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RADICAN'S TAKE

RADICAN'S EVOLVE DVD REVIEW SERIES: Evolve 1 - Richards vs. Ibushi, Sawa vs. TJP

Feb 16, 2010 - 12:32:27 PM


RADICAN'S EVOLVE DVD REVIEW SERIES
EVOLVE 1: RICHARDS vs. IBUSHI
RAHWAY, N.J.
Jan. 16, 2010
BY SEAN RADICAN, TORCH COLUMNIST


evolve1dvd.jpg
Star ratings and analysis

Evolve 1 is currently available for pre-order. It is scheduled to begin shipping on March 1.

The show opened with Davey Richards and Kyle O'Reilly warming up backstage with Tony Kozina. O'Reilly was kicking some pads. Richards noticed the cameras in his locker room and told the woman with the cameraman that he wanted them gone. She explained to him that there were cameras in all of the locker rooms, but Richards said he would remove her himself if he had to. The woman protested until Kozina stepped in and asked her nicely to leave. Kota Ibushi and Sawa were then shown talking in Japanese backstage.

-A highlight package aired featuring the wrestlers in Evolve competing in FIP and DGUSA.

-Several of the wrestlers were asked why they wrestle. The wrestlers had various answers for the question. Some yelled and screamed. Others were more laid back.

-Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish came out to the same music. They were introduced by the ring announced and the action quickly began. Lenny Leonard and Chikarason are doing the commentary at ringside.

(1) Kyle O'Reilly (w/Tony Kozina) vs. Bobby Fish. Fish dominated the action early, but O'Reilly fired back and landed a series of rolling butterfly suplexes that drew and ovation from the crowd. Fish got the better of an exchange of kicks and locked in a cross arm breaker on O'Reilly, but he got to the ropes quickly. Both men exchanged forearms. Fish got the better of the exchange and went for a kick, but O'Reilly caught his leg and suplexed him to the mat for a 2 count. Both men traded superkicks. O'Reilly then hit Fish with a huge clothesline, which left both men down. The crowd cheered as both men struggled to get to their feet. O'Reilly managed to hit a tornado DDT/brainbuster combination for the pin. (**3/4)

RADICAN'S ANALYSIS: This was a solid opener. Both men delivered some hard-hitting exchanges that popped the crowd. Neither man showed the appropriate facial expressions when they went to the fighting spirit sequences, but O'Reilly has some potential if he can develop some charisma.

(2) Chuck Taylor vs. Cheech. This match does not count as an official singles match since neither man is in the official singles division. The announcers explained that this match was an opportunity for both men to be added to the roster. Taylor locked Cheech in a headscissors submission with his arms trapped during the early stages of the match, but Cheech got the ropes. Taylor dominated for several minutes, but Cheech fired back and nailed Taylor with a moonsault press. Cheech got a couple of nearfalls with various pinning combinations. Cheech nailed tailor with a kick to the chest and nailed Taylor with a running dropkick to the head in the corner and then followed up with another from the outside for a 2 count. Taylor eventually fired back and nailed Cheech with the awful waffle for the pin. (**3/4)

-After the match, Lenny Leonard interviewed Taylor. Taylor said he was mad about having to win a qualifying match. Taylor said he was going to win every single match that he was in just to make the Evolve office's lives miserable.

RADICAN'S ANALYSIS: Much like the first match, this was short but good. Taylor controlled the early stages of the match until Cheech made a solid comeback. The crowd is doing a good job of creating a loud atmosphere for the undercard matches so far. I liked the execution of the post-match promo as well with Taylor giving his thoughts on his win with Leonard asking the questions.

(3) Ricochet vs. Arik Cannon. Ricochet sent Cannon to the outside and nailed him with a handspring dive to the outside during the early stages of the match. Cannon fired back moments later with an exploder into the turnbuckle. Cannon countered a rollup attempt into a neckbreaker for a 2 count. Ricochet flipped around, but Cannon caught him with a big punch and a brainbuster for a nearfall. Cannon hit total anarchy moments later, but Ricochet kicked out again. Ricochet hit an impressive inverted hurricanrana on Cannon out of the corner and went up top and nailed him with a 630 for the pin. (**1/2)

RADICAN'S ANALYSIS: This was a fun match while it lasted, but it was so short they didn't get a chance to tell much of a story. Cannon hit all sorts of big moves on Ricochet, but he kept kicking out. Ricochet seemed to just do a lot of flips around the ring without them really meaning anything. the match was entertaining while it lasted, but not particularly memorable.

-Chuck Taylor came out and told Ricochet he didn't believe in Evolution. He said he didn't come here to evolve, but instead he came here to create his own spot. Taylor challenged Ricochet to a match at that next show. Ricochet agreed and challenged him to a match on the spot, but Taylor backed off.

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-Jimmy Jacobs was backstage with two other wrestlers. One of the wrestlers told Jacobs he had a match coming up shortly. Jacobs seemed upset and walked off with a cigarette in his mouth. Another wrestler was shown backstage writing on his wrist tape.

