By Des Delgadillo
Available on IPPV at http://WWNLive.com
Evolve presents its final, and possibly most important show of the year, Saturday from the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ., and on internet pay-per-view at WWNLive.com.
In the first half of a huge double-header with Combat Zone Wrestling, Evolve hits the ground running on the road to WrestleCon and the crowning of the inaugural Evolve Champion.
Evolve records are more important now than ever before, because they will play a huge part in shaping the brackets for the Evolve Title tournament set for WrestleCon. On Dec. 8, one of eight Evolve roster members has an opportunity to raise his record by two wins. We’ll see four matches, the winners of which will move on to a four-way freestyle match. If an Evolve wrestler can pick up the victory in his singles match and in the four-way, his record will improve significantly. It’s a tournament that will be incredibly beneficial to some, detrimental to others.
Let’s take a look at the matches on the card along with some backstory to get you ready for Evolve 18 on Saturday.
Chuck Taylor (9-4) vs. Jon Davis (3-3). In the first of four crucial matches en route to the Evolve Championship, Evolve wins leader Chuck Taylor looks to widen his gap over the competition by winning his match, moving onto the four-way later in the night, and winning that match as well, thereby advancing his record to a staggering 11-4. The only problem with Taylor’s formula for success comes in the form of a pissed off Jon Davis who has been on a roll as of late. After bringing his win-loss record back to .500 and threatening to retire after his next loss, Davis’ mean streak bubbled to the surface after losing a title match to Gargano back at Evolve 17. An emotionally charged Davis sent the champion through a table, re-exacerbating Gargano’s history of back problems. The Dragongate USA November triple-shot saw Davis mount three separate attacks on Gargano, picking up a non-title victory over him In 57 seconds. It’s obvious where Davis’ priorities lie, but a win over Taylor and a strong outing in the four-way could put Davis that much closer to Evolve title contention.
AR Fox (6-4) vs. Tony Nese (2-4). Every time AR Fox steps in an Evolve ring, it’s hard to look away. His high flying antics and devil-may-care style keep fans guessing. And after Fox defeated Ricochet in a “Respect” match back at “Fearless 2012” and successfully defended the Open the United Gate titles along side Cima the following night, Fox’s confidence has to be at an all-time high. But Tony Nese comes in with something to prove. With a less than impressive 2-4 record, Nese needs to pick up some all important wins if he hopes to get anywhere near WrestleCon and the Evolve title tournament. What better way than to pick up two wins in one night? Evolve 18 could be the perfect launching point for the “Premier Athlete.”
Jigsaw (1-2) vs. Rich Swann (0-2). Jigsaw would love to have a shot at the Evolve title come April, but to get there his record is going to need some work. Rich Swann, meanwhile, spending a lot of his time in Japan and on the DGUSA side of things, has not had many matches in Evolve. But the matches he has had don’t exactly help his case any, with Swann at a dismal 0-2 record. Both men will have a solid match, with a spot in the four-way freestyle serving as the be-all end-all prize.
Masada (1-0) vs. Papadon (0-0) If there are any two Evolve wrestlers who could benefit more from two wins in one night, it’s these two. CZW World Champion Masada could potentially elevate to an impressive 3-0, and Papadon could bring his novice Evolve record to 2-0.
El Generico and Samuray del Sol (0-0) vs. Super Smash Brothers (0-0). Here is where sparks will fly, guaranteed. Both teams come in with considerable momentum behind them, with SSB quickly building steam on the independent circuit as one of the top teams whose last name isn’t Briscoe. Generico and Del Sol put on a picture perfect trilogy earlier this year, and now they look to shoot up the tag team ranks and chase a shot at the Open the United Gate titles. Expect rock-your-socks-off, high flying greatness for which these four have become renowned. Lucha versus 8-bit. Who will get their first big win as an established team in Evolve?
Sami Callihan (4-6) vs. Johnny Gargano (7-4) for the Open the Freedom Gate Championship (Since this match is for a Dragongate title, records are not affected in this match). Jon Davis was originally chosen to headline this show with Gargano, but what was billed as “Fan reaction” saw Callihan take his place as challenger. Callihan and Gargano have yet to face off in Evolve or Dragongate USA despite their histories with the promotions. A title match marks a crowning moment in the Sami CAllihan story that saw him suspended from Evolve earlier in the year for attacking El Generico after a match. Since making his return to the promotion, Callihan has showcased a streak of aggression that has endeared him to the Evolve audience enough to earn him this championship opportunity. Johnny Gargano, currently in the midst of a violent rivalry with Jon Davis, would probably prefer a match against him, but a first-time meeting with Callihan in an Evolve main event might just be the wake-up call Gargano has been waiting for. Gargano’s last championship defense was against almost impossible odds at “Freedom Fight 2012,” but Gargano survived an attack by Jon Davis, and a four-way elimination match, with his help and championship reign still in tact. Gargano’s tenacity as champion has proven one thing: Gargano can’t be broken. But Sami Callihan aims to try.