EVOLVE Title Match Zack Sabre Jr. (c) vs. Lio Rush (Evolve 85- May 21, 2017)

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Not sure what Lio Rush has done to deserve two Evolve title matches. Their first match was very good but not something we needed to see back again this quickly. It’s also worth noting that both title matches that have main evented this weekend have been basically face versus face encounters. Some good fast paced action as both men trade moves. Darby Allin is on commentary…and yeah. Sabre takes things outside and drives Rush’s arm into the guard rail a number of times. Sabre exhibits some heelish tendencies in this one as he goes after the arm. I’m curious to see if they go in the PWG/RPW/NJPW route. Sabre manages a northern lights suplex at one point and goes right into the kamura. That was pretty great. Rush hits an asai moonsault. He goes for a frog splash but is blasted with a Penalty Kick. Rush Hour hit after Sabre slaps him a few times. Rush Hour off the top into a long two count. Rush almost pins Sabre with his own roll-up. Sabre finally locks in the armbar while kicking Rush in the face. He submits.

Going with Rush as the underdog babyface who shows a lot of fire was the right call even if they don’t do a full Sabre heel turn. It got the crowd into the match more and gave Sabre an edge. Part of what has made Sabre’s title reign so good has been how each title defense has felt important and different. This was not the best of the defenses, but it was different from the first Rush match and diversified the portfolio so to speak. We also got to see Rush not just be “super athletic guy” but also show heart wrestle from behind.  They actually justified a rematch by topping the match they had last time.

Winner (s)/Rating: STILL Evolve Champion- Zack Sabre Jr./****1/4




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