Concord, NC – 5.12.2012
Commentary is provided by Lenny Leonard and a rotating cast.
Jigsaw (1-1) vs. Ricochet (4-2) vs. AR Fox (3-1) vs. Samuray Del Sol (0-1)
The winner of this match faces Johnny Gargano (who is on commentary) for the Open the Freedom Gate Championship in the main event. Jigsaw trips Ricochet and places hi knee on his shoulder. Ricochet grabs a front facelock. Jigsaw crucifix pins him for two. Sol and Fox tag in. Fox boots Sol after blocking an O’Conner Roll. Sol back flips into a headscissors, sending Fox to the floor. Sol fakes a dive. Ricochet headscissors him out. Ricochet flips over Jigsaw and armdrags him to the corner. Jigsaw toreadors and armdrags Ricochet into a low dropkick. Sol tags in while Jigsaw bars Ricochet’s arm. Sol gets one with a dropkick. Ricochet gives Jigsaw a rolling clothesline in the corner. Fox hits Ricochet with a split-legged senton for two. Ricochet trips Fox. Sol comes in with a slingshot flip splash. Ricochet uses his knees for a slingshot senton. Jigsaw slingshots…into the ring, then pins Fox. Ricochet and Sol break the cover. Ricochet works over Fox’s arm. Sol tiger suplexes Fox right into a cross armbreaker. Fox gets the ropes with Sol turns it into a Fujiwara armbar. Jigsaw blind tags in. He stretches out Fox’s arms and legs. After doing more arm damage, Ricochet gives Fox an Ace Crusher for two. Fox flips to the apron. He gives Ricochet a springboard Ace Crusher. Jigsaw and Sol tag in. Sol gets in a corkscrew armdrag and a headscissors. Jigsaw gets two with a running knee strike. Sol spinwheel kicks Jigsaw to the apron. Fox springboard dropkicks Ricochet. He skins the cat into a dropkick. Ricochet pops up and hits the Rick Rack. A beautiful springboard clothesline gets him two. Fox blocks the Backslide Driver. He drops Ricochet with a jump-up Complete Shot. A series of moves knocks all four men down. Sol and Fox recover first. Sol reverse huracanrana’s Fox on top of his head. Sol springboard tornado dives onto Fox on the floor. Jigsaw misses a corner elbow on Ricochet. Ricochet tiger feint kicks him and goes up top. Jigsaw catches him. Jigsaw goes for a super brainbuster. Ricochet knocks him down. Jigsaw German suplexes Sol. Ricochet breaks that pin with a shooting star press. Fox breaks his pin. Fox gives Ricochet a spinning brainbuster for two. Fox walks up Ricochet’s chest to give Jigsaw a Shiranui. Fox hits Thugbait on Ricochet. Sol 450 splashes onto Fox for two. Fox enzuigiri’s Sol on the top rope. Fox hits the Lo Mein Pain for the pin at 16:52. This was energetic, flippy fun. Really this was the best way to start the show, as it got the crowd’s energy going and gives Fox an ample amount of rest time before facing Gargano in the main event. ***¼
AR Fox tells Lenny Leonard that he’s taking all of his momentum to the main event where he plans to win the Open the Freedom Gate championship.
Jonny Fairplay cuts a promo about…double teaming and Larry Dallas? I think?
Adam Page (0-2) vs. Silas Young (3-1)
Young turns down Page’s handshake and throws some forearms. He stretches Page out an abdominal stretch before giving him a backbreaker. He gets two with a springboard quebrada. Page throws some chops. He sweeps Young’s legs out and hits a standing shooting star press for two. Young gives him a full-nelson bomb and transitions into the Stock Lock. Young releases and starts pummeling Page. The referee stops the match via Knock Out, giving Young the win at 2:40. Well that was unexpected. It was a unique win and a nice way for Young to stand out. *
Silas Young tells Lenny Leonard that he’s in a locker room of guys who care more about what people on the internet would say about them rather than getting it done in the ring. He says from now on we will see a more vicious side of him. Unfortunately this turned out to be Young’s final match in the company.
A trailer for “EVOLVE 12: Callihan vs. Fox” is shown. You can read my review of the show here and pick up the DVD here.
