Who’s NXT? The Best of Tyrone Evans

The DVD is hosted by regular AIW commentator Matt Wadsworth, who does a great job of giving backround information on each match right before they occur. Wadsworth also provides commentary for the matches with a partner I do not recognize.

Disc One

Tyrone Evans vs. Johnny Gargano
”Set It Off” – 4.30.2006

Evans takes the match early on, powering over Gargano. Gargano is able to wheelbarrow Evans into an armdrag. When he tries again, Evan smashes him into the corner. Gargano kicks Evans in the face and comes off the second rope with a hurricanrana. Evans hits a big fallaway slam. Gargano comes back with a tilt-a-whirl DDT. Gargano gets in some strikes, but Evans powers Gargano over with a Northern Lights suplex to cut him off. Gargano uses the ropes to hit an enzugiri. He follows with a superkick for two. Evans looks for a powerslam and Gargano drops Evans neck first across his knee for two. Gargano hits a sole butt and enzugiri. He dropkicks Evans in the head. Evans powers up, absorbing all of Gargano’s strikes. Gargano is able to drop Evans with the Uniquely You for the pin at 4:48. This was a fun David vs Goliath match to start the DVD, and it was neat to see these guys at a completely different time in their careers. However, it was quite short. *1/4

Tyrone Evans vs. The Thrillbilly
”Uprise” – 8.19.2006

Tyrone Evans comes out with a group called “The Movement” consisting of a black woman, a nerdy looking foul-mouthed manager named Reverend Malcolm Farakhan, and a dude in mask who looks kinda like The ShareCropper. Thrillbilly is accompanied by Agent Aaron Bauer, who is in AIW to this day with the Young Studs. Thrillbilly was the first ever Absolute Champion. Both guys slug it out to begin. The masked guy runs in and Thrillbilly takes him out. More strikes are exchanged. The nerdy manager tries to run in, but Thrillbilly chokes him on the ropes. Staff and crew come in to break up the fight. The match is over and both guys retreat to the back with their crew. Judging from the rest of the DVD line-up, this is leading to a big blow off so I can’t be too mad. N/R

Last Man Standing Match
Tyrone Evans vs. The Thrillbilly

”Hell On Earth 2” – 10.7.2006

The Movement comes out with Evans, and Farakhan (who’s whiter than bleach) says this match is dedicated to the brothers. Evans says he’s going to whoop some ass. Agent Bauer and Thrillbilly come out and Bauer calls Farakhan a wigger. He says Thrillbilly is tougher than Evans, and the Last Man Standing match is on.

An exchange of strikes kicks things off. Evans hits a jumping axe kick to take down Thrillbilly. Both guys trade blows again. Thrillbilly jabs Evans in the mid-section with a chair, then powerbombs Evans. Thrillbilly cracks Evans in the back with a Singapore cane multiple times. Farakhan comes in and Thrillbilly slices his forehead with a box cutter. Bauer opens up the cut even deeper by punching Farakhan over and over. Evans throws Thrillbilly over with a t-bone suplex. Evans then gets some cane shots of his own on Thrillbilly. Bauer and Farakhan continue to fight outside. The referee backs Evans away as Thrillbilly is having trouble breathing from all the cane shots to his ribs. The referee seperates these guys and calls security in. Thrillbilly cracks Evans in the knee with the Singapore cane. Both guys are separated for a bit, and Evans pops out of nowhere and spears Thrillbilly down. Evans picks back up the Singapore cane and the bell rings at 13:35 since Thrillbilly can’t get up. This was a real nice story since it easily leads into a more fair third match down the line, but there wasn’t much of a match to be had. But with that said, this was always intended to just be story advancement like the previous match. N/R

Tyrone Evans vs. Michael Hutter
”Extreme Is Dead” – 1.26.2007

Hutter is better known as Derrick Bateman in FCW today. Evans comes out with The Movement and Hutter comes out with Marion Fontaine. A series of lock-ups starts the match. Evans pounds on Hutter in the corner. Hutter gets in some strikes. Hutter hits a leaping clothesline and a back body drop. Hutter sends Evans to the floor with a clothesline. Hutter comes to the floor and Evans regains control. In the ring, both guys trade strikes and Hutter takes things back in his favor. Hutter looks to attack The Movement, but makes them kiss instead before ramming their heads together. Hutter looks to dive on them, but Evans cuts him off with a clothesline. Evans beats on Hutter for awhile. Hutter comes back with a big time crossbody off the top rope. Hutter takes down Evans with a lariat and a flying clothesline. Hutter drops Evans with a spinebuster and lands with a splash for two. Evans eats a leg lariat for two. Hutter sets up for a powerbomb. Farakhan comes in to hit Hutter with the tennis racket. Hutter stops and powerbombs him. Fontaine however tunrs on Hutter and hits him in the crotch with the tennis racket for the pin at 11:17. This went pretty long and was fairly dull. Again, another storyline driven match. I’m getting kind of tired of these. *

