1- Brad Allen v. Chris Dickinson (3)
2- Gran Akuma v. Brodie Lee (2)
3- Aeroform v. Up in Smoke (3)
4- Ken Doane v. Caleb Konley (4)
5- Kyle O' Reilly v. Hallowicked (5)
6- Ricochet v. Chuck Taylor (3)
7- Claudio Castagnoli v. Bobby Fish (6)
8- Mercedez Martinez v. Sumie Sakai (5)
9- Jimmy Jacobs v. Johnny Gargano (5)
10- Mike Quackenbush/ Jigsaw v. The Colony v. Osirian Portal v. Incoherence (Elimination Match) (6)
11- Chris Hero v. Ikuto Hidaka (7)
Opener didn't blow my skirt up but both men showed something: promise. Allen seemed the leader, and was keeping a good tempo. Dickinson started out looking like a nobody, missing a simple kick, but later on did a crazy springboard elbow that was cool. Dumb thing is Dickinson was doing way bigger moves to Allen than the one that beat him.
This match was insulting; Brodie looked like a pure mountain man who hasn't seen human contact in years, a Jeremiah Johnson type with an even worse fashion sense. And he was succeeding in making Akuma look like a twerp; but he had to stand still waiting for Akuma to do anything, made this feel real fake. Akuma ended it kind of neat but didn't sell for shit during the match. BTW, the crowd was like 45-60 people at best in a darkened arena, maybe they could evolve to some house lights?
I liked that this was non stop action and it didn't last long because how could it, they were throwing everything they had at each other. This was the best possible version of so many Bucks-Cutlers PWG hogwash i've sat through. Finishing double team pulled a muscle in my back just watching.
Doane is someone I loathed when he used to be on my tv screen every week back in 04. But his opening here was just great, hitting one slam then quickly setting up for his legdrop. His punches looked reworked too, which is a positive. Konley was into this match; he could make you tell he was getting choked, or outsmarted, which is more than I can say for Doane, who could have been thinking any number of things while in the midst of being beaten up, what he was going to have to eat after the show, whether immaculate conception is actually possible or wishing he had one more night to get in between Mickie James' legs. Whatever the case may be, succint story made this feel like the best thing so far.
Everybody's rushing stuff, is Gabe back there cutting match times so he can get to a midnight sale at Menard's or something? Saw Hallowicked for 1st time when me and the guys went to Philly for ROH; hadn't seen a less impressive specimen since that morning when a squished slug was on my front doorstep; or else when we went to an ECW show in 99 and saw an unnamed Rhino Richards as we commented "who's this sweaty local yokle?" O'Reilly is a fun watch, not sure about a Davey clone but he's got the drive, intensity, i was loving all the rollups these guys were using. One thing though: armbars are becoming too overdone; just because people sink them in and that's it; happened here, actually seem like you're trying to snap the guy's bone will ya? Announcer sees Kyle block the Go to Sleepy Hollow and says he's been studying film; what a proliic statement. Nice old fashioned FMW finish too.
Okay, have to write the next 4 matches over, the blog didn't save my progress damn it. It's very sad when Taylor is the powerhouse in the match. These guys obviously watced some Eddie-Dean shit from ECW 95 before they got in the ring; wondering if the TV screen was pixelated though because some of this stuff is off. Ricochet was doing some really fluid stuff but I wasn't buying it from Taylor.
Best match so far; Claudio has a really strong presences, maybe in all of the indy scene today. The Swiss Chin Music was on target and would love to see him break out the springboard version more often. Fish was doing some knockoff kickboxer gimmick, seen him in NOAH before but was always Morishima's plaything here he holds his own. Loved how they used the KO as part of the story and was a great way to add drama to this one. Claudio's uppercut comeback was freakin awesome and made the end of this match something to see.
Sumi was dressed like Dolly Parton in the 80's when fringe was really in. Announcers go on about how women's wrestling deserves a spot on this card but was only given 7 minutes. Sakai's rolling armbar blows away any other single move on this show so far, all her arm work was damn convincing. Mercedez back with a nasty kick to get the win.
Really insulting backstage segments lead up this bout, with Jacobs sitting comfortably next to his luggage with gimmicks aplenty sticking out. Gargano has a good ring presence, they didn't worry about doing a warm up, they just went for it, throwing out intricate spots and both trying to win the match. Never bought Jacobs stuff, spear, front chin lock, doesn't seem like the kind of moves he could win with, but they worked them in here where it made sense.
Chikara wears on me quickly, as a matter of fact, I wasn't really looking forward to this, but it felt so different from anything else on this show, it was a welcome change. This bout was almost like one long spot, I mean i've seen Dragon Gate, ROH, tons of stuff where it just goes from one spot to the next, but this really flowed, like it was natural, all the way up to the dive spot. Lucha would be proud to see them continue the tradition even in the US> Ophidian taking that hurricanrana was bad ass. Dug a lot of Quack's submissions especially that elevated Boston Crab. Ending was almost like, how or what could end this but it matched everything they did up to it.
So I just watched the main event, some thoughts: I kind of like how Evolve is a perfect stage for this kind of match to happen; you know it's hardcore pure wrestling fans watching because this is the kind of match, in the wrong place, wrong time could kill a town. It's a long, methodical attack on Hidaka's arm, which is done great on both ends, that never goes into the big moves you may expect from most main events these days. I wasn't really buying much of the legwork from Hidaka; almost seemed like he should get an advantage like that because of his Battlarts background but Hero seemed more apt than him. All the token elbow spots were really dynamite, and some of the KO near falls were great. This is a match some many not appreciate but I thought it was a damn good time.