asks them both if they deserve the contracts as Dickinson is reminded about trying to earn a contract since EVOLVE began and how the fans barely even know about Jaka. Dickinson backs Dallas into the corner as Dallas keeps telling them he’s not an EVOLVE employee but a National journalist who is a civilian. Dickinson tells him to shut up and says its just the beginning and they have other business to take care of as well. Looks like they are serious about pushing Dickinson & Jaka as they likely be doing something else on the show. I didnt care much about Dallas one way or the other. His character is a little too corny for my liking.
Ethan Page w/ The Gatekeeper vs. Dick Togo
Page covers his ears to block out the “Togo’s gonna kill you” chants. Togo beats on Page, who was taunting his lack of height, and works the arm. Page fights out and takes Togo down with a big boot in the corner. Page then hits a delayed vertical suplex with one arm as that gets two. Togo fights back and hits a slingshot senton for two. Page places Togo on the top rope and takes him off with the Iconoclasm for a nearfall. Page mocks Togo and the crowd. Togo flips Page off after getting punched in the face then catches him with a clothesline. Togo gets two with a crucifix then locks on a crossface. Page escapes then blocks a tornado DDT attempt before hitting a big boot. Page gets two off of that but Togo sends him outside and takes him down with a tornado DDT. Back inside, Page gets his knees up on a slingshot senton and sets up for the RK-Ego but Togo catches him with a cutter for two. Togo heads up top where Page cuts him off. Togo headbutts Page down and hits a leaping DDT for two. Togo then hits Page with the Pedigree and heads up top but misses the senton. Page once again sets up for the RK-Ego and hits that for a nearfall. Togo blocks a pedigree and spits in Page’s face then they trade kicks until Page catches him with the Spinning Dwayne for the win (11:35) ***.
Thoughts: Good match. Page has a strong heel act going on here and Togo had a great weekend here in EVOLVE, proving that he can wrestle at a high level even at age 47. Page also needed a good win after his crappy match against Cody R. at EVOLVE 74 .
After the match, Page grabs the mic and runs down Togo before telling the Gatekeeper to finish him off. However, Togo fights back and hits him with a pedigree and a senton. They gave Togo his heat back after putting over Page.
DUSTIN vs. Chris Hero
DUSTIN attacks Hero as he stepped onto the apron. They brawl outside as Hero wins that battle. Back inside, Hero catches DUSTIN in a cravate and hits a neckbreaker for two. Hero gets two off of a senton then roughs him up for a bit. DUSTIN dropkicks Hero off of the apron and heads outside to mix it up before DUSTIN takes it back into the ring and stays in control. Hero starts to hulk up after getting hit with a headbutt and ends up knocking DUSTIN down after a flurry of strikes. Hero then catches DUSTIN with a boot before kneeing him in the face. Hero gets two with a release suplex but DUSTIN reverses a neckbreaker with a backslide then follows with a pair of DDT’s. DUSTIN sends Hero outside with the Sole Food and follows with a tope con hilo. Hero crawls inside as DUSTIN looks into the camera as we see his mouth bleeding. DUSTIN counters a victory roll and grabs the ropes for a two count. DUSTIN distracts the ref and hits a low blow as that gets two. DUSTIN fails to hit the Awful Waffle but gets hit with a pair of rolling elbows after Hero blocks a super kick. Hero hits a short piledriver then follows with a Gotch piledriver as that gets the win (13:09) ***1/4.
Thoughts: Another good match. They set this up nicely at EVOLVE 74 and giving Hero the win heading into his final weekend with the company is a good move as it gives a bigger rub to whoever beats him then.
Matt Riddle vs. Ricochet
I believe this is their first match together. They charge at each other after the bell as Riddle connects with a kick. Ricochet comes back to catch Riddle with a backbreaker for two then hits some boot scrapes. Ricochet picks Riddle up over his shoulders and rams his head off of the turnbuckle. Ricochet attempts the People’s Moonsault but Riddle counters with a triangle hold. Riddle hits a German suplex then four rolling gutwrenches as the crowd applauds. Riddle follows with a senton as that gets two. Ricochet comes back to dropkick Riddle in midair then hits the 619. Ricochet gets two with a running shooting star press then they work a nice reversal sequence that ends with both men down when Ricochet hits a corkscrew enziguiri. The fans applaud as they are now trading chops in the ring. Riddle puts Ricochet in a guillotine but Ricochet counters with a Northern lights suplex then deadlifts Riddle with a brainbuster for two. Ricochet heads up top for a shooting star press but that only gets two. Riddle counters the Benadryller and hits the Bro to Sleep. Riddle then hits a jumping tombstone for two and locks on the Bromission for the win (8:45) ***3/4. After the match the crowd gives Ricochet a standing ovation.
