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By Richard Trionfo on 2014-01-12 23:15:06
While I am not in attendance at Evolve 27, I wanted to provide some thoughts on the show since I decided to see how the HD Upgrade for WWN iPPVs looked.

Here are my thoughts on the show:

Recommendation: I would recommend getting the VOD if you did not order the iPPV. I thought the best match of the night was the main event, but the opening match between Konley and Dorado was also very strong. There was a good brawl between the Young Bucks and Bravados as well.

Condition of Stream: With the exception of two brief moments during the introductions for the Nick Jackson/Lance Bravado match, the stream was flawless. The picture quality was excellent. I do not know how the lighting in the building was, but if it was like the Ybor or Orlando venues, the buildings are dark so I don’t know if it translates well on the iPPV stream. The upgrades that were announced earlier in the week were a definite positive and if this is a pattern for the future of the WWN iPPV feeds, then it is something to consider ordering for the live broadcasts because you will get a good video presentation and will not have to worry about buffering or lost signals.

The building has an interesting design since it is a bar, but it is not set up the same way as the Orpheum in Ybor City. The ‘dance floor’ in the building provides a great set up for the ring and with the stage, you have an easy set up for seating.

Lenny Leonard and Ron Niemi did commentary

The promo from Caleb Konley to start off the show was a good change of pace because you normally don’t see people like Caleb Konley being able to cut promos in most companies. I also like that they are giving the people a rematch from their match on Saturday because it was a very good match.

The opening match was Caleb Konley versus Lince Dorado.

Since Lince has a cat gimmick, the fans threw yarn into the ring and he started to paw at the string and he played with some of the balls that were thrown into the ring. Lenny and Ron had a good time commenting on the yarn.

Konley showed a lot of aggression that makes sense considering he lost on Saturday. Once things slowed down a bit, Dorado was able to match Konley shot for shot. Konley was able to avoid and counter some of Dorado’s offense because this was the second straight night they wrestled. Konley hit a great counter of the reverse hurricanrana on Dorado.

Dorado was able to hit the reverse hurricanrana the second time while hitting a series of kicks. Konley and Dorado had a good sequence of kicks that ended with both men going down after round kicks. Konley was able to escape the rollup that Dorado used on Saturday and Konley got the victory with a rollup of his own.

This was a solid opener. They got a good amount of time and they set a good base for the rest of the show. The commentary during the match was good from Niemi and Leonard.

Maxwell Chicago and Jonny Vandal was a strange tag team since they have feuded in the past. It fell a little flat even though the purpose was probably to get the strobe light in the building turned off.

The next match was Jonny Vandal and Maxwell Chicago versus Dos Ben Dejos.

Maxwell showed a lot of the humor that you expect from him and he added a new thing with his standing moonsault, even though Cruz had moved out of the way. The Ben Dejos definitely showed a lot more continuity as a team because of their history of working together but Vandal and Maxwell worked well together.

The match was okay, but I think it would have been better if it was a few minutes shorter because it felt like they were stretching things a bit too much. It was also weird to see Dos Ben Dejos so early in a show since they are usually in the main events on FIP shows.

The participants in the opening two matches were supposed to be part of a six man Freestyle Match.

The third match was Jon Davis versus Rich Swann.

The Jacksonville crowd was behind their local star, Jon Davis. Swann did his best to go blow for blow with Davis at the start but then he realized that it might be better to go with the high impact moves and let Davis stay with the power moves. Davis fought back with a forearm when Swann went for a suicide dive. After Swann showed his athleticism, Davis power bombed Swann all over the building and threw him against the wall.

It seems like the pattern for the weekend was wrestlers returning into the ring at the count of 19 to avoid the count out loss. I liked that Swann was able to counter the attempt by Davis to pick up Swann by the ears for an overhead belly-to-belly suplex with a kick. Davis did a good job to utilize the venue during the match. He tossed Swann into the wall.

In order to avoid the try a move a third time and fail concept, after sending Swann twice into the turnbuckles from the apron, Davis gave Swann a clothesline. You cannot say that Jon does not care about the fans because they wanted him to use a chair and Jon obliged. Jon did fall victim when he tried for a third turnbuckle shot later.

Jon tried to pick up Swann twice but Swann’s body collapsed. Jon appeared to show no remorse so he picked him up on the third attempt but Swann was able to counter with a DDT. Despite wearing down Swann for a majority of the match, Davis has been unable to finish off Swann and Davis is starting to show some frustration.

