Sunday, March 27, 2011

EVOLVE 6: Aries vs. Taylor (11/20/10)

EVOLVE 6: Aries vs. Taylor
November 20th, 2010
ACE Arena, Union City, New Jersey
Attendance: 400

Ahhh yes, time again for the refreshing breath of air that is EVOLVE. I was pissed about how long it took for them to release this after they released EVOLVE 5, unable to wait for my next hit of that sweet, sweet EVOLVE Wrestling. For those who are unaware of EVOLVE, it's almost like an extension of the original idea of ROH with trying to make the wrestling more athletic sports-oriented, trying to present the business as a real shoot wrestling company with Wins/Losses records for every roster member and all. Realy, how brilliant is the Wins/Losses record thing? How did it take this long for someone to think of that? It immediately makes the show look more legit, almost like what wrestling would look like if it was a shoot fighting sport like mixed martial arts is. Anyways, enough yapping about my love of the whole EVOLVE concept, lets get to the show already.

We open with our usual series of backstage interviews shot in pseudo-documentary fashion. Jimmy Jacobs talks about how if he beats Johnny Gargano tonight that's going to immediately shoot him up in the rankings while elsewhere Drake Younger promises to become the first man in EVOLVE to go 4-0. Johnny Gargano talks about how he's going to knock Jacobs off of his high pedestal.

Backstage we see Chuck Taylor trying to hide under a blanket/take a nap while Austin Aries arrives and sets up in the back.

Your hosts are Lenny Leonard and Austin Aries (for now)

Drake Younger (3-0) vs. Silas Young (0-1)

Younger is a CZW mainstay who is actually an incredible worker and technical wrestler who just happens to also wrestle the ultraviolent style as well. Silas on the other hand has been a traveling midcarder for indies like ROH and AAW, and I'm not entirely familiar with him. Younger works a wristlock to start but Silas counters with one of his own. Both men block a hip-toss attempt and Silas sweeps the legs for a quick two count. Young gets a few near falls with backslides and roll-ups and then nails Younger with a dropkick. Younger nails Young (weird to recap a match with two guys with such similar last names) with a forearm that sends him to the outside floor and then flies off the top rope with an incredible somersault senton to the concrete floor! Younger tries to suplex Silas onto a chair but he fights out of it and delivers a big powerslam to Younger on the floor! Back inside Silas tries the pin, but Younger kicks out at two. Silas tries to follow up but Younger gives him a release half-nelson suplex. Both men start trading lefts and rights in the center of the ring now, with Drake taking the upper hand again. Younger hits a top-rope Death Valley/Michionoku driver combo off the rope, but Young still won't stay down for a three count. They trade waistlocks and then Young hits a backbreaker-lariat combo that looks great. Young does a headstand on the top turnbuckle and floats into an Arabian press but Younger gets the knees up! Michinoku Driver from Younger, 1-2—NOO! Young kicks out. Younger is pissed now and pulls down the straps, setting up for the Kudo driver, but Young counters and tries for the headstand-Arabian press combo again, and this time it hits and Young scores the pin on the now formerly undefeated Drake Younger at 8:58. Excellent, incredibly fast-paced opener here between these two with Drake doing his usual reckless bumping and Young coming off like a million bucks with the win and some of the fancy moves he scored in this match. Great way to kick off the show. ***¼

AR Fox (0-0) vs. Rich Swann (0-1) vs. Tony Nese (0-0) vs. Scott Reed (0-0)

