Name withheld by request
Last weekend I was unable to attend the WWN Super Show "Mercury Rising" live on Saturday, March 28th in San Jose because I attended the WWE Hall Of Fame. Later that night at the King Of Indies tournament, everyone was raving about this show and so I decided to over the replay on IPPV. After watching the replay, I really regret my decision of going to the Hall Of Fame.
Rich Swann comes out and discusses his injury
Rich Swann comes out once again singing the entire Lionel Richie "All Night Long" song. One thing that I walked away from Wrestlemania weekend was that I have become a big fan of Rich Swann. He talked about his injured ribs and talked about seeing Caleb Konely submit in the tag match at Evolve 40. That was the finish that was messed up when they announced the referee stopped the match because of Swann's injury, but the entire audience saw Konely tap out. This brought out Konely, Brian Cage, their manager SoCal Val and her bodyguard Andrea. After a little back and forth on the mic, the heels attacked Swann and Konely hit Swann in his injured ribs with his tag team title belt. After the heels left, Swann challenged the Premier Athlete Brand to a tag team match at the next Evolve events. Good angle.
1) Ethan Page pins Caleb Konely with SoCal Val, Brian Cage and Andrea in 11:22 with a jackknife cradle and a handful of tights.
Good match, the best Konely looked all weekend and this was Page's best match of the weekend as well. It went a big long and dragged at times. Easily could have been seven minutes. After killing each other with big move after big move, the finish was Page rolling up Konely and a handful of tights. After all the big moves, the finish came off really weak. Considering they are going with a Ethan Page and Johnny Gargano feud, they should have put over Page stronger. I guess the handful of tights was foreshadowing of Page's heel turn on Gargano later in the night. That is just the booker over thinking here. After the match Konely and Andrea attack Brian Cage because I guess he should have helped Konely win the match, but failed. Nobody cared. *3/4
2) Mia Yim, Kimber Lee and Cherry Bomb d. Andrea, Taylor Mathews, and Portia Perez.
After watching this match, it made me appreciate the performance of Sasha Banks and Charlotte at NXT San Jose that much more. Andrea attacked Nikki Storm before the match started and took her place. Bad move as Storm is the best worker of the six women. Nikki Storm should be in the WWE right now as she has the looks, charisma and the wrestling ability. The highlight of the match was Mia Yim's high dropkick off the stop. Overall the work was really bad with all their heat looking very weak. *
3) Evolve Champion Drew Galloway pinned Johnny Gargano in 21:12 with a jumping tombstone piledriver to win the DragonGate USA Open The Freedom Gate Championship.
Great match, probably one of the best matches all of Wrestlemania weekend. Few guys can portray the aura of a champion, but Drew Galloway is one of those workers who can. He presence inside the ring is so above and beyond 95% of the workers on the card. Galloway dominated early, but Gargano would make his flashy comebacks. They brawled around the building which I thought they could have done without. At one point they brawled to the back wall by the gimmick tables. As they are brawling, there is Brian Cage just sitting there and not moving. Finally, he got up, but that was so unprofessional. He should have moved out of the way and sold the craziness of them brawling on the outside. Another thing this match did not need was the two referee bumps in the match. The second referee bump of Galloway giving referee Tom Castor the big boot looked nasty and Castor made that boot looked like it killed him. Still, no need for that and it looked bad seeing Castor having to referee the following match. That is the bookers fault there, as he should of had the referee who was bumped first and count the fall ref the following match.
The finishing sequence was great when Gargano reversed Galloway's attempt of tombstone piledriver into this "GargaNoEscape" lock. I thought Gargano kicking out of a tombstone Karl Gotch piledriver was much, but I understand they wanted to create this epic title match. The finish was perfect as after Gargano kicked out of so many big moves by Galloway, he was finally finished off by a jumping piledriver. ****1/4
After the match Galloway once again did another great promo putting over Gargano, the titles and Evolve. I was bit bummed to find out that this was not a unification match, but just both titles were on the line. I really wish Evolve would only have one championship as it is hard to figure out which title is the most important in the company. As Galloway left, Gargano started to do his promo, buy Ethan Page attacked. Why? I guess he wanted Gargano's spot. It really did not make sense, but I guess stabbing the man who brought him into the company in the back was a way for his character to make a statement in Evolve. I wasn't impressed with Ethan Page all weekend and this left me no desire to see a Gargano versus Page feud.
4) Four Way Match: TJ Perkins defeated Drew Gulak, Tommy End, and Biff Busick in 11:36 when Perkins tapped out Gulak with a cross amrbar.
As four way matches go, this was a good match because of all the talent involved. Watching this I just found myself wishing they would have just had these four in singles matches (Perkins vs Busick and Gulak vs End) or even easier a tag team match of Gulak and Busick versus End and Perkins. The four way stipulations really held back these guys. **3/4
5) PJ Black pinned AR Fox with a springboard 450 Splash in 10:05
Within two minutes of this match, they hit a lot of big moves and I knew this one was going short. Glad it did, because AR Fox just does not impress me at all. His high flying is spectacular and suicidal at times, but his ring psychology is non-existent. Over this Wrestlemania weekend it has been a joy watching PJ Black work. WWE truly wasted his talents. At one point in the match Black gave Fox a Death Valley Driver from the top rope to the ring apron. That was crazy ***
6) Timothy Thatcher submitted Chris Hero with a Fujiwara armbar in 21:20
This is a must watch match. Before these two even locked up in the ring, the crowd was going crazy with chants for both men. It was a 50/50 split and it was loud. Easily the best match that took place over the Wrestlemania weekend. Timothy Thatcher was amazing standing in the center of ring and staring a hole into Chris Hero. The match was a thing of beauty, Hero's strikes versus Thatcher's grappling. Thatcher's selling is the best in the game and he made every strike by Hero look brutal. The finish was great as Hero kept delivering multiple knock out elbows. Finally, Hero hit is KO elbow and Thatcher "crumbled" to the match. The entire crowd thought that was it, but Thatcher reversed Hero's cover into the Fujiwara armbar for the come from behind submission. The crowd gave both men a standing ovation. Even though we have nine months left in 2015, this match is serious match of the year candidate. *****
7) Austin Aries and Rodrick Strong defeated Ricochet and Uhaa Nation in 18:05 when Strong pinned Ricochet with a back breaker
Hard for anyone to follow the Hero/Thatcher classic, but this was a really good tag team match. It was nice to see Austin Aries and Rodrick Strong back as a tag team. Their team work was really good and if they teamed in a major promotion on a regular basis, they probably would be the best tag team in the US. With Uhaa Nation on his way to the WWE, Ricochet took the backseat and gave the spotlight to his tag team partner. Uhaa Nation is extremely talented and he will do very well in the WWE system. I liked the finish of Strong over Ricochet. One it keeps Strong over as he just came off a win over the Evolve Champion Drew Galloway at Evolve 38 in the cage match and also with Nation leaving, everyone thought he would be one taking the fall. With TNA not running any house shows, it would be nice to see Austin Aries back in Evolve on a regular basis.
Watching this show, I am really bummed I missed this show live. The WWE Hall Of Fame was fun, but I would have rather watched the Hero-Thatcher classic in person and also the very good Galloway-Gargano match. I would advise anyone to buy this replay on this show. It is only $14.95 and the Hero and Thatcher match is worth that alone.