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EVOLVE 75 recap: A new era for Catch Point

Sunday night brought a new era for Catch Point, but it seems that a new era for all of EVOLVE may soon be on the horizon.

"Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams defeated Drew Gulak in the main event of EVOLVE 75 to cement himself as the leader of the promotion's top stable. The two worked hard and battled in a long match that culminated with Gulak tapping out to the crossface.

The storyline going into the night was that Gulak had said Catch Point was dead and a failure, while Williams was adamant that the group was bigger than Gulak. Gulak claimed that Williams would always be his protege, but he closed the show by passing the baton to him as Catch Point's new leader.

Gulak won't be able to participate in the upcoming WWN title tournament as a stipulation of the match, but that won't matter as he said goodbye to EVOLVE and will be heading to WWE. After Chris Dickinson and Jaka hit the ring to ask to join the group, Williams made the decision to let them into the stable.

But the biggest news of the night was another impending farewell. We broke the news that Chris Hero would be heading back to WWE shortly before tonight's show began. Losing Gulak and Hero is an obvious blow to EVOLVE. They are two performers that you can match pretty much anyone up against and expect a good match. And the departures come after the promotion had already lost Johnny Gargano, TJ Perkins, Tony Nese, and others to WWE recently.

Losing Hero hurts EVOLVE and independent wrestling as a whole, but no one is more deserving of a spot in the biggest wrestling company in the world than him. There is no stage too big for him. There is nowhere that he doesn't belong. There is no card that he doesn't improve. He's worked seemingly every opponent, every style, and every place in the world this year while producing consistently mind-blowing results. I have no doubt that he will succeed in what comes next.

Hero was victorious tonight against DUSTIN after connecting with two piledrivers. It certainly wasn't his best match in 2016, but it was another reminder that Hero can work well with almost any opponent.

In what was likely the best match on the show, Matt Riddle tapped out Ricochet with the Bromission after hitting the Bro to Sleep and jumping tombstone in the semi-main event. I'd love to see a longer contest between the two of them, but this was very good for the time it got. Their styles worked well together and the highlight of the match was Riddle catching Ricochet in a triangle after a People's Moonsault attempt.

Dickinson and Jaka earned EVOLVE contracts earlier in the night after defeating Darby Allin and Peter Kaasa in a tag team match. They should be solid additions to a roster that needs bodies with so many people leaving. It would also be nice to see Kaasa in EVOLVE more, as he really seems to shine in tag team bouts.

Dick Togo completed his weekend in EVOLVE in losing fashion in a solid match against Ethan Page. Togo lost after Page pinned him with the Spinning Dwayne, but he stood tall after the match and fought off Page's Gatekeeper (Blaster McMassive) to the delight of the crowd.

The show's opener saw Jeff Cobb get his second win in as many nights. He defeated Fred Yehi after hitting the Tour of the Islands in a good match, then motioned that he wants the EVOLVE Championship after it was over.

Final thoughts:

EVOLVE 75 was a great live experience. This was far from their best card of the year, but everything was at least solid and worth checking out. It will be interesting to see where EVOLVE goes in 2017 with so much roster turnover.

I was also at Beyond Wrestling's show earlier in the day. It streamed live on FloSlam and was a really fun time. Ricochet vs. Jonathan Gresham was probably the best match of the entire day, Brian Fury had his Beyond farewell in an emotional match against Donovan Dijak, and the Spirit Squad were in action.

EVOLVE 75 results:

  • "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams defeated Drew Gulak
  • Matt Riddle defeated Ricochet
  • Chris Hero defeated DUSTIN
  • "All Ego" Ethan Page defeated Dick Togo
  • Chris Dickinson & Jaka defeated Darby Allin & Peter Kaasa to earn EVOLVE contracts
  • Jeff Cobb defeated Fred Yehi