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Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling presentations for over ten years now and feature reviewed over 5,00zero presentations. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a brand new assessment right here on Wrestlingrumors.internet. It may well be anything else from trendy WWE to old skool to indies to anything else in between. Note that I price the usage of letters as a substitute of stars and I don’t price suits underneath 3 mins as in point of fact, how excellent or unhealthy can one thing that brief be?

Evolve 125
Date: April 4, 2019
Location: La Boom, New York City, New York
Commentators: Lenny Leonard, Rob Niemi

This is every other some of the presentations that I used to be hoping to look closing 12 months however for one explanation why or every other it by no means took place. That’s the place a unfastened month of Club WWN (plus the corporate placing the display up free of charge on YouTube) can also be at hand and that’s why I’m right here these days. This display appeared to be lovely smartly won so optimistically it holds up. Let’s get to it.

As standard, I do not know what’s coming or what’s going on right here so naked with me if I pass over a plot level.

The commentators/hosts are within the ring to welcome us to the display. They run down the cardboard, simply in case anyone wandered in right here off the road pondering it was once a shop that bought farmer’s almanacs. Cue Adrian Jaoude (additionally of NXT) to break, announcing he’s right here to battle.

Harlem Bravado vs. Adrian Jaoude

Jaoude takes him down comfortably to begin and Bravado bails to the rope in a rush. Bravado stomps away as a substitute and hits a leg lure suplex for 2. The chinlock assists in keeping Jaoude down and it’s a Death Valley Driver to provide Bravado two extra. Bravado begins speaking trash despite the fact that and will get his palms snapped again. The hand will get slammed down onto the mat and a troublesome German suplex drops Bravado. A spinning kick to the face makes it even worse, adopted by way of a snappy kneebar to make Bravado faucet at 5:00.

Rating: C-. Just a snappy fit to get issues going and Jaoude seemed excellent because the monster who can take you aside with the martial arts abilities. I’ve preferred his stuff in NXT and whilst Bravado seemed positive, they made a gigantic deal out of his get started and forestall luck. That appears to be a part of a protracted working tale for him and if this is the case, this would appear to play into it smartly sufficient.

Kazusada Higuchi vs. Curt Stallion

Higuchi appears to be a large time visitor celebrity. They take turns stretching to begin and the a lot smaller Stallion makes himself scream somewhat. Higuchi powers him into the nook for a pleasant pat to the chest and it’s time to paintings on Stallion’s arm. The wristlock into the hammerlock has Stallion screaming much more, so he fails at a shoulder block as a substitute. Higuchi’s shoulder sends Stallion bailing to the ground for a breather.

That approach Higuchi will get to observe and chop away, adopted by way of a shot to dam Stallion’s suicide dive. It’s been one sided as far as Stallion can’t get across the dimension and tool. Back in and extra chops stay Stallion down however he pops again up with an belly stretch to to gradual Highcuhi for the primary time. Actually make it an Octopus Hold however Higuchi is within the ropes in a rush.

A German suplex looks after Stallion once more (Fan: “STAY DOWN!”) however he’s proper again up along with his personal bridging German suplex for 2. Stallion hits a working dropkick within the nook and a DDT will get two extra. For some explanation why Stallion is keen to cut it out once more, which fits in addition to you could have anticipated. He even asks Higuchi to cut him and that’s in fact makes issues worse.

This time despite the fact that Stallion comes again with a knee to the chest, best to get chopped down once more. A working powerslam offers Higuchi two extra however Stallion grabs White Noise onto the knee for his personal close to fall. Stallion’s headbutt connects for every other two however he misses a best rope splash. Higuchi grabs a Doctor Bomb for the pin at 11:21.

Rating: C. The proven fact that Higuchi had a WWN Title fit the next day to come will have to have instructed you the whole thing you had to find out about this one. It’s no longer a perfect fit or anything else but it surely was once more or less entertaining to look Higuchi smash the a lot smaller Stallion. Higuchi wasn’t flashy however he was once intimidating and seemed robust so there was once one thing to him. He would have a greater fit the next day to come too.

