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EVOLVE: The WWE AA Franchise

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Briggs vs. Retro AG was ok, but kind of long. Briggs seems talented, but maybe gives a little too much for a guy his size.

The 4-way was decent though also makes you wonder why Maluta is the guy actually employed by WWE compared to everyone else involved. Maluta isn't terrible or anything, but feels bland with little to offer in basically every match.

Ruas/Henry was rough but nice.

Shotzi/Lauren was a brawl. That dive into the chairs from Shotzi was kind of insane.

Babatunde/Corino was a fun squash and probably more of what Briggs/AG should have been. First time seeing Babatunde and I like what I see so far. He is going to do well whenever he finally shows up in NXT.

The tag was good spotfest. Really like Kingston on the mic. I can see why some question why he hasn't been hired already.

Riddle/Gulak was damn good, just like their NXT match earlier in the year.

Tozawa/Cole was solid.

Drake/Theory was good. Really dug both guy's styles, and they fit together so well. The promo vid just before the match was nice and did a great job catching you up on the history between the two. Both guys were good in it, but Drake was just awesome talking about the shit he has gone through for wrestling.

Didn't flat out dislike anything, and there were some nice matches here. This was fun first show for me as far as EVOLVE goes. Drake, Theory, & Kingston probably left the biggest impressions with me out of the EVOLVE guys.

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Shotzi Blackheart, you magnificent psycho, that was awesome and how are you not dead? Brandi was a great evil bitch counterpart and this was one hell of a match.

I had never seen JD Drake or Austin Theory before but they won me over. Theory just has the kind of face you want to slap the shit out of and Drake's promo in the buildup was tremendous. His trunks pulled up past his belly button were silly looking, but we need us more big fat guys in wrestling. Variety is good.

Holy hell, Gulak vs Riddle was incredible and I need more of it. The Catch Point guys in warm up suits were a nice touch.

Babatunde vs Corino(and my god, does he look like his old man)was my low point of the night and felt more like something you would see on RAW. Just needed Michael Cole talking about how you have to see Bababtunde live to appreciate how big he is. But it did lead into Eddie Kingston and DAMN is that guy a star.

As someone who has never seen Evolve before tonight but am intrigued enough to check out more shows, can any of you fine people pass a recommendation of what I should be checking out?

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Also wonder what Vince and everyone in the WWE thought seeing a 1 man announcing booth with Lenny Leonard.  I can't remember seeing one of those in many years even on the indies

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That Shotzi dive topped Darby's at Fyter Fest!

It was Lita's famous Dive but with 5 chairs in her way instead of nothing but the floor. 

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And Shotzi tweeted that she was more hurt from the Natasha women than going head first into the chairs 😂

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Phil4126 said:

As someone who has never seen Evolve before tonight but am intrigued enough to check out more shows, can any of you fine people pass a recommendation of what I should be checking out?

Anything involving Biff Busick, Timothy Thatcher and Drew Gulak against each other or Matt Riddle.

Then check out the Catch Point stuff -- Gulak, Thatcher, Yehi, Riddle, TJP, Hot Sauce, Dickinson, Jaka and Garrini.

Seriously, not to be that "the good ol' days were much better" guy, but they really were in this case. EVOLVE was incredible before they turned into a developmental territory for NXT.

If you want to go a little more retro, then watch Finlay's set of matches in EVOLVE, namely against Callihan and then there's guys like McIntyre, Hero, ZSJ, Ricochet, Gargano, etc. who also worked there, so there's a ton of good stuff to shuffle through.

Edited by Edwin
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9 hours ago, Phil4126 said:

Shotzi Blackheart, you magnificent psycho, that was awesome and how are you not dead? Brandi was a great evil bitch counterpart and this was one hell of a match.

I had never seen JD Drake or Austin Theory before but they won me over. Theory just has the kind of face you want to slap the shit out of and Drake's promo in the buildup was tremendous. His trunks pulled up past his belly button were silly looking, but we need us more big fat guys in wrestling. Variety is good.

Holy hell, Gulak vs Riddle was incredible and I need more of it. The Catch Point guys in warm up suits were a nice touch.

Babatunde vs Corino(and my god, does he look like his old man)was my low point of the night and felt more like something you would see on RAW. Just needed Michael Cole talking about how you have to see Bababtunde live to appreciate how big he is. But it did lead into Eddie Kingston and DAMN is that guy a star.

As someone who has never seen Evolve before tonight but am intrigued enough to check out more shows, can any of you fine people pass a recommendation of what I should be checking out?

Evolve 53-55 is when they crown their 1st Tag Champions and have two other tournaments that weekend. The Eight teams: ZSJ/Sami C, TJP/Gulak, Gargano/Drew, Romero/Trent?, End/Hero, Bravados, Konley/Nese and Team Tremendous. Ciampa in Singles action and Hot Sauce/Riddle in the Style Battle Tournament. 

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23 hours ago, hammerva said:

Also wonder what Vince and everyone in the WWE thought seeing a 1 man announcing booth with Lenny Leonard.  I can't remember seeing one of those in many years even on the indies

Yes -- Lenny sounded very good. On the indies, you'd have to go back to the first IWC Super Indy tournament in 2002, where I did ring announcing and solo commentary.

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Posted (edited)

First time seeing Evolve since Mania weekend of 2018

Briggs vs. Retro AG turned out well.  At first I thought it should have been a squash for Briggs but as it kept going they won me over.  Briggs looks to have a bright future but rough around the edges.  The heels actually got over as heels.  This was venturing into the "they've done too much" territory by the time it ended.

