Picture Credit: Caleb Konley’s twitter
A little under a month ago a preview of a shoot interview was posted on YouTube which had Jake Manning interviewing Caleb Konley for a podcast he hosts and produces. Since the video was posted it has gotten some flack with some people in the business. In the six minute clip Konley spoke about his frustrations with his position in the promotions Dragon Gate USA and EVOLVE runned by former Ring of Honor booker Gabe Sapolsky. Since his arrival into the WWN Family (DGUSA, EVOLVE, and Full Impact Pro), I’ve felt like Caleb Konley has been destined for great things. His first match was at EVOLVE 2, in which he lost to Ken Doane. His next match was at Dragon Gate’s 2010 event Bushido: Code of The Warrior in which he lost in a dark match Fray (a freestyle match which usually includes 6-8 competitors). The next couple of DGUSA events he also competed (and lost) in Frays. He later teamed with Scott Reed at EVOLVE 9 to become the tag team of ‘The Scene.’
Despite being low on the card (usually first or second match), they made sure you noticed. Between their solid in ring performances and their controversial entrances, they had you talking about them. Whether you loved them or hated them, the two had a fairly successful win-loss record and would go on to winning the FIP Tag Team Titles before breaking up after a year and a half. After the break up, Konley shortly teamed with Andrew Everett in both DGUSA and FIP. Their first weekend in DGUSA they went 1-1 and then won their debut match in FIP. It looked as if they were on their way to success when Everett left for Ring of Honor, this left Konley without a partner or direction.
Once again Konley was put low on the EVOLVE and DGUSA cards, losing to Lince Dorado, Yosuke Santa Maria and Tim Donst. On the same night he lost to Tim Donst in the opening match of the 2014 DGUSA Way of the Ronin show, he made an impact by joining the Premiere Athlete Brand and attacking Chris Hero and AR Fox after their match against each other. Along side Tony Nese and Trent Barreta, the trio constantly outperformed anyone on the WWN roster. On April 5th they were victorious in a tag team trios tournament on what seems to be DGUSA’s last event as a promotion.
Despite DGUSA no longer running, Konley and Nese captured the DGUSA Open the United Gate championships at EVOLVE 35. Around this time EVOLVE was beginning to start a new chapter. EVOLVE started to use a rankings system after every weekend they ran events. The ranking system was based on wins, loses and performance from each wrestler on the roster.
In the first rankings post EVOLVE 31-33 Konley ranked #7 in the top 10, but following his tag title win (along side Tony Nese), he ranked #1 in the top 10 after the EVOLVE 34 and 35 events. After this he was ranked #1 for a second consecutive time following the WWN Live in China events, where he went 4-0 in the week. In the next rankings he dropped to #2 due to injury. Despite being at the top of the rankings three times in a row, Konley never received a title shot for the EVOLVE Championship.
With a few ups and downs in the rankings, Konley continued to have great performances with the likes of PJ Black,Davey Richards and former stablemate Trent Barreta. On the weekend of the EVOLVE 47 and 48 events, Konley once again found himself with a perfect record. It would then be obvious to rank him #1 in the Top 10 rankings, but this didn’t happen.
These rankings were put out after the video of Konley expressing his frustrations with not being the top guy in the promotion. Were these rankings a result of what Konley said? We don’t know, but this has to be the biggest slap in the face to Konley. Not only was no one placed in the #1 position, but this spot was left open to the winner of the match between the #8 and the #5 wrestlers. Why is EVOLVE putting out a rankings system if its not being followed? At EVOLVE 49, Konley came out with Nese and So Cal Val before their match against Milk Chocolate, and he expressed his frustrations with being overlooked by the company.
With this weekend’s EVOLVE events coming up, Konley is faced with two big challenges. On Friday at EVOLVE 51, Konley faces former EVOLVE champion and returning Drew Galloway, in what is being billed as a ‘grudge’ match. Saturday at EVOLVE 52 he faces the newest member of the Catch Point Stable – TJ Perkins. This could be Caleb Konley’s most important weekend in EVOLVE as he looks to be #1 in the rankings and receive a title shot in the near future. Will Konley have a breakout performance and finish the weekend 2-0, and if he finishes the weekend undefeated, will EVOLVE officials grant him a title shot?
You can watch both iPPV events this weekend at WWNLive.com