This was Night 2 of a double shot weekend of EVOLVE shows and before this show, a Tier 1 show happened which I certainly had mixed feelings on. It almost drained me for the whole day. But I just had to watch this card, as the matches on paper all looked so good! Read my review of EVOLVE 56 here.
Short opener. I felt as though this stunted Yehi’s momentum, he lost so quickly in this one to a Package Piledriver. EVOLVE seems to be driving this story about Ethan Page trying to be good, but some of the time it felt short, although it led to some good moments, like when he went for a handshake, but Yehi replied with a brutal chop. After the match, Tony Nese attacked Ethan and said fat guys like him shouldn’t be in the business, which got him MASSIVE heel heat with this crowd.
Very good match, even more, impressive by noting this was Ciampa’s second match of the day, wrestling Thatcher for Tier 1 a couple of hours before this. Brutal yet funny, like when Ciampa grabbed Perkins hat and went crazy on it. He stomped on it, dropped the elbow and hit the Project Ciampa on a damn hat. Lots of brutal knee strikes from Ciampa and great submission work from TJ. Ciampa hit the Project Ciampa, which only gets a two count. The move seems to not be putting away anyone these days. Perkins put him in the kneebar and got him to tap. Really good and picked up the momentum of the show after the first match.
Now this was just amazing. It is starting to look like Riddle is a better bumper and seller than an in ring wrestler, which I have no problems with as it adds so much to his matches. He is such a fast learner and being in there with Hero made him look like a million bucks. Finish was awesome, Riddle turned a gotch style piledriver into a triangle choke then an arm bar, to get Hero to tap. Riddle went for 15 minutes, which is a lot for him, and still looked like a star even after a ton of stiff strikes, guys Y’all need to see this match immediately!
Thatcher made his way to the ring, but Callihan attacked him, so you would think this would be pretty short right? Nope. Almost 30 minutes, the match in ring was not that bad too, pretty average, but it did not need 30 minutes and was draining to sit through. After almost 30 minutes, an almost missed moonsault, some good submission holds and Andrea interference, Thatcher got in an arm bar and got Konley to tap out. Just way too long, this match did not need 30 minutes when a lot of it was not that good, and I don’t have a problem with long matches if done right. I loved the Lee/Wilkins match that went 105 minutes, and that completely had me invested throughout the whole match.
A brutal, nasty, and pretty good match. Williams got in a lot of holds and some times you would think Sami is gonna tap, working the arm in the beginning. One weird thing about this match was that Callihan was acting like a baby face, which did not ruin my enjoyment, but the way Sami Callihan had been built, there was no way to get behind him. An awesome spike DDT from Williams, kick out from one of the stuffed tombstone piledriver, and then finally a cinder block ends the match, getting the win for Sami Callihan, really liked this match, was very brutal, although at some points dragging a bit.
What a damn match we have here, easily Match of the Night. Gulak was amazing in this, and it reflected on Sabre. If you even so much like the “grapplefrick” style one bit, this match is for you. So much limb targeting, stiff strikes, holds and submissions that all looked great from 2 of the best in this genre of wrestling. After a crazy pin sequence, Sabre locked in a crazy submission move that I admittedly don’t even know the name of, for the win. Wow, just amazing, get the show just for this match if you like the style as I do, but I can see people not liking it, but good lord I loved it. These 2 have perfected the craft of the “catch point”, “grapplefrick” or what ever you want to call it style, and they were just great.
This match was very good, but following that last one, it was hard to keep me as interested. They were saying that Galloway almost did not make the flight here from Orlando due to weather, so the suspense to if he were even there was built up quite well, like from EVOLVE 53 with their roles reversed. Match started off hot with some good brawling on the outside. Dan Barry’s show even got destroyed in the match, which was brutal. A lot of good near falls, including a close one off a Book Em Danno from Team Tremendous. Galloway hits a Future Shock DDT to get the win for his team. Overall a very good match.
This, in general, was a very good show, the only “bad” match I would say is the Evolve Championship match, just because of how long it was but it just felt like filler at the time they were given. The Hero/Riddle and Sabre Jr./Gulak matches make this show a must buy, and I recommend that you guys check this out!