Evolve 80 Review

Prior to the start of the card we get some really nice hype videos including a great promo from Ethan Page.

Grudge Match - Drew Galloway vs. Matt Riddle

This was a surprisingly one-sided match. It was really good fun though. Galloway gave Riddle an off the shoulder powerslam onto the apron and a piledriver off the apron through a table. It was a short match but I suspect that might be because Riddle had roughly 1000 matches set for the weekend. ***3/4

Chris Dickinson vs. Timothy Thatcher

There is a nice spot before the match where Joanna Rose almost announces Thatcher as the champion due to his long title reign only recently being ended. Thatcher looks pissed. This was a hard hitting match that was more fun than I had anticipated. They got the length of the match spot on which is something that can not be said about Thatcher's Evolve Title reign. If the title reign was booked more like this it would be remembered more fondly. ***

Lio Rush vs. Jaka vs. Jason Kincaid

Lio Rush was a nice addition to this match as he is great. The match was a fun sprint and while it didn't go perfectly by any stretch, none of it took away from any enjoyment. ***

The Gatekeepers vs. Facade & Michael Richard Blade

An actual on air murder. N/A

Following the match Ethan Page cuts another great promo.

Ethan Page vs. Austin Theory

The match was fine but the crowd didn't care as there was no competition to buy into. Page was always going to win. **1/2

After the match there is a segment so bizarre that I was convinced I'd been drugged. A bunch of zombie medics bring a body bag to the ring and it is so jarringly out of place with the tone of Evolve. In addition to that it was obvious from recent events that the body bag contained Darby Allin so they didn't even have the element of surprise on their side. It was shit.

Keith Lee vs. Ricochet

We are back to wrestling, which is nice. Keith Lee has unreal athleticism for a guy his size. He is a 350 pounder that moves like a man much smaller in stature. He is also crazy powerful. Ricochet is Ricochet, physics don't apply to him. This was fantastic stuff, not MOTY level but tremendously enjoyable. Both men look great here and the outcome is never obvious. ****1/4

Evolve Tag Titles - Catch Point (Tracy Williams & Fred Yehi) vs. Michael Elgin & Donovan Dijak

These are 4 very capable wrestlers and I was hoping for a really good match here but that didn't really happen. I didn't hate it but I can't say I particularly enjoyed it either. It all seemed a bit off and the tag moves appeared sloppy. It also felt like it lasted forever. You can't win 'em all I guess. **

Following the match Larry Dallas turns up to run down Catch Point, who basically tell him to fuck off. Also, Jaka & Dickinson want a tag title shot from their Catch Point brethren.

Evolve Title - Zack Sabre Jr vs. ACH

This was a tremendous way to finish the show. This flew by and I would have quite liked some of the previous match's time to have been given to this. ACH is such a good high flier and Sabre is smooth as silk in everything he does. He pulls off a couple of superb looking armbar spots here, including one from a 450 splash that is perfectly executed. This was the perfect match for Sabre to have as his first title defense and it also did a great job of re-establishing ACH on the Evolve roster. ****1/4

Overall Grade - B

A bit of a mixed bag but it does feature 3 matches that are well worth your time. Unfortunately it also features features some pure nonsense.