Coming up on April 15th, EVOLVE is putting on a card featuring several NXT vs EVOLVE matches.
Check out the predictions for EVOLVE 126 below.
Anthony Henry vs Leon Ruff
This a match pitting EVOLVE vs EVOLVE with Anthony Henry vs Leon Ruff. I have done a bit of research on these two and both men seem to be relatively new on the Indie scene. From what I’ve seen, this should be a very good match. My gut tells me that Anthony Henry will win this match. Overall he looks like the better wrestler and is actually the current FIP World Heavyweight Champion. I think Henry is better all around and Ruff has only debuted in the past couple years, so I think Anthony Henry will get this win.
Anthony Henry def. Leon Ruff.
Adrian Jaoude vs Harlem Bravado
Harlem Bravado is in a tag team with his brother Lance and have wrestled for many companies including ROH, NOAH, Chikara, and of course Jaoude wrestles on NXT (sometimes). I looked into Jaoude’s run in EVOLVE and he has dominated most of his opponents. This is actually a rematch from EVOLVE 125, where Bravado lost and I think lightning will strike twice. Jaoude is rarely used in NXT and it is so nice to see EVOLVE giving him a bit of a push, booking him so strong. I don’t think Jaoude will dominate Bravado and I think it will be extremely competitive. However, ultimately EVOLVE seems to really like Jaoude and I don’t see him losing this match. I was unaware of how beneficial this partnership has been for the NXT talent and it’s fantastic that guys like him are getting a platform like this.
Adrian Joude def. Harlem Bravado.
AR Fox vs Adrian Alanis
From what I have read about this match and the limited info out there about Adrian Alanis, it seems he was actually trained by AR Fox. I have watched a couple of his matches and he seems like an extremely talented young superstar in this match. It seems AR Fox really gives it his all when he wrestles his students to try and get them over so this could be a very good showing by Alanis. He is still very new, however, I don’t see him getting the win here. I think it’ll be a decent match and a strong showing by Alanis but he won’t get the win.
AR Fox def. Adrian Alanis.
Lacey Lane vs Brandi Lauren
I think this is the most underrated match on the card and I think this will surprise many people. I don’t think it will steal the show necessarily, but I think it is being criminally overlooked, and I can’t wait for it. Lacey Lane is of course the NXT superstar in this match and is a fairly recent addition to the brand. She was in last years Mae Young Classic and I think she showed what she can do in that tournament. Brandi Lauren is the EVOLVE side of this match, and is also a very solid wrestler who has also wrestled for IMPACT. This is tricky because I could see both these ladies getting the win here and it would be a solid win for both. I do think the winner here will be Brandi Lauren, but it’s honestly a coin flip. They are both extremely new to the business and I think they both have extremely bright futures, don’t you dare sleep on this match.
Brandi Lauren def. Lacey Lane.
Shane Thorne vs Curt Stallion
This is an interesting match because Shane Thorne is trying to find his footing after his TM-61 partner left the company, and Curt Stallion has been wrestling on the Indie circuit since 2013. He was trained by Kyle O’Reilly. I think this has the potential to be another fun match on the card and like a few of these matches, could realistically go either way. However, for me it comes down to name recognition and the way my predictions are going, NXT has yet to win a match, so I have to give this to Shane Thorne. It’s unfortunate that Thorne has been put in the position he has been put in by losing his tag parter, and he could use a solid win. As I said this could go either way, but NXT will have a decent showing and in order for that to happened Shane Thorne needs to get this win. Shane has been directionless and largely unused in NXT and I think he will really seize this opportunity. I think we will see a hungry Shane Thorne and while Curt might take this match, the win would do wonders for Shane Thorne’s future.
Shane Thorne def. Curt Stallion.
Angelo Dawkins vs Eddie Kingston
Next up in another EVOLVE vs NXT match, we have Angelo Dawkins of The Street Profits vs Eddie Kingston of The Unwanted in a Falls Count Anywhere match. I am most excited for this match because of Angelo Dawkins competing in a singles match, which we don’t ever get to see. I love The Street Profits and this match has some story going into it because Kingston and his partner Joe Gacy won the EVOLVE Tag Team Championships from Street Profits in March. The falls count anywhere stipulation adds another dimension to this match, and I think it might just be one of the best matches on the card. However, I think with the stipulation being added it gives The Unwanted an opportunity to help Kingston get the win, which could extend this feud.
Eddie Kingston def. Angelo Dawkins.
WWN Championship: JD Drake (C) vs Shane Strickland
Then in our co-main event of the evening, we have champion JD Drake taking on Shane Strickland and from what I’ve seen these two have developed a bit of a rivalry. At a recent WWN Supershow, Drake was attacked after his match by The Unwanted, which includes Shane Strickland. I don’t know too much about JD Drake but he seems to be a solid champion and a really good babyface that the audience has really gotten behind. I think this has potential to steal the show and I can not wait for this one. I think both men could win this match and it would make sense story wise. However, while it is a bit of a cheap reason, Strickland seems to be NXT bound, and I think that prevents a title change. They could totally pull a swerve and have him debut with the title, but I don’t see it happening. This will be an absolute barn burner and Match of the Year Contender, but I see JD Drake retaining his championship.
JD Drake (C) def. Shane Strickland.
EVOLVE Championship: Austin Theory (C) vs Raul Mendoza
Then in our main event, Austin Theory will defend his EVOLVE Championship against NXT Competitor Raul Mendoza. I think this is the lock of the night, Austin Theory is the poster-boy of EVOLVE. While Mendoza is a phenomenal wrestler, his lack of exposure leads me to believe Theory wins this match. If he’s going to drop the title, I imagine it would be to a guy that has been built up and not somebody that rarely gets on NXT TV. That being said, I think this has the potential to be a really good match and get Mendoza that exposure that he has lacked since being signed. These two are going to have to work very hard to keep the audience invested since I think it’s such a foregone conclusion that Theory retains, but I think they can do it.
Austin Theory (C) def. Raul Mendoza.