EVOLVE 2: Hero vs. Hidaka

Rahway, NJ – 3.13.2010

Bobby Fish talks about how January was a big month because he was in the first ever EVOLVE match and scored his first knockout in MMA. He says EVOLVE made him realize the bitter taste of defeat, and he has to have a win tonight. Cut to Aeroform where they also talk about winning tonight. Chuck Taylor then talks about how he’s going to prove the EVOLVE brass that he shouldn’t have had to qualify again, and will win again tonight to prove himself even further.

We then get an explanation of the EVOLVE records, etc with some clips. This is excellent and should be at the beginning of every show. All the wrestlers records are listed as they come out as well.

The same documentary women from last show is here. She walks in to see Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli talking to one another. Hero wonders who Brad Allen is to challenge someone of his caliber. We then see Ikuto Hidaka wandering around in a gymnasium.

There are very few fans due to a flood in the area, and it shows. It sucks, but what can you do.

Brad Allen (1-0) vs. Chris Dickinson (0-1)

Allen takes down Dickinson in a front chancery. Dickinson reverses, but Allen brings him up in a hammerlock. Dickinson takes Allen to the mat and reverses. Allen wrenches on a side headlock. Allen shoulder tackles Dickinson and knocks him down with a hard clothesline off the ropes. Allen hits a stalling suplex for two. Dickinson chops Allen. Allen catches Dickinson and drops him with a snake eyes. Allen follows up with a springboard crossbody for two. Dickinson boots Allen, but Allen picks him up with a press slam for two. Dickinson kicks Allen in the gut as Allen hits the ropes. Dickinson chops Allen in the back of the head and boots him in the chest for two. Dickinson snapmares Allen and kicks him in the back. Dickinson drives his elbow into Allen for two. Dickinson chops Allen, and Allen fires up. Dickinson gives Allen a Falcon Arrow for two. Dickinson transitions into a cross arm breaker. Allen turns into a triangle. He picks up Dickinson and powerbombs him. Dickinson gets his knees up to stop a springboard twisting senton from Allen. Dickinson lays in some kicks to Allen’s chest. He follows with a spinwheel kick and a half-nelson suplex. Dickinson hits a springboard elbow drop for two. Dickinson gets in an argument with the referee. Dickinson misses a boot in the corner. Allen drapes Dickinson on the top rope and drops him with a neckbreaker. Allen hits a slingshot senton. Allen boots Dickinson in the gut and muscles him up into a spin-out facebuster for the win at 6:33. Good opening match and Allen continues to look like a major player in EVOLVE. I’m glad they also laid off the whole “wrestling for his Mom” schtick this time around. I have no problems with him pointing to the sky post-match, and I’m glad the focus is now on him going for Chris Hero. **1/4

Lenny Leonard interviews Allen after. Allen says he’s working his way up to challenge Chris Hero. A very simple, effective, and smart way to build up a match.

Sean Davis and Johnny Gargano are backstage talking about the good time they had last show. Sean mentions how Silas Young went out with them and has been M.I.A. since EVOLVE 1. Gargano talks about some girl he hooked up with and drinking when Jimmy Jacobs comes in and says hello. He pulls Gargano aside and says it wasn’t cool for him to go online and say stuff about Jacobs. Jacobs is upset that Gargano thinks they’re on the same level and that he’s disrespectful. Jacobs says when they step in the ring tonight Gargano will see just how fun it is.

Gran Akuma (0-0) vs. Brodie Lee {0-0)

Akuma’s Army is broken up and these two are now in the singles division. Sure does suck to be Icarus. Akuma kicks away at Lee. Lee catches Akuma in a fallaway slam. Lee thrusts Akuma in the chest before giving him a hard chop in the corner. Akuma ducks another chop and kicks Lee in the chest. However, Lee follows Akuma as he runs across the ring and hits a big chop. Lee suplexes Akuma for two. Lee takes over Akuma with a pump-handle fallaway slam for two. Lee chops Akuma in the corner. Akuma dips out of a corner attack and delivers a step-up enzugiri. Akuma missile dropkicks Lee into the corner. He cheetah swipes Lee for two. Akuma lays in more kicks, and Lee deadlifts Akuma over into a German suplex. Lee hits a big boot in the corner. He drops Akuma on his head with a half-nelson suplex for two. Akuma turns a Liger Bomb into a rana. He nails Lee in the chin with a falling kick and a rolling elbow. Akuma powers Lee onto his shoulders and drops him with a Death Valley Driver for two. Akuma transitions into the L-13 for the pin at 3:45. Short, yet effective at showing Akuma as a monster. He took everything the much larger Brodie Lee had to offer and came out strong in the end. *1/2

