Match Point: Austin Theory & Shane Strickland vs. Joey Janela & AR Fox (8/11/18)

Match Point is an on-going series at Last Word on Pro Wrestling, where we look at intriguing matchups in indie wrestling and beyond. They may be dream matches, first-time matchups, or hotly anticipated rematches. Today’s edition focuses on an exciting tag team match at Saturday’s EVOLVE 110 in Chicago, pitting WWN Champion Joey Janela and AR Fox (with Ayla, The Skulk and Penelope Ford) against new EVOLVE Champion Shane Strickland and former WWN Champion Austin Theory (with Priscilla Kelly).

EDITOR’S NOTE (August 7, 2018): Today, due to storyline angles, the original match has been changed by EVOLVE. Per their announcement today: “August 7th: We have a major match change for this Saturday. There was a backstage incident between Ayla Fox and Penelope Ford. AR Fox has pulled himself out of the dream partner tag team match as he refuses to team with Joey Janela. At the same time, new EVOLVE Champion Shane Strickland showed Saieve Al Sabah disrespect. It will now be Al Sabah teaming with WWN Champion Joey Janela in the dream tag team match vs. EVOLVE Champion Shane Strickland & Austin Theory with Priscilla Kelly. Chicago will see the top champions in the WWN Family collide!”

At EVOLVE 110, Austin Theory will be across the ring from his two main rivals. One newer to him and one not so new. Theory’s problems with Joey Janela started when WWN brought Wrestling’s Bad Boy in. Janela was immediately put in as a challenger to Austin’s WWN Championship at EVOLVE 106. Theory and his manager Priscilla Kelly view Janela and his main squeeze Penelope Ford as decidedly below them. They were disgusted that they would even be brought into EVOLVE, let alone as his challenger. The tale of Joey Janela and Austin Theory is that of opposites. Janela is a man that the fans take as one of their own, whereas Theory views himself as superior to all, wrestlers and fans alike.

When Joey Janela upset Austin Theory at EVOLVE 106 for the WWN Championship, Austin was incensed. It didn’t help matters when Theory’s former mentor AR Fox arrived on the scene. Fox has attempted to coax Austin back to the way he used to be. With the title switch, it seems that Janela and Theory’s courses are now on opposite trajectories. Janela’s stock has shot up, winning the WWN Championship in his very first appearance. He just needs to clear his plate of the former champion, so he can fully break out on his reign. Meanwhile, Theory’s trajectory has suddenly spiralled down, and he is looking to correct this to return to his former glory.

As previously mentioned, after losing the WWN Championship, Austin Theory was suddenly faced with his past. Austin Theory was trained by AR Fox. For the first year of his career, he stuck to the ideals of Fox’s teaching. Until Priscilla Kelly came onto the EVOLVE state and took Theory’s career under her guidance. Once he started working with Kelly, his entire character shifted, and gold soon followed them. Kelly led him to both the Full Impact Pro (FIP) Championship and the WWN Championship. Now Theory is as disgusted with AR Fox and his Skulk as he is with Joey Janela.

The wildcard in this match will be Theory’s partner, Shane ‘Swerve’ Strickland. Swerve has been on a roll of his own since he returned at EVOLVE 104. Like his partner, he has also undergone a total character shift since the last time he was in EVOLVE. Swerve also just dethroned Matt Riddle for the EVOLVE Championship, so jealousy could ensue. Other unknowns in this equation are Priscilla, Penelope, Ayla and the Skulk. It will be interesting to see what effects if any, these outside forces will have on the action.

EVOLVE 110 goes down on Saturday, August 11th with a 4pm Eastern start time. If you can’t attend this awesome event in person, it is available on If you are a member of Club WWN, you get access to the live stream at no additional cost.