Sunday, January 31, 2016

Evolve 50 Review

Roppongi Vice takes on The Premiere Athlete Brand in the Main Event!

Evolve 50
Deer Park, New York 10/18/15

1.) Tracy Williams vs. TJ Perkins: ***1/2

The show kicks off with two men who are looking to bounce back after losses at Evolve 49 (Williams in singles action, Perkins in tag team action). I thought this was a really good opener. Perkins is such a breath of fresh air in Evolve, as his unique style makes these “grapplef*ck” matches way more interesting. Williams looked good here as well, and in the end, Williams picks up the submission victory with a crossface out of nowhere. Although it did kind of neglect the work Perkins had done to the arm of Williams earlier, that’s just a minor complaint. A very solid match, and a good singles win for Williams, who now owns submission victories over Biff Busick and TJ Perkins.

Afterwords, Drew Gulak comes out to celebrate with Williams, and tells Perkins that if he has issues with Thatcher, then they should talk.

2.) “All Ego” Ethan Page vs. “Money” Matt Cage: ***

Page is coming off a devastation loss to Johnny Gargano in an I Quit Match the night before at Evolve 49. Despite this, Page still appears to be cocky, attacking Cage before the bell. This was a pretty solid match. It’s nice to see Matt Cage getting more opportunities with Evolve, and he worked well with Page here. Cage eventually caught Page with a backslide, after Page was arguing with the fans, for the pin and the win! Page snaps, and attacks Cage immediately after the fact. They seemed to be pushing the idea that Page wasn’t focused following his big loss to Gargano, which cost him the win here, and that makes sense.

It was after this match that we have another Sami Zayn segment for the live crowd only, where Zayn confronted Ethan Page.

3.) Andrew Everett vs. Peter Kaasa: ***1/2

Peter Kaasa had an very positive showing in his Evolve debut the night before in the opening Four-Way Match, and here, he’s taking on another high-flyer, and the man who won that Four-Way Match, Andrew Everett. These two had a really entertaining match. Everett is such a good high flyer, and we got to see more of what Kaasa can do. Exciting stuff from both guys here. In the end, Kaasa was able to take advantage of a missed Shooting Star Press attempt from Everett, and got the victory! Looks like they’re going to be doing more with Kaasa going forward, and I’ve got no complaints with that.

4.) Chris Dickinson vs. Matt Riddle: **1/2

Up next we have Matt Riddle’s 2nd match of the weekend, as he takes on Chris Dickinson. While this wasn’t quite as good as Riddle’s match from Evolve 49, this was still decent. It only went four minutes or so, but they did some interesting stuff during that period. Riddle would end up getting the win over Dickinson with a big knee strike.

After the match, Drew Gulak & Tracy Williams (now know as Catch Point, if I forgot to mention that earlier) come out and congratulate Riddle on his win. They then announce they will both be getting singles matches against Riddle at the next set of Evolve shows in Florida.

5.) Drew Gulak vs. Willie Mack: ***1/4

Since Gulak was already in the ring, we go right into our next match. This was basically a consolation prize for Gulak, who came up short in a #1 Contender’s Match with Trevor Lee at Evolve 49. This was a solid match. It wasn’t the most appetizing matchup on paper (I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to it), but they put on a pleasantly good performance. The match wasn’t amazing by any means, but it was a fine undercard match. Gulak picks up the win here over Willie Mack.

6.) Evolve World Title – Timothy Thatcher vs. Trevor Lee: ***1/2

Trevor Lee defeated Drew Gulak the night before at Evolve 49 to earn this title shot. I was wondering how this match would work out, given the styles of both men, but I think they had a really good title match here. The action was very solid, and it was very interesting to see two guys mix it up who don’t normally interact with one another. While it was a bit odd that Lee was dominating a portion of the match, it didn’t take away from it too match. Thatcher eventually locked on an armbar from out of nowhere for the victory, retaining his Evolve World Title!

After the match, Catch Point of Drew Gulak & Tracy Williams come out and Gulak reminds Thatcher (one again), that he’s never beaten him in Evolve. Things got a bit heated, but then TJ Perkins came out, and turned on Thatcher, attacking the Evolve World Champion, and aligning himself with Catch Point. 

7.) The Premiere Athlete Brand (Anthony Nese & Caleb Konley with SoCal Val) vs. Roppongi Vice (Rocky Romero & Trent Baretta): ***3/4

This is the continuation of the beef that Baretta has had with The Premiere Athlete Brand in recent months. I thought this was a really good Main Event. Things started slow, but the match built to the point where it got really exciting in the closing stretch. This has to be one of the most entertaining tag team matches that The Premiere Athlete Brand have had in quite some time. One of the highlights of this match involved Trent Baretta’s mother, who was sitting at ringside. At one point, SoCal slapped Baretta in front of his mom, and later, Baretta brought Nese over, and his mom slapped him a couple of times, with Nese added to this madness by saying that Baretta’s mom made him pasta once. Entertaining stuff, and it got the crowd into the match. In the end, Baretta & Romero win the match after hitting the Strong Zero.

After the match, Roppongi Vice celebrated with Baretta’s mom, and declared that they want to see the creation of, and wanted to come after, the Evolve Tag Team Titles.

Overall: 7.5/10

While this show didn’t have anything amazing, this was still a very solid wrestling show from top to bottom. In terms of match quality, I’d say this was a bit more consistent than Evolve 49. The Main Event was definitely the best match on the show, but you also had some other really good matches in Thatcher vs. Lee for the Evolve Title, Kaasa vs. Everett, and Williams vs. TJP. We also got some other developments, including TJ Perkins joining Catch Point, and Matt Riddle gearing up for matches with Gulak & Williams on the next set of show. Once again, another solid outing from Evolve.

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