This was Night 1 of a two-day double shot in New York; the first show after their tag team title tournament. A lot of great matches on this card, and I was excited to watch. One thing to note is that I am watching this on VOD, and the audio was a bit out of sync, which bugged me at some points.
Great opener, good match, got the crowd hot. A big part of this one was how they both went to each other knees. One thing that was weird was that both guys in this are babyfaces so it was hard to get behind one when it came to getting sympathy but it did not ruin my enjoyment of the match. Towards the end of the match, they traded a whole lot of holds until Perkins got the ankle lock on to Sami, and Sami tapped. Man, I have loved both of these guys since they have left their respective companies, especially Callihan, have not seen a bad match since he has left NXT. TJP just seems to get better when he does not have to worry about other companies like TNA.
It was supposed to be Mike Bailey instead of Gallow, but Bailey had to pull out due to travel. The result of that was a short squash that had Ethan Page winning under 5 minutes with a Package Piledriver. A quick match, with Gallow getting a little bit of offense, not completely bad but I was looking forward to Bailey/Page, and this was not a good replacement.
I thoroughly enjoyed this contest, and I am fully on this Yehi support boat, guy is great. Yehi also seemed to be VERY over in this match with this crowd. The beginning was some great grappling which these 2 are great at. They added in some strikes and suplexes, and it created a beautiful match. I love this style of Catch Point, and this match was darn good at showcasing the style. Gulak ended up winning by making Fred Yehi tap to a Dragon Sleeper. If you like this style, you will love this match, otherwise; you probably will not want to come near this one. I love the style, so this was great to watch. After the match, Gulak said Yehi did not yet deserve his handshake, so there was some tension there.
Wow, what a damn match. Hero in 2015 – 2016 has been too good, and Tracy Williams is finally getting the opportunities to shine against guys like Hero, who can excel at the same Catch Point style. A lot of holds were traded which was to be expected in this one. Hero was almost bullying Williams at some point, which in my opinion, Bully Hero is the best Hero. He gets so cocky because he can back it up, and it makes for some great viewing. Williams got his ass whooped for almost 10 minutes, but his selling and the way Hero did it made it so entertaining to watch. After a while, though, Williams finally came back, which included a nasty clothesline and a great piledriver. Hero hit an elbow and a Gotch Piledriver to get the win in this awesome and brutal contest that I recommend all of you go out to watch whenever you get the chance to.
I’ll be honest I don’t like the Premiere Athlete Brand, and this match did not help out, adding to reasons why I dislike them together. Separate they are both great workers. This match was filled with Andrea interference and cheating, so the Athlete Brand ended winning after Konley hit a moonsault on Barry. Team Tremendous were at least very good in this one, but it couldn’t save the whole match. Just boring for me, some may like it, but I did not, it was very average to me and boring.
This was one was just as good as the Hero/Williams match, and I loved every second of it! Match started off with some great mat wrestling, showing that Gargano can keep up with Sabre Jr. One part of the match I liked was one point was Gargano was going to get dragon suplex, but he reversed it at least five times in cool ways and then hits a dive on him. The arm targeting from Zack Sabre Jr. was great in this one, and the selling was even better. Zack Sabre Jr. got the win with an Octopus hold. In my opinion, Gargano was easily the star of this match, but that doesn’t mean that Zack Sabre Jr. was not as good, these guys were great and once again, if you don’t like the “grapplefrick/catch point” style then this isn’t for you, but this was great for me. Evolve seems to be the go-to for this style as they have at least one match like this on a card, and it is usually amazing.
This match was very underwhelming, and the finish was even worse. It was a very short match, which you kind of expect from Riddle, but this was the main event, and it felt like a super weak way to protect Riddle. When Thatcher went for the Headbutt and hit, they were making it seem like he also low blew him and then Thatcher got the win. The crowd didn’t seem to know what was going on. Gulak came out, traded strikes with Thatcher until Callihan kicked Thatcher and picked up the belt. Hot Sauce Tracy Williams came out and then attacked Callihan setting up the match for the following night.
Overall the show was great with two OK matches with the rest being good to amazing besides one squash. This weekend, in general, was great for EVOLVE, and this show was the stronger of the two due to ZSJ/Gargano, Yehi/Gulak and Hero/Williams.