Remember Evolve Wrestling everyone? Oh you know Evolve! The promotion around which FloSlam was built! OK that disaster aside the wrestling in Evolve was usually awesome. They were running shows during the height of independent wrestling so a lot of talent was available. Wrestlers such as Ricochet, Will Ospreay, Lio Rush, Chris Hero, and Zack Sabre Jr. among many others performed there.
For this post I would like to focus on one show in particular. On July 17, 2016 Evolve 65 took place at the Melrose Memorial Hall in Melrose, Massachusetts. I'll be looking at each match on the card in order (except for one I'll just skip). Here we go!
Tommaso Ciampa versus Cedric Alexander
A WWE Cruiserweight Classic Spotlight Series match set for one fall (one fall!) with a twenty minute time limit? Sign me up! Cedric Alexander came out first followed by Tommaso Ciampa entering as "Psycho Killer" played throughout the building. They shook hands before the match as instructed by the referee and Lenny Leonard began his commentary duties for the night! Ciampa brought Alexander to the mat and attempted a pin after a bit of comedy. Ciampa once again brought his opponent to the mat but Alexander reversed the position. After running the ropes Alexander hit a big head scissors and gained control of the match. There was a dropkick to Alexander after he attempted a big move. While he controlled his opponent's arm Ciampa made jokes about facing the hard camera. Huge dropkick to the face of Ciampa who went to the outside. On the outside of the ring Ciampa dropped Alexander on the guardrail. As the referee was counting the crowd started shouting out the wrong numbers. At the end of the match Alexander hit Ciampa with a lumbar check to pick up the victory.
I know I'm coming from a place of watching this match in 2021 where pretty much everything they did is tired from being so overdone, but I wasn't a fan of this match.
Ethan Page versus Travis Gordon
Travis "Flip" Gordon was the first to appear from the back, then it was Ethan Page's turn. To begin the match they locked up but Page quickly took control of the action. Ethan Page quickly hit Gordon with a package pile driver and that was the end of things. Page cut a promo after the match before being taken out by Drew Galloway. Who then cuts his own promo.
Chris Dickinson, Darby Allin, and Jonathan Gresham vs. Catch Point (Drew Gulak, Fred Yehi, and Tracy Williams)
Drew Gulak and Darby Allin started the match. Allin got caught in a submission, but his partners made the save. In came Dickinson who used Darby as a weapon by piledriving him onto their opponent. For the finish Drew Gulak submitted Jonathan Gresham with a dragon sleeper. This was a decent match that I probably would have enjoyed much more in 2016.
Timothy Thatcher versus TJP
Up next was a match for the Evolve title. This was my favourite match on the card so far! Thatcher picked up the victory to retain the title.
Zack Sabre Jr. versus Tony Nese
Another WWE Cruiserweight Classic Spotlight Series match! It was a muscly boy versus a bendy boy for this bout. ZSJ was the winner by pin fall.
Drew Galloway vs. Johnny Gargano
Main event time! One half of the Evolve Tag Team Champions, Drew Galloway, took on Johnny Gargano. The match started with Gargano super kicking Galloway and going for a pin. Galloway kicked out though. It was a pretty good contest as the end of a blood feud. Lots of trying to kill each other! Galloway won with a tombstone piledriver then after the match tried to do more damage to Gargano. Luckily for Gargano, Ethan Page ran in to make the save.
Evolve 65 would probably have been considered a good show by the standards of 2016, but watching it now I wasn't that into it. Some solid stuff was there though. I know a lot of people thought Timothy Thatcher was boring as Evolve champ however I felt that his match with TJP was the best of the night.
Hope you enjoyed reading this look back at a random Evolve show I bought five years ago!
This is my day 93 post for #100daystooffload
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