WWN Mercury Rising Supershow: EVOLVE vs. PROGRESS on April 1, 2017
Orlando Live Events Center – Orlando, Florida
Another WWN show kicks off with a Drew Galloway promo. Point being he no longer wants to save EVOLVE from itself. He needs to save WWN from itself because it’s gotten so large. “I’ll break your fucking neck.” Riddle was out on queue of mention of the match from Friday, but Galloway hit him with a piledriver right away. Catch Point was out to prevent further damage as Galloway ranted once again, only to be hit with Keith Lee walking down the ramp. As Lee got ready for his match, Galloway pleaded for Lee to stand by his side. Drew got the thumbs down but began to bully Lee. “Dumb fucker” slid out of Galloway’s mouth to his regret. Spirit Bomb and Ground Zero AND a moonsault were hit. No doubt this is a money match in the making.
Keith Lee got on the mic. “WWN is now my company.” “The entire wrestling world belongs to the limitless, Keith Lee!” “Now EVOLVE is my home.” Beautiful promo with The Limitless One adding charisma and charm to the open of the show.
Stokely Hathaway was out before Timothy Thatcher was set to make his entrance into the opening match of the evening. The night of appreciation was cancelled, as he’s negotiated a deal with EVOLVE officials for Thatcher to be entered into the main event for the WWN Championship.
Darby Allin was out to enter the match but Ethan Page attacked him from behind, making him unable to compete over top of the fact that he came out on his own will, not being medically fit to wrestle tonight.
Freestyle: Keith Lee vs. Jason Kincaid vs. Austin Theory vs.
Timothy Thatcher Darby Allin Gatekeeper #1
Well then. Gabe overbooking that actually works, bay bay. If you count Stokely and Priscilla, seven people appeared on screen in the opening minutes of the show. Good short sprint of a scramble to kick things off. I lost my stream for a minute or so, so it was even shortly. It came down to Keith and the Gatekeeper who provided a HOOT of a big lads wrestling sequence. In an expected turn of events. the Gatekeeper would be the one to eat the pin. Lee won after Ground Zero. Happy it didn’t overrun at all and kept things smoothed out, as it was around 8:30 ET when it started.
Lee once again was on the mic post-match, talking about Mr. Kyle O’Reilly. He’ll give him the best opportunity to come bask in his glory.
SHINE Championship: LuFisto (c) vs. Toni Storm
Yung had a special entrance but didn’t show up. LuFisto cut a pre-match promo explaining that Yung was scared of her, that she stayed home, that she’s a disgrace to the world of professional wrestling. It confirms she’s the greatest SHINE champion of all time. TONI STORM IS HERE and proceeded to hit a tope. With emphasis on the shock of Storm showing up, this was worked very well, resulting in a good title defense for LuFisto. The two’s styles meshed in nothing but good ways, whether it’s the dueling hip attacks or the stiffer-than-the-norm work at hand. Storm is a great babyface, showing fight after kicking out of a death valley driver. “The greatest SHINE champion of all time” lived up to her self-proclaimed mantra though. LuFisto won after a burning hammer.
Trevin Adams and Jim Smallman were out. Trevin thanked Smallman then proceeded to hand him the mic. We got the “don’t be a dick!” rule. Officials were out for the PROGRESS vs. EVOLVE series.
PROGRESS vs. EVOLVE Match #1: Ethan Page vs. Jimmy Havoc
I feel like these two could have an equally crazy brawl/gimmick match as Darby did with All Ego, but Page is so busted up I feel sympathy for his body. These two had a really good match as expected. In my mind I envisioned this as a brawl around the arena with some solid wrestling mixed in. We got a little more than that, even. Fun fact: This is also the second straight Mercury Rising where Ethan Page rises to the occasion to put on a great performance. Whether it was messing about in the bleachers, or coming back into the ring to put on a good stretch of near falls, this was an efficient way to kickoff the match series on the show. The last minute was as the kids say, “lit!” with Havoc going for the Acid Rainmaker but couldn’t hit it. Gatekeeper #1 interfered only for Gatekeeper #2 to eat shit, but Havoc turned around…Page won after a Spinning Dwayne. Post-match Darby Allin was out for the save, with a lead pipe. Havoc hit an acid rainmaker on Page. Hells to the yes.
PROGRESS vs. EVOLVE Match #2: South Pacific Power Trip (Travis Banks & TK Cooper) w/Dahlia Black vs. Catch Point (Jaka & Chris Dickinson)
If you haven’t watched SPPT vs. JML from the PROGRESS Orlando show, or any SPPT work at all for that matter; you need to! I didn’t expect this to touch the JML tag output, but it became one of the best matches of the weekend, my favorite aside Lee vs. Dijak. Literally what the fuck at this?! Sorry for the excessive cursing, but this ended up being the best match of Dickinson and Jaka’s career on top of all this praise. It built slowly and surely with Cooper taking the majority of the punishment. Once Banks got the hot tag it transformed into out of this world work. It had everything: TK hitting a corkscrew and 450, fun strong style and 1 kickouts that worked well because the crowd erupted, pacing, and utter insanity. Banks kicked out of the Pazuzu Bomb and splash. WHAT THE HELL?! After that, it took off into the stratosphere. SPPT won after hitting their finish on Dickinson. WATCH THIS ASAP.
