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#MustWatchMonday (6/27/16): TJ Perkins vs. Drew Gulak



In case we haven't mentioned it enough yet, TJ Perkins (or TJP as he goes by now), is in the WWE for the Cruiserweight Classic, and even better, he's going back to his roots and representing the Philippines. Yes. You should be excited.

I'm not going to go over his career and background in TNA or ROH too much, you can get that part of your TJP history here on this very website. Instead, I'm going to show you a bit about his time in the independent circuit, wrestling for Gabe Sapolsky's WWNLive promotions (EVOLVE and the now defunct Dragon Gate USA).

You might not be aware of this, but the WWE currently has a working relationship with EVOLVE. Essentially, EVOLVE acts as a feeder system of sorts to the WWE, while WWE lends them talents once in a while for appearances in order to boost ticket sales. While that working relationship hasn't always been around, EVOLVE has existed for about six years now and has released 61 iPPVs during that time. TJP was in the very first one, and was going to be a major player for the promotion, until a falling out between the two happened, and TJP left the promotion. Five years later however, in EVOLVE 39, TJP made his return for a tag match, and in EVOLVE 40, he went up against another participant of the Cruiserweight Classic, a wrestler who was a core member of the EVOLVE roster: Drew Gulak.


From our earlier article, we noted that TJP's style in TNA and in PWG revolved more around acrobatics and a more lucha oriented brand of wrestling. What makes this match really good is that TJP went back to his early EVOLVE roots for this match with Drew Gulak, focusing on grappling, submissions and overall a more technical style of wrestling. For this matchup, each competitor focused on a particular limb, Perkins focused on the arm, Gulak focused on the ankle. While this style usually makes for a slower and more methodical kind of match, this match went pretty fast as far as catch wrestling style matches go. This match was worked really well, and could be a match up we see again for the Cruiserweight Classic.

Since then TJP has wrestled at most EVOLVE events, and has done really well for himself, even forming a stable filled with technical wrestlers called Catch Point. A match that you should seek out is TJP teaming up with Johnny Gargano and Kota Ibushi vs the team of Marty Scurll, Will Ospreay and Tommy End. Another thing you should do is to keep a close eye on TJP in this Cruiserweight Classic. He has all the capability in the world to go far.

*****
Brandon Sy is a PhD student in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics currently based in Sydney. Since he wasn't allowed to watch wrestling as a kid, he's been overcompensating ever since. Despite being a huge fan of Japanese wrestling, he still holds a soft spot in his heart for WWE's Kane. He's good for recommending matches from pretty much anywhere, whether it be Japan, Europe, the US or Mexico. He'd be ecstatic if you watched Dragon Gate though.

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