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The Sportatorium – Deer Park, NY – Sunday, March 8, 2015
Before you watch the show, make sure to check out the EVOLVE Top 10 – New #1 after EVOLVE 36 & 37.
Rob Naylor and Trevin Adams are on commentary.
Biff Busick defeats Martin Stone at 5:14. They start with some chain wrestling, and both men are quite aggressive in their approach. Stone looks good here and almost puts Busick away on several occasions. However, Busick is able to cinch in the Rear Naked Choke and Stone quickly taps out. I could see a complaint that this was too short, but sometimes it’s cool to see a match end with a badass submission hold from out of nowhere. Plus if they’re building Busick up this was a good win for him.
Team Tremendous (Bill Carr & Dan Barry) defeat Earl Cooter & Jody Kristofferson (w/ Larry Dallas) at 10:23. I’m not particularly familiar with any of these four competitors. Larry Dallas I know enough that I know I don’t care for him. Team Tremendous controls early, as I realize how much Carr resembles Ray Traylor. Kristofferson is also a big dude and once he tags in he puts his team in control. This is pretty much formula tag stuff, with everyone besides Cooter looking solid-to-good. The referee loses control and chaos reigns until Team Tremendous are able to connect on a Doomsday Sliced Bread to get the pin on Cooter. That was solid stuff and I would definitely like to see Team Tremendous back, but Cooter looked out of place and Larry Dallas shouldn’t be anywhere near a wrestling ring.
AR Fox Defeats Matt Cage at 12:12. I know very little about Matt Cage, so I’m interested to see what he can do. Fox attacks before the bell and here we go. Cage fights back and sends Fox to the floor, and then wipes him out with a suicide dive. They go back and forth, both men showing off their athletic prowess. Fox takes the first sustained advantage and keeps Cage on the defensive for a while. Cage makes a comeback and both men are keeping this one going at a quick pace. After many momentum shifts and plenty of offense, Fox connects with Lo Mein Pain and a 450 Splash to get the pin. I liked parts of this match, and I think it was a solid showcase for newcomer Cage, who has some pretty unique offense. Unfortunately, these two just couldn’t get into a flow that made sense, with big moves peppered in along with little moves and they all felt the same. No faulting the effort here, but something just felt off.
Chris Hero defeats Drew Gulak at 19:10. Gulak cuts a promo before the match, briefly mentioning how he is a substance over style type of wrestler. Hero comes out and I continue to understand why Triple H didn’t think he would look good on TV. They start off with some respectful chain and mat wrestling, but Hero gets aggressive when he feels threatened by Gulak’s skills. The fight spills to the floor and Hero is firmly in control now. Hero controls for a bit but Gulak has a lot of fight left in him and he makes a comeback and continually goes for the Ankle Lock. Hero is tall enough and has enough reach to get to the ropes in most circumstances. The intensity builds as the match goes on, with Hero throwing in some of his big strikes and Gulak showing how tough he is by withstanding them. Finally, Hero is able to put Gulak away with a vicious Tombstone Piledriver for the pin. That was a cool finish, as after taking a bunch of strikes to the head, a Tombstone would definitely put someone down. I really liked the structure of this match, starting off all nice and respectful and building tension as it went along. Good stuff.
~Chris Hero Promo~
Hero puts Gulak over for being tough, and then turns his attention to Biff Busick, who comes right out to get in Hero’s face. Busick looks ready for a fight, and Hero tries to take a cheap shot but Busick counters him and tries to put on the Rear Naked Choke! Hero bails through the crowd. Wise choice.
PJ Black defeats Caleb Konley (w/ Anthony Nese) at 12:24. Konley is one half of the Open the United Gate Champions. Black is making his EVOLVE debut here. They start off with the back and forth into a standoff spot that’s been around forever and needs to go away. Out on the floor Konley is able to take control and he begins to wear Black down. Momentum swings back and forth, with Konley doing his best to ground Black and his high-flying antics. Konley makes a good showing and is almost able to get the big win. When they fight over a superplex, Black is able to drop down off the top rope and drop Konley on the top rope. That puts Konley in perfect position for Black to hit a springboard 450 Splash for the pin. That was solid stuff with a few awkward spots but nothing too major. Black looked excited to be on the indies and I look forward to seeing his future EVOLVE matches.
Davey Richards defeats Anthony Nese (w/ Caleb Konley) at 21:16. These are two pretty evenly matched opponents, though Nese is definitely the more proficient high-flyer. They wrestle back and forth in the early going, with Richards working the lower half of the body and Nese going high. Both men work in a variety of strikes and suplexes as things get more heated the further into the match they get. Richards selling is all over the place, as usual. Late in the match Nese misses a 450 Splash and Richards kicks him right in the face. Richards goes up top and hits a vicious double stomp for two. A kick to the head gets two, and then Richards locks on the Stretch Muffle and Nese taps out. I feel like it would have been a big win for Nese to go over here, especially since his Tag Team Championship partner also lost tonight, but someone disagrees with me there. This ran a little long and Davey was Davey, but Nese did a good job holding this together and making it into something fairly entertaining.
~A Prelude to Violence~
This is a well done video package on the feud between EVOLVE Champion Drew Galloway and newcomer to EVOLVE Roderick Strong. The gist of the feud is that Strong has been a dick to Galloway because he wants to be the EVOLVE Champion, and Galloway is responding to the mean things Strong has done to him. They’ve had a couple very good matches so far: Galloway earned the victory at EVOLVE 35, and they wrestled to a no-contest in a Grudge match at EVOLVE 36.
Roderick Strong defeats EVOLVE Champion Drew Galloway via referee stoppage at 19:13 in a non-title Steel Cage Match. Strong cuts a promo before the match, surmising that the Steel Cage is an unsafe work environment and he’s going to leave, but Galloway charges out to attack him and keep him in the fight. They brawl around the ring briefly and Galloway is firmly in control as they head into the cage to officially start the match. Strong fights back of course, and both men spend a good amount of time in control of the contest. Late in the match Galloway tosses the referee out of his way and Strong takes advantage with a kick to the junk. Strong uses the cage to bust Galloway’s head open, and things aren’t looking good for the EVOLVE Champion. The crafty Strong traps Galloway between the cage wall and the ring apron and delivers a series of brutal kicks to the face. Since Galloway cannot escape and appears to be out, the referee stops the match! That was certainly a unique finish, and it made Strong look like a killer and a guy that really wanted to hurt his opponent, which is all good by me. This was a tremendous cage match with a big fight feel, and now Strong has the rights to a title match so they have a good reason to wrestle one more time. I look forward to that.
~All Roads Lead to San Jose!~
After the match Strong continues to attack Galloway, locking him in the Stronghold! PJ Black runs out to make the save. Black then asks for a title shot, which Galloway grants him. So in EVOLVE it’s all about the rankings, except when it’s not. Galloway says the feud with Strong is not over, even though he just got beaten pretty cleanly. He drops a bunch of f-bombs and decides that there should be one Champion in EVOLVE, so he challenges Open the Freedom Gate Champion Johnny Gargano to make their match in San Jose a title unification match
The main event delivered in spades, and the undercard had some good matches and angle advancement, so this is another winner for EVOLVE. Galloway continues to do a good job as Champion, though I was put off by his post-match promo. Biff Busick continued his elevation, Drew Gulak put in a great performance, and Davey Richards and PJ Black added some star power to the card. For a show that came together at the last minute, this turned out quite good. You can purchase the Blu-ray from the DGUSA.tv Store.
Tags: Chris Hero, Davey Richards, drew galloway, evolve, Roderick Strong