(4) DCFC (Kory Chavis & Jon Davis) vs. Aeroform (Louis Lyndon & Flip Kendrick). Kendrick hit a nice dive to the outside on Davis. Moments later Lyndon nailed Davis with a kick and bounced off the ropes, but Davis obliterated him with a clothesline. DCFC hit the head rush on Kendrick for a nearfall as they took control of the match. Aeroform fired back and Kendrick nailed Chavis with a body press off the top. Kendrick then took down Davis and nailed him with a spinning senton. Lyndon went for a dive, but Davis cut him off with a knee on the apron. Lyndon blocked a brainbuster attempt from Davis on the apron and then flipped off of him and nailed Chavis with a moonsault to the outside.

Kendrick hit a spiral tap on Davis off the top, but Chavis dove into the ring to make the save. Kendrick went to charge at Chavis, but Davis caught him with the pounce! The DCFC then finished off Lydon a short time later with project mayhem for the pin. (***)

RADICAN'S ANALYSIS: I really enjoyed this match, as the power of DCFC meshed well with the high-flying of Aeroform and made for a fun match. Davis's pounce on Kendrick looked really cool. The crowd was really into DCFC and chanted for them as they made their exit.

(5) Mercedes Martinez vs. Niya. Martinez nailed Niya with several hard chops and then kicked her hard across the back. Martinez then hit a series of suplexes on Niya and finished her off with a fisherman's buster for the pin. (n/a)

Lenny Leonard interviewed Martinez after the match. Martinez said Evolve isn't just a promotion for men. She said she was here to show that women belonged here. Martinez said Evolve better bring more to the table for her.

RADICAN'S ANALYSIS: This was an impressive squash. Martinez's post-match promo was also strong. She looked really good here.

(6) Brad Allen vs. Silas Young. Young slapped Allen across the face right after the bell. Allen fired back and booted Young out of the ring before nailing him with a dive over the top rope. The announcers talked about Allen dedicated his career to his mother, who had passed away. Allen went for a body press off the top, but Young got out of the way. Both men exchanged chops, but Allen took Young down with a big clothesline. Allen nailed Young with several knee strikes to the head, but Young slipped out of the ring and nailed him with a DDT off the apron.

Allen fired back with several forearms out of the corner, but Young fired back and nailed him with a diving lariat for a 2 count. The crowd clapped for Young, who tried to fire himself up before going back on the attack. Allen countered Young and nailed him with a neck breaker. Allen followed up with a springboard delayed senton for a nearfall. Young went for a kick, but Allen caught his leg and flipped him, which resulted in Young crashing and burning to the mat. Allen went for a moonsault to the outside, but Young caught him with a dropkick. Allen appeared to land right on his face. The officials checked on Allen, who didn't move. Young rolled back in the ring and the ref began counting. Allen didn't move and the crowd booed as the ref's count neared 20. Allen finally made it back into the ring at 19 and Young covered him right away, but he kicked out at the last second. Young argued with the ref before going slapping Allen across the face. Allen ducked a dive off the top and nailed Young with a corkscrew crossbody off the top for a 2 count. Young caught Allen with a boot to the face and went up top, but Allen caught him and drove Young face-first into the mat for the pin. (***)

Leonard interviewed Allen after the match. The mic broke up a bit and the crowd booed as Allen talked. Allen thanked the fans and Evolve for the opportunity to wrestle. Allen thanked his mom and said that he had just had the toughest match of his life. Allen said he wanted to face the best. He said that he had heard someone had been booked for the second show. He then challenged Chris Hero to a match at the next Evolve show on March 13.

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RADICAN'S ANALYSIS: This was a very good singles match. Allen's moonsault to the outside was really scary because he landed badly, but otherwise these two delivered a really intense match that the crowd was into.

-Jimmy Jacobs came out to a big ovation. Jacobs got on the mic and said it felt good to be back. He said he would die in the ring for the fans. Jacobs then said Kenn Doane had been given everything in this business. He said he was going to make Doane with he was playing dress up in a cheerleading outfit.

(7) Jimmy Jacobs vs. Kenn Doane. Doane used his power to overwhelm Jacobs, but Jacobs fired back and stomped on Doane in the corner. Jacobs then got a small package on Doane for a nearfall. Jacobs went for the end time, but Doane dumped him onto the apron. Doane missed a charge at Jacobs. Jacobs went for a dive to the outside, but Doane used the ring apron to block him. Doane then took Jacobs down to the mat and worked a chinlock as the crowd rallied behind Jacobs. Doane took down Jacobs with a series of clotheslines a short time later and locked in a chinlock once again.

Jacobs got to his feet and drove Doane into the corner, but Doane took him down with a chinlock once again and smiled as the announcers said fans might not like his style, but it's effective. Jacobs tried to fire back once again, but Doane caught him in another chinlock and cranked on Jacobs's neck on the mat. A sarcastic "this is awesome" chant started up as Doane secured another chinlock. Jacobs fired back once again, but Doane caught him with a clothesline. Jacobs fired up and got to his feet. Doane slammed him, but Jacobs got right up. Jacobs nailed Doane with a headscissors.

Jacobs went for the end time again, but Doane countered it into a spinebuster for a 2 count. Jacobs ducked a charge from Doane in the corner. Doane got hung up in the corner and Jacobs nailed him with a running chop and then a DDT off the second turnbuckle for a 2 count. Doane blocked the contra code and hit a German suplex with a bridge for a 2 count. Doane went up top, but Jacobs cut him off. Doane sent Jacobs down to the mat and nailed him with a big leg drop off the top for the apparent win, as the ref didn't see that Jacobs's foot was on the ropes.

