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by on March 22, 2011

Welcome to our first-ever real time blog, as I (Tom) will be reviewing Evolve 6: Aries vs. Taylor with live thoughts as I view the DVD! If this interests you and you decide you want to buy the DVD, please go to Support the arts!

Also, if you already have the DVD, please feel free to post your thoughts in our comment section. Without any further ado…let’s begin! (Click to jump under the cut.)

(Due to the site issues, we’re going to get this going again at 9 PM Eastern, but to thank you for your patience, I typed up thoughts on the first couple of segments under the cut.)


-Jimmy Jacobs is in front of THE YELLOW WALL. Seriously, between the promos on Dragon Gate USA’s Chicago shows and this, it’s like someone at World Wrestling Network lost a bet, had to buy an ugly yellow backdrop for way too much money, and now must use it all of the time to get their money’s worth. He’s going to be 5-1 if he beats Johnny Gargano tonight!
– Drake Younger’s going to be the first man to go 4-0 if he wins tonight!
-Johnny Gargano’s coming at us! This is rapid-fire Royal Rumble pre-match style and I love it! He’s going to knock Jimmy down to 4-2.-Maybe the most effective pre-taped Evolve segment yet, and it only took slightly over one minute. Just let these guys do quick soundbytes putting over their matches and it’s golden.
-The black-and-white Evolve intro video really needs a new voiceover. The high peaks in the voiceover are harsh.  -I dig the contrast of Taylor and Aries’ pre-match rituals.  Hey, look there…Austin Aries is talking to Mike & Tom guest Jason Harding (episode 26, it should be below on this page). Taylor’s whole schtick is great for click with the audience that they’re getting (twenty-somethings who just want to nap sometimes).


-The referee’s ponytail is epic. Speaking of hair, it’s weird to see Drake working as a good guy with the blonde hair (though he got heavily booed, so who knows?)
-Leonard Chikarason isn’t there, so it’s Austin Aries on commentary with Leonard Leonard.
-Silas’s headstandy evade over the top rope onto the apron was pretty rad and his dropkick early on looked like it blasted poor Drake’s scarred forehead.-This is a bit too “you do stuff, I do stuff” for me early on.
-Popped for Aries’ Tony Falk reference. In general, he’s impressing so far on commentary.
-A lively crowd here at the ACE Arena. This should make the show easier to watch.-Silas kicked out of a second rope fireman’s carry Michinoku Driver and they’re right back to doing stuff. This type of stuff is acceptable every once in a while (see: Cannon versus Callahan from the Danielson/Fish show), but when these guys are just getting up to do their next move without at least acting like they were just driven through the mat…why should I care?
-Silas goes over with the PeeGee Waja Plunge. I wasn’t a fan of this at all.  There’s a way to do a lot of stuff and still be credible. This was ridiculous.


-Fox is showing so much more poise and confidence than he did when he first busted onto the scene at CZW a year ago. It’s nice to see him filling that gap in his puzzle.
-They obviously have weight benches where Nese and Reed come from. Very Jim Powers-esque physiques.
-Fox JUST ATE CRAP on his kick-flip moonsault off of the ringpost. That must have SUCKED.-He follows up by busting out his legdrop onto the apron onto Fox. Fox is at least limping along and selling the bad fall.
-Swann’s Bulldogs-esque rana was pretty great.-Nese is a crazy-strong base for the flyers.
-Leonard: “He’s going to put him in a box? (responding to a catcall from a fan)” Aries: “I like being in boxes from time to time…clean boxes.”
-Nese and Reed exchange some nice-looking punches. Nothing Cannon-level, but good stuff.-Fox over with the Air Raid Crash. Good match and an example of guys doing a lot without just popping up like nothing happened (of course, they had more bodies to do stuff with, so it makes it easier).

-Drake Younger’s upset at himself backstage for not winning…and mumble “damn it! ” a lot.-Larry Dallas comes to ringside with Reby Sky and some other chick to drink champagne. People yelled stuff about tuna.


-Looking forward to this, if Evolve 1 is any indication.
-Other than a cutesy kick sequence at the end, the extended opening of this match was the stuff. Both guys looked super-smooth doing some MMA-inspired stuff.
-These guys are absolutely perfect opponents for each other. Their styles mesh perfectly, both guys seem to bring it harder than usual when they wrestle each other…I love it.
-The one thing I would change about Kyle O’Reilly if I could is that double kick-to-the-head spot he does. I don’t know what it is, but it irks the crap out of me.-Fish’s leaping knee strike was BEASTLY, as was the spinning side kick to the ear that finished the match.-Great stuff; best match on the show so far.

