EVOLVE 37 was held live on iPPV on the 10th January 2015 where the main event was the reunion of Ronin (Johnny Gargano, Rich Swann and Chuck Taylor) taking on The Bravado Brothers and Moose where the losing team can never team in EVOLVE again.
Shane Strickland vs Anthony Nese
Before the match, Nese accepted So Cal Val’s offer to represent The Premiere Athlete Brand and demoted Su Yung and she is now So Cal Val’s assistant.
After the debut of Shane Strickland at EVOLVE 36 I was interested in seeing more and tonight he did step up his game a little bit in this match and showed more about what he could do and I felt that Strickland will continue to improve given the right opponents and I do feel he can go far in EVOLVE. I would have given the match 3 stars but the main focus on the match wasn’t on the guys wrestling in the ring, but on So Cal Val and Su Yung, this kind of distraction can ruin matches and it should’ve been saved for a small segment after the match. Apart from that, decent match but didn’t get the full attention it deserved.
Winner: Anthony Nese
Match Rating: 2.75/5
Roderick Strong vs Timothy Thatcher
The names in this match say it all. You’ve got Roderick Strong, a guy who rarely ever has a bad match and Timothy Thatcher, another great wrestler who’s had some great matches with the likes of Biff Busick and Zack Sabre Jr so you know you were going to get a good match from these two. Thatcher did a great job selling Strong’s offense and I like how the finish came out of nowhere as this fits Thatcher’s style so well and Thatcher go the win via armbar that came out of nowhere but managed to work. After the match Thatcher announced he wanted to face Chris Hero at the WrestleMania weekend show.
Winner: Timothy Thatcher
Match Rating 3.5/5
Trevor Lee vs AR Fox
What could have been a great match was unfortunately stopped after AR Fox took a nasty bump when he got sent to the floor and was busted open and he apparently got a concussion from this. Good news is that Gabe announced that Fox was alert and on his feet later that night.
Winner: Trevor Lee (via referee stoppage)
Match Rating: NR
Biff Busick vs Uhaa Nation
At this point in the show the crowd was taken out due to an earlier FIP show and with what just happened with AR Fox. I was interested in the clash of styles for this match because Biff Busick is more technical whereas Uhaa is more highflying powerhouse style of wrestler, so this was an interesting clash of styles that worked well. The story of the match was that there were limited options for offense for Busick so he had to be resourceful until he was able to outlast Nation and eventually locked in the Saka Otoshi submission for the clean win. It was a surprise to see Busick get a clean win over Nation, especially a submission win but with the rumours of Nation going to the WWE and with this may being his last EVOLVE show it was a great way to put Busick over. After the match Biff Busick also announced that he wanted to face Chris Hero at the WrestleMania weekend show.
Winner: Biff Busick
Match Rating: 3.5/5
EVOLVE World Championship Match: Drew Galloway (Champion) vs Ricochet (Challenger)
This was the match I was most looking forward to out of all the matches announced from both EVOLVE 36 and 37 because I’m a big fan of Ricochet and I was really impressed at how well Drew Galloway has manage to reinvent himself after watching him at the last EVOLVE events so I knew this was going to be a good match and it didn’t disappoint. Ricochet looked a lot more intense as this was his chance to prove he was the real face of the WWN Live family by becoming the first man to hold the DGUSA Championship and the EVOLVE World Championship. They worked to the outside, which led to Galloway tossing Ricochet into the air but Ricochet grabbed the basketball like he was dunking and then executed a Hurricanrana, it was awesome. Ricochet was working on the hand of Galloway but Galloway poked Ricochet in the eye but the splinter protecting Galloway’s finger came off and hit Ricochet in the eye as well. The ending came after Galloway hit the future shock DDT on Ricochet with Ricochet being protected in defeat.
Winner: Drew Galloway retains the EVOLVE World Championship
Match Rating: 4/5
Losing Team Must Split Up: Ronin (Rich Swann, Chuck Taylor and the DGUSA Champion Johnny Gargano) vs The Bravado Brothers and Moose
I was excited when I heard Ronin was reuniting and I had no problem with this match being the main event of the evening as I knew it was big deal to EVOLVE fans but I’m not sure why the stipulation of the losing team must split up was inserted as it really didn’t add anything more to the match for me because since I really don’t care for the Bravado Brothers I really didn’t care if they did split up. As for the match itself it was a pretty good six-man tag team and I felt Moose had a really strong showing here, probably one of his best showings to date out of both EVOLVE and Ring of Honor. So overall fun match, but it the booking did feel rushed for it especially with a stipulation like this being added.
Match Rating: 3.25/5
After the match Johnny Gargano cut a promo saying how he was proud to be the DGUSA Champion and how it was the most prestigious championship in the WWN Live family. Drew Galloway came out and told Gargano that the DGUSA Championship was no longer the most important championship anymore and that the EVOLVE World Championship is now the most prestigious championship in the WWN Live family. The show ended with both competitors raising their belts to hint at a unification match in the future.
Overall Rating: 7.5
Final Thoughts: EVOLVE 37 was a pretty damn good show and EVOLVE overall is off to a great start in 2015. I’m looking forward to seeing if a Johnny Gargano vs Drew Galloway does happen in a Unification match but the match itself should be good regardless even if no belts are on the line. The matches were pretty even in terms of quality and it was great to see even more evolution to both Ricochet and Drew Galloway and it the reunion of Ronin was great. The only real negatives was the opening match, the AR Fox situation (though glad to hear he’s doing OK) and there were some booking decisions that I was a bit confused by such as Roderick Strong losing but I’m sure that’ll all become much clearer in the future.
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