Up In Smoke (Cheech & Cloudy) (0-0) vs. Aeroform (Flip Kendrick & Louis Lyndon) (0-1)

Lyndon and Cloudy go through a luchariffic sequence with some funny stuff from Lyndon. Kendrick and Lyndon blast Cloudy with kicks in the corner. Cheech comes in. Cheech gets thwarted by Aeroform and eats stereo dropkicks. Up In Smoke wrench on Kendrick’s arm. Kendrick responds with a headscissors takedown to Cheech. Kendrick rolls off Cheech’s back with a rope assisted armdrag. Cheech takes Kendrick down in a Thesz Press and turns into a sharpshooter variation. Kendrick breaks by grabbing the ropes. Cheech and Cloudy double team Kendrick. Lyndon comes in as Kendrick rolls to the floor. Cheech cuts him off with a back elbow. They each apply a single leg crab, and Kendrick comes in to make the save. Aerofrom comes of the second rope with stereo flips to Cheech and Cloudy on the floor. Lyndon and Kendrick take out Cheech. Kendrick hits a Spiral Tap 540 splash and Cloudy breaks the pin. Cloudy sends Lyndon to the floor and follows with a pescado. Cheech drops Kendrick on the middle rope, and Up In Smoke hits Partly Cloudy with a chance of Cheech. Kendrick eats the Death By Knee for the pin at 4:49. I’m happy Up In Smoke are in EVOLVE, but they did no explanation as to how Cheech lost the qualifier and yet he gets to come in as a tag team anyways. Still, a good little match. **

Tony Kozina is backstage talking to Kyle O’Reilly telling him to focus tonight, since his original opponent TJP got injured. He’ll be facing Hallowicked instead.

Caleb Konley (0-0) vs. Kenn Doane (0-1)

Doane slams Konley. Konley looks for some quick pins but fails. Konley then hip tosses Doane twice before dropkicking him. Doane reverses a whip and trips Konley as he slides to the floor. Doane slams Konley’s face into the ring apron. Doane brings Konley back in and pins him for two. Doane hits some standard strikes and moves before wrenching in a side headlock on the match. Konley tries to escape, but Doane puts it right back on. Konley escapes via chinbreaker. Doane switches an irish whip and takes Konley to the mat in the side headlock once more. Konley’s arm drops twice and he fights up. Konley backs Doane in the corner. Doane evades Konley going up and over him, and again takes Konley to the mat in the side headlock. Konley takes Doane down with an arm whip. Konley slams Donae face first into a couple corner. He takes Doane down with a shoulder tackle. Doane evades a quebrada and an axe kick. Doane hits a spinebuster and his signature top rope leg drop for the pin at 6:44. There was nothing inherently wrong with what they did, but it was very bland and out of the EVOLVE style. Doane deserves to do a lot more than face randoms. *

Leonard interviews Doane, who insists he is undefeated since he defeated Jacobs last month and the match was restarted. Doane says he’s proven himself in EVOLVE already. Right.

Hallowicked (0-0) vs. Kyle O’Reilly (1-0)

Hallowicked blasts O’Reilly with a shoulder tackle. O’Reilly blocks an armdrag and rolls up Hallowicked for two. They block each others strikes and hit stereo dropkicks to reach a stalemate. O’Reilly takes Hallowicked down with a shoulder tackle,a nd Wicked gives O’Reilly a step-up Frankensteiner and a step-up enzugiri in the corner. Hallowicked hits a super snapmare and rolls up O’Reilly in La Magistral for two. O’Reilly kicks away at Hallowicked and sweeps him out for a two count. O’Reilly hits a series of rolling butterfly suplexes into a cross arm breaker. Hallowicked gets the bottom rope to escape. Hallowicked tries a O’Conner Roll and O’Reilly turns it into a rear-naked choke. Hallowicked throws O’Reilly into the corner with a flip snapmare. O’Reilly ducks a big boot and sole butts Hallowicked. Wicked rolls up O’Reilly, and O’Reilly flips over into an ankle lock. Hallowicked rolls through it and boots O’Reilly. Wicked lands a Rydeen Bomb for two. Hallowicked looks for Go Too Sleepy Hollow, but O’Reilly crucifixes him for two. O’Reilly counters another Rydeen Bomb into a cross arm breaker. Hallowicked escapes but O’Reilly re-applies the ankle lock. O’Reilly lays in some kicks to Hallowicked’s face and legs. Hallowicked looks again for Go Too Sleepy Hollow. O’Reilly catches the leg and hits a fisherman’s back suplex for two. O’Reilly hits a running elbow and big boot in the corner. O’Reilly hits a tornado DDT. Each guy blocks one another. O’Reilly hits a brainbuster for the pin at 6:29. This was a fun back-and-forth between two good wrestlers. O’Reilly is another guy who clearly is a rising star in EVOLVE. It’s sad his match with TJP didn’t occur, but Hallowicked more than hung with him in this match. **1/2