Lenny Leonard catches a word with the excited Bobby Fish, thrilled to finally get a win. O’Reilly interrupts the promo to shake Fish’s hand. The promo was a cute little moment for Fish and did a great job at further establishing his character of fighting for his family.


-Stupefied’s beard is inspiring.
-Larry Dallas gets up to high-five Up in Smoke. Foreshadowing?
-I don’t know what it is, considering other guys in wacky-looking masks have worked Evolve before, but Player Uno’s get-up stands out in this group in a bad way.-Decent match, but I really don’t think tag wrestling is going to work in Evolve. I don’t know if it’s the actual teams or the format of a tag match clicking with the overall presentation, but Evolve’s tag division is less than inspiring.

Cheech & Cloudy are interviewed by Lenny Leonard, as their song hits an ABSURD drum solo. They warn everyone that 2011 will be their year. It’s mega-amusing that Cloudy’s this TINY little white kid…yet his partner’s the one with the wimpy-sounding voice.

-Bobby Fish is texting (I’m assuming) his wife backstage. Scott Reed congratulates him. Fish was actually calling his wife, who I think might be the only person ever who picks up on the first ring.


-The term “relaxed rules” makes me think they should be fighting in hammocks or something.
-I wish they stayed on the close-up camera angle during the staredown so we could at least read lips since the camera didn’t pick up the audio of the trash talk.
-Moxley’s getting pretty good at those little touches that make good wrestlers great. Watch his hands when he applies the shoulderlock before transitioning to the Rings of Saturn. I’m sure it was nothing, but the way he gripped the arm, it looked absolutely BRUTAL.
-I love the path that this match is taking. I expected lots of guys flying through chairs and being thrown through stuff, and I’m getting Moxley channeling modern-day Finlay, deciding to brutalize Homicide with wrestling holds with a little extra hate thrown in.
-Homicide having to take the fight into the bleachers and snapping since he can’t out-wrestle Moxley is a great, subtle way of putting Moxley over. I also love how, even when Moxley can get a glimpse of an advantage, he goes for a wrestling hold (i.e.: figure four headscissors) to punish Homicide.-This might sound like hyperbole, but I honestly think Moxley is up there with Terry Funk, in terms of the drunken-looking stutter-step while he sells on his feet.
-The Fujiwara armbar transition out of the backslide is so simple and makes so much sense…yet I don’t know if anyone’s done it before Moxley.-Moxley’s bump for the lariat was gorgeous.
-The ref stoppage off of the chicken wing was one of the few cutesy things I like wrestling stealing from MMA. The idea of stopping a match because a wrestler can’t intelligently defend himself in a situation is a new spin on the “passed out in a submission hold” scenario that freshens things up.
-If you haven’t seen the post-match angle, it’s up at Evolve released the footage themselves after the show, trying to circulate it for buzz. I can’t praise it more than anyone else already has. It’s just a shame this AWESOME match (one of my favorites in 2011) and the great angle after lead to the awkward, boring blow-off on the newest Dragon Gate USA pay-per-view.

-Backstage, Chuck Taylor tries to convince Johnny Gargano to join him in some nefarious plan. Gargano’s all like, “Let’s just focus on tonight and then think about it”. Nice little callback to Ronin’s formation around this time.

-Also, Austin Aries is swinging around a weight. Yep.

-Larry Dallas gets “paid promo time”, as Lenny Leonard put it. He announces he’s going to be sponsoring fighters, then tells the girl who isn’t Reby Sky that he paid off Evolve officials to get her the spot as Evolve’s backstage interviewer, claiming it was her dream. I understand not everyone aspires to do the same things, but “Evolve interviewer” isn’t something I’d personally dream about. But hey, a girl’s got to start somewhere.
-Reby Sky announces Chuck Taylor as Dallas’ first sponsored fighter. She uses her arms a LOT when talking. A LOT.


-Note to Mr. Leonard: you don’t prounounce the “g’ in La Magistral.
-Cole was a little rough on one headscissors by Ricochet, but otherwise is a shockingly good base. The snap on his rolling bumps is great.
-Interestingly-formatted match, as Ricochet’s working subtle heel. I thought coming in, Cole would have taken that role because of how well his run in CZW was working as well as how Ricochet’s offense makes it easier for people to cheer him, but I guess it makes sense since Cole’s still the young, hungry fighter and Ricochet was about ready to turn heel in the Gabeverse.
-Good match. The story of Cole having heart, but Ricochet being physically dominant due to his superhuman athleticism was solid stuff. Ricochet’s Michinoku Driver-style finisher looks sick when the opponent is small enough to go up for it well.


