Evolve came to Joppa, Maryland, on Friday night May 6th for Evolve 60 and what a night it was! Over 300 fans packed the MCW arena to see the best talent on the indy scene today. I was front row for the event, and was very happy when it was immediately announced that Evolve would return in August. The fans were loud, and knowledgeable about the Evolve roster, which made the event all the better. A crowd like that gives me hope for the future. Of course Gabe Sapolsky is no dummy, and began the card with hometown favorite Lio Rush, who got the crowd going as he took on TNA’s newest signee in Caleb Konley. Konley is also an Evolve staple, and one of the best wrestlers on the scene today (no pun intended) but nothing seems able to stop the Rush on Lio’s career (pun fully intended). This match was a perfect opener that set the tone for the rest of the night. Both men showed tremendous heart, and even more skill, but Rush used the crowd’s excitement to get the win. –Rush is on fire for some of the greatest companies in the world, and I cannot wait to see what TNA does with Konley.
Matt Riddle, a guy that seems to be everywhere that’s anywhere as of late, and is insanely hot at Evolve, would face Tony Nese, who came in as a special challenger for the former UFC star. Nese, one of the most well-known names in all of indy wrestling, and an Evolve staple, gave Riddle everything he could handle, but Riddle’s offense, and constant set up moves for his dreaded arm bar submission, was just a little too much for Nese, who wound up tapping out to Riddle. –Riddle is fun loving, and looks like David Von Erich. He’s become a great pro wrestler quickly, after leaving UFC, and getting win after win over guys like Nese just cement how important he is today on the indy scene.
The Villain, Marty Scurll came to Evolve to challenge Johnny Wrestling Gargano. For me, this match stole the show, as both guys chain wrestled, and battled back and forth for over 20 minutes! Scurll is one of the best character wrestlers on the indy scene today, as he manages to not overly ham it up, while also not being overly serious. Gargano is Gargano, much deserving of his “Wrestling” moniker. After near fall after near fall, and a disgusting spot where the crowd actually heard Scurll “pop” one of Gargano’s fingers, Gargano still managed to lock in the GargaNO Escape for the submission victory. After the match Gargano got on the house mic and praised the fans, the venue, and indy wrestling in general today. He then called out his former tag partner, Drew Galloway. Galloway turned on Gargano after they lost their Evolve tag titles to Catch Point, during the Wrestlemania weekend shows, and said WWE was compromising Evolve, by getting involved with them. Galloway obliged, and came out to listen to Gargano scold him, but eventually attacked him, and beat him down pretty badly. Ethan Page came out for the save, followed by a referee, and the next match was on! –Gargano has been amazing for years, and Scurll is the next Gargano imo.
Page has been trying to endear himself to the Evolve crowd after turning on Gargano a few months back and attacking him unmercifully. He sacrificed himself here greatly as Galloway was in no mood to mess around and pounded Page badly, most of the match. To his credit, Page fought hard, and on several occasions took it to the current TNA World champion, but to no avail. Galloway took out Page, and said he is “Professional Wrestling’s Chosen One,” and will prove that on Saturday night, when he takes on Gargano at Evolve 61. –Page is much better as a heel imo. He’s too bland, and vanilla as a face. Galloway is loved by the fans, but I understand his anti-WWE angle and wonder why Chris Hero wouldn’t eventually join in on that?
The Devastation Corporation came to Evolve from Chikara to challenge the Bravado Brothers, and they impressed the Joppa crowd with power and high flying abilities. The Bravado’s were prepared and got the victory, but I would be surprised to see TDC back in Evolve. –The Bravado’s are great, and should be seen in Evolve more often. TDC were impressive and I hope to see more from them.
Surprisingly there was no intermission as we went straight into the first of two main events of the evening. It was Catch Point vs Catch Point, as tag champions Drew Gulak and Hot Sause Tracy Williams took on stable mates TJP and Fred Yehi for the belts. Gulak not only wore his tag title to the ring, but held the Evolve world title over his shoulder as well, after champion Tim Thatcher left it lay in the ring at Evolve 59, when he said he would carry it again after he takes out Catch Point. The presence of Stokley Hathaway for this match was interesting, as he’s become the manager of TJP, and says Triple H is very pleased with Perkins, as often as he can get his hands on the house mic. Stokley was a bit of a distraction, but Gulak and Wiliams picked up the win after a very solid tag match. Afterword’s, Gulak held the world title aloft, and challenged Thatcher to return and defeat all of catch Point in order to get it back. This brought out matt riddle, who told Gulak, and the Joppa crowd that he feels that he’s the number one contender. Stokley Hathaway then offered to help Riddle be the next champion, and it appeared that Riddle accepted his offer. Hathaway has inserted himself right in the midst of Catch Point, and I can’t imagine that not leading to issues amongst the members of that faction. Hathaway left with Riddle and TJP, as Gulak, Williams, and Yehi shook hands and left together as a unit. –I love Catch Point, but I also love Hathaway’s involvement here too. This stuff can only get better.
The main event was the hottest feud on the indy scene today as Zack Sabre Jr. took on Chris Hero. The Joppa crowd was evenly split between the two, as this match was brutal! Hero used his size, and strength to pick Sabre apart and beat him down. Sabre is relentless though, and used submission, after submission to wear down the large limbs of Hero, who gets clearly shaken with the Brits methods. While the match was everything I expected, evenly paced, both guys doing everything they do best, and mostly grounded action, I believe I see the mistake Sabre made, and that was letting the match become more of a fight than a wrestling match. While Sabre is one of the most difficult guys in all of wrestling to get a three count on, if anyone has the power, and stamina to do so it’s Chris Hero. While Sabre used all of his transitions, and submission skills, he stood and traded blows far too often with Hero. This lead to Sabre getting piledriven three times! While ZSJ is one of, if not the best wrestlers in the world, no one can overcome that, especially from a guy like Hero, who won the match after that third crushing piledriver. Hero then got on the house mic, thanked the crowd, praised Sabre, but insisted that he is the greatest wrestler in the world, and the number one contender to the Evolve title. –Hero and sabre are legit two of the best in the world today. Hero is killing it in Evolve, and I would be shocked to see the title on him again soon. Just how I wouldn’t be shocked to see ZSJ in the WWE before long.
This show was top notch, and I loved being there live. Evolve is getting bigger, better, and more important. With Joppa now being a regular stop for them, I am thrilled to be close enough to be in attendance regularly for those shows. If you love pure wrestling, you need to be there too for Wrestling Done Right!