WWE has been covered in controversy lately because of their Saudi Arabia special event, Crown Jewel, and now another pay-per-view of theirs has come under fire, Evolution. Where Crown Jewel is causing controversy because of its location, given the controversy surrounding the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi inside Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Turkey, Evolution is causing a stir because of the seemingly lack of effort by the WWE in booking the event. The company’s first-ever all-women’s pay-per-view is just over a week away, and the WWE has only booked four matches and a battle royal. On average, the WWE has their pay-per-views fully booked at least two weeks out before the event.
Where the WWE has clearly taken great strides in showcasing their women superstars over the last couple of years — with first-ever contests like the all-women’s Royal Rumble Match, a Hell in a Cell bout, and two Money in the Bank Ladder contests — many critics feel they have simply dropped the ball when it comes to the booking and the buildup to Evolution, as Raw and SmackDown only have one more episode left a piece before the event.
Below is the card thus far for Evolution, as documented on the official WWE website.
- Battle royal
- NXT Women’s Champion Kairi Sane vs. Shayna Baszler
- Trish Stratus and Lita vs. Alexa Bliss and Mickie James
- SmackDown Women’s champion Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair (Last Woman Standing match)
- Raw Women’s champion Ronda Rousey vs. Nikki Bella
Most fans feel that only two matches on the card have been given a proper build, and they are the Baszler and Lynch matches, respectively. Recently, the WWE took to Twitter and announced several big names for the battle royal: Madusa, Michelle McCool, Ivory, Kelly Kelly, and Molly Holly. However, fans and some media outlets quickly replied to the tweet, calling the WWE lazy and that the contest a waste of talent.
Battle royal. Wow. What a waste.
— Kristen✨ (@kristenhurlock) October 19, 2018
It’s so utterly lazy.
— PWM (@ProWrestlingMag) October 19, 2018
— PWM (@ProWrestlingMag) October 19, 2018
Yes, let’s just throw every woman possible into a battle royal so they feel included! You guys had so long to plan for this PPV.
— WWE Heat™ (@WWETheHeat) October 19, 2018
Evolution was controversial from the get-go because the WWE announced it as a groundbreaking event, but they quickly received some backlash because it’s only groundbreaking for the company. For years, other promotions have featured all-women pay-per-views, including Impact Wrestling’s 2013 event, One Night Only: Knockouts Knockdown, and all-women’s promotions Shimmer and Shine have also held pay-per-views. Though most agree it’s a great step for the WWE to finally hold an event of this kind, the booking and lack of buildup continues to have the promotion in a defensive position with many fans and critics, especially since Evolution was announced in July. Recently, even some SmackDown women superstars took to Twitter to show their disappointment of the battle royal.
— CJ (Lana) Perry (@LanaWWE) October 16, 2018
— Trinity Fatu (@NaomiWWE) October 16, 2018
Wwe should’ve spend more time on evolution
— Callie ???? (@CallieElizabe16) October 16, 2018
Several media outlets have taken aim at the company for their seemingly lack of effort for the event, including Forbes, a publication that recently slammed the WWE’s lack of storytelling for Evolution.
“What Evolution largely lacks is ‘the story,’ which is missing from many matches on the card that have simply been put together without a solid background as to why they’re happening. Even many of WWE’s female stars have taken to Twitter to express their disappointment with being relegated to a battle royal that comes across as a lazy way to get more female stars on the show. With Raw concentrating so heavily on rivalries like Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns and SmackDown doing the same with AJ Styles’ WWE title run, plus WWE’s hyper-focused push of big money shows like Super Show-Down and Crown Jewel, its focus on Evolution has fallen by the wayside.”
With WWE Evolution just over a week away, fans are wondering what they are going to get beyond the small card that’s been announced, as it seems that most of the talent will be in a battle royal.