LIVE From La Boom – New York, NY
Fred Yehi def. Dominic Garrini
Yehi finally ends his losing streak against a young, unproven talent in Dominic Garrini. This match had a decent pace, but it lacked any kind of general heat with the fans which definitely hurt the finish to the match. Garrini still has a long way to go in becoming a star in EVOLVE, but with matches against talents like Yehi, he will be there in no time **½
Anthony Henry def. Tracy Williams
With James Drake taking on Matt Riddle later in the show, the smaller half of the Work Horsemen, Anthony Henry, was getting a big opportunity of his own against Catch Point leader Hot Sauce Tracy Williams. The match started out hot, but when Williams gained control, it became much more methodical. Henry would work back to his feet, however, hitting a sit-out powerbomb on Williams for two. Williams would once again get Henry down, and this time he’d look for a double stomp, but he misses, leading to a missile dropkick from Henry. Henry now has the most momentum he’s had all match. He goes for the enziguri, but he misses and gets hit with a suplex. Williams would then hit a piledriver, but instead of going for the pin, he instead locked in the crossface. Henry is able to get to the ropes, and this is when Stokely Hathaway gets up on the apron, screaming at the referee. This leads to Williams getting thrown into Stokely which allows Henry to nail a huge kick and a roll-up for the win ***¼
The End is out to attack after the match during Stokely and Hot Sauce’s confrontation. The rest of Catch Point empty to the ring as well.
EVOLVE Tag Team Champions Catch Point (Jaka & Dickinson) vs. The End goes to double DQ
Please end this feud ASAP *
No Rope Breaks: Matt Riddle def. James Drake via referee stoppage
James Drake has arrived. In what will be looked at as his potential breakout match in EVOLVE, James Drake went toe to toe with one of the best in the world in Matt Riddle and nearly took him down. Before the match, the two agreed that this would be a no rope breaks match, a match that Riddle has been advocating for months now. It was an all out war with chops and forearms being thrown as stiff as you’ll see. At one point, Drake had busted Riddle’s chest open with a few stiff chops. There was a beautiful spot near the end after Drake had hit Riddle with a pumphandle fallaway slam. With Riddle prone in the corner, Drake would hit a massive cannonball and would then head to the top rope and hit a picture perfect moonsault for a near fall. He’d go back up for another one, but Riddle would catch him in an armbar this time. Drake would get to the ropes, but that wouldn’t matter, so he was forced to kick Riddle off of him to get free. Riddle would then hit a powerbomb followed by a MASSIVE knee to the jaw, leading to him just bludgeoning Drake with punches until he was no longer able to defend himself, leading to the referee stoppage and an overwhelming standing ovation from the crowd. Riddle was amazing per usual here, but as Drake said after the match, don’t let the size fool you. The New Age Enforcer is here ****½
WWN Championship: Keith Lee (c) def. AR Fox
The early portions of this match were filled with AR Fox eluding Keith Lee’s big moves and dancing with his posse outside of the ring. However, as this match hit the middle and especially the closing stretches, it kicked it into a gear that only guys like this can hit. If this match taught me anything, it’s that Keith Lee is unbeatable. Fox would be just as resilient, kicking out of a HUGE Spirit Bomb from the 332.4 pounder. However, not one but two 450’s still wasn’t enough for Fox to put down the Limitless One as his shock matched the crowd’s in La Boom. Fox would then pull Lee up to his feet only to get hit by Ground Zero, leading to the 1-2-3 and another successful defense for Keith Lee ****
EVOLVE Championship: Zack Sabre Jr. (c) def. Austin Theory
This match did so many great things for Austin Theory. His rise in EVOLVE has been so fun to watch, and for it to pay off in a great match like this was the icing on the cake. Theory, while FIP Champion, is still very much unproven in EVOLVE, but this match went a long way in proving that he can be the top guy at some point down the line for the brand. He got in a ton of offense on Zack, and his power display which limited Sabre Jr.’s submission arsenal was a great touch as well. He proved that he was more than good enough to hit his finishers on Zack, but keeping him down for the three count is what got him here. Sabre Jr. is in the midst of possibly the most dominating reign in EVOLVE history, so it’s going to take a lot more than just hitting a finisher to keep him down as Theory found out. The limb work from Zack paid off in the end as it always does, locking in the Banana Split, forcing Theory to tap. Sabre Jr’s historic reign continues as Austin Theory suffers a minor setback in EVOLVE ****
After the show, Matt Riddle is out to challenge Sabre Jr. Zack says he will gladly face Riddle…once he earns number one contender. Zack then leaves, leaving Riddle with Priscilla Kelly. She distracts him long enough for Theory to strike and hit Theory KO on Bro.
Show Grade: B+ (8.6/10)