This weekend, the world of professional wrestling is looking to make another great impact with WWE’s first all-female PPV event, Evolution. Although the marketing and book for the event have been pretty lackluster, I’m still excited to see this. What started as a simple hashtag “Give Divas a Chance” has sparked into something that will surely have fans talking about it for a long time.
However, I still cannot get past the idea that of the bad booking and the fact that this has not been advertised as much as the next PPV, Crown Jewel. This will no doubt be a revolutionary event, but the way it’s been handled is shaping up to be a bad event. A few months ago, a document leaked online of a potential match card. The matches on that card had the potential to make this event have an even greater impact. New matches were announced this week and the finalists for the second Mae Young Classic tournament have been revealed. We now have our official match card for the event.
Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Nikki Bella (Raw Women’s Championship)
The Bella Twins have been at Ronda’s corner ever since her match against Alexa Bliss at SummerSlam. Since then, they’ve teamed with Ronda in several matches, including a six-woman tag team match against The Riot Squad at the SuperShowDown PPV. Two nights after the event, The Bella Twins betrayed and attacked Ronda Rousey after their match. It was rumored that Nikki Bella would challenge Ronda for the title, so this betrayal wasn’t all that surprising. Since then, both Ronda and Nikki have been taking shots at each other, going as far as Ronda referencing Nikki’s previous relationship with fellow wrestler John Cena. They’re set to go one-on-one this Sunday in what will surely be an intense match.
Prediction: I’ll be honest, I don’t care for this match at all. I’m quite excited to have someone like Ronda Rousey as champion. She’s accomplished a lot in the UFC and has had a successful transition into the world of wrestling. Nikki Bella has been out of action since the Royal Rumble PPV earlier this year, and before then hadn’t competed since Wrestlemania 34. I’m not entirely sure why she was just given the match rather than having someone earn it. Now, before I get any heat for saying this, I know that Nikki has had one of the longest reigns as champion in the women’s division. That’s not an easy thing to accomplish. But there are many other talented wrestlers who deserve an opportunity like this; like Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Ember Moon. Hopefully, any of these women get a chance at Rousey’s title, but nothing about this match screams “amazing” to me. With that in mind, I’m rooting for Ronda to win the match.
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair (SmackDown Women’s Championship)
This match has the potential to steal the show. This feud has earned the right to call itself the “best feud in the current women’s division”. I’m quite confident to say that no feud will come close to this in the near future. After Charlotte won the Smackdown Women’s Title at Summer Slam, Becky attacked her, claiming that Charlotte stole her moment. Their feud led to their match at Hell in a Cell, which saw Becky winning the title. The feud between two former best friends has been done many times in WWE, but this time it feels different. The majority of the live crowd cheers on Becky, even though she’s a heel right now. Usually, the face is the one to get the most cheer, but Becky has managed to get the crowd behind her. The promos that they’ve been putting on live TV have been spectacular. The animosity between these two is palpable. Their Last Women Standing match will surely be a match to remember.
Prediction: This is one of those feuds that makes me proud to call myself a wrestling fan. Not that many matches in WWE have gotten me to say that recently. These two future Hall of Famers will no doubt put on an amazing match. I’m sure many WWE fans will be paying special attention to this match. I think the real winners are the fans who get to watch this incredible match, but overall I think that Becky will retain her title. She needs to be champion for a bit longer. She deserves it.
Trish Stratus & Lita vs. Alicia Fox & Mickie James (w/ Alexa Bliss)
If you would’ve asked me if Trish Stratus or Lita would have come back to compete in a WWE ring last year, I would’ve said no. Both of these women retired over a decade ago having established that the women’s division could keep up with the men. Lita had a hardcore style of wrestling that inspired many of the female wrestlers today. Trish is a 7-time women’s champion and has also inspired many female wrestlers. Lita and Trish were rivals during their time in the WWE and put on memorable matches. This match was originally set up as two singles matches. Trish was set to take on Alexa Bliss and Lita was set to continue her long-time rivalry with Mickie James. For the past few weeks, Alexa and Mickie have been targeting their opponents during their promos, which escalated to a confrontation during last week’s episode of RAW. Now, fans get to see a cross-generational match between two of the best wrestlers of the past two decades and two certified future Hall of Famers.
