EVOLVE 12: Fox vs. Callihan


Charlotte, NC – 5.11.2012

Commentary is provided by Lenny Leonard.

Caleb Konley (1-1) vs. Adam Page (0-1) vs. Jake Manning (0-0)

Jonny and Amanda Fairplay is in Konley’s corner. Manning puts Page in a wristlock. Konley puits Manning in a headlock. Page takes down both guys with separate armdrags. Everybody tries for a quick roll-up but can’t get a three count. Manning pitches Konley to the floor. Page monkey flips Manning to block a hip toss and delivers a dropkick for two. Konley sweeps out Manning’s legs, causing him to crash on the apron. Page moonsaults off the apron onto both of his opponents. Back in the ring Konley comes off the top rope but is caught in mid-air with a spinwheel kick from Page. Manning avoids a running crossbody and kicks Page in the ribs. He also kicks Konley back out. Manning holds up Page for a delayed vertical suplex. Konley sweeps his legs out and sentons onto Manning for two. He throws Page down by his hair, then drops an elbow. Page comes back with a sunset flip for two. Manning drops Konley with a running STO which DDT’s Page in the process. He gives Page a butterfly suplex. Page fights off both opponents. He rolls Konley into a superkick. A standing shooting star press on Manning only gets a two count. Konley brings Page to the top rope. When Manning charges Konley drops him him a modified uranage. Konley misses a moonsault. Page gives him a missile dropkick. Manning strings a backbreaker/Complete Shot together on Page for the pin at 7:25. That was a really fun match to kick off the show. The crowd was really receptive given all the participants were locals and each got a chance to shine. **¾

We cut to footage of Bobby Fish at “Cage Wars XII” in Saratoga, FL. Fish ended up knocking the wind out of his opponent with a spin kick to the stomach. Fish would end up winning the fight. Not sure why this was included but I guess good for him.

Alex Reynolds (1-0) vs. Mike Cruz (0-0)

Reynolds and Cruz fight for control over a wristlock. Then for a hip toss which ends with Cruz giving Reynolds a monkey flip. Cruz gets popped up but lands on the second rope and crossbody’s Reynolds for two. He dropkicks him to the floor and follows with a suicide dive. Back in the ring Reynolds is able to catch Cruz with a boot. He gets Cruz to the apron and sends him into the ring post. Reynolds catches him with a knee lift to the stomach for two. He has the same result with a slingshot belly-to-back suplex. Cruz fights back with chops and a flying forearm. He enzuigiri’s Reynolds in the corner. A facewash dropkick leads to a springboard Blockbuster for two. Reynolds pops Cruz up and brings him down into a Code Breaker for two. Reynolds fights to pick Cruz up. Cruz fights off but ends up getting O’Conner rolled. A seriously of reversals leads to Reynolds picking up the win at 7:26. Solid showings out of both guys but nothing memorable whatsoever. Both guys have a lot of upside but didn’t show much in the way of charisma to make them stand out. Hopefully that changes. **¼

A trailer for “EVOLVE 11: Finlay vs. Callihan” is shown. You can read my review of the show here and pick up the DVD here.

Jigsaw (1-0) vs. Low Ki (2-0)

Jigsaw slips out of a lock-up in the corner. Ki goes for Jigsaw’s leg but Jigsaw rolls away. Jigsaw bars the arm. Ki backs him to the ropes and chops him. Ki clasps the elbow, causing Jigsaw to grab the ropes quickly. Ki backs Jigsaw to the corner and breaks cleanly. They lock for control n the mat. Jigsaw snapmares his way out of a chinlock. Ki puts on a modified crossface. Jigsaw moves under the rope to break the hold. Ki grabs his leg. He grabs the other one when Jigsaw begins kicking at his own leg. Jigsaw gets a hammerlock while stretching out the other arm simultaneously. Jigsaw sunset flips him for two. Jigsaw key locks his legs. Ki elbows his way free. He kicks Jigsaw in the ribs and in the back. Jigsaw slips out of a suplex and schoolboys Ki for a two count. Ki puts on a bodyscissors. Jigsaw grabs the bottom rope. Ki delivers an uppercut and a chop. Jigsaw tries to leapfrog over Ki in the corner, but it seems Ki’s head hits Jigsaw’s groin as he tries to do so. Ki throws some more chops. Jigsaw goes up top after dropkicking Ki into the turnbuckles. Ki rolls through a crossbody and gets to the ropes. When Ki blocks a brainbuster, Jigsaw places him on the top rope. Jigsaw brings him down with the Leap of Faith for two. Ki sweeps Jigsaw’s legs to block a superkick. He goes for the Ki Krusher. Jigsaw turns it into a small package and gets two. Ki blocks a sunset flip with a double stomp. Ki then hits the Ki Krusher for the pin at 14:25. I’m actually surprised how much offense Jigsaw got in here. The winner was never in question, but at the very least Jigsaw got to show some proficiency against the guy who is basically top dog in the company. ***