This is the debuts of Fox, Nese, and Reed. Fox is a CZW regular and has wrestled a few times for Dragon Gate USA while Swann has made a big name for himself in Dragon Gate USA. This is one fall only, but with lucha libre tag rules, meaning two men are in the ring but when one of them is thrown out of the ring, another man can enter the ring legally and that counts as a tag. Fox and Reed start us off with Fox hitting a big dropkick that sends Reed to the floor, bringing Swann in. Fox gives him a creative twisting suplex and that sends Nese in. Nese and Reed appear to be the muscled, power guys in this match while Swann and Fox play the roles of the high-flying daredevils. Fox teases a tope but Nese gives him a lariat instead while Swann and Reed brawl on the outside. Nese gets sent to the floor again Fox goes for a running shooting star press off the apron, but he doesn't come anywhere close to the 3 men outside the ring and just face-plants nastily on the concrete floor in a scary and ugly botch. Wow that was scary, Fox could have killed himself. Fox makes up for it with a big guillotine leg drop off the top onto Swann on the apron though, and the crowd chants his name in appreciation. Swann uses Fox's back for a bit to launch himself off into Nece, but then Reed just grabs him and powerbombs him right into the turnbuckle. Fox hit's a springboard ace-crusher on Reed, but Nece breaks the pin attempt up. Springboard quebrada from Reed, but Fox kicks out at two. Fox hits big springboard lung-blower, but Reed kicks out as well. Fox reverses a crucifix into a pin attempt, but Reed just rolls through and gives him a towering Doug Williams-like bridging German suplex that Swann breaks up with a standing SSP. Fox misses a Yakuza kick and just eats a superkick from Swann for another close two. Swann hits a freaking standing 450 splash (how does he DO that?!) but Nece breaks the pinfall up this time. Swann tries for what looks like a Canadian destroyer, but Nece counters with an Omori driver! 1-2—NOO! Reed breaks it up. Fox gives Reed a version of the Celtic Cross, and that's enough to give Fox a win in his debut at 6:38. Not bad for what it was supposed to be, which is just a quick high-octane spotfest. Fox's early botch was both frightening and ugly, but he recovered very nicely afterwards and still made a strong showing for himself despite the early mistake. **½

Backstage Drake Younger beats himself up about not being able to beat Silas Young tonight.

Larry Dallas, who bears a strong resemblance to Rico Suave, comes down to the first row with Reby Sky and another unknown lovely lady and he pours each of them a glass of champagne while the crowd gets on his case.

Bobby Fish (0-4) vs. Kyle O'Reilly (2-2)

Fish and O'Reilly fought each-other in the very first match in EVOLVE history at the first show, which O'Reilly won and was an excellent opener to a good card. Since then both men have made strides in their careers with Fish becoming more and more successful in Japan and O'Reilly bursting onto the indy scene with EVOLVE and ROH this past year. This should be good. Both men trade forearms to start, really hammering into each other. Fish hits a nice dropkick but O'Reilly grabs his ankle and tries for the ankle lock, but Fish rolls through.O'Reilly tries for the ankle again, but Fish still won't stay still for him. Fish tries forcing O'Reilly shoulders down on the mat in an amateur-wrestling style pin but O'Reilly counters into a bridging Northern Lights suplex for a quick two count. O'Reilly tries to lock on a rear naked choke but Fish evades and both men are back on their feet in a stand-off. Fish gets a clinch on O'Reilly and hits a few big knees as this fight becomes more and more MMA-like in it's focus on submission attempts and stiff striking. Fish blocks a kick and lays in two huge kicks of his own to O'Reilly chest. He tries for a third but O'Reilly blocks it so Fish just gives him another pair of stiff high kicks to the side of the head. Fish has definitely had some kickboxing training. Release German suplex from Fish and he follows it with a running forearm, an overhead T-bone suplex, and a diving headbutt off the top rope for a close two count. O'Reilly fights back with a nice high spinkick-low sweeping spinkick combo but Fish just keeps feeding him forearm shots. O'Reilly hits a trio of double-underhook suplexes in almost Benoit-esque fashion, but takes too much time to go for the cover and can only get a two count. O'Reilly goes to the top but Fish jumps up on the turnbuckle with him and gives him a huge top-rope Falcon Arrow, 1-2---NOO! O'Reilly gets the shoulder up. Kyle tries a bridging Tiger suplex on Fish, but only for two. They trade more stiff high-kicks to each other's chests and man, these guys are going to have some bruises tomorrow from this one. They wind up both connecting with a high-kick to the side of the head on each other at the same time, and O'Reilly looks like he may have a bloody lip. O'Reilly hits a tornado DDT and hangs on, following up with a brainbuster that still only gets two. Saito suplex from Fish now, but O'Reilly isn't giving up that easily either. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker from Fish and he tries a version of Christopher Daniel's Best Moonsault Ever on O'Reilly, but Kyle gets the knees up at the last split second. O'Reilly looks to be going for a triangle choke but Fish just picks up O'Reilly while he's still hooked and slams him back down to the mat in Rampage Jackson-like style. O'Reilly keeps trying for the triangle, but Fish picks him all the way up now and gives him a legit power bomb right into the corner turnbuckle. Stiff knee lift from Fish gets two. Bobby tries for a crossface but O'Reilly rolls through into a pin and almost steals it. Both men lock up again and begin trading stiff forearms again, with O'Reilly taking the upper hand and laying in a flurry of rapid kicks into the ribs. Lung-blower from Fish and he hits a spinning heel kick to the back of O'Reilly's that just sends him crumbling to the mat, and that's enough for Fish to get the pin at 14:23. It seems like every time these two men face off we get an incredibly unique and creative match, this contest being the closest thing to an American worked MMA match in pro wrestling I've ever seen. This was crazy with stiff and brutal strikes, painful submission work, and a ton of countering and grappling to go along with some serious intensity. Fish finally picks up his first win, and we can only hope these two will meet again many more times in the future. ****

