Monday, March 9, 2015

Evolve 35 Review

In one of the best shows of the year, Ricochet defends the Open The Freedom Gate Title against Uhaa Nation in the Main Event!

Evolve 35
Brooklyn, New York 9/14/14

1.) Johnny Gargano vs. Drew Gulak: ***3/4

Once again, Johnny Gargano is in the opening match, trying to work his way back up to challenge for the Evolve Title. He defeated Anthony Nese at Evolve 34 the previous night, and here he's taking on Drew Gulak. This was a really great opener. There was a lot of good action in this one, including a number of near falls & submission attempts. The crowd was into it as well, and that just added to it. Gargano would capture the victory via submission over Gulak.

After the match, the two shook hands, but then Su Yung & Mr. A from The Premiere Athlete Brand come out. Yung says that Gargano's victory was a fluke, and that there will be consequences for him helping Rich Swann. Gargano asks if Su Yung was going to give him herpes. This greatly upsets her, and she sends Mr. A to go after him. Gargano quickly disposes of Mr. A. Nese & Konley come out and belittle Mr. A as Gargano leaves.

2.) Tracy Williams vs. Timothy Thatcher: ***1/4

This is the Evolve Debut for Tracey Williams. While this wasn't as good as the opener, it was still a pretty solid match. Thatcher did all of his usual stuff, but Williams held his own and looked good in here as well. Thatcher would get the win in a pretty solid match.

3.) Non-Title Match - Evolve Champion Drew Galloway vs. Roderick Strong : ****1/4

The ring announcer accidentally announced Galloway as Drew "McIntyre". The fans were all over her on that one. Galloway wanted to put the Evolve Title on the line, but the referee noted that Strong wasn't high enough in the rankings to get a title shot, but he could get a shot if he beats Galloway. Strong then takes the mic. He puts over Galloway and says that he knows he can beat him. He says he would defeat him tonight and then beat him again for the title, proving that he was a failure as Evolve Champion, just like he was a failure in the WWE. He then hits Galloway with the mic and the match is on!

I really wasn't sure what to expect with this match, but it turned out to be much better than I expected it to be. This was an awesome match! It was filled with hard hitting back & forth action, and the crowd was on fire! I don't know what it was, but these two just clicked and it made for an awesome match. Galloway would eventually defeat Strong to win this incredible match.

Afterwords, Strong attacked Galloway and hit him with the Evolve Title.

4.) Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Biff Busick: ****

This is the 2nd outing of the weekend for Zack Sabre Jr., as he's taking on Biff Busick. Once again, another awesome match from Zack Sabre Jr., who wrestled another opponent that really meshed well with him, though Busick has a bit more of a smash mouth style than Thatcher. Lots of great action in this one. We got a lot of technical wrestling & mat work here, and the crowd was into it. Everything seemed to flow well pretty nicely. It went close to 20 Minutes, but it definitely didn't feel like it, and that's a good thing. Busick would get a submission victory over Zack Sabre Jr., which is a pretty impressive feat.

5.) Open The United Gate Tag Team Titles - Three-Way Elimination Match - The Bravado Brothers (with Moose) vs. The Premiere Athlete Brand (Anthony Nese & Caleb Konley with Su Yung & Mr. A) vs. AR Fox & Rich Swann: ****1/2

Originally, this was supposed to be just The Bravado Brothers vs. The Premiere Athlete Brand in a regular 2-on-2 match, but AR Fox decided to cash in his guaranteed title shot, which he won from The Premiere Athlete Brand back in May, and announced Rich Swann as his new tag team partner. This is now a three-way elimination match for the Open The United Gate Tag Team Titles. Now with all the stuff that has been going on with The Premiere Athlete Brand & The Bravado Brothers (in terms of booking), you think this wouldn't be any good, but boy, they proved us all wrong!! This was amazing!!!! From start to finish, this was just nonstop action. The crowd was on fire for this one, and it had many incredible moments, including AR Fox diving off the balcony onto everyone!! That was insane! The Bravados would end up going out first, meaning that we would be guaranteed new champions. In the end, The Premiere Athlete Brand would defeat Fox & Swann to capture the Open The United Gate Titles. This worked on a number of levels. Adding Fox & Swann definitely added interest to a match that I wasn't looking forward to beforehand. Getting the titles off of The Bravados was a plus, and putting the titles on The Premiere Athlete Brand, who have been having good matches, despite their booking, keeps them something to do. The crowd being super into it was a big factor in this being as great as it was. In addition, it really helped a tag team division that really needed something to get it going again.

6.) Open The Freedom Gate Title - Ricochet vs. Uhaa Nation: ****1/4

I heard that these two had a really great match in Japan for Dragon Gate when Ricochet was Open The Dream Gate Champion. This time, he's defending the Open The Freedom Gate Title. Another fantastic match on this show!! Ricochet has had an amazing 2014 (which continued in this match), and Uhaa Nation's star continues to rise. There was a ton of great action in this one. They are just so much fun to watch and they always deliver. Ricochet is eventually able to put away Uhaa Nation with  the 630 to retain his title. Once again, a great main event that definitely delivered.

Overall: 9.5/10

After everything that Dragon Gate USA & Evolve have been through in 2014, with all the ups and downs, the horrible booking, and the "reboot", you wouldn't have thought that they would be able to put this type of show together. They surpassed all expectations with this show. Everything about it was just so awesome in so many ways. The matches were great and the crowd was on fire. From the opening match, to the Main Event, everyone delivered. This show is definitely one that you need to go out of your way to see. Without a doubt, this show is one of the best that Evolve has put out all year.

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