If it was the lack of strong promotion or the lack of male superstars that turned you off from this event, you slept on a good one. Hello everyone. You've landed on Planet Kayfabe. This past Sunday WWE ran their first ever all-female wrestler PPV "Evolution" live from the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, NY.
As nauseating as it can be knowing Crown Jewel is 5 days away which was even promoted during this show which rightfully showered the company in loud boos and how the WWE constantly pats themselves on the back for "making history" and "fore-fronting a revolution" and all those buzzwords that cause you to clinch just short of a complete anal evacuation every week.. Once the bell rang the actual talent gave it their all to give you a good show. Just booking this event isn't "making history". It has to be good. It has to be a success. The talent made sure it was and to them it was more than just a WWE PR political maneuver to counter the backlash of Crown Jewel.
The show began with Lzzy Hale of Halestorm (great band) an lead guitarist Nita Strauss (of Alice Cooper's band, also awesome) jamming a song about Evolution, I think. It was a cool way to start. This is much better than that HORRIBLE "Salute" song that was used as the theme for this event. This segment had HHH's fingerprints all over it. He knows what's up. Halestorm released an album a few months ago. Using one of their songs would have been cool. Not this SALUTE! SALUTE! Bullshit. Ugh f*** that song.... but let's not start off on a sour note. This was a cool jam. Let's get to the matches.
Trish Stratus and Lita defeated Mickie James and Alicia Fox (with Alexa Bliss)
When Lita came out, I kid you not, she looked hotter than I've seen her in years. This was a major improvement than at the Royal Rumble when she came out dressed like Duke 'The Dumpster' Drose. This was the hottest I've seen her look since she was a heel with Edge. I'm not exaggerating. What a babe. "You still got it" chants well deserved there.
The match itself was fine. The crowd was hot for it and loved Trish and Lita hitting their signature spots. That's what this match was with the injured Alexa at ringside to act as the heater. I'm not going to argue if you say Trish and Lita looked slower and rusty because I expected that. When these 'legends' are put into matches I basically just hope they can still hit their spots and not look old and tired... Like how the last few Undertaker matches have looked. The worst spot anyway came at the end when Trish hit her Stratusfaction and Alicia Fox was supposed to break up a pin and was late -- very late. Like it felt like a long 5 seconds late so the referee had to stop his count without a kick out. The crowd groaned but the combatants quickly rebounded and segued into the finish where they got to see Lita hit her signature moonsault which got a massive pop. The match was a hot opener and the crowd loved it. There's more much else you can ask for.
Nia Jax wins the 20-woman 'Historic Women's Battle Royal' for a women's championship match
It was a traditional battle royal not a Royal Rumble so the match began with all of them in the ring at the start of the match. All the wrestlers got their own entrance which was good to see. Alundra Blayze was in this match in what I think was her first match in 18 years who came out in her old attire. Despite some of them bitching about "only being in the battle royal" it was a fairly decent battle royal. There was a notable spot where Mandy Rose turned on Sonya DeVille to eliminate her. Is it an actual 'turn'? I don't think so. We see this in almost every battle royal where friends help each other and then one turns on the other in the name of 'every person for themselves'. Like in the 2000 Royal Rumble when Too Cool and Rikishi danced in the middle of the match only for him to eliminate his buddies afterwards. Those are the rules.
The 'legends' here all looked good. Molly Holly's hips looked amazing as usual. Ivory, who we all got married to at this past year's Hall of Fame in case you forgot, looked great. Torrie Wilson has been well documented to not age a f***ing day since her 30th birthday. Kelly Kelly still looked good because... no shit. She's actually only 31 believe it or not. This means she's actually still younger than many of the women on the main roster today even though she made her debut in 2006. That's also younger than half of our double main-event with Charlotte Flair and Nikki Bella being 32 and 34 respectively. It's always good to see the stars of yesterday still looking like they care about life. Times sure have changed from the 90's and 2000's when certain 40+ year olds would trot their asses out on TV.
Tamina and Nia Jax teamed up a bit. Perhaps a hint at this women's tag title thing they're trying to push on you. Yes, I know some fans want it but not that many do and it's kinda silly that WWE is handing out "WE WANT WOMEN'S TAG TITLES" sings for you to hold up at shows. Whether you want that or not I say you give WWE a dose of their own medicine and rip that shit up like they do when you bring a sign supporting someone that they don't want you to like or booing someone they want to get over. I'm not fully behind a women's tag division and a lot of it has to two with the two tag titles they have already being booked as meaningless props the past year or so or even longer if you want to go further back. The last thing this company needs is yet another belt, but I would hate the idea less if there was just one Women's Champion.