After the match Lenny Leonard gets into the ring to get a few words with both Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly. Leonard congratulates Fish on his first win, and O'Reilly thanks Fish for a hell of a fight, saying he was the better man tonight and both men hug. Fish puts over O'Reilly after he exits the ring and says his loss to Bryan Danielson back at EVOLVE 4 is what motivated him for tonight. Fish says 2011 is going to be his years and gives a shout out to his little girls at home. Classy segment that again puts over the whole mentality of “wrestling as a sport” that EVOLVE perfects. Glad to see someone in the wrestling business in the US is finally taking some hints from MMA on how to improve their product.

Up in Smoke (3-0) vs. Super Smash Bros. (0-0)

Time for some tag team competition now with the 3-0 Up in Smoke (Cheech Hernandez and Cloudy) taking on CHIKARA regulars, the Super Smash Bros. (Player Uno and Player Dos). This should be high-flying fun. Cloudy and Dos start us off but it's not long before Cheech hits the ring as this is another lucha libre rules tag match. Dos hits a pair of hurricanranas and a spinning heel kick on Cheech. Uno tags in and they double team Cheech for a bit until Cloudy hits the ring and eats a standing moonsault for a quick two count. Double suplex to Cheech, but Cloudy breaks the count up before it starts. Cheech gives Dos a belly to back suplex and Up in Smoke do some double-teaming of their own. They try to isolate Dos for a bit, trading quick tags. Cheech taunts Dos for a bit, which is kind of confusing because I'm pretty sure Up in Smoke are supposed to be the big babyface team that the promotion is pushing. Cloudy tags back in and they hit a double Russian leg sweep for a quick two. Dos takes some more punishment but is finally able to fight them off and get the hot tag to Uno. He hits a big fallaway slam on Cloudy and then takes them out with a double clothesline. Uno is definitely the biggest man in the ring here. More nifty-double teaming from the Super Smash Bros, but Cloudy breaks up the count. Cheech gives Uno a snap suplex, but Dos hits a big frog splash off the top as soon as his back hits the mat. Cloudy hits a reverse hurricanrana on Dos though and just plants his head into the mat, sending him stumbling to the outside floor. Uno hits a big reverse STO on Cheech, but he kicks out at two. Cloudy tries an assisted swinging DDT on Uno, but Dos breaks it up. Dos hits a pair of tandem kicks that sends Up in Smoke to the floor, then he follows them out with a huge running somersault plancha, landing on his feet on the floor below! Smash Bros hit a double-team lung-blower, but Cheech breaks up the count. Uno tries for what looks like an Omori driver on Cloudy, but Cheech dropkicks him and Cloudy uses the momentum to flip him 180 degrees in a variation of a Canadian destroyer, which is enough to give Up in Smoke their fourth straight win at 10:57. Fun tag match that was a bit slow to start but picked up quite a bit by the end. I probably would have given the win to the Super Smash Bros seeing how over they were here with the fans and the fact that Up in Smoke was already 3-0, but I guess they really want to make it clear that Up in Smoke is the top tag team in EVOLVE. **¾

