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Manhattan, New York – July 26, 2011
Prelude to the Main Event
Backstage Johnny Gargano is getting ready when Chuck Taylor barges in and says that no one will throw the towel in for him this time. They both promise to bring it for the main event tonight.
MATCH #1: Bobby Beverly (0-0) vs. Eric Ryan (0-0)
I know nothing about either of these guys. They start off at a rapid pace, both trying to impress the audience and EVOLVE officials. Beverly hits an enziguiri for a two-count. Ryan tries to come back but Beverly cuts him off with a running boot to the face and a clothesline for two. They get a little awkward but Beverly stays in control. Ryan comes back and hits a dropkick in the corner, and then a coast-to-coast dropkick off the top rope. That sends Beverly to the floor and Ryan follows with a nice suicide dive. Ryan goes for another one but Beverly kicks him in the face. Back in the ring they trade forearm strikes. Beverly hits a Bicycle Kick. Ryan hits a release German Suplex. Beverly hits a Saito Suplex. They both get up and clothesline each other. KEVIN STEEN then shows up from out of nowhere and clotheslines both men for the no-contest at 3:42. They packed a lot into that short time, but obviously the story here is Kevin Steen showing up.
Steen hits Ryan with the Pumphandle Neckbreaker and nails Beverly with the Package Piledriver. He then hits Ryan with the Package Piledriver on Beverly’s back as Leonard dusts off “he doesn’t even work here!” Steen cuts a promo, first threatening the commentators. He then turns his attention to Ring of Honor, reminding everyone that last time he was in New York he told “Ring of Horse Shit” to “go fuck themselves.” Steen then talks trash about Jim Cornette and Davey Richards. He notes that in 2007, ROH forced him to team with El Generico. The person responsible for that is now in charge of EVOLVE, and thus Steen is here to destroy EVOLVE. Bobby Fish comes out to stick up for EVOLVE. Fish tells Steen to learn to color within the lines, and if he doesn’t Fish will show him how.
MATCH #2: Super Smash Bros. (0-1) vs. Façade & Jason Gory (0-0)
Player Dos and Gory start the match. Lenny Leonard makes the same “Stupefied” joke he makes every time he calls a Super Smash Bros. match. Anyway, the action comes fast and furious in the early going, with all four men flying around the ring. The Smash Bros. show some impressive continuity and double-teaming. Façade drops Dos to the floor and drop toeholds Uno into the ropes. He and Gory take control with some springboard and other high flying moves. They focus on Uno for a bit until Uno is able to hit a simultaneous DDT and Flatliner on both men. Dos gets the tag and he’s a house afire. He wipes Façade out with a dive to the floor and then hits Gory with a guillotine legdrop for two. Façade and Gory make a brief comeback and hit Dos with the Buddy Moonsault for two. Uno grabs Gory and powerbombs him into Façade in the corner. Dos then hits Gory with a Death Valley Driver into Façade in the corner as well. The Smash Bros. then hit the Fatality! for the win at 6:16. The Super Smash Bros. are good, Façade and Gory not so much. The match was okay.
Leonard gets a word with Player Uno and Player Dos. Uno says they want to get to a million wins. That will require some serious power ups.
Make an Impression!
Fit Finlay is backstage yelling at Jon Davis, Cheech, and Cloudy. He wants them to go out there and make an impression because no one is going to hand them anything.