The most scary spot was probably when Tamina was already eliminated and outside. Zelina Vega was hiding out in this match, another battle royal staple, but Nia was able to get a hold of her and military press her high in the air out of the ring and on to Tamina. It looked like a rough landing and that Zelina's knee whacked Tamina right in the face.
The match came down to Ember Moon and Nia Jax. The crowd was fully behind Ember and she was my pick to win, but I had a feeling Nia would go over here as well to play off the sympathy towards Roman Reigns, which they did. The fans applauded her victory, but I think it had more to do with the Roman sympathy and his night having the tone set as a respectful evening for women's wrestling and it's fans. Nia showed real emotion and I'm sure is a sweetheart, but I don't see legs in her as a babyface at all. Also, in a vacuum I think it's too soon for her to get another shot at the title. However, on this night the fans accepted her as the winner. I personally would have stuck with Ember Moon. I have pretty much no interest in yet another Nia Jax push. Ember is fresh and had the momentum here. They should have called a switch here.
Toni Storm defeated Io Shirai (2018 Mae Young Classic tournament final match)
The crowd cooled off a little here, but probably more so because only the hardcores beyond the hardcore fans already in the arena really followed these two. Toni's theme kinda reminds me of 'Centre of Eternity' by Ozzy Osbourne. The match went 10 minutes and started off quiet but since there's no signature chant, theme or pose to pop a crowd of people who don't really know you -- what do you do? Win them over with spots and that's what they did. It was a pretty athletic match and the longer it went on the more fans got invested and became fans of the performers. 10 minutes was perfect though.
Toni Storm wins the MYC after losing in the finals last year. Fun match with an easy story.
Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Natalya defeated The Riott Squad (Six-woman tag team match)
Six-woman tag because, of course. Those very words used to get groans and eye rolls since the six-woman tag was usually the death spot on the PPV where the fans would go drop a hot piss before buying another 8 dollar beer. This match was designed to feel more than that and it was but I don't think it was that good. I thought the Riott Squad would go over the makeshift babyface team, but as you can see this was a very babyface-heavy show which I also expected going in.
I can't watch this without being reminded about what could have been regarding the Bayley and Sasha feud. Remember when Bayley snapped on Sasha and the crowd popped huge and everyone loved it? That was the beginning and end of that. We are basically getting with Becky Lynch now what we though we were getting with Bayley earlier this year. Instead she's just back to hugging and smiling and Sasha is a kinda-over babyface who is better off as a heel. That whole angle that could have been something great is one of WWE's biggest creative blunders this year.
The match was just ok. I don't love that an established team lost to a makeshift babyface group but they're heels so you can get away with that sorta thing. Sasha Banks, who don't get me wrong, I do like, but damn is she just asking for a broken back? We know she has back issues but some of her splatty bumps and high spots, in particular that flip spot to the outside which saw her meet the unprotected barricade it's like she doesn't care if she has to retire before the age of 30 like Paige. There was a spot at the end where Bayley took a hit for her buddy Sasha. I guess that was supposed to tug at our emotions. Whatever. The spot was lame. The spot where Nattie tried doing a double Sharpshooter was pretty lame and weak looking. Sasha won with a Frog Splash because she's a fan of Eddie Guerrero, I don't know if you've heard lately, or every Sasha match ever. I didn't give a shit. f*** this match. Sorry Ruby, I know you're my babe but I gotta call it like I see it.
Shayna Baszler defeated Kairi Sane (c) by technical submission ( Singles match for the NXT Women's Championship)
Things picked back up here. This was a very fun match. The show felt more like a TakeOver in some respects. Not just the dim lighting and small stage but also how these matches were booked. The heels were booked to get heat and the babfaces were booked to get cheered. Crazy idea, I know. This was treated like a serious match for a serious title and... look at that, fans actually cared. Wild concept. Sane was a great babyface here. She's a great worker and abolutely adorable as well. Contrast her with the bruiting fighter Baszler who just looks like a tough chick you don't wanna mess with even though I wouldn't mind her tossing me around for a few minutes.