With Jigsaw backstage, he wants to know when Jigsaw is going to stop being a luchador and start acting like a real wrestler. Referring to Jigsaw as “kid” when he’s been wrestling for roughly 10 years is also pretty disrespectful. These post match promos with Ki burying everybody needs to stop.

A video package showcasing the history of Finlay vs. Jon Davis is shown.

Fit Finlay (2-0) vs. Jon Davis (1-1)

After the initial lock-up exchange Finlay takes Davis to the mat and controls him by his legs. Davis brings them back to a standing position. Finlay smashes his elbow into Davis’ eye. Davis takes his elbow to the mat and stomps on it. Davis twits up his wrist. Finlay throws forearms but Davis won’t let go. Finlay gets in some strikes against the ropes and drops an elbow for one. He stomps on Davis’ hand. Davis gets Finlay in the corner and does more damage to the arm and shoulder. Finlay twists up Davis’ left foot. Davis elbows his way free. Finlay sits down on a spinning toe hold and puts on an Indian Deathlock. Davis gets the ropes to break it. Finlay shoves him to the corner. He goes back to work on Davis’ ankle. Davis is sent to the floor. He’s hesitant to get back in with Finlay eyeing him. Davis is able to get in a couple forearms to the back but Finlay takes him right back down to the mat. Davis manages to put on a hammerlock. He works over Finlay’s arm against the ropes. Finlay kicks at Davis’ knee and applies a chinlock on the mat. He rams Davis’ leg into the ring post before furthering his attack onto it. Davis rolls through a pin attempt and applies a Fujiwara armbar. As a bit of retribution, Davis throws Finlay’s arm into the ring post. He pulls off a second rope moonsault for two. He tries for a powerslam but Finlay applies a sleeper instead. Davis slides out and gives Finlay a spinebuster for two. Davis goes for a lariat. Finlay catches him with a knee but then eats a boot. When Davis ascends the ropes, Finlay kicks his leg out. He brings him out of the corner and hits a tombstone piledriver for the pin at 23:45. If you were expecting a knock out drag out fight you may be disappointed. They took a much more methodical approach and I for one liked it. Given each other’s key offense, the body parts each guy chose to work over made sense and it paid off for Finlay in the end. You could argue that with a few minutes shaved off it would have been a more compact package but otherwise I have no real gripes aside from a lack of big fight atmosphere that the match deserves. ***½

Lenny Leonard interviews Finlay after the match. Finlay puts Davis over as having a bright future and has the crowd give him a round of applause. He then addresses Sami Callihan, saying if he could get his head out of his arse he could be a champion. Sami runs out, tells Finlay to mind his own business, then goes right backstage. Finlay says he knows Sami has what it takes to be a champion but believes he’s wasting his time on blood feuds and other nonsense.

