A little over 2 weeks ago Drew Galloway made his final appearance in Evolve Wrestling at Evolve 83. Galloway went up against the newly crowned and first ever WWN Champion Matt Riddle in an I Quit Match. After a brutal match that lasted nearly 20 minutes, Riddle locked in the Bromission and Galloway yelled out the words “I Quit,” ending his time with the company. In his nearly 2 year run with Evolve Galloway held both the Evolve Championship and Dragon Gate USA Open the Freedom Gate Championships held the Evolve Tag Team Championships twice with two different partners.
Back on June 12, 2014, in what was later known as Black Thursday, WWE released 10 superstars such as Evan Bourne, Curt Hawkins, Jinder Mahal, and Mahal’s fellow 3MB member, Drew McIntyre. It was hard to believe that a superstar once deemed “the Chosen One” and introduced by Vince McMahon himself as “a future World Heavyweight Champion” was being released.
Shortly after McIntyre was released, he appeared on Chris Jericho’s podcast “Talk Is Jericho” in which he revealed that his new in ring name would be Drew Galloway. He told listeners he would go out and make an impact. Galloway would take a 2 month hiatus from wrestling before heading back into the ring on August 8th at Evolve 31. Galloway defeated Chris Hero for the Evolve Championship in his first match since his WWE release. After becoming Evolve Champion he then continued the weekend of Evolve events, despite having a huge bruise on his thigh. He successfully defended the Championship against Tony Nese and losing to Ricochet in a non-title match at Evolve 32 and 33.
Galloway went on to defend the championship against Rich Swann, Roderick Strong and Ricochet at future Evolve events. Drew also defended the Evolve title in other promotions across the globe. After multiple title defenses across the world, he renamed the Evolve Title into the Evolve World Championship, making it relevant and creating some buzz for Evolve.
At Mercury Rising 2015, which was held on the weekend of WrestleMania 31, Galloway defeated the DGUSA Open the Freedom Gate champion Johnny Gargano in a title vs. title match. Drew cut a promo post match stating that he was wearing his WrestleMania 26 gear and that was his WrestleMania moment. He also told his “brothers and sisters” that there is life after WWE. He then continued to make both titles relevant by defending it across the globe and having great matches. This was before losing both titles to Timothy Thatcher.
In early 2016 a 3 day tournament was held to crown the first ever Evolve Tag Team Champions. Galloway joined forces with Johnny Gargano and made it to the finals where they defeated the team Heroes Eventually Die consisting of Chris Hero and Tommy End.
Galloway and Gargano lost the titles to Drew Gulak and Tracy Williams. In a post match promo Galloway expressed his frustration with the partnership between WWE and Evolve. He took his frustrations out on Johnny Gargano with a low blow. The feud between the Galloway and Gargano continued when they faced off at Evolve 61. As Gargano had the Gargano Escape locked in on Galloway, EC3 attacked Gargano and grabbed the mic for a shoot promo.
Galloway would later have other people join his “crusade” against Evolve, such as Chris Hero and his future tag team partner DUSTIN fka Chuck Taylor. Galloway and DUSTIN went on to beat the Catch Point members Drew Gulak and Tracy Williams for the Evolve Tag Team Championships, becoming the first person to win the Evolve Tag Team Titles twice. Due to an injury, Galloway was unable to defend the titles. Chris Hero became his replacement and Drew ended up losing the titles despite not having being in the match.
One of Galloway’s last feuds in Evolve was against the King of Bros Matt Riddle. Galloway tried to be a mentor for Riddle but Riddle refused. This lead to a series of matches at Evolve 79 and 80 where each wrestler got a win. On April 1st, Galloway was set to be in a 6 way elimination match to crown the first ever WWN Champion but was taken out early in the night by Keith Lee. Later on that night he appeared at NXT TakeOver.
This lead to the Evolve 83 “I Quit” match for the newly created WWN Title. This was Riddle’s second title defense and it wasn’t an easy one. Riddle was put through a chair, tied to the ropes, and even low blowed with a sledge hammer. Even after Galloway yelled out the words “I Quit” he continued to play the heel character by attacking Riddle when he was distracted by Catch Point. No exit speech.
Drew Galloway was released and became one of the best in independent wrestling, if not one of the best in the world. To see the impact he made in Evolve, check out floslam.tv, and to see what’s NXT for Drew McIntyre (see what I did there) check out Wednesday’s on the WWE Network.
Photo credit: Matt Josephson @m2j