Tyrone Evans vs. Kano
”Motor City Deathwish” – 3.31.2007

The Movement cut a pre-match promo, and Kano just asks for them to fight. Kano kicks away at Evans’ thigh. Kano kicks Evans in the head and knees him in the face. Evans goes to the floor to recoup. He comes back and Kano gets an armbar. Evans fights back up with elbows and takes Kano over with a t-bone suplex. Kano comes back with a flurry of chops and kicks. Evans powerslams Kano and gives him an overhead suplex. Kano lights up Evans with strikes. Evans wheelbarrow suplexes Kano into the corner. Evans gives Kano a nasty spear for the spear at 5:30. This was a lot of fun actually. Evans proved to be a super awesome big, hard hitting dude in this. He reminds me a lot of a more fluid Goldberg in this. If I were the WWE, this is the type of matches I’d have him work. He’d be a main eventer in no time. Even though this was short, I loved it. **1/2

Evans gives Kano a sweet looking jackhammer variation to prove a point.

Disc Two

Walk Through Hell Match
Tyrone Evans vs. The Thrillbilly

”Absolution 2” – 5.20.2007

Rules are like this: For 6:66, anything goes and nobody can score a pin. After that, you can win the match. Both guys’ managers are handcuffed to the ring posts. The Movement accompanies Evans and Agent Aaron Bauer accompanies Thrillbilly. Both guys throw punches and kicks. Evans looks for a choke and Thrillbilly escapes. Evans lays in punches and kicks before punching Thrillbilly in the head over and over. Evans uses a sledgehammer to pound Thrillbilly in the gut. On the floor, Thrillbilly knocks Evans down with a clothesline. Thrillbilly swings Evans head first into the guardrail. Thrillbilly chokes Evans with barbed wire after hitting him with a Singapore cane. Evans fires up and gives Thrillbilly a t-bone suplex. Evans gives Thrillbilly a huge spear. Evans gets on top to pin him, but he has 46 seconds still before he can. Evans comes off the top with a big splash at 0 seconds and pins Thrillbilly for two. The managers are freed, and The Thrillbilly bloddies the crap out of Farakhan. Evans and Thrillbilly trade shots with crutches on the floor. Thrillbilly cracks Evans with a chair, bringing Evans to the floor by the entrance way. Evans gets back up and grabs the chair from Thrillbilly. Evans cracks Thrillbilly himself with the chair. Thrillbilly feels no effect, and punches through the chair into Evans’ skull. Thrillbilly handcuffs Evans to the ring ropes. Thrillbilly beats Evans with a Singapore cane over and over again. Evans passes out from all the shots at 14:29. This was a great capper to the feud between these two. Evans did a great job and Thrillbilly did a great guy getting his revenge in the end. I really enjoyed this blow off. ***1/4

Strong Style Rules
Tyrone Evans vs. Sami Callihan

”Campus Invasion 1” – Ohio University; Athens, OH

The atmosphere of this match is awesome, wrestling outside at a frat party. You can only win by knock-out or submission in this match. Both guys circle one another, grazing each other with strikes while circling. Callihan backs Evans to the corner, and takes Evans over with a judo throw. Evans gets a front face lock. Evans takes the front guard before transitioning into an armbar. Callihan escapes but Evans takes him right back down. He slams his fists into Callihan’s head. Callihan sole butts Evans and knocks him down with a rolling elbow. Callihan applies a sleeper hold while locking his legs around Evans’ mid-section. Evans stands up and throws Callihan off with a suplex. Callihan knee lifts Evans and immediately lays in the strikes after. Evans grabs Callihan and applies a triangle choke. Callihan taps out at 7:27. This was such a fun match, and both executed it perfectly. Neither guy did anything but soften up their opponent for a submission or try to beat them into a knockout. A really good seven and a half minute match with a super fun, hot crowd. **3/4