Johnny Gargano & Samuray Del Sol vs. Chuck Taylor & Silas Young

EVOLVE records are not in tact for this match. The Gentleman’s Club (Jake Manning & The Swamp Monster) are in Taylor and Young’s corner. Gargano and Young start off aggressively. Gargano dropkicks Young after rolling through a sunset flip. He drops Young with a neckbreaker. Taylor tries sneaking in with a kick but gets caught. Young attacks him from behind. Sol shoves Taylor into Young to send Young out. He dropkicks Taylor to the corner after a neck-tie headscissors. Gargano tries going after Taylor but gets attacked by Young. Young kicks Gargano out so he and Taylor can isolate Sol. Sol eventually escapes their grasp by catching Taylor with a tornado DDT. Gargano finally tags in and lays out Young with some forearms. He rolls Young into a low enzuigiri that sends him to the floor. Young scouts the pescado. Gargano however hits him with the slingshot spear then suicide dives onto Taylor. Gargano slingshots back in with a DDT to Young for two. He and Sol hit stereo superkicks. Gargano delivers Diced Bread to Taylor while Sol gives Young a standing Shiranui. Both moves result in two counts. Taylor sends Gargano to the floor. He Brodie Knee’s Gargano into Young’s backbreaker/lariat combo. Sol flips in onto Taylor’s shoulders. Taylor pops him into a forearm from Young. Taylor gives Sol a uranage before locking on the Kentucky Crawdad. Gargano superkicks Taylor to break the hold. Gargano tilt-a-whirl’s Taylor into the Garga-No Escape. Young makes the save. Gargano dropkicks him in the corner before lawn darting him into the corner. A series of moves from everybody leads to Young attemping the Pee Gee Waja Plunge on Sol. Gargano superkicks Young to the floor to stop him. Sol follows with a tope con hilo. Gargano looks to follow but Taylor crotches him on the top rope. He brings him down with the Awful Waffle for the pin in 10:19. This was a really fun match that furthered Taylor and Gargano’s issue. Sol and Young more than played their part, without overshadowing the true crux of the match. Even though both teams aren’t established units they worked remarkably well together. This was a pleasant surprise. ***½

Lenny Leonard reminds Taylor that in winning this match he gets to name the stipulation for his and Gargano’s next singles match. Taylor says at the next set of Dragon Gate USA shows he wants the Open the Freedom Gate title on the line.

Backstage Alex Reynolds says people are starting to know who he is. He’s 2-0 right now, but says 3-o is just around the corner.

Ricochet (3-2) vs. El Generico (0-1)

Low Ki is on commentary for this bout. Ricochet ends a wristlock exchange by kicking Generico’s arm away. Another wristlock exchange occurs, this time seeing Ricochet armdrag out of an overhand variation. They pick up the pace. Generico nails a leg lariat. He stomps Ricochet now that he’s on the mat. He gets two with a backbreaker. Ricochet rolls under a clothesline. He backflips into a headscissors. Generico charges but gets caught with another headscissors and a leg lariat. Ricochet keeps on him with strikes. Generico fires back with a chop but eats a forearm right after. Ricochet applies a modified abdominal stretch. Generico schoolboys out of it. Ricochet sweeps out his feet and hits a standing moonsault senton for two. Generico fights off an Irish whip. Ricochet comes off the ropes. Generico catches him with a backbreaker for two. He goes for a yakuza kick. Ricochet blocks it and nails an enzuigiri. Generico falls to the floor and Ricochet follows with a corkscrew dive. Ricochet comes back in with a springboard clothesline for two. Generico blocks an attack. He runs the ropes and drops Ricochet with a tornado DDT for two. He also gets two with a Blue Thunder Bomb. Ricochet counters an attack. When Generico picks him up, Ricochet spikes him on his head with a reverse Frankensteiner. When they both recover, Generico finds the strength for a Michinoku Driver. He nails Ricochet with a yakuza kick in the corner. He sets up for the top rope brainbuster. Ricochet slides out. He rolls up into a Pele kick. Generico misses a desperation yakuza kick. Ricochet gives him a tiger feint kick. He follows up with a Phoenix Splash. Generico kicks out! Ricochet goes back up top. Generico tries to follow but Ricochet kicks him down. He hits the 630 splash for the pin at 16:32. This was two awesome athletes doing what they do best. It’s a shame it wasn’t in front of a bigger crowd, but these two torn the house down nonetheless. Hopefully it will get it’s due as it was a sleeper match in 2012. ***¾

Lenny Leonard asks what’s next for Ricochet now that he is 4-2. He points to Low Ki at the commentation station. He challenges him to a match since Ki has been asking for challenges from the best. Ki makes his way to the ring. He thinks Ricochet might be biting off more than he can chew, but shakes Ricochet’s hand to accept the challenge anyhow. Low Ki then turns to El Generico who is still recovering in the corner. Ki wants to know what Generico was thinking eyeing him during the match instead of concentrating on Ricochet. He reiterates that he does not think Generico is as good as Generico thinks he is. He names some of the best masked wrestlers in the world and tells Generico to think about his point. Low Ki would shortly leave the WWN Universe, so neither the Generico or Ricochet matches would happen. Swell.

