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Radican's EVOLVE 7: Aries vs. Moxley PPV report
Originally aired on April 19, 2011 on WWNLive.com
(1) Shiima Xion vs. Jimmy Jacobs. Jacobs slapped Xion and hit a dive a short time later. The picture is good, but the hard camera shot shows about 10 people watching the show. The show look much better than when DGUSA ran an event at the same place in January on GFL, but it looks like hardly anyone is at the show even though it reportedly drew well by EVOLVE standards. Jacobs dominated for several minutes, but Zion fired back and tied him in the ropes. They went back and forth and traded nearfalls, but Xion caught Jacobs with a cradle for the pin. (*3/4)
The ring announcer from DGUSA is now carrying an iPad. He interviewed Xion after the match. Xion said Jacobs was a stepping stone for him.He said he has arrived in EVOLVE. Xion then took out some napkins and told Jacobs he could use him to wipe off his mascara or stuff his tights. ugh.
(2) Tony Nese vs. Silas Young. Nese dominated the action early, but Young caught him with a modified brainbuster for a 2 count. They had some really good exchanges before Nese caught Young with a kick that left both men down. I miss Lenny Leonard. Nese caught Young with a top rope rana for a 2 count. Young fired back and caught Nese with his split-legged moonsault for the win. The match featured some good action, but neither guy showed much personality in the ring. (**)
They showed Larry Dallas and Reby Sky watching from the stands. Young was interviewed after the match. He said he was building momentum. He called Gargano and Dallas sleazy. He threatened to slap Sky, as Dallas hilariously retrained her from charging the ring.
(3) Jon Davis vs. Johnny Gargano. Not much of a pop for either guy coming up. This was labled as a spoiler match with Davis debuting here as a singles wrestler in EVOLVE. The previous matches also featured wrestlers with one loss or no record. I can barely hear Aries on commentary, but Naylor is coming through well now. Gargano's work is really crisp. He's improving by the month. Gargano worked over Davis's arm before they did a series of exchanges that ended with Gargano nailing Davis with a neckbreaker. Davis fired back moments later with a shoulder tackle, but Gargano caught him with a sling shot spear right away. Davis slowed the pace down after hitting a big powerslam. Davis targeted Gargano's back and contiued to work it over for several minutes with the crowd into his power offense. Sky rallied Gargano from the outside with Dallas. Gargano fired back and hit Davies, who was on his knees, with an ace crusher. Davis fired back and hit a huge clothesline for a nearfall and the crowd popped. Gargano fired back and hit a series of dives through the ropes, off the apron, and off the stage. Davis caught Gargano coming off the top and nailed him with the jackhammer for a nearfall. They did an awesome sequence at the end where Gargano got Davis in a variation of the border city stretch and Davis dead-lifted Gargano for a power move, but Gargano countered it back into the original submission for the win. Both men looked good here. (***1/2)
Dallas and Sky celebrated with Garagano in the ring as Aries left to get ready for his match. Gargano said he was the only leader in wins in EVOLVE. Dallas got on the mic and said he was supposed to be co-wins leader with Taylor. Gargano acted upset like he didn't want to share the lead in wins. Taylor then came out. Sky suggested they should go to the back to settle the matter.
(4) Facade & Jason Gory vs. Frightmare & Jigsaw. Fast-paced action as expected. Facade dominated the action early, but Jigsaw fired back with a dropkick and the crowd popped. Holy crap is this fantastic fast-paced action. Frightmare tagged in and went a million miles an hour while running wild on Gory. He finally took him down with a neckbreaker.Gory and Facade got sent to the outside where Jigsaw and Frightmare nailed them with tandem dives and the crowd went nuts. Jigsaw, Frightmare, and several others are wearing pink arm bands as a tribute to Larry Sweeney. Jigsaw and Frightmare hit Sweeney's signature fist-drop on Gory that drew a pop. Facade got the hot tag and took out Jigsaw and Frightmare with a great-dive that saw him step up the ropes before leaping to the outside. Facade did some incredible things here, but Jigsaw managed to break up a sure pin on Frightmare before nailing Gory with a twisting Jig N' Tonic for the pin. This was great. (***1/2)
Jigsaw said nothing was better than winning in NYC. Jigsaw challenged any team in the world to take them on in EVOLVE.