It was announced that because of his sustained rib injury, Drew Galloway is no longer fit to compete in the main event elimination match for the WWN Championship. He would then be shown minutes later in the crowd at NXT.
PROGRESS vs. EVOLVE Match #3 - PROGRESS Championship: Pete Dunne (c) vs. ACH
A year ago saw Marty Scurll vs. Will Ospreay for the PROGRESS Title. Fast forward a year later and we see multiple defences on one weekend culminating with the title being defended on this Mercury Rising show. Odd thing to think that these two would have to follow an absolute top class Dickinson/Jaka match, but wrestling can be weirdly satisfying. A lot of the match calmed down the crowd rather than the two going nuts, with fine ground based work and Dunne being that Dunne troll with joint manipulation, Pedigrees, and the all hail additions. I’ll admit that this didn’t suck me in as much as I wanted it to. When it picked up we had fun offense with counter-mania resulting in ACH nearly winning the title. ACH biting Dunne also popped me. ACH KICKED OUT OF DROP DEAD as I freaked out in my mind. Dunne hit a low blow with the ref turned but ACH managed to hit Buster Call and DUNNE KICKED OUT. Dunne won after a Regal stretch. The better half of the match saved it from being a mild outing. I really like the match now though. They had me believe ACH was winning the PROGRESS Title somehow, and that’s wrestling magic.
PROGRESS vs. EVOLVE Match #4 - EVOLVE Championship: Zack Sabre Jr. (c) vs. Mark Haskins
It’s the first time these two have met since 2014, which is hard to believe. It was bound to be special. To the shock of zero people on this planet, the two had great grappling chemistry; exchanging aplenty marvelous holds. But what really got me into the match was Haskins targeting limbs, eventually deciding on the left leg/hamstring of ZSJ. It never stayed in a hold for more than 30 seconds, constantly evolving into something different. It wasn’t just ground based either. I loved the spot where the two settled for same differences and stood up to combat. It emphasised the fact neither could beat each other technically, so the match took a higher gear. In a kick battle, Haskins hit the targeted leg, and even held that leg high in his pinfall attempt. I especially loved the last few minutes. Everything felt epic and next level — counters or roll-ups or teases or transitions. Haskins continued to get the better of ZSJ in tense situations, but was trapped in a triangle choke with ZSJ transitioning that into something even better. ZSJ won after an ode to breaks. Loved this tremendous match. Best ZSJ title defense thus far and best Haskins match so far this year.
ZSJ got on the mic post-match, putting over Haskins huge. “I think this is the best pro wrestling has ever been.” Damn right, champ!
WWN Championship Elimination Match: Timothy Thatcher vs. Parrow vs. Jon Davis vs. Matt Riddle vs. Fred Yehi vs. Tracy Williams
Order of elimination: Parrow (choked out by Thatcher), Thatcher (crossface by Hot Sauce), Jon Davis (triple submission), Yehi (Williams roll-up), final two are Tracy Williams and Matt Riddle:
“With you it’s not business, it’s personal.”
It’s so hard to put this match into one giant review, but here we go. This managed to carry over so much continuity and stay refreshing. I came in fairly negative but leave 100% positive. As you can see by the order of elimination, it focused on Catch Point and came down to Catch Point. Prior to the final two, the match was very good. It contained a lot of fun tied in with eliminations, like Thatcher smugly taking out the underdog giant, Thatcher being eliminated by the future of WWN, and Jon Davis being built as a monster. In a brilliant swerve, Catch Point were working on the constant ghost member of the group Riddle, when Yehi turned his back and was rolled-up by Hot Sauce. That was the perfect elimination to boil it down to two. It became Hot Sauce and Riddle, and they had the best match both have ever had. It was full circle from a year ago where Williams got the best of Riddle to end the weekend of 2016. Here, they went all out. Riddle’s neck was worked on the entire match. Constant piledrivers, constant DDTs, constant spots. He was deadbeat. But he somehow became energized enough to put on the performance of a lifetime. Every few minutes the crossface on Riddle would become tighter. Every few minutes we got a more dangerous power move. It got to the point where Bro grabbed the ropes three separate times, was hit with an avalanche suplex on his fucking head for an ultimate hope spot build up. He kicked out. The comeback was filled with the ultimate struggle but Riddle did it. The business became more than personal. It was out of this world wrestling with the highest stakes possible with continuity, drama, fighting spirit, and everything you could wish for from familiar rivals in the main event of the biggest show of the year. Hell, Riddle couldn’t even bridge his neck at first on a German, which extended the match to this point. So much to love. And with that, came the beautiful finish. Riddle won after a bromission.
Matt Riddle celebrated to end the show, cutting a fighting champion type promo explaining how he’ll defend it around the world and in every WWN promotion. Congrats, bro!
WWN MERCURY RISING SUPERSHOW ON APRIL 1, 2017
Fantastic - 8.5/10
WWN Mercury Rising 2017 was a fantastic show with three out of this world matches in SPPT vs. Catch Point, ZSJ vs. Haskins, and the potential match of 'Mania week WWN Championship elimination match. What at first seemed like a weak card on paper became EVOLVE's best show of the entire week, and my current show of 'Mania week. Probably my second or third favorite show this year. Even though there were a lot of changes, they seemingly took the card to new heights that may not have been achievable without them. Who knows though. All I know is that our Bro is on top of WWN, and we have a killer night of EVOLVE/PROGRESS action to unravel from.