EVOLVE 13: Gargano vs. Fox (12/5/12) DVD Review By Adam Timmins

Posted: March 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

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AR Fox vs. Ricochet vs. Jigsaw vs. Samuray Del SolI’ve said this more than once when reviewing DG:USA/EVOLVE cards, but this reminded me of the sort of match you used to get in ROH in the old days, particularly as an opener. Non-stop action from bell-to-bell, everyone looked good, crowd was rocking by the end: what more could you ask from an opener? AR Fox hits the Lo Mein Pain on Del Sol at 16.38, and thus earns a shot at the OFTG belt in the main event.Silas Young vs. Adam Paige – a breif squash for Young; not much else you can say about it really. Young wins with a series of forearms at 2.39.

Caleb Konley vs. Kyle Matthews – Matthews is a guy who’s name I hear quite a bit as a hot young prospect. As with last night, Konley is accompanied by Johnny Fairplay to ringside. This was a decent little match, but was hurt by the fact it was held in front of a crowd of around 150 that didn’t make much noise. Konley makes Matthews tap to his pendulum lion tamer at 7.29.Jake Manning vs. Alex Reynolds – I wasn’t expecting much from this, but it actually turned out to be pretty good. Granted, there were a couple of sloppy botches, but that aside both guys came out of it looking pretty good. Reynolds gets the win with a 2K1 Stunner at 12.30 to go 3-0 in EVOLVE. As ever, I came away from a Jake Manning match thinking he’s a pretty decent worker; a fact which is largely lost due to his gimmick.

Low-Ki vs. Jon Davis – ok, so I said I wasn’t going to sit through another Low-Ki match in my EVOLVE 12 review; but someone I know who had seen this show advised me that this one was worth watching. Was it? Well, sort of. It was probably Ki’s most realistic match in EVOLVE/DG:USA to date, mainly due to the fact that – in both a kayfabe and non-kayfabe sense – Ki wasn’t able to bully his opponent in the way he normally does, due to Davis being able to look after himself. Naturally the result was a foregone conclusion – Ki getting the pin at 14.02 with the Ghetto Stomp – but Davis came out of the match looking better than people generally do after facing Low-Ki. So yeah, a notable bout, after a fashion.

Chuck Taylor vs. Mike Cruz – Taylor is accompanied by Jake Manning and the Swamp Monster; the latter is more over than anyone else connected with the match. A fun post-intermission sprint to get everyone back with it. From what I’ve seen of Cruz he looks like a good, if fairly indieriffic high-flyer. Taylor spikes him with the Awful Waffle at 7.14 to go 8-3 in EVOLVE.

El Generico vs. Sami Callihan – as with last night, Low-Ki is on commentary. Really good match; I just wish it had been in PWG in front of 500 rabid fans instead of 150-odd in North Carolina. In particular, the squeaky-voiced kid constantly chanting “this is awesome” really got on your nerves after a while. Anyway. There was some really nice psychology in this one; Callihan has lost his last four in EVOLVE, and did everything he could try and get a count-out win, including suplexing Generico onto the timekeeper! The only minor gripe was that Callihan did his usual thing of not working the leg for most of the match, then belated doing some work on it to use the Horse-collar as his finisher. But that really is a minor niggle, this was a superb effort from both men. Generico picks up his first EVOLVE win with the brainbuster at 22.21. Afterwards Callihan attacks Generico and officials, until Low-Ki chases him off. Unsurprisingly, he doesn’t get a thank you from Generico.

Johnny Gargano vs. AR Fox – Another storming match; this was almost as good as the last bout. Gargano is back to one hundred percent after his scary back injury earlier in the year; while Fox is…well, insane. Seriously, at the risk of sounding like some old timer, if Fox keeps taking some of the bumps he does, you wonder how long his career’s going to be. But for now it makes him probably the most exciting high flyer in the business. After a tremendous final few minutes, Gargano makes Fox tap to the GargaNo Escape at 18.04.

After the match there’s a really nice where Gargano brings a little girl (well, 7 or 8 maybe?) into the ring apparently wrote a school paper entitled “Johnny Gargano: My Hero”. Gargano had her pose in the ring with the OTFG belt and got the crowd to chant her name. Having recently written a piece about wrestling is generally a sleazy business, it was uplifting to see the nicer side of the sport rear its head.

Overall – probably the best show in EVOLVE’s brief history; definitely not unlucky thirteen.
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