I’ve been a fan of women’s wrestling for the longest time. It’s a blast to see the women of today taking the bull by the horns, grabbing that metaphorical and infamous “brass-ring” and creating a buzz in pro-wrestling by stealing many shows with their talent. A lot led to this show, the first-ever all-women’s WWE pay-per-view. Many women came before, in the decades gone by, to create a tapestry that eventually saw this show being booked.
It was a beautiful day when WWE announced Evolution, and an even better day when the event itself went live. This was one of my favourite wrestling shows of 2018. From the opening bell to the closing scenes, Evolution went far in proving not just how capable the women of WWE were of carrying a whole pay-per-view, but exceeding all expectations with ease, showing their skills, entertaining the live crowd and those watching on the WWE Network, and leaving another legacy behind to look back on.
Opening with a match that saw WWE Hall of Famers Trish Stratus and Lita teaming-up to take on the team of Mickie James and Alicia Fox. This was a pretty quick crowd-pleaser that was created to give a hit of nostalgia to the fans. Two of the most-popular women from WWE’s vast history books, against two current-roster WWE veterans. This was an enjoyable and throwback encounter that the crowd ate up and felt like a fun and charming beginning to the show. It was, though, going to get so much better from here on out.
A 20-woman Battle Royal followed, with a variety of women, from the past and present. The match featured Nia Jax, Ember Moon, The IIconics, Molly Holly, Kelly Kelly, Torrie Wilson, Tamina, Zelina Vega, Carmella, Dana Brooke, Sonya Deville, Alundra Blayze, Lana, Mandy Rose, Maria, Michelle McCool and Naomi. It was a fun Battle Royal that gave the women on the roster not announced for other matches, as well as women from the important past of WWE’s women’s division, a chance to shine on the show. Lovely.
The next match was the culmination of the excellent 2018 Mae Young Classic tournament, with finalists Io Shirai and Toni Storm fighting for the honour of being crowned Mae Young Classic Winner 2018. I have followed both Mae Young Classic tournaments to date and thoroughly enjoyed both, and this final was a brilliant cherry on the top of the cake of what was a splendid showcase of women’s wrestling from around the globe. Australia’s Storm and Japan’s Shirai tore the house down here, with some exceptional exchanges and hot flurries of action. The crowd, many of whom may not have known these two women, reaction very well to the match. This was one of my favourite matches of the whole show, and a nice way to show just how bright the future of women’s wrestling in WWE truly is.
The next match was a crowd-pleasing six-woman tag-team affair, pitting the team of Sasha Banks, Bayley and Natalya against the well-oiled trio of Sarah Logan, Liv Morgan and Ruby Riott (The Riott Squad). Featuring fun tag team psychology, entertaining exchanges between all six woman, and signature spots that each woman has become known for, it was a solid yet short match that gave six very talented wrestlers a platform.