Ethan Page vs. Fred Yehi vs. Jason Cade vs. Anthony Nese
Note: Peter Kaasa was supposed to be in this match in place of Nese but was presumably injured on the last show.
Fred Yehi bursted onto the EVOLVE scene back in November when he had a great match against Lio Rush. He had a real good showing all weekend, having an awesome match against Tracey Williams at EVOLVE 53, another good one against Matthew Riddle at 54, and had a real impressive performance in this four-way. Ethan Page on the other hand, did NOT have a good weekend. He had two decent matches at EVOLVE 53 and 54, but most of that due to the two guys he was against (PJ Black and Tommaso Ciampa). He did okay here and looked the best he had all weekend. Nese, had two real good tag matches on both shows.
This was a fun, spotty, fast paced four-way that saw Nese get the win in the end. Nothing super memorable, but a real good watch and a great way to open the show. ***¼
Caleb Konley vs. Tomasso Ciampa
Konley has been clammering for a shot at Timothy Thatcher’s EVOLVE Championship all weekend. He came out once Nese had gotten the win in the opener and aired his frustrations, when Tommaso Ciampa, who was originally scheduled to have an open challenge, walked out. The match was made.
My biggest problem I had was that they went a lot longer than they needed to here and the match started to drag. It was the tale of two matches, because they had a lot going for them early on. It was the same problem in the Ethan Page/Ciampa match from the night before. Nonetheless, not bad, and Konley got the win. ***
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Sami Callihan
This match was made the night before when Sabre lost the tag match for he and Callihan against Gulak and TJP and Callihan spat in Sabre’s face as a result. This was another one I felt could have been a lot better but went way too long and was way more than what was needed. Not only that, I believe Callihan was actually sick as he puked twice, once during the match and once Sabre had beaten him. He didn’t look healthy throughout, and I don’t think that was a key factor, but was undoubtedly a factor of some sort. The match was still real enjoyable and kind of what you’d expect out of these two, so you can’t complain TOO much. ***¼
Style Battle Tournament Final: Tracey Williams vs. Matthew Riddle
Matthew Riddle made his debut back in October at a set of shows I actually attended, and I didn’t think very much of him. I thought he was okay but had certain things he needed to work on, and it’s very clear that he has worked on those things and has improved vastly. He knew exactly what he was doing and I’d go as far as to say he was better than Tracey Williams, and that’s no knock on Williams, because I was impressed by him as well. He had a weird match against Peter Kaasa at EVOLVE 54 but he certainly redeemed himself here.
These two are both members of Catch Point and have real good chemistry together, so I look forward to seeing them do some more work in the future. This was one of the best matches of the weekend and would have been the best match on any other card. Highly recommended. ****
Riddle got on the mic and called out Timothy Thatcher. A match was then set for EVOLVE 56 in Queens. Thatcher vs. Riddle for the EVOLVE Championship. Caleb Konley and Sami Callihan were the next two out, Konley once against vented his frustrations and stated that he wants a shot, while Callihan didn’t say much of anything and just attacked everyone but was then taken out by Williams. Good angle/segment there to set up a few matches down the line.
Roppongi Vice vs. Catch Point (Drew Gulak & TJ Perkins) vs. The Bravado Brothers & Team Tremendous
The Bravados have been absent for a EVOLVE for over a year since losing a match to Johnny Gargano, Chuck Taylor and Rich Swann back in January of last year. They made their return at EVOLVE 53, having a great match against Caleb Konley and Anthony Nese, then going on to have another great match against Drew Galloway and Johnny Gargano at 54. I wasn’t a huge fans of theirs back when they were in EVOLVE as regulars, but I can see that they’ve tried real hard to reinvent themselves and improve, and they’ve done just that. I was impressed by them all weekend, and same goes for Team Tremendous. I’ve never been big on them, but god were they great on these shows.
As for TJP and Drew Gulak, I’m a fan of the both of them and have been for a long time. TJP, in my opinion, is one of the most underrated wrestlers of the past decade and I really wish more companies would start using him the way they should be. Roppongi Vice, one of the best tag teams in the world today, were also impressive, but that’s nothing new.
The winner of this match is granted a shot at whoever the EVOLVE Tag Team Champions are at the end of the show, in presumably March. Gulak and TJP and the Bravados were my picks, I would have never guessed that Team Tremendous was going to win, and not that I’m mad that they did, but I really would have preferred Gulak and TJP. Not only because I prefer them over Team Tremendous, but because they would have made so much more sense. It’s whatever though, not a huge deal, I guess.
Another real fun, spotty, fast paced match that’d I’d recommend checking out. ****
EVOLVE Tag Team Championship Tournament Finals: Drew Galloway & Johnny Gargano vs. Chris Hero & Tommy End
Chris Hero and Tommy End is a tag team made in heaven. End was endorsed to EVOLVE by Hero last year and hasn’t worked a show since March, when he had two great matches against Busick and Thatcher at EVOLVE 39 and EVOLVE 40. Hero on the other hand, has been an EVOLVE regular for years and had some amazing matches throughout 2015 against the likes of Timothy Thatcher, Zack Sabre Jr., Drew Gulak, Trevor Lee amongst others.
Galloway came into EVOLVE in 2014 and immediately took the company by storm. 2015 wasn’t the best year for him, as he lost the EVOLVE Championship AND the Open the Freedom Gate Championship to Timothy Thatcher in the summer and then disappeared for a while. Now that he’s back, he and Gargano look to be doing a lot of teaming, which is a good thing for the both of them.
Hero and End have some impeccable chemistry as a tag team, and that showed on all three of these shows. They had that amazing match against Sabre and Callihan at EVOLVE 53, another great match against Roppongi Vice on 54, and now this, which is arguably the worst of the three matches they’ve had, and that’s REALLY saying a lot, because this was great. They may have gone a few minutes too long and maybe not everything connected, but what did connect, connected very, very well.
As expected, Gargano and Galloway got the win and thus became the inaugural EVOLVE Tag Team Champions. ****¼
Final Thoughts: Wow, what a show. What a weekend. If by any chance you missed any of these shows, I highly recommend buying all three of them.