Post fit Stallion will get an ovation. It wasn’t that excellent of a fit.

We take a look at Josh Briggs beating AR Fox however hurting himself within the procedure. He was once taken out on a stretcher and wound up with a dislocated hip.

Here’s Briggs, on crutches, for a talk. A couple of weeks in the past, he wasn’t positive if he was once going to stroll once more, let on my own strive against, however the lovers made him consider that the physician’s phrases didn’t subject. They weren’t positive how they had been going to get out of the construction however then the lovers parted just like the Red Sea and let him get out for scientific remedy. Briggs appreciates the lovers greater than they’ll ever know however he guarantees to win the Evolve Title when (sure when) he comes again.

Cue Evolve Champion Austin Theory to mock Briggs for coming again, simply so he can listen the lovers chant his identify. Theory kicks the crutch out and mocks Briggs’ limping…however Briggs stands up. Theory turns round and walks proper right into a chokeslam to finish a excellent section. Well fortunate for Briggs as he didn’t know Theory would pop out however nonetheless excellent sufficient.

John Silver/Alex Reynolds vs. AR Fox/Leon Ruff

Silver and Reynolds at the moment are within the Dark Order in AEW so this corporate almost certainly had so much to do with getting them jobs there. Hold on despite the fact that as Fox and Ruff have to bounce with the entourage sooner than we’re able to head. Reynolds works on Fox’s arm to begin however Fox flips over and dances some extra. Back up and so they each pass over a number of clotheslines however Fox will get one off a backslide.

Fox blocks an RKO try and grabs a Codebreaker, permitting Ruff to slingshot in for an elbow to the again. Silver is available in and flips right into a choke on Ruff, who slips out for a screaming headlock. A one armed gorilla press has Ruff in hassle however he armdrags his manner out with out a lot hassle. Ruff’s more than one springboards armdrag sends Silver out of doors for a best rope turn dive, with Ruff sticking the touchdown after all.

Reynolds breaks up a suicide dive despite the fact that and it’s Ruff in hassle for a transformation, together with a snap suplex to provide Reynolds two. A double flipping faceplant will get two on Ruff and it’s again to Silver for some crossface photographs to the face into the opposite chinlock. Ruff fights up and manages a hurricanrana to ship Silver into Reynolds, that means it’s off to Fox to wash area.

A Thesz press we could Fox hammer away on Silver and there’s a rolling cutter to drop him once more. Fox hits a large no fingers dive onto Reynolds and Coast to Coast….smartly it grazes Silver for 2 a minimum of. Reynolds will get a blind tag despite the fact that and superkicks Fox for 2. Silver and Reynolds hit a powerbomb/Rough Ryder mixture for 2 with Ruff having to make the save.

Fox grabs a double cutter on Silver and Reynolds however they’re proper again with a chain of kicks to the pinnacle. Everyone finally ends up in the similar nook and it’s Fox superplexing Silver, adopted by way of Lo Mein Pain (springboard Spanish Fly). Ruff’s Swanton units up For’s 450 to complete Reynolds at 15:48.

Rating: B-. Solid backward and forward fit right here with everybody getting a possibility to sing their own praises somewhat. Fox seems like the established celebrity and is derived off like some of the legends round right here (suitable, as that’s the case) and Ruff isn’t unhealthy both. Silver and Reynolds were given to show off themselves as smartly and I will know how AEW noticed one thing in them, even in restricted rolls.

Post fit, Fox, Ruff and corporate dance some extra.

Darby Allin vs. Anthony Henry

Priscilla Kelly is with Allin and there will have to be a winner. Henry’s face is part painted ala Darby’s (albeit the opposite aspect for a transformation of tempo), making me assume they’d combined up the graphics for somewhat. The lovers are WAY in the back of Allin right here and Henry bails instantly to the ground to begin. You don’t do this to Allin, who hits a suicide dive into the barricade. Back in and the Coffin Drop is blocked however Allin flips out of a German suplex and armdrags Henry to the ground. Now the suicide dive can attach so it’s time to battle into the gang.

