#WrestleManiaWeek Preview: EVOLVE 125 (4/4/2019)

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Photo: WWN

Can you believe it is that time again? WrestleMania season is upon us once more and – as has been the case in recent years – WrestleMania week is shaping up to be another action-packed week of wrestling.  One of the big events to look out for is the yearly WrestleMania week EVOLVE show.  This year’s instalment is EVOLVE 125 and the card is looking pretty stacked.  EVOLVE 125 is live from La Boom in Queens, NY, and is almost guaranteed a hot, East Coast crowd.  With performers like Austin Theory, AR Fox, Shane Strickland and more featuring, EVOLVE 125 is going to be a fun night of wrestling.  That being said, let us dive right in and see what matches are up this year.

Kazusada Higuchi vs. Curt Stallion

The first match on the card is the contest of Japanese DDT wrestler Kazusada Higuchi (who will be making his EVOLVE debut in the match) and American star, Curt Stallion – who is entering EVOLVE 125 on a two-match winning streak.  Stallion made his EVOLVE debut at EVOLVE 117 back in December and has worked every event since.  He will surely be the more recognizable name to the EVOLVE fans; so who is Higuchi? Kazusada Higuchi is something of a tag team specialist in Japan – where he predominantly features for DDT.  He’s a two time KO-D Tag Team Champion, as well as a two time KO-D Six Man Tag Team Champion.  However, he will be working alone against Stallion and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top in this hard-hitting match.

Harlem “Globetrotter” Bravado vs Adrian Jaoude

This match pits one of EVOLVE’s veterans against a relatively new EVOLVE performer – who just so happens to be undefeated in an EVOLVE ring.  Since first working for EVOLVE (and beating Joe Gacy) at EVOLVE 114 back in October of last year, Adrian Jaoude has gone on to notch up two more wins: defeating Rory Gulak (EVOLVE 123) and Wheeler Yuta (EVOLVE 124).  As one half of Eh Nois in NXT (with Cezar Bononi), Jaoude has been looking to make a name for himself – combining his BJJ arsenal with traditional wrestling manoeuvres.  Since splitting with long-time partner (and brother) Lancelot Bravado, Harlem has been looking to prove he can hang as a singles competitor.  He scored a victory over John Silver at EVOLVE 124 and will be looking to ride the wave of momentum and grab a big win over the Brazilian NXT talent.

Must Be a Winner: Darby Allin vs Anthony Henry

This match is the battle of EVOLVE veterans – and a rematch from EVOLVE 124.  Since debuting at EVOLVE 59 back in 2016, Darby Allin has hardly missed an event.  However, he is yet to win a title.  What better way to earn a title shot than by pinning Anthony Henry, who narrowly missed out on capturing the EVOLVE Championship himself back at EVOLVE 122? The previous match ended in a disqualification, which means – this time – there has to be a winner.  This is an opportunity for one of these two young EVOLVE mainstays to cement their place as a potential challenger to whoever walks out with the EVOLVE Championship at the end of the night.

AR Fox & Leon Ruff vs. The Beaver Boys (John Silver & Alex Reynolds)

The Beaver Boys (Alex Reynolds and John Silver) have two tag team title wins to their name.  They are former 1x PWG Tag Team Champions and 1x CZW Tag Team Champions and have worked in numerous promotions across the globe.  They are unquestionably the more experienced team entering this match.  The team of AR Fox and Leon Ruff, however, is not to be underestimated.  AR Fox is a household name – having worked in Lucha Underground (where – as Dante Fox – he was a Trios Tag Team Champion with Killshot and The Mack) and in EVOLVE, where he is a veteran who made his debut at EVOLVE 6 way back in 2010.  It is, of course, hard to forget that AR Fox was the inaugural EVOLVE Champion, so if anyone knows how to get the job done in an EVOLVE ring, it’s Fox.  His experience will compliment the youth and inexperience of Leon Ruff – who made his pro-wrestling debut in 2017.  He made his EVOLVE debut at EVOLVE 106 (where he and Tommy Maserati were defeated by Adrian Alanis and Liam Gray) and has been ever-present since.  This will be surely be an interesting match and it will be interesting to see how Fox and Ruff work as a team.

