WWE Evolution 2018 Review

Evolution-PPV-logo-white

Well here it is the first ever WWE Women’s only PPV and with every Women’s title on the line, the return of old faces and the MYC final, it’s sure to be an interesting show.

-Now before I jump into the show I didn’t write a review for MYC semi’s on Wednesday, so here are my thoughts on them first.

MYC Semi-final 1 – Meiko Satomura vs. Toni Storm

Very solid semi. Nice bit of tech in the beginning, then there seems to be some padding where there’s not a whole lot going on, before things pick-up and they have a hot little finishing stretch with a few big nearfalls as each women kicks out of each other’s finishers before Toni delivers a second Storm Zero that gets her the win to advance to the final.
Winner: Toni Storm (via Storm Zero) ***1/2

MYC Semi-final 2 – Io Shirai vs. Rhea Ripley

Another really solid match. Rhea is pretty dominant throughout focusing her attack on Shirai’s mid-section which she does a good job of, though I think the body scissors maybe goes on a little too long. Shirai does her best to stay in the fight though and makes a come back, leading to her getting the win with a moonsault. Nothing too epic but still a well fought match with Rhea showing great confidence in her control. She has really come along really well.
Winner: Shirai (via Moonsault) ***1/2

Now onto the main show that kicks off with Nita Strauss and Lizzy Hale performing live which is pretty rocking.

Match 1 – Trish Stratus/Lita vs. Mickie James/Alicia Fox

Good tag opener. Both Trish and Lita did pretty well for not having wrestled  a proper match in years, especially  Trish whose interactions with Mickie got huge reactions. They could have easily just done single between them two.
The crowd were hot throughout the whole thing though. It’s a shame Alexa wasn’t cleared to compete, but Alicia did ok as her replacement aside a few hiccups. Her and Mickie do get a bit of control but in the end the HoFer’s make a come back and get the win after Lita moonsaults both Mickie and Alicia at the same time and Trish hits the Chick Kick. Not the smoothest but an enjoyable way to kick things off.
Winners: Trish/Lita (via Chick kick) ***

Match 2 – Battle Royale: Alicia Fox vs. Michelle McCool vs. Sonya Deville vs. Alundra Blayze vs. Carmella vs. Selina 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

Iconics are out last and trash talk everyone only to get eliminated first.
This was quite a fun battle royale overall. Most the old faces were eliminated pretty early on, but there was some nice little exchanges and spots on the go.
Ember and Nia end up as final two, though Zelina does do a little sneak in at the last minute only to get eliminated. It’s a good little final sequence though that ends with Nia getting the win which earns her a shot at the Raw Women’s Title. Think it would have been nice to have seen Ember get the opportunity, but I’m more than happy to see Nia and Ronda square off again provided Ronda retains. Certainly one of the more enjoyable standard battle Royales I’ve seen.
Winner: Nia Jax – NR

Match 3 – MYC Final – Io Shirai vs. Toni Storm

Really good final match. Just some straight-up lovely back and forth action with both women looking great, though the match was a little shorter than I expected.
Towards the end Io manages to kick out of one storm zero, but when she goes for a moonsault Toni get the knees up and hits another Storm Zero to win final. Was happy to see either of them win, although Toni’s definitely felt a bit more special considering she just missed out on winning it last year.
Winner: Toni Storm (via Storm Zero) ***3/4

Match 4 – Riott Squad vs. Sasha Banks/Bayley/Natalya

Solid tag match, may have gone on a little too long with Riott Squad getting two control bits, but they worked it well and had some good spots on the go, although it wasn’t without it’s sloppy moments. Finishing stretch was real good though and ends with Liv getting pinned after being powerbombed by Natalya, elbow dropped by Bayley and Frog Splashed by Sasha Banks. Noticed a significant improvement with Liv in recent months and the Riott Squad overall has been gelling better as a team which was all showcased well here.
Winners: Bayley/Sasha/Natalya (via frog splash) ***1/4

Match 5 – NXT Women’s Title Match: Shayna Baszler vs. Kairi Sane (c)

This was great and featured a tremendous performance from Kairi.
Shayna does a terrific job targeting the arm and Kairi sold it really well, showcasing an excellent babyface struggle as she tried her best to stay in the fight.
At the end two members of the horsewomen who were sat at ringside get involved which garnered big heat from the crowd. Their interference allows Shayna to lock in the Kirifuda clutch where Kairi has an absolutely heart wrenching struggle trying to escape it with the crowd completely rallying behind her. Despite her effort though, there is no way out and she ends up passing out giving Shayna the win as she becomes the first ever two time NXT Women’s Champion. Some incredible drama on display in those final few moments, terrific work from both women. It’ll be interesting to see how the Four Horsewomen stuff develops, poor Kairi though.
Winner: Shayna (via Kirifuda Clutch) ****

Match 6 – Last Woman Standing Smackdown Women’s Title Match: Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch (c)

This was awesome. The women worked their asses off and Packed the match out with big spots and some hard bumps including the use of chairs, tables and ladders. You could argue that there wasn’t enough selling between spots, but I honestly never found that bothersome and thought they worked tremendously well with the crowd being hot throughout. At the end Becky powerbombs charlotte from the second rope through a table on the outside which keeps Charlotte down for the full 10 count making Becky successfully retain.
Very happy to see Becky successfully retain, she’s super over with the crowd and deserves a lengthy title run. Glad that they had a simple big spot as the finish as I know WWE sometimes like to get a bit weird with their Last person standing finishes. But hopefully that gives a definitive end to the feud for now and Becky can move on to other opponents.
Winner: Becky Lynch  ****

Main Event – Raw Women’s Title Match: Nikki Bella w/Brie vs. Ronda Rousey (c)

Great main event to end on. They stuck to a simple formula but it was worked really effectively and had a hot crowd that really enhanced it, much like the rest of the show. In the beginning Ronda treats Nikki like a bit of a joke but then Nikki gains control thanks to the ringpost and interference from Brie and she manages to retain it for a fair amount of time, with Ronda doing well with her selling before making a good comeback.
There are a couple of weak moments that mainly involve Brie but it does have a couple of nice nearfalls with Nikki coming very close to winning the belt. In the end though Ronda does an armbar take down from the second rope and then properly locks in the to make Nikki submit and successfully retain. Probably the best showing of Nikki’s career thus far and a very good performance from Ronda too who continually improves, though her in-ring trash talking is still a little weak.
Winner: Ronda (via armbar) ****

Overall I’d say this PPV was a great success. Had a terrific atmosphere throughout, had a nice variety of matches which all delivered some good stuff and the last three contests in particular were among some of the best matches WWE has produced this year.  Hell the whole show itself is one of the best and most consistent shows they’ve had this year.

Thanks for reading.

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