Gabe Sapolsky on Daniel Bryan, EVOLVE and life as a booker


From an exclusive on the Heyman Hustle:

Ex-ROH booker, Gabe Sapolsky, sheds some light on a number of subjects as well as what happened when he found out that Daniel Bryan/Bryan Danielson was scheduled to appear on the main event at Summerslam in his exclusive post for the Heyman Hustle.  I only pasted a small portion of this below because I really encourage you to read the whole piece. Here’s a small excerpt from an entertaining and very insightful read:

The EVOLVE name

The opportunity arose to form Dragon Gate USA, the American branch of the wildly athletic, cutting-edge Dragon Gate promotion in Japan in early 2009. We held our first event just over one year ago. During this time I talked regularly with Danielson about some new concepts. We felt there was room for a promotion where new talent and styles were given the spotlight. He even came up with the name EVOLVE for this company. Bryan signed with WWE before Evolve got off the ground. A promotion isn’t about just one person, so together with Sal Hamaoui I launched EVOLVE last January.

On finding Daniel Bryan’s opponent

The answer for the September 11th EVOLVE card came easy. Bryan watched EVOLVE 1 on DVD and was blown away by Munenori Sawa. Hey, anyone viewing his match against TJP on the debut EVOLVE card would feel the same way. “I want to work Sawa,” Bryan said to me on the phone.  Easy. Done.

Munenori Sawa’s very cool art film-style promo for the event.
This is one of the best promos I’ve ever seen for an independent wrestling event.  If you’re a fan of Japanese cinema like I am you’ll appreciate this even more for the little nuances of it all. I also I just have to say that the “Wind Up Baseball Punch that begins at 1:05 is officially one of my favorite wrestling moves at the moment. Check it.

The EVOLVE promo for the card

The noted TJ Perkins vs Munenori Sawa match.
Sawa looks great but I also have to mention that TJ Perkins has come a long way since his early PWG days. TJ Perkins receives a standing ovation at the end. The awesome Wind Up Baseball Punch also shows itself at the 6:57 mark.

*composite images are from, Evolve Wrestling and BattleArts.

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