Tommy Dreamer came down to ringside and told the ref that Jacobs's foot was on the ropes. The ref ordered the match to be restarted. Jacobs immediately caught Doane in the end time submission. Doane tried to roll through, but Jacobs held on and Doane tapped. (***)

Doane yelled at Dreamer after the match was over before walking off. Dreamer grabbed a mic and got into the ring. The crowd stood on their feet and applauded Dreamer. Dreamer got on the mic and said he had walked away from something that he loved. He said he would never walk away from a wrestling ring because he loved it. Dreamer said he was here to support the men and women in the back. Dreamer thanked the fans and went to leave, but Jacobs grabbed the mic.

Jacobs asked Dreamer to get back into the ring as the crowd continued to chant for Dreamer. Jacobs thanked Dreamer for advertising Evolve on his twitter account. Jacobs said he could thank Dreamer for winning his first Evolve match, but he wasn't going to. Jacobs said he didn't need help from someone like Dreamer. Jacobs said Dreamer ignored his calls when he was in WWE. Jacobs said in Evolve he was going to stand alone. Jacobs asked Dreamer if he had come to Evolve to get another moment in the spotlight. He asked Dreamer if crying on national television wasn't enough for him. Jacobs told Dreamer he had suffered enough from watching him wrestle for 15 years. Jacobs said he wouldn't gouge Dreamer's eyes out because Evolve wasn't the place for that.

Jacobs said he didn't need a stamp of approval like a wrestler in Orlando getting put over by Hulk Hogan. Dreamer got on the mic and said he came to Evolve for free because his friend was trying to start something. Dreamer said he wasn't on the official roster and was only here to have some fun before attacking Jacobs. Jacobs hit a low blow on dreamer and went on the attack, but Dreamer fired back and nailed him with a DDT.

RADICAN'S ANALYSIS: The Doane-Jacobs match told a good story with Doane using his size advantage on Jacobs throughout the match. Dreamer's involvement in the finish of the match and the post-match angle between him and Jacobs made this a memorable segment. Jacobs's mic work on Dreamer was fantastic with references to Dreamer crying on national television when he left ECW recently and there was also a nice reference to Hulk Hogan putting over young talent down in Orlando.

-Davey Richards was shown getting ready for his match backstage. Richards was kicking some pads. Ibushi was shown backstage again getting ready for his match. The woman with the camera screamed at the cameras to follow Doane. Doane stormed out of a bathroom and said he gets screwed everywhere he goes.

(8) Chris Dickinson vs. Johnny Gargano. Dickinson nailed Gargano with a series of kicks and then a nice roundhouse kick. He went to charge Gargano, who surprised him with a spear. Gargano countered a rollup attempt into an ace crusher and got several nearfalls with various pinning combinations on the mat. Gargano then slowed down the pace with an abdominal stretch on the mat. Dickinson dead-lifted Gargano to break the hold and nailed him with a gut buster. Gargano spit in Dickinson's face. Dickinson took exception to this and nailed Gargano with the kick to the head and Gargano went flying to the mat.

Dickinson tried to measure Gargano with a kick, but Gargano caught it. Dickinson eventually nailed Gargano with a kick in the corner and followed up with a falcon arrow for a 2 count. Dickinson hit a fantastic looking springboard elbow drop ¾ across the ring for a 2 count. Dickinson went up for a knee drop, but Gargano got out of the way and nailed him with a DDT. Gargano tossed Dickinson head-first into the turnbuckle and nailed him with the hurts don't it? for the pin. (**3/4)

Gargano went into the crowd and hugged Sean Davis, who was with another man. Davis told him they were going to party tonight.

RADICAN'S ANALYSIS: This was a really good back and forth battle. Gargano and Dickinson showed a lot of intensity during their battle, but like some of the other matches on the card, this was a rather short match. I still really enjoyed what I saw, especially Dickinson who showcased some really nice kicks and high-flying ability during the course of the match.

(9) TJP vs. Munenori Sawa. Both men exchanged slaps to the face before Leonard could introduce them. TJP threw his shirt at Sawa after being introduced and it was on! Both men rolled around the mat and TJP ended up under the ropes. Sawa kicked him and the announcers said both men needed to watch their actions given the rules in Evolve. The action picked up as both men ducked kick attempts and ended up at a stalemate. Sawa went for several submissions on the mat, but TJP was able to fend him off. Sawa finally managed to nail TJP with a kick in the corner, but TJP fired back with a slap. Both men began exchanging kicks and punches. Sawa ended up countering a kick attempt from TJP with a dragon screw.

Sawa countered a kick attempt from TJP into a nasty standing submission, but TJP got the ropes. Sawa took him right back down to the mat and worked a leg submission. Sawa laid into TJP's leg with several kicks before dropping an elbow. TJP fired back a short time later and locked in a cross arm breaker, but Sawa got the ropes. TJP kicked Sawa several times. Sawa fired back with a slap, but TJP sent him to the mat with a kick. TJP followed up with a leg submission, which he turned into an arm submission as well, but Sawa countered it into a pinning attempt for a 2 count. Sawa went for a punch, but TJP kicked him in the face. Sawa went for another baseball punch, but TJP kicked him. Both men then kicked each other at the same time and the crowd erupted.

