Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Saturday, February 25, 2017

EVOLVE 78 Road Report + EVOLVE 79 Live Blog

I went to EVOLVE in Joppa last night with Childs in the new weird thing where I had a baby and am now going to live wrestling a lot.

Matt Riddle v. Anthony Henry

I didn't really care for this. It had it's moments, Riddle is always going to do some cool stuff, I liked the early amateur takedowns, and the finish combo of fisherman's buster into tombstone into twister was very cool. Most of this though I didn't like, I thought Henry was pretty good in the Style Battle Yehi match, but he was working as a Dixie Davey Richards in this, lots of stiff kicks to the chest and grimacing. There wasn't much selling, a terrible looking New Japan forearm and stare exchange (which has infected the indies like Noro virus). Riddle is getting less interesting to me as he gets more experience, he has sanded away a bunch of the rough edges which made him interesting, and is working more like an indy workrate dude, I am concerned his is developing Kurt Angleitis.

Austin Theory v. Darby Allin

Crossfit has really ruined wrestling, now even your guy working a Kidman in the flock junky gimmick has super well developed abs. Allin's crazy face tattoo is a nice step, but he needs to stop with the wall jumps if he really wants to live the gimmick. This match was pretty great, Allin is a nutso bumper, but here he was mostly doing cool springboard rana's and armdrags, Allin basically works like a US version of Freelance or Dinamic Black. Theroy has a dumb name, and goofy gear (he has Unproven on his tights, works as a 19 year old, but he is going to have to buy new tights in a year or so, can't really push a guy who's tights say Unproven) but I really dug him as a base for Allin's fun flips. Theory also does a nutso top rope moonsault to the floor where he nukes his ribs on the guardrail, I was really worried because Allin seems like a guy unwilling to be outbumped but he kept it in his pants. Really liked the finish, with Allin flubbing a springboard briefly, but enough to get caught.

Ethan Page v. Jason Kincaid

Ethan Page matches are always a chore, but I minded this less then usual. Page is as his best as kind of a put upon stooge and he was amusing being flummoxed by Kincaid's goofus shtick. I like Kincaid 's spots but he doesn't always land his offense cleanly and there was things from both guys which didn't look good, especially when Page started taking more of the match. Still this was basically fine which is all I can hope for with a Page match.

Chris Dickinson/Jaka v. The Gatekeepers

It is odd that Jaka is working a tiny ethnic guy who yells things in a weird voice on the same show where Yehi is fighting for the title. B. Brian Blair wasn't cupping his ear and dropping a leg on MSG undercards. Match had its moments, Dickinson and Jaka really laid it in especially on the bigger of the Gatekeepers (who is legit big and muscular, he would have had a career in a different age).

ACH v. Tracey Williams

I had pretty low expectations for this coming in, but it ended up maybe my MOTN. Both guys really laced into each other, in a fed and a show where you have a lot of stiff workers this felt a step above. Williams especially was landing these really nasty elbows and chops to the sides of ACH's neck and his throat he also landed a really uncalled for lariat. ACH got in some of his trademark spots, but mostly went at Williams too. Not sure if this will come off on tape as good as it came off live, but live, it made us both wince multiple times.

Drew Galloway v. Jeff Cobb

You don't usually see this kind of heavyweight scrap on Indy shows. Cobb's strength stuff is alway impressive and it is even more impressive to watch him throw around a beast like Galloway. I also loved Galloway doing a slingshot beneath the ring, catching Cobb's neck on a metal poll, I remember Drew McIntyre doing a bunch of Finlayesque use of the ring spots during his WWE run, so I am glad he still has that arrow. Loved the finish with Cobb powering out of a backslide which I have never seen before, only to have Galloway flip over him and hit his DDT, really cool stuff. Still waiting for Cobb to have a real classic, but he is a pretty low floor guy, he is always at a minimum worth watching.

Keith Lee v. Zach Sabre Jr.

Lee is huge live, so crazy that out of these two the skinny british guy doing Johnny Saint spots was the one with a big WWE push. Worked exactly how it should have been with Lee throwing around ZSJ using his strength, and Sabre trying to catch him in submissions. Sabre also used Lee's size as an excuse to unload on him, his Penalty kick usually looks kind of shitty, but he booted the fuck out of Lee, I also liked that he used him as a jungle gym, climbing all around him and putting on weird abdominal stretch variations. Lee as a indy Mark Henry is great, surprising bursts of agility along with big throws and good shit talking.

Timothy Thatcher v. Fred Yehi

So am I the only guy who has noticed that Thatcher seems to be working a subtle Alt-Right gimmick? I made a joke to Childs about his new Richard Spenser haircut, but then I notice he has Ring Kampf written on his jacket and shorts, and the ring jacket is lined with plaid just like every Skinhead punk I punched in college. Also going to study in the Snake Pit with Billy Robinson and adhering to a technical European style of wrestling seems like exactly how a white nationalist indy wrestler would behave. I am not sure why Gabe put him with a Black manager, but it would be just like a Jew promoter to promote @White Genocide.