After the match Lenny Leonard hits the ring to get a few words with the winners, Up in Smoke. They say 2011 is going to be their year and then head off to celebrate. I really can't quite tell whether these guys are supposed to be faces or heels yet, and in a way I guess that's a good thing.

Backstage Scott Reed congratulates Bobby Fish on his win tonight. Fish gets on the phone afterwards to tell his wife about the victory.

“Relaxed Rules” Match
Homicide (0-0) vs. Jon Moxley (0-1)

This is Homicide's debut for the EVOLVE promotion, as this was taped only about eight or nine weeks after he left TNA. Moxley and Homicide have already been feuding in Dragon Gate USA, and it's been one of the better booked feuds thus far in the short history of that promotion, but the matches seem to end up coming off flat and heatless. I've heard good things about this match though, so let's see what they can do for us tonight. This match is relaxed rules, so that should help. Long stare-off between both men to start until Moxley gets the first shot in. They trade blows briefly and Moxley just grinds the bottom of his elbow in Homicide's face. Moxley starts talking trash to Homicide after a quick snap suplex, and Homicide fires back. He tries for the face-wash into the corner but Moxley hits the floor, so Homicide just follows him out with a somersault senton off the apron. They fight back into the ring and begin trading blows again. Moxley tries choking Homicide for a bit but Homicide head-butts him and gives him the Three Amigoes suplex trifecta as a small “Eddie!” chant breaks out. He misses a diving headbutt attempt and Moxley grabs his arm and starts twisting away on it, transitioning into the Rings of Saturn submission. Both men fight to their feet again and Moxley tosses him shoulder-first into the steel post. Moxley continues the arm and shoulder work on Homicide's left arm, talking trash all the while. Moxley lays in a flurry of stiff headbutts and then goes back to the armwork with a hammerlock. Homicide fights out of a keylock but Moxley just slaps a sleeper on him, so Homicide counters with a back-suplex Moxley dropkicks Homicide to the floor and the fight spills into the crowd now. Moxley tries a powerbomb but Homicide back drops him on the concrete floor. They fight into the bleachers and Moxley narrowly avoids a huge oscillating fan being thrown on him, to which he does a quick fingers-cross the chest and Hail Mary for his good luck. Don't thank your God yet though Jon, because Homicide wraps a cable wire around Moxley's neck and just starts strangling him with it. They brawl around the crowd some more with Moxley slamming Homicide face-first into a chair and then giving Homicide a double-stomp (or rather, a half-stomp as he only uses one foot) off the guardrail. He wraps his legs around Homicide's neck with a leg vicegrip but Homicide fights out of it and suplexes him up onto a sturdy table. He misses a chair shot and the fight spills back towards the ring now, with Moxley applying a vicious half-Boston crab that he transitions into a Border City Stretch. Moxley traps Homicide's arm in the guardrail and grabs a chair and just slams it into it repeatedly like a maniac, working on that same left arm he was earlier in the match. Lovely limb psychology. Homicide gets so desperate to free himself from the armwork that he ends up biting a chunk right out of Moxley's leg. Finally the match returns to the ring and Moxley just chokes Homicide with a steel chair pressed against his throat. Homicide tries fighting back, but he's only got one good arm at this point. He hits an exploder suplex on Moxley, 1-2—NOO! Moxley counters out of the pin into a Fujiwara armbar! Homicide gets the ropebreak though and hits an ace crusher out of nowhere. He tries a lariat but again Moxley counters into the Fujiwara armbar and again Homicide gets the ropebreak. Homicide comes back with a big lariat with his good arm though and both men are laid out. Homicide tries for the Cop Killer but he can't quite do it with just one arm and Moxley counters into a crossface chicken wing! Homicide tries to fight it off but he just won't quit and eventually he appears to pass out from the pain. Unable to defend himself, the referee has no choice but to call for the bell and award the match to Moxley at 19:54. Now this is more like it, this was a great, heated brawl that also featured some nice matwork and great limb psychology. Most importantly, the armwork paid off in the end, something you just don't see enough these days. Great match and this feud is nowhere close to being settled. ***½

