Last night, EVOLVE 7 took refuge at the famous B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in NYC. The event featured two studded main events, including the final independent appearance of Jon Moxley.
Welcome back to The Wrestling Times. As tweeted, I was in attendance last night at EVOLVE 7. This post will be different from most because it’s from a live attendee’s perspective. And for those of you who have been to live wrestling events, know that the experience is much different from watching it on TV or DVD. If you have yet to attend, please support live wrestling, you’ll be glad that you did. So without further adieu… Ladies and Gentleman… let’s discuss–are you ready?–Live Wrestling!
Not realizing what the ticket read, except that doors opened at 6, Evolve 7 started at 8 PM. That’s right, as soon as my ticket scanned, I was locked inside the confines of the B.B. King’s domain for two hours before show. So I had a few options: sit quietly in my non-assigned seat, eat and drink from an overpriced Manhattan menu, or do blow with Jimmy Jacobs in the back? I’ll give you two hints: I don’t do drugs, and the Jewie in me cries if I spend more than a dollar.
You tend to notice a lot while sitting quietly. (Keep in mind that this event took place on a Tuesday night, my friends were working.) The ring was in the center of the room, inches away from the stage, still in the process of being assembled throughout the two-hour wait. Such a wild sight to see average guys, some possibly aspiring wrestlers, assemble the ring. As they tightened, one guy ran the ropes to test it. Despite sitting in the General Admission purgatory section, my view was directly centered to the right hand side of the ring (stage left for all you theatre buffs out there). No matter where you sat, you were guaranteed a great view.
The main camera, filming the Internet PPV, was stationed directly in front of the bar to get the overall view of the ring. Throughout the night, I noticed at least two cameramen circling the ring, attempting to get close to the action for the fans at home. So for the instances that I couldn’t see the wrestlers, the view was obstructed for the Internet PPV buyers. (Hope you enjoyed the shots!)
The major focal point of the night (from what I gathered) was determining the Win Leader for Larry Dallas’ (Not the guy from Three’s Company) and Reby Sky’s A-Listers. The three tied Win Leaders at 4-wins were: Jimmy Jacobs, Johnny Gargano, and Chuck Taylor.
The opening contest pit Jacobs against Shiima Xion, making his Evolve debut. Xion hailed from the Philippines, though his ring attire resembled that of Ultimate Warrior. The two had a nice back and forth, with Jacobs executing a suicide dive, and Shiima getting a second wind after being rolled into the ring. We all know the phrase “Beginner’s Luck,” Jacobs learned it the hard way after being caught in a Crucifix roll over.
With Jacobs now 4-3 in win-loss record, Johnny Gargano had the untimely task of fending off Jon Davis of The Dark City Fight Club, also making his Evolve Debut. For the former Heroes fans out there, Gargano reminded me of Sylar, with a hint of Nunzio. Davis delivered several powerhouse maneuvers from powerslams to an over-the-knee backbreaker. But Gargano brought the thunder with a wicked double stomp off the chest of a vertical Davis, a Baby Ace Crusher to Davis on his knees, and finally submitting Davis to the Gargano Escape crossface.
With Johnny Gargano at 5-2, Jacobs is out of the running for Win Leader, but Chuck Taylor still had an opportunity in his match against Akira Tozawa. This was considered a main-event caliber match, aside from the actual main-event. Taylor and Tozawa connected with stiff forearms, stiff shoot kicks, and incredible pinning predicaments. The two were so evenly match, they began screaming at one another and running into stereo forearms. However, Tozawa fell to Taylor’s Omega Driver, tying Taylor to Gargano with 5-wins.
Larry Dallas was fine having co-Win Leaders, somehow it was a good business decision as he kept saying. But Taylor and Gargano did not see it that way; they wanted a decisive Win Leader, so they issued the challenge to the other for an impromptu Win Leader vs. Win Leader match. After a quick series of roll ups, and submission holds, Dallas pulled out a towel, gave it to Reby Sky, in order to throw in the ring. Similar to when Owen Hart (RIP) screwed his brother, Bret Hart, by having his mother throw in the towel for her son, Reby was in position to screw over Gargano. However, Reby threw in the towel seconds too early, and cost Chuck Taylor the match. So EVOLVE’s new Win Leader at 6-2, and the sole leader of the A-Lister’s, is Johnny Gargano. And if my Hart’s analogy seems a bit off, then when the NYC audience started chanting “You screwed, Chuck!” Gargano brought it home by saying, “I didn’t screw Chuck, Larry didn’t screw Chuck, Reby didn’t screw Chuck, [Ring Announcer] didn’t screw Chuck, Chuck screwed Chuck!”
Now, on to the Main Event: Austin Aries (1-0) vs. Jon Moxley (1-1). This event marked Jon Moxley’s final independent appearance as he has been signed to a developmental contract with WWE. Unlike when Tyler Black (n.k.a. Seth Rollins) wrestled his final match, the NYC fans were extremely respectful of Moxley. Though some attempted the “You Sold Out!” chant, the majority of B.B. King were split in their decision between Aries and Moxely. There were a lot of close calls, even with the action spilling out of the ring as Moxley dove onto Aries with a high crossbody. Aries was able to kick out of The Moxicity spinning side slam, and the One Hitter vertical/DDT combo. Yet, Mox kicked out of A-Double’s 450° splash, and withstood the Last Chancery. In the end, Aries caught Moxley’s leg for a roll up victory–his record now 2-0.
As customary in wrestling tradition, the winner usually has the final say, but since Aries will not be going anywhere, he handed the mic over to Moxley. As Moxley took over the mic, Jigsaw, Zack Sabre Jr., Sami Callihan, AR Fox, and Rich Swann came out to celebrate the end of Mox’s final independent match. (Hopefully.)
“F–k!” That perfectly summed up Mox’s feelings. He had just gotten the hell beaten out of him from one of the top guys, in his opinion, and now needs to get in shape. It is also a word that he is able to say for a few more days before he starts working in WWE’s PG environment.
Sami thanked Moxley for showing him the ropes, and traveling with him, but now it’s time for him to go make some f–kin’ money.
“Thank you, Moxley!”
That’s it for this post. Others matches at Evolve 7 included (with updated win-loss records): Jigsaw & Frightmare (3-0) against Facade & Jason Gory (0-1) … Sami Callihan (3-1) against Zack Sabre Jr. (0-1) … AR Fox (1-0) against Rich Swann (0-2) … Silas Young (2-1) against Tony Nese (0-2).
Until next time: Remember to please subscribe, tell a friend, phone a friend, add The Wrestling Times to your web browsers’ favorites on your computer and your mobile devices. Follow me on Twitter @WrestlingTimesX for quick rants, which I will be too lazy to post on this site. Oh, and RT everything I say because it’s golden!