It’s a new day, yes it is. About three years ago, women’s wrestling changed forever as WWE actually started taking it seriously. That hadn’t been the case since…well ever for the most part, but now things were changing. Women have since main evented pay per views, been featured attractions on Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live and being on what could be considered equal footing with the men, or at least far closer to it than they ever had been before. There isn’t much left for them to accomplish, save for main eventing WrestleMania (which isn’t out of the question), but one such thing was accomplished on Monday.
This week on Monday Night Raw, Stephanie McMahon announced the first ever all women’s pay per view event, known as Evolution. The show, taking place on October 28, is the first ever all women’s pay per view in WWE or any other major wrestling promotion (Not counting stuff like Knockouts Knockdown from Impact Wrestling, but does anyone really count those? Or, you know, watch them?) for that matter. We also know a few details about the show, which is what we’re going to be looking at today. We’ll be looking at what we know and seeing how things are shaping up, albeit more than three months before the show.
Here’s how it got started.
Multiple Title/Championship Matches
One of the big selling points of the show is having every women’s title defended, including the Monday Night Raw, SmackDown, NXT and NXT UK titles being on the line. Well….yeah. It’s not like this was in any real doubt and it’s something that you need to have. It’s cool to the titles being treated as a big deal and if you have a dream match for the main event (more on those later), it gives you a great way to stack up some matches on the card and give the show some storyline importance. You have to assume that at least one or two of those will be changing hands, which helps make the show feel that much more important.
In addition to the title matches, the finals of the second annual Mae Young Classic will take place at the show. That’s a very nice and smart addition to the card as the Mae Young Classic is something that makes the women’s division feel important. In addition to offering some good matches and crowning a new top star, you also get to see a host of new talent who could become big names and the backbone of the division (just look at the NXT women’s division and compare it to last year’s tournament) for a long time to come.
Recognize any of these names?
More Than Fifty Names
It was heavily announced that more than FIFTY names will be participating in the show. Now this can mean multiple things, but it’s pretty clear that the fifty will be achieved by one of two means: a battle royal, or having a lot of people appear in segments or cameos. This year’s WrestleMania 34 card (meaning without the Kickoff Show matches) featured thirty five people wrestling and an additional five managers. I can’t imagine Evolution is going to have more people wrestling regular matches than WrestleMania, so you can probably guarantee either a battle royal or maybe a REALLY big tag match (hopefully the former)
That’s a completely stacked field, meaning you’re likely going to see almost every wrestler you could possibly ask for, ranging from today’s stars, legends and other past names making some appearances. That could make for some very interesting matches, but the big idea here is just getting to see so many people. It’s a unique situation where two of the biggest influences on today’s generation (Trish Stratus and Lita) are likely going to be wrestling, and that makes for a lot of potential top matches.
You’ll probably see some of these as well.
I know we had some big moments in the Women’s Royal Rumble but there’s a very big difference between a fifteen second showdown in the middle of a battle royal and a full on match with a build. You’re likely to see stuff like Sasha Banks vs. Lita and Stratus vs. Charlotte plus several more options, but these are the kind of once in a lifetime matches that you could throw together on a show like this. One or two of those alone make for a top level main event above the title matches, even with what should be an obvious ending.
The most important thing here though is limiting this to a few matches instead of having it be an Us vs. Them show. The older women are established names and have some strengths and weaknesses compared to today’s roster. However, look at what happened in the Women’s Royal Rumble. What do you remember most? Is it the cameos and surprise appearances from the names of the past or anything the modern women did? The show can be a way to pay tribute to the past, but you need to have the focus be on the people who are going to be out there fifty weeks a year instead of twice a year.
As cool as the show sounds, there are going to be a few issues with the show, which we’ll get to here.
The Stephanie Factor
Let’s get this one out of the way. She’s going to be there, she’s going to get a lot of the spotlight, the commentators are going to line up to sing her praises, there’s a good chance she’s going to do commentary or be featured all night long and there’s no way around it. There are moments where McMahon sounds genuine but she’s going to be in full on PR mode, which is just something that you have to deal with, no matter how annoying she may be.
Like this great moment.
There’s no way around this one: the depth to the women’s divisions isn’t its best strength. The top half is rather good and there is enough talent to make two divisions work most of the time. The problem is that’s in mostly short matches with only about four to six women being featured on any given episode of television. While there aren’t any truly horrid workers on the show, there aren’t enough to have a slew of singles matches up and down the card. The veterans and legends will help, but this card is going to have to be laid out with care to make sure the whole thing works well.
At the end of the day, this is going to be a very specialized show. An all women’s pay per view is going to be a well produced gimmick show and while the wrestling is going to be good, you need more than just “hey, it’s all women all night long”. You need to have good wrestling, intriguing stories and a proper build to the show. WWE is going to take care of this, but they need to do things right and put in the work instead of just throwing up the gimmick and going with the lame, basic wrestling show. Early indications would seem to be fine, but things have been misleading before.
Overall, the show has a real chance of success, but it’s going to require effort. The wrestling can be enough to carry the show and a strong top to the card is what’s going to matter more than anything else. Give us a hot rivalry, a title match and a dream match (Stratus vs. Charlotte is one of the few real options but not the only one) and the show should be fine. Just stop talking about it every two seconds until a little close to the actual event.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the the Complete 2003 Monday Night Raw Reviews.
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