Monday, July 21, 2014

Evolve 29 Review

A big tag team Main Event headlines Evolve's return to Queens!

Evolve 29
Queens, New York 5/9/14

1.) Blake Edward Belakus vs. JT Dunn (with Shelly Martinez): **3/4

Belakus is becoming more & more frequent in the WWNLive Universe (mainly FIP, and starting to creep into Evolve), while JT Dunn has been seeing a lot of success in CZW, Beyond Wrestling & FIP as one half of the Juicy Product. The lovely Shelly Martinez is in Dunn's corner. A pretty solid opener here. Both guys worked hard and the crowd appreciated their effort. Belakus has potential, and I would love to see JT Dunn bring in his Juicy Product partner David Starr with him to Evolve so they can add some like to this extremely lacking tag team division. Belakus gets the win in this one.

2.) Non Title Match – Open The United Gate Tag Team Champions The Bravado Brothers (with Moose) vs. The Monster Mafia (#ALLEGO & #Walking Weapon): ***1/2

This is a non-title match. #ALLEGO is starting to get booked in bigger independent promotions with his amazing performances in AAW & AIW while #WalkingWeapon is just coming off an injury. I enjoyed this. It was an entertaining tag team match. The Monster Mafia continue to prove themselves and why they deserve to be in bigger places. They're both so talented. The Bravados were their usual selves....still trying to enforce their "you must use the tag ropes" gimmick that seems to be forgotten whenever they're actually in a match. In the end, Harlem & Lancelot Bravado get the victory.

Before the next match, Su Yung extends an invitation to Uhaa Nation to join the Premiere Athlete Brand.

3.) Caleb Konley (with Su Yung & Mr. A) vs. Rich Swann: ****

This would the first of many matches involving The Premiere Athlete Brand against various combinations of AR Fox, Rich Swann & Uhaa Nation. This match between Caleb Konley & Rich Swann was actually pretty great. Lots of back & forth action. Swann is one of the most exiting and entertaining wrestlers in the world today. Great high flyer and tons of charisma, so it's no surprise that he was awesome here. It's honestly impossible not to love this guy. As far as Caleb Konley goes, this might be his best singles match he's had since coming to Dragon Gate USA/Evolve. It's a shame that's he's been criminally misused since the day he was brought in. He's deserved better. Still, this was a really great match. 

After his victory, Swann tries to cut a promo on his I Quit Match with Johnny Gargano the next night at Evolve 30, but the mic isn't working, so he just shouts his promo.

4.) Johnny Gargano vs. Biff Busick: ***3/4

Now this was a matchup I was looking forward to. Biff Busick is a guy who's stock is rising, after his many critically acclaimed encounters with Drew Gulak and his recent CZW World Title win. Gargano comes out looking a little sad, after losing the Open The Freedom Gate Title at Open The Ultimate Gate 2014, but is ready to compete. This was another great match. I really like the placement of this match because it was just as good as the match before it, but it was a completely different style of match. Whenever you have a match involving Biff Busick, it's going to be hard hitting, and that's exactly what we got. Lots of good wrestling in this one. At one point, Busick gave Gargano a sick lariat that ended up dislocating/partially fracturing Gargano's jaw (which would effect his status for Evolve 30). Busick would end up getting a huge win over the former Open The Freedom Gate Champion.

5.) Jigsaw & Tim Donst vs. The Colony (Fire Ant & Green Ant): ***1/2

Once again, we have another change of pace, this time to a match featuring some CHIKARA stalwarts.  I think this is the first time Jigsaw & Tim Donst have teamed together in a two-on-two match, but I could be wrong. As you would expect this was a really entertaining match. The Colony are always fun to watch while Jigsaw & Donst played their heel (or rudo) roles well. Although the match had some rough spots, it was still pretty good. The Colony won on a bit of a botch as Green Ant locked in the the CHIKARA Special and the referee (for some stupid reason) counted it as a pinfall!! Bryce Remsburg should slap that referee!! Having The Colony winning here makes total sense since they're challenging The Bravado Brothers for the Open The United Gate Titles at Evolve 30.

Speaking of which, Green Ant takes the mic after the match and cuts a promo talking about The Colony's big title match the next night. This brings out The Bravado Brothers, who congratulate The Colony on the win but chastise them for not following the proper tag rules. This leads to Moose sneaking up from behind and spearing both Fire Ant & Green Ant.

6.) Drew Gulak vs. Chuck Taylor: ***

This match came about after the Gentlemen's Club exploded during WrestleMania Weekend, with Orange Cassidy walking out on Chuck Taylor at Evolve 28, while Drew Gulak attacked Taylor following their tag team loss at Open The Ultimate Gate 2014. This was a good match, though it never really was much better than that. Part of the issue with this was that is was built as a "Grudge Match", but yet they started the match like a normal match, and don't go at each other right from the beginning. Again, the action was fine, but it wasn't anything overly impressive. Gulak gets the submission victory

Before the Main Event, we are unexpectedly interrupted by Larry Dallas, who had been fired following the antics he pulled with Teddy Hart during the WrestleMania Weekend Shows. He tries to beg for his job back, but nobody cares. Can we please move on?

7.) AR Fox & Uhaa Nation (with SHINE Champion Ivelisse) vs. The Premiere Athlete Brand (Anthony Nese & Trent Baretta with Su Yung & Mr. A): ****1/4

SHINE Champion Ivelisse is out with AR Fox & Uhaa Nation to even the odds against Su Yung at ringside, which is something show has been doing for several months. Su Yung, before the match begins, demands an answer from Uhaa Nation on her offer from earlier. Uhaa Nation then proposes something slightly different, saying that if he loses, he will indeed join the Premiere Athlete Brand, but that if he & AR Fox win, then they win The Premiere Athlete Brand's prize for winning the Trios Tournament at Mercury Rising 2014, which was to book any match they wanted in Dragon Gate USA/Evolve. Su Yung excepts this offer. As the match begins, Christina Von Eerie attacks Ivelisse and the two women brawl to the back, presumably setting up a future SHINE Title Match. That was a lot of stuff before the match even got started!

As for the match itself, I thought it was actually a fantastic Main Event. All four of these guys are great wrestlers and they put together a really great match here. Nese & Baretta continue to get better, and both Uhaa Nation & AR Fox were awesome as always. I could get used to them being a regular tag team whenever Uhaa Nation isn't wrestling in Japan. Eventually, the team of Uhaa Nation & AR Fox get the win, and the right to book whatever matches they want in Dragon Gate USA/Evolve.

Overall: 8.5/10

This was definitely the best Evolve Show since Evolve 25 back in January. You'll notice that the shows that tend to be more focused on wrestling, and not on some of the crap like we saw during WrestleMania Weekend, they tend to be really good. There really wasn't a single bad match on here, while this show had a little something for everyone with a bunch of different styles of matches, something that Evolve was founded on. Despite a few questionable items, like the booking of the Gulak/Taylor Match, the appearance of Larry Dallas, and The Premiere Athlete Brand losing yet again, it was still an extremely solid wrestling show from top to bottom.

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