Although it was hard to unnotice that, the match itself was pretty damn great. At this point Thatcher isn't going to deviate from his style, he is going to work a Thatcher match even if that isn't what the crowd wants. I admire that, fuck pandering to the jerks who populate indy wrestling shows, do your thing. This was a really good example of a Thatcher match, Yehi is very capable of working that style and looking good doing it, and he will also deliver a lot of the flash needed. Thatcher's shots don't sound sharp but they thud, and they were thudding. I loved Yehi's ground and pound, and Thatchers choke throw is a hell of a finish. Could have maybe used one Yehi rope break at the end, but otherwise no complaints.

Overall a really good show that delivered four great matches to close out

EVOLVE 79 Live Blog

I am home with Baby Zach so I figured I would check this out

ACH v. Jason Kincaid

I enjoyed some of Kincaid's stuff again, especially his leaping off the stage to dropkick ACH in the ring, he definitely brings a different vibe to these shows. After loving the ACH match the night before, this was a little more generically juniorish. Fine stuff, enjoyed it fine, but relatively forgettable.

Chris Dickinson v. Fred Yehi v. Austin Theory v. Anthony Henry

This was pretty good when the catch point boys were involved a little less so with the pretty boys. Dickinson especially was fired up, throwing big kicks and throws. Kept moving at a nice pace, and I liked the finish with Dickinson stealing the win by getting a pin before Fred could get the tap out. I think the Catch Point explodes tag will be really good.

Jaka v. Jeff Cobb

I was excited to see these guys face off last night, and this was a great little scrap. A pair of Islanders pounding on each other (Jaka is Samoan? Puerto Rican? Dominican? I am guessing he is from some island). There was one German suplex no sell section which I didn't love, but everything else was awesome. Jaka was throwing shots, and Cobb was snatching him out of the air with some huge throws including the best tour of the islands I have seen. Wouldn't mind seeing them run this back.

Ethan Page v. Darby Allin

Great match, easily the best I have seen from either guy. Allin is truly insane, he gets presslamed from the stage into a post, and then gets his hands handcuffed behind and takes multiple bumps on his handcuffed wrists. Page has been trying to do Franchise Shane Douglas and this is the first time I though he got there (not that I love Shane Douglas, but Shane was way more effective at his stuff then Page has been so far), he came off as such as a hatable prick and laid in the kind of beating you need to get this match over. Allin's comeback was insane, he is hitting rana's and dropkicks with his hands cuffed one of the craziest wrestling moments I can remember, like something out of a Jackie Chan movie.

Keith Lee v. Tracy Williams

Another good Keith Lee match, unlike Sabre last night, Williams tried to stand toe to toe with Lee hitting him with hard shots, but standing in front of a bigger puncher is never a good idea, and he gets smashed. Williams really bounced on Lee powermoves, huge powerbomb and got smashed with the firemans carry jackhammer. Lee is not working as a heavyweight with highspots in EVOLVE, he is working as a smashing machine and that works better.

Matt Riddle v. Drew Galloway

I thought this had some good ideas, but never really got out of second gear, the blows were solid, but I felt it was a bit repetitive, and needed to be more violent. I liked the finish, although a ref stop on body blows is a little weird, Galloway should have at least sold broken ribs or something

Timothy Thatcher v. Zach Sabre Jr.

Really great match with Sabre trying to finally be the guy to solve Thatcher, and a rabid crowd wanting Thatcher to go down. Really great early grappling leading to a super hot finish, with Thatcher pulling out counters to counters, before finally falling to a crazy abdominal stretch version. The announcer mentioned Thatcher watching Johnny Valentine, and I see his title reign almost like Johnny Valentine as he trained the crowd to respect and loathe his style, Thatcher had more real heel heat then anyone I can remember seeing in EVOLVE, and he did it all with a sneer and an armbar. Really exiting match, that I especially loved watching live not knowing about the title change.

(Thatcher Pepe watch: Lenny Leanord mentions that he is spending all of his free time in Germany, and makes a weird sarcastic reference about him partying with Jill Scott, also post match ZSJ gives a speech about accepting all people as equal, and loving everyone which I am reading as a subtweet)

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Anonymous Jetlag said...

Ring Kampf comes from Thatcher working wXw a lot, where he joined the RING KAMPF stable along with Big van Walter and Axel Dieter Jr. A german stable using a german name in a german fed is not at all unusual. Props to Thatcher for staying true to faction booking. Altough I look forward to future development of this meme.

2:40 AM  
Anonymous bucky said...

Jaka was born on Staten Island, so yes, he's an islander of sorts.

4:11 PM  

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