Roderick Strong to Debut At EVOLVE 64

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Roderick Strong to Debut At EVOLVE 64

Until June 25th, Roderick Strong had been a stalwart in Ring of Honor for thirteen years. Toiling away against the best the company had to offer, he earned the moniker of “Mr. ROH” by performing to a high level, no matter what position he was on the card.

Now on July 16th in Queens, New York, Strong will be competing at Evolve 64, in his first appearance for a major independent promotion since leaving Ring of Honor. The appearance is not only exciting for Evolve fans, but also for WWE fans. Evolve’s apparent partnership with WWE adds a layer of intrigue to Roddy appearing on the card, as WWE’s gaze is clearly on the talent that plys it’s trade in Evolve.

At Evolve 64, there will be two WWE Cruiserweight Classic spotlight matches, pitting Johnny Gargano against former ROH star Cedric Alexanderand Zack Sabre Jr. grappling with T.J. Perkins. These four men will be competing in the tournament that will be airing on the WWE Network later on in the month and of the other spotlight matches announced, these two pairings may indeed be the best of the bunch.

Evolve Title

Timothy Thatcher, who has had an estranged relationship with the EVOLVE championship, will be defending the title against “The Villain” Marty Scrull. The two have been working at a high level, with crowds vociferously behind both men. Thatcher has not been carrying the title, vowing revenge on the roster and refusing to carry the belt until he has exacted his vengeance. The fact that this is the main event on this card filled with legitimate stars speaks volumes about the anticipation of excellence tied to this bout.

Continuing the storyline of disgruntled former WWE stars taking umbrage with wrestlers linked to WWE, Drew Galloway will be squaring off with Drew Gulak in a grudge match. Alongside Ethan Carter III, Galloway has derided Gargano and Gulak for their association with WWE, pointing out that the company did a terrible job of managing their own careers. Gulak and Galloway were tag partners until Galloway’s change in attitude, so this match should be a brawl as it is could prove to be resolution of sorts between the two.

As announced on his own Twitter account, Roderick Strong will be making his Evolve debut at Evolve 64.

Cody Rhodes also Joins Evolve

Evolve had previously announced that Cody Rhodes will be with the company in August and now “Mr. ROH” will be joining Rhodes as another major name to be wrestling for the company.  Strong will be squaring off against former MMA fighter Matthew Riddle. The event’s starting time was moved to 4pm to accommodate fans who might also being going to the WWE MSG show, going so far as to even advertise that fans should make it a doubleheader that day.

Although not officially a direct feeder for WWE, EVOLVE has clearly been a company that WWE watches closely, taping CWC qualifiers the last time the company was in New York and now featuring two matches billed as being part of a future WWE show. Strong’s match may not only be his first with the small promotion, but it also may serve as a tryout for WWE officials who will undoubtedly have their eye on the free agent.

Not so quietly, Gabe Sapolsky has managed to bring in talent from the two major companies and utilize the talent in a way that makes EVOLVE a battleground for WWE/TNA stars. The drawing power of the names has brought a spotlight on the company, allowing young talent that is on the rise, like Ethan Page and Tracy Williams to receive the exposure they both deserve. At time when Ring of Honor seems to be losing talent, EVOLVE has continued to make moves that draw the spotlight and the fans to its brand of wrestling.

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