Evolve continued their weekend in New York with Evolve 57 in Brooklyn. It was another loaded card with a lot of excitement over some of the matches.
Ethan Page defeated Fred Yehi
This was a good start to the show, continuing the story of Page trying to prove that he has changed. Yehi looked great here and unloaded with a stack of German suplexes on Page and some really crisp strikes. Yehi is another guy that is so great for his experience level. Page as usual showed lots of personality and got a good decisive win while Yehi looked good in the process. Page again won when he hit the Package Piledriver. It looks like he will be using that as his finisher regularly in Evolve now.
After the match Anthony Nese attacked Page to get back at him from the night before. Caleb Konley then came out and The Premier Athlete Brand said that they wanted to go after the Evolve Tag Team Championship.
TJ Perkins defeated Tommaso Ciampa
This was a great battle of striker vs technical high flyer. Ciampa was added to the show as a replacement for Mike Bailey and you really couldn’t ask for a much better replacement. This was a fantastic match. Perkins tried to frustrate Ciampa by out pacing him and it looked like Ciampa was going to snap. He did and started delivering lots of strikes, knees and chops that left Perkins chest almost bleeding. Perkins kept going back to the knee of Ciampa. Both guys looked excellent. There was a great near fall when Ciampa hit Project Ciampa. Perkins got the win with the same inverted figure four that he won with the night before. Perkins got a big win over an NXT guy, which helps along his story after telling William Regal he was a free agent the night before. Ciampa is on the best run of his life right now.
Matt Riddle defeated Chris Hero
This was awesome. Riddle had the best match of his life and a huge upset win over Hero. Hero had an incredible weekend, once again proving he is one of the best wrestlers in the entire world right now. This was striker vs MMA influenced submissions. Riddle has no right to be anywhere near as good as he is at this point in his wrestling career. Hero was the perfect guy to bring out his best. Hero worked over the foot of Riddle, which was great and made complete sense. Riddle’s selling was fantastic. He does the old RVD bounce up sell of the piledriver, which makes the move look devastating. Riddle pulled out some great counters here. He countered a piledriver into a triangle choke. Hero hit a stack of strikes, but couldn’t keep Riddle down. Riddle sold it all so well. Riddle hit a springboard knee strike for a great near fall. Riddle got the win with a reverse armbar when Hero tapped out. This was a major upset as Hero rarely ever loses in Evolve. This is a match you need to see.
After the match Riddle said he wanted another shot at Timothy Thatcher after the controversy from the night before. The match has been set for Evolve 58 in Dallas. William Regal told Riddle that if he wants into NXT, he must win the Evolve title first. If I were putting money on it, I’d say Riddle takes the Evolve title in a couple of weeks.
Timothy Thatcher defeated Caleb Konley
This match was a mixed bag. It started well with Konley jumping Thatcher, which set the tone of the match. However, this match felt like it dragged on. It was almost ten minutes too long. Konley worked over Thatcher with one hold after another and every time it looked like it would pick up, it went back to another hold. The match did eventually start building some steam. Konley started flying around after using Thatcher’s game against him. Konley did look good as he showed a tougher, grittier side to himself as he was able to fight with Thatcher. The match took another downturn when the referee went down and Andrea got involved. Thatcher dropped her with a headbutt and there were some good near falls until Thatcher won with the Fujiwara Armbar. The length of the match might have been more acceptable if the match kept building towards a clean finish, but the interference just sucked the life out of it.
Sami Callihan defeated Tracy Williams
This was another awesome match. Williams capped off a huge breakout weekend with another outstanding performance. This was a really intense, physical, hard-hitting, gruelling fight. Callihan is one of the best match starters around. He went right after Williams and it never let up. Callihan was destroying Williams with the hardest chops, boots and forearms. Williams showed that he can strike with the best of them too when he laid in a few insanely stiff lariats. This felt like a war. Williams tried some submissions. At one point Callihan started stomping on the face of Williams in brutal fashion and laying into him with forearms as he mounted him. Williams hit a piledriver, but Callihan kicked out at one, which was so well done. Callihan couldn’t get the job done with the Stretch Muffler. He eventually kept him down when he hit the sliding forearm to the side of Williams head. The story again here was that Williams wouldn’t stay down. This was an amazing match and another show stealer. Williams is only going to continue to get better in Evolve.
Zack Sabre, Jr defeated Drew Gulak
This was a technical wrestling masterpiece. This was art and one of those matches where you can just sit back and enjoy every single move they make. Both these guys should be looked back in years as two of the very best at this style. This was the second match in Sabres best in the world series, and after watching this there can be no doubt that he already is one of the best. There is no way of describing some of this stuff, just go and watch it for yourself. This was like a chess game where they tried to outwork and outthink each other with all sorts of precision and brilliance. Sabre of course worked over the arm. Gulak aggressively went after the leg of Sabre, which cause Sabre to lose a shoe later in the match. Gulak was like a machine when he went after the leg. There was an amazing sequence of near falls from pinning combinations. Sabre won with a submission that I’m not even going to try and describe. One of the great things about Sabre is that he wins almost every match in a different way. Just go and watch this.
Evolve Tag Team Championship
Drew Galloway & Johnny Gargano defeated Team Tremendous (Bill Carr & Dan Barry)
This was the first ever defense of the Evolve tag titles. The story throughout the show was that Galloway was on his way after being involved in TNA tapings earlier in the day in Florida. It seems to be a theme for this team. This was a really good main event. How WWE ever let Drew Galloway go, I’ll never know. This was a great back and forth tag match. Tremendous hit lots of great double team, while Galloway & Gargano worked really well together as the super team of single stars. Carr & Galloway had a great brawl in the middle of this. Carr is the Big Bossman reincarnated. He hit an amazing looking Bossman Slam on Gargano. Tremendous got a great near fall when they hit Book It Dano, but it was broken up. There was too much action here to recap, but it was a lot of fun. Galloway got the pin on Barry when he hit the Future Shock DDT. Team Tremendous looked great in defeat.
This was another excellent Evolve show. Top to bottom this is worth going out of your way for. In fact Hero vs Riddle and Sabre vs Gulak are worth the price alone.