Evolution 2018

A video package kicks us off, it’s all about the women.

Michael Cole welcomes us to Evolution and then a band plays a song. Michael Cole is joined by Beth Phoenix and Renee Young on commentary. Lilian Garcia is the ring announcer and she will be absolutely loving this.

Trish Stratus & Lita vs. Mickie James & Alicia Fox

Background: On August 18, a match between Alexa Bliss and Trish Stratus was scheduled for Evolution. Then, on September 3, a match between Lita and Mickie James was scheduled for the event; the two last faced each other back in 2006 at Survivor Series where James won the original WWE Women’s Championship from Lita in the latter’s retirement match. On the October 8 episode of Raw, a confrontation between the four women occurred. It was then revealed that instead of the two singles matches, Bliss and James would face Stratus and Lita in a tag team match at Evolution. On October 26, however, Alicia Fox replaced Bliss due to injury, but it was revealed that she would be in James and Fox’s corner for the match.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time match between these four girls.

Match: Alexa Bliss, who is sidelined with an injury walks out before her team of Mickie and Alicia and makes some old jokes about Trish and Lita. Lita and Mickie James kick off the match and the crowd are loud for Lita. Lita looks a little rusty but that’s to be expected. Trish hits Alicia with a judo throw. I think Alicia Fox is great by the way. The crowd go nuts as Mickie James tags in to take on Trish Stratus. Mickie hits Trish with a stiff kick to the face. Stratus hits a top rope hurricanrana for a near fall. There’s a miscommunication and Alicia lays out Mickie, aiming for Lita. Lita then heads to the top but Alexa Bliss pulls her down behind the referee’s back. Mickie and Alicia make quick tags, keeping Lita away from Trish. Fox hits a northern lights suplex for a two count. Lita hits a slop drop and then makes the hot tag to Trish Stratus. Trish hits Stratusfaction but Alicia saves the match for her team. Lita hits Fox with a twist of fate and then a moonsault to both opponents. Trish hits Mickie with the chick kick and pins her for the three!

Result: Trish Stratus and Lita win by pinfall.

Review: This was ok. Mickie and Alicia did most of the hard work, which is understandable. It was great to see Lita and Trish back in the ring though and the crowd were for for it.

Rating: 3.5/10

Kayla is backstage with The Bella Twins. Nikki and Brie dedicate Nikki’s match to Ronda Rousey’s mother tonight. Nikki cuts a good promo and says that she will walk out as the new Raw Women’s Champion tonight.

There’s a VT with the likes of Asuka, Kelly Kelly, Lilian Garcia and Sasha Banks talking about Evolution.

Naomi vs. Michelle McCool vs. Sonya Deville vs. Alundra Blayze vs. Carmella vs. Zelina Vega vs. Kelly Kelly vs. Tamina vs. Ember Moon vs. Lana vs. Maria Kanellis vs. Mandy Rose vs. Molly Holly vs. Dana Brooke vs. Nia Jax vs. Ivory vs. Asuka vs. Torrie Wilson vs. Peyton Royce vs. Billie Kay – 20 woman battle royal for a future women’s championship match

Background: On the October 15 episode of Raw, it was announced that a battle royal for a women’s championship match would also take place at Evolution with various competitors announced to take part, including WWE legends and Hall of Famers.

Match: Jimmy Uso, R-Truth, Mike Kanellis and The Miz all shown at ringside supporting Naomi, Carmella, Maria and Asuka respectively. The Iiconics run down everyone in the ring as make their entrance but it backfires as the returning women eliminate them from the match! The returning divas then get surrounded by the current women and a brawl breaks out. Sonya Deville eliminates Molly Holly with a big kick to the face and then Mandy and Sonya eliminate Kelly Kelly. Mandy Rose eliminates Torrie Wilson and Torrie did not land well. Mandy then eliminates Sonya! Nia Jax disposes of Alundra Blayze. Nia probably the favourite, or Asuka. Jax eliminates Maria. Zelina Vega and Tamina get into it. Tamina and Nia then go face to face but the two cousins then go after everyone else! Tamina eliminates Lana. They were partners not so long ago. There’s a 7 woman suplex spot which is pretty cool. Carmella is the only woman standing and has a dance break. Ivory then joins in! Mandy attacks Ivory but Carmella eliminates Mandy!

Ember Moon eliminates Dana Brooke. Michelle McCool is still in great shape but she’s eliminated by Ember Moon. Ember eliminates Carmella.Ivory hits a cross body on Tamina and then goes back up to the middle rope but Asuka knocks her down to the apron before eliminating Ivory from the match. We’re down to Asuka, Ember Moon, Tamina and Nia Jax. Ember Moon eliminates Asuka which is a shocker. Ember hits the eclipse on Tamina and then eliminates her. We’re down to two friends in Ember Moon and Nia Jax. The crowd are behind Ember who powers Nia over the top rope and Zelina Vega then appears to help get Nia over the top but Nia lands on the apron. Nia gorilla press slams Vega out of the match and onto Tamina who doesn’t catch her properly. Nia then plants Ember Moon and throws her out to win the match.