Sean Davis is talking to Jimmy Jacobs and Johnny Gargano. Gargano makes fun of Jacobs’ gear, and Jacobs responds with some harsh comments. Davis laughs at Gargano’s comments while Jacobs just burns a whole with him with his eyes.

Ricochet (1-0) vs. Chuck Taylor (0-0)

Chuck’s first match was a qualifying match, so his victory over Cheech does not count on his record. Taylor wrenches on a headlock, which Ricochet turns into a hammerlock. Taylor switches. Ricochet kicks Taylor’s arm away. Taylor monkey flips Ricochet over. Ricochet tries to reverse, but Taylor locks on a straightjacket choke. Ricochet monkey flips Taylor into an armdrag. Taylor cartwheels through. Taylor shoulder tackles Ricochet down. Ricochet backslides Taylor for two. Ricochet sling shots off the apron. He hurricanrana’s Taylor, and Ricochet rolls through with a seated dropkick for two. Taylor armwhips Ricochet off the ropes and locks in an arm-trap headscissors. Ricochet chops Taylor. Taylor yells at him to stop then lays in an overhand chop of his own. Taylor backdrops Ricochet and reapplies a headscissors. Taylor hits Ricochet with his picture perfect dropkick for two. Ricochet looks for a powerbomb and Taylor turns him into a half crab. Chikarason says Taylor’s beaten some of the best in the world with it; I get it! Ricochet escapes and hits a forearm, leg lariat, and spinwheel kick. Ricochet Tiger Walks Taylor. Taylor kicks Ricochet in the knee. Ricochet kick flips to the top and sends Taylor to the floor with an armdrag. Ricochet backflips over Taylor, then bounces off the ropes with an armdrag to the floor. Ricochet cartwheels onto Taylor’s shoulders. Taylor powerbombs Ricochet on the ring apron. Taylor hits a uriange and follows with a quebrada for two. Taylor nails a flurry of strikes. Ricochet gives Taylor the backslide driver and a cannoball senton in the corner for two. Ricochet catches Taylor with an enzugiri and a headscissors takedown. Ricochet walks up the ropes and moonsault presses into a DDT. Ricochet hits a standing shooting star press and standing moonsault for two. Taylor boots Ricochet. Ricochet powerbombs Taylor after escaping the Sole Food. Ricochet misses a Phoenix splash. Taylor connects with the sole food and a boot. Taylor drops Ricochet right on his head with the Awful Waffle for the pin at 10:51. These guys have wrestled one another a hundred times and it shows. Really great effort and match put on, and I would not mind a rematch somewhere down the line. God bless the Kentucky Gentlemen. ***

Leonard interviews Chuck, who says he’s going to keep his winning streak going.

Bobby Fish (0-1) vs. Claudio Castagnoli (0-0)

