Results from last night's EVOLVE event in Rahway, NJ. Report courtesy of Stuart Carapola and PWInsider:
EVOLVE returned to Rahway, New Jersey tonight with their third event. I would estimate the crowd size as being less than 200, but the show overall was probably the best of their three events so far in my opinion. Here's what happened at the show:
-Sami Callahan defeated Adam Cole in a hard hitting opener.
-Before the second match, an announcement was made that from now on in EVOLVE, every match must have a winner and there are no time limits.
-Johnny Gargano defeated Ricochet in a match that was solid when Gargano was in control and a spotfest when Ricochet was in control. Jimmy Jacobs came out and confronted him from the aisleway after the match.
-WSU Women's Champion Mercedes Martinez squashed Brittany Savage. This was Mercedes' third squash on an EVOLVE event, and she said she wants real competition and challenged Amazing Kong to a match in EVOLVE.
-Aeroform won a three way tag match over Up In Smoke and Team Beyond. This was just a flippy dippy spotfest with six young guys who look like my sister ought to be babysitting them. Aeroform and Up In Smoke had a face off after the match since they're 1-1 now in the two matches they've had against each other in EVOLVE.
-Drake Younger defeated Jon Moxley in a solid match that featured the worst bladejob I've ever seen, as Younger had Moxley on the top rope and would blatantly try and gig him with the blade, then headbutt him, then blade some more, then headbutt him again, then blade him yet a third time before Moxley finally started bleeding and then Younger equally blatantly stuffed the blade back in the front of his tights. That goofiness really took away from an otherwise solid match.
-After intermission, Chris Hero defeated Bobby Fish in a really hard fought match. Hero literally had to throw everything he had at Fish to put him away, finishing him with a flash kick and three rolling elbows. Brad Allen came out after the match to check on Fish and had a staredown with Hero, who he's been trying to get a match with. Lenny Leonard tried to get words with Hero but Hero blew him off and walked away.
-Brodie Lee won a four way match against Gran Akuma, Chris Dickinson, and Hallowicked. This was really bad and they blew half the spots they tried, particularly Dickinson. Brodie ended up pinning Dickinson for the win.
-TJP defeated Kyle O'Reilly in a really good, MMA-based match that featured a lot of submission work, escapes, and reversals as well as a lot of stiff kicks. I thought this was a great match and probably the best on the show. Afterward, TJP challenged Sawa to a rematch of their bout on the first EVOLVE event.
-Jimmy Jacobs defeated Brad Allen with the End Time. Solid match, though Jimmy was a little too physically dominant of the much larger and stronger Allen. It was fine otherwise. Jacobs' buddies were sitting ringside for part of the match.
-In the main event, Chuck Taylor defeated Claudio Castagnoli with a really nasty looking piledriver that I forget the name of. Lenny Leonard asked him for comments after the match since he had to win a qualifier to even get into EVOLVE, and then just two shows later was voted into the main event by the fans of EVOLVE and beating Claudio. Taylor said that from here on out, he's going to make his own rules and things are going to change at EVOLVE.
Overall, I enjoyed this show a lot. They seemed to have ditched the formula of doing 12-13 matches at 7-10 minutes apiece to instead do 10 matches (9 really, since the women's match was a two minute squash) and give them a little more time to build. As a result, I felt the wrestling was a lot more solid than what I saw on the first two shows.
They have a confirmed return to Rahway as part of Wrestlereunion on September 11th, and are working on finalizing a July date as well.