Result: Nia Jax wins the match, last eliminating Ember Moon.

Peyton Royce is eliminated by Maria, Kelly Kelly, Alundra Blayze & Maria
Billie Kay is eliminated by Molly Holly, Michelle McCool, Torrie Wilson & Ivory
Molly Holly is eliminated by Sonya Deville
Kelly Kelly is eliminated by Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose
Torrie Wilson is eliminated by Mandy Rose
Sonya Deville is eliminated by Mandy Rose
Alundra Blayze is eliminated by Nia Jax
Maria is eliminated by Nia Jax
Lana is eliminated by Tamina
Mandy Rose is eliminated by Carmella
Dana Brooke is eliminated by Ember Moon
Michelle McCool is eliminated by Ember Moon
Naomi is eliminated by Tamina
Carmella is eliminated by Ember Moon
Ivory is eliminated by Asuka
Asuka is eliminated by Ember Moon
Tamina is eliminated by Ember Moon
Zelina Vega is eliminated by Nia Jax
Ember Moon is eliminated by Nia Jax

Review: This was a fantastic battle royal. Really well thought out, lots of good spots and a really fun match. I really enjoyed it, it’s one of the best booked battle royals that I’ve ever seen. Nia Jax wins which isn’t a massive surprise.

Rating: 7.5/10

Charly Caruso interviews Nia after the match and Jax says that she wants the Raw Women’s Championship.

There’s a VT next showing how we got to the Mae Young Classic final.

Toni Storm vs. Io ShiraiMae Young Classic final

Background: This is the finals of the Mae Young Classic tournament. Toni Storm defeated Jinny, Hiroyo Matsumoto, Mia Yim and Meiko Satamura to get to the final whilst Io beat Xia Brookside, Zeuxis, Deonna Purrazzo and Rhea Ripley.

Previous PPV matches: This is a WWE PPV debut for both of these girls.

Match: There’s some nice technical wrestling in the early going. Both girls look really smooth. Both girls also use strikes. Toni hits a German suplex and picks up the pace. Storm heads to the top but Io hits a springboard dropkick sending Toni Storm to the floor below. Shirai then beautifully jumps up to the top and hits a moonsault. Toni then hits a German suplex on the ring apron. Io hits some big strikes and an uppercut but then runs into a clothesline. Toni hits Storm Zero but Shirai kicks out of the pinfall attempt. Io hits a 619 and a lovely springboard sunset flip for a near fall. Shirai looks for a moonsault but Storm gets her knees up and rhen hits Storm Zero again, this time getting the three!

Result: Toni Storm wins by pinfall.

Review: This was a really solid match. I don’t think they were given enough time, they could have done with another five minutes because they are both so good. Io in particular really impressed me. Both of these girls would be great additions to the main roster. Toni wins the Mae Young Classic tonight.

Rating: 7.75/10

Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and Sarah Amato present Toni with flowers and her trophy.

There’s a VT with Alundra Blayze, Naomi and Eve Torres talking about what Evolution means to them.

Sasha Banks, Bayley & Natalya vs. The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan)

Background: On the October 22 edition of Raw, it was announced that The Riott Squad would face off against the team of Sasha Banks, Bayley and Natalya.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time 6 woman tag team match involving these six women.

Match: Natalya starts the match against Liv Morgan. There’s a nice Hart Attack from Natalya and Sasha. It’s a good start for the babyfaces as Bayley and Sasha double team Sarah Logan. Bayley hits a nice baseball slide on Sarah Logan and then attempts one on Liv Morgan but instead Sarah Logan baseball slides Bayley into the ringpost. The Riott Squad then make quick tags, keeping Bayley away form her teammates. Bayley finally manages to fight off the Riott Squad and tags in Sasha Banks! Sasha tags in Bayley and they hit a backstabber and then Bayley to belly but Liv Morgan saves the match for her team. All hell then breaks loose as all six girls get into it. The Riott Squad hit a version of the doomsday device on Sasha. Ruby goes up top to hit a senton on Sasha but Bayley lays over Sasha so Ruby its Bayley instead.

Sasha makes a hot tag to Natalya who picks up the pace on Logan. Natalya slams Ruby on Logan and then locks a double sharpshooter on both girls but Liv Morgan breaks it up with a facebuster for a near fall. Bayley drops Liv Morgan, hitting an elbow drop and tags in Sasha Banks who hits a frog splash on Morgan for the win!

