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 411mania » Wrestling » Video Reviews

From The Shelf- EVOLVE 18: Gargano vs. Callihan
Posted by Dylan Diot on 06.23.2014

EVOLVE 18: Gargano vs. Callihan
Voorhees, NJ

Your hosts are Arda Ocal, Colt Cabana, and Johnny Gargano.

Johnny Gargano tells Jon Davis when the time is right, he will confront him and get things off his chest. Gargano then turns his attention to Callihan and says that based on looks, people think they are different but in reality they arenít that different after all. He says they both worked their way to the top of the company and have become two of the best wrestlers in the world. Gargano says the Open the Freedom Gate championship is his life and if Sami thinks that he is going to take it from him, he will die before he does so.

Four Way Freestyle Qualifier- Tony Nese (2-3) vs. AR Fox (6-4)
The winners of the four qualifiers compete in a four way later to rack up two wins heading to the EVOLVE Title Tournament. Both men look for control early and they reach a standstill. Rear abdominal stretch by Nese and he converts it into a cover for 2. OíConnor roll by Nese gets 2 and he hits some arm drags, forcing Fox to bail. Suicide dive by Nese and back in, Fox hits the assisted springboard arm drag. Dropkick by Fox and he dropkicks Nese as he tries to springboard in. Suicide plancha to the floor by Fox and he goes up. Leg drop off the top to the apron by Fox and back in, he goes for Low Mein Pain but Nese blocks. Second rope STO by Nese gets 2. Nese stomps away and covers for 2. Nese trips up Fox and he hits the Lionsault for 2. Slam by Nese gets 2 and he goes to the chinlock. Fox breaks with a jawbreaker and they trade forearms. Enzuigiri by Fox and he hits the springboard dropkick. Fox cleans house and hits a dropkick. He jumps on Nese in the ropes and he hits the springboard Ace Crusher for 2. Fox goes up but Nese tries to toss him off. Fox catches Nese with a head scissors on the way down for 2 and they trade counters until Fox runs Nese into the ropes neck first. Super kick by Fox and he hits the DVD. Fox goes up and hits the Swanton Bomb for 2. Forearms by Fox but Nese comes back with a big boot. Enzuigiri by Fox and Nese comes back with a Pump Handle Powerbomb for 2. Nese goes for the Tornado DDT but Fox blocks and hits an enzugiri. Nese blocks Low Mein Pain and rolls Fox up for 2. Buckle Bomb by Nese and he hits the Panic Attack for 2. Nese goes up but Fox crotches him and hits the Pele. Spinning enzuigiri by Fox and he hits Low Mein Pain for 3.
Winner- AR Fox ***1/4 ( This was a good match to kick off the show. It was clunky at points and I wish the crowd could have been a little louder but the final stretch was quite good and both guys had a good showing.)

Four Way Freestyle Qualifier- Papadon (0-0) vs. MASADA (1-0)
Both men look for the early advantage and they reach a stand still. They trade chops and MASADA hits a knee to the midsection. Chops by MASADA but Papadon comes back with a knee to the midsection. Kicks to the chest by Papadon and he knocks MASADA down with a forearm. Second rope uppercut by Papadon gets 2. Snap mare and Papadon hits a kick to the chest. Basement clothesline by Papadon gets 2. German suplex by Papadon gets 2 and he throws some elbows at MASADA. MASADA counters a basement clothesline with a crucifix for 2. Powerslam by MASADA gets 2. Corner forearm by MASADA and he snapmares Papadon into a rear abdominal stretch. MASADA escapes and they trade forearms. Protobomb by Papadon and he hits a basement dropkick for 2. Back suplex by MASADA but Papadon comes back with a flatliner into the corner. Basement boot to the head by Papadon and he snap mares MASADA into the chinlock. MASADA fights out and they trade forearms. Big boot by MASADA and Papadon comes back with a TKO knee lift. Dropkick by Papadon gets 2. Papadon gord busters MASADA in the ropes and he hits a suplex. MASADA comes back with a Regal Plex and he hits the Brainbuster for 3.
Winner- MASADA ** ( This wasnít all that good. The match dragged for the most part and they didnít do anything that engage the audience or gained their interests. )

After the match, Larry Dallas comes out and says Papadon needs proper guidance. Dallas has a contract for Papadon so he could become the enforcer of the Scene. He promises to take Papadon to the top and Papadon signs the contract. Dallas also has an open contact for Marti Belle to get a match with him tonight. Marti Belle comes out and she signs the contract. Dallas then tells Belle she signed a contact for a handicap match!!!