Strong Style Rules; Three Round Contest
Tyrone Evans vs. Eddie Kingston

”Tomorrow Never Dies” – 9.30.2007

Strong Style Rules means that the match can only be won by knock out or submission. Both guys come out with cornermen. Each side has towels, supposedly because they are able to end the match if need be. Kingston tells the commentators, who come over the house speakers, not to distract him. Evans kicks Kingston. Kingston grabs a front face lock, and Evans trips Kingston. Evans hits Kingston in the side and head. Kingston rubs his elbow into Evans’ face. Evans grabs Kingston’s leg, but he goes to the ropes. On the mat both guys jockey for position. Kingston rolls into a front face lock. Kingston locks his legs around Evans’ waist and blocks Evans’ strikes. Round One ends in a stalemate. After some water and wiping off, Round Two begins with each guy hesitantly throwing strikes and kicks. They each throws shoulder blocks coming off the ropes. Kingston hits a shoulder tackle to take Evans down. Kingston suplexes Evans. Evans kicks and beats on Kingston in the corner. Evans uses the ropes to elevate himself into a kick in Kingston’s groin. Evans beats on Kingston on the floor, throwing him into a guardrail. Evans puts Kingston in a rear-naked choke in the ring. He releases at the five count. Kingston fights up from the apron with hard slaps to Evans’ face. Round Two wends with Evans throwing punches at Kingston’s face. The Third Round starts with Evans giving a dizzy Kingston some kicks. Kingston fires back with chops. Kingston takes Evans over with a belly-to-belly suplex. Kingston follows up with a urinage suplex for two. Evans gives Kingston a gutwrench suplex for two. Kingston lights up Evans with a flurry of chops. He nails him with the Backfist to the Future. Kingston hits a Back Drop Driver. One of Evans’ cornermen hop up on the apron. Kingston grabs him and threatens to hit him. The other cornerman interjects, allowing Evans to quick Kingston in the square of the back. Evans takes Kingston down in an armbar for the pin at 14:49. So I don’t understand what the point of the rounds was, but this was a fun match otherwise. Also, the slight faux pa with the referee counting the pin when you can’t win that way was slightly annoying. Overall though, but guys put on a fun hard-hitting match. **3/4

Tyrone Evans vs. Jigsaw
”Hell On Earth 3” – 10.28.2007

Gran Akuma was supposed to be Evans opponent, but a knee injury kept him out. So, Jigsaw will be taking his place. Evans peppers Jigsaw with punches to the head and stomach in the corner. Evans grabs a front facelock, and Jigsaw applies an armbar. Evans comes back with fists into an armbar. Jigsaw hammerlocks Evans’ arm. Jigsaw gives Evans a hurricanrana and a wheelbarrow armdrag. Evans corners Jigsaw and goes to town with strikes. Evans gives Jigsaw a pump handle suplex for two. Evans kicks away at Jigsaw and chokes him with his boot and on the ropes. Evans gives Jigsaw a gut-wrench suplex for two. Jigsaw small packages Evans for two. Evans mows down Jigsaw with a hard clothesline. Evans misses the killshot. Jigsaw hits a crossbody for two. Evans tries a leg-capture overhead suplex, and drops Jigsaw right on his head. Jigsaw is able to recover and hit a missile dropkick for two. Jigsaw cracks Evans with a big superkick for two. Evans spears Jigsaw and puts him in an armbar for the submission at 9:46. This was alright, but I can’t help but think just how much better Evans vs. Akuma would have been how it gone down that way. Evans looked great, but it felt like Jigsaw didn’t put as much into it as he could. **1/4

Tyrone Evans vs. Kano
”Nightmare Before X-Mas 1” – 12.16.2007

Kano looks kind of like Darren Young in this match. Evans wrings Kano’s arm and kicks him in the shoulder. Kano does a one-armed handstand and kicks Evans away. Both guys roll around looking to gain control, but look somewhat confused as to what they want to do. Evans gives Kano a t-bone suplex after a long period of awkwardness. Kano kicks away at Evans’ neck and shoulders. Kano curbstomps Evans’ head into the mat. Evans gives Kano a suplex for two. Kano hits a frog splash into double knees from the top rope. Kano lays in some punches, and Evans roars back with a hard right haymaker for the pin at 10:04. Awkwardness aside, this was good. Both guys layed it in to one another and put on a fun, hard-hitting brawl. **1/2

Tyrone Evans Farewell Speech
”Gauntlet For The Gold 3” – 2.24.2008

Evans gets the ol’ streamer greeting and is all smiles. He tells the story of his career and his personal life during his wrestling career. He puts over the locker room and AIW as a whole. He talks about meeting Vince McMahon too. He holds up his WWE contract and says thank you to a cast of thousands. This actually was a really long and cool farewell speech. He took the time to really tell the fans what’s up and show that he truly is grateful for what AIW has done for him. Absolute Owner Chandler Biggins toasts Evans with a beer and a farewell speech of his own, but it’s much more brief.

Who’s NXT: The Best of Tyrone Evans is a really fun and interesting look at Michael Tarver pre-WWE. The matches he puts on and the promos he cuts let you know that he has a lot of tools to be a interesting character in WWE. This DVD offers up a unique and fun look at Michael Tarver. While the first two Thrillbilly matches could’ve been clipped into a music video, nothing else felt like filler. The matches with Callihan and Kingston were really fun too. If you’re looking for something fun to watch, this is certainly worth your time.

You can buy “Who’s NXT: The Best of Tyrone Evans” from the fine folks at AIW

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