Result: Sasha Banks, Bayley and Natalya win by pinfall.

Review: This was a good match actually. It exceeded my expectations. It had a fast pace and the Riott Squad looked good out there. I doubt this is going anywhere but it was a good match on the night.

Rating: 6/10

There’s another Evolution VT, this one with Stephanie McMahon, Molly Holly, Alicia Fox and Nia Jax.

There’s a VT next for Kairi Sane and Shayna Baszler.

Kairi Sane (c) vs. Shayna BaszlerNXT Women’s Championship match

Background: At NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 4, Kairi Sane defeated Shayna Baszler to win the NXT Women’s Championship. On the September 26 episode of NXT, a rematch between the two for the title was scheduled for Evolution. The two girls have previously met in the finals of the 2017 Mae Young Classic and Kairi also won that match.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first PPV match between these two girls on the main roster. Shayna is making her main roster PPV debut tonight.

Match: Shayna teases Kairi in the early going and Sane returns the favour. There’s a nice mix of strikes and technical wrestling in the early going. Baszler hits a sick looking stomp on the arm of Kairi for a near fall. Shayna continues to work the arm of the champion and then there’s a nice sequence with running strikes. Kairi locks on a Boston crab but Shayna fights out of it. Sane hits a big spear out of nowhere and then a shoulder charge and a neckbreaker for a two count. Kairi hits a DDT and heads to the top, Baszler rolls out of the ring so Sane dives out with a nice cross body. Kairi then back drops Baszler into the front row. Jessamyn Duke grabs Kairi but Kairi hits a right hand to sit knock her over. Marina Shafir then gets up on the apron as Kairi climbs the ropes which distracts Kairi long enough for Shayna to lock on a choke. Jessamyn Duke then gets up on the apron and nails Kairi behind the referee’s back. Shayna locks on the kirifuda clutch and Sane passes out! Shayna Baszler wins the match and the NXT Women’s Championship!

Result: Shayna Baszler wins the NXT Women’s Championship by submission.

Review: This was another really solid match. Kairi and Shayna are both great talents and will make good additions to the main roster. Shayna wins the match and the NXT Women’s Championship and I think this rivalry will have one more match with Sane putting over Baszler before joining the main roster. I’d love to see Sane and Shirai get called up together.

Rating: 7.25/10

There’s another Evolution VT with Ember Moon, Ata Johnson (The Rock’s mother), Vickie Guerrero and Maryse.

There’s a video package next for Becky Lynch and Charlotte.

Becky Lynch (c) vs. Charlotte – Last Woman Standing match for the Smackdown Women’s Championship

Background: At SummerSlam, Charlotte Flair defeated Becky Lynch and defending champion Carmella in a triple threat match to become a two-time SmackDown Women’s Champion by pinning Lynch. Following the match, Lynch attacked Flair, turning heel. Lynch then defeated Flair to win the championship at Hell in a Cell. A rematch occurred at Super Show-Down where Flair won by disqualification after Lynch attacked her with the title belt, thus Lynch retained. The two faced each other in a rematch on the following episode of SmackDown, however, it ended in a double countout, resulting in Lynch retaining again. SmackDown General Manager Paige then announced that the two would have another rematch for the SmackDown Women’s Championship at Evolution in a last woman standing match, the first in WWE.

Previous PPV matches: This is a 4th PPV match between these two girls, Charlotte has won 2 of the previous 3 and Becky Lynch the other.

Match: Becky hits a couple of knockdowns in the early going and asks the referee to count but Charlotte is up quickly. Becky hits a Bexploder as she keeps the advantage in the early going. Lynch then brings a kendo stick into the match and beats Charlotte down with it. Both girls then throw multiple chairs into the ring and an “E-C-Dub” chant breaks out. Lynch attacks Charlotte as she tries to grab a table and then goes back to work with the chair. Becky looks for a Bexploder on a pile of chairs but Charlotte counters and hits a side suplex onto the steel. Becky rolls Charlotte on a table and heads to the top but Charlotte counters and lays Becky on the table. Charlotte then hits a moonsault but the table doesn’t collapse and both girls roll off. Charlotte rolls Lynch back on the table and hits a senton bomb which puts Becky through the table this time.

Charlotte wraps Becky up in a ladder and locks on the figure 8! Becky taps out but there are no submissions in this match. The hold gets broken and Becky leaves the ring, grabs her title and heads through the crowd! Charlotte goes after her and hits her with some big chops amongst the WWE Universe. The fight goes back to the ringside area where Charlotte takes apart the German announce table. Becky attacks Charlotte with her title, lays Charlotte on the announce table and then climbs and ladder before diving off with a legdrop, putting Charlotte through the announce desk! Charlotte gets to her feet but Becky stomps her back down and piles chairs on top of her! Charlotte just beats the count and the crowd boo as it didn’t look like Charlotte beat the count. Charlotte hits Becky repeatedly with a kendo stick and then climbs to the top but Becky gets to her feet and powerbombs Charlotte through a table! Charlotte tries to get to her feet but can’t beat the count of 10!