Marti Belle vs. Papadon and Larry Dallas
Belle attacks Dallas to start but Papadon pulls her off and hits a Jackknife Powerbomb. Dallas teabags Belle and covers for 3.
Winners- Papadon and Larry Dallas SQUASH ( Well, this was something. Papadonís powerbomb on Belle was sick, but I really donít have much to comment on here. )

Super Smash Brothers discuss strategy for their match tonight and say they are on a two match winning streak. He says when they are at their highest point, they come crashing down. They say if they beat Generico and Del Sol, they are back in the race.

Four Way Freestyle Qualifier- Jigsaw (1-2) vs. Rich Swann (1-2)
Feeling out process to start and Jigsaw gets a crucifix for 2. Cravat by Swann but Jigsaw escapes and chops the chest of Swann. Gory Special by Jigsaw but Swann escapes and hits a dropkick for 2. Snap mare and Swann hits a kick to the back for 2. Chinlock by Swann but Jigsaw fights out so Swann hits a slam. Jigsaw hits a spinning face plant forcing Swann to bail and Jigsaw follows up with a suicide dive. Jigsaw hits a back suplex on the apron and back in, Jigsaw chokes Swann with his boot in the corner. Snap mare and Jigsaw hits a kick to the back for 2. Body scissors by Jigsaw and he converts it into a chinlock. Swann fights out but Jigsaw takes him down to the mat to stop his momentum. Jigsaw goes up but Swann catches him with an enzuigiri. Standing Frankensteiner by Swann and Jigsaw bails. Corkscrew plancha to the floor by Swann and back in, Swann hits a Tornado DDT for 2. Swann goes for the sunset flip but Jigsaw rolls through into the double stomp. German suplex by Jigsaw gets 2. Jigsaw goes for the Brainbuster but Swann blocks. Leg drop off the back of Jigsaw gets 2. Jigsaw catches Swann in a handspring attempt and hits a Torture Rack Bomb for 2. Kicks to the chest by Jigsaw and Swann comes back with the Ace Crusher. Standing SSP by Swann gets 2. Kicks to the chest by Swann but Jigsaw drops him in the ropes and hits a super kick to come back. 2K1 Bomb by Jigsaw gets 2. Jigsaw goes up and misses the double stomp off the top. Spinning enzuigiri by Swann gets 3.
Winner- Rich Swann *** ( Again, this was solid athletic showcase from two fun high flyers but the crowd was not into the match as much as they could have been. A better atmosphere would have probably given this match and the opening match some added juice. )

El Generico and Samurai Del Sol say the Super Smash Brothers are the breakout team of 2012 and Generico is proud of them. Del Sol speaks in Spanish and Generico translates that both teams had a great 2012 but they are looking into the future and the DGUSA Tag Team Titles.

Four Way Freestyle Qualifier- Jon Davis (4-3) vs. Chuck Taylor w/Gentlemenís Club (9-4)
Davis has a cold, slow walk to the ring and he just chills quietly in the corner at the start of the bell. Davis overpowers Taylor early and it looks like Taylor is dead. Chuckís arm only goes down twice and Taylor is fired up!!! Davis overpowers him again and Taylor finally comes back with a leaping shoulder block. Taylor goes for a suplex but Davis blocks so Taylor hits a knee strike to take Davis off the apron. Taylor goes for a slingshot pescado but Davis catches him and rams him into the apron!!! Back in, Davis hammers the back of the neck of Taylor and hits a back suplex for 2. Taylor fights back and Davis knocks him down with a hard right hand to stop the momentum. TAYLOR PULLS OUT THE GRENADE!!! Davis slaps it out of Taylorís hand and the Gentlemenís Club fight over it on the floor. IT EXPLODES ON THE SWAMP MONSTER!!! The distraction allows Taylor to roll him up for 2. Tornado DDT by Taylor gets 2. Davis blocks the Urinage attempt and Taylor hits a big boot. Tilt-a-whirl powerslam by Davis gets 2. Davis charges in the corner but eats elbow and Taylor goes for the half crab but Davis blocks. Urinage by Taylor and he hits a running kick to the chest for 2. Taylor goes for the Awful Waffle but Davis blocks. Sole Food by Taylor and Davis comes back with a lariat. A second lariat by Davis gets 3.
Winner- Jon Davis **1/2 ( It was weird dynamic seeing Davisís cold, ultra serious persona face off with the wacky, goofiness of Taylor. But Taylorís antics never not entertain me and they manage to click as the match progressed. )

After the match, Johnny Gargano comes out and confronts Davis. Gargano claims to have figured Jon Davis out and claims that Davis is fake. Gargano calls Davis a bully and just like everything else in Davisí life, he is mediocre at it. He says despite all of Davisí attacks, he still has the Open the Freedom Gate Championship. Davis says thatís OK and reminds everyone that tonightís title match is under Dragon Gate rules.