After the match Homicide is pissed and kicks the referee. Moxley gets in his face and teases him, saying he's going to get suspended for that. Homicide wants Moxley to hit him but Moxley says he “plays by the rules” so Homicide gives him an ace crusher! Homicide goes to leave but Moxley keeps taunting him, so Homicide gets back into the ring and pulls out a FORK! This is getting nasty now as Homicide is just tearing at Moxley's face with a fork, fish-hooking his lip and then stabbing his forehead repeatedly, but Moxley just has a sick smile on his face and keeps taunting Homicide through-out it all, refusing to hit Homicide. The fork is covered in blood now and this has become brutal. Homicide goes to walk away again but Moxley grabs a mic and calls him a quitter so Homicide grabs the bell hammer and hits him a few times with it. This goes on for a while with Homicide going to leave and Moxley talking more shit to bring him back to the ring. Homicide is livid at this point and gives him a big piledriver, appearing to finally knock Moxley out. He tells him “This isn't over” and finally leaves. This was an amazing segment unlike any I've seen on the indy scene for awhile, and Moxley was so over-the-top and incredible here. Combine this with the great match they just had, and this is definitely a must-see part of this show.

Backstage Chuck Taylor tries to convince Johnny Gargano about how good a mysterious deal is that apparently they've been offered. Taylor is just delightful here as always. Holy shit Gargano is wearing a Hey Arnold t-shirt. He is officially cool in my book.

Elsewhere backstage Aries prepares for his match tonight with some weight-lifting.

Back in the ring Lenny Leonard tells the fans that we have some “paid promo time” for now from Larry Dallas. He tells the fans that he is going to start sponsoring fighters in EVOLVE. He tells the unnamed woman with him that he pulled some strings and got her a job as a backstage interviewer. Afterwards Reby Sky gets on the mic and introduces Chuck Taylor to the crowd, which I assume means he's their first sponsored fighter. Chuckie T confirms this and promises to beat Austin Aries tonight in the main event.

Adam Cole (1-2) vs. Ricochet (2-2)

