EVOLVE 11: Finlay vs. Callihan 2 (13/4/12) DVD Review By Adam Timmins

Posted: January 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

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EVOLVE makes it’s Canada debut; alas, due to border issues AR Fox, Bobby Fish, Scott Reed and Cheech couldn’t make the card. AR Fox wasn’t a surprise (I was supposed to see him in the UK in February of 2012 and he got turned back their too), but apparently Fish got pulled up on something that happened years ago. Those crazy Canucks. So the scheduled matches that are affected are: Gargano vs. AR Fox and The Scene vs. The Super Smash Brothers. A shame for the Scene, as SSB are the one team that might actually have gotten them over!

 The Super Smash Brothers vs. Drew Gulak & Jake Manning – Drew Gulak is of course, Solider Ant in another life. Chuck Taylor introduces Gulak and Manning as the Gentleman’s Club, his new stable to replace Ronin. An ok opener, nothing amazing though. Manning’s “Man Scout” gimmick has ‘high school gym’ written all over it. The SSB win with FATALITY! on Gulak at 10.45.

MK McKinnan vs. Josh Alexander – it’s our own MK McKinnan! Unfortunately he was on a hiding to nothing here, as Alexander is clearly the hometown favourite; and to make matters worse he botches a springboard moonsault early on. Alexander pins him with the Angels Wings at 4.03. As you’d expect, given the length of the match this was pretty inconsequential.

Mike Rollins vs. Ashley Sixx – Both of these guys are veterans of the Toronto scene, and have wrestled each other some sixty-odd times. This was one of those matches were there was nothing really bad about it; but it was just kind of there. Like Manning, Rollins psycho gimmick is a bit indie-riffic. He picks up the win with a sit-down tombstone at 7.02. Meh.

 Alex Reynolds vs. Jon Silver – The problem with Jon Silver, to be blunt, is that he looks and acts like a retard. He does! I’m not trying to be gratuitously offensive; he’s a decent worker, but he’s a small guy to begin with, and people just aren’t going to take him seriously while he’s making funny faces. I didn’t particularly enjoy this one, it just seemed like a succession of moves; but I will say that the crowd didn’t help: talk about being as flat as a pancake. I think an atom bomb could have gone off during that match and it would have provoked a slight smattering of applause. The finish came slightly out of nowhere: Reynolds hitting a death blow and a cradle breaker for the victory at 12.20.

Samuray Del Sol vs. Chuck Taylor vs. Johnny Gargano – Gargano inserts himself in the match as his opponent AR Fox didn’t make it over the border. An enjoyable effort, with Del Sol once again showing improvement after a shaky start in DG:USA. The pace was fast until Del Sol got eliminated at 5.49 (Oklahoma roll by Taylor) and then things settled down a bit. Taylor worked over Gargano’s back for the most part, and made Gargano pass out in the cross crab at 19.13. A nice taster for a proper one-on-one match between Gargano and Taylor somewhere down the line.

Caleb Konley vs. Adam Page – Konley is accompanied to ringside by Leah Von Dutch = winning. This was actually a good little bout; Page impressed enough to make me want to have a look at him again, and Konley looked far better as a singles wrestler than he has teaming with Reed as a tag team wrestler. Konley gets the win with the O Face submission (Pendulum Boston Crab) at 7.29.

Low-Ki vs. El Generico – Low-Ki comes out to his own music; because he’s a big star obviously. He then makes a further fool of himself by insisting on lying on his back on the mat at one point and refusing to get up. Newsflash Brandon: this ain’t MMA. What can I say about this match? Usual Lo-Ki bullshit; Generico did his best, but no-one gets over it a Low-Ki match. Ki wins with the top rope double-stomp at 17.40. After the match he tells Generico he’s not as good as he thinks he is. And the pot said to the kettle “yes I am calling you black.”

Fit Finlay vs. Sami Callihan – Obviously this is a rematch from EVOLVE 9, and also their third bout against each other – their wXw match in Germany is included on here as a bonus feature. I found this one extremely disappointing. Their match at EVOLVE 9 went thirty minutes and absolutely flew by; by contrast, this one went 20 minutes and felt a lot longer. It started off quite nicely, with Finlay giving Callihan a good battering; but the pace quickly dropped off, ala Finlay vs. Elgin in ROH. There were also too many false finishes; Callihan shouldn’t be kicking out of the tombstone, and the suspension of disbelief went as soon as he did. Finlay counters the Horsecollar with a crossarmbreaker, and Callihan taps at 20.41.

 Overall – a disappointing show for me. I know they had guys missing from the card, but still, only the three-way really delivered

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