Monday, October 7, 2013

Evolve 23 Review

The Premiere Athlete gets his shot at the Evolve Title!

Evolve 23
Ridgewood, New York 9/21/13

The show starts off with Lenny Leonard interviewing Matt Jackson, one half of the Open The United Gate Tag Team Champions. His brother Nick Jackson is not in attendance for this weekend's shows due to the birth of his first child a few days earlier (Congrats!). He welcomes everyone to first-ever Young Bucks Tag Team Invitational. He joins Lenny Leonard for the first match in this Invitational.

1.) Young Bucks Tag Team Invitational - Dos Ben Dejos vs. The Gentlemen's Club (Chuck Taylor & Orange Cassidy): ***

This was a very solid opener. I found to be a fun match, and I really enjoyed the Taylor/Cassidy pairing.

After the Gentlemen's Club picked up the win, Matt Jackson took to the mic and belittled the Gentlemen's Club for not using a Superkick. He gives the match **1/2. Caleb Konley then makes his way to the ring, ready to go, and since Matt Jackson is already in his gear, we get our next match.

2.) Matt Jackson vs. Caleb Konley: ***1/2

These two actually had a pretty good match. It started off slow, but then gradually picked up the pace. The latter part of this match was really good. Konley would end up scoring the win.

Afterwords, Larry Dallas comes out and cheers on Caleb Konley, thinking he's still part of The Scene, when Konley wants nothing to do with him.

3.) Young Bucks Tag Team Invitational - The Bravado Brothers vs. Pieces of Hate (Jigsaw & The Shard): ***1/2

Jigsaw demands that since he & The Shard are Campeonatos de Parejas for life, that this match be held under Lucha Rules. Much like Jackson/Konley match, it started off slow, but gradually picked up the pace, and again, the last several minutes were really good. The Bravados have proved that their time in Japan and Europe was well spent indeed, as they win this match.

Matt Jackson comes out afterwords, and declares Jigsaw & The Shard the "true winners" since they actually did superkicks.

4.) Earl Cooter vs. Brian XL: *1/4

I have no idea who these guys are and I could care less. They had a match that was waaaay longer than it needed to be. Brian XL wins, but Larry Dallas leads his newest acquisition, "Psycho" Mike Rollins, to ring and orders him to destroy Brian XL, which he does. This could have been accomplished this in 3 Minutes.

5.) Style Battle Four-Way Elimination Match #1 - "Mr. Touchdown" Mark Angelosetti vs. Drew Gulak vs. Shane Strickland vs. Lince Dorado: ***1/4

This is the first match of the Style Battle Tournament. A pretty entertaining four-way, but I never felt like this match got into that high gear to make it something more. Good, but not great. Strickland was out first, then Dorado, and finally, Gulak eliminated Touchdown to advance to the finals.

6.) Style Battle Four-Way Elimination Match #2 - Maxwell Chicago vs. Green Ant vs. Biff Busick vs. Josh Alexander: ***1/4

Green Ant is replacing the injured Andrew Everett. I felt like this has a different set of issues compared to the last match. This one wasn't that interesting at the start, until Maxwell Chicago and his ridiculous attire were eliminated (By the way he looks a lot like Seth Rogen. Anyone else notice this?). Then it picked up a little bit before Green Ant's elimination (Green Ant was REALLY popular here). In the final two, it picked up big time with Busick & Alexander duking it out in a slugfest. Busick would end up getting the win and advancing to the finals.

7.) The Inner City Machine Guns (Ricochet & Rich Swann) vs. Johnny Gargano & Trent Baretta: ****

So basically whoever wins this match gets to put into place their respective stipulation for the Rich Swann/Johnny Gargano match on Evolve 24. If Gargano's team wins, then Rich Swann's career will be on the line. If Swann's team wins, then the Open The Freedom Gate Title will be on the line. This was easily the match of the night. Swann, Ricochet & Gargano were great as usual, but Trent Baretta stepped up his game and had a very solid outing as well. The Inner City Machines Guns would get the win, meaning that Johnny Gargano will have to defend his Open The Freedom Gate Title against his former Ronin stablemate!

8.) Evolve Title - AR Fox (with Ivelisse) vs. Anthony Nese (with Mr. A & Su Yung): ***1/2

Nese is accompanied by Mr. A (who I believe is Roadkill of ECW fame) and Su Yung. AR Fox brings out Ivelisse from Shine to help keep Su Yung in check. The match itself was actually pretty good, but all the outside interference affected it big time. It seemed like at times the attention was more on Su Yung & Ivelisse than Fox & Nese, which is not good. All these shenanigans eventually spill into the ring, and eventually AR Fox wins the match and retains his title. The match was good. It could have been better, but ended up being a letdown of a main event, mainly due to the interference.

Overall: 7.75/10

This was a relatively solid show on the whole. Their really isn't a bad match (aside from the Brian XL match) and every match proved to be entertaining in some form or another. They did a good job building up the Style Battle Finals & the Open The Freedom Gate Title Match for Evolve 24. Though their were a few problems with the main event booking wise, the show was overall pretty solid.

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