Both men exchanged blows from their knees on the mat. Sawa grabbed an Achilles lock, but TJP got the ropes. TJP then executed a slick roll through and applied a cross arm breaker, but Sawa got the ropes again. TJP kicked Sawa's arm. Both men then exchanged kicks and TJP sent Sawa to the mat with a running knee strike. Both men exchanged hard strikes and slaps. Sawa smiled and nailed TJP with a series of strikes and sent him to the mat with a roundhouse kick. Sawa followed up with a shining wizard for a 2 count and the crowd applauded. Sawa hit another baseball punch and locked in the octopus submission. TJP struggle for a second and then tapped. (***3/4)

RADICAN'S ANALYSIS: This was the best match on the card so far. Both men were so intense from bell to bell and they had the crowd with them from start to finish. Both men bordered on breaking Evolve's code of conduct during the course of the match and that added a lot of intrigue to see what might happen to either man as a result. The crowd gave both men a standing ovation after the match was over.

-Adam Cole was shown backstage asking Tommy Dreamer for advice. He narrated the footage of him and Dreamer talking. Cole was then shown seated. He said fans will remember his name.

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(10) Akuma's Army (Gran Akuma & Icarus & Brodie Lee) vs. Team Frightening (Hallowicked & Frightmare & Mike Quackenbush). Quackenbush ran wild early on Icarus and Akuma before tagging in Hallowicked. Lee tagged in and traded shoulder tackles with Hallowicked. Hallowicked finally took Lee down and nailed him with a running kick in the corner. Frightmare and Akuma ran into the ring and went at it. Akuma rolled under the ropes and Icarus ran in and took out Frightmare with a spear. Since this match is contested under Chikara rules, rolling out of the ring counts as a tag.

Frightmare charged at Akuma, who tossed him to Lee. Lee then powerbombed Frightmare to the mat for a 2 count. Akuma's Army continued to isolate Frightmare in their own corner. Akuma lit up Frightmare with a kick before tagging in Lee, who continued the beating. Frightmare tried to fire back, but Lee punched him to the outside, which initiated a tag. Hallowicked ran into the ring, but Lee caught him with an ace crusher for a 2 count.

The fans booed as Icarus went to work Frightmare. Frightmare sent Icarus to the outside. Akuma ran in, but Hallowicked kicked him into Lee. Frightmare nailed Lee with a headscissors takedown. He then countered Akuma with a hurricanrana. Quackenbush tagged into the match and the action broke down. Akuma caught Frightmare with the double knees to the chest for a nearfall. Akuma set up Frightmare and went up top, but Hallowicked cut him off. Akuma pushed Hallowicked to the outside, but he landed right on Lee. Quackenbush sent Akuma to the matt and nailed him with a swanton. Frightmare then nailed Akuma with the double knees, but Icarus broke up the pin.

The action really picked up with all six men going at it in the ring. Frightmare nailed Akuma with a dive to the outside. Quackenbush then nailed Lee with a sick dive to the outside. Hallowicked eventually ended up nailing Icarus with a lightening bomb for the pin. (***1/4)

Leonard interviewed Quackenbush after the match. He asked Quackenbush how he felt coming back after back surgery. Quackenbush said he's not all the way back yet. He said multi-man tag matches are his science. Quackenbush made an open challenge for a Four Corner Elimination tag at the next Evolve event.

RADICAN'S ANALYSIS: This was a fun tag match. The heels got the heat on Frightmare before the action broke down. There were a lot of solid multi-man spots. The finishing sequence was fun as well with a lot of dives all over the place before Hallowicked nailed Icarus with a lightening bomb for the pin. Quackenbush's promo after the match was also good and set up a match at the next DVD taping.

-TJP was shown backstage with documentary girl. She seemed to be tending to him until she noticed the cameras were on them. She yelled at the crew to find Silas.

-Richards and Ibushi were both shown getting ready backstage before they came to the ring. Both men came out to a heavy metal mix. Richards got a big ovation and streamers.

(11) Kota Ibushi vs. Davey Richards (w/Kyle O'Reilly, Tony Kozina). Both men went at each other right away. Richards took time to pose for the crowd and Ibushi nailed him with a springboard kick. Richards spilled to the outside and Ibushi followed up with a springboard press to the floor. The crowd was red hot for the action as both men went at it on the apron. They exchanged kicks before Richards drove Ibushi shoulder-first into the apron. Richards went to work on Ibushi's arm and locked in a hammerlock submission with a bridge. The announcers said Richards's corner was telling him that Ibushi can't take his kicks. Richards continued to work over Ibushi's shoulder and eventually ended up cinching in an arm and leg submission, but Ibushi managed to break free.