This should be fun stuff as both guys are great athletes, especially Ricochet who seems to show me something new every time I watch him wrestle. They do some nice wrist and hammerlock exchanges to start off, feeling each other out. Ricochet gives him a few headscissors takedowns and Cole counters with a cradle attempt for a two count. Cole hits a big leg lariat off the top rope but takes too long to make the cover and Ricochet kicks out at two. Cole gives him a back-suplex while the commentators harp on about Homicide and Moxley. Big backbreaker from Cole, but again he only gets two. Ricochet starts to fight back, scoring with some right hands and a big spin kick. Big dropkick gets Ricochet a near fall and he's starting to gain some confidence now. He tries a chinlock but Cole fights it off so he hits him with a stiff jumping sidekick to the head. Ricochet hits a standing moonsault for a two count and the crowd seems kind of subdued here. Ricochet does the step-up enziguri spot in the corner and then follows it with a cannonball splash and a slingshot double-stomp in an impressive combination of moves that still only gets a two count on Cole. Cole hits a big boot and both men are down for the count. Back on their feet Cole tries for a suplex but Ricochet counters into a backslide driver, but Cole gets the shoulder up. Ricochet tries to slingshot himself into the ring but Cole catches him in mid-air on his shoulders and delivers a big fireman's carry into a neckbreaker that gets another close two count. Ricochet tries a few different creative pinning cradle attempts, but none of them work so he tries for the old springboard wristlock/armdrag spot, but Cole catches him again in mid-air and delivers a huge German suplex, absolutely planting him on his neck! Pretty sick spot, but it only gets two so Cole locks on a Boston crab briefly until Ricochet gets the ropebreak. Ricochet blocks a superplex attempt and hits a standing SSP, 1-2—Noo! Cole kicks out at two and the crowd seems into it now. Back on their feet both men trade some rather stiff forearms and knees and Cole delivers a variation on a lung-blower that he transitions beautifully into the Boston Crab again. Cole really sinks in the hold but Ricochet gets the ropebreak finally. Ricochet counters Cole into a big fisherman's buster suplex variation but Cole completely no-sells it. Booo! Cole eats a superkick and a spinning torture-rack powerbomb and that's enough to give Ricochet the win at 14:39. This match seemed to be missing the key ingredient of heat for the first half, but both men were able to get the crowd into it by the finishing stretch. There was some nice mat-wrestling, creative strikes and that German suplex counter spot was awesome. Cole's no-selling at the end pissed me off, but not enough to seriously hurt the rating of the match. Good stuff. ***¼

Johnny Gargano (3-2) vs. Jimmy Jacobs (4-1)

Both men have been successful thus far in singles competition in EVOLVE, and they've wrestled each other before, so this should be good. This is their second match in EVOLVE, their first taking place at EVOLVE 2. The fans are solidly behind Jimmy to start. Jimmy tries working a wristlock to start, transitioning into a cradle attempt for a two count. Gargano tries to toss Jacobs over the top rope and Jimmy tries to counter by skinning the cat, but Gargano just dropkicks him in the face and he crashes to the floor. Gargano misses the slingshot splash attempt on the outside and Jimmy slides him back into the ring. Jacobs hits a series of doublestomps on Gargano on the apron, but misses an elbow drop attempt and just smashes his arm nastily into the hardest part of the ring. Gargano takes the opportunity to fly out with a tope suicida, taking both men out on the floor. Jacobs moves some fans out of the way and sits Gargano up on the steel guardrail, then goes back to the ring, gets a running start and flies out after him with a tope suicida of his own, taking both men through a series of chairs in the process. That was unique. Back inside the ring Jacobs hits a big back senton splash, but Gargano kicks out at two. Gargano escapes a backslide attempt and gives Jacobs almost a mini-ace crusher from his knees. Gargano has the upper hand now, stomping away on Jacobs in the corner. Jacobs gets Gargano into the tree of woe and hits a running knee. He tries for the coast-to-coast dropkick but Gargano unties himself and climbs his own turnbuckle and both men see each other and start tip-toing across the ropes, holding onto a lighting fixture above them for balance! They start hanging from this lighting fixture until Jacobs knocks him off, crotching him on the top rope. Big jumping clothesline from the top rope from Jacobs to follow it up, but he doesn't go for the pin. Gargano tries a slingshot-spear back into the ring but Jacobs catches him and locks him right into the guillotine choke submission! Jacobs hits a spear of his own, and Gargano locks in a guillotine choke of his own! Jacobs fights him off, but Gargano scores with a superkick that sends him to the floor. Before Gargano can fly out after him though Jacobs slingshots back in with another spear, hitting it this time, 1-2—NOO! Gargano gets the shoulder up! Both men struggle to their feet from exhaustion and end up trading stiff chops and lariats until Gargano nearly takes Jacobs' head off with a superkick. Jacobs tries for a top-rope hurricanrana but Gargano counters by just pancaking him face-first on the top turnbuckle. He launches him like a lawn dart into another turnbuckle, but Jacobs gets a jackknife cradle attempt 1-2---NOOO! Jimmy almost stole it. Jacobs goes to the top again and Gargano tries to sweep the legs, but Jimmy is holding onto that light fixture above the ring again, dangling from it. He jumps off onto Gargano right into the guillotine choke again, but Gargano is able to escape it just long enough to eat an ace crusher and the Contra Code from Jacobs. You'd think that would be it, but Gargano rolls through after the CC hits and gets the three count at 15:29. This was much better than their first match and was engaging, creative, and just flat out fun for a good fifteen minutes. The use of the lighting fixtures above the ring was a nice touch and both men seem to have good chemistry together, so hopefully this is a feud we'll see more of down the line. ***¾

