Evolve 4: Danielson vs. Fish
Union City, New Jersey 7/23/10
1.) Brodie Lee vs. Jon Moxley: **1/2
After all these years, it’s so weird seeing Jon Moxley (the future Dean Ambrose) wrestle in regular tights & boots. It’s also kind of a preview of the future matches between The Shield & The Wyatt Family, in a roundabout kind of way. This was an all out brawl. They brawled both on the inside the right & outside of it. Both guys eventually brought in chairs, and the referee had enough, and called for a Double DQ. He tells both guys to put the chairs down. Moxley begins to do so, but Brodie Lee kicks the chair in his face, and storms off. The match was going well up until the finish, though I guess they wanted to do something to serve as an example of someone possibly getting suspended.
2.) Fatal Four-Way Match – Ricochet vs. Drake Younger vs. Rich Swann vs. Chris Dickinson: ***
If this matched happened today, it would be really awesome, but of course, this is 2010. Swann is making his debut, Ricochet & Dickinson are still nowhere close to where they are today, and Drake Younger is noticeably larger. This was a pretty fun four-way. It was nonstop action from bell to bell, and everyone got a chance to shine in this one. The finish came when Dickinson had Ricochet in a choke, but he didn’t see Drake Younger hit Rich Swann with the Drake’s Landing for the pin. Dickinson is visibly upset.
After the match, Lenny Leonard interviewed Drake Younger, who said that his career in Evolve keeps getting better, and he hopes to continue his winning ways.
3.) WSU World Heavyweight Title – Mercedes Martinez (with Sammy Geodollno) vs. Tina San Antonio: DUD
Much like her previous appearances in Evolve, Mercedes Martinez made quick work of her opponent. The only difference here was that her WSU World Title was on the line.
After the match, Lenny Leonard asks Martinez if she’s received a response from Amazing Kong regarding a challenge Martinez had made to her. She says no, but then a video appears of Amazing Kong accepting the challenge, making their match official for the next Evolve show.
4.) Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole: ***1/4
Up next we have Johnny Gargano going up against….long pink & white tights wearing, white meat babyface Adam Cole. WOW. It’s crazy looking back at THIS Adam Cole five years after the fact. The match itself was pretty good. You can tell these two guys have a lot of potential. Solid action from both guys. It looked like Gargano had the match won, but Cole was able to counter the Hurt’s Donut into a rollup for the upset win!
Lenny Leonard comes out to interview Cole after the match. He thanks Gargano for giving him a good fight, saying he can have a rematch anytime, and thanks the fans. Jimmy Jacobs then comes out, applauding Cole. He makes some weird gay jokes towards Cole, and mocks Gargano for losing (he & Gargano were in a feud at the time). Jacobs doesn’t seem to take Cole seriously, so Cole challenges Jacobs to a match at the next Evolve show. Jacobs seemingly brushes him off, but Gargano follows Jacobs to the back, trying to encourage Jacobs to take the match.
5.) CHIKARA Sekigun (Jigsaw & Hallowicked) vs. Aeroform (Louis Lyndon & Flip Kendrick): ***
A team that we would see a lot of in Evolve is CHIKARA Sekigun, which is basically a team made up of a variety of CHIKARA wrestlers. This time, it’s Jigsaw & Hallowicked, as they’re taking on Aeroform. A fun little tag team match. It didn’t go very long, but the action was solid. Jigsaw & Hallowicked would get the win after some really good tandem offense.
6.) Sami Callihan vs. Arik Cannon: ***1/2
Here we have another match on an early Evolve show that had a bit of foreshadowing, as these two would later go on to form the D.U.F. stable. This was a really hard-hitting match. These two just beat the crap out of each other for nearly thirteen minutes. They brawled all over the place, including some really nasty spots on the floor. It was a nasty slugfest, and in the end, Callihan got Cannon to submit to the Stretch Muffler for the victory.
After the match, Lenny Leonard interviews Callihan, who cuts a screaming promo before heading to the back.
Following the interview, Lenny Leonard was interrupted by Johnny Gargano. He reassures the crowd that he’s doing ok after his loss. He’s willing to admit when he’s beat, and Adam Cole beat him fair & square. Gargano says he can’t say the same about Jimmy Jacobs, saying he’s scared of Cole, and that he’s going to be what’s coming to him.
7.) Up In Smoke (Cheech & Cloudy) vs. The Osirian Portal (Amasis & Ophidian): ***
Cheech & Cloudy won in their tag team debut at Evolve 2: Hero vs. Hidaka, and now they’re taking on CHIKARA stalwarts in The Osirian Portal. Much like the earlier tag team match, this was also very solid. It was a little longer than that earlier tag team match, and the action was equally as good. Up In Smoke would get the win, and they’re now 2-0 in Evolve.
Up In Smoke is interviewed by Lenny Leonard after the match. They talk about their winning streak, and also put down Aeroform.
8.) Jimmy Jacobs vs. Chuck Taylor: ***1/2
Before this match begins, Jacobs responds to Johnny Gargano, saying that he’s not afraid of Adam Cole, and will face him on the next Evolve show. He says he will shut up both Cole & Gargano, but right now, he’s going to shut up Chuck Taylor. Both of these men are coming into this match undefeated. Jacobs is 3-0, while Chuck Taylor is 2-0, though he claims to actually be 3-0 as well, since his Qualifying Match on the first Evolve show didn’t count in his overall record. This was a really good match. I very much enjoyed watching this one. Both guys worked pretty well together, and we saw some great stuff between these two. Lots of cool stuff here. In the end, Taylor was able to hit The Awful Waffle, and scores the win, giving Jacobs his first loss, while simultaneously going 3-0 himself.
Of course, we have Lenny Leonard interviewing Chuck Taylor afterwords. Taylor says he’s the face of Evolve, and the fans react very strongly to him.
9.) Bryan Danielson vs. Bobby Fish: ****
For those of you who don’t remember, this match occurred right after Bryan Danielson was released by WWE following the aftermath of the debut of The Nexus stable. So, for most of the Summer of 2010, he wrestled all over the independent scene, including Evolve, which is the company he helped to create. Here, he’s taking on Bobby Fish, who despite being in the Main Event of this show, is 0-3. As you would expect, this was a great match. This was easily the Match of the Night. Danielson proved why he’s one of the best wrestlers in the world, and Bobby Fish definitely held his own. We saw lots of strikes & submissions, as you would expect. A great match, without a doubt. Danielson would end up getting the win via submission.
After the match, Danielson is interviewed by Lenny Leonard, who brings up that Evolve was the brainchild of Danielson. He thanks all of the fans who are seeing independent wrestling for the first time, as well as those who have always been supporters all along. The show closes with Danielson challenging Munenori Sawa to a match at the next Evolve show.
If there’s one thing that I can say about the early Evolve shows, it’s that they were very consistent, and this show continued that trend. You had a great Main Event that was definitely worth watching (in this case, it was Danielson vs. Fish), while the rest of the undercard had one or two really good matches around the ***1/2 range (in this case, Callihan vs. Cannon & Jacobs vs. Taylor), and several perfectly solid matches in the undercard, with nothing that was bad at all. It’s a really enjoyable night of wrestling, and that’s all you can really ask for sometimes.