MATCH #3: Silas Young (2-1) vs. Sugar Dunkerton (0-0)
After some silliness with a basketball the match starts proper with Dunkerton working an armbar and then a headlock. Dunkerton wants to be taken seriously and he’s doing a good job of it in the early going. He dominates for a bit and then goes for a headscissors out of the corner but Young drops him face-first. Young goes for the Pee Gee Waja Plunge and Dunkerton dropkicks him to the floor. Dunkerton follows him out with a suicide dive. Up on the apron Young is able to ram Dunkerton into the ring post. Young goes to work now while talking trash. He hits a Perfect-plex for two. Dunkerton fights back with a flurry of offense ending in a clothesline for a two-count. He follows with a bridging Northern Lights Suplex for two. Dunkerton hits a jumping Flatliner off the second rope and then locks on the Koji Clutch. Young gets to the ropes. They trade a few chops and then Young is able to catch Dunkerton in a backbreaker for two. Young talks more trash and gets slapped in the face for it. Even so Young is able to hit the Finlay Roll and the Pee Gee Waja Plunge for the win at 8:55. They struck a good dynamic here, as Dunkerton kept trying to be taken seriously and Young was just a dick to him.
Leonard interviews Young in the ring, who says he may have overlooked Dunkerton a little bit. Young then says his ultimate goal is to face Johnny Gargano, which brings out the man himself. Gargano says that Young should be here because he loves wrestling, not because of him. He apologizes to Young for taking him out for drinks after the first EVOLVE show, but Young isn’t buying it. This is an interesting storyline but I don’t think it ever got paid off.
Callihan Getting Ready
Callihan doesn’t stay anything, he just psyches himself up by splashing water on his face and grunting a little bit. Okay then.
MATCH #4: Lince Dorado (0-0) vs. Pinkie Sanchez (0-0)
Dorado is replacing Shiima Xion, who signed with Impact Wrestling before this show. He starts the match with a Tiger Suplex for a two-count. The action get fast as Dorado scores a victory roll for a two-count. Dorado executes a corkscrew armdrag to send Sanchez to the floor. Rob Naylor calls Dorado “underrated,” but I think the opposite is true. Dorado wipes Sanchez out with a corkscrew plancha to the floor. Back in the ring Dorado hits a springboard cross body block. Dorado goes for a springboard quebrada but Sanchez cuts him out of the air with a dropkick. Sanchez doesn’t get to do much before Dorado comes back with a Shining Wizard for two. Moments later Sanchez hits a chinbreaker and a dragon screw leg whip. Sanchez focuses on the leg as Kevin Steen joins the commentary table. Dorado fights back and hits a handspring back elbow and a leg lariat for two. Sanchez catches Dorado with a gutbuster and a backbreaker. He goes up top but misses a moonsault. Dorado hits a shotgun dropkick. He puts Sanchez up top and hits a super hurricanrana. Dorado then hits a nice Shooting Star Press but it only gets two. Sanchez hits a springboard DDT but gets off Dorado at the count of two to put on a Figure-Four Leglock. Dorado taps out at 8:44. Sanchez is uniquely entertaining, but Dorado just does moves and makes comebacks without any rhyme or reason.
Leonard goes in for the customary interview, and Sanchez says that it took him 10 years to get where he is today in EVOLVE. Sanchez says he’s here for one thing – to WRESTLE.
He Got In My Face!
Jon Davis is backstage pacing back and forth, talking to himself about how Finlay got in his face and he was right. He says his time is right now.
MATCH #5: Up In Smoke (4-0) vs. The Scene (0-0)
Before the match can begin, Lenny Leonard introduces Larry Dallas, who has purchased some interview time tonight. Dallas is accompanied by the monstrous Ahtu. He says that the main event of Taylor versus Gargano is not going to happen. Dallas then introduces his new clients – Scott Reed and Caleb Konley, who will be known as The Scene.