Hero serves as Castagnoli’s corner man. They trade holds to start. Fish tires a quick succession of pins. Castagnoli cuts him off with a knee to the gut. Fish catches Castagnoli with a dropkick. Fish kicks Castagnoli and rolls into a cross arm breaker. Fish elbows Castagnoli in the neck. Castagnoli many kicks to the chest and forearms Fish. He catches Fish with a backbreaker and the Swiss Chin Music for two. Claudio stretches Fish’s back across his knees. Fish escapes, and Castagnoli hits a running European uppercut. Fish takes Castagnoli over with a hurricanrana. Fish hits a snap suplex but misses a slingshot senton. Castagnoli and Fish trade strikes. Castagnoli hits a deadlift German suplex for two. Castagnoli applies a horse coller, stretching out Fish’s leg. Castagnoli works on Fish’s back some more. Castagnoli gives Fish the Giant Swing and turns into a Boston Crab. Fish escapes and lands a neck breaker into a Falcon Arrow for two. Fish lands a running forearm before taking Castagnoli over with an exploder suplex. Fish comes off the top with a headbutt to Castagnoli’s sternum. Fish follows up with a moonsault off the top for two. Castagnoli whips Fish in the corner, and springboards into the Swiss Chin Music. Castagnoli hits a one arm suplex for two. Castagnoli lifts up Fish and spins him in the U.F.O. for one. Castagnoli gives Fish a big clothesline and the Ricola Bomb for two. Fish catches Castagnoli with a jumping knee strike. Fish gives Castagnoli a knee in the corner and lays in more knees to Castagnoli’s mid-section and forehead. The referee counts Castagnoli on the mat for a knock out. Fish comes off the second rope and Castagnoli gives him a European uppercut. Castagnoli gives Fish a pop-up European uppercut and a lariat. Castagnoli hits a diving European uppercut for the pin at 11:38. Another fine contest here. Fish is a guy I never really appreciated, but has done a remarkable job on both shows. Definitely feeling good things from him. Castagnoli delivered as usual and continues to be criminally underrated. ***1/2

Chuck Taylor emerges and challenges Castagnoli for EVOLVE 3. Castagnoli accepts and says he’ll love dishing out Taylor’s first loss in EVOLVE. Taylor leaves refusing to shake Castagnoli’s hand.

We go backstage to see Brad Allen talking to Ikuto Hidaka. Allen will be cornering Hidaka tonight, a good way to keep his eye on Hero. Again, I think they’re doing a great job building to this match.

Chris Dickinson comes out and says he requested some ring time. He apologizes to the referee for getting in his face in his match against Brad Allen earlier tonight. Sean Davis comes out and says no one cares what Dickinson says and that he’s a curtain jerker. Dickinson hops off the apron and gets in his face. Tony Kozina comes out to calm him down and bring him to the back. Thankfully Dickinson didn’t awkwardly hit himself this show.

WSU World Championship
Mercedes Martinez (Champion) (1-0) vs. Sumie Sakai (0-0)

Davis yells crap at the women as they come out. Martinez gets a front face lock on the mat. Sakai escapes a wheelbarrow’s Martinez into a prawn hold. Martinez takes Sakai over with a suplex for two. Martinez dropkicks Sakai with a seated dropkick for two. Martinez nails Sakai with some forearms in the corner. Sakai takes Martinez over with a headscissors and a monkey flip. Sakai sends Martinez to the corner with another monkey flip. Sakai rolls off the ropes with an armbar. Sakai grazes Martinez with some dropkicks to the shoulder. Sakai kicks Martinez in the mid-section. Sakai hits an arm-capture DDT for two. Sakai hits a missile dropkick from the top, and another from the opposite corner for two. Martinez throws Sakai off the top rope. Sakai knees Martinez in the face and goes into a arm-capture triangle choke. Sakai transitions to a Fujiwara armbar. Martinez counters into a pin for two. Martinez boots Sakai right in the face. Martinez drops Sakai with a fiserhman’s buster for the win at 5:37. Sakai totally sucks and hasn’t gotten any better since I saw her in CHIKARA in 2005/2006. She basically ruined this match. Martinez looked totally fine and I don’t mind her whatsoever. I just hope there’s a point to these women’s matches. ½*

Leonard interviews Martinez, who says she still would like even better competition.

Jimmy Jacobs (1-0) vs. Johnny Gargano (1-0)

Gargano brings the silly to start off. Jacobs is certainly unamused, as he slaps Gargano. Jacobs grabs Gargano by his eyes. Gargano kicks Jacobs in the gut. Gargano brings Jacobs to his shoulders. He drops Jacobs on his stomach and follows with a low ace crusher. Gargano lays in some punches and sole butts Jacobs down. Jacobs comes up as Gargano is posing for the fans. Jacobs gives Gargano a couple clothesines. Jacobs gives Gargano an STO and heads up top. Jacobs lands a senton splash for two. Gargano delivers an enzugiri. Jacobs comes out of the corner with an ace crusher. Gargano puts Jacobs on the apron. Gargano slips through his leg and drops Jacobs to the floor. Gargano pops off the ropes with a clothesline. Gargano puts Jacobs on his shoulders on the ring apron. Jacobs escapes but Gargano superkicks him. Jacobs spears Gargano on the apron to the floor. Jacobs hits the ropes and Gargano flies in with a slingshot spear for two. Both guys trade shots back to their feet. Gargano looks for the Whole Shebang (re-named Hurt’s Donut, but Jacobs rolls through for two. Gargano looks for another slingshot spear, and Jacobs catches him with the guillotine choke. Gargano powers up and lawn darts Jacobs into the corner. Gargano rolls up Jacobs for two. Gargano gives Jacobs a double axe handle and places him on the top rope. Gargano looks for a top rope Whole Shebang. Jacobs however gives him the Contra Code. Jacobs reapplies the guillotine choke for the win at 6:41. Really good stuff for the time given with some crazy, fun spots as well. Glad Jacobs still brings the goods, and Gargano could hang with him. **3/4

