May 12, 2012 – Concord, North Carolina
Johnny Gargano © vs. AR Fox [Open the Freedom Gate Championship Match]
Fox won a four-way match earlier in the evening to get this title shot. They’re both apprehensive to start. Fox bails after Gargano controls him on the mat. They trade elbows. Fox hits a dropkick. He hits a huge plancha. Gargano avoids the guillotine legdrop. He hits a triple suicide dive. That’s a pretty blatant Akira Tozawa rip-off. That gets 2. Gargano hits a dropkick to the back of the head for 2. He ties Fox in a knot. He hits a bodyslam. He hits a back suplex for 2. Apparently matches for this title don’t count toward the win-loss records in EVOLVE. That doesn’t really make sense. Gargano puts on an abdominal stretch. Fox hits the Thugbait. He hits a clothesline and a dropkick. He hits a reverse cannonball (back flip instead of front flip). He hits a weird DVD and a Swanton Bomb for 2. Lenny Leonard does a football analogy on commentary that likely few of the indy wrestling geeks watching care about. Gargano hits a head kick. He hits a slingshot DDT for 2. He puts on the GargaNo Escape but Fox gets to the ropes. Fox hits a pair of stunners. He misses a dive. Gargano misses a dive. Fox misses another dive. He hits an enziguiri on the apron. He hits the Shiranui on the apron. He hits the Lo Mein Rain. He hits a springboard 450 Splash for 2. They trade elbows. Gargano hits a big boot. Fox returns the favor. Gargano hits the Lawn Dart. He hits a superkick. Fox hits the Twister. He hits a bicycle kick. Gargano blocks the Lo Mein Pain. He gets a schoolboy for 2. He puts on the GargaNo Escape but Fox escapes. Gargano blocks the Thugbait and reapplies the GargaNo Escape. Fox gets to the ropes. Gargano hits a dropkick. He hits another. Fox hits an avalanche DVD. He hits the Air Raid Crash for 2. Gargano hits a superkick and the Hurts Donut for 2. I hate that move’s name so much. Gargano hits it again and puts on the GargaNo Escape for the win at 18:03. They worked hard here and tried a couple of sequences that I’d never seen before. Given that it was the main event and a title match, the overkill was warranted (even if it didn’t translate to crowd heat). It won’t be remembered come the end of the year, but then nothing from EVOLVE will be.