Evolve 12: Fox vs. Callihan
Charlotte, North Carolina 5/11/12
Two Quick Notes....First, I really like the DVD Cover Art for this show. Second, I was surprised at how small the crowd was. For being an at least semi-major indy fed, with several big indy names, you'd think they'd draw better, especially in a wrestling town like Charlotte. Apparently attendance was an issue with most Evolve/Dragon Gate USA shows in 2012.
1.) Caleb Konley vs. Adam Page vs. Jake Manning: **3/4
I really like Jake Manning's Gimmick. Maybe that's the inner Eagle Scout in me talking, but I think it's great. Shame he's only been showcased recently, I think he can be a good fit for places like ROH and CHIKARA. Adam Page is in the same boat, as far as talent is concerned (but ROH has already picked up on Page). This was a fine opener. All three guys hit their stuff and looked decent. Johnny Fairplay was in place of Larry Dallas this weekend (ugh....). Manning picks up the win.
By the way between matches here, they showed a MMA Fight Bobby Fish had at some MMA Event. I was confused as to why this MMA fight had Rockem Sockem like head-gear, but the fight was still decent. Fish basically squashed him.
2.) Alex Reynolds vs. Mike Cruz: **1/2
Don't know much about Reynolds but Mike Cruz is a name I've heard before (CZW guy I think). A decent match. Both guys did their thing and put on a good contest.
3.) Low Ki vs. Jigsaw: ***1/4
This is a first time ever match up. I was also surprised at how this turned out. I expected to see some high flying action (at least some...) from Jigsaw and maybe Low Ki. Instead we got a match that was, for the most part, grounded. Regardless, it was still a good back & forth match with Low Ki eventually getting the win.
After the match, Low Ki cut a promo essentially disparaging Jigsaw. I think this thing they were doing with Low Ki was a good idea, with him putting down people like Jigsaw & El Generico. Now that I think about it, it would have been a cool idea if CHIKARA brought Low Ki in and did something similar, where Low Ki would disparage all of the CHIKARA masked wrestlers like the Spectral Envoy & The Colony, seeing them as a disgrace and waging war against their kind. Probably won't happen, but one can dream...
4.) Dave Finlay vs. Jon Davis: ***1/2
This was the second match in a row that was a very intriguing match-up, turned out to be good, but was wrestled completely differently than what one would have expected. Instead of a power-based brawl (which it was for a little bit), it was mostly a ground submission based affair, which I think brought the match down a little bit because they did it so much during the match. Finlay would have the same problem in his match with Michael Elgin in ROH. Not sure why this was....
After the match, Finlay puts over Davis and then says Sami Callihan needs to stop having these rivalries and get back to having good wrestling matches. Callihan comes out briefly to confront Finlay.
5.) Johnny Gargano & Samuray Del Sol vs. Chuck Taylor & Silas Young: ***1/4
In this one, Gargano & Taylor picked their respective partners, with the winning team captain (Gargano or Taylor) picking the stipulations for their next encounter. The Swamp Monster comes out with Jake Manning to accompany Taylor & Young. I gotta admit, The Swamp Monster is cool, and he's over!! The match itself wasn't overly great, but it was pretty good and served its roll in furthering the Taylor/Gargano feud.
After the match, Chuck Taylor, the winning captain, said he want's an Open The Freedom Gate Title Shot at the next set of Dragon Gate USA shows.
6.) Ricochet vs. El Generico: ***1/2
El Generico is making his second Evolve appearance as he's facing the high-flying Ricochet. This was another very good match. Both guys looked good and Low Ki on commentary added to his heat with El Generico.
After the match, Low Ki came out to the ring as Ricochet challenged him to a future match. He accepted, and then went back to knocking on El Generico, naming dropping several famous masked wrestlers, and says that if Generico doesn't change his ways, he'll turn into a disgrace. of masked wrestlers.
7.) Evolution’s End – AR Fox vs. Sami Callihan: ****
I actually like the idea behind this match, with regular rules applying on the inside and no rules on the floor. This was a very good match to watch. Started off a little slow, but then really picked up, especially in the second half. Both guys killed each other in this one, with a ladder, a table and barbed wire all coming into play. Fox looked like a star in this one.
Not the best Evolve show, but it had its moments. If you're a fan of Sami Callihan & AR Fox, you should definitely check out their match. A shame that they performed such a killer match in front of so few people. The rest of the card isn't too bad, with the match quality being mostly good, but nothing really stand out. If not for the Main Event, this would have really been an average show.