The crowd tried to rally Ibushi as Richards wiped blood from his mouth. Richards went up top, but Ibushi cut him off. Both men battle for position, but Richards nailed Ibushi with a divorce court off the top and locked in an arm bar. Ibushi struggled, but managed to get the ropes. Richards taunted Ibushi and told him to hit him. Richards screamed at Ibushi to hit him harder. Ibushi nailed Richards with several strikes before Richards kicked Ibushi across the ring and into the turnbuckles. Richards continued to work over Ibushi's arm, but he wouldn't submit. Ibushi slapped Richards across the face from his knee, but Richards nailed him with a kick to the head and Ibushi looked to be out.

davey_richards_torch_21.jpg
Richards went up top again, but Ibushi nailed him with a moonsault kick. That was insane! Both men battled for position to set up a superplex to the floor. Ibushi ended up sending Richards to the floor. He then got a running start on the apron, flipped over the top turnbuckle, and nailed Richards with a moonsault to the outside and the crowd exploded. Ibushi tossed Richards into the ring and nailed him with several kicks, but Richards kicked out at 1. Ibushi nailed Richards with another flurry of kicks, but Richards kicked out once again. Both men began exchanging forearms, but Richards managed to catch Ibushi with a kick to the stomach after dragging him down from the top rope.

Richards held his ribs and the announcers said he might have a cracked rib. Richards fired up and nailed Ibushi with several kicks. Richards then hit a handspring kick to Ibushi's head for a 2 count. The crowd went nuts as Richards looked out at them with a sadistic look on his face. Both men exchanged several counters, but Richards managed to catch Ibushi with a cross arm breaker. Ibushi was right near the ropes and was able to break the hold quickly. Richards set up Ibushi on the top rope and nailed him with several hard chops. Richards then nailed Ibushi with a superplex, but Ibushi got right up. Both men exchanged running boots. Ibushi nailed Richards with a running boot and a German with a bridge and the crowd exploded once again. This is insane!

Ibushi went up top and nailed Richards with the double moonsault for a nearfall. You know a match is good when it makes the announcers squeal in excitement after a big spot. Ibushi set up Richards on the mat and went up top, but Richards cut him off. Ibushi kicked Richards off of him several times, but Davey eventually nailed Ibushi with release German. Richards hit a backdrop driver, but Ibushi kicked out. Richards followed up with the KO kick, but Ibushi kicked out. Richards got the kimura, but Ibushi rolled him up for a 2 count. Ibushi nailed Richards with a reverse frankensteiner, but Richards got up and nailed him with a big clothesline and both men were down on the mat. The crowd exploded and everyone got on their feet and clapped.

Both men got to their feet and began exchanging blows in the center of the ring. Both men began slapping the crap out of each other. Richards eventually turned Ibushi inside out with a clothesline and hit the DR driver, but Ibushi kicked out. Holy crap! The crowd began chanting "Kota, Kota." Richards slammed Ibushi and signaled for the 450, but Ibushi cut him off. Both men exchanged headbutts on the top rope and the crowd exploded. Ibushi nailed Richards with several headbutts and went for a phoenix splash, but Richards rolled out of the way. Richards nailed Ibushi with a dropkick to the arm. He then went up top and hit a gorgeous SSP, but Ibushi kicked out. Richards immediately locked in the kimura, but Ibushi escaped. Richards nailed Ibushi with several forearms to the back of the head before applying the kimura again for the submission victory. (****1/2)

Both men bowed to each other after the match and shook hands as the crowd applauded.

RADICAN'S ANALYSIS: This was an incredible match with fantastic crowd heat. Richards was fantastic heel, as he worked over Ibushi's arm with kicks and submissions during the early stages of the match. They went a little overboard with the nearfalls at the end, but for a main event on a debut show, it doesn't get much better than this. Richards and Ibushi produced the first MOTY contender for 2010 with this effort.

-Brad Allen cut a promo backstage. He said his mother was killed in a car accident right after he signed his first WWE contract. He said his head wasn't where it needed to be. Allen said tonight, everything came together.

-Jimmy Jacobs, Johnny Gargano, and Silas Young were shown leaving the venue with Sean Davis. Silas Young was also there, but he said he didn't want to go. Young eventually agreed to go, but his cell phone rang at it showed his wife on caller ID.

Overall thoughts: (8.0) The biggest compliment I can give this show is that there was never a dull moment for me while watching it. The show moved at a brisk pace. Evolve is something that offers a very different product from other independent promotions, which I believe will help them grow in the future.

The undercard matches moved along at a brisk pace, but I loved how intense all of the competitors were. They entered the ring quickly to the same music, had their names announced, and went right into the match. I felt like I was watching a real sporting event at times, but it didn't feel forced. I enjoyed almost all of the matches on the undercard. I hadn't seen a lot of the wrestlers on the card before, but I came away impressed by the performances of Kyle O'Reilly, Brad Allen, Silas Young, and Chris Dickinson. The Young-Allen match was really intense and I enjoyed it from bell to bell outside of Allen landing on his face after a moonsault attempt to the outside.

The top of the card featured two really good singles matches. The Sawa-TJP match was a blast to watch. I felt like I was watching something that was real with two competitors determined to get the better of the other. The Richards-Ibushi match was simply an awesome showcase of strong-style wrestling. Both guys went at it from bell to bell and the crowd ate up the in-ring action. Richards-Ibushi is an early MOTYC.

I highly recommend a purchase of Evolve 1. There's never a boring moment on the show and the backstage segments really added a new dimension to some of the new faces on independent scene. I have a feeling that a lot of these wrestlers are going to make of the next generation of independent stars.

