Union City, NJ – 7.23.2010
Bryan Danielson is talking to the camera until Larry, one of Sean Davis’ running mates, comes up and interrupts. Danielson literally kicks Larry out of the building and the segment ends. We then cut to the usual opening video package that explains the rules and structure of EVOLVE.
Commentary is provided by Lenny Leonard and Leonard F. Chikarason.
Jon Moxley (0-1) vs. Brodie Lee (1-1)
Moxley dropkicks Lee to the corner. Lee pushes Moxley to his corner. Moxley and Lee trade forearms and knife-edge chops. Moxley hits a headbutt and Lee responds with a big boot. Lee lands a few strikes in the corner and takes Moxley over with a butterfly suplex. Moxley hits a sole butt and an axe kick. Lee backdrops Moxley and then clotheslines him to the floor. Lee follows and lands some chops on Moxley. Moxley ducks and Lee accidentally chops the ring post. Moxley bites Lee on the forehead before delivering some blows of his own. Lee blocks a brainbuster, but Moxley hits a running knee strike. Lee shoulder blocks Moxley into the guardrail and chops Moxley into the crowd. Moxley jumps over the guardrail onto Lee in a sleeper hold/body scissors. Moxley goes on the apron, and Lee throws Moxley stomach first onto the guardrail. In the ring, Moxley hits Lee with a dropkick off the second rope. Lee dumps Moxley with a half-nelson suplex and cracks Moxley with a big boot. Moxley evades a Running Liger Bomb and lays in some shots to Lee. Moxley hits a leg lariat. Each guy hits a clothesline at the same time. Both men go to the floor and bring chairs back into the ring. Referee Mike Kehner calls for the bell, ruling this match a double disqualification at 5:50. This match was really heating up with Moxley and Lee fighting tooth and nail for a win. The finish somewhat soured things, but man this was fun for the time it lasted. **1/2
Referee Mike Kehner threatens to suspend both guys if they don’t put down their chairs. Moxley begins to put his down and Lee boots the chair into Moxley’s face. Lee storms off, and Moxley stands displeased.
EVOLVE says they filmed a few interviews the day after this event Instead of their usual backstage footage, they will show these day-after interviews instead. We cut to Brodie Lee who refuses to apologize for his actions against Jon Moxley after the match.
Chris Dickinson (0-3) vs. Rich Swann (0-0) vs. Ricochet (1-2) vs. Drake Younger (1-0)
Ricochet and Swann team up at first, but Younger knocks them down. Younger takes Dickinson to the floor and lands on him with a somersault senton. Ricochet and Swann go back and forth, ending with Swann giving Ricochet a headscissors. Ricochet hits a hurricanrana. Swann hits one of his own while Dickinson and Younger fight on the floor. Dickinson throws Younger back first on the floor. Dickinson comes back in the ring and knocks Swann down with a forearm. Dickinson chops Swann and Younger comes back in the ring. Younger gives Dickinson a half-nelson suplex and pops up Swann into an exploder suplex. Ricochet flips onto Younger, and Younger hits the Drake N’ Bake for two. Dickinson and Younger trade shots in the middle of the ring. Younger looks for the Drake’s Landing. Dickinson escapes and hits a pump handle slam. Swann and Ricochet break the pin. Dickinson suplexes both Ricochet and Swann. Ricochet hops off Swann and gives Dickinson a headscissors. Swann comes up and sunset flips Dickinson into a spinning face kick. Ricochet breaks the pin. Swann hits a sole butt, and Ricochet hits a slingshot clothesline. Ricochet hops onto Dickinson’s shoulders, and Dickinson hits a reverse waterwheel slam. Dickinson looks to choke out Ricochet while Younger hits Swann with the Drake’s Landing for the pin at 6:07. Dickinson really felt out of place in this match, though his stuff with Younger was alright. Swann and Ricochet were truly the best two in the ring, and I feel like this match would have been better off if it was split into two singles matches. Still, I see a lot of promise out of most everyone in this match and look forward to seeing them in the future. **3/4
Lenny Leonard comes in the ring to interview Younger. Younger says his EVOLVE career is getting better and better and looks forward to entering the winner circle come EVOLVE 5.
We cut to a next day video, where Younger talks about the match the night before and what was going through his mind during the end of the match. He looks forward to facing Sami Callihan at EVOLVE 5.
