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September 14, 2014 / Jonathan Sullivan

Drew Galloway Vs. Roderick Strong from EVOLVE 35

Jon is frightened and confused by independent wrestling so he mostly just spends his time reviewing old WWF/WCW shows on his own site, Jon Vs. Pro Wrestling. He’s also on Twitter. He’s also standing right behind you.

The Action

Before the match starts the ring announcer accidentally announces Drew Galloway as “Drew McIntyre” much to the entertainment of the crowd. Galloway gets on the mic and calls for this to be for his EVOLVE Championship since he’s a fighting champion and that Strong, being the indie veteran he is, deserves the shot. Referee Brandon Tolle takes the mic and says that EVOLVE is about wins so it’s going to remain a non-title match, which causes the crowd to chant “FUCK THAT SHIT!” in a very classy and sophisticated manner, but also says that if Strong beats Galloway tonight it’ll put him in line for said shot. Strong takes the mic next and says that there’s no “if” about it and that he’ll beat Galloway tonight and then again the next time, proving that Galloway is as much of a failure as EVOLVE Champion as he was in the WWE.

Strong attacks Galloway with the mic as the bell rings and the action starts. Galloway bounces back with a lariat out of the corner and an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. The action takes turns in and out of the ring for a few seconds, with Galloway clobbering Strong with forearms to the face and back. Strong fights him off with a kick, climbs inside, and hits a running dropkick through the ropes. His offense doesn’t last long as Galloway catches Strong and launches him into the ring post, then seats him on a fan for a nice up close and personal chop. Galloway rolls Strong into the ring, Strong rolls himself to the apron, and Galloway catches him with a series of forearms across the chest. Galloway climbs to the apron and, just in case you didn’t get it already, does the Sheamus pose for a pop from the crowd. Strong catches him mid-pose with a kick then drops him back first onto the apron.

Strong rolls Galloway in and covers for 2, then connects with a chop after stepping on his head for a 4-count. Galloway fires back with chops of his own but Strong catches him with a kick to the midsection and down the champ goes. Strong deadlifts Galloway into a belly-to-back suplex and covers again but once again only gets a 2-count. Strong slaps on a waistlock, Galloway gets to his feet and breaks out with a Judo throw but Strong bounces back up and catches him with a leg lariat. Strong reverses a corner Irish whip and sends Galloway chest-first into the buckles, then covers once again for the 1…2…kickout.

Strong ducks a clothesline and hits a running forearm, but then ends up running into a big boot from Galloway. Galloway clobbers Strong in the corner and hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for the 1…2…kickout. Galloway climbs to the top turnbuckle and connects with a flying clothesline for the 1…2…kickout. Strong escapes a Future Shock attempt with a forearm but eats a straight right hand from Galloway. Galloway follows up with a catapult into a sitout spinebuster for the 1…2…NO. Galloway picks Strong up in a fireman’s carry and climbs to the middle turnbuckle but Strong escapes and catches him with an enzuigiri followed by a top-rope superplex. Unfortunately it hurts Strong just as much as Galloway so no pinfall attempt is made. Strong hits a series of running forearms followed by a running knee in the corner, another running forearm, and an Angle Slam, all in short order, for the 1…2…KICKOUT.

Galloway escapes a fireman’s carry but Strong escapes from his powerslam attempt and hits the Death by Roderick (double-knee gutbuster) for the 1…2…KICKOUT. Strong immediately slaps on a Boston Crab but Galloway makes it to the ropes to force a break. The two exchange blows, Galloway catches Strong and connects with a buckle bomb. Strong fires back with an enzuigiri, Galloway then takes his head off with a lariat and both men are down. Galloway clears the cobwebs and hits a cradle tombstone piledriver for the 1…2…KICKOUT. He goes for a Razor’s Edge but Strong slips out and hits the Sick Kick, followed by a Gibson Driver for the 1…2…KICKOUT. Undeterred Strong immediately hits another Gibson Driver for the 1…2…NO! “This is Awesome!” chant from the crowd. Strong picks Galloway up, Galloway counters with an inside cradle for the 1…2…KICKOUT. Both men pepper one another with forearms at the same time, Galloway ducks a backfist and hits Strong with a Sick Kick of his own followed by the Future Shock for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Drew Galloway (17:19)

Jon’s Review

Helluva match. I haven’t seen any of Galloway’s post-WWE work but now I want to seek out more of it as the guy can definitely go. Lots of good drama and the prerequisite rapid-fire nearfalls I see in a lot of indie matches but that’s not a bad thing. I totally bought into a few of them, especially the one following Strong’s second Gibson Driver. Love it when I can still get fooled. Anyway tons of fun, watch the match, indie wrestling is a nice palette cleanser between terrible 1990-era WCW PPVs, wish I had deeper things to say but I don’t. (***1/2)

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