Arda Ocal comes out to announce future news for DGUSA and EVOLVE and some woman comes out wanting to be John Morrisonís manager for the next show. Christina Von Eerie comes out and lays the woman out. Von Eerie says that DGUSA and EVOLVE belong to Mad Blankley. (I donít understand Gabeís obsession for these random segments and randomly involving women in angles. It always seems so out of place and forced, I would rather see some matches highlighting Shine and womenís wrestling in general.)

Sami Callihan talks about him and Gargano starting their careers in Ohio and claiming from the bottom to the top. Callihan said Gargano won the championship and Sami has let his anger get the best of him. He says his focus is now on the Open the Freedom Gate championship and Sami claims to have home field advantage. He warns Gargano to be scared as he will break Garganoís leg to get the job done.

Samurai Del Sol and El Generico vs. Super Smash Brothers (Player Uno and Player Dos)
Dos and Del Sol start. Both men battle on the mat for control and they reach a stand still. Tag to Generico and Uno. Uno overpowers Generico but Generico comes back with some arm drags. Hurricanrana by Uno and Del Sol tags in along with Dos. Head scissors by Del Sol and Dos comes back with a hurricanrana. Tag to Generico and he hammers the back of Dos. Tag to Uno and the SSB hit a drop toe hold/knee drop combo for 2. Tag to Dos and Uno snap mares Generico into the Hilo from Dos for 2. Shoulders to the gut in the corner by Dos and Uno tags in. He knocks Generico down with a chop and slams him. Tag to Dos and he grabs a rear waist lock. Dropkick by Dos gets 2 as Del Sol saves. Tag to Uno and the SSB hit a double back elbow. Fist drop/standing moonsault combo gets 2. Chinlock by Uno but Generico fights out and comes back with the Protobomb. Tag to Dos and Del Sol. Headstand head scissors by Del Sol and Uno tags in. Standing Sliced Bread by Del Sol gets 2. Generico tags in and he stomps away in the corner. Snap mare into an elbow drop by Generico gets 1. Chinlock by Generico and Del Sol tags in. Snap mare into a slingshot 450 by Del Sol gets 2. Indian Deathlock by Del Sol but Uno makes the ropes to break. Tag to Generico and Uno catches him with the flatliner. Tag to Dos and Del Sol. Crossbody off the top by Dos and he hits the Pele. Tope Con Hilo by Uno to Generico on the floor!!! OíConnor roll by Del Sol gets 2. Release Dragon Suplex by Dos gets 2. Spinning heel kick by Del Sol and he stomps away in the corner. He chokes Dos with his boot and tags Generico. Michinoku Driver by Generico gets 2. Tag to Del Sol and Generico powerslams Dos. HE MONKEY FLIPS DEL SOL INTO A 450 SPLASH FOR 2 AS UNO SAVES!!! Yakuza kick by Generico and he goes for the Brainbuster but Dos counters into a hurricanrana for 2. Tag to Del Sol and Dos hits a leaping knee strike. He hits an overhead belly to belly suplex into the corner on Generico. Dos goes up and hits the 450 splash for 2!!! Del Sol escapes a Brainbuster attempt and Generico hits an Yakuza Kick. Release half nelson suplex by Generico and Del Sol hits the springboard Rising Sun for 2 as Uno saves!!! Superkick by Dos and he goes up but Generico follows. Uno saves Dos so Generico dumps him to the floor. Generico goes back up but Dos fights him off. Del Sol goes up and hits the Wheelbarrow Driver off the top for 3!!!
Winners- Samurai Del Sol and El Generico **** ( Awesome tag match. They didnít overstay their welcome and didnít go overboard with the spots. It was total action from the get go and the double team sequences were unique and fantasic. This lived up to the hype, it was great. )

Drew Gulak says that what happened tonight was an outrage and he declares Chuck Taylor will win the EVOLVE Championship.