Kyle Matthews (0-1) vs. Caleb Konley (2-1)
Jonny and Amanda Fairplay are in Konley’s corner. Matthews takes the opening sequence with a pair of monkey flips. He holds onto the arm after an armdrag. Konley misses an elbow and Matthews armdrags him again. Matthews goes to the apron. Konley snaps his face across the top rope and drives his back into the ring apron. Back in the ring Matthews is able to put on an Octopus stretch. Konley rolls through a sunset flip and delivers a diving lariat. He sentons onto Matthews for two. Konley knees him in the stomach after they each throw a chop. Matthews throws an enzuigiri and gets two with a tornado DDT. Konley catches him with a rolling elbow. He gives him a Regalplex for two. Matthews hits him with a corner dropkick. He also lands a top rope dropkick. Konley catches him with a spinebuster. He locks Matthews in the O Face for the submission victory at 6:49. Technically sound but lacking depth. Not soure what this does for either guy to really help them out, as it doesn’t seem either guy is in a better position now than they were when this show took place. **
Jon Davis says that while many say he had a great match with Finlay last night, he still lost. Tonight, he can not afford to lose against Low Ki.
Alex Reynolds (2-0) vs. Jake Manning (1-0)
Each guy takes down the other in a side headlock. Reynolds gets the better of Manning on the mat with a front chancery. He consults the Man Scout manual for some advice. Reynolds tries a Magistral cradle but Manning kicks out. After some posturing Reynolds takes Manning back down in a side headlock. Manning backs to the corner and consults the manual again. Apparently the guide told him to boot Reynolds in the stomach. Manning chokes him with his boot. Reynolds escapes out of the corner. He backdrops Manning and hits a flying forearm for two. Manning flips Reynolds out to the floor. Back in the ring Manning drops Reynolds with a delayed vertical suplex for two. He tries pitching Reynolds back out. Reynolds holds onto the ropes. He flips back in but Manning nails him with a high knee lift. He throws Reynolds down by his hair and applies a rear chinlock. Reynolds avoids in the corner. He sends Manning out with a bicycle knee strike. Reynolds fakes a dive at first, then nearly flubs a springboard dive. Back in the ring he goes for a Code Breaker. Manning blocks it. He tries sending Reynolds into the corner. Reynolds lands on the second rope and comes off with the Code Breaker for two. Manning follows Reynolds to the top rope and brings him down with a butterfly superplex for two. Manning and Reynolds end up in a pin exchange. Reynolds transitions a 2k1 Bomb into a stunner for the pin at 12:03. Reynolds’s lub aside this was a pretty solid back-and-forth exchange for both guys. Once Reynolds lets his personality shine he can really start contributing. Manning is a lot better than people give him credit for and this match showed he can be proficient when given the opportunity. **¾
Sami Callihan is laying on the floor backstage muttering to himself. He keeps telling himself to get his head on straight. Finlay’s words and his loss to AR Fox are clearly haunting him.
Low Ki (3-0) vs. Jon Davis (1-2)
Davis and Ki are both hesitant in the beginning. Ki scrapes his forearm across Davis’ face in the corner. Davis throws forearms at Ki’s shoulder blades. Ki baits Davis into a headstand boot in the corner. He aggressively throws forearms in the corner. Davis whips him back into the corner and drops him with two body slams. Ki comes back with a flurry of strikes to the chest. Davis hot shots him onto the top rope and powerbombs him into the corner. He stretches out Ki’s back across his knee. He forearms Ki in the back, sending him to the apron. Ki kicks him in the stomach. While Davis is recovering on the ropes, Ki gives him a double stomp to the back! In the ring he lays in some kicks to Davis’ chest before getting a two count. Ki goes for the Tidal Wave. He misses but catches Davis with an enzuigiri. He goes for the Tidal Crush but is caught mid-move with a spinebuster. Ki kicks out. Davis tries for 3 Seconds Around the World. Ki counters into a Dragon sleeper. Davis won’t go down. Ki elbows his way out of a powerbomb and double stomps Davis for two. Ki goes for the Ki Krusher. Davis counters it with a Jackhammer. Ki fights out of a waistlock. He goes for the Tidal Wave. He misses and Davis Pounces him out of the ring! Ki and Davis fight on the second rope. Ki hangs Davis in a tree of woe and delivers a double stomp! That gets Ki the win at 14:02. That was quite crazy. If the Finlay/Davis match from the night before wasn’t as hard hitting as you wanted, this should satiate your appetite. They went to war and really had the crowd rocking. Davis looked great in being such a tough challenger and looked great even in losing. Can’t ask for much more. ***½
Lenny Leonard tells Ki he’s the first person to go 4-0 in EVOLVE. Ki said he asked for the best to step up and face him, and he believes Davis is one of those guys. He re-iterates that he came to EVOLVE for a championship. He believes the company deserves one of it’s own. Tonight Ki says was a step in the direction to being the EVOLVE champion…except just like Silas Young, this would be Ki’s final match in WWN.