You can purchase Evolve 1 by visiting EVOLVE'S ONLINE STORE

Contact Sean at PWTorchSean@gmail.com


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WWE NEWS: The C.M. Punk Interview - Punk says he was fired on his wedding day & will never work for WWE again, plus why he left WWE, legal battle that followed, Final Meeting with McMahon & Hunter, independent contractor status, much more
WWE NEWS: C.M. Punk takes credit for The Shield - who did he pitch for Roman Reigns's spot?, how plans affected WM29, more
WEEKEND EVENTS: James Storm's Thanksgiving feast, big AIW & AAW shows, WrestleCade gigantic line-up, Mickie James's in-ring return on iPPV double feature, find Big Show, more
WWE NETWORK: Thanksgiving Thursday, Nov. 27 Schedule - NXT & Superstars, C.M. Punk, Tribute Troops, more
A BIG SHOW THANKSGIVING: Does Big Show deserve a Mulligan or the Turkey Suit following latest heel turn? (w/Graphs & Poll)
ROH NEWS: Big six-man tag added to Final Battle PPV
VIDEO OF THE DAY: Hardys vs. Young Bucks full match footage, plus Kevin Steen on commentary
WWE VIDEO: Daniel Bryan updates injury recovery - is there a timetable for his return?, plus talks Sting & Smackdown guest-hosting gig in Cole's weekly sit-down interview
SMACKDOWN NEWS: Non-Spoiler Match Listing for Friday
WWE NEWS: Smackdown SPOILERS 11/28 - full results for Friday's episode following up on Survivor Series
WWE NEWS: SD SPOILER - New match for the TLC PPV
NJPW NEWS: Yoshitatsu injury update - could be out one year
PPV REPORTS
MCNEILL'S PPV BLOG 11/23: Live Blog for Survivor Series - ongoing thoughts & observations
CALDWELL'S WWE S. SERIES PPV RESULTS 11/23: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Team Cena vs. Team Authority, more
CALDWELL'S WWE S. SERIES PPV RESULTS 11/23 (Pre-Show): Heyman, Bad News, Fandango's in-ring return, more
RADICAN'S NJPW Power Struggle Report 11/8 - "Wrestle Kingdom" lineup takes shape, ReDragon-Time Splitters, Ishii-Goto MOTYC
KYGHT'S PPV EVALUATION - WWE Hell in a Cell: Best/Worst Match, Best Move/Finish, more!; Updates 2014 PPV Ranks
HIAC PPV VOTING: Poll Results for Overall Rating, Best Match, was the Bray Wyatt ending too screwy?
MCNEILL'S PPV BLOG 10/26: Live Blog for Hell in a Cell - ongoing thoughts & observations
CALDWELL'S WWE HIAC PPV REPORT 10/26: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live PPV - double Hell in a Cell main event of Ambrose vs. Rollins and Cena vs. Orton
CALDWELL'S WWE HIAC PPV REPORT 10/26 (Pre-Show): Miz TV, Paul Heyman on the panel, more
KYGHT'S PPV EVALUATION - TNA Bound for Glory: Best/Worst Match, What Will Be Remembered?, Updated 2014 Rankings
PPV RESULTS - 10/13 New Japan in Tokyo, Japan: Styles drops IWGP World Hvt. Title to Tanahashi, more title changes, former WWE star returns to New Japan, more
KYGHT'S PPV EVALUATION - Night of Champions: Best/Worst Match, Surprise/Letdown, Updated 2014 PPV Rankings, and a message to WWE on making PPV buyers feel like morons
TV REPORTS
DEHNEL'S WWE MAIN EVENT REPORT 11/25: Ambrose vs. Kane main event, Tag Champs, Fandango vs. Rose, Natalya vs. Layla
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 11/24: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - S. Series fall-out, Authority's farewell, D-Bryan as GM for the Night, computer virus ends Raw, more
METZGER'S ROH TV REPORT 11/23: A.J. Styles main event, Elgin vs. ROH angle continues, Bennett defends "Title of Love"
PARKS'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 11/21: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Friday night show, including Big Show & Ryback vs. Seth Rollins & Kane
JAMES'S WWE SUPERSTARS REPORT 11/20: Sin Cara gets Axel, Paige gets A. Fox, Renee returns
JAMES' WWE NXT REPORT 11/20 - Week 127: Kevin Steen's debut teased, Zayn vows to quit if he doesn't win NXT Title, Overall Reax
DEHNEL'S LUCHA UNDERGROUND REPORT 11/19: Johnny Mundo vs. Big Zeke main event, Konnan, Ivelisse, more
TNA IMPACT RESULTS 11/19: Roode & Lashley scrap, three-way KO Title match, four-way X Title match, more
DEHNEL'S WWE MAIN EVENT REPORT 11/18: Tag Champs lose non-title, Wyatt, Rose/Bunny issues, Paige vs. Fox, more
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 11/17: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - final Survivor Series hype, main event Contract Signing, new IC champion, more
METZGER'S ROH TV REPORT 11/16: Lethal defends TV Title vs. A.C.H., The Decade explodes, Final Battle hype
PARKS'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 11/14: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Friday night show, including The Authority on Chris Jericho's Highlight Reel
OPINION & ANALYSIS
RADICAN'S 2014 BLACK FRIDAY BUYERS GUIDE (Part 1) - Top picks for 2014 independent wrestling shows from ROH, PWG, DGUSA/EVOLVE, CHIKARA, Beyond Wrestling, and more