Mercedes Martinez (Champion; 3-0) vs. Tina San Antonio (0-0)
At this point, I feel it’s a bit pointless doing play by play for these matches. Things are competitive for a bit, then Martinez gets the advantage and hits a fisherman’s suplex to get the pin at 2:15 to retain the title. ½*
The real story of the match is the post-match stuff. Lenny Leonard comes in his for a post-match interview with Martinez. Leonard asks Martinez if she’s received a response to her challenge that she laid out to Amazing Kong last month. She says no, and suddenly a video plays on the video screen with Kong eating a picture of Martinez. The video then says “Challenge Accepted – September 11th” and the match is set for EVOLVE 5.
Adam Cole (0-1) vs. Johnny Gargano (2-1)
Gargano takes out Cole’s leg and switches into a front facelock. Cole transitions into a hammerlock. Gargano elbows Cole in the face and chops him in the corner. Gargano takes Cole over with a side headlock. Cole turns into a headlock of his own. Gargano chops Cole after a leapfrog, and Cole slaps Gargano in the face. Cole hits a couple armdrags and a dropkick. Cole sends Gargano to the floor with a clothesline. Gargano comes back in with a slingshot spear. Gargano hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Gargano whips Cole back first into the corner. Gargano spits in Cole’s face, so Cole rains down with right hands. Cole hits a chinbreaker and a flying clothesline. Cole hits a Death Valley Driver into a neckbreaker over his knee for two. Cole hits a couple hard kicks and a bridging German suplex for two. Gargano sends Cole to the apron with an enzuigiri and then to the floor with a springboard kick. Gargano dives onto Cole. Cole catches Gargano with a flying boot on the top rope. Cole hits a flying DDT for two. Gargano muscles up Cole into the lawn dart for two. Gargano tuns Cole into a modified Texas Cloverleaf. Cole and Gargano trade punches. Cole and Gargano trade near falls with no avail. They then roll around looking for a small package, but both men fail to get the advantage. Cole rolls through the Hurts Donut for the pin at 8:32. This was a fun match between both guys and both conveyed how important winning this match was to them. Both came off as guys who knew how important the win was and were willing to fight hard to get it. I like what I see out of these guys and Cole is a guy we need to keep our eyes on. **3/4
Lenny Leonard comes in and congratulates Cole. Cole thanks Gargano for being a good opponent and says he can have a rematch whenever he wishes. Cole then thanks the fans, and Jimmy Jacobs comes out to applaude Cole. Jacobs grabs the microphone and makes some gay jokes at Cole’s expense. Jacobs mocks Gargano’s loss, as Gargano has gotten in Jacobs’ face the past few months. Jacobs doesn’t treat Cole like a serious competitor, so Cole grabs the microphone and challenges Jacobs to a match at EVOLVE 5. Jacobs brushes Cole off, and Gargano follows Jacobs to the back encouraging him to take the match.
We then go to the next day with Adam Cole. Cole says he’ll do whatever he has to do to be the best in EVOLVE and has done so since EVOLVE 1. Cole shares what was going through his mind during the match and how he felt when he won the match. Cole said he felt confident in his abilities and will not let Jimmy Jacobs step all over him any longer.
CHIKARA Sekigun (Jigsaw & Hallowicked) (1-0) vs. Aeroform (Flip Kendrick & Louis Lyndon) (1-2)
Jigsaw and Kendrick kicks things off with some armdrags and roll-ups. Jigsaw evades a standing moonsault and gives Kendrick some chops. Lyndon blind tags in and hits a stereo slingshot dropkick with Kendrick. Jigsaw rolls to the floor tagging in Hallowicked. Hallowicked blocks a kick but Lyndon sweeps the legs and gets a two count. Lyndon tries a jackknife cradle for two. Hallowicked whips Lyndon to the corner, and Lyndon takes Hallowicked down with a headscissors. Lyndon hits a pop-up kick for two. Hallowicked backs Kendrick to his corner and Jigsaw tags in. Lyndon evades attacks from both guys in the corner, and Kendrick sends both guys to the floor with one huricanrana. Jigsaw cuts off Kendrick from diving to the floor. Lyndon sends both guys back to the