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Dickinson Activity Center – Winter Park, FL – Saturday, January 10, 2015
Before you watch the show, make sure to check out the EVOLVE Top 10 Post WWN Live! in China.
Lenny Leonard and Ron Niemi are on commentary.
Anthony Nese (w/ Caleb Konley, SoCal Val & Su Yung) defeats Shane Strickland at 11:59. Before the match, Nese introduces the New Director of PR for the Premier Athlete Brand, SoCal Val. Nese tells Su Yung that she will be Val’s assistant from now on. Strickland and Nese go back and forth in the early going, and with both SoCal Val and Su Yung at ringside it’s only a matter of time before Strickland gets distracted. Who could blame him? Nese controls for a while but Strickland stays in it and fights back. After an impressive showing by Strickland, Nese is able to catch him in a half crab and he gets the tap out win. Good choice for an opener there, as these two were well matched opponents. Strickland had a great showing this weekend, and Nese looked like he was just about a level up on Strickland, which is where he should be.
Timothy Thatcher defeats Roderick Strong at 17:11. Strong gets on the mic and heels it up in front of a crowd that has no interest in booing him. This starts off as a mat-wrestling battle, with Thatcher going after the arm, and Strong attacking the leg. They pepper in some hard strikes, but Strong strikes a little bit harder and takes the first sustained advantage. Strong takes Thatcher out to the floor and hurls his ribs into the ring-post. Thatcher just barely makes it back to the ring and Strong pounces on him. Strong works over the ribcage area and throws in a nice selection of chops. Thatcher continually fights back, zeroing in on Strong’s arm as much as he can. That strategy pays off when Thatcher traps Strong in a Fujiwara Armbar to get the tap out win! Strong showed just how good he is here, as he totally wrestled Thatcher’s style of match and didn’t look out of place at all. It’s hard to put into words how good Roderick Strong is. That’s not to say Thatcher is a slouch, because he more than held up his end of things. These two meshed together very well and made it feel like a real competition.
~Thatcher Challenges Hero~
Even though he’s a man of action, Thatcher has a few words to say. Thatcher reminds everyone that Chris Hero attacked him back in August after he won the Style Battle tournament. He challenges Hero to a match.
Trevor Lee defeats AR Fox by referee stoppage at 4:17. These two have similar styles, and they cut a fast pace right away. Fox sends Lee to the floor and hits him with two consecutive suicide dives, but Lee pops him in the mouth on the third try. Lee then drills Fox with a running kick from the ring apron. Fox is busted open around the eye, and Lee pulls at his face. Ouch. The referee checks on Fox and calls for the bell, as Fox is legitimately hurt. It was later reported that he got a concussion. This was shaping up to be a good match before the unfortunate injury. I’m glad they stopped it when they did though.
Biff Busick defeats Uhaa Nation at 14:10. It’s a feeling-out process in the early going, as this is a pretty severe styles clash. I mean that in the best way. They go back and forth and Nation scores the first big blow with a dropkick that sends Busick to the floor. Nation uses his size and strength to his advantage, but Busick is tenacious and battles back. Busick focuses on Nation’s midsection and rib cage, which is a smart way to neutralize the big man’s power. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really matter, as Nation fights back with moves like rolling German Suplexes and a Superfly Splash, so his ribs must not be that injured. That’s frustrating. Nation also does a Fighting Spirit sell of a half-nelson suplex, which I don’t like either. He tries the Uhaa Combination but Busick gets his knees up and tries a small package for two. Busick then locks on a Rear Naked Choke. Nation escapes but Busick goes back to the Choke as soon as he can and he forces Nation to tap out! I liked most of this and I dig how clean Busick went over, that’s a good win for him. But Nation just ignoring all the rib work definitely knocks this down a peg.
~Busick Challenges Hero~
Busick gets on the microphone and addresses Timothy Thatcher’s challenge to Chris Hero. He also wants to challenge Chris Hero to a match at the WWNLive Experience in San Jose.
EVOLVE Champion Drew Galloway defeats Ricochet at 13:45 to retain the title. Galloway has been the Champion since 8.8.14, and this is his twelfth defense. Ricochet earned this title shot with a victory of Galloway in a non-title Champion v Champion match back at EVOLVE 33: Gargano vs. Swann – Evolution’s End. He starts the match with a cheap shot during the introduction, but Galloway quickly fights back and they take it to the floor. Amazingly, Ricochet is able to use the basketball hoop to his advantage, hanging on the rim and delivering a hurricanrana. That was cute. Ricochet tries to run up the wall and deliver a moonsault, but Galloway catches him and slams him into the wall! This match is cool. Back in the ring the momentum continues to shift, as Ricochet does cool high-flying moves, and Galloway counters with his superior power. After a series of reversals, Galloway catches Ricochet with a wicked back fist. Galloway says it wasn’t intention for some reason, as if it would matter? I don’t get that. Galloway then drills him with a boot to the face and the Future Shock DDT to get the pin. That was all kinds cool, with both guys using their best stuff, and Galloway just got vicious at the end to put Ricochet away. It’s always a good title defense when a current Champion can defeat a recent former Champion, and that’s true in this case, as Galloway comes out looking like a million bucks. This should have been the main event.
Ronin (Johnny Gargano, Rich Swann & Chuck Taylor) defeat The Bravado Brothers (Harlem Bravado & Lancelot Bravado) & Moose in a Losing Team Must Split Up Six Man Tag Team Match at 14:01. This one starts off as a wild brawl. When the match settles down the Bravados and Moose are able to isolate Swann in their half of the ring. Ronin works surprisingly well together given that they were last seen in the same ring beating each other senseless. Late in the match Moose decides he’s had enough of Harlem and Lancelot, and he takes them both out. Moose still wants to win the match though, so he goes after Ronin. Unfortunately for Moose, the Bravados take him and Lancelot out, and are all alone with Harlem. Ronin delivers a triple-team double-stomp DDT into a Hurts Donut from Gargano, then a superkick from Taylor, and finally a Frog Splash from Swann to get the win. That was a fun main event, but I wasn’t exactly invested in finding out which team had to split up – no one really cares about the Bravado Brothers and Moose, and Chuck Taylor hasn’t been in EVOLVE since this match. Also, the Bravado Brothers are back as a team as of this writing (but they can’t team with Moose, I guess), so the whole thing felt a little meaningless in the end.
~There Can Be Only One~
Johnny Gargano gets on the microphone and thanks the fans, and puts over everyone in the building as “the face of WWN.” The Open the Freedom Gate Champion says he will make his title the most prestigious title, and that brings out EVOLVE Champion Drew Galloway to dispute that claim. Galloway says there can be only one Champion, and both men stand with their belts held high.
Other than the unfortunately though understandably cut short Lee v Fox match, this is another show with nothing but good matches, with Strong v Thatcher and Galloway v Ricochet really standing out. They also moved towards the big weekend in San Jose, with both Biff Busick and Timothy Thatcher challenging Chris Hero, presumably for matches there. At two hours this show breezes right by and is another excellent outing for EVOLVE’s second chapter. You can purchase the Blu-Ray from the DGUSA.tv Store.
Tags: Bravado Brothers, drew galloway, evolve, Ricochet, Ronin