MCNEILL LIVECAST POLL: Okay, who is the new Raw GM?
WEDNESDAY’S ASK PWTORCH ALL-STARS 11/26: Could WWE create another virtual “competitor” by buying TNA or ROH? Would Shane McMahon run WWE better? What was the story with the Teddy on heart attack angle? Maria or Lana better?
WEDNESDAY’S ASK PWTORCH STAFF for 11/26: Which WWE wrestler would you repackage? Why did Ambrose’s Dirty Deeds move change? Is Sami Zayn overplaying underdog fighting from behind schtick? Are ads on WWE Network a mistake?
PARKS'S TAKE: An Evening of Reflection with ... Roddy Piper, plus Thoughts on Raw's ending, New Japan, Mickie, Impact, more!
TUESDAY'S ASK PWTORCH ALL-STARS 11/25: Should WWE show wrestlers training to fight rather than just lifting weights? Horowitz for HOF? Has Vince been pitched moving mid-carders to main events for short stints? Cena-Rusev at WM31?
RAW POLLS 11/24: Vote on Monday's Raw, the follow-up to Survivor Series & new Raw GM situation
MONDAY’S ASK PWTORCH STAFF for 11/24: Would WWE add EC3 to the roster after his strong TNA stint? What old rule would you bring back? Will we see Cena vs. Rusev at WrestleMania 31? Does Botchmania on YouTube hurt pro wrestling?
POLL VOTE: If you gave Survivor Series a high score, what was your main reason?
WWE PPV POLLS: Vote on Survivor Series, pick the Best Match, vote on Sting's WWE debut
MCNEILL'S PPV BLOG 11/23: Live Blog for Survivor Series - ongoing thoughts & observations
Edge Of A Revolution: McNEILL Previews WWE Survivor Series 2014! (with a Wrestling History Lesson)
THE SPECIALISTS
HITS & MISSES - 11/24 WWE Raw: Lots of Talking Early, Harper vs. Ambrose, Mizdow, Survivor Series Follow Up, Anonymous GM
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Sting Action Figure Spotlight - Five Significant Figures from Sting's 20-plus-year career
TUCKER LIVE AT SURVIVOR SERIES: Instant Reaction to main event, Sting's debut, Ziggler's big night ... and a two-hour Raw
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: An Interesting Number of Survivor Series Tie-Ins from Remco’s AWA Mat Mania Figures
CHIVERTON'S NXT SCOUTING REPORT: Latest Network Rankings, plus Evaluation of the Neville vs. Zayn booking, more!
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Action Figure Spotlight on The Wyatts - Will Recent WWE TV Changes Affect Toy Values?
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: The Return of Action Figure Spotlight - What Are Jim Ross’s Top Trading Cards?
HITS & MISSES - 11/10 WWE Raw: A Special Hits & Misses look at Team Authority vs. Team Cena
CHIVERTON'S NXT SCOUTING REPORT: New Rankings & evaluation of the latest from WWE's NXT Roster
TUCKER ON RAW: Instant Reaction to WWE's erratic writing overshadowing moments of brilliance
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Value of Ryback's Signature Soars After WWE TV Return
CHIVERTON'S NXT SCOUTING REPORT: New Rankings with NXT talent rising & falling, plus more NXT thoughts
PWTORCH EXCLUSIVES
RADICAN'S 2014 BLACK FRIDAY BUYERS GUIDE (Part 1) - Top picks for 2014 independent wrestling shows from ROH, PWG, DGUSA/EVOLVE, CHIKARA, Beyond Wrestling, and more
SMACKDOWN RETRO - Nov. 25, 2004: Ryback & current WWE tag champ compete on Smackdown's "Tough Enough"
SURVIVOR SERIES RETRO - Nov. 24, 2013: How did last year's PPV main event tie in with this year's main event?
SURVIVOR SERIES RETRO - Nov. 23, 1994 (20 years ago today): Backlund captures WWF Title from Bret Hart via trickery, plus Chuck Norris special ref for casket main event
SURVIVOR SERIES RETRO - Nov. 22, 2009: Cena vs. Hunter vs. HBK for the WWE Title, plus Taker defends World Title
RADICAN'S AIW "Absolution IX" Report 6/29: Gargano-Elgin MOTYC, Cross-Prohibition war, insane Six-Pack Scramble, Elgin-Donst main event
SURVIVOR SERIES RETRO - Nov. 21, 2010: John Cena gets "fired" after refereeing main event
SURVIVOR SERIES RETRO - Nov. 20, 2011: Rock returns from seven-year absence, Punk begins 434-day title reign, more
SURVIVOR SERIES RETRO - Nov. 19, 2000: Austin vs. Hunter main event, Angle vs. Taker for the WWF Title, Radicalz, more
WWE SURVIVOR SERIES RETRO - Nov. 18, 2012: The Shield debuts, Ryback and Cena feud over WWE Title, more
RADICAN'S ROH "Raising the Bar: Night 1" report 3/7 - Briscoes & Elgin vs. Steen & Young Bucks standout Six Man Tag match, Hero-Strong, Cole defends ROH World Title against Taven
WWE RAW FLASHBACK - 5 yrs. ago: One of the biggest Raws of the past five years from Nov. 2009 - Boom Drop in the Garden, McMahon on Piper's Pit, Taker vs. Cena WM tease, more
REFERENCE
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in - did Survivor Series buzz translate to a 3.0 rating?