Result: Becky Lynch wins, retaining the Smackdown Women’s Championship.

Review: This was a good match. I think it maybe went on a bit long but it felt like a main event. Two of the top girls of the roster delivered and I’m inclined to think that this may be the final match in the series between these two girls. Great match tonight!

Rating: 7.75/10

There’s a video package next hyping up Ronda Rousey and Nikki Bella.

Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Nikki Bella – Raw Women’s Championship match

Background: At SummerSlam, Ronda Rousey won the Raw Women’s Championship. Following her win, The Bella Twins (Nikki and Brie Bella) celebrated with the new champion. At Super Show-Down, it was announced that a title defense for Rousey was scheduled for Evolution. At that same event, Rousey and The Bella Twins teamed up to defeat The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan). On the following episode of Raw, Rousey and The Bella Twins defeated The Riott Squad in a rematch. Following the match, however, The Bella Twins attacked Rousey, turning heel. A title match between Rousey and Nikki was then scheduled for Evolution. This rivalry has got very personal with The Bella’s taking shot at Rousey’s mother and Ronda claiming Nikki leeched off John Cena.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first match between these two women.

Match: Ronda Rousey throws Nikki around in the early going and patronises her by almost helping Nikki back up. The fight goes to the outside where Brie distracting Rousey allows Nikki to push the Raw Women’s Champion into the ringpost. The referee deals with Nikki which allows Brie to push Rousey into the ringpost. Nikki then keeps the advantage, slowing the pace and wearing Ronda Rousey down. Rousey looks to get back into the match but again Brie gets involved to distract her and allow Nikki to avoid a cross body from the top. Ronda scoops Nikki up on her shoulders, Brie gets up on the apron and Ronda scoop her up too and hits both twins with the spinning slam! Ronda looks gassed as she hits Nikki with lefts and rights judo throws. Brie gets involved again so Rousey throws her over the announce desk but that allows Nikki to hit an Alabama slam. Nikki hits the rack attack 2.0 but Ronda kicks out! Rousey then hits a massive takedown off the top rope and locks on the armbar so Nikki taps out!

Result: Ronda Rousey retains the Raw Women’s Championship by submission.

Review: This was a decent enough match. It could have quite easily been a stinker but Ronda Rousey has picked up the wrestling business so quickly and Nikki always surprises me. There was never a question over the result, Ronda wins and will probably hold the title until Wrestlemania.

Rating: 6.75/10

And that was Evolution. The show had a big buzz about it and I think it delivered overall. The weakest match was actually the opener but when you’ve got two girls in it who haven’t wrested properly in over ten years you can only applaud them on how well they did. Mickie and Alicia were good experienced opponents and did a good job of putting the two legends over. I really enjoyed the battle royal, I think it was one of the best booked battle royals I’ve ever seen. Loads of good spots, it was a lot of fun. Nia Jax wins that one and gets a title shot down the line. The Mae Young Classic final between Toni Storm and Io Shirai was very good. Both of these girls have so much potential and I’d love to see both on the main roster at some point. A big win for Toni Storm who wins a nice accolade, following in the footsteps of Kairi Sane.

The six woman tag match was good and gives Natalya, Sasha and Bayley a big win against a solid unit. Kairi Sane and Shayna Baszler put on a really solid match for the NXT title that sees Shayna win that championship. Another two girls I’d like to see on the main roster. Then came the two main events. First, Becky Lynch defeated Charlotte to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship. This was a great match between two of the best girls on the roster. Ronda Rousey then beat Nikki Bella to retain the Raw Women’s Championship in another solid match. Overall this was a really good show. I would recommend you go and watch it if you haven’t already. We’ll have to see if this becomes a yearly show, I’d like to see it to be hones, it gives good exposure for the girls. It ranks in the top 50 PPV’s of all time up to now.

Overall Rating: 66.42/100 (ranked joint 47th out of 366)

Match Of The Night: Toni Storm vs. Io Shirai / Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte
Worst Match Of The Night: Trish Stratus & Lita vs. Alicia Fox & Mickie James
Surprise Of The Night: N/A
Worst Booking Of The Night: It would’ve been nice for a new face to win the battle royal
Superstar Of The Night: All of the WWE women wrestlers
Evolution 2018 Will Be Remembered For: Being the first ever all-women’s PPV

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