May 2, 2017
Monaghan Knights Of Columbus Hall
Meet our previewers:
- Case Lowe: Voices of Wrestling’s official young boy. Officially a legal adult. Current duties include cooking meals for the other writers, mopping the floor and reviewing Dragon Gate and AAW events.
- Sean Sedor: Sean does a myriad of different things for Voices of Wrestling, which include (but not limited to) previews and reviews for EVOLVE, ROH, New Japan, WWE, and an assortment of other things, when called upon. You can follow him on Twitter @SASedor2994, and you can check out his wrestling reviews blog (which he is egregiously behind on) at http://dxvsnwo1994.blogspot.com.
- Warren Taylor: The longest tenured writer on VOW who does the least amount of work, Warren saves his sorry behind by regularly previewing EVOLVE and doing team reviews of WWE shows. Follow him on Twitter @WarrenETaylor for takes on University of Kentucky athletics, wrestling, and the occasional photos of his cats and rabbit.
Allysin Kay vs. Priscilla Kelly
Case: I’m still not sure why exactly Priscilla Kelly is being booked, or who she has her eyes when it comes to the EVOLVE roster. I feel like that might be Gabe’s worst trope – women showing up with no explanation. This feels like Christina Von Eerie in 2012. I’m sure this will be a painless match. Prediction: Priscilla Kelly
Sean: Priscilla Kelly is in a weird spot at the moment. It appeared that she was aligning herself with Darby Allin & Austin Theory, but with the former on the shelf for a couple of months, I’m not sure what she does until then. Presumably, that story would’ve progressed here if Allin wasn’t hurt. I’m sure she’ll still be involved with Austin Theory (and potentially Jason Kincaid), but hopefully we’ll actually see some development with that storyline soon. You can only do the “Priscilla Kelly mysteriously wandering around ringside” thing for so long. Anyway, since this is her first actual match in EVOLVE, I expect Priscilla Kelly to get the win here. It’s so odd seeing Allysin Kay in this kind of spot, but she’s a good wrestler, so I’m sure the match will be perfectly solid. Prediction: Priscilla Kelly
Warren: A rare non-title women’s match will grace the card in Michigan. I’ve never seen Priscilla Kelly wrestle, but Allysin is a steady hand in the ring. So even if Kelly struggles she will have someone to guide to passable showing and more than likely a victory. Prediction: Priscilla Kelly
Chris Dickinson & Jaka vs. Jason Kincaid & Austin Theory
Case: Very excited for this. I never thought these men would represent the future of EVOLVE, but now that they are, I’m perfectly content with it. I hope they work a dead-sprint. Let Theory and Kincaid bounce off of the much bigger Jaka & Dickinson. Weirdly enough, this is one of my most anticipated matches of the weekend. It just looks like a lot of fun. Hopefully it delivers. Prediction: Chris Dickinson & Jaka
Sean: This should be really fun. EVOLVE has done a couple of Catch Point (mainly Dickinson & Jaka) vs. High Flyers bouts this year, and they’ve all been pretty entertaining. My only worry is that they don’t go too long, like they did in the six-man tag at EVOLVE 81. This shouldn’t go any longer than twelve minutes or so. If it ends up being a non-title title (there’s a slight chance Dickinson & Jaka put their EVOLVE Tag Team Titles on the line here), I actually think that Jason Kincaid & Austin Theory have a chance to win this one. EVOLVE has a habit of booking individuals and/or teams to go 1-1 on weekends like this, and I could easily see that happening here if the titles aren’t at stake. A victory here by Kincaid & Theory would be a nice upset, and it would be a win that both guys desperately need. Plus, it would set up a future title match down the line, and there’s nothing wrong with doing that. Prediction: Jason Kincaid & Austin Theory
Warren: The only real surprise will be if Jaka & Dickinson put the belts on the line. The champions are going to steamroll the thrown together pair of Theory & Kincaid. I’m sure the two will put on a good showing, but the boys from Beyond Wrestling need to stay hot and dominate.
