Evolve Championship: Timothy Thatcher (champion) vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (Evolve 79- February 25, 2017)

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You know how Thatcher never gets a lot of heat? Not the case tonight. This crowd smells blood and wants Sabre to become champion. That will undoubtedly contribute to a better overall atmosphere and give this match some HEAT.

Sabre starts quickly with forearms and he goes into an immediate cross armbreaker. Thatcher goes for the armbar. Sabre has certainly been adapting his game in recent months and has clearly focused on being more aggressive in his matches.  This match had what neither the Cobb or Yehi match had, aggressiveness and intensity. This felt like a big fight atmosphere, and these guys have brought the best of each other in the past. This may have been their best.

Thatcher does slow things down a bit in the middle, but the crowd actually sticks with this match, and these guys clearly fed off the energy in the room. Some tremendous reversals and submissions could be found throughout this match. Thatcher applies the fujiwara armbar, but Sabre manages to get to the ropes. Sabre goes for his patented roll-ups and Thatcher almost catches him in a sleeper. Sabre finally traps Thatcher in a double armbar. Sabre gets the submission and the crowd goes apeshit. Wow oh wow what a finish and a moment. Sorry Stoke.

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After conquering his greatest test last month, it made total sense for Sabre to finally become the Evolve champion. This has been quite the build-up, and you can’t argue Sabre was the man who should have ended this historic title reign. Regardless of how I feel about his title reign (more on that shortly), this was a classic match and ending. Definitely a MOTYC candidate.

Winner (s)/Rating: NEW Evolve Champion-Zack Sabre Jr./****1/2

Sabre says earth and pro wrestling for everyone. In 2017, this could be regarded as a controversial statement, but at least he’s not advocating for women to be grabbed by their private parts.

I have to be honest, I watched the Evolve show that happened over Summerslam weekend and was probably done with the promotion for a while. The idea of Cody Rhodes as the number one babyface combined with Joey Styles having regular involvement with the company and Thatcher’s title reign completely turned me off. I’m thankful Cody is getting booked in other places (for some inexplicable reason) and not in Evolve. I’m glad Styles was fired for his offensive and totally out of line comments. Beyond, CHIKARA, and Evolve jumped on the bandwagon much too quickly, and I have no problem saying all three should never have gotten into bed with him. Even people in the wrestling media were falling over themselves and telling indies to book Styles so he could make catty references and lude comments about women. I knew it was a bad idea then, and I would have been embarrassed had I made those comments or tried to book him.  All that being said, I’m glad Evolve has moved on and I can actually enjoy the promotion again. Pro wrestling is best when it builds the future instead of reaching into the past and leech off a has been’s “name.”

 

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