EVOLVE 10: A Tribute To The Arena (14/1/12) DVD Review By Adam Timmins

Posted: December 30, 2012 in Uncategorized


Low-Ki vs. AhtuAhtu has an open contract, and Lo-Ki comes out, to his own music (normally guys in EVOLVE come out to generic music – but Lo-Ki’s special you understand). The bell rings, and Low-Ki immediately legitimately knocks out Ahtu with a Koppo Kick. What a wanker. Eventually Ahtu gets to his feet, and Ki quickly hits the Tidal Crush and the top-rope double stomp for the win at 1.52. I’m afraid I have no time for Low-Ki in 2012. An amazing talent; but a complete mark for himself, and ultimately no-one benefits from working with him.

Cheech vs. Cloudy – The problem with the massive gap between EVOLVE 9 & 10 is that I’ve forgotten why Up In Smoke split, or if I cared. This match pretty much died, largely due to the fact Cheech – the heel – was far more over than Cloudy. The latter didn’t help his cause by missing a tope and landing flat on his face. Cheech ends this rather breif feud with Go 2 Cheech at 10.13.

The Scene vs. Alex Reynolds & Jon Silver – The Scene are a tag team that Gabe seems intent on giving a push despite the fact that they’re not over in the slightest. They’re ok in-ring wise, but have no charisma or spark whatsoever. Reynolds and Silver looked ok, but nothing amazing. The Scene go over with their DDT/ Wheelbarrow Suplex combo at 9.46.

Jigsaw vs. A.R. Fox – This was a really good little match that was hurt by the crowd, who – considering this is the last ever show at the ECW Arena – has been as flat as a pancake. In what must be considered a mild upset, Jigsaw gets the victory with a superkick at 11.11, after countering the Lo Mein Pain by dumping Fox on his head. Jigsaw has to be one of the most underrated wrestlers in the business right now. After the match Sami Callihan comes out and taunts Fox; but the latter refrains from attacking him.

Pinkie Sanchez vs. Uhaa Nation – aA quick squash as you’d expect. The one thing I’d say is that Uhaa needs to drop the powerbomb off the ropes, it just never works! Uhaa hits the Uhaa Combination at 4.00.

Chuck Taylor & Rich Swann vs. The Super Smash Brothers – Four tremendous wrestlers have amazing tag match shocker. Once again in a DVD review, I have to ask why it is that the SSB never got a decent run in a promotion until 2012? We’ll leave that one to the wrestling historians. The SSB hit FATILITY! on Swann; but Taylor breaks the cover up, and spikes Player Dos with the Awful Waffle at 15.08.

Jon Davis vs. Kyle Matthews –  A quick squash for Davis – Matthews falls to 3 Seconds Around the World at 4.31. After the match Davis challenges Finlay to a match.

Sami Callihan vs. Bobby Fish – Again, another match that the audience killed through apathy. Turn the sound off, and you’ll see a cracking  submission/ strike based affair. But the audience just farted on it, and the match suffered as a result. It didn’t help that although Fish was supposed to be the face, Callihan was more over with the Philly crowd, so the former got booed for most of the match. Fish makes Callihan tap to the Fish hook at 15.56. Fox seconded Fish to ringside, and tries to goad Callihan into hitting him, without success.

Ricochet vs. Johnny Gargano – Well, it’s hard to rate this, as Gargano injured himself very early on. But having sustained quite a serious injury, they should have curtailed the match. Instead, they tried to carry on with what they’d planned; and it wasn’t very good; and the crowd were not happy with it. Gargano took some stupid bumps considering he knew he had a fairly serious injury – a DDT and a German suplex on the apron. Some might admire his fortitude, but it just seemed stupid from where I was sitting. Eventually Ricochet tapped to the GargaNo Escape at 24.22. A great example of what not to do in a match where a guy gets injured early on. 

The show finishes with a Tribute to the Arena. Bob Artese is introduced, who in turn introduces Joey Styles. He brings out Gary Wolfe, JT Smith and Tod Gordon. The latter starts to toast the crowd, but DJ Hyde and some CZW guys crash the party. Balls Mahoney tries to make the save, but is quickly overpowered. New Jack hobbles out and does his old routine in slow-motion, before Justin Credible attacks him. This all leads to….

Justin Credible vs. Sabu – If you like ECW nostalgia, you’ll love this. But I thought this was really, laboured, as indeed was the angle that proceeded it. One Night Stand marked the definitive ECW send-off, and everything else has been a case of diminishing returns. I guess they had to do something to mark the closure of the Arena; but this last segment was like watching one of those Hardcore Homecoming shows: vaguely depressing. Sabu gives Credible the Arabian Skull Crusher at 9.47 to win the final match at the ECW arena. After the bout Sami Callihan runs in and digs a broken beer bottle in his head. He cuts a heel promo, declares the Arena dead, and the lights go out.

Overall – Like many an EVOLVE card, a bit of a mixed bag, but there was enough good here to make watching it worthwhile. A shame about the Ricochet/ Gargano match though


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