Kyle O’Reilly vs. Fred Yehi (Evolve 83- April 23, 2017)

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Things start on the mat as one would expect given these two men’s styles. It’s amazing how much better Yehi comes across in these singles matches as opposed to a tag team. I hope the direction with him going forward is a run on his own. Whatever belt Lee isn’t chasing, I certainly hope Yehi is positioned for the other after an extended feud with Williams, Jaka, and Dickinson. Nice combination by O’Reilly after Yehi works over the left leg. O’Reilly mat wrestles Yehi down and delivers some palm strikes. That was a little different. Yehi chop blocks O’Reilly and immediately locks in the figure four leglock. O’Reilly tries a comeback, but Yehi continues to attack the knee. O’Reilly tries bouncing off the ropes but he collapses. Yehi stomps and grabs a choke. Fishermen bomb for two. Back drop driver by O’Reilly. O’Reilly grinds Yehi down by his neck. Some hard punches and palm strikes send them both down to the mat. Brainbuster out of nowhere but Yehi kicks out. On the kickout, O’Reilly grabs the cross armbreaker and separates the locked arms. Yehi taps right away. Good finish and I do like the immediate tapouts a lot.

Another show. Another win. Another 20 minute match. I’m hopeful all of O’Reilly matches don’t become 20 minute epics. I think Evolve’s sweet spot is 15-18 minutes at this point, especially since matches can sometimes run together and you’ve got a lot of guys who wrestle a similar style. I’m a bit disappointed Evolve didn’t take advantage of O’Reilly by having him out over both rising stars on the first weekend before rebuilding him up. It’s obvious we’re getting O’Reilly and Riddle for the WWN title very soon though. They certainly kept up the intensity during this extended run time.

Winner (s)/Rating: Kyle O’Reilly/****

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