Melrose, Massachusetts 12/11/16
1.) Jeff Cobb vs. Evolve Tag Team Champion Fred Yehi (with Tracy Williams): ***1/4
The night before at Evolve 74, Jeff Cobb made an impactful debut when he defeated Matt Riddle. Now, he’s taking on another member of Catch Point in the form of Fred Yehi. I thought this was a pretty solid opening match. There was some good technical wrestling throughout, and it only clocked in at around ten minutes, which is a fine length for an opener. In the end, Cobb scored the victory here over one-half of the Evolve Tag Team Champions, meaning that he went 2-0 during his first weekend in Evolve.
Following the match, Drew Gulak comes out, and once again declares that Catch Point was a failure. Yehi retorts by saying that there’s no shame in losing to an athlete like Jeff Cobb. After mentioning the fact that he was a double champion (being one-half of the Evolve Tag Team Champions and the FIP World Heavyweight Champion), Yehi says he’ll use this loss as motivation to get better. Gulak says that his focus is now on the WWNLive Championship (which will be decided during a tournament on WrestleMania Weekend in Orlando), and vows that he’ll defeat Tracy Williams tonight. Then, Williams takes the mic, and decides to raise the stakes of their match. He says that if he beats Gulak, then he can’t enter the tournament. Gulak responds by saying that if he wins, then the rest of Catch Point is barred from the tournament. They accept the match, and Gulak slaps Williams.
2.) The Doom Patrol (Chris Dickinson & Jaka) vs. Darby Allin & Peter Kaasa: ***
This is a big match for The Doom Patrol, as if they’re victorious in this match, then they will officially earn spots on the Evolve roster. As a whole, this was a fine tag team encounter. There was some fun back & forth action throughout, and it didn’t go too long. Although it was pretty obvious that Dickinson & Jaka were winning (since they were facing a makeshift team), the match was still entertaining for what it was. Dickinson & Jaka ultimately got the victory, and thus, have earned spots on the Evolve roster.
Larry Dallas (yes, that guy is back) came out to interview Chris Dickinson & Jaka after the match, and the former said that tonight was just the start of things to come. I think Dickinson & Jaka are solid pickups for the Evolve roster. With all of the talent that they’ve lost in the past year (and that’s something which has been underreported IMO), Evolve really needed to fill up the spots that were being left open. Dickinson & Jaka have been stalwarts of Beyond Wrestling for a long time, so it was nice to see them finally get a more permanent shot in a place like Evolve.
3.) “All Ego” Ethan Page (with Blaster McMassive) vs. Dick Togo: ***1/4
Having Dick Togo on this set of shows was so random, but at the same time, it was pretty cool. While many were looking forward to his first match against Chris Hero, very few people were excited for this match against Ethan Page, especially after Page had (easily) the worst match on Evolve 74 against Cody. Luckily, this ended up being surprisingly good. There was some pretty entertaining action throughout, and both guys looked solid here. It wasn’t the best match on the card, but again, considering that not a lot of people were excited for this one, it definitely exceeded expectations to a certain degree. Ethan Page got the win here, which was definitely a good step in building him back up again. It seems like Evolve made a couple of missteps in the booking of Ethan Page since his heel turn at the end of Evolve 69. They’ve been able to bounce back from those mistakes in big ways, and hopefully his booking is less rocky going forward.
After the match, Page tells Blaster McMassive to give Dick Togo a beating, but Togo fights back, and sends him packing.
4.) Chris Hero vs. DUSTIN: ***1/2
This match was really set up back at Evolve 73, when Chris Hero subbed for an injured Drew Galloway in a Four-Way Elimination Match for the Evolve Tag Team Titles. Miscommunication between DUSTIN & Hero towards the end of that match led to the team being eliminated, costing Drew Galloway & DUSTIN the Evolve Tag Team Titles. I thought this was a really good match, despite being one of Hero’s weakest singles outing in Evolve in 2016. The match featuring pretty good action, along with some solid brawling, from start to finish, and it seemed like both guys were working pretty hard. In the end, Hero put DUSTIN away with a combination of elbows and piledrivers to score the victory.
5.) Ricochet vs. Matt Riddle: ****
Out of all the matches on this card, I was anticipating this one the most. We got just a taste of what these two could do in a singles match back at Evolve 68 in a Triple Threat Match that also involved Tony Nese, but now, they’re finally facing off in singles action. While it wasn’t quite the spectacular match I was expecting, this was still pretty awesome!! I think what ended up hurting it was the fact that it was just under ten minutes. Usually, I’m one to complain about certain matches being too long, but this particular match was a little too short. If they had been given another five minutes, it could’ve been an epic match. With that being said, however, I still had a ton of fun watching this one. There was some incredible action from start to finish, which is no shock, since both guys are so great. Eventually, Matt Riddle was able to get the win after getting Ricochet to tap out to the Bromission.
6.) Drew Gulak vs. Evolve Tag Team Champion Tracy Williams (with Catch Point): ***3/4
These two had fantastic WWE Cruiserweight Classic Qualifying Match back at Evolve 61, but while that encounter was all business, this one seems to be much more personal. Combine that with the added stipulation that were announced earlier in the night, and we have the makings of a potentially great match. Even though the match really good (as a whole), I don’t think this was the epic match that they were setting out to do. The main thing that hurt the match, in my eyes, was the length. This would’ve been great if it went around twenty minutes or so, but at nearly thirty-seven minutes, this match was just too long. It just kept going and going. Again, I should stress that this was still a very good match, and there really wasn’t anything wrong with much of action. Both guys seemed to work very hard, and I honestly can’t knock them for their efforts here. There were a number of genuinely great moments, but again, my point about the length still stands. Ultimately, Tracy Williams scored the submission victory over his mentor.
After the match, Drew Gulak admitted that Tracy Williams was right about Catch Point not being a failure. He says that because of the efforts of Riddle, Williams, and Yehi, Catch Point was a success. Gulak shook hands with his former protégé, but then Chris Dickinson & Jaka (who had been watching the main event from a nearby stage) came out. Dickinson said that they wanted to join Catch Point. Since Gulak was on his way to WWE, he left the decision to Williams (the new leader of Catch Point), who accepts them into the group. Gulak then closes by saying that although his time was done in Evolve, a member of Catch Point will become the first-ever WWNLive Champion. Catch Point then stand tall with Drew Gulak for the final time as the show comes to a close.
This was a very interesting show from Evolve. There wasn’t a single bad match on the card, but there was only one great match. Essentially, nothing fell below ***, but only one match (Ricochet vs. Matt Riddle) cracked the **** barrier. The undercard was very solid, and while the main event was really good, the length ultimately prevented it from being a great match. In addition to that, we also saw Drew Gulak make his final appearance in Evolve, while Chris Dickinson & Jaka became the newest members of Catch Point. As a whole, Evolve 75 wasn’t a show that’ll blow you away, but it was a good way to close out 2016.