floor and Kendrick hits a twisting tope con hilo. In the ring, Jigsaw sends Lyndon into a Rydeen Bomb from Hallowicked for two. The CHIKARA team beats down on Lyndon until Lyndon rolls though a super snapmare and wipes out Jigsaw with a dive to the floor. Kendrick comes in with a springboard dropkick to Hallowicked. Hallowicked gets his knees up to block a standing shooting star press. Lyndon comes in and hits a leaping knee strike and bicycle kick on Hallowicked. Jigsaw doublestomps Lyndon. Kendrick drops Jigsaw with a reverse rana and Hallowicked breaks the pin. Lyndon gives Hallowicked a sole butt, but accidentally palm strikes Kendrick. Jigsaw double stomps Lyndon off of Hallowicked’s back. Hallowicked hits the Go Too Sleepy Hollow. Jigsaw hits a superkick, Hallowicked hits a yakuza kick, and that’s enough for them to pin Lyndon at 6:39. The ending was a really cool sequence, but up till that point this wasn’t much. To me Aeroform are a hit or miss and team and tonight was a miss. Hallowicked and Jigsaw have done better before too. **
Arik Cannon (0-1) vs. Sami Callihan (1-0)
Cannon and Callihan start out hot and heavy, going almost immediately for their finishing maneuvers. Callihan and Cannon then exchange front facelocks on the mat. Cannon rolls into a hammerlock. Callihan slaps Cannon, and Cannon retaliates in kind. Callihan shoves Cannon a few times then chops him in the corner. Cannon and Callihan each hit a chop, then Callihan takes Cannon to the mat and drives his elbow into Cannon’s neck. Cannon hits a chop. Callihan kicks Cannon in the head, but Cannon hits a twisting neckbreaker for two. Cannon applies a choke bow and arrow. Callihan hits a back elbow and a missile dropkick. Callihan hits a diving lariat onto Cannon on the apron. Callihan comes to the apron as well and trades strikes with Cannon. Cannon trips Callihan, sending him to the floor. Both guys trade hard shots in the aisle. Cannon drops Callihan with an exploder suplex, and Callihan pops right back up and hits one of his own. Cannon pops up and hits a superkick, then falls down to take a breath. Both men get to their knees at the count of 14. Both guys trade strikes, and then make it back into the ring right before the 20 count finishes. Each guy lays in more shots on their knees back in the ring. Cannon pokes Callihan in the eyes, but Callihan comes back with a forearm. Cannon and Callihan each hit a big boot and chops. Cannon hits an enzuigiri. Callihan evades a splash and hits a leaping Russian leg sweep for two. Callihan nails Cannon with a lariat for two. Cannon hits his signature punch and the Total Anarchy for two. Cannon hits another right hand and a Saito suplex. Cannon hits a twisting brainbuster for two. Callihan blocks the Glimmer Warlock and turns into a Stretch Muffler. Cannon taps out at 13:54. If you want a slugfest, this match is right up your ally. Callihan and Cannon just nailed each other with fists, kicks, forearms, headbutts, and had no issue dropping each other on their head. To some extent, it was a little unbelievable, but still fun. Both these guys should be on every EVOLVE show. ***
Lenny Leonard interviews Callihan after the show. Callihan screams out a promo before heading to the back. We get a next day promo with Callihan, talking about how sore he feels today. Callihan says it’s not a new feeling, and he’s figured out how to deal with the pain. Callihan says he’s different from everyone else in EVOLVE because he wants “it” more than everybody else. He tells us to start thinking of him as the leader board winner, because he’ll be there soon.
We cut to the outside where Larry (the guy Danielson kicked out earlier) and a girl he was with are still outside the arena. He promises that he’ll get them back into the arena as they get into an argument.
Lenny Leonard is in the ring and Johnny Gargano interrupts. Gargano wants to reassure the crowd that he’s doing okay after his loss tonight. He says he did some growing up in the back and can admit Cole beat him fair and square tonight. He says he can’t the same thing about Jimmy Jacobs, and says Jacobs is scared of Adam Cole. He adds that Jacobs is going to get what’s coming to him, and then heads to the back.