A video airs giving us a history of Sami Callihan and AR Fox’s feud in DGUSA and EVOLVE.

Evolution’s End
AR Fox (2-1) vs. Sami Callihan (3-4)

Johnny Gargano is on commentary. In the ring, EVOLVE rules must be followed, but on the floor anything goes. Callihan throws strikes and stomps down Fox in the corner. Fox goes to the apron to avoid a corner attack. He sends Callihan to the floor with a springboard dropkick and follows with a dive. Fox hits the Alabama Jam which does some damage to himself. He goes for another dive but Callihan hits him with a chair as he dives out. He uses more chairs while Fox is on the floor. He misses a chair shot against the ring post which hurts his fingers. Fox jabs Callihan in the stomach with a chair. Callihan catches him with an enzuigiri and clotheslines him back to the floor. He then pump kicks a chair into Fox’s head. Callihan slams Fox onto a barbed wire chair on the floor twice. He puts barbed wire in Fox’s mouth and pulls on it! After ramming Fox’s back into the ring post, Callihan hits him with the ring bell hammer. He pulls out a ladder. Fox dropkicks it into Callihan then follows out with a kickflip moonsault. In the ring Fox hits Air Fox for two. The two men fight on the second rope for control. Fox knocks Callihan down. He goes back to the floor and sets up a ladder. He climbs to the top where Callihan meets him with a punch. From the second rope, Callihan suplexes Fox back into the ring. We get a strike exchange. Callihan gets the better of it but Fox won’t leave his feet. Fox then catches him coming off the ropes with a rolling Death Valley Driver. He hits a Swanton Bomb for two. When Fox ascends the ropes again, Callihan superkicks his leg out. He calls for the Stretch Muffler. Fox rolls him up before it can be applied. Callihan nails a corner lariat. Fox ducks another and hits Thugbait from the second rope for two. Fox misses a springboard cannonball senton. Callihan turns him inside out with a lariat for two. Foz enzuigiri’s Callihan on the second rope. He tries for Lo Mein Pain. Callihan catches him and then German suplexes him down! Fox kicks out, so Callihan puts on the Stretch Muffler right away. He turns it into a half crab. Fox grabs the bottom rope. He boots Callihan in the corner. This time Lo Mein Pain is successful, but Callihan still manages to kick out and roll to the floor. He wanders onto a near a table, so Fox flies over the top rope onto Callihan and into the table. Fox brings him back in for yet another two count. Fox’s springboard 450 splash gets him the win at 18:49. The only complaint here is that they went a little overboard on the nearfalls. Aside from that, I think this was a very fitting way to settle their issue. They beat each other senseless and didn’t heavily rely on weapons. When weapons were incorporated it was for the betterment of what they were able to do inside the ring. It was very smartly crafted and the crowd was really into everything. A very good main event to close the show and the feud. ***¾

Lenny Leonard congratulates Fox on finally ending the war with Callihan and asks what’s next. Fox plans on winning the Open the Freedom Gate title tomorrow night. He’ll win the four way to get that shot and his momentum will carry into that.

El Generico is sitting in silence backstage. He won’t give the camera any words. Elsewhere Sami Callihan is trying to keep his composure while he mutters to himself about Finlay’s words and whether or not he is right. Even though he still hates AR Fox he gives him his due. He continues to wonder if Finlay is right as the camera fades to black.

Bonus Content

The History of Finlay vs. Davis Part 1
The History of Finlay vs. Davis Part 2
Highlight Reel (DVD Exclusive)

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