Henry drops him ribs first onto the barricade and provides a working double stomp to the again. They get again in with Allin grabbing a brainbuster for a fast double down. Back up and so they slug it out with Henry hitting a TKO around the best rope. Allin is again in for a pinfall reversal series however he can’t get the Last Supper. A TKO Stunner vegetation Allin so a Jackknife duvet can get two. Henry talks a large number of trash despite the fact that and will get stuck with the flipping Stunner. That’s positive with Henry, who kicks him within the head and stomps away on the head for the referee stoppage at 7:22.

Rating: B-. You in point of fact can see the celebrity energy in Allin, despite the fact that the lovers more or less died at the end there. Allin comes off as a celeb and I’m no longer positive why you can have him lose right here. This felt just like the finishing to a large feud and with Allin being marketed for a fit the next day, it’s a reasonably complicated finishing. At least they beat each and every different up reasonably smartly and it felt like a violent fit, which is what it will have to were given the tale they constructed up.

Post fit Henry leaves however right here’s Brandi Lauren to leap Kelly to arrange their combined tag fit the next day.

Referees assist Allin stagger to the again.

Angelo Dawkins vs. Colby Corino

Corino is a part of the Unwanted and the Street Profits get an enormous response (NXT and Evolve have a running dating should you’re REALLY at a loss for words presently). Montez Ford cracks up at the concept he’s combating anyone as small as Corino and guarantees to care for the remainder of the Unwanted in the event that they display up.

Corino’s slap is swatted away so Dawkins hits a free up gutwrench suplex. Dawkins isn’t executed and choices him up for a large swing sooner than the second one toss. A kick to the pinnacle out of the nook staggers Dawkins and a Meteora places him down. Some working forearms within the nook don’t do Corino a lot excellent despite the fact that as he will get suplexed once more for his efforts. A toss spinebuster finishes Corino at 2:26, because it will have to have.

Post fit Dawkins asks if that’s all there may be. If someone from the Unwanted desires a shot, come get him. Cue WWN Champion JD Drake (no longer a part of the Unwanted) to mention the Unwanted isn’t popping out when anyone is ready on them. Drake is right here to battle despite the fact that so let’s have a identify fit presently.

WWN Title: Angelo Dawkins vs. JD Drake

Drake is protecting. They shake fingers to begin however Drake hits a chop, with Dawkins being happy to reciprocate. Dawkins hits a dropkick and a few working elbows within the nook put Drake at the flooring early on. Another chop off is going to Drake and he runs Dawkins over to provoke the lovers. More chops have Dawkins in additional hassle, together with much more to knock him down. A headbutt offers Drake two and a sliding lariat is excellent for a similar because the tempo has slowed somewhat.

Dawkins fights again up with some laborious shoulders, putting in place the spinning splash within the nook. A bulldog will get two and a spear is excellent for a similar however Dawkins can’t observe up. Back up and Drake manages a German suplex however Dawkins pops up and shouts. That earns him a Drill Bit for 2, so Drake asks why Dawkins received’t die. Drake places him on best however will get pulled down with a really perfect spinebuster for 2 extra. Dawkins’ chops simply annoy Drake and he cuts Dawkins off with a knee. A Stunner units up a Cannonball and Drake’s moonsault keeps the identify at 10:30.

Rating: B-. Not too unhealthy right here for an impromptu face vs. face fit. They beat each and every different up smartly sufficient right here and it’s no longer like a tag wrestler dropping in a singles fit goes to do any actual harm to him. Drake will get an outstanding having a look win and you’ll inform that he approach so much to the lovers right here. The Street Profits had a pleasant run in Evolve and it helped flip them into a greater group. Now consider that: getting out and studying from anyone else can assist younger ability recuperate.

Respect is proven put up fit.

Video at the Ten Year Anniversary display, which was once lovely excellent.

