We take a trip to Livonia for our latest random review, a look at the seventh singles meeting between WALTER and Timothy Thatcher.
It’s been a LONG while since we properly covered any EVOLVE – even last year’s WrestleMania weekend, we condensed our coverage a little, having dropped EVOLVE at the start of 2019, just before their latest reboot. The one that placed more prominence on guys you wouldn’t usually see on NXT TV – for instance, almost half of this card was made up of performers who were either signed, about-to sign, or had done some NXT work in the past.
EVOLVE’s put a bunch of recent-ish shows online for free… so we’re going to dip into a match that leapt off the page for us. WALTER vs. Timothy Thatcher… I mean, when we saw it live at PROGRESS almost two years earlier, it was a ***** barn-burner, so our expectations are already high. Commentary comes from Lenny Leonard and Trevin Adams, showing that the more things change in EVOLVE… there’s at least some welcome furniture that remains.
Timothy Thatcher vs. WALTER
At least EVOLVE didn’t give Thatcher the old RINGKAMPF song he had – or the remix. They did, however, dip into their awfully-generic bag of tracks though…
We get going with a lock-up, but an errant thumb from WALTER seems to catch Thatcher in the eye as the feeling-out process continued. I’m not a fan of these cases when commentary bring up former storylines but update names to fit… On the mat, WALTER traps Thatcher in headscissors, but Thatcher slips free before he had to duck a chop in the ropes. A shoulder tackle takes down Thatcher as WALTER goes to a side headlock, keeping it on as Thatcher tries to roll out into a pinning attempt. Eventually getting free, Thatcher and WALTER criss-cross each other in the ropes before Thatcher briefly held in an abdominal stretch, only to be hiptossed away.
Another lock-up has WALTER try to power down Thatcher, doing so before he stomped Thatcher in the neck as the NXT UK champion went for that body part. A half nelson on the mat ends with Thatcher in the ropes, but there’s another cheeky kick as WALTER wasn’t showing any mercy. Neither was Thatcher, it seemed, as he came back with uppercuts, before he got met with a single chop from WALTER.
Reeling on the mat, Thatcher tries an up kick to WALTER, but instead he’s caught as WALTER DDTs the leg ahead of a Figure Four attempt. Despite trying to block it, Thatcher falls to the hold, and when he tries to fight free, WALTER just folded him over in a half crab. Eventually Thatcher grabs the neck to get himself free as he throws strikes from the mount, but WALTER blocks a follow-up cross armbreaker as he ultimately stomps his way free.
A half-nelson fallaway slam from WALTER has Thatcher in the ropes, and ends up coaxing him into position for a crossface punch after the former EVOLVE champion was trapped. Thatcher catches the second one and forearms his way free, but he’s on jelly legs and by the time Thatcher got to his feet… he wanders into a chop. A rear naked choke follows before a load of standing switches got Thatcher from defence to attack, landing a German suplex with ease.
WALTER tries a desperation shotgun dropkick, but Thatcher catches him in a half crab, before some clubbering from Thatcher saw him dish out some receipts for earlier on. Thunderous slaps from WALTER try to delay things before he lifted Thatcher out of a butterfly suplex, countering into almost a Northern Lights for a near-fall… but Timo holds on, and eventually butterflies WALTER for a near-fall.
From there, Thatcher tries for a Fujiwara armbar, but WALTER powers out and is quickly back in control with a Gojira clutch. Thatcher tries to break it, but gets lariated in the back of the head before a German suplex left him on his knees. A boot takes him off those knees as another German suplex gets a near-fall, before a simple, deadly lariat spun Thatcher to the mat for the winning three-count. This wasn’t the clubbering match that I saw two years ago, but this was an enjoyable slice of the action these two excel so much at. Shame that the EVOLVE crowds really aren’t the kind that lap them up… ****
While Thatcher would appear the next night for EVOLVE, this’d be his last weekend in the company before signing for WWE – after returning to Germany to drop the wXw championship. Incidentally, that part of Thatcher’s current situation wasn’t mentioned on commentary, as they focused on his record run with the EVOLVE title instead…