Monday, March 9, 2015

Evolve 33 Review

Rich Swann goes to war with Johnny a Jacksonville Ghetto?

Before I go into the show review, I need to mention the venue. Apparently the building they were supposed to run wasn't big enough to fit in the ring, so they had to run outside in a large open space/back alley area that this same venue also owned. It created an....interesting atmosphere for sure...

Evolve 33
Jacksonville, Florida 8/10/14

1.) Anthony Nese (with Caleb Konley) vs. Lince Dorado: *1/2

It's good to see Lince Dorado booked. I wish Evolve would use him a little more frequently. Unfortunately, Dorado is quickly beaten by Nese via submission in just under four minutes. I guess they wanted to have a short match at some point to show that a short, decisive victory could affect you in the standings at the end of the weekend. Should they have had this match as the opener? Probably not, as it really wasn't a good way to start off the show.

Afterwords, The Premiere Athlete Brand announced that Su Yung is no longer with the group, and Konley calls out Hero so they can have their match right now. Hero comes out, and it looks like we have our next match.

2.) Caleb Konley (with Anthony Nese) vs. Chris Hero: ***1/2

This was a pretty good match. Konley has had some good outing this weekend. Some solid action in this one. We did seem some interference from Anthony Nese, but that didn't matter, as Chris Hero still won the match. The Premiere Athlete Brand continues to be an enigma when it comes to how they're booked.

3.) Style Battle 2014 - James Raideen vs. Timothy Thatcher: **1/4

As I mentioned in my Evolve 32 Review, all four men in the Style Battle Tournament come into this show with 1-1 records. This was an ok match. Raideen's performances on the whole haven't been that impressive. At least the right guy (Thatcher) won this match. By virtue of his win, Thatcher is now at a record of 2-1 in the tournament, and that plays into the next match.

4.) Style Battle 2014 - Biff Busick vs. Drew Gulak: ***1/2

So since Thatcher won the last match, that means Biff Busick had been eliminated from contention to win the tournament, since Thatcher beat Busick at Evolve 32. That meant he was essentially playing spoiler for Drew Gulak, would could win the tournament if he defeats Busick. It seemed to come off that Busick wasn't aware of his situation in the standings, and the commentary really didn't help in that regard. The match was of course pretty good, as all Busick vs. Gulak matches are, but it was nowhere near as good as when they met in the Finals of the 2013 Style Battle Tournament. Busick wins, which means Timothy Thatcher wins the 2014 Style Battle Tournament. The standings made sense, but the ending was anticlimactic for sure. I feel like, had they switched the matches around, it would have made a bit more sense.

Thatcher cuts a promo after he was announced as the winner, putting over this style of wrestling and says people like Chris Hero paved the way for them. This brings out Hero, who attacks Drew Gulak! Thatcher bails, but Busick stands up to Hero. They have a brief stare down before Hero backs off.

At this point the sun has begun to go down and the lighting in the dark isn't exactly the best.

5.) Evolve Champion Drew Galloway vs. Open The Freedom Gate Champion Ricochet: ***3/4

This is a Battle of the Champions, and it turned out to be a very good match. Galloway has really impressed on these three shows, with his performances getting better & better with each show. The fact that he's been so passionate in his promos really helps out to. Of course, having Ricochet as an opponent also helps. Lots of really good action between these two, especially down the stretch. Ricochet would eventually get the win over Galloway.

After the match, Galloway cuts a promo similar to the one from Evolve 31. He puts over Ricochet & the whole roster, and mentions that he'll be at the next set of shows in New York.

6.) Evolution's End - Johnny Gargano vs. Rich Swann: ****1/4

Just as a refresher, Evolution's End means that anything goes on the outside of the ring, but the rules would strictly be enforced on the inside of the ring. These two have been feuding really since Gargano turned heel in mid-2013. Naturally, these two brawled all over this alley. You really got the sense that these two hated each other. This reminded me a lot of the Ricochet/AR Fox Anything Goes Match from Evolve 24 where the ring broke, in that they were able to use the unique surrounds to their advantage. Chairs, Ladders, and even the walls of the alley all came into play in this match. Eventually, Swann was finally able to put Gargano away and scored a huge win. This was a great match, and a brutal war. Easily the best match of the weekend. I don't know why some people dislike the Evolution's End concept. I think it's a pretty interesting idea. It's good to see that this Gargano/Swann feud has finally come to an end.

Afterwords, Swann celebrates with Su Yung (who had come out late in the match to offer Swann moral support), who kissed Swann. But wait, it's a swerve! Yung low blows Swann and The Premiere Athlete Brand come down and beat up Swann. So was this a big ruse this whole time? Then Gargano comes down and makes the save, seeming becoming a babyface again. Swann thanks Gargano (even though he still doesn't like him) and says he's coming for the Evolve Title to close the show.

Overall: 7.75/10

This was a relatively solid show from Evolve. It was sort of a mixed bag. The show had it's negatives, such as the venue, some matches in the first half being either really short or not that good, and the general confusion of the Style Battle Tournament. At the same time, it had some pretty good matches, such as Ricochet vs. Galloway and the brutal Evolution's End between Gargano & Swann. It wasn't as good as Evolve 32, but it was a little better than Evolve 31, and while Evolve 32 was the better show overall, Evolve 33 had arguably the best match of the weekend in Gargano/Swann. Some brutal stuff in that one. In summary, the final two matches are really the one reasons to see this show.

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