The dynamic is timeless and worked here as Sane fought hard to stay in this match but Baszler's Four Horsemen of MMA buddies were at ringside and helped her out. The referee for this match was NXT's female official Jessicka Carr who is quite the babe, but if her eyesight is as bad as it came off here even I might have a shot at her. There was a ton of interference and that's what lead to Baszler winning the NXT women's championship. A very good match, but not my favorite on this night.
Becky Lynch (c) defeated Charlotte Flair (Last Woman Standing match for the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship)
This would be my favorite match of Evolution. Some are even calling it the best main-roster women's match ever. That could be true. There are a few great NXT matches that could have something to say about that but on the main roster perhaps this is the best WWE has ever offered us.
WWE is going out of their way to get Becky booed instead of just going with the flow of the fans... still. Yes, it is annoying. They go out of their way to add boos in post production much like how they added cheers for Roman Reigns for years or just flat out dampen out the crowd like they did when airing those November to Dismember... uhh 'Crown Jewel' promos during this event. The harder WWE tries the funnier it gets and the more fans will just cheer Becky and boo Charlotte out of spite just because its fun watching the company kick and scream like a bunch of stubborn petulant children. Hey look who owns the damn thing.
There was a spot where once again they tried having Becky walk out of the match WHICH MAKES ZERO SENSE BECAUSE SHE HAS ALREADY PROVEN SHE CAN BEAT CHARLOTTE CLEAN like a sort of cowardly heel. The fans didn't bite. It didn't make them like Charlotte and it didn't make them hate Becky. It just kind of quieted them down because they know Becky, who again I'll say it for the thousandth time now, isn't a cowardly character. If you listen to Becky on Lilian Garcia's podcast you'd know Becky isn't one of these heels (if you even consider her one) that is pissed that she's not getting booed. She knows the fans support her and shitting on them would be forced and silly. Yet, WWE is dead set on getting her booed for some reason. It's not even that the fans hate Charlotte. I hear all this nonsense about "pissing off the internet". Since when does the internet hate Charlotte? They think she's a good worker too. Perhaps the best in WWE... The fans (not just 'internet fans' for those of you use still use that dated term) just like Becky more and in the story going back to her turn Becky was the one justified in turning from the start. That's why they took her side. It has nothing to do with Becky being an "internet darling"... again another dated term you anti-smarks who like to troll can take back to 2005 where you came from.
The match continued and was very physical. You usually don't see this level of hardcore action in a women's match but here you had tables, ladders, chairs, kendo sticks and brawling into the crowd. The crowd ate it up. They loved it like they loved much of this show. Despite Becky trying to walk out of the match she finished wrong, like a babyface would, and won fair and square to retain the title. This felt like the blow-off for the feud unless it if was a prelude to them taking it all the way to TLC in December. Do they keep Becky a heel going forward? Who knows, but I think they are moving on from this feud which has been a lot of fun. I'm a big fan of both Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair. I think of lot of my commentary of this feud has come off to some people as I love Becky and hate Charlotte just because I find it baffling that WWE continues to ignore the trends of their own audience. That's not the case at all. I just find it silly that once again WWE has someone popular in a hot angle fall on their lap and instead of givng the fans what they want they decide to argue with their own consumers. No one is saying stop pushing Charlotte. No one is saying she sucks. It's just in the storyline that lead up to this angle it was clear to the fans in context of the story WWE told that Becky was justified the whole way in snapping. Most fans sympathized with her and that's what lead to the fans taking her side and turning on Charlotte. No one hated Charlotte before. No one had a problem with her as champion before. However people are lazy and want to wrap this whole situation up in the "IWC just likes f***ing with WWE" bow and move on. That's not the case here. WWE told a story and the fans reacted accordingly. The only problem is they failed at getting Becky over as a heel like they wanted and back doored into getting her over as a babyface S O W H Y N O T R U N W I T H I T F U C K N U T S ? ! ? !
Ronda Rousey (c) defeated Nikki Bella (with Brie Bella) by submission (Singles match for the WWE Raw Women's Championship)
This match got the true main event spot, although it had a tough act to follow. It was not as good as the previous match, but it was probably better than most people expected. Brie was on the outside yelling "COME ON, NIKKI!!!" like all those years past. That used to drive me nuts back in the day hearing "COME ON, NIKKI!" or "COME ON, BRIE!" every ten seconds whenever the Bellas were booked in singles matches. Now they're heels though so I guess it's fine. Maybe Brie should have been like Lio Rush and picked up a live stick to get a Nikki chant going.