Prediction: Chris Dickinson & Jaka
Fred Yehi vs. Keith Lee
Case: Is this the match that Keith Lee needs to cement himself as a permanent main eventer in EVOLVE? I hope so. I have no doubt that these two will kill it. Fred Yehi is one of the best wrestlers in the world and he thrives when he’s facing giants. He and Lee are white-hot and they’re going to be playing up one another’s strengths. I can’t wait for this. My hope is that Lee comes out victorious, giving him a much needed 2-0 weekend. That being said, I’m all for a big Yehi push. My gut says Lee, so that’s who I’m going with. With a match like this, however, the fans are the real winners (thanks Gabe!) Prediction: Keith Lee
Sean: I’m honestly not sure what I think about this particular matchup. It wasn’t something that jumped out at me when the full card was announced, but it certainly has the potential to be really good. It should be really fun to watch Yehi’s unique style going up against a much larger opponent. If he does end up losing to Donovan Dijak the night before, then I would think Keith Lee picks up the win here. Regardless of the result, this match definitely had the chance to be one of the best on this card. Prediction: Keith Lee
Warren: One of Yehi’s first great matches in EVOLVE was against Chris Hero last year in Dallas. Over the course of the fight, Yehi came oh so close to pulling the upset over the bullying Hero. Fast forward a year later, and this one has the same vibe. Keith Lee has already demonstrated a cocky streak that rears its head at the wrong time. Yehi’s bulldog mentality will make Lee pay for his showboating. Of course, the big fella’ will rock the former tag champion too in a potential show stealer. Prediction: Keith Lee
Ethan Page vs. Donovan Dijak
Case: Battle of wrestling’s best vanity searchers in this one. I don’t know how much longer Dijak is staying around in EVOLVE, but Page seems to be here to stay for now. He’s been a focal point in the company for a long time now, and Dijak’s main focus has been Keith Lee. I expect Page to rebound with a victory. Prediction: Ethan Page
Sean: This should easily be a rebound win for Ethan Page, though I’m very intrigued to see how these two mesh together in the ring. It could be really good, but I think there’s a fair chance that it ends up being less than stellar, and gets lost in the shuffle as a result. Hopefully it ends up being the former. Prediction: Ethan Page
Warren: I don’t know what to make of this match. It will either be Page getting a rebound win in an average contest or Dijak is going to get tired of Page’s lip and will kick him to the moon. I know it won’t happen, but once I want to see a big guy like Dijak give an all-time great beating to Page. One so bad that Page will have to sell it like Bob Backlund after his title loss to Diesel in 1994. Prediction: Ethan Page
WWN Championship Match (If Riddle is still champion)
Matt Riddle © vs. Jeff Cobb
Case: I feel like these two have been following each other around the indie scene for years, even if in reality they’ve only had two singles matches and both of them happened in the last quarter of 2016. I hope they finally deliver in the fashion that we’ve been expecting them to. Cobb has yet to deliver a great match in EVOLVE. Fingers crossed that that trend changes vs. Riddle. Prediction: Matt Riddle
Sean: Back in December at EVOLVE 74, Jeff Cobb scored a huge victory over Matt Riddle in his first match in the promotion. Here, Matt Riddle is looking avenge that loss in what will (presumably) be his 4th defense of the WWN Title. I enjoyed their first encounter, but I thought they could do better. Now that they’re in a much bigger situation (as the WWN Title will be at stake), hopefully this rematch will be an improvement over that first encounter. As for the result, I would presume that Matt Riddle retains here. Prediction: Matt Riddle
Warren: Cobb beat Riddle during his first weekend in the company in what amounted to a glorified pummeling, which was the few times in EVOLVE that the Bro looked outclassed. The only other wrestler to do that to Riddle was Timothy Thatcher; Riddle got a measure of personal satisfaction by finally tapping out his long time nemesis at EVOLVE 82. I fully expect Riddle to do the same thing here in much more even installment of the celebrated rivalry between the two men. Prediction: Matt Riddle
Tracy Williams vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Case: It’s amazing that this match almost feels out of place on this card. These two have never wrestled before, so this is officially an exciting first time encounter. I hope Hot Sauce is all business and ready to trade strikes. I can’t imagine a scenario in which this match isn’t great, but I really hope these two trade bombs. I can’t imagine O’Reilly goes 0-2 this weekend. He has to get the win in this one. Prediction: Kyle O’Reilly
Sean: I fully expect this to be a back and forth technical battle, and it should be really good, though I do have concerns. A few things that slightly hurt O’Reilly’s match with Fred Yehi at EVOLVE 83 (which I still thoroughly enjoyed) were that it went a little too long for my liking, and that it seemed a little dull at certain points. If they don’t go overly long, and if it refrains from having any lulls, I could easily see this being great. However, if the match goes in a similar direction that O’Reilly vs. Yehi went, then I think it’ll miss out on living up to its full potential. I would think that O’Reilly takes this one, but if that’s the case, then Tracy Williams would be going 0-2 on the weekend. It could go either way, but if O’Reilly is doing more shows for EVOLVE in the future, then I think it would be best for him to win. Prediction: Kyle O’Reilly
Warren: KOR and Hot Sauce are two of the better technical wrestlers going today, and I hope we see a classic battle of submission when they lock horns. EVOLVE’s resurgence began when Gabe started to build the company around grapplers like Biff Busick, Drew Gulak, and Timothy Thatcher. Since then the company has distanced itself from the roots of its reboot. Perhaps for one night, only it will return. Or the two warriors will beat the stuffing out of each other. Either way, I expect an excellent encounter with Williams going out on his back. Prediction: Kyle O’Reilly
EVOLVE Championship Match (If Sabre Jr. is still champion)
Zack Sabre Jr. (c) vs. Lio Rush
Case: This again! Loved their match at the last set of EVOLVE shows and I fully expect them to deliver again. Lio Rush is so pesky. This is another match that I hope doesn’t get a lot of time. Rush is a tremendous sprint wrestler, and I think that, combined with ZSJ’s in-ring style, could create magic. Chalk up another successful and hopefully exciting defense for the Brit. Prediction: Zack Sabre Jr.
Sean: These two had a great match at EVOLVE 83. Even though Zack Sabre Jr. emerged victorious, it was very clear (based on the finish and how the commentary team reacted to it) that a rematch would be coming. Honestly, I didn’t expect it to be this soon, but I’ll take it. If their aforementioned first encounter was any indication, then I think this one has the chance to be even better. Zack Sabre Jr. has had a fantastic title reign thus far, and Lio Rush has seemed really motivated since his return to EVOLVE. I doubt that Zack Sabre Jr. will lose the title here, and I’ll be very intrigued to see what Lio Rush does in EVOLVE going forward. Prediction: Zack Sabre Jr.
Warren: One of my favorite tropes from the golden era of ROH was the thorn in the paw challenger that every great champion had. Bryan Danielson had Colt Cabana, and Nigel McGuinness had Tyler Black. Lio Rush fits the mold of such a recurring nemesis perfectly. He is young enough not to care whose toes he is stepping on and is a riddle that ZSJ has trouble solving. Expect this is one to be every bit as good as their first bout and maybe better if it follows the trend of the feud listed above. Prediction: Zack Sabre Jr.