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in - Friday's show pops big TV rating leading into Survivor Series
TITLES & CHAMPS: Ongoing list of 2014 Titleholders
TNA NEWS: Impact TV ratings are in for Wednesday's show
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in - how did the final show before Survivor Series fare?
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in - how did Friday's show from the U.K. fare?
LUCHA NEWS: Third episode of "Lucha Underground" drops; biggest audience is Spanish language re-airings
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in - details on taped U.K. show
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in - did Friday's show rebound from year-low territory?
TNA NEWS: Impact TV ratings are in - Impact remains in ratings funk on Wednesday nights
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in - Raw rebounds from October Slide, nearly hits fall season high point
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in - Halloween episode continues recent slide on Friday nights
PWTorch Free Podcast
LIVECAST AUDIO: Wednesday PWTorch Livecast (11/26) now available - McNeill & Valley special "Wayback Playback"
LIVECAST AUDIO: Tuesday PWTorch Livecast (11/25) now available - Wade Keller & Jason Powell of Prowrestling.net
LIVECAST AUDIO: Monday PWTorch Livecast (11/24) now available - Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant
LIVECAST AUDIO: Special PWTorch Livecast (11/23) following S. Series now available - James Caldwell & Greg Parks
LIVECAST AUDIO: Friday PWTorch Livecast (11/21) now available - Keller interviews Chris DeJoseph
LIVECAST AUDIO: Thursday PWTorch Livecast (11/20) now available - James Caldwell takes live calls
LIVECAST AUDIO: Wednesday PWTorch Livecast (11/19) now available - Jim Valley & Pat McNeill
LIVECAST AUDIO: Tuesday PWTorch Livecast (11/18) now available - Wade Keller & Jason Powell of Prowrestling.net
LIVECAST AUDIO: Monday PWTorch Livecast (11/17) now available - Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant
LIVECAST AUDIO: Friday PWTorch Livecast (11/14) now available - James Caldwell & Greg Parks
LIVECAST AUDIO: Thursday PWTorch Livecast (11/13) now available - Matt Hardy interview w/Wade Keller
LIVECAST AUDIO: Wednesday PWTorch Livecast (11/12) now available - Ron Simmons interview w/Pat McNeill
VIP Exclusive Features
VIP - PWTorch Newsletter #1382 (PDF & TEXT): Keller’s Survivor Series PPV Report w/star ratings, Staff PPV Roundtable Reviews, Mitchell & Parks columns, Keller’s End Notes & Raw Report
VIP - 11/26 Wade Keller Hotline - Ask the Editor: Why is WWE still selling Punk merch but taking away fan signs? How badly is WWE messing up Reigns? Should TNA debut unknown new stars in January? (24 min.)
VIP - 11/26 East Coast Cast (ep. #218): WWE disappoints after Survivor Series, Big Show flip-flops again, VIP Conversation, more! (221 min.)
VIP - 11/26 Audio Flashback - Wade Keller Hotline (10-22-2004): Insider details on Laurinaitis controversy in WWE as he takes over as Exec VP for Ross while Triple H’s power increases,Taboo Tuesday, should Booker be next for JBL (26 min.)
VIP - 11/26 PWTorch Livecast: Pat McNeill & Jim Valley special "Wayback Playback" edition of the Livecast - WWF Saturday Night's Main Event Episode #2 Review! (77 min.)
VIP - 11/26 Vintage 1990s Wrestling Radio - Pro Wrestling Spotlight #110 from May 19, 1991 including interview with newsletter editor Steve Beverly on WCW business, play-by-play of a Cactus Jack vs. Eddie Gilbert indy show in Philly (77 min)
VIP - 11/26 PWTorch Livecast Pre-Show: Pat McNeill & James Caldwell break down the latest news, plus Live Events Center, New Jack QOTW, more! (39 min.)
VIP - 11/25 Wade Keller Hotline - The News: Survivor Series fallout, Raw ratings, Smackdown ratings, Anonymous G.M., Torch reader poll results, TNA’s first 2015 taping, ROH 2015 schedule including a return to ECW Arena (27 min.)
VIP - 11/25 PWTorch Livecast & VIP Aftershow: Keller & Powell discuss with callers last night's Raw following up on Survivor Series including The Authority’s exit, Bryan’s return, Anonymous G.M. punchline, more (120 min.)
VIP - 11/23 WWE Survivor Series Post-PPV Audio Roundtable: Keller, Mitchell, McNeill discuss Sting helping Team Cena beat Team Authority, Ziggler’s standout performance, ramifications of finish on WrestleMania 31, more (76 min.)
VIP - 11/23 Wade Keller Hotline - Ask the Editor: Which Survivor Series finish would actually be best for Network renewals? Isn’t WWE missing out not debuting wrestlers from other groups on their TV? Shotgun Saturday Night? HOF? (19 min.)
VIP - 11/23 McNeill & Valley's "Wayback Playback" Audio Show (ep. #9): Into the WWF Time Machine for the Third Hour of Survivor Series 1990! (55 min.)