Ronda sold a bit. I'm not a fan of all the selling when it comes to Ronda. The fans want to see her kill -- KILL! They'd have to wait though. At least it wasn't one of WWE's ridiculous 'babyface sells for 95% of the match and then comes back in 2 moves to win' matches. Ronda won as I and many other expected. There was a part of me who thought heat obsessed WWE would have had Nikki win just to piss off the fans other than NoDQ's own Kaitlin, but nope. Tonight was a night to put smiles on faces and it was the babyfaces who won every match except the NXT Championship match. You don't want to go out on a finish to piss off the fans. Ronda went over. I'm not sure what this means for the Bella's. I'm not sure if they are back full-time or if we wont see them until the Royal Rumble. It was clear they had to be a part of this show as 10 year WWE veterans. For those wondering why it was Ronda vs Nikki and not vs Ember Moon or Asuka or whoever look no further than TMZ and even People Magazine commenting on this angle and treating it like it is a shoot. I mean, I wouldn't expect any less from those soggy shit rags, but still. It is a *cough* "real" media outlet commenting on a worked WWE angle. Ronda Rousey is WWE biggest female star and probably their biggest mainstream full-time star overall right now. Nikki and Brie are also mainstream stars, albeit at a lower level but the Bella Twins in large part to their reality TV and tabloid success are stars, so they did belong in this spot. I wasn't expecting a mat classic, but the match was fine and Ronda continues to grow quickly as a WWE Superstar.
After the match all the women were on stage with Stephanie McMahon looking like she just came off the Beatles' Yellow Submarine. Another positive on this show should be noted that Stephanie was barely on it. Maybe they realized that they wen't too hard with giving her too much credit on camera when ironically it was her husband who started booking women as serious wrestlers in NXT. Yeah, this moment broke kayfabe but it was nice. I don't love them breaking kayfabe so often but on a night like this I guess it was ok to get that image of all of them together... I guess. It was nice. I don't love seeing heels and babyfaces hugging and crying together though. Call me old fashion.
There's Evolution. WWE's so-called "historic" PPV while they are "at the forefront of a revolution". Whatever. That's a crock of shit. TNA has done women's PPV's in the past. There have even been all-female promotions. WWE's about a decade late on taking their female wrestler's seriously to have any claim at fore-fronting anything. That's their narrative though and tonight they did a decent job at making the ladies who are all going to have the day off Friday feel like they are part of something special and making the fans feel like they are part of something special as well. It was special. It wasn't groundbreaking or historic, but it was special and a very good show so I am rating this even 7.75 Goth Babes out of 10.
The arena had a gritty feel, which I like a lot but it also felt, much like the promotion for this event, like it was a bit of an after-thought. It was very dimly lit almost as if WWE didn't want to run up the electric bill. Maybe much of the production staff and equipment is already in Saudi Arabia. Who knows. The stage was small. The barricades just had that tarp over them that they use at the house shows instead of the full wall padding. WWE did however bring in all the international commentators for the event.
Speaking of commentary, Michael Cole was here because he is the most experienced and they needed someone to lead the event. I thought Beth Phoenix was pretty good. I thought Renee Young kinda sucked. Again, I like her, but she was so much better as a backstage interviewer and pre/post show host. I don't think she's cut out for commentary. It seems like she's constantly struggling to look for something to say and between mindless interjections you get "OH!" after every move and "OHMI GOSH!" every 5 minutes. Beth on the other hand didn't come off like she was trying to be someone she's not. She was calm and spoke with credibility without being boring or annoying. It kind of made me wish she was on Raw every week, but how about this for an idea: no more 3-person announce teams? Yeah, let's go with that instead.
Thank you again for reading, everyone. After this show I was thrilled to watch my Boston Red Sox with their 4th World Series Championship in my life time. Yes, I know I've been spoiled as a Boston sports fan, but I'm going to enjoy it while I can. I can't say I miss those old days too much of Patriots games getting blacked out locally and the Red Sox cock teasing their fans with good teams that found ways to lose when it mattered most.
Let me know what you thought of Evolution in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @PlanetKayfabe Until next time I'm KC for NoDQ, take care and God bless. Enjoy the rest of your week, everyone.