Taken at La Boom, Queens, NY on 3/18/2017
Taken at La Boom in Queens, NY on February 25th, 2017
EVOLVE 74 took place at La Boom in Queens, NY on December 10th, 2016.
Drew Gulak def. Jaka via submission
DUSTIN def. Chris Dickinson via pinfall
Brian Cage def. Darby Allin via countout
Cody Rhodes def. Ethan Page via pinfall
Jeff Cobb def. Matt Riddle via pinfall
Fred Yehi & “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams def. Peter Kaasa & Ricochet via submission to retain the tag team titles.
Dick Togo def. Chris Hero via pinfall
It’s a little over twelve hours after Survivor Series 2016 and I am truly shocked. In 2014, we watched Brock Lesnar defeat the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 30, the audience was stunned. Tonight, a pinfall stunned everybody once again, but unlike the sweeping sadness that washed over everyone when Lesnar defeated the Undertaker, this moment was very different. One could speculate as to why the match happened as it did, but let’s stick to the facts – it happened and it happened how it happened.
The fellow fans I was sharing a room with all sat up and leaned toward the screen after the first spear. I managed to pose the question through a gleeful, ear to ear, smile, “how fantastic would it be if this was a total squash?” Well, a second spear followed. Goldberg hoisted the Beast up into the air and delivered a jackhammer. Part of me thought, “he’ll kick out, he kicks out of everything, he’s Brock Lesnar.” The other side of me said, “This might be it, but seriously, there’s no wa- oh.” The ref counted three. The crowd was elated. This 90 second event, culminating in a wrestler that has been unbeatable for almost 3 years getting pinned to the mat, took all the energy was sucked out of the WWE Universe from the Undertaker’s streak ending and spat it right into the end of 2016 with positive momentum.
There are undoubtedly lots of mixed thoughts about what we all watched, but to me, it was an awesome ride. I think I shouted out loud, as did some of my friends. I was 12 years old again watching a superhero put a ravenous beast back in its cage. Even though it’s totally debatable if they did the right thing and if they should have had someone on the full time roster finally beat Brock clean, I came out of this match feeling great. I have no second thoughts about it. It was fun. I’ve watched this match 4 or 5 times again already.
It begs the question, “what happens now?” It was presumed that the rub Lesnar possessed needed to go to someone on the roster and really propel whoever that superstar is. In my view, this does little to tarnish Lesnar, if anything it builds Goldberg up even higher than we ever was. The mythology of the Goldberg character has remained protected after all of these years; the match at Survivor Series was really no departure from that, even if that ultimately is surprising in the context of 2016. Lesnar still is a beast and an S tier wrestler as far as kayfabe goes. Heck, we know he’s beatable, they reminded us of that going into this match. Goldberg, however, left the business 12 years ago with his legacy in tact. Goldberg never lost a one-on-one match clean, period. Who better in the business to grab that torch from Lesnar and pass it on to someone else – while also giving that superstar the distinction of being the first to beat Goldberg cleanly as well (the same rub that the Ultimate Warrior got by being the first superstar to defeat The Immortal Hulk Hogan clean)? It makes a lot of sense. Of course, this plan is contingent on Goldberg sticking around a bit longer. I, for one, look forward to Raw and what’s next …or should I say, “who’s next?”
Pictures taken at EVOLVE 72 at La Boom! on 11/12/2016 in Queens, NY.