Quick Head 2 Head Update: We didn’t get a chance to get a React column up for Extreme Rules and we apologize for that. Jim went 5-1 with his picks, while Tom went 4-2 with his picks, so Jim has tied up the competition with each Spot Monkey having a 16-10 record. We’ll get back to our regular “React” columns with Over The Limit”.
We decided that we liked the “3 Things” format, so instead of just using it for live shows we’ve attended; we may also from time to time use it to preview or review other shows when we don’t want to go match by match. So, here are our 3 Things about this weekend’s Evolve and ROH shows!
Jim’s 3 Things For The Evolve Shows
1. Who will break out?
On Friday night, we will see Mike Cruz vs. Alex Reynolds and a three way with Caleb Konley vs. Jake Manning vs. Adam Page, then on Saturday, the two winners of those matches will meet in a one on one match. At this point, I would bet on Alex Reynolds vs. Caleb Konley being the matchup on Saturday. Can Reynolds or Konley use these matches to really break out from the young up and comers? Konley definitely has an exposure advantage here with his membership in The Scene, and this weekend he’ll have guest manager Johnny Fairplay watching his back. Can Reynolds overcome that if he really does make it to that match on Saturday? I’m going to go with Konley winning the Saturday match after some shenanigans, but Reynolds is going to have a heck of a weekend either way!
2. Can Jon Davis step up his game?
Davis has two HUGE matches this weekend as he faces Fit Finlay on Friday night, and then goes one on one with Low Ki on Saturday night. To say these are his most high profile singles matches in his career would be a vast understatement. This is a make or break weekend for Davis as a singles star, and if it goes well, he should shoot to the top of the card in Dragon Gate USA and Evolve. Personally, I don’t know if he’ll win either matchup (though I think a win over Finlay is much more likely than over Low Ki), but I do think he’s going to look great in defeat if that is what happens. He brings a brute force aspect to the roster that is missing without him, so I absolutely expect good performances from him this weekend, and for Davis to move up. I think it’s his time!
3. Who does Gargano face on Saturday night?
I love the idea of a four way with the winner getting a title shot, as I love anything that makes someone earn a title shot, rather than just randomly giving someone a title shot. They’ve moved Chuck Taylor out of the four way, so it’s now Jigsaw vs. AR Fox vs. Samuray Del Sol vs. Ricochet. Truth be told, I honestly haven’t a clue who will win this one. I don’t think Fox gets the shot. If I had to guess, I’d go with Jigsaw as a fresh matchup (though Ricochet getting another shot to have a better match than Evolve 10 could work too). Either way, no way Gargano is losing the title at this point, not with a big money match with Taylor coming down the road. So, the question will be, who is it, and how do we get there?
Tom’s 3 Things For The Evolve Shows
1. What’s up with Low Ki?
After the very match between Low Ki and El Generico at EVOLVE 11, Low Ki commented on the microphone that Generico “wasn’t as good as he thinks he is” and left the ring. On the heel of coming back to pro wrestling in a major way and wanting to “take his profession back,” Ki has racked up a tremendous win streak and had very good bouts along the way. With Jigsaw and Jon Davis respectively this weekend, does that trend carry on? Will we get more of a picture on his seemingly brash attitude? Will he encounter El Generico?
2. Del Sol’s Time to Shine
I’ll admit that our interview with Samuray Del Sol has sold me on him. I liked what I saw in from the Miami shows and at EVOLVE 11, but getting the background story and knowing that there is more behind the mask is what really interests me. He has a great shot this weekend to be an ally and challenger for Johnny Gargano. I look forward to seeing what he does in the ring and beyond.
3. What level of violence will we see in Evolution’s End?
AR Fox and Sami Callihan will wrap up their issue that has gone on for over 1 year on Friday night. With the newly introduced “Evolution’s End” Rules, Fox and Sami must obey the rules of EVOLVE in the ring, but on the floor it is ANYTHING GOES! I’ve really enjoyed this feud and the matches between the two. I feel like they will pull out all of the stops and give fans more than we can even expect. It should be a wild ride!
Jim’s 3 Things for ROH: Border Wars
1. How awesome will the atmosphere be for Davey Richards vs. Kevin Steen in Toronto?
I honestly think this is the biggest matchup that can be put together on the indy scene right now, and to do it in Steen’s home country is going to create a hell of an atmosphere. Add in that this is Steen’s one and only ROH World Title shot, and now the near falls will mean so much more. I won’t get to see the show live on Saturday night, and Sunday is booked solid, so I will likely see this sometime on Monday. It will be killing me to avoid spoilers and not know, but it will be so worth it to see it play out without knowing. I am sure we’ll have something to say next week about how this turns out either way!
2. Will Michael Elgin vs. Adam Cole steal the show?
All the attention is on Richards vs. Steen, and rightfully so. But the match outside of that I am most looking forward to is Michael Elgin vs. Adam Cole in a match of the two break out stars in ROH so far this year. Both of these guys should be regular main event talents by the end of this year (and honestly, I think Elgin could be there now after the match with Richards at Showdown in the Sun), and I fully expect them to tear down the house on Saturday night. Cole’s quickness against the crazy stupid strength of Michael Elgin will be a really fun style clash to watch play out. If I’m a betting man, I go with Michael Elgin here, but perhaps Roderick Strong has interference that backfires and Cole gets the win leading to the break up of Strong and Elgin. Should be great either way!
3. Will Tommaso Ciampa finally get pinned?
It sure seems like they are building to Ciampa getting his first loss here at Border Wars. While I think it’s probably time to end the undefeated streak, I think it will be a huge mistake if Jay Lethal is the guy to end it. Beating Ciampa in the middle of the ring should be a major moment in someone’s career, as he has been undefeated for over a year in singles matches. Lethal is the last guy who needs a big win like that, so I personally hope they give Ciampa the win here and save the big loss for a guy like Adam Cole, or if they really want to strap a rocket to the guy…Matt Taven would be my choice!
Tom’s 3 Things for ROH: Border Wars
Nearly a year of build up and we finally get Kevin Steen challenging for the ROH World Title and against Davey Richards. I am personally buzzing over this match and know that the majority of my friends who follow ROH are as well. With the expectations over the match, it will have to deliver to leave fans satisfied. Can that occur without Kevin Steen winning the ROH World Title?
2. ROH takes iPPV in-house
After the problems with GoFightLive in Ft. Lauderdale, ROH will be going their own way with the presentation of the “Border Wars” show and it will come directly from ROHWrestling.com. After a “test” of sorts on Wednesday yielded very poor results, ROH has got to get things right before Saturday. They simply cannot afford the loss of goodwill with fans if this show for those who order on-line does not deliver. I’ll be one of them, so my interest is very much vested.
3. The End
It comes down to a Fight Without Honor between Jay & Mark Briscoe and Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas. The issue between these two teams has extended to its 15 month mark and we’ve seen almost every variation of match between the duos. It will be resolved in the ultimate feud ender for Ring of Honor. I expect a lot of blood and violence; I just hope it is good.
There you have it – plenty of wrestling options this weekend. Order a show. You will most definitely enjoy it!