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Evolution – A retrospective, One year on

One year ago to the day the very first WWE all-female pay-per-view, Evolution took place at Uniondale, NY. The event saw women from RAW, SmackDown Live, and NXT compete in a night as unprecedented as it was monumental.

We were treated to a plethora of superb matches such as Becky Lynch defending her SmackDown Women’s Championship against Charlotte Flair in a Last Woman Standing match. Shayne Baszler defeated Kairi Sane to become the NXT Women’s Championship for the second time. As a result, today marks 365-days since the Queen of Spades became the only two-time NXT Women’s Champion in history.

In addition to the aforementioned matches, Toni Storm beat Io Shairi in the final of the Mae Young Classic 2 and Ronda Rousey successfully defended her RAW Women’s Championship against Nikki Bella.

Evolution was the opportunity for the entire women’s division to show the world what they had and show them they did. Stars were made, superstars were solidified and megastars were established. So let’s take a look at the lasting impact of WWE’s first-ever-female-only event just one year on.

The WWE women’s division had gone from strength to strength once the company actually did something right and booked it properly after fan backlash and the #GiveDivasAChanceMovement. Divas became superstars and superstars are exactly what they became.

The event was announced by the creator of women’s wrestling, Stephanie McMahon while the company was in the midst of political and moral fan and media backlash. This was all stemming from the announcement of those woeful Saudi Arabia shows. Fans questioned the company’s focus of the women’s division in light of them being unable to compete in Jeddah and on another rare occasion, WWE listened,

But one cannot deny the effect Ronda Rousey had WWE’s decision to go ahead with the event. Heading back a few years Rousey’s star shone brilliantly and her fame and popularity were one of the many catalysts that led to the ‘Women’s Evolution’. As WWE RAW Women’s Champion was pushed to be the face of the company but “The Man” Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair had other ideas and created the biggest boom in the history of WWE women’s wrestling.

The main event of the card was Rousey versus Bella but Becky and Charlotte stole the show. The two tore the house down in an innovative, emotional and breath-taking Last Woman Standing match that saw Lynch come out as the victor and truly established that she was the biggest and brightest act to come out of the scene in years.

Credit: WWE

Nikki and Ronda put on a great showing too. A sort of past versus present feud as Nikki the face of the Diva’s division comes face to face with the face of the new legitimized division. Nikki especially shone as she proved to all the doubters that she was no joke and went toe-to-toe with Rousey. While Rousey proved to be as dominant as ever.

So what are outcomes of Evolution? Firstly, it proved that Becky Lynch was a bonafide megastar and the fans were not going to let WWE forget it. Secondly, and in my opinion, Evolution marked the beginning of the end for Ronda Rousey’s wrestling career. It was from here that Lynch was catapulted into the stratosphere and Rousey’s star started to wane and it got to her.

She was regularly owned on social media, the fans began to turn on her and rumours swirled of her unhappiness within the company. Thirdly, it confirmed to Vince, that the time was right for the women to go out there and headline WrestleMania for the first time ever and that alone shows its amazing impact.

Yet, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that we will be getting another Evolution, and Mae Young Classic for that matter, this year. Therefore, we ask what is next for WWE and it’s women’s division? The pay-per-view was well attended, well received and well-remembered and therefore seemingly rather odd we haven’t had an announcement about its future.

While Lynch, Banks, Flair and Bayley are killing it the division does seem to have fallen down the priority ladder. WWE are going through a rough month and could do with huge boost and the announcement of another Evolution pay-per-view would be nothing but positive.

What did you think if the first Evolution pay-per-view looking back on it and its impact. Do you think WWE will announce another all-female pay-per-view for next year? Let us know below.

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