Evolve (Philadelphia, Pa. at ECW Arena)
Report by Matt ten-Hoeve and ProWrestling.net
They were still cleaning up and changing the ring (from the Combat Zone Wrestling show) when they let the fans in. Joey Styles was in the ring taking pictures and taking autographs. He seemed to really enjoy himself.
Larry Dallas brought out Ahtu for his open challenge. The man answering the open challenge...LOW KI!!!
1. Low Ki defeated Ahtu. Low Ki won in very quick fashion. He grabbed the mic and said that he has sat back for a whole year watching his profession go down the tubes. He is here to save it. He says he'll be in EVOLVE and to expect him in Miami (for Dragon Gate USA, I guess). The crowd was very surprised and completely loved seeing Low Ki.
2. Cheech defeated Cloudy. Cloudy went for a dive and looked to land hard when Cheech didn't catch him...or even know that he was coming. The crowd jumped at the chance to let Cloudy know that he f---ed up.
3. The Scene (Caleb Konley and Scott Reed with Larry Dallas) defeated John Silver and Alex Reynolds. I don't think the crowd knew much about any of these guys so it was kind of quiet.
Before his match, Jigsaw said that on behalf of the CHIKARA roster, he would like to thank everyone for letting CHIKARA grow at the Arena.
4. Jigsaw defeated AR Fox. Very strong match. These guys flow well together. After the match, Jigsaw said we'll be seeing more of him in EVOLVE, which is great news.
AR Fox was interviewed. He talked about how Sami Callihan hit him in the head with a beer bottle at the last Dragon Gate USA show. Sami then came out, clinking beer bottles, and dared AR to hit him. AR was reminded that he cannot attack Sami or else he'll be fined or suspended.
5. Uhaa Nation (w/Ricochet) defeated Pinkie Sanchez. Not much of a match, but Uhaa still got in some impressive moves. Uhaa said that 2012 would be his year. Richochet started to bash the Arena, calling it a dump. Ronin interrupted for their match.
6. Ronin (Chuck Taylor and Rich Swann) defeated Super Smash Brothers. The crowd loved it. It was very, very good. After the match, Ronin say they want Ricochet and CIMA.
During intermission, they aired a video showing the history of ECW and CZW. It was an excellent video. I don't know if they aired it on the iPPV (or even if they were allowed to have the footage), but if it's available, fans need to check it out.
7. Jon Davis defeated Kyle Matthews. This was basically a long squash. After the match, Jon Davis said he wants Finlay. More Finlay in EVOLVE? Yes, please!
AR Fox came out to corner Bobby Fish for his match against Sami Callihan. AR said that he can't touch Sami, but he can corner Bobby.
8. Bobby Fish defeated Sami Callihan via submission. The crowd, who love Sami, were not into Bobby Fish at all. At one point, Fish looked like was about to tap, but AR Fox slapped him for motivation.
After the match, AR Fox got in Sami's face. AR handcuffed his own hands behind his back and begged Sami to hit him. Sami called out Pinkie Sanchez, who brought out a beer bottle. Sami kept almost hitting AR, but then thought better of it. The bottle slipped out of Sami's hands and flew into the crowd (near me). It cut someone's hand.
9. Johnny Gargano defeated Ricochet via submission to retain the Open The Freedom Gate Title. The crowd crapped all over this match. They just wanted the ECW tribute at this point. Apparently, Johnny got legit hurt. I hope he's OK.
Lenny Leonard introduced the first ever announcer of the Arena, who simply introduced Joey Styles. Styles did his "OH MY GOD!" He then brought out Gary Wolfe, JT Smith, and Tod Gordon. Gordon was thanking everyone when DJ Hyde and some other CZW guys interrupted. They started going after the ECW guys, which brought out Balls Mahoney. He made the save, but he couldn't handle the numbers, so New Jack came out to help...along with his garbage can full of goodies. New Jack got some good hits in.
Justin Credible then came out and...hit New Jack! Out to make the save for ECW was the one, and only, Sabu! After a few back and forth hits, the ref called for the bell.
10. Sabu defeated Justin Credible in the final match at the ECW Arena. It was a great wrestling day. I just wish that more fans at the show were familiar with EVOLVE. A lot of people were clearly, and rightfully, there for just the ECW tribute. Therefore, they weren't as into EVOLVE as other buildings may have been. Still...I enjoyed both shows very much. I cannot wait to see what 2012 has in store for both companies.
I would like to thank CZW and EVOLVE for allowing me to see the Arena one last time. I would also like to thank Gabe Sapolsky, who (I'm assuming) was behind bringing in Sabu. I never thought I would get to see Sabu live. It was a dream come true.