Orlando, Florida 7/11/15
As I mentioned in my Evolve 45 review, this weekend of shows from Evolve was drastically altered because of injuries to Biff Busick & Davey Richards. This show ended up having only four actual matches, but for this review, I included the FIP World Heavyweight Title Match between Caleb Konley & Andrew Everett, which was on the FIP Pre-Show (and is included in the VOD of this show).
1.) FIP World Heavyweight Title – Caleb Konley (with The Premiere Athlete Brand) vs. Andrew Everett: ***1/4
This match was set up on Evolve 45, when Everett, after defeating Anthony Nese, goaded Caleb Konley into putting his FIP World Heavyweight Title on the line against him. I thought this was a pretty solid match. Even though it was technically the pre-show show, these two still put forth a really good effort, and had an enjoyable match. Konley would end up getting the win to retain his title (after interference from The Premiere Athlete Brand, if I recall correctly).
2.) Anthony Nese (with The Premiere Athlete Brand) vs. Trevor Lee: ***
The show properly kicks off of with Trevor Lee, who’s coming off an impressive losing effort to Chris Hero, taking on Anthony Nese. The story here is that, if Lee won, he would get an FIP World Title shot against Caleb Konley. This was a good opener. I actually think the Konley/Everett match from earlier in the show was slightly better than this. Still, this was totally fine for what it was. Lee would pick up the win with a rollup on Nese, so I guess he has an FIP World Title shot against Caleb Konley in his future.
3.) Zack Sabre Jr. vs. TJ Perkins: ****
Now this is a match that should be a ton of fun. Both of these men utilize a very fluid technical style, and they ended up having an extremely entertaining match. Both guys worked so well together, and we saw a lot of cool things here. Zack Sabre Jr. would end up getting the win. An awesome match!
4.) Drew Galloway vs. Trent Barreta: ***1/2
So this was originally going to be for the Evolve World Title, but of course, Thatcher won the title from Galloway the night before at Evolve 45. Even though there was no title at steak here, these two still managed to have a really good match. It’s actually a pretty interesting matchup, considering both guys used to be in the WWE. Both guys looked good here in this back & forth match. Galloway scored the victory here, gaining back some momentum after losing his two titles the night before.
After the match, The Premiere Athlete Brand came out and tried to attack Galloway, but Galloway fought of both Anthony Nese & Caleb Konley, and even took a shot at Andrea! He then corned SoCal Val in one of the turnbuckles and started streaming at her, and then ended up taking out an Evolve referee!! These events would lead to Galloway getting suspended from Evolve, and while he would miss the next few shows, he would return before the end of the year.
5.) Evolve World Title & Open The Freedom Gate Title – Timothy Thatcher vs. Chris Hero: ****1/4
This became a title match after Thatcher won both the Evolve World Title & the Open The Freedom Gate Title from Drew Galloway the night before. These two had an incredible encounter back at Mercury Rising 2015, so this is the rematch. While it wasn’t quite as good as their first match, this was still great, and definitely the best match on the show. Hero continues to have a sneaky good year, and Thatcher looked really good here as well. The new champion needed a strong start to this title reign, and he got that with a successful defense against Chris Hero.
Afterwords, Zack Sabre Jr. came out and challenged Timothy Thatcher to an Evolve World Title Match during the next set of Evolve shows in August.
This was a very interesting show to watch, as it only had four matches (five if you count the Konley/Everett FIP World Title Match from the FIP Pre-Show, which again, is included in the VOD). Despite being a relatively small card, every match on there was, at the very least, good. Not a single match went under ***. Thatcher vs. Hero and Zack Sabre Jr. vs. TJ Perkins were two great matches, and are definitely worth checking out. Once again, even though the original cards were changed due to a number of injuries. Evolve still pulled out an enjoyable show.