The 4-way was quite indyriffic.  Wolf is really the only one that impressed me.  At least they hit a move and went home instead of dragging his out.

Ruas/Henry was rough at spots.  I've never been into the worked shoot stuff but Ruas seems pretty good at it.  I've only seen Henry a few times and he seemed a bit reckless although he has improved his look.  But if he's at this point 16 years in, I think someone should sit him down & tell him to move on from wrestling.  Another match that went home on time.

Shotzi/Lauren I didn't care to watch

Babatunde/Corino was skipped as well

The tag was good spotfest that got over.  Nothing you haven't seen before though.  Fox continues to have a death wish.  For fat dudes that are surprisingly good, I much prefer Gacy (who I had never seen before) over Drake.

Riddle/Gulak turned out pretty good but again not a big fan of the worked shoot stuff but I guess I can see why people like these guys.

Drake/Theory didn't do much for me so I skipped a good portion of it.  I like the idea of Drake but I couldn't get past someone letting him go out in front of people in those pants.  Theory showed me a lot of promise back in 2018 but now just seems like a generic indy guy who will probably make it due to his body.  Basically like an early ROH era Mike Bennett.

I haven't watched the main yet but overall I'm kind of feeling like I should have gone with my original inclination of just watching the main only.

Edited by TimWresPowr

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This is the first show in quite awhile where how good or bad it was didn't matter much to me.  I did like a lot of what I saw but this was all about the experience of it all.  Having always wanted to go to the ECW Arena when I stepped inside it was just an amazingly surreal experience.  They redid a lot of things but I couldn't get over seeing things like the Crow's Nest still there.  And it was really cool to see ECW posters, banners and mural there.  It's kind of hard not to express this without sounding goofy but it was almost like with all this going on I felt this weird connection with what/who used to be there.  And in turn that allowed me to be quite a bit more into everything than I probably would have been.  And then of course when Heyman came out that feeling just intensified ten-fold.  It was easily one of my favorite nights as a wrestling fan and I can't wait to go back there (going to try for the New Japan tickets)  I also am incredibly happy for Trevin who is not only an old friend of mine but always goes out of his way to take care of me when I go.  He's a really awesome dude and it's great to see him announcing on the Network.  I felt bad for him as that was a new suit he got and the front and especially the back were soaked in sweat.  It was funny seeing it get worse and worse with each match he announced.

As for the show itself I really loved the women's match and the chair spot was insane.  Also dug Ruas/Henry and my favorite was Riddle/Gulak for so many reasons.  I like Theory a good bit and it's cool to see how far he's comes in the couple years with Evolve.  He might not be everybody's favorite but I like what he's done as champion.  Also found myself rooting for Drake especially given the promo video but sense he'll get the title soon enough.  Not sure if I'll follow Evolve that much but I do like the times that I go.

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Someone has big plans for Josh Briggs, huh? He seems to me like he would benefit from not having one eye so clearly on a WWE spot. Opener was a bit much for an opener. Second match, the four way was certainly a four way.

I loved the Henry vs. Ruas match; but then I'm an unabashed Shoot Style fan. I particularly liked how Henry couldn't keep up with the shoot-stylings of Ruas but when it turned into 2019 wrestling match, he was flying. Then Ruas throws the kind of Kneel Kick I haven't seen since the glory days of Shin'ya Hashimoto. Good stuff. More, please.

Everyone else has pretty much covered the Riddle vs. Gulak match and No DQ Women's match. I dug them both.

The Babatunde squash was everything it needed to be. Went straight into Kingston with a live microphone, who I thought had a better promo than Heyman; and then the Tag Title match. Kingston is great; everyone else was okay. 

I wasn't into JD Drake's babyface schtick. Love me some big boys (Trent Seven is my favourite thing in the 'E right now,) but something about him just rang false to me. "You can't hit me harder than life has" was dokey as all hell. There's just something about him that just isn't that likeable; despite what should be a very sympathetic story he's got there.

Overall, I guess I'd watch it if it was on the Network, but nothing here really made me want to see more EVOLVE, although there was some good stuff in there.

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Anyone who liked Ruas/Henry needs to see Ruas/Riddle from NXT. It's very similar, but far better.

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I finally watched Cole vs. Tozawa, it was more of a TV main event style but good to see Tozawa in a match given some time (for him).  This would have been better on a Takeover with more time but this is probably a good middle ground on not having a 40-minute kick-out fest that can stretch believablility.  Overall it was a decent show but nothing to make me want to see Evolve again, but I don't really have the time or interest in current wrestling anyway..  3 matches in the **1/2-*** range.

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9 hours ago, Edwin said:

Anyone who liked Ruas/Henry needs to see Ruas/Riddle from NXT. It's very similar, but far better.

Which is airing tonight

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Still so weird that the link is to wwe.com

 

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To go along with (and who knows if it will actually happen) but Drew Gulak challenged KUSHIDA saying he would defend the Cruiserweight Title against him

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The KUSHIDA/Gulak match is official

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Watched the tryout show on Facebook this evening.  Some Midwest presence on there, good to see Rahne Victoria and Camron Bra'Nae.

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And here are the cards for Brooklyn (FRI) and Queens (SAT): 

 

 

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Man, we really need another Kingston/Hero match now that they're both doing Evolve shows.

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On 9/18/2019 at 3:58 PM, Log said:

Man, we really need another Kingston/Hero match now that they're both doing Evolve shows.

You will have to settle for Kingston vs. Cameron Grims (aka Trevor Lee) in North Carolina

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