Swann hits a nice counter to Davis’ attempt at Tequila Sunrise from the turnbuckles but Davis hit a power bomb followed by a German suplex but Swann fired back with an enzugiri and a super kick. Davis was able to kick out of the Swann Dive because Swann had been worked over for a majority of the match. Swann hit a double jump Charm City Destroyer to get a surprise win.

This was a good match that I thought told a good story and built to the finish with some good sequences in the second half of the match. The pacing was similar to the two Chris Hero matches on Friday and Saturday night.

The next match was Nick Jackson versus Lance Bravado in the first of the Young Bucks versus Bravado Brothers series on the show. I like the idea of doing the singles matches involving tag teams because it adds to the rivalry and gives us something different than the usual tag matches.

The rivalry between the two teams was evident in the early portions of the match. Harlem, who might have thought that he was supposed to be out there due to his introduction instead of Lance, did his best to help his brother. However, Nick fought back.

With the interference by Harlem, it made sense to go with a disqualification. I was not a fan of the disqualification, but at least the Bucks made the referee suffer for it.

While the match was short, the brawl between the four men after the match was good. Matt hit a nice spear on Lance to help Nick. They also did a good job of using the entire facility for the bar. Harlem was a little too cocky and he slide down the railing but he was met with a super kick from Nick.

The Bucks fought back and hit stereo suicide dives onto the Bravados. Nick hit Harlem with a chair in the midsection. Harlem was able to give Nick a drop toe hold onto the chair. Then they dropped Matt’s throat on the stage. Nick hit a nice dive out of nowhere while Matt was skinning the cat on the railing. They set up 7 or 8 chairs on the floor and Harlem tried to send Nick onto the chairs with a Death Valley Driver, but Nick sent Harlem over the railing but Harlem held on until Nick super kicked Harlem onto the chairs. Lance hit a nice power bomb against the ropes from the floor followed by a clothesline. The Jacksons took care of Lance with a spike tombstone from the railing.

The vicious beating by both teams shows how much hatred they have for each other and it should lead to something in their next match for the Open the United Gate Titles.

I would assume that they are not going to have the Matt Jackson versus Harlem Bravado match.

I thought the first half of the show was good. I think the best match so far was the Caleb Konley versus Lince Dorado Match followed by the Jon Davis versus Rich Swann match. The tag match lost something because of the promo before it to get the strobe lights off and the Lance Bravado versus Nick Jackson match was too short with the disqualification to be considered. The brawl was well done and while it might have gone a bit too long, it served its purpose and showed how much these two teams do not like each other.

It appeared that the intermission was called early due to the injury suffered by Lance Bravado. Gabe Sapolsky tweeted that he lost feeling in his left side and that it was probably a stinger.

It was weird to see Frankie Gastineau refereeing the first match after intermission since he ate a double super kick from the Bucks before the brawl started.

The first match out of the intermission is Chris Hero versus Chuck Taylor in the final of the three Chris Hero Runs the Gauntlet Matches. Lenny mentioned that this was the first time these two men have met in a one-on-one match.

The crowd was split for this match. The pacing of the match started off the same as Hero’s matches on Friday and Saturday. Neither man was able to gain an advantage in the first few minutes but each was able to have moments of control.

Apparently a fan had some comments for Hero so Chris decided to advise the fan that he was paying to see Hero wrestle and his money was in Chris’ pocket but not the other way around. He then got the crowd to tell him to ‘suck it’.

Then they got back into the swing of things in the match. Taylor was able to take over in the middle of the match as he started to work on the leg to hurt Hero’s offense. Hero was able to recover and then he connected with a series of strikes. This match has seen a lot of counters and reversals.

I liked the combination of a cravate suplex when Hero caught Taylor on a moonsault followed by the discus boot and cravate submission.

I thought all three matches from Hero this weekend were good and while they had similar pacing, they all had something different. He went two for three this weekend.

After the match, AR Fox came out and told Hero that he has to give him a title shot. Fox says that he wants Hero to be fresh. He tells Hero he can have the match on February 23rd in Brooklyn.

Trent Baretta comes out and he comments on how Hero gets another freebie. Trent calls Fox an idiot. Trent says that since he beat Fox, the title should be his.

Baretta has officially joined Anthony Nese in the Premier Athlete Brand. I wonder if this means that Baretta is a heel in FIP as well.

This leads into the Nese and Baretta versus Fox and Ricochet.

Nese hit a one arm power bomb to Fox onto Baretta and Ricochet on the floor. I don’t know why wrestlers will hit moves on the floor onto their own partners. Trent and Nese showed some good teamwork and follows up on Trent’s promo where he mentioned that him and Tony have known each other for a decade.