After the match Larry Dallas and Reby Sky hit the ring to celebrate with Johnny Gargano, who they announce is their second sponsored fighter alongside Chuckie T. Jacobs grabs the mic from him though and tells Dallas to shut the hell up. Jacobs asks who the hell Larry Dallas is and it's obvious the crowd hates this Rico Suave look-alike. Jacobs tells Dallas he doesn't belong here in EVOLVE. Dallas tries to make a deal and give him the “services” of Reby Sky for the night but they start arguing and Jacobs ends up spanking her in the ring to the crowds perverted bemusement. Jacobs offers a fan in the front row to smell his fingers and I have to chuckle, that was pretty funny on Jimmy's part. Dallas didn't seem to go over well with the fans at all tonight, in an X-Pac heat kind of way.

Backstage Jon Moxley is talking to himself about how he feels great after the incident with Homicide. He starts babbling about being “indestructible” and he staples himself and starts crushing and twisting his own fingers with a pair of pliers to test this theory. Moxley is one sick fuck, and you've got to love him for it. This guy has scary commitment to his promo work in an almost Mick Foley-like way. Creepy/awesome segment.

Austin Aries (0-0) vs. Chuck Taylor (4-1)

It's main event time, and this looks to be a good match-up on paper. Aries is making his debut for the promotion here after not having his contract renewed by ROH. For what reason, I have no idea. Aries takes the upper hand early as the veteran, rolling Taylor around the ring and trying to work a side headlock. Taylor comes back with a few cradle attempts of his own though and tries his own side-headlock. Taylor hits Aries with a flurry of armdrags and dropkicks, zipping around the ring at an impressive speed. Aries tells Taylor to go the gym more when he can't take him down with a shoulder-block, so Taylor gets a running start and nails him with one. You'd think Aries would be playing the babyface role here. Aries just plays with Taylor a bit, running into the corner and then shooting him self up and over him to the other corner. He hits a big dropkick and celebrates with some one-armed push ups while Taylor recovers. Taylor's done with his shit though and slaps him in the face, which only pisses Aries off who sends him flying out to the floor and then flies out himself with the heat seeking missile tope into the crowd! Taylor gets chopped so hard by Aries he collapses into the lap of some girl in attendance, crying on her shoulder almost only for Aries to slap him around some more and bring him back to the ringside area. Taylor steals a fan's hoodie and tries putting it on to escape the stiff chops of Aries, but the domination continues for double A. Aries tosses the fan back his sweatshirt and hits Taylor with a few elbows for a near fall. Aries is on his game tonight, that's for sure. Aries continues to just lay into Taylor with more elbows and dropkicks and this is just total domination up to this point from Austin Aries. Reverse STO and the discus elbow drop gets Aries a close two count. Aries goes for the top rope and Taylor sweeps his legs out from under him, slamming into the steel steps on the floor. Taylor hits a few stiff kicks and then tosses Aries back into the ring and locks on an armbar. Aries tries kicking out of it so Taylor just grabs his leg and Aries counters with a headscissors. Taylor locks on a figure four headscissors on Aries now, but Austin slides out of it. They trade shots and Taylor tries a single leb crab submission that he transitions into a surfboard-like submission. Taylor rolls into a guillotine choke attempt but Aries rolls into the ropes and gets the break. Aries blocks the Awful Waffle, so Taylor sets him up in the tree of woe. He misses the baseball slide though and crotches himself on the ring post. Aries hits a sweet tornado stunner/ace-crusher