It was an event billed as historic, and even in a world based on hyperbole, no one could accuse WWE of exaggerating.
On October 28th, the Nassau Coliseum in New York will host Evolution, the first all-female pay-per-view event in the history of World Wrestling Entertainment. It’s another huge step forward for women’s wrestling, even in a year that included the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble and the Mae Young Classic, which is now in its second incarnation this summer. One of the biggest shows on
television Netflix right now is based on an all-female wrestling promotion from the ’80s. Wrestling, period, is experiencing one of its biggest booms in years, and that’s no more evident than in women’s divisions around the world.
— WWE (@WWE) July 24, 2018
While some may say that an event of this magnitude is overdue, response to the event has been overwhelmingly positive among both wrestling fans and independent female wrestlers alike.
“I was so unbelievably excited for the WWE Universe,” said former IMPACT! Women’s Champion Chelsea Green when asked by Win Column Sports about the event. “This is just another platform for women to prove their worth, and I am certain that’s exactly what they will do!
Current WSU Spirit Champion Jordynne Grace echoed that statement, saying “(I think) it’s long past due, and I’m amazed that it’s finally happening. We have all come so far and worked so hard for this”.
The reaction to the announcement has been overwhelmingly positive. In addition to the already-announced finals of the Mae Young Classic and a match for the NXT Women’s Championship, fans are already salivating at the potential matchups that the event brings. “It will be interesting for women to step into tag team roles, true heel roles, comedic roles etc,” continued Green. “I think this is a great opportunity for the girls of NXT to come up and give the main roster superstars a run for their money – or titles!”
From the Independent Scene to the WWE
While Evolution may be the first all women’s event in WWE history, it’s certainly not the first all-female show. As Green elaborated, “We’ve had all-women’s shows on the independent scene and at IMPACT wrestling, so for it to finally spread to the biggest stage of all was a very big deal in women’s wrestling. I can’t wait to see the storylines that WWE creates for Evolution”.
While World Wrestling Entertainment still remains the largest promotion in the world, women are getting the chance to show off their skills in promotions like Shimmer and SHINE. Based out of Illinois and Florida respectively, both all-female promotions have featured a who’s who of female talent over the past few years, including names like Tessa Blanchard, Britt Baker, and current MYC competitor Mercedes Martinez. Across the pond, names like Toni Storm and Tegan Nox have taken an already-burgeoning scene to all-new highs. Even in Alberta, where yours truly happens to be from, women’s matches are finding themselves placed on more prominent positions on independent cards more and more often. In fact, the effects of the Women’s Revolution are already being shown in future stars such as KJ Kash, who credits Sasha Banks as the reason she got back into wrestling after a long absence.
Sasha talking about the first all women’s PPV is going to give you ALL the feels!
(And yes, she mentioned Trish!)pic.twitter.com/z0NK12iqBf
— Daily DDT (@FanSidedDDT) July 24, 2018
“I think the women’s evolution and the women’s independent scene go hand in hand,” said Kelsi, co-host of Two Faced Wrestling Talk. “They’ve helped each other evolve in a way that most of the WWE Universe will never understand. The women of the independent scene have been pushing boundaries for years; now we’re starting to see those women push boundaries up in WWE”.
“With that being said, that goes both ways,” she continued. “With the amazing push that women are getting in WWE and NXT, a lot of independent promoters are starting to realize the draw that women are, and have always been. They are starting to see women carry a brand, which in turn gives them [the] confidence to let the women carry their own independent shows”.
Yes, some will say it’s overdue, and you likely won’t find many who disagree with you. The women of wrestling have long been as talented as their major counterparts, and it’s long past due that they receive an opportunity to hold their own event. Whether through the Royal Rumble, the first-ever Hell in a Cell main event, or a Feud of the Year winner with Sasha Banks vs. Bayley in 2015, the ladies have more than impressed when given the opportunity to do so. Now, they’ll get their biggest opportunity yet – and I’ll guarantee they don’t disappoint.”