Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Evolve 18: Gargano vs. Callihan Review

An Open The Freedom Gate Title Match highlights the last show of 2012!

Evolve 18: Gargano vs. Callihan
Voorhees, New Jersey 12/8/12

1.) Four-Way Freestyle Qualifier – AR Fox vs. Tony Nese: ***1/4

In preparation for the Evolve Title Tournament, we're having a kind of mini-tourney where people have the chance to advance their records. Their would be four qualifying singles match and a four-way later in the night, with one man potentially getting two wins. Fox vs. Nese is the first of those matches. It was a pretty solid opener. Lots of fun an innovative action. Of course it's interesting to look at this match now, as these two would go from the opening match to the main event for the Evolve Title the next year. AR Fox wins and advances.

2.) Four-Way Freestyle Qualifier – MASADA vs. Papadon: **

This is the second qualifying match. It was just ok. Probably the worst of the four qualifiers. I don't know what it was, but it just wasn't that interesting. MASADA wins and advances.

After the match, Larry Dallas comes out and wants to sign Papadon to a contract with The Scene. He apparently signs and Dallas calls out Marti Belle. They then have a handicap match (which I'm not even going to list here) where Belle gets beat up by Papadon and Dallas covers her in a suggestive manner. What was the point of this? Just a garbage segment.

3.) Four-Way Freestyle Qualifier – Rich Swann vs. Jigsaw: ***1/4

The third qualifier of the night. This was another pretty good match, and a unique on as well (first time ever, I believe?). I'd say it's about on-par with the opening match. Just really enjoyable. Rich Swann wins and advances.

4.) Four-Way Freestyle Qualifier – Chuck Taylor (with The Swamp Monster) vs. Jon Davis: **1/4

Little did we know it but this would be the start of a long feud that would run well into 2013. The entrance of Jon Davis has to be one of the worst in wrestling. The match itself was ok. Taylor did his comedy stuff though it was weird since they were both heels. Jon Davis wins and advances. 

After the match, Johnny Gargano comes out, and cuts a promo basically running down Jon Davis, saying he's mediocre and a bully.

Arda Ocal is in the ring and announces that John Morrison & The Young Bucks are coming to Dragon Gate USA. Some girl comes out and is apparently a big fan of John Morrison and wants to be his manager. Christina Von Eerie then comes out who goes over here whole "Dragon Gate USA belongs to Mad Blankey" stuff before laying her out. Another nothing segment.

5.) The Super Smash Brothers vs. El Generico & Samuray del Sol: ***3/4

After having a pretty incredible three match series, El Generico & Samuray del Sol have since been teaming. Here they're taking on The Super Smash Brothers. This was a really entertaining match. I enjoy all four guys so it was easy for me to get into it. Once again, however, the crowd in Voorhees does hamper it a bit. In front of a better crowd, the rating could have been a little higher. Still, the match was a lot of fun. Generico & del Sol pick up the win.

6.) Four-Way Freestyle – AR Fox vs. MASADA vs. Rich Swann vs. Jon Davis: ***

Whoever wins this will walk away with two wins added to their record. This match was pretty short for a four way (around six minutes or so) but it packed a lot of action into that short time. All four guys seemed to get in all of their stuff and it made for a really entertaining match. Rich Swann would pick up the victory.

7.) Open The Freedom Gate Title – Johnny Gargano vs. Sami Callihan: ****1/4

Jon Davis comes out immediately and tries to attack Gargano but Callihan fights him off because he wants to beat Gargano in a fair fight. This was an incredible main event. I have to say this has to be Callihan's best match of 2012. No matter what problems Dragon Gate USA/Evolve have, when the chips are down, they always seem to put on fantastic Open The Freedom Gate Title matches, and this was no exception. These guys really put on a great match and it proved to be a great way to end 2012.

Overall: 7.5/10

Once again, this is a very mixed bag from Evolve. Their were definitely some really good matches on here, like the Main Event Title Match and the big tag match. At the same time, their were some not so good stuff. A few of the match were just ok and their were two segments that had no business being on here whatsoever. The Four-Way Freestyle Tourney had its positives and overall the show was a solid one for Evolve.

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