PWInsider is reporting that the WWE has officially acquired EVOLVE Wrestling from Gabe Sapolsky and Sal Hamaoui. EVOLVE was the flagship promotion of the World Wrestling Network (WWN), which is owned by Sal Hamaoui. PWInsider adds that the deal has been completed after several months of negotiations amidst rumors that were running around on news sites. The company, originally started by Sapolsky and named by Daniel Bryan, was created off of Dragon Gate USA in 2010. EVOLVE held 146 events during its time with many of the events taking place in the Northeast region of the United States. The deal also involves the back catalog of Dragon Gate USA as well.
WWE and EVOLVE had a close relationship in recent years, as EVOLVE served as a spot for WWE-contracted wrestlers like The Street Profits, Babatunde, Brendan Vink, and Mansoor got some work and were able to hone in their skills. EVOLVE also sent top NXT stars like Matt Riddle and Keith Lee to the promotion, as both men were former main eventers of the promotion before signing with the company. The current Raw Tag Team Champions The Street Profits were even EVOLVE Tag Team Champions in 2019.
WWE also held the 10th Anniversary show on the WWE Network in 2019, as the event saw Adam Cole defend his NXT Championship against Akira Tozawa in the main event and current Raw star Austin Theory defend his EVOLVE Championship against JD Drake in a winner-take-all match including the WWN Championship.
PWInsider noted that there is no word as of right now if EVOLVE will ever hold another event down the line, but it appears that EVOLVE’s archives will be added to the WWE Network somewhere down the line in some form or another. Regarding talent signed to the promotion, there is no word on who could be coming over in the deal as of this writing.
Their last event before COVID-19 occurred in Melrose, MA as AR Fox defeated Josh Briggs in the main event. This very well could be the last event in the history of the promotion. While the sale hasn’t been made official, several EVOLVE talents have taken to Social Media with comments that would seem to indicate EVOLVE is definitely finished.
— Eddie Kingston #BlackLivesMatter (@MadKing1981) July 3, 2020
Lots of feelings about the Evolve news…
Mostly great memories of the 10 years I had there
If nothing else in life, I try to be honest, so with that being said..
I literally have no idea what’s next for me in wrestling, if anything…
— Lenny Leonard (@WWNLennyLeonard) July 3, 2020
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