WWE NXT general manager William Regal announced at last night’s EVOLVE 56 event in Queens, New York, that EVOLVE will be hosting qualifying matches for United States portion WWE’s Global Cruiserweight Series tournament.
— Tom Liodice (@TomLiodice) March 19, 2016
The Inquisitr has previously reported that there is some sort of a working relationship in place between WWNLive’s EVOLVE and WWE. At some recent EVOLVE events, WWE has sent out some of NXT’s talent for exclusive meet and greets and to appear during shows in an offscreen capacity.
NXT superstar Sami Zayn made appearances at EVOLVE 49 and EVOLVE 50 last October, per Wrestlezone. He teased a relationship between WWN Live and WWE in the future. Over the course of his two appearances, Zayn had encounters with Johnny Gargano, “All Ego” Ethan Page, and Timothy Thatcher.
At EVOLVE 54, Regal made an in-ring appearance with Thatcher, the current EVOLVE Heavyweight champion The five-decade veteran Regal praised Thatcher before former UFC fighter and current EVOLVE competitor Matt Riddle interrupted, per Wrestling Inc. Despite the interference, Regal claimed that watching the show that night made him “proud to be in the business.”
Triple H himself was backstage at an EVOLVE show during Royal Rumble weekend in January, taking in the action with Gabe Sapolsky.
To see the full results from last night’s EVOLVE 56 show, you can read a lengthy, in-depth recap from 411 Mania.Tonight, WWNLive will present two shows on iPPV, live from the Floyd Bennett American Legion Post #1060 at 5601 Avenue N in Brooklyn, NY. First, Tier 1 Wrestling presents March to Victory at 4 pm. Then, EVOLVE 57 will take place at 8 pm.
In regards to the Global Cruiserweight Series, it’s set for a Wednesday, July 10, debut, exclusively on the WWE Network. Scott Fishman of Channel Guide Magazine wrote in mid-February that the tournament will consist of 32 talented cruiserweights from around the world, competing in a 10-week tournament.
Speaking to Fishman, WWE’s executive vice president of talent, live events, and creative, Triple H, revealed that he wanted to give talents from all around the world a chance to test themselves against performers of similar ilk.
“If you want to refer to us as a combat sport, I think the lighter, faster guys can sometimes be as — if not more — exciting than anything else you see. I wanted to exploit that in a bigger way. Sometimes when we get into cruiserweight talents on RAW, SmackDown, or even NXT, the sizes vary so much with talent. Here, you put them in their own environment and against a similar style performer. It puts them on a whole new playing field. I really wanted to go down the road of seeing what they can do in that environment.”
With the emergence of several former independent wrestling mainstays within WWE’s system, the company is showing a willingness to work with several types of performers. Triple added that in addition to the top names, WWE will look to discover performers who have not received much attention.
“A lot of times, in the past, we’ve operated on ‘you either work for WWE or you didn’t work for WWE. I think with something like this, we’re opening it up a bit more. We are going to allow these guys to come in. I’m not just trying to find the cruiserweights that are the obvious ones. I think those guys will be there, the top guys in the world. But I’m trying to find the undiscovered diamonds someplace else that will blow people’s minds; someone who maybe hasn’t gotten the opportunity yet to be seen.”
[Image via WWE]