Evolve A beginners guide to DGUSA and Evolve

Discussion in 'Other Wrestling (US)' started by Stopspot, Feb 9, 2013.

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  1. Those who know me know that I sing the praises of two indy promotions, Dragon Gate USA and Evolve. Instead of seeming like I am just talking about nothing I figured I’d write a “beginners guide” to these two promotions. So in case anyone who has been hearing me ramble gets interested in the promotion they can read up a bit before jumping in.

    Dragon Gate USA (DGUSA) is a wrestling promotion that was founded in 2009. It is the American expansion of the Japanese promotion Dragon gate (DG) and Gabe Sapolsky (Founder and former head booker of Ring of Honor) is it’s acting vice president. The promotion features a mix of Japanese and American talent, promising American talent are brought along on tours and TV tapings with the Japanese promotion and are also given time to train in the dojo. The promotion has two championships, the Open the Freedom Gate title (singles title) and the Open the United Gate titles (tag team) but also acknowledges the titles from the Japanese brand.

    Evolve is a promotion founded by Gabe Sapolsky, Full Impact Pro owner Sal Hamaoui and Indy douchebag Davey Richards in 2010. The promotion puts a lot of focus on wrestling as a sport, meaning that it enforces “Evolve Rules”. This means that anything you would get fined, punished or suspended for in MMA, Boxing or martial arts you also get “punished” for in Evolve. You are thus not allowed to for example attack an opponent before or after the bell have rung. Evolve also features a lot of focus on Win/loss records and up until recently that has been the company’s main focus instead of a title. From now up until Wrestlecon (Wrestlemania week) they will use these records to arrange a tournament to crown the first Evolve champion, after that the Win/loss system will be reworked to enhance the feel of the title and wrestling as a sport. Evolve and DGUSA merged in 2011 and now share the same roster (With less Japanese talent on the Evolve shows) but still run separate shows, they are in essence two brands. Both promotions publish their shows as IPPV, Online replay and DVDs, Evolve running more shows than DGUSA due to the cost of shipping Japanese talent over, DGUSA instead run three shows in one weekend when they run their shows whilst Evolve just hold one.


    Below are some notables from the DGUSA/Evolve roster.

    Main Event

    Johnny Gargano

    The cat’s pajamas, the whole Shebang, the protégé of Alex Shelley. Johnny Gargano is currently THE MAN in DGUSA. Won the Open the Freedom Gate title in late 2011, becoming the first American to do so, many thought he would be a transitional champion before another Japanese wrestler dethroned him but Gargano has proved his doubters wrong and instead gone on to hold the title to this day. Having grown as a wrestler and person since becoming champion, at only 25 years old Gargano has become the face of the company and proven to be a worthy champion and a fighting one at that. Having defended the belt in No Ropes matches, singles matches, submission matches, hardcore matches and fourways. Gargano can have a great match with almost anyone on the roster and has had successful tours in Japan as well. If you want to watch DGUSA/Evolve then watching some Gargano matches is a great way to get into it. Gargano was named DGUSA and Evolve Wrestler of the year in 2012.

    Chuck Taylor

    Chuck Taylor, the Kentucky Gentleman, comical heel extraordinaire, Evolve’s MVP of 2010. Chuck has been in the business for a long time despite being fairly young at 26. Chuck has wrestled for Chikara and PWG most notably before taking off in Evolve and DGUSA. Was the leader of Ronin, a face stable consisting of him, Gargano and Rich Swann until Gargano won the title after failing on beating Yamato for it himself. Taylor then turned on his friend and they had a rivalry going on that is still simmering. Taylor now runs the comical stable known as the Gentleman’s Club. Taylor is in my opinion a wrestler that always delivers, mostly working comical matches but his feud with Gargano showed that he can work a serious style as well. He puts on good matches with most people and I would say he is either the number 3 or 4 guy in the company right now in the singles division. Taylor is the man who has the best win/loss record in Evolve with 10 wins, 7 losses, thus he got a top draft in the Evolve title tournament, getting out of fighting in the first round. One of my picks to win the Evolve title.