-I understand he did the gimmick at a recent DGUSA PPV, but people “HUSS”ing at Jacobs in 2010/2011 is lamesauce.
-I dug the switch of direction Gargano pulled during the opening rope-running sequence. Cute touch.
-JEEEEEEEEEZ. Jimmy Jacobs is far more of a man than I for doing the missed elbow drop on the apron. That looked harsh.
-He follows that act of bravery by sitting Gargano on the guardrail and doing a dive onto him where Johnny couldn’t really catch him well from the angle, which looked like it killed both guys. Jimmy’s really putting his body through hell so far, it seems.
-The ropewalking spot was slightly contrived, but Gargano took a great crotching bump on the ropes.
-Gargano learning from their first match at Evolve 2 and using his spear to put himself in a vulnerable spot so that Jimmy would end up throwing his own spear to end up in Gargano’s version of the guillotine choke was a neat spot.
-Jimmy’s reversal of the Hurts Donut was smooth stuff. One fluid motion from the lift into the rollup.
-The records start to create interesting stories, as normally Gargano winning the second match in the feud after Jimmy (the good guy) won the first wouldn’t make much sense, but it not only leaves them 1-1, but it gives them room to do further stuff in 2011 since they both ended 2010 with the same record.

-Larry Dallas announces Gargano as his second sponsored fighter, but Jacobs interrupts Dallas’ announcement. Jimmy is very anti-this since he doesn’t think Dallas belongs in a ring since he isn’t a trained wrestler or something. To calm Jimmy down, Dallas offers Reby Sky to him for some humpin’, but Jimmy decides to break out his skanky ho-bag joke book before spanking Sky. Kind of a silly angle.

Jon Moxley’s in FRONT OF THAT DAMNED YELLOW WALL. Moxley staples himself in the leg to make sure he can still feel. You read that right.


-I wish Lenny Leonard would call promos something other than “promos”.  It’s derivative of the word “promotion”, which means they’re just there to promote something; you’re telling people they’re not real.
-The smoothness in this match is a level above the rest of the show. Taylor working with a guy on Aries’ level and keeping up shows how good he’s gotten way more than any other opportunities he’s gotten recently.
-The story of the match is that Aries doesn’t take Taylor seriously since he (Aries) is a sculpted athlete who practically lives in the gym, while Taylor naps backstage, screws around, and lives off of his natural ability. Aries laughs at Taylor getting tired while running the ropes, does pushups while he’s able to keep Taylor at bay, and straight up shoves Taylor out of his face after a dive.
-The difference between this and other matches on the indies where lesser-experienced guys might try to work this type of match is that they show that there’s a reason Taylor’s been dominant; Aries doesn’t just screw around and dominate. They show that Taylor has the ability to implement his gameplan, take you down, and work you over.
-The match is starting to get a little slow for my liking.
-They got me back with Aries’ bevy of strikes in the corner.
-The Macho Man mark in me enjoys Aries’ double axe handle dive to the floor.
-Aries took that boot in the corner like a MAN.
-Dug the shinbreaker reversal of Sole Food.
-Hell of a way to debut Aries by putting him over the “best wrestler” record-wise, in the company. Good match. The slow middle dragged it down a bit for me, but they grabbed me again by the end and I enjoyed the finish.

-Austin Aries cut a promo after the match, but I have no idea what he said. The sound system sounded HORRENDOUS.

-Homicide’s ranting to Adam Cole about his shoulder and offers him something covered in Moxley’s blood. Drake and Homicide go out for drinks and exclude Cole, who doesn’t know if he belongs here. With him no longer working for Evolve, I guess Adam Cole JUST WASN’T MAN ENOUGH FOR EVOLVE, THAT STUPID SOBER KID. MANHOOD!

-Silas Young hunts down Johnny Gargano for getting him drunk after Evolve 1, setting him back in his recovery (he was addicted to heroin, you see…). Silas said he’s going to take his lack of sobriety out on Gargano IN THE RING.

…so, that’s the show. Evolve doesn’t do bad shows. I enjoy the different style of presentation they deliver. Some of it’s a bit laughable in delivery, but it usually works for me. The in-ring is darned good and quite frankly, I’d have a hard time not recommending a show with a match as good as Moxley/Homicide on it, even if the rest of the stuff sucked. That being said, nothing out-and-out sucked on here (I didn’t like Silas/Younger, but I figure most people will).

Check out the DVD at PEACE.


One Comment
  1. Alan permalink

    the Aries post match promo was talking about how he respected Chuck for toughing out the match after dislocating his shoulder half way through.

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