Update Alexa Bliss suffered an injury during a live event this week and will be unable to compete in the match. She will still be present in Mickie’s corner but she will be replaced by Alicia Fox.
Prediction: Both Lita and Trish were a part of the Women’s Royal Rumble this year and showed to the world that they still had what it takes to step into the ring. Alicia hasn’t had any major accomplishments in the past few years, but this could open major opportunities down the line. Mickie James came back to WWE a few years ago and has put on some great matches. However, my inner wrestling fan is rooting for Trish and Lita to win.
Kairi Sane (c) vs. Shayna Baszler (NXT women’s championship)
The rivalry between two of the best talents in NXT continues this Sunday where Kairi defends her NXT Women’s Title against Shayna. During this year’s NXT Takeover: Brooklyn, Kairi defeated Shayna and won her first women’s title. On the September 26th episode of NXT, both superstars stood in the ring and Shayna announced that she wanted her rematch at Evolution. The score in their feud is 2-1, with Kairi in the lead. This match will surely be, as JR used to say, a certified slobber knocker.
Prediction: Both of them are at the point where they should be called up to the main roster at any moment. They’ve both proven that they can put on incredible matches and entertain the crowd. I’m rooting for Kairi to win, with hopes of Shayna being called up to the main roster and starting up a feud with Ronda Rousey.
Mae Young Classic Final – Toni Storm vs Io Shirai
I’m getting chills just knowing that this match will actually happen. With the semi-finals of the second Mae Young Classic tournament airing yesterday, it was revealed that Toni Storm and Io Shirai would face each other in the finals at Evolution. Other than the Becky vs Charlotte match, this is a match that definitely has the potential to steal the show. If you haven’t seen these two women face each other before or any of their prospective matches from the past few weeks, I highly recommend that you check them out. The amount of talent that these women possess automatically makes this match main event material. Everyone watching this match will know who Toni Storm and Io Sharai are and what they can do.
Prediction: I’m not sure who to root for. The real winners, like in a previous match that I mentioned, would be the fans who get to see the match. Both of these superstars have a bright future in the company and will surely kick off a new era of wrestling. However, if I had to chose a winner, I’ll root for Toni Storm.
Sasha, Bayley, and Natalya vs The Riot Squad
The match was quickly put together just two weeks before the PPV. It wouldn’t make sense to have Evolution happen without Bayley and Sasha Banks, who were a big part in the Women’s Evolution happening. However, the fact that it was put together very quickly isn’t enough to make me care about the match. All the women are talented, but the way the match was booked is unfair. It would have made a difference if the Women’s Tag Team titles had been revealed.
Prediction: I would have expected WWE to give these women matches that would demonstrate just how much they really cared about them. This shows me that they needed an extra match with baby faces going off against heels. Don’t really know who to root for.
Like the six-woman tag match, this seems like the type of match that was pitched at the last minute. This feels like it was put together to give the spotlight to as many women as they could. The winner does get a future championship opportunity in the future, but a battle royal doesn’t seem like the right idea. Had the Women’s Tag Team titles been introduced, a separate match could have sprung from this.
All of these women are talented and deserve to be in the PPV, but a battle royal is usually over pretty quickly. They’re not really giving them a chance to demonstrate their talent. So far, the announced entrants are Asuka, Naomi, Carmella, Nia Jax, Ember Moon, Alicia Fox, Dana Brooke, Lana, Billie Kay, Peyton Royce, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Tamina, Torrie Wilson, Maria Kanellis, Michelle McCool, Alundra Blayze, Ivory, Molly Holly, and Kelly Kelly. They may add more wrestlers to the match, which would most likely make it worse.
Prediction: I’m rooting for either Asuka or Ember Moon to win the match. Asuka has already had an opportunity at the Smackdown Women’s title, which I really believe she should have won. Her run as women’s champion in NXT is evidence that she can carry the title and put on amazing matches. Ember has yet to get an opportunity at any title in the main roster. She’s a talented wrestler. Her reign as champion would usher in a new era for the women’s division.
Regardless of some questionable booking, I have faith that this will be a memorable PPV. The women have demonstrated time and time again that they can keep up and at times do things better than the men. Even if you’re not a wrestling fan, this is an event you won’t want to miss.
WWE Evolution takes places this Sunday, October 28, 2018, at 7 pm EST / 4 pm PST, only on the WWE Network.