Evolve returned to La Boom in Queens, New York with Evolve 61. With two WWE Cruiserweight Classic qualifiers and a huge angle, this was a newsworthy show.
Matt Riddle defeated Lio Rush
This was a short, but very good match between two of independent wrestling a fastest rising stars. It was a great fast paced sprint with plenty of good stuff between them. Rush hit Rush Hour and went for the Frog Splash. Riddle countered into an armbar to get the submission win.
The Bravados defeated Chris Dickinson & Ethan Page
This was a pretty good tag match. This was all about continuing to rebuild The Bravados heading towards a tag title shot. Page & Dickinson looked good. Dickinson is a guy that should be a regular in Evolve. The regular team outclassed the two singles guys. The Bravados won after a double team Gory Special.
After the match The Bravados talked about being the longest reigning DGUSA tag champs until Dan Barry of Team Tremendous showed up. Barry made some jokes and challenged The Bravados to a tag match the next time they’re there. The Bravados then laid out Barry.
WWE Cruiserweight Classic Qualifier
TJP w/Stokely Hathaway defeated Fred Yehi
This was so great. This has lots of great mat wrestling from both guy. Yehi used his stomps in all sorts of different positions and scenarios. Yehi hit suplexes, while TJP used his speed and flew around. There were some great striking exchanges. Yehi locked in a Koji Clutch and it looked like he had it won, but TJP got to the ropes. TJP got the win after a detonation kick and a 450 Splash to secure his place in the tournament. This was a great match. Yehi impressed with WWE’s eyes on him.
WWE Cruiserweight Classic Qualifier
Drew Gulak defeated Tracy Williams
This was even better than the previous match, and a very different match as tag champions faced off. This was an incredibly selfless display from Gulak as he went above and beyond to make Williams look good knowing that WWE eyes would be on this match. This was a really hard hitting match. Williams had several moments where he looked like he had it won after a Bloody Sunday and when he got his headlock a few times. They traded huge clotheslines and had the crowd going crazy in the final few minutes. Gulak won when he locked on the Dragon Sleeper. He snaps that thing on better than anyone. Gulak advances, but he again put Williams over after the match.
Marty Scurll defeated Zack Sabre Jr
This was awesome. Easily one of the best matches these two have ever had and that says a lot. Sometimes their matches can get goofy and have a lot of silliness. This wasn’t the case here at all. This was a technical masterpiece. Scurll even wrestled cleanly for the most part. This was just back and forth with some of the most amazing, world of sport style counters and sequences you can imagine. Sabre was like an escapologist with some of his counters and it was mesmerising to watch. They traded holds, both attacked arms and went for submissions. The last few minutes with Sabre doing everything he could to avoid the Chicken Wing were absolutely superb. Scurll eventually locked in the hold to take a huge submission win over Sabre. This is the match of the show. Incredible stuff. After the match it was announced that Scurll would challenge for the Evolve title when Evolve are back in NYC in July.
Johnny Gargano vs Drew Galloway – No contest
This was billed as a grudge match and that’s exactly what it felt like. These two beat the hell out of each other in an extremely physical and intense match. They brawled on the floor and fought in the ring. The story towards the end became Galloway throwing everything at Gargano, and Gargano kicking out. They went back and forth trading the Garga-No Escape. Gargano kicked out of a Future Shock, a Tombstone and an air raid crash off the top rope. Gargano locked on the Garga-No Escape and then EC3 showed up
He and Galloway laid out Gargano, Gulak & TJP as EC3 cut the most incredible shoot promo tearing into Evolve, WWE, NXT, Triple H, De Mott and everything else. This was money. This is one of the best angles Evolve have ever done. They are really onto something with this and the possibilities are endless. The beauty of it is that you can see both sides of the argument. WWE spat out guys like Galloway & EC3, which is true. WWE are giving Evolve and the indies more publicity, which is also true. It has the chance to be something where people can pick sides and side with whoever they want, as seen by how some of EC3’s lines got cheered.
Ethan Page was great here as he ran off Galloway & EC3 and cut a hell of a promo of his own, defending the honor of Evolve and setting up Galloway & EC3 vs TJP & Gargano & Page vs Galloway for next month in Florida.
The closing angle can be seen below:
This show was an absolute home run. Four excellent matches and a money angle. Watch this show.