    Akira Tozawa

    Akira Tozawa. A stand out of the DG wrestling dojo who came to America in 2009-2010 on a two year training trip. He worked in PWG and chikara, getting over and growing as a wrestler. Tozawa is currently THE HEEL in DGUSA and Evolve, running the Mad Blankey stable with BXB Hulk. Tozawa is in my opinion one of the best wrestlers active today and one of the best heels in puro. He is charismatic, great in the ring and works well both in Japan and in America. Tozawa will be a main stay in DG Japan in the future and possibly an icon in the company. Has great matches with almost anyone. The number 2 guy in the company.


    Ricochet, the future of flight. Had a standout year in 2011 were he spent most of his time in Japan tag teaming with Cima which rewarded him with the tag titles, something which is almost un heard of in Japan (A Gaijin winning a title in his first year). Cima and Ricochet went on to win the American tag titles as well. Ricochet is a great high flyer and is almost always guaranteed to have a great match. He works both American and Japanese styles well and is now touring with the Japanese branch regularly. Currently involved in a respect driven angle with up and comer AR Fox. Has never beaten Taylor in Evolve and has the second biggest win/loss record. One of my three picks to win the Evolve title.

    Sami Callihan

    The Death Machine and self-proclaimed face of Evolve. Callihan is one of those guys who not only wrestle well, but tells a story well. Originally from CZW were he teamed with John Moxley (now Dean Ambrose) his character is an aggressive and somewhat insane mad man. Having no problem with hardcore matches and brawls but is also a surprisingly technically gifted wrestler. Works a very aggressive ring style. Callihan is known for his promo work were he excels but has over the last two years also grown as a wrestler, making him an almost full package. Leader of the Dirty Ugly Fucks stable (D.U.F) with Arik Cannon and Pinky “the sexual Spidermonkey” Sanchez. One of my three picks to win the Evolve title.

    BXB Hulk

    The first ever Open the Freedom Gate Champion. BXB Hulk (Pronounced BB Hulk,) is a Dragon Gate main stay. He started out as a babyface with a Jpop singer gimmick, even having a song and dance number with female background dancers as his entrance. Hulk reinvented himself into the much more nefarious and dark persona we see today around 2010-2011. Hulk is part of Mad Blankey with Tozawa and has great matches with most people.

    Mid carders and up and comers

    Samuray Del Sol

    What a year this guy has had. The breakout star of 2012. Samuray Del Sol is a Chicago based Mexican-American luchador with a high flying and exciting style. He wrestles mainly in DGUSA Evolve and in Mexico in the AAA promotion, where he was recently named as the heir of veteran wrestler Octagon, thus becoming Octagon Jr in Mexico. Del Sol made a name for himself in 2012 with his matches against and with El Generico. I see a bright future for this guy.

    AR Fox

    An up and coming high flyer, Fox is young but promising. Like his rival Ricochet he has started touring Japan, only Fox did so in 2012 instead of 2011. Fox is currently one half of the Open the United Gate champions with Cima. Fox has a consistent match quality which gets him over with the fans, even though he isn’t that great a talker. Another one with a bright future.

    Arik Cannon

    Cannon is one part of D.U.F and the epitome of the word solid. Having solid matches, solid promos and a solid character. Cannon might never be a main eventer, but he surely will be an upper mid carder. Wrestling under an anarchy gimmick and is known for drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon and honest to god being the only wrestler I know of that is legitimately sponsored by a beer brewery. Once Sanchez comes back from injury I expect the two to go for the tag belts.

    Rich Swann

    Fun loving would be a good way to describe Rich Swann. He was considered the jokester of the Ronin, a stable which in itself consisted of jokesters. A high flyer with an entertaining style, mixing in breakdance and rap elements into his moves. Tours Japan a fair deal as part of the World-1 International stable (a face stable).

