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Found 10 results

  1. EVOLVE has been building towards this match since Strickland returned to the company. Strickland is such a great heel in EVOLVE and Riddle is of course the fired up babyface the fans love and they play their roles perfectly. Leading to the match, Strickland had targeted Riddle's arm and he had broken Riddle mentally with his mind games and Riddle lets anger take over and that backfires throughout the match and Strickland uses this to exploit Riddle's weaknesses throughout the match. Some of the cool stuff from this match include Strickland hitting a running Swerve Stomp from the ramp on Riddle sitting in a chair in front of Riddle's family. Riddle's chops are great as always. Also, to the benefit of the match, Riddle cuts his hand which adds to the backstory of the match and Strickland exploits it. Riddle's selling is also pretty great throughout the majority of the match. There's some pretty big table bumps here like Riddle hitting a senton off the ring apron through a table and of course a big Swerve Stomp off a ladder through a table on Riddle. The finishing stretch was also good with Riddle getting one last boost of adrenaline before Strickland puts him down with a JML Driver. Loved Riddle just barely bridging out of the last nearfall before the finish as he was already worn out instead of just popping straight up with a power kickout. Some things of course didn't work, such as them going into overkill with one too many Swerve Stomps throughout the match and the downtime while Swever setup for some weapon assisted spots, but to their credit, Riddle's selling was good in between the setups. Again, not a MOTYC or a ****+ classic or any of that, but definitely another solid/entertaining match from these two and well worth watching if you dig any of their previous matches. From the matches of theirs I've seen, I'd rank them in this order: MLW world title tournament final This match The first EVOLVE match Their second EVOLVE match I would rank the MLW match ahead of this one because I was there live, so of course I have a different perspective on that one as it was great to experience that live.
  2. Somewhat of an indytastic big man match. I'm not familiar with Drake, but he's a big, fat dude who can throw dish can take punishment and also dish it out, plus he can do all the cute indy stuff the fans dig. Before the match, Riddle challenges Drake to a no rope break match and Drake accepts, so this works in favor of the match as they need to figure out ways to counter each others submissions and endless strikes without being saved via rope break. The match develops nicely with both guys brutalizing each other with big man stiff shots and some pretty decent grappling before it gets very indytastic with the annoying endless head drop sequence. The finish was brutal as Riddle unleashes a brutal beatdown. Post match Drake gets a well deserved standing ovation and a please come back chant. Good stuff. ***1/2
  3. Not a MOTYC by any stretch, but a really entertaining indy-rific match. Having been there, I'm sure I liked this more than most peeps. Anyway, they work pretty evenly and develop this by putting over Riddle as a former UFC fighter and legit bad ass taking on an up and coming future star with Riddle getting the upper hand when involved in the rough striking exchanges and finding a way to always counter whatever it was Swerve was able to bring to the table. Both guys landed some fantastic strikes, with Riddle murdering Swerve with some brutal slaps and there's a point where he blasts Swerve with a nasty body kick that sounded like a gun shot. Swerve also brought some pretty great looking strikes, namely some cool looking face kicks while he tried pulling off the Keys to Swerve City. Pretty cool finishing stretch which turned into a bomb fest featuring some pretty nasty stuff. Loved Swerve countering the Bro 2 Sleep into a double stomp. MLW has far better production values than a lot of other U.S. indies and thus they made great work of putting over the lively split crowd at the venue and really brought out the big match feel this had. Plus Tony Schiavone and Rich Bocchini are a fun commentary team. You can put any type of spins you want on this, but the crowd left home happy for the most part and they were pretty lively for it, so it served it's purpose perfectly. Easily the best Swerve singles match I've seen, however not on par with a lot of Riddle's best stuff from WM weekend, but still well worth a watch if you dig the U.S. indy stuff.
  4. Riddle's first defense and it's a quality match against Sekimoto. Sekimoto sees Riddle bootless and he joins in on the fun. This a no rope break match and they do a great job using the stip. as there's some subs that involve taking advantage of the stip. This match also proved Riddle's adaptability as he works an entirely different match against an entirely different opponent from this weekend. Some of the highlights include Sekimoto challenging Riddle to a sumo face off that leads to a double underhook and throw from Sekimoto, Sekimoto trying to hit Riddle with a deadlift German suplex which Riddle holds onto Sekimoto ankle and Sekimoto just clubs him in the back before hitting the deadlift, Sekimoto getting Riddle into a torture rack and Riddle countering with a kimura in the ropes and Sekimoto hitting some brutal knees to Riddle's face through the ropes to break it and Riddle deadlifting Sekimoto into a throw. Great stuff.