Reed and Cheech start the match. The Scene doesn’t wear matching gear, and that’s probably why they can’t maintain their early advantage. Cheech and Cloudy double-team Konley and keep him away from his partner. Reed grows tired of this and dumps Cloudy to the floor from the top rope. Konley hits a hiptoss on Cheech into the turnbuckles. The Scene isolates on Cheech for a few minutes until Cheech hits a powerslam on Konley before making the tag. Cloudy is flying all over the place but gets caught in a Crucifix Powerbomb from Reed for two. After a few minutes of abuse Cloudy makes the comeback and levels Konley with a missile dropkick. Cheech gets the hot tag and he’s a house afire. The referee loses control of the match and all four men are flying all over the ring. Up In Smoke shows some impressive tag team continuity and double-team maneuvers. Konley comes back with a Gory Bomb on Cloudy and then a modified Cloverleaf. Cheech breaks it up. The action continues coming from all over. Up in Smoke goes for Death By Knee but Konley breaks it up with a back suplex on Cheech on the apron. The Scene then hits Cloudy with the Ob-Scene for the win at 11:43. This was a good tag team match between two evenly matched teams and it sets up for future matches, which is a good thing for the division.
Leonard tries to get a word with the winners, but now they have nothing to say. Instead he asks Up In Smoke how they feel about their loss. Cheech just turns on Cloudy with Go To Cheech. So take what I said about these teams having matches in the future and forget about it.
Finlay Getting Ready
Finlay is lacing his boots, but hasn’t bothered to take his watch off yet! What if he forgets about his watch?!?! Seriously, that’s all that happens – he just sits there lacing his boots.
MATCH #6: Bobby Fish (1-4) vs. Jon Davis (0-1)
They start off with some standard chain wrestling, but before much can happen Kevin Steen leaves the announce booth and clubs Fish in the back of the head! The referee throws the match out at 0:39. Well that just happened.
Steen gets on the microphone and mocks the EVOLVE rules and regulations. Fish gets on the microphone and issues the challenge for an unsanctioned fight against Steen. Davis wants it to be a three-way. Everyone agrees and it’s on!
MATCH #7: Unsanctioned Match – Bobby Fish vs. Jon Davis vs. Kevin Steen
Davis takes out the referee for some reason while Fish and Steen exchange forearms on the floor. After talking some trash to the downed referee Davis joins the fight on the floor. Back in the ring Steen hits Davis with a Codebreaker and the Cannonball. Fish dropkicks Steen to the floor. Steen grabs Fish off the apron and powerbombs him onto the ring frame. Davis hits Steen with a big boot and an inverted DDT on the apron. Fish wipes Davis out with a slingshot dive to the floor. Back in the ring Fish goes to work on Steen’s leg. A new referee finally makes his way out and Davis gets back in the ring as well. Davis hits a modified powerbomb for two. Steen hits Davis with the Orton DDT for two. He goes for the Package Piledriver but Fish breaks it up and hits a Saito Suplex for a two-count. Everybody takes somebody out and all three men are down. Back on their feet Fish hits Davis with an overhead suplex for two. Steen hits Fish with a powerbomb for a two-count. He turns it into the Sharpshooter. Davis breaks it up and hits a Jackhammer for two. Fish and Steen send Davis to the floor. Steen goes for the Package Piledriver again but Fish slips out. Fish gets a sunset flip and then turns it into the Fish Hook. Davis breaks it up but Fish catches him with a big knee to the face. Steen hits Fish with a low blow and goes for the Cannonball in the corner but Davis cuts him off with the Pounce! Davis then hits Fish with 3 Seconds Around the World to get the win at 7:22. That was good, chaotic fun and a great way to use Steen.
The fight continues after the bell and Steen has to be pulled to the back.
WWN Live is the new home of iPPV for Dragon Gate USA, EVOLVE, and Full Impact Pro. Remember FIP?
