August 20, 2016
Gabe Sapolsky and company have set themselves up to have quite the weekend. EVOLVE currently has a multi-layered story that weaves throughout the roster (as I have detailed in my EVOLVE 66 preview). But, let’s not forget that there are going to be some excellent matches happening on the undercard of these events that will make them feel like complete shows that will be a breeze to get through and will be well worth the price tag.
WWE Cruiserweight Classic Spotlight Match
Tony Nese vs. Peter Kaasa
This match could be a major sleeper match for the weekend…..wait, didn’t I just say that for the last match? That’s how stacked these cards are! Nese and Kaasa are two beefy dudes that spend Monday-Thursday getting swole in the gym and their weekends doing insane flips that shouldn’t be humanly possible for men of their build. This match doesn’t need a story. This match is just for you to sit back and enjoy the insanity that will be appearing on your TV screen.
I am choosing Kaasa to go over here as he has won me over with his recent work in Dragon Gate. The guy looks like Scott Steiner circa 1993 and can fly around with the best of them. If there was a factory that built wrestlers that Taylor C. Mitchell would enjoy, they would probably come out looking and wrestling like Peter Kaasa. This weekend could be a major coming out party for Kaasa who has already been generating a little buzz since his return from injury. Don’t sleep on this match. Prediction: Peter Kaasa
Tommy End vs. Matt Riddle
Riddle could be walking into this special attraction match with the EVOLVE Championship around his waist, and if my prediction comes true then that will be the case. This match could be a major sleeper match for the weekend. End is a trained kickboxer going up against the former UFC fighter, Riddle. This creates an interesting MMA dynamic to this match that could set the world on fire if both men are at the top of their games.
End has reportedly signed a deal with WWE and will be heading to the Performance Center next month. End is on his goodbye tour and will drop this match to EVOLVE’s newest top player, Riddle. Prediction: Matt Riddle
WWE Cruiserweight Classic Spotlight Match
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Cedric Alexander
I had the pleasure of watching these two wrestle each other at AAW’s United We Stand last month in Chicago. It was easily the best pro wrestling match I have been in attendance for and knowing I get to see it again on Saturday is just incredible. Alexander’s stock has been on a meteoric rise lately compared to where he was a year ago. With two stellar performances in WWE’s Cruiserweight Classic, it appears that Alexander is flying a jetpack straight to the WWE roster. ZSJ has reportedly been offered a contract by WWE, but has not accepted. Either way, these two are phenomenal and you cannot miss this match. This truly has the potential of stealing the weekend and this weekend is too loaded for that to seem possible.
This could be Alexander’s last stroll through EVOLVE, so I am going to give the win to the guy who will be sticking around a bit longer. ZSJ is winning with the Young Boy Killer (copyright @Alan4L) Prediction: Zack Sabre Jr.
EVOLVE Tag Team Championship
Drew Galloway & DUSTIN © & Ethan Carter III vs. Catch Point (Tracy Williams, Fred Yehi & TJ Perkins)
It was announced earlier this week that this trios match between these warring factions would now have higher stakes with the EVOLVE Tag Team Championship on the line. Galloway and DUSTIN are the champions, but if EC3 is pinned or submitted in this match he will lose the titles for his teammates. On the other side, if Catch Point wins the wins then they can choose any two of the competing three members of their team to be officially crowned the new champions.
This adds some more fuel to this fiery feud and certainly adds some interesting possible outcomes. I am going to go with Galloway’s team retaining their titles as Catch Point has more added tension within the group with a major loss here. Prediction: Drew Galloway, DUSTIN, and Ethan Carter III
Cody Rhodes vs. Chris Hero
Rhodes is entering this weekend wrestling in his first matches ever, outside of the WWE system. This weekend will be just one year removed from when Rhodes donned the face paint of Stardust and wrestled “Arrow” star actor, Stephen Amell, at SummerSlam. Instead of Hollywood actors, Rhodes will be spending this weekend testing his wrestling prowess against two of the best in-ring workers in the world. Friday night Rhodes has Zack Sabre Jr., but on this night he is wrestling the guy who has become the current King of the Indies, Chris Hero.
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Rhodes is out to prove his worth as a professional wrestler. That is why he left WWE in the first place. Rhodes wants to sow his wild pro wrestling oats by challenging his skill set against the very best in the world, seemingly, in hopes that he would one day return to WWE with a bigger name and larger profile. It is certainly gutsy of Rhodes to do this and he has been positioned to live and die by his own sword for his first two independent endeavors.
The storyline caveat to this match is that Drew Galloway has named both of these men as members of his rebellious stable. Rhodes has an obvious connection to Galloway as they were WWE Tag Team Champions together back in 2010. With that said, we have not heard from Rhodes in regards to Galloway’s declaration.
I have ZSJ defeating Rhodes on the previous night, and this match will be no different. Hero wins, as he should. Rhodes should be humbled on the indies, instead of being the WWE guy storming into smaller promotions and squashing their talent. Rhodes doesn’t lose any value with losses and if he intends to stick around EVOLVE, it would make for an interesting story of him starting from a place of humility only to later earn the fan’s acceptance. Prediction: Chris Hero
EVOLVE Championship Match (if Thatcher Is Still Champion)
Timothy Thatcher defends vs. Drew Gulak
If Thatcher is still the EVOLVE champion after his No Holds Barred match with Matt Riddle on the previous night, then he will defend it against Gulak here. When Thatcher discarded his championship, in Dallas, he left it in the hands of Catch Point. Thatcher made it clear to every member of Catch Point that he was going after them and he wouldn’t reclaim his championship until he defeated all of them. Gulak is the leader of Catch Point and the one guy that Thatcher has never defeated one-on-one. Thatcher and Gulak have wrestled two other times in this company at EVOLVE 31 and EVOLVE 39. Those two matches helped spawn the style of wrestling that have been prominent in EVOLVE ever seen, a style that Gulak has dubbed “catch point.”
Gulak has felt disrespected by Thatcher and if disgusted with him for discarding the EVOLVE championship the way he did. It is now Gulak’s responsibility to restore order in EVOLVE by winning the championship and ridding the company of Thatcher. At least that what the ever growing jealousy inside of Gulak would tell you.
The clean-cut storyline of the weekend would be for Thatcher to successfully defend his title against Riddle and then drop it to Gulak. This would mean that Gulak, one of the elder statesman of the promotion having wrestled for the company since EVOLVE 11, would finally get what he has worked so hard for. Gulak began the evolution of the company with the catch point style, but has not seen the fruits of his labor in the form of achieving the company’s top prize.
The, possibly, more interesting storyline of the weekend would be for Riddle to walk away with the title on Friday night. That would make Gulak vs. Thatcher essentially a #1 contender’s match. If Gulak wins here that would be two Catch Point members in the ring against each other as the leader, Gulak, would challenge the group’s wild card, Riddle for the title. The members of Catch Point are already skeptical of Riddle’s loyalty and this could spin that web even larger. No matter who wins Friday night, Gulak is walking away with another win over Thatcher here. Prediction: Drew Gulak