  5. I got a chance to re-watch this again as I loved it live and had seen it previously, but forgot to post about it. Anyway, it's a pretty fantastic match between these two. Not sure if I'm more impressed by Cobb ragdolling Riddle or Riddle deadlifting Cobb. The match is worked pretty evenly. It starts out slow with them keeping it clean as they're friends and it eventually breaks down and they go all out on each other. Cobb does a fantastic job throwing Riddle around and cutting off his hulk ups and Riddle is pretty great at deadlift suplexing and hitting Cobb with some brutal strikes, namely with some stiff knees that bust up Cobb. The finish was awesome with Riddle nailing Cobb with a brutal knee. ***1/2
  6. Tracy Williams sucks. I can't remember seeing a praised wrestler that has as poor slap throwing technique as he does. And while I have nothing against guys doing dives against Riddle the way they it was set up here was shit-not to mention doing it early on minimized its effect and shock value (well, indy guys doing dives isn't really shocking and so far I'm of the impression anyone who's compared Evolve to Battlarts has no idea what they're talking about). He's also incredibly dull when in control of the match-he can execute MOVES right but not good enough that I'm going to actually be impressed by his Dropkicks and Knee Drops and good grief is he bad at tying them together in an interesting fashion. A really good performance by Riddle however, lots of nifty slams and takedown by him, his counter knee looked absolutely disgusting and got a bigger reaction than any of the thigh slapping in the previous bouts. He rocked Williams with some nice strikes and put on a strong selling performance. They did some nice Piledrivers in the stretch and while I like the idea of the finish it was much closer to, IDK, Shawm Michaels vs Kurt Angle than Ikeda-Ono, if this leglock is so dangerous you shouldn't hesitate before kicking someone in the face. He should study how Takada, a much better worker, kicked Fujiwara in the face in their 10/25 match. No weird Triple H pauses there. **1/2
  7. Timothy Thatcher may not exactly be my favourite wrestler but he's far from being the dirt worst like Tracy Williams or Gulak. He's been in some good matches before. He looked REALLY good against Chris Masters and actually carried himself like a real pro wrestler there. He's trained with Yuki Ishikawa. So I think he isn't a great wrestler more due to the same reason he can't cut a promo to save his life than due to a lack of grappling abity or something like that. Thatcher's facial expression just before he came back into the ring after the injury angle was embarrassingly bad as was his selling of the angle itself but at least I like the idea of booking fuckfinishes in 2016 so props to Gabe. Thatcher made a solid sparring partner for Riddle, this is nothing mindblowing if you've seen some Battlarts but it's the closest I've seen an Evolve match come to looking similar to one and that comparison has been made plenty so far. Some solid grappling that would've been much better if Thatcher was a more charismatic performer and there was more peril attached to the holds, the contrast between Riddle's awesome Fujiwara armbar where it looked like he was hyperextending Thatcher's arm and Thatcher's was staggering. I'll also give them props for striking their opponent on the ground to remain in control or obtain control, we got some nice slaps out of it even if in general a lot of it ended up looking pretty mediocre, and a lack of striking/kicking ability is definitely something that is probably lacking amongst Evolve guys today to come close to the heights of the faux-shootiness (if they even wish to prosper in that style). ***1/4
  8. I'd like to see Riddle's strenghts used in the manner a Battlarts-esque style would use them, or see him work as a shootish base in matches that would be worked like New Japan vs UWFi, but since that just isn't going to happen since most Evolve guys aren't good or creative enough for that I'll gladly take him vs. a charismatic showman like Zack Sabre Jr. This was more Sabre's match than Riddle's, Sabre did a great job of selling the threat of Riddle's submissions and I like the way Riddle countered Sabre's flashy submissions with simple and logical counters many wrestlers don't even see are there for the taking due to bubble they're used of thinking in. This may sound like a weird comparison but the way Riddle executes Suplexes reminds me of Buzz Sawyer, he'd also jump and hit moves with the same intensity Riddle does. This was worked in a similar vein to a lucha title match and I enjoyed it a lot. ***1/2
  9. Another good showing for Riddle, I liked his takedowns, the palm strikes he busted out on the ground and he hit a nice fisherman's suplex. Kaasa took too much of this short match for it to be especially good, he looked like a generic indy guy I'd rather not watch ever again, I think Riddle vs. a guy who does Corkscrew Shooting Star Presses could work in theory but this convinced me Kaasa is a shitty wrestler who does Corkscrew Shooting Star Presses. **1/2
  10. This is my first time seeing Matt Riddle and I have to say he looked very impressive here. The opening amateur-style battle for the waistlock was a million times more interesting than the mundane pro-style holds in the previous Evolve bouts and he seems to have an actual character which is-you know, the kind of thing that was crucial in the original Battlarts stuff being as good as it was. He didn't do any stupid thigh slapping, him being barefoot provided an easy target for Yehi and his kick from the bottom looked really good. Yehi also looked much bettter here, his slams looked great. Flash submission finish ruled. This looks like a match-up that could provide a MOTYC with more time. ***1/4
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