Nese and Baretta did a good job working over Fox and isolating him from Ricochet. When it looked like Fox would finally get to tag in Ricochet, Baretta was close to Ricochet and he pulled him off the apron. Ricochet did a good job after making the tag to work over Trent and Nese.

Fox then came back in and hit a series of dives to the floor. I like Baretta’s block of a kick into a double stomp in the corner. Nese and Baretta hit a nice combination with a slingshot into an enzuigiri followed by a quebrada while Ricochet was on Trent’s knees.

The referee appeared to have lost control at some point in the match because he did not do too much to get people out of the ring. There was a sequence where Fox hit a Matrix move and then Nese came back with a matrix move of his own. There was a nice sequence with Fox hitting a Swanton followed by a Shooting Star Press from Ricochet.

Nese hit a pump handle power bomb followed by a Dudebuster for a near fall that was broken up by Fox. Nese countered Lo Mein Pain with a nice uranage from the turnbuckles. Baretta hit a nice German Superplex followed by a flying knee and 450 splash by Nese for the victory.

This was a good match, but the referee losing control to make it seem like a Texas Tornado match instead of a normal tag match did take something away from it. It became more hitting spots than telling a story at the end.

Chris Hero makes a challenge to Trent Baretta to meet in New Orleans.

I don’t know if it was intentional, but I like the slower speed for Johnny Gargano’s entrance music.

With his hair parted the way it is, he looks like he could play Kelly Leak in a remake of The Bad News Bears.

It is a shame that Johnny did not have a special moment with a young fan in the crowd like he did on Friday and Saturday night. Just remember that he is doing this for the children.

Uhaa used his power early and Gargano showed his fear of Uhaa. Gargano did a great job reacting to Uhaa showing no effect on the kick to the head. Gargano then tries for a punch and chop series and once he realizes it is not working, he slows down and backs away. Uhaa gives Gargano a taste of his own medicine with a lawn dart into the stage.

Uhaa decides to go for the crazy move of the night trying to suplex Gargano over the railing to the ring but Gargano is able to counter and he power bombs Uhaa onto the apron. Gargano, being the benevolent man that he is, he tells the referee to count faster so Uhaa can be counted out faster and have medical attention provided. However, Uhaa does what so many have done over the last three days and returns to the ring at 19.

Gargano hit a nice spear from the apron to stop Uhaa, but Gargano was not able to take advantage of things because if you are going to spear someone the size of Uhaa, you are going to feel it too. Gargano was able to find a child in the crowd to dedicate a military press slam at some point in the match.

If have any doubts about the athleticism of Uhaa Nation, he hits a frog splash on Gargano from ¾ of the way across the ring. Gargano and Uhaa hit a nice sequence of moves with super kicks, German suplexes, a Death Valley Driver, and standing moonsault. Gargano might not want to spit in Uhaa’s face again.

Uhaa hit a great power bomb sequence after catching Gargano on a spear from the apron. Uhaa hit a deadlift Doctor Bomb followed by a regular power bomb, a Buckle Bomb, and a sit out power bomb for a near fall. Gargano did a good job of rolling through when Uhaa tried to escape the Gargano Escape. Gargano goes for a cross body and Uhaa catches him on the apron and turns it into a Death Valley Driver on the apron.

I didn’t like the need for the ref bump in the main event after having the referee get knocked out in the Bucks/Bravados brawl.

I liked that Gargano turned overly evil after the ref went down by going for the bad knee. Uhaa did a good job of selling the knee on the drop kick and tombstone piledriver because of the impact to the knee. Gargano did a good job countering the press slam attempt into the Gargano Escape. Then when Uhaa wouldn’t tap, Gargano added the STF to the Gargano Escape to get the victory.

I liked the main event, but I think I would have liked it even more without the ref bump, regardless of how short it was.

Johnny Gargano cut a good promo at the end of the show. I loved how he joined in on the bandwagon of picking on a certain group of fans. Then he vows to beat them up if they confront him after the match and he dedicated it to a young fan in the crowd.

The ending of the show with Ricochet trying to get his title match against the winner of the Gargano/Strong match was good. Gargano should be the one who dictates things because he is the champion.

Johnny was great signaling to someone in the back to help him when Rich Swann came out to help Ricochet. Then it turns out to be Jon Davis. Maybe Gargano forgot about what happened in Orlando. Jon explains that he was helping out Johnny in the past, but it is over.

Since he has no one to help him, Gargano decides to do the right thing and sign the contract for Ricochet’s title match. Johnny tries to attack Ricochet with the pen and Swann hits Gargano with a super kick.

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