MATCH #8: Tony Nese (0-2) vs. John Silver (0-0)
These two both trained with Mikey Whipwreck out of Long Island. I don’t much care for Silver’s wrestling shoes, but I think this is my first time seeing him so let’s give him a chance. They take it right to the mat and exchange holds. The pace quickens and they show off how well they now each other with a series of reversals and counters. Silver goes after the left shoulder, and Nese counters with his power advantage. Nese hits a running Yakuza kick for two. He keeps Silver on the mat and hits a quebrada for two. Silver fights back with a flurry of offense and eventually sends Nese to the floor. He signals for a dive but Nese cuts him off with a vicious lariat. Silver goes right back on offense and hits a Tornado DDT for two. Nese catches a kick and whips Silver down to the mat. He follows with a German Suplex for a two-count. Silver fights back with kick and goes up top. Nese dropkicks him down and hits the Spider German Suplex. He goes to the top and Silver recovers ridiculously quickly to trap Nese in the Tree of Woe. Silver hits double knees for two. Nese fights back and hits a running knee in the corner for two. Then Nese hits a reverse wheelbarrow whip into the turnbuckles and follows with a German Suplex for two. Nese lands a couple of kicks and a Blue Thunder Powerbomb for another two-count. He hits more kicks to the head and Silver may be knocked out. Silver powers up and shows some #FightingSpirit. He hits what’s called the Falcon Punch and it gets a two-count. They fight up to the top rope. Nese knocks Silver down but misses a 450 Splash. Silver hits a Zack Attack to get the pin at 13:32. This match went by fast and they had good chemistry together, but they kept recovering from big moves really quickly and that got annoying. Good win for Silver though.
Leonard gets a word with Silver, who says he just beat one of the top dogs in EVOLVE, and that everyone should keep their eyes on him now.
MATCH #9: Sami Callihan (3-1) vs. Fit Finlay (0-0)
Callihan immediately charges and gets clubbed right down. Finlay looks pleased with himself. They take it to the mat and despite Callihan’s aggression Finlay continues to maul him. This one is all striking, as both guys are showing off how much they love to fight, and fight hard. They take it to the floor and fight out there for a bit, even fighting on one of the tables where people are sitting. Callihan pulls a Finlay trick, crotching him on the ring apron and unloading on him with chops. Back in the ring Finlay comes back and starts throwing Callihan around, focusing on the leg. Finlay ties Callihan up in a unique submission move and Callihan reaches the ropes. The veteran Finlay then uses the referee to distract Callihan long enough to kick his leg out of his leg. Callihan objects and spits right in Finlay’s face. He gets up and challenges Finlay to go strike for strike. Tehat doesn’t get too far, as Finlay clubs Callihan down on the first shot and goes back to work on the leg. Callihan fights back with a shotgun boot out of the corner and a Death Valley Driver for two. He sends Finlay to the floor and tries a baseball slide but Finlay catches him and throws him into the barricade. Back in the ring Finlay covers for a two-count. Callihan avoids a charge in the corner and hits an enziguiri. Finlay dumps Callihan over the top rope to the floor. He hits a bodyslam and Callihan barely makes it back in the ring by 20. Finlay drives Callihan’s head into the mat with his knee for a two-count. Callihan pops up and hits a Back Drop Driver for two. The straps come down and Callihan hits the diving forearm and Finlay grabs the bottom rope to escape being pinned. Callihan hits a bicycle kick for a one-count. Finlay rolls to the floor and Callihan tries a tope suicida but misses and crashes hard into the guardrail. Callihan trips Finlay up before getting back in the ring himself. He goes up top but Finlay pulls his legs out from under him and gets a two-count. Finlay hits the Celtic Cross but only gets two! He hits another one and Callihan kicks out again! Callihan gives Finlay the double finger and Finlay gives him the Tombstone Piledriver. That’s enough for the win at 22:59. Callihan wasn’t doing his D.U.F. stuff and was just fighting like a guy with something to prove and Finlay was more than happy to respond in kind. This was a tremendous fight and my favorite Callihan match.
Leonard gets a word with Finlay, who thanks the fans and says that Callihan is one of the toughest men he’s ever faced. Finlay then puts Callihan over with a hug and raises his hand.
Bobby Fish Promo
Fish requested this time because he wants to talk about his W-L record. He’s not pleased with his record. Fish says is his name isn’t going to be on top of the Wins leader board, he won’t be in EVOLVE.