Chuck Taylor (7-3) vs. Mike Cruz (0-1)
The Gentleman’s Club (Jake Manning & The Swamp Monster) are in Taylor’s corner. Taylor boots Cruz and shoulder blocks him down twice. Cruz drop toe holds him and swipes the back of his head. He takes Taylor down with a few chops. He goes to the floor for comfort from his teammates. Cruz chases him back into the ring where he delivers a dropkick. Taylor hops over Cruz in the corner. He belly-to-belly suplexes him overhead. Taylor slams Cruz twice for a two count. He puts on a figure four headscissors. Taylor trips Cruz into a very arrogant cover. After a backbreaker he lazily comes in with a headstand senton. Cruz angrily takes him to the corner. Taylor catches him with the Brodie Knee. He gets two with a uranage. He misses a second rope moonsault. Cruz back elbows and enzuigiri’s him in the corner. He follows through with a facewash dropkick and springboard Blockbuster. Taylor kicks out. Taylor gives him Sole Food. Cruz throws some kicks before delivering a German suplex for two. Taylor tornado rolls Cruz into the Kentucky Crawdad. Cruz crawls to the ropes to escape. Taylor calls for the Awful Waffle. Cruz escapes and drives Taylor face first into the mat. He tries a Swanton. Taylor gets his knees up. The Awful Waffle gets him the pin at 7:10. This was mostly Taylor goofing around but Cruz got in some pretty nifty offense as well. Just Taylor killing time until his match with Gargano. ** (Side Note: You can watch this match in its entirety here.)
Lenny Leonard says Taylor had quite a weekend pinning Johnny Gargano the previous night and becoming 8-3 against Mike Cruz. Taylor says not only does he have the best record in EVOLVE but that he is the most handsome person on the roster. He heard what Low Ki had to say about the EVOLVE championship and Taylor thinks that could look pretty good on his mantle in his cabin in Kentucky. He’s on board for the title.
El Generico (0-2) vs. Sami Callihan (3-5)
Low Ki is on commentary. Both men stare at each other for almost a minute. Callihan eventually charges. Generico rolls him up for two. They lock-up. Callihan backs Generico to the corner. He’s about to the throw a chop but says “Ole!” to mock Generico. Generico backs Callihan and actually delivers a chop. They trade forearms. Callihan traps Generico on the mat and drives his forearm repeatedly into the back of Generico’s head. Generico eventually escapes and bodyslams Callihan for two. Callihan talks smack as Generico throws strikes in the corner. He gives Callihan a backbreaker for two. Callihan snaps his neck on the top rope. He clothesline him to the floor and follows with a suicide dive. Generico comes back in but Callihan throws him right back out into the aisle. Callihan whips him into the guardrails and slams him onto the floor. He gives Generico an exploder suplex into the timekeeper! Generico barely makes it back in before the twenty count. Callihan bicycle kicks him in the corner while he’s seated. Generico catches him on his third attempt with a desperation exploder suplex into the corner. They both slowly get to their feet. Callihan’s strikes fire Generico up. He goes for a yakuza kick. Callihan catches him with a boot. He goes to the top rope. Generico yakuza kicks Callihan to the floor. Back in the ring Generico lands a high crossbody for two. He sets up for another yakuza kick. Again Callihan cuts him off with his own boot. Generico avoids a corner attack. He runs the ropes and drops Callihan with a tornado DDT for two. Callihan fights out of a Blue Thunder Bomb. He gives Generico a butterfly shoulder breaker. He kicks out Generico’s knee for a two count. Callihan turns him inside out with a lariat. Generico kicks out. They boot each other in the face. Generico finally pulls off the Blue Thunder Bomb but it can’t keep Callihan down. Generico begins climbing the ropes. Callihan kicks his leg out. He splashes the leg before applying the Stretch Muffler. Generico makes it to the ropes. Callihan gives him a bicycle kick. Generico responds with a yakuza kick. He looks for a brainbuster. Callihan trips him back into the Stretch Muffler. Generico rolls him into a cradle for two. He also gets two with a Michinoku Driver. A half-nelson suplex and brainbuster give Generico his first win in EVOLVE at 22:15. This had some issues with selling that has plagued many Callihan matches before, but Generico was a good opponent for him and, as usual, worked his butt off. I felt like they lost the crowd at certain points and at some points the comebacks weren’t believable. Nevertheless it was mostly good showings from both competitors and a nice first win in EVOLVE for Generico. ***½
Lenny Leonard comes in to interview Generico. He wants Generico’s thoughts on what Low Ki has had to say. He says Low Ki may not think he’s as good as the fans do, but he does he thinks he pretty good after defeating Callihan. Callihan then attacks Generico! It is strictly against the EVOLVE rules to attack your opponents after the bell which Leonard points out to Sami. Callihan breaks another rule by choking a referee who comes in to try and stop him. Ki comes in to make the save and challenges Callihan to put his hands on him. Callihan leaves frustrated, knowing he had screwed up. Callihan’s punishment would end up being that he was banned from the next set of EVOLVE and Dragon Gate USA shows (5 shows in total).