Bobby Fish is one the phone with somebody. I suppose it’s his MMA coach, as he tries to explain why he lost tonight. He says the change is coming and that it takes time. Fish notices the camera and takes the conversation to another room.

Four Team Elimination Match
Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw vs. Incoherence (Hallowicked & Frightmare) vs. The Osirian Portal (Amasis & Ophidian) vs. The Colony (Fire Ant & Green Ant)

Amasis does a little dancing before enduring a Lucha sequence with Fire Ant. The Colony hit a double hip toss on Amasis and in comes Ophidian. Green Ant and Ophidian go back and forth. Ophidian sends Green Ant which brings in Jigsaw. Jigsaw and Quack gives Ophidian a series of maneuvers. Frightmare comes in as does Quack. Jigsaw and Quack use tandem offense to take out the little guy. Frightmare takes Jigsaw down with a frankensteiner, but Jigsaw comes back with a toreador. Frightmare hits a jump-up neckbreaker. Quack pops up Frightmare into a powerbomb, and Hallowicked breaks a pin. Quack and Wicked go through another Lucha sequence. The Colony cut off Quack, as Fire Ant gives him a wheelbarrow stunner and the Yahtzee kick. Jigsaw breaks Green Ant’s cloverleaf, and Ophidian attacks Jigsaw. Amasis comes in to help. Jigsaw gets sent out, and Frightmare takes out both of the Portal. Hallowicked gives Ophidian a step-up enzugiri and pops Frightmare up into a lariat. The Colony knock Hallowicked down with stereo boots. The Colony throws Frightmare onto Hallowicked on the floor and give Ophidian the Ants Marching dropkick in the corner. The Portal take out the Colony. Quack sends Amasis to the floor, and Ophidian dumps Quack and Jigsaw. Ophidian takes out Jigsaw with a headscissors. Quack gives Ophidian a quesadora before Amasis comes off the apron with a forerarm to Quack. Frightmare hits a tope con hilo on Amasis. Fire Ant lands a springboard somersault senton on everyone. Green Ant hits the ropes, but Hallowicked prawn holds Green Ant for two. Green Ant gives Hallowicked a flying headbutt. Amasis comes off the top with a forearm to Green Ant’s back. A sequence of big moves occurs with everyone hitting something on someone else. Wicked catches Green Ant with the Go Too Sleepy Hollow for the pin, eliminating The Colony. Ophidian takes out Hallowicked, and Quack traps Ophidian in a strange octopus variation. Quack locks Frightmare in the Lightning Lock. Quack ducks a clothesline from Amasis and stretches Amasis in a torture rack variation. Quack turns into another submission, and Ophidian hits a top rope guillotine leg drop for two. Ophidian applies the Ophidian Death Grip. Quack rolls to the floor. Jigsaw locks Frightmare in the Gory Special. Hallowicked chops Jigsaw into a roll-up for two. Incoherence hit a side slam/legdrop combo for two. Amasis knees Hallowicked in the face so that Wicked DDT’s Frightmare. Ophidian hits a moonsault on Frightmare for two. Ophidian locks his legs on Frightmare’s arms and leans back to stretch Frightmare forward. Frightmare spikes Ophidian on his head with a hurricanrana. Wicked knocks out Amasis with a pair of clotheslines and the Go Too Sleepy Hollow. Frightmare hits a standing shooting star press and Ophidian breaks the pin. Frightmare gives Ophidian an enzugiri. Frightmare gives Ophidian an super Frankensteiner into Hallowicked’s Rydeen Bomb for two. Quack comes in and sunset flips Wicked. Jigsaw kicks him, and Quack mule kicks him. Jigsaw and Quack hit Frightmare with stereo superkicks for the pin. Ophidian gives Jigsaw a big DDT. Quack boots Ophidian in the face. Quack comes off the top and drops Ophidian with a backpack chinbreaker for two. Ophidian evades a palm strike and hits Quack with a German suplex for two. Quack blocks a double team and gives both Portal members palm strikes. Ophidian stops Jigsaw and applies the Ophidian Death Grip. Jigsaw backs Ophidian into the corner to break free. Jigsaw arm whips Jigsaw. Ophidian tries to wheelbarrow through, but Jigsaw drops him with the Mad Scientist Bomb. Quack nails the Quackendriver III but Amasis breaks the pin. Amasis gives Jigsaw a Tiger Suplex. Amasis hits a 450 splash for the pin at 18:03. It’s almost hard to go wrong when you have a bunch of CHIKARA students (and Quack) thrown into a match together. These guys delivered once more, and I sure hope these guys become regular teams in EVOLVE. ***1/2