The Osirian Portal (Amasis & Ophidian) (0-0) vs. Up In Smoke (Cheech & Cloudy) (1-0)
Amasis and Cheech exchange wristlocks to start. Amasis hits a sole butt and tags in Ophidian. Cheech throws the Portal into each other, but Amasis punches Cheech into a crucifix bomb from Ophidian. Cloudy tags in, and Cheech hits a leapfrog Thesz press onto Ophidian with Cloudy’s help. Up In Smoke hit a double leg sweep and Cloudy pins Ophidian for two. Cloudy suplexes Ophidian and Cheech hits a slingshot senton. Amasis breaks the pin, and Cloudy attacks Amasis from behind. Amasis kicks Cheech to the floor and follows out with a shoulder tackle. Ophidian rolls off the top rope into a Code Breaker onto Cloudy. Ophidian sends Amasis into Cloudy with a shoulder tackle, and Amasis hits a spinebuster for two. Ophidian hits Cloudy with an enzuigiri and Amasis hits him with a slingshot shoulder block for two. Ophidian tries a prawn hold for two, and then applies a legged full nelson. Ophidian bridges onto Cloudy’s back and neck and then into an Anaconda Vice. Amasis tags in once the hold is broken. Cloudy kicks Amasis in the face, but Amasis hits a sit-out facebuster. Amasis applies a Camel Clutch. Cheech dropkicks Amasis, and Ophidian throws Cheech out to even up the score. Cloudy drops Amasis on his head with an Ace Crusher. Cheech tags in dropkicks both members of the Portal. Cheech drops Ophidian stomach first and hits a snap powerslam on Amasis. Cheech dives onto Ophidian on the floor. Cheech superkicks Amasis then facewashes him. Cloudy nails Amasis with double knees and Cheech hits a 619 from the floor. Ophidian breaks the pin. Ophidian dropkicks Cheech, then skins the cat into a headscissors on Cloudy. Cloudy eats a series of attacks from the Portal and Cheech saves him. Up In Smoke drop Ophidian with a tandem slam. They hit the Tidal Wave and Amasis breaks the pin. Amasis knees Cheech into a DDT on Cloudy. Ophidian slingshots in with an Asai moonsault on Cloudy, and Cheech breaks the pin. Cloudy hits a pescado on Amasis. In the ring, Ophidian locks Cheech in the Ophidian Death Grip. Cloudy hits Ophidian with an enzugiri, and Up In Smoke give Ophidian the Death By Knee for the pin at 11:43. This was better than the previous tag match, but it does help that these teams have met twice before in CHIKARA. I like what both teams have to offer, but EVOLVE needs a more solid tag division all together. I hope both these team get consistent spots on the roster. **3/4
Lenny Leonard interviews Up In Smoke. Cheech says they’re at the top of the tag team division at 2-0 and put down Aeroform as well. In a next day interview, Up In Smoke are spoken to again. Cheech and Cloudy talk about how they are tag team wrestling and how they partied it up after the show. They also SPOIL THE FINISH TO THE NEXT MATCH. Argh! Cloudy writes off the other teams and says that they’ll take on any team thrown their way.
Chuck Taylor and Jimmy Jacobs come out for their match. Jacobs says he’s not afraid of Adam Cole, and accepts his challenge for September 11th to shut up Gargano and put Cole in his place. Jacobs says tonight, he’ll make Taylor shut up and become the wins leader for EVOLVE at the same time.
Jimmy Jacobs (3-0) vs. Chuck Taylor (2-0)
Jacobs and Taylor engage in an aggressive lock-up. Taylor takes down Jacobs, and Jacobs tries the End Time. Jacobs escape an Awful Waffle attempt and the match reaches a stalemate. Jacobs kicks Taylor down in the corner. Jacobs elbows Taylor in the head and elbows him in the face. Taylor takes Jacobs over with a belly-to-belly suplex. Taylor hits a dropkick for two and then applies a reverse full nelson. Jacobs hits a diving clothesline in the corner and slams Taylor’s head into the canvas by his hair. Jacobs hits a running forearm and snapmare. He dropkicks Taylor in the neck for two. Taylor enzuigiri’s Jacobs to the floor and mule kicks him into the crowd. Taylor dives onto Jacobs with a somersault senton into some chairs. Taylor kicks Jacobs in the gut as they go back in the ring, and Jacobs transitions into the End Time. Taylor hits the Sole Food and a big boot for one. Taylor hits a second boot for two. Taylor slams Jacobs into the corner. Taylor blocks the Contra Code but Jacobs springboards into an Ace crusher. Jimmy hits a back senton off the top rope for two. Jacobs sends Taylor to the floor and dropkicks him back into the crowd. Taylor hops onto the ring apron from the crowd to knee Jacobs, and then hits a springboard dropkick. Jacobs hops up and hits a spear for two. Taylor and Jacobs trade right hands. Taylor kicks him in the face, and Jacobs knocks Taylor down with a lariat. Taylor side steps a spear in the corner and places Jacobs up top. Jacobs comes out of the corner and brings Taylor to the mat in the End Time. Taylor turns over into a Cross Crab. Jacobs escapes and hits the Contra Code for two. Jacobs hangs Taylor in a tree of woe and chokes him with his boot. Jacobs hits a flying hip attack to Taylor and then crotches Taylor on the top rope. Taylor slumps off the top and dumps Jacobs with a top rope Awful Waffle for the pin at 12:02. This was a great battle between these two guys, and they pulled out some really cool spots along the way. I like when guys take advantage of the space given outside the ring, and the intimacy of the crowd allowed for some of these cool moments. I love that Taylor is one of the top guys now. ***1/2
Lenny Leonard interview Taylor, telling him he is the Wins leader after tonight’s victory. Taylor says he hasn’t looked back since his Qualifying match and that now he is the face of EVOLVE. The fans chant “Chucky T!” as he heads to the back. Taylor also gets interviewed the next day. He says his match with Jacobs was tougher than he thought, but he still got the win. Taylor points out that he is the Streak and Points leader. Taylor says he bets no one imagined his face as being the face of EVOLVE.
