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Results, Recap, Review of WWE Evolution

In pro wrestling there are many firsts, but the firsts for Women in WWE have been nothing short of special. The first NXT Women’s Champion was Paige, the first Raw Women’s Champion was Charlotte, and the first Smackdown Women’s Champion was current champion Becky Lynch. Lets’ not forget Asuka who won the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble while Naomi won the first ever Wrestlemania Women’s Battle Royal. Who could ever forget the first ever Women’s Hell in a Cell, Elimination Chamber, Money in the Bank and Iron-Women Matches? The first WWE Women’s Steel Cage match was fifteen years ago and they have continued to make history since. The dirt-sheets might say that tonight’s event was just a bragging tool for Stephanie McMahon and took make people forget about Saudi Arabia, but I assure you that tonight was so much more than that.  Leading up to tonight’s event there was a a lot of social media coverage on this event and we got to see a lot of different perspective from all the female competitors in WWE. Tell me this wasn’t a big event and I will tell you that you’re a fool. Before I begin with my thoughts on tonight, here are the results of WWE Evolution:

-Trish Stratus and Lita defeated Mickie James and Alicia Fox
-Nia Jax wins the 20-Woman Battle Royal
-Toni Storm defeated Io Sharai to win the Mae Young Classic
-Sasha Banks/Bayley/Natalya defeated The Riott Squad
-Shayna Baszler defeated Kairi Sane to become the new NXT Women’s Champion.
-Becky Lynch defeated Charlotte Flair in a Last Women’s Standing Match to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship
-Ronda Rousey defeated Nikki Bella to retain the Raw Women’s Championship

The opening match of the night was the tag team match with Lita and Trish Stratus on one side, and Alicia Fox and Mickie James on the other side. Mickie’s partner was originally suppose to be Alexa Bliss, but she was injured and they needed to find a replacement. The crowd was on fire for the two Hall of Famers and I believe getting the crowd hot with this match as the opener was a smart idea. Both Trish and Lita looked great tonight for not being involved in an actual match for a very long time. There was one little mess up, but I am not going to hold that against Foxy because she wasn’t prepared to wrestle a tag match. She was prepared to be in the Battle Royal which ironically followed the tag team match. I absolutely loved the fact The IIconics came out last and talked a bunch of trash to get themselves some great heel heat. This was a fun match to watch and it was great to see that some of the women can still go. I loved the dynamic in the beginning when the old school competitors were fighting against the new school competitors. I also loved the dynamic between Nia Jax and Tamina Snuka. They also fight each other harder and have such a great chemistry in the ring. Nia Jax ended up winning the Battle Royal and has put herself back into the title picture right where she belongs.

I can honestly say that the match I was looking forward to the most going into this event was the finals of the Mae Young Classic. Toni Storm and Io Sharai have been tearing it up ever since the Classic began weeks ago. This was a classic hard hitting match between to shining stars of the future. In my opinion, this was a better finals then the first finals from last year. The match up and styles were better and I felt like they had more chemistry than Sane and Baszler did. I expect big things from both Storm and Sharai over the next five to ten years. Six women who are currently doing big things right now on the main roster are Natalya, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan. It’s very cool to see a female faction stick together as much as the Riott Squad has. This match was full of crazy moments and risk. The risks honestly made the match more intense and got me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. I hope that Riott Squad continues to be a force on Monday Night Raw, but I also hope that Sasha and Bayley finally getting into a meaningful storyline. I feel like they have been

Over the last year we have seen Kairi Sane and Shayna Baszler due battle in the Mae Young Classic and all over NXT for the Women’s Championship. I really enjoyed this match because Shayna has this natural nuclear heat. This match also told a very intriguing story with Jessemyn Duke and Marina Shafir getting involved. I think this will set something up with Kairi finding two partners to take on three out of the Four Horsewomen. I love the audiences reaction to this match because you could just feel the hatred for Baszler and the love for Sane. If Sane does not get a rematch I would love to see Bianca Belair, Lacey Evans, Candice Larae or even Nikki Cross get a title shot. The NXT roster is full of incredible women who can easily carry the torch. Tonight’s win give Baszler some history in the fact that she is the first ever two-time NXT Women’s Champion. Another first was the first ever Last Woman Standing Match between Charlotte and Becky Lynch. I love how WWE can’t dictate who to cheer and boo for anymore and that makes for an interesting dynamic. Becky Lynch has been cheered relentlessly for months now even when she tuned into a “heel.” This match lived up to the hype and exceeded it beyond my wildest expectations. Both Charlotte and Becky had a Match of the Year Candidate in my opinion. They left everything in the ring and left us wanting more of this feud.

In the Main Event, Ronda Rousey took on Nikki Bella for the Raw Women’s Championship. No disrespect to the these two but the Last Woman Standing Match should have been the last match on. I was very leery about this match because of Nikki’s previous neck injuries. Ronda Rousey has brought so much more attention to the division and company, I understand why she was on last. To be honest with Nikki has become so well known due to Total Divas and Total Bellas it’s hard to argue against her popularity. The match played out the exact way I thought it would in the fact that Brie got involved a lot and Nikki was very limited in the ring. I could tell part way through the match Nikki was really hurting and it wasn’t just her selling. I was afraid of this happening due to Nikki not being in the ring in a long time on top of her health. Ronda Rousey did the absolute best she could with the limitations of the match. The night ended with Rousey being on top and all the women of WWE being at the entrance ramp to celebrate. I thought tonight was an excellent show that put women in the spotlight and showcased their incredible talent and abilities. I would give tonight’s show an 8 out of 10 for effort, match quality and a lot of innovation. I hope the first ever now becomes a always and forever. Congratulations to all the women of WWE on a well deserved pay-per-view and an incredible showing for themselves. Tonight, WWE Women’s Division truly evolved.

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