Chris Hero (0-0) vs. Ikuto Hidaka (0-0)

Claudio Castagnoli serves as the corner man for Hero, and Brad Allen serves as the corner man for Hidaka. Hidaka and Hero measure each other, cautiously picking their openings. They go to the mat to work on one another’s legs and arms, and to vie for the advantage. Both guys go for some quick pins to no avail. Hero stretches out Hidaka on the mat. Hidaka looks to go for the ankle lock, and Hero quickly gets the bottom rope. Back to the mat they go with Hidaka targeting Hero’s leg, and Hero targeting Hidaka’s arm. On their feet, the targets stay the same. Hidaka lays in some shots to Hero. He wheelbarrows up and Hero knocks him with an elbow for two. Hero slams Hidaka back first over his knee for two. Hero drills Hidaka with a couple elbows and chops for two. Hero goes back to the arm and Hidaka switches so that he’s picking Hero’s ankle. Hero kicks Hidaka away. Hero hits a basement boot to Hidaka’s head for two. Hero lays in some more strikes. Hidaka fights up with punches to Hero’s mid-section, and Hero responds with another hard elbow. Hero lands on Hidaka’s mid-section with a senton splash for two. He hits a second for two. Hero looks for a powerbomb, but Hidaka counters with a DDT. Hidaka boots Hero in the face and heads up top. Hidaka hits a missile dropkick and a superkick. Hidaka drops Hero with a reverse DDT for two. Hero cracks Hidaka with an elbow and drops him with a hangman’s suplex for two. Hero hits a trifecta of elbows. Hero hits the ropes, and Hidaka dropkicks Hero’s leg out. Hidaka sinches in the ankle lock. Hero tries to kick away but Hidaka shrugs it off. Hero sends Hidaka to the ropes, and Hidaka rolls right back to the ankle lock. Hero puts his leg on the rope to break. Hidaka gives a springboard dropkick to Hero’s leg. Hidaka wheelbarrows into a waistlock from Hero. Hero lands a hard rolling elbow to the back of Hidaka’s skull. Hero muscles Hidaka over with a belly-to-back suplex. Hero hits a leaping elbow in the corner. Hidaka superkicks Hero, but Hero cracks him with a rolling elbow for two. Hero looks for a powerbomb. Hero’s leg gives out, and Hidaka gives him a dragon screw leg whip. Hero applies a nerve hold to stop Hidaka, and hits another rolling elbow for two. Hidaka blocks a boot and kicks out Hero’s legs. Hidaka applies a leg-lock ankle lock. Hero grabs the ropes to break the submission. Hidaka kicks away at Hero’s legs. Hero nails a rolling elbow and chops Hidaka on the ropes. Hidaka cartwheels into a leg lariat. Hero Yakuza kicks Hidaka. Hidaka gets up and eats another rolling elbow for two. Hero looks for the Death Blow, and Hidaka backslides him for two. Hidaka elbows Hero. Hero tags Hidaka with one as well. Hidaka hits an enzugiri to block another elbow and gets a two count. Hidaka lands a series of kicks for the pin at 28:22. Another very good main event put on by EVOLVE, and it’s great that the main event clearly stands out as the most important (and so far, the best) match on the card as it should be. Hidaka worked hard while Hero put on his usual good match. I like the influx of Japanese talent you don’t see often in the U.S. and hope EVOLVE continues to use them on a semi-regular basis. ***3/4

Backstage, Johnny Gargano is packing his gear with a sour look on his face. Jimmy Jacobs smiles at him with an “I told you so” look on his face. Sean Davis collects them for the party tonight. Jacobs smiles and pats Gargano on the back, and Gargano makes a face at him behind his back.

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