Bryan Danielson (0-0) vs. Bobby Fish (0-3)
Danielson and Fish throw kicks at each other’s thighs, but none connect. Fish gets taken to the corner and Fish kicks Danielson in the chest twice. He does it again, and Danielson turns Fish around and kicks him in the chest and elbows Fish in the face multiple times. Fish kicks Danielson down to a seated position in the corner. Danielson goes for Fish’s ankle, and Fish quickly grabs the bottom rope. Danielson hyper-extends Fish’s arm in the corner. A test of strength sees Fish take Danielson shoulder first to the mat. Danielson monkey flips Fish into the corner. Fish kicks Danielson in the chest against the ropes. Fish hits a dropkick which sends Danielson to the floor. Fish hits a somersault senton. In the ring, Fish hits a belly-to-back suplex for two. Danielson transitions into a submission with Danielson stepping down Fish’s elbow to hyperextend Fish’s arm down to the mat. Danielson snapmares Fish and kicks him in the back. Danielson trips Fish and stomps down on his knees. Danielson grapevines Fish’s legs and snaps down to the campus so that the pressure and force hurts Fish. Danielson grabs Fish’s arms and turns him into a pinning predicament for two. Danielson baseball slides Fish to the floor and hops off the apron with a running knee strike. Back in the ring, Danielson hits Fish with a top rope dropkick. Danielson kicks out Fish’s legs everytime Fish tries to get back to his feet. Fish is able to give Danielson a belly-to-back suplex. Fish lands a running forearm and a suplex. Fish lands on Danielson’s elbow with a top rope headbutt for two. Fish hits a Falcon Arrow for two. Danielson shoves Fish into the corner. Fish gets a knee up, and Danielson gives him a dragon screw leg whip. Fish gives Danielson a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Fish sees Danielson moving to avoid a moonsault, so Fish intentionally lands on his feet. Fish buckles due to his leg being worked over previously. Danielson applies an Achilles tendon hold. Fish and Danielson roll out to the floor and the hold breaks. Back in the ring, Danielson cracks Fish in the head with a kick. Danielson hits a bridging German suplex for two. Danielson lands a Dragon suplex for two. Danielson turns over into the Cattle Mutilation. Fish rolls over, but Danielson traps his arm and slams his elbow into Fish’s head twenty times. Fish is still able to kick out. Fish flips out of a German suplex. Danielson hits some forearms, and Fish hits a jumping knee strike. Fish hits a spinning heel kick for two. Fish knee strikes Danielson in the head and mid-section. Danielson kicks Fish in the face from the mat. Danielson and Fish trade blows on their knees, with Danielson spitting in Fish’s face for good measure. Both guys get to their feet. Fish lays in more knees to Danielson. Danielson kicks out Fish’s bad leg and hits the Regalplex for two. Danielson cranks on Fish’s bad leg with a knee bar, and Fish has no choice but to tap out at 20:38. This match of what I envision when I think of EVOLVE. Both these guys used a combination of strikes, submissions, and a few wrestling moves thrown in to do their best to score the win. Fish to me is easily one of the breakout stars in EVOLVE, even with losing every single match. Danielson didn’t so any smiling or stuff to get the fans going either, which added a lot to the legitimacy of the contest. This was a great way to end the show and is one of the best matches in EVOLVE so far. ****
Lenny Leonard comes in to interview Danielson. Leonard says it must be good for Danielson to finally be in EVOLVE, since the idea was partly his brain child. Danielson asks how many people are here for their first independent wrestling show. A few raise their hands, and Danielson thanks them as well as the fans who have supported independent wrestling all along. Danielson says he’s looking forward to September 11th for EVOLVE 5. He makes a challenge to Munenori Sawa for that show. Danielson thanks everyone again before heading to the back.
We cut backstage where we see Bobby Fish leaving the arena. Larry comes in with his girl and invites Fish out to party. Fish says “he’s done”, and leaves the building instead of going with Larry.
Overall: EVOLVE 4 was a very fun show to watch. The main event was one of the best matches in the company so far and really defines what the product is all about. Elsewhere, Sami Callihan and Arik Cannon put on a great of a slugfest while Chuck Taylor and Jimmy Jacobs solidify the value of the point system in EVOLVE with a great match that emphasizes there overall importance to EVOLVE. Guys like Adam Cole, The Osirian Portal, and others continue to grow and show off their skills as well. EVOLVE 4 is definitely recommended; a fun show that flies by.