(5) Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Sami Callihan. I've heard nothing but good things about Sabre and Callihan's been on a role so this should be good..The beginning of the match was insane as Callihan hit several chops and went to town on Sabre. Sabre caught Callihan in an arm bar, but Callihan lifted him and powerbombed him into the turnbuckles. They did an insane exchange on the floor where they countered submissions up on the stage. Sabre went for a dive off the stage, but Callihan countered it into an exploder suplex! Sabre caught Callihan in an insane arm/leg submission where he slammed Callihan's knee into the mat while torquing his arm. Sabre took the time to tussle his hair before turning the submission into a pinning combo for a nearfall. Both men traded slaps and kicks and the crowd went nuts. Both men were down after a double headbutt. Callihan only got a one count after a series of suplexes and a big clothesline. Callihan finally got the win via ref stoppage after he got Sabre in the stretch muffler while he kicked him in the head with his other leg. This was really good at times, but they need to set up thei respective submissions with mat work. (***3/4)
Callihan was interviewed after the match. Callihan grabbed the mic from the announcer and said nobody could beat him. Callihan then said he wanted to talk about Moxley. He said they'd been everywhere together. He thanked Moxley to close the promo.
It's intermission time. They showed a Larry Sweeney vs. Sal Rinauro match during the intermission. I'm taking a break. I'll be back with the conclusion of the show in a half hour.
(6) A.R. Fox vs. Rich Swann. Insane action during the early stages of the match. Swann caught Fox with a dive off the stage. Fox did an awesome evasion, but Swann flipped out of an ace crusher and kicked Fox in the head. Swann then did a roll and hit a frogsplash for a 2 count. Wow! Fox fired back and hit a crazy ace crusher that impressed Jimmy Jacobs, who was sitting in on commentary. Swann fired back and hit a standing SSP. Fox bloced a standing 450 from Swann. A few moments later Swann went up top, but got cut off. Fox then got a running start and basically did Sin Cara's finisher except with a step up running start off the top! Wow! This was short, but awesome. (***1/2)
Fox cut a promo and said he felt good about going to 2-0. That was awesome I'm going to watch it again.
(7) Akira Tozawa vs. Chuck Taylor. The announcers explained that if Taylor wins, he would face Gargano in a playoff match to get an overall leader in wins in EVOLVE. Tozowa controlled the action early and the crowd popped after he hit a running senton. I miss Lenny Leonard, but Naylor is doing a heck of a job tonight. Taylor fired back with an insane arm drag into a pinning combination for a nearfall. I love Gargano, Sky, and Dallas at their own private table cheering Taylor on, although Gargano doesn't look too happy. They did a crazy deal where Tozawa hit a dive to the outside and went for another, but Taylor cut him off and hit a flip dive over the top. Taylor then went for another dive, but Tozawa tossed him to the outside and hit a second dive that left both men down and the crowd popped. Tozawa no-sold soul food from Taylor and hit a running knee to his head leaving both men down again. They did a fantastic exchange of strikes and Tozawa nailed Taylor with an avalanche German for a 2 count. I nearly killed myself going nuts for the finish of this match, but managed to avoid knee-lifting my keyboard while I stood up after Tozawa missed a kick and Taylor hit the awful waffle for the pin. Really good, non-stop action here. (***3/4)
Dallas and Sky ran into the ring. They then announced that Gargano had to fight Taylor on the spot to break the wins lead. Dallas said the match shouldn't happen because Taylor's neck hurts. Taylor said he was ready to fight right now. Dallas and Sky were not happy as the match began.