Four Way Freestyle- AR Fox (7-4) vs. Rich Swann (2-2) vs. MASADA (2-0) vs. Jon Davis (5-3)
Sick Kick by Davis to Swann to start and he trades forearms with MASADA. MASADA knocks Davis to the floor and Fox hits a springboard hurricanrana forcing MASADA to bail. Springboard inverted summersault senton to the floor by Fox. Suicide dive by MASADA to Davis. Fox hits a springboard guillotine leg drop as MASADA was coming in for 2. Fox goes up but MASADA stops him and follows up. Fox fights him off and Swann catches MASADA with a spin kick. Cannonball in the corner by Fox to MASADA. Fox puts Swann on top and hits an enzuigiri. Springboard hurricanrana is blocked by Davis and he powerbombs Fox onto everyone in the corner!!! Jackhammer by Davis gets 2. Release German suplex to Swann gets 2 as MASADA saves. Spinebuster by Davis gets 2 as Swann saves. Davis puts Swann on top and follows up. MASADA also follows, as does Fox. TOWER OF DOOM~!!!! Fox covers Swann for 2. MASADA goes up but Fox goes for Low Mein Pain. MASADA blocks and hits a back suplex ONTO FOXíS HEAD for 2!!! 3 Seconds Around the World by Davis gets 2 as Swann hits a superkick. Swanton Bomb to Davis by Fox and Swann hits the spinning enzuigiri to Fox for 3!!!
Winner- Rich Swann **3/4 ( I actually wish this got a few more minutes as it was really getting cooking before the sudden finish. Still, fun spot fest where Davis got to look like a killer. )

Open the Freedom Gate Championship- Johnny Gargano © vs. Sami Callihan
During the introductions, Jon Davis comes out and tries to attack Gargano but Callihan prevents the attack. Callihan tells Davis that he has no part of this and tells him to get the hell out of here. Sami aggressively takes Gargano to the mat to start and they reach a standstill. Head butt by Callihan and he hits the basement bicycle kick in the corner. He hits a second one and Gargano blocks the third. Slaps by Callihan but Gargano takes him down into the Gargano Escape. Callihan bails and Gargano follows with the suicide dive. Gargano connects with a second one and Callihan comes back with a springboard clothesline knocking Callihan off the apron. Heat Seeking Missile by Callihan and he works Gargano over on the floor. Callihan goes for a chop but misses and hits the post!!! Back in, they battle for a suplex and Callihan hits a bicycle kick. Gargano suplexes Callihan into the corner to come back. Gargano works the left arm of Callihan and he gets the crucifix for 2. Dropkick to the back by Gargano and he stomps away in the corner. Callihan goes up but Gargano catches him with an enzuigiri. He follows up but Callihan bites the hand of Gargano to fight back. Gargano blocks the sunset flip bomb but Callihan superkicks the leg of Gargano to bring him down. Indian Deathlock by Callihan and he releases to hit some forearms to the back of Gargano. Sami covers for 2 and Gargano fights back. DVD by Callihan and he goes for the ricochet splash but eats knees. They trade forearms and chops but Gargano begins to clean house. He rolls Callihan into a basement high kick for 2. High kick by Callihan and he blocks a slingshot Spear attempt. Gargano flips Callihan to the floor and back in; Gargano hits the slingshot DDT for 2. Gargano bites the head of Callihan in the corner and he hits the corner knee strike. Dragon screw leg sweep by Callihan and he grabs the Figure-4. Gargano grabs the ropes to break. Enzuigiri by Gargano but Callihan comes back with a big boot. Superkicks by Gargano and he hits a discus lariat. They trade counters and Gargano hits a knee lift. Lawn Dart by Gargano and he hits Hurtís Donut for 2. Gargano Escape by Gargano but Sami makes the ropes to break. Saito suplex by Callihan gets 2.They battle on the apron and Gargano hits a superkick. He goes for the sunset flip bomb off the apron but Sami blocks. Gargano sweeps the legs of Sami and HITS HURTíS DONUT INTO THE BARRICADE!!! Saito suplex on the apron by Callihan!!! Back in, Callihan goes up and hits a flying splash onto the leg of Gargano. Stretch Muffler but Gargano counters into a roll-up for 2. Big boot by Callihan and he hits a sit-out powerbomb for 2. Stretch Muffler by Callihan but Gargano counters into the Gargano Escape. Callihan counters back into the Stretch Muffler!!! Rapid stomps to the head by Callihan but Gargano clips him and goes back to the Gargano Escape!!! Callihan tries to power out so Gargano gets a crucifix bomb and goes back to the Gargano Escape. He throws some knees at Callihan and he passes out!!!
Winner and Still Open the Freedom Gate Champion- Johnny Gargano ****1/4 (An awesome main event. I loved the big fight atmosphere of the match, as they got plenty of time to build a great story and I really enjoyed that they built up the big impact maneuvers as their own big moment rather than the usual finish palooza we usually get. One of the best matches of Garganoís reign. )

The 411: This was a solid show from EVOLVE. They were on the road to crowning the promotion's first champion, so they spent a great majority of the show putting over some of the guys who were likely in contention for that championship. The tag match and the main event were spectacular and put this show over the top. Go out of your way to see the tag match and the Open the Freedom Gate Champion and you will likely enjoy this show as a whole as well.
Final Score:  8.0   [ Very Good ]  legend


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