Evolve (WWNLive)

WWE, TNA, and all U.S./Canada based graps talk
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mlev76
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Re: Evolve (WWNLive)

Post by mlev76 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:58 pm

avengers23 wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:44 pm
The "returning champion" will be DUSTIN or Tracy Williams after he leaves the Loser Leaves Town Match. Lord knows it's not going to be ACH or Ethan Page.
I thought he was referring to Harlem Bravado.

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Rich Kraetsch
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Re: Evolve (WWNLive)

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:59 pm

Yeah, that's how I read it.

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Empiresk
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Re: Evolve (WWNLive)

Post by Empiresk » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:08 pm

This is another must watch video from Kenny Johnson. Matt Riddle's farewell from Evolve.



If you don't have time to watch all 10 minutes just skip to 3:25 and watch Riddle talk for 90 seconds. A someone who has bumped into Riddle at random train stations in the UK and seen him at dozens of shows it really hit me. That's why he is a super star. He is genuine.

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Re: Evolve (WWNLive)

Post by avengers23 » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:24 pm

Another big weekend for WWN, with two 2 Evolve shows and a SHINE show. And the Evolve and Shine shows at La Boom no less, with the Velveteen Dream in dark matches at the Evolve shows.

So, of course they bring back Harlem Bravado and Jason Kincaid for the weekend. At least it's not The End.

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Re: Evolve (WWNLive)

Post by mlev76 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:45 pm

Kincaid is apparently not appearing due to his DDT commitments. Not particularly sad about that.

This is one of the weakest weekends in memory and while there are a few undercard matches which might end up ok, really the Janela/Fox match is the only one I'm excited about. I get the reasoning behind using Velveteen Dream to juice up the ticket sales (assuming he does), but pulling Alin from the streamed show on Saturday stinks.

I'm hoping we see some new top level guys emerge (Briggs? Henry? Drake?) because if the rest of the year is built around Austin Theory and Tracy Williams, I'm going to lose interest quickly.

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Re: Evolve (WWNLive)

Post by avengers23 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:35 pm

The Wrong Boyz also pointed to Strickland's reign: there's just something missing there.

I'm surprised that Evolve doesn't pluck talent from lower level indies more often, particularly NYWC, but I get that they want to use their seminar/tryout system for cheap undercard talent.

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Re: Evolve (WWNLive)

Post by mlev76 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:40 pm

avengers23 wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:35 pm
The Wrong Boyz also pointed to Strickland's reign: there's just something missing there.

I'm surprised that Evolve doesn't pluck talent from lower level indies more often, particularly NYWC, but I get that they want to use their seminar/tryout system for cheap undercard talent.
The champions are fine. It's the lack of legitimate top level challengers that is concerning. It can be rectified with a weekend or two of good booking, but after the last few months of Gabe refusing to elevate anyone, I'm skeptical. He got two new guys over as champion, but not any new challengers. To me, the list goes AR Fox and Darby Alin as far as talent I want to see/believe are legitimate as challengers. Elevation is needed.

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Re: Evolve (WWNLive)

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:58 pm

Depth is a real problem right now. No, the roster has never been big and it's always been a lean operation but it feels SO shallow right now and like you said, it may be a result of nobody feeling important. Right now EVOLVE is in a weird spot where everyone feels like they are on pretty much equal footing with a few guys holding titles. Those title holders don't necessarily FEEL like a bigger deal than anyone below them though and that's a problem.

Likewise, nobody feels like real contenders for the championship or about to be on the rise.

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Re: Evolve (WWNLive)

Post by mlev76 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:49 pm

When the year started, they had just come off positioning Austin Theory and Darby Allin as the 'next in line' stars to emerge. Perhaps they panicked at losing Lee and Riddle and push Theory too soon and didn't want to do the same with Allin. Janela and Strickland, while both being great and good pickups, really parachuted in and swooped up the titles.

On the tag side of things, The End experiment didn't work out quite the way they wanted. They can't decide if they want to pull the trigger on pushing Henry and Drake as singles guys (they should) and Ringkampf isn't around enough to give the belts to. I can see them maybe putting them on the Skulk this weekend and letting them Freebird rule the belts to get all the guys involved.

