Review for WWE Evolution
Evolution is a ground-breaking event. An all women PPV embracing the past, present and future of the female division in WWE. However, this could almost feel like too little too late and maybe this is something which should have happened years ago. In the early 2000s this would have been impossible with the focus being on Jerry Lawler screaming ‘Puppies’ at any chance. A few years ago when Charlotte and Sasha Banks were on fire this would have been perfect. However, I can understand why they have done this and I applaud WWE for doing it.
The event started with an average match between Hall of Famers Trish Stratus and Lita against Mickie James and Alicia Fox who were accompanied by Alex Bliss. This was originally a match between Bliss and Stratus, but due to injury Bliss was sidelined. This is a shame as this match felt a bit haphazard at times. It was great to see Lita and Trish and Trish against old rival Mickie James was great, but just felt a bit ring-rusty.
The 20 Woman Battle Royal for Women's Championship Match felt like just an excuse to throw what remained of the women’s division into a match. I hated who won and it certainly wasn’t deserved.
However, the final to the 2018 Mae Young Classic Tournament between Toni Storm and Io Shirai was just a fantastic wrestling match and certainly showed just how great the women can be in the ring. Both will no doubt be future stars.
Sasha Banks, Bayley and Natalya against The Riott Squad was a mess and I was a bit disappointed especially with the teams involved. This is probably why there will never be a women’s tag team championship as they simply don’t work well in that environment.
The NXT Women's Championship got its first appearance on a major PPV with a fantastic match between Kairi Sane and Shayna Baszler. I am convinced that the Kairi Sane ‘Pirate’ gimmick will either go over perfectly with the WWE PG audience, or fail within months. However, bell to bell this match was amazing.
The Last Woman Standing Match for Smackdown Women’s Championship between Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair was one of the best matches… not ‘women’s’… best matches of the year. Both worked so well together and the evolution of Becky Lynch has been the best thing to happen to WWE in years. This match was amazing.
It is a shame that the previous match did not headline the PPV as after that the WWE Raw Women's Championship between Ronda Rousey and Nikki Bella was a little underwhelming. It had its moments and I think they did the right thing turning Nikki heel against the popular Rousey, but I think she needed a better worker to hide some of her obvious amateur flaws. Still a good match.
Evolution really should have included the Empowered WWE 24 documentary about the development of the women in the WWE or even an original one as surely there must have been interviews with those who competed and it would have been fascinating to see how this event came to be. Instead all that is here is the PPV, which is still great, but what it does highlight is that within wrestling we need variety. It showed that women could and should put on two or three excellent show-stealing matches, but the lack of men (almost like the lack of women at Crown Jewel) makes the whole thing feel like they could only have this kind of spotlight if it is forced when they have proven time and time again that they can do this on their own merit.
If this is an annual event it would be great, but I just hope this is the event to show that women can do more than just put on the odd good match and show off their puppies. These women have started a Revolution and hopefully the WWE can evolve to embrace it.