Evolve wrestling recently held their 100th show at La Boom Nightclub in Queens, New York. There were a lot of video packages and mentions of some of the talents who have graced Evolve over the years. From Bryan Danielson to Drew Galloway to so many more. Evolve have consistently put on some of the best independent wrestling since their first show and here's hoping that the next 100 are as great.
With almost every match delivering, this was the best Evolve show in a while and an early contender for show of the year.
Commentary was provided by Lenny Leonard and Ron Niemi.
Titles retained in double main event
The first of our main events saw Keith Lee successfully defend the WWN championship against AR Fox. Former Evolve champion Fox has been a highlight for Evolve since returning at Evolve 96, and he was accompanied as per usual by his Posse. The commentary team heralded Fox as the most decorated athlete under the WWN Live banner and the fans were very happy to see him get a title shot here.
This was a classic case of power versus speed and Fox used his athleticism and quickness to ground his bigger opponent in the early goings. Lee's power prevailed though and at one point he launched Fox so far across the ring that I was worried he was going to land in the street. The champ retained the belt after hitting the Ground Zero for the pin. An exciting back-and-forth match that the fans loved every moment of.
In our final match and second main event, Austin Theory challenged Zack Sabre Jr. for the Evolve Championship. The 20-year-old Theory, fresh off of a trial at the WWE performance centre has been on an impressive run since aligning himself with Priscilla Kelly and this was definitely his biggest match to date. Sabre has held the title for almost a year and this was the perfect opportunity for Theory to prove exactly how good he is against arguably the best wrestler in the world.
This match had a big time feel to it and it felt like a massive moment for both men. The challenger used his power to control the match early on, using his power and speed to take Sabre out of his element and stay out of a wrestling match with the best technician in the game. Theory came close to winning on several occasions, with Sabre kicking out of the Theory KO at the closest of three counts. Priscilla Kelly' involvement late on also took Theory close to victory, but Sabre again showed his reluctance to give up the title just yet. The champs technical ability was the deciding factor when he locked in the stretch muffler, with Theory hanging on as long as he could before finally succumbing to the pain and submitting. This was a great match and was easily the best match of the young mans career so far.
After the match. Matt Riddle came to the ring and told the champ that he is going be the next bro to hold that title for the next 100 shows. Sabre said he'll give Riddle a shot if he can prove he is the number one contender. After Zack left the ring, Theory and Kelly attacked Riddle, laying him out with the Theory KO. Theory then grabbed the mic and told us that Riddle is the past and Theory is the future of Evolve Wrestling.
Tough night for Catch-Point
The Catch-Point group had three matches throughout the night. With Dominic Garrini losing the opening match to Fred Yehi. The match had some good grappling but I'm still not sold on Garrini. He is supposed to be a tough and dangerous bodyguard type for the group but he just seems like a jujitsu guy with absolutely no personality. Yehi was at his usual best and he picked up the win with the double underhook suplex.
Tracy Williams was up next for the group as he wrestled Anthony Henry. This was the best Williams match I have seen, and while I've never been the biggest fan of 'Hot Sauce', if he continues to have matches of this quality then I may end up changing my mind. Superb intensity from Henry, who never fails to impress and is someone I would love to see in more singles matches in Evolve. Williams had the hometown support from the crowd but Henry had certainly won them over by the end and the fans were split between the two as the match went on.
Stokely Hathaway tried to get involved, only for Henry to take advantage of this and get the surprise win with the roll up. Williams and Hathaway had a disagreement after the match, with Dickinson and Jaka coming out to keep the peace between them. This brought out The End, which led us into our next match.
After the brawl from the last match, the tag champions Chris Dickinson and Jaka battled The End. The team of Parrow and Odinson have been on a war against Doom Patrol over the last several shows and this added to an aggressive brawl here. The match itself didn't last too long as the introduction of chairs from the four competitors caused the referee to throw the match out. This brought out Tracy Williams, Anthony Henry, Stokely Hathaway and Drennan, which then turned the match in a wild and chaotic fight.
Catch-Point seem to come out on top and Williams and Hathaway put their differences behind them with a handshake. There seems like there is a big match coming between Catch-Point and The End, and much like the other brawls they've had it promises to be a hell of a battle.
James Drake proves himself against The Bro
Matt Riddle is ridiculously over with the Evolve fans, and from the moment he appears the room is filled with loud chants of Bro. 'The King of Bros' took the mic before the match and he said since this is Evolve 100 and the company is always evolving, they should make this a no rope break match which Drake agreed too. Riddle has been lobbying to do away with the rope break rules in Evolve lately and he got his way here.
This was exactly what you'd expect of a Matt Riddle match, heavy strikes throughout and it wasn't long before both guys chests were bleeding. Much like his tag partner Anthony Henry had done earlier in the night, James Drake really won the fans over by the end. Riddle got the win eventually after heavy forearms to Drake made the ref stop the match. This was a great contest and a real break out moment for James Drake, who earned a standing ovation and an applause from the fans as he left the ring. Great job from the big man.
Darby Allin def Jason Kincaid and Jarek 1:20 in a three way
Fred Yehi def Dominic Garrini
Anthony Henry def Tracy Williams w/Stokely Hathaway
Doom Patrol (Jaka/Chris Dickinson) vs The End (Parrow/Odinson) went to a no contest
Matt Riddle def James Drake
Keith Lee def AR Fox w/The Posse to retain the WWN Championship
Zack Sabre Jr. def Austin Theory to retain the Evolve Championship
What did you think of Evolve 100? Let us know in the comments below!