Thoughts: Awesome match. I wished this went on longer but what we got still ruled as two of the best talents out there today on the Independent scene busted their ass.
“Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams vs. Drew Gulak
At EVOLVE 61, both guys stole the show in their WWE CWC qualifying match. These two go back-and-forth to start, hitting each other hard. Gulak gets kicked to the floor where Williams flies out with a tope. Back inside, Williams works a chinlock until Gulak reverses the hold. Gulak gets two with a sunset flip then works a side headlock on the mat. Williams ducks under a leapfrog and rolls up Gulak for two. Gulak escapes a crossface attempt and rolls outside to pace around the ring. Williams works the arm as Gulak comes back inside. Williams hits a suplex for two then works Gulak over in the corner. He grounds Gulak for a bit until Gulak fights back and suplexes Williams into the corner. Gulak hits a few stomps but Williams fights back and regains control. They fight up top where Gulak hits a powerslam and both men are down, with some in the crowd chanting for Gulak. Williams ducks outside after getting stomped then he hits Gulak as these two brawl outside. Williams takes Gulak down with a dragon screw then puts his leg between the guardrail and stomps down. They are back in where Williams hits a top rope senton for two. He gets two off of a splash then stretches works over the leg but both men are down after Gulak blocks a superplex. Gulak dumps Williams outside and hits a tope but Williams comes back and dropkicks Gulak off of the apron before flying out with a pescado. They are back in the ring once again as they trade strikes until knocking each other down. Riddle comes out to root for Williams as Gulak hits Williams with a superplex then crawls over to get a two count as he is selling the leg. Gulak is now in control as he works the leg of Williams as Dickinson & Jaka are watching from the stage. Gulak stretches out Williams but Williams fights back and hits a slam. Williams then suplexes Gulak into the ropes and follows with a Doctor Bomb for a nearfall. Williams hits a few clotheslines in the corner then grapevines the leg after a reversal sequence. Williams then flies out with a crossbody to take out Gulak as both men are down. Back inside, Gulak gets his feet up on a top rope attack but Williams landed in his feet and put Gulak in the figure-four. Gulak reverses the hold and both men end up in the ropes. They fight on the apron and that ends with Gulak hitting a suplex. Yehi is also at ringside now as Gulak rolls in and tries to get the countout win. Williams is able to beat the count but gets powerbombed and then Gulak locks on a high angle Boston crab. Gulak tries to put on the Dragon Sleeper but Williams gets his foot on the ropes. The ref checks on Gulak’s hand then Williams fights back. Gulak cuts off Williams and they fight up top until Williams hits a DDT. Williams comes back with a clothesline then gets two with a brainbuster before putting on the crossface. Gulak tries to move near the ropes but is failing. The crowd rallies behind Gulak, who is able to get his foot on the ropes. Williams decks Gulak in the corner and hits a few clotheslines. He then places Gulak on top and tries for a superplex but Gulak headbutts him down and hits a flying clothesline as both men are down. Gulak locks on the Dragon Sleeper in the middle of the ring but Williams escapes and is able to lock on the crossface and eventually gets the win (37:00) ***1/2.
Thoughts: This was a really good match, although not as good as their work from EVOLVE 61. With Gulak heading off to the WWE, Williams winning was the obvious choice and it was a struggle.
After the match, Catchpoint celebrates. Gulak gets the mic as the fans chant his name. Gulak slowly pulls himself up and says Williams proved he was right about Catchpoint. Gulak also puts over all the guys in Catchpoint and their philosophy as he is hobbling around. Gulak then shakes hands with Williams as the crowd cheers. Dickinson & Jaka then head into the ring and say they want in Catchpoint. Gulak gives Williams the mic and says its his call as Williams mulls it over then welcomes both men into Catchpoint. Gulak looks on then tells them as much as he wanted to win, he’s a man of his word and that means his time in EVOLVE is over. Gulak also says he knows the winner of the WWN Tournament will be from Catchpoint and is standing inside of the ring right now. Gulak shakes hands with everyone before leaving. I liked this segment a lot. First, it put over that the Catchpoint philosophy works and made the stable look extremely strong as both Williams won and that newcomers want to join. Second, it was a nice sendoff for Gulak, whose frustrations on Catchpoint being a failure went away after the match and he passed the torch on to Williams as the new leader of Catchpoint.
Final Thoughts: I thought this was a solid show. They ended the show with Catchpoint looking strong heading into 2017 and have a few other storyline developments too. There was not a bad match on the card. With EVOLVE losing a lot of talents the past few months, it will be interesting to see if they can keep up the great work this year.