Winter Park, Florida 1/10/15
Before the opening match, Anthony Nese takes the mic and announced that he has accepts SoCal Val’s offer, meaning she is now part of The Premiere Athlete Brand. This meant that Su Yung was relegated to the role of being SoCal Val’s assistant.
1.) Open The United Gate Champion Anthony Nese (with The Premiere Athlete Brand) vs. Shane Strickland: ***
Strickland had an impressive showing the night before at Evolve 36 against Johnny Gargano, and while this match wasn’t as good as that match, it was still pretty solid. The action was fine, but most of the attention was focused on SoCal Val’s antics on ringside. Despite that, the match was fine. A totally acceptable opener, which saw Nese get the victory.
2.) Timothy Thatcher vs. Roderick Strong: ***1/2
I was really looking forward to this one going on, and these two definitely delivered a very good match. Both guys are great at what they do, and I thought they worked well together. Some really solid action throughout this match. The match came to an end when Thatcher locked Strong in his Fujiwara Armbar for the submission victory.
I believe, after the match, Thatcher called out Chris Hero for a match in San Jose, California during WrestleMania Weekend.
3.) Trevor Lee vs. AR Fox: N/R
This was another match that I was really looking forward to, but unfortunately, it would get cut short. Early on in the match, AR Fox got hurt via a kick to the face from Trevor Lee (it's that running apron punt kick he always does). I guess it caught AR Fox right in the face because he immediately started bleeding. It seemed like it might have been an eye injury, and I believe it was reported later that he had a concussion. Trevor Lee won by referee stoppage, and a lot of wrestlers came out to check on AR Fox (even the camera cut away at one point). They did say later that he was awake & alert. Because of what happened, I don’t think it’s appropriate to really rate this.
4.) Uhaa Nation vs. Biff Busick: ***3/4
Anyone could have told you that this was going to be, in the words of Jim Ross, a “Slobber Knocker”, and that’s exactly what this was. Really good action from both guys in this one. These two are so good, and it’s no surprise that both would be signed by WWE before the end of the year. Busick would end up getting the win over Uhaa Nation.
Like Thatcher before him, I believe Busick also called out Chris Hero for a match in San Jose, California during WrestleMania Weekend.
5.) Evolve World Title - Drew Galloway vs. Ricochet: ***3/4
Ricochet had declared the night before at Evolve 36 that he’s coming for both the Open The Freedom Gate Title and the Evolve World Title. He has his chance on this show against Drew Galloway, who seems to dwarf Ricochet, in terms of size. As you would expect, this was a really good match. They brawled on the outside, and did some pretty cool things, including Ricochet hitting a beautiful Hurricanrana off of a basketball hoop, and Galloway slamming Ricochet against a wall. It was really a battle of Ricochet’s speed and athleticism facing off with Galloway’s strength, and it produced another very good match on this card. In the end, the Scotsman would pick up the win to retain his title.
6.) Six-Man Tag - Losing Team Must Split Up - Ronin (Open The Freedom Gate Champion Johnny Gargano, FIP World Heavyweight Champion Rich Swann, & Chuck Taylor) vs. The Bravado Brothers & Moose: ***1/4
This match was set up the night before, and the losing side must permanently split up. Ronin came out dancing and Swann was signing their theme song, which was fun. The match itself was pretty solid, though I don’t think it reached the same level as some of the earlier matches on the card. It probably belonged lower on the card, but with Ronin reuniting, I can understand why it was the Main Event. Eventually, Ronin would end up getting the victory, meaning The Bravado Brothers & Moose can no longer team together in Evolve (and this would end up being the last appearance in Evolve for all three of them).
After the match, Gargano took the mic and cut a promo saying that his Open The Freedom Gate Title was the most important title in the WWNLive Universe. Of course, Evolve World Champion Drew Galloway took offense to this, and they had a stare down to close the show.
While I would give a slight edge to Evolve 36, I would say that Evolve 37 was still a pretty solid show. Despite the unfortunate accident in the AR Fox/Trevor Lee match, everything else on the card was really good. Strong/Thatcher, Busick/Uhaa Nation, and Galloway/Ricochet were definitely the highlights. Even though the Main Event wasn’t nearly as good as those matches, it was still a cool moment to see Ronin reunited. Add to that the Galloway/Gargano tease, and you have an entertaining show.