from the tree of woe position that I can't say I've ever seen before. Aries hits some big shots in the corner on him slams Taylor's head into the turnbuckle. He hits a bulldog and then locks in the Last Chancery briefly until Taylor gets the quick rope break. Taylor eats a stiff neckbreaker between the top and second ropes from Aries and crumbles to the outside floor. Aries follows him out with the Macho Man-like double axe-handle off the top rope into the front row! Taylor looks hurt and I'm guessing somewhere along the last few moves is where he apparently dislocated his shoulder, as he's clearly favoring the right arm now. Aries hits a missile dropkick but Taylor drills him with a boot for a quick two count. Taylor amazingly hits a pair of big quebrada moonsaults on Aries, slamming his already dislocated shoulder into the mat in the process. Holy shit Chuck, you've got heart. Taylor goes back to favoring the arm while Aries recovers. Taylor tries a rollup but he can't hold him down with the shoulder. He tries for a belly-to-back suplex but Aries counters into another near-fall. They trade backslide attempts and Taylor nails a big DDT. I have no idea how Taylor is able to perform these moves with an injured shoulder like that, it's pretty crazy. Taylor goes to the top rope and rolls through a 450 splash attempt, trying for Sole Food only to have Aries counter with a shinbreaker. Taylor sort-of hits the Sole Food from the top rope, but he clearly didn't hit the move correctly and you can't really blame him since he's injured. Aries hits a brainbuster and then locks in the Last Chancery once again, and Taylor has no choice but to quickly tap at 22:19. This was another fine EVOLVE main event and Aries looked fired-up and impressive in his debut. Taylor's dislocated shoulder could have potentially ruined the match, but he's such a great talent that he was able to still work hard with the injury and even work it into the match's finish. Another very good match to close out an EVOLVE show. ***¾

After the match Aries puts over Chuck Taylor and acknowledges that he clearly dislocated his shoulder half-way through the match. He tells Taylor that he's earned his respect.

Backstage Homicide shows Adam Cole the blood-stained fork he used on Moxley earlier in the night. Drake Younger comes up to him and tells him he respects him and knows they both had a tough night and invites him out to get some drinks, which Homicide gladly accepts. Cole gets left out. I guess he isn't crazy enough to go to a bar with Homicide and Drake Younger, and can you blame him? I wouldn't mind seeing Homicide and Younger teaming or feuding.

Elsewhere backstage Johnny Gargano is getting dressed after his match. Suddenly Silas Young bursts into his room and reminds Gargano about how at the first EVOLVE show Gargano invited him out to have a drink after a tough loss, setting him back on the path to alcoholism as apparently it's an issue he's struggled with in his past. Silas blames Gargano for setting him back into relapse for the last ten months and promises to take out all of his frustrations on Gargano in the ring. And that does it for EVOLVE 6.

Bottom Line: Another great show from top to bottom here from EVOLVE, as they've grown to become one of the most consistent indies in the United States today. Lots of good stuff to see on here including a brilliant Bobby Fish vs. Kyle O'Reilly match that takes almost an MMA-like approach, a great Jacobs-Gargano match, a fun Homicide-Moxley brawl, and a solid main event with some added drama from Taylor's gutsy performance working through an injury. Not a bad match on the card either, and even the promos and segments were good with Jon Moxley coming off like a brilliant and sadistic madman in more than one segment. EVOLVE delivers again, easy Thumbs Up.

Score: 8/10


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