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Rey Horus pinned Anthony Nese in 15:38 with a top rope huracarana.
It was a good match. Problem with EVOLVE is every match is nearly the same with a lot of big moves and a lot of kick out of big moves. Right off the bat again, we have a match like this. When this happens in every match, it takes away the importance of the near fall from the top matches. Opening match is the second most important match on the card behind the main event. Opening match sets the tone, but it should also just warm up the crowd. This match would have been better at only ten minutes instead of going fifteen. Anthony Nese is really good and I always enjoy his work. I wish he would do the cartwheel off the apron reversal he does here and there. He does it every match I see him in. It is cool, but how in every match he is on the apron and doing a cartwheel getting away from his opponent trying to kick him? Rey Horus is good, but still very green as he showed in this match. His finisher is amazing, but it takes a long time for both men to be balanced on the tope rope that it becomes a total expose.
Davey Richards pinned Caleb Konely in 20:55 with a running kick.
Great match. Both went out and put on a great performance. Konely is so underrated and could be the best heel in EVOLVE behind Rodrick Strong. Richards has looked great since his return to EVOLVE. At times it got a bit ridiculous as they both kicked out out of so many finishers. In the case of one move too many, Richards hit a double stomp off the top rope and the crowd went nuts. That should have been the finish, but he instead hit the running kick for the pin and pop wasn’t as loud. Crazy that this was only the second match on the card.
After the match Caleb Konely and his tag team partner Anthony Nese argued after the match teasing a split. Splitting up the Premier Athlete Brand tag team would benefit both. Konely has been real impressive with his single matches against Rey Horus and now Davey Richards. Konely is a natural heel and he understands how to work as a heel which is truly rare on the indy level. Nese comes off more as a natural babyface and with all flashy moves, a turn to babyface would be good for him.
TJ Perkins pinned “Speeball” Mike Bailey in 11:14 with a cradle.
Fun match. Mike Bailey is a joy to watch. His style is based around his strikes and thus he stands out from the rest of the EVOLVE roster. Story early was Bailey was trying to KO TJP with his kicks and TJP was working on the legs on Bailey. Speedball just needs to get a better body, better gear to not look so indy. As long as he stays injury free, this kid does have a bright future. TJP was solid as always, but still very robotic with his facial expressions. Actually both men are and that lack of facial expressions brings down the intensity of the match.
Chris Hero pinned Trevor Lee in 18:02
Match of the night as this was better then Richards-Konely earlier. Lee would get a move, but Hero would always counter. Hero plays his role as the veteran making the young talent coming up to prove themselves. Loved the pacing of this match, it was slower then the pervious matches, but each thing they did meant something and you remembered it after they did it. Hero kept trying to finish off Lee, but he would keep kicking out. Finally, Hero pinned Lee with a Gotch Piledriver and then picked him up for a tombstone piledriver. Maybe a bit overkill, but it continued the story that Hero felt he needed to go that extra mile to finish off Lee.
DragonGate Open The United Gate Tag Team Champions Rich Swann & Johnny Gargano defeated Drew Gulak & Tracy Williams when Gargano made Williams submit to the “GargaNoEscape”.
Very good tag team match. This is another match that probably went a bit too long. Giving guys long times is a good, but it can also be negative, especially in matches were workers like this do a ton of moves. You see so much and nothing registers for long. With so many moves, the crowd gets exhausted and thus the crowd heats lowers and match starts to drag. Tracy Williams is a great young prospect. Really reminds me of a young Timothy Thatcher. This kid is going to be really good. Williams and Gulak have the potential to be one of the best tag teams in the US if they continue to team up. Swann was his great self as usual and Gargano put on a very good performance as well. This match made me want to see a long program between these two teams.
After the match Gargano and Swann “vacated” the DragonGate Open The United Gate tag titles. Basically, DragonGate USA is no more and this is was a nice way of making it official. Gargano and Swann hoped EVOLVE would create Evolve tag team titles. I am sure this will happen soon and I hope these two teams are programed together for those newly created titles whenever that is.
DragonGate Open The Freedom Gate Champion Drew Galloway pinned Biff Busick with a double arm DDT in 15:35
There is nobody in the US that can match Drew Galloway’s presence as a World Champion. It is hard to give off that aura, but Galloway does it. I bought the IPPV for this match alone and these two did not let me down. It was hard hitting and dramatic. They brawled around the building. Nine times out of ten I do not care for that, but these two are so good with putting a believable and intense brawl that I really enjoyed this. Busick kept going for his rear naked choke finisher throughout the match and Galloway would keep reversing.
At one point Busick locked it on and many thought a title change was near. The finishing sequence was a thing of beauty as Busick kept going for his finisher, but Galloway kept reversing and finally catching Busick with his finish.
After the match Galloway cut another great promo. Why did the WWE let this guy go? Galloway is living up to his “Chosen One” gimmick now on the indies. Johnny Gargano came out and talked about Galloway defeating him in San Jose at the WWN Super Show for the DragonGate Open The Freedom Gate title and mentioned how he and his tag team partner Rich Swann are looking towards the future and they vacated the DragonGate United tag belts and Galloway should follow their lead and putting DragonGate USA behind them.
Galloway disagreed, basically saying he won this belt with hard work and he is going to keep defending it. He told Gargano they would face again for DragonGate belt and if Gargano beats him then he could do whatever he wants with the title, but “If” that happens he is going keep defending it. I think they should unify the titles. Maybe do a gimmick where Galloway will defend both each weekend, but if he is able to retain after a years time (March 2016) then the belts would unified. Really, after Galloway beat Gargano in at the WWN Super Show the titles should have been unified then. Positive is they are moving to getting rid of the DragonGate USA brand all together. Since combining the promotions, it has been more confusing then good.
This was one of the best Evolve shows this company has put on. I highly recommend this IPPV. Only negative was the lighting in this venue sucked. The guys all looked light blue from the lights and it was very dark at times in the corners. If you can get past the poor production, you will love this show. Hero-Lee is worth going out of your way to see. I understand this was a rematch from PWG out in LA which was another great match. I can’t compare the two since I did not see the PWG match, but this Hero-Lee match here in Evolve was one of the best indy matches of the half year. Still way below Hero vs Timothy Thatcher at the WWN Super Show in San Jose, CA this past March however.