Preview: WWE Evolution (10/28/18)

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Photo: WWE

WWE’s first ever all-women’s pay per view, WWE Evolution, is this Sunday in New York, and we’ve finally got a clear look at the matches for this historic event. Featuring stars from Raw and Smackdown, as well as WWE Legends, and stars from NXT, NXT UK and the Mae Young Classic, it presents a huge overview of the women Superstars in the WWE. Michael Cole will be joined by Raw‘s Renee Young and Mae Young Classic’s Beth Phoenix on commentary for the event, while Young will host a pre-show panel with Pheonix and Smackdown Live GM Paige.

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

Photo: WWE

Besties Sasha Banks and Bayley team up with veteran Natalya in 6-woman tag team action against Ruby Riott and her Riott Squad (Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan) as a lengthy feud between Riott and Banks & Bayley comes to a head. Ruby Riott has defeated both Banks and Bayley over the past few months and continue to be a thorn in their side, but Natalya helps even the odds in what should be an energetic and hard hitting affair.

NXT UK Women’s Championship Match (?)

Photo: WWE

In the original press release for the announcement of WWE Evolution back in July, the WWE stated that the NXT UK Women’s Championship would also be defended, but so far they’ve been pretty quiet about that part. Without spoiling it for those waiting, the tournament to crown the NXT UK Women’s Champion is roughly 2-3 weeks away from airing on TV based on tapings spoilers, so they haven’t even aired the champ being crowned yet. They may have decided to yank that match as it would reveal the champion before most fans had seen her win it.

Battle Royal for Women’s Championship Opportunity

Photo: WWE

The Battle Royal will feature a real cross section of WWE Superstars from the past, present and future, all competing for the chance for a future Women’s Championship match. The WWE traditionally does 30-person battle royals. So far, 21 names have been announced.

RAW: Ember Moon, Alicia Fox, Tamina Snuka, Nia Jax, Dana Brooke, Maria Kanellis
SmackDown Live: Asuka, Naomi, Lana, Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, Carmella, Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose, Zelina Vega
Legends: Torrie Wilson, Michelle McCool, Alundra Blayze (Madusa), Ivory, Kelly Kelly, Molly Holly

With potentially nine more spots in the battle royal, expect them to be filled with NXT stars. A report from PWInsider not too long ago stated that nine NXT names were apparently pencilled in for the Battle Royal – Mia Yim, Candice LeRae, Bianca BelAir, Rhea Ripley, Dakota Kai, Kacy Catanzaro, Lacey Evans and the other two MMA Horsewomen, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir, were all mentioned. That would be a total of 30. If Duke and Shafir appear on the PPV as part of Shayna Baszler’s match, they may not take part in the battle royal. If they aren’t WWE would do well by having MYC standouts Mercedes Martinez and Meiko Satomura take part (although better yet, give them a MYCrematch on a grander stage).

Mae Young Classic Finals: Io Shirai vs. Toni Storm

Photo: WWE Network

The 2018 Mae Young Classic was an exciting and jaw dropping showcase of women’s wrestling from around the world and the finals continue that trend, as Japan’s top wrestler Io Shirai, now signed with the WWE (and NXT) going forward moves on to face NXT UK Superstar and indie mega star Toni Storm. Two of the favorites to win the tournament at the outset, either one would be a worthwhile winner. This is also a career rubber match fo the two, who have fought each other in Japan and Europe for the past three years. This has all the potential to be the show stealer of the night.

NXT Women’s Championship: Kairi Sane (c) vs. Shayna Baszler

Photo: WWE

Kairi Sane finally defeat Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women’s Championship back in August at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV, and since then Baszler has been running riot through NXT, both on TV and at Live Events, determined to regain her gold. The rematch finally goes down this Sunday, but keep an eye out for some interference. Baszler’s fellow MMA Four Horsewomen Jessamyn Duke and Maria Shafir have been working NXT Live Events alongside the Queen of Spades and if things don’t go Shayna’s way in the match, a debut at Evolution for Duke and Shafir may be in the cards.

Trish Stratus & Lita vs. Alexa Bliss & Mickie James

Photo: WWE

Two women who are synonymous with WWE’s women’s division out of the Attitude Era, 7x WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus and 4x WWE Women’s Champion Lita reunite for another match, taking on two women who are no strangers to the gold either. Alexa Bliss is already a 5x Women’s Champion herself and her partner Mickie James is a 6x Women’s Champion in the WWE (not to mention 3x IMPACT Knockouts Champion), and someone who is very familiar with both of their opponents.

Smackdown Women’s Championship, Last Woman Standing Match: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Charlotte Flair

Photo: WWE

The battle between two former best friends comes to a vicious head this Sunday, when new Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch faces off against Charlotte Flair in a Last Women Standing Match for the championship. These two have gotten more and more physical with every altercation since Lynch turned on Flair back at SummerSlam, whether it’s been in a match or passing by backstage. This one will be as physical as it gets on Sunday and these two will be looking to steal the show once again.

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

Photo: WWE

Ronday Rousey has already had one successful title defense against Alexa Bliss at last month’s Hell In A Cell against Alexa Bliss, but this time she’s going head to head against former 2x WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella, whose last reign was an astounding 301 days. Nikki will have her sister Brie Bella in her corner, which may swing the odds, but there’s a very real chance that all three of Rousey’s Four Horsewomen – Shayne Baszler, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir – will be in the building. If the Bellas start using their “twin magic”, they could be staring down the stampede of four angry fillies.

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