Tremendous Tirades: EVOLVE 31
Posted by Larry Csonka on 08.09.2014
New EVOLVE… kinda feels like the old EVOLVE…
As a reminder, this will not be another traditional recap, but instead it will be a mash up of the Rs, Instant Analysis and my usual Twitter ramblings I would do during the shows; completely uncensored and as the ideas flow unfiltered to the old keyboard. Remember, this is a review; and I am here to review the show. As always, I encourage discussion and even disagreement, just do so in a respectful manner. I will be doing the review for Raw and most PPVs and iPPVs going forward.
This show is supposed to be the "reboot" for the promotion.
We're live in Ybor City, Fl.
Style Battle Tournament Match: Drew Gulak defeated Timothy Thatcher via submission @ 16:00: These two had an awesome match over the WrestleMania weekend for the Wrestling Odyssey show in a British Rules match. This ended up being a good match to kick off the iPPV, they got time and they work very well together. I also love that they work such a different style than most guys. The grappling, simple but effective work and submissions isn't for everyone, but these guys do it very well. They worked hard, Thatcher focused on the arm of Gulak, who got the victory in a way that didn't devalue Thatcher at all. Thatcher actually controlled more than most may think here, and looked good. Not nearly as good as their WM weekend match, but a nice way to kick off the show. Match/Segment Rating: ***½
Style Battle Tournament Match: Biff Busick defeated James Raiden via submission @ 8:00: The second match of the show was another Style Battle match, which I felt ended up being a mistake. First of all, when possible, you need to break up matches that have a chance to be very similar to each other. Secondly, the fact that it came after Gulak and Thatcher did this no favors, because it wasn't nearly as good, and overall felt like they were trying to do the same type of match, just not as well. I have no issue with a shorter match here, because you need to condition the audience to not expect super long matches just because there are less matches on the show and that anyone can win at any time. But I don't think that James Raiden was particularly booked well here, and honestly I didn't feel as if I was given a reason to care about him. The work was solid, but uninspired. Match/Segment Rating: **½
FIP Showcase Match: Lince Dorado, Cruz, and Rios defeated Jesus De Leon, JT Dunn, and David Starr via pin @ 11:00: Going back to my point about match 2, this likely should have gone on second to break up the styles that the men in the Styles Battle were working. This was an "FIP Showcase Match," and while the crowd seemed to enjoy it (because they are in FIP territory) it wasn't anything special. This was your multi-man spot/exhibition match, which was fun, but had no real structure (in my opinion) and was sloppy at times because they were trying to throw in so much shit. Take a couple minutes off of this and tighten it up, and give that time to Busick vs. Raiden and I think both come off better. This was fun, but nothing you haven't seen done better a ton of times before. Match/Segment Rating: **¾
Matt Sydal defeated Johnny Gargano via pin @ 22:00: Matt Sydal is of course the former Evan Bourne, and is making his US return to the independent scene. He made an appearance for Dragon Gate, and did well in his tag match, but was shaking off the rust as he has been inactive for some time. Overall a good match, but not nearly what I was hoping for. It was slow in the middle (in that it made the match feel longer than it was), and actually could have had a couple minutes shaved off to be honest with you. They picked it up late and made it enjoyable and as most expected, Sydal won in his return to the US independent scene. That is all fine and good, but I seriously want to know what they are doing with Gargano. The guy was champion for over 800 days, but at this time has no direction. He has been one of their most reliable performers over the last three years, but right now he just feels like just another guy. Again, good match, but Gargano not having anything to do feels like he is either on the way out or the promotion has no idea what to do with him after the long title run. They need to do something big with the match with Swann this weekend. Match/Segment Rating: ***½
Anthony Nese and Caleb Konley w/Su Yung defeated Ricochet and Rich Swann w/Ivelisse via pin @ 21:00: Anthony Nese and Caleb Konley defeated Ricochet and Rich Swann in a good tag match. Again, I like that EVOLVE is trying to go with smaller cards, but some of these matches have FELT too long to me. This is another match that could have done with a shaving of a few minutes. Long doesn't equal good, and while some matches need time to tell the story, this one didn't need to be as long. The heat on Swann felt like it lasted forever, Ricky Morton was begging him to make a tag. They did some great stuff down the stretch, but the slow heat and Swann forgetting to sell the knee down the stretch hurt things. Also, EVOLVE said that they would be doing no more run ins and shenanigans, but Su Yung and were still too involved with their distractions and such. Either don't do it or just say screw it and keep doing it, but don't tell me you're not doing it and then still basically do the same thing. They did some angle post match where Nese and Konley pushed Yung post match, and Swann invited her to party. Yup. Match/Segment Rating: ***
I believe it. No disrespect intended, but Hero looks like a guy that has been on the shelf for a bit. With that being said, Hero worked hard and overall this was a fine match, but not the quality that you'd want out of your main event. They worked a slower pace, lots of striking exchanges and the live crowd seemed to like it overall. Galloway got the clean win with the future shock DDT and became the new EVOLVE champion. I am not sure if they aren't going to use Hero more, if he is hurt more than they let on or they just wanted to "shock" people with the title change, but I am not sure that the big "reboot" being kicked off with the dude from 3MB winning the title on his first night in is the right call. Match/Segment Rating: ***
Galloway gave a promo post match, saying that he wanted to be a leader for EVOLVE and asked the locker room to stand by him because they are the best and he is proud to be their champion.
Thanks for reading.
Overall this was a show, an average show with nothing that felt fresh or important. I like a lot of the guys they are using, I like scaling the card down to try and make things feel more important; but it just didn't click for me. This EVOLVE show did not really feel any different than most of their other shows, and after hyping the reboot so much, that feels like a disappointment. The wrestling is generally fine, but there was nothing you had to see on the show. Galloway winning the title his first night in is questionable, I have no problem using former WWE guys, but he just arrived. It's not like he has worked around and received a good reputation like a Trent Baretta. Also, as I said, he's the dude from 3MB that was jobbing to a man dressed as a bull. I am not sure that putting the title on his sends the vibe that, "we're starting fresh and are the best wrestlers in the world". Again, I have no issue using the guy, but you have to rehab his image first. So far, the new EVOLVE feels like the old EVOLVE. Hopefully the rest of the weekend goes better for them.
What You Need to See: Unfortunately there was really nothing special on the show.
Show Rating: 6.0
As a reminder, I will be going by the 411 scale…
0 - 0.9: Torture 1 - 1.9: Extremely Horrendous 2 - 2.9: Very Bad 3 - 3.9: Bad 4 - 4.9: Poor 5 - 5.9: Not So Good 6 - 6.9: Average 7 - 7.9: Good 8 - 8.9:Very Good 9 - 9.9: Amazing 10: Virtually Perfect
As a reminder, this is not a basic "how good was the show" number like a TV show, as I have always felt that a PPV is very different from a regular show. I have always judged PPV on how they built to a match, the match quality, crowd reactions to matches and angles, the overall booking, how the PPV leads into the future, PPV price and so on and so forth. I have added this in here for an explanation since so many have asked, and I have previously discussed it on podcasts. I understand that this may seem different, but that is how I grade. Obviously your criteria may be different.
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Larry Csonka is a Pisces and enjoys rolling at jiu jitsu class with Hotty McBrownbelt, cooking, long walks on the beach, Slingo and the occasional trip to Jack in the Box. He is married to a soulless ginger and has two beautiful daughters who are thankfully not soulless gingers; and is legally allowed to marry people in 35 states. He has been a wrestling fan since 1982 and has been writing for 411 since May 24th, 2004; contributing over 3,000 columns, TV reports and video reviews to the site.