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Evolve 41 results: Roderick Strong vs. Timothy Thatcher, Davey Richards vs. Johnny Gargano

Submitted from an anonymous fan

Anthony Nese submitted Martin Stone in 15:50 with a half crab submission hold

Good match to open the show, but it would have been even better about five minutes shorter.  Nese is fantastic athlete and Stone is a solid himself.  Nese seems better fit as a baby face then a heel.  Lots of big moves and big kick outs at two. It was a bit much, especially being the opener.

Caleb Konely pinned Rey Horus in 14:11 with a second rope sit out driver.

Shocking to see Rey Horus lose on his opening night with Evovle, specifically since he was the standout star of the King Of Indies Tournament that took place on the Wrestlemania weekend. This was the best that I have seen Caleb Konely.  He played the cocky heel to perfection here.  Nice slow pace to open up the match, building up to Rey Horus's big flying moves.  Horus did a crazy Liger Dive over the top rope.  Horus hit Konely with a chair which really was bad since it was right in front of the referee and meant nothing.  Horus hit his impressive top rope huracarana off the top while Konely stood on the top rope.

When Konely kicked out of that,  I knew he was going over as Horus going over with anything else would have been anti-climatic.  More big moves and big kick out at two, which they would have meant more if they didn't do the same thing in the opening match.   Konely pinned Horus with a second rope sit out driver for the big upset.  Though Horus was impressive with his high flying moves, the real standout in the match was Caleb Konely.  Konely really stood out as a main event guy with his performance. 

TJ Perkins submitted Biff Busick in 13:03 with a tap out due to strikes.

Solid technical wrestling.  Story was Perkins was faster and quicker with his mat and submission wrestling game then Busick. Finally, Busick capitalized on a mistake when Perkins tried what looked to be an attempt at a Asai moonsault, but Busick blocked it and pulled him to the floor.  I really like that storytelling as Perkins was clearing one step ahead, but tried something high risk and paid for it.   Hard to follow the previous match, but these two slowed things down which is not a negative.  Perkins is so robotic with his work that he has no emotion with he puts on these holds, thus the fans don't buy these holds.  Busick is one of the best on the indy scene. His attention to detail is second to only Timothy Thatcher.  Finish was really creative.  Perkins locked on an armbar, but Busick reversed it.  Perkins got the armbar again and continued to strike with his right leg to Busick's face.   It was a flash knock out and Busick arm went limp and it looked like he tapped.   They announced a winner by tap out, but really it was a flash knock out.

Ethan Page pinned Rich Swann in 13:50 with a uranage slam

After seeing Ethan Page at the Evolve shows at Wrestlemania weekend, I was not impressed, but he is a true heel and really shined here. Rich Swann ran out and it was a bummer he did not sing his All Night Long entrance.  But, the story was Swann was seeking revenge on Page for turning on his friend Johnny Gargano thus no time for fun which made perfect sense.   The first part of the match was real good and they did a nice count-out tease with Page giving Swann a Gotch Piledriver on the stage.  At this point the match went to the big moves and big kick out the two counts, which again meant less because we already saw that in matches one and two earlier.

Davey Richards pinned Johnny Gargano in 18:17 with a running kick 

Very good match.  Opened up with a great back and forth action.  After about four minutes of this, Richards made himself the heel with a cheap shot.  From this point forward the intensity and crowd heat got turned up with crowd solidly behind Gargano.   Gargano really needs to stop his "I say Johnny, You say Wrestling" chant.  Babyfaces should never pander to the crowd.  This is the match that those big moves and big kicks out would have meant something, but again the match before and those matches earlier really took the impact away from the near falls from this match.  That is really the fault of the booker as he needs to control that.  The finish was a bit of a surprise, as I thought Gargano would go over.  Gargano reversed Richard's stretch muffler into his "GargaNo Escape" lock.  I am being picky, but if they would have struggled more for those reversals they would of had more impact.  The final minute was exciting capping off with Richards finishing Gargano with a running kick.

Roderick Strong defeated Timothy Thatcher in a 2/3 falls match

Strong pinned Thatcher in 11:23 with a crucifix roll up in the First Fall. Thatcher made Strong submit to an armbar in 5:57 in the Second Fall.  Strong pinned Thatcher with a Tiger Driver in 5:56 in the third and final fall. Match of the night. Does Thatcher ever have a bad match?  This was good from beginning to the end.  Rodrick Strong is a great heel and though I hope to see Thatcher vs Drew Galloway in the future, after Evolve 38 the true main event of the near future is Strong versus Galloway with Strong capturing a non-title win.   The 2/3 falls took the match down a bit as it really only needed to be a one fall match, especially since there was no rest periods between falls.  Strong went to chop Thatcher against a post in the building, but Thatcher moved and Strong slapped his hand on the pole.  That sounded nasty and Thatcher made it mean something with his great work on the "injured" hand.   While the previous matches was guys hitting big moves and big kick outs,  this match had the intensity that nobody came close to.  Thatcher took a nasty back suplex onto the apron of the ring.  Finish was great with back and forth action and finally Strong winning with a tiger driver suplex for the pin. 

Overall Thoughts:  Really good show that I would recommend people checking out on demand at wwnlive.com, especially for the Thatcher vs Strong,  Richards vs Gargano and Horus vs Konely matches.  As mentioned in this report, the only negative was too many undercard matches (Nese-Stone, Konely-Horus, and Page-Swann) all did the kick out of big moves for near falls which made it less important for the main event matches.