Hello friends! This didn’t just go up late because there was a lot to watch, but because I did another one for Cageside Seats: Evolve 94 Live Report: A View From The Front Row.
Also, have you watched my video about BOLA yet?
As always, if I’m missing anything that can be accessed without too much trouble, @ me on twitter: henrytcasey.
What I Watched
- WWE Hell In A Cell, 10/8
- MLW One Shot, 10/8
- PROGRESS: Revelations Of Divine Love, 10/8
- Monday Night Raw, 10/9
- NJPW King Of Pro Wrestling, 10/9
- SmackDown LIVE, 10/10
- 205 Live, 10/10
- NXT, 10/11
- Lucha Underground, 10/12
- Evolve 94, 10/14
Upcoming Watch List
- Evolve 95, 10/15
- Monday Night Raw, 10/16
- SmackDown LIVE, 10/17
- 205 Live, 10/17
- NXT, 10/18
- Lucha Underground, 10/18
Non-WWE Match of The Week:
Keith Lee vs Matt Riddle: WWN Championship Last Man Standing Match
Evolve 94, 10/14
In a week filled with 4-star matches, it’s hard to pick which one is the best. I’ve been nit-picking the finish of Lee vs Riddle for days, debating how much the Last Man Standing stipulation hurt the match.
Yes, a three-count could have made for a more raucous moment, but this match was still the biggest barn-burner of them all, even when you consider the ending relied on one man not standing up. And since I’ve heard some compelling arguments saying that an I Knocked You Out stip means more than a pinfall, yep this is the winner.
First of all, I loved the rolled-through suplexes to start the match off, placed them on a more-even playing field. The next thing I noticed (from the front row) that made me smile was how Keith Lee worked the match in a very natural way, turning his head to see if Riddle was rising up, and then immediately making an effort to do so at those moments.
I spent much of the hours before the show predicting that Lee would win, to the point where I felt confident. Maybe that’s why I felt the ending looked a little telegraphed, though Riddle spent a lot of time dominating the match, which always signals the comebacks.
On top of the solid build of Lee doing his signature moves, and then having to do them again from the top rope, the post-match moments really tied it all together. Look at how Keith Lee looks at the WWN Championship. We saw more raw emotion here than we ever got from Riddle over this belt, and more than we got from any of the below honorable mentions.
- Ricochet vs Shane Strickland, MLW One Shot, 10/8
- Jinny vs Milly McKenzie, PROGRESS: Revelations Of Divine Love, 10/8
- Will Ospreay vs Kushida, NJPW King Of Pro Wrestling, 10/9
- Tomohiro Ishii vs Tetsuya Naito, NJPW King Of Pro Wrestling, 10/9
- Roppongi 3K vs Ricochet & Ryusuke Taguchi © for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Titles, NJPW King Of Pro Wrestling, 10/9
- Pentagon Dark vs Son of Havoc, Lucha Underground, 10/12
- Darby Allin vs Jarek 1:20, Evolve 94, 10/14
- Fred Yehi vs Hot Sauce Tracy Williams, Evolve 94, 10/14
- Jaka vs Zack Sabre Jr., Evolve 94, 10/14
Non-WWE Segment of The Week
Ethan Page: This Generation Sucks, And So Does Shane Strickland
Ethan Page’s YouTube, 10/11
Surprise! I love an Ethan Page YouTube promo! Now that All Ego has left Evolve, his channel is my primary means of seeing the Body Guy talk his shit.
Here, he provides a solid takedown of Shane Strickland for making himself the leader of some loosely affiliated group of CZW talent. And Page makes some damn good points about how there are a lot of people just imitating others.
Now, I don’t see Strickland as a clone, he’s been proving his merit in a lot of places, from the Lucha Underground temple to the MLW One Shot event. But if you look around Strickland, in that video, yeah … Page has a point.
Page is also so far above most of the CZW roster — in terms of mic skills — that he can record this video in his kitchen and make it look easy.
Want another indicator of how this promo is great? It’s sold me on paying for the CZW The Wolf of Wrestling event when it eventually hits an online platform.
Why is that a big deal? Because I didn’t set up an array of mute filters, I have a pretty solid guess as to how the match finishes, as I didn’t see people on Twitter raving about a new champion being crowned. But I still want to see how this goes.
- Jimmy Havoc Teaser, MLW One Shot, 10/8
- EVOLVE Mini-Doc: Matt Riddle vs. Keith Lee Last Man Standing!, 10/9
- Mike Kanellis on addiction, recovery and rebirth, 10/10
- Puma and Vampiro, and Vampiro and his Master , Lucha Underground, 10/12
WWE Match of The Week:
The Usos vs The New Day for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships in a Hell In The Cell Match
Hell In A Cell, 10/8
Up to that moment it was the Best Hell In A Cell match that didn’t feature Mick Foley or The Undertaker. Which is saying something. Super insane spots, lots of inventive mayhem, and oh the trombones. Francesca lost a lot of family that night.
- Shane McMahon vs Kevin Owens in a Hell In The Cell Match, Hell In A Cell, 10/8
- Johnny Gargano vs Andrade “Cien” Almas, NXT, 10/11
- Lio Rush vs. The Velveteen Dream, NXT, 10/11
WWE Segment of the Week:
Kevin and Sami Explain Themselves
SmackDown LIVE, 10/10
You know what’s amazing about this? Completely defied the established and hard-to-argue conventional wisdom that Sami Zayn should always be a babyface.
Sure, I’d like that heels be less right about their motivation, but I’m also impressed that this all ties together so well. Most WWE heel turns don’t make this much sense.