Grudge Match: Angelo Dawkins vs Colby Corino

The first grudge match of the destructive feud between The Unwanted and The Street Profits.  The grudge match will be Colby Corino‘s fourth time competing on the EVOLVE stage and he will be hoping to end a losing streak dating back to EVOLVE 118.  This will prove to be challenging, however, as Colby is facing off with Angelo Dawkins – who boasts an impressive 9-2 record in EVOLVE.  Dawkins is also the more experienced wrestler, so Corino’s work will certainly be cut out for him.  However, this is a grudge match and anything can happen.  Can Corino stop Dawkins? We’ll find out on April 4th.

Grudge Match: Montez Ford vs Shane Strickland

 

In another big match for The Unwanted, NXT star Montez Ford faces off with supremely talented Unwanted member, Shane Strickland, in the second grudge match of the night.  Alongside Dawkins vs Corino, this match should conclude the Street Profits vs The Unwanted feud once and for all.  Whereas Montez Ford comes into the match as an NXT attraction, Strickland is an EVOLVE veteran – having wrestled for the company as early as 2013, when he competed in a six-way elimination match won by 205 Live‘s Lince Dorado.  Since then, he has appeared in Lucha Underground as Killshot (where he won the Trios Championships), has worked all over the world and captured championship gold just about everywhere he has been – including the EVOLVE Championship.  Strickland is a dangerous competitor and arguably one of the most in-demand workers on the independent scene.  With this match being a grudge match, both performers have got their work cut out for them and this could get pretty brutal.  Expect a war.

EVOLVE Tag Team Championship Match: The Unwanted (Eddie Kingston and Joe Gacy) vs Konosuke Takeshita and MAO 

At EVOLVE 123, the newly formed team of Eddie Kingston and Joe Gacy defeated the Street Profits and put an end to the NXT invasion of EVOLVE.  Since then, the two indie veterans – with fellow members, Shane Strickland and Colby Corino – have established themselves as a team not to be crossed.  Whereas they were defeated by the Street Profits at EVOLVE 124 – with the help of Velveteen Dream – they remain the Evolve Tag Team Champions and a legitimate threat to any two contenders looking to claim the championships.  Challenging for the titles is the all Japanese team of Konosuke Takeshita and MAO.  The two young stars – native to DDT – are looking to make a name for themselves in the States.  What better way to do that than to pin two established indie veterans and capture the EVOLVE Tag Team Championships?

EVOLVE Championship Match: Austin Theory (C) vs Kyle O’Reilly of the Undisputed Era

Since EVOLVE 117, Austin Theory has reigned supreme as EVOLVE Champion.  You may remember that at last year’s WrestleMania week show – EVOLVE 103 – Austin Theory defeated Keith Lee to capture the WWN Championship.  He went on to lose the championship to Joey Janela at EVOLVE 106.  Since then, he has gone from strength-to-strength and rightfully deserves his current spot on the roster – as EVOLVE Champion.  Theory captured the coveted championship at EVOLVE 117 – where he triumphed in a triple threat match including Roderick Strong and previous EVOLVE Champion, Fabian Archer.  He is a young man with a lot of potential and is certain to have a bright future ahead of him.  His opponent is someone who has already made it to NXT: Kyle O’Reilly.  The announcement of O’Reilly’s challenge came in the form of a video message, following Theory’s losing effort for the WWN Championship against champion JD Drake at EVOLVE 124.  “How fitting, the brand-new, evolved Kyle O’Reilly will become the brand-new EVOLVE Champion” O’Reilly warned Theory in the video match – confirming his challenge.  O’Reilly’s title challenge is no doubt a result of a confrontation involving Theory and Undisputed Era leader Adam Cole at EVOLVE 121, where Theory told Cole to ditch O’Reilly and welcome him into the Undisputed Era instead.  This match is sure to be a hot one and could have major consequences for O’Reilly and the Undisputed Era.  Will we see a new Champion? Find out on April 4th!

CHECK OUT ALL OUR OTHER WRESTLEMANIA WEEK PREVIEWS HERE (and keep checking back as more are added)

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