Open the Freedom Gate Championship
Johnny Gargano (Champion) vs. AR Fox
EVOLVE rules do not count in this match. Fox goes to the floor when Gargano gets aggressive with his pin attempts early on. Fox slaps Gargano in the face when he comes back in. He dropkicks Gargano to the floor and follows with a dive. He sets up for the Alabama Jam but Gargano moves out of the way. Gargano suicide dives onto Fox thrice, sending him into the crowd the final time. Back in the ring he dropkicks Fox in the back of the head for two. He ties up Fox’s legs and stretches out his shoulders. He gets two again with a belly-to-back suplex. Fox escapes a modified abdominal stretch and hits Thugbait. He clotheslines Gargano and skins the cat into a dropkick. Air Fox follows. Gargano blocks a boot but takes a rolling Death Valley Driver. Fox hits a Swanton Bomb for two. Gargano avoids a brainbuster by rolling Fox into an enzuigiri. Gargano then hits a slingshot DDT for two. He goes for the Garga-No Escape but Fox makes it to the ropes pretty quickly. Fox gives Gargano two Ace Crusher’s. With Gargano on the floor Fox tries to flip onto him. On the floor they evade each other’s moves until Fox gives Gargano a Shiranui on the apron. Fox then hits the Lo Mein Rain. In the ring he hits a springboard 450 splash for two. After some back and forth, Gargano lawn darts Fox into the corner. He tries the Hurts Donut. Fox counters into a brainbuster but is too worn out to go for a cover. Fox however is able to attempt to Lo Mein Rain. Gargano shoves Fox down to avoid it. He comes off the top with a sunset flip. Fox rolls through. Gargano puts on the Garga-No Escape. Fox rolls out immediately. Gargano catches him mid-air with a Rick Rack and reapplies the submission. Fox gets his foot on the ropes. Gargano dropkicks Fox twice in the corner. He puts Fox on the top turnbuckle. However, Fox brings Gargano down with the Death Valley Driver! He then gets a two count with the Air Raid Crash. Fox tries a 450 splash. Gargano catches him mid-air with a superkick. The Hurts Donut connects but only gets two. Gargano hits it again and locks on the Garga-No Escape. Fox taps out at 17:58. This was a great main event. Both guys worked really hard and had some unique sequences I can’t recall seeing before. It may have reached a point in overkill but given it was the main event and a title bout it’s forgivable. The crowd was slightly burnt out from the previous match most of the time but by the end they were into what was going on. ***¾
Lenny Leonard says anytime Gargano and Fox get in the ring it’s magic. Gargano says he may have defeated Fox tonight, but Fox is still the definition of a champion. He tells Lenny that the Freedom Gate championship makes him very proud. He then puts over the crowd, particularly a girl named Payton who wrote a paper about how Johnny Gargano iss her hero, because it’s the impact he can have on the crowd that makes him the most proud. He has Payton pose on the chair with his title belt. Cute.
Jon Davis leaves the building, refusing to give the camera a word. He leaves his boots behind on purpose.
The show ends with a preview video for the “Style Battle” that will take place throughout the last weekend of June from EVOLVE 14 to EVOLVE 16.