Monday, July 21, 2014

Evolve 30 Review

An injury to Johnny Gargano shakes things up in Brooklyn!

Before I start with the review, I should make a note about this show. The original Main Event was scheduled to be Johnny Gargano vs. Rich Swann in an I Quit Match, but Gargano suffered a dislocated/fractured jaw in his match with Biff Busick at Evolve 29, and thus is off this show (though he would show up on commentary). This ended up shuffled the card around a bit. Now we have a Challenge Series, featuring The Premiere Athlete Brand vs. AR Fox, Rich Swann & Uhaa Nation. There would be three singles matches, followed by a Six Man War in the Main Event.

Evolve 30
Brooklyn, New York 5/10/14

1.) Caleb Konley (with Su Yung & Mr. A) vs. AR Fox: ***1/2

This is the first match of the Challenge Series, and a rematch from Evolve 28. Much like their previous match, it was pretty good. A very solid opener. Unlike their previous matchup, however, we actually got an appropriate finish, as Konley got his knees up and countered a 450 Splash into a rollup and scores the victory, giving The Premiere Athlete Brand a 1-0 advantage.

2.) Blake Edward Belakus vs. Ryan Rush: **

I'm not that familiar with Ryan Rush. This wasn't as good as the match Belakus had with JT Dunn at Evolve 29. This was mainly used to build up Belakus more than anything else, who gets the victory and goes undefeated on the weekend.

3.) #WalkingWeapon vs. Tim Donst: ***1/4

Here we have an interesting matchup as we have two wrestlers who have amateur backgrounds. This was a really good match. Alexander & Donst were able to provide something different compared to what else was on the card, as we got treated to a match with a lot of hard hitting action and solid wrestling. Both guys deserve opportunities in bigger companies, like I've said many times before. In this encounter, #WalkingWeapon gets the win.

Before SHINE Champion Ivelisse comes out to do an interview, we get Larry Dallas showing up again and, much like Evolve 29, he begs for job back. Again....NOBODY CARES!!!

We finally get SHINE Champion Ivelisse out for her interview, but it's hard to hear her on that mic. Presumably it's about the attack by Christina Von Eerie from the night before at Evolve 29. Of course, Von Eerie comes out and attacks Ivelisse! They brawl around for awhile and it takes a long time for the referees to separate them.

4.) Three Way Freestyle – #ALLEGO vs. Jigsaw vs. Chuck Taylor: **3/4

I believe this was originally scheduled to be a Four Way Freestyle, but with the changes to the card due to Gargano's Injury, Anthony Nese was pulled out, and it is now a Three Way Freestyle. This was an entertaining match, though it was a little short for it to be anything really good (and it could have been better had it gotten a little bit more time). Jigsaw scores the win in this fun, but short, three way match.

5.) Open The United Gate Tag Team Titles – The Bravado Brothers vs. The Colony (Fire Ant & Green Ant): ***1/2

This match was set up at Mercury Rising 2014 after The Colony defeated The Bravado Brothers as part of the Trios Tournament. I thought this was a really good match. These two teams work pretty well together (as well as in there respective roles) and they put on a really solid title match. At one point, Moose got ejected from ringside, forcing The Bravados to be without their muscle. This match was definitely a bright moment in the reign of The Bravado Brothers, which hasn't been that good up to this point. Eventually, The Bravados, through some chicanery involving Green Ant's mask, get the win and retain their titles. Very good match, but the problem is that there is just no tag team division. The Colony were the only real babyface challengers, and now that they're vanquished, their is literally nobody left. The Young Bucks leaving Dragon Gate USA/Evolve in favor of going to bigger things in New Japan, and returning to Ring of Honor, and really hurt.

Back from intermission, we get The Premiere Athlete Brand coming out. Anthony Nese berates Mr. A for his recent failures over the last few shows, and wants him to prove his worth, apparently in a match against Moose...

6.) Mr. A (with The Premiere Athlete Brand) vs. Moose: *1/2

This pretty much went as well as you would think it would. It was what it was. Moose gets the win.

I should make a special note that this looks to be Moose's last match with the WWNLive Universe, as he signed with ROH the next month. Guess this means The Bravado Bandwagon lost their bodyguard...

After the match, the rest of The Premiere Athlete Brand rub salt in the wounds of Mr. A by roughing him up some more and officially kick him out of the group. Can't say I'm disappointed to see Mr. A go. Nese then calls out Rich Swann for their match.

7.) Anthony Nese (with The Premiere Athlete Brand) vs. Rich Swann (with AR Fox & Uhaa Nation): ***1/2

Here we have the second match of the Challenge Series. This was a pretty good match. Both guys are great athletes so it's no surprise that this was good match. Nese continues to impress while Swann continues to be awesome & entertaining. A ton of good stuff happened in this one. Nese picks up the win and The Premiere Athlete Brand takes a 2-0 lead. 

8.) Trent Baretta (with The Premiere Athlete Brand) vs. Uhaa Nation (with AR Fox & Rich Swann): ***3/4

With everyone already at ringside, this match got started quickly. It is the third match in the Challenge Series. This was easily the Match of the Night. In the year he's been on the independent scene since leaving WWE, Trent Baretta has gotten so good, it's crazy. He's established himself as a major player and it's well deserved. Uhaa Nation has, over the years, gotten incredibly good himself, and all these elements put together a really great match. These two meshed really well together, in my opinion, and the crowd was pretty into it, which was good to see. Uhaa Nation picks up the win, and his team is now down only 2-1.

9.) Anything Goes Match – The Premiere Athlete Brand (Anthony Nese, Trent Baretta & Caleb Konley with Su Yung) vs. Uhaa Nation, AR Fox & Rich Swann: ***1/4

This is the final match of the Challenge Series, and it's anything goes! While it wasn't a really long Main Event (it only went, I think, 11 Minutes or so), I thought it was entertaining. I get that they wanted to do a Hardcore Style Match to make up for the lack of an I Quit Match, and in that regard, they did provide a fun Anything Goes Brawl. It was essentially a car crash, with Ladder, Chairs, and everything else involved. The team of Uhaa Nation, AR Fox & Rich Swann get the win, meaning the Challenge Series ends in a 2-2 tie....wait, what?

Overall: 7.5/10

Comparatively speaking, this show wasn't as good as Evolve 29. Obviously the Johnny Gargano Injury had a big effect on this card and how it turned out. For the most part, however, it had some pretty solid matches in the form of Konley/Fox, The Open The United Gate Title Match, Nese/Swann, while Trent Baretta vs. Uhaa Nation was the clear Match of the Night. However, this show did expose some of the problems plaguing Evolve as well as Dragon Gate USA. The Larry Dallas Saga continues, and less people care every day. I already talked a little bit about the horrible state of the tag team division earlier in the review. Then you have The Premiere Athlete Brand, who have been booked poorly throughout 2014. How are we supposed to get into The Premiere Athlete Brand as the top heel stable in the promotion when they constantly lose and are made to look silly. On the surface, it's a solid show (an easy recommendation for any Trent Baretta or Uhaa Nation fans), but it also reveals all of the underlying problems with Evolve as a promotion.

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