Cue Stokely Hathaway (mythical supervisor, now referred to as Malcolm Bivens in NXT) to mention he hasn’t been launched. No he isn’t again this night since the best manner he may have come again was once to be put into the primary match this night. That was once shot down so as a substitute he’s right here to mention good-bye. Last 12 months he went to Axxess and now he has been signed by way of NXT and it do not have took place if no longer for Evolve. Since he’ll be long gone quickly, he sought after to mention good-bye and thanks. Nice second right here and you’ll inform Hathaway has a deep historical past round right here.

Montez Ford vs. Shane Strickland

Strickland could also be Unwanted and is referred to now as Isaiah Scott. Ford is extra severe right here and costs at Strickland within the nook to knock him out of doors. That approach choking and forearms in opposition to the barricade however Strickland will get in a couple of chops. That’s no longer cool with Ford who blocks a large chop and kilos Strickland down once more. A sip of the crimson cup fires Ford up sufficient to hit the massive turn dive and the lovers are happy.

Cue Colby Corino for a distraction despite the fact that and Strickland pulls him right into a changed Rings of Saturn. He even ties Ford’s fingers again along with his legs and the lovers chant GOLDBERG. Even observation has to give an explanation for that by way of citing some pyro going off by way of mistake. Lenny: “If we’re being honest, it probably would have been Gillberg.” Back up and Strickland hits a working dropkick to the knee within the nook and it’s off to extra double arm cranking.

That’s damaged up as smartly so Strickland chops away however Ford will get in a couple of kicks and a status moonsault is excellent for 2. Strickland is okay sufficient to hit a 619 across the put up and a troublesome powerbomb drops Ford once more. Ford pops again up and blasts Strickland with a clothesline however snaps off a dropkick sooner than the double knockdown. It’s Strickland up first and tramping away, together with taping up his fist.

Ford falls down despite the fact that and the referee makes Strickland take away the tape. Strickland’s fingers are positive sufficient for a troublesome German suplex and the Swerve Stomp will get two. The comeback is on however Ford will get knocked laborious off the highest and down onto the apron. Back up and Ford hits a best rope Fameasser with Strickland within the ropes. That and the large frog splash is sufficient to give Ford the pin at 12:44.

Rating: C+. I really like either one of those guys (Strickland so much) and once more, it presentations how a lot price there may be to have those guys in a distinct promotion to be informed one thing other. That isn’t one thing that occurs very regularly and I’m in point of fact no longer positive why. How many wrestling promotions would like to characteristic some NXT ability? Anyway, this was once a troublesome hitting fit but it surely by no means hit that subsequent tools, leaving it as simply lovely excellent as a substitute of excellent.

Tag Team Titles: Unwanted vs. Konosuke Takeshita/Mao Inoue

The Unwanted (Eddie Kingston/Joe Gacy) is protecting and the challengers are from DDT. Takeshita (the DDT Champion) begins with Kingston and so they move to the mat early on. That approach an early standoff so Takeshita hits a forearm to ship Kingston out of doors. Back in and a leg lariat sends Kingston into the nook so it’s off to Mao vs. Gacy. An change of shoulders is going to the a lot larger Gacy, who blocks a drop toehold with out a lot effort.

Mao sends him out of doors and it’s again in for each challengers to hammer away. That brings Kingston again in despite the fact that and Mao will get double teamed for a transformation, together with a large clothesline for 2. The chinlock is going on for somewhat and it’s time to stomp away however Mao is again up with a working dropkick. A working leg lariat will get Mao out of hassle and it’s the recent(tish) tag off to Takeshita. Kingston is available in as smartly and is instantly DDTed to the ground, the place he pulls Takeshita with him.

Mao dives onto all 3 and frog splashes Kingston for 2 again inside of. A break up legged moonsault will get two extra and there’s a German suplex for a similar with Gacy throwing Takeshita into the quilt for the save. Kingston suplexes Takeshita but it surely’s a couple of shoes within the nook to take Kingston down. Mao provides the 450 for 2 however walks right into a heck of a spinning kick from Gacy.

That simply earns him a Blue Thunder Bomb to provide Mao two however Gacy blasts Mao with a clothesline for a similar. Mao Stuns Gacy, who is true again up with a discus forearm for 2 extra. An unpleasant having a look powerbomb/neckbreaker mixture will get two as the whole thing remains damaged down. Mao slugs away at each champions immediately but it surely’s a backdrop driving force to provide Gacy the protecting pin at 13:57.

