REWIND-A-WAI #82: EVOLVE 1 – Richards vs. Ibushi (2010)

Originally published at REWIND-A-WAI #82: EVOLVE 1 – Richards vs. Ibushi (2010) - POST Wrestling | WWE NXT AEW NJPW UFC Podcasts, News, Reviews

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John Pollock and Wai Ting review EVOLVE 1 from January 16, 2010 featuring Davey Richards vs. Kota Ibushi.

We discuss EVOLVE’s creation spearheaded by Gabe Sapolsky & Bryan Danielson and their desire to add realism to pro wrestling using win-loss records and a hard-hitting style.

The promotion’s debut features a who’s who of today’s stars including Kyle O’Reilly, Adam Cole, Ricochet, Johnny Gargano, Brodie Lee, TJP, Silas Young, Mercedes Martinez, Chuck Taylor, Bobby Fish, Chris Dickinson and more.

Related: Q&A: Lenny Leonard chats EVOLVE’s debut card from January 2010

Plus, John takes us through January 2010’s top wrestling/MMA stories and your feedback from the POST Wrestling Forum.

This edition of the Rewind-A-Wai is presented by Espresso Executive Producer, John Siino.

Watch the full show on WWE Network (Account Required):

Saturday, January 16, 2010
Rahway, NJ at the Rahway Rec Center

  • Main Event: Davey Richards vs. Kota Ibushi
  • Six-Man Tag Team Match: Mike Quackenbush, Frightmare & Hallowicked vs. Brodie Lee, Gran Akuma & Icarus
  • Munenori Sawa vs. TJP
  • Johnny Gargano vs. Chris Dickinson
  • Jimmy Jacobs vs. Kenn Doane
  • Brad Allen vs. Silas Young
  • Mercedes Martinez vs. Niya
  • The Dark City Fight Club (Jon Davis & Kory Chavis) vs. Aeroform (Louis Lyndon & Flip Kendrick)
  • Ricochet vs. Arik Cannon
  • Chuck Taylor vs. Cheech
  • Kyle O’Reilly vs. Bobby Fish

Photo Courtesy: WWE

Next time on Rewind-A-Wai… Brian Pillman: Loose Cannon (2006)






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Another fun show guys! Glad Siino changed his mind.

As someone big into ROH (not Benno big as I never campaigned for them to run at a specific place) and similar promotions, and as someone that followed EVOLVE and bought the DVDs, I can fill in some holes:

Brad Allen was gone from EVOLVE for some reason by the end of the year. The match with Hero was teased on EVOLVE 2 & 3 (Allen cornered Ikuto Hidaka for his match with Hero), but they never got to do it because Hero and Claudio were both secured by ROH by the fall. From an interview I remember seeing, they were still friendly with Gabe and were willing to cross the proverbial battle lines.

The angle with TJP and the documentarian crushing on him started and ended on this show. I forget who this woman was, but she didn’t show up after this show.

Dark City Fight Club were based in Florida. They would have worked with Gabe in FIP when he was booking it. ROH began using them from early 2009 to late 2010, with this one EVOLVE appearance happening in the middle of it. Starting in 2011, Jon Davis (who may have been the younger of the two) began working on his own and became a regular for EVOLVE & DGUSA.

Also, a quick correction, but ROH’s first live internet PPV was Final Battle 2009. I attended that one live so I can’t speak on how the feed from home would have been (the start of their tumultuous relationship with GoFightLive), but I heard the commentary was poorly mixed, which is a shame because commentary at the show included the returning Larry Sweeney. I heard from a friend that he couldn’t be heard. The DVD release had completely new commentary, sans Sweeney.


I remember seeing him during his stuff during Mania 29 weekend in 2013, and he was a focal point of those Evolve and DGUSA shows. I thought he had a ton of potential, and it is definitely a shame he didn’t have a bigger run.

This was followed by the extremely ill-advised one hour draw between Black / Aries. You could tell the whole venue just wanted to see a title change and go home. Instead they did the hour, and people hated it.


Yep, I remember Austin Aries vs. Tyler Black (Seth Rollins), with the crowd seeing they were going long and not wanting any part of it. They briefly fought to the back, leading to a “Don’t Come Back” chant. I remember liking the work at the time, but I understood the fans’ frustration, especially since there was a heavy snowstorm happening in New York that time. Also a missed opportunity stretched out further to put the title on Black, as Gabe originally planned to make him the champion at Final Battle '08. Instead the title went from Nigel McGuinness to Jerry Lynn over WM Weekend in April 2009, then to Aries in June, and finally Black in February 2010, back in New York.

On a separate note, I had heard of the snowstorm coming and closing down the trains hours earlier while visiting my cousin’s place (he and his wife were living in the city then), so I was able to crash there and go home the next morning.

That Teddy Hart/Jack Evans match & segment was a mess. Tossed on there because they were late to the show, so they were given a mercy spot when they showed up.

I remember the first half of Final Battle '09 being much stronger: Chris Hero and Eddie Kingston had a Fight Without Honor, Kevin Steen turned on El Generico, and the Briscoes won the tag titles from the American Wolves, only to be jumped by the reunited Kings of Wrestling.

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