MATCH #10: Johnny Gargano (6-2) vs. Chuck Taylor (5-3)
These two met at EVOLVE 7 back in April, and Gargano won that match when Larry Dallas threw in the towel. Larry Dallas is up on the stage with Ahtu and he tries to say that this match is not going to happen. Gargano of course disagrees and away we go.
They engage in a fierce lockup and go back-and-forth at a rapid pace in the early going. These two know each other very well from being together in the Ronin stable in DGUSA. Dallas tries to throw in the towel again to stop this match from happening, but the referee doesn’t accept. Gargano wipes his ass with the towel and throws it in Dallas’s face, and then fires him as his agent. The match resumes and Taylor hits a couple of dropkicks to send Gargano to the floor. Taylor kicks Gargano into the crowd. Back in the ring Taylor goes to work. Gargano fights back with a double stomp to the back and a neckbreaker. Taylor rolls to the floor and Gargano wipes him out with a dive. Gargano hits a tornado DDT off the apron. Back in the ring Gargano goes for the Superman Spear but Taylor avoids it. Taylor then misses a quebrada and this time Gargano hits the Spear. Gargano goes to work on the arm. Taylor fights back with a Stunner and a kick to the head. They trade strikes on the apron and Gargano appears to be going for the Lawn Dart but Taylor slips out and hits an inverted DDT. Taylor goes into the crowd and comes running back out with a dive over the barricade! Back in the ring Taylor hits a uranage slam and a superkick for two. Taylor tries a springboard something but Gargano cuts him off with a superkick. Gargano goes up top and Taylor joins him up there for a super Samoan Drop. Gargano reverses the pin into a crucifix for two and then puts on the GargaNo Escape. Taylor counters to a half crab and Gargano counters back to the GargaNo escape, and Taylor counters that to a Crossface. Gargano makes it to the ropes. Taylor tries Sole Food but Gargano reverses it and hits the move himself. Gargano then hits version of Sliced Bread for a two-count. A series of reversals ends with Taylor hitting the Lawn Dart. Taylor calls for the Awful Waffle but Gargano counters to an Air Raid Crash. Both men are down. Back on their feet they trade shots and Gargano knocks Taylor to the floor. Gargano goes for a dive but Taylor blocks it with a forearm. Taylor is able to catch Gargano in a Spear attempt and hit an Orton DDT! That’s cool. Gargano barely makes it back in the ring by 20. And of course he fires right up but Taylor grabs him with the Hurts Donut! That gets two. Taylor goes up top and Gargano shoves him down. Gargano hits a senton off the apron. Back in the ring Gargano hits the Awful Waffle! Taylor kicks out at two. Gargano hits the Hurts Donut but Taylor kicks out again! Now Gargano locks in the GargaNo Escape in the middle of the ring. Taylor gets up to his feet and breaks the hold. Gargano goes for another Hurts Donut but Taylor slips out and hits the Awful Waffle to get the pin at 20:17. I like the structure of that match with the guys showing off how well they know each other, using the other’s moves and all that, but there were just a few times when they recovered so quickly from stuff that it annoyed me, like Gargano coming back after getting DDT’d out on the floor. Still, it was a great effort and a nice contrast to the semi-main event, making this a strong ending to the show.
Larry Dallas, Ahtu, and The Scene are backstage, and Dallas is really upset about getting fired by Gargano. Chuck Taylor comes back and snubs Dallas, further irritating him.
- EVOLVE 9 Hype Video
- Alternative Angle Highlight Video
- Sami Callihan Junkyard Video
The Pulse: The one-two punch of Finlay versus Callihan and Gargano versus Taylor send this show out on a very high note and make this show one to recommend right there. Kevin Steen appearing throughout the show also increases the fun quotient, and there are a number of fun matches throughout the midcard that makes this perhaps EVOLVE’s strongest show to date. You can (and should) purchase it at the DGUSA Shop.