    Uhaa Nation

    Take the physique of Bobby Lashley, mix it with the high flying of Evan Bourne, Solid technical skills and a nice dash of charisma and mic skills and you get Uhaa Nation. A beast in the ring who consistently puts on good matches. Would have probably been a main eventer by now if it wasn’t for a knee injury taking him out for most of 2012. Now that he has returned I see him rising in the ranks unless WWE or TNA snap him up.



    The World warrior. This man has wrestled all over the world. He’s been in TNA, ROH and WWE and is a regular in Japan as well (currently doing some dates with NJPW). Low-Ki appears in DGUSA Evolve from time to time and continues doing what he does best, putting on solid matches with almost anyone in the ring and proving why he is one of the best Jr heavyweights of his generation.


    The Icon of Dragon Gate. He is to Dragon Gate what Cena is to WWE. Only Cima puts on good matches. He has wrestled in the united states multiple times, notably with ROH and PWG and is currently helping establish young talent in DGUSA as one half of the tag champs with AR Fox.


    Second ever Freedom Gate Champion and the man Gargano dethroned. Yamato is one of the best technical wrestlers in the company and possibly in all of Japan. He puts on great matches with anyone; you cannot go wrong with a Yamato match. Not seen as often in DGUSA anymore due to his increased time in Japan.

    Tag Teams
    Dirty Ugly Fucks (Arik Cannon and Pinky Sanchez/Sami Callihan)
    The Young Bucks
    The Super Smash Brothers
    The Jimmyz
    The Gentleman’s Club (Drew Gulak and Jake Manning)

    Johnny Gargano – Open the Freedom Gate Champion
    Cima and AR Fox – Open the United Gate Champions
    Yet to be crowned – Evolve Champion

    You can read more at DGUSA.TV
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Low-Ki looks like Kaval from NXT/WWE.
  3. Because it is him... lol.

    Nice thread man.
  4. He is Kaval :facepalm:
  5. How was I supposed to know that? The only indy wrestling I used to watch was NJPW and ROH
  6. By putting two and two together? If you actually read the post and the part about Low-Ki I actually mention that he has been with WWE, it shouldn't be that hard.
  7. Meh, lots of former WWE wrestlers go elsewhere to wrestle Stopsopt. Give him a break.
  8. I actually didn't read the whole OP. I skimmed it and skipped to the Rosters to be completely fair.
  9. That hulk dude looks like a damn chick.
  10. The pic of his is pretty old. And as I said, his face gimmick was that of a pop singer. So imagine him as a pop singer gone dark. He comes to the ring with a bottle of red wine and chugs it before a match so he has what looks like blood pouring down his chest. He can look down right creepy.
  11. Where would I and other UK residents watch this in good quality?
  12. If you want to watch it live you can order the shows on IPPV from WWNlive.com you can also order them in digital form from there after the show is over. They also release them on DVD. Jonathan tends to help me acquire them.
  13. A pop singer gone dark? lol I obviously haven't seen him, but from that pic and your description, he sounds fruity as hell.
  14. Old Entrance:

    Video showing him as a heel and some of his ring work:

    Dude might look "fruity" but he is an insanely talented wrestler.
  15. Well that's all that matters to me, some are into promos/mic abilities. If he's good in the ring, i'll like him.
  16. Then this promotion is for you then. DGUSA and Evolve are very ring work heavy mixed in with some good talking. But Evolve really pushes for Wrestling as a sport. Then again. It's Sapolsky who runs it. The man who founded and led ROH during it's golden age.
  17. I'm already following 3 promotions. I could stop watching TNA and follow this one instead. Are they available on xtreme torrents as well?
  18. I guess they are. A note is that the stories on DGUSA and Evolve cross over. Like RAW and Smackdown.
  19. Well how do you watch them?
  20. Jonathan helps me out.
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