(8) Chuck Taylor vs. Johnny Gargano -Tie breaker for the wins lead in EVOLVE. Taylor hit two kicks to Gargano's head and rolled him up for a nearfall right off the bat. Gargano fired back and hit the hurts don't it? for a nearfall moments later. Taylor hit the awful waffle out of nowhere, but was too hurt to cover Gargano quickly and only got a 2 count. Gargano caught Taylor in the border city stretch variation after Taylor kicked out of two superkicks. Dallas handed a towel to Sky. Taylor struggled to fight out of the submission, but Gargano rolled through and Sky through the towel in for Taylor giving Gargano the win. (**)
The match was more of a storyline than a full-fleged match. The action was really good while it lasted. The crowd booed Dallas after the match. Dallas blamed Sky after the match. Sky told Taylor that Dallas told her to throw in the towel. The crowd chanted "you screwed chuck." Sky shoved Dallas and left.
Gargano was alone in the ring. Gargano said Taylor screwed himself.. Gargano bragged about being the wins leader at 6-2.
(9) Jon Moxley vs. Austin Aries. The announcers said Aries has been really sick going into the match. Moxley missed a clothesline and spilled to the outside. Aries nailed him with a dive through the ropes. Moxley fired back and suplexed Aries and himself to the floor, which left both men down. Moxley sold an injured knee after the match, but he managed to take down Aries with a clothesline. Moxley hit a brainbuster and an ace crusher for seperate nearfalls. Aries fired back with a brainbuster out of nowhere for a 2 count. Moxley hit a cradle piledriver, but Aries got his foot on the ropes. Moxley went and got a wrench. He began arguing with himself about using it. He put it down, but Aries fired back and nailed him with a kick to the face. Aries hit the brainbuster, but Moxley kicked out. Aries went for the 450, but Moxley cut him off. Aries shoved him away, but Moxley rolled through on the dive off the top for another 2 count. Moxley locked in the last chancery, but Aries slipped out and hit a kick to the head and applied the last chancery on Moxley.
Moxley escaped the last chancery, but Aries nailed him with the brainbuster moments later. Aries went up and hit the 450, but Moxley kicked out. Moxley continued to fire back no matter what Aries did to him. The crowd was dead for this match for whatever reason, but the action was really good. Moxley went for a sunset flip, but Aries held on and got the pin. This was a game effort from Aries considering how sick he'd been going into the match. (***1/4)
The crowd started a "Thank you Moxley" after the match. Aries got on the mic and said usually the winner got a post-match promo. Aries said he was giving the time to Moxley. Moxley said usually he got off on making people hate him, but tonight he enjoyed the support. Moxley swore and said he could still do that for another few days before heading to WWE. The crowd started a "f---" chant. Moxley said to give a hand to the entire EVOLVE roster. Moxley did a toast and said this was for wrestling. They poured beer on Moxley as the crowd chanted for him.
Callihan grabbed Moxley before he could leave the ring and told him he's one of the best wrestlers in the world. Callihan wished him luck in the WWE. That was an awesome moment there.
Overall thoughts: (8.0) This was a really easy show to watch with a ton of good matches. There aren't any MOTYC here, but the wrestlers on the roster work hard from bell-to-bell, so there's never a dull moment. The venue doesn't look great on camera, but once the audio got fixed during the second half of the show I could hear Jimmy Jacobs just fine. Naylor's announcing was good and his feed was fine after the beginning of the show.
I missed the backstage segments that usually make EVOLVE so unique, but I still loved the emphasis on wins and losses. Callihan-Sabre and Taylor-Tozawa were both very good matches that are well-worth checking out. Swann vs. Fox was short, but insane while it lasted. Overall from an in-ring standpoint this was one of the stronger EVOLVE shows. With post-production, this could grade even higher if they add the documentary footage and backstage interviews.
I'll be back with more thoughts in my roundtable. You can order the replay at WWNLive.com.
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