Rating: B. I preferred this one far more than I anticipated to because the DDT guys seemed superior now and then. They performed smartly in opposition to the laborious hitting champions and I preferred the entire thing reasonably smartly. The Unwanted has inspired me within the restricted period of time I’ve observed them and this was once no exception. Good stuff right here and almost certainly the most efficient fit of the evening to this point.

Evolve Title: Austin Theory vs. Kyle O’Reilly

O’Reilly is difficult and sure he does play the air guitar on a belt with out in fact having a belt. Hold on despite the fact that as each guys make sure you inform the hoop announcer their more than a few nicknames for the Big Match Intros. This contains Kyle dubbing himself the Sleazy Air Guitar Superstar, which after all will get a chant. Feeling out procedure initially O’Reilly taking him down however Theory runs clear of the specter of a large kick to the pinnacle.

Back up and O’Reilly grabs the leg once more however can’t get very a long way with it. A headlock takeover works higher for O’Reilly and he does it once more as a result of he’s from NXT and likes Takeovers. Theory can’t suplex his manner out of the headlock so he powers up, best to get taken down in all places once more. O’Reilly’s thoughts video games of simply outmaneuvering Theory at each step is excellent stuff. The go armbreaker sends Theory out of doors and that’s excellent for a SLEAZY KYLE chant.

Back in and O’Reilly moves him down with out a lot hassle as Theory simply can’t get anything else going to this point. A kneebar sends Theory to the rope however he after all rankings with a clothesline to get a breather. Theory’s status moonsault will get two and it’s off to an arm lure chinlock. That doesn’t closing lengthy despite the fact that and Theory chops the heck out of him within the nook. A suplex will get two on O’Reilly and it’s off to another armbar.

O’Reilly fights up and rolls some butterfly DDTs to place them each down for somewhat. The ankle lock doesn’t closing lengthy so O’Reilly suplexes him for 2 extra. Theory is again with a buckle bomb however they industry kicks to the face. A kneebar slows Theory down and O’Reilly kicks him within the chest so laborious that he sends himself out of doors. They slug it out once more and, after staggering somewhat, Theory rocks him sufficient for Three Seconds Around The World (spinning torture rack bomb).

2K1 (leg lure brainbuster) will get two extra on O’Reilly however he is taking the knee once more. Theory dives for the rope and desires just a little stroll across the ring. This contains selecting up the identify and strolling away however O’Reilly pulls him again inside of. The brainbuster offers O’Reilly two and we hit the ankle lock. Theory will get out once more and hits a DDT onto the belt for 2, adopted Attaksia for the pin to retain at 20:15.

Rating: B. I had fun with this one and there have been instances the place you believed that the identify may just trade fingers. That’s no longer one thing you get in showdown suits like this so smartly executed with each guys. What issues right here despite the fact that is giving Theory every other line on his resume. It approach one thing to have overwhelmed a large identify from NXT so it’s a favorable deal for everybody right here, as O’Reilly will get a excellent fit and will move proper again to NXT’s tag department whilst pointing to the DDT at the belt. Good major match right here and it felt like somewhat deal.

Post fit Theory jumps O’Reilly however Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong run in for the save. Fish talks about how he and O’Reilly began Evolve (within the first major match) and they’ll step in when wanted. O’Reilly preferred that Theory (which he declares as Tuh-hear-e) used the identify and guarantees that the Undisputed Era will likely be again.

Overall Rating: B. This was once a amusing and entertaining display which by no means dragged within the slightest. The extra I watch of Evolve the extra I feel I may just get into it. You can inform that there are intricate tales all over the corporate and a large number of historical past between the folk. It wasn’t precisely on show right here, however they did sufficient to make me focused on seeing extra. Well executed right here and a display value trying out when you get the time.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has observed over 50,00zero wrestling suits. He has additionally been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,00zero complete presentations lined. You can to find his paintings at, or take a look at his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.

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