There is plenty of talent there to push and elevate. It seems like they waited a bit too long to do so though.

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Re: Evolve (WWNLive)

Post by avengers23 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:40 pm

Strickland and Janela jumping in and claiming titles right away doesn't help, and the lack of viable challengers exacerbates the problem. I like Tracy Williams some, but I 1) don't see him as a credible challenger and 2) wouldn't want him to hold the belt anyway. But because everything is so flat, I could see them take the title off Strickland and put it on a Williams, Jon Davis, or Josh Briggs.

They tried elevating DJ Z during his short feud with Theory, but that attempt didn't land. I'd imagine that they want to hold off on unifying the titles until April 2019 if they can since that's the last major bullet they have in their belt.

They couldn't even get Drake to pin Riddle on Riddle's way out.

Saieve Al Sabah's been terribly exposed.

Let's see how the Josh Briggs elevation project goes.

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Re: Evolve (WWNLive)

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:33 pm

Al Sabah is history and while I don't disagree, he at least felt like someone up and coming. He's gone now so it's back to square one for the bottom of the card.

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Re: Evolve (WWNLive)

Post by mlev76 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:36 pm

avengers23 wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Strickland and Janela jumping in and claiming titles right away doesn't help, and the lack of viable challengers exacerbates the problem. I like Tracy Williams some, but I 1) don't see him as a credible challenger and 2) wouldn't want him to hold the belt anyway. But because everything is so flat, I could see them take the title off Strickland and put it on a Williams, Jon Davis, or Josh Briggs.

They tried elevating DJ Z during his short feud with Theory, but that attempt didn't land. I'd imagine that they want to hold off on unifying the titles until April 2019 if they can since that's the last major bullet they have in their belt.

They couldn't even get Drake to pin Riddle on Riddle's way out.

Saieve Al Sabah's been terribly exposed.

Let's see how the Josh Briggs elevation project goes.
If i were given my choice, I'd push Allin, Henry, Drake and Briggs as the next group of singles guys and put the titles on the Skulk and see what happens there. No guarantee that any of these would work, but I think each of them are worth taking the shot on.

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Re: Evolve (WWNLive)

Post by avengers23 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:42 pm

Evolve 113
Josh Briggs vs. Jon Davis. vs. Facade vs. Harlem Bravado vs. Jason Kincaid vs. Anthony Henry: this was a fun, hot opener with guys throwing big bombs in highspots. Kincaid and Facade worked together since they're the tag team. Briggs and Davis got to throw down and brush aside smaller guys like Facade, Kincaid, and Henry, and Henry got to shine by winning the match. It felt like another step in elevating Henry and Briggs, and I'm all for pushing those two in Evolve. Facade looks very choppy in the ring, but he might work better in a tag team. Harlem Bravado is what he is, a taller, poor man's version of Johnny Gargano. I dug this match a lot.

JD Drake vs. Joey Janela w/Penelope Ford: The pop for Janela was incredible, but Drake also got a surprisingly large ovation from the crowd. Well, Drake has taken the WALTER challenge of throwing thunderous chops as a big man. Janela's chest was all red about 5 minutes into the match; it was more beat up than the burger I ate between the SHINE and Evolve shows. As an exercise in throwing bombs, this was a lot of fun. The German suplex on the apron that Drake hit Janela with was disgusting, and it's good to have a hoss throwing bombs in Evolve again. Davis is BJ Whitmer-esque in that his one emotion (angry intensity) gets tiresome after a while, and Briggs' offense looks surprisingly soft at times. Drake emotes very well, so it's easier to get into his character and matches. I don't like the trend of involving Penelope Ford in Janela's matches, especially if Janela also loses the match, because it makes him look like a chump who can't get it done on his own. This was another match that felt like it worked to push someone new for Evolve, and it worked. I want JD Drake vs. Strickland or Janela at some point for either title. Drake could stand to lose the hurricanrana from his war chest though.

Chris Dickinson vs. Stokely Hathaway: Dickinson sucks.

Doom Patrol (Chris Dickinson & Jaka) (c) vs. The Skulk (Leon Ruff & Adrian Alanis): If nothing else, the Skulk's antics ringside keeps the energy high for their matches. As Dickinson and Jaka took their turns roughing up Ruff and attacking Alanis, Tommy Maserati and others were going nuts ringside. New Skulk members spontaneously appear; there was a new woman in the group during this match, and there was a new guy in the AR Fox match. There was a clear quality difference between the two teams, and it exposes once again how shallow the tag scene in Evolve is and how silly it is to have a tag title in a company this small if you're not going to bring in outside challengers on a regular basis. Ruff looked good taking a beating, but Alanis looked lost at times. This was the least impressive match of the show, but it was still fun because the Skulk are entertaining.

AR Fox w/The Skulk vs. Austin Theory w/Priscilla Kelly: Honestly, this was probably the match of the night. They played off of teacher vs. student really well, with Fox having counters for some of Theory's offense. Fox continues to take some of the most awkward and painful looking bumps in wrestling, but he's really put his act together in the past two years. I'd watch the whole show, but this is the match to watch from this show that was broadcasted. After the match, Theory acts like an asshole to Kelly, which somehow brings Darby Allin out. I don't really want Theory vs. Allin again, this time with Priscilla Kelly's loyalty wavering between the two. At least the streaming crowd got to see Allin, I suppose.

Shane Strickland (c) vs. Tracy Williams: It's weird to have a counter-wrestler like Strickland as your champion because it makes the matches have an unusual pace that doesn't seem to fit a main event. The quiet buzz during the match reminded me of some of Thatcher's matches, but the difference between Strickland and Thatcher in Evolve is the sense of spiteful anger that Strickland shows. He is able to emote anger and spite in a way that Thatcher in Evolve couldn't, which makes a 20+ minute title match against Williams work. I can't believe Williams hit a super piledriver on Strickland during this match.

The Velveteen Dream vs. Darby Allin: My god, the pop for the Velveteen Dream was incredible. They taped this match because everything a WWE performer does is taped these days. Dream looked like a giant next to Allin, but Allin's intensity played well with Dream's cockiness. It was weird to see Dream so close after seeing him at TakeOver: Brooklyn 4 not so long ago. It was possibly more surreal than seeing Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate, and Trent Seven at La Boom last month. Dream worked a lot harder during this match than I was expecting, and the match was fairly even. Allin even got the visible pin when he locked in the Last Supper for a ten count in the ring while Theory distracted the referee outside. Allin's coffin drop on Theory and Dream was great; I wish I had a picture of it from my seat.

As I mentioned upthread, this was probably Evolve's best NYC show since Evolve 100 (though Evolve 106 at the Most Precious Blood Youth Center was pretty good too since that featured MOTYC Darby Allin vs. WALTER). I appreciated that they're trying to push Briggs, Henry, and Drake, and I think Allin vs. Strickland could be really good once they've built up to it. They need to consolidate the belts at some point; I hope they do it by April 2019. And I hope Evolve digs a little harder to find other indie wrestlers; I hear things about Kobe Durst, Jake Parnell, Kevin Lee Davidson and Craig Mitchell.

Can the #WrongBoyz confirm that Aaron Taube was not at Evolve 113 and will not be on the upcoming Everything Evolves because this Julia Salazar controversy is rocking his world?

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Re: Evolve (WWNLive)

Post by mlev76 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:42 pm

Overall, a pretty mixed weekend with the Joppa show being pretty weak apart from Henry/Allin. The Queens show was the opposite as it was a solid show throughout with three matches bordering on greatness (the six way, Theory/Fox and Strickland/Williams). But even with the match quality upped significantly on the second night, it still felt like a promotion unsure of where to go next. The six way was emblematic of this as you had two guys who were consistent roster members over the last year (Henry and Briggs) mixed in with remnants from the past (Facade, Davis, Bravado, Kincaid). They all performed well, but I think going back rather than forward is always risky. I liked the folks mentioned above for new roster members and would also like them to give Myron Reed and Zachary Wentz another look. I feel like they were too hasty in not offering them roster spots

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Re: Evolve (WWNLive)

Post by supersonic » Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:37 pm


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