Friday, April 13, 2012

EVOLVE 11 iPPV Review

This was my first EVOLVE show ever and I've been interested in seeing them for a long time.  Here's the review...

Super Smash Bros. v. Drew Gulak/Jake Manning w/Chuck Taylor-This was a pretty basic tag match with Player Uno being isolated a lot.  Dos got the tag and hit a crossbody and a springboard DDT.  Later, Uno hit a tope con hilo and the Smash Bros. hit the Fatality for the win.  Just a generic opener that didn't impress me much.  Taylor actually said afterwards that him and his team didn't care if they won tonight.  Great way to get people to care about your work.  *1/4

MK McKinnon v. Josh Alexander-McKinnon is from England and he had the advantage in the beginning.  He totally missed a springboard move as the pace was going pretty fast and after this, Alexander slowed stuff down.  Alexander hit a Northern Lights suplex with a bridge and then a vertical suplex.  McKinnon got him outside though and hit a tope con hilo but ultimately, Alexander won with a double underhook piledriver.  Nothing memorable from this match.  *1/2

Psycho Mike Rollins v. Ashley Sixx-Mike really won me over during this match as I like his gimmick and his mannerisms and I'd love to see him live.  Mike hit an airplane spin but Sixx later shined with a russian leg sweep outside into the side of the ring.  Mike had his comeback and hit a spinebuster and tried to go up top but this was countered into a rana by Sixx.  Mike got the win though with his Psycho Mike Driver, which was similar to the Greetings From Asbury Park.  Mike was very entertaining and reminded me a lot of Claudio/Antonio Cesaro.  Decent and fun match here.  **

Alex Reynolds v. John Silver-Silver is very short and he grunts a lot!  This match had a quick beginning with some back and forth high flying stuff.  Reynolds hit a standing shooting star press at one point but he missed a top-rope moonsault.  Silver had his comeback and went with a wheelbarrow suplex into a German suplex.  Reynolds won with a fisherman's suplex into a neckbreaker across his knee.  Personally, I hate the trend of guys dropping their opponents' heads across their knees like this and it seemed to happen three times tonight throughout the show.  I wouldn't want to take that move at all.  *3/4

Chuck Taylor v. Johnny Gargano v. Samuray Del Sol-This thing turned into a three-way when Gargano came out and asked for it.  The match was really fast and good in the beginning half until Del Sol was eliminated.  Taylor kept running from Gargano and they didn't touch for decent amount of the match.  Del Sol hit a bunch of great lucha stuff and his highlight was a running moonsault over the top rope onto the floor.  However, Taylor hit the La Mahistrol (is that spelled right?) and eliminated Del Sol.  It was down to Gargano and Taylor and the match wasn't as good after Del Sol was out.  Gargano can't sell well in submissions with his facials and Taylor is very dull, at least during this match.  Keep in mind though that this was only the second match I've seen of him.  Taylor got scoop slammed onto the hotel floor and it was probably pretty rough for him.  Taylor was in control after a back suplex outside onto the ring apron.  Later, Taylor missed a top-rope moonsault and Gargano hit a comeback.  The Gargano Escape submission was hooked in but was countered into a half-crab but this was broken by Gargano.  Taylor quickly hit another half-crab and won the match.  I had a tough time believing the finish and Gargano sold it like he was dead but it hardly looked painful.  I also question why EVOLVE didn't advertise Gargano being in this match seeing as how Taylor turned on him two weeks ago.  This was a pretty solid three-way though, in the end.  **3/4

Adam Page v. Caleb Konley w/Leah and Larry Dallas-Here goes The Scene but thankfully they were dumbed down from two weeks ago at the DGUSA PPV.  Page is a tobacco farmer and he looks the part.  Page managed to get a shooting star press off the apron to the outside and Konley hit a wheelbarrow into a lung blower too.  Konley won with his submission the O-Face.  Pretty boring match here.  *1/4

El Generico v. Low-Ki-Ki was the heel in this match and he tried to submit Generico on the ground at first.  He even tried the old Ali/Inoki thing where he tried to get Generico to take his legs and then, they did some MMA ground work stuff.  Ki would hit strikes and submissions on Generico for a few minutes and then Generico would explode with a comeback.  Ki was kicking him and Generico kept motioning for him to bring it.  Generico tried for the yakuza kick twice and missed but he nailed it on his third attempt.  He went for a top-rope brainbuster which was countered by Ki and Ki then hit a sick Warrior's Way onto Generico's back.  Very solid match here with the dynamic of Ki outwrestling Generico but Generico would hit some big moves on him in contrast.  After the match, Ki grabbed the mic and told Generico he wasn't as good as he thought he was, in a heelish manner.  ***1/4

Finlay v. Sami Callihan-Sami left a bad taste in my mouth after the $1.99 DGUSA show a couple weeks ago but this match was pretty good.  Finlay was on top almost the entire match as he would nail Callihan with everything and Callihan kept getting up and not stopping.  Finlay hit a sick headbutt on Sami who got busted open, early in the match.  Callihan would comeback every so often with a move or two but Finlay would always shut him down and then Sami would keep getting up absorbing the punishment.  Callihan nailed Finlay with a superkick to the hamstring of Finlay but he still couldn't gain control.  Finlay went for the Celtic Cross but Callihan kicked out and Finlay proceeded to hit two more and he still only got a two-count.  By this point, Finlay was frustrated.  He hit a tombstone and a lariat but couldn't finish Sami.  He tried for a second tombstone but it was countered into a boot by Callihan.  Finlay then hit his own boot and Callihan hit another and finally, they both hit two double boots in succession with both guys going down each time.  Finlay ended it with a cross arm breaker though.  Finlay was the veteran punishing Callihan, who kept coming and taking everything dished out to him and that was the story of the match.  This worked very well and was very solid and was match of the night.  ***1/4

This show was similar to WrestleMania XXVIII in regards to the fact that it had a bunch of junk matches and three pretty solid matches.  The commentating was way better than the DGUSA show in Miami and the show itself wasn't nearly as over the top.  The sound of the mic wasn't too good and I could hardly hear what any of the wrestlers were saying during interviews, etc.   I certainly prefer this to DGUSA, from what I've seen.  Hopefully, for their May shows, EVOLVE can keep booking good main events like this show.  Overall